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About Blamtasticful

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  • Birthday 08/16/1991

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    I am a practical atheist who sees no good evidence for the existence of god. I think the only argument one can make for holding the belief in god is through finding meaning existentially but not factually. The belief is bad when it begins negatively intruding on people's lives.

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  1. It seems more like fear than joy imho. I would let her go because I don't think I could do anything.
  2. Here is a sad story that I want to share with you all. It came from an atheist vs. theist debate group I frequent on Facebook. Stick around though because the first Christian response on the thread made me want to punch my computer screen. Hello people, It's been a while since I last posted. I've been busy with my #LifeUnderConstruction. Anyway, recently I met this girl. She's really nice and beautiful both on the inside and the outside. Before I could say "Jack" I was too into her. Anyway it turns out she's ill and she fears she'll die soon. So, a Christian girl that she is, she doesn't want to comit any sin so that when she dies, she'll go to heaven. By sin I mean she doesn't want to 'fornicate,' among other things. She's now leading a strict 'no pleasure' lifestyle because she wants to go to heaven. I look at her and I'm both offended and bewildered. She's a smart girl and I can't believe that she thinks she'll go to heaven after she dies. I looked at her when she spoke like "these religious folk have taken this children stories and belief a little too far." Anyway I'm worried for her, not because she's going to die (I hope she doesn't) but because if I were the one in her shoes, I'd be living life as much as possible. I'll try to enjoy what's left of my life with the people I love, making love (if that's what I fancy) having deep conversations, etc. not restraining myself because I'm afraid that if I live my life as I want, I'll go to hell. Your thoughts please. A very sad story indeed by a young person. It's not about the sex it's about being saddened over repression. But the Christian response will blow your mind. "If she has repent from those sins, she will be pardoned, God will have mercy on her,so she can live but eventually if she die as a repented girl then will be in Paradise." This is why pascal's wager is fucking bullshit. All she has to do is be a good girl. Just keep walking on egg shells with the constant fear that you'll go to hell. Just never be happy and experience fun things before you die. This is disgusting; it's inhuman. If god does not exist than this is a tragedy beyond description. I encourage the people here to not ever forget why we push back against religion. Religion is cancer; time to cut it out.
  3. You aren't the only one. I was homeschooled in a program with no high school diploma and therefore no chance even try to get into the Ivy League. I had to go to community college because I had no transcripts. I was still religious then so I decided to go into ministry school. I am only now at 26 starting to finish an undergraduate degree in something actually useful. Yeah I get bitter sometimes. I just try to put the past behind AND I look to turn those weaknesses into strengths. They are what give me a unique perspective and edge. Also people raised having no religion don't just have a perfect life. You still have to make something of it. I am just going to enjoy the ride.
  4. I think the issue is not so much the facts but the way that we describe them. We are used to hearing people saying that if we come from apes that you are JUST AN ANIMAL. Even while technically true there is so much negative implication. Specifically that being an animal means that we are exactly the same as an ape rather than fairly civilized humans and we implicitly accept that without realizing that we are. Or take the statement you are JUST A BAG OF CHEMICALS or JUST MOLECULES IN MOTION. We don't want to claim anything supernatural so feel it necessary to accept the "JUST" statements from Christian apologists and preachers and their implications. As if we all don't know that the human being is an interesting and very complex and fascinating living creature that has invented some amazing things like no other creature ever has. So as a solution I try to practice self authoring. I state things as truly as I can about the world in an inspiring narrative fashion that avoids loaded terminology and phrases. I think Neil Degrasse Tyson kinda does this when he explains the universe as a science educator and responds to Christians who ask critical existential questions. Here is an example:
  5. So again your argument is apparently we can't really know what pain and pleasure are, we don't really know anything about the physical universe, and that we really don't even know that reality actually exists. As if that wasn't enough you think that therefore objective morality can't exist. I believe that you are attacking morality because intuitively it seems like a weaker target. Why don't you concern yourself with the objectivity of everything else that you have admitted you don't believe exists as well. I think your arguments speak for themselves for how you have rigged the deck to make it impossible for someone to have a fair chance to argue for objective reality. Please refer to my last post. Your argument has been that axioms are all arbitrary. This is not true we have good reason for holding quite a few of them. You are just being radically skeptical. As a mathematician it should concern you that you are using the term axiom as a word game for why we can't have good reasons that an axiom is true including that it works IN REALITY. Therefore it stands to assume that there could certainly be justifiable axioms for science and morality and I have given some including happiness, well-being, or fulfillment. If you truly think science isn't really objective or based on physical reality or that we don't have good reason to do so then please proclaim that loudly and proudly so that everyone here gets what you are willing to part with. It definitely doesn't sound like something that a scientist would say; maybe that's why you are more of a mathematician. But then again physicists tend to think they know much more than most scientists lol. Who knows maybe that makes them good at their job. I am not twisting your words I am keeping your reasoning accountable rather then simply dismissing arguments which seems to be your preferred method for challenges that seem to bother your arguments. To be honest you just seem irritated that I don't take your arguments at face value when I have good reason for not doing so. My last post was simply an attempt to batter through what are sadly some of the more childish arguments that have been made. This may be pointless because at this point it seems that you have simply made up your mind. You haven't really attempted to engage my arguments in good faith which would give them a fair shake and you have to stoop to the possibility of solipsism in order to doubt my arguments. If anything is telling it seems to be that. If Solipsism is true I can just as easily say that therefore objective morality can exist. Being a mathematician just shows why mathematicians don't always make great philosophers. Your arguments and responses speak for themselves. I will simply have to put my arguments in the good graces of those reading and ask them if they think I don't have a point? Am I truly completely unjustified in my criticism? Just because you don't like my conclusions doesn't mean they are false. It would nice if you took more time to at least consider more the merits of my arguments instead of just denying their validity or implying that I might be too mean. If you could more aptly address the arguments this wouldn't be much off a problem. I mean c'mon your last justification for me quoting your contradictory statements first about humans possibly in relation to morality and later stating that our universe requires the existence of humans was simply "No I certainly did not state that read that quote again." I did and it's still valid lol. Help me out here. Honestly it kinda just seems a lot like you are only interested in having a discussion on your terms. Unfortunately a real exchange of ideas doesn't allow for that and considers all possibilities. You have done more to dismiss my arguments than the rare times that you truly address them like how something can be true and not work. You believe that me doubting your assertion that we might not really know anything is an argument from incredulity. No it is the result of a reductio ad absurdum. I believe I have demonstrated that if the physical universe exists in at least close accordance with our basic scientific understanding that it objectively follows that morality is a feature of that universe. . This is objective morality. I am open to anyone else going through my responses to see if I am making truly egregious errors and I would love the chance to have that conversation. I don't think I am making some crazy assertions but will leave it up to them. I think what you fail to realize is that their are actually quite a few academic moral realists who are atheists such as Peter Railton. I hope you will take that view more seriously and less flippantly in future rational considerations than what you have done with my arguments. Sadly I don't think you are taking time to be truly critical about your own arguments to see if you are really being consistent in your responses. If the universe can't be an objective basis for something then to be honest I don't know what you are smoking. Sorry if this seems harsh but I'm going to stand up for my arguments when they are good. Please try again.
  6. Alright so for anyone tuning in who made it this far let me sum up where we are at now. My view of morality assumes that the universe does exist. I have to admit it crazy I know. While Disillusioned's view for subjective morality argues and yes requires that 1. That the physical universe might not exist, 2. That we can't really objectively know anything about anything. Yes quite a convincing argument we have here ladies and gentelemen. And you wonder why I am not too keen. Be honest now who here based on these ideas so far thinks which argument is more reasonable? He has also asserted 3. That the Laws of the universe don't actually exist. And 4. That we don't really know when we are feeling pain and pleasure. Husband: “Honey when you made me cum it felt amazing!” Wife: “But baby pleasure is just a subjective feeling so sorry but you didn't really feel anything objective.” Friend 1: “Dude why did you hit me in the nuts man that freaking hurt!” Friend 2: “Bruh don't you know that pain is a subjective feeling? I mean get it together bro!” Yes forgive me if I am slightly frustrated. There are 3 other problematic assertions he has made that are worth getting into but these seem to be the most important. If we exhaust these or he brings them back up I will post the responses I have written about them. Since I just addressed point 4 let's now go further and address the rest of these points one by one shall we? But Before we go further though let's examine Disillusioned's claim that I am unfairly criticizing his definition of morality becase he claims to have clearly and consistently laid it out and then we will segue into point two. Well let's examine this claim shall we? WARNING: I an going to quote Disillusioned extensively to avoid being accused of attacking a straw man as he did earlier. I was going to attempt to have each quote cited with the page number, comment number, and paragraph number. I unfortunately have other stuff to do today so I will do the rest on further comments if Disillusioned disputes the authenticity of any quotes in particular. I also apologize if any grammatical and spelling errors got through. I did my best. Let's start with point 2. Disillusioned will probably take issue with my formulation of his position. Because as he has stated in refernce to the term objective: “These definitions were clearly laid out before you joined the discussion. I have taken pains to be consistent in my use of these terms. Hence I don’t understand how you can feel justified in claiming that I am not being forthright with my use of these definitions.” Now I will switch to the 2nd persom in order to address disillusioned directly. So let's look at some of the definitions you have posted so far and as we will see they are not consistent. Take note specifically how you use the term principles: “...objective moral principles are moral principles which are real and binding irrespective of whether or not anyone believes in them. In other words, an objective moral law must be a kind of found law as opposed to a made law (pg. 1, comment 1, paragraph 2.)” And here: “Objective Morality is a set of principles concerning "right" and "wrong" which are real and binding irrespective of human opinion or even knowledge of them. Objective moral principles, if they exist, would still exist even if no one agreed with them (pg. 1, comment 10, paragraph 8.)” So far so good but then you start to go off script: “On the contrary, I have contended explicitly that many things are objectively true. But they can only be objectively true within a particular system. It is the axioms of the system which cannot be shown to be objectively true. Again, I must ask that you dispute what I am actually saying (pg. 2, comment 13 , paragraph 15.)” You continue in this vein when you say this about the term objective about the term principles“Again, I agree that statements can be objectively true. I don't agree that principles can be objectively true. Recall that I'm defining principles as fundamental truths, the starting points for reasoning about a topic. My contention is, essentially, that principles are just axioms by another name, and axioms are not objectively true (pg. 1, comment 22, paragraph 9.)” So you initially set up an implication within your first 2 definitions of objective moral principles as something can be objectively true rgardless of whether or not anyone acknowledges it as such but then later state that priciples are just axioms and that by definition axioms are not objectively true. So if we were to put these statements togther it would read: “Objective moral principles are moral principles which are just axioms by another name, and axioms are not objectively true concerning "right" and "wrong" but they are real and binding irrespective of of human opinion, knowledge of them, or whether or not anyone believes in them. In other words, an objective moral law must be a kind of found law but an objective moral law is not a found law because a found law also is based on axioms as opposed to a made law which is also based on axioms.” Yes this is arguing in bad faith. You are contradicting what you will allow to be considered an objective moral priciple by subtly changing your definitions of objective morality. You contradict your own definitions. But I am not unreasonable I will chalk this up to an honest mistake but please don't get anry at me for your mistakes. Principles can be objectively true or not objectively true but they aren't by their very nature incapable of being objectively true. At most we are simply incapable of KNOWING that they are or are not objectively true. That doesn't mean we are completely in the dark. Knowing that some things work and some things don't is evidence of objectivity it just isn't complete knowledge of objectivity. You also like to state that you aren't saying that things can't be objectively true within a logical system but only that isn't true outside of it with statements like: “Again, I do not contend that there are no sets of moral principles under which some actions may be said to be objectively right and objectively wrong. I also do not contend that it is not the case the some sets of moral principles seem to work more effectively than others. What I contend is that we have no reason to think that there is, or even that there should be, a set of moral principles which is in itself objectively correct.” And “Again, I agree that statements can be objectively true. I don't agree that principles can be objectively true. Recall that I'm defining principles as fundamental truths, the starting points for reasoning about a topic.” This sounds fine but the problem is that you have bent that argument when neccesary to defend against criticism. You haven't just given that impression there is no objective truth at times you have actually made that argument. Look at the following statements. You stated “I don’t hold that reality does not exist. I hold that it does exist. But my position that it does exist is itself an axiom. It cannot be proven. And even if it could, then the proof itself would necessarily ultimately reduce to a particular set of axioms!” And “This matters because you seem to be trying to establish here that morality can be based on the actual laws of the universe, and not on axioms. But we don't know that the universe has actual laws, and if they do exist, we don't know what they are. All that we have are models, which are built on axioms.” And “My contention is, essentially, that principles are just axioms by another name, and axioms are not objectively true. You seem to be taking the opposite view, namely that principles can beobjectively true, and in particular, that there are moral principles which are objectively true. Would you mind explaining to me why you think that this is the case?” And “Where does this leave us with respect to science? Well, statements can be objectively true under a particular scientific model. But the model itself is not objectively correct. What about morality? Perhaps we can build a moral system, and in that system there can be statements which are objectively true. But recall that my contention regards objective moral principles, the starting point for our moral system. I contend that these principles are not objectively correct. They are just axioms, like any other, and, as such, they are ultimately arbitrary.” Therefore you are arguing point 2. That we cannot objectively know anything about anything. We can therfore see that you have made that argument whether you intended to or not. You can change that is you wish but I will address this argument by appealing to what works in the physical world a little later in this post. “When you say that we're discussing whether something can be objectively good according to our concept of "good", I'm not sure that I agree with you. The question of objective morality is whether or not things can be good specifically apart from our concept of "good". That is what it means for something to be really right irrespective of what anybody thinks (ie, independent of our concept of "good").” I agree. This is why I ground my view of objective morality within the reality of the physical universe. You have rejected this as axiomatic and therefore not objective and I disagree. My argument has been: “That objective morality is a contextual and emergent phenomenon (much like consciousness btw) that is derived from the same laws of the universe that caused the physical universe to come into being the way it is today because we are also a physical phenomenon; that is why it is objective. Morality should be approached within that framework.” Side note: For clarification I am using the term laws of the universe interchangeably with the physical reality of the universe. Therefore to make you happy I will just say that instead of laws of the universe that way it stops being this thing with you. If “law “is too loaded of a term for your preferences I will just start referring to the “nature” of the universe ok? You know the parts of physics and evolution that got us here? This will be important when you get to point 3. THE BIGGEST PROBLEM HERE IS THAT YOU HAVE DEFINED THE FEATURES OF THE REALITY OF THE UNIVERSE AS AXIOMATIC AND THERFORE SUBJECTIVE AND UNJUSTIFIED. THIS MEANS THAT YOU ACTUALLY ARE ARGUING IN POINT 2 THAT EVEN THINGS WITHIN A LOGICAL SYSTEM CANNOT BE OBJECTIVELY TRUE BECAUSE ALL OF REALITY ITSELF IS SUBJECTIVE WHEN REALITY IS THE ONLY PROPERLY BASIC BELIEF THAT WE CAN USE TO GROUND ANYTHING AND CALL IT OBJECTIVE. I think you don't understand the definition of the word axiom. An axiom is just something that is assumed without absolute positive independant proof that it is true. An axiom isn't something that is ACTUALLY untrue by definition. As an example a chicken either exists or does not exist. If I see a chicken I can assume that it exists even if I could be dreaming for example. But now let's say I have no working physical senses and am in a house but a chicken is out in the backyard. I have no reason to believe that there is a chicken in my back yard but there is one nonetheless. What's the point? The point is that my axiomatic assumptions about the chicken have no causal connection about whether or not the chicken ACTUALLY exists. Therefore something could be an axiom and still objectively exist. We are justified in having this assumption because what we call reality works in certain ways that are consistent and not inconsistent with that assumption without any reason to believe that reality is more complicated then that. I can't believe I have to explain first principles in philosophy but as we will see in your next arguments that you decided to go there. So let's segue with this into disputing point 1. That the physical universe might not exist. This is not a successful argument for disputing objective morality. This leads me to contest your notion that grounding objective morality in the reality of the universe is not objective because we can't “know” that the universe exists. If someone brings up solipsism as if that somehow bolsters their point it is safe to say that my argument is in pretty good shape! For those of you who don't know. Solipsism is a belief that I can only know that I exist but that I can't know that the physical world isn't an illusion. We could be in the matrix for example. What is important to understand about the argument is that this is an objection that is a double-edged sword because it applies to the argument of the person who brings it up as well as to the person that it is used againST. I could just as easily state that objective morality can exist because it could exist in a different reality which is actually real and that the one that we are in is just an illusion where it looks like it can't exist. It's a bad argument. Good worldview's all make the assumption that the natural world exists even if it can't be proved. We are totally justified in doing so because it works. These features still are objective even if the world actually exists or if we are a brain in a vat. This is not in anyway the sign of a bad argument. If you just want to argue solipsism then you should make that the title of your OP. I hope that isn't your main argument. This is the kind of argument is dangerous in that allows all other sorts of woo-woo to say it is just as legitimate as science because we can't really know anything about the universe without some axiomatic assumptions that can't be justified such as new thought and whatever the heck Deepak Chopra believes. Because if everything is subjective then everything has an equal claim on truth. Your problem not mine. You still haven't answerd that if reality doesn't exist independently of axioms then are you prepared to say that reality didn't exist until humanity came up with axioms? Again this is still an incredibly important point. Are you prepared to make that assertion? There is no getting around it my friend. I can denounce this line of thinking because I say that what is objectively true cannot be removed from what works in physical reality. But you take issue with this as well so let's address that in the context of disputing point 3. That the laws of the universe don't actually exist. (Or the reality of the features of the physical universe don't actually exist.) You state: “We can get science back again because it seems to work. We can continue to reason logically because doing so gets us positive results. We can behave morally because doing so seems to improve our quality of life. But in all of this we should not lose sight of the fact that we actually don’t know what is going on, or if anything at all is going on. All we know is what seems to work. But I would contend that there is a world of difference between “seems to work” and “is objectively correct”, particularly when we are speaking of moral principles.” I then asked how can you say that something is objectively true idndependant of what works. You responded below. Before I quote the response I really hope people rightfully are skeptical of your argument below about how something can apparently be objectively true and not work in physical reality so here it is: “As it turns out, I can demonstrate that something can be objectively true and not work. Again, something can be objectively true in a particular system of logic. Here is an example: Axiom 1: All trees are fish Axiom 2: All fish taste like chocolate If we allow for the use of standard rules of deduction, it follows that, within this system, the statement “all trees taste like chocolate” is objectively true. But this does not match what we observe in nature, so it is not useful. So long as axioms are arbitrary, it will necessarily be the case that we can obtain useless, objectively true statements. All we need to do is start with useless axioms.” This is so bad because axioms are not arbitrary they are based on what works in physical reality which is why their deductive conclusions work in physical reality. Demostrating a logical syllogism is not proving that something is objectively real and true because you have not justified the premises. Philosophy 101. You have failed to show how something that is objectively true can not work in reality just as your conclusion in the argument that you presented won't work in reality. Therefore you have failed to show that what works has no relation to objective reality and this is why I find your skepticism to be quite problematic to say the least. The axioms of a system are not arbitrary there is a reason why we choose them and not an axiom at random. There is a reason why we don't subscribe to the axiom “the moon is made out of cheese.” On your logic we cannot truly say that this axiom is objectively false becasue you assume axioms for your definition of cheese when in fact the moon could really be cheese instead of what we call cheese or more importantly that these other axioms cannot not even justify that what we call cheese and the moon are either cheese or not. Yes I think this is sophistry. I define morality as an objective feature of the physical reality of the universe. I argued that the same features of the universe would still be in place even if humans didn't, so that in theory objective morality would still be real because it still comes from those features. All that is required is that it is POSSIBLE for those features to allow humans to exist. You respond by stating that you don't like the fact that I suppose hypothetically that our universe could exist without humans and still be out universe when you say “This is not coherent. We, in our universe are humans. There is no way that we, in our universe, could not have humans.” However if you remember you are the one who did that first which is the very reason why I made this counter-argument. You stated: “But it seems to me that moral principles require the existence of conscious beings. This is because I think that moral principles concern the behaviour of conscious beings. For example, suppose that the statement "it is wrong to cause suffering" is held to be an objective moral principle. In this case it must be true even if nobody exists who can cause suffering, or who is capable of suffering. In this scenario the statement is meaningless, because suffering does not exist, and cannot exist. If it is meaningless, it can't be true. So it cannot be objectively true (pg. 1, comment 22, paragraph 2.)” Well you just stated that our universe cannot exist without the existence of human beings. So logically if my hypothetical isn't fair then neither is yours so your argument fails because of this. In fact if human beings are in fact a neccesary part of this universe then guess what morality is? You guessed it Objective! I of course have no problem saying that your argument might contain meaningful statements in some sort of way in that it conveys how logical deduction works but that's about it. It says nothing anout the nature of reality other than that trees, fish, and chocolate are concepts with exist and which have no strong relation to one another. But remember you have also argued that something cannot be objectively true and meaningless while simultaneously maintaining something can be objectively true and not work LOL! Pardon me but what brain gymnastics did you have to go through for that? I will quote you again to prove this. “If it is meaningless, it can't be true. So it cannot be objectively true.” and “As it turns out, I can demonstrate that something can be objectively true and not work.” I repeat this quote because you stated: “Also, nowhere have I contended that things which are not objective are meaningless. Again, you dispute points that I have not made. If you would accuse me of arguing in bad faith, then it would behoove you to refrain from attacking straw men.” You have been either been caught in a lie or forgot you stated this. Either way next time take a look at yourself before claiming that I am attacking strawmen. I took quite a bit of time to give a clear response because you asked me too. So I would ask that you very carefully reassess your points up to this point before responding back because you asked me to do the same. I hope I have shown that you definitely need to do so at this point. I am not some unthinking religious person who has not thought these things through and I don't appreciate being talked down to as such. I just am very familiar with bad argument and I am unfortunately seeing a great deal of it your comments sadly. I have actually positively contended quite a bit for objective morality on this thread so far. Wanna take a step back in good faith and maybe reconsider some things?
  7. Anyone else notice how Joe has both identified with the concerns of the harm that preaching hell to kids may bring while also arguing that it is no more harmful than watching the texas chainsaw massacre within the same thread? This is just evidence of trying to use whatever tactics seem to help one's position regardless of whether or not the argument is good or is contradictory. This seems quite troublesome Joe.
  8. Joe can you stop attributing deconversion to church hurt please? Many of us didn't want to deconvert and deconverted kicking and screaming. When will you actually take responsibility for your faith? This isn't the result of a big bad mean preacher using big bad words to hurt people. It is THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF HELL ITSELF THAT IS DAMAGING. No amount of explaining away or euphemizing can get around that point. Do you or do you not believe this?
  9. Over the past year I feel like I have addressed something in the deconversion process that I and I feel many other Ex-Christians wouldn't even really have thought of as an issue in this new way of living. I am specifically referring to getting over the negative things that Christians have said about us as Christians and as Atheists. The most obvious thing we tend to focus on are arguments for and against the existence of god. It is the easiest and most obvious choice after all. We spend so much time focusing on the external that I feel we never fully take the time to evaluate the internal and existential struggles that we all face. As Christians we were taught that man is evil and born into sin and that the only hope we have is through a savior. We reject the savior but some times still feel like we need to be saved. We feel evil and unwanted and even dare I say worthless at times. In response to Atheism as Christians we were taught that without god life has no meaning and no purpose. We were told that without god we might as well give ourselves over to riotous living in gluttony, drunkenness, and shallow relationships. Let me be clear. THIS IS NOT WHO I AM. And I want to suggest to you all that it doesn't need to be who you are as well. These ideas are not secular beliefs they are religious beliefs and I will not just accept them without being insanely critical of them. It is THEIR problem that they have a morality so shallow that the moment they would believe that god doesn't exist that they feel justified in giving into darkness and falling to the depths of depravity. Well that's not me. It is they who need to use god as Viagra to get their purpose and meaning going in the morning. It is they who see themselves as inherently a problem and a parasite rather than someone who has the same right as everyone to live in the best way that they can without a heap load of baggage debt and guilt weighing them down before they even got started. We are free. But more than that we are free and NOT crippled. These things we allow to cloud our thinking unconsciously on so many topics is nothing but a mind-forged manacle. Losing religion wasn't losing everything. No, I gained the opportunity to find my own way without religious imposition. So do you still hold any of these things to be true sometimes without even realizing it? Time to truly make yourself free of religion.
  10. That's definitely a challenge and criticism no doubt about it. But I think it is one worth taking on don't you? It's not like we are completely and totally morally inept. I agree with Steven Pinker's assessment that we appear to be becoming more moral.
  11. I guess I understand that man. For real actually. I mean I can see from your point of view why if everything kinda sucked before faith and then faith came and gave you purpose, peace, security, community and even bliss at times. Why would you want to give that up. I think to me that tells me that we in the secular community still have a hard time demonstrating to people of faith that you can have those things in abundance after faith. The trouble is that it can be a harder process, but it works better because we have no illusions that keep us pursuing things that don't really work in life. It might be easier now to be in a community of faith and I get that and don't want to shame you for it. But I do want you to know that if you feel strong enough one day that there is a better way. I live a live full of purpose and meaning here and now and I sleep easy at night with the knowledge that there is no god who sends so many nice and good people that you yourself know, and have experience with, and talk to hell simply for having mistaken beliefs. If you think about it is that really a joy and purpose-filled faith? All I ask is that you keep an open mind. You don't have to believe anything that you don't want to but no intelligent God would want you to stop pursuing knowledge. If he is the truth than pursuing the truth will lead you to him. If he doesn't, well, then I think you know the answer. If you do ever find yourself moving toward that possibility do not despair I am a testimony of hope that there is still purpose
  12. I hope you don't mind me pressing you on this a bit. Are you absolutely sure that many of those things aren't coincidences, bias, or influenced thinking? It might be supernatural but can you actually for sure rule out the natural? I am asking because I myself was afraid to look at those things critically because I felt I was doubting god, or undermining amazing experiences that made me feel good, or if I changed my mind I might go to hell. Can you say that you have given these things a truly thorough assessment or do you turn a blind eye to that possibility? Also because you didn't really mention the problem of other people from different religions having mystical experiences how do you explain those? Accounts of reincarnation and Allah healing and visions of Vishnu for example. Surely your experiences only show you so much and you have to trust the Bible to fill in the gaps solely on faith. Why are you so convinced of your narrow faith tradition and not open to honest true believers of these other faiths?
  13. Ok I want to try to ask 2 questions with respect because I too was a serious Charismatic Christian. 1. Do you ever wonder if you give too much weight to knowing that your beliefs are absolutely true mainly because it gives you a sense of meaning and purpose and makes you feel something mystical? How do you explain people from different faiths who are just as convinced as you because of their mystical experiences? 2. You say that you believe that the Big Bang is farfetched when we have evidence of it but you have no trouble taking a leap of faith to believe in a god that you can't see. Why is that might I ask?
  14. That is simply incorrect. I am surprised how you call yourself a Christian while conveniently leaving unmentioned where Paul repeatedly uses the phrase unknown tongue. 1 Corinthians 14:2 & 14-15. Just like evolution or genocide in the OT this is just another case of Christian's jumping through hoops to explain away what makes them uncomfortable. It's just bias.
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