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Leonard James

Hi Lynne,

My atheism is based on my conviction that supernatural beings don't exist. If ever I am presented with convincing evidence for the existence of a supernatural, creator god, then I will cease to be an atheist.

The article Puke posted was interesting, but not entirely unexpected. The USA "Christianity" is laughable. The disgusting wealth and greediness of a large part of the population and the poverty and want of the marginalised section makes a mockery of any claim to Christian principles.
Leonard James

Judders Lady... wrote:
But isn't that based on how you feel?
How to rationalise this when it comes to what 'faith' means?
Why do you no longer have the ability to believe as you once did?

Because my ability to reason overcame my belief.
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It leads to another question.
Did you choose to believe and choose not to believe?
(Not related to anything posted in the past)

I don't know why you bring this up yet again, Lynne. We both know that it is impossible to believe something that your reason tells you isn't true.
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Do these rich Christians not give to charities and do charitable works? As far as I am aware, they give to charities and help those in their community.

Some probably do, a little. But Jesus taught that the rich should sell what they have to give to the poor.
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I am not saying that makes them a Christian.

It doesn't if they are still disgustingly rich ... but they think they are Christians.
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Not sure if we can put all the USA believers in the same box?
What do you think? Being a little harsh by blanketing them all together????

Yes, common sense tells me that some Americans lead Christian lives, but I was referring to the very rich. You can't be very rich and a Christian at the same time.
Ketty

Leonard James wrote:
You can't be very rich and a Christian at the same time.


Rich - as in material wealth - I don't think Sir Cliff would agree.

Leonard James

Ketty wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
You can't be very rich and a Christian at the same time.


Rich - as in material wealth - I don't think Sir Cliff would agree.


Of course he wouldn't, Ket, any more than any other filthy rich Christian would.

They always find a way to rationalise the contradiction to salve their consciences, but I don't think it would have impressed Jesus!  
Ketty

So . . . how do we measure 'rich'?  Bearing in mind we're all God's children (if not children of God), we've got to think globally - do we average out the world's wealth by dividing it by the number of people and say that anyone above the average is rich?

My answer is that I don't think so, because no 'measure' is given in the Bible . . . just an arbitary word, 'rich'.  It's a bigger picture and more about the heart and soul; the actions and intentions,  rather than the material.  Selfishly hold on to your material wealth and you will be poor.  Have a generosity of spirit, use the wealth wisely and for the greater good, you will be rich indeed.
Lexilogio

I think there is a good point here about wealth and Christianity.

I don't think you can be a genuine follower of Jesus if you live a materially wealthy lifestyle while others go without.

I'm trying to be careful in my words - there are those who earn plenty - but give away plenty, and don't live materially better than others they could help. I saw a documentary recently which featured a Buddhist family in Sri Lanka, which had very very high earnings, yet lived a comfortable, but simple life, and spent time every day taking food to the poor.
Pukon_the_Treen

Evening Lynne,

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These articles Puke brought to our attention show how rife the atheists belief in false Christianity and how  much further it helps the atheists to become even further distanced from God.


Atheism for me is very simple.

All my life I have heard people telling me about God; they choose different ways to explain God, and they focus on different aspects of God and tell me various ways I should react to God and deal with His existence, but I've just never really understood why I should accept that He exists.

There is no evidence for Him, He doesn't seem necessary and I don't understand how such a being would exist or function. To me, God just seems to raise more questions than He answers, and unnecessarily complicate things, so I don't believe He exists. I could be wrong of course; there are many things I don't know and I am not infallible, but at the moment, taking into account the information available to me I don't think God exists.

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Is Atheism only stronger because of such articles and belief in a false Christianity?

Would an atheist, if reading the bible actually understand what the difference is?


Not sure about all this 'false Christian' stuff you are bringing up; I have no idea what a makes a Christian true or false, and whatever they say or however they present their religion, the basic problems I have with the idea of God remain.

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Do they choose what to believe according to their own bias?
They do say they cannot choose to believe.
But they do appear to choose their belief according to what they themselves feel.


I don't see how I have really 'chosen' not to believe in God, any more than I have chosen not to believe in alien abductions. Experience, evidence and reason lead me inescapably to that conclusion, so I don't see where choice of any kind enters into things.

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Is faith in atheism really about what they feel and their human traits?


I don't understand what you mean by 'faith' in atheism either. I don't believe God exists, but that doesn't mean I have faith in that position, any more than I have faith that there are no alien abductions. It's a strange word to use for someone who just rejects a particular idea.

I don't really understand all these efforts by Christians to try to crowbar atheism into religious terminology and framework. Why do you want atheism viewed as a religion? It doesn't conform to any definition of religion that I've ever heard.

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Do they just go for a different type of brainwashing?


I don't really understand what you mean by brainwashing in this context. Someone tells me their theory or ideas about how the universe works or whatever, I consider it and then say, “no I think that's true” … what brainwashing has taken place? Surely I'm just using reason, experience and evidence to evaluate and judge, just like everyone else does to reach their preferred explanations.

I can't help feeling I'm missing what you are trying to say in your OP. Maybe my brain is tired.
Powwow

It's been my experience that in the marginalized communities is you most often find those with the strongest faith. A faith that far outshines the weak fake of many wealthy Christians. This is what I have found among the marginalised first nations here in Canada. My friends live in third world conditions but with an unshakable faith.
Leonard James

pow wow wrote:
It's been my experience that in the marginalized communities is you most often find those with the strongest faith. A faith that far outshines the weak fake of many wealthy Christians. This is what I have found among the marginalised first nations here in Canada. My friends live in third world conditions but with an unshakable faith.

That is perfectly natural. Anybody whose life on this earth is one of deprivation and suffering (compared to that of the rich) are sitting ducks for swallowing the "better life after this one" story.
Leonard James

Judders Lady... wrote:
Morning Leonard,

Leonard James wrote:

That is perfectly natural. Anybody whose life on this earth is one of deprivation and suffering (compared to that of the rich) are sitting ducks for swallowing the "better life after this one" story.


Why would anyone want a second life if the first was so bad?
Christianity is about life in all it's fullness now. Why swallow any story about the after life when it begins now?

xx  

Don't be daft, Lynne! You know perfectly well that Christianity offers a life of eternal happiness with God after death. For somebody whose earthly life is a penury, that is obviously a big attraction.
Leonard James

Hello Lynne, you dear old bat!
Judders Lady... wrote:

Are you saying you had no reason or lost the ability to reason when a believer?

No dear, as I have told you umpteen times before. I was taught from infancy that God was real just as I was taught other stuff that was real. Children are genetically inclined to accept parental instruction ... it had survival value in the past. However, when my own ability to reason matured and allowed me to question what I had been told, the leaks began.
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It could be that it wasn't your reasoning that told you not to believe, was it? Basically. you could have just talked yourself out of belief.
May be you wanted something more than your belief and it did not fit in with it. You did not wake up one morning and your reason said: "Leonard, you are not to believe any longer."
I have been there before today. But the truth is that we cannot really reason ourselves out of belief. Why? Because there is no set answer to belief or unbelief. You have to choose what you believe.

Nonsense! I can't choose to believe that the god Ra exists any more than you can. Do try to think about what you are saying.
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How do you sell your money and give it to the poor?

Oh come now, don't let's start with the schoolboy jokes!
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Christ said, "Sell your belongings and give the proceeds to the poor." Do you think he meant sell all the furniture in your home and your clothes too?

I don't think so. I think he was referring to wealth beyond basic requirements.
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There is a much more significant meaning of not holding or cleaving to the worldly wealth or material objects as a means of security.  It is about not putting our trust in things which are here.
"My God shall provide all your needs according to his riches in glory." Christ didn't dip into his personal wealth pocket to feed the 5,000 he used what he had. He used the wealth of his spiritual power to provide. The five loaves and fishes feed 5,000 men alone and then 12 baskets of left overs are gathered up.
Personal wealth makes us less reliant on God. But as God blesses his people they should keep giving because there will always be enough to go around and plenty left over.

I repeat ... you can't be very wealthy and call yourself a Chrsitian.

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Being swept up in false Christianity is something to be sad about.
Wanting so badly the real thing and being left only with a delusion.
Moses shows that God is a provider in all circumstances.
Even when there is no water or food in the desert.

Tell it to the marines.
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King David and Job were very rich and King David had the Spirit.
A daily providence is enough. Would you be doing someone any favours making them rich if they are not suppose to be?
Can you really expect a harvest to feed you for only one day of the year? Some times the store room is filled for the future.

Food for thought?
What do you think Leonard, do you eat your weeks food in one day?

I'm not going to try to unravel all that stuff Lynne. Nobody is "supposed to be rich" ... it's just human greediness to want more than your share.
Leonard James

Yes, Lynne dear, anything you say!  
Leonard James

Judders Lady... wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Yes, Lynne dear, anything you say!  


Can you prove it doesn't? So why mock something you cannot begin to understand or destroy the merit of truth it contains?

Do you still think your reply was fair or even reasonable?


Lynne, my dear,

I just don't have the patience of Puke when it comes to your posts. It is quite clear to me that you have your own personal way of communicating, but I'm afraid I find it impenetrable at times. You seem to go off at tangents with loads of stuff that doesn't have anything to do with the point being discussed.
Pukon_the_Treen

Lynne,

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The above isn't atheism, is it? It is really about your personal view as to why, if any reason, you should/shouldnot believe in a god.
Does what people teach or who they are cause disbelief?


Atheism is not believing in God. As I have said, lots of people have told me about God, but unlike you I have no innate sense of God, so their claims just confused me. I could see no reason to take their claims at face value then, and I still can't now. That is all atheism is to me; people present me with this idea (that God exists) and I look at it, consider it as best I can with the tools available to me and say; “No, I'm not with you there. I don't think that's true”.

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Then comes the question. What, if anything, did the bible reveal to you about finding God? Curious because your reply embarks on the word of mouth teachings of another individual rather than what you yourself have learned from the bible and faith.
I never had anyone teach me from the bible till I was about 10 years old. Stories float around and we all watched the movies on the tv like, 'The Robe'.
To be honest... no one ever questioned my faith till I joined the internet. I wasn't aware of the anti-God squad till I came here.
I never see a purpose for pushing my faith onto others.
Knowing God was there, seemed to be no reason to think he could not call whomsoever he chose. Mans hearts are harder than ever before.


As I said above, unlike you I have never had any innate sense of God's existence; it has always been an alien idea which is presented to me by others. The bible is a book written by other people which throughout assumes that God exists, and I cannot see why I should take that claim as a fact. The Old Testament reads like any other mythology, with the deity walking about, talking to people and similar, and in the New Testament I felt God was expressed in very different terms, as a kind of living ideal that we should try to become a part of and join with through our behaviour. Again, interesting ideas, but I cannot see why I should treat them as factual.

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Living with the knowledge and presence of God, has always been my knowledge of Christianity. A personal relationship which is who we are and not an outward sign. We know Christ from the bible and word of mouth. But we only know God because we believed in Jesus Christ. Christians, embrace a teaching rather than it's spiritual truth. Example which I would use is this.
The disciples had the Spirit speak through them.
But today the Christians speak about the Spirit and the things the disciples did. They talk about what was once and not as if it is now.


Yes, again we come to your innate sense or knowledge of God, which you have apparently had all your life. You seem to use it as a means to claim that you are right and Christian and everyone who disagrees with you is wrong and not a Christian. This kind of absolute dogmatic certainty is not something I share, and while it explains your behaviour, I don't find it very convincing.

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Those who experience God and those who experience alien abductions...are they all lying?

How do you reason truth about either?
Could they have been slipped a drug in cases of alien abductions.
Stumbled on some top secret project in America and been giving suggestive drugs and hypnotherapy?

Might explain alien abductions but not the belief in the presence of God.


Some maybe lying outright, but I think most are mistaken. I think they have experienced something that they have interpreted as the presence of God, or interpreted as an alien abduction. As with all things I can only say what I think is most likely to be the case; I can't lay down the law about truth or untruth, because I lack your sense of certainty about anything, but according to the evidence, experience and reason available to me, I think that God and alien abductions are not objectively real.

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Faith like atheism, is a way of life and affects how we live our life.


Atheism is not a way of life, it is just not believing in Gods.

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Given all the facts about every religions god. I cannot see the point of weighing  up the beliefs and the outcome if one of the gods is real in your case.  It is wrong to use fear or promises to bring people to believe in God. Truth is a much better way and it clears the wrong thoughts about why true believers believe.


Again you are claiming that you have access to the truth. You assert this with absolute confidence and conviction, but that is not a good enough reason for me to believe you; I must use evidence, experience and reason to decide what I think is probably true.

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What is religion? It is belief in a god.


No; 'theism' is a belief in a god (or gods). A religion is a kind of framework of consistent beliefs about the nature of the universe, which is usually built around some kind of supernatural agency like a god.

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What is atheism? It is the disbelief in a god.


Correct.

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So it is a belief system to do with a god/religion.


No; as you have said above, atheism is a disbelief, not a belief.

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So no crowbar just terminology and reasoning. Atheism would not exist if belief in a god/religion had not existence.


Of course it would. Atheism is the disbelief in gods, so if the belief in gods vanished then all that would be left would be the disbelief of gods.

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Truth is more powerful about all the above things.
The truth is that man decides, chooses or reasons what they want to believe. Not based on anything man knows for certain but merely how the individuals feel about it. But the truth is that the universe and religion has no bearing on your decisions. They cannot change you or your decisions simply by being told about them.

You go to a shoe shop to buy a pair of shows.  You may have a specific reason for buying the type of shoe. But you personal preference (like/dislike) will decide the style you eventually buy.
You know if the shoe does the job you bought it for, once you have worn it.


More claims about truth! It must be strange to be so certain. I don't envy you. Shoes are a matter of taste, but beliefs aren't. I can't simply decide to believe something because I like the sound of it.

For example, I love the idea that after death my spirit will flow back into some kind of pool of life force, to be reborn again in a hundred different from, in a constantly flowing revolving cycle of life. I like the idea of reincarnation, so my spirit can pass on into another existence and I like the idea of some kind of Valhalla, where I can feast and and party with my friends, family and ancestors forever.

I don't believe any of these things are true though. I have heard the theory, considered the evidence and my own experience, and using my reason I am inescapably (but a little sadly) drawn to the conclusion that they aren't true. I may be wrong; part of me hopes I'm wrong, but I don't think so. I think we just die, cease to exist as a conscious entity and the matter that built us disperses.

Hey ho; that's life as they say.
Powwow

Lenard'
The ones I was talking about are my own, the Plains Cree. We weren't suckers for a better life after death story.
My tribe has always believed in Kice Manito (the Creator). We always believed that the world and everything in it came into being by kice Manito's will. So no, we didn't find religion when the English and French missionaries arrived. And they actually didn't promise us a better after life than what we traditionally believed. The Christians told us of Hell. We had plentiful hunting grounds for all in ours. Most of us of course viewed the Bible as a revelation so today most of us are Christian. We do hang onto some of our traditional rituals around death. for example in the Cree culture, if a family member dies, you shave your head. A few weeks ago I was walking along the river heading home from down town. I heard someone yell my name. Turned around and I thought at first it was a little boy running towards me. Then I realized it was a little Cree lady I have known for years. She had shaved her head. She didn't say anything and neither did I. We just hugged and she wept. I new she had just lost someone in her family and she knew I understood.
Pukon_the_Treen

Lynne,

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There it is... "I don't think that's true" but because you cannot know for certain.


Yes, I think I have always made it very very clear that I don't know for certain.

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With you on all the other points but atheism does not exist without religion.


Why not? Atheism is not believing in gods and you don't need religion to not believe in gods. We have had this discussion several times I think and we never seem to move beyond just the statement and re-statement of our views.

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Whereas I see neither of the above in the Old or New Testaments.
I see a God with a plan which is very clear in the present world and then in the beginning.


It's not really surprising that we both receive something different when we read the book. It's quite a complex book, or rather books, and we approach them from totally different angles.

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The truth shows the word of God supports my arguments.


You agree with the bible and the bible agrees with you, the bible is true so you are both right? That's just circular reasoning. That's no use to me; I can't use that to work out what's true and what isn't.

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It is about how you can prove that either is wrong?


No it isn't. You don't magically become right just because nobody can prove you wrong.

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Do you have the knowledge? If not, then the real issue is that I probably appear more confident of what I say. But surely, if God is with me, then that would be natural to be assured of what I am taught if taught by God? It isn't about disagreement, it is about proving the truth.


You just seem to be restating what I have already said. You are locked into this idea of truth that hangs on your own certainty of God. I don't have that certainty so your argument, your truth is no use to me.

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I really have no behaviour since I only post words.


Let's not get distracted. Typing words is an action, a 'behaviour'; the arguments you construct and opinions you hold and the posts you make are all behaviours.

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It is clearly your perception because no behaviour is displayed.


Your posts, arguments and opinions are displayed via the marvel of the internet.

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I simply cannot believe that alien abductions happened.
May be something happened. An abduction but not by aliens.


True, I am also unconvinced by the idea.

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As for other peoples perceptions of God. What is there to believe?
We have no reason to disbelieve or accept it.
Because we have to reason only our own beliefs.


As with everything else we have evidence, experience and reason which lead us to our beliefs. Your evidence, experience and reason lead you to believe in God; my evidence, experience and reason lead me to reject the idea. In order for you to persuade me that you are right, you need to be able to share some of the evidence, experience or reason that lead you to your conclusion, and likewise, I need to do the same if I want to persuade you that I am right to doubt God's existence.

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So what is different about the lives of believers and atheists?
God...


Yes, I expect so. Theists believe in god(s) atheists do not. Beyond that, you can't really infer anything about their other opinions, ideologies, morals, lifestyle or whatever.

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There is no real evidence outside your senses of anything.
But how do you know your senses are right?
How do you assure yourself you are right?


As I have said many many time, all I can do is look at the world and use evidence experience and reason to work out what I think is most likely. How do I know I'm right? I don't, all I can say is that I think I am probably right based on the evidence, experience and reason available to me. I don't need certainty about anything and I don't claim certainty about anything.

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Good luck on finding any evidence that a man has not taught you.


I am a man; my knowledge is derived from my own interpretation and understanding of the world and of information I have received from other men. You think you have some kind of special non-human knowledge from God, making you different and special, but I see no evidence of that. Your opinions jut seem like they come from mankind as well.

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Your quoting? Yep! but what you say above is really explained in one way. Religion and theism cannot exist without belief in A god/
theism is a modern word to explain religious belief in god.
no religion is without theism. It is merely the arrogance of men wanting to look learned that use such statements that theism is a belief in a god. When a tenet of faith is a belief in a God.


I wasn't being arrogant; you were simplifying when you said that religion was a belief in God. There is more to a religion than just a belief in God. Buddhism doesn't even necessarily involve a belief in god, but it is still considered to be a religion. Clear use of words is important if we are going to be able to explain what we mean to each other.

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It is all about how you intellectually look at things.
Man likes to make simple things look complicated so they look educated. It is all a dress up for those who write these books.


If you want to dump a load of words on a page like a heap of spaghetti and expect me to untangle it all then fair enough; if I've got the time and patience then I'll do so, but don't get all stroppy calling me arrogant and so on when I attempt to clarify things. Either take the time to be clear or get used to people correcting you, or just get used to people ignoring you.

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Which god is you disbelief/atheism based in?
You can test knowledge... as I have just shown.
Atheism disbelieves in all gods.


Yes, atheism is disbelief in all gods, so why ask me which god I don't believe in? Which part of 'all gods' is giving you difficulty? How on earth have you shown that you can test knowledge? All you've shown is that you can test patience.

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Which is a belief. You believe there is no god. Which means you have no proof there is no god. You cannot say there is definitely no god because you cannot prove it. So basically you believe there is no god.


No, I don't believe god exists, but as I have made very clear, I don't claim certainty. I could be wrong, so I wouldn't say that I believe there is no God.

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To disbelieve in god the belief and knowledge of a god must first exist. Simple and true and elementary so does not and cannot change.


No, that's wrong. If I were to say that I actively believed there was no God then that would require me to know about a God in the first place so that I could believe He didn't exist, but as I've said above, I don't claim to actively believe there is no God.

Take the hypothetical example of a remote tribe of pygmies who have never heard of gods of any kind. You could say that they have no belief in God, or that they did not believe in gods, but you couldn't say that they believed God did not exist, because they have never heard of any God to believe that He didn't exist.

Anyway, I feel that we are just argument about semantics here; is there any real point?

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The truth is not everyone has the ability and knowledge to know how to test what is fact and what is fiction.
You do not know how to read the bible or test the contents.
You have to make your decision on what others claim.
Which means that it never was based on the bible.
But that is okay because you make that plain in your posts.


And you make it plain that you read the bible with the cast iron conviction that God exists and the bible is correct. I think that in being sceptical of those claims I am being fair and sensible, but you seem to think the opposite. I really can't understand why you think I should take the bible as the truth.

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Would be nice if it was true...  I have reason to believe differently.


Nice if non-existence were true? You mean you would rather we just died and ceased to exist, but your reason compels you reluctantly to a different conclusion? That's a strange position.
Leonard James

Morning Pow-wow,
pow wow wrote:
Lenard'
The ones I was talking about are my own, the Plains Cree. We weren't suckers for a better life after death story.

OIC! I'm sorry, I naturally thought you were referring to the poverty stricken Christians in the third world, hence my comment about a better life after death.
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My tribe has always believed in Kice Manito (the Creator). We always believed that the world and everything in it came into being by kice Manito's will. So no, we didn't find religion when the English and French missionaries arrived. And they actually didn't promise us a better after life than what we traditionally believed. The Christians told us of Hell. We had plentiful hunting grounds for all in ours.

The threat of hell for non-believers is a simple ploy, just as 'heaven' is for the faithful, but both are effective on the credulous.
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Most of us of course viewed the Bible as a revelation so today most of us are Christian. We do hang onto some of our traditional rituals around death. for example in the Cree culture, if a family member dies, you shave your head. A few weeks ago I was walking along the river heading home from down town. I heard someone yell my name. Turned around and I thought at first it was a little boy running towards me. Then I realized it was a little Cree lady I have known for years. She had shaved her head. She didn't say anything and neither did I. We just hugged and she wept. I new she had just lost someone in her family and she knew I understood.

Yes, grieving is natural when we lose a loved one, but the dead person either no longer exists or suffers (my belief) or is happy with God (the Christian belief) so in either case they no longer have any problems. It is only those left behind that have to face life without them, and that  leads to another 'reason' to believe ... we shall rejoin them in heaven when we die!

The Bible writers tied it all up nicely to attract followers.  
Ketty

Pukon_the_Treen wrote:
If you want to dump a load of words on a page like a heap of spaghetti and expect me to untangle it all then fair enough; if I've got the time and patience then I'll do so,


That has got to become an NGL classic line.         Up there with Corrie's "That was a long time ago . . . and I haven't touched a chainsaw since".  
gone

If you want to dump a load of words on a page like a heap of spaghetti and expect me to untangle it all then fair enough; if I've got the time and patience then I'll do so, but don't get all stroppy calling me arrogant and so on when I attempt to clarify things. Either take the time to be clear or get used to people correcting you, or just get used to people ignoring you.

BRILLIANT!
gone

Lynne, Puke makes a good point, you do dump far too many words on a page if the length of some of your posts are anything to go by!
Leonard James

I hate to tell you this, Lynne, but your posts are getting more and more like those of 'persecuted' on the BBCCMB.
Pukon_the_Treen

No Lynne, I don't owe you an apology; when I explained the difference between religion and theism you said:

“It is merely the arrogance of men wanting to look learned that use such statements that theism is a belief in a god”.

You called me arrogant, and started going on again about my learning that comes from man and from books or something.

Anyway, I can't really make out what points you are trying to make any longer. If you want to continue the discussion you are going to have to be more clear and concise.
Pukon_the_Treen

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Try reading what it says and not what you want it to say.


No. I've explained my point of view as clearly as I can but I obviously don't really understand what you are trying to say in your posts. I'm not alone in this; others seem to agree that your points are largely incomprehensible, so what do you imagine you have proved and to whom do you imagine you have proven it?

You can claim this as some kind of victory if you like, but it's not communication if you are incomprehensible, and it's not a discussion if we aren't communicating. What's the point?
Leonard James

Pukon_the_Treen wrote:
Quote:
Try reading what it says and not what you want it to say.


No. I've explained my point of view as clearly as I can but I obviously don't really understand what you are trying to say in your posts. I'm not alone in this; others seem to agree that your points are largely incomprehensible, so what do you imagine you have proved and to whom do you imagine you have proven it?

You can claim this as some kind of victory if you like, but it's not communication if you are incomprehensible, and it's not a discussion if we aren't communicating. What's the point?

I think the point is, Puke, that Lynne herself is not even aware of her strange inability to communicate clearly. She appears to know what she wants to say, but is often unable to  explain it.

I gather this from the way she often says "read the post again", meaning that to her the meaning is clear, even though it is not clear to anybody else. This leads me to believe that the same is true in reverse ... that although we know perfectly well what we are saying (and are understood by all other readers), Lynne just isn't able to assimilate our meaning.

I suspect the phenomenon is due to the many years she has been immersed in Bible study and her conviction that she really communicates with her God.
gone

Leonard James wrote:
Pukon_the_Treen wrote:
Quote:
Try reading what it says and not what you want it to say.


No. I've explained my point of view as clearly as I can but I obviously don't really understand what you are trying to say in your posts. I'm not alone in this; others seem to agree that your points are largely incomprehensible, so what do you imagine you have proved and to whom do you imagine you have proven it?

You can claim this as some kind of victory if you like, but it's not communication if you are incomprehensible, and it's not a discussion if we aren't communicating. What's the point?

I think the point is, Puke, that Lynne herself is not even aware of her strange inability to communicate clearly. She appears to know what she wants to say, but is often unable to  explain it.

I gather this from the way she often says "read the post again", meaning that to her the meaning is clear, even though it is not clear to anybody else. This leads me to believe that the same is true in reverse ... that although we know perfectly well what we are saying (and are understood by all other readers), Lynne just isn't able to assimilate our meaning.

I suspect the phenomenon is due to the many years she has been immersed in Bible study and her conviction that she really communicates with her God.


I think you are right Leonard.

Since my husband's illness he has the same problem, thinking he has made his meaning clear, which it is to him, but sadly not to anyone else. Not of course that I am suggesting for one minute Lynne is brain damaged, just having an inability to make her meaning clear.
Leonard James

Hi Roses,

It's a curious situation, and I think that many people's refusal to accept evolution stems from the same root.

Because they consider the creation story to be literally true, they are unable to accept the evidence for evolution even though it is blindingly obvious to the rest of us.
gone

Leonard James wrote:
Hi Roses,

It's a curious situation, and I think that many people's refusal to accept evolution stems from the same root.

Because they consider the creation story to be literally true, they are unable to accept the evidence for evolution even though it is blindingly obvious to the rest of us.


True!
Lexilogio

Leonard James wrote:

I think the point is, Puke, that Lynne herself is not even aware of her strange inability to communicate clearly. She appears to know what she wants to say, but is often unable to  explain it.



It's actually not that strange. I find many talented people can sometimes struggle to communicate in writing when the issue is one about which they have great passion, but is complex.

In fact many organisations have colleagues read over papers to ensure that what is written is understandable to others.
Leonard James

Lexilogio wrote:
Leonard James wrote:

I think the point is, Puke, that Lynne herself is not even aware of her strange inability to communicate clearly. She appears to know what she wants to say, but is often unable to  explain it.



It's actually not that strange. I find many talented people can sometimes struggle to communicate in writing when the issue is one about which they have great passion, but is complex.

In fact many organisations have colleagues read over papers to ensure that what is written is understandable to others.

In that case, Lexi, Lynne should find another colleague to help her ... God doesn't seem to want to!    
Pukon_the_Treen

Lynne,

Ok, I've tried to ignore all the 'extraneous material' you have added to the discussion as it has gone on, and read over what you wrote a few times, checking back to your opening ideas about atheists and brainwashing. First small problem is that there isn't really such a thing as brainwashing; it's a word that was bandied about back in the Cold War era, but it's since been debunked. So I'm not really sure what you mean by brainwashing, but I'm guessing you're talking about some kind of indoctrination?

Well, anyway my argument is that no indoctrination (self-induced or otherwise) has taken place; an atheist simply does what everyone does in order to build up their ideas about life, gods, morality, reality and so on; they use experience, evidence and reason. You presumably use the same process, but because you (and all believers) have different experience and evidence to draw from, your reason has led you to different ideas about life, gods and so on.

This is your response to that idea:

Quote:
You have had no experience of God to reject or believe in him. You have only ideas and opinions. I wouldn't want to convince you.
You need to be open minded and a seeker of truth to find God. One with a sincere heart.


So it seems that you reject my argument because according to you I cannot form an opinion about the existence or not of God without some experience of God to draw from. This seems a hell of a claim to make, because if I am disqualified from having any opinion about the existence or not of God by virtue of never having experienced Him, then it logically follows that I (and everyone else too I suppose) is disqualified from having any opinion about the existence or not of anything that we haven't had an experience of. Aliens, demons, ghosts, telekinesis, homoeopathy, talking animals and so on. This is unworkable. We all form opinions about the likelihood of all kinds of things without experiencing them, often because they don't actually exist, so we can't experience them.

Obviously I have had no experience of God, which is the main reason why I am an atheist. If I had some kind of experience of God, then I would be some kind of believer. The fact that I have never had any experience of God is apparently my fault for being insincere, not seeking the truth and close minded, which of course is very useful for you, because it follows that by virtue of your experience of God you can award yourself all the positive attributes (open minded, a seeker of truth with a sincere heart).
Powwow

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Psalms 53:1
Leonard James

Morning Pow-wow,
pow wow wrote:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Psalms 53:1

You would have done better not to quote that line, since only a fool would fall for such an obvious ploy. The writer of it knew a bit about human nature ... nobody likes to be thought a fool.

Fortunately, anybody with an iota of discernment can see through such a silly ruse. Hans Andersen uncovered it beautifully in "The Emperor's New Clothes", showing how some people can be hoodwinked into pretending to see something that isn't there simply because they fear being considered foolish if they don't.

Wake up man, and see reality ... you will find it far more fulfilling than your illusory God world.
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Psalms 53:1

Matthew 5:22.
Leonard James

admin. wrote:
pow wow wrote:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Psalms 53:1

Matthew 5:22.

Splendid, Steve! Yet another contradiction!  
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
admin. wrote:
pow wow wrote:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Psalms 53:1

Matthew 5:22.

Splendid, Steve! Yet another contradiction!  


Perhaps the atheist is a fool with some worth?  
Powwow

Leonard,
What are you muttering about? Contradiction? Here's a thought how's about you read Matthew 5:22
How can the atheist be so blind as to go through life and face death without the Christian hope? What is there or can ever be there in this world or the next to make a life of atheism worthwhile? The atheists answer to death is just to laugh it off
Atheism will never give a person, peace of mind or contentment of heart.
trentvoyager

pow wow wrote:
Leonard,
What are you muttering about? Contradiction? Here's a thought how's about you read Matthew 5:22
How can the atheist be so blind as to go through life and face death without the Christian hope? What is there or can ever be there in this world or the next to make a life of atheism worthwhile? The atheists answer to death is just to laugh it off
Atheism will never give a person, peace of mind or contentment of heart.


I don't know how you can be quite so callous about atheists feelings - but I can assure you that this atheist (and I suspect many others) do not laugh death off.

Your comments are not worthy of someone claiming to be a Christian.
Powwow

Trent I apologize for offending you.
In all honesty, you are the first atheist I've come across that doesn't laugh off death. Check out the BBC Christian MB. Have a read at what the atheists have to say about death when it's one of the topics.
Leonard James

Morning Pow-wow,
pow wow wrote:
Leonard,
What are you muttering about? Contradiction? Here's a thought how's about you read Matthew 5:22

I already did, my friend, which is why I thanked Steve for spotting it. It says that anybody who calls his brother a fool is in danger of hell fire, which is in direct contradiction to the verse you quote which calls a man a fool if he says in his heart there is no God.
Quote:
How can the atheist be so blind as to go through life and face death without the Christian hope?

It is not a matter of being blind, my friend, it is simply facing facts and not hiding from them in forlorn dreams of an afterlife.
Quote:
What is there or can ever be there in this world or the next to make a life of atheism worthwhile?

Very simple! Loving and being loved make everything in life worthwhile.  On top of that there is the joy and wonder of living in this beautiful world, and being able to appreciate that there are many wonderful things that money cannot buy.
Quote:
The atheists answer to death is just to laugh it off.

Nonsense! The atheist accepts that death is regrettably inevitable, and therefore makes the best of this life rather than invent a better one.
Quote:
Atheism will never give a person, peace of mind or contentment of heart.

Which shows how little you know about it. I can assure you that when I ceased to believe in the God story, all the contradictions it presented me with disappeared, and the enlightenment brought me a peace of mind I had never known as a Christian.

Gone were the problems of trying to reconcile all the bad things in this world with having been created by a 'loving and compassionate' God ... and having to content myself with the answer that 'we cannot understand God's mind'.

I can't hope to make you understand, because you clearly need to believe. Just accept the fact that atheists don't have that need, and our lives are  happy and fulfilled without it.

If you want to read why I think some people believe in God and others don't, have a look at the 'God' section of my website.
Leonard James

Morning Lynne,

I really can't be bothered to answer all your usual nonsense.

However, regarding caring for others, I do what I can as an OAP. I make a monthly contribution to UNICEF, and everything I own is willed to the same organisation. Furthermore, all my friends and neighbours turn to me for help if they need it, because they know I never turn a deaf ear.

These are not things I would normally make public, but in the face of this ignorant accusation of my selfishness
Quote:
He was poor and starving because men like yourself and Dives were happy and contented to take care of themselves and ignore the poverty and starvation in their good and nice world.

I feel justified in doing so.

You would do well to think a little before you start pontificating to others.
trentvoyager

Leonard James wrote:
Morning Lynne,

I really can't be bothered to answer all your usual nonsense.

However, regarding caring for others, I do what I can as an OAP. I make a monthly contribution to UNICEF, and everything I own is willed to the same organisation. Furthermore, all my friends and neighbours turn to me for help if they need it, because they know I never turn a deaf ear.

These are not things I would normally make public, but in the face of this ignorant accusation of my selfishness
Quote:
He was poor and starving because men like yourself and Dives were happy and contented to take care of themselves and ignore the poverty and starvation in their good and nice world.

I feel justified in doing so.

You would do well to think a little before you start pontificating to others.


As usual Lynne has not put her brain into gear, Leonard.

Many, many people, like you, give to charity without the need of some spiritual prompt from God - its simply because they are good and decent people.

I for one am getting mightily sick of this nonsense spoken about atheists as if we are responsiible for all the ills in the world and have no feelings.

Although apparently according to Lynne's latest ramble its all Adams fault anyway. So God is punishing us for what Adam did. Can't figure the justice out there!
trentvoyager

Quote:
I think forums a rife with Christians who judge others because they do not love truth. Nor do they like being corrected.


I agree, Lynne

Quote:
When you stopped believing... how many people suffered because of that choice? How many people would the power of God helped through your life? You see, you never believed what Christ said.


Quote:
He was poor and starving because men like yourself and Dives were happy and contented to take care of themselves and ignore the poverty and starvation in their good and nice world.



Absolutely no judging going on there. None whatsoever. Definitely none. Well done.
Leonard James

The inescapable conclusion of all this, Lynne, is that you and I are unable to communicate meaningfully on this subject ... our use of language and our worldviews are so different.

Better to refrain from trying.
Powwow

Leonard,
Judders Lady explained perfectly and plainly the verse in Psalms and the verse in Matthew. Arrogance won't allow you to admit you don't understand these verses and how they use the word fool. Your silly claim of a contradiction was and remains a complete miss. I would laugh but this is serious.
I do not believe you are content and have peace of mind. God has not given up on you. Everyday He and the Christian faith is on your mind. You may dress it up and claim this is on your mind because you are on a mission to draw Christians to atheism but that's not what is going on.
IvyOwl

pow wow wrote:
Leonard,
Judders Lady explained perfectly and plainly the verse in Psalms and the verse in Matthew. Arrogance won't allow you to admit you don't understand these verses and how they use the word fool. Your silly claim of a contradiction was and remains a complete miss. I would laugh but this is serious.
I do not believe you are content and have peace of mind. God has not given up on you. Everyday He and the Christian faith is on your mind. You may dress it up and claim this is on your mind because you are on a mission to draw Christians to atheism but that's not what is going on.


Judders Lady set out her reasoning (although I wouldn't go so far as to call it perfect or plain) to see no conctradiction .... some will agree with her others won't.

Personlly speaking I find it amusing the way some people will go to great lenghts to disect and massage every last word word in the Bible to make it come to mean whatever they want. So wedded are they to the idea that it really is the supreme creator gods way of communicating with them.

If there is a supreme creator god it would not be communicating through the minutia of words written from the oral tradition of just one ancient tribe,

That you and others think that your god is the one true god is in my opinion where arrogance lies! Not in our Lens disagreement with Lynnes interpretation of a bit of text!

So sure are you of your beliefs being 'right' that you are just unable to take aboard that others can be happy and content without sharing them. I've seen other Christians as well as yourself seeing the willingness of atheists and people of other faiths liking to debate with them as some sort of evidence of their still seeking your particular version of god. No doubt in some cases this might well be true but there are plenty of other reasons why they might do so. The thing is even when you've been told what they are you still won't take them aboard so sure of you of the rightness of your own beliefs!

I realise you do it with the best of intentions which makes me feel sad. Such decent kind people so wrapped up in and their own preferred dogma.

IvyOwl
Powwow

Hello IvyOwl,
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. Was your son able to get a plane home for Christmas?
I get what you are saying. I also find that many atheist are so determined when they think they have discovered some sort of contradiction, that they can't bring themselve to admit it is no contradiction, even after it has been plainly explained to them. When you ignore context and style and times etc, many contradictions can be created.
Tom Cruising

Exactly pow wow - the Christian Bible cannot possibly be the Word of God as it is quite clearly made up bollocks.
Powwow

Tom,
When I toldl IvyOwl I get what she is saying, I didn't mean to give you the impression that I am in agreement. Sorry for any confusion. I was respectfully aknowledging her point of view.
If your statement is proof of the Bible not being the word of God, I will not make the mistake of saying I get what you are saying. The Bible is made up bollock? Really? That's deep my friend. What a brilliant comment!
trentvoyager

Quote:
Do you think I was not including myself when I said. "It isn't only you who are guilty of this. The whole world who leave the people in poverty are guilty of the same thing"? We all give but we never do anything to aradicate the disease and starvation by forcing our own governments to act and make it a thing of the past. Sorry you took it all personally, but you do nothing I do not do.


So Judders what exactly is your point - Leonard is the same as you because you both do nothing to "eradicate disease and starvation" soo tell me why your Christian position is superior or preferrable?
IvyOwl

Quote:
When I toldl IvyOwl I get what she is saying, I didn't mean to give you the impression that I am in agreement. Sorry for any confusion. I was respectfully aknowledging her point of view.



Hello Pow wow,

Thanks for your reply which I took to be an acknowledgement and not an agreement.

My son got home eventually ... took the best part of 3 days and by the time he'd got here he was frozen! He left a week ago and I promptly went down with this flu that's doing the rounds here in the UK .... so I'm only just getting back to a normal routine. We had a nice time enjoying each others company thankyou. Hope you enjoyed it over there in mega frozen Canada. Just been catching up on the threads and reading more about your youthful adventures on your farm .... glad you didn't kill the snake you ran over on your bike!

IvyOwl
Leonard James

Judders Lady... wrote:
The inescapable truth Leonard,

Leonard James wrote:
The inescapable conclusion of all this, Lynne, is that you and I are unable to communicate meaningfully on this subject ... our use of language and our worldviews are so different.

Better to refrain from trying.



This is an opinion and your wrong.
Do you want to know what proof there is?
Your own posts and words. You claim so often to know what I talk about and even pontificate making out you understand because you once believed the same things too.

I guess you would not be the one to judge if I can communicate meaningfully on the subject of God and Christianity.
Because you never have had faith like mine.
And it shows by your posts. Thinking you can change everything to suit your own whims when you get is so wrong.




 

 
ByFaith

Re: Atheism... is it based on human traits of brainwashing?

pow wow wrote:
How can the atheist be so blind as to go through life and face death without the Christian hope?

I think that 2 Corinthians 4 v 3-4 give the answer to your question.

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.


So what you are up against is spiritual blindness

It is reinforced further by 1 Corinthians 2 v 14:

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

How may times can it be observed on this forum that the reaction to the spiritual things said by yourself and Judders Lady is that of what has been said is foolishness?

To the issues raised in the opening post, I would say that the problem there is also one of spiritual blindness, not any kind of brainwashing.
Powwow

Hello ByFaith,
Thanks for your post. I've gotten alot out of it.
BashfulAnthony

Tom Cruising wrote:
Exactly pow wow - the Christian Bible cannot possibly be the Word of God as it is quite clearly made up bollocks.



I love that sort of intellectual insight.

BA.
Leonard James

Re: Atheism... is it based on human traits of brainwashing?

ByFaith wrote:
pow wow wrote:
How can the atheist be so blind as to go through life and face death without the Christian hope?

I think that 2 Corinthians 4 v 3-4 give the answer to your question.

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.


So what you are up against is spiritual blindness

It is reinforced further by 1 Corinthians 2 v 14:

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

How may times can it be observed on this forum that the reaction to the spiritual things said by yourself and Judders Lady is that of what has been said is foolishness?

To the issues raised in the opening post, I would say that the problem there is also one of spiritual blindness, not any kind of brainwashing.

You don't have to be Einstein to realise that many people didn't believe the God story even before it was written down. So the writers were careful to include such childish ploys as the above, knowing they would be swallowed by the credulous.

Tell people that they are blind or fools if they don't believe what you are telling them, and many of the less perceptive will fall into the trap, and accept it.

As I have already observed, it's the ancient version of "The Emperor's New Clothes". There are none so foolish as those who believe something because they have been told they are blind fools if they don't!  
ByFaith

pow wow wrote:
Hello ByFaith,
Thanks for your post. I've gotten alot out of it.

Happy to oblige.
ByFaith

Re: Atheism... is it based on human traits of brainwashing?

Leonard James wrote:
You don't have to be Einstein to realise that many people didn't believe the God story even before it was written down. So the writers were careful to include such childish ploys as the above, knowing they would be swallowed by the credulous.

Tell people that they are blind or fools if they don't believe what you are telling them, and many of the less perceptive will fall into the trap, and accept it.

As I have already observed, it's the ancient version of "The Emperor's New Clothes". There are none so foolish as those who believe something because they have been told they are blind fools if they don't!  

Judders Lady & pow wow: Do you see how long it took for the spiritual blindness to be demonstrated?
Lexilogio

Tom Cruising wrote:
Exactly pow wow - the Christian Bible cannot possibly be the Word of God as it is quite clearly made up bollocks.


Really? I had no idea they used such unusual material. And here was me thinking it was written on parchment paper.....



.....Must have been really difficult for the monks to copy it.    

Think I'll exit before people think of witty answers.....
Leonard James

Re: Atheism... is it based on human traits of brainwashing?

ByFaith wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
You don't have to be Einstein to realise that many people didn't believe the God story even before it was written down. So the writers were careful to include such childish ploys as the above, knowing they would be swallowed by the credulous.

Tell people that they are blind or fools if they don't believe what you are telling them, and many of the less perceptive will fall into the trap, and accept it.

As I have already observed, it's the ancient version of "The Emperor's New Clothes". There are none so foolish as those who believe something because they have been told they are blind fools if they don't!  

Judders Lady & pow wow: Do you see how long it took for the spiritual blindness to be demonstrated?

In addition, you can observe from a response like this that you are dealing with an individual who is dedicated not just to disagreeing with spiritual truth, but opposing it. Now, you will know what entity in the Bible was always dedicated to opposing the purposes of God.

Oh blimey ... now he's gone and cast me as the Devil in his little pantomime!

Oh well, it could be worse ... he could have made me play the Virgin Mary! All that breast-feeding and nappie changing! YUK! 
Powwow

ByFaith,
Yes, I just had a chuckle about it. I got as far as the words childish ploys in Leonard's post and I thought boy, not only did he prove your point he was also fast about doing so. LOL!
Leonard James

pow wow wrote:
ByFaith,
Yes, I just had a chuckle about it. I got as far as the words childish ploys in Leonard's post and I thought boy, not only did he prove your point he was also fast about doing so. LOL!

Yes, the ploys are childish in my eyes, but they seem to take in quite a few unperceptive adults.  
Leonard James

Lexilogio wrote:
Tom Cruising wrote:
Exactly pow wow - the Christian Bible cannot possibly be the Word of God as it is quite clearly made up bollocks.


Really? I had no idea they used such unusual material. And here was me thinking it was written on parchment paper.....



.....Must have been really difficult for the monks to copy it.    

Think I'll exit before people think of witty answers.....

Parchment, papyrus, stone tablets, anything will do to write bull on!  
IvyOwl

Quote:
Yes, the ploys are childish in my eyes, but they seem to take in quite a few unperceptive adults.  


Been watching this exchange with amusement Len.

What is it with some people that they see having 'faith' as some kind of virtue? Calling those of us that don't believe in their god'spiritually blind'.

Do they consider the people that believe in (ie have faith in the existence of) other gods 'spiritually blind' I wonder.

IO
Powwow

Leonard,
OK,OK, stop! I'm staring to feel bad and embarrassed for you.
IvyOwl

pow wow wrote:
Leonard,
OK,OK, stop! I'm staring to feel bad and embarrassed for you.


Possible about as much as I'm feeling bad and embarrassed for you!

Seriously if your faith gives you meaning, peace and comfort fair enough but to see 'faith' as some sort of virtue is just silly. So what is your answer to the question I posed in my previous post?

IO
Powwow

I'm staring! What the heck was that?
Powwow

IvyOwl,
I shovel my elderly neighbour lady's walk for her. Her name is Sophie. My sister called this afternoon and asked what I did this morning. My reply. Oh, I had to shovel Snowphie out this morning! Good grief!
BashfulAnthony

Re: Atheism... is it based on human traits of brainwashing?

Leonard James wrote:
ByFaith wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
You don't have to be Einstein to realise that many people didn't believe the God story even before it was written down. So the writers were careful to include such childish ploys as the above, knowing they would be swallowed by the credulous.

Tell people that they are blind or fools if they don't believe what you are telling them, and many of the less perceptive will fall into the trap, and accept it.

As I have already observed, it's the ancient version of "The Emperor's New Clothes". There are none so foolish as those who believe something because they have been told they are blind fools if they don't!  

Judders Lady & pow wow: Do you see how long it took for the spiritual blindness to be demonstrated?

In addition, you can observe from a response like this that you are dealing with an individual who is dedicated not just to disagreeing with spiritual truth, but opposing it. Now, you will know what entity in the Bible was always dedicated to opposing the purposes of God.

Oh blimey ... now he's gone and cast me as the Devil in his little pantomime!

Oh well, it could be worse ... he could have made me play the Virgin Mary! All that breast-feeding and nappie changing! YUK! 


Good evening, Leonard.  Just had to drop in and correct you  -  you could never be the Virgin Mary;  a camp guard, maybe!

Pukon_the_Treen

pow wow and by faith,

I can see you two are having fun here, with all this smug self-congratulatory back-slapping and positive reinforcement of your opinions, but don't you think think the 'spiritual blindness' line of argument is a bit of a cop-out?

Leaving aside the fairly unpleasant suggestion that anyone who doesn't share your beliefs is flawed in some way, you are basically just saying that being a believer is not something that you can achieve on your own; you have to have been touched by that extra special something, (the Holy Spirit or similar I presume?), and the whole Christian 'thing' won't make any sense to people who haven't experienced that influence. It just seems to most of us 'outsiders' that you are allowing emotion and group hysteria to switch off your logical capabilities, and then slagging off everyone who can't or won't indulge in the same self-deception.

I know several Christians who seem to have found their faith without needing all that Holy Spirit cop-out line of argument; it seems unique to the Pentecostal / Charismatic sects. Though I may not agree with their arguments, these other Christians seem to be able to justify their faith logically and sensibly without the childish and anti-intellectual trick of just calling everyone else blind and claiming special secret knowledge, which anyone not in the club will be unable to understand. It's very reminiscent of Joseph Smith and his seer stone in the bottom of a hat.

This does all lead me to wonder why you bother to even try to argue with us, because unblessed as we are by this special spiritual 20/20 vision, all your arguments just seem like unsupported and rather wild assertions, padded out with emotive, irrelevant gibberish.
IvyOwl

pow wow wrote:
I'm staring! What the heck was that?


Hi Pow wow,

You have to be careful with those typos on MBS .... it's easy enough for misunderstandings to arise as it is!

As for the snow shovelling sounds like the cold is getting to your speech! I don't need a snow shovel here at the moment .... got floods instead.

IO
Powwow

Pukon, you really have me interested here. What exactly do you mean by finding ones faith without the Holy Spirit cop out? From what you know of Christian faith, how does one find faith without the Holy Spirit?
It can be unpleasant when an atheist suggests I am not logical, I'm easily fooled etc. but I have a thick skin.  How about you Pukon. Do you ever accuse those of faith as being illogical, lacking common sense, easily conned etc. Of course you wouldn't. That would make you a hypocrite. Oh wait, you did accuse us of group hysteria and our logic being swathed off.
Interesting how once again your entire post is an example of hypocrisy and finger pointing. Three of your fingers pointing right back at you.
Positive reinforcement and back-slapping! Great screaming ghosts man.
There be that old kettle accusing the pot of being black!LOL! The herd mentality is mainly found among the atheists in my opinion. At least on the MBs
Powwow

Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.  John 4:48

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  1Cor. 1:18

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  1Cor. 2:14
Pukon_the_Treen

pow wow,

Quote:
Pukon, you really have me interested here. What exactly do you mean by finding ones faith without the Holy Spirit cop out? From what you know of Christian faith, how does one find faith without the Holy Spirit?


From what I know of Christian faith, most Christians will not talk about the Holy Spirit when explaining or justifying their beliefs; that particular line of argument is most common among the Pentecostal / Charismatic sects as I said. You will not tend to hear that line of argument among Anglicans or Catholics for example.

Quote:
It can be unpleasant when an atheist suggests I am not logical, I'm easily fooled etc. but I have a thick skin.


If you try to use a bit of logic to explain and justify your opinions then you can demonstrate how unfair I've been.

Quote:
How about you Pukon. Do you ever accuse those of faith as being illogical, lacking common sense, easily conned etc. Of course you wouldn't.


Sure, I often accuse 'those of faith' of these things, when they display them.

Quote:
That would make you a hypocrite.
Oh wait, you did accuse us of group hysteria and our logic being swathed off.
Interesting how once again your entire post is an example of hypocrisy and finger pointing. Three of your fingers pointing right back at you.
Positive reinforcement and back-slapping! Great screaming ghosts man.
There be that old kettle accusing the pot of being black!LOL! The herd mentality is mainly found among the atheists in my opinion. At least on the Mbs


I said that it's unpleasant to label someone as flawed just because they don't share your beliefs. If I imply that others are flawed, illogical, deluded or whatever, then its not because they just don't share my beliefs; it's because it seems to me that they are being deluded, illogical or whatever.

Do you see the difference? I don't care who shares my beliefs (such as they are) because I'm not here to make converts. I'll extend all due respect to people who do not share my beliefs as long as they are still able to defend, explain and justify those beliefs logically and sensibly. Just saying “oh, you can't possibly understand because unlike me you're spiritually blind” does not count as logical and sensible explanation; it counts as being illogical, possibly deluded and somewhat bigoted, arrogant and complacent.
IvyOwl

Hi Pow wow,

You still haven't answered the question I posed in the my post (bottom of previous page).

People sho believe in other god and godesses also have 'faith' you know

IO
IvyOwl

Quote:
Do you see the difference? I don't care who shares my beliefs (such as they are) because I'm not here to make converts. I'll extend all due respect to people who do not share my beliefs as long as they are still able to defend, explain and justify those beliefs logically and sensibly. Just saying “oh, you can't possibly understand because unlike me you're spiritually blind” does not count as logical and sensible explanation; it counts as being illogical, possibly deluded and somewhat bigoted, arrogant and complacent.


Agreed Pukon, if I may say so without being accused of back slapping! ... sigh.

Friends of mine who are Christians because that's their preferred way of connecting to the divine I can respect just so long as they respect that my way is just as valid! Essentially as we are all different with different needs we'll be drawn to a particular method that suits us. Others can share how they feel about things but to dare suggest that their way is the only way is arrogance of the highest order!

Just as an aside but it does concern this 'holy spirit' stuff. Way back in my youth when I was a born again believer  I remember a friend of mine confessing that she was jealous of me. She had been brought up in 'christian' home so believed from the cradle, As a result she 'knew' she was saved and had never had that spiritual moment on first getting the message that those of us who hadn't been had. She prayed so hard for that feeling but it never seemed to come.

IO
Leonard James

Atheism... is it based on human traits of brainwashing?

No, it isn't. It is based on the fact that there is zero evidence for gods of any sort.
trentvoyager

Judders Lady... wrote:
Just read the post again Trent.


trentvoyager wrote:
Quote:
Do you think I was not including myself when I said. "It isn't only you who are guilty of this. The whole world who leave the people in poverty are guilty of the same thing"? We all give but we never do anything to aradicate the disease and starvation by forcing our own governments to act and make it a thing of the past. Sorry you took it all personally, but you do nothing I do not do.


So Judders what exactly is your point - Leonard is the same as you because you both do nothing to "eradicate disease and starvation" soo tell me why your Christian position is superior or preferrable?


Read all the posts...again and it will explain why your post should not have been written.



I have Judders - and it still makes no difference to the assertion you posted - unless you are specifically excludong yourself from the bit where you say: "We all give be but we never do...."

If you holding your faith makes no difference to the outcome of people suffering disease and poverty tell me what is the point?

Perhaps you should re-read your posts before you actually hit the submit button.
trentvoyager

pow wow

Quote:
How can the atheist be so blind as to go through life and face death without the Christian hope? What is there or can ever be there in this world or the next to make a life of atheism worthwhile? The atheists answer to death is just to laugh it off


and

Quote:
Do you ever accuse those of faith as being illogical, lacking common sense, easily conned etc. Of course you wouldn't. That would make you a hypocrite.


And you see no contradiction in these statements I suppose.....hypocrisy being the pesky little devil it is......
IvyOwl

Quote:
You will not tend to hear that line of argument among Anglicans or Catholics for example.



Perhaps it's because they think their name is enough?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12170291

''In a speech, Pope Benedict XVI urged parents to name their offspring in the Christian tradition, and bequeath "an unmistakable sign that the Holy Spirit will allow the person to blossom in the bosom of the Church".

In doing so, the pontiff has reiterated the Catholic Church's canon law, which cautions against baptising children in a manner "foreign to Christian sensibility".

IO
Lexilogio

Quote:
From what I know of Christian faith, most Christians will not talk about the Holy Spirit when explaining or justifying their beliefs; that particular line of argument is most common among the Pentecostal / Charismatic sects as I said. You will not tend to hear that line of argument among Anglicans or Catholics for example.


There are different lines of argument - but we all believe in the Holy Spirit. In fact, it's enshrined in the creed we recite every Sunday.

But I think for many Anglicans, the Holy Spirit is a personal part of the trinity. My discussions with non believers tends to centre on other aspects.
Pukon_the_Treen

I cheerfully admit that I am way out of my depth here, but I get the impression that while all Christians believe in the Holy Spirit they can have quite dramatically different ideas about what it is. I think for Catholics it's the Church itself? Something like that; not sure about Anglicans, but I think it's similar.

It seems to me that only the Pentecostal  / Charismatic mob see it as an transforming force (talking in tongues, healing, prophesy etc.) and if you haven't experienced it in a very real and literal way then you are totally unable to become a born again, bona fide True Christian ™. Without that spiritual 'infilling' you will be unable to recognise the special secret truths in the bible, and learn the special mysterious explanations and lines of argument which make no sense to the spiritually blind.
Lexilogio

Pukon_the_Treen wrote:
I cheerfully admit that I am way out of my depth here, but I get the impression that while all Christians believe in the Holy Spirit they can have quite dramatically different ideas about what it is. I think for Catholics it's the Church itself? Something like that; not sure about Anglicans, but I think it's similar.

It seems to me that only the Pentecostal  / Charismatic mob see it as an transforming force (talking in tongues, healing, prophesy etc.) and if you haven't experienced it in a very real and literal way then you are totally unable to become a born again, bona fide True Christian ™. Without that spiritual 'infilling' you will be unable to recognise the special secret truths in the bible, and learn the special mysterious explanations and lines of argument which make no sense to the spiritually blind.




I'm afraid not. The Holy Spirit isn't the church at all. The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

But I have a sense that what you are basing your view on is that many Catholics in particular tend to respond to discussions by quoting the official "church" view. This is because it is based on hundreds of years of theological discussion and tradition, and it's often felt that a theologian from the past has better answered a particular question. Then there is the stuff about the Pope having the most direct line to God. (This is where it shows that I'm not Catholic....)
Pukon_the_Treen

Quote:
The Holy Spirit is part of the Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.


Well yes, I knew it was part of the trinity (I'm not that ignorant of your faith) but there still seems little clarity or consensus regarding what it actually means.

I gathered in Catholicism the ultimate expression of the Holy Spirit is through the church and the sacraments? I'm sure I read that somewhere; I'll check the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Pukon_the_Treen

hmmm, here's a bit from the Catechism; seems to be what I was thinking of:

The Holy Spirit and the Church

737 The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ's faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may "bear much fruit."132

738 Thus the Church's mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity (the topic of the next article):

   All of us who have received one and the same Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, are in a sense blended together with one another and with God. For if Christ, together with the Father's and his own Spirit, comes to dwell in each of us, though we are many, still the Spirit is one and undivided. He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us, . . . and makes all appear as one in him. For just as the power of Christ's sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body, I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in all, leads all into spiritual unity.133

739 Because the Holy Spirit is the anointing of Christ, it is Christ who, as the head of the Body, pours out the Spirit among his members to nourish, heal, and organize them in their mutual functions, to give them life, send them to bear witness, and associate them to his self-offering to the Father and to his intercession for the whole world. Through the Church's sacraments, Christ communicates his Holy and sanctifying Spirit to the members of his Body. (This will be the topic of Part Two of the Catechism.)

740 These "mighty works of God," offered to believers in the sacraments of the Church, bear their fruit in the new life in Christ, according to the Spirit. (This will be the topic of Part Three.)

741 "The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with sighs too deep for words."134 The Holy Spirit, the artisan of God's works, is the master of prayer. (This will be the topic of Part Four.)
Leonard James

How ironic! The thread is questioning whether atheism is due to brainwashing!

It is quite obvious to me where the brainwashing lies!
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
How ironic! The thread is questioning whether atheism is due to brainwashing!

It is quite obvious to me where the brainwashing lies!


Just because other people believe some things that you don't doesn't mean that they've been brainwashed Len.


Equally just becuase other people don't believe things that you do Lynne doesn't mean that they've been brainwashed either.
Leonard James

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
How ironic! The thread is questioning whether atheism is due to brainwashing!

It is quite obvious to me where the brainwashing lies!


Just because other people believe some things that you don't doesn't mean that they've been brainwashed Len.


Equally just becuase other people don't believe things that you do Lynne doesn't mean that they've been brainwashed either.

Morning Sam,

I accept your point ... but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence. This can obviously not be the case in atheism, which is disbelief due to lack of evidence but very much so in the case of belief in gods.
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


I see.

You come up with your own, unique definition of "brainwashing" so that you can justify your mudslinging.

Thanks for making that clear.



BTW - just to clarify things further, which definition of "evidence" are you using in your statement above when you say "no evidence"?
Leonard James

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


I see.

You come up with your own, unique definition of "brainwashing" so that you can justify your mudslinging.

Thanks for making that clear.


Unique? What, then, is your definition of brainwashing?
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


I see.

You come up with your own, unique definition of "brainwashing" so that you can justify your mudslinging.

Thanks for making that clear.


Unique? What, then, is your definition of brainwashing?


Not mine, but the dictionary definition:

brain·wash·ing   /ˈbreɪnˌwɒʃɪŋ, -ˌwɔʃɪŋ/  Show Spelled
[breyn-wosh-ing, -waw-shing]  Show IPA

–noun
1. a method for systematically changing attitudes or altering beliefs, originated in totalitarian countries, esp. through the use of torture, drugs, or psychological-stress techniques.
2. any method of controlled systematic indoctrination, esp. one based on repetition or confusion: brainwashing by TV commercials.
3. an instance of subjecting or being subjected to such techniques: efforts to halt the brainwashing of captive audiences.
Use brainwashing in a Sentence
See images of brainwashing
Search brainwashing on the Web
Also, brain-washing, brain washing.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Origin:
1945–50; brain + washing


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/brainwashing


Makes no mention of being limited to "things for which there is no evidence" (whatever you actually meant by that).
Leonard James

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


I see.

You come up with your own, unique definition of "brainwashing" so that you can justify your mudslinging.

Thanks for making that clear.


Unique? What, then, is your definition of brainwashing?


Not mine, but the dictionary definition:

brain·wash·ing   /ˈbreɪnˌwɒʃɪŋ, -ˌwɔʃɪŋ/  Show Spelled
[breyn-wosh-ing, -waw-shing]  Show IPA

–noun
1. a method for systematically changing attitudes or altering beliefs, originated in totalitarian countries, esp. through the use of torture, drugs, or psychological-stress techniques.
2. any method of controlled systematic indoctrination, esp. one based on repetition or confusion: brainwashing by TV commercials.
3. an instance of subjecting or being subjected to such techniques: efforts to halt the brainwashing of captive audiences.
Use brainwashing in a Sentence
See images of brainwashing
Search brainwashing on the Web
Also, brain-washing, brain washing.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Origin:
1945–50; brain + washing


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/brainwashing


Makes no mention of being limited to "things for which there is no evidence" (whatever you actually meant by that).


Definition 2 covers it nicely, Sam. Constant repetition of a belief, as in creeds, is a form of self-indoctrination.
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Definition 2 covers it nicely, Sam. Constant repetition of a belief, as in creeds, is a form of self-indoctrination.


The point is that although religious indoctrination may be considered a form of brainwashing according to these definition "brainwashing" is not limited solely to religious beliefs (that which you categorise as "things for which there is no evidence") as per your unique, personal definition.

According to all these definitions one could be "brainwashed" into either a religious faith or into the abandonment of religious faith altogether.

Your definition appears to have been heavily informed by your prejudice against religious belief in order to justify your assertion that one could be brainwashed into accepting religious beliefs but not brainwashed into abandoning religious beliefs.
Leonard James

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Definition 2 covers it nicely, Sam. Constant repetition of a belief, as in creeds, is a form of self-indoctrination.


Still doesn't say that these beliefs or creeds have to be based on "things for which there is no evidence".

My dear fellow, if there were evidence, brainwashing wouldn't be necessary, would it now?
Quote:
According to all these definitions one could be "brainwashed" into either a religious faith or into the abandonment of religious faith altogether.

Yes, although in the second case it would simply be removing the damage done by the original brainwashing.
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Definition 2 covers it nicely, Sam. Constant repetition of a belief, as in creeds, is a form of self-indoctrination.


Still doesn't say that these beliefs or creeds have to be based on "things for which there is no evidence".

My dear fellow, if there were evidence, brainwashing wouldn't be necessary, would it now?


My dear fellow, the existence of YECs such as LWB on the CTMB is ample proof that evidence alone is not always sufficient to change one's beliefs. If a process of intense indoctrination of the sort described in those dictionary definitions ("by methods based on isolation, sleeplessness, hunger, extreme discomfort, pain, and the alternation of kindness and cruelty") was used to effect such a change it would still be "brainwashing" irrespective of the end result.

Quote:
Quote:
According to all these definitions one could be "brainwashed" into either a religious faith or into the abandonment of religious faith altogether.

Yes, although in the second case it would simply be removing the damage done by the original brainwashing.

"Removing the damage" through the process commonly known as "brainwashing" if techniques like those referred to earlier were used.


Let me make one thing absolutely crystal clear before you try and distort what I have said: I am not claiming that those who are atheists have been "brainwashed" into that mindset. On the contrary I believe that the vast majority of atheists are such because the rational analysis of their experiences leaves them with the conclusion that it is highly unlikely that any God or gods exist.

What I am challenging is your claim that brainwashing is only "brainwashing" when it is associated with attempts to get people to accept those thing for which you consider there to be no evidence of and not "brainwashing" when used in any other context.

I have not seen you present a credible argument in favour of your unique, personal definition of "brainwashing" over the standard dictionary definition so far.
Leonard James

OK, Sam, we will have to agree to differ.  
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
OK, Sam, we will have to agree to differ.  


No Len, that's not good enough.

You are stating that the use of coersive mind-altering techniques in order to implant an idea in a subjects mind is only "brainwashing" if it involves the implantation of ideas related to that which you consider there to be no evidence for:
Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


That is clearly not the case. Brainwashing is a technique that is independant of the cause or idea to which one is being indoctrinated.

Therefore I cannot see why you would adopt such a restrictive, personal definition of "brainwashing" other than as a result of your personal prejudice against religion. That unique definition appears to have been devised for the sole purpose of being able to accuse religion alone of engaging in "brainwashing".

If I have this wrong please present reasoned arguments as to where and how I am mistaken.
Leonard James

Hello agian Sam,

In my opinion repeatedly saying and reading claims for which there is no evidential support is a form of brainwashing, even though it is submitted to voluntarily. Nothing you have said alters that as far as I am concerned.

That is why I said we must agree to differ.
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Hello agian Sam,

In my opinion repeatedly saying and reading claims for which there is no evidential support is a form of brainwashing



That is a very different statement to the one you gave previously:
Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


Do you now wish to retract your earlier statement since you now accept that "getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence" is just one type of brainwashing rather than the only definition of "brainwashing"?
Leonard James

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Hello agian Sam,

In my opinion repeatedly saying and reading claims for which there is no evidential support is a form of brainwashing



That is a very different statement to the one you gave previously:
Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


Do you now wish to retract your earlier statement since you now accept that "getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence" is just one type of brainwashing rather than the only definition of "brainwashing"?


No, Sam, I don't. Brainwashing is getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence. If you disagree, give me an example of brainwashing that isn't.
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Hello agian Sam,

In my opinion repeatedly saying and reading claims for which there is no evidential support is a form of brainwashing



That is a very different statement to the one you gave previously:
Leonard James wrote:
but for me, brainwashing refers to getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence.


Do you now wish to retract your earlier statement since you now accept that "getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence" is just one type of brainwashing rather than the only definition of "brainwashing"?


No, Sam, I don't. Brainwashing is getting people to believe things for which there is no evidence. If you disagree, give me an example of brainwashing that isn't.


From the dictionary definition of "brainwashing" that I provided you earlier:
2. any method of controlled systematic indoctrination, esp. one based on repetition or confusion: brainwashing by TV commercials.

One could be brainwashed into accepting that Daz washing powder is superior Ariel washing powder.

There may be evidence that supports this conclusion.

There may be evidence that undermines this conclusion.

That is irrelevant with respect to "brainwashing".

Although brainwashing may involve the presentation of evidence to support what the brainwasher is telling the subject that "evidence" could be true, false, partial or misrepresented.

I'll say it again Leonard in case you missed it before:
Quote:
Brainwashing is a technique that is independant of the cause or idea to which one is being indoctrinated
or even whether evidence does or does not exist that supports the cause or idea to which one is being indoctrinated.

Therfore one could conceivably be "brainwashed" into accepting a particular religious belief but equally one could be "brainwashed" into abandoning religious belief.

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