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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:12 am  Theists sometimes DO ask questions. Reply with quote

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Theists sometimes DO ask questions. Here is an example from a current thread:

Volbrigade wrote:

And now, I ask you a question.

What if you’re right?

Right about what?

Reading my signature with some comprehension indicates that my position is that ANY of the thousands of proposed 'gods' MAY be real and may affect human lives – AND that I await verifiable evidence upon which to base an informed, intelligent, reasoned decision.

Is there any reason that I should 'hurry up' and make a decision when the ONLY 'evidence' presented consists of unverifiable tales and testimonials (ancient or modern) plus emotional appeals? I do not take anyone's unverifiable word as a basis for making ANY important decisions. Should I make an exception for religious matters? If so, why?

Volbrigade wrote:

What if mindless, random energy is “all there is, all there was, and all there ever will be”?

I take NO position regarding 'mindless, random energy'. Kindly debate what I actually present.

Volbrigade wrote:

What if all we are is a temporary arrangement of matter? A pattern, here today and gone, forever, tomorrow?

Notice that I take no position on that matter. Kindly debate what I actually say rather than things I do not say.

Volbrigade wrote:

What possible difference could that make? In fact — what possible difference could anything make?

My life and the lives of (some) others make a difference to me, as does the environment, because I (we) live in the real world.

Volbrigade wrote:

And what difference would it make if I believed otherwise?

What you believe could not possibly make any less difference to me. Discussing / debating these ideas with you involved is simply a way for me to present READERS with ideas that contrast with those presented by Theists.

I trust that some / many readers are fully capable of evaluating the merits, credibility, verifiability of what is presented and to use whatever they find has merit in their own thinking.

Volbrigade wrote:

If I chose to believe a complex, imaginary fable about an eternal Mind that created a space-time environment; a fable which explained the cause of man’s depravity, and the way out of it —even if it was all just an ancient and ongoing fabrication, what difference does it make?

That belief makes NO difference UNLESS and UNTIL it is presented in public debate as though true. In which case, I challenge any claim of truth and accuracy – asking for verifiable evidence to support the pronouncements.

When the 'evidence' presented is nothing more than unverifiable tales and testimonials (ancient or modern, oral or written), readers are invited to consider its credibility.

Volbrigade wrote:

And what difference does it make that energy occasionally arranges itself in patterns such as the deformed child you pictured?

I pictures no deformed child. Perhaps there are some wires crossed?

Volbrigade wrote:

Or generates patterns in the matter that composes human brains that motivates them to slaughter each other over territories or genetics or ideas?

Human brains have great potential to instigate actions in all manner of directions – which include slaughtering people or helping people.

Many Religionists seem to think that religion is what keeps them from slaughtering (or raping or stealing or whatever) and that religion is what motivates them to do benevolent things. Perhaps that is true for them personally – but does not extend beyond them to everyone else.

Volbrigade wrote:

What difference does it make what I do with my own little pattern of energy, during the brief period of time it is integrated and possesses the consciousness to make determinations as to what it does?

It makes no difference at all to me what you 'do with your own little pattern of energy' PROVIDED it does not affect me or others I care about.

Volbrigade wrote:

And if, for instance, someone should be in the way of my obtaining some objective that would please my consciousness, what difference does it make what I do to them in order to remove them as an obstacle?

If I am the 'obstacle to be removed' so someone can accomplish an objective, they are likely to 'meet their maker' before intended (any my attitude is not hypothetical).

Volbrigade wrote:

I’m just asking. Do you have an answer for me?

I typically attempt to answer coherent questions. I am always prepared to substantiate any claims I make or arguments I present.

Volbrigade wrote:

Is it possible that even if your belief system is true,

You have shown that you have absolutely no comprehension of my belief system.

Volbrigade wrote:

and mindless matter and energy is all that ever was or will be:

I do not and have not thought or said anything suggesting 'mindless matter'. That is a 'stinky fish' (red herring) thrown in, perhaps to try to make an argument.

Volbrigade wrote:

that it would be BETTER if we lived as though we were subject to living forever, based on what we do during our temporary pattern of consciousness, before we revert back to our eternal elements of mindless matter-energy?

I see no 'better' in real life by those who profess to being 'subject to . . .” some sort of afterlife. Christians who preach such things are incarcerated at rates no 'better' than other groups, have divorce rates that are no 'better' than others, and have half a million abortions per year in the US (while condemning the practice).

WHERE is the 'better'?

Volbrigade wrote:

Even if that would mean “living a lie”, so to speak?

Those who find benefit in 'living a lie' are welcome to do so. I prefer to live by what I can understand and learn about the real world.

Volbrigade wrote:

Or would that make any difference, either?

Many would apparently be LOST without their religion telling them what to think and do.

Volbrigade wrote:

And if so — in what way?

Perhaps those who rely upon one of the thousands of gods or thousands of religions are well advised to keep doing so (to avoid running amok if they had to rely upon their own ethics, judgment, discernment, decision-making).

However, the dependent should not attempt to inflict their limitations and personal problems onto others – who do not share those limitations and problems.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 31: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:19 pm
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Re: Do you want a spade with that shovel?

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[quote="William"]
[Replying to post 30 by Divine Insight]

So when you said:

Quote:
"Mom has the mentality of a sheep."


and did not accompany the statement with any additional information, you can't exactly blame anyone from thinking you were being - at the very least - subtly derogatory. (and I am being rather generous here)

Since it was also said in conjunction with the context that according to you

Quote:
Where is there any attraction in being the mindless slave to a jealous God who lusts to rule over humans and demand that they worship and obey him?


This clearly shows the reader that you think any who have faith in this idea of GOD;

"Have the mentality of sheep."

I pulled you up on that and instead of being humble about it and considering how you might better use your words, you try covering your butt with 'explanations' after the fact.

A bit late for that. Perhaps you could have started off with that in the first place and avoided any needless misunderstanding.

But you didn't so, that is that.

I have nothing further to add and no more interest in the subject.

I will just watch how you express yourself in future posts and see if you have learned anything from this.


Study


eta:

Worth repeating:

John 10 New International Version (NIV)

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 32: Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:29 am
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Re: Do you want a spade with that shovel?

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William wrote:

I will just watch how you express yourself in future posts and see if you have learned anything from this.


What I've learned from this is that you will misquote me just to support your hateful and negative accusations toward me:

You say:

William wrote:

Quote:
Where is there any attraction in being the mindless slave to a jealous God who lusts to rule over humans and demand that they worship and obey him?


This clearly shows the reader that you think any who have faith in this idea of GOD;


You have dishonestly quoted me making it appear that I was referring to Christians in your quote which I clearly wasn't.

Here is the actual quote from that post:

Divine Insight wrote:

What about people who don't like Christianity? Where is there any attraction in being the mindless slave to a jealous God who lusts to rule over humans and demand that they worship and obey him?


I seriously doubt that any Christians would describe their view of God as I have described it above.

Yet I can demonstrate that this is indeed the God that the Bible actually describes.

There can be no question that he's a jealous God, it says so several times in the Bible.

There can also be no question that this God demands to be obeyed in full lest he'll start delving out violent curses. In fact, the whole "Fall from Grace" story is a testament to just how irate and nasty this God can be when someone doesn't obey him.

In fact, the whole Bible the whole way through is telling us what this God demands from us in order to avoid his WRATH.

So all I've done is tell the Biblical TRUTH. If Christians find that offensive what can I do about it?

But you have falsely accused me of describing "Christians" when I clearly qualified in my quote (see bold red above) that I was talking about people who don't like Christianity.

So every single accusation that you have made against me has been dishonest and fraudulent. I suggest that you cease your personal vendetta against me and move on to debating actual debate topics.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 33: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:04 pm
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

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Volbrigade wrote:

I assumed, all three of you being non-theists who put their faith in science and its ability to arrive at the concrete, empirical, measurable conclusion that all that exists is matter, and there is no spiritual dimension, and certainly no God --


Faith in science? Actually I put my confidence in what I have found to be true and what I see as continuing to be true. As evidence comes in I see more and more that there is likely no spiritual dimension and likely no god. So I no longer believe in gods or spirits.

So no, it's not about faith. It's about seeing evidence against the supernatural and evidence for the natural.

When there is evidence, there is no need for faith.


Divine Insight wrote:



In fact, both Zzyzx and OnceConvinced will gladly confirm that I have held the position of being agnostic for all the years I've been on this forum. I won't even accept the label of "atheist" in general. However, I will gladly accept that label when it comes to the Hebrew God of the Bible which I hold can easily be shown to be false via the Bible itself. No science is even required.


Yes, I can confirm that. DI has made this statement time and time again.


Divine Insight wrote:

Zzyzx and OnceConvinced will also verify that I have been posting an interest in both Buddhism and Wicca ever since I've been here as well, and that I have openly confessed to partaking in spiritual and mystical rituals.


Yes again. In fact DI has opened my eyes to the possibility that Jesus teachings may have originated from Buddhism.

PS, I see that you mistook him for another member, but I thought I'd chime in anyway. Smile

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 34: Tue Jan 31, 2017 5:12 pm
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

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I will jump in and answer these questions too.

Volbrigade wrote:


"What if you're right? What if mindless matter-energy is all there is?


I'm not seeing why that would be a problem if it's true. I have so much meaning and enjoyment in my life. I don't feel as though I'm lacking anything.

Volbrigade wrote:


What would it matter? What would anything matter?


We as humans determine what matters. There are many things that matter to me in this life. I don't feel the need to have any god there for that. We are all alive, we are all conscious and we all have lives to live. It doesn't matter in the least if this is all we have.

If when we die, that's it. We just have to accept that. We may not like it. We may want to live for ever, but there doesn't seem to be any point in making up fantasies about the after life. Death is what it is.


Volbrigade wrote:

Everything that ever occurred -- from a black hole, to the assembly of a living cell, to the birth of a baby, to that baby becoming a serial killer -- would be nothing more than the inevitable (perhaps inexecrable?) writhings of matter-energy.


So it's not pretty. Does it have to be pretty? Why is it that many theists seem to want to have a beautiful wonderful explanation for everything. What if there is none?

I don't see why your questions are relevant at all. I live and enjoy my life. I make my own meaning and my own purpose as an atheist. I don't need fantasies. Even if reality isn't all that pretty or lovely I don't want to fill my head with silly fantasies about Heaven and living forever or about God having everything under control and having a plan for us. Give me reality any day, no matter how unattractive it might seem on the surface.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 35: Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:25 pm
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

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[quote="OnceConvinced"]
Quote:
I will jump in and answer these questions too.


Volbrigade wrote:


"What if you're right? What if mindless matter-energy is all there is?


Quote:
I'm not seeing why that would be a problem if it's true.


It is not true. It is verifiable. There are indeed minds in the universe and these can be said to be - at least - "the minds of the universe."
Even if we take the whole 'consciousness on Earth' as a singular mind, this equates to 'the mind of the universe'
Given the size of the universe, there are likely many planet systems which will have/be Consciousness. These could be called 'the minds of the universe' and altogether regarded as 'the mind of the universe'.

So essentially the universe is not mindless at all.

Quote:
I have so much meaning and enjoyment in my life. I don't feel as though I'm lacking anything.


Say's one of those minds to some of the others.

Volbrigade wrote:


What would it matter? What would anything matter?


Quote:
We as humans determine what matters.


Within the parameters of known physics currently being experienced.

Quote:
There are many things that matter to me in this life.


Nothing unusual in that. Quite the natural thing.

Quote:
I don't feel the need to have any god there for that.


GOD adds spice to an already favorable thing. Is GOD needed? Some need that extra boost - that invisible friend to help them through the experience, and into the next one (if that will be the case.)

Quote:
We are all alive, we are all conscious and we all have lives to live. It doesn't matter in the least if this is all we have.


I think that would depend largely on the individuals position in relation to that. Some individual positions are better than others and this is primarily because of political agenda.

Quote:
If when we die, that's it.


This appears to be an unfinished statement.
Q: Can you reword it because it is unclear what you mean by it.

Quote:
We just have to accept that. We may not like it
.

Q: Accept what, may not like what?

Quote:
We may want to live for ever, but there doesn't seem to be any point in making up fantasies about the after life.


On that subject there are many stories. Not all are even religious in context.
OOBEs NDAs and Astral Experiences are not all about religious experience meeting 'GOD' and what have you. Nigh on all of them have to do with meeting conscious beings in alternate realities. The experiences are all understood to being that - after experiencing this reality, - experiencing that alternate reality, will follow.

Quote:
Death is what it is.


Q: And what is that which death is?

Volbrigade wrote:

Everything that ever occurred -- from a black hole, to the assembly of a living cell, to the birth of a baby, to that baby becoming a serial killer -- would be nothing more than the inevitable (perhaps inexecrable?) writhings of matter-energy.


Quote:
So it's not pretty.


Come on now. It has its pretty bits.

Quote:
Does it have to be pretty?


It is beautiful But beauty is in the beholders eye.

Quote:
Why is it that many theists seem to want to have a beautiful wonderful explanation for everything.


Because the beauty therein makes it wonderful, warts and all. Also because that is the best explanation.

Quote:
What if there is none?


But there is beauty. And there are beautiful explanations for that.

Q: Why do some atheists focus on the ugly bits?

But maybe some theists see beauty in the ugly bits too? [Rhetorical Q:]

Quote:
I don't see why your questions are relevant at all. I live and enjoy my life. I make my own meaning and my own purpose as an atheist.


Q: Seriously? 'As an Atheist'? What does being an atheist have to do with that?

Atheism is just having lack in the belief of all ideas of GOD.

That is all. Nothing more.

'Meaning' and 'Purpose' is not relevant to atheism.

Those things are relevant to the type of PERSON/INDIVIDUAL you are and the type of person/individual you are has nothing to do with being an atheist or with atheism.

You don't NEED lack in the belief of all ideas of GOD in order to live and enjoy your life and make your own meaning and purpose in your life's experience.


Quote:
I don't need fantasies.


You might not NEED them but you also might enjoy them when you do experience them.

If the inference is that GOD is but a 'fantasy' that would depend largely on the idea of the GOD in question and in a lot of cases it cannot be verified with evidence that GOD is actually a 'fantasy.' (it can be assumed of course.)

This is because the idea of GOD is a philosophical 'problem' rather than a sceintific one.

Quote:
Even if reality isn't all that pretty or lovely I don't want to fill my head with silly fantasies about Heaven and living forever or about God having everything under control and having a plan for us. Give me reality any day, no matter how unattractive it might seem on the surface.


Qs: Perhaps the reason for this is that it makes you unhappy? Perhaps because you feel you have more 'say' over how you live your life? Stuff like that?

And yet, here am I, quite comfortable with such notions as you call 'fantasy' and happy about that and feel I have more 'say' over how I live my life, have no regret about past choices or present situation. Having GOD in the picture has done nothing but good for me (even when I was going through stages where things seemed to be nothing but bad for me - hindsight being a marvelous thing) and for those significant others near me who are within my 'sphere of influence' in relation to the ripple effect phenomena.

All in all, I don't real 'get' why being an atheist or a theist has anything at all 'to do with the price of fish', as the saying goes.

According to me anyway, neither position holds the promise of anything extraordinarily different from the other.

Apart from - of course, that one of the two options allows for me to interact with my idea of GOD as best as I can as one individual human being having the experience. It adds dimension to my experience of existence in my here and now.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 36: Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:12 pm
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

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William wrote:


Quote:
If when we die, that's it.


This appears to be an unfinished statement.
Q: Can you reword it because it is unclear what you mean by it.


Sorry, it should have been a comma not a full stop:

If when we die, that's it, we just have to accept that.

William wrote:

Quote:
We just have to accept that. We may not like it
.

Q: Accept what, may not like what?


Death. That it's the end. We simply just have to accept that. I see no reason to make up fantasies about after lives.

William wrote:

Quote:
We may want to live for ever, but there doesn't seem to be any point in making up fantasies about the after life.


On that subject there are many stories. Not all are even religious in context.
OOBEs NDAs and Astral Experiences are not all about religious experience meeting 'GOD' and what have you. Nigh on all of them have to do with meeting conscious beings in alternate realities. The experiences are all understood to being that - after experiencing this reality, - experiencing that alternate reality, will follow.


And they all conflict with each other. There are some similarities, but it's the differences that show us things like NDEs are all in the mind. These hallucinations can be triggered in medical experiments.



William wrote:
Quote:
Death is what it is.


Q: And what is that which death is?


Death from my perspective is the end. I do not believe there is anything after. When I say "death is what it is" it means there is no need to make up fantasies regarding it.




William wrote:

Quote:
Why is it that many theists seem to want to have a beautiful wonderful explanation for everything.


Because the beauty therein makes it wonderful, warts and all. Also because that is the best explanation.


When I see creationists documentaries I see a lot of butterflies, snow flakes and fluffy bunnies, but they tend to leave out the horrors like the flesh eating bacteria, parasites and all the other horrors we see in nature.

I once had a debate with a theist about feeling things from the heart, pointing out that the heart is simply a blood pumping vessel. Our feelings come from the brain. Her response was "Saying that I love you with all my brain is not very romantic". It showed me how many theists would rather avoid the harsh realities of this world and focus only on what is beautiful and lovely. In reality not everything is lovely.

What is beautiful is definitely not necessarily the best explanation.

William wrote:

Quote:
What if there is none?


But there is beauty. And there are beautiful explanations for that.


I'm not arguing there isn't. What I am trying to point out is that not everything is beautiful. There are harsh realities when it comes to evolution. Death is one of them.

William wrote:

Q: Why do some atheists focus on the ugly bits?


Why do theists only focus on the pretty bits?

William wrote:


But maybe some theists see beauty in the ugly bits too? [Rhetorical Q:]


So can we atheists. However there needs to be more honesty. For instance not all of "creation" is lovely and beautiful. Some of it is horrific and if it was created could only be deemed malevolent. There is nothing beautiful in say the ebola virus.

One can look at the Manchineel tree
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchineel

A Christian will focus only on how beautiful it looks and praise God for its creation, but completely ignore the horrors of it.


William wrote:


Quote:
I don't see why your questions are relevant at all. I live and enjoy my life. I make my own meaning and my own purpose as an atheist.


Q: Seriously? 'As an Atheist'? What does being an atheist have to do with that?


I am serious. I make my own meaning. How is that not relevant to the topic? We ARE talking about things that matter, aren't we?


William wrote:


Atheism is just having lack in the belief of all ideas of GOD.

That is all. Nothing more.


And as a result I have to find my own purpose and meaning.


William wrote:


'Meaning' and 'Purpose' is not relevant to atheism.


It is however something as an atheist, I have to search for myself, as I do not believe in God.



William wrote:



You don't NEED lack in the belief of all ideas of GOD in order to live and enjoy your life and make your own meaning and purpose in your life's experience.


Likewise you don't need a belief in God for those things. Most theist claim you do.



William wrote:

Apart from - of course, that one of the two options allows for me to interact with my idea of GOD as best as I can as one individual human being having the experience. It adds dimension to my experience of existence in my here and now.


If religious fantasies give you another dimension, that's fine. I prefer to stick with reality. I can experience reality in many different ways and know that it's reality.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 37: Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:44 pm
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

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[quote="OnceConvinced"]
William wrote:


Quote:
If when we die, that's it.


This appears to be an unfinished statement.
Q: Can you reword it because it is unclear what you mean by it.


Quote:
Sorry, it should have been a comma not a full stop:


Of course! Thanks for the clarification. Smile

Quote:
If when we die, that's it, we just have to accept that.


Q: How?

We don't know what is going to happen when we die, and if when we die we simply become oblivious to anything, there is no way in which we would be able to 'just accept that'.

On the other hand, if there is more to experience after dying from this one, then certainly, we are just going to have to accept that, whatever it might turn out to be.

William wrote:

Quote:
We just have to accept that. We may not like it
.

Q: Accept what, may not like what?


Quote:
Death. That it's the end. We simply just have to accept that. I see no reason to make up fantasies about after lives.


Sure - no reason at all. I can of course appreciate the idea that there may be just oblivion, and find it easy enough to accept as a concept. I draw the line in accepting it as a sure thing though.

William wrote:

Quote:
We may want to live for ever, but there doesn't seem to be any point in making up fantasies about the after life.


On that subject there are many stories. Not all are even religious in context.
OOBEs NDAs and Astral Experiences are not all about religious experience meeting 'GOD' and what have you. Nigh on all of them have to do with meeting conscious beings in alternate realities. The experiences are all understood to being that - after experiencing this reality, - experiencing that alternate reality, will follow.


Quote:
And they all conflict with each other.


I am sure that some of them do, and just as sure that some of them do not.

When I see contradiction I do this. [linky]

Quote:
There are some similarities, but it's the differences that show us things like NDEs are all in the mind. These hallucinations can be triggered in medical experiments.


Q: Have you ever personally had an OOBE and have you also ever had hallucinations triggered through participation in medical experiments?


William wrote:
Quote:
Death is what it is.


Q: And what is that which death is?


Quote:
Death from my perspective is the end.


Q: By "from my perspective" do you mean 'From what you believe'?

IF

Yes
THEN
Q: Is your belief faith based or knowledge based?

Quote:
I do not believe there is anything after. When I say "death is what it is" it means there is no need to make up fantasies regarding it.


Q: Is your belief faith based or knowledge based?

Q: If you believe this is going to be the case, and it turned out not to be the case, would that bother you or in any way cause any immediate conflict?

I ask this also because it appears to me that you are also saying that non faith belief in an afterlife is 'fantasy'.

Also, to be specific, I am not asking you to imagine any scenario related to the question, but just if, upon dying, you then come to the realization you were still existing as a conscious entity.


William wrote:

Quote:
Why is it that many theists seem to want to have a beautiful wonderful explanation for everything.


Because the beauty therein makes it wonderful, warts and all. Also because that is the best explanation.


Quote:
When I see creationists documentaries I see a lot of butterflies, snow flakes and fluffy bunnies, but they tend to leave out the horrors like the flesh eating bacteria, parasites and all the other horrors we see in nature.


Q: A sense then that they are not truly seeing the woods for the trees and placing too much emphasis on what they see as the positive, and ignoring what they should see as the negative?

Q: Do you think that more balance is needed in relation to their beliefs?

Q: What about those who explain there beliefs in that we are currently living in a universe designed to be both good and evil while we each sort out what that means, but if we don't allow that evil to influence our relationship with good, then eventually they will be rewarded with an actual real universe of only good?

Q: Do you think that is 'fantasy' and can be disregarded on that opinion?

Q: How do you know it is just 'fantasy' and not the truth?

Quote:
I once had a debate with a theist about feeling things from the heart, pointing out that the heart is simply a blood pumping vessel.


Q: Do you understand the metaphor therein?
Often with emotion it is the chest area which responds.

Quote:
Our feelings come from the brain.


I have heard that the brain feels no pain. Emotional pain is not felt in the head, unless of course stress develops from the emotional pain and transfers into a headache.

Certainly it is undeniable that the brain is involved but certainly not alone. The whole body and consciousness (and even subconsciousness and unconsciousness - as in one is conscious but not conscious of all that is taking place) is involved in the process of emotional feelings.

Quote:
Her response was "Saying that I love you with all my brain is not very romantic".


Understandable. That is a very feminine thing. Little girls and dolls, and princesses finding their perfect prince and marriage and kids etc...

Q: Do you have a significant other to whom you Love in a heart-felt way or is everything simply a chemical reaction to you and thus de-romanticized?

Romance means something along the lines of 'fantasy wishing to be real' anyway, but I don't think it is understood in that way by those involved with it. They believe in it, and sometimes it seems to work out for them too.

Q: Do you think love is something which can be real and can adapt to the external world of reality if the ugly is also accepted, and the romance left out of it?

Q: Do you thinks such love has the ability to influence the world in a postive way?

Quote:
It showed me how many theists would rather avoid the harsh realities of this world and focus only on what is beautiful and lovely. In reality not everything is lovely.


Q: In relaity does love exist?

Even given that you understand it to be simply a chemical reaction of the brain,

Q: Do you think its purpose is important in relation to the external world?

Quote:
What is beautiful is definitely not necessarily the best explanation.


You say -'not necessarily'

Q: In saying that are you also saying that it still might be the best explanation?

William wrote:

Quote:
What if there is none?


But there is beauty. And there are beautiful explanations for that.


Quote:
I'm not arguing there isn't. What I am trying to point out is that not everything is beautiful. There are harsh realities when it comes to evolution. Death is one of them.


Q: Do you think of death as only being ugly?
Q: Do you think of spiders eating flies, birds eating spiders, cats eating birds, humans eating cats as being 'ugly'?

Q: Are the 'harsh realities' only to be seen and understood as 'ugly?



William wrote:

Q: Why do some atheists focus on the ugly bits?


Quote:
Why do theists only focus on the pretty bits?


A: They don't as far as I have seen.

Q: Why do some atheists focus on the ugly bits?

Q: Do you only focus on the ugly parts?

William wrote:


But maybe some theists see beauty in the ugly bits too? [Rhetorical Q:]


Quote:
So can we atheists. However there needs to be more honesty. For instance not all of "creation" is lovely and beautiful. Some of it is horrific and if it was created could only be deemed malevolent.


Q: Why is this necessarily the case? If malevolent exists alongside benevolent, how can it be that it can only be deemed to come from malevolent?

Quote:
There is nothing beautiful in say the ebola virus.


So?

Q: How is the ugly ebola virus a standard in which to make a judgement on the idea of a creator GOD (intelligent design) when there are beautiful things which exist as well?

Q: Do you believe in the reasoning behind IF there is an intelligent designer (GOD) THEN that designer MUST be EVIL"?

It sounds like you do. Personally I think that is a fallacy JUST on the fact that there are beautiful things in the world as well, and as you appear to be arguing BALANCE is needed in regard to all logical thought processes, I would expect you to practice what you preach. You appear to be arguing from the polarity position and in that committing the same mistake you are criticizing some theists of doing from their polar position.

Come. Hither toward the middle. Smile

Quote:
One can look at the Manchineel tree
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchineel

A Christian will focus only on how beautiful it looks and praise God for its creation, but completely ignore the horrors of it.


Polarities eh!


William wrote:


Quote:
I don't see why your questions are relevant at all. I live and enjoy my life. I make my own meaning and my own purpose as an atheist.


Q: Seriously? 'As an Atheist'? What does being an atheist have to do with that?


Quote:
I am serious. I make my own meaning. How is that not relevant to the topic? We ARE talking about things that matter, aren't we?


The thread topic isn't about 'things that matter'. It is about theists sometimes asking questions of atheists.

I don;t self identify as either theist or atheist, but whatever. I am asking you, the atheist, questions.




William wrote:


Atheism is just having lack in the belief of all ideas of GOD.

That is all. Nothing more.


Quote:
And as a result I have to find my own purpose and meaning.


Sure I got that. But atheism isn't about finding one's own purpose and meaning.


William wrote:


'Meaning' and 'Purpose' is not relevant to atheism.


Quote:
It is however something as an atheist, I have to search for myself, as I do not believe in God.


No. Being an atheist is besides the point. Being a human is what makes you HAVE to search for yourself.
As a Human, you are just doing that without GOD.
As a Human, a theist is just doing that with some idea of GOD.

Theism and atheism do not actually define what humans ARE, or even DO, even that they don't define 'Meaning' and 'Purpose'.

They are just positions.

Politics have more to do with what the meaning and purpose of your life is.




William wrote:



You don't NEED lack in the belief of all ideas of GOD in order to live and enjoy your life and make your own meaning and purpose in your life's experience.


Quote:
Likewise you don't need a belief in God for those things. Most theist claim you do.


So? Does that mean it is truth?

Q: If theists are using their position inappropriately in this, then don't you think doing so as an atheist is just as faulty a concept/understanding in relation to 'Meaning' and 'Purpose'?

William wrote:

Apart from - of course, that one of the two options allows for me to interact with my idea of GOD as best as I can as one individual human being having the experience. It adds dimension to my experience of existence in my here and now.


Quote:
If religious fantasies give you another dimension, that's fine. I prefer to stick with reality. I can experience reality in many different ways and know that it's reality.


I did not say the experiences were religious or fantasies.

I said interacting with my idea of GOD as best I can as an individual human being having the experience(s).

And that this adds dimension to my experience of existence in my here and now. The experiences are additional, real and meaningful and help me to understand my purpose.

One example of this I wrote about here [linky]. (Specifically in the heading of that post but please read it all)


Experienced as part of reality, not as fantasy.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 38: Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:43 am
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

Like this post (1): OnceConvinced
William wrote:

Q: Why do some atheists focus on the ugly bits?


That's not what they are doing.

Think of it like this:

Someone says to you, "All numbers between 1 and 100 are prime numbers"

You then point out that 4 cannot be prime because it can be divided by 2.

They then say to you, 'Why are you focusing on the non-prime numbers?"

Well, that observation is what demonstrates that the original claim is false.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's the same way with the Bible.

Someone says to you, "The God of the Bible is always moral and righteous".

You then point out ugly, obviously immoral, and unrighteous things this God has done.

They then say, "Why are you focusing on the ugly stuff?"

Well, that observation is what demonstrates that the God of the Bible is not always moral and righteous.

What's the point in focusing on all the good stuff when you've already found the piece that makes the original claim false?

That's what the atheists are doing.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 39: Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:18 am
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

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[quote="Divine Insight"]
William wrote:

Q: Why do some atheists focus on the ugly bits?


Quote:
That's not what they are doing.

Think of it like this:

Someone says to you, "The God of the Bible is always moral and righteous".

You then point out ugly, obviously immoral, and unrighteous things this God has done.

They then say, "Why are you focusing on the ugly stuff?"

Well, that observation is what demonstrates that the God of the Bible is not always moral and righteous.


You need to read my posts in context.

Quote:
What's the point in focusing on all the good stuff when you've already found the piece that makes the original claim false?
That's what the atheists are doing.


You need to read my posts in context.

In relation to what you are saying, I would say that some theists now and again might hand-wave the observation away with something like "Why are you focusing on the ugly stuff?" but once again you are being far too sweeping in relation to theists as people and not all of them do respond in hand-waving ways, and your post implies that they do.

Most of the time I see theists who believe in the biblical idea of GOD respond by trying to explain why they believe the God is being righteous and moral in his decisions and actions.

Q: Why do you make sweeping statements about these theists?
Q: Do you think that human beings have always understood morality the way you understand it?
Q: What do you think 'righteousness' is?
Q: If you were the GOD, how would you have done things differently?
Q: Can you answer that last question without presuming there was a way to do things differently?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 40: Wed Feb 01, 2017 2:02 am
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Re: Theists sometimes DO ask questions.

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William wrote:

Most of the time I see theists who believe in the biblical idea of GOD respond by trying to explain why they believe the God is being righteous and moral in his decisions and actions.

Q: Why do you make sweeping statements about these theists?


I don't. I've just never conversed with one that was able to make a compelling argument on that particular claim.

William wrote:

Q: Do you think that human beings have always understood morality the way you understand it?


I have never thought that human beings in general understand morality the way I view morality. To the contrary I disagree with the moral position of many people.

William wrote:

Q: What do you think 'righteousness' is?


For me, it can only be what I believe is right. I refuse to have "righteousness" pushed onto me by someone else. And I don't try to push what I feel is right onto them. To the contrary I think we would both be far better off to just confess to each other than our own views of what's "right" are indeed just that, our own views.

When religious people become overbearingly arrogant is when they try to hold up their opinions of what they support as being "righteous" as having the STAMP OF GOD's AUTHORITY upon it.

That's the difference right there.

William wrote:

Q: If you were the GOD, how would you have done things differently?


Q: Am I an omnipotent God? Or am I dramatically restricted?

Q: Am I a LONELY God?

Q: Am I desperate for company and companionship?

Q: Why do I NEED to created humans?

Q: Is that the BEST I can do?


You would need to clarify all of these questions before I could begin to answer your question.

Right off the bat I can't imagine why I would create a world where animals naturally prey on each other in horrific ways. Wink

Quote:
Q: Can you answer that last question without presuming there was a way to do things differently?


Is this God omnipotent or not?

If the God has no other way to do things, then he can hardly be said to be omnipotent. He's apparently stuck with being restricted in serious ways.

This restriction basically demands that we begin with a totally inept God who can't do any better.

May as well consider Secular Naturalism if we're going to go down that road. Wink

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