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Do you believe in God?

Yes
No
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Author Topic: Believe in God?  (Read 1227 times)

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Online Podaar

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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #70 on: November 08, 2018, 03:13:58 PM »
Or, conversely, ďAre you certain there are no gods.Ē In which case, if weíre being completely honest, the answer should be 100% no. You canít prove a negative.

I am certain there are no unicorns either, even though I can't prove it.

It's not that you can't prove a negative - you DON'T have to prove a negative. That's "burden of proof" for you. The one(s) making the claim have to bring evidence for their claim. It's the reason, after all, why in tribunals you have to bring evidence of someone's guilt, rather than the accused having to demonstrate his innocence (how can you prove that you didn't kill a person?).

Being certain that there are no unicorns is an acceptable position, and so should be being quite certain of the nonexistance of this or that god(s) of the religions currently existing in the world... or past, for that matter. I am quite certain Anubi doesn't exist, even though I should give the benefit of doubt to people that seemed quite convinced of it and lived their lives accordingly and built pyramids and prepared mummies and all that stuff. Well, I don't.

Yeah, I thought I'd made the same point when I said
Agnostic in the exact same way Iím agnostic about Russellís Teapot, garden gnomes, Asgard or Tool writing a new album.

I like the clarity of your post better.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #71 on: November 08, 2018, 03:30:19 PM »
Or, conversely, ďAre you certain there are no gods.Ē In which case, if weíre being completely honest, the answer should be 100% no. You canít prove a negative.

I am certain there are no unicorns either, even though I can't prove it.

It's not that you can't prove a negative - you DON'T have to prove a negative. That's "burden of proof" for you. The one(s) making the claim have to bring evidence for their claim. It's the reason, after all, why in tribunals you have to bring evidence of someone's guilt, rather than the accused having to demonstrate his innocence (how can you prove that you didn't kill a person?).

Being certain that there are no unicorns is an acceptable position, and so should be being quite certain of the nonexistance of this or that god(s) of the religions currently existing in the world... or past, for that matter. I am quite certain Anubi doesn't exist, even though I should give the benefit of doubt to people that seemed quite convinced of it and lived their lives accordingly and built pyramids and prepared mummies and all that stuff. Well, I don't.
Being certain that there are no unicorns might be an acceptable position for you, but not for me. For me to accept that would be me ending my search for a greater understanding, which is not something I'm keen to do. I'm not out looking for unicorns, nor God, I have grave doubts as to the existence of either, but I haven't ruled out their existence so they remain possibilities I'm willing to continue exploring.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #72 on: November 09, 2018, 07:54:35 AM »
Who said he's even communicating at all?   And why is "he" bad at communicating, and not the far more likely answer that we, as fallible humans, are shitty at understanding?   

I'd hope that somewhere within the skillset of a supreme deity would be the ability to successfully communicate with his own fallible creations if he so chooses. If you're a teacher with 100 intelligent and receptive students and 99 of them have no idea what you're trying to say I'd be less inclined to blame the students than I would the teacher. Humans are fallible yes, but that doesn't mean they are stupid. I don't think I am "shitty at understanding", and I don't know if there is a God. A recent and prominent example: one of the final things Stephen Hawking wrote before he died is that there is no God. I'm not saying his conclusion is correct but I am saying that nobody could ever accuse him of not having a once-in-a-generation intellect, built by an enquiring and receptive mind. He knew infinitely more about the observable universe and its origins than anyone in this thread, and not to make light of his affliction but if anyone had time on his hands to contemplate the inner state of the human condition and hear the voice of God it was probably him. And he said there is no God. Maybe he's just "shitty at understanding" things (and of course you know that Hawking is one of countless examples of the Western world's greatest scientists and philosophers who failed to discover God's fingerprints on a world they made their life's work to study), but if so then I wonder what chance the rest of us have if someone like Stephen Hawking (and Nietszche and Hume and Schopenhauer and Sartre and Camus and Russell and Foucault and...) lived all his long and astonishing life and stared into truths the rest of us here can't even begin to understand, and still he found no God.

None of which is meant to put forward an argument for or against God's existence, because I have no idea if a God exists. But if humanity's inherent shittiness at understanding things is what's holding us back from understanding God's nature and will then I'm less inclined to blame humanity than you (Stadler) are. If you (God) can't explain your most basic thoughts to a species that is capable of solving the Poincare Conjecture, measuring the observable universe, writing Hamlet, composing the 9th symphony, and landing a man safely on the moon, then I 'blame' God, not mankind. If it mattered to him to be understood he'd find a way to overcome the weaknesses he built into our perception rather than seeming to go to inordinate lengths to make himself unknowable to even the most profound minds of our species.

Well, since you repeated "shitty at understanding" about nine times - that's even more times than Trump said "Fake News" in today's presser! - I'll assume I struck a nerve.  And if so, I'm sorry about that.   I think I would have responded exactly as you have, since I don't feel I'm "shitty at understanding" either.   

I am very open to Stephen Hawking's point.  He DOES know more than any of us on this, and I value - deeply - his take on this.   I'm not saying we ARE shitty, I'm not saying that we HAVE misunderstood.  I'm saying it's a possibility.

Look at it this way:  there's a deck of cards:   there are a lot of people here that have picked one card out of the deck and are assuming that all the cards are the same.   All I'm saying is, there are 51 other cards in there, and we have to at least CONSIDER that there are other cards in there.   "We misunderstood the message" is just one theory among many, and I'm not even saying it's the best one.  Another is that we're not, now, capable of understanding the message and that we are on a path to get to that level of understanding.  Likely?  Probably not; that requires a ton of other assumptions that are just sort of untenable, but it's still a possibility.  I do know, though, that much of Hitchens' point about GOD is predicated on the acts and impacts of RELIGION, and my underlying point is that anyone who says anything here - including me - with any certainty is probably overstating their case.   I just find it fascinating how narrowly some people view this topic, when, in my view, the possibilities are nearly endless. 

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #73 on: November 09, 2018, 01:22:49 PM »
Who said he's even communicating at all?   And why is "he" bad at communicating, and not the far more likely answer that we, as fallible humans, are shitty at understanding?   

I'd hope that somewhere within the skillset of a supreme deity would be the ability to successfully communicate with his own fallible creations if he so chooses. If you're a teacher with 100 intelligent and receptive students and 99 of them have no idea what you're trying to say I'd be less inclined to blame the students than I would the teacher. Humans are fallible yes, but that doesn't mean they are stupid. I don't think I am "shitty at understanding", and I don't know if there is a God. A recent and prominent example: one of the final things Stephen Hawking wrote before he died is that there is no God. I'm not saying his conclusion is correct but I am saying that nobody could ever accuse him of not having a once-in-a-generation intellect, built by an enquiring and receptive mind. He knew infinitely more about the observable universe and its origins than anyone in this thread, and not to make light of his affliction but if anyone had time on his hands to contemplate the inner state of the human condition and hear the voice of God it was probably him. And he said there is no God. Maybe he's just "shitty at understanding" things (and of course you know that Hawking is one of countless examples of the Western world's greatest scientists and philosophers who failed to discover God's fingerprints on a world they made their life's work to study), but if so then I wonder what chance the rest of us have if someone like Stephen Hawking (and Nietszche and Hume and Schopenhauer and Sartre and Camus and Russell and Foucault and...) lived all his long and astonishing life and stared into truths the rest of us here can't even begin to understand, and still he found no God.

None of which is meant to put forward an argument for or against God's existence, because I have no idea if a God exists. But if humanity's inherent shittiness at understanding things is what's holding us back from understanding God's nature and will then I'm less inclined to blame humanity than you (Stadler) are. If you (God) can't explain your most basic thoughts to a species that is capable of solving the Poincare Conjecture, measuring the observable universe, writing Hamlet, composing the 9th symphony, and landing a man safely on the moon, then I 'blame' God, not mankind. If it mattered to him to be understood he'd find a way to overcome the weaknesses he built into our perception rather than seeming to go to inordinate lengths to make himself unknowable to even the most profound minds of our species.

Well, since you repeated "shitty at understanding" about nine times - that's even more times than Trump said "Fake News" in today's presser! - I'll assume I struck a nerve.  And if so, I'm sorry about that.   I think I would have responded exactly as you have, since I don't feel I'm "shitty at understanding" either.   

Not at all mate, we're pretty much on the same page with this. I repeated your phrase not because you struck a nerve but to be sardonic. I agree with you that there is a near-infinite set of possibilities when it comes to the conceivable nature of God (borne out by the near-infinite set of deities, devils and saviours humanity has conjured), because this is a question of human imagination, which is vast. Your post was more a prompt to nostalgia, it brought back grimly amusing memories of my youth. In the terms of education I had a 'religious' upbringing, and the denigration of humanity by those most ill-equipped to denigrate it was a common theme of that upbringing. Humans are born sick and commanded to be well, they are created ignorant and enjoined to be enlightened, they inherit sin and are compelled to be penitent. Even then it was silly to me, to hear these poorly-educated semi-literate hayseeds who wouldn't know Shakespeare from a shopping list disdain humanity's ability to enquire and comprehend. God has apparently developed an unerring ability to make himself known to credulous dullards, yet profoundly reflective minds like Hawking and Nietszche he finds a tough set of nuts to crack, because as a species we "suck at understanding". It's a self-abasing ethos I find difficult to get on board with. "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence" (Charles Bukowski), and I find that to be true on the 'God' question. It's only my opinion but I'll state it anyway: if you are sure God exists, you haven't understood something. If you are sure God doesn't exist, you haven't understood something. If you have absolutely no idea whether or not a God exists, welcome to the most quintessential element of what makes us human. Embrace it rather than brushing it aside with appropriated pagan fairy tales about cannibalism and vampirism. 

If he's reading this then Jammindude will remember a conversation he and I had many years ago at Portnoy's forum about Russia banning the Jehovah's Witnesses. That's its own subject and perhaps not for here, but the relevant part is that during the 90s and 2000s there were many American churches and sects that saw an opportunity to take advantage of the Soviet collapse and came over here trying to create new converts. Denominations of every conceivable type (recall my example of the teacher and the 100 students, which I'll now adapt: 95 have no idea what the professor is trying to say and the remaining 5 are all absolutely positive they perfectly understood him, yet can't agree with each other on any 2 details). Their idiocy was shocking, yet they were so damn confident that they knew the nature and will of the world's creator. This entity that eluded Stephen Hawking? They knew everything about it. 25-year-old kids from rural America, couldn't name you 5 novels by Dostoevsky, couldn't tell you what Galileo discovered, had no workable understanding and knowledge of the historical process, knew nothing about how and why political ('religious') movements form and spread, couldn't tell you what Hawking investigated, yet with the instincts of bloodhounds they went in search of a desperate audience to lecture on how 'fallible' 'humanity' is. Idiots decrying human idiocy and using it to explain away the glaring gaps in their own ideologies ("Why does a loving God let babies get raped? We're not equipped to understand! Now let me tell y'all about God's exact views on sexual ethics..."). Your post didn't strike a nerve so much as remind me with wry amusement of those types; poorly-educated simpletons taking it upon themselves to denounce our species' ability to investigate and to understand.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 07:10:37 AM by Dave_Manchester »
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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #74 on: November 09, 2018, 02:27:43 PM »
I enjoy reading your posts Dave_Manchester.
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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #75 on: November 09, 2018, 06:48:07 PM »
I say this not to argue with you but to illustrate (in part) why I reject organized religion but accept that there may be a god.   If you've ever seen "Johnny Dangerously", I feel like "religion" is "Johnny and the Mothers are stomping at the Savoy tonight!", a warped impression of an original idea or message.
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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #76 on: November 12, 2018, 07:07:07 AM »
I say this not to argue with you but to illustrate (in part) why I reject organized religion but accept that there may be a god.   If you've ever seen "Johnny Dangerously", I feel like "religion" is "Johnny and the Mothers are stomping at the Savoy tonight!", a warped impression of an original idea or message.
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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #77 on: Today at 09:26:50 AM »
Wow, thanks for all the input everyone! I figured I would wait a while to see the results of this poll. I was right, it's about 50/50 so far.
 I've read all the posts and really appreciate the points presented from both sides.
For me personally, my answer is a resounding YES! 
I do believe in the Bible for the same reasons that Bosk1 all ready covered quite well. But also for other reasons such as accurate history and reliable prophecy, and the fact that it has survived the test of time despite countless efforts to try to put a stop to it throughout the centuries. It is also the most widely distributed book in the world and the #1 best seller. (And more scrutinized than any other book)
 Also, the way the earth is made and the way we ourselves, and animals are made ( I mean, we are assembled in parts, lol) testify and shout out the stamp of creation all over it! All the diverse plants and trees and aquatic life, bizarre and beautiful. The list goes on.
 I respect all the posts that believe the opposite here and I do see where you all are coming from. It's very interesting to see the diversity on this forum. You all have intelligent answers to both sides of the subject matter. 
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Offline MirrorMask

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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #78 on: Today at 12:53:53 PM »
Well, first of all an important premise - I am NOT a biblical scholar, or a religious scholar for that matter.

The "IMO" is implied in every post, of course whatever someone writes is their opinion, whose opinion should it be otherwise? - but I think, in a time of internet illiteracy where everyone is an expert on something and is dead sure that the earth is flat, that the Illuminati rule the world, that the world leaders are reptilians and that vaccines are harmful and blablabla, that it's long due that someone admits that they don't know really shyte about something.

So, to make it clear and do something rare on the web: as I said, I am NOT a religious scholar and I have NOT professional opinions on the matter.

Having prefaced that... are you sure you aren't pumping up the Bible just a little tiny bit?

"accurate history and reliable prophecy"... prophecies if vague enough can fit everything, look at Nostradamus or the supposed list of predicted popes. And which is accurate history? for example in the Old Testament is never mentioned which is the pharaoh of the plagues (and there isn't any historical record of a pharaoh dying in the Red Sea), nor any other civilization of the world has an interruption at the same time that would prove the Great Flood.

For the record, I fully believe that some kind of flood happened, but people took it from there and created all kind of myths and legends about it. Maybe a volcano erupted and destroyed a small island and Atlantis' story was born. Don't underestimate ancient civilizations' ability to pull the weirdest stuff out of their asses - egyptians needed just to see some jackals preying on some carcasses to make the jump from there and come up with Anubi god of the dead.

Maybe the New Testament has better documents in that sense, and I'm sure it would take me little time to find Facebook pages where people way, way, way more expert than me would confute the claims of an accurate historicity of the NT, but I guess we could call it confirmation bias, so we'll leave it at that.

Survived the test of time? I don't find anything timeless in one of the original ten commandments, where you shalt not desire your neighbour's wife, his slave or his ass. Why an eternal book, the word of God, would mention slaves and cattle as would be befitting the populations of the time it was written, and not even spend half a word on our own planet? "I created the Earth and gave it to you, respect it and protect it". We could have lot of religious people urging to do the will of God and stop screwing up so badly the planet's delicate ecosystem but the only time you hear people wanting God's will to be enacted, it's when you hear them bitching and whining about gay people. Condemning them on a small account of a book, Leviticus, that also urges you to put to death your wife is someone touches her on her period or whatever, or telling you that you can't eat crabs or have tattoo. Test of time? it's so blatant that, at least the OT (which is basically taken from the hebrews), is an ancient and outdated bloody and gory tale. You could make a horror movie about the OT, without inventing anything, and it would be ultra rated and forbidden to every minor.

Also, let's not forget that the Bible that we know has been artificially crafted and decided and agreed upon at the Nicea council, where people decided from the expanded universe what was canon and what was fan fiction. It was adjusted many times by many people.

About the best selling book... well, Despacito is the most heard song on YouTube. Not Stairway to Heaven, not COmfortably Numb, not Bohemian Rhapsody. Despacito. Something appreciated by all the masses is not authomatically good.

And about the earth being created for us... well, it is? when a big asteroid will hit us, who's gonna go the way of the dinosaurs? us human or the insects and the bacteria? they are the one equipped to survive any kind of cosmic cataclysm, not us mammals. There are more waters than landmass, and we can't swim; we can learn to, but we can't live in the waters. I'd say a planet with a lot of seas belongs mainly to whales, big badass animals, not to puny humans.

And while we are able to screw up the climate, there are some thing that we're not responsable for. Volcanos and supervolcanos, you americans sit on one at Yellowstone. If that erupts, it's stone age 2.0 for all of us. There are earthquakes because of the tectonic plates moving - why an earth created for us has moving landmass that crashes against each other and kill billions in the process? call the earth beautiful and amazing all you want, I'll agree with you, but as much as the mountains lover in me agrees that the Himalaya is majestic, astonishing, impressive and breathtaking... it's just the planetary equivalent of a car accident. India slammed into Asia and pushed all those mountains up.

And for the record - I find that beautiful as well. You take solace in the idea that there is a creator? fine with me! the only issues I have is when people hide behind religion to have an excuse to be assholes. But as for me, I find beauty in the knowledge that it's all so unpredictable and random. I love Norway and most than anything on this Earth I long to see the Northern Lights. I know how they're created, I know they're just a phenomenon - doesn't matter, I look in awe at pictures of them and I long to see them. And I said I don't care either that the tallest mountains on Earth are just the result of a tectonic full frontal accident. It's in the lack of sense of it all, that I find sense and beauty to be amazed and astonished at.
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Re: Believe in God?
« Reply #79 on: Today at 01:12:58 PM »
That is a good post Mirrormask, and I can see where you're coming from.  I'll respond more later, but don't have time right now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
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