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Featured Atheist looking for religious debate. Any religion. Let's see if I can be convinced.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by infrabenji, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    Illogical. I no longer believe in a loveable old man who wears a red coat and rides on a sleigh as he delivers presents at Christmas. I did not 'choose' to disbelieve.

    This is illogical. The Hogwarts thing was an analogy. Do you understand what an analogy is?

    A statement of the blindingly obvious.

    You cannot use anything as a tool to prove that God exists. Do you understand why this is? However, science has much to offer Christian faith, fine-tuning being just one example.
    Science and Religion
    The Fine-Tuning Argument for God
     
  2. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed this little gem:
    "If people do not accept the objective facts of the Baha'i Faith as true then it is the fault of the person who cannot see"

    Typical cultish rhetoric..
     
  3. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    Did not know that.

    Oh good lord no.
     
  4. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there is nothing fixed, but it's in a predictable way.

    Time is not fixed, and if an astronaut gets into a rocket ship and flies to Pluto and back, his clock will have a different time because he has experienced the passage of time differently to us who remained behind on Earth. But we can predict what his clock will say, and we will both agre on how far out of alignment it is from our clock.

    So yes, the universe may be wibbly wobbly in ways, but it is consistently so.
     
  5. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    But there is no evidence that the B.man is/was a messenger of God.

    If it is not impossible to prove the claim that Baha'u'llah was a Messenger of God is true ... then go ahead. We await your proof.
     
  6. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    I have the capacity to recognize the non-existence of evidence that the B.man is a messenger of God.
     
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  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    You cannot make a world religion into a cult with your personal opinion. :rolleyes:

    "All Baha'is" don't say that, I say that.
    I know there is proof of His reality and truth because Baha'u'llah wrote:

    “Say: The first and foremost testimony establishing His truth is His own Self. Next to this testimony is His Revelation. For whoso faileth to recognize either the one or the other He hath established the words He hath revealed as proof of His reality and truth. This is, verily, an evidence of His tender mercy unto men. He hath endowed every soul with the capacity to recognize the signs of God. How could He, otherwise, have fulfilled His testimony unto men, if ye be of them that ponder His Cause in their hearts. He will never deal unjustly with any one, neither will He task a soul beyond its power. He, verily, is the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 105-106

    I believe everything Baha'u'llah wrote unquestionably because I believe He was a Manifestation of God who was infallible since He spoke as the Voice of God who is infallible.

    You can certainly disagree with that but there is nothing you can do to change what I believe.
     
    #2127 Trailblazer, Sep 8, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    The evidence is as follows:

    “Say: The first and foremost testimony establishing His truth is His own Self. Next to this testimony is His Revelation. For whoso faileth to recognize either the one or the other He hath established the words He hath revealed as proof of His reality and truth. This is, verily, an evidence of His tender mercy unto men. He hath endowed every soul with the capacity to recognize the signs of God. How could He, otherwise, have fulfilled His testimony unto men, if ye be of them that ponder His Cause in their hearts. He will never deal unjustly with any one, neither will He task a soul beyond its power. He, verily, is the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 105-106
    It is not my job to prove anything to anyone. It is their job to prove it to themselves if they want to know the truth.
    Everyone has the capacity to recognize the signs of God:

    “He hath endowed every soul with the capacity to recognize the signs of God. How could He, otherwise, have fulfilled His testimony unto men, if ye be of them that ponder His Cause in their hearts. He will never deal unjustly with any one, neither will He task a soul beyond its power. He, verily, is the Compassionate, the All-Merciful.” Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 105-106

    “I have perfected in every one of you My creation, so that the excellence of My handiwork may be fully revealed unto men. It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure?”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 143
     
  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    You have the capacity to believe whatever you want to believe because God gave you the capacity.
    God also gave you free will to choose.
    I do not care what you believe or disbelieve.

    What people believe does not prove anything.
    It is the evidence that proves that Baha'u'llah was a Messenger of God. Whether you recognize the evidence as evidence or not is a moot point. That does not change it into non-evidence.

    You don't believe what I believe so why don't you leave me alone to believe what I believe?
    That is the hundred-dollar question.
     
    #2129 Trailblazer, Sep 8, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I do not present it as the absolute truth from God because truth from God is relative and is revealed in increments.
    If I am asked I refer them to Thief in the Night by William Sears.
    I would answer because my religion says He didn't, but I would also say that I would never believe that Jesus rose form the dead even if I did not have a religion that said He didn't because there is no reason to believe it just because it is written in a book and because nobody comes back to life after three days and because the whole thing is a complete sham.

    I would not say that the story is symbolic, I would just say that I do not believe Jesus rose, period.

    Jesus said "it is finished" when he died on the cross and there is no reason to believe He came back to life three days later just because men wrote stories. It is obvious that these are just stories men wrote, I do not need to be a Baha'i to realize that. Whether the authors believed the stories were true or not is a moot point
    People are free to believe whatever they want to believe. It is not a fact that Jesus rose from the dead or that He did not rise from the dead. Frankly I do not give a rip because it makes no difference to my beliefs even if Jesus did rise from the dead because that does not mean that Jesus is "coming back." That I know unequivocally. Can I prove it? No, but the evidence is in what Jesus said in the NT. However, if Christians want to discount that and keep waiting that is their choice. I don't care what Christians believe and most of them don't care what I believe.
     
  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I see that Tony answered that. Thanks Tony. :)
     
  12. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    People should never listen to others and get convinced because then it is not their own belief since they did not acquire it themselves.

    “…… inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.” The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 3-4

    What it essentially says is that we will never discover the truth for ourselves if we use the words and deeds of other people as a standard by which to understand God and His Prophets. In other words, we cannot determine whether Baha’u’llah was a Messenger of God according to what other people say or do.

    What then do we do? We investigate the truth for ourselves.

    How to Independently Investigate the Truth

    No, there is no way to prove that a belief is true, except to oneself. Why isn't that good enough for you to prove it to yourself? Why would it matter what other people believe?
     
  13. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    When you chose not to believe anymore.
    It is not a choice to believe unless you choose to believe.
    No. For probably the hundredth time, the evidence is not my opinion.
    No, because the *difference* is that there is no evidence for the existence of Hogwarts whereas there is evidence for the existence of God.
    Again, evidence is NOT an opinion!
    Just because science cannot prove there is a God that does not mean there is no God. Science can only prove things that exist in the material world. God does not exist in the material world, therefore science cannot prove God exists. Case closed.
     
  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    The size of the moon can be measured with instruments so everyone can agree on the size of the moon since the measurements prove the size. Religion is not the same because the evidence cannot be measured so not everyone will agree on the *significance* of the evidence, whether it proves the religion is true or not.

    For example, the history of the Baha'i Faith is an objective reality but how people view that history, the meaning they assign to it, is subjective. For some people the history of the Bahai Faith will mean that Baha'u'llah must have been a Messenger of God but other people will think it is insignificant and that any man could have done all of that. Of course the history is not the only evidence we have to go on, this is just an example of how different people view the same evidence differently.
    You are requiring that the same kind of proof (testing) be available for religion as we have proof available for science and that is why I said what I said.

    I am not representing your position at all. I am only following your line of reasoning. You want testable evidence for religion, like the evidence that science has available to prove its theories are true. I told you there is no such evidence many times. If you are *convinced* that religion is NOT true then why are we having this conversation about religion?
    The evidence is check-able and it can be verified by you, unless you do not think you are *capable* of assessing evidence and coming to a determination.
    There must be some records of the crucifixion or else scholars would not concur that it was a historical fact.

    The only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate. According to New Testament scholar James Dunn, nearly all modern scholars consider the baptism of Jesus and his crucifixion to be historically certain.

    Historicity of Jesus - Wikipedia
     
  15. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Yes, I get to decide who to *believe* is a Messenger of God and I am going to believe what Baha'u'llah wrote, not what some Christian believes the Bible means, since I believe that Baha'u'llah unsealed the Bible as per Daniel 12. In am out of jail because I am not imprisoned by false beliefs that keep people in their own prison.
    Yes, you have rejected the objective evidence that surrounds the Revelation of Baha'u'llah.
    The method that God expects you to use is to use *your own judgment* to check and verify the validity of the evidence. Why don't you trust your own judgment?
    No, it is evidence if it indicates that the beliefs are true, and whether I recognize it as evidence or not, it is STILL evidence. I recognized the evidence the indicates that my beliefs are true and that is how I know my beliefs are true. This evidence will not be universally recognized, at least not until a future time that God has promised will come.

    “Warn and acquaint the people, O Servant, with the things We have sent down unto Thee, and let the fear of no one dismay Thee, and be Thou not of them that waver. The day is approaching when God will have exalted His Cause and magnified His testimony in the eyes of all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth.”Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 248

    "His Cause" is God's Cause which is the Cause of Baha'u'llah. I do not know how God will exalt His Cause to everyone in heaven and on earth, but it will happen eventually, and this is no doubt how everyone will come to believe in God, as was promised in the Bible as well as the Writings of the Bab.

    Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Isaiah 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

    “The Day is approaching when God will render the hosts of Truth victorious, and He will purge the whole earth in such wise that within the compass of His knowledge not a single soul shall remain unless he truly believeth in God, worshippeth none other God but Him, boweth down by day and by night in His adoration, and is reckoned among such as are well assured.”
    Selections From the Writings of the Báb, pp. 153-154

    The evidence STANDS on its own, it needs no support from me.
    There is plenty of evidence to check and I have delineated it in my posts numerous times. People have various opinions about that evidence but evidence is not an opinion.
    That is a straw man, I never said that. That would be illogical since not everyone who is certain is correct. Being certain is no guarantee of correctness but that does not mean that nobody who is certain is ever correct.
     
  16. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    No, he gave his opinion. Have you read Isaiah chapter 7? If you haven't will you? And if you do then could you tell me how verse 14 can be plucked out and made into a prophecy without considering how the rest of the verses fit?
     
  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Verse 14 does not have to be plucked out and made into a prophecy for Jesus. It is clear from the context that it is a prophecy referring to Jesus.

    (Verse 10) The lord spoke to Ahaz.
    (Verse 11) Asking for a sign of the Lord thy God.
    (Verse 14) The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, (Jesus)
    (Verses 15) Refers to Jesus, who would know to refuse the evil, and choose the good

    Isaiah 7
    King James Version


    10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,

    11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.

    12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.

    13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?

    14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
     
  18. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    Is God real? Absolute truth or a relative truth? Baha'u'llah is a manifestation of God? Same thing?

    Then Bill Sears? Sure, why not. Lots of Christians just go to church, because they think it's the right thing to do. I was raised Catholic and my family never read the Bible. So that' how I was when I first met Baha'is. They told me about what the Bible says. And they said that the Christ had returned. That it was prophesied that he come in 1844 and many Christians were waiting for him. I took it for granted they were telling me the truth. Then a friend "found" Jesus. He took me to Bible studies. And what I learned there was way different than what Baha'is had told me. So, those things I could see were "relative" truth. The Baha'i interpretation of the Bible as compared to the born again Christian version.

    Yeah, not being a Christian, I would think most people wouldn't believe that Jesus or anybody could come back to life after three days. But those born again Christians do believe. And why is that? Because they say that is what is taught in the gospels. And I'd agree. It sure does seem to teach that he did. But then why believe it just because that's what people 2000 years ago said? Lots of people think it is a sham. But is that what the Baha'i Faith teaches? No, it's not a sham but an allegorical story. And, as you know, I believe that if it isn't literally true, I'd go with the sham explanation and not the "symbolic", "allegorical" Baha'i explanation.

    But now we got another problem... Why do Baha'is believe the gospels when they say Jesus was born of a virgin? Scientifically, I'd think it's impossible. No genes and all the DNA stuff from a man? How and why would an unfertilized egg grow into a human? So why do you believe it is really true? Or, do you?

    Well, if a person believes those stories are true, then there is good reason to believe. You know that whole "saved" from hell thing and getting your sins forgiven. But who, other than Christians, believes that? Him raising from the dead is important to them. They have to come up with reasons and proofs that the stories are true. And, like you've said before, liberal Christians can't go that far as to say those stories literally happened. And like I say, it all sounds like ancient religious mythology. We have the evil Satan. We have demons and angels battling it out. We have seas parted and God striking people dead. And then the greatest myth of all... a dying and rising Savior.

    No, I disagree. The evidence is not in what Jesus said. Christians have their verses that show that Jesus is the one coming back. And Baha'is have their verses that show that he's not. So he's not coming back absolute truth or relative truth? Maybe you don't care what others believe, but I want to know what they believe and why?

    To me, a very likely explanation is just religion myth and legends that religious leaders claimed were true and got people to believe they were true. I disagree with the Baha'i "progressive" revelation explanation and think that cultures and people each had their own myths. Then some borrowed myths from others. And now we have the Baha'i Faith. Is it a new myth? Telling all us humans we are one, that God is one and we should all live as one? Sounds like a much better myth than what we had in the past. But to me, if it's just more made up things about an invisible, unknowable, and unprovable God, then it is all just relative truth. I agree with some things Baha'is teach and say is true but not all of it.
     
  19. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Veteran Member

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    NIV Isaiah7 When Ahaz son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, was king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem, but they could not overpower it.

    2 Now the house of David was told, “Aram has allied itself with Ephraim”; so the hearts of Ahaz and his people were shaken, as the trees of the forest are shaken by the wind.

    3 Then the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out, you and your son Shear-Jashub, to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. 4 Say to him, ‘Be careful, keep calm and don’t be afraid. Do not lose heart because of these two smoldering stubs of firewood—because of the fierce anger of Rezin and Aram and of the son of Remaliah. 5 Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son have plotted your ruin, saying, 6 “Let us invade Judah; let us tear it apart and divide it among ourselves, and make the son of Tabeel king over it.” 7 Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

    “‘It will not take place,
    it will not happen,
    8 for the head of Aram is Damascus,
    and the head of Damascus is only Rezin.
    Within sixty-five years
    Ephraim will be too shattered to be a people.
    9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria,
    and the head of Samaria is only Remaliah’s son.
    If you do not stand firm in your faith,
    you will not stand at all.’”

    10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz, 11 “Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.”

    12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test.”

    13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. 15 He will be eating curds and honey when he knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, 16 for before the boy knows enough to reject the wrong and choose the right, the land of the two kings you dread will be laid waste. 17 The Lord will bring on you and on your people and on the house of your father a time unlike any since Ephraim broke away from Judah—he will bring the king of Assyria.”​
    So, this is what I learned from reading what Jews believed about these verses. Ahaz is the king of Judah and the other two kings made an alliance to go conquer Judah. Isaiah tells Ahaz what's going to happen.. Those two enemies of his will be dead. Ahaz won't ask for a sign as proof, so Isaiah says that God will give him a sign anyway. The sign then goes into all that virgin stuff. One problem right away, there is a different Hebrew word that means "virgin" and the word used here typically means "a young maiden", but it is translated as "virgin".

    Next, the boy is born. When is he born? In Isaiah's time or 700 years later in Jesus' time? I think it was in Isaiah's, because this boy is the sign for King Ahaz. By the time this kid can choose good and reject evil the two kings are going to be dead and gone.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read it and tell me you thought about it.
     
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  20. Truthseeker

    Truthseeker Non-debating member when I can help myself

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    SBCC Santa Barbara Community College. I just love it when I highlight a word or initials and I get "search the web for SBCC". I think back at Planet Baha'i we already know back then we had both become Baha'is in 1970. But maybe I'm getting It wrong. I knew. Sara also became a Baha'i in 1970. When she was 9 she said that when or maybe a classmate said that when Christ returned our grilled cheese sandwiches would cost the same as the boys for the same size. Then a classmate said "Maybe He's already returned". She said a man has gotten shot at but they missed and his ropes were severed and He got away. For the rest of her childhood she would ask "have you heard this story, who is this man". To make a story short she read Baha'u'llah and the New Era and was shocked to find that story in the book.
     
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