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Switch to Forum Live View The 'existence' of gods
2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 11:52AM #4351
mountain_man
Posts: 38,798

Apr 17, 2012 -- 12:22AM, El Cid wrote:

Fraid so, ever hear of the Soviet Union, Cambodia, and the Peoples Republic of China?


The problem with that trite argument is that those governments were not based on Atheism in any way. They were totalitarian regimes that wanted any competition eliminated. They killed in the name of power, not in the name of Atheism.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 1:07PM #4352
Lavengro
Posts: 713

"...pain caused by another human whether physical or mental is bad, in fact positively immoral for the one inflicting the pain."


That statement is not universally true, and requires some qualification, JCarlin.  Take, for example, the manipulation by a school-teacher of the dislocated thumb of a football-playing schoolboy (I was that schoolboy, and he caused me great pain, but I am grateful to him because the longer a dislocation is not corrected, the greater the trauma).  Also (perhaps not so clear-cut, but there is at least a debate on the subject) minor pain inflicted on one's children as a corrective measure is not immoral.


"I know these things because I am an intelligent social animal, and inflicting pain on others of your kind is a genetic prohibition."


Again, not universally true, unless, as an intelligent social animal, you also know that psychopathy and other pathological traits are genetic and not acquired -- I don't think the nature/nurture debate is over yet, is it?.  But in general people fall at different points on the continuum between enjoying the pain of others and complete empathy, as they do on all other continuums between good and bad.  Why do you think that the world is in such a mess?  You'll be telling us next that there would be a Utopia if it were not for religion.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 1:15PM #4353
Ken
Posts: 33,859

Apr 17, 2012 -- 1:07PM, Lavengro wrote:


"...pain caused by another human whether physical or mental is bad, in fact positively immoral for the one inflicting the pain."


That statement is not universally true, and requires some qualification, JCarlin.  Take, for example, the manipulation by a school-teacher of the dislocated thumb of a football-playing schoolboy (I was that schoolboy, and he caused me great pain, but I am grateful to him because the longer a dislocation is not corrected, the greater the trauma).  Also (perhaps not so clear-cut, but there is at least a debate on the subject) minor pain inflicted on one's children as a corrective measure is not immoral.



But pain is always bad, even when used to accomplish good. Everyone recognizes that it would be better if we could accomplish the same good without the pain, and a great deal of effort and ingenuity has gone into trying to achieve this.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 10:49PM #4354
F1fan
Posts: 11,153

Apr 16, 2012 -- 12:22AM, El Cid wrote:


f1: So all the little children who drowned in the global flood were guilty of sin?  What sin did they do?


Selfishness, but only those that reached the age of accountability would go to hell.  



Ah.  So a little infant who can't even think conceptually nor speak language yet is guilty of selfishness?  And deserved death by drowning, according to your assessment?  Have you noticed your god's action didn't fix a damn thing?  It just killed people.  Not a very compenent god you have there.


f1: And given the events after the flood was over, can't we conclude that god should have wiped out Noah's family too?  They weren't exactly shining examples of humanity.


Noah had faith, but he did not earn God's favor by good deeds, no one does. You are saved by undeserved grace and then your love of God causes you to do good deeds. Noah was chosen because of his faith, and this was probably true of his children as well.



You don't think others had faith?  Why did they die?  hey, don't worry about it.  It never happened.  there was no flood.  Your defending of this myth as if it actually happened is a worse example of "faith" than anyone supposedly drowned in that flood.


f1: I'd suggest your god should have saved some Buddhists.


Buddhists did not exist 2 mya.  



Budhism has been around for 2500 years.  The flood never happened, so we don't have to worry about it.


f1: But again, your god is incompetent.  It couldn't create humans that could resist temptation, and didn't create a world that didn't have to be wiped out to start again.  As we see, the net effect didn't improve.  Your god killed all those people (including little infants) for no good.


He wanted free will beings not robots. He needed this type of universe and this event to help in His ultimate goal of destroying evil. So they died for ultmately a good purpose.



He failed miserably (if you interpret the story literally).  Oddly, it is you literalists who make your god look like an idiot by interpreting these stories literally.  None of your defense adds up reasonably.


f1: So, allowing them is ok as long as it didn't urge?  And shouldn't the flood have cleaned the planet of sinners?  Looks like he failed again.  Any comment?


He didn't allow the hebrews to do those things. He allows others to do them in order  to accompish His greater good of destroying evil in the universe.  Sometimes bad things have to happen to accomplish a greater good. 




Your idea of god failed to eiminate evil in the universe (since it failed on good, old planet earth).  A competent god could have done it by killing all humans.  But an actually competent god would know who is evil, and kill them at birth.  Only good, decenent, reasonable people get to live.  And as a result we have no crime, no war.  No creationism.  No dogma.  No irrational beliefs like a global flood happened, for which there is not a single bit of evidence.


But your god failed.


No, that's not fair.  Irrational fundamentalists fail.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 11:25PM #4355
F1fan
Posts: 11,153

Apr 17, 2012 -- 12:47AM, El Cid wrote:


f1: No.  Europe had many influences and broad cultures, along with historical resources (like books and writing) and social infrastructure.  Europe had the best circumstance for science and rational thought to develop.  the only contribution that Christianity made was that it tried to supporess reason and thought for so long that many rebelled, like Galileo.  Holland was a center for free thought away from Christianity all though the Enlightenment.  There were other contributions made in the the East that were not made in the West, namely medicine and the physical arts, as in matial arts and yogic exercise.  Gunpowder was invented in China, not Europe.  So your ugly prejudice only demands more contempt for your type of religious belief.


Those physical things also helped, but also the scholastic theologians emphasized the importance of reason in studying the scriptures and in nature, God's other book.



Nature isn't a book.  And nature is described by science, not any religious book.  Religious books are notoriously unreliable.  the only reasonable study of religious books is via the realistic lense, not belief.


In case you forgot, Galileo was a devout Christian. Actually the reason the RCC rejected Galileo's findings was erroneously accepting Aristotles cosmology NOT the biblical cosmology, the bible does not teach that the earth is the center of the universe, Aristotle did. So actually Galileo was more biblical than the RCC theologians on this point. And Holland was a Christian nation and believed in freedom of conscience because that is what Christ and his disciples taught by example. They never tried to physically force someone to convert, they only used verbal persuasion and evidence.



No, Galileo was scientific.  It had nothing to do with the Bible.  That you are trying to justify science's success in hindsight only continues the tradition that dogmatic Christians can't interpret anything reliably.


f1: Wrong, the Hindu creation myth explains a creation independent of human minds.  And it is more accurate (that is, consistent with reality) than the two Genesis creation myths.


No, the Hindus believed that ultimately all is One. Therefore, creation was part of your mind and vice versa, and the distinction between the particulars and the universals was an illusion so science was impossible.



All creation myths are wrong to varying degrees, but it is more accurate that the Genesis stories.  Only science describes nature and reality accurately.


f1: How is that different than your type of believers saying it was god's will that a tornado killed a bus full of school kids?  Do you have a better explanation for why a child dies of a genetic disease?


It was not God's will that a tornado killed a bus full of kids, but it was part of His plan but He did not directly cause it, He just allowed it for a greater good. A child dies of a genetic disease because the world we live in has become abnormal due to man's rebellion against God. Genes were affected and mutated by Man's rebellion. But ultimately it is fora  greater good of eliminating evil in the universe. [...]



It is so easy to say that someones' children died because a god had some "greater" purpose for it.  You want to know the truth?  It makes no sense whatsoever.  What purpose is there in the death of a little kid?  In reality, people die.  We live in a universe that doesn't value human life any more than it values worms.  We humans have religions that promote that a god exists and gives meaning.  Theists have to make tragedy seem intentional some how.  It simply doesn't.  That some humans have to cope with senseless tragedy by saying it was "god's will for some higher purpose" is an illusion they have to tell themselves.  But it isn't true.


ec: The hindus believed that reality was an illusion and ultimately all is one, making science pointless.


f1: No, perceived reality is an illusion.  You think your illusions are reality.


How do you know this? Most scientists generally think that what we perceive is reality, otherwise science is impossible. I think what I perceive is generally reality too.  



You can't go from talking about how Hindus refer to perception to how science relies on sensory data. 


f1: And Eastern philosophies look at the unity and larger functions of nature where Western views try to reduce nature to basic elements.  This did not prevent Easterners from understanding how nature works.


There is a unity to nature up to a point but the diversity or particulars are real too, and not an illusion as the hindus believe. Evidence that prior to english imperialism, hindus engaged in experimental science?



Perception is how we humans interpret our sensory data.  If you use knowledge and facts, you interpret accurately.  If you use irrational concepts, you have poor results that do not mesh well with reality.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2012 - 12:49AM #4356
El Cid
Posts: 1,573

Mar 21, 2012 -- 2:16PM, F1fan wrote:


ec: Islam's god Allah was impersonal and capricious so it is better just to spend your time appeasing him rather than studying nature.



f1: Islam's god is your god, the God of Abraham.  This illustrates how various humans change and deform the basic idea of god inherited from other religions (like Christians taking Yahweh from the jews, and Muslims taking it a step further.  You can include Mormons in that, too)



No, the Islamic god is VERY different from the Christian God. Besides the very different Triune nature of God, while allah is a pure unity. Also, he is impersonal and capricious. He is not considered very forgiving, while the Christian God is known for His forgiveness. Also, their moral teachings are very different, allah lets you beat your wife if necessary, God does not, you are to treat her like she is your own body.   


ec: Christianity also teaches that you can learn about God by studying his creation.


f1: Which is why it is strange why some Christians believe in creationism.  That aint studying nature, it is accepting an obsolete interpretation of the Bible, and ignoring nature.



All Christians believe in some type of Creationism, otherwise they are an atheist or pantheist. As far as those christians that don't accept theistic evolution, they believe the data from nature does not support evolution. I fall in that category, though I believe in an old earth.


ec: So it was far more than just Christianity benig the major religion, it was also philosophically fertile ground for modern science.


f1: You failed to make an argument that shows it was Christianity, and not other factors, that led to science.



I am not saying it was only Christianity but Christianity combined with some aspects of Greek philosophy. Many non-Christian historians of science agree that it was Christianity too, like Loren Eisley in "Darwin's Century".  


f1: That so many Christians get evolution wrong in the USA (about 50%) tells me that the religion fails miserably to inspire correct thinking.  Please explain that failure.



Maybe it is because the evidence for evolution is not as strong as many scientists think it is. Or maybe the evolutionists are not getting the message out very well. Personally, as a biologist myself, I think it is the first reason. I have studied it for 35 years.


f1: EDIT: Do note that there is a solid history of Christian authorities slowing and challenging science.  That science flourished in Europe when christianity happened to be the majority religion does not mean it was the cause for the progress.  You might as well say that since people ate a lot of chicken in Europe at the time that it was eating chicken that caused science to flourish.  You are confusing correlation to cause and effect.  You would need to show evidence that Christianity itself caused science to advance, and show intent as well.  At best you can show us how some Christian authorities supported various scientists so they could do work.  But that would be sponsorship, just as many religious authorities sponsored artists over the ages.


So, get to work digging up evidence to show us.  Or just keep lying so we can shoot them down for all to see.





I did provide evidence earlier that most of the founders of the major branches of modern science were devout christians who credited their faith in God as their inspiration for doing science, read some writings from Galileo, Kepler, Newton and many more. And as I stated above many secular historians of science agree with my view. And as I stated earlier, Christianity was the only major religion at the time that taught that their is an objective and orderly, intelligible  natural world.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2012 - 5:31AM #4357
costrel
Posts: 6,226

Apr 18, 2012 -- 12:49AM, El Cid wrote:

Maybe it is because the evidence for evolution is not as strong as many scientists think it is. Or maybe the evolutionists are not getting the message out very well. Personally, as a biologist myself, I think it is the first reason. I have studied it for 35 years.


You're a biologist? What does that mean, exactly? That you have a Bachelor of Science degree and teach seventh graders at a middle school? That wouldn't surprise me, since most high school science teachers that I have met reject evolution in favor of a Genesis-based Christian creationism. I greatly doubt that you have a Ph.D. or work at a university. 


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2 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2012 - 8:00AM #4358
amcolph
Posts: 17,178

Apr 18, 2012 -- 12:49AM, El Cid wrote:


 


No, the Islamic god is VERY different from the Christian God. Besides the very different Triune nature of God, while allah is a pure unity. Also, he is impersonal and capricious. He is not considered very forgiving, while the Christian God is known for His forgiveness. Also, their moral teachings are very different, allah lets you beat your wife if necessary, God does not, you are to treat her like she is your own body.   




You must be aware that, in addition to the Koran, Muslims have an "Old Testament" too, just like we do.  In fact, it is the same set of texts as our OT, with the addition of the Synoptics.  Their moral teachings are based on the Ten Commandments just like ours and I dare say that only fundamentalist Muslims beat their wives with any regularity, just as with us.


Of course, if you want to believe that Muslims worship an entirely different God than we do, then go right ahead, but it leaves you to explain how there are two Gods of Abraham.  There is the problem of two Jesuses as well, because pious Muslims believe that it will be Jesus who "will come again in glory to judge both the quick and the dead."




 

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2012 - 8:09AM #4359
christine3
Posts: 6,691

Apr 17, 2012 -- 11:25PM, F1fan wrote:


Those physical things also helped, but also the scholastic theologians emphasized the importance of reason in studying the scriptures and in nature, God's other book.





Cid, they may have emphasized importance of reason but that doesn't mean they were good at it.  Scholastic theologians (all of them to this day) haven't yet discovered that past divination practices got turned into allegories over hundreds of years.  Even Noah's ark story is one of those.  

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2012 - 8:15AM #4360
amcolph
Posts: 17,178

Apr 18, 2012 -- 12:49AM, El Cid wrote:


 I have studied it for 35 years.


 




Maybe it's time you took a break from biology and studied some history instead.

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