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DOES GOD EXISTS Options
tunaafi
Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2015 7:46:21 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
No man who ever loved Jesus talks like that.


A man tells you openly about an extremely difficult time in his life and your reaction is to call him a liar. You really are rather an unpleasant little man. I am pleased to be able to report that most of the Christians I know are not like that.
Epiphileon
Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2015 7:49:37 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
Don't you think your rejection of Christ would have been harder on Him than on yourself? Compare what he gave up for you with what you gave up for him. He became sin for you. He became sin for you.

I might have understood your position, Epi, if there had been some humility in your public rejection of the Christ, but your effective drum roll, announcing torpedoes loaded, torpedoes launched, declaration that man made God in his image (remember all that crap?)was a complete turn off. No man who ever loved Jesus talks like that.


Yikes Jacob you really do have a problem with metaphors don't you? I do vaguely recall the torpedo metaphor, but it wasn't I that loaded or launched them. I was relating how the mounting evidence was about to cause a catastrophic event within my construct of reality. Your outrage only makes sense to you, or other true believers perhaps, but that recounting of mine was years after the fact, and anyone reading it objectively may actually see that it describes how catastrophic and terrifying it was for me when it happened. Pretty much like sailing along on the ocean and suddenly violent explosions occur, and your ship of self is sinking.
Besides that look at what I can only see as a knee jerk reaction to my last post. enlarged text and entirely emboldened, and even to the degree of calling me liar. I tell you I loved the Lord, I should know, and yet you insist that I didn't. More of that humility hey?

ETA and oh yea, no I don't think it was harder on him, I don't give egos to mythological entities.


Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
tunaafi
Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2015 8:08:16 AM

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@ Epi. I suppose that having jacobusmaximus around is good news for atheists. People who are unsure are going to start thinking "If that's what belief in Christ turns you into, let's steer well clear of that".

OK, I admit that that's a little unfair. Most Christians are as pleasant and humane as most atheists, but jm's rants do rather show what can happen if you allow belief in a myth to go to extremes.
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2015 8:11:50 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
I got the impression that you would be laughing at the expense of others - mocking.

I dare think I know the measure in each laughing and the difference between irony and sarcasm. When we laugh at the expense of others it certainly means deliberately trying to offend or insult them. I'm sure that in this thread, I've only been ironical and never meant to offend or insult, I swear. Mind also that I've only been ironical about the matter, not about the personalities of the disputers. Isn't that the most important for a decent dispute? If irony on the matter of the dispute offends anyone, it might be safer not to take part in discussions. All in all, what have I said here which could be taken for mockery? I've reread my posts again only to find these the most 'bold' phrases of mine.

1. Why doesn't the Holy Spirit want to indwell me and establish faith in my soul? How does it select souls?

2. I was thinking about that while writing and decided 'it' would be grammatically correct as I don't know the Holy Spirit's real sex. How do you know His sex?

3. Are we so bad and not worthy of being indwelt?

4. I was trying to accept God a while ago and even was attending church. No use. In spite of my good intentions and desire to accept Him, God chose not to notice me for some reason.

5. You mean God's awaiting for the worst time in my life just to gloatingly punish me?

6. Dave hasn't replied so far. Why can't you answer my question? Be a Christian, help your neighbour.
Helenej
Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2015 8:30:26 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
God has given you Scripture but you have laughingly rejected it as you have rejected Christ. You need help - urgently.

The difference in our points of view lies in the following. You consider the Bible as the highest truth and try to prove the Bible theses with the Bible theses themselves or by what you think:

You say the Holy Spirit is male because someone wrote in the Bible that Jesus called God Father.
You say that to be saved I should repent and submit my life to God because someone wrote in the Bible I should repent and submit.
"At that time God's offer to you of Grace and Redemption will be withdrawn" - written in the Bible.
"God does not gloat" - that's what you think.
"God has given you Scripture" - from the Bible.

Unlike you, I do not trust the book. I can't do it because, if you don't mind this turn, God made me this way. He gave me an ability to doubt and analyze. And it was clever of him, I have to say, for, without that, I could have constantly got in trouble, starting with that situation in my childhood when a man said to me, "Come to my place. I'll show you a kitten". Again, God gave me an ability to doubt and analyze and now, when it comes to some book, he wants me to stop being able to doubt and analyze and thoughtlessly start believing what is written in it and doing what is written in it. He is illogical in that, that father of mine.
Litvinenko
Posted: Saturday, March 28, 2015 10:48:34 AM

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Helenej wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
the Holy Spirit is a 'He', not an 'it'.

I'm sorry. I was thinking about that while writing and decided 'it' would be grammatically correct as I don't know the Holy Spirit's real sex. How do you know His sex?
[/color]


Lol. You are very funny, helen.

My experience that Christians are the most confident men of faith. You gotta admire that.
They are very confident that Jesus died to bail out their sin to God/Jesus.

A perfect design, with no designer.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 3:16:28 AM

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tunaafi wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
No man who ever loved Jesus talks like that.


A man tells you openly about an extremely difficult time in his life and your reaction is to call him a liar. You really are rather an unpleasant little man. I am pleased to be able to report that most of the Christians I know are not like that.


'Liar' is your choice of words, tunaafi, not mine. I was pointing out Epi's ostentatious use of words in his declaration that 'man made God in his image'. There was an obvious lack of humility in his very public denial of Jesus. It was evident that Epi was then playing to the Atheists' Gallery, as you now are.

I remember, therefore I am.
Epiphileon
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 5:13:53 AM

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Jacob you don't have to use the actual word to indicate you think someone is lying, in you post to Helenej you clearly accused me of falsifying reality. I am truly sorry that I allowed myself to take that personally, but the time I spent as a Christian is a very important part of my life to me. I still think that, for the most part, the lifestyle of Biblical Christian communities is highly commendable, and I was incredibly fortunate to have lived in one for a number of years, even if I now consider the interpretation of reality upon which it was based to be erroneous.

You are mistaken that the piece of writing you are referring to in which I mentioned man having created god in his image, was written for any audience at all. That was a journal entry I made sometime in the late '80s. I wrote it on the night that I had returned to my apartment after having at last accepted that my mind hand changed on the issue. It had been a very long struggle, and I was writing in response to what was an epiphany, many things had come together that had been held apart and resisted. Very few people even saw that piece until after the turn of the century when I first talked about it on the web, and the people that saw it originally were all Christians.

When I recall that period and write about it, yes I do write about it dramatically, it was the most dramatic event of my life, and I am sometimes amazed I made it through the fall out from it, it actually took many years. I will keep in mind though how that writing style has led you to erroneous conclusions about me, and hopefully not make the same mistake in the future. I am offended by your assumptions but, I now see my part in how you came to them. I truly have no intention to offend people, and I apologize for the snide tone of my responses, they were knee jerk responses that I should have given more consideration before posting.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 5:30:45 AM

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That is very gracious Epi.

I think lying and liar are words too strong in this matter where I feel rather that mistakes have been made and wrong impressions given. Definitely not lies. I must choose my words more carefully in future. My last word on this issue is this: You are saying that Jesus was not the Christ. Indeed you imply that all the claims he made for himself are bunkum. That makes Jesus out to be supremely evil. A conman. When you were a Pastor how would you have felt if someone had said that to an audience which likely included some spiritually vulnerable listeners/ readers?

I remember, therefore I am.
tunaafi
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 6:27:55 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
You are saying that Jesus was not the Christ. Indeed you imply that all the claims he made for himself are bunkum. That makes Jesus out to be supremely evil. A conman.


I can't speak for EPi, but I can see that you have some wild leaps there.

Even I, a far less sensitive and thoughtful atheist than Epi have never claimed that Jesus was a conman or evil.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 6:45:58 AM

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tunaafi wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
You are saying that Jesus was not the Christ. Indeed you imply that all the claims he made for himself are bunkum. That makes Jesus out to be supremely evil. A conman.


I can't speak for EPi, but I can see that you have some wild leaps there.

Even I, a far less sensitive and thoughtful atheist than Epi have never claimed that Jesus was a conman or evil.


You don't need to use those words. You only need to deny that he was God incarnate to imply that he was a liar, a cheat and a conman. Alternatively you could claim that Scripture misrepresents Jesus and the claims he made about himself, or that the Bible is a fabrication from start to finish - but that is impossible to prove.



I remember, therefore I am.
tunaafi
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 7:22:32 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
. Alternatively you could claim that Scripture misrepresents Jesus and the claims he made about himself, or that the Bible is a fabrication from start to finish - but that is impossible to prove.


Well, there is very little historical/archaeological evidence for anything mentioned in the Bible as happening before about 700 BCE, and science has shown clearly the mythological nature of the creation story.

There is no hard historical evidence that Jesus even existed, that there was ever a census in which everybody had to return to the village of their ancestors, that a star hovered around over Nazareth, that Herod slaughtered new-born children, etc.

I, personally, am inclined to believe that some wandering teacher/preacher called something like Yeshua probably existed. He may even have said some of the words attributed to him, though this is doubtful, as there were no tape-recorders around at the time, and the words were first written down at least thirty years after he died.
Helenej
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 12:39:44 PM

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tunaafi wrote:
... as there were no tape-recorders around at the time ...


ROFL
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 1:13:51 PM

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Helenej wrote:
tunaafi wrote:
... as there were no tape-recorders around at the time ...


ROFL


Having a laugh again, Helenej? That's OK, but there were Recorders in those days. The Scribes wrote things down and I have no doubt they took notes of Jesus' words to report to their Paymasters. But what Jesus said 'in those days' didn't merit publication. Of course, it was a different story after He rose from the dead. His teachings and sermons became best-selling stuff thirty years later, and are still in print today (audio versions available).




I remember, therefore I am.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 1:27:57 PM

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tunaafi wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
. Alternatively you could claim that Scripture misrepresents Jesus and the claims he made about himself, or that the Bible is a fabrication from start to finish - but that is impossible to prove.


Well, there is very little historical/archaeological evidence for anything mentioned in the Bible as happening before about 700 BCE, and science has shown clearly the mythological nature of the creation story.

There is no hard historical evidence that Jesus even existed, that there was ever a census in which everybody had to return to the village of their ancestors, that a star hovered around over Nazareth, that Herod slaughtered new-born children, etc.

I, personally, am inclined to believe that some wandering teacher/preacher called something like Yeshua probably existed. He may even have said some of the words attributed to him, though this is doubtful, as there were no tape-recorders around at the time, and the words were first written down at least thirty years after he died.


I am sure you will agree with me tunaafi, that it would not require a great leap of faith on your part to believe that there would be at least one itinerant preacher called Yeshua in the Holy Land in Biblical times. Yeshua means 'Redeemer' and 'every' parent wanted their son to be such a one. So there would be thousands of 'Yeshuas' and hundreds of them would be teachers. In Spain today there will be thousands of men called 'Jesus' and it is a safe bet that at least hundreds of them will be teachers of one kind or another. Of course, when I say 'thousands' and 'hundreds' I am exaggerating, but with some effort I could produce evidence that these facts are at least partly true. I doubt if you can do the same for your 'scientific evidence' that the creation story is a myth.

I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 4:14:05 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
... there were Recorders in those days. The Scribes wrote things down and I have no doubt they took notes of Jesus' words to report to their Paymasters.


Of course, when the Spirit sent Jesus into the waste land to be tested by the Evil One (Matthew 4:1), he also sent there a couple of chroniclers to record what Jesus would say on the forty-first day.

I wonder if there was enough place for a reporter on the highest point of the Temple when Jesus and the devil stood on it (Matthew 4:5)?

I also wonder whether the scribe had already arrived at the top of the very high mountain by the time the devil took Jesus there or he was following them all the way up the mountain with his inkpot and notebook (Matthew 4:5)?
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 4:54:10 PM

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You're 'avin' a laff again, aincha, Helene?

I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 5:41:19 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
You're 'avin' a laff again, aincha, Helene?


How do you know? :)

You don't approve my 'avin' laffing, aincha? I think it's not fair. Whether people laugh or cry, they can hardly control themselves, don't you agree? Also, I'm trying to have enough laughing in this life because, unlike you, I won't have another.

tunaafi
Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 5:41:32 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
I doubt if you can do the same for your 'scientific evidence' that the creation story is a myth.


Jm, there is not one reputable atheist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim scientist in the whole world who would support a claim that a divine being created everything in seven days less then ten thousand years ago. The majority of Christians in the world, including the Pope, Orthodox Patriarchs and Anglican Archbishops would not support that claim. Even the 'Intelligent Design' school have largely given up on the creation myth.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 3:39:23 AM

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tunaafi wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
I doubt if you can do the same for your 'scientific evidence' that the creation story is a myth.


Jm, there is not one reputable atheist, Christian, Jewish or Muslim scientist in the whole world who would support a claim that a divine being created everything in seven days less then ten thousand years ago. The majority of Christians in the world, including the Pope, Orthodox Patriarchs and Anglican Archbishops would not support that claim. Even the 'Intelligent Design' school have largely given up on the creation myth.


Contrary to what you might think I take a broad view of the Creation story. I believe (by faith, as I cannot prove it) that the Universe is billions of years old in its form as we know it today, and Gazillions of years old in the form of dust, which God created from nothing. I believe in evolution, although those who know about these things call it 'development'. I believe that the six days are not six periods of 24 hours, but periods of time. 'Myths' are created by mankind. Consider that people thought the earth was flat long before there were Christians in the world, but it is fashionable amongst non-Believers today to blame the Church for generating that myth and just about every other myth that ever was. That is simply an easy mechanism for rejecting God without having to prove anything.

Myths are created by people making statements like "...there is not one reputable atheist, Christian, etc...." without a shred of evidence to support it and some people believing it because it fits their bag. In the distant future that will be known as Tunaafism and books will be written about the Not One theory, symbolised by Two fingers raised to the world.

Helenej, if you are reading this, I am 'avin' a laff.


I remember, therefore I am.
tunaafi
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 6:54:05 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
Quote:
Myths are created by people making statements like "...there is not one reputable atheist, Christian, etc...." without a shred of evidence to support it and some people believing it because it fits their bag. In the distant future that will be known as Tunaafism

A strange point to make when you say you are not a six-day creationist yourself. However, you are right in that my statetement was somewhat to broad. It took me only 90 seconds on Google to find Jonathan Sarfati, who with a PhD in chemistry and articles in peer-reviewed journal will have to be accepted as a reputable scientist despite his six-day creationist beliefs. He's not a biologist, but I didn't say he had to be, so my over-broad statement has been proven incorrect. Hey ho.

Quote:
Contrary to what you might think I take a broad view of the Creation story. I believe (by faith, as I cannot prove it) that the Universe is billions of years old in its form as we know it today, and Gazillions of years old in the form of dust, which God created from nothing.


OK, so you have said that at least the first few verses of the Bible are not literally true. At what point in the Bible do the words become literally true, and how do you know this?

jacobusmaximus
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 7:30:50 AM

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tunaafi wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
Quote:
Myths are created by people making statements like "...there is not one reputable atheist, Christian, etc...." without a shred of evidence to support it and some people believing it because it fits their bag. In the distant future that will be known as Tunaafism

A strange point to make when you say you are not a six-day creationist yourself. However, you are right in that my statetement was somewhat to broad. It took me only 90 seconds on Google to find Jonathan Sarfati, who with a PhD in chemistry and articles in peer-reviewed journal will have to be accepted as a reputable scientist despite his six-day creationist beliefs. He's not a biologist, but I didn't say he had to be, so my over-broad statement has been proven incorrect. Hey ho.

Quote:
Contrary to what you might think I take a broad view of the Creation story. I believe (by faith, as I cannot prove it) that the Universe is billions of years old in its form as we know it today, and Gazillions of years old in the form of dust, which God created from nothing.


OK, so you have said that at least the first few verses of the Bible are not literally true. At what point in the Bible do the words become literally true, and how do you know this?




All of the words in the Bible are true because they are God's words. But they are not necessarily to be taken literally. For instance, some of the books in the Old Testament are Poetry, whereas many in the New Testament are Pastoral letters. But all have ben selected for the Canon of Scripture by Theologians and Scholars who were inspired by God. Words which were tested out over thousands of years. How do I know this? By putting the lessons in the Bible into practice and learning what is right and wrong for me.

I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 7:31:50 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
That is simply an easy mechanism for rejecting God without having to prove anything.

Why should atheists prove that there is no God if believers haven't proved he exists? You want an accused person to prove that he has not committed a crime? What about the presumption of innocence principle?

jacobusmaximus wrote:
Helenej, if you are reading this, I am 'avin' a laff.

I remember you reprimanded me for laughing in this forum so I'm glad to see that now you find nothing reprehensible in laughing here.

By the way, I wonder how much differently the phrase "I am 'avin' a laff" sounds compared to "I am having a laff"? I feel you are mocking me somehow using that 'avin' but I can't feel how. Can anyone explain, please? I promise I won't be angry with Jacob, I'm just anxious to know everything about English.
tunaafi
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 8:32:26 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
All of the words in the Bible are true because they are God's words. But they are not necessarily to be taken literally. For instance, some of the books in the Old Testament are Poetry, whereas many in the New Testament are Pastoral letters. But all have ben selected for the Canon of Scripture by Theologians and Scholars who were inspired by God. Words which were tested out over thousands of years. How do I know this? By putting the lessons in the Bible into practice and learning what is right and wrong for me.


That appears to sum it up quite neatly. The theologians whose interpretations suit yours were inspired by God. Those who say different things were presumably not inspired by God.

How is it that those who selected the Canon of God were inspired enough to make the right choice of books, but not inspired enough to accept that Genesis was not literally true?
will
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 10:44:24 AM
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tunaafi wrote:
However, you are right in that my statetement was somewhat to broad. It took me only 90 seconds on Google to find Jonathan Sarfati, who with a PhD in chemistry and articles in peer-reviewed journal will have to be accepted as a reputable scientist despite his six-day creationist beliefs. He's not a biologist, but I didn't say he had to be, so my over-broad statement has been proven incorrect. Hey ho.

This is always a pointless game to get into, apart from the fact that 'appeals to authority' are a logical fallacy when misused, but mainly because creationist have shown no qualms in quoting wildly out of context to imply some scientist actually believe the exact opposite of their real position – such as the Niles Eldredge misquote in another thread. If someone is prepared to lie for their faith, scientific consensus is not going to make much difference.

Reality is not a team sport... although if it was, Steve would be winning.
Dancing
will
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 10:46:56 AM
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jacobusmaximus wrote:
I believe (by faith, as I cannot prove it) that the Universe is billions of years old in its form as we know it today, and Gazillions of years old in the form of dust, which God created from nothing. I believe in evolution...

Which raises again the question that you seem so reluctant to answer; why do you think the bare assertion of your religious faith is any more valid than all the religious faiths that have gone before, or those that conflict in the present, or those that will no doubt spring up in the future?

We've only had this current understanding about the universe for at best 5 or 6 generations. Considering the gazillions of years of 'Gods plan', how credulous do you expect others would need to be to simply accept that your particular faith, in this fleeting moment on Earth, happens to be the one true faith?

You must have the idea by now that others are no more inclined to accept your religious faith than you are inclined to believe (for example) past faith in Zeus... it makes me wonder who exactly you are trying to convince; perhaps the real debate here is whether religious faith is really that compelling to theists.Think
.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 6:53:26 PM

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Helenej wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
That is simply an easy mechanism for rejecting God without having to prove anything.

Why should atheists prove that there is no God if believers haven't proved he exists? You want an accused person to prove that he has not committed a crime? What about the presumption of innocence principle?

jacobusmaximus wrote:
Helenej, if you are reading this, I am 'avin' a laff.

I remember you reprimanded me for laughing in this forum so I'm glad to see that now you find nothing reprehensible in laughing here.

By the way, I wonder how much differently the phrase "I am 'avin' a laff" sounds compared to "I am having a laff"? I feel you are mocking me somehow using that 'avin' but I can't feel how. Can anyone explain, please? I promise I won't be angry with Jacob, I'm just anxious to know everything about English.


Sorry Helene, I got the impression that you were very advanced in English. 'Avin a laff' is a pun on the Cockney (London) accent. It means the same as 'having a laugh'. Please think no more about it.

I remember, therefore I am.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:43:30 AM

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will wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
I believe (by faith, as I cannot prove it) that the Universe is billions of years old in its form as we know it today, and Gazillions of years old in the form of dust, which God created from nothing. I believe in evolution...

Which raises again the question that you seem so reluctant to answer; why do you think the bare assertion of your religious faith is any more valid than all the religious faiths that have gone before, or those that conflict in the present, or those that will no doubt spring up in the future?

We've only had this current understanding about the universe for at best 5 or 6 generations. Considering the gazillions of years of 'Gods plan', how credulous do you expect others would need to be to simply accept that your particular faith, in this fleeting moment on Earth, happens to be the one true faith?

You must have the idea by now that others are no more inclined to accept your religious faith than you are inclined to believe (for example) past faith in Zeus... it makes me wonder who exactly you are trying to convince; perhaps the real debate here is whether religious faith is really that compelling to theists.Think
.


What a convoluted question! Is setting Exam papers your job of work, by any chance? I'm not sure that I have actually been asked "why do you think etc., etc...." And I am not aware of asserting that my religious faith is any more valid than all others since the beginning of time until the end of time. What I have been doing is defending my faith in Christ on a Forum that is dominated by atheists. Many of these are nominal atheists who obviously don't know what they don't believe in, but some are committed, well-informed people who believe that God does not exist, although they cannot prove that but expect me to prove that he does.

But you are right, will - I do believe that the Reformed Christian faith is currently the truest path to the Kingdom of God. For me, that is. I don't speak for anyone else. I am not here trying to convert people. I am simply fighting my corner against some opponents who are angry at my belief in what they cannot understand and who would deny me the freedom to believe by faith in Scripture and all that it says about God in Christ.

And you are right to wonder if religious faith "is really that compelling to theists". Religious zeal is what crucified Christ; what began the Reformation; what sets Catholic against Protestant, Sunni against Shia. Religion is what sends a man to his knees five times a day then sends him onto the streets with a Kalashnikov to shoot schoolgirls. No, you can keep religion. Just give me God in the Risen Christ. If you want to discredit me, then ask me to prove that he is Risen because I can't. But if you really want to know then read Scripture with an honest heart.


I remember, therefore I am.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:56:39 AM

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Helenej writes -"Why should atheists prove that there is no God if believers haven't proved he exists....?"

You could turn that question the other way round Helene. Why should believers prove that there is a God if atheists cannot prove that there is not? There is so much that we do not know but believe by faith. A faith which comes from experience. I mean, for example, "who is our father?" "Is our brother really our brother or is he a half-brother?" We don't know these things, but we believe them by faith in the one who tells us. So it is with belief in the existence of God. I believe it because Jesus says so, and I believe Jesus because he is in my life and has proved himself trustworthy.




I remember, therefore I am.
tunaafi
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 3:34:35 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
I am simply fighting my corner against some opponents who are angry at my belief in what they cannot understand and who would deny me the freedom to believe by faith in Scripture and all that it says about God in Christ.


I can’t think of anybody in this thread who has shown the slightest inclination to deny you the freedom to believe those things. However, you have chosen to participate in a discussion, and should not be surprised if people say that there is no proof of things that you assert. One off these assertions is that the Bible has already been proven to be true”. You may believe this, but ‘proof’ requires evidence, and you have provided none.

While I am not angry at your belief, I do feel a a moment of anger when you imply that others are liars or hypocrites. You said of Epi, who told you of the struggle he had when, despite all his efforts, he began to doubt,
I don’t think your heart was ever with Jesus”, “To be a Believer is to enter into a partnership with Christ. It is a Partnership you just can't walk away from - unless, of course, you never were a Believer. And from his ramblings about the state of life in Eternity, it is certain that Epiphieon never was” and “No man who ever loved Jesus talks like that”.

You said of me when I spoke of my attempts to understand faith, “Patently you kept the company of the wrong kind of people, and evidently that was your choice, You were ready to take the easy way out and blame everybody but yourself.”

You have said of Epi and meIt was evident that Epi was then playing to the Atheists' Gallery, as you now are.” Of some of our colleague (perhaps even of us) you have said “Many of these are nominal atheists who obviously don't know what they don't believe in”.

Is this belittling of people what some call ‘Christian Charity’. Is it ‘Loving thy neighbour’? No, of course it's not, as millions of Christians demonstrate every day of their lives. It is perhaps, one of the reasons that I for one take the time to opint out some of the problems with some of your posts.

will
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:43:46 AM
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jacobusmaximus wrote:
What a convoluted question! Is setting Exam papers your job of work, by any chance?

No, but part of my job involves submitting papers that bridge a gap between scientific experts and people with little or no scientific background. Ambiguity is something I have to keep in mind. For example: If I say “the authors of the study believe...” it is important people know I mean objective trust – gained through rigorous application of the scientific method and peer review – and not some arbitrary subjective belief.

Basically, it's a lot more difficult (more convoluted) to make a solid rational statement that stands up to scrutiny, than it is to simply say 'I believe X and you'll just have to trust that I'm right because it's what I believe'.

No one in this thread has addressed my point about the conflation of subjective belief and objective trust. It may seem a convoluted point, but had you addressed it pages ago (for example:page 4 February 13, 2015 2:02:45pm) we could have saved ourselves the effort, confusion and apparent animosity that comes from seeing the same flawed argument repeated...

Helenej's genetic linage is testable – an objective trust, subject to change based on empirical evidence. This is the opposite of your faith in God, which is a subjective belief based only within the mind and modified only by individual bias.

Unless you address this conflation, you run the risk of looking dishonest in repeating it.

And, if you still chose claim your faith (subjective belief) is a valid basis for your beliefs, while others need to provide objective certainty to prove a non-belief, then...

I'll ask again, do you think faith in Zeus is valid unless you, Jacobusmaximus, can disprove it?

jacobusmaximus wrote:
Many of these are nominal atheists who obviously don't know what they don't believe in, but some are committed, well-informed people who believe that God does not exist, although they cannot prove that but expect me to prove that he does.

Ignoring the initial crass generalisation... and the 'prove the non-existence of Zeus fallacy'...

Who are you saying claims 'God does not exist'?

I've stated several times that the possibility of a deistic god (albeit vanishingly remote) cannot be ruled out. In my reply to Bill (page 6: March 26, 2015 9:09:19 am)
I wrote:
“Dawkins, Harris, Dennett and Hitchens – the Four Horsemen of the Non-Apocalypse, the main proponents of the New Atheist Movement – have all at various times stated that atheism and agnosticism are NOT mutually exclusive”


Your faith in specific material claims about a specific God, despite lack of evidence, or despite evidence to the contrary, is what is being challenged.

Blurring an objective uncertainty of something we cannot 'know', into unshakable knowledge of a positive specific belief, is not a valid position... or at least only as valid as 'faith' in Zeus.

jacobusmaximus wrote:
But you are right, will - I do believe that the Reformed Christian faith is currently the truest path to the Kingdom of God. For me, that is. I don't speak for anyone else. I am not here trying to convert people. I am simply fighting my corner against some opponents who are angry at my belief in what they cannot understand and who would deny me the freedom to believe by faith in Scripture and all that it says about God in Christ.

For the record, although I think religious faith (subjective belief without evidence) is at best a flawed methodology and at worst justification for abhorrent beliefs and deeds, I actually have more respect for the argument from 'pure faith' than I do for those who attempt to pervert empirical truths to build a universe around their own existence... which I don't see you doing, although I do see other flaws in your argument.

The problem is drawing that line; from what you've said, it seems to me that your faith is more dependant on “Theologians and Scholars”actually being divinly inspired, than in God Himself. Faith that the Bible is divinely inspired because it says so in the Bible, is circular reasoning. As Tunafi says, picking and choosing different interpretations weakens the case even further.

Also as Tunaafi has said, no one is angry or denying you the freedom to your faith. The question is, if your religious faith is valid for you, why do you need to defend it, and why do others need to understand?

With respect, I suggest any 'conflict' is between you and your faith; say the word and I'm personally happy to say no more about it.

jacobusmaximus wrote:
And you are right to wonder if religious faith "is really that compelling to theists". Religious zeal is what crucified Christ; what began the Reformation; what sets Catholic against Protestant, Sunni against Shia. Religion is what sends a man to his knees five times a day then sends him onto the streets with a Kalashnikov to shoot schoolgirls. No, you can keep religion. Just give me God in the Risen Christ. If you want to discredit me, then ask me to prove that he is Risen because I can't. But if you really want to know then read Scripture with an honest heart.

I'm sorry but this really is the essence of everything that is wrong (and dangerous) about theistic faith (note I don't say religious). Basically what you are saying here is your faith, your dogma and your deeds are inherently and divinely valid and correct; while all you have actually done is exclude as invalid and false any 'set' that doesn't fit your beliefs... even to the extent that you need to re-define 'religion' itself.

The crucifiers of Christ, Protestants, Catholics, Sunni, Shia, Fundamentalists with Kalashnikovs, followers of Zeus, Scientologists, the Westbro' Baptists... all use the same faith methodology as you have here.

If religious faith is valid for one, it is valid for all. Non-theistic humanism and objective reasoning is the only method that can validly separate the 'good' from the 'bad'.
.
tunaafi
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:57:19 AM

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will wrote:
I've stated several times that the possibility of a deistic god (albeit vanishingly remote) cannot be ruled out.


I may have made a thoughtless slip, but I don't think I have ever in this forum denied the (minuscule) possibility that a divine being exists.
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 11:10:56 AM

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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
jacobusmaximus wrote:
You could turn that question the other way round. Why should believers prove that there is a God if atheists cannot prove that there is not?


I've never asked you to prove that God exists while you reproached non-believers for not proving that God doesn't exist: "That is simply an easy mechanism for rejecting God without having to prove anything" (jacobusmaximus, March 30).
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 11:14:16 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
I got the impression that you were very advanced in English. 'Avin a laff' is a pun on the Cockney (London) accent. It means the same as 'having a laugh'. Please think no more about it.


I'm afraid I can't. I thought Cockney was spoken at the times of Eliza Doolittle only. :) Do you mean people still speak it?
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 11:28:58 AM

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Joined: 4/17/2009
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tunaafi, will, Helenj - I am so confused about the basics of this debate. Here is what I am saying:
1. I believe in God.
2. I cannot prove to anyone else that God exists.
3. No one can prove to me that God does not exist.
4. I do not look down on anyone because they don't believe in God.
5. No one should look down on me because I believe in God.
6. No one seems to understand what I mean by 'believing by faith'.
End of.

I remember, therefore I am.
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