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Customer Discussions > Fantasy forum

Atheism vs Religion in Fantasy Fans: An Informal Poll


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Showing 626-650 of 657 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012, 8:05:34 PM PDT
"Many people don't want a God to exist, because it would mean they might have to believe in him and they don't want that."

>>Really? That really makes no sense at all. Listen to yourself<<

Because you don't get it, doesn't mean it doesn't make sense.

You can call my proof whatever you choose. I didn't say it was proof for you.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012, 8:25:51 PM PDT
Donna says:
I require proof, not dogma. You do not.
We live in America which means we can believe what we want. I sincerely hope it stays that way.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012, 8:27:55 PM PDT
Lol! I have my proof.

Of course we can believe what we want. That's what makes it wonderful to live here. But I'm not sure what that has to do with the discussion. Did I miss something?

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012, 8:47:48 PM PDT
Donna says:
Nope, sure don't want to start THAT discussion.
You can believe in your proof and I can be non religious and have no belief in a deity. It is a great country.

In reply to an earlier post on May 31, 2012, 9:27:43 PM PDT
I couldn't agree more, Donna.

One could never be forced into belief, but one could be forced into professed belief. When I see that sort of thing happening in parts of the world I am so saddened at the conditions some people have to live in. It truly is heartbreaking. We are very fortunate, indeed.

Posted on May 31, 2012, 9:33:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 31, 2012, 9:36:11 PM PDT
J. G. Smith says:
Very interesting poll. It's always fun to learn about people's religious views without the forums becoming a hostel place. I myself am a Christian, but I'm also a supporter of gay marriage and I actually love to learn about other people's religions.

(1) Are you a fan of the fantasy genre? YES
(2) Do you believe in a personal God? YES
(3) Would you describe yourself as an Atheist? No
(4) Would you describe yourself as an agnostic? No, but I do believe in a supernatural, such as ghosts and stuff.
(5) Do you believe that "Good" and "Evil" are meaningful concepts? I do.
(6) Name at least one favorite fantasy author? George R. R. Martin, Patricia Briggs, and Laurell K. Hamilton

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 6:42:46 AM PDT
Banished says:
"I have also seen how the bible's current translations (which of many are YOU referring to?) are not accurate but meant something different in its original language."

Not possible, Donna. No originals exist.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 7:23:40 AM PDT
foxtail_too says:
I'm sure Donna meant the original texts from which the current versions of the bible were derived. I haven't made too deep a study of this, but I thought that the original documents were oral traditions/stories that were put to paper (or papyrus, as the case may be), plus texts like the letters of the new testament.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 1, 2012, 10:42:26 AM PDT
Donna says:
The original texts were written in ancient Greek I believe. There were many more "books" of the bible that were not included when the Catholics got through with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 8:49:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 2, 2012, 8:51:30 PM PDT
JD Goff says:
Actually, the Catholics have more books in their bible than other Christian sects who, more often than not, adhere to the books contained in the King James version. Further, there are apocryphal books which are not considered canon. The people who compiled the various versions of the bible, and there have been several over the centuries, omitted those books they considered apocryphal while they included those books/accounts they considered canon or scriptural. Deciding which books to include and which to omit has had an influence on the development of modern Christianity and its numerous sects.

Concerning the language the original text was written in depends on which books you're looking at. Most of the the New Testament was in Aramaic and Greek, while the Old Testament is in Hebrew. Both Aramaic and Hebrew are semitic languages, and in the period in question, certainly the old testament, they were primitive languages characterized by a lack of vowels. Therefore words are hard to understand. For instance, the word for thousand and for family are almost identical. Further complicating things is the word for captain is similar to thousand. Thus we have confusion in the old testament with numbers, where an army of a few hundred defeats an army of thousands. While it sounds miraculous and furthers the notion of divine intervention, an army defeated by another of a few hundred captains (who we may assume command underlings), or a few hundred families is more plausible, as their numbers would also be in the thousands.

The problem with semitic languages is they are very hard to translate because the texts written in these languages weren't meant to be a written history, but rather a mnemonic prompt for an oral history already known to the reader who acted in the role of teacher or narrator to a congregation of mostly illiterate people.

As these languages evolved their written counterpart became more sophisticated and enabled the capture of ideas and their contextual relevance, but in ancient times they lacked such sophistication. This means the original texts are open to wide interpretation during the translation process.

It is from these texts that we derive our historical understanding of God and religion, tempered, or colored by the interpretations of the individuals whose primary role has been their interpretation and re-transmission of the ideas they contained. Is it any wonder there is such diversity in the sects who derive their doctrine therefrom?

This muddying of the water doesn't prove or disprove the existence of God, it only confirms what all of history has proven. Humanity can't agree on anything.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012, 9:41:43 PM PDT
Donna says:
Jonathan you sound very knowledgable and I appreciate your sharing of the language problems in translating the ancient texts of the bible. It doesn't prove or disprove the existence of god but it does explain all the various interpretations existing and those that aren't out there that may be more correct ones.

Posted on Jun 2, 2012, 11:25:49 PM PDT
JD Goff says:
Thanks Donna.

I operate on a maxim of know why you believe what you believe. I can respect an opinion that's different than mine, but I have a hard time respecting one formed in ignorance. By that standard, I have to be careful in the formation of my own beliefs or I risk hypocrisy. I have no doubt I've formed many opinions in ignorance, but I hope that when confronted with that realization I can be mature enough to rethink my position. Too few people are willing to do so, on any number of subjects, reducing what could otherwise be enlightened discussion to mindless arguments.

Because our beliefs drive our actions, beliefs formed in ignorance will result in actions based on ignorance. History has taught us that such a course never ends well, either for individuals, or collectively for societies. This isn't to disparage atheists or religious people, of which group I belong to the latter. Only to advocate that we do our own thinking, rather than leave it up to others, whether it's Christopher Hitchens or the Pope (I'm going to catch grief for comparing the one to the other). Know why you believe what you believe. It's a harder path to walk, but well worth it, or as a wiser man than I once said, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2012, 10:47:11 AM PDT
Donna says:
Intelligent life on Amazon discussion boards is live and well, Jonathan. I was surprised to find you in the religious category. But as you said, know why you believe as you do. Yes, I also do know. I went to Sunday school every week as a child and then was in two other churches as an adult, seeking, seeking. I have studied the bible and I know much of what was said in the New Testament and others as well. Of course I cannot take any of it literally and now look upon not as divine but as inspirational. I do my own thinking. I do not follow doctrine.

Posted on Sep 30, 2012, 4:23:12 PM PDT
Chilly Polly says:
I have not updated this in a while:

Current Tally:

Atheist: 45
Agnostic (non-atheist): 12
Believer (personal God): 39
Believer (other): 13

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2012, 4:37:28 PM PDT
thule222 says:
1) yes
2) yes
3) no
4) no
5) yes
6) Tolkien, Lewis, Howard, Lovecraft,

Posted on Oct 1, 2012, 6:07:43 PM PDT
Lauren says:
(1) Are you a fan of the fantasy genre? Yes
(2) Do you believe in a personal God? Yes
(3) Would you describe yourself as an Atheist? No
(4) Would you describe yourself as an agnostic? No
(5) Do you believe that "Good" and "Evil" are meaningful concepts? Yes
(6) Name at least one favorite fantasy author? Gaiman, Stephenson (more sci-fi), Briggs, Andrews, Heinlein

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 7:25:17 AM PDT
""Many people don't want a God to exist, because it would mean they might have to believe in him and they don't want that."

If God exists there's no reason to believe in Him, after all belief implies uncertainty by the very meaning of the word.

(1) Are you a fan of the fantasy genre? YES
(2) Do you believe in a personal God? NO, but keep an open mind
(3) Would you describe yourself as an Atheist? No
(4) Would you describe yourself as an agnostic? Yes, come to me with hard evidence of the existence of deities and I'm ready to embrace them if they so desire (though I doubt they'd so desire).
(5) Do you believe that "Good" and "Evil" are meaningful concepts? NO, at least not as black and white. There's a massive grey area, most things are good or bad only in specific context. E.g. killing someone can be good in self defense, very bad if unprovoked. Most who go with "good" and "evil" as if they're black and white end up doing great evil in the name of doing good (think of the Spanish inquisition, the Nazi death camps, the Cambodian killing fields, the Soviet gulag. All the people running those thought they were doing good, that those they killed or maimed were evil and would be purified somehow (or at least society would be cleansed of that evil)).
(6) Name at least one favorite fantasy author? Tolkien, Sagan, Norman.

Posted on Oct 3, 2012, 8:00:08 AM PDT
>>If God exists there's no reason to believe in Him, after all belief implies uncertainty by the very meaning of the word.<<

Perhaps you need to read the definition of belief.

>>1.acceptance of truth of something: acceptance by the mind that something is true or real<<

However, to set your mind at rest I will state how I feel.

I know God exists.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 12:33:12 PM PDT
Donna says:
>>1.acceptance of truth of something: acceptance by the mind that something is true or real<<

This thread died months ago (thankfully) so I hesitate to spark it again. But here goes in response to your comment:

So you "know" god exists because.....?

1) You have seen him?
2) You have talked to him and he has talked back?

No, because you mind has "accepted that something is true or real."

Do you know anything about hypnosis? Do you know anything about psychosis? The same things could be said in each case.

"REAL" means:
"Actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed."

Also just to top it off I think many people might disagree that there is a caring or real god, such as the starving, raped and suffering people around the world.

Let the games begin.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 12:34:46 PM PDT
Donna says:
I guess I could say that if there is a god, shame on him!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 5:06:42 PM PDT
I was replying to J. T. Wenting, who indicated that belief implies uncertainty. I was merely indicating that I have no uncertainty that God exists.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 5:11:51 PM PDT
>>Also just to top it off I think many people might disagree that there is a caring or real god, such as the starving, raped and suffering people around the world.<<

The reality of whether God exists or not has nothing to do with whether people agree or disagree about his existence. People's beliefs have nothing to do with it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 5:14:28 PM PDT
Donna says:
<<The reality of whether God exists or not has nothing to do with whether people agree or disagree about his existence. People's beliefs have nothing to do with it. >>

Really? I think it has everything to do with it. You cannot prove it therefore all you have is your mind's belief.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 5:20:33 PM PDT
I'm not talking about proving God's existence. I'm just talking about the fact of His existence. Whether people believe he exists or not doesn't change the fact of his existence one way or the other.

In other words, if God exists, you saying he doesn't exist doesn't cause him to cease to exist.

If God doesn't exist, my saying he does exist doesn't cause him to exist.

People's beliefs have nothing to do with God existing or not. He either does or he doesn't, no matter what people say.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2012, 5:21:57 PM PDT
Donna says:
True, what you say only causes him to exist or not exist for you.
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
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Initial post:  Apr 13, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 27, 2012

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