Friday, July 24, 2009

Choosing to Believe

I have been discussing belief lately with an internet acquaintance who gave me some interesting things to think about. It is her position that I could choose to believe in a god. That my desire for evidence is simply an obstacle and that I need to simply set that aside and choose to believe. I had thought to counter this by suggesting that she would be unable to do the same with a god other than her own. I expected the usual silence in response but, instead was impressed and delighted to recieve an honest answer. She replied:

"Yes, I am saying that I could abandon my faith in Christ and CHOOSE to beleive that allah is the true god. Or any other god for that matter. I could CHOOSE to agree with you and decide that God doesn't exist and rule off my "relationship with Jesus" as a delsuion."

I was amazed, and very respectful of her and so I complied with her request and made a sincere effort to believe in a god, first the Christian one and then expanded it to include any deity or pantheon. I failed, but not for lack of trying, I opened myself to believe in any revelation or invitation and when that failed I sought to convince myself by discarding my objections both philosophical and scientific and simply saying "OK your real come to me" that also failed, I tried formal prayer the Jesus come into my heart and be my savior, forgive my sins etc that I learned in my brief exposure to Sunday school some decades ago. I got nothing, so I meditated and focused and just told myself to believe that there must be a god. I couldn't even get to the point of Deism.

What I did discover is that my objection is neither scientific nor philosophical, both science and philosophy absolutely support the lack of gods but they are not the cause of my unbelief. My unbelief is deeper than that, it is an inability to do as my associate does and set aside doubt and objection, an incapacity to compel belief in myself. This lack could be the true distinction between theist and atheist.

I reccomend reading the discussion on her blog it is interesting but if you don't, here is the question I posed to her in my last reply, and I would open it up for discussion to anyone who may be interested. Of course as rarely as I have been updating lately there may be no one interested ;).

Here it is.
"If you are choosing your belief and deliberately putting aside any doubts and uncertainties. How do you know the difference between truth and belief? Since as you said you could choose to believe in Zeus or Allah and you are capable of setting aside doubts, wouldn't such belief be as real and compelling as belief in Christ if that is what you chose? So how would you, in the absence of evidence know that Christ was
more true? It can not be because creation is evidence because many mythos have creation stories. Some don't have clearly false claims like the Christian mythos does, so wouldn't it make more sense to choose to believe in one of those?

It can also not be because of a personal knowledge of Christ because as you said such things are a choice and it seems if you chose belief in Vishnu or Isis you would expeience the same personal relationship. I personally know a Shinto who feels the presence of Kami, and several Native Americans who feel the power of ancestors or spirits during drumming and dancing ceremonies.

In the end even if you choose to believe you need some criteria by which you choose what you will choose to believe. What is that criteria? If I were going to force myself to believe I would find something that doesn't offend my moral sensibilities such as Deism or an animistic pantheism such as Shinto, Druidism, or Native American religion, all of which I find have more value and are more compatible with reality than Christianity.

So to sum if belief is a choice that I can make, and I can manage it, by what criteria should I decide to believe Christianity over another belief system? Also by what evidence do you support this criteria, and is that evidence objective or simply something else you have chosen to believe in.

I hope this doesn't sound mocking, that is not my intent, these are the sort of questions most Christians tend to dance around and since you seem sincere in answering I am asking with equal sincerity."

74 comments:

Tracy Wagman said...

Thank you for the respect and sincerity Ryk.

JD Curtis said...

Come now, and LET US REASON TOGETHER, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18(Emphasis mine)

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days REASONED with them out of the scriptures, Acts 17:2

I think that God wants us to know why we worship him. Sure, alot of people take it on blind faith that He exists due to their upbringing or somthing more experiential like NDE's or what have you. However I notice that since I discuss these issues with atheists and I look up the answers for myself, I find my faith is stregthened, not weakened as I explore the word of God to provide answers to tough questions.

Tracy Wagman said...

JD Curtis,
I agree that my faith is strengthed by talking with atheists. It's a major bible study nearly every time I respond. It's interesting that you wrote the scripture from Isaiah. This was on my heart to tell Ryk.

All this reasoning with one another when we can reason and have at it with God Himself.
Regards,
Tracy

Tracy Wagman said...

strengthened,sorry

JD Curtis said...

Hi Tracy. Ryk, a bit off topic but we discussed this before. Found a link today re: Non Biblical accounts of New Testament events. Also, another entitled Proving the historical Jesus. Dig in

Ryk said...

While I have no expectations as to "the lord" coming to reason with me, that is the answer to the question of what proof would you accept of gods existence.

Yes if there were a deity in need of my worship it must come to reason with me and if it does not I have no use for it, and if it does it has a great deal to answer for.

JD Curtis said...

I doubt that's going to happen Ryk. I would suggest studying his word in an open minded manner and take it from there. If you have any questions insofar as interpretation, I'm sure Tracy or myself would be happy to help. He doesnt need our worship btw. We need his grace.

Ryk said...

That is the problem I niether need or want its grace. It is a matter of supreme unimportance to me, I do not believe in God or hell and if I came to believe I would not worship a being of such evil.

If as you say your god does not need my worship then if it were real it would not need to come to me. However if it did have some desire that I worship it then it could come reason with me and attempt to justify and explain it's evil nature to my satisfaction.

If it is unable or unwilling to do so why should I care about it even if it did exist. It seems to me that even were it real the best course of action would be to hold it in contempt. Actually killing it would be the best course but since omnipotence makes that unlikely the next best plan would be to just stay away from it until it began to torture me.

Tracy Wagman said...

Ryk,

The verse says "Come now, let us reason together." God is initiating this. Clearly it's an invitation. I am confident that God wants YOU to come and reason with Him. In fact when I mentioned to JD Curtis that this verse was on my heart to tell you~ This is what I should have included.

You have been reasonable, honest and straight up with me insofar as to where you stand with my God. I sooo appreciate that Ryk.

I am always left thinking, why don't you just tell God Himself. Straight up! Because of you, I understand that this is virtually impossible for you...You don't beleive in God.

However,you can choose to force yourself to reason with God. He gives faith. "Nothing is impossible with God." NOTHING!

Radical,yes! Revolutionary,yes!

Tracy

P.S. YOU would opt to just stay away from it until the torture began? You strike me as someone that would truly investigate hell, than be a doormat to it. I am surprised.






God is not aloof or distant. He hears you.

Tracy Wagman said...

Ryk,
You blog needs a little color. Nature pictures or something. Just a suggestion.
Tracy

Ryk said...

Tracy
The darkness has a purpose it is both an artistic and philosophical decision. I discussed it a little once before but I will do so again.

A skeleton and dark colors are associated with death, being unafraid of death is central to my philosophy so I adopted the skeleton as an avatar a long time ago. At first it was a meditating skeleton and I still use that around but I also like the thinking skeleton I use here. Both also represent contemplation and study which are also part of my philosophy.

The skeleton is also the reason for the blog name. I have been RYK since before there was an internet. I have used it as high score initials on pinball machines and videogames, it was the name of my first e-mail account, I have used it as a stage name in a band, and as a pseodonym in online and computer games, etc. I am as well known as Ryk as I am as myself. Many years ago when I started using a skeleton avatar my friends started calling the skeleton dead Ryk as opposed to just Ryk. Dead Ryk is also a pun on my real name.

So this blog is in honor of Dead Ryk a character that evolved alongside the philosophy that I live my life by.

I do not keep it dark out of nihilism or any attempt to be dark or brooding, well maybe a little, some of my teenage punk/metal personality still lurks in here. I do embrace that youthful energy it reminds me of where I have been and how I should have been.

Ryk said...

When I say stay away from it until it started to torture me I am not backing down I am being as rebellious as possible. If we presume for a moment that your god is real and omnipotent. I could not kill it, I could not harm it, or change it's behavior. Therefore confronting it would be pointless. The greatest resistance would be to refuse to worship and march boldly into it's clutches when I die. That would be the only rebellion possible agains an omnipotent torturer.

I have no illusions that I could endure the torture and laugh in its face. Omnipotence allows the infinite ability to inflict harm and to do so for eternity. I would break, however it is no victory for an omnipotent torturer to break a finite mortal. It is less than squashing a bug. The only victory I could achieve is walking unafraid before the torture begins and saying "do your worst, you are unworthy of me." That is a victory and the only one possible so if your god were real that is what I will do because the alternative is to submit to worshiping an evil being which I will not do.

This does not imply that I accept that this will happen, in fact I believe it has been proven that it will not, yet philosophically I am ready. I have readied myself to stand bold in the face of anything rather than submit. I have made myself as strong as possible, I have a clear understanding of what is good and what is evil and a resolve to not submit to evil.

By objective standards your god is evil, that is really all I need to know. Whether it exists or not is a distant second in importance to that. So I am willing to suspend disbelief and approach this being in hopes that if it were real it would choose to reason with me, because I have some charges to make and some issues to resolve and I would like to believe there is a being to come forward and answer for it's deeds. However I really must suspend disbelief in order to do so, because there is no evidence that would allow belief on its own.

The good news is that the whole omnipotence thing could be an asset here. If your god is real and wants to reason with me it would have no trouble making itself believed.

Tracy Wagman said...

I don't mean to criticize your blog by any means. I took the liberty of telling you what I think because that's what we do. It definitely has a dark feel to it. Spooky infact.

Tracy Wagman said...

Do you have a problem with submission? I will be the first to say that I am not the best submitter. I want my own way and I think my way rocks. I have learned the hard way that "There is a way to a man that seems right but in the end leads to death." Ps.

You are getting what I'm saying insofar as suspending unbelief. That is the key to it all...faith.

BarnStormer said...

Tracy, I commend you for being sincere in your investigation and in discussion.

However, if nobody minds, I'd like to chime in.
I agree with Ryk, and see little reason to have to suspend unbelief for the sake of faith. It doesn't seem to have any practical use for me, and in a way I'll know that I am taking part in a sort of self-deceit.

If it became rational to believe in a god(for example, empirical evidence made itself available), then I would have no trouble conceding the god exists. However, the act of worshiping or revering is a different matter. For one matter, I don't understand why god would need to be worshiped in the first place.

It's been brought up before, that god does not need our worship but we need his grace. Why do we need his grace? Because we have sinned? His standards seem impossible to live by. He's seem to have created a system that we'd necessarily need him. If we don't accept, we'll be tortured for eternity. That's harsh.

I have a problem with the idea that a perfect creator would allow one of his creations to be punished because he didn't use faith to believe, but tried to figure out what was true using reason and evidence.
Why is it, then, my fault that the god never chose to supply my investigation with evidence. Surely, he'd be able to provide what would be needed for me to believe.

A father and a child are playing a game of "Hide-and-Seek". The father is incredibly skilled at the art of hiding, whilst the child isn't very skilled at seeking. The child is young and, compared to the father, extremely ignorant about the hiding places. The father (being aware of this) deliberately escapes being caught time and time again, and later punishes the child for his inability to find him. At the same time, the father claims to love the child.

Ryk said...

Tracy

It is not so much that I have a problem with submission it is that I have standards I will not willingly violate and I could not submit to someone who did not have at least as high of standards as I do.

The Christian god fails on many levels to meet my standards of morality and is unfit to be worshiped. So my difficulty with it is threefold. First I strongly doubt that any gods exist, second I have firm empirical evidence that the Christian god does not exist, and third even if it existed I would be forced to oppose it by my sense of morality.

Had I lived in Nazi Germany I would have been killed for opposing the hollocaust, had I lived during the time of slavery in the US I would have been imprisoned for helping runaway slaves and if I believed in your god I would accept hell rather than serve it.

So if it wishes to prove itself and come to reason with me I will welcome it, but it will have a great deal to explain and much to answer for.

Tracy Wagman said...

Ryk,
The ball is in your court concerning reasoning with my God. Please take that to heart. Take God up on His invitation of 'Come, let us reason together'. You have to do your part. Open your mouth and start talking. Nevermind if it seems awkward. Close your eyes if you must and imagine Him right before you and tell Him like it is.

Barnstormer,
God functions on a faith level. The evidence you seek can only be revealed by way of faith. You must suspend your unbelief for faith to have its way. It could have much more than just practical use for you-it could revolutionize your entire life. It could give you real understanding for the questions you have.

Eternity in hell is harsh to put it mildly. I don't think you realize how horrible sin is and how just God is. God does not torture. Satan and his demons do! People go to hell by their own choosing.

I am working on how to respond to Ryk on this issue of hell. When I am ready you can read it as well.

Btw Thank you for commending my sincerity.

BarnStormer said...

Whilst I cannot say I find myself even remotely close to agreement with you, I will say that it's more likely the result of it making sense to you in your belief system. However, I will be more than happy to read your response to Ryk when the time comes, and promise to read it with an open mind.

Ryk said...

Tracy
I have had it said to me before both that god does not torture satan does and that people go to hell of their own choosing. Neither have any merit.

Blaming Satan for torture is like blaming a knife for a murder. If God is omnipotent then Satan could do nothing without Gods blessing. It would be the god who created the system and devised the judgment that is ultimately responsible. Just as it is the person who stabs his fellow man that is responsible for murder not the knife he uses.

As to people choosing hell, that is ridiculous. People may choose to sin believing it will send them to hell, others do not believe in hell and are unconvinced by threats of it, and others like me would accept the inevitability of hell rather than serve an evil god even if we believed. No one however chooses hell.

Hell could really be only one of two things. Either it is the fate of all men unless they are saved by Christ or it is a punishment for sins unless one is forgiven by Christ. In either case it is evil. In the first it means that torture is engineered as a threat for those who fail to worship. The god being in it's vanity and pettiness condemnes all who don't glorify it to torment in order to extort them in to doing its will. This is evil. In the second it means that the god being is willing to use infinite torture as a punishment for a finite crime. Any torture for any crime is evil but infinite torture for a finite crime is infinite evil.

There is no situation in which a being who tortures could be called good save one. That one is if you define a being to be arbitrarily good and then extrapolate that to mean anything it does is by definition good. That is in fact what Christianity does. That is how not only hell but all of the other evils of the bible are justified. It is simply presumed that because god did or commanded it that it must be good. I disagree, I will, to quote the bible, judge a tree by its fruit. The fruit of god is rancid and foul therefore god if it existed would also be rancid and foul. I could not excuse, worship or justify a being that is less moral than I am or ever was.

Ryk said...

Tracy as to your comment about the blog colors, no offense taken, I just felt like explaining that is why I responded.

JD Curtis said...

God is omnipotent then Satan could do nothing without Gods blessing.

The Bible tells us that on this rock, in this plane of existence, Satan is in charge. Not to say that God can't interfere.

It would be the god who created the system and devised the judgment that is ultimately responsible. Just as it is the person who stabs his fellow man that is responsible for murder not the knife he uses.

I would agree with you if were not for free will. We can choose eternal life and reassurance through the scriptures or we can choose to reject it. You are not "damned if you do, damned if you don't."

The Christian god fails on many levels to meet my standards of morality

And I'm sure that the tick that I just flicked off of my back feels much the same way about me. He was only trying to get along and survive and whammo I came along and seperated him from his lifesource of blood and forced him into the cold, cruel world. God also has the advantage of being timeless. He get's to see the entire picture rather than a muted snapshot like our existences here are. Thus we are looking at circumstances through different sets of lenses and we might not be seeing the entire picture.

others do not believe in hell and are unconvinced by threats of it

Here in the West, we are repeatedly exposed, through different types of media, the Gospel message. They probably heard it several times over the course of their lives and chose not to heed it's warning.

No one however chooses hell.

No one in their right mind would. If they lived for all that this life has to offer, only thinking of temporal and carnal interests, then they reject the life of the world to come.

Hell could really be only one of two things. Either it is the fate of all men unless they are saved by Christ or it is a punishment for sins unless one is forgiven by Christ.

It's the latter

In the first it means that torture is engineered as a threat for those who fail to worship. The god being in it's vanity and pettiness condemnes all who don't glorify it to torment in order to extort them in to doing its will. This is evil.

Sure, God would like you to worship him but this is secondary to accepting that..
A. You are a sinner (we all are).
B. Realizing that you just can't "good works" your way into Heaven.
C. Releasing yourself of the strain of even trying to and accepting the sacrifice of His Son who took your place.

It is at this point that a tremendous burden is lifted and you realize that it's a free gift. Not something that is earned.

Any torture for any crime is evil but infinite torture for a finite crime is infinite evil.

Over at my blog I made an entry pretaining to a co-worker of mine. "Marc" had bronchitis for quite awhile and didnt take time off to rest and didnt medicate himself sufficiently. By the time he went to the MD he had double pnuemonia and had to be admitted to the hospital. He died 2 weeks later at the age of (about) 50. Marc had 50 years on this planet. (figure 30+ years depending on your age of accountability). I hope that in those 30+ years, he was somehow right with God. If he wasnt, then theres nothing that me or anybody else can do that's going to help him.

There is no situation in which a being who tortures could be called good save one.

God isnt torturing anyone. We all choose our own respective paths, make our own beds and lie in it.

It is simply presumed that because god did or commanded it that it must be good. I disagree, I will, to quote the bible, judge a tree by its fruit.

God is good. Yes, He does get to define the good. There is a difference between good and some unrealistic notion of omnibenevolence that some think should apply to God. Such a notion is extra-Biblical at best.

JD Curtis said...

It definitely has a dark feel to it. Spooky in fact.

I 2nd that motion Tracy. I feel a certain oppressiveness whenever I enter here Ryk. It's not anything personal towards you or anything. It's just the way I feel.

Does anybody know specifically why The Raving Atheist is now a Christian? What's the link to his site?

JD Curtis said...

Oh, I found it. It's Raving THEIST dot com now.

Tracy Wagman said...

Okay BarnStormer,
Click my name and check out what I wrote. Thanks for your patience.

Tracy Wagman said...

Yes, JD Curtis it is oppression.

Ryk said...

@JD
Even if everything you believe about sin and free will were true it does not change the fact that your god is responsible for torture. To illustrate let us pretend I abduct you and tell you to give me a penny or I will kill you. You have a penny and the most sensible thang to do is pay it and walk away. By your logic if you refuse to pay the penny then you have chosen to die and I am in no way at fault. I don't acccept that, the responsibility is on the one doing the harm. It is the same with law, if a judge orders me to serve jail time or pay a fine it probably is the result of my actions but it is not me doing the incarcerating or levying of fines it is the judge and the system he represents. This is acceptable because for one fines and imprisonment are not evil, both could be wrong and hurtful in certain situations but it is situational. Torture like rape and genocide is always evil under any circumstance therefore a sentient being who tortures is evil.

I am a firm believer that morality is subjective and if your moral code can allow for torture, rape, and genocide to be non evil under certain circumstances, such as when you believe a god orders or condones them then you can of course do so. I however do not agree, my moral code makes no exceptions whatsoever for these acts, and it is of course my moral code that I use to make religious decisions.

rhiggs said...

Why doesn't omnipotent God click his fingers and KAZAAM!!! get rid of sin, evil, murder, rape, Satan and hell altogether? Why doesn't he just get rid of every possible sin right now?

If this removes free will, so be it.

It is God's choice to not do this every second of every day, so because he can and doesn't he is thus responsible for all sin...

Leigh said...

I must admit I find this whole discussion really fascinating. In many pagan faiths the Gods come to you, so the idea of going to god is sweet, but also kind of silly since we believe they will ignore you if they don't want you. So what Ryk did opening himself to god was wonderful, but maybe his place is to be an athiest and force us all to think deeper about our own faith?

Tracy Wagman said...

Leigh,
I don't agree about atheism being Ryk's place. He's more of a family man,I think. If he truly seeks Jesus, he will find HIm And Jesus seeks and saves those who are lost. It's a two way street. Praying you will do the same.

rhiggs,
I had the same questions. Have you read my post? Click my name. This is the solution...faith.
God has given us a free will, period. God doesn't have to agree with you rhiggs, you have to agree with Him.

JD Curtis said...

let us pretend I abduct you and tell you to give me a penny or I will kill you. You have a penny and the most sensible thang to do is pay it and walk away. By your logic if you refuse to pay the penny then you have chosen to die and I am in no way at fault. I don't acccept that, the responsibility is on the one doing the harm.

The example ou give is a poor one and I'll tell you why. "let us pretend I abduct you and tell you to give me a penny or I will kill you" would imply that God just suddenly came out of nowhere and thrust us into a position that is dreadful. The Bible tells us that through Adam's sin (made from of his own free will) we are born into original sin and God, through his mercy, provides a way out for us.

I used to have this notion of some cosmic "Scale in the Sky" much like those depicted outside of courthouses. If I could only do enough good and balance out the bad then I wouldnt have anything eternal to worry about. However the Bible tells us that just thinking about doing a sin constitutes sin. Furthermore there are sins of omission. Things you should have done but did not. When added up over the course of a lifetime, it becomes apparent that we can never outweigh the bad. When one realizes that the entire Bible hinges on the fact that God loved you (and me and all of us) so much that He let his own Son, who was blameless, die for us, taking our rightful place and suffering for us, that we gain a whole new perspective as to God's nature and way of thinking.

Why doesn't omnipotent God click his fingers and KAZAAM!!! get rid of sin, evil, murder, rape, Satan and hell altogether? Why doesn't he just get rid of every possible sin right now?

Rhiggs, taking away all that is bad would remove from us the full range of options we as people could choose, whether we decide to be hateful or do something good to the glory of God. If this were removed, we would be, in a sense, nothing more than biological robots.

It is God's choice to not do this every second of every day, so because he can and doesn't he is thus responsible for all sin...

God is responsible for all sin? Rhiggs I want you to go out and rob a bank tomorrow. When the police catch up to you, explain to them that it is actually God who is responsible for you robbing a bank and see how far this logic gets you. No my friend. We are ultimately responsible for our actions. Not God.

JD Curtis said...

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

JD Curtis said...

Or Rhiggs, you can say it was stress that caused you to rob banks like this guy. LOL!

Ryk said...

What does Adam have to do with this discussion, it is still your god who tortures. So it is doing it because of the actions of a mythical Adam instead of some other excuse, it still created the system and it still decrees the torture. It doesn't matter how easy it is to avoid the torture or how horrible you would have to be to get it. All that matters is that you worship a god who tortures, and a god who tortures is evil. My moral code does not allow me to worship an evil god. If there were a Jehovas Witness having this discussion I would have fewer objections. Their god does not torture people in hell. However their god still authorizes rape and genocide just like yours does, and it is still proven false by scientific evidence as yours is so I would still have some problems, but not the biggest one, which is the manifest evil of a being that decrees eternal torture for any number of crime no matter how horrible.

I am trying to force myself to believe in a god, I have tried Tracys suggestions about praying, I have invited god to come reason with me. I have even reached out to other deities such as Wotan, Angus, Isis, Satan and any others who would like to dialogue and have got nothing. In the unlikely event that there are real gods they are not answering, and if as Tracy says it is possible to believe without evidence through an act of will, that is an act I am failing at. I can not even force myself to believe in the Deist god which should be easy because Deism is from a practical standpoint no different from atheism.

I have not quit yet because I want it to be true. If I could prove that faith is a choice it would answer many questions I have about the world, but I am beginning to think that wanting it to be true is not going to make it so.

Tracy Wagman said...

Mat. 11:28-30
For Ryk

Tracy Wagman said...

Ryk, focus on Jesus only.

JD Curtis said...

What does Adam have to do with this discussion

Please examine any mainline Chistian churches account of the fall of man. I assumed you might have heard this before.

it is still your god who tortures

Ryk, BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE YOU CAME ACROSS THIS EXTRA-BIBLICAL BELIEF THAT GOD IS TORTURING PEOPLE. IF THIS IS ANOTHER CASE OF YOU MISQUOTING SCRIPTURE (OR PARROTING AN INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE THAT ONE OF YOUR CO-RELIGIONISTS MISQUOTED) I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT CHAPTER AND VERSE YOU ARE REFERRING TO.

Ryk said...

@JD

Is there a hell according to you?

Is there torture in this hell?

Is your God omnipotent?

Did it set the criteria for who is tortured and who is not?

How is it, assuming that you did not answer no to these questions, do you claim your god does not torture.

I do not have any Co religionists as far as I know but as to where it is from, you are correct that Biblical mentions of hell are somewhat scarce, but most Christian denominations believe in it. If you are not one of these then wonderful, as I said Jehovas Witnesses for one are a religion who's god does not torture.

Ryk said...

@Tracy

Why just focus on Jesus. Is he not part of a trinity with god? If not and he was just a philosopher then I don't think he had much to say that was useful. If he is God then he is a being who tortures and is therefore evil. Hell is after all a New Testament concept, I am not sure why Jesus should not be indicted for it.

Tracy Wagman said...

When I say focus on Jesus I mean the trinity. When I said Jesus I meant this- Don't seek after the other gods and religions.

God's punishment is evil. God is not evil.

Ryk said...

@Tracy

From good must come good and from evil. If your god engages in an evil act then it is evil. You can not seperate the act of evil from the condition of evil. They are the same. There was a time when I did evil and at that time I was evil. I could not say I am doing evil but I am really good because that is nonsense. Even your bible concurs with this Buddhist principle when it says You shall know a tree by its fruit.

rhiggs said...

@Tracy
I clicked your name but didn't read anything about this subject. I notice you have several blogs. Unfortunately I don't have time to look through them all. Can you direct me to the relevant post? Thanks.


@JD
"Rhiggs, taking away all that is bad would remove from us the full range of options we as people could choose, whether we decide to be hateful or do something good to the glory of God. If this were removed, we would be, in a sense, nothing more than biological robots."

What would be wrong with taking away the bad options? If sin was impossible then we would know no different and just choose what to do based on the wide range of non-sinful options.

Removing sin from our available options would simply place sin in the subset of 'things that humans can't do', like flying unaided or walking through brick walls. We would still have plenty of free will, just a bit less than before.

BTW I believe we are 'biological robots' already, but this does not mean we do not have free will. It's an interesting topic.


"God is responsible for all sin?"

Put it like this. If God created the universe, then he necessarily created everthing in it, including sin. He has the power to remove all sin from the world, but he doesn't. He created humans with the capacity to sin, and them punishes them if they do. He didn't have to do any of this, but he did. So it's ultimately his fault. Period.

The best example to use is that of the garden of eden. Why was the snake and the apple there in the first place? Is God not responsible for the snake and apple being there? Why not just have a garden without the snake and apple? Then we'd all be perfect non-sinners...


"Rhiggs I want you to go out and rob a bank tomorrow. When the police catch up to you, explain to them that it is actually God who is responsible for you robbing a bank and see how far this logic gets you. No my friend. We are ultimately responsible for our actions. Not God."

Eh, the logic wouldn't work because I would be breaking civil law, not because I would be sinning.

Of course, I agree that each individual is responsible for his or her actions, so I would never do this. Even if I needed the money so bad that I would consider robbing a bank, I would be put off by the fact that the police actually exist and I have seen them bust bank-robbers before. I have seen bank-robbers punished before so this serves as a huge deterrent. On the other hand, there is zero evidence that god will punish sins, only the testimony of people like you. How many people have been to hell and come back to warn others? Eh, none.

Tracy Wagman said...

rhiggs,
I'm sorry. I thought it would go to directly to the blog. Click the tacklebox for fishing blog.

The conversation begins (in the comments) on an older post entitled Awesome, Majestic. so start there.

Then read the post and comments for -(No title) just, this post is for ryk my atheist friend.

Monkey Girl said...

What I find intriguing is that...they present this 'belief' as if it's just so simple.

Just as if someone just asked me to 'believe' and push away any doubts about believing in unicorns and fairies...

I'm not being insincere or trying to be rude. I just find it interesting and a tad hypocritical.

JD Curtis said...

Just as if someone just asked me to 'believe' and push away any doubts about believing in unicorns and fairies...

Is this the state if discourse? Really?

Please cite for me, oh Monkey Girl, all or any of the archeologically verifiable facts left behind in the written histories of both unicorn mythology and fairy histories and how does it stack up against Biblical archeology?


Is there a rich 2000 year history of exegesis in the study of unicorns and fairies as there is in the study of the Holy Bible?

How many universities were founded by the devotees of the unicorn myth?

How many hospitals were founded around the world, (no wait, let's just concentrate on poor areas and underdeveloped nations) by the adherents of Tinkerbell?

How many people have come out of incarceration completely changed and started prison ministries devoted to getting other convicts to dedicate their lives to Tinkerbell?

Where are the fairy and unicorn equivilents to the Red Cross, Salvation Army and YMCA that we can point to in this day and age?

How have fairy and unicorns shaped the history of Western Civilization in comparison to Christianity?

How many unicorn and fairy apostles chose a horrifying and gruesome martyr's death when instead if they simply recanted the truth that they spoke would have been allowed to live?

I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.

I don't mean to be rude but these types of arguements are raised by Atheism 101 slackers who never once explored the matter with even an ounce of intellectual honesty.

Ryk said...

@JD

While I believe at this point in the discussion we are a bit beyond unicorn and fairy comparisons, I think it is a mistake to just hand wave them off.

All of the things you claimed about Christianity are only testaments to the fact that people believe in it. I don't think monkey girl is disputing that many people of all kinds and various achievements and contributions have chosen to believe in the Christian god. None of the things you cited are evidence of the reality of your god, only the existence of people who worship it and wrote the holy book about it.

As far as physical evidence goes there really is just as much evidence for faeries and unicorns as there is for man gods and talking snakes. Their is in fact archaeological evidence of people who believed in faeries. The little people hold a prominent place in pre Christian Europe, particularly the british isles. There are in fact modern pagans who believe in them. The fact that the Celtic faiths are less successful than the Christian religion is due to the fact that Christianity took hold among the Romans who had the power to subjugate and spread the faith alongside their legions. Then when the Roman Empire fell the subject nations were already Christian and the religion continued. This success speaks only of human power and accomplishment, not divine manifestation.

Had the Romans not taken a fancy to the Christ cult and instead embraced the Germanic or Celtic pantheons we might now be one nation under Wotan, or Angus. If they had kept their traditional gods we would see hospitals and universities in the name of Zeus and Minerva. By the way since the legends and myths of the greeks and Romans are also supported by archaeology does that make them true?

Tracy Wagman said...

Truth be told monkeygirl, It is that simple. Jesus said, "Come with the faith of a child." Children can understand the simplicity of the gospel. Children don't worry, analyze,argue or wonder how their dad is going to pay the bills. They just trust and rest in the fact that they have a roof over their head and food to eat and clothes to wear. (i.e For kids that aren't neglected that is.) When we grow older we don't think or reason like a child. The older we get the more we learn and analyze and complicate the simple things. We don't just trust as a child trusts. Faith has absolutely nothing to do with how smart you are or how much knowledge you have it's about simple faith like a child has. A mind cannot wrap itself around the spiritual things of God. A human mind thinks the spiritual things of God are foolishness until hopefully you get divine revelation from the Holy Spirit. do a simple test... Do you think what I'm speaking about is foolishness, absurd, against human reasoning, a fairy tale??? If so, then you need to seek God Himself to explain what He's all about.

JD Curtis said...

None of the things you cited are evidence of the reality of your god, only the existence of people who worship it and wrote the holy book about it.

Is it your belief that evidence of a religion's effects on people and lifechanging experiences that it creates is not to be considered when examining it's worth? Can I have some contemporary Tinkerbell and unicorn testimonies for comparison?

As far as physical evidence goes there really is just as much evidence for faeries and unicorns as there is for man gods and talking snakes.

Really Ryk? I'll just point you to..

A. The existence of the "made-up" city of Nineveh
B. The existence of the "non-existent" Hittite Empire
C. The existence of the never before seen cities of Sodom and Gemorrah
D. The existence of the "mythical" King Saul
E. The existence of the previously doubted Nehemiah's Wall.

And these are just off the top of my head. Since the unicorn and fairytales are ever bit as verifiable as the short list I cited above, perhaps you would be kind enough to produce an archeological list comparable to the one above so that we might compare?

The fact that the Celtic faiths are less successful than the Christian religion is due to the fact that Christianity took hold among the Romans who had the power to subjugate and spread the faith alongside their legions.

Uhh, no Ryk. Paganism was grafted into Christianity. Just off the top of my head I can point to Marianism (female worship) the placement of Christmas on (almost) the shortest day of the year and the origins of the word "Easter" and it's placement in springtime.

Had the Romans not taken a fancy to the Christ cult and instead embraced the Germanic or Celtic pantheons we might now be one nation under Wotan, or Angus.

But Constantine didnt receive his vision from Wotan or Angus and he didnt order pagan symbols to be painted on their helmets and shields did he? Coincidence?

If they had kept their traditional gods we would see hospitals and universities in the name of Zeus and Minerva.

Wildly untrue and completely baseless. First, look up the word almshouses (the forerunner of today's modern hospitals) and who founded them. Secondly, you can verify that The University of Bologna was tied to the Catholic Church, not Greek mythology. Then present your arguements as to why the followers of Greek dieties would have fared better than the followers of Roman ones in establishing hospitals first. After that we'll examine universities.

By the way since the legends and myths of the greeks and Romans are also supported by archaeology does that make them true?

There are archeological sites that support Roman and Greek history. Please compare them to fairy and unicorn histories and their archeological finds and let me know how you make out by posting your comparison here.

Ryk said...

Again, since the bible was written by an ancient bronze age people then it is not surprising that they would have mentioned places that existed at the time they were writing their mythology. Why does the discovery of a cuty mentioned in an ancient book suddenly make the god or gods of those people true?

I did not say there is as much archaeological evidence of people who believed in faeries as there are of people who believed in Christian mythology I said there was some. Stonehenge for example as well as other stone circles. I admitted that the Christ cult was more successful hence it would have spawned more religious archetecture and Iconography. However it does not have more evidence than the Hindu and Buddhist faiths which have a wealth of historical religious locations. Or the Egyption mythos, there is quite a bit of evidence to support Isis, Set and Horus. Should we believe that. Please provide some evidence that proves there is a god not evidence that people have religions.

As to why the greek or roman gods would have spawned hospitals and universities had their religions prospered instead of the Christ myth, simple these things are the works of men not gods. They are also apparently things men do in the name of their gods, so if they worshipped say Minerva goddess of wisdom why wouldn't they build places of learning in her name?

The point is as I just said all you have to show for your deity are things people do or things people say. How is that proof of anything other than primitive man being superstitious and making up gods to explain away what he couldn't understand.

It doesn't matter if they are gods, faeries, spirits, kami, whatever. It is all the same thing, there is nothing to support them except what people say and do, that only proves that people say and do things.

atimetorend said...

"Truth be told monkeygirl, It is that simple. Jesus said, "Come with the faith of a child." Children can understand the simplicity of the gospel."

I believe that to only be true if Christianity is true. You can believe anything with that attitude, it means withholding judgement and trusting. Now there is nothing wrong per se with trusting, and as you noted we ask it of our children. And it is absolutely in their interest to trust as children for their own safety. But when things proclaimed in a religion do not line up with things observed, we need to exercise our adult discernment. Monkeygirls example could be seen as an exaggeration, but everyone uses similar discernment at some level. Maybe it does not come into play in a significant way regarding fairies, but it does when we consider Scientology or Mormonism, or left/right politics (whichever side you don't fall on). And we all are suspect to our own biases. But the way we try to overcome those biases is to do so carefully, not to drop our guard entirely and believe what we're told.

The point I am trying to make is that I do not believe that "trusting like a child" is appropriate to coming to a decision about whether or not Christianity is true. Maybe it is relevant to a Christian in developing their relationship with God, but even then I would posit that it leaves one open to hearing one's own thoughts as "God's voice" without discernment.

Tracy Wagman said...

atimetorend,

I beleive Christianity to be true because I did my part and trusted and God proved Himself to me so strongly that I would die for it.

You said- when things proclaimed in a religion do not line up with things observed, we need to exercise our adult discernment.

Faith goes by things you do not see.
Discernment is God given.
We need to conform our minds to the things of God-His word, not the world's take on ANYTHING!

you said- The point I am trying to make is that I do not believe that "trusting like a child" is appropriate to coming to a decision about whether or not Christianity is true.

As long as you hold onto that view you will never know if Christianity is true b/c you are not in agreement with the word of God.

You have to know that Christianity is true in order to have a relationship with God.

It is with God given discernment that you can distinguish the voice of God from one's own or any demonic voices. Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice."

JD Curtis said...

Is there a hell according to you?

According to Scripture there exists a Hell. And yes, I believe it exists.

Is there torture in this hell?

Like waterboarding? Really? I don't know. People who report NDE's in which they claim to have visited Hell before being revived make it sound just as bad as the worst torture you could imagine. Irregardless, it's safe to assume it's a horrible place that no one in their right mind would ever want to spend 1 moment there, nevermind all of eternity.

Is your God omnipotent?

His grace is sufficient for me. I don't ever worry about God not being powerful enough for something.

Did it set the criteria for who is tortured and who is not?

A poorly worded question on 2 accounts and I'll tell you why.
1) You still havent cited for me chapter and verse where God is actually engaged in "torturing" someone and I will continue to believe that such evidence does not exist until you provide a reason for me to believe otherwise.
2) According to your logic, in the state that I live in, the Florida state legislature and governor Charlie Crist are "torturing" everyone in the state prison system, even though these inmates led their own lives and made their own decisions as to what crimes they were going to commit before being sentenced. If this is different, please explain why.

I do not have any Co religionists as far as I know

Surely you jest. Please let me refresh your memory as you reaquaint yourself with some of your more famous brethren.

Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois

Jean Nicolas Billaud-Varenne

Pol Pot

Stalin

Lenin

Enver Hoxha

Erik Honecker

Choibalsan

and I could name many other leaders who are historically confirmed to have said that they are atheists or that there is no God or that there are no gods. No sky daddy holding them accountable. No wonder 58% of all atheist leaders are responsible for the non-martial murders of a BARE MINIMUM of 20,000 people. If 58% of Catholic leaders had this type of track record, could you imagine the outcry?

I did not say there is as much archaeological evidence of people who believed in faeries as there are of people who believed in Christian mythology I said there was some.

Actually, if you look above, you said "As far as physical evidence goes there really is just as much evidence for faeries and unicorns as there is for man gods and talking snakes."
Thus far you havent provided any physical evidence, archeological or otherwise, for the existance of fairies or unicorn based on their foundational documents as this evidence seems as elusive as the "God is torturing people" hypothesis you have put forward.

JD Curtis said...

Rhiggs, if you like, start a thread at your blog. Repost our last exchange and we can chat over there if you like.

Ryk said...

@JD
You are obviously playing silly semantics games in just about every post you make. In regards to your god torturing, here are chapters that mention there being a hell Romans 2:7-9; 2 Thessalonians 1:9 Matthew 5:22, 18:8-9; Mark 9:43-49 Matthew 8:12; 22:13 Hebrews 10:27 2 Peter 3:7 Jude 7 Jude 13 Revelation 20:10 Revelation 14:11 Luke 16:19-31 In Revelation 20:13-14. Since you claim you believe there is a hell and that your god created it, and that it is the punishment for sin and that your god decides who is saved and not saved then your god sentences people to hell for their sins. Since hell is described as a place of torture then your god is a god of torture. The scriptures may not show it with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch doing the deed himself but it is his system, his rules his punishment his doing. Simple. Semantics do not change that and I am surprised you would try.

As to faeries and unicorns. As I said there is exactly the same amount of evidence for them as there is for man gods and talking snakes...None. There may be more evidence of Christians than there is of Celts, although a european historian may be able to dispute that, but I won't claim otherwise. So it is good that you can present evidence that Christians exist but I wasn't disputing that. Not only do I believe in Christians existing, I also believe that before there were Christians there were Jews, and that they wrote a book of myths, and like other cultures who have written myths they used real places and maybe even real people in their imaginary god stories. However this is only evidence of superstitious people believing stuff it isn't evidence of anything supernatural.

Ryk said...

I can not possibly have Co religionist because I have no religion. A theism mean quite literally "without religion" There are of course other people who have no religion, you listed some and as you pointed out they have a wide variety of viewpoints. That pretty much reinforces the fact that atheism is not a religion. A religion is a set of beliefs and dogma. Atheists have no shared belief except for some of us believe there is no god. Others simply don't believe there is. I am one of the former but I am actually a minority. Most atheists are of the latter type. Where to Muslims or Christians will share common beliefs and attitudes such as Pat Robertson, Jerhimiah Wright and Fred Phelps all claiming that the attacks on the world trade center and pentagon were gods punishment on America for various sins. However I share no common beliefs with Stalin for instance, I am completely anti-communist, and I oppose torture and murder. Sure we agree that there is no evidence of a god, and if Josef was a gnostic atheist like myself we would agree that there is no god, but that is simply a point of agreement on one issue, hardly a religion. That would be like calling people who agree that they like the color red co religionists. Calling not having religion a religion is just another silly semantics game which seems to be your principle tool of debate.

rhiggs said...

JD,

Based on your logic all of the below are your co religionists with respect to a belief in the Invisible Pink Hammer:

Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois

Jean Nicolas Billaud-Varenne

Pol Pot

Stalin

Lenin

Enver Hoxha

Erik Honecker

Choibalsan

So, by your own logic, clearly your worldview is responsible for any atrocities caused by these people.

Shame on you ahammerists.

rhiggs said...

Tracey,

"As long as you hold onto that view you will never know if Christianity is true b/c you are not in agreement with the word of God.

You have to know that Christianity is true in order to have a relationship with God.
"


I assume you can see the problem with this?

In order to know it is true, you first have to accept it as true.

Huh?

A Scientologist would probably say that once you accept Scientology as truth, then you will know it is true. This sounds equally as reasonable (or unreasonable) to me. How can you separate your claims from that of a Scientologist...or any other religion for that matter?

Ryk said...

Rhiggs

That is one of the biggest obstacles I have been having with this thing. I have to know that if I actually do force myself to believe, will I be believing because it is true, or will I be totally convinced that there is a god and that I have a relationship with is, simply because I have chosen to believe that. Could I just as easily(well so far it isn't easy) force myself to have a relationship with the pink hammer? Would that feel just as real? Would it be true because I felt it to be real?

rhiggs said...

Ryk,

That's it exactly. If you convince yourself something is real, then you will necessarily believe it to be true. If you also believe it is a source of comfort, morals, happiness, an everlasting afterlife, etc, then this is just going to reinforce your belief.

It's like the God vs Todd example that Thunderf00t used in his debate with Ray. Thunderf00t proposed that he could imagine a guy called Todd who was an all-knowing being that gave him comfort, etc... What is the difference between an imaginary entity such as Todd and the Christian God? Ray struggled to find an answer and came up with "God is described in the bible"...so if someone just documented Todd and his teachings then there would be no difference between an imaginary being and God.

In other words, anyone can convince themselves something is true, especially if it makes them feel good. That is not evidence that it is true.

The requirement that one needs to accept Christianity as truth prior to having a relationship with God is just plain silly. It is the same as someone having to accept Invisible Pink Hammerism as truth prior to having a relationship with his Hammerness. At this stage you already believe it to be true so you will see everything with bias and simply ignore any evidence to the contrary.

atimetorend said...

"The requirement that one needs to accept Christianity as truth prior to having a relationship with God is just plain silly."

rhiggs, I share your conclusion completely. Your entire last comment explained the reason for that very well.

atimetorend said...

"...you said- The point I am trying to make is that I do not believe that "trusting like a child" is appropriate to coming to a decision about whether or not Christianity is true.

As long as you hold onto that view you will never know if Christianity is true b/c you are not in agreement with the word of God.
"

Paraphrased: "You will not believe Christianity to be true if you don't agree with the bible, which says Christianity is true."

That is circular logic. If it is circular logic, you are just saying you believe it because you believe it. That is fine as a statement of faith, but should not be confused with reasoning..

"You said- when things proclaimed in a religion do not line up with things observed, we need to exercise our adult discernment.

Faith goes by things you do not see.
Discernment is God given.
We need to conform our minds to the things of God-His word, not the world's take on ANYTHING!
"

You are making the choice to believe the bible and turn off your discernment. As rhiggs said above: "At this stage you already believe it to be true so you will see everything with bias and simply ignore any evidence to the contrary."

Tracy Wagman said...

If discerment is God given how am I turning it off? I am allowing God to reveal Himself to me.

I keep hearing about circular logic.
I will say this- All of the circles of my life come back to Jesus.

I am DONE with the circles of others' knowledge, mindsets, influences, etc..

I am not going to go around the same old mountains and come to the ideas I read here and other places that are utterly confusing, confounding and dreadfully empty! This can only lead you back to them again and again and again. Because that's all there is for you and the others.

Nearly everthing I say is analyzed to death and twisted. Take what I say back to Jesus. And see what He has to say about it?

I am not trying to be rude or mean, please don't take me that way.

Monkey Girl said...

My comment may have been a bit light hearted for this discussion, but it still holds true for me.

I come from a deep, long, strong Irish background. For as long as you say people have believed in Jesus/God, there have been people(my people) who've believed in fairies/little people/whatever you want to call it. This is no joke. Yes, many of these people believe in Jesus/God too, however, their pagan beliefs were just as strong.

I just don't see any need for this circular discussion. Agree to disagree.

You may feel the need to convert people, but many people don't feel the way you do, or feel they need converting.

Even as interesting as this discussion has been to read, why is it soooo hard for you to let people 'not believe' in your God?

Ryk said...

In defense of Tracy, I do understand that she is not trying to be circular and I get where she is coming from. Her talk about heart level knowledge is essentially meaning that if you believe emotionally then there can be no rational objection that will matter. Tracy doesn't need evidence, logic or consistency of argument because she has faith. Unlike Ray and others who play at faith and make up huge complicated apologetics, Tracy is just saying believe.

That is why I like her. Her position is perfectly honest and free of bullshit. When she tries to stray into the land of apologetics that is less true, but even then she stays clear of the obvious lunacy that the wannabe scientists and philosophers try to throw out.

My problem is that my emotions are not seperate from my reasoning. I am unable to believe anything emotionally. As I said to Tracy in another post, I am not a purely scientific naturalist. I will accept intuition and feeling and hunches as a sort of evidence, but I haven't even gotten those about anything supernatural.

That is why I fail in making myself believe, I need something to believe in. Primitive old legends aren't working for me at all.

Tracy Wagman said...

Monkeygirl,

If ryk didn't want to engage in conversations with me about converting to Christianity then all he would need to do is say so and I would bow out gracefully. I will not push Jesus on anyone. However, at this point he chooses to listen to me for which I am grateful.

It's pretty much a given that ryk and I have agreed to disagree on nearly everything we speak about.

I feel the need to convert people... It's something that God Himself has established with in me. It's His heart for the lost. It's His work and His deal. I am only the vessel He works through.

It's so hard to stop trying to help people understand because I truly ache and grieve for the lost. For you and anyone. Right now I am intensely burdened for ryk.

Tracy Wagman said...

It isn't emotional faith ryk. thanks for the defense though.

Ryk said...

Tracy

If your faith is neither emotional or empirical, what is it? I was not trying to misrepresent you, apparently I misunderstood you.

Tracy Wagman said...

ok. Come to my blog in a couple minutes. I'll try to answer you.

JD Curtis said...

Thunderf00t proposed that he could imagine a guy called Todd who was an all-knowing being that gave him comfort, etc... What is the difference between an imaginary entity such as Todd and the Christian God?

Let me ask you Rhiggs, Do you believe in a Giant Pink Hammer? Yes or no? Please explain how this is not a reductio ad absurdum of the ontological argument. Is it just another form of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (fallacious)argument?


For as long as you say people have believed in Jesus/God, there have been people(my people) who've believed in fairies/little people/whatever you want to call it. This is no joke. Yes, many of these people believe in Jesus/God too, however, their pagan beliefs were just as strong.

Monkey girl, exactly who are the fairies that the devotees of fairyism claim were historic personages? When did they live? What were their names? Are there any scholars of any note of the non-fairyism belief system that were contemporaries of these fairies of history that recorded their existance that we might examine their writings in this day and age?

Ryk said...

JD who is the talking snake that devotees of your Bible claim was a historical figure. Are there any scolars of note of any non Abrahamic belief system that were contemporaries of this historical talking snake that recorded it's existence so that we may examine these writings in this day and age? Or how about talking donkeys?(numbers 22:22) Giants?(Numbers 13:20/ Dueteronomy 3:11 among others)Unicorns?(numbers 23:22, Job 39:9-12,Isaiah 34:7 Psalm 29:6).

I personally don't believe in faeries but we can establish that there were people who did just as we can establish that there were people who believed in your God and unicorns and talking snakes and giants and talking donkeys etc.

How is the Celtic tradition of little people and fair folk any different from the Bibles myths about giants and unicorns? Admittedly the oral tradition of the Celts leaves less in the way of documentation but no one doubts that they had myths about the fey. Just as no one doubts that the writers of the OT believed in unicorns and giants. Similarly there are people today who believe in faeries, giants and unicorns.

So what is the point of your question again?

rhiggs said...

JD,

Whether I believe in the Invisible Pink Hammer or not is irrelevant.

The point is that since you clearly do not believe in this entity, you are an ahammerist. Similarly, Stalin and Pol Pot were ahammerists.

Thus by your logic you Stalin and Pol Pot are co-religionists.

That's all :)

JD Curtis said...

It's a simple question and if you cannot answer it, just say so. If it's not above your level of intellect, then "yes", "no" or "I don't know" would all be acceptable answers.

If you arent too taxed by that question, then tackle my 2nd one that you havent answered. Again...

" Please explain how this is not a reductio ad absurdum of the ontological argument. Is it just another form of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (fallacious)argument?"

This is to determine if we are talking about the same thing. I googled your hammer reference and only had 1 hit of any consequence. It appeared to be just another version of the spaghetti monster but I wanted to make sure before continuing.


I was referring to Jesus Christ in my previous post and yes, there are sources independent of the Bible that provide evidence of his historical existence.

Ryk said...

Yes JD there is evidence to indicate that maybe a man named Jesus or Yeshua or Yeshu or somesuch lived, said things and was crucified. I am not denying that. I don't necessarily support it either but it is such a matter of indifference that I will grant it to you. That is not evidence of gods or magic or talking snakes or whatever. Just some messiah wannabe pf which there were several getting killed for heressy. I am not sure where you are going with that.

Ryk said...

Here is my response to your post on the other thread, it is off topic there but appropriate here so this is where it should continue.

JD Is Satan the equal or superior of Yahwheh? If so your case makes sense otherwise it is silly and insipid. If Yahwheh is omnipotent then any actions of his angels fallen or otherwise are his responsibility.

If I were perfectly aware that one of my children or employees or whatever were abducting and torturing people, and if it would require nothing but my say so to make them stop and I chose not to then I am equally responsible for the torture. Simple. Furthermore using Satan as a scapegoat is dishonest because as I understand it Satan does not decide who is placed in hell or not, am I wrong about this because if I am that would be interesting to say the least.

It is my understanding that Yahwheh is supposed to be omnipotent and the creator of everything. Does your brand of Christianity disagree?

rhiggs said...

JD,

You seem to have again missed the point I was making.

I've lost interest now.

BTW scroll up and you might notice several of my questions to you that went unanswered. I, however, didn't lower myself to insulting your intelligence.

Good day.