God is imaginary

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t.a.j.
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Re: God is imaginary

#101 Post by t.a.j. » 08 Aug 2010 08:42

Baby_Kürsch wrote: There is one problem with this. In the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament) God was most definitely not all loving. In fact he was angry and vengeful and threatened violence all the time against the nation of Israel for disobeying him. God doesn't become all loving until the New Testament (and also stops being Jewish strangely enough). If you read the Old Testament you will find out that God is only out to protect the nation of Israel. So killing the first born of non Israelite people (the Egyptians) is totally cool and does not reflect poorly on God because hes not out to protect them.
1. Christians treat the OT as part of the bible. If they say that the character called god in that book is their god, I'll take their word for it.
2. The book of Job, the most impressive treatment of the problem of evil, is part of the hebrew bible. In particular the book of Job questions the justness of god.
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Re: God is imaginary

#102 Post by Baby_Kürsch » 08 Aug 2010 11:32

Christians may count the OT as a part of their Bible but it has nothing to do Christianity. Which could only be called Christianity after Christ was born in the NT. People claim the OT has prophecies that pertain to the coming of Jesus Christ but it really doesn't (more often than not in situations like Isaiah 52:13-53-18 the "servant" they are referring too is actually the nation of Israel itself which was commonly referred to as the servant of the people). The OT is purely 100% Jewish down to its core, check out the Tanakh (its made up of the Books Torah, Nevi'im and the Ketuvim), and the Jews do not believe that Jesus was the savior. Why you may ask? Because the Jews believe that their savior will rise up and be a strong King and lead them into the promised land. So think like King David and King Solomon. Not some lowly criminal as they saw Jesus. So once again the OT is a Jew thing and the NT is a Christian thing. No matter what Christian tells you what. There was no Christ in the OT so there is no way there could be any Christians, so it could never have anything to do with them other than they both talk about God. They were called Jews and Jews and Christians are way fucking different. I can name a few of those differences...

Jew
1. When you're a Jew you can have pre marital sex and you wont burn in hell. In fact there is no rule against it!!
2. There is no Hell
3. Jews have golems!!!!

Christians
1. Pre martial sex is a sin and you will burn in hell for fucking ever cause thats how much God loves you
2. God loves you so much he made a very special place of you with a giant lake of fire and endless suffering for all eternity (Hell)
3. No fucking golems! How lame is that?
Last edited by Baby_Kürsch on 08 Aug 2010 11:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: God is imaginary

#103 Post by Orodaran » 08 Aug 2010 11:37

Then why many christians condemn homosexuality purely based on the fact that it's labeled as an abomination in the OLD testament?

And why they live by the 10 commandments that were handled to Moses, rather than being uttered by Jesus to their disciples?
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
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Re: God is imaginary

#104 Post by Baby_Kürsch » 08 Aug 2010 11:41

"This condemnation of gay relations "because the Bible condemns it" is a case of people choosing to accept the parts of the Bible they want to accept and ignoring everything else. The same books that condemn same sex relations, , for example, also require people to stone their children to death if they are disobedient, to execute anyone who does any work on Saturday or who eats pork chops, and to condemn anyone who wears a shirt made of two kinds of fabric. No special emphasis is placed on one of these laws over the others- they are all part of the biblical law. Yet, in parts of society, gay relations are condemned, while eating a ham sandwich during a lunch break on a Saturday workday is perfectly acceptable. It is important, then, to see what the Bible actually says, and not to pretend it doesn't say something that happens to contradict one's own particular point of view. But whatever the Bible says needs to be evaluated. This is not a matter of setting oneself up as God, dictating what is and is not divine truth. It is a matter of using our intelligence to assess the merit of what the biblical authors say- whether this involves questions of suffering, sexual preferences, working on weekends, or culinary and sartorial choices."

Taken straight from Gods Problem: How The Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question - Why We Suffer. By Bart Ehrman
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Re: God is imaginary

#105 Post by Orodaran » 08 Aug 2010 12:15

Excellent point.
Go tell that to christians, wanna know what their reaction will be like?

This one:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak- ... 0975_n.jpg
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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BG news (if you're lazy to check the site) :: You're on Facebook? Look at my photos from concerts, travels and more :: Oh, and since you're at it, check my photos also on 500px

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Re: God is imaginary

#106 Post by Andreas » 08 Aug 2010 13:07

Baby_Kürsch wrote:Christians may count the OT as a part of their Bible but it has nothing to do Christianity. Which could only be called Christianity after Christ was born in the NT. People claim the OT has prophecies that pertain to the coming of Jesus Christ but it really doesn't (more often than not in situations like Isaiah 52:13-53-18 the "servant" they are referring too is actually the nation of Israel itself which was commonly referred to as the servant of the people).
Christ isn't just some prophecies in the OT. This trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are one. Even before Christ was born. You might say that His birth is this "part" of the trinity got a human form at some point.

Oh, and about homosexuality: the Bible considers this wrong, but not condemning it as much as people think. I think it's perfectly possible to be gay and christian. The only point I have to disagree with is gay marriage (and the godawful gay pride of course).

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Re: God is imaginary

#107 Post by t.a.j. » 08 Aug 2010 14:29

Couple of thoughts:
1. 90% of all christians don't take the bible serious, which is very good for everyone.
2. Keep apart the following things:
a) What a sacred book says.
b) What people confess to believe.
c) What people behave as if they believe.
d) Philosophical or speculative theology.

Usually, those four things have little to nothing to do with each other.
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They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
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Re: God is imaginary

#108 Post by Baby_Kürsch » 10 Aug 2010 05:06

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkU9n5GxCDk

Thought Id share this with anyone who cares about the discrimination facing America today.
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Re: God is imaginary

#109 Post by ThePKH » 10 Aug 2010 16:27

What a smart lawyer in that video. I bow down before his logic!
I still am the terror that flaps in the night!

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Re: God is imaginary

#110 Post by Andreas » 10 Aug 2010 18:11

OK all nice and such, but what has this got to do with God's existence?

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Re: God is imaginary

#111 Post by ThePKH » 10 Aug 2010 19:24

God wants to get married to a man in California.
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Re: God is imaginary

#112 Post by Andreas » 10 Aug 2010 19:28

You want to get married to a man in California! :mrgreen:

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Re: God is imaginary

#113 Post by ThePKH » 10 Aug 2010 20:18

Well, I'm sort of a good and great person but to call me God... You're taking it a bit far. ;)
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Re: God is imaginary

#114 Post by Andreas » 10 Aug 2010 20:21

Somehow I thought you were Hansi in disguise on this forum :?

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Re: God is imaginary

#115 Post by Mackasfour » 12 Aug 2010 12:20

I just read through half of this thread (yeah, bored) and I shall read through the rest of it at a later time...

But, if God exists or not. That just all comes down to perspective and faith. I myself, believe in God, though I am not gonna lie and say I believe in everything the bible says, cause I don't. The reality of God comes down to faith of course, people can believe in what they are educated to believe or what they choose of free will, does that make it any less true? It wouldn't really be faith if God were to reveal himself for all to behold. It would be PURE fact and none could argue with it. And if that were to happen, could you see a world existing that way? In my own opinion I think it would be more chaotic if it was fact, because that would mean one religion would have to be right. And the rest wrong, which would cause a lot more problems in this world.
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Re: God is imaginary

#116 Post by Orodaran » 12 Aug 2010 13:14

It wouldn't really be faith if God were to reveal himself for all to behold. It would be PURE fact and none could argue with it.
And what would be wrong with it? I'll make you a practical example; there are no "rumours" or "beliefs" about the street code, you are not told second hand what is supposed to happen on the street while you drive; there are RULES that EVERYONE must adhere to for their own and everyone's else safety, and these are TAUGHT when you obtain a driving license.

Now, if we take for example the christian god, what is there more important than your ETERNAL destiny in heaven or hell? what would be wrong in KNOWING FOR SURE that killing and raping does not only end you in jail but in a lake of fire for the entire eternity?? why people must figure it out for themselves, and what were supposed to do people that:

- Were born before Jesus
- Were contemporary of Jesus but lived away from the zone (no internet back then)
- Were born in other parts of the world
- Were born in the americas before europeans arrived there and nicely and peacefully spread the word of God

and so on?

Wouldn't it be much simpler if a god would reveal himself to everyone from the beginning (resolving therefore the problems of the many religions), rather than telling a couple of illetterate goat herders of 2000 years ago what was good and what was evil?

Oh, and about the chaos that would ensue if people would find out their religion wrong: out of the countless religions of the world, at best ONLY ONE is true, all the other ones are therefore false.

People in every nation of the world and regardless of their religion should better accept the fact that the odds are quite high that THEIR religion is wrong.
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#117 Post by Mackasfour » 12 Aug 2010 13:43

Yeah, but even if they were the facts, do you think people who have been taught and raised to believe that, would swallow that big a pill of disdain and accept it and move on. There is corruption in man, I think it would make things worse. Even with the facts set out on the table people who were wrong wouldn't just accept it. Not all anyway
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Re: God is imaginary

#118 Post by t.a.j. » 12 Aug 2010 17:04

Mackasfour wrote:I just read through half of this thread (yeah, bored) and I shall read through the rest of it at a later time...

But, if God exists or not. That just all comes down to perspective and faith. I myself, believe in God, though I am not gonna lie and say I believe in everything the bible says, cause I don't. The reality of God comes down to faith of course, people can believe in what they are educated to believe or what they choose of free will, does that make it any less true? It wouldn't really be faith if God were to reveal himself for all to behold. It would be PURE fact and none could argue with it. And if that were to happen, could you see a world existing that way? In my own opinion I think it would be more chaotic if it was fact, because that would mean one religion would have to be right. And the rest wrong, which would cause a lot more problems in this world.
I am always a bit astonished to see how the god meme has crept out of any particular religion, making people say things like "I believe in god, but not in the bible." It is charming in a way, but what it really points to is the simple question: Is it better to believe in something you made up yourself or in something other people made up?

I guess the simple point is this: If you believe in the bible, you at least have the testimony of some people to point to to give yourself some justification for your believes. Never mind the reliability of that testimony, but it is something. If you just believe in god, that is, in something that you yourself have come up with - in a certain cultural context, of course - you're even without that.

Which kind of leads me to the final point: If you believe in god, maybe you should ask yourself what it is that you believe about god and how that is reasonable or fits with the world that you experience.
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They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


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Re: God is imaginary

#119 Post by Andreas » 12 Aug 2010 17:16

Your post actually makes alot of sense

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Re: God is imaginary

#120 Post by Orodaran » 12 Aug 2010 19:08

t.a.j. wrote:Which kind of leads me to the final point: If you believe in god, maybe you should ask yourself what it is that you believe about god and how that is reasonable or fits with the world that you experience.
I don't want to answer for him, but I guess that for many people it goes this way: they are raised to believe in the god of the predominant religion of the time and place they are born; by growing up they feel within that some things of said religion make absolutely no sense, but still like the comforting side of it (there's a heaven where you will meet your loved ones and your puppy; there's a justice for those who have been just; there's someone who listens to me; etc...), so they make up their own set of beliefs that fits them, while getting rid of all the stuff that they feel is wrong and that should prompt them instead to realize the non existance of any god humanity has ever invented.



Ok, this is a very cynical reply, I know this, and as I said I'm not trying to answer for Mackasfour or saying that EVERYONE behave like that.
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

----------------------
BG news (if you're lazy to check the site) :: You're on Facebook? Look at my photos from concerts, travels and more :: Oh, and since you're at it, check my photos also on 500px

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Re: God is imaginary

#121 Post by Andreas » 13 Aug 2010 02:58

Well in my case it isn't exactly made up. I've been raised quite strict as I pointed out a few times already, so I can't tell you whether I'm "indoctrinated" or not. But I have hardly any mental image of heaven. Same goes more or less for hell either. But I just know that God exists, there's nothing that will ever change that in my life.

Actually in my case, religion isn't really something to comfort myself. It's actually something that gives me a more disturbing view of what I am.

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Re: God is imaginary

#122 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Aug 2010 08:57

Na, most christians, jews and moslems are much nicer people than their religions would suggest.
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They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


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Re: God is imaginary

#123 Post by Joost » 13 Aug 2010 09:41

Orodaran wrote:Then why many christians condemn homosexuality purely based on the fact that it's labeled as an abomination in the OLD testament?

And why they live by the 10 commandments that were handled to Moses, rather than being uttered by Jesus to their disciples?
Unlike what many people believe, religion is much more than mere adherence to the texts written in a holy book.

Jews and Christians may adhere to the same book (the Tanakh/the Old Testament), but other than that, as Baby Kursch rightfully points out, their experience of religion is vastly different. To say that Christians and Jews adhere to the OT laws in a similar way is very far removed from Christian and Jewish religious practice.
Na, most christians, jews and moslems are much nicer people than their religions would suggest.
Nicer than their holy books would suggest, yes. But nicer than their religions would suggest? I'm not sure. I think religion is, ultimately, nothing less or more than a set of religious practices, beliefs and experiences as shared by a community of people. In other words, the religion of rev. Phelps has very little to do with the religion of the average Christian living in your town, even though they may ultimately be based on the same book.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
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Re: God is imaginary

#124 Post by Joost » 13 Aug 2010 09:53

t.a.j. wrote:I am always a bit astonished to see how the god meme has crept out of any particular religion, making people say things like "I believe in god, but not in the bible." It is charming in a way, but what it really points to is the simple question: Is it better to believe in something you made up yourself or in something other people made up?
I don't think "I believe in God, but not in the Bible" is something people just make up by themselves. It's a position that has a history in our western culture since, well, I guess at least the days of Spinoza (don't mistake me for saying that Spinoza was an advocate of this specific position, but I do think his pantheism played a role in the development of this position), and in fact, it's a position generally associated with a set of shared beliefs beyond the literal content "I believe in God, but not in the Bible" (e.g. the goodness of God, and associated with it the concept of some spiritual justice, and the sense that, to a certain degree, 'God' is something that stands above the specifics of various religions).

But yes, regardless of the 'making it up by yourself'/'being made up by others' questions, I do think that a belief in a position such as this is more sensible, more civilized, and -- in a multicultural world like ours -- ultimately more beneficial than a belief in the literal truth of a book written 1400, 2000, or 3000 years ago.
I guess the simple point is this: If you believe in the bible, you at least have the testimony of some people to point to to give yourself some justification for your believes. Never mind the reliability of that testimony, but it is something. If you just believe in god, that is, in something that you yourself have come up with - in a certain cultural context, of course - you're even without that.
I don't see this. There are plenty of testimonies of people supporting a belief in God*, and in this day and age, there are even plenty of testimonies supporting a belief in God-but-not-the-Bible. I don't think it's, in this sense, very different from e.g. political beliefs (people have a freedom in choosing their political beliefs, but in almost all cases the beliefs are actually strongly rooted in a certain tradition, in a certain political movement).

As for the God meme: it's most probably older than the concept of a big organized monolithic religion as many people understand it now. In that light, is it really surprising that it survives even when the concept of a big organized monolithic religion is becoming weaker in many parts of the world?


* Whether they're justified is, of course, another issue. I don't mean 'arguments in favour of the existence for God' but rather 'things people can refer to as a framework/background for their belief in God'. Then again, this issue of justification also holds in the case of the Bible: whether the Bible provides good arguments for the existence of God is questionable at the very least, but that the Bible has been used, and still is used, as supporting framework for a belief in God is a historical and current fact.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: God is imaginary

#125 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Aug 2010 10:48

Joost wrote: Unlike what many people believe, religion is much more than mere adherence to the texts written in a holy book.
To be precise, since it's you I'm talking to ;) I would rather not use the term "religion" at all. Rather, I'd say that there are several things to distinguish:
  1. Religious text (e.g. the bible)
    1. Content (the descriptive - what is the case/what happened - and prescriptive - what should one do - stuff)
    2. Presentation (is it a translation? does it have pictures? Is it standardized or is every copy very different? ...)
  2. Interpretation of the religious text, that is specific beliefs about it, which feature as metabeliefs about its contents. E.g. the believe that the quran is the literal word of god or that the bible was written by many different authors over the space of about 700 years. Also beliefs that ones own beliefs are grounded or based on a text.
  3. Theological discourse, that is what is being said when people talk about god or the sacred
  4. Individual beliefs.
    • beliefs that are publicly stated. (This is also part of the theological discourse, but I find it important to mention it here again, to point out the difference between this and the following points)
    • What people believe according to how they behave.
    • How and whether people rationalize the differences between the implications of theological discourse and their own behavior.
  5. Religious practice, either communal or private.
    • Rituals
    • Everyday behavior, which is interpretated in the specific religious context. E.g. caritative activities by christians. I would also place all manner of non-ritualized abstinences or fastings here.
At least, that is my preliminary pattern of analysis so far.

The main point here is that all of this does not have to - and usually doesn't - take the shape of a consistent set. People often profess one thing and do something contradictory, people believe that their beliefs are based on the bible, while they are really neoplatonic beliefs that appear nowhere in the bible. And so on and so forth.

In general, in my usage „religion“ tends to refer to „the official doctrine“ that is what the text says and what is the predominant voice in theological discourse, in so far as I can make one out. This is a very western and monotheistic use of the term and in other context I would have to speak differently. But then again, mostly these discussion turn around christianity and islam, with a bit of judaism thrown in as it relates to those two giants, and I think just saying religion, in particular on a forum such as this, makes discussion a bit easier. I certain don't want to reinterate the above ideas each time I talk about „religion“.

At the very least, if you do not buy into my scheme, I think one should distinguish religious practice, religious believes and religious text. And then, too, I hold that those things are not overly consistent with most people. And thank god for that.
Jews and Christians may adhere to the same book (the Tanakh/the Old Testament), but other than that, as Baby Kursch rightfully points out, their experience of religion is vastly different. To say that Christians and Jews adhere to the OT laws in a similar way is very far removed from Christian and Jewish religious practice.
Yes.
Nicer than their holy books would suggest, yes. But nicer than their religions would suggest? I'm not sure. I don't think religion is, ultimately, nothing less or more than a set of religious practices, beliefs and experiences as shared by a community of people. In other words, the religion of rev. Phelps has very little to do with the religion of the average Christian living in your town, even though they may ultimately be based on the same book.
I guess what one should say is that religious texts do not provide reductive explanations for either religious practice, religious believes or religious experience (which I tend to subsume in the former two categories, which might be a mistake on my part. Not sure, though.). But this is itself a belief about religious texts, of course.
I don't think "I believe in God, but not in the Bible" is something people just make up by themselves. It's a position that has a history in our western culture since, well, I guess at least the days of Spinoza (don't mistake me for saying that Spinoza was an advocate of this specific position, but I do think his pantheism played a role in the development of this position), and in fact, it's a position generally associated with a set of shared beliefs beyond the literal content "I believe in God, but not in the Bible" (e.g. the goodness of God, and associated with it the concept of some spiritual justice, and the sense that, to a certain degree, 'God' is something that stands above the specifics of various religions).
I don't belief that a strong distinction between something being "just made up by someone" and something being a cultural artifact with an intellectual history can be made anyway. But there is a difference in saying e.g. that one beliefs in what the platonic dialogs say and saying that one beliefs in the existence of the forms but not in the dialogs. It is a bit like when writing a paper, there's the stuff for which you quote people and point at their testimony while other stuff you claim as your own, more original thoughts.

And when trying to understand what someone - such as oneself believes - it is always easier to just point at an existing, received text, if that is what someone believes. One can then take the text and everyone can read it and analyze it and it can then be talked about. Also, the burden of proof is generally thought to be lessened when one quotes or refers to another's testimony. It shifts in part to the quoted one.

If that is not the case, things are more complicated and more details must be clarified. Philosophers have written very long books trying to do just that, because they couldn't just point to the bible and say "That, there." when asked what they believed. But most of all, people must be made aware of the fact that their believes differ from "official doctrine" and that that carries some epistemic burdens.
But yes, regardless of the 'making it up by yourself'/'being made up by others' questions, I do think that a belief in a position such as this is more sensible, more civilized, and -- in a multicultural world like ours -- ultimately more beneficial than a belief in the literal truth of a book written 1400, 2000, or 3000 years ago.
Kudos. On the other hand, I have only been talking about epistemic justification and alluding to one's epistemic duty to inquire into where our important ideas come from, as much as we can, at least.
As for the God meme: it's most probably older than the concept of a big organized monolithic religion as many people understand it now. In that light, is it really surprising that it survives even when the concept of a big organized monolithic religion is becoming weaker in many parts of the world?
No. But then again, I have doubts that there is a uniform "god meme". It's more like a family of viruses, each one similar to at least on other member in some way, but not sharing in any common trait. But the point is mostly that there is a god meme out there in western society, that does not fit with any of the big religions. It is an independent hotchpotch of many different ideas from many different sources. And again, I think it is important to make people aware of that.
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Re: God is imaginary

#126 Post by Mackasfour » 13 Aug 2010 11:03

t.a.j. wrote:I am always a bit astonished to see how the god meme has crept out of any particular religion, making people say things like "I believe in god, but not in the bible." It is charming in a way, but what it really points to is the simple question: Is it better to believe in something you made up yourself or in something other people made up?

I guess the simple point is this: If you believe in the bible, you at least have the testimony of some people to point to to give yourself some justification for your believes. Never mind the reliability of that testimony, but it is something. If you just believe in god, that is, in something that you yourself have come up with - in a certain cultural context, of course - you're even without that.

Which kind of leads me to the final point: If you believe in god, maybe you should ask yourself what it is that you believe about god and how that is reasonable or fits with the world that you experience.
I know it seems idiotic that I don't believe all of what the bible says, maybe even a little arrogant. My parents are somewhat religious, and I've been raised to believe in what I choose to be educated in and what I feel is the truth.
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Re: God is imaginary

#127 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 13 Aug 2010 11:14

aaghhh...i hate these threads...i keep coming up with so many replies in the head,but most of what i'd post,has already been said.

i can only (strongly)recommend the following documentary films about the non existance of god

The God who wasn't there (Brian Flemming)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion

Religulous (Bill Maher )
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religulous

The God Delusion (Richard Dawkins)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_God_Delusion

all three of them are available in google video,all very good and very different from one another.
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Re: God is imaginary

#128 Post by Skrymir » 13 Aug 2010 11:54

I don't believe anything. The religious people have no proof, that god exists, the atheists have no proof that god doesn't exist. I admit, that I don't know and I can live with that.

Actually I find it really funny how atheists behave like they are somehow smarter than the others. I mean, imagine an atheist and a christian dying. If the atheist is right, he will never know, because everything just ends for both. There won't even be the possibility of saying or even thinking "ha, I was right". If the christian is right, they are both facing god at the particular jugement. And the atheist is like "ooooh shit, hi God. I know I always made fun of you and your followers and stuff... I'm so sorry...".

To me that makes the, for the atheist people naive appearing, religious people even smarter than the atheists, because they really have an advantage, when they are right. And not a small one, but one big advantage, that even lasts an eternity. ;)

Edit: @Orodaran: I guess the atheist wouldn't look better in this situation.^^
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Re: God is imaginary

#129 Post by Orodaran » 13 Aug 2010 12:40

Sorry Skrymir but you're wrong.

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Re: God is imaginary

#130 Post by ThePKH » 13 Aug 2010 12:54

Being reincarnated as a snail is not necessarily a bad thing though. :P
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Re: God is imaginary

#131 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Aug 2010 13:00

It's not so much about being right as it is about being careful about what you are willing to believe.

Look at it this way:
When a christians tells me that he believes that all humans are depraved by birth and that this depravity is justification for the all-powerful, all-just creator of all that is except himself to consign all humans to an eternity of suffering,
that this creator incarnated as a human, who was tortured and killed some 2000 years ago in a backwater province of the roman empire and that doing this was the only way to save mankind from being consigned to eternal damnation by himself,
that one has to believe that his happened in order to be saved and that all who don't will suffer eternal pain and that this is just

then that is a very complex set of propositions, one of which I can be critical for several reasons. The most important of which, for me personally, is my sense of justice and right. That really was the first thing that bugged my about the christianity I was introduced to as a child.

What it doesn't come down to is the seemingly simple question "Is there a god?". It is always more complicated than that. Because you cannot point at god. Just think about the difference between the following two questions:

Are there trees?
Are there quarks?

Imagine you neither know what quarks are, nor what trees are. So you ask back: "What is that?" In the first case, your interlocutor might take you to the yard, point a a birch and say: "Things like that!". In the second case, he will pull out a textbook and explain to you quantum chromodynamics, finally saying "It's the things that do x in that theory.

Now, in a straightforward way asking whether or not things that you can point at exist is redundant. Whatever it is precisely that the other person meant when he said "trees", the fact that he can point at them means that there are some. You don't even need to understand what that word means in order to truthfully answer the question. I should add that there are a number of important philosophical problems with this, which are certainly worth discussing, but which will probably bore most people. Thus I will keep it simple: point-at-ability implies existence and saying that trees do not exist once a tree has been point out to you is starkly irrational.

Now, the matter stands differently with regard to quarks. You cannot point to a quark and say "Things like that!". Instead you have to describe them. Now, the reason why I pick quarks as a stand-in for god in this example is because I do not want to give you the misconception that it is merely the lack of point-at-ability that is important here. A great many entities posited by scientists are non-point-at-able.
But how should one evaluate whether or not it is reasonable to believe in the existence of something that has been described to one, but that has not been pointed out to one?
One way is to take the description and see if you can find anything in the world that fits with it. But that is only an option of the thing in question could be pointed at if only one were around. But there are of course many thing, scientists and priest both say, that cannot possibly be pointed at. Like quarks and god.
So what to do then? Look at the description and the theory or context in which it appears. Can you say that if that thing existed, I should be able to make some observation? If so, you can point at the observation and say: "It's the kind of thing that, according to theory t causes that, there!"
Which is kind of what scientists do.

Now, when should you disbelieve that some thing, which has been described to you, but not pointed out to you exists? You look at the description.
This is the main difference to the case when stuff was pointed at. In order to answer the question whether or not god (or quarks) exist, you have to understand what that word means. Or rather, what you interlocutor means with it.
God is never just "that thing over there". You meet god as a concept, an idea, a qualitative description of some entity. And that is the case even when it doesn't seem like that because we use "god" to function as a proper name like "Bill". Even when people expressively deny that there can be a qualitative description of god, that right there is a qualitative description of god. So you look at the description and you aks yourself: Is it internally consistent? Is it consistent with what else I believe about the world? Does it imply further things, not mentioned, that bring in contradictions?

It is these question that lead to atheist to say that that thing, which you - the believer - has described, does not exist. But this denial is specifically the denial of that specific description. Change the description and you will have to ask those question again. The pantheon is a huge place. And once you understand that "god" is that kind of word, you will see that there are many, many, many different things that have been meant by it throughout history.
In the light of these thoughts, it becomes clear that the dichotomy "believer" - "atheist" is a false dichotomy. The question itself contains a problematic fallacy. Instead keep in mind that everyone who believes that a certain description of god is true, believes that a vast number of other descriptions are false. A christian is an atheist towards Odin, Krishna, Ten Million Kami,... ad nauseam.

And the scenario you have painted, with the christian and the atheist dying could just as well have had them both facing the judgment of Osiris. Therefore this wager fails. The christian is not any better off than the atheist. And since new religions are constantly being invented, just imagine that the true religion has not been found yet. Certainly a distinct probability, since whatever currently existing religion you pick, there was a time when that religion didn't exist. That means that for whatever religion is the true religion, there is or was a time, when that religion had not been found. There is no reason to assume that this does not hold for today.

But there is one advantage that the atheist has over the christian. She is not a christian. That is, she is not bound during her life to obey contradictory laws, to believe that she is inherently depraved since birth, nor does she have to live in fear of the judgment of Jehova. She also doesn't have to expend resources on making sacrifices or going to church and bible meetings. In short: religions tend to make prescriptions regarding what to do in this life, many - not all - of which are rather bad.
For any religion, that you are atheistic towards, you are not subject to its rules for life. I find that liberating.
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Re: God is imaginary

#132 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Aug 2010 13:01

Obviously, Orodaran made one of my points much more clearly than I managed to. ;)
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Re: God is imaginary

#133 Post by Skrymir » 13 Aug 2010 13:39

Instead keep in mind that everyone who believes that a certain description of god is true, believes that a vast number of other descriptions are false. A christian is an atheist towards Odin, Krishna, Ten Million Kami,... ad nauseam.
That is totally right. And to come back to my funny storty of this 2 people dying: The christian CAN be right and get something for that, the atheist can't. I didn't point out the third point, because it's quite even when they are both wrong.

Beeing religious in some way (especially atheist) makes you declare some possible things as not true and so as impossible. It's somehow creative to call that a superior freedom. I don't have to follow any divine rules either (remember: I don't believe anything, I'm not a christian). You have to follow some rules to be an true atheist (atheist means to every religion). Apart from having to deny every higher existence, you can't pray for example, because that wouldn't make any sense.
So what to do then? Look at the description and the theory or context in which it appears. Can you say that if that thing existed, I should be able to make some observation? If so, you can point at the observation and say: "It's the kind of thing that, according to theory t causes that, there!"
Which is kind of what scientists do.
I can assure you, that we mathematicians don't do that.^^

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Re: God is imaginary

#134 Post by Andreas » 13 Aug 2010 14:00

t.a.j. wrote:It's not so much about being right as it is about being careful about what you are willing to believe.

Look at it this way:
When a christians tells me that he believes that all humans are depraved by birth and that this depravity is justification for the all-powerful, all-just creator of all that is except himself to consign all humans to an eternity of suffering,
that this creator incarnated as a human, who was tortured and killed some 2000 years ago in a backwater province of the roman empire and that doing this was the only way to save mankind from being consigned to eternal damnation by himself,
that one has to believe that his happened in order to be saved and that all who don't will suffer eternal pain and that this is just

then that is a very complex set of propositions, one of which I can be critical for several reasons. The most important of which, for me personally, is my sense of justice and right. That really was the first thing that bugged my about the christianity I was introduced to as a child.
I still find all this more credible than the idea that there was nothing and that "nothing" exploded :P

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Re: God is imaginary

#135 Post by Orodaran » 13 Aug 2010 14:27

About that, I've read more than once that a video on Youtube, "An universe from nothing", explains how such a thing could happen.

And about it all, I'd rather say "I don't know" than "A god did it". The universe was created by a god, fine. Who created the creator? it's just shifting the problem.
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Re: God is imaginary

#136 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Aug 2010 16:17

Skrymir wrote: That is totally right. And to come back to my funny storty of this 2 people dying: The christian CAN be right and get something for that, the atheist can't. I didn't point out the third point, because it's quite even when they are both wrong.
The atheist can "get something" too. A life better lived, if he is right. But since we are speculating. Let us assume that spiritual truth is that believers in false religions get eternal punishment, practitioners of the right religion, to be discovered by a transhuman martian colonist in 2243, get eternal bliss and atheists, or non-believers in any religion get nothing.
The point is simple: Any result in this world is worth more than any possible result after death, simply because literally anything could be the case and since information seems not to transmit from "there" to "here", we are left with granting any possibility equal probability. Or not thinking anything about that at all, if one does not except the principle of indifference.
Beeing religious in some way (especially atheist) makes you declare some possible things as not true and so as impossible.
To be respectable, atheism about some r should be taken to mean not believing in some religious set of propositions and prescriptions r[/r]. That is not a religious attitude in the same way that natural baldness is not a haircut. Furthermore, as a mathematician you should know that falsehood does not imply impossibility (except in some stranger logics). Certainly not in the sense in which we in general use the modal terms. On the other hand, impossibility implies falsehood and that was one of the moves I talked about above: No inconsistent set of propositions can be jointly true, there no object jointly described by at least all those propositions can exist. If your concept of god in inconsistent, it is impossible that your god exists. Therefore your god does not exist.


It's somehow creative to call that a superior freedom. I don't have to follow any divine rules either (remember: I don't believe anything, I'm not a christian). You have to follow some rules to be an true atheist (atheist means to every religion). Apart from having to deny every higher existence, you can't pray for example, because that wouldn't make any sense.


Of course I can pray. I can pray to anything I like. What I cannot rationally do is believe that my prayers will be answered or have any effects other than whatever effects speech acts and thoughts can have. And that, again, seems liberating, if only because it fits so much better with experience in general than believing that prayers are answered.
There's no rule book for atheism, because atheism amounts to nothing else but a long list of "not that"s. It is a response to a position, not a positive position in and off itself. Furthermore, to be rational, any atheism needs to have some reason. Here's an example with aliens: I do not disbelieve the existence of alien life forms, I do disbelieve in UFOs visiting earth. That is because for all I know it is entirely physically possible that there are other worlds with life out there. Given the likely number of worlds, it'd be willing to say that it's almost certain. But there are good reasons to not believe that aliens are visiting earth. Not because it is impossible, but because it does not fit at all well with what else I understand about the world.
Similarly, if you come up with a god that is internally consistent and does not conflict with what else I understand about the world, I would be perfectly willing to grant its possible existence.
Here is, for example, one answer I got to the question "What god do you believe in?": "I believe that god loves me. He doesn't do anything, no miracles or anything. He just loves unconditionally and after I die, I will be with him."
That's consistent. I can't see any evidence against a god who just loves unconditionally in the world (remember, he doesn't act or intervene in the world in any way). So yes, certainly possible and admittedly a nice idea. And by the way, if that person is right I'm quite confident that "unconditional love" includes forgiving me for my atheism towards less desirable deities.


Which is kind of what scientists do.

I can assure you, that we mathematicians don't do that.^^

I can assure you that, as a mathematician, you were not included when I said "scientist". You belong in the same club as philosophers and logicians ;).
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Re: God is imaginary

#137 Post by spamel » 13 Aug 2010 16:28

Andreas wrote:Well in my case it isn't exactly made up. I've been raised quite strict as I pointed out a few times already, so I can't tell you whether I'm "indoctrinated" or not. But I have hardly any mental image of heaven. Same goes more or less for hell either. But I just know that God exists, there's nothing that will ever change that in my life.

Actually in my case, religion isn't really something to comfort myself. It's actually something that gives me a more disturbing view of what I am.
You know, or you believe? Unless you have actually met this omnipotent character, then you do not know he exists!

The sooner religion is banished, the better as far as I am concerned. It is the cause of so much violence and frustration throughout the world, I cannot see what the plus side to it is. Kudos to this forum though, normally religion is banned as a topic on forums and for good reason. It can be a source of infighting and out and out rudeness.
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Re: God is imaginary

#138 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Aug 2010 16:31

Andreas wrote:
t.a.j. wrote:It's not so much about being right as it is about being careful about what you are willing to believe.

Look at it this way:
When a christians tells me that he believes that all humans are depraved by birth and that this depravity is justification for the all-powerful, all-just creator of all that is except himself to consign all humans to an eternity of suffering,
that this creator incarnated as a human, who was tortured and killed some 2000 years ago in a backwater province of the roman empire and that doing this was the only way to save mankind from being consigned to eternal damnation by himself,
that one has to believe that his happened in order to be saved and that all who don't will suffer eternal pain and that this is just

then that is a very complex set of propositions, one of which I can be critical for several reasons. The most important of which, for me personally, is my sense of justice and right. That really was the first thing that bugged my about the christianity I was introduced to as a child.
I still find all this more credible than the idea that there was nothing and that "nothing" exploded :P
1. Nothing exploded. An explosion is a extreme rapid spatial expansion some matter. By all accounts, the big band could better be described as the expansion of space itself.
2. There are many theories of how the big bang originated. Here is just one: Existence is a quantum field of matter-energy within which random quantum fluctuations, that is the uncaused appearance of stuff, occur. Something reasonably well understood by physics today. Some rare few of the fluctuations of that primordial field are such that they become universes.
3. In the end, you will have to believe in one of two things: something came out of nothing at all at some point or something is eternal. I cannot begin to imagine what "nothing at all" would be like, so I go with the second option. It just seems much simpler theoretically and less costly in personal terms to just assume that existence (whether or not that is just the universe, the universe plus some background field or a multiverse of maybe even an infinite number of universes,...) is eternal, rather than assume that there is an extra thing beyond existence and that extra thing just happens to be a person. Persons are few and far between in the world that I know and they are messy and complicated. Why should I ever be motivated - in the absence of any proof or evidence - to assume that the basic entity is a person who made existence than just the basic entity is existence?
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Re: God is imaginary

#139 Post by End Of An Era » 13 Aug 2010 17:03

Andreas wrote: I still find all this more credible than the idea that there was nothing and that "nothing" exploded :P
Err... the big bang theory also includes the assumption that before the most 'recent' big bang, there was another universe.
At this very moment, the universe is expanding. When enough black holes are formed after the collapse of some big stars, those spots will suck all surrounding matter into their gravitational pull. This goes on for a while and the outer bounds of our universe will stop to expand and be sucked back in. This is the foregoing to another big bang. :)
So, it's not like there was 'nothing' but today's scientists cannot calculate before that last big bang ;)

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Re: God is imaginary

#140 Post by spamel » 13 Aug 2010 17:06

I like the big bang theory; from what I understand it is all to do with Roman style orgies and a massive tub of KY jelly! I can't wait to be a part of the next one!
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Re: God is imaginary

#141 Post by Andreas » 13 Aug 2010 17:15

spamel wrote: You know, or you believe? Unless you have actually met this omnipotent character, then you do not know he exists!
You don't necessarily need to see Him. You can see Him in for instance the environment. When hippies or wicca chaps go worship mother nature or something, you can also actually see God's greatness in places where humans haven't fucked up this planet yet. And I have to say, I don't believe in Him, I just know that he exists. Different thing, if you believe in him, you also know that He exists.

And there's been some messed up situations in my life, of which it has been a miracle that I made it through it, like I pointed out earlier. So you can kick against my point of view in this subject, I won't kick against yours. I'm not in the position to condemn other people in this.
The sooner religion is banished, the better as far as I am concerned. It is the cause of so much violence and frustration throughout the world, I cannot see what the plus side to it is. Kudos to this forum though, normally religion is banned as a topic on forums and for good reason. It can be a source of infighting and out and out rudeness.
Well, that's a nasty thing about human nature. If religion would be banned, people will find another excuse to beat the living crap out of each other. Besides, you can't ban religion, it will always exist. This is also a matter of what you might consider "religion". Believing in yourself, evolution theory, alien viking gods, whatever. Being fiercely anti-religious can also be considered a religion.
End Of An Era wrote:
Andreas wrote: I still find all this more credible than the idea that there was nothing and that "nothing" exploded :P
Err... the big bang theory also includes the assumption that before the most 'recent' big bang, there was another universe.
At this very moment, the universe is expanding. When enough black holes are formed after the collapse of some big stars, those spots will suck all surrounding matter into their gravitational pull. This goes on for a while and the outer bounds of our universe will stop to expand and be sucked back in. This is the foregoing to another big bang. :)
So, it's not like there was 'nothing' but today's scientists cannot calculate before that last big bang ;)
Do you have any source material for this? This part of sience is quite interesting IMO, and it isn't even contradicting the Bible.

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Re: God is imaginary

#142 Post by End Of An Era » 13 Aug 2010 17:56

http://www.universetoday.com/2026/befor ... ig-bang-2/
Here's something to get you started :)

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Re: God is imaginary

#143 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Aug 2010 18:15

spamel wrote: You know, or you believe? Unless you have actually met this omnipotent character, then you do not know he exists!
Knowledge is a very difficult topic, I'd rather leave it out of this discussion. Example: If you assume a strong a strong condition for knowledge, you cannot evaluate conclusively whether or not you know something unless you know that you know it, which in turn faces the same problem. Which always leaves you in a situation where the most you can say is that you believe something and that you have good reason to believe it. Again, you could say I believe that I know that p and I have good reasons for it. But if you're willing to do that, why not stop one step earlier and just say that you believe that p and that you have good reasons for that. A
Also, while meeting someone (like pointing at something) implies that they exist, it does not imply that you know that they exist. You need to start with the state of believing something and then ask about justification, then it works. But this leads too far away from the discussion at hand.
Andreas wrote: You don't necessarily need to see Him. You can see Him in for instance the environment. When hippies or wicca chaps go worship mother nature or something, you can also actually see God's greatness in places where humans haven't fucked up this planet yet. And I have to say, I don't believe in Him, I just know that he exists. Different thing, if you believe in him, you also know that He exists.

And there's been some messed up situations in my life, of which it has been a miracle that I made it through it, like I pointed out earlier. So you can kick against my point of view in this subject, I won't kick against yours. I'm not in the position to condemn other people in this.
Then, do you mind if I ask what distinction you draw between "believing in Him" and "knowing that He exists"? I suppose that without going into philosophical details about knowledge, I say offer "being strongly convinced that He exists and not being able to imagine doubting that" as a good description of what you mean with "knowing". Furthermore, I am curious what it means to you to say that God exists and what god you mean. How do you imagine your god?

Well, that's a nasty thing about human nature.
There is no such thing as human nature. People are different, societies are different and everything changes. If you point out one behavioral property as being essentially human, I am very much certain that we can find counterexamples in history.
If religion would be banned, people will find another excuse to beat the living crap out of each other.
I agree that it is not religion that makes people aggressive. It makes a good number of them psychotic.
Besides, you can't ban religion, it will always exist.
1. No, you can't successfully ban religion, much like you cannot ban drug use. Much like with drug use, what you can do is damage control.
2. It might well be that religion will one day not exist anymore, certainly not in the way we know it today. Formerly crucial aspects of religion have already vanished. These days almost no one practices religion as a way of universal maintenance anymore. I and many that I know live without religion. It is not so difficult to imagine everyone doing that.
This is also a matter of what you might consider "religion". Believing in yourself, evolution theory, alien viking gods, whatever. Being fiercely anti-religious can also be considered a religion.
This is one failed attempt at arguing against criticism of religion that I've grow thoroughly tired of.
1. Whatever does believing in yourself mean? Acknowledging that I exist? Guilty as charged.
2. How is believing in evolutionary theory a religion?
3. Alien viking gods? I guess if they believe in gods, even alien viking ones, it qualifies as a religion.
4. That is again that silly thing: atheism is not a religion. It has none of the trappings of a religion. It isn't even the same kind of thing. There's no ritual, no practice, no moral code, ... it is a stance, not even a general stance, but one specifically limited to one particular religion. It is nothing more than saying "That's not true." It doesn't tell you anything positively about what the world is like, only that out the infinite numbers of way the world might be, the one religion r defends is not the right one.
Do you have any source material for this? This part of sience is quite interesting IMO, and it isn't even contradicting the Bible.
I'm afraid he doesn't, because it isn't true. There are physical theories talking about multiverses, successive universes, and many other ideas of how things could be beyond or before or behind the universe (due to the nature of things, one has to resort to metaphor here). My favorite is the fecund universes theory of Lee Smolin. You can read a bit about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_of_the_Cosmos

But just to clarify. The Big Bang theory says nothing at all about what is beyond the Big Bang, it merely describes the expansion of space-time from a singularity point.
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Re: God is imaginary

#144 Post by Andreas » 13 Aug 2010 22:03

End Of An Era wrote:http://www.universetoday.com/2026/befor ... ig-bang-2/
Here's something to get you started :)
Ok thanks :)
t.a.j. wrote: Then, do you mind if I ask what distinction you draw between "believing in Him" and "knowing that He exists"? I suppose that without going into philosophical details about knowledge, I say offer "being strongly convinced that He exists and not being able to imagine doubting that" as a good description of what you mean with "knowing". Furthermore, I am curious what it means to you to say that God exists and what god you mean. How do you imagine your god?
About the bold part: this might be true, I'm not the one to judge that.
And the difference between knowing and believing can be described by an example. For instance when people say "but I do know He exists", you can say "so what, satan also knows that". I hope I made it a bit clear.
There is no such thing as human nature. People are different, societies are different and everything changes. If you point out one behavioral property as being essentially human, I am very much certain that we can find counterexamples in history.
Don't know if it's enough, but I'd like to point out the movie "Das Experiment".
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250258/

This is one failed attempt at arguing against criticism of religion that I've grow thoroughly tired of.
1. Whatever does believing in yourself mean? Acknowledging that I exist? Guilty as charged.
I'm just saying what other people use to say (there's lots of them). Don't shoot the messenger.
2. How is believing in evolutionary theory a religion?
It's what you say, "believing" in the evolution theory. There's no unanswerable evidence for this theory, and still people believe in it. Is quite similar to...
3. Alien viking gods? I guess if they believe in gods, even alien viking ones, it qualifies as a religion.
It was just a stupid example made up by me.
4. That is again that silly thing: atheism is not a religion. It has none of the trappings of a religion. It isn't even the same kind of thing. There's no ritual, no practice, no moral code, ... it is a stance, not even a general stance, but one specifically limited to one particular religion. It is nothing more than saying "That's not true." It doesn't tell you anything positively about what the world is like, only that out the infinite numbers of way the world might be, the one religion r defends is not the right one.
You have to admit that it's quite disturbing not to have a moral code (bold part). But in a way, it can be considered a religion. Well, atheist not too much, but there's also antitheists. They're a tad more aggressive and are very ready to express their belief, or anti-beliefs. It's a bit vague, I know.
Do you have any source material for this? This part of sience is quite interesting IMO, and it isn't even contradicting the Bible.
I'm afraid he doesn't, because it isn't true.[/quote]
I think he posted his source material half an hour before your post :P
There are physical theories talking about multiverses, successive universes, and many other ideas of how things could be beyond or before or behind the universe (due to the nature of things, one has to resort to metaphor here). My favorite is the fecund universes theory of Lee Smolin. You can read a bit about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_of_the_Cosmos
Ok thanks, I'll have a look at it.

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Re: God is imaginary

#145 Post by t.a.j. » 14 Aug 2010 00:14

Andreas wrote:
There is no such thing as human nature. People are different, societies are different and everything changes. If you point out one behavioral property as being essentially human, I am very much certain that we can find counterexamples in history.
Don't know if it's enough, but I'd like to point out the movie "Das Experiment".
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0250258/
It isn't. If you say that something is human nature or essentially human, you need to show that there are no counterexamples. Any single counter example will contradict your statement, regardless of the number of pro examples you can come up with. If there is just one non-violent human, violence is not a part of human nature.
As for the Milgram experiment, keep in mind that the participants have grown up in a society structured strongly along codes of authority, violence and stratification. Post WW2 America was not a very free and peaceful place.
2. How is believing in evolutionary theory a religion?
It's what you say, "believing" in the evolution theory. There's no unanswerable evidence for this theory, and still people believe in it. Is quite similar to...
1. Modern evolutionary theory provides very good explanations and predictions for the processes of life that we see around us. It's one glaring disadvantage is that in its basic form, it is not falsifiable. There is literally no way to prove evolution wrong. But, and that is a very important but, it is not a strict set of believes, but a framework for interpretation of evidence. A framework the continues to lead to good predictive results and that has helped scientists in many fields to understand things better. It has also lead to such things as evolutionary psychology and its teleological apologetics for 1950s gender roles.
Still, modern evolutionary theory can paint a very consistent picture of the history of life and what's more, we actually see life forms (mostly bacteria and such) change over generations.
2. When I say believing I mean simply this: If you would ask me whether p was the case and I'd say "yes", I believe that p. That is of course unless I had reason to lie ;). Anyway, in my usage, there is not a strong dichotomy between beliefs and knowledge. Knowledge is belief that has certain extra properties: If you know that p, you also believe that p.
You have to admit that it's quite disturbing not to have a moral code (bold part). But in a way, it can be considered a religion. Well, atheist not too much, but there's also antitheists. They're a tad more aggressive and are very ready to express their belief, or anti-beliefs. It's a bit vague, I know.
I feel that you mean not religion, but fanaticism. If so, I'm willing to cede the point. There are fanatical atheists. I sometimes get the urge to be a bit fanatical myself, but I usually catch myself in time.
Do you have any source material for this? This part of sience is quite interesting IMO, and it isn't even contradicting the Bible.
I'm afraid he doesn't, because it isn't true.
I think he posted his source material half an hour before your post :P [/quote]

His source material, like mine, only talks about theoretical cosmology about before the big bang. I merely stated - and still think I was right in that - that the big bang theory makes no statement at all about the origins of the big bang.
http://www.gedichtblog.de
They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


Still the goddamn Batman.

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Re: God is imaginary

#146 Post by NY metal fan » 17 Sep 2010 21:36

t.a.j. wrote:Couple of thoughts:
1. 90% of all christians don't take the bible serious, which is very good for everyone.
Actually, most Christians don't take the Old Testament seriously. They take the New Testament *very* seriously.

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Re: God is imaginary

#147 Post by Joost » 18 Sep 2010 00:16

Just parts of it, mostly.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: God is imaginary

#148 Post by Orodaran » 18 Sep 2010 00:35

Yeah, they usually skip the "gouge your eyes out" part for example.
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
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A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#149 Post by Daggor » 25 Sep 2010 17:02

Just a thought on the Big Bang theory. One of the most basic, absolute, inarguable facts of science is that chaos cannot emerge from absolute order, and order will never emerge from absolute chaos, yet the Big Bang theory relies entirely on both of these, scientifically impossible phenomena to happen.

Just sayin'

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Re: God is imaginary

#150 Post by Bender B. Rodriguez » 25 Sep 2010 17:40

Orodaran wrote:Yeah, they usually skip the "gouge your eyes out" part for example.
:lol:

i was watching a documentary the other day about torture tools used in europe centuries ago,to get people to confess their sins,and man,there were some fucked up devices to mess people up.i wonder why nobody taught me that in school and i have to rely on the discovery channel to learn about it.
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