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About Rounin

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    I am a former Christian seeking to share experiences.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. One should be a bit skeptical of claims that vague prophecies and predictions are coming to pass after the fact. To take an extreme example, we could all agree that "Discworld" is a fictional book series, yet I just recently witnessed the launch of a manned rocket on YouTube, an event predicted in the Discworld book "The Last Hero" from 2001. In fact, come to think of it, the city I live in is divided in two by a river as well. Could I really be living in Ankh-Morpork? We might be tempted to apply such selective interpretation to Christianity, but not to Discworld, because of the emotional significance Christianity has to many of us as current and former believers, and because of the high-stakes questions Christianity seeks to answer. We want to make absolutely sure to leave no stone unturned so as not to make a serious mistake. However, Christianity's emotional hold on us doesn't make it any more factual than any other idea. Treating it preferentially to other ideas might feel better, as we've been taught to do so over a long period of time, but there's an infinitude of ideas out there, and to know which ones might be good or correct, we have to be prepared to examine all of them critically.
  2. Rounin


    @ChelseaGuy: I suppose it intuitively feels more likely that a very powerful and intelligent being who teaches love and humility and forgiveness would feel no need to send people to such a place. At any rate, I believed along those lines for a very long time, and I think many people do at some level. It raises some interesting questions, though, about how we arrive at the beliefs that we do.
  3. When we have strong emotional ties to Christianity, it can make us examine Christianity in a biased way. "We can't disprove God, so maybe he does exist?" ... "If you interpret this story as a metaphor and that as having happened 350 years later, it could potentially have happened" ... "If you view this quote in the right context, it potentially doesn't contradict that other quote"... etc. etc. We look for the smallest possibility that it might be true, because it's of such high emotional importance to us. It can help put it into perspective to examine it from the other direction, though: We can't disprove the mighty Atheos either, the god who demands that we deny the existence of all gods, Atheos included. Are we really willing to risk angering Atheos, who controls our eternal fate? What about Fabric, the god of stylish curtains? Can we truly afford not to engage in curtain-worship when it could be the key to everything? And so on and so forth. There could be an infinite number of gods demanding an infinite number of things. The God of the Bible is just one, and we don't really gain a lot of information about what we should do by picking the one god that happened to be suggested to us as the one to worry about. What we do know is that we're here on Earth, and that seeking happiness tends to lead to a better life.
  4. By the way, scarlet and purple dyes have historically been expensive, and wearing scarlet and purple cloth was probably a marker of wealth and power at the time, just as gold still is today. So if this text you're referring to mentions scarlet and purple, and the catholic church tends to use scarlet and purple more than average, the reason is probably money.
  5. Let me start off by posting my favourite video clip about the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHoxZF3ZgTo#t=49m18s In general, the chance of any one particular coincidence occurring is often low, but the chance of SOME coincidence occurring is very high, which is why coincidences happen all the time. Often, we're unreasonably impressed by such coincidences, because we forget all the other coincidences that didn't happen in the same place at the same time.
  6. Matthew 7 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’ You see, God's plan is not only to sacrifice himself to himself to save us from himself, but also to fail to do so.
  7. Same thing Dawkins would say: First "Which one are you?". Because even if I knew it was Jesus, "Jesus", as I know him, is only a character from a book. What would this Jesus be like? And secondly "Why were you hiding?" Maybe followed by "So are we doing the furnace of fire now, or...". It's a matter of some interest to me.
  8. The brain is a physical object, as is plainly observable. Brain activity levels can be measured, and in at least one experiment, images a person was watching were detected from outside the brain using sensors and machinery. The notion that a PC is conscious is your idea. What do you base it on? Do you have evidence for that? Yes, DMT can make people imagine things precisely because their brain is a physical entity susceptible to chemical reactions. Disembodied souls don't have brains, so... you are a machine. Do you have evidence for that? What would it even mean for will to be "free"? What would a will be if it were free from the physical processes of the brain? How would a will ever will something if that act had no cause? Caged birds sing because of an inborn instinct, because, like us, they're physical creatures, and it's in their nature to do so.
  9. And the difference between that and crunching numbers is... what exactly?
  10. A brain crunches numbers in analogue. When you say the computer will not be conscious, what do you base that claim on? What is it that you believe our mind does that a computer can't be programmed to do?
  11. An associate of Richard Dawkins actually wrote a book on the unpleasant aspects of God's moral character, though I don't know if it cites specific verses that he's in breach of. Still, I thought I'd mention it, in case someone will find it interesting. https://www.amazon.com/God-Most-Unpleasant-Character-Fiction/dp/1454918322
  12. Not to mention, people intervene in each other's lives all the time. The police work day and night to stop children from getting raped. Why should an omnipotent being who's obsessed with the moral character of our thoughts and actions deny him self the opportunity to do the same? I think the old testament explanation of "He's hiding because he's angry with us" is at least a fair attempt. The bible makes no attempt to hide the fact that many didn't believe even then, and it's always their own fault for having sinned. But the notion that God has such immense respect for our free will that he's unwilling to even interact with us, yet at the same time thinks it's fine to neglect us one millennium after another and then brutally and gratuitously punish us long after it would have had any effect, is so contrived and so contorted that it doesn't serve to explain anything. That's one major problem with religion. It so appeals to people that we're tempted to ask not "Is it true?" but "Could it be true?". And from the presupposition that it is true, people work backwards to impossibly convoluted explanations like that one. "Oh, but free will, you see. There must be evil, because something something free will."
  13. He probably walked and rode on animals such as horses, camels and donkeys. They don't. Sometimes people get better by themselves or due to the placebo effect. No, she didn't. Boils can come and go. Different versions of Christianity say different things. Different religions also say different things. The problem is that there's no definitive evidence for any of them. Perhaps the true god is the mighty Atheos who wants us to be atheists.
  14. Could you make it so that it preferentially hits Kim Jong-Un? Perhaps if you daydream about Jang Hyun-seung...
  15. Ah, but I do have proof for Eve Keneinan. My proof is: "What proof do you have that the burden of proof doesn't lie on the one making the claim?" Either she must accept my proof, or she is a hypocrite.
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