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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. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?

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    That's great about the cat. I really need one because I've been overrun by mice this year. And of course they are great company. However, I can't deal with the smell of cat litter and I've found I think it is disgusting having a cat go inside. My last cat had his own door to go outside so no box. But now I have a zillion birds I feed and outdoor cats kill way to many birds and flying squirrels, chipmunks, etc. So no cat for me. Glad you are enjoying the new member of your family.

    It sounds like a great idea not to waste too much time going in circles about religion. You know what you want to believe and it appears not many are interested in joining your religion so spending a lot of time explaining why you believe what you do when everyone has their own beliefs or religions could be better spent on getting out on little trips to enjoy life and nature. Both, unfortunately, have limited time before they are gone forever. Hope you can enjoy them both.

    In addition, I was thinking about your situation where you are always depressed and suffering. I also have MDD for life and I found a great book called "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat Zinn. It couldn't hurt to read it. I know it helped me without a doubt. It may lead you to more in depth studies of living with chronic pain and depression. It doesn't cure either but it teaches a person how to live peacefully with both.
     
    #1661 wandering peacefully, Sep 1, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021
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  2. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?

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    Thanks. I live for the woods.
    I really can't figure out why it never grows old. Maybe some people don't have a lot of things they can enjoy outside or maybe can't get around very well. Or maybe they just enjoy a never ending argument? I enjoy reading the forum now and then and there are some great posts and interesting information here and there but to argue the same exact things over and over just isn't for me. Good luck!
     
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  3. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?

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    Well, telling other people their religion is wrong certainly is a way to get a response from them. The use of rapidly changing ideas and claiming she has the truth about them all also is a way to illicit responses. Maybe she just really enjoys the back and forth and companionship of all the people willing to engage? Idk, she said in her post to me that she knows she it right and is getting a little tired of convincing others of her certainties.

    Maybe she will grow tired of always having to be right and find something else she can enjoy instead.
     
  4. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    This is the first sentence in that section where you took that quote from...
    "And now concerning thy question whether human souls continue to be conscious one of another after their separation from the body. "​
    So I don't understand how the context works. You seem to be taking that paragraph to mean that all "revealed" religions were true then got messed up. The quote says, "certain" traditions rest on no foundation? And, it is recorded in their books? What books? The Scriptures of those religions? They have no foundation?

    Anyway, let's do take Christianity as an example. Jesus wrote nothing. We depend on what his followers wrote. They didn't write things right away, so there was time to forget the exact words and to have many "traditions" and "recollections" of what he said and did to creep in. So I don't trust it. I could easily see how many of the stories were embellished and I do believe the stories were written to make Jesus into a virtual God/man. To me that makes sense, because they were competing with other religions that had virgin born kings and rulers that were made into God/men. They also had dying and rising God/men. How could Jesus compete with them unless he too was a virgin born and dying and rising God/man.

    But, I think these stories were presented and told to the people as if they were all true. Not, as the Baha'is believe, that they were written and meant to be taken allegorically. I don't know why you think Udo Schaefer's book is all that great. It's just his opinion and is not the "revealed" truth of the Baha'i Faith. But, if it were, then the NT is not worthy to be called Scripture and should be condemned by the Baha'i Faith as a fraud. But the Baha'i Faith does the opposite. It supports the NT and the Jewish Bible. But then says we can't 100% trust what they say. So I would have rather have had the Baha'i Faith rip into it like Udo Schaefer has done and call it fake... to call it a bunch of made up BS... That there is no devil... That Jesus did not rise from the dead... And that he is not the one coming back.

    But they don't. They play a game where the things that are quoted by Baha'u'llah and Abdul Baha' (and who else?), those verses are real. The rest? Who knows? But then they take it further by saying many of the things were allegorical. Which, like I've said before, means that they are fictional. Which, to me, is like saying those stories and myth and legend. They didn't happen. But, all through the Bible and the NT, the writers make it all sound like historical and accurate accounts of what went down and what was said.

    So just to remind you, I like many of the teachings of the Baha'i Faith. I liked and hung out with Baha'is. But I don't believe everything they say and teach. And I don't trust people that have an extreme view of their religion being totally and completely correct in everything they do or say. And those are the type of people that end up in leadership and teaching positions in their religions. You might not think you are all that "extreme" in your beliefs, or maybe you do, maybe you're totally committed to believing everything taught in the Baha'i Faith, but, in case you're not, it certainly seems like it. Whether can defend a belief or not.
     
  5. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    It's very similar to trying to talk/debate/argue with born-again Christians. No matter what a person says, the Christian "knows" they are right, because they have the "Word" of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit guiding them. The other people arguing against them are blind, living in darkness and are trying to find any little thing they can to try and make the Bible not true. Same thing with Baha'is. The difference is that Baha'is don't have to be like that. They don't have to scare people with the threat of hell. They don't have to put people into the position of accepting Jesus or being condemned.

    What is it that they are trying to accomplish? That it is time for the people of the world to unite in peace and harmony? Great, nothing wrong with that. But, to many Baha'is make it all about accepting or rejecting Baha'u'llah. Plus, accepting or rejecting the Baha'i Faith. Well, then there's plenty of reasons people can have for rejecting Baha'u'llah and his religion. Just like there's lots of reasons to doubt and question the beliefs of born-again Christians. If they make it about Baha'u'llah and his religion, there's just way too many things that don't sound right to me.

    But, again similar to Christians, it seems like some of the threads started by Baha'is are used as a way to "teach" the Faith. Which isn't too different than the "P" word... proselytizing. With statements like, "Baha'u'llah" has fulfilled all the prophecies of every religion ...that every religion has been a progression leading up to the Baha'i Faith", they present themselves as being the only ones that have the answers for today... that all the other religions, even though they were from God and correct at one time, are no longer relevant... There time has past and now is the time for all "true" spiritual people to recognize the manifestation for today, Baha'u'llah. By saying things like that, they might just run into a little resistance.
     
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  6. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of curiosity... I was wondering what your assessment of the Baha'i Faith is? I would imagine you're not "convinced" of it being the truth. But what are some of the things, good or bad, pro or con, that you've learned about them? Or, if you'd rather not say at this time, that's okay too... and understandable as not to get into a big argument over it.
     
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  7. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    As a Christian, how do you handle it when people disagree with Christianity? I know that the Christians that try and "witness" to others are doing it out of what they believe is love. They are trying to get the person "saved". But then people come back at you with questions that challenge the validity of the Bible and other things. That's what TB faces. She puts it out there that Baha'u'llah is from God, and everybody, Atheists, Christians, Jews, everybody hits her with reasons why she is wrong. But, you're in the same position. You believe in your religion. You want to share God's love and truth with others, and most people don't want to hear it. What do you do? Especially here on a forum where the conversation can go on for several weeks and months. And, many answers and questions do seem to just go around in circles and go nowhere.
     
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  8. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    The Bahai faith.

    1. They believe the Qur'an is Gods word.
    2. The Qur'an says "Ma kathaloohoo, wa, maa salaboohoo" which means "Neither did they kill him nor did they crucify him" referring to Jesus.
    3. But the Bahai's believe Jesus was crucified in order to reconcile with the Christians.

    Thats an internal contradiction of the Bahai faith.

    This thread is not relevant though.
     
  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    We now have 8 cats and 7 litter boxes. :D It is ironic about the cat we just adopted, Simon. He was up for adoption for a long time but nobody wanted him because the owner was honest and put in her post that he never uses a litter box, he goes on the floor, and it had been that way since she got him about six years ago. I told her I had adopted other cats that had the same problem but they never had it after I adopted them. Needless to say, Simon has never gone outside the litter box. I am sure it was a behavioral problem, and he loves it here and feels loved so he does not act out.

    We could never let the cats outside because of all the raccoon and possums. It would be too dangerous. We have one outdoor cat we feed called outdoor kitty who used to be a feral cat and she fares just fine with the wild animals, but she has always lived outdoors. We have cat condos on our deck that are under cover and she sometimes sleeps in those when the colder rainy season comes.
    Right now I am only going around in circles with Tiberius, but I have an affinity for atheists since I have an atheist bent. I have always preferred posting to atheists rather than believers, but not to convince them of anything although they are always telling me that is my job. :rolleyes: The thought of convincing anyone of what I believe is offensive to me because I am a firm believer in free will to choose and I think people need to make that choice themselves, not because I convinced them my religion is true.

    I went through a stage where I talked a lot about religion, but I am not talking about religion much lately and I am not that interested in talking about it but some people like @CG Didymus really likes to talk about it so I consider it courteous to respond. Even though I don't feel it is going anywhere, maybe some people just like to sit on the fence forever or maybe that just can't get off of it and decide..

    I am trying to limit myself to this thread to save time although occasionally I will make a few comments on other threads of interest. I might be having a lot more time soon because I might be forced to retire and I am already thinking of what I might do if I am no longer tied down to a job. I'd like to travel, but unfortunately the cats preclude tat unless I go alone and leave my husband at home. He does not want to go anywhere anyway.

    We used to always go to the Oregon coast on our vacations but that was years ago. We had a lot more cats back then but we had a pet sitter come in twice daily. The problem now is that it is not only the cats we care for, it is all the other outdoor animals and birds, so a pet sitter would have to do that too. It would be easier to leave my husband at home since that is where he wants to be anyway, especially now that I feel more comfortable driving by myself, but going alone just is not that appealing to me. However, I might change my mind if I was retired. Meanwhile, there are lots of places I can go for day trips and I am surrounded by nature and I have my squirrels and birds and other animals to watch and I have my walks in the neighborhood with the tall trees to look at. :)

    Because of the state employee vaccination mandate I am having to make some hard decisions and I plan to post a new thread that I wrote a few days ago next weekend. It will be called Are you living the life you want? so stay tuned! You can ignore that God parts. ;)
    Thanks for thinking of me, I'll look that up. I probably give a wrong impression because I am not always depressed and suffering, I have just had a lot of very stressful life circumstances for a very long time, like sick and dying cats and tenants not paying rent and my husband's many medical conditions, and since he hardly does anything that is a lot of stress for me. I was just starting to feel a little better when this vaccination mandate came down and now I have another fight on my hands. But I have learned to be detached about it after I have done all I can do. Whatever will be will be and I will adjust to it as I have always done.
     
  10. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Saying "I believe" my religion is true is not saying that it is the only true religion. What am I supposed to do, lie and say I believe my religion is false? I never said "I have the truth about them all" and I do not tell people their religion is wrong. I get very upset when I am accused of doing these things because that is unjust. I realize you don't know much about my posts because you do not read that much on this forum, so I am not upset at you.
    I do like talking to people and exchanging ideas so i don't mind the back and forth with certain posters who I respect and who respect me. They do not have to agree with me or like my religion, I prefer talking yo people who don't share my beliefs as it is more interesting.
    I do not need to be right just because I believe my religion is a true religion. This does not compute.

    Also, I do not really 'enjoy' these discussions about religion, I just respond to people who post to me out of courtesy and a sense of duty to God and my religion. If I did what I enjoy I would not have anything to do with religion at all!
     
  11. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I would like to see evidence that the B.man is a manifestation of God. I have read some of his stuff, and I can't find any evidence of this.
     
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  12. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    Why do you believe they represent reality?


    Hasty generalization.

    Hasty generalization.

    There is a great of historical fact in the Bible that can be verified by non-Christian sources.
     
  13. samtonga43

    samtonga43 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, We all know what 'hence' means, Tb. :rolleyes:

    I loved thy creation, for this reason I created thee.

    God loved humans / God loved creating humans,
    so (as a consequence)
    God created humans.

    Effect before cause.
    Q.E.D.

    You can Google as much as you like, but if you don't understand how words work in sentences, you are fooling yourself.
     
  14. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    But thanks anyway. But since this thread is about trying to convince someone about a religion, I thought it might help someone as to why you aren't convinced. With me it's mainly about how the gospels say that the tomb was empty and that Jesus rose from the dead. And in Acts it says he showed himself alive. Now I don't necessarily believe it is true, it might be, but I have my doubts. But, I do believe the gospel stories are saying that Jesus did come back to life. If the Quran says that he never died, it still has him alive after the crucifixion. And that's different than born-again Christians believe. But both are different than Baha'is believe. They have him being killed by being crucified and staying dead. The big problem I have with the Baha'i interpretation is that they need to make all the post crucifixion part of the gospels allegorical.
     
  15. firedragon

    firedragon Veteran Member

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    The Qur'an directly and with no ambiguity says Jesus was not crucified.

    I know that the Bahai's make the post crucifixion allegorical. Well, not only that, there are many things in the apologetics called allegorical or/and alluding to something. But all of that comes after crucifixion. So one has to decide if the Quran is bogus or Gods word. If you believe its bogus or wrong, then that's your own take on it, but if you believe its Gods word, then you have to accept its Gods word. You cant have a circular triangle.

    Or they should at least try and make even the crucifixion allegorical. Then they cant reconcile with the Christians. Abdul Bahas and Effendis most important aspects are the reconciliation with all the religions in the world.
     
  16. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Please bear in mind that the book is called "Gleanings" and that means that it is excerpts from various Tablets of Baha'u'llah, not one continuous Tablet, so that paragraph about the souls in the afterlife:

    "It is clear and evident that all men shall, after their physical death, estimate the worth of their deeds, and realize all that their hands have wrought. I swear by the Day Star that shineth above the horizon of Divine power! They that are the followers of the one true God shall, the moment they depart out of this life, experience such joy and gladness as would be impossible to describe, while they that live in error shall be seized with such fear and trembling, and shall be filled with such consternation, as nothing can exceed. Well is it with him that hath quaffed the choice and incorruptible wine of faith through the gracious favor and the manifold bounties of Him Who is the Lord of all Faiths…." Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 171

    is not related to what follows it about the corruption of religions of the past, and that is why there is a ... after it.

    But please note that the paragraph that follows the paragraph I cited about the corruption of the religions of the past IS related to the corruption of the religious "traditions of bygone ages that rest on no foundations whatever," because Baha'u'llah is enjoining us to "sanctify our hearts and their ears from the vain sayings that were uttered aforetime, and turn with our inmost souls to Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation," .... In other words, Baha'u'llah is enjoining us to disregard the sayings of past religious traditions and turn towards Him.

    “Our purpose is to show that should the loved ones of God sanctify their hearts and their ears from the vain sayings that were uttered aforetime, and turn with their inmost souls to Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation, and to whatsoever things He hath manifested, such behavior would be regarded as highly meritorious in the sight of God….

    Magnify His Name, and be thou of the thankful. Convey My greetings to My loved ones, whom God hath singled out for His love, and caused them to achieve their objects. All glory be to God, the Lord of all worlds.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 172

    As I have told you before I agree with that so you are preaching to the choir. I think they were intended to be taken as literal truth, but the hundred-dollar question is whether the authors believed they were literally true. I don't think that can ever be determined. I also don;t think it matters one iota because this is a new Day of God.
    I think you are misunderstanding Schaefer's intent. He is not saying that the gospels in the New Testament are unworthy, he is saying that Paul changed the course of Christianity, and as you know the Christians mainly follow what Paul said rather than the teachings of Jesus, and that was Schaefer's main point.

    My assessment for what it is worth is that you want someone to confirm for you that the devil and the resurrection and the return of Jesus are all false, but you already know what Baha'is believe about that. Why not just accept it and stop wondering? You don't have to accept that the Baha'i Faith is true, bit at least it is a step in the right direction, out of fantasy-land!
    No, the only things in the Bible that Abdu'l-Baha says are allegorical are the resurrection and Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. The rest of the Bible is up for grabs and can be interpreted however Baha'is want.
    There is nothing extreme about it, it is just simple logic. If Baha'u'llah was infallible as Baha'is believe, then everything He wrote was true, so we do not just take what we like and leave the rest. Moreover, Baha'u'llah stated that we are to follow Abdu'l-Baha after He passed on and Abdu'l-Baha appointed the Guardian as the authority after He passed. Baha'u'llah wrote that the UHJ would be the final authority after there was no longer a Guardian. To be faithful to the Covenant of Baha'u'llah, we take all of the authoritative Baha'i Writings as true, not just the parts we like, and if people don't like that they don't have to become Baha'is. We don't have to defend it to other people. It would nothing but ego if a Bahai thought they knew more than a Manifestation of God, but if you don't believe that He was one of course you are not going to think like a Baha'i.
     
  17. Tiberius

    Tiberius Well-Known Member

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    So what? They all have a particular word in them. I see no reason to conclude that the fact they all contain the same word means they have some deeper meaning.

    Your argument is like saying that Attila the Hun and Winnie the Pooh are somehow connected because their names both contain the word "The."
     
  18. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Well-Known Member

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    I've had some time to think about it now, and one fact that is interesting that even before Baha'u'llah heard of the Bab He was already rich and was giving away His money to the poor. Then He declared His allegiance the Bab immediately, knowing how the people in His country were, that He was putting His fortune and life in jeopardy.

    He revealed the Book of Certitude in two days, and indeed in all His Writings He wrote them down rapidly, as if taking dictation from God, all from a person whose only education was learning Arabic and the Qur'an, horse riding, and the like. People marveled at the quality of these rapidly revealed Writings.

    He was cast into prison in Akka, Israel, and in a couple of years the authorities in Akka allowed Him to leave the prison, though He was supposed to be in prison for life with no contact with anyone. After nine years the leading cleric in Akka got on his knees and for a long period begged Baha'u'llah to leave Akka. Baha'u'llah left Akka, with no one trying to stop Him, though the imprisonment decree was still in effect.

    People who came into the presence of Baha'u'llah very often were overwhelmed and unable to speak, including people who when they met Him didn't believe in Him.

    This okay @Trailblazer?
     
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  19. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Well-Known Member

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    I've made a reply now with some facts that I know of.
     
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  20. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Well-Known Member

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    His body was crucified, but not His spirit according to our understanding. Isn't that a possible interpretation? Especially when it is added immediately after that Jesus was taken up to God. You're free to disagree.
     
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