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Leonard James

How lucky we are!

I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.

No doubt we can disagree about other matters, but there's not much to disagree about in our disbelief in gods.
IvyOwl

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.

No doubt we can disagree about other matters, but there's not much to disagree about in our disbelief in gods.


The idea that you can get some deep meaningful insight in the precise interpretation of words written long ago of events long after they'd happened totally bemuses me.

IO
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Hi Ivy,
IvyOwl wrote:
The idea that you can get some deep meaningful insight in the precise interpretation of words written long ago of events long after they'd happened totally bemuses me.

IO

Indeed! But of course, many of them believe that they are helped by the "Holy Spirit" to understand it all.

If that is the case I can only deduce that said HS is just as confused as they are!
Paul

Well, it seems that not all is hunky-dory in atheist land. So don't go getting too smug.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/02/why_are_you_an_atheist.php
Leonard James

Hi Paul,

Well, I read it, but I didn't see any disagreement about gods not existing. Was there one?
Powwow

Here is Voltaire's answer to those he saved from that belief in God.
I am a puny part of the great whole.
Yes; but all animals condemned to live,
All sentient things, born by the same stern law,
Suffer like me, and like me also die.
The vulture fastens on his prey,
And stabs with bloody beak the quivering limbs:
All's well, it seems, for it. But in a while
An eagle tears the vulture into shreds;
The eagle is transfixed by shaft of man;
The man, prone in the dust of battlefield,
Mingling his blood with dying fellow-men,
Becomes in turn the food for ravenous birds.
Thus the whole world in every member groans:
All born for torment and for mutual death.
And o'er this ghastly chaos you would say
The ills of each make up the good of all!
What blessedness! And as, with quaking voice,
The universe belies you, and your heart
Refutes a hundred times your minds conceit
What is the verdict of the vastest mind?
Silence: the book of fate is closed to us.
Man is a stranger to his own research;
He knows not whence he comes, nor whither goes.
Tormented atoms in a bed of mud,
Devoured by death, a mockery of fate.

Well according to Voltaire's atheism, the future isn't worth living for. Tormented atoms in a bed of mud! Devoured by death, a mockery of fate.
Thanks but no thanks.
Pukon_the_Treen

Quote:
Well according to Voltaire's atheism, the future isn't worth living for. Tormented atoms in a bed of mud! Devoured by death, a mockery of fate.
Thanks but no thanks.


Yes, we are all going to die. That doesn't mean that the future isn't worth living though; living is fun, so best to enjoy it while it lasts.
Lexilogio

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.

No doubt we can disagree about other matters, but there's not much to disagree about in our disbelief in gods.


Surprisingly, many of us actually agree with each other. Sunday services are not disrupted by anyone castigating the vicar for his interpretations of the Bible.

Although that would have a certain amusement....


The key with Christianity is to constantly remind ourselves of what Jesus said about love.
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Hi Lexi,
Lexilogio wrote:
Surprisingly, many of us actually agree with each other. Sunday services are not disrupted by anyone castigating the vicar for his interpretations of the Bible.

Although that would have a certain amusement....

Yes, I understand that each little group tends to agree (more or less) amongst themselves, but the different groups are myriad.
Quote:
The key with Christianity is to constantly remind ourselves of what Jesus said about love.

Yes, I think that is what you should all do.
Leonard James

Hi Pow-wow,
Quote:
Well according to Voltaire's atheism, the future isn't worth living for. Tormented atoms in a bed of mud! Devoured by death, a mockery of fate.
Thanks but no thanks.

What a melodramatic picture!

As has already been pointed out, we are born, we live our lives, and then we die. Make the best of it that you can.

If you can't face the prospect, swallow one of the after-life stories ... millions of people do.
Samuel Vimes

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible


Although atheists arguing over the meaning of the word "atheist" are a regular feature of the CTMB.
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible


Although atheists arguing over the meaning of the word "atheist" are a regular feature of the CTMB.

Yes, I know, Sam. Possibly it's because we haven't got a Holy Book to argue over.  
Samuel Vimes

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible


Although atheists arguing over the meaning of the word "atheist" are a regular feature of the CTMB.

Yes, I know, Sam. Possibly it's because we haven't got a Holy Book to argue over.  


So, taking into account your acceptance that atheists simply argue over different things than theists, perhaps the smugness of your opening comments wasn't as justified as you might have thought.
Ketty

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible,


   I couldn't agree with you more.  

It's all part of the 'human condition' I guess, and all of us human beings can find, I'm sure, a topic that's so close to our heart, we can 'chew the cud' 'til the cows come home.    
Pukon_the_Treen

Quote:
Do you not think that the lucky ones are those who know what the truth really is?


No, that sounds boring. I like being uncertain and confused by the world around me; it's interesting and exciting to know that there is still more for me to find out. I can't think of much more depressing and dull than the certainty that I am right and know The Truth ™.
Pukon_the_Treen

Quote:
How does you being uncertain and confused about the world around you become finding out more about you?
Do you actually think about what you are writing?


Yes, I think about what I write. My post seems petty clear to me; I don't want certainty and I don't envy those who believe themselves to have found 'the truth'. Claims to have found the truth are not interesting to me because they just sound like unfounded confidence and intellectual complacency. I like the feeling that there are still things I don't know and don't understand, because that means life is still interesting as there are always more things for me to find out.
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Sam, me dear, are you really as argumentative and disgruntled with life as comes over in your posts?
Samuel Vimes wrote:
So, taking into account your acceptance that atheists simply argue over different things than theists, perhaps the smugness of your opening comments wasn't as justified as you might have thought.

I didn't think my opening comments were smug at all. I was just observing the fact that for me the clarity of non-belief is infinitely preferable to the confusion which reigns among believers.

The idea that an all-wise God who wished us to know about his existence would use such a daft, inefficient method to do so, is completely bonkers. Even a mere human wouldn't be so naive.  
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Morning Ket,
Ketty wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible,


   I couldn't agree with you more.  

It's all part of the 'human condition' I guess, and all of us human beings can find, I'm sure, a topic that's so close to our heart, we can 'chew the cud' 'til the cows come home.    

Yes, indeed! The problem arose when we evolved the ability to think objectively and no longer needed to spend all our time and energy in fighting for survival. We have become adept at using them for more frivolous pastimes.
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Wotcher, Judders!
Judders Lady... wrote:
Yet here you are on forums discussing the gods you do not believe in...

Sure, why not? Or would you rather discuss Goldilocks instead?   
Quote:
Better still... the fact you are unable to say which is right or wrong.

So are you dear, even though you believe otherwise.
Quote:
Do you not think that the lucky ones are those who know what the truth really is?

Indeed they would be! Unfortunately nobody does, so science must just keep plodding along discovering it.  
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Judders Lady... wrote:

Well, would there be much point when we already know for certain how Goldilocks originated. Where as we do not know where belief in God originated from.

Of course we do! It originated in the mind of a man just as Goldilocks did. Thousands of different gods have been invented throughout history by different people ... yours is no more real than any of the others.
Quote:
Belief in God actually serves a purpose but Goldilocks doesn't.
How many bears you know live in a human type of dwellings with windows in, sleep in proper beds and make porridge?

Belief in all gods serves a purpose my dear, it helps people who have a need for one. The story of Goldilocks serves a purpose, too. It entertains children and teaches them to respect other people's property.
Quote:
Now who believes in fairy tales... Where is your proof?
Jesus said:' You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.' He also said that the 'Holy Spirit would teach us and lead us in all truth.'
So what else would a true believer say?
As I said, you are even unable to say what is right and wrong about that plainly known.

Quoting from a book written by imaginative men cuts no ice with me, my dear. That you choose to believe it all and base your life on it is up to you ... but it doesn't fool me. 
Quote:
Science is a manmade thing...

Fortunately it is based on factual observations, which is the only way to obtain knowledge. Swallowing stuff written by religious folk is not.
Quote:
If Science that really mattered to faith was really built on solid evidence then I would not have a faith.

If something is built on solid evidence, you don't need to have faith. Accepting stuff without the slightest real evidence for its truth is for children.
Quote:
We are all capable of being told what to think and why something is true but there is never any real evidence when it comes to science and the things of the bible. We both know that.

We both know that is not true. We both know that there is usually a mountain of factual evidence for scientific beliefs, whereas much of the stuff in the Bible goes against what we know to be scientifically true. Faith in God is a matter of take it or leave it.
Quote:
Yours, is just a different type of faith. And I do mean that sincerely.

My faith in science is based on verifiable evidence ... your faith in God is based on no evidence at all.

And I, too, mean that most sincerely!      
Ketty

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
We have become adept at using them for more frivolous pastimes.




Long may it continue.  This life is too short to be too serious for too long.
Pukon_the_Treen

Lynne,

Quote:
Now there is a word and an excuse if ever I saw one.

'intellectual complacency'... isn't intellectual complacency more apt and fitting for someone who would rather not learn or know the truth when so much about learning is about 'TRUTHS'?

No I don’t think so. As long as I avoid latching on to one particular belief or set of beliefs as ‘The Truth’, I can still learn about things which other people think are true, but I am not bound to them dogmatically; I am free to learn other things too.

Take the theory of evolution by natural selection for example; it’s a good theory, it explains the phenomenon of evolution and the diversity of life on earth well, and it has excellent supporting evidence, so I think it’s almost certainly accurate. I wouldn’t call it The Truth though; theories need amending all the time, as more evidence comes to light. Certain religious fundamentalists refuse to even consider the theory of evolution, not because it’s a bad theory, but because it contradicts what they think of as The Truth; they are closing their minds to an idea and a possibility, because they prefer to cling to a literal reading of the bible as ‘true’. I think that is intellectual complacency.

Quote:
But isn't that what most of the debates have been about?
Pinpointing the truth? Haven't all those who believe in Christ supposedly 'found' the truth?

Intellectually... the complacency would be on your part as would be the self-denial that believers are suppose to have found the truth.  A person must be born of Spirit and Truth.
Christ said:- "I am the way, the truth, and the life."
"If you obey my words you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." Given the facts...how can a believer say anything else but that they know the truth?


Yes, Many many people believe themselves to have found the truth. Their claims are interesting, and I am free to investigate them and learn about them as I please, but I don’t have to believe them that their ideas are true.

Quote:
I, at least, enter into discussion with you. Why do you believe the other believers do not enter into discussion with you on the very fact they are suppose to know the truth? Is it that they do not know the truth or because they are scared of what you might say to them or think of them?

You can make all the remarks asyou want. But whilst they are aimed at me and not the subject at hand (as Christs words show)
Why are you speaking about matters related to faith?
Because clearly you cannot learn anything you would want to hear about yourself.


Not sure what you are talking about here. Lots of people enter into discussions with me; they fact that I don’t claim to know the truth has never been an issue.

Quote:
You mean your own life isn't interesting unless you have things which you do not know?  Common sense would tell me that when it came to matters of where you may spend eternity. That somethings would be beneficial to the truth you learned in life.
Look at Dives and Lazarus... would you think Dives was thankful for his ignorance?
It wasn't that Dives lacked the truth about what the OT taught.
It was the fact he was ignorant to what was truth and had lived his life more interestingly - by not knowing.

Knowing the truth beforehand but being complacent about it.

"You do not know if it is true" and "I don't believe it is" can get you to an eternal place where nothing interests you and it is for eternity.

So I think there is a very good reason why people intellectually should search for truth. One truth which becomes obvious is the lack in mans wisdom in comparison to Gods.
God isn't a liar...  So when you learn about God you should intellectually be seeking to see the two separate wisdoms and what they entail. At least you would be in a better position to debate what truths believers know.


As far as I can tell you are trying to impress upon me the importance of accepting your idea of The Truth, by threatening me with hell. Can you see how that argument isn’t very persuasive?
Samuel Vimes

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
I didn't think my opening comments were smug at all.


Of course you didn't.

However smug is very you.

You probably don't notice any more.
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I didn't think my opening comments were smug at all.


Of course you didn't.

However smug is very you.

You probably don't notice any more.

If you think it is smug to be convinced of my belief then I am guilty as charged, but I think that would apply to all of us, wouldn't it? If we weren't convinced that something is true, we wouldn't believe it, would we now?
Ketty

If we know what we know in our knowery; if we believe what we believe in our believery, it matters not if others consider it smug or arrogant.  To be strong in what we know/believe will inevitably attract such comments.

Fwiw, I did not perceive Lennie's OP to be smug - more I saw it as a light-hearted, TIC, mischievous but nonetheless accurate observation on the ridiculous human-ness of us all.
Leonard James

Morning Ket!

Thank you, me dear!

Anybody who can read the incessant arguments in the Christian section about the Bible, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and not be amused by them is a tad lacking in the sense of humour department, imo.
Leonard James

Morning Lynne,

Here we go again!
Judders Lady... wrote:
Leonard,

Your disbelief in God has never been based on anything but your inhability to deny yourself in the face of truth.

Wrong again! My disbelief in God is based on a total lack of evidence for him and the contradictory way he is described in the Bible. Why do you pretend to know me better than I know myself?
Quote:
Being able to deny the truth about God shows an ability to chose your truth according to your own feelings and whims.

Rubbish! I can't choose to believe something which my reason tells me isn't true ... any more than you or anybody else can.
Quote:
Christ tells us that if we are to follow him...you have deny yourself.

Christ doesn't tell us anything, dear, you just believe that because you read it in the Bible.
Quote:
You cannot deny yourself because it is contrary to what you believed God wanted for you.

I don't deny myself, and God doesn't exist.
Quote:
But then there is the conscience which you cannot kill.

I wouldn't want to ... it's part of who I am.
Quote:
So you stave that off with adopting beliefs which you feel happy with and which allows you to embrace your own self.

Nobody can 'adopt' beliefs, Lynne. Your reason either tells you something is true or it is false, and you can't make yourself ignore it and believe the opposite.
Quote:
It isn't a judgement... it is called being human.

I think I know more about being human than you do, my dear. I understand how we got here and why we behave the way we do.
Quote:
It is a choice I could not make. I knew God was real and the person I loved was really very important to me.

You don't know God is real ... it's just your belief.
Quote:
I ended up unable to choose because both were real to me. I pushed them both away for a number of years.

I have no idea what you are talking about here. Who are the 'both' that you pushed away?
Quote:
At least you found happiness and peace with your choice. That I can respect...

Fine ... except that it wasn't a choice, it was getting to see things as they are, rather than as I had been told they were.

We're on that merry-go-round again, Lynne!
gone

Believers seek only Gods approval. It makes a difference.

Well your peculiar version of the deity must be as crazy as a loon if it approves of the behaviour you display on this forum and the CTMB more often than not!
Pukon_the_Treen

Lynne,

Quote:
Evolution and the bible... how does either explain how life got here? A good statement by all accounts but your words mean absolutely nothing unless you can answer the all important question:
Q. Where did life come from?
Did life come from anywhere?
Had life always existed?
Is it important to know?
If it is,. why? if not, why not?

You search for answers but you know the most important answers will never be found in anything you study. The question WHY remains unsolved, Unless you have faith in the only answer so far GOD.


Firstly, the origins of life on earth or why there is life on earth are both totally irrelevant to the theory of evolution. Evolution is about how species change over time; it is not about where life came from, neither is it an attempt to do without God. Many (probably most) Christians believe in God as the source of all life, but also recognise that life evolves.

Secondly, I don't know where life comes from. Haven't you read any of the last messages? I don't mind not knowing things and being uncertain. Just because I don't know something, that's not an excuse to read someone's scriptural creation myth and claim that it's The Truth; that would intellectually complacent.

Quote:
As for what you do or do not have to accept.
You have to accept one truth. That you can never know if a believers truth is truth unless you at least find it for yourself.

That everything you believe about the unknowable is basically what you choose to believe.


I believe that something I choose to call me is experience something I choose to call life. Everything else is a maze of ideas, possibilities and speculations, some well supported by evidence, reason and experience, other not.

Quote:
The rest of your post is a little like having the death penalty for murder.

If you commit murder then you will be put to death.
Is it a threat - if in reality, it is deemed to be a warning of what will happen if you do that particular thing? Is it really a deterrent and a good thing to know before hand to avoid murdering someone?

As far as I know, the death penalty is not a very effective deterrent. If it were, then the US would have much lower murder rates than us. I have no wish to cause people pain or harm, or to risk my own life in violence, so the idea of murdering people has never entered my mind. The punishment for killing people is not a deterrent for me; I simply do not wish to kill.
Quote:

You choose and view things as you wish them to be.
Christianity isn't like that, is it?  You have shown no purpose for a search of truth, except to show yourself hoping to gain the approval of others by it.
Who we are is not merited by our knowledge, our job, our status in the community or how much money we have.
It is firstly about being who we are and being accepted as we are.
It is like chasing the wind this seeking the approval of man.
Believers seek only Gods approval. It makes a difference.


These are just vague claims that you think are true, but cannot support with any reasoning or evidence, so in my head I file them as 'unlikely'.
Ketty

Leonard James wrote:

Anybody who can read the incessant arguments in the Christian section about the Bible, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and not be amused by them is a tad lacking in the sense of humour department, imo.


Amused or bemused!

   

I agree . . . all the arguing on there does nobody any favours and certainly makes no difference to the fact that for the Christian believer Christ Jesus is God, and for the non-believer there may or may not be a god (depending on your pov) and for some 'believers' well, take your pick from any god of your choice.
Leonard James

Ketty wrote:
Leonard James wrote:

Anybody who can read the incessant arguments in the Christian section about the Bible, Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit and not be amused by them is a tad lacking in the sense of humour department, imo.


Amused or bemused!

   

I agree . . . all the arguing on there does nobody any favours and certainly makes no difference to the fact that for the Christian believer Christ Jesus is God, and for the non-believer there may or may not be a god (depending on your pov) and for some 'believers' well, take your pick from any god of your choice.

Indeed, Ket! We humans are a weird old lot, some more so than others!
Leonard James

Judders Lady... wrote:
Isn't that what you did?  Didn't you once believe when if the above was true.... you had no reason to believe in God?
If, as you say, Leonard, that God never existed. Then you had nothing which would enable you to reason God was true.
But you did believe God was real and you did reason him to be real.

Your post loses credence because you did the very thing you say you cannot.... You believed in something that you could not have reasoned to be true.

 

Judders, my dear, the answer to that should be obvious to you.

Do you not realise that when we are young our ability to reason is not fully developed? Why do you think children believe almost everything grown-ups tell them? It is an instinct produced by evolution, since it affords the child protection in its vulnerable years, until its own ability to reason matures.

Unfortunately it has a down-side to it, in that many people are so susceptible to its effects that their ability to reason never becomes strong enough to throw off some of the things they are taught as children. Fortunately, I am not one of them.
Samuel Vimes

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I didn't think my opening comments were smug at all.


Of course you didn't.

However smug is very you.

You probably don't notice any more.

If you think it is smug to be convinced of my belief then I am guilty as charged, but I think that would apply to all of us, wouldn't it? If we weren't convinced that something is true, we wouldn't believe it, would we now?


It's not about what you believe, it's about how you express yourself.
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Samuel Vimes wrote:
It's not about what you believe, it's about how you express yourself.

No Sam, I think it's more about how you want to read it!  
Samuel Vimes

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
It's not about what you believe, it's about how you express yourself.

No Sam, I think it's more about how you want to read it!  


I don't see how a post positively oozing a sense of self-satisfied superiority:

Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.


can be read as anything other than smug Len.
Ketty

Leonard James wrote:
We humans are a weird old lot, some more so than others!


 I couldn't agree more, and it's partly what makes life such an interesting and complicated mix.  People watching is fascinating.
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
It's not about what you believe, it's about how you express yourself.

No Sam, I think it's more about how you want to read it!  


I don't see how a post positively oozing a sense of self-satisfied superiority:

Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.


can be read as anything other than smug Len.

Really? For me it is just the same as watching two women squabbling over the virtues of a man I'm not interested in.

Not smug, my friend, just amused.
Samuel Vimes

Re: How lucky we are!

Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Samuel Vimes wrote:
It's not about what you believe, it's about how you express yourself.

No Sam, I think it's more about how you want to read it!  


I don't see how a post positively oozing a sense of self-satisfied superiority:

Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.


can be read as anything other than smug Len.

Really? For me it is just the same as watching two women squabbling over the virtues of a man I'm not interested in.

Not smug, my friend, just amused.


Like I said previously:

Samuel Vimes wrote:
However smug is very you.

You probably don't notice any more.
Leonard James

And as I said before, Sam, it's not me, it's you that wants to read smugness into it.

I wonder why?  
Samuel Vimes

Leonard James wrote:
And as I said before, Sam, it's not me, it's you that wants to read smugness into it.


http://nglreturns.myfreeforum.org/viewtopic.php?p=50615#50615


Quote:
I wonder why?


http://nglreturns.myfreeforum.org/viewtopic.php?p=50570#50570

SceptiKarl

My impression is that Len is not at all "smug". He has a point. It's only a few hundred years ago that different Christians were burning each other for being the "wrong" sort of Christian. With some 25,000 to 30,000 different varieties of Protestantism around, who is to say which is the "right" variety? As for the Catholics, well we all know they all agree with each other, never question the Pope, never use artificial contraception, and all disaprove of child abuse by the clergy, and the subsequent covering up by the RCC. They all disaprove of guilty priests being moved on to other areas, victims sworn to silence with the ever present threat of excommunication hanging over them. Yes Catholics are all of one mind, no disagreements at all between them!

(Well except maybe in Ireland).
Boss Cat

Oh come off it! the opening post is as smug as all get out and you know it.   I can see why Leonard finds the idea of people spending money on enjoyment so abhorrent; why bother when you can bask in your own feelings of superiority for free?

And, Karl, I don't know if you are being ironic or labouring under a massive misunderstanding, but Roman Catholicism is absolutely heaving with disagreement.  Thank goodness!  I assume you are being ironic, in which case I wonder whether you too think disagreement is something to be mocked and feared?  Bad luck chum, it's part of being human.

What utter crud.  As for the bilge about burning dissenters.  Lots of people have done lots of horrible things to other people for all sorts of reasons.  Yeah, sometimes they use religion to justify it, but banning religion don't make us all nicey nicey.  Pretty awful things are still happening, carrying on the twentieth century tradition of doing nasty things in the name of the people.  And our nice post Enlightenment society is becoming increasingly intolerant too, isn't it?  Or hadn't you noticed?

As for the idea that there is something ridiculous about reinterpreting and discussing old texts - well, that's literary criticism out of the window then, isn't it?  Well, I always knew Shakespeare was rubbish.
cyberman

Boss Cat wrote:
 I assume you are being ironic, in which case I wonder whether you too think disagreement is something to be mocked and feared?  


I think you are assuming too much of a thought process with Skeptikarl. It's strictly knee-jerk with him.
Boss Cat

If the atheists who have posted on this one believed in God they could all say 'thank God we are not as other men'.  As it is they have to say 'How lucky we are!'.  Thank chance for that!
genghiscant

Quote:
Thank chance for that!


Reason. We can thank our ability to reason we are not as other men.
cyberman

Re: How lucky we are!

IvyOwl wrote:

The idea that you can get some deep meaningful insight in the precise interpretation of words written long ago IO


So if someone writes something which gives the benefit of their reflections, after what period of time exactly does it cease to give valuable insight?

Should we about now be starting to disregard Shakespeare's insights? Or Marx's?

What is the shelf life of the written word in your opinion?
bnabernard

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
Thank chance for that!


Reason. We can thank our ability to reason we are not as other men.


Souns as if chance is omnipotent, everlasting, etc any chance that chance, under this philosophy, has a chance?

bernard  
genghiscant

Boss Cat wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Thank chance for that!



genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
Reason. We can thank our ability to reason that we are not as other men.



Quote:
Souns as if chance is omnipotent, everlasting, etc any chance that chance, under this philosophy, has a chance?

bernard


I think you've got the wrong end of the stick there. Boss Cat wrote the first bit.
bnabernard

Yer but not realy, chance has always existed, chance has everything at hand, surely?

bernard  
genghiscant

Quote:
Yer but not realy, chance has always existed, chance has everything at hand, surely?

bernard


Yes, of course you're absolutely correct, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for chance.
bnabernard

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
Yer but not realy, chance has always existed, chance has everything at hand, surely?

bernard


Yes, of course you're absolutely correct, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for chance.


Yes ,God, chance, shares Himself with everybody and everything and gives everybody a chance.  

bernard  
Leonard James

Boss Cat wrote:
I can see why Leonard finds the idea of people spending money on enjoyment so abhorrent;

Hello BC,

I have no idea where you get that idea from ... certainly not from me.

I think life would be nothing but penury without periods of enjoyment, whether we pay for them or not.
SceptiKarl

cyberman:

Quote:
I think you are assuming too much of a thought process with Skeptikarl. It's strictly knee-jerk with him.


Personal insult noted! I'm glad my views upset you so much, that you have to result to that!
SceptiKarl

cyberman:


Quote:
Should we about now be starting to disregard Shakespeare's insights? Or Marx's?


Well, old boy, it depends what they said doesn't it? Old rubbish is just as bad as new rubbish IMO. Good stuff lasts. Yes even some of the Bible has good stuff in it.

I'm kind of fond of Bach's religious music too, especially the B Minor Mass. Heck it's over 200 years old! Should I worry about my taste?
genghiscant

Quote:
Quote:
Yer but not realy, chance has always existed, chance has everything at hand, surely?

bernard


genghiscant wrote:


Quote:
Yes, of course you're absolutely correct, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for chance.



Quote:
Yes ,God, chance, shares Himself with everybody and everything and gives everybody a chance.  

bernard


I'm confused. Does this mean that God & chance are the same thing?
bnabernard

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
Yer but not realy, chance has always existed, chance has everything at hand, surely?

bernard


genghiscant wrote:


Quote:
Yes, of course you're absolutely correct, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for chance.



Quote:
Yes ,God, chance, shares Himself with everybody and everything and gives everybody a chance.  

bernard


I'm confused. Does this mean that God & chance are the same thing?


 Well if life is by chance, or chance creates life, chances are Gods name is chance. There is the alternative that there is life after death because life came from dead stuff  

bernard  
genghiscant

Quote:
There is the alternative that there is life after death because life came from dead stuff


For something to be dead it must first have had life. This isn't what we believe at all. Primordial earth had minerals, chemicals, gasses, water, heat, electricity, bombardment from comets, asteroids & most importantly billions of years to produce life. We don't say that this is exactly what happened because don't know. What we say is that on the balance of probabilities life from non-life makes a lot more sense than your magic man in the sky.
bnabernard

genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
There is the alternative that there is life after death because life came from dead stuff


For something to be dead it must first have had life. This isn't what we believe at all. Primordial earth had minerals, chemicals, gasses, water, heat, electricity, bombardment from comets, asteroids & most importantly billions of years to produce life. We don't say that this is exactly what happened because don't know. What we say is that on the balance of probabilities life from non-life makes a lot more sense than your magic man in the sky.


   It isn't dead its has no life  maddddd.gif

bernard  
genghiscant

Quote:
Quote:
There is the alternative that there is life after death because life came from dead stuff


genghiscant wrote:
Quote:
For something to be dead it must first have had life. This isn't what we believe at all. Primordial earth had minerals, chemicals, gasses, water, heat, electricity, bombardment from comets, asteroids & most importantly billions of years to produce life. We don't say that this is exactly what happened because don't know. What we say is that on the balance of probabilities life from non-life makes a lot more sense than your magic man in the sky.



Quote:
   It isn't dead its has no life  

bernard


Is a piece of steel dead? How about these things,  
minerals, chemicals, gasses, water, heat, electricity, bombardment from comets, asteroids, are these dead also? Of course they're not. To describe them as dead would be absurd.
bnabernard

I'm not disagreeing with that, in fact I'm heading to promote it on another thread.
However where did this kaliedrescope of life come from?

Presently they are delving into 'nothing' because thats where it all springs from and returns to, in fact nothing is everywhere.
Is nothing something that is dead, at the end of the day life comes from life and in science or religion the life that suports life cannot be explained, what they do recognise is that law exist's relating to the life that springs from nothiong.

However if nothing is without life, dead, .............

bernard  
Leonard James

bnabernard wrote:
I'm not disagreeing with that, in fact I'm heading to promote it on another thread.
However where did this kaliedrescope of life come from?

Presently they are delving into 'nothing' because thats where it all springs from and returns to, in fact nothing is everywhere.
Is nothing something that is dead, at the end of the day life comes from life and in science or religion the life that suports life cannot be explained, what they do recognise is that law exist's relating to the life that springs from nothiong.

However if nothing is without life, dead, .............

bernard  

Hi Bernie,

Life, as we understand it, is the interactions which now takes place between various non-living elements that were formed at the start of the universe. It is a very limited phenomenon (time-wise) because the inter-actions slowly deteriorate, leading to death.

It is believed that these interactions came about simply by chance, given the enormous amount of time which passed before it occurred and the varied physical and electrochemical activity present in the early universe.

In other words, the difference between life and none-life is nothing more than a special arrangement of non-living (dead, if you want to call them that) atoms/molecules.
cymrudynnion

Re: How lucky we are!

IvyOwl wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.

No doubt we can disagree about other matters, but there's not much to disagree about in our disbelief in gods.


The idea that you can get some deep meaningful insight in the precise interpretation of words written long ago of events long after they'd happened totally bemuses me.

IO
You obviousdly donm't look at and appreciate History then Ivy
Leonard James

Re: How lucky we are!

cymrudynnion wrote:
IvyOwl wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.

No doubt we can disagree about other matters, but there's not much to disagree about in our disbelief in gods.


The idea that you can get some deep meaningful insight in the precise interpretation of words written long ago of events long after they'd happened totally bemuses me.

IO
You obviousdly donm't look at and appreciate History then Ivy

Never forget that History is the personal view of events of the writer who records it.
IvyOwl

Re: How lucky we are!

cymrudynnion wrote:
IvyOwl wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I watch with amusement the incessant arguments the Christians have about their faith and the meaning of the Bible, and realise how lucky we atheists are in not having any of their problems.

No doubt we can disagree about other matters, but there's not much to disagree about in our disbelief in gods.


The idea that you can get some deep meaningful insight in the precise interpretation of words written long ago of events long after they'd happened totally bemuses me.

IO
You obviousdly donm't look at and appreciate History then Ivy



As the (albeit now ex) wife of an historian (published) I can assure you I am more than conversant with and appreciative of said subject and the questions and problems involved in how to look at and interpret it.

To address my original quote; it is true that perhaps I didn't make it as clear as I should have done. Myths and legends are of course important vehicles for conveying ideas and morals. Taking them for factual occurrences and trying to fit ones whole world view into them is misguided. IMHO

They should be read in the context of when they were first conceived which doesn't necessarilly invalidate their potential usefulness as behaviour guidance of course but it's an on going story.

My comments were a statement of my bemusement at the notion of sticking to the OT interpretation of God as still being valid today in the light of all the stuff we've learnt since.

How those ancients interpreted this world and how they saw god is interesting and tells us about them .... but to take their views as having anything to tell us about a potential god I find very perplexing.

My atheism is in regard to all gods hitherto dreamed up by men and women and in particular the Biblical god as that's the one I've got to hear the most about. I do not dismiss the whole 'god concept' but I don't go looking for it in ancient texts. I look up at the night sky. I take an interest in the ideas put forward by the physicists and think 'how amazing I wonder if there is a big mind behind all this?'  

I can have no idea of the nature of this 'big mind' (not a good word to describe what I mean but it will suffice for now) and that being the case I don't let it worry me unduly.  

However if I was in a position of authority over my fellow human beings (or wished to be) it's just possible I'd start making up stories to support my stance. Which brings us back to ancient dessert dwellers and what I was attempting to convey in my remarks about the precise interpretation of their thinking in so far as we know what it was after years of camp fire stories followed by manuscripts with the inbuilt chance of mis-recording.

IvyOwl.
SceptiKarl

Very eloquently put Ivy!


And talking of history, whatever else he did, Stalin made the astute observation that "only the victors write the history". As soon as Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, it set about persecuting and destroying all those other pesky religions! The religion of the slaves had become the tool of oppression of the masters!

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