Are atheists converting into nothing but Jesus bashing mob? (Page 3)
Charles Darwin: I should also say that atheism can be either lack of belief in a God OR the belief that no God exists. Lack of belief cannot be a belief...In the same way that lack of hair can't be hair....and the lack of thought cannot be a thought. It violates the law of non-contradiction.
The belief that no God exists is, of course, a belief....But certainly not in the same way that you'd call religion "a belief".
Very very understandable. I can see in that culture most theists reject science without knowing much of it. Also, I agree most creationists reject science (which contradicts) without understanding it.
I guess I need to state my perspective similar to yours. In my experience most atheists I have met or interacted with (you and a few others being excluded) have very little knowledge of science. Of course in fairness I interact with my peer group a lot and we have little knowledge outside of Justin Beiber and the mall.
Ghost, You, Colin and a few others have opened my eyes to legitimate reasons to not accept theism. However, the average atheist (not saying you three are atheists) is much more like duece and no more lead me to seek an alternative to theism than the writings of Martin Luther make me wish be a theist.
We somewhat disagree about the statement that there is absolutely not a god or gods. To me that statement is 100% equal to stating there is a god or gods. It is a belief. It may not be based on the same things or maybe it is. Some believe there is God because mum said so. Some believe there is not God because mum said so. What I am getting at is sometimes the two beliefs are not the same but sometimes they are.
It is only my opinion but since you do not believe in God. I believe you personally see the statement, that there is absolutely for sure not a god, as more sound than the statement, there is absolutely a god. When from a philisophical view point they are equal. Neither statement can be proven. I will back for ever that burden of proof goes on the one claiming there is God. However, claiming absolutely without a doubt should require proof not lack of proof. We can agree to disagree on that note...
We both understand that lack of belief is not belief but lack of belief is different than making statements of absolution.
deuce916: The only reason you would believe in a god is because you're scared to believe that there is no god. The absolute truth is that there is no god. Never was & never will be.
Duece, that I respect. You can make claims of absolution all you like.
I kinda disagree about why I believe in God. In general I have great distain for people who do not know me exlaiming why I think or do smething. But in fairness I did not share my beliefs. Kinda hard for others to know why I believe them when they are not entirely aware what they are. I still stand by most people do not know why they do or think things, let alone why others do.
Quite honestly though I believe life would be easy without there being God. I could do whatever the heck I wanted, whenever the heck I wanted. I would not need worry about the impact of my life on others. Not sure what there is to fear without God. I suppose death for some. Even with belief in God there is no guarantee death is not something to fear. But sure I suppose some believe in God out of fear of a life without God.
Charles Darwin: I'm not sure we can say that things are both 100% equal if neither of them can be proven. If I gave two statements. Perhaps that "pixies exist" and "the Biblical Jesus was based on a historical character", both of them cannot be proven....But one is much more likely to be true than the other.
That's personally what I concern myself with....Likelihoods. I want to follow whatever is most likely to be true given the available evidence. With most things in our lives, we will reserve belief until we see sufficient evidence that demonstrates that it is true. Most honest people, after seeing this evidence, will accept the new belief....If somebody tells you "I can levitate!", you're likely to not believe such an extraordinary claim without seeing them do so. When you see it, you'll think "Wow....You can levitate!". The evidence backed up the claim.
When it comes to Thor....You probably haven't seen enough reasons to believe....and so you reject. When it comes to the tooth fairy, Santa or any other generally accepted mythical character or creature, you likely reject belief until you see good reasons to believe (evidence).
With the Christian God....or any other Gods....I've looked at all the evidence I could find for years...Listened to the greatest debaters Christian apologetics has to offer...I've examined nearly every classical argument for the existence of a God...and nothing has stood, even though I've tried everything to remain as neutral as possible. I don't see much of a difference in rejecting belief in a God and rejecting belief in any characters from ancient Greek mythology. The reliable evidence for them that I have seen is equal; none. To lower your standards for evidence with the Christian God, or the Hindu Gods, it seems to me to be special pleading. You can rely on faith (that is, trust) with one God, but not with any other stories you hear. For those, you (not you personally, of course) demand sufficient evidence. That's inconsistent and not intellectually honest.
So, for me....I don't see any more reason to believe that a God exists that I do to believe that demons, ghosts, fairies or the Minotaur exists. It's kind of just an intellectual technicality to avoid saying that they do NOT exist. But we can be reasonably certain that those don't exist and most folks wouldn't hesitate for a second on the question of the existence of the Minotaur.
deuce916: Let me ask you something Charles. Do you believe there is a god or do you believe there isn't a god? There is no middle ground here. You either believe one or the other. You either believe there is a god or you don't believe there is a god. Which one are you?
Charles Darwin: That's somewhat of a false dichotomy. There may be people out there who don't know one way or the other...They would fall into a middle ground.
For me personally, I think it is unlikely that a God exists, so I don't believe in one...But it would be incredibly unwise for me to make the explicit claim that no God or Gods exist. That shoulders the burden of proof...and is usually an argument from ignorance.
Now, I will say that on the concept of a Christian God...The one spoken about in the Bible...I am much less reserved. Unless you twist what the Bible says, claim much of it is metaphorical and/or reject much of it, the God spoken about in it can be debunked well enough for most people to make the claim that it does not exist.
Charles, very well and I concede. I was not thinking correctly about it. However, you already know my stance against probabilities. My dislike of the very concept of most probable or liklehoods borders on the level of a psychosis or to say the least unhealthy. Still, I get why it is different to state there is God vs there is no God.
On a very personal note which if you not wish answer here I understand. As it for one the upcoming question, is none of my business and two this is public.
I have several times heard you speak of being Christian. I am guessing you never had an interaction with The Holy Spirit. Because I assume a personal experience would constitute evidence. Now, I would not expect you to accept someone elses experiance but you would accept a personal one. Unless you later dismissed it as a hallucination or something. Where I am going with this is going to maybe appear extremely rude. But if you never had a personal interaction with The Holy Ghost or Spirit or whichever name one prefers can you actually say you were Christian?
Since Christ promised all who followed him they would recieve The Spirit. This leads to only two possibilities (or that I am aware of).
P1) anyone who has not recieved the Holy Spirit is not following Christ, thus not Christian
P2) the atheist view God is not
So, while saying you were Christian but learned better. (sorry for totally butchering your statements) I somewhat challenge you. Not challenging that you claimed the title. Challenging that if you never recieved The Holy Spirit you never actually where a complete follower of Christ. Unless you recieved The Holy Spirit and have just denied Him since.
My hope is since you believe in neither this is not horribly offensive. It is more just a pondering, and definately not meant as a personal attack.
To me my only personal evidence is The Holy Spirit and the confirmation He has given. This is personal evidence which can not be shared. I can share the experience but you would not have to believe it of course. But if you were Christian, I am not understanding how you never had your own personal experience.
Charles you can ignore this or however you feel best. Please try to trust I care about you as a person and am not attacking you in any manner. Nor do I not trust what you say about your life. I am just confused about this. Not exclusively with regard to you...
Your theological view point of The Bible is very narrow minded. Just like most claiming to be Christians. This is why I take the stand most atheist have more in common with most theists than I do. I suppose it all comes down to which theology prof one has listened to.... well to each his own.
I hope science is approached with a more open mind than literature.
Charles Darwin: I'm not sure what I said that sounded narrow minded. I pride myself on being quite open minded and willing to accept change if I see reason to....However, I have spent an incredible amount of time and research on this topic and I'd be willing to discuss and/or elaborate on anything I say.
And I don't mind the personal questions. When I was a Christian, many other Christians in church were having experiences with "the holy spirit" while preaching to others, praying, etc. I had many experiences that I thought at the time was "the holy spirit". It felt similar to how other people described it...I explained what had happened to me to many other Christians in the church and they confirmed that it was, indeed, the holy spirit. I could describe the feeling as a "rush" of emotions. Sometimes after praying, you would recall the exact verse you needed to "help" somebody when preaching to them, a "fire" that drives one to spread the word.
Now I'm an atheist.....and I get the same experiences. Emotional rushes, remembering what to say at JUST the right moment that it was needed, a strong desire to speak to other people about what I've learned. It's really no different... I still have profound experiences of awe and wonder when I look up at the stars or at some beautiful thing in nature...Maybe even more so now that I understand what I'm looking at so much better. I am convinced this is the same experience that many Christians call the holy spirit. It's simply human emotions and profoundly emotional experiences.
EDIT: It's always amusing to see somebody acting immature tell somebody ELSE to act mature. Judging by some above comments, perhaps Deuce is just trolling...
Oh, I see. My personal experience with The Holy Spirit is much different than that. It will just be mocked but whatever, call me crazy or anything one likes. Not you Charles, but see as soon as I stated I was a believer in God. Just as Christ says, I was mocked. I was called imature, and a poor deluded girl. Anyways The Holy Spirit in my life is more than hunches or feelings. God has a literal voice if one recieves and accepts The Holy Spirit. It is fine call me crazy or whatever anyone wish. The Holy Spirit in my personal experience has revealed Himself to me. Literally spoken to me and made requests of me to change my life. I concede though that I know nothing of The Spirit moving people in church or talking in tongues or any of that. The Church that Jesus spoke of is His followers not a denomination. Or so I beleive.
I do think you exculding the narrators of The Bible as writing it metaphorical is somewhat narrow minded. I have no clue why anyone would think the OT literal. It just does not fit with the style of literature. If it had been concidered a folk lore when first compiled few would have taken it literally. One should not lose the forest for the trees.
Anyways I am not trying to convert you. That is in my opinion another false Christian belief. When Jesus gave the great commision it was to the Apostles. I am not one of the 12 Apostles thus it is not my task to bring people to God. God can do anything He likes, no need for me to do it unless He instructs me to. If Christians spent less time worrying about others then maybe atheists would stop trying to push their beliefs on others as well.
I never denied believing in God. Also, you showed why I was leaving my personal view aside. As soon as I stated it the personal attacks began. And that is why I would not state my belief prior. I have no idea what gives atheists the right to personally insult people. I suppose without a god there is no reason to treat others despite their views with kindness. This is one of the reasons I believe in God. I hold out hope that kindness and love matter and have meaning. All of society, the atheist and theist alike continually show me it is most likely a false hope. Not God being a false hope, no simply there being any goodness in man. I suppose there is a slight fear in this way that without God it is tragic. Without God all we have is this world. A world of hate cruelty, personal attacks, suffering and loss. If this is all there is, one should in the very least weep. For this world offers very little of hope for man and less of love.
deuce916: Why would an existent god want you to prove to others that it exists? Why can't it do it for itself? Why do you have to take the lead.
Ummmm... you surely misread my reply. I clearly stated God can do what He wants. God can convert who he wants. I clearly stated I do not believe in converting people. I also never ever try to prove God. I clearly also avoid stating my personal belief as atheists almost always attack me personally then follow it up with asking me why I wish pove God.
I do not wish prove God nor wish you believe in God. My relationship with God has absolutely nothing at all to do with anyone besides me.
I will take the stand for all my existence that God will not be proven. If someone proves God they disprove the very words of Christ who stated it takes faith to know him. Once you have proof you no longer need faith at all. Thus, God will not be proven.
Atheists want proof and some theists wish show it. I no more want proof than I want to show it. I would never share proof of God even if it could be found or shared. Which I personally believe it can not be.
Now, the tragic part for me is personal. This world is without a doubt tragic. Where God comes in for me personal is at least there is one thing not tragic. I suppose some think the world womderful. I suppose some think many things. To me personally people are pretty horrible and this world possibly worse.
deuce916: Just the fact that you're writing about god to me shows you want to prove its existence. Why don't you try proving your faith without telling me about god.
My faith is in God.
You however, are incorrect about me trying to prove anything. I wrote to Charles trying to understand his loss of faith. You asked me about my personal belief so I shared some.
I have no wish to prove God or my faith. Did you not insult me on another thread for not trying to prove God? Now, you claim I am trying to prove God and insult me here. Seems I can not win, unless I agree with you that there is no god.
I literally was on this thread commenting about similarities between theists and atheists. I apologise for sharing my personal beliefs. I knew better and almost did not do so. My whole intent here is to explore that atheist and theist views have much in common. And both the average atheist and theist try to force their beliefs on others. In my opinion I have yet to determine which group is worse. Sadly, I have to claim one group as I have belief.
But seriously I do not wish you to believe in God any more than I wish you not believe.
Faith, is a complete trust or confidence in something. Thus, my faith like everyone elses is a complete trust in what I believe. Or at least a complete confidence.
I do agree with Charles in the end that not believing in something is not equal to one believing. I was wrong before, like I am often about things. Charles, as always thank you for your time and explaining things in a way that makes sense for me.