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ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.
This means (to me) that I have rejected all assertions of deities made by humans, to date. I do not, however, reject the possibility of one existing. Neither I nor anyone else has sufficient knowledge to dismiss this, summarily, out of hand.

To date, there has never been offered any convincing, objective evidence that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present deity in existence, anywhere. Does this necessarily mean that no such entity exists? No.

Until humans began exploring the universe with more powerful technology, we had no evidence of Quasars, Pulsars, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, Nebulae, germs, viruses, bacteria, DNA, etc. Did that mean that they did not exist? No. They exist, and have been both observed and described by those that have gone in search of knowledge of the universe around us.

This very same principle must be observed, with respect to a deity. I cannot reject a possibility until that possibility has been completely demonstrated to be impossible, which would take far more knowledge than the cumulative sum of humanity's complete historical record of existence, from the first conceptual thought formed in the very first "thinking" primate, to the present. Until we have reached every corner of the universe we know, investigated, tested, observed, identified, calculated, and documented every single phenomenon, event, occurrence, energy form, etc., this possibility cannot reasonably be ruled out. Humans simply do not have that cognitive ability, just yet. It may never come.

With all the aforementioned stated, I have completely rejected all deities that have been invented, asserted, claimed, described, "experienced," or otherwise suggested. I have rejected them for exactly the same reasons, though not applied in the same manner... That which I completely reject, without reservation or apology, is any (and I do mean ANY) religion.

The concept of a deity is fine. The existence of a deity would also be fine. Where does the reason and rationality break down? The breakdown ALWAYS begins when one (or more) of the human race begins to make an attempt at quantifying and qualifying that deity. When the deity's attributes are put into human terms... It is not until the deity becomes the central focus of a religion, that reason breaks down, and the irrational claims and assertions begin to infect thinking to such a point where it begins creating separations among otherwise peaceful humans. Religion can and MUST be purged from the annals of human history, if humanity is EVER going to stand a chance at living in peace, on this ever-shrinking planet... There is a reason the following quotes are so meaningful:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. --Jonathan Swift

Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder's than any other agency in the world. - Richard Le Gallienne

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. --Anne Lamott

Men rarely (if ever) invent gods superior to themselves. Most gods have the morals and manners of a spoiled child. -- Robert Heinlein (My personal favorite)

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. --Unknown

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. --Lucius Annaeus Seneca

In nothing do the words of Christian liturgy strike the ears of contemporary men and women as 'empty ritual' so much as when they speak of a loving, Spirit-filled community where none is visible.-- Leonel Mitchell

If it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian.-- Mahatma Ghandi

Any of the quotes above can aptly substitute "christian" or "christianity" for the targeted religion of choice. I have been asked many times why I frequent religious forums if I hate religion so much. The answer is simple: Silent disagreement invariably results in complacent acceptance. I often think of Burke, when I am asked this question, but it has always seemed patently cruel to speak it in this context. Unfortunately, humanity sometimes gets in the way of itself. The thought of being "unkind" or "cruel" often compels thinking people to withhold vitriol, when it is richly deserved. Thus, in response to those who ask, "Why do you come here?":

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke

Why is religion such a terrible thing? It doesn't always start out that way, but comes to that inevitable conclusion simply because this belief structure is inherently intolerant of thought. How can I say that? Consider the following questions:

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), what need or desire could they POSSIBLY have for "worship?"

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), of what possible benefit could "sacrifice" be, whether it be animal (lower) or human?

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is there ZERO evidence of their presence?

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is their influence in the lives of their followers not more evident?

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why do NONE of their fan clubs seem to be able to unite -- even those that share a common deity?

These and many more questions cannot be sufficiently or reasonably answered without noticing the connection between the imperfection of humans (that will be brought up in response), and the imperfections, contradictions, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies with which all of the "holy" documents are so replete. It is painfully obvious that all religions are completely reducible to one "holy" manuscript or another. Every single manuscript was produced by humans. Every single manuscript is completely riddled with human concepts. Every single manuscript contains rituals, practices, ceremonies, and beliefs that are so obviously foreign to a deity and completely human in origin as to be laughably dismissed.

The darkest stain on the reputation of any deity is the behavior of its followers. The biggest argument against acceptance of belief in codified and institutionalized ritualistic religion is that no self-respecting entity, most especially a deity, would be caught DEAD associating with the religions that exist in abject disregard for all of the highest ideals they claim to espouse. I've heard it stated that although the Ethic of Reciprocity was stated long before the latest saviors and prophets, such an ethic was not backed by any "authority" until spoken by those regarded as "divine." Conversely, I contend that the only "authority" required for a concept to be valid is the truth and benefit of the concept to be scrutinized under the light of reason. The most fundamental ethical concept required for morality to be implemented among humans is the Ethic of Reciprocity. For this, religion is both unnecessary and pointless.

Get rid of religion, and the deity becomes far more believable.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
ethang5
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10/24/2014 1:06:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.

You are free, and have always been free, to call yourself anything.

I had no doubt about what you call yourself. My point was that what you call yourself and what you are - are two separate things.

Except for your claim that you still believe that a God may exist, your position, tone, stance, demeanor, speech, bent, gist, thinking, and baring are militant atheist. And not just militant atheist, but anti-theistically militant atheist.

But sure, this is America, where everyone is free to define themselves in whichever way they want. So I accept that you as an undecided agnostic who is still open-minded to the possibility that a God may exist.

Even though your writings say the exact opposite.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,297
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10/24/2014 1:20:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

Funny that Pascal was a staunch believer.

Why is religion such a terrible thing? It doesn't always start out that way, but comes to that inevitable conclusion simply because this belief structure is inherently intolerant of thought. How can I say that? Consider the following questions:

I'll bite today... I'll probably regret it.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), what need or desire could they POSSIBLY have for "worship?"

All the glory is already God's he has no need of our worship. Our worship of him is for our good in that it conforms us to him.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), of what possible benefit could "sacrifice" be, whether it be animal (lower) or human?

God is love. Sacrifice for the other solely for the good of other is a perfect expression of love. Thus worship without sacrifice is ultimately empty.

Since you like Ghandi one of his seven social sins was worship without sacrifice.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is there ZERO evidence of their presence?

Any attribute that we have, we have because of God. We have love because God is perfect love, we have justice because God is perfect justice, etc... you get the idea.

There is no way to approach God without humility. Thus God must also be perfectly humble. He hides himself from within his creation. He does not force us to believe in him. He does not say know and you shall find, he says seek and ye shall find. You do not love a woman (I'm assuming you are male) by chemically analyzing her. You love her by being in a relationship with her.

There is enough evidence to believe, but not so much that you have to believe. God does not force Himself on you.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is their influence in the lives of their followers not more evident?

We are a fallen race and even though we believe we do not always act as we should. However, this is a bit of a myopic observation on your part. You live in a society that has been built on Judeo-Christian principles. The concepts of equality of all men is directly tied to the concept that we are all loved by the Christian God who desires us all to be in heaven. The social welfare system, foreign aid, proliferation of charities have direct ties to Christian civilization that has developed over the last 2000 years.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why do NONE of their fan clubs seem to be able to unite -- even those that share a common deity?

Pride, sloth, anger, gluttony, lust, lies, greed. People want God to conform to how they want to live instead of conforming themselves to God. Christianity was essentially one until the great schism which was further divided with the protestant revolt.
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 1:21:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:06:52 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.

You are free, and have always been free, to call yourself anything.

I had no doubt about what you call yourself. My point was that what you call yourself and what you are - are two separate things.

Only in your perception.

Except for your claim that you still believe that a God may exist, your position, tone, stance, demeanor, speech, bent, gist, thinking, and baring are militant atheist. And not just militant atheist, but anti-theistically militant atheist.

You are misinterpreting... I am anti-theocratic, and there is an huge difference. You're not the only theist to refer to me as a militant atheist. I am opposed to religion, because it is inherently destructive. You can spin anything you want any way you want. Your perception of my stance is not. Your spin, fortunately, is not the reality of things. You continue to be completely WRONG.

But sure, this is America, where everyone is free to define themselves in whichever way they want. So I accept that you as an undecided agnostic who is still open-minded to the possibility that a God may exist.

This has nothing to do with living in the US. It has to do with reality. I can, indeed, accept that a deity exists. What I cannot accept is that such a deity would not be associated with any religion this planet's highest primate has ever produced. It's simply irreconcilable with reality and justice. Reason is our greatest gift. Religion is what happens when we fail to use it.

Even though your writings say the exact opposite.

No, they don't. You read INTO my writings that which you wish to see, in order to make it easier to vilify my words. I can't help that you have accepted the ignorant writings of ancient civilizations. I can and will help what impact your acceptance, along with those of your fellow believers, have on my life. I will fight it with everything I ever have or ever am.

Have a nice day.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/24/2014 1:23:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:

I am agnostic.
This means (to me) that I have rejected all assertions of deities made by humans, to date. I do not, however, reject the possibility of one existing. Neither I nor anyone else has sufficient knowledge to dismiss this, summarily, out of hand.

To date, there has never been offered any convincing, objective evidence that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present deity in existence, anywhere. Does this necessarily mean that no such entity exists? No.

Until humans began exploring the universe with more powerful technology, we had no evidence of Quasars, Pulsars, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, Nebulae, germs, viruses, bacteria, DNA, etc. Did that mean that they did not exist? No. They exist, and have been both observed and described by those that have gone in search of knowledge of the universe around us.

This very same principle must be observed, with respect to a deity. I cannot reject a possibility until that possibility has been completely demonstrated to be impossible, which would take far more knowledge than the cumulative sum of humanity's complete historical record of existence, from the first conceptual thought formed in the very first "thinking" primate, to the present. Until we have reached every corner of the universe we know, investigated, tested, observed, identified, calculated, and documented every single phenomenon, event, occurrence, energy form, etc., this possibility cannot reasonably be ruled out. Humans simply do not have that cognitive ability, just yet. It may never come.

With all the aforementioned stated, I have completely rejected all deities that have been invented, asserted, claimed, described, "experienced," or otherwise suggested. I have rejected them for exactly the same reasons, though not applied in the same manner... That which I completely reject, without reservation or apology, is any (and I do mean ANY) religion.

The concept of a deity is fine. The existence of a deity would also be fine. Where does the reason and rationality break down? The breakdown ALWAYS begins when one (or more) of the human race begins to make an attempt at quantifying and qualifying that deity. When the deity's attributes are put into human terms... It is not until the deity becomes the central focus of a religion, that reason breaks down, and the irrational claims and assertions begin to infect thinking to such a point where it begins creating separations among otherwise peaceful humans. Religion can and MUST be purged from the annals of human history, if humanity is EVER going to stand a chance at living in peace, on this ever-shrinking planet... There is a reason the following quotes are so meaningful:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. --Jonathan Swift

Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder's than any other agency in the world. - Richard Le Gallienne

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. --Anne Lamott

Men rarely (if ever) invent gods superior to themselves. Most gods have the morals and manners of a spoiled child. -- Robert Heinlein (My personal favorite)

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. --Unknown

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful. --Lucius Annaeus Seneca

In nothing do the words of Christian liturgy strike the ears of contemporary men and women as 'empty ritual' so much as when they speak of a loving, Spirit-filled community where none is visible.-- Leonel Mitchell

If it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian.-- Mahatma Ghandi

Any of the quotes above can aptly substitute "christian" or "christianity" for the targeted religion of choice. I have been asked many times why I frequent religious forums if I hate religion so much. The answer is simple: Silent disagreement invariably results in complacent acceptance. I often think of Burke, when I am asked this question, but it has always seemed patently cruel to speak it in this context. Unfortunately, humanity sometimes gets in the way of itself. The thought of being "unkind" or "cruel" often compels thinking people to withhold vitriol, when it is richly deserved. Thus, in response to those who ask, "Why do you come here?":

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke

Why is religion such a terrible thing? It doesn't always start out that way, but comes to that inevitable conclusion simply because this belief structure is inherently intolerant of thought. How can I say that? Consider the following questions:

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), what need or desire could they POSSIBLY have for "worship?"

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), of what possible benefit could "sacrifice" be, whether it be animal (lower) or human?

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is there ZERO evidence of their presence?

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is their influence in the lives of their followers not more evident?

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why do NONE of their fan clubs seem to be able to unite -- even those that share a common deity?

These and many more questions cannot be sufficiently or reasonably answered without noticing the connection between the imperfection of humans (that will be brought up in response), and the imperfections, contradictions, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies with which all of the "holy" documents are so replete. It is painfully obvious that all religions are completely reducible to one "holy" manuscript or another. Every single manuscript was produced by humans. Every single manuscript is completely riddled with human concepts. Every single manuscript contains rituals, practices, ceremonies, and beliefs that are so obviously foreign to a deity and completely human in origin as to be laughably dismissed.

The darkest stain on the reputation of any deity is the behavior of its followers. The biggest argument against acceptance of belief in codified and institutionalized ritualistic religion is that no self-respecting entity, most especially a deity, would be caught DEAD associating with the religions that exist in abject disregard for all of the highest ideals they claim to espouse. I've heard it stated that although the Ethic of Reciprocity was stated long before the latest saviors and prophets, such an ethic was not backed by any "authority" until spoken by those regarded as "divine." Conversely, I contend that the only "authority" required for a concept to be valid is the truth and benefit of the concept to be scrutinized under the light of reason. The most fundamental ethical concept required for morality to be implemented among humans is the Ethic of Reciprocity. For this, religion is both unnecessary and pointless.

Get rid of religion, and the deity becomes far more belie

Well spoken. +1
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Vox_Veritas
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10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.
However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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ThinkFirst
Posts: 1,391
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10/24/2014 1:55:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:20:06 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

Funny that Pascal was a staunch believer.

Being a believer does not preclude that one see the truth of religious hypocrisy.

Why is religion such a terrible thing? It doesn't always start out that way, but comes to that inevitable conclusion simply because this belief structure is inherently intolerant of thought. How can I say that? Consider the following questions:

I'll bite today... I'll probably regret it.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), what need or desire could they POSSIBLY have for "worship?"

All the glory is already God's he has no need of our worship. Our worship of him is for our good in that it conforms us to him.

Funny that. That conformity is often least visible in those that most ardently believe...

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), of what possible benefit could "sacrifice" be, whether it be animal (lower) or human?

God is love. Sacrifice for the other solely for the good of other is a perfect expression of love. Thus worship without sacrifice is ultimately empty.

Spoken like a good little believer... or should I say "regurgitated." That still doesn't answer what benefit is derived from the sacrifice. WHY would killing an animal, in a specific fashion, performing rituals and chanting incantations be of any benefit? Can you delineate for me the difference between the passover ritual and Celtic spring, summer, autumn, and winter rituals? What makes one more meaningful than the other? The deity? How do you know yours is real and the Celts' false? Can you demonstrate it?

Since you like Ghandi one of his seven social sins was worship without sacrifice.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

And? Self-sacrifice is a matter of individual choice, not a matter of mandated behavior. Sacrifice of one's self for the benefit of another is equally meaningless, if it is madated and obeyed. If not by choice, it's not sacrifice... it's blind obedience. One last not, on this: Did Ghandi worship the same deity you do?

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is there ZERO evidence of their presence?

Any attribute that we have, we have because of God. We have love because God is perfect love, we have justice because God is perfect justice, etc... you get the idea.

Explain that "perfect love" to the children of the Amalekites, or any other tribe that was slaughtered in the name of that perfect love and perfect justice attributed to the deity of the bible.

There is no way to approach God without humility. Thus God must also be perfectly humble. He hides himself from within his creation. He does not force us to believe in him. He does not say know and you shall find, he says seek and ye shall find. You do not love a woman (I'm assuming you are male) by chemically analyzing her. You love her by being in a relationship with her.

No, I love my wife (your assumption was correct) because she embodies the ideals I cherish most: Kindness, empathy, loving nurture, compassion, and justice. My love was EARNED by her, as I have EARNED hers.

There is enough evidence to believe, but not so much that you have to believe. God does not force Himself on you.

Please share this evidence with me. I would love to see/experience it.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why is their influence in the lives of their followers not more evident?

We are a fallen race and even though we believe we do not always act as we should. However, this is a bit of a myopic observation on your part. You live in a society that has been built on Judeo-Christian principles. The concepts of equality of all men is directly tied to the concept that we are all loved by the Christian God who desires us all to be in heaven. The social welfare system, foreign aid, proliferation of charities have direct ties to Christian civilization that has developed over the last 2000 years.

The fallen race is prevalent among MANY of the religious tales. As I stated, I knew the "human imperfection" card would make its way into at least one response. Funny that the "concept of equality" was not really applied to "all men." These same "Judeo-Christian principles" seem to have been withheld from all but "land-owning white males." That charity that you wish to attribute to christianity is not born out when scrutinized rationally. Charity is not a christian concept. Even your "savior" knew that, when he spun the tale of the "good samaritan." It is a quality within each individual. No religion necessary. No deity required. ALL of humanity's best qualities mean the most when they are demonstrated individually, and because the individual BELIEVES in the principle of the quality; not because it is mandated by any deity. Question: Would you rather have your wife/husband make love to you because she WANTS to, or because she/he believes it to be her "wifely duty?" (Unsure of your gender).

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why do NONE of their fan clubs seem to be able to unite -- even those that share a common deity?

Pride, sloth, anger, gluttony, lust, lies, greed. People want God to conform to how they want to live instead of conforming themselves to God. Christianity was essentially one until the great schism which was further divided with the protestant revolt.

Can you think of anything that embodies the seven deadly sins more than the catholic church? Think of all the church wrought across Europe with the inquisitions and the lives that were sacrificed for the benefit of Rome's political power and control during the "holy" crusades. Then try to make that statement to me, again. Please... regurgitating all of the Hallmark Card responses about the warm and fuzzy side of christianity does nothing to refute anything I posed, here. Get rid of the religion, and just live the principles. Not because they "came from god," but because the principles are right (except those surrounding worship and ritual).
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 1:56:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:23:23 PM, Skepticalone wrote:: :
Get rid of religion, and the deity becomes far more believable.

Well spoken. +1

Thank you.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 1:58:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:26:19 PM, Envisage wrote:
You should become a militant agnostic.

"I don't know, and you don't either!!!"

I love that quote. While I do espouse that concept, I stopped being "militant," when I exited the military...
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 2:00:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.

Wrong. I do not accept your definitions. I am agnostic, and you don't get to define otherwise.

However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/24/2014 2:58:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:26:19 PM, Envisage wrote:
You should become a militant agnostic.

"I don't know, and you don't either!!!"

That is my view!
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Vox_Veritas
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10/24/2014 2:58:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 2:00:08 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.

Wrong. I do not accept your definitions. I am agnostic, and you don't get to define otherwise.

If you do not believe the idea of a personal or theistic God, then you are an atheist. I'm not saying that you're an adeist, so I'm not claiming that you don't believe in any kind of God. What I am saying is that you don't believe in a theistic God, making you an atheist. You would be an agnostic if you didn't know whether or not a personal God existed, but as you have decided that "man-made" deities do not exist, you are not an agnostic. Agnostic atheists do not exist. Agnostic theists do not exist. Agnostic deists do not exist. Agnostic adeists do you exist. There are those who are agnostic in regards to theism and there are those who are agnostic in regards to deism. At the very least you, sir, are not an agnostic when it comes to theism.
Since you're already not a theist and you're not agnostic when it comes to a theistic God, then why reject the atheist label?
Please understand that I am not trying to offend or insult you. I'm simply telling it as it is.

However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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Skepticalone
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10/24/2014 3:06:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 2:58:52 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/24/2014 2:00:08 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.

Wrong. I do not accept your definitions. I am agnostic, and you don't get to define otherwise.

If you do not believe the idea of a personal or theistic God, then you are an atheist. I'm not saying that you're an adeist, so I'm not claiming that you don't believe in any kind of God. What I am saying is that you don't believe in a theistic God, making you an atheist. You would be an agnostic if you didn't know whether or not a personal God existed, but as you have decided that "man-made" deities do not exist, you are not an agnostic. Agnostic atheists do not exist. Agnostic theists do not exist. Agnostic deists do not exist. Agnostic adeists do you exist. There are those who are agnostic in regards to theism and there are those who are agnostic in regards to deism. At the very least you, sir, are not an agnostic when it comes to theism.
Since you're already not a theist and you're not agnostic when it comes to a theistic God, then why reject the atheist label?
Please understand that I am not trying to offend or insult you. I'm simply telling it as it is.

However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.

Cite the source of your definitions. I, like TF, do not recognize their validity.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Geogeer
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10/24/2014 3:06:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:55:25 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:20:06 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

Funny that Pascal was a staunch believer.

Being a believer does not preclude that one see the truth of religious hypocrisy.

Nothing to do with hypocrisy. I can easily believe in God and see that people who blow themselves up believing that they earn a 1 way ticket to heaven by doing so do evil while believing they are doing good. One does not preclude the other.

Why is religion such a terrible thing? It doesn't always start out that way, but comes to that inevitable conclusion simply because this belief structure is inherently intolerant of thought. How can I say that? Consider the following questions:

I'll bite today... I'll probably regret it.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), what need or desire could they POSSIBLY have for "worship?"

All the glory is already God's he has no need of our worship. Our worship of him is for our good in that it conforms us to him.

Funny that. That conformity is often least visible in those that most ardently believe...

I guess our opinions vary then. I can talk to the vast majority of Catholics on the site and feel near complete conformity. With most of the other Christians I get a sense of similarity.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), of what possible benefit could "sacrifice" be, whether it be animal (lower) or human?

God is love. Sacrifice for the other solely for the good of other is a perfect expression of love. Thus worship without sacrifice is ultimately empty.

Spoken like a good little believer... or should I say "regurgitated." That still doesn't answer what benefit is derived from the sacrifice. WHY would killing an animal, in a specific fashion, performing rituals and chanting incantations be of any benefit? Can you delineate for me the difference between the passover ritual and Celtic spring, summer, autumn, and winter rituals? What makes one more meaningful than the other? The deity? How do you know yours is real and the Celts' false? Can you demonstrate it?

The Jewish animal sacrifices were anticipatory of the sacrifice of Christ.

The Christian concept of God is logically and philosophically valid. The Celts not so much.

And? Self-sacrifice is a matter of individual choice, not a matter of mandated behavior. Sacrifice of one's self for the benefit of another is equally meaningless, if it is madated and obeyed. If not by choice, it's not sacrifice... it's blind obedience. One last not, on this: Did Ghandi worship the same deity you do?

No Ghandi didn't worship the same deity, but he understood the natural logic behind the need for sacrifice in worship. The fact that he didn't have everything right doesn't mean he didn't have anything right.

Then I suppose you should never discipline your children or teach them right from wrong because them not running out onto the road because they fear punishment is wrong. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult, but you learn to embrace it over time because you come to understand it.

Explain that "perfect love" to the children of the Amalekites, or any other tribe that was slaughtered in the name of that perfect love and perfect justice attributed to the deity of the bible.

I'm at work on a break so I'll just give you a link to read (sorry):

http://www.ewtn.com...=

No, I love my wife (your assumption was correct) because she embodies the ideals I cherish most: Kindness, empathy, loving nurture, compassion, and justice. My love was EARNED by her, as I have EARNED hers.

So your future children will not be loved until they earn your love? How sad.

There is enough evidence to believe, but not so much that you have to believe. God does not force Himself on you.

Please share this evidence with me. I would love to see/experience it.

Logical? Historical? Philosophical? Physical (probably physical - people always seem to want physical evidence)?

The fallen race is prevalent among MANY of the religious tales. As I stated, I knew the "human imperfection" card would make its way into at least one response. Funny that the "concept of equality" was not really applied to "all men." These same "Judeo-Christian principles" seem to have been withheld from all but "land-owning white males." That charity that you wish to attribute to christianity is not born out when scrutinized rationally. Charity is not a christian concept. Even your "savior" knew that, when he spun the tale of the "good samaritan." It is a quality within each individual. No religion necessary. No deity required. ALL of humanity's best qualities mean the most when they are demonstrated individually, and because the individual BELIEVES in the principle of the quality; not because it is mandated by any deity. Question: Would you rather have your wife/husband make love to you because she WANTS to, or because she/he believes it to be her "wifely duty?" (Unsure of your gender).

Well do you want me do deny human imperfection? It is fundamental to Christianity. Yes charity exists in all cultures, but it was not like it is now. Charity was commonly limited to family members and only to keep face. Look at the Greek and Roman concepts of Charity and then at the Jewish and Christian. The Romans couldn't figure out the Christians who would look after the orphans and widows. They thought they were crazy.

I too am male. Oddly enough I believe under the Jewish tradition it is the wife whose right it is to sex (just an interesting side note).

Love is always giving. If I'm in the mood, but my wife isn't then we don't. It doesn't matter whether we have a "right" to each other I sacrifice my desires out of love for her because I try to love her "as Christ loved his Church." In the same way she sacrifices her desires for me.

If the monotheistic deities are, indeed, Omniscient (all-knowing), Omnipotent (all-powerful), and Omnipresent (all-present), why do NONE of their fan clubs seem to be able to unite -- even those that share a common deity?

Can you think of anything that embodies the seven deadly sins more than the catholic church? Think of all the church wrought across Europe with the inquisitions and the lives that were sacrificed for the benefit of Rome's political power and control during the "holy" crusades. Then try to make that statement to me, again. Please... regurgitating all of the Hallmark Card responses about the warm and fuzzy side of christianity does nothing to refute anything I posed, here. Get rid of the religion, and just live the principles. Not because they "came from god," but because the principles are right (except those surrounding worship and ritual).

Inquisition - highly overblown. Were some things done wrong? Sure, but once again show me any human endeavor where they were not done wrong. Spanish Inquisition - run by the Spanish Government and not the Church.

Crusades - counter attack against the newly arrived Turks as requested by the Emperor of Constantinople. Obviously failed as the country is now called Turkey. Other Crusades saved other European nations from Islam.

The Church maintains the principles and teachings to live by. Christ himself instituted the Church so that all would be able to find Him and his teachings whole and protected. You cannot have one without the other.
DPMartin
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10/24/2014 3:28:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.
This means (to me) that I have rejected all assertions of deities made by humans, to date. I do not, however, reject the possibility of one existing. Neither I nor anyone else has sufficient knowledge to dismiss this, summarily, out of hand.

To date, there has never been offered any convincing, objective evidence that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present deity in existence, anywhere. Does this necessarily mean that no such entity exists? No.

Until humans began exploring the universe with more powerful technology, we had no evidence of Quasars, Pulsars, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, Nebulae, germs, viruses, bacteria, DNA, etc. Did that mean that they did not exist? No. They exist, and have been both observed and described by those that have gone in search of knowledge of the universe around us.

Looks like a horse dump fence walking position to me, you are not an atheist but you talk like an atheist and post like an atheist. It"s a noncommital being, and is proud of it. And doesn"t believe any gods or witness of gods or evidence of gods, but there could be one. Yea, right. Just like someone who calls themself a Christian but don"t really believe a word of it. They have a word for that, wait I know what it is.

Besides Christianity wasn"t a "religion" at the start, it became a "religion" when it was agree by the Emperor of the Roman empire that Christianity was to be the "religion" of the Roman Empire. Therefore an example of what becomes of the world"s view a simple faith when the personal benefits of men become involved. So if you started your own religion, or system of belief which would be required for the belief in a deity, and a majority of the population adopt that belief in that deity. You will eventually end up in the same place. It"s a major reason why there are some many denominations in the Christian faith. Might even be the same in others, don't know. It starts out with pure intention and then turns into something man made and modified. And then it happens again.

It seems many use the short comings of men as the reason for not believing. A true living God is the reason for believing, not men.
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 3:28:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 2:58:52 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/24/2014 2:00:08 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.

Wrong. I do not accept your definitions. I am agnostic, and you don't get to define otherwise.

If you do not believe the idea of a personal or theistic God, then you are an atheist.

You need to look up "atheist," in a dictionary.

I'm not saying that you're an adeist, so I'm not claiming that you don't believe in any kind of God. What I am saying is that you don't believe in a theistic God, making you an atheist.

Still incorrect, by definition.

You would be an agnostic if you didn't know whether or not a personal God existed, but as you have decided that "man-made" deities do not exist, you are not an agnostic.

I don't know. That's what makes me agnostic. I do believe that none of those ever invented by humans exist. I don't know, however, whether or not ANY exists. That is precisely what makes me agnostic.

Agnostic atheists do not exist. Agnostic theists do not exist. Agnostic deists do not exist. Agnostic adeists do you exist.

Are you finished trying to be a sophomoric semantics dealer? Agnostic is the belief that we cannot know, given our current amount of knowledge of the universe. I don't know. What I do know is that none of the claims or assertions, to date, make any kind of sense in all of their rambling assertions and claims.

There are those who are agnostic in regards to theism and there are those who are agnostic in regards to deism. At the very least you, sir, are not an agnostic when it comes to theism.

Yes, I am. The term "theist" refers to a personal deity, as opposed to "deist" being an impersonal deity, does not make "knowledge" any more possible. Even a "theistic" deity by a definition that has not yet been voiced or espoused is still possible. I am not ruling out a deity that takes a personal relation to the universe, either. Quit trying to pidgeon-hole me according to the definitions you wish to have established. You are wrong, and that's all there is to it.

Since you're already not a theist and you're not agnostic when it comes to a theistic God, then why reject the atheist label?

Because it's inaccurate. I will not accept a "label" that is not accurate, especially when the applicable definitions are so ill-conceived.

Please understand that I am not trying to offend or insult you. I'm simply telling it as it is.

I understand that, but you are trying to "correct" me, incorrectly. I am not claiming knowledge, in any respect. Atheist does not apply, since I have stated that it cannot be known, as of this moment in human history. I would be perfectly happy, whether a deity exists, or not. I don't know. I don't care. I have only rejected those that have been codified, qualified, and quantified by stupid humans. I'm completely open to whatever the truth might be; deistic, theistic, or otherwise.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
Beastt
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10/24/2014 4:07:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:20:06 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it with religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

Funny that Pascal was a staunch believer.

So he likely knew from first-hand experience.
"If we believe absurdities we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire
Vox_Veritas
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10/24/2014 4:23:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 3:06:37 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/24/2014 2:58:52 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/24/2014 2:00:08 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.

Wrong. I do not accept your definitions. I am agnostic, and you don't get to define otherwise.

If you do not believe the idea of a personal or theistic God, then you are an atheist. I'm not saying that you're an adeist, so I'm not claiming that you don't believe in any kind of God. What I am saying is that you don't believe in a theistic God, making you an atheist. You would be an agnostic if you didn't know whether or not a personal God existed, but as you have decided that "man-made" deities do not exist, you are not an agnostic. Agnostic atheists do not exist. Agnostic theists do not exist. Agnostic deists do not exist. Agnostic adeists do you exist. There are those who are agnostic in regards to theism and there are those who are agnostic in regards to deism. At the very least you, sir, are not an agnostic when it comes to theism.
Since you're already not a theist and you're not agnostic when it comes to a theistic God, then why reject the atheist label?
Please understand that I am not trying to offend or insult you. I'm simply telling it as it is.

However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.

Cite the source of your definitions. I, like TF, do not recognize their validity.

Look up the definitions of theist, atheist, deist, and agnostic. The term adeist doesn't technically exist (or at least isn't commonly used), but by the prefixes used the definition I gave the word would still count.
He has stated that he is willing to accept that some kind of God exists (agnosticism/deism) but he does not believe in any deity worshipped by human beings. A Christian counts as a theist, as do Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and adherents to every religion (well, maybe not Buddhism). In rejecting the validity of all these he is a (without) theos (God). Atheist.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

#drinkthecoffeenotthekoolaid
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 4:57:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 3:06:57 PM, Geogeer wrote:

Being a believer does not preclude that one see the truth of religious hypocrisy.

Nothing to do with hypocrisy. I can easily believe in God and see that people who blow themselves up believing that they earn a 1 way ticket to heaven by doing so do evil while believing they are doing good. One does not preclude the other.

EVERYTHING to do with hypocrisy... You seemed to have missed the point of the original quote. The "evil" performed by those that lay claim to being arbiters of "good and evil" is hypocrisy, at its height. They are also the ones that commit evil in the name of "good." Hypocrisy.

Funny that. That conformity is often least visible in those that most ardently believe...

I guess our opinions vary then. I can talk to the vast majority of Catholics on the site and feel near complete conformity. With most of the other Christians I get a sense of similarity.

Funny that all your rituals differ, you views on what gets one into heaven differ, the essence of the messiah (god, god's son, etc.) differs, doctrine differs, your doctrines differ, your stories differ, you interpretation of "holy" writings differ... If all are "conforming" to the same deity, all of these would align.

Spoken like a good little believer... or should I say "regurgitated." That still doesn't answer what benefit is derived from the sacrifice. WHY would killing an animal, in a specific fashion, performing rituals and chanting incantations be of any benefit? Can you delineate for me the difference between the passover ritual and Celtic spring, summer, autumn, and winter rituals? What makes one more meaningful than the other? The deity? How do you know yours is real and the Celts' false? Can you demonstrate it?

The Jewish animal sacrifices were anticipatory of the sacrifice of Christ.

But why kill an animal? What REAL benefit was derived from killing a living thing, and performing some stupid ritual with its carcass and blood? Passages in the bible state that this deity found the "aroma" pleasant. The spirit realm can "smell" the physical realm? Was the "pleasing aroma" allegorical, in some sense? No. Sacrifice of other living things is simply ridiculous. In short, the deity that demands that one living thing kill another living thing in order to find favor cannot be anything other than a superstition, and a malevolent one, at that.

The Christian concept of God is logically and philosophically valid. The Celts not so much.

On what, precisely, did you make this assessment? From what I have learned of the Celts, they were infinitely more in tune with nature than the vicious christian churches that invaded their lands. Granted, I give their deities no more credence than I give the biblical deity, but it was no the Celts who imposed their religion upon western civilization... It was the christian "church." I fail to see how the monster of the bible could possibly be deemed "logically," or "philosophically" valid.

>: : And? Self-sacrifice is a matter of individual choice, not a matter of mandated behavior. Sacrifice of one's self for the benefit of another is equally meaningless, if it is madated and obeyed. If not by choice, it's not sacrifice... it's blind obedience. One last not, on this: Did Ghandi worship the same deity you do?

No Ghandi didn't worship the same deity, but he understood the natural logic behind the need for sacrifice in worship. The fact that he didn't have everything right doesn't mean he didn't have anything right.

What is the "natural logic," of which you speak? Ghandi's definition of "sacrifice" did not indicate the brutal murder and mutilation of animal life for the satisfaction of ritual. Ghandi was talking about "self" sacrifice, and to the benefit of others. I was talking about the extinction of an animal life to satisfy disgusting, ritualistic blood offerings to a bloodthirsty deity. Ghandi's words don't even come close. In your estimation, Ghandi got "some" things right. Is there someone you believe has "everything right?"

Then I suppose you should never discipline your children or teach them right from wrong because them not running out onto the road because they fear punishment is wrong. Sometimes doing the right thing is difficult, but you learn to embrace it over time because you come to understand it.

You're kidding, right? There is a magnificent difference between "discipline" and what the bible teaches. Eternal torment is the biblical deity's equivalent of getting grounded or spanked, for an human father? Doing the right thing is never difficult. At least it shouldn't be, for the rational thinker...

Explain that "perfect love" to the children of the Amalekites, or any other tribe that was slaughtered in the name of that perfect love and perfect justice attributed to the deity of the bible.

I'm at work on a break so I'll just give you a link to read (sorry):

I'll read it, and respond after...

http://www.ewtn.com...=

I see that you are a catholic (or at least appear to be). That's too bad. The catholic church is the institution I find to be the single most loathsome collection of malevolence christianity has ever produced. I'm not talking about the laity... I mean from the clergy on up, the most despicable embodiment of human virulence that has ever infected this planet. This link is evidence of that. The fact that this atrocity is labeled "good," simply because it was (supposedly) commanded by the deity is not sufficient. The vatican and all of its seed are vile, despicable, and I would sleep easier were it to be eradicated from the face of this planet. It requires true, unadulterated FAITH, in order to believe that the clergy and hierarchy of this institution is anything short of EVIL.

No, I love my wife (your assumption was correct) because she embodies the ideals I cherish most: Kindness, empathy, loving nurture, compassion, and justice. My love was EARNED by her, as I have EARNED hers.

So your future children will not be loved until they earn your love? How sad.

How did you draw such a presumptuous and stupid conclusion? The love between my wife and myself was a choice. If ever any children had resulted from that love, those resulting children would not have to "earn" love." It was completely dishonest of you to make the leap from consenting, romantic love between two adults, and paternal love of one's children. Please try not to be this stupid, in the future.

Please share this evidence with me. I would love to see/experience it.

Logical? Historical? Philosophical? Physical (probably physical - people always seem to want physical evidence)?

Whatever evidence you consider to be valid, I would consider. I'm not asking for physical evidence. If it existed, it would have been presented, publicly, long ago. Tell me what evidence you have, and I will judge its validity, for myself. I can't imagine that a rational thinker would refuse to consider evidence, if it was provided. The one willing to dismiss real evidence without consideration is not what I would deem "rational." Thus, please present it, or stop issuing preemptive excuses.

</ Part 1 of 2>
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 4:57:08 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
<Par 2 of 2>

The fallen race is prevalent among MANY of the religious tales. As I stated, I knew the "human imperfection" card would make its way into at least one response. Funny that the "concept of equality" was not really applied to "all men." These same "Judeo-Christian principles" seem to have been withheld from all but "land-owning white males." That charity that you wish to attribute to christianity is not born out when scrutinized rationally. Charity is not a christian concept. Even your "savior" knew that, when he spun the tale of the "good samaritan." It is a quality within each individual. No religion necessary. No deity required. ALL of humanity's best qualities mean the most when they are demonstrated individually, and because the individual BELIEVES in the principle of the quality; not because it is mandated by any deity. Question: Would you rather have your wife/husband make love to you because she WANTS to, or because she/he believes it to be her "wifely duty?" (Unsure of your gender).

Well do you want me do deny human imperfection? It is fundamental to Christianity. Yes charity exists in all cultures, but it was not like it is now. Charity was commonly limited to family members and only to keep face. Look at the Greek and Roman concepts of Charity and then at the Jewish and Christian. The Romans couldn't figure out the Christians who would look after the orphans and widows. They thought they were crazy.


I would never ask that the obvious be denied. Seriously? This is what you offer in advancement of superior christian charity? I'm afraid you're going to have to do MUCH better than this. You cannot support your contention that christianity is so philanthropically superior, just by pointing at a couple of cultures and relegating them to inferior status... You have yet to demonstrate how christianity was even instrumental in INFLUENCING moder philanthropy, let alone give christianity the CREDIT for it... Try again. I'm sure you can do better...

I too am male. Oddly enough I believe under the Jewish tradition it is the wife whose right it is to sex (just an interesting side note).

Women and children were chattle; possessions. That still didn't answer the question. It sidestepped it. Try again.

Love is always giving. If I'm in the mood, but my wife isn't then we don't. It doesn't matter whether we have a "right" to each other I sacrifice my desires out of love for her because I try to love her "as Christ loved his Church." In the same way she sacrifices her desires for me.

Your desire is not being "sacrificed," in this respect. It is only being postponed. Only immediate gratification is being set aside. This is not a sacrifice, it is a recognition of individual right, motivated by love. Please tell me this was not the best you could do, in this regard.

Can you think of anything that embodies the seven deadly sins more than the catholic church? Think of all the church wrought across Europe with the inquisitions and the lives that were sacrificed for the benefit of Rome's political power and control during the "holy" crusades. Then try to make that statement to me, again. Please... regurgitating all of the Hallmark Card responses about the warm and fuzzy side of christianity does nothing to refute anything I posed, here. Get rid of the religion, and just live the principles. Not because they "came from god," but because the principles are right (except those surrounding worship and ritual).

Inquisition - highly overblown. Were some things done wrong? Sure, but once again show me any human endeavor where they were not done wrong. Spanish Inquisition - run by the Spanish Government and not the Church.

You are sadly misinformed on both the inquisition, and its impact. Do a little reading on the inquisition that is not catholic church sponsored. The fact that you would call the inquisition "highly overblown" indicates that either you know next-to-nothing about it, or that you have swallowed everything the church has ever put in your "mouth." Seriously... read up on the inquisitions. Not catholic propaganda; historic accounts and documentation of the REAL events.

Crusades - counter attack against the newly arrived Turks as requested by the Emperor of Constantinople. Obviously failed as the country is now called Turkey. Other Crusades saved other European nations from Islam.

Counter? The catholic church NEVER had ANY claim of any kind on the lands in question. The church wanted dominion over them, and there's nothing more to the motivation "tale." Try reading something other than catholic rhetoric and propaganda on historical events, sonny. If it doesn't open your eyes, you're completely lost and not worth the effort of redemption.

The Church maintains the principles and teachings to live by. Christ himself instituted the Church so that all would be able to find Him and his teachings whole and protected. You cannot have one without the other.

I sincerely hope that by "the church," you are not talking about anything even remotely connected to the vatican. The catholic church is the single most disgusting display of hypocritical blood- and power-lust that has ever been created. Seriously... do some non-vatican-sanctioned reading. The vatican deserves to be razed to the ground, with all of its higher clergy trapped inside.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 5:01:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 3:28:32 PM, DPMartin wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.
This means (to me) that I have rejected all assertions of deities made by humans, to date. I do not, however, reject the possibility of one existing. Neither I nor anyone else has sufficient knowledge to dismiss this, summarily, out of hand.

To date, there has never been offered any convincing, objective evidence that there is an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present deity in existence, anywhere. Does this necessarily mean that no such entity exists? No.

Until humans began exploring the universe with more powerful technology, we had no evidence of Quasars, Pulsars, Neutron Stars, Black Holes, Nebulae, germs, viruses, bacteria, DNA, etc. Did that mean that they did not exist? No. They exist, and have been both observed and described by those that have gone in search of knowledge of the universe around us.

Looks like a horse dump fence walking position to me, you are not an atheist but you talk like an atheist and post like an atheist. It"s a noncommital being, and is proud of it. And doesn"t believe any gods or witness of gods or evidence of gods, but there could be one. Yea, right. Just like someone who calls themself a Christian but don"t really believe a word of it. They have a word for that, wait I know what it is.

Besides Christianity wasn"t a "religion" at the start, it became a "religion" when it was agree by the Emperor of the Roman empire that Christianity was to be the "religion" of the Roman Empire. Therefore an example of what becomes of the world"s view a simple faith when the personal benefits of men become involved. So if you started your own religion, or system of belief which would be required for the belief in a deity, and a majority of the population adopt that belief in that deity. You will eventually end up in the same place. It"s a major reason why there are some many denominations in the Christian faith. Might even be the same in others, don't know. It starts out with pure intention and then turns into something man made and modified. And then it happens again.


It seems many use the short comings of men as the reason for not believing. A true living God is the reason for believing, not men.

This post deserves only one response:

WTF? You rambled on; you typed a lot of words' you made a lot of accusations...

You didn't really say anything.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
Skepticalone
Posts: 6,137
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10/24/2014 5:07:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 4:23:10 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/24/2014 3:06:37 PM, Skepticalone wrote:
At 10/24/2014 2:58:52 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
At 10/24/2014 2:00:08 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.

Wrong. I do not accept your definitions. I am agnostic, and you don't get to define otherwise.

If you do not believe the idea of a personal or theistic God, then you are an atheist. I'm not saying that you're an adeist, so I'm not claiming that you don't believe in any kind of God. What I am saying is that you don't believe in a theistic God, making you an atheist. You would be an agnostic if you didn't know whether or not a personal God existed, but as you have decided that "man-made" deities do not exist, you are not an agnostic. Agnostic atheists do not exist. Agnostic theists do not exist. Agnostic deists do not exist. Agnostic adeists do you exist. There are those who are agnostic in regards to theism and there are those who are agnostic in regards to deism. At the very least you, sir, are not an agnostic when it comes to theism.
Since you're already not a theist and you're not agnostic when it comes to a theistic God, then why reject the atheist label?
Please understand that I am not trying to offend or insult you. I'm simply telling it as it is.

However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.

Cite the source of your definitions. I, like TF, do not recognize their validity.

Look up the definitions of theist, atheist, deist, and agnostic. The term adeist doesn't technically exist (or at least isn't commonly used), but by the prefixes used the definition I gave the word would still count.
He has stated that he is willing to accept that some kind of God exists (agnosticism/deism) but he does not believe in any deity worshipped by human beings. A Christian counts as a theist, as do Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and adherents to every religion (well, maybe not Buddhism). In rejecting the validity of all these he is a (without) theos (God). Atheist.

I already looked up "adeist", and it is a made up word, not defined in any of the normal dictionaries I frequent. That is why I asked you for a source.

atheist: a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods.

This would be referring to any and all gods, and not just the gods of the major religions.

He is definitely not an atheist.

By rejecting Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. as man-made he is definitely 'without' those gods as represented by those religions, but that is not the same as disbelieving in god, period. Assuming you're a Christian, we can assume you have no belief in Zeus, but that does not make you an atheist, does it?

An agnostic does not make a claim to knowledge of god, and TF has not. Rejecting what he considers to be man-made is not disbelief in god. It is disbelief in man-made gods.
This thread is like eavesdropping on a conversation in a mental asylum. - Bulproof

You can call your invisible friends whatever you like. - Desmac

What the hell kind of coked up sideshow has this thread turned into. - Casten
Double_R
Posts: 4,886
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10/24/2014 10:36:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
I am agnostic.
This means (to me) that I have rejected all assertions of deities made by humans

Where do you get your definition of agnostic from?
ThinkFirst
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10/24/2014 11:00:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 10:36:40 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
I am agnostic.
This means (to me) that I have rejected all assertions of deities made by humans

Where do you get your definition of agnostic from?

Primarily, the dictionary. However, I add the caveat that I have rejected the deities that man has invented, to date. I don't believe we are capable of knowing whether or not there is a deity, at our current stage in development. I do think, however, that we are capable of logically and rationally ruling out the nonsensical deities that have been invented, thus far.
"Never attribute to villainy that which can be adequately explained by stupidity"
-----
"Men rarely if ever dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child. "

-- Robert A Heinlein
ChristianPunk
Posts: 1,710
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10/25/2014 5:18:56 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:06:52 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.

You are free, and have always been free, to call yourself anything.

I had no doubt about what you call yourself. My point was that what you call yourself and what you are - are two separate things.

Except for your claim that you still believe that a God may exist, your position, tone, stance, demeanor, speech, bent, gist, thinking, and baring are militant atheist. And not just militant atheist, but anti-theistically militant atheist.

But sure, this is America, where everyone is free to define themselves in whichever way they want. So I accept that you as an undecided agnostic who is still open-minded to the possibility that a God may exist.

Even though your writings say the exact opposite.

And i'm pretty sure you'd call me an atheist then based on my writings.
ChristianPunk
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10/25/2014 5:22:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.
However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.

You can be an agnostic about knowledge in certain things. I am a chemistry agnostic and so forth. Atheism does mean no belief in gods, however

Socially the people who claim agnostic are those who don't care, while atheists who wear the badge proudly are active atheists.
Vox_Veritas
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10/25/2014 5:26:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/25/2014 5:22:54 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:49:44 PM, Vox_Veritas wrote:
You're still an atheist.

Theist: Believer in a specific kind of God, a knowable God, often through an organized system of worship.
Atheist: Someone who doesn't believe in the God of a theist; that is, a "man-made" God. They may still believe that some kind of deity exists.
Deist: Someone who believes that some impersonal unknowable God exists.
Adeist: Someone who does not believe that any kind of God exists.

Everyone who is not a theist is in effect an atheist. As you are not a theist, therefore you are an atheist.
However, to your own admission, you are not an adeist.

You can be an agnostic about knowledge in certain things. I am a chemistry agnostic and so forth. Atheism does mean no belief in gods, however

Socially the people who claim agnostic are those who don't care, while atheists who wear the badge proudly are active atheists.

There are, however, people (such as the OP) who do not believe in the deities worshipped by any religion, but he believes that a Deistic God may exist.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

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ethang5
Posts: 4,117
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10/27/2014 2:25:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/24/2014 1:21:42 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:06:52 PM, ethang5 wrote:

There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.

You are free, and have always been free, to call yourself anything.

I had no doubt about what you call yourself. My point was that what you call yourself and what you are - are two separate things.

Only in your perception.

Of course, your perception is correct. Ok. What you write and how you respond are still miles from what you call yourself. Perhaps you are using personal definitions of agnostic and atheist.

Except for your claim that you still believe that a God may exist, your position, tone, stance, demeanor, speech, bent, gist, thinking, and baring are militant atheist. And not just militant atheist, but anti-theistically militant atheist.

You are misinterpreting... I am anti-theocratic, and there is an huge difference.

Anti-theocratic as opposed to anti-theist? Really sharp hair-splitting laser you have there bud.

You're not the only theist to refer to me as a militant atheist.

They must have all seen you through my perception. They were all wrong though, and your perception is right. Got it.

I am opposed to religion, because it is inherently destructive.

This is your subjective perception which is easily disproven by history. But no need, your perception is always right so why bother

You can spin anything you want any way you want. Your perception of my stance is not. Your spin, fortunately, is not the reality of things. You continue to be completely WRONG.

So you say, yet your posts still support me.

But sure, this is America, where everyone is free to define themselves in whichever way they want. So I accept that you as an undecided agnostic who is still open-minded to the possibility that a God may exist.

This has nothing to do with living in the US. It has to do with reality.

I have traveled the world and I know that militant "anti-everything-god" people like you are unique to North America. Your culture and its technology allows you to continue to live and function with wildly irrational beliefs. So, we disagree.

I can, indeed, accept that a deity exists. What I cannot accept is that such a deity would not be associated with any religion this planet's highest primate has ever produced.

Disingenuous. Because your arrogant position is that the only deity you'll believe is one who will personally come down to you. Your position is also hypocritical because you believe and accept tons of things on the testimony of others. Call it what you will, but you are simply a standard issue atheist. Militant yes, but quite common.

It's simply irreconcilable with reality and justice. Reason is our greatest gift. Religion is what happens when we fail to use it.

Your arrogance is showing again. The more I listen to atheists, the more I see the similarity between their mindset and the mindset of a racist. The denigrating of a group of people to claim some superiority in your group. The silly circular reasoning that you are better simply because you belong to a group you have previously declared to be "better".

Even though your writings say the exact opposite.

No, they don't.

Yes they do. Just like the racist of old, you surround yourself with people who think just like you, and that comfortable, lazy intellectual rut makes you think you must be right. You aren't. It makes no difference to me that you are or aren't. I just think it's true from your writing and can give you examples of it from your posts.

I can't help that you have accepted the ignorant writings of ancient civilizations.

That is an example right now. The Bible is without a doubt the most influential book in history, it has changed the course of human history. It has been more studied by atheists, believers and scientists than any other. It has influenced languages, laws and cultures. 2,000 years later, it is still studied, commented on, written about, and quoted. Some of the greatest concepts are within its pages; The relativity of time, the concept of eternity, time travel, consciousness surviving the material world, life other than terrestrial....

Yet you, a nobody on some obscure internet forum, arrogantly call it "ignorant writings". It is laughable. The only way you could be that militantly stupid is that you are in fact an atheist.

You read INTO my writings that which you wish to see, in order to make it easier to vilify my words.

I don't need to vilify your words. What vilifies you is in your own posts. But we don't have to agree. It still is a free country.

I can and will help what impact your acceptance, along with those of your fellow believers, have on my life. I will fight it with everything I ever have or ever am.

I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. - George Wallace, Racist Governor of Alabama. 1963

Just so you know, the video link is an example of an atheist who isn't militant or stupid.
relax, it's an atheist video

Have a nice day.

Thanks, I will.
http://itsnobody.wordpress.com...
ethang5
Posts: 4,117
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10/27/2014 2:29:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/25/2014 5:18:56 PM, ChristianPunk wrote:
At 10/24/2014 1:06:52 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 10/24/2014 12:41:17 PM, ThinkFirst wrote:
There appears to be some confusion among a few of the theists on this site, regarding my stance. I make this statement because I have been addressed as a "militant atheist," by several. Allow me to make a correction to your perception:

I am agnostic.

You are free, and have always been free, to call yourself anything.

I had no doubt about what you call yourself. My point was that what you call yourself and what you are - are two separate things.

Except for your claim that you still believe that a God may exist, your position, tone, stance, demeanor, speech, bent, gist, thinking, and baring are militant atheist. And not just militant atheist, but anti-theistically militant atheist.

But sure, this is America, where everyone is free to define themselves in whichever way they want. So I accept that you as an undecided agnostic who is still open-minded to the possibility that a God may exist.

Even though your writings say the exact opposite.

And i'm pretty sure you'd call me an atheist then based on my writings.

Yes. Yes I would.

Because words mean things.