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  1.    #1121  
    I've really been enjoying the discussions here. I find this is one of the best ways I can learn empathy and understanding for viewpoints that differ from mine. I'll try my best to bring the discussions I participate to logical conclusions were possible.

    If anyone has more suggestions for what to add to the first post, just let me know. I thought about an "agenda" but I think that will be too much work. I think a "parking lot" (and perhaps polls every once in a while on what to discuss next) are things that might help the discussion without too much work.

    -- Bob
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  2.    #1122  
    @lvav06,
    Thanks for your first post in this thread. It's gotten quite long but there still is some value in at least scanning the from both ends (front forward and current backward) as you get time. I'm glad you felt comfortable expressing your views without first having to read the whole thread. I'm pretty sure your post will generate some questions where people might want to clarify or debate some of your points. I hope that's OK with you. If you don't want to debate that will be fine too, just let people know what to expect as soon as you get a feeling of how easy or hard participation is for you.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  3.    #1123  
    Quote Originally Posted by notaphonegeek View Post
    Why should RPFTW remove the picture? Its a visual representation of how he feels on the subject
    I agree. I think some might just not have understood his/her motives. I will respect any decision he/she makes.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  4. lvav06's Avatar
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    #1124  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    @lvav06,
    Thanks for your first post in this thread. It's gotten quite long but there still is some value in at least scanning the from both ends (front forward and current backward) as you get time. I'm glad you felt comfortable expressing your views without first having to read the whole thread. I'm pretty sure your post will generate some questions where people might want to clarify or debate some of your points. I hope that's OK with you. If you don't want to debate that will be fine too, just let people know what to expect as soon as you get a feeling of how easy or hard participation is for you.
    that's fine with me, i am all for friendly discussion, i read the first 2 pages of this thread, but like everyone else i feel that i cannot be swayed of my idea that there is a God.
  5. #1125  
    George Carlin on Religion

    Phones in Family pre> pre> pre> Centro> Rant
  6.    #1126  
    Quote Originally Posted by notaphonegeek View Post
    George Carlin on Religion

    George Carlin is very talented. I loved his performance (not necessarily the message). Thanks for sharing this.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  7.    #1127  
    Quote Originally Posted by notaphonegeek View Post
    This video offers a lot of food for thought and looks like a good starting point for discussion of parallels between Christianity and legends before it. One thing that might interest me is whether there are additional religions (or legends) after the birth of Christ (and why, or why not). Great possible topics for discussion! again!
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  8. #1128  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Regarding Creationists, let's make sure to maintain respect for their beliefs (which I think everyone has been doing here). To the extent that some may discount evolution theories, that's their prerogative.
    I try, I really do. But when they start making things up that even the bible doesn't support, like people riding around on dinosaurs with saddles, I find it hard to stomach.

    It really does border on dangerous to the human species as well. Can you imagine where we would be today if it hadn't been for the dark ages, where religion was science and science was banned as being witchcraft? If creationists have their way, all the science that doesn't support their theory has to be thrown out. And it's a lot of science, for example, they say that carbon dating, which is based on the same science that allows us to have nuclear power, is a trick of the devil.

    Can't you see how it would be dangerous for those religious beliefs to gain general acceptance? Right back to the dark ages for us all.
  9. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #1129  
    Quote Originally Posted by joshaccount View Post
    I do see one important distinction between us (otherwise yes, I've read many of your past posts, and I do see similarities between our [attempt at ] logic). I think what separates our beliefs is our operational definition of plausibility. We both accept Columbus and his voyage because there is a mountain of written and physical evidence and it seems plausible. You accept the Christian bible, possibly in its entirety, because there is a mountain of written and physical evidence and to you it seems plausible. Although I can accept some of the historic information in the bible (such as the existence of Jesus Christ as a man), it's the fantastic, mystical, magical portions that are not plausible (i.e. irrational) to me and therefore not acceptable. Is this an accurate summary of our "beliefs"?
    Well, you are basically correct, excepting that you might be assuming that I'm leaning more towards bible literalism, when I am not at all. Many of the "mystical" elements of the bible are not really relevant to me, and I certainly do not take them all literally (the 7 day creation of the world for example). Obviously, the Resurrection of Christ is (and that might be the most implausible in your view).

    My view is that the Bible exists so Christians can Understand Christianity, not understand every word of it. The Bible is a tool. It seems to me that some people treat the Bible as a quiz-book of some sort, and spend hours upon hours concentrating on what it says, and not what it means. Understanding what it means doesn't mean I can't explain it all, nor prove it in any scientific manner, but that's where Faith comes into play.

    In short--many things in the Bible are implausible, and I judge this with my human sensibilities, which are limited (but all I've got to work with). I think the core difference is that I believe that my ability to comprehend something logically isn't the limit on what might be, and as such I can believe that things that seem implausible to me can exist.
    In fact--I think this is similar in some ways to your view (as an Objectivist). You know that reality exists, and it doesn't require you to observe it. You also know that even within our human perceptions what is plausible changes--things that might have been deemed impossible are later found to be possible, so from there I think the gap is actually quite small.

    Bottom line--I think your summary is fair enough.

    KAM
  10.    #1130  
    Regarding "Creationists", you wrote (in regards to the idea of respecting them):
    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    I try, I really do. But when they start making things up that even the bible doesn't support, like people riding around on dinosaurs with saddles, I find it hard to stomach.
    I've never heard of that sort of thing (so I did some quick Google searches). It might be interesting to see what percentage of the world's population adheres to "Young Earth Creation (YEC) theories. I agree such adherents seem to be ignoring overwhelming (and generally accepted) evidence to the contrary. Still, I'd like to encourage anyone who understands this position to expand the arguments YEC'ers might use. Ideally we might have forum readers who hold these beliefs. If not, we likely have members who have "evangelized" people with these beliefs. I don't believe "respect" of such a position means "agreeing with it" in any way, but I would want us to respect any *person* having such beliefs so they would feel comfortable explaining themselves and joining in our discussion.

    I'd think the "this is dangerous" part of the discussion is an entirely different discussion, and that many of us might classify lots of beliefs into that bin. Even going so far (in another direction) to say "New Age" is dangerous too.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  11. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #1131  
    Quote Originally Posted by joshaccount View Post
    “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours” -Stephen Roberts

    “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” -Steven Weinberg

    “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.” -Richard Dawkins

    “The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike” -Delos B. McKown

    “Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.” -Chapman Cohen

    “I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them” -Galileo Galilei

    And my favorite...

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.” – Albert Einstein

    The first 5 quotes there are what annoys me about anti-religious people. These comments resemble flippant mockery more than any sort of reasoning--something that many arrogantly claim to represent against the cave-man like Religious believer (not saying you have done that here at all).

    That first quote for example. That's a misrepresentation of my religious views--a false assumption/accusation (not a logical claim) used to justify his position, and as such his stated position is not valid.

    Secondly, his "reasoning" is dependent on who he is talking to, and thus falls apart, or in fact, isn't reasoning at all.

    This position seems borne out of ignorance of what Faith is, compared to reason. He's essentially using someone else's faith as his reasoning. His argument comes down to--"You can't both be right, so I must be." That's not logic, or reason--its just a snide comment.

    In fact--that whole statement is quite illogical. If someone DID dismiss all other possibilities in order to chose one, doesn't mean that it is then true that EVERY possibility must be false.

    The bottom line is that this isn't reasoning--its merely an poorly conceived attempt at mockery, which is ironic amongst those who claim to be so governed by reason.

    The Second and Fourth quote: No logic whatsoever--just mockery.

    Third Quote: Um...yeah, that's what Faith is--it isn't a matter of evidence. claiming that one does not evaluate evidence because one has faith however is just an attack. This like so many other claims relies on the flawed assumption that absence of evidence is equal to evidence of absence.
    The position is essentially "I believe that God Does not Exist prove me wrong." THAT is a cop out in that it is forwarded as reason. The opposing position (that is mocked) is "God Does exist I need no proof" which also isn't reason or logic, but doesn't claim to be--its Faith.
    Neither is a logical, provable position in terms of reasoning, but the Atheist hypocritically pretends that his position IS logical.

    There is a subtle point to understand here. There is a difference between saying "I do not believe that God Exists" and saying "God Does not Exist." The first is a belief--merely the opposite of the belief that God does exist. The second is a statement that if claimed to be a logical fact must be proven. The bottom line--all this mockery is ironic, given the fact that the second position is no more provable than "God does exist."

    Essentially, claiming "god does not exist" as a logical position is argument from ignorance. The converse "God Does exist" isn't, because this is not a logical position. That isn't a "cop out" its just understanding that Religion is not a matter of logic, but rather a matter of faith.

    Fifth: Posturing, and nothing more.

    Note: Joshaccount--none of that is meant to be directed at you. I merely find those quotes you listed as being examples of the hollowness that exists on the anti-religious side of things. I respect people that have positions different from my own, that are held in sincerity, but I've little respect for petty mockery wearing the cloak of "logic" or "reasoning." Mockery might be fun, or funny, but it isn't reasoning.

    KAM
  12. #1132  
    Quote Originally Posted by joshaccount View Post
    “I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them” -Galileo Galilei
    I've always liked this quote. It perfectly represents the way I have felt about religion as far back as I can remember.
  13. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #1133  
    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    I try, I really do. But when they start making things up that even the bible doesn't support, like people riding around on dinosaurs with saddles, I find it hard to stomach.
    Some people twist themselves up into ridiculous positions such as this. I don't bother with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    It really does border on dangerous to the human species as well. Can you imagine where we would be today if it hadn't been for the dark ages, where religion was science and science was banned as being witchcraft? If creationists have their way, all the science that doesn't support their theory has to be thrown out. And it's a lot of science, for example, they say that carbon dating, which is based on the same science that allows us to have nuclear power, is a trick of the devil.
    That's an interesting position you have there, considering that the Catholic Church is probably the major historical factor in the development of institutions of higher learning and science in Western Civilization. Of course in modern days that has diverged (although the Church remains interested in science, and in fact sometimes is ahead of the curve--like the Big Bang Theory). I'd say that the Church was in fact the Torchbearer that brought us out of the Dark ages.

    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    Can't you see how it would be dangerous for those religious beliefs to gain general acceptance? Right back to the dark ages for us all.
    I think your understanding of Religion and history is incorrect. You are falsely equating Religion with Anti-Science and that is simply not the case. In SOME cases this may be true to a certain extent, but I'd say they are the minority. The Dark Ages was not the product of Religion, and hence your claim that Acceptance of Religious ideas would lead us there again is not valid in my view.

    Although are you speaking of these Dinosaur Riders specifically? I may have missed that point, if that's what you meant. In that case...you may be right.

    KAM
  14. #1134  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    I think your understanding of Religion and history is incorrect. You are falsely equating Religion with Anti-Science and that is simply not the case. In SOME cases this may be true to a certain extent, but I'd say they are the minority. The Dark Ages was not the product of Religion, and hence your claim that Acceptance of Religious ideas would lead us there again is not valid in my view.
    During the Dark Ages, at least at the beginning immediately following the downfall of Rome, the church professed that the only source of learning material should be the bible. The church did build schools and start educating more of the population, but discouraged thinking that countered the bible and even thinking that could eventually lead to thoughts outside of established doctrine.

    Example - (I can't post links) Search Wikipedia for Galileo Galilei Church controversy

    It was observable, provable science, even before we could launch things in to space to get a different perspective, but the church wouldn't have it. And they had been attacking Copernicus's ideas for years before this.

    But that's just to show my viewpoint about the Dark Ages. I understand that we have found that some progress was made during that time, and that eventually, after the church did come around a bit, they can be largely credited with helping us out of the Dark Ages.

    But I don't think I even need an example from the past to illustrate how this thinking can be dangerous. It isn't obvious to you how general acceptance of that idea, requiring us to discard proven science that we use in our everyday lives, can be dangerous?
  15.    #1135  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    There is a subtle point to understand here. There is a difference between saying "I do not believe that God Exists" and saying "God Does not Exist." The first is a belief--merely the opposite of the belief that God does exist. The second is a statement that if claimed to be a logical fact must be proven.
    The above is what I was hoping each of us would see when I created this thread. (The rest of the purpose of the thread is simply that we can learn a bit from each other.)
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  16. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #1136  
    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    During the Dark Ages, at least at the beginning immediately following the downfall of Rome, the church professed that the only source of learning material should be the bible. The church did build schools and start educating more of the population, but discouraged thinking that countered the bible and even thinking that could eventually lead to thoughts outside of established doctrine.

    Example - (I can't post links) Search Wikipedia for Galileo Galilei Church controversy

    It was observable, provable science, even before we could launch things in to space to get a different perspective, but the church wouldn't have it. And they had been attacking Copernicus's ideas for years before this.
    I am quite familiar with this issue. I think you are mistaken on a number of points. First--the Galileo issue has been greatly distorted into a pure Religion vs Science issue, when it is really a Science vs Science issue mixed up with politics which included the church certainly, but the popular assumption about this issue leaves out a lot of facts.

    One major reason that the Copernican Model was not accepted was due to lack of evidence (later proven). The church position was in fact one of "consensus" of Science of the day. Copernicus's views were not attacked by the Catholic church for over 60 years (they were by various protestant denominations), and in fact, were known about and didn't cause much reaction at all in the Catholic Church. Copernicus (who was some sort of Clergyman--some debate about exactly what kind) clearly wasn't hampered by his Religious beliefs or position in terms of his scientific work.
    The existence of Copernican theory was not a seen as a Threat to the Church as evidenced by its non-reaction for decades.

    At some point it is true that the Copernican theory was denounced, but that was due to it being unproven in comparison to accepted science, which ultimately was proven wrong. They way I see it--this became a...whizzing contest (trying to keep it clean) more than anything, and really had very little to do with Science vs Theology.

    This certainly isn't a high point in the interaction between Science and Religion, nor is it in reality the poster-child that Anti-Religious people present it as. Bottom line--there is a lot of detail that most people are unaware of regarding this issue.

    Here are two very long articles regarding this if you are interested.
    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Nicolaus Copernicus
    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Galileo Galilei

    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    But that's just to show my viewpoint about the Dark Ages. I understand that we have found that some progress was made during that time, and that eventually, after the church did come around a bit, they can be largely credited with helping us out of the Dark Ages.

    But I don't think I even need an example from the past to illustrate how this thinking can be dangerous. It isn't obvious to you how general acceptance of that idea, requiring us to discard proven science that we use in our everyday lives, can be dangerous?
    The position of the Catholic Church is not to deny scientific reality. I can't speak to the position of other Religions, but I can see your point about how denying...Gravity for a ridiculous example, could be very dangerous.

    If you are interested here is another VERY long article on the Church and Science:
    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Science and the Church

    KAM
  17. KAM1138
    KAM1138's Avatar
    #1137  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    The above is what I was hoping each of us would see when I created this thread. (The rest of the purpose of the thread is simply that we can learn a bit from each other.)
    Does that mean I win the Thread?! WHOO!

    KAM
  18. #1138  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    The position of the Catholic Church is not to deny scientific reality. I can't speak to the position of other Religions, but I can see your point about how denying...Gravity for a ridiculous example, could be very dangerous.
    Oh no, I'm not talking about the Catholic Church, I'm talking about the creationists, the young earth people in particular with their 6000 year old earth and "Jesus Dinosaurs".

    It is the only organized religion belief I find even less plausible than what the Scientologists believe. We have scientifically proven that the young earth people are wrong, and even though I find Scientology ridiculous for all kinds of reasons, I can't say I've ever heard of actual proof that it can't be true, it's just not what I believe.

    Though I really have to point out even though this is off topic, I don't understand how the people that follow it don't see that the whole thing is set up like a pyramid scheme, sounds like a bad science fiction story, and was started by a science fiction writer who was famously quoted as saying "You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."
  19. #1139  
    Quote Originally Posted by jverity View Post
    This is one of those parts of the bible I don't like because it is clearly confusing.

    Rev 12:11
    They overcame him
    by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
    they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.


    So this clearly occurred after Jesus's resurrection, when our historical documents start to become pretty reliable. And you would think an event like Satan being cast down to earth would have caused more than a single writer and historian to take note. So either no one but the author of revelation took notice, or it hasn't happened yet. And if it hasn't happened yet, then he isn't in heaven, and he's not on earth, so wouldn't he be gathering his army in hell getting ready for that battle?

    What do you think?
    12:11 is talking about the ones who remain faithful despite Satan persecuting them. Their testimony gave evidence that they exercise faith in the blood of Jesus. So by their demonstrating Faith they conquered.
    The comment that "they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death" means they were willing to die for their faith.

    As far as to where Satan was and when;
    Satan was a good Angel whose home was in Heaven. He served God faithfully up to his Rebellion. He obviously started entertaining thoughts about turning against God some time before, he just hadn't acted on those desires until Eden. If you notice Revelation 12:8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.
    Satan's and his Angelic followers (Demons) home was heaven until this battle. This is supported many places in scripture. The book of Job talks about them having 'positions'.

    I'm not sure where the idea that Satan's home was hell started.
    A scripture supporting that idea doesn't come to immediate mind.
    Just call me Berd.
  20. #1140  
    Quote Originally Posted by KAM1138 View Post
    There is a subtle point to understand here. There is a difference between saying "I do not believe that God Exists" and saying "God Does not Exist." The first is a belief--merely the opposite of the belief that God does exist. The second is a statement that if claimed to be a logical fact must be proven.
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    The above is what I was hoping each of us would see when I created this thread. (The rest of the purpose of the thread is simply that we can learn a bit from each other.)
    I understood that from the outset also.
    The argument came up in the 'Palin' thread that the belief in God was illogical.
    And sudoer started this thread
    Which was the logical thing to do.
    Just call me Berd.

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