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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:04 pm  I am seriously questioning my atheism Reply with quote

Disclaimer: This post may be out of place on the Christianity and Apologetics forum (even though it does have some relation to Christianity), if it is, I apologize and ask that it be moved to a more appropriate place on the forum. However, I do intend this thread to be a discussion, if not a debate, so I felt this was the best place for it.

As many of you know, I am an ex-evangelical Christian and a current atheist. By "atheist," I mean I lack belief in god(s) of any kind, although I do not assert that there are definitely no gods. Since departing from Christianity, everything has made so much more sense: an eternal Universe (defined as the totality of natural existence) explained existence, evolution explained the diversity of life on earth, the absence of god(s) explained the problems of evil, inconsistent revelation, and so on.

However, there is one thing that I have been unable to account for under atheism: morality. Atheists almost invariably state that moral values and duties are not objective facts, but are simply subjective statements of preference and have no ontological value. That is, of course, until we are presented with cases of true evil, such as the Holocaust, the atrocities of Pol Pot, or the horrible psychopathic serial killings of individuals like Jeffery Dahmer. Then we as atheists tacitly appeal to objective moral values and duties, saying that individuals who commit should be severely punished (even executed) for doing "evil," saying that they "knew right from wrong." But if right and wrong are simply statements of subjective opinion, then how can we say that others knew "right from wrong" and are accountable for their actions? If relativism is true, they simply had differing opinions from the majority of human beings. However, it seems obvious to me (and to the vast majority of others, theist and atheist alike) that this is absurd -- the monsters who carried out the aforementioned acts really, objectively did evil.

Given this, the only reasonable conclusion is that moral facts and imperatives exist.

However, atheism appears to offer no framework for moral facts. Because of this, a few weeks ago, I started up a discussion on Wielenbergian moral realism, which states that objective moral values are simply "brute facts" that exist without any explanation. However, others rightly pointed out that the existence of "brute facts" is ontologically problematic and that the best explanation (on atheism) is that morality is simply subjective. Additionally, even if atheistic moral facts existed, the Humeian problem of deriving an "ought" from an "is" would preclude them from acting as moral imperatives; commands which human beings are obligated to follow.

In light of these airtight logical objections to atheistic moral realism, I was forced to abandon my position on moral facts and tentatively adopt moral relativism. However, relativism still seems problematic. After all, if morality is subjective, no one person can accuse another of failing to recognize the difference between "right and wrong," however, it is obvious to me (and, I would suspect, to other atheists as well) that right or wrong really objectively (not subjectively) exist.

The only rational conclusion I can seem to come up with is that there is a (are) transcendent moral lawgiver(s) who both grounds moral facts and issues binding moral commands on all humanity; i.e., God(s). This echoes evangelical Christian philosopher William Lane Craig's moral argument, which syllogism reads:

WLC wrote:
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists


Premises 1 and 2 seem bulletproof -- (1) was demonstrated earlier in this post, leaving (2) as the only premise to attack. However, (2) seems to be as obvious as a hand in front of my face. The conclusion necessarily follows from (1) and (2), so is there any rational reason for me to reject the conclusion of the argument?

Remember, I am no believer of any kind. I am a staunch, educated, informed atheist, and I am well aware of the philosophical arguments against God(s), such as the problem of evil, the dysteleological argument, the problem of omniscience, etc. I'm also well aware of the plentiful empirical evidence against the existence of God(s), for instance, evolution, mind-body physicalism, etc. These are the reasons I reconverted from Christianity in the first place. However, I don't see way around this problem other than to accept either that our apparently obvious sense of moral facts is somehow mistaken, or that (a) theistic being(s) exist.

Debate question: Are my issues with atheism legitimate? Can atheism provide a coherent moral framework other than nihilism, relativism, or subjectivism? Do these problems really present evidence for theism? Is William Lane Craig right? Is this a real problem for atheism, or are my (our) emotions simply overriding my (our) rationality?

Feel free to present evidence for or against atheism, Christianity, or any religious or nonreligious perspective in this thread.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 261: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:17 pm
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Autodidact wrote:
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This, I contend, is an example of the god concept in action. Notice the change of meaning employed to continue the notion of a "good" God.

Where there are starving folks, in the millions, I contend this is not indicative of a "good" God, but of a God that prefers folks suffer over lifting a finger to help.


Quote:
And I would contend that it is the result of a brutal world that has rejected God.


Could you explain how that works exactly? Is God punishing people for rejecting them by inflicting starvation on them? Or what?
Good question, but then who is god…..godless geeks lists these examples of the bible not knowing who god is…
WAS JESUS GOD? DOES JESUS CHANGE?
WAS JESUS GOD? - Matthew 19:17 (KJV)
And he said unto him, "Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."

WAS JESUS GOD? - Matthew 24:36 (NIV)
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

WAS JESUS GOD? - Matthew 26:39 (NIV)
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

WAS JESUS GOD? (ALL-KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL) - Matthew 27:46 (NIV)
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" — which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
[NOTE: This is a direct quote from Psalm 22:1.]

WAS JESUS GOD? - Mark 10:18 (NIV)
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good — except God alone."

WAS JESUS GOD? (ALL-KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL) - Mark 13:32 (NIV)
"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

WAS JESUS GOD? (SHOULD PEOPLE WORSHIP JESUS?) - Luke 4:8 (KJV)
And Jesus answered and said unto him, "Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."

WAS JESUS GOD? - Luke 4:41 (NIV)
Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.

WAS JESUS GOD? (ALL-KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL) - Luke 22:42 (NIV)
"Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 1:18 (NIV)
No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 3:16 (KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 4:24 (NIV)
"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

WAS JESUS GOD? (ALL-KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL) - John 5:19 (NIV)
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does."

WAS JESUS GOD? (ALL-KNOWING, ALL POWERFUL) - John 5:30 (NIV)
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me."

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 5:37 (NIV)
"And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form."

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 7:16 (KJV)
Jesus answered them, and said, "My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me."

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 8:42 (NIV)
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me."

WAS JESUS GOD? » YES! « - John 10:30 (KJV)
"I and my Father are one."

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 14:6 (NIV)
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 14:28 (NIV)
"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."

WAS JESUS GOD? - John 20:17 (NIV)
Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"

WAS JESUS GOD? - Hebrews 5:8-9
Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.

WAS JESUS GOD? - Acts 2:22 (KJV)
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:"

DOES JESUS CHANGE? - Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

The bible doesn’t make the distinction without contradictions about healing believers over non-believers…. God seems to be a bit absent minded if we accept your question earnestly….or at the very least the bible is extremely flawed.
HEALING THE SICK
JESUS ON HEALING THE SICK - Matthew 9:12 (NIV)
On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick."

JESUS ON HEALING THE SICK - Matthew 10:1
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

JESUS ON GENTILES, WHOM TO HEAL - Matthew 10:5-8
These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons."

JESUS ON GENTILES, WHOM TO HEAL - Matthew 15:22-26
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

JAMES ON HEALING THE SICK - James 5:14-15
"Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up."

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 262: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:00 am
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Chase200mph wrote:
Haven wrote:
Artie wrote:
Would giving up my own life to save five others be the right choice? That would be suicide.


In my opinion, yes, it would be the right choice. I would absolutely give up my own life if I had the chance to save five other lives.
Would you give up your life if you could save those people without giving up your life……because that would be suicide?
No I wouldn't. That would be suicide.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 263: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:08 am
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Autodidact wrote:
Autodidact wrote:
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
-Dalai Lama
Quote:
This may work in some cases and also hopefully in the ultimate level of life review after death. However there are also many cases when both purposes do not match. Some ways of practicing compassion may only succeed to make oneself happy at the expense of others
Such as what?That sounds like the opposite of compassion to me.
Quote:
(see there the section "The spiritual ego, in practice"), while some of the best possible actions, such as developing something (a new technology, a piece of art...) that will benefit millions, fails to make oneself happy during this life to any proportional extent, for lack of personally knowing the beneficiaries of one's actions
. I don't think so. I think, for example, that developing the polio made Dr. Jonas Salk very happy.
Quote:
Again, see also that big type of example, of how both purposes may diverge, so that not the same type of compassion would best help either purpose during this life.
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying.

Here is another way of putting it:
When I do good, I feel good, and when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion. --Abraham Lincoln

If you don't understand what I'm saying, I guess it is because you did not follow the links where I gave some detailed explanations.
Still more arguments can be found here and there.

If you are in hurry, okay here is a short version:
Okay, it is possible to find examples of people who found fulfillment after making great deeds. But this does not always work. To take an extreme example, imagine a dissident making great actions to undermine a totalitarian system. He is caught and tortured for several years. Then he dies and his death causes people to revolt, overthrow the system and put an end to tyranny. Did his great deeds for others bring himself fulfilment during his life ? I don't think so.

Second, there is a wide diversity of actions motivated by compassion, but that are in fact wasteful or even harmful, because the person doing them has erroneous ideas about the consequences of his actions as compared to the consequences of other options; and in fact, this misunderstanding and this resulting wrong choice may even better succeed to mistakenly satisfy himself about the morality of his deeds, rather than if he properly understood things and did a truly better choice.

To take an extreme example, we can consider the act of compassion by Christians of past centuries who burned heretics in order to save them from hell. They thought "If I was heretic, I would ultimately prefer to be burned rather than go to hell".
But there are many other kinds of examples, much less extreme but much more widespread, such as prayers for people's conversion, and many other cases due to non-religious kinds of errors.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 264: Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:22 am
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From Post 253:

spayne wrote:

I think your argument is a classic case of the atheist seeing the misery in the world and blaming God for it. But that is not the Christian worldview. The Christian does not blame God for the evil in the world because God explicitly holds people personally and corporally accountable to make good decisions, and is very clear that He is not going to step in and exert his will over the freedom of choice that people want to have. That would be a dictatorship. It's obviously very hard to undertand the reality of poverty. But I believe that many Christians would confirm that poverty, like so many other social ills, is a consequence or a symptom of a world that is full of greed, pride, selfishness, conquest and conflict. Hence, my statement that starvation is the result of a brutal world that has rejected God.

I propose then the Christian who praises God when folks do good is in equal error.

spayne wrote:

On the other end we have statements in the Bible that God's love for people is incomprehensible and unending. And I believe he hears the cries of the broken...those who are in a state of starvation or some other kind of misery for example. And if they are willing to reach out to him (many are not), he will be their "refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble," as Psalm 46 states.

One'd hafta reach for him, cause he sure ain't a-reachin'. Dude can make frogs fall from the sky, but just can't find it in his heart to rain biscuits down on the starving.

spayne wrote:

Blessings to you today.

I 'preciate that, and hope the same for you.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 265: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:22 am
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Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
Hello Jester, it's been awhile.

Yes, I've been severely cutting back my debating as of late, but best to you. I hope all has been well.

I can't say that I have much to add, though. Simply this:
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
I don't understand how the decision to believe or not to believe is even an option for you, or Haven, or anyone else.

I didn't mean to claim anything about whether or not believing in something is a matter of choice. I really only meant to point out that the argument seemed to me to be true.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
The problem with morality is that it is an arbitrary concept, like right and wrong.

Being a bit burned out on debate, I'm not sure I'm feeling up to supporting the proper basicality of moral truth from a philosophical perspective. However, I've seen no convincing argument for the claim that morals are arbitrary.
Your post seemed to be based on the idea that an objective standard would be a rigid or dogmatic rule, rather than a matter of the spirit of the law. Perhaps I simply misunderstood, however.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 266: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:24 am
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My logic tells me that there is no way we got here by chance, but my logic also questions as to whether the architect is as friendly and loving as christians proclaim him to be.

To say that the sole reason why God sits passively on the sidelines and allows people to bear exctruciating pain because he "holds people accountable to make good decisions" doesn't make much sense to me. If I had the power to intervene and prevent my own children from being tortured because someone chose to do so, but instead decided to sit by and watch as it happened, any logcial human being would condemn me and agree that I wasn't displaying love at all. How is it then that we can say that God is displaying love by allowing daily attrocities year after year to happen to his own children? It's very easy for us in our comfortable chairs, warm homes and full stomachs to proclaim "God loves me", but try convincing that to someone who is being subjected to torture, starvation, or being forced to watch their children go through something like this. As a Christian Apologist, I am of the opinion that you would should be required to conjure up a much beter explanation than this to explain why cruel things are allowed to continually happen to people on a second by second basis for thousands and thousands of years. If a man believes in God, then views the world, isn't it a natural reaction for him to hold God accountable for not protecting his people from pain? I have yet to hear an explanation that holds any weight to me.

spayne wrote:

I think your argument is a classic case of the atheist seeing the misery in the world and blaming God for it. But that is not the Christian worldview. The Christian does not blame God for the evil in the world because God explicitly holds people personally and corporally accountable to make good decisions, and is very clear that He is not going to step in and exert his will over the freedom of choice that people want to have. That would be a dictatorship. It's obviously very hard to undertand the reality of poverty. But I believe that many Christians would confirm that poverty, like so many other social ills, is a consequence or a symptom of a world that is full of greed, pride, selfishness, conquest and conflict. Hence, my statement that starvation is the result of a brutal world that has rejected God.

I propose then the Christian who praises God when folks do good is in equal error.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 267: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:45 pm
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TheJackelantern wrote:
arian wrote:

Your Youtube video is a perfect example of a weak mind, and this would never happen to me unless I was in on the joke.


So the Monkeys have a strong mind, and the humans have a weak mind.... Clearly you are not grasping this.. And it's rather interesting how that relates to cults and religions eh?..


The monkey reacted to pain (his or the other in the group) and NOT to what the other monkeys were thinking of his actions, or the way he dressed, or the way he combed his hair before coming to class.
Did they take the monkeys into a rec-room and have them talk about what monkey A was doing to monkey B? Did the scientists observe some debate between the monkeys that influenced the monkey from pulling the chain that caused pain?

When a monkey trips over his water bowl, do the other monkeys get around and laugh at him, and call him names?

Take a banana and and before a group of peers, hold it front of the monkey and say to him: "You are one stupid monkey. You will do just about anything I ask you to as long as you get this banana. Here, take this banana you ignorant dumb monkey, and go sit in your tree."

Now do the same thing to that student in your video front of his class.

Now the next day repeat the experiment with both the student and the monkey, and let me ask you, do you think the student will accept that banana after what you told him, how you have embarrassed him front of his class the day before?

Now do you think the monkey will take the banana even if all the other monkeys are watching?

We are far more than monkeys (well Believers are anyways) and we have a million more things going in our mind that can influence our 'choices' than the monkeys/animals do.

The same way, we can put a lot more meaning into an observation than what is really there, unless now you will show me some documents that monkeys write poetry, and how much more 'feeling' they put in their poetry than humans do?


TheJackelantern wrote:
arian wrote:
Yes, by the teaching of evolution, people eventually accept that they are nothing but animals, and that even animals can show more compassion than humans.


You are an animal silly.. Your ego seems to big for it's britches if you think you are not.. That's called narcissism (used in the context of elitism). Especially when you are trying to argue from an appeal to emotion in the highlighted text.


Shocked I... am... an... animal... I... am... an... animal... ... nope, won't work.

Naw, no matter how you try to insult me I still will not agree that a two inch line is a foot long, nor that just because you believe you are an animal, that I should believe I am one also.
Sorry, that might work on unbelieving college kids, but not on Believers. Laughing

TheJackelantern wrote:
arian wrote:

In school, especially in College, evolution is presented as intelligent rational reasoning, while 'creation' is put down as dumb, unscientific ignorance. This is brainwashing just like you showed in the video, and which college kid would want to be labeled stupid? This also proves that most kids 'know' evolution is a lie, just don't want to be labeled stupid, so they go along with it.


Again you are appealing to emotion here. And have you scientifically shown creationism?


As a rebuttal to your ASU video, I present you this little example:

Father walks in Johnnies room and finds him reading the Bible.

"Look Johnny, we need to talk. Now let me explain to you something; you see that Grandfather clock against the wall, that was made by a famous clock-maker. It was carefully thought out, planned, designed and a lot of people put a lot of work in making it.

Now look at that flower, or your hamster in his cage, or even your friend Billy, ... all these things that we people did not design and create just appeared out of nowhere with no plan or will of anyone.
You Johnny, you were not planned but just happened by chance, result of a chaotic explosion 13.75 billion years ago that came out of nowhere, from 'nothing'. Your mother, unlike having the right to get rid of, or even touch my favorite 'Grandfather Clock' there, ... had the 'choice' in aborting you at any time while you were in her womb because you, unlike the clock, are an accident of evolution.
Now you understand this don't you Johnny?

Now I don't want to see you ever reading that book on fairy-tales, that, .. that Bible ever again, so instead, I give you this here book called: 'On the Origin of Species' by a wise and great man Charles Darwin. He will explain how all the things that man didn't make came about, how it formed itself, and how it all relates to one another, OK?"

TheJackelantern wrote:
Nope.. Do creationists use dishonesty and appeals to ignorance? Yes.. Does this make them dumb in general? No...


Not dumb, ... just ignorant, right?
See, you prove my point once again, that; Reading the Bible and believing in a Creator is 'ignorance', while reading 'On the Origin of Species' is 'wisdom'!

"See that two inch line Johnny, ... it is actually a foot long! OK, good, now you are smart because you 'belong'."

TheJackelantern wrote:
And sorry, evolution is evidence based


No, I'm sorry, because your 'evolution' is based on the 'Evidence of Creation' that is observed all around us.

Which came first, the 'theory of evolution', or the obvious universe around us?

An auto-mechanic can say what he wants, like the car he just tore apart evolved from a pineapple, but the obvious will remain that the car was designed by a 'designer', and built by Toyota, Ford, Honda or Chevy.

TheJackelantern wrote:
and not just faith based blind assertion..


So then what, .. by 'theory' based blind assertions?
... OK then. Whistle Rolling Eyes

TheJackelantern wrote:
But this subject shift you are attempting does not address why the humans failed miserably compared to the monkeys in regards to administering electric shocks, especially supposedly lethal shocks under the knowledge that given that they would be... So your best answer is "oh, they were of weak mind"... Do you have any idea how many tests like this have been done on humans? A lot, and the results are pretty much the same.


What? Are you kidding?
Do you think the result of the ASU experiment would have been any different from the monkeys if the one students answer caused 'electric shock' in his fellow classmates instead of just peer-pressure? This only proves that we humans are a much more complex and sensitive Creation than the animals. We don't need electric shocks to convince us one way or the other, mere suggestion, or peer pressure is enough to set us off in the wrong direction, and I'm sure you know this.
You really do believe that we Believers have a weak mind which can be easily confused and indoctrinated, don't you?

TheJackelantern wrote:
So the point of this video I posted arian is to show you that your assessment of the Monkeys is way off, and you can't seem to accept how a monkey or any other animal can be capable of compassion, empathy, or moral fortitude...


I never said animals had no compassion, I even mentioned that I believe the experiment would have worked much better with dogs. The rest of your description of animals feelings is from human (as you say next) 'higher intelligence'. Just as we humans can 'unexplain' a lot of truths, we can also make up and add a lot of made up 'theories' to experiments, especially on dumb animals.
Our childrens cartoons portraying animals living/acting/walking/talking as humans that we use to 'indoctrinate' our kids with is a perfect example of this, that there is a plan to 'brainwash' humanity into believing that we are nothing but animals.

TheJackelantern wrote:
Yes humans have a higher capacity for these due to higher intelligence. However, we also have a higher capacity to be brutal, ruthless, destructive, and subject to manipulation to which can cause you to do horrible things without much care or consideration.. It's often found in the MOB mentality, and tribal nature..


I agree, and as I said before, this is why 'brainwashing, indoctrination' is the favorite tools used by the 'ruling-party', because they know it works on humans. It works better than boiling them in oil, or burning them at the stake, which is the very 'opposite' of animals.

You can talk all you want and try to 'brainwash' an animal, and see if it works? But if you roll up a newspaper, or take a 15,000 volt electric probe in your hand, now just watch them heed and obey you. So the hope is to make Believers in God believe they are nothing but animals, and this here life is all there is so they could be more easily manipulated by the old 'threat of pain/death' method.
But if they remain in Believing they are created in Gods image, and that they are different than animals, nothing seems to work against them.

TheJackelantern wrote:
It's rooted in needing to be accepted and a part of the majority group out of fear of being outlasted or seen as disobedient... You can see this written all over the bible, and inherent in religious dogma ect.


Wrong, I don't seek, nor do I desire to be accepted by others by 'believing' in the lies they believe in, and this is why I am hated;

Matt 10:22
22 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
NKJV


Neither great reward, nor the threat of punishment will take me away from Believing in my Lord, and my GOD, which is the only form of 'absolute truth' that exists. The 'promise' is enough for me, for I know who it comes from, and that it can be trusted. My life is an example of this, So I continue to:

Luke 6:35
35 .. love my enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
NKJV


TheJackelantern wrote:
And it's not just subject to religion, or the religious. The video shows how such brainwashing works, and it's applicable even to how companies advertise their products ect. When you know how brainwashing works, it's rather easier to pick out when it's being used, or has been used. It offers you some protection against it, and that applies to everyone here.


It sure does, ... thank you TheJackelantern for bringing this to our attention. This is why we are to
learn the truth,
then seek out that truth,
and STAND on that truth

no matter what 'brainwashing, or indoctrination' they try to use on us;

Eph 6:16
16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
NKJV


Thank you my friend.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 268: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:55 pm
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spoirier wrote:
Indeed, as some NDEs suggest, I think each one will be affected by the effects of one's actions on others after death.

Since the topic of NDEs has been mentioned,

P.M.H. Atwater (1994) has found that NDEs which manifest visions of the classical western hell are much more likely to occur in the Southeast part of the U.S., the so-called `Bible belt', where the literal veracity of the Bible is often taken for granted.

Several studies (Pasricha, 1986, Schorer, 1985-86) & Kellehear, 1993) have indicated that the phenomenologies of NDEs are culture-bound. The observation that the Being of Light can appear differently according to a person's expectations of what God will be like (Osis, 1975) supports the notion that a person's religion also plays a role.

Mellen-Thomas Bendict survived a near-death experience in 1982. He has a web site about NDEs and wrote the book, "Excerpts From Journey Through the Light and Back". During his NDE, he was informed that creation is God exploring God's Self through every way imaginable, in an ongoing, infinite exploration through every one of us.

From what I've read, NDEs vary significantly according to culture and religion. It seems to me our minds manifest whatever mental/emotional state we happen to be in when our brains begin to shut down. The threat of karmic retribution doesn't scare me any more than the classical western hell. No one has ever been brought back after their cells started dying, so my guess is that whatever NDEs are, they are only a transitional phase to something else. There may be a sense of timelessness which some feel is eternity, but there is no way to know whether such a state lasts after the constituent parts, aggregates, husks, layers, levels or whatever make up the complex entity have been become untangled, dissolved, melded, merged or returned to the states they were in before coming together as a first person perspective called "I". Bring a mind back to consciousness after cell necrosis begins and I'll give serious attention to the description. Otherwise, it all sounds like people are just conjuring up self-reflective realms where they either attain conflict resolution, find comfort or punish themselves before they actually pass through the curtain of conscious existence into the actual unknown. Just getting near is not near enough.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 269: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:35 pm
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[quote="arian"]
TheJackelantern wrote:
arian wrote:
Your Youtube video is a perfect example of a weak mind, and this would never happen to me unless I was in on the joke.
So the Monkeys have a strong mind, and the humans have a weak mind.... Clearly you are not grasping this.. And it's rather interesting how that relates to cults and religions eh?..

Quote:
The monkey reacted to pain (his or the other in the group)
Yes he did. When he understood that his actions inflicted pain on others he stopped even to his own disadvantage. That was the whole point. Not whether he understood poetry. Did you get the point?
Quote:
Shocked I... am... an... animal... I... am... an... animal... ... nope, won't work.
Take a DNA swab. Compare your genome to a chimpanzee and you will find that you share over 95% of your genes with it. How can you not be an animal? What do you think are in those 5% that makes you divine?
Quote:
"Look Johnny, we need to talk. Now let me explain to you something; you see that Grandfather clock against the wall, that was made by a famous clock-maker. It was carefully thought out, planned, designed and a lot of people put a lot of work in making it.
Then tell him that that clock is a result of evolution. Sundials -> Water Clocks -> Candle Clocks -> Sandglass -> Weightdriven -> Springdriven -> Pendulumdriven. What happens when Johnny grows up and understands that other people believe Allah created the universe, or that yet others believe that Brahman created the universe? When he puts two and two together and understands that he has been brainwashed into believing that the Christian God created the universe simply because his dad didn't have the brains to understand that which deity you believe in just depends on what your parents believe in and where you happened to be born? Will he be proud of his dad then...

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MPG Recipient Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 270: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:59 pm
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ossiezig wrote:
My logic tells me that there is no way we got here by chance, but my logic also questions as to whether the architect is as friendly and loving as christians proclaim him to be.


Hello 'ossiezing' and welcome to the forum.

I agree with you, and I would strongly suggest you do your own 'research' on whether God is as 'loving and friendly' as claimed. I have, but it takes a lot of soul-searching and analyzing the past.
Don't let anyone convince you of anything that goes against your own conscious, so "ask, and it shall be given unto you!"

ossiezing wrote:
To say that the sole reason why God sits passively on the sidelines and allows people to bear exctruciating pain because he "holds people accountable to make good decisions" doesn't make much sense to me.


God left us laws to abide by, so if anyone cause excruciating pain to others will be held accountable sooner or later.

People have become accustomed to seeing their fellow man suffer, so they tend to ignore it as long as possible, or until it is them or one of their 'loved-ones' that suffer from the same cause before they react.

ossiezing wrote:
If I had the power to intervene and prevent my own children from being tortured because someone chose to do so, but instead decided to sit by and watch as it happened, any logcial human being would condemn me and agree that I wasn't displaying love at all.


Even the vilest and most brutal criminals protect and love their own children. Do you believe that it is because they are just so loving? (remember I said most brutal)

God does that, just as He took care of us taking that next breath we so need to survive, or that next heart-beat.
Ask yourself; if a guy who can love and protect his own children, yet cause pain and suffering to others, is that supposed to be Gods fault?

There are a few things that God left for us to handle, and gave means to handle them by.

ossiezing wrote:
How is it then that we can say that God is displaying love by allowing daily attrocities year after year to happen to his own children? It's very easy for us in our comfortable chairs, warm homes and full stomachs to proclaim "God loves me", but try convincing that to someone who is being subjected to torture, starvation, or being forced to watch their children go through something like this.


God did not supply the young black Muslim children in Africa with machine-guns and told them to go and kill, torture and drive their Christian neighbors out of their homes into the desert to starve, but those who, as you said; "sit in their comfortable chairs, warm homes and full stomachs" did! Ask them 'why'?

ossiezing wrote:
As a Christian Apologist, I am of the opinion that you would should be required to conjure up a much beter explanation than this to explain why cruel things are allowed to continually happen to people on a second by second basis for thousands and thousands of years. If a man believes in God, then views the world, isn't it a natural reaction for him to hold God accountable for not protecting his people from pain? I have yet to hear an explanation that holds any weight to me.


As I said, MAN causes, and allows, "cruel things to continually happen to people on a second by second basis for thousands and thousands of years" now as a "Christian Apologist" I am and have been doing my darnest to make people aware of their actions, and help as many in pain and suffering as I can.

Please tell me what are you doing to try to stop such atrocities, ... blame the Christian Apologists and God for it all? Just because someone doesn't believe in God does not automatically releve them of the responsibility of what is going on in this world, nor does it give them the right to blame God for it all, or have you forgotten, ... 'they don't believe in God'!

spayne wrote:

I think your argument is a classic case of the atheist seeing the misery in the world and blaming God for it. But that is not the Christian worldview. The Christian does not blame God for the evil in the world because God explicitly holds people personally and corporally accountable to make good decisions, and is very clear that He is not going to step in and exert his will over the freedom of choice that people want to have. That would be a dictatorship. It's obviously very hard to undertand the reality of poverty. But I believe that many Christians would confirm that poverty, like so many other social ills, is a consequence or a symptom of a world that is full of greed, pride, selfishness, conquest and conflict. Hence, my statement that starvation is the result of a brutal world that has rejected God.


Amen 'spayne', the sun will rise, and the rain will come, that is taken care of. But the 'taking care of our fellow man, especially those in need' is OUR responsibility. God bless you friend.

ossiezing wrote:
I propose then the Christian who praises God when folks do good is in equal error.


We don't 'praise God' when people do good, we praise God for all things, ... period.

Gal 6:6-9
Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
NKJV


Again, welcome to the forum friend.

Odon

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