U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  jbb  •  2 weeks ago  •  177 comments

By:   Jeffrey M. Jones (Gallup. com)

U.S. Church Membership Falls Below Majority for First Time
For the first time in Gallup's polling history, less than half of U.S. adults report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Story Highlights

  • In 2020, 47% of U.S. adults belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque
  • Down more than 20 points from turn of the century
  • Change primarily due to rise in Americans with no religious preference

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans' membership in houses of worship continued to decline last year, dropping below 50% for the first time in Gallup's eight-decade trend. In 2020, 47% of Americans said they belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque, down from 50% in 2018 and 70% in 1999.

Line graph. U.S. church membership was 73% in 1937 when Gallup first measured it. It stayed near 70% through 2000 before beginning to decline, to 61% in 2010 and 47% in 2020.

U.S. church membership was 73% when Gallup first measured it in 1937 and remained near 70% for the next six decades, before beginning a steady decline around the turn of the 21st century.

As many Americans celebrate Easter and Passover this week, Gallup updates a 2019 analysis that examined the decline in church membership over the past 20 years.

Gallup asks Americans a battery of questions on their religious attitudes and practices twice each year. The following analysis of declines in church membership relies on three-year aggregates from 1998-2000 (when church membership averaged 69%), 2008-2010 (62%), and 2018-2020 (49%). The aggregates allow for reliable estimates by subgroup, with each three-year period consisting of data from more than 6,000 U.S. adults.

Decline in Membership Tied to Increase in Lack of Religious Affiliation


The decline in church membership is primarily a function of the increasing number of Americans who express no religious preference. Over the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who do not identify with any religion has grown from 8% in 1998-2000 to 13% in 2008-2010 and 21% over the past three years.

As would be expected, Americans without a religious preference are highly unlikely to belong to a church, synagogue or mosque, although a small proportion -- 4% in the 2018-2020 data -- say they do. That figure is down from 10% between 1998 and 2000.

Given the nearly perfect alignment between not having a religious preference and not belonging to a church, the 13-percentage-point increase in no religious affiliation since 1998-2000 appears to account for more than half of the 20-point decline in church membership over the same time.

Most of the rest of the drop can be attributed to a decline in formal church membership among Americans who do have a religious preference. Between 1998 and 2000, an average of 73% of religious Americans belonged to a church, synagogue or mosque. Over the past three years, the average has fallen to 60%.

Line graph. Changes in church membership among Americans who express a religious preference or affiliation. Between 1998 and 2000, 73% of religious Americans were members of a church, synagogue or mosque. That dipped to 70% between 2008 and 2010, and it fell to 60% between 2018 and 2020.

Generational Differences Linked to Change in Church Membership


Church membership is strongly correlated with age, as 66% of traditionalists -- U.S. adults born before 1946 -- belong to a church, compared with 58% of baby boomers, 50% of those in Generation X and 36% of millennials. The limited data Gallup has on church membership among the portion of Generation Z that has reached adulthood are so far showing church membership rates similar to those for millennials.

The decline in church membership, then, appears largely tied to population change, with those in older generations who were likely to be church members being replaced in the U.S. adult population with people in younger generations who are less likely to belong. The change has become increasingly apparent in recent decades because millennials and Gen Z are further apart from traditionalists in their church membership rates (about 30 points lower) than baby boomers and Generation X are (eight and 16 points, respectively). Also, each year the younger generations are making up an increasingly larger part of the entire U.S. adult population.

Still, population replacement doesn't fully explain the decline in church membership, as adults in the older generations have shown roughly double-digit decreases from two decades ago. Church membership is down even more, 15 points, in the past decade among millennials.

Changes in Church Membership by Generation, Over Time

1998-2000 2008-2010 2018-2020 Change since 1998-2000
% % % pct. pts.
Traditionalists (born before 1946) 77 73 66 -11
Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) 67 63 58 -9
Generation X (born 1965-1980) 62 57 50 -12
Millennials (born 1981-1996) n/a 51 36 n/a
Note: Given that Gallup's polls are based on the 18+ U.S. adult population, the 1980-2000 period would have included only a small proportion of the millennial generation, and the 2018-2020 period includes only a small proportion of Generation Z (born after 1996).
Gallup

The two major trends driving the drop in church membership -- more adults with no religious preference and falling rates of church membership among people who do have a religion -- are apparent in each of the generations over time.

Since the turn of the century, there has been a near doubling in the percentage of traditionalists (from 4% to 7%), baby boomers (from 7% to 13%) and Gen Xers (11% to 20%) with no religious affiliation.

Line graph. Changes in the percentage with no religious identification, by generation. Each generation of U.S adults has seen an increase in the proportion of the generation with no religious preference.

Currently, 31% of millennials have no religious affiliation, which is up from 22% a decade ago. Similarly, 33% of the portion of Generation Z that has reached adulthood have no religious preference.

Also, each generation has seen a decline in church membership among those who do affiliate with a specific religion. These declines have ranged between six and eight points over the past two decades for traditionalists, baby boomers and Generation X who identify with a religious faith. In just the past 10 years, the share of religious millennials who are church members has declined from 63% to 50%.

Line graph. Changes in church membership among those with a religious affiliation, by generation. There has been a seven-point decline in church membership, from 79% in 1998-2000 to 72% now, among traditionalists with a religious preference. There has been a six-point decline over the same period, from 71% to 65%, in church membership among baby boomers with a religious preference. There has been an eight-point decline in church membership among those in Generation X with a religious preference, from 68% to 60%. And there has been a 13-point decline since 2008-2010 among millennials with a religious preference, from 63% to 50%.

Church Membership Decline Seen in All Major Subgroups

As would be expected given the 20-point decline in church membership overall, the Gallup data show declines among all major subgroups of the U.S. population beyond age, with some differences in the size of that decline.

Among religious groups, the decline in membership is steeper among Catholics (down 18 points, from 76% to 58%) than Protestants (down nine points, from 73% to 64%). This mirrors the historical changes in church attendance Gallup has documented among Catholics, with sharp declines among Catholics but not among Protestants. Gallup does not have sufficient data to analyze the trends for other religious faiths.

In addition to Protestants, declines in church membership are proportionately smaller among political conservatives, Republicans, married adults and college graduates. These groups tend to have among the highest rates of church membership, along with Southern residents and non-Hispanic Black adults.

Over the past two decades, declines in church membership have been greater among Eastern residents and Democrats. Still, political independents have lower rates of church membership than Democrats do.

Changes in Church Membership, by Demographic Subgroup

1998-2000 2008-2010 2018-2020 Change, 1998-2000 to 2018-2020
% % % pct. pts.
Men 64 58 46 -18
Women 73 65 53 -20
Non-Hispanic White adults 68 62 52 -16
Non-Hispanic Black adults 78 70 59 -19
College graduate 68 65 54 -14
Not college graduate 69 60 47 -22
Married 71 68 58 -13
Not married 64 55 42 -22
Republican 77 75 65 -12
Independent 59 51 41 -18
Democrat 71 60 46 -25
Conservative 78 73 64 -14
Moderate 66 59 45 -21
Liberal 56 46 35 -21
East 69 58 44 -25
Midwest 72 66 54 -18
South 74 70 58 -16
West 57 51 38 -19
Protestant 73 72 64 -9
Catholic 76 73 58 -18
Gallup

The smaller declines seen among conservatives and other subgroups are largely attributable to more modest change among older generations within those groups. For example, conservatives in older generations have shown drops in church membership of between five and 13 points since 1998-2000, compared with the 20-point change among all U.S. adults. However, the influence of generation is apparent, in that church membership is lower in each younger generation of conservatives than in each older generation -- 51% of conservative millennials, 64% of conservative Gen Xers, 70% of conservative baby boomers and 71% of conservative traditionalists in 2018-2020 belong to a church.

Hispanic Church Membership

Church membership among Hispanic Americans in 2018-2020 was 37%, among the lowest for any major subgroup. Analysis of changes over time in Hispanic adults' church membership is complicated by a shift in Gallup methodology to include Spanish-language interviewing in all surveys beginning in 2011. Church membership rates are significantly lower among Hispanic respondents interviewed in Spanish than among Hispanic respondents interviewed in English. Thus, a comparison of current Hispanic church membership to past membership would overstate the decline by virtue of comparing mixed-language Hispanics today to English-speaking Hispanics, alone, in the earlier period.

Implications

The U.S. remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion. However, far fewer, now less than half, have a formal membership with a specific house of worship. While it is possible that part of the decline seen in 2020 was temporary and related to the coronavirus pandemic, continued decline in future decades seems inevitable, given the much lower levels of religiosity and church membership among younger versus older generations of adults.

Churches are only as strong as their membership and are dependent on their members for financial support and service to keep operating. Because it is unlikely that people who do not have a religious preference will become church members, the challenge for church leaders is to encourage those who do affiliate with a specific faith to become formal, and active, church members.

While precise numbers of church closures are elusive, a conservative estimate is that thousands of U.S. churches are closing each year.

A 2017 Gallup study found churchgoers citing sermons as the primary reason they attended church. Majorities also said spiritual programs geared toward children and teenagers, community outreach and volunteer opportunities, and dynamic leaders were also factors in their attendance. A focus on some of these factors may also help local church leaders encourage people who share their faith to join their church.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.


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JBB
PhD Principal
1  seeder  JBB    2 weeks ago

Well now, whatday'all think about that? 

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago

my kids thank me every major holiday for not subjecting them to sunday religious indoctrination when they were young. my daughter got curious about a decade ago. that lasted about 3 sundays. ha ha ha

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
1.1.1  Ender  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago

My Niece and Nephew were given a choice of what they wanted to do.

For a little while my Nephew decided to go on his own with a friend to church. Even got himself baptized. Now he doesn't go anymore or give it any thought.

 
 
 
cjcold
PhD Quiet
1.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Ender @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

Ten years of perfect attendance in Sunday school (no choice).

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
1.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago
my daughter got curious about a decade ago. that lasted about 3 sundays. ha ha ha

Mine went though that phase as well.  Her aunt took her to their church, once.  When she got back home her attitude had changed from curiosity to incredulousness.  She kept saying how he (minister/reverend) told the congregation something, AND THEY BELIEVED IT.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
1.1.4  pat wilson  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago

Same with my daughter when she was 11 or 12. She joined some after school Jesus group. I stood back and observed without comment. It lasted about a month.

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
1.1.5  bbl-1  replied to  cjcold @1.1.2    2 weeks ago

I did it for eight. The Evangelical United Brethren. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
1.2  Gordy327  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago

I think it's great news. It makes me more optimistic about the future.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
1.2.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Gordy327 @1.2    2 weeks ago

You and me both.....  

Now maybe if we can only convert their "church time" to math & science time.  What a concept.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
1.2.2  Gordy327  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.2.1    2 weeks ago

Instead of Sunday School, it can be "Science School." I think that's a great concept. As well as a better use of time.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
1.3  pat wilson  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago

No surprise.

 
 
 
Kathleen
PhD Principal
1.4  Kathleen  replied to  JBB @1    2 weeks ago

I think that people are thinking you do not have to go to church or any religious place to pray. Just because people do not attend religious places does not mean they don’t keep it to themselves and in their hearts.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
2  r.t..b...    2 weeks ago

The less political influence any religious organization has in selecting candidates, influencing legislation, and determining judicial appointees the better...

...and it is Constitutional to boot. 

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
2.1  Ender  replied to  r.t..b... @2    2 weeks ago

Imo as soon as the pulpit is campaigning, they should lose tax exempt status.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Gordy327  replied to  Ender @2.1    2 weeks ago

Agreed.

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
2.1.2  bbl-1  replied to  Ender @2.1    2 weeks ago

They should have lost all specified protections from The First Constitutional Convention.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
2.1.3  MrFrost  replied to  Ender @2.1    2 weeks ago

Imo as soon as the pulpit is campaigning, they should lose tax exempt status.

Exactly. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

I think that there is a disproportionate number of atheists on Newstalkers, compared to the overall US population. Even many of the conservatives I have seen over the years on Newstalkers appear to be non-believers to one extent or another. 

I just feel like live and let live about religion, I think religion on the whole is a positive influence on the world and creates community for many many people. 

It is far from perfect and the excesses need to be constantly under scrutiny and when possible correction. But religion is not an evil in the world.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
3.1  Ender  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago
But religion is not an evil in the world

I think a lot of people would disagree with that but I digress.

I believe in live and let live yet when/if a religion tries to push its ways and means on the rest of society, I have a problem.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.2  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago
religion is not an evil in the world.

I agree. However, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all operating at a deficit in our world. Each is being aggressive, conflicting, and 'warring' - while contradictorily asking the onlooking world to listen to the PEACE they offer it. Christianity, for example, is not SUPPOSE to be a 'racket' for deception, lies, and delusions. (Despite whatever outsiders should say about this faith-believers should not have to come face to face with deceptive church practices as a norm.)

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
3.2.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  CB @3.2    2 weeks ago

Fanaticism is forever busy, and requires feeding CB.....

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.2.2  CB   replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.1    2 weeks ago

My faith of a continuous 25 years is testing me in a novel way in the last four years. I have 'heard' the silence of evangelical Christians, even on NT, who won't directly speak to this subject with me-a Christian believer and faith realm traveler-comprehensively and at length! This "attitude" is both exasperating and frankly disgusting. Because I do not tolerate insincerity from others well, often times I have privately thought to look for an exit from being associated with them. . . .

Except my personal belief-my faith-is real and it is deeply rooted.

Some of the evangelical attitudes around faith and Donald Trump remind me often of this pejorative: "Jesus freaks." A misnomer at the same time on NT. Because Trump evangelicals won't engage in discussion about their faith or Jesus even as they push stranger lies, deceptions, and delusions throughout the political marketplace.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.2.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @3.2.2    2 weeks ago

I think you should continue on your faith realm travels and keep doing what you've been doing.

I was going to say ignore the insincere Christians, but I believe we all ignore them at our peril

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.2.4  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @3.2.3    2 weeks ago

Thank you for speaking into my situation. Every 'lil bit' helps. I will continue this 'trial through testing' . . . .

Yes! These Trump Christians, again-an oxymoron, are dangerous! Because they lend "Church" support to vicious spiteful authoritarian man - they have it in their heads they can control. Wrong. Donald Trump is resourceful in how to get his way with those who linger long in his sphere of control, power, and influence. That is, while evangelicals are 'ravishing' Donald - Behold! Donald is consuming their reputation, brand, and reason for being a denomination!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.2.5  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @3.2.3    2 weeks ago
I was going to say ignore the insincere Christians, but I believe we all ignore them at our peril

I will do my best to call out my brothers and sisters in Christ for their bad propaganda and awaken them from their laggard approach to sins of omission and lack of remorse in the GOP.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.3  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago
But religion is not an evil in the world.

Opinions may vary on that.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.3.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gordy327 @3.3    2 weeks ago

I think for the most part religion is a good thing. It's the zealots who don't even read their good books or twist the words in them that give their religion a bad name

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.3.2  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3.1    2 weeks ago

"Good" might be in the eye of the beholder.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.3.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  Gordy327 @3.3.2    2 weeks ago

I'm not going to argue the point. I think some Christian organizations do some very good work

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
3.3.4  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3.3    2 weeks ago

I never said there weren't any.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
3.3.5  Ender  replied to  Trout Giggles @3.3.3    2 weeks ago

I do too. I just think it is when they get into things like foster care/adoption and are excluding certain people or want to decide what medical procedures to do. Then it is crossing a line Imo.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
3.3.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  Ender @3.3.5    2 weeks ago

Absolutely

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
3.4  seeder  JBB  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago

Fundamentalists, fervent believers, tend to be the violent, mean spirited condemning members of all faiths! Even fundamentalist Jews are insufferable.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
3.5  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago
I think that there is a disproportionate number of atheists on Newstalkers

Clearly.

Even many of the conservatives I have seen over the years on Newstalkers appear to be non-believers to one extent or another. 

Sure. You don’t have to be liberal to be atheist and being religious doesn’t mean you’re going to be conservative.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.5.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Tacos! @3.5    2 weeks ago

When there is a disproportionate amount of atheists within a group ( as, I agree, seems to be the case on Newstalkers) there is a tendency among them to present their arguments and conclusions as obviously correct. Which is of course debatable. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.5.2  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @3.5.1    2 weeks ago

You think that this is presenting something as 'obviously correct'?:   "I am not convinced that a god exists;  this is based on the lack of credible evidence."

Especially when conditioned (for clarity) with:  "A god might exist (depending upon how god is defined)."

I know of nobody on NT who makes the claim:  "No god exists"

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
3.6  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago

I think some folks are just more comfortable describing themselves as atheists in an anonymous online forum.  I suspect the conservatives you describe here are not conceived as atheists in their real world surroundings.  Their friends and family may have no idea.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
3.6.1  TᵢG  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @3.6    2 weeks ago

No doubt about that.   In everyday life one will be socially ostracized if one self-labels as atheist.   Most religious people do not translate ' atheist ' into ' not convinced a god exists ' but rather into ' heathen who rejects god and will burn in hell '.   They do not comprehend how anyone would ' choose ' to be an atheist and give up eternal life in heaven.  jrSmiley_98_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
3.7  MrFrost  replied to  JohnRussell @3    2 weeks ago
But religion is not an evil in the world.

I can't agree. Sorry. Organized religion has been a plague on mankind for a very long time and it really needs to stop. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
The U.S. remains a religious nation, with more than seven in 10 affiliating with some type of organized religion. However, far fewer, now less than half, have a formal membership with a specific house of worship.

These are ambiguous statements. People will call themselves Christians or Jews even though they dont regularly attend church or synagogue. Are they really part of that religion? They say they are but a poll question asking if they are "formally" part of a religion might conclude they are not. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @4    2 weeks ago

In this sense, religious affiliation is a spiritual assent. I have a variety of reasons for not attending a church these days, months, years. Mainly, I am comfortable living out my faith free of the stresses and strains of family/ies who are still trying to get themselves together spiritually that hearing or dealing with my unique narrative and approach to its service can 'test' their understanding and resolve (as they continue on their way to a fuller development).

The most distressful thing that I have seen about my Christian in the past 25 years is its presentation of omissions in the case of Donald Trump. The Evangelical Church has soiled itself before the world and for no good reason. It finds itself in the process of being cut off from the Body of Christ at Large, because it has stopped making sense. 

And sad as its ever-increasing isolation is, it is better than letting it rot attached to the hearts and minds of the Church (of Christ) as a whole.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @4.1    2 weeks ago
The Evangelical Church has soiled itself before the world and for no good reason. It finds itself in the process of being cut off from the Body of Christ at Large, because it has stopped making sense. 

Seems to me the surgery started when Reagan ran for office. And then trmp was elected and the amputation was complete...in all its bloody glory

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.2  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.1    2 weeks ago

I heard rumors in the media that Reagan (He called the evangelicals 'sick') and the Bush presidencies ("compassionate conservatism") were at times at odds with Right-wing evangelicals requests for action either beyond the office of president or skirting the bounds of a republic.

According to the rumors then, the aforementioned evangelicals have been 'up to something' for a very, very, long time. Trump was just the compassionless 'tool' to come along and agree to satiate that denomination's appetite.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @4.1.2    2 weeks ago
According to the rumors then, the aforementioned evangelicals have been 'up to something' for a very, very, long time.

Yeah, they have. They are Christian Reconstructionists or Dominonists. They believe in 7 levels of power or something like that and they won't be satisfied until they have control of all 7 levels

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.4  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @4.1.3    2 weeks ago

Interesting. Can you tell us more or share a link on this topic?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
4.1.5  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @4.1.4    2 weeks ago

Theonomy

Main article: Theonomy
Christian reconstructionists advocate a theonomic government and libertarian economic principles. They maintain a distinction of spheres of authority between self, family, church, and state. [12] [13] For example, the enforcement of moral sanctions under theonomy is carried out by the family and church government, and sanctions for moral offenses are outside the authority of civil government (which is limited to criminal matters, courts and national defense). However, some believe these distinctions become blurred, as the application of theonomy implies an increase in the authority of the civil government. [ citation needed ] Reconstructionists also say that the theocratic government is not an oligarchy or monarchy of man communicating with God, but rather, a national recognition of existing laws. Prominent advocates of Christian reconstructionism have written that according to their understanding, God's law approves of the death penalty not only for murder , but also for propagators of all forms of idolatry , [14] [15] open homosexuals, [16] adulterers , practitioners of witchcraft , blasphemers , [17] and perhaps even recalcitrant youths [18] (see the List of capital crimes in the Bible ).

Here's a start.

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
5  devangelical    2 weeks ago

I have no problem with religion, until it starts to interfere with my family in any way. zero tolerance. no problems for me if it provides somebody comfort or positivity in their own lives, but they should respect my absolute privacy concerning anything about it. the separation of church and state is a black and white issue to me. constitution wins versus the bible every time.

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
6  Thrawn 31    2 weeks ago

Not surprising really. It really is to be expected and frankly the US is an outlier among modern nations with a % that high. Generally when people are better cared for, have access to more luxuries and better education, the less they rely on a deity and the less religious they become.

Notice that the more rich/advanced countries, virtually every single one, has less than half of the population claiming to be religious. The nations with the highest rates of religiosity are despotic, poor, and often suffer from issues of war, famine, illiteracy etc. it is not a coincidence.

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Participates
6.1  MonsterMash  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6    2 weeks ago

Notice that the more rich/advanced countries, virtually every single one, has less than half of the population claiming to be religious. The nations with the highest rates of religiosity are despotic, poor, and often suffer from issues of war, famine, illiteracy etc. it is not a coincidence.

When people are livng high on the mountain they think they don't need God, when they're down in the valley they cry out for him.

 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
6.1.1  Thrawn 31  replied to  MonsterMash @6.1    2 weeks ago

You only get high on the mountain when you start taking god out of everything from government, to education, to overall social structure. When god goes, so do a lot of barriers to progress. 

And I don’t see crying out for him doing much good. Their time would be better spent examining their issues and looking for solutions rather than asking a fairy for help.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6.1.1    2 weeks ago
And I don’t see crying out for him doing much good.

I don't see it doing anything. Other than making one feel like they're doing something. And there's little doubt that any good fortune would subsequently be attributed to a god. Kind of like a confirmation bias.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2  Gordy327  replied to  Thrawn 31 @6    2 weeks ago
The nations with the highest rates of religiosity are despotic, poor, and often suffer from issues of war, famine, illiteracy etc. it is not a coincidence.

Perhaps because these are the people seeking emotional comfort or other similar coping mechanism. What better way to gain that then through an imaginary friend. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6.2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2    2 weeks ago
What better way to gain that then through an imaginary friend. 

It is only your opinion that God does not exist. You have no proof of it. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.2  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2.1    2 weeks ago
It is only your opinion that God does not exist.

Yes, and? I have never claimed with absolute certainty that god doesn't exist. 

You have no proof of it. 

There's no proof or even evidence for a God, depending on how one defines God. Depending on the characteristics attributed to a God, a God may not logically exist. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.3  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.2    2 weeks ago
I have never claimed with absolute certainty that god doesn't exist. 

You do exactly that when you call God “an imaginary friend.”

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.4  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.3    2 weeks ago
You do exactly that when you call God “an imaginary friend.”

That might be your take on it. As it stands, there is no evidence, much less proof of any god. So imaginary is apt description.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.5  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.4    2 weeks ago

I don’t know what you think “imaginary” means, but for most of the English speaking world, when you declare that something is imaginary, you are saying with absolute certainty that it doesn’t exist.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.6  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2.1    2 weeks ago
It is only your opinion that God does not exist. You have no proof of it. 

God (by some definition) might exist (depending upon the definition).   But as it stands right now, there is no evidence that any of the world's thousands of gods exist or existed.   One can offer an exception for gods that equate with nature because those gods (as defined) have demonstrable evidence of existence.

Unless the god is impossible by definition (i.e. self-refuting), one cannot state that the god does not exist.   It might exist.   Based on the lack of evidence, any god is at least a product of human imagination.   To go beyond a mental construct requires evidence.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.5    2 weeks ago
Gordy @6.2.2I have never claimed with absolute certainty that god doesn't exist. 
 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.8  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.7    2 weeks ago
Gordy @6.2.2I have never claimed with absolute certainty that god doesn't exist

Denying basic logic over and over doesn’t make it reasonable just because a person keeps saying it. The above statement is as valid as me claiming I have never replied to Gordy in the comments. It’s like the old “I’m not racist, but . . . “

In this case, Gordy has basically said, “I’m not saying with absolute certainty that God doesn’t exist, but he is imaginary.”

It’s irrational. It’s a statement that contradicts itself.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.9  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.8    2 weeks ago
It’s like the old “I’m not racist, but . . . “

No it is not anything like that.   

The concept is:  'I am not convinced any god exists'.    That means that any god (except those with self-refuting definitions) might actually exist.   There is no way to know.   And until there is evidence of the existence of a god, it is perfectly reasonable for someone to not be convinced said god exists.

In this case, Gordy has basically said, “I’m not saying with absolute certainty that God doesn’t exist, but he is imaginary.”

Well Gordy will no doubt weigh in, but I think his statement is more properly phrased like:

“I’m not saying with absolute certainty that God doesn’t exist.   I am saying that without evidence, God is not shown to be more than a product of human imagination."

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.10  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.9    2 weeks ago
The concept is:  'I am not convinced any god exists'.

Your concept is nice and it works for you, but it does not reflect Gordy’s words. You have a different perspective on God than Gordy does. That is a simple fact. “God is imaginary” does not leave room for equivocation.

Well Gordy will no doubt weigh in, but I think his statement is more properly phrased like:

If he wants to take a new position, that is his prerogative of course. But the uncommitted, agnostic type view you have described is not what he has said here.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.11  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.10    2 weeks ago
You have a different perspective on God than Gordy does.

I betcha you are wrong and I am right.   Let's see what Gordy has to say since he is the authority on his thoughts.

If he wants to take a new position, that is his prerogative of course. But the uncommitted, agnostic type view you have described is not what he has said here.

Do you want to understand his position or torture semantic nuances?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.12  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.5    2 weeks ago
I don’t know what you think “imaginary” means, but for most of the English speaking world, when you declare that something is imaginary, you are saying with absolute certainty that it doesn’t exist.

It's imaginary until it's demonstrated not to be. 

In this case, Gordy has basically said, “I’m not saying with absolute certainty that God doesn’t exist, but he is imaginary. ”It’s irrational. It’s a statement that contradicts itself.

Then let me rephrase in a way you might understand better: There is no evidence for a god, so there's no reason to think or automatically assume one exists. 

Now, if evidence for a god were forthcoming, then I would evaluate said evidence and reconsider my position.

our concept is nice and it works for you, but it does not reflect Gordy’s words.

Actually, yes it does!

You have a different perspective on God than Gordy does. That is a simple fact.

Not at all. TiG seems to understand what I am saying perfectly.

But the uncommitted, agnostic type view you have described is not what he has said here.

And that demonstrates how you don't get it. Hopefully my aforementioned rephrasing clarifies things for you. Agnostic is the most rational position to be in, as there is no evidence one way or the other for any god. But I tend to lean towards the strong agnostic/weak atheist side.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.13  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.11    2 weeks ago
Let's see what Gordy has to say since he is the authority on his thoughts.

I think most sensible people would believe you on this point if you didn’t rush to interpret and defend his comments in the light you think is most favorable.

The thing is, your efforts aren’t even necessary. I’m not even judging him or his comments. All I did was identify his words for what they were.

Do you want to understand his position or torture semantic nuances?

Torture semantic nuances? All I have done is read the words he wrote and understand them by their plain meaning. Claiming that as anything else is intellectually dishonest.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.14  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.13    2 weeks ago
... if you didn’t rush to interpret and defend his comments in the light you think is most favorable.

What actually happens is that I correct those who rush to misinterpret his comments in the most unfavorable fashion so that they can make an 'argument'.   Basically a mild strawman.   In this case, you chose to accept only one interpretation of his words (yours, so that you could chastise Gordy as holding an irrational position).   And, interestingly, my interpretations are typically correct (verified by the author himself) while the other interpretation is typically a misinterpretation (often an obvious one at that).

All I did was identify his words for what they were.

Again, do you want to understand the man's position or torture semantic nuances?    I make it a point to ask for clarification or to paraphrase so that my interlocutor has the opportunity to ensure I understand his/her comment.   And if my interlocutor corrects my interpretation then I go with that (as long as s/he remains consistent).   


Do you understand Gordy's position?   I think you do.   I think you always did.  

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.15  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.13    2 weeks ago
Torture semantic nuances? All I have done is read the words he wrote and understand them by their plain meaning. Claiming that as anything else is intellectually dishonest.

You are correct. Claiming that one can't definitively state that God doesn't exist while at the same time calling someone's God an "imaginary friend" are incompatible statements. By stating that one's God is imaginary one is claiming to have definitive knowledge of and, presumably, evidence for this as fact. The statements "there is no evidence for your God" and "your God is an imaginary friend" are completely different statements. 

You are running into what I often ran into in past arguments. A plain, unambiguous statement such as claiming one's God is "an imaginary friend" and then have to deal with arguments about how it doesn't really mean what it plainly says. Worse, you see that you get blamed for "torturing semantic nuances." In actuality, rather than simply acknowledging that "Your God is an imaginary friend" is an unsupportable statement, a needless detour is taken to explain what was really meant, which doesn't appear to be anything like what was said. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.16  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.15    2 weeks ago
By stating that one's God is imaginary one is claiming to have definitive knowledge of and, presumably, evidence for this as fact.

Except that is not the only interpretation.   The term can also be used to connote that the evidence for said god is only in the minds of the believers.

Do you care to deal with Gordy's obvious position or would you rather insist that your interpretation of his words (which directly contradict what Gordy has stated in subsequent comments) is the only possible interpretation

Even after Gordy clarifies, you want to hold him to your singular interpretation.

Do you consider that to be intellectually honest?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.17  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.16    2 weeks ago
Do you care to deal with Gordy's obvious position or would you rather insist that your interpretation of his words (which directly contradict what Gordy has stated in subsequent comments) is the only possible interpretation

I care to deal with what Gordy stated, which is unambiguous and not open to interpretation. 

The term can also be used to connote that the evidence for said god is only in the minds of the believers.

No, it can't. Because "evidence" was not the subject of the statement. 

Even after Gordy clarifies, you want to hold him to your singular interpretation.

Gordy could write a treatise on what he meant the size of the Encyclopedia Britannica and it would not change the meaning of what he said. Stating God is an imaginary friend is stating that God does not exist. It is not my interpretation but what is forced by the statement itself. Just as if I stated "The bowling ball is red" one would expect that I am speaking about a red bowling ball and not anything else. It wouldn't matter how much I explained that what I meant was something different, it wouldn't change the statement one bit. People would reasonably say that I should have said what I meant rather than what I did if I wanted to be understood. Especially if what I said bears no resemblance to what I meant. 

Do you consider that to be intellectually honest?

It is intellectually honest. There is no difference between "Your God is an imaginary friend" and "Your God does not exist." What is intellectually dishonest is refusing to recognize that the statement is unsupportable and, instead, trying to type out enough words in hopes of avoiding admitting it. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.18  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.15    2 weeks ago
By stating that one's God is imaginary one is claiming to have definitive knowledge of and, presumably, evidence for this as fact. The statements "there is no evidence for your God" and "your God is an imaginary friend" are completely different statements.

God is imaginary until it is demonstrated not to be. 

You are running into what I often ran into in past arguments. A plain, unambiguous statement such as claiming one's God is "an imaginary friend" and then have to deal with arguments about how it doesn't really mean what it plainly says.

I've presented my views on this matter in many discussion in the past. They are not new. So if one misinterprets or misunderstands what I'm saying, then I suspect it is being done intentionally. If one is going to posit that god is not imaginary, then on what basis is that position supported? I have always been open to the possibility that there might be a god. But evidence has always been lacking. That is not new either!

a needless detour is taken to explain what was really meant, which doesn't appear to be anything like what was said. 

I would think I know what I mean better than some here.

I care to deal with what Gordy stated, which is unambiguous and not open to interpretation. 

It seems you only want to deal with absolutes. 

No, it can't. Because "evidence" was not the subject of the statement. 

I have repeatedly stated that there is no evidence and that I'm open to it should it be presented. Evidence is very much a necessary component.

Stating God is an imaginary friend is stating that God does not exist.

Again with the absolutes. No, it is stating (again) that I do not think god exists (depending on how god is defined) as there is no evidence. Therefore, god can be considered imaginary until demonstrated otherwise. I'm not sure why I have to keep repeating that now?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.19  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.17    2 weeks ago
I care to deal with what Gordy stated, which is unambiguous and not open to interpretation. 

I clearly see that;  you want to affix your single interpretation to Gordy's words so that you can deem them irrational.    And that is indeed intellectually dishonest because Gordy has provided qualification to you and you reject it.    It is never valid to act as though you know what a person means better than the person.

Stating God is an imaginary friend is stating that God does not exist. 

And, I repeat, declaring that there is only one valid interpretation of English words in general is a flawed tactic.   I even gave you an alternate interpretation which matches Gordy's qualification:  

TiG @6.2.16Except that is not the only interpretation.   The term can also be used to connote that the evidence for said god is only in the minds of the believers.

Gordy has asserted that if something is claimed to exist but there is no supporting evidence other than belief, then it is imaginary until reified with evidence.   He is not precluding the possibility of that future evidence.   To wit, he is not making a statement of certainty that no god exists.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.20  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.18    2 weeks ago
I've presented my views on this matter in many discussion in the past. They are not new. So if one misinterprets or misunderstands what I'm saying, then I suspect it is being done intentionally.

Spot on.  And blatantly obvious too.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.21  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.18    2 weeks ago
God is imaginary until it is demonstrated not to be. 

That's great. Prove it.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.22  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.21    2 weeks ago

Prove there's a god! How should one deem god when there is no evidence for one? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.23  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.21    2 weeks ago

Would you have a problem with the following statement?:

Exolife is imaginary until it is demonstrated not to be.

This means that exolife is a concept ... a product of human imagination ... and to go beyond that we need evidence that this imagined life does indeed exist.   Evidence can reify the concept of exolife.

It does not mean:  'there is no exolife'.

( Alternatively, consider: 'warp drive is imaginary until it is demonstrated not to be' )

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.24  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.22    2 weeks ago
Prove there's a god!

As expected. You expect everyone else to back up their statements but you do not hold yourself to the same standard. I think there's a word for that sort of thing. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.25  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.24    2 weeks ago

You're challenging me to prove a negative, which is a logical fallacy. Then you fail to answer my question, which is also not unexpected. So once again, what is the evidencefor a god? And if there's no evidence, then what way can one deem god to be? If you get that, then maybe you'll understand my position. TiG certainly seems to get it. Why can't you? 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.26  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.23    2 weeks ago

At this point you should just give it up, TiG. Gordy's response to my asking him to "prove it"  in 6.2.21 shows that he meant exactly what Tacos! and I claimed his statement meant. He countered with "Prove there is a god!" In other words, he countered with the opposite to his claim, indicating his statement means exactly the way it reads. That there is no God.

Not going to waste any more time on this. It's pointless arguing with people who say "red" and then try to convince others they clearly meant "blue." 

 
 
 
Thrawn 31
Masters Guide
6.2.27  Thrawn 31  replied to  JohnRussell @6.2.1    2 weeks ago

Come now John, you know you can’t prove a negative.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.28  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.26    2 weeks ago

You have known Gordy’s position for years.   You can read him correct your misinterpretation and I have offered what I think are very clear explanations and examples.

You ignore all of this and stubbornly stick with the remarkable position that yours is the only possible interpretation — regardless of what Gordy (the author) writes.   You place yourself as knowing Gordy’s position better than he.

It is one thing to have a superior point; but to pretend same by ignoring all notions to the contrary is dishonest.   A real stretch in a silly attempt at a gotcha.

How can you not even acknowledge my exolife example?   

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.29  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.26    2 weeks ago

I see that you are not even bothering to try to understand what is being said, much less answer the questions put forth to you, multiple times now. So instead, you complain and then run. Yeah, talk about pointless indeed.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.30  Tacos!  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.26    2 weeks ago
It's pointless arguing with people who say "red" and then try to convince others they clearly meant "blue." 

That's pretty much it.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.31  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.14    2 weeks ago
What actually happens is that I correct those who rush to misinterpret his comments in the most unfavorable fashion so that they can make an 'argument'.

Nobody misinterpreted anything. Interpretation was not even required. We're talking about basic English and basic logic. "It's imaginary" and "I'm not saying with absolute certainty that it doesn't exist" are logically contradictory. Stop pretending people are being dishonest about what Gordy said.

Now Gordy later came back and tried to equivocate and clarify, which is fine. He is free to do that and I'm not going to argue what he believes. I never was interested in that, and I honestly don't care. All I did was observe the things he said. Period. End.

But you seem to have a need to beat this horse of twisted logic to death. Sorry, but I'm just not going to be gaslighted into saying that black is white. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.32  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.30    2 weeks ago

Why would anyone do that?   Do you think Gordy is shy about his position on God?   Why would Gordy state 'God cannot possibly exist' and 'God might exist but thus far no evidence supports that hypothesis' ?   That is, why would anyone say 'red' and then say 'blue'?   To what end?

What I find funny is how far some will go to try to find a nuanced gotcha;  that they will actually ignore comments from the author designed to make his position crystal clear and instead insist that their interpretation is the only one possible and that, in effect, they know the author's position better than he.

Even funnier, both you and Drakk know full well Gordy's position on this matter yet stubbornly insist that his position is other than what he has clearly qualified in this thread.   


Bottom line:   if you challenge an author on something s/he wrote and the author comes back and tells you that is not the proper interpretation and then provides in clear language their intended meaning, it is intellectual dishonesty (among other things) to reject the author's correction and insist that you know better.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.33  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.31    2 weeks ago

You may have observed what I said, but you clearly didn't understand what was said. You seem to ignore my questions and TiG's examples, which is a clear indication of that. And I have not mentioned my beliefs. I try to avoid going by mere belief only. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.34  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.31    2 weeks ago
We're talking about basic English and basic logic.

I have explained this to you.   You ignore my explanation, you ignore Gordy's corrections of your reading.   It is obvious that you are stubbornly insisting that your interpretation is the only one possible and that you know Gordy's intent better than he.

Ridiculous Tacos!

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.35  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.33    2 weeks ago

What is the intent of this Gordy?    What is the point of telling you that they know your meaning better than you?    What is the point of claiming that here, for some bizarre reason, you are offering a notion that contradicts your well established position via comment history?

Strange.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.36  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.34    2 weeks ago

Perhaps part of the problem is my statement of God being imaginary was construed as a challenge to God or religious belief/claims, thereby causing some to become defensive and unwilling to examine anything outside their own notions? Kind of like hearing what you don't want to hear, so you refuse to listen to anything else.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.37  Texan1211  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.31    2 weeks ago
Nobody misinterpreted anything. Interpretation was not even required. We're talking about basic English and basic logic. "It's imaginary" and "I'm not saying with absolute certainty that it doesn't exist" are logically contradictory. Stop pretending people are being dishonest about what Gordy said.

Exactly. 

It always boils down to nothing more than "Prove God exists". 

ALWAYS.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.38  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.35    2 weeks ago

I have no idea. Perhaps my reply in 6.2.36 offers an insight? It's not like I never discussed god or the existence of God before. In fact, I have an entire article dedicated to that in my Bible fallacy series articles. So my position and thoughts regarding such things is out there and well known. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.39  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.37    2 weeks ago

Still waiting on that proof too.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.40  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.39    2 weeks ago

I truly believe that GOD Himself could appear before you and you still would not accept it as proof.

If He is imaginary--as YOU claimed--then aren't you smart enough to know that there can be no proof?

So why do you keep asking over and over?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.41  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.40    2 weeks ago

If there is no proof (or even evidence), then my statement of God being imaginary is valid, until demonstrated otherwise.

As long as those who make the claim or implication that God exists, is real, ect., then I will continue to challenge. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.42  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.41    2 weeks ago

jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.43  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.41    2 weeks ago
then my statement of God being imaginary is valid

Then prove God is imaginary. That is what you need to be able to do to claim it is a valid statement. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.44  Tacos!  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.33    2 weeks ago
You may have observed what I said, but you clearly didn't understand what was said.

I am satisfied that I understood it just fine. If you wished to communicate something different, you should have phrased it differently.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6.2.45  Tessylo  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.43    2 weeks ago

"Then prove God is imaginary."

How ridiculous!

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
6.2.46  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.34    2 weeks ago
You ignore my explanation

Because your explanation was not needed or desired. Also, it was not logical.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.47  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.42    2 weeks ago

Wow, what a great rebuttal >sarc < 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.48  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.43    2 weeks ago

Again with the logical fallacy. You need to prove there's a god to invalidate my statement. You still have yet to answer my questions. I wonder why that is?

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.49  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.47    2 weeks ago

It worked.

I wanted to applaud you for your tolerance.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.50  Gordy327  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.44    2 weeks ago

Except you didn't understand it. Somehow, even if I rephrased it, I doubt you would understand it. Especially since it's been explained by myself and TiG. At this point, I suspect you're intentionally obtuse about it.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6.2.51  Tessylo  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.50    2 weeks ago
"I suspect you're intentionally obtuse about it"

I suspect you are correct

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.52  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.37    2 weeks ago
It always boils down to nothing more than "Prove God exists". 

You missed the point.   This is not about proof of God's existence but rather the claim that Gordy — in direct contradiction to what he has posted here for years — has stated that God cannot possibly exist.

Gordy never claims that God cannot exist;  rather his claim is consistently that there is no evidence that any god exists.   

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.53  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @6.2.46    2 weeks ago
Because your explanation was not needed or desired. Also, it was not logical.

So you simply offer nuh'uh.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.54  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.43    2 weeks ago
Then prove God is imaginary

Follow what Gordy is telling you.   He is stating that God is imaginary unless shown to be otherwise.   Just like exolife is imaginary unless shown to be otherwise.   We imagine that exolife exists somewhere in the universe but we see no evidence of any (yet).   Thus the best we can say about exolife is that it is something our human minds have imagined and that exolife is possible.   

Same with God.   God (indeed the generic 'god') is possible, but we have no evidence of any god.   All that we have is what we imagine god(s) to be.   God(s) are, as of right now, the products of our imaginations.   (Clearly you are aware of all the gods imagined over time; even the Christian God has various imagined variants as evidenced by the different views of same by denominations.)   If we find convincing evidence that one or more of these gods actually exist then these gods will ipso facto be more than products of our imagination.

Same as with exolife.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.55  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.54    2 weeks ago
We imagine that exolife exists somewhere in the universe but we no evidence of any (yet).   Thus the best we can say about exolife is that it is something our human minds have imagined and that exolife is possible.   

To take your example a step farther, we imagine what exolife might seem like in popular media like Star Trek and Star Wars, to name a couple examples. Of course, these are creative products of the imagination and are regarded as such. Challenging me to prove God is imaginary is like challenging me to prove Klingons are not imaginary. Maybe there are "Klingons" somewhere in the universe, with any similarities between actual Klingons and the depiction of them being entirely coincidental of course. But until we actually discover Klingons or any other imagined forms of exolife (from simple to sentient), it's valid to say they are imaginary at this time. At least, until demonstrated otherwise. Personally, I hope it does get demonstrated someday. But probably won't happen in our lifetimes.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.56  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.54    2 weeks ago
He is stating that God is imaginary unless shown to be otherwise.

And the evidence for this is???? Just that he says so? Come on, TiG. That reasoning wouldn't fly in a high school debate. What happened to the burden of proof on the person making the claim??? You're concentrating on spinning all this so hard you can't see the obvious. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.57  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.56    2 weeks ago
And the evidence for this is????

Where is the evidence for God? That is the key. If there is no evidence, then how is god supposed to be deemed? I've asked this multiple times now and you have failed to answer each time.

What happened to the burden of proof on the person making the claim???

If you notice, I have never declared God does not exist with certainty. I have said God is imaginary until there is something (evidence or proof) to demonstrate that god is not imaginary. Since you are challenging or arguing against my position, you seem to support the notion that god is not imaginary, is that correct? If so, are you claiming there is a god? Or at the very least, evidence for a god? If so, provide your evidence or proof to support your position and/or invalidate mine? My argument boils down to the fact that since there is no evidence for a god (the definition of god is also key), then god is imaginary until demonstrated otherwise. What is your counterargument? Simply dismissing my position or inferring god is not imaginary (and is real by default) is meaningless. Support your argument! The only counterargument you've supplied so far is something along the lines of "nuh-uh." 

You're concentrating on spinning all this so hard you can't see the obvious. 

Speak for yourself. TiG has been quite thoughtful and thorough in his explanations. He has even provided examples to use as a comparison. Yet you ignore all that each time and try to shift the argument and burden of proof rather than acknowledging the arguments and examples provided. It's a cowardly and dishonest tactic!

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.58  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.56    2 weeks ago
And the evidence for this is???? Just that he says so? Come on, TiG. That reasoning wouldn't fly in a high school debate.

This dramatic, faux obtuseness behavior is what I had hoped was in the past.

I have twice offered an illustrative example of exolife and twice you have ignored it.

The concept of exolife The concept of a god
Exolife might exist. A god might exist.
We have no evidence that an exolife form exists We have no evidence any god exists
It is possible that exolife exists It is possible that a god exists
Exolife is currently a concept that some imagine to be real God is currently a concept that some imagine to be real
Objective, testable evidence of exolife would turn the concept into a perceived reality Objective, testable evidence of a god would turn the concept into a perceived reality

It is clear that you have no interest in understanding Gordy's point (in fact, it is clear that you well understand his position on this matter after years of debate and choose to pretend otherwise).   You are simply pushing the equivalent of a strawman argument.   For show?  For fun?  Hard to say, but you deeming my explanations spin is quite a bit of irony.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.59  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.58    2 weeks ago
but you deeming my explanations spin is quite a bit of irony.

Also quite comical.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
6.2.60  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.58    2 weeks ago
This dramatic, faux obtuseness behavior is what I had hoped was in the past.

I know, but you just won't stop.

I have twice offered an illustrative example of exolife and twice you have ignored it.

That would be because it is as irrelevant as it is faulty. Why would I want to address something so based on assumptions and bias as that when you can't even admit Gordy's statement is unsupportable, since it doesn't have a shred of proof or evidence? You accused us earlier of " how far some will go to try to find a nuanced gotcha." There is not a shred of nuance to be found regarding the statement "God is just an imaginary friend." Instead, it is you and Gordy who are attempting "nuance" in trying to explain how his statement doesn't really state God doesn't exist when it cannot be read any other way. You're doing your damnedest to try to convince us that "God is just an imaginary friend" really means "God is just an imaginary friend but He may not be because it's possible He exists." As if that makes any sort of sense whatsoever.  

So, explain to me why I should get entangled in your faulty "illustrative example" which we will definitely not reach any sort of agreement on, when you can't even admit how fallacious Gordy's statement is? 

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.61  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.52    2 weeks ago

look. he can speak for himself, as he has been. I don't need your interpretation of what you think he meant.

when he said God was imaginary, that is what he meant  

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.62  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.60    2 weeks ago
That would be because it is as irrelevant as it is faulty.

That was predictable.   When faced with an obvious illustration of the flaw in your reasoning you typically return with ' irrelevant ' or equivalent.   I am surprised it took three attempts for you to finally deliver your ' irrelevant ' line.

Look at how ridiculous you are being.   You are arguing that Gordy claims there can be no god yet Gordy himself repeatedly is telling you, with explanation, that this is not his position .  Worse, he has years of comment history showing that the existence of a god is not impossible.   Who, except to be obnoxious, insists that they know someone else's position better than they and goes against a history of comments because of how he chooses to interpret Gordy's contextual use of the word 'imaginary'?   In addition, if Gordy believed that there can be no god do you really think he would not say so?    You are not even trying to apply common sense to this situation.   It is bizarre.

There is not a shred of nuance to be found regarding the statement " God is just an imaginary friend ." 

Human beings formulate concepts in our minds (this means using our imagination ).   Without evidence that the imagined entity actually exists, the imagined entity does not objectively exist.   It is simply imaginary (objectively).   Add objective evidence of the existence of this entity and it is no longer merely a product of a human mind; it objectively exists.

You pretend to not grasp the above.       Why?    You pretend to not see how exolife is a product or our imagination and when we find evidence of its existence, it will then no longer be mere imagination but will objectively exists.   Same with a god.   Is it so important to you to get Gordy in a ' gotcha ' that you are willing to engage in intellectual dishonesty to do so?


†    Imagination ( Oxford ):   The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses .

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.63  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.61    2 weeks ago
look. he can speak for himself, as he has been. I don't need your interpretation of what you think he meant.

And Gordy has been speaking for himself.

when he said God was imaginary, that is what he meant  

LOL.   Texan sometimes you just kill me.   You just now told me I am not allowed to speak for Gordy yet here you are speaking for Gordy in your next sentence.

jrSmiley_78_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.64  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.63    2 weeks ago

well  you keep trying to make this hard If what he said wasn't what he meant. he shouldn't have said it or amended his post .

not interested in your word playing games

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.65  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.64    2 weeks ago
you keep trying to make this hard

I am offended by intellectual dishonesty;  when it occurs you will find my inner pit bull.   You will simply have to learn to deal with this.

he shouldn't have said it or amended his post 

Good grief man, have you not been paying attention??   What do you think Gordy has been doing other than trying to clarify the meaning of his post?

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.66  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.61    2 weeks ago
look. he can speak for himself, as he has been. I don't need your interpretation of what you think he meant.

Yes, I have been. And TiG may speak for me as well, as he understands what I'm saying. His "interpretations" are spot on.

when he said God was imaginary, that is what he meant  

I think I know my thoughts and what I meant better than you. 

he shouldn't have said it or amended his post .

I've been trying to clarify and make this easy for you. Seems to have been a wasted effort on my part.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.67  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @6.2.60    2 weeks ago
Why would I want to address something so based on assumptions and bias as that when you can't even admit Gordy's statement is unsupportable, since it doesn't have a shred of proof or evidence?

That's just it. There is not any evidence. If there is no evidence for a god, then what would a god be deemed as? I've asked that repeatedly now. Your refusal to answer shows my initial statement to be correct until evidence becomes forthcoming.

Instead, it is you and Gordy who are attempting "nuance" in trying to explain how his statement doesn't really state God doesn't exist when it cannot be read any other way.

It's already been explained to you how it can (and should) be read. Your failure to comprehend is your problem. Or maybe it's just a game to you?

You're doing your damnedest to try to convince us that "God is just an imaginary friend" really means "God is just an imaginary friend but He may not be because it's possible He exists." As if that makes any sort of sense whatsoever.  

It makes perfect sense. The examples provided to illustrate the point demonstrates that.

So, explain to me why I should get entangled in your faulty "illustrative example" which we will definitely not reach any sort of agreement on, when you can't even admit how fallacious Gordy's statement is? 

No one is making you do so. But your refusal only supports our position, as it demonstrates how weak your argument and comprehension of the points made really are! I suspect that's why you have refuse to answer the questions I put forth earlier. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.68  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.66    2 weeks ago

say what you mean and mean what you say

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.69  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.68    2 weeks ago
say what you mean and mean what you say. 

I did! You either do not get it or were not paying attention.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.70  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.69    2 weeks ago

I got it, you clearly stated God is imaginary, your posts aren't really all that hard to understand

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.71  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.70    2 weeks ago
I got it, you clearly stated God is imaginary, your posts aren't really all that hard to understand

Then why do you seem confused? 

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.72  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.65    2 weeks ago

I have already informed you I am not interested in your word games.

I am not sure how to make that any clearer.

any ideas what I could tell you that you will be able to understand that?

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.73  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.71    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.74  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.73    2 weeks ago
I am not in the least confused. like I have already told you, the posts from you just really aren't that hard to understand.

And yet, it still took multiple posts to explain and clarify what I said, with examples provided to boot. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.75  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.74    2 weeks ago

you wasted your time then, because I understood your post where you said God is imaginary quite well and never asked you for any clarification as it was a pretty straightforward post.

[deleted]

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.76  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.75    2 weeks ago
you wasted your time then,

I suppose I did.

because I understood your post where you said God is imaginary quite well and never asked you for any clarification as it was a pretty straightforward post.

You demonstrated your lack of understanding when you equated my statement of god being imaginary to a claim that god doesn't exist. Clarification was provided because you did not understand the distinction and you still apparently do not. 

if it makes you feel better to pretend that your posts are so deep as to be out of reach of being understood, that's fine with me

I never said or pretended my posts were deep. But if you want to pretend to understand them, when it's clearly demonstrable for all to see that you do not, go right ahead. But I'm not interested in your intellectual dishonesty!

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.77  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.76    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.78  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.72    2 weeks ago

Seems to me you interpret your own confusion as 'other people playing word games'.    Well, Texan, there are no word games coming from me.   You are simply confused (or pretending to be so).

Further, nobody is holding you here and nobody forces you to REPLY to my comments.   So quit complaining.   

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.79  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.78    2 weeks ago

no one is confused. but if it helps you any to believe it, go for it!

won't hurt me any and certainly doesn't prove any point.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
6.2.80  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.79    2 weeks ago

You recent comments in this thread are simply trolling.    

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.81  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.77    2 weeks ago
boring tripe. take it to somebody who cares.

In other words, I'm right and you're just trying to play games! Also clear for all to see!

certainly doesn't prove any point.

Considering you've missed the point spectacularly, it's unlikely you'll notice it was proved!

Thanks for playing! 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
6.2.82  Tessylo  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.80    2 weeks ago

That's what the majority of her comments are.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.83  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.81    2 weeks ago

in other words???

did you fail to comprehend my words and felt some compelling need to alter my statement?

it does make debate easier if you get to argue both sides, as long as one side is just you telling me what you "think" I stated veven though my words are clear.

I say what I mean and mean what I say. that way, I don't waste time trying to clarify what "I really meant".

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.84  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @6.2.80    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
6.2.85  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @6.2.83    2 weeks ago
in other words???

Did I stutter?

did you fail to comprehend my words and felt some compelling need to alter my statement?

You failed to address the post with something other than a juvenile comment.

as long as one side is just you telling me what you "think" I stated veven though my words are clear.

You must be projecting, considering how you already presumed to know what I was thinking or meant.

I say what I mean and mean what I say.

Which has amounted to little more than BS and complaints. Pretty much trolling!

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
6.2.86  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @6.2.85    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
7  Paula Bartholomew    2 weeks ago

I wonder how many that left the church did so because they can no longer give money due to the pandemic and were made to feel unwanted there because of it.

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
7.1  bbl-1  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @7    2 weeks ago

The advent of the 'Conceptual MAGA' may also be a factor.  I personally know of a few instances. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
8  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

I think churches would see a lot more people if many of them put less effort into pointing the judgmental finger at people, and more effort into extending a welcome, acceptance, and grace.

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
8.1  bbl-1  replied to  Tacos! @8    2 weeks ago

When did that ever happen?

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
8.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  bbl-1 @8.1    2 weeks ago

Which?

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
8.1.2  bbl-1  replied to  Tacos! @8.1.1    2 weeks ago

Where?  When?

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
8.1.3  Tessylo  replied to  bbl-1 @8.1.2    2 weeks ago

Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
8.2  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @8    2 weeks ago
I think churches would see a lot more people if many of them put less effort into pointing the judgmental finger at people, and more effort into extending a welcome, acceptance, and grace.

What do you consider "pointing the judgmental finger at people" to be? 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2    2 weeks ago

I can offer an example:  Westboro Baptist Church (the protesting, in-your-face 'God hates fags' gang).    That is an extreme example, but there are plenty more along those lines.   Milder examples include churches that discriminate against non-heterosexuals, divorcees, etc.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2    2 weeks ago

TiG's examples, and then there are the more subtle occurrences.  Telling people that they lack a moral compass because they're not religious, for example, or that their "belief system", if it is not religious, cannot include altruism.  That's not a "God hates fags" sign, but it surely is judgmental.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
8.2.3  Tacos!  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2    2 weeks ago
What do you consider "pointing the judgmental finger at people" to be? 

Too many churches are all fire and brimstone, laying into people about all the sins they are committing and shaming them into staying away from church. There are many people in this world - and particularly, I think, in this country - who love God, want to worship God, and want to be part of a worshipping community. But they have been made to believe that they are unworthy of God and will be judged in church. I have spent some time in churches that do exactly that.

I have also spent time in churches that aren't interested in shaming people, but rather in welcoming and loving them without conditions. To me, those are the churches that are most closely adhering to the teachings of Christ. We need to stop worrying so much about the sins other people might be committing. That is between them and God, and God will handle it in his own time.

Jesus called us to love God and love each other. I don't tell my family that I will love them so long as they do or don't do certain behavior, and I don't believe God is doing that either. Jesus came to save all of us, especially the sinners. He cautioned us against judging. He called the Pharisees hypocrites for being focused on a standard of obedience to rules they themselves could never hope to meet. He called them out for their lack of mercy in their obsession with sin. Too many Christians today have hard hearts and ignore these teachings.

That's just my opinion, but I think if we had softer hearts and more focus on love, we'd fill the churches.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
8.2.4  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @8.2.3    2 weeks ago

Thanks for taking the time to explain. If you don't mind I'd like to point out why a certain amount of what you call "finger pointing" is necessary for a Church to be an actual Church of God. 

One cannot read either the OT or the NT without coming away with the idea that both claim that something is seriously wrong with the human race in God's eyes. The whole thing, from beginning to end, explains this at great length and, at the same time, sets up the need for God to save us. In fact, the entire OT is about Christ's coming to do that very thing. 

Christ sacrificed himself for our sins. I doubt there are many who haven't heard the words of John 3:16. However, Christ himself stated that in order to accept that sacrifice, one must repent, believe in him as their savior and pick up their cross and follow him. He specifically states that one cannot love both the world (Godless human systems, beliefs and the desires of our evil hearts) and God. In other words, he didn't sacrifice himself so that we can keep on doing the things that condemned us without worrying about consequences. 

It is written that when someone honestly accepts Christ as savior because they repent of their sins, God creates in them a new person. In God's eyes, the old has passed away, having been crucified with Christ. There is little point in God doing that if all one does with that new life is intentionally continue the ways of the old life that one needed saving from in the first place. 

The whole point of salvation is to be rescued from a life that leads to death. This means being saved is recognizing that one has to let go of their own will for their life and accept God's will for their life. God's way of seeing things. God's way of doing things. God's attitude and heart. One's ultimate goal as a saved person is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. One can't glorify God by opposing His will. 

Now, having said all that, what you might consider finger pointing may simply be a Church pointing these things out to people who are either unaware of these things or ignoring them. We are called to love and that love is not to be conditional but that doesn't mean one is not loving someone else if they point out they are disobeying God's will for their life. In fact, pointing out such is actually an act of love if done with the right heart. Is it finger pointing or simply love to point out to a smoker that they are playing with death? Depends on the heart of the person pointing such out, doesn't it? 

He called the Pharisees hypocrites for being focused on a standard of obedience to rules they themselves could never hope to meet.

While this is true it doesn't mean Jesus would be against anyone pointing out that someone is not in obedience to God's will. Jesus was angry at the Pharisees because of the pride in their hearts concerning their own perceived success in obeying the law. Worse, they added their own merely human laws to God's in order to appear more righteous and increasing the burden on average people in the process. As Jesus stated, they did everything for appearances, not out of a genuine heart devoted to God. Rather than teaching the people about God, their focus became public perception of their own righteousness. 

But telling someone else they are out of God's will for their lives, in and of itself, is not necessarily wrong or against what Jesus taught. Jesus himself was constantly telling everyone "Do this, not that, and you will have a place in Heaven." He constantly warned that many would go to Hell, cast into darkness. He himself constantly said he did nothing by himself but only what his Father told him to do and he called on his followers to do the same. 

So, while having a softer heart and focusing on love is not wrong, by itself will not produce the Church God desires. God desires a Church that does those things while living lives in accordance with His will. That necessarily means pointing out when someone in the Church isn't doing that. 

So, that's what seems to be taught in the Bible, in my opinion. I don't know if any of that is what you would call finger pointing, but I wrote this to find out what you thought of what I have said. Thanks. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.2.5  sandy-2021492  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2.4    2 weeks ago
One cannot read either the OT or the NT without coming away with the idea that both claim that something is seriously wrong with the human race in God's eyes.

Well, now, whose fault is that, if he is the one who created us?  Maybe he should work on accepting his creation as he created it, and his creation should do the same.

Rhetorically speaking, of course.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
8.2.6  Tessylo  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2.4    2 weeks ago

So something can't be a church unless they're narrow minded and judgmental?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2.4    2 weeks ago
One cannot read either the OT or the NT without coming away with the idea that both claim that something is seriously wrong with the human race in God's eyes. The whole thing, from beginning to end, explains this at great length and, at the same time, sets up the need for God to save us. In fact, the entire OT is about Christ's coming to do that very thing. 

And right off that bat that should raise a major red flag to you.   The Christian God is defined as omnipotent, omniscient and perfect (among other things).   God created human beings and since God is omnipotent, He could have created us without these 'seriously wrong' problems.   Worse, since God is omniscient, He knew before He created us exactly what would go wrong and why.

God, thus, established humanity as He wanted and then later on sacrifices his Son hypostasis so that He could forgive the sins of humanity.    This 'logic' is like a bad screenplay.

Good grief man.

The biblical definition of God is self-refuting and irrational.   That is understandable given it was the product of ancient men with pens working as an extended community over many centuries.   What continues to fascinate me is how contemporary human beings refuse to acknowledge the serious flaws of the Bible (and other religious works).

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
8.2.8  Trout Giggles  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.7    2 weeks ago

So if I read the Bible I find God?

I'm not even sure how that works. Isn't that circular logic?

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
8.2.9  evilgenius  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.7    2 weeks ago
Worse, since God is omniscient, He knew before He created us exactly what would go wrong and why.

This is what the Puritans put into dogma. People are preordained from conception to either heaven or hell by and omniscient god's plan. Freewill is an illusion from their point of view, but god assured them their existence was part of a plan that would eventually create a heaven on earth.

Weird... and still not very logical since an omnipotent god should have been able to create a heaven on earth without all the millions of years of suffering in between. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
8.2.10  Gordy327  replied to  Trout Giggles @8.2.8    2 weeks ago
So if I read the Bible I find God? Isn't that circular logic?

I think that might be self delusion. But using the bible to prove the bible or god is circular logic.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
8.2.11  Tacos!  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2.4    2 weeks ago
In fact, pointing out such is actually an act of love if done with the right heart. Is it finger pointing or simply love to point out to a smoker that they are playing with death? Depends on the heart of the person pointing such out, doesn't it? 

In my experience, it is rarely done with love, truly. Too many Christians think once they are baptized, and made new, that they’re good with God and their worries are over.

But baptism is not a magic act. It’s simply an outward display of a commitment made by the individual. You aren’t magically made into a perfect person.

No person - no matter how committed - can live perfect enough, or do deeds good enough to earn salvation. God’s salivation comes through his grace, not by some of us being better than others. Your sin is not less offensive to God than my sin, and we are both sinning. None of has any control over the judgment God will make. Therefore, why make what other people are doing such a big focus of our lives and in our practice of faith?

If a church so shames a person that they hide from going to worship, what has the church achieved? If you care more about teaching people a lesson than you do about helping them experience the love of Christ, what good is your church?

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.2.12  TᵢG  replied to  evilgenius @8.2.9    2 weeks ago

At least there is some logic in their view.

 
 
 
evilgenius
Professor Participates
8.2.13  evilgenius  replied to  TᵢG @8.2.12    2 weeks ago
At least there is some logic in their view.

Some logic, but they lose big points for punishing those that chose to disagree. The least of which was banishment from the colony.

When the Quakers came the Puritans pass special laws that included fines, whipping and incarceration, for spreading, "horrid opinions". After the Quakers starting winning converts Puritans pass a law in 1658 that banished all Quakers from the colony on penalty of death should they return. Four Quakers were hanged on the Boston Commons under that law between 1659 and 1661. After 1661 "wandering Quakers" would be stripped naked to the waist, tied to a cart and whipped until they reached the edge of town where the next town would take over and repeat the punishment until they reached the edge of the colony. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.2.14  CB   replied to  evilgenius @8.2.9    2 weeks ago

Predestination is in the doctrine of Calvinism. The Bible does tell man to "choose." Of course, no choice can make one 'whole' spiritually. That is, God can not be COMMANDED to accept any mortal God does not judge to accept. Consequently, we choose-and God renders (in due time) the 'increase.'

Logic? Consider this: Logic is on a spectrum with illogic. A spectrum balances itself this way. Everything appears to have its opposites and blends on the spectrum.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
8.2.15  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @8.2.11    2 weeks ago

There is a lot of truth to what you say here, but following Christ is more than simply going to church and having warm fuzzy feelings and I think a lot of churches today only go after those feelings. God calls us to a specific life. He doesn't save us so that we can continue with the old one. Would you agree with that? 

When someone in the church is not following Christ, that is, they are obviously straying, is not the church supposed to help get them back on the right track? If a member is living a promiscuous lifestyle, should not that person be brought to shame in order to encourage them to repent? 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
8.2.16  Tacos!  replied to  Drakkonis @8.2.15    2 weeks ago
When someone in the church is not following Christ, that is, they are obviously straying, is not the church supposed to help get them back on the right track?

Honestly, I would say no. Jesus told his followers to spread the good news. He told them to love God and each other. He urged them to be forgiving of others, not to condemn them. He called on people to feed and clothe those who needed it. He didn’t deputize people to coerce other people into certain behaviors.

If a member is living a promiscuous lifestyle, should not that person be brought to shame in order to encourage them to repent? 

No. It’s not your business. It’s not the church’s business. Our culture is obsessed with sex and sexual morals - morals that shift like the climate across the centuries. Frankly, if we are weighing sins in the abstract, I would say pride does far more harm than promiscuity, but you don’t see legions of social conservatives trying to stamp out pride. They’re too busy being proud of their chastity.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
8.2.17  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @8.2.16    2 weeks ago

Okay. Thanks for your opinion. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.2.18  CB   replied to  Tacos! @8.2.16    2 weeks ago
When someone in the church
If a member is living a promiscuous lifestyle

These words: "in" and "member" are operative words on the occasion. The Church, many times is a human Shepherd guiding the lives of its members and their generations. In this sense, the Christian Faith is a realm of people banding together to put forth as a collective its worldview. Thus, the member spiritually signs a contract to follow 'upright' standards of Christlike living.

Now then, when the person turns away or 'falls away' from upholding the 'contract' its is the membership/leadership responsibility to call said individual or group of folks back to shared uprightness. Or else, let them depart from the contract—in relative peace.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
9  Thomas    2 weeks ago

Religion in the world today is used by politicians as another means to separate and define their voting blocks, to give themselves political traction. As such, more and more people are calling bullshit.

Religion is also used by individuals and groups calling themselves fundamentalists to carry out atrocities in the name of some purported higher power. Again, people look at those terrorists and cry bullshit. 

Further, some politicians take these terrorists and paint their religions as evil, when it is not the religions but the terrorists acting as false prophets of the religion who are evil, and ring the jingoistic bell, play them off of their homegrown religions for some populist religion traction. Once again, people see this and cry bullshit.

People watch, even if they aren't always paying perfect attention. They don't want to be shot for attending bible study or synagogue or morning prayer. So they don't attend. 

 
 
 
JBB
PhD Principal
10  seeder  JBB    2 weeks ago

I believe that the intolerance shown by evangelical fundamentalists has made Christianity less popular

 
 
 
r.t..b...
Masters Participates
10.1  r.t..b...  replied to  JBB @10    2 weeks ago

Plus the rank hypocrisy...

...emphasis on both. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Expert
10.2  Tacos!  replied to  JBB @10    2 weeks ago

I agree.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
11  TᵢG    2 weeks ago

It makes sense to me to see a trend away from a specific dogma towards a more spiritual view (and views of 'nobody knows').

  original

Considering the conventional first-level breakdown above, I would expect a migration of some gnostic theists ('absolutely certain that their god exists') to agnostic theists ('believe in their god but accept that their belief might be wrong').   Similarly, I suspect there are plenty of agnostic theists who have moved across the 50% threshold and are now agnostic atheists('not convinced a god exists, but will reconsider given evidence').   I suspect (and hope) that there is not much of a migration from agnostic atheist to gnostic atheist ('absolutely certain that no god exists') because gnostic positions are irrational.

 
 
 
bbl-1
PhD Quiet
12  bbl-1    2 weeks ago

This may be subtle, but it is something to be pondered or at least taken into consideration.  Speaking of declining church attendance, which I believe pertains mainly to christians.

Former President Trump, for his own political interests placed his hand on and used christianity to help achieve his ends.

My take is this---they should have read Rick Wilson's book, "Everything Trump Touches, Dies," before they made that commitment.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
12.1  CB   replied to  bbl-1 @12    2 weeks ago

I read the book! Right on!

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
12.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  bbl-1 @12    2 weeks ago

Trump used a bible which he held upside down for a photo op.  He also wore gloves as if the book had cooties.

 
 
 
Veronica
Junior Guide
13  Veronica    2 weeks ago

When I attended weekly Mass (my children were young) we went every week.  I began to notice then that many of the "pillars of the community" did not attend weekly Mass if something better to do came along (like a Buffalo Bills game they for which had tickets). I think this trend started a long time ago when Sundays were just another day.  And yes, I know Sunday was not the true Sabbath.  Also within the Catholic Church there was the issue of a priest shortage and parishes had to begin combining and sharing priests.  That did not always sit well since there was always some type of competition running amongst parishes.

Just my take on it. 

BTW - my "church" is full everyday - I attend the church of nature.  jrSmiley_2_smiley_image.png  

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
14  charger 383    2 weeks ago

Church and religion did not make sense to me a 6 and makes less sense at 60 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
14.1  CB   replied to  charger 383 @14    2 weeks ago

The bad news is you may have to wait several more years, Charger. The good news is: You can keep 'hope' alive! (It's a Poke.)

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
14.2  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @14    2 weeks ago

Church and religion never made sense to me. Even as a child, I could point out all the BS and logical flaws they peddle. Some people sure became angry and defensive when I pointed it out then. Some still do today.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
15  pat wilson    2 weeks ago

Churches/religions exist to be middlemen between God and His/Her penitents. That's it. It creates a purpose and then fulfills it. And it's profitable, ka-ching !

 
 
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