Trying to hard to believe

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by jayleew, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Balerion Banned Banned

    Man, it must be some adventure living inside your head.

    You're wrong. Even if the concept of believing no gods exist did not arise until after the coining of that particular term, there is nothing about the term itself that excludes that mentality, as the term literally means "without gods." If you are someone who believes there is no such thing as gods, then you are necessarily without gods.

    Again, what we have here is you failing to comprehend words that you're reading. You defined "-ism" as "a distintive [sic] doctrine or system of practice" so as to support your claim that an atheist is simply someone who does not practice, as opposed to someone who positively believes gods do not exist. I corrected you by saying that -ism is more than that. Here's what says about it.

    So to say that theism is "the state or condition of belief in at least one god" is correct. As is defining atheism as "the state or condition of believing no gods exist." If you defined it only as a person who simply doesn't practice, then you leave yourself in the logical conundrum of having atheist theists--people who believe but do not practice or hold to any doctrines. Obviously, that's a clunky and useless definition, and no one applies it in such a way.

    More semantic nonsense. Stop trolling.

    Theos applies to god with a little G, because Greece was polytheistic. You'll notice the word for goddess is "thea."

    No, this is just you trying to bastardize another word so it suits your asinine argument. You couldn't have this argument if you were acting on the level, so you resort to lies and other dishonest tactics.

    The word "theos" may also be applied to Big G God, but it also applied to gods with a little g. Again, this is something you'd know if you had actually bothered to learn anything about this stuff. But I suppose it's easier to simply stay ignorant and pretend you have a clue.

    No, it's ignorant to pretend that our understanding can't get better, and that all we know now is all we'll ever know. Just because something means something today doesn't mean it should carry that meaning into the future, or that alternate meanings shouldn't be equally valid, or that the meaning cannot be expanded to include new ideas. Shit, you're trying to promote "theos" as if it means only "God" as in Yahweh, but the word existed long before anyone in Greece had heard of him. The definition of the term grew to include the Abrahamic God, and you don't seem to have a problem with that.

    Classic non-sequitur. Is it so difficult for you to keep your thoughts straight? The point you're trying to make here is that "You can call a brick water, but it's still made of stone." In your infinite confusion, you've gone and reversed the argument in your head, and spouted this nonsense instead. haha. Wow.

    I'll do you a favor and address the point I presume you're trying to make. Words do not have inherent definitions; they are only defined by how they are used. This is why "cool" indicates an approximate temperature, acceptance, and calmness, among other things. It's why "bad" means both bad and good.

    Mere observations.

    All words are subject to personal thoughts and prejudices. However, I agree that the word had a specific meaning. But you haven't made a legitimate case for why it excludes those who believe God does not exist.

    It is a concept. If I'm rejecting God because I don't believe he exists, I am rejecting the concept of God.

    Of course it was. It was probably hard to find someone in the mid-1600s who said positively that there were no mystical forces in the universe, but there was such a thing as unbelief in a particular deity, and such unbelief was addressed in the term "atheist." This concept you're promoting--that "rejection" does not equate to anything more than a disagreement with doctrine--is a modern one. At the time the word was coined, to "reject" God was to say one did not believe God existed. Again, that isn't to say they didn't believe in something, but they most certainly believed the god or gods in question were fictitious.

    Of course it's not related. It's mean to show you your logic in another light.

    That is a nonsensical statement.

    You're mixing up your arguments now, as you are wont to do when you get cornered and confused. I brought up the fact that God is a concept when you said you couldn't reject something you don't believe exists to show you that when one rejects something on the basis that it's a false proposition, they are rejecting the idea of it. By your definition, no one could have an opinion on things that do not exist.

    For one, the concept of "God" did not always exist. Human religion was exclusively polytheistic at the outset; monotheism is a recent addition to the world. So for there to even be a singular God, the concept needed to take on a new wrinkle. Secondly, this is another non-sequitur. Try to stay on track, Jan.

    We've been over this a hundred times, Jan. The fact that the stories from the Old Testament are largely stolen from previous, polytheistic religions, and the stories in the New Testament are re-tellings of OT stories as well as wrinkles from contemporary pagan mythologies, suggests that the Bible is merely a continuation of the practice of evolving cultural myths. To say that Yahweh is the one true God is to ignore the fact that he seems to be borrowed from a pantheon that was en vogue before Judaism. To call Jesus his son ignores the resemblances he bears to all the other gods of his region and era. If there is really a God, the truth of it is not revealed in those holy books, and since those holy books are the only link we have to it, I'm lead to believe that there is no God.

    Considering that the word "atheist" does not appear in the bible, how can you say that it differentiates between the two concepts?

    I've addressed both of these points above.

    So your answer has nothing to do with the question. Great.

    Again, you're wrong. I understood your claim perfectly, it's just that I disagree with it. You've only used a logical fallacy to support it, so I'm still waiting for a legitimate argument on your behalf.

    It's not nitpicking, it's a false dilemma. You're attempting to differentiate between the statements "I believe there is no god" and "There is no god," but no such difference exists.

    Compelling counterpoint.

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    Again, nonsense. "Slang" is not understood to mean "ignorance." There you go again, insisting upon personal definitions.

    Hey man, don't call others ignorant in the same paragraph you misspell words.
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  3. Balerion Banned Banned

    Trust me, this is me trying to resist it.

    You're right, there is no point. I should know better than to take the bait. Still, there's some satisfaction in watching him contradict himself and mix up his arguments.
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    A person who believes in the existence of one or more gods but does not practice worship or other religious rituals is irreligious, not atheistic.

    I'm not sure I agree. The concept exists even though its referent does not.

    No. Monotheism was new. The last thing they wanted to do was to insult this new, ultra-powerful single god by assuming that he was merely one of the old gods who had fought his way to the top. The tetragrammaton, יהוה or YHWH, is a new name for a new god. It appears to be derived from the verb "to be," a reference to God's Popeye-like announcement, "I am that I am." (Maybe it doesn't sound so comical in Hebrew.)

    There's a difference in connotation. To say, "I believe there is no god," acknowledges the fact that others disagree and even confers upon them a modicum of respect. To say, "There is no god," comes closer to implying that anyone who disagrees with this statement is beneath contempt.

    Seems like the same kind of "satisfaction" one would get by turning on one's living room lamps in the middle of the night and watching the birds wake up and crash into the window.
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  7. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Read this again, Jan.
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

    I understand that, Frag. I was demonstrating to Jan the ludicrousness of his reasoning.

    I know. Jan's premise is that one cannot reject what does not exist. I'm saying that we're not rejecting God, but the premise of God.

    No, Yahweh was originally a member of a pantheon, originating outside of Judea. In fact, it was likely El that was the original God of the Israelites, not Yahweh. He even had a consort, Asherah.

    But there's no functional difference, which is the point I'm trying to reinforce to Jan.

    The birds don't bring it upon themselves. Jan does.

    It almost seems like you're chastising me for debating Jan. I would suggest you desist.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    It doesn't matter. It's the 21st century now. And we're not speaking Greek.

    You're saying that "I do not believe that blue and yellow spotted elephants exist" is a meaningless statement, are you? Or, what about "I believe that blue and yellow spotted elephants exist"? You're saying that if they don't actually exist, then it's impossible to make that statement meaningfully. Are you?

    Well, apart from the obvious point that saying is not the same as believing - they are two different acts - I would certainly hope that if somebody says they believe something then they actually do. If they don't actually believe but say they do, they are being dishonest.

    The words don't speak for themselves, or we wouldn't be having this dispute.

    Do you agree that the way the term "atheist" is generally used today differs from how it was used in, say 1600? Can you give me any reason why we should prefer the usage from 1600 CE or 1 CE over the 2013 CE usage?

    So what are we to do with those blue and yellow spotted elephants? Remain in a belief limbo about them, not daring to hold an opinion either way?

    Atheists have one thing in common: they don't believe in gods of any kind. Since the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a god, atheists don't believe the Flying Spaghetti Monster is real. In this sense, the FSM is on a par with your favorite God. Understand?
  10. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    Atheists are united in my country at least by an organization called Humanists. I paid $500 to be a lifelong member and get the newsletter. They are the people who campaign to get prayers out of schools etc.
  11. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    My definition of ''theism'' is ''a person who believes in God (not the existence of God), the ''without rejection of revelation (distinguished from deism) is an irrelevant addition (from my perspective as a theist).

    Here's what the person who introduced the term ''theist'' say's about it.

    The term theism derives from the Greek theos meaning "god". The term theism was first used by Ralph Cudworth (1617–88).[7] In Cudworth's definition, they are "strictly and properly called Theists, who affirm, that a perfectly conscious understanding being, or mind, existing of itself from eternity, was the cause of all other things".[8] Atheism is rejection of theism in the broadest sense of theism; i.e. the rejection of belief that there is even one deity.

    How can you say that I'm disagreeing with the dictionary definition, and using my own definition? I think you owe me an apology.

    Now, note the difference in this definition. Instead of just ''belief in'' it adds ''...the existence of..'. Now I know you don't have much of an idea of what God is, or what belief in God is, or even means, as you don't seem interested in scriptures or people who devote their lives to God.
    To you it's all nonsense, but to a theist, there is no need to believe in gods because gods (as I mentioned earlier) are aspect, agents, tools, etc, of God, whose roles are to manage universal affairs.
    Oh I know it's all nonsense to you, but this is what gods are.
    Peoples worship of gods are different to worship of God.
    They worship gods for protection, money, husbands, wives, you name it. All material things.
    The greek culture was perfectly aware of (the concept of) God, but they chose not to worship Him most probably for fear of reprisal from the gods. They couldn't understand why anyone would want to worship God.
    The Hindu culture/religion is perfectly aware of Brahman, Paramatma, and Vishnu (different stages of the Supreme Being), but still respect the demigods as part and parcel.

    Let's move to the next stage and see how defines God..

    1.the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
    2.the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.
    3.( lowercase ) one of several deities, especially a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.
    4.( often lowercase ) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.
    5.Christian Science. the Supreme Being, understood as Life, Truth, love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.

    Incidentally note that there is a difference between ''God'' and ''god'' as in category difference by way of upper-case and lower-case 'G', and as you did say this...

    In light of this persistence can I rely on you to always use the upper-case 'G' when talking about the monotheistic God (monotheism - the doctrine or belief that there is only one God.), and insist upon others to use the correct spelling?

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    I like the stealth prejudice. Oops!
    I wasn't supposed to see it was I?

    I don't have a problem with the word Fraggle, but I know you do.

    Here are a couple of quotes indicating different ideas (from atheists) on how ''atheism'' should be defined.

  12. Balerion Banned Banned

    Attempting to differentiate between believing in God and believing God exists is another false dichotomy. The addition of "without rejection of revelation" is relevant considering the position of deism.

    You realize that rejecting the belief that there is even one deity means rejecting the existence of even on deity, don't you? Of course you don't, but that's what it means. And you've just affirmed it, without even realizing.
  13. Dr. Nancy Malik Homeopathic Physician Registered Senior Member

    What homeopathy has got to do with your preference of marrying a non-believer? You are mixing the things.
  14. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    As in any discussion with Jan:

  15. Balerion Banned Banned

    Homeopathy is a bunch of unscientific nonsense, just like the rest of the items he listed.
  16. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    James R,

    What the 21st Century got to do with anything?

    What I'm saying is that believing God exist is not what make one a theist.

    Either that, or they think they believe but actually don't.

    The word is only being used in a different way by a specific mindset, namely yours. It actually means a person who is without belief in God. Break the word down for yourself. You're using it to now mean ''belief that God does not exist''. While that is a reason for atheism, it's not what it means. You simple are without belief in God, because you believe God does not exist. But if for you God does not exist, then the word is not applicable to you.

    Why would you believe that there are blue and yellow spotted elephants?
    A serious question, please answer.

    The FSM is a god that has been made up by sad people who really want God to go away and the fact that as you say, they see it on a par with God, shows they don't even show in the theism/atheism radar.

  17. Mazulu Banned Banned

    Intellectuals and atheists get all high and mighty with their attacks on believers and their faith. But absence of belief is not necessarily an advantage. Reality forces everyone to adapt to their environment. In our modern world, this usually means having a job, paying your bills, raising your family, meeting your responsibilities.

    Once you've adapted to your environment, you should believe in what makes you strong. Believe in those things that enrich your life. If religious traditions give you strength, power and meaning, then cast aside atheism and nihilism like yesterday's trash. There is a 50% chance that the anthropic excuse is wrong. There is a good chance that the ethereal nature of the wave-function is telling us that spirit is real.

    Don't give up your faith to a nihilist or an atheist because their assumptions about the data are faulty and biased.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member


    We're not talking about ''deism''. We're talking about ''theism''.
    Two different words with different meanings.
    Believing in God and believing God exists are two separate positions.
    Believing in your ability to pass a driving test is to believe in yourself, it does not mean that you believe that you exist. That, kimosabe, is a forgone conclusion.

    You realise he talking about ''belief'', and you do realise that I've said numerous times ''belief that God does not exist'' can be a reason for atheism, as opposed to ''God does not exist''. Plus he gave the definition of ''atheism'' in it's broadest term. Can you actually read, or do you use some kind of reading device.

    TESTING - TESTING 1 -2 -3..... TESTING - TESTING 1- 2- 3...!!!

  19. Mazulu Banned Banned

    jan, I tip my hat to you for being shrewd in the face of such villainy. Deism is a scam, a trick, devised by depraved atheists to trick believers into abandoning their faith. Since God doesn't walk across their swimming pool, villainous atheists point to that and say, "See! God doesn't exist."

    I don't know if Satan exists, I've never seen Satan; but I know that Balerion exists. The result is the same.
  20. Balerion Banned Banned

    Try to keep up, Jan. Words have meanings based on usage, and theism's definition is in reference to the usage of the word deism, or at least its principle. It is the belief in at least one god without rejection of revelation because deism contrasts it in that it does reject revelation.

    No they're not. It's the same thing.

    Terrible analogy. The existence of God is not a foregone conclusion, so the very basis for the analogy is broken. Therefore, believing in God means believing God exists. It doesn't mean believing in God's ability to do something; it makes no reference to that. "Believing in oneself" is an entirely different matter. I mean, I understand that English is your second language, and that you have trouble with subtle difference, and I admit it can be confusing, but these are not like concepts.

    I know what you said, it's just that what you said is wrong. Can you not comprehend that, Jan? Do we need to use larger lettering, perhaps? Or maybe we should hire you a tutor, given your infantile grasp on the language?
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    A futile endeavor.

    I see. There's a whole lot more material on the subject since the last time I looked it up.

    It's an instinct for birds to fly toward light. As I've noted elsewhere, Jung's work indicates that belief in the supernatural is an instinct for humans, so Jan is merely obeying his instinct.

    But with our singularly massive forebrains, we have a much greater ability to override instinctive behavior with reasoned and learned behavior. So we can expect at least a modest portion of the human population to overcome their superstitious instinct. In addition, as my own family demonstrates, there appears to be a mutation for loss of this instinct since it's no longer necessary for survival. (If it ever was; that's a pretty strange environment to imagine!)

    Birds (except the few nocturnal species) cannot safely ignore or lose their instinct. Many humans can, but perhaps Jan is not one of them.

    No. My point is that you're making zero headway so it would be sensible to put some effort into finding a different direction to come at him from.

    Because that's not the definition you always use.

    And you have yet to explain why the insertion of "existence" changes the definition. It is rhetoric, not substance.

    Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of being able to put all supernaturalists on IGNORE out in the carbon world. Every couple of generations they go on a rampage of war with their neighbors, or with people on the other side of the planet, or even with some of their own people who disagree about minutiae that the rest of us can't even understand. By starting the majority of this planet's wars, which occasionally put people I love and even me personally at risk (and in any case I love civilization and hate to see it torn down by people who prefer the simpler philosophy of the Stone Age when gods were accepted as real), they make themselves my enemies. One must always pay attention to one's enemies, no matter how revolting it might be to get inside their heads.

    I'll think about it. But I hate to give even the illusion of respect to militant supernaturalists--as opposed to the average American churchgoer who doesn't put much thought into that aspect of his church.

    You post on this thread. If I didn't want you to see it I wouldn't have written it. It's hardly "stealth."

    I can't speak for James but that did not seem like the best example. Instead, how about the people who believe that Elvis is not dead? I think that for at least some of them that is a genuine belief.
  22. arauca Banned Banned


    Do this Humanist any humanitarian aid to people in needs in the stricken world ?
  23. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Yes. We're trying to free them from the chains of religion. Religion always holds people back so they can't achieve their full potential--this is as true of a nation as of an individual.

    As a quick glance at the news will remind you, most of the conflicts in the world right now are religion-based.

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