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DOES GOD EXISTS Options
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:06:43 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
I do not look down on anyone because they don't believe in God.

That's probably why you said, "It is absolute nonsense to say that God does not exist" (April 06, 2014, page1).

Anyway, Jacob, you are a good company. Now, answer my question about Cockney, please.
tunaafi
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:22:16 PM

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Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:26:35 PM

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The article seems to be more about the history of the Cockney accent. Do people speak Cocney now? If so, do they only live in one certain part of London?

Oops, definitely, off-topic.
tunaafi
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:38:16 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
4. I do not look down on anyone because they don't believe in God.


The way you have spoken to and about some of us when we have tried to explain our thoughts does not really back up that statement, I'm afraid.

You took it upon yourself to decide that Epi, a devout Christian for many years, never really loved Jesus. I have to say that that is one of the more shocking things I have read since I came to tfd, a refusal to accept the truth of what a patently sincere man has told, you without the slightest shred of evidence to support your belief that he was not telling the truth.

jacobusmaximus
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:40:41 PM

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Helenej wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
I do not look down on anyone because they don't believe in God.

That's probably why you said, "It is absolute nonsense to say that God does not exist" (April 06, 2014, page1).

Anyway, Jacob, you are a good company. Now, answer my question about Cockney, please.


Thank you for your kind words Helenej. They are most welcome at this particular moment.

To be fair to myself I think I elaborated on that statement by adding that if I choose to make a God of something - anything or anyone - then God exists - for me. It would therefore be absolute nonsense to say that God does not exist. And I stand by what I said in my previous post - I don't look down on anyone because they don't believe in God. Sure, there are people I dislike who happen to be atheists - nominally, anyway - but that is not why I dislike them. So I really don't look down on anyone because they don't believe in God. But I think I can say that certain people look down on me because I am a Christian.

tunaafi has posted a useful link about Cockneys. Yes, Cockney slang is still widely spoken and it is most amusing - although it's not always intended to be so.

I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 5:26:32 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
To be fair to myself I think I elaborated on that statement by adding that if I choose to make a God of something - anything or anyone - then God exists - for me. It would therefore be absolute nonsense to say that God does not exist.

Of course if you make a god out of anything or anyone, then your god exists. But I think it was presupposed in this thread that God is the one who features in the Bible. Anyway, I'm sure you said those words meaning no offence. Citing your year-old post was just another chance for me to have a little laugh. :)


jacobusmaximus wrote:
I think I can say that certain people look down on me because I am a Christian.

I don't agree with that, Jacob.

TFD says that 'to look down' means to show contempt or disdain. Those are rather negative feelings and I don't think a normal person can feel those for a believer. I'm sure if they feel contempt or disdain, they are not normal.

Still there is something negative that non-believers may feel for believers. I'll say for myself and maybe it will be true about others.

There is a great incomprehensible mystery about the origin of the universe in general and the Earth with the people, animals and plants in particular. It is equally extremely difficult to imagine that all they appeared from nothing or there was someone who created them. We will never know for sure. That's why we believe. Some people believe in 'Big Bang', others believe in God. The rest, who are agnostics, think that the truth of this kind is unknowable; they don't believe in anything and never spare a moment thinking about the dilemma. I think we have the right to believe in anything if we cannot find the truth. And I respect anyone who believes. I do respect anyone who believes in Christ, Muhammad, Krishna or idols.

I'm going to speak about Christianity only as I know very little about other religions. Again, I do respect any person who believes in Christ. What I cannot respect is the belief in the Bible. It is a book which is full of contradictions and illogicality. Its characters act in the way normal people would never do. Apart from that, many Bible characters, who are ancestors of Christ and whom believers worship, commit the dirtiest acts.

And now, people believe in almighty and wise God, who created stars and planets, seas and mountains, most complicated animals, plants and man. Yet they also believe that the same God could be the author of the poorly written book. One only needs some desire to read it carefully and a little reflection over it to understand that the book doesn't deserve to be on your shelf.

Again, I do respect any believer when we speak about what cannot be cognized. Yet I don't respect a believer's laziness when it comes to what arouses so many doubts and can be easily checked by simple comparing what is written on one page with what is written five or ten pages later. Well, not easily maybe, as the Bible is a pretty thick book with lots of characters and events. But there are people who have already taken their time and efforts to analyze the Bible. One of them is Leo Taxil. The book is not about sneering, it is a scrupulous scientific research: a cite from the Bible and then its analysis, a cite and analysis. Nothing fearful really.

jacobusmaximus
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 3:12:54 AM

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tunaafi wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
4. I do not look down on anyone because they don't believe in God.


The way you have spoken to and about some of us when we have tried to explain our thoughts does not really back up that statement, I'm afraid.

You took it upon yourself to decide that Epi, a devout Christian for many years, never really loved Jesus. I have to say that that is one of the more shocking things I have read since I came to tfd, a refusal to accept the truth of what a patently sincere man has told, you without the slightest shred of evidence to support your belief that he was not telling the truth.



You would not find my sentiments shocking if you were a Believer in Christ. For anyone to go from proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah to publicly declaring that he is a liar and a cheat is an awful thing. If you were to say that about the Prophet Mohammad there would be a knock at the door. I do not look down on anyone because they are atheists, but I do not think much of people who trash the Spiritual beliefs of others.

By the way, your expression 'try to explain out thoughts' is just pathetic.


I remember, therefore I am.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 3:34:49 AM

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Helenej wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
To be fair to myself I think I elaborated on that statement by adding that if I choose to make a God of something - anything or anyone - then God exists - for me. It would therefore be absolute nonsense to say that God does not exist.

Of course if you make a god out of anything or anyone, then your god exists. But I think it was presupposed in this thread that God is the one who features in the Bible. Anyway, I'm sure you said those words meaning no offence. Citing your year-old post was just another chance for me to have a little laugh. :)


jacobusmaximus wrote:
I think I can say that certain people look down on me because I am a Christian.

I don't agree with that, Jacob.

TFD says that 'to look down' means to show contempt or disdain. Those are rather negative feelings and I don't think a normal person can feel those for a believer. I'm sure if they feel contempt or disdain, they are not normal.

I think you may be right there, Helenej.

Still there is something negative that non-believers may feel for believers. I'll say for myself and maybe it will be true about others.

There is a great incomprehensible mystery about the origin of the universe in general and the Earth with the people, animals and plants in particular. It is equally extremely difficult to imagine that all they appeared from nothing or there was someone who created them. We will never know for sure. That's why we believe. Some people believe in 'Big Bang', others believe in God. The rest, who are agnostics, think that the truth of this kind is unknowable; they don't believe in anything and never spare a moment thinking about the dilemma. I think we have the right to believe in anything if we cannot find the truth. And I respect anyone who believes. I do respect anyone who believes in Christ, Muhammad, Krishna or idols.

It is possible to believe in the Big Bang Theory and in the God of creation. The Universe as we perceive it didn't come about by magic. There must have been some kind of process in its formation. It could not have been the same as God saying 'Let there be light, and there was'. That was a localised work of creation. The mystery, for some, is where the materials came from to form the mass which then exploded (if an explosion happened). Believers suggest that God created the dust that became the mass which in turn became the planets, stars, etc. Non-Believers will scoff at such an idea, but then they scoff at the idea of the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection of Jesus and much more. There is a great gulf between Believers and non-Believers.


I'm going to speak about Christianity only as I know very little about other religions. Again, I do respect any person who believes in Christ. What I cannot respect is the belief in the Bible. It is a book which is full of contradictions and illogicality. Its characters act in the way normal people would never do. Apart from that, many Bible characters, who are ancestors of Christ and whom believers worship, commit the dirtiest acts.

I think you are referring to David in the Old Testament who used his great power wrongly. But he repented of his evil ways and became the servant of God and an ancestor of Jesus. Greatness in Eternity awaits all who repent and follow Jesus. Just to be clear, Christian Believers do not worship anyone but God in Christ.



And now, people believe in almighty and wise God, who created stars and planets, seas and mountains, most complicated animals, plants and man. Yet they also believe that the same God could be the author of the poorly written book. One only needs some desire to read it carefully and a little reflection over it to understand that the book doesn't deserve to be on your shelf.

Helenej, I think you might be in a minority of one with your opinion about the quality of Scripture.


Again, I do respect any believer when we speak about what cannot be cognized. Yet I don't respect a believer's laziness when it comes to what arouses so many doubts and can be easily checked by simple comparing what is written on one page with what is written five or ten pages later. Well, not easily maybe, as the Bible is a pretty thick book with lots of characters and events. But there are people who have already taken their time and efforts to analyze the Bible. One of them is Leo Taxil. The book is not about sneering, it is a scrupulous scientific research: a cite from the Bible and then its analysis, a cite and analysis. Nothing fearful really.



Yeah? And a good laugh, eh?

I remember, therefore I am.
will
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 5:20:44 AM
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jacobusmaximus wrote:
You would not find my sentiments shocking if you were a Believer in Christ. For anyone to go from proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah to publicly declaring that he is a liar and a cheat is an awful thing. If you were to say that about the Prophet Mohammad there would be a knock at the door.

Of course there was a time when it would have been the defenders of Christ that came knocking, in some cases it still is. As you've said, throughout history and into the present day all manner of creeds and dogma have led to terrible things... I'll include non-theist ideology just to make it clear I'm not 'attacking' your God...

All these terrible deeds against humanity have one thing in common: Strong belief without reason...

Which is what you are validating with your faith; the only thing that separates you is your deeds.

jacobusmaximus wrote:
I do not look down on anyone because they are atheists, but I do not think much of people who trash the Spiritual beliefs of others.

There is a clear contradiction here. What do you think of “people who trash the Spiritual beliefs of” those that commit abhorrent acts because of their strong spiritual beliefs without reason – for their faith?

I suspect you would have no problem with trashing the spiritual beliefs of a Jihadist.

I suspect what you really mean is 'I do not think much of people who trash my right to strongly believe without reason.'
.
will
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 5:28:10 AM
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If scripture were of any practical use to mankind we would not need faith.

Faith is a tool to make sense (or dogmatic certainty) of scriptural ambiguity and contradictions with observed reality.
.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 6:04:34 AM

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will writes "...I suspect what you really mean is 'I do not think much of people who trash my right to strongly believe without reason....'"

There is the vast, yawning gulf, will, between people like you and people like me. You have to have a reason to justify a philosophy, a faith, whereas my faith is justified by Christ. You need a reason to love, whereas I only need a Commandment.

I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 7:18:41 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
Non-Believers ... scoff at the idea of the Virgin Birth...

If I told you that today I had lunch without opening my mouth, you'd probably scoff, too.

jacobusmaximus wrote:
I think you are referring to David in the Old Testament who used his great power wrongly. But he repented of his evil ways and became the servant of God and an ancestor of Jesus.

I am referring to many. To Ruth, for example. She and her mother-in-law, Naomi, know that their wealthy relative Boaz must marry Ruth according to the law. Nevertheless, instead of honestly proposing her daughter-in-law to Boaz as a wife, Naomi teaches Ruth to do acts that do not befit a decent woman. Naomi tells Ruth to wash herself, rub on some perfumed oil, dress up and then secretly go to Boaz' place where he was sleeping, and then to uncover his feet and lie down. So Ruth did. She uncovered his feet and lay down. Then, after Boaz shivered as a result of what Ruth had been doing, he confessed that he liked her loyal love. What kind of women are the two, I ask you? You may also suggest that they repented afterwards. Then the question comes, "Couldn't God choose more moral ancestors for Jesus so that Jesus could have better genes?"


jacobusmaximus wrote:
I think you might be in a minority of one with your opinion about the quality of Scripture.

I wouldn't respect myself if just my being in a minority might in any way affect my opinion on anything.


jacobusmaximus wrote:
And a good laugh, eh?

Yeah, a good great sobering laugh.
will
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 8:25:53 AM
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jacobusmaximus wrote:
There is the vast, yawning gulf, will, between people like you and people like me. You have to have a reason to justify a philosophy, a faith, whereas my faith is justified by Christ. You need a reason to love, whereas I only need a Commandment.


Love without reason is stalking. Shame on you

.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 10:17:01 AM
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I've been following this thread all along...and yes, it's very long. Unnecessarily so in many cases as the same points get repeated over and over from both sides - and the same questions/statements get ignored over and over again too. AND because, inevitably, religion people themselves hold no consensus of opinion.

Jacob's belief in the Bible really has no bearing upon the question of a gods existence, surely? The whole subject of sacred texts is HUGE but peripheral to the question. Millions of people who are devoutly religious feel differently to Jacob. My entire school career was undertaken in Catholic schools, for example, but not one nun or priest ever presented the Old Testament as a "true" narrative. Nor were any bones made about the fact that although Matthew, Mark, Luke and John WERE the names of apostles, they were not the same people who wrote the New testaments and had those names decades later.

So already there's a whole subject here about which deists themselves regularly have great fallings out - and that does not affect the question of whether there is a god or not.

Also, Atheists do NOT 'have faith' or 'believe' there is no god. The atheist position, which has been put forward many, many times and yet is consistently ignored, is that, as there is no empirical evidence for a god they will reserve judgement on such a being's existence until such time as there is empirical proof.

BUT, and this is the caveat most believers continue not to take in: IF EMPIRICAL PROOF ARISES ONE DAY THEY WILL, OF COURSE, BELIEVE SUCH A BEING EXISTS. In other words, they aren't completely stupid.

Jacob wrote:There is the vast, yawning gulf, will, between people like you and people like me. And yes, that's true. But the difference lies between those who have been taught science and critical thinking and those who have not. Those are simply two different ways of looking at the world. In chemistry classes one doesn't take the teacher's word for it that combining two elements will have an effect: one has to experiment for oneself. In biology one doesn't simply accept that a cold-blooded frog has a warm, beating heart - one finds out (amidst screams and titters) for oneself.

Whether one follows the scientific and critical thinking path through life or whether one doesn't, has no bearing upon whether one is a good, moral person or not; whether one is a kindly person or a pain in the neck, whether one is more likely to have addictions, or whether one makes a better citizen or not. In fact, if one could point to one sector or the other and, by their collective behaviour as a group, see that they did more good in the world, were finer human beings, brought about peace and enlightenment...then people would flock to that particular side by the millions and the world would be a better place, in which war was but a distant, primitive memory. And the question of a single person's belief in anything would not continue to cause argument, conflict, insults, disdain, smugness and our unsavoury habit of wiping out those who didn't share one's own belief system.

I don't think the question of whether there is a god or not is terribly important: but the question of what good it does to believe in a god is up to each of us. If we are going to continue to make the answer to whether there is a god or not into a personal yard-stick with which to judge others; or to use our own belief or lack of it to justify our behaviour and that of others, then it truly makes no difference what the answer to the OP is anyway. God doesn't get a look-in.

Helenej
Posted: Wednesday, April 01, 2015 1:28:03 PM

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Romany wrote:
Atheists do NOT 'have faith' or 'believe' there is no god.[/u] The atheist position, which has been put forward many, many times and yet is consistently ignored, is that, as there is no empirical evidence for a god they will reserve judgement on such a being's existence until such time as there is empirical proof.

There are different types of atheists. I consider myself a strong atheists and I do believe that there is no god. I do not reserve my judgement as I do not expect any empirical proof to appear. It's funny: I believe there is no god just like Jacob believes there is one. We both believe just because we have no proof required to be certain. That's probably why I don't condemn Jacob for believing in God. I only can't understand his believing in the Bible.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
(see the blue and purple diagram on the right)

jacobusmaximus
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 3:12:29 AM

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Helenej wrote:
Romany wrote:
Atheists do NOT 'have faith' or 'believe' there is no god.[/u] The atheist position, which has been put forward many, many times and yet is consistently ignored, is that, as there is no empirical evidence for a god they will reserve judgement on such a being's existence until such time as there is empirical proof.

There are different types of atheists. I consider myself a strong atheists and I do believe that there is no god. I do not reserve my judgement as I do not expect any empirical proof to appear. It's funny: I believe there is no god just like Jacob believes there is one. We both believe just because we have no proof required to be certain. That's probably why I don't condemn Jacob for believing in God. I only can't understand his believing in the Bible.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism
(see the blue and purple diagram on the right)



I am not sure what you mean, Helene, by the sentence I have highlighted. Can you say a bit more about it please?

I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 4:07:00 AM

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Helenej wrote:
We both believe just because we have no proof required to be certain.

Sorry, it must be my awkward English. What I meant is:

1. If you had evidence that there is God (for example, if you saw God coming down from the sky and stand in front of you, then if he talked to you, worked some miracles at your request; if you saw him walking along the streets and working miracles to other people, and then going up back to the sky), then you would just know he exists and you couldn't believe in him as believing means 'to accept as true or real'. He would be real for you. You would have knowledge instead of faith. (We don't believe in the Internet, we just know it exists).

2. The same about me. If I had evidence that there is no God (I find it difficult to imagine what could convince me), I would know he does not exist and I couldn't believe in his non-existance. Like you, I would have knowledge instead of faith.
pedro
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 4:28:27 AM

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Heathen, n.: A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something that he can see and feel.
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Just saying... Happy Easter!

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 4:45:04 AM

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Good morning Helene, You are the first atheist I have ever heard say that they believed there was no god. I think in that case, the argument that you hold your position by faith has merit. I am curious though, do you realize that is not a rationally supportable position? By the definitions in your link I would be an explicit atheist; however, rather than take a position on the statement, there is no such thing as a god, my position is that there is no such thing as any of the gods that have been described by man. Whether some sort of self aware entity caused this universe to exist or not, is not knowable, personally I think it is unlikely, but not out of the question.

Now then BarnacleBill, Absurdicuss, and Jacob, here is an atheist who does believe there is no god, in the same way that you believe there is. Now I suspect at least Jacob to have a problem with this.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
pedro
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 5:37:16 AM

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Of course, if there is a multiverse then can there exist Universes in which God exists and universes in which he doesn't? Godel is famous for his incompleteness theorems but also attempted his own version of the Ontological proof- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%F6del%27s_ontological_proof Here he invokes Leibniz's indiscernible principle to argue that if a God has the same properties in one Universe as in another then it must be the same God, as all its (his/her) properties are identical. A multiverse, by contrast, consists of all possible diverging universes which must therefore be different (otherwise the universes would not have split in the first place). So if there is a God in Universe A, it must be different from God in universe B. This contradicts Leibniz's principle so either the principle is wrong, the multiverse theorem is wrong or God does or doesn't exist. I hope this clarifies matters.

All good ideas arrive by chance- Max Ernst
Helenej
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 5:47:33 AM

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Epiphileon wrote:
The argument that you hold your position by faith has merit. Do you realize that is not a rationally supportable position?

I do, that's why I called it faith. What supports my faith inside me and cannot be a real argument is only absence of any other activity of god since what he did in the first seven days. He was so inventive during that short period of time and then, in spite of being so almighty, lost any interest in creativity. That's strange, isn't it?

Epiphileon wrote:
My position is that there is no such thing as any of the gods that have been described by man.

The same here. I can only discuss seriously a god as a creator of the universe including the Earth with what lives on it. All his adventures from the Bible interest me only as a chance to have a laugh.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 8:28:53 AM

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[quote=Romany]

I've been following this thread all along...and yes, it's very long. Unnecessarily so in many cases as the same points get repeated over and over from both sides - and the same questions/statements get ignored over and over again too. AND because, inevitably, religion people themselves hold no consensus of opinion.

Good to have your input, Romany. However I am not sure that questions/statements are repeatedly ignored. Rather they are misunderstood, although probably there is an element of denial involved. You make a good point about lack of consensus amongst religious people, but I am sure the same can be said about atheists – or at least people who claim to be atheists. I mean, we must all be aware of people who consider themselves to be Christians but who, in reality, are Christians in name only, and I am sure the same can be said about some atheists. Some people claim to be atheists because they simply cannot believe in a God who would allow pain and suffering, and as there is much pain and suffering in the world there cannot be a God. Others are convinced that the concept of God has been superseded by evidence that everything that exists can be explained by science. Paul Helm, Reader in Philosophy at the University of Liverpool, asserts that Atheism is the view that God does not exist. Full stop. And if God does not exist now he never did exist, otherwise he is not the God of the Christian Bible. Furthermore, if God does not exist now he can never exist in the future. To be clear on this, I am referring to the God of the Judaeo-Christian Religion. There are many other religions and their Gods, sometimes many Gods, and I wonder if atheism dismisses all of these Gods as bunkum.


Jacob's belief in the Bible really has no bearing upon the question of a gods existence, surely? The whole subject of sacred texts is HUGE but peripheral to the question. Millions of people who are devoutly religious feel differently to Jacob. My entire school career was undertaken in Catholic schools, for example, but not one nun or priest ever presented the Old Testament as a "true" narrative. Nor were any bones made about the fact that although Matthew, Mark, Luke and John WERE the names of apostles, they were not the same people who wrote the New testaments and had those names decades later.

So already there's a whole subject here about which deists themselves regularly have great fallings out - and that does not affect the question of whether there is a god or not.

Living in the West of Scotland with its large Roman Catholic population, I am well aware of the Catholic approach to the Bible. Catholic congregations are not encouraged to make an in-depth study of the Bible, but to depend upon Catholic liturgy for edification and the Rites of the Church for salvation. Yet to fail to promote the Scriptures to the people of God is to deny the teaching of Christ who said – Matthew 5:12, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” In the light of that statement what else should one do but gain an understanding of the Scriptures?
I have to say that it was wrong of your teachers to claim that the four Gospels were not the work of their putative authors. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John may not have actually penned the Gospels as we might read them today, but it was their teaching in its various forms that produced the Gospels attributed to them. In the same way there are paintings today by Thomas Gainsborough that hardly saw a brushstroke from the master himself but were produced by hand-picked students and are attributed to Gainsborough. The great works of art are exactly as he would have produced then by his own hand.


Also, Atheists do NOT 'have faith' or 'believe' there is no god. The atheist position, which has been put forward many, many times and yet is consistently ignored, is that, as there is no empirical evidence for a god they will reserve judgement on such a being's existence until such time as there is empirical proof. BUT, and this is the caveat most believers continue not to take in: IF EMPIRICAL PROOF ARISES ONE DAY THEY WILL, OF COURSE, BELIEVE SUCH A BEING EXISTS. In other words, they aren't completely stupid.

Well, of course atheists would become believers if evidence for the existence of God should be produced. In the same way Believers would become atheists if evidence could one day be produced for the non-existence of God. In the meantime, we must continue to believe, or not, by faith.


Jacob wrote: There is the vast, yawning gulf, will, between people like you and people like me. And yes, that's true. But the difference lies between those who have been taught science and critical thinking and those who have not. Those are simply two different ways of looking at the world. In chemistry classes one doesn't take the teacher's word for it that combining two elements will have an effect: one has to experiment for oneself. In biology one doesn't simply accept that a cold-blooded frog has a warm, beating heart - one finds out (amidst screams and titters) for oneself.

Romany, the same can be said for the Christian, especially those of the Reformed tradition. We have a Minister (the Teaching Elder) and we have the Scriptures, but we are encouraged, exhorted, to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. It is not exactly experimenting, but walking by faith.


Whether one follows the scientific and critical thinking path through life or whether one doesn't, has no bearing upon whether one is a good, moral person or not; whether one is a kindly person or a pain in the neck, whether one is more likely to have addictions, or whether one makes a better citizen or not. In fact, if one could point to one sector or the other and, by their collective behaviour as a group, see that they did more good in the world, were finer human beings, brought about peace and enlightenment...then people would flock to that particular side by the millions and the world would be a better place, in which war was but a distant, primitive memory. And the question of a single person's belief in anything would not continue to cause argument, conflict, insults, disdain, smugness and our unsavoury habit of wiping out those who didn't share one's own belief system.

In this Fallen World we are never going to have a perfect society because of the nature of humankind, and because the fox will still slaughter the chickens and leave them lying to rot. Male lions will still kill male lion cubs to remove possible future competition. Science, education, social evolution – call it what you will – is never going to change that sad state of affairs. But God can bring about a change in the heart of man to make things better. And where will we find God in these times? In Scripture. Yes, God and Scripture are closely linked, because the Bible is the very breath of God. God exists in Scripture and in the hearts of Believers.


I don't think the question of whether there is a god or not is terribly important: but the question of what good it does to believe in a god is up to each of us. If we are going to continue to make the answer to whether there is a god or not into a personal yard-stick with which to judge others; or to use our own belief or lack of it to justify our behaviour and that of others, then it truly makes no difference what the answer to the OP is anyway. God doesn't get a look-in.

But if we find that belief in God (God in Christ) isn’t helping our personal circumstances and we choose to not believe, does that make God go away? Or does he still exist?


I remember, therefore I am.
Maryam Dad
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 9:20:08 AM

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The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Kindness is a mark of faith. and whoever is not kind has no faith.
Epiphileon
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 9:31:05 AM

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Maryam Dad wrote:
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

The sun does no such thing, the planet rotates, but it is a powerful illusion, one that is extremely difficult to see through.
Regardless I'm afraid I'm missing your point.

Question authority. How do you know, that you know, what you know?
Maryam Dad
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 11:18:12 AM

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I am thinking what if I were an atheist, what things that could make me believe that God really exists* . I am thinking, nothing could prove that God exists*. Maybe only a little 'miracle' could change my mind, but then again what happened to Cat Stevens in Malibu was not exactly a miracle, and what happened to the Australian man in the video below ( around 9th minute) wasn't a miracle, just a random chance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcxzIE4xxrI

Kindness is a mark of faith. and whoever is not kind has no faith.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 12:14:59 PM

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Maryam Dad wrote:
I am thinking what if I were an atheist, what things that could make me believe that God really exists* . I am thinking, nothing could prove that God exists*. Maybe only a little 'miracle' could change my mind, but then again what happened to Cat Stevens in Malibu was not exactly a miracle, and what happened to the Australian man in the video below ( around 9th minute) wasn't a miracle, just a random chance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcxzIE4xxrI


He could have experienced the same random chance when he investigated Christianity:

Romans 1:20 'For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God'.

I can hardly believe that, for all his studies, he was empty-headed enough to walk into a Mosque with his shoes on.



I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 12:33:35 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:
God can bring about a change in the heart of man to make things better.

I guess what you mean is: if a person believes in God, God makes them better. (If God weren't that picky, he would have already changed the hearts of all people for the better). I doubt your assertion and here are the questions that keep me from believing you.

1. Why are there so many non-believers who are good people and who will never kill, steal, bit or commit adultery?

2. Why are there bad people among those who believe in God? I guess anyone who comes to church say each time, "Forgive us our sins". Believers know well that they keep doing sins, then they ask God to forgive them and yet they keep doing sins. Where's God's work in that case?

3. From what you said earlier I understand that the way and the order in which God admits people in the rows of his believers is the following: first, a person should accept Christ as Saviour (I wonder what it is), then repent their sins and finally submit their life to God.

Don't you think that if I was able to accept Christ as my Saviour, to repent my sins and submit my life to God, then I am much more likely to initially be a good person than a bad one? Bad people are less likely to think about saving their souls, repenting and submitting their lives to anyone. Therefore, according to the terms of the admission to the God's herd, mostly good people get in it, just like best school graduates go to universities. If so, is it God's merit that the hearts of the believers are not that bad?


Hope123
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 9:53:37 PM

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A theist believes that God does exist and an atheist does not believe that God exists.

An agnostic is someone who neither believes nor disbelieves in the existence of God.

I think if I try to put a label on my beliefs nowadays, I would say I am an agnostic apatheist. I don't think the question of the existence of gods is meaningful. In other words I am apathetic towards even thinking about a belief either way and don't usually think about it unless it is pointed out to me in some story by the media or here on the Forum. I don't deny death nor want eternal life so therefore do not need a god. I don't believe that if I dance naked in the back yard that it will bring rain, nor that I need to appease the gods as the Mayans, Greeks, Romans, and even early Christians did.

Wiki - "An apatheist lives as if there are no gods and explains natural phenomena without reference to any deities. The existence of gods is not rejected, but may be designated unnecessary or useless; gods neither provide purpose to life, nor influence everyday life, according to this view.[1]"

It seems I always had doubts and conflict even as the Christian teachings were being drilled into me, although I would have loved to have had a wonderful Father who had my well being first and foremost and who put ME before all others. (But this theory falls apart as everyone can't be first.) When I adopted the view described above, all conflict disappeared. That is what works for me.

Each person has to figure out what works best for them and act accordingly. My only beef with some religious theorists is their claim to moral superiority over non theists.

So my answer to the OP 'Does God Exist?', is that it does not matter one way or the other.



Equality is when you see a person - not a label.
Wanderer
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 11:07:10 PM

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If you believe in God, then you must believe he is all powerful, all knowing and truthful in all his ways. So, my question to you is why God needs you to defend him? Doesnt he say "Vengence is mine?" Isn't it part of your faith to believe he is strong and you are weak? Do you think he needs you to defend him? Jesus said if your enemy asks you to carry his load for a mile, carry it two miles. So, if you were a baker and were asked to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, shouldn't you bake two? Isn't that what Jesus said? Whistle
Maryam Dad
Posted: Thursday, April 02, 2015 11:33:31 PM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:

He could have experienced the same random chance when he investigated Christianity:


In this case Islam God is luckier.

I were probably still an atheist all my life if I stopped questioning or didn't give a room of the the possibility that God exists.

Kindness is a mark of faith. and whoever is not kind has no faith.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Friday, April 03, 2015 3:48:42 AM

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Wanderer wrote:
If you believe in God, then you must believe he is all powerful, all knowing and truthful in all his ways. So, my question to you is why God needs you to defend him? Doesnt he say "Vengence is mine?" Isn't it part of your faith to believe he is strong and you are weak? Do you think he needs you to defend him? Jesus said if your enemy asks you to carry his load for a mile, carry it two miles. So, if you were a baker and were asked to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, shouldn't you bake two? Isn't that what Jesus said? Whistle


You mean bake a couple of fruit cakes?

I remember, therefore I am.
tunaafi
Posted: Friday, April 03, 2015 4:14:11 AM

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jacobusmaximus wrote:

You mean bake a couple of fruit cakes?


fruit
(frut)

n., pl. fruits, (esp. collectively) fruit,
n.

6. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. (a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.)

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fruit (my emphasis added)
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Friday, April 03, 2015 5:02:23 AM

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Helenej wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:
God can bring about a change in the heart of man to make things better.

I guess what you mean is: if a person believes in God, God makes them better. (If God weren't that picky, he would have already changed the hearts of all people for the better). I doubt your assertion and here are the questions that keep me from believing you.

Ah, Helene, it's that yawning gulf again between Believers and non-Believers.
You ask, '...if a person believes in God, God makes them better...' What you mean by 'believing', I think, is accepting something as true at face value. For the Christian, 'believing' is doing. Here's a simple example of this: You are offered a seat in a house you have never been in before. You sit down on the seat without a thought that it might collapse under you. You don't know that it will hold your weight - you cannot know it - but by faith in all the circumstances you sit down on the seat. That is faith. (I did say a simple example). Many people accept that there is a God but do not accept His offer of Salvation in Christ. That is mere acceptance - talking the talk. Believing, on the other hand, is walking the walk. Believing is living the way God intended for you. That makes you better (than you were).

1. Why are there so many non-believers who are good people and who will never kill, steal, bit or commit adultery?
How can you judge who is a non-believer?

2. Why are there bad people among those who believe in God? I guess anyone who comes to church say each time, "Forgive us our sins". Believers know well that they keep doing sins, then they ask God to forgive them and yet they keep doing sins. Where's God's work in that case?

In the sense that I have given for 'believing in God' there are no bad people. They are still sinners and they will still sin but if they keep doing sins they are not Believers.



3. From what you said earlier I understand that the way and the order in which God admits people in the rows of his believers is the following: first, a person should accept Christ as Saviour (I wonder what it is), then repent their sins and finally submit their life to God.

There is no order such as you have given in the process of becoming a Christian. It all happens at the same moment. But it does begin by acknowledging that you are a sinner because you fall short of the righteousness of Jesus. Accepting Christ as your saviour means repenting (turning away from) your sins and submitting your life to God.


Don't you think that if I was able to accept Christ as my Saviour, to repent my sins and submit my life to God, then I am much more likely to initially be a good person than a bad one? Bad people are less likely to think about saving their souls, repenting and submitting their lives to anyone. Therefore, according to the terms of the admission to the God's herd, mostly good people get in it, just like best school graduates go to universities. If so, is it God's merit that the hearts of the believers are not that bad?


You make a very good point here Helene, and I am sure you are not just having a laugh this time. It is true that it is mostly good people who submit their lives to Christ, but that is because most people are good in the first place. The merit for that however, is down to upbringing and the fact that no one is born bad. But even well-nurtured people can become bad through circumstances like keeping the wrong company or getting into drug or alcohol abuse. But all bad people have the way back to God by accepting Christ as their Saviour, which involves repenting of sin and submitting one's life to God.

I remember, therefore I am.
jacobusmaximus
Posted: Friday, April 03, 2015 5:14:08 AM

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tunaafi wrote:
jacobusmaximus wrote:

You mean bake a couple of fruit cakes?


fruit
(frut)

n., pl. fruits, (esp. collectively) fruit,
n.

6. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. (a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.)

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fruit (my emphasis added)


Well, ask a silly question....

I remember, therefore I am.
Helenej
Posted: Friday, April 03, 2015 6:46:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/24/2013
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Location: Kiev, Kyiv City, Ukraine
jacobusmaximus wrote:
It's that yawning gulf again between Believers and non-Believers.
If people were all alike, would it be possible for us all to enjoy each other's company, disputing here?


jacobusmaximus wrote:
Helenej wrote:
Why are there so many non-believers who are good people and who will never kill, steal, bit or commit adultery?
How can you judge who is a non-believer?
I was talking about my relatives, friends and neighbours, so I know that for sure.


jacobusmaximus wrote:
They are still sinners and they will still sin but if they keep doing sins they are not Believers.
Then you are not a believer either. If you were a believer, you wouldn't call others' opinions 'absolute nonsense' and 'crap'.


jacobusmaximus wrote:
There is no order such as you have given in the process of becoming a Christian. It all happens at the same moment.
How do you know? (Guess if I'm 'avin' a laff askin' this question).


jacobusmaximus wrote:
Accepting Christ as your saviour means repenting (turning away from) your sins and submitting your life to God.
If I have succeeded in repenting my sins and turning away from them, then, I guess, my heart is pretty good. I wonder what change God is going to bring in my heart after my heart has become good? (Your words: "God can bring about a change in the heart of man to make things better").

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