Hi folks,

 

I should say at the start that I am a christian, but don't hold it against me!  I am always interested in what other people think, and enjoing reading the posts on this website.  So i'd like to throw some questions out to get more insight into atheism.  Your help is appreciated.

 

Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

 

Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position

       (like Antony Flew)?

       Try really hard to avoid answers like: 'that would never happen.. etc.'

 

Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?

 

All respectful discussion welcome!

     

 

 

Tags: Belief, God, in

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@ Trevor, you are a theologian, correct?  There is something that has always interested me.  Where are the sections in the bible that point to something being a moral story or something that is the truth?  Who makes the decisions that one portion should not be taken literally and others, are in fact, fact?

 

 What entity or group was tasked with interpreting the sections for lay people?  Why are there some religions who take the entire book literally, while others only take portions as true?

 

@ Fred-  I don't have time (at work) to look for more, but here is one that came to mind: 

 

Matthew 13:41,50 
13:41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom everything that causes sin as well as all lawbreakers. 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 

Trevor:

"IF" is the operative word here.

IF I were presented with evidence that I could live a long, healthy life subsisting on nothing but chocolate sundaes and no exercise, I would choose that lifestyle.  Just show me the evidence.

IF there was a universe in which there was a god who watched over me, answered my prayers, and granted me eternal life (if I believed in him/her/it), I would choose that universe.  Just show me the evidence.

If there were any credible evidence presented that supported theism, I would pay serious attention.  Just show me the evidence; but not from Anthony Flew.  The 87 year old presented NO new evidence for his change of heart.  As death approached, he simply chose to seek comfort in the notions of some of the fringe science and philosophy that creationists had been circulating for years.  

So, let me ask you: IF I could provide evidence (such as Stephen Hawking's cosmological theories) to prove that no god is necessary for the universe to exist, would you choose not to believe?  Of course, you wouldn't.  For you, faith is all the "evidence" you need, right?

Finally, just so we're clear: it is not incumbent upon the person who LACKS belief in something to defend the negative.  It is, instead, necessary that the person presenting the affirmative prove it - Philosophy 101.  Or, as Carl Sagan famously said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."  For me, the concept of a god is the ultimate extraordinary idea; therefore, I would require extraordinary evidence before choosing to believe.

 "IF," without supporting evidence, is a meaningless "weasel word."

 

Hi

 

The goal of my questions was not to convince people of theism or even say the evidence is weighted towards theism - even if i think it is.  The main point of the questions was for me to learn how athiests tick, what they think, what they presuppose, what motivates them.  I want my view of athiests to be based on what they really think on the ground, not a caricature of them.  So I wasn't going near any kind of evidence ideas.  Hope that helps.

Q1: In the universe of the Christian God I would most likely be damned to Hell so I wouldn't want to live there. 

Q2: Sure, if there was good evidence.

Q3: There could be a God. There really is no evidence that proves or disproves the existence of deities. However, there really is no evidence that proves or disproves The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the true creator. So I don't actively believe in or worship any deities.

@Trevor

 

"1.  Failures.  I think the things common to man.  I want to be selfless at home and put my family first in the small things as well as the big things, but I still want to take the biggest piece of cake on the plate.  I'm not trying to be trivial, I think all human beings have a heart conditiion, where whatever code we may choose for ourselves, we sabotage.  Tell me what yours is and I will test you on it :-)"

 

We at TA experience this a lot. Xtians who won't answer questions but ask a question instead. If you don't care to express/convey the things in your mind that made you feel like your in need of salvation that's OK. But I can assure you that your past contains nothing in the way of your behavior that necessitates being forgiven through a dying god and then resurrecting himself.

 

"2.  Being a good guy.  Depends what you mean by a good guy.  As I said, tell me your moral code and I will test you to see if you are a good guy by your own standards.  Universally I think we fail that test, more so against God's standards - so the answer is no."

 

My moral code is this: I do not treat anyone else differently than how I would want to be treated. Some call it the Golden Rule, some don't. It's having respect for an individual regardless of skin color or ethnic background.

 

"3.  I would like to answer the questions on prayer but I am not God, I don't know His mind fully.  I have experienced answered prayer and unanswered prayer (you would explain away the former).  But prayer is much more than trying to get stuff or twist God's arm to do what you think is best - and that you would do if you were God. "

 

This is the stereotypical cop out that Xtains use to explain the mysteries of their god. Your god has at best poor and selective hearing. Prayer is ineffectual and probably responsible for more lost time than any other activity on this planet. There is absolutely no reason an all powerful god would not intervene to assist those in trouble if he gave a shite. The real mystery is how in this day and time people remain fixated on doing something that in actuality accomplishes nothing. Faith healing and praying for miracles are excellent examples of efforts in futility. 

 

In closing I would like to say that if you can offer some credible evidence that is cross verifiable as to a god(s) existence I am all ears. Your ability to believe in something without evidence is a leap of faith. It's a perplexing leap but I respect your decision to be deluded.

 

 

 

 

Hi Ed

 

Ive got to stop posting, Im going to get my wife to drag me away!

 

1.Interesting that you are assuring me that there is nothing in my post that necessitates a dying God for me.  On what basis do you give such assurance? 

 

2. Thanks for letting me know your standard.  So your standard is treat others as you would want to be treated.  So lets check out the your good guy question if we look at your own standard.  I presume you would not want others to:

 

a.  Lie to you.

b.  Steel from you.

c.  Cheat you in any way.

d.  hate you

e.  Act unkindly towards you

 

lets stop at 5.  So using your own standard, have you ever:

 

1.  lied?

2.  stolen anything, including time at work etc.?

3.  Cheated anyone in any way? 

4.  hated any one?

5.  Acted unkindly to anyone?

 

Thats just the negitives, then you could ask if you ever failed to do the positive side of your rules.  If your honest, I guess you have atleast broke 4 out of 5 of your own standards.  So are you a good guy by your own standards?  May be you need a dying God too :-) 

Hi Chris

 

Please see the original discussion and replies to and from Ed for the reason we went down this road.

 Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

This is fairly difficult to answer. Who wouldn't want to live forever? I would need to know what the world with god and the internal life entails before I agree to anything. What god are you speaking of? As a Christian, you believe we live in a world with god. If this is what the world would be like and then I would have an afterlife where I was subservient to men, I think I rather live in a godless world and die once and forever.

 



Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position

If there is overwhelming scientific evidence supporting any theory, I'm going to support it.





 



Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?



There definitely is no God.  

 

If there were two universes and one had an almighty creator wouldn't the other have to have an almighty creator?  The laws of nature are constant and don't allow for one universe to have something that the other does not.  I am happy living in the universe we live in now where there is so much more mystery left to uncover.  I mean no retaliation with this next question, more of just to spark thought.  If scientific theory began to support theism would I change my position and believe in a god?  The wonderful thing about the universe we live in is that there is so much mystery abound, and for the first time in our history we have the tools to start answering some of the deeper questions on the meaning of life, so I pose the question to you; with so many scientific discoveries over the years that have shown that we do not need a creator to exist, why do you still hold true to your convictions?  I for one am borderline atheist/agnostic.  I have no problem saying "I don't know" rather than saying "God did it".  Saying God did it closes the book to thought and discovery and is an injustice to our quest for knowledge and understanding our true position here in the universe.  We are merely specks of dust hurtling in an outer band of the Milky Way, one galaxy out of billions.  With every image Hubble beams back I find it more and more revealing that if there is a God that they are not a personal god, one that we can pray to to for our well being.  That is my 2 cents.

Qn:  If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?

 

Assuming the god you speak of is the Christian deity, I would choose the one without.  The god/creator described in the bible is far too human to be a just entity.  He has a massive ego and has little to no value for life (one major example is the story of Noah and the flood, aside from being rationally impossible, but that’s  another discussion) unless they are a perfect slave.

 

Qn:  If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position

 

If there were evidence found, and I mean solid proof with ways of testing to produce scientific fact, then yes of course.  I am not an atheist out of spite or distain for religion (although I must admit it is what led me there in part).  I am an atheist because I can find no rational or logical reason to believe otherwise.  I only believe facts and support theories based on factual observation.

 

Qn:  Would you describe your position as "There definitely is no God"  or "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" or something else?

 

There is neither proof nor a need for there to be a deity in this universe.  The notion of “God” or divine beings came from a time when we as a species needed to explain the natural occurrences that took place in their environment when we didn’t know better.  With the acceptance of science and the understanding of the forces of nature and the cosmos, the need for an invisible all powerful being became obsolete.   All humans are atheists from birth.  It is with indoctrination and brainwashing that changes that fact.

Of two universes one with and the other without God I would prefer to live in the one without God. I'm just not that into authority figures. I like my universe of natural laws.

 

If scientific thought had a Theory of Creation, that was backed by data, and not faith, I would delve into it and consider the facts. I am an Atheist because the dogma of religion makes no sense to me and the idea of a man in the clouds pulling my life strings just doesn't jibe with the evidence on how the universe works. I did take comfort in the idea that God created everything and let it evolve, and he doesn't have a "plan for me". But that was just to make myself feel better. I've grown out of that.

 

I think there is a possibility of a God. After all it hasn't been dis-proven. But given the evidence that I have it doesn't seem to be the case. 

 

I am a Christian in how I live in the world. I was raised Catholic. I still have those values. I think Christ's teachings are good to live by and how to treat fellow human beings. I am a Humanist. I love people. I view all people as my brothers and sisters. I just don't seek comfort in the ultimate payoff of heaven for being Christlike. I'm content with the end being the end. It makes life more meaningful, immediate. I have no ulterior motive in treating people kindly other than I like to be treated kindly, and I think that is the right way to live.

 

Christ without God, to me, is still very meaningful and relevant. I read the Tao te Ching, teachings on Buddhism and Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. I believe all of them provide insight on how to live in kindness and harmony with people and our world.

Hey Trevor,

I'll answer first before reading the other's comments, so if what I say is already said… well, then there are at least two Atheists thinking alike :P

To your first question: I am going to assume we're talking about the Christian God, then I'll go with the universe without a god. Thinking about what is happening in this world to innocent people (children for instance) and the idea that there is a god who can do something to stop it but doesn't… That's something I have issues with (and here I'm using an euphemism like a firecracker to an atomic bomb).

Second question: If there was proof that God would exist (I guess that's what you mean) I would change my position from Atheism (I don't want to not believe in something that can be proven). I guess then my position would shift to God-hater. 

Third question: I'll go with "Naturalism does not need a divine being and so God is improbable" and I'm happy with that. At least I can deduce and partly understand (some of) the things human beings do (to each other).

That's my two cents, now on to reading what the rest here has to say.

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