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There is proof of God


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Showing 151-175 of 317 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:28:57 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Lao Tzu says: "My own belief is that religion is much like a mental virus. One is infected generally at an early age. So what you are looking at is an otherwise "healthy" adult that has been infected with some bad programming (sorry to mix metaphors). However, some people are more susceptible to this mind virus than others."

Ariex: Careful here Lao. Actual civil discourse may ensue, and the folder will go all to crap. What about adults who suddenly turn to religion? Many people "hit bottom", or have an emotional crisis, often from loss of loved ones, and turn to religion. My own though there is that they NEED solutions, so they turn to something that offers to fill that need regardless of the questionable "evidence".

A personal event comes to mind: A family member who lived a life of undisciplined behavior has reached the stage when the tab has to be paid (Emphysema, heart disease) and now he's terrified of what comes next. During one of his frequent hospital stays, (organ failure due to errors in medication levels) he was visited by God, who informed him that he was saved, so he shouldn't be afraid of death. He eagerly embraced Christianity when he came back to hospice care, completely ignoring the fact that he had been pumped full of all kinds of drugs at the time of God's visit, including morphine. This seemed to relieve his stress to a great degree. Thank God for God. Religious morphine to reduce the fear of dying is a good thing. The only down side I see is that he voted for Romney. Oh, well. You only die once.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:30:38 PM PDT
Ariex says:
'probabilist says: "From the description of the book by W. P. Randall that W. Pope's opening post links to:
> What theologians and scientists failed to see,
> W. P. Randall has brought to light
I suppose someone else has already speculated that author W. P. Randall's middle name is Pope."

Ariex: And apparently his first name is Woo.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:35:07 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Christopher Weaver says: "As an English professor, I think I get to claim some authority here."

Ariex: Oh, great! Somebody who actually DOES know something. This forum is definitely going to he-double.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:36:58 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Christopher Weaver says: "I think of something that Joseph Campbell said in his series of television interivews with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth."

Ariex What? No quotation marks for the title? And you spelled "interviews" wro.......Oh. sorry. Yes sir, I'll shut up and sit down.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:39:02 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Christopher Weaver says: "On the other hand, we have a flexibility and a different sort of perspective that may not be available to believers."

Ariex: The flexibility to question ourselves in order to recognize when we're full of it, perhaps? (Seriously offered, not a suggestion that you are)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:39:50 PM PDT
I think it would be funny to put Weaver and Mickey in the same locked room. Then they could try to convince the other about which one is the True Critical Thinker.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:45:40 PM PDT
Thank you, Probby! I was getting low on those! :)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:46:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 3, 2012, 12:08:46 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Rothery says: "...I ended up on his debate with John Lennox in 2009, then from there was curious to see who organized it. Although a Christian-based, non-profit outfit, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of their motto, which is basically that they're open to opposing views and welcome them."

Ariex; That's not an uncommon claim, but what is really unusual is a Christian site that actually is open to opposing views and addresses them online without "editing" (like "editing" male calves, for example).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 4:59:37 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Christopher Weaver says: "The group of writers generally referred to as "The New Atheists" (Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris) are quite belligerent, particular Dawkins, Harris, maybe less so. I actually get a kick out of all three, and I find Dawkins' arguments very compelling. I just can't get behind the animosity."

Ariex: The information without the belligerence doesn't attract audiences, who are usually looking for "energy" of some kind. The NA's are (and were) trying to get people excited as well as inform them.

Christopher Weaver says: "I think many of us feel that we've been pushed around in a culture that takes Christianity for granted as "the given."."

Ariex: The power of cultural indoctrination by organized and authoritative establishments. What would we do without them? Maybe make better progress towards true "civilization"? Horrors. Where's the profit in that?

Christopher Weaver says: "We've listened to remarks like the one by former President GHW Bush who said that we shouldn't be considered real citizens since the Pledge of Allegiance says "one country under God" (revealing not only a startling prejudice but also a breathtaking ignorance of history, since the original pledge did not contain that language.)"

Ariex: Politics. When the rules don't suit our needs, change them, and then tell everybody they were always set in concrete. Those who remember they weren't are shouted down by those who like the new rule.

Christopher Weaver says: "And, as a result, we're tempted to push back against the culture in rather aggressive ways. I'm hoping that this phase will eventually pass."

Ariex: Me too. The phase of slavery passed, the phase of women as second class citizens is fading, even the phase of racial "caste" is starting to erode. I don't know whether to hope to see the new phase or die before I can see it (whether we're improving or just transitioning into something that may be just as bad-or worse). No matter how much we seem to progress, we always find things to screw ourselves over while we're at it. (global warming, for example) (uh oh. Did I just push somebody's button?)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 5:06:01 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Rothery says: ".....if I walked into the room where those two are debating, just by observing their debate and body language I would tend to take sides with Lennox, regardless whether he's right or wrong on anything. Because Hitchens/Dawkins come across as insulting, vitriolic, condescending, nervous, etc., while Lennox debates more by putting questions out there for the others to ponder and not ram "truths" down their throats."

Ariex; In the average "audience", Lennox always has the high ground because more people are willing to apply emotional processing than reason to his "questions", which generally gives the resulting answer Lennox depends on. I can't help but think Dawkins, et. al. feel frustrated at that, which fuels the insulting attitude, because they know that many observers can't tell the difference between reasoned argument and emotional persuasion. That doesn't excuse bad manners, however. With some audiences, you can't win no matter how well the facts support your case. Better to accept loss gracefully than to give the other side a bigger target.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 5:09:03 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Christopher Weaver says: "When I said on this thread yesterday that sometimes atheists began threads by trying to provoke theists, I was immediately attacked. "That almost never happens!" I was told. It's almost always the other way around; it's theists who provoke us!" RRR wrote " I don't recall a single instance of this. Why would an atheist make such a demand out of the blue to a believer? "

Ariex: While I hold RRR in high regard, in this one case, I have to agree with you. Must be something going on there to raise her anxiety. Maybe Romney is doing well in the polls in her area. (as he is in mine). Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 5:11:15 PM PDT
Ariex says:
D. Thomas says: "If abbreviating "quote" with "qt." is okay, is there anything that ISN'T okay? ("Qt." is the abbreviation for "quart," not "quote.") You say you're an English professor? Really?"

Ariex: Ok, ok, I'm sure he gets your pt.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 5:11:40 PM PDT
John Donohue says:
W. Pope -- I say your name is W. Poe!!

I congratulate you on the most circular logic crammed into one reasonably short post.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 5:14:56 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Rachel Rebecca Riordan says: "The notion that you consider Dawkins arrogant is absurd. He is bluntly outspoken, which many take for rudeness, but again it's one of those double standards held up as fact by the religious believer."

Ariex: An observation from a long-time atheist who has read and watched the "New Atheists" extensively: Sometimes Dawkins makes me cringe with his attitude. Just an observation. Please don't smite me. :<)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 5:56:31 PM PDT
I'm not anxious. Things are as they are. Saying that I didn't recall a single instance of this is certainly NOT attacking the poor, abused Mr. Weaver. All he had to was point out a single instance and I would have replied that I saw his point. It could have been that simple, but poor Mr. Weaver had to ratchet up the hysterics. I'm a little surprised that you wouldn't investigate such claims more thoroughly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 6:04:31 PM PDT
No smiting allowed!

If you read the preface to the second edition of The God Delusion, you can easily see why he says what he says in the way that he uses. He isn't impressed with the deferential attitude that people give religion and he sees no reason to exempt religion and religious thought from the standards of rigor we give to other things in our everyday lives. I find Dawkins to be unfailingly polite, even when he is calling someone a dolt.

If a Christian can say that I'm going to hell because I don't believe in his god, that's rude, but he gets a free pass because he's religious. I recently had a man accost me in a parking lot and assault me because of my "ATHEIST" bumper sticker. That's not just rude, that's assault and battery prompted by a religious zeal bordering on derangement. Any blunt speech by Dawkins or Hitchens pales in comparison to what we see from believers on a daily basis.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 6:56:46 PM PDT
jpl says:
W. Pope, nobody knows anything about "Truth".

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 7:32:39 PM PDT
Faithradha says:
Crit says: .....but at least THIS time, I'll actually get some enjoyment watching the millions of superstitious twits that America is overrun with begin to backpedal on Dec 22,

FR: Maybe we can convince them to give us all their money Crit! LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 8:02:56 PM PDT
Faithradha says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 9:45:15 PM PDT
Faithradha says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 9:56:32 PM PDT
Faithradha says:
Ariex says: Maybe Romney is doing well in the polls in her area. (as he is in mine). Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

FR: Well... be Concerned.. but never fear : ) ... since there are those who thrive on fear and use it to their own selfish advantage. Have Courage, think postiively. Love and compassion are ultimtely far more powerful than fear and greed.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 10:36:29 PM PDT
Faithradha says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2012, 10:47:25 PM PDT
Re Ariex, 11-2 5:06 PM: The debate business is treacherous. Physicist David Fisher had occasion to debate Henry Morris in 1982 on the age of the earth. The account of this is fascinating [1].

1. Fisher, Much Ado about (Practically) Nothing: A History of the Noble Gases, chapter 7. A fine book, marred only by the lack of a discussion of noble gas chemistry (yes, there is such a thing). Disclosure: I have reviewed this book.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 3:16:36 AM PDT
Lao Tzu says:
Certainly brunumb. There are several reasons I am in this bible study.

I live in nice section. These are successful people. Life is too short to know how to live best through trial and error. Regardless of their mysticism, I have a lot to learn from these people.

Also, as you may have seen in other posts, I am a capitalist, and it is unfortunate that Christians tend to be the capitalists (although i am sure they don't really know WHY they are).

These people help each other a great deal. They know the names of each other's children. If one falls ill they are "checked on". They help the unemployed get jobs, the distressed get counseling. We all help each other. I admire this sort of loyalty. They actually do so unconditional love, and immediate, unearned acceptance. There is something compelling about that.

I am also in a Humanist group. The Humanists don't have this sort of personal loyalty, they are unwilling to discuss personal matters in a group setting like the Christians do. What they bring is humor and intelligence, but also some emotional immaturity. The Christians, having tried to perfect their Christianity, have on average a higher level of emotional awareness. Bear in mind these are not casual Christians, these are deep believers, working on their faith for 20 years or more. I would not assume an average Christian has a superior emotional intelligence (as we might know from some posters).

I think the Christians would call the Humanists "transactional" rather than showing the love of Christ. They would say Humanists are from the "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" philosophy. But, there is something "magical" about giving and getting the unearned, in Christianity. I am still pondering it.

Christianity, oddly enough, encourages a remarkable level of self honesty (I am a sinner, I need to become a better person, etc.) leading to some emotional honesty and some positive psychological outcomes.

Also, I tend to have some black and white thinking. By being around this crazy belief system, I learn to not only tolerate, but accept differences. The key question to ask is 1) what does this belief DO for these people? and 2) if I were them, would I want it to do that for me, if it could? The answer to the second question is largely yes, if you understand the context I mean it in.

I struggle to learn this truth - we are all trying to "get through" life, regardless of whether is it Jesus, or determinism, or rational self interest that propels us. Therefore I can admire anyone that is doing this, even if they say "if it were not for the invisible pink unicorn, I don't know what I'd do".

I am also a bit of a 5th column. I participate frequently, and I bring secular ideals to the table without calling them so. My impression is that many there appreciate my counsel.

That being said, most of them know I am not a believer. I tell them if they ask me about it.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2012, 3:23:37 AM PDT
Lao Tzu says:
Christopher Weaver, you are right that my virus metaphor does not come off quite the way I want.

I stand by it, but I mean that Christians should be seen as victims of a process they did not have much control over, and be viewed with compassion, much like a woman that has been raped, or a solider with PSTD.

We don't tell these women or soldiers to "snap out of it", that would be cruel. We show patience and compassion. We recognize that some of their behavior may be permanently altered, and we come to accept it. That being said, there is still a lot of room for these people to grow emotionally depending on how much effort they are willing to put into it.

I have a Christian friend that has gone from intolerance to tolerance, over the course of our conversations in the last decade. I think I had some small part in that.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  41
Total posts:  317
Initial post:  Oct 28, 2012
Latest post:  Jan 4, 2013

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