Religion - Atheist

Originally created by A β Pseudolonewolf
6 years ago.

on 3 Roots

212 Comments

Contested Umbra
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When i was younger I went through some utterly horrific ironic scrutiny and verbal attacks from my close minded christian community (not all christians are like this), and this understandably gave me such a burning hatred that i abandoned all faith and became an atheist.

The following two years of my life were spent miserably until i hit high school and due to my emotional rage I was kicked out of my home and had to move in with my father. It was here where i was taught total open mindedness and i forgave Christianity and began to research all religions.

Many many many books and classes later i came to the conclusion that there had to be something out there but that i as a human could not understand it. With this mindset i am happily neutral and understanding even towards the most forthright religious radicals, but my question is are any of you an atheist due to bad experiences or because of logical conclusions?
Silveroak
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I'm sorry that you have been mistreated by "Christians" and am glad you have forgiven the religion but I would like to say that the people who mistreated you were not cristians, they were hypocrites.

Christ taught of peace and not violence even if you mocked. Your abusers they had no right to do that. I am sorry.
Drostie
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Drostie 32 Netherlands SanguineMelancholic ENTP 21C
Since you are only 13, I hope we can all perhaps forgive you for falling into a bit of a stereotype -- it is a good and honest stereotype, but it is still problematic. It is the stereotype of Christians who say what, precisely, is and isn't Christianity, usually excluding a vast number of practicing "Christians" with their definitions. Christianity is a vast and complex tradition. On the one hand, you have certain Protestant fundamentalists saying "Gay people choose to be that way!" and on the other hand you get folks like the Calvinists who insist "there is no such thing as choice or free will, period, it's all an illusion, God already knows who's saved and who's not and you can't possibly have any impact on that with anything you do." Probably the biggest criticism from other religions to Christianity is about its many denominations. Muslims will be like, "well, yeah, there's Sunni, Shi'i, and Sufi, but at least there's more or less only those three and they agree about most of the supernatural aspects of the faith."

While I agree that the abusers "had no right to do that," it's important to be careful about the doctrinal point you're making when you say "they were not Christians, they were hypocrites." In Christianity it is notoriously difficult to find a criterion to distinguish authentic Christianity amongst the denominations which claim to be authentic.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
So, can someone explain to me how they are content being atheistic?
Ribbit
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Ribbit 27 Germany MelancholicCholeric ISTJ 1127C
What do you mean with 'content'? I do not really know how to answer you because I don't know what you mean by it. Do you mean 'content with myself' or 'content with the world' or maybe something entirely other perhaps?

As for now and as for me: I did not really 'choose' being an atheist. I where taught this way and never considered seriously that there could be something other than pure rational physics in the universe (well, 'rational', uh not really, seeing as rationality is invented by humans too and the universe not really have to work that way)

Saying, it doesn't matter if I'm content with it: I just can't bring myself to believe in magic or similar things, even if I would like to believe there is something bigger that gives our existence some sense. Objectively, I'm more an agnostic, but deep in me I do not believe in anything exciting.

But I don't see why atheists shouldn't be content with, well I assume you mean something like content with the world. I rather find it hard to see why religious people are content with their view of the world because in my eyes all this inconsistencies and contradictions all single sided beliefs have would be really unsatisfactory to me.

The only neagtive about being atheist is the question about death, I think; being religious should take most of the fear that comes along with it, I guess.

But being atheist doesn't mean necessarily you don't believe in anything spiritual or something, like I do, so it isn't even a general problem for atheists so I really do not understand your question.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
I mean content with the greater "world" as it stands. The same goes for any existential point of view, really. If there's no greater purpose or point, why keep living?

And I'll be happy to try and address any inconsistencies you feel are appropriate to discuss, at least within the purview of my own religious views (Christianity). Just post and I'll answer to the best of my ability.

Side note: I'm just trying to spark conversation, and I never balk from an opportunity to talk about my beliefs. The atheist interest page seemed like a place I'd be nigh-guaranteed to get a response, that's all.

EDIT: I would be rating all of your posts, but I haven't been a member on the NEW site since before yesterday, and for whatever reason my old account is no good. (that part may have been by design, and I just missed the note about it). So instead of offering a rating, I'll just say I appreciate everyone's willingness to even HAVE this conversation with me. I expected more harsh backlash and less reason from the generalization of a community that is "the internet". Should have known Pseudo's crowd would be a bit more pleasant.
wea111
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If anything it could be considered more of a reason to live. This can be explained in many ways.
1) The fact that there is no greater purpose is good because if you accept that there is a greater purpose then you are accepting that you are just a tool of some deity with no more purpose than a computer character, and probably not even a important one just something like Strange man or something equally depressing to be. Whereas if you believe there is no greater purpose it means you control your own actions giving them a million times more value.

2) Without the promise of heaven it means that you can look as life as special and as its own reward, instead of it being a trial to be endured before either the torture of hell or the reward of heaven (or perhaps limbo if god cant decide).

3) If we accept god exists then he is either apathetic or outright evil with all of the horrible things that happen on earth(unless of course the 2 year old children that die are all evil) which does not seem like the kind of god that I would like to live under.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
K, rebuttals:

1) I think saying "a million times more value" is a little silly in itself. I don't agree with arbitrary choices of subjective values on principle. To answer your actual point though, what makes you think you are deserving of being anything more than a tool of God? I can personally find comfort and value in the fact that the God and Creator of the universe has tiny, insignificant me built into his plans. That has more inherent value than anything I could ever do on my own.

2) Life isn't a reward, or necessarily always a trial. We all certainly go through trying times but the purpose of life, at least for those who accept Christ as Lord and Savior, is to become more like Him in all they do, think, and feel. The trials we face are placed in our paths by God to better us, and we have to (even though it's hard at times) accept that in His wisdom, He has planned it all out perfectly. Further, God can and DID decide. There is no gray area for God, plan and simple.

3) Have you ever seen a two year old disobey his/her parents? That's sin. The punishment of sin is death. Christ bore that punishment, and by His grace, through our faith, we can share in the reward of eternity with God after we die. Call it sad, unfair, or whatever, but every person on earth is born into sin, and as such, deserve death, myself included.
wea111
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I would like to continue this conversation but I feel that it has gone as far as it can while still maintaining its original quality. So shall we just agree that we both have some good points and believe what we want to?
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
We can, but I reserve the right to see it as a cop out.
wea111
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If you want to then we can continue in PMs, I just felt that if we did continue then it would end up badly for someone.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
I prefer to have the conversation in an open forum, for a couple reasons: It keeps everyone honest. Being moderated means we play nice :). Also, I want people to read what I have to say. Whether they agree or not, it truly is my goal to get the Truth out there. Roll your eyes if you wish, dear reader, but that's the fact.
Seiryuu
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Let's get involved in something that doesn't involve me at all whatsoever.

1) I think by thinking about not having a belief in some higher deity one must consider that their actions are less influenced by the wanting of going to heaven. Doing good for the sake of doing good has much more value than doing good so that one can go to heaven. It's more meaningful.

2) Life is life. I make mountains out of molehills and see danger in every corner. I feel unhappy when I think someone has it out for me (which is almost always whenever no one talks to me), but there is a song from a certain musical that encouraged me to keep living especially when things seemed to go wrong for me. That may be why I don't believe that everything was planned cause that would only fuel my delusion even more.

3) That implies that we can never be absolved of sin and there's no point in resisting sin and temptation when all you have to do is have faith. We all deserve death though I would like to be reincarnated, if possible.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
1) Your actions do not determine whether or not you go to heaven, or we'd all go to hell. That's the whole point. Even i I intentionally sinned every chance I got for the rest of my life, I'd still go to heaven. I don't, because I desire to be obedient to God.

2) Believe it or not, everything is planned. Instead of falling back on something that I see as having little eternal value (a musical), I am motivated to "keep on keepin' on" by the knowledge that God is ultimately in control of everything, and all things are done for good in the end.

3) That's the OPPOSITE of what I said. Christ absolved us of sin on the cross. And going back to my point number one, while yes, all we have to do to be saved is have faith, the point in resisting sin and temptation is obedience to God, who saved us.
Seiryuu
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1) So basically, when I die I'll see Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler having teatime while little cherubs fly around them singing hymns of joy (oh dear, I invoked Godwin's law. Oh well). If I were more religious, I'd lean towards Buddhism (which isn't even a religion) and say that everyone goes to hell after they die. Where they go afterwards depends on how they're judged.

2) One of the interpretations I've had of the Abrahamic god is a Sims creator. He creates a world full of his creations and sets things in motion. He rarely interacts with his peons and just watches as they carry out their lives.

3) So if Jesus absolved us of sin on the cross, then that means we were born of no sin. Or does that happen at some point in our lives? Do babies have to wait until they're three years old before they can be certain to ascend up to heaven?
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
1) No, unless they were true believers in Christ. Their actions strongly imply otherwise, though I'm not psychic.

2) And that's what many of the forefathers of our country believe (I believe Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson...not positive though, and likely there are more). They were referred to as the Culte de L'Etre Supreme, the Cult of the Supreme Being. The analogy they used was a clock, since He knows what is going to happen next, though He doesn't interact.

3) You have to accept with faith that He did so. He saved those who believe. There is a common Christian theological debate as to whether He suffered the punishment of everyone's sin, or just those who will believe (referred to as "the elect"), but that ties more into number two above. Further, the Bible states clearly that all who believe were "known" or "chosen" before creation by God. IE, God knew before the creation of the world that I would embrace saving faith in Christ. But back to your original point, unless you accept Christ as Lord and Savior, you are hell-bound, regardless of His actions on the cross.

Quoting my post to which you just responded "3) That's the OPPOSITE of what I said. Christ absolved us of sin on the cross. And going back to my point number one, while yes, ALL WE HAVE TO DO TO BE SAVED IS HAVE FAITH, the point in resisting sin and temptation is obedience to God, who saved us.". Note that I already stated this; if you just missed it, that's fine, but please do not intentionally ask circular questions.
ThirdParty
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ThirdParty 34 United States PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 514 177C
Quote:
Your actions do not determine whether or not you go to heaven, or we'd all go to hell.
Wait, what? You think that everyone has committed actions so heinous as to deserve eternal torture? Am I misunderstanding you somehow?

I can understand people who say "may the evil you visit on others be returned to you threefold". Two wrongs don't make a right, and multiplying the wrong doesn't help, but over-punishment is arguably better than no punishment at all.

I can understand people who say "every homicide, even accidentally manslaughter, deserves the death penalty". It's heartless and Draconian, and I wouldn't in a million years support putting it into practice, but I see the reasoning that would lead one to that view: when an irremediable harm has been done, nothing but another irremediable harm can balance the scales of justice.

I can even understand people who say "the use of torture against a terrorist, or even against his innocent family, for an hour or two should be permitted in cases where thousands of lives are at stake". I don't share that view--once one adopts "the ends justify the means" type thinking, one's in danger of committing great evil on the basis of mistaken beliefs--but I sympathize with wanting to save lives.

But to say that even the most minor crimes, things like petty lies or speeding--the only sorts of crimes which everyone commits at some point or another--deserve torture, not just for an hour or two but for eternity ... that, I can't understand. There's no sense of "justice" in which eternal, unnecessary torture for minor crimes could be honestly mistaken for justice.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
Quote:
Wait, what? You think that everyone has committed actions so heinous as to deserve eternal torture? Am I misunderstanding you somehow?

Nope, you heard right. Anything we've done that is against God's Word condemns us to hell. Lying to our mother about brushing our teeth as a child is just as damning as first degree murder. Christ's grace covers all of that equally, though.

Quote:
But to say that even the most minor crimes, things like petty lies or speeding--the only sorts of crimes which everyone commits at some point or another--deserve torture, not just for an hour or two but for eternity ... that, I can't understand. There's no sense of "justice" in which eternal, unnecessary torture for minor crimes could be honestly mistaken for justice.

The justice is inherent in the system: God required perfection from all of us. His standard is absolute, unerring perfection, with no slip-ups whatsoever. We all failed at that, and the penalty for sin is death, both physical death and eternal spiritual death. Christ's sacrifice saves us from that. The caveat is, we have to place our faith in Him as Lord and Savior.

As an aside, accidents where there is no sin involved aren't the issue here. IE, if you were to trip and fall while walking with a kitchen knife in hand, stabbing someone in the leg on the way down, assuming there was no malicious intent, there is no sin either. It's willfully going against God's Word that is sin, and we've all done that, with no exception among us.
Silveroak
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Hmm I don't think it's as much the desire to be obedient to God because if you desired to be obidient to God you wouldn't be sinning. I think it's more in the obedience to God. You can desire not to kill someone and still kill them and become a murderer or you can desire to not kill them and be innocent.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
Given the nature of sin, and its root in the heart, sin can happen even without intent. Sin is essentially a part of our nature as humans since the fall.

For example, even if I desire to be obedient to God, if I see a scantily clad woman, I can still have lust in my heart. That is still sin, even if it was just a momentary lapse. Does that make sense?
Ribbit
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Ribbit 27 Germany MelancholicCholeric ISTJ 1127C
I don't think that we need some greater purpose to live. Living in itself is reason enough to live. Everything we're doing are we doing for us or for others and that should suffice entirely. I live because I do and that's all there is to it. The existence of live in such a tiny space on the surface of a little rock somewhere in the cold and cruel universe is just miraculous enough as it is, so we should cherish it and just live because we can.

And if you really need to have a purpose for living then simply make your own. Like, bringing mankind to the stars for example or simply making the world a better place, things like that, what you want.

That's what I feel at least.

For the inconsistencies: I have no special ones to address for any religion because I'm not interested enough in them to know some verified facts about them. But the whole thought of an omnipotent god who finds it important how exactly we believe in him is inconsistent enough. You can't tell me that he on the one hand loves us all and on the other hand's sending people to hell just because they worked on sundays. (I do not know if you specifically would believe that, or if there even is anybody important who believes that nowadays, it's just an example)

It's not that believing in a god in itself does not make sense to me; No, why? I see how a god could exist in many ways fitting with the world as we know it. But nothing of this makes sense with religions. The religions are the ones who are inconsistent and contradictionary and I'm afraid I have to admitt that I do not really want to discuss about that point. Maybe there is a religion which sums it up quite well, without impossible dogmatic views, but as long as a religion would claim to be the only true one, it would start to get inconsistent for me. And if a religion gives you the freedom of believing like you want, then you don't need the religion anymore.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
And you never think, "Wow, what are the odds that I would be me, and that I would be where I am now...?" As you can likely tell from my other posts, there's only one answer.

Plain and simple, God condemned people to hell for disobeying Him. We all did it. To reiterate my proselytization from my response to the post above yours: Christ died so that we may live.

No religion can do God justice, I'll grant you that. The Bible is God's Word, however, and as such, should be regarded as such, regardless of our own understanding. "Christianity" is a name, just like "Islam" or "Judaism". In itself, it is meaningless. Christ is the meaning, not His followers or the organizations that follow Him.

Why is it that a religion (or for general purposes, we'll say "belief system")....So why is it that if a belief system claimed to be the only TRUE belief system, that's inconsistent? It seems you've created a nice, neat little paradox to comfort yourself in your lack of belief, but can you justify the first step in it for me?
Ribbit
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Ribbit 27 Germany MelancholicCholeric ISTJ 1127C
I can try to (but I'm not really good to explain complicated philosophical matters in other than my mother language, that's partly why I was a little shallow there and I cannot guarantee that it now will get better)

Okay, so as for an instance you say the Bible is god's word, right, therefore it should be wholly true? Am I right? Somewhere out of the bible you can take the information, god created the world around 4004 b.c. (or at least you can get this year by adding the life spans of all this ancestrals or something). Correct me if I'm wrong. Now some fun facts: the world is around 4,5 Billion years old. First historical traces of humans are at least 10000 years old.

Why? Why on the one hand a god claims he created the world a few 1000 years ago and on the other hand we can find evidence that this clearly is wrong? And please don't try to say something like: ''God's ways are unfathomable for little humans like us." That does not satisfy me. There is absolutely no need to consider the existence of a god, it is entirely possible to explain the world without a god. So, there are no evidences for a god.

And if you want me to belief in a god that needs to be worshipped for, I don't know, his big ego or something?, and in some god who takes pleasure in confusing us with contradictions between what he says and between what we can see, then I rather choose not believing in this god.

Hm, I've the feeling I got a little aggressive here. Sorry for that, but this is because I can kinda predict your next answer and it is a little tiring to me. But ignore that. And I have to admit that I'm perhaps not the best fitting person for you to discuss this matter with because I'm kinda prejudiced (because everything I'm saying is with the thought at the back of my mind that there is no god, I can't help it)

Uh, by the way, I found your response to the post above mine really terrible. You're seriously saying little children who disobey their parents should die? That every little child that died through horrible circumstances were deserving it? Correct me if I misinterpreted you but that's how it reads for me.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
I honestly laughed at your last line, sorry about that. No, not that they should die, but that if they die without having accepted Christ, they go to hell, just the same as someone who dies at 89 years old who never accepted Him. Figured I should address that first.

Anyway, onto the rest: Yes, the Bible is God's Word, and yes, it is wholly true. There are two significant caveats, though:

1) It was penned by men, and the language was limited by their understanding.
2) The world as we know it may have been under drastically different circumstances than it is today, and we have know way of knowing it.

Elaborating on my first point, Moses wrote the book of Genesis. He was, obviously, not present for Creation, and therefore was writing, in the best language he could, the knowledge that was divinely imparted to him by God. For the sake of argument, if you believed God created the world in six days, do you think you would be able to succinctly describe the process with a sixth grade education? I'm being generous, as it was entirely likely Moses had far less than that level of education, even though he was considered an extremely intellectual and intelligent man for his time. Modern science didn't exist yet.

Onto the second point: The entire world, according to the Bible, was completely under water for 150 days (Genesis 7:17 says 40 days of flooding, Genesis 8:3 says it took 150 days for the water to abate). I, personally, have no idea what kind of effect that would have on the state of the earth, and it's likely impossible to calculate, given we don't have specific details, like how deep the water was at the highest point. Would the pressure cause tectonic plate movement patterns to shift? Would if cause core density to increase or decrease? I honestly don't know, but if you can find me someone who does, I'd be happy to listen.

Essentially, dating methodologies that have been used to date the earth (and the universe, for that matter) are woefully unqualified to state their results as fact. The fact that I have, is the Word of God. I'm a man of science and logic, and hopefully my diction and arguments at least have implied I'm not an inbred redneck who was raised in the Church and knows nothing else. Those methodologies are math, but they're based on a lot of conjecture, and as such, science hasn't given us any more of a concrete answer than faith.
Ribbit
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Ribbit 27 Germany MelancholicCholeric ISTJ 1127C
Sorry to go on again about that; But: how do you expect 2 year olds accepting Christ? They are merely old enough to understand the concept of 'Me' and 'You'. You're saying that little children go to hell when they die before being able to just think about a concept like 'god' or 'not god'? Anyway, I just assume I understood this the wrong way again.

Yeah, maybe methods for dating the earth, the universe and everything do seem not trustworthy. But they are. I surely cannot explain them entirely to you, because you need to study for years to understand all aspects behind them (and there are many methods) But no matter how you look at it: What's standing in the Bible is not the truth. And that's all I'm saying: That none of the current dominating world religions are entirely in the right. Not how they are now. If you want to accept scientific views of the world, that is. If not, then you can of course say everything you want.

It is difficult anyway to put science and religion together, because they are both just not compatible: Religion is based on believes, it is somewhat an emotional concept that shouldn't need rational explanations, science is rational, based on observations and logic. Science does not try to prove itself right. Science asks:"How could this work?" and "Is there a way to disprove it?". Religion just says:"This is how it should be." and does not permit the possibility of ot being wrong.

I'm not an expert at geology, but I know a little about it, and a worldwide flood wouldn't change anything about tectonic. Especially not in just 150 days. That's too short for geology to even realizing it. Maybe if the whole atmosphere would contain just water or something extrem like that, some effect would show, but then you would have to ask were all this water came from and were did it go? And if you now say god made it appear and vanish, the whole attempt of trying to explain something scientifically becomes pointless. Then I would rather go with: "God created the world around 6000 years ago, but in a way to make it seem like it was older (to give scientists silly ideas or something)"

You have the choice: Either you want to accept scientific methods as a good and valid way to understand the universe or you want to believe in your religion of choice. The third option is, of course, finding a religion that's flexible enough to take the possibility of us constantly misunderstanding the universe and changing our view of it if new scientific methods or valid theories show new evidence for other than current scenarios.

But, like I said at some point before, the Catholic church, for example, just like it is now, is not believable and consistent enough to consider it true. If you allow the possibility that all humans are imperfect and that they just misunderstood a lot of things the last 2000 years and even now and that god isn't intervening with these misunderstandings, because he wants to test us maybe, then I would be happy to believe in god, but in my own way. But then it wouldn't be important how exactly I'm showing my believe in him. Saying, I just can't believe anybody would go to hell, when he lived a good live and never harmed anybody or did some mischief or something, just because he was unsatisfied with the stubborn and dogmatic worldview of some religions.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
Yes, a two year old who dies goes to hell (assuming they aren't well beyond the normal development milestones for the age). It's tragic, I agree, but it's a fact of life. Being the father of a six month old boy, I am moved by this on a daily basis, but that doesn't change it.

Are you trying to tell me you have complete and total understanding of how the earth has been scientifically dated, and that those methods are 100% accurate? Because then you're blatantly lying. The CREATORS of those methods acknowledge they're not proven, because there's simply no control group they can use to prove them.

And you keep making the same point: that it's impossible to reconcile religion and science. I still very strongly disagree. My point is that, even at its peak, our scientific understanding will NEVER be able to fully explain the world in which we live. God explains it for us.

My point about the earth being underwater was an example, nothing more. I'm not basing my argument on it by any means, just trying to give you an idea of how little we know about the earth's history from a scientific perspective. In fact, the most recent and advanced scientific discoveries have proven that there are unimaginable amounts of detail about the nature of our universe that we simply cannot understand, and likely never will be able to. Ever heard of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle? It states, simply, that we cannot know both the speed and location of an electron, as observing either one affects the other. how do you expect science to ever explain the inner workings of the universe if we cannot even know everything there is to know about the simplest particle in creation?

And your last sentence: Forget anything good a person has ever done. It's wonderful, but it's what God demands. It's "meeting the quota", not exceeding or earning anything. Has this person ever done a single thing wrong? Sinned in any way? Then they're going to hell. The initial covenant with Adam and Eve dictated that they would live in perfection with God. Not "pretty good" or "mostly do the right thing". PERFECTION. Every person who has ever lived falls short of that standard, and is therefore going to hell. Christ died and suffered that punishment on our behalf, so now we can go to heaven instead. All He requires is that we acknowledge His sacrifice, and make Him Lord of our lives.
ThirdParty
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ThirdParty 34 United States PhlegmaticCholeric INTJ 514 177C
Dying wouldn't serve any great purpose either. So why not keep living?

I happen to enjoy living. If you don't enjoy living, if the only thing stopping you from killing yourself is your belief that God doesn't want you to, then please consider the possibility that you may be suffering from clinical depression. (This goes for everyone, by the way, not just Christians. If your reason for getting out of bed in the morning is that your children need you, or your boss is counting on you, or your fans are waiting for you, or you're hungry, or anything other than "oh good, another day!", then something's broken.) Life can be more than just a burden. If yours isn't, then don't just bravely shoulder the burden for the sake of your greater purpose; find a way to fix whatever's wrong and start enjoying yourself.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
First off, I am probably the least likely person I know to ever suffer from depression, clinical or otherwise. I'm far too "Type A" to get down on myself (choleric sanguine after all, I just get down on others...sadly).

And to respond, God IS my reason for doing anything. Glorifying Him in all I do is the only purpose I need, simply because He is deserving of praise. That's more than enough for me. I enjoy myself greatly, having a wonderful job, a beautiful wife, a nice home, and a rapidly growing baby boy. These things aren't any sort of by-product of my faith, mind you, they're simply blessings from God that I cherish. I would still worship Him tomorrow if everything vanished overnight; yes, I would grieve, but God is greater than anything on the earth, including all of the worldly comforts I enjoy.

What's more, God is greater than any emotional response I can have to anything, meaning the emotional reaction to fans waiting for you, children needing you, a boos counting on you, or just "Oh good, another day!" is simply insignificant. While I don't have fans, all the others are true, including my happiness at another day of life, though, I thank God for that day because it's another day on earth I can praise Him and seek to glorify Him, even on a message board for a video game developer's site :P.

Short and simple, God is just GREATER than life, or anything in it (which makes sense, given He created it all...right?). Other reasons for carrying on with the daily routine seem...depressing. I honestly can't even remember what it was I was shooting for before I was found by my Savior.
DreamGawd
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DreamGawd 23 Aruba SanguineCholeric INFP 5w6 76C
I7
qonce wondered the same thing for a short time, but I ended up realizing something.

Existence itself doesn't have a purpose. In fact, it can't have a purpose. No greater purpose exists, no matter what religion is the correct one. If your purpose is to serve someone or something, then your final purpose would be to fulfill the goal of whatever force you serve. Even if you serve an almighty god and creator, what is that creator's purpose? Can you comprehend anything beyond a supreme deity?

Nobody really has a purpose because there is no greater purpose. Because there is no purpose, people have a void that needs to be filled. Theists feel that there needs to be a god whom they can serve because of the notion that a god will have an extremely important purpose. I find this idea flawed, because what could be so difficult that an all-powerful god needs help from its creations to do?1
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
How...empty.

However, I'd like to point out a logical flaw:
Quote:
Even if you serve an almighty god and creator, what is that creator's purpose? Can you comprehend anything beyond a supreme deity?

Just because you cannot understand or comprehend a purpose does not mean it does not exist. For example, a General may order a Captain to take his troops into specific battle situation. While the Corporal in the field may not know the General's purpose, that does not mean there is no purpose.

Similarly, I have absolutely no idea why it is the God designed people for His own glory. That does not mean there is no reason, just that I have my role, and I am called to play it.

Living life thinking there is no purpose at all seems a lot like going through the motions for no reason. If you have no purpose, why do you do anything? Why go to work or school? Why post on this site?
DreamGawd
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DreamGawd 23 Aruba SanguineCholeric INFP 5w6 76C
I do it because it's fun and it creates a purpose. My purpose in life is to have fun, take on challenges, and make purposes for which to exist. I don't think that purpose is something that exists naturally. People *create* it.

Also, a general is not something you can use to create an actual analogy of a supreme deity. Generals are not perfect. God is perfect. If God is perfect, he must be able to attain anything with ease. If there has never been a moment when God didn't exist, that would mean that God would have had an unlimited amount of time to do whatever he wanted... unless you believe that there was a beginning of time, in which case God would have had a limited amount of time but he created time to that must mean he existed before time existed so there was time before time and that makes absolutely no sense and has little to do with my actual point.

Here are my questions:
What could possibly be so elusive that even the perfect have yet to attain it? If it is infinitely elusive, then why bother with trying to attain it? If that very thing is unattainable even to one who is perfect, then does perfection even really exist?

With my logic, you could say that God created people as a way of creating a purpose. In a sense, he did it out of boredom. If he were to do that, he still wouldn't be entertained. He wouldn't be given a challenge that he couldn't easily overcome. Being all powerful, nothing would be out of his control. In order to make things interesting, he would have to relinquish his power so that he's have some kind of a challenge. The problem with this is that his power is infinite. If you divide infinity by anything, you still have infinity (I'm not completely sure about that last part. I never got past pre-calc! D: ). You also can't subtract from infinity, because it's not a definite amount (Again, I'm not too sure.). How confusing!

Also, I didn't feel like finishing that last post that I wrote because a cat sat on my keyboard and I didn't want to lose everything I had written. My laziness had a part to play in it as well.
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
Quote:
What could possibly be so elusive that even the perfect have yet to attain it? If it is infinitely elusive, then why bother with trying to attain it? If that very thing is unattainable even to one who is perfect, then does perfection even really exist?

We are designed to give God glory. To me, that implies that the most efficient way for Him to achieve said glory is by allowing humans to have free will and choose to give it to Him of their own accord. The thing isn't unattainable, and yes, God is perfect. This is just how He is choosing to go about it.

Quote:
With my logic, you could say that God created people as a way of creating a purpose. In a sense, he did it out of boredom. If he were to do that, he still wouldn't be entertained. He wouldn't be given a challenge that he couldn't easily overcome. Being all powerful, nothing would be out of his control. In order to make things interesting, he would have to relinquish his power so that he's have some kind of a challenge. The problem with this is that his power is infinite. If you divide infinity by anything, you still have infinity (I'm not completely sure about that last part. I never got past pre-calc! D: ). You also can't subtract from infinity, because it's not a definite amount (Again, I'm not too sure.). How confusing!

Interesting little logical problem you've created out of math there, but it's all based on a root fallacy: God didn't create people as a way of creating a purpose, just as a way of attaining more glory.
DreamGawd
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DreamGawd 23 Aruba SanguineCholeric INFP 5w6 76C
Attaining more glory? If he's perfect, he has all the glory imaginable. With perfection, he has an infinite amount of glory. If he's lacking in it so much that he needs people to achieve it, creatures of his own creature that are infinitely weaker than he is, then how is he perfect?
lazarony
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lazarony 30 United States CholericSanguine ESTJ 8w7 503C
Since when did our own understanding limit God's perspective on glory? Moreover, I never said He needed us to achieve His glory, He just chose to do it that way, as our choosing Him of our own free will is glorious indeed. (IE, forced love isn't real love).

And why does my saying, "He uses us for His glory," or something similar suddenly translate to, "God's lacking glory so much He needs people to achieve it"? Those two statements are not equivalent, and the first does not imply the second, despite the fact that you inferred it.
isnochao
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Qualiasoup and Theramintrees did a wonderful video on this subject about a year or two ago ∞ YouTube ∞ I think they put it better than I could.
Ares
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Um, isn't it somewhat bothersome that Atheism falls under the religion category (I'm talking about the "Religion - Atheist" thingy up there)? If I'm not mistaken, atheism isn't a religion... I know this is a trivial thing and I probably sound like a nitpick, but perhaps the page should be renamed to something else, like "Spiritual Beliefs" instead of "Religions" (or anything more befitting)? Of course, I am talking only about how it's displayed here, and not in the Personality section.

Suggestions and input from other members are welcome, although a response from Pseudo should be ideal.
SunChilde
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Depends on what definition you are looking at. As far as I understand, Religions were initially defined by the belief in and worship of a deity, before the absence of one became a more clear concept. However, after various non-deity religious came about, the term 'religion' was revised to include these people, by changing it simply to a shared set of beliefs about the nature of the universe.

(it still has to be a shared set of beliefs, so not everything is a religion. Thus, if atheism is simply the disbelief of a deity, and there are a bunch of us that prescribe to this understanding of the nature of the universe, by the new definition, it is a religion)
Braineel
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Technically the belief and worship of deities. Monotheism was invented later, with Judaism. Paganism was the prominent religion back in the day, these days it's Christianity. Paganism is still pretty prominent, however. The religion I find interesting is Zoroastrianism. Unlike the rest of them, it's not just stealing its gods from everyone else. Well, for the most part at least :P
EDIT: Seems Zoroastianism may have actually begun monotheism. The more you know...

I suppose Atheism isn't either. Seeing as how "no god at all" is a relatively new idea. I'm straying from the topic at hand. Shutting up.
Seiryuu
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It's fine in the sense that it is related to religion and not asking "what religion do you belong to", though I think "Religious Beliefs" would have done more justice to it.
Altemeus
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Altemeus 30 United States PhlegmaticCholeric INTP 9w1 166C
Atheism is as much a religion as being a Moderate is a political view. It's atypical to discuss the areas with great detail, as they are defined by being scattered. If there were detail, it would just be another theology no different from the others. However, that doesn't mean we don't have a view of how we have come to be. Religion has been incorrectly pegged as a group of people worshipping the same deity/ies and/or sharing the same, exact belief structure. A lack of theological perspective is proper in this place as much as "Unemployed" is appropriate under "Job" when someone lacks one, not to say all Atheists share the exact same lack of perspective, but it's a good way of putting "Other" in the place. We could devise levels of Atheism to depict what each one of us really feels, but frankly, the other theologies kinda ran that into the ground a bit.