Do you talk to GOD?

I understand the idea that, regardless of whether an external power or agent actually exists, belief in such a thing might have benefits for an individual. Personally, I don't see that any of those benefits is unavailable to somebody who does not buy into the mythology of the particular religion that is being advocated for. Also, I'm not convinced that any such benefit outweighs the detrimental effects in devoting a portion of one's time and energy (sometimes a very significant portion) to religious activities that cannot possibly produce any benefit (if the divinity is not actually real).

Consider: Personally, maybe you don't see, and maybe you aren't convinced according to your personal standard. And that is what it is, James. In and of itself, yeah, sure, whatever.

However, compared to your focus↑ on mental illness, your judgment of what value you see in other behvior is its own separate discussion.

You have definite opinions about how I should spend my "free" time, it seems. You also seem to assume that what you see here on sciforums is all there is to know about me and what I have studied, in terms of historical treasures and the like. That might be a mistake.

Maybe it's not your reading comprehension, James. Maybe it's just you.

sciforums has never been, and will never be, an academy. We are not in the business of conducting original research or "scholarship" here, even if some of us do that kind of thing outside of this forum. This place is good for connecting with the wider public, however - those not living in ivory towers. Sure, not all scholars are interested in having much of that sort of contact, but some certainly are. I think you might be making a basic mistake if you're trying to judge the worth of this place by examining its average level of "scholarship". Maybe you're setting your expectations too high - if you're for real.

That's a bit melodramatic. Moreover, the underlying pretense of cluelessness, as if we hadn't recently discussed the subject and you didn't know what that something I mentioned referred to, is unbelievable, James. Like I said, if I wonder how precisely we wish to define a scholar. You, to the other, would declare them unwelcome.

What would be useful for me (us) to do here, in your opinion? What changes would you like to see?

You're a moderator, too, remember. A forum leader. Aren't you?

Well, James, it's too bad you just couldn't be bothered to pay attention over the years. After all, there was a time when being an Administrator actually meant something; you know, like when you would undermine your staff for mysterious reasons you could never explain, but, sure, we got the message that you would change what we do if you didn't like it. So, what did expect your staff would do, James, while you made excuses for bullshit and lamented the tyranny of rational discourse? Were we supposed to just do whatever the fuck we wanted, because that's not really how it went. So maybe you should have skipped that part.

Anyway, remember that the reason for considering the atheistic purview of site moderation and administration has to do with your suggestion that it is strange that atheists get so much attention; atheism and atheists are not irrelevant to the general tenor of discussion.

On the matter of our "atheistic purview", I think that, perhaps, we provide a useful alternative voice, especially in the context of the ultra-religious United States.

No, James, we don't. It's not useful.

There is hardly a lack of Christian websites and forums out there, for those who want that.

Beside the point.

Sites with a skeptical, atheistic lean, on the other hand, are significantly less numerous.

Yes, but the phrase "skeptical, atheistic lean" is utterly meaningless. Consider your two cents on scholarship, above: That skeptical, atheistic lean has absolutely no useful meaning, James. You can't have it both ways. Maybe there's some other context in some range that might exist between blithering solipsism and "an academy … in the business of conducting original research or 'scholarship'". Like I said, how precisely we wish to define a scholar.

Also, generally speaking, I don't think we're in the business of ramming atheism down people's throats, here. Generally, they bring their crusades to us, not the other way around.

James, your threads asking religious people to tell you this or that are you asking for their attention, not them bringing their crusades to us. An atheist making up religions or religious people to wag at is not religious people bringing their crusades to us. Of seventeen threads on the first page of the Religion subforum, dating back to the middle of last year, over two-thirds are skeptical or critical of religion. The three members bringing more religious threads are not necessarily what we might consider average believers, either. Compared to the caricaturizations and criticism, the question of ramming is matter of context, but the evidence does not support the idea that "generally, they bring their crusades to us". It's one thing if, on some level, I get what you're saying, but what you're saying does not necessarily correspond to actual circumstances.

Toward atheistic purview, I guess the question is to wonder what's the point if all you really want is to be just like them.

We tend to get a regular trickle of religious visitors, albeit not always open-minded ones.

That's kind of a useless answer, compared to the discussion at hand, but, sure, whatever; we come back to something you already passed over, so never mind.

Your should probably be specific, if you have something in mind for what important thing Jesus and the Buddha and the Sufi discovered. Then we could discuss it. Why allude vaguely to great insights, rather than just telling us exactly what you have in mind?

That trying to make God happy is a futile endeavor.

Did Shakespeare work it out, too? What about Aristotle? Or Neitzsche?

Maybe; it's all in how you say it.

Why is what I expect relevant?

Now, that's just silly. You complained about theists not behaving how you wanted them to; I asked↑ if you were somehow unware that your expectation was part of the problem, and now you ask why what you expect is relevant.

People will deliver what they want to deliver, regardless of what I may or may not expect of them. No guns are being held to heads here.

Right, rightrightrightrightright.

What you said was:

Theists here have always run away from what ought to be simple questions, like "What does your God want?" and "What does your God do in the world?" I have no doubt that will continue. In an effort to present as small a target as possible, the theists here end up standing up for very little.

It's times like this when it seems worth reminding of the occasion when your "one thread"↗ wasn't going how you wanted, so you started a companion thread↗ in order to narrow the answers that theists were permitted. And, no, it wasn't any good performance from a theist, but it was enough to flummox you.

Yes, people will deliver what they deliver, and no guns are being held to heads, and that doesn't change the fact that you were whining about theists not satisfactorily answering your inquisition; they are not behaving as you expect.

You're accusing me of being dishonest, or else stupid. That is a bad habit you have - making such accusations but failing to support them

You'll just cry about peanuts and all, but, sure, I figure we'll need to do that. So remember, one way of putting it is to wonder if I need to post a photograph of five paragraphs of text in order to compel you to read them contiguously. And, yeah, sure, a little from column A, a little from column B. I can only work with what you show, and like I said a couple years ago↗, it wasn't some mere potshot when, the year before, I suggested that knowing you better—(a point you had raised)—was hard to do, and also that I didn't call you duplicitous and manipulative and petty to the point of self-defeat in order to hurt your feelings. But you have, in fact, behaved this way for a long, long time.

I give people the benefit of the doubt, at least in the first instance. Better that than to take the cynical view that everybody has an agenda and will engage in any kind of dishonest or underhanded behaviour to implement it.

Actually, nothing about that answer fits. In the one case, you were in over your head; in the other, you were so focused on your own needs that you missed an obvious note.

It's a good thing I have you here as an experienced moderator, to counter my naivete, though. You spot all the dishonest interlocutors much quicker than I possibly could, and you remove them from our site before they become a problem. Right?

Actually, James, I don't remove very many people, nor even hand out many infractions, because the Administration didn't want me to. It's not at all amazing how often you forget that.

Still, giving people some mysterious benefit of the doubt over the course of years is beyond naïve.

I respond to the information I am given. I have already mentioned that some religious people who post here have been, and are, very cagey about saying exactly what it is that they believe and why they believe it. Lacking specifics, only a generalised conversation is possible. We all have to deal with what we are given to work with.

You know, there's a world out there, James.

Strange. A minute ago you were berating me for my lack of scholarship. Now, it seems you are criticising me for a surfeit of scholarship. Make up your mind!

No, James, that's just you making up random shit, and in doing so providing an example of, well, something.

Again, though, I don't see why what I expect matters. I'm not holding a gun to anybody's head. They will bring what they choose to bring (and what they are capable of bringing) - no more and no less.

Well, again: You are complaining that they are not behaving how you want, i.e. expect. That is why the question of what you expect matters. Not holding a gun to anybody's head is your own fallacy, James.

On the one hand, any judgment I might express about somebody else here will only matter to the extent that they care about my opinion. That much ought to be obvious. It sounds like your opinion of me is that I consider myself some kind of moral arbiter who has decided that religion/belief is bad and that believers are bad human beings who need to be woken up, or something like that. That would be a very limited and mistaken view of why I choose to discuss religion with people here.

On the other hand, of course I will make private judgments about people, based on what they write here. We all do that - you no less than anybody else. It also goes without saying that I will make such private judgments according to my "internalised standards" - just like you do. Who else's standards would I use to come to an opinion about anything at all, if not my own? (That's not to say that my standards cannot be or have not been influenced by countless other people and their opinions and standards.)

Again, whether I expect religious people to line up to suffer my (alleged) abuse is largely irrelevant. I take them as they come, if they come. People are free to do as they please. There are no guns held to heads. Historically, some have lined up many times; others have done a drive-through post or two and disappeared, never to be seen here again. Either way, I don't make their decisions for them.

You have the effect of rendering your own words meaningless.

Like, sure, I get you, James; those three paragraphs make a lot of sense ... in a different discussion. As they are, however, it's bullshit. Here: "Again, whether I expect religious people to line up to suffer my (alleged) abuse is largely irrelevant." Well, James, that was what you had just been complaining about, so, then, is that critique of theists irrelevant and meaningless in itself? And for future reference, to what degree does that suggest you just shouldn't be taken seriously?

I expected approximately what I saw in those threads. There was a lot of nonsense mixed in with some insightful observations. Pretty much par for the course, here. But, again, why does what I expect matter so much to you?

Why would you complain about them, then, if your expectations are so irrelevant to everything?

Still, though, consider that to the average believer, there is no real incentive to witness unto mockery staked in ignorance; that such otherwise understandable reluctance to subject themselves to pointless hostility for the sake of someone else's gratification might actually be an example of sinful frailty is between them and the God you don't need to worry about.

Have you asked them? Taken a poll? Suppose that it leads 1 in 100 to a better place, and makes no difference to 99 in 100. Would you count that as a win? On the flip side, you don't seem to be alleging that I'm doing any harm. (So far.)

Again, this is just complete crap, James.

Do you really want me to believe you're that oblivious?

Okay. I believe you. Though the question why you waste your time on these posts at all, since you find your own words meaningless, remains its own mystery.

Here's how it makes no difference: They didn't convert to your preferred beliefs. Sorry it didn't work out.

Here's how it makes a difference: You're just one more affirmation of what they they think is wrong with infidels. Congratulations! You made a difference.

Over the course of years you have been unable to formulate a more useful answer than this? Okay, then. Fine, I believe you.

Thanks for sharing. No, really. But understand that your personal experience doesn't do anything to convince me of the value of your belief system - as one I ought to adopt or as one that ought to be generally adopted, that is. I'm not saying it's not good for you; that might be a different matter.

Really, you should probably make your retorts relevant. I mean, sure, look at that, you complain I'm off topic, but can't cope with it when I discuss the subject matter. It's not really any surprise, of course; it's just something you do.

Maybe when I was young and naive, I might have attempted to argue that god is a human creation. These days, being older and wiser, I will happily settle for arguing that there is no good reason to believe the proposition that god is anything other than a human creation (albeit, at least in certain aspects, probably not a conscious one).

Try running circles around that, if you like.

There is nothing to run circles around; it's irrelevant to what it purports to respond to.

As a fan of scholarship, you might like to consider that putting new or alternative ideas in front of people for their consideration is not often harmful or antisocial.

Really? Imagine that.

Considering an idea does not require that one embraces it.

You must have missed the note.

It may be that you want to protect people from ideas you'd rather they weren't exposed to; maybe you have some skin in the game there.


On the other hand, I mostly find that when people are presented with alternatives, they will often consider their options before making a choice one way or the other.

Basic truism, generally meaningless as presented.

When they are poorly informed or misinformed about certain choices that are available to them, they can make poor decisions as a result.

You often seem something of an example.

I'm sure you can think of current non-religious contexts to which this sort of thing equally applies.

Some of which you will even support. You know, you wouldn't want to silence political views by expecting them to make sense or be supported by some sort of evidence.

We see entire states trying to impose particular religious beliefs on their people, with lesser or greater success. Those that do general persecute those who profess divergent beliefs, and they also tend to try to control the access to information about alternatives, often through censorship.

Still, though, if persecution, censorship, &c., might be atheistic, that would not be any sort of useful justification; i.e., we might wonder what's the point if all you really want is to be just like them.

I would like more people to have the knowledge to put their own religious beliefs into context, at the very least, so that they are able to make a meaningful choice among the available alternatives. Religions are mostly inherited traditions, and the religions themselves tend to actively discourage looking outside. I call that antisocial.

James, you don't seem to know about the religions you criticize, so yeah, sure, whatever.

You still can't find your way out of that box, can you?

It's all in how you say it.
Two lengthy post, count them TWO lengthy post

Me thunks Tiassa over thunks waaaaay to much, waaaaay waaaaay to much (an excuse to ramble in the hope of finding sometimes meaningful)

There MIGHT be something meaningful in said TWO lengthy post but my 3 neurone brain gets bored about half way through the first lengthy post and skips over the remaining 1½ post

Something meaningful in the 1½ I skipped? to bad I missed it

Unsolicited message, cut the verbiage



I mis spoke there are FOUR lengthy post

My excuse - have not had morning coffee yet

5? Obviously need coffee more than I thought

Rowen Atkinson sums up Tiassa's verbiage better :)

Follow Rowen, make it snappy

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I have a Holy Fire pedal. Just above the foot switch are three knobs with the word "GOD" underneath them.

Gain. Overdrive. Distortion.

That's my religion.
Do or do not. There is no try.

Using the term 'religion' has wide spread explanations, just ask any theist and they'll stretch the definition to infinite realms. So, its fine using it to describe something to believe, not something one simply wants to believe.

I do hold myself true to it, thank you for pointing that out, T.

Unleashing the Holy Fire pedal on a crowd of people is one of the most fantastic experiences I've ever had. And, I get to experience it often. There's really nothing quite like it, searing through a solo with the GOD pedal cranked while people dance and cheer you on. It never gets old or tiring.

Not sure what goes through the minds of those who throw their arms up in the air, eyes closed screaming 'Hallelujah, Sweet Jesus!' but if it's anything like what the Holy Fire provides for me, then that's as close to a religion as I can muster.

At the very least, what I have to believe is something real.
Not sure what goes through the minds of those who throw their arms up in the air, eyes closed screaming 'Hallelujah, Sweet Jesus!' but if it's anything like what the Holy Fire provides for me, then that's as close to a religion as I can muster.

At the very least, what I have to believe is something real.

Back in '78, when Tommy Shaw sang to Hannah ....

I think everyone is getting off-track. Maybe there should be a staff meeting, invite the general council, draw up a mission statement, consider the goals for the year and let get back to "talking to God".
I think everyone is getting off-track. Maybe there should be a staff meeting, invite the general council, draw up a mission statement, consider the goals for the year and let get back to "talking to God".
And, don't forget to read that mountain of religious books old and new, without which a god cannot be understood.
I do. God knows all things: He is the wisest. He even knows death: when He died He was dead forever. God blesses us each with all things and we may choose to know life, death, or foreverness.
Religious books were written by people, who believed. Maybe they were wrong.

Believed without a skerrick of evidence

Such a belief form almost guaranteed to be incorrect

Considering the numerous changes / corrections made in the writings certainly shown to be frequently wrong

I forget how old I was at the time, could have been grade three, hence, my brother grade six.. Me and my brother ask our dad for money for the donation tray - we went to a catholic school. My dad thought it was odd. Me and my brother went to church, we got so bored we ended up leaving and spent the money on candies.

Never went to church of my own volition again.
On monkeys and Hamlet.
Tiassa, you have a lot in common with those monkeys, volumes of posts and making no sense in the bulk of them.
You would have thought having good grammar and vocabulary would give you the drop on those monkeys, but,
there you are struggling to communicate.
… but,
there you are struggling to communicate.

Please recall I am well advised to regard your words as not taking things too seriously around here. Nonetheless: If you get close to having a useful point↑, would you actually know it?

It's a weird rhetorical condition in which you're not necessarily wrong, but don't actually care about the context in which you are correct.
Nonetheless: If you get close to having a useful point↑, would you actually know it?
It's a weird rhetorical condition in which you're not necessarily wrong, but don't actually care about the context in which you are correct.
Given that^ was your reply to my '' … but, there you are struggling to communicate.''
Ok, I take it you have read something in a book that proves gods or a god exists, but you can't communicate it.
Or, you haven't found anything in a book that proves gods or a god exists, but again, you can't communicate it. That's addressed to you Tiassa and not a general question to others here.
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