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Author Topic: Questions for the believers  (Read 16588 times)

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blackie

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2010, 09:25:31 PM »

Why does blackie always ask condescending questions?
He's trolling.
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fatcat

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2010, 09:29:11 PM »

Why does blackie always ask condescending questions?
He's trolling.

I KNEW IT!!!
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Ecolitan

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2010, 09:54:42 PM »



Why does blackie always ask condescending questions?


Because blackie always thinks condescending thoughts.  I like him anyway.
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anarchir

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2010, 11:39:52 PM »

God is always right, because if we get upset at him, he will damn us to hell. And who doesnt want to go to the glorious afterparty?
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cavalier973

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2010, 01:38:32 AM »

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anarchir

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2010, 02:47:15 AM »

Quote
with the intention to win over the prospective convert by means of emotional appeal.

Based on my experiences with religious types and their reasons for being religious when faced with rational thought, this seems like an appropriate tactic for debate with them.
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Diogenes The Cynic

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2010, 03:06:11 AM »





I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?
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Dude, I thought you were a spambot for like a week. You posted like a spambot. You failed the Turing test.

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fatcat

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2010, 09:18:09 AM »





I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?

If I'm a cog, whats god? the crankshaft?
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The ghost of a ghost of a ghost

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2010, 09:50:08 AM »





I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?

Wait a second, COG is an acronym for Child of God, as well as a part of a gear system.  Is this a trick question? 
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Diogenes The Cynic

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2010, 01:49:21 PM »





I call bulllshit. On what grounds?  I got nothing philosophically deep.... rather, its simply ridiculous bullshit opposite of common sense.  You claim that I have to study some old sily book "to understand".  Fuck your silly 'Human Being user's manual.'  It's outdated.  

You don't have to study any books dude. I do.

What makes you think you're more then a small cog in a big wheel?

Wait a second, COG is an acronym for Child of God, as well as a part of a gear system.  Is this a trick question? 


Haha.

Never heard of that.
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Cognitive Dissident

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2010, 03:10:32 PM »

No, "believers" as in those who believe in some god or another. All gods seem to have a violent streak.
I'm pretty sure the questions only work for "believers" of some organized religions, not all "believers".

Why do most atheists seem like people who are angry at god?

I always sort of thought it was because they are--but actually, I'd say it's more accurate flipped around.  If it's not someone angry at God, you probably won't hear from them.
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theCelestrian

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2010, 04:23:30 PM »

Quote
with the intention to win over the prospective convert by means of emotional appeal.

Based on my experiences with religious types and their reasons for being religious when faced with rational thought, this seems like an appropriate tactic for debate with them.

Of course this is an appropriate tactic for many of the religious; matters of faith are at their core matters of emotion.  A core part of "having faith," is (supposedly) understanding that you as a human being don't have all the answers and therefore have to surrender yourself and place your trust in that which is unquantifiable.  Personally, I've never been much of one for surrender and/or supplication.

However, if you wish to understand the frame-of-mind, think of it this way:

  • The Stakes are profound and Eternal:  One the things that one must keep in mind when speaking to those who are devoutly religious is that this is not your college or chums-at-the-pub debate club.  This isn't even about "life or death."  To them, this literally about your state of being for eternity. 

    With this in mind, of course they're going to use every possible method of persuasion in order to prevent (what they see as) the eternal suffering an damnation of your immortal soul.  What's really unfortunate, is that it's this same "compassion" that has led to periods of human history like the Spanish Inquisition - where if you could not be saved my normal means, then the faithful were willing to gamble that if you were to die horribly and painfully (burned, etc..) then maybe, just maybe you might be saved as your mind/soul reached clarity in your dying moments - as the paint you were experience here would be infinitesimal compared to the suffering that awaited you as one of the unfaithful.

  • Pascal's Wager: Summarized from Balise Pascal as:

    Since the existence of God can never be objectively determined,
    one who lives his life as though God exists and follows His prescribed
    wishes has everything to gain, and nothing to lose.

    As far as many of the faithful are concerned, the rational discussion ends here.  What else is there consider, particularly when taken into context with the previous point?  For the religious, it doesn't make sense why anybody wouldn't simply "cover the spread," especially when the consequences for "guessing wrong" are so dire and absolute.  However, there is a bit of a problem with this, though, isn't there?

    Unfortunately, all of the major 3 religions don't say, "Thou shalt pay lip service unto me, and thine shall be the kingdom of Heaven."  Sincere belief and acceptance is what is required - so simply saying you believe in God doesn't quite cut it. There is also the problem of, "which version is the correct, prescription?"  Depending on which of the Big 3 you study, your salvation is dictated by:

    • Being one of God's chosen

    • Accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior, and living your life according to his teachings

    • The desires of Allah, which cannot be determined or the sacrifice of one's life to further God's cause1

    So this, in our post-modern, pluralistic religious landscape muddies up the wager because it's no longer a question of to believe or not to believe - it becomes if I believe, which belief is correct?

  • For the devout - faith and devotion are *the* cornerstones of their lives: The faithful are human, the non-faithful are also human.  One thing humans do universally is that they have a tendency to react poorly when the cornerstone of their values are either challenged or completely up-ended as a result of objective discovery.  Consider:

    • Pythagoras' reaction to the lack of a 10th planet (10 being a sacred and recurring number in Pythagorus metaphysical premises), despite his fervent attempts to observe one.

      (He posited an "invisible, tenth planet" which he called the counter-sphere)

    • The discovery the world was round

    • Historical accounts of when Karl Marx was presented with historical evidence that contradicted his theories outlined in the Commununist Manifesto (he summarily dismissed them).

    • Einstien's reaction to scientific observation and calculation that showed the Universe to be accelerating, rather than remaining "stable and constant," as he had predicted.

    So, like any other human being, it's not surprising that the religious tend to get a little emotional when being confronted with either logical arguments or evidence that would seem to either contradict or summarily invalidate their foundational beliefs, and since for them - the position once again circles back to faith - the only position left which to argue from is the emotional appeal.


A bit long, perhaps, but I have found in my experiences in discussion/debate with the devout that understanding these point allow me to better address many of their arguments in a way that makes the discussion much more productive, or failing that, when to acknowledge the discussion has become cyclical and when to politely and constructively draw the discussion to a close.

------------------------
1. For Islam, following the 4 pillars of Islam does not necessarily guarantee salvation according to the Qu'ran - the only passage the clearly ensures entry into paradise is martyrdom for God's cause.
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mikehz

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2010, 10:14:15 PM »

Why can god act with impunity?

There was an entire book in the Bible devoted to this question. It was called Job. God does all sorts of terrible things to Job, who is a devote and obedient servant of the Lord. God kills his family and destroying everything he has. When Job asks how He can do such things to an innocent person, God replies, essentially, "Because I'm fuckin' God, that's why. I made everything, and I can damn well do with it as I wish!"

Quote

Why do believers defend or explain away his acts of violence?

To save face. They've taken an impossible possition, and would suffer embarrasment at admitting to being wrong.

Quote
Why is it not acceptable for followers of a religion to perform violent deeds as suggested in holy texts?

Because most people (and, there are certainly those who feel such violence IS warranted) realize that such deeds are actually immoral, no matter WHAT some old book says. They rationalize this away. (See answer above.)
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cavalier973

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Re: Questions for the believers
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2010, 01:13:36 AM »

It's no good to say of Christians that they are "not rational."  Any belief system is rational if one accepts the underlying presuppostions.  There are numerous works of Christian apologetics that lay out the case for the faith in a rational manner.  Nevertheless, one cannot be persuaded by argument that Christianity is true, because Christianity involves a personal relationship with God based on faith and repentence.  It's a personal experience that the individual knows to be true without being able to prove scientifically.  Arguments made to a Christian against the Christian faith, however rational and well-laid out and scientifically verifiable, must always fail, because of this personal experience of having a direct relationship with God; the truth of the relationship overrides even the most brilliant arguments against God.

It's also why the "argument from outrage" isn't persuasive.  The Christian knows from personal experience that God is good.  Therefore, He must have good reasons for allowing/commanding/committing acts that seem atrocious.  Scott Adams, in his book Seven Years of Highly Defective People (which is a series of Dilbert comics with Scott's commentary in the margins) talks about the character of Dilbert's Garbage man being the smartest man in the world.  He writes, "The unanswered question about this character is why he would choose to be a garbageman if he was the smartest man in the world.  But if you think about it, we wouldn't be in a position to judge anything done by the world's smartest person.  Obviously, his decisions would be different from our own--he's smarter!  So if we don't understand why he does what he does, the problem is probably on our end."

In the same way, when we who are mortal and fallen don't understand the actions of a good and omniscient God, then the problem is probably on our end.  Perhaps God was preventing a major eruption of trans-national genocide? How would anyone who is not omniscient know?
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