A Quick and Easy Guide to God. Your thoughts?

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  • matt.clerke

    First of all, what does the definition of "is" have to do with anything? Wikipedia says this:

    "is" the third form of verb "to be" at present tense, in the English language

     

    That is the definition in OUR language. Is our language incapable of being wrong, or unable to define something?

    You are suggesting that you are using a different meaning of the word God, other than the one which is typically meant. Please define exactly what you mean by God, because otherwise, this conversation is like comparing apples with rocks(useless and futile).

  • Stephen Walski

    Just what did i say that was unreasonable?

  • Akshay Bist

    @Liam

    ... Try again... I told you that I was not a creationist long before you posed your question.

    My bad.

    But still waiting for an answer.

  • Liam P Burke

    @Matt

     

    Since you are apparently reasonable, I will answer your question. Unfortunately The rest on hear have decided to take the standard tact of being assholes, and have pissed me off.

     

    In the morning, I will get back to you with a real answer.

  • Stephen Walski

    I love the logic that says..

     

    Your being unreasonable, ridiculing, and infering a i dont know how to behave..

     

    And then directly calling me an asshole.

     

    LOL

  • Liam P Burke

    You have given me the definition for the VERB "is".... I asked for the definition of the IDIOM "is".

  • Akshay Bist

    The rest on hear have decided to take the standard tact of being assholes, and have pissed me off.

    First of all, here not hear.

    Also, is that code for I don't how to answer your questions, but thank you for giving me a way out?

  • matt.clerke

    Thanks Liam. If you are signing off for the night, perhaps it would be best if you created a forum topic for this discussion when you return. If you do, please post a link here and we can all go and discuss this with a fresh (and hopefully cool) head.

     

    Sounds like you guys are in America or something if you are going to bed now... It is almost 3pm for me so I probably won't rejoin the new discussion until tomorrow (tomorrow for me, probably noon tomorrow for you guys). Damn time zones are confusing!

  • Stephen Walski

    Since an idiom is figurative you would have to use the word IS as an idiom to define it. 

     

     

  • Liam P Burke

    @Stephen

    I have never said that I am above sinking to your level. I just wont go there first.

     

    @Akshay

    You have your preconceptions that you are incapable of getting past. I accept that, and feel that I only have so many hours in my life and will not waste them on closed minded people. Stephen, while a pain, is (maybe was) open to discussion that he might be wrong. You aren't.

     

    @ matt.

    I will do. See you there.

  • matt.clerke

    Hmm....I also have a problem with the flow chart....Who says evil exists? what is defined as being evil?

     

    I think you will find you can add a little red arrow with "no" written next to it, pointing to a box that says "Natural world has multiple perspectives with no objective good/evil"

  • Akshay Bist

    You have your preconceptions that you are incapable of getting past.

    Nah, usually I'm much more accommodating, just not in the mood for bull shit today. Guess too many theists posting nonsensical stuff at the same time 

    I accept that, and feel that I only have so many hours in my life and will not waste them on closed minded people.

    That used to be my general policy too, but I guess debating is pretty addictive.

    Also, read other religious texts before you dismiss them, as unless you do you won't know which religion really makes more sense to you. I guess that is an extrapolation of your asking Heather to read the bible.

  • matt.clerke

    Liam, one more thing. For me, a debate is an attempt to understand the other persons point of view. I won't try to convert you, but please do not try to convert me(I am guessing other people will similarly not want this). It is against the forums rules and I find it generally means the debate won't go anywhere useful.

  • Liam P Burke

    @akshay

     

    I have read other religious texts. I dismissed them after.

  • Stephen Walski

    Thats true matt about a no on evil... However since evil is a defined construct in at least the judeo/islamic religions then that no doesn't apply if this is meant to represent the understanding of good and evil as defined by their mythos.

     

  • Liam P Burke

    @Matt

    Agreed Fully... I only try to convert those that try to convert me.

     

  • matt.clerke

    Good point Stephen. The "no" has no contextual value as the chart is meant to describe God (not to say anything about his existence).

  • The Doctor

    @Liam

    I don't beleive anyone wants to "convert" you. You make an assertion, and facts are needed to substantiate a claim right or wrong. The misconception is, where the burden of proof lies, You claim god, I lack evidence, you give youre evidence, I reject it, you get angry about that, and the ball rolls down hill. I very well appreciate youre attitude of to each there own, just let it be that way and question why you are on an (a)theist site. If you want to belong greal welcome to have you (me personally)

  • Suzanne Olson-Hyde

    Okay Gang - Here is what I propose to Liam, I and a couple of other colleagues have a Unicorn each. One is purple, one is white, and the baby is purple. We are going to mate the two adults Unicorns near a striped tree, and Voila, a purple and white striped Unicorn.

    I have been told the baby Unicorn is a tad violent, we will have to see if we can get over that one. Violence seems to be the norm today, so I don't see that as a BIG problem. 

    The Unicorn is in the bible, so it must be true - I trust everything i see and read in the bible - except maybe the bit about selling the daughter, and oh, yeh, The Tree of Knowledge is a bit stretched, and oh, yeh, the bit about every baby is born with original sin - I really don't like that one.

    We have decided to make yet another version of the bible - but ours is going to be happy, no torture, no killing of women and children and babies, no killing of children by frigging bears - yep, our bible is going to be REALLY REALLY GOOD.

    What do ya think?

    Liam - do want in on this?

     

  • Nate

    @ Liam

    I don’t buy into any god because there is no evidence to support it.  Plain and Simple.  My biggest beef is with Christianity, but only because that was the tool used in my youth to dominate my life.  In the bible God is light, where he is not there is darkness, and he is all good.  I know you have stated that you don’t think he is, but in Revelations he will create a perfect utopia that will be absent from Sin, so that tells me that he is only “good” unless he decided to expel the evil from inside of him (aside from other scriptures that suggest the same).  So then if God isn’t all good, but he can choose to make himself that way, then he has got some issues, a major god-complex (yes a funny).  I too have read the Bible, several times, over and over growing up, and there are far too many contradictions and things that just don’t make any sense for me to buy into it all.  And let’s not forget that the Bible is really just a collection of stories paraphrased from countless other religions that came about before its conception (The Jesus story has been in many other religions, also claiming that they were the right version of it).  For me god is just a place holder that our species has invented to explain the unexplained.  We don’t know how the Sun moves across the sky?  Must be an invisible god pulling across in a chariot.  We don’t know where the Universe comes from?  An all powerful being was lonely and wanted companions so he created us and the universe to show us how powerful he is ( I know you said you weren’t a creationists, just quoting the general claim from most who buy into god).  This can be seen throughout history, and I just don’t want to claim to believe something is how it is without a satisfactory explanation that has evidence to back it up.  I’m with Matt, I would love to hear what you believe in and discuss it so we can stop answering you as if you were a typical theist, as it seems you have some ideas that differ with the mainstream, would be interesting. ^_^

    @ Reo

    And to respond to "God wouldn't test us if He already knew the outcome." Uh. He knows the outcome but He gives us a chance to exercise our free will. Lol. Then you'd all be crying when He banished you straight to Hell without you ever living everything out and earning the consequences of your own behavior and choices. 

    Then how is that free will?  He knows what you will do if he knows the outcome, therefore you cant decide, it is merely the illusion of free will.  So it sounds like to me he is just giving an excuse for banishing people to an eternity of pain.  “No, no, you have “free will” so you get to chose the blue or red pill, you’re going to take the red one no matter what cuz I have this really cool story planned out and you making the other choice would mess it all up so… yeah both are actually the red bill, I’m god so I can make it look like whatever I want to you, so go on, use your “free will” and decide.”

  • Sophie

    I love these types of charts!
  • Heather Spoonheim

    So did Liam provide any evidence of this god of his yet or is he still spewing nonsensical word games?

  • matt.clerke

    Heather, we are waiting for Liam to create a forum post so we discuss this properly. Read back a couple of pages and you can see us organising it... I thought he would be back by now but I guess not...

  • Stephen Walski

    Yea i believe we are waiting for the explanation of his own definition of creation that seems to differ in his responses from a standard creationist viewpoint.
  • Liam P Burke

    Unfortunately today, life interfered with my plan to respond. At the moment I have only the time to log and let y'all know that I haven't forgotten, or blown you off... Just need a couple hours to finish up this work I'm on right now.

     

    Thank for the patience.

  • Heather Spoonheim

    Thanks for letting us know, Liam - I love a good debate, especially from someone who doesn't seem to mind taking a lot of flak, LOL. :D

  • MikeLong

    @Liam – "I only try to convert those that try to convert me"

     Then what the hell are you doing here?

     YOU opened this sub-thread with "This chart is PERFECT! It illustrates the amazing incapacity of atheists to comprehend something greater than themselves". Did you consider this to be helpful as an addition to the discussion? Or just an annoying troll?

     This is an Atheist site. We come here to share material and ideas to help us combat the inequities levelled at us by theists (among other, more social pursuits). In general, we do NOT come here to debate the existence of your invisible sky daddy – we've long ago achieved "enlightenment" in that respect.

    Every so often some clueless theist intrudes either to disrupt reasonable conversations or (like you) to throw out a troll net containing an outrageous and/or offensive claim. Unfortunately, when this happens some members, knowing they should ignore trolls, are unable to resist treating the intruder as a legitimate thinker. They temporarily forget the burgeoning axiom:

     "If you could reason with religious people, there wouldn't BE any religious people."

     – David Shore

     

    Critical judgment demands evidence, therefore trolls are constantly called upon for evidence for their god. These calls are always summarily ignored because there IS no such evidence. Some trolls believe that their sparkling mastery of debating skills will dumbfound even the cleverest atheists. They seem unaware that many became atheists because their insistence upon logic and reason gave them no alternative. And, of course, the very cleverest avoid such pointless debates entirely (I say, being fully aware that this post places me well outside their ranks).

     Some small number of theists visit TA with an open mind. They don't last long. Presumably, when presented with reason instead of fairy tales, logic instead of distortions, facts instead of faith they retire to reconsider their positions. Some undoubtedly reappear as atheists.

     In summary, Liam, you contribute nothing new to the millennia-old debate. Retire to reconsider your position, or present something new – like verifiable evidence of the supernatural (excuse the oxymoron). (I won't hold my breath.)

     I'm told my position is as intransigent as that of the theists I rail against. This may be true because, not only have I seen NO evidence of the supernatural, I see no reason to look for any. We fit perfectly into the universe as it is.

     

     

  • Edwin

    I read a bunch of the posts in this thread.

     

    How it is possible to believe the bible is true without being a creationist?  I don't think it is.  Genesis 1:1-2:3 gives a creation story which is followed immediately by a contradictory creation story.  The ark episode says that Noah got 2-7 of every species on earth into a wooden boat and managed to keep them alive enough to reproduce for 40 days.

     

    Seems creationism is a big part of the bible and a big part of the modern fundamentalist dogma.

  • Adam

    I am not an atheist but I do question religion. The hard part about questioning religion is that no one has answers to these questions which really frustrates me. Moreover try to ask these questions to someone of strong faith and they suddenly become defensive and angry. I am not trying to insult them, but trying to better understand what they believe and why they believe it. I wish there was someone I could talk to that made sense, but alas I guess atheism is just further down the road of life for me. Yet I am still struggling to find some reason to hold onto my faith.

  • matt.clerke

    Hi Adam, if you read my previous posts in this thread you will eventually come to one which suggests this chart could have an addition. Particularly, the answer to the question "Evil Exists?" could also have the answer "no". This would mean that someone's actions are not measured on an absolute moral scale (that's the kind imposed by a god) but are in fact measured by each observers moral scale. Bit confusing at first but hopefully some examples might help.

     

    example 1: Someone decides to donate to a charity. They perceive this as a good action as it helps out people in need (or w/e the charity is for). Someone involved in another charity might think this action is not good because they disagree with the principles of the charity. Each person is judging the action on their own moral scale.

     

    example 2: The Allies in world war 2 fought against Hitler because he was slaughtering millions of Jew's and other people who were not of "Aryan" descent. They saw this as totally evil (for whatever reason) to such a degree that they HAD to go and stop it. On the other hand, Hitler was trying to resurrect the master (Aryan) race. He thought the benefit to Germany and the world outweighed the destruction of the non-Aryan peoples. He truly thought what he was doing was a good thing. Once again, both sides judge the actions by their own moral scale.

     

    There is no absolute evil or good.

  • Liam P Burke

    The forum that was asked for.

     

    http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/what-i-believe

     

    @Mike.

    Because I hit the stumble button, and this popped up. You don't like that? Well... Better to be pissed off than to be pissed on...

     

    @Edwin

    Read the forum...

  • Edwin

    @Liam

    I have no particular belief about the origins or size of the universe, but you can believe what you want to believe.

  • Wynprks

    "Adam" I am on page 277 of 383 in a book I bought 4 days ago by a 'Dan Barker,' CO-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, called "Losing Faith in Faith - From Preacher to Atheist" and it's a page turner, he has given me answers to questions I didn't even think to ask, he has sooo much information on the pitfalls and misguidance's of religion. It's an enlightening read and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone and everyone out there who are still sitting on the fence between religion and reality, and I believe it could help you with some of those questions you've been asking about religion (including this 'Quick and Easy Guide to God', in more detail,) I've been a nonbeliever for most of my 56 years of life and thought both of my eyes were wide open, but he has showed me that I'm still walking around with one of them closed, a good read, and packed with eye opening info (for both of your eyes).

  • Richard Noah

    Hmmm... I have doubts that 'evil' exists other than in the minds of misguided people. If you removed humans, the earth would be "evil free". There is no evil in the plant or animal world. I suppose some folks would ague that a carnivore is evil. Uh, no. I really don't want to get into a semantics battle. To me, there is a difference between survival (animals, etc.) and the wanton destruction of life, typically with no conscious reservations. That, to me, is where evil resides-- in the minds of some truly sick people.

    Anyway, your point is made. I like it....

     

    Disclaimer:

    As always, these are my opinions based on my experiences in life. Any research errors are mine alone.

  • Justin S

    I love flow charts! This is what went through my head when I was still going to church and reading the bible more. Too much bible reading me thinks lol.

  • Jerod Glaspie

    Interesting chart. This thought process is pretty common to most people. However, most people don't know how to articulate it very well and can, sort of, pass by their train of thoughts without a full understanding of why they think a certain way. In other words, most of us don't sit down and take the time to think about it, so we get glimpses of our thoughts, and not the whole story, nor where these thoughts came from. 

  • Jerod Glaspie

    As far as the "Evil Exists" aspect, do you think you could describe "Evil?" I would say that the only way to describe it is to consider it to not actually be a "thing", but an absence of something. Regardless of believing in a higher power or not, I would say that relativity is nonsense, and that there is a right and wrong in everything, even if it's complicated and the line isn't very straight and obvious. So I would say that evil is an absence of good, just as darkness is not a thing, but it is an absence of light. So unfortunately, this flow chart, in my opinion, is going off of a subject that doesn't actually exist. But I'd be interested to see what you say or come up with in spite of this.

    Jerod 

  • Wynprks

    It seems to make sense that anything that improves human life, whatever makes life more bearable, more comfortable and makes us happier as a whole is the definition of what is good, and evil would be considered someone/something that intentionally hurts/kills us with malice (no apparent reason other than pleasure or meanness).  So I think that evil is the extreme opposite of good, the absence of good could be innocuous and not necessarily good or evil so to speak, but killing for the sake of killing would be considered evil, so in that sense a serial killer could be considered evil.

  • MikeLong

    Not even god could create a "real"  Penrose Triangle or a devil's tuning fork.:

    File:Impossible objects.svg

    They are logical contradictions. He could not create a universe where left exists but right does not.

    It simply doesn't follow that, since God created a universe with evil that He is not good. A universe with "good" but no "evil" would be a logical contradiction of the same order as "left" with no "right".

  • Michael

    @Liam

    "Are you suggesting that it is not real?

    Tell me... Where are the originals of Aristotle?

    How about Plato, Caesar, Alexander the Great, or Socrates?

    Where are their bones?

    Where is the proof they ever actually existed and are not just myths?"

     

    The difference is we have plenty of writings, military plans, and eyewitness accounts of the existence of these people, unlike Jesus in which we have zero evidence of his existence. There is more evidence of Mohammed's existence then there is of Jesus.

     

    But perhaps the main difference is these people did not claim to be god or the son of god. There is no claim of them walking on water, turning water to wine, being born of a virgin, raising people from the dead, being crucified and rising from the dead, etc. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Evidence that religion cannot come close to providing because they are all bronze age myths and the time is up for these myths. It is time for reason and rationality to take their place so we can advance as a society.

     

  • Eric Diaz

    @mike Long I see a problem with the right and left analogy. You say god cant create a right without a left. Then the question is "what is a left or a right in the first place?" They are just lables to decribe complete oposites. And if that is your aim then you have succesfully implied that satan/devil would be just as powerfull as god and that infact god needs satan by defenition, since the existance of one depends on the other. This sounds like a theist's worst nightmare if you ask me.
  • Nathan Sanders

    MFW I designed this! I designed it in Paint.net and uploaded to it to 4chan in one of the atheist debates.

     

    Didn't realise someone had saved it, let alone reposted it. :D

  • Matthew Stanger

    Nice very simple yet logically well rounded.

  • Stefanie

    The chart didn't really go wrong anywhere, it is just illustrating a quote by Epicurus.  

    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus

  • Anshul V

    Ok first of all the notion of "evil" and "good" itself is created by man, because think about what that term really means. If there were no humans (or life), what would constitute "evil"? There would be no lifeforms to harm (needless to say, no one to cause the harm itself). There would be no malice in the universe, then who is there to cause the evil? No one, and who is god left to judge? himself, or herself, or itself, however you see it fit.

    The point is, this argument is a self-evident one. It is only true because the things it uses to define itself (good and evil) are themselves undefined until we take a stance on the conclusion itself (whether or not god exists).

    PS: I had to manually go to uncapitalize the G in god, that's how engrained the notion of superiority of god is in the English language.

  • Wynprks

    If there was no life, there would be no one to ask the question,,, If there were no Humans, but the rest of the animal kingdom existed, then I think evil would still exist, have you never seen an animal kill just for the sake of killing, I have, I had a dog that killed a kitten, not to eat it, just because it was being a pest. Just because an animal has no empathy it doesn't make it any less evil, so, is the lack of empathy the definition of evil?  Or is malice the definition of evil? Because the same dog was given to me because it kept killing it's previous owners chickens, and it didn't eat them either. Or was it the combination of the two that constituted the definition of evil? Either way it shows that evil exists with or without the existence of man.

  • Mabel

    @ Wynprks - That is interesting. You could say the dog killed the kitten coming from some sort of instinct to kill just for the practice of it too. That is where the line gets really fine.

  • Davis Goodman

    Lium, one thing I've noticed in almost all of your entries is a general lack of actual content. Instead of addressing the questions people pose or responding to the actual content of other users' messages, you seem to send back condescending responses and telling a lot of people they are incapable of understanding just what it is that only you of all people on this forum seem tounderstand. This is the biggest fallacy in arguing one's point of view, that is, claiming that the other person is an idiot and therefore it's not worth your time to respond with any actual content. This is the worst way to deal with anything in any kind of forum, it doesn't make any one better off, it certainly doesn't make you a better person and it only adds more fire to an already pointless and boring conversation. A lot of atheists on this forum are also annoyingly condescending and smug, but I've found your own entries particularly pugnacious.

    Why don't you surprise people by clearly demonstrating an example that shows that the logical paradox of god's omniscience and omnipotence is not important. Or explain just why anyone should suspend their  sense of logic for a mystical/ancient belief system. If you do it without insulting everyone, some people just might actually listen.

  • James Cox

    Dear Folks:

    My favorites from HS:

    If god is all powerful can he make 5=4?

    If god is all knowing, then why did he not do a better job training people to prevent atheists?

    If we have free will, then why did god not disallow the creation of 'I have no choice'?

    If god created all things, then why did he create so many types of beetles?

    If god is all intelligent, then can he solve the paradox card? "The sentence on the other side of this card is false!' turn it over "Then sentence on the other side of this card is false!"

    If god is all powerful, then why did he not create the world to be 14 billion years old? 6000 years VS 14 billion years, same difference?  

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    I do a blog at "Grumbles From an Old Grouch", http://grumblesfromanoldgrouch.com about politics, atheism, culture and life in general.


    I'd like to extend an invitation to check it out. I especially recommend the posts: The Theory of Evil-ution vs The Mythology of Creationism (pts 1 & 2). They're a common sense, and rather humorous (I hope) takedown of creationism. It's absolutely free, and if I might add, worth every penny.


    When you check them out, let me know what you think. Heck, if you like them, tell your friends. I can use all the viewers I can get.