Truth is, if there was solid evidence for the existence of God, it then would be a point of fact with no room for faith.

Therefore is it possible that the continued neutrality is being sustain by God for our benefit?

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I won't say much more about it because it's not up to me to decide who's acceptable or not here. So it's just my opinion anyway. My blood pressure doesn't go up very often, perhaps because I learn to ignore certain people instead of beating dead horses, and (again) I'm into inclusion over exclusion, because I think we're better at inclusion than most religionists.

The only reason atheists call themselves atheists is because of theists. So it wouldn't be unreasonable for some atheists to come here to get away from theists. But--and again, this is just my opinion--I'd rather have the choice of engaging with a theist when I want to, because it is so easy to ignore anyone I want to. (I just looked, and domain names like JustAtheists .com, .org, and .net are still available.)

I agree, PP - it wouldn't be very fulfilling if we were just here to pat each other on the back for sharing the same basic beliefs. I welcome theists, as they force us to reach deep inside ourselves for responses. Otherwise, TA is little more than a mutual admiration society.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Google it. Literally, it means "after it therefor because of it" and it is a very basic logical fallacy. In other words, it's a logical fallacy to assume that simply because B happens after A that A is the cause of B.

If I ask God to help me out of my poverty and boredom and I win the lottery and marry Lady GaGa, how do I know if it was God or just luck?

The only way to establish a causal relationship is through reproducibility. We're certain water boils at 212F (at sea level) because we can make it happen over and over and over again. It's generally a property of so-called "miracles" that they are one-offs, like the examples you cited.

@Unseen - N+1 would probably obfuscate the issue, so I won't mention it --:-$ don't tell anyone shh!

Wrong.

You are confusing before-and-after with cause-and-effect.

Jim asked for a sign. Jim got cancer. Jim got cured.

Just as logical as this:

I ate oatmeal. I bought a lottery ticket. I won a hundred dollars.

What happened with your friend, Jim, was that he was looking for a sign. Anything dramatic that happened to him after that was open to his magical explanation. Here's how that works:

My horoscope says I'll have trouble focusing on mundane tasks. I mismatched socks while folding laundry. Ta Da! Astrology is true!

By the way, not a single advancement in medicine (the actual cause of Jim's cure) has come from someone who accepted magic as an appropriate solution.

@Karen - Don't forget the proof or reproducibility - have another bowl of oatmeal, maybe you'll win another $100! (I'll split it with you --)

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Oh, wow. So what if we ALL had a bowl of oatmeal, and then we ALL bought a lottery ticket - we ALL could really have a winfall :D

Thanks Karen for letting us all know how it is done.

If you can make it happen consistently, then you've probably got a causal relationship. But anecdotal evidence does not meet scientific scrutiny. There are also times that people pray or practice some other kind woo woo instead of going to a doctor, and they get sicker or die. But unfortunately those stories don't get written as much, out of respect.

How about all the millions of god-fearing people who pray and then die from some kind of natural disaster? Is that somehow not because of God?

Well, if you're talking about Katrina, everybody knows that that happened because New Orleans allowed a Gay Pride Parade! Pat Robertson said so!

In this instance, Gay Pride = punishment; prayer = rescue - ergo, Gay trumps prayer! The prayerful were simply collateral damage, and since they went out with a hymn in their heart and a prayer on their lips, they'll get their reward in heaven. That thought probably didn't make the water go down any easier, but hey, if you're gonna make an omelet, you gotta break a few eggs.

As for consistent happenings, you don't suppose they were holding Gay Pride Parades in Sodom or Gomorrah that week, do you?

Haha, yes, and I've imagined similar sins in the mid-west punished by tornadoes, etc.

Another Tyson (I think?) quote I heard was about why the incredible scientific progress made in Baghdad about a thousand years ago didn't last. Apparently, that's when culturally, "revelation replaced investigation", or something like that.

Did you know Jarod, that there are many people on this site who once believed in god and jesus and the bible. And while they were in that state of mind, they prayed, maybe for their sister not to die, or their brother, or their child. They prayed as hard as they could, and they hoped and believed that god or jesus would intervene, 'cause they believed so much. But it just didn't happen - why in Jim's case, but not the hundred's of thousands who pray for someone to get better, and they die anyway.

But I am pleased for you, that Jim got better. So if you and all the other christians who pray, could you turn your mind to the thousands of babies born, through no fault of their own, into a war or starvation, and are dying. Do you think you could possibly get your god to do some real good, and stop pedophiles from sexually abusing thousands of children. Do you think you could pray hard and long enough to see if god could make the time to do these small things, after all, he is omnipotent, and it shouldn't take too much of his precious time, and would make thousands of mothers happy that their beloved child was actually going to live a happy and fruitful life.

Could you and your friends turn your minds to doing something amazing for other people.

Maybe even just one of them has a direct link to god, worth a try, wouldn't you say.

I am so for, extreme and dramatic with bated breath - if you ask him really nicely, I am sure god would like to save thousands if not millions of 'his flock'.

just email, and said proof will go all over the world.

So the best thing god can do is to give a man cancer and then take it away?...Why not give the man a revelation about unique specific knowledge. I dont know. For example: Give the man the equations that would unite relativity and quantum mechanics. Or how about giving the man equations that would describe what happens inside a black hole, and the procedure on how to test it experimentally. Those are dramatic, extreme, and the type of knowledge that is not easy to make up.

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