A civil debate forum for people of all persuasions (Atheists, Agnostics, Deists, Christians, and adherents of any religion)

Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Reply to topic
Sweet~T
First Post
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 9:14 pm  As children it's just an imaginary friend Reply with quote

And he isn't very friendly.

So what is the cause for our global mental illness?
MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 21: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:01 pm
Reply

Like this post
no evidence no belief wrote:

Point well taken. I misspoke. I should have qualified my statement.

Well and gracefully put. Thank you.
Quote:

Allow me to rephrase.

People who believe that things which are demonstrably untrue are true, are not necessarily crazy. Indeed they could be completely rational in all other ways, BUT, the belief that something demonstrably untrue is true is a "crazy" belief as defined by any dictionary.

For example, if you believe that the earth is flat (not in the bronze age, but today in the presence of all the evidence), then you are holding a crazy belief. You could be absolutely functional and rational in all other ways, but that belief is CRAZY.

So, although I apologize for phrasing it poorly to begin with, I stand by this statement: Any person who believes that something which is demonstrably untrue is true, is holding a crazy belief in his/her head.

Okay, but since "crazy" has a more commonly understood meaning -- ie, "clinically insane" -- and since that is pretty clearly NOT what you mean, I would think just "wrong" would suffice; but I see your point.
Quote:

Now, I understand that most liberal Jews read the Bible with the same attitude that I read Shakespeare or Azimov. They don't think that Moses ACTUALLY existed, just like I don't believe that Hari Seldon actually exists, and yet we both draw inspiration from the idea of such an individual.

Close enough, and in many cases, right on the money; but many would say that Moses, or someone like him, MIGHT have existed, and likewise (as I've posted elsewhere), the legend of the Exodus MIGHT have a kernel of non-supernatural truth at its center. The Plagues narratives appear to be remnants of real memories of real events surrounding the massive eruption/explosion of a volcanic island in the eastern Med in the 17th century BCE, for instance.

But still, as you say, the STORY, and the inspiration one may draw from it, is the important thing. It's not a matter of plain DISBELIEF, but an approach that doesn't put much value or importance on the issue of literal, historical truth -- along with an acknowledgement that the narratives as we have them have very little to do with actual history.
Quote:

I guess that, beyond my failure to properly phrase my ideas earlier, our disagreement may lie in the definition of the word theist.

I think you're right about that.
Quote:

If you google "define: theism", this is what you get:

"Theism is commonly a monotheistic doctrine concerning the nature of a deity, and that deity's relationship to the universe. Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe."

Note the qualifiers: "commonly," meaning "usually, but not always," and "in this specific sense," meaning that there are others.
Quote:

If you take the Bible stories as allegory, myth or literary musing, folklore or metaphor, and do not believe in a specific sense, in a personal, present and active god active in the governance and organization of the universe, then you're not a theist. You cannot be a theist, without believing in a manifest deity of some sort.

Of course you can; but a theist of an uncommon type, and in a sense other than the specific sense of which that definition speaks.
Quote:

Now, that is believing that something demonstrably untrue is true.

if I were a "theist" in the "common" and "specific sense" cited, that would be correct. I'm not.
Quote:

Sorry.

No need. Just another failure to notice the necessary qualifier, as before.
Quote:

That is not like saying that all muslims are terrorists, blacks are criminals and atheists are amoral. It's like saying that all muslims consider Allah the one true god and mohammed the prophet, that all blacks (except albinos) have more melanin than whites, that all atheists disbelieve in Gods.

I understand your intent and I do not disagree with it; few people are more opposed to Christian fundamentalism than Jews. But that approach to theism is not the only one, even as tacitly acknowledged by the definition you yourself cited.

Given that information, allow me to correct your following points:
Quote:

1) SOME theists believe in a God that manifests itself in an OBJECTIVELY measurable way
2) God does not manifest itself in an OBJECTIVELY measurable way
3) Therefore THOSE theists believe that something which is demonstrably not true, is true.

Much better. I have no argument with THAT at all.
Quote:

If your definition of "theist" involves the absence of belief in a God that manifests itself in some kind of way, and that therefore somebody who enjoys the traditions of Judaism, or dressing up to go to church and sing nice songs, is technically a theist, then I totally understand how my previous post seems utterly bigoted and outrageous.

Thanks. Now it's just objectively mistaken -- or at least, we have a legitimate difference of reasonable opinions.
Quote:

By that definition, you're absolutely right. If one does NOT believe in a manifest God despite the absence of manifestation, and enjoys reading the Bible much like I enjoy watching "the office", and enjoys going to church like I enjoy going to a strip-club, then there's absolutely nothing intrinsically irrational about theism.

Okay -- but I hope you won't mind if I take exception to the calculated trivialization of religion there. It means a BIT more to me than a TV show or a strip club. It has rather a lot to with the values by which I live my life, among many other things.

That said, and discounting the usual compulsive display of contempt for all things "religious," I generally agree with your intent if not your phraseology.
Quote:

Of course, if your definition of theism is so far removed from the dictionary definition, you will have to excuse those of us who go by the language that society has collectively agreed on, and not take it personally when statements which make perfect sense by conventional definitions, sound bigoted when your personal definitions of words are used.

See above. As I've already shown, your understanding of that "conventional definition" is objectively wrong; it's neither as limited, nor as precise and rigid, as you seem to have concluded. Once again, we are dealing with the logical fallacy of "destroying the exception." And THAT complaint is 100% logical, reasonable and justifiable.

I also don't recall calling anyone a "bigot." "Prejudiced," yes, and prone to steteotyping; but those are quite different things, and in this case both are perfectly accurate observations.
Quote:

And just as an aside, I'm glad that you and many moderate Jews and Christians don't take the commandments to murder, rape and enslave literally...

Thanks, but that would be hard to do, since there are none. Those are plot points in some literary narratives, not "commandments." As always, there are exceptions -- but as a general rule, it is only atheists and antireligion activists who insist on reading those passages as "commands," or even as advice to the religious on how to behave. The actual teachings of both Christianity and Judaism are pretty much 180 degrees away from those, as are MANY more passages, narrative examples, and actual laws in the Bible itself, as opposed to the "occasional" remarks alleged below. Negative polemic cherrypicking is no more ethical or credible than the positive kind.
Quote:

...nor do you take the talking donkeys or virgin birth stories literally.

Well, the latter is more or less a no-brainer for Jews...
Quote:

...I share your position that the Bible is just a work of literature. I also agree that, historically, it's a very important work of literature. But, let's face it, it's a pretty horrible book. I mean, if a modern author tried to publish today a book which, through allegory, metaphor and symbolism, tried to send the clear message that sexism, rape, slavery, infanticide, genocide, torture are totally kosher, nobody would buy it,

Agreed -- but as I pointed out above, nobody ever WROTE such a book. Huckleberry Finn doesn't promote racism because it acknowledges the language and social structures of the 1870s -- and the same holds true for the Bible and the Bronze Age.
Quote:

...even if the book contained the occasional and contextually-contradicted admonition against murder or theft.

Calculated trivialization and transparent cherrypicking again.

You know, compulsive contempt for religion CAN amount to blinders and mud-colored glasses if one isn't careful to actually apply the objectivity one professes to value. If you were truly and honestly "trying to understand," as you told me earlier, you would actually consider the actual teachings of these religions, as opposed to ignoring them in favor of those you insist on reading into their ancient texts.

Goto top, bottom
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 22: Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:32 pm
Reply

Like this post
cnorman18 wrote:

no evidence no belief wrote:

Point well taken. I misspoke. I should have qualified my statement.

Well and gracefully put. Thank you.
Quote:

Allow me to rephrase.

People who believe that things which are demonstrably untrue are true, are not necessarily crazy. Indeed they could be completely rational in all other ways, BUT, the belief that something demonstrably untrue is true is a "crazy" belief as defined by any dictionary.

For example, if you believe that the earth is flat (not in the bronze age, but today in the presence of all the evidence), then you are holding a crazy belief. You could be absolutely functional and rational in all other ways, but that belief is CRAZY.

So, although I apologize for phrasing it poorly to begin with, I stand by this statement: Any person who believes that something which is demonstrably untrue is true, is holding a crazy belief in his/her head.

Okay, but since "crazy" has a more commonly understood meaning -- ie, "clinically insane" -- and since that is pretty clearly NOT what you mean, I would think just "wrong" would suffice; but I see your point.
Quote:

Now, I understand that most liberal Jews read the Bible with the same attitude that I read Shakespeare or Azimov. They don't think that Moses ACTUALLY existed, just like I don't believe that Hari Seldon actually exists, and yet we both draw inspiration from the idea of such an individual.

Close enough, and in many cases, right on the money; but many would say that Moses, or someone like him, MIGHT have existed, and likewise (as I've posted elsewhere), the legend of the Exodus MIGHT have a kernel of non-supernatural truth at its center. The Plagues narratives appear to be remnants of real memories of real events surrounding the massive eruption/explosion of a volcanic island in the eastern Med in the 17th century BCE, for instance.

But still, as you say, the STORY, and the inspiration one may draw from it, is the important thing. It's not a matter of plain DISBELIEF, but an approach that doesn't put much value or importance on the issue of literal, historical truth -- along with an acknowledgement that the narratives as we have them have very little to do with actual history.
Quote:

I guess that, beyond my failure to properly phrase my ideas earlier, our disagreement may lie in the definition of the word theist.

I think you're right about that.
Quote:

If you google "define: theism", this is what you get:

"Theism is commonly a monotheistic doctrine concerning the nature of a deity, and that deity's relationship to the universe. Theism, in this specific sense, conceives of God as personal, present and active in the governance and organization of the world and the universe."

Note the qualifiers: "commonly," meaning "usually, but not always," and "in this specific sense," meaning that there are others.
Quote:

If you take the Bible stories as allegory, myth or literary musing, folklore or metaphor, and do not believe in a specific sense, in a personal, present and active god active in the governance and organization of the universe, then you're not a theist. You cannot be a theist, without believing in a manifest deity of some sort.

Of course you can; but a theist of an uncommon type, and in a sense other than the specific sense of which that definition speaks.
Quote:

Now, that is believing that something demonstrably untrue is true.

if I were a "theist" in the "common" and "specific sense" cited, that would be correct. I'm not.
Quote:

Sorry.

No need. Just another failure to notice the necessary qualifier, as before.
Quote:

That is not like saying that all muslims are terrorists, blacks are criminals and atheists are amoral. It's like saying that all muslims consider Allah the one true god and mohammed the prophet, that all blacks (except albinos) have more melanin than whites, that all atheists disbelieve in Gods.

I understand your intent and I do not disagree with it; few people are more opposed to Christian fundamentalism than Jews. But that approach to theism is not the only one, even as tacitly acknowledged by the definition you yourself cited.

Given that information, allow me to correct your following points:
Quote:

1) SOME theists believe in a God that manifests itself in an OBJECTIVELY measurable way
2) God does not manifest itself in an OBJECTIVELY measurable way
3) Therefore THOSE theists believe that something which is demonstrably not true, is true.

Much better. I have no argument with THAT at all.
Quote:

If your definition of "theist" involves the absence of belief in a God that manifests itself in some kind of way, and that therefore somebody who enjoys the traditions of Judaism, or dressing up to go to church and sing nice songs, is technically a theist, then I totally understand how my previous post seems utterly bigoted and outrageous.

Thanks. Now it's just objectively mistaken -- or at least, we have a legitimate difference of reasonable opinions.
Quote:

By that definition, you're absolutely right. If one does NOT believe in a manifest God despite the absence of manifestation, and enjoys reading the Bible much like I enjoy watching "the office", and enjoys going to church like I enjoy going to a strip-club, then there's absolutely nothing intrinsically irrational about theism.

Okay -- but I hope you won't mind if I take exception to the calculated trivialization of religion there. It means a BIT more to me than a TV show or a strip club. It has rather a lot to with the values by which I live my life, among many other things.

That said, and discounting the usual compulsive display of contempt for all things "religious," I generally agree with your intent if not your phraseology.
Quote:

Of course, if your definition of theism is so far removed from the dictionary definition, you will have to excuse those of us who go by the language that society has collectively agreed on, and not take it personally when statements which make perfect sense by conventional definitions, sound bigoted when your personal definitions of words are used.

See above. As I've already shown, your understanding of that "conventional definition" is objectively wrong; it's neither as limited, nor as precise and rigid, as you seem to have concluded. Once again, we are dealing with the logical fallacy of "destroying the exception." And THAT complaint is 100% logical, reasonable and justifiable.

I also don't recall calling anyone a "bigot." "Prejudiced," yes, and prone to steteotyping; but those are quite different things, and in this case both are perfectly accurate observations.
Quote:

And just as an aside, I'm glad that you and many moderate Jews and Christians don't take the commandments to murder, rape and enslave literally...

Thanks, but that would be hard to do, since there are none. Those are plot points in some literary narratives, not "commandments." As always, there are exceptions -- but as a general rule, it is only atheists and antireligion activists who insist on reading those passages as "commands," or even as advice to the religious on how to behave. The actual teachings of both Christianity and Judaism are pretty much 180 degrees away from those, as are MANY more passages, narrative examples, and actual laws in the Bible itself, as opposed to the "occasional" remarks alleged below. Negative polemic cherrypicking is no more ethical or credible than the positive kind.
Quote:

...nor do you take the talking donkeys or virgin birth stories literally.

Well, the latter is more or less a no-brainer for Jews...
Quote:

...I share your position that the Bible is just a work of literature. I also agree that, historically, it's a very important work of literature. But, let's face it, it's a pretty horrible book. I mean, if a modern author tried to publish today a book which, through allegory, metaphor and symbolism, tried to send the clear message that sexism, rape, slavery, infanticide, genocide, torture are totally kosher, nobody would buy it,

Agreed -- but as I pointed out above, nobody ever WROTE such a book. Huckleberry Finn doesn't promote racism because it acknowledges the language and social structures of the 1870s -- and the same holds true for the Bible and the Bronze Age.
Quote:

...even if the book contained the occasional and contextually-contradicted admonition against murder or theft.

Calculated trivialization and transparent cherrypicking again.

You know, compulsive contempt for religion CAN amount to blinders and mud-colored glasses if one isn't careful to actually apply the objectivity one professes to value. If you were truly and honestly "trying to understand," as you told me earlier, you would actually consider the actual teachings of these religions, as opposed to ignoring them in favor of those you insist on reading into their ancient texts.

Hey Cnorman, I think we're on the same page with regards to almost everything, so I will not answer line by line, and just raise two points.

You are absolutely right that the definition of theist that I cited does have some qualifiers built in. In other words "most theists believe in a manifest deity". That's well and good, but could you describe to me what a theist who doesn't believe in a manifest God looks like? How is that not like a square which doesn't have 4 corners? If you consider yourself a theist, and you don't believe in the existence of God, could you outline what your belief is, and how it classifies you as a theist?

Secondly, we touched upon the moral lessons of the Bible. It seems to me that, for example, killing children is a direct and explicit commandment that God personally gives to the patriarch of Judaism.

I mean, do you agree that the 10 commandments are commandments?

Can you please read exodus 19 through 21 real quick, please? The setting couldn't be clearer. God says to Moses, "come on top of the mountain and I will give you commandments that you have to relay to your tribe. Here goes:", and then he gives him a bunch of COMMANDMENTS. Not to be mistaken with not-commandments, in that they are the exact opposite of commandments.

Now, the first 10 are very famous. Read them, and then flip the page to exodus 21, which starts with the words "THESE ARE THE LAWS YOU ARE TO SET BEFORE THEM", where God continues to give commandments, without change in tone of voice, or literary style, or setting, or pace, or context, and tells Moses that children who curse their parents must be killed, that slavery is ok as long as you don't hit your slave too hard with a rod, etc.

I understand that as a sophisticated Jew, a theist who doesn't believe in a manifest God, you don't believe that any of this actually happened in reality. You believe that these commandments are given in a metaphoric setting, but are you going to argue that "kill unruly children" is a metaphor for "do NOT kill unruly children" and "totally own slaves" is a metaphor for "slavery is wrong"?

How can you say that there aren't horribly immoral commandments in the Torah (Hebrew for "the law") in the face of the fact that THERE ARE!?

"If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife."

If I was babysitting your children, and tried to persuade them that it's right to kill rape victims, would you hire me to babysit your children again?

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 23: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:18 pm
Reply

Like this post
no evidence no belief wrote:

Hey Cnorman, I think we're on the same page with regards to almost everything, so I will not answer line by line, and just raise two points.

You are absolutely right that the definition of theist that I cited does have some qualifiers built in. In other words "most theists believe in a manifest deity". That's well and good, but could you describe to me what a theist who doesn't believe in a manifest God looks like? How is that not like a square which doesn't have 4 corners? If you consider yourself a theist, and you don't believe in the existence of God, could you outline what your belief is, and how it classifies you as a theist?

First, I’ve never said that I “don’t believe in God.”

Second, I’ve often written about my own beliefs, and VERY often about the teachings of Judaism. I’ll decline to write a 30-page post on those subjects now. Take a look at some of the threads in the Judaism subforum, for starters, particularly on the nature of Judaism and “the Bible as it IS.”

And perhaps this recent exchange on another thread between Goat and myself might be helpful to you:
cnorman18 wrote:

Goat wrote:

cnorman18 wrote:

Goat wrote:

cnorman18 wrote:

I disagree. "Yes," "No," and "I don't know," are all perfectly rational positions on God. How can you demand that people claim to know things that they simply don't? Doesn't sound reasonable to me...


I think that "I don't know what you mean when you say God" also is a reasonable position... since there are so many contradictory and mutually exclusive views.


You know, I've argued against that view for some time, but I've finally concluded that my own view is pretty similar. I might phrase it as, "I don't know what I mean when I say God." And I'm OK with that.

As I keep saying: "God" is not the point.


I am not sure I hold to that view, but I can accept it as perfectly valid.

There also is the Aptheist view.. "I don't care if there is a God or not, it doesn't make any difference to the way I am living my life"


Never heard of that one before, but that works for me too: "I don't care if there is a God or not, it doesn't make any difference to my understanding and practice of Judaism." I can see how it might work for those of any religion, or none, as well. It's just not that important an issue, since there's nothing we can do about it either way -- not even conclusively PROVE or DISPROVE it. As I keep saying -- if a question cannot be answered, it has no importance.

For myself I might add, "God may be something in some sense or other, or he may be just a human mental construct that is useful for thinking about these matters; or something in between, or something other than any of those. But since I can't do anything about it in ANY case -- what difference does it make?"

Do I really believe in God? To be honest, it depends on my mood, rather like "Do I like peanut butter sandwiches?" I find it convenient to think about God in many ways, depending on circumstances and context. Others may require a more rigid structure and not care for my formless approach. I can understand that; I prefer a mattress to a waterbed -- but that, too, strikes me as no more than a matter of taste. Odd to condemn others for being or thinking differently from oneself.


Quote:

Secondly, we touched upon the moral lessons of the Bible. It seems to me that, for example, killing children is a direct and explicit commandment that God personally gives to the patriarch of Judaism.

That could only be considered a “commandment” upon you (1) if you read the Bible as a literal and historically accurate account of God’s direct dealings with humans, and (2) if you are the patriarch of Judaism.

Literature, remember? These are the written records of men, and a few women, THINKING about God. These are the first attempts at formulating laws for human behavior. They are not the Last Word on how humans should behave. They are the FIRST.
Quote:

I mean, do you agree that the 10 commandments are commandments?

In the tradition, surely. Direct from God? THAT is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Which ones do you have a problem with? I don’t see any commands to murder children among the Ten. There is, in fact, a commandment that FORBIDS murder, no?
Quote:

Can you please read exodus 19 through 21 real quick, please? The setting couldn't be clearer. God says to Moses, "come on top of the mountain and I will give you commandments that you have to relay to your tribe. Here goes:", and then he gives him a bunch of COMMANDMENTS. Not to be mistaken with not-commandments, in that they are the exact opposite of commandments.

Now, the first 10 are very famous. Read them, and then flip the page to exodus 21, which starts with the words "THESE ARE THE LAWS YOU ARE TO SET BEFORE THEM", where God continues to give commandments, without change in tone of voice, or literary style, or setting, or pace, or context, and tells Moses that children who curse their parents must be killed, that slavery is ok as long as you don't hit your slave too hard with a rod, etc.

I understand that as a sophisticated Jew, a theist who doesn't believe in a manifest God, you don't believe that any of this actually happened in reality. You believe that these commandments are given in a metaphoric setting, but are you going to argue that "kill unruly children" is a metaphor for "do NOT kill unruly children" and "totally own slaves" is a metaphor for "slavery is wrong"?

How can you say that there aren't horribly immoral commandments in the Torah (Hebrew for "the law") in the face of the fact that THERE ARE!?

"If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife."

If I was babysitting your children, and tried to persuade them that it's right to kill rape victims, would you hire me to babysit your children again?

Once again: All those stories are scenes in a literary narrative. All those “laws” are early attempts at formulating a code of human behavior, and are perfectly understandable and rather typical in the context of the Bronze Age. What is so difficult about that concept for you?

Can’t you see it yourself? You are INSISTING that the only authentic religious approach, and the only proper way to understand the Bible, is through STRICT LITERALISM and RIGID DOGMATISM!

I’ve written this MANY times: The teachings of Judaism have CHANGED and DEVELOPED over the centuries. In our belief, THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO. When you go back to a literal, strictly interpreted, rigid reading of documents from as early as the 10th century BCE, you are taking an approach that WE DON’T.

Once again I ask: Why don't you consider the actual teachings of Judaism, as opposed to the “laws” that you insist on reading into the Biblical text? WE don’t read it in that way; why would YOU, an ATHEIST, insist on doing that — and apparently insist that WE must read it in that way as well?

What do you think “ancient literature” MEANS? Why don’t you even WANT to know what Judaism actually TEACHES? I must conclude that you don’t really want to know; it’s not that hard to find out, after all.

Once again; implacable hostility and contempt doesn’t make for a very objective approach. You've as much as admitted that previously.

I’ll ask you straight out: Do you REALLY want to understand this material, or is that just a convenient pose? If you REALLY DO, then pick up The Jewish Study Bible and FIND OUT how we explain (not "explain away") and understand those passages that trouble you so much -- or, more properly, that you think give you such great ammunition in your obsessive efforts to prove that religion is always and in every way a pernicious, negative thing and worthy of nothing but your contempt.

Here's an ancient aphorism from REAL Jewish history: When asked to explain the "whole Torah" -- that is, all of Judaism -- while "standing on one foot” (meaning “briefly”) the great rabbi Hillel, a near-contemporary of Jesus, said, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Now go and study it." Did you notice that he did not mention God?

Do you really want an intellectual challenge? Or do you just want to promote your personal agenda? If the former, then go and learn something about that which you profess to despise.

If the latter -- well, if the latter, why would I waste my time trying to tell you anything at all? You'd just be looking for more ammunition.

I hope this helps. If you have more questions, I’ll be happy to try to answer them; but if they amount to just beating that same old drum, I’ll merely note that and decline to engage, thanks.

Be well. I have enjoyed the exchanges thus far, but I am inclined to think we’ve now hit a dead end.

Goto top, bottom
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 24: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:43 pm
Reply
Re: As children it's just an imaginary friend

Like this post
no evidence no belief
dianaiad wrote:

Sweet~T wrote:

And he isn't very friendly.

So what is the cause for our global mental illness?


Begging the question. First, establish your premise as a given; that theists are crazy, and that God 'isn't very friendly' as described by those who actually believe in God.


Quote:
Can we agree that if I drowned a bunch of puppies, it would be reasonable to say that I wasn't very friendly to puppies?


No. The puppies deserved death because their mother wasn't evolved enough to avoid you.

Quote:
Can we agree that if I drowned a bunch of pregnant women, it would be reasonable to say that I wasn't very friendly to pregnant women?


No. There is no such thing as murder in materialism. Just life and death. It doesn't matter how the dead get to be fertilizer and food for bugs and carrion-eaters.

Quote:
Great flood. Case closed.


What? How absurd. The Great Flood brought us all the great classics. The great civilizations we have now.

Quote:
The horror and revulsion and perverted madness of God's subsequent actions doesn't even matter. The Great Flood alone, the systematic genocide of EVERY LIVING ORGANISM IN THE WORLD except for Noah and his ilk, is sufficient to irrefutably conclude that God is not very friendly.


To a very, very, very myopic view of reality. God wiping away the depraved saved a lotta misery for future generations.

Quote:
Now, with regards to theists being crazy:


They aren't. Not according to mathematics. Only the truly feeble-minded could believe that everything (let alone something) can come from nothing. It doesn't matter how loud the feeble-minded shout about the importance of their PhD.

Quote:
Craziness is defined as "a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior"


Then atheism has been defined as craziness hasn't it? Those that wear that moniker (and proudly so) seem to demand that we all believe their madness that the entire universe is an accident. An impossible accident at that.

Quote:
1) Theists believe in talking snakes, talking donkeys, flying horses, and flying reindeer.


So what? There are better odds that a snake can being made to talk by a Designer than a snake being created from nothing.

2) These things are not real

The ones that can't talk are not real you mean.

Quote:
3) Therefore theists are crazy


Well reality says your accusation is wrong. We have waited long enough for nothing to create something. Ask the poor and starving in places where nothing means you die.

Quote:
It's really not a hard argument to make.


To the insane.

Quote:
Theists have perfectly normal perception when it comes to paying their taxes, taking the bus, making a sandwich. But when it comes to their theism they just stop having a normal perception of reality.


How utterly fascinating how illogical your premise is. ALL of the things you describe theists doing have cause and effect to their logic.

Good math.

YET, materialists demand that EVERYTHING happened by nothing causing it.

That sounds like insanity to me.

Quote:
It will take me no effort at all to persuade you that penis-enlargement pills are a fraud, but if I have to convince you that several of the animals mentioned in the BoM did NOT exist in the Americas before Columbus, nor did several tools, that DNA testing shows native americans have no genetic connections to Jews but rather to northern asiatic people, that no lingustic connection to ancient egyptian or Hebrew exists, but rather to Siberian languages, that native americans did NOT have a 7 day week, that no ruins were ever found of the wondrous cities that were used for centuries, you'd just be impossible to persuade.


You would prove that Joseph Smith was an exceptional con man. In the same ranks as Richard Dawkins.

Quote:
It doesn't matter how completely and irrefutably the empirical claims of your faith are debunked, you do not see it.


One should not affirm the rantings of a lunatic. take for example your drowning puppies. You are appealing to some kind of morality that cannot exist in a mindless universe. And yet, you seem utterly incapable of seeing that.

Quote:
Theists are in "a state of mind that prevents normal perception".


That just doesn't add up to the facts. "Theists" are some of the greatest and most accomplished people the world has ever known. Now, in a materialist universe, there is no such thing as love, beauty, art, hate, murder, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons and so on. Just organisms interacting and reacting to other organisms. Yet, materialists seem to really believe in "right and wrong' when they can't even prove it exists. That sounds like a mental illness to me.

Quote:
It couldn't be more obvious. It is extremely easy for me to convince Muslims, Scientologists, Hindus etc that your beliefs are patently false, and to convince you that their beliefs are patently false, but when it comes to your OWN preexisting beliefs, the same arguments you use to conclude scientology and islam are false cease to carry weight.


Pot meet Kettle.

Quote:
So, now that the two premises of the OP have been established to be true, that the fairy tale of God clearly depicts an unfriendly deity, and that theism in most cases is a state of mind that prevents normal perception, lets address the question the OP asks. Why?


The only thing you have proven is what you hear yourself saying. When you hear and believe something that doesn't exist, isn't the diagnosis: psychotic?

Quote:
The answer, in my opinion, is this: Fear of death, fear of the unknown, mental laziness whereby the brain finds a comfortable falsehood preferable to an uncomfortable truth.


Then why are materialists creating drugs and other "care" products for the weak and mentally injured? Anyone that isn't self-sufficient does not posses life. There is no such thing in a materialist universe for "caring" about the less fortunate, because there is no such thing as the less fortunate. Yet, materialists seem to think there are.

So, who is it that is listening to voices inside their head?

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 25: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:39 pm
Reply

Like this post
From Post 24:

99percentatheism wrote:

...
Then why are materialists creating drugs and other "care" products for the weak and mentally injured?

Profit and / or compassion come to mind.

99percentatheism wrote:

Anyone that isn't self-sufficient does not posses life.

You'd do well to learn about others, as opposed to trying to speak for 'em.

Materialists are fully capable of compassion, only they lack the need to call it "God said to do it, so there it is, ya gotta". That's most covered under the don't let your momma find out if ya did clause, under the section about don't let your momma down.

99percentatheism wrote:

There is no such thing in a materialist universe for "caring" about the less fortunate, because there is no such thing as the less fortunate.

And how fortunate is the materialist, that he has you to declare him incapable of caring about his fellow human beings.

For the record, we prefer to call 'em "differently fortunated".

Quote:

Yet, materialists seem to think there are.

While others speak for gods they can't show exist to even care.

Quote:

So, who is it that is listening to voices inside their head?

I happen to suffer from the whole "voices inside my head" deal. Have for nigh on all my life. I know how very, very 'real' they can seem.

Only don't it beat all, ain't the first one yet said to me that if I don't stop my ways, he's gon' send floods and plagues and all kinda whatnot that negatively impact the lives of others, up to and including kittens. The voices tell me to kill myself, not the kittens. They don't hate the kittens, it's me they hate.

What kinda god drowns a planet full of kittens? That's gotta be it the most spiteful god known to the gods.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 26: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:46 pm
Reply
Re: As children it's just an imaginary friend

Like this post
[Replying to post 24 by 99percentatheism]

There's no such thing as the "less fortunate" in Christianity. There's only those who deserve to go to Hell, and go there by their own accord; and those who deserve to go to Hell, but choose not to go there.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 27: Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:37 pm
Reply

Like this post
99percentatheism wrote:

Then atheism has been defined as craziness hasn't it? Those that wear that moniker (and proudly so) seem to demand that we all believe their madness that the entire universe is an accident.
The ones that can't talk are not real you mean.
....
Yet, materialists seem to really believe in "right and wrong' when they can't even prove it exists. That sounds like a mental illness to me.
That sounds like insanity to me.
....
You would prove that Joseph Smith was an exceptional con man. In the same ranks as Richard Dawkins.
....
One should not affirm the rantings of a lunatic. take for example your drowning puppies. You are appealing to some kind of morality that cannot exist in a mindless universe. And yet, you seem utterly incapable of seeing that.


Warning Moderator Final Warning

Please review the Rules.
This post is full of personal insults. Please make your arguments without reference to personal remarks about your opinion of the mental stability of others.

______________

Moderator final warnings serve as the last strike towards users. Additional violations will result in a probation vote. Further infractions will lead to banishment. Any challenges or replies to moderator warnings should be made via Private Message to avoid derailing topics.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 28: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:41 am
Reply
Re: As children it's just an imaginary friend

Like this post
99percentatheism wrote:



So what? There are better odds that a snake can being made to talk by a Designer than a snake being created from nothing.


It is the fundamentalists Christians that believe that the snakes and other creatures of the Garden were created, and that the universe was created ex nihilo.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 29: Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:15 am
Reply

Like this post
cnorman18 wrote:

no evidence no belief wrote:

Hey Cnorman, I think we're on the same page with regards to almost everything, so I will not answer line by line, and just raise two points.

You are absolutely right that the definition of theist that I cited does have some qualifiers built in. In other words "most theists believe in a manifest deity". That's well and good, but could you describe to me what a theist who doesn't believe in a manifest God looks like? How is that not like a square which doesn't have 4 corners? If you consider yourself a theist, and you don't believe in the existence of God, could you outline what your belief is, and how it classifies you as a theist?

First, I’ve never said that I “don’t believe in God.”

Second, I’ve often written about my own beliefs, and VERY often about the teachings of Judaism. I’ll decline to write a 30-page post on those subjects now. Take a look at some of the threads in the Judaism subforum, for starters, particularly on the nature of Judaism and “the Bible as it IS.”

And perhaps this recent exchange on another thread between Goat and myself might be helpful to you:
cnorman18 wrote:

Goat wrote:

cnorman18 wrote:

Goat wrote:

cnorman18 wrote:

I disagree. "Yes," "No," and "I don't know," are all perfectly rational positions on God. How can you demand that people claim to know things that they simply don't? Doesn't sound reasonable to me...


I think that "I don't know what you mean when you say God" also is a reasonable position... since there are so many contradictory and mutually exclusive views.


You know, I've argued against that view for some time, but I've finally concluded that my own view is pretty similar. I might phrase it as, "I don't know what I mean when I say God." And I'm OK with that.

As I keep saying: "God" is not the point.


I am not sure I hold to that view, but I can accept it as perfectly valid.

There also is the Aptheist view.. "I don't care if there is a God or not, it doesn't make any difference to the way I am living my life"


Never heard of that one before, but that works for me too: "I don't care if there is a God or not, it doesn't make any difference to my understanding and practice of Judaism." I can see how it might work for those of any religion, or none, as well. It's just not that important an issue, since there's nothing we can do about it either way -- not even conclusively PROVE or DISPROVE it. As I keep saying -- if a question cannot be answered, it has no importance.

For myself I might add, "God may be something in some sense or other, or he may be just a human mental construct that is useful for thinking about these matters; or something in between, or something other than any of those. But since I can't do anything about it in ANY case -- what difference does it make?"

Do I really believe in God? To be honest, it depends on my mood, rather like "Do I like peanut butter sandwiches?" I find it convenient to think about God in many ways, depending on circumstances and context. Others may require a more rigid structure and not care for my formless approach. I can understand that; I prefer a mattress to a waterbed -- but that, too, strikes me as no more than a matter of taste. Odd to condemn others for being or thinking differently from oneself.


Quote:

Secondly, we touched upon the moral lessons of the Bible. It seems to me that, for example, killing children is a direct and explicit commandment that God personally gives to the patriarch of Judaism.

That could only be considered a “commandment” upon you (1) if you read the Bible as a literal and historically accurate account of God’s direct dealings with humans, and (2) if you are the patriarch of Judaism.

Literature, remember? These are the written records of men, and a few women, THINKING about God. These are the first attempts at formulating laws for human behavior. They are not the Last Word on how humans should behave. They are the FIRST.
Quote:

I mean, do you agree that the 10 commandments are commandments?

In the tradition, surely. Direct from God? THAT is an entirely different kettle of fish.

Which ones do you have a problem with? I don’t see any commands to murder children among the Ten. There is, in fact, a commandment that FORBIDS murder, no?
Quote:

Can you please read exodus 19 through 21 real quick, please? The setting couldn't be clearer. God says to Moses, "come on top of the mountain and I will give you commandments that you have to relay to your tribe. Here goes:", and then he gives him a bunch of COMMANDMENTS. Not to be mistaken with not-commandments, in that they are the exact opposite of commandments.

Now, the first 10 are very famous. Read them, and then flip the page to exodus 21, which starts with the words "THESE ARE THE LAWS YOU ARE TO SET BEFORE THEM", where God continues to give commandments, without change in tone of voice, or literary style, or setting, or pace, or context, and tells Moses that children who curse their parents must be killed, that slavery is ok as long as you don't hit your slave too hard with a rod, etc.

I understand that as a sophisticated Jew, a theist who doesn't believe in a manifest God, you don't believe that any of this actually happened in reality. You believe that these commandments are given in a metaphoric setting, but are you going to argue that "kill unruly children" is a metaphor for "do NOT kill unruly children" and "totally own slaves" is a metaphor for "slavery is wrong"?

How can you say that there aren't horribly immoral commandments in the Torah (Hebrew for "the law") in the face of the fact that THERE ARE!?

"If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife."

If I was babysitting your children, and tried to persuade them that it's right to kill rape victims, would you hire me to babysit your children again?

Once again: All those stories are scenes in a literary narrative. All those “laws” are early attempts at formulating a code of human behavior, and are perfectly understandable and rather typical in the context of the Bronze Age. What is so difficult about that concept for you?

Can’t you see it yourself? You are INSISTING that the only authentic religious approach, and the only proper way to understand the Bible, is through STRICT LITERALISM and RIGID DOGMATISM!

I’ve written this MANY times: The teachings of Judaism have CHANGED and DEVELOPED over the centuries. In our belief, THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO. When you go back to a literal, strictly interpreted, rigid reading of documents from as early as the 10th century BCE, you are taking an approach that WE DON’T.

Once again I ask: Why don't you consider the actual teachings of Judaism, as opposed to the “laws” that you insist on reading into the Biblical text? WE don’t read it in that way; why would YOU, an ATHEIST, insist on doing that — and apparently insist that WE must read it in that way as well?

What do you think “ancient literature” MEANS? Why don’t you even WANT to know what Judaism actually TEACHES? I must conclude that you don’t really want to know; it’s not that hard to find out, after all.

Once again; implacable hostility and contempt doesn’t make for a very objective approach. You've as much as admitted that previously.

I’ll ask you straight out: Do you REALLY want to understand this material, or is that just a convenient pose? If you REALLY DO, then pick up The Jewish Study Bible and FIND OUT how we explain (not "explain away") and understand those passages that trouble you so much -- or, more properly, that you think give you such great ammunition in your obsessive efforts to prove that religion is always and in every way a pernicious, negative thing and worthy of nothing but your contempt.

Here's an ancient aphorism from REAL Jewish history: When asked to explain the "whole Torah" -- that is, all of Judaism -- while "standing on one foot” (meaning “briefly”) the great rabbi Hillel, a near-contemporary of Jesus, said, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Now go and study it." Did you notice that he did not mention God?

Do you really want an intellectual challenge? Or do you just want to promote your personal agenda? If the former, then go and learn something about that which you profess to despise.

If the latter -- well, if the latter, why would I waste my time trying to tell you anything at all? You'd just be looking for more ammunition.

I hope this helps. If you have more questions, I’ll be happy to try to answer them; but if they amount to just beating that same old drum, I’ll merely note that and decline to engage, thanks.

Be well. I have enjoyed the exchanges thus far, but I am inclined to think we’ve now hit a dead end.

We're having two separate discussions about two different topics, so lets make sure not to conflate the two. First, we are discussing your belief in a God that manifests itself. Second we are discussing the moral value of the Bible irrespective of the fact it wasn't wasn't actually written by God.

Let's tackle the question of your belief in God first. I reject your analogy of belief vs non-belief in God to a preference for a mattress over a waterbed. This is not an issue of preference, this is a truth-statement. Your social security number either ends with the number 5 or it doesn't. God either manifests itself or it doesn't. If you believe it does, you're a theist, otherwise you're not.

There are countless numbers of worldviews and approaches to spirituality, probably as many as the total number of people who ever lived. But whatever your belief system is, if it does not involve the belief that a deity manifests itself, THEN YOU'RE NOT A THEIST.

If you believe that a deity manifests itself, you're a theist. Since the belief in a manifest deity is unwarranted, then the belief is wrong, or crazy, or deluded. Whatever word you want to use for it.


Now, about the teachings and value of the Torah as a morally inspiring work of literature. I COMPLETELY understand that you and most rational Jews don't believe that an actual entity called Moses spoke to an actual entity called God who said these words. Of course. But completely separate from the authorship, let's discuss the content.

First, can we agree that in the OT, the fictional character "God" gives the fictional character "Moses" some COMMANDMENTS while talking to him on top of Mount Senai, and tells him that these commandments are to be followed by all Jews? I am not saying that God actually exists, or that Moses actually exist. I'm just saying that these concepts appear in the work of literature called the Torah. Can we agree on that?

Now lets look at some of those 600+ commandments given to Moses by God on top of Mount Senai. Some are relatively benign. For example the commandment not to covet your neighbor's ox, donkey, slaves or wives. Implicit in this commandment are the endorsement of slavery and the endorsement of the objectification of women by lumping a wife in with "objects a man owns" such as his house, his pets and his slaves. But that's ok. I can look past that, I can understand the context of bronze age barbarism and amorality, ignore the pro-slavery and pro-sexism undertones, and look to the heart of the commandment, which is not to covet other people's stuff. Now, I disagree with a commandment not to covet something. Coveting happens inside your head, and I dislike the notion of a thought crime. There is nothing wrong with coveting a Ferrari just like your neighbor, if it propels you to work really hard as a doctor who saves children's lives, so eventually you can afford one just like it. I guess that this commandment, to make any sense at all, must be interpreted as meaning that if you happen to covet your neighbor's property you should not act upon it in a way that would hurt him, such as for example stealing it. Of course the commandment not to steal already exists, so that doesn't make much sense. In short, even if you look past the pro-slavery and pro-objectification-of-women portions, this commandment seems to outline a thought-crime and is thus morally incorrect. I guess I could read it as "Don't even think about stealing your neighbor's stuff" which, as I said, is relatively benign. It's not Socrates, it's not Confucius, it's not Lao-Tzu, it's not Buddha, but hey, it's not the KKK manifesto either.

Then there are commandments that may or may have not been useful at the time, but truly have nothing to do with modern life, such as the pages upon pages of detail on how to deal with bulls, cattle, sheep, goats, etc. Whatever. I'm totally ok with ignoring those as purely contextual and inapplicable to me.

But then there are commandments that are worded as no more and no less as commandments than the first 10, and contextually cannot be interpreted as anything other than commandments just like the first 10, which are truly monstrous! These are dozens of clear, unmistakable, unequivocally worded commandments. It's undeniable that in each and every context imaginable, no matter what, the irrefutably moral thing to do, is to always do the EXACT OPPOSITE of obeying those commandments.

Kill your children if they hit you, kill your children if they curse at you, kill a woman if she is raped inside the village, force her to marry her rapist if she is raped outside the village, kill witches, kill gay people, beat your slaves, sell your daughters as sex slaves, etc, etc, etc.

These commandments are written as explicitly and clearly as "thou shalt not steal" and "thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy", in the same literary style, in the same context, with the same intention, in the same chapter. These commandments EXIST, and they are EVIL.

Now, as I said above, I'm happy to look at Exodus 20:17 as a relatively harmless and feeble attempt at enforcing thought crime, imbued with pro-slavery and sexist bronze-age mentality, and interpret it as a reinforcement of Exodus 20:15. I'm ok with extracting a modern interpretation from the original text. I'm also ok with ignoring irrelevant passages about cattle and whatnot.

But can you please explain how all those other evil commandments should be explained/interpreted? The only way I can think of is this: These commandments are evil, twisted, misguided and immoral, they are no more excusable as "a product of their time and context" than the Holocaust is (even though it was preceded by millenia of official Christian antisemitism). The right thing to do, without exception, no matter what the circumstances, geographic or historical context, is to always do the EXACT OPPOSITE of what these commandments tell you. Never EVER kill a woman for not being a virgin, never EVER kill somebody for being gay, never EVER kill somebody for worshiping a different God. There is objectively nothing wrong whatsoever with being a non-virgin, being gay, or worshiping a different God. Not only should you not KILL non-virgins, gays and people of other religions, you should not hurt them, harass them, discriminate against them when it comes to housing, employment or anything else, you should CHERISH these people as your brothers and sisters and treat them like you would like to be treated. There is no better definition of the concept of "the opposite" than "What one should do when reading these commandments". Those commandments are evil, and the more active you are in doing the exact opposite of them, and persuading others to doing the opposite of them, the better a human being you will be. But maybe I missed something. Please explain.

Earlier, I compared going to strip clubs to going to a religious event, and you called that "calculated trivialization" of religion. I'm sorry, but unless when you go to your Synagogue, you spend a significant portion of the time actively denouncing and rejecting the objectively and irrefutably immoral and evil portions of "The Law", then I get to claim the moral high ground as I stuff singles in a girl's panties*.

If the subject of murdering children, owning slaves, killing gay people, forcing women to marry their rapists, killing non-virgins, etc, comes up, and you don't actively denounce and reject these immoral edicts, then you are yourself immoral. It is your moral and social responsibility, whenever the fact that you're a Jew comes up, to say "Yes, I'm a Jew, but I completely reject the clear and explicit commandments to murder gay people and non-virgin-brides which are written black-on-white in "The Law", the central book of my religion".

You mentioned that the rules of conduct of Judiasm have changed. That's great. Have they changed to the point where you guys now admit that the clearly written and contextually non-ambiguous COMMANDMENTS to kill gay people, non-virgins and unruly children in the same chapter of "The Law" as the 10 commandments, are ALWAYS wrong no matter what the historical context, and that anybody who does anything short of denouncing these horrible evil commandments is himself morally corrupt?


* Personal note. I don't ACTUALLY go to strip clubs. I went once for a friend's bachelor's party and I found it the most depressing place in the world.

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 30: Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:10 am
Reply
Re: As children it's just an imaginary friend

Like this post
help3434 wrote:

99percentatheism wrote:



So what? There are better odds that a snake can being made to talk by a Designer than a snake being created from nothing.


It is the fundamentalists Christians that believe that the snakes and other creatures of the Garden were created, and that the universe was created ex nihilo.


That is what I thought as well.
99%:
Quote:
Only the truly feeble-minded could believe that everything (let alone something) can come from nothing. It doesn't matter how loud the feeble-minded shout about the importance of their PhD.

Perhaps my JD protects me from this charge. Angel
I agree with what I believe is the opinion of the vast majority of physicists in the field that the universe did not come from absolute nothingness but in one form or another has always been. Isn't that the same position theists take, that "God has always been?" And then this immaterial 'spirit' created a material universe from nothing?
To me, THAT position = the belief "... that everything (let alone something) can come from nothing."

Goto top, bottom
View user's profile 
Display posts from previous:   

Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

Jump to:  
Facebook
Tweet

 




On The Web | Ecodia | Hymn Lyrics Apps
Facebook | Twitter

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.   Produced by Ecodia.

Igloo   |  Lo-Fi Version