The Problem With Religion...

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Seattle, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    Because you say there is no evidence for God, does not mean there is no evidence for God, and you can't produce any evidence to show God does not exists.
    So that cannot be a valid reason for claiming theists to be deluded.
    In fact your position could be regarded as deluded, because you believe in a concept which has real justification, what to speak of evidence or explanation.

    What do you think 'belief in God' means, and entails?

    jan.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,493
    Let me just jump in here and try to short-cut the inevitable lengthy discussion that Jan wants you to embark on.

    In common usage, a person is said to "believe in God" if he or she believes that God exists as a real being in the world, and not just as a fantasy or story.

    In Jan Ardena's usage, as I understand it, a person only "believes in God" if he or she wholeheartedly gives himself or herself over to the worship of Jan's particular conception of God. Such a person knows instinctively that God is real because he or she feels it in his or her whole being. The "real world" is then to be viewed through the lens of this "belief in God", such that everything that exists in the world is then seen by the believer as evidence of God.

    Thus, for Jan, the Believer in God needs no actual evidence of God. His or her own conviction is sufficient in itself. He or she is, moreover, then free to adopt particular "scriptures" and to interpret them in such a way as to support his or her pre-formed conviction in the "reality" of God.

    As you can see, the meanings of the phrases "belief in God" and "evidence" are redefined by Jan to form a closed loop. The "belief in God" is all the "evidence" that is needed, and everything that exists is part of the "evidence" for the belief.

    It is a fairly pointless exercise to discuss matters of belief and evidence with Jan, because what counts as "evidence" in science (for example) is only a tiny subset of what counts as evidence in Jan's mindset. The starting point is not the evidence, but the Belief in God. Evidence is actually beside the point, from this point of view.

    Jan will tell you that you only need to look at things with your head tilted at the right angle to Believe in God. You just have to be open to accepting God - which means, essentially, being open to believing in the absence of real evidence.
     
    Seattle likes this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,255
    Nevertheless, your subject line reads, "The Problem with Religion..."

    One error that I often see atheists making here on Sciforums is treating 'religion' and 'Christianity' as if they were synonyms.

    No religious ethics that I'm aware of teaches that being peaceful, tolerant, cooperative and enlightened is simply a function of believing in some particular doctrine. The 'sola fides' (faith alone) idea is peculiar to Protestant Christianity, and it isn't about eradication of sin, but rather about divine forgiveness and reconciliation.

    Most religious traditions don't emphasize right belief (in Greek 'orthodoxy') so much as they emphasize right practice ('orthopraxy'). There's less concern with the doctrines that people agree with than with the actions that they perform, both internally and externally. That suggests that faith might not be the final destination, but rather the initial starting point on a path of spiritual practice.

    Concepts and depictions of them certainly do. In Genesis we read of God visiting Abraham at Mamre and sitting down with him at a table in his back yard. In Exodus we have God appearing in clouds and lightening on a mountaintop, where his face was too holy for humans to look upon and live. By the time we arrive at Christian patristic theology in late antiquity, a great deal of Greek philosophy has been absorbed and we have God being conceived of metaphysically and Neoplatonically as pure spirit and as first-cause, emanating his word and hypostases. Ethically, God evolves from being a blustering and blood-thirsty tribal chieftain to being the ultimate spirit of love.

    Too bad for the Buddhists then.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,584
    That is indeed what _some_ people believe.
    Do you define yourself as the standard by which reasonableness is measured? I think there are a lot of people who are quite reasonable who believe in God - and others who are quite reasonable who don't. They may not match the caricatures you have constructed though.
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    They may be reasonable but if they believe in a God that requires any real actions to be taken and with any real consequences and don't take those actions then the whole situation could still be termed nonsense in my opinion.
     
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    There are hundreds of religions but Christianity is the only one with more than a billion followers (in a world of 7 billion people). What religion do you follow?

    What I said would apply to Islam as well.


    Yet, that doesn't take away from what I said regarding the majority of people who are reading this board who are religious given the numbers of people who profess to believe in Christianity and Islam.

    Concepts and depictions of them are not the same as a God changing if you actually believe in a God and not a man made creation.

    We know philosophy changes (thankfully) over time. If the Bible is inerrant then it makes no sense for people to continue to choose the New Testament over the Old Testament unless you think God was wrong in the OT but that doesn't make sense considering that God is supposed to be perfect.
     
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,584
    That's much better! Much less generalizing and stereotyping. (BTW I too disagree with the "carrot and stick" version of God popular in many religions.)
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,628
    I had noted that as an odd characteristic of the theists, rather than the atheists - since the relatively few exceptions seemed to be atheistic, in general.

    Actually, what I noticed was the prevalence of people treating religion and belief in the Abrahamic mono-deity or something akin as synonymous - everyone seems to include the Muslims and Jews among the religious peoples. The notion of a nontheistic religion seems to fail to compute, somehow.

    At any rate, if discussing "the problem with religion", the atheistic religions should fit into the argument and and match any conclusions.

    One suspects discussing "the problem with the Abrahamic monotheistic religions" would prove more fruitful around here.
     
  12. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    How about, if Christians really believed all the people were going to hell that the Bible indicates are going to hell, wouldn't they really be more concerned?
     
  13. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,112
    James R

    I don't know about common usage, but your understanding of belief doesn't even make sense, let alone has any basis in theism.

    Here is a basic definition of ''belief'' from a dictionary;
    1. an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof.
    2. trust, faith, or confidence in (someone or something).
    ''Belief in God'', is no different, mechanistically, than belief in anything else. So see the dictionary definition then you will have some idea of what I regard as ''belief''.from there it should quite straight forward, even for you James.

    Pretty nasty remarks there James, not to mention baseless.

    Lol!

    And you're a moderator.

    jan.
     
  14. Landau Roof Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    598
    What stunning ignorance. The Bible? In the Bible no one wants anyone to go to hell. And most Christians do not want anyone to go to hell. I'm afraid you are as ignorant and prejudiced as the straw men you set up as the Christian majority. So yes, Christians are concerned about people going to hell. The people you like to think of as Christians, and who probably think of themselves as Christians want you to go to hell, jst like you think they're stupid and you are any better than they are. (Big hint: you're not)
     
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
    I'm just curious has anyone here ever read the Old Testament? The God in that part of the Bible is a very angry, bloodthirsty, murdering being that did many things that hurt people. I guess that is why they made up a new, improved story so that people would feel better about the new God they developed.
     
  16. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    It's hard to respond to this as it makes no sense.

    I didn't say someone in the Bible wants everyone to go to hell. If you read the Bible (have you?) there are so many ways to go to hell that most everyone will go to hell (including the majority of people on Earth who aren't Christians and all those who are but break one of many rules in the Bible).

    You then end by saying I'm not better than "they" are (where did I say anything about me being better than someone?) but you allow that there are a lot of Christians that are as I said while saying just above that that's not the case.
     
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    True, and if one reads the New Testament they will still see that same attitude although some more progressive thoughts are occasionally mixed in.
     
  18. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,468
    God is "in the Bible"... an the creation plan he put into action makes it inevitable that people will wind up in hell.!!!
     
  19. Landau Roof Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    598
    You two just see what you want to see so you won't have to believe the truth. Ask around. No one has to go to hell. The Gospels explain all this. You just haven't been paying attention.
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    Ironic.
     
  21. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,468
    Wit the plan for creation that God chose to put into effect... is it posible for all to escape hell.???
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2014
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    33,493
    Jan Ardena:

    My understanding of "belief in God" is no different from my understanding of "belief in icecream". When I say I believe in icecream, I mean that I believe that such a thing as icecream exists as a real thing in the real world, and not just as a story or fantasy. Of course, I probably wouldn't express my belief in icecream in those worlds. I'd be more likely to say something like "I believe that icecream exists" or "I believe that icecream is real". Similarly, if I believed in God, I might say "I believe that God is real".

    As you point out, "believing in" can also mean having confidence in someone or something. Thus I could say something like "I believe in this bridge", meaning that I have confidence that the bridge won't collapse on me as I cross it, or something like that. Or I could say "I believe in the strength of my family bonds", meaning that I trust that members of my family will support me in times of need etc.

    You haven't said, but perhaps when you say "I believe in God" you are using "believe in" in both senses. That is, you believe that God is real, and you trust God to support you, answer your prayers, do the right thing with regard to your afterlife, or whatever.

    I can't see how my understanding of belief doesn't make sense. I hope you can explain this for me.

    So why doesn't my belief in icecream make sense?

    What did I get wrong?
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,318
    James, the only thing that you got wrong is that "icecream" is spelled ice cream

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     

Share This Page