God is "dead"

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Saint, Dec 3, 2013.

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  1. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Your assumptions that Christianity is not about belief and is about submission.

    As an atheist, you have no more grounds to define theist beliefs than a string theorist has to define LQG. If the string theorist could define LQG then LQG would not be a field of research, as string theorists do not think it is valid, and would define it as such.

    Hierarchy? Just another non sequitur. "So-called" is a qualifier that marginalizes the term "god" so used, denoting false gods. I really try to believe that you are not this obtuse, but after the unmistakable mistake, I am really starting to think you may be.

    It is because you lack belief that your claims are without merit. It would be the same as me claiming that atheism was only a dislike of god. You would cry foul, and for good reason, just as I am about your claims of a belief you do not espouse. If you really cannot understand that then very little is likely to make it through your attentional bias.

    It so aptly describes the ease with which your arguments are refuted.

    The details reported by men are necessarily subjective, just like any self-reported data. Scripture is largely a testament to the beliefs of men. But like I said, theists find evidence beyond the pages of scripture, and that scripture only relates the subjective understanding of this.

    Again, what you believe of a belief system you do not espouse is irrelevant unless you are arguing someone who agrees with your claims. Maybe you should just go find your usual easy target to ply your lazy arguments on. You know, make yourself feel smart.

    Now if you wish to debate popular claims, I am more than willing. But you must then establish the popularity of each claim (with objective evidence like polls and statistics) before proceeding. Otherwise you could simply be cherry-picking claims that you find especially ridiculous or or easily refuted. (And preferably in a new thread, as I have no intention of arguing any but my own claims here.)

    Test? Again, completely non sequitur. Omniscience means that God would know the outcome, and that the test was meant purely for Abraham's benefit (to forge his character by fire).

    If free will were not ostensibly important to God then there would be no need for scripture to promote a choice. And free will is how we attribute moral accountability.
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  3. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I completely agree.
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  5. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Again, your own claim of "unmistakable public appearance". The unmistakable cannot be mistaken. Do you and Balerion take turns with the helmet? A god operates beyond the same "limits of our knowledge and perception" as scientific speculation on that which science itself defines as beyond our knowledge and perception. And agnostic arguments about what we are in "no position to judge" are equally applicable to atheism. Are you an agnostic?

    Again, "unmistakable" excludes any possibility for error.
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  7. Balerion Banned Banned

    I guess it depends on what you mean by belief. I'm not trying to say that there is only one kind of "true" Christian, I'm simply pointing out what I saw as themes within the Christian texts.

    Irrelevant. And incorrect. I can define anything I like. It's up to others to decide whether or not they agree. Most Nazis defined their movement as righteous. Am I not able to define Nazism because I do not practice it?

    I would cry foul because your definition would be incorrect, not because you're not an atheist. Certainly you're able to understand and state what atheism entails, even though you don't share its views. (or, view, rather).

    No, you use it with everybody. It's one of those odd forum things where someone falls in love with a word and then shoehorns it into every other sentence. Like Tiassa's new love affair with "subsume."

    By this logic, the Bible is merely a[n inaccurate] history book. But this isn't what I hear from many Christians, who report the Bible to be the source and maintenance of their faith.

    By that logic, no argument is relevant unless the arguers end up agreeing. We know this isn't the case.

    I would suggest the same to you. Certainly GIA is around here somewhere, no?

    The Bible itself refers to God's action as a test. (NIV) And all versions suggest that God did not know the outcome:

    "...Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” -Genesis 22:12

    Scripture doesn't promote a choice. It explicitly forbids choice, threatening anyone who takes the wrong path with destruction.
  8. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    And aside from the OP making claims about a belief he does not seem to espouse (like a string theorist defining LQG), attributing human characteristics is the same anthropomorphism we do to pets, cars, ships, etc.. None of these imbue any real traits.

    The only sensible way to distinguish a personal god from run of the mill anthropomorphism is:
    A narrower interpretation of a personal god is a deity who takes a personal interest in the world in general and worshipers in particular. This view is intended to challenge a deistic outlook.

    A still narrower definition would be a god whose personal interest in worshipers is so great that the deity communicates directly with them and actively intervenes in their lives through miracles.
    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_god#Deism[/ondent]

    That necessarily assumes that either a god is not omnipotent (lacks free will) or that it must be a personal god. Neither is necessarily true.

    Good, we agree (bolded). People believe because there is also a lack of evidence/proof against a god existing.

    Such choice only exists where there is some doubt as to whether a thing exists or not. And I already address solipsism in my first post in this thread:
    Obviously you have already chosen, but that choice has no bearing on its possible existence unless you assert some sort of solipsistic "reality" is all in the mind worldview.

    Solipsism makes ever argument moot, including science, so it is self-defeating as grounds for any argument.

    A common attribute of a god is omnipresence. So all sorts of things, everywhere, and astronomical.

    Freedom is the ability to choose between alternative speculations that are equally lacking in evidence.

    Just as subjective as any other belief, and your claims are moot unless addressed to someone espousing them. Besides, you have yet to demonstrate anything but the most rudimentary notion of a god, so what you supposedly read does not seem to have made any significant impact (and I would expect such an "educated" atheist to make better arguments).

    The nonsense is all yours, as that is a strawman of your own invention. I said that any sane person did not have any choice as to whether a chair exists, specifically because it is so obviously evident. The same cannot be said for the existence/nonexistence of a god.

    But since you say, "Noone has the freedom to be deluded", it seems you agree.

    Free and informed choice? But you just said that "[o]nly an insane person... would deny the existence of a chair". So which is it? If only an "insane person... would deny the existence of a chair", how can the chair give us choice? And choice for what? Insanity?

    So chairs make people insane?! A sane person has no choice but to accept the existence of a chair.

    False dilemma, as free will (i.e. freedom of action and choice) does not necessitate having complete knowledge. You need to cite a credible reference if you wish to continue using this very odd notion of free will. You know, like you are always complaining about theist notions of god.

    You need to cite references if you wish to throw around statistics like "99%". A quick search provides this:

    Many Christians will talk about receiving the Spirit of God, among other things, but the receiving of faith…not so much! Oh, they may say they have faith but what they are really saying is they believe in God. The belief in God and to believe and accept Jesus as Lord is just one step to living for and serving God whole-heartedly and developing a living, breathing, mountain-moving, life of faith.
    - http://faith1stministries.com/2012/07/26/serving-god-establishes-our-faith/

    And none of these summaries of major denominations claim serving ("works") are necessary to either believing or "being saved": http://christianity.about.com/od/denominationscomparison/ss/comparebeliefs2_2.htm

    The closest would probably be Methodists or Mormons, who do emphasize service, but...

    Nineteenth century Mormonism defined itself against Calvinistic religions that asserted humans' incapacity and utter dependence on the grace of God. Early Mormon preachers emphasized good works and moral obligation; however in the late twentieth century, Mormons pulled back from an "entrenched aversion" to the doctrines of grace, and today have an attitude of trusting in the grace of Christ while trying their best to do good works. Bushman (2008, p. 76) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism#cite_note-39

    So it seems your 22 years of "experience" mean precisely jack. No wonder you are an atheist.
  9. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    I snipped it for brevity, but the whole post is a very good, Yazata.
  10. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    Our ability to model existence using the faculty of imagination has been an evolutionary advantage and represents the core of who we are. Attributes such as empathy and technical abstraction are vital expressions of imagination. When imagination is inconsistent with reality its evolutionary value is diminished, and methods of validation such as science have evolved to keep errors of imaginative attribution in check.

    Human history is riddled with examples of people claiming knowledge of gods or to being gods themselves. Our faculty of imagination has allowed countless artifacts of ignorance to garner legitimacy until effective systems of validation evolved to uncover their speciousness. The more we learn about our ancestral behavior the more we uncover the roots of the associative errors that spawned such beliefs in divinity.

    Unmistakable in regards to validating a supreme being requires the exclusion of all contenders, and without the unattainable quality of omniscience, how would you expect such a determination to be made?

    Of course I’m agnostic, at least until my omniscience kicks in. What about you?
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    You didn't answer my question.

    Someone comes along and claims to know God.
    Someone else comes along and claims to be God.

    What problem do you see with that?
  12. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    They are either ignorant, delusional or frauds. Do you think these are worthy aspirations?
  13. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    You still didn't answer my question.

    So what's the problem for you when others are "ignorant, delusional or frauds"?
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member


    All supremely irrelevant to the fact that the OP itself presupposed a personal God as do 99% of all the religious theists on the planet. To posit God as something else, as a force or a metaphysical principle is merely your attempt at trying to change the subject when trapped into a corner. Which in turn will lead to yet another a tedious string of further posts of you redefining and backpeddling on everything you say and generally being the obnoxious prick you always manage to become in every dialogue.

    Yes..the OP's question assumed this. Go back and reread it for clarification.

    God is never seen anywhere at anytime by anyone. Same as with leprechauns, unicorns, dragons, etc. Can you explain how this is a lack of evidence against god existing?

    So what? Again, why does freewill entail being able to not believe existing things exist? What freedom is being advanced here besides the freedom to be deluded?

    Name some of these things that God looks like. What colors and textures and sounds were involved in God's appearance? If God appeared everywhere, why did so many of us miss it? And if God's size is astronomical, what are the approximate measurements of said being? Lightyears and parsecs will suffice here.

    Freedom is the ability to make choices of action and thought based on accurate knowledge and experience. Freedom based on ignorance and lack of evidence isn't freedom. It's delusion.

    I understand God as he is taught and understood by 99% of the religious theists on this planet. Like I said, I have no interest in philosophical contrivances to generalize godhood into some abstract metaphysical principle that nobody can ever experience much less discuss. Just like all theists here you hope to obfuscate God into something beyond all definition effectively disabling all possible negative assertions about him/her/it. That's a game I'm not willing to play here.

    Doubting real objects is not a viable choice. It is a delusion. No choice is therefore violated by a chair existing, or by a God existing. There is only the brute acknowledgement of the real. Which is neither choice nor lack of choice. It's just perception.

    Knowledge of reality always opens us to more choices. Like I said, knowledge of the chair opens us to a range of choices about things we can do with the chair. Knowledge brings freedom. Delusion, as in denying the existence of what is presented, takes away choice. Which is why God showing himself to exist would be a liberating event to humans. It would free them from the delusion that he doesn't exist--a delusion fostered by a universe that behaves exactly like there is no God at all.

    There never was a choice to deny the existence of the chair since the chair obviously exists. There is simply the sane perception that the chair exists. Choice is irrelevant in this experience.

    Like I said, there are more or less degrees of freedom of will, depending on more or less degrees of knowledge. So your claim that freewill doesn't necessitate complete knowledge is true, seeing we only approximate it in more or less degrees of knowledge.

    Nothing you quoted contradicts the basic Christian doctrine that God is a person who must be served in some way by man either thru the act of faith or by good works or by both. Are you now denying this is a major pillar of all Christian faith? That the vast majority of religious theists really have no personal god in mind and view him in a state of deistic indifference to the needs of humanity? Then you are more ignorant than I thought.

    Deuteronomy 10:12
    And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  15. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Yes. I agree very emphatically with that.

    It would certainly be inexplicable. It might be impressive as all hell. (Imagine the 15-mile-wide flying saucers in 'Independence Day.) But... is it a proper object of religious worship?

    So how can a human being, given the cognitive resources that we have, tell the difference between a grand cosmic lightshow or even the appearance a incredibly-super space alien, and an appearance of a/the real 'God'?

    There seems to be something else necessary, some specifically religious ingredient, and it isn't easy to specify exactly what that is.

    My guess is that if some amazing, inexplicable and seemingly miraculous event actually happened, many people would fall down on their knees and worship it. Much as members of a lost tribe might fall down on their knees in worship if a helicopter full of anthropologists suddenly landed in their isolated village. We can sneer at the villagers for their child-like naivete, but are the rest of us any better off, in the cosmic big-picture?

    I think that it's easy to imagine an appearance of what we can call 'the unknown'. That's simply the set of everything that currently exceeds our knowing and understanding.

    Maybe... conceivably... there are real religious divinities among the contents of the unknown. But if a real divinity or divinities are part of a much larger class that exceeds our human knowing, simply by definition, how can we ever correctly separate the true divinities from the incomprehensible non-divinities?

    What is it (if anything) that supposedly makes something truly worthy of worship (not a naive mistake, not foolish idolatry) and how can we, finite human beings that we are, possibly recognize that?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  16. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    If you’d answered my question you’d have your answer. Since I and presumably you are a member of a greater society, let me rephrase the question for social relevance. Do you think the promotion of ignorance, delusion and fraud is a worthy goal for a civilized society?
  17. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ OP & Fraggle Rocker,

    Please show your evidence of this. If anybody has proof that religion is fake just say so. Denying an entity exists because it suits your opinion is not valid science.

    I think god is a build up of thoughts, feelings, emotions, from across the universe and is as much a part of its make up as a sun shining upon its solar system.

    There are scientific theories that include god. Russellian Science for example.

    Religious debates are stupid as there is still a lot of unknowns about our universe, and the presumption necessary to make up your own facts on the matter is pretty blatant.

  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Religion is the one making the extraordinary claim that God exists. If he exists, where the fuck is he? What has he told you lately about what his plans are? What's he look like? Does he have a penis? How long is his beard? Does he dress up in a gown and sandles? Does he have a brain? What's he made of? Cotton candy? Where does he live? What's he done lately to help the human race he allegedly created? What discoveries has religion resulted in? How does that compare to science? Does God turn into a cracker every Sunday in EVERY catholic church around the world? That's a lot of crackers. Do you have some science to back this claim up? When exactly does the cracker turn into God? In the stomach? Or when it finally comes out in the toilet?

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  19. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I think that Capracus was questioning whether an 'unmistakeable public appearance' by a god to humans is even possible.

    What helmet?

    What would constitute such an appearance? How could finite human beings be sure that it had in fact happened?

    What is it that makes something a suitable object of religious worship? How should human beings go about recognizing such things?

    'The unknown' is a very big set, with outer boundaries of possibility that are poorly defined, simply by definition. There's an effectively infinite number of things that are currently unknown by human beings.

    There may or may not be answers out there to questions about the universe's ultimate source, about what (if anything) its sustainer is, about what kind of being is ultimately most fundamental and real, about how the laws of nature came to be, and philosophical questions like that. So yeah, I think that it's best to take an agnostic position with regards to that kind of stuff.

    The fundamental religious question still stands, namely what is it that makes whatever thing or things that might correspond to the answers to those kind of questions into suitably religious objects.

    There's also the familiar personal deities of religious myth, Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu and so on. After all, belief in one or another of these is what 'theism' means to most theists. My own feeling is that the chances of whatever the unknown answers (if any) might be to the cosmological questions turning out to be conform to one of another of these figures is vanishingly small. Not zero perhaps, but so small that I feel confident in disregarding the possibility in my own life. So I'm happily an atheist regarding the familiar figures of human religious myth.

    I see it as a matter of probabilities, I guess. It just seems exceedingly unlikely that any of our human religious myths already know and accurately describe the answers to the ultimate philosophical questions. (Assuming that we are even asking the right questions and that our questions have answers.) And it just seems inherently unlikely to me that whatever the answers might ultimately be, that they will somehow come together in the form of a giant cosmic person similar to ourselves. It's even less likely that we are already in communication with such a divine person or that any of our religious scriptures contain those communications.
  20. hansda Valued Senior Member

    To see GOD, you have to enhance your vision. With the limited vision, GOD can not be seen. A blind man can not see the Sun. Does it mean, the Sun is not existing. So, if we can not see GOD, it does not mean GOD is not there.
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Have you ever seen God with this allegedly "enhanced vision"? What's that involve? 3D glasses? Lasik eye surgery? Squinting just right under a strobing red light? Has this ever worked for you? If not, then wtf are you talking about?
  22. hansda Valued Senior Member

    Many people have seen GOD. The vision can be enhanced through meditation or Yoga Practices.
  23. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    Or prayer to anything.
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