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Alien826

No religious beliefs
No, I don't think God wants anyone to give up.
That reminds me of a story a man once told me about his car radio. I saved the story as he told it to me in a Word document but I cannot find it right now. As I recall he was a nonbeliever and he was going through a very difficult ordeal and he was at the end of his rope and he had almost given up hope. He had driven his car to a remote location and he cried out to God for help, and his car radio came on and God spoke to him through the radio. That never happened to him again after that day. After that he became a believer and he was the most humble and faithful believer I ever met. I used to post that story to atheists on another forum. :)

Um, I thought God doesn't talk directly to people in words.

I have also heard from Christians on the Christian radio station I used to listen to that God wants us to be desperate before He will answer, and that has been my own experience. I do not plan to get desperate, I just become desperate. Then when I am completely at the end of my rope I cry out to God for help, and I get the answer, usually the next day. In the interim period I figure God must think I am handling things okay on my own although it doesn't always feel like it. :(

The following is a true story. It happened to me.

When I first started work as computer programmer, we had a problem with a job that ran monthly and produced a huge report for a particular department. Suddenly, it stopped working. We tried to discover what had happened for several days, with the department (understandably) getting more and more frantic as it couldn't do its work. I got so I had trouble sleeping. One night I woke up (I thought) with the answer in my mind. I fell into a dreamless sleep and woke the next morning, refreshed, and ready to share my solution with my colleague. I thought about the "answer" and realized that it was not an answer at all. My mind had simply cooked it up so I could get some rest.

The mind is a strange and wondrous thing.

What? Oh yes, we solved it in the end. :)
 

It Aint Necessarily So

Veteran Member
Premium Member
I think people need to spend a hell of a lot more time thinking hard about this idea of "truth."

Agreed. There seems to be two categories of statements that different kinds of people call truth. For the critical thinker, truth is that which can be shown to be correct beginning with relevant evidence and applying valid reasoning to it to arrive at sound conclusions. For many others - probably most - it's whatever feels right. They trust their intuitions to lead them to truth. That's the kind of thinking the critical thinker calls faith, and calls things believed by faith unjustified by those empirical criteria. In the language of logic, the belief is a non sequitur - it cannot be derived from what preceded it - and it is not a sound conclusion. In lay language, it's a leap of faith

When Einstein had finally completed his equations describing General Relativity, he realized -- much to his dismay -- that those equations meant that the universe was not stable and unchanging. And he, like everyone of his era, could simply not conceive of a universe that was unstable. Therefore, he introduced into his equations something he called a "cosmological constant." Later, when Hubble demonstrated that not only was the universe expanding, it is increasing its rate of expansion over time. Einstein, on learning of this, called his cosmological constant "my greatest blunder."

Yes, a good example of a leap of faith. Einstein trusted an intuition that was later shown to be demonstrably incorrect. His work up to that blunder was derived from the application of reason to empirical fact. From that, he deduced two great theories that were empirically demonstrated to be correct (Eddington and the 1919 solar eclipse). But then, he took a leap of faith, an ad hoc addition to his work not derived from reason applied to evidence - just gut feeling, the other definition of truth above, which the empiricist rejects, and which failure to reject led to this blunder. It's why we should require sound conclusions derived from evidence before belief, since these are always demonstrably correct by definition, and unjustified belief (faith) is essentially guessing as Einstein did.

There is only one path to truth as I described it - empiricism. Other ideas do not get called truth by me, nor knowledge, just unjustified belief, guess, or faith.

Theists might not be saying overtly that we must accept their reasons for belief, but it certainly is implied given the repetition of their beliefs/claims

Agreed. You might have noticed this comment from one of the Baha'i: "Probably you should just stop talking to this guy and arguing with him. He won't listen." He thinks he and the other Baha'i should be heeded, and he is frustrated that his words convince nobody. He calls it not listening as if paying more attention would lead to belief. He must think his arguments are compelling because they convinced him. But he just doesn't understand what it takes to convince a critical thinker, because he's never learned to think critically himself, and so offers what convinced him unaware that that is insufficient for belief by this other standard that is a mystery to him.

But critical density is not the only cosmic coincidence known to trouble physicists. The triple alpha process, and the precise values of energy levels in carbon nuclei, have been cited elsewhere.

This video (22 minutes) is an excellent review of that topic, right up your alley. It also mentions the carbon forming fusion problem and Hoyle' role in its solution, and introduces a new "coincidence" - the very small density of dark energy. It also distinguishes between the weak and strong anthropic principles. I believe your post referred to the weak one. There are arguments in this video that the universe must have had life in it: "Carter distinguished the WAP from the strong anthropic principle (SAP), which considers the universe in some sense compelled to eventually have conscious and sapient life emerge within it."


When Baha'is learn to actually promote unity between people with different beliefs

Look at their net effect on RF. We have two groups of people that largely agree withing themselves and disagree between groups. And the Baha'i have introduced an emotional element. They are offended by the critical thinkers' words, and some seem bruised by debate.

If their claims are not the evidence, what exactly is the evidence that they are a Messenger

You probably already suspect that you will never get a direct or responsive answer, just vague answers like the evidence, or the message, or the life off the messenger. You will never be shown a specific passage that isn't something that a human being couldn't have written, nor any aspect of that life that isn't something that the rest of us couldn't have done, yet this will be called evidence in support of their beliefs.

So you don't want to find out or seek to see if there is a God

The empiricist does that by studying reality. There is no other path to truth. If there is a god and that fact is knowable, it will be known by examining the cosmos including the facts of our daily lives, not by intuition. Ask Einstein, who got to test his intuition and falsify it. God beliefs aren't falsifiable, and can only be held by faith, however compelling the intuition may be.

the Biggest Question of all - how did the universe create itself when it didn't exist, and why.

How about a bigger question - why does anything at all (including a god or gods) exist? Your question is answered by supernaturalist with a claim about a god existing, but my question can't even be answered with that.
 

muhammad_isa

Well-Known Member
And he was correct. The supposed 93% includes millions that don't believe in Yahweh so it's not the compelling evidence it's portrayed as.
50% of the world's population believe in Christianity and Islam.

..so your claim that 93% of people do not believe in "their god" is nonsense.
 

Alien826

No religious beliefs
Another person that loves arguing. I argue sometimes, but why do so many people love arguing?

I can't answer for anyone but myself, but I enjoy arguing (I prefer the word debating), because it exercises my mind.

Where I draw the line is rudeness. If you can't end the debate on a friendly note, don't start it.

Incidentally, here's a (mock) thread without debate.

"I believe Jesus is God".

"OK then".

<end>

Not much fun in that!
 

F1fan

Veteran Member
Don't be so dramatic..
Oh the irony.

I was replying to @John53 post which said that 93% of people don't believe in "their god".

I said "We all believe in the "God of Abraham", who created and maintains the universe.." [as per OP .. messengers of God]
And as i noted in reasonablr detail your claim is untrue. Hindus have a creator named Brahma, and a sustainer god named Vishnu. These are facts that demonstrate your claim false. You can only speak for religions where your claim is applicable.

..and then you butt in and say that "Hindus don't believe in YHWH"..

You don't say? :rolleyes:
Now you know. Be more accurate in your future posts.
 

John53

I go leaps and bounds
50% of the world's population believe in Christianity and Islam.

..so your claim that 93% of people do not believe in "their god" is nonsense.

I didn't claim 93% of people don't believe in their God. I said the 93% of people claimed as evidence don't all believe in their God.

Even if you take the 50% you now claim, I'm willing to bet many of them worship a version of Yahweh that is very different to yours.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I hope you don't put me in the same category as the hateful, oversimplified drivel you're responding to.
No, I certainly do not put you in that category. Your posts are like a breath of fresh air blowing out all the air pollution.

I already explained why I think 'some' atheists behave this way. In brief, they have to knock believers down in order to raise themselves up to a superior position.

Last night I forgot to mention the other reason - these kinds of atheists are compelled to 'believe' that believers are wrong in order to 'believe' they are right. If we are wrong about God existing, then they can be right (in their minds) about the nonexistence of God. This is psych 101 stuff. It is also psych 101 that this kind of behavior demonstrates a deep sense of insecurity, which is hidden (from them) by their sense of superiority

If these types of atheists were secure in their non-belief, they would not have to criticize believers and talk about how much smarter they are, how they think more rationally, etc. I do not criticize atheists, although sometimes I analyze what I think might be their motives, but that is natural for me since I am trained in psychology. However, i do not knock down atheists or atheism because not only is that disrespectful, I don't need to knock them their position down in order to raise my position up, since I am secure in my belief.

I do not think in terms of right and wrong, I just believe what I believe, and since there is no proof that God exists I have said time and again that one of the three logical possibilities is that there is no God (atheism). The other two logical possibilities are (1) there is a God who communicates to humans via Messengers (theism), and (2) there is a God who does not communicate with humans or affect their lives (deist). Option #1 makes sense to me, give all the evidence 'I see" for a theistic God, but since atheists do not 'see' that evidence as evidence, I can understand why it makes no sense to them.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I have a different experience. My life has been so far very merciful to me and my family. For many years I have also had good experience with being religious. Faith made everything look brighter and it seemed God took good care for me... It wasn't easy for me to realize that my faith was blind (no matter how nice it was) ...
I have a different experience. My life so far has not been very merciful to me and my family. Life has been a storehouse of suffering for me, and that suffering has not ended yet.

For many years I had a bad experience with being religious. In fact, for most of the time I was a Baha'i, I had put my religion on the shelf, although I never lost by belief in God and Baha'u'llah. Faith did not make anything look brighter and towards the end of my shelf period it seemed God had completely abandoned me. It wasn't easy for me to reclaim my faith in God and get back into my religion, but once I did that it was full steam ahead, and I have not veered from the path I was on, although I still have a long way to go.

Can I ask you what made you realize that your faith was blind? Do you mean faith in your religion or faith in God, or both?
 

F1fan

Veteran Member
Agreed. You might have noticed this comment from one of the Baha'i: "Probably you should just stop talking to this guy and arguing with him. He won't listen." He thinks he and the other Baha'i should be heeded, and he is frustrated that his words convince nobody. He calls it not listening as if paying more attention would lead to belief. He must think his arguments are compelling because they convinced him. But he just doesn't understand what it takes to convince a critical thinker, because he's never learned to think critically himself, and so offers what convinced him unaware that that is insufficient for belief by this other standard that is a mystery to him.
This is a unique situation. Christians insist they are correct in their belief because the Bible says so, even if they have to interpret it liberally. Muslims are much the same way, with generous interpretations via the Quran. Baha'i have a person. With this there is a hierarchy that I observe. There is a God on top, it communicates with messengers and no one else, and in this case it is Baha'u'llah. So he represents God to all the followers, and passes on dictates via hiw writings. The followers adot these texts as absolute, and now represent Baha'u'llah in interactions with others. So in essence they can't be any more mistaken than Baha'u'llah is, and they accept everything he claims. There is no questioning about any of it, you either believe it all, or you don't. They believe it is true because the texts say it is true. No evidence. It's circular reasoning, which has been an ongoing flaw among the Baha'i claimants. I don't know if this is part of a pyramid system in Baha'i that is taught and learned, or unique to the RF members. To my mind this appears more cult-like than an open religion.
 

muhammad_isa

Well-Known Member
I didn't claim 93% of people don't believe in their God. I said the 93% of people claimed as evidence don't all believe in their God.

Even if you take the 50% you now claim, I'm willing to bet many of them worship a version of Yahweh that is very different to yours.

Your actual words "They also fail to mention that all 93% don't believe in their God, they might believe in a God so I'm not sure how it's relevant other than to show what a poor job the messengers are doing."

I am fully aware of the tactics .. divide and rule.
There is only One God .. the God of Abraham.

Christians and Muslims worship the God of Abraham.
..perhaps you'd like to ask them, if you don't believe me. ;)
 

It Aint Necessarily So

Veteran Member
Premium Member
If you think it reasonable that the universe exists as a gigantic coincidence, I wouldn't bother looking for any other evidence .. because you have already decided it doesn't exist.

Still with this? Still with the argument that if one considers naturalistic explanations possible that he has already decided that this god doesn't exist. What it means is that we don't have sufficient evidence for a god belief. We also don't have sufficient evidence to conclude that a naturalistic belief is correct. It's actually you who has made that decision, but in reverse - that naturalistic explanations are wrong, and so you don't look at them seriously.

And this is the special pleading argument to which I just referred above. When you consider the existence of the cosmos, you demand an intelligent author based on its unlikeliness to you, but give that intelligent designer's existence a pass. You don't use words like coincidence when discussing gods, but one could also note the incredible coincident that a god or anything at all exists.

How do you work that one out? Are all people honest? No.

He wrote, "Actually, I very much do believe the universe was intended by some force of reason. I just don't claim there is evidence for it, because there isn't. If there were, there would be no atheists." Honesty isn't the issue. It's competence at evaluating evidence, a skill called critical thinking possessed by virtually all of the atheists we encounter here. It why they're atheists - not to defy god or live without accountability as many believers proclaim.

How immature, to suggest that the Qur'an might have been written by children

You misunderstood what was written, which was, "Their evidence is on par with children who believe in Santa Claus." The analogous player to the children is the believer who believes that scripture is revelation based on the weak evidence supporting the belief. There is no reference to the writers of those scriptures in his comment. Their analog would be the parents who were the source of the Santa belief, or the author of Twas The Night Before Christmas. Nobody is suggesting that that was written by children, either.

Some other's will hear this, yes, but they have their own opinions and they won't likely change either.

You should know why by now. What you are calling the opinions of others are also sound conclusions. And you are correct that they will never change to your opinions, which are unsound and thus believed by faith.

You love arguing, don't you?

All critical thinkers do. It's called dialectic. It's not fighting or disharmony. It's two critical thinkers debating a point of disagreement in a cooperative effort to come to a resolution of their different conclusions. It's a powerful tool for that purpose. It's the one used in courtrooms, formal academic debates, and peer review.

I don't like debate threads

That's understandable. You don't debate. You just dissent. The process I just described requires rebuttal, which is a specific form of dissent. One must show why the other opinion is incorrect, not just that he doesn't like it. We rarely see that from the apologists. As I alluded, it's undoubtedly because they don't understand what is required for critical thought or dialectic or debate or rebuttal, and so it's like being in a contract bridge tournament without knowing the rules of bridge. Thats no fun, and no wonder you don't like playing that part.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
I didn't claim 93% of people don't believe in their God. I said the 93% of people claimed as evidence don't all believe in their God.

Even if you take the 50% you now claim, I'm willing to bet many of them worship a version of Yahweh that is very different to yours.
So what? The fact that people have different religions and have different beliefs about God is not evidence against the existence of God, not by any stretch of the imagination. The point is that 93% of people believe in God.

The fact that people have different beliefs about God is a separate topic, and there is a logical explanation as to why people have different beliefs about God, since many different religions have been revealed over the course of history, and these religions portrayed God differently.
 

Subduction Zone

Veteran Member
Your actual words "They also fail to mention that all 93% don't believe in their God, they might believe in a God so I'm not sure how it's relevant other than to show what a poor job the messengers are doing."

I am fully aware of the tactics .. divide and rule.
There is only One God .. the God of Abraham.

Christians and Muslims worship the God of Abraham.
..perhaps you'd like to ask them, if you don't believe me. ;)

That is your belief and not necessarily the beliefs of others. Other Christians will deny that your God is the same God as theirs. There appears to be quite a few versions of the "God of Abraham".
 

Subduction Zone

Veteran Member
So what? The fact that people have different religions and have different beliefs about God is not evidence against the existence of God, not by any stretch of the imagination. The point is that 93% of people believe in God.

The fact that people have different beliefs about God is a separate topic, and there is a logical explanation as to why people have different beliefs about God, since many different religions have been revealed over the course of history, and these religions portrayed God differently.
That is not really true. You are making the mistake of assuming that there is only one God. Many Hindus are not monotheistic. You can say that 93% of people believe in a god, but not "God" as one single version.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
That is not really true. You are making the mistake of assuming that there is only one God. Many Hindus are not monotheistic. You can say that 93% of people believe in a god, but not "God" as one single version.
You are moving the goalposts... It does not matter what version of God or gods people believe in.

The point is that 93% of people believe in God vs. no God, and most of these people believe in God because of a religion, and most of these religions have a Messenger, prophet, holy man, or whatever you want to call him, who claimed that he was an intermediary between God and man.
 

Subduction Zone

Veteran Member
You are moving the goalposts... It does not matter what version of God or gods people believe in.

The point is that 93% of people believe in God vs. no God, and most of these people believe in God because of a religion, and most of these religions have a Messenger, prophet, holy man, or whatever you want to call him, who claimed that he was an intermediary between God and man.
No, I am not. You keep assuming one God when there could be many, or none.
 

Trailblazer

Veteran Member
A god. Which one of you tried to use a Vox Populi fallacy anyway?

You do not get to assume "God is God".
Off topic, as I just said. The point is that 93% of people in the world believe in a God or gods vs. no God or gods.

The fallacy does not apply because I did not say that God exists is true because 93% of people believe that God exists.
That is not what this discussion is about. It is about why people believe in God, the evidence for God.
 

F1fan

Veteran Member
So what? The fact that people have different religions and have different beliefs about God is not evidence against the existence of God, not by any stretch of the imagination. The point is that 93% of people believe in God.

The fact that people have different beliefs about God is a separate topic, and there is a logical explanation as to why people have different beliefs about God, since many different religions have been revealed over the course of history, and these religions portrayed God differently.
The bigger point is that humans evolved to believe in non-rational ideas. And human cultures evolved religion for a certain purpose of managing ourselves, creating meaning, and establishing civil authority (via God).

I do have doubts about 93% number, and I suspect it include very liberal views like "belief in a higher power" which isn't necessarily any of the popular gods in modern belief patterns. Scandanavian nations are less and less religious, and among the happiest people on earth. Interesting parallel there. The more well educated people are the less religious they tend to be. The more a person feels distress in life the more they rely on religion for emotional support. So many dynmanics going on.
 
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