Atheists & Christians: Argue the OTHER POINT OF VIEW

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Darth Behemoth, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Rita Registered Member


    What evidence of a Lord is there? Why would you presume someone who does not believe it necessary to submit to a Lord, would be wicked? What makes a man wicked? How would submitting to a Lord make a difference? How would anyone learn of such a Lord in the first place?

    Neurons are only receptors, they need something to activate them. It is not brain receptors that are turned off, but the concepts of spiritual thinking is are longer activating the neurons of those who reject the spiritual experience.
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  3. Rhaedas Valued Senior Member

    Does one have to be religious to be spiritual? I would probably agree that non-religious brains tend to work a bit differently than religious ones, but I don't think spiritual is the best word to use, as it's probably too broad in this context.
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    The only skilled apologist I can think of on this site is Lightgigantic. I'd like to see him partake in this exercise.
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  7. Rita Registered Member


    All brains are alike. Like computers. What varies is the programming, the software.

    One does not have to be religious to be spiritual.

    On the other hand spiritual can mean different things so I will agree there is a problem with the term. I take issue the Fraggle Rocker, because spiritual thinking may be either superstition or based on philosophy and science. It is not exclusively superstition. For me to argue the opposite of what I believe, I would have to argue in favor of superstition, and that would be extremely hard for me. Maybe even impossible?
  8. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Lol. Good one!

    Nah, I don't think those emotional atheists will go into analyzing those emotions, at least not anytime soon, or only at a superficial level at most.
  9. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member




  10. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Theists are simply wrong because there is no evidence of god.
    If there were evidence of god we would accept god exists.
    The kind of evidence needed for me to accept god exists, would be evidence that the evidence is actually god.
    That kind of evidence would have to have really good evidence that the evidence which shows evidence of god's existence, actually
    shows that there is evidence of god's existence. Remember extraordinary claims require....... got it extraordinary evidence!

    There is no need to accept anything which any scripture say's, because the current evidence say's that it's all nonsense. But even if there was any truth in the idea of god's existence, no rational person with a good scientific/atheist leaning (the same thing and don't let nobody tell you different), we wouldn't want to be associated with such a big meany.

  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I don't need to explore it. I've been exploring it since 1951 when another second-grader started telling me about this fellow named "God" who lives up in the sky and can see everything we do and judge us for it. I thought it was one of those funny stories that kids make up, and a rather good one. I was laughing my head off and I couldn't understand why he didn't appreciate it.

    When I got home I asked my mother. She got a very pained look on her face and said simply that some people actually believe that stuff. I asked her why their parents hadn't told them the truth. She became very sad, and said that there are actually a lot of grownups who believe it, so they never tell their kids the truth. That marked the moment in my life when I became a cynic. How could anyone be that stupid? How could people who are that stupid run the world?

    Fortunately my parents sent me to a university where 95% of the students were atheists, so I was able to restore some of my faith in my fellow humans.

    But I still rip the newspaper to shreds and set it on fire when I read about Christians, Muslims, Jews, and whatever other batty supernaturalists happen to be in the vicinity, killing each other over (what to me are) nearly imperceptible differences in their fairy tales.

    Religionists (who still, sadly, comprise a majority of the world's population) generally use "spirit" as a synonym for "soul" (except in the phrase "the holy spirit"). Only religionists believe in the soul, so in common parlance, yes, "religious" and "spiritual" are fairly close to synonymous.

    The rest of us use "spirit" to mean the characteristics of an individual or a community, as evinced in their work, e.g., "You can hear the spirit of the Delta Blues pioneers in the early rock'n'roll songs." But we never use the word "spiritual." Well except for certain kinds of songs of course.

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    No. There's no need to accept it because there is no evidence to support it. The evidence of the way the universe operates, which we've spent hundreds of years gathering, says that claims of the supernatural are extraordinary, but science doesn't use the word "nonsense." Supernaturalists are free to use their own resources to gather their own evidence, and if they actually find some (using proper procedures and controls) we'll by happy to review it. I daresay we'll all even waive the Rule of Laplace in this one case and treat mere ordinary evidence with respect. As long as it's better than a tortilla with a scorch mark claimed to be a perfect likeness of a biblical figure of whom no portraits exist against which to compare it.

    Huh? At least in the USA, lots of scientists--perhaps even a majority--are religious. It's a textbook example of cognitive dissonance. To give credit where credit is due, Jesuit universities are famous for their science programs, in which they teach both evolution and plate tectonics. The leaders of the more respectable Christian sects (as well as non-Christian denominations) have grudgingly accepted the fact that most of the woo-woo in the Bible is metaphor, even the six-day creation. They haven't given in on the Resurrection, though. They insist on at least one genuine miracle.

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    And although most atheists are well-educated and therefore have studied science, they are not all scientists.

    God was certainly an abusive father in the Old Testament. But then he sent down the First Hippie to teach us all about love and peace.

    You don't have to be a Christian, or any kind of supernaturalist, to love Jesus. I love him as much as I love Winnie the Pooh, Frodo Baggins and Kermit the Frog. For the same reason: an inspiring role model. It's okay to love a metaphor so long as you understand what a metaphor is.
  12. Rita Registered Member

    This is ignorance of the good book. Science does not tell us how to live with one another, and humans tend to behave very badly unless they are taught to behave good.

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    I would like to use the last email my daughter in law sent me as evidence of bad human behavior, but that might be too personal and off topic. The point is, humans must be taught how to behave and the good book is valuable for this reason. We are the body of Christ, and for the body to be healthy, the lessons of the good book must be exercised.
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    If I believe that the central "God" character in Christian myth probably doesn't exist, then why should I be especially concerned with Christianity?

    The ancient Hellenistic rhetorical schools used to give their students assignments like that. Argue for X in a debate, then switch sides and argue against it. The goal was to be totally persuasive and convincing both ways. We still see that idea today in law schools, which prepare lawyers to argue on behalf of whoever pays them.

    The problem is that reduces everything to rhetoric.

    So I'll do the next best thing. I'll tell you (seriously) what I think religious people's (including Christians', if you like) best sort of argument might be.

    That's personal religious experience. If somebody directly experiences the "Holy Spirit" (or whatever it might be in other traditions) then (perhaps arguably, in a way) that's the best evidence possible. The experience can be totally convincing to the person enjoying it. That person might be convinced that he/she finally KNOWS, in a manner that's perhaps even more convincing to him/her than the experienced reality of everyday life.

    Unfortunately, while religious experience might in some cases be absolutely convincing to the person having the experience, it doesn't do a whole lot for all the rest of us who didn't share the experience. We still find ourselves in the position of accepting or rejecting claims of authority. We still face the task of sorting out conflicting revelations and of distinguishing extraordinary veridicial experiences from delusions. And there's the fundamental underlying problem that subjective conviction of the truth of a belief isn't really any guarantee that the belief is true.
  14. Rita Registered Member

    Fraggle Rocker said:

    Religion is essential to large populations, because it is what unites large numbers of people. Nationalism is rather new, and before we could get to nationalism, we have to have the uniting force of religion. I think your anger directed at religion is miss placed, because people always seem to find something to fight about, and we might do well to understand the human nature behind war, and what the good book says that prevents conflicts and unites people. Living for the love of God has many benefits on an individual level and at the cultural level. You emotion are based on a limited understanding of religion, and as said, the problem is human, not exclusively religious.

    You have not named your emotion. It appears to be anger but anger is a secondary emotion. What is the feeling beneath your anger?

    What I say of God is based on nature and science, not religion, and you have directed your anger at me. Why do you do that? How rational is it to respond with anger when someone says something that is outside of your understanding of reality? I will argue it is Satan that makes your that, because in this thread we are suppose to argue the opposite of what we believe. However, I can also appreciate the religious terms, of evil forces, because they can be very helpful in dealing with human problems such as being irrational.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  15. Balerion Banned Banned

    What makes you so sure they haven't already analyzed their emotions?
  16. Balerion Banned Banned

    Hey, Jan got involved!

    Good on you for playing along.
  17. Balerion Banned Banned

    See, now I have to question how much of the NT you've actually studied, because I find it hard to believe anyone could say with a straight face that Jesus was good who doesn't also believe he's the son of God.
  18. Rita Registered Member


    I don't know what side of the argument I should take, considering I am spiritual and not religious.

    Scientifically we know people who can forgive and who can experience love and thankfulness, do better psychologically and physically than those who don't. It has been argued there is a connection between negative emotions and cancer and mediation is now recommended by doctor's as part of the treatment for cancer. We know people with heart problems who experience being loved, live longer than those who have heart problems and do not feel loved. Our immune system is effected by feelings, and so much as patting a cat can improve our health. Having a love relationship with God is very powerful.

    The feeling we can achieve through imagining being loved by Jesus or an unknown god, or through mediation, could be considered a religious experience for some. The point being, just about anyone can have what some may call a religious experience, but a religious person explains this one way, a spiritual person another way and a person of science another.
  19. Rita Registered Member

    :mufc: Because they are male.
  20. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    Rehtorical question,

    Is there a reason why there is this desire to debate between Christian beliefs and Atheist beliefs? I'm already aware of the reasons. The question is really just meant for analyzing or introspecting one's own reason for doing so.

    Christians/Atheists... different sides of the same "coin".
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    But at what cost?

    No it's not. Homo sapiens is a pack-social species like all the other apes except orangutans. We have an instinct to care for and depend on the other members of our pack, and to hate and distrust outsiders, because they're competitors for scarce food and other resources. Nationalism is merely an expansion of that instinct to include ever-larger groups. The technology of agriculture both permitted and required our ancestors to live in permanent villages, and once they did that they discovered the benefits of division of labor and economy of scale in increasing their prosperity. This led them to invite other tribes to come live with them, so they'd all be more prosperous. Pack-->tribe-->city-->state-->nation--> and now the transnational hegemonies like the EU.

    Do you have some evidence to cite for that assertion? I'm wracking my brain and every time since the Stone Age when two or more groups of people united to form a larger "nation," it was rarely about a common religion. In fact it was more often a stronger one assimilating a weaker one and forcing their own religion on them. In the days of polytheism, people rather easily figured out that they had the same gods, just with different names. Jung teaches us that the gods of the ancients were archetypes, hard-wired into our synapses by DNA. We each have a Warrior, a Healer, a King, a Hunter, etc., inside us.

    I also don't understand your phrase, "the uniting force of religion." For centuries, at least ever since the counterintuitive horror of monotheism began metastasizing across the globe, religion has been a dividing force. Most of the wars of the modern era have been fought over religious differences, going all the way back to the Reformation, which was a euphemism for a century of non-stop warfare between different cults of Christianity.

    I don't find your premise the least bit credible, so your conclusion is irrelevant.

    Yet more often than not it is, precisely, religion. You're sitting here in 2013 staring at a brewing three-way Nuclear Holy War between Muslims, Christians and Jews. How can you say my anger at religion is misplaced? Those various flavors of Abrahamists all want to kill ME because I'm not aligned with any of them!

    The Bible has a lot of lovely prose, but people have a knack for misinterpreting it to support their own goals. As for preventing conflicts and uniting people, as I showed above in a brief synopsis of history, you're simply dead wrong. Religion has killed more people than any other cause in the last 2,000 years. Just start with the Holocaust and work backward. And don't throw communism at me: it's an offshoot of Christianity. "To each according to his needs, from each according to his ability," is an elaboration of a line from the Book of Acts.

    Yes, I understand that delusions and misinformation can be comforting.

    Very funny. No one understands the cesspool of religion better than those of us who have had to carefully avoid being brought down by the people who dwell in it.

    Yes we have other flaws but religion is arguably the worst of the lot. Christian armies destroyed two entire civilizations, the Aztec and Inca, for being "heathens." They even burned the Aztec libraries and melted down the Inca art. How much worse than that can an institution be??? That's the kind of evil you only expect to find in a videogame.

    What's wrong with anger being a primary emotion? These people murdered a bunch of my relatives in Europe for being of Jewish descent without even practicing the religion. As I already noted, they destroyed two civilizations and even tried their best to obliterate evidence of their culture; as a scholar I find that to be the worst crime that can be committed. The Taliban prohibit music and treat musicians as criminals; as a musician I hardly have to explain my feelings about that. They also separate themselves from the rest of civilization by declaring dogs "unclean," while in fact children who grow up with dogs have much healthier immune systems and don't grow up loaded down with allergies and other autoimmune diseases--not to mention the mental-health benefits of having one family member whose love is unconditional. The Orthodox Jews in Israel throw rocks at EMTs who dare to drive their ambulances on the Sabbath. How about the Westboro Baptist Church and their screed against gays, actually picketing military funerals since "God hates the USA because we tolerate homosexuality."

    I haven't run out of examples but I have run out of energy. If you can't see the unforgivable (and in many cases irreparable) harm that has been done to civilization by religion--especially the execrable monotheistic Abrahamic varieties that now dominate the globe--you're beyond hope.

    Hmm. Well I didn't intend to the first time, and looking back over my post I still don't quite see it. But I apologize because it wasn't meant for you. However, this time you have pushed my buttons by defending religion, at a time when it's clear to anyone with two eyes and a brain that it may well destroy us all. Christians, Muslims and Jews all have nuclear weapons. They're no longer just termites; they're termites with chainsaws!

    I haven't read much of the Bible. It probably doesn't matter because very few Christians actually attempt to follow its rules rigorously. But just looking at the Christian community as an outsider, Jesus looks pretty good.

    "Turn the other cheek," for example. I have always said that the old playground rant is 100% true: "It all started when he hit me back." If you just laugh it off the other guy will usually stop.

    Sure that doesn't work among so-called "adults" who fight wars. But the reason we have so many wars is that a lot of bullies are still bullies as adults and they're looking for a fight. If we could cure them in childhood they wouldn't grow up wanting to kill each other. And religion presents bullies as role models. The Old Testament is crammed full of them.

    That's what's so great about Jesus. He tells you that instead of hitting the bully back and having him whomp you with a stick next, you should just leave him standing there looking like the fool he is. There's nothing a bully hates worse than being laughed at.
  22. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    I know the passive lamb was born, destined for slaughter. He knew all along his fate in those days, so the faith would turn from the passive lord so he could remain.

    Fire & Light killed the Christ, but behold his day will come again. Faith, feet on the ground, head in the clouds can not follow to a cross the passive way. Knowledgable light look up to the son on the cross and only say I know, fire look up and say I believe here, I have betrayed.

    RIP Passive Lamb.
  23. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    Which coin? How so? I don't think they are alike at all. One uses science and reason, and the other is simply correct because Bible.

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