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Wertbag

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Wertbag last won the day on October 2

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About Wertbag

  • Rank
    Skeptic
  • Birthday 02/21/1977

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Auckland, NZ
  • Interests
    MMA, gaming
  • More About Me
    Married father of 2 from New Zealand

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No

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  1. Just checked my joining date: 19 Nov 2005... I've been a member here for 14 years! I don't think there's any other site that I have returned to after all this time. And I can't remember how I came across it in the first place, probably an external link to the testimonials... Educational, amusing and a real diverse mix of folks. Thanks to everyone for making these forums such a fun and interesting place.
  2. Using the complexity of the natural world as proof generally relies on incredulity. You would be saying "I can't imagine how else this can be" or "I can't think of any other way", which is a limitation of our imagination not a limitation on what nature is capable of. You would be taking something that is complex and filling that gap in our knowledge by proposing an even more complex super being as the solution, which is really moving the goal but not providing an answer. It really makes you think of a god of the gaps, where we used to have whole pantheons of gods controlling everything and everyone. Then they get toned back to an invisible, other worldly being, but still in control of nature. Then as our understanding of nature increases, god retreats to ever smaller pockets of complexity. We used to say the gods controlled lightning, tides, seasons, disease, pregnancy and any other natural event. Now days we understand those events to such a degree that we no longer need to insert the supernatural to fill our lack of understanding. Imagine trying to explain germ theory to a peasant of medieval times: "Yes, you are sick because of tiny invisible creatures, which cover everything, fighting with the invisible defence cells in your body...", after he finishes telling the authorities that you are crazy he speaks to a priest who says "Oh, its demons. You can prove it, just pray for a couple of days and god will drive them from your body" and sure enough the fever breaks which proves prayer works... If you reduce god to merely a non-personal, non-interactive, non-caring and non-present being, then you make Him irrelevant to everything and everyone. If He is nothing, does nothing and doesn't care, then His existence would make no difference to anyone and equally anything claimed of Him could be nothing more than pure guesswork. To even say He must exist in another dimension means you can have no knowledge of anything about Him. We can't even tell other dimensions exist, let alone make any claims about how or where. But for arguments sake lets say we accept that He exists outside of the universe, the claim is still being made that He directly influences our physical reality, whether as a nebulous force that started the big bang, or if you want to take it further you can think He created life, directed evolution and influenced history. Where do you draw the line and how do you know that point is correct? Which gaps do we need god to fill and which do you accept as able to be naturally created? Once you know what real world interaction is being claimed then we can examine those ideas. If god continues retreating before natural answers, soon He is reduced to nothing more than a force of nature that lit the fuse on the big bang. If His definition can be swapped out for a force like gravity, then is He even a being at all?
  3. Firstly you need to clearly define god. Some people use a very loose definition that is little more than a force of nature, but if your definition can apply to gravity as much as god then it isn't really a supernatural being we are talking about. The more common idea is a personal god, one who interacts with the physical world, one who wants us to know Him and one who is a powerful, loving, father figure. Once you start attaching such real world characteristics to the being, then we can absolutely look to test those claims. Would suffering exist if god was loving and powerful? Would prayers be answered? Would the followers of one particular religion show divine protection from real world problems? Would a global flood leave tell-tale signs of its passing? Would we be able to communicate with god/angels/demons or other supernatural beings? Would people be lead by unseen powers to the correct answers so that we had one world wide religion with no debate? While we can't see god directly, we should be able to see His actions and changes to the world. We don't.
  4. I see a distinct split between anti-church and non-religious, which I think is where the different levels of unbelief mentioned fit in. It is perfectly reasonable for someone to say the church is wrong, their teachings are wrong, they are too focused on money, they are anti-science, they are full of child molesters or whatever, and not have that real world problem effect their belief in the supernatural. Those kinds of people would still describe themselves as Christian but not belonging to a church, and as this website is ex-christian that position is less likely to be common here. Atheism can occur the opposite way, in that the church you belong to can be great, supportive, friendly with no problems at all, and its the religion and the teaching of the bible which breaks your faith. It is estimated 20-25% of church goers don't have a belief in god. They go for community, they go because they are forced to, they go for tradition or other reasons not related to belief. These people are atheists but would often declare themselves Christian due to church attendance. It really is a wide ranging scale.
  5. It is the hope kept to dull the pain of loss. You don't consider the meaning and suffering the hell doctrine would involve but purely focus on wishing to see a loved one again. You are pre-judging them as good enough to be in heaven. Reminds me of the Pearl Jam song (I always thought it was an original but turns out to be a cover from the 60s): Oh, where oh where can my baby be?The Lord took her away from meShe's gone to heaven, so I got to be goodSo I can see my baby when I leave this world.
  6. My first thought was what about the poor loner looking at this scene? Welcome to heaven, where being left out is rubbed in your face.
  7. So Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and was punished for it and yet prior to taking that action had no understanding of right and wrong. How is it just to punish those ignorant of what wrong is? She then decides to wear clothes, so either wearing clothes is good or being naked is evil. Either way god put her in a negative position that He didn't have a problem with due to her ignorance of its meaning. God can't reveal Himself because then we wouldn't believe based on faith alone, and for some nebulous reason faith is extra special. This raises the question, that if knowing god makes you less, then were Noah, Adam, the prophets and the dozens of others that met god worse off because of it? Does it really remove free will when Lucifer rebelled knowing full well who he rebelled against? Christians will often use free will as the counter to the problem of evil, which is why the expanded version, the problem of suffering is better. Why give babies cancer? Why invent deadly parasites, tectonic plates, crippling diseases and a sun that will give us skin cancer? There is no choice being made, no application of free will, just suffering for which an all-powerful, all-loving being would be able to remove.
  8. It is a good point that the majority of Christians have a live and let live mentality. Most aren't preaching, most aren't going on missions, hell most aren't reading the bible or even thinking about god. Like everyone else they are focused on getting the kids to school, the work day ahead and friends, family and social events. The real world takes presidence in most peoples lives. Many are Christian-lite, in that they claim a belief but never attend church or have even read the bible. Adoption into families like that will be a great loving environment and they should do well.
  9. Did either of you play throne breaker? Looked quite a different style but seemed highly reviewed.
  10. See the new trailer is out? A lot more swordplay, epic battles and magic mixed in. We also have a release date 20 December.
  11. Science is an always expanding knowledge base, with each generation adding to the discoveries of the past. We can look to the Greeks, Romans, Chinese and Persians, all pre-dating Christianity, and see the scientific break throughs and improving education. But really it doesn't start there, as we can look back on hunter gatherer tribes and see their knowledge of medicine, construction, hunting, domestication of animals etc all growing. Modern science adds categories, best practices and peer review, but the base increase to knowledge is a purely human pursuit that shows no divide for race or religion.
  12. Now days certainly, but in the case of the Jesuits they were Vatican funded to do research. It wasn't just that the individuals believed but the whole organisation put funding and resources towards those goals. Individuals struggle to be professional scientists cos ya still gotta eat and categorising life forms doesn't pay. Don't forget Christians can't agree on any subject, to the point of killing each other minor differences. The Catholic Church had the inquisition, crusades and witch burning but other Christians thought they were horrific. The schism and the protestant breakaway both show massive discontent with the church becoming a political monster rather than an institution for worship. Power corrupts and the Catholic Church is a prime example of that.
  13. While there was some suppression, there was also a lot of break throughs in science. The Jesuit order (a Catholic branch) was famous for inventing the calendar we use today as well as many other things: https://aleteia.org/2017/08/01/12-jesuit-inventions-and-discoveries-that-might-surprise-you/ Many of the top universities were founded as religious institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge: https://catholic.leadpages.co/10-/ Christian values is just pure junk. Things like women teaching, and the treatment of gays is completely different in Western society to what the church preached.
  14. Reminds me of a Because Science episode: 15min video all about the consequences of living forever. I don't think boredom is a real worry, there are always new movies, books, games, entertainment systems and the like to keep you busy, but we will have a theoretical maximum memory, so at some point we won't be able to take in more information or will lose it as fast as we gain it. Probably drive you nuts.
  15. "Priest Gambles Away $1 Million Meant for Refugee Families in Canada, Gets 2 Years in Minimum Security Prison" http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/priest-gambles-away-dollar1-million-meant-for-refugee-families-in-canada-gets-2-years-in-minimum-security-prison/ar-AAJe8An?ocid=ientp "A former Swiss priest went to rehab in 2018 after losing more than $1 million to gambling debts, including money loaned to him by 50 parishioners. William Dombrow, a Catholic clergyman in Philadelphia, was found guilty of stealing more than $535,000 from an unauthorized Philadelphia Archdiocese account in April of 2018, CBS Philly reported."
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