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Religion Religion's of TS and why one follows the one they do.

Bear Ribs

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I'm an ordained minister. I tend to follow the bible and distrust traditions of men or "this conclave said-" kind of reasoning on it and look more towards the scripture itself rather than trying to get interpretations out of it. I'm distrustful of anybody with modern theology degrees ever since I was discussing the bible with a fellow minister with his new fancy degree, argued with me that his degree made him more qualified to discuss the bible than I was. I was willing to listen until he handed me "So when Joseph, Jesus' father, went to spy out the land of Canaan..." I don't know what they're teaching ministers these days but that really just kind of destroyed any faith I might have in said learned degrees. God reveals his secrets to babes and hides them from the wise and intellectual ones, after all.

Where possible I'll look at the original language (it's not always possible to get an exact word-for-word in the Hebrew/Aramaic scriptures but close, and the master texts are extremely close to every word exactly as it was written on the New Testament) and look at the meanings of those words where I think it's critical to understanding a passage. Generally, though, I think the bible as we have it stands on it's own merits and I don't like to see too much "interpretation" of what it means as my experience is that they really mean is twisting the scripture to their own ends.
 

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That seems to be taking the whole agnostic thing a bit far. "no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God" or a similar statement is a fairly common concept across religions, but there's that, and then there's "because certainty is impossible, everyone is just as right/wrong". Speaking from a Christian perspective, we were given the ability to think and reason for a purpose, and it's a waste of that gift to close-mindedly refuse to use it. It is impossible to know the mind of God, it's not forbidden to try to.
It's not forbidden, but it is doomed to failure due to the simple fact that we have nothing but assumptions and guesswork to go off of. The attempt may feel like it's spiritually fulfilling, but it's not going to yield anything substantive beyond that.

Ultimately, the bible (as well as every other religious text) is a collection of stores based only vaguely on things that actually happened. Treating its contents as the unvarnished truth is no different to doing the same with the works of Homer. Events and people are heavily mythologized, because that's what people did back then. Heck, they still do that today; and a thousands years from now, people might come to believe all those memes about Chuck Norris were true.
 

ParadiseLost

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because I seem fundamentally incapable of believing in something I cannot prove exists.
Are you a solipsist?

In short, I see little difference between the myths of Christianity, and those of Ancient Greece.
If you genuinely believe that, then the most certain fact is that you know little of either.
 

ParadiseLost

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No. I'm quite fine accepting that there are other people and what I observe is real. But I don't see any strong evidence for god. Now if someone can convince me otherwise, that would be nice, but until then I'll be the doubting Thomas.
Then you need to rephrase your statement, because RAW, "I seem fundamentally incapable of believing in something I cannot prove exists," means you cannot believe in minds other than your own.

I'm not trying to pull a 'gotcha' here - I just want you to revise that statement to something more accurate.
 

Fallout-Man101

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I'm not trying to pull a 'gotcha' here - I just want you to revise that statement to something more accurate.
No, your trying to make somebody look bad by forcing them into a 'gotcha' and I say that as a religious person.

If you can't accept he has trouble believing in a higher power than that's your problem.
 

Abhorsen

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Then you need to rephrase your statement, because RAW, "I seem fundamentally incapable of believing in something I cannot prove exists," means you cannot believe in minds other than your own.

I'm not trying to pull a 'gotcha' here - I just want you to revise that statement to something more accurate.
No, it's just my definition of prove here isn't the mathematical "I know this is true beyond any possible doubt", but a more scientific "I have repeated evidence through my senses and observations that this thing exists". I'll apply the relevant scrutiny to the relative method of proof that there is a God. Try a philosophical argument like the first mover, and I'll point out that there's no logical reason there must be a first mover. Try an evidence based argument, and I'll argue the evidence. And I've seen no evidence that stands up to scrutiny.
 

ParadiseLost

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No, your trying to make somebody look bad by forcing them into a 'gotcha' and I say that as a religious person.

If you can't accept he has trouble believing in a higher power than that's your problem.
What? This is a horrible misinterpretation of what I'm trying to do, and a reading comprehension failure.

I'm not trying to convince him God exists, I'm seeking clarification on what he believes and on his thought processes. The post he made was basically what I was looking for.

No, it's just my definition of prove here isn't the mathematical "I know this is true beyond any possible doubt", but a more scientific "I have repeated evidence through my senses and observations that this thing exists". I'll apply the relevant scrutiny to the relative method of proof that there is a God. Try a philosophical argument like the first mover, and I'll point out that there's no logical reason there must be a first mover. Try an evidence based argument, and I'll argue the evidence. And I've seen no evidence that stands up to scrutiny.
Okay, first, you can't have any empirical evidence [with current technology] that other minds exist - the belief that minds exists is a rational belief, not an empirical one. You could say that you don't have empirical evidence against the existence of other minds, but that's a meaningless statement. (All negative claims about the empirical evidence for negative claims are essentially meaningless).

Second, the prime mover is (1) a scientific argument because current scientific consensus is that what we know as reality did not always exist and came into existence at some point in time in the past and (2) its not a very good argument because an even better counter is that there's no reason the prime mover has to be a divine being.
 

Fallout-Man101

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What? This is a horrible misinterpretation of what I'm trying to do, and a reading comprehension failure.

I'm not trying to convince him God exists, I'm seeking clarification on what he believes and on his thought processes. The post he made was basically what I was looking for.
No, you are demanding he take up a title he feels uncomfortable with and repeatedly trying to box him in to enforce that perception. It's like saying that because someone is against smoking and right wing that they must be Nazi's because of them being the same.
Then you need to rephrase your statement, because RAW, "I seem fundamentally incapable of believing in something I cannot prove exists," means you cannot believe in minds other than your own.
The above isn't a respectful request for elaboration for his views, it's a statement that demands he change his tune on the basis of faulty logic that's formulated on arbitrary assumptions you have made.

But in the spirit of debate, I will go ahead, and ask you to elaborate more on your position on the above quote so might see how I have wronged you.
 

ParadiseLost

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No, you are demanding he take up a title he feels uncomfortable with and repeatedly trying to box him in to enforce that perception. It's like saying that because someone is against smoking and right wing that they must be Nazi's because of them being the same.
No, I'm not. I'm not demanding anything, and you're just issuing baseless (and false) accusations, and you just broke Godwin's Law.

The above isn't a respectful request for elaboration for his views, it's a statement that demands he change his tune on the basis of faulty logic that's formulated on arbitrary assumptions you have made.

But in the spirit of debate, I will go ahead, and ask you to elaborate more on your position on the above quote so might see how I have wronged you.
I haven't made any assumptions. I've used rational deductions and Epistemology 101 level accepted facts.

And as I said the way I interpreted his statement was a RAW interpretation, which implies that I don't believe it was what he meant. I'm seeking for him to formulate the rational or empirical reason he cannot believe in God in a more accurate way.
 

Abhorsen

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Okay, first, you can't have any empirical evidence [with current technology] that other minds exist - the belief that minds exists is a rational belief, not an empirical one. You could say that you don't have empirical evidence against the existence of other minds, but that's a meaningless statement. (All negative claims about the empirical evidence for negative claims are essentially meaningless).
First, there's plenty of empirical evidence for other minds existing, like scans of brains that show that thought occurs there, that people consistently act like real people, etc. That's all a lot of empirical evidence, each bit of which means that either the null hypothesis (solipsism) is even more complicated and elaborately self consistent, and thus less likely, and it becomes ever more reasonable to reject it.

Second, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Yes, it is quite possible to prove a negative with repeated negative results. For example, I'm quite positive there isn't a river flowing through my house because every day I wake up and don't see a river.

Second, the prime mover is (1) a scientific argument because current scientific consensus is that what we know as reality did not always exist and came into existence at some point in time in the past and (2) its not a very good argument because an even better counter is that there's no reason the prime mover has to be a divine being.
The Prime mover was originally a philosophical argument for the existence of God. That's what I was talking about there. It wasn't an evidence based argument but a logic based one. As for it not being a good one, I agree, I chose it because of that and that it's well known to give an easy example of how I might deal with a philosophical argument.
 

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No, I'm not. I'm not demanding anything, and you're just issuing baseless (and false) accusations, and you just broke Godwin's Law.
Yes, because it's necessary to point out your argument is based on faulty logic only held up by your own reasonings. (IE Your demanding he prove how God can't exist, when if you were asked to prove his existence via turnabout you wouldn't be able)
I haven't made any assumptions. I've used rational deductions and Epistemology 101 level accepted facts.

And as I said the way I interpreted his statement was a RAW interpretation, which implies that I don't believe it was what he meant. I'm seeking for him to formulate the rational or empirical reason he cannot believe in God in a more accurate way.
...I am a Christian who has had belief struggles in the past. And I ask you, how hard is it to understand that faith is called 'faith' for a reason?

It's not easy, nor is it uncommon for people to doubt the existence of God when we have never met him in the flesh, and seen little evidence to 100% confirm his existence within the physical world.

Furthermore, if I demanded you provided burden of proof of God's existence for Abhorson to help him convert would you be able? If you can't, there is your own answer.
 

Abhorsen

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I should also note that I wasn't trying to say I was against rational logic either. It is actually ideal in my book, and much better than experimental evidence if everything actually follows and the assumptions are correct. But it's also completely impractical for almost everything, so I am very happy with experimental evidence as a replacement.
 

Terthna

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If you genuinely believe that, then the most certain fact is that you know little of either.
Ah yes; the old "I couldn't have come to my conclusions honestly; clearly I must be an ignorant fool". Heard it a million times; it's why I mostly try to avoid arguing about religion. Because all I end up getting out of it is insulted. For your information, though it has been well over a decade, I have read the bible; in fact, I can still see my old copy of the King James version from my desk.



No. I'm quite fine accepting that there are other people and what I observe is real. But I don't see any strong evidence for god. Now if someone can convince me otherwise, that would be nice, but until then I'll be the doubting Thomas.
Not "God" per se; but the simple fact that we exist also suggests the existence of some sort of higher power. Even if ultimately they may not care one whit about us. Don't even get me started on the madness that is quantum physics; if that's not proof that we understand far less of the universe and the nature of reality itself than we think we do, I don't know if anything could be.
 

ParadiseLost

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First, there's plenty of empirical evidence for other minds existing, like scans of brains that show that thought occurs there, that people consistently act like real people, etc. That's all a lot of empirical evidence, each bit of which means that either the null hypothesis (solipsism) is even more complicated and elaborately self consistent, and thus less likely, and it becomes ever more reasonable to reject it.
... I'm going to drop this, because its tangential at this point and I don't have deep enough medical knowledge to argue the point, even if I disagree.

Second, absence of evidence is evidence of absence. Yes, it is quite possible to prove a negative with repeated negative results. For example, I'm quite positive there isn't a river flowing through my house because every day I wake up and don't see a river.
Not what I was talking about, but again, tangential.

Yes, because it's necessary to point out your argument is based on faulty logic only held up by your own reasonings. (IE Your demanding he prove how God can't exist, when if you were asked to prove his existence via turnabout you wouldn't be able)
You are incapable of reading comprehension is the conclusion I have come to, because I've quite clearly never said that - in fact, I've said statements that imply the exact opposite, but you clearly don't actually understand what I'm saying.

Ah yes; the old "I couldn't have come to my conclusions honestly; clearly I must be an ignorant fool". Heard it a million times; it's why I mostly try to avoid arguing about religion. Because all I end up getting out of it is insulted. For your information, though it has been well over a decade, I have read the bible; in fact, I can still see my old copy of the King James version from my desk.
Is anyone here capable of not stuffing words into my mouth?

In any case, reading the Bible doesn't mean you actually understand what's in it to any meaningful extent, similar to reading a quantum physics textbook.

The Prime mover was originally a philosophical argument for the existence of God. That's what I was talking about there. It wasn't an evidence based argument but a logic based one. As for it not being a good one, I agree, I chose it because of that and that it's well known to give an easy example of how I might deal with a philosophical argument.
But your argument against it was wrong. All evidence points towards a need for an origin - while it has at times been in vogue to believe the universe has always existed, its never made good logical sense.

In any case, if you don't want to clarify your reasoning on why you don't believe in God, then there's no reason to continue.
 

Abhorsen

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But your argument against it was wrong. All evidence points towards a need for an origin - while it has at times been in vogue to believe the universe has always existed, its never made good logical sense.

In any case, if you don't want to clarify your reasoning on why you don't believe in God, then there's no reason to continue.
So in order: the argument is quite valid. If we are going into a place of pure logic, like what was done with the original Prime Mover argument, there was no logical proof that a prime mover needs to exist instead of an infinite number of movers, for example. It all relied on an assumption that wasn't proven.

And I'm quite fine clarifying my position on God. I see no evidence that one exists, and have heard no bulletproof ontological proof of existence, and so I don't believe. It's pretty simple.
 

Terthna

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Is anyone here capable of not stuffing words into my mouth?
At this point, maybe you should consider that perhaps it's not that people are putting words in your mouth, but that what you're saying isn't coming across like you intend.

In any case, reading the Bible doesn't mean you actually understand what's in it to any meaningful extent, similar to reading a quantum physics textbook.
But that line of thinking leads us nowhere; because I could easily accuse you of the same thing, and then we'd just bicker back and forth about which one of us has no idea what they're talking about. The bottom line is that you asked for clarification as to what my religious beliefs were, and I obliged you; under no circumstances am I also obligated to justify them to you. I believe what I believe, you believe what you believe, and neither of us is going to convince the other that they're wrong; so let's just agree to disagree, okay?
 

Battlegrinder

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It's not forbidden, but it is doomed to failure due to the simple fact that we have nothing but assumptions and guesswork to go off of. The attempt may feel like it's spiritually fulfilling, but it's not going to yield anything substantive beyond that.

Ultimately, the bible (as well as every other religious text) is a collection of stores based only vaguely on things that actually happened. Treating its contents as the unvarnished truth is no different to doing the same with the works of Homer. Events and people are heavily mythologized, because that's what people did back then. Heck, they still do that today; and a thousands years from now, people might come to believe all those memes about Chuck Norris were true.
"Can't succeed" doesn't mean "totally pointless". For example, since you brought up the idea, the moral systems and codes from Greek mythology, and those from the judo Christian tradition, are generally not compatible, and are not equally mysterious. Greek myth is, for the most part, just that, myth, with odd bits and pieces of truth here and there (like the fact that Troy actually existed). That is not the case for Christianity, nearly all historians accept that Jesus was a real person that existed as a traveling preacher in the era the bible says he does. That doesn't mean his claims are valid, but it means the bible is far less "a collection of stories vaguely based on things that actually happened" when compared to greece mythology.

I'd also note there's a lot less wiggle room for "it's just embellished" the newer the religion is, because we for newer faiths we generally have earlier and early copies of their texts, written sooner and sooner after the events they proport to describe, and with more and more context for what happened. The oldest copy of the new testimate is from 125 AD. The Quran was written down a mere 20 years after the formation of Islam. We still have first edition copies of the book of Mormon (and also we still have copies of Joseph Smith's long history of con artistry, which explains a great deal of why he wrote it).
 
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