Asking the right questions of religio...

Asking the right questions of religious believers

There are 451 comments on the Mano Singham's Web Journal story from Feb 26, 2011, titled Asking the right questions of religious believers. In it, Mano Singham's Web Journal reports that:

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Carnarvon

South Africa

#41 Mar 9, 2011
NightSerf wrote:
Why on earth would anyone--even atheists--think that we have "the answers"? We have each, as individuals, come to a single common conclusion: "There are probably no deities." A few go further and replace "probably" with "definitely." Either way, that conclusions opens up new questions, only some of which any of us have answered.
If you read the posts in this forum to look for an overall pattern, you'll find that beyond a vague sense of community, we don't have as much in common as most theists assume. Some of us tend towards dignity and respectfulness, others towards confrontation and ridicule in our conversations with the many theists who post here. Some even ignore the theists altogether and converse only with other nonbelievers. Some are science junkies who lose no time arguing about the ToE and the BB theories. Others focus more on philosophical, psychological, or artistic topics.
I don't know where Carnarvon "hear:" these "rumors." Actually, I rather suspect he's just making that up.
Nice little troll. Have a cookie!
This was a comment from another forum that I browsed. Do not have the URL but that is neither here nor there. I have no problem with people more or less intelligent than me.
It may be that you have come to the conclusion that there are probably no deity/ies. If you asked me for conclusive evidence for the existence of God, I would have to agree - there is none. That is I suppose why it is called "faith".
There is however strong evidence for the existence of God. The question is, I suppose, if evidence available suggests the existence of a deity/ies. There are strong arguments to support such a view - sufficient I believe to at least come to the conclusion that it would be more likely to be the case.
From my experience with atheists, it would seem that their arguments are more based on moral questions - which I appreciate.
Even Dawkins remarked that intelligent design seems quite possible (somewhere on youtube :
&fe ature=player_embedded%20.
Have to go now, but thanks for your response.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#42 Mar 9, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>This was a comment from another forum that I browsed. Do not have the URL but that is neither here nor there. I have no problem with people more or less intelligent than me.
It may be that you have come to the conclusion that there are probably no deity/ies. If you asked me for conclusive evidence for the existence of God, I would have to agree - there is none. That is I suppose why it is called "faith".
Faith: "firm belief in something for which there is no proof".
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>There is however strong evidence for the existence of God. The question is, I suppose, if evidence available suggests the existence of a deity/ies.
No there's not.
.
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>There are strong arguments to support such a view - sufficient I believe to at least come to the conclusion that it would be more likely to be the case.
No there's not.
.
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>Even Dawkins remarked that intelligent design seems quite possible.
No, he said thet he could not completely rule out intelligent aliens.
.
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>From my experience with atheists, it would seem that their arguments are more based on moral questions - which I appreciate.
But until it can be shown that ANY morality originated from ANY deity, your question is meaningless.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#43 Mar 9, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>Yes, I seem to lack some skills there. Would you please enlighten me and answer the question on this forum?
*sigh*

Repeated endlessly, it still flies over the heads of persons such as yourself.

But what the heck; maybe you aren't as dim as you appear.

The concept commonly called "morality" is a formal declaration of what humans do naturally: cooperate.

Cooperation can take on many forms, but it all stems from the essential ingredients: instincts.

Humans are mammals, and have behaviors that come from DNA, commonly called instinctive behaviors. There are quite a number, but the most notable human instincts help humans cooperate with each other.

One simple example, is smiling. Humans, even pre-verbal infants, automatically know what a smile is, and what it means.

Another instinctive behavior trait, is the open hand.

Another example is the movement of the eyes, with respect to the speaker's face.

There are many, but it all boils down to humans are a cooperative species of mammal. Humans, individually are weak (relative to other animals out there). But in groups? Humans can do the most remarkable things with the littlest of resources.

----------

Okay, that's the background. Where comes morality? That is just a formalized expression of the cooperative instincts humans are born with. Well, the majority of humans anyway.

In all >>successful<< formalized systems of morality, there are rules regarding inter-personal relationships, which typically take on the form of "treat others like you want to be treated".

That is a basic rule that literally comes from instinctive cooperation-- a group cannot function well (or at all), if the individuals are constantly fighting.

So the so-called "golden rule" (which is >>not<< in the bible-- an epic failure on the part of it's writers, I might add) forms the basic platform.

Depending on the culture it stems from, there is usually some prohibition to wanton murder of non-group members, as in 'Try not to kill any person today'. Of course, the definition of "person" is subject to the whim of the group; typically non-group members are seen as "not-persons". The bible is in this category, by the way: according to the bible, it is just FINE to kill non-believers when and where you find them, without notice. In fact? It's a direct command. Even in the new testament.

Is it any wonder why so much violence in the world? Too many bibles out there, telling people they should kill all non-worshipers of the bible...

----------

So, that's two rules right there:

1) treat others like you want to be treated
2) try not to kill anyone, today

The basis for these is simple cooperation between one another.

You really don't NEED any more foundation than that: cooperation IS what makes humans amazing.

Think about it: >>all<< the really cool things you see, that were created by humans in the world, from the Great Pyramids, to the Eiffel Tower, to the Hoover Dam to the World Wide Web were all fabricated because humans cooperate with each other.

Even Great Art, which was painted by a single painter, required cooperation-- he/she had to have someone supporting his lifestyle, to have enough time to paint.... cooperation.

The rest is just window-dressing.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#44 Mar 9, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>This was a comment from another forum that I browsed. Do not have the URL but that is neither here nor there. I have no problem with people more or less intelligent than me.
It may be that you have come to the conclusion that there are probably no deity/ies. If you asked me for conclusive evidence for the existence of God, I would have to agree - there is none. That is I suppose why it is called "faith".
Faith is irrational.

Faith is pretending that what you KNOW is not real, is real.

Since faith is both pretend (a kind of lie) and irrational?

WHAT SORT of god would REQUIRE faith?

Answer: none that are GOOD, certainly!

Evil gods or insane gods or some of both?

Okay-- but evil/insane gods tend to be careless with their creation.

And would've wiped out all people long, long ago.

Since we are still here?

It is highly unlikely that evil/insane gods exist.

Since we have no evidence for GOOD gods?

What does that leave? Completely indifferent gods.

And what's the point of acknowledging THOSE?

They don't care one way or another anyhow....

... no consequences with an >>indifferent<< god.

It should be noted that the Bible's god falls into the insane/evil category. No sane god would stoop to torture.

Nor would a sane god suffer "satan/lucifer" to have such a free reign over it's creation.

Thus? The bible's god is myth.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#45 Mar 9, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
There is however strong evidence for the existence of God.
No, there is not.

Without your FAITH FIRST?

The evidence all evaporates like snow on a hotplate.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#46 Mar 9, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
There is however strong evidence for the existence of God.
And WITH faith?

YOU HAVE NO NEED OF EVIDENCE!
nina

Canada

#47 Mar 9, 2011
absolute morality indeed

clearly religion does not ensure a person is moral

sex scandals, money scandals, fraud scandals

the only thing that religion absolutely guarantees is failure to comply with a ridiculously impossible code of behaviour

I think believers really need some therapy around their co-dependance on their absentee and abusive skydaddy

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#48 Mar 9, 2011
nina wrote:
absolute morality indeed
clearly religion does not ensure a person is moral
sex scandals, money scandals, fraud scandals
the only thing that religion absolutely guarantees is failure to comply with a ridiculously impossible code of behaviour
I think believers really need some therapy around their co-dependance on their absentee and abusive skydaddy
NINA!

How'ya been?

I find I'm missing your pithy and directly-to-the point little snippets of wisdom.

:)
NightSerf

Sevierville, TN

#49 Mar 9, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>This was a comment from another forum that I browsed. Do not have the URL but that is neither here nor there. I have no problem with people more or less intelligent than me.
It may be that you have come to the conclusion that there are probably no deity/ies. If you asked me for conclusive evidence for the existence of God, I would have to agree - there is none. That is I suppose why it is called "faith".
There is however strong evidence for the existence of God. The question is, I suppose, if evidence available suggests the existence of a deity/ies. There are strong arguments to support such a view - sufficient I believe to at least come to the conclusion that it would be more likely to be the case.
From my experience with atheists, it would seem that their arguments are more based on moral questions - which I appreciate.
Even Dawkins remarked that intelligent design seems quite possible (somewhere on youtube : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =1YzDROXeEjcXX&feature=pla yer_embedded%20.
Have to go now, but thanks for your response.
So many believers make that statement--that there is evidence for their deity's existence. But none of them follow up with any that passes a skeptical review. Will you be different?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#50 Mar 9, 2011
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
So many believers make that statement--that there is evidence for their deity's existence. But none of them follow up with any that passes a skeptical review. Will you be different?
He won't-- he's already avoided several opportunities to do so.

He did reply to one of mine, that you have to have faith for the "evidence" to work....

;)

Clearly he does not know what "evidence" means.

“It's just a box of rain...”

Since: May 07

Sevierville, TN

#51 Mar 9, 2011
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
He won't-- he's already avoided several opportunities to do so.
He did reply to one of mine, that you have to have faith for the "evidence" to work....
;)
Clearly he does not know what "evidence" means.
Yeah. Something of a rhetorical question, but I always hope for an original approach that will at least entertain us for a bit.
Carnarvon

South Africa

#52 Mar 10, 2011
NightSerf wrote:
<quoted text>
So many believers make that statement--that there is evidence for their deity's existence. But none of them follow up with any that passes a skeptical review. Will you be different?
I will do what I can. If it is to entertain, I am sorry, that is not the purpose, is it? If we look at each other as "entertainers" we are really a bit superficial?
I understand that you guys have serious doubts - often caused by the behaviour of those of us that call ourselves (as in my case Christian)believers in a personal Higher Power (not a life force)- and often rightly so.
Often your doubts are the result of honest questions about the nature of God (How can a "good God" allow such things as suffering, killing little children in His name and with his "consent"?
These are vallid questions and concerns. I would however like to start by looking at evidence for God (that any reasonable and honest man will accept), or at least a "supernatural" being, let us forget about that necessarily being the God of Christendom for now.
I am not a scientist nor a philosopher and will present info as I see it. That OK with you? If you are willing to take the risk of honestly evaluating the info, I am more than willing to accept that on occasion, my explanations may not satisfy your demands for proof beyond doubt.
Carnarvon

South Africa

#53 Mar 10, 2011
nina wrote:
absolute morality indeed
clearly religion does not ensure a person is moral
sex scandals, money scandals, fraud scandals
the only thing that religion absolutely guarantees is failure to comply with a ridiculously impossible code of behaviour
I think believers really need some therapy around their co-dependance on their absentee and abusive skydaddy
You are right Nina. We are unable to comply, as you suggest. That the reason for disbelieving - because we cannot meet the standard of "absolute holiness"? Nobody can and those that claim otherwise are not truthful.
Yes, I recognise God and surrender all to Him and trust Him. The idea that Christians are "weaklings" and have to rely on a figment of the imagination to cope with everyday life, is somewhat far removed from reality.
As an example at present, it may be useful to consider the plight of those in the persecuted church - who have nothing to gain, and all to loose (and often do) without the Muslim "reward" of gaining a place in heaven with lots of carnal pleasures. One of the pillars of Christendom is that our works mean zero, ziltsh and cannot earn salvation.
Carnarvon

South Africa

#54 Mar 10, 2011
nina wrote:
absolute morality indeed
clearly religion does not ensure a person is moral
Absolutely right. There is sufficient evidence of that - to whatever religion you refer, even atheism (not implying that atheism can be classified as religion, just indicating that neither does a lack of belief guarantee that.
Carnarvon

South Africa

#55 Mar 10, 2011
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
No, there is not.
Without your FAITH FIRST?
The evidence all evaporates like snow on a hotplate.
We can look at reasonable faith? We all have faith in something/someone(s). You have faith in the laws of physics, in your mother/father/friend/dog?
Bob, in honesty, can you say that you have seen something of complexity evolve by itself? I have not. But maybe you can give me an example that you have observed?
But I would suggest that we start looking at evidence with honesty first before we make up our minds?

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#56 Mar 10, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text> ... One of the pillars of Christendom is that our works mean zero, ziltsh and cannot earn salvation.
That statement is untrue for the catholic majority christian sect. You dont know your bible very well as it says you are saved by works and NOT faith alone. symptomatic of a fundie mentality

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#57 Mar 10, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text> you have seen something of complexity evolve by itself? I have not. But maybe you can give me an example that you have observed?
Evolution happens over millions of years not in the span of a human lifetime. The fossil evidence is more than sufficient. Seriously, do you doubt evolution? have you looked into it
True witness

Muskogee, OK

#58 Mar 10, 2011
No wonder God is going to destroy all religion off this earth and all ungodly people. The way people think and talk about morality shows they have no accurate knowledge of God or life.

Religion is the reason why people don't act the way God wants them to. Religion has made man everything but secure in his relationship with his heavenly Father Jehovah God. They just do not know the one true God in heaven.
Epicurus

Lady Lake, FL

#59 Mar 10, 2011
True witness wrote:
No wonder God is going to destroy all religion off this earth and all ungodly people. The way people think and talk about morality shows they have no accurate knowledge of God or life.
Religion is the reason why people don't act the way God wants them to. Religion has made man everything but secure in his relationship with his heavenly Father Jehovah God. They just do not know the one true God in heaven.
Wrong forum Skippy!

Take your god and shove him!
No one here wants to hear the story, we already know your myth.

Now, scram and visit a godbot forum. There you will find like minded people that believe in talking animals, speaking in tongues, witches, angels, demons and miracles.

Here we expect REASON, LOGIC, COMMON SENSE, TRUTH and FACT.
This is not the forum to proselytize in.

Richard Dawkins
"Out of all of the sects in the world, we notice an uncanny coincidence: the overwhelming majority just happen to choose the one that their parents belong to. Not the sect that has the best evidence in its favour, the best miracles, the best moral code, the best cathedral, the best stained glass, the best music: when it comes to choosing from the smorgasbord of available religions, their potential virtues seem to count for nothing, compared to the matter of heredity. This is an unmistakable fact; nobody could seriously deny it. Yet people with full knowledge of the arbitrary nature of this heredity, somehow manage to go on believing in their religion, often with such fanaticism that they are prepared to murder people who follow a different one."

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#60 Mar 10, 2011
Carnarvon wrote:
<quoted text>We can look at reasonable faith?
So?

The problem with non-evidence faith, is that you can believe in ANYTHING: little green men from mars, a space-comet to rescue your suicidal "soul", that tossing virgins into a volcano makes it stop... anything.

That sort of faith is INSANE, actually.
Carnarvon wrote:
We all have faith in something/someone(s). You have faith in the laws of physics, in your mother/father/friend/dog?
Evidence-based faith is based on experience and, well... EVIDENCE.

Facts, in short. But it can STILL be misplaced.

Faith is a mental short-cut.

If you have faith in chairs, based on years of chair-sitting? But one day, you sit in a chair, not realizing it's broken? And that chair dumps you over on your backside?

Your faith in chairs was false, for that particular chair, and it rewarded you with a nasty fall.

To be utterly safe, you'd have to test each chair before sitting.

But life's too short for such chair-testing, so you take a chance, you sit >>based<< on >>faith<< in chairs. Which is based on >>experience<<.

Now.

Contrast this with the >>ludicrous<< and >>insane<< faith in deities-- ANY deity.

They are ALL myth, you see-- for the "chairs" of deities ALWAYS COLLAPSE WHEN YOU TEST THEM BY "SITTING".

Always.

That is why your faith in your god is INSANE.

As insane as faith in a comet that will take your suicidal-soul away into space...
Carnarvon wrote:
Bob, in honesty, can you say that you have seen something of complexity evolve by itself?
Yes. Study up on DNA, specifically ERV's. ERV's are the trump-card of Evolution-- it proves beyond any doubt, that evolution HAPPENED.

And that creationism is FALSE.

Next, move on to Human Chromosome #2, and compare it with the matching 2 pairs from Chimpanzees. ANOTHER TRUMP CARD FOR EVOLUTION. Also proving beyond ANY doubt, that humans AND CHIMPS have the same distant ancestor.

If you can explain these WITHOUT evolution? And WITHOUT magic? You'll be granted a Nobel Prize in biology-- I guarantee it.
Carnarvon wrote:
I have not. But maybe you can give me an example that you have observed?
See above.
Carnarvon wrote:
But I would suggest that we start looking at evidence with honesty first before we make up our minds?
You have already demonstrated you cannot DO that--

-- you lack the important ingredient: honesty.

You cannot let yourself BE HONEST.

You are >>exactly<< like the alcoholic who thinks he can take just >one< more drink, and then he'll stop....

... but one more and one more and... you never manage to stop being DISHONEST.

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