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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:32 pm 
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From Minister To Atheist: A Story Of Losing Faith
http://www.npr.org/2012/04/30/151681248 ... sing-faith

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 11:24 am 
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^ That's a slightly uplifting story. The things McBain said during her speech to the atheist community were funny too. :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Sotiris wrote:
Thinking can undermine religious faith, study finds
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la- ... 4010.story

It is such analytic thinking that made me suicidally atheistic for a bit...and then more such analytic thinking made me believe in religion more firmly than ever.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
They're not just possibilities - they demonstrate that the things you uphold as evidence for God aren't really evidence. Like I said, the Bible's stories could have easily been made up, like the myths and legends of ancient civilisations. Moreover, the Bible and other things you consider evidence of God's existence, such as the feelings of it being 'right' and a yearning for it, aren't really forms of evidence at all, but forms of faith. In fact, faith is believing in something despite a lack of evidence. What can be considered reliable evidence is not up for people to choose; something is reliable or it isn't. A scientist who conducts a scientific experiment with uncalibrated equipment and who doesn't keep the variables of the experiment the same cannot say that his results are reliable; likewise, a scientist whose results lack anomalies and who had a single independent variable can't be accused of having unreliable results without reason.

Evidence most certainly cannot be something which can be attributed to many other, much more probable things. For example, if somebody tried to prove a murder took place with blurry security camera footage that could be regarded as showing banter, hugging or nothing remotely resembling murder is not reliable evidence. Similarly, saying that the Bible and/or existence are evidence for God is incorrect, because they can be attributed to many other causes.

I'm quoting all of that, just to give a rather short resoponse. Evidence is evidence. It's not proof. Evidence is just something that might indicate something. That's pretty much what it is. You're using very specific scientific terms, but actually, in courts, no one does anything like that, no one talks about variables or anything when discussing a knife with fingerprints on it. What I talked about still stands.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
My intention to rid delusions from people's minds may be seen as an evil intention by you, but I personally see it as a good intention.Furthermore, the concepts associated with God are frightening and do not make somebody enjoy life, such as fear of eternal damnation, Satan and Hell.

Ethics can, and should, and even in a way have to, just to allow people to be civil and survive, be based on not harming anyone or others. What you're doing is trying to rid the world of people's beliefs in something you can't prove is real or not, right or wrong, and take away people's happiness, which is indeed harmful and unethical and I'd say evil.

People don't have to believe that part. What you're doing is you're purposely choosing when to only discuss some parts of religion and when to include it all together. I'm saying parts of religion make people happy.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
Religion does not make somebody appreciate life, because if somebody is religious they will probably have belief in eternal life through the soul!

Actually, atheism makes me depreciate life. In high school, when I was severely doubting religious ideas, as I always thought about religion a lot, I told my one teacher who also discussed her own doubts with me that I felt like I was just gonna die and there'd be nothing and it made me not care about life or something like that, and she said wouldn't make you appreciate life more since it ends? The reason it doesn't, for me, is because that thought does not overcome the pointlessness of it all I see from atheism. If everything just dies and ends and turns to nothing, then it really means nothing. Parts of religion, and the idea of things lasting forever, that my actions on earth will effect and everlasting life for me later, are what make me truly appreciate, and love, life.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
How can it not be the religion itself, when the Bible and many other filthy, disgusting Holy Books command believers to convert others, to stone those who work on the Sabbath, to oppress women and execute homosexuals?! Yes, in general most believers in the Western world no longer follow these instructions, but all past horrors and problems I've mentioned when criticising belief were caused by religion, not just the believers in question. Who can blame believers for taking the Bible seriously when they're brainwashed into thinking that it is the word of God?! Yes, religion has also inspired great art and music, but they do not make the millions of lives destroyed by the concept of God acceptable.

Easy. Not all people have to believe that the Bible is actually telling them to do that. And the Bible doesn't necessarily command you to do the things you say it does, either. Jesus stopped people from casting stones at a woman like the Bible said to do. And anyway, once again, people don't have to follow or believe everything the Bible says in general. It is people that are the true blame.

Disney Duster wrote:
On the contrary, to be able to consider God along with also considering all the things you already mentioned is a truly complex and expanded mind. And in comparison like you say science expands the mind to know there is more than what we see physically in front of us, so do beliefs in things other than the physical and material, beliefs in the spiritual and simply more than what science can prove and its "rules". It's belief in more. Anything that's more is expanding the mind.


Dr Frankenollie wrote:
To believe that one supernatural magician who somehow has always existed decided to design and make a gigantic universe on a whim does not show you have a complex and expanded mind, but a simple and gullible one. Believing in God, the Devil, angels, ghosts and other assorted boogeyman does not demonstrate RATIONAL open-mindedness, but superstition.

Wow are you being really cynical and also determined to have your way. But I can't argue anymore about how right it is to consider God along with science and everything else is a very expanded mind.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
You want and hope for everyone to follow your mythological sky-god; you may think that everyone should be allowed to make their own decisions on what to believe, but you would prefer it if everyone agreed with you.

Yes I'm not going to lie, that I hope for people to believe what I think is true and right as well as is good and happy for them.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
I shall be honest - I don't think that people should necessarily think what they want about anything. But...'should' is such a stupid word, isn't it? Neither side is truly more just or ethical than the other, because justice and ethics also happen to be belief systems. Also, your ideal world would be one of lawlessness and anarchy. If anyone is allowed to have their own ideas about right and wrong, then why should psychopaths be put in asylums? Shouldn't they, in your view, have the right to think they should murder people and do so?

You're taking what I said to strict absolutes, like you do with the Bible too actually, when maybe you shouldn't. I only mean that people should believe what they want to a degree, like as long as it doesn't harm others or themselves, or as long as it isn't from an (actual, scientific) disease or disorder. That sounds pretty concise I think.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
I can't choose my beliefs. They come freely of my own decision. I could claim that I believe in God, but deep down I would know that I didn't.

You just said you can decide. I'm always going to think that you can decide. If you really can't, then I am sorry for thinking you do, but there's no way you can prove you can't and as far as I know from human experience, anyone can, I think you're just very tight on your own desire and way of thinking.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
But you cannot figure out on your own what 'God' is telling you, right? What would make you so special? Why would you succeed in solving the mysteries of the universe and others wouldn't? How can you rely on your own heart and brain? The only thing that a Christian can rely upon to help them understand God is his alleged word, through the Bible, which you have demonstrated you cherry-pick from, rather than following it properly like 'Jesus' would want you to.

First of all, everyone has the same abilities in themselves to figure out what God is telling them, I' not special in that regard. If I do figure out something that I need to tell other people to help them figure such things out, so be it, because in turn other people could do the same for me too. And one wonders if people just really try hard enough while others don't. And as for what Jesus would want me to do, he actually said some of the old rules from the past books were not needed anymore. He kind of re-wrote how people thought about religion and God, so perhaps even he knew past books had things in them that weren't the true word of God. He did stop people from stoning a woman as the Bible said to, remember. It doesn't matter, since you're being very strict and unfair in continuing to say I'm cherry-picking and have to believe it all when I'm not and I don't. That's just what you think and partly what you negatively want to say to agitate me. You want it to be all or nothing probably in part of the kind of the specific strict way you think as well as trying to get it to sound bad as possible for your attacks against it.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
If the 'changes' are part of the plan, they're not really changes, are they? And if God has planned for you to pray and you do, it's not really out of free will; God influenced it to happen and intended on indirectly making you do so. It's intefering with a person's choice.

They are changes and also not. People have free wills but God allowed them to have such free wills and knows what people will do. When people say God has a plan I think it means nothing happens that God doesn't allow, but if I must believe that God both planned my actions and I somehow have a free will, sure that sounds illogical - to human logic, but I can believe it. My mind actually deals with and has no problem with it, somehow it makes sense though I don't have an understanding of it's inner workings. You are very, very, very tightly grasping to logic all the time, and so that is why someone with you probably has such a problem with it. I certainly see the logic problem, but think further and expanded/just differently to believe how such things are possible which, I'm guessing, you will continue to refuse to do.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
After reading this several times, I finally, kind-of saw what you were getting at. So - just because we don't know how something can come from nothing does not make God any more probable. (Where did God come from then?) It isn't a solution at all.

Not knowing how things could so miraculously exist does indeed make God more probable than if we did know where everything came from and if we knew it wasn't God. And expanding our minds to think of how something beyond the physical powers and limitations of the material universe does offer a solution in that then our mind is expanded to also consider that if God is so more powerful than and un-like the physical things we see and there rules of having to come from something, then God himself didn't have to come from somewhere. He could have always been or created himself or et cetera et cetera (once again not following rules of human logic because human logic cannot apply to an omnipotent being that is beyond physical matter).

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
No, I don't think there's anything else. Evolved brain, genes, external influences. Those are the factors that make me who I am. My 'will' is caused by those things; if you want to class that as a 'soul', then do so. I thought souls continued to exist beyond the grave, and my 'will' won't.

I find that really sad for you to think of yourself. I mean...what about identity? Anyway, yes, your will will exist beyond the grave.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 4:04 pm 
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Disney Duster wrote:
Evidence is evidence. It's not proof. Evidence is just something that might indicate something. That's pretty much what it is. You're using very specific scientific terms, but actually, in courts, no one does anything like that, no one talks about variables or anything when discussing a knife with fingerprints on it. What I talked about still stands.

Evidence is evidence, of course. Unfortunately, what you're claiming to be evidence in your arguments is not evidence. Let me provide an example to you. By you're definition, evidence is something that may indicate something. Therefore, would you also say that all of what atheism describes is evidence that there is no God, because it provides reasons (aka "evidence") that God doesn't exist? It might indicate that there is no God just as much as Christianity might indicate there is a God.. It's not evidence at all. Evidence proves something. Evidence isn't something that might prove something..

Disney Duster wrote:
People don't have to believe that part. What you're doing is you're purposely choosing when to only discuss some parts of religion and when to include it all together. I'm saying parts of religion make people happy.

Parts of religion make people suffer too.. Conversely, parts of atheism makes people happy and uncomfortable as well.. So what? It depends on the person. What are you trying to conclude when you say that religion makes SOME people happy? Just as many people are completely offended and made unhappy by religion...

Disney Duster wrote:
Actually, atheism makes me depreciate life. In high school, when I was severely doubting religious ideas, as I always thought about religion a lot, I told my one teacher who also discussed her own doubts with me that I felt like I was just gonna die and there'd be nothing and it made me not care about life or something like that, and she said wouldn't make you appreciate life more since it ends? The reason it doesn't, for me, is because that thought does not overcome the pointlessness of it all I see from atheism. If everything just dies and ends and turns to nothing, then it really means nothing. Parts of religion, and the idea of things lasting forever, that my actions on earth will effect and everlasting life for me later, are what make me truly appreciate, and love, life.

For once, I understand what you are saying. I think its wonderful that religion makes you believe there is a purpose in life. If that's what you want to believe because it gives you self-satisfaction in life, cool.

For me personally, I just can't believe that. I'd rather believe life is pointless because that's what I honestly believe, instead of putting faith in a false hope simply for self-gratification and to make myself feel better about myself. Nothing means anything in this world. People go crazy, and even kill people about pointless things like religion and money and societal powers. None of that matters.

Disney Duster wrote:
Yes I'm not going to lie, that I hope for people to believe what I think is true and right as well as is good and happy for them.

The way you despise how Frankenollie doesn't want people to believe in Christianity... it goes the same for you, in that you want people to believe what YOU believe is true. I mean, what's the point? Why do you care what Frankenollie believes? The same goes for you, Frankenollie, why do you care? Believe what you personally want and leave it at that. Don't try to force your own ideals on anyone.

The whole reason I'm even involved in this conversation is to try to make people see both sides of the spectrum (mainly Duster since he's the one that's most defiant in his view, but I disagree with plenty of stuff Frankenollie has been saying and is trying to do as well..). I've said it before and I'll say it again. I honestly don't care what the hell any of you believe. Part of me does this out of personal entertainment (especially to see Duster's reactions and explanations lol), the other part of me tries to squeeze a little bit of open-mindedness out of people. But I could care less...

I'm done. I got too bored to read or respond to anything else you said.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:04 am 
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Heartless wrote:
Evidence is evidence, of course. Unfortunately, what you're claiming to be evidence in your arguments is not evidence. Let me provide an example to you. By you're definition, evidence is something that may indicate something. Therefore, would you also say that all of what atheism describes is evidence that there is no God, because it provides reasons (aka "evidence") that God doesn't exist? It might indicate that there is no God just as much as Christianity might indicate there is a God.. It's not evidence at all. Evidence proves something. Evidence isn't something that might prove something..

Well actually in a court, things like fingerprints on knives is still only that something might have happened, it doesn't prove it, so no, evidence does not always prove things.

Then, what evidence is there God doesn't exist?

And religion doesn't just make some people happy and some people not. The things in religion that make people happy can make anyone happy, just like some of the nice things about atheism can make people feel happy like...ummm...total freedom and not feeling like believing in something that might not be there. That's the only benefits I can think of, while religion offers making us feel we're more special, will have life after death, can become eternally happy, someone is watching over us, the list goes on. It's stuff that would make everyone happy, people just choose not to believe it and thus not feel happy from those things.

To wrap up everything else Heartless, you talked pretty high and mighty about getting us to be more open minded, but you're hypocritical in trying to get us to believe what you're saying as we try to get others to believe what we're saying.

Dr. Frankenollie, would you like to say anything more? If not, I wanted to say some closing words.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:49 am 
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I'm going to throw my two-cents in here, not really responding to anyone in particular.

I am an atheist. Have been since I was 14. Raised in southern Arkansas, very evangelical communities, grew up southern Baptist. Religion was a constant presence in my childhood and adolescence, and by the time I reached 14, I was sick of the hypocrisy. That was also around the time I realized, hey, I'm gay, and these people are the ones who make life so difficult for people like me! This was around the time of bush's, (I refuse to capitalize the man's name) re-election in 2004, where he put amendments on state constitutions in states like Arkansas banning gay marriage in an attempt to drive out the fundamentalist Christians to the polls. (It worked, by the way. He was re-elected.)

Seeing all this hypocrisy made me hate the religious. But reading their holy book made me reject their faith all together. I can actually prove to the Bible is, at the very least, leaving out a lot of details. Meaning it is NOT, as many evangelicals believe, the complete and true word of God. I can prove this to you in the first book of the Bible, Genesis. Chapter 4. I want you all to go grab a King James Bible and follow along if you don't believe me, okay? Genesis 4. This chapter deals with Adam and Eve 'knowing' one another and giving birth to Cain and Abel. We all know the story. Skip from verse 1 to verse 16. And REMEMBER, at this point in the story, ADAM AND EVE and CAIN and ABEL are supposed to be the ONLY human beings to EVER exist, right? This is 'gospel truth.' Now, read verse 16.

"And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the East of Eden.

And now the kicker! Verse 17, Genesis Chapter 4:

"AND CAIN KNEW HIS WIFE--" !? WAIT! WHAT!? Who the FUCK is SHE!? WHERE DID SHE COME FROM!?

-That alone tells you we ain't gettin' the full story here, folks.

That alone should instill a little doubt about the lies the church is selling us.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:01 am 
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Disney Duster wrote:
Then, what evidence is there God doesn't exist?


No more than there is that God does exist.

Which is to say, none on both counts, lol. But the burden of proof is usually on the one making the claim that something which has never been observed does, indeed, exist. I've never been inclined to ask for it, though. To me, it's not important. I'll believe what I believe based on my own observations and the peer-reviewed scientific progress we're constantly making towards understanding how the Universe came into being, with no God required. Others will have different interpretations... some can see God in a snowflake, or in the elegance of nature at both macro- and microscopic levels.

Neither you, nor any other religious person, should really feel it necessary to try and prove God exists to Atheists; or that your particular God is the "correct" one to people of other faiths. For one thing, those conversions rarely end any other way than both sides merely talking past each other. There's little to no common ground, and nobody is ever inclined to be the first one to compromise their own beliefs (and why should they be?).

It's also contrary to the purpose of religion, at least as I've always understood religion. It's at least partially about faith, isn't it? You're supposed to believe during your life on Earth, not know.

And in any case, as I said above, whether or not God exists isn't particularly important to me insofar as people's religious beliefs go. It's what people do with those belief that's important, and if it inspires them to try and make the world a better place, I say more power to them. If, on the other hand, they corrupt said belief in order to justify bigotry and violence, and placing themselves above others, then I'm inclined to question how they can justify those actions, carried out in the name of a God that's supposed to be beneficent.

Disney Duster wrote:
And religion doesn't just make some people happy and some people not. The things in religion that make people happy can make anyone happy, just like some of the nice things about atheism can make people feel happy like...ummm...total freedom and not feeling like believing in something that might not be there. That's the only benefits I can think of, while religion offers making us feel we're more special, will have life after death, can become eternally happy, someone is watching over us, the list goes on. It's stuff that would make everyone happy, people just choose not to believe it and thus not feel happy from those things.


That isn't really what Atheism is about. It's not a system of belief, there's no particular organization to it (not innately, anyway), and its purpose isn't to make anyone happy (or unhappy; it's simply netural). At its core, it's simply a rational decision not to believe in something for which there is no evidence, and for some the desire to decide what's right and wrong based on what's best for people, using on the best judgement we have today, rather than using often-outdated morality espoused by people who turned to dust ages ago.

Being happy (or not) is totally on me. I find reasons in my own life to be happy, and I think you'll find the same is true of many people who are disposed towards Atheism. But that doesn't work for everyone, and some people find it easier to reach happiness if they have the promise of eternal life to look forward to, or the idea that they're never alone, or the certainty that humanity has a divinely-appointed place above that of any other life that may exist in the Universe. Those are all aspects of most human religions which have always served as very strong attractions for many people, and without them, I can imagine the world might seem very a very empty and unfriendly place.

None of those things would serve to make me happy, personally. I actually think of sapient life as much more unique when it occurs by random chance rather than divine intervention, but I don't believe humanity is any more (or less) special than any other intelligent life that could be out there in the many billions of galaxies in our Universe. We're all here to just do the best we can with the time we have, and try to leave things a little nicer on our way out for those who come after. The notion of having an immortal soul sounds to me more like living for a theoretical tomorrow rather than enjoying the certainty of today. And there's never any need to be alone, even if you don't believe in God.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:26 pm 
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@Duster: You don't get to say your closing words just yet, old friend. I'm not finished.

Disney Duster wrote:
I'm quoting all of that, just to give a rather short resoponse. Evidence is evidence. It's not proof. Evidence is just something that might indicate something. That's pretty much what it is. You're using very specific scientific terms, but actually, in courts, no one does anything like that, no one talks about variables or anything when discussing a knife with fingerprints on it. What I talked about still stands.


Why do you even bring up evidence at all, when your religion is built on faith (belief without evidence)? Speaking of which, why does your God rate faith in him above all other things? Selflessness, kindness, courage, etcetera should definitely be considered more important than believing without evidence.

Disney Duster wrote:
Ethics can, and should, and even in a way have to, just to allow people to be civil and survive, be based on not harming anyone or others. What you're doing is trying to rid the world of people's beliefs in something you can't prove is real or not, right or wrong, and take away people's happiness, which is indeed harmful and unethical and I'd say evil.

People don't have to believe that part. What you're doing is you're purposely choosing when to only discuss some parts of religion and when to include it all together. I'm saying parts of religion make people happy.


I think a world without religion would lead to a greater decrease in pain and suffering than a decrease in happiness. Think about all the extremist religious groups, the oppressive discrimiantory groups, the paedophilia inherent in the Catholic Church, the archaic and often disgusting laws in Holy Books that are still followed by some literalists to this day. Think about the brainwashing and raping of children, both mentally and physically. Consider all the wars religion has caused, the homophobia, sexism, racism, slowdown of scientific progress, child marriages, child sacrifices...religion has had some benefits when it comes to art & music, and does give people something to live for, but is it worth living a lie? I can't prove that God doesn't exist, you can't prove he does, so we must turn to the scales of probability.

To use an old atheistic example, imagine a flying teapot out in space, floating around the other side of a nearby planet, somewhere which our telescopes can't see and our planets can't reach. Nobody can prove it's there, nobody can prove it's not there, just like with God. But would you believe in it regardless? Of course not. As TM2-Megatron says, the burden of proof lies on the claimant, not on the doubter.

Disney Duster wrote:
Actually, atheism makes me depreciate life. In high school, when I was severely doubting religious ideas, as I always thought about religion a lot, I told my one teacher who also discussed her own doubts with me that I felt like I was just gonna die and there'd be nothing and it made me not care about life or something like that, and she said wouldn't make you appreciate life more since it ends? The reason it doesn't, for me, is because that thought does not overcome the pointlessness of it all I see from atheism. If everything just dies and ends and turns to nothing, then it really means nothing. Parts of religion, and the idea of things lasting forever, that my actions on earth will effect and everlasting life for me later, are what make me truly appreciate, and love, life.


Don't you see Duster? Not all lives in the history of the world share the same meaning, or point. Everyone has a different meaning in their own life. Life begins as a blank slate for which to write upon. Just because it isn't eternal doesn't mean you can't give meaning to your life. Just because everything dies doesn't render it meaningless. Surely eternal life makes deaths meaningless, particularly sacrifices, because it's not the end.

With your last point, I understand now one of the main reasons you like religion: it's an ego boost. You want your actions on Earth to have some importance. In comparison to the rest of the universe, and even to the rest of the world, we're completely unimportant. We're fleeting blips in history, unimportant little people living unimportant little lives, lives that are so fleeting. But whether something is important or unimportant is all to do with relativity: in comparison to the whole world, both me and you are unimportant. But to our families and friends, we are important. You don't need to believe in God to feel special or important, you can just turn to the people who love you, and care for you, the people who believe you are worth something. Yes, we tiny people on this tiny blue planet are completely insignificant and irrelevant compared to the wide expanse of the rest of reality, but compared to the people who care for us, we are extremely significant and special. Learn to love life because people care for you, instead of trying to convince yourself that life will last forever. An eternal life is not necessarily a good one. I don't understand why people want to strive to live long lives; instead, they should strive to live happy ones. What matters most in life is not the amount of years you manage to squeeze into it, but how much happiness you get from those years.

Disney Duster wrote:
Easy. Not all people have to believe that the Bible is actually telling them to do that. And the Bible doesn't necessarily command you to do the things you say it does, either. Jesus stopped people from casting stones at a woman like the Bible said to do. And anyway, once again, people don't have to follow or believe everything the Bible says in general. It is people that are the true blame.


If God deliberately left the Bible up to interpretation, then he has done humanity a great disservice. It would be much simpler for him to spell out what's right and wrong clearly instead of giving mixed messages; but then of course, he wasn't the one giving messages. We were. Of course people don't have to follow or believe everything the Bible says in general, but if they did, can you hold them against it? They may just be trying to do the right thing and trying to save people from damnation. It is the Bible that's to blame.

Disney Duster wrote:
On the contrary, to be able to consider God along with also considering all the things you already mentioned is a truly complex and expanded mind. And in comparison like you say science expands the mind to know there is more than what we see physically in front of us, so do beliefs in things other than the physical and material, beliefs in the spiritual and simply more than what science can prove and its "rules". It's belief in more. Anything that's more is expanding the mind.


:lol: It's been shown through studies that the lower your intelligence, the more religious you're likely to be. The majority of scientists are atheist or agnostic. And I would like to say that I don't just automatically accept everything I see physically - I am a solipsist, through and through. The only thing I can trust is my own mind.

Disney Duster wrote:
Wow are you being really cynical and also determined to have your way. But I can't argue anymore about how right it is to consider God along with science and everything else is a very expanded mind.


Determined to have my way? Is that your comeback? For Christ's sake (oops, sorry!), of course I am arguing for my own viewpoint, as are you, and as would anyone in any argument ever. "Wow you're being so cynical, I can't argue with you anymore!" Struggling to retort there, Duster?

Disney Duster wrote:
You're taking what I said to strict absolutes, like you do with the Bible too actually, when maybe you shouldn't. I only mean that people should believe what they want to a degree, like as long as it doesn't harm others or themselves, or as long as it isn't from an (actual, scientific) disease or disorder. That sounds pretty concise I think.


But who's to judge what that degree is? If you only want people to have ethical freedom to a certain degree or extent, then it's not true freedom.

Disney Duster wrote:
Dr Frankenollie wrote:
I can't choose my beliefs. They come freely of my own decision. I could claim that I believe in God, but deep down I would know that I didn't.

You just said you can decide. I'm always going to think that you can decide. If you really can't, then I am sorry for thinking you do, but there's no way you can prove you can't and as far as I know from human experience, anyone can, I think you're just very tight on your own desire and way of thinking.


I didn't say that I could decide, I said that I could CLAIM I could believe in God, but deep down I wouldn't. You really can't choose your beliefs. That's not what beliefs are. That doesn't make sense. You can't wake up one day and say "I've decided to believe in God now!" You believe in something like God because you think you see a miracle, or are indoctrinated by your family, or have some kind of numinous experience.

Disney Duster wrote:
First of all, everyone has the same abilities in themselves to figure out what God is telling them, I' not special in that regard. If I do figure out something that I need to tell other people to help them figure such things out, so be it, because in turn other people could do the same for me too. And one wonders if people just really try hard enough while others don't. And as for what Jesus would want me to do, he actually said some of the old rules from the past books were not needed anymore. He kind of re-wrote how people thought about religion and God, so perhaps even he knew past books had things in them that weren't the true word of God. He did stop people from stoning a woman as the Bible said to, remember. It doesn't matter, since you're being very strict and unfair in continuing to say I'm cherry-picking and have to believe it all when I'm not and I don't. That's just what you think and partly what you negatively want to say to agitate me. You want it to be all or nothing probably in part of the kind of the specific strict way you think as well as trying to get it to sound bad as possible for your attacks against it.


It's a dizzying experience to try and argue with you Duster. I feel like we're going round and round and round and round and round in circles. I'm not saying you're cherry-picking to be mean or try and show religion in a bad light, and I'm not saying it's 'all or nothing' when it comes to the Bible. I'm just pointing out that you pick and choose different parts of the Bible to believe and ignore others not based on any extra knowledge of what God would want, but what you want. You ignore the homophobia in the Old Testament because you're homosexual, but isn't it possible that God does hate homosexuals? You only act like you think he doesn't because it wouldn't suit you personally. And as I've said, the only thing you can trust when it comes to trying to think about what God wants you to do or not is the Bible itself, allegedly written by people who knew Jesus. Why do you think that your personal beliefs (which are just the manifestations of subconscious hopes & fears) about what God is like and what he wants are more trustworthy than the Bible? Because parts of the Bible don't bode well with you, but you are determined to try and believe in the other, nicer parts anyway.

Disney Duster wrote:
They are changes and also not.






...






I think I've now realised that there's absolutely no hope for you Duster. Good luck with your doublethink. O'Brien would be proud.

Okay, now I'm finished. Maybe.

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ProfessorRatigan wrote:
[...] This was around the time of bush's, (I refuse to capitalize the man's name) re-election in 2004, [...] (It worked, by the way. He was re-elected.)

Elected. Not 're-elected'. He was not elected in 2000. Al Gore was. And though he was didn't even come close to being the raging liberal I wish he was, the world would've been infinitly better off had the Supreme Court not staged that coup and appointed Bush pResident.


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^Ah, yes. How silly of me. :oops: Seriously, don't want to give that bastard anything in terms of legitimacy.


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Wasnt it the same with his re-election though?

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ajmrowland wrote:
Wasnt it the same with his re-election though?

There was rumor about election fraud in Ohio with regard to the Diebold electronic voting machines, but it was never substantiated.


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These weren't meant to be my last words, but...

Oh hey TM2-Megatron. A long time ago when you told me robots could be the same as humans and humans had no souls, I thought long and hard on how that could be, and my life felt horrible and empty and I became suicical. It wasn't you, it was my own thinking on what you said. My life has never been the same, for the worse, after the atheistic conversation I had with you. I still haven't recovered fully. All I have going for me is believing in good things, like love and life and humanity being special and souls and God, as much as I can.

I do wish to try and prove God exists to further convert and save people, make them happy, and bring more love to God. So, I try as much as I can. But maybe I shouldn't have, because as you said, it is based on faith.

It's just that it's not all faith, there are other things I can use. For the people that are more skeptical, I don't see what's wrong with me using everything I can for even the most doubtful people to believe in something good for them.

So I'll point out things like how the Bible or even life itself is evidence, use logic like...people wouldn't write about a God telling everyone about a new religion, and help people out of Egypt, or the fact that no matter how much science can uncover the long process it took to get matter the way it looks like, something much more powerful than the laws and rules of science must have made the miracle of life and matter existing in the first place. If you don't consider any of that evidence, fine, but I call it that, and we'll just get into an argument if we don't agree.

Also, when it comes to believing, I do feel the level of belief I'm on has me able to say "I know" God exists. And if someday I am ever proven wrong, well oh well, as of now, I just have such a strong belief that I feel I know, so I feel it's fine to say I know God exists in that kind of way.

I don't know how you think life is so special when you also believe it will die and so will the remembering of it, except by the people who will be left after you, who will then die, and still, no one can remember all the great memories you had except you, but you die and those memories die with you. One more thing about belief in an eternal life is at least that way something will always be remembering and aware of all the great things of one's life in the first place. Always. So it will matter because it matters forever. If a life dies, mattering dies with it. And though you may think humans aren't more special than any other life, though I remember you believe there could be something out there that also does this, humans are the only known life to even think about life, or what matters, or what's special, or if there's an afterlife or anything like that.

I find it weird you want to do this Frankenollie since I had to bring this up again for you to say anything more, but here we go again, old friend!

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
Why do you even bring up evidence at all, when your religion is built on faith (belief without evidence)? Speaking of which, why does your God rate faith in him above all other things? Selflessness, kindness, courage, etcetera should definitely be considered more important than believing without evidence.

Well, there has to be some order it all goes in, doesn't there. God, who is kind and loving (though I already know, not enough for you in your opinion) is above all things, and you've got to believe in him first before you obey his instructions on how to be kind and loving, so it makes sense that would come first above all things. Can you be kind and loving aside from God? Yes. But for earning eternal life in his kingdom, believing is the first step, so it comes first.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
I think a world without religion would lead to a greater decrease in pain and suffering than a decrease in happiness. Think about all the extremist religious groups, the oppressive discrimiantory groups, the paedophilia inherent in the Catholic Church, the archaic and often disgusting laws in Holy Books that are still followed by some literalists to this day. Think about the brainwashing and raping of children, both mentally and physically. Consider all the wars religion has caused, the homophobia, sexism, racism, slowdown of scientific progress, child marriages, child sacrifices...religion has had some benefits when it comes to art & music, and does give people something to live for, but is it worth living a lie? I can't prove that God doesn't exist, you can't prove he does, so we must turn to the scales of probability.

To use an old atheistic example, imagine a flying teapot out in space, floating around the other side of a nearby planet, somewhere which our telescopes can't see and our planets can't reach. Nobody can prove it's there, nobody can prove it's not there, just like with God. But would you believe in it regardless? Of course not. As TM2-Megatron says, the burden of proof lies on the claimant, not on the doubter.

Whether I even think you're right or wrong on any of this doesn't matter. Religion gives people a happiness that no other thing can give the same kind of. There's no experiment to find out if the world really would be better without religion or if the missing happiness and missing set of instructions and motivation for being kind and helpful would make it worse. All I'm saying is religion does give something invaluable to the world. All the other aspects of it that you think are horrible, you could just remove those and leave the good parts, but you don't want to because you have a negative agenda to get rid of all of it even if it makes people very happy, and that's pretty bad.

As for your teapot idea, it just doesn't matter. I don't know if I'd believe in it, and it's not God, the teapot didn't give me some book about it, so I just can't do anything with that little hypothetical.

Dr. Frankenollie wrote:
Don't you see Duster? Not all lives in the history of the world share the same meaning, or point. Everyone has a different meaning in their own life. Life begins as a blank slate for which to write upon. Just because it isn't eternal doesn't mean you can't give meaning to your life. Just because everything dies doesn't render it meaningless. Surely eternal life makes deaths meaningless, particularly sacrifices, because it's not the end.

For that last part, I can explain to you that simply not being able to be with someone who has died does still make death meaningful ibn the immense sadness from that alone, and also, sacrificing oneself is still meaningful because you are still not sure where you will end up, and a life on Earth, with people you love does have joys that a non-physical Heaven won't have until you later, when you are reuinited with the people you love and when the new Earth is made as the Book of Revelations talks about.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
With your last point, I understand now one of the main reasons you like religion: it's an ego boost. You want your actions on Earth to have some importance. In comparison to the rest of the universe, and even to the rest of the world, we're completely unimportant. We're fleeting blips in history, unimportant little people living unimportant little lives, lives that are so fleeting. But whether something is important or unimportant is all to do with relativity: in comparison to the whole world, both me and you are unimportant. But to our families and friends, we are important. You don't need to believe in God to feel special or important, you can just turn to the people who love you, and care for you, the people who believe you are worth something. Yes, we tiny people on this tiny blue planet are completely insignificant and irrelevant compared to the wide expanse of the rest of reality, but compared to the people who care for us, we are extremely significant and special. Learn to love life because people care for you, instead of trying to convince yourself that life will last forever. An eternal life is not necessarily a good one. I don't understand why people want to strive to live long lives; instead, they should strive to live happy ones. What matters most in life is not the amount of years you manage to squeeze into it, but how much happiness you get from those years.

Only you here would be so negative and cynical as to think of it as an ego boost. TM2-Megatron didn't even do that. Do you just naturally think this way? What happened to you? Anyway, it's not just an ego boost. A boost in spirit and happiness, and perhaps even self-esteem, perhaps. And no, I don't have to believe we're such unimportant little things. It's not "true", it's just one subjective way of thinking you can choose, and you always choose the negative ones for some reason. I don't want to live forever just to live forever, because you're right, being happy is what matters. But religion promises eternal happy life, and that is happiness that truly matters beccause it doesn't die, with mattering dying with it.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
If God deliberately left the Bible up to interpretation, then he has done humanity a great disservice. It would be much simpler for him to spell out what's right and wrong clearly instead of giving mixed messages; but then of course, he wasn't the one giving messages. We were. Of course people don't have to follow or believe everything the Bible says in general, but if they did, can you hold them against it? They may just be trying to do the right thing and trying to save people from damnation. It is the Bible that's to blame.

Oh come now, you are quite aware that people who've doen so many bad things using the Bible have used the Bible for their own gain to do bad things. There have been some well-meaning people, but you can do it with science too, back when people thought homosexuality was a disease, in the name of science they could have cured people from being gay and probably done something more horrible to them than death or physical torture. It's the people, not the writing. People with good hearts can see the good the Bible really means. God didn't leave it all to interpretation, he gave us hearts, and yes, brains too, with which to interpret it. There are the some with good hearts who do seem to believe the interpretations of the Bible which make them miserable...for some time, but usually they eventually realize, somehow, they don't have to believe that, and then they become happy.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
:lol: It's been shown through studies that the lower your intelligence, the more religious you're likely to be. The majority of scientists are atheist or agnostic. And I would like to say that I don't just automatically accept everything I see physically - I am a solipsist, through and through. The only thing I can trust is my own mind.

And here you laugh at me. I have laughed before at what some people said too, but only when they said bad things about me. Here I tried to say something good, or neutral, not about you, but about my religion, and you laugh mockingly in my face, like some villain. Once again Mr. Negative, what happened to you? Anyway, duh, of course certain aspects that certain people qualify as intelligence have lowered people's faith at times. It doesn't matter. Beliving in both God and science still gives expanded mind that thinks of all possibilities, and no laughing or bringing up studies can change that truth.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
Determined to have my way? Is that your comeback? For Christ's sake (oops, sorry!), of course I am arguing for my own viewpoint, as are you, and as would anyone in any argument ever. "Wow you're being so cynical, I can't argue with you anymore!" Struggling to retort there, Duster?

Now you're just being awful. What the heck has happened to you to make you like this.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
Disney Duster wrote:
You're taking what I said to strict absolutes, like you do with the Bible too actually, when maybe you shouldn't. I only mean that people should believe what they want to a degree, like as long as it doesn't harm others or themselves, or as long as it isn't from an (actual, scientific) disease or disorder. That sounds pretty concise I think.

But who's to judge what that degree is? If you only want people to have ethical freedom to a certain degree or extent, then it's not true freedom.

I actually stated in there what the degree is! The degree is as long as it doesn't harm you or others or isn't from a disease or disorder. In fact, I'll even add to that, that it should also be as long as it's not because people forced it on you. Since some people do force religions on people, yea, that's bad, but whenever people believe it without force, it's good. And if that's still not good enough for everyone and the degree must vary sometimes, oh well, nothing in life is absolute, we learn all the time, science and laws and ammendments to the Constitution change all the time.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
I didn't say that I could decide, I said that I could CLAIM I could believe in God, but deep down I wouldn't. You really can't choose your beliefs. That's not what beliefs are. That doesn't make sense. You can't wake up one day and say "I've decided to believe in God now!" You believe in something like God because you think you see a miracle, or are indoctrinated by your family, or have some kind of numinous experience.

You can also believe in God because you reason it or it makes sense to you or because you want to or you just feel you should, as is all the case for me. And the point I was making was just that it takes effort to believe in God, it's not going to just suddenly happen to you, but you don't want to make the effort. I severely doubt that it is an impossibility for you to believe in God. It's not something like how it's impossible for you to sprout wings and fly. If you didn't keep trying to come up with reasons not to believe in God, I would be more inclined to believe you really can't believe in him, but as it is, it sounds like you're choosing not to believe in him.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
It's a dizzying experience to try and argue with you Duster. I feel like we're going round and round and round and round and round in circles. I'm not saying you're cherry-picking to be mean or try and show religion in a bad light, and I'm not saying it's 'all or nothing' when it comes to the Bible. I'm just pointing out that you pick and choose different parts of the Bible to believe and ignore others not based on any extra knowledge of what God would want, but what you want. You ignore the homophobia in the Old Testament because you're homosexual, but isn't it possible that God does hate homosexuals? You only act like you think he doesn't because it wouldn't suit you personally. And as I've said, the only thing you can trust when it comes to trying to think about what God wants you to do or not is the Bible itself, allegedly written by people who knew Jesus. Why do you think that your personal beliefs (which are just the manifestations of subconscious hopes & fears) about what God is like and what he wants are more trustworthy than the Bible? Because parts of the Bible don't bode well with you, but you are determined to try and believe in the other, nicer parts anyway.

No, God is not just subconscious manifestatiosn and no, the Bible is not all I have to believe in or follow God. I have God within me. I don't pray to a Bible, I pray to God. I must feel that I can feel and understand him aside from just the Bible. And from that is how I feel that he doesn't hate or forbid my being gay.

Dr Frankenollie wrote:
Disney Duster wrote:
They are changes and also not.

I think I've now realised that there's absolutely no hope for you Duster. Good luck with your doublethink. O'Brien would be proud.

Of course you can't believe that things can simultaneously be one thing and another. You don't want to expand your mind in such a way, though I bet you actually would if you heard doublespeak in a book or a movie, the only place you'll count anything that speaks of more than science.

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Here's a riddle for ya

What came first? Life in the Universe or "God"?

to answer simply, if God had created life, than he/she/it would be completely beyond the comrehension of the human mind and any one religion would be wrong. possibly all. This is what I believe besause something out there exists or existed that started the universe.

If Life had come first, assuming God exists, then he/she/it wouldnt be so all-powerful. Possibly using life as a tool to create, but I'm talking about the life that might've created this being.

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I think in any case, life would be that being, like all powerful God and life would be one in the same. Like all powerful life...than can understand what any human can (well, and beyond it).

Anyway, religion can still tell us some things even if we can't comprehend all of God. If something created love, then it could understand love and tell us it loves us, etc.

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Hey again, um, none of my last posts were supposed to be my last words but I'm going through something in my life where I think I will say them now and maybe you'll respond with something totally great that combats it but anyway here goes:

Okay if I feel like God is real and I base that on the feeling itself, but some of you say you feel God and an afterlife are definately not real, then the feelings from God would be the one's that count because you atheists don't believe feelings are evidence, you think feelings are all evoluted biology and stuff but for believers the feelings of God would come from God himself. I think I said what I wanted to say right.

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I don't know why, but I keep coming back to this thread, for one reason or another. Part of me is telling me that I could do it, I could help a deluded Christian...a childish part of me wants to reply to this in an attempt to always get the final word...but every time I read over what Disney Duster said, boredom and frustration engulf me. You'll never see sense, will you Duster? You'll find illogical loopholes, and keep declaring articles of faith (Faith = belief without evidence) as evidence. As I've said before, I feel like a broken record, repeating the same tired old arguments and points over and over again. It's draining and tedious.

You try and prove God exists to save people and make them happy; I try to show how unlikely his existence because I do see religious belief as a delusion, and a very dangerous one.

I've tried to open my mind more, but I now see too many flaws with the God theory. I'm not saying he definitely isn't there, but it's unlikely, not just because of the lack of evidence, but because his existence would be harder to explain than the universe itself. If we're talking just about the God that happens to be omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent however, I know he doesn't exist, because of 'evil' and suffering.

So could please try and open your mind too Duster? Please just examine your beliefs closely, why they're there and where they came from. Go back to the atheistic arguments that you once considered and, if I'm not mistaken, once believed in. Don't swallow the easy, comforting lie, but accept the truth.

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Dr Frankenollie wrote:
You try and prove God exists to save people and make them happy

At least he's not one of those people who try and "prove" God exists to make them unhappy.

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I'm glad that's all you said, because I can't do anymore either.

Trying to figure ou how beliefs may not be real or logical, and doubting my beliefs altogether, has brought down a suicidal path. So I really can't argue with a lot of people here like I have. I may be able to argue and discuss religion with other people still, but some of you don't want to find God and are willingly choosing ways not to. At least that's how it seems.

I think you should explain how believing in God, and just that, not the religious rules, but just believing in God, is dangerous.

And there still can be a benevolent God, he just isn't as benevolent as you want him, instead he loves so much as to give us whatever amounts of happiness we do have in this life and an eternally happy after life for those who are faithful and want to be with God.

But if we're bringing this to a close, or we're already done, I thank you for discussing what you did with me and I hope you find happiness and salvation in your life. I prayed for you a bunch of nights, actually. I hope you lead a very happy life. Especially when you do sound like you have such a dismal outlook, which, let's face it, goes hand in hand with you not believing in God. It is your negative, angry world view which actually sounds like the most dangerous thing to me. I honestly hope you are okay.

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Disney Duster wrote:
Trying to figure ou how beliefs may not be real or logical, and doubting my beliefs altogether, has brought down a suicidal path. So I really can't argue with a lot of people here like I have. I may be able to argue and discuss religion with other people still, but some of you don't want to find God and are willingly choosing ways not to. At least that's how it seems.


Suicide because of losing faith is baffling to me. If you ended up thinking there was no God, what difference would it make in your life? Even if he does exist, he's not explicitly or even implicitly aiding you and guiding you, you just want him to. Yes, we're tiny and meaningless and unimportant, but to me realising and comprehending that is...liberating. You get freedom. The belief that someone is judging you and always watching you is frightening, and chains you up. Understanding that we can do whatever we like, and that as life isn't eternal we should make as much use of it as we can, sets us free. It encourages us to be courageous, daring and always searching for new thrills in life.

Immortality would get boring in the end. Life can be tragically brief, but its briefness is a truth that gives us the incentive to live to the fullest. Faith and religion hold you back from happiness and freedom. That's why I dislike the inherent idea at the centre of religion - it's not just the revolting archaic rules or the hypocrisy of the church, but the very ideas of God and the afterlife are improbable and disturbing to me.

It's clear that your desire for a God is so strong that you are creating one. You say that the Bible is not the core of your beliefs, and that you try and think about what 'God' would really want. That's a lie. What you really do is think about what you want good and bad to be and how you want life and death to work, and you use your God delusion as a device to bring your desires to life.

Disney Duster wrote:
But if we're bringing this to a close, or we're already done, I thank you for discussing what you did with me and I hope you find happiness and salvation in your life. I prayed for you a bunch of nights, actually. I hope you lead a very happy life. Especially when you do sound like you have such a dismal outlook, which, let's face it, goes hand in hand with you not believing in God. It is your negative, angry world view which actually sounds like the most dangerous thing to me. I honestly hope you are okay.


Perhaps I do have a dismal outlook. Although I do enjoy life at times, like everyone I'm scared and confused and sad. There's an emptiness in us all. You fill it with God because it's comforting and desirable. I don't know what to fill the emptiness in my life with yet.

Also...even if we stop talking about the pros and cons of religion in such great detail, I don't want to stop talking philosophically with you. It's stimulating and interesting, and I hope you feel the same way.

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