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The road back from Damascus
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trentvoyager
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Location: Nottingham, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:41 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Quote:
young Trent

 

Well in the backwaters of Nottinghamshire it was treated by one vicar as real - he may have been in a minority.
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Powwow
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did Noah get roos into the ark? Seriously? The non answer made somebody turn into an atheist? Good grief man! How those damned stones were moved to the henge is still speculation you know.


Shakey, waiting eagerly for studies that proves "atheism is obvious by instinct". And waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

Yes, most have left Christianity because they were angry at people at church or didn't like how things were run, or didn't like what they found in scripture. You see, it was all about them and those damned feeeeelings. People really need to clue in and realize that we Christians, every single one of us, remain a sinner.
I walked out of the church for 20yrs because of feeeelings. Some people in my church hurt me and angered me. So I opted for a twenty year party. But I never decided that God did not exist. Evidence tells us that belief in God is human nature.

I think a lot of people use this or that as an excuse to walk away from church and or God. Like a vicar that can't answer a question or some pervert girl getting aroused talking to Jesus. And in my case I used the bad behavior of a pastor. A Parson that thought it right that he should question my girlfriend about me and then go around the community trying to dig up dirt on my father.
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pow wow wrote:
Shakey, waiting eagerly for studies that proves "atheism is obvious by instinct". And waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

I wasn't aware that I'd claimed there were any studies proving this. I said that it was a remark by Nietzsche in one of his late books (Ecce Homo, to be specific, sometimes regarded as his intellectual autobiography) and said that I agreed with it in that I have always seen it the same way.

I've no idea where you get this "studies" business from.

Quote:
Evidence tells us that belief in God is human nature.

Not in my nature, it isn't.

What the evidence actually shows, and I can only do a potted version while I've got so little time at present, very young humans have an imperfect theory of mind but a very hyperactive agency detection device. Essentially this means that the very young attribute conscious agency - deliberate intent - to things where it doesn't exist, and this form of what's known as magical thinking has been linked to the formation of religious and superstitious beliefs. The proportions here swap places as the child grows up - better theory of mind, less hair-trigger attribution of conscious agency to inanimate things.

I'll be able to provide reams of links to this effect when I come back later, if anybody's interested. There's some interesting stuff out there.
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Last edited by Shaker on Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:53 pm; edited 2 times in total
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trentvoyager
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

]
Quote:
How did Noah get roos into the ark? Seriously? The non answer made somebody turn into an atheist?




Can you at least make an effort at reading for comprehension.


Quote:
Since then various things have come together in my mind to convince me that the Christian God as widely touted does not exist.

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Shaker
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

trentvoyager wrote:
Can you at least make an effort at reading for comprehension.

Oh, you and your witticisms!
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IvyOwl
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can you at least make an effort at reading for comprehension.


You beat me to it Trent!

A careful reading of my OP will show that I did not stop believing because a girl was getting aroused by her prayers of love for Jesus! I happened to see the incident at the  culmination of all the doubts that that at last I'd let myself express. The insight into the sexual suppresion that the church was so keen on together with the attitude to women in general was just a bonus revelation. I'd sat through service after service not being allowed to speak listening to the men who were spouting for the large part garbage with Bible quotes thrown in for good measure. Oh how they loved strutting their stuff in the name of Jesus.

And as for humans being natural born theists which bit of


Quote:
I only brought it up to make the point for PW's benefit that just because the human brain has a propensity for making supernatural assumptions and a belief in a higher being it does not in any way shape or form say anything about the actual existence of any god and it most certainly does not back up or provide evidence for the god of the Bible. It's just a facility on the road to our pattening and making sense of the world as we find it.


were you unable to take aboard?

Shaker also has links which I see he has promised to find for you. The Hood book I mentioned is a nice easy read and is as good a place to start as any. He's not an angry atheist or anything so you'll find it informative rather than offensive.  Go on have a read and educate yourself.
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IvyOwl
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How those damned stones were moved to the henge is still speculation you know.


I'm suprised you didn't suggest that they got floated there in Noahs flood as according to AiG which calculates the beggining of the flood as 4359 years ago and Stonehenge has been radiocarbon dated as roughly the same time they could have been.        


Seriously though Powser sweetheart, although we don't know for certain sure there have been plenty of possible ways suggested as to how people without all our heavy lifting gear could have done it. We can't say for definite how it was done but at least we know without a shadow of doubt that it was done as we can see it and touch it!

A world wide flood on the other hand ....... <sigh> no I'm not even going to go there you've been presented with the evidence enough times .... you can take a horse to water and all that ... ho hum.
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Shaker
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Powsers has made the bold claim that "studies" show that belief in God is inherent to human nature - that it comes naturally and easily to us.

I have heard of a number of scientists from different disciplines not so much make this same claim but suggest - scientists tend to be rather tentative and provisional in their statements, something by which powsers is sublimely unfettered - that there are cognitive modules in the human mind which make magical thinking and hyperactive agency detection normal for young humans, specifically between the ages of about 2 and 7. There's a good body of evidence that this is not only quite normal for youngsters but well nigh universal.

Then again, so is measles; and quite apart from the fact that there are other studies which contradict this thesis, I should say that it's distinctly problematic at the very least to hold up as admirable something which exists in human juveniles. Magical thinking and hyperactive agency detection tend to ebb from the age of about seven or eight, on the basis that as a child matures it extends its experience and knowledge of the ways in which the world actually operates. A more efficient theory of mind takes over; the youngster is more able to make critical and sceptical judgements about which things in the world have conscious and deliberate agency and which do not. Clearly, this ability is more finely tuned in some more than others.

What interests me most is that, even if were true that belief in the supernatural is inherent and innate in humans beings in this sort of crude, bald manner, this - perhaps unsurprisingly - doesn't take into account one tremendously powerful factor: evolution. Change over time. What has been true of the past is not necessarily true of the present or of the future: believing otherwise is a fallacy commonly known as Russell's Chicken, after Bertrand Russell who formulated it as a simple explanation of the problem of induction in his book The Problems of Philosophy. Nietzsche (one of many, but nobody stated it better than he) believed that the collapse of theism in post-Enlightenment Europe was bound to create - to breed - what amounts to a new species of human being: one for whom belief in God wasn't automatic, inherent or innate at all. And he was writing in the late 1880s, never mind 2014.

Now, I think that if you crunch the numbers and look at all available data, what he and many others thought would come to pass actually has: whole generations, hell, whole populations who don't believe in God, not because they've once believed and then ceased to do so but because they never have. Post-Enlightenment Europe in particular can be seen in this sense as a grand experiment, partly deliberate in some ways but not in others, in 'breeding' (not quite the right word I'm really after as it implies too much conscious intent and deliberate planning, but it'll have to do for now) generations where it's simply not possible to say that belief in God is somehow inherent or innate. Even if the innateness thesis were true on its face, and I don't believe it is, it founders on the rocks of its own lack of vision. It doesn't take into account change over time; it treats human nature as a fixed and unalterable thing set in stone, incapable of mutation according to circumstances (which is in itself pretty much a capsule summary of biological evolution anyway).

This is what the sociologist Phil Zuckerman calls 'organic atheism',* organic because it is in itself a natural outgrowth of increasingly secular societies. The most secular nations in the world - Norway; Sweden; Denmark; Finland; the Netherlands; the Baltic states; the Czech Republic; the UK - are not so because of coercive state atheism (such as Albania had under Enver Hoxha, still the world's one and only officially atheist state for a time). It's not imposed from above on an unwilling populace. It's not foisted on the citizens by a small elite. It's the result of people being born and growing up in societies where religious belief has become more scarce and intensely privatised for the most part.

So even if it were true, the fact that it has been true for the past perhaps 30,000 years - the blink of an eye in evolutionary time - doesn't tell you that it's going to persist. To think thus would be to deny evolution, and we all know what people who do that are like, don't we?

* .pdf file
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IvyOwl
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Shaker .... not ignoring your interesting post which I read this morning but have had no time to reply properly today.
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MikeRan
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ivy Owl: I'd sat through service after service not being allowed to speak listening to the men who were spouting for the large part garbage with Bible quotes thrown in for good measure. Oh how they loved strutting their stuff in the name of Jesus.

To be a preacher you have to like the sound of your own voice and have a big ego. There are churches where they only do short homilies (I think they're called), much kinder to my mind. And to my ears.


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