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Thread: What good reason is there to believe the Christian God exists? [The Debate Thread]
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:16 PM   #41
GarfieldJL
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I've responded to irrational claims and implied assertions in this thread (including your demand for an explanation for the Exodus myth) at length. Obi began two threads which made an a priori assumption on the existence of his particular take on a god to which he objected to any critical inquiry or challenge. I began this thread to be that challenge. And for my willingness to provide at-length, detailed rebuttals, I get either silence from someone who claimed he could answer critics; undereducated assumptions from someone who thinks there are chariot wheels at the bottom of the red sea that "prove" exodus; and semantical red herrings about what one means about "good reason."
And you completely ignored the fact I pointed out that the Egyptians had a tendency to destroy records if it was stuff they wanted to bury, look at what all they destroyed that recorded the existence of whom Tutanakamen. (sp?)

You know how embarassing losing a huge portion of the army would be? It would only make sense for them to destroy records of that having happened.

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So forgive me if I don't believe you really have a argument or rebuttal, but I'm curious what it is, precisely, that I've taken out of context. Rather than make general, unspecified and spurious assertions, why not be specific enough to maintain intelligent discourse? Is there no room in your postings here at the Senate for an actual, rational discussion as opposed to hyperbole and ideological rhetoric?
I could say the same to you, because you've spewed just as much ideological rhetoric, an atheist can be an ideologue just as much as a religious person can be.


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Originally Posted by SkinWalker
My answer would be: how is a bad argument okay? If believing Elvis is alive and well but in hiding on the International Space Station provides someone with comfort, I say good for them. As long as they aren't willing to set public policy or demanding others to accept their Elvis beliefs, they're fine believing whatever they like. I'll make them a peanut-butter and banana sandwich.
To throw it back in your face the experts said the sound barrier could never be broken, and it was broken. There are some unusual things that have happened in history.

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Originally Posted by SkinWalker
But if your suggesting that the only thing keeping someone from "going postal" is a belief in the supernatural, I'd tell you this is a fuse that's burning regardless. How many people go "postal" each year who think their god whispered instructions in their ear?
Why is it that supposedly Atheists have a higher incidence of depression?
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:23 AM   #42
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And you completely ignored the fact I pointed out that the Egyptians had a tendency to destroy records if it was stuff they wanted to bury, look at what all they destroyed that recorded the existence of whom Tutanakamen. (sp?)
You clearly didn't read my whole post. You're making yourself look silly.

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I could say the same to you, because you've spewed just as much ideological rhetoric, an atheist can be an ideologue just as much as a religious person can be.
You could try to say the same. But saying something doesn't necessarily make it so. What, specifically, do you claim of my statements is "ideological rhetoric?" It looks more as if you are simply projecting.

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To throw it back in your face the experts said the sound barrier could never be broken, and it was broken. There are some unusual things that have happened in history.
An argument from ignorance. Yet another logical fallacy in your attempts to participate in a discussion. You're clearly interested only in rhetoric and not discussion. Again, I've provided some very lengthy and thought-filled posts on several points -yours included. All I get in return is, "oh, yeah!?"

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Why is it that supposedly Atheists have a higher incidence of depression?
This is a red herring. Please start a new thread on this assertion and we'll debate it. You should begin by citing a peer-reviewed source that states this so we can have primary source(s) to work with. In this thread, however, its off-topic. I can appreciate this is perhaps a typical tactic for you, but it won't work here. Either participate in intelligent discourse or stick to your ideological rhetoric in your political threads.


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Old 04-12-2009, 12:26 AM   #43
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Frankly Skin, there's nothing remotely red herring about asking you to flesh out your request. All the more so as I never contended there could be a "good" reason one way or another. It seems that you are hypersensitive to people asking you questions while you seek to do same to them. It's ashame you think yourself and your arguments to be above scrutiny. All you have to do is spell out your conditions of what constitutes a "legitimate" reason. How you feel that threatens your line of inquiry, ney challenge, is really beyond reason. You set yourself up in your post as judge, jury and executioner and blanch when someone asks you to clearly explain the ground rules by which you will render your "rulings".


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Old 04-12-2009, 12:35 AM   #44
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Whatever the respondent thinks qualifies as "good" is satisfactory for me. It would, at least, be a starting point. Please either participate or not.


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Old 04-12-2009, 12:58 AM   #45
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I'll take a slightly different tack. I don't think there are probably any bad reasons for believing in a God/gods for the same reason you woudln't bother the Elvis accolyte. Since it can't be proven (yet) that God doesn't exist, afterall we are only human and not omniscient, there's nothing wrong with believing in something. I would agree, however, that unequivocally stating that God exists and you have proof, but you can't provide it for whatever reason, would give people fertile ground for calling you irrational. Also, I'm no more fond than you of theocracies.


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Old 04-12-2009, 01:20 AM   #46
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That's a legitimate question in my opinion.
Good to see I'm getting somewhere.

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My answer would be: how is a bad argument okay? If believing Elvis is alive and well but in hiding on the International Space Station provides someone with comfort, I say good for them. As long as they aren't willing to set public policy or demanding others to accept their Elvis beliefs, they're fine believing whatever they like. I'll make them a peanut-butter and banana sandwich.
Uhh, well, okay.

I guess I had in mind more situations that seem a bit desparate or destitute.
Like dire conditions which one had strong chances of might not surviving and thus required the person or persons to "hold on". While one could argue that this is more of train of thought than theism, I have seen indiscriminant spiritualists (specifically of the martial arts variety) who would say that it is a good way to think of things if it helps to achieve it.

In short, something that gets them through.

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But if your suggesting that the only thing keeping someone from "going postal" is a belief in the supernatural, I'd tell you this is a fuse that's burning regardless. How many people go "postal" each year who think their god whispered instructions in their ear?
I guess to shape things a bit, it would require a person that was sane to begin with. So, similarly to above, "getting through it" but on a more constant basis as opposed to a dire situation. Like in a constantly stressful job where walking away isn't a viable solution. In other words "someone's gotta do it" as it were. It would be that of a cleansing or mantra ...of sorts... Not a mere stress relief, mind you. But done in regiments much more regularly than the above example.

If people don't care enough to intellectualize, and they have a belief system keeping them good and away from underhanded behavior (or just flat going on a rampage)...why screw up a good thing bashing it? There is no reason to. (Though I see you do seem to have indicated a ...reasonable compromise)

Don't know if you'd count it as a good reason, though. A social engineer might for the reason of stability.

However, if the person is already bat-****, I don't know of any real solution to that problem. It begs several humanitarian issues I'm not entirely sure relate to this thread.


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Old 04-12-2009, 02:01 AM   #47
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I'll take a slightly different tack. I don't think there are probably any bad reasons for believing in a God/gods for the same reason you woudln't bother the Elvis accolyte. Since it can't be proven (yet) that God doesn't exist, afterall we are only human and not omniscient, there's nothing wrong with believing in something. I would agree, however, that unequivocally stating that God exists and you have proof, but you can't provide it for whatever reason, would give people fertile ground for calling you irrational. Also, I'm no more fond than you of theocracies.
I think there are a few bad reasons. 1) I can't see or observe god so hes no better than the invisible giant green lawn gnomes trying to steal my TV. 2) There are perfectly rational theories on how this world came to be without a god. 3) If there was a God, and he did create us and the universe, when did he his creations stop? When did the miracles stop? When did the signs stop? Those are just a few "bad" reasons off the top of my head.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:04 AM   #48
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A good reason that, for example, the Catholic God exists? I'm don't think there is one. But that's just a rejection of the idea that the concept of God is such that it can be meaningfully attributed "existence". Kierkegaard said that "To stand on one leg and prove God's existence is a very different thing from going down on one's knees and thanking him." I believe that most Catholics do the latter, and those trying to do the former probably have read too much philosophy.

From what I understand, Paul Tillich is a relatively famous theologian who rejects God's "existence" also. I haven't read his works myself, so I can't comment much more than that yet. I'm sure I'll get around to him eventually.


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Old 04-12-2009, 12:51 PM   #49
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I think there are a few bad reasons. 1) I can't see or observe god so hes no better than the invisible giant green lawn gnomes trying to steal my TV. 2) There are perfectly rational theories on how this world came to be without a god. 3) If there was a God, and he did create us and the universe, when did he his creations stop? When did the miracles stop? When did the signs stop? Those are just a few "bad" reasons off the top of my head.
As I said, since God's existence can't yet be disproven, there really are no bad reasons for believing in such an entity. It's what you do with that belief that becomes grounds for examining the beliefs you have ABOUT that entity. If believing in a supernatural entity doesn't lead to arguably psychotic behavior ("..god told me to rob the liquor store and kill everyone there"), and allows you to escape depression about what happens when you die (much like in Skin's Elvis example), big deal. If you are looking for empirical evidence of the almighty......I don't envy you your search.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 04-12-2009, 01:22 PM   #50
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I'm not much for this kind of discussion, but I figured I would post my to cents. I in fact believe in God, which is weird because I am a Skeptic... weird right? Anyway, as totenkopf said, there is nothing that can disprove God's existence. (But then again there is nothing to prove it, other than "faith".) Also, if there is no God, then how did we become into being? What caused the universe? What caused the big bang? How did molecules come into existence? These are complex and not very easily answered questions, but as everyone knows, we need a reason for something. I have a reason for posting this, I have a reason to own a computer, I have a reason to live. (Not stating that I know all the mysteries of life or the meaning of life.) So, I would say God created everything, because most people whom do not believe in God say something can't be created out of nothing, but Christians, as myself, believe that God was never created, He just "is."
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:07 PM   #51
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As I said, since God's existence can't yet be disproven, there really are no bad reasons for believing in such an entity.
Since this thread is about the Christian god, I would contend that there are numerous bad reasons to not believe in it. If I'm asked to provide examples, I only ask first: how many would be sufficient?


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Old 04-12-2009, 02:32 PM   #52
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I'm not much for this kind of discussion, but I figured I would post my to cents. I in fact believe in God, which is weird because I am a Skeptic... weird right? Anyway, as totenkopf said, there is nothing that can disprove God's existence. (But then again there is nothing to prove it, other than "faith".) Also, if there is no God, then how did we become into being? What caused the universe? What caused the big bang? How did molecules come into existence? These are complex and not very easily answered questions, but as everyone knows, we need a reason for something. I have a reason for posting this, I have a reason to own a computer, I have a reason to live. (Not stating that I know all the mysteries of life or the meaning of life.) So, I would say God created everything, because most people whom do not believe in God say something can't be created out of nothing, but Christians, as myself, believe that God was never created, He just "is."
-CP
So for one concept you say "it just is," and for the next you turn around and say "where did the molecules come into question?" That seems hypocritical as it seems anything outside of God needs an explanation, but as soon as we get close to God, no no he just is.
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:26 PM   #53
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So for one concept you say "it just is," and for the next you turn around and say "where did the molecules come into question?" That seems hypocritical as it seems anything outside of God needs an explanation, but as soon as we get close to God, no no he just is.
That is precisely my point. Numerous times, I have heard well, if God created everything who created God? This is a question I get almost all the time from some of my atheist friends, so I ask well, what created the universe? They say the Big Bang. I ask what caused the Big Bang? They say molecules were jumbled up together and eventually escaped creating an explosion. So I ask what created the molecules. They say one of two things.
1. I don't know
or
2. They just are/did
So, if this is possible, is it not also possible that God just is? Or that God created what was or/and is?
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #54
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Of course it is possible, I believe Kyp thought you meant that God was an answer to the question "where did it all come from". I take the stance of I don't know, but since God "comming out of nothing"/simply existing and then creating the universe is entierly unsuported by evidence, I have little reason to believe that he/she/it/they did.
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:22 PM   #55
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I in fact believe in God
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I am a Skeptic
Please help me understand how both of these statement can be true at the same time.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:41 PM   #56
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To throw egg on the Elvis argument, you can disprove Elvis is still alive by digging up his grave unless they cremated his body.


Since you can't disprove God's existence and assuming he is the one to cause the big bang, for all we know he essentially wrote the laws of physics, it is believed that people have the power to make their own choices.

As you say if God exists why does evil exist, well if no evil existed would people know what good is?

Human lives last less than a second as far as time in the Universe goes, for all we know that evil will end up triggering an event later that will put a stop to that evil and accomplish a great good that wouldn't have happened if that evil event hadn't happened. Point is just because things seem to have no point, doesn't mean there isn't a larger force at work.
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Old 04-12-2009, 09:53 PM   #57
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There are a lot of things one cannot disprove. Not being able to disprove something is not a good reason to believe in it. Indeed, it is the worst reason.

Now. Let's get the thread back on topic: What good reasons are there to believe in the Christian god? Anyone?


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Old 04-12-2009, 10:01 PM   #58
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There are a lot of things one cannot disprove. Not being able to disprove something is not a good reason to believe in it. Indeed, it is the worst reason.

Now. Let's get the thread back on topic: What good reasons are there to believe in the Christian god? Anyone?
And a lot of great things have been accomplished by believing that something was possible when it hadn't been done before.

There have been miracles that have happened where somebody should have been killed and something that was 1 in a billion chance of happening saved them.

A lot of people would have given up all hope and killed themselves if it wasn't for their faith, their faith gave them hope and helped them turn things around in their lives.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:51 PM   #59
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A lot of people would have given up all hope and killed themselves if it wasn't for their faith, their faith gave them hope and helped them turn things around in their lives.
This is a fact???
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:44 PM   #60
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This is a fact???
There are people whom have talked about it, even on public television...
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:58 PM   #61
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Yes, but what good reason is there to believe in the Christian god? Just hoping for something greater/bigger than one's self or some deity that protects one in hard times could be anything. It could just as easily be the god Mpmmphf. If I say all hail and bow to Mpmmphf, and that Mpmmphf will answer your prayers, doesn't is this a good reason to believe in Mpmmphf?

Face it. There simply is no logical, rational or legitimate reason to believe in the Christian god. There is no good reason to believe in the Christian god and invoke this apparently made up entity for human concepts like morality, justice, human rights, etc. A god had nothing to do with these things. Indeed, the Christian bible is the worst place to look for morality due to the flaws, contradictions, and immorality that the main characters portray.


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Old 04-13-2009, 12:01 AM   #62
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That doesn't make it a good reason.

I can go on public television and tell the world that the only reason I get up every morning is because I believe that Monica Bellucci is secretly in love with me, but that 1) doesn't make it true and 2) doesn't mean that I have any good reason for thinking that it is.

P.S. this is call "delusion".
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:06 AM   #63
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Since this thread is about the Christian god, I would contend that there are numerous bad reasons to not believe in it. If I'm asked to provide examples, I only ask first: how many would be sufficient?
Not clear here. Are you saying that there are numerous reasons to not believe in the Christian God and that all those reasons are bad?


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Old 04-13-2009, 12:09 AM   #64
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Hmm... yes, I essentially used a double negative which turned the statement around!

I'll rephrase: there are numerous bad reasons for believing in the Christian god; but there are also many good reasons not to believe as well.


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Old 04-13-2009, 12:22 AM   #65
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Now, while I know I'll be sorry I asked, elaborate on what you consider to be the "good reasons" for not believing in said entity. I'm gonna guess that many of them will be rooted in the actions people have taken or may yet take in the service of that belief.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 04-13-2009, 12:26 AM   #66
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The Christian god is revealed through the Christian texts, referred to by believers as the bible. This bible is deeply flawed and contradicting. The god portrayed is immoral, manipulative, arrogant, misogynistic, racist and so on. I'm refreshed in knowing that such a god probably doesn't exist (while I cannot discount the possibility of a god, I'm certain that if there is one in the universe it isn't this horrible thing).


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Old 04-13-2009, 12:37 AM   #67
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Well, that raises an interesting question. As a purely intellectual exercise, if a god did exist (from your standpoint at least), what specifically would be required for you to embrace it as being good (or at least not horrible)?


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 04-13-2009, 12:48 AM   #68
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I would expect a god, if one existed, to be firm, fair and consistent. I would expect it to set a moral example for its creation to live by. The Christian god fails horribly at all of this.


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Old 04-13-2009, 12:58 AM   #69
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Well, I did ask for specifics, but I don't suppose you're willing to go there. What you provided me runs more toward generally vague platitudes. Although in fairness to you, consistent is more specific in meaning than the other qualifiers you used. Thanks anyway.


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Old 04-13-2009, 01:13 AM   #70
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Specifically? I would expect it not to commit genocide. Not murder men, women, children, infants in their mothers womb simply because some would-be worshipers looked in an ark or because an honest agriculturalist refused to give his produce to Israelite soldiers, depriving his own people.

I would expect such a being not be so murderous and immoral as to send two bears to kill a few kids teasing a passer-by.

I'd expect such a god to actually have a moral code which he would share with his people instead of the largely useless and uninspired "10 commandments," only a few of which have anything to say about morality.

But these expectations, while specific, really are just hypothetical since the god mentioned in the bible was created by man in man's own image, this much is clear.


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Old 04-13-2009, 03:53 AM   #71
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Skin, the god you are talking about is the Jewish god. Which as pointed out by a comedian(dangit what's his name...) that god was a jerk. The New Testament god is a loving kinder gentler god, full of compassion love and benevolence. It's no wonder many people would prefer the new god. He's so much nicer.

Seriously though, if you are looking for a reason to believe in a god or gods(at all, not just the Christian god), the best answer I can give you is it takes some of the burden of life off of you. People with faith are generally more accepting of life's problems and more willing to work their way through the negative things that happen in life. It makes you feel better about bad things when you believe that God has a plan, or God will never close a door without opening a window(seems silly to me living in the desert haha... That lets the AC out). Sometimes just believing in something higher than yourself is enough to keep you going through hard times.


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Old 04-13-2009, 07:12 AM   #72
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So, you are talking about the OT god. The Christian god is from the NT which appeared as the image of His son, Jesus Christ (therefore Christian, the one who follow the teachings of Christ). When you talk about the Christian god you should focus more on the NT. WHy you discharged the NT and only talked about the OT?
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:10 AM   #73
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Seriously though, if you are looking for a reason to believe in a god or gods(at all, not just the Christian god), the best answer I can give you is it takes some of the burden of life off of you. People with faith are generally more accepting of life's problems and more willing to work their way through the negative things that happen in life. It makes you feel better about bad things when you believe that God has a plan, or God will never close a door without opening a window(seems silly to me living in the desert haha... That lets the AC out). Sometimes just believing in something higher than yourself is enough to keep you going through hard times.
I realize that lots of people probably believe in God for the reasons you mentioned. But to me, that seems a lot like pascal's wager. Whether god exits or not is completely unrelated to any of that.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:53 AM   #74
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They're the same god. According to biblical mythology.


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Old 04-13-2009, 11:21 AM   #75
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They're the same god. According to biblical mythology.
I guess that means that at least some bibilical stories are not the only deciding factor in what a modern Christian (or maybe even Jew) believes about their God.

It occurs to me that this effect is something like the how it's possible to have the "same" character in several alternate universes in DC Comics, all doing quite different things. The timeline apparently split on the nature of God a long time ago.


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Old 04-13-2009, 08:55 PM   #76
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So, you are talking about the OT god. The Christian god is from the NT which appeared as the image of His son, Jesus Christ (therefore Christian, the one who follow the teachings of Christ). When you talk about the Christian god you should focus more on the NT. WHy you discharged the NT and only talked about the OT?
even if we ignore the first half of the bible (which is a pretty **** argument) the new testament is still pretty ****ty, though a lot of the torture and such is much more theoretical than the stuff in the old testament, which the new testament only adds onto anyway.



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Old 04-14-2009, 12:17 AM   #77
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I realize that lots of people probably believe in God for the reasons you mentioned. But to me, that seems a lot like pascal's wager. Whether god exits or not is completely unrelated to any of that.
No, I'm not saying that the god exists. Just that belief in something higher even if that something is something like "The Universal equation" from which springs the chaotic balance we see. Belief in fate, Karma or whatnot do loads to make a person feel better regardless of whether they exist.


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Old 04-16-2009, 02:47 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coolprogram
I ask what caused the Big Bang? They say molecules were jumbled up together and eventually escaped creating an explosion.
Well, most of all, technically, molecules come after the big bang.


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So I ask what created the molecules. They say one of two things.
1. I don't know
or
2. They just are/did
3. Chemical reactions? Atoms?

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So, if this is possible, is it not also possible that God just is?
From a certain aspect, it seems that everything "just is".

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Or that God created what was or/and is?
It seems that the difference from "things just came into existence beginning with the big bang (or whatever, for that matter)" to "god just came into existence to bring things into existence eventually" is rather quite non-existent. Now, if you see god as simply the "first cause" to everything, big bang, the universe, multiverse, whatever there might be, whatever science might discover, there is not even the need to label god "a being".


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Old 04-22-2009, 03:10 PM   #79
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In my opinion I don't think you can prove i"the Christian God" exists. With Christians it's a matter of faith. Proof or not matters not to them. They have a belief that focuses on the unsean. Even if you were to see an angel and get it on tape the other side might say it's just a fake with current technology you can manufacture anything. But the other side believes what they believe.

People can be closed minded regardles if they say they are not. Because they might simply be asking you to prove them wrong simply to give a reason to validate their decision they already made. Kinda like how some wil go to the doctor and he might say you have this and this is the only treatement. Well the patient might think another treatement is all that is needed. They'll then go from doctor to doctor until they find the doctor that agrees with their opinion they already made.

And finally one man's miracle is another man's ah that person just had really good luck. So I don't think either way you can decide the debate. One side is focusing more on faith than proof. The other only cares about proof, and won't want to just have faith. And again others are simply looking to validate their opinion. I don't think it can be decided either way.


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Old 04-22-2009, 06:09 PM   #80
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In my opinion I don't think you can prove i"the Christian God" exists. With Christians it's a matter of faith. Proof or not matters not to them. They have a belief that focuses on the unsean. Even if you were to see an angel and get it on tape the other side might say it's just a fake with current technology you can manufacture anything. But the other side believes what they believe.

People can be closed minded regardles if they say they are not. Because they might simply be asking you to prove them wrong simply to give a reason to validate their decision they already made. Kinda like how some wil go to the doctor and he might say you have this and this is the only treatement. Well the patient might think another treatement is all that is needed. They'll then go from doctor to doctor until they find the doctor that agrees with their opinion they already made.

And finally one man's miracle is another man's ah that person just had really good luck. So I don't think either way you can decide the debate. One side is focusing more on faith than proof. The other only cares about proof, and won't want to just have faith. And again others are simply looking to validate their opinion. I don't think it can be decided either way.
Seconded.


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