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Old 07-08-2007, 03:16 PM   #1
SykoRevan
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"I don't believe in God," or "I believe there is no God?"

This is something I have been curious about for a long time. Some Atheists say they have no beliefs, and they say Atheism is a lack of belief. Others, like myself, view Atheism as a belief that there is no God, and say "I believe that God doesn't exist." In my view, belief cannot be restricted to the existence of a higher power Atheism is generally viewed in 2 ways: Strong Atheism and Weak Atheism. Strong Atheists have a bigger dedication to their beliefs as Atheists, while Weak Atheists are less dedicated, and are sometimes borderline agnostic, while Strong Atheists are sometimes borderline Anti-theist. Alot of people argue whether Atheism is a belief or a lack of belief. In my view, the people who say they have a lack of belief are Weak Atheists, while those like myself who explicitly say they believe there is no God are Strong Atheists. If you are an Atheist, would you call yourself a Strong Atheist or a Weak Atheist? Would you say you lack belief, or have belief?

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Old 07-08-2007, 03:47 PM   #2
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I think you pretty well summed it up. I'm a Deist, but at one time I considered myself an agnostic. The only Atheist that I've ever known was a professor that attended the Unitarian Universalist congregation that I was a member of when I was in college. One day I asked him why an Atheist would bother "coming to church" (even though UUs come in all shapes and sizes). He told me that there is an inherent human need to congregate with other humans regardless of belief.

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Old 07-08-2007, 05:01 PM   #3
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I realy dont belive in anything religious.



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Old 07-08-2007, 05:11 PM   #4
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I'm not even entirely sure why there's a distinction--the end result is still the same whether you call it 'no belief in God' or 'belief there's no God'.


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Old 07-08-2007, 07:34 PM   #5
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I'm not even entirely sure why there's a distinction--the end result is still the same whether you call it 'no belief in God' or 'belief there's no God'.
There is a difference.

1) "I believe there is no God": God does not exist.

2) "I don't believe in God": It means two things.
---I don't believe in God because there is no God, meaning God does not exist.
---I believe God exist, but I do not believe in God, for one reason or another. Examples are Satanism (Non-Atheistic, mostly the joking around and prankster types), and Maltheism (Maybe God is evil, and I want to show God that I know he is evil by stating I don't believe in him).


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Old 07-09-2007, 11:37 AM   #6
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I'm strong in the sense that I will say I believe there is no god;
I'm weak in the sense that I won't say that there is no god.

Since I lack sufficient evidence to believe in one, I'm not going to act like it exists. However, I also lack omniscience (), so I'm not going to say that I know it doesn't. Conceivably I could be converted if sufficient evidence came up.

To me, people who say "I know that god doesn't exist" are overstepping the bounds of credibility in the same way they purport to hate (as in religious folk's belief).


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Old 07-10-2007, 12:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
I'm strong in the sense that I will say I believe there is no god;
I'm weak in the sense that I won't say that there is no god.

Since I lack sufficient evidence to believe in one, I'm not going to act like it exists. However, I also lack omniscience (), so I'm not going to say that I know it doesn't. Conceivably I could be converted if sufficient evidence came up.

To me, people who say "I know that god doesn't exist" are overstepping the bounds of credibility in the same way they purport to hate (as in religious folk's belief).
Sounds Agnostic to me.

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Old 07-10-2007, 12:54 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MdKnightR
Sounds Agnostic to me.
I'm not so sure. Sounds to me like Samuel Dravis is saying he believes God doesn't exist, he's just not arrogant enough to say he KNOWS God doesn't exist. Not even I'm that arrogant. Belief and knowledge are 2 completely different things. In some ways, an Atheist who says "I believe God does not exist" is similar to a Christian who says "I believe God does exist." For both, it is not about facts or who's right or wrong or who knows how much about this or that, but what feels right in the individual's own heart for themselves, and wat they truly DO know is what they believe. And an Atheist who says "I know for a fact there is no God" is just as arrogant as a Christian who says "I know there is a God," and both of them have lost sight of their faith, and they just want to be right in the eyes of other people, instead of just themselves, which is all that truly matters when it comes to believe.

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Old 07-10-2007, 08:55 AM   #9
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Carth said this about the Promised Land.

"Sounds like a myth to me. Something to give the people here a false hope to cling to so they don't go mad with despair."

Perhaps so, but if religion is a myth unless you are harming others isn't it better than going mad with despair?
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SykoRevan
I'm not so sure. Sounds to me like Samuel Dravis is saying he believes God doesn't exist, he's just not arrogant enough to say he KNOWS God doesn't exist. Not even I'm that arrogant.
Yeah, that's pretty much it.

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Belief and knowledge are 2 completely different things. In some ways, an Atheist who says "I believe God does not exist" is similar to a Christian who says "I believe God does exist." For both, it is not about facts or who's right or wrong or who knows how much about this or that, but what feels right in the individual's own heart for themselves, and wat they truly DO know is what they believe. And an Atheist who says "I know for a fact there is no God" is just as arrogant as a Christian who says "I know there is a God," and both of them have lost sight of their faith, and they just want to be right in the eyes of other people, instead of just themselves, which is all that truly matters when it comes to believe.
Sort of. It is important to me to gain knowledge of any relevant information on this subject, because that's what I use to form my working beliefs. If I found knowledge that god does, in fact, exist, his existence would no longer be an unknown and my working beliefs would be constrained by that. If I were to continue believing atheism in the face of an actual god, I would simply be deluding myself. Likewise, if I were to believe a religion without reasonable evidence for its reality, then I would be lying to myself. Those are actions I wish to avoid.


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Old 07-11-2007, 09:00 AM   #11
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So, what constitutes "resonable" when discussing a belief versus a known fact? I suspect that will vary greatly depending upon one's philosophical outlook.


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Old 07-11-2007, 12:19 PM   #12
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'no belief in God' or 'belief there's no God'
Pretty interesting comments.

"No Belief in God" = You know that there is a god, and you do not believe in him.

"Believe There's No Do" = You just plainly do not believe that God exists.

Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does not exist? Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does exist?

I personally cannot prove either way. Each person has their own experiences with God to give them evidence, which say, "Yeah, God does exist", or "Nope, I haven't seen a God yet."

Maybe we should look at the concept of "God", and then move forward from that definition.



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Old 07-12-2007, 01:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Source
'no belief in God' or 'belief there's no God'
Pretty interesting comments.

"No Belief in God" = You know that there is a god, and you do not believe in him.

"Believe There's No Do" = You just plainly do not believe that God exists.

Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does not exist? Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does exist?

I personally cannot prove either way. Each person has their own experiences with God to give them evidence, which say, "Yeah, God does exist", or "Nope, I haven't seen a God yet."

Maybe we should look at the concept of "God", and then move forward from that definition.
That's pretty much what an Agnostic person would say. Cheers! I myself am agnostic. Mostly because I believe that the only type of atheist is one who believes that there is no God... which i am not. In my opinion... whether it be weak or strong... agnostic values are anything ranging between skepticism with both sides of the arguement of believing in god, or being skeptical about modern religious interpretations or just the texts themselves.

And nihilists... well... thats a different story hahaha...
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:12 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Totenkopf
So, what constitutes "resonable" when discussing a belief versus a known fact? I suspect that will vary greatly depending upon one's philosophical outlook.
That depends on the particular fact in question. For example, if I said it was 90F at about 8pm today, you could verify the likelihood of this in several ways. You could check daily records from many places with reputations of being accurate. You could check historical trends to see if 90F is within normal bounds for this month. You could call your friend to see what he said about it. Naturally all of these forms of proof of fact depend on how trusting you are; if you thought that everyone was a liar no one could 'prove' anything to you. That being said, none of them are ultimately based on taking someone's word for it - you must have some sort of personal experience that shows that your source's information is likely to be accurate.

I believe I've used this analogy before, but here it is again:

I use Google Maps quite a bit. I find it useful. The only way it can be useful is if it was accurate. I have personally determined that, from what I have used Gmaps for, it is fairly accurate. I know that Google is a large company with a reputation to protect. I know that they have nothing at all to gain by providing a service which is defective. I have seen very few complaints over the accuracy of their maps on the internet.

These related things tend to make me believe that, in the future, if I were to look up something on Gmaps, it probably would be accurate. If this method of earned trust requires some slanted philosophical outlook to use, I'm not aware of it - as far as I know, everyone uses this sort of system.

Of course, I'm not going to say that Gmaps is always accurate, because I know that's not true; sometimes the map is a little outdated from recent construction and other assorted things. I would, however, say that Gmaps is a very useful tool, and that's a fact for the reasons I gave above. I would say it was reasonable to accept this as a fact, because everything I said was verifiable - personally - by you.

---

If you were inquiring what sort of divine intervention a particular god would have to show off in order to make me believe in it, you'll have to give me that god so I know its attributes. For example, if you wanted me to believe that Krishna is real, you'd have to have evidence that he isn't capricious, as well as more that exemplifies his other claimed properties.

However, note that evidence given without a trustworthy source is fairly useless to me; I don't go around just believing any old thing someone says. Conviction is nice, but simple faith is at best irrelevant to someone who is ignorant and trying to figure out the truth in the midst of many different options. Faith is cheap; personally verifiable evidence demonstrating the likelihood of that faith is somewhat harder to find.

Quote:
Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does not exist? Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does exist?

I personally cannot prove either way.
I don't care much about an absolute sort of proof either way, because I don't think it exists. I find probabilities are more likely to come up with something useful...

Quote:
Each person has their own experiences with God to give them evidence, which say, "Yeah, God does exist", or "Nope, I haven't seen a God yet."
True, so far as it goes. We can only do as much as our experiences lead us to be capable of.


"Words are deeds." - Wittgenstein
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:21 AM   #15
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I think for agnostics the correct statement would be "About the gods, I do know nothing, neither if they exist, nor if there are none." Weak atheists should say "I am not convinced there are gods" (aka "I don't believe in god"), strong atheists can say "I am convinced there are no gods." (aka "I believe there is no god")


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Originally Posted by The Source
"No Belief in God" = You know that there is a god, and you do not believe in him.
Like Samuel Dravis said, wouldn't that mean to delude oneself? It's like I know earth is spheric, but I don't believe it.


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Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does not exist? Can anyone prove that the "Christian/Jewish" God does exist?
Screw Christianity/Judaism/Whatever, was any random god's existence ever proven? There are so many religions and cults each worshipping at least one god, was but one of them able to somehow prove their god(s) to be existent? I know not about a single one.

Now there's an idea: I wonder if some day there will be something like flat rate religion, with unlimited and instant access to any possible god?


Quote:
I personally cannot prove either way. Each person has their own experiences with God to give them evidence, which say, "Yeah, God does exist", or "Nope, I haven't seen a God yet."
Experience ain't evidence. When someone likes to explain what's going on in his own little world with divine interventions, fine. It's just that it doesn't mean to be true or fact. Even if it's a possibility.

I see that every day with my little daughter. She (like all others) has her own way to explain things, like for instance, when she goes to bed we often leave a small light on so she can "read" a book or something, and when she sleeps we turn it off. The other day I brought her to bed and said "Hey, when you're tired, you can turn the light off yourself, okay?" and she totally gave me the 'wtf u must kid me' look and replied "Nnnnaaaaahh, daddy, I don't need to turn it off, it goes off on its own when I sleep." Then I said "When you sleep, we switch it off, because you don't need it any more." and and she was like "Really? But I don't hear you coming in.."

I mean, although she knows how to properly use a light switch (and does so), and although she knows how to switch that small lamp in particular on and off on herself and we also have no automatic switching lights, she concluded it must turn off automatically.

Now what I find pretty interesting is - while it can be proven that anyone of us three can control the light, I cannot prove her that mum or dad switched the light off every past evening and she cannot prove that we didn't but has no evidence that we actually did, either. And although she found a wrong explanation, her idea was actually well thought and probably the second best explanation available. Well maybe even the best regarding the fact that she was convinced she would notice when we come into her room.

The clever curious girl she is, she managed to stay wake and tricked me to believe she was sleeping to check out the truth for herself.

Quote:
Maybe we should look at the concept of "God", and then move forward from that definition.
Yes, maybe some should take a look at the idea of religion, not at what it says.


interesting excerpt from the wikipedia article on atheism

Atheism, religion and morality

Although people who self-identify as atheists are usually assumed to be irreligious, some sects within major religions have atheistic beliefs, and even reject the existence of a personal, creator God. In recent years, certain religious denominations have accumulated a number of openly atheistic followers, such as atheistic or humanistic Judaism and Christian atheists.

As the strictest sense of positive atheism does not entail any specific beliefs outside of disbelief in God, atheists can hold any number of spiritual beliefs. For the same reason, atheists can hold a wide variety of ethical beliefs, ranging from the moral universalism of humanism, which holds that a moral code should be applied consistently to all humans, to moral nihilism, which holds that morality is meaningless.

Throughout its history, however, atheism has commonly been equated with immorality, based on the belief that morality is directly derived from God, and thus cannot be attained without appealing to God. Moral precepts such as "murder is wrong" are seen as divine laws, requiring a divine lawmaker and judge. However, many atheists argue that treating morality legalistically involves a false analogy, and that morality does not depend upon a lawmaker in the same way that laws do, based on the Euthyphro dilemma, which either renders God unnecessary or morality arbitrary.

Philosopher Julian Baggini asserts that behaving ethically only because of divine mandate is not true ethical behavior but merely blind obedience. He argues that atheism is a superior basis for ethics, claiming that a moral basis external to religious imperatives is necessary to evaluate the morality of the imperatives themselves—to be able to discern, for example, that "thou shalt steal" is immoral even if one's religion instructs it—and that atheists, therefore, have the advantage of being more inclined to make such evaluations.

Atheists such as Sam Harris have argued that Western religions' reliance on divine authority lends itself to authoritarianism and dogmatism. Indeed, religious fundamentalism and extrinsic religion (when religion is held because it serves other, more ultimate interests) have been correlated with authoritarianism, dogmatism, and prejudice. This argument, combined with historical events that are argued to demonstrate the dangers of religion, such as the Crusades, inquisitions, and witch trials, are often used by antireligious atheists to justify their views. Theists have made very similar arguments, however, against atheists based on the state atheism of communist states.


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Old 07-12-2007, 10:50 AM   #16
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That's pretty much what an Agnostic person would say. Cheers! I myself am agnostic. Mostly because I believe that the only type of atheist is one who believes that there is no God... which i am not. In my opinion... whether it be weak or strong... agnostic values are anything ranging between skepticism with both sides of the arguement of believing in god, or being skeptical about modern religious interpretations or just the texts themselves.

And nihilists... well... thats a different story hahaha...
"I have faith in nothing!"
I am a Christian with an understanding of philosophy, science, history, literature, art, and theology. I personally believe that God exists, but I do like questioning the "What If...". I do like challanging what mankind knows about god, nature, space, and science. You can say that I do have a agnostic side, which allows me to understand there is more beyond a book's limitations.

:: Example of going beyond the Bible ::
If you were to consider literary history, (when one book was created versus another), you will notice that the Noah's Arch story was a complete mimic of an older one. Gilgamesh is the oldest literary ever know. Noah's story was told an estimated 1,000 years before it was rewritten into the Bible. However, the character in Gilgamesh was a mortal who was granted immortality, and he was given the job as guardian between life and death. When you read Noah and Gilgamesh, you get the sense that Noah's story may have been a rewritten copy.

Another interesting biblical and historical debate is that: Jesus Christ's story was inspired by Pantara's; however, the debate is so contriversial that Christian groups have called it sacroligious (sp?).

Another character from literary history that was written before Jesus's story was about Hercules. If you remember your mythology, Hercules was a half god and half mortal. He was the son of Zeus (the main Olympian god), and he lived amonst man. Sound familiar?

When it comes to believing in a Christian god or not, I believe that each individual needs to find his/her connection. Remember, I am also only looking at Christianity, for my knowledge on Budha is only through art, graves, and sculpture. I only know what I have learned from art history. Budha also has Christian themes, or Christianity has Budha themes. It depends on when the literature or religion is placed in historical context. It is rumored that Jesus, between the ages of 12 and 29, visited Budha temples to learn about how religion is made. The only conundrum is that we do not have any information, including the bible, which tells us about Jesus's life in his missing years. We can only speculate. Unless we have some solid historical proof that Jesus was here or there, we may never know the whole story about Jesus' adolesent years.

When considering what the definition of God is, we will have to also look at a wide historical context over:

1. What may have inspired the first cognitive man/women to consider that a God was in control?

2. Why did they so suddenly find themselves in a situation to believe that mankind was not perfect?

3. Who came up with the word god? Why?

Questions similar to the above are important, for it will give us an understanding of the fundementals that were considered.



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Old 07-12-2007, 06:19 PM   #17
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If I may, why shoukd it matter that people believe in God? Why does it seem to get to people so much?
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:28 PM   #18
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If I may, why shoukd it matter that people believe in God? Why does it seem to get to people so much?
I think the original post was a question of curiosity. I'm not one of those witnesses who say, "Look. Look. He/she found God.", so I don't really understand why people get upset when someone else doesn't have faith. Your question is an interesting one. If you ever come across the answer, please let us know what you find out.



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Old 07-12-2007, 06:43 PM   #19
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I don't understand why people get upset about people believing in another religion, or no religion, either. Actually I take it back, I think I do. A small percentage of fundamentalist types, religion is unimportant, feel they need to stir and stir and push and push on the matter, preaching hatred and intolerance for those who do not follow their way. Some would even take it further. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Atheists would have a few bad apples who think this way the same as there are Christians who demand the genocide of homosexuals, Muslims who want Jihad and the world to submit to Islam, ect.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:59 PM   #20
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If I may, why shoukd it matter that people believe in God? Why does it seem to get to people so much?
1) It's a good deed in most religions to get more converts to your religion. You get good deeds for spreading the word.

2) If someone believes something differently than you, then it showcases that either you or the other person is wrong. Since you are obivously right, the other person got to be wrong, and you must prove it to them.

3) People are valuable resources for religions, and for all ideologies. Don't you need to win elections, or secure donations, or just gain a small enclave of worshippers? Then you need people. And you have to get more people from other religions...otherwise the other religions will just steal from your religion. Can't let that happen.

I believe that even moderates from all sides of the divide does preach their creed, but they do have the decency not to threaten to murder all of them or call them all bad names if they happen not to care what they say. Should there be a cease-fire between all religions, though? That could be interesting...


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Old 07-12-2007, 07:02 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I don't understand why people get upset about people believing in another religion, or no religion, either. Actually I take it back, I think I do. A small percentage of fundamentalist types, religion is unimportant, feel they need to stir and stir and push and push on the matter, preaching hatred and intolerance for those who do not follow their way. Some would even take it further. And you can bet your bottom dollar that Atheists would have a few bad apples who think this way the same as there are Christians who demand the genocide of homosexuals, Muslims who want Jihad and the world to submit to Islam, ect.
Unfortunately we don't live in a world that people can tolerate each other's beliefs. I think the only people who can really see past differences are children. When you are a child, your perspective on live is nieve. Too bad we are not all color and religious blind. The world would be a better place.



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Old 08-07-2007, 07:21 PM   #22
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Am I a strong or weak atheist?
It all bogs down to the quest: What definition of God are we using?

Let's use a definition that is common to christianity, islam and judaism.
God is therefore defined as:
1) An all-powerfull being that created the world.
2) Residing beyond time and space.
3) A person.

Such a God is totally beyond knowledge, anyone that says he knows that there is God or says that he knows that there is no God must, in my humble opinion, be totally mad.
Therefore if one can't know anything about God the only alternative is to belive in his existence or belive in his nonexistence.

Having said that I can call myself a strong atheist, as I belive that a being that fulfils the 1-4 criteria does not exist.
Still its all a matter of definition, if we would use another definition of "God" and "strong atheist" I could also desribe myself as a panteist.


There is no emotion, yet everything suffers.
There is no ignorance, yet the wise are few.
There is no passion, yet it drives us.
There is no chaos, yet there is entropy.
There is no death, yet I kill.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:27 PM   #23
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Therefore if one can't know anything about God the only alternative is to belive in his existence or belive in his nonexistence.
No chance that one can choose "none of the above", eh?
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crahsystor
Am I a strong or weak atheist?
It all bogs down to the quest: What definition of God are we using?

Let's use a definition that is common to christianity, islam and judaism.
God is therefore defined as:
1) An all-powerfull being that created the world.
2) Residing beyond time and space.
3) A person.
Well, your definition of God is problemetic. Well, this would only cover in religion groups that includes ONE SINGLE DIETY. And se we know it, many religion groups have more than one/god/goddess/

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No chance that one can choose "none of the above", eh?
Yes you definitely can. Believing in Higher Power out there does not equal to believing in a diety.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:36 AM   #25
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I believe there is no God!

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Old 08-08-2007, 11:17 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
Well, your definition of God is problemetic. Well, this would only cover in religion groups that includes ONE SINGLE DIETY. And se we know it, many religion groups have more than one/god/goddess/
Yes, I know this. The one I used is just one of many possible definitions of a God. I belive that its impossible to forge a definition of god that would adequatly and univocaly describe all and any dieties worshipped around the world. I decided to use this definition because it desribes the three major monotheistic religions that are practiced by over 50% of the worlds population.


There is no emotion, yet everything suffers.
There is no ignorance, yet the wise are few.
There is no passion, yet it drives us.
There is no chaos, yet there is entropy.
There is no death, yet I kill.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:19 PM   #27
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:: Example of going beyond the Bible ::
If you were to consider literary history, (when one book was created versus another), you will notice that the Noah's Arch story was a complete mimic of an older one. Gilgamesh is the oldest literary ever know. Noah's story was told an estimated 1,000 years before it was rewritten into the Bible. However, the character in Gilgamesh was a mortal who was granted immortality, and he was given the job as guardian between life and death. When you read Noah and Gilgamesh, you get the sense that Noah's story may have been a rewritten copy.
It is literarily impossible to prove that the one was intentionally written into the other. As far as I'm aware, the Babylonian society that spawned the Gilgamesh legend was gone by the time of the Israelites, and the country was Zoroastrian. But I could well be horribly wrong here.
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Another interesting biblical and historical debate is that: Jesus Christ's story was inspired by Pantara's; however, the debate is so contriversial that Christian groups have called it sacroligious (sp?).
"sacreligious". actually "sacrilegious" ~tk - Bah! Do you know how difficult being Incapable of Error is?

And I have never heard of Pantara. Are you sure this spelling is correct?

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Originally Posted by The Source
Another character from literary history that was written before Jesus's story was about Hercules. If you remember your mythology, Hercules was a half god and half mortal. He was the son of Zeus (the main Olympian god), and he lived amonst man. Sound familiar?
However,
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Originally Posted by Chalcedonian Creed
We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood;

truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body;

consubstantial [co-essential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood;

in all things like unto us, without sin;
A position well backed up in scripture. So not very much like Hercules, whose tale differs drastically from Jesus' and fits into a more distinct mythological genre.

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When it comes to believing in a Christian god or not, I believe that each individual needs to find his/her connection. Remember, I am also only looking at Christianity, for my knowledge on Budha is only through art, graves, and sculpture. I only know what I have learned from art history. Budha also has Christian themes, or Christianity has Budha themes. It depends on when the literature or religion is placed in historical context. It is rumored that Jesus, between the ages of 12 and 29, visited Budha temples to learn about how religion is made. The only conundrum is that we do not have any information, including the bible, which tells us about Jesus's life in his missing years. We can only speculate. Unless we have some solid historical proof that Jesus was here or there, we may never know the whole story about Jesus' adolesent years.
Given the distances involved and the culture of 1st century Palestine, its extremely unlikely to me. Consider, also, that this was not, in all probability a wealthy man; such a journey seems to me to be impractical. One should alaso consider his minute knowledge of the Jewish scriptures - that took time to learn. While there are similarities between Buddhism and Christianity, Jesus would have found Buddhism's atheism repellent, and there is no mention of such a concept in the gospels. The Catholic Encyclopaedia can find no historical basis for such a link. The Yavanas Greeks may simply have been Greeks closer to India than the Greeks of Greece as we now recognise it. The Alassada mentioned by Buddhist texts is more likely to be Alexandria ad Caucasum.



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Old 08-08-2007, 10:00 PM   #28
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Quote:
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It is literarily impossible to prove that the one was intentionally written into the other.
The larger problem here (i.e. not specific to jesus vs. gilgamesh) is the problem of themes. Yes, it may be literally impossible to "prove" that one set of myths is written into another, however it only necessary to show that such themes existed to prove that one set of myths is neither special nor unique.

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
A position well backed up in scripture.
Just so I'm clear, are you arguing that because a one set of religious interpretation is supported by another set of religious interpretation it is somehow valid?

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Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
So not very much like Hercules, whose tale differs drastically from Jesus' and fits into a more distinct mythological genre.
How would you define "distinct mythological genre"? Would gods fit into this genre? Demigods? How about creation stories? Flood stories? End-of-the-world stories? Every mythology I've ever studied includes all of these things...including christianity.
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Old 08-09-2007, 03:13 AM   #29
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The larger problem here (i.e. not specific to jesus vs. gilgamesh) is the problem of themes. Yes, it may be literally impossible to "prove" that one set of myths is written into another, however it only necessary to show that such themes existed to prove that one set of myths is neither special nor unique.
Umm...yes? I fail to see how this disproves the underlying theme, or even disproves the 'myth' itself...yes, elements can be similar, but this does not mean that one story is the same story as another.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Just so I'm clear, are you arguing that because a one set of religious interpretation is supported by another set of religious interpretation it is somehow valid?
I am arguing that Jesus was not thought of as a demi-god.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
How would you define "distinct mythological genre"? Would gods fit into this genre? Demigods? How about creation stories? Flood stories? End-of-the-world stories? Every mythology I've ever studied includes all of these things...including christianity.
I was thinking actually about "Heroic Fella Does Epic Deeds Of A Specified Number".



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Old 08-09-2007, 03:27 AM   #30
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Umm...yes? I fail to see how this disproves the underlying theme, or even disproves the 'myth' itself...yes, elements can be similar, but this does not mean that one story is the same story as another.
Well of course not. You have to change the names and places. Duh!

The fact is that the christian myth is neither unique nor special. If the circumstances of his life, sacrifice, death, and resurrection are what cause people to flock that that belief system, then they at least deserve to know that this isn't the only shop selling that story. It doesn't even have the honor of being the first.

Quote:
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I am arguing that Jesus was not thought of as a demi-god.
One mortal parent and one divine parent. Jesus christ had one of each, didn't he? Or are we going to accept the adoptionists doctrine of divinity?

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I was thinking actually about "Heroic Fella Does Epic Deeds Of A Specified Number".
Like turning water into wine, walking on water, curing the sick, raising the dead, and so on?
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:41 PM   #31
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To be fair, the whole Trinity mumbo jumbo is just a bunch of made up stuff done in the last 200 years or so. While I forgot the exact date of such decision being made by the church, it is indeed true that pior to that the Holy Spirit part of the thing is not included pior, and it used to be Binity:

Where the Galaxy is ruled by Father and Son.

Before that? Well, there was a time where Even Binity is not defined. So there is the Father, there is the Son, but they are not One. These are all parts of the evolution of the religion, where things like ideas and dogma changes, by mostly human hands.

To be fair I personally don't think that these specific detail of things would validate/invalidate the argument on the topic of Existance of a Supreme Diety though.

Obviously the story of any famous people, real or fictional, are to be beautified, modified and execggerated. And doing so by following some typical "themes" are often of human nature, usually to indicate the extra qualities of the said famous personality. And sometimes these "special qualities" are developed from either previous legands, or just legands that seem to re-occurr on separate groups individurally with little contact between each other.

1) The great diety usually send his message from the sky, quite often involve a beam of sunray/moonray. (somehow usually it is "from above" and things "from below" are usually bad)

2) Virgin Birth seem to be a common theme all around the world, to denote a person's lineage "not from this world" Obvious variations would be impragnation by gods/spirits/etc in a non human form. This is to denote the "Not Human" Quality of a famous person, good or bad. Usually this is used to explain his special abilities.

3) Exile, tests, etc. This seems to be another popular theme. The saide person usually either go on a long trip alone, or is mentally alone doing meditation/coma/etc and returns with new knowledge. Obviously the adventures of this trip bares little witness, and is usually either self-told story by the said person, or later made up by followers.

4) Power of curing the sick, revival, etc abilities of healing. Seems to be the most common form of ability, back in the days medical knowledge is relatively poor. So yes even some common medical practise nowadays can be seen as magical. Plus, there can be some Placebo effect in some cases. Things like asian bone connecting techniques and other mystical simple use of herbs can be seen as magical to many.

5) Super Human Strength. Nuff said, We are still using this power in all tales nowadays.

etc (to be continued)

Point? I am not proving/disproving any miracles, but I am saying that sometimes a miracle may not be as big as it seems in a book written by humans, and the actual event might be something much more simple than it sounds. Plus, to be fair, it would be a boring book if everything is described in extreme details since that is not the focus of the books, esp when it is probably designed to be preached to many less educated people.

Oh, even if you CAN understand how the miracle might be performed, would you advertise this to the whole world? Either out of fear or more practical reasons this ould not be mentioned. Plus, it does seem that some of the believers are able to perform some degree of paranormal skills.
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