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The Big Question

Are you a believer?

  • Atheist

    Votes: 21 56.8%
  • Agnostic

    Votes: 9 24.3%
  • Believer

    Votes: 7 18.9%

  • Total voters
    37

CMonster

Active Member
Joey said:
I don't have to worry about where I'll be after I die, or even worry about death as much as others might.
You realise atheists have less reason to worry about death than you do, right?

I mean, you have to worry about all the sin in your life. The unavoidable sin, and whether you've done enough to counteract it, whether or not you'll be judged to be a good person.

Yeah, that seems to make sense.

The only thing is, I don't believe that at all. See, I don't believe that you need to be "good enough" in order to get your ticket from God to enter Heaven instead of Hell.

No one is "good enough" to get to Heaven by themselves, through their own good works. To get to Heaven by ourselves requires absolute perfection. And you're absolutely right, sin is unavoidable. It's part of being human. Nobody's perfect. And that is what God requires to get in.

In the Old Testament of the Bible, before Jesus was born, before the Greeks and Romans conquered Israel, the way for the Jews to make up for their sins was to sacrifice perfect, unblemished animals to God. Here is where you're right. They had to make sure they were doing enough to satisfy God's requirements.

Once Jesus came and died, the game changed. According to the Biblical account, He died to take on the sins of the whole world. He was the final sacrifice. He was perfect, and thus good enough to account for all sin, then and now. He cleaned our slate, gave us new life when we were dead in our sins.

So, now I don't need to worry about doing enough "good" things to get to Heaven. While I still try not to sin, its not to ensure a supernatural pass, but to please the God I love with all my heart. And I'm not perfect. I sin all the time, but through His death Jesus Christ forgave me and continues to forgive me.

The way to Heaven isn't through good works. It's through believing that we need a savior, and that Christ died on the cross to be that savior, to take our sins on Himself, and then conquered death just a few days later by rising again. Now, there's nothing wrong with doing good, and living in Christ should bring about good works. But that's not the key. All it takes is Jesus.

So, that's what I believe (sorry for no TL;DR ;) ). In addition, I believe that once I have this gift of salvation, I can't ever lose it. That's where my assurance comes from.

Joey said:
Why is it that religious people think that atheists live in trembling fear of death? Is it because you think we should?

Also, I wanna take this moment to derail into a semi-related point. A lot of people think that a concept of an afterlife aids them. Makes them feel safe, makes them feel better about lost friends or family. It doesn't. It makes it worse. It makes you dwell in it through the avoidance by not accepting that something or someone has gone. When someone dies, the grief we feel is entirely selfish. They are gone, incapable of any thought or feeling. That is a humbling thought, and a calming one once you realise they have no capacity to miss you, or feel pain, or be judged by some omnipotent twat.

My point is less that "im right and you're wrong" and more that I'd like it if you stopped believing that atheists fear what happens after they die, or live miserable lives without God. Cuz we just don't. In fact, statistics show we're happier.

I've never actually consciously thought that atheists are afraid of death. I suppose, now that you mention it, I might have assumed that for some reason. Perhaps its because you see so many of those "Repent or go to Hell" people who scream at large crowds (which I dislike and think is not an effective way of evangelizing), I've kind of made an unconscious connection.

I guess, just by the nature of what atheists believe, there isn't room to fear an afterlife (unless you're afraid of nothingness).

And I don't believe that those in Heaven mourn for those still on Earth, simply because I believe they are now in the presence of a perfect, Holy, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God, and they'd rather train their thoughts on Him than on earthly matters. Plus, time is relative, so there might not even be a chance to miss loved ones who die later.

Hope I got my point across, I guess I'm kind of wordy. :p
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
No that was a great response, not too wordy at all. Nice explanation.

But now I'm left wondering if Jesus truly was the last sacrifice to account for all human sin...

Who goes to hell these days? Surely that means I have nothing to worry about either way? :p

And why do women still have periods? I thought those were to cover eve's sin?

And why does bad **** happen?

Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
UC, I'm not going to dissect your post, I simply don't have the time, or conviction really, but I'll wrap it up in this from Joey because he asked.
Joey said:
So, humans don't have the capacity to understand god. Sounds logical.

Until you wonder, why then, did we come up with the idea... Out of nowhere? That's a pretty epic coincidence.

It just always goes back to that. Why make some stuff up on the off chance its true?

I guess the reply would be that god has given us some inkling? But then this turns into making up reasons, without any evidence, as we go along to fuel the otherwise illogical notion. It makes no ounce of sense.

Beliefs are as varied as people, and getting the right one if any were true would be near impossible chance.

That's why its almost certain, beyond all reasonable doubt, that there is no god, no afterlife or anything that any human has, in the history of humans, made up about the subject.

If that wasn't well worded, apologies. I tired. I appoint Phil to rephrase in an intelligent and convincing manner. :p (in fact if he could do that with every post of mine, that would be great)

We dropped into an argument over the validity of religion which I'm not 100% keen on. Belief and religion do need to be taken as two separate things. It's just that logically, in a world with recurring tales of magicians and dragons, it's hard to think that any religion is much more than anything other than some form of story or crowd control (as Sue puts it). It was once believed that the king was "all powerful", which is a neat way of ensuring your power. How easy for this concept to become corrupted over time to become a God, in the same way we can assume dinosaur bones became the source of tales of dragons? As I say, I'm not comfortable with the argument though as it's far too wishy-washy. It's a "put doubt on" approach which I dislike and the easy answer is simply that God directs each of his groups of children in the way that best suits them. So Buddhists follow a different religious mantra to Muslims, etc.

I did mention before though (to help Joey here) and the issue is that the argument is circular. If you believe in God, then you can believe that he helped create the religious texts and push each religion in the right direction, so we know God exists, which means we can believe in the religious texts. You have to have belief before you can believe in religion. Once you're slotted in, it's fine. The opposite is then also true, if you don't believe in God, then religion is a complete fabrication.

However... I'll move on in a bit on something similar...

danielfitzgerald99 said:
If you unplug the ariel the TV can't function. That's right. The body isn't functioning either because it's dead. The signal is still there though and being picked up by other TV's. What if there is just one universal soul and we're all connected to it? Much like your internet analogy really. Once you're session is up the internet leaves your computer and just exists as the same global internet that was always there. New people will buy computers and connect to it and so on.

See, I find that approach to be completely backwards. We know (and as a psychology student you definitely know) that our personality is the end of a world template created as we grow and as our brains and environments change and develop around us. We know that our perception of the world is generated by abstract inputs and sorted by our neural pathways. Where is the input? If I was ex-communicated by the Pope (it's possible ;) ), then should I simply become an empty shell? When I am unconscious, am I cut off from this universal soul? Do I return to it in my dead like state? What, is the actual point? What does this mean for me as a "signal receiver"?

The brain is massively complex and we're aware of this, and how fragile it can be (as Joey mentions, how small knocks and breaks can completely change a personality).

UC said:
One of my favorite nods to this stream of thought is in MIB2, with the locker people - their entire world is contained inside a locker, with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones being their "Gods." This running joke continues throughout the movie, and at the end, WS and TLJ kick open a door that says "do not enter" - only to find out that their - our - entire universe, is contained within a locker.

I think this is actually ones of the most head-messing concepts you can have, and certainly something you don't want to start thinking about late at night ;)

The thing is, when you play "The Sims", do you feel bad at night when you turn your PC off? Do you wonder what's going through the algorithms of those little computer people? No, they're just off and you don't care. You know that they're just a collection of lines of codes in a world made of code that is designed to act and react in specific patterns.

How do we know that we don't live in an infinitely more intricate computer generated world? God is simply a pimply code monkey and dying is simply the product of an "end of loop" command? In the cockroach example, there is a God, and his name is Doctor_Furie and he's bred you from an egg and is about to see how many million rads you can absorb before you croak. Just because there's the chance of something bigger out there creating us, it doesn't necessarily follow he's benevolent and caring. We could be nothing more than a fungal infection in his nether regions and one day he'll Caneston us all off the crotch of discomfort.

UC said:
Personally, I find the view that there is nothing to be a bit more "offensive" and "ignorant" than the view that there is. If you accept that there is nothing, then you must feel that humans ourselves are the ultimate pinnacle of everything we know...and I find that view of superiority to be quite...big-headed. I think at the very least, one should never make their views so narrow-minded that they eliminate the possibility that we are a part of the chain, not the top of it.

The thing is, we can see through evolution that we are at least one of the top species to have developed on the planet. Almost all living things share genetic code and we ARE the pinnacle of earth evolution in terms of our ability to think and manipulate our world. It's not arrogance, it's just the truth. We have the same brain core as an alligator, but we're not an alligator in the way we think.

That doesn't however mean we're the best it gets. There's a near infinite universe out there and it's not just a guarantee we're not the only life, but it's pretty much guaranteed we're not the best.

Jake said:
I also agree with UC, and have thought about the concept of intelligence many times before. It's impossible to imagine being more intelligent than you already are, so for all we know our entire biosphere could be being watched by more intelligent beings, who are laughing at us for not being intelligent enough to work it out. We do it to other creatures who aren't aware, so it's not crazy AT ALL to think of us as being those creatures. It's hard to explain, haha.

Any civilization that has a technology considerably far advanced over another will appear as magicians or Gods (paraphrasing).

CMonster said:
Okay, yeah, I phrased that wrong. :p

Yes, my parents introduced me to Christianity all throughout my childhood, and those influences helped me believe that I was a Christian ever since I was little.

As I grew older, though, they encouraged me to ask questions about my faith, to do my own research and come up with my own answers. So while I was "indoctrinated" (for lack of a better word at the moment (maybe influenced is better?)), I believe my faith is my own.

And honestly, even if I was indoctrinated, I'd be thankful for it, because I'm secure in the belief that I'm a Christian and will end up in Heaven praising Christ. I don't have to worry about where I'll be after I die, or even worry about death as much as others might.

And coming back to the original point I started with :)

Now, please, I'm not trying to knock you or test your faith or anything so don't take this as some kind of test or anything :lol: I'm certainly not trying to persuade you away, your choice is yours alone :)

The problem I have is that the Bible is almost certainly in doubt. The texts are at best mistranslated; at worst, they're just much later fabrications. I've no doubt that a "Jesus" existed at around the time, but the gospels weren't written down for hundreds of years. There is no contemporary account of Jesus' time, it's all been handed down and we know what Chinese whispers are like. The problem is taking the text as, well, as Gospel.

I am soft on this though, religion is about more than the minute details in the bibles, it's a code for living and actually much more ambiguous. The problem comes when bibles are treated as strict laws to be adhered to, and quotes from an inaccurate bit of writing is used to benefit one belief and ruin another's.

As I say, the argument is that God helped create the religions for each to join in a way to worship Him that best suited the individuals. Personally I believe that each religion was created to benefit individuals, how cynical of me ;)

The other issue is the "questioning" of faith. Essentially what you're saying is "I only like Chinese food". When asked what other food you've tried, the reply is "none, but I've read about them (and I once talked to an Indian waiter, but he smelled of garlic and I didn't like his moustache)". The only food for you is Chinese, forever. It seems a little narrow doesn't it? Unless you actually leave your comfort zone and experience the other ways (and I mean experience) and discuss theology with them, then you are knobbled. You're only questioning in a way that you already have answers to. The answer to "why does God let bad things happen to good people" will be answered differently by different religions. It's a good question and I'm sure you've got a good Christian answer for it, but it doesn't mean it's the only satisfactory answer.

However, there's a lot of Chinese food and if you're personally satisfied with it, then nobody has the right to say you shouldn't eat it any more, or that you should force yourself to try something else. It's just as long as you're aware that you've essentially put yourself into a box. There's nothing worse than lying to yourself (though I think that you're probably totally aware and you're certainly very bright and settled in your life - so fair play :) ).
 

CMonster

Active Member
furie said:
And coming back to the original point I started with :)

Now, please, I'm not trying to knock you or test your faith or anything so don't take this as some kind of test or anything :lol: I'm certainly not trying to persuade you away, your choice is yours alone :)

The problem I have is that the Bible is almost certainly in doubt. The texts are at best mistranslated; at worst, they're just much later fabrications. I've no doubt that a "Jesus" existed at around the time, but the gospels weren't written down for hundreds of years. There is no contemporary account of Jesus' time, it's all been handed down and we know what Chinese whispers are like. The problem is taking the text as, well, as Gospel.

I am soft on this though, religion is about more than the minute details in the bibles, it's a code for living and actually much more ambiguous. The problem comes when bibles are treated as strict laws to be adhered to, and quotes from an inaccurate bit of writing is used to benefit one belief and ruin another's.

As I say, the argument is that God helped create the religions for each to join in a way to worship Him that best suited the individuals. Personally I believe that each religion was created to benefit individuals, how cynical of me ;)

The other issue is the "questioning" of faith. Essentially what you're saying is "I only like Chinese food". When asked what other food you've tried, the reply is "none, but I've read about them (and I once talked to an Indian waiter, but he smelled of garlic and I didn't like his moustache)". The only food for you is Chinese, forever. It seems a little narrow doesn't it? Unless you actually leave your comfort zone and experience the other ways (and I mean experience) and discuss theology with them, then you are knobbled. You're only questioning in a way that you already have answers to. The answer to "why does God let bad things happen to good people" will be answered differently by different religions. It's a good question and I'm sure you've got a good Christian answer for it, but it doesn't mean it's the only satisfactory answer.

However, there's a lot of Chinese food and if you're personally satisfied with it, then nobody has the right to say you shouldn't eat it any more, or that you should force yourself to try something else. It's just as long as you're aware that you've essentially put yourself into a box. There's nothing worse than lying to yourself (though I think that you're probably totally aware and you're certainly very bright and settled in your life - so fair play :) ).

I definitely see where you're coming from with the food analogy. I guess my reply to that goes back to the fact that you can't prove God's existence (unless he decides to visit, and even then people won't believe you). This is true for every religion and belief. Like said before, we don't know whether we're alone here, just a process of evolution, or unknowing participants in some massive cosmic experiment (three blind mice from Douglas Adam's books, anyone?). Religion operates on blind faith (and all true faith is blind by definition).

What reason would I have to think another belief was more correct than mine? While it's easy to eat Chinese food one day, burgers and fries the next, and Italian the day after that, the same doesn't apply to different religions and beliefs. I can't "sample" Hinduism (though I can study it) and act Hindu and believe their theologies, then switch the next day to Islam. Although I can compare and contrast different religions, I can't "try out" one each day. Faith doesn't really work like that, I don't think. (Let me know if I've completely misinterpreted what you were trying to say, I do that sometimes :p).

As far as I know, my beliefs are correct. And I've seen the effects of accepting Christ in both my life and others. It's amazing seeing people make a complete 180 in their life after a simple prayer. This also leads to your point about the Biblical inaccuracies. I do have a reply to that, but I'll do some research first to back myself up (if you're still interested at that point :wink: ).

As to the second and third sentence, don't worry I wasn't thinking that. This topic is very interesting though, and I love practicing what I learned in my rhetoric class in real life. :lol:

Joey said:
No that was a great response, not too wordy at all. Nice explanation.

But now I'm left wondering if Jesus truly was the last sacrifice to account for all human sin...

And why do women still have periods? I thought those were to cover eve's sin?

And why does bad **** happen?

Though He was the last sacrifice, He accounted for our sins, but didn't eliminate all sin from the world. That story isn't finished yet. When He comes back for His second coming, that's when He'll defeat sin once and for all.

As to periods, I take it you mean this reference? "He said to the woman [Eve]: 'I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish...'" (Genesis 3:16a). I'd say that was a result of sin, not an atonement for sin.

Bad stuff still happens because there's still sin in the world (going back to the first point).

Joey said:
Who goes to hell these days? Surely that means I have nothing to worry about either way?

Say Jesus's sacrifice was a gift. If someone wants to give you a gift, they can offer it all they want, but unless the recipient accepts the gift, it doesn't do them any good. It's the same thing here. To receive the gift of Salvation, all that's necessary is to accept it.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
CMonster said:
As to periods, I take it you mean this reference? "He said to the woman [Eve]: 'I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish...'" (Genesis 3:16a). I'd say that was a result of sin, not an atonement for sin.

I'm genuinely interested here, so sorry if my tone seems a little bit off. Do you genuinely believe that? That women have periods and pain during childbirth as the result of sin. As in....if you sin, it hurts when you squeeze a baby through your pelvis so that it stretches your bones and causes your skin to split open? It only hurts.....because of sin.....not because of the way human anatomy works?

Also, the whole Eve thing is a misogynistic repressive piece of literature any way you read it anyway, as is the whole Bible. I would love to talk to a woman (or man clued up about feminism) about the Bible and the messages it preaches. Because of the way I am, and the things I read written by feminist theorists and stuff, I can't help seeing it in everything, but the Bible (and Christianity as a whole actually) is so much worse for me because, well, people live their lives by its teachings. Things like Disney might be influential and stuff, so it is obviously horrendous that some of that stuff is grossly misogynistic, but when something as worldly important and definitive as the Bible preaches those kinds of messages it kind of makes me want to cry a bit.
 

CMonster

Active Member
nadroJ said:
CMonster said:
As to periods, I take it you mean this reference? "He said to the woman [Eve]: 'I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish...'" (Genesis 3:16a). I'd say that was a result of sin, not an atonement for sin.

I'm genuinely interested here, so sorry if my tone seems a little bit off. Do you genuinely believe that? That women have periods and pain during childbirth as the result of sin. As in....if you sin, it hurts when you squeeze a baby through your pelvis so that it stretches your bones and causes your skin to split open? It only hurts.....because of sin.....not because of the way human anatomy works?

I actually was guessing on this point. :lol:

No, obviously its because of the way anatomy works. I just remembered that verse and tried to connect the two... I mean, if we're assuming here that there's a God who's powerful, I'm sure He'd be able to find a way to make it not hurt. :wink:
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
nadroJ said:
CMonster said:
As to periods, I take it you mean this reference? "He said to the woman [Eve]: 'I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish...'" (Genesis 3:16a). I'd say that was a result of sin, not an atonement for sin.

I'm genuinely interested here, so sorry if my tone seems a little bit off. Do you genuinely believe that? That women have periods and pain during childbirth as the result of sin. As in....if you sin, it hurts when you squeeze a baby through your pelvis so that it stretches your bones and causes your skin to split open? It only hurts.....because of sin.....not because of the way human anatomy works?
No, it's not quite that stupid but it's close. Eve sinned by taking the apple from the tree, and thus she was punished with the pains associated with the female reproductive system. Her sin has been inherited by all her children. (And all other mammals...? Yeah not sure how that works.) Women are collectively punished for Eve's sin. Women who have absolutely **** all to do with it get punished for it. Some... What is it meant to be? 5000 or so? Years later.

I always thought periods were kind of seen Biblically as a sacrifice for the sin Eve committed, hence my question to cmonster.

As for the Bible's stance on women... To be fair to it, that's just an unfortunate fact of history. It's only because people actually believe this as the word from someone outside of and above human society that it's scary. That said, I'm sure I've read somewhere before that male and female roles in human society changed dramatically with the dawn of the monotheistic religions. I feel like Phil might know more about this, I don't. There's lots of biological implications to misogyny too.

You should make a feminism topic cuz it would be FUN.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
Joey said:
nadroJ said:
CMonster said:
As to periods, I take it you mean this reference? "He said to the woman [Eve]: 'I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children in anguish...'" (Genesis 3:16a). I'd say that was a result of sin, not an atonement for sin.

I'm genuinely interested here, so sorry if my tone seems a little bit off. Do you genuinely believe that? That women have periods and pain during childbirth as the result of sin. As in....if you sin, it hurts when you squeeze a baby through your pelvis so that it stretches your bones and causes your skin to split open? It only hurts.....because of sin.....not because of the way human anatomy works?
No, it's not quite that stupid but it's close. Eve sinned by taking the apple from the tree, and thus she was punished with the pains associated with the female reproductive system. Her sin has been inherited by all her children. (And all other mammals...? Yeah not sure how that works.) Women are collectively punished for Eve's sin. Women who have absolutely **** all to do with it get punished for it. Some... What is it meant to be? 5000 or so? Years later.

I always thought periods were kind of seen Biblically as a sacrifice for the sin Eve committed, hence my question to cmonster.

As for the Bible's stance on women... To be fair to it, that's just an unfortunate fact of history. It's only because people actually believe this as the word from someone outside of and above human society that it's scary. That said, I'm sure I've read somewhere before that male and female roles in human society changed dramatically with the dawn of the monotheistic religions. I feel like Phil might know more about this, I don't. There's lots of biological implications to misogyny too.

You should make a feminism topic cuz it would be FUN.

Ahhh, I do remember this now yes (went to a church school and everything XD).

I'm writing my dissertation now and it's got a lot of feminist criticisms in it, one of them being that women and indoctrinated to fear that which should empower them (ie, childbirth and their general position in the life/death cycle). Basically, this woman Barbara Creed, who is awesome and I love her, writes that because women give birth, this positions them in the cycle of life and death, and because they are 'closer' to death they know more about it than men do, and men get all pissed off about this so they make childbirth out to be this big scary ordeal (see how childbirth is represented in films) in order to stop women from feeling empowered by their position and reposition them as weak and scared by something that men have 'done' to them (ie, making them pregnant).

So the whole Eve being punished thing falls into that category I guess. By saying that periods and pain in childbirth is a punishment for a sin means that (particularly with periods) this is something women should be ashamed of and hide as opposed to something they embrace and celebrate and be empowered by. Like, the idea that periods are 'gross'. I personally don't find them gross, why should I? But we're moulded to feel that way about it because of patriarchy, particularly patriarchy in religion.

Interestingly (for anybody who cares) I also read a theory that the rite of circumcision could be read as a reactionary thing that happened because of periods. Like, once girls start their periods it symbolises the beginning of their womanhood, the body just did it naturally. For men there was no equal thing that happened so they introduced circumcision (and thus, bleeding from the genitals) as a kind of rite of passage so that the girls didn't have one up on them.
 

gavin

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nadoJ said:
Like, the idea that periods are 'gross'. I personally don't find them gross, why should I?

Because you've got blood and unfertilised eggs squirting out of your gusset, love. x
 

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
I remember being taught in school that in 'ancient times' before the link between sex and childbirth was understood, women had a much greater importance within a clan or tribe. Women were the only ones who could make life and were respected. A matriarchal figure would be head of the group.
It was only in later history that women were somehow considered unclean and weak
 

furie

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Mysterious Sue said:
I remember being taught in school that in 'ancient times' before the link between sex and childbirth was understood, women had a much greater importance within a clan or tribe. Women were the only ones who could make life and were respected. A matriarchal figure would be head of the group.
It was only in later history that women were somehow considered unclean and weak

It took them a few thousand years to learn their place. Women never were the quickest studies ;)

Seriously, I think it's true that with the rise of monotheism we see the repression of women. It's odd, because in most hunter/gather societies the roles of men and women are clearly defined, but quite equal. Everyone knows there is benefit to both sexes and what they do. It's as cultures started to settle and have more free time (i.e. you're not worrying about where the next meal is coming from) that you see the rise of religion and the repression of women in society. Even then it was a long time before the the roles of women changed and I did read that it's monotheism that caused this.

We've touched on something here too which Marc touched on earlier. It's the absolute belief in the religious texts. UC says that the Jews he knows work on Saturdays etc. CMonster clearly has a very (and rightly so) low opinion of the old testament. He disregards above the whole Eve thing. You find most modern Christians do this, they believe that the Old Testament is an allegory at best or a bunch of misguided stories at worst. However, it's the basis for Judaism, and is followed very strictly by a lot of Jews. Likewise, the whole "creationism" thing is led by a belief that everything written in the old testament is God's word and should be read literally. It's madness, but it shows the problem the world of religion faces.

Islam has the Sharia law which is a collection of "interpretations" of the religious texts. So if you're unsure whether or not to cut off you left hand because it offends you or not, there is a law that offers guidance. These are created over the centuries as the world moves on and it tries to balance keeping the religion pure with the changes of the modern world.

There are likewise non-orthodox Jews who live a much freer life than the one Marc describes, but even within orthodox circles, Rabbi can reinterpret the laws and try to keep the faith a little up to date. This is why you have so many flavours of Judaism and Islam.

Even Christianity does it. The Pope can alter the laws of the church by papal decree. Kings James altered the bible to suit his own views (if you're C of E, or any kind of offshoot that uses the King James' bible, you're using a script altered in the 17th Century at the whim of a pissed off monarch) and other versions off Christianity have risen that redefine the interpretations of the bible.

The point is this, just because somebody says they believe, or are part of a religion, it doesn't automatically mean that they believe absolutely everything written in the bible. Personally, I think this is proof that religion (and God) is faulty, but it's rude to think of people as blind sheep following and believing absolutely everything.

CMonster said:
What reason would I have to think another belief was more correct than mine? While it's easy to eat Chinese food one day, burgers and fries the next, and Italian the day after that, the same doesn't apply to different religions and beliefs. I can't "sample" Hinduism (though I can study it) and act Hindu and believe their theologies, then switch the next day to Islam. Although I can compare and contrast different religions, I can't "try out" one each day. Faith doesn't really work like that, I don't think. (Let me know if I've completely misinterpreted what you were trying to say, I do that sometimes :p).

No, you got what I was saying. The thing is, you can kind of sample it. When I came to university and away from the Church, I met a lot of people from a lot of different backgrounds and theology was something I adored discussing. So I talked to Hindus and Jews I met and got on with (well enough to discuss theology). I sat in on religious debates between the different religious societies (the Islamic society were absolutely stunning, so well founded in their faith and with a brilliant attitude towards the other religions - they made the Christian society look like a bunch of stiff backed idiots stuck in the dark ages to be honest. So I read up more and more and indulged in watching documentaries about different religions, reading about them, etc. So while I never went to a synagogue, or a prayed to Mecca to try another religion on for size, I still got a good feel for their purpose, their attitude and their view of God and life. It's quite eye-opening submerging yourself in the lives of people the Nicene Creed asks you to forgive for their sins against God (for not being Christians). It's that which made me realise how flawed Christianity was, and from there, it all fell apart quite rapidly into agnosticism :lol:
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
Re: circumcision, nah. It was introduced to discourage masturbation at a time when KY wasn't available. There's little more to it than that. But it's a great example of eradication of mens rights thanks to religion, because it's so acceptable. Where women have stood up and fought for sexual liberation and freedom, men haven't. The fact that young boys are mutilated at birth routinely for no other reason than tradition in this day and age, against their will, is pretty shocking. Few males are willing to stop and think about it and take that step to break the cycle and not do the same to their own children. It's really sad when you stop and think about it. And I imagine there will be a time in the future when it's banned.

Like, the idea that periods are 'gross'.
It is gross though. Just like all body fluids are. I'd say on a purely objective level, period gunk is only beaten by poop on the scale of body fluid grossness.

CMonster clearly has a very (and rightly so) low opinion of the old testament. He disregards above the whole Eve thing. You find most modern Christians do this, they believe that the Old Testament is an allegory at best or a bunch of misguided stories at worst. However, it's the basis for Judaism, and is followed very strictly by a lot of Jews. Likewise, the whole "creationism" thing is led by a belief that everything written in the old testament is God's word and should be read literally. It's madness, but it shows the problem the world of religion faces.
The thing that I don't get is that I'm sure CMonster is a creationist...? Sorry if I'm wrong here. So I'd like it if he doesn't mind telling us exactly his thoughts on the Old Testament, cuz now I'm confused.
 

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
Joey said:
Re: circumcision, nah. It was introduced to discourage masturbation at a time when KY wasn't available. There's little more to it than that. But it's a great example of eradication of mens rights thanks to religion, because it's so acceptable. Where women have stood up and fought for sexual liberation and freedom, men haven't. The fact that young boys are mutilated at birth routinely for no other reason than tradition in this day and age, against their will, is pretty shocking. Few males are willing to stop and think about it and take that step to break the cycle and not do the same to their own children. It's really sad when you stop and think about it. And I imagine there will be a time in the future when it's banned.

Yeah, it was only a theoretical idea. It's interesting that men kind of 'accept' their fate in regards to circumcision. Like there's humungous uproar regarding female circumcision/genital mutilation, but in regards to men it's just accepted. I think I'll look more into that actually.

Joey said:
Like, the idea that periods are 'gross'.
It is gross though. Just like all body fluids are. I'd say on a purely objective level, period gunk is only beaten by poop on the scale of body fluid grossness.

Aha, but I would be willing to argue that that is because we are indoctrinated to feel that way about our bodily wastes. Animals, pardon the pun, couldn't give a crap about their bodily wastes, it's completely normal and 'ungross' to them. As conscious humans we are made to feel ashamed of such things. The same applies to nakedness.
 

kimahri

Well-Known Member
The idea of Circumcision (and Vasectomy) makes me feel horrible. I understand the reason for it medically but... bleah.
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
Social conventions is a pretty major part of any discussion about the existence of god. For the majority of people who identify as Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. there is little to that label other than tradition. Few ponder over profound ideas, most just accept. The same is true of non believers in truly secular societies, but atheism carries no traditions since its an absence of theism, so that's not relevant. Judaism in particular has become so little about god we think of it as a race - a group of people defined by culture. People with no belief at all call themselves Jewish.

So, is say social norms ate very, very relevant here. They pretty much define religion.

Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk
 

kimahri

Well-Known Member
Well, I think Hinduism does pretty cool stuff that I think is more interesting christianity, which is full of loozes. Therefore sane and nice Tony Blair does not exists.
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
The problem is that they're too tightly linked. It's impossible to discuss one without the other. How many people would believe in a god if there was no religion? Religion has to be seen as god's way of getting a foot in the door. However, if religion is flawed, or proven to be created by man - then it throws into doubt god's omnipotence or even existence.

Without religion, god is just a name with no meaning.

It's like if B&M claim to be rollercoaster manufacturers, but they didn't have a single product anywhere in the world. We know B&M manufacture coasters because we see their evidence. There are lots of flavours to suit lots of tastes, but without them, would you believe B&M made coasters?

Essentially, religion is the only evidence we have of god's existence.

Though I agree that it's a little too deep in terms of religion specifics, but that is almost unavoidable - especially as it's often the treatment within religion that has changed the opinion of somebody from believer to non-believer.
 

furie

SBOPD
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
So, let's pull this away and ask the question...

How did you first become aware of god and what makes you believe there is a god?
 

Joey

Well-Known Member
There's NO reason to believe in any kind of god... Without religion. It's really that simple. All we have to go on is word of mouth and some sacred texts, both religion. The fact that they both suck as evidence throws doubt on god's existence.

You can argue that you have personal evidence, or just "know" all you like, but the reality is that without religion, you'd be an atheist. People don't believe in concepts they've never been introduced to. It's pretty deluded to think you came up with the concept of god on your own, which is essentially what you're saying. The problem of course is that, because you believe in a higher power it makes perfect sense to you that any individual could independently discover their belief even if they never had human contact. I'm not sure I can even begin to explain what's wrong with that idea if it's not already obvious.

There's no need to disprove the existence of a higher power. There's no evidence of one. More importantly, you cannot prove a negative anyway... It's entirely up to believers to provide evidence, and conveniently there is none. Absolutely none. Nothing. Not a sausage.

A lot of people seem to think that the concept of a higher power makes sense. What I want to know is why? You've used this example of not believing that humans are the ultimate beings... Okay, so who's definition of ultimate are we using? Our own? We're using our own definition of ultimate to decide whether or not we are the ultimate? This makes no sense, regardless of what you find to be the outcome. It's not objective. Secondly, why wouldn't you, given the evidence present, accept we are the "highest" known beings? And why would a higher being also be a creator, not living and conveniently unobservable? I just don't get how you'd look at the world and come to the conclusion that there must be something higher controlling it all in some sense. Just, why? It's such a "human centric" worldview that isn't hidden by your cockroach example. A cockroach is an ultimate being within it's world. As is jellyfish, a bald eagle, a cheetah, a clown fish, a vampire bat... There is no objective way of judging each creatures ultimateness, because there's no intention or design to them. If they weren't "ultimate" within their own right, they wouldn't exist. To think of ourselves as close to ultimate, because of our brain size, problem solving abilities and ability to ponder the pointless is look at the world unobjectively from the point of view of a human. It does nothing to aid your argument for god, it actually hinders it. And on top of it all, why WOULD an ultimate being exist anyway? How could it? How could anything be perfect?

Sorry I waffled a bit there. I'm rather tired. I hope it makes an ounce of sense.
 
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