Key findings about Americans’ belief in God —April 25, 2018

Key findings about Americans’ belief in God —April 25, 2018
Via:   calbab
Created:   3 weeks ago
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Key findings about Americans’ belief in God


Michelangelo's
(Lucas Schifres/Getty Images)

In recent years, the share of American adults who do not affiliate with a religious group has risen dramatically. In spite of this trend, the overwhelming majority of Americans, including a majority of the religiously unaffiliated – those who describe themselves, religiously, as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular” – say they believe in God or a higher power, according a new Pew Research Center survey conducted in December of 2017. At the same time, only a slim majority of Americans now believe in the God of the Bible and roughly one-in-ten U.S. adults don’t believe in any higher power or spiritual force.

Here are six key takeaways from the report:

1 The vast majority of Americans (90%) believe in some kind of higher power, with 56% professing faith in God as described in the Bible and another 33% saying they believe in another type of higher power or spiritual force. Only one-in-ten Americans say they don’t believe in God or a higher power of any kind.

04.25.18_beliefingod-00-00.png

2 In the U.S., Christians are particularly likely (99%) to believe in God or a higher power, with 80% claiming faith in a biblical God. Three-quarters of Christians describe God as all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful. Like Christians, most Jews (89%) have faith in a deity. But just a third of Jews (33%) say they believe in God as described in the Bible, while 56% say they believe in some other higher power. Jews are also more likely than Christians to say they don’t believe in a spiritual force of any kind (10% vs. 1%). Finally, among those who describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated – also known as “nones” – 72% say they believe in a higher power of some kind.

04.25.18_beliefingod-00-04.png

3 About half (48%) of U.S. adults believe God determines what happens to them most or all of the time. Nearly eight-in-ten U.S. adults think God or a higher power has protected them, and two-thirds of Americans say they have been rewarded by the Almighty. At the same time, fewer see God as judgmental and punitive, with just four-in-ten saying they have been punished by the deity in which they believe.

4 Younger adults (those under the age of 50) are less inclined than older Americans to believe in a biblical God and more likely to say they don’t believe in any higher power or spiritual force. While roughly two-thirds of older adults say they believe in the biblical God, just 49% of those in their 30s and 40s – and just 43% of adults under 30 – say the same. Even with this age gap, an overwhelming majority of the youngest adults continue to believe in God or a higher power: Eight-in-ten of those ages 18 to 29 say they believe in at least some kind of spiritual force.

5 Americans with a high school education or less are more likely than college graduates to believe in God or a higher power (94% vs. 84%). They also are more likely than those who graduated from college to believe in the God of the Bible (66% vs. 45%) and to believe that a higher power determines what happens in their lives most or all of the time (59% vs. 33%).

6 Republicans and Democrats have very different beliefs about God. Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party are less likely to say they believe in the God of the Bible than Republicans and Republican leaners (45% vs. 70%). Democrats are more likely than Republicans (39% vs. 23%) to say they believe in a higher power other than the biblical God. They also are more likely to say they don’t believe in any deity at all (14% vs. 5%). The survey also finds big racial differences among Democrats; most nonwhite Democrats – who are predominantly black or Hispanic – believe in God as described in the Bible (61%), compared to just 32% of white Democrats.

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/25/key-findings-about-americans-belief-in-god/

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calbab
1  calbab    3 weeks ago

1. The vast majority of Americans (90%) believe in some kind of higher power, with 56% professing faith in God as described in the Bible and another 33% saying they believe in another type of higher power or spiritual force. Only one-in-ten Americans say they don’t believe in God or a higher power of any kind. — By Dalia Fahmy

 
 
calbab
2  calbab    3 weeks ago

*Unlike Christians, most Jewish adults don’t view God as seen in Bible: survey

About 33 percent of Jewish adults surveyed said they believe in God as “described” in the Bible. Fifty-six percent said they believe in another kind of “higher power” or “spiritual force.”


* https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/most-christians-just-one-third-of-jewish-adults-in-pew-center-study-believe-in-god-of-bible-religion-faith/

 
 
calbab
2.1  calbab  replied to  calbab @2    2 weeks ago

It could be so pleasant and interesting to get a Jewish perspective on some of this. One pressing question: If the Biblical OT is not the only consideration for Jewish people, why have Christians organizations that heavily rely on the OT not familiar with or guided to "other" relevant doctrinal materials?

I have often wondered about all of that. Note >> Well, Christians did close the Canon. So there is that to consider.

 
 
TiG
3  TiG    3 weeks ago

This is well known.   The USA is extremely religious compared to other world powers.   

Does this help you understand why skeptics in the USA are challenging fellow citizens to think more critically about their religious views?

Another interesting stat (from Pew) is how the USA stands compared to other major nations in terms of religiosity:

USA Religiosity.png

Many of the nations that are more religious than the USA also correlate well with theocratic rule.   Most are small in comparison as well (India being a notable exception).   Now look at the nations that are less religious than the USA.   Notably the list includes:

Israel, Poland, Canada, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Spain, UK, Russia, Australia, France, Japan and China.

The trend worldwide (with Islamic-oriented nations and third world nations being exceptions) seems to be towards irreligion.   This certainly makes sense (to me) given the increased availability of information to well established, free (in terms of information) nations.   The USA seems to be moving in this direction too but we are really dragging our heels.

 
 
Bob Nelson
4  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago

Interesting data. Thanks.

 
 
calbab
4.1  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @4    3 weeks ago

It is. To be fair to the subject matter, the link has way more information than I could possibly offer up alone—appropriately.  Lots of data 'break-outs.'

 
 
MrFrost
5  MrFrost    3 weeks ago

As a Deist, not sure where that puts me, but interesting data for sure. 

 
 
321steve
5.1  321steve  replied to  MrFrost @5    3 weeks ago
As a Deist

As a Deist myself I'm OK with where we rate.

Being in the middle and with it being "under control" IMO is a good place to be. 

 
 
MrFrost
5.1.1  MrFrost  replied to  321steve @5.1    2 weeks ago

We need a secret handshake Steve. Other than a friend of mine, you are the only other Deist I know. lol

 
 
321steve
5.1.2  321steve  replied to  MrFrost @5.1.1    2 weeks ago
Other than a friend of mine, you are the only other Deist I know

Then you know one more Deist than I do...lol

But, I know a lot of people who are close. Hell I didn't know what I was till a few years ago, I knew what I believed but I didn't know it had a name. lol

 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
6  Dignitatem Societatis    3 weeks ago

So, college graduates have the highest percentage of people who do not profess belief in non-evidenced malarky about imaginary friends on the sky, and high school or less have the highest percentage of people who do.

Imagine that.

It still seems a little embarrassing to me that the former is only 16%. I would have expected that to be higher.

 
 
calbab
6.1  calbab  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @6    3 weeks ago

Hi Dignitatem Societatis, dysphemisms aside, science and faith are separate realms. It is appreciable to exist and be a friend in both, in my opinion.

 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
6.1.1  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  calbab @6.1    3 weeks ago
science and faith are separate realms

Yes. One requires evidence and demonstrability, while the other only requires an imagination.

In the immortal words of Han Solo, I can imagine quite a bit, but lacking evidence and demonstrability I can't actually make myself believe in something that can only be imagined (god concepts, 'higher power' entities, etc.)

Science and faith are separate realms, but they are most certainly not on an equal footing with equal validity.

 
 
calbab
6.1.2  calbab  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @6.1.1    3 weeks ago

The Gospel does not pretend to be sophisticated. It need not.  Science can present evidence because it's events are reproducible. Faith is based on singular events which occurred. Logic will only get you to the threshold of faith where spirit takes charge.

 
 
TiG
6.1.3  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.2    3 weeks ago
Logic will only get you to the threshold of faith where spirit takes charge.

Trouble is, spirit is indistinguishable from imagination.

 
 
calbab
6.1.4  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.3    3 weeks ago

Mere hours ago you were saying it is indisputable that a well respected scientist (hover over link) can believe in a God. Now you inform me it is that 'well respected scientist's' imagination. Inconsistent.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.5  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.2    3 weeks ago
events which occurred.

We don't know that.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.4    3 weeks ago

It's imagination regardless of who's doing the imagining.

 
 
TiG
6.1.7  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.4    3 weeks ago

Those are two different things:

  1. There are indeed scientists who believe in a God.
  2. Spirit is (from a third party perspective) indistinguishable from imagination.

When there is a method to distinguish spirit from imagination then we will have something to go on.   Until that time you would not be able to distinguish a person’s belief that the spirit of God has moved him to act (sometimes good, sometimes tragically) from his imagination.

 
 
calbab
6.1.8  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.5    3 weeks ago

Hi Sandy!

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.9  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.8    3 weeks ago

Hello, calbab.  Hope you're well.

 
 
calbab
6.1.10  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.9    3 weeks ago

"Cal" is fine. Hope you are doing well yourself! So much going on in the world today. (Smile.)

 
 
calbab
6.1.11  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.5    3 weeks ago

For Christians, there is no gospel without the two historical events: Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. The crucifixion is not seriously disputed. The resurrection is taken on faith and demonstrated by the life-style changes (deeds) in people who make the choice to follow after him. Of course, his path leads to God.

 
 
calbab
6.1.12  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.7    3 weeks ago
  1. There are indeed scientists who believe in a God.
  2. Spirit is (from a third party perspective) indistinguishable from imagination.

What is your conclusion? Is it this:

3. There are scientists who believe God is an imaginary Spirit.

Or, something else.

 
 
TiG
6.1.13  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.12    3 weeks ago
What is your conclusion? 

I actually was not making an argument so I have no conclusion, per se.   I was stating two facts.

3. There are scientists who believe God is an imaginary Spirit.

I would say that there are scientists who believe in a God and some of them believe in a Spirit of God.   That does not mean either exist since nobody (not even these scientists) can offer any evidence in support of the belief.   Their belief is a leap of faith.   So there really is no independent way to distinguish the belief from imagination.  

 
 
Gordy327
6.1.14  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @6.1.2    3 weeks ago
Faith is based on singular events which occurred.

If that is the case, then there is nothing to collaborate or confirm the occurrence of said events. Faith simply says certain events occurred. It doesn't prove it actually has.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.15  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.11    3 weeks ago

I am aware that those are Christian beliefs.  That does not make them facts.  Yes, the crucifixion, and even existence, of Jesus is disputed.

Before one can establish that anyone is a path to god, one must establish that there is a god.  That has not been established.

Yes, some scientists believe in a creator god.  Neither the fact that they're scientists nor the fact that they believe make them correct.

 
 
calbab
6.1.16  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.13    3 weeks ago

There may not be a way to present spiritual  evidence of what is going on with these men and women internally. Their outward confessions and changed lives which each one can attribute to spiritual enrichment—naturalists ascribe natural explanation, explanations, or natural biases. It is a category mistake: For logic alone, can not provide evidence of God.

Something else is needed: Special revelation.

Biblical faith is not a 'leap of faith.' Our faith involves our minds, hearts and souls. Such faith, properly understood, is not a feeling merely wished upon. Christian faith is focused on a historical personage: Jesus.

 
 
calbab
6.1.17  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.15    3 weeks ago

This begs the question: This article is in the Religion and Ethics category. Methods for determining reasonable faith (singular events) are suitable here! Our faith does NOT argue for scientific inquiry (reproducible events).

 
 
calbab
6.1.18  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @6.1.14    3 weeks ago

Christian faith is based on historical events using historical and archaeological evidence. There are documents attesting to this. It is your right to question everything as a skeptic, as long as you do so without bias, no? Informed believers can speak and write about experiences in their lives of faith, because of personal involvement.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.19  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.17    3 weeks ago

What are those methods?

If they cannot be held to the same standard as science holds itself, there is little reason to trust them.

Scientists who are believers are not holding their beliefs to the same standards as they do their knowledge.  And I'm willing to bet that most would admit as much.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.20  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.18    3 weeks ago
as long as you do so without bias,

Gordy has a right to his biases, although I haven't seen him display any in this area.

Those who have faith in that which has no evidence are most certainly biased.  Religious faith is inherently biased.

 
 
calbab
6.1.21  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.20    3 weeks ago

Gordy argues for scientific collective objectivity, no?

Informed believers argue for a reasonable faith based on godly wisdom, scripture, and personal experiences in faith. Yes, this is true.

 
 
TiG
6.1.22  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.16    3 weeks ago
Special revelation.

Special revelation is also indistinguishable from imagination.   

In my opinion, if someone really wants something to be true - really wants to believe - one can find all sorts of personal justification to convince oneself the belief is true.

I am content simply following the facts to where they lead.  And I am entirely open to evidence of the grandest possible entity.  See, I would prefer something other than the finality of death and the uncertainty of a universe (including our own planet) that is almost entirely hostile to life.   But I know that I cannot make that happen other than in my mind.   I am not interesting in kidding myself.

Thus I will continue to follow a path to truth based on general revelation.   If God exists and wants me to know something, He knows where to find me in natural reality.   If He instead designed me as a skeptic and then refuses to communicate with me and then ultimately condemns me to eternal damnation then that is what He will do.   I am not rejecting God, do not hate God, I just do not see any evidence that God (i.e. a personal supreme entity with attributes and stories) exists.   And the evidence that others offer of God's existence are flawed logic, ancient (and modern) hearsay and notions that are indistinguishable from imagination.

Sorry, don't buy it.   I am not convinced.   Not even close.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.23  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.21    3 weeks ago
objectivity

Objectivity is by definition without bias.

 
 
calbab
6.1.24  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.19    3 weeks ago

Codices, manuscript copies, letters, special revelation/s and more.  The scientific method can not test one-time events in history. Moreover, when science can determine a larger percent of evidence of God; faith would decrease proportionally.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.25  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.24    3 weeks ago

Manuscript copies and letters about special revelations.

That doesn't hold water.

 
 
Bob Nelson
6.1.26  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @6.1.18    3 weeks ago
Christian faith is based on historical events using historical and archaeological evidence.

I don't agree, but we may just have a semantic divergence. IMNAAHO, "historical and archaeological evidence" is useful for determining the history of the Christian church, but irrelevant to faith. Faith, by definition, is independent of physical proof.

 
 
Bob Nelson
6.1.27  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @6.1.24    3 weeks ago
Moreover, when science can determine a larger percent of evidence of God; faith would decrease proportionally.

Until now, science has found no proof at all of God's existence. Personally, I don't expect it to ever find any.

Should science ever do so... there certainly would be a revolution in attitudes. Do you have any particular reason to suppose that science might someday find "evidence of God"?

 
 
calbab
6.1.28  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.22    3 weeks ago
I know that I cannot make that happen other than in my mind.

You know this?

God is not into fatalism. You are not designed to not have an appropriate set of choices—no one is designed that way.  Simply "Choose God." Then, leave it up to God to do the rest in God's time. (Rhetorical statement solely.)

 
 
calbab
6.1.29  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.23    3 weeks ago
Objectivity is by definition without bias.

. . .to either side.

 
 
calbab
6.1.30  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.25    3 weeks ago

 The data are every bit a record, an attestation (witness), to the singular facts occurring at the time as we are likely to review. Is this you objective statement?

 
 
TiG
6.1.31  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.28    3 weeks ago
You know this?

Yes I know that I (me, the individual) cannot make a nice God with good things happen in reality.   I do not possess such power.  I can, at best, imagine it.   But imagination is not the same as reality.

Odd that you think I might possess such powers.

 
 
calbab
6.1.32  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.31    3 weeks ago
See, I would prefer something other than the finality of death and the uncertainty of a universe (including our own planet) that is almost entirely hostile to life.   But I know that I cannot make that happen other than in my mind. 

No, not that other thing you state. Above, you appear to be implying  you know there is no God existing. That is why I asked a question. Thanks for the clarification, that you do not know this!

 
 
calbab
6.1.33  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.1.27    3 weeks ago
Moreover, when science can determine a larger percent of evidence of God; faith would decrease proportionally.

Hi Bob! Science operates on the natural world. Accordingly, nature is unlikely to 'root' Spirit out! On the other hand, when God reveals Spirit to the collective view of science - faith will decrease, by definition! For then we will see God face to face. (Smile.)

 
 
TiG
6.1.34  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.32    3 weeks ago
Above, you appear to be implying  you know there is no God existing. That is why I asked a question. Thanks for the clarification, that you do not know this!

Of course I do not know that no god exists.   Nobody, best I can tell, could possibly know that no god exists.   Similarly, nobody, best I can tell, knows that any god exists.  Lots of people think they know, but then again people think they know lots of things that are demonstrably false.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.35  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.29    3 weeks ago

If one side has no evidence, then objectively speaking, it just...doesn't have evidence.  Giving it a free pass because it's "spiritual" is biased.  Recognizing that one side doesn't have evidence is not biased.  It's just reality.

 
 
JohnRussell
6.1.36  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.35    3 weeks ago

I don't get into these endless back and forths about whether God exists or can exist, eventually it just gets boring to me, but I will comment on it once in a while. 

If one side has no evidence, then objectively speaking, it just...doesn't have evidence.  Giving it a free pass because it's "spiritual" is biased.  Recognizing that one side doesn't have evidence is not biased.  It's just reality.

You make the judgement that there is no "evidence" which is fine, but since the existence of God cannot be either proven or disproven, the importance of evidence mainly relates to one side of the argument, particularly since atheists insist on unfairly claiming the default. 

IF God exists, it exists mainly outside our ability to understand it because by definition it is a supernatural entity. Our natural measurements and scientific formulas and theories cannot account for things that exist outside this nature (the defintion of supernatural), Belief in God MUST be faith based. 

What is there to argue about? 

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.37  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.30    3 weeks ago
The data are every bit a record, an attestation (witness),

No, they aren't.  They're hearsay at best, and likely recorded myths.  For example, we don't even know that Moses existed, nor that the Israelites were ever actually enslaved by the Egyptians, so how can we trust that a probably-nonexistent man accurately recorded a vision of God?

We can't.

Every time there is any doubt in the veracity of the story, the cumulative effects of those doubts renders the credibility almost nonexistent.  If we can't even prove that many of the Bible's purported authors ever existed, or the conditions under which they are supposed to have written, how can we be sure the Bible is true?

We can't.  Not even close.  In fact, there are parts of the Bible that we can be fairly sure aren't true.

 
 
calbab
6.1.38  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.1.26    3 weeks ago

Christian faith if reasoned faith. That is, we have an array of written materials to study, the historical death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to investigate, archeological digs to explore, and within us the promised Seal of the Spirit guiding us. All helping establish and confirming our faith. We do not speak of scientific evidence, it is reserved for nature.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.39  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1.36    3 weeks ago
atheists insist on unfairly claiming the default

Logic is unfair?

Of course belief in God is faith-based.  I don't think anybody here really has a problem with that.  The problem arises when "belief" is touted as "knowledge" and faith is held to be equally as valid as facts.

There's nothing to argue about when someone says they believe in God.  There is when someone says they're certain of God's existence, that their faith is proof of such, and there is definitely something to argue about when they attempt to govern others by their faith, which is an attempt they very frequently make.

 
 
calbab
6.1.40  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.37    3 weeks ago

John Russell makes a valid point. Logic will not bring you to full understanding of God. Where general revelation ends, special revelation starts. For the Christian, reasonable faith requires an object: Jesus Christ.

 
 
Bob Nelson
6.1.41  Bob Nelson  replied to  calbab @6.1.38    3 weeks ago
... we have an array of written materials to study, the historical death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to investigate...

The written materials are so dubious that, IMHO, it is foolish (in the strict sense of that word) to cite them as "proof". They were written long after the crucifixion, by persons who did not witness the event. Heresay, at best... not acceptable in any court.

Most importantly... There's no need. Christ's message is sufficient.

 
 
epistte
6.1.42  epistte  replied to  calbab @6.1.40    3 weeks ago
John Russell makes a valid point. Logic will not bring you to full understanding of God. Where general revelation ends, special revelation starts. For the Christian, reasonable faith requires an object: Jesus Christ.

Are you comfortable with the idea that to know God you must ignore logic when religious belief can decide many critical life choices?   I am not in any way comfortable with ignoring logic considering the life decisions that can be controlled by religious faith.

 
 
Skrekk
6.1.43  Skrekk  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1.36    3 weeks ago
IF God exists, it exists mainly outside our ability to understand it because by definition it is a supernatural entity. Our natural measurements and scientific formulas and theories cannot account for things that exist outside this nature (the defintion of supernatural)

I wonder how all these supernatural creatures interact with the natural universe.    What's the mechanism for that?

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.44  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.40    3 weeks ago

Cal, when someone can prove to me that God exists, then I'll worry about understanding him.

Substitute another god in your statements - Zeus, Odin, Vishnu.  Why do you not believe in those gods?  There are scriptures written about them, same as your god.  They are every bit as able to defy logical explanation as your god.  They share the same lack of physical evidence, but have, or have had, many faithful worshippers.  Why is your god more valid than those gods?

 
 
TiG
6.1.45  TiG  replied to  Skrekk @6.1.43    3 weeks ago

Some natural people certainly seem to know an awful lot about the supernatural.   Odd given supernatural typically refers to that beyond our ability to perceive by any means (including all of science).

 
 
321steve
6.1.46  321steve  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.44    3 weeks ago

when someone can prove to me that God exists, then I'll worry about understanding him.

Him ?

GOD to me is the power/ the force/ the being/ the whatever that arranged all the atoms to be the sky, the earth, the rocks, the sun, and everything we can think of that works together to make up our universe. As well as every insect, animal and person.

Everything is (made up of atoms) Whatever arranged the atoms to be what they are is what I call my GOD !!!

Other than that I don’t "know" anything about GOD and I don’t believe anyone else alive does either. 

PS: I've read the old testament , the new testament, the book of Mormon and parts of the Koran, all seemed to me books more to control other humans than anything else. 

And It’s my believe that IF GOD wanted a "rule book" it would have created one and not left it up to fallible man to write.

My only "prove" of GOD is the universe and that's enough for me.

 
 
TiG
6.1.47  TiG  replied to  321steve @6.1.46    3 weeks ago

Steve, it would seem you are a pantheist (or a Buddhist).

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.48  sandy-2021492  replied to  321steve @6.1.46    3 weeks ago
Him ?

Just following conventions.

So you're a Deist, of sorts?

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.49  sandy-2021492  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.48    3 weeks ago

Or, as TiG said, a pantheist, perhaps?

 
 
321steve
6.1.50  321steve  replied to  TiG @6.1.47    3 weeks ago

LOL... I didn't know WTF to call myself for years.

After reading all those "religious books" I went out to a meadow and meditated one day on What I Believed and this is what I came up with. Then I ran into the definition of a Deist years later. That seems to be the closest "religion" I resemble. 

So when asked that's what I call myself. A Deist. 

 
 
TiG
6.1.51  TiG  replied to  321steve @6.1.50    3 weeks ago
So when asked that's what I call myself. A Deist.

Not a bad position to hold.

I got pantheist from this:

GOD to me is the power/ the force/ the being/ the whatever that arranged all the atoms to be the sky, the earth, the rocks, the sun, and everything we can think of that works together to make up our universe. As well as every insect, animal and person.

You are speaking one level of abstraction above deism in the blue text since your words do not require sentience.

 
 
321steve
6.1.52  321steve  replied to  TiG @6.1.51    3 weeks ago

I came to my believes mainly thru simple logic, as I have stated I had no idea what a deist was, I had never heard of one or of their believes. Basically all I even know now about Deist was learned from a definition. I am not religious, I just wanted to clarify for myself to myself at that time...WHAT I BELIEVED ABOUT GOD. 

Everything is (made up of atoms) Whatever arranged the atoms to be what they are is what I call my GOD !!!

That worked for me.

lol

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.53  sandy-2021492  replied to  321steve @6.1.52    3 weeks ago

Even if it's random chance and physics?

 
 
TiG
6.1.54  TiG  replied to  321steve @6.1.52    3 weeks ago

I mention pantheism only because I think you would find it interesting (appealing).   If you have some spare quiet time to read here is a link.

 
 
321steve
6.1.55  321steve  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.53    3 weeks ago
Even if it's random chance and physics?

That was considered. However with the way everything including the food chain works together and each species of everything having a specific "purpose" in the "workings" of the whole. 

The answer is YES. IF this is random or chance that's also acceptable but not probable some sore of intelligence actually seems more logical.

A "force" perhaps of nature was included in "what" GOD is as well..

 
 
321steve
6.1.56  321steve  replied to  TiG @6.1.54    3 weeks ago
If you have some spare quiet time to read here is a link.

Thanks, I spent a few minutes scanning thru the link. 

This is much more involved than I need, want or believe there is a known answer for.

Personally I dont think we are supposed to know, or we would. For sure without the need of "writings" made by other men.

In fact that leads us to our conscience.. Many call it  the "Holy Spirit" I say if anything it could be the voice of GOD it sure could. Mine sure tells me what not to do often...LOL

 
 
TiG
6.1.57  TiG  replied to  321steve @6.1.56    3 weeks ago
This is much more involved than I need, want or believe there is a known answer for.

Okay.   Certainly no need, just interest.

 
 
321steve
6.1.58  321steve  replied to  TiG @6.1.57    3 weeks ago
no need, just interest.

Thanks again I really did check it out. I just really have no interest in trying to understand GOD beyond what I already do.

I already spent all the time and effort I feel I want to on it long ago. I Am quiet satisfied with where I am on knowing GOD.

The easiness of my explanation liberates me and satisfies me. That's really all I need. But, Thanks for offering me more.  

 
 
calbab
6.1.59  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.35    3 weeks ago

You are not giving anybody a free pass. You deliberately use the scientific model in ways it is not intended. That is bias, no?

 
 
TiG
6.1.60  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.59    3 weeks ago

The supernatural is pure speculation.   Applying the scientific method to the only reality that is demonstrable is not being biased.

 
 
calbab
6.1.61  calbab  replied to  Bob Nelson @6.1.41    3 weeks ago

We do have to pick our "fronts," no? Let Jesus be sufficient!

 
 
calbab
6.1.62  calbab  replied to  epistte @6.1.42    3 weeks ago
Where general revelation ends, special revelation starts.

Who said ignore logic? Logic alone can not hep you comprehend God. Not sure what there is for me to do about anyone's "comfort."

 
 
calbab
6.1.63  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.44    3 weeks ago

I do not have to deal with validity of other gods. You would do well to ask their worshippers, if and when you locate one. As for the Christian faith, our Gospel is centered on what Jesus did and not simply what he teaches: His crucifixion and resurrection.

Do not attempt to distract me with those counter-narratives. You are free to believe in them if you desire. You do not require my permission.

 
 
calbab
6.1.64  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.45    3 weeks ago

Well, we do have Special revelation. (Smile.)

 
 
calbab
6.1.65  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.60    3 weeks ago

Scientists use the scientific method on reproducible events to get answers. Faith is established on singular (non-recurring) events in time.

 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
6.1.66  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  321steve @6.1.55    3 weeks ago

That was considered. However with the way everything including the food chain works together and each species of everything having a specific "purpose" in the "workings" of the whole. 

The answer is YES. IF this is random or chance that's also acceptable but not probable some sore of intelligence actually seems more logical.

Well, the food chain is basically nothing more than organisms being opportunistic, with predator and prey populations balancing out naturally in any given environment. Nothing really has a purpose. One organism might be food for another, but it's not there because that's its purpose. It's there simply because its parents were able to successfully reproduce before they became food themselves (if ever).

Also, even though nature may seem like some kind of finely-tuned happy balance between all the various species', it's not. Everything continually evolves to better adapt to some very non-happy problems. Evolutionary forces are constantly working on species' to make them better suited to their environments (which also change over time). Over long time scales, prey species' are always adapting into something harder to see or catch, and predators are always adapting into something better at seeing or catching prey, and the balance is always shifting.

I suspect that if you became interested enough to really delve into it in a targeted way (a little physics, some chemistry, some astronomy/cosmology, some evolutionary biology), the need for some sort of intelligence to be involved would likely diminish drastically. For myself, the only place where there's even room for one (but that's not to say that I think one is there) is the occurrence of the Big Bang itself. I'm pretty much satisfied that everything after that required nothing more than physics, no matter how spectacularly special or coincidental anything might seem (like some really peculiar things about our own solar system, for example).

A guiding intelligence along the way just isn't required.

 
 
321steve
6.1.67  321steve  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @6.1.66    3 weeks ago
I suspect that if you became interested enough to really delve into it in a targeted way (a little physics, some chemistry, some astronomy/cosmology, some evolutionary biology), the need for some sort of intelligence to be involved would likely diminish drastically.

The need for some sort of "Intelligence" is not actually required: However it would be "expected" (logical). Because of the universal relationship of nature and the natural balance of life.  

"Everything is (made up of atoms) Whatever arranged the atoms to be what they are is what I call my GOD !!!"

"Including everything we can think of that works together to make up our universe."

.............  ............. ........... .......... .......... ........ 

But, the Big Bang the Big Bang the Big Bang

Would be included in this:  My wording is not set in stone but a way of discribing what I believe about GOD.

GOD to me is the power/ the force/"the Big Bang"/ the being/ the whatever that arranged all the atoms to be the sky, the earth, the rocks, the sun, the animals, us, and everything we can think of. As well as every single person on it.

..................................................................................

BTW: A great deal of thought, reading, listening, observing, living, loving, death, pain and much reflecting was involved in this quite simple "Religion" that I believe. 

Everything is (made up of atoms)

Whatever arranged the atoms to be what they are is what I call my GOD !!!

Thanks for your interest 

 

 
 
321steve
6.1.68  321steve  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @6.1.66    3 weeks ago
A guiding intelligence along the way just isn't required.

.............

I agree

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.69  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.59    3 weeks ago
You are not giving anybody a free pass.

I'm not.

And no, I'm not using the scientific method for other than its intended purpose.  If a god made the physical world, there should be physical evidence of that god.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.70  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.63    3 weeks ago
I do not have to deal with validity of other gods.

You are the one insisting on different standards for spiritual "evidence" and physical evidence.  So determining the validity of other gods happens on the playing field you insist upon.  But you refuse.  Why is that?

 
 
Phoenyx13
6.1.71  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @6.1.38    3 weeks ago
We do not speak of scientific evidence, it is reserved for nature.

scientific evidence is for everything that we are aware of - yet you are stating that God is apart of the supernatural realm that no one can understand from a point of view of scientific evidence.... except you so far since you personally talk to God, correct ?

so we have a supernatural entity that can't be reasoned by logic, has to be taken on faith and no one can understand - yet you can still talk to it and have a "personal" relationship with it while not understanding it, correct ?

I do not have to deal with validity of other gods.

you absolutely have to deal with the validity of other gods if you are going to claim that your God is the "one true God" etc, etc. Otherwise, you cannot make that claim, correct ? by stating your God is the only one and the one true God - you are also claiming other gods/goddesses do not exist. how are you able to possess that knowledge to be 100% sure that no other gods/goddesses exist ?

 
 
Freefaller
6.1.72  Freefaller  replied to  Phoenyx13 @6.1.71    3 weeks ago
how are you able to possess that knowledge to be 100% sure that no other gods/goddesses exist ?

Faith without logic or facts

 
 
TiG
6.1.73  TiG  replied to  Freefaller @6.1.72    2 weeks ago

A master stroke of religions is convincing people that faith is a form of knowledge.

 
 
calbab
6.1.74  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.69    2 weeks ago

Yes, it is called: The universe and the life that is us in it!

 
 
calbab
6.1.75  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.70    2 weeks ago

Actually I wrote so much more than this. Please re-read it, and apply it accordingly. It will save time, energy, and distraction.

 
 
calbab
6.1.76  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.73    2 weeks ago

Is faith really a 'master stroke' using whatever net negative connotative meaning you pour into this oft-time repeated phrase? Or, is faith in God something you do not desire or apply yourself to better comprehending?

 
 
Phoenyx13
6.1.77  Phoenyx13  replied to  TiG @6.1.73    2 weeks ago
A master stroke of religions is convincing people that faith is a form of knowledge.

this tactic has seemed to work as there are many people who will defend and treat faith as a form of knowledge - which is ironic since faith requires no definitive knowledge nor facts and is dependent upon the absence of both.

 
 
TiG
6.1.78  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.76    2 weeks ago
Is faith really a 'master stroke' using whatever net negative connotative meaning you pour into this oft-time repeated phrase? Or, is faith in God something you do not desire or apply yourself to better comprehending?

No, it is really a master stroke.   'I just believe' is not knowledge, it is hope.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.79  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.74    2 weeks ago

The existence of the universe is evidence only of its existence.  You extrapolate too far.

 
 
sandy-2021492
6.1.80  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @6.1.75    2 weeks ago

You may have written more, but it still boils down to - you believe that the universe was created by God.  You have no evidence of this, except that which you claim as evidence.  You hold your "evidence" to a much lower standard than you hold physical evidence, or even the "spiritual evidence" of other religions.

You give your own beliefs a pass.  When engaged on the field on which you insist, that of "spiritual evidence", you move the goalposts.  Then you seem frustrated when nobody acknowledges your "spiritual evidence".  Why should they?  You refuse to acknowledge another religion's "spiritual evidence".

I'm challenging you to apply the same standards of evidence to your own beliefs as you do to any other religion.

 
 
calbab
6.1.81  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.78    2 weeks ago

Please observe: Informed believers do so much more than 'just believe.'

 
 
Phoenyx13
6.1.82  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @6.1.81    2 weeks ago
Informed believers do so much more than 'just believe.'

this definitely infers there is evidence for informed believers - please present that evidence, otherwise it is just belief whether you like that or not.

 
 
TiG
6.1.83  TiG  replied to  calbab @6.1.81    2 weeks ago

Such as?

 
 
Freefaller
6.1.84  Freefaller  replied to  calbab @6.1.81    2 weeks ago
Informed believers do so much more than 'just believe

What is an informed believer?  Is it someone who believes (imagines) really, really hard?

 
 
calbab
6.1.85  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.80    2 weeks ago

NONSENSE. I am not even mildly frustrated. (Smile.)

 
 
epistte
6.1.86  epistte  replied to  calbab @6.1.18    2 weeks ago

Christian faith is based on historical events using historical and archaeological evidence. There are documents attesting to this. It is your right to question everything as a skeptic, as long as you do so without bias, no? 

What historical events in the Bible do you believe that there are documents authenticating?

Informed believers can speak and write about experiences in their lives of faith, because of personal involvement.

Someone can also believe in their hearts that gold can turn into lead via alchemy but there is no proof of that ever happening.   The fact that there are people who sincerely believe that the Earth is flat or that vaccines cause autism is a reason to believe that claims are empirically true?

 
 
calbab
6.1.87  calbab  replied to  TiG @6.1.83    2 weeks ago
 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
6.1.88  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  epistte @6.1.86    2 weeks ago
What historical events in the Bible do you believe that there are documents authenticating?

It is always a hoot when the same people who claim the bible is unalterable and true word of GOD and then deny certain parts of it happened.  Recently, when some bible thumper declaimed that Israel "ALWAYS" belonged to the Jews I pointed out that the bible states that Abraham came from the East and invaded the already populated areas now called Israel and Palestine smoting and slaughtering all the way.  The response was, well, not EVERYTHING in the bible has to be taken as the word of GOD.  If we've said it once it can't be said often enough that the mendacity and sliminess of these people cannot be understated. 

 
 
calbab
6.1.89  calbab  replied to  Freefaller @6.1.84    2 weeks ago

Cheap-shots?

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
6.1.90  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  calbab @6.1.89    2 weeks ago
Cheap-shots?

Ill take two Irish, soda back.

 
 
calbab
6.1.91  calbab  replied to  epistte @6.1.86    2 weeks ago

It strikes me you need an honest encounter with one or several of those "extremists" for a reply.

 
 
calbab
6.1.92  calbab  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @6.1.90    2 weeks ago

I'd like one less "Drive-by," please. (Smile.)

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
6.1.93  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  calbab @6.1.92    2 weeks ago

Sounds like a soft drink to me.

 
 
Gordy327
6.1.94  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @6.1.18    2 weeks ago
Christian faith is based on historical events using historical and archaeological evidence. There are documents attesting to this.

And here I thought Christian faith was based on the bible, especially around Jesus. 

It is your right to question everything as a skeptic, as long as you do so without bias, no?

Who is more biased than theists?  They typically refuse to accept or consider anything which contradicts or challenges their faith.

Informed believers can speak and write about experiences in their lives of faith, because of personal involvement.

Subjective and anecdotal.

 
 
epistte
6.1.95  epistte  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @6.1.88    2 weeks ago
It is always a hoot when the same people who claim the bible is unalterable and true word of GOD and then deny certain parts of it happened.

How can the Bible possibly be the word of god when many of the books, especially the Old Testament openly disagree? Even the 4 Gospels are not consistent with the teachings of Jesus. When you add the other books of the New Testament, either they were written by drastically disparate people or their god has more personalities than Stephen King has even envisioned.

 
 
Freefaller
6.1.96  Freefaller  replied to  calbab @6.1.89    2 weeks ago
Cheap-shots?

Sure sounds like a great idea, name the bar and time and I'm in.

 
 
Freefaller
6.1.97  Freefaller  replied to  calbab @6.1.89    2 weeks ago
Cheap-shots?

Sure sounds like a great idea, name the bar and time and I'm in.

 
 
Freefaller
6.1.98  Freefaller  replied to  calbab @6.1.89    2 weeks ago

Sorry triplicate post

 
 
Phoenyx13
6.1.99  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @6.1.18    2 weeks ago
Informed believers can speak and write about experiences in their lives of faith, because of personal involvement.

i guess that means people (informed believers that Jesus/God doesn't exist) can write that Jesus didn't exist and that God doesn't exist due to their experiences in their lives of faith and their personal involvement in their experiences -- and you wholeheartedly believe it and endorse it, correct ?

 
 
Phoenyx13
7  Phoenyx13    3 weeks ago

Younger adults (those under the age of 50) are less inclined than older Americans to believe in a biblical God and more likely to say they don’t believe in any higher power or spiritual force. While roughly two-thirds of older adults say they believe in the biblical God, just 49% of those in their 30s and 40s – and just 43% of adults under 30 – say the same. Even with this age gap, an overwhelming majority of the youngest adults continue to believe in God or a higher power: Eight-in-ten of those ages 18 to 29 say they believe in at least some kind of spiritual force.

Americans with a high school education or less are more likely than college graduates to believe in God or a higher power (94% vs. 84%). They also are more likely than those who graduated from college to believe in the God of the Bible (66% vs. 45%) and to believe that a higher power determines what happens in their lives most or all of the time (59% vs. 33%).

i do find both of these pieces of information very interesting

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
8  Dismayed Patriot    3 weeks ago

I think this was one of the most interesting statistics:

"About half (48%) of U.S. adults believe God determines what happens to them most or all of the time."

This makes me wonder, if nearly half of people believe their God is determining what happens to them, they must be assuming that same God determines what happens to everyone. And if that's the case, why do they believe God saves some people from horrific tragedies but lets other seemingly innocent people, even very young children, to die? Why would a God allow something like the Newtown Sandy Hook Elementary shooting to occur while apparently saving hundreds of LGTBQ club goers in the Orlando nightclub mass shooting. I find it much easier to believe that either there is no all powerful creator being watching over us, or that if there is an all power creator being it's not actively monitoring the seeds of life it's planted throughout the cosmos. That all the things that happen on a daily basis, from children getting cancer, women being abused to genocides, they are the product of time and unforeseen occurrence. To believe any other way you have to either believe the deity is powerless to stop the pain and suffering many humans experience, or that it enjoys watching us go through pain and suffering.

 
 
Texan1211
8.1  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @8    3 weeks ago

Your opinion--and one not widely held by others.

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
8.1.1  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  Texan1211 @8.1    2 weeks ago
Your opinion--and one not widely held by others.

That's your opinion (and, unsurprisingly, is contradicted by facts).

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.2  Phoenyx13  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @8    3 weeks ago
"About half (48%) of U.S. adults believe God determines what happens to them most or all of the time."

it's a statistic that seemingly contradicts the arguments of "free will"

 
 
calbab
8.3  calbab  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @8    3 weeks ago

There is another choice: Human freewill is connected on the spectrum of Good:Evil. That is, the knowing (experience) of Good and Evil. Interesting the Old Testament uses similar language as this.

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.3.1  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @8.3    3 weeks ago
Human freewill is connected on the spectrum of Good:Evil.

how can Human freewill exist if God is determining what happens to humans all of the time or most of the time ?

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.2  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @8.3    3 weeks ago
Human freewill is connected on the spectrum of Good:Evil. That is, the knowing (experience) of Good and Evil.

If there was a god, there would be no such thing as free will.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
8.3.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.2    3 weeks ago
If there was a god, there would be no such thing as free will.

If there was a God as defined by most Christians or Muslims. If "God" is defined as simply "that which caused life to sprout on this planet", then God could be some ancient alien who launched his home worlds DNA structures encapsulated in the ice cores of comets which were sent out to terra form likely habitable planetoids. If the latter was the case then God could exist as well as free. But otherwise, you're correct, all powerful God who either knows exactly what we will do or in fact determining what happens to us in our lives. And it makes even less sense to believe you can close your eyes and use telepathy to communicate with some alien spirit being.

 
 
calbab
8.3.4  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.2    3 weeks ago

Of course there can be free-will, humanly-speaking and earthly-speaking. Even possibly universally-speaking. Why not?

 
 
TiG
8.3.5  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.4    3 weeks ago
Why not?

Because if any entity has the ability to know the future, that future is deterministic.   If the future is deterministic, free will is not possible.

God, per the Bible, is omniscient.   If that is true, there can be no free will for anyone.   Ancient men with pens did not think this through very well.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.6  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.3.5    3 weeks ago

Actually, it is very easy to understand men having free will and there being a God who knows the future. 

We are not God. It's almost that simple. Not being able to know the future, like God presumably does, men ALWAYS experience free will. In fact, it is impossible for you to invent a scenario where you would not experience free will. 

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.7  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.6    3 weeks ago
men having free will and there being a God who knows the future.

Not if God made men as they are.  He made them knowing exactly how they'd act.  Their futures were decided the moment God decided to create them.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.8  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.7    3 weeks ago

In order for you to not have free will (whether or not God exists) you would have to be able to experience not having free will. You can't, and whether or not God exists has no bearing on that. 

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.9  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.8    3 weeks ago
you would have to be able to experience not having free will

Why?  Not knowing you don't have free will doesn't mean you have free will.  It just means you don't know that you don't.  You're just unaware that your choices aren't really yours.

 
 
calbab
8.3.10  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.5    3 weeks ago

God sets the boundaries of our earthly and universal existences and times. Within this framework, God can set conditions on good and evil. Even lay out rewards and penalties. Whereupon God can turn away and only be reminded at the noise of a triggered "Kaboom" in life! Set Boundaries. Parameters. Live-Play-Die (Choices), in-betweens.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.11  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.9    3 weeks ago

The only thing that matters is what you can or could experience. That is your existence, period.  You cannot experience not having free will. 

So, God may know the future but you don't. Him knowing the future does absolutely NOTHING to inhibit your experience of your free will.  Your claim that you have no free will has no basis other than as a hypothetical. 

 
 
Bob Nelson
8.3.12  Bob Nelson  replied to  TiG @8.3.5    3 weeks ago

Because if any entity has the ability to know the future, that future is deterministic.   If the future is deterministic, free will is not possible.  God, per the Bible, is omniscient.  

If that is true, there can be no free will for anyone.   Ancient men with pens did not think this through very well.

If God is omniscient then He knows all the futures of all the infinity of universes that are created at each new choice by our free will.

Omniscience does not preclude free will.

 
 
TiG
8.3.13  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.6    3 weeks ago
We are not God. It's almost that simple.

Right off the bat that shows you do not understand what I wrote.   This has nothing whatsoever to do with our abilities.   It has everything to do with the nature of reality.  The nature of reality is either deterministic (future is knowable) or it is not.   

Not being able to know the future, like God presumably does, men ALWAYS experience free will. In fact, it is impossible for you to invent a scenario where you would not experience free will.

It would be an illusion of free will.    If the future is knowable (known by any entity), free will is impossible.  


Free will is not a function of God knowing the future - it is a function of ANY ENTITY knowing the future - a function of the future being knowable.

  1.  If ANY ENTITY can know the future then the future is knowable
  2.  If the future is knowable then it is predetermined (everyone's choices are known ahead of time)
  3.  If the future is predetermined, free will is -by definition- impossible (the illusion of free will, however, is possible)
  4.  God, an entity per the Bible, knows the future (is omniscient)
  5.  The future, per the Bible, is knowable

  ∴ No human being, per the Bible, can have free will.

 
 
TiG
8.3.14  TiG  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.3.12    3 weeks ago
Omniscience does not preclude free will.

If it is possible for any entity to be omniscient then the future is knowable and free will cannot possibly exist.

 
 
TiG
8.3.15  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.8    3 weeks ago
In order for you to not have free will (whether or not God exists) you would have to be able to experience not having free will.

What makes you think we are not currently experiencing having no free will?  Simply because it seems to us that we have free will?   

The more we learn the more we understand that things are not what they seem.   Our reality (the natural world) is a grand illusion (and that is based simply on our understanding of particle physics).

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.16  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.11    3 weeks ago
The only thing that matters is what you can or could experience.

You're repeating your point without supporting it.

Of course our point about free will is hypothetical.  We're speaking as if God is a real thing ;)  That doesn't make the point less valid.

Whether we know our future or not is irrelevant.  If God both creates us and knows our future, he has determined that future, and there is no free will.  Hypothetically speaking.

 
 
Bob Nelson
8.3.17  Bob Nelson  replied to  TiG @8.3.14    3 weeks ago
If it is possible for any entity to be omniscient then the future is knowable and free will cannot possibly exist.

You say "the" future. Singular. I'd use plural.

If we accept the idea of multiverses, universes created at each fork in the road, then there's no contradiction. We have choice, and God knows the future regardless of what we decide. Omniscience is BIG!

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.18  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.16    3 weeks ago
Whether we know our future or not is irrelevant.  If God both creates us and knows our future, he has determined that future, and there is no free will.  Hypothetically speaking.

You are assuming that your existence and experiences are comparable to God's experiences and experiences, when by definition they wouldn't be, would they? 

Because God knows the future you think it should be knowable to us. I don't see any basis for believing that, and thus OUR future in OUR experience is not predetermined to US.  I may not be able to explain this concept in the proper metaphysical terminology, but I am quite sure of the vailidity of it. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.19  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.10    3 weeks ago
God sets the boundaries of our earthly and universal existences and times. Within this framework, God can set conditions on good and evil. Even lay out rewards and penalties. Whereupon God can turn away and only be reminded at the noise of a triggered "Kaboom" in life! Set Boundaries. Parameters. Live-Play-Die (Choices), in-betweens.

What does any of the above have to do with the conflict of omniscience and free will?

 
 
TiG
8.3.20  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.11    3 weeks ago
Him knowing the future does absolutely NOTHING to inhibit your experience of your free will

You are simply repeating your claim.   Do you have an argument to support this?

Alternatively you can show where you disagree with my argument (and I will then provide my rebuttal).

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.21  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.3.20    3 weeks ago

My "argument" is you and I are not God and our experience of free will is not the same as God's experience of our free will. 

In REALITY every human being has free will and MUST have free will. You cannot even envision a scenario where you don't have free will. 

God's experience of the future as in how it may effect "free will" is not your or my experience. 

What you and Sandy are trying to say is that if God knows the future human beings cannot have free will, and that is not the way this existence is experienced by us. 

We are not God. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.22  TiG  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.3.17    3 weeks ago
You say "the" future. Singular. I'd use plural.

Then let's use plural.   If God knows all the possible futures that would not be omniscience unless he knew which path would eventually be taken in each one.  If you perceive multiple futures as coexisting (where multiple alternate realities all exist) then omniscience means knowing the choices made in each of those multiple futures.   Same logic applies.

Omniscience is indeed a big deal.   If any entity is omniscient then it knows what choice will be made (in all futures) and thus there is no free will anywhere.   

If we accept the idea of multiverses, universes created at each fork in the road, then there's no contradiction.

(see above)   Imagine 10500 universes each with their own distinct reality.   If God is omniscient, there is no free will to be found anywhere.


Now if you want to equivocate on 'all-knowing' and limit God to being omniscient just in our universe then we would not have free will, but free will might exist in other universes where God is not omniscient.  (Of course these universes cannot be knowable by ANY entity if free will is to exist.)

 
 
TiG
8.3.23  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.21    3 weeks ago
We are not God.

This statement (quoted) demonstrates that you are nowhere near understanding the argument I made.   Us being God (or even close) has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the argument.  I honestly have no idea where to even start to explain my argument (again) so I am not going to try.


My "argument" is you and I are not God and our experience of free will is not the same as God's experience of our free will. 

Sure.  What does that mean?   Define 'free will' as we experience it.   If you define free will as an illusion (our illusion) of having choice then I agree - we absolutely have the illusion of free will.   If you define free will as being able to make a choice in a knowable (deterministic) reality then we would indeed have to be God to make that choice.   That choice would reset all of reality.

In REALITY every human being has free will and MUST have free will. You cannot even envision a scenario where you don't have free will. 

That is an argument from incredulity.  Just because you cannot imagine not having free will does not mean free will must exist.

God's experience of the future as in how it may effect "free will" is not your or my experience. 

You need to be much, much clearer and specific.   This claim is meaningless to me.   (I am sure you have a better understanding of what you meant, but your words offer nothing but a vague claim.)

What you and Sandy are trying to say is that if God knows the future human beings cannot have free will, and that is not the way this existence is experienced by us. 

Close.   If the future is knowable then there is no free will.   Because if the future is knowable then the choices are known - determined.   (Reality would be deterministic.)  If the choices are known then you and I do not have the freedom to do anything but follow the script - that is determinism in action.  

 
 
GregTx
8.3.24  GregTx  replied to  TiG @8.3.22    3 weeks ago

"If any entity is omniscient then it knows what choice will be made (in all futures) and thus there is no free will anywhere."

Why do you think that knowing the choices means that there isn't free will? If you used the word alters instead of knows, I would agree.

 
 
TiG
8.3.25  TiG  replied to  GregTx @8.3.24    3 weeks ago
Why do you think that knowing the choices means that there isn't free will?

See @8.3.13

I presented a pseudo formal argument.   Let's work from that framework (for clarity).

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.26  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.3.23    3 weeks ago

You have a very bad habit of claiming the right to define the parameters of what is to be discussed and how it is to be discussed. 

Frankly, it is not at all complicated to understand that God could know the future AND WE could also experience free will. 

It's not a difficult problem. God knows something we don't. BUT, in out our experience, EVERY SINGLE INFINITESIMALLY MINUTE GASP OF OUR EXPERIENCE, we express our free will. That is the nature of our existence. 

You are complaining because God may know something you don't know, therefore it is unfair to you. You don't need to know everything God knows. Your experience of free will will always be intact, even if God knows the future, simply because you are not God.   You have free will, whether God exists or not and whether God knows the future or not. 

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.27  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.18    3 weeks ago
You are assuming that your existence and experiences are comparable to God's experiences and experiences

Not really, but it's not relevant, anyway.

Because God knows the future you think it should be knowable to us.

I've said nothing of the sort.  I've said that if God, being omniscient, knows at the time of our creation what we will do (and he would, being omniscient), then by creating us, he has predetermined our actions.  Whether we know that is the case or not is entirely irrelevant.  If God knows, and he's the guy in charge, then it's all determined by him, not us.  No free will for us.

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.28  Excitable Boy  replied to  TiG @8.3.22    3 weeks ago

I wouldn’t worry about how omniscient whatever god you believe there to be, it it’s not like you have any God like powers. 

 
 
epistte
8.3.29  epistte  replied to  GregTx @8.3.24    3 weeks ago
Why do you think that knowing the choices means that there isn't free will? If you used the word alters instead of knows, I would agree.

If the deity already knows what you will do before you do it then there is no free will because your action must be predetermined. 

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.30  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.27    3 weeks ago

I completely disagree. For the sake of argument let's assume something that is not impossible. I know you don't believe it but let's agree it is not impossible. Let's assume God exists and God knows the future. Unless he tells you, you will not know the future, and as human beings experience this existence, they have free will. If you were somehow buried alive up until your final breath you would have a choice of how you reacted to that situation. We won't go into that unpleasant situation in detail, but I think you agree that it would be your choice every second of the way as to how you reacted up until your last breath.  So we MUST experience free will, it is the nature of our existence.  God has nothing to do with it so to speak. 

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.31  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.26    3 weeks ago
You are complaining because God may know something you don't know, therefore it is unfair to you.

Um, no.

We're not complaining at all.  Considering that neither TiG nor I believe in God, it is hardly likely that we think a (to us) nonexistent God knowing more than us is unfair.

This is an exercise in logic.

Think characters in a book.  Do the characters exercise free will?  Do they make their own decisions?  Can they change the words on the page?  Of course not.  But to someone immersed in the story, a good author can make it seem that they are - the characters' thought processes might be spelled out, with some psychological and situational background information framing those thoughts.  But in the end, the characters behave as they are written.  As the author, their creator, had planned, and knew they would behave when s/he put pen to paper.  

 
 
GregTx
8.3.32  GregTx  replied to  epistte @8.3.29    3 weeks ago

Why? How does the "deity" knowing what I'm going to do negate free will unless it alters what I'm going to do?

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.33  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.30    3 weeks ago

You're still just repeating your claim that if we are unaware that we don't have free will, we actually have it.  We don't.  We have the illusion of it.  Our lack of knowledge of the situation does not change the situation.  Our perception would not be reality.

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.34  sandy-2021492  replied to  GregTx @8.3.32    3 weeks ago

Because it has already determined what you are going to do, when it created you knowing what you would do.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.35  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.33    3 weeks ago

Why do you insist on confining the powers of God to human dimensions? I understand you are an atheist, and that's fine, I don't object to that or wish you weren't. 

It may not strike you as "logical" that God could know the future and there could also be free will for human beings, but I don't see it as being even the slightest bit of a problem. 

 I guess we will have to agree to disagree. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.36  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.26    3 weeks ago
You have a very bad habit of claiming the right to define the parameters of what is to be discussed and how it is to be discussed.

I am asking you to define your terms.   I am asking you to rebut the argument I made.   Why reply to me if you ignore my argument and just make claims?  I am also disagreeing and telling you exactly why I disagree.   It is impossible to have a discussion / debate on a topic like this if clarity if not a priority.

Frankly, it is not at all complicated to understand that God could know the future AND WE could also experience free will. 

And here is an example of you making a claim without providing an argument.   I realize that you do not like that I point this out, but claims alone do not advance the discussion.

It's not a difficult problem. God knows something we don't. BUT, in out our experience, EVERY SINGLE INFINITESIMALLY MINUTE GASP OF OUR EXPERIENCE, we express our free will. That is the nature of our existence. 

Another claim without a supporting argument.   You just defined, it seems, free will as an illusion.   If we perceive free will in a reality with a knowable future then we do not actually have free will - we just think we do (see my argument @8.3.13).   If you are talking about free will as an illusion then we are talking about two very different things.

You are complaining because God may know something you don't know, therefore it is unfair to you.

Face Palm    

You don't need to know everything God knows. Your experience of free will will always be intact, even if God knows the future, simply because you are not God.   You have free will, whether God exists or not and whether God knows the future or not. 

Another claim without a supporting argument.   With a strawman premise of 'knowing everything God knows'.   Clearly you are not rebutting anything close to the argument I made.   So is this me making rules - because I presume that you are trying to rebut the argument I made?    

 
 
epistte
8.3.37  epistte  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.35    3 weeks ago
God could know the future and there could also be free will for human beings,

If God knows the future then how could there possibly be free will for humans? If humans had free will then god cannot know the future because those decisions have yet to be made.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.38  JohnRussell  replied to  epistte @8.3.37    3 weeks ago

It's a mystery. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.39  TiG  replied to  epistte @8.3.37    3 weeks ago
If humans had free will then god cannot know the future because those decisions have yet to be made.

Thumbs Up 2

Danke vielmals.

 
 
TiG
8.3.40  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.38    3 weeks ago
It's a mystery.

No, it is simply logic applied to a fixed usage of the terms in play.

 
 
TiG
8.3.41  TiG  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.28    3 weeks ago
I wouldn’t worry about how omniscient whatever god you believe there to be, it it’s not like you have any God like powers.

What an odd thing to write to me.    

I am not convinced that any god exists and have nowhere even hinted that I have any special powers.   Indeed I have stated the opposite.

Whose posts are you reading to get my position?   

 
 
epistte
8.3.42  epistte  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.38    3 weeks ago
It's a mystery.

Somehow that is the fallback response of religious people when every other possibility has been eliminated. It's either that reply or "god works in mysterious ways".  

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.43  sandy-2021492  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.35    3 weeks ago
Why do you insist on confining the powers of God to human dimensions?

Why do you insist on putting words in my mouth?

On the contrary, you're the one limiting the powers of God.  If we have free will, then we are able to act against the fate God determined for us at our creation.  If we have free will, then God is not omniscient.

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.44  Excitable Boy  replied to  TiG @8.3.41    3 weeks ago

 Well let’s be frank here it really doesn’t matter what you think about God.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.45  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.3.36    3 weeks ago

You insist on debating 'God' using only your logic and your parameters. I don't think of God in those terms, so we have nothing to discuss, but it was interesting while it lasted. 

It doesn't strike me as incongruous at all that both God 'knowing' the future and human free will could co-exist. 

By the way, I don't know if it is even something God would be concerned with, but it was the topic brought up. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.46  TiG  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.44    3 weeks ago
Well let’s be frank here it really doesn’t matter what you think about God.

I fully agree.   What does that have to do with my posts?  My focus is on free will and what is knowable and how this relates to defining a God as omniscient.   (Note:  I did not define God.)

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.47  sandy-2021492  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.44    3 weeks ago

No value. Removed - PRF

 
 
epistte
8.3.48  epistte  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.44    3 weeks ago
Well let’s be frank here it really doesn’t matter what you think about God.

It does matter a great deal to non-believers when more than 50% of the population believes in god and half of them seek to legislate their patently illogical and more than occasionally violent beliefs on everyone else, despite the fact that we have a federal Constitution that mandates religion and government be kept separate. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.49  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.45    3 weeks ago
You insist on debating 'God' using only your logic and your parameters. I don't think of God in those terms, so we have nothing to discuss, but it was interesting while it lasted.

I put forth an argument and expected rebuttals to actually rebut my argument.   Does not seem to be an unreasonable expectation.

When I realized you were not even reading my argument I stated that I was not going to try to explain so I turned to your comments and rebutted from your perspective.

And you are still complaining!   Not my problem John.

It doesn't strike me as incongruous at all that both God 'knowing' the future and human free will could co-exist. 

I understand your belief.  Do you understand that this is (again) you simply making your claim with no supporting argument?   A claim by itself is not interesting.  A supporting argument might be interesting.  

By the way, I don't know if it is even something God would be concerned with, but it was the topic brought up. 

My argument makes no presumption whatsoever about what God thinks.   If you had read it, you would see that I simply posit that (per the Bible) God is omniscient.  That is it.   Nothing more about God.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.50  JohnRussell  replied to  TiG @8.3.49    3 weeks ago

I am not as interested in your formal arguments as you are.   It's ok, we walk different paths. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.51  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.50    3 weeks ago

When I put forth an argument and you reply with disagreement do you really think I am being unfair to view that as you trying to rebut my argument?

 
 
calbab
8.3.52  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.19    3 weeks ago

Of course, an omniscience God knows the beginning and the end of humanity's existence and any limitations placed on it. You, me, we, are created things under God's control. Yes, if you want to head off in that direction - our freewill can be called-is-an illusion.

We are suitable only to one world upon a universe of worlds. Also, there are limitations (birth, death, sickness, wellness, etceteras) placed on us.

However, within the confines of our sphere, our home, God has given us parameters to free range as any created thing can be on Earth. Is it total free-will? Of course not! But, it is a range of free-will with allowances to make choices.

 
 
TiG
8.3.53  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.52    3 weeks ago
Of course, an omniscience God knows the beginning and the end of humanity's existence and any limitations placed on it.

Mark that down as an agreement.  Thumbs Up 2

You, me, we, are created things under God's control. Yes, if you want to head off in that direction - our freewill can be called an illusion.

If God is omniscient (or, actually, if any entity could be omniscient) then our free will is necessarily an illusion.

However, within the confines of our sphere, our home, God has given you parameters to be free range as any created thing can be on Earth.  Is it total free-will of course not!  But, it is a range of free-will and allowances to make choices.

An illusion of choice.   If we do not have free will then we really are not making choices.   If we can actually make a single choice then we have free will.   If our choices are knowable in advance then we absolutely do not have free will.   Free will is impossible if all choices are knowable.   

Note, Cal, with you I am removing another layer of the onion.    It does not matter if there is a God or any other omniscient entity.   Even if there were no entities that knew the future, if the future is knowable we cannot possibly have free will.

Note:  I am not claiming the future is knowable.   I am simply commenting on the consequences IF the future is knowable.

 
 
calbab
8.3.54  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.23    3 weeks ago
we absolutely have the illusion of free will.

What else could you wish for? To know, all? Including, reality/ities which has no meaning to man's existence? It is okay, but you are going deeper than we need to, in my opinion. We need only stay "here."

 
 
TiG
8.3.55  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.54    3 weeks ago
What else could you wish for? To know, all?

Having the ability to truly make choices does not require omniscience.  Those two are entirely different concepts.

 
 
calbab
8.3.56  calbab  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.26    3 weeks ago

John, God can not grant us total (ultimate) free-will. It would require us to be independent from God. We are dependent creatures.

 
 
epistte
8.3.57  epistte  replied to  calbab @8.3.56    3 weeks ago
John, God can not grant us total (ultimate) free-will. It would require us to be independent from God. We are dependent creatures.

Your statement negates the possibility of free will because the appearance of free will is not the reality of free will. If you believe that we are dependent creatures then free will for humans is logically impossible.  The fact that it might appear that we have free will is irrelevant.

 
 
calbab
8.3.58  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.53    3 weeks ago

If you wish to head off in that direction: the whole of our existence is an illusion. Words are how we communicate. That said, do not try walking out in front of a bus!

Now then, back "down here" where we live and breath (in this illusion) of a planet. God can know the beginning and the end God plans for humanity. God can leave the in-between to us to navigate a path through the "obstacles" of life (choices) or, God can intervene at intervals or "appointed times."

Appointed times is the phrase gleaned from reading through the Bible. God interacts with us according to God's timetable.

 
 
TiG
8.3.59  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.58    3 weeks ago
If you wish to head off in that direction: the whole of our existence is an illusion.

It is Cal.  Particle physics convincingly illustrates this.

Now then, back "down here" where we live and breath (in this illusion) of a planet. God can know the beginning and the end God plans for humanity. God can leave the in-between to us to navigate a path through the "obstacles" of life (choices) or, God can intervene at intervals or "appointed times."

If we have a single free will choice we would set off a chain reaction of effects (see the Butterfly Effect).   But if God is omnipotent I suppose it is possible to engineer reality in such a way that the chain reaction is muted on certain boundaries (like putting up barriers in a domino chain).   Seems impossible to contain, but I need to think about this before offering an opinion.

 
 
calbab
8.3.60  calbab  replied to  epistte @8.3.57    3 weeks ago
The fact that it might appear that we have free will is irrelevant.

Words. We are using mere words in their broadest sense at times, aren't we? Surely, we have CONDITIONAL freewill with or without God for we are a LIMITED and RESTRICTED bunch of creatures in a universe we do not control. We are isolated on this planet.Our freewill is encompassed by nature and God. God sets the boundaries.  Within those boundaries - we are "FREE!"

As the psalmist wrote: 'These things we attempt to express are too big for us.'

That said, we delight in words to try and describe the ineffable. By this last, I do not mean we are not provided special revelation. I simply mean God has not revealed higher 'how comes," thoughts, and ways of God to us.

 
 
epistte
8.3.61  epistte  replied to  GregTx @8.3.32    3 weeks ago
Why? How does the "deity" knowing what I'm going to do negate free will unless it alters what I'm going to do?

If the deity knows what you are going to do then you cannot make that decision for yourself when it has already been predetermined before you act by another. If he didn't determine what you are going to do, then logically he could not know.

 You may feel that you have free will but if God knows how you will act before you do then you do not have free will.

 
 
epistte
8.3.62  epistte  replied to  calbab @8.3.60    3 weeks ago
Words. We are using mere words in their broadest sense at times, aren't we? Surely, we have CONDITIONAL freewill with or without God for we are a LIMITED and RESTRICTED bunch of creatures in a universe we do not control. We are isolated on this planet.Our freewill is encompassed by nature and God. God sets the boundaries.

Religious apologetic nonsense.

Words describe ideas and they must have tightly defined meanings that cannot be disregarded when it suits your arguments at hand if we are going to have a common useful language.  Maybe we should create 2 English dictionaries. One would contain logical definitions and the other religious definitions along the lines of  Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky.

When do you plan to stop making excuses for your religious beliefs as well as trying to create and then exploit the logical loopholes in your sloppy thought patterns?

 
 
GregTx
8.3.63  GregTx  replied to  epistte @8.3.61    3 weeks ago

I don't think God knows how you will act and that's why there is free will. 

 
 
TiG
8.3.64  TiG  replied to  GregTx @8.3.63    3 weeks ago
I don't think God knows how you will act and that's why there is free will.

Quite logical.   If the future is unknowable then free will is possible.

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.65  Gordy327  replied to  GregTx @8.3.63    3 weeks ago

Then that means God is not omniscient. And if omniscience is an attribute of an all powerful, all knowing deity, then "God" cannot be god. He has limitations.

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.66  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.38    3 weeks ago

That's a cop out answer and one which does not address the points made or the crux of the topic.

 
 
epistte
8.3.67  epistte  replied to  GregTx @8.3.63    3 weeks ago
I don't think God knows how you will act and that's why there is free will.

That would a true statement supporting free will.

 
 
MonsterMash
8.3.68  MonsterMash  replied to  TiG @8.3.64    3 weeks ago

I don't think God knows how you will act and that's why there is free will.

I do think God knows how we will LIKELY act in certain major situations but gives us the free will to decide for ourselves. Sometimes we surprise him be it for the good or bad. In the day to day minor decisions, I doubt God knows what we're going do or cares. Does God know what we're going have for lunch tomorrow, does he care? I don't think so.

During football season, I wager on both college and pro teams. Does God know which teams I'll bet, does he know I am going bet, does he care? It's highly unlikely. 

 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
8.3.69  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.34    3 weeks ago
Because it has already determined what you are going to do, when it created you knowing what you would do.

Very well-put.

I just want to highlight this and use it to make a point about how silly it is to believe in a creator god who is not only omniscient and omnipotent, but also loving and benevolent, and will still punish you after death.

God is supposed to be omniscient, all-knowing, which means it knows exactly what it's doing when it creates a person, and it knows everything that person will ever do in his or her life. That's what omniscience means. There is nothing that God does not know.

God is also supposed to be omnipotent, all-powerful, which means that however flawed that person may be, God not only knows they are going to be that way, but also has the power to not create them so flawed. Yet God creates them anyway and will still punish them after death, or so the story goes.

So how can God be loving and benevolent? Does that really make sense to anyone? I mean, the only way it makes sense is if God is not loving and benevolent, but sick in the head and malevolent, if not downright evil.

How is that supposed to work, exactly?

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.3.70  Phoenyx13  replied to  MonsterMash @8.3.68    3 weeks ago
Sometimes we surprise him be it for the good or bad.

this is exactly what is absolutely needed in order for freewill to exist. If the "creator" already knows your choices and destiny etc - then you have no freewill, you are just following the path that the "creator" set out for you, you are a mouse being led to cheese in a maze with only one hallway and no other options. the element of surprise and the unknown must absolutely exist in order for freewill to exist, the knowledge of all of your future definite choices must not be known in advance.

 
 
TiG
8.3.71  TiG  replied to  MonsterMash @8.3.68    3 weeks ago

Although my point is not about God, I agree with your position that to have free will God cannot possibly know what choices we will make.

 
 
calbab
8.3.72  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.55    2 weeks ago

Good morning! Not sure I follow what you mean by your comment entirely (it's early - need coffee), but you may know what I meant. This is a comment -discussion- board. "Brevity" is a thing here. (Smile.)

 
 
TiG
8.3.73  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.72    2 weeks ago

I noted that we all have at least the illusion of free will and you responded:

What else could you wish for? To know, all

A human being need not be omniscient to make choices (to have the illusion of free will).   But I suppose it would be nice if we actually had free will and not just the illusion of same.

 
 
calbab
8.3.74  calbab  replied to  epistte @8.3.62    2 weeks ago

Harsh emotive and distracting rhetoric. Unworthy of further comment.

 
 
calbab
8.3.75  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.73    2 weeks ago

Yeah. Could be nice. Have you considered this: Having total freewill, "unmolested" freewill would put humanity on par with God, no? "What a rush!"

(Now, I will go get coffee!) Back later!

 
 
TiG
8.3.76  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.75    2 weeks ago
Having total freewill, "unmolested" freewill would put humanity on par with God, no?

It would not unless people had the power to act on their will.   We might have free will but are far from omnipotent.

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.3.77  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @8.3.75    2 weeks ago
Yeah. Could be nice. Have you considered this: Having total freewill, "unmolested" freewill would put humanity on par with God, no? "What a rush!"

well that would be impossible since i'm told that God is omniscient and we humans are not omniscient, correct ? plus, i'm told that God exists in a realm outside of the natural realm while we humans only exist in the natural realm, correct ?

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
8.3.78  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  calbab @8.3    2 weeks ago
That is, the knowing (experience) of Good and Evil. Interesting the Old Testament uses similar language as this.

Meaning, the trial-and-error method?

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.79  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @8.3.4    2 weeks ago
Of course there can be free-will, humanly-speaking and earthly-speaking. Even possibly universally-speaking. Why not?

Because a supposedly omnipotent, omniscient deity logically negates the concept of free will.

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.80  Excitable Boy  replied to  epistte @8.3.48    2 weeks ago

That argument will never fly.  One does not necessarily flow from the other.  That's a known fact and one certainly does not need God to derive an adversarial position to begin with.  Plus, there is no reason to accept someone's opinion of God when they have no belief in a God to begin with.   By their own admission they are just making shit up.

Bottom line is, it just doesn't fucking matter!

 
 
epistte
8.3.81  epistte  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.80    2 weeks ago
Plus, there is no reason to accept someone's opinion of God when they have no belief in a God to begin with.

It may not matter to you but it most certainly matters to others. It is critical to some of us who value logic. 

 The people who are "making shit up" are people who believe in something that has no empirical evidence of existing.

 
 
calbab
8.3.82  calbab  replied to  epistte @8.3.81    2 weeks ago

Critical thinking is not simply criticizing. You could do something positive—post your own articles and seeds on logic and critical thinking.

 
 
calbab
8.3.83  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.59    2 weeks ago

I await your reply to this. (Smile.)

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.84  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @8.3.82    2 weeks ago
You could do something positive and write your own articles on logic and critical thinking.

No need. Epistte's posts and arguments are effective demonstrations of logic and critical thinking.

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.85  Excitable Boy  replied to  epistte @8.3.81    2 weeks ago

Skirting the CoC [ph]

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.86  sandy-2021492  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.85    2 weeks ago

Tell me, have you heard of the Dunning Kruger effect?

And if it doesn't matter, why are you here?

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.87  Gordy327  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.85    2 weeks ago
Well given the fact that I just completely blew up your fucking logic

Really? Where?

Plus, there is no reason to accept someone's opinion of God when they have no belief in a God to begin with.

There's no reason to accept someone's opinion of god even if they have belief either. 

By their own admission they are just making shit up.

More like it's theists and religions that make things up.

And just a reminder no it doesn’t matter That you think

That works both ways!

when clearly you are just making up stuff.

What did Epistte "make up" exactly?

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.88  Excitable Boy  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.87    2 weeks ago

Removed for Taunting "BF"

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.89  Gordy327  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.88    2 weeks ago

Sounds like you have nothing, especially no means to adequately reply or address the points made. 

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.90  Excitable Boy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.86    2 weeks ago

Skirting the CoC [ph]

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.91  sandy-2021492  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.90    2 weeks ago

Intelligent response.

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.92  Excitable Boy  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.89    2 weeks ago

skirting the CoC [ph]

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.93  Excitable Boy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.91    2 weeks ago

Skirting/ taunting [ph]

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.94  Excitable Boy  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.89    2 weeks ago

Skirting the CoC "BF"

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.95  Gordy327  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.92    2 weeks ago
Well that’s basically my opinion of all of the comments of you and your cohorts.

As you said, it doesn't matter what you think!

I should also add that I can address all of those comments if I wanted to

So do it! Or are you all just bluster and no substance?

and I can continue to blow up the masquerade but there is no need for another message board circle jerk extravaganza here.

Your transparent ad hom attack aside, your inability to provide a logical or civil reply is noted.

That’s right I don’t fuck around.

You just seem to troll instead.

 
 
sandy-2021492
8.3.96  sandy-2021492  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.95    2 weeks ago

In order to continue to "blow up the masquerade", he must begin.  And he hasn't. 

Skirting the CoC [ph]

 
 
calbab
8.3.97  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.84    2 weeks ago

Excessive criticism is not a proper use of critical thinking. Bias and not being fair to reasonable views of others is not critical thinking. Withholding positive comments and all the while plying away with dysphemisms is not critical thinking. 'Slicing and dicing' up into parcels and dropping out favorable parcels of those with differing views than one's own is not critical thinking. Entering discussion boards categorized for religious and ethical points of views and holding discussions 'hostage' to the scientific method and logic, while ignoring and slamming God and faith is not a proper use of critical thinking.

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.98  Excitable Boy  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.95    2 weeks ago

All your comments are off topic and yours are the ones that of insulting me not the other way around

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.99  Excitable Boy  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.3.96    2 weeks ago

All you’ve done is Direct derogatory comments towards me so blowing up your nonsense is de riguere.

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.100  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @8.3.97    2 weeks ago
Excessive criticism is not a proper use of critical thinking.

Depends on what is being criticized.

Bias and not being fair to reasonable views of others is not critical thinking.

That applies more to theists who tenaciously cling to dogma over actual facts or information.

Withholding positive comments and all the while plying away with dysphemisms is not critical thinking.

Appeals to emotion or sugar coating comments is irrelevant.

'Slicing and dicing' up into parcels and dropping out favorable parcels of those with differing views than one's own is not critical thinking.

Addressing certain points is indicative of thinking.

Entering discussion boards categorized for religious and ethical points of views and holding discussions 'hostage' to the scientific method and logic, while ignoring and slamming God and faith is not a proper use of critical thinking.

That sounds like a whine. Especially since religion and god and/or claims on their behalf get blown away by science and logic.

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.101  Gordy327  replied to  Excitable Boy @8.3.98    2 weeks ago
All your comments are off topic and yours are the ones that of insulting me not the other way around.

Oh really? Which comments specifically?

All you’ve done is Direct derogatory comments towards me so blowing up your nonsense is de riguere.

So your retort is essentially a "I know you are but what am I" type of response? That's rather funny, especially since you are the one who implied certain individuals "make up stuff" or generalize people here as jerks.

 
 
calbab
8.3.102  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.100    2 weeks ago

IMPASSE.

 
 
Excitable Boy
8.3.103  Excitable Boy  replied to  Gordy327 @8.3.101    2 weeks ago

Skirting the CoC [ph]

2 days suspension ending May 10 at 11:30 pm edt.

 
 
TiG
8.3.104  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.83    2 weeks ago

Reply to what?   

 
 
calbab
8.3.105  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.104    2 weeks ago
 But if God is omnipotent I suppose it is possible to engineer reality in such a way that the chain reaction is muted on certain boundaries (like putting up barriers in a domino chain).   Seems impossible to contain, but I need to think about this before offering an opinion.

I can wait, TiG. No pressure. (Smile.)

 
 
TiG
8.3.106  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.105    2 weeks ago
I can wait, TiG. No pressure. (Smile.)

My last comment on thinking about this means I will have to consider it over time.   This is not something I would just contemplate over a cup of coffee.   

Currently I do not see how it would be possible to allow even a tiny partial 'free will' due to the explosion of consequences.    Regardless, the logical fact remains that if the future is knowable free will cannot possibly exist.

 
 
epistte
8.3.107  epistte  replied to  calbab @8.3.82    2 weeks ago
Critical thinking is not simply criticizing. You could do something positive—post your own articles and seeds on logic and critical thinking.

Please stop blaming others for your faults. I would need to criticize your posts if they weren't illogical.  If I am expected to overlook illogical statements because someone's feelings or religious beliefs may be injured if they are criticized then logic would be relegated to cocktail party tricks and stand up comedy fodder. 

 I do create threads on occasions. My most recent thread was about the Political Compass quiz. 

 
 
calbab
8.3.108  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.106    2 weeks ago

I can wait. Indeed, if needed we can 'build' a discussion on the nature of God. (-:

 
 
calbab
8.3.109  calbab  replied to  epistte @8.3.107    2 weeks ago

Impasse.

 
 
TiG
8.3.110  TiG  replied to  calbab @8.3.108    2 weeks ago
... if needed we can 'build' a discussion on the nature of God.

This notion has nothing to do with God.   It is about the logic of containing cause & effect.   I think you might be reading things into my words that are not there.

 
 
calbab
8.3.111  calbab  replied to  TiG @8.3.110    2 weeks ago

Okay. Whatever. (-;

 
 
JBB
8.3.112  JBB  replied to  calbab @8.3.111    2 weeks ago

I read the cliches spouted by believers, "God is all knowing and all powerful and never changing", as an example. Yet, from the very first chapter of the Bible this is shown to be false. Eve eats from the Tree of Knowledge which God plainly did not anticipate and which both surprised and infuriated God evidencing both that God did not have control, did not anticipate and that mankind, in this case Eve, had freewill and the ability to disobey God by behaving in ways God never anticipated. In fact, the story of God in the Bible is one of an entity learning from and changing in relation to His creation, mankind. God learns from the flood. God learns from testing Job since he plainly does not know if Job will maintain his faith despite God's capriciousness. In any case the Bible is a story that plainly show that the God of Abraham never quite knew what men pr women would do. He learned and grew in relation to mankind. So, based upon the texts God is not all knowing, all seeing, unchanging and forevermore the same. Even God's gift of Christ and salvation to sinful mankind was something God decided to do after learning over time about the sinfulness and willfulness of His own creations. Absolutely none of this makes one wit of since if God knew what would happen, had the power to control men or if God were incapable of learning and changing and even growing in His understanding of men and women. God "Gave" mankind salvation through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. That means He made a decision based on what He learned that He had not known or anticipated and decided in light of the situation to do something about it which is proof God did not anticipate. He did not know what men or women would do and had no control over them. This is all "According to the Bible". So, please skip all that faldegras...

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.3.113  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @8.3.97    2 weeks ago
Entering discussion boards categorized for religious and ethical points of views and holding discussions 'hostage' to the scientific method and logic, while ignoring and slamming God and faith is not a proper use of critical thinking.

sounds like you are stating there is no logic involved with religion, God or faith - is this correct ?

it also sounds like you need to research critical thinking in regards to logic and conclusions based upon evidence.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.114  JohnRussell  replied to  epistte @8.3.107    2 weeks ago
Please stop blaming others for your faults. I would need to criticize your posts if they weren't illogical.  If I am expected to overlook illogical statements because someone's feelings or religious beliefs may be injured if they are criticized then logic would be relegated to cocktail party tricks and stand up comedy fodder.

I occasionally read these "religion" threads and as I said a couple nights ago I occasionally even make a few comments, but generally I skip over them because they nearly always end up verifying that popular definition of INSANITY. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. 

There is a clique of atheists here who will not accept religious faith on it's own terms and , frankly, endlessly badger the "believers" on the basis that religious faith is not "logical". 

I think it is perfectly logical to believe in God, although I do readily admit that the existence of God cannot be proven, and will never be able to be proven. By the same token the non-existence of God cannot be proven either.  And yet, discussion forums like this have an endless display of "back and forth" over ground that has been trod a thousand times already. 

Belief in God is NOT illogical. Some people do not have or NEED slavish devotion to the tenets of formal logic. 

I see badgering on these seeds. I see intolerance on these seeds. 

 
 
Phoenyx13
8.3.115  Phoenyx13  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.114    2 weeks ago

There is a clique of atheists here who will not accept religious faith on it's own terms and , frankly, endlessly badger the "believers" on the basis that religious faith is not "logical". 

interesting... this seems a bit one-sided but i am not surprised at that.

I think it is perfectly logical to believe in God, although I do readily admit that the existence of God cannot be proven, and will never be able to be proven. By the same token the non-existence of God cannot be proven either.  And yet, discussion forums like this have an endless display of "back and forth" over ground that has been trod a thousand times already. 

why do you think it is perfectly logical to believe in God ?

Belief in God is NOT illogical.

if faith is not "logical" and belief in God requires faith - which we just stated was not "logical" (your words above) - then belief in God would have to be not "logical" at least, correct ? and not "logical" - or the antonym of such word  (the opposite of "logic" which is not "logic") is.... illogical.

Some people do not have or NEED slavish devotion to the tenets of formal logic. 

sounds almost like there are some people who have or NEED slavish devotion to religious belief and have disdain (at the very least) for any logic or rationality that may contradict their need

I see badgering on these seeds. I see intolerance on these seeds. 

i absolutely see the same thing - and honestly it's both sides.

 
 
TiG
8.3.116  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.114    2 weeks ago
Belief in God is NOT illogical.

Depends on how God is defined.   God defined as 'creator of the universe', for example, is not illogical - such a god is possible.    

In contrast, God defined as 'God of the Bible' is impossible because the definition is self-contradictory.  JBB just offered a brief summary of a fraction of the observed contradictions.

It is a good thing for people to break free of ancient stories.   Nothing stops one from believing (albeit speculative) in a god based on modern knowledge and critical thinking.

 
 
epistte
8.3.117  epistte  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.114    2 weeks ago
Belief in God is NOT illogical. Some people do not have or NEED slavish devotion to the tenets of formal logic.

How is blind faith in something that has no empirical proof of existing and requires unfounded belief to exist in any way logical? I'm sure that you want to believe in a god(s) for any number of various personal relevant reasons but logic says that religious belief does not work. 

 
 
epistte
8.3.118  epistte  replied to  TiG @8.3.116    2 weeks ago
Nothing stops one from believing (albeit speculative) in a god based on modern knowledge and critical thinking.

That would be deistic and not the Abrahamic god.

 
 
JohnRussell
8.3.119  JohnRussell  replied to  epistte @8.3.117    2 weeks ago


How is blind faith in something that has no empirical proof of existing and requires unfounded belief to exist in any way logical?

It is a belief that this existence has a basis and source beyond itself.  How is that illogical? 

I really don't care whether or not it can be formally proved. 

 
 
epistte
8.3.120  epistte  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.119    2 weeks ago
It is a belief that this existence has a basis and source beyond itself.

It is illogical because there is no evidence to support that belief. You have faith in something that you cannot prove or even reasonably support exists.  Religious belief is little more than socially acceptable mythology.

I really don't care whether or not it can be formally proved. 

Then logic isn't important to you.

 
 
TiG
8.3.121  TiG  replied to  epistte @8.3.118    2 weeks ago
That would be deistic and not the Abrahamic god.

Thumbs Up 2 Exactly.

 
 
epistte
8.3.122  epistte  replied to  TiG @8.3.121    2 weeks ago

Exactly.

Even a blind squirrel stumbles across a nut occasionally.

 
 
TiG
8.3.123  TiG  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.119    2 weeks ago
It is a belief that this existence has a basis and source beyond itself.  How is that illogical?

That is equivocation.   If you simply wish to posit that reality as we know it did not come from nothing then your posit is quite logical because all evidence suggests our universe is temporal (had a beginning).

But as soon as one starts filling in the blanks as to how our universe began and then holds this explanation as truth then we have a problem.   To be even more specific, it is rational to speculate on what might have initiated our universe.   The irrational part is when one believes their speculation.

 
 
TiG
8.3.124  TiG  replied to  epistte @8.3.122    2 weeks ago

Some blind squirrels are sharp.

 
 
epistte
8.3.125  epistte  replied to  TiG @8.3.123    2 weeks ago
If you simply wish to posit that reality as we know it did not come from nothing then your posit is quite logical because all evidence suggests our universe is temporal (had a beginning).

Thermodynamics says that it is impossible. We cannot come from nothing because energy isn't created or destroyed but only changes shape/form.  The current universe had a beginning but something existed before the current big bang, even if we don't know what it was.

 
 
TiG
8.3.126  TiG  replied to  epistte @8.3.125    2 weeks ago

I agree.   My logic is this:

  • Existence did not emerge from nothingness (nothing -literally- is the absence of everything - non-existence;  it is simply an abstract concept - a semantic placeholder)
  • Therefore existence has always been.   Existence itself is eternal.
  • Energy exists. 
  • Therefore there is some substance of existence that makes up this energy.   We do not know the quintessential substance of existence but the presence of energy (and its various forms) shows that quintessential existence is real.
  • Anything that exists logically emerged from existence itself.
  • We do not know how, but logically the universe either emerged from existence or it was created by something that (itself) emerged from existence.
 
 
Phoenyx13
8.3.127  Phoenyx13  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.119    2 weeks ago
How is that illogical?

logic requires evidence and proof (even reasonable support)

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
8.3.128  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  TiG @8.3.126    2 weeks ago

With the recent discoveries of the Higg's boson and field, something that was predicted to exist 40 years ago by quantum theory, the hypothesis that matter can spontaneously be created from energy (as was predicted by Einstein's special theory) was proven.  So, in a sense existence can emerge from non-existence.

 
 
TiG
8.3.129  TiG  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @8.3.128    2 weeks ago
So, in a sense existence can emerge from non-existence.

The transformation of energy has nothing whatsoever to do with existence emerging from non-existence.

 
 
Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
8.3.130  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  TiG @8.3.129    2 weeks ago
The transformation of energy has nothing whatsoever to do with existence emerging from non-existence.

"If the Higgs field did not exist, particles would not have the mass required to attract one another, and would float around freely at light speed. Also, gravity would not exist because mass would not be there to attract other mass.

Giving mass to an object is referred to as the Higgs effect. This effect will transfer mass or energy to any particle that passes through it."

So, the Higgs field, which is mass-less, creates mass.  Summarily dismissing that fact, as if waving away a pesky gnat, doesn't make it go away. 

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.131  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.119    2 weeks ago
It is a belief that this existence has a basis and source beyond itself. How is that illogical?

Belief is inherently illogical, not to mention irrational. Especially since it is completely unsubstantiated. if I believed that fairies, leprechauns, or gnomes were the source for our existence, would that be logical?

 I really don't care whether or not it can be formally proved. 

That alone is illogical. Why wouldn't you want something proved? Without proof, belief is just wishful thinking, which is illogical too.

There is a clique of atheists here who will not accept religious faith on it's own terms and , frankly, endlessly badger the "believers" on the basis that religious faith is not "logical".

No, some of us simply don't accept the empty claims religion makes or assertions based on nothing but religion.

I think it is perfectly logical to believe in God,

No, it's not. Buy you're free to believe it is.

although I do readily admit that the existence of God cannot be proven, and will never be able to be proven.

Then it's illogical to assume or believe a god exists, as matter of fact.

By the same token the non-existence of God cannot be proven either.

A logical fallacy.

Belief in God is NOT illogical.

Explain how!

Some people do not have or NEED slavish devotion to the tenets of formal logic.

That's their loss then. Rejection of logic in favor of belief or dogma is just intellectual laziness.

 
 
Kathleen/Butterfie
8.3.132  Kathleen/Butterfie  replied to  epistte @8.3.125    2 weeks ago

That's what I lean towards. 

If I am sitting in a dark room with nothing in it, I will sit there forever with nothing in it.

What created the Big Bang, and what was before it? 

 
 
Gordy327
8.3.133  Gordy327  replied to  Kathleen/Butterfie @8.3.132    2 weeks ago
What created the Big Bang, and what was before it?

The honest answer is, no one knows.

 
 
TiG
8.3.134  TiG  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו @8.3.130    2 weeks ago
So, the Higgs field, which is mass-less, creates mass.  Summarily dismissing that fact, as if waving away a pesky gnat, doesn't make it go away.

I did not dismiss the facts of the Higgs Boson.    Rather I stated the fact that transforming energy is not the same as creating something from nothing - not in any sense.

Generating mass is not making something out of nothing.   It is a transformation of energy.  The energy already existed - it was not created.

E = mc2  is not an equation for creating something from nothing;  rather, it describes the relationship between mass and energy.

 
 
calbab
8.3.135  calbab  replied to  JohnRussell @8.3.114    2 weeks ago

Thank you John Russell. I just now 'located' this message. Between two trackers one would think LESS could be missed not more. Alas!

Great points all. However, let me at there is something that is real. Being "born again" spiritually is a real phenomenon. It is personal. The only evidence one will see of it is in the attitudes and actions of those who receive it. Granted, we, believers, still have to or want to connect ourselves to a church, its leader, so we can understand this "new life." For good or bad, that is where all the extraneous messages and challenges for the newly-minted and elder statesperson believer originate.

Alas, God has not changes the method of delivery and so people have all the liberty they need to believe 'wildly' about what people of faith are to be and do.  (There is a lot I leave out here, because it is a wide-ranging 'school of thought.'

You are welcome to stop by and stay awhile. I appreciate you!

NOTE: Taking a different tack, it would really be nice if we (all) could choose to comment on the substance ("meat") of the article/s and less on the oft-times "noisy" surroundings! This article's content is power-packed with clickable data-points!

 
 
charger 383
9  charger 383    3 weeks ago

If the quick and the dead are to be judged they would need freewill

 
 
calbab
10  calbab    2 weeks ago

Please everyone: Stop the belligerent and bellicose language immediately! Return to normal discussion exchanges.

 
 
Gordy327
10.1  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @10    2 weeks ago

Return to normal discussion exchanges.

If you want a normal discussion, then why do you declare an "impasse?"

 
 
Texan1211
10.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @10.1    2 weeks ago

Pretty obvious if you just read what has already been posted.

 
 
Gordy327
10.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @10.1.1    2 weeks ago
Pretty obvious if you just read what has already been posted.

I did read it and I responded too.

 
 
Texan1211
10.1.3  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @10.1.2    2 weeks ago

Okay, you MAY have read the posts.

How you STILL don't know why he called IMPASSE is beyond me.

oh well.

 
 
Gordy327
10.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @10.1.3    2 weeks ago
Okay, you MAY have read the posts.

Yes, I DID read the posts.

How you STILL don't know why he called IMPASSE is beyond me

Other than that his points have been blown out of the water?

 
 
Texan1211
10.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @10.1.4    2 weeks ago

If it makes you feel all warm and safe to believe that, go for it!

meanwhile, back in reality................................

 
 
Gordy327
10.1.6  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @10.1.5    2 weeks ago
If it makes you feel all warm and safe to believe that, go for it!

I don't need to believe. it's simple fact.

 
 
Texan1211
10.1.7  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @10.1.6    2 weeks ago

Uh, uh. S-u-r-e it is.

Let me know when you get back from your trip, okay?

 
 
Gordy327
10.1.8  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @10.1.7    2 weeks ago
Uh, uh. S-u-r-e it is.

Yep, it is. glad you agree.

Let me know when you get back from your trip, okay?

you first.

 
 
Texan1211
10.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @10.1.8    2 weeks ago

That's the very best you can do?

Really?

LMFAO!

 
 
epistte
10.1.10  epistte  replied to  Texan1211 @10.1.5    2 weeks ago
If it makes you feel all warm and safe to believe that, go for it!

Denial isn't a river in Egypt. 

 
 
Gordy327
10.1.11  Gordy327  replied to  Texan1211 @10.1.9    2 weeks ago
That's the very best you can do?

Speak for yourself.

 
 
Texan1211
10.1.12  Texan1211  replied to  Gordy327 @10.1.11    2 weeks ago

I do!

 
 
Texan1211
10.1.13  Texan1211  replied to  epistte @10.1.10    2 weeks ago

Well, d-a-y-u-m, ain't you just a JEENIUS?

 
 
epistte
10.1.14  epistte  replied to  Texan1211 @10.1.13    2 weeks ago

Well, d-a-y-u-m, ain't you just a JEENIUS?

No, I am not a genius and I have never suggested that I am.

BTW. The reply went over your head, far over your head.

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
10.1.15  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  epistte @10.1.14    2 weeks ago

This is not intended to a specific individual. 

There is no productive discussion in this thread. 

Everyone involved end it now. Only warning. 

 
 
Gordy327
11  Gordy327    2 weeks ago
That’s way off topic again.

That is in reply to your post directed to me. If I am going to be accused of being of topic or insulting, then I should know specifically which posts are offending in that regard, as I politely asked. The fact that you can't specify or explain specifically which posts meet those criteria (at least not without implicating yourself of the same offenses) only shows your accusations to be without merit.

 
 
Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.
12  Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.    2 weeks ago

As baby boomers die, so too does the belief in God. This doesn't surprise me at all. It makes sense that a generation unencumbered by the almost universal indoctrination of years past would move on from such things. The more we know....

 
 
calbab
12.1  calbab  replied to  Peter Loves the Real Tea Party. @12    2 weeks ago

Hi Peter! A shoot will come up from the stump. . . and, you may know the rest of that story. God can not be without a witness, if intented.

In the last two thousand years has human nature improved so that we can stop locking our doors at night? Are nightly news better? Has evil decreased? If/when flesh enters deep space what might humanity be 'injecting' there of human nature, really?

 
 
Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.
12.1.1  Peter Loves the Real Tea Party.  replied to  calbab @12.1    2 weeks ago
In the last two thousand years has human nature improved so that we can stop locking our doors at night? Are nightly news better? Has evil decreased? If/when flesh enters deep space what might humanity be 'injecting' there of human nature, really?

That human nature is still human nature is testimony to the fact that religion has been ineffective. If 90% of the people in the world (believers) can't have solved the issue of self by now, then maybe seeking a different avenue of salvation is in order. One where gods are removed from the equation and we look to ourselves rather than to some ineffective and invisible overlord or overlords. If we are God's children, then god is the worst, most deadbeat, absentee hermaphroditic parent of all time. Probably owes a lot of back child support.

 
 
Phoenyx13
12.1.2  Phoenyx13  replied to  calbab @12.1    2 weeks ago
In the last two thousand years has human nature improved so that we can stop locking our doors at night? Are nightly news better? Has evil decreased? If/when flesh enters deep space what might humanity be 'injecting' there of human nature, really?

great questions... and yet in all that time we (as humans) tightly clung on to our religious beliefs and nothing has gotten better, in some aspects even worse, yet you still think religion and God is the only answer -- very interesting...

 
 
TiG
12.1.3  TiG  replied to  calbab @12.1    2 weeks ago
Has evil decreased?

I think you are making a good argument against religious beliefs.   I would add that the modern application of religious beliefs to encourage suicide bombings is a fine example of how religious beliefs enable people to be manipulated by others to engage in irrational (and often horrific) acts.    The individual suicide bomber would likely be less inclined to strap on a vest of bombs if he/she did not believe that martyrdom pleases Allah who is waiting in Heaven with great after life rewards.   Yes terrorism itself is political but my point is how religious belief is used by those in control to manipulate the believers.

 
 
calbab
12.1.4  calbab  replied to  TiG @12.1.3    2 weeks ago
Yes terrorism itself is political but my point is how religious belief is used by those in control to manipulate the believers.

Terrorism, politics, and organized religion can and has been used to abuse people, and/or turn them into extremists. Extremists, is the operative word. In is unprincipled and opportunistic to use Extremism to condemn faith in God.

The people of this world have been manipulated by terror, politics, and yes bad religious practices for thousands of years. Putting matters in a proper perspective, in Christianity for example, Apostle Paul warned us just how good prophets, good apostles, and good teachers have gone out from the new faith - bad prophets, other so-called 'apostles,' and bad teachers when out from the faith proposing all types and manners of heresies, inaccuracies, and yes irrational activities and acts not of God. For now, such matters are in the 'providence' of humanity to rule over.

By no means, is it proper to over-generalize that all or even the majority of people of faith (billions) are a problem for the Earth and its governments. It is a gross error to declare and keep repeating such statements, and it is irrational, in and of itself.

 
 
TiG
12.1.5  TiG  replied to  calbab @12.1.4    2 weeks ago
By no means, is it proper to over-generalize that all or even the majority of people of faith (billions) are a problem for the Earth and its governments.

It is here (the above quote) where you insert a straw man.    I gave an example of how religion has been used to influence minds to engage in irrational, horrific acts.   You are generalizing this and trying to blame me.

Note:

TiG @12.1.3 - I would add that the modern application of religious beliefs to encourage suicide bombings is a fine example of how religious beliefs enable people to be manipulated by others to engage in irrational (and often horrific) acts.  

My point is that religion has historically been used as a tool to influence minds.   Sometimes the influence yields good results (encouraging people to care for each other) and sometimes the influence is horrific.   The point is that religion ensnares the mind - quite effectively IMO.


That said, with the vast super majority of the world holding to some religion, your argument that things do not seem to be getting better does not support religion.

 
 
calbab
12.1.6  calbab  replied to  TiG @12.1.5    2 weeks ago

Hello TiG! My comment stands, for it helps bring focus back to the center of the problem where it deserves to be. Also, it partially made an opening for you to write something nice about organized religion (see your comment). (Big Smile.) 

In my opinion, ongoing critics of religion, church, church denominations, and etceteras do not properly distinguish who-what-where-when of their complains. Inadvertently or otherwise, we, believers, are wasting our time pushing back on general remarks which lump us all together. This is a request for everyone, me included, to better clarify problem 'concerns.' (I hope that reads the way I intended. Family problem - a bit nerve-racking. I am trying to 'press through' back to normalcy.)

Finally, God has equipped people to know what is better. Thus, it is on people to do better! It is for us to choose: Better. The "super vast majority" of people of faith are not creating this evil. Furthermore, if anyone attempts to use evil as a proof of God's non-existence, then there would be nothing to continue long discussion about, because vile evil certainly exist.

 
 
calbab
12.1.7  calbab  replied to  Peter Loves the Real Tea Party. @12.1.1    2 weeks ago
If 90% of the people in the world (believers) can't have solved the issue of self by now, then maybe seeking a different avenue of salvation is in order.

Perhaps you mean, 90 percent of Americans (believers)? If so, then my question to you is how many of the 90 percent believers in this country are causing these problems. Pinpoint the people in the problem percentages. Salvation and a belief in God is not what is making people act destructively evil. Evil masquerading as good, darkness functioning as light, is the issue.

As for God, mankind wanted a version of freewill. Well, as we can see from the history of our world, freedom does carry a heavy cost with it. As people are free to do good, likewise they are free to do evil.

 
 
TiG
12.1.8  TiG  replied to  calbab @12.1.6    2 weeks ago
The "super vast majority" of people of faith are not creating this evil.

I agree.   Typically bad things emerge from a minority.

The original point was that the problems on the planet (with people) have not been corrected after thousands of years of religion and the super majority of people being religious.   That is simply a fact.  What that fact counters is anyone claiming that religion is the answer.   It would appear that religion is not working very well.

 
 
calbab
13  calbab    2 weeks ago

Forgive me, but that is a whether one-sided view of the world's situation.  In the Christian faith, we have always understood, or should understand, the role of sin and suffering in the larger picture of eternity. The Earth can not be without fault or defect without its Creator's entrance into it (in some form). Jesus even told us of some calamities  (hover over link) which are in the world and we would have to experience right alongside unbelievers. We are all in this together! The practice of religion, organized or otherwise, even in the Church, is not a cure for sin, violence, or suffering!

 
 
TiG
13.1  TiG  replied to  calbab @13    2 weeks ago
The practice of religion, organized or otherwise, even in the Church, is not a cure for sin, violence, or suffering!

A conclusion supported by the evidence.

 
 
calbab
13.1.1  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1    2 weeks ago

Jesus! Is the cure for all these things. A conclusion supported by a billion plus changed lives!

I had to respond in this fashion, after your rather interesting play on my words.

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.2  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.1    2 weeks ago
Jesus! Is the cure for all these things.

I'm not sure how a long-dead guy can cure anything. 

A conclusion supported by a billion plus changed lives!

A conclusion based on nothing but subjective anecdotes. Little more than mass delusion.

 
 
calbab
13.1.3  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.2    2 weeks ago

One could question the rationale of your considering this comment worthy of interest and time to 'snark' on! You do not value our anecdotes or faith, so this may be an inappropriate setting for you!

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.4  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.3    2 weeks ago
One could question the rationale of your considering this comment worthy of interest and time to 'snark' on!

No snark. Simply pointing out the irrationality of the statement.

You do not value our anecdotes or faith, so this may be an inappropriate setting for you!

Such anecdotes are subjective and does not form on objective based conclusion. It's little more than an empty claim or convincing oneself of something.

 
 
calbab
13.1.5  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.4    2 weeks ago

It is snark. I know it. We all know it. It is clear to me you have no appreciation for faith in God. Yet, you take up a position, a 'seat,' in the Religion and Ethics category and repeatedly heckle believers who come through. Since this heckling has no positive effect from your perspective—for science can not tell us about God, faith, or ethics—you simply must arrive here for some unspecified emotional 'rush.' That, for a rationalist, is not a suitable reason to drop-by!

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.5    2 weeks ago
It is clear to me you have no appreciation for faith in God.

You have yet to demonstrate that such faith is worthy of appreciation.

This is a public forum, cal.  There are private groups available for use if you want to limit your audience to religious people.  If you post for all to read, you must accept comments from all, even those with whom you disagree, and those who find religion to be of little value.

BTW, ethics can and often is independent of religion.  If there are two separate topics in this forum, religion and ethics, well, we should all be interested in ethics, even if we don't buy into religion.

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.7  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.5    2 weeks ago
It is snark. I know it. We all know it.

No, but you can believe whatever you want.

It is clear to me you have no appreciation for faith in God.

Why would I?

Yet, you take up a position, a 'seat,' in the Religion and Ethics category and repeatedly heckle believers who come through.

So you consider challenging beliefs or claims based on it to be heckling? interesting.

Since this heckling has no positive effect from your perspective—for science can not tell us about God, faith, or ethics—you simply must arrive here for some unspecified emotional 'rush.'

It's not about me.

That, for a rationalist, is not a suitable reason to drop-by!

Considering I've previously posted here, I'd say it's hardly a "drop by," as you put it. 

 
 
calbab
13.1.8  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.6    2 weeks ago

Hi  Sandy, truth is I do not have to pull off a nearly impossible feat of proving worth of my faith to anyone. We are sitting squarely in the center of Religion and Ethics. I should be able to assume that anybody who frequents here has a positive interest of some kind in the category. Why presume there will be categorically written "drive-bys" and tossings of rotten eggs?

My friend, I do assume that positive and negative comments would populate the space—this article has a tag for Atheists, but should I really expect the same parade of unvaried heckling on a routine basis? I think not! However, that was not my point for addressing this dilemma in the present. I simply called to a member's attention: 'One could question the rationale of his/her considering a comment made to TiG  worthy of interest and time to 'snark' on!' It is a fair statement. With so many articles, groups, blogs, so forth and so on that are better suited for constructive words and phrases. My articles are JEALOUS for some Agnostic-Atheist positivity too! Break me off some why don't you?!

Lastly, when you come on an article entitled, "Key findings about Americans belief in God," the ethics involved are decidedly about God, faith, church, and religion. None of these are of any true interest to a person disposed to rationalism alone. So let's not kid ourselves. Peace, my friend.

 
 
calbab
13.1.9  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.7    2 weeks ago

It's snark. It's not rational. Heckling demonstrates emotions.

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.10  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.9    2 weeks ago
It's snark.

You're free to be wrong if you like.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.11  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.8    2 weeks ago

No, you don't have to prove anything.  But don't be surprised if, when you make a positive declaration, people point out that you can't prove the truth of it.  That is not heckling.  Nobody has called you names, derided you, nor thrown rotten fruit at you.  We've merely stated that your claims have no factual support, and that other religions have the same claim to spiritual support as your own.  Nobody wants to take away your right to worship, nor the comfort you find in that worship, if you do indeed find comfort.  But some have not found the same comfort, and have indeed been oppressed by religion - women and LGBT people, for example.

Yes, this is the Religion and Ethics forum, and yes, the article was about Americans' belief in God, but it was also about Americans' lack of belief in God.  Some of us belong to a group described within the article, which is those who do not believe in a god.

 
 
calbab
13.1.12  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.11    2 weeks ago
'One could question the rationale of his/her considering a comment made to TiG  worthy of interest and time.'

Is not your point duly noted? This is a public forum, but none of us need to be overburdened by grievances from the opposition. Everybody gets it. Really, we do. Likewise, it is clear Agnostic-Atheists do not 'heckle' each other. It is quite explicit that, too!

What we are doing here, Sandy, is creating comments about comments about side issues and not discussing positively or negatively the topic. Can we simply agree here and now to just drop it?

As TiG goes, he knows my online personality 'tendencies' better than most others here. That is saying something about the online relationship we have 'built' and continue to develop.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.13  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.12    2 weeks ago
This is a public forum, but none of us need to be overburdened by grievances from the opposition.

Why not?  If you want only agreement, there are groups for that.

Everybody gets it. Really, we do.

I'm not sure about that.

Likewise, it is clear Agnostic-Atheists do not 'heckle' each other. It is quite explicit that, too!

Nobody's heckling anybody on this article.

What we are doing here, Sandy, is creating commentsaboutcommentsaboutside issues and not discussing positively or negatively the topic.

The topic of the article is that many Americans believe in God - some believe in the God of the Bible, and some don't.  And some don't believe in God at all.  Some of us here don't believe in God at all.  That relates to the topic.

 
 
calbab
13.1.14  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.13    2 weeks ago

This discussion has stalled, my friend. I will retire from this and return to that.

This is interesting to me:

04.25.18_beliefingod-00-00.png

What does it mean when "19%" of U.S. adults state they do not believe in God of any kind, and 9 percent indicate they believe in "some higher power/spiritual force" which they do not consider to be God?

Sandy, can you help me process this?

 
 
calbab
13.1.15  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.13    2 weeks ago

1 The vast majority of Americans (90%) believe in some kind of higher power, with 56% professing faith in God as described in the Bible and another 33% saying they believe in another type of higher power or spiritual force. Only one-in-ten Americans say they don’t believe in God or a higher power of any kind.

Friend Sandy, I want to comprehend your worldview better. Are you in a category listed above or something else? Please elaborate.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.16  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.15    2 weeks ago

I do not believe in any higher power or spiritual force.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.17  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.14    2 weeks ago

Remember that there are other religions besides those that worship the Abrahamic god.

There are Deists, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, those who adhere to Native American religious beliefs, etc., all practicing their religions here in the US.  They may worship a deity, or many deities.  They may take the Earth itself or the universe as a whole as their deity.

 
 
lennylynx
13.1.18  lennylynx  replied to  calbab @13.1.14    2 weeks ago

The 19% is much lower than the actual percentage, Cal, many atheists are still in the closet.  They say they believe and many even go to church regularly, because their whole family does, but they are secretly atheists and will never admit it to anyone.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.19  sandy-2021492  replied to  lennylynx @13.1.18    2 weeks ago

Agreed.  There is a lot of social and familial pressure to be Christian in this country, especially in more conservative areas.

 
 
TiG
13.1.20  TiG  replied to  lennylynx @13.1.18    2 weeks ago

No doubt true.

Also, if someone is 51% leaning that there might not be a god and 49% on there might be a god, that individual is technically an agnostic atheist.

Further, the agnostic theists who are, say 55% leaning there might be a god and 45% there might not be a god are very likely going to be agnostic atheists (if they keep thinking about this).

 
 
calbab
13.1.21  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.16    2 weeks ago

You're in the 10 percent column. Okay.

 
 
calbab
13.1.22  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.17    2 weeks ago

Ah, I see it better now. 23 percent of those who believe in God are in other worldviews which may worship, while 9 percent do not believe in God are in something other and never worship? Of course, I know about this,. . . I just have not followed graphs on religion regularly.

 
 
calbab
13.1.23  calbab  replied to  lennylynx @13.1.18    2 weeks ago

Another case of "closets" O'boy! I don't know what to sat 'bout that one!

 
 
calbab
13.1.24  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.16    2 weeks ago

To be clear, are you what is considered a "gnostic-atheist" or "agnostic-atheist"?

 
 
calbab
13.1.25  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.19    2 weeks ago

Christianity is inherently gregarious, remember the declaration, "Go ye. . . . " That has been interpreted by a majority of Christendom as an injunction to  be outgoing, and sadly both demanding and judgemental. 

In my opinion, "Go ye. . . ." is simply a statement for Christians to be demonstrative (open/"exampled") of this faith. Never forceful, judgemental, or vengeful.

 
 
calbab
13.1.26  calbab  replied to  lennylynx @13.1.18    2 weeks ago

I have heard so-called, "agnostic-Atheists,"  Richard Dawkins, (probably 99.9 percent gnostic-Atheist), Bill Maher, Sam Harris, remark about "closet Atheists." It is weird for me to think that anyone should fear Christians! Zealous or not.

There is no monolithic Christian cabal. We are united only in our dedication to Jesus, not to any one cause.

Atheists should "come out" fully and completely. No need for this angry 'warfare.' Just do you and if some subset of believers don't like that - who cares?

 
 
TiG
13.1.27  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.24    2 weeks ago
To be clear, are you what is considered a "gnostic-atheist" or "agnostic-atheist"?

Sandy has stated (and her words clearly show this) she is an agnostic atheist.    Gnostic atheists are quite rare and if I find one I will try to reason them out of that irrational belief (because gnostic atheism IS an unsubstantiated belief whereas agnostic atheism is simply -rationally- a state of not being convinced there is a god).

 
 
TiG
13.1.28  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.26    2 weeks ago
I have heard so-called, "agnostic-Atheists," 

Why 'so-called'?   If someone claims to be an atheist the chances are incredibly good they are an agnostic atheist.

Richard Dawkins, (probably 99.9 percent gnostic-Atheist),  ...

Dawkins is an agnostic atheist.   He holds out the possibility of a god (albeit slim in his mind) and that possibility is a major difference between the agnostic and gnostic atheist.

Bill Maher, Sam Harris, remark about "closet Atheists." It is weird for me to think that anyone should fear Christians! Zealous or not.

Are you not aware of the stigma associated with the word 'atheist'?   Go back 30 years and think of the stigma associated with the word 'homo'.   Pretty much the same deal.

 
 
calbab
13.1.29  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.28    2 weeks ago

"Homo?" Was then and is now a damning word. And even when I was out thirty years ago (got my T-shirts too), I was not crushed by the word. I simply took it in and let it pass right through me. I will admit, of all the pejoratives hurled, "homo" caused me some momentarily distress.

The word, "Agnostic," thirty years ago, it was not hyphenated! I vocalized it all the time, even to former church friends, new friends who wanted to evangelize me, or just folks chatting about God/religion. TiG! My philosophy is this: I am who and what I am.

It's why I never married a woman. It is why now I won't marry a man. What I wholeheartedly believe I live by. I do not try to have it "both" or "all" ways. Has it costed me (to be an outcast)? Yes, it really has and in some ways continues to do so. That's life—in my worldview.

So yes, I can advice "agnostic-Atheists" to come out of the shadows and shine, shine, shine. And TiG, for the record the stigma of living, "homo" is nothing like being called, "atheist." I should know.

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.30  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.29    2 weeks ago
"Homo?" Was then and is now a damning word.

More so then. Nowadays, most people seem more or less indifferent to the term.

And TiG, for the record the stigma of living, "homo" is nothing like being, "atheist.

There is still a stigma attached. Fortunately, people are generally more open minded, (with certain exceptions) that the stigma of either is not as great as it once was.

 
 
calbab
13.1.31  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.30    2 weeks ago

Hi Gordy! Let me dare to put it this way. I am gobsmacked each time I hear songs outside on the plaza and youths of all stripes expressing themselves with the "N" word. They seem so. . . normal, in broadcasting their sentiment.

For those of us old enough to have experienced how certain words were effectively pressurized, caustic pejoratives, some things will never change I guess. One of the saddest events to me personally was to watch television footage of Reverend Phelps' extremists lining the curb of funeral processions for fallen soldiers with signs mocking them in death: "Homo." I agonized for each of those families partaking in this and making room in themselves for such public disrespect. I could be wrong, but I know of no such paralyzing mistreatment of atheists. 

 
 
Skrekk
13.1.32  Skrekk  replied to  calbab @13.1.29    2 weeks ago
And TiG, for the record the stigma of living, "homo" is nothing like being called, "atheist." I should know.

I agree.   Unlike the words "gay" and "queer" which have been reclaimed from their former stigmatic usage, I don't think there is a non-stigmatizing use for "homo" when applied to people.    I also don't think there ever should be since there's no benefit to reclaiming an abbreviated form of a word which needlessly sexualizes the issue.

 
 
calbab
13.1.33  calbab  replied to  Skrekk @13.1.32    2 weeks ago

"Homo," figuratively cuts to the quick! Oddly, because of its "brevity." In my opinion. We all have our distinct "worry" words.

It is a treasured fact, I learned early in life not to give anybody my power! It has been my "salvation" in moments where I needed to keep people out of my head!

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.34  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.31    2 weeks ago
I am gobsmacked each time I hear songs outside on the plaza and youths of all stripes expressing themselves with the "N" word. They seem so. . . normal, in broadcasting their sentiment.

And your point is?

For those of us old enough to have experienced how certain words were effectively pressurized, caustic pejoratives, some things will never change I guess. One of the saddest events to me personally was to watch television footage of Reverend Phelps' extremists lining the curb of funeral processions for fallen soldiers with signs mocking them in death: "Homo."

While Mr. Phelps and his congregation are extremists, that doesn't really address or change anything I already said. 

 
 
TiG
13.1.35  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.29    2 weeks ago
And TiG, for the record the stigma of living, "homo" is nothing like being called, "atheist." I should know.

Examples are meant to clarify - not to try to focus exclusively on the differences.

In the USA, an atheist is still considered to be akin to evil:

  • There is a very good reason why politicians do not claim to be atheist (regardless of qualification). 
  • Announce to your family of Christians that you are an atheist and watch the tensions (and worse) ensue.   
  • Same with shocked friends ("I cannot believe he is actually one of them").

You wondered why there are atheists today who stay in the closet (pretend to be theists to maintain their social/political stability) and my response it that still today the stigma associated with the word 'atheist' is highly negative and certainly not unlike that against homosexuals 30 years ago. 

 
 
calbab
13.1.36  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.34    2 weeks ago

That comment was meant to be taken as a whole. It's meaning is clear that way. Nobody gets away with explicitly namecalling me, "homo." Not back then - not today. It will never be a term of endearment for me.

 
 
calbab
13.1.37  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.35    2 weeks ago

Curious, have you ever been punched, beat, ambushed, are 'molested' for sexual favors simply because of a personal lack of a belief in God?  Exactly what are we dealing with here? What atheist is hiding his or herself away in today's society? Why?! Atheism is not something to be, is it?

 
 
TiG
13.1.38  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.37    2 weeks ago

And you continue to dwell on the difference in an example instead of using the example as intended - for clarity.

Focus on the phrase 'in the closet'.   That is how this started - that is the core of the point.  You know all too well how that phrase applies to homosexuals 30 years ago.    Now,  imagine why atheists would stay 'in the closet' today?    

The situations are different, but the similarity is that in both cases there is a societal stigma and 'coming out' almost necessarily upsets one's standing and interaction with others in society.   That is the similarity that I noted and thought was rather obvious.

Debating the differences (and, worse, continuing to do so) is intentionally missing the point entirely.   


Remember, I was explaining why atheists today would be reluctant to 'come out' and instead choose to pretend to be theists.

 
 
Ender
13.1.39  Ender  replied to  TiG @13.1.35    2 weeks ago

I understand exactly what you are saying.

I attended a family gathering at the end of last year. I come from a religious family. At their prayer for dinner my sister (the only one that knows) mentioned that I don't believe.

I had to hear, no that is not true and basically shock and disbelief. Finally my mother told everyone I was kidding and it wasn't true. I just rolled with it.

 
 
calbab
13.1.40  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.38    2 weeks ago

Why atheists today would be reluctant to 'come out' and instead choose to pretend to be theists.

In my life I have never PRETENDED to be a Theist ( I was one or 'left the stage'), Agnostic (I was one or 'left the stage), or Straight (I have 'slept' with a smattering of women).

As a masculine homosexual male my whole existence I have been true to myself as best I could be at all stages of my life!

So, no, I do not go along with a pretense today just to get by and ahead in life. Generally-speaking, atheists should: Come out. Take the lumps. Improve quality of life for Atheist youth everywhere.


All that said, I am aware and understand why people hide themselves in large groups, though I honestly never suspected it of atheist.  But let's be clear, hiding leads to a lot of 'tangled webs.'

 
 
TiG
13.1.41  TiG  replied to  Ender @13.1.39    2 weeks ago

Good point.  In many cases one keeps quiet so as to not upset things.   There is quite a bit of irrational thinking so one must weigh the value of offering a bit of information or not.   Why announce in a religious social structure that you are a skeptic (translates into atheist, lost-soul, heathen, heretic, demon, ...) when that very notion raises myriad emotions in people (ranging from disappointment to hatred)?   To what end?   

I often speak of my devout father-in-law noting that I will never say anything to him that might counter his religious beliefs.   His are harmless and bring him great comfort.   Easy call - I say nothing (oddly, I am the one who drives him to mass each week).

 
 
TiG
13.1.42  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.40    2 weeks ago

So, no, I do not go along with a pretense today just to get by and ahead in life. Generally-speaking, atheists should: Come out. Take the lumps. Improve quality of life for Atheist youth everywhere.

That is your opinion.   I think it depends upon the situation.  And, in general, unless there is a compelling reason to declare oneself an atheist in today's society I can certainly understand why people would not do it.

Bottom line, I suspect that if people were to all just drop the pretense (at various levels) we would find that most everyone (~80%) is either agnostic atheist or agnostic theist.  That is, most everyone will admit that they do not know for certain if there is or is not a god.  Further, of the agnostics, I suspect the agnostic atheists are probably challenging the numbers of the agnostic theists even in the USA.   This is just my gut feel - have not seen any studies (but would be quite interested if one exists).


Remember:  'agnostic atheist' = a person who is not convinced there is a god but is quite willing to consider evidence should it arrive

 
 
calbab
13.1.43  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.42    2 weeks ago
there is a compelling reason to declare oneself an atheist in today's society I can certainly understand why people would not do it.

There is a compelling reason: Atheists in churches at all are a version of old-styled "passing," and it does a large disservice all around. Jesus would call such folks: "HYPOCRITES."

I do not mean to offend anybody. I did not even mean to go in this direction. But, that is what it is. HYPOCRISY. Note: I just gazed up from the computer and Ron Reagan, Jr.'s ad for Freedom From Religion Foundation is airing. So there is a proper "home" for agnostic-Atheists!

 
 
Skrekk
13.1.44  Skrekk  replied to  calbab @13.1.43    2 weeks ago
There is a compelling reason: Atheists in churches at all are a version of old-styled "passing," and it does a large disservice all around. Jesus would call such folks: "HYPOCRITES."

I suspect atheists generally aren't concerned about the opinions of imaginary creatures, they're just concerned about the harm caused by bigoted superstitious folks who discriminate against atheists.

 
 
TiG
13.1.45  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.43    2 weeks ago

I doubt that would be considered a compelling reason to said atheists.

I think quite a few people (including legitimate theists) are currently going through the motions to get along.   For example, imagine the 'fun' of a good Catholic telling fellow church-goers that he (or she) believes in God (still a theist or at least a deist) but not based on the Bible or the rituals and rationale of the Catholic church.   You would have this individual announce heresy and then, I suppose, leave the church so as to not be hypocritical.

Well, Cal, I am very confident that most people would not see a compelling reason to do that.   They just keep their views to themselves (don't discuss politics or religion in your close circles).   It avoids irrational controversy and the individual can continue with his or her views in private.

 
 
calbab
13.1.46  calbab  replied to  Skrekk @13.1.44    2 weeks ago

Shrekk, you 'heard' and insult where there was none intended. My only point is atheists should take a stand for their lack of believe. And do so outside the Churches! All of this "fake it till you make it" for atheists in churches, if they are even in there, is wrong and deceitful. That is my firm opinion!

 
 
calbab
13.1.47  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.45    2 weeks ago

TiG! You may remember that I have a religiously integrated household and even an atheist member. I have Muslim friends, even a Muslim best friend, who fully knows I am a Christian. He tells me I would make a good Muslim (HA!). I am a strange bird, I guess. That is how I roll! I used to introduce myself as Christian to folks. Now, I just wait until it comes up and out in discussion.  It usually does, somehow.

 
 
TiG
13.1.48  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.46    2 weeks ago
My only point is atheists should take a stand for their lack of believe.

Well I suppose one can 'take a stand' but I prefer to challenge unsupported beliefs and encourage people to think critically.    As you can tell there are quite a few of us on NT who are unapologetically skeptics.   And all you need do is observe how well that mixes with those who have strong religious views.   But this is a good forum for having these difficult discussions and debates.   Much better than over Thanksgiving dinner or at a house party.

To me, atheism is not a cause (at all).   Rather, critical thinking is the cause and it just so happens that religious thinking is one of the primer offenders.

And do so outside the Churches! All of this "fake it till you make it" for atheists in churches, if they are even in there, is wrong and deceitful. That is my firm opinion!

Seems irresponsible to me.   Life is a constant struggle for balance.   If one has the objective of causing trouble then announcing oneself as an atheist works well.   If one has the objective of working well in one's social structure then announcing as an atheist in a non-secular community is counterproductive.   So you can label this wrong and deceitful, but one of life's bits of wisdom is that one does not disclose everything.  Being honest does not mean making all one's private considerations public.  Thumbs Up 2

 
 
epistte
13.1.49  epistte  replied to  TiG @13.1.48    2 weeks ago

This should be engraved over the doors of college libraries.

To me, atheism is not a cause (at all).   Rather, critical thinking is the cause and it just so happens that religious thinking is one of the prime offenders.

 
 
Skrekk
13.1.50  Skrekk  replied to  calbab @13.1.46    2 weeks ago
My only point is atheists should take a stand for their lack of believe. And do so outside the Churches!

That's why I don't attend church, because I'm not superstitious and I have far better uses for my time.

.

All of this "fake it till you make it" for atheists in churches, if they are even in there, is wrong and deceitful.

I wouldn't do this myself but I know that some non-believers attend church because their spouse does or because they like the feeling of being part of a community.   I'm sure there are other rationales too......there's even an internet-based group of clergy who are atheists.

 
 
calbab
13.1.51  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.48    2 weeks ago

To me, atheism is not a cause (at all).   Rather, critical thinking is the cause and it just so happens that religious thinking is one of the primer offenders.

Are you categorically stating that the Christian faith should fall under critical thinking and not faith? Where and when did you encounter the notion the New Testament writers were writing expecting peer review? We are talking about NT writings and letters, not doctoral treatises, structured to audiences made up of individuals of faith.

 
 
calbab
13.1.52  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.48    2 weeks ago
Being honest does not mean making all one's private considerations public.

We are not discussing "all" of anything. We are distinctly dealing with "closet atheism" in Churches. Indeed, this can not be easy for these atheists. Church folks are acutely perceptive to hints of sabotage and those lacking spiritual discernment.

You will say that Christians do not use reason with their faith. I will say to you that Christians reason within the Old Testament >New Testament comparing spiritual matters > spiritual matters.

 
 
calbab
13.1.53  calbab  replied to  Skrekk @13.1.50    2 weeks ago
I know that some non-believers attend church because their spouse does or because they like the feeling of being part of a community.

This, I understand, "the unbelieving spouse" scenario. Apostle Paul took such persons into account in his letters.

By now, you should know that Christianity is not a superstitious affectation. But, okay. Do you, Boo.

And yes, I vaguely remember some "militants" are using their degrees, power, and influence to get in positions where they can affect changes in definitions and online media programs and documents. To be fair, it is happening on both sides.

 
 
lennylynx
13.1.54  lennylynx  replied to  calbab @13.1.52    2 weeks ago

"Church folks are acutely perceptive to hints of sabotage and those lacking spiritual discernment."

Sorry Cal, exactly the opposite is true, in my experience.  Theists often don't like to acknowledge that atheists even exist.  They love to ask things like, "Why don't you believe God?" and "Why are you against God?"  They refuse to even acknowledge that some people simply don't think that there is a god.  Their faith is justified in their minds by the sheer number of their fellow believers.   Consider Ender's testimony. [13.1.35]  Even when his family was TOLD he was an atheist, they basically stuck their fingers in their ears and said "Nya, nya, didn't hear that, Ender is a believer and that's that."  Far from being acutely perceptive of false faith, theists fall all over themselves, eagerly accepting every claim of God belief.

 
 
Tessylo
13.1.55  Tessylo  replied to  lennylynx @13.1.54    2 weeks ago

I wonder why people consider atheists - or those who don't necessarily believe in god - to be evil and worthless and hellbound?  I think we are all connected to the universe - not necessarily a god.  We're all part of the universe.  What's wrong with not believing in a god?

 
 
TiG
13.1.56  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.51    one week ago
Are you categorically stating that the Christian faith should fall under critical thinking and not faith?

No.   It is clearly faith.   Faith suppresses critical thinking (generally speaking).

Where and when did you encounter the notion the New Testament writers were writing expecting peer review?

Never suggested anything of the sort.

However, now that you mention it, do you believe God inspired men to write on their own with no oversight?   Seems like a great way to send a confused message.

We are talking about NT writings and letters, not doctoral treatises, structured to audiences made up of individuals of faith.

More like copying and embellishment of stories IMO.

 
 
TiG
13.1.57  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.52    one week ago
We are not discussing "all" of anything. We are distinctly dealing with "closet atheism" in Churches.

And closet atheism is part of all.   Since you are not demanding all private thoughts be made public you implicitly allow for some private thoughts to remain private.   One's atheistic views are certainly allowed to remain private.   Odd that you acknowledge this is not about all but then seem to demand that atheists must declare their views regarding a god - that they cannot keep this private if they wish.

Indeed, this can not be easy for these atheists. Church folks are acutely perceptive to hints of sabotage and those lacking spiritual discernment.

Sabotage?   Eye Roll   Where is this coming from?   An atheist going through the motions (for one's own reasons) is not sabotaging anything - quite the opposite.   They are most likely trying to not upset things given the prevalence of those who cannot accept their views.   Also, 'Church folks' are no better equipped to look into one's mind than anyone else.   You are not suggesting that 'Church folks' are beyond being fooled are you?    It is very easy to play the role of the casual believer.

You will say that Christians do not use reason with their faith. I will say to you that Christians reason within the Old Testament >New Testament comparing spiritual matters > spiritual matters.

Reasoning is not the same as critical thinking.  There are some absolutely brilliant arguments and analysis produced by theists / apologists over the last few centuries.    Dr. William Lane Craig is probably one of the best contemporary speakers regarding arguments of theism.    Presuppositionalists, for example, can make amazing arguments for God given they have a foundation of a divine Bible.   The difference between their reasoning and the reasoning that would come from critical thinking is not that their arguments are invalid, but rather that they are not sound.   They presume their faith and work from there.   Critical thinking works based on well founded premises - what we would call facts.   There is a monster difference between an argument that presumes the Bible to be the divine Word of a perfect God and an argument that presumes well founded facts such as human beings are the result of evolutionary forces. 

 
 
calbab
13.1.58  calbab  replied to  lennylynx @13.1.54    one week ago

  — We are distinctly dealing with "closet atheism" in Churches. Indeed, this can not be easy for these atheists. Church folks are acutely perceptive to hints of sabotage and those lacking spiritual discernment.


This is what I wrote.

I am not referring to the run of the mill atheist. Atheists in churches may tend to run against the grain. Of course, if atheists in churches simply come and listen, as you know, churches have an "open-door" policy.

 
 
calbab
13.1.59  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.56    one week ago
Faith suppresses critical thinking (generally speaking).

Faith does not suppress critical thinking, that is your routine 'take' on the matter.

Faith is on its own parallel track, based on spirituality. Critical thinking is based on nature (generally speaking).

 
 
calbab
13.1.60  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.56    one week ago

However, now that you mention it, do you believe God inspired men to write on their own with no oversight? 

If you mean God that you generally and regularly declare does not exist, my answer to your question is, "No."

More like copying and embellishment of stories IMO.

Then, don't bother hanging out with and around Christians. What is not for you, is not for you. Issue resolved.

 
 
calbab
13.1.61  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.57    one week ago
Odd that you acknowledge this is not about all but then seem to demand that atheists must declare their views regarding a god - that they cannot keep this private if they wish.

That is a dodge and you certainly know it. These are atheists occupying pews in churches in some measure. Follow the train of thought on the comments you and I shared yesterday and stay away from sophistry. Delivering "come-backs" are not the same as being straight-forward.

 
 
calbab
13.1.62  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.57    one week ago
You are not suggesting that 'Church folks' are beyond being fooled are you?

Are you there attempting to fool them? It is not a mystery that your average atheist does not want what your average theist wants from Church. The question for atheist: What are you doing masquerading as something you are not? Go get your own stuff!

 
 
calbab
13.1.63  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.57    one week ago
They presume their faith and work from there.

All the more reason for atheists to leave the 'situation.' Simply put, churches are not designed for an atheist not there to worship! The operative word. Worship.

 
 
TiG
13.1.64  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.60    one week ago
If you mean God that you generally and regularly declare does not exist, my answer to your question is, "No."

Non-answer.   If one is discussing 'God' in general with a theist, the 'God' in question is that of the theist.   Obviously if someone does not believe in a god, they do not have a personal god to reference as 'God'.   This is obvious, right?

And I do not declare that no gods exist.   Simply that I am not convinced that any exist.   Why am I explaining this to you?   You clearly know this so why make comments that suggest otherwise?

Then, don't bother hanging out with and around Christians. What is not for you, is not for you. Issue resolved.

I think I will continue to hang with my Christian friends, family, et.al. and simply avoid challenging their faith.   Issue resolved (in a much better manner).

 
 
Explorerdog
13.1.65  Explorerdog  replied to  calbab @13.1.58    one week ago

I was in a group that met concerning matters that  atheists were interested in discussing and it numbered usually around six, two in attendance were regular church goers but were doing so because of fear of ostracism from family and friends if their true lack of belief was exposed. They wore a beard.

 
 
TiG
13.1.66  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.61    one week ago
That is a dodge and you certainly know it. These are atheists occupying pews in churches in some measure. Follow the train of thought on the comments you and I shared yesterday and stay away from sophistry. Delivering "come-backs" are not the same as being straight-forward.

To be a dodge there would have to be something that I am dodging.   What do you think I am dodging??   My comment was clear and what you quoted was within an established context.

Your post is a list of allegations:  dodge, sophistry 'not straight-forward' "come-backs" that appear to come from nowhere and are wholly unexplained.   Truly a terrible way to encourage civil discourse IMO.

 
 
TiG
13.1.67  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.62    one week ago
Are you there attempting to fool them?

No.   You are the one who implied that atheists are trying to fool theists.   My comment was about theists who are closet atheists who choose to continue to go through the motions with family, friends, et. al. rather than disrupt things by announcing atheism to people who might not be able to handle the news too well.   Strawman arguments are slimy IMO.

It is not a mystery that your average atheist does not want what your average theist wants from Church.

What an odd observation.   Why were you compelled to state the obvious?

The question for atheist: What are you doing masquerading as something you are not? Go get your own stuff!

Not sure it matters what I answer here since you do not seem to recognize it.   Look above at my first answer in this post.   I have repeated this enough now so I am confident I have been sufficiently clear.

 
 
TiG
13.1.68  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.63    one week ago
All the more reason for atheists to leave the 'situation.' Simply put, churches are not designed for an atheist not there to worship! The operative word. Worship.

This has nothing to do with the points I have raised.  

 
 
cjcold
13.1.69  cjcold  replied to  TiG @13.1.64    one week ago

I think I will continue to hang out with atheists who don't believe in mythology and superstition.

 
 
TiG
13.1.70  TiG  replied to  cjcold @13.1.69    one week ago
I think I will continue to hang out with atheists who don't believe in mythology and superstition.

Makes things easier if you have that option.   But there is not much one can do about family, work associates, etc.   Does it make sense to discuss atheism over lunch with co-workers?   Should one debate the existence of God over Thanksgiving dinner?    

Not sure if you read the context of this thread, but it is about how to deal with the Christians that are in your social circle.   Given the fact that many view atheists as evil incarnate one makes a choice regarding seeding irrational gnashing of teeth or not.    To me there must be a net benefit to act (either way).

 
 
Skrekk
13.1.71  Skrekk  replied to  calbab @13.1.53    one week ago
By now, you should know that Christianity is not a superstitious affectation.

????    I'm not sure what a "superstitious affectation" is but Christianity is most definitely a superstition and something that only superstitious people believe.

 
 
Skrekk
13.1.72  Skrekk  replied to  Tessylo @13.1.55    one week ago
I wonder why people consider atheists - or those who don't necessarily believe in god - to be evil and worthless and hellbound?

It's because atheists aren't part of the "in" group, they're necessarily outsiders and thus a threat to the tribal aspect at the core of religion.

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.73  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.36    one week ago
That comment was meant to be taken as a whole. It's meaning is clear that way. Nobody gets away with explicitly namecalling me, "homo." Not back then - not today. It will never be a term of endearment for me.

I never said the term "homo" was meant as a term of endearment. Of course it was initially meant to be derogatory. But that doesn't really address the levels of stigma associated with it or atheists.

Are you categorically stating that the Christian faith should fall under critical thinking and not faith

Faith and critical thinking are polar opposites.

Faith does not suppress critical thinking, that is your routine 'take' on the matter.

When faith is taken over facts or evidence, or used as an explanation for anything, then critical thinking is suppressed. Faith requires no thought. It's simply a matter of "I believe and 'nuff said."

Critical thinking is based on nature (generally speaking).

Critical thinking is based on rationality and concrete analysis. Again, the exact opposite of faith.

 
 
calbab
13.1.74  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.73    one week ago
that doesn't really address the levels of stigma associated with it or atheists.

I am sorry you feel stigmatized as an atheist. Mainly, because I treat all people with peace, love, and the best that I got to give. I have been this way all my life—in and out of faith/Church! I must admit, I am having trouble with the concept of stigmatized atheist equating to stigmatized homosexuals. But, you know how you feel. Can we simply leave it at that?

 
 
TiG
13.1.75  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.74    one week ago

Why do you assume it is a 'feeling'.   It is simply a fact to be dealt with.   And the only reason it is being discussed is because you introduced the notion of 'closet atheists':

calbab @13.1.26 -  Richard Dawkins, (probably 99.9 percent gnostic-Atheist), Bill Maher, Sam Harris, remark about "closet Atheists." 

I then explained why there are likely quite a few 'closet atheists' with this:

TiG@13.1.28 - Are you not aware of the stigma associated with the word 'atheist'?   Go back 30 years and think of the stigma associated with the word 'homo'.   Pretty much the same deal.

and followed up with this (and much more):

TiG @13.1.35  - In the USA, an atheist is still considered to be akin to evil:

  • There is a very good reason why politicians do not claim to be atheist (regardless of qualification). 
  • Announce to your family of Christians that you are an atheist and watch the tensions (and worse) ensue.   
  • Same with shocked friends ("I cannot believe he is actually one of them").

You wondered why there are atheists today who stay in the closet (pretend to be theists to maintain their social/political stability) and my response it that still today the stigma associated with the word 'atheist' is highly negative and certainly not unlike that against homosexuals 30 years ago. 



In short, this is not about 'feelings' (or persecution or anything resembling victimization).   It is reasoning on how one should best conduct one's life given the facts of reality.    

 
 
calbab
13.1.76  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.64    one week ago

You may hang out with whomever you wish. You know this already. Why do I have to state the obvious? (-:

 
 
calbab
13.1.77  calbab  replied to  Explorerdog @13.1.65    one week ago

Thank you for sharing, Explorerdog. I think we should all listen and learn from each other better. My opening remark:.

In my opinion, Atheists and theists should accept each group uses its own distinct approaches and practices to arrive at a single 'destination': Peace and harmony with fellow human-beings. This is a general statement. We, all, may know of those 'hard-cases' on the opposing team whose primarily stance in life is to make sure everybody else toe the same line they do.

 
 
calbab
13.1.78  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.75    one week ago

Without delving too deep in all that again, it appears to all be part of routine online comment discussion to me. (-:

 
 
TiG
13.1.79  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.76    one week ago
You may hang out with whomever you wish. You know this already. Why do I have to state the obvious? (-:

... preceded by ...

calbab@13.1.60  - Then, don't bother hanging out with and around Christians. What is not for you, is not for you. Issue resolved.

Are you arguing for the sake of arguing?

 
 
calbab
13.1.80  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.79    one week ago

Really? This is turning to be so much useless banter anymore!

TiG, you wrote:

I think I will continue to hang with my Christian friends, family, et.al. and simply avoid challenging their faith.   Issue resolved (in a much better manner).


Then I replied:

You may hang out with whomever you wish. You know this already. Why do I have to state the obvious? (-:

 I started to add on words about discussions taking place in the virtual world having limited power to make changes people do not wish for, but thought better of expanding into other areas. Well, I am compelled to do that now.  (Sad face.)

Walking away now slowly. . . .

 
 
TiG
13.1.81  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.80    one week ago

Let me clear it up for you (for future reference).   I stated several times that I will of course hang out with whomever I wish (a pretty normal choice I think).

So when you offer this platitude ...

You may hang out with whomever you wish.

... you are simply telling me that I can do what I already noted I would do.   It adds nothing to the conversation.   And by itself it really is a comment to ignore.

But when when you add this sarcasm to the end of it ...

You know this already. Why do I have to state the obvious? (-:

... the comment moves from a platitude to gratuitous snark.   


The form is this:

A:  The sky is blue

B:  The sky is blue.

B:  You know this.  Why do I have to state the obvious?

See?   Not a good thing.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.82  sandy-2021492  replied to  TiG @13.1.27    one week ago
Sandy has stated (and her words clearly show this) she is an agnostic atheist.

Yup.

Couldn't get on here until now, as a thunderstorm that passed through yesterday fried my modem.  Picked up a new one from my ISP at lunch today, and am now back in business.

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.83  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.74    one week ago
I am sorry you feel stigmatized as an atheist.

I never said anything about how I feel. I simply said there's a stigma associated with atheists.

Mainly, because I treat all people with peace, love, and the best that I got to give. I have been this way all my life—in and out of faith/Church!

Good for you. And what does that have to do with anything we've discussed?

I must admit, I am having trouble with the concept of stigmatized atheist equating to stigmatized homosexuals.

Are you trying to be obtuse, or do you not know there's a stigma associated with atheists, much like there's a stigma associated with homosexuality?

But, you know how you feel. Can we simply leave it at that?

I didn't say anything about my feelings. 

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.84  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.26    one week ago
It is weird for me to think that anyone should fear Christians! Zealous or not.

Tell that to women who have gone to Planned Parenthood.

Or to LGBTQ children who have been kicked out of their parents' home for coming out.

Or to any politician looking to get elected while running openly as an atheist, even against a terrible Christian candidate.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.1.86  Phoenyx13  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.84    one week ago
Or to LGBTQ children who have been kicked out of their parents' home for coming out.

good point:

Our research also found that highly religious families were most likely to use religion to reject their LGBT children and were least likely to accept them.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/parents-dont-have-to-choose-between-their-faith-and-their-lgbt-kids-commentary/2015/01/07/e3ec4a9c-96bc-11e4-8385-866293322c2f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c4081239970b

or how about these "wonderful" examples of "good Christians" ??:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/da-kevin-and-elizabeth-schatz-killed-daughter-with-religious-whips-for-mispronouncing-word/

https://nypost.com/2015/10/16/son-beaten-to-death-because-he-wanted-to-leave-the-church/

http://cnycentral.com/news/local/pastor-of-word-of-life-church-where-teen-was-beat-to-death-turns-down-plea-deal

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/mother-stepfather-arrested-in-boys-beating-death/76379049

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/05/roderick-arrington-las-vegas-beaten-death-bible-homework-video_n_2245381.html

It's weird for me to think that people just blindly ignore the news and the violence due to religious beliefs - but apparently it happens.

 
 
calbab
13.1.87  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.83    one week ago

We're getting nowhere. That is a real disappointment to me. Sad.

 
 
calbab
13.1.88  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.81    one week ago


13.1.67 TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.62    yesterday



Are you there attempting to fool them?

No.   You are the one who implied that atheists are trying to fool theists.   My comment was about theists who are closet atheists who choose to continue to go through the motions with family, friends, et. al. rather than disrupt things by announcing atheism to people who might not be able to handle the news too well.   Strawman arguments are slimy IMO.

It is not a mystery that your average atheist does not want what your average theist wants from Church.

What an odd observation.   Why were you compelled to state the obvious?

The question for atheist: What are you doing masquerading as something you are not? Go get your own stuff!

Not sure it matters what I answer here since you do not seem to recognize it.   Look above at my first answer in this post.   I have repeated this enough now so I am confident I have been sufficiently clear.


 Like 5

   REPLY




Now, I am done with this, TiG.

 
 
calbab
13.1.89  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.84    one week ago

I see your point, Sandy! I should have written:

It is weird for me to think that anyone should have to fear Christians! Zealous or not.

I left out two consequential words. Thank you for pointing it out. You are correct in your assessment.

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.90  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.87    one week ago
We're getting nowhere. That is a real disappointment to me. Sad.

You only have yourself to blame.

 
 
calbab
13.1.91  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.90    one week ago

. . . .

 
 
Gordy327
13.1.92  Gordy327  replied to  calbab @13.1.91    one week ago

I'll take that as an agreement.

 
 
calbab
13.1.93  calbab  replied to  Gordy327 @13.1.92    one week ago

Impasse.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.94  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.43    one week ago
There is a compelling reason: Atheists in churches at all are a version of old-styled "passing," and it does a large disservice all around. Jesus would call such folks: "HYPOCRITES."

Then some theists (not you) shouldn't persecute them for being atheists.

Same as blacks should never have been persecuted to the point that they felt the need to "pass" as white.

Please don't blame the victims.

 
 
calbab
13.1.95  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.94    one week ago

Sandy, this is different,  don't you think? For instance, only a certain type of black person could "pass," a minute percentage. I won't take the time to look it up, so correct me if I am wrong.

If atheist are in the Church environment, because they are "questioning" that is one thing. If they are "in" as a form of subterfuge (deceitful intent), causing damage to the faithful in some manner, then that is hypocrisy and wrong.

I can't support that activity. We can learn to meet  and value each other out in the open, in my opinion.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.96  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.95    one week ago
If they are "in" as a form of subterfuge (deceitful intent), causing damage to the faithful in some manner, then that is hypocrisy and wrong.

Why are you assuming the worst?

They are not attempting to subvert, and that's not what "passing" is.  They're just going along to get along.  They show up at services, sing a few hymns, shake a few hands, and go home, because that's the path of least resistance.

 
 
TiG
13.1.97  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.95    one week ago
If they are "in" as a form of subterfuge (deceitful intent), causing damage to the faithful in some manner, then that is hypocrisy and wrong.

This came from my scenario and in my scenario there was not even a hint of causing damage.   The entire point of an atheist continuing to 'go through the motions' was to not disrupt things with his/her friends, family, co-workers, etc.   The reason this is an issue is because some people freak out at the very idea someone would question the existence of God much less not believe.

You have taken a very sensible answer to the question of 'why are there closet atheists' and have turned it from a scenario of 'causing no unnecessary harm' to one of 'deceitful causing of harm'.

Not good.    Do you recognize what you have done?

 
 
calbab
13.1.98  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.96    one week ago
If atheists are in the Church environment, because they are "questioning" that is one thing. If atheists are "in" as a form of subterfuge (deceitful intent), causing damage to the faithful in some manner, then that is hypocrisy and wrong.

This is what I wrote. The first type of atheist is in accordance with the Bible's concept of "seeker," the second type of atheist is looking to change, alter, and loosen the foundation of the faith. Both are possibilities in the real scheme of the world today. Especially in today's climate of anti-church rhetoric. But. Listen, this is not the direction I want to head off in.

Moreover, I know what "passing" is, and it is not subversive, per se. Lots of times I have "passed" as heterosexual, simply because it was expedient and it would have taken a day or an exorbitant amount of time to explain my state of mind for little benefit to any involved. 

Can we find a happy median in any of these discussions?

 
 
calbab
13.1.99  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.97    one week ago

See 13.1.98 please.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.100  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.98    one week ago
This is what I wrote.

And that is what I responded to.

Your second reason for atheists attending church is an unfairly negative assessment of atheists who attend church, and their reasons for doing so.  They're not there to make waves.  They're there to avoid the unfair negative assessments often made regarding atheists.

If atheists "passing" as theists is hypocritical, is it hypocritical for an LGBT person to pass as heterosexual?  Their motivations are the same - avoiding persecution, and just plain avoiding the hassle of explaining to everyone their own private inclinations.

 
 
calbab
13.1.101  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.100    one week ago

Can we find a happy median in any of these discussions?

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.102  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.101    one week ago

Cal, we're trying to.  You asked a question (why would closeted atheists go to church) and were provided with an honest answer.  You chose to interpret "they go to church to avoid the social stigma associated with being open atheists" into "they're trying to sabotage the church".  I'm not sure there's a happy medium between those interpretations (or answer and misinterpretation).

In fact, such false accusations rather illustrate why many atheists are closeted.

 
 
calbab
13.1.103  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.102    one week ago
If atheists are in the Church environment, because they are "questioning" that is one thing. If atheists are "in" as a form of subterfuge (deceitful intent), causing damage to the faithful in some manner, then that is hypocrisy and wrong.

Again, this coupled together paragraph is what I wrote. The paragraph is condition-based. Be reasonable. There is no accusation there.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.104  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.103    one week ago

Your words: 

There is a compelling reason: Atheists in churches at all are a version of old-styled "passing," and it does a large disservice all around. Jesus would call such folks:"HYPOCRITES."

Your words (implying "sabotage" by atheists):

Church folks are acutely perceptive to hints of sabotage

Your words:

Atheists in churches may tend to run against the grain.

Those are accusations.  And BTW, you are the one who likened atheists going to church to "passing", but said it was hypocritical, then said:

Sandy, this is different,  don't you think?

No, it's not different.  Light-skinned people of African descent often tried to "pass" as white because it made their lives easier.  Why?  Because some whites persecuted them.  Denied them jobs, places to live, access to education.  Even killed them sometimes.

Some LGBT people "pass" as heterosexual because it makes their lives easier.  Why?  Because some heterosexuals (and closeted LGBT people) persecuted them.  Denied them jobs, medical care, equal rights.  Even killed them sometimes.

Some atheists go to church because it makes their lives easier - their family lives, social lives, perhaps even their work lives.  Why?  Because many theists don't like atheists.  They ostracize them.  They argue with them and threaten them with hell.  They accuse them of sabotaging their churches.

If you don't want the conversation to take this direction, then don't ask atheists questions about atheists, reject the answers provided by atheists, then provide your own more pejorative answers, and act shocked when we object.  There is no valid middle ground between "atheists who go to church are hypocrites seeking to sabotage churches" and "no, we're not."  If you make accusations, and yes, you did, don't expect the objects of those accusations to take a conciliatory tone.  

We aren't trying to sabotage churches.  Most of us would much rather sleep in on Sundays than try to debunk what we see as a bunch of hooey.  When it comes to what direction a church wants to take, frankly, my dear, we don't give a damn.  But some of us (not all, and not me) will put in an appearance now and then for the sake of family peace (all right, Mom, I'll go if it will get you off my back), our careers (like golfing to "network"), or our own or our families' social status (there's a reason old churches had pews rented by prominent families - their names on those placards was good PR).  Those folks wouldn't bother if it didn't make a difference to the more bigoted among the theists, same as blacks wouldn't have tried to "pass" if they hadn't been persecuted by the bigoted among whites.  

 
 
calbab
13.1.105  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.104    one week ago

You've made your point and I have made mine! Peace. I will not 'sit' here and be lectured by you on the character of people in the church! If church people are that bad then atheist and anybody else should get out from under them, us! It's nonsense. You do not get to preach to me while "passing" —if indeed you are. 

There are good laypeople and good leaders in the church, surely you have seen this (while passing), yet you only wish to 'boast' about the "damages" done by some in the faith community. Well, my dear, "damages" are being done to all in life! We're all 'trapped' in this box we call home together!

I'm done with this issue, because it seems to be going off the rails. I do not have anything against atheist as people, if you think I do, if you think I will—I won't.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.106  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.105    one week ago
I will not 'sit' here and be lectured by you on the character of people in the church!

I'm not lecturing you on the character of people in the church.  You are lecturing us about the character of people not in the church.

You do not get to preach to me while "passing" —if indeed you are. 

There are good laypeople and good leaders in the church, surely you have seen this (while passing),

I believe I said in my post that I don't try to "pass".

yet you only wish to 'boast' about the "damages" done by some in the faith community

Why in the hell would I "boast" about the damage done by some Christians?  It's nothing of which to boast.  Pointing it out is not "boasting".

 
 
calbab
13.1.107  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.106    one week ago

First it would help if you would not pick apart my sentences. Second, f you are not an atheist "passing," then how do you know what they are saying and doing in churches?

This is why I mentioned what I did all along. I do 'combat' with atheists online daily who apparently detest the church as an organization and an establishment, then someone announces there are "virtues" of gracious, "obedient" atheists sitting in pews on Sundays.  And, I am not allowed to be surprised at all and question the sense of it, without getting 'combat fatique?'

Lastly, I am tired of arguing for argument's sake. Can we move on now?

 
 
epistte
13.1.108  epistte  replied to  calbab @13.1.98    one week ago
If atheists are in the Church environment, because they are "questioning" that is one thing. If atheists are "in" as a form of subterfuge (deceitful intent), causing damage to the faithful in some manner, then that is hypocrisy and wrong.

Atheists are not in the chuch as some sort of subterfuge with deceitful intent. They are merely a member of the congregation to socially get along with others because being a Christian is seen as more socially acceptable then being an atheist. They don't want to change anything about the church and they aren't there to bother anyone.  They just want to be seen as being part of the socially acceptable crowd.

Stop being so paranoid.

 
 
calbab
13.1.109  calbab  replied to  epistte @13.1.108    one week ago

Now why would I be paranoid? What would be the point of it? Do tell.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.110  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.107    one week ago
Second, f you are not an atheist "passing," then how do you know what they are saying and doing in churches?

I was raised in church.  Most US atheists were.  Most people I know are churchgoers, and my mother, in particular, is very active in her church.  I get to hear plenty about what goes on in a multitude of churches.

I do 'combat' with atheists online daily

Why?

someone announces there are "virtues" of gracious, "obedient" atheists sitting in pews on Sundays.

I don't recall anybody saying that.  We've merely said that some atheists attend church, but more for reasons of fitting in than of actual belief.  You are of course allowed to question that, but if you do so in an accusatory way, you will be called on it.

 
 
calbab
13.1.111  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.110    one week ago

I do 'combat' with atheists online daily who apparently detest the church as an organization and an establishment, then someone announces there are "virtues" of gracious, "obedient" atheists sitting in pews on Sundays.  And, I am not allowed to be surprised at all and question the sense of it, without getting 'combat fatigue?' And Sandy, I am not responsible for keeping you "up" on the various things your compatriots write on varying threads. If you so mistrust or devalue what I write, then that will have to be on you. I feel quite confident that I do and write more than enough - too much even, on these threads.

Lastly, I am tired of arguing for argument's sake. Can we move on now?

 
 
epistte
13.1.112  epistte  replied to  calbab @13.1.109    one week ago
Now why would I be paranoid? What would be the point of it? Do tell.

Atheists are not in chruch as some sort of religious subtrafuge. They are in the pews because it is socially more acceptable to be a Christian than it is to be an atheist.  They are not trying to change the church to allign with their atheist belifs because that would be counter-productive.  The merely want to be another face in the crowd.

If conservtive Christians would stop trying to harass and stigmatize people who are different then atheists wouldnt be passing in chuch and LGBT people would not try to pass as being heterosexual  so they arent targeted by hypopcratical and angry bible thumpers.

 
 
epistte
13.1.113  epistte  replied to  calbab @13.1.111    one week ago
Lastly, I am tired of arguing for argument's sake. Can we move on now?

Why do you come to a internet forum for political and relgious discussion if you don't like debate and argument?  Do you go to Darly Queen and annouce to everyone that you are lactose intolerant?

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.114  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.111    one week ago
And Sandy, I am not responsible for keeping you "up" on the various things your compatriots write on varying threads.

I would suggest you discuss those comments on those threads, rather than hold us responsible for defending or discussing them here.

If you so mistrust or devalue what I write, then that will have to be on you.

And if you mistrust and devalue atheists who say that atheists attend church to fit in, and prefer to assign a more sinister meaning to their attendance, then that will have to be on you.

Of course we can move on.  But bear in mind in future, that atheists are no more fond of being unfairly accused than anybody else is.

 
 
calbab
13.1.115  calbab  replied to  epistte @13.1.112    one week ago

I would "Impasse"  this comment, but for some reason "reasonable" people like yourself abuse the rule. So, that proves hopeless.

 
 
TiG
13.1.116  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.111    one week ago
... someone announces there are "virtues" of gracious, "obedient" atheists sitting in pews on Sundays.

Someone (TiG) simply explained  why there are closet atheists and noted that for many it probably is a choice to avoid unnecessarily freaking out friends, family, co-workers, etc.    That explanation lead into a declaration that these atheists should not be dishonest hypocrites and just tell everyone their views.   It should not have, but it did.   Well, this is how that declaration plays out.   

Back to my analogy with the stigma against homosexuals thirty years ago, imagine if someone claimed that closet homosexuals were dishonest and that they should come out of the closet and declare themselves.   Would you have considered that to be a wise or fair demand?    Yes the two cases are different but they are the same in that both involve widespread social stigma.   In both cases 'coming out' has consequences that upset the social fabric.   In both cases, individuals would have very good reasons to not offer information that would be taken poorly by a bigoted, ignorant, emotional society.

Bottom line, IMO it is wise to not offer information to those who are too intellectually immature to handle it.

 
 
calbab
13.1.117  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.116    one week ago
Would you have considered that to be a wise or fair demand?

Note: I kept your name out of this "petty" exchange, because you deserved better than this continuing series of comments. I really believe this.  However, . . . .

I came out in my teens, and left church without being asked to leave. I had some things to do and I knew church folks of that era were not going to be down with 'em! (LOL.)

So I don't what heaven you are failing to understand. I write good English—all my life. Closet homosexuals don't belong in churches anymore than closet atheists. Again, you guys are making a big deal about your side of the aisle and its privileges to hide among the Faithful.

Come out of the closet atheists - so you can be counted once and for all! That is what the homosexuals are doing—in and out of churches!

 
 
TiG
13.1.118  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.117    one week ago
I came out in my teens, and left church without being asked to leave. So I don't what heaven you are getting at.

Okay, consider this:

Prior to you coming out, how would you take a declaration from a heterosexual that closet homosexuals are dishonest and hypocritical?

Closet homosexuals don't belong in churches anymore than closet atheists.

Closet homosexuals don't belong in churches?   Why not?

Again, you guys are making a big deal about your side of the aisle and its privileges to hide among the faithful.

Privileges?   It is like you have not read a word written in this thread.

Come out of the closet atheists - so you can be counted once and for all! That's what the homosexuals are doing in and out of churches!

Well that confirms it.   Cal, you are not even allowing our comments into your mind.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.119  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.117    one week ago

I believe TiG was referring to homosexuals coming out, period - in general, not just to their churches.

30 years ago, would telling an LGBT person to stop being a hypocrite and come out have been fair, kind, or even especially safe advice to give?  Of course it wouldn't.  Coming out involved at best a good bit of inconvenience and emotional drama, and at worst physical danger.  I'd say each person would have been the best judge of their own situation - they would best know whether they could expect family and community support, whether their job would have been jeopardized, etc.

Same for atheists today, although physical danger is seldom involved.  Let them be the best judge of their own situations, the same as we advocate for you being the best judge of your own situation.  Nobody would think you were hypocritical for not coming out as gay earlier than you did.  Likewise, neither are closeted atheists hypocritical.  A narrow-minded society has forced both into the closet to some degree.

 
 
calbab
13.1.120  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.118    one week ago
Prior to you coming out, how would you take a declaration from a heterosexual that closet homosexuals are dishonest and hypocritical?

Prior to my coming out, it little mattered. I was in my own head. Those were adults and seniors—mothers and fathers in an organization identified for their purposes! (More on that at some other time.) Most of them doing the best they could to raise good, productive, citizens according to their understanding of what produces good, godly, productive children. Accordingly, they wanted them to be imitations of themselves in some sense.

Of course, I heard words of that effect. So what about it? I and my friends out on the town were called a 'battery' of messed up names and awful expressions as out homosexuals. Most of which I have forgot, because I let them pass through me, and/or got over it. "Dishonest" and "hypocritical" might have have been nice considering the other words AND phrases!

I did know what the churches were saying about me and my friends, because I was not in there feigning "holy hands" or any such thing. I left the church for a solid 18 years, did not grace any church doorstep at all in that time. Until I myself became a born-again person. (I hope that phrase does not start a new line of discussion.)

 
 
TiG
13.1.121  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.120    one week ago
Prior to my coming out, it little mattered. I was in my own head.

My question was not to solicit personal information but rather to make a point.   Let me rephrase:

Would you have taken the position 30 years ago to chastise homosexuals who stayed in the closet?   Would you accuse them of being dishonest for not disclosing their orientation?  Would you accuse them of being hypocrites for their choice to 'play the role' that society expected rather than deal with irrational, emotional, ignorant reactions of those who are too intellectually immature to deal with such differences?

 
 
calbab
13.1.122  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.119    one week ago

We were on our own 'front-line' of homosexuality. We had not 'idols' to follow, because they were busy carving their own paths, thus we were not watching any example. I know I was not not! And Sandy, this ain't 30 thirty years ago!

Atheists can 'rise up' and declare themselves free of the Church. Heck, I did. That is, until I came back years later! That's all I am saying. What about this is difficult to see? Is it the power, influence, . . .the security?

Isn't greed and gluttony a chief complain against the Church world routinely declared all the time on these boards? Do tell me, atheists are not in the Churches because it's 'a safe zone'!

 
 
epistte
13.1.123  epistte  replied to  calbab @13.1.115    one week ago
I would impass this comment, but for some reason "reasonable" people like yourself abuse the rule. So, that proves hopeless.

How do I abuse the impass rule?  How can i possibly abuse that rule?

 
 
calbab
13.1.124  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.121    one week ago

I do not force people to do anything against their wishes, especially if it is legal. 30 years ago, around me, homosexuals came out. . . . May be because we had no choice except to, may be because by then we had places in the community we could congregate to ourselves in peace (college, clubs, et ceteras). Were there some of us in the churches? I honestly don't know. I honestly did not know any homosexuals that stayed in the church world.

This is the first time I have ever considered anybody being something so severely different from who they are simply to get along in life. I certainly did not!

Consequently, why I wrote about the way I have done above. I can only tell you I would have told them to be true to themselves. What else was there for me to say?

 
 
TiG
13.1.125  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.124    one week ago
I can only tell you I would have told them to be true to themselves. What else was there for me to say?

That is certainly better than labeling them dishonest or hypocrites.   Everyone needs to deal with the specifics of their situation and make choices based upon their personal objectives.   So I can see why homosexuals stayed 'in the closet' then (and even today).   In an analogous (albeit different dynamics) fashion, I trust you can appreciate why some atheists purposely do not offer information regarding their views.

 
 
calbab
13.1.126  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.125    one week ago
I trust you can appreciate why some atheists purposely do not offer information regarding their views.

I will have to won't I? No disrespect, but I don't see why inside the church. Still—okay!

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.127  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.122    one week ago
Atheists can 'rise up' and declare themselves free of the Church. Heck, I did. That is, until I came back years later! That's all I am saying. What about this is difficult to see? Is it the power, influence, . . .the security?

Yes, we know we can.  We also know there may be consequences.  Just as homosexuals have always known they can come out, and have always known there may be consequences.  Some are able and willing to face those consequences.  Some aren't.  I wouldn't judge any gay person for not coming out, as I have no idea what that may entail for them.  Similarly, I would recommend you not judge any atheist for not being open about their atheism, as you have no idea what that may entail for them. 

You have admitted yourself that you have "passed", because it was more convenient.  You just didn't feel like explaining the whole thing.  Well, ditto.

Of course, those of us who do discuss our lack of belief are often berated as "militant atheists" by theists.  Damned if we do, damned if we don't.

 
 
lennylynx
13.1.128  lennylynx  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.127    one week ago

Atheists and homosexuals have a special kinship, both groups having to suffer biblical persecution.  I don't think Cal understands how close the parallels are.

 
 
Phoenyx13
13.1.129  Phoenyx13  replied to  lennylynx @13.1.128    one week ago
Atheists and homosexuals have a special kinship, both groups having to suffer biblical persecution.  I don't think Cal understands how close the parallels are.

it seems to be a matter of willful ignorance, not a misunderstanding, as it's been explained quite a few times in a couple different ways - the only thing left would be to draw a pictorial history

 
 
TiG
13.1.130  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.126    one week ago
I don't see why inside the church.

Here is a scenario that I think is more common than you might think:

Mom and Dad are legacy Catholics (chosen in this scenario because of prominence and its acceptance of evolution) having been raised as such by their parents.   They have continued the tradition by going to church (albeit sporadically) and enrolling their children to be religiously educated in order to be confirmed.   They figure that Catholic teachings are mostly good moral lessons and that their children are free to make up their own minds regarding religious views.   At home the parents carefully guide their children to resolve inconsistencies with known realities - largely explaining that scripture is not to be taken literally and emphasizing the good moral lessons.

Mom thinks the religion is man-made evidenced by the changing rules and is entirely unsure about God, but still thinks there must be a God behind it all.   Basically an agnostic theist on the edge.   Dad has long since realized the indoctrination at play and is an agnostic atheist - no longer even thinks about God.

The couple, because of their personal assessment (probably many factors), decided to raise their children as Catholics.   They are not trying to cause harm to the church (presume they even donate and participate in charity drives).   They have simply chosen to not upset their social fabric by enabling family, friends and co-workers to (emotionally) fret and fume about them as godless heretics.

 
 
calbab
13.1.131  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.127    one week ago

Do not misinterpret my "passing" as heterosexual as a way of life—it was not that. You can use your imagination to conjure up life circumstances where it makes no sense to "dish my life story" to an individual or group of people. So, let's be real here.

On the other-hand, no one is forcing anyone to get up - show up - and be counted in a church pew or even among church leadership!

Are you a 'militant'? We all seem to be damned to do and don't around here! That needs to change, too. But, I do not hold out hope for it!

 
 
calbab
13.1.132  calbab  replied to  Phoenyx13 @13.1.129    one week ago

Meaningless insults are irrelevant.

 
 
calbab
13.1.133  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.130    one week ago

Your scenario makes sense, brother TiG!

It is even biblical. Apostle Paul talks about the "believing spouse":

1 Corinthians 7:14 New International Version
For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

People do this all the time.

All the same, these board discussions in the RELIGION AND ETHICS category for the longest are some of the most disruptive examples of Atheist attitudes. If what goes on around here is the model, then the churches would be better off with atheists going to Freedom From Religion Foundation meetings. No need to remark on this one. 

I get what you are telling me. I am ready to retire this 'chapter' unless you have something new.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.134  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.131    one week ago
You can use your imagination to conjure up life circumstances where it makes no sense to "dish my life story" to an individual or group of people.

And you can use yours similarly regarding atheists.  It seems you'd rather accuse them of sabotage than of the exact same motivation you had when you "passed".

If what goes on around here is the model,

But it's not the model for what goes on in churches, as you've been informed repeatedly.  You choose to believe otherwise, and then play the victim when called out on it.

 
 
TiG
13.1.135  TiG  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.134    one week ago
But it's not the model for what goes on in churches, as you've been informed repeatedly.

Emphasizing.

 
 
calbab
13.1.136  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.134    one week ago

I think you have crossed a line with me right now. I will not be your punching bag. Let's us stop while we are ahead, please. I have not ever been a victim, and I won't be fake labeled one for you commentary today- Get it?

 
 
TiG
13.1.137  TiG  replied to  calbab @13.1.136    one week ago

This article is too big to be usable.   I am considering writing an article about this topic.   Maybe best if you retire this article.

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.138  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.136    one week ago
I think you have crossed a line with me right now. I will not be your punching bag.

And atheists won't be yours.  You seem to want a one-way fight here.  You get to throw all the punches, and we apologize for getting punched.

That is unworthy of you, cal.

 
 
calbab
13.1.139  calbab  replied to  TiG @13.1.137    one week ago

Brother, I was just about to agree with you and act accordingly, then I looked down at the very bottom and I see two commenters I had not noticed before. I will go with your opinion: what do you think?

 
 
calbab
13.1.140  calbab  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.138    one week ago

I have never decided my worth based on tricky conversations, Sandy.  You do not get to experience enough about me to decide it either. I gave/give you my thoughts honestly. You can disagree - you can approve. What is not permissible is mixing my thoughts up and tossing them back in my face. . . . I'll just stop here.

 
 
magnoliaave
13.1.141  magnoliaave  replied to  sandy-2021492 @13.1.138    one week ago

He asked you to desist...why don't you?

 
 
sandy-2021492
13.1.142  sandy-2021492  replied to  calbab @13.1.140    one week ago
I have never decided my worth based on tricky conversations, Sandy.  You do not get to experience enough about me to decide it either.

I am not trying to trick you or decide your worth, other than to tell you that you are, or I thought you were, a better person than the type who would judge people as attempting sabotage just because they happen not to believe the same as you do.  I had a higher opinion of you than that.  Was I wrong?

I'm responding to your comments, not mixing up your ideas.  There are actual words that you've actually typed.  That's why I've provided quotes.