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Ask an atheist

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Askthepizzaguy, May 7, 2011.

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  1. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    I know nothing at all about radiometric dating, but I tend to think that the ridiculously long ages they get could be explained by a global Flood...

    That said, the Hindu Scriptures WERE around longer than ours, and I know you aren't Hindu... Do you mean the oldest Western Scripture? (If you can even call the Bible Western...)
     
  2. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    . I have no religion (and never have) nr do I believe there is/are any god(s).

    Pascal intended his wager to help people sitting on the fence (agnostics) and those who were unsure to make up their mind.

    A lot of hard evidence and proof he is not simply a deceiver or illusionist. I do not think it is possible to prove the existence of god.

    It is possible a god-like being could exist, however I am 99.9% sure there are no gods. IF there is a god or god-like being then I find it extremely doubtful he is anything like the gods of the religions.

    Too many to choose.

    Because it is the internet and anonymity makes people trolls. The vast majority of atheists and non-believers are not trying to be aggressively atheistic.

    And I agree, although like anyone else I am not perfect and don't always adhere to it, but the golden rule should be "Don't be a jerk". Although maturity is a vague description.

    No, souls are just silly. Although as an adjective (like music having soul) is useful, and I do not blame people for believing in them. Same with that i do not hold it against people who believe there is a god, as long as they don't try and use it to reject science.
     
  3. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

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    Okay! I hope you get a really good job, doing something that doesn't depend on knowing science. Once you get a good job, remember to donate money to charities that are essential to solving the World's problems :)
     
  4. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    he torah was writen over 3000 years ago, are the vedas or the bagavad gita that old?
     
  5. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    Different parts of the Torah were written at different times, but I'm pretty sure, at most, the Pentateuch was written 3,500 years ago. I've heard some scholars think Job is older, but not by much.

    If you follow the literal, 6,000 year Creation date of man, and that the Flood happened 4,400 years ago, then I guess you can't really get older than that. But remember generation gaps...

    The Vedas are commonly thought of as older.
     
  6. CELTICEMPIRE

    CELTICEMPIRE Zulu Conqueror

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    I thought the Vedas were relatively new, apparently I am wrong, but Hinduism is nowhere near as organized as Christianity or Judaism. Some Hindus disagree over which texts are authoitative.
     
  7. SG-17

    SG-17 Deity

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    The oldest Egyptian texts are about 5000 years old. As is cuneiform script.

    As do some Christians and other Abrahamics.
     
  8. Skwink

    Skwink FRIIIIIIIIIITZ

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    If evolution is real, why haven't men evolved a way over the couple million years so that doesn't hurt so bad to get hit in the groin?
     
  9. GhostWriter16

    GhostWriter16 Deity

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    :rotfl:

    Skwink wins. We should all try to be more like him:)
     
  10. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Actually thats probably WHY it hurts, its our reproductive organ and we need to protect it. Hence the pain to never let us forget that :/
     
  11. SG-17

    SG-17 Deity

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    That is pretty much spot on actually.
     
  12. Askthepizzaguy

    Askthepizzaguy Know the Dark Side

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    Pascal's Wager is quite obviously foolish.

    He suggests that there either is or is not a God, and so therefore the consequences of not believing in God if there is one are too horrible to ignore if God is real, so the safe bet is to believe in God.

    I could counter that any number of different ways.

    There is a Great Fire-Breathing Leprechaun in the sky, who is insanely jealous and hates all other gods. Every day I worship the wrong god, the Great Fire-Breathing Leprechaun adds a billion years to my punishment, which is being forced to watch the Teletubbies. Sounds ridiculous? So is the argument that I must pretend to believe (yes, pretend, because I don't seriously believe) in God so that I won't be sent to his personal Nazi death camp for all eternity.

    It's an argument from absurd consequences, which is EXACTLY what Pascal's wager is. Frankly, Pascal's Wager makes sense only if you don't think about it for more than a second or two. One bad argument is defeated by another, but how about a more plausible argument?

    To believe that there is a being which will burn you forever simply if you don't believe in this being, and if you don't believe in this being, you don't believe he/she/it will burn you forever, means there is a false choice.

    • A believer will already believe in this being, therefore they have nothing to lose, but may be compelled to continue to believe out of fear of consequences.
    • A non-believer doesn't buy the threat anyway, and cannot be forced to believe in something.

    I cannot choose to believe in something I don't. I either do or I do not. So threatening me with Hell is rather stupid, because you'd have to override logic and free will in order to make the threat reach me. If that's the case, God would have to undo some of the decisions he's made when 'creating' me.

    The only reason why there is even mention of hell is to keep the faithful from doubting, and the purpose for that is so that the church can continue to make money by tithing the faithful. It's simply a money-generating device.

    If God is all-powerful, and God is absolutely good, and I am his creation, why did he make me atheist? Why did he give me the free will to examine the evidence or lack thereof and allow me to make up my own mind?

    I'm not born with a belief in God. And, belief in God does not naturally follow, or else every tribe on Earth would believe in God. In fact, there are many tribes which don't believe in this particular god or any gods, really. Why would God damn them all to hell simply because he didn't allow them to know about him?

    Seems rather arbitrary and spiteful for a supremely wise being.

    All the arguments one makes to scare people into believing in God only work when people ignore critical thinking and common sense. Further, I don't believe a perfect being would incinerate his creations for all eternity. That sounds exactly like something ancient men would say in order to get more people to believe what they believed. And it worked on ancient men, who couldn't think properly. Now, the reason why people believe is because they're taught to at a young age, most of the time, when they accept whatever an authority figure says as the truth. And anyone who questions that truth is questioning their personal authority figure, and so they are emotionally defensive and find it insulting. Not only does the opinion become so ingrained, and not only does the fear of challenging that opinion become so overpowering, but I can't even respectfully disagree and say why without it being a personal attack on your mother, father, kindly old grandmother, or pastor.

    Of course one might feel defensive. People have difficulty openly discussing religion, even among the religious, it's like politics. Don't discuss religion or politics in the work place. Don't criticize someone's religion or political views if you want to be their friend. They often take it personally. It's not like science, you can talk about science because science is an evolving mechanism which changes as new data comes in. People are familiar with what they used to be taught as being possibly wrong, and accepting new ideas. There's a tradition of being un-traditional. And ideas are considered fair game in science.

    Religion, on the other hand, is not open for debate, because it involves belief; beliefs are often so deeply rooted and personal that they cannot withstand criticism without provoking an emotional response. Further, many of these beliefs are attached to fear; don't you dare think about not believing in God, or you'll burn in hell. So, avoid thinking about it.

    There's a fear of actually examining one's own beliefs and criticizing them, because of a fear of consequences. That doesn't sound like free will to me, or even honest belief. It sounds more like people have been frightened into thinking a certain way and are frightened of thinking any other way. That doesn't sound like freedom. It doesn't sound like an honest, loving belief in a higher being. It sounds more like how a person who is beaten every day would 'respect' the person who beats them.

    It's damaging, in my opinion, to not only be afraid to be tortured by someone, someone who cannot be stopped, cannot be reasoned with, and will get you when you're dead and helpless, but not only this, this person is imaginary, and I can prove it.

    The god you imagine is different from the god that others imagine. Some think he sits on a golden throne with a flowing beard with angels singing, others think he takes a different form. Some think hell is a metaphor for being distant from God, others think it is a literal place of burning, and even then, the ideas of heaven and hell and angels are not the same from person to person. We each imagine these things differently, and we have to imagine them, because we've never personally seen any of it. And that's within a religion, and there are thousands of those.

    This fear paralyzes people, and removes some ability to rationally question God, and yes, questioning God is considered evil by certain folks. I don't know about you all, but whenever I am told not to question an authority figure, the reason is, that authority figure is afraid of what might happen if I question them.

    God should not be afraid of my questions.

    Organized religion, and members thereof, may have reason to be fearful of my questions. They have something to lose if I question them; Money and power.

    God, on the other hand, should be a being without fear. Jealously, in fact, does not become a being as powerful as God, with billions of followers and billions more that are dead. It does not make sense to me that God would allow free will, and suggest that I can choose to believe or not believe in him, and then turn around and say No, I was not allowed to choose not to believe in him, and the consequences are to be punished forever and ever.

    That sounds like man-made fearmongering to me. Only man could come up with such implausible threats, and only man would believe them.



    Getting back to Pascal's Wager, it's a bad enough argument as it is, but when the only source of 'information' about God is people in ancient times wandering the deserts with the sun baking their brains, many of whom hold contradictory accounts, and many of whom we do not believe, how do you choose which 'revelation' to believe in?

    What is simply the most popular? Or how about the one that is most popular in your location?

    Seems quite arbitrary to me. If you were born in the middle east, you'd be a Muslim, not a Christian, most likely. The reason is societal pressure, parental authority, and cultural norms.

    Pascal's Wager breaks down at the slightest examination. It's wrong, and it was even recognized as such by his peers at the time. It's just horrendous logic. It's an attempt by an otherwise brilliant man to reason people into faith, but the reasoning he used was far from brilliant.
     
  13. Kerozine

    Kerozine Deity

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    Would you be willing to forego that listing, and put in 'Jedi' instead? :D
     
  14. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Why would God do that?
    Anyhow, even if God did 'accelerate the age of the sun' along with redshifting galaxies and other stars, we are still made from an earlier nova. That is where we got our heavy elements from.

    Care to explain?

    Which is completely bogus. A flood wouldn't do anything to the radioactive decay of Carbon 14. A living thing accumulates carbon-14 in its system in the same amounts Carbon 14 is found in the atmosphere. Once the living thing dies, it is no longer gaining Carbon 14 and the C14 decays at a known rate. By knowing how much C14 is left compared to how much was in the atmosphere we can tell how old something is.
    Here is a nice overview of C14
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geology/carbon-14.htm

    Can you point me to Chinese records of a great flood in 4400 BCE?
     
  15. civplayah

    civplayah phantasm

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    Do you consider atheism a religion? I do, but my teacher insists it's a philosophy.
     
  16. MikeL49NYVI

    MikeL49NYVI Warlord

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    True enough, in this case, however, the treatment of others is one way to measure and illustrate that vagueness.

    This is an interesting statement. I do not see how a Christian (or any other religious person) can deny science. If there is indeed a Creator, then He had to be the one that created the rules by which the universe operates. If it was someone else, then He is not the creator. The other one is. And science is all about rules and order in the universe, and here on earth (one plus one always equals two no matter where you go) It would take more imagination for me to think that the entire order of the universe just happened to be there this way,or evolved into this than to think that there is someone who intelligently and carefully planned it all out.
    It would be like taking all the parts of a pocket watch and throwing them into the air, and having them come down as a working watch. How many times would that take to happen? Much more logical to say it was designed that way. Christianity is not a mindless idiots' escape from reality. We believe God gave us our brains and He intends us to use them. And that does not include rejecting the very laws of physics and the universe that He himself created.

    Now before someone tells me that I am too simplistic, I must ask why should this be hard? Who says it has to be?

    Wow, pizzaguy, you are asking about the entire plan of redemption and salvation. That is an awful lot of writing, and covers all sorts of aspects.
    Let me sum up, real quickly:
    God is love
    God created the universe
    God created other beings around him (angels, etc)
    God created the earth
    God created man to fellowship with Him, and gave him the earth for a home
    One of the Angels (Lucifer) decided he wanted to be God, in effect creating evil within himself
    Lucifer decieves man, and man seperates himself from God
    God loves man and wants him back (big tug-of -war going on here)
    God, being Holy, cannot have sin in His presence, the two cannot self-exist, at least without conflict. (then it is not perfect anymore)
    God devises a plan to reach out to man so he can return to Him
    He begins to put this into play (Jews and the Old Testament)
    When the time was right, God put the 2nd part into play, the more perfect and better way to restore man to Himself (Jesus)
    Jesus (God's Son) becomes the perfect payment for man's seperating himself from God, and willingly pays that price, out of love for all men.
    Then God raises Jesus from the grave to show everyone what has happened
    So now the way is open for man to become forgiven and reconciled to God
    Now all man has to do is accept that payment as his own, and he is back in fellowship with God.
    However, if God allows others who do not want or accept that payment into His fellowship, then the payment really means nothing at all.
    So if the payment means nothing then there is no payment, and no way back to fellowship, so God has to stand by his original plan for man's redemption. Inconsistancy is not a part of the nature of God, and God cannot be untrue to Himself
    So anyone not accepting that payment does not enjoy the fellowship with God, forever.

    Please note that this is a very quick overview of everything you
    mentioned, and not all inclusive and exhaustive. But it is how Christianity works.
     
  17. Skwink

    Skwink FRIIIIIIIIIITZ

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    Well then it should grow a shell or something.
     
  18. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    If God is a perfect entity, how can He create something that has the capacity for imperfection?
     
  19. SS-18 ICBM

    SS-18 ICBM Oscillator

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    Fun biology fact: sperm do not respond well to higher temperatures.

    Isn't free will great? The freedom to get yelled at and punished for doing something wrong is just great.
     
  20. Zack

    Zack 99% hot gas

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    Do you consider bald to be a hair color?

    (No)
     
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