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Discussion With Amy Marie


Celsus
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I am going to give this one more chance. Amy Marie, I propose you and I have a discussion, not a debate. That being said, I have read various posts that you have made on Christian Forums, Mother of God Forums, and other places, as well as looked at your art websites. Amy Marie, I hope you will accept this offer to have a discussion. I will ask that no one else post in this thread but Amy and I. Anyone else posting will be deleted.

 

Amy Marie, to begin, let me ask a simple question.

  • What is your purpose for coming to Ex-Christian.NET?

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Amy Marie,

 

Thanks for you response.

 

Amy, do you recognize that most Ex-Christians are no longer believers for reasons that have nothing to do with being hurt by Christians?

 

As a followup, have you read the various testimonials in Testimonies of Former Christians?

 

Finally Amy, have you read my testimonial at Bruce's Testimonial?

 

 

Bruce

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Amy,

 

I would take a SWAG (Scientific Wild Assed Guess) that the overwhelming majority of regular members here are ExChristians due to cognitive reasons, not emotional ones.

 

While there are some that reject Christianity due to emotional reasons, these are usually younger people or people who are overly emotional by nature, in my experience.

 

Amy, I will let you read my testimonial and then ask me a few questions. In this way, perhaps we can converse and learn from each other.

 

Bruce

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Amy, this might come as a bit of a shocker to you. Most religious professors/theologians KNOW the stuff in the Bible is not to be taken literally. Where the line is drawn between literalism and allegory depends upon the individual, with some flavor from denominational doctrine.

 

I remember two broad types of reactions. The first was outrage that I would question these things; this from the literalists. The second and more common was that I should understand the stories of the Bible were allegorical and not to be taken seriously, but to convey spiritual truths.

 

The issue for me was that the apolgetics were non-sensical. The only way to truly answer the problems was to make things up, throw in spurious "references" (pious fraud) or to simply approach it as most orthodox theologians have done throughout the centuries. That is they willfully decieved their flocks that the "Christian Story" is true, when in fact as far back as organized apologetics go, the learned theologians have known it was all metaphorical.

 

I was taught to be a Christian by my great-grandfather who had a simple faith and limited education. When I tried to follow in his footsteps, I found that his simple faith, was simply not substantiated.

 

Bruce

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Amy Marie,

 

Can you explain why faith in Jesus seems reasonable to you? I know I can explain why faith in Jesus seems unreasonable to me and won't mind elaborating.

 

Bruce

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Amy,

 

I am going to explain why I think belief in Jesus/Christianity is unreasonable. I would still like you to answer my previous question on why you think it is reasonable.

 

I will do this in bullet point to have some sort of easy organization:

  • Belief in Jesus is predicated upon the belief in something which is absurd. Namely, the fall story of Genesis with a talking snake, a Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, etc. being taken literally.
     
  • The proposition that the Abrahamic god exists is fraught with multiple logical problems, which are irreconcilable and hence this god cannot in fact exist outside of the imagination.
     
  • While it is possible a human who Jesus is based upon might have existed, there are no contemporaneous extra-biblical accounts to corroborate it. This is an issue for two reasons. (1) The New Testament claims he was wildly famous and thousands followed him and (2) Historians actually wrote about major and minor political and religious sects and personalities in the era he supposedly lived. As an aside, from reading your posts on Christian Forums, it appears that you realize the name "Jesus Christ" is a title and not a proper name.
     
  • The gospel stories have the appearance shared by other "legends". This is not only in details, such as resurrected demi-gods, but also in form. The earliest gospel Mark is the slimmest and has the least amount of "miracles" and stories. The following synoptic gospels Matthew and Luke both incorporate almost all of Mark but add on more and more "miracle stories". Finishing with John, Jesus is not only doing wholesale miracles, he is now an inhuman (re: Demigod) status. All of this are marks of legend making in the process.
     
  • Finally for this exchange, I will close with this Amy: The Jesus story/stories are not reasonable to anything anyone has actually experienced. Dead people do not come back to life, after terminal brain death, not Jesus, not the hundreds the gospels claim that came back to life and were walking in Jerusalem. Things that the gospels say Jesus believed are now disproved by science, such as demons do not cause epilepsy, it is a neurological disorder treated with medications.

I look forward to why you think beief in Jesus is reasonable.

 

Bruce

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Amy Marie,

 

Your argument about the "willingness to die for the faith proved the object of the faith true" is fallacious. Scores of people willing accepted martyrdom in recent history for their beliefs. All this proves is that they believed what they did sincerely, it does not mean what they believed was factual. Examples are the martyrs of Mormonism, Islam, Branch Davidians, etc.

 

In regards to Paul, we only have the writings in the New Testament, which is made up of fully half of his writings, that he indeed was an enemy then became an evangelist. Based upon other things Paul wrote, he specifically says that he would stretch the truth (lie) and why should he be held accountable if in his words, "by my lie, Jesus is glorified". There is a modern comparison here with modern evangelicals who claim to have been fervent atheists, in order to try and make their conversion seem more valid, when in fact they misrepresent what atheists believe or outright lie about it.

 

Amy, if you actually study the history of religion, you will find that none of the things Jesus taught or spoke were new. Almost all of his sermons and teaching can be found in proto-rabbinical writings from 1 - 2 centuries BCE.

 

Amy, have you ever been able to verify any miracle occurring? This in itself brings up an interesting point. Supposedly Jesus and his followers can raise people from the dead, cure cancers, be bitten by venomous snakes, drink poisons, etc. and live, but Jesus obviously has never cured an amputee. Is there a rational reason why Jesus and/or his believers cannot accomplish these things, if he is in fact a real deity?

 

Finally Amy, can you tell me if you believe a serpeant actually spoke human language and tricked a woman into sinning? Does it sound reasonable that a creature without ears or a vocal chord can speak? Let me interject this, do not say "serpeant meant the devil", because it specifically says the serpeant is cursed to crawl on its belly afterward and eat dust.

 

 

 

Bruce

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Amy,

 

First let me ask you to stop quoting posts wholesale, there is really no need as you and I are the only people in this discussion and it bogs down the server.

 

Amy, as to your question about Peter and Paul’s testimonies, etc.: Paul never states he saw the physically resurrected Jesus, quite the opposite in fact. Regarding Paul's epiphany, there are three retellings of it, in Acts and the epistles. None of these are the same, for instance in one the companions see but do not hear Jesus. In another they hear but do not see Jesus. How can a story with mutually incompatible versions be considered to be real? Which one is real? I think you can see my point.

 

Secondly, people have all kinds of reasons for doing things, not all of them are straight forward. Here is something important for you to consider Amy. All the stories about Paul and Peter and all the apostles are like the stories about Jesus, confined to exclusively the New Testament. There is NO historical corroboration that these people ever existed, although I think Paul is likely, not so much Peter. You are going to ask why I say this, and I will pre-emotively tell you. Remember the point I made about the whole gospel story having earmarks of legend making? The whole range of characters in the New Testament are that way, they are "named characters" not real people. For instance, Ioseus Christo literally means "Son of God Anointed", Peter means "The Rock", Judas Iscariot literally means "Jewish Assassin", etc.

 

Amy, you ask why I don't believe the claims of people like Lee Strobel or Josh McDowell being honest about their atheism. Those are easy, because nothing in their life is evidential to their claims. For instance Lee Strobel uses the same logically fallacious arguments that any atheist can defeat and if he was an atheist, his apologetic argumentation does not bear it out. Josh McDowell is much easier. He claims he was an atheist at the same time records show he was a member of a campus Christian organization and attending a church regularly. While it is conceivable that an atheist might find some humor is doing so, I really doubt any atheist would actually spend his time singing with the opposition's choir, so to speak. I did not say no atheist has ever converted to Christianity, what I did say is that the well known apologists' stories do not check out.

 

 

Let me now address your response about miracles. You state you see miracles all around you like the eye or a fly. This is an argument from ignorance and incredulity. I frame it this way.

 

1. There are some things that are hard to explain.

2. Imagine that!

3. Therefore ----insert name of invisible, magical being here---- exists!

 

Amy, this argument for God was used in reference to thunder and lightning 300 years ago. Let me ask you, as a woman living in the 21st century, do you believe thunder and lightning is caused by God? If so can you explain how we can recreate them in laboratories and why they seem to now have completely natural causes? Basically, you are telling me there are just some things where there is not an adequate explanation for , a GAP so to speak in our knowledge, thus the only thing to fill this GAP is "God". Especially in the last 300 years, it seems that a whole huge swath of these gaps have been found to have perfectly natural and scientific explanations. Based upon the track record of valid, empirical proofs of science, why is it reasonable to conclude that the ever decreasing gaps are where your god is found?

 

Amy you asked me to point out where Paul admitted that he would lie to further his belief system. Here they are:

 

If through MY LIE God's truth abounds to His glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?

 

In every way, whether in PRETENCE or in truth, Jesus is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice

 

Amy, what the man referred to as Jesus may or may not have said is really not the point here. You see, I am an atheist, I lack belief that the Abrahamic god exists. Even if I granted that someone that is called Jesus Christ existed, he would be no different than any other person claiming to be a prophet or other such things, like David Koresh, Joseph Smith, etc.

 

You ask “However do you believe that there are some mysterious that cannot be explained? Do think that just because there are no scientific explanations that such mysterious cannot occur? If we cannot wrap our brain around the miracles of Jesus, for example, does that mean there is no way possible they couldn't happen?”

 

Amy, I do believe there are some mysterious things that cannot be explain as of now, I never said otherwise. However, because there are mysteries, such as how the universe came into being does not mean that an invisible, magical being was involved. That is an unwarranted and irrational "gap filling" belief. Refer back to the argument from ignorance and incredulity and "god of the gaps".

 

Check out the "Commentary Thread" to see one example of another "religious prophet" making the same kinds of claims as Jesus. There is no need for me to repeat it here. But I will say, you said based upon your understanding, you know of none. I would agree, your understanding is very incomplete, regarding other belief systems.

 

Finally Amy, here is my take on the miraculous. Nothing in our collective human experience, empirically validates this belief that miracles/magic exists. In fact, if miracles/magic are real then science is worthless. We could not make predictions that allow us to do things like build computers, treat diseases, build airplanes, etc. because at any given point an invisible, magical being could interfere and the processes that we understand and apply would be meaningless. You can have a universe in which natural processes account for occurrences and we can understand and apply that knowledge or you can have a universe of miracles/magic and nothing we did in terms of science could be or would be valid. The very fact that you can use a computer that is built based upon natural scientific principles and millions of others also do, is testimony to the validity of the natural explanations of the universe. In short science works, religion makes excuses.

 

I thank you for stating that the “talking snake theory of reality” is not reasonable. This is the point Amy. It is not reasonable and upon this absurd and unreasonable myth, all of Christianity is based. No talking snake, no need for Jesus. I do not believe in Jesus or his daddy Yahweh for the same reasons I do not believe in leprechauns. I do not believe in Jesus for the EXACT same reasons that you do not believe in Zeus, Apollo and Amen Ra. All are unreasonable in light of reality.

 

 

Bruce

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Amy,

 

I did not say Paul lied about his conversion. All I said was he was willing to lie if it furthered the belief in Jesus. How you take what I clearly said and spun it into something else, is beyond me. I am not here to debate Biblical/Doctrinal interpretation with you. Let me clear, I do not believe Paul saw a visionary Jesus any more than Oral Roberts saw a 400 foot Jesus.

 

I noticed you have completely tried to sidestep the core issue of our discussion. Is it reasonable to believe the Biblical story? You even admitted that parts of the Bible are unreasonable, reference: "talking snake theory of reality".

 

Amy, concerning Paul's Epiphany; It does matter because your entire belief in the reality of this event is contained in the three mutually exclusive accounts of it in the Bible. Amy, which version of the epiphany version is the real one? How can you know? Perhaps it is all legend making? The point is this Amy, why should I or any person who does not have belief in this, put any credence into stories which are internally contradictory?

 

Amy, your claim that Judas Iscariot means Judah ish Keriosh is not supported by academic or even classical Christian sources. I will post one link to Britannica that discusses this, http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9044081. The tangential argument that you raise and proclaim as a fact is "it means Judah ish Kerioth". That is a much later, in fact 20th century proposal by Christian who try and act like they are Jewish, the Messianics. The fact of archaeology is that the town site of Kerioth is only mentioned once in the Tanakh as one of the town to be conquered by Joshua. This town ceased to exist, long before the New Testament times. Thus, the later imputation by Messianics, is simply a ruse to take the accepted etymology of the name "assassin" away, which was what people who actually read the original language of the New Testament, Koine Greek said it meant at the time, all that way back to at least Jerome.

 

Now Amy, let's take about the also modern, Messianic Christian claim that Jesus' real name was Yeshua. If this was true, then you have a major problem. Christians love to toss out these pseudo claims of extra biblical documents that impute Jesus was real. In none of these documents is he ever referred to as Yeshua/Yoshua, Joshua. As Hebrew has no J, Yeshua would have been the Greek/Latin and eventually the English translation of Joshua. So since these extra biblical documents I have seen you put forth in other threads to validate the reality of Yeshua, they never call him Yeshua or any variation thereof. So which is it Amy. Was his name Yeshua or are the claimed proofs wrong from the first and second centuries where they refer to him as Iosues speaking of someone different?

 

Amy, I have heard this claim of the incredible design of things, pointing to a creator. Does this also include things like Ebola, smallpox, tse-tse flies, etc. that cause millions of deaths and injuries? But let's not get to far off track here. I pointed out this is simply an argument from ignorance and incredulity. To give an example, here is your argument in a simplified form:

 

Glasses fit perfect upon noses so that people with eye problems can see. Thus obviously, noses were intelligently designed to hold up glasses.

 

The problem is that this example, like your poetic version works backwards. Our brains evolved to distinguish patterns, thus like the nose and glasses, we tend to see patterns and infer from them things which are not substantiated. IE: Noses were designed for glasses or X was designed because I can't believe otherwise.

 

Amy, you say belief seems reasonable to you. I accept that. What I pointed out however is your belief is exactly the same as other such beliefs. Why don't you believe in Amen Ra? Why don't you believe in the creation story and religious beliefs of the Cherokee?

 

Your belief is no less reasonable or unreasonable than any other supernatural/superstitious belief system. What I would like to know Amy, is why you think your belief is more reasonable and these others are not reasonable? Objective, empirical and logical basis of this would be nice to have you explain.

 

Here is the crux of the issue Amy. The person or persons claiming a thing have a burden to provide proof as to the claim. If you are going to tell me that an invisible, magical being referred to as God exists, and this being was incarnated in a man, who died and came back to life to pay a penalty to himself because of original sin instigated by a talking snake in a mythical garden and that if I just believe, I will not have to pay for the penalty instigated by the talking snake myself; then you better have substantial, objective proof to convince me.

 

If I told you that in my shed lived an invisible, ineffable being name Rufus, who I know loves me, would you believe me? What would it take for you to believe this claim of mine? When you think about what it would take for you to believe my claim, you will see what it would take for me to believe yours.

 

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.", -Stephen F Roberts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce

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Amy,

 

I will reply in points, just to keep some organization, as the various tangents are getting out there.

  • Regarding Paul: All we (modern people) know about Paul is what is contained in the New Testament, recently rediscovered apocryphal proto-Christian writings and various extra-biblical Christian traditions. The larger point I was making, by the analogy with many modern apologists, is that the Pauline story (enemy becomes champion) was more than likely an exaggeration. The recently discovered apocryphal documents (Dead Sea Scrolls/Nag Hammadi Texts) suggest a different perspective from other pre-orthodox groups, that Paul was not what he claimed, ie: an accepted apostle. A person reading sections of the Pauline Epistles can even detect this conflict, although a great deal of work was done to try and hide it.
     
  • On the name written about Jesus on the cross: Amy, how would I know what was written, if it even happened at all? The problem is that there is NOT A SINGLE, non-Christian corroboration of this event at all. Not a single contemporaneous Jewish, Roman, Hellenic, Egyptian, Arab or other documentation of this event exists anywhere. Likewise, there is nothing detailing any of the other "miraculous" things that supposedly happened in relation to the crucifixion, such as hundreds of dead people being resurrected and walking around Jerusalem.
     
  • You asked, “His name wasn't written in Aramaic but Hebrew. I didn't understand your point about Jesus' name not being Yeshua. What then was His name?” Amy, I lack belief that he ever existed. To me, after much study and analysis, it is obvious the character Jesus existed as much as Mithra, Horus, Osiris, Krishna and Santa, only as an imaginary character. While there may have been a man or men that “Ioseus Christo” was modeled after, the character himself is/was a syncretic generation.
     
  • Amy you said, “As always I stress if Christ is not risen then all the claims of Jesus mean nothing and I too will become an atheist. So far no one has offered me proof that He has not risen so I continue to believe.” Has anyone shown you that Mithra, Horus or Osiris did not rise from the dead and do you therefore also believe those claims as well? If not, why not and what makes them any different from your belief in Jesus’ resurrection, besides “just because”?
     
  • Perhaps you misunderstand my position. I can care less if you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, a snake talked to Eve or that Santa brings toys for good boys and girls. You are free to believe what you want. But if you want me to believe and you come to a forum to proclaim you have the truth, you better have proof to back it up.
     
  • The above point flows into this one. I pointed out earlier that the burden of proof devolves onto the person making a claim to substantiate it. It is axiomatic that people past clinical brain death do not come back to life, it has never been demonstrated to anyone, let alone in a controlled environment. Thus if you seek to convince me that someone (Jesus) did, you best have serious, empirical proof to substantiate that claim. Your statement of “So far no one has offered me proof that He has not risen so I continue to believe” is fallacious for a number of reasons. There are other religious claims that I doubt you believe, and don’t have any proof to say they did not. For instance Amy, do you: ( a ) Believe the Angel Gabriel dictated the Qu’ran to Mohammed, since no proof exists that it did not happen? ( b ) Do you believe the Angel Moroni dictated the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith, since no proof exists that it did not happen? What you are claiming is called special pleading, wherein you want your particular irrational belief to be given a different standard than other irrational beliefs that you do not agree with.
     
  • Amy, you say you cannot believe lots of Christian things were tampered with in the first few centuries, and that perplexes me, because we even have found where they were tampered with. You believe what you do for reasons that are emotional in nature. Modern biology, neurology and psychology amply demonstrate that people come to beliefs due to emotional reasons. Once these beliefs are in place and an emotional need is met, the mind engages in cognitive dissonance to support these beliefs.
     
  • Finally Amy, I have read your posts on Christian forums and it is plain that your belief is emotional in nature. My personal philosophy in life is to live and let live. If your beliefs meet your needs, then I am happy for you. However, when you come to my house (including this clearly stated Ex-Christian Forum) and try and tell me and others that your beliefs are factual, you are going to be challenged. I particularly dislike the “Old Country Lawyer” technique you used. You are obviously a talented and reasonably intelligent woman, and resorting to the “awe shucks, you are smarter than me” route is a copout. If you want to play in this kitchen, you best be able to take the heat. We are not never been Christians, we are ExChristians and not only were we all believers; some of us know Christianity and Biblical exegesis and theology to a very deep level. In my case, I rejected Christianity from what I found in studying it from the inside and because of logic.

Bruce

 

Addendum: Amy, you still have failed to provide why you think the Christian belief system is reasonable. I would really like for you to explain to me why you think it is reasonable to believe that all humanity is condemned for original sin instigated by a talking snake; that god fathered a child with a human woman and this child was also the same entity as his father; that this god/man died to pay himself for the original sin of mankind which was instigated by a talking snake; that he rose from the dead and lives in heaven (wherever that is); and that if I just believe all this, I will go to heaven with him and not have to pay for the sin instigated by the talking snake. I really want to understand why you think this is a reasonable thing for a person living in the 21st century to take seriously.

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Amy,

 

I would like to point out to you that your latest argument conflates two different things.

 

The belief in the existence of a deity (god) is not the same as belief in the Christian story. Hence there are Deists, Muslims, Jews, Native American beliefs, etc. that all believe in the existence of god(s), yet find the Christian belief system unreasonable.

 

Amy, I am not asking you to take the Christian stories of supernatural events and explain them in a natural way. I am asking why I or anyone should reasonably extend belief that they ever happened, especially since there is ( a ) No external corroboration as to the validity of the stories, ( b ) They defy axioms of basic logic and ( c ) Nothing in collective human experience suggests things like this actually happen. These miracles always happen "some other time or far, far away". Why Amy, why can't modern Christians provide examples of these type of miracles, especially when the New Testament claims that "You shall do greater things than these"?

 

Amy, you stated, "I look at creation and I know God exists.". Do you understand this is begging the question? You presuppose that which you seek to demonstrate. This is a common religious argument which begs the question in a subtle way. The conclusion, God exists, is based upon the premise that we can see intelligent design in the universe. But the existence of intelligent design itself assumes the existence of a designer — that is to say, a god. A person making such an argument must defend this premise before the argument can have any force.

 

 

Here is another example of this fallacy:

 

It says in the Bible that God exists. Since the Bible is God’s word, and God never speaks falsely, then everything in the Bible must be true. So, God must exist.

 

Amy, you ask how any reasonable person cannot believe an invisible, magical being created the universe or is the cause of X. I addressed this in a previous post, which you ignored. I will restate it here and eleborate a bit. To call the universe a creation is an unsupported idea, because it presupposes a creator, which the word creation is used to try and prove, ie: begging the question. This is an argument from ignorance and incredulity, and 300 years ago it was used to explain simple things. Thunder for instance or the appearance of comets, which were obviously signals from God, telling Christiandom to repent. Do you still believe that Amy, or have you discarded this "begging the question" explanation of comets and accepted the perfectly natural and scientifically validated explanations for comets?

 

Bruce

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Amy,

 

I did not know this was an attempted conversion/de-convsersion thread. I have not at any time tried to de-convert you. In fact, you have come to "my abode" with the express intent of, and I quote you, "I am hoping to convince if only a few that Jesus loves them."

 

Amy, I am happy your friend's son recovered, that is great. However, your belief that a miracle took place is simply wishful thinking, without proof. Can you explain why other believers die and their prayers are not answered with a miracle? Does God have some quota limit or lottery for which prayers he answers and which he doesn’t?

 

I am rather surprised at your emotional outburst Amy. I have been polite, respectful and simply asked you to explain why you think it is reasonable to believe the Christian mythos is factual. As you have avoided answering this in a straight forward way, I can only assume your rationale based upon your scattered posts.

 

Amy, do you think the majority of people and societies actually believe what you call the conservative view, re: Christianity is real? You are engaging what is called cultural bias. You live in a predominantly Christian environment, the USA, where fully 80% of the population is Christian. Fully 67% of all people on the planet now do not agree with the Christian beliefs. Some are Muslim, Jewish through to people like me who are Atheists.

 

Amy, I approached this as a discussion, I have attempted to answer your questions directly; you on the other hand have avoided answering mine and instead “preached”. May I ask why you avoid answering my questions?

 

I will repost my questions that you have avoided one last time in an organized manner and I hope you would be polite enough to actually address them in your next post.

  1. Where is the line drawn between what is accepted as literally true and which is symbolic and how do you make that determination?
     
  2. Can you explain why faith in Jesus seems reasonable to you?
     
  3. What I would like to know Amy, is why you think your belief (Orthodox Christianity) is more reasonable and these others, such as Gnosticism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. are not reasonable?
     
  4. I would really like for you to explain to me why you think it is reasonable to believe that all humanity is condemned for original sin instigated by a talking snake; that god fathered a child with a human woman and this child was also the same entity as his father; that this god/man died to pay himself for the original sin of mankind which was instigated by a talking snake; that he rose from the dead and lives in heaven (wherever that is); and that if I just believe all this, I will go to heaven with him and not have to pay for the sin instigated by the talking snake. I really want to understand why you think this is a reasonable thing for a person living in the 21st century to take seriously.

Please notice Amy, I have not asked you to prove anything here. I have simply asked you to explain why you think it is reasonable to believe it. And Amy, as a former Christian and a person who even today knows the Bible backwards and forwards, I am going to call you on your “old country lawyer” routine. The Bible says, that a believer will be guided what to say by the Holy Spirit when questioned. So Amy, if God is real, answering basic questions of logic and science should pose no problem, unless of course God is just a fictional deity. I wonder…

 

 

Bruce

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Amy,

 

Thanks for your reply and participation. I think this conversation has come to its logical end. As I said, I was interestd in a conversation to get you to clearly state why you believe as you do. I am not going to start shredding your reasons, but only because this is not a debate.

 

In my opinion our differences on belief come down to two basic foundational issues.

  • You believe in a universe of magic, populated and animated by invisible, magical beings.
  • I lack belief in magic and invisible, magical beings, because there is no poof they exist and seek empirical validation for all claims.

To me, I see a beautiful sunset and see........a beautiful sunset. You look at a beautiful sunset and see the handiwork of an invisible, magical being. While you might be right, and I am not proclaiming you are or are not, there is no evidence to validate your belief. I do not "believe no gods exist", I lack belief they do, based on the lack of substantiation to their reality and inherent problems of logic that belief poses.

 

Bruce

 

"We may define "faith" as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith." We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence."

-Bertrand Russell

 

Amy, I will give you the opportunity to do a closing statement. Then I will lock this thread. If you do not want to make a closing statement, PM me and let know to lock the thread.

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