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Farmer Geddon

What is an Atheist?

Is it just someone who has a lack (denial) of a belief in a deity?
Pukon_the_Treen

I always prefer to say that I don't believe in God rather than I believe that God doesn't exist, but I would have thought that both statements are atheistic.  I also accept that I may be wrong in disbelieving in God, so I suppose that is agnostic.
Sprocket

I believe in God, but I prefer not to say that God exists, because I don't think that existance is the right word to describe God's mode of being.  If God merely existed, God would be just one more item in the catalogue of existants, along with me, you, this computer, Australia, etc.  God is more important than that: I think it is better to say that God is existance, in its deepest significance.
Shaft2101

To give you my quick spin on it:

There's a big umbrella of "non-belief" which is captured by the word Atheist. It's part of a two-category choice - one is either Atheist or Theist, that's it. They're the yin and yang of a whole. Theists possess a belief in a God, gods or equivalent divine figure/realm, Atheists lack this belief.

Within Atheism there are distinctions that can be made - Strong/Weak, Implicit/Explicit. Implicit Atheists are those who simply lack a belief because they've never had the opportunity to be otherwise - the mentally infirm, babies, the tribes of the deep Amazon who've never heard the "good news" of any religion and haven't crafted one of their own. Explicit Atheists, on the other hand, have contemplated the question of God's existence and have found that they do not or cannot possess such a belief.

Many would conflate Strong/Weak with Explicit/Implicit, but I'd venture to say there's a difference. To my mind, Strong Atheism describes the almost strawman-like belief that absolutely does not exist and that evidence exists to show this. The vast majority of Atheists don't fall in to this category, but the dogmatism and lack of provisionalism involved in such a viewpoint makes a handy target against which to rail. Weak Atheism, on the other hand, is simply just a lack of a belief in a god rather than an active "God does not exist" viewpoint. The view that "I see no evidence to suggest that there is a God, and until such a time I see no point to hold a belief in one" is Weak Atheism, though I daresay that choosing such a word to describe it makes it sound wishy-washy rather than philosophically sensible.

As for agnosticism, it's a whole different ballgame. It deals with "gnosis" and whether we can know the nature of God. It's epistemological (to do with knowledge) rather than ontological (to do with existence). One can be an Atheist Agnostic or a Theist Agnostic, an Atheist Gnostic or a Theist Gnostic.

IMHO, the differences I've laid out in this post (i) Make the most sense in terms of having a clarity of terms to define the wide spectrum of non-belief (ii) are in fairly common usage, except perhaps without making a distinction between strong/explicit/weak/implicit.
bigfrankus

hi

of course u r all wrong - God has always existed - no beginning and no end

IT IS ALL ONLY POSSIBLE B COS OF GOD
gone

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:
of course u r all wrong - God has always existed - no beginning and no end

IT IS ALL ONLY POSSIBLE B COS OF GOD


So who created God Frankie? See if you can actually make your reply understandable without resorting to silly text speak!
bigfrankus

hi

no 1 sarny

God has the power of creation - He wills it 2 b and it is

why r u reading the bible then ?
gone

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:
no 1 sarny


Ehhhhhhhhh???? :roll:
david_geoffrey

"No-one" not "number 1" if that was the way you read it SJ
gone

david_geoffrey wrote:
"No-one" not "number 1" if that was the way you read it SJ


Thanks David, I don't do text speak! :roll:
david_geoffrey

Although I am sure you are the number one sarny around here!  
Shaker

Shaft2101 wrote:
To give you my quick spin on it:

There's a big umbrella of "non-belief" which is captured by the word Atheist. It's part of a two-category choice - one is either Atheist or Theist, that's it. They're the yin and yang of a whole. Theists possess a belief in a God, gods or equivalent divine figure/realm, Atheists lack this belief.

Within Atheism there are distinctions that can be made - Strong/Weak, Implicit/Explicit. Implicit Atheists are those who simply lack a belief because they've never had the opportunity to be otherwise - the mentally infirm, babies, the tribes of the deep Amazon who've never heard the "good news" of any religion and haven't crafted one of their own. Explicit Atheists, on the other hand, have contemplated the question of God's existence and have found that they do not or cannot possess such a belief.

Many would conflate Strong/Weak with Explicit/Implicit, but I'd venture to say there's a difference. To my mind, Strong Atheism describes the almost strawman-like belief that absolutely does not exist and that evidence exists to show this. The vast majority of Atheists don't fall in to this category, but the dogmatism and lack of provisionalism involved in such a viewpoint makes a handy target against which to rail. Weak Atheism, on the other hand, is simply just a lack of a belief in a god rather than an active "God does not exist" viewpoint. The view that "I see no evidence to suggest that there is a God, and until such a time I see no point to hold a belief in one" is Weak Atheism, though I daresay that choosing such a word to describe it makes it sound wishy-washy rather than philosophically sensible.

As for agnosticism, it's a whole different ballgame. It deals with "gnosis" and whether we can know the nature of God. It's epistemological (to do with knowledge) rather than ontological (to do with existence). One can be an Atheist Agnostic or a Theist Agnostic, an Atheist Gnostic or a Theist Gnostic.

IMHO, the differences I've laid out in this post (i) Make the most sense in terms of having a clarity of terms to define the wide spectrum of non-belief (ii) are in fairly common usage, except perhaps without making a distinction between strong/explicit/weak/implicit.


Swine. Beat me to it again  :roll:  

I will add that - although it's probably far, far too late by now to entertain any hope whatever of turning back the tide - I do wish we could go back to the original meaning of agnosticism. In the hundred and forty-odd years since Huxley came up with it, it's become no more than an synonym for uncertainty (and even, in practice, don't know and really don't give a monkey's). I do wish we could mount a modest campaign to try and bring it back to its intended sense Most people - that is, people who use the word agnostic in what I think is entirely the wrong sense, sorry for being a purist and etymological fascist and all that - don't seem to realise that agnostic and atheist are not opposed and contradictory, for the reason that the aforementioned honourable member has given. Any atheist worth his salt and knowing a bit about the word will also unhesitatingly describe him or herself in full as an atheist agnostic - having no belief in any gods and no knowledge of any, either. Knowledge and belief simply aren't the same thing.

There's a further off-shoot of agnosticism (stressed by some, not by others) with which I take issue, however - the matter of whether the existence of any gods is inherently and for ever not just unknown - that much is unexceptionable - but unknowable. I say not, but others disagree. Of course this is the difference between strong and weak agnosticism - I think it's patently obvious that weak agnosticism is the only rationally valid position, but again, others think otherwise.
bigfrankus

hi

hey sarny

i've been typing like that 4 a while - surely u get it by now!!
Farmer Geddon

That's why you mainly get ignored by me Frankie - I can't be arsed to decipher your posts..  You may be making some valid points, but the infantile nature of them just causes me to switch off…
bigfrankus

hi

here av sum more

well that's just terrible 4 u isn't it - oh 2 stands for to or too

4 for four

1 for one

b for be

or should that b

b 4 be

haha - i quite liked that 1 - oh me sides - i did it again - oh stop

Lucifer - i have deciphered Revelation 4 u - at least those bits any way

if u want 2 know - just ask me
gone

david_geoffrey wrote:
Although I am sure you are the number one sarny around here!  


Number one what, daft old bat?
Farmer Geddon

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:
here av sum more

well that's just terrible 4 u isn't it - oh 2 stands for to or too

4 for four

1 for one

b for be

or should that b

b 4 be

haha - i quite liked that 1 - oh me sides - i did it again - oh stop

Lucifer - i have deciphered Revelation 4 u - at least those bits any way

if u want 2 know - just ask me
 
northernstar

I suppose I could call myself an Explicit Atheist, in fact I would go so far as to say I still wouldn't believe even if everything was proved, what would be the point? You won't find me falling on my knees!!
Farmer Geddon

So the conclusion must be that an atheist is someone who thinks a supernatural God might not exist?

What about a natural God???
Farmer Geddon

Sarniajoy wrote:
david_geoffrey wrote:
Although I am sure you are the number one sarny around here!  


Number one what, daft old bat?


I think DG means number one as in the only one.....  unlike our mutual friend!!
Pukon_the_Treen

Quote:
So the conclusion must be that an atheist is someone who thinks a supernatural God might not exist?

What about a natural God???


I don't know; what does one of those look like?
Farmer Geddon

Is there such a thing as a natural god??

Do they have the same right to exist as a supernatural one??
Farmer Geddon

I only started this to find out if I am in fact an atheist - according to some on another forum I'm not?
bigfrankus

Re: hi

Lucifers Duck wrote:
bigfrankus wrote:
here av sum more

well that's just terrible 4 u isn't it - oh 2 stands for to or too

4 for four

1 for one

b for be

or should that b

b 4 be

haha - i quite liked that 1 - oh me sides - i did it again - oh stop

Lucifer - i have deciphered Revelation 4 u - at least those bits any way

if u want 2 know - just ask me
 


even u Lucifer can work that out
gone

Frankie if you really had anything worth communicating you would make sure everyone could understand what you were saying. Instead you delight in annoying folk with your silly text speak!

Out of interest what is your job?
Sprocket

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:
here av sum more

well that's just terrible 4 u isn't it - oh 2 stands for to or too

4 for four

1 for one

b for be

or should that b

b 4 be

haha - i quite liked that 1 - oh me sides - i did it again - oh stop

Lucifer - i have deciphered Revelation 4 u - at least those bits any way

if u want 2 know - just ask me

a for orses
b for mutton
c for swimming in
d for dumb
e for brick
f for vescence
etc.
BevIsHopeful

:lol:
bigfrankus

hi

northernstar wrote:
I suppose I could call myself an Explicit Atheist, in fact I would go so far as to say I still wouldn't believe even if everything was proved, what would be the point? You won't find me falling on my knees!!


this is what i mean when i talk about arrogance
Farmer Geddon

I would much rather be arrogant than ignorant...
Rob

Quote:
IMHO, the differences I've laid out in this post (i) Make the most sense in terms of having a clarity of terms to define the wide spectrum of non-belief (ii) are in fairly common usage, except perhaps without making a distinction between strong/explicit/weak/implicit.


IMHO........that's just your opinion.
BevIsHopeful

Lucifers Duck wrote:
I would much rather be arrogant than ignorant...


Quote:
arrogant (adjective) having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.  


Surely, not!   :lol:
northernstar

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:
northernstar wrote:
I suppose I could call myself an Explicit Atheist, in fact I would go so far as to say I still wouldn't believe even if everything was proved, what would be the point? You won't find me falling on my knees!!


this is what i mean when i talk about arrogance


No, Frankie, just realistic and pragmatic, it's all academic anyway. There is nothing there!!
BevIsHopeful

Re: hi

northernstar wrote:
There is nothing there!!


There could be.  
Leonard James

Re: hi

BevIsHopeful wrote:
northernstar wrote:
There is nothing there!!


There could be.  

There definitely is ... it exists in many people's minds.  :wink:
Sprocket

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:

this is what i mean when i talk about arrogance
This is what most people mean when they describe you as a semi-literate, deranged buffoon.
BevIsHopeful

Re: hi

Leonard James wrote:
BevIsHopeful wrote:
northernstar wrote:
There is nothing there!!


There could be.  

There definitely is ... it exists in many people's minds.  :wink:


The thing is, Leonard, what you would use for evidence for this becomes null when even trying to completely define the electrical circuitry of the brain.  So, you really can't prove your statement.  And, we can't disprove it either.  
Farmer Geddon

BevIsHopeful wrote:
Lucifers Duck wrote:
I would much rather be arrogant than ignorant...


Quote:
arrogant (adjective) having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.  


Surely, not!   :lol:


Damn right Bev..  better than:

Quote:
Ignorant = adj.
1. Lacking education or knowledge.


What say you?
BevIsHopeful

Lucifers Duck wrote:
BevIsHopeful wrote:
Lucifers Duck wrote:
I would much rather be arrogant than ignorant...


Quote:
arrogant (adjective) having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.  


Surely, not!   :lol:


Damn right Bev..  better than:

Quote:
Ignorant = adj.
1. Lacking education or knowledge.


What say you?


Well, I would say you can always learn something, gain more knowledge and education, but I would think the exaggeration of one's abilities or importance indicates a tendency to rely on false information, and it can deceive someone into thinking they don't need more knowledge or education.  

So, I would much rather be lacking in education and knowledge, knowing I can seek such out, rather than to live with the belief I somehow know more than I really do.  

How's that?  
Silver

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:
this is what i mean when i talk about arrogance



What I mean when I talk about arrogance is someone claiming they know everything about God and Jesus and Mary and telling the rest of us that we are going to burn in hell unless we do exactly as they say (this being something that even other christians don't recognise as christianity).

Mainstream christianity as in Matthew 7 : 1-5, Jesus says we are not to judge others, but obviously you are too arrogant to listen to what Jesus says because you know better.
Leonard James

Re: hi

BevIsHopeful wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
BevIsHopeful wrote:
northernstar wrote:
There is nothing there!!


There could be.  

There definitely is ... it exists in many people's minds.  :wink:


The thing is, Leonard, what you would use for evidence for this becomes null when even trying to completely define the electrical circuitry of the brain.  So, you really can't prove your statement.  And, we can't disprove it either.  

Hi Bev,

Abolutely true!

However, we know that the brain is capable of producing experiences which seem real but which are, in fact, false. We also know that certain external physical conditions can affect the functioning of the brain.

Moreover, there is zero physical evidence for the existence of anything supernatural, and the subjective evidence is so vague and contradictory that it bears no weight at all.

In spite of the foregoing, many people do believe in a god of some sort, and I am convinced that the phenomenon is due to our individual nature/nurture.
BevIsHopeful

Re: hi

Leonard James wrote:
I am convinced that the phenomenon is due to our individual nature/nurture.


But, you are convinced based on incomplete data. (If nothing else, quantum physics teaches this.)  The truth is, there will never be complete data, so there will be some who believe there is more (that we cannot empirically know), and there will be those who believe there is not.

But, in either case, it's belief based on incomplete (empirical) data.
Farmer Geddon

Re: hi

BevIsHopeful wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I am convinced that the phenomenon is due to our individual nature/nurture.


But, you are convinced based on incomplete data. (If nothing else, quantum physics teaches this.)  The truth is, there will never be complete data, so there will be some who believe there is more (that we cannot empirically know), and there will be those who believe there is not.

But, in either case, it's belief based on incomplete (empirical) data.


Big words don't cut it for me any more... theology is a fallacy in that it is a hole in my bucket philosophy, that cannot be repaired with straw..
 
I now adhere the position that there is NO god, which is much more simple that believing that there 'might' be one.
BevIsHopeful

All I'm saying is you come to this based on incomplete data.  And, so do I.
Leonard James

Re: hi

Morning Bev,
BevIsHopeful wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
I am convinced that the phenomenon is due to our individual nature/nurture.


But, you are convinced based on incomplete data. (If nothing else, quantum physics teaches this.)  The truth is, there will never be complete data, so there will be some who believe there is more (that we cannot empirically know), and there will be those who believe there is not.

But, in either case, it's belief based on incomplete (empirical) data.

Yes, of course ... but as that is all we have to go on, we must make the best of it and use logical thought and intelligence to make deductions from it, rather than fly into the realms of fantasy.

It is quite obvious to everybody, whether they admit it or not, that all the colourful stories man has dreamed up about supernatural powers are nothing more than fiction. Their variety and number are patent evidence of that. I agree that some are cleverly conceived and honed to take in all but the most wary, but they are still fiction.

But there it is, Bev, my dear! Because the idea is so old and deep-rooted in most cultures, much of humanity is besotted with it, and are deceived into thinking that their lives would have no 'meaning' without it.

The simple truth is that there is no 'meaning' in any form of life, since it is nothing more than an evolved electrochemical phenomenon. We are just fortunate enough (or unfortunate enough, depending on how you look at it) to have evolved a brain capable of looking at and assessing what, who and where we are, with all the mental exercise that goes with it! :lol: It is up to each of us to give our lives some meaning.

That is the conclusion I have come to about it all, and I refuse to be inveigled into the dream worlds that so many others seem to need and espouse, for they all engender more questions than they answer. :)
BevIsHopeful

All I can say is I can certainly understand why you're deciding as you are.  But, for me, I can't make a decision about something unless I know I have all the data needed to be certain.  

Even when I say I am certain God exists, I'm using personal experience that convinces me he exists, but I could never claim to completely know him, as there again, I don't have all the data I need to make such a claim.
Leonard James

BevIsHopeful wrote:
All I can say is I can certainly understand why you're deciding as you are.  But, for me, I can't make a decision about something unless I know I have all the data needed to be certain.  

Even when I say I am certain God exists, I'm using personal experience that convinces me he exists, but I could never claim to completely know him, as there again, I don't have all the data I need to make such a claim.

Hi Bev,

Yes, after all this time we both understand how the other one thinks, even though we don't agree.  :smt058
BevIsHopeful

Thanks, Leonard.   :smt058
Farmer Geddon

BevIsHopeful wrote:
All I'm saying is you come to this based on incomplete data.  And, so do I.

Ehhh!!!

The only data we have are the gospels....  Ahh OK I get it.

The gospels are incomplete because we are awaiting the so-called 2nd cumin..
BevIsHopeful

Lucifers Duck wrote:
BevIsHopeful wrote:
All I'm saying is you come to this based on incomplete data.  And, so do I.

Ehhh!!!

 


But Duckie, all I'm saying is that there's a lot we don't know, and in that infinite arena God is possible.  When I add to that my personal experience, and also my response to the content of the gospels, I am persuaded that in all that "unknown" exists God.  

That's really all I'm saying.
Andy

If 'atheist' were a crossword answer, the clue could be.....

...witness to robbery, but does not believe.
Farmer Geddon

But that only works if you refuse to know god - god is knowable, or at least understandable, if you cast off the shackles of 'unknowability'...

The concept of a God is perfectly understandable if you search deep beyond the shallowness of a church..
BevIsHopeful

My youngest son came home last night, kind of shook up, and told me about a friend of his who has "found God."  He's really shaken by the whole thing because whatever happened, the friend has completely changed.  He has stopped all bad-boy behavior, and he's doggedly telling his friends to change their ways.  (I should add that my son is at a time in his life when he feels he just can't believe in God, of which I feel most sympathetic, because I remember being there myself at his age.)

Anyway, Bobby believes something significant has happened, mainly because of how changed the boy is.  He was saying he has asked the friend to come talk to me.  He wants to see what I think after I've talked to him.

I thought it was interesting that Bobby describes the boy as so changed.  I do remember that was my own experience.
Farmer Geddon

Andy wrote:
If 'atheist' were a crossword answer, the clue could be.....

...witness to robbery, but does not believe.


You will have to elaborate PPP  - Who robbed who?
Andy

Witness to Robbery = At Heist

I rather like the idea of cryptic posts, I certainly read enough, perhaps I shall adopt it as a posting style.  :?
Farmer Geddon

BevIsHopeful wrote:
My youngest son came home last night, kind of shook up, and told me about a friend of his who has "found God."  He's really shaken by the whole thing because whatever happened, the friend has completely changed.  He has stopped all bad-boy behavior, and he's doggedly telling his friends to change their ways.  (I should add that my son is at a time in his life when he feels he just can't believe in God, of which I feel most sympathetic, because I remember being there myself at his age.)

Anyway, Bobby believes something significant has happened, mainly because of how changed the boy is.  He was saying he has asked the friend to come talk to me.  He wants to see what I think after I've talked to him.

I thought it was interesting that Bobby describes the boy as so changed.  I do remember that was my own experience.


But Americans are weird when it comes to a "Damascus road" experience..

The concept of the Christ/Hell/Redemption/Saviour is rammed down your throats from birth... and your preachers/televangelists are sort of creepy to the rest of humanity..
Farmer Geddon

Andy wrote:
Witness to Robbery = At Heist

I rather like the idea of cryptic posts, I certainly read enough, perhaps I shall adopt it as a posting style.  :?


You made the "At Heist" up haven't you...  theology at it's worst...
Andy

Yeah, thats the trouble with you Americans.

All the same every dang one of yous.

:roll:
Farmer Geddon

I'll have two of what I've been drinking PPPPPPPP

What about me?
Andy

Lucifers Duck wrote:
Andy wrote:
Witness to Robbery = At Heist

I rather like the idea of cryptic posts, I certainly read enough, perhaps I shall adopt it as a posting style.  :?


You made the "At Heist" up haven't you...  theology at it's worst...


You lost me.

There was no point being made, except to answer the thread title in the form of a crossword clue. No theology, nothing sinister.

If you ever find that b'stard going around telling everyone you are paranoid I'd give him a damn good thrashing.
Andy

Lucifers Duck wrote:
I'll have two of what I've been drinking PPPPPPPP

What about me?


Sorry, just satirising your stereotyping of Americans.
Farmer Geddon

Still doesn't answer what "At Heist" means...
Farmer Geddon

Ahhh got it PPP... (Sorry I was reading other stuff apart from this forum..)
Farmer Geddon

But why?
Andy

Lucifers Duck wrote:
Still doesn't answer what "At Heist" means...


Nothing more than it spells atheist.
Farmer Geddon

Yup with 'heist' meaning to steal/rob

Very witty... but as I asked.... why?
Andy

No reason, just bored....

Old Nick's fowl or game?
Andy

Bringer of Light gets down from this.
Andy

Diabolical dismissal for nought.
BevIsHopeful

:lol:

You mean, no one in the UK has the "Damascus experience?"  No one?  

Anyway, I'm not sure that's what the boy experienced.  But, it was something that has suddenly changed him.  

He told Bobby that he feels happy now, at peace.  What can be wrong this?  I think it's great!  This boy has been through so much trouble, and has caused his parents (really nice people from what I can tell) a lot of grief.  

It's all good, no?  And if not, why?
Leonard James

BevIsHopeful wrote:
:lol:

You mean, no one in the UK has the "Damascus experience?"  No one?  

Anyway, I'm not sure that's what the boy experienced.  But, it was something that has suddenly changed him.  

He told Bobby that he feels happy now, at peace.  What can be wrong this?  I think it's great!  This boy has been through so much trouble, and has caused his parents (really nice people from what I can tell) a lot of grief.  

It's all good, no?  And if not, why?

It is good that he has convinced himself that he must behave better because that is what God wants him to do ... indeed that is the general idea behind being a Christian.

It is not good that he has become convinced God really exists, although in a young, immature mind, it is probably an effective way to induce good behaviour.

If you do get to talk to the boy, I should be interested to know his answer to the question 'Why have changed your behaviour because God wants you to, but you didn't when your parents wanted you to?'
Farmer Geddon

Lucifers Duck wrote:
BevIsHopeful wrote:
My youngest son came home last night, kind of shook up, and told me about a friend of his who has "found God."  He's really shaken by the whole thing because whatever happened, the friend has completely changed.  He has stopped all bad-boy behavior, and he's doggedly telling his friends to change their ways.  (I should add that my son is at a time in his life when he feels he just can't believe in God, of which I feel most sympathetic, because I remember being there myself at his age.)

Anyway, Bobby believes something significant has happened, mainly because of how changed the boy is.  He was saying he has asked the friend to come talk to me.  He wants to see what I think after I've talked to him.

I thought it was interesting that Bobby describes the boy as so changed.  I do remember that was my own experience.


But Americans are weird when it comes to a "Damascus road" experience..
The concept of the Christ/Hell/Redemption/Saviour is rammed down your throats from birth... and your preachers/televangelists are sort of creepy to the rest of humanity..
BevIsHopeful

LD, I'm sure such is not confined mainly to Americans.  But, having said that, I do agree that America has cornered the market of OTT Christian big business.  :x

Leonard, if I do talk to the boy, my plan is only to listen.  Mainly because he is still young.  But, he might offer the same, as one of the big changes, according to my son, is his attitude towards his parents.  He did tell my son that he feels strongly about honoring them now, and he doesn't want to cause them grief any longer.

I can say from my own experience that I often chose actions against every impulse within me, at the beginning, simply because I felt so strongly it was what God wanted me to do.  I've written before about forgiveness in particular.  It wasn't until many years passed by that I saw the wisdom in having done so, the way life unfolded for the best for everyone because of forgiveness.

My guess is he is following the same thing.  He's decided because his faith convinces him that God wants him to change his ways.  So, he is probably changing his ways only because of this, and if he experiences the same as me, he will not realize the benefit of having done so for many years.
Leonard James

Hello Bev,

It certainly sounds as if he has become convinced that God exists. It will be interesting to know, if he tells you, why he obeys God but didn't obey his parents.
BevIsHopeful

Leonard James wrote:
Hello Bev,

It certainly sounds as if he has become convinced that God exists. It will be interesting to know, if he tells you, why he obeys God but didn't obey his parents.


Thinking more on this, my guess is he feels no differently about his parents than he did.  He just feels differently about himself.  The question I would ask (but won't him) is why couldn't his parents facilitate this change in him (them being tangible, real authorities), and God was able to?
bigfrankus

hi

b cos God can do anything

He is all things 2 all people
Andy

Leonard

Are you suggesting that people need an epiphany to act as a catalyst to them turning their lives around from a bad situation into a more positive one?

And that Damascene convertions act as just such a catalyst?

If so, I think you may be right. The trouble with this kind of scenario is that over time it becomes more difficult to maintain the initail enthusiam and wonder felt at the time of the epiphany itself. This can lead in a couple of different directions. Some do manage, just as some people manage to have the same level of romance in a marriage after 40 years as they did on their wedding day. Some however end up in divorce.

Of course, as you know, the best and stongest marriage are those where you can grow together and develop in synch with each other.
Leonard James

BevIsHopeful wrote:
Leonard James wrote:
Hello Bev,

It certainly sounds as if he has become convinced that God exists. It will be interesting to know, if he tells you, why he obeys God but didn't obey his parents.


Thinking more on this, my guess is he feels no differently about his parents than he did.  He just feels differently about himself.  The question I would ask (but won't him) is why couldn't his parents facilitate this change in him (them being tangible, real authorities), and God was able to?

That is precisely what I would like to know, Bev. What caused the change, although I feel it is unlikely the boy will be aware of the real reason.
Leonard James

Andy wrote:
Leonard

Are you suggesting that people need an epiphany to act as a catalyst to them turning their lives around from a bad situation into a more positive one?

And that Damascene convertions act as just such a catalyst?

If so, I think you may be right. The trouble with this kind of scenario is that over time it becomes more difficult to maintain the initail enthusiam and wonder felt at the time of the epiphany itself. This can lead in a couple of different directions. Some do manage, just as some people manage to have the same level of romance in a marriage after 40 years as they did on their wedding day. Some however end up in divorce.

Of course, as you know, the best and stongest marriage are those where you can grow together and develop in synch with each other.

Hi Andy,

I certainly think that when there is a sudden radical change in personality, it is due to a particular experience, which is interpreted as divine intervention. Whether the change lasts or not depends a lot on the person, but I think if it happens when they are young as in this case, they are very likely to reassess the interpretation as their reason matures.
BevIsHopeful

Andy wrote:


Are you suggesting that people need an epiphany to act as a catalyst to them turning their lives around from a bad situation into a more positive one?


No, it has to be an American epiphany.  

:P
Silver

Everyone has bad things happen to them. How they handle it is their measure; whether they sort it out, get on with their life, whine about it, don't get over it, or appeal to an imaginary being to sort it out for them.
bigfrankus

hi

Silver wrote:
Everyone has bad things happen to them. How they handle it is their measure; whether they sort it out, get on with their life, whine about it, don't get over it, or appeal to an imaginary being to sort it out for them.


u Silver said this

"Why did Jesus have to die? Why didn't god just forgive sins since it is down to him ?"

imaginary being or real ?

make your mind up!!

that is wot u atheists do - ha!!
Silver

Re: hi

bigfrankus wrote:
Silver wrote:
Everyone has bad things happen to them. How they handle it is their measure; whether they sort it out, get on with their life, whine about it, don't get over it, or appeal to an imaginary being to sort it out for them.


u Silver said this

"Why did Jesus have to die? Why didn't god just forgive sins since it is down to him ?"

imaginary being or real ?

make your mind up!!

that is wot u atheists do - ha!!



There is no evidence for a real Jesus. However, people do debate fictional characters as I am doing.
bigfrankus

Re: hi

Silver wrote:
bigfrankus wrote:
Silver wrote:
Everyone has bad things happen to them. How they handle it is their measure; whether they sort it out, get on with their life, whine about it, don't get over it, or appeal to an imaginary being to sort it out for them.


u Silver said this

"Why did Jesus have to die? Why didn't god just forgive sins since it is down to him ?"

imaginary being or real ?

make your mind up!!

that is wot u atheists do - ha!!



There is no evidence for a real Jesus. However, people do debate fictional characters as I am doing.


aye right!!

wot a howler u made there - well that is wot u atheists do!!

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