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!
A: This one (The one without a god). Mainly because I find the idea of such an evil being existing and being in control highly unpleasant. I can't stand the idea of a creature who would allow a child to die of cancer as an experiment.
A: I would investigate further and become agnostic - If scientific proof ever supports theism. I'll see you in church!
A: I would say highly unlikely. and that the idea is so horrible that that is a good thing.
I've been an atheist going on 50 years now, ever since what they call the age of reason, and I find that the answers to your questions are quite simple.
If there were two universes, one with a God, and the other without, which one would you want to live in and why?
There seems a paradox here, as a finite being cannot be infinite and therefore is under the whole "why thence call it god" thing. I would say, though, if the being were benevolent in nature who would provide benefits to my well being and that of my offspring had I any I would likely live under the shelter of such a being assuming that is a provision.
If scientific theory began to support theism (more than atheism) would you change your position?
I guess I would have to say yes. The same could be asked of unicorns, Mountain Wampuses(Wampi may be the correct pluralization), Leprechauns, or the Jersey Devil. I could even take the Harris route and ask "If scientific theory began to support the idea that Elvis is still alive, would you change your position?" Can you do anything but?
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?
Close on the second one but not quite. If I were to say there is a book that turns invisible when you look at it, but because it turns invisible nobody knows it exists save a select few, would it be prudent of you to believe me without proof? I could easily rabbit trail from there but the point is that the nonexistence of proof is not given as proof nonexistence, but it is more a rejection of a concept on the basis of it's inconsistency with experience, with evidence, and with my worldview.
I take what your saying on board. The invisible book illustration shows the difficulty of faith. Even if some people have held the invisible book, they cannot convince anyone else it exists.
I am not sure what the paradox was that your talking about. Was it that God must be finite which would mean he is not god? My take as I have mentioned already in this thread is that something or someone that created all matter must be immaterial himself, something that created time and space must be outside of both, and something that can desgin and cause a whole universe must be intelligent and powerful. So I don't call this being finite. The fact that the universe has a beginning necessitates this. I think that much is mostly established. Peter Atkins agreed but responded that the prime mover wasnt God but may be a computer - well then the computer is God. (Saying computer was tongue in cheek meaning anything but God).
If we are safe in assuming said book does not exist, then we must be safe in assuming a god or gods does not exist. I would have no justification in believing such a book existed. It's not necessarily about how difficult faith is, but how rational not believing in things that don't exist is. Faith only becomes difficult when you start thinking about things.
Nevermind the paradox, it was a misunderstanding on my part.
My answer to the first question is i wouldnt care which one we lived in because we will always have questions and people will always have to know what the answers are to the creation of the universe even if there was two or even more
my answer to the second question would be if the statics pointed more to atheism or if the statics pointed to theism im here for the winning team.
my answer to the third question is i dont believe that there has to be a god for the creation of the universe however i am open to which can point me to the truth that has scientific fact and evidence behind it.
1 All gods humans have ever talk about are deeply psychopathic, perverse and twisted. So NO.
2 I would believe in god, but I would be sure he is the description of evil and this world is doomed.
3 There's no god(s) just a big universe which we can't fully understand (yet).
Question 1. It would depend on what this God is like. Is He a loving God who will barbecue you for all eternity if you don't follow Him? Is He an omnipotent God who lets kids die of cancer? If He is anything like the God you believe in I'll take the Godless universe please.
Question 2. If facts somehow, someway supported the existence of a God I would have to except his existence. That doesn't mean I would immediately follow him (see Question 1). Of course you cannot prove or disprove the existence of God.
Question 3. I would never say there is no God. Insufficient data for meaningful response as Dr. Asimov would say. Whether or not God exists is an unanswerable question. A lot of people think they know he exists but they really just feel he exists. I've never been able to understand that. I certainly don't BELIEVE in God.
Superman counts right?
Yeah I am definitely not feeling the love! Lots of anti-christian sentiment, not just logical scientific argument. So why are you mad at me?
I have written a post in this thread on why I am an evangelical christian and not a catholic, mormon or JW etc. So can I point you to that?
No, Jesus never said that chrisitans feel happy when God sends people to hell, and only a warp and twisted sick person would be happy at such a thought. Members of my family who I love dearly are not christians and the thought of them going to hell repulses me. But I believe hell is a real place and there is a judgement. My own sense of justice leads me to that conclusion. Again, that is in the same post I mentioned above, so I wont repeat it here.
Your desire for God to apologise to you over his failed experiment is because of your athiestic worldview. i have laid out my world view in that post, that leads me to a different set of conclusions.
I think the no evidence for God at all is not right. What you should say is that you think the evidence leads you to beleive that theire being a God is highly improbable, though not impossible. I think the opposite, the big bang start to the universe, the fine tuning of the universe, the moral nature of humanity etc to me points to God. I find it intensely improbably that chance got us here and made the universe the way it is. And mathematically it is of course intensely improbable. A first cause, prime mover is more probable to me.
Of course you would not agree with that, and I don't expect you to. But I think honesty dictates that the evidence can certainly lead us in that direction. So I am a bit frustrated with what I read on this website that portrays theists / christians as idiots. Sure, disagree with me but I am not an idiot.
1. How literally do I take the Bible. It depends what you mean by literally and which book of the bible your talking about. The bible contains 66 books of different kinds of genre, poetry, historical narrative, didactic, wisdom, apocolyptic etc.
If I am reading poetry like the psalms, I can read of David railing against God saying why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer, and see him talk himself down into realising that judgment day is met by all. As a christian I fell the emotional roller coaster that David is on, and join him on his journey. But I don't take poetic language literally as that would be silly.
Apocolyptic genre is symbolism and not literal but conveys truth. With historical narrative and didactic, I take literally and would ask questions like:
1. What does the text say
2. What does it say in its immediate context and the context of the book
3. What did it mean to the original hearers.
4. How is that applied today.
Keneth Hagan. I don't like to speak ill of people but I think he is a fraudster.
The verse you are looking for my friend about christians enjoying people being in hell does not exist. I have read the Bible many times, and still do so. I expect its something you heard someone else say was in the Bible.
Thanks for the offer of Amida, but i'll stick with Jesus!
@ 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: