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Forums > Social Discussion > Religion Losing Ground in the U.S.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Originally Posted By: cnnAmerica is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found.

...

The survey also found that "born-again" or "evangelical" Christianity is on the rise, while the percentage who belong to "mainline" congregations such as the Episcopal or Lutheran churches has fallen.

One in three Americans consider themselves evangelical, and the number of people associated with mega-churches has skyrocketed from less than 200,000 in 1990 to more than 8 million in the latest survey. Video Watch CNN report on new study

The rise in evangelical Christianity is contributing to the rejection of religion altogether by some Americans, said Mark Silk of Trinity College.

"In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting 'religious right' connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way," he said of the link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.

What do you think?

I think the drop in religion is good, but the rise in fundamentalism to be very alarming. How is this going to polarize society?


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Mr_Joe
BRONZE Member since Aug 2008

Mr_Joe

Part-time genius
Location: , Netherlands

Total posts: 59
Posted:Forgive me, but I've not seen or heard any. Please point some out. So far all I've seen presented as evidence are logical constructions rather than empirical ones and they've been disproved. It's a lot more plausible to say a simple universe just happened to exist than an omnipotent universal consciousness just happened to exist. It's only explaining one difficult to understand entity by replacing it with one even more impenetrable and not actually explaining anything at all.

If god can just be, so can the universe, ironically removing the necessity for a creator in the process.


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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mother_Natures_SonBut there IS evidence of a divine creator

where?

and the point about atheism being belief in no god because of its etymology - in one of dawkin's books he talks about this point, and says it might be more correct to see atheists as very very extreme agnostic because any right minded atheist would never be 100% about the non-existence of god because that belief makes you as ignorant as religious people.

you can't use etymology for proof of the meaning of a word, yes it reveals the root of the word but that doesn't mean it takes into account the social meaning of the world today.


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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hamamelis
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:Originally Posted By: NathanielEverist
Originally Posted By: Hamamelisas you can't prove it to be incorrect, surely it should be given equal weight to every other theory out there, regardless of evidence.. right?

Not equal weight, as I like to operate my beliefs on probability, and what you stated, while not impossible, seems highly unlikely. And your theory CAN be proven or disproven, although I don't want to go to jail... so I'll leave you alone like the schizos I've heard calling themselves God. Proving them wrong isn't worth it...

Hm, depends entirely on what you mean by 'prove'.. if you prove I could be killed, that would not necessarily prove my utter lack of divinity- so you could
destroy my physical form, (and I would rather you didn't) but.. what does that actually proove? People are quite willing to believe that Jesus was actually killed before rising from the dead.

Proof's a tricky thing, especially on the level people want to dispute deeply held beliefs- can you prove to me that you exist? I know I can't prove that I do, I can't even prove to myself I'm not a disembodied consciousness with a very good imagination.. Though I'm pretty sure I'm not god too.

What evidence is there for a divine creator, that could not be equally well explained by science? The only evidence anyone has ever given me is in the form a book which contradicts itself, contradicts what appears to be reality and seems to contain an inordinate amount of 'begatting'- this is not a reliable piece of evidence, any god which exists is clearly not precisely as advertised in there, so it can pretty much be discounted. The only other bit of supposed 'proof' anyone has come up with to me is 'a feeling', which is even more vague.. I did quite a bit of my maths A-Level exam based on what I 'had a feeling' was the right answer.

I failed.

It does mildly amuse me that people are much more willing to take a 2000-year-old dodgily translated rather odd book as proof for something that they wouldn't believe if they saw it.


I will just say though, I actually don't have much problem with religion, if it's not taken to extremes, is not used to justify harming others, and so long as kids of followers are exposed to alternatives and given a chance to think for themselves- a lot of people do seem to have a deep-seated need for something to put their faith in, and I do think we would just end up with a lot of the aspects of religion by another name if religion as we know it was wiped out.
Quite a lot of my family are very religious- one of my aunts is Catholic, one is very religiously new agey type protestant, and the third one (when she was alive) was Muslim.
I've never stopped being grateful I got the Agnostic branch of the family, but you know what? My aunts are pretty nice people, and they've largely used their religions as a reason to do good things for people. Yeah, I'd rather people didn't need an excuse to do nice things, but I'm not going to fight it on those grounds.

EDITED_BY: hamamelis (1237463743)
EDIT_REASON: spelling


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?

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NathanielEverist
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

NathanielEverist

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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 315
Posted:*sigh* I knew I shouldn't have gotten involved...


Originally Posted By: MynciBecause so much thought to be divine has been disproved, the creation of man, stars, planets animals, the age of the earth etc etc.

Perhaps disproved in a religious sense, but not disproving God as a concept. Perhaps God simply created the universe and the laws within it, and just let it be and things unfolded as they have. I agree that God creating the world in 7 days is a little far fetched, but recall, I said I don't follow religious belief, this is simply a discussion on God, I think we agree on our views of religion, I even said I think their texts are silly.

Originally Posted By: Mynci
agnosticism

1. The doctrine that certainty about first principles or absolute truth is unattainable and that only perceptual phenomena are objects of exact knowledge.
2. The belief that there can be no proof either that God exists or that God does not exist.


This is going to be controversial of me, but that I believe that definition to be incorrect. Agnostic comes again from Greek, and means "without knowledge", and simply means that we don't know. However, as the word has been misused over time, it has unfortunately (and in my mind, incorrectly) branched into a few sub-categories, which is bizarre because they would all call themselves agnostic, even those each one is very different. The two main schools are hard and soft. I would be a soft or "empirical" agnostic, or to my beliefs a "true" agnostic, or even more correctly, simply an "agnostic". Hard agnostics believe that god cannot be proven or disproven. Empirical agnostics believe that we currently don't know, but don't rule out the possibility of proof. The definition you gave was only of Hard Agnostics, which even if hard agnosticism is viable (my reasons for it not being so are given below), is a narrow definition.

The reason hard agnostics aren't truly agnostic, is because while essentially they don't know, they claim to know that we can never know, which in practical terms, unreasonable. This claim to knowledge that we can never no is in itself a solid belief in one's own knowledge, which linguistically, makes the usage of the word "agnostic" (remembering it's meaning "without knowledge") contradictory.

The only correct claim to an impossibility to prove or disprove god lies in Epistemology (the study of knowledge) in the claim that we cannot know of anything but our own existence due to the misleading nature of perception (think The Matrix movie).

Sorry if I haven't explained myself clearly enough, if you need me to elaborate, just say, but I think I've made my point fairly clear. Your conclusions on Agnosticism from the definition you gave are correct, I just don't think your definition is correct. But your definition, I agree with you,

Originally Posted By: Myncisimple to complex the universe is growing meaning it's getting more complex nothing is getting simpler.

I disagree. The universe is the same, it's always been incredibly complex, the laws that bind it haven't changed, it's just that as we discover more and more about it (whether we discover it, or create terminology and language to explain it is a discussion for another time), we increasingly realise the universe's complexity. For example, as a child, our understanding of our language, our lexicon and grammatical usage become far more complex as we mature and learn it, but the language could essentially be the same when we're 20 as it was when we were born. In fact, perhaps language is getting simpler, with abbreviations and txtspk becoming common place.

Originally Posted By: Mynci
your statement regarding Jesus coming again is laughable.

you would follow a man who claims to be jesus and can turn water into wine? I know a guy, Kasrani, he can do that it's called magic / slight of hand

You misunderstood me, read what I said more carefully next time.

Originally Posted By: NathanielEverist
providing he can actually perform miracles and is truly the Son of God and our Lord and Saviour, I would follow him. However, we're far more scrupulous in our standards of belief these days

I've highlighted the parts of my statement that show that I was talking about miracles, actual miracles, not magic tricks. Especially with the word "truly". I made it even more clear when I highlighted our standards of belief in modern times, meaning that if he were simply performing sleight of hand, we wouldn't buy it.

Originally Posted By: Mynci
"I disagree, there are many reasons Religion is given weight. It's chosing a side, providing a sense of belonging, giving answers to important questions, comfort an afterlife, liberates you from straining your own mind over questions of morality and such"
the answers it gives are mostly proven false (bible statements, it promises something after death and stops you having to think about morality! I can't think of anything worse

I didn't say the answers that religion provided were correct, I simply stated they were answers, and if you truly believed, then to the believer they would be as good as correct in their mind. And I agree that it's wrong to stop thinking about morality, but again, to a believer, it would serve it's purpose. Also, you took that quote out of context, especially as I'd already established my thoughts on religion:

Originally Posted By: NathanielEverist
I may've taken them up on it myself, but it's too late now, once you start to think logically, it's pretty hard to willingly give that up.

I don't follow religious doctrine because as I stated above, it's correctness seems "improbable", especially when many aspects of their texts are a little... well, I don't want to say silly, but... I will. They're silly.

I want to clarify again, I'm not talking about religion, I agree with you about religious doctrine, I'm talking about God. God as a concept can be distinct from religion, I'm not interested in discussing religion with you, it's pointless, we both feel the same way about it.

Originally Posted By: MynciI don't want to highjack this thread more than it has been discussing the existance of god people rarely change their minds on this topi

If you don't want to hijack the thread, would you like to continue this discussion in a new thread? And I'm open to changing my mind if somebody gives me reason to do so. In fact, I used to be like you, an Atheist. But after a lot of thought and discussion I slowly changed to agnostic. I still love Atheist arguments, as they're great for dismantling religious beliefs, but to actually believe that God doesn't exist is going one step too far.

Originally Posted By: MNS
I will let agnosticism lie, I am not going to get caught up in a battle of definition.

I know exactly how you feel, I hate getting caught up in these arguments, as Mynci is right, people rarely change their minds, especially if they've got the "win or lose" mindset where they feel that changing their mind constitutes loss. But I can't let this lie, battles of definition are important, definition is imperative to communication, and without effective communication, how can we accurately hold such discussions?

Originally Posted By: Mr Joebut it would be totally insane of me to worship one when it's so drastically unlikely that it does actually exist...
The fact that you can't disprove the existence of a god or anything else is not a good reason to believe in it

I agree, that's why agnostics don't worship a God or Richard Dawkins.

Originally Posted By: Mr JoeThere is of course no possible way to disprove the existence of this teapot, but that doesn't mean it's anything like a 50/50 case of existence/existence.

I'm not saying there's a 50/50 chance of God existing. If I said that, then I'd be making a claim to the knowledge of the probability of God existing, which wouldn't be correct of an Agnostic. But with Bertrand Russell's thought experiment, would you said that there's a 1/1,000,000,000 chance of there being a teapot? What about a 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 chance? You can make the numbers as high as you like, you cannot 100% certainly said that there is no teapot. You're right, it's unlikely, but it still might. And as for the evidence: what MNS said, there is no evidence of the teapot, there is evidence of God.

Originally Posted By: Mr JoeI don't believe they exist. To say that I believe they do not exist is just restructuring the sentence, it means the same thing. I'm atheist because I don't believe in god, because I doubt his existence. There's a very good case for calling all agnostics atheists, anyway. If you're not sure that god exists you don't believe it, ergo atheist.

It doesn't mean the same thing, linguistic constraints just make it difficult to communicate the difference. I've already gone over the difference, but I'll go over it again. You can not believe in something, but still not totally rule it out. It's an "I don't believe, but I don't disbelieve" situation. Whereas Atheists actually disbelieve, they're saying "God doesn't exist". It's conclusive. While an Agnostic will say "I don't know if God exists or not", it's non-conclusive. Do you understand the difference I'm trying to communicate, sorry it's a hard concept to get across sometimes.

Originally Posted By: Mr JoeAll knowledge is relative, only in the case of logical axioms can we know anything for certain. Everything else falls on a probabalistic scale. We cannot for instance know definitely that when we drop an apple it will fall downwards and not up, but to claim that it would fall up is absurd.

It's good to see you know your philosophy smile. You're right, all knowledge is relative, so is it not possible that the entire world we perceive, and all the conclusions and beliefs we form from our empirical observance are simply fabrications of some sort? Perhaps outside these fabrications, a God does exist. Perhaps this God is the one creating the fabrications? Is this not a possibility? Empiricism is a beautiful thing, but it is simply based on practicality, as you probably know. Just because the Sun has set and Risen again for as long as we can recall, doesn't mean it will rise again tomorrow. It's simply probability.

1. Empiricism is based on observation.
2. Observations can be or could be incorrect.
3. Conclusions gained from Empiricism may be incorrect.

So empirical conclusions should be taken on the basis of practicality, even though through epistemological argument, empiricism could be completely invalidated, we adopt it's conclusions because it's practical; and Agnosticism is arguably the most practical of the theological belief systems.

Ok... really really tired now. Sorry, I can't tell if I've communicated my thoughts clearly, right now, there's a lot going on up there, and it's a lot to communicate, especially as we've started extending the argument into other philosophical areas (which isn't off-topic, it's entirely relevant to the progression of the discussion).

Thank you for your time, I like your views.


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NathanielEverist
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

NathanielEverist

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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 315
Posted:Man, I had a bad feeling that by the time I finished that there'd be another heap of posts to respond to... laugh3

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Mr_Joe
BRONZE Member since Aug 2008

Mr_Joe

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Posted:Thank you for taking the time to respond to that, Nathaniel smile

I have a feeling we're both in the same ballpark, it's just that I consider the concept of a god to be unnecessary (for the universe's creation, human morality and everything else), and therefore in the absence of proof have no reason to believe it.

It seems that the underlying assumption you've made is that for some reason there needs to be a god or cosmic consciousness? What I'm asking basically is why you feel it's important that the possibility of a god is kept open, when to me it seems fundamentally useless or even destructive. What makes it positive for you?

It's quite hard to ask probing questions over the internet without sounding agressive, I hope this is received in the intended spirit.

smile


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jojodijojo


stranger


Total posts: 13
Posted:I personally find it almost impossible to believe literally in an actual 'god', but rather weirdly, I find religion to be largely interesting and no less worthwhile than any of the other things humans think about...

One problem with religious discussions is that people tend to use the few religions they have experience of as a chance to discount everything about it. There's hundreds and hundreds of different religions, many of which seem to be based more on a moral philosophy and general spirit of self-criticism and self-examination, rather than worshipping an unproved divinity.

I personally think one reason religion (or some religions) evolved was a need to combat the egotism of the individual. Of couse, being something that evolved from humankind it would be arrogant to imagine it was free of all humankind's flaws- the crunchy problems tend to arise when people try to force their own opinion on others, or when they try to use religions as an 'infallible' excuse - ie evading personal responsibility (which isn't what any philosophy should be about anyway


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

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Posted:laugh3 quick question

regarding the following of jesus come again. How would you know his miracles were real? would jesus have to prove himself to us? I thought the whole point was we had to prove ourselves to him.

definition

mir-a-cle- = [mir-uh-kuhl]
noun 1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3. a wonder; marvel.
4. a wonderful or surpassing example of some quality: a miracle of modern acoustics.

We have no proof Jesus actually performed any Miracles the first time around although I don't doubt he could have performed a feat at that time that surpassed the knowledge of human powers. what would you class as a miracle? what would jesus have to do to Prove himself to you? I'll have a good go at telling you if it can be done with sleights you'd be surprised I've seen all of jesus miracles performed by a stage magician including the leper wink

Your view of agnosticism is the same as richard dawkins view of Atheism by the way. He doesn't think there is a god but if it was proved he would change his mind does that make you a fundamental agnostic? where does the line for agnosticism lie?

There are believers who have doubts even amoung the clergy does that make them agnostic? there are atheists who believe there is no God but hold there is a possibility does this make them agnostic? do you have to be completely devout one way or the other to be religious or atheist? Your definitions are flawed

A-theos means without god - there is no link to belief from the language it acually means lack of god, lack of belief would be apisteo or apisteoism to mean a lack of belief. if anything it wouldn't be a lack of belief in god, atheism would mean Godless and an atheist would be a godless one or heretic possibly meant as an ancient insult wink (sorry blame ancient greek and latin lessons at school)

addition - to keep in context - Apathy is A-pathos - without pity

EDITED_BY: Mynci (1237470143)
EDIT_REASON: addition


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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jojodijojo


stranger


Total posts: 13
Posted:...And as far as miracles go- I always wondered: what was the actual point to many of them? It looks more like a simple urge to show off and impress others with your greatness: and morally speaking, if a god had the ability to, say, heal, yet only did it on a few isolated occasions to impress others....

.....then the fact of the miracle, even if it wasn't so unlikely, would be secondary to the pointlessness of performing it...

(Unless an act of sleight of hand was performed to humble arrogant people- which I imagine would be more historically probable than attempting to prove a literal miracle)

EDITED_BY: jojodijojo (1237469893)


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NathanielEverist
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

NathanielEverist

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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 315
Posted:No problem man, I agree, when I read your post I felt like we had very similar views, just on differing ends of the spectrum. You're right, there is no reason to believe it, but there's no reason to rule it out completely either.

As for the personal questions, I didn't perceive them in anything but curiousity and good-faith, and I'll answer them honestly, because I somehow feel like I know you and I'm comfortable opening up, I like being honest, it's important.

I don't feel there NEEDS to be a god, but I feel a personal need to keep the option open. I like the thought of God, while I don't certainly believe he exists, I don't want to say he doesn't, because to do so actually makes me feel kinda sad.

When I feel alone, when I feel that I'm lost, or without hope. When I need somebody to comfort me, but nobody's there, I've got somebody to turn to. I talk to God, and I see his answers around me. The logical, philosophy and law student in me thinks it's foolish to do so, and in the back of my mind tells me I'm being delusional. But logic doesn't make me feel better, it doesn't make me feel like there is hope, and there's a reason to stand up again and go home. The belief in God is there when I need it, and honestly, sometimes I feel like I do need it, and it's made me feel better. Then I can go about my life again, continue to think logically when I have the strength to do so. It's ironic that I often draw that strength from God.

I guess there is a part of me that likes to believe in God. Whether I'm just pretending, deluding myself or whatever, I can recognise that that is a very plausible possibility, but regardless of that, I enjoy deluding myself on occasion, it's not much different from suspending disbelief when you're watching a film or something, it's an indulgence that makes life better on the whole.

I don't really know how to describe how I feel about it, because I honestly don't know. I know what's logical, and that's what I base my external beliefs upon, and that's what I argue. But internally it can be different, and it's difficult to explain, especially as I don't really know how I feel. Hahaha, back to that agnosticism again, I just don't know. My views, beliefs, wants and needs change as I do, and sometimes, I want to believe in God, sometimes I might even need to believe in god, because I need somebody that loves me, even if it's just for a few minutes...

I hope you understand.


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

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Posted:I get you wink I talk to myself (yes that makes me sound a little crazy)

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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NathanielEverist
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

NathanielEverist

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 315
Posted:My communicative ability is gradually going to decrease from here, It's now 12:48 at night, and I got up at 4:30am this morning for a day full of work, and I only had 3 hours sleep last night, so be forgiving.

Originally Posted By: Myncilaugh3 quick question

regarding the following of jesus come again. How would you know his miracles were real? would jesus have to prove himself to us? I thought the whole point was we had to prove ourselves to him.




addition - to keep in context - Apathy is A-pathos - without pity

We'd know his miracles were real through good scientific method laugh3
And I don't know about most, but Jesus would definitely have to prove himself to me, before I prove myself to him, because he'd be making far more outrageous claims than I would be.

Originally Posted By: MynciYour view of agnosticism is the same as richard dawkins view of Atheism by the way. He doesn't think there is a god but if it was proved he would change his mind does that make you a fundamental agnostic? where does the line for agnosticism lie?

I admire Richard Dawkins, he's a very clever man. When I saw "The Root of All Evil", it really hit the nail on the head on many topics, particularly modern perception of "miracles". I really enjoyed that documentary. But our views are slightly different, he doesn't think there is a god, I think there could be, but there might not be. But I'm glad to hear that he's open minded and hasn't ruled out the possibility of God 100%.

Originally Posted By: Mynci
There are believers who have doubts even amoung the clergy does that make them agnostic? there are atheists who believe there is no God but hold there is a possibility does this make them agnostic? do you have to be completely devout one way or the other to be religious or atheist? Your definitions are flawed

Believers who have doubts are starting to lean towards agnosticism. Atheists who believe there is no God but hold there is a possibility are partially agnostic, depending on their openness to the probability. As a really weird example, let's take sexuality. If a guy who has been heterosexual for his entire life, suddenly gets drunk, curious, and sleeps with a guy one night, does that make him Gay? Straight or Bi? Not everybody's beliefs are clear-cut. Some people may believe in god one day, then denounce it the next. Some people have their beliefs cut out, others are still trying to sort it out. How are my definitions flawed?

Originally Posted By: MynciA-theos means without god - there is no link to belief from the language it acually means lack of god, lack of belief would be apisteo or apisteoism mean a lack of belief. if anything it wouldn't be a lack of belief in god, atheism would mean Godless and an atheist would be a godless one or heretic possibly meant as an ancient insult wink (sorry blame ancient greek and latin lessons at school)

No need to apologise man, I did a bit of Greek and Latin in Philosophy, and I've been cracking it out a fair bit, so man, don't apologise. Yes, Atheos means without God, Apisteo means without belief. But Apisteo could apply to anything, Atheos is specific to Atheism, meaning without God. Agnostic is without knowledge, which in a theological sense means you don't know whether God exists or not. It's a hard thing to distinguish, and I'll be honest, I don't really understand what point you're trying to make with the above paragraph, I'm not sure if it's because I'm starting to become sleep-deprived, but I didn't see the point to be made, but it seems you disagree with what I explained about the differences between Agnosticism and Atheism, so what would you say the differences are?

I'm sorry, I just don't understand what you're trying to say.


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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:Originally Posted By: NathanielEverist
I guess there is a part of me that likes to believe in God

don't worry, there's research to show we're all hardwired with this. its a natural reaction.

article from new scientist magazine.

Editorial:
http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/6550/img001uv1.jpg
br>
Main Article
http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/7439/img003zq8.jpg
br>http://img147.imageshack.us/img147/9513/reizeduy1.jpg
http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/3435/scannxs5.jpg


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

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Posted:there's NO part of me that "wants" to believe in god. I would if it was proven I just don't like the thought of one.

Nathaniel, my point about the Apisteo etc was purely a clarification regarding belief and the meaning of atheism as it was pointed out by someone that it meant "lack of belief in a god" whereas truely it just means "without god" the reality would be someone who lives as if there is no god.
A person may never have heard of a god and be classed as atheist because they were unaware of gods existance NOT just someone who didn't believe. the same as I would say agnosticism would be living unsure if there was a god. would be better as agnostitheism than agnosticism but hey we don't all get to make up the words.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

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Posted:having looked at that study I find it flawed. yes children are more likely to say God created it because religious Dogma gets taught to children and used to them as lies to comfort. the more it is repeated when young the more likely they are to believe as small children ARE hardwired to obey adults as part of evolutionary defense mechanisms. (if they disobeyed Young they would most likely get eaten young)

that's the problem with religion, bad mouthing it is taboo, it get taught at schools regardless of beliefs propagating the theory to the next generation. I feel if soomeone wants religion they should be free to search it out, it should in no way be compulsory. I got banned from Religious Education at secondary school for being troublesome angel laugh3 me can you believe it. for saying I was atheist. teacher said I was too young to not believe in God, to which I replpied "then I'm too young to believe in him" which got me a trip to headmaster and absolved of the class, but I still had to go to religious services even though the Jewish and Muslim Kids didn't. shrug


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Stout
SILVER Member since May 2004

Stout

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Total posts: 1872
Posted:The words are a constant source of confusion. Mynci, that's technically correct that someone whose never heard of God would be a "true" atheist whereas when we use the term what we're really describing is a 'strong agnostic"

Dawkins is correct in his assertion that he'd be willing to "believe' in God should God make himself available and supply incontrovertible proof of His existence, say by parting the Pacific Ocean. It's impossible to prove that god doesn't exist and Dawkins is just being honest here.

I'm pretty much in the same boat in wanting that sort of proof from an all powerful being. I want the big miracles, none of this "god revealed himself to me privately" stuff as I'd question my sanity before submitting to the idea that I was having a real live conversation with Skydaddy himself. I want witnesses, lots and lots of them.

Generally , I've no problems with religion or religious people, I've seen a lot of good done by believers and I've experienced very few negatives concerning religion (IRL) save for those barking moonbats that constantly appear in the media...Fred Phelps anyone, or how about this guy ?

For 'political" reasons I usually describe myself as agnostic ( again, IRL ) as quite often, religious people take offense and automatically assume that I'm looking for a fight by condemning their belief system. On the internet, OTOH, I've no problems describing myself as an atheist ( but not an angry atheist, as I was spared a religious upbringing ) as it leaves no doubt as to my position on the existence of invisible friends.

I have no use for blind belief, I'm not worried about my soul ending up in Hell, because, hey, I hear they spin fire there smirk


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:that guy's a nut laugh3

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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simta
BRONZE Member since Apr 2006

simta

compfuzzled
Location: hastings, England (UK)

Total posts: 1182
Posted:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzuxyq3ltls&feature=channel


"the geeks have got you" - Gayle

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TinklePants
GOLD Member since Jul 2005

TinklePants

Clique Infiltrator, Cunning Linguist and Master Debator
Location: Edinburgh burgh burrrrrr, Unit...

Total posts: 4217
Posted:Ok I know how to end this convo - the Gods of egypt, sumeria, middle east etc are aliens.

How can man appear from nowhere without any solid evidence of a missing link between apes and us? I'll tell you why, because most creation stories tell of Gods (aliens) creating man in their own image. Where have those two chromasomes dissappeared to, compared to apes? are we humans just an intergalactic experiment?

Many cultures speak of the great flood, and there is archaelogical evidence that this happened. Stories tell us that the gods were angry as man was basically a disappointment. Other stories say that after the fallen angels interbred with the women of earth, the offspring caused so much havok that the earth had to be cleansed. It is not only judeo stories that say this but other cultures such as the ancient sumerians.

I've been researching this a lot lately and it looks plausable, I mean, If we these days are able to manipulate the genetic code, whose to say that beings who have already mastered this too, and are thousands of years more advanced then us, visited earth a long time ago, set up a laboratory, possibly in northern Iran, called Eden, where they genetically modified code possibly of simian origin, created a being, made clones from that being, who became enlightened and because of this, had a restraining order put upon them so they couldn't return.

They multiplied, they really messed up the earth so the creators decided to cleanse the earth.

After all thats happened the last few thousand years, they are probably on their way back ready to flood the earth again with accelerated ice melts....

Am I nuts?

No, I youtube lol

but seriously, it's a better theory than most lol




oh oh oh

even better - not aliens, how about we colonised a different planet thousands of years ago, and our species survives by colonising planets like earth, so we are indeed the aliens.....

I love being alternative XD


Always use "so's your face" and "only on Tuesdays" in as many conversations possible

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:I think we have been off topic in this thread long enough so I have created a new one!

grin

EDITED_BY: Mother_Natures_Son (1237507722)


hug

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