I just asked this question on my Facebook page...

Devil's Advocate question time!! .......If EVERYTHING that happens is according to "G"s plan....Why do people get angry with the outcomes of everything!!?? Hmmmmmmmm......(I must have over-looked the fine print somewhere).... If you get angry at the outcome...and you believe there is a "plan"...and it is God's will...Wouldn't you essentially be mad at God?? And doesn't he get super pissed about you not being happy with his game-plan???

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@Professor Robert

Many threads have the tendency to wander off topic, and it is considered courtesy to stop digressing if the OP (Original Poster) requests that you remain on topic.  However, we are all well aware that some off-topic comments will indeed appear and that censorship is something to be avoided where possible.

Where you yourself have started a thread, it is up to you to steer it in the way you wish, and it is your call if the subject appears to be diverting elsewhere against your preference.

Having said that, if a sub-topic becomes the lead position in a thread, it is also common courtesy for one of the participants to start a more specific thread so that that topic can be fully explored without derailing the subject of the original post.

Trust this clarifies.

Yep, Thanks.

Foist of all Roberto, you're finished watching any exchanges between arch and x - he can continue to play his checkers, while I will continue to play chess, and ne'er the twain shall - do whatever twains do.

Where I would differ with the rest of your comment, is that to the best of my knowledge, no man has ever cut his daughter's throat, strapped a bomb to his chest and set it off in a crowded market, or flown a jetliner into a skyscraper over Euclidean Geometry, though I did see a math major throw a pocket protector across the room once.

RE hijacking threads - I do it all the time, but I'm not sure I'm exactly the best poster child for the practice.

While at PSU, early 80's, I used to keep a V-8 juice can at the ready when the theists in our Philosophy of Religion class started ranting during class. You crack one open, and it sounds like someone is downing a cold one in the back of the room. Sadly after three times, the prof. suggested that I show proper respect. Sadly other representatives from our SOS/student atheists group were not available to act as backup. It was good for a non-electronic laugh trak...

@ Bob, You can never answer a straight question can you? Religion is an intellectual discipline that does not claim “God Exists”. WTF man? The analogy to mathematics is ridiculous. You only believe in your God because you have faith without evidence. YOU HAVE NONE. So stop flapping about with comparisons and weak analogies as with physics above. Either offer some evidence that your God exists or admit it is by blind faith alone that you hold those beliefs. Stop dodging and side stepping question and just address that point. That is all you need do. But you can’t because your God is non-existent and you are so engrossed with your apologetics that you cannot even discern what I (we) are saying.

Even if the axiom “God exists” can lead to a useful system of beliefs were correct, that is not where you are at. You are claiming to know which particular God by name. You claim to know the name of his son. You claim to have a channel of communication going with Him and you claim that you will become immortal when you die. That is way beyond having a useful framework.

God may be a postulate but not if you are specific and name Him as you do. God is not a concept. The concept of God is a concept.

For the last time Bob –I am not asking you for proof of or for you God. I am only asking for a shred of evidence for HIM or an honest admission that if you have none that you say “Ok, I believe on Faith alone”. It is a simple question. I will stop being an Atheist if you have anything to offer that is not solely based on subjective belief.

So just address this question: Have you any objective evidence for you beliefs or is it all faith based?

Sorry Katie Mac - I will make it up to you.

@ Bob, You can never answer a straight question can you?

I did answer a straight question.   In fact I went out of my way to provide an explanation and an analogy to an area of study which I hoped would be more familiar to you.

What you discovered is that you didn't like or understand the answer, because it didn't fit within the nice, neat worldview you have constructed for yourself.   That's the nature of conversations between different intellectual disciplines.  The terminology differs, but more importantly the ways of thinking differ, and what makes for interesting questions differs. 

A physicist may look at the vibrations of air molecules and talk about waves and energy transfer through fluids and such.   A musician may look at the same physical phenomenon and think about it completely differently, with different language and starting assumptions.  The physicist if he were being particularly argumentative might well claim that "you don't have any objective evidence that music exists," as the only thing that's "real" is the energy transfer of vibrating air molecules. 

Once we switch to thinking of things the way the musician and not the physicist thinks, then we really can start to make claims about what is good or bad music, just as it's possible with time and effort to prove that some claims in Euclidean Geometry are true, and others are not.   So it's perfectly natural to do the same thing with Theology.  Our understanding progresses over time, with effort.

Joining points with a line segment is a postulate.  It also has a name.  "Line segment".  Naming isn't anything special.  Other things, like an understanding of prayer or the afterlife or whatnot are theories.  They are held with greater or lesser confidence, depending on the particular theory.  We keep learning about these things as we go, same as any discipline.

So what you see as "bobbing and weaving" is really just being honest and straightforward about how a different discipline thinks about things.  We don't think about things in the silly, simplistic, nonsense way that you portray.   That's a prejudice from your own belief structure which doesn't really have any basis in reality.

I get what you are saying but it's a very slippery slope.  How many people investigate Christianity because of its potential usefulness in their lives, and wind up actually believing Jesus is Lord?  I don't know the answer to tht question but I do know I do not want to be one of those people.  There is a huge gap between those two as far as I am concerned.

@Diane, that's a fair criticism.   I agree, it can be a problem, certainly for individuals. 

I think that's true of any discipline, though.  How many people investigate medicine out of a need and end up buying into some quackery?  How many people look into science but are unwilling to spend the real effort to learn science and instead settle on some pseudo-science? 

Quite a few in both cases.  Whole industries exist to support each.

It's no different for religion.  We have quacks and the unscrupulous.  There are people who aren't willing to put in the effort to really learn and who therefore settle on some meaningless feel-good pablum. 

There are people who aren't willing to put in the effort to really learn and who therefore settle on some meaningless feel-good pablum.

I think you've just described religion.

I wrote out a passionate and brilliant response to your comment and lost it all when the power went out.  

Basically my thought is that I don't want to get sucked into any other quackery either.  And I won't suspend my disbelief in Jesus as God enough to even go down the road that could lead me to actual faith.  It's not worth it to me.  I think that in order for me to come to really believe I would have to cross a line into insanity.  

You should maintain a healthy skepticism.  I would never advocate otherwise.  That's particularly true since religion picks up a lot of sociocultural baggage over time.

We're all able to entertain new ideas with an open mind without going insane, though.  In fact, I'd suggest that not maintaining an open mind is itself a form of insanity.  We don't want to buy into quackery; at the same time we also don't want the presence of quackery to prevent us from exploring real medicine.  I'm old enough to remember when almost everybody in paleontology and the geosciences laughed at Alvarez's theory of extraterrestrial bombardment causing the K-T extinction event.  Some were so stuck on how that idea was just quackery that it colored the scientific debate for a generation. 

Blimey, Professor Robert - are you old enough to remember the Pope as head of the Catholic faith, forgiving Galileo for the crime of stating that the earth was not the centre of the universe?


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