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Thread: Perspective from athiests/agnostics

  1. #41
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by UKShootist View Post
    Science v faith. I cannot know all of science, even the scientists don't know it all. But, like breaking the sound barrier, when you find previously unknown facts you can accept them in science. Faith faced with evidence of it's falsity required mental gymnastics to overcome the plain truth. Some Bible followers (I cannot call then Christian) believe the earth is around 4,000 years old. This by information given in the bible. When questioned about dinosaur fossils they will argue that they were put in the earth by God to test peoples faith, a mean trick by any standards. When carbon dating is mentioned they will poo poo it as inaccurate science because they can't, or more likely won't, understand it. I can only think of such people as fools. I would recommend watching the film "Inherit The Wind". A Hollywood representation to be sure, of the 'Stopes Monkey Trial'. For those who cannot accept the possibility of humans evolving from apes, I would merely ask, who are you to judge how a God might produce humans?

    P.S. I do not believe that I have said anything that would contradict the possibility of Jesus being pretty much what the Bible says He was.
    Our pastor believes the universe is 6-10k years old based on the Bible. These last few weeks we have focused on Genesis and he made a point of ridiculing science to a chorus of “amens” from a few in the congregation. What fools. Our pastor is intelligent and it amazes me he believes what he believes.

    Faith is a negative quality when it gets in the way of common sense and reality.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by UKShootist View Post
    1) Atheism is a belief that there is no God. That requires the same faith or belief as anyone who believes there IS a God.

    I disagree to a point.
    Yes believing there is no god requires faith in the sense that you believe in something with no evidence. But you can't prove a negative.

    It is the same faith people have that fairies and leprechauns don't exist. You can't prove a negative, so any time you believe something does not exist, there is a certain amount of faith in that sense.

    But it is the same kind of faith that I don't believe Bigfoot or fairies exist. (I am not comparing religious people to those who believe in fairies, it's just an example).

    And unlike the majority of religious people, most atheists would change their minds in the face of evidence.
    My father is a good man and I love him dearly, but if he read in the Bible that 2+2 equaled 5, he would re-evaluate the way he thought about mathematics, not the way he thought about his faith.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  3. #43
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    I am neither of the listed.
    1) A god is not a personal genie.
    2) If humans are an accident or 'evolution' then morality makes NO sense.
    3) if there is truly a God/Creator and you don't care about God, that God probably won't care about YOU. Only counts if you believe there is existence after the physical body quits. And we have NO proof of that either.
    4) The definition of agnostic I've heard is someone who wants to play both sides of the fence.
    Whatever!

  4. #44
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    4) The definition of agnostic I've heard is someone who wants to play both sides of the fence.

    I have heard it put that an agnostic is an atheist with no umm............courage.

    I don't know that I agree. I was taught all my life that God exists. Now I have questions. I'm not convinced. I don't know if that is wanting to play both sides of the fence or not. Perhaps it is. I just don't claim to know for sure either way.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    I am neither of the listed.
    I don't think I can let this one run unchallenged!

    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    1) A god is not a personal genie.
    The would depend upon which God you are talking about, whether he, or any others exist, and what your definition of a genie is.

    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    2) If humans are an accident or 'evolution' then morality makes NO sense.
    Simply not true. You would be surprised at how much morality there is in a chimpanzee colony. Again, though, define morality. In some societies it is considered utterly moral and honourable to kill your daughter for associating with a man from outside your society. Morals are man made and usually involve the control of others. It is considered immoral to kill another human being without good cause. Ignoring for a moment the definition of 'good cause', any society that did not have this moral imperative will not last long.

    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    3) if there is truly a God/Creator and you don't care about God, that God probably won't care about YOU.
    Well, apart from going against most scriptures that doesn't seem to say much about that God, but then I have already said that IMO if there is a God, he's not very nice at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Only counts if you believe there is existence after the physical body quits. And we have NO proof of that either.
    True, you've got to wait to find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    4) The definition of agnostic I've heard is someone who wants to play both sides of the fence.
    That definition is wrong. In fact, it's the sort of thing a rather bigoted religious person might say. An agnostic just doesn't know and doubts that anyone can know. But whoever you heard say to will no doubt be comfortably smug in his wit, albeit he will only be half right.

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
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    It is nothing but a statistic.
    What insider information do you have that Christians are all so goody goody.
    The jails are full of them and you know it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Goodness! Do you actually think Christians are a majority of criminals? On what AOC metric are you claiming that?

    I mean, it is my (easily defendable) position that Christians are the the world's leading defenders of the powerless, not their oppressors! What insider information do you have that the rest of us don't?
    EDG

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Goodness! Do you actually think Christians are a majority of criminals? On what AOC metric are you claiming that?

    I mean, it is my (easily defendable) position that Christians are the the world's leading defenders of the powerless, not their oppressors! What insider information do you have that the rest of us don't?
    I think it's just a statistics thing.
    The U.S. has a high percentage of Christians. Thus, most criminals claim to be Christian. It's simply because most Americans are Christian.
    Just like if you were in India, most criminals would be Hindus.

    That is not an insult to the particular religion, and does not mean that Christians have a higher percentage of criminals than other religions or non-believers. Just the sheer numbers make it almost where it almost has to be that way.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  8. #48
    Boolit Master
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    Well EDG, you're "just "quoting" statistics? I have to wonder where those statistics came from and who you think is a "Christian". Quote whatever you wish and believe whatever fiction fits your chosen narrative of the day but that won't make your quotes valid. IF you have such a survey, I challenge it.

    We all know statistics don't lie. But most of us also know that "expert" statisticians do lie, they often lie to fit the perceived desires of their audience. (How are the statistics for the Hag's well known landslide presidential victory going these days, is she still losing?) I seriously doubt any real statisticians have ever even attempted to poll enough criminals to gather the preposterous data you quote.

    Few non-Christians have a clue how to separate those who really are Christian from those who just claim to be ... do you? Surely you know that just claiming to be a Christian isn't being; like, if I were a "liberal" politician, for political gain I might proudly claim to be at least 0.0001% American Indian by blood and a few gullible dummies would almost certainly believe me but my claim would be bogus! See what I mean; if we aren't careful about what attractive "claims" and "statistics" we chose to believe we can become quite gullible and easily be led astray!

  9. #49
    Boolit Master
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    Challenge away but you know that this is a Christian nation by both history and tradition.
    It would have to be some other kind of nation nation for the most common faith among the criminal population to be of another faith. Yo really walked into this one leading with your chin. Did you really think that no such survey or statistic existed? Of course it exists bubba. Just google the most common religions in the prison population. Are you so biased with religious intolerance that you cannot hazard to seek the facts on your own? I did not identify a single Christian in this - they identified themselves.

    It appears that fully 50% are Protestants...14.5% are Catholic
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/...-us-prisoners/

    A different set of numbers with a similar result.
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...o-be-atheists/



    So you were saying obviously without any investigation or facts?
    Here are the data. Notice the vast preponderance of Christian religious affiliations? What did you expect it to be? Surely you did not expect the prisons to be full of atheists when they are such a small part of the general population.



    RELIGION PRISON POP. GENERAL POP.
    Protestant 28.7% 44.0%
    Catholic 24.0 25.1
    Muslim 8.4 0.6
    Native American 3.1 0.1
    Pagan 2.0 0.1
    Jewish 1.7 1.2
    Churches of Christ 1.5 0.8
    Buddhist 1.0 0.5
    Jehovah’s Witness 0.7 0.8
    Seventh Day Adventist 0.3 0.4
    Mormon 0.3 1.4
    Eastern Orthodox 0.2 0.4
    Apostolic 0.2 0.4
    Hindu 0.1 0.3
    Atheist 0.1 0.7
    Pentecostal 0.1 2.4
    Sikh <0.1 <0.1






    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    Well EDG, you're "just "quoting" statistics? I have to wonder where those statistics came from and who you think is a "Christian". Quote whatever you wish and believe whatever fiction fits your chosen narrative of the day but that won't make your quotes valid. IF you have such a survey, I challenge it.

    We all know statistics don't lie. But most of us also know that "expert" statisticians do lie, they often lie to fit the perceived desires of their audience. (How are the statistics for the Hag's well known landslide presidential victory going these days, is she still losing?) I seriously doubt any real statisticians have ever even attempted to poll enough criminals to gather the preposterous data you quote.

    Few non-Christians have a clue how to separate those who really are Christian from those who just claim to be ... do you? Surely you know that just claiming to be a Christian isn't being; like, if I were a "liberal" politician, for political gain I might proudly claim to be at least 0.0001% American Indian by blood and a few gullible dummies would almost certainly believe me but my claim would be bogus! See what I mean; if we aren't careful about what attractive "claims" and "statistics" we chose to believe we can become quite gullible and easily be led astray!
    Last edited by EDG; 07-22-2019 at 11:20 PM.
    EDG

  10. #50
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    “Few non-Christians have a clue how to separate those who really are Christian from those who just claim to be ... do you?“

    In fact I do, and I know with certainty that your feelings on the subject don’t matter.

  11. #51
    Boolit Buddy Wag's Avatar
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    I wasn't going to post again but there are some posts directed to me so I'll reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
    Wag,
    Thanks for sharing your views.
    Your post was interesting to me.

    It is sad to read that you and your family are not speaking.
    Not knowing the specifics, I don't know the whole picture but perhaps take a step up and contact them to re-establish the family?
    Maybe you have tried that already though.
    <sigh>
    I would like to have a good relationship with my family. Truth is, I still love them but the problem is that they are so utterly poisonous that it rubs off and becomes problematic. Some day, perhaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    You haven't made the right choice yet. You're taking the actions and attitudes of a few people as representative of Christianity; that's a mistake.
    Comments like yours make it impossible to have a conversation. It's clear you didn't read my entire post or you didn't understand it. Either way, I'll just refer you to the post again. Also, a comment I'll make below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkansas Paul View Post
    Wag,
    A lot of what you said resonates with me. A LOT of it.

    Every aspect of my life was controlled by religion. Women were treated horribly. Every command given was delivered with a threat of eternal punishment attached to it.
    There is no doubt if I would have visited a psychologist in my early teens I would have been diagnosed with something. I was a constant nervous wreck. I lost weight because every time I tried to eat I got sick. I was in constant fear that I would go to hell. Nothing was ever good enough.
    Then I had a daughter, and shortly after decided that she was not going to be raised in that environment. So at first we changed churches to one that believed similar theological doctrine, but was a little more lax on the rules. Then we quit altogether. Now I go to church with my mother on Mother's Day and my father on Father's Day.

    Fortunately, I still have a relationship with my family. Don't get me wrong, they believe I'm going to be tortured for eternity, but we are still on very good terms.
    You're fortunate to have a good relationship with your loved ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    . . .and I know with certainty that your feelings on the subject don’t matter.
    Which is exactly why you're ineffective at having this conversation.

    Point is, actually, that such conversations do very little other than for people of common opinion to fluff each other. It's almost unheard of because nobody is willing to listen to each other.

    One question I like to ask is, "If you found out your belief is wrong, what would you do?" The question works on either side. The answer is frequently, "I know I'm not wrong." At that point, you can no longer discuss because the mind(s) are closed.

    I did discover that my belief was wrong. I changed the course of my life because of it and lost much because of it. But I refuse to be dishonest and continue to live in a way that I know to be wrong. Why would I? That would be the greater lie.

    --Wag--
    "Great genius will always encounter fierce opposition from mediocre minds." --Albert Einstein.

  12. #52
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wag View Post
    I wasn't going to post again but there are some posts directed to me so I'll reply.



    I would like to have a good relationship with my family. Truth is, I still love them but the problem is that they are so utterly poisonous that it rubs off and becomes problematic. Some day, perhaps.



    Comments like yours make it impossible to have a conversation. It's clear you didn't read my entire post or you didn't understand it. Either way, I'll just refer you to the post again. Also, a comment I'll make below.



    You're fortunate to have a good relationship with your loved ones.



    Which is exactly why you're ineffective at having this conversation.

    Point is, actually, that such conversations do very little other than for people of common opinion to fluff each other. It's almost unheard of because nobody is willing to listen to each other.

    One question I like to ask is, "If you found out your belief is wrong, what would you do?" The question works on either side. The answer is frequently, "I know I'm not wrong." At that point, you can no longer discuss because the mind(s) are closed.

    I did discover that my belief was wrong. I changed the course of my life because of it and lost much because of it. But I refuse to be dishonest and continue to live in a way that I know to be wrong. Why would I? That would be the greater lie.

    --Wag--
    As far as your quote of me:

    I am willing to discuss nearly anything, and am definitely ok being wrong. My tone was in response to the tone given by 1hole. If he is going to put himself on a religious high horse, he should display at least cursory knowledge of his religion.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master
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    It seems that the crickets have this one.
    Christians do not possess any special powers permitting only Christians to identify other Christians.
    That is Christians are only too happy to identify themselves without the need for help from other Christians and that includes all those self identifying Christians that are the majority of the population in our prison system. Are the Christians in the prison system also so smart that they have made the intelligent and inspired choice of a god and a faith as compared to all believers (of other faiths) and non-believes alike?

    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    “Few non-Christians have a clue how to separate those who really are Christian from those who just claim to be ... do you?“

    In fact I do, and I know with certainty that your feelings on the subject don’t matter.
    EDG

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Our pastor believes the universe is 6-10k years old based on the Bible. These last few weeks we have focused on Genesis and he made a point of ridiculing science to a chorus of “amens” from a few in the congregation.

    When I went to church, my pastor was an intelligent design kind of guy.
    He didn't mention things from behind the pulpit because it would have caused a mutiny if the older folks in the congregation had know what he really believed about creation.

    Ask your pastor how much time elapsed between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
    That's how mine justified the age of the Earth and such. He said millions of years could have separated the two verses.
    We talked at length about the topic while fishing one day. I couldn't believe it.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy T_McD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkansas Paul View Post
    When I went to church, my pastor was an intelligent design kind of guy.
    He didn't mention things from behind the pulpit because it would have caused a mutiny if the older folks in the congregation had know what he really believed about creation.

    Ask your pastor how much time elapsed between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
    That's how mine justified the age of the Earth and such. He said millions of years could have separated the two verses.
    We talked at length about the topic while fishing one day. I couldn't believe it.
    This gets argued back and forth constantly and I don’t feel it’s relevant. How does one prove it, and more importantly, what difference does it make in how one is to treat fellow humans?

    It’s largely a red herring and a divisive one at that. Athiest or minister and everyone in between, how does origin of life change your day to day interaction with others?

  16. #56
    Boolit Buddy
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    It definitely does not change your day to day interactions with others.
    It's just an interesting question to ask those people who take the Bible so literally. That is the extent of it for me.

    If everything in the Bible were true, how old the world was would be the last thing I was worried about.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkansas Paul View Post
    And unlike the majority of religious people, most atheists would change their minds in the face of evidence.
    What evidence would be sufficient? What evidence could there be that could not be explained away?
    "There are no solutions there are only tradeoffs" ~ Thomas Sowell

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerpetualStudent View Post
    What evidence would be sufficient? What evidence could there be that could not be explained away?
    Good question.
    I've never seen any at all.
    When you ask for it you get answers like, "I feel him in my heart" or "the laughter of a baby" or "the beauty of a rainbow".
    That is not evidence.

    It would take evidence that could be tested and produce repeatable results.
    And we all know, that's not going to happen.
    Life is a series of bullseyes and backstraps - Ted Nugent

  19. #59
    Boolit Buddy
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    The point is that there isn't any because this is not a scientific question. It is philosophy.

    If you got your repeatable testable evidence (which would have to be of a nature you cannot even articulate) it would be explained as some other dimension, higher intelligence or aspect of reality that science will, in time, encompass.
    "Any science sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic"

    If you had a road to damascus epiphany, then you could explain it away as a chemical imbalance, mental weariness/capitulation, or a bad night's sleep.
    "there's more of gravy than of grave about you".

    Both sides are in a "heads I win tails you lose". Neither side can disprove the other. And when we move past that to "but look what [my side] has done for civilization" it turns into a crapshoot. Because it is not just the theists who use the "no true scotsman" logical fallacy nor can there be a conclusion because as Mark Twain pointed out
    "if you laid every economist on earth end to end, they would still not reach a conclusion" and economic measuring is what that argument is.

    You can have a manly stance but you cannot lay it as a scientific one. Philosophy is philosophy. No less a mind than Isaac Asimov noted
    "I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time.”
    "There are no solutions there are only tradeoffs" ~ Thomas Sowell

  20. #60
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    I am mostly in agreement with you, but then you brought up carbon dating.... it’s junk science. I have the same high standards of proof for science as I do religion. Any claim of certainty regarding origin of life must have an incredible amount of proof along with it. Today’s science relies on consensus too much for my taste. Evolution as a mechanism of change in a species is well documented fact. Evolution as a means for life’s origin is not only speculative but requires that other biological concepts be violated.

    “We don’t know” remains the best answer for the origin of life.
    Carbon dating is far from junk science. It is most accurate within the last 20,000 yrs. Many factors come into play when using this method including contamination by older material. Scientists have also developed a dating curve which is updated regularly to make this information the most accurate.

    Radiocarbon dating can easily establish that humans have been on the earth for over twenty thousand years, at least twice as long as creationists are willing to allow. Therefore it should come as no surprise that creationists have been trying desperately to discredit this method for years. They have their work cut out for them, however, because radiocarbon (C-14) dating is one of the most reliable of all the radiometric dating methods.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioc...nd_reliability

    https://ncse.com/cej/3/2/answers-to-...rbon-14-dating

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