Is Religion Nonsense?


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kevint
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Message 478922 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 2:38:39 UTC - in response to Message 478859.
Last modified: 11 Dec 2006, 2:40:50 UTC

It's impossible to prove that there is any god, but it is equally impossible to prove that there is none. So, even if there is the slightiest chance of 0.0000.....0001% probability that there might be a power which could be called god, so why should anyone who takes that probability as a fact be a fool?



It is not the requirement of the non believers to prove anything - it is those that are making the claims of something that need to prove it. Just as it is not the requirement in science, those that claim such and such, must be able to provide proof of such and such.

If I were to claim that I had the cure for cancer in an invisible jar by my bed, but could not prove it but say to you, you must have faith, would you believe me. What if I said to you, it is your responsibly to prove that I have this cure, but you can not see it, you can not touch it, in fact, you can not even enter the room. But I claim it just the same. And I also claim that in order to see this proof, you must first live your life in such a way, and read such and such books written by me and my followers, and pray to the invisible, jar. Then when you die you will know the truth, but not before. You would think I am a nutcase.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster is more of a god than many others - at least we have pictures of him!

Atheists are not needing to, nor are they responsible for claiming the absence of god. It is fully 100% on the shoulders of those making the claims to prove those claims.

And let me finish by saying, Circular thoughts such as - "I know the bible to be true because the bible tells me so" are not the way to prove anything, therefore - we must also deny the bible or any other self-professing document for any proof of deity. So don't go quoting bible passages to back your claims.


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Message 479071 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 3:12:16 UTC - in response to Message 478922.

It is not the requirement of the non believers to prove anything - it is those that are making the claims of something that need to prove it. Just as it is not the requirement in science, those that claim such and such, must be able to provide proof of such and such.

If I were to claim that I had the cure for cancer in an invisible jar by my bed, but could not prove it but say to you, you must have faith, would you believe me. What if I said to you, it is your responsibly to prove that I have this cure, but you can not see it, you can not touch it, in fact, you can not even enter the room. But I claim it just the same. And I also claim that in order to see this proof, you must first live your life in such a way, and read such and such books written by me and my followers, and pray to the invisible, jar. Then when you die you will know the truth, but not before. You would think I am a nutcase.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is more of a god than many others - at least we have pictures of him!
Atheists are not needing to, nor are they responsible for claiming the absence of god. It is fully 100% on the shoulders of those making the claims to prove those claims.
And let me finish by saying, Circular thoughts such as - "I know the bible to be true because the bible tells me so" are not the way to prove anything, therefore - we must also deny the bible or any other self-professing document for any proof of deity. So don't go quoting bible passages to back your claims.

I believe that people will believe in anything that lets them off the hook for their own actions. I also believe that people will believe in things if enough "important" people tell them it is so. I personally cannot say whether is a God or not. I do not go to Church, because I cann ot get my question answered properly, for me. Does that me a non believer, no. Does it make me a believer, no. It simply means that until my problem can be reconcilled, I do not believe in any God as he/she/it is now portrayed.
I think Religios "zealots" I will call, them have splintered the trued meaning of God as it used to be known and preached about, and as such is not anywhere near where it should be.
The Catholics say there is the one and only true god, so do the Muslims. Both say that the other faiths god is not their god. Okay so far? Problem is BOTH religions say if you do not believe and convert to THEIR god, you will go to hell! Okay so now we the tribal dude in South America, Africa, Antartica, wherever, he has never heard of either religion. Where does he go? Does either Religions God deal with this, no! They both say he must convert or he goes to Hell. So both gods are sending people to hell, supposedly a very bad place that noone want to go to, because this dude never even heard of their god. BUT he has his own God, andit is neither of the other two peoples Gods! His God says he IS going to get salvation. Bunch of hiprocasy going on somewhere!!! Either we are ALL going to hell or we are getting salvation, or all gods are a bunch of hooey! Hench my dilema!
Use your own Religion for either of the first two examples, none deal with anyone after the "age of majority", which few agree on the actual age of.

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Message 479328 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 3:52:38 UTC - in response to Message 479071.

I believe that people will believe in anything that lets them off the hook for their own actions.


This may hold some truth, but there are some Christians that do not believe they're going to heaven is guaranteed.

Does that me a non believer, no. Does it make me a believer, no. It simply means that until my problem can be reconcilled, I do not believe in any God as he/she/it is now portrayed.


I think we're at a similar point on this one.

The Catholics say there is the one and only true god, so do the Muslims. Both say that the other faiths god is not their god.


Perhaps later I will add some insight to this, from my Christian upbringing and what I have learned from my Muslim colleagues. Not enough time to type it all out right now.

Problem is BOTH religions say if you do not believe and convert to THEIR god, you will go to hell! Okay so now we the tribal dude in South America, Africa, Antartica, wherever, he has never heard of either religion. Where does he go? Does either Religions God deal with this, no! They both say he must convert or he goes to Hell. So both gods are sending people to hell, supposedly a very bad place that noone want to go to, because this dude never even heard of their god. BUT he has his own God, andit is neither of the other two peoples Gods!


Dante tried to deal with this conundrum in "The Inferno." Of course, it may have been speculation or he may have referred to earlier books that did not get "canonized" (?) into the Bible we know.

P.S.: Mikey, I did get your e-mail. I sent something to Michael B. just a few minutes before I got yours. If you got it, please check the e-mails from me to setimods over the period of Friday night to Saturday night (US Eastern time). Thanks!
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Message 479383 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 4:02:12 UTC - in response to Message 478859.
Last modified: 11 Dec 2006, 4:11:42 UTC



How can you know whether or not there is a god, even a false one?



A false one ? Now there is an idea - how do I know there is a false god - that much is a given truth. There are many false gods, at least this much we can agree on.

@Mickey - I agree with you, on some points, however, if there is a hell, then there must be a heaven, and this would seem to say there is a god.

therefore, the theory of heaven or hell is as silly to talk about as is the theory of god. Most religions teach of something along the lines of a heaven or hell. This is the power that the creators of relgions want you to believe, nothing more. They teach do this or that and you will go to heaven, don't do this or that and you will go to hell.

What is wrong with common sense ? What is wrong with morality without religion? Was it not the Cathloic religion that murdered thousands and thousands in the name of god ? Has not most if not all religions done the same at one time or another ?

This idea of "we are better than you because we have the true religion" is bunk.

what is wrong with living a good life just because you are a good person, why do we have to live a good life to get some reward in heaven ? How selfish is that? I thought we were suppose to do good because we wanted too, not because we are going to get a reward in heaven. Most religions believe and teach this - why ? Power. Religion has power over those that blindly follow. They teach your reward is in heaven, to hell with that!- I want my reward now!
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Message 479677 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 5:20:35 UTC - in response to Message 479383.
Last modified: 11 Dec 2006, 5:44:38 UTC



How can you know whether or not there is a god, even a false one?



A false one ? Now there is an idea - how do I know there is a false god - that much is a given truth. There are many false gods, at least this much we can agree on.

@Mickey - I agree with you, on some points, however, if there is a hell, then there must be a heaven, and this would seem to say there is a god.

therefore, the theory of heaven or hell is as silly to talk about as is the theory of god. Most religions teach of something along the lines of a heaven or hell. This is the power that the creators of relgions want you to believe, nothing more. They teach do this or that and you will go to heaven, don't do this or that and you will go to hell.

What is wrong with common sense ? What is wrong with morality without religion? Was it not the Catholic religion that murdered thousands and thousands in the name of god ? Has not most if not all religions done the same at one time or another ?

This idea of "we are better than you because we have the true religion" is bunk.

what is wrong with living a good life just because you are a good person, why do we have to live a good life to get some reward in heaven ? How selfish is that? I thought we were suppose to do good because we wanted too, not because we are going to get a reward in heaven. Most religions believe and teach this - why ? Power. Religion has power over those that blindly follow. They teach your reward is in heaven, to hell with that!- I want my reward now!

When I was looking into the several churches, searching one fitting to my own belief, there were some who said: No-one really would come to hell, except those who first had all the knowledge about, and all their blessings etc. - and then would turn away and tell everyone this belief/church etc were a fraud. All other souls would have a kind of "imprisonment", or a lesser stage of heaven.

Sure, you can live a good life without religion, just being a good person. But (having myself been grown up as an atheist) if you have a look into the religions, you'll see that all the virtues, all those "rules" probing you to be a good person have their roots in religion (mostly the 10 Commandments).
You can deny it as much as you want: the Bible is a part of our entire culture: even that much that some quotes from it have become sayings in our every day vocabulary.

I also can't go along with this Black-or-white teaching of some churches, and I judged the religions on how close they were to their own teachings (i.e. their scriptures) and there were many, where some points simply didn't fit. Especially within the Christian churches. Simplest example: compare the Catholic church to the Bible, and try to find in the Bible something about a pope or celibacy or studied full-time theologists ...
Otherwise - I must agree you - there is many "If you don't agree us 110% you are against us" within the churches. While Jesus (who actually was a real historical person, you can read about him at several Roman chronists, I only don't remember their names) said: "let them do, those who aren't against us, are for us" and preached to love the neighbor as much as yourself...

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Message 479683 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 5:41:55 UTC - in response to Message 479328.
Last modified: 11 Dec 2006, 5:43:51 UTC

I believe that people will believe in anything that lets them off the hook for their own actions.


This may hold some truth, but there are some Christians that do not believe they're going to heaven is guaranteed.
Right. they believe, that not only the "Heavenly Grace", but also their deeds and decisions will finally enable them to achieve this reward.

Does that me a non believer, no. Does it make me a believer, no. It simply means that until my problem can be reconcilled, I do not believe in any God as he/she/it is now portrayed.


I think we're at a similar point on this one.
That sounds to me like a true searcher.

The Catholics say there is the one and only true god, so do the Muslims. Both say that the other faiths god is not their god.


Perhaps later I will add some insight to this, from my Christian upbringing and what I have learned from my Muslim colleagues. Not enough time to type it all out right now.
I learned, that - according to both scriptures (Bible and Koran) both, the "Christian" God, and Allah, are the same. It's only the intolerance of the peculiar teachers who let the believers think that there is a difference.

Problem is BOTH religions say if you do not believe and convert to THEIR god, you will go to hell! Okay so now we the tribal dude in South America, Africa, Antartica, wherever, he has never heard of either religion. Where does he go? Does either Religions God deal with this, no! They both say he must convert or he goes to Hell. So both gods are sending people to hell, supposedly a very bad place that noone want to go to, because this dude never even heard of their god. BUT he has his own God, and it is neither of the other two peoples Gods!
That#s not according to their scriptures, only human "tradition in faith" (was that the right word?)

Dante tried to deal with this conundrum in "The Inferno." Of course, it may have been speculation or he may have referred to earlier books that did not get "canonized" (?) into the Bible we know.
That's right. He used some "Apocryphic Scriptures"s for it, which actually easily could have read by everybody who could read and was interested at this time. It was one of the first Vatican Councils which threw out some of the books (of the first Latin translation Septuaginta, by the way) to assemble the Bible we know now. The Apocryphes were meant to kept hidden, but thee always remained copies at those
who were not willing to give them away to the Popes and their Inquisition organizations.
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Message 479699 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 6:43:35 UTC - in response to Message 478922.

It is not the requirement of the non believers to prove anything - it is those that are making the claims of something that need to prove it. Just as it is not the requirement in science, those that claim such and such, must be able to provide proof of such and such.


I don't know about that. Yes, if someone is trying to ram religion down your throat, you're entitled to ask for proof. But nobody who quietly and unobtrusively believes in one God or another has to answer to anybody. You want them to cahnge their minds, you prove you're right.

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Message 479749 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 9:04:51 UTC - in response to Message 479699.

It is not the requirement of the non believers to prove anything - it is those that are making the claims of something that need to prove it. Just as it is not the requirement in science, those that claim such and such, must be able to provide proof of such and such.


I don't know about that. Yes, if someone is trying to ram religion down your throat, you're entitled to ask for proof. But nobody who quietly and unobtrusively believes in one God or another has to answer to anybody. You want them to cahnge their minds, you prove you're right.

There is also the notion that no one has to prove anything to any one. We are all born with what we need to know right there in our heads.

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Message 479787 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 11:52:11 UTC - in response to Message 479749.

It is not the requirement of the non believers to prove anything - it is those that are making the claims of something that need to prove it. Just as it is not the requirement in science, those that claim such and such, must be able to provide proof of such and such.


I don't know about that. Yes, if someone is trying to ram religion down your throat, you're entitled to ask for proof. But nobody who quietly and unobtrusively believes in one God or another has to answer to anybody. You want them to change their minds, you prove you're right.

There is also the notion that no one has to prove anything to any one. We are all born with what we need to know right there in our heads.

That's true. But during time you learn to accept some things, to deny others; to believe one idea, to mistrust another one. And sometimes, when you're adult, you finally are rationally enough to accept no "childish" belief anymore, but only reasonable facts, facts, facts. And sure there is then the need to prove the one view or the other to justify the "adult reason", and why this other view is "childish" and not to be taken seriously.
Sorry if my English is a bit chaotic, it's not my native language. But I try my best to remain understandable for native speakers...
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Message 479868 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 14:32:10 UTC - in response to Message 479787.

It is not the requirement of the non believers to prove anything - it is those that are making the claims of something that need to prove it. Just as it is not the requirement in science, those that claim such and such, must be able to provide proof of such and such.


I don't know about that. Yes, if someone is trying to ram religion down your throat, you're entitled to ask for proof. But nobody who quietly and unobtrusively believes in one God or another has to answer to anybody. You want them to change their minds, you prove you're right.

There is also the notion that no one has to prove anything to any one. We are all born with what we need to know right there in our heads.

That's true. But during time you learn to accept some things, to deny others; to believe one idea, to mistrust another one. And sometimes, when you're adult, you finally are rationally enough to accept no "childish" belief anymore, but only reasonable facts, facts, facts. And sure there is then the need to prove the one view or the other to justify the "adult reason", and why this other view is "childish" and not to be taken seriously.
Sorry if my English is a bit chaotic, it's not my native language. But I try my best to remain understandable for native speakers...

Of course, it's best to work out for yourself what is right or wrong, what is good or evil. But you don't have to totally reply on what is in other people's heads as your sole guide. You have your own head, and what is in it.

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Message 479871 - Posted: 11 Dec 2006, 14:44:51 UTC - in response to Message 477834.

Religion is a band-aid that man invented to provide an explanation for the nature of the world (or the universe), and his own nature.


It's not needed anymore IMO.


Regards Hans

I bet when your going over the cliff your Shouting "Oh God...Oh God!"

Not me, I'd be yelling yeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaa till I realized I didn't have a parachute then I'd say oh oh.

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Message 481289 - Posted: 13 Dec 2006, 5:24:20 UTC - in response to Message 478822.
Last modified: 13 Dec 2006, 5:24:54 UTC

And why is it called Greek Mythology ? Did not these ancients believe in these gods, as much as many believe in our current day so called gods ? In 1000 years will the gods of today be also called mythology ? Maybe. It is what it is, why are we so much smarter than the Greeks ? SCIENCE! So now our gods have to be more complex, more powerful, more of everything. Who knows what the gods will be like in 1000 years, except just as crazy as they are currently. And in 1000 years our current so called religions may be called Christian Mythology, Hebrew Mythology, Islamic Mythology etc...
(emphasis added).

Smarter?
Hmmm. Let's see.
Same species we were 200 years ago.
Same species we were 2000-3000 years ago.
So, we're not smarter due to some recent evolution.
I'm not aware of studies pointing to increased intelligence. We do, however, have data for increased average height over time, etc. ... .
So, we have more information about things than the Greeks did. Accumulation of data does not equal knowledge or wisdom.
Children have struggled for a long time (more than 20-30 years) to learn to add fractions, work with negative numbers, etc. ... . The Greeks could handle rational numbers, but not irrational numbers, and there was no conception of 0 or negative numbers for some time to come. Not long before the Greeks, there was not even a system for representing fractions and known algorithms for operating on them. If we're so much smarter now, why do children still struggle with these concepts? (Consider your answers carefully, because I have read some of the research on this.)
On the other hand, we do have people who can handle working with these and other, sometimes far more difficult, things? Why? Because some have "seen further because [they] have stood on the shoulder of giants" (quote from Isaac Newton, I believe).

Accumulation of data does not equal knowledge or wisdom.

If you were marooned, would you be "smart" enough to survive?
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Message 481291 - Posted: 13 Dec 2006, 5:32:20 UTC - in response to Message 478822.

So now our gods have to be more complex, more powerful, more of everything.


Interesting. The Judeo/Christian/Islamic God, with roots about 3400 years old (thus pre-dating the Greek gods) is now more complex and more powerful. (Omnipotence squared equals ... ?) Man! I missed the newsflash and new Torah/Bible/Koran telling me he (or she or whatever) is more complex!!! Please, send me .pdf copies of these texts to back up your claim. I anxiously await your response.










LOL!!!
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Message 481294 - Posted: 13 Dec 2006, 5:40:02 UTC - in response to Message 481289.

Hi Sarge,

we probably didn't get much smarter individually, but the combined amount of human knowledge has grown exponentially since the ancient days.

I may not know any more about, for example organic chemistry, than the old Greeks did,
but if there's a need I can read a book or take a course to acquire this knowledge.

The old Greeks didn't have this option.


Regards Hans

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Message 481296 - Posted: 13 Dec 2006, 5:44:31 UTC - in response to Message 481294.

Hi Sarge,

we probably didn't get much smarter individually, but the combined amount of human knowledge has grown exponentially since the ancient days.

I may not know any more about, for example organic chemistry, than the old Greeks did,
but if there's a need I can read a book or take a course to acquire this knowledge.

The old Greeks didn't have this option.


Regards Hans


Then I think we are saying much of the same thing.
And one reason for that combined amount of data is the growth of population.
Again, how is accumulated data equal to knowledge or wisdom?
Even if one of us goes and picks up the organic chemistry book, or one on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, or whatever ... how many of us can understand it? The parts of it we can understand, do we have time or the ability to replicate the research that went into producing the information provided? (Please see Chuck's "Scientists ONLY" thread for how I continue this last line of reasoning.)
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Message 481512 - Posted: 13 Dec 2006, 15:39:04 UTC - in response to Message 481296.
Last modified: 13 Dec 2006, 15:40:36 UTC

Hi Sarge,

we probably didn't get much smarter individually, but the combined amount of human knowledge has grown exponentially since the ancient days.

I may not know any more about, for example organic chemistry, than the old Greeks did,
but if there's a need I can read a book or take a course to acquire this knowledge.

The old Greeks didn't have this option.


Regards Hans


Then I think we are saying much of the same thing.
And one reason for that combined amount of data is the growth of population.
Again, how is accumulated data equal to knowledge or wisdom?
Even if one of us goes and picks up the organic chemistry book, or one on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, or whatever ... how many of us can understand it? The parts of it we can understand, do we have time or the ability to replicate the research that went into producing the information provided? (Please see Chuck's "Scientists ONLY" thread for how I continue this last line of reasoning.)



It is not just accumulated data. Scientists for the past 400 years or so did not just observe and make recordings and leave it at that. They proposed hypotheses, tested those hypotheses and developed theories. These theories better explain phenomena than the theories of the Greeks, (They can predict more phenomena more accurately). This is knowledge, not just data. Not that a person would want to, but they could replicate the experiments that give evidence for these theories, but why re-invent the wheel? If someone has already gone through the touble of doing these experiments, and most likely they have been reproduced at least once, are you so skeptical that unless you see it for yourself, you do not believe the results? Do you think the scintific community is so gullible that they have been misguided over the past 400 years of science?

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Message 481520 - Posted: 13 Dec 2006, 15:59:11 UTC - in response to Message 481512.

Then I think we are saying much of the same thing.
And one reason for that combined amount of data is the growth of population.
Again, how is accumulated data equal to knowledge or wisdom?
Even if one of us goes and picks up the organic chemistry book, or one on physics, quantum mechanics, cosmology, or whatever ... how many of us can understand it? The parts of it we can understand, do we have time or the ability to replicate the research that went into producing the information provided? (Please see Chuck's "Scientists ONLY" thread for how I continue this last line of reasoning.)


It is not just accumulated data. Scientists for the past 400 years or so did not just observe and make recordings and leave it at that. They proposed hypotheses, tested those hypotheses and developed theories. These theories better explain phenomena than the theories of the Greeks, (They can predict more phenomena more accurately). This is knowledge, not just data. Not that a person would want to, but they could replicate the experiments that give evidence for these theories, but why re-invent the wheel? If someone has already gone through the touble of doing these experiments, and most likely they have been reproduced at least once, are you so skeptical that unless you see it for yourself, you do not believe the results? Do you think the scintific community is so gullible that they have been misguided over the past 400 years of science?


Chas, you're jumping into a discussion that's been running a few months. That's fine, but I guess I'll have to back up a bit so you can see what I am and am not saying and how it relates to the posts of others.

First, time was needed to do the things you mentioned.
Second, as a species, we are not more intelligent.
Third, and this is the major thrust of my posts in the running discussion, some against religion claim they make no assumptions and "believe in nothing." They say anyone that entertains any religious/spiritual thought at all is an uneducated fool incapable of reasoning. Yet if they do not engage in science themselves, and only read about it in books for the general public, how is it they are not themselves making assumptions and accepting the results presented in the text with nothing but perhaps some "hard thinking"?
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Message 481626 - Posted: 13 Dec 2006, 18:45:19 UTC - in response to Message 481520.
Last modified: 13 Dec 2006, 18:46:46 UTC


Chas, you're jumping into a discussion that's been running a few months. That's fine, but I guess I'll have to back up a bit so you can see what I am and am not saying and how it relates to the posts of others.

First, time was needed to do the things you mentioned.
Second, as a species, we are not more intelligent.
Third, and this is the major thrust of my posts in the running discussion, some against religion claim they make no assumptions and "believe in nothing." They say anyone that entertains any religious/spiritual thought at all is an uneducated fool incapable of reasoning. Yet if they do not engage in science themselves, and only read about it in books for the general public, how is it they are not themselves making assumptions and accepting the results presented in the text with nothing but perhaps some "hard thinking"?


I've read all of the posts in this thread, and in the Scientists ONLY thread, but have only posted recently. I understand the current debate. I agree that the general public, myself included, generally believe science, much like religious people believe in their faith. My disagreement is that you categorize the results of science as merely data, and not as knowledge. Yes, it is true that observations somewhere down the line can refute current scientific theories, or suggest there exists more than we have observed so far, such as dark matter/dark energy. Despite this, we understand more about the world around us through scientific theories, and I would classify this as knowledge.

I also understand the argument that there is no evidence to support that humans have more brain power(intelligence) today than we did two or three millenia ago, merely, as a whole we are better educated, than our ancestors were, as a whole.

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Message 481784 - Posted: 14 Dec 2006, 0:26:48 UTC - in response to Message 481626.
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I've read all of the posts in this thread, and in the Scientists ONLY thread, but have only posted recently. I understand the current debate. I agree that the general public, myself included, generally believe science, much like religious people believe in their faith.


Please also see Religious Thread [8]. I myself did not start posting there until about September 2006.

My disagreement is that you categorize the results of science as merely data, and not as knowledge.


No, that's not quite my point. For one person, who works on seeing the bigger picture and seeing the connections, then it becomes knowledge.

I also understand the argument that there is no evidence to support that humans have more brain power(intelligence) today than we did two or three millenia ago, merely, as a whole we are better educated, than our ancestors were, as a whole.


That seems to capture the essence of my statement or a large portion of the statement.
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