General Question

rockfan's avatar

How often do you challenge your own beliefs and convictions?

Asked by rockfan (11981points) June 10th, 2015

I consider myself an agnostic and I’m very critical of organized religion, but I’ve been reading many spiritual/religious books on faith, and it’s making me understand and appreciate the viewpoint of a devout Christian more.

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130 Answers

ucme's avatar

Never, I have complete courage of conviction & total faith in my beliefs.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, when I was a practicing Christian I questioned everything, all the time. My pastors hated to see me raise my hand because they knew I was going to have a perfectly reasonable question that they would have no answer to.

ragingloli's avatar

It is a tad difficult to “challenge” your own beliefs when all the arguments you come across are so shallow, transparent and easy to refute that you wonder how anyone could fall for them.

osoraro's avatar

By seeing well designed scientific evidence to the contrary. For example, I used to be an anthropogenic global warming skeptic until I was convinced by overwhelming scientific data.

stanleybmanly's avatar

rarely. There’s no need. Others are quite prepared to save me the trouble, and vigorously challenge my beliefs daily.

osoraro's avatar

“Science adjusts its views based on what’s observed
Faith is the denial of observation so that belief can be preserved.”
― Tim Minchin

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

I am unabashedly Christian. Im also human. As a result, I challenge my own beliefs pretty regularly.

Faith is not a denial of observation..it is the evidence of things not seen.

ragingloli's avatar

“I believe it, therefore it is real.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

One totally ridiculous, but common, argument that some Christians put forward is to challenge us to prove there is no god. I just say, “Well, as soon as I am done disproving the existence of unicorns, I will disprove the existence of God.”

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

What Ive found is that people are far more angry that I am a Christian than I am that they arent.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why would anyone be angry about it?

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

History has shown time and time again that people tend to get angry at stuff they dont understand.

Thats my only guess as to why.

Coloma's avatar

Many time, yes. I have altered my views on spirituality, marriage, the death penalty and many other views over the years. Some based on programming, others based on experience. We should always be open minded enough to allow new information to penetrate our psyches.

ibstubro's avatar

I tend to be conservative, but I listen to NPR and it challenges my beliefs frequently.

Here’s an example:
I’ve always considered ‘Payday’ and ‘Title’ loans to be magnets for low income people with poor judgement and even poorer money management skills. It only stands that these loans should be against the law.
NPR had a story that pointed out that Payday loans can be a relative bargain and a lifesaver. Say you need $50 or they are going to shut a utility off. You’ll have to pay the $50 plus interest and, say, $100 deposit to have that utility turned back on. Not to mention they time you have to do without an essential utility. Paying back $100 for borrowing $50 for a week becomes a no-brainer.
Payday loans aren’t loansharking, they have largely eliminated the loansharking of the “Send Guido after you” variety. You’re risking known, fixed quotients.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

With alarming frequency.

josie's avatar

Not often. Otherwise, they would not be convictions, but merely whims. People who live a life of whimsy are vulnerable to wolves.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III My pastors hated to see me raise my hand because they knew I was going to have a perfectly reasonable question that they would have no answer to.
If it were a reasonable question and he could not find a plausible answer in the Bible, I would have left his congregation.

I sue to question my belief a lot. But the more I asked of Him, the more he revealed to me, and the more I have experienced firsthand what could only be Him. I still have bouts of unbelief but not in who He is, what He has done, and what He has to come.

ibstubro's avatar

@Dutchess_III:
@Hypocrisy_Central makes an excellent point. If your pastor couldn’t find an answer in the book of Job, Jesus and Jonah, he was a dumkopf.

cazzie's avatar

I have no problem with people being Christian. I do have a problem with being willfully ignorant and a hypocrite. I also worry about how destructive self-delusion does to a person’s judgement. And I’m a parent, so I second guess myself all the time.

dami's avatar

I used to claim being agnostic but now I feel like I’m going back to my roots: Baptists

Bill1939's avatar

What I believe has evolved over the years. Roman Catholicism was my introduction to Christianity in early childhood shaped by Christmas songs about the birth of Christ and stories about his mother Mary. An outlier at thirteen, I challenged the Nun trying to teach the class preparing for First Communion about the eternal existence of God by drawing a circle. I pointing out that while the circle was infinite she had started the illustration placing the chalk at a point on the black board.

She promptly put me out of the class, sending me to the Priest’s office where he and I argued about how could Adam and Eve have been the first people created when archaeological evidence indicated that human existed hundreds of thousands of years ago when men lived in caves. His answer was that perhaps humans devolved to that state before evolving to what we are now, but did not address the difference between when what scientists said and the Bible said we first began.

In the decades that followed, I intellectually explored a variety of Western and Eastern religious philosophies seeking and briefly finding perspectives that resonated with my evolving intuition. Had I not had a questioning mind it is likely that the doctrines of my first church would have remained unchanged throughout my lifetime, but that was not how my mind worked. It would not ignore the perturbations that arose as different perspectives that I became aware of conflicted with what I thought I understood.

Three quarters of a century since my birth and what passes for belief remains as fluid as it had in my childhood. Knowing that I do not know, I am willing to consider as possible almost any presumptions that others hold as truth. The one exception to my amorphous beliefs is a crystallized conception of love, the awareness of my connection to and caring about others.

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t readily challenge my beliefs, but I welcome the opportunity to listen to challenges from others. I can’t think of any case where that caused me to do a 180, but I have moderated and refined my beliefs. With regard to religion, I am technically an agnostic but functionally an atheist and, barring a miracle of the most extraordinary type (like the laws of science spontaneously changing), I don’t see any likelihood of changing my attitude toward religion.

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK, @Hypocrisy_Central and @ibstubro….why do we give God all the glory and credit for saving one particular life in a spectacular way during a hurricane, or other natural disaster, but don’t blame him for the hundreds of children and others who died slow, painful deaths in that same disaster?

Lawn's avatar

I’m a pretty curious person. I debate things in my mind and enjoy reading about ideas that challenge my beliefs. Some recent examples:

- I used to believe that the sun does not revolve around the earth

- I used to believe that my introversion was a personality flaw

- I used to believe that it’s impossible for humans to consciously control their immune system

ragingloli's avatar

@Dutchess_III
*inhales weed
“mysterious ways”, man.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Exactly @ragingloli. Who can know the mind of God?

Dutchess_III's avatar

…....The sun doesn’t revolve around the earth, @Lawn.

ragingloli's avatar

@Dutchess_III
“Who can know the mind of God?”
Every fundie christian. he hates all the things they hate.
are you ready for a miracle?

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Wallet rape.” LOL!

Lawn's avatar

I used to think that was trivially obvious until I read The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow. In the book, they make the observation that scientific realism is difficult to defend in light of modern physics (specifically relativity and quantum mechanics). Instead, they propose an alternative approach to scientific inquiry called model-dependent realism. To quote from the book:

“Although it is not uncommon for people to say that Copernicus proved Ptolemy wrong, that is not true. As in the case of our normal view versus that of the goldfish, one can use either picture as a model of the universe, for our observations of the heavens can be explained by assuming either the earth or the sun to be at rest.”

The real advantage of the Copernican model is that “the equations of motion are much simpler in the frame of reference in which the sun is at rest.”

In short, it’s not accurate to claim that either model is objectively real. The Copernican model is just much more elegant.

LostInParadise's avatar

Much more elegant. Slight wobbles in the Earth’s motion causes slight wobbles in the apparent motion of the stars. In the Ptolemy model, you would have to assume that, instead of the Earth wobbling, all the stars wobbled the same way at the same time.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III *_[…. why do we give God all the glory and credit for saving one particular life in a spectacular way during a hurricane, or other natural disaster, but don’t blame him for the hundreds of children and others who died slow, painful deaths in that same disaster?
The short answer is personal conviction. If I gave God the honor because one person was saved from a flood or jet crash and the rest died, it was in my belief they all should have perished, but the reason that one person survived was that He seen something great they were to do in the future, the others were not. Mishaps in the world does not come from God because the same as you wish only good for your children and grandchildren He can out do your love and I am sure you see your love for your kids and grandkids as great. Being that, the Lord would not inflict pain as that for no reason at all. That is the short version.

Dutchess_III's avatar

” Mishaps in the world does not come from God…” if you believe in God, you have to take the bad with the good. If he’s responsible for saving someone, he’s also responsible for letting someone else die.
He’s responsible for child abuse
He’s responsible for people starving
He’s responsible for AIDS
He’s responsible for pedophilia
He’s responsible for rapes and murders and tortures.
He’s responsible for everything thing in this world, good or bad.
He’s also very capricious, and does indeed inflict pain for no reason at all. Look at all the children with burn marks and bruises and broken bones if you don’t believe me.

ragingloli's avatar

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.”

He actually boasts about being responsible for it all.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III He’s responsible for child abuse
He’s responsible for people starving¬
He’s responsible for AIDS
He’s responsible for pedophilia
He’s responsible for rapes and murders and tortures.
He’s responsible for everything thing in this world, good or bad.
He’s also very capricious, and does indeed inflict pain for no reason at all. Look at all the children with burn marks and bruises and broken bones if you don’t believe me.
So, every parent that had a child becomes a criminal, pedophile, murderer, rapist, thief, etc. they should lock the parents up because they were responsible for their kids and thus should be responsible for anything that child does? I will wait to see what you have to say in that before I address the fallacy of thinking God is responsible for all you mentioned.

LostInParadise's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central , You seriously believe that ”they all should have perished”? You are certainly entitled to your beliefs. It must take a lot of faith to believe in a plan behind the seemingly capricious determination of those who live and those who die.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Christians say god is in control. They always want to give the praise and the glory to god when something good happens,even it it was a simple human act. Why won’t they blame him for the bad, too?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Christians say god is in control.
God is in control, but He is not controlling everything to the minute and mundane. If you have/had children are you not in control of your home? If your child shoots a neighbor’s cat with a pellet gun, gets caught shoplifting, or breaks the front window playing ball in the house, does that mean you have lost control of your house? Does that mean your kids or someone else has taken the reigns from you and they are in control and you are just a passenger paying the bills? Just has your children have freewill to do good and follow the family rules or break them, so does man. If God zapped everyone the moment they strayed off course of His will, then people will be saying god is a tyrant that doesn’t allow anyone to have a view different than His. Freewill comes with consequences, and those consequences usually manifest themselves because man decided to go his way and not God’s way. Secular people might want to have their cake and eat it too, but it don’t work that way.

Why won’t they blame him for the bad, too?
You tell your kid, don’t be out after dark and don’t go around the arcade, gangbangers hang around down there, and don’t flash your iPhone, go to the restroom to make a call if you need to. If your kid ignores all you said, is out after dark, at the arcade, then decides to call you for a ride, whips out his iPhone and some gangbangers beat him and steal his phone, are you saying it is your fault or his for not listening and making his own choice to do as he pleased?

cazzie's avatar

I had a very good example today. I believed it would perfectly ok that my son be allowed to build his own frozen yogurt dessert at the mall today. When I saw what he did, my conviction changed and I vowed to never let him do that ever again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would not call some jerk is torturing or raping a small child “mundane,” and “minute.” If God could stop it, but doesn’t, if he just sits there and watches, he should be shot. The only answer is, he doesn’t intervene because he doesn’t exist.

My examples all have to do with helpless children. Yours have to do with adults and older kids who actually choose to put themselves in bad situations. It’s their fault.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III If God could stop it, but doesn’t, if he just sits there and watches, he should be shot.
If God was going to step in and stop that stepdad from fondling or raping his stepdaughter if he also caused the dumbsticks to drop off men, and the wombs of women to cramp and bleed until they died for deciding to fornicate and have sex outside of marriage you would be onboard with Him stepping in like that too, huh?

Dutchess_III's avatar

He doesn’t exist, @Hypocrisy_Central. No “loving” “caring” God would sit idly by while the most horrific things happen to innocent children.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ If you want Him to alleviate the suffering of everyone, should he smack down any who stumble from the path? You want Him to micromanage the parts you want but not all of it. If you think you can have your cake and eat it too from the world, show me where the world can even give you that, and when it’s done with you, you still get no rest.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some people deserve their suffering because of their choices. Some don’t.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^—The poor choices of some has collateral damage to those who don’t. If everyone stuck to His choice, then the chaos would not be, but…..—-

Dutchess_III's avatar

How do you feel about the fact that he populated the earth via incest. Twice. ?

ragingloli's avatar

And the “most righteous man” in sodom and gomorrah was a guy who offered his two daughters to a mob to be raped.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thoughts on Raggy’s post, @Hypocrisy_Central?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ How do you feel about the fact that he populated the earth via incest. Twice. ?
I can understand why the Lord had to start it off with only two people and their offspring for a time had to carry mankind. Seeing how the two messed it up, I can only imagine how bad it would have been if He had to contend with more. If you are referring to after the flood, Noah had a wife, his sons were with him and they had their wives, so it was not like it came from father and daughter or brothers and sister. I guess I could say I feel about it the same way you do that He allowed homosexuality to flourish; there is a reason both are here on the Earth, not that it was the intended way it was supposed to be. How do you feel that about women being able to kill their unborn children or have sex outside of marriage a n not being cursed? Maybe He should get more active and do something in those areas too while He is micromanaging? Don’t answer, just use the patented ”He isn’t real”, which makes your other questions moot anyhow. It was not His will to repopulate the way it was, but no one but Noah and his family was smart enough to get in the boat, the Lord wasn’t going to force them inside, they had a choice and they chose to drown.

cazzie's avatar

I think we can firmly conclude that @Hypocrisy_Central ‘s answer to the original question is ‘No’. and I simply reiterate my answer, particularly the section of ’ I also worry about how destructive self-delusion does to a person’s judgement.’.

“If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.” ― G.K. Chesterton (In this case, replace ‘madman’ with ‘religious zealot’ to be more accurate.)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ I answered the original question, but it doesn’t have to meet anyone’s standard or meet anyone’s approval, if that fits you, tough. ;-)

Inara27's avatar

“Not his will to re-populate that way it was.” Why not? If he is all-knowing, then he knew the result before he flooded the earth, and did so anyway. I think cazzie and others are looking for a self consistent answer. When an answer or belief doesn’t even make sense in its own context, it is time to rethink your convictions.

ragingloli's avatar

Omniscience causes all kinds of problems.
He knew Adam would grow lonely, and yet he waited for him to complain before creating Adam’s she-slave.
He knew the serpent would cause trouble, and yet he created it and let it into the garden.
He knew that Eve would listen to the serpent, and yet he created her with a too weak mind that would fall prey to it.
He knew they would both eat from the tree, and yet he planted it within reach.

Either he planned it to play out this way from the beginning, or he is not all knowing.

LostInParadise's avatar

And why create a tree of knowledge and be told that you are not allowed to gain knowledge from it? Is knowledge a bad thing? Did the serpent become knowledgeable by eating from the tree? What about the other animals?

cazzie's avatar

One judgement that I’m sure of is that the bible isn’t meant to be taken literally and this conversation is starting to sound like those crazy fan sites that pick apart every piece and frame in the movie of Star Wars or Star Trek or Lord of the Rings and I really hate those sites.

LostInParadise's avatar

There is a slew of fundamentalists who say that every word in the Bible is the literal truth. If it is not true everywhere, what rules do you use for separating fact from fiction. Is the Bible just a book of fairy tales with some commandments thrown in?

cazzie's avatar

@LostInParadise are you asking me?

Bill1939's avatar

@LostInParadise wrote, “And why create a tree of knowledge and be told that you are not allowed to gain knowledge from it? Is knowledge a bad thing? Did the serpent become knowledgeable by eating from the tree? What about the other animals?”

I regard the Book of Genesis as allegorical and not to be taken literally, and the tale of Adam and Eve a parallel to raising children. Parents try to protect young children from learning things that are beyond their comprehension and that would likely be misunderstood. Of course, children covet the power and freedom that their parents appear to have.

The snake is a symbol of their natural inclination to seek ways to acquire these attributes. Inevitably, children will assert their emerging will and do what they have been told not to do. The snake is also a symbol of sexual impulses that can produce problems when acted upon too early in life.

Sexuality is the “fruit of the tree” and once tasted will always be desired. Though the child may not, the parents know the predictable consequences, which is why they try to prevent it. However, in the end children take on the role of adulthood and no longer have the security and freedom from want that living in their parents’ home provided. They now have the burdens of responsibility and the necessity to protect their children, especially from the trials and tribulations of adult life.

cazzie's avatar

@LostInParadise I think the Bible is mainly a book of fiction. I don’t think there were Hebrew slaves in Egypt. The Egyptians kept excellent records and there is no evidence to support the claim in the bible. Some of the historical accounts seem to be based on things that really happened, but I do not believe, in any way shape or form, that some Omni-present father and creator of the Universe handed the words down to a tiny iron-age clan of nomads making them ‘his chosen ones’ and giving them ‘the promised land’.

@Bill1939 We are animals with sexual (reproductive) urges. We desire sex because we desire sex.

ibstubro's avatar

Way back there, @Dutchess_III, my point was that if your pastor couldn’t craft and answer to your questions from a book as vague and jumbled as the Bible, he would be a poor pastor indeed.

I forget why God killed all the innocent children and infirm people with the flood? People unable to fend for themselves, even if they fervently believed His warnings? Collateral damage. You know, God as that woman that drowned her 3 babies in the bathtub. Better yet, Ronald Gene Simmons was surely following in his Father’s footsteps.

Bill1939's avatar

@cazzie, I am not sure why you commented about my reference to sexuality. Perhaps it is in reference to my statement that “Sexuality is the “fruit of the tree” and once tasted will always be desired.” I agree that we are animals and once we reach a state of physical maturity our instinct to reproduce kicks in and sexual desires are awakened. However, the mechanism is not wholly internal. Environmental aspects play a role in initiating the desire for sex.

snowberry's avatar

Practically daily.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But didn’t the Bible say the fruit of the tree was forbidden?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thoughts on Raggy’s post, @Hypocrisy_Central?
The intention was noble, but the execution was flawed. But, to those who have no knowledge it would be the same as watching a contractor taking out the drywall, cabinets and floors. To those ignorant in restoration it would look as if the house is being ruined, but to those with knowledge it is known you can’t put in the new until you clear out the janky stuff. The person in question was Lot, and though he recognized they were from the Lord, he limited them as to their ability to protect themselves, yet out of honor to God, he offered his home. When the men came for them, he felt he could protect them better than they could themselves or the Lord could. Yes, he offered his daughters as an exchange; because he felt (in my opinion) the sacrifice was worth it in that the men from God had more worth and their mission of great importance. In reality, the gals were safe from rape, maybe not so a good thrashing, the men wanted sausage not taco. They girls could have disrobed and I am sure the men would have yelled for them to put their tunics back on because naked women were repugnant to them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Man, they have you brainwashed to the max, with pseudo explanatory stories. I have one of my own to share with you, when I have more time.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Man, they have you brainwashed to the max, with pseudo explanatory stories.
And I can say you have been spiritually blinded to the hilt, and believing any wind of self-serving scientific propaganda. I don’t know why you even bothered to ask when no answer will fit what you want to believe. Since by your imagination, this is all you are ever going to have, do not waste your time on what I or the 10s of thousands of other Believers (in Christ) believe. Live your life as if there is no tomorrow, for what you believe, there isn’t if you die. Get all you can, enjoy all you can, and be damned who you have to shuck out of the way to get there, because once it is over, it is over, and since you don’t know when that is, don’t waste time on anything that doesn’t manifest the end result; happiness her eon this rock.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(That’s millions of other believers, not 10’s of thousands. That’s the same argument a friend of mine used when she converted to Catholicism. “There are more Catholics than any other Christian sects in the world, so with so MANY how could they be wrong?” I think you can see the fallacy in that logic, HC.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

See, you are assuming that without Christ I become a selfish asshole who doesn’t give a shit about others and am out for only what I can get, and to hell with all others. Why would you think that?

keobooks's avatar

I’m ignoring all of this bla bla God stuff except to say that it seems that everyone on both sides seems to be experts at noticing when someone ELSE needs to challenge their beliefs. I’m not religious myself, but Matthew 7:3 seems pretty appropriate to me.

I frequently have strong opinions about lots of things. And when I post here or on other sites, I do lots of research to back my points up. More than a few times, after carefully looking for facts to prove myself right, I discover that there are more facts to prove that I’m wrong. Or the issue is more complex than I originally thought, and my original opinion isn’t as practical and sensible as I thought it was. So yeah.. I change my belief.

I don’t think that means that my beliefs are only whims, as someone said earlier, but I can’t find their post because it’s buried in all of the religious fighting. If a scientist does research to prove his hypothesis correct, and instead he proves himself incorrect, his original belief wasn’t a mere whim. It was a very strong belief…that turned out not to be true. If he continues to stand by and defend his original beliefs, he’ll have to either refuse to read the data correctly, or lie about the outcome to fool others. That would make him a liar or an idiot. Holding onto a belief that you have discovered to be false isn’t noble. Refusing to change your opinion when you have more information than you originally had is not a weakness.

I will admit though. I hate to admit that I’m wrong. I hate it so much that I will almost never do it publicly. I was going to post some links from here where I changed opinion mid thread, but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that. Even posts that are a year or two old. I’ll only say that when I start posting stuff like, “I need to do some serious thinking” or “I’ll need to study this some more” that means I’ve been converted to the other side, but I’m not about to give the “asshole” who I’ve been going back and forth with the satisfaction of “winning.”

Yes that’s totally petty and shallow of me, but what can I do? I still get points for changing my belief and admit to myself I was wrong. I’m just not quite willing to admit it in public just yet.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III [… “There are more Catholics than any other Christian sects in the world, so with so MANY how could they be wrong?” I think you can see the fallacy in that logic, HC.)
That is without saying, I stated my thoughts on such, not all who call themselves Christian are Believers (and that is of Christ for the lawyer types). The fallacy of that (which seem to be adapted by more unbelievers than saints) is akin to the belief that call Republicans are right winged Bible Belt Conservatives. Some choose Republicans because they like how Republicans appear to support business, they could care less about the other values Republicans. Some might even have choose Republican because they hate all the other parties, they, in their hearts, believe they ARE Republicans. Some in their heart believe THEY ARE Christian and/or Believers, but only because they accept part of the gospel and not all of it.

See, you are assuming that without Christ I become a selfish asshole who doesn’t give a shit about others and am out for only what I can get, and to hell with all others. Why would you think that?
Read closer, I never said you were like anything. You said somewhere I can’t remember just now, that it is all about the facts and logic. Going off that, logic says if this is all you ever get from life, then you need to get as much of it, or all that will make it enjoyable to you and not be concerned if others get theirs, because that is their responsibility. Time is fleeting enough than to waste time worrying about the happiness of others unless that somehow brings you happiness. You call that being an asshole, but logically that is a prudent person because they are maximizing their ever so short time on this rock before going off to the great white zephrum, never, never land, oblivion, the Q Continuum, or wherever the souls is supposed to go by that belief.

You seem like a very decent person to me, and a nice one as well, just an ungodly one. Just being nice is not enough to keep anyone off the escalator to the furnace room, I tell them of a better option, but if they don’t take the golden ticket before them, their blood is not on my hands, I warned them (that is the Word, not my personal mandate).

@keobooks If a scientist does research to prove his hypothesis correct, and instead he proves himself incorrect, his original belief wasn’t a mere whim. It was a very strong belief…that turned out not to be true. If he continues to stand by and defend his original beliefs, he’ll have to either refuse to read the data correctly, or lie about the outcome to fool others.
I understand science more than people want to believe. My thing with science is don’t try to give me a hypothesis and tell me it is real, especially when the whole foundation is based on being able to see it, touch it, smell it, weigh it, measure it, perform it, etc. If they tell me that this planet or that has a core of molten nickel, depend on what evidence they present I have the choice to believe and have faith in their findings or not. If they try to tell me for a certain that the core is molten nickel, and they never drilled it, a probe never drilled it, no one has ever stepped foot on the planet, then it might be wrong, because it can or will be made right or wrong if man ever lives long enough to get there and actually drill. Science says there are quarks, I trust and have faith there is something smaller than an atom, since I never seen one, I have not held it in my hand or measured it, I can say it doesn’t exist, but I am going off faith in the science that it does exist. Certain things have always been around, it is just man had no way to detect them, but that did not make those things unreal or untrue.

cazzie's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I guess you don’t know what spectral analysis is, then, or how the LHC works.

keobooks's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central—I wasn’t even thinking of the existence or nonexistence of God when I wrote this. I was talking about things like for instance.. “Would gun control be effective in lowering the number of gun related deaths?”

People argue about whether gun control is a good thing or a bad thing—is it the right or the wrong thing to do? I don’t think you can prove or disprove those arguments. But you CAN discover the likelihood of gun control being an effective “weapon” against gun violence.You can’t predict with much certainty how effective or ineffective it would be until you try it, but you can back up both arguments with evidence that you can find and read to help form your opinion.

—-

OK, and I have to address the whole God thing, just because. I am a devout agnostic. Some people think that just means that you’re on the fence about whether or not you believe in God. I just believe that there is no way to prove whether or not God exists, because God by nature refuses to prove existence. So looking for any evidence of God is pointless, because he specifically said you wouldn’t find anything. And looking for any evidence that God doesn’t exist is pointless, because any proof you have could be used as proof that God is doing his job going around and offering no proof of his existence. It’s a pointless argument either way.

I HATE HATE HATE the entire argument of “If God exists, why does he allow all this horrible stuff to happen?” That doesn’t prove that God doesn’t exist. That’s like trying to argue that the laws of physics don’t exist because you don’t like the way they work, and you wished they worked some other way. It proves that you DON’T LIKE God very much. It proves that you wouldn’t be likely to worship him even if he proved once and for all he existed. It proves that you DON’T WANT him to exist. It doesn’t prove whether or not he actually exists.

As for Christians. Yes, I get that the Bible is super important and reliable to YOU. But it’s not at all convincing to to anyone outside the judeo-christian belief camp. QUIT TRYING TO USE IT TO PROVE YOUR POINTS.

Most of you guys are really conservative. When someone here tries to prove their point to you, they may show you an article they found in the Huffington Post. You counter that the Huffington Post is a worthless source because it has a liberal bias. If you can’t accept any truth from the Huffington Post, why would you expect someone not Christian to accept any truth from the Bible? The Bible is considered even less reliable than the Huffington Post. It’s not even as reliable as the Weekly World News to these people. Give it up.

Also, trying to instill a fear of going to Hell isn’t going to work either. First of all, all of the evidence you have of this happening is found in the Bible. Which they don’t believe in anyway. Second of all, there are those of us (myself included) that don’t like the idea of worshiping a God for no other reason than I am afraid of burning in Hell for all eternity. I don’t like a God that goes around burning billions of people in Hell. That’s something I don’t want to stand in support and approval of. I’d rather not spend eternity in Heaven with a God who does things I consider to be extremely offensive and immoral.

But I don’t personally fear eternal damnation all that much. Because while you can’t prove for sure whether or not God Himself exists, you can point to the fact that there is no evidence that a historical Jesus existed. It’s not like there’s very little we know about the Romans and they left almost no trace of anything behind. They left all sorts of records that prove all sorts of things existed. And none of it makes any reference at all to Jesus. I won’t say I know for sure that Jesus never existed, but I will say that it’s very highly unlikely.

Going to Heaven doesn’t just require that you follow all the teachings found in the Bible attributed to Jesus, it actually requires that you believe Jesus actually existed as a person, died on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven. Since it’s very unlikely he even existed, it’s not too hard to toss the rest of the Hell stuff away in the trash.

Anyway, thats about it /rant off.

LostInParadise's avatar

@keobooks , Are you familiar with the Euthyphro argument, which dates back to Plato? It does not disprove the existence of God, but it puts into question the value of what God does.

It is such a good argument that it is worth repeating. It starts with an innocent seeming question. Does there exist a standard of goodness that exists apart from God? There are only two possibilities.

1. There does exist such a standard and everything God does is the best possible action according to the standard. In that case God is an automaton and totally lacking in freedom. If we knew the standards, we could predict what God would do, so why not simply eliminate the middle man from consideration?

2. There does not exist a standard apart from God. God makes up His own rules. There is no way of determining how good God’s actions are because there is no external standard. How can you say that God is perfect if God makes up the standards of perfection? You end up in a circular argument saying that God’s standards of perfection are perfect because God is perfect.

keobooks's avatar

I like that. I’ll look into it more when I’m near wifi and don’t have to use my phone.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Yes, I said this is the only life we have, so make the most of it. I said to leave good memories behind because people talking about you, remembering you, is the closest you’re going to get to an afterlife.
You choose to read ” ...not be concerned if others get theirs, because that is their responsibility. Time is fleeting enough than to waste time worrying about the happiness of others unless that somehow brings you happiness.” into it. Perhaps that would be your philosophy without God. It is not mine.

Besides, lots and lots of “Christians” live that philosophy of trampling others on their way up the ladder. When they make it, they praise God.

ibstubro's avatar

Yesterday I heard a woman praising how God was looking after her because she looked at two sinks at Lowes, and the next time she went in, the sinks were ½ price. If she’d ruptured a disk moving the sinks, it would have been part of the ‘mysterious ways’. It was good for a chuckle.

keobooks's avatar

@LostInParadise the second argument has always bothered me. Not so much in God’s perfection, but God being the ultimate source of “goodness” in the universe. Not only can you cite all of the “If God exists, why does XYZ happen?” , but God doesn’t seem to be very “good” in the Bible. If you question any of the acts in the Bible, you get told that it’s all good because God is good. We know God is good, because God tells us he’s good. That seems like a pretty shady deal. You’d never trust a person who told you that they have good intentions for no other reason than they told you that.

It also bothers me when. Christians claim that without belief in God, there can be no right or wrong in the world and everyone would just go around raping and killing each other. There are many, many societies that have atheist or agnostic religions (yes that is possible) and those countries do just fine and manage to figure out that stealing and murder is wrong. For instance, you can argue that you don’t like communism, but you can’t really argue that China, an atheist country, is a place to avoid because there are no laws and people just run around raping and killing each other all the time. There has to be a moral standard without God, because many societies exist and are successful in keeping law and order without God’s help at all.

—-
Oh… So THATs what causes thread derailment. I totally get it now. Sorry for contributing to this threads demise. But it was SO worth it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(@keobooks…you can’t have an agnostic or atheist “religion.” Just sayin’....)

There is so much more to helping others than some “Because you must or you’re going to hell.” It’s become an evolutionary standard. We learned that helping each other benefits us, as well as others. Altruism is one of the reasons humans have made it this far. Many animals help each other out, for the benefit of all.

keobooks's avatar

@Dutchess_III—yes there certainly are atheist religions. And they aren’t uncommon. Buddhism is the most common example, and there are many American Indian religions that supernatural elements, don’t really have any dieties.

I know this from taking anthropology and world mythology classes. you may not have taken those classes, so I can’t fault you there. But I did a Google search of “example of atheist religion” and BOOM! Right there on the very first hit. The hits after that had more detailed and better info, but seriously. It’s right there.

Please… It wasn’t a mistake on my part. That’s why I specifically put in(yes they do exist) right after “atheist religions”. If you’re going to make a bold blanket statement like that, remember that Google is your friend.

I

keobooks's avatar

Btw, this is one of the better links. It got cut off when I did an edit.

Grrr.. I meant this one sorry. I forgot to copy the article I was reading, so the one that I copied before pasted.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But in your examples, the people share a certain philosophy and groups of people come together to reaffirm their philosophies. Atheist don’t go to meetings.

Let’s get @osoraro‘s take on it. He knows more than I. Especially since he is an atheist Jew.

ibstubro's avatar

American Atheists.
Feel free to start a chapter. @Dutchess_III.

keobooks's avatar

Damnit two times in a row, I come close to finishing a post and then something wonky happens and the post gets eaten. It’s late at night and I want to go to bed. So it will be short and sweet.

I rarely get angry here. I am angry right now. I am very angry and insulted. I’m not just frustrated that you don’t understand me. I am specifically angry and insulted by you.

I happen to practice an atheist religion. I go to services every week. Not everyone in the congregation is atheist, but my church has no requirement to believe in a deity. My minister is atheist. I’d like to give you his email address so you can explain to him that he’s not really an atheist, because atheists can’t be ministers.

I find it personally insulting that you think atheist religions are nothing more than people sitting around and talking about philosophy. You can have sacred beliefs and rituals that don’t involve God.

I find it insulting that you don’t trust me. You don’t trust google or Wikipedia or any of the zillions of sources where you can get this information. No, you have to count on @osoraro and no one else. Should I call my college professors and tell them not to teach their classes anymore because it’s all bullshit until some person on Fluther approves? Let’s go rewrite Wikipedias articles on religion to make sure it aligns with the truth as you know it.

Because it just can’t be true if you don’t believe it.

ibstubro's avatar

Fluther, @keobooks, is a dying art.

PM me if you think my email address would benefit you?

Write a book.

keobooks's avatar

Thanks @ibsturbo , I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Right now I want to rage a little more.

I thought I was done with this but I’m not, believing whether or not God exists is a personal opinion because it’s impossible to prove whether or not God exists. I try never to get into that specific argument because I find it pointless.

But not everything in the world is so subjective and up for personal speculation as to whether or not it exists. You can’t just “not believe” that atheist religions don’t exist because they don’t fit your own special personal definition of what the words “atheist” and “religion” mean. Those words have real definitions that exist outside your own personal head.

You can argue that these religions don’t make sense to you, or that you don’t think they should exist, but you can’t argue that they don’t exist at all. You can argue that certain religions have beliefs that are untrue, but you can’t argue that the religion doesn’t exist at all. You can’t argue that something that has been defined as a religion by experts all over the world agree that it qualifies as a religion because you don’t want it to be a religion.

It’s not my personal opinion that atheist religions exist. It is a fact. If you don’t trust Wikipedia, or any of the thousands of hits you’ll get on Google, you can look this up in any encyclopedia or book on world religions. You can go to any university and ask professors in several different departments and they will tell you this is true. You can go into your community and ask the leaders of these religions and see what they tell you.

We can continue to argue about this. I have everything that I mentioned above to prove myself correct. You have your personal opinion, which was formed by having almost no education or study of what a religion is. I wonder how this is going to play out.

Your refusing to believe this is as backwards as believing that shoes don’t exist. Sure you’re entitled to whatever cockamamie belief you want, but there is plenty evidence all over the planet that can prove shoes exist.

The existence of atheist religions is not up for personal opinion! You don’t have to believe the religions are good ones to follow. You don’t have to agree that it’s a good idea that millions of other people say they exist. But you can’t just go around saying they don’t exist! That’s not up for debate.

This post is about being willing to change your convictions. I realize I got all snarkier than though about suggesting that other people learn to be more flexible. But come on! Almost the entire internet, almost all of the materials available in all of the libraries in the world will confirm this. Why the hell are you sticking to your own personal incorrect beliefs on this?

It makes no sense! It blows my mind!

Ok Im Done. Nighty night.

cazzie's avatar

There are beliefs that have no deity, @Dutchess_III . They are ‘atheist’ You should read more.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@keobooks @Hypocrisy_Central—I wasn’t even thinking of the existence or nonexistence of God when I wrote this. I was talking about things like for instance.. “Would gun control be effective in lowering the number of gun related deaths?”
I was only speaking for me, what convictions or beliefs that anyone else have or challenge it is up to them. Someone asked me a question of God; however, I wonder why they even asked when no answer is good enough for them.

People argue about whether gun control is a good thing or a bad thing—is it the right or the wrong thing to do? I don’t think you can prove or disprove those arguments. But you CAN discover the likelihood of gun control being an effective “weapon” against gun violence.You can’t predict with much certainty how effective or ineffective it would be until you try it, but you can back up both arguments with evidence that you can find and read to help form your opinion.
Is that not like most things? With gun control, there is no way to say which is superior. For every instance where you can say controlling guns would stem gun violence, you can point to someone having a gun for protection stemmed gun violence or violence in general. You can point out that cops can only keep the peace is the fact they are armed. It is like the argument of climate change, there is no way to get an all-inclusive because no one can control every variable to illuminate it from a possible reason for any change or shift in temperature.

I just believe that there is no way to prove whether or not God exists, because God by nature refuses to prove existence.
The visible attributes of God is everywhere in how this world is made, every time science ”discovers” something, it is a mystery of Creation, God allowed man to uncover. God is not and has never refused to be known. He may not give you the ”smoking gun”, but if one seeks Him, He will reveal Himself. If you do not believe He exists, you will never find him, because you will never seek in a way He can be found. If I were able to travel back to the Dark Ages and tell them of radio, and how it can be used to communicate over vast distances, if the inhabitance of that time do not believe there are any waves in the air that can do that, why would they ever pick up a ratio and attempt to adjust the antenna and try to dial in a station?

I HATE HATE HATE the entire argument of “If God exists, why does he allow all this horrible stuff to happen?” That doesn’t prove that God doesn’t exist.
I don’t care for it either but it is a convenient cop out argument. I have yet to hear anyone say they would be onboard for God not allowing any suffering but if anyone missed the mark, sinned, they would be smoked on the spot. They would then call God some dictator. What they want is a genie of a God that will give them an easy safe life with lots of fortune but they do not what to have to do anything in return to receive it.

It proves that you DON’T LIKE God very much. It proves that you wouldn’t be likely to worship him even if he proved once and for all he existed. It proves that you DON’T WANT him to exist. It doesn’t prove whether or not he actually exists.
That hit the nail on the head better than anything said in this whole thread. People who claim He doesn’t exist seem to spend a lot of time trying to prove He doesn’t, almost as if they could then they can be 110% sure there will be no repercussion after death on how they lived their life. They should be trying to live it up to the fullest the short time they have here. Of course, that is one of the tricks of the great Deceiver is to make man not believe. They get so frustrated and pissed (maybe secretly frightened) that He exist they result to insults like ”Sky Daddy”, or that His kids, us Believers are ignorant, delusional, whacko, etc., etc.

But it’s not at all convincing to to anyone outside the judeo-christian belief camp. QUIT TRYING TO USE IT TO PROVE YOUR POINTS.
If someone asks me a question about the Bible or it cannot be answered but by way what the Bible says, then I will use it. In general, I don’t, it appears to me the ones who don’t believe it are always trying to use it with cherry picked verses ripped out of context, and refusing to believe it when explained in context.

When someone here tries to prove their point to you, they may show you an article they found in the Huffington Post. You counter that the Huffington Post is a worthless source because it has a liberal bias. If you can’t accept any truth from the Huffington Post, why would you expect someone not Christian to accept any truth from the Bible?
That might be some saints, when I want to find something of secular matters; I attempt to check out several secular sources that have no faith leaning. Such as when I went looking to see if there was any gay animals in the classic sense of gay, and could not find any purely neutral or secular science source that said there definitively. The closest I found were sheep in which were believed to have abnormal brains, and this was not any faith leaning article that said it, still people tried to argue when it came supposedly from sources they are supposed to believe

Also, trying to instill a fear of going to Hell isn’t going to work either. First of all, all of the evidence you have of this happening is found in the Bible. Which they don’t believe in anyway. Second of all, there are those of us (myself included) that don’t like the idea of worshiping a God for no other reason than I am afraid of burning in Hell for all eternity
Again, if one doesn’t believe they should quit dwelling on it and spend the time living it up here as much as they can, because in the grand scheme of things, each of us are here on this rock as a vapor, hardly here long enough to be a sneeze. Second, if the only reason you say you believe is to have ”fire insurance”, you don’t really believe and you are lying to yourself. He wants you to believe because you believed you were saved from the wages of sin, but if you don’t believe that, regardless how true it is, it is not danger to you. When they tested the bomb in the Nevada desert in ’59 believing it could be a tactical battlefield weapon. They stationed men in tranches 4 miles off ground zero. When the mushroom cloud dissipated the men got out of the trenches and marched right into the blast zone. They had no knowledge the hazard they were marching into, they did not worry about it because they could not see, small, feel, hear, or touch the radiation; but it was there with deadly consequences. If they knew (and they did not), I doubt they would have marched in there.

I don’t like a God that goes around burning billions of people in Hell.
What people do to themselves, God cannot be blamed for.

Going to Heaven doesn’t just require that you follow all the teachings found in the Bible attributed to Jesus, it actually requires that you believe Jesus actually existed as a person, died on the cross, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven.
That is where this thing called faith kicks in. We all have faith; some just put faith in man, science, and all sorts of other things with no saving ability. Someone based off some test they did, when they see what they expected to see, say this or that is real or the way something is, and other people who place their faith in their study believe it also, until it is proven wrong by later test or study. People believe all sort of things that cannot be definitively proven, but might be because certain test show it might be plausible.

It also bothers me when. Christians claim that without belief in God, there can be no right or wrong in the world and everyone would just go around raping and killing each other.
Isn’t that what secular people do when they try to use misguided behavior of past saints as proof that belief in God causes war and was the fodder of a lot of atrocities and horrors? Just because some people in the church, or think they are, acted badly, they are still man, and not perfect; that can’t be hung on God.

Take away all the traffic cops, speed bumps, and stop signs, people are not going to blow through intersections pell mell, or not looking both ways. If there was no God, there would still be people who would act agreeably but only for their own good. Not doing something would not be done because they thought it wrong; they would do it to avoid negative reciprocity. Not all of the world would be in total chaos; there would be pockets of civility.

keobooks's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central—I know you’re going about it several different ways, but all I can hear from you when you talk about the afterlife is “You better believe, or you’ll be sorry!”

Imagine that there are two people debating a non-religious topic. The two people are going back and forth in a reasonable manner with facts and opinions. Suddenly, at some point, one of the debaters grabs the other one by the throat, pulls a hammer out of a duffel bag. and says “If you don’t believe that I’m right, I’m going to take this hammer and beat you to death with it.” Of COURSE the other guy is going to start jibbering and crying and say “OK you’re right! Just please put the hammer down. Don’t kill me!” Does this really make debater who threatened the other one correct? (BTW, the debater with the hammer isn’t the Christian, it’s God himself.)

The image that comes to my mind is God standing around and screaming out “I’m the ultimate force of Good in the Universe! I’m the embodiment of Love and Peace! Now come here and believe that or, I’m going to smite your motherfucking soul!”

I’m not saying that Christianity isn’t the truth of the universe. I’m just saying that it doesn’t seem to offer much more than a promise not to burn in hell for all eternity. And unlike the guy with the hammer, there’s no evidence that this hell even exists. Maybe this will be shocking, but once we get down to the “you’ll burn in hell” argument, you’ve lost me. I do not want to worship some god whose primary appeal is “I’ll throw you into a lake of eternal fire if you don’t believe in me.” That doesn’t sound like a loving God. That sounds like an insane tyrant who has access to all the power in the universe, and uses it to bully and abuse all the people in the world that he supposedly created. No! I don’t want to get behind that.

And some people use this “gambler’s argument” Like, you might as well believe in Christianity because if it turns out to be a lie, nothing bad happens to your eternal soul if you don’t believe. But if it turns out to the truth, then all of this awful terrible stuff will happen to you if you don’t believe.

First of all… like God isn’t going to figure out this trick. Like you’ll die and God will say “You didn’t really believe in me. You just became a Christian to hedge your eternal bets. But you ARE a Christian.. so there’s nothing I can do about it. Welcome to heaven!” Like, you can totally pull a fast one on God. Yeah.

Anyway, this argument isn’t at all appealing to people not Christian because it still requires strong arming and bullying. Remember, you’re not just trying to trying to get someone so scared that they are willing to say or do anything in order to save themselves from hell. You’re actually trying to sell the fact that the religion is, in fact, true.

I count myself as one of the guilty here, because I set up the debate as “Christianity vs Secular Athiesm” when the argument is really “God” vs “No God” Christianity didn’t invent religion. It wasn’t even the original religion. It’s a pretty new religion in existence compared to all the other ones.

Countless other religions have an afterlife. So this “enjoy life while you can because there’s nothing after you die” is not speaking to everyone out there who isn’t Christian or who doesn’t believe in a deity. Countless other religions are based on being selfless and sacrificing your own needs and wants for the good of the community and the world around you. So this whole argument about that you don’t believe in God, you’re just selfish and only do good things to protect your own interest. Doesn’t ring true with the billions of people who practice other religions and don’t go around doing everything for selfish reasons.

You’re used to arguing with people who say “I don’t believe in God because Christians are hypocrites and God is mean and let’s bad things happen.” This is because most of the people you encounter are American or European. You aren’t hearing from all the people in the world who say “I don’t believe in God, because I was raised Zen Buddhist.” or “I am not Christian because I’m perfectly happy with being a Hindu.” None of your arguments would work against those people.

I can stumble around and get caught up in your debate, because while I’m not Christian myself, I was raised that way. I try not to have a Christian-centric world view where everything in the universe is sorted as being for or against Christianity. But my gut instinct is to do this because I was taught as a child to see the universe this way. It’s hard not to fall into bad habits. So I apologize for starting my arguments in a “Christian vs Secular Atheist” debate. I wasn’t thinking clearly.

Just remember when you argue pro-God. There are billions of people in the world that would stand by your side and agree that YES! There IS indeed a GOD! But when you start talking about Jesus and the Bible and burning in Hell and stuff, they’ll just back away and say “Uhh no.. I’m not with this guy…”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Whoa…@keobooks…” I am specifically angry and insulted by you.” was that rant aimed at me? This is simply the first time I’ve heard of atheists “congregations.” I was on my way to learn more, which is why I asked @Osoraro to join in,because I’d never heard of something like this. That’s all. I don’t doubt you, it’s just the first time I’ve heard about it.

Since I haven’t heard, I’m having a hard time imagining what atheists coming together is supposed to accomplish. What do they talk about? I don’t want to google, I want to talk.

Churches bring people together to make sure they haven’t gone too long between brainwashing so they don’t start questioning ideology.

osoraro's avatar

Judaism, except for the cognitive dissonance of sometimes believing in God, has no problem with science. The only Jews who are hostile to science are the extreme right wing orthodox and they’re more of a curiosity than anything else as they are a tiny fraction of a percentage of the Jewish population. Many Jews are devout, but I know as many atheist Jews as I know devout Jews.

The bottom line, is that the essence of being Jewish doesn’t have anything to do with God. The personal philosophy of most Jews is summed up in the following parable. Note, that there is no mention whatsoever of God.

A Gentile came to Rabbi Shammai and said, “I will convert to Judaism if you can teach me while I am standing on one foot..” Rabbi Shammai shooed him away.

The Gentile then went to Rabbi Hillel and said, “I will convert to Judaism if you can teach me while I am standing on one foot.” Rabbi Hillel looked at him and said, “That which is despicable to you do not do unto your fellow. That is the whole Torah—all the rest is commentary. Now go and study.”

I have no problem with religion. I have no problem with people believing in God. What I have a problem with is anti-intellectualism, willful ignorance, and a disregard for science. I know many Christians, like Dutch, who have no problem with science.

Lawn's avatar

I used to attend a Unitarian Universalist church. They welcome anyone: atheists, agnostics, deists, Christians, Buddhists, or someone just searching for meaning in life. They have seven principles:

1. inherent worth and dignity of every person
2. justice, equity and compassion in human relations
3. acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in congregations
4. a free and responsible search for truth and meaning
5. the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within congregations and in society at large
6. the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
7. respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

They talk about social issues and overcoming personal struggles – they sometimes practice meditation.

What would be the point for an atheist? For example, if a loved one passed away or someone in your family was very sick, they would support you. They might have a memorial if you wished. Or they would pray for you if you requested prayers. People in the congregation might bring meals.

keobooks's avatar

@Dutchess_III—you didn’t originally sound simply uninformed and curious. You sounded like someone pretty darned confident that I was mistaken when I said that atheist religions exist. People don’t end sentences with “Just sayin’” when they simply don’t understand and are curious to learn more.

Then, when I tried to assure you that I meant what I said and I knew what I was talking about, you told me that I was incorrect about defining those institutions as a religion. You said that they weren’t a religion, they were just people getting together and talking about philosophy. It was nothing more than a meeting. Then you confidently told me that atheists don’t go to meetings. There’s nothing in the definition of atheism that includes “doesn’t go to meetings”

Then the cherry on top.. “You say, well ok, maybe there’s a chance that I’m not right. But your word isn’t good enough. I’ll ask @osoraro . Because being atheist and Jewish at the same time. I’ll take his word over yours, Google’s or anyone else.

First of all, I don’t know if you’ll take my word for it, and you’ll just wait for @osoraro to explain it. But being both atheist and Jewish isn’t really a good example of someone practicing an atheist religion. Judaism isn’t just a religion—it’s also an ethnicity. It’s almost totally likely that he is spiritually atheist because he doesn’t believe in God, but ethnically Jewish because he has Jewish parents and grew up in a Jewish household. There are not only Jewish atheists, there are also Jewish Christians and Jewish Buddhists. Did you know that a very large percentage of Jews killed in the holocaust didn’t actively practice Judaism at all? Hitler didn’t disprove of the religion, he hated them as a race of people.

Anyway, I can’t tell you what happens at every religious service of every atheist religion. They are very different from each other. There’s as much variety between them as there is in religions that have deities.

As for my own religion, it probably would look like what you seem to have in your mind when you imagine these churches just being meetings and talking about philosophy. That’s what I thought the Unitarian Church was before I joined. I called it church for people who like everything about Christianity except the whole God thing. I had no idea that the church had a few hundred years of history behind it. I didn’t know there would be meditation, chants, hymns and even prayers. I didn’t think that there would be any rituals that had any sacred significance at all. But it’s there.

I also attended a Buddhist temple for a while. While they offered classes that taught about the specific tenets teachings and philosophy of the Buddha, the actual “service” had almost no talking at all. There was a lot of meditation, lots of chanting, lots of incense burning. A few times I saw people who spent a long time bowing before the image of Buddha. It turns out they were offering up prayers. All of the people doing this that I saw were Asian. I’m guessing they most likely grew up Buddhist. Because the concept of prayer was different than a Christian concept. They didn’t believe that Buddha was god. They didn’t believe that he was immortal. They didn’t even seem to believe that he was floating around as a spirit, able to give you good things as a reward for praying to him. I can’t really tell you what it was because I personally don’t know.

I can’t begin to explain Jainism, except to say that it’s connected early Buddhism somehow and few people outside India practice it. Once one of their leaders decided to stop eating because he said that he didn’t need to do so anymore. He starved to death. All the other Jains praised him because not only did he lose the need to eat, but he also lost the need to breathe and stay alive. They made a holy sacred site exactly on the spot where he died. Jains all love to come to this holy spot and do whatever it is they do when they are being religious. I don’t have the slightest idea why they follow the religion or find any meaning in it. It’s too foreign for me to understand.

osoraro's avatar

@keobooks Please don’t speak for me. You are incorrect in your assumptions about me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I never said, ”“You say, well ok, maybe there’s a chance that I’m not right. But your word isn’t good enough. I’ll ask @osoraro . Because being atheist and Jewish at the same time. I’ll take his word over yours, Google’s or anyone else.” I mean, that’s how you interpreted it, but that’s not how I meant it. It was the beginning of curiosity for me.

And the reason @osoraro is my go-to, is because he is the one who, through patience, and logic and reasoning, led me to the spot where I could finally say, “There is no god.” That was hard to do.
He’s my mentor when it comes to things religious. It wasn’t meant as an insult in any way, and I’m sorry if it did insult you.

So, what kinds of things are discussed at Unitarian services?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@keobooks You are placing a lot of emphasis on religions that do not rely on worshipping a god or gods in these posts. Is it your feeling that most atheists actually belong to some religion?

When a person identifies as atheist, they don’t usually qualify that with “I’m an atheist, but I’m also a Buddhist/Jainist/other religion”. If one identifies as an atheist, that person is not normally also religious. Judaism is a whole other category, because their cultural and historical identity almost dwarfs their religious identity.

It just sounds like you are presenting a small minority of atheists as if they are representative of all or most atheists, when they are really, really not. Atheists, as has been said on Fluther time and time again, are an extremely diverse group – they have to be, since literally the only thing that makes them an identifiable group is their lack of belief in a god.

keobooks's avatar

@osoraro—I didn’t think that I was speaking for you. Sorry if you thought that. I was just angry that @Dutchess_III was acting like you were the only source of authority and the end all be all of everything that is religious. Sorry and all.. I didn’t think

@dappled_leaves No.. I don’t believe that at all. THE ONLY reason that I am focusing on it at all in any sort of way is that in ONE SENTENCE I made an offhand comment about societies based on atheist religions. I wasn’t even going to bother to include it at all, but I did.

Then @Dutchess_III had to waltz in and inform me that atheist religions didn’t exist… “just sayin’”

Well, this ticked me off slightly at first, so I replied that indeed, what I said wasn’t a typo or some mistake. And then she corrected me again. And again, I told her that she was mistaken. So she decided that she wouldn’t make any decision until calling in someone she considered an expert to confirm not only what I told her, but what she could have very easily found with a google search or wikipedia.

I got really freaking mad. I don’t do that often, but sorry, to be told several times that something I talked about didn’t exist and then finally being told that the only source she can trust is some other person on google—i found that really insulting.

It’s like I posted a recipe for apple pie, and near the bottom of the recipe, I said add a pinch of nutmeg. And @Dutchess_III informed me that nutmeg didn’t exist. And I tried to tell her that nutmeg indeed existed. And then she corrected me again. Then I gave her several websites to prove that nutmeg existed and it wasn’t this super obscure spice that nobody has ever heard of. Just about everyone knows that nutmeg exists. And then she says that she can’t make any decision until she talks to a master chef and he confirms for her that nutmeg indeed exists.

Then I get really mad and not just rattle off stuff to prove that nutmeg exists, but I talk about the history and origin of nutmeg and several examples of recipes that use nutmeg. I rant about being frustrated that I’m even arguing that something as simple as to whether or not nutmeg exists.

And then @dappled_leaves comes in to try to explain to me that nutmeg isn’t the main ingredient of an apple pie. Most people believe that it’s apples. Nutmeg is only a tiny part of it. Why am I acting like nutmeg is the most important ingredient in an apple pie?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@keobooks Well, to be honest, the amount of text you’ve spent on this might be skewing the way other people are reading your posts (certainly it did for me).

It’s not clear to me at all why you responded to @Dutchess_III by getting so angry. It seems really out of proportion, unless you do think that most atheists are religious – which is the reason I followed up by asking you about it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How is an atheist religion defined?

keobooks's avatar

@dappled_leaves —I got really angry because I mentioned something in a post, and then she corrected me and very confidently and swiftly informed me with an air of authority me that I was incorrect. She did this not once, but several times. Then she said that Google and I weren’t good enough and she’d have to call in some expert.

Sorry you don’t think this is maddening and annoying as all get out. But it bugged the living hell out of me. Maybe if it weren’t late at night I wouldn’t have been bothered. Maybe if she didn’t also ignore the REAL point of my original message that just happened to contain a sentence that included the word “atheist religion” in it… Maybe if refusing to believe in something that is not only true, but very easy to prove that it’s true… I don’t know.

And sorry, this thread already seemed way off track on the road to oblivion. Instead of talking about people having a change of convictions, it’s the standard “God” vs “atheist” argument that seems to break out every single time religion is mentioned in a question. Sometimes it pops up when there was never any religion mentioned at all in the original question. I don’t get it. I usually just steer clear and avoid a thread when it derails into this same old argument yet again. I didn’t realize that once we got to this argument, that nobody was allowed to derail the thread anymore. I thought that once the thread was derailed, it was a free for all, slug it about, preach on about anything you wanted. I didn’t know there were rules to these things.


In another, not at all related to religion, I spend a long time talking about people who were intersex. I spent a long time talking about what it was and how doctors, family members and society treated those people. I talked quite a bit about it. I thought it needed to be said because people were just going back and forth about whether it was right that a man could claim to be a woman, as if there was no historical or social precedence of people who identify as a gender different from their genetics whatsoever.

I don’t recall anyone claiming that I thought that intersex people were a major part of our society and that most people who identified as male or female were actually intersex. Maybe its because I specifically mentioned that I was only talking about 1% of the population. I don’t know but nobody was confused and thought that I thought that most people in the world were intersex just because I spent a lot of time talking about it.

I originally made ONE sentence regarding atheist religions. Later on, I pulled back, because I was tired of this “god” vs “atheist” crap as if it were the only religious debate in town. The OP wasnt only talking about god vs the atheists. It was about relgious beliefs in general. So in another post, I mentioned that there weren’t only 2 sides to this. I mentioned that there were other religions out there. I can’t recall if I specifically mentioned atheist religions there.. but I did mention Hindu and Buddhist as other religions.

I don’t think mentioning that other religions exist is claiming that the majority of atheists are religious. I just think people are acting like they don’t exist at all. It’s all about Christianity vs the Atheist. Nobody else has anything to bring to the table. At all times, when God is mentioned, it must be the Christian God. At all times, when atheists are mentioned, it must be secular atheists. If the world were divided into Christianity, Secular Atheism and Other, the Other category would be a heck of a lot bigger than the first two. Why must we ignore them almost every single time someone wants to talk about religion?

@Dutchess_III : Atheist or nontheist religions are religions that don’t have a deity central or existent to their religion. That’s about it. Aside from the fact that they exist, they are not important at all to the conversation at hand.

OK, so how about those atheists? I know… crazy man.. and those Christians with their God nd the smiting and the evil in the world? Yeah.. I don’t get it either..

osoraro's avatar

@keobooks Apology accepted.

keobooks's avatar

@osoraro—no seriously. very sorry. Even though when I was linking stuff and saw many many references to atheism and religions Judaism, I made a very wrong mistake so assume that you weren’t on that page. I thought even mentioning it would just be confusing the subject even more so I avoided it altogether. I also assumed that you were like just about every other Jewish Atheist I ever met that identified as Jewish even though they’d never set foot in a temple, there parents and granparents hadn’t either.

It was a totally bad call. Sorry.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@keobooks I know you’re going about it several different ways, but all I can hear from you when you talk about the afterlife is “You better believe, or you’ll be sorry!
I cannot help how you or anyone else sees it. If that is the way you choose to see it, because somehow you believe that even fathoming it any other way you are losing something, you will never see it. A roofer cannot truly talk roofing with plumbers; mechanics cannot speak fully about vehicles with florist. What I say you may never get if you never ask for any of it to be revealed to you.

Imagine that there are two people debating a non-religious topic. The two people are going back and forth in a reasonable manner with facts and opinions. Suddenly, at some point, one of the debaters grabs the other one by the throat, pulls a hammer out of a duffel bag. and says “If you don’t believe that I’m right, I’m going to take this hammer and beat you to death with it.” Of COURSE the other guy is going to start jibbering and crying and say “OK you’re right! Just please put the hammer down. Don’t kill me!” Does this really make debater who threatened the other one correct? (BTW, the debater with the hammer isn’t the Christian, it’s God himself.)
I don’t hear anyone jabbering and begging for their life, I hear them insulting the One who created them and gave His only Son as a ransom for man’s own ills. What it is like, is the Deceiver telling people a bomb will go off but it is really harmless. Dig a deep trench and hunker down in it. After the blast washes over them and the mushroom cloud dissipates the Deceiver says ”See, there was no harm, now go in closer and take a look, all there is, is a big hole. Do you smell anything? Do you hear anything, see anything, and feel anything? There is no hazard or danger in the hole”. God is the one who created the bomb; He knows there is radiation left all over the place after a blast. God says He doesn’t want anyone to perish in it, so He gives us one who can detect the hazard, His Son Jesus Christ. If one believe the Deceiver, that there is no hazard and that God is a liar and Christ could not find the radiation that wasn’t there or whatever, they will march into the radiation that will eventually kill them. God did not do that to them, they did that to themselves because they made the choice to go, God would not have forced them to march into the radiation. That is the true illustration of what is happening. If you thought there was radiation but using Christ and the hazmat suit he provides was too clumsy or unfashionable for your life, you would not take it and believe the radiation, if any, is so small as to be nothing at all. I get people do not want to come to Christ because they believe they are in some way loosing something or have to give up something too important.

I’m not saying that Christianity isn’t the truth of the universe. I’m just saying that it doesn’t seem to offer much more than a promise not to burn in hell for all eternity.
Same as a Giger counter is just an extra heavy squealing box to carry of you do not believe there is any radiation. Or a check in your pocket if you had no ideal it was real and you could cash it for true money.

And unlike the guy with the hammer, there’s no evidence that this hell even exists. Maybe this will be shocking, but once we get down to the “you’ll burn in hell” argument, you’ve lost me. I do not want to worship some god whose primary appeal is “I’ll throw you into a lake of eternal fire if you don’t believe in me.” That doesn’t sound like a loving God.
A, I do not tell anyone they will burn in hell. I am not God, and I do not know the condition of anyone’s heart. Someone could receive Christ on their second to last breath and be saved. I can only tell people what the Bible says about it. I know how to avoid it and that is what I speak of.
B, Again, God isn’t tossing anyone into the lake of fire, people are doing it to themselves. If God put the brake in the car but people choose not to use it and wrap their car around a tree, it was them not God who did that. If no one care to figure out how to take the elevator up as oppose to staying on the escalator down, they choose not to turn around, God had no spear in their back forcing them in that direction.

You just became a Christian to hedge your eternal bets. But you ARE a Christian.. so there’s nothing I can do about it.
For all of the logic people try to use they keep getting baffled over this point. I can put on a monkey suit, get a briefcase and a laptop and walk up and down Wall Street, and say I am an investment banker for so-and-so. Those who don’t know, I might fool them if I look the part and can speak enough of the jargon to bamboozle the untrained ear, those who are trained, and those at so-and-so establishment will know I am not one of them. Many people can say they are Believers of Christ and look the part, even speak enough jargon to sound legit, God knows if they are because He is the CEO of so-and-so on Wall Street, He owns the business and knows who works for Him, so to speak. He gives up clues in the Bible as to who is true, who is a hypocrite, or those who are in the family but just not waling in the calling they were chosen.

Anyway, this argument isn’t at all appealing to people not Christian because it still requires strong arming and bullying. Remember, you’re not just trying to trying to get someone so scared that they are willing to say or do anything in order to save themselves from hell. You’re actually trying to sell the fact that the religion is, in fact, true.
Strong arming, badgering, and bullying is something you best tell others about. I will say someone is unknowledgeable, if you don’t know something, you have no knowledge. That is different than tossing your hand up and accusing someone of willful ignorance, which is taking some haughty, conceited, stuck-up attitude that “I am my science makes me intelligent and smart, over those knuckle walking Neanderthals who believe in some Sky Daddy”. I don’t address you all constantly as Hell McNugget, Devil’s marshmallows, or asking if you got a robust enough flame retardant suit yet. That would be bullying.

Countless other religions have an afterlife. So this “enjoy life while you can because there’s nothing after you die” is not speaking to everyone out there who isn’t Christian or who doesn’t believe in a deity. Countless other religions are based on being selfless and sacrificing your own needs and wants for the good of the community and the world around you. So this whole argument about that you don’t believe in God, you’re just selfish and only do good things to protect your own interest. Doesn’t ring true with the billions of people who practice other religions and don’t go around doing everything for selfish reasons.
Getting back to the logic, if there are other religions that offer an afterlife, but let you self-rule yourself here, why are you not in one of them? You would get the best of both worlds; you can have your cake and eat it too? If there is an afterlife in other religions, then it might mean you will end up in one of them whether you like it or not. If you don’t think you will end up in any afterlife, then we come full circle about living life to the full while you are here because it matters not if any other religion has an afterlife they would be just as nonexistent as that of God. You don’t spend countless hours trying to prove the afterlife of those other religions exists or not, you go on about your day and pay it no mind. Why let the afterlife according to Christ bugs you? Why dwell on it, if God is not real, how He chooses to view or deal with humans is pointless and of no effect?

So I apologize for starting my arguments in a “Christian vs Secular Atheist” debate. I wasn’t thinking clearly.
Do not apologize to me, I did not see it as you said, I should know the moment one mentions anything about God or Christ around here (especially me), someone runs to the yard, grabs a shank stick in in your neck and say this is how things go because science said so, even if they can’t prove it definitively today, it is still true, agree or get this silvery thing jabbed in your carotid. They never get that worked up over Buddhism, Shintoism, or anything, makes me wonder why Christ scares them so much they HAVE to prove He doesn’t exist.

Just remember when you argue pro-God. There are billions of people in the world that would stand by your side and agree that YES! There IS indeed a GOD! But when you start talking about Jesus and the Bible and burning in Hell and stuff, they’ll just back away and say “Uhh no.. I’m not with this guy…”
If anyone cannot stand what thus says the Lord, they would be deleted from my favorite 5 before they can walk away. If they do not want to believe what the Bible says about Christ or the afterlife, then we have no business hanging in the first place, we have not enough in common.

I don’t agree with all of your views, but thanks for sharing them, gave me a larger picture of where you are coming from, though I know you don’t speak for the rest of these…….less than God people (let’s word it as that less someone feel they are getting picked on).

osoraro's avatar

I am an atheist because I am a skeptic. But I know many atheists who are NOT skeptics and they believe in magic, like homeopathy, and I know many theists who are skeptics. I identify much more with the latter, because skeptics look through the world through the lens of evidence and science. Every single theistic skeptic I know accepts the cognitive dissonance of their belief in God and I’m okay with that, having been there myself. But even when I was a theist I never, ever, denied science.

osoraro's avatar

@keobooks Fuggetaboutit. No worries.

keobooks's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I have probably accused you of doing many things, but I shall never accuse you of not reading just about every single word of my long winded posts and attempting to address it all line by line. I think my posts are worth careful reading and all, but not even I would bother taking all the time and effort you do. It’s kinda cool. Thanks.

Just some points—the reason I said that the debater in my story was God and not a Christian was for the reasons you mentioned. No atheist is going to be frightened by an evangelist and beg for mercy. But according to many many many evangelists I’ve encountered—they all claim that no matter how much swagger in your step, once you come face to face with the Lord you will turn into a quivering mass of goo, forget all the science and facts you ever learned and beg for mercy. And to be honest, if God (any god of any religion, to be honest—especially Kali.. yikes) came into my living room right now, I’d be jibbering and begging for mercy and agree to believe in just about anything—not because I was specifically afraid to go to hell, but I’m assuming that being in the presence of a deity would be more than just a little bit unnerving.

I’m not someone so bold to proclaim that Christianity is wrong because I don’t like what it has to offer. I’ll concede that there is a chance that Christianity really is the one true religion. If it is, I still don’t want to belong to it. Even if I cry and scream and wet my pants at the sight of God, I’ll still not like God very much for setting up the entire situation.

I mean, we’re not talking about some pencil pushing celestial bureaucrat. We’re talking about GOD. The one you say created the entire universe and set up all the laws of nature and spirit. You keep talking about how he’s not to blame if you fall into the lake of fire. But he created all these rules about sin in the first place. It wasn’t like when Eve ate the apple and gave it to Adam, God was in a position where there was nothing he could do at all. “Oh dear.. I’d like to save you from eternal damnation and all, but my hands are tied! It’s not like I created the entire Universe and made up this rule. I just dole out the punishments. I’m not in charge! I just work here!” He can’t set up a rigged game where everyone loses except for the elite few who are willing to declare him the winner before the game even begins. Well, I mean he can.. but that doesn’t mean he’s not a Supreme Jerk for doing it.

In one place, you took out a whole bunch of what I said, but left in the last sentence. All you left was “You just became a Christian to hedge your bets.” and that makes it sound like I was saying that to you. I wasn’t. I was saying that there were people who act like you can game they system and become Christian to avoid hell. They say that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain out of this deal. You didn’t bring up this argument, but I hear several evangelists trying to get people to convert to Christ with this line. It’s like.. don’t worry, you dont have to really BELIEVE it. or even agree to it. You just have to go along with it and everything will be fine.


As for joining a religion with an afterlife, I don’t really have to do that. There are all sorts of religions out there that have an afterlife that isn’t just for them—it’s for everyone. Reincarnation happens to everyone—even insects! You don’t have to believe in the religion to get reincarnated—it just happens. But according to them, once you start believing in the religion, that’s a sure sign that you’re making significant progress in the right direction. (Reincarnation is just the one example I could think of off the top of my head. There are lots of other after lifes that take in everyone and everything and say that when you die, the same thing happens to everyone whether you believe it or not)

I don’t spend countless hours trying to prove that any after life exists at all. I almost never get into these debates. I can’t remember the last time I argued about religion on Fluther. I don’t even know if I’ve ever done that here before.

My ONLY argument against the Christian afterlife is that it requires you to believe that a person who most likely never existed was a real person who also happened to be god. If there was any evidence of the person existing, I could understand arguing whether or not this person was indeed God. Evidence says no. So why argue about the divine nature of a person that we can’t even agree exists? If the person didn’t exist, it’s not really a fair game to require people to believe that the person was God. Of course, I guess God doesn’t have to play a fair game. I guess God can just proclaim “You’re RIGHT! Jesus didn’t exist at all! I didn’t ask people to believe in the truth! I asked people to believe that Jesus was God, whether he existed or not!”

I’m not asking you to walk arm and arm with people who don’t share your religion. I’m just saying that lots of people agree with you about the fact that God exists. They just don’t agree with you on the specifics. You can believe that you won’t see them in Heaven, but you can’t disagree that they’d be good to have around to cheer and agree with you on Fluther that a God does indeed exist.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@keobooks I have probably accused you of doing many things, but I shall never accuse you of not reading just about every single word of my long winded posts and attempting to address it all line by line. I think my posts are worth careful reading and all, but not even I would bother taking all the time and effort you do.
One, how would I know what you believe if I did not read it? Two, you at least attempt to make a well-rounded debate in a civil manner and not try to gain points being an arrogant, highfaluting, twit insulting God and saints, even if for no reason some were boorish to them in the past, they want to mirror that behavior. Third, is to do unto others. If I posted something I would hope people read it with some intent to understand it and not just to be the aforementioned person.

If it is, I still don’t want to belong to it. Even if I cry and scream and wet my pants at the sight of God, I’ll still not like God very much for setting up the entire situation.
If one thinks that the situation lies with God and not man’s willful disobedience, then they would be in good company not to like it because they can say it wasn’t them who did it but God. That is what Adam did.

You keep talking about how he’s not to blame if you fall into the lake of fire. But he created all these rules about sin in the first place. It wasn’t like when Eve ate the apple and gave it to Adam, God was in a position where there was nothing he could do at all. “Oh dear.. I’d like to save you from eternal damnation and all, but my hands are tied!
That is another misconception is that sin are rules that God created. Sin is separation from God, the Bible merely points out ways that happens. In order to simply change His mind to save this person or that person would make Him no different than humans, who have mercy depending on how much we like them, or how useful they can be to us, etc. God would have to change His nature to change sin. You cannot change your nature but you expect God to? It is your nature to experience pain, people might be able to tolerate high amounts of pain but they can’t simply say I will no longer feel pain I am eliminating it from my body. The sin is what is simply apart from God’s nature, He did not invent it as some arbitrary choice as humans do.

I was saying that there were people who act like you can game they system and become Christian to avoid hell. They say that there is nothing to lose and everything to gain out of this deal. You didn’t bring up this argument, but I hear several evangelists trying to get people to convert to Christ with this line. It’s like.. don’t worry, you dont have to really BELIEVE it. or even agree to it. You just have to go along with it and everything will be fine.
I would say any saint that believes that is still on milk and have a lot of spiritual maturity to go. That is a basic understanding you can’t game the system and it is not rigged. There are many sitting in pews every Sunday that won’t make it, Pastors as well. They have a form of Godliness but their belief is far from it. I am not trying to convert anyone, I have a mandate from God, to tell them there is radiation in the hole, if God is speaking to anyone, I would suggest they listen. They can put their fingers in their ears and yell, lalalalalalalalala, to not hear, but that will leave them worse than if they never heard it.

As for joining a religion with an afterlife, I don’t really have to do that. There are all sorts of religions out there that have an afterlife that isn’t just for them—it’s for everyone. Reincarnation happens to everyone—even insects! You don’t have to believe in the religion to get reincarnated—it just happens
Like some things in science, it would require faith to believe that. I would ask, who wrote the rules on what you come back as, and if there are rules, and who created them? If it just ”happens”, then it can just stop happening as well. Under that system a person who was nice, kind, and such could come back as a garden slug while some nasty arrogant killer can come back as an eagle.

My ONLY argument against the Christian afterlife is that it requires you to believe that a person who most likely never existed was a real person who also happened to be god. If there was any evidence of the person existing, I could understand arguing whether or not this person was indeed God. Evidence says no
The thing about that, if you have not seen the evidence to make it real, if you can fathom the evidence ever being real, then you would miss it if it paraded in from of you. Science does the same thing in reverse, if I figured a set of clues alluded to a wormhole, and then go scouring the cosmos, I most likely will find a wormhole. If the conditions I say point to a wormhole was found in the Crab Nebula, I write a paper, if a bunch of other scientist nod their heads and agree, then BIZOWIE, there is now a wormhole in the Crab nebula. No one has ever been there, no probe as ever examined it, nothing has ever been seen to materialize or vanish in the Crab Nebula but a wormhole exist because men agreed and said so all with no actual proof, no smoking gun, nothing they can handle. They just place their faith in themselves but their actual proof in many things is no greater than my faith.

I guess God can just proclaim “You’re RIGHT! Jesus didn’t exist at all! I didn’t ask people to believe in the truth! I asked people to believe that Jesus was God, whether he existed or not!”
Why would God say that? If the method to redeem man back unto Himself was because Christ agreed to be the payment for what Adam done, to have Him (Christ) not exist would be like saying you paid the bill but you could not do it in reality because money doesn’t exist.

I’m just saying that lots of people agree with you about the fact that God exists. They just don’t agree with you on the specifics.
I can concur, even the Devil and his imps believe in God and Christ, and they are certainly not on board with the program.

osoraro's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central wrote “Like some things in science, it would require faith to believe that.”

No. There is nothing in science that requires faith. Nothing.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@osoraro There is nothing in science that requires faith. Nothing.
You have actually been to the core of Jupiter? Did you take a sample so there is proof that it is made of and constructed as they say? If you did not go there yourself, some robot or automated probe drilled a core and it is on display somewhere? If not, are you saying they could be wrong or they are just guessing? If you say they are not guessing you must be saying there is some proof to back up what they are saying?

We won’t even get into the other stuff.

keobooks's avatar

If not, you are saying that they could be wrong or they are just guessing?

Could be wrong? Yes. Just guessing? No. Scientists don’t just sit around and pull theories out of their butts. They make their “guesses” based on what they already know on empirical evidence and the research of others and they postulate a theory. Not every theory is accepted and if it’s accepted, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be discarded when a new theory is postulated that’s based on more empirical evidence and research.

That’s the way science works. No, you can’t know for 100% sure what exactly is in the middle of the core of Jupiter, but you CAN make educated theories or “guesses” as you call them. I’m no scientist, and I haven’t studied the history of astronomy at all. So I can’t explain exactly why this was decided, but Jupiter’s core being made up of metallic hydrogen is probably the current accepted theory for several very good reasons based on what we already know to be true and what we can postulate from that knowledge. And yes, there may one day come in time when scientists come up with a new theory and say that something else is there.

I mean, you act like the correct response to “What is at the core of Jupiter?” The only correct answer is “I have no idea! It could be anything! It could be marshmallows and jellybeans! We’ll never have any way of possibly knowing until we get there and start drilling!”

Scientists are constantly conducting research, studying and revising their conclusions. Science isn’t set in stone and never changes ever again once the original theory has been accepted.

I know many Christians who don’t believe in evolution will say that evolution is an example of a theory that was set in stone by Charles Darwin, but people don’t study evolution with the exact same specific theories that Darwin postulated. There have been many changes in evolutionary science regarding specifically evolution may occur in a certain era or with a certain species. Especially now, since scientists are decoding the genomes of various species and discovering new fossil evidence. Sometimes, a scientist will discover something and write a paper that suggests that a certain theory within evolutionary science turns out less likely to be truth than this new theory he goes on to postulate in the rest of the paper. Evolution isn’t just one big theory that is either true or false. It doesn’t work like that.

Most scientific theories change and nobody outside the field notices. The theories that change are about really small things that are too complicated for most of us to understand. But in paleontology, people get all excited about dinosaurs. Oooh lizards! No, birds! No, some bird-lizard hybrid! First they were cold blooded and then they were warm blooded. A new theory is getting popular that they were only partially warm blooded. I wouldn’t be surprised if some new theory pops up.

Scientists have no problem with changing things when more data comes in. Science is very flexible that way. The science textbook you had 20 years ago in high school would have several outdated theories in it. Most of it will be the same. But if you held it up to a science book today, you’d notice a few differences.

Scientists also allow for differences of opinion. I’m not sure, but I think most scientists still believe that black holes exist. Stephen Hawking doesn’t , but he used to be considered one of the foremost experts on them that shaped most of the theories about what a black hole is. I tried to read and understand what this means to anyone outside of astrophysics. I have no idea. I don’t really understand jack squat about black holes except that astrophysicists debate and talk about their nature (or existence) all the time. Everything I personally know about black holes comes from this movie It’s not only out of date, but it was probably never considered accurate in the first place. So.. umm you know.. SCIENCE.

——
I’m sure that most Christians either don’t understand that scientists change and adjust theories on a regular basis, or they see that as a weakness in the study itself. They compare it unfavorably to the Bible, which hasn’t changed or been ammended at all since 300 AD or so. It must be pure truth because it hasn’t had to change at all, right?

Many people would disagree. People’s understanding of the world has changed dramatically in the last few thousand years, and many denominations of the church is very slow to accept anything that doesn’t agree exactly with the Bible. But peoples opinions and interpretations change as well.

Galileo got excommunicated for suggesting a heliocentric solar system. This was considered blasphemy because it contradicted Biblical teachings that the Earth was in the center of the universe. He was also a sarcastic and snarky kind of guy, openly dismissive of the Church and that couldn’t have helped.

Anyway, Copernicus and Kepler helped establish that one could have a heliocentric system and still be right with God. (I’m not sure, but I THINK Kepler argued that the universe may not really heliocentric, but it made mathematical calculations about the location of planets and predicting when Easter would happen easier, so its OK to use the model, but the model may not reflect reality as God designed it. I could be wrong though. I remember it from a BBC documentary.. so you know.. I’m not a reliable source on that. I just liked it when I heard it and had to share.)

Anyway, long story short, almost nobody in the world in any major denomination finds issue with accepting that the sun is the center of the solar system. It’s accepted as truth, even though a few hundred years ago this was a seriously hot issue worth excommunicating people over.

I’m sure that in the future, the current debates of evolution vs creation won’t be nearly as polarizing as it is now. I can’t say that everything will be resolved, but I doubt it will work people up and be seen as such a controversy and anti-Christian theory. It’s already starting to show signs. The Pope seems on board with it, who knows what will happen in the future?
—-

I’m not really good at working together how it’s not a problem if scientific theories make changes over time. It’s not a matter of faith like religion. Weirdly enough, it may be easier to accept knowledge from someone who can readily admit that sometimes what we know about the world changes. It’s hard to accept truth from a source that will not bend or accept any sort of outside information whatsoever—especially when all of the evidence is continuing to point in a different direction.

Many fundamentalist religious people act like everything they believe in is deemed meaningless if they accept that the universe is exactly the way it’s portrayed in the Bible. Non fundamentalists are able to cut slack to the Bible. After all, it WAS written by people several thousand years ago, who had no access to the huge amount of tools we use to explore the universe. Divine inspiration or not, they only had so much to work with. Many religious people go even further and say that the Creation story was never meant to be taken to be literally at all. The ancient people didn’t really know how the universe came into being, but they knew that God made it. It had a beginning. It didn’t just instantaneously appear as a finished product, but took time to get all put together. I mean, that’s a pretty sophisticated belief for people who had no access to the tools we have today.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@keobooks Could be wrong? Yes. Just guessing? No. Scientists don’t just sit around and pull theories out of their butts. They make their “guesses” based on what they already know on empirical evidence and the research of others and they postulate a theory.
I do not have to guess. What I know is from what I have experienced. I do not have to guess about anything. I don’t sit around and say ”well, that had to be God I guess, because it was favorable”. My experience is evidence I need. There were things that happened that happened in ways only God could have done, many the direct result of prayer. I cannot say to anyone who doesn’t want to believe there is prayer, they can believe what they want is in the inside of s planet they haven’t been to, maybe if they ever investigated prayer they will find it a mode of communication they had not discovered.

That’s the way science works. No, you can’t know for 100% sure what exactly is in the middle of the core of Jupiter, but you CAN make educated theories or “guesses” as you call them
That is fine if you and the rest want to guess, ponder, figure, or reason; I don’t have to guess. If I ask, seek, and knock, as my maturity and ability to see it spiritually grows, He reveals more to me, especially when I ask. There are things that may remain mysteries in the Bible to me and I may never know. The things most important, I know, no guessing needed.

I mean, you act like the correct response to “What is at the core of Jupiter?” The only correct answer is “I have no idea! It could be anything! It could be marshmallows and jellybeans! We’ll never have any way of possibly knowing until we get there and start drilling!”
But science going off evidence and such, ”I do not know” is the only answer you can honestly and logically come up with. Either you know, or you don’t know. The way you know is you have to be a witness to it, or obtain something tangible; at its core, that is the way of science. We know it is not marshmallows, jellybeans, cheese, etc. because those are all manmade. To believe if there is a core, or there is not comes down to faith in the test, method, ability, etc. of the scientist who came up with whatever theory. A person wanting to go off pure science because they say there is no faith or believing in things without hard facts is a mockery, they have faith, it is just in other men and their ideals.

I’m sure that most Christians either don’t understand that scientists change and adjust theories on a regular basis, or they see that as a weakness in the study itself.
Not so much as a weakness in the system unless you are trying to make it more than it is. Take forensics, man has gotten it down well enough where they can guess a window of death, but they still have not been able to narrow it down to the departed was shot by a 9mm at 3:15pm yesterday. Unlike you cannot cheat God, I can cheat forensics if I know enough about it. I could murder someone, and if I know vacuum sealing the body from air and critters, I can keep the carcass basically freeze dried for weeks. Then take it out the desert and toss it out. The heat will make it decay rapidly. Anyone coming around would miss the time of death by miles because I was able to manipulate the rate of decay. They have their test on how far a star is away when no one here was alive when it first start putting out like, and unless the star was dead eons ago so that it’s last light hits Earth in our lifetime, no one here will see it go out. Yet, they have faith off their test, that, that sun is certain light-years away even though they can’t actually test it to see if it is truly accurate. Between here and there could be some obstruction one cannot see or detect here from Earth that could make the test less accurate or not accurate at all but I hardly see anyone come to that possibility, they believe they are spot on, and accurate as a plumb line.

I mean, that’s a pretty sophisticated belief for people who had no access to the tools we have today.
If one does not have the spiritual tools and do not acquire them, they will be lost on what God does and how same as any saint would be lost trying to operate an atom smasher. The tools are there, like the atom smasher if any saint doesn’t want to learn how it works, they won’t know how it works. If any secular person wants to understand the Bible and they won’t lern to use the tools to do so, they never will understand.

keobooks's avatar

Do you apply the same ideas to history that you do to science? What do you really know about World War II? Were you there? OK so, maybe you know someone who was there and currently alive. Ok, but what about the Civil War? Unless you’re in your late 80s or older, I doubt you personally know anyone who remembers the Civil War. And even if you did, there’s no way that they personally witnessed every single battle and were privy to everything that was going on all over the country that caused things to lead up to the Civil War.

You may think there’s a huge difference between science and history, but it’s not as big as you think. Just because you’re discussing things that happened in the past, it doesn’t mean that there is one official correct narrative of the past. It’s not like there’s a giant video camera recording world history and you can just press rewind and watch it all happen. It’s all pieced together by studying old documents, digging up artifacts and then putting them together in a way that makes sense. Usually, the narrative stays pretty much the same. But new documents could be discovered, adding more information about a historical event. So you have to rewrite history so it includes the new information. We may discover evidence that something accepted as fact turned out to be apocryphal (made up) and have to rewrite history to fix the error.

My point is, just like science, history is rewritten and reinterpreted on a regular basis. While there are many clues laying about, you’ll never know for sure if you have all the clues. You’ll never be able to be 100% accurate. But you can make pretty damned good “guesses” with all of the information that’s been collected.

I ask, because if you don’t believe that scientists can make theories and they will be more or less likely to be accurate based on how much information they have available, how can you believe historians? Why bother teaching history any more, because we can’t say for sure that what we say happened actually happened. We weren’t there.

Why study science or history or anything at all? It’s just a bunch of people sitting around making stuff up.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@keobooks hich I did not see in the modern age, and that which I had not the chance to see, there are often many witnesses from both sides and neutral bystanders who gave their account without synching their notes. If there was a scientific event that was observed independently by Dutch scientist, Japanese scientist, and Canadian scientist, and without sharing notes came to the same outcome, or seen the same event, then I can say it had to be as reported.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Again, many Christians think that a scientist saying “I have no idea,” is some sort of admission of weakness. They are secure in their stories, accepted without question, even if those stories are so far fetched as to be ridiculous. They think those stories, that they fall back on, make them superior to scientists because they ”know” and the scientist doesn’t.

So, @Hypocrisy_Central, what is at the core of Jupiter?

keobooks's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central—being a historian isn’t nearly that simple. They don’t just collect a bunch of eyewitness reports and then act as the guardian of it forever. And it’s not like historians are always able to have identical interpretations of all of the historical documents they are all looking at. Historians frequently contradict each other and have different theories of what all the historical evidence available means. It’s not an exact art or science.

Also, I re-read some of your opinions about science, and I don’t think understand the whole point of science. A bunch of experts don’t sit around, creating scientific documents, command that everyone agree to them, and then that becomes the truth, and then they have nothing to do except sit around and come up with something else to think up and write down.

Scientists do write up theories. But most of them really want to get their hands dirty and see if all the stuff they wrote about actually works. When you see pictures of most scientists at work, they won’t be behind a desk with a bunch of papers. They’re going to be in a lab doing experiments or in a field observing or collecting data.

But not all scientists are in fields they can do much hands on stuff. They lack the technology and tools to observe or collect data to physically test their theories. Sometimes the technology is only a few decades behind. Genetics was a pretty hypothetical science until the right technology came into existence. Now it’s a very active hands on data collecting, experiment with real stuff science. It happened almost overnight.

Other sciences have much more daunting obsticles. The technology they need to get their hands on stuff could be several decades, hundreds or thousands of years in the making. Generally, astronomy suffers from it badly. Greeks and Romans studied astronomy, and created their best educated “guesses” but everything was almost purely hypothetical until the telescope was invented almost 2000 years later. Once the telescope was invented, there were huge leaps and advances in the field, because they could actually see what they were studying.

It seems like you believe that scientists should quietly put their hands in their laps and make no speculations at all until the technology becomes available to allow them to get empirical evidence. But that won’t work at all. If nobody is making the theories, nobody will feel the need to invent anything to help test the hypothesis. And there would also be no major discoveries happening within technology, so they would have the ability to create something to aid scientific research even if they wanted to. Nothing would ever get discovered at all that way.

If things worked your way, Aristotle and Ptolemy would never have come up with theories of how the universe worked. Nobody would have studied their writings and nobody would have had any curiosity on the subject. The telescope would never have been invented, because nobody have any need or desire to use one. And we’d know nothing at all about the solar system.

The purpose of science isn’t just to make up stuff for people to believe. It’s to best figure out how the world works. And I don’t understand why you think scientists want you to blindly believe everything and that their “proclamations” never change. Scientists frequently do rewrite the official “right answer” when they get more data to make a more educated “guess.” It happens all the time.

keobooks's avatar

Sorry, I had company over so I couldn’t finish..

You seem to write off forensic science as a joke because they cannot say with any certainty that this person died at this exact specific time. And then create one scenario where you go to outrageously ridiculous lengths to fool them, and how it was very likely that it worked.

First of all, it’s not necessary to know the exact minute that someone died. Usually it’s acceptable to have a window of a few hours or. Maybe even days are good enough. If the body is really old, weeks or even months are as good as it gets. The police don’t need to know the exact second that someone died. They just need a good estimation so they can narrow down the possibilities and make a better guess as to what happened.

Also, how many times has anyone made that much of a ridiculous effort to hide the time of death? I know it’s happened.. Like.. Maybe a few times…but it’s not an every day thing. Generally, people die and they either just fall down and stay there, or get taken away and hidden somewhere. Even when someone tries to tamper with the body to change the time of death, it’s not too difficult to discover that tampering was done. The time of death may be significantly less accurate, but the fact that they noticed tampering was involved would help a great deal.

You seem to suggest that the entire field of forensic science is a waste of time or a hoax because of the weaknesses you pointed out. But getting the exact moment of death right 100% of the time is not the purpose of forensic science. The purpose is to help police figure out what likely happened to someone when they died so if the person was murdered, they can get the person who did it.

And it works successfully a whole lot more than it doesn’t. So while it’s not 100% accurate, it’s still extremely useful . If the police had your attitude, most of their job would be sitting around saying, “Somebody died. Nobody was there. I guess we’ll never know what happened. OK onto the next case.”

I seriously don’t understand your take on science.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m still waiting for @Hypocrisy_Central to tell us what is at the core of Jupiter.

keobooks's avatar

He gave his answer. It was “I don’t know.” He said that was the only answer that had any validity. Because apparently, unless you know 100% for sure, you should not try to theorize what the answer should be.

Now this gives me more questions to ask. Let’s say someone DOES manage to drill down and take a sample of the core of Jupiter. How can I believe them when they tell me what they found there? I mean, even if they show me the sample, I can’t know for sure that it really is what they say it is. They may be making the whole thing up. I wasn’t there with them when they did it, and unless I was right there in person, I can’t be 100% sure. To really know what’s at the core of Jupiter, I have to go drill it myself. And I’ll be too busy going to the moon to make sure the astronauts didn’t lie when they said it was made of rocks, or whatever.

I guess nobody can ever know anything for sure. So we can’t make any assumptions at all.

ragingloli's avatar

A little story on how Neptune was discovered:
When scientists observed and tracked UrAnus, its orbit showed significant deviations from what Newton’s theory of gravity predicted.
So there were 2 options: Newton’s theory was wrong, or there was another planet that was perturbing Uranus’ orbit.
So they painstakingly calculated, using Newton’s theory of gravity, where this unknown
planet would have to be, in order cause Uranus’ deviations.
French mathwiz Urbain Le Verrier made his calculations and told the Berlin obervatory Astonomer Johann Gottfried Galle where to point his telescope, and when to do it.
Neptune was found within 1° of where le Verrier predicted it to be.
THAT is how accurate scientific theories were back then, and they have become more accurate ever since.

keobooks's avatar

Deaf ears—@ragingloli

@Hypocrisy_Central doesn’t have a telescope powerful enough to observe any of the planets of which you speak. Also, neither Uranus or Neptune were ever mentioned in the bible. He has no reason to believe that the math whiz calculated anything accurately at all. I don’t think he’s even on board with Newton’s theory in the first place. Remember: it IS just a theory.

So I don’t think we can say with any certainty that there are any planets past Saturn, and I’m not even sure we can be totally convinced that anything further away than the moon could be a planet and not just a pinhole in the sky letting the light of Heaven shine through.

ragingloli's avatar

Also, every bit of technology, every chemical, every bit of medicine, is based on scientific theories.
Were they wrong, none of it would work. But it all works. All of it.
Even if you want to dismiss logical conclusions and predictions based on scientific theories, you can not possibly dismiss the actual results that science provided.

Whereas religionists have been predicting, with their “my faith proves that i am right” attitude, the end of the world, almost every year, for the last 2000 years.
The magnitude of religion being wrong is as staggering as their continued insistence that their beliefs are somehow superior to science.

cazzie's avatar

He never replied to my observation of not knowing what spectral analysis was or how the LHC worked. Religion is easy and soft to rest your head. Science is hard.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And all the Hubble Pictures are fake.

ragingloli's avatar

And all the Dino fossils are planted by __Satan to deceive__ [ ] / __God to test__ [ ] humans.

keobooks's avatar

@ragingloli that reminds me of one of my favorite pranks ever

I guess he was totally fooled by the hoax until he dug up a stone with his own name carved into it.

ragingloli's avatar

hypo would probably be fooled by the named one, too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

In the anti-evolution seminar I attended they actually said the dino fossils were planted by Satin to confuse Christians and throw them off The Path (although how fossils could do that is beyond me.)
However, that has changed. They’ve been forced to admit that dinosaurs really did live…so now they changed their tune to they lived side by side with humans, and were part of the Ark deal.

keobooks's avatar

@Dutchess_III—I think what you just said is exactly why people have more “faith” in Scientists instead of fundamentalist pastors.

When there is a very well established theory about something, and then an anomaly appears that challenges the accuracy of the theory, scientists are the first to jump in and investigate. They will try any and everything to understand why the anomaly exists. Eventually, their theory might be changed or amended. Or it may be discovered under close scrutiny that the anomaly was an illusion or was caused by a different reason than they thought it was. Whatever the outcome, it shows that most scientists are completely willing to rewrite or revise the “rule book” to better match reality. Most scientist relish the chance to discover something new and make history by revising the ‘rule books.’

The fundamentalists on the other hand are extremely rigid. Because their ‘rule book’ is unable to change even one letter, and because they already committed to the belief that everything in the bible is the literal truth and there is not a single literary allusion, metaphor or **parable in the bible. So when something is discovered that challenges a ‘fact’ in the bible, instead of trying to alter the interpretation of the scripture, they do everything they can to deny that the anomaly contradicts biblical canon or will try to insist that the anomaly does not even exist.

For the first few hundred years after this started, they could get away with it. For instance almost all of the proof of a heliocentric system exists in mathematics. There isn’t much to see without a telescope (that almost nobody owned or had access to) and nothing tangible to put your hands on. There was also almost no mass communication at the time so that everyone could learn about the new discoveries. I’m guessing that most lay people had little if any idea that there was any controversy going on at all at the time, and the few who did probably didn’t really get it.

So now, you have evolution bumping up against the bible. Unlike the first controversy, there is loads of evidence coming in from all over the world. And most of its tangible. You can even go somewhere near where you live right now and either dig up your own fossil right out of the ground, or you can go to a museum and see hundreds of them on display. You can also just look at animals around you and see how evolution makes sense. There’s also mass communication easily available to just about anyone. So you can see all of the new evidence coming up from around the world at an almost constant fast pace.

To combat all of the evidence, creationists rely on scientific theories that were formed for dubious reasons and refuted several decades previous. The dust on the moon theory, used to prove that the universe is only a few thousand years old is a classic.

They also rely heavily on pseudoscience to try to win over people who don’t have much of an understanding of science. I found this website that provides “scientific facts” against creationism. Most of them try to appeal to “common sense” rather than any scientific evidence.

Here’s a quote:
If natural selection were true, Eskimos would have fur to keep warm, but they don’t. They are just as hairless as everyone else. If natural selection were true, humans in the tropics would have silver, reflective skin to help them keep cool, but they don’t. They have black skin, just the opposite of what the theory of natural selection would predict.

Sometimes, the rely on straight up lies and hoaxes. These footprints were ‘discovered’ and used as proof of man and dinosaur walked together. It was only recently that creationists finally stopped using this evidence for the most part. I don’t know why scientists bothered to conduct all these tests to confirm that it was a hoax. The area was not extremely remote, and paleontologists would come study the real dinosaur tracks. There were probably many people who were eyewitnesses who could testify that the tracks were not always at the site. But who knows?

Anyway, the evidence against creationism keeps piling up, even though scientists aren’t actively trying to disprove it. Most of the big discoveries in the field are small changes to the hundreds of theories within several different fields of science. Evolution is so accepted that nobody’s really trying to prove its validity anymore. It would be almost as silly to have scientists dedicating their research to prove that physics is real.

The more obvious evolution looks, the more they hunker down and rely on more and more ridiculous claims. They don’t realize they are only making things worse for themselves and making Christianity less appealing every day to people both in and outdid the church.

—————————
Footnotes: (yes, my post contains footnotes.)

* fundamentalists believe that nothing can be added to or subtracted from the bible because of this bible verse and seem to ignore the fact that that verse was written several hundred years before all of the New Testament books were even written. Which, if taken literally should mean that the entire New Testament is a blasphemy against God. If that weren’t enough, many Christians seem to forget that there was a 300+ year period of time after the New Testament was written, there were several books removed from the New Testament and some time around 1300, the books of the apocrypha, also on the link I posted, were removed from the Protestant Old Testament.

**Except for the parables Jesus told.. No fundamental seems to notice that Jesus frequently told stories that didn’t literally happen, but illustrated the point he was trying to get across. And they seem to lack the historical knowledge that Jesus did this because Rabbis made up stories to Illustrate their points all the time, and it’s very likely that most of the bible was probably written by religious leader types who wrote ‘untrue’ stories to illustrate their points into the books of the bible itself.

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