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celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 12:37
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Atheist - obvious to those who know what my username means

littlejimmy Posted on 12/06/2008 12:38
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Agnostic. Not certain either way.

delu Posted on 12/06/2008 12:43
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I too take the default position Mr. Russell (or can I call you Bertrand?).

While there is the tiniest of chances that there is some kind of god-being-the-laws-of-physics, the chances of one of those man-made iron-age gods being correct is ridiculous.

Cecil_J_Mctumshie Posted on 12/06/2008 12:55
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

brought up as a catholic but became a Born-again-Atheist many years ago

bighorace Posted on 12/06/2008 12:57
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer


dyslexic insomniac agnostic

I lie awake all night, wondering if there is a dog.

AlenAlunAlan Posted on 12/06/2008 12:58
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

exactly as Cecil J - hardcore atheist.

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 13:01
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I've never really understood Atheism. It's supporters decry belief in God yet they "believe" that there is no God. It's simply another belief system with it's own values and certainties with the believers' horrible habit of pouring scorn on those of differing beliefs. Agnostics I can relate to, a sensible approach and an open mind.

I suppose I'm a believer though not in a formal church going type way, personal experience has led me to that stance though rationally I may simply use my "belief" as an emotional crutch.

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 13:10
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Muttley - You're probably right that most atheists have chosen not to believe, there is absolutely no evidence to show the existence of any God and there is no evidence to say for certain that there is no God.

However on the balance of probabilities and bearing in mind all we now know about Natural Selection, the Big Bang etc I gave up all such beliefs many years ago along with all the other fairy stories and superstitions when my Catholic brainwashing finally wore off

Halle_Burton Posted on 12/06/2008 13:13
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Brought up as a catholic although dodged church regular by saying i was off to the earlier mass and then read the news of the world instead but now an atheist but please enlighten me to the celestial teapot thing to save me googling.

delu Posted on 12/06/2008 13:15
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Muttley wrote: "Atheism ... (is) simply another belief system"

Err, that is like calling "bald" a hair colour.

Technically, atheism is a "lack of belief in gods", preferring a natural explanation to reality based on evidence.

I don't particularly like the word atheist; I mean you don't have a name for people who do NOT collect stamps. Of course, it is useful in conversation, but I prefer the stereotype "infidel" as it seems more ludicrously medieval!

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 13:17
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Well, us Catholic born again athiests seem to be around in numbers.

Kevin_Bacon_Butties Posted on 12/06/2008 13:19
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"Err, that is like calling "bald" a hair colour."

Hahahahaha! I can't stop laughing at this! [:D]

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 13:20
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Russell's teapot, sometimes called the Celestial Teapot, was an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), intended to refute the idea that the burden of proof lies upon the sceptic to disprove unfalsifiable claims of religions. In an article entitled "Is There a God?",[1] commissioned (but never published) by Illustrated magazine in 1952, Russell wrote:

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.



Link: The Teapot Explained...

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 13:23
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

You see most Atheists don't know the difference between Atheism and Agnosticism. Q.E.D.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 13:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

lol @ delu. [:)]

That must be candidate for 'post of the day'

The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 13:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

at first a catholic - then agnostic - now back to catholic, and yes I am a believer.

sean_boro Posted on 12/06/2008 13:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

religion is bullS***.


Link: geroge carlin gets it right

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 13:31
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I'm an atheist. I don't 'believe' in the non-existence of god as it's not logical to have to prove the non-existence of something. I'm going to go on the lack of any proof ever in history of the existence of a deity and that'll do for me.

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 13:36
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Then you are a "Nontheist" not an Atheist.

Kevin_Bacon_Butties Posted on 12/06/2008 13:38
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"You see most Atheists don't know the difference between Atheism and Agnosticism. Q.E.D."

Utter S***, and I challenge you to prove it.

mm40 Posted on 12/06/2008 13:40
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

brought up a catholic, stopped going to church in my youth and have since returned in later life, a believer and I enjoy been part of a church.

The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 13:42
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

MM, we are a clique.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 13:42
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I was brought up a Methodist and actually went to Sunday school, though i'm now an atheist.

Atheists do not 'believe' that there is no God, we just make conclusions on what we know. It's just the logical conclusion.

It's interesting how many people who were indoctrinated at school, cut all ties with religion when they actually start to question 'why'.

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 13:46
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Nontheist seems to include Atheism and Agnosticism so I don't think that's quite true - which is a shame as I like the sound of it.

I'm just making the point that if you think there is no such thing as god, it's got nothing to do with faith and it isn't a belief system.

Professor_Yaffle Posted on 12/06/2008 13:48
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Atheist until the gods start using a more 21st century medium. Books are so old fashioned.

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 13:54
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"if you think there is no such thing as god, it's got nothing to do with faith" but simply it is a belief, you believe their is no God. You can assert that it is a logically founded belief, but it remains a belief. You cannot "know" that there is no God as you cannot prove the non-existence of God any more that a believer can prove that God exists.

And the really phucking irritating things about born again Atheists is there need to prove their superiority. You will notice that on here those who have declared themselves to be Believers have not sought to indoctrinate in any way. A simple statement of their belief. Yet the Atheists will start quoting Bertrand Russell or whoever and I'm waiting for the inevitable Dawking worship.

The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 13:56
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

There is a god, I eat him/it every Sunday. There's your proof.

Justino Posted on 12/06/2008 13:58
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

It is a wiser man who believes in everything rather than nothing.



Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 14:00
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"simply it is a belief, you believe their is no God. You can assert that it is a logically founded belief, but it remains a belief."

Is that an admission that God-botherers have an ILLOGICALLY FOUNDED BELIEF? It seems we are all in agreement [:)]


BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 14:01
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Easy Muttley, you God's people are supposed to be gentile and pacifists, aren't you?

I don't think any atheist tries to claim superiority - it just F***ing annoys us how people can't deal with the logical explanation, and instead believe an ancient book written by primitive men.

It's not as if you've even chosen your religion to follow, your circumstances have done that for you.

The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 14:04
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Oddly enough your lack of beliefs do not bother me.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 14:08
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Would they if you were the only person to believe?

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 14:08
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Boromart - All beliefs, other than open minded doubt are illogical.

And yet I believe.

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 14:11
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"You cannot "know" that there is no God as you cannot prove the non-existence of God any more that a believer can prove that God exists."

That is insane. Mickey Mouse is not a real live being but I can't prove that he is not. Muttley, the difference between me who does not believe and someone who does is that I am doing so based on there being no proof at all ever that He exists and they are doing it based on faith. They are welcome to their belief but don't pretend there is parity between the two because their is not.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 14:12
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"All beliefs, other than open minded doubt are illogical"

So do you :-
a) beleive in the celestial teapot,
b) disbelieve in it or
c) have an open minded doubt about it?

delu Posted on 12/06/2008 14:14
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

The_same_as_before Posted "Oddly enough your lack of beliefs do not bother me."

Oddly enough the fact that I have to pay for your beliefs in both tax-grants and tax-free-status does bother me.

If the True-Believers (TM) would keep their social clubs on the fringe of society then I doubt the rest of us would have any problem with them.

The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 14:16
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

delu, of all the positions on here that is the poorest, the total cost must be all of .000001p of your annual tax bill.


I have to pay for Edwina Curries pension, and even that does not bother me.

bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 14:19
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

bliever ,,,ya wont go to heaven ya know..

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 14:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Muttley

The problem with religion and belief is the many deaths caused in the name of their one true God.

People who don't believe in the celestial teapot are not stoned or condemned to death, wars have not been fought over this ludicrous idea and yet even today when we know more about our world/universe than we have ever done religion causes many needless atrocities

I know that has nothing to do with the original topic but the fact is atheists don't go around bombing people no matter if some atheists seek to enlighten [rather than proselytise as you say] and we definitely don't knock on doors doing it like the JW

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 14:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

".000001p" -- behave, when you look at all the land that the church deals with, and the costs of running a "business" like organised religion. The tax breaks must be fairly large in total.

The whole 'defence' of the religious belief system seems to be shrouded in manipulating syntax and symantics, rather than just addressing questions head on. There is no proof of a god, and it is unreasonable to expect the sceptics to provide proof of a negative.

If there is a god then why hasn't it been proven? It's a simple question which will only be answered with lies, fictional stories, anecdotes, or by turning the question around into another question.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 14:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I would imagine it was more than that with the tax exemption, not that the Church would ever disclose such facts.

The lost revenue for the Government is probably a big factor, just think of all the extra schools they could build. Then you wouldn't have idiots like Vardy dictating what can taught to children.

johnsmithsno2 Posted on 12/06/2008 14:30
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Very proud practising Catholic and always will be.

But it never ceases to amaze me just how obsessed you athiests are with something you have no time for.

If there are any gamblers out there, you could look up Pascal's Wager.

I prefer the analogy of Haley's Watch - and am thankful that my life experiences continue to reconfirm my belief in a loving God.

Scrote Posted on 12/06/2008 14:33
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

believer - nominally Catholic although i don't hold the church itself in particularly high regard (compared to other Catholics)

mailinator - absolute proof of God came 2000 years ago - what you mean is you want it proving to you personally

boromart - the celestial teapot works as an analogy for faith vs reason but it doesn't address the existence of God outside of our bounds of physicality - its no more of an argument than the "can't build a fence He can't jump" logical gymnastics

delu - you are wrong about the bald - its like a tribe of totally bald people - on being told that hair exists - declaring the notion as stupid 'cos they haven't seen the evidence

its not the lack of hair, its the lack of belief in hair

agnostic = bald
atheism = lack of belief in hair = a belief system

if it wasn't a belief system then it wouldn't have a movement behind it with consistent aims and arguments

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 14:33
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Pascals wager? the theory that you should live as if there is a god because you have nothing to lose?

Except you can lose a lot of time that could be better spent, and money in donations to the church.

Pascal was a top philosopher, but he got that one wrong.

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 14:34
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Can you tell me what qualities or characterists or properties the god you are talking about has so that I can decide if I believe in him or not?

grantus Posted on 12/06/2008 14:34
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Been an agnostic for pretty much all of my life, but I do seem to be having days of belief now and then.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 14:35
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"if it wasn't a belief system then it wouldn't have a movement behind it with " -- except it isn't a money making movement! Organised religion is business dressed up as a charity.

So scrote why don't you take up the challange.....

So do you :-
a) beleive in the celestial teapot,
b) disbelieve in it or
c) have an open minded doubt about it?

THEBOROBOSS Posted on 12/06/2008 14:40
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"For those who believe in God,No Explanation is Necessary"

"For those who don't believe in God,No explanation is Possible."

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 14:40
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Thing with religion is that the Christians think they are right, one true god etc, the Musslims the same, they are right same for the jews.
But their believes in 99% of the time are based on where they are born and into what family, They believe that their god is the one true god and all it is based on is the place they were born... is that really a belief sysytem for a grown up to have?

PS thank God i was born in the Boro

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 14:41
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"mailinator - absolute proof of God came 2000 years ago - what you mean is you want it proving to you personally"

No it didn't unless you consider bizarre fables as evidence, that is.

I'm not on about me personally, I'm saying there has never been any proof ever in the history of mankind that a God exists and you know it.

guyb Posted on 12/06/2008 14:43
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Agnostic. I'm a secular humanist and highly doubtful but not confident enough to declare complete atheism. (hedging my bets)

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 14:44
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"if it wasn't a belief system then it wouldn't have a movement behind it with " -- except it isn't a money making movement! Organised religion is business dressed up as a charity.

Again you are mistaking "belief" with religion it is possible to believe without following the teachings of an organised church/religion.

Scrote Posted on 12/06/2008 14:45
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

so unorganised religion is ok then?

boromart - "If there is a god then why hasn't it been proven? It's a simple question which will only be answered with lies, fictional stories, anecdotes, or by turning the question around into another question."

if you aren't going to believe a book written 2000 years ago why would you believe one written 100 years ago or 10 years ago or 1 year ago or 10 minutes ago?

celestial_teapot - as for religion causing wars - go and read some history and economics books

its been done to death on here and everyone always agrees that actually people cause wars and use any excuse they can lay their hands on

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 14:46
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

There is a phrase from a song and i have seen it in books that some up religion for me.

The beautiful lie that there is a god
The terrible truth that there isnt a god

It must be good to believe that there is a life after death but come on wake up and grow up, you live you replicate DNA you die..



bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 14:48
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

non believers go to purgatory.....

grantus Posted on 12/06/2008 14:48
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

guyb - I wouldn't call agnosticism hedging your bets. There you are stood at the pearly gates, the big man asks you about belief.

Upon hearing your answer, will he open the gates to an eternity of joy and ecstacy, like a guilt free stripjoint, or will he press the big red button, to pitchforks in the ass for the rest of time?

Now, I realise that some queer folk might think the pitchfork option might be a bit of a thrill, so if you're one of those, I mean something else.

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 14:49
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"if you aren't going to believe a book written 2000 years ago why would you believe one written 100 years ago or 10 years ago or 1 year ago or 10 minutes ago?"

I'll believe the one that has checkable facts. Just because it's written down doesn't make it true.

Personally, I wouldn't place much stock in a book that has such fanciful stories in in the same way that I tell my son that the fairy-tales we read together are just pretend too.

bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 14:52
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

the book is gospel writen by saints,,,,

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 14:52
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Do you "believe" in Alexander The Great? There is more evidence that Jesus lived in Galilee (excluding the Bible for obvious reasons) than for Alexander The Great.

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 14:55
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

scrote - I agree entirely that it is people that cause wars, people blow themselves up, people mutilate each other and kill each other rather than religions etc

However the common link for many of these atrocities is religion, no-one is denying that these things don't happen for other reasons but they definitely happen in the name of 'God'

Atheists do not go around mudering each other in the name of their non-belief, there are no sub-divisions of atheism fighting with each other as to which is the correct non-belief

Anyway that's enough from me, I got what I wanted and I'm sorry it degenerated into a slanging match but better to have a slanging match over religion than football in my opinion

Next year I will mostly be worshipping Stewy's Left Foot and Afonso's goalscoring record!

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 14:55
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I don't believe there is anyone building a religion or belief system around the teachings of Alexander The Great. But there you go again, absence of one is not proof of another.

Incidentally, who said that Jesus did not live in Galilee?

grantus Posted on 12/06/2008 14:59
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"Atheists do not go around mudering each other in the name of their non-belief, there are no sub-divisions of atheism fighting with each other as to which is the correct non-belief"

Is something you don't believe in worth killing for, worth dying for?

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 14:59
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

thats why I said Organised Religion Muttley.

Scrote, everyone has the right to believe what they want. But I have more respect for people who believe through there own thought and analyses, rather than sitting in a place of mass (if you pardon the pun) worship listening to some old soke tell them how to think. Who then asks them to put some money in the donation tin, so that he can keep his 'job' and it is a job, it pays a salary often with lodgings.

In fact in some religions/countries it's not so much a donation tin but a levy on your wages.


"if you aren't going to believe a book written 2000 years ago why would you believe one written 100 years ago or 10 years ago or 1 year ago or 10 minutes ago?" -- so let me get this right, the older the book the more believable it is? In that case shouldn't you be a Hindu, that was written 1000 years earlier?

I'm not going to believe a 2000 year old book which has no corroborating evidance whatsoever, and which many people have used as a tool to make a lot of money from.

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 15:01
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"common link for many of these atrocities is religion" no, it isn't.

Top ten wars (by death toll)
WW2
MOngol conquest of China
Manchu conquest of China
WW1
Taiping Rebellion
2nd Sino-Japanese War
Warring States Era (China again)
Conquests of Timur
Russian Civil War
Conquests of Menelik 2 of Ethiopia

Not a single religious war among 'em. most blood Religious War was the Crusade which if combined come in about number twenty.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 15:02
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"There is more evidence that Jesus lived in Galilee " -- believing in god and believing in jesus are two differant things.

I believe there was a MAN called jesus, I do not believe he was the 'son of god'. Even the muslims believe in Jesus, he was a prophet apparently, although I prefer the title 'story-teller'.

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 15:05
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I think there is little doubt that Jesus existed as a man as a son of God... well thats were teh faith comes in.

Actually if you read the gospels, only one of which was written by a person who actually was alive at the same time as Jesus lived, how ofetn does it actually have Jesus the man saying 'I Jesus am the son of god', to my knowledde i can remember seeing that only once on the 4 gospels,

I am honestlty astonished that so many people believe in God

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 15:05
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"I believe there was a MAN called jeses, I do not believe he was the 'son of god'." - no-one (as far as I can tell) is telling you that you should. But there are Atheists telling me that I am mistaken in my belief (my faerie stories if you prefer).

"Even the muslims believe in Jesus" - well they would, Islam is an "Abrahamic" religion. You really need to do some reading on this your arguments are full of holes.

bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 15:08
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

the 12 deciples wrote about jesus and spread the gospels 1,,, they were ther when jesus was killed each spread the truth,...

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 15:10
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Weren't the first suicide bombers, the tamil tigers, atheists?

SmoginManila Posted on 12/06/2008 15:11
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

default position.

I believe in one less god than the xians.


colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 15:12
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

But wher does Jesus say i am the son of God

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 15:19
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Muttley, for someone accusing someone else's 'argument' of being full of holes, you need to go and sit down and explain to yourself why believing Jesus existed is not the same as believing he could walk on water.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 15:19
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Muttley, what are you on about, there are no holes in my argument.

I believe Jesus existed, I believe he was nothing more than a man. I'm responding directly to your Alexander the great claim. Are you saying neither of them existed, both of them existed or only one?

I believe in all likelihood that they both existed. But that has absolutely boball to do with the alledged existance of a God.

There is no proof of the existance of god, and tales that Jesus was in fact the son of god in a book written 2000 years ago are nothing more than stories. There is no evidence, and there have been plenty of people spending lots of time and money trying to prove existance for a long long time.

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 15:24
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Which God do you believe in if you are a believer?

Thor or one of the Norse Gods
Zeus or one of the Greek Gods
Ra or one of the Egyptian Gods
Mars or one of the Roman Gods
Ganesh or one of the Hindu Gods
Jesus and the rest of the Holy Trinity
AN Other

Oh and which one created the universe?

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 15:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Maybe we should worship the one that gave us the gift of speech and the love of stories. If he is still around he might be well worthy of high praise. But did he create everything?

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 15:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I see they are still avoiding the teapot question...

So do you :-
a) beleive in the celestial teapot,
b) disbelieve in it or
c) have an open mind about about it?

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 15:29
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I like the Cargo religions best, you know if we do nothing like the white people (I thinks it is from Borneo) who get things brought to them by ships, then we will get ships bringing us things... Laughable BUT
To be honest i find this no more far fetched than beliveing in the Virgin birth or in Islam.

The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 15:29
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I think that they are all the same, a belief. I could quite happily be a jew or a hindu or a muslim a methodist, I just happen to be a catholic.

There is very little difference beteen each.


As for the Universe I thought it was Alex Ferguson.

bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 15:30
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

jesus never said it ,,,iam the way the truth and the life no one comes to the father,but through me,,,,,if you would of known me you would of known my father ,,,,,r.e lesson for yas...

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 15:32
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Why do people feel the need to invent "my beliefs" where have I said what I believe in beyond a vague declaration as a "believer" yet I need to say why I believe Jesus walked on water? I never said he did.

You said the Bible was full of facts that could not be checked when in fact many of the events recorded in the bible are verifiable historically.

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 15:35
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Could he hve been speak figureativly (sp) I mean dont Christians all beleive that they are the sons of god
Could he have meant that god as a concept was withinb us all and not actual person?
Strange belive for an adulyt to have though, in In my not so humble opinion

bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 15:37
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

iam chatholic i believ he was the son of god

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 15:38
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Well despite my username I do not actually believe in a celestial_teapot even if that makes me sound like a complete crackpot.

There I've said it, I'm atheist about teapots flying in outer space on the other side of the sun...may the teapot forgive me if I am wrong

I'd love a cup of celestial tea right now

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 15:40
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I don't believe in the celestial teapot and I don't have an open mind on the subject.

king_hellfire Posted on 12/06/2008 15:42
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'Well despite my username I do not actually believe in a celestial_teapot'

Of course there is no such thing as the celestial teapot. Everybody knows that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created the Universe and everything in it.

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 15:43
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

You are catholic because you happen to be born in a catholic family, if you were born in Pakistan, you'd be telling us you are Muslim and believe in Alah, you believe in Catholisism by no more thought than an accident of birth and you expect that to be a valid arguement for th existence of God?

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 15:45
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Spagetti monster!!!!! At last someone sees sense

king_hellfire Posted on 12/06/2008 15:46
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'I don't believe in the celestial teapot and I don't have an open mind on the subject.'


Of course you don't, there wasn't a book written about it 2000 years ago and it's teachings weren't passed on throughout the following centuries.

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 15:46
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

king_hellfire

how dare you insult the invisble pink unicorn, you have offended the faith of many people and as such should be flogged and then flogged again

colin21 Posted on 12/06/2008 15:49
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Id like to say.

That no non-believers were struck down by God in the writing of this thread'...............

Thanks god that was really nice of you

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 15:50
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Can you tell me where our notions of right and wrong come from?

Can you tell me how the universe started?

king_hellfire Posted on 12/06/2008 15:50
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'You are catholic because you happen to be born in a catholic family, if you were born in Pakistan, you'd be telling us you are Muslim and believe in Alah, you believe in Catholisism by no more thought than an accident of birth and you expect that to be a valid arguement for th existence of God?'


Exactly, colin21 and if he were born a few hundred years ago in a Scandinavian country, he would believe in Thor and Odin.




The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 15:51
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I agree, see above. But, I believe in a God.

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 15:54
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Blot, can you tell me what qualities or characterists or properties the god you are talking about has?

craig-pancrack Posted on 12/06/2008 15:56
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Believers cant prove it.
Atheists cant prove it.
Agnostics have to prove nothing and are open to unlimited possibilities.

The_same_as_before Posted on 12/06/2008 15:58
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

white coat, halo, nice sandals.

king_hellfire Posted on 12/06/2008 16:03
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'Can you tell me where our notions of right and wrong come from?'

There is a possible evolutionary explanation for how we got our notions of right and wrong.

There is an argument that when we were cavemen we lived in small groups (communities) and if one of our group found him/herself in trouble, it was beneficial for the balance(and survival)of the group to help them (purely for selfish reasons, to keep up the numbers of the group to help hunt and fight off enemies etc.)
So the right thing to do would be to help your neighbour and the wrong thing to do would be to leave them to be hurt.

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 16:09
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Why are things "beautiful"? What evolutionary imperative has made us alone among other animals likely to sit and admire a beautiful view or a sunset? How does evolution explain the emotional response we feel over many thing of no value to our survival?

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 16:09
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I know the notion. In your view, does it hold water for every instance where we appear to be altruistic, K_H?

JonMc Posted on 12/06/2008 16:09
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Love threads like this me.

Pleased to see so many Dawkins apostles preaching his word too.

One thing that Dawkins conveniently fails to mention though is that although belief has changed and fractured over the milleniae the differing human understanding of a God gets us no nearer the question as to whether one exists. In other words to the vast majority of religious people it's the belief itself that matters.

His stance that atheists don't kill people over a belief structure doesn't hold water either. That's just silly.

Me. Agnostic, bourne from my belief in an afterlife but my distrust that mankind has yet had the wit or knowledge to understand how the system works.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 16:10
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"Can you tell me where our notions of right and wrong come from?" -- we are animals, social animals. 10s of thousands of years of living in social groups has bestowed on us a sense of right and wrong.

Social animals survive through group strength, Killing each other is therefore wrong because it weakens the group.

We see having sexual relations with one person as the acceptable norm because it protects against the spread of disease.

Theft is unacceptable because in a social group a you could be the next victim of theft, and 10,000 years ago that might mean you would starve to death.

"Can you tell me how the universe started?" - now we could say the big-bang theory....and it is just that a theory, but it's more plausible than the GOD THEORY, and there is far more corroborating evidence for the big bang than god.


Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 16:14
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"Why are things "beautiful"? What evolutionary imperative has made us alone among other animals likely to sit and admire a beautiful view or a sunset?" -- how do you know that other animals do not enjoy looking at things they perceive as beautiful?

scoot999 Posted on 12/06/2008 16:18
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I am with Mickhail Gorbachev when he met the pope...

I am a non practicing atheist

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 16:20
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"how do you know that other animals do not enjoy looking at things they perceive as beautiful?" yeah cos there's always seagulls sat around watching the sun go down. Silly me.

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 16:21
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

There is evidence to support the theories of evolution and the creation of the universe. Unlike whichever religion that must be true even though you were born into it, those theories are subject to revision once new evidence is found to support it.

I don't think anyone needs to justify the fact that that they are not religious by explaining evolution to you when you refuse to play by the same rules as scientific method.

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 16:22
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'10s of thousands of years of living in social groups has bestowed on us a sense of right and wrong.'

Has it? It is a plausible explanation, but not one you can KNOW is the true reason.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 16:22
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"There is more evidence that Jesus lived in Galilee (excluding the Bible for obvious reasons) than for Alexander The Great."

Going off on a hold different tangent here, aren;t you? First of all, we were debating the existence of God, not Jesus. Secondly, of you could prove the existence of Jesus, you would have to prove his link to God, otherwise his ramblings and preachings must be deemed insane.




king_hellfire Posted on 12/06/2008 16:22
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'I know the notion. In your view, does it hold water for every instance where we appear to be altruistic, K_H?'


There are occasions where it is better to help others to your own detriment, look at worker bees for example, they have the capability of producing offspring, but their whole lives are dedicated to looking after the Queen bee and helping her procreate.

Muttley Posted on 12/06/2008 16:23
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

But evolution is one of the "facts" along with "The Big Bang Theory" that disprove the existence of God.

JonMc Posted on 12/06/2008 16:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

No it doesn't Muttley. It says nothing but I agree it bucks against a biblical kind of God. A God might have well just set the wheels in motion. Not a meddling creator but a creator nevertheless.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 16:29
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

How old does the Bible say the universe is?

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 16:34
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"absolute proof of God came 2000 years ago"

Oh dear.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 16:36
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Muttley, if you read it correctly and honestly then you would see that I said "they perceive as beautiful". The fact is animals show 'playful' behaviour. Domesticated animals can show a sense of right and wrong, personality and do more than just acting out primal instincts.

Are you telling me dogs and chimps act on primal instincts alone?

Our brains are more developed and so we have a more developed awareness of what surrounds us, that is all, nothing mystical about it, we have spare capacity in our heads, we use it creatively....so do chimps they use primitive tools.

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 16:39
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"How old does the Bible say the universe is? " -- lol, good one, I doubt you will get an answer.

king_hellfire Posted on 12/06/2008 16:45
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'Why are things "beautiful"? What evolutionary imperative has made us alone among other animals likely to sit and admire a beautiful view or a sunset? '


That's an interesting question.

I know that the idea behind evolution (which i am a believer in) is that our genes need to be passed on, therefore we need to procreate, so it is an advantage in all living things that we are as attractive to the opposite sex as possible, it is just a bonus that certain animals appear beautiful to us too, ie. tropical fish, peac0cks etc.

But your question as to why we admire beatuful views and sunsets is very interesting, i know that an explanation as to why we come home from work and sit and watch television in the evening for a few hours is possibly due to the fact that,again, when we were cavemen we would sit for hours and scan the wilderness in the low light of the late evening (the low light helps us in our efforts to hide from the prey) for animals to hunt and also a possible explanation for why bedrooms in a house are normally upstairs is because hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of years ago we would sleep in the relative safety of the trees canopy in order to avoid the many dangers that come with sleeping on the ground.

I am confident that there is an evolutionary answer for why we sit and admire beautiful scenery. It will be worth looking into.

bighorace Posted on 12/06/2008 16:51
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer


"I know that has nothing to do with the original topic but the fact is atheists don't go around bombing people"

Stalin, Mao Zedong and Pol Pot were all atheists.


BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 16:56
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

They didn't do their acts in the name of Atheism though. Is it really that difficult or have you got nothing else to say?

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 16:57
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"I am confident that there is an evolutionary answer for why we sit and admire beautiful scenery, but i will go and look into it." -- we are social animals, therefore communication evolved from that structure - like many other social animals. Dolphins are in groups so they communicate, worms live alone so don't.

As we developed our communication we needed subject matter to communicate on, thus we developed the ability to interpret what is around us to greater degree and make 'judgement'. What initially started out as pointing out a good bush to hide behind when hunting has evolved into a greater appreciation.

Seems a plausible theory to me.

bighorace Posted on 12/06/2008 17:08
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer


admittedly it was a fairly crass comment. But no more crass than claiming all wars are in the name of religion.

JonMc Posted on 12/06/2008 17:12
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Staln, Mao and Pot didn't kill in the name of Ahteism that is true. They did so in the psuedo religious name of communism. Much in the same way that people kill in the pseudo religious cause of capitalism. Religion, Communism, Capitalism it all comes down toone thing power.
From this we can only glean that people kill people and in many cases do so in the name of something which distances their involvement in the act. It removes responsibility, ultimately.

In the same way most religious, communist or capitalist people don't kill anyone. For each neither religion, communist or capitalism is to blame for the killings.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 17:12
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I think the vast majority of people realise that not all wars were done in the name of religion, though a fair few were.

JonMc Posted on 12/06/2008 17:16
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I acn only think of the Holy Wars that were fought purely in the name of religion. Everything else had power/erosion of culture etc in common.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 17:18
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

And who is the God of communism or capitalism?

JonMc Posted on 12/06/2008 17:20
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Thatcher and Marx

my_mate_looks_like_phil_stamp Posted on 12/06/2008 17:37
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Up until about six months ago I would have considered myself a total atheist because I could see no truth in any of the religions I knew anything about and what I had learnt about the big bang theory and evolution only further cemented this is my mind - reading dawkins god delusion seemed to confirm these beliefs that everything in this three dimensional world we see is down to the laws of physics, evolution and science and I was set to my beliefs that nothing existed outside of these dimensions and when you die you were dead, end of.

Reading about quantum physics made me re-evaluate all of this as it touched on the fact that there is much more than the three dimensions we perceive with our five senses and all we and every single thing around us are is pure energy at different levels of vibration, superseding even molecules and atoms for how small they are - everything including matter, light, thoughts and feelings are composed of vibrating energy when it is broken down and nothing more, everything in principle is made of the same thing which led me to conclude that there is much we don't know about nor are yet ready to understand. None of the religions we are taught in schools touch on this and all they are is a massively strong form of social control to keep the masses in check. Bill Hicks touched on this at the end of his revelations stand up, and David Icke is fantastic in his books for explaining it despite facing huge ridicule for doing so - but every philosopher since year dot has faced public humiliation with their ideas only to be heaped praise upon normally long after they have passed away. Adrian Coopers book - the ultimate reality is an amazing read for an introduction to this - some of his points veer off a little but the first time I read this book it literally blew my mind!

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 17:53
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Good post my_mate_looks_like_phil_stamp.

'those theories are subject to revision once new evidence is found to support it.'

I have no problem with that. The point is that there is an awful lot that science is yet to explain. Newton's laws and equations were good enough until Einstein came along. Now even Einstein's laws are wrong as they do not marry with the measurements at the subatomic level and neither Einstein, Hawking et al have come up with their Theory of Everything that can incorporate gravity. The only plausible contender is String Theory which is a radical departure from the way we traditionally view the universe, but it does explain (mathematically) other dimensions.

Can you tell me if these other dimensions are not the 'afterlife'?


We exist in 4 dimensions. We can observe only an estimated 4% of the universe we exist in. 23% of it is the mysterious dark matter and 73% is the even more mysterious dark energy. What are these? Are they other dimensions that we are incapable of seeing because we are not creatures of 5 or 11 or 15 or 21 dimensions, as many scientist think? Is it not possible that there is a creature out there, that exists in 5 dimensions, or more?

One of the dimensions of String Theory is time. So can a being exist outside of time? Can it move between dimensions?

If there was such a creature, would he not be (a) god? Could he choose to interact with us? If he did, how would he communicate with us? Wouldn’t he start by telling us a story that we could understand, as we do when we teach children at school? We lie to them. Teachers should be renamed liars to children. But the ties we tell are done to set children off on a path to greater understanding.

Could not the bible be just that? The old testament was written down during a period of captivity, but it was the recording of a much older verbal tradition. There were mistakes undoubtedly and thing have been further twisted over the centuries, deliberately, by men. But that does not necessarily mean that there is not a great truth in there. It may just mean that we were not and probably still are not capable of understanding it.

An example might be cherubim and seraphim. We think of them as angels, either cuddly or mighty, but the bible, as far as I am aware, doesn’t describe them in detail other than endowing them with wheels, wings, flight and the ability to spout fire. To the 16th century renaissance painters that conjured up one image, to you and I, it would conjure up a very different one.

Which brings us to the power of stories. Everything we do, and I mean everything, we are telling ourselves a story. We are not homo sapiens, we are pan narrans – the story telling chimp. It is the greatest distinction between us and the rest of the animal world, by far. How did we get that way? The fossil records show that there was an extraordinary rapid expansion in the size of our brain. How did that come about? It is uncomfortably rapid for many Darwinians. What if someone, or something, tinkered with homo erectus? What would he call the first tinkered with subject, Dolly the ape, or Adam?

Lefty Posted on 12/06/2008 17:58
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

my_mate_looks_like_phil_stamp

Is Icke not the crank he appears to be? I've always fancied reading one of his books but I've too much other stuff to read to waste my time on a nutter.

However, if there is one book of his that you think is worth a go which would you recommend?

I may look at Adrian Coopers book.

Have you ever stumbled across David Hudson?

my_mate_looks_like_phil_stamp Posted on 12/06/2008 18:17
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

The general belief about Icke is that he is a nutter for the ridicule he faced on wogan years ago when he supposedly claimed he was the 'son of god' when in fact that was totally misconstrued as he said we are all the 'son of god' in the way that we are all the same being (energy at different vibrations) and everyone and everything is interconnected so we are all one and the same. The misconception that he is crazy is absolute nonsense and I actually think the guy is an absolute legend for going out on a limb and doing what he has done despite getting absolute torture for it for many years - many people are starting to see what he was getting at now though. go onto google video and type in "david icke - was he right" - its a documentary that was on channel five a few years ago and is a really good place to start. If you want to read his books (of which he has many!) I'd start on his earlier stuff as his later stuff touches more on the social control aspect, the bloodline and the way the population is manipulated. 'I am me I am free' is a good one to start with - I have a few of his books as pdf files if you can handle reading books from a computer screen.

Not heard of david hudson - is he in a similiar vein? Will look him up.

ThePrisoner Posted on 12/06/2008 19:13
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

johnsmithsno2 wrote:

"If there are any gamblers out there, you could look up Pascal's Wager."

It's been refuted many times. Doesn't hold water.

"I prefer the analogy of Haley's Watch"

It's been refuted many times. Doesn't hold water.

" - and am thankful that my life experiences continue to reconfirm my belief in a loving God."

This is the one that boils my P***.

Just because you have had a comfortable life possibly with a bit of luck and a few happy co-incidences - ergo Goddidit. Yet you ignore the millions upon millions of people who's lives are cut short by disease, war, natural disaster and accidents or, even worse, attempt to rationalise it on the basis that they are sinners or have not yet found God. In what way is God loving them? Or is their suffering justified? So long as it's happening to you eh? I'm alright Jesus!


Scrote Posted on 12/06/2008 19:14
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

and as usual it decends into absurdity...

1. celestial teapot is an interesting thought experiment - nothing more - it neither proves nor disproves the existence of God so takes us no further

if you really want an explanation as to why there isn't one then start by supplying your definition of teapot and we'll go from there if you like

2. as far as i'm aware the bible doesn't mention the age of the universe

3. if you believe the bible "absolute proof of God came 2000 years ago" - if you don't then it didn't

i'm not sure why this is a difficult concept to grasp

if Jesus was a nutter do you not think people wouldn't have recognised this? or were humans 2000 years ago intelligent enough to be building pyramids but dumb enough to not realise the guy with a pencil up each nostril saying "wibble" was stark raving bonkers?

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 19:22
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I think it's fair to say that a civilisation having technology and people being taken in by a con are not mutually exclusive things.

Myers Posted on 12/06/2008 19:24
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Theres hundreds of religions and probly has been thousands in the past theres no possible way theyre all true and the chances that one alone is true is highly unlikely tbh im going with jesus being a very advanced alien this could explain all his mircles etc

celestial_teapot Posted on 12/06/2008 19:35
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Find a job you enjoy, never work a day in your life.

ChainMaryandJesus Posted on 12/06/2008 20:01
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Well I personally would rather believe in Dawkins and his lot and even way, way, way too tiny, to ever be proved (up until now) bits of vibrating stuff (string theory) than the other lot!

I just think God was invented when human realised they were all going to die and religion is our way of dealing with our perfectly natural fear of death.

As for multidimensional (science fiction type) very intelligent entities, well that is just what they would be, very intelligent entities and not what the other lot believe to be God!

As an aside I took my kids to the National Portrait gallery one rainy Sunday afternoon and ended up wandering around all the religious icon pictures, when my five year asked me, why is that man’s (Mr John Baptist) head on a plate, wouldn’t that hurt? And why does that man have nails through his hand and a spiky thing on his head (Mr JC) And then I thought, hmm I have never ever talked about religion to my lot, maybe it would be a good idea to tell them that I was “a non believer” rather than just ignore the whole thing.

FocherWilf Posted on 12/06/2008 20:06
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I'm with Bertram Russell and his celestial teapot. One of the none deluded.

bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 21:14
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

colin you may not have been struck down ,,its judgment day when ya arse cheeks start nipping together....

guisBOROugh Posted on 12/06/2008 21:30
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Believer

Boromart Posted on 12/06/2008 22:27
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Just checking back into this thread. It's the only interesting one we have had in about 6 weeks [:)]

"Can you tell me if these other dimensions are not the 'afterlife'?" -- here are some straws why don't you try and grasp at them? [:P] For sure there are many things we don't understand, but your interesting post is nothing more a collection of uneducated guesswork. With zero foundation in anything that we know or understand.

Scrote - you said "1. celestial teapot is an interesting thought experiment - nothing more - it neither proves nor disproves the existence of God so takes us no further" -- but as you are more than aware the celestial teapot doesn't exist to prove or disprove God, it exists to prove teh absurdity of belief in God.....and seems to do it quite well as the believers refuse to face any questions in that area with a straight bat. Your 'it takes us no further' is nothing more than an attempt to brush an inconvenient truth under teh carpet.

"if Jesus was a nutter" -- no one said he was a nutter. A conman possibly, a confidence trickster, certainly. A charismatic charmer definitely. Allahs's prohpet or the son of god, no.

Under no logic can the bible be proof of God. It isn't it's a book. In 200 years will people be discussing if Harry Potter was real while attending the Order of the Phoenix to Worship his Lordship Sevurus Snape who died to save us all?


Dibzzz Posted on 12/06/2008 22:38
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Try this the next time someone says;

"I believe in God."

Simply reply;

"Oh, do you? Which one?"

Just revel in their blank expression, it's priceless.

BoroInLondon Posted on 12/06/2008 22:59
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Exactly Dibzzz, the religion people follow is simply a result of circumstance.

"if you believe the bible "absolute proof of God came 2000 years ago" - if you don't then it didn't"

'If you believe' and 'absolute proof' in the same sentence? Come on, get a grip. What you're saying is that, if you believe in God then the Bible is absolute proof of his existence. How is it? That really is twisted logic, not that i expected any better from a religious person trying to justify his delusion!


bigrichardthe3rd Posted on 12/06/2008 23:01
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

havent you heard of b.c and a.c.... christ being jesus,..

Dibzzz Posted on 12/06/2008 23:03
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Another one,

There's no such thing as a catholic/muslim/jewish etc child, just catholic/muslim/jewish parents.

So why have faith schools?

elal1963 Posted on 12/06/2008 23:23
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I AM A JEDI
now move along

Scrote Posted on 12/06/2008 23:25
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

BoroInLondon - if you believe in aliens and you also believe the roswell autopsy video is real then there is your proof - however you can believe in aliens but see the autopsy vid as a hoax without any contradiction

its validity (or lack thereof) is not the question - there are no logical twists - you are just getting your cause and effect mixed up

believing in God doesn't make the bible true

the bible being true DOES make the existence of God true - therefore - "if you believe the bible "absolute proof of God came 2000 years ago" - if you don't then it didn't"

Boromart - BoroInLondon posted: "Secondly, of you could prove the existence of Jesus, you would have to prove his link to God, otherwise his ramblings and preachings must be deemed insane."

i shortened that to "Jesus is a nutter" for the sake of clarity

if you believe Jesus existed then you have to explain the fact that those around him were convinced of his divinity to the point they were willing to die for their beliefs (and lets not confuse this with suicide bombings - they were martyred by others without trying to fight back - thats how strongly they believed)

Jesus being a nutter or a confidence trickster or a shyster or any other label you want to put forward doesn't tally with him allowing himself to be executed in the most horrible way possible - seriously, why would you bother?

if Jesus thought he was God and actually wasn't then by default hes a nutter

as for the celestial teapot, i can't be arsed - all the arguments for and against have been done countless times before and it all comes back to frames of reference - if you believe God can exist outside our frame of reference then the teapot isn't a measure of like with like and is therefore without merit

if you don't believe in a God outside of our frame of reference then you are talking about a different God to the one i believe in which makes the discussion pointless - i can't argue for what i don't believe

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 23:25
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

No such thing as a Jedi religion FFS.

elal1963 Posted on 12/06/2008 23:32
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer


define religon first !!!

come away from the dark side mailinator

Scrote Posted on 12/06/2008 23:33
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Boromart - "Under no logic can the bible be proof of God. It isn't it's a book. In 200 years will people be discussing if Harry Potter was real while attending the Order of the Phoenix to Worship his Lordship Sevurus Snape who died to save us all?"

if that was the case then why don't people use dantes works as the basis for a belief system?

its just another absurd argument put forward with no basis in fact either present or historical - holy texts are holy texts - whether they are correct or not doesn't disguise the fact that people know the difference between stories and religion

the fact that a large part of the NT is based on allegorical stories just proves the point - people are able to distinguish between the medium and the message

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 23:37
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Scrote, all the teapot idea says is that people who believe in god have the burden to prove His existence and the burden is not on non-believers. I'm not saying you or anyone else who believes *has* to prove it and it's not as if you are trying to convince anyone.

If people want to point at unexplained and weird natural phenomena that has not been explained in order to make a God more plausible then it's just not on. There are countless natural wonders that have been attributed to super-natural means over the centuries that have since been shown to have more logical explanations. If you *want* to use unexplained phenomena to hint that God is real then the ball is in your court to prove it, not non-believers to disprove it.

As for Jesus, I agree that those around him considered him divine and holy. I imagine people around the Pope do too as do a lot of cult leaders. It's not exactly proof that he was the son of god because people around him were utterly convinced of his status.

My main gripe with religion is that I think it is possible to live a good and morally right life, to love others and to "turn the other cheek" to quote your man Jesus but I hate the fact that it has to be seen as an act to please a god or it's done because there will be consequences in another/after life. That just seems like you are only doing it because you are scared you will get caught!

mailinator Posted on 12/06/2008 23:40
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Scrote, do you know what the Holy Grail is? I mean, I know you have heard of it, but what object do you think it represents?

Scrote Posted on 12/06/2008 23:48
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

the original grail was the chalice/plate used at the last supper

as far as i'm aware most of the legend surrounding it dates from either the medieval period or later attempts to place it in the medieval period - however i'm not a historian or a holy grail expert

as for the teapot - do you accept then that using the teapot doesn't add or take anything away from the central concept of God being impossible to prove (unless He decides to reveal himself (again [:P]))?

fatsuma Posted on 12/06/2008 23:50
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

A child of grace, not a slave to deeds or ideals.

mailinator Posted on 13/06/2008 00:09
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"the original grail was the chalice/plate used at the last supper

as far as i'm aware most of the legend surrounding it dates from either the medieval period or later attempts to place it in the medieval period - however i'm not a historian or a holy grail expert"

Well I'm no expert either but the idea of the grail as a holy object is one that surfaced in medieval times. Historically it didn't 'appear' until the grail romances that were popular at that time. In fact, it was a literary fashion in those times to write these stories as if they were true in exactly the same way that writers have pretended a story was based on real events in modern times. My point is that people have looked back on those grail romances to try to extract facts from them when they were nothing more than medieval pulp fiction.

So there *are* stories that have, over time, been considered to be based on facts despite them being openly fiction and considered fiction by people at the time of their conception. I'm not saying the bible is an example of this but it at least illustrates the point that time can lead to a loss of insight into how literal a story can be taken.

Not all stories will be treated as fact in the future but I could imagine in a few hundred years, textbooks may be suggesting that the Roman Emperors used to give a thumbs down sign at the gladiatorial games despite this being a bit of artistic license first taken by artists in recent times.

"as for the teapot - do you accept then that using the teapot doesn't add or take anything away from the central concept of God being impossible to prove (unless He decides to reveal himself (again [:P]))?"

Absolutely agree but it just acts as a thought experiment which says that stating something to be true is fine but if you are ever going to argue that it is or try to 'prove' it, saying it is impossible to prove cannot be taken as supporting evidence! IE, the absence of proof lends *more* weight to the argument that He doesn't exist than saying He cannot be proven does to existence.

BoroInLondon Posted on 13/06/2008 08:37
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"the bible being true DOES make the existence of God true"

The Bible isn't true though, and you can't prove it is. If anything, it is inaccurate on many different levels. The age of the universe, for example.


mailinator Posted on 13/06/2008 08:40
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

BIL, that doesn't matter. He said if you believe the bible is true then it makes the existence of God true. If you don't believe it is true (and I don't) then there you are.

I might be wrong but I don't think the bible says anything about the age of the universe and that was something guestimated by scholars after the fact.

fatsuma Posted on 13/06/2008 08:47
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

The Bible also contains books written by a number of writers who effectively cry out "Come on then God, where the heck are you? cos I'm not feeling it!" Psalms for example.

Interesting that some consider it to be just a story book with no real relevance today.

colin21 Posted on 13/06/2008 08:47
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Big Horace.

Stalin studied in a seminary to become a preiedst in his raly years

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 09:02
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"if you believe Jesus existed then you have to explain the fact that those around him were convinced of his divinity to the point they were willing to die for their beliefs"

But this is where you appear to confuse belief that Jesus existed with belief that the bible is an accurate reflection of his life. I believe the bible contains an innaccurate romanticised portrayal of the life of Jesus, modified to suit certain peoples agendas. I don't believe that ghost stories, Peter Pan or Doctor Who are true stories either.

"allowing himself to be executed in the most horrible way possible" -- again it's open to question if he a) died on the cross, b) was ever even on a cross, or c) 'allowed' himself to be put on the cross. Nice story, but most likely a work of fiction or a serious embelishment of the facts.

"as for the celestial teapot, i can't be arsed - all the arguments for and against have been done countless times" -- in other words you won't play the question with a straight bat, as I predicted earlier [:)] The celestial teapot question shows the illogical nature of belief in something that has no factual evidence to back it up (not circumstantial books), and unlike theories like the big bang and evolution there are no experiments that show that god exists.

"That just seems like you are only doing it because you are scared you will get caught!" -- I'm down with that mailinator. Why is this 'God' so self centred that we must create places of worship to him, keep his best buddies well fed, and tell him how much we love him every day. What a load of rubbish. If there was a god (and Im not suggesting for one minute there is) surely he would want people to spend money on charitable causes rather than putting it in a donation tin so that people can have a nice gold statue of Jesus.

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 09:07
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

scrote regarding the Harry Potter worship in 200 years question --

Well you bring up Dantes work, why don't people use that as a basis of worship? well surely thats because he released his works as fiction and didn't claim it to be a holy scripture. That is akin to Tracey Emin putting a bed in an art gallary and claiming it's high brow art...plenty of people fell for that one too[;)]

Mohammed on teh other hand released some works 600 years agoa nd claimed this was a direct communictation from god, and people started to believe in it.

So if enough people believe in something it becomes true? It's a bit like the lifecycle of a conspiracy theory isn't it!!!

grantus Posted on 13/06/2008 09:08
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Why do so many atheist people feel the need to antagonise those people who do believe in a devine power?

I find it just as bad as those who ram their religions down your throat.

"Prove it, prove it, prove it!" They cry in their self righteous voices. They than go on to blame religions for a multitude of things, of failures and tragedies. They never mention that most of the great civilisations of the World were built under the banner of religion.

Anyway, if someone is religious, whether christian, muslim, hindu, budhist, jewish or whatever, I say good luck to them. If it gives them strength in times of need, preaches compassion to others and gives them an answer to the questions of mortality, then I have nothing but respect for their choice of faith and only hope that it never becomes an exclusive, divisive, or destructive thing in their life.

If you don't, can't or won't believe in religion, then that should be ok too, providing you try to live a good life, a moral life, a life where you consider others, usually the type of life of most religions, without the worhsip of course.

I'd rather worship god than celebrity.

fatsuma Posted on 13/06/2008 09:13
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Boromart - your last paragraph makes you sound like Jesus! It's certainly consistent with what I read about him in the Bible.

As for the Bible presenting a romanticised version of Jesus, the Bible says that belief in him made one a fool, in the eyes of the world.

True then, true now.

Where's the romantic appeal in that?

colin21 Posted on 13/06/2008 09:14
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I think that Bishop Crammer (same guy who has a college in Durham naned after him)
Calculated from the bible (things like the book of Kings and Names that mention who was born to who) that the world started ay 4004 BC.. in teh afternoon

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 09:15
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Grant, no one is ramming anything down anyones throat it's a theological debate. go back to bed and get out the other side Mr Grumpy.

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 09:21
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"your last paragraph makes you sound like Jesus!" -- yeah I guess it does.

Romantic appeal, the whole crucifiction, died to save us all thing. Romantic tosh IMO. Healer, worshiped by those that follow, who would die for him, romantic tosh. Virgin birth - romantic tosh - if it wasn't joseph then it was his brother or neighbour. There may be parts that give a less romantic image of Jesus but then the old testiment isn't exactly sugar coated fairy tales either.

grantus Posted on 13/06/2008 09:21
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I'm not being grumpy, I'm simply making an observation, put your dummy back in.

It's an age old argument, doubters question believers, belivers cannot prove anything, so doubters heap scorn on the believers.

That's why it's called faith. It wouldn't have to be called faith if it could be proved beyond all reasonable doubt, now would it?

fatsuma Posted on 13/06/2008 09:32
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Boromart - whatever your perspective is, the Bible is worth a good, proper read.

I don't know what you've read of it, but it's full of stuff that challenges credibility, lists of boring stuff, poetry, erotica, cracking adventure tales, 3 dimensional characters, mystery, and loads of honest stuff about the human condition and how we respond to what life brings.

Get a decent modern translation and read it, preconceptions and all.

I find that reading the New Testament shows how far the church has gone from what Jesus actually said and did about things.

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 10:15
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"whatever your perspective is, the Bible is worth a good, proper read." -- I agree completely. I have read it, not for a few years now. Regardless of my view on religion it is one of the most important books ever, as is the koran, I would really like to read that. The effect of these books on our society is immeasurable.

Grant why do you keep referring to this as an argument? It isn't it's a debate/discussion. If your not interested in participating then why come on here and tell everyone that they are wrong and wasting their time doing so? Your exercise and diet regime seems to be making you awfully grumpy and intolerant.

grantus Posted on 13/06/2008 10:25
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Ok, it's an age old debate, discussion, argument, whatever.

Are you taking the P***?

I'm stating that from what I see, atheists can be as intolerant as any devout/militant/hard line religious person, yet becuase they have the provable laws of science on their side, it makes it ok.

I am tolerant of all but the intolerant.

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 10:36
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

of course athiests can be intolerant, not all are. I am very tolerant of peoples beliefs, less so of organised religion. I would never knock someone for believing, and can admire someone having the absolute faith in something to devote their life to it.

I have a friend who gave up everything to become a monk in Pensylvania, and another friend who has recently become a devout muslim, changing his name from Brian to Umar while living n a hicktown in Connecticut. I respect and tolerate their decisions. Even though I think they are backing the wrong horse.

grantus Posted on 13/06/2008 10:37
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Why do people who convert to Islam, change their name?

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 10:57
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

they don't have to, but they often like to remove western naming convensions, why? Well Grant is your CHRISTIAN name, I think there is a clue in there!

They have names which are relative to Allah, like servant of allah. e.g Abdullah, Abdul Rahman etc.

They also have naming conventions like the scandanavians, they didn't have surnames, but instead used father of (Abu), mother of (Umm), son of (bin), daughter of (bint). e.g. Osama bin Laden...son of Laden.

Also, they often prefer to use the non westernised versions of names like Dawud instead of David and Yusuf instead of Joseph, Isa instead of Jesus.


grantus Posted on 13/06/2008 11:00
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Seems a bit extreme, but fair enough, if that floats their boat. Can't imagine their parents would be particularly happy about it like.

BoroInLondon Posted on 13/06/2008 11:25
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

""I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen Roberts

johnsmithsno2 Posted on 13/06/2008 12:21
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Hi Prisoner. Love your idea of philosophy - "It's been refuted, doesn't hold water"! You sound like you know what you're talking about, so you're comments surprise me. We're talking about ideas and analogies. You can highlight weaknesses or difficulties or even say they don't work for you, but how can you just glibly say "they've been refuted"?

Let me try to cool your boiling p***. You've misunderstood what I meant about life experience making me believe in a loving God. I don't mean being showered with good fortune. It couldn't be further than the "I'm all right Jesus" attitude you imply.
I believe God's reflection is usually most clearly visible in those place where the world would see misfortune and failure.

There was a great story in the Gazette on Wednesday about a little boy who is blind and has multiple disabilities from birth. He's just returned from what his mother says is "the best week of his life" in Lourdes. She says he is usually looked on as being subhuman at home, but there he was treated as someone special.

I know using someone like this as evidence for the existence of God is a much weaker argument than Haley's Watch, so I expect you'll be able to refute it without hesitation. But it works for me, that's all I can say.

Boromart Posted on 13/06/2008 12:30
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

well that is certainly evidence that many believers have a good kindly nature, rather than any evidence of god. I personally do not question that religion can and does make better people.

You could counteract that good feeling for this lad being in the pressence of gods-folk with the bad feeling of children abused by priests. I'm not saying there are equal numbers of people getting good and bad feeling, far from it. Simply that if being in the pressance of people who are good because of their 'relationship' with god is evidence of his existance, then paedopriests must be evidence of his non-existance.

BobUpndown Posted on 13/06/2008 12:50
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

belief in god & following a religion are two different things..

religion needs god to make the man made rituals, obedience to the male leader & his doctrines.. have a reason..

god would exist even if humans didn't religion wouldn't..

can't see physics ever coming up with the answers.. but that’s no reason to believe their is a needy super entity to be fated..

religion is just oppression of free thought & devolving of responsibility.. get em while they are young & impressionable build up their fear and the withering seed is sown.. just how they brainwash child soldiers..

atheist: I’m responsible for my actions & I'll make decisions for myself.

johnsmithsno2 Posted on 13/06/2008 17:06
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I see your point Boromart. I would debate the "paeodpriests" issue but maybe that would cloud this discussion. I wasn't claiming the Lourdes story as evidence as such, but as the kind of experience that reinforces my own belief in God. I believe life has a pattern and a purpose that's there for us to see if we want to see it - enough light to believe if we want to, and enough darkness for us not to believe if that's our wish (hope I'm not too badly misquoting whoever it was said that!).

Lefty Posted on 13/06/2008 18:53
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'can't see physics ever coming up with the answers'

That is essentially the whole purpose of physics though isn't it, bob, and there is no denying the astounding progress it has already made.

'As for multidimensional (science fiction type) very intelligent entities, well that is just what they would be, very intelligent entities and not what the other lot believe to be God!'

Hence my question several times for a definition of gods properties, Chainjesusmary. People now and probably more so in ancient times all have different opinion of what constitutes a god. Who is to say that the creator of the universe is not a different god to the one that supposedly sent his son to save mankind. Yahweh in any case is, according to the correct translation of the bible, just one of the gods (plural).

'"Can you tell me if these other dimensions are not the 'afterlife'?" -- here are some straws why don't you try and grasp at them? For sure there are many things we don't understand, but your interesting post is nothing more a collection of uneducated guesswork. With zero foundation in anything that we know or understand.'

Boromart

Not grasping at straws. I am a borderline atheist, much like Dawkins describes himself. What I am doing is postulating, as science progresses, whether it can be married to religious texts and 'truths' that the vast majority of mankind seem to instinctively feel. This is actually all that the various churches have ended up doing over the centuries anyway, albeit a little slowly. It is really just the suggesting and testing of a hypothesis. As an advocate of science and logic you will surely be in support of that.

My post is guesswork, but it is not uneducated. The problem of the theory of everything, the quest to explain the apparent discrepancy between quantum and conventional physics is THE great quest that has occupied the greatest minds, Einstein, Bohr, Rutherford, Dirac, Feynman, Hawking, Shrodinger, Heisenberg, Gell-Mann et al. It is the quest to understand why we are here and if we go anywhere next. Until they have an answer, the suggestion that there is a truth in ancient texts that we just don't understand shouldn't be dismissed.

Look how much we have discovered, this young 4 dimensional creature on an insignificant planet in an unremakable galaxy set in the 4% of the universe we can see. We have grown to dominance as a fortunate result of many mass extinctions. How far would we have come in our evolution if we had started it one mass extinction early, or if we were a creature that is capable of moving between dimensions? Perhaps we are such a creature, it just needs a change of state, such as induced by death.

To suggest that there is zero foundation in what I say is plain wrong. The maths is there. The physicists will tell you that the maths is irrefutable, that there even must be multiple universe let alone multiple dimensions because the maths show it. Einsteins equations showed that even time travel was possible. You wouldn't poo poo that would you? I hope not because it has been proved by experiment. Indeed what experimentation is possible has so far fitted into string theory.


king_hellfire Posted on 13/06/2008 19:13
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

' I am a borderline atheist, much like Dawkins describes himself'



Dawkins isn't a borderline atheist,as he says in his book, The god delusion

'If there is a scale which is marked 1 through to 7, where 1 is the belief that God definitely, without question, exists and 7 is the belief that god definitely does not, without question, exist then i would place myself on 6 erring towards 7.'

king_hellfire Posted on 13/06/2008 19:18
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

'Einsteins equations showed that even time travel was possible. You wouldn't poo poo that would you? I hope not because it has been proved by experiment.'


What do you mean by that?

Time travel has been proved by experiments?

What experiments are these?

littlejimmy Posted on 13/06/2008 19:19
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"There was a great story in the Gazette on Wednesday about a little boy who is blind and has multiple disabilities from birth. He's just returned from what his mother says is "the best week of his life" in Lourdes. She says he is usually looked on as being subhuman at home, but there he was treated as someone special.

I know using someone like this as evidence for the existence of God is a much weaker argument than Haley's Watch, so I expect you'll be able to refute it without hesitation. But it works for me, that's all I can say."

Now this is where i really struggle with the concept of a God. Why do diseases exist, why do natural disasters happen, and why do innocents like children suffer? Is it all because of the original sin? I keep asking this whenever this subject comes up and NEVER get an answer.

Oh, and what is Haley's Watch? Google won't tell me.

Muttley Posted on 13/06/2008 19:43
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Why do diseases exist?

Well, it depends on your view of God. I you would want your God to interfere at any point at which someone might come to harm then you are bound to be disappointed. Every time a child trips a divine hand descends to cushion the fall?

Say you create an ant colony. You control the environment in which the ants live, they live, die and procreate in the world you have created for them. Do you as the God of this world worry as ant #234871 bites the head off ant #234287 and steals his leaf? Only a truly kind God would.

littlejimmy Posted on 13/06/2008 19:48
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Doesn't really answer it for me. Does God see us as we see ants? I thought we were supposed to be his creation, in his image, and his children. I understand there is free will, and we control much of our own destiny, but we can't do anything about tsunamis or cancer. Is this intelligent design?

I'm not being a clever-arsed atheist here, BTW. I am agnostic with an opinion that changes by the day.

junkyard_angel Posted on 13/06/2008 19:51
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I have read this thread with interest and one thing bothers me.
If the celestial teapot exists, should we stone people who put the teabag straight into the cup?

king_hellfire Posted on 13/06/2008 19:54
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

[:D]


Which teabag do you worship?

I'm a pyramidian myself and i get on really well with my Circularist neighbour.

Brew and let brew, i say.

junkyard_angel Posted on 13/06/2008 19:59
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I'm a loose leaf man myself. I there are about 250 Gods.

littlejimmy Posted on 13/06/2008 20:03
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours tea cosy.

FocherWilf Posted on 13/06/2008 20:09
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

If you can't be @rsed reading it all the last line sums it up perfectly.

What could possibly be more damaging to a child than telling him over and over from the time he's an infant that there exists an invisible person who is unwilling to prove he exists watching him every second of every day and reading his thoughts and if he doesn't believe in the invisible person he will be tortured for eternity? Yet we tell that same child that monsters don't exist so it's silly to be scared of monsters.
Religion is one of the most serious mental illnesses of today. It is the inability to face the reality of life and the finality of death. It affects as high as 85% of the American Society. Approximately 75% of the American victims of this mental illness are Christians. The more pathetic and desperate a persons life, the more likely they are to believe in a god. Typically, people with otherwise empty lives, are the strongest believers. It gives them the false hope that there is a higher meaning to their sad and pathetic lives. The strongest of believers would admittedly be suicidal without religion and/or a god in their lives providing a mental safety valve.
Temporal Lobe Epilepsy disorder has been linked to extreme religious experiences. Patients who have TLE may have sudden and dramatic spiritual changes. There are many instances of these patients converting from agnostic or atheist beliefs to strongly active religious faiths. TLE causes abnormal electrical activity in their temporal regions and has been directly linked to these radical changes in religious belief and personality changes. Curiously, religious chanting and meditation reduce the activity of frontal lobe activity, which heightens Temporal Lobe activity. Further research in this area has uncovered that electrical stimulation of areas in the Temporal Lobe also produce these spiritual experiences. The electrical stimulation caused the control group to report feelings of “well being” euphoria and a feeling of a “presence”.
Being a formal military pilot, it is amusing to hear people attribute seeing a light in a tunnel to a god when experiencing near death experiences. This is often accompanied by feelings of euphoria. Coincidently, military pilots experience the same feelings when taking oxygen deprivation training. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, the first thing that happens is all colors fade to gray. Soon after, experiences of euphoria and well being are felt. Finally, all light closes in to a pinpoint, like a light in a tunnel just before the loss of consciousness.
It is a statistical fact that the higher your education, income, and intelligence, the more likely you are not to believe in a god. For every college student that converts to a religious belief system, 17 college students convert to secular or atheist beliefs. “Secular Humanists” have an average intelligence of 25 I.Q. points above their Christian counterparts..
A religion by definition is a superstition. A religion is the belief in a supernatural being or beings. A superstition is the belief in magic or phenomena beyond or outside of nature. A religious belief then is a superstitious belief.
Religions seem to usually require a God, Prophets and Profits. God is usually very powerful. Not too powerful because that messes up convenient concepts like free will. Too much God power makes bad things hard to explain. The optimum amount of power can be vague and variable but usually permits granting of certain perks, like an after life. This provides a useful motivational tool. God supposedly talks through Prophets. Prophets are like schizophrenics but since most lived before psychiatrists invented schizophrenia they were believed to be really talking to God. Nowadays they would be sent for treatment.
A common symptom of religion is delusion. Often including notions of resurrection. But face it, you are not coming back. Well, no one has yet, with any convincing evidence, and an awful lot of people have died.
Religious people are dangerous. They can not think for themselves, but instead cling to every word the bible says. Religious fanatics can somehow throw out all scientific evidence and replace it with the word of one book that has no credibility. They want to spread their illness to the rest of the world and contaminate the remaining 10% to 15% of the sane population. Atheists usually know and understand what is written in the bible better than those who claim to follow its word. Religious fanatics want to convert your children and will stop at nothing. They want the right to force you to follow their ideas and beliefs and restrain any conflicting beliefs or activities.
Recognizing religion as a class of mental illness would be a start in curing this disease. We should develop support groups, maybe along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous - “My name’s Mike and I’m a recovering Christian ...”
Be a “Free Thinker”. Read and question what is written. Blind faith is for people who can not think for themselves.

king_hellfire Posted on 13/06/2008 20:34
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

focherwilf, the mental illness aspect of religion is an interesting one.

Here is an excerpt from the God delusion that is along the same lines as your post:


Many people believe in God because they believe they have seen a vision of him — or of an angel or a virgin in blue — with their own eyes. Or he speaks to them inside their heads.

You say you have experienced God directly? Well, some people have experienced a pink elephant, but that probably doesn't impress you.

Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, distinctly heard the voice of Jesus telling him to kill women, and he was locked up for life. George W. Bush says that God told him to invade Iraq (a pity God didn't vouchsafe him a revelation that there were no weapons of mass destruction).

Individuals in asylums think they are Napoleon or Charlie Chaplin, or that the entire world is conspiring against them, or that they can broadcast their thoughts into other people's heads. We humour them but don't take their internally revealed beliefs seriously, mostly because not many people share them.

Religious experiences are different only in that the people who claim them are numerous. Sam Harris was not being overly cynical when he wrote, in The End of Faith: "We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common we call them 'religious'; otherwise, they are likely to be called 'mad', 'psychotic' or ' delusional'... Clearly there is sanity in numbers. And yet, it is merely an accident of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your thoughts, while it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window. And so, while religious people are not generally mad, their core beliefs absolutely are."

FocherWilf Posted on 13/06/2008 21:42
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Hellfire, I read both The God Delusion and Sam Harris's Letter to a Christian Nation both excellent reads in my opinion. I am halfway through a few books at the moment (home and work) one of which is called the God part of the Brain which goes some way to explaining why some folk buy in to the existence of one God or another.

The bottom line is religion should have died out with Thor but it didn't. As Science continues to chip away at it's very cornerstones with hard proven facts the deluded just retreat back to the impenetrable 'You can't prove there isn't' stance. Well obviously we can't just as they could not with BR's teapot. I find it both fascinating and incredibly sad that many continue to waste large parts of their one shot at life talking to fairies !

The indisputable truth is one pair of hands working achieves more than a thousand clasped in prayer.

king_hellfire Posted on 13/06/2008 21:48
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

God is not great by Christopher Hitchens is a good read as well, wilf.

I have also got The Missionary Position(Mother Teresa in theory and practice)also by Christopher Hitchens, which i haven't got round to reading yet.

FocherWilf Posted on 13/06/2008 21:53
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I will get a copy and maybe use it as my holiday read. The wife will look at me as if I'm some sort of freak whilst quoting from such thought provoking classics as Heat and Hello.

Cheers.

ThePrisoner Posted on 13/06/2008 21:54
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"Oh, and what is Haley's Watch? Google won't tell me."

It's Paley not Haley.


Link: Paley's watch

Lefty Posted on 13/06/2008 22:01
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

King Hellfire,

Dawkins is generally portrayed by his opponents as a 'fundamentalist' atheist who knows for sure there is no god i.e. no 7 on his list. He is not. On Dawkins scale, I'm a 6 bordering on a 7 as well.

As for the time travel experiments, I'm referring to the time dilation aspect of General Relativity which gives rise to the classic twin paradox which has two twins born on earth, one who then stays on earth all his life and the other travels away at nearly lightspeed and then turns around and comes home again. Because of time dilation only one year (say) has passed for the twin who left earth, but 40 years has passed for the twin who stayed on earth. One twin is now 39 years older than the other. This has been verified as happens in accordance with Einsteins equations by atomic clocks on aeroplanes, albeit naturally on a very small scale.

king_hellfire Posted on 13/06/2008 22:09
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Oh, i'm with you now lefty.

On Dawkins list i'm the same as you as well, mate.



I found this on the internet earlier, it's very good, in that it is a simple way of understanding Einsteins theory.






Link: Think like Einstein.

ThePrisoner Posted on 13/06/2008 22:10
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

johnsmithsno2
"Hi Prisoner. Love your idea of philosophy - "It's been refuted, doesn't hold water"! You sound like you know what you're talking about, so you're comments surprise me. We're talking about ideas and analogies. You can highlight weaknesses or difficulties or even say they don't work for you, but how can you just glibly say "they've been refuted"?"

I've spent time examining them so I'm familiar with the arguments. Pascal's wager is very weak. Essentially he says you're better off believing in God because to do otherwise is a lose lose outcome. However, this would require a non-believer to pretend to believe in the hope of fooling God. If a God existed this would be impossible, what with him being omnipresent and omniscient.

Paley's watch argument breaks down in the light of many natural phenomena that we observe that do not involve supernatural agencies. Ice crystals, the Giant's Causeway and living beings all form orderly systems spontaneously from chaotic beginnings. Of course Paley was ignorant of these phenomena in his time.


mailinator Posted on 13/06/2008 22:12
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"This has been verified as happens in accordance with Einsteins equations by atomic clocks on aeroplanes, albeit naturally on a very small scale."

The same with gps satellites which need to accurately keep time in sync with each other. They need to take into account relativity to ensure they are accurate.

king_hellfire Posted on 13/06/2008 22:16
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

I remember seeing that atomic clock experiment on one of the royal christmas lectures, the presenter also explained that time passes at a different speed (an exceptionally small amount,something like 1 second over a period of millions of years) at the top of a skyscraper than it does at the bottom.

Scrote Posted on 13/06/2008 23:57
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

focherWilf - "Religious people are dangerous. They can not think for themselves, but instead cling to every word the bible says."

"Be a “Free Thinker”. Read and question what is written. Blind faith is for people who can not think for themselves." - oh the irony...

mailinator - just picking up on one earlier point - "My main gripe with religion is that I think it is possible to live a good and morally right life, to love others and to "turn the other cheek" to quote your man Jesus but I hate the fact that it has to be seen as an act to please a god or it's done because there will be consequences in another/after life. That just seems like you are only doing it because you are scared you will get caught!"

do you really think it is possible and, if so, why don't you do it?

one of the central tenets of Christianity is that you do the good things you do because you love God not because you fear him - the term God-fearing actually means to be in awe of God's wonder - a fact that many people seem to misunderstand

also - why don't you go and rob a bank? are you only not robbing a bank because you are scared of being caught? if you absolutely knew you could get away with it would you rob a bank?

Scrote Posted on 14/06/2008 00:20
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

BoroMart - you seem to be desperate for an answer to the celestial teapot so here goes

a teapot (celestial or otherwise) is an object that sits within our own frame of reference - i.e. any object we can put tea in could by some small definition be classed as a teapot but generally we don't classify a mug as a teapot etc.

therefore - for a celestial teapot to be a teapot it would have to satisfy the definition of what a teapot is - do we agree? (i'm not suggesting it has to be a teapot with actual tea in it - just that it has to be something we would call a teapot in general conversation)

now mailinator has already touched on a part of the problem - God needs defining and that is pretty difficult when even individuals from the same religion tend to have disagreements

therefore our definition of God has to be fairly general but also recognisable as such

for the purpose of the exercise the definition is this:

a supernatural being existing outside of the human frame of reference with the ability to work outside the bounds of the physical laws that constrain us

now that at no level can ever be used as a description of a teapot (celestial or otherwise) so we can safely say that the celestial teapot and God are not equal

people have a belief in God because they are sure that He can in some way influence things at some level and is worthy of praise - He has power beyond our understanding but that power has been revealed to us in the past

if you were to believe that there was a celestial teapot somewhere out there you would not put any faith in it - you may have some blind faith that it is there but that in and of itself means nothing

you could in theory go and prove its existence if you had God-like powers of travel and a good sense of direction! but you would never believe in it as an equal of any God

and thats where it falls down as an analogy of faith in the unobservable - it COULD be out there but its being there is of no consequence

therefore the anolgy fails - even if the teapot was mentioned in ancient texts and taught in schools, it would not bring down the wrath of inquisitions or have you branded a heretic for a lack of belief in its existence - it would not and could not be seen as a God

if it was seen as a God then it would not be a celestial teapot - it would be "a supernatural being existing outside of the human frame of reference with the ability to work outside the bounds of the physical laws that constrain us"

as a logic problem the idea is clever but it is a bad analogy and so ultimately fails in what it sets out to do - i.e. prove that proof is a necessary part of 'logical faith' - there is no reason to assume that there would ever be "an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it" and the believer wouldn't need to be "...thought to be talking nonsense."

russell makes these assumptions himself but doesn't explain why they are a necessary part of the model - he just makes them up to fit his philosophy

[i could extend this to point out that the celestial teapot popping into existence is surprisingly reminiscent of big bang theory that atheists seem to have no problem with but i'd hate to spoil an argument (i mean discussion [;)]) we could have another time...]

thomson_mouse Posted on 14/06/2008 00:25
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Read some of this.

Can someone explain judgement day to me please?

Preferably a believer in God.

Scrote Posted on 14/06/2008 00:28
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

it is the day at the end of the world when everyone is brought before God to be judged worthy or not

exactly how it happens and when it might happen are not known (as far as i'm aware! (although the how is explained in parable form in the NT))

either that or some big bloke with a cigar will be back [;)]

mailinator Posted on 14/06/2008 00:29
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

"do you really think it is possible and, if so, why don't you do it?"

Well I do, well I certainly do my best anyway.

"one of the central tenets of Christianity is that you do the good things you do because you love God not because you fear him - the term God-fearing actually means to be in awe of God's wonder - a fact that many people seem to misunderstand"

It's more that I want to do it for myself. Whether it's fear of a god or love of a god or to please him, I want to do it just for my own satisfaction. I'm quite happy to perform an act of kindness even if no-one ever found out about it, god or otherwise.

"also - why don't you go and rob a bank? are you only not robbing a bank because you are scared of being caught? if you absolutely knew you could get away with it would you rob a bank?"

That's a very hypothetical question. Everything has it's consequences. If I thought I could get away with it, I'd still not do it because I know I'd probably be wrong!

Let me make this absolutely clear though, this isn't Pascal's Wager. It's entirely selfish, I want to reflect on my life and think I had a positive effect when I could. The idea that there is a third party who approves or is always watching detracts from that for me, although the outcome is probably the same.

People are weak and may do things if no-one is watching but if there is an omnipresent being able to know about your inner secrets, there is still the element of there being consequences and guilt. It just feels like a more true struggle if I do so knowing I *could* get away with 'sin'.


johnsmithsno2 Posted on 14/06/2008 23:40
Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

This is good stuff Prisoner!

Your wrote...

I've spent time examining them so I'm familiar with the arguments. Pascal's wager is very weak. Essentially he says you're better off believing in God because to do otherwise is a lose lose outcome. However, this would require a non-believer to pretend to believe in the hope of fooling God. If a God existed this would be impossible, what with him being omnipresent and omniscient.

Of course God wouldn't be fooled. But you've lived a good life, which is what matter. Judgement's a thorny issue but I don't think in many people's concept of God he would condemn you for trying but failing to have faith, if you'd done good throughout your life. I think worship itself is for our own sakes, not God's.

You said...

Paley's watch argument breaks down in the light of many natural phenomena that we observe that do not involve supernatural agencies. Ice crystals, the Giant's Causeway and living beings all form orderly systems spontaneously from chaotic beginnings. Of course Paley was ignorant of these phenomena in his time.

Well we both agree that Paley fails in that it doesn't prove the existence of God (which maybe takes us back to the point where you said it had been "refuted"). We don't even need to examine it to know that, as we both presumably acknowledge that proof or otherwise of God's existence is not possible.

But I think Paley's expression of the traditional teleological argument (that the patterns and purpose that appear to be evident when we look at the universe suggest there's some force acting behind them) is a powerful one.

I might be being thick but ice crystals and the Giant's Causeway strengthen the case for me. Even if science is able to illustrate the chaos behind them. For me, it's not enough to make me believe everything is basically random.


Bren_MFC Posted on 14/06/2008 23:46
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Believers have faith, that means believing without proof, unfortunately a lot of non believers need some sort of proof, they treat it as some sort of scientific experiment.

Johnson Posted on 14/06/2008 23:49
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Atheist, Agnostic or Believer

Whichever you get the most Clubcard points with.