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Is Religion Getting Easier


HoustonHorn
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I really wasn't expecting an answer so soon. I figured you'd be in church this morning.

 

None of your first four points are specific to the Christian God. Most gods have some sort of creator element. Polytheistic religions may have one specific god that handled the creation, but every god story I can think of off the top of my head is at least partially related to the creation of the world. I'd like to get into those 4 a little deeper but I need to think about 'em a little first.

 

Admittedly I am not up to par on history as some of the others here, but I'm relatively sure that the Christian God was not the first; unless you're using the Bible as your only historical source. I know there are other resurrection stories prior to Jesus. And I would imagine, although I don't have any direct proof right now, that there are other creator gods prior to Yahweh. I will admit that He is one of the first since we developed writing, or at least have writing that still exists. But that would only serve to explain the popularity, not the validity. A written creation story would almost have to be more popular (in the sense of how many people hear / read it) compared to a verbal story. It's much easier to pass around a written story than a verbal story.

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"Because the God of the bible has been and can be proven to be true. All other gods have nothing to substantiate their existence."

 

What??? Where is this proof? If such proof existed, atheists wouldn't. No god's existence has ever been substantiated, including yours. Chaz, what you are really saying is that you believe that the god of your bible exists, and to you no other proof is needed. That's fine...be my guest. I could say I believe in hobgoblins, and I would not have to explain that to you. It's a belief.

 

You are convinced of your god, your bible, and your so-called salvation. More power to you.

 

But...to reply to the OP, sure, you could say religion is easy. It demands your loyalty and money. Give 'em that, you're in.

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Third, a logical argument for a single God’s existence is called the Cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” something is a single, solitary God.

 

Or so it is assumed. But how can we know for sure? How do we know that God didn't evolve? Are we to assume that there was a void and suddenly God appeared out of no where and had instant knowledge and ability?

 

A fourth argument is known as the Moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?

 

I don't think you need God to decide what is good and bad. People are quite capable coming up with there own ideas of what is good or bad. If someone does something that causes you some kind of pain, then that is going to be judged as wrong. If someone steals from you for instance, you don't feel happy about that, so you make a judgement it is wrong. If someone assaults you, you feel pain so that becomes wrong. Don't need God for that. There are cultures all over the world that didn't have the Christian God to give them morals. They worked it out for themselves.

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Since the majority of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God – there must be something (or someone) causing this belief. One can explain it away, as do many fools, that it has something to do with different parts of the brain, but none can escape the fact that eternity is written on the heart of each and every man.

There is, and I believe it is our egos - and you can call me a fool if you like. We want to believe we are better than all the animal around us. It may be that we are more highly evolved (or whatever word you choose) that the family dog. But that's not good enough. We want to be special so we create an entity that created this world specifically for humans. And to make us feel even better we create an afterlife that will only exist for people that are like us.

 

At one point a majority of people believed the world to be flat, the earth to be the center of the universe, thunder to be gods fighting. Just because a delusion is believed by many people doesn't make it any less delusional.

 

First, there is the Ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument basically uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “that than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist then God would not be the greatest conceivable being - but that would contradict God's very definition.

Did you actually just say "use God to prove God's existence"? Since you cannot prove God, you can't prove God. It's pretty circular either way.

 

Second is the Teleological argument. The teleological argument is that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a Divine designer.

But let's look at evolution like a choose your own adventure book. Maybe there are millions of possible outcomes from the first single celled organism coming out of the primordial ooze. We just happen to be variant 1,345,423. Any of the options would be "perfect" looking back. Schnauzers could be the most advanced creaturs in variant 1,234,109 and they would probably have developed some sort of religion due to the "perfect" way the world was created.

 

Third, a logical argument for a single God’s existence is called the Cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” something is a single, solitary God.

Everything must have a cause, but there must be something "un-caused". To contradict yourself in back-to-back sentences is impressive. You can't use the argument that everything has a cause, but remove your God from that argument.

 

A fourth argument is known as the Moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?

Romans had laws. Islamic nations have laws. Law, and by extension morality, is not unique to Christian groups.

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Just because a delusion is believed by many people doesn't make it any less delusional.

Thank you, HoustonHorn, for your extended reply. I am enjoying the dialogue.

 

 

I would like to ask you in sincerity, what evidence do you have that the Christian God and Christianity is a delusion?

 

 

 

Did you actually just say "use God to prove God's existence"? Since you cannot prove God, you can't prove God. It's pretty circular either way.

Yes, in a way I did say, “use God to prove God’s existence.” Please allow me to elaborate.

 

The Ontological argument attempts to prove God’s existence through abstract reasoning alone. The argument begins by reasoning that there can be no greater being than God. If this God fails to exist as the greatest being then there must be a greater being than He. The only problem is that nothing can be greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. In other words, a being that no greater can be conceived, exists.

 

 

 

But let's look at evolution like a choose your own adventure book. Maybe there are millions of possible outcomes from the first single celled organism coming out of the primordial ooze. We just happen to be variant 1,345,423. Any of the options would be "perfect" looking back. Schnauzers could be the most advanced creaturs in variant 1,234,109 and they would probably have developed some sort of religion due to the "perfect" way the world was created.

One cannot argue against the Teleological argument successfully because it is illogical and irrational to claim the universe is without design. How did this design originate when design cannot come from disorder, even over trillions of years? I’m sure you know very well what the second law of thermodynamics states.

 

 

 

Everything must have a cause, but there must be something "un-caused". To contradict yourself in back-to-back sentences is impressive. You can't use the argument that everything has a cause, but remove your God from that argument.

It is not a contradiction to claim there must have been a first-cause. In fact, it is entirely rational; it is scientific fact.

 

I know you’ve heard it before, but I believe it is completely true, that it takes more faith to believe in a universal event caused by a collision of atoms that no one knows of their origin, versus a transcendent being that birthed the universe.

 

The Atheist will make his claim about the birth of the universe and the Christian will make his stand that God created it, whichever way it takes faith to believe in both positions.

 

 

 

Romans had laws. Islamic nations have laws. Law, and by extension morality, is not unique to Christian groups.

Exactly correct. So how did the sense of morality originate if humans are just another animal attempting to survive as the higher species?

 

Please don’t tell me, HoustonHorn, that you also subscribe to the notion that animals are moral beings, too.

 

 

chaz

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I would like to ask you in sincerity, what evidence do you have that the Christian God and Christianity is a delusion?

Say I come to you and tell you my dog is talking to me and telling me that aliens are coming tomorrow to eat my brain. Are you going to ask for evidence or assume it's a delusion. You cannot prove a delusion is a delusion, it is up to the delusional to prove it as fact.

 

Please don’t tell me, HoustonHorn, that you also subscribe to the notion that animals are moral beings, too.

Moral in the sense that they know right from wrong - yup. Maybe not all animals, but some do. The same could be said for humans - some know right from wrong, some don't. I have pets that definately know when they've done something wrong. Otherwise why would they hide after pooping on the floor? And if you want to claim that is a fear response then the same thing can be said of people having morals because of either a fear of Hell or a want to please their god.

 

Exactly correct. So how did the sense of morality originate if humans are just another animal attempting to survive as the higher species?

So God gave the gift of morality to everyone, even those that aren't Christians? Why would He bother? (Please don't pull the 'we cannot know God's will' argument)

 

And again, none of your arguments are for the Christian God. Your only argument that came close was the one that said that the Christian god was the first, which you have yet to prove and I'm fairly confident isn't accurate.

 

Nobody here is ever going to be influenced by your talk.

I sort of am. Hearing things that I could have been saying a couple years ago makes me even more sure that leaving Christianity was the right decision.

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You talk like a crazy person, Chaz, and you give me a headache. What do you think you are accomplishing? I can tell you: nothing.

 

You are an annoyance with your silly superstion and especially with your insistence that your superstition is the true and only superstition.

 

Nobody here is ever going to be influenced by your talk. We all have already rejected the whole shebang, and better speakers than you. Yours is an exercise in folly, and I can only assume that you are a fake having a good joke, or a mentally-challenged person.

 

Why not get a sandwich board and go to South Beach? Too much actual risk in that? You prefer the anonymity of an Ex-Christian Message Board. Do you have a bet going with someone? Do you actually believe that you know more about Xianity than we do? You don't. Do you think you are doing your god's work? You're not.

 

I know many Xians. Some of them are priests. Some of them are brilliant. I respect and love some of them. You're not like any of those people. None of those people has ever acted in any manner even remotely similar to you. In short, you are unqualified to preach at people the way that you do.

 

Why don't you just get a life?

I’m sorry that you detest my presence so much in this forum. I assure you though, that I am not here to preach to you or convince you, but only to learn through dialogue. Is there something wrong with learning what Atheists and the like disbelieve so fervently?

 

I’ll have you notice that I have not preached to anyone as you claim I am doing. I also have refrained from quoting loads of bible verses to prove any points or attempt to convict any of you. As far as I know, with my short amount of posts here, I have only quoted two passages of scripture.

 

I have not claimed, nor am I making the claim that I am attempting to accomplish anything by my visit here to your forum, other than the fact to learn.

 

I know you hate Christians and what they stand for, but please understand I respect your position, this is why I am not attempting to “convert” any of you. I only wish to have an exchange of ideas.

 

 

chaz

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The Ontological argument attempts to prove God’s existence through abstract reasoning alone. The argument begins by reasoning that there can be no greater being than God. If this God fails to exist as the greatest being then there must be a greater being than He. The only problem is that nothing can be greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. In other words, a being that no greater can be conceived, exists.

 

Dude, that doesn't even make sense. At least Anselm's argument did that. Took me a week's analysis to figure out what made it a circular argument. Which wasn't an error from Anselm's point of view. He wrote from the perspective of "faith seeking understanding." You can't avoid circularity if you're going to do it that way.

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Say I come to you and tell you my dog is talking to me and telling me that aliens are coming tomorrow to eat my brain. Are you going to ask for evidence or assume it's a delusion. You cannot prove a delusion is a delusion, it is up to the delusional to prove it as fact.

Actually, with all due respect, you are wrong. You speak as a passivist that seeks no answers but only waits for them. If every person had this attitude there would be no progress in the school of learning. There would be no great men.

 

 

 

I have pets that definately know when they've done something wrong. Otherwise why would they hide after pooping on the floor?

Because you have trained them to obey. This is not an example of a moral conscience. Now, if you made the case that after your dog pooped on the floor he felt guilty and then cleaned it up, I would say you have your case for morality.

 

 

 

So God gave the gift of morality to everyone, even those that aren't Christians? Why would He bother? (Please don't pull the 'we cannot know God's will' argument)

Yes, He has given morality to every human born so that we can live orderly, and ruled lives.

 

 

chaz

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Someone once said to me: "As science gets larger and more complex, religion, naturaly gets smaller and easier." Whats interesting is that he was half right. People oonce believed lightening was caused by god/gods and now we know how its created.

 

Yes, He has given morality to every human born so that we can live orderly, and ruled lives.

If we dont lead orderly lives the then what? It is good that you at least see that everyone has morals, and that its not just the religious people.

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I’m sorry that you detest my presence so much in this forum. I assure you though, that I am not here to preach to you or convince you, but only to learn through dialogue. Is there something wrong with learning what Atheists and the like disbelieve so fervently?

 

THIS, THIS RIGHT HERE. you sit here and say "wah, wah, wah, why can't you understand that I'm here to learn and not to preach" and then say stupid shit like this. When you say your here to "learn what we disbelieve so fervently" You do several things. First you show an insane amount of bias, you say you want to learn from us, but this kind of statement shows you have already assumed much about us. First you assume we are all atheists, (I'm a Taoist) Second you assume all we are about is "disbelieving" things, as if anything could be more retarded.

 

You have this built up presupposition in your head about the world in which the only choice is to be a christian or a nihilist, which is just plain dumb.

 

In the end you will conclude that somehow we are all totally illogical or stupid and leave here smugly, because we fail to properly defend a position that most of us don't even believe. Yes, we all disbelive chistianity, but that doesn't mean we believe in nothing either.

 

If you really want to learn from us the first thing you need to do is drop your presuppositions about us and learn what we "BELIEVE" not what we disbelieve.

 

OR, you can continue to on this path, of totally misunderstanding, we can yell back and forth for another week or so until you get board and leave. Your choice. :shrug:

 

I’ll have you notice that I have not preached to anyone as you claim I am doing. I also have refrained from quoting loads of bible verses to prove any points or attempt to convict any of you. As far as I know, with my short amount of posts here, I have only quoted two passages of scripture.

 

I have not claimed, nor am I making the claim that I am attempting to accomplish anything by my visit here to your forum, other than the fact to learn.

 

I know you hate Christians and what they stand for, but please understand I respect your position, this is why I am not attempting to “convert” any of you. I only wish to have an exchange of ideas.

 

chaz

 

 

OK, listen I, and in general, all of us DO NOT HATE CHRISTIANS. My parents, and one of my sisters are Christians and I don't hate them. I don't hate you either. If anything, I sometimes pity Christians because I remember what a mind fuck the religion pulled on me and I hate see other people suffering needlessly. To hate a group of people just for their belief system would be a form of bigotry IMO so I am not all about that.

 

Now I don't think that Christians have the higher moral ground, if anything I think christian theology actually destroys good moral thought, but I can separate my thoughts about christian theology from the people.

 

Of course I dislike the christian belief system and theology, because its illogical, because it hurts people (Christians included), because I feel it has a negative impact on our society overall.

I also dislike Islam for many of the same reasons. but I don't hate Christians, Or Muslims. To be sure the are Christians I don't like very much, but not BECAUSE they are Christians.

 

Part of the problem here, it seems to me, is that like most Evangelical/Fundy Christians who come here, you are in martyr mode.

This is what is making it hard for you to understand us, because you think that just because we attack your religion because of what we view as negative social effects of it, that we are attacking you. Its a way of vilifying us, by saying we "hate" you then you avoid really listening and therefore learning.

 

The first thing you need to do, if you really want to learn, is get down of your cross and realize you aren't a martyr. None of us stopped believing just to piss you off, you can't possibly respect our position until you learn what it is.

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Actually, with all due respect, you are wrong. You speak as a passivist that seeks no answers but only waits for them. If every person had this attitude there would be no progress in the school of learning. There would be no great men.

I've spent the last day trying to figure out how that can possibly be an answer to the question I asked. What I said has nothing to do with seeking answers. You asked me to prove Christianity was a delusion and I responded that there is no way to prove to the delusional that they are having a delusion. If you "knew" that my shirt is blue, there would be no way to prove to you that it is, in fact, red.

 

Let me reverse your comment. Aside from the Bible and other information based on the Bible (pastor talking, Christian books, etc), what have you done to seek answers? Have you ever researched other religions, or are you willing to sit and be passive and accept the answers that others; starting with Paul, Luke, and Matthew; have given? Are you willing to look at Christianity from the outside with the possibility that it is false? Until you are willing to do that, you will only find answers that prove what you already "know", but are not necessarily the truth.

 

Because you have trained them to obey. This is not an example of a moral conscience. Now, if you made the case that after your dog pooped on the floor he felt guilty and then cleaned it up, I would say you have your case for morality.

The same argument can be made for human morality. Christian children are trained to obey God as they are growing up. Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." HoustonHorn 13:10 "Train up your puppy in the way he should go outside, and when he is older he shall not crap on your floor."

 

You also used the cleaning up the mess that would have made it a case for morality rather than just training. That would mean that Christians would have to clean up their messes to be moral, but Christians believe that Jesus "cleaned up" their sins.

 

First, there is the Ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument basically uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “that than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist then God would not be the greatest conceivable being - but that would contradict God's very definition.

I think I finally figured out where you were trying to go with this. I don't necessarily agree, but I think I understand.

 

It's a similar idea to a big corporation. The employees go from janitor to CEO. At some point there has to be someone with nobody above them - that's God. Sound kind of like what you're trying to describe?

 

But, and I've said this several times through the course of this conversation, it doesn't say anything specific to Yahweh. The same argument can be made for any God, or for nature.

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How did this design originate when design cannot come from disorder, even over trillions of years? I’m sure you know very well what the second law of thermodynamics states.

 

Actually, you're wrong on 2 points. Order can most certainly come from disorder. If throw a handful of quarters in the air enough times, I'll eventually get a combination that is all heads (order) vs a mix a heads and tails (disorder).

 

The second law doesn't speak to this at all. It only states that without and infusion of energy, ordered systems will disapated BACK into disorder.

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