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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  07:15:06  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've lurked around the SFN forums for quite a while now, and I'd like to open a discussion about my viewpoint on the whole religion/faith thing. Bear with me and read…

Everybody questions things, whether they admit it or not. If we didn't, we wouldn't have grown as a society. Knowledge is spawn through challenge to ones beliefs. At one point, people didn't think the world was round, and it took a whole lot of garbage before all of us accepted it. Time and distance are man-made measurements, and there are an infinite number of ways to implement those measurements (the metric system, the lunar calendar, etc.) That being said, we don't know when existence (as we know it) began, or how it evolved. We don't know if there are parallel universes, as some have proposed. Matter of fact, we don't know much. There are very few truths, if any.

I'm a skeptic. I'm also a believer. My stance is beyond “fact” lies belief, and everyone can believe whatever they choose to. The Bible, with all its inconsistencies, myths, parables, and whatever else you want to throw in there, is a great book of principles. The figure of Jesus Christ, whether or not you believe if He even existed, was a tremendous teacher. I choose to follow many of the principles written in the Bible, but not all. I don't believe the world was created in 6 days. I don't believe that anyone lived for 900 years. I don't believe an ark can be built to hold every living creature. But I do believe in the power of prayer. I believe that sin, as it's described, is part of human nature. I believe in the message behind a lot of what's written in the Bible. I can go on… but, I will also say that I could be wrong about all of this, because in the end I really don't know, and there's no way for me to know, at least not now.

Truth is purely subjective. I say “what if…” to everything. I even say “what if” to my what ifs sometimes. I can keep saying “what if” until my imagination runs out, and no one can stop me. Why? Because I can. But if I don't take a position on things, I wouldn't be able to function.

If someone asked me how strong my faith in God is, I would answer “strong enough to question it,” because I couldn't grow in faith without challenging my beliefs.



If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  07:36:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Welcome to SFN, Im glad you are comfortable with your beliefs,

So you choose to ignore all the bad advice in the Bible and hold it up as a "great book of principles". Why the Bible and not one of the many many other sources of good priciples?

Just because you can ignore the bad parts doesnt mean everybody else will. **No doubt Mein Kamph had a few lines of good advice at least?**

**Severe apologies for the Nazi reference, but they are just soo handy. And no I have not read Mein Kamph.

Edit: ahem, "our beliefs" corrected to the much more sensical "your beliefs"

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 03/20/2007 10:33:56
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Vegeta
Skeptic Friend

United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  07:49:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Vegeta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Everybody questions things, whether they admit it or not. If we didn't, we wouldn't have grown as a society. Knowledge is spawn through challenge to ones beliefs.


Not always, sometimes knowledge comes from a problem and how we attempt to solve it. I don't think the tecchnology of the wheel was discovered by challenging beliefs. If anything beliefs stand in the way of knowledge, they are the last extra hurdle which has to be jumped. In this respct they are nothing but a hindrance. I don't think knowledge is acrued from challenging your beliefs, I think knowledge comes from solving problems and questions, the beliefs are sometimes challenged as a result. If the beliefs make sense and stand up to scrutiny then there would be no challenge them anyway.


quote:
At one point, people didn't think the world was round, and it took a whole lot of garbage before all of us accepted it. Time and distance are man-made measurements, and there are an infinite number of ways to implement those measurements (the metric system, the lunar calendar, etc.) That being said, we don't know when existence (as we know it) began, or how it evolved. We don't know if there are parallel universes, as some have proposed. Matter of fact, we don't know much. There are very few truths, if any.


I don't know what you're trying to say here other than "we shouldn't assume we know everything" Which is fine as a point on its own, but its no real case for believing in God.
If there's something we don't know and is totally beyond our science, we can hypothesise until such time as these hypotheses become testable. I see little point in worshipping a God because we can't prove one DOESN'T exist. Thats not a logical thought process at all.

quote:
I'm a skeptic. I'm also a believer. My stance is beyond “fact” lies belief, and everyone can believe whatever they choose to.


This is true but if you want to start touting beliefs such as the power of prayer, you need to be asking yourself, "Is there any real evidence of this? Why do I believe this?"

quote:

The Bible, with all its inconsistencies, myths, parables, and whatever else you want to throw in there, is a great book of principles. The figure of Jesus Christ, whether or not you believe if He even existed, was a tremendous teacher. I choose to follow many of the principles written in the Bible, but not all. I don't believe the world was created in 6 days. I don't believe that anyone lived for 900 years. I don't believe an ark can be built to hold every living creature. But I do believe in the power of prayer. I believe that sin, as it's described, is part of human nature. I believe in the message behind a lot of what's written in the Bible. I can go on… but, I will also say that I could be wrong about all of this, because in the end I really don't know, and there's no way for me to know, at least not now.


How does having a good message relate to it being a book of divine inspiration? For a start some of the bible is horrific, some is ludicrous and some makes no sense and is inconsistent as you've said. If you cherry pick out the parts with a nice message good for you, but I fail to see how that is any basis for a religion. Jesus was a go

What are you looking at? Haven't you ever seen a pink shirt before?

"I was asked if I would do a similar sketch but focusing on the shortcomings of Islam rather than Christianity. I said, 'No, no I wouldn't. I may be an atheist but I'm not stupid.'" - Steward Lee
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  08:54:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

Welcome to SFN, Im glad you are comfortable with our beliefs,

So you choose to ignore all the bad advice in the Bible and hold it up as a "great book of principles". Why the Bible and not one of the many many other sources of good priciples?

Just because you can ignore the bad parts doesnt mean everybody else will. **No doubt Mein Kamph had a few lines of good advice at least?**

**Severe apologies for the Nazi reference, but they are just soo handy. And no I have not read Mein Kamph.



I'm not talking about everybody else, though. I'm talking about my perspective. And I do look at and follow other sources of good principles, namely Taoism and Zen. I'm a big proponent of Tantric principles, and I'm not talking about the wild and crazy sex stuff either.

If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  09:15:40   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
I don't know what you're trying to say here other than "we shouldn't assume we know everything" Which is fine as a point on its own, but its no real case for believing in God.
If there's something we don't know and is totally beyond our science, we can hypothesise until such time as these hypotheses become testable. I see little point in worshipping a God because we can't prove one DOESN'T exist. Thats not a logical thought process at all.


You can't prove I exist, so why are you countering my statements? I guess I try not to have to "make a case" for everything I do and sometimes go with my gut, which I feel is completely acceptable at times. Worship is an entirely different issue. There you're getting into religious practice.

quote:
This is true but if you want to start touting beliefs such as the power of prayer, you need to be asking yourself, "Is there any real evidence of this? Why do I believe this?"


Yes, there is evidence, but it's only my own personal evidence. I can't prove the power of prayer to you by my own single examples.


quote:
If you cherry pick out the parts with a nice message good for you, but I fail to see how that is any basis for a religion.


Religion and faith are two separate things. Read Paul Tillich.


quote:
Jesus was a good teacher? maybe, but that doesn't mean he was the son of God.


Are you saying you believe God does exist then?

quote:
You see this argument might work in Sunday school but you're on the SFN and its just not good enough.


My argument would not work in Sunday school at all. Matter of fact, I'd probably get really strange looks from people if I proposed it. (by the way, I don't go to a Sunday school)

quote:
No one here believes they know everything, or that science has an understanding of every phenomina in the universe. That being said it is simply not good enough to fill every gap of understanding with myths from a bronze age book.


That's your perspective. Others have different ones. That's why we're here.


quote:
Your "What if" argument seems to be saying that the limits of your own belief is your own imagination. However you havent really used any creativity at all, you simply adopted the christian belief system, this is the absolute opposite of imagination.


I think you're assuming I take everything at face value, which I don't. I'm hardly the model Christian.

quote:
If all scientist did that we would have no theory of evolution or big bang theory. We would simply rest on our laurels because all the answers to our questions are right there in the bible already.


I agree with you completely on that. You can't prove point A using point A. That's why I have a big problem with fundamentalism of any type. It gives no room for doubt.


If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  09:58:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
That being said it is simply not good enough to fill every gap of understanding with myths from a bronze age book.


Please prove to me that the Revolutionary War actually did occur and it's not just a myth. And don't use any books.

If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  10:25:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy...

Please prove to me that the Revolutionary War actually did occur and it's not just a myth. And don't use any books.
Now you're simply being ridiculous, of course. So much so that it's difficult to consider your reply anything more than satirical, or perhaps a pretty feeble attempt at trolling. If you're actually being serious, your request demonstrates an obvious willful ignorance. We could make your comparison a bit more realistic, not to mention rational, if we were to word the request something more like this...
Please prove to me that the Revolutionary War did occur and it's not just a myth. And to do so, don't rely on a singular source which contains multitudes of glaring contradictions and descriptions of supernatural events which are wholly unevidenced beyond the allegories contained within the source itself.
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  10:36:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have no ability to transport you to a R war battle site for you to dig, please feel free. You can find all sorts of evidence, though you wont find any evidence of miracles to which many troops no doubt subscribed.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  10:37:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Now you're simply being ridiculous, of course. So much so that it's difficult to consider your reply anything more than satirical, or perhaps a pretty feeble attempt at trolling. If you're actually being serious, your request demonstrates an obvious willful ignorance. We could make your comparison a bit more realistic, not to mention rational, if we were to word the request something more like this...
[bq]Please prove to me that the Revolutionary War did occur and it's not just a myth. And to do so, don't rely on a singular source which contains multitudes of glaring contradictions and descriptions of supernatural events which are wholly unevidenced beyond the allegories contained within the source itself.


Okay, then let's take your revision of my request. Can you prove it based on your wording? If you can't, then I don't think you can accuse me of being willfully ignorant.

I'm not trying to troll. My point simply was that written sources of historical information, of any topic, can't be completely trusted.


If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
Edited by - Indeterminacy on 03/20/2007 10:46:28
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  10:45:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf

I have no ability to transport you to a R war battle site for you to dig, please feel free. You can find all sorts of evidence, though you wont find any evidence of miracles to which many troops no doubt subscribed.



What "evidence" would I find? Or would I find clues that support the idea that there was a war of some sort, at some point in the past. Sorry to be nitpicky(sp), but isn't that what skeptics are supposed to do... pick things apart to see if it really can be true?


If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  10:50:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
My point simply was that written sources of historical information, of any topic, can't be completely trusted.
Right, which is exactly why we don't consider fantastic tales of mermaids, dragons, angels, etc. as reliable evidence of their existence. A bit of healthy skepticism is required when examining any fanciful claim.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  10:54:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Right, which is exactly why we don't consider fantastic tales of mermaids, dragons, angels, etc. as reliable evidence of their existence. A bit of healthy skepticism is required when examining any fanciful claim.





Any claim at all, for that matter, not just the ones some people would deem fanciful.

If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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Vegeta
Skeptic Friend

United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  10:57:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Vegeta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jesus was a good teacher? maybe, but that doesn't mean he was the son of God.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Are you saying you believe God does exist then?




ok I don't even know why you said that because it makes no sense. I'm not gonna bother responding to you since you basically perverted or evaded all the points I was trying to get across

What are you looking at? Haven't you ever seen a pink shirt before?

"I was asked if I would do a similar sketch but focusing on the shortcomings of Islam rather than Christianity. I said, 'No, no I wouldn't. I may be an atheist but I'm not stupid.'" - Steward Lee
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  11:16:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Vegeta

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jesus was a good teacher? maybe, but that doesn't mean he was the son of God.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Are you saying you believe God does exist then?




ok I don't even know why you said that because it makes no sense. I'm not gonna bother responding to you since you basically perverted or evaded all the points I was trying to get across



How have I evaded your points? Maybe he was the son of God. Maybe he wasn't. Maybe God does exist, maybe he doesn't. Neither one of us can prove it either way, so you have your point of view and I have mine. We don't know. So we choose which point to support until we know more.


If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  11:19:18   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy
Any claim at all, for that matter, not just the ones some people would deem fanciful.

Yeah, but especially the fanciful ones. The more extraordinary the claim, the more convincing the evidence need be to support that claim. The standard of evidence does shift depending on what's being asserted.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 03/20/2007 11:20:14
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Indeterminacy
New Member

USA
26 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2007 :  11:24:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Indeterminacy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by H. Humbert

quote:
Originally posted by Indeterminacy
Any claim at all, for that matter, not just the ones some people would deem fanciful.

Yeah, but especially the fanciful ones. The more extraordinary the claim, the more convincing the evidence need be to support that claim. The standard of evidence does shift depending on what's being asserted.





I agree. And that's why religion is such a controversial topic. It doesn't make it absurd to the point of disregard, though.


If I ask the question with the answer to the question I am after, will it dawn on me?
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