Author Topic: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.  (Read 62388 times)

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #250 on: May 30, 2017, 03:20:22 PM »
tyort, the whole point of this debate is predicated on understanding that nature of a holy God.  The teaching is that He has unconditional love, but that does not stop him from also being perfectly just.  A holy being can be nothing else.  You choose the analogy of an abuser, but most explanations use the analogy of a parent, only a parent who is more loving and just than any of us could ever be. 

I'd like to think that people are basically good, and I agree with you in that regard.  Where we diverge I believe is you feel that people are able to act against their own self interest and do what is good for the many at the expense of that is good for oneself and do that without fail, while I say they cannot.    I look at a recent event with someone at church,who lost their phone.  When they called it the person that answered said , yes they had found it and they were happy to return it to them... for $1,000.  This person was being "basically good" by returning the phone, but not before they achieved maximum, selfish benefit for themselves.  Our church member agreed to meet this individual in a crappy part of town, but instead of offering him the $1,000 asked the man what was motivating his decisions and proceeded to share the gospel message with him for three hours.  In the end the man gave him his phone back, without the $1,000, and they have been meeting weekly ever since to minister to them and study the Bible.   I'd say there is still a marked difference is the selfish, carnal good built into each of us and that which God calls out of us.

I highlighted the key passage above because I think there's a misunderstanding there, so let me try to clear it up.

To me it does not matter if people do good or act morally.  Everyone gets in to heaven regardless of whether they are a good person or not.  Moral character simply has no impact.

Same is true for people's religious beliefs - Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, deist, agnostic and atheist all get in. 

I ask you (in all seriousness), what is the more loving god, the one that forgives and loves you unconditionally?  Or the one that attaches conditions to his love and forgiveness? 

Because attaching a condition (ie, you must accept Jesus), well that by definition is conditional love!  Do you not see that?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 03:23:25 PM by tyort1 »
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FireLane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #251 on: May 30, 2017, 05:59:25 PM »
(Mostly read the OP - still scanning through this whole long thread...)

I don't have any insight into your dilemma, but I wanted to offer my support and sympathy, J Boogie. I never had a religious upbringing, but I can imagine how hard it must be to have a religious upbringing and then find it crumbling around you.

All I can say is that people change throughout their lives, and that's normal and natural. Any religion or belief system which expects you to believe the same things at 80 as you did at 8 is expecting something that isn't humanly possible. As far as your wife and your family goes, if a relationship is based on love, mutual respect and honest communication, it'll survive even as people's beliefs evolve. If it's conditioned on both parties believing exactly the same things so they can echo them back and forth for a lifetime, it's doomed to fail, as it should be.

I lean toward the atheist side myself. I don't doubt people's sincerity, but for me, it's obvious that religion mostly functions as a way to justify what they wanted to do anyway. Good people believe in a God who tells them to do good, cruel people believe in a God who tells them to be cruel. The strongest proof of this is how what we interpret as God's wishes have changed over the ages as humanity's moral stance evolves.

A couple of centuries ago, all the pious and wise theologians said that the Bible sanctioned the Crusades, and that God wanted you to go and kill all the people who believed something different than you.

A hundred and fifty years ago, give or take, all the pious and wise theologians said that the Bible sanctioned slavery, and that God wanted you to put the uncivilized heathen people in chains and make them work your plantations.

A hundred years ago, all the pious and wise theologians said that the Bible sanctioned the subordination of women, and that God said they shouldn't get to vote or have careers, they should just stay at home and be barefoot and pregnant.

Nowadays, all the pious and wise theologians have given up those beliefs, and they have a new interpretation of what God really cares about - stopping gay people from getting married, for instance. But why should we trust them this time, when they have such a flawed record? Was every past generation of Christians wrong? Then what makes you so sure that this time you've finally got it right?

Just look at all the millions of religious people who hold opposing and incompatible beliefs but who each profess absolute certainty that their specific interpretation and no other is the Truth. Hell, there are examples right in this thread!

There's too much in Christian theology that makes no sense. If there is a God, I have to believe he's at least as moral as I am. He wouldn't choose to create a system based on rules that are incomprehensible or cruel.

If someone offended me and I wanted to forgive them, I wouldn't demand that an innocent person's blood had to be shed first, as though that somehow helps the process. I'd just forgive them, no additional suffering necessary.

If I had the power to create intelligent beings, but I had a moral standard I wanted them to abide by, I'd just create them so that they always lived up to that standard. I wouldn't create them flawed and then blame them for being what I made them to be.

And if I did create flawed beings and they did something that upset me, I certainly wouldn't create a fiery pit of eternal torture to throw them into. That's the act of a supremely evil being, not a supremely good one.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #252 on: May 31, 2017, 04:32:00 AM »
tyort, the whole point of this debate is predicated on understanding that nature of a holy God.  The teaching is that He has unconditional love, but that does not stop him from also being perfectly just.  A holy being can be nothing else.  You choose the analogy of an abuser, but most explanations use the analogy of a parent, only a parent who is more loving and just than any of us could ever be. 

I'd like to think that people are basically good, and I agree with you in that regard.  Where we diverge I believe is you feel that people are able to act against their own self interest and do what is good for the many at the expense of that is good for oneself and do that without fail, while I say they cannot.    I look at a recent event with someone at church,who lost their phone.  When they called it the person that answered said , yes they had found it and they were happy to return it to them... for $1,000.  This person was being "basically good" by returning the phone, but not before they achieved maximum, selfish benefit for themselves.  Our church member agreed to meet this individual in a crappy part of town, but instead of offering him the $1,000 asked the man what was motivating his decisions and proceeded to share the gospel message with him for three hours.  In the end the man gave him his phone back, without the $1,000, and they have been meeting weekly ever since to minister to them and study the Bible.   I'd say there is still a marked difference is the selfish, carnal good built into each of us and that which God calls out of us.

I highlighted the key passage above because I think there's a misunderstanding there, so let me try to clear it up.

To me it does not matter if people do good or act morally.  Everyone gets in to heaven regardless of whether they are a good person or not.  Moral character simply has no impact.

Same is true for people's religious beliefs - Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, deist, agnostic and atheist all get in. 

I ask you (in all seriousness), what is the more loving god, the one that forgives and loves you unconditionally?  Or the one that attaches conditions to his love and forgiveness? 

Because attaching a condition (ie, you must accept Jesus), well that by definition is conditional love!  Do you not see that?

And I have been saying in all seriousness that your or my opinion does not matter.  And your view of love being conditional is also incorrect.  God never stops loving you whether you believe in Jesus.  But He does judge you to determine your eternal fate.  I find it amazing how he never closes the door on anyone.   And your "preference" of not mattering about how they act, is accurate too.  You can me the most evil person on earth and if you sincerely accept Jesus as your Savior milliseconds before you draw your last breath, BOOM, everything is forgiven, eternal paradise!   

So to answer your hypothetical, in the secular view in which you ask it, the second one would appear to be more loving.  But in my view with a belief AND understanding of God as He teaches me about Him, it is the first one, because His love surpasses all understanding and therefore exceeds anything we can imagine and call unconditional love.  No matter what you've done, you are never too far gone.  The challenge here in answering your questions is that our worldview to place your question in context does not remotely align.  From a purely logical perspective, requiring belief in Jesus is a condition yes, but the bar is so easy to cross as to be virtually non-existent, so to me your two options are one and the same just adding something so basic.  Roman 2:1-16 explains along the lines you discussed before the people have a conscience, are basically good, but those versus very clearly explain that these, like everything else, are from God, and since you know you have them you have natural proof of God yet refuse to believe.  Creation is visible to everyone, yet knowledge of it is denied, God's standard of justice is reflected in many secular judicial systems.  Many pagan philosophies, ancient and modern, teach certain standards of ethics that closely parallel those in Scripture.  The fact that such people do good things, knowing they were ethically good, proves they had knowledge of God's Law written in their hearts.  Therefore if those people never come to trust in the true God, their good deeds will actually witness against them on the day of judgment.  I get this seems "wrong" to a human worldview that puts themselves above all else.  The idea behind the the Greek word suneidesis (conscience) literally means "knowledge with" or "co-knowledge".  Synonyms of that term, most with the same root meaning, are found in many ancient languages.  The very idea testifies to the fact that men recognize they have an instinctive, built-in sense of right and wrong that activates guilt.  A report is made of a tribe in Africa that tests guilt of someone by touching a hot knife to their tongue.  If you have saliva on your tongue you feel a sizzle but little pain.  If your tongue is dry, the blade sticks and creates a vicious, searing burn.  The tribe knew that a sense of guilt tends to make a person's mouth dry.  The making of the dry mouth is, of course, the work of the conscience.  Last, because of God-given conscience one can contemplate that certain things are basically right or wrong.  Even the most godless society becomes incensed when a child or elderly person is brutally attacked or murdered.  Even pagans, agnostics and atheists are able to discern basic right and wrong.   This means that no person can stand guiltless before God judgment.  Many missionaries or other who come in contact with various people can tell stories of people who took part in pointless mischief, felt guilty and heartsick about doing it, some to the point of contemplating suicide, and heard a nugget about God from someone passing through their village, and years later this bloomed into acceptance of Jesus as their savior after God led them to someone who could teach them about Him.  I get that you believe this is not as loving.  And that may well, be, but for me answering that question, is a bit like you asking "What kind of rain is more wet, the one that falls down or the one that falls up?"  One version of rain does not exist, so it really does not matter that I might prefer that one.  Both versions of God are loving in your question, you just prefer the one that He does not say He is, and therefore condemn Him because He does not live by your view of how he should be. 

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #253 on: May 31, 2017, 06:47:29 AM »
Even the most godless society becomes incensed when a child or elderly person is brutally attacked or murdered.

Oddly, the statement doesn't seem to hold for religious societies:

Quote from: 1 Samuel 15:2-3
Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'
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golden1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #254 on: May 31, 2017, 06:55:25 AM »
+1 to FireLane's response.  This is pretty close to how I feel about religion in general.   This whole debate over doctrine feels as meaningful to me as people arguing over sports statistics. 

wenchsenior

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #255 on: May 31, 2017, 07:45:07 AM »
+1 to FireLane's response.  This is pretty close to how I feel about religion in general.   This whole debate over doctrine feels as meaningful to me as people arguing over sports statistics.

Yes, and I frequently ponder an even more basic question:  Why are people ever motivated to believe in the first place? Why do people ever bother to put in so much energy worrying and thinking about this stuff?  I don't mean that flippantly, either.  I really do find it odd and always have.   

I mean, I get why e.g., Tyortism(TM) would be more attractive than believing in the Old Testament god, but what I don't get is why the idea of Tyortism is so attractive when stacked against no faith at all. Why is the concept of spending eternity with a personal god compelling?  It confuses me so much.

Is it just personality wiring? It can't just be pure existential fear of death/ending of self...can it?

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #256 on: May 31, 2017, 08:10:25 AM »
+1 to FireLane's response.  This is pretty close to how I feel about religion in general.   This whole debate over doctrine feels as meaningful to me as people arguing over sports statistics.

Yes, and I frequently ponder an even more basic question:  Why are people ever motivated to believe in the first place? Why do people ever bother to put in so much energy worrying and thinking about this stuff?  I don't mean that flippantly, either.  I really do find it odd and always have.   

I mean, I get why e.g., Tyortism(TM) would be more attractive than believing in the Old Testament god, but what I don't get is why the idea of Tyortism is so attractive when stacked against no faith at all. Why is the concept of spending eternity with a personal god compelling?  It confuses me so much.

Is it just personality wiring? It can't just be pure existential fear of death/ending of self...can it?

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Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #257 on: May 31, 2017, 08:16:39 AM »
+1 to FireLane's response.  This is pretty close to how I feel about religion in general.   This whole debate over doctrine feels as meaningful to me as people arguing over sports statistics.

Yes, and I frequently ponder an even more basic question:  Why are people ever motivated to believe in the first place? Why do people ever bother to put in so much energy worrying and thinking about this stuff?  I don't mean that flippantly, either.  I really do find it odd and always have.   

I mean, I get why e.g., Tyortism(TM) would be more attractive than believing in the Old Testament god, but what I don't get is why the idea of Tyortism is so attractive when stacked against no faith at all. Why is the concept of spending eternity with a personal god compelling?  It confuses me so much.

Is it just personality wiring? It can't just be pure existential fear of death/ending of self...can it?

It is amazing to watch the elaborate mental gymnastics used to justify the idea of a loving and all powerful god who roasts some of his children for eternity, the idea of original sin, the plan of salvation through Jesus, and so many other things.  The only way any of this made sense to me was to step back and ask what if it is all man-made make-believe.

I think there are a number of factors at play.  One is cultural conditioning.  If you are brought up in a religion from an early age, hearing it often enough makes most people accept what they are hearing as being reasonable, and people tend not to ask the hard questions about it.  When I was little, no one explained the origins of the gospel to me.  It is easy to poke holes in other people's scriptures.  It's pretty easy for a Catholic to look at the relatively foreign Book of Mormon and see all the problems with it and with Joseph Smith.  It's much harder to apply the same skepticism to the Christian gospels which tend to be accepted at face value in terms of their origins and content.  Interestingly, most of the former Mormons I've known who starting questioning LDS teachings, eventually came around to also asking the hard questions of the Christian gospels and end up as atheists.

I do think that mankind tends to have a fear of death and a longing for simplistic explanations that help assuage fears.  I also think some people are hard wired for belief and some just are not.  There is research that shows differences in brain activity in believers and non believers.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #258 on: May 31, 2017, 09:10:32 AM »
From a purely logical perspective, requiring belief in Jesus is a condition....

That, precisely, is the problem.  One cannot say that God's love is unconditional, and look, here's a condition.

But He does judge you to determine your eternal fate.

Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.
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MasterStache

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #259 on: May 31, 2017, 09:19:12 AM »
From a purely logical perspective, requiring belief in Jesus is a condition....

That, precisely, is the problem.  One cannot say that God's love is unconditional, and look, here's a condition.

But He does judge you to determine your eternal fate.

Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

Unconditional love is conditional. What don't you get about that ( ;

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #260 on: May 31, 2017, 09:22:09 AM »
From a purely logical perspective, requiring belief in Jesus is a condition....

That, precisely, is the problem.  One cannot say that God's love is unconditional, and look, here's a condition.

But He does judge you to determine your eternal fate.

Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

Unconditional love is conditional. What don't you get about that ( ;

To quote one of my favorite movies "You keepa using that word... I do not think it means what you thinkita means."
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #261 on: May 31, 2017, 09:41:04 AM »
Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
My parents love me unconditionally, that doesn't mean that they didn't judge and punish me as a child.
I wasn't hit or anything, but I was grounded, lectured, etc etc.

But through it all, they still loved me and love me today.
In fact, I cannot imagine anything I could do that would change that.

I don't see a contradiction between judgement and unconditional love, but I could definitely see a conflict between finite crimes leading to infinite punishment.
The idea of God being perfectly just seems to be more of a problem than the claim of unconditional love, to me anyhow.
(though I suppose they are intertwined)


Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #262 on: May 31, 2017, 09:46:43 AM »
Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
My parents love me unconditionally, that doesn't mean that they didn't judge and punish me as a child.
I wasn't hit or anything, but I was grounded, lectured, etc etc.

But through it all, they still loved me and love me today.
In fact, I cannot imagine anything I could do that would change that.

I don't see a contradiction between judgement and unconditional love, but I could definitely see a conflict between finite crimes leading to infinite punishment.
The idea of God being perfectly just seems to be more of a problem than the claim of unconditional love, to me anyhow.
(though I suppose they are intertwined)

And, the arbitrariness of the punishment, as well. Consider two people:

Person A did horrible, terrible things his entire life. Murdered, stole, cheated, raped. On his deathbed, he accepts Christ as his savior. No worries! Gets to heaven!

Person B: Spend his whole life trying to do no harm to people. Gave to charity, helped as many people as he could, pillar of his community, loving father, kind wonderful person. Raised Jewish, and kept that faith. On deathbed, no conversion. Whoops! Sorry, you're damned.

Sigh.
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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #263 on: May 31, 2017, 09:47:57 AM »
Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
My parents love me unconditionally, that doesn't mean that they didn't judge and punish me as a child.
I wasn't hit or anything, but I was grounded, lectured, etc etc.

But through it all, they still loved me and love me today.
In fact, I cannot imagine anything I could do that would change that.

I don't see a contradiction between judgement and unconditional love, but I could definitely see a conflict between finite crimes leading to infinite punishment.
The idea of God being perfectly just seems to be more of a problem than the claim of unconditional love, to me anyhow.
(though I suppose they are intertwined)

Your parents probably didn't send you to an eternal hell where you would live out eternity in unflinching misery and pain. You punished your kids as a lesson. And it was a temporary punishment to invoke more positive decision making. It's just called parenting. Hell isn't like timeout or taking ones phone away, although some teens might consider it hell.

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #264 on: May 31, 2017, 10:28:57 AM »
Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
My parents love me unconditionally, that doesn't mean that they didn't judge and punish me as a child.
I wasn't hit or anything, but I was grounded, lectured, etc etc.

But through it all, they still loved me and love me today.
In fact, I cannot imagine anything I could do that would change that.

I don't see a contradiction between judgement and unconditional love, but I could definitely see a conflict between finite crimes leading to infinite punishment.
The idea of God being perfectly just seems to be more of a problem than the claim of unconditional love, to me anyhow.
(though I suppose they are intertwined)

And, the arbitrariness of the punishment, as well. Consider two people:

Person A did horrible, terrible things his entire life. Murdered, stole, cheated, raped. On his deathbed, he accepts Christ as his savior. No worries! Gets to heaven!

Person B: Spend his whole life trying to do no harm to people. Gave to charity, helped as many people as he could, pillar of his community, loving father, kind wonderful person. Raised Jewish, and kept that faith. On deathbed, no conversion. Whoops! Sorry, you're damned.

Sigh.

This makes perfect sense to me.  Totally logical to have disbelief as the ultimate sin - with the ultimate punishment as a deterrent - if the objective of a religion is to preserve loyalty to, and power of, the guys in charge.  Any threat to the Church's authority is the most serious matter.  That's why the previous Pope ordered bishops not to cooperate with child rape investigations.

There's no point having people just running around leading good and blameless lives.  Who would that benefit?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2017, 11:47:52 AM by Father Dougal »

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #265 on: May 31, 2017, 11:44:21 AM »
This makes perfect sense to me.  Totally logical to have disbelief as the ultimate sin - with the ultimate punishment as a deterrent - if the objective of a religion is to preserve loyalty to, and power of, the guys in charge.  Any threat to the Church's authority is the most serious matter.  That's why the previous Pope ordered bishops not to cooperate with child rape investigations.

There's no point just having people just running around leading good and blameless lives.  Who would that benefit?

Right!   What you do is set up a system where no one can live a good and blameless life and then bitch that people can't live up to your impossible standard.  If people complain that they didn't do anything to deserve this, just double down and blame them even more for having small minds and not understanding god's mysterious ways.


Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
My parents love me unconditionally, that doesn't mean that they didn't judge and punish me as a child.
I wasn't hit or anything, but I was grounded, lectured, etc etc.

But through it all, they still loved me and love me today.
In fact, I cannot imagine anything I could do that would change that.

I don't see a contradiction between judgement and unconditional love, but I could definitely see a conflict between finite crimes leading to infinite punishment.
The idea of God being perfectly just seems to be more of a problem than the claim of unconditional love, to me anyhow.
(though I suppose they are intertwined)

I too have a daughter that I love unconditionally.  I could never do something like torture her.  Not for a day, and definitely not for all eternity.  If it's possible for me to torture my daughter, then it's not possible that I love her. 

"Sorry honey, I love you unconditionally, so me gouging out your eyes, that hurts me more than it hurts you.  Oh, and same for your toes that I smashed with a hammer and your fingers that I cut off.  All out of my boundless, unconditional love for you.  And really, you brought this on yourself - I told you to obey my will and you didn't, so you get what you deserve."
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caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #266 on: May 31, 2017, 01:41:44 PM »
Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
My parents love me unconditionally, that doesn't mean that they didn't judge and punish me as a child.
I wasn't hit or anything, but I was grounded, lectured, etc etc.

But through it all, they still loved me and love me today.
In fact, I cannot imagine anything I could do that would change that.

I don't see a contradiction between judgement and unconditional love, but I could definitely see a conflict between finite crimes leading to infinite punishment.
The idea of God being perfectly just seems to be more of a problem than the claim of unconditional love, to me anyhow.
(though I suppose they are intertwined)

MrDelane, that's exactly the point.  My wife asked when I explained tyort's inability to understand this, "Do they have kids?"  Her point, which is similar to yours.  "I love my kids unconditionally.  That does not mean I let them do whatever they want and break every rule we have.  There are still rules.  Those are not conditions of my love."  I've already explained this to tyort.  God never stops loving you when you sin.  He does not stop loving you because you do not believe.  He always loves you even when you spit in his face.  It is unconditional love, but I'm not going to argue about it.

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #267 on: May 31, 2017, 01:44:01 PM »
First of all, thanks for the interesting discussion.  I just had a few small points that I wanted to make...

If someone says 2+2=4, do you tell them their mind is too small to consider the idea that it could also equal 5 and 6?

All of the below statements are true.

Statement 1: 1+1=2
Statement 2: 1+1=10
Statement 3: 9+9=18
Statement 4: 9+9=12

I'm guessing that most would argue that statements 2 and 4 are not true, but that's only because they are only viewing them through their default framing.  Once you recognize that statement 2 is being made under the framing of a binary number system and statement 4 is being made under the framing of a hexadecimal number system, things become clearer.  They could certainly be written in a way to make that more clear from the beginning, but the fact that they are not does not make them untrue.

I'd like to think that people are basically good, and I agree with you in that regard.  Where we diverge I believe is you feel that people are able to act against their own self interest and do what is good for the many at the expense of that is good for oneself and do that without fail, while I say they cannot.

What if what is good for the many is also good for the self?  Personally, I don't believe that people need to act against their own self interest in order to do what is good for the many.

Also, I'm not christian by any means, but I think I can reconcile the whole unconditional love/suffering thing for you.  One can be unconditionally loving and still accept suffering when one is beyond time.  Suffering is basically just a message letting you know that something is wrong.  Once you understand that suffering you can fix the situation making things better in the future.  Without the suffering, the situation may never have improved.  So while suffering may be a 'negative' in the present, it could be a 'positive' within the complete view of time.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #268 on: May 31, 2017, 01:52:02 PM »
This makes perfect sense to me.  Totally logical to have disbelief as the ultimate sin - with the ultimate punishment as a deterrent - if the objective of a religion is to preserve loyalty to, and power of, the guys in charge.  Any threat to the Church's authority is the most serious matter.  That's why the previous Pope ordered bishops not to cooperate with child rape investigations.

There's no point just having people just running around leading good and blameless lives.  Who would that benefit?

Right!   What you do is set up a system where no one can live a good and blameless life and then bitch that people can't live up to your impossible standard.  If people complain that they didn't do anything to deserve this, just double down and blame them even more for having small minds and not understanding god's mysterious ways.


Again, judgement is in direct contradiction to the idea of unconditional love. 

You might say "God loves us a lot", but you cannot say that love is unconditional.

I'm not sure that's a fair statement.
My parents love me unconditionally, that doesn't mean that they didn't judge and punish me as a child.
I wasn't hit or anything, but I was grounded, lectured, etc etc.

But through it all, they still loved me and love me today.
In fact, I cannot imagine anything I could do that would change that.

I don't see a contradiction between judgement and unconditional love, but I could definitely see a conflict between finite crimes leading to infinite punishment.
The idea of God being perfectly just seems to be more of a problem than the claim of unconditional love, to me anyhow.
(though I suppose they are intertwined)

I too have a daughter that I love unconditionally.  I could never do something like torture her.  Not for a day, and definitely not for all eternity.  If it's possible for me to torture my daughter, then it's not possible that I love her. 

"Sorry honey, I love you unconditionally, so me gouging out your eyes, that hurts me more than it hurts you.  Oh, and same for your toes that I smashed with a hammer and your fingers that I cut off.  All out of my boundless, unconditional love for you.  And really, you brought this on yourself - I told you to obey my will and you didn't, so you get what you deserve."
To your first point.  No one, not even the best Christian is capable of leading a blameless life.  And works have nothing to do with your salvation, so what you "do" is irrelevant.  The rest of your argument continues to make sense only if this was made up, which you believe it is.  For those of us who believe it is not made up but just a statement of the way things work, we learn about the process, not complain about it.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #269 on: May 31, 2017, 02:22:38 PM »
OK, so now that everyone has remained where they started, believing or unbelieving, let me toss out another question to the group, because this has always fascinated me, and I might just get more enlightened answers from this august body of debaters than others I have asked.

In the end, why are people so hell bent on not believing and ridiculing the concept of belief when, as far as I have been able to tell, there is virtually no downside to believing in God and it not being true?

I mean when you boil it down.  If I am wrong about all this and the rest of you are right, when I die, I'll just be dead.  But the impact on my life here on earth is not made worse in any way be believing.  I follow a set of principles that all societies generally agree with, maybe having a little less "fun" because I'm not having sex with everything that moves, watching a lot of sex, getting drunk or being cruel to people for my own enjoyment.   But in the end, it's a normal, fun filled life doing good things and being generally pleasant and helpful to people around me.  So believing seems like a choice with zero real, tangible negatives (I can feel you chomping at the bit her tyort, so stay with me).

On the other hand.  What if I'm right?  IF I chose not to believe when I died, I'd be in eternal torment.  If I did believe, I'd be in eternal joy.  And my life here on earth is exactly the same because I'm doing just fine as it is.

So to me, this has always been what has greatly intrigued me.  It seems that when I place a normal upside/downside ratio on the question, "Should I believe in God?" that there is literally no downside to doing it, but a massive upside possibility or at minimum zero upside as well.  It's one of the few decisions in life that has no tangible downside in this day in age in a country like the US.

Now to be fair to people like I think tyort would reply, for them there are psychological downsides because they might feel foolish, or want to avoid being ridiculed and do not take "sticks and stones" to heart and just not care, or some other intangible downside.  Also, I understand in certain areas of the world, belief in any God, not just the Christian God, has life and death implications, so I'm not asking as a global worldwide question, but rather in a safe-to-believe-what-you-want-Western society. 

So this is why I do find the lengths people go to to convince me why I'm foolish to believe to be rather amusing.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #270 on: May 31, 2017, 03:11:51 PM »
In the end, why are people so hell bent on not believing and ridiculing the concept of belief when, as far as I have been able to tell, there is virtually no downside to believing in God and it not being true?

Caracarn - I know we just covered this a bit via PM, but I'm going to reiterate my response here since you asked the question publicly as well:


As I'm sure you're aware, that is Pascal's wager, and it would be a perfectly valid position were it not for the fact that there are over 10,000 different sects of Christianity, nevermind every other religion out there.
The same wager can be taken with any one of them. Pascal himself was a Catholic, I think, so he would have been using the wager to argue for the Catholic faith.

So, as far as what is the harm?  The harm is that you still have thousands upon thousands of negative afterlives that you are in danger of.
You may very well wind up in Muslim hell, or any other number of religion's ideas of a less than perfect afterlife.
So you may have actually spent a good part of your life angering the actual God through worship of a false one.

Or, alternatively, if there is no God and the only time we have is our time here on earth then every day becomes much more precious.
Meanwhile much of your limited time would have been spent following a false religion, studying false doctrine, and helping to spread it.

Often times religion also serves to divide people - which is a needless harm if it winds up being untrue.

Our beliefs shape our actions, and our actions shape our relationships, and our relationships make our lives.
Holding onto false beliefs most definitely can cause harm.

It can cause us to act for the wrong reasons, and it can cause harm in relationships based on falsehoods.
Yes, it can also do good... but your question was about harm.

Personally, I would like to believe as many true things as possible and as few false ones as possible.
In that way I would hope that my actions are rooted in what is true about reality.

Kris

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #271 on: May 31, 2017, 03:13:59 PM »
OK, so now that everyone has remained where they started, believing or unbelieving, let me toss out another question to the group, because this has always fascinated me, and I might just get more enlightened answers from this august body of debaters than others I have asked.

In the end, why are people so hell bent on not believing and ridiculing the concept of belief when, as far as I have been able to tell, there is virtually no downside to believing in God and it not being true?

I mean when you boil it down.  If I am wrong about all this and the rest of you are right, when I die, I'll just be dead.  But the impact on my life here on earth is not made worse in any way be believing.  I follow a set of principles that all societies generally agree with, maybe having a little less "fun" because I'm not having sex with everything that moves, watching a lot of sex, getting drunk or being cruel to people for my own enjoyment.   But in the end, it's a normal, fun filled life doing good things and being generally pleasant and helpful to people around me.  So believing seems like a choice with zero real, tangible negatives (I can feel you chomping at the bit her tyort, so stay with me).

On the other hand.  What if I'm right?  IF I chose not to believe when I died, I'd be in eternal torment.  If I did believe, I'd be in eternal joy.  And my life here on earth is exactly the same because I'm doing just fine as it is.

So to me, this has always been what has greatly intrigued me.  It seems that when I place a normal upside/downside ratio on the question, "Should I believe in God?" that there is literally no downside to doing it, but a massive upside possibility or at minimum zero upside as well.  It's one of the few decisions in life that has no tangible downside in this day in age in a country like the US.

Now to be fair to people like I think tyort would reply, for them there are psychological downsides because they might feel foolish, or want to avoid being ridiculed and do not take "sticks and stones" to heart and just not care, or some other intangible downside.  Also, I understand in certain areas of the world, belief in any God, not just the Christian God, has life and death implications, so I'm not asking as a global worldwide question, but rather in a safe-to-believe-what-you-want-Western society. 

So this is why I do find the lengths people go to to convince me why I'm foolish to believe to be rather amusing.

Sure. Pascal's wager.

Thing is, though, Caracarn, at the very least -- there is not only one religion in the world. So, believing in God is not enough, by your standards. If we don't believe in Christ, we get nothing.

Sure. "Why not believe in Christ, because what's the downside?" seems like a good question. But what about all the people who believe in their own religion -- fervently, even -- and don't get to be saved by your version of the story, because they "chose" the wrong one?

Also, as an aside: don't you think it's a little ridiculous, to say that you're "maybe having a little less fun" than people who don't believe your version of the story  "because I'm not having sex with everything that moves, watching a lot of sex, getting drunk or being cruel to people for my own enjoyment"? Are you seriously implying that the rest of us are doing all that crap? Because that's a pretty insulting statement. And also, are you seriously saying that the only reason you're NOT doing all that crap is because you are a Christian? Because that's a pretty sad statement of the limits of your own morality.

And as to the Pascal's wager part -- well, personally, if after having read and studied the religions of the world, and living on the earth for fifty years, and thinking about this stuff quite an awful lot, I could actually muster up enough belief that the story Christians tell themselves was potentially true, then eh... maybe I would manage to talk myself into just going with it on the off chance that I would get the big reward. But I frankly just can't. It's just too ridiculous. And yeah, there actually is a downside: living your whole life as a lie. Because if I get only one life, I don't want to devote most of my time and energy to something that literally does not exist. I would like to devote my life to things that I actually believe have meaning. And no, that's not "having sex with everything that moves, watching a lot of sex, getting drunk or being cruel to people for my own enjoyment." We each of us have to choose what we think is meaningful, and true, and important. And for me to spend 60-80 years of my life praying to something I have to basically lie to myself to make myself believe in? Well, at that point, aren't I kind of spiritually dead already?
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #272 on: May 31, 2017, 05:31:47 PM »
To your first point.  No one, not even the best Christian is capable of leading a blameless life. 

And who's fault is that? 

And works have nothing to do with your salvation, so what you "do" is irrelevant. 

Not true - you must accept Christ, that is certainly 'doing' something.

The rest of your argument continues to make sense only if this was made up, which you believe it is.  For those of us who believe it is not made up but just a statement of the way things work, we learn about the process, not complain about it.

I'm not arguing.  I'm merely pointing out that an omnipotent god can set things up however they want.  If humans don't live up to the divine standard, there certainly is someone at fault (hint, it's not the humans).
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Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #273 on: May 31, 2017, 05:33:25 PM »
I think we're all familiar with Pascal's Wager.

The LDS version of heaven is arguably better than regular Christian heaven, particularly if you are a white male.  If you follow all the rules, after death you get multiple wives and get to be god of your own planet.  The LDS have a tiered heaven system, without the eternal damnation of your more common variety of hell.  It's much more civilized, really.  Given the substantial improvement of getting your own planet to rule as god, why don't you choose to believe in the Mormon version of Christianity?  What have you got to lose?

What other things that have no evidence can you choose to believe?  Santa brings presents to those who believe.  Can you choose to believe in him?  What have you got to lose?

I totally disagree with the premise that religion is benign.




MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #274 on: May 31, 2017, 05:59:18 PM »
Given the substantial improvement of getting your own planet to rule as god, why don't you choose to believe in the Mormon version of Christianity?

Actually, given the logic of Pascal's wager I think the best strategy would be to become a believer of the religious sect with the worst view of hell.  The idea is to avoid the worst damnation, not necessarily reap the biggest reward.

It's like Bernstein says about investing - the goal is not to maximize the chances of getting rich, but to minimize the odds of dying poor.



(you like how I tied it back to MMM?)
:)

tyort1

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #275 on: May 31, 2017, 06:14:56 PM »
The LDS version of heaven is arguably better than regular Christian heaven, particularly if you are a white male.  If you follow all the rules, after death you get multiple wives and get to be god of your own planet. 

Seriously?  Man, I need to step up my my game with tyortism.   
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Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #276 on: May 31, 2017, 07:38:30 PM »
The LDS version of heaven is arguably better than regular Christian heaven, particularly if you are a white male.  If you follow all the rules, after death you get multiple wives and get to be god of your own planet. 

Seriously?  Man, I need to step up my my game with tyortism.
No beer or coffee in LDS heaven though.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #277 on: May 31, 2017, 09:10:56 PM »
FSM heaven is the best.  Beer volcanoes and stripper factories.  Have you been touched by His Noodly Appendage?
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MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #278 on: May 31, 2017, 09:49:46 PM »
FSM heaven is the best.  Beer volcanoes and stripper factories.  Have you been touched by His Noodly Appendage?



Father Dougal

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #279 on: June 01, 2017, 12:44:21 AM »

So believing seems like a choice with zero real, tangible negatives.

On the other hand.  What if I'm right?  IF I chose not to believe when I died, I'd be in eternal torment.  If I did believe, I'd be in eternal joy.  And my life here on earth is exactly the same because I'm doing just fine as it is.

So to me, this has always been what has greatly intrigued me.  It seems that when I place a normal upside/downside ratio on the question, "Should I believe in God?" that there is literally no downside to doing it, but a massive upside possibility or at minimum zero upside as well.  It's one of the few decisions in life that has no tangible downside in this day in age in a country like the US.


Belief as an insurance policy against Hell?  Jesus would know I was pretending.

There's another downside you missed.  If you are believing in the wrong religion, you are probably going to Hell anyway.  So belief might not be the insurance you think it is.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #280 on: June 01, 2017, 05:39:29 AM »
All interesting perspectives, and at least more thought out than what I usually hear when I ask people.

I did ask to present tangible (things I can physically touch) downsides.  Sure, there are all kinds of intangible issues one could  argue like feeling you wasted your time. 

So along those lines, my method was pretty straight forward.  I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.  Someone built this habitrail we live in and us as well.  After that is was investigating which claims had been scrutinized most and held up the best, and that where I settled on Christianity after two years of examining other religions.  Anything that had clear man-made rule changes got booted very quickly.  So Judaism was gone very fast, as well as all the meditation and reincarnation based beliefs.  If I got involved with anything regarding carnation it at least had to be strawberry flavored, otherwise it just was not worth it.  Catholicism is entirely focused on man-made "traditions", as they use that term a lot, and Protestant sects added on a lot of little things that made them feel good as well.  Also, have trouble with anything that starts so late as to almost definitely not be something observed to be true by people long ago, but by some random guy like Smith who says "let's go with LDS!"  So as I've said all along.  If compelling evidence comes along to get me to be certain that there are fallacies in what I believe that would then show me that my path was the wrong one.  Until that happens I'm at peace with the path I've chosen.

Pigeon

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #281 on: June 01, 2017, 05:53:50 AM »
So if something was made up by people relatively recently it's a no-go, but if it was made up by people a couple thousand years ago, it must be true.  OK then.

MasterStache

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #282 on: June 01, 2017, 07:04:22 AM »

 I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.

By the absolute worst "engineer" ever in the history of the universe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEl9kVl6KPc

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #283 on: June 01, 2017, 07:04:43 AM »
So if something was made up by people relatively recently it's a no-go, but if it was made up by people a couple thousand years ago, it must be true.  OK then.
It's just a difference in perspective.  I do not feel God is made up any more than one would feel that physical properties and laws are made up.  Just as science of psychology puts rigor around explaining various things, what is known as religious processes perform that same purpose to explaining things about a creator that some of us clearly feel must be there.  I'm not a quantum physics expert, but from what I understand of it, much of it is based on rules that seem to explain things but cannot be physically shown, i.e. we cannot actually observe a particle in two places at the same time, yet quantam physics tells us it happens.  So we have science that tells us this is so.  There is a lose parallel to religion here, but because I start with the fact the God communicated the Bible to man, it's not quite the same.  Beyond that I feel that there are things to show that things added more recently show a clearer path to being made up be people because they are not created in multiple places at the same time by people who had no way of knowing each other, so I'm skeptical when Joseph Smith says the Book of Mormon materialized one day just for him and therefore I should follow him and how all the cool new rules like planets and wives apply to someone that, wow, looks just like him! 

As MrDelane and I ended back our discussion when we started, to a great degree we don't know.  You believe all these things are made up, while I believe one of them is not.  At this time and place I cannot offer irrefutable proof for my claim any more than you can for yours.  We just each feel strongly about our claim.  My stance, and I would venture to guess, yours, is that until some more irrefutable proof appears, neither of us will change their claim.  I don't think you're foolish for not believing in God.  I'm not sure why (at least you imply with your post) need to feel that I am foolish for believing in God.  Going back to the Santa point made a few points back.  Why do people continue to give gifts even though they stop believing in Santa?  If it is a foolish notion but the behaviors coming out of it harm no one and are mainly beneficial, why attack others for their beliefs?

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #284 on: June 01, 2017, 07:10:35 AM »

 I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.

By the absolute worst "engineer" ever in the history of the universe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEl9kVl6KPc
I am big fan of Tyson.  He's fun and entertaining.  I just think in this case he's wrong.  I can't prove it.  And neither can her prove that he's right.  But to those looking for a reason to say we're nothing special and that someone life should exists elsewhere and orbits should be stable, he presents a compelling tale.  Science will never be able to prove or disprove God, because scientific discovery is based on observable, repeatable tests that can be verified by others.  I just continue to find it a little sad that all the skeptics choose to ridicule and attack people as foolish for not making the decision to not believe in God, while I've not seen a whole lot of believers taking the same tactic and making fun of non-believers for their lack of vision.  Bill Nye is another gentleman I enjoy a lot.  I just do not agree with everything he says.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 07:20:27 AM by caracarn »

ooeei

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #285 on: June 01, 2017, 07:12:42 AM »

So along those lines, my method was pretty straight forward.  I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.  Someone built this habitrail we live in and us as well.

The problem with that is it just ups the level by one.  If our world is so complex it had to be intelligently designed, doesn't it follow that the being that designed us is even more complex, and thus also had to be intelligently designed?  Then the being that designed that being is even more complex, and thus also had to be designed.

It's not that a god designing us is any less believable than us evolving based on the physical laws of the universe, it's that it doesn't actually solve the problem it is supposed to.  It only adds one layer to the complexity cake.

Father Dougal

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #286 on: June 01, 2017, 07:17:39 AM »
All interesting perspectives, and at least more thought out than what I usually hear when I ask people.

I did ask to present tangible (things I can physically touch) downsides.  Sure, there are all kinds of intangible issues one could  argue like feeling you wasted your time. 

So along those lines, my method was pretty straight forward.  I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.  Someone built this habitrail we live in and us as well.  After that is was investigating which claims had been scrutinized most and held up the best, and that where I settled on Christianity after two years of examining other religions.  Anything that had clear man-made rule changes got booted very quickly.  So Judaism was gone very fast, as well as all the meditation and reincarnation based beliefs.  If I got involved with anything regarding carnation it at least had to be strawberry flavored, otherwise it just was not worth it.  Catholicism is entirely focused on man-made "traditions", as they use that term a lot, and Protestant sects added on a lot of little things that made them feel good as well.  Also, have trouble with anything that starts so late as to almost definitely not be something observed to be true by people long ago, but by some random guy like Smith who says "let's go with LDS!"  So as I've said all along.  If compelling evidence comes along to get me to be certain that there are fallacies in what I believe that would then show me that my path was the wrong one.  Until that happens I'm at peace with the path I've chosen.

If I may be nosy, are you in a particular Church?  Sounds like the protestants and catholics are not your cup of tea.  Russian Orthodox?  Or are you a sort of independent Christian?

omachi

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #287 on: June 01, 2017, 07:18:29 AM »
Also, have trouble with anything that starts so late as to almost definitely not be something observed to be true by people long ago, but by some random guy like Smith who says "let's go with LDS!"

Wait, so this bothers you, but some random guy like Jesus who says "let's go with me!" doesn't? What is it about that time period that makes it seem to you like there would be a higher standard for truth? The reason we know Smith was full of it isn't because we are applying the same reasoning as some bronze or iron age civilization.

Anyway, you wanted downsides of belief. Well, if you want to believe in some nebulous concept of a god, go for it, but you hobble your own ability to understand the world. There's always the cop out of "god did it" when you don't know, and never an incentive to look past that. Gods were a great stand in for "I don't know" and humanity loved creating them for concepts they couldn't quite grasp as wide ranging as thunder, lightning, the sea, the forests, and everything else. We've moved beyond a lot of these as we figured out stuff like electricity is a thing and that there wasn't a god up in the clouds tossing lightning around. We've also stripped that power from the monotheistic gods, despite the clergy's protest that things like lightning rods were subverting god's divine will. Apparently enough churches being smote while other buildings were safe will get even the clergy past that mistaken belief, so the downside of that particular bit of ignorance won't likely affect you. Of course, you'll have to ask yourself what physical phenomena you might be willing to hand wave away. Maybe you think some god won't let our planet become an inhospitable hell? Certainly enough of those to go around that it could come out to be a downside.

There are those parents that think some god is going to spare their child, so they pass up actual medical help. A number of people that chose faith "healing" and neglected to get proper care for their children have gone to jail for the child's subsequent death. I'm not sure jail is appropriate for those folks. They're delusional, sure, but didn't seem intent on killing. Anyhow, certainly a downside of strong belief. Maybe you're more open to keeping god out of everyday life and will leave your god to the matters not involving the physical world.

If you want to formalize that belief into a religion, like so many seem to, then there are myriad more downsides. The number of people on this forum who feel compelled to hand the church 10% of their income seems like a pretty big downside. Maybe you'll pass the offering plate by and this won't be a downside for you, though then being ostracized by the rest of the congregation might be. If you do pay up, hopefully most of the money will go towards some good and not buying somebody a fancy car or a jet.

Religion has been a great historical tool for those in power, getting the believers behind political causes. Great proxy for the UK and Ireland, where people were being killed based on being Protestant or Catholic because it was so close to defining the sides. But the troubles have settled down, so no downside for you there. Crusades aren't modern so you're safe there. Giving the public an outside religious group to scapegoat so they'll go along with otherwise questionable political acts defies time though, and there is no shortage of it today. Could be a downside for you if you get swept up in it. Could be a downside for all of us if enough others will trade away our collective prosperity to persecute the outside group.

There are some big downsides for people that grow up religious and turn out to be gay. No shortage of problems for people that can't reconcile their upbringing telling them they're an abomination for their biological bent. No shortage of families torn apart for the same reason. But statistically you're probably not gay and probably won't have gay children, so for you individually it won't likely be a downside. And I'm sure you can separate your faith from your treatment of others, so you'll never experience the downside of not getting to know somebody because their actions conflict with your belief.

Religion provided great justification for slavery, and I'm pretty sure many of us are dealing with some of the downsides of that yet today. But maybe you live in a homogeneous community of people not adversely affected by that and haven't had to deal with any downsides.

There are plenty more downsides, but hopefully that's enough to provide an existence proof for you. Like with many things that change the balance of power, there are upsides for people as well. Maybe you're lucky enough to not be negatively affected by the touch of religion. Maybe you can call yourself faithful while picking and choosing only the bits you want so you won't fall victim to some of the downsides. I don't know, but it seems pretty silly to pretend that there are no downsides beyond just being wrong.

MasterStache

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #288 on: June 01, 2017, 07:21:53 AM »

 I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.

By the absolute worst "engineer" ever in the history of the universe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEl9kVl6KPc
I am big fan of Tyson.  He's fun and entertaining.  I just think in this case he's wrong.  I can't prove it.  And neither can her prove that he's right.  But to those looking for a reason to say we're nothing special and that someone life should exists elsewhere and orbits should be stable, he presents a compelling tale.  Science will never be able to prove or disprove God, because scientific discovery is based on observable, repeatable tests that can be verified by others.  I just continue to find it a little sad that all the skeptics choose to ridicule and attack people as foolish for not believing in God, while I've not seen a whole lot of believers taking the same tactic and making fun of non-believers for their lack of vision.  Bill Nye is another gentleman I enjoy a lot.  I just do not agree with everything he says.

He laid out the groundwork for how hellish and unfathomably terrible the overwhelming vast majority of the Universe actually is. And our very own planet as well. And the fact that our solar system will cease to be one day (as will our planet). Hell even the human body has some terrible designs. Much of them leading to massive suffering and death.

There is nothing intelligent about it. Nothing special about it. It's indescribably bad. The worst allegedly "engineered system" one can fathom.

Not sure why you claimed he is wrong. What is he wrong about? The livability of the Universe? The collision course of our galaxy into another? The timeline of multi-cellular life? Perhaps the playground next to the sewage dump (my favorite factoid)? He wasn't claiming intelligent design is wrong. Just that it's so horribly, unfathomably bad.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #289 on: June 01, 2017, 07:22:49 AM »

So along those lines, my method was pretty straight forward.  I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.  Someone built this habitrail we live in and us as well.

The problem with that is it just ups the level by one.  If our world is so complex it had to be intelligently designed, doesn't it follow that the being that designed us is even more complex, and thus also had to be intelligently designed?  Then the being that designed that being is even more complex, and thus also had to be designed.

It's not that a god designing us is any less believable than us evolving based on the physical laws of the universe, it's that it doesn't actually solve the problem it is supposed to.  It only adds one layer to the complexity cake.
Not if He just is, was and always will be.  Again, you're using logic, which I totally appreciate, but there is nothing that demands the God conform to our understanding, we'd just like it to be that way.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #290 on: June 01, 2017, 07:26:42 AM »
All interesting perspectives, and at least more thought out than what I usually hear when I ask people.

I did ask to present tangible (things I can physically touch) downsides.  Sure, there are all kinds of intangible issues one could  argue like feeling you wasted your time. 

So along those lines, my method was pretty straight forward.  I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.  Someone built this habitrail we live in and us as well.  After that is was investigating which claims had been scrutinized most and held up the best, and that where I settled on Christianity after two years of examining other religions.  Anything that had clear man-made rule changes got booted very quickly.  So Judaism was gone very fast, as well as all the meditation and reincarnation based beliefs.  If I got involved with anything regarding carnation it at least had to be strawberry flavored, otherwise it just was not worth it.  Catholicism is entirely focused on man-made "traditions", as they use that term a lot, and Protestant sects added on a lot of little things that made them feel good as well.  Also, have trouble with anything that starts so late as to almost definitely not be something observed to be true by people long ago, but by some random guy like Smith who says "let's go with LDS!"  So as I've said all along.  If compelling evidence comes along to get me to be certain that there are fallacies in what I believe that would then show me that my path was the wrong one.  Until that happens I'm at peace with the path I've chosen.

If I may be nosy, are you in a particular Church?  Sounds like the protestants and catholics are not your cup of tea.  Russian Orthodox?  Or are you a sort of independent Christian?
Yes I am.  A Christian church, what is typically called non-denominational, but I've been part of other non-denominational churches as well and there are still at time things added on to Bible teaching.  Our pastor uses the term "first century church" with the intent to mean that we operate on the level of what the original churches of the Bible like Ephesus, Thessalonica and such would have been like, a circle of believers learning everything they can about God and living life as He guides through the Bible.  Not sure how else to explain it.  It's just pretty basic.

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #291 on: June 01, 2017, 07:48:33 AM »
Not if He just is, was and always will be.  Again, you're using logic, which I totally appreciate, but there is nothing that demands the God conform to our understanding, we'd just like it to be that way.

So basically we can't understand it, except it must be intelligent, we understand that, because of logic.

If we can't explain it we can't explain it.  You seem to assume he/she/it/whatever is intelligent, why is that?  If it doesn't conform to logic, it could very well be extremely unintelligent, or intelligence not even be a thing.  It seems to me that once we say something is outside of our ability to understand it, we don't get to assume its characteristics. 

 

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #292 on: June 01, 2017, 07:51:04 AM »
As MrDelane and I ended back our discussion when we started, to a great degree we don't know.  You believe all these things are made up, while I believe one of them is not.  At this time and place I cannot offer irrefutable proof for my claim any more than you can for yours.  We just each feel strongly about our claim.  My stance, and I would venture to guess, yours, is that until some more irrefutable proof appears, neither of us will change their claim.

You seem to be painting both positions as simply different but equal stances, and that is not the case at all.

The burden of proof is on the person who makes a positive claim.
If you cannot offer proof for a claim then you are simply not justified in holding it.
And rejecting a claim does not mean you are accepting the contrary.
This is not my opinion, these are the fundamentals of logic.

Going back to my jelly bean example from earlier - if there is a jar of jelly beans which we cannot examine or count and we are asked "Do you believe the number of jelly beans are even?"

If you claim they are even, you are not justified in that belief.
And, if you do not claim they are even that does not mean you are claiming they are odd.

Not accepting a claim does not require any proof or evidence. The default position for any claim is to not accept it until the evidence warrants it.

Accepting any claim (for example, 'God exists' or 'God does not exist') would require proof.

I have no problem with you stating that you believe without proof - in fact I appreciate the honesty.
But please do not present our positions as being equally justified in regards to reasonability.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #293 on: June 01, 2017, 07:57:01 AM »
Also, have trouble with anything that starts so late as to almost definitely not be something observed to be true by people long ago, but by some random guy like Smith who says "let's go with LDS!"

Wait, so this bothers you, but some random guy like Jesus who says "let's go with me!" doesn't? What is it about that time period that makes it seem to you like there would be a higher standard for truth? The reason we know Smith was full of it isn't because we are applying the same reasoning as some bronze or iron age civilization.

Anyway, you wanted downsides of belief. Well, if you want to believe in some nebulous concept of a god, go for it, but you hobble your own ability to understand the world. There's always the cop out of "god did it" when you don't know, and never an incentive to look past that. Gods were a great stand in for "I don't know" and humanity loved creating them for concepts they couldn't quite grasp as wide ranging as thunder, lightning, the sea, the forests, and everything else. We've moved beyond a lot of these as we figured out stuff like electricity is a thing and that there wasn't a god up in the clouds tossing lightning around. We've also stripped that power from the monotheistic gods, despite the clergy's protest that things like lightning rods were subverting god's divine will. Apparently enough churches being smote while other buildings were safe will get even the clergy past that mistaken belief, so the downside of that particular bit of ignorance won't likely affect you. Of course, you'll have to ask yourself what physical phenomena you might be willing to hand wave away. Maybe you think some god won't let our planet become an inhospitable hell? Certainly enough of those to go around that it could come out to be a downside.

There are those parents that think some god is going to spare their child, so they pass up actual medical help. A number of people that chose faith "healing" and neglected to get proper care for their children have gone to jail for the child's subsequent death. I'm not sure jail is appropriate for those folks. They're delusional, sure, but didn't seem intent on killing. Anyhow, certainly a downside of strong belief. Maybe you're more open to keeping god out of everyday life and will leave your god to the matters not involving the physical world.

If you want to formalize that belief into a religion, like so many seem to, then there are myriad more downsides. The number of people on this forum who feel compelled to hand the church 10% of their income seems like a pretty big downside. Maybe you'll pass the offering plate by and this won't be a downside for you, though then being ostracized by the rest of the congregation might be. If you do pay up, hopefully most of the money will go towards some good and not buying somebody a fancy car or a jet.

Religion has been a great historical tool for those in power, getting the believers behind political causes. Great proxy for the UK and Ireland, where people were being killed based on being Protestant or Catholic because it was so close to defining the sides. But the troubles have settled down, so no downside for you there. Crusades aren't modern so you're safe there. Giving the public an outside religious group to scapegoat so they'll go along with otherwise questionable political acts defies time though, and there is no shortage of it today. Could be a downside for you if you get swept up in it. Could be a downside for all of us if enough others will trade away our collective prosperity to persecute the outside group.

There are some big downsides for people that grow up religious and turn out to be gay. No shortage of problems for people that can't reconcile their upbringing telling them they're an abomination for their biological bent. No shortage of families torn apart for the same reason. But statistically you're probably not gay and probably won't have gay children, so for you individually it won't likely be a downside. And I'm sure you can separate your faith from your treatment of others, so you'll never experience the downside of not getting to know somebody because their actions conflict with your belief.

Religion provided great justification for slavery, and I'm pretty sure many of us are dealing with some of the downsides of that yet today. But maybe you live in a homogeneous community of people not adversely affected by that and haven't had to deal with any downsides.

There are plenty more downsides, but hopefully that's enough to provide an existence proof for you. Like with many things that change the balance of power, there are upsides for people as well. Maybe you're lucky enough to not be negatively affected by the touch of religion. Maybe you can call yourself faithful while picking and choosing only the bits you want so you won't fall victim to some of the downsides. I don't know, but it seems pretty silly to pretend that there are no downsides beyond just being wrong.
It goes back to the basicness of it all and keeping it simple.  Have men used religious "beliefs" (which they made up and added on, not that are actually written about) to couch a lot of decisions that cost people  their lives etc. Yes.  The whole way out of that was the Protestant churches saying that each person should have their own Bible and study it.  Prior to that, you had to rely on the clergy to tell you what the Bible said, because you usually had no access to one, were illiterate or could not afford it.  This allowed those in charge to toy with power.  The difference in worldview I have from that, is that is not God causing that, or belief in God causing that, because what they were believing it in distortions at best and blatant fabrications at worst. 

I'm not going to rehash, the same points I've made before about why I believe the Bible to be accurate.  I've gone into it in more detail with MrDelane after we took the detailed discussion offline for lack of interest, but the basic disconnect he had, and had the aha moment, was when I am arguing "accurate" I'm not saying that everything written there has been proven true.  I believe over time it is, and more and more of it will be proven to be so, but there are things that we just cannot show such as Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt.  There would be not evidence we can find today that will ever be discovered that would show that.  No photograph of Lot taking a selfie with his now-pillar wife will be found.  No wall carving will be unearthed.  But you can no more prove it did not happen than anyone can prove it did.  You just choose to not believe and I choose to believe because I believe the the Bible is God's Word to us, He cannot lie, and therefore what is said in it is true.  I'll ask the same question of the broader forum that I asked MrDelane in this regard as a possible thing that could one day be discovered.  Let's say they one day they find buried Egyptian chariots at the bottom the Red Sea, and that in someway, I don't know we discover a way to do this exploration so cheaply that is costs nothing, or that some massive funding occurs and they explore the entire sea bed of the Red Sea, and they find that the chariots only exist in a single thin line, but nowhere else in the entire body of water.  Would that be something that would at least sway you to think, "Hmm, now here is something that directly aligns with the claim in Exodus that God parted the Red Sea and drowned the Egyptian army there"?  My guess is, even with that type of evidence it would immediately be relegated to the rubbish heap of weird coincidences that do not prove anything to you.  So point being, while I believe this did happen because it is in the Bible, my claim of accuracy is the overwhelming evidence that what we have in our hands today is the same thing that someone dating back to the time these were written would have had in their hand.  I can't show you that what is in them is all accurate, but there are thousands of copies of Bible pages going back thousand of years that are exactly the same that have been found an chronicled.   That is more proven with the Bible than any other historical document, religious or non-religious.  Does it proves Jesus is God?  No.  Does it prove all the things a skeptic doubts, no.  But that is why the "age" of the argument works for me.  No other religious work can make that claim as well as the Bible can, and so that sways me to feel that I should give it more weight than documents which have had more recent additions or creations.

I have seen no references in the Bible to lightning being tossed by gods.  Conflating all religions together are one entity, makes for easy things to attack, but Greek pagan mythology and the Bible never conflated.  While certain behaviors are listed clearly by God as sins, no where in the New Testament (again the part that applies to this dispensation we live in now) is death or ostracization required or even suggested for any sin.  We are to continue to love the individual, but not condone the behavior.  Choosing the split apart families is a misunderstanding of the Scripture, one that I admit many people and churches make, but again I do not view it as a condemnation of God nor therefore a downside.  This behavior and those decisions are made by people against the teaching of Scripture.

So I'm not simplifying to make my point.  At the heart of Scripture God's direction is very simple.  It is man who conflates and creates wrong assumptions about application that cause all the "downsides" you speak of.  Man adds the complexity where there is none. 

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #294 on: June 01, 2017, 08:04:19 AM »

 I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.

By the absolute worst "engineer" ever in the history of the universe?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEl9kVl6KPc
I am big fan of Tyson.  He's fun and entertaining.  I just think in this case he's wrong.  I can't prove it.  And neither can her prove that he's right.  But to those looking for a reason to say we're nothing special and that someone life should exists elsewhere and orbits should be stable, he presents a compelling tale.  Science will never be able to prove or disprove God, because scientific discovery is based on observable, repeatable tests that can be verified by others.  I just continue to find it a little sad that all the skeptics choose to ridicule and attack people as foolish for not believing in God, while I've not seen a whole lot of believers taking the same tactic and making fun of non-believers for their lack of vision.  Bill Nye is another gentleman I enjoy a lot.  I just do not agree with everything he says.

He laid out the groundwork for how hellish and unfathomably terrible the overwhelming vast majority of the Universe actually is. And our very own planet as well. And the fact that our solar system will cease to be one day (as will our planet). Hell even the human body has some terrible designs. Much of them leading to massive suffering and death.

There is nothing intelligent about it. Nothing special about it. It's indescribably bad. The worst allegedly "engineered system" one can fathom.

Not sure why you claimed he is wrong. What is he wrong about? The livability of the Universe? The collision course of our galaxy into another? The timeline of multi-cellular life? Perhaps the playground next to the sewage dump (my favorite factoid)? He wasn't claiming intelligent design is wrong. Just that it's so horribly, unfathomably bad.

Perhaps the title placed on the YouTube video is not Tyson's point, but I took it to be that as I have seen him argue that same case, the "intelligent design is stupid", i.e. that believing that what he views as such a poor system is stupid, i.e. he does not believe in intelligent design.  I've clearly heard him state he does not believe in intelligent design in other lectures.  This is why I claim he is wrong.  I think many things are poorly designed, but I do not use that to indicate that they were not designed.  And I also leave open the possibility that maybe it is me that is too stupid to understand the reason it was designed that way.  That's also where I believe Tyson is wrong.  I take the stance that all these "design flaws" as he likely would describe the are just not understood by us from our self-centric viewpoint that things needs to be designed for us.

caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #295 on: June 01, 2017, 08:11:51 AM »
As MrDelane and I ended back our discussion when we started, to a great degree we don't know.  You believe all these things are made up, while I believe one of them is not.  At this time and place I cannot offer irrefutable proof for my claim any more than you can for yours.  We just each feel strongly about our claim.  My stance, and I would venture to guess, yours, is that until some more irrefutable proof appears, neither of us will change their claim.

You seem to be painting both positions as simply different but equal stances, and that is not the case at all.

The burden of proof is on the person who makes a positive claim.
If you cannot offer proof for a claim then you are simply not justified in holding it.
And rejecting a claim does not mean you are accepting the contrary.
This is not my opinion, these are the fundamentals of logic.

Going back to my jelly bean example from earlier - if there is a jar of jelly beans which we cannot examine or count and we are asked "Do you believe the number of jelly beans are even?"

If you claim they are even, you are not justified in that belief.
And, if you do not claim they are even that does not mean you are claiming they are odd.

Not accepting a claim does not require any proof or evidence. The default position for any claim is to not accept it until the evidence warrants it.

Accepting any claim (for example, 'God exists' or 'God does not exist') would require proof.

I have no problem with you stating that you believe without proof - in fact I appreciate the honesty.
But please do not present our positions as being equally justified in regards to reasonability.

Now I'm lost.  The only piece of the above statement that applied to you was that (and which I believe you stated yourself in our discussion and I'm reproducing here for clarity 'It seems we have come full circle - the time to accept a claim is when the evidence supports it.  Up until that point all we can say is, ‘we don’t know.’) first sentence.  Everything else was replying to the poster I was responding to, but to any of your positions.

MasterStache

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #296 on: June 01, 2017, 08:12:02 AM »
Perhaps the title placed on the YouTube video is not Tyson's point, but I took it to be that as I have seen him argue that same case, the "intelligent design is stupid", i.e. that believing that what he views as such a poor system is stupid, i.e. he does not believe in intelligent design.  I've clearly heard him state he does not believe in intelligent design in other lectures.  This is why I claim he is wrong.  I think many things are poorly designed, but I do not use that to indicate that they were not designed.  And I also leave open the possibility that maybe it is me that is too stupid to understand the reason it was designed that way.  That's also where I believe Tyson is wrong.  I take the stance that all these "design flaws" as he likely would describe the are just not understood by us from our self-centric viewpoint that things needs to be designed for us.

No the title is appropriate. Not sure how you san spin childbirth deaths, asteroids, volcanoes, tsunamis, disease etc. into something positive. Or the eventual complete catastrophic loss of all life (But hey look on the brightside......). It's perfectly understandable, from a scientific point of view. It's only not understandable to those who claim it was "designed that way."

Tyson presents valid and excellent fact based evidence as to why intelligent design is quite literally, stupid.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #297 on: June 01, 2017, 08:15:16 AM »
Not if He just is, was and always will be.  Again, you're using logic, which I totally appreciate, but there is nothing that demands the God conform to our understanding, we'd just like it to be that way.

In the same moment that you say you appreciate the use of logic you are using special pleading to justify God.

To be clear, you claim:
Quote
I could not make the leap that this all just happened by random chance, therefore I was set in the direction of intelligent design.

So because one thing seemed too complex and impossible, you then became convinced of a more complex and unintelligible thing which would explain it?

As I said earlier, you cannot solve a mystery by appealing to a greater mystery.
It solves nothing and is not justified through logic or reason.


caracarn

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #298 on: June 01, 2017, 08:17:56 AM »
Not if He just is, was and always will be.  Again, you're using logic, which I totally appreciate, but there is nothing that demands the God conform to our understanding, we'd just like it to be that way.

So basically we can't understand it, except it must be intelligent, we understand that, because of logic.

If we can't explain it we can't explain it.  You seem to assume he/she/it/whatever is intelligent, why is that?  If it doesn't conform to logic, it could very well be extremely unintelligent, or intelligence not even be a thing.  It seems to me that once we say something is outside of our ability to understand it, we don't get to assume its characteristics.
I'm not assuming anything.  I believe what God says about himself.  You just implied that in your mind the designer must be designed,which sure sounded like you using logic.  God never said "I used intelligent design" that we how humans trying to describe what he did called it.  God speaks in the Bible, He comes down to Earth as Jesus, He spent six days doing things in a specific order.  It appears intelligent to me, but if you want to think it's extremely unintelligent, that fine.  I again, can't disprove your stance.  I'm just explaining mine is based on the first chapter of Genesis.

MrDelane

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Re: That's me in the corner... losing my religion.
« Reply #299 on: June 01, 2017, 08:19:27 AM »
Now I'm lost.  The only piece of the above statement that applied to you was that (and which I believe you stated yourself in our discussion and I'm reproducing here for clarity 'It seems we have come full circle - the time to accept a claim is when the evidence supports it.  Up until that point all we can say is, ‘we don’t know.’) first sentence.  Everything else was replying to the poster I was responding to, but to any of your positions.

I am the only one saying 'we don't know.'

Unless you have changed your mind in the past few posts, you are claiming to know something, or at a minimum you are holding as true something for which you know you have no proof.

The point is, our positions are not equal in regards to justification or reasonability.