Christianity and its Validity
Debate Rounds (5)
All religion is the same.
I've lived my life based on this ideal, recognizing that religion was invented for one of two reasons under some name or another. The reasons are these: Firstly, religions were created for comfort, reassurance, and a simple code by which leaders could ensure that their laws were being followed (often enforced by threat of a "hell" or promise of a "heaven"). The secondary reason links to that and takes it a step further--Religion was invented as a form of mind-control. The reason it's so effective is that people by nature long for something to believe in, particularly if that something tells them that they have protection under the almighty hand of an omniscient being.
I also support my own atheism with the typical argument of non-believers: Where is the proof? Why should I have faith in something I cannot see when the values associated with said imaginary deity are disproved by things I can see? Why should I disregard my own knowledge and education for the sake of "faith"?
I hope you accept this argument. I think it could be, for lack of a better word, enlightening. My rules are simple.
No fallacies of any kind, particularly Ad Hominem. It dulls a debate, and distracts from the topic at hand.
Do not try to convert me, and I'll play nice too. I can easily tear your religion apart, but as long as we agree to a friendly debate, I promise I won't.
I look forward to your reply.
Buddhists, there is no god, and no heaven.
Hindus, karma. Enough said.
How can these be the same?
Your first reason, how could they be created for a simple code for the commoners to live by when the different religions have different laws? How can you prove that heaven and hell do not exist? You can't. No one in the remotely recent past had come back from the dead so we can ask! Why would a king or ruler of some sort want to create a religion, it isn't as if word wouldn't get out and then the religion would evaporate. This has not happened.
Why do you think people long for something to believe in? Honestly, why? It's because God put that longing in everyone so that they would look for Him, and look for Him, and look for Him, until they find him. Why do you think religion I'd so attractive?
Can you see wind? No. Do you know it's there? Yes, you can feel it, you can see the effects of it, and you can here it as it flows through the trees. God is like that. Can you see Him himself? No, but you know He's there. You can feel His presence, you can SEE what He has created and know He's there, you can see the effect He has on the entire world. Because you know, without Him, we wouldn't be here. Is that not intriguing to think about? Imagine your brain not being here. Imagine not having a soul. See you can't imagine yourself out of things, your brain can't wrap itself around that. And do you know why? Because we won't have to. We will always be here, whether in heaven or hell, our even on this corrupt earth, we will always exist.
What do you mean? What values you can see? Explain. I promise I am going to push for details in this debate, I didn't in the one with kasmic, and I should have. You are going to have to give me details down to the letter.
And you shouldn't. You should not forsake your 'knowledge' and education, IF it's right. If it where me I would forsake any schooling I had had that does not go with God's word.
Thank you for inviting me to participate in this debate.
First: "Why are there all different religions if all religions are the same."
I personally see that they are all near-identical at their cores, and I've also observed that religions often step from the same roots. The seeing of the main deity, be they Ra, Jesus, etc. as the light of the world, the sun, the thing upon which all things are based. The original purpose of this was of course to be able to explain away the prosperity or decline of crops. Ancient life revolved around the sun, allowing it to control their days with a completeness that's quite beautiful in its simplicity. Then came the gods of the forces that scared people, of the unknown, of the dangerous: Hades, god of the underworld in Greek mythology; Zeus, all-powerful, but recognized in the majority of myths to have a fearsome temper (just as thunder and lightning do in daily life). Gods of the night, gods of sleep, gods of every simple, basic force in the lives of those who lived. The reasons religions appear differently throughout the centuries is because the deities and holy spirits change with the needs of the population. The most clear example of this is of course the Roman pantheon versus that of the Greeks. Developed in similar timelines, the gods were almost identical, with their small differences notably applicable to those between the two societies--Rome was more warlike, focusing on conquering and war, violence, while the Greek gods were more inclined to stay connected to arts. This shows clearly the linear progression from one religion into another. "...Cultures love to incorporate good stories in their own consciousness. Celestial rape, virgin births, important astrological dates, ultimate chieftains being born of low status (especially if it means proper posh folk come along and worship them)" these are bread and butter for all tribal cultures along with creation and disaster myths." 
Secondly: "Different religions have different laws, so how can these be created for a moral code?"
Let me refute this by simply providing a list of some of the common values and laws between the three most prevalent religions, as well as a more personal discussion of "why": Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. 1. Each of these religions is monotheistic, which has become much more dominant over religious studies in more recent years (the past 2500 years, perhaps). The reason is that, as government becomes less monarchical and more democratic (which, to save time, I'd like to say that yes, in times prior to 500 BCE things were less democratic in nature than they became shortly thereafter), the backup control that religion provides needed to morph into a more dictatorial system, for lack of a better word, with one omnipotent ruler to take the place where kings and emperors once stood. 2. Daily prayer and weekly worship are traditions of both religions, with this repetitive loyalty conditioning ensuring that religious purpose is in the forefront of all minds, with no time to ask questions.  All three religions believe in the "immaculate conception" of Jesus.
Third: "God put in the urge to believe for his own purposes."
If you cannot recognize these parallels because you are so blinded by religion, I'm not sure how to argue this. If your only argument goes along the lines of "Because god said so" then the debate will become circular in no time at all. Also, this sort of thinking goes against the values of your own religion. Am I incorrect in saying that God helps those who have found him and who accept him without question though faith does not provide all that they wish to have, but he does not aid those who reject his existence? Job, for example, was given no reason to believe in God, as everything he had was taken away, and God, with his rather twisted sense of humor, didn't help him, he was simply testing him. If God tests us all, then how might we know the difference between a test and the cold hard reality of suffering?
Fourth: "What values can you see that disprove a god's existence?"
I will actually allow you a point here--I see nothing that disproves it. I however, see nothing that proves it either. However, scientific proof of secular theories hold a much more promising future in my opinion. Sure, there's no proof that there isn't a Bigfoot, but honestly? There's more proof of bigfoot than there has ever been of god. This is what I mean by proof. Wind has an explanation, so comparing wind to god is honestly quite ridiculous. You feel the effects of wind, things happen that can be directly attributed to wind, without any alternate explanation with supporting evidence. Some people sense the effects of a god. I don't dispute that. But there is no proof there at all.
Best of luck to you in the next round.
Secondly,I am wondering, if the rulers, be it a king, a emperor of whatever, why would they admit that they aren't the ultimate authority? That the is in fact someone with more power than they? In my opinion this in it of itself doesn't make a lot of sense because the rulers of the ancient world where often tyrants. And, in my church and Christian community, the young and old are highly encouraged to ask questions.
Third, I in fact would say you are incorrect. The only 'special privileges' we, as Christians get is the help of the Holy Spirit with our "internal" problems, and the wonderful promise that we will not have to stay in this earth for ever and we'll not have to go to hell. That it. We don't get god stuff here. We get it later. And really, ask of the stuff we do on earth is useless for eternity.
And the fourth thing, what proof do you need? Do you need to be able to see Him? Done, has happened. Do you need to see him demonstrate how He can create a entire galaxy by saying it should be there? Also done. What proof do you want?
Once more thing, what do you think will happen when you die? Will you turn to dust? What? You can't tell me that it doesn't disturb you at least a little when you think about how you ' won't exist' when you die. Think about it, by atheist thinking you will have no mind, no soul, nothing. Our tiny mind can't understand this. And why should we?
Thank you. If my attempt in making an interesting debate for I'd have failed, well, I hope this benefitted someone.
Your second question: "Why would rulers admit to them not being the highest authority?"
Because if they can mold a deity to serve their means and perhaps not inspire defiance in the populous, why shouldn't they? People are less likely to revolt against what they can't see, and thus the unknown remains a source of mysterious power. People simply don't recognize that it's all systematically set up to control them and keep them as placid little sheep in the herd of humanity.
Third: "Special privileges."
You quote me as saying special privileges? Where precisely did I say that, or anything even equating to that? I mentioned that Christians are given guidance (according to the Bible) when they have accepted God as their personal savior, but I don't believe I ever said anything regarding special privileges--I in fact made the opposite point, by mentioning that God tests even his most loyal followers through hardship.
You say "done, has happened... Also done" but provide no evidence. Please cite your arguments, and provide me with the same courtesy I've given you. You cannot ask me for evidence and leave your own debate completely devoid of it. The mere fact that you cannot find evidence should be proof enough that I'm right in at least that.
Fifth: "Afterlife and death"
I do, in fact, think I turn to dust. I think the ceremonies surrounding death are unnecessary, and that death is simply a part of life. Just as you, I'm sure, feel that the burial customs of the ancient Egyptians and Chinese are ridiculous, in their provisions for property in the afterlife, I feel that funerals and the like are truly quite morbid. Death should be regarded as simply providing room for new life. Fertilizing plants, that feed new animals, that feed new humans. It's the life cycle, put simply. If religion were self-evident, wouldn't we see animals performing the rites thereof? But we don't. Religion is a purely human invention.
Second, (speaking as if you are right, no offense.) rulers shouldn't have created gods because even if the people wouldn't revolt against the god itself that doesn't mean they wouldn't revolt against the ruler. Even if he identified himself with the god the people would not necessarily be inclined to believe him.
Fourth, I perfectly well could find evidence but unfortunately I do not have the time,I will attempt to oblige however.
Jesus was seen by thousands of people, there are accounts of this in the bible, if you see a problem with my using the bible as a source because it is a biased source then I would like to point out to you that all sources are biased. And to be honest it is rather stupid to leave the bible out of an argument about the bible.
I see no need for proof as to that God created the universe, it's here, what do you want me to say. I would like to ask what you would like proof of, as in the flood, the Christ, just specifics would be highly appreciated, I'm not saying you haven't been gracious, because you have, extensively, but I would like specifics.
Fifth, "if religion where self-evident, wouldn't we see animals performing the rites thereof?"
No we would not. The reason animals don't do almost anything we do is because they are not made in God's image, people are. All of them. Left me partially support this by that studies have been done that specifically state that animals do not do anything for ' fun' but humans do. You probably think that that's because we're "more evolved" but it's not, it's because we're made in the image of God, that doesn't mean we look like him, it means we share some of His characteristics, we love, we actually care about things, if you tried to explain religion to an animal lets face it, it wouldn't work. And, you never addressed the second half of my question, I would thank you if you did. See, really what I'm trying to argue is that religion is a God invention, but unfortunately, some people made their own.
Please excuse any typos I have made in previous posts, I have auto correct that auto corrects wrong.
First: To what are you referring?
Second: Gods were created from a number of sources but the ability to use the "authority of god" to justify unjust actions was always a plus for rulers. They could use deities as simple pawns. For example, ancient Egypt comes to mind--The pharaohs quite literally identified themselves as gods, forcing people to worship them as such. Of course, this obvious and heavy-handed approach didn't work particularly well, but rulers found much more subtle methods of bending the devout to their will.
Seeing as you didn't specify a third, fourth: If you perfectly well could find evidence, please do so. You took on this debate. I don't particularly care if you don't have the time. Moving on, I never questioned the existence of Jesus as a person, simply his holy authority, so to speak. And there are other sources from the bible that attest to his life, so honestly, using the bible was quite unnecessary, particularly as this is an argument contesting the validity of the book. You're using the exact definition of circular reasoning. "The bible is right because the bible says so," will not be accepted in this debate. Give me something to work with, this tripe is hardly worth responding to. And yes, I do need evidence that God created the universe. Why? Because there is proof to the contrary. If you cannot provide proof for the issue, I'm inclined to support the theory that has evidence, no offense.
Fifth: To begin, I'll use a quote from the bible. "But now ask the beasts to teach you, and the birds of the air to tell you; or the reptiles on the earth to instruct you, and the fish of the sea to inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of God has done this? In his hand is the soul of every living thing, and the life breath of all mankind."(Job 12:7-10) This passage quite clearly shows that animals are aware that god has created them, according to the bible at least. Like so many passages in the bible, this contradicts some of its own teachings. I'll add another verse now: "The living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne" (Revelation 4:8-9) This indicates that animals do praise god. However, many of the sins listed in the bible are also present in the animal population. Not to be crude, but I worked at Zoo Atlanta for two years, and more than once I've seen primates pleasuring themselves. I've also seen animals display homosexual behavior.
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