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Author Topic: Arguments Against the Existence of God  (Read 6078 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: November 17, 2009, 07:59:29 PM »

GiC - What if you were told that you had nothing to lose by trying?
What if you, when you die, find out that you had a lifetime to resolve it and no time was left?
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« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2009, 08:07:03 PM »

Seems to me that Tillich (though I have not read Him) was into instant gratification. If he could not produce an immediate response from practicing something, it was no longer important or significant to the here and now.

And what can be more significant than knowledge of our Creator? If by knowledge we achieve understanding of our place in this world and the correct steps to the next.
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« Reply #47 on: November 17, 2009, 08:26:18 PM »

Because, like with religion, though I believe that drugs can provide a quick fix and easy escape, I believe the long-term effects can be detrimental.
Long term effect of any lifestyle is you die.

Fair enough...I won't contest that point. Wink

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« Reply #48 on: November 17, 2009, 08:28:37 PM »

Seems to me that Tillich (though I have not read Him) was into instant gratification. If he could not produce an immediate response from practicing something, it was no longer important or significant to the here and now.
What Tillich seemed to be pointing towards was the apophatic approach to God. God is the 'ground of being', rather than any particular attribute of being.
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« Reply #49 on: November 17, 2009, 08:37:49 PM »

GiC - What if you were told that you had nothing to lose by trying?
What if you, when you die, find out that you had a lifetime to resolve it and no time was left?

And what if I spend my entire life in rigorous devotion to the Christian god, only to die and wake up to an offended and indigent Moslem or Aztec god? I think not. If I am to, without choice, spend eternity in slavery to some deity with my fate decided only by his grace and his whims...I would prefer to live another day as a free man than surrender that day which would be more precious than the rest of eternity, in hopes of falling into a tyrant's good graces.

If there is a god and it's a god I would be willing to spend eternity with, he will only bless the use of reason, thought, and liberty. If there is a god and this god would punish those things, then I would not seek his blessings, for they would be worse than his wrath.
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« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2009, 08:52:57 PM »

Because, like with religion, though I believe that drugs can provide a quick fix and easy escape, I believe the long-term effects can be detrimental.
Long term effect of any lifestyle is you die.

Fair enough...I won't contest that point. Wink

But that is a rather central question. What comes next?  Do you survive death in some way?.. There is considerable evidence that you do. And if there is an afterlife does that not  make possible the existence of incorporeal beings and if those things are true, then the existence of God becomes more plausible.

Materialism has no answers for life after death which is a major flaw. We are alive only for a short while but we are "Dead" for a long long time.

Repent.
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« Reply #51 on: November 17, 2009, 08:55:59 PM »

GiC - What if you were told that you had nothing to lose by trying?
What if you, when you die, find out that you had a lifetime to resolve it and no time was left?

And what if I spend my entire life in rigorous devotion to the Christian god, only to die and wake up to an offended and indigent Moslem or Aztec god? I think not. If I am to, without choice, spend eternity in slavery to some deity with my fate decided only by his grace and his whims...I would prefer to live another day as a free man than surrender that day which would be more precious than the rest of eternity, in hopes of falling into a tyrant's good graces.

If there is a god and it's a god I would be willing to spend eternity with, he will only bless the use of reason, thought, and liberty. If there is a god and this god would punish those things, then I would not seek his blessings, for they would be worse than his wrath.

You make your own choices and then live with them. I have faith in a merciful and loving God. If God is anything less, than I oppose him and will be happy to face the music.  You?
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« Reply #52 on: November 17, 2009, 09:04:24 PM »

Witega,

You seem to be arguing that at least some of the arguments listed in the OP are nothing more than an argument from incredulity, which would be a logical fallacy. However, I don't know that that is a fair assessment of the arguments. Sometimes the language can be a bit confusing or misleading, and perhaps I have not stated things as cogently as others might be able to. Let's take an argument that I didn't outline, but which is a common example of this problem: the argument regarding hell. Many times people will state the issue rather casually, perhaps saying something like "I just don't understand how a loving God could allow people to go to hell". However, even though laymen like me may speak imprecisely, the argument could also be stated in a more valid way.

Asteriktos--no offense, but it's not like I took my entire understanding of the various arguments from your descriptions in the first place. Not that I think you mischaracterized any of them, but all none of the arguments you listed are 'novel'. If one spends much time at all reading modern theology, philosophy, philosophy of science, etc one will have come across most or all of them.

I'm not sure I'd use the word 'incredulity'. Rather the issues seems to me 'human scale'--they come down to "I think that an omnipotent God would create a better universe than this one, create free will that's not free, be unable to communicate with us, etc., etc.". All of which mean that it is my limited human capacity (whether we are speaking of comprehension, or moral clarity or whatever) by which I am judging the infinite, transcendence. Now, if that is your *rationale* for rejecting any particular conception of God ("I could never believe in a God that allowed the Holocaust", "I can't believe in a God who creates typhoons","I can't believe in a God that limits my sexuality") that's rational and understandable. But it is not an actual 'argument'. It proves nothing except the subjective limit of your own comprehension.

Which leads me to:
Quote
Regarding the argument from religious experience, all I can say is that many (myself included) tried to follow the advice of various Christians (whether John Chrysostom or C.S. Lewis), and it didn't work out so that all such people ended up remaining Christians. To paraphrase what I have said before on this forum, I didn't leave Christianity because I read writers like Nietzsche and Dawkins, I left because I read writers such as St. John Chrysostom and St. Vincent of Lerins. My religious experience led me to believe in a rather impersonal, deistic God, if I have to make a choice about believing in a God at all. People can give lots of "if only" examples. Even atheists could play that card, and say something like "If only I could transport you to 33CE, so you could see that Jesus didn't rise again." But what is at issue, IMO, is what God has actually done in the lives of people who are rather open to the existence of God.

Let's be clear: I am not making an argument from religious experience, at least not in the sense of saying, "I experienced X, so that should prove the existence of God to you." I don't believe in 'arguments' for the existence of God. I am simply pushing back against the parallel, and equally useless, arguments against the existence of God.

I am saying that for the person who has had such experience, an argument like Russell's teapot is obviously false (*as* an argument against the existence of God--as an argument for why atheism is a rational position for those who haven't seen the teapot, I think it works just fine). And I don't know you well enough to make particularly relevant comments about your individual experience--but I do know you were practicing Orthodox for less than 20 years (10 years?) which is definitely too short a time to be able to judge my statement that if you follow the full spiritual regimin of the Church you will see God.

I do think you and I actually agree  that "what is at issue, IMO, is what God has actually done in the lives of people who are rather open to the existence of God." St. John the Theologian saw the Resurrected Christ, I believe him. St. Seraphim of Sarov saw the Uncreated Light, I believe him. Living acquaintance, who will remain nameless for now, attained 'continual prayer' I believe him. While my believe in the existence of God is a separate thing (going back to the thread that spawned this one), my belief in the Christian God is heavily conditioned by my belief in the eyewitness of certain individuals--people who saw the teapot, and who I find more credible than people who did not (or never even looked).
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« Reply #53 on: November 18, 2009, 02:44:10 AM »

Quote
Well, here are some thoughts that come to mind. People who argue against the existence of God usually argue that the free-will defense doesn't work, because an all-powerful God should be able simultaneously make people with free will and yet persuade them from committing evil. One thing in this regard which has always confused me is that people in heaven still apparently have their free will (ie. they aren't mind-numbed robots), yet they can't or won't or don't sin. Why not create that type of situation on earth? Why the test? And if testing is important, then why have so much of humanity not had to go through the test?

Saint Maximus the Confessor answered these questions, and my Arminian blog friend did as well. He pretty much came to the same conclusion as Saint Maximus.









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« Reply #54 on: November 18, 2009, 09:47:38 AM »

One thing in this regard which has always confused me is that people in heaven still apparently have their free will (ie. they aren't mind-numbed robots), yet they can't or won't or don't sin. Why not create that type of situation on earth? Why the test?
It didn't seem like a test in the beginning, not before the Fall. Obviously, if the heavenly conditions come down on earth, there will be no difference and everyone will become a Christian because he has seen the truth with his own eyes. Which would be very bad in case they reject it, but anyway...

Quote
When you consider how many have died in the womb, or shortly after death, or at least before they are old enough to understand and be responsible for their actions, it seems that a great many (perhaps a majority) came into existence but never had to take the test. Are such people condemned to hell?
I remember that the Bible is clear about blotting the names from the Book of Life. not adding them. Doesn't this mean that we all belong in it? After all, we are born innocent and the pure are saved.
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Quote
If so, then what kind of God is it that is being worshipped? If they go to heaven, then wouldn't that be a better situation than taking the chance of eternally suffering? Of course, the God-believer can then argue that we don't know what will happen, that perhaps almost everyone (except Hitler/Stalin types) will end up in heaven, and so forth. So the arguments and counters would go on for quite some time, I think.
The real Hell for Hitler and Stalin could only be Heaven. You might say that this is an awful torment from the God of Love, but it's like waking up. Like realising that there's no Santa Claus, realising that there is no justice in our world. It's when your worst dreams (for Stalin and such, the existence of Christ is definitely one) come true. But you just can't do anything about it. There's no way to delude yourself, only to actually realise that your whole life was a big mistake; regrets are such a pain in the "donkey" ( Roll Eyes)
I don't know if non-existence is a secure alternate. But I still have some faith in the Apocalypse of Peter...don't know...
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« Reply #55 on: November 18, 2009, 10:33:28 AM »

Yes, it does make some people feel better and we've identified the neurological activity in the brain that is responsible. Opium also makes people feel better by affecting their neurochemistry and, personally, I think it does a better job. And since neurological activity can be measured, it can be presented quantitatively...but we have perfectly reasonable scientific theories for this effect, it's not an argument for the existence of god, at best it's an insight into the evolution of the minds of Homo sapiens as social animals.
Then why not make everyone drug addicts?

Because, like with religion, though I believe that drugs can provide a quick fix and easy escape, I believe the long-term effects can be detrimental.
Really? Why is that?

Because any form of escapism prevents us from fully enjoying this life for what it is and for what has to offer. Not that one should be prohibited from taking this approach, but in my opinion it is a waste of the wonderful opportunity this life presents.
One has to assume that religion is escapism to adopt your view.

If you want to discuss that issue in an absolute and metaphysical sense, well that's what this thread's for. Wink

But from the perspective of our day to day lives on earth, it is escapism, just as sitting around all day dreaming about winning the lottery is escapism, and just as sitting around high all day is escapism.
And if God really exists, your running from his comandments is a form of escapism.

Even if I knew for a fact that some deity existed, I'd still probably blow him off...it's not escaping, it's prioritizing. If there is an afterlife, then I'll deal with it when it comes, lets focus on the here and now, not some fanciful vision of the future.
It is escapism because you choose not deal with what could be a very serious reality. In fact, what you have described is escapism to the core... "Oh, I deal with it later... or not at all."
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« Reply #56 on: November 18, 2009, 10:58:55 AM »

Yes, it does make some people feel better and we've identified the neurological activity in the brain that is responsible. Opium also makes people feel better by affecting their neurochemistry and, personally, I think it does a better job. And since neurological activity can be measured, it can be presented quantitatively...but we have perfectly reasonable scientific theories for this effect, it's not an argument for the existence of god, at best it's an insight into the evolution of the minds of Homo sapiens as social animals.
Then why not make everyone drug addicts?

Because, like with religion, though I believe that drugs can provide a quick fix and easy escape, I believe the long-term effects can be detrimental.
Really? Why is that?

Because any form of escapism prevents us from fully enjoying this life for what it is and for what has to offer. Not that one should be prohibited from taking this approach, but in my opinion it is a waste of the wonderful opportunity this life presents.
One has to assume that religion is escapism to adopt your view.

If you want to discuss that issue in an absolute and metaphysical sense, well that's what this thread's for. Wink

But from the perspective of our day to day lives on earth, it is escapism, just as sitting around all day dreaming about winning the lottery is escapism, and just as sitting around high all day is escapism.
And if God really exists, your running from his comandments is a form of escapism.

Even if I knew for a fact that some deity existed, I'd still probably blow him off...it's not escaping, it's prioritizing. If there is an afterlife, then I'll deal with it when it comes, lets focus on the here and now, not some fanciful vision of the future.
It is escapism because you choose not deal with what could be a very serious reality. In fact, what you have described is escapism to the core... "Oh, I deal with it later... or not at all."

Escapism is refusing to deal with current problems and the world today, not neglecting future problems. For example, failing to save for retirement does not meet the definition of escapism and the fact of the matter is that it doesn't even mean your avoiding the problem, you may just find that it makes more sense to spend your money now and deal with future problems as they come along. Escapism deals with avoiding issues in our daily lives, not failing to properly plan for future ones.

Plus, I've already addressed the issue, if your deity is so petty and vindictive as to create a world with no evidence of him then punish those who don't believe, to desire faith over reason, then his blessings and grace would be far worse than his wrath. You can join the inner party of your Orwellian paradise with big brother at the helm, I want no part of it, I will take my place amongst the Proles: tyranny of the mind is incomparably worse than tyranny of the body. The scriptural description of the throne room of God shows clearly the death of intellect and reason, of all individuality, of all that is greatest about humanity...it reveals the mindless worship of slaves, the worst hell of which anyone could conceive:

Quote
And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
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« Reply #57 on: November 18, 2009, 03:03:53 PM »

GiC -
"Plus, I've already addressed the issue, if your deity is so petty and vindictive as to create a world with no evidence of him then punish those who don't believe, to desire faith over reason, then his blessings and grace would be far worse than his wrath. You can join the inner party of your Orwellian paradise with big brother at the helm, I want no part of it, I will take my place amongst the Proles: tyranny of the mind is incomparably worse than tyranny of the body. The scriptural description of the throne room of God shows clearly the death of intellect and reason, of all individuality, of all that is greatest about humanity...it reveals the mindless worship of slaves, the worst hell of which anyone could conceive:"

Where does it clearly show this?! You say that Intellect, Reason, and Individuality are the greatest attributes of Humanity. I say Love, Humility, Self-Sacrifice.

Besides, it doesn't state that they did this chanting involuntarily..

And we all have heard of the cryptic aspect of the Revelation of John (come on). Roll Eyes


Furthermore, "Big-Brother at the Helm?" Since when is Christianity so popular that it became the main cause for the Shadow Government?! A religion that speaks of peace, worship of it's Creator through the repenting of Sin, Love of fellow Man and even it's enemies?!! Doesn't sound like it coincides with the Bildeberger Plan to me....

But maybe I'm not in the "know".
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« Reply #58 on: November 18, 2009, 04:03:45 PM »

GiC -
"Plus, I've already addressed the issue, if your deity is so petty and vindictive as to create a world with no evidence of him then punish those who don't believe, to desire faith over reason, then his blessings and grace would be far worse than his wrath. You can join the inner party of your Orwellian paradise with big brother at the helm, I want no part of it, I will take my place amongst the Proles: tyranny of the mind is incomparably worse than tyranny of the body. The scriptural description of the throne room of God shows clearly the death of intellect and reason, of all individuality, of all that is greatest about humanity...it reveals the mindless worship of slaves, the worst hell of which anyone could conceive:"

Where does it clearly show this?!

Has my writing style become less clear as of late? It seems like I'm talking right past a few people here.

Quote
You say that Intellect, Reason, and Individuality are the greatest attributes of Humanity. I say Love, Humility, Self-Sacrifice.

I value freedom, you value slavery...that's your choice, but don't try to inflict it on me.

Quote
Besides, it doesn't state that they did this chanting involuntarily..

Never said they were and neither were the crowds at Nuremberg...doesn't make it any less disturbing and the fact that they were subject to brainwashing, to a slavery of the mind, is hardly an encouraging...but I already addressed this in my previous post.

Quote
And we all have heard of the cryptic aspect of the Revelation of John (come on). Roll Eyes

So in heaven we don't have to offer praise and worship to God? Are free to question and rebuke him? If we decide that we do not wish to be subjected to his benevolent dictatorship, are we free to depose him? To cast him out of heaven? Regardless of how literally one takes John, the essential elements of liberty are absent in nearly any conception of heaven.

Quote
Furthermore, "Big-Brother at the Helm?" Since when is Christianity so popular that it became the main cause for the Shadow Government?! A religion that speaks of peace, worship of it's Creator through the repenting of Sin, Love of fellow Man and even it's enemies?!! Doesn't sound like it coincides with the Bildeberger Plan to me....

But maybe I'm not in the "know".

huh???

I was making use of a literary convention known as a 'metaphor' to present my views on Christian eschatology...I wasn't talking about an actual government or conspiracy.
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« Reply #59 on: November 18, 2009, 04:07:22 PM »

Sarcasm for sarcasm's sake. We'll if that's where your going, have fun by yourself.
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« Reply #60 on: November 18, 2009, 04:20:16 PM »

Sarcasm for sarcasm's sake. We'll if that's where your going, have fun by yourself.
You know what, its not freedom that he values but license. He is a slave to his passions. That is just that.
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« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2009, 04:23:48 PM »

Sarcasm for sarcasm's sake. We'll if that's where your going, have fun by yourself.
You know what, its not freedom that he values but license. He is a slave to his passions that is just that.
Papist, that's the most insightful thing I've heard on this thread from anyone! Why didn't I see it sooner? Freedom to do what, be jocular, sarcastic, whatever skeleton habits one might have. I'll take slavery to an everloving and forgiving God of whom I am not deserving. Atleast with Him, I've got a chance at what IS TO COME. And we can all be sure, IT WILL COME.
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« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2009, 04:37:29 PM »

You know what I just realized about your posts GiC...

You seem to misunderstand this concept central to Orthodoxy -

One can, through God and the practice of Faith (prescrptions of the Church), find freedom from the passions, self, desires of flesh and self-centeredness. And by doing so, can become more Human, Self-Less, and learn to Love more deeply and give more freely without expecting a compensation.
This does not conflict with (as you may assume) , in any way, an enjoyable life. Infact it only adds to enrich the life of the present and possibly earn crowns of Glory in the here-after.
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« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2009, 04:41:57 PM »

Sarcasm for sarcasm's sake. We'll if that's where your going, have fun by yourself.
You know what, its not freedom that he values but license. He is a slave to his passions. That is just that.

Do you even understand the distinction between liberty and licence? Perhaps you need to read Locke's Treatises on Civil Government again?
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« Reply #64 on: November 18, 2009, 04:58:40 PM »

And this is why I usually don't argue for the existence of God. Any explanation of the benefits of religion is invariably wrong.

If I mention the psychological benefits, it is usually countered with "drugs are better/easier."
If I mention miraculous phenomena as proof, it is countered with "medieval ignorance"/some naturalistic explanation which a priori excludes the existence of God.
If I mention that the Church has withstood physical persecution, it is attributed to the power of mass delusion.
If I mention something about morality, it is explained that morality is solely an evolutionary attribute, or is dismissed/syncretized by some principle of utilitarianism.
If I mention that Christians and Muslims have higher birth rates (and secular Europe is below replacement level), it is countered with the fact that overpopulation will kill us all and that we're not supposed to have babies.
All prophecies (esp. those from Daniel) and judgements of Divine wrath are ignored and assumed to be post facto justifications of some sort.
Also, the principles of honoring one's parents or one's race/tribe/society are anathema to (post)modern Western thought.


The way I've dealt with this is to just go with the flow, accept that I am "wrong," and live according to the Bible anyway.
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« Reply #65 on: November 18, 2009, 05:03:59 PM »

And this is why I usually don't argue for the existence of God. Any explanation of the benefits of religion is invariably wrong.

If I mention the psychological benefits, it is usually countered with "drugs are better/easier."
If I mention miraculous phenomena as proof, it is countered with "medieval ignorance"/some naturalistic explanation which a priori excludes the existence of God.
If I mention that the Church has withstood physical persecution, it is attributed to the power of mass delusion.
If I mention something about morality, it is explained that morality is solely an evolutionary attribute, or is dismissed/syncretized by some principle of utilitarianism.
If I mention that Christians and Muslims have higher birth rates (and secular Europe is below replacement level), it is countered with the fact that overpopulation will kill us all and that we're not supposed to have babies.
All prophecies (esp. those from Daniel) and judgements of Divine wrath are ignored and assumed to be post facto justifications of some sort.
Also, the principles of honoring one's parents or one's race/tribe/society are anathema to (post)modern Western thought.


The way I've dealt with this is to just go with the flow, accept that I am "wrong," and live according to the Bible anyway.

Just so long as you understand you're wrong. Wink
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« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2009, 05:30:21 PM »

Quotes GiC: "Just so long as you understand you're wrong."

Here on OCNet, it must be fun being a big fish in a little pond. (LTIAFOOMC!) Wink
(Laughing till I almost fell out of my chair!)
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« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2009, 05:36:15 PM »

You know what I just realized about your posts GiC...

You seem to misunderstand this concept central to Orthodoxy -

One can, through God and the practice of Faith (prescrptions of the Church), find freedom from the passions,

The passions are part of me, it is not enough to have freedom over them, I do not seek to freedom from myself, I seek control over myself. I want to feel pride, but it must be put aside from time to time. I enjoy a glutinous meal and drunkenness, but all things in moderation. At times anger is justified and essential, but often must be put aside in favour of peace. I embrace lust and pursue immorality, but will not force this upon another. Passions are good and should be embraced, but, like all things, be subject to reason.

Quote
self, desires of flesh and self-centeredness. And by doing so, can become more Human, Self-Less, and learn to Love more deeply and give more freely without expecting a compensation. This does not conflict with (as you may assume) , in any way, an enjoyable life.

Having lived both a religious life and a more hedonistic one, I would beg to differ.

Quote
Infact it only adds to enrich the life of the present and possibly earn crowns of Glory in the here-after.

And now we get to the crux of the matter, do what he says and the benevolent dictator will bless you, defy him and he'll extract his vengeance. To that all I can say is sic semper tyrannis.
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« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2009, 05:37:56 PM »

Quotes GiC: "Just so long as you understand you're wrong."

Here on OCNet, it must be fun being a big fish in a little pond. (LTIAFOOMC!) Wink
(Laughing till I almost fell out of my chair!)

Fair enough, but while there are others who are better at presenting most of these arguments than I...I do believe my 'I prefer hell to heaven' argument is top-notch and can stand with the best of them. Wink
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« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2009, 05:45:34 PM »

Quotes GiC: "Just so long as you understand you're wrong."

Here on OCNet, it must be fun being a big fish in a little pond. (LTIAFOOMC!) Wink
(Laughing till I almost fell out of my chair!)

Fair enough, but while there are others who are better at presenting most of these arguments than I...I do believe my 'I prefer hell to heaven' argument is top-notch and can stand with the best of them. Wink
Having lived both a religious life and a more hedonistic one, I would beg to differ.

A simple matter of perspective. And having lived both lives as well, I prefer the former.
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« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2009, 06:32:10 PM »

You know what I just realized about your posts GiC...

You seem to misunderstand this concept central to Orthodoxy -

One can, through God and the practice of Faith (prescrptions of the Church), find freedom from the passions, self, desires of flesh and self-centeredness. And by doing so, can become more Human, Self-Less, and learn to Love more deeply and give more freely without expecting a compensation.
This does not conflict with (as you may assume) , in any way, an enjoyable life. Infact it only adds to enrich the life of the present and possibly earn crowns of Glory in the here-after.


Great post... Smiley

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« Reply #71 on: November 19, 2009, 04:47:02 PM »

And this is why I usually don't argue for the existence of God.
Why is there something, rather than nothing?
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« Reply #72 on: November 21, 2009, 05:17:33 AM »

Quote
1. The Problem of Evil
All will be well. And every manner of thing will be well. And all that is not well will be made well.
Evil has no independent existence, it's a temporary aberration, like a ripple in a pond when you throw a stone in it. It will pass.

Quote
2. The Omnipotence Paradox
The qualities and virtues of a created thing cannot exceed those of it's creator. If the attributes of a created thing are equal to those of God, then the created thing is God- which makes no sense.

Quote
3. Poor Design
How can creation be described as "poorly designed"? Compared to what? Have we ever made anything as simple as an amoeba from scratch in order to compare it to creation?
Strangely designed? Yes, from a human perspective. Behold the platypus.

Quote
I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express  intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars or that a cat should play with mice."
I agree with Mr. Darwin. This is not how God created the Earth to be. But that doesn't mean He didn't create it. He didn't create humans to murder one another, but they do. The Fall was not restricted to the human race. As we see with the environmental disasters we have wrought in the short space of half a century, human sin has repercussions that cause echoes and damage throughout the Cosmos.

Quote
4. The Unpersuasiveness of God
We can't blame the radio transmitter for our lack of signal if we have destroyed the receiver.

Quote
5. Naturalistic Explanations are Superior
If we apply occams razor, "plurality should not be posited without necessity", then a Creator is the simplest explanation. since too many perfect conditions are required for the spontaneous generation of life.

Quote
6. Russell's Teapot
We cannot see Black Holes, but we know they exist, and we can see their effects on their surrounds. If we didn't know what a Black Hole was, yet we observed it's accretion disk and gas jet, we might come up with alternative explanations for what we observed (which would be incorrect). The same goes for the effects of the Divine Energies on creation.

Quote
7. All Gods Fall
In reality, I guess only time will tell for sure. But 2000 years later, we are still building magnificent Cathedrals. And Judaism (from whence sprang Christianity) traces it's history back to the First Man and Woman.

Quote
8. God Needs Nothing
God -the God of the Christians- is a Trinity. A Community of Mutual Love. I don't know whether or not choosing to share community with Creation is a necessity for the Triune God, but what I do know is that the Father has been Eternally Begetting the Son and is the Source of the Spirit's Eternal Procession. God's Begetting and Community were going on long before Creation, and these are part of His Being.

Quote
9. Man and God Comprehension Gulf
God is Transcendent in His Essence and Immanent in His Energies- and both are God.
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« Reply #73 on: November 21, 2009, 05:26:57 PM »

GiC - What if you were told that you had nothing to lose by trying?
What if you, when you die, find out that you had a lifetime to resolve it and no time was left?

And what if I spend my entire life in rigorous devotion to the Christian god, only to die and wake up to an offended and indigent Moslem or Aztec god? I think not. If I am to, without choice, spend eternity in slavery to some deity with my fate decided only by his grace and his whims...I would prefer to live another day as a free man than surrender that day which would be more precious than the rest of eternity, in hopes of falling into a tyrant's good graces.

If there is a god and it's a god I would be willing to spend eternity with, he will only bless the use of reason, thought, and liberty. If there is a god and this god would punish those things, then I would not seek his blessings, for they would be worse than his wrath.

So you dictate the terms?








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« Reply #74 on: November 21, 2009, 05:38:25 PM »

Yes, it does make some people feel better and we've identified the neurological activity in the brain that is responsible. Opium also makes people feel better by affecting their neurochemistry and, personally, I think it does a better job. And since neurological activity can be measured, it can be presented quantitatively...but we have perfectly reasonable scientific theories for this effect, it's not an argument for the existence of god, at best it's an insight into the evolution of the minds of Homo sapiens as social animals.
Then why not make everyone drug addicts?

Because, like with religion, though I believe that drugs can provide a quick fix and easy escape, I believe the long-term effects can be detrimental.
Really? Why is that?

Because any form of escapism prevents us from fully enjoying this life for what it is and for what has to offer. Not that one should be prohibited from taking this approach, but in my opinion it is a waste of the wonderful opportunity this life presents.


Fully enjoying this life without proper guidance will equal Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

The truth is, at the end of the day you gotta serve somebody:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXjhqOdB5HY










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