I tend to get annoyed with the instantaneous dismissal of creationism simply because the physical world can support itself by itself, similar arguments. Or just the general idea that theists are theists because "science can't explain this phenomenon, therefore God did it". Nobody seems to recognize that "God" is outside the box of the universe; he isn't just some finite entity made of dark matter who at random times manipulates the physical realm in ways that science can't explain... eh.. what i'm getting at is that so what if science does accurately explain event X, what if we can even use science to explain everything that happens in the entire universe!? When a creationist says that God set the world into motion, that doesn't mean that said creationist has to pretend centripetal force and inertia is made up by God-haters and it is actually the physical hand of God spinning the earth and whirling it around the sun... that means said creationist believes that the centripetal force due to gravity is God's doing. This idea can apply to the Big Bang theory as well, even evolution for all I know. When the Bible says that God created the Earth in 6 days and I hear a counter argument that goes something like "oh well the earth was actually formed in x amount of days so explain that" I just say "the hell if I know" because I don't know! Go argue against a fundamentalist! I don't know if the Bible is speaking literally at that instance or not, if so, maybe it really was? who's to say at what point in the earth's creation did God start counting? Who's to set the precise definition of the word "day" in that verse? The point is that there are too many dang variables for anyone to outright dismiss God because of what's in the Book of Genesis, unless YOU are the one reading the Bible like a fundamentalist.
What I personally get from the Bible has absolutely nothing to do with science. You can't just compare science against God like they are two conflicting views of what happens in the universe. From a purely scientific point of view, I'm saying that maybe the deists or agnostics have it right in the sense that God may or may not intervene in the physical world and who the heck knows or even cares if He's actually moving stuff around or not. Worrying over "proving" that He does or does not exists is not the point, because science simply can't do that either way! Its just an endless cycle of opinion.
The Bible isn't intended to leave you worrying about finding tangible evidence for God. Finding God is a heart issue, not a science issue. I think that is what the Bible is all about. :)
There is a way, with humanity's current knowledge of the universe, to come to reasonable decisions about whether there is a god or not, just as we can can come to reasonable decisions about whether to accept Newton's ideas on gravity or Einstein's ideas on relativity.
It probably should start with defining god then presenting evidence for that god.
And this is precisely the problem. Theists seem to have a propensity to lack the ability to approach problems by defining issues and analyzing the evidence related to those issues.
I believe this is relevant because the people who define and accept god as the Christian god (and we can assume some combination of Yahweh, Jesus, and/or the "holy spirit") and use their only evidence for their god as the Bible are the one's invading Iraq without critically evaluating or questioning the evidence (and possibly doing it because god said it was the right thing to do), not teaching science and evolution as it should be taught in our public schools (which will hinder our competitiveness as a nation), etc. The very people who may actually be able to make decisions to help move society "forward" are the very people who look to their god and the Bible for answers rather than understand the issues and evaluate possibilities for solutions based on facts and evidence. Couple their religious beliefs with corporate corruption and you now have a snapshot of the US government today - one of the most powerful governments in the world.
It's not about making a godless society, it's about getting people to actually think about things. I would agree we should try to convince people that we don't need god, but how is that separable from the existence of god to "believers" and those that think the Bible (or the Quran, or any other book) is the "word of god?"
Examples of how "god" and "the Bible" can, and probably will, hurt us in the long run:
Theist and Bible believers try to impose their god on my kids in school with Christian prayer before their games (and it is happening with their coaches leading it), do not teach evolution as science correctly but water it down and present evolution as a "theory, but creation is also a theory," (per my daughter) and put In God We Trust on the money I use and pass resolutions reaffirming In God We Trust and promoting its display in every public building in America (rather than actually addressing problems). These may appear to be a relatively small issues with respect to other big issues affecting us as a nation and global community, but I believe it is actually part of the problems facing the world today - look at how much theology/theocracy and scientific illiteracy directly cause or contribute to most of the human suffering on the planet today. And, ultimately, we also have to deal with the possibility that Christians and Muslims with nuclear weapons may justify their use based on their beliefs in god and their holy books.
I am not fighting for a godless society, I am fighting -
1) To keep Christians from imposing their views on my children in public schools (school prayer)
2) To keep Christians in government from making decisions based on beliefs in god and the Bible that affect where my tax money goes or does not go and may affect our health and the well being of the planet (EPA, climate change, school vouchers, etc.)
3) To keep Christians in government from making decisions that put people in harms way based on bad or no information (military actions, etc.), possibly because they prayed about it and "god led them" to act a certain way
You are a good man.
Well aren't we generalizing. :P Did you see my pic. I'm doing an Au Batido on top of Half Dome.
And I'm missing the world around me?
Yes, there are people who dwell on their guilt and are afraid of God's ever present and looming hand of punishment... but what the Bible actually teaches is just the opposite.. Christians are freed from all of that and are supposed to move on from guilt so that we can experience life...
...but what the Bible actually teaches is just the opposite.. Christians are freed from all of that and are supposed to move on from guilt so that we can experience life...
@ Jerod - I can't believe you just pulled this off. NO the bible does not teach Christians are freed from all of that and to move on from guilt. You cannot seriously expect to say something like that on an atheist forum and expect to get away with it.
I'm leaving to get my popcorn.
To sum up, the Bible teaches that the purpose of guilt is to draw you back on the right path, but anything further than that is just dwelling on your guilt and that is bad...
Enjoy your popcorn. :D
Christianity introduced that lake of fire concept to the Abramic/Abrahamic god collage - hardly a strong contributor to peace of mind.
Lol, the Bible teaches that you ARE guilty so they can sell you the forgiveness! You're only truly free of that vicious cycle when you recognize that you were never guilty in the first place!
You're only truly free of that vicious cycle when you recognize that you were never guilty in the first place!
Then how DO you know when you are guilty? This is the kind of thinking that should be thought of as "scary".
Science and 'god' are conflicting views - one view is based on evidence and one view demands that evidence be ignored. Even if one wants to believe there was an intelligent cause for the initiation of our space-time, that is light-years away from the belief that a completely intangible being is watching us at this moment. There may very well be intangible beings of some sort, and they may be watching us, but we have zero evidence to suggest this is so - and very good reason to believe they can't intervene in our 'realm' because they are intangible.
Belief in invisible fairies requires some form of indoctrination. Everyone can imagine intangible forces whirling around, doing wonderful things - this is imagination. Failure to discern between those imagined things and reality is mental illness. Coming to believe in such things without mental illness is indoctrination - the spread of a cognitive virus.
Why even posit the possibility of god? As far as I can determine the concept is irrational, illogical, unreasonable, and impossible, unless you posit something akin to Einstein's god, which is simply to define it as the laws by which the universe operates.
Jerod wrote: The Bible isn't intended to leave you worrying about finding tangible evidence for God. Finding God is a heart issue, not a science issue. I think that is what the Bible is all about. :)
@ Jerod - When people like you use the phrase "heart issue", I know right away what you mean. I used to "feel the love of God in my heart." It prompted me to act in very nice ways to my fellow humans. I had many enriching positive experiences, but very negative ones as well. Such is life.
For me, there was a long period of time where the Bible was merely a kind of semi-pseudo backdrop to what was important, which was the love of God I believed "I felt in my "heart". Long story short, now I am an atheist and I still feel love in my heart, and I still react in very nice ways to my fellow humans, and I still continue to have many enriching experiences, and I still have very difficult things to cope with, at times. All of this without belief in God, any longer.
So to me, what you are trying to express is that you attribute the positive things in your life to this "God being" concept. I did that for many years myself, until I discovered the placebo effect of faith only can go so far in certain situations.
Hey, if you get to the end of your days without ever having to be in a situation where your faith is broken, good for you. I just hope you realize that just because you slipped through the cracks of despair and suffering intense enough to break your faith, does not mean everybody does. In other words, please do not judge people who no longer have faith as being less than yourself based merely on that they profess not to belief in God. Maybe you don't do that anyway, but I thought I would mention just in case you do. I know that many Christians feel that people who claim to be atheists are despicable.
I find it fascinating that I am the same person having the same experiences, but minus the belief that all things spring from the omnipotent, all powerful, all knowing, all controlling, just and loving God concept.
Yes! I want to talk to you more, Flower. You think so Levinasian. :D