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What good reason is there to believe the Christian God exists? [The Debate Thread]


SkinWalker
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Define the boundaries of what constitutes a "good" reason. Since it is your term (you use it multiple times, but set no parameters as to what constitutes a "good" reason) the burden is upon you to define what you mean. Qliveur is quite right, especially given the following:

If you have a good reason to believe in such a god, please post it here. I will provide the rational response to the supernatural.

 

While I might be able to read between the lines (I'll presume you wish empirical evidence) of your statements, it would be most helpful to your victims, er I mean respondents, to know exactly what you want. I've gotta admit, that while people like you and achilles make claims toward agnosticism, your incessant and often condescending reduction of other people's beliefs to superstitions indicate you are not only atheists, but most likely even antitheistic. That's all nice and fine, but the disingenuity rings hollow after a time. ;)

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Define the boundaries of what constitutes a "good" reason.
errm... a reason that's good.

 

Since it is your term (you use it multiple times, but set no parameters as to what constitutes a "good" reason) the burden is upon you to define what you mean.
I don't think so. If I were using jargon or coining a term, I'd agree with you, but I purposely kept it simple and straightforward. "Good reason" is written in very plain English. I used no terminology which is ambiguous or subject to equivocation. Playing the "define the boundaries" role is to create obfuscation and a red herring, so I'll avoid semantical fallacies like this if you don't mind. Either you have a good reason for your beliefs or you don't.

 

While I might be able to read between the lines (I'll presume you wish empirical evidence) of your statements, it would be most helpful to your victims, er I mean respondents, to know exactly what you want.

 

I'm asking for "good reason" and that's it. My assertion is that there are no good reasons to believe the Christian god exists. If I'm wrong, I'm asking respondents, which you apparently see as potential "victims," to correct me. If there are good reasons to believe in a god, I'll provide a rational response to the supernatural.

 

You seem to object to "supernatural," but I know no other term that is more accurate. I invite you to correct this as well. My response will be rational, even if it is to acknowledge or acquiesce to the reason. Why shouldn't it be?

 

I've gotta admit, that while people like you and achilles make claims toward agnosticism, your incessant and often condescending reduction of other people's beliefs to superstitions indicate you are not only atheists, but most likely even antitheistic.

 

I don't think I've ever made my atheism or anti-theistic positions secret, so I don't know why it should surprise you. I'm an agnostic-atheist. I have several anti-theistic positions but I'm not one who hates those who are religious any more than I would hate the illiterate just because I have anti-illiteracy positions. Nor would I hate those afflicted with HIV/AIDS just because I'm opposed to unsafe sex.

 

That's all nice and fine, but the disingenuity rings hollow after a time.

 

That's quite an accusation. I've certainly not desired to be perceived of as disingenuous so I'd appreciate some elucidation on this. Where, precisely, have I been disingenuous?

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I've gotta admit, that while people like you and achilles make claims toward agnosticism, your incessant and often condescending reduction of other people's beliefs to superstitions indicate you are not only atheists, but most likely even antitheistic.
I see (via Skinwalker's reply) that my name has been invoked here.

 

Just to make sure that we're perfectly clear, I am anti-irrationalism. If you hold a belief that is irrational, then I am against that belief. If you can show how said belief isn't irrational, then there is no problem. Thus far, no one has been willing or able to demonstrate how theism is rational.

 

Trying to tie that to my own personal lack of belief would seem to indicate your own inability to understand the issue at hand. It would be akin to saying that because I'm skeptical of the claim that Elvis is alive, I hate people that listen to music. Perhaps your posts would have more relevance if you were able to frame your arguments in a context that had actual merit/validity.

 

Thanks for reading.

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errm... a reason that's good. I don't think so. If I were using jargon or coining a term, I'd agree with you, but I purposely kept it simple and straightforward. "Good reason" is written in very plain English. I used no terminology which is ambiguous or subject to equivocation. Playing the "define the boundaries" role is to create obfuscation and a red herring, so I'll avoid semantical fallacies like this if you don't mind. Either you have a good reason for your beliefs or you don't. I'm asking for "good reason" and that's it. My assertion is that there are no good reasons to believe the Christian god exists. If I'm wrong, I'm asking respondents, which you apparently see as potential "victims," to correct me. If there are good reasons to believe in a god, I'll provide a rational response to the supernatural. You seem to object to "supernatural," but I know no other term that is more accurate. I invite you to correct this as well. My response will be rational, even if it is to acknowledge or acquiesce to the reason. Why shouldn't it be? I don't think I've ever made my atheism or anti-theistic positions secret, so I don't know why it should surprise you. I'm an agnostic-atheist. I have several anti-theistic positions but I'm not one who hates those who are religious any more than I would hate the illiterate just because I have anti-illiteracy positions. Nor would I hate those afflicted with HIV/AIDS just because I'm opposed to unsafe sex. That's quite an accusation. I've certainly not desired to be perceived of as disingenuous so I'd appreciate some elucidation on this. Where, precisely, have I been disingenuous?

 

Actually, maybe you won't recall this as it happened early on, but we actually covered ground on the agnostic-athiest subject. So, I was well aware of what you consider yourself. Also, never suggested you bore ill-will toward anyone, regardless of their philosophical leanings. Not sure how you jumped to that particular conclusion. Anti-theistic doesn't inherently mean you hate anyone who believes in gods, as I'm sure you must be well aware. Just because I'm against groups like ACT UP or even the ACLU doesn't mean that I hate gays or lawyers either.

 

Problem with using a "simple" word like good is that it is a very subjective term. As is pretty, beautiful, smelly, erotic, or even pornographic.

 

About "victims", relax, it was just a jibe (sorry if I didn't include a smiley). My point in asking you to define your term should be obvious. Also, I don't object to the term supernatural at all. It was the phrase as a whole that came across as little more than a dismissively arrogant statement.

I myself have even argued w/believers that the rejection of "God" does not axiomatically prove "His" existence, only dimisses the idea or concept and not an actual entity. So, what does "good" mean? You clearly have a baseline against which you are going to refer when shooting down other people's "good" reasons.

 

@achilles--I'd respond to your incoherent accusation, but why bother. I'm on your ignore list as I understand......

Edited by Totenkopf
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Again, good is a common English word and your insistence to "define" it is a red herring. I'll settle for whatever colloquial definition suits the respondent. If you're not interested in debating my assertion that there are no good reasons to believe in gods, please don't bother with the thread. If you'd prefer, I can start a new thread, splitting out your posts, so that you can discuss the nuances and esoteric meanings of "good."

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You need to realize that men wrote the bible, and things could have been distorted... Though as Tommycat said, the New Testament overwrites stuff from the old Testament.

 

And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

 

is this good advice or bad advice

 

 

matthew sure is fond of mutilation though

 

Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.

 

And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

 

wait hang on i think i found something even more interesting:

 

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

 

That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

no suckas allowed in heaven god aint got time for fools

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@ jmac, SkinWalker, and Achilles

 

For people claiming to be debating honestly you sure are fans of taking things out of context deliberately trying to prove a faulty argument. Heck this is what you routinely accuse me of doing (or claim I don't know what I'm talking about when I actually do)...

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@ jmac, SkinWalker, and Achilles

 

For people claiming to be debating honestly you sure are fans of taking things out of context deliberately trying to prove a faulty argument. Heck this is what you routinely accuse me of doing (or claim I don't know what I'm talking about when I actually do)...

i picture you covering your ears and closing your eyes and yelling no no no no no no no are you doing this irl y/n

 

 

p.s. that doesn't excuse your ignoring the old testament because it has icky things

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i picture you covering your ears and closing your eyes and yelling no no no no no no no are you doing this irl y/n

 

There you go again...

 

p.s. that doesn't excuse your ignoring the old testament because it has icky things

 

I'm sure you are also aware that the Old Testament is laid out in a way as though it were a collection of Historical writings such as who did what when, a lot of it didn't give out specific rules how to behave.

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There you go again...

 

 

 

I'm sure you are also aware that the Old Testament is laid out in a way as though it were a collection of Historical writings such as who did what when, a lot of it didn't give out specific rules how to behave.

 

WOW GARFIELD THAT'S AMAZING I'M SO SORRY I EVER DOUBTED YOU HAIL JESUS

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@ jmac, SkinWalker, and Achilles

 

For people claiming to be debating honestly you sure are fans of taking things out of context deliberately trying to prove a faulty argument. Heck this is what you routinely accuse me of doing (or claim I don't know what I'm talking about when I actually do)...

You are aware that saying something does it make it true right? Oh wait.

 

How about if that belief were all that somebody had left or else they might:

1) give up hope (in whatever situation)?

2) go completely errhm... postal?

 

Just curious.

That's a good reason?
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@ jmac, SkinWalker, and Achilles

 

For people claiming to be debating honestly you sure are fans of taking things out of context deliberately trying to prove a faulty argument. Heck this is what you routinely accuse me of doing (or claim I don't know what I'm talking about when I actually do)...

 

I've responded to irrational claims and implied assertions in this thread (including your demand for an explanation for the Exodus myth) at length. Obi began two threads which made an a priori assumption on the existence of his particular take on a god to which he objected to any critical inquiry or challenge. I began this thread to be that challenge. And for my willingness to provide at-length, detailed rebuttals, I get either silence from someone who claimed he could answer critics; undereducated assumptions from someone who thinks there are chariot wheels at the bottom of the red sea that "prove" exodus; and semantical red herrings about what one means about "good reason."

 

So forgive me if I don't believe you really have a argument or rebuttal, but I'm curious what it is, precisely, that I've taken out of context. Rather than make general, unspecified and spurious assertions, why not be specific enough to maintain intelligent discourse? Is there no room in your postings here at the Senate for an actual, rational discussion as opposed to hyperbole and ideological rhetoric?

 

How about if that belief were all that somebody had left or else they might:

1) give up hope (in whatever situation)?

2) go completely errhm... postal?

 

Just curious.

 

That's a legitimate question in my opinion.

 

My answer would be: how is a bad argument okay? If believing Elvis is alive and well but in hiding on the International Space Station provides someone with comfort, I say good for them. As long as they aren't willing to set public policy or demanding others to accept their Elvis beliefs, they're fine believing whatever they like. I'll make them a peanut-butter and banana sandwich.

 

But if your suggesting that the only thing keeping someone from "going postal" is a belief in the supernatural, I'd tell you this is a fuse that's burning regardless. How many people go "postal" each year who think their god whispered instructions in their ear?

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I've responded to irrational claims and implied assertions in this thread (including your demand for an explanation for the Exodus myth) at length. Obi began two threads which made an a priori assumption on the existence of his particular take on a god to which he objected to any critical inquiry or challenge. I began this thread to be that challenge. And for my willingness to provide at-length, detailed rebuttals, I get either silence from someone who claimed he could answer critics; undereducated assumptions from someone who thinks there are chariot wheels at the bottom of the red sea that "prove" exodus; and semantical red herrings about what one means about "good reason."

 

And you completely ignored the fact I pointed out that the Egyptians had a tendency to destroy records if it was stuff they wanted to bury, look at what all they destroyed that recorded the existence of whom Tutanakamen. (sp?)

 

You know how embarassing losing a huge portion of the army would be? It would only make sense for them to destroy records of that having happened.

 

So forgive me if I don't believe you really have a argument or rebuttal, but I'm curious what it is, precisely, that I've taken out of context. Rather than make general, unspecified and spurious assertions, why not be specific enough to maintain intelligent discourse? Is there no room in your postings here at the Senate for an actual, rational discussion as opposed to hyperbole and ideological rhetoric?

 

I could say the same to you, because you've spewed just as much ideological rhetoric, an atheist can be an ideologue just as much as a religious person can be.

 

 

My answer would be: how is a bad argument okay? If believing Elvis is alive and well but in hiding on the International Space Station provides someone with comfort, I say good for them. As long as they aren't willing to set public policy or demanding others to accept their Elvis beliefs, they're fine believing whatever they like. I'll make them a peanut-butter and banana sandwich.

 

To throw it back in your face the experts said the sound barrier could never be broken, and it was broken. There are some unusual things that have happened in history.

 

But if your suggesting that the only thing keeping someone from "going postal" is a belief in the supernatural, I'd tell you this is a fuse that's burning regardless. How many people go "postal" each year who think their god whispered instructions in their ear?

 

Why is it that supposedly Atheists have a higher incidence of depression?

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And you completely ignored the fact I pointed out that the Egyptians had a tendency to destroy records if it was stuff they wanted to bury, look at what all they destroyed that recorded the existence of whom Tutanakamen. (sp?)

 

You clearly didn't read my whole post. You're making yourself look silly.

 

I could say the same to you, because you've spewed just as much ideological rhetoric, an atheist can be an ideologue just as much as a religious person can be.

 

You could try to say the same. But saying something doesn't necessarily make it so. What, specifically, do you claim of my statements is "ideological rhetoric?" It looks more as if you are simply projecting.

 

To throw it back in your face the experts said the sound barrier could never be broken, and it was broken. There are some unusual things that have happened in history.

 

An argument from ignorance. Yet another logical fallacy in your attempts to participate in a discussion. You're clearly interested only in rhetoric and not discussion. Again, I've provided some very lengthy and thought-filled posts on several points -yours included. All I get in return is, "oh, yeah!?"

 

Why is it that supposedly Atheists have a higher incidence of depression?

 

This is a red herring. Please start a new thread on this assertion and we'll debate it. You should begin by citing a peer-reviewed source that states this so we can have primary source(s) to work with. In this thread, however, its off-topic. I can appreciate this is perhaps a typical tactic for you, but it won't work here. Either participate in intelligent discourse or stick to your ideological rhetoric in your political threads.

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Frankly Skin, there's nothing remotely red herring about asking you to flesh out your request. All the more so as I never contended there could be a "good" reason one way or another. It seems that you are hypersensitive to people asking you questions while you seek to do same to them. It's ashame you think yourself and your arguments to be above scrutiny. All you have to do is spell out your conditions of what constitutes a "legitimate" reason. How you feel that threatens your line of inquiry, ney challenge, is really beyond reason. You set yourself up in your post as judge, jury and executioner and blanch when someone asks you to clearly explain the ground rules by which you will render your "rulings". ;)

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I'll take a slightly different tack. I don't think there are probably any bad reasons for believing in a God/gods for the same reason you woudln't bother the Elvis accolyte. Since it can't be proven (yet) that God doesn't exist, afterall we are only human and not omniscient, there's nothing wrong with believing in something. I would agree, however, that unequivocally stating that God exists and you have proof, but you can't provide it for whatever reason, would give people fertile ground for calling you irrational. Also, I'm no more fond than you of theocracies.

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That's a legitimate question in my opinion.

Good to see I'm getting somewhere.

 

My answer would be: how is a bad argument okay? If believing Elvis is alive and well but in hiding on the International Space Station provides someone with comfort, I say good for them. As long as they aren't willing to set public policy or demanding others to accept their Elvis beliefs, they're fine believing whatever they like. I'll make them a peanut-butter and banana sandwich.

 

Uhh, well, okay.

 

I guess I had in mind more situations that seem a bit desparate or destitute.

Like dire conditions which one had strong chances of might not surviving and thus required the person or persons to "hold on". While one could argue that this is more of train of thought than theism, I have seen indiscriminant spiritualists (specifically of the martial arts variety) who would say that it is a good way to think of things if it helps to achieve it.

 

In short, something that gets them through.

 

But if your suggesting that the only thing keeping someone from "going postal" is a belief in the supernatural, I'd tell you this is a fuse that's burning regardless. How many people go "postal" each year who think their god whispered instructions in their ear?

 

I guess to shape things a bit, it would require a person that was sane to begin with. So, similarly to above, "getting through it" but on a more constant basis as opposed to a dire situation. Like in a constantly stressful job where walking away isn't a viable solution. In other words "someone's gotta do it" as it were. It would be that of a cleansing or mantra ...of sorts... Not a mere stress relief, mind you. But done in regiments much more regularly than the above example.

 

If people don't care enough to intellectualize, and they have a belief system keeping them good and away from underhanded behavior (or just flat going on a rampage)...why screw up a good thing bashing it? There is no reason to. (Though I see you do seem to have indicated a ...reasonable compromise)

 

Don't know if you'd count it as a good reason, though. A social engineer might for the reason of stability.

 

However, if the person is already bat-****, I don't know of any real solution to that problem. It begs several humanitarian issues I'm not entirely sure relate to this thread.

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I'll take a slightly different tack. I don't think there are probably any bad reasons for believing in a God/gods for the same reason you woudln't bother the Elvis accolyte. Since it can't be proven (yet) that God doesn't exist, afterall we are only human and not omniscient, there's nothing wrong with believing in something. I would agree, however, that unequivocally stating that God exists and you have proof, but you can't provide it for whatever reason, would give people fertile ground for calling you irrational. Also, I'm no more fond than you of theocracies.

 

I think there are a few bad reasons. 1) I can't see or observe god so hes no better than the invisible giant green lawn gnomes trying to steal my TV. 2) There are perfectly rational theories on how this world came to be without a god. 3) If there was a God, and he did create us and the universe, when did he his creations stop? When did the miracles stop? When did the signs stop? Those are just a few "bad" reasons off the top of my head.

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A good reason that, for example, the Catholic God exists? I'm don't think there is one. But that's just a rejection of the idea that the concept of God is such that it can be meaningfully attributed "existence". Kierkegaard said that "To stand on one leg and prove God's existence is a very different thing from going down on one's knees and thanking him." I believe that most Catholics do the latter, and those trying to do the former probably have read too much philosophy.

 

From what I understand, Paul Tillich is a relatively famous theologian who rejects God's "existence" also. I haven't read his works myself, so I can't comment much more than that yet. I'm sure I'll get around to him eventually. :p

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I think there are a few bad reasons. 1) I can't see or observe god so hes no better than the invisible giant green lawn gnomes trying to steal my TV. 2) There are perfectly rational theories on how this world came to be without a god. 3) If there was a God, and he did create us and the universe, when did he his creations stop? When did the miracles stop? When did the signs stop? Those are just a few "bad" reasons off the top of my head.

 

As I said, since God's existence can't yet be disproven, there really are no bad reasons for believing in such an entity. It's what you do with that belief that becomes grounds for examining the beliefs you have ABOUT that entity. If believing in a supernatural entity doesn't lead to arguably psychotic behavior ("..god told me to rob the liquor store and kill everyone there"), and allows you to escape depression about what happens when you die (much like in Skin's Elvis example), big deal. If you are looking for empirical evidence of the almighty......I don't envy you your search.

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I'm not much for this kind of discussion, but I figured I would post my to cents. I in fact believe in God, which is weird because I am a Skeptic... weird right? Anyway, as totenkopf said, there is nothing that can disprove God's existence. (But then again there is nothing to prove it, other than "faith".) Also, if there is no God, then how did we become into being? What caused the universe? What caused the big bang? How did molecules come into existence? These are complex and not very easily answered questions, but as everyone knows, we need a reason for something. I have a reason for posting this, I have a reason to own a computer, I have a reason to live. (Not stating that I know all the mysteries of life or the meaning of life.) So, I would say God created everything, because most people whom do not believe in God say something can't be created out of nothing, but Christians, as myself, believe that God was never created, He just "is."

-CP

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