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To Byron (aka “SkepticX”)
Posted: 12 January 2009 08:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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‘Truthfully, how do you know what I personally fear?’

Because you have told us Bruce.

What you fear is not having answers. Religion gives them to you. Science and reason only give you evidence for probabilites. Thats not good enough for those of the absolutist mentality.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 12 January 2009 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Bruce, you can end all this now, have your god show himself to us. Surely if he is a god of love as you believe he wants us to know him and be saved. If you are already making up an excuse for him, that should be telling you something important.

[ Edited: 12 January 2009 09:35 AM by GAD]
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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 12 January 2009 01:34 PM
GAD - 12 January 2009 01:28 PM

Bruce, for what it’s worth I still like telling you that what you believe is wrong. smile

I’m sure that it makes you feel good.

Sure, helping a brother out does feel good.

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Why is there Something instead of Nothing: No reason or ever knowable reason.

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Pope Song (rated NC17).

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Posted: 12 January 2009 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Here’s a more dramatic simile.

Believers like Bruce are like children running around wearing capes flapping around behind them, pretending they’re flying, refusing to acknowledge the obvious reality and the way flying really works, getting irate and defensive with anyone who challenges the claim, because they have faith Jebus is keeping them aloft and we just aren’t able to see it, like these guys, more or less.

Skeptics (adults) recognize and accept the nature of reality and work within those constraints, and as a result we’re more like these guys.

Of course the believers like Bruce presume to be enlightened by comparison, and that we just don’t have access to that enlightenment because we’ve rejected Jebus, and we’re the ones missing out on the experience.

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 12 January 2009 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Jefe - 12 January 2009 01:35 PM

Hmmm.  It is possible that I’m guilty as charged ...


Probably not. There’s an important difference between requiring a specific answer vs. requiring an answer that isn’t bullshit (i.e. isn’t one that requires a compromise of one’s intellectual integrity and violates reason and logic and science).

The real problem is that religion requires the bullshit answer. It’s a fault with religion, of course, not with maintaining proper standards of logic and reason and epistemology and such.

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 12 January 2009 09:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Faith is indeed the bullshit answer or provides for them. Science has a methodology to weed out bullshit answers. Faith persues bullshit answers and then promotes them as factual.

How convienent. Wherever something is questioned and requires proof, just take it on faith. Because people tell you too. And they have told you for a few thousand years now.

Thats what I mean by intellectuall lazy, even moreso than cowardice.

It takes some energy to require, provide, and try and understand evidence. Only emotion to accept what clergy and books of myth say.

[ Edited: 12 January 2009 11:37 AM by eudemonia]
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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

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Posted: 12 January 2009 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 10 January 2009 05:00 PM

I’ve moved more toward the center on a variety of issues. I have not come here with the attitude of “my mind is made up - don’t confuse me with the facts.”  If this were my position, I would not have changed my mind about anything. It is possible that I have changed my mind about more things than anyone who is a regular contributor here.

It’s not only possible that you have changed your mind about more things than anyone here, it is true. That’s because you perceive that there is an actual center, a happy median of sorts, a meeting place where we could all hold on to equally credible ideals and still maintain ones faith. But there is no credible center. The God piece center of your puzzle will never be completed, while we beckon you with:

“Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop some where waiting for you”
                              ww

I shan’t say that you are an “ideological coward”, Bruce, only that you are lost.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 12:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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Bruce Burleson - 12 January 2009 01:02 PM
McCreason - 12 January 2009 12:46 PM

It continues to amaze me that modern day christians constantly question modern science and intellectualism but they are not allowed to question bronze age mythology.  How do they reconcile that?

I don’t know, since I don’t question modern science and intellectualism, nor do I prevent anyone from questioning bronze age mythology. You’ve just burned a straw man.

That’s you, Counselor. Your persistent position is that it is only and always about you. You don’t question science; you don’t oppose critique of bronze age mythology. What do you do, Counselor? Besides, that is, beating a dead horse?

Bruce Burleson - 12 January 2009 01:09 PM
SkepticX - 12 January 2009 11:45 AM

You demonstrate an utter lack of respect for logic and reason in that you reject it whenever it doesn’t go the way you want it to, and then you expect someone to explain this to your satisfaction, which requires that you follow logic and reasoning you clearly don’t want to follow.

Yeah ... that makes sense. I think I have better and far more likely productive things to do with my time.

Maybe we can talk if you decide to develop into an intellectual adult.

OK, a little ad hominem obviously makes you feel justified in not engaging me in debate. So you dismiss my challenge with a conclusory statement, and once again fail to give me one concrete example of my ideological cowardice.

Your ideological cowardice is that you do not question modern science and intellectualism and beat a dead horse instead. Beating a dead horse is cowardly, Counselor. You can’t be thrown from a dead horse.

Bruce Burleson - 12 January 2009 01:16 PM

I get the feeling that there is a required conclusion that I must reach in any debate, or I will be accused of compartmentalization or some other logical fallacy. In other words, I must agree with you, that the claims of Christianity are not valid, or I am not being reasonable. For you, the possibility that two reasonable people might simply come to different conclusions about this issue is simply not possible or acceptable.

The only thing with which you must agree is that beating a dead horse is cowardly.

Bruce Burleson - 12 January 2009 01:33 PM

We simply do not know what dimensions lie beyond this one.

Therefore, we do not claim knowledge. Yet you do. You say you had a personal visit from some entity. A dead horse, by my reckoning. You’ve got horsemeat. You’re beating a dead horse. By any other name it is beating the meat.

[ Edited: 12 January 2009 12:16 PM by Traces Elk]
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Posted: 12 January 2009 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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goodgraydrab - 12 January 2009 04:29 PM

It’s not only possible that you have changed your mind about more things than anyone here, it is true.


Not even close, man.

Many of us in here are apostates. I, for one, am an apostate (former Christian), I dramatically shifted my admittedly weak position on gun control when I took the responsibility to look into it critically, as well as my understanding and positions concerning the war on drugs.

I don’t jump off of the obstacles when they become difficult and pretend to still be navigating them from the ground or the sidelines.

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 12 January 2009 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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SkepticX - 12 January 2009 05:28 PM
goodgraydrab - 12 January 2009 04:29 PM

It’s not only possible that you have changed your mind about more things than anyone here, it is true.


Not even close, man.

Having an openness and flexibility to change ones mind notwithstanding, I suppose some have delved deeper into or given more ample consideration to various issues at different times than others.

That being said, I’ll take it back and speak only for myself.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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Jefe - 12 January 2009 01:35 PM

Hmmm.  It is possible that I’m guilty as charged, but I think there is a subtle difference.  I’m willing to allow the evidence to guide me.  Are you?

I’m not claiming that the “claims of christianity are not valid”  I’m claiming that, without sufficient evidence, “the claims are christianity are no more valid than other world-views’ claims”.

There is a subtle difference.  I hope you recognize it.

Perhaps I can make a specific illustration of what I mean:

A good example of this comes from our conversation in the “Help Me” thread.  My opinion is that a few trips to India and a biased once-or-twice-over of the vedas does not an expert in Hinduism make you. If a billion hindus find that religion comforting, enlightening and ethically guiding, perhaps there is something in there worth doing some rigorous digging to find - or specifically to make a detailed comparison to better understand the motivation that creates this ‘fondness’. To truly compare and contrast the two viewpoints, wouldn’t you think you should immerse yourself just as thoroughly in hinduism as you have your particular flavour of christianity and see if the rewards are similar/different before making a final judgment.
Question: What if your personal revelatory experiences had involved a different name and a different book?

Further, the point of that moment of conversation was not necessarily specific to hinduism, but used hinduism as an example related to objective self examination and comparison from libraries full of myriad works examining other faiths, and even about other manifestations of your own faith, even secular and godless philosophies.

Now I don’t have any way to measure your dedication to your study of the vedas, (or any other faith or philosophy) and in point of fact, I don’t think its necessary to the question.

In a compare and contrast, does not an obvious bias make the final examination…...predictable?  Now if one is searching for ‘truth” (a phrase I often hear/see) wouldn’t one really want to closely examine ALL of the available philosophies/religions/world-views and adopt that derived from the most verifiable evidence?

There are only so many hours in a day, Jefe. I can’t become an expert in every religion/philosophy known to man. I can, and have, examined the major ones to know what they say. But if I find nothing to attract me to go further than that, I’m not sure I must keep on digging until I find something in order to prove my dedication to objectivity.  I will say that had I not had a particular set of experiences with Christianity, I probably would not be a Christian today, or at least no more than a nominal one. The Christianity I was taught as a child had already basically become irrelevant to me by the time I was in college, other than that I kept my Bible around because I was used to it. I wasn’t going to church or studying the Bible seriously when I had my first experience. If I had had a similar experience in Hinduism, perhaps I would be with Hare Krishna today. But that didn’t happen. If nothing grabs me, I see no obligation to continue. If I don’t like the movie, I don’t have to stay until the end. Does that make me unreasonable?

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Posted: 12 January 2009 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Jefe - 12 January 2009 01:38 PM

Have you ever made a definitive statement about the nature of god’s or jesus’ desires/demands?

Yes. Here’s a summary: 1) have a faith/trust relationship with God through Jesus (which involves communing with him, studying his word, praying, worship, living by his teachings, etc.); 2) love one another as he loved us; 3) tell others about him.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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McCreason - 12 January 2009 01:53 PM

‘Truthfully, how do you know what I personally fear?’

Because you have told us Bruce.

What you fear is not having answers. Religion gives them to you. Science and reason only give you evidence for probabilites. Thats not good enough for those of the absolutist mentality.

I’m sorry, McCreason, but I have never told you that I fear death or morality without God. That is simply untrue. If you can point me to a post in which I said that, I’ll believe you. I have never told you that I fear not having answers. This is your conclusion about me, having never met me. I don’t claim to know what you fear.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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GAD - 12 January 2009 02:01 PM

Bruce, you can end all this now, have your god show himself to us.

OK, I asked him, and he said that he already did that once, and he got crucified. He’s not really keen on doing it again.

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Posted: 12 January 2009 01:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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SkepticX - 12 January 2009 02:13 PM

Here’s a more dramatic simile.

Believers like Bruce are like children running around wearing capes flapping around behind them, pretending they’re flying, refusing to acknowledge the obvious reality and the way flying really works, getting irate and defensive with anyone who challenges the claim, because they have faith Jebus is keeping them aloft and we just aren’t able to see it, like these guys, more or less.

Skeptics (adults) recognize and accept the nature of reality and work within those constraints, and as a result we’re more like these guys.

Of course the believers like Bruce presume to be enlightened by comparison, and that we just don’t have access to that enlightenment because we’ve rejected Jebus, and we’re the ones missing out on the experience.

You still haven’t given me a specific example of my cowardice, other than that I have reached a different conclusion than you.

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