Athiest what do you believe?

by real one 108 Replies latest jw friends

  • lonelysheep

    Are you blind?

  • real one
  • serotonin_wraith

    real one,

    People have been waiting 2000 years for Jesus to return. For every generation, it was 'just around the corner'.

    In that time, we've invented glasses, contact lenses, laser eye surgery and now the bionic eye, which I think is completely amazing. As science progresses, the bionic eye will get even better.

    If we'd all waited around on our asses for Jesus to return 'any day now' who knows? If you have to wear glasses, maybe you wouldn't have been able to read this.

  • real one
    real one

    If we'd all waited around on our asses for Jesus to return 'any day now' who knows? If you have to wear glasses, maybe you wouldn't have been able to read this.

    See, thats the problem. you have no patience. God will come in his time not when we thinks he should come. we dont tell God what to do. I want everyone i know to be ready when he comes. even you!

  • hamilcarr

    So ... he isn't already present? You got me confused there, real one ...

  • inrainbows


    Time began with the Universe. Without Time, causality starts to lose its meaning.

    Ah, time is just a way of stopping everything happening at the same time. If the Universe began (and time with it), then by definiton there was something happening before the Universe and therefore before time. This is one instance where lack of time didn't prevent stuff happening.

    You can define "God" however you like, but "God" as I understand it is by definition eternal. And "eternal" in this context does not mean infinite regression, but timelessness.

    Oh. I understand the way you see it. And as long as you understand it is unsupportable by anything other than you asserting it is so, that's fine.


    Whilst I personally have no problem with your definition of yahweh,

    Argh. My definiton of god has 0.0% to do with that bifercated Levantine tribal diety.

    you have to accept that if you are allowed to redefine god as you wish then so is any other theist.

    Yup. As I think is fairly clear from "They may be for them of course, but the minute they take it outside their head they get it wrong."

    If your concept is to have any validity then so must everyone else's.

    No. If someone believes in YHWH Biblegod and in the Bible literalistically their concept of god has less validity than mine.

    Various forms of god have varying degrees of validity. You can't tar them all with the same brush.

    I somehow doubt that theists will find your concept god very appealing compared to their god who is supposed to forgive them their sins, reunite them with loved ones and provide an eternity of cloud dwelling harp twiddling blissfullness.

    You mean some theists, as that ideation of god is very old hat and you are stereotyping theists into a monobelief.

    Coming from a cultic background that is how we typicaly conceptualise people's ideation of god (Sevendaycreatin'Labourpaininflictin'Floodbringin'Toungeconfusin'Ethniccleansin'YAHWEH), and BOY did it take me a long time to stop reacting to what I thought other people thought god was and trying to disprove that instead of actually trying to understand how they see god and reacting to that. The local RC's (Dutch, so liberal, but locally WAY liberal even for Dutch RC's) are a good case in point. Ex-cultboy spitting and clawing at what he thought they thought and finding out he was tilting at windmills. The RC's I know actually think the Pope's a bit of a git but are too polite to get down to it unless you really press them. Lot's of religious people (the quiet ones typically) have very vauge and fluffy ideas about god and belief. We just have our perception wharped by the cult we escape and the gobby-shouty ones who hang round here insisting they have some form of the truth even after discoverin the last truth they had wasn't (or if they weren't JW's themselves, waiting for recent leavers like a dealer outside a Narcotics Anonymous meeting).

    Hear hear, but is your concept god tangible?

    Yup; "capable of being precisely identified or realized by the mind". Tangible (Webster). I poo dictionaries.

    I agree that human beings make these definitions and are free to change them, whether it be marriage or god. I sincerely wish you the best of luck in convincing theists your definition is better than what they have.

    You're lumping again. Stop projecting your beliefs about theists onto a large number of theists who are not nearly so bad as that.

    The problem is that without anything tangible the effects of your concept god may be short lived.

    IS tangible, by definition. And ideas outlast Empires.

    I don't accept any of their claims, or yours come to that! Since you have no proof of your claim any more than they do. You have exactly what they have, a belief without empirical evidence.

    Ah, but MANY forms of theos NOT having concrete evidence is a test of credulity. Mine not having concrete evidence is consitent with my form of theos. You still don't have to accept it, but as you accept what I am getting at using different words you not accepting my idea of god is just semantics, as you accept the existence of what my idea of god is under another name.

    Cracking discussion this, I am just about avoiding tying myself in knots...

    Whilst I find your fat free god infinitely more appealling than the one of a bunch of goat burning bronze age age nomads with delusions of grandeur, does not make it any more truthful or tangible.

    Covered above.

    I like reality, the world is a wonderful enough place without a god (of any flavour). Probably what I understand the least is why you would wish to use such a loaded phrase to express something that would work much better without the baggage and implications of the word god.

    Half of it is for the fun of it. Half is deadly serious, having had something (I know could be completely coincidental) happen to me at the worst point in my life exactly as I imagined it would do that gave me a sense of... well, hard-boiled atheist ex-cult boy can only find the word 'grace' to describe it. And that bugs me, but there you go.

    What I realised was that I do not know it all, and that everything is connected, and that there is always hope. 1.01 in humility; Aslan is not a tame lion (dunno if you'll get that but it makes sense to me).

    I assure you I can rationalise it backwards six ways before Whitsun. But the emotional impact is different. And why should I want to get rid of something that does make my life better? It's not like I believe in much more than the IDEA. I no more believe in silly primative gods than I did before, I am just more open minded about what god might be and also about the evolutionary reasons why we might believe in god.

    Nothing wrong with kicking ideas about, people should do it more often.

    Absolutely. I've lived (previously) in Exeter. Where do you hail from?

  • serotonin_wraith
    See, thats the problem. you have no patience.

    2000 years and counting...

    Maybe, just maybe, he was a fraud. That's if he existed.

    Don't forget, people in the 21st century go around calling themselves Jesus and have little cult followings. Writing a book about one of them wouldn't make them the son of God. The passage of time doesn't make the Jesus you believe in any more true either.

  • IP_SEC

    Ah, time is just a way of stopping everything happening at the same time. If the Universe began (and time with it), then by definiton there was something happening before the Universe and therefore before time. This is one instance where lack of time didn't prevent stuff happening.

    You have a fundemental lack of understanding.

    Time and space are part of a single continuum. There is no time without space. There is no space without time. All of time is contained within the universe, which had a beginning. All of space is contained within the universe, which had a beginning.

    There was no space before the universe began. There was no time before the universe began.

    Time is meaningless without space. Space is meaningless without time.

    Check out a book at the library. Reading is awesome.

  • AGuest

    May you ALL have peace! (And if you opened this before I finished editing, please forgive - I am working on it)

    AGuest thanks for your input. Peter walked on water, explain that.

    Certainly! Peter asked for the ability to do something… something he saw my Lord doing… and was granted by my Lord to do it. Initially, he had enough faith (the ASSURED EXPECTATION OF THE THING HOPED FOR – meaning he assuredly expected that he WOULD be able to walk on water – the “thing hoped for”) to even take the first steps to walk out to meet my Lord. All he needed for that was faith LESS THAN “the size of a mustard seed” (had he greater faith, he could have transferred a mountain), which he evidently started out with. BUT… as he walked… his faith decreased. Why? Because his mind began to say, “Wait! People can’t walk on water; I can’t walk on water!” even while he was walking on water. And so, he began to sink. So long as had FAITH that he could do it… by means of the holy spirit which my Lord granted him to do it… he could do it. Once he began to doubt that he could, he no longer could. It is not much different with the accomplishments of this world, actually – one will only become a doctor if one believes one can. As a doctor, one will only have the ability to transplant a heart if one believes one can. As soon as one begins to doubt, one’s abilities become jeopardized. Wouldn't you agree that this is something that occurred with Peter that served to build up his faith?

    (On another note, dear RO - and the greatest of peace to you! - my sincerest apologies if I appeared harsh; that was not my intention. However, when we tend to throw out threats of fire and brimstone (i.e., for example, comments such “wait until Armageddon, if you are here you will have all the proof you need but I don’t know if you will believe then”), we only weaken our argument… and our credibility. Sort of like the guy who boasts that he can take on any and everybody in a hand to hand contest, invites all to come, and then pulls out a gun and shoots the first guy that appears to be besting him. Not that you shouldn’t defend your faith; not at all. But shooting those who disagree with you (as the Most Holy One of Israel is often FALSELY accused of doing) won’t make you right (which is one reason folks should know that the Most Holy One of Israel WOULDN’T resort to such tactic… it is Unrighteous. That is why my Lord said that HE came “to bear witness to the TRUTH” because, for millennia, the Most Holy One of Israel had been lied on… by those wishing to USE him… to overshadow their enemies). I digress.)

    Hearsay can be truth but without evidence it nothing more than opinion.

    Actually, what you state here is the “opinion.” The TRUTH is that the lack of [current/tangible/empirical] proof to support the truth of a matter does not make it untrue; rather, it just makes that truth unaccepted… by some… possibly only temporarily. I offer to you that for many millennia people believed the earth was flat. Of course it wasn’t; the earth was and always has been round. This was and is… the TRUTH. But, it did not BECOME true for the world… until some folks went out and proved it. And, yes, indeed, it was round. But it was round all along, regardless of whether they ever set sail or not. Your premise states that so long as they didn’t sail… and PROVE the earth was round… the earth was flat. In addition to the TRUTH that the world was in fact round… was ALSO the TRUTH… that these couldn’t GET that truth… because they couldn’t SEE any evidence (heck, look out across the land; it all appears pretty flat, save a few hills, mountains, etc.).

    But that lack of proof didn’t make the earth flat. And the TRUTH is that there WAS evidence all along (i.e., the sunrise/sunset, the arc of rainbows, how shadows elongated, etc.). Those who could not SEE the evidence could not because… they were BLINDED. How? By their own LIMITATIONS: their ignorance… their limited thinking abilities… their limited perception (to only what they knew)… and their doubt (as to the possibility of anything else).

    Eventually, however, the ignorant and doubtful DID receive what they needed to believe the earth was round. But that receipt was thousands of years in the coming. Yet, the TRUTH is that world was round… and not flat… all that time. Likewise, that one has not yet received the proof one him or her self needs in order to know that God exists… does not mean He does not exist.

    In addition, if one is truly of a scientific mind (as many atheists are), something to consider is that perhaps God exists in a dimension, time, and place… that earthling man has not yet figured out how to access by means of his “science.” The evidence opinion mentioned above premises that should man ever gain access, God will not actually come to exist until then. And should man never gain access… God will never exist. I can’t see how that makes sense; rather, it says to me that the only things that exist are those of our own world… and anything outside of it… does not exist.

    For example, new species of animals (like that rat-thing in Indonesia) – do they literally not exist until we “discover” them? The planets that we are just now identifying – did they not exist until we “discovered” them? Is this not the very same line of thinking that permitted old world Europeans to “discover” the New World? (i.e., the pact between England, France and Spain that “discoverable” land was any land where they had not yet been, that such land was “discovered” once they arrived and planted their flag, and “discovered” land became the property of the “discoverer,” regardless of whether there were people already there?!!)

    That earthling man in general has not yet figured out how to access God is not God’s fault. I mean, if someone TOLD you the security pass code to get into their house… and you keep trying to get in with your OWN code… who’s to blame? The homeowner? Seriously? God has TOLD us how to get access to Him – how to see and hear Him. He has identified the Door through which we must go. That WE choose not to listen… but instead to continue in our own “way” and in our own ignorance and doubt… but consistently fail at gaining access… is no one’s fault but ours. That He exists in a manner that cannot be accessed by “technology,” yet we continue to believe that IF He exists that is the only TO access Him… shows, IMHO, that we really DO have some limitations, starting with our own inability to follow VERY simple instructions.

    The general position of the “western” world is that if it isn’t “grand” and “high-minded,” "scientific" and discoverable only by the “brilliant”… then it isn’t attainable. Yet, many more have come to know that it is not our brilliance that grants us access to God, but our humility… and obedience. Not obedience to a Law of decrees… but our obedience to what HE says is the pass code. Perhaps, the problem TRULY is that it folks are unable to so as Christ said, which is NOT strive for high mentality and rocket science… but, rather, to TRULY become “as a young child.”

    You talk about how someone not being able to grasp a concept does not mean it is untrue (as I am sure anyone who has studied quantum mechanics will testify to) I agree,

    Excellent! That we do not disagree on all levels is, IMHO, a good thing!

    Some on this board are incapable of comprehending the theory of evolution.

    This is true. I am not one of them, however. Again, my faith ISN'T blind. I comprehend the theory (one of my favorite classes as an undergrad was Earth Sciences, which I took from an evolutionist. We had wonderful conversations). I just don’t accept it (but I don’t going around railing against it, either – to his own master each will stand or fall). I don’t accept it for several reasons, but primarily because of the EVIDENCE: while we can find the remains of ancient primates and ancient humans… for some reason we just can’t seem to find those in-betweens (i.e., those missing “links”) that say that latter evolved from the former. Could it be that they don't exist???!!!! Doesn't the evidence opinion stated above say that?

    But the fact that ancient murals and statues show the “form” of man to lack virtually ANY change, from as far back as we have artifacts, and the fact that we are not “evolving” still, tells ME... that the theory is just that, a theory. And not completely, if at all, proven. Otherwise, shouldn’t we have moved … or at least given some “evidence” of moving on… on from being homosapien by now? And if we are still evolving, what are we “evolving” into? It can’t still be human, for that would not be “evolution,” as I understand it. Evolution means, or so the theory purports… that each species derived from a preexisting species… and so progressed from one life FORM… to another. What, then, is the next “life form” that we are going to be? If the theory of evolution is TRUE… then life (and by that I mean, the species, including homosapiens)… should STILL be evolving. Unfortunately, I don’t see any EVIDENCE of that (and that's kinda what bothers me about evolutionists: like many religionists, they, too, can't provide evidence for their theory, yet have problems when you disagree).

    Now, someone might say, but we’re LIVING LONGER. Okay, I’ll grant that – due to great strives made in science and medicine, our life span has increased. Excellent! But… it is STILL our life span AS HOMOSAPIENS. Perhaps science and medicine will find the “key” to longevity… and humans will live to be hundreds of years old. Great! But as WHAT. Human beings. Homosapiens. Right? Unless you all know something the rest of us don’t.

    And so, on that basis, I have to reject the theory of evolution. But check back with me in, say, another 5,000 years. Perhaps we WILL have evolved into some other species (although, my understanding is that we will simply be CHANGED into such other species – but no “evolving” is involved).

    Their in-comprehension does not make the theory any less correct. What does make it correct are verifiable facts.

    Which "verifiability" and "facts" are often speculative and subject to great debate, themselves. Indeed, there are scientists on BOTH sides of the evolution theory: those that believe the theory and those that don’t (just like there are theists who debate different sides). How are mere lay people to know who of these are correct? One scientist comes along with a theory; another comes along to disprove it. Both claim vast education and credentialing. Both claim to possess “evidence,” either in support or in opposition. The “industry” of evolution is, IMHO, no different than the “industry” of religion. Both slant things to their own way of thinking, both contend within themselves, both malign those who don’t believe as they do… and both want the masses to follow them without question or skepticism, ridiculing those who don’t. Where is the difference? IMHO, evolutionism is just another “religion.”

    My point, however, was that if I tell you I saw heard something, the fact that no one else did does not make it untrue. It just means that if I want you to believe me, I might have to produce some evidence in order to convince you. Notice, I said might. Because it might also be that I don’t care if you believe me or not – that I know what I saw/heard – that I am only speaking of it because it is true, and that if you choose not to believe me, well, so be it; that is entirely your choice. A problem arises only if and when I HAVE to have you believe me. In that case, I’m going to have to come up with something that will convince YOU. Which raises the next problem: whether YOU are willing to even entertain my “proof” or not. Most often, when someone DOES say “Okay, I can show you”… YOU say, “Ummmmm… nah, nevermind. I don’t want you to show me because… well, because I just don’t believe you” Which, IMHO, is something I would have thought an evolutionist, atheist, scientist, etc., would have a problem with.

    Bottom line, if there’s nothing I CAN do or show you… to convince you... other than what YOU demand as "evidence (i.e., "I won't believe it until I SEE the holes...")… then that’s on you, not me. If, however, you are willing to entertain my manner of evidence, then I am obligated to present it for you. Yes?

    The simple fact is that if you wish to talk about a supernatural spirit realm then you have to concede that there will never be empirical evidence and thus you can only ever talk about opinion and belief never fact.

    I cannot concede that as to the word “never” based, first, on written history, and second, my own experience (which corroborates for me the written history). Sorry.

    I have no issue with anyone who wishes to believe in things without evidence (as long as they aren’t flying buildings into planes etc) but please don't insult my intelligence by equating your magical thinking with factual information.

    First, no insult intended. Second, no one can make you feel “insulted”… unless you permit it. Third, I would ask, in return, that you do not attempt to assault my spirituality by exalting your physically limited understanding and comprehension above truthful information.

    When you have some empirical evidence then you can talk to me about facts, until then have the courage to call it by it's proper name, faith.

    I have called it faith, but faith that is NOT blind – please see above. As to the “evidence,” what would suffice for you? And if I said I could indeed give you evidence, but it would not be empirical, would you be open to that? I don’t believe you would; I believe your position would be that ONLY empirical evidence IS evidence. But I could be wrong and you are quite free to correct me.

    I wouldn't insult you by expecting you to take my extraordinary claims without evidence would I?

    No, I don't think you would, and I have not had that expectation of you or anyone here, either, as my posts show.

    I am not sure you have fully explained the difference in your two positions, there can never be empirical proof of the supernatural by definition. Is your god limited in his powers?

    I did not say that there can never be empirical evidence. Indeed, there was MUCH empirical evidence… which was granted for unbelievers (i.e., those who need such evidence). But the information is no longer TO unbelievers. That ended some time ago. The information is to believers. Thus, the evidence no longer needs to be empirical.

    As regards whether God is limited in His powers, I would counter that restraint is not a limitation to an individual’s powers. Rather, it is actually a true and very loving manifestation of it.

    Again, I bid you all peace... with no offense intended toward anyone...

    A slave of Christ,


  • Twitch

    Hmmm, what do I believe? I believe I'll tend to my own garden and be happy with that. :)

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