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Featured How can a believer in a God discuss with an Atheist?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Seeker of White Light, Dec 6, 2021.

  1. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    Honestly now I am confused :oops:

    How can a believer discuss with someone about God, when the other person don't even have an understanding of the word God :confused:

    @Unveiled Artist you answered in an other of my OP's
    [
    How can one discuss different understandings of God if we can not use that word?

    This OP is made so non-believers can answer their understanding or lack of understanding of what God is in their understanding.
    If God does not exist to you, how can you have so strong opinions about something that in you view does not exist?

    And no, this OP is not for you to speak about believers, but it's about YOUR understanding or lack of it when speaking about God in discussions. So now you have to answer, and not ask questions toward OP starter or other believers.
     
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  2. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Hello CT......
    I'm not much help, but one suggestion is: it might help if you do not ask atheists and non-theists for their opinions and then post your questions in the 'interfaith' section.
    Or did you only want to talk to people who have faiths?
     
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  3. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    Theists and atheists share the illusion of understanding what a god is. Only that the one believes it exists and the other doesn't.
    It is the Agnostic who doesn't have an idea what a god is - and neither do you, as s/he will tell you.
    Then it turns from a discussion about god(s) into a discussion about unknowability.
     
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  4. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    This OP are created for the nonbelievers to answer about their understanding of God, so inter-faith would be ok.
     
  5. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    So it is impossible for an atheist to discuss topics about God? Why is it that certain believers are "attacked" by atheists for their belief in God, if atheists does not even know what a God is? ( in the form of a higher being)
     
  6. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    As I said, atheists have no problem discussing about god(s). They have the illusion to know what a god is (as do theists). So they can happily talk past each other.
     
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  7. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    So why are some struggle when the word "God" is used? As the example in OP?
     
  8. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    Part of the problem may be seeing their critical thinking, logic, proofs, etc as an "attack", and not trying to delve further into why a believer might feel "attacked" by it. In another thread, I stated that faith and logic best go hand-in-hand. A couple of people [may] have suggested that mixing faith and logic is a recipe for disaster. But if you wish to understand where the unbeliever is coming from, or be able to debate well, it often requires logic. Otherwise you just have one person thinking that they have some form of truth via faith, then the other side shows for page after page how they don't through logic, and the believer doesn't have an answer or response because they didn't study logic or think in those terms - so they retreat, or instead lose the argument. Because the other side likely not only was the better debater, but had the more fact-based side.

    At no point does it make the atheist sinister, really. They may mean very well. But debates seem to often be won based on logic, facts, and not faith in and of itself. So yes, I do find debates to often be geared against blind faith in and of itself.

    But saying that they "attacked you" if you enter a debate, is kind of like not knowing the etiquette and common practices of debate, then being a poor sport.

    Why I bring up debate is that I've rarely seen atheists chase people to the Interfaith board, and if they do, it's usually because their group, "atheists", got mentioned. There are all kinds of people out there, so there may be one or two exceptions, but they can easily be ignored.

    As for me, I consider logic and critical thinking important these days. As I don't trust the voice of God to guide me on things like what is a cult and what's not in pursuing new paths, etc. So you could say that logic and critical thinking can even help my spiritual path in some instances. It may alter my spiritual path, or refine it, but not destroy it. It's fear that often destroys.
     
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  9. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    I am not afraid or fear attack, I ask how they can discuss God when having no clue of or believe God exist.
     
  10. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    Btw, this thread is not about me........

    I ask atheists to answer, but i it seems they can't :oops:
     
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  11. Snow White

    Snow White Veteran Member

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    I think that's another statement you might want to reconsider. Seeing atheists as all people who were never religious or never studied religious texts, can often be wrong. Even if some may decline further reading of religious texts when asked, due to personal reasons (or some such).
     
  12. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. I don't know the context and I don't know @Unveiled Artist's mind.
    Maybe she's on her way to become an Agnostic. For us, "god" is a word without meaning.
     
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  13. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    I have no idea how a God would be able to exist. I do know God is The Supreme Being that is omnipotent, and omnipresent, all knowing and of perfect character in justice and virtue. God is a merciful judge that decides the destinies and fates of everyone based on their decisions and ultimately their character.

    I know religion is about the nature of being as well. That's what I like to discuss.

    I'm not here for the science, and scientific opinions. I'm not here to scrutinize all religions.

    Critical thinking and science are wonderful technical ways of thinking. But those atheists seem to think it is their way or the highway. They seem to think all problems and all realities are the specific domain of science and critical thinking. The hammer and nail syndrome I guess. They operate with the idea that their logic is the official only way of productive thought. Everything is physics, and has physical explanation and we are all fools to think otherwise. I find that to be laboriously false. There are abstract non physical realities of qualities of being, intentions, thoughts, ideas, and expressions. There are unexplained phenomenon that goes beyond physical observation.

    They can decree fallacies all day. Human logic is a human construct subject to human limits and error. No one is a perfectly logical thinking machine. It's those unknown unknowns that are beyond grasp that no one can figure out. The universe is not bound to obey the laws of math and logic. Math and logic are wonderfully precise aspects of human thought. They are a miracle of invention. There is truth to math and logic. I don't think math and logic are the final word on truth. They are useful manipulations of reality. There is a whole other dimension to reality that I feel cannot be addressed this way.

    Science and philosophy can be headaches of intellectual pretension. I find religion to be a more common way to express things with a lot more independent expressions, that gets at human nature better than science and philosophy.

    In my faith, I recognize spiritual realities. Spirit to me is not about ghosts.
     
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  14. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    As an atheist, I'm generally more than happy to accept whatever definition of God a religious believer has in mind and debate its merits. I prefer to discuss the emotional and spiritual associations and experiences people have because, even as a non-believer, it can still tell me something about my relationship with the universe and my place in it.

    Life is imprecise and ever-changing and the definitions have to adapt to the needs of what we are trying to communicate with each other. We can't fix one in stone when we need to change it to more accurately reflect what is being observed or experienced. Words are a secondary manifestation of our experience and their meaning is often no more a product of convention and consensus, whilst our emotional reactions to the world are often more important as the more "primitive", animal layer of understanding. The very meaning of introspective and mystical aspects of religion and existence is generally lost by trying to define them.
     
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  15. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    I think you will find that most atheists were once believers, so have been in the world of god.
     
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  16. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    If you want to discuss an understanding of God with folks who have no understanding of God in a forum for people with faith (inter-faith) then I think that you have answered your own question, the title of this thread:-
    How can a believer in a God discuss with an Atheist?

    .......... and the answer will come winging back to you:-
    By being empathic with atheists........ like not choosing an 'inter-faith' place for your meetings.

    They have no faith, CT.
     
  17. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    That to means, you listen to what belivers do say :)
     
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  18. Seeker of White Light

    Seeker of White Light Think before you speak....so stay silent.

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    There a probably many reasons for people become non-believers, but how do one lose connection with God?
     
  19. HonestJoe

    HonestJoe Well-Known Member

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    I suspect the core point here is that there is no single "understanding of God". Different believers, even those of nominally the same faith, can have a very different understanding of their god, in part or as a whole. That's why there are so many different faiths, denominations and sects after all.

    This means that, regardless of who you're talking to, your would have to explain what your understanding of God is to discuss that understanding. Your understanding could be discussed entirely within it's own context, without any reference to any different understanding of God and in that case, the beliefs of anyone else involved in the discussion isn't directly relevant.

    I can only speak for myself, but I don't have strong opinions about the concept of God in and of itself.

    The most significant thing for me is consequence, so the only time I consider such discussions especially important is where a belief has the potential to lead to negative actions (e.g. "God says this action is a sin and therefore those people should be punished\criminalised\attacked." or "My God's rules are more important that the secular laws and so I should be granted a special exemption.").

    The other aspect is more a layman's academic interest in the nature of belief and faith, which is obviously prominent in relation to religion but is relevant to pretty much every human interaction. Understanding religious belief is part of understanding people.
     
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  20. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    Atheists use the definitions of God(s) which comes from what we are told or what scriptures tells us about them. Anyone can pick up a bible or the Quran or some other religious text and read it and learn about how and what God(s) is according to these, you don't have to be a theist to understand these texts.

    Think about how many Muslims, just to use them as example that believes in the word of the Quran, yet they don't agree on the meaning of it and are willing to kill each other due to understanding it differently. If theists were the only ones that could understand it and get a clear image of what God is, then they are doing a very poor job at it to be honest. And the same goes with Christians, Jews etc.

    The main issue as I see it, is that when theists talk about God they are extremely vague in explaining what said God is. But I think if you asked theists of different religions, even within your own, to clearly define exactly what they believe God is, what he is capable of, whether he intervene in our lives etc. that you probably wouldn't agree with almost 90% of them. When someone uses the word God and explain their feeling about such God, such as him being loving or whatever, you would probably agree, but that person might very well be a Christian saying that, which doesn't agree on your idea of a God, if you go in details. The commonality you speak of, only exist due to the vague definition of God that people use, if you ask me.
     
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