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Prayer my butt!

AtheistExile
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12/2/2009 10:07:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
My stepson is a devout Catholic. It bothers him that I have an atheist website and a presence on several atheist forums. He has an account on my member forum, at AtheistExile.com, and follows the conversations there as a lurker instead of a participant.

He told me I should try prayer, just for a little while, to see if they come true or not.

I never approach my family members on the subject of religion but if they approach me about it, I don't hold back unless I see them closing their minds. This is what I told him (edited for posting) . . .

. . . Given the might and majesty of The Lord, I assume people don't trivialize their prayers. They pray for good and worthy things. But if those things are good and worthy AND God is mighty and majestic, why do we have to pray for them in the first place?

I mean, look at the perennially starving masses in Africa, where drought always seems to be a problem somewhere. Don't they pray for rain? Surely some of them are Christians!?! (Not that it should matter.) What about all the fat and happy Christians in the U.S.? Don't they pray for rain for the poor, starving, Africans?

Jesus (i.e. God in the flesh) said that we should live like the birds: they don't worry about food or shelter -- they just flit through life letting God provide for them. If that is what Jesus tell us to do, then why do we need to pray for the starving masses? Why do we need to remind God that he claimed to provide for our needs?

Yes, yes. I know. God works in mysterious ways. That's what we say whenever God does bad things. Don't you ever wonder why we say it so often?

You know, son, I was a Christian once. But I never fooled myself into thinking my prayers were ever answered.
Jim Ashby
http://AtheistExile.com...

"Knowledge is a relatively safe addiction . . . that is, until it becomes idolatry." ~Anonymous

"The Abrahamic religions have been THE most persistently divisive influence in the history of mankind." ~Jim Ashby
LB628
Posts: 176
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12/2/2009 10:26:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 10:07:59 PM, AtheistExile wrote:
My stepson is a devout Catholic. It bothers him that I have an atheist website and a presence on several atheist forums. He has an account on my member forum, at AtheistExile.com, and follows the conversations there as a lurker instead of a participant.

He told me I should try prayer, just for a little while, to see if they come true or not.

I never approach my family members on the subject of religion but if they approach me about it, I don't hold back unless I see them closing their minds. This is what I told him (edited for posting) . . .

. . . Given the might and majesty of The Lord, I assume people don't trivialize their prayers. They pray for good and worthy things. But if those things are good and worthy AND God is mighty and majestic, why do we have to pray for them in the first place?

I mean, look at the perennially starving masses in Africa, where drought always seems to be a problem somewhere. Don't they pray for rain? Surely some of them are Christians!?! (Not that it should matter.) What about all the fat and happy Christians in the U.S.? Don't they pray for rain for the poor, starving, Africans?

Jesus (i.e. God in the flesh) said that we should live like the birds: they don't worry about food or shelter -- they just flit through life letting God provide for them. If that is what Jesus tell us to do, then why do we need to pray for the starving masses? Why do we need to remind God that he claimed to provide for our needs?

Yes, yes. I know. God works in mysterious ways. That's what we say whenever God does bad things. Don't you ever wonder why we say it so often?

You know, son, I was a Christian once. But I never fooled myself into thinking my prayers were ever answered.

Is there some sort of conclusion to this? Yes prayer is pretty useless in achieving physical effects. I dont think thats why most people pray. Also, whats the "son" thing about?
AtheistExile
Posts: 30
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12/2/2009 11:07:53 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Just a follow-up . . .

. . . If you believe that God answers your prayers, then God is also responsible for the prayers he doesn't answer. Was the prayer he answered for you more important than sparing suffering for the masses of Africans dying of starvation? I don't imagine it could be. Are you to have me believe that God answered your prayer for your mother's health but ignored the millions of prayers for the starving masses in Africa (India, the Philippines, Haiti, or whatever)?
Jim Ashby
http://AtheistExile.com...

"Knowledge is a relatively safe addiction . . . that is, until it becomes idolatry." ~Anonymous

"The Abrahamic religions have been THE most persistently divisive influence in the history of mankind." ~Jim Ashby
AtheistExile
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12/2/2009 11:15:39 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Is there some sort of conclusion to this? Yes prayer is pretty useless in achieving physical effects. I dont think thats why most people pray. Also, whats the "son" thing about?

Hmmm . . . This is the religion forum, is it not? The delusion of prayer may be obvious to us freethinkers but it's a point that the true believers probably haven't faced up to yet.

For you true believers out there. Tell me why death by starvation has ALWAYS been a curse on humanity when Jesus (God in the flesh) proclaimed that we should not worry about sustenance and shelter because God will provide for us -- just as he does for the birds.

P.S.
H I N T :   Birds starve to death too.
Jim Ashby
http://AtheistExile.com...

"Knowledge is a relatively safe addiction . . . that is, until it becomes idolatry." ~Anonymous

"The Abrahamic religions have been THE most persistently divisive influence in the history of mankind." ~Jim Ashby
johngriswald
Posts: 1,294
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12/2/2009 11:16:35 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:07:53 PM, AtheistExile wrote:
I have a 2 questions for you AtheistExile.

Does cold exist?
Do you like free will?
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leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
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12/2/2009 11:35:16 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
For a self-proclaimed atheist, you seem to be taking the idea of a personal god fairly seriously. If the whole idea is as ridiculous as you and I know it is, why show it so much respect? Do you write essays regarding the non-existence of fairies, or do you take it in your stride as a given?
"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
johngriswald
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12/2/2009 11:48:57 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
About Me:In June of 2006, at the age of 52, I retired and expatriated from the U.S. to the Philippines. I have my own web site at http://AtheistExile.com... that features a member forum and chat, my blog, member essays, news, video and much more.

Activities:Active as "Freethinker" on Atheist Nexus; "Atheist Exile" on Think Atheist; the webmaster of AtheistExile.com; "Jim Ashby" on Facebook and "AtheistExile" on Twitter.

For someone that is so against religion and regards it as a waste of time, I do have to say you're wasting your time with your own little religion that I call atheism.

LOL
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TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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12/2/2009 11:50:38 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:16:35 PM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:07:53 PM, AtheistExile wrote:
I have a 2 questions for you AtheistExile.

Does cold exist?
Do you like free will?

Free will defense I suppose?
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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12/2/2009 11:51:21 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:35:16 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
For a self-proclaimed atheist, you seem to be taking the idea of a personal god fairly seriously. If the whole idea is as ridiculous as you and I know it is, why show it so much respect? Do you write essays regarding the non-existence of fairies, or do you take it in your stride as a given?

If the vast majority of the world's population believed in fairies, I think both of us would be as fired up in writing essays debunking this myth while laughing at those who support it :).
johngriswald
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12/2/2009 11:52:03 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:50:38 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:16:35 PM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:07:53 PM, AtheistExile wrote:
I have a 2 questions for you AtheistExile.

Does cold exist?
Do you like free will?

Free will defense I suppose?

correct.
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leet4A1
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12/2/2009 11:58:08 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
For someone that is so against religion and regards it as a waste of time, I do have to say you're wasting your time with your own little religion that I call atheism.

Atheism a religion? o.O

LOL

Tell me about it...
"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
leet4A1
Posts: 1,986
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12/2/2009 11:58:36 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:51:21 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:35:16 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
For a self-proclaimed atheist, you seem to be taking the idea of a personal god fairly seriously. If the whole idea is as ridiculous as you and I know it is, why show it so much respect? Do you write essays regarding the non-existence of fairies, or do you take it in your stride as a given?

If the vast majority of the world's population believed in fairies, I think both of us would be as fired up in writing essays debunking this myth while laughing at those who support it :).

Good point.
"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
TheSkeptic
Posts: 1,362
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12/3/2009 12:21:57 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:52:03 PM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:50:38 PM, TheSkeptic wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:16:35 PM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:07:53 PM, AtheistExile wrote:
I have a 2 questions for you AtheistExile.

Does cold exist?
Do you like free will?

Free will defense I suppose?

correct.

Would you fancy a debate on the merits of that theodicy? I find it, obviously, to fail :).
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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12/3/2009 5:24:36 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:16:35 PM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/2/2009 11:07:53 PM, AtheistExile wrote:
I have a 2 questions for you AtheistExile.

Does cold exist?
Do you like free will?

I think that theres no absolute way to absolutely prove objective physical reality.

but given objective physical reality:

Just because we perceive these things (cold and free will) doesn't mean they "exist" outside of our perception. Our perception might be an imperfect representation of objective reality.

We cannot comprehend every last movement of matter around/in us, but it's important for our survival, so understanding differences in that amount on a sensational scale of hot and cold is useful evolutionarily.

Perhaps our belief in free will is only because when we self analyze we can only perceive happenings in our brain as thoughts, if we could perceive, and comprehend the meaning of every last physical movement within the brain, and comprehend their places in larger patterns, we might reject free will, b/c we would understand the root physical causes of our "thoughts", and understand them as being governed by the laws of physics.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
gr33k_fr33k5
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12/3/2009 7:18:16 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
the greatest victory the devil ever had, was to make the world believe he doesn't exist.

so why do Christians pray? . . . because God told us to . . .

and just because you've never seen its power, doesn't mean its not real . .. . I could go on and on about examples that you would dismiss as "coincidence"
I am free, free indeed!

ignorance is bliss
johngriswald
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12/3/2009 7:58:23 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 5:24:36 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:

I think that theres no absolute way to absolutely prove objective physical reality.

but given objective physical reality:

Just because we perceive these things (cold and free will) doesn't mean they "exist" outside of our perception. Oupr erception might be an imperfect representation of objective reality.

We cannot comprehend every last movement of matter around/in us, but it's important for our survival, so understanding differences in that amount on a sensational scale of hot and cold is useful evolutionarily.

Perhaps our belief in free will is only because when we self analyze we can only perceive happenings in our brain as thoughts, if we could perceive, and comprehend the meaning of every last physical movement within the brain, and comprehend their places in larger patterns, we might reject free will, b/c we would understand the root physical causes of our "thoughts", and understand them as being governed by the laws of physics.

Sorry, but you're going to have to speak English, I don't understand BS.
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johngriswald
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12/3/2009 7:59:09 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 12:21:57 AM, TheSkeptic wrote:
Would you fancy a debate on the merits of that theodicy? I find it, obviously, to fail :).

Sure why the heck not. Give me 3 days to start so I can end the other debates I've got going.
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mattrodstrom
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12/3/2009 8:07:10 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 7:58:23 AM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/3/2009 5:24:36 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:

I think that theres no absolute way to absolutely prove objective physical reality.

but given objective physical reality:

Just because we perceive these things (cold and free will) doesn't mean they "exist" outside of our perception. Oupr erception might be an imperfect representation of objective reality.

We cannot comprehend every last movement of matter around/in us, but it's important for our survival, so understanding differences in that amount on a sensational scale of hot and cold is useful evolutionarily.

Perhaps our belief in free will is only because when we self analyze we can only perceive happenings in our brain as thoughts, if we could perceive, and comprehend the meaning of every last physical movement within the brain, and comprehend their places in larger patterns, we might reject free will, b/c we would understand the root physical causes of our "thoughts", and understand them as being governed by the laws of physics.

Sorry, but you're going to have to speak English, I don't understand BS.

From what I could tell you were fluent, anyhow,

"Cold" and "free will" are how we naturally perceive physical reality, this doesn't mean they fully explain the physical phenomena, just that they do so to the point where it has been evolutionarily useful, and that we are capable of.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
johngriswald
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12/3/2009 8:09:32 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 8:07:10 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
"Cold" and "free will" are how we naturally perceive physical reality, this doesn't mean they fully explain the physical phenomena, just that they do so to the point where it has been evolutionarily useful, and that we are capable of.

Really? Care to back that up with any logic or facts?
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mattrodstrom
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12/3/2009 8:29:51 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 8:09:32 AM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/3/2009 8:07:10 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
"Cold" and "free will" are how we naturally perceive physical reality, this doesn't mean they fully explain the physical phenomena, just that they do so to the point where it has been evolutionarily useful, and that we are capable of.

Really? Care to back that up with any logic or facts?

Given physical reality, as discovered by our senses (which is a reasonable assumption, though not provable), our sensational perceptions are how we come to know the physical.

Science is the defining of that physical world, beyond the acuity of our sensation.

We have come to know that "cold" is a lack of movement of small particles, which has given us a much more precise, and useful, way of understanding "hot" and "cold"

Given physical reality, It would seem all of our thought, our ideas, etc. are determined by our brains, for we have seen much correlation to that effect, recently very specific correlation to certain areas for certain kinds of thought.

When we think of the thought process of decisionmaking, we see it as thought. And one of the properties we see it as having is free will.
However given our assumption that thought is determined by that physical thing the brain, it must be seen as being governed by the laws of physics; kind of like how cold is.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
johngriswald
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12/3/2009 9:23:10 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 8:29:51 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Given physical reality, as discovered by our senses (which is a reasonable assumption, though not provable), our sensational perceptions are how we come to know the physical.
Science is the defining of that physical world, beyond the acuity of our sensation.
We have come to know that "cold" is a lack of movement of small particles, which has given us a much more precise, and useful, way of understanding "hot" and "cold"

Given physical reality, It would seem all of our thought, our ideas, etc. are determined by our brains, for we have seen much correlation to that effect, recently very specific correlation to certain areas for certain kinds of thought.

When we think of the thought process of decisionmaking, we see it as thought. And one of the properties we see it as having is free will.
However given our assumption that thought is determined by that physical thing the brain, it must be seen as being governed by the laws of physics; kind of like how cold is.

TRANSLATION:
We use our five senses to discover the world. Science attempts to go beyond the senses in understanding the world and the universe. Cold is the lack of heat. We use specific areas of our brains for different kinds of thought. When we decide things, we think that we are using our brains and are thus using free will. However, we are not and it is determined by the laws of physics similar to the concept of cold.

Protip for the future: Using wordy sentences don't make you appear more intelligent. Above translation is a good way to phrase them in the future, so you will be more widely understood..

Apparently failed to understand the reason that I asked if cold exists. I planned to use the concept of cold as a baited analogy for evil. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Such as evil does not exist. Evil is the absence of God. Since God gave us free will, he did not create, nor can prevent evil because it is a direct result of free will.
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mattrodstrom
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12/3/2009 9:31:22 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 9:23:10 AM, johngriswald wrote:

TRANSLATION:
We use our five senses to discover the world. Science attempts to go beyond the senses in understanding the world and the universe. Cold is the lack of heat. We use specific areas of our brains for different kinds of thought. When we decide things, we think that we are using our brains and are thus using free will. However, we are not and it is determined by the laws of physics similar to the concept of cold.

Protip for the future: Using wordy sentences don't make you appear more intelligent. Above translation is a good way to phrase them in the future, so you will be more widely understood..

I wasn't trying to use wordy sentences, I've been trying to be clear and thorough. I'm sorry you were having trouble.


Apparently failed to understand the reason that I asked if cold exists. I planned to use the concept of cold as a baited analogy for evil. Cold does not exist. Cold is the absence of heat. Such as evil does not exist. Evil is the absence of God. Since God gave us free will, he did not create, nor can prevent evil because it is a direct result of free will.

Such as evil does not exist.

As a concept it does, and pretty much only as a concept, just like "good".

Evil is the absence of God.

says you. I think it's clearly best understood as being inhumane.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
johngriswald
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12/3/2009 9:43:27 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
You're explanation: 170 words
My Translation: 78 words

You used the word "physical" 5 times (in 4/6 sentences)
You used the word "correlation" 2 times in the same sentence.
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mattrodstrom
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12/3/2009 9:45:31 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 9:43:27 AM, johngriswald wrote:
You're explanation: 170 words
My Translation: 78 words

You used the word "physical" 5 times (in 4/6 sentences)
You used the word "correlation" 2 times in the same sentence.

That would be my trying to be clear and thorough.

Apparently despite my great efforts to present my ideas in a simple manner you still had a hard time. Again, I apologize.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
johngriswald
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12/3/2009 9:51:33 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 9:45:31 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
That would be my trying to be clear and thorough.

Apparently despite my great efforts to present my ideas in a simple manner you still had a hard time. Again, I apologize.

Apparently I had a hard time understanding the physical reality of the correlation of which you were trying to present. I was making an assumption about the correlation of the correlation of physical reality and the laws of physics, when in reality you thought I was thinking about the thought process known as thought, however the thought process known as thought (which in bizarre circumstances is correlated with free will) was in a physical reality only governed by the laws of physics.
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mattrodstrom
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12/3/2009 9:55:37 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 9:51:33 AM, johngriswald wrote:

Apparently I had a hard time understanding the physical reality of the correlation of which you were trying to present. I was making an assumption about the correlation of the correlation of physical reality and the laws of physics, when in reality you thought I was thinking about the thought process known as thought, however the thought process known as thought (which in bizarre circumstances is correlated with free will) was in a physical reality only governed by the laws of physics.

Again proving that you truly are fluent in BS.

I was having a bit of a hard time understanding what you wrote, but I'm glad you think it was worthwhile. You really are a master of debate, I do think you've won this one.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
MikeLoviN
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12/3/2009 9:55:52 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 9:51:33 AM, johngriswald wrote:
At 12/3/2009 9:45:31 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
That would be my trying to be clear and thorough.

Apparently despite my great efforts to present my ideas in a simple manner you still had a hard time. Again, I apologize.

Apparently I had a hard time understanding the physical reality of the correlation of which you were trying to present. I was making an assumption about the correlation of the correlation of physical reality and the laws of physics, when in reality you thought I was thinking about the thought process known as thought, however the thought process known as thought (which in bizarre circumstances is correlated with free will) was in a physical reality only governed by the laws of physics.

LOL.
johngriswald
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12/3/2009 9:59:00 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 9:55:37 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
Again proving that you truly are fluent in BS.

Again proving that you truly are not fluent in the art of sarcasm or the art of understand I'm making funny of how pathetic you are.

I was having a bit of a hard time understanding what you wrote, but I'm glad you think it was worthwhile.

Apparently despite my great efforts to present my ideas in a simple manner you still had a hard time. Again, I apologize.

You really are a master debater I do think you've won this one.

Fixed your grammar for you ;)
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mattrodstrom
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12/3/2009 10:00:29 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/3/2009 9:59:00 AM, johngriswald wrote:

Fixed your grammar for you ;)

ok mr. "making funny"
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
johngriswald
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12/3/2009 10:46:24 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 12/2/2009 11:58:08 PM, leet4A1 wrote:
For someone that is so against religion and regards it as a waste of time, I do have to say you're wasting your time with your own little religion that I call atheism.

Atheism a religion? o.O

If its not a religion it surely contains a lot of elements of it.

It's a faith-based belief that is organized and obviously trying to recruit new members.
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