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#13242 - 01/14/06 10:28 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Blacknad wrote:
"If I weigh up the evidence, combined with my experience and find a belief in God compelling, and it in no way contradicts what good science is telling me, then I am not deluding myself"

You are correct that you are not deluding yourself in the same way that a psychotic person who hears voices is not deluding themselves when they talk back. They are most certainly delusional but not self-deluding.

The question you should be asking is what evidence you are considering as rational.

Do you consider an authorless book a source to be considered?

Do you consider a book that has admittedly been rewritten for political purposes as evidence?

Do you have a basis for believing that the accident of your birth gives one theology more value than another? And if not have you explored, with equal effort, all other possible theologies?

What weight have you put on the fact that the theology you subscribe to believes the universe was created by the creator of the AIDs virus? Also malaria, childhood leukemia, and every other horrible and deadly disease that afflicts innocent newborn children?

What weight have you put on the fact that the theology you subscribe to believes in surrendering power to the self-confessed mass murderer of every living creature on earth except the members of one family?

What weight have you put on the fact that the theology you subscribe to believes in surrendering power to the self-confessed mass murderer of every first born male child in an entire country?

What weight have you put on the fact that the theology you subscribe to believes in surrendering power to a creature that has the power to instantly remove all evil and suffering from the world and chooses not to?

There is lots of evidence out their blacknad. Lets see if you have the moral courage to stand up and explain how you arrived at your decision based on each piece of evidence you reviewed?

Personally? If I were ever convinced that such a monster existed, other than in the minds of weak-minded humans, ... I would do everything in my power to bring it to justice. Give it a fair trial. And sentence it to an eternity in a blackhole.

But blacknad lets consider more of what you wrote:
"If there is no God and therefore no meaning"

Why do you equate the two? I don't. I can't think of a single person I know that does? I think this is a delusional belief.

You are stating that some external entity gives your life meaning and that if that external entity and its external program doesn't exist you are without meaning. That is extraordinarily sad. You should, and I say this seriously and sincerely, talk to a medical professional about the lack of ability to find meaning in your life without serving some other entity's plan. I can think of nothing sadder than a life of self-imposed slavery.

For you to indicate, as you have, that if there is no god and their is no eternal damnation you would be ... to use your words ... "nihilistic" and "hedonistic" is pathetic. No eternal damnation and you are incapable of self-constrol, self-restraint, and civilize social behaviour.

The threat you appear to be making is that if we don't leave you in your delusional state you will require restraint by law enforcement officers.

Quite an interesting group of statements from someone claiming the moral high ground.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#13243 - 01/17/06 05:12 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
What would happen if Christians dropped the Bible? Still went to church and said personal prayers, supported each other through joys and sorrows, continued to collect money to care for the poor and helpless, but let go of the "rule book"? They could keep Christ/God as "the peace that passes understanding".
I guess they would turn into Humanists.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#13244 - 01/17/06 11:37 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Good thought Justine but let me put it to you another way.

What would happen if Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hinus, Buddhists, etc. all dropped their biases, dropped the self-righteousness and replaced it with humility. Stopped wasting time going to church, praying, and reading their authorless mistranslated books ... and ... instead ... devoted that same time to actually performing community service helping those who are most in need of help. What would happen if instead of giving billions of dollars to support buildings, theologians, temples, mosques, churches, etc. ... instead ... they contributed that money to research universities to develop cures for malaria, leukemia, and birth defects.

Would a truly moral god not think more of them?

If not ... then you have a prima facia case for this god having a major ego problem and caring more about its ego than about the welfare of the people it created.

You can't have it both ways. A choice is required. If 'god' exists does it want us to behave well or toady up like sycophants and worship it even while doing bad things? A simple question worthy of a simple Boolean answer.
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DA Morgan

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#13245 - 01/18/06 01:36 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
IF 'god' exists. pfft!
If it truly did create man in it's own image then the answer is -true -it wants us to behave like sycophants and worship it even while doing bad things.

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#13246 - 01/18/06 02:10 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
I agree with everything you said, except, I do see good reasons for Church or gathering together regularly for silent contemplation and community.
Especially, because many churches tend to open their doors and socialize with people who may not fit, socially, anywhere else.

The Unitarian Universalists are a nice example. And they have a great sense of responsibility to community service and collecting money to put towards great causes. They tend to quote great literary works or spoken words of great minds in their sermons, extrapolating the wisdom of man in order to emphasis their message for the week.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#13247 - 01/18/06 06:52 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Justine what is it you can do, in silent contemplation, in a place that cost millions of dollars and has gold ornamentation that you can not do in the privacy of your own home or sitting on a hilltop overlooking a beautiful beach or other part of nature?

Can you not invite those persons you wish to be with into your home? Onto the beach? Do you really need to spend billions of dollars each and every year that could provide a cure for malaria? Is your need for a "place of worship" more compelling than someone else's need for a cure for leukemia that is killing their child? I don't think so and I doubt you do either.

Want an open door policy ... open the door of your house to a stranger. Or, better yet, open your heart and checkbook to a research facility doing good work. Remember there is no surgeon on this planet that has not saved more lives than all of the religious organizations in your city.

I've nothing against the Unitarian's or any other specific denomination but, in good conscience, answer the following questions:

1. How much money do they take in each year?
2. How much of it is NOT contributed to good causes?
3. How many research chairs at medical schools could be funded with that money?

I rest my case.

You want to get together and quote literary works ... by all means do so. But why should tax payers subsidize you? And why does this require spending millions of dollar on buildings and offices? For how many weeks or months can a cure for malaria be delayed because Unitarian Universalists, with tax payer subsidy, sit around on their bottoms discussing literary works rather than actually doing something useful for the community?
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DA Morgan

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#13248 - 01/19/06 04:03 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
Have you ever driven through a downtrodden neighborhood on Sunday morning and seen people dressed in their Sunday best with their heads held a little higher? They've got a place to go of their own and they will be relatively safe there with their community.

I understand you points against wasting money on disgustingly huge churches peopled by affluent members who feel good about themselves when they donate to the church when they are really not doing enough. None of us do enough, really.
Every one of us should only keep enough money to support a meager lifestyle and donate every other penny to the world's greatest needs. And if we actually saw those needs and knew those people personally...we would. But we are blinded by our addiction to entertainment and materialism. We don't see the world. How sad it is.

Funny thing about your comments...I think Christian Churches were originally intended to be held in peoples' homes.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#13249 - 01/19/06 07:44 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Does it make you feel better knowing that people in pain and suffering have slightly better posture?

Better that one day a week they hold their heads up when they feel like h... the other six?

Shouldn't you be concerned with the fact that they were feeling so miserable the previous 6 days that you noticed the difference?

Wouldn't it be better if they felt good and lived decent lives every day? I am horrified that you take pride in the fact that you gave a miserable person a few hours of comfort when you and the rest of the religious community could inconvience yourselves a little bit and use that money to make a real, substantive, and permanent difference.

What you have described, above, is one of the worst sins committed in the name of religion. The sin of hypocrisy.

You are correct ... Christian churches were originally intended to be held in people's homes. Then the self-serving self-righteous hypocrites saw a way to sit in warm comfortable buildings and shield their eyes from the real world. They could feel good about their "good works" while doing little more than giving table scraps.

Why do you think some of us are so offended. You have the right to do with your money and time as you choose. But if you brag about it in public don't surprise when other note the hypocrisy.
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DA Morgan

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#13250 - 01/19/06 11:01 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
The question you all need to ask is; should one delude themself to have a more enjoyable life and some hope?

My answer (if you are interested) = no

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#13251 - 01/20/06 05:18 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
Justine Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 191
Stop being a goofball and blaming me DA. I'm not talking about me here. I'm not defending the whole of Christianity....I'm just noticing the positive. You've got the negative covered. Just helping you to fine tune your arguments.

It is not hypocracy to try to take in all sides of an issue. It's blind predjudice not to do so. And arguments stemming from predjudice are unaffective.

Spirituality is not all bad. It does some good for people who's lives are too hard to bear alone.

Don't pick on me...I'm very useful and productive in places most people would never dare to venture. I am concerned about people and the Earth we share. Deeply concerned.
_________________________
~Justine~

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#13252 - 01/20/06 07:35 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Sorry Justine ... I thought you were talking about yourself.

But I see no positive.

I see nothing positive in self-righteous hypocrisy. I see nothing positive in brain-washing children. I see nothing positive in wilfull ignorance.

Spirituality is not at all bad provided it is accompanied by the integrity to acknowledge itself for what it is. Turning inward. Self-centered and self-serving. I'm not offended by the act ... but by the hypocrisy with which it seems intimately connected.

And, once again, my apology if you were not talking about yourself.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#13253 - 01/20/06 10:35 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
Blacknad Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/05/05
Posts: 901
Loc: Coventry, England
Dan,

I have just let you get on with bashing Christianity, even though you are making the mistake of imagining you know authentic Christianity. You are muddled up by your American Fundamentalist Christians who would vote in American history's thickest and possibly most damaging President simply because he adheres to the same unthinking, arrogant brand of religiosity that they do.

The clear marker for authentic Christianity is 'does it depart from Christ's example and teaching?'

I would submit that much of this current age's Churchianity does depart from it, but fortunately for them, stupidity is no bar to acceptance.

And I would not be so bold as to say I always hold to those teachings, you know otherwise - but I try to accord them the respect they are due.

You have made many statements and posed many questions and for my own interest I will answer some of them (it helps me understand and question what I believe), but I do not for one moment think it will make one iota of difference for you.

You are not an atheist but an anti-theist, and if you had to concede one point you would simply move to the next in an unending chain of criticisms.

And you presume you know how my church spends it money (money we only accept from members who have a say in where that money goes, and discourage visitors from giving). I have posted before on this, but one of the things it does is go to pay a meagre salary for my disabled step-Father who walks with two walking sticks but is a tireless worker in our community, looking after the elderly, a trained counsellor counselling the needy and the mentally fragile, helping people in debt, supporting alcoholics and visiting the housebound and the lonely (and not pushing the gospel down their throats, because he wants to behave with integrity and do good simply because it is the right thing to do and not for mercenary evangelical reasons).

I am sorry if you have never met any Christians like him - thoroughly grounded in the life of Christ - with enough religion to truly love and continually extend himself beyond his own needs. As opposed to your Fundamentalists who probably never read their Bible and think things through, and are fixated on the passages that allow them to fear and judge those around them.

I am not arrogant enough to say that Christianity makes me better than anyone else - spend 10 minutes with my wife and she will let you know what a fool I am and recount my many faults. But I do believe that in Christ I see the truth.

So feel free to keep bashing Churchianity - I am unoffended and sometimes see the truth in what you say - I feel the church is often guilty and would benefit from a bit of your medicine.

Sorry if I preach on SAGG, but it is only the antithesis of your own anti-theist preaching.

Blacknad.

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#13254 - 01/20/06 11:43 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Then lets have a serious discussion of Christianity. Lets start with its roots and offend our Jewish and Muslim friends too as all three religious traditions start off with Abraham/Ibrahim, and all three are actually corruptions of the Babylonian poem known as the Epic of Gilgamesh. Can we agree this far? And if not lets just top here and you dispute either of the above two statements by pointing to verifiable fact.

Then Judiasm takes off on its own and adds the first five books along with this little thing called the Ten Commandments. Now take off a few days and spend some time comparing the Ten Commandments, as printed by every Christian denomination, and compare that to the one handed down, unchanged, by Jewish tradition from long before Jesus Christ was born.

Do you see a problem here?

The problem is that there is no such thing as authentic Christianity as the roots of the religion are corrupted even before you get to the birth of Christ. How can you build a religion on a corrupt foundation?

Did you do what I asked? Did you compare the ten simple declarative sentences? Are you prepared to debate this with me so far?

Then we get to the birth of Christ which unfortunately was never recorded, never happened in the year 0 or 1, never happened during the monh of December, but which is worshipped that way by Christianity. Do you detect a little problem here with respect to integrity? A little problem with the house being built on a shaky foundation?

Then take a good look at the gross inconsistencies of fact that exist in the New Testament. If there is even one ... the house of cards falls because if something is not true ... then it is impossible to tell if any of it is true.

So if you can find an authentic Christian, with an authentic form of Christianity, that can be shown to be without obvious corruption of the belief system I would be very very interested.

But even after you do ... you will still be talking about people that worship the self-confessed genocidal maniac that killed every person on this planet (except on family) and every first-born male in a country. And without once considering or caring about separating the innocent from the guilty. A regular Hannibal Lecter. And why do I say that?

"God's choices in inflicting suffering are not satisfactory to us, nor are they understandable, unless innocence offends him. Clearly he needs some help in directing the blind fury with which he flogs the Earth."
~ Mr. Mason, from 'Hannibal'

Because it is the truth.
_________________________
DA Morgan

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#13255 - 01/21/06 01:04 AM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
jjw Offline
Superstar

Registered: 09/07/05
Posts: 636
Loc: USA
Hi DA:

This Post concerned what proof would "you" need to be satisfied that god exists.

From the consistent content of your contributions on any subject of god or religion I question that you should not be offering replies to this question. You are on record in full denial of any potential god that has been theorized or worshiped so "proof" of a god is beyound your comprehension. You have removed yourself from objective discussion of this issue. Now you want to rant at those that may wish to think there may be a god. Why? Do you want to convert them to your way. Are you an example of the thinking processes that exist in those that deny the possible existence of a god for any one, jew or christian or whatever?

You frequently point out that DKV needs help. Do you see DKV rant negative with the determination that you exibit. jjw does not give a damn about other peoples religious beliefs so I am compelled to wonder why you come on so adamant?
Cheers!
jjw

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#13256 - 01/21/06 02:53 AM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
Eduardo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 106
Loc: Guildford, UK
Sorry to but in on this thread but to me ANY EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER would be cool.

When you've got some, email me, and then I'll get out of bed on Sunday morning and check it out.

Until then nighty night.

Mysterious E
_________________________
Eduardo
Resistance is futile. Capacitance is efficacious.
There are 10 types of people in the world... Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

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#13257 - 01/21/06 05:32 AM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
jjw004. You reask the the original question what proof would I need. Very simply one of two things.

1. I would need evidence that something existed in this universe that could not be explained by the laws of physics but that can only be explained by citing a vengeful egotistical deity.

2. An explanation for the intentional setting up for failure of Adam and Eve. The cruel setting up of a circumstance in which the outcome was known thus providing the excuse for the creation of murder, genocide, torture, rape, illness, and all other evils.

And if you happened to believe in Satan then an explanation of why he/she/it is either (A) incapable of correcting its mistake or (B) chooses not to.

And the explanations had better be damned good. Because otherwise I'd put cuffs on him and drag him into the Hague where he belongs.
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DA Morgan

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#13258 - 01/27/06 12:14 AM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
what evidence would you need to consider god as factual?

Evidence that 1+1=3

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#13259 - 01/27/06 11:16 AM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
RM Offline
Superstar

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 560
Loc: London
It is so obvious that no two separate triangles of a Koch snowflake will ever touch but we have no way to prove this because of that annoying concept of infinity, the same thing that stops us from disproving the existence of any creator...

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#13260 - 01/27/06 02:07 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
DA Morgan Offline
Megastar

Registered: 10/17/04
Posts: 4136
Loc: Seattle, WA
Actually Rob it is remarkably simple to disprove the existence of a creator.

Our definition of what exists, whether in art or science is simply based upon its ability to cause an effect. Religion exists ... it has been responsible for murderous attrocities. Stars exist. People exist. Philosophical ideas exist (that is the idea itself exists). Books about god exist and have had an effect.

But if you take away the books, and you take away the preachers who, and you take away the tax exemptions, there is nothing left. Well nothing except a deep uneasiness in many people's minds that makes them want to invent something like a religion, or philosophy, or nationalism, or gang to which they can belong.
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DA Morgan

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#13261 - 01/27/06 03:06 PM Re: What evidence would you need to consider "God" as factual?
TheFallibleFiend Offline
Megastar

Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 1940
Loc: http://thefalliblefiend.blogsp...
"Actually Rob it is remarkably simple to disprove the existence of a creator."

That argument doesn't disprove the existence of god. What it does demonstrate is that there's no reason to actually believe in a creator. That's not the same thing, although the two statements might have the same practical result.

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