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The smallest of life's questions

Brock_Meyer
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6/9/2009 6:41:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
A recent trip to California brought me into contact with a new friend of mine's parents. Interesting folks, I must say: a collision of left-leaning libertarianism with a conservative home mindset. One aspect of this mindset is a belief in God, which anyone who knows me reasonably well will know that I do not share. A lengthy conversation around a beach fire and the issue came up. A curious bunch, they decided to ask me that dreaded question, one which I never mind answering. Only this time, I could not answer them. Left-wing theists are indeed an intriguing group of people: thoroughly rational and yet obedient to a theistic emotionalism. Thus, instead of giving an answer to appeal to the rational side of these people's brains, I decided to give an answer even the conservatives can understand.

More on that in a second. I must first make it clear that atheists like me are often accused of being so-called "evangelical atheists" simply for the reason of feeling superior. This, of course, already admits that no theist can win an argument against the atheist, because there is no argument to be given in the former's favor. However, for me at least, that could not be further from the truth. To put this as humbly as I can, I already know that conservatives have room temperature IQ's. I do not need atheism to reinforce this knowledge. On that note, my reason for being an atheist are dependent on something much more nuance than the desire to be validated as a thoroughly rational, intelligent human being.

Much as people justify a belief in God simply based on faith, I justify a non-belief in God merely from aesthetics. To put it another way, I do not believe in God because God makes the world less funny. This might strike some as strange. Well, certainly Dane Cook and God are compatible, what more do you need than Dane Cook? While I will agree that Dane Cook is a funny person, the funniest things in life are not told in the form of jokes or sitcoms. I find the greatest humor in the way the natural world works, and how the natural world interacts with the lives of human beings.

See, there is an enormous amount of cosmic irony in the world. This irony is readily available, whether we are talking about wildfires destroying the mansions of Californian hill-people, or floods destroying a coastal city built below sea level. While we must refrain from laughing at these people's personal misfortunes, the irony is certainly in the particular situation they find themselves in. It is their hubris, or their cosmic arrogance, that put them in that situation. To watch a person, infected with such dangerous levels of hubris, take on the natural world in such a way and fail is, while tragic, something human beings naturally cherish as humorous. It is the irony that we as human beings find funny.

In Ancient Greece, a man's hubris was something to be laughed at. What the person expected turned out to be the opposite of what happens. The Greek gods were immortal beings, imperfect as human beings. The gods did not create the universe; rather, the universe created the gods. In such a world, the gods made errors. Events in the natural world occurred opposite to man's expectations, for the world was itself a mysterious and curious place. According to the aesthetics of Aristotle, Ancient Greek art was the natural world perfected. Man's place in the natural world, his hubris, reified the cosmic irony that they recognized in nature: presented in a way the audience could understand and appreciate.

In the modern world, however, the situation has changed. Instead of a litany of imperfect gods, we have only one, perfect deity that created the universe and the natural world. Having "designed" the natural world, this God has a definite plan for the events that occur within His creation. There is no irony in the natural world, because everything happens according to the plan: nothing is outside the realm of conscious intention or within the realm of chance. Accordingly, the callous destruction of innocent human life occurs as a matter of the Plan. We often hear this reasoning after widespread catastrophes, where people kneel and pray to a God that just an hour ago destroyed an entire community.

Note that the definition of situational irony is when the outcome contradicts that which was expected. With a perfect God pulling the strings of the universe (quite literally if you have faith in string theory), all events in the natural world are to be expected because God has a Plan. If you believe this, then the existence of God is incompatible with the existence of irony in the natural world. Suddenly, I am left unable to appreciate the vastness of the natural world's comedic appeal that the Ancient Greeks found so entertaining. Thus, the question becomes one of trade-off and opportunity cost: what is the marginal utility of belief in God and what is the marginal utility of irony in nature? From the fact that God has never made me laugh, the answer becomes clear.

I do not say "Why don't you believe in God?" is life's smallest question because I do not like thinking about how the universe works. Quite the contrary, I am supremely interested in metaphysics. However, the existence of God is an answer, not a question. It is an answer that no one finds funny. A universe dictated by chance and contingency, however, is both ironic and humorous. An apple falling on Isaac Newton's head is funny because it is ironic. Who would expect a man rapt in deep contemplation to be bumped on the head by a fruit? On the other hand, if we choose to see the apple as part of God's Plan (as we are required to see the whole of nature as a part of), then the situation is not funny exactly because it is not ironic.

To bring us back into context, my friend's parents respected my response, even though it was far less elaborate than the one presented here. I assume they know how much I value humor, and how the utility of theism does not match that value. This leads to one last observation: a belief in God is really based upon a choice of one's values. Certainly, a belief in God can be tied into the value of a community in terms of a Church or organization. I can respect this choice. Ultimately, however, we as human beings must recognize that we and we alone volitionally chose our values. Values are not meant to be imposed on others through acts of coercion, such as laws against interracial or homosexual marriage. Values are chosen from a collection of possible values. I happened to choose humor and freedom as two of my greatest values, values that are incidentally antithetical to the idea of a natural world commanded and controlled by an entity that apparently does not like drugs and sex.

Good night.
Nik
Posts: 552
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6/9/2009 7:48:47 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I'm surprised to find your reason for atheism do be philosophical, I feel slightly embarrassed because your fantastic post does deserve an equally in-depth response, but honestly, there's not much I can say! My reasons for being an atheist are far more 'shallow' so to speak. Firstly its how I was raised, but despite that I have given it some thought, basically I feel that religion undermines the beauty of science, the fact that after the creation of the universe there was a series of molecular reactions that eventually progressed into a far more complex molecular reaction and then molecular structure, continuoulsly reacting and progressing to create cellular lifeforms, and that meanwhile there were universal events that allowed these molecular lifeforms to evolve and be supported on a single planet, into the infinite complex ecological system we have on earth today, is far more a miracle than all the bible stories combined.

I guess I am religious, scientificaly so.
"If you could tell the world but one truth, I could convince it of a thousand lies"
Lexicaholic
Posts: 526
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6/9/2009 7:53:58 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/9/2009 6:41:59 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
Stuff.

Very awesome. I agree with everything you said. Except for the part about Dane Cook. Given a choice between believing in God or Dane Cook, I choose God. If I believe in God, I can see the humor in his making me doubt my belief. If I believe in Dane Cook, I have to somehow square my concept of humor with adolescent antics being performed by a 37 year old man. :/
http://mastersofcreationrpg.com... - My new site and long-developed project. Should be fun.
leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
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6/10/2009 12:39:01 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/9/2009 7:53:58 PM, Lexicaholic wrote:
At 6/9/2009 6:41:59 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
Stuff.

Very awesome. I agree with everything you said. Except for the part about Dane Cook. Given a choice between believing in God or Dane Cook, I choose God. If I believe in God, I can see the humor in his making me doubt my belief. If I believe in Dane Cook, I have to somehow square my concept of humor with adolescent antics being performed by a 37 year old man. :/

Seconded. Dane Cook is about as funny to me as death.
"Let me tell you the truth. The truth is, 'what is'. And 'what should be' is a fantasy, a terrible terrible lie that someone gave to the people long ago. The 'what should be' never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no 'what should be,' there is only what is." - Lenny Bruce

"Satan goes to church, did you know that?" - Godsands

"And Genisis 1 does match modern science... you just have to try really hard." - GR33K FR33K5
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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6/10/2009 4:51:12 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/9/2009 6:41:59 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
A recent trip to California brought me into contact with a new friend of mine's parents. Interesting folks, I must say: a collision of left-leaning libertarianism with a conservative home mindset. One aspect of this mindset is a belief in God, which anyone who knows me reasonably well will know that I do not share. A lengthy conversation around a beach fire and the issue came up. A curious bunch, they decided to ask me that dreaded question, one which I never mind answering. Only this time, I could not answer them. Left-wing theists are indeed an intriguing group of people: thoroughly rational and yet obedient to a theistic emotionalism. Thus, instead of giving an answer to appeal to the rational side of these people's brains, I decided to give an answer even the conservatives can understand.

More on that in a second. I must first make it clear that atheists like me are often accused of being so-called "evangelical atheists" simply for the reason of feeling superior. This, of course, already admits that no theist can win an argument against the atheist, because there is no argument to be given in the former's favor. However, for me at least, that could not be further from the truth. To put this as humbly as I can, I already know that conservatives have room temperature IQ's. I do not need atheism to reinforce this knowledge. On that note, my reason for being an atheist are dependent on something much more nuance than the desire to be validated as a thoroughly rational, intelligent human being.

Much as people justify a belief in God simply based on faith, I justify a non-belief in God merely from aesthetics. To put it another way, I do not believe in God because God makes the world less funny. This might strike some as strange. Well, certainly Dane Cook and God are compatible, what more do you need than Dane Cook? While I will agree that Dane Cook is a funny person, the funniest things in life are not told in the form of jokes or sitcoms. I find the greatest humor in the way the natural world works, and how the natural world interacts with the lives of human beings.

See, there is an enormous amount of cosmic irony in the world. This irony is readily available, whether we are talking about wildfires destroying the mansions of Californian hill-people, or floods destroying a coastal city built below sea level. While we must refrain from laughing at these people's personal misfortunes, the irony is certainly in the particular situation they find themselves in. It is their hubris, or their cosmic arrogance, that put them in that situation. To watch a person, infected with such dangerous levels of hubris, take on the natural world in such a way and fail is, while tragic, something human beings naturally cherish as humorous. It is the irony that we as human beings find funny.

In Ancient Greece, a man's hubris was something to be laughed at. What the person expected turned out to be the opposite of what happens. The Greek gods were immortal beings, imperfect as human beings. The gods did not create the universe; rather, the universe created the gods. In such a world, the gods made errors. Events in the natural world occurred opposite to man's expectations, for the world was itself a mysterious and curious place. According to the aesthetics of Aristotle, Ancient Greek art was the natural world perfected. Man's place in the natural world, his hubris, reified the cosmic irony that they recognized in nature: presented in a way the audience could understand and appreciate.

In the modern world, however, the situation has changed. Instead of a litany of imperfect gods, we have only one, perfect deity that created the universe and the natural world. Having "designed" the natural world, this God has a definite plan for the events that occur within His creation. There is no irony in the natural world, because everything happens according to the plan: nothing is outside the realm of conscious intention or within the realm of chance. Accordingly, the callous destruction of innocent human life occurs as a matter of the Plan. We often hear this reasoning after widespread catastrophes, where people kneel and pray to a God that just an hour ago destroyed an entire community.

Note that the definition of situational irony is when the outcome contradicts that which was expected. With a perfect God pulling the strings of the universe (quite literally if you have faith in string theory), all events in the natural world are to be expected because God has a Plan. If you believe this, then the existence of God is incompatible with the existence of irony in the natural world. Suddenly, I am left unable to appreciate the vastness of the natural world's comedic appeal that the Ancient Greeks found so entertaining. Thus, the question becomes one of trade-off and opportunity cost: what is the marginal utility of belief in God and what is the marginal utility of irony in nature? From the fact that God has never made me laugh, the answer becomes clear.

I do not say "Why don't you believe in God?" is life's smallest question because I do not like thinking about how the universe works. Quite the contrary, I am supremely interested in metaphysics. However, the existence of God is an answer, not a question. It is an answer that no one finds funny. A universe dictated by chance and contingency, however, is both ironic and humorous. An apple falling on Isaac Newton's head is funny because it is ironic. Who would expect a man rapt in deep contemplation to be bumped on the head by a fruit? On the other hand, if we choose to see the apple as part of God's Plan (as we are required to see the whole of nature as a part of), then the situation is not funny exactly because it is not ironic.

To bring us back into context, my friend's parents respected my response, even though it was far less elaborate than the one presented here. I assume they know how much I value humor, and how the utility of theism does not match that value. This leads to one last observation: a belief in God is really based upon a choice of one's values. Certainly, a belief in God can be tied into the value of a community in terms of a Church or organization. I can respect this choice. Ultimately, however, we as human beings must recognize that we and we alone volitionally chose our values. Values are not meant to be imposed on others through acts of coercion, such as laws against interracial or homosexual marriage. Values are chosen from a collection of possible values. I happened to choose humor and freedom as two of my greatest values, values that are incidentally antithetical to the idea of a natural world commanded and controlled by an entity that apparently does not like drugs and sex.

Good night.

What if the situation is so grave that laughter (in the frivolous sense you imply) is wholly inappropriate?
Is it right that we laugh at sitcoms while people starve?
Or dance in night clubs while others die of dysentery?
Isn't your attitude the real reason the whole planets in such a mess?

Matthew 12:30 (The Message)

30"This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Brock_Meyer
Posts: 13
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6/10/2009 8:23:43 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
I preface a response with a quote from the original post.

At 6/9/2009 6:41:59 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
While we must refrain from laughing at these people's personal misfortunes, the irony is certainly in the particular situation they find themselves in. It is their hubris, or their cosmic arrogance, that put them in that situation.

At 6/10/2009 4:51:12 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
What if the situation is so grave that laughter (in the frivolous sense you imply) is wholly inappropriate?
Is it right that we laugh at sitcoms while people starve?
Or dance in night clubs while others die of dysentery?
Isn't your attitude the real reason the whole planets in such a mess?

We do not laugh at people's misfortunes because people are suffering. Unless the starving or dying person thought that he was immortal, the situation is not ironic and thus does not deserve any humor attached to it.

And if we want to talk about why the world is a mess, I don't think we should be talking about the 15% of the world's population that is "non-religious". Instead, it is the other 85% of the human race that has the greatest power to inflict negative change. It is the monotheistic philosophy that God has a "Plan" that gives people reason to stand by and do nothing as people die from dysentery or starve. Americans, whether they are apathetic or not, are not driven to do something about humanitarian disasters because of their religion. This is not to mention the reason for a vast majority of humanitarian disasters in the world (yep, you guessed it: monotheistic religion).

On the contrary, my friend, I think it is the religious attitude that is the real reason the world is such a "mess".

"This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse.

That sounds an awful lot like George W. Bush. So, if you ask me, it's your attitude that is making the state of affairs much worse around the globe.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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6/11/2009 5:13:16 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/10/2009 8:23:43 AM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
I preface a response with a quote from the original post.

At 6/9/2009 6:41:59 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
While we must refrain from laughing at these people's personal misfortunes, the irony is certainly in the particular situation they find themselves in. It is their hubris, or their cosmic arrogance, that put them in that situation.

At 6/10/2009 4:51:12 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
What if the situation is so grave that laughter (in the frivolous sense you imply) is wholly inappropriate?
Is it right that we laugh at sitcoms while people starve?
Or dance in night clubs while others die of dysentery?
Isn't your attitude the real reason the whole planets in such a mess?

We do not laugh at people's misfortunes because people are suffering. Unless the starving or dying person thought that he was immortal, the situation is not ironic and thus does not deserve any humor attached to it.

The argument is not whether we may laugh at certain misfortunes etc but whether laughter is in and of itself wholly appropriate given the situation we find ourselves in.
You see the world and accept it.
We see the world through the lens of God's Word and say this is not right.. not how He intended it.

And if we want to talk about why the world is a mess, I don't think we should be talking about the 15% of the world's population that is "non-religious". Instead, it is the other 85% of the human race that has the greatest power to inflict negative change. It is the monotheistic philosophy that God has a "Plan" that gives people reason to stand by and do nothing as people die from dysentery or starve. Americans, whether they are apathetic or not, are not driven to do something about humanitarian disasters because of their religion. This is not to mention the reason for a vast majority of humanitarian disasters in the world (yep, you guessed it: monotheistic religion).

On the contrary, my friend, I think it is the religious attitude that is the real reason the world is such a "mess".

What an unprecedented pile of cow dung.
It is wealth and our love of money (whatever our theology) that keeps this world in it's present condition.
Things. An insatiable desire for things.
We could feed the world any time we wanted.

1 John 2:15-17 (New King James Version)

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.


"This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse.

That sounds an awful lot like George W. Bush. So, if you ask me, it's your attitude that is making the state of affairs much worse around the globe.

Bush is the last half-decent President you guys will ever have.
Certainly better that the commie pencil-neck you got now..
We always get what we deserve.. Sorry.

Psalm 28:4
Give them according to their deeds,And according to the wickedness of their endeavors; Give them according to the work of their hands; Render to them what they deserve.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Brock_Meyer
Posts: 13
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6/11/2009 7:04:47 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/11/2009 5:13:16 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 6/10/2009 8:23:43 AM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
The argument is not whether we may laugh at certain misfortunes etc but whether laughter is in and of itself wholly appropriate given the situation we find ourselves in.
You see the world and accept it.
We see the world through the lens of God's Word and say this is not right.. not how He intended it.

Just because you find a situation humorous does not mean that you cannot at the same time find it tragic, which was a huge point in the original post. And there is no reason for me to just "accept" the world as it is. Similarly, I do not need a God or his contradictory Words to recognize the value of human life and to act upon that value. I do not need to act like a child in service of that Authority's values. I am capable of choosing my own values, independent from His. I cannot say the same for you.

What an unprecedented pile of cow dung.
It is wealth and our love of money (whatever our theology) that keeps this world in it's present condition.
Things. An insatiable desire for things.
We could feed the world any time we wanted.

What a self-delusional pile of horse feces.

The non-capitalist nations of the 3rd Worlds are brutal dictatorships, often wracked by bloody, internecine tribal warfare, in which the principles of individual rights and liberty are utterly unknown. Crucially, the rational mind is repudiated in these societies in favor of tribalism, faith and unremitting brute force. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that millions of individuals subsist in the most abysmal poverty in these countries – a destitution undreamed of in the capitalist world for almost 2 centuries. In Sudan, for example, per capita GDP is $296.00 per year; in Rwanda, it is $227.00. By the standards of capitalist America, poverty is reached when one descends to the threshold of $4,000.00 per year – an income 10 or 12 or 15 times the average figure in non-capitalist countries of both the past and the present.

Wealth does not keep the endless cycle of poverty going in our country or in the 3rd world. It is conflict, whether generated by political or religious boundaries, that place people under oppressive governments. It is religion that is responsible for a vast majority of pain and suffering in our world. Just because you may thinking your religion is benign or preaches "love for all people", doesn't mean someone isn't out there slaughtering another human being in the name of your God.

What's even worse, people in American and other developed countries are doing nothing. Why? Not because they have no faith, but because God has taught them not to care. For non-believers in Christianity, remember it is Jesus who says, "Those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them - bring them here and kill them in front of me." Obviously, then, the Christian is not supposed to care about the non-Christian. But even for one's fellow Christian, people in the modern world have no incentive to help others. Getting into heaven is a matter of (a) needing Jesus, (b) accepting Jesus, and then (c) seeking forgiveness for past sins. The question is then, "why should I give a damn?" to which there is no answer.

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Well, thank you. I couldn't have put it better myself: do not love your fellow man, for he exists in "the world".

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Secondly, I hope you understand how absurd this is. It is like me telling a child that if he takes off his pants and does whatever I say, that he'll live forever and go to a nice place in the sky (which is something I am sure many Catholic priests have done in the past).

Bush is the last half-decent President you guys will ever have.
Certainly better that the commie pencil-neck you got now..
We always get what we deserve.. Sorry.

Sorry indeed. My originally mistook you for just a religious nutjob. Now I see you're a retarded conservative.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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6/12/2009 7:04:34 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/11/2009 7:04:47 AM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
At 6/11/2009 5:13:16 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 6/10/2009 8:23:43 AM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
The argument is not whether we may laugh at certain misfortunes etc but whether laughter is in and of itself wholly appropriate given the situation we find ourselves in.
You see the world and accept it.
We see the world through the lens of God's Word and say this is not right.. not how He intended it.

Just because you find a situation humorous does not mean that you cannot at the same time find it tragic, which was a huge point in the original post. And there is no reason for me to just "accept" the world as it is. Similarly, I do not need a God or his contradictory Words to recognize the value of human life and to act upon that value. I do not need to act like a child in service of that Authority's values. I am capable of choosing my own values, independent from His. I cannot say the same for you.

So then morality is subjective?

What an unprecedented pile of cow dung.
It is wealth and our love of money (whatever our theology) that keeps this world in it's present condition.
Things. An insatiable desire for things.
We could feed the world any time we wanted.

What a self-delusional pile of horse feces.

No.. 'unprecedented pile'.. beats that hands down.

The non-capitalist nations of the 3rd Worlds are brutal dictatorships, often wracked by bloody, internecine tribal warfare, in which the principles of individual rights and liberty are utterly unknown. Crucially, the rational mind is repudiated in these societies in favor of tribalism, faith and unremitting brute force. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that millions of individuals subsist in the most abysmal poverty in these countries – a destitution undreamed of in the capitalist world for almost 2 centuries. In Sudan, for example, per capita GDP is $296.00 per year; in Rwanda, it is $227.00. By the standards of capitalist America, poverty is reached when one descends to the threshold of $4,000.00 per year – an income 10 or 12 or 15 times the average figure in non-capitalist countries of both the past and the present.

Wealth does not keep the endless cycle of poverty going in our country or in the 3rd world. It is conflict, whether generated by political or religious boundaries, that place people under oppressive governments. It is religion that is responsible for a vast majority of pain and suffering in our world. Just because you may thinking your religion is benign or preaches "love for all people", doesn't mean someone isn't out there slaughtering another human being in the name of your God.

What's even worse, people in American and other developed countries are doing nothing. Why? Not because they have no faith, but because God has taught them not to care. For non-believers in Christianity, remember it is Jesus who says, "Those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them - bring them here and kill them in front of me." Obviously, then, the Christian is not supposed to care about the non-Christian. But even for one's fellow Christian, people in the modern world have no incentive to help others. Getting into heaven is a matter of (a) needing Jesus, (b) accepting Jesus, and then (c) seeking forgiveness for past sins. The question is then, "why should I give a damn?" to which there is no answer.

Oh.. it's the 3rd worlds fault.. stupid backward darkies.. *sigh*

The quote you attributed to Christ is from a parable so dishonest to say the least.

You should 'give a damn' so that you are not damned..

If God is A and everything else B and God cannot be B then how can we, whose father chose B over A spend eternity with A?
A became B so we can have A living within us and spend eternity with A..

Do Not Love the World

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

Well, thank you. I couldn't have put it better myself: do not love your fellow man, for he exists in "the world".

Everytime you post dishonest claptrap like this you sell your soul to the enemy.. piece by piece..
Free yourself from this need to dominate and begin to debate.

And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Secondly, I hope you understand how absurd this is. It is like me telling a child that if he takes off his pants and does whatever I say, that he'll live forever and go to a nice place in the sky (which is something I am sure many Catholic priests have done in the past).

No, because you cannot back up that statement, God can.
And bringing sexual abuse (by priests or otherwise) into the argument is not on.

Bush is the last half-decent President you guys will ever have.
Certainly better that the commie pencil-neck you got now..
We always get what we deserve.. Sorry.

Sorry indeed. My originally mistook you for just a religious nutjob. Now I see you're a retarded conservative.

I'm neither. As you will soon see.

Matthew 12:30 (The Message)

30"This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse.

The Cross.. the Cross.
Harlan
Posts: 1,880
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6/12/2009 9:55:38 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
In the modern world, however, the situation has changed. Instead of a litany of imperfect gods, we have only one, perfect deity that created the universe and the natural world. Having "designed" the natural world, this God has a definite plan for the events that occur within His creation. There is no irony in the natural world, because everything happens according to the plan: nothing is outside the realm of conscious intention or within the realm of chance. Accordingly, the callous destruction of innocent human life occurs as a matter of the Plan. We often hear this reasoning after widespread catastrophes, where people kneel and pray to a God that just an hour ago destroyed an entire community.

You are being inaccurate in a lot of ways. I think by "modern world" you must mean the specific community that surrounds you individually, because polytheistic religions still exist today.

And you are also claiming that the concept of god being harsh is a new one. If I'm not mistaken, the greek gods, mythically, are very harsh. They wrathfully smite people on whim.
Brock_Meyer
Posts: 13
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6/13/2009 11:16:54 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/12/2009 9:55:38 AM, Harlan wrote:
You are being inaccurate in a lot of ways. I think by "modern world" you must mean the specific community that surrounds you individually, because polytheistic religions still exist today.

By modern world, I am referring to a world in which approximately 60% of the 5.92 billion religious people belong to a monotheistic faith (primarily Islam and Christianity). I am simply contrasting a modern world with a classical world in which Judaism had not been developed. Although polytheistic religions do exist today, they are largely irrelevant to most everything. The largely "polytheistic" faith, Hinduism, runs the gamut from monotheism to atheism, so it can hardly be considered a homogeneous set of beliefs. I think my characterization is fair; if you disagree, that's a matter of opinion.

And you are also claiming that the concept of god being harsh is a new one. If I'm not mistaken, the greek gods, mythically, are very harsh. They wrathfully smite people on whim.

That has nothing to do with the original post. Whether a god is harsh or not has nothing to do with whether there is natural irony or whether we can find humor in nature.
DATCMOTO
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6/13/2009 1:39:23 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 11:16:54 AM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
At 6/12/2009 9:55:38 AM, Harlan wrote:
You are being inaccurate in a lot of ways. I think by "modern world" you must mean the specific community that surrounds you individually, because polytheistic religions still exist today.

By modern world, I am referring to a world in which approximately 60% of the 5.92 billion religious people belong to a monotheistic faith (primarily Islam and Christianity). I am simply contrasting a modern world with a classical world in which Judaism had not been developed. Although polytheistic religions do exist today, they are largely irrelevant to most everything. The largely "polytheistic" faith, Hinduism, runs the gamut from monotheism to atheism, so it can hardly be considered a homogeneous set of beliefs. I think my characterization is fair; if you disagree, that's a matter of opinion.

And you are also claiming that the concept of god being harsh is a new one. If I'm not mistaken, the greek gods, mythically, are very harsh. They wrathfully smite people on whim.

That has nothing to do with the original post. Whether a god is harsh or not has nothing to do with whether there is natural irony or whether we can find humor in nature.

Giving up already? most atheists take at least a couple of weeks to crumble..
Next?

Matthew 25:31-33 (New King James Version)

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

The Cross.. the Cross.
Kleptin
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6/13/2009 1:50:25 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
It's not surprising that the "lack of irony" would lead you to atheism. After reading what you wrote, I found that your reason and my reason are nearly identical, but from different approaches.

From MY perspective, I find that Religion's explanations are far too simple for a complicated universe.

From YOUR perspective, Religion's explanations provide too much order for the ironic circumstances that make our chaotic universe so amusing.

What both our paths lead down to, is that Religion is too EASY to be RIGHT :D
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
DATCMOTO
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6/13/2009 1:58:02 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 1:50:25 PM, Kleptin wrote:
It's not surprising that the "lack of irony" would lead you to atheism. After reading what you wrote, I found that your reason and my reason are nearly identical, but from different approaches.

From MY perspective, I find that Religion's explanations are far too simple for a complicated universe.

From YOUR perspective, Religion's explanations provide too much order for the ironic circumstances that make our chaotic universe so amusing.

What both our paths lead down to, is that Religion is too EASY to be RIGHT :D

Remaining a sinner.. that is easy.
Facing up to what you are and the hopelessness of your situation..
Now that's difficult.

Psalm 14:1 (New King James Version)

1 The fool has said in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Brock_Meyer
Posts: 13
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6/13/2009 5:07:34 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 1:39:23 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Giving up already? most atheists take at least a couple of weeks to crumble..
Next?

Now that's funny. Whenever an atheist recognizes that arguing with a theist is nonsensical, the theist is given license to claim intellectual superiority. I'm sorry, but talking about religion with you is like talking to a rock about, well... anything.

And by the way, what do trolls eat? I've always wondered.
Kleptin
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6/13/2009 6:38:00 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 5:07:34 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
At 6/13/2009 1:39:23 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Giving up already? most atheists take at least a couple of weeks to crumble..
Next?

Now that's funny. Whenever an atheist recognizes that arguing with a theist is nonsensical, the theist is given license to claim intellectual superiority. I'm sorry, but talking about religion with you is like talking to a rock about, well... anything.

And by the way, what do trolls eat? I've always wondered.

Trolls eat posts that are directed towards them. You have just fed the troll. Trolls feed off of attention.

Trolls are like poison ivy rashes. They itch. They want to spread. They itch your skin so that they may spread further. Trolls are tricky, they will provoke you into feeding it. They will jab at your ego, your act of revenge then sustains them.
The act of provoking you into a response is the way by which they grow. The only method is to ignore them.

To ignore them is to starve them. Trolls survive by posting responses and to give a troll something to respond TO, is the act of feeding. 10 acts of starving a troll can easily be negated by one act of feeding. If everyone on this forum would stop feeding useless trolls, the troll would die.

The rule is simple. You may talk PAST a troll, you may talk ABOUT a troll, but you may never talk TO a troll.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
beem0r
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6/13/2009 8:51:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Wow. I never thought I'd see a Pascal's Wager in favor of atheism.
Believe that there isn't a God because it's useful to not believe in one?

So, you're one of those folks who can just <b>decide</b> to believe or not believe something irrespective of the odds you calculate for its truth or falsehood. See, my definition of belief is this: if you think it's likely to be true, then you believe it. It has nothing to do with whether you would <i><u>prefer</u></i> it to be true.

I want to win the lottery - that doesn't mean I'm any more likely to do so. You want the universe to have irony - that doesn't change the odds of whether it does or not.

Religion is only a (perhaps more dangerous) manifestation of a larger problem - irrationality. If you're truly basing your beliefs on what you wish was true rather than what seems to actually be true, you're only a part of that problem.
Brock_Meyer
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6/13/2009 9:35:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 8:51:51 PM, beem0r wrote:
Religion is only a (perhaps more dangerous) manifestation of a larger problem - irrationality. If you're truly basing your beliefs on what you wish was true rather than what seems to actually be true, you're only a part of that problem.

Sorry if I gave the wrong impression. The whole first paragraph of the original post was designed to give context to the rest of the post. A response to "Why don't you believe in God?" really has to be geared towards the specific audience one is addressing. Because the people who asked me that question were left-leaning, very affluent, and very rational, I figured the rational response that I usually give to Bible-thumping conservatives would not have much of an effect. Of course I could say that there is no proof of God's existence, the arguments in favor of God's existence are all invalid, or that God as a concept is nonsensical. However, I was almost absolutely sure that these people knew these things. I gave them this answer and subsequently worked it out as an interesting intellectual exercise because I thought that it was a new, irrational way of looking at things. Certainly, I would never base atheism solely on such a shaky foundation, almost as shaky as basing theism solely on a shaky foundation of faith. I most definitely agree with you that irrationality is the problem; however, I would disagree that I am part of that problem.
DATCMOTO
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6/15/2009 1:10:39 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 5:07:34 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
At 6/13/2009 1:39:23 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Giving up already? most atheists take at least a couple of weeks to crumble..
Next?

Now that's funny. Whenever an atheist recognizes that arguing with a theist is nonsensical, the theist is given license to claim intellectual superiority. I'm sorry, but talking about religion with you is like talking to a rock about, well... anything.

Then do not talk about religion.
Do not come on this forum spouting your demonic propaganda if you do not want to be challenged by an opposing view.
You see, this forum, this site is all about debate..

And by the way, what do trolls eat? I've always wondered.

You (like Kleptin et al) do not actually understand what a troll is..

Now, are you going to attempt to tackle the insanely simple question of whether morality is subjective or objective?

John 14:6 (New King James Version)
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The Cross.. the Cross.
DATCMOTO
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6/15/2009 1:15:06 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/13/2009 6:38:00 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 6/13/2009 5:07:34 PM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
At 6/13/2009 1:39:23 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
Giving up already? most atheists take at least a couple of weeks to crumble..
Next?

Now that's funny. Whenever an atheist recognizes that arguing with a theist is nonsensical, the theist is given license to claim intellectual superiority. I'm sorry, but talking about religion with you is like talking to a rock about, well... anything.

And by the way, what do trolls eat? I've always wondered.

Trolls eat posts that are directed towards them. You have just fed the troll. Trolls feed off of attention.

Trolls are like poison ivy rashes. They itch. They want to spread. They itch your skin so that they may spread further. Trolls are tricky, they will provoke you into feeding it. They will jab at your ego, your act of revenge then sustains them.
The act of provoking you into a response is the way by which they grow. The only method is to ignore them.

To ignore them is to starve them. Trolls survive by posting responses and to give a troll something to respond TO, is the act of feeding. 10 acts of starving a troll can easily be negated by one act of feeding. If everyone on this forum would stop feeding useless trolls, the troll would die.

The rule is simple. You may talk PAST a troll, you may talk ABOUT a troll, but you may never talk TO a troll.

You LOVE trolls Kleptin..
Let's have a quick look through this forum at all the times when real live trolls have appeared and see your reaction shall we?

Do you want to do it here or in a debate?

John 14:6 (New King James Version)
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.


*reported*
The Cross.. the Cross.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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6/15/2009 5:27:33 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
If you have a debate challenge, send it. If you want me to send YOU a debate challenge, word the resolution as you see fit and I shall send it to you.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
DATCMOTO
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6/15/2009 8:43:28 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/15/2009 5:27:33 AM, Kleptin wrote:
If you have a debate challenge, send it. If you want me to send YOU a debate challenge, word the resolution as you see fit and I shall send it to you.

Matthew 23:28 (New King James Version)
28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.


I have an accusation: You love trolls when they are against believers BUT this supposed hatred of trolls in general (and of me in particular) is nothing more than garden variety self righteousness.. it allows you to feel like the good guy.
The Cross.. the Cross.
Brock_Meyer
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6/16/2009 7:09:15 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/15/2009 5:27:33 AM, Kleptin wrote:
If you have a debate challenge, send it. If you want me to send YOU a debate challenge, word the resolution as you see fit and I shall send it to you.

Good post, Kleptin. (rule #3)
DATCMOTO
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6/17/2009 4:39:05 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/16/2009 7:09:15 AM, Brock_Meyer wrote:
At 6/15/2009 5:27:33 AM, Kleptin wrote:
If you have a debate challenge, send it. If you want me to send YOU a debate challenge, word the resolution as you see fit and I shall send it to you.

Good post, Kleptin. (rule #3)

What happened to those big manly posts you were so fond of?

Morality?
subjective?
objective?
which?
Come on 'funny guy'!

John 3:19-21 (New King James Version)
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
The Cross.. the Cross.
Kleptin
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6/22/2009 8:04:13 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/15/2009 8:43:28 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
I have an accusation: You love trolls when they are against believers BUT this supposed hatred of trolls in general (and of me in particular) is nothing more than garden variety self righteousness.. it allows you to feel like the good guy.

Accusations can be debate challenges too. Go on, make it into a debate.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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6/22/2009 10:26:53 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/22/2009 8:04:13 PM, Kleptin wrote:
At 6/15/2009 8:43:28 PM, DATCMOTO wrote:
I have an accusation: You love trolls when they are against believers BUT this supposed hatred of trolls in general (and of me in particular) is nothing more than garden variety self righteousness.. it allows you to feel like the good guy.

Accusations can be debate challenges too. Go on, make it into a debate.

*Go on* Ooohh.. your so persuasive..
I wonder how long this little rebellion will last?
Emotion never lasts Kleptin.. This is why marriages are failing, they used to be built on Honour and duty etc.. now they are built on lust and feelings etc..
Anyway, all the best with this latest effort.

Matthew 12:30 (The Message)

30"This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're the enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse.

The Cross.. the Cross.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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6/26/2009 3:55:05 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
The coward has declined my debate challenge:

http://www.debate.org...

He can't even defend his accusations, how pathetic.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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6/26/2009 4:30:19 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/26/2009 3:55:05 AM, Kleptin wrote:
The coward has declined my debate challenge:

http://www.debate.org...

He can't even defend his accusations, how pathetic.

'He'? Don't you mean 'it'?
You're trying to dehumanize me remember?
*little hitler*

Psalm 14:1 (New King James Version)

Psalm 14
–To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 The fool has said in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.
The Cross.. the Cross.
JustCallMeTarzan
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6/26/2009 6:33:47 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 6/26/2009 3:55:05 AM, Kleptin wrote:
The coward has declined my debate challenge:

http://www.debate.org...

He can't even defend his accusations, how pathetic.

Old hat Kleptin... the troll hides under his bridge when actually confronted.