God

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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-25, 03:56

Occultdude17 wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:
Imadjinn wrote:I believe everything always has been and always shall be, forever shifting, forever changing.

Beginnings and Ends are so limited.

If the universe has been around an infinite amount of time, it must also be infinite in size because time and space are the same thing viewed differently. If it's infinite in size, every line of sight must eventually end on either a star or a piece of matter that has absorbed enough radiation over its infinite lifetime to glow like a star. The fact that the night sky is not as bright as the sun proves that the universe is not infinite in either space or time, and thus you are wrong.

If the universe is indeed expending. Than every line of sigh could end up on a particle without the universe being finite. As if particles accelerate/expand fast enough it could go fast enough for its light to never reach us in human lifetime.

If the light hasn't reached us, then for all intents and purposes it is not in our line of sight.

Then how would this proof the Universe is finite?

Fact A: The universe is expanding.

Conclusion A: At some point in the past, all the matter in the universe was together.

Supposition B: The universe is infinite in size.

Conclusion B: Given Conclusion A and Supposition B, the universe's beginning must have been an infinite amount of time ago.

Conclusion C: Given an infinite amount of time, all the light in the infinite universe would have reached us by now.

Conclusion D: Due to Conclusion C and the fact that every line of sight in an infinite universe ends on a star, the night sky would glow like the Sun.

Fact E: The night sky does not glow like the Sun.

Conclusion E: Supposition B is incorrect.

Ahh, you don’t count the space the universe is expending inbut the universe itself. I get it now. Than I agree the universe is finite even though I still don't agree to the reasoning of why.
I was taking the space the universe is expending in as infinite.
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Re: God

Post  nsanejokr on 2012-01-25, 08:21

Ultimate lol wrote:Than I agree the universe is finite even though I still don't agree to the reasoning of why.
I was taking the space the universe is expending in as infinite.

If you agree that the Universe is finite you must also agree that space is finite, because space's infinity would imply the Universe's infinity as the Universe would have to be infinite to house an infinite space.

Sorry if that made no sense. I just woke up and still trying to turn on my brain.
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-25, 09:00

nsanejokr wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:Than I agree the universe is finite even though I still don't agree to the reasoning of why.
I was taking the space the universe is expending in as infinite.

If you agree that the Universe is finite you must also agree that space is finite, because space's infinity would imply the Universe's infinity as the Universe would have to be infinite to house an infinite space.

Sorry if that made no sense. I just woke up and still trying to turn on my brain.

You got it the other way arround then I ment it.
I see it like the universe existis in a infine space (for the lak of a better word)
Not all space is cofined to the universes. our universe merly exists in it.
Therefor the universe is finite but could expendt infiniately in the infinite space available.

Hope I'm clear about how I see it now.
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Re: God

Post  nsanejokr on 2012-01-25, 13:56

Ultimate lol wrote:
nsanejokr wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:Than I agree the universe is finite even though I still don't agree to the reasoning of why.
I was taking the space the universe is expending in as infinite.

If you agree that the Universe is finite you must also agree that space is finite, because space's infinity would imply the Universe's infinity as the Universe would have to be infinite to house an infinite space.

Sorry if that made no sense. I just woke up and still trying to turn on my brain.

You got it the other way arround then I ment it.
I see it like the universe existis in a infine space (for the lak of a better word)
Not all space is cofined to the universes. our universe merly exists in it.
Therefor the universe is finite but could expendt infiniately in the infinite space available.

Hope I'm clear about how I see it now.

By definition, the Universe is everything that exists. Therefore, there is no logical reason to think that there is anything outside of the Universe.

It's theoretically possible, of course, but I could just as easily argue that there is a giant dragon battling an equally large turtle outside the Universe.

That would be a more extravagant claim than the idea there are multiple Universes, since it's easy to conceptualize other Universes' existences since we are a part of a Universe. However, since we have nothing to refer to in order to establish that anything is beyond the Universe, we don't have a way to factually differentiate the simple claims about outside the Universe from the extravagant. Hell, we don't even have the information to establish the idea of there being an outside of the Universe as being factual.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-25, 17:29

The universe does not expand "into" space. Rather it is like the surface of a balloon. If you travel far enough in any of the 3 dimensions you will eventually arrive back at your starting location. There is no edge or centre, and the space is expanding more or less evenly in all directions. Once you add time, we use the analogy of a fully-inflated balloon; the longitude, going from the "air goes in" point, is time, and the latitude is space. That accounts for all 4 macroscopic dimensions, and the additional 6 from String Theory would be scrunched up small for strings to vibrate in. Any other universes would be in the 11th dimension, leaving the balloon's surface.
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-25, 17:38

Occultdude17 wrote:The universe does not expand "into" space. Rather it is like the surface of a balloon. If you travel far enough in any of the 3 dimensions you will eventually arrive back at your starting location. There is no edge or centre, and the space is expanding more or less evenly in all directions. Once you add time, we use the analogy of a fully-inflated balloon; the longitude, going from the "air goes in" point, is time, and the latitude is space. That accounts for all 4 macroscopic dimensions, and the additional 6 from String Theory would be scrunched up small for strings to vibrate in. Any other universes would be in the 11th dimension, leaving the balloon's surface.

Ok, even though this is indeed not what I had in mind what I say is still correct. The universe has a finite size but could still inflate (expand) infinitely into a "space" in a higher dimension.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-25, 18:49

Ultimate lol wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:The universe does not expand "into" space. Rather it is like the surface of a balloon. If you travel far enough in any of the 3 dimensions you will eventually arrive back at your starting location. There is no edge or centre, and the space is expanding more or less evenly in all directions. Once you add time, we use the analogy of a fully-inflated balloon; the longitude, going from the "air goes in" point, is time, and the latitude is space. That accounts for all 4 macroscopic dimensions, and the additional 6 from String Theory would be scrunched up small for strings to vibrate in. Any other universes would be in the 11th dimension, leaving the balloon's surface.

Ok, even though this is indeed not what I had in mind what I say is still correct. The universe has a finite size but could still inflate (expand) infinitely into a "space" in a higher dimension.

The universe will probably expand indefinitely, yes. However, at no point in time is it ever spatially infinite, nor does it extend infinitely into the past. Technically, the universe would be static in 11-dimensional space, as time is a property of the universe.
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-26, 03:49

Occultdude17 wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:The universe does not expand "into" space. Rather it is like the surface of a balloon. If you travel far enough in any of the 3 dimensions you will eventually arrive back at your starting location. There is no edge or centre, and the space is expanding more or less evenly in all directions. Once you add time, we use the analogy of a fully-inflated balloon; the longitude, going from the "air goes in" point, is time, and the latitude is space. That accounts for all 4 macroscopic dimensions, and the additional 6 from String Theory would be scrunched up small for strings to vibrate in. Any other universes would be in the 11th dimension, leaving the balloon's surface.

Ok, even though this is indeed not what I had in mind what I say is still correct. The universe has a finite size but could still inflate (expand) infinitely into a "space" in a higher dimension.

The universe will probably expand indefinitely, yes. However, at no point in time is it ever spatially infinite, nor does it extend infinitely into the past. Technically, the universe would be static in 11-dimensional space, as time is a property of the universe.

If you state it like that it is a mere matter of perspective. Just look at it from a lower dimension. And I never said the universe would be spatially infinite. Like I said it will always have a set size but does seems to expend forever.
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Re: God

Post  DarkRiku on 2012-01-26, 04:13

Occultdude17 wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:
Imadjinn wrote:I believe everything always has been and always shall be, forever shifting, forever changing.

Beginnings and Ends are so limited.

If the universe has been around an infinite amount of time, it must also be infinite in size because time and space are the same thing viewed differently. If it's infinite in size, every line of sight must eventually end on either a star or a piece of matter that has absorbed enough radiation over its infinite lifetime to glow like a star. The fact that the night sky is not as bright as the sun proves that the universe is not infinite in either space or time, and thus you are wrong.

If the universe is indeed expending. Than every line of sigh could end up on a particle without the universe being finite. As if particles accelerate/expand fast enough it could go fast enough for its light to never reach us in human lifetime.

If the light hasn't reached us, then for all intents and purposes it is not in our line of sight.

Then how would this proof the Universe is finite?

Fact A: The universe is expanding.

Conclusion A: At some point in the past, all the matter in the universe was together.

Supposition B: The universe is infinite in size.

Conclusion B: Given Conclusion A and Supposition B, the universe's beginning must have been an infinite amount of time ago.

Conclusion C: Given an infinite amount of time, all the light in the infinite universe would have reached us by now.

Conclusion D: Due to Conclusion C and the fact that every line of sight in an infinite universe ends on a star, the night sky would glow like the Sun.

Fact E: The night sky does not glow like the Sun.

Conclusion E: Supposition B is incorrect.

Let me get this straight. Are you saying that something existed before the universe started?
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Re: God

Post  nsanejokr on 2012-01-26, 09:15

Ultimate lol wrote:If you state it like that it is a mere matter of perspective. Just look at it from a lower dimension. And I never said the universe would be spatially infinite. Like I said it will always have a set size but does seems to expend forever.

It may seem like it can expand forever, but the Universe's expansion is dependent on having enough energy to expand. It's not likely that energy is an infinite resource. So, the Universe may expand for quite a long time, but it will eventually have to stop expanding once there is no more energy to sustain the expansion.

DarkRiku wrote:Let me get this straight. Are you saying that something existed before the universe started?

In no way did he make that premise. I don't even see how you could even think he did.
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-26, 09:43

nsanejokr wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:If you state it like that it is a mere matter of perspective. Just look at it from a lower dimension. And I never said the universe would be spatially infinite. Like I said it will always have a set size but does seems to expend forever.

It may seem like it can expand forever, but the Universe's expansion is dependent on having enough energy to expand. It's not likely that energy is an infinite resource. So, the Universe may expand for quite a long time, but it will eventually have to stop expanding once there is no more energy to sustain the expansion.

I would agree with you if not for that the expansion of the universe is accelerating with contradicts this.
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Re: God

Post  nsanejokr on 2012-01-26, 10:22

Ultimate lol wrote:
nsanejokr wrote:
Ultimate lol wrote:If you state it like that it is a mere matter of perspective. Just look at it from a lower dimension. And I never said the universe would be spatially infinite. Like I said it will always have a set size but does seems to expend forever.

It may seem like it can expand forever, but the Universe's expansion is dependent on having enough energy to expand. It's not likely that energy is an infinite resource. So, the Universe may expand for quite a long time, but it will eventually have to stop expanding once there is no more energy to sustain the expansion.

I would agree with you if not for that the expansion of the universe is accelerating with contradicts this.

I fail to see how there's a contradiction. However, even if it was and that energy is irrelevant to maintaining the Universe's expansion, I fail to see anything that can facilitate an infinite expansion.
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-26, 10:38

How is something that is suppose to use energy, expanding, actually speeding up instead of slowing down due to gravitational attraction? And why would it not be able to continue to do this?
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-26, 15:39

Space does not absorb or release energy during the expansion process. Energy is a property of matter, and space is not made of matter. Besides, such a thing would violate the Law of Energy Conservation.

Exactly how space works is unknown, so the guesses I make now are purely my opinion and will probably be proven wrong. Space wants to be flat, so it tries to flatten itself out. But it's also round like a sphere, so it tries to flatten at every point on the sphere. Given as space is simply the distance between objects and has no fixed size, this results in the objects all getting further away from each other, and the universe expands. The further away the objects are, the less strongly their gravity holds each other and the faster the universe will "flatten itself out", i.e. expand because it's a sphere. The proposed "dark energy" is simply space doing what space wants to.
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Re: God

Post  Kimo Force on 2012-01-26, 16:57

Yeah, I'm a believa, and I'm going to proudly say that I am a muslim since there is nothing to be ashamed of about that, yet I'm no extremist. Opinions are to be respected regardless of how bizarre they may seem. It is a factor that makes us human: respecting other beliefs. You shouldn't care if one is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Satanic, or Atheist. It's like saying you hate someone because he thinks Formula 1 sucks. Besides, doesn't the inside count?
By the way, I haven't read the whole topic, so don't lash at me if I jumped the gun and said something I shouldn't have.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-26, 20:03

Kimo Force wrote:Yeah, I'm a believa, and I'm going to proudly say that I am a muslim since there is nothing to be ashamed of about that, yet I'm no extremist. Opinions are to be respected regardless of how bizarre they may seem. It is a factor that makes us human: respecting other beliefs. You shouldn't care if one is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Satanic, or Atheist. It's like saying you hate someone because he thinks Formula 1 sucks. Besides, doesn't the inside count?
By the way, I haven't read the whole topic, so don't lash at me if I jumped the gun and said something I shouldn't have.

Personally, I have no objection to that. There's no proof for or against the existence of the supernatural, so people can believe whatever they like about it. The 3 things that do irritate me are:

1) When people use their religious beliefs instead of educating themselves on the facts. Creationism is the classic example of this.

2) When people argue nastily with others because they have different opinions on religion, gay marriage, politics, etc, when those things are all pure opinion anyway.

3) When people condemn others as "morally bankrupt" for something trivial, yet claim that their god torturing/killing innocent people is "righteous" and "just".
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Re: God

Post  DarkRiku on 2012-01-27, 01:41

Occultdude17 wrote:
Kimo Force wrote:Yeah, I'm a believa, and I'm going to proudly say that I am a muslim since there is nothing to be ashamed of about that, yet I'm no extremist. Opinions are to be respected regardless of how bizarre they may seem. It is a factor that makes us human: respecting other beliefs. You shouldn't care if one is Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Satanic, or Atheist. It's like saying you hate someone because he thinks Formula 1 sucks. Besides, doesn't the inside count?
By the way, I haven't read the whole topic, so don't lash at me if I jumped the gun and said something I shouldn't have.

Personally, I have no objection to that. There's no proof for or against the existence of the supernatural, so people can believe whatever they like about it. The 3 things that do irritate me are:

1) When people use their religious beliefs instead of educating themselves on the facts. Creationism is the classic example of this.

Can't we say the same thing about atheist?

2) When people argue nastily with others because they have different opinions on religion, gay marriage, politics, etc, when those things are all pure opinion anyway.

We have not right to condemn anyone just like athestis have no right making fun of peoples beliefs. Both sides are to blame.

3) When people condemn others as "morally bankrupt" for something trivial, yet claim that their god torturing/killing innocent people is "righteous" and "just".

This better explains it than me. I let you decide how you take it. http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/notkill.html

Answers in bold.
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Re: God

Post  Kimo Force on 2012-01-27, 02:31

I have a few things to clear about Islam for those who do not know and see us as cannibals and blood-bathing animals.

1. Islam completely disagrees with terrorism in any sort of way. Muslims who do terrorize people, cities, nations, are said to have lost their way in inner faith. Our stories of the prophet which claim that muslims attacked cities in order to spread the religion, some of the information was removed. First off, a messenger was sent to that city to speak to the leader about the matter. If it was accepted, no battle would occur. If the messenger was returned, the army moved out to educate some of the people there that their leader had denied from them. If the messenger did not return, as in he was imprisoned or murdered, it counted as an insult to Islam, simply to kill a muslim who has come in peace. It was a clear sign that the leader of that area had to be removed, for equal rights were not granted. Those other leaders who have attacked a city without following the same method have no right to do so, not just religiously, but morally as well. We have no reason to invade countries now because the internet gives us the power to speak.

2. Like Christianity, Islam has its own forms of being deprived from what is true, though it is said that the Sunni, which I belong to, is the truest to Islam (No offense to other Non-Sunni muslims). Osama Bin Laden was a muslim, yes, but he was no way a Sunni. He belonged to a different religion altogether, and he may even have resulted to slaying people out of resentment, yet we cannot confirm the latter.

3. Power corrupts anything. It is true that we have had corrupted Muslims as leaders. Never let one man decide the face of a religion for you, not Osama Bin Laden, not Salah el Din, not even me. We are only people who have submitted to the divine force of God and are only trying to follow it as best as we could, or what we believe is right. We cannot be perfect, and therefore, cannot be judged for the religion's correctness. It is incorrect to criticize any other religion, not just Islam, in this manner.

4. Jewish and Muslims have always been at each other's necks since the dawn of time, always. One must never believe what a Muslim has to say about Jewish, or vice-versa. Hebrew has a massive influence on modern media, and by that, we are subjected to being described untruthfully. In Israel, I have heard that there is a large gap between Muslims and ordinary citizens in terms of rights. In a select Arabian countries, many people will deny you any service for being Jewish. You can never judge a person in terms of religion, and yes, I have met some profound Jewish in my life, who are quite significant and open-minded. If we cannot have our leaders disband this unnecessary farce, why must we carry on with it?

5. The real religion should be sought from the actual book, The Holy Qu'ran, and not from a person, because people have a habit of changing portions of the subject to suit their matters. I understand that I have explained a few terms about our religion, yet I may be proven wrong at one point, but I will not be shot down for speaking out what I believe to be true about our religion. Please do not think badly of us; we are not as terrible as the media claims us to be.

I have been bullied at one point online for openly expressing myself as an Arab, to an extent that I was left depressed if not for a few select of friends. I had not known of the incidence of September 11th until two years ago, and even so, I was left hung for the rest of the day. A proper education is what we need to put aside these differences. All this is just to help break the ice a little.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-27, 04:05

Kimo,

It's a sad fact that many people online are prejudiced and stupid. But if all they're doing is making rude comments, the best thing you can do is roll your eyes and ignore them. Or, if you're really annoyed, just imagine them incredibly constipated.

Riku,

Your link is, in short, utter rubbish. It is true that children can do stupid and nasty things to people just like adults can. The difference is that children are usually not mature enough to fully understand what they're doing, and are easily manipulated by adults with ulterior motives. You seriously think those children became suicide bombers without being coached into it by their parents?

And even if children are evil, babies are definitely not. They cannot even talk, how could they do evil? Countless babies would have died in the Flood and in Sodom and Gomorra. And let's not forget Egypt, where God specifically targeted the first-born children after messing with Pharaoh's free will so he'd refuse to let the Israelites go. And as for Joshua, I notice the article doesn't address all the other things they did to the women and children besides kill them. There's no possible justification for God ordering THAT. Also, animals. They definitely weren't evil, yet God drowned them anyway. And he told Joshua to slash the leg muscles of horses so they'd die a slow, agonising death.

Worship him if you want to, but don't you dare claim him to be all-good and all-loving, unless you're prepared to denounce the Bible as false.
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Re: God

Post  Kimo Force on 2012-01-27, 05:14

My post was not for me, but for everyone else who thinks differently of our religion. I am already strong enough to easily shake off threats and attacks from opposing fields, yet there are those who are not. I do not wish for anyone else to prejudice us, or any other religion, or for anyone to fall victim to it.
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Re: God

Post  nsanejokr on 2012-01-27, 15:18

DarkRiku wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:1) When people use their religious beliefs instead of educating themselves on the facts. Creationism is the classic example of this.

Can't we say the same thing about atheist?

In what sense? Atheism is, or at least should be, presented as having no belief in the existence of a deity. The only way this would be used against educating on facts is in terms of if it was a fact that God existed and atheists were to use their belief system to ignore it.

On the other hand, there are much more beliefs that are involved in religion, like creation stories as Occultdude suggested. To take Creationism seriously, one must filter out the fact evolution is a real thing.

Of course, not all religious people believe in Creationism, or at least in the fundamentalist sense where evolution doesn't occur and all life that exists now was the same as when life first occurred. This, however, shows that the idea of being religious involves more beliefs of the world, so much more that "being an atheist" can not be on the same level as "being religious".

So, to say that atheism can cause someone run into the face of facts doesn't make sense. If an atheist were to run against facts it would be by virtue of another held belief and not atheism itself.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-01-27, 16:28

I hate to go into crazy longshot territory, but when you're omniscient, there can be a weird justification for doing all sorts of things. However, bear this in mind, if someone dies, God can still control what happens directly afterwards. As for a possible justification? Maybe some people would be better kept off the path of evil by intimidation than by reasoning, and someone that ended up reading that passage in the future might be deterred from evil, and then have everything explained to them when they died. There may well be justifications, as long as said justifications have a probability greater than 0 of being true, they cannot be denied. Any action taken by God will take into consideration what happens then and there, the short-term future, the long-term future, and what happens until the end of time (basically, butterfly effect turned up to infinity, you can try watching sci-fi shows/movies that deal with time travel, e.g. 'Year of Hell' 2-parter in Star Trek: Voyager, to get an idea of how horribly complicated it can be). Like I said in previous posts, it effectively comes down to 'God works in mysterious ways'. He KNOWS what the consequences will be for the rest of time, something people with finite minds cannot grasp. This is why he behaves differently to humans, and why it's so mysterious. His master plan would be completely unfathomable.

As for claiming him to be all good and all loving, I will have this to say, if he does exist, he allowed a 'flawed' Bible to be created? By 'flawed' I mean, it will have errors, and lies. Why would a perfect God do this? Again, it goes back to the whole Unknown Purpose defence, AKA 'God works in mysterious ways'. However, I don't believe anything could possibly justify eternal torture. Anything in the Bible stating eternal punishment/destruction is, IMHO, lies to keep certain people on the right path, particularly the people who don't respond to reason (kind of God going REALLY bad cop on people who won't listen to good cop). I would have to say that anything of that nature is false, if God is all good/loving, because I can see no possible justification for going THAT far, and if everything in the Bible was true, then God the Almighty would vanish in a puff of logic, in my eyes.

Furthermore, Jesus being sacrificed on a cross in a barbaric execution makes absolutely no sense to me, it doesn't absolve others of their sin. To me, it just seems to give sinners a shield to cowardly hide behind to escape righteous judgment. Some people actually go with 'I believe in Jesus, therefore I will be saved, therefore I can sin all I want', which is really annoying. What is interesting, though, is that in the Bible, God (referring to the Holy Trinity) will judge you, but the actual part of the Holy Trinity that judges you is NOT God the Almighty, but Jesus Christ. Also, in the Bible, things work differently for people who have not heard the Gospel (mainly concerning Jesus dying on the cross as atonement) and understanding it, IIRC, they aren't condemned to Hell for not believing in Jesus. People who understand the Gospel, and reject it anyway, are in trouble (maybe not necessarily screwed, but still in trouble). God will have to rely on his 'Unknown Purpose' defence, as usual, to answer for sacrificing an innocent man to a barbaric and torturous execution, his own son no less.

On to one weird thing that happened to me ages ago. I was diagnosed with a hearing loss (the equipment was working correctly). At some point, a minister laid hands one me afterwards. Later, my hearing was tested again, and the hearing loss had mysteriously disappeared. There's no scientific explanation for this, unless you allow something like aliens/divine intervention or something apply.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-28, 00:46

1) If God has a master plan that makes his seemingly evil actions good, then he is more than capable of explaining it to us. As it is, we must judge his behaviour based on the evidence given and not on our lack of knowledge. Otherwise we risk becoming like the World War 2 Germans who assumed that Hitler knew what he was doing.

2) The claims that God is evil refer specifically to the character of Yahweh presented in the Bible. As God is imaginary anyway, it is pointless trying to identify Yahweh with the God you worship. Essentially, the question of the Bible's validity is irrelevant to discussions about God's morality, just as we judge Voldemort based on his actions in the Harry Potter series without questioning if the book is historical fact.

3) The whole idea of Sin, as presented in myths and legends throughout the world, is stupid and corrupt. So is the idea of Hell. Do not try to rationalise either, or you will have a migraine.

4) Can't comment on your hearing being cured, because I don't know all the details. Usually these things work through the placebo effect, and the people deny that possibility because they don't consider their subconscious mind.
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Re: God

Post  DarkRiku on 2012-01-28, 03:56

Occultdude17 wrote:Kimo,

It's a sad fact that many people online are prejudiced and stupid. But if all they're doing is making rude comments, the best thing you can do is roll your eyes and ignore them. Or, if you're really annoyed, just imagine them incredibly constipated.

Riku,

Your link is, in short, utter rubbish. It is true that children can do stupid and nasty things to people just like adults can. The difference is that children are usually not mature enough to fully understand what they're doing, and are easily manipulated by adults with ulterior motives. You seriously think those children became suicide bombers without being coached into it by their parents?

And even if children are evil, babies are definitely not. They cannot even talk, how could they do evil? Countless babies would have died in the Flood and in Sodom and Gomorra. And let's not forget Egypt, where God specifically targeted the first-born children after messing with Pharaoh's free will so he'd refuse to let the Israelites go. And as for Joshua, I notice the article doesn't address all the other things they did to the women and children besides kill them. There's no possible justification for God ordering THAT. Also, animals. They definitely weren't evil, yet God drowned them anyway. And he told Joshua to slash the leg muscles of horses so they'd die a slow, agonising death.

Worship him if you want to, but don't you dare claim him to be all-good and all-loving, unless you're prepared to denounce the Bible as false.

I like to know the reasons behind why it is false. So far the best answer I have got is people just saying it contradicts itself without anything really to back it up unless I missed that somewhere in previous post.

How can a baby know the difference between good and evil when he/she isn't even old enough to have that knowledge. The Bible already talks about the innocence of a child.

So it is wrong to punish wicked people? We do it. Didn't God give people time to correct their ways before passing judgment? I don't see how God messed with free will. Wasn't the Pharaoh already killing children? Didn't God give fair warning of what was going to happen? He doesn't do something just for the sake of doing it.

I am really just trying to understand where you are coming form. You are only talking about parts of the story.

The Bible isn't supposed to be some peace story. It tells it all. It doesn't sugar coat anything. It reveals the bad and the good.

Sorry if I offended you in some way? That was not my intention.

nsanejokr wrote:
DarkRiku wrote:
Occultdude17 wrote:1) When people use their religious beliefs instead of educating themselves on the facts. Creationism is the classic example of this.

Can't we say the same thing about atheist?

In what sense? Atheism is, or at least should be, presented as having no belief in the existence of a deity. The only way this would be used against educating on facts is in terms of if it was a fact that God existed and atheists were to use their belief system to ignore it.

On the other hand, there are much more beliefs that are involved in religion, like creation stories as Occultdude suggested. To take Creationism seriously, one must filter out the fact evolution is a real thing.

Of course, not all religious people believe in Creationism, or at least in the fundamentalist sense where evolution doesn't occur and all life that exists now was the same as when life first occurred. This, however, shows that the idea of being religious involves more beliefs of the world, so much more that "being an atheist" can not be on the same level as "being religious".

So, to say that atheism can cause someone run into the face of facts doesn't make sense. If an atheist were to run against facts it would be by virtue of another held belief and not atheism itself.

How do you get a Dog out of a fish?
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-28, 06:06

DarkRiku wrote:
How do you get a Dog out of a fish?

Didn't we discuss this in full already and just agreed or agreed to disagree? I think you can find all the strongest arguments on both sides on pages of this topic...
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-28, 06:15

1) Perhaps you could link me the verses that say babies are evil and deserving of the same fate as adults?

2) Sure, you could argue that the wicked people deserved to die. That doesn't explain why God had to commit genocide by slaughtering all the babies and animals as well. It would be the equivalent of me saying, "I don't like actors, so I'm going to nuke Hollywood".

3) The people who wanted to kill Moses were dead, which implies that the Pharaoh who ordered the first-borns killed is not the same one ruling during the plagues. At any rate, this is beside the point:

Exodus 4:21

"The LORD said to Moses, 'When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go.'"

God could have softened Pharaoh's heart so that he would release the Israelites, but instead he did the opposite. Throughout his conversation with Moses in chapter 3, God talks of how he's going to screw over the Egyptians and rob them. This is not a simple case of liberating an oppressed people. If God really wanted to do that, and couldn't soften Pharaoh's heart, then why didn't he punish Pharaoh directly instead of hurting his relatively innocent subjects?

4) What the Feral Imp is "How do you get a Dog out of a Fish" supposed to mean?!? If you think asking vague and irrelevant questions displays hidden wisdom, then you are officially stupid. I could sugar-coat it, but I won't as that's really what it all comes down to.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-01-29, 03:19

Occultdude17 wrote:1) If God has a master plan that makes his seemingly evil actions good, then he is more than capable of explaining it to us. As it is, we must judge his behaviour based on the evidence given and not on our lack of knowledge. Otherwise we risk becoming like the World War 2 Germans who assumed that Hitler knew what he was doing.
If God was to explain it to us, it would require doing something like making people omniscient. How are people meant to grasp the... 'infinite-term' consequences of each and every action they take, including 'trivial' stuff like breathing or moving around? Also, the fact that God has this omniscience, and we don't, means we CANNOT possibly try to behave the way he does, because we wouldn't know what we're doing. There is one thing I will make clear though, if I felt God was telling me to do something I wouldn't do myself, he'd need to provide proof or I wouldn't go along with it. Intimidating me into doing something = no dice. Any HUMAN doing the sort of stuff God does in the Bible (especially what starts in Gen 6) would end up being labelled a complete monster. Any faith I have will rightly have its limits. He'd already be in a position where anyone who read the Bible would require a tremendous amount of faith to even have any trust in him. I rely on logic, not simply just faith. Also, on the Internet somewhere, it was stated BLIND faith is actually frowned upon in the Bible (can't remember where). The only reason God may even have any credibility with me is based on strange events in my past.

2) The claims that God is evil refer specifically to the character of Yahweh presented in the Bible. As God is imaginary anyway, it is pointless trying to identify Yahweh with the God you worship. Essentially, the question of the Bible's validity is irrelevant to discussions about God's morality, just as we judge Voldemort based on his actions in the Harry Potter series without questioning if the book is historical fact.
God has not been proven imaginary, and hence, the stories in the bible have not been proven imaginary. Any references to Yahweh refers to God The Almighty IIRC. As for worshipping him, I really don't think I go that far. I certainly don't go to church (never could stand it). Harry Potter is fiction, and in any case, Voldemort is a human, God is not.

3) The whole idea of Sin, as presented in myths and legends throughout the world, is stupid and corrupt. So is the idea of Hell. Do not try to rationalise either, or you will have a migraine.
A lot of 'sin' that is mentioned is basically behaviour that will have destructive effects in the short-term, and the long term. Unless you have exceptional reasons (the alternatives being even worse, much easier to see if you know everything), then engaging in such behaviour would be evil. Stuff like murder for example. As far as Hell is concerned, there seem to be people out there that believe you simply die forever when cast into Hell (the 'second death' for being cast into the lake of fire). As far as I'm concerned, anything involving eternal punishment such as permanent death, or never-ending torture, is a lie. I'm not going to believe it, no matter what is said in the Bible. If God does exist, then he's lying if he says there is any eternal punishment as far as I'm concerned, as I don't see how that could ever be justified. The whole concept of ETERNAL sin seems bogus to me.

One thing I've been thinking about the Bible. When it was written, the world would have been a very different place back then. I'm wondering if this is why a lot of it is so alien and bizarre. The thing is, however, quite a lot of people would not be logical, so God may well invoke troll logic to use on these people, as genuine logic may not convince them.

4) Can't comment on your hearing being cured, because I don't know all the details. Usually these things work through the placebo effect, and the people deny that possibility because they don't consider their subconscious mind.
I don't remember this happening personally as I would have been very young at the time, but I was told this happened. I was skeptical when I heard the story, therefore I asked questions. Basically, there was a diagnosed hearing loss (equipment was not malfunctioning), which mysteriously went away in a subsequent test. Also, at that age, I wouldn't know anything about religion (too young), so a minister laying hands on me would be incapable of generating a placebo effect. I don't remember any of this personally. I do know that my hearing has been fine for a very long time. This must have happened before the earliest thing I can remember.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-29, 06:01

1) I didn't suggest he tell us everything, just enough to prove his evil actions are good. Our moral standards are finite, so he only has to meet finite requirements.

2) Genesis 1 - 11 is fiction. The sun stopping for Joshua is fiction. The star over Bethlehem is fiction. These things would leave physical evidence, either in the fossil records or in the star charts of non-Israelite cultures. And given as the Bible is full of such fiction, we cannot rely on anything in it as fact. We must assume it is fictitious until proven otherwise, the same as we do for every other culture's myths and legends.

Let me put a simple test to you. Do you worship a God who would order Deut. 22:23-24 to be enforced as law? If you answer "No", then you do not worship the God of the Bible. If you answer "Yes", then there is something seriously wrong with you.

Morality, if you choose to use it, must apply to all sentient beings and not just those with limited power. Thus, Voldemort being human is irrelevant.

3) Now you're invoking the idea of a deceitful God. If God deceives people, and there are specific instances in the Bible where he does, then he cannot be trusted. How do you know he's not going to throw you into Hell? Blind faith?

See, you're having to twist your idea of God in order to make it conform to the Bible, when you could just discard the Bible as fiction and be rid of the problem.

4) Don't believe everything you hear.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-01-29, 09:22

Occultdude17 wrote:1) I didn't suggest he tell us everything, just enough to prove his evil actions are good. Our moral standards are finite, so he only has to meet finite requirements.
He would have a whole lot of 'evil' actions to answer for, to everyone. 'Just enough' to prove his actions as good might turn out to be more than humans can handle. We can't see into the future at all, maybe predict some short/long-term consequences. Any explanation offered up by God would have to take infinite-term consequences into account. This is especially true for egregious acts such as The Great Flood, or simply allowing evil to happen (e.g. Nazi Germany).

2) Genesis 1 - 11 is fiction. The sun stopping for Joshua is fiction. The star over Bethlehem is fiction. These things would leave physical evidence, either in the fossil records or in the star charts of non-Israelite cultures. And given as the Bible is full of such fiction, we cannot rely on anything in it as fact. We must assume it is fictitious until proven otherwise, the same as we do for every other culture's myths and legends.
Actually, logic dictates that it 'may or may not be fact/fiction'. It has not been definitively proven either way. Bear in mind God may have done things in such a way that evidence of certain acts is not left behind. Speaking of a star over Bethlehem, one day on TV, I saw some strange lights over Jerusalem that did not appear to be man-made in nature.

Let me put a simple test to you. Do you worship a God who would order Deut. 22:23-24 to be enforced as law? If you answer "No", then you do not worship the God of the Bible. If you answer "Yes", then there is something seriously wrong with you.
If he would enforce that today, then not a chance. In Old Testament times, the world was very different. God would naturally have behaved differently. People's culture may have been very different from today. As for even going for a law like that at all, all God has is his Unknown Purpose defence. Any 'worship' I direct at him is based on his Unknown Purpose defence being valid.

Morality, if you choose to use it, must apply to all sentient beings and not just those with limited power. Thus, Voldemort being human is irrelevant.
There is a difference between what a human with finite limits, and an omnipotent/omniscient being with no limits will understand. The latter can define it with absolute precision, and have no trouble following it, even though it may appear utterly crazy to people in the former category.

3) Now you're invoking the idea of a deceitful God. If God deceives people, and there are specific instances in the Bible where he does, then he cannot be trusted. How do you know he's not going to throw you into Hell? Blind faith?
To quote Gregory House, "Everybody lies.". Parents tell their children lies to keep them safe from harm. People lie to each other to avoid hurting people's feelings. People may lie about certain events because the time to tell the truth isn't right. People may also lie about certain events because revealing the truth would actually have severe, long term, negative consequences. Just because someone lies, it does not make them a deceitful person. If God is prepared to go for genocide, then I don't see why he wouldn't lie if it helped his master plan. Needless to say however, he would require a very good reason, involving said master plan, to do so.

Why is he not going to throw me into Hell? Again, eternal torture/destruction = God The Almighty vanishes in a puff of logic. A good God could not possibly have any justification for going for eternal punishment like that, and it's the one case where I'm certain that no 'Unknown Purpose' defence could debunk it. The God that would toss me into Hell simply does not exist.

See, you're having to twist your idea of God in order to make it conform to the Bible, when you could just discard the Bible as fiction and be rid of the problem.
God is a mystery, for reasons I stated. It's kind of hard to discard the Bible as fiction when I am the subject of, or see events that are very hard to explain away without including God (see below for more details). Seeing actual evidence that suggests God may exist means I cannot simply label the Bible as fiction. It doesn't mean I can state the Bible is NOT fiction (except as an opinion), however.

4) Don't believe everything you hear.
I don't, however, my mother told me about this when I was questioning whether God existed. I don't mind doubting the existence of him, it's more important that people cannot be manipulated into committing acts of evil. Still, my mother would have no reason to lie (let's just say I know her well enough to know she wouldn't make something like this up, I don't want anyone suggesting that my mother would lie to me about something like this). In other words, I consider my mother a reliable source, and I didn't take what she had to say at face value either, given the implications of what was being talked about. I would like to add that in between the 2 hearing tests where the miraculous cure happened, I was assigned a social worker for the deaf, which would not happen unless there was something really wrong. There are some things in the Bible that doesn't make sense to her, either. She wouldn't believe in eternal torture in Hell, for example.

Another strange incident which happened (and one I remember personally), was where my sister started speaking in tongues (well, sounded like gibberish), and then translated it into English, a message from God. This is one thing I *DO* remember. I'm going to apply Occam's Razor and say that it makes no sense to just do gibberish and pretend you're talking on God's behalf, nor was I really questioning God's existence at that time, so it seems likely something involving possible divine intervention may have happened. Other possibilites, however, cannot, and must not be ruled out.

If there's any reason I may have faith in God, it's because of 3 events that are hard to explain away without putting God into the equation (where God becomes Occam's Razor). Still, I'm going to do things my way, and rely on logic. God is not going to tell me to do 'evil' things without proof that it is good. I've seen far too much manipulation in history by humans claiming to be acting on God's behalf. I'm not going to let God himself dictate what I do either.

As far as blind faith is concerned, the Bible basically seems to say 'screw BLIND faith'.
Proverbs 14:15. A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thoughts to his steps.
Thessalonians 5:21. Test everything. Hold on to the good.
http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2011/01/blind-faith-is-not-christian-faith.html
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-29, 19:31

1) Not true. As I said, humans have a finite standard for what is non-evil, so God only has to appeal to that.

EXAMPLE:

Interviewer: Why did you flood the world?

God: The world had become corrupt and sinful, and needed to be cleansed.

Interviewer: What about the innocent babies? Why did you kill them?

God: I didn't have a choice.

Interviewer: Explain.

God: An group of angels called the Grigori, who were tasked with monitoring humankind, started interbreeding with them. Angel and human DNA doesn't mix properly without the Virgin Birth spell to act as a catalyst, and so the Grigori's offspring became giant angel-human hybrids known as the Nephilim (this is actually legit, see Genesis 6:4 and the Books of Enoch).

Interviewer: So you were trying to destroy the Nephilim?

God: Yes. Their size and magical abilities made them dangerous, and they possessed mutations that seriously affected their brain activity, making them violent and untrainable. The people worshipped them as gods, and started destroying other communities and the ecosystem.

Interviewer: So you sent a flood.

God: Yes.

Interviewer: Why not a plague? That way you'd only kill the Nephilim.

God: You're forgetting that the Nephilim have human DNA. Any plague I sent would risk destroying humanity entirely.

Interviewer: Then why didn't you just strike them down with lightning bolts or something? Not like you can miss a target that big.

God: There were too many, and they were too powerful. Remember that they had magic too.

Interviewer: But their magic couldn't save them from a flood?

God: Their barrier spells could not resist the pressure of an entire ocean of water. It was the only way to guarantee their destruction. I saved as many humans and animals as I could.

Interviewer: By piling them onto one little boat?

God: Don't be silly. I had several arks all across the world. And I created a salinity shield to stop the fresh and salt water from mixing. Salinity shields are flexible, so the pressure didn't destroy it.

Interviewer: Why didn't you just go down there personally and destroy the Nephilim?

God: I didn't want to risk the whole world being destroyed in the crossfire.

Interviewer: So you committed genocide to save the planet?

God: I'm not proud of it. It was a desperate move, and I vowed to never do it again.

Interviewer: But you're all powerful and all knowing! Surely you could have foreseen this happening? Or used your omnipotence to remove the Nephilim without killing anybody?

God: Just because I'm all-knowing doesn't mean I can act on it. I see all possible futures, but I have no way of telling which one will be THE future. I have to work it out mathematically and even then I'm only dealing in probabilities. Quantum Physics is annoying like that.

Interviewer: So... your omniscience is... useless?

God: My powers have their drawbacks.

Etc.

In just this short conversation, God has justified his actions enough to prove that he's not evil, or at least that he chose the lesser of two evils. That is, to the standard of a reasonable, fallible person. It did NOT require an infinite explanation.


2) You've read that passage, right? I'm really struggling to understand how a good person/deity could condone that. And as I've explained in 1, he's more than capable of justifying his actions, and he hasn't got the excuse of being unable to do anything because this was HIM imposing the law on ORDINARY PEOPLE with NO supernatural powers.

So, I put the challenge to you. I've justified the Great Flood, now you justify stoning women for not screaming loud enough when being assaulted.

Genesis 1 - 11 has been debunked beyond reasonable doubt. The Great Flood would leave evidence behind if it had occurred, of which we have none. And the time intervals given by the generation accounts are obviously not accurate. Until evidence suggests otherwise, it is a myth. If you disagree, then I suggest you start looking for Asgard right away.


3) You're still defining your God to be the same as the vengeful, psychopathic deity in the Bible, and thus still have to make excuses for behaviour that you could otherwise reject. And telling people that they're going to Hell if they sin is like telling children you'll lock them in the boot of your car if they misbehave - i.e. it's abusive. Why worship an abusive deity who won't explain his actions to you?


4) I'm not questioning your mother's truthfulness, but I am questioning the competence of your doctor. Ockham's Razor would favour an undetected and temporary illness that screwed up your hearing, over the existence of God. The fact that you recovered around the time the minister put his hands on you is probably coincidence.

How old was your sister at the time? Too old to be making stuff up for attention? It could also have been placebo effect or something loose in her brain that she should get looked at.
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Re: God

Post  DarkRiku on 2012-01-30, 02:30

Why does everything have to be a coincidence when things happen that can't be explained?

Now you can either keep on calling me stupid or see I am just a person trying to understand other peoples views reasoning.

I mean that is like saying that everyone who has a story that proves God is real to them is pretty much false. I talking about from all parts of life throughout time. I mean not everyone will be making it up, crazy, coping with death, etc...

That tells me something must be going on.
I will leave with that for right now.

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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-01-30, 14:36

Occultdude17 wrote:God: Just because I'm all-knowing doesn't mean I can act on it. I see all possible futures, but I have no way of telling which one will be THE future.
I'll have to stop you right here. Saying that God has no way of telling which future will be THE future contradicts both omniscience and omnipotence. Stuff such as uncertainty CANNOT apply if you know everything, because nothing will be uncertain, for obvious reasons. The style of argument you are going for, however, would have to prove that God chose the least of potentially infinitely many evils. It would also have to take into account that God knew what was going to happen from the very beginning. So any defence would have to deal with everything he did from the beginning of time, to the point where you are questioning him, which will also include any actions he has to take in the future, which goes on forever. Even for an omnipotent being, ESPECIALLY for an omnipotent being, breaking out tools such as death should only happen because they cannot see, or they are certain (in the case of omniscient beings), there are no better alternatives. What God would have to actually state in an Unknown Purpose defence is *FAR* more complicated than you think it is. Any finite explanation would likely be unsatisfactory as to a certain point, it would be 'Take my word on it, even though I'm the one supposed to be defending myself'. The best I can do would be 'You know the rules, I know all of the exceptions.'.

Alternatively, Let existence be a function of infintely many variables, including time. God starts at time t = 0 and behaves in a way that controls existence (this function), by applying specific inputs to it. How would he define concepts such as Good and Evil, Right and Wrong etc? How would this be put into the function? Would his concepts be perfect (remember, he is claimed to be perfect, so this question is valid)? If so, how does the function he uses apply them? Why is the way he's applied inputs from the beginning of time the best way to control the output from this function? Part of the output of a function would have to be a score that maximises 'Good' overall. How is THIS determined? The answer to stuff like these questions would basically form his Unknown Purpose defence for everything. The problem you are facing, is that you are trying to apply human ways of doing things, to someone who does not have any limits, and to which rules based on limitations do not apply, because no such limits exist. A far less satisfactory alternative is apply his teachings in life, designed for people with finite minds, and to see whether they work. If they do, then this would suggest God knows what he is doing, hence he can be trusted (evidence-based faith, in other words). Hence many people can trust him, despite him doing things they cannot fathom at all (humans get to know rules, and maybe figure out some exceptions, God knows ALL the exceptions, this is worth restating).

That is all I can really come up with as to why God would act like an evil bully that would put Satan to shame. The only thing I could not see a justification for, until the end of time, is eternal destruction (eternal suffering in Hell is actually NOT in the Bible, being destroyed, body and soul, by God is). However, I have to consider what Gregory House said, and there are valid reasons for lying. I can't ignore this. I don't believe in eternal destruction either. As for the stuff that makes no sense in the Bible, the unsatisfactory Unknown Purpose defence is all God has, once again.

2) You've read that passage, right? I'm really struggling to understand how a good person/deity could condone that. And as I've explained in 1, he's more than capable of justifying his actions, and he hasn't got the excuse of being unable to do anything because this was HIM imposing the law on ORDINARY PEOPLE with NO supernatural powers.
Like I said, you're dramatically oversimplifying how an omniscient being would operate. He could justify his actions by simply magically giving you omniscience, but there may be something in his Unknown Purpose defence that would mean that is not a good idea.

So, I put the challenge to you. I've justified the Great Flood, now you justify stoning women for not screaming loud enough when being assaulted.
You have not justified the Great Flood, lesser of two evils only works if there are no alternatives. You would need to prove that there is no False Dichotomy (it appears like there are only 2 options, but there are actually more) before an argument like that would be airtight. To justify this law, God will have to use the Unknown Purpose defence. I am not going to actually defend God's behaviour, nor can I justify it. I will go as far as saying a defence might exist, the Unknown Purpose defence. Ultimately, at the end, it will be up to him to justify everything he has done.

Genesis 1 - 11 has been debunked beyond reasonable doubt. The Great Flood would leave evidence behind if it had occurred, of which we have none. And the time intervals given by the generation accounts are obviously not accurate. Until evidence suggests otherwise, it is a myth. If you disagree, then I suggest you start looking for Asgard right away.
It appeared God removed the water, and he could easily have removed the evidence too. He could have fixed up the Earth to the state it was in before he flooded it. You're assuming that acts of God are guaranteed to leave behind evidence, they are not. If he had some reason (Unknown Purpose defence yet again) for not leaving behind evidence, then it would also be removed. You cannot use lack of evidence to prove God did not do something.

3) You're still defining your God to be the same as the vengeful, psychopathic deity in the Bible, and thus still have to make excuses for behaviour that you could otherwise reject. And telling people that they're going to Hell if they sin is like telling children you'll lock them in the boot of your car if they misbehave - i.e. it's abusive. Why worship an abusive deity who won't explain his actions to you?
Like I said before, any 'worship' I have is conditional, conditional on him actually being perfectly good. As for his behaviour, the only explanation that does not contradict being perfectly good is some unfathomable (to humans) explanation which would form his Unknown Purpose defence. As for people going to Hell if they sin, according to the Bible you might need to read up on what Jesus is going to do when he gets down to judging people (God the Almighty isn't going to be judging people, Jesus is, I believe this is where 'Jesus saves' comes in). If you've read the part about the sheep and the goats, and other things about the Bible (bear in mind a lot of stuff is misquoted), it isn't as simple as you sin = you go to Hell and die forever. As for people who use the Bible to say that you will go to Hell if you do not believe in Jesus as saviour, that part of the Bible deals with people who have heard the Gospel, understand it, and THEN choose to reject it. For me, the Gospel (Jesus dying to pay for sins for others, never mind the concept of eternal sin), makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and I do not understand it.

4)
I'm not questioning your mother's truthfulness, but I am questioning the competence of your doctor. Ockham's Razor would favour an undetected and temporary illness that screwed up your hearing, over the existence of God. The fact that you recovered around the time the minister put his hands on you is probably coincidence.
I questioned the competence of the tests myself. However, as I said, I was assigned a social worker for deaf people. It was not a temporary illness, but a permanent condition, one that would have no cure if I ended up being assigned an option to work around the condition. Having an uncurable condition get mysteriously removed is odd. That is where the minister coming in seems significant. Occam's Razor shifts things backs to God.

How old was your sister at the time? Too old to be making stuff up for attention? It could also have been placebo effect or something loose in her brain that she should get looked at.
I can't remember the age exactly, but yes, too old to be making stuff up for attention. This event just happened out of nowhere, and we were alone. This was not in a church or anything. There were no signs of insanity or anything around this event, and she's not suffering from anything like this.

I have experienced one other event that seemed religious, but this was brought on by a side-effect to medication, and I can confirm that this was just a side-effect, nothing fancy happened. I can tell the difference between something that is real, and something that was just imagined.

I cannot simply ignore actual evidence. Also, I'll point this out again, on TV in the past, on the news, I saw strange lights over Jerusalem. Last time I checked, that city figured prominently in the Bible. That really does not seem like a coincidence to me at all. It wasn't just the fact that the lights were there, it was where they located. Occam's Razor would suggest God did it, not a strange coincidence. The probability of multiple 'coincidences' like this is very small, and Occam's Razor would lead you to reject them, on that basis.

I can't remember when this happened, but I tried typing 'tv lights over jerusalem' into Google. It seems there were some interesting events occuring around the end of January last year.

A quick summary. Does God exist? The nature of God's behaviour in the Bible, and his description, seems extremely contradictory, with only one possible explanation that does not turn it into a clear-cut contradiction that would shatter God and the Bible into fiction and non-existence. That would be the Unknown Purpose defence, something that would be unfathomable by humans. However, his teachings and a lot of those of Jesus seem to make sense, if put into practice (e.g. Love thy enemy). The Ten Commandments appear to be common sense for the most part, and there is the fact that these would be rules for people who are not omniscient. Some of them may not seem so important today, but stuff like worshipping idols, which are just inanimate objects, is just a complete waste of time. Exceptions would arise, e.g. stealing so that you don't starve.

A whole lot of stuff does not make sense, some may make the argument for evidence-based faith based on teachings being good, and then being trusted with stuff that cannot be understood (i.e. Unknown Purpose defence). Then there is all the evidence to suggest God exists (miracles, and yes, I have actually seen stuff like this happen).

As for me, I think I do believe in God, based on events that I have experienced, and teachings on how to behave to others (these teachings would be designed for humans with limits), but any faith in him is conditional on his Unknown Purpose defence being valid, because otherwise he could not exist (no defence existing = contradiction with God's nature = God vanishes in a puff of logic). If it comes down to me meeting with God, he will have to put his Unknown Purpose defence to me, by whatever means necessary. I'm not going to do stuff that breaks what I understand about being right (and the Ten Commandments seem like a reasonable baseline to work with) even if he asks me to do so, not without proof that it is ultimately the right thing to do. Any faith that I have, will have its limits.

I do not believe God will inflict eternal punishment on anyone, I cannot see how that could possibly be justifiable in any way to an omnipotent being. An omnipotent being would have ways of eventually redeeming people, if necessary, I believe, rather than needing to destroy people forever. I don't see how any possible action could possibly justify eternal destruction, therefore I am forced to conclude that in respect to eternal punishment, God lies (not that this is wrong, it's yet another thing to be explained with his Unknown Purpose defence). If God thinks that I'm going to accept eternal punishment/destruction as viable, then he has another thing coming. God is the last person I will tolerate evil in, so if and when I meet him, he has a lot of explaining to do.

What is far more important than this debate, IMO, is a logical mind, where if someone puts faith in someone else (God or not), that there is evidence that actually suggests they are trustworthy. Otherwise it's easy to be duped and manipulated. Again, I have quoted verses from the Bible that go with this. One thing that I would agree with Richard Dawkins on is that it's far more important to be logical, rather than to simply place faith in something.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-30, 17:45

JDC,


1) You realise that was all hypothetical, right? Any reasonable person who's read my argument should now be questioning the nature of God's powers instead of his character - and those were always on the chopping block regardless.

As for why he can't predict THE future, it's because all timelines are equally real and the Uncertainty Principle forbids us from making exact predictions about which timeline we "end up in" when the wave-function collapses. Being omniscient, God would see all timelines instead of just the most probable, but he still can't predict which one will be "the future" because that's as dumb as asking, "Which star in the sky is the real one?" I cannot stress enough that the limits imposed by the Uncertainty Principle are a PROPERTY OF MATTER, not just a flaw in a given entity's observational skills. God can no more violate the Uncertainty Principle than he can make 1 + 1 = 3.


2) Hitler had an unknown purpose too, yet we don't ignore his wrongdoings. Him being human is A) Irrelevant, and B) Uncertain, as he could very well have been the Messiah returned and we just missed it. NOBODY is allowed to claim "I know more than you do" as a defense for their actions.

I didn't say God's response to the Great Flood was the best one, or even a good one. There were any number of things he could have done differently. My point was to illustrate that God can justify his actions to the point that we would be more sympathetic towards him without us needing to be omniscient. He doesn't have to prove he's a goody-two-shoes (let's face it, he can't), he just has to prove that he's not a monster.

As for God removing all the evidence, that's like saying the world began last Thursday. It just magically flicked on, with all our memories stored in our brains as well. There's no way to disprove it, but it ultimately makes no difference to anything and thus we can discard it. Same with God removing the evidence - if there's no evidence, he might as well have not done it.


3) Revelation 20:10

"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

The Bible specifically states that the Devil shall be tortured forever. If you deny that passage, then on what grounds can you defend every other passage?


4) Ockham's Razor does not shift back to God. It is a greater assumption that God did it than that there is simply something you've overlooked. Until there is evidence of divine intervention, Ockham's Razor shall continue to point the other way. As for the lights, what did they look like? Aeroplane lights or more like the Aurora Borealis? Either way, God is the LEAST probable explanation. Even aliens, wormholes and the existence of Pokemon are more likely.

The Ten Commandments are not common sense:

1. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make graven images. Thou shalt not worship them.

Both of these make no sense unless your objective is to control the minds of Bronze-Age nomads. Besides, what happened to Freedom of Religion?

3. Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.

This refers to making an oath in God's name and breaking it, not simply saying "Oh my God". Makes sense if you want to make binding oaths, but what happened to Freedom of Speech?

4. Thou shalt not work on the Sabbath.

No sense in this one. People should be able to work whenever they want, and not have to spend their day off in church.

5. Thou shalt honour thy mother and father.

Sure, it sounds decent. The problem is that it's unconditional, with no sub-clauses that nullify it if the child is being abused.

6. Thou shalt not murder.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

These are the only three that are common sense, and are universal in all cultures.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery with another man's wife.

First, it's her body and she can do whatever she likes with it. Second, it does not allow for open marriages. Third, it's one-sided, as men can still bonk any woman they want as long as she's not married.

10. Thou shalt not covet.

If we don't covet anything then why would we buy it? Why would we do anything unless we wanted something?

You claim to be logical, yet you're still defending a blatantly illogical text. Plus, you're picking and choosing out of its commandments, making up excuses to justify not following them. The logical thing to do would be to disregard the Bible and go make your own Holy Book that actually reflects your beliefs.

And just to hammer it home one more time...

Revelation 20:10

"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be TORMENTED day and night FOR EVER AND EVER."
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-30, 17:50

DarkRiku wrote:Why does everything have to be a coincidence when things happen that can't be explained?

Now you can either keep on calling me stupid or see I am just a person trying to understand other peoples views reasoning.

I mean that is like saying that everyone who has a story that proves God is real to them is pretty much false. I talking about from all parts of life throughout time. I mean not everyone will be making it up, crazy, coping with death, etc...

That tells me something must be going on.
I will leave with that for right now.

1. Nobody said that. It's just more likely to be coincidence than divine intervention. Coincidences happen all the time, but we are yet to get a confirmed case of divine intervention (Bible doesn't count).

2. You're not trying to understand other people's reasoning, you're trying to justify your own.

3. We cannot state with certainty that God has no part in this. The odds are just overwhelmingly against him.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-01-30, 23:59

Great, forum ate my long detailed reply, so here we go again.

Occultdude17 wrote:JDC,


1) You realise that was all hypothetical, right? Any reasonable person who's read my argument should now be questioning the nature of God's powers instead of his character - and those were always on the chopping block regardless.
Of course it's hypothetical, but it's dramatically oversimplified, THAT is the point.

As for why he can't predict THE future, it's because all timelines are equally real and the Uncertainty Principle forbids us from making exact predictions about which timeline we "end up in" when the wave-function collapses.
Stop right here, the Uncertainty Principle forbids US, as in humans, with limits on what we can do. God does NOT have these limits, it is VITAL that you understand this. The Uncertainty Principle does not apply to God, if it did, he would not be omniscient, which contradicts his nature.

Being omniscient, God would see all timelines instead of just the most probable, but he still can't predict which one will be "the future" because that's as dumb as asking, "Which star in the sky is the real one?"
He can predict which one will be the future, precisely because he is omniscient, not to mention omnipotent. If God was asked your question, he would be able to say "That star is the real one", without hesitation.
I cannot stress enough that the limits imposed by the Uncertainty Principle are a PROPERTY OF MATTER, not just a flaw in a given entity's observational skills. God can no more violate the Uncertainty Principle than he can make 1 + 1 = 3.
Those limits are imposed on the methods humans use to measure properties of matter, God does not HAVE limits, I cannot stress the importance of this enough.

2) Hitler had an unknown purpose too, yet we don't ignore his wrongdoings. Him being human is A) Irrelevant, and B) Uncertain, as he could very well have been the Messiah returned and we just missed it. NOBODY is allowed to claim "I know more than you do" as a defense for their actions.
A. It is entirely relevant, it means he has limits on what his knowledge of the consequences of his actions will be, and therefore this constrains what acceptable behaviour is. God can get away with doing stuff if he knows it is right in the long run, but God has information a human does not. If a human did the same stuff, there is no way there reasons and justification could possibly be the same, and they would be judged very differently, assuming a full and proper defence with all the information was given.

B. If Hitler was the second coming of Jesus, then all of Revelation would have played out by now. Jesus's second coming is during Revelation, and it wouldn't take very long for it to finish. Seeing as a lot of the stuff in Revelation has not happened yet, Jesus has not come back yet, therefore Hitler cannot be the second coming of Jesus.

There is no justification that a human can give for Hitler's actions, including Hitler. Once again, I must stress the differences between a human and an omnipotent/omniscient being. If you fail to recognise this, then your arguments will have a huge fundamental flaw.

I didn't say God's response to the Great Flood was the best one, or even a good one. There were any number of things he could have done differently. My point was to illustrate that God can justify his actions to the point that we would be more sympathetic towards him without us needing to be omniscient. He doesn't have to prove he's a goody-two-shoes (let's face it, he can't), he just has to prove that he's not a monster.
He could try going for an approach where all of existence is treated as a function of a large amount (possibly infinite) of variables, including time. His behaviour would need to be based on applying his own inputs to this function for t = 0 to t = infinity, while taking into account anything else that happens, that may be treated as inputs. Basically, an existence at time t generates another existence at a time t + alpha, based on all these inputs. Included in all this, would have to be some definitions (perfect) of good, evil, right, wrong. Then, there would have to be an explanation of how applying specific inputs (actions by God that are incomprehensible based on his nature), or NOT applying specific inputs, generates 'better' outputs for the existence function, than all possible alternatives.

Yes, I know that it is complicated, but at least humans can somewhat try to grasp some of it, but the actual complexity of this function would blow any human's mind. In particular, some inputs may generate some negative outputs over a period of time, but overall, it results in better positive outputs in the long run, as t tends to infinity. This would form the rough basis of an Unknown Purpose defence, (regrettably) oversimplified for humans.

As for God removing all the evidence, that's like saying the world began last Thursday. It just magically flicked on, with all our memories stored in our brains as well. There's no way to disprove it, but it ultimately makes no difference to anything and thus we can discard it. Same with God removing the evidence - if there's no evidence, he might as well have not done it.
In the case of the Great Flood, he may well have drained all the water, and he may have needed to restore the Earth to the state it was in before the flood (leaving the Earth damaged due to flooding may well render it uninhabitable, something God did not want. One simple solution is to simply revert the changes entirely). Going back to the function I proposed for the Unknown Purpose defence, I imagine it would make a great deal of difference. Bear in mind the butterfly effect is a key component of something we cannot grasp, but would naturally be an integral part of this Unknown Purpose defence function. If God removed all the evidence, there would be a reason involving this function as to why it is the best thing to do. Given that lack of evidence does not prove God did not do it, especially as God is omnipotent, and may erase evidence if necessary. Therefore, your claim that 'he might as well have not done it' is invalid.

3) Revelation 20:10

"And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

The Bible specifically states that the Devil shall be tortured forever. If you deny that passage, then on what grounds can you defend every other passage?
Going back to the Unknown Purpose defence, this has to be a lie. I can see no justification for Revelation 20:10 being the truth, instead it is a lie for some people with a sense of justice that you and me would not agree with, in order to convince them that justice will be done (which may well be true). Remember what Gregory House says. I can understand God lying if necessary in the Bible, and possible justifications for it. As for defending every other passage in the Bible, it is, once again, the Unknown Purpose defence for the parts that do not make logical sense. I will discuss this further at the end of this post.


4) Ockham's Razor does not shift back to God. It is a greater assumption that God did it than that there is simply something you've overlooked. Until there is evidence of divine intervention, Ockham's Razor shall continue to point the other way. As for the lights, what did they look like? Aeroplane lights or more like the Aurora Borealis? Either way, God is the LEAST probable explanation. Even aliens, wormholes and the existence of Pokemon are more likely.
Given that these premises that are true:
-After my mother discovered I was suffering (partial) deafness (I was 2.5 years old, too young to remember anything), my father was told, and he tried yelling behind me.
-I did not respond to this yelling, normally I would have if I had heard someone doing something like yelling my name.
-I was diagnosed with a hearing loss of 50 dB in both ears, and given hearing aids. My family was given lessons on sign language. I was assigned a social worker for the deaf. The diagnosis was accurate. I checked on this issue, it was NOT a faulty diagnosis. The condition was uncurable by humans.
-A bishop/minister came along to pray for me, and laid hands on me.
-Later on, I responded to something that I could not have responded to with my hearing loss.
-My hearing was tested, and was found to be fine. My hearing right now is perfectly fine.

All of these premises are true. Occam's Razor *DOES* suggest that God did it. Any evidence of aliens has not withstood the test of time, so I am going to rule them, another possibility, as less likely than God (more on the Bible later). I don't see how some random event involving cosmic rays or something else could have done it, so I'm ruling that out too. All that's left is someone like God doing it. Note, however, that this does not rule the other things out as COMPLETELY impossible.
The Ten Commandments are not common sense:
The versions you quoted aren't accurate. I'm going to go through them myself one-by-one, and respond to your points as you do so.

I will quote from here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20&version=NIV

I should also point out that the people there, when they are given out, are perfectly aware that God is right there with them, with special effects going on. This is very important to bear in mind.

1. "You shall have no other gods before me."

This is the only commandment conditional on God existing, and it is delivered directly to people who know he is there. It's slightly difficult to ignore special effects of an omnipotent being who is RIGHT THERE with them. I don't see any reason for God to lie on this issue, and this would be aimed at stopping people from wasting time on worshipping non-existent people. It should be common sense that you don't worship fictional people. It's a waste of time, not to mention dangerous if you get caught up in illogically believing stuff will happen if you do stuff for said fictional people. However, if God turns out to not exist, then this is the only commandment that collapses.

I am going to address your freedom of religion comment here. At the time this commandment was given out, the people who were receiving it were all too aware that God is real and is there with them. The concept of 'religion' would not apply when you KNOW an omnipotent being is right there with you, and that he is giving out these commandments.

As for people reading the Bible today, The Ten Commandments are generally expected only to be followed by those who practice Christianity. They are NOT to be forced on those who do not want to practice Christianity (some Christians would disagree with this, however, I am not a person that would believe in forcing people to obey all of these commandments or else...). Some of them form the laws of many societies, and would be expected to be followed by people in those societies.

2. "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments."
This time, it's about not wasting time making and worshipping INANIMATE OBJECTS, which is beyond nonsensical. It's only common sense that you don't do this! Needless to say, God does not need to exist for this commandment to hold. As for the the part about God being jealous, I'm going to go with troll logic intimidation, and an indication of the harm that can be caused by failing to obey the commandments (people suffer for their parents/grandparents etc wasting time, but obeying common sense has long term benefits).

Your claim that the only reasons for these commandments is to control Bronze-Age nomads has therefore been debunked, as there exist other reasons.

3. "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name."

Let's see here, saying OM(F)G is considered swearing and dragging someone's name (God's, specifically), through the mud. This seems to apply to the Holy Trinity in general, as people frown upon using Jesus Christ as swearing as well. However, this commandment applies specifically to God The Almighty. Many people *WILL* be offended by saying OM(F)G, not to mention swearing that you will do something in God's name if you A. Break the oath, or B. Swear to do something evil in god's name, will also naturally offend someone if their name is being used to give clout to said promises. Common sense would dictate that you try to avoid acting in a way that will offend other people. What I have stated are examples of how God's name can be misused, and how it will offend other people, therefore it is common sense that you do NOT misuse God's name. Even if God is fictional, it still does not make sense to misuse his name, even if he is fictional, because you will still offend people.

4. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

The point of this is that people (and animals) NEED rest, they cannot work long hours, because they will burn out eventually. People's productivity will drop, they'll have breakdowns/depressions, and turn to dangerous practices to escape, or just end it all with suicide. It is blatantly common sense that people (and animals) need rest. That is the whole point of taking Sunday off. You should note that NOTHING is mentioned about going to church, this is important. Why pick Sunday? It has historical significance (if God exists), and it synchronizes people and animals so that when they go out to work, they will do so on the same days. If people go to work on different days, they can't help each other. Putting in a holiday for everyone helps get around that problem. God resting on the 7th day, and doing work on the 6 days before that in Genesis, was part of a master plan involving the importance of rest, even though God himself does not need it. This is a possibly rare example of an effect in a master plan, that has repercussions in the distant future, that we CAN observe. There is so much that we can't, and the best I can give you is that Unknown Purpose defence function. This commandment is common sense, rest is needed, synchronized rest is even better, regardless of whether or not God exists.

5. “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

You raise an issue here with parent(s) being abusive. The best way to honour them is to see to it that they are punished justly for their crimes, and hopefully reformed. This is actually being cruel to be kind (which is what a lot of justice revolves around). Technically, this would still be honouring them, trying to stop their evil and reforming them into good people. It comes down to 'love thy enemy' for the abusive cases. For the cases where parents are actually the good kind, then it is common sense. On a whole, most parents are the good kind, not the abusive kind, so this is common sense. However, the true meaning of it would also apply to the abusive ones, where they are the ones being punished. Also, you should be aware, that most, if not all laws, whether or not they are commandments, do have exceptions, even if they are not written into the laws themselves.

6. "You shall not murder."

This forcefully ends an entire life and begins another one, if there is an afterlife (there is if God exists). If there is no afterlife, then this is permanent destruction, so this commandment actually becomes stronger if God does NOT exist, and there is no afterlife. Yes, this one is obviously common sense, it's blatantly evil to do something like this in nearly all cases. However, exceptions do exist to this. e.g. Killing someone in self-defence. Technically, I define murder as deliberately killing someone.

7. "You shall not commit adultery."

1. Using 'It's my body, I can do what I want' as an argument is a bad idea, that ignores logic. If someone was to use this argument to paint offensive symbols/slurs etc all over their body, and to run around naked in a packed public area, do you REALLY think an argument like that will fly?

Regarding adultery specifically, in all its forms, here are the problems:
- Adultery means more sex, and more people having sex with each other, leading to problems that I will discuss now, magnified by the increase of sex among different people. This particular problem is basically about the fact that other problems get magnified, except for the one I will discuss next, which is only a problem with adultery, which can apply even to an extent in Open Marriages.
- Humans (and animals too) have emotions, including jealousy, this will pop up if adultery is happening. People get very angry if someone 'cheats' on someone else. This happens among animals as well.
- Greatly increased transmission of STDs (example, Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus, which destroys the immune system, after which the person has Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), a severely devastating condition, especially in 3rd world countries like Africa).
- All of this extra sex means far more unwanted pregnancies, leading to extra costs that often end up having to be footed by taxpayers (i.e. hitting almost everyone), not to mention more abortions (which is murder to many people, including me). There also ends up being a lot more adoptions, and people trying to find out who their real parents are, and dealing with the emotional trauma of the truth, if it is revealed.
- With adultery being allowed, strange relationships involving incest could occur, which can interfere with genetics and cause messed up genes.

Now, without adultery, a lot of these problems are either eliminated, or severely reduced, to the point where the main alternative, monogamy, has benefits that , overall, outweigh the remaining disadvantages of engaging in a monogamous sexual relationship.

Finally, this translation makes more sense, in that it is NOT gender-specific. Also, this commandment makes perfect sense, God or no God. Disobeying it, in a way, leads to cases where people could die, effectively violating the most fundamental commandment, IMO, one that you agree with, the 6th one (Thou shalt not murder/kill).

The negative effects of adultery are far-reaching, and widespread, therefore it is common knowledge that it is a bad idea. Therefore it is common sense that this commandment should be obeyed.

8. "You shall not steal."

You agree this is common sense. Doing this will easily cause suffering, and by itself, is evil. Exceptions do exist (e.g. stealing food if the alternative is starving to death).

9. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor."

You agree this is common sense. This destroys the truth, a fundamental component of justice, therefore it is common sense that this is a bad idea, not to mention malicious and evil, in most cases. In fact, doing this in a court of law has its own technical term, perjury, and is considered a serious crime. An exception would arise if you were blackmailed into lying, or suffering death of you and/or your family.

10. "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

This is the full strength version that got abridged when you quoted it. It's basically, 'don't sell stuff that belongs to someone else', as that's effectively stealing, a violation of the 8th commandment, which you agree is common sense.

Time to summarise my view on The Ten Commandments.
Something to point out here, only the 1st commandment is dependent on God existing, even though another one references him. The rest do not depend on him existing, and stand whether or not he exists.

2 possibilites. God exists, therefore all 10 commandments are common sense. God does not exist, therefore the first one crumbles, the rest still remain as common sense, and, in some cases, the sixth one (the most important), is actually STRENGTHENED.

On a whole, the Ten Commandments ARE common sense. Some of them are related to others that you agree are common sense, and I pointed out those relationships.

Finally, I must address the issue of exceptions to these rules, especially if it is true that God exists, which would mean that they were given out by an omnipotent/omniscient being. The last time I mentioned an example, you claimed that I was cherry-picking. That claim is false, because that was just an example. There are many valid reasons for breaking laws in certain circumstances, The Ten Commandments are no exception. Laws are not absolute by nature, they are very strong guidelines that work for the vast majority of situations. This means that your claim about the 5th commandment is actually moot, even though there is a way involving loving your enemy that you could still fulfil it.

Life is all about exceptions. Rules cannot cover every eventuality, exceptions will arise. Sometimes, you have to bend the rules. Sometimes, you must break them. However, you need at least one VERY good reason to do so. The Ten Commandments are no exception. There would be logical reasons for breaking many of them in certain cases. e.g. Killing in self-defence. Lying in court if telling the truth would result in deadly reprisal. It also allows for exceptions if parents are abusive, but you can still honour them by fighting the evil within them. Working on a Sunday if someone would die if it was left later (e.g. hospitals). In that last case, you would bend the rule by taking a different day off, even though you technically break it.

You claim to be logical, yet you're still defending a blatantly illogical text. Plus, you're picking and choosing out of its commandments, making up excuses to justify not following them.
Be careful, you're treading on VERY thin ice here. Ad hominem attacks do nothing to help your argument, they will only work against you. If you have a problem with my argument, then attack the argument, tear it apart if you can, but please do NOT suggest that I am not logical. That is a personal attack. If you use ad hominem attacks, people may think that you cannot logically refute my claims, and that I am right. Furthermore, I have shattered your arguments regarding the Ten Commandments, which is one of the core concepts of the Bible (the most important one, IMO), which also destroys your claim that the Bible is 'blatantly illogical', along with your implication that I'm illogical.

However, I'm not done yet, remember when I said earlier I'd discuss the Bible itself in more detail, that's what I'm going to do now, in response to your claim that it is 'blatantly illogical'.

- It is undeniable that there are many things in the Bible that make no sense to a lot of logical people, especially the Gospel, one of the core concepts, about Jesus being sacrificed to pay the sin debt for everyone else, and then resurrected. I cannot understand this Gospel, but it makes sense to a lot of other people. That may well be what is important.
- However, there are a lot of things that definitely make sense to logical people. I've gone through why the other core concept, by far the most critical one, IMO, The Ten Commandments, is entirely logical, and the only one that falls apart if God does not exist is the first one, the rest stand. Many Christians rely on these commandments as 10 simple rules for how to live their lives, but many people will realise that sometimes rules have to be broken, and more has to be learned.
- Here is another issue, the Bible will be read, interpreted, and so on, by MANY people, from the time it is created, to A. The End of Revelation when Judgment day hits (if God exists), or B. Possibly forever, given that there are strong logical parts in the Bible. God MUST have taken this into account when using the Holy Spirit to inspire people to write the books of the Bible. This means, that the target audience for this book is the entire human race, and given that humans vary a great deal overall, then a book that caters to as many people as possible must be delivered. A book of text CANNOT possibly cater to everyone. There's a saying that you cannot please everyone. There is a parable in the Bible concerning this very issue! Not only is it a lesson that you can't please everyone, which has been proven in real life; but it also serves as a message, to some, that God is aware that book like the Bible will not make perfect sense to everyone, and will not please some people. This, along with anything in the Unknown Purpose defence, is the only explanation as to why the Bible would appear so messed up to many people, in spite of highly logical parts. Sometimes, God may well have to use troll logic in the Bible, because it will work better than proper, real logic on some people. The same applies to lying, versus telling the truth, regarding eternal punishment. It is possible a justification exists .Again, I must point out one of the most critical statements I have made, the difference between God and humans, and how they would do things. For God, that function for the Unknown Purpose defence, and the rest of the defence, is what I'm talking about. It may well be possible to guess reasons for a lot of these things, but God would be the only one capable of doing it properly.

For you to claim that the Bible is 'blatantly illogical', the entire Bible would have to be a mess, devoid of logic or truth. It is not, the most important core concept, The Ten Commandments, are entirely logical if God does exist, and even if he does not, the last nine still are! There are also many other things in there that are true and do make sense. e.g. Love thy enemy, that parable about not trying to please everyone and so on. I will also restate this verse for emphasis.
Thessalonians 5:21 'Test everything. Hold on to that which is good.'. Your claim that the Bible (as a whole) is blatantly illogical is therefore invalid.

However, if you were to claim that SOME parts of the Bible are blatantly illogical, including the Gospel, (even though there may exist a logical reason that we cannot see), while others are logical, then I would agree with you.

There is one more serious flaw that seems to exist in a lot of your arguments, you give very little consideration to my side of the argument. A lot of the points you put forward consider only the 'God does not exist' side, but not the other. I give quite a lot of consideration to both sides of the argument, but you keep focusing on just one side. As far as defending the Bible is concerned, I will go as far as saying the entire thing is not completely illogical, there is proof that there are logical parts as well. This adds weight to the 'God does exist' argument, but it certainly does not prove or disprove God, and the events in the Bible, as a whole. THAT much is certain.

If you would still claim that the Bible, AS A WHOLE, is blatantly illogical, then I await your refutation. Just remember, I've also been subjected to, and seen things that are very difficult to explain without God, especially the cure for deafness. I actually talked to both of my parents about this, due to being skeptical, and my mother is 100% certain that the miracle happened, and she would not be the sort of person to lie or make it up.


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Re: God

Post  DarkRiku on 2012-01-31, 00:29

You sure it is God lying or just telling the truth from a different point of view?
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-01-31, 09:59

DarkRiku wrote:You sure it is God lying or just telling the truth from a different point of view?
If I assume he always tells the truth, then this is what I have to deal with.

1. God is omnipotent, omniscient, pure good, perfect, devoid of hatred towards people, loves everyone.
2. Concepts of eternal sin, a just punishment for any sin being death is utterly nonsensical. Eternal punishment, either eternal destruction, or eternal torture. Revelation 20:10 has to be the most extreme example of this that I've seen. There's going to be eternal suffering applied.
3. An innocent person being sacrificed to pay for sins of others, again, makes no sense. It does not absolve others of their sins, and magically makes it OK. One of the problems people like Occultdude17 and me have with the Bible is jarring contradictions if you assume everything is true.

Now, God MAY have some mysterious reasons that justify allowing evil to exist and do stuff, but even that cannot wash when it comes to doing stuff in point 2.

For a deity to claim they love everyone, and are perfect, yet would allow eternal suffering, and to effectively condone it as the most viable alternative, and the lesser of all evils, is nonsense, and it contradicts the nature of God as defined in 1. Statements 1 and 2 cannot both be true if God is telling the truth. For other people, the fact that God allows any suffering at all, or does things that defy his own commandments, and so on, is enough for them to get a contradiction to his nature in 1.

Regarding the original debate question, if the entire bible was true (barring errors made by humans inspired by the Holy Spirit where they may contradict each other, but NOT barring statements like Revelation 20:10), then my answer would be no, God does not exist. His behaviour (past, present, and future), would contradict his nature. The eternal punishment is the one case where I cannot give God the benefit of the doubt with a possible Unknown Purpose defence.

So, here is the point, if all the statements are truthful, then you have an all-good deity, who is willing to allow eternal suffering, which cannot be good by any shape or form, and is entirely unjustifiable, which is a contradiction of reality. Therefore, the assumption that all statements are true is therefore false. Proof by contradiction, AKA Reductio ad absurdum, is a wonderful thing.

Now, there have been weird events that have occured in the past in my life. The probability of multiple coincidences (i.e. random events), is MUCH smaller than just one. When you get 3 'coincidences', it suggests a pattern, if you apply Occam's Razor. So it seems like God does exist.

If God does exist, and lies exist about the way he will treat people. Given that he inspired people to write the Bible via his Holy Spirit, I am left with no choice but to conclude that God is lying when eternal punishment is mentioned. I cannot see any other possible explanation if God exists. He cannot be telling the truth from a different point of view. I don't see how anyone can give God the benefit of the doubt over an issue like this, unless you allow for the possibilty of him lying.

Basically, as far as the original debate is concerned. If God DOES exist, then he does lie, albeit possibly for good reasons, but that fact remains. It cannot be denied, for the simple fact that it contradicts logic entirely. I, for one, would not tolerate a God that would sanction Revelation 20:10.
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-31, 12:23

JDC wrote:Now, there have been weird events that have occured in the past in my life. The probability of multiple coincidences (i.e. random events), is MUCH smaller than just one. When you get 3 'coincidences', it suggests a pattern, if you apply Occam's Razor. So it seems like God does exist.
Unless you put other super natural phenomena in the equation. If it isn’t a coincidence it does not directly make it god.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-01-31, 13:17

Ultimate lol wrote:
JDC wrote:Now, there have been weird events that have occured in the past in my life. The probability of multiple coincidences (i.e. random events), is MUCH smaller than just one. When you get 3 'coincidences', it suggests a pattern, if you apply Occam's Razor. So it seems like God does exist.
Unless you put other super natural phenomena in the equation. If it isn’t a coincidence it does not directly make it god.
Those phenomena, and other possibilites that cannot be ruled out (e.g. aliens), can also explain away coincidences. I state that God is the most likely explanation, but not the only explanation.
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Re: God

Post  Ultimate lol on 2012-01-31, 14:32

I would not call god "most likely"
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Re: God

Post  DarkRiku on 2012-01-31, 16:14

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/god_lie.html

Be the judge but I believe God does not lie.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-01-31, 20:20

Riku,

So he can't tell a lie. He can still mislead people. He can still lie in his heart. That makes him a hypocrite.


JDC,

1) WRONG. The Uncertainty Principle is an innate property of matter, not a flaw in our observational skills. The universe itself is uncertain about the particle's properties. That Wikipedia article you posted way back to support your views BLATANTLY STATED THIS as true, and I even pointed it out to you at the time. The information about uncertain properties simply does not exist, and being omniscient will not let you find non-existent information. Get that through your head already, because I'm sick of explaining this to you in every single reply.

And if being subject to the Uncertainty Principle contradicts your definition of omniscience, then God is not omniscient. Of THAT we can be certain.

2) A - Hitler: "Hitler's actions were good because he had a divine revelation from God, in which God told him to kill all the Jews. Hitler questioned the morality of this, but God claimed he had an Unknown Purpose that would make everything okay, so Hitler did as he was told."

I have justified Hitler's actions using the "God has an Unknown Purpose" argument, and being a mere human you have no right to say that Hitler didn't receive his orders from our good Lord, Jesus Christ. If you find this offensive in any way, then you are a hypocrite.

B - Great Flood: Sure, God could justify his actions mathematically. We both agree that it would blow people's minds. Alternatively, he could explain it in simple terms to a finite extent, as humans define their morality in simple terms and do not think in infinities. Our standards of good behaviour are not that high, so God does not need to explain his entire plan for us to forgive his actions.

C - Evidence: It is not invalid. If there is no evidence that he did it, then we cannot say he did it. If I told you that I just got abducted by aliens, took control of their ship, flew it through a wormhole to escape the destruction of the galaxy, landed in Middle-Earth, had to trek all the way to Mordor to stop Frodo destroying the One Ring so I could use it recharge the ship, jumped back to my own universe twenty days in the past and sabotaged the weapon that destroyed the galaxy, then set the ship to self-destruct in Hyperspace after it had teleported me back to my chair in front of the computer at exactly the same time I left, and that there is conveniently no evidence of any of this happening, then I do not expect you to believe that it happened. Likewise, do not expect me to believe any of this Great Flood nonsense unless you can prove it didn't happen in some caveman's imagination.

3) If God lied about Hell then he can lie about making the world. He can also lie about saving humanity. He's about as trustworthy as a stranger on the internet.

4) A - Hearing Problems: ANYTHING is more probable than the intervention of an all-knowing, all-powerful, completely undetectable man in the sky who is conveniently absent 100% of the time and has a strange obsession with what humans do with their naughty bits. Yes, even aliens, cosmic rays, quantum fluctuations or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The fact that you like the idea of God better than any of those other options does NOT make him more probable.

B - Ten Commandments: The only version that is "accurate" is the original stone upon which Moses inscribed them. Anything else is an approximation and I'll thank you not to split hairs on the issue.

1. Just because he exists does not mean they have to worship him. Making it a legal requirement for somebody to worship you shows you are a megalomaniac, regardless of cultural context. If you want people to worship you, make them WANT to by treating them the same way you'd want to be treated.

2. Religion itself goes against common sense. If people want to pray to a rock, tree, statue or even a trading card, then that's their choice and nobody has the right or moral high ground to dictate otherwise.

3. You offend me by having a pony avatar. Does that mean you should change it? Of course not, because you can post whatever pictures you want. Likewise, I can say whatever I want. If I want to use God's name for some purpose other than worship, then that's none of your business. If he gets offended, then that's his problem. Offense is taken, not given.

4. Firstly, the Sabbath is on Saturday. They just shifted it to Sunday because that made converting pagans easier.

Secondly, he could have just said, "Nobody may be forced to work on the Sabbath Day", instead of killing people for gathering firewood on that day.

5. Seeing them get punished is not "honouring them". Telling people that your parents abuse you would bring dishonour to them, and is thus a blatant contradiction of this commandment. Why do you think domestic violence is so common in the Middle-East?

6. Having a commandment against murder is common sense, but one commandment does not justify the entire list.

7. It being gender-neutral does NOT mean it makes more sense as a translation, just that you like it more. The two are not the same thing, as I have stated already.

Jealousy, Incest, Unwanted Pregnancies - Laws forbidding adultery will not affect these in the slightest.

STDs - Okay, I'll give you this one. Two common-sense commandments. 2/7 still doesn't justify the list.

Adultery as a subject is sexual in nature, and is thus not appropriate for this forum. We are not discussing it any further.

8. 3/8 is still not enough.

9. 4/9 is still not enough.

10. "Covet" does not mean "steal". It just means you want it. This is something we have no control over, and so this commandment violates common sense.

4/10 of the commandments are common sense. That's less than half.

Your point about laws being broken is also rubbish. There are specific exceptions defined by the legislation, which are considered part of the law. If you fit one of those exceptions, then you did not break the law. This is not the same as breaking a law that has no exceptions.

C - Illogical Text: Not an ad hominem. An ad hominem is where I attack your character, which I'm not doing (at least not in that sentence). At any rate, I'm not going to change any minds so it doesn't matter what people think of my argument.

1. The logic behind the sacrifice of Jesus makes perfect sense, the motive's just despicable and stupid.

2. Premise A - "I don't like getting wet."
Premise B - "Cats don't like getting wet."
Conclusion: "I am a cat."

Premises A and B were both logical, yet the argument overall is illogical. If the Bible can be deemed logical by containing SOME logic, then so can my argument.

3. It doesn't lend any weight to God existing because it's a BOOK written by PEOPLE. There is no way of knowing if a single word in it is true unless we compare it to other evidence, and so far the Bible has done very poorly on that test.

Your own experiences don't lend any weight to the argument either, for the reasons I've already outlined and have no intention of repeating.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-02-01, 14:19

Occultdude17 wrote:1) WRONG. The Uncertainty Principle is an innate property of matter, not a flaw in our observational skills. The universe itself is uncertain about the particle's properties. That Wikipedia article you posted way back to support your views BLATANTLY STATED THIS as true, and I even pointed it out to you at the time. The information about uncertain properties simply does not exist, and being omniscient will not let you find non-existent information. Get that through your head already, because I'm sick of explaining this to you in every single reply.
I disagree completely. You fail to understand that God does NOT need to use the tools we have. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states the limitations *humans* face based on A. The properties of matter, and B. The measurement tools available to humans, and the way that trying to measure both properties at once would create contradictory requirements for the tools. God does not NEED these tools, he has others (including magic), that humans cannot use. If you can't understand that the Uncertainty Principle CANNOT apply to him, then there is no point in continuing with this. You need to try to think things through from the, albeit crude approximation, of a perspective of an omniscient/omnipotent being, NOT from a human perspective. The Uncertainty Principle does not take someone like God into account. You can't just apply a theory (which may be false, unless it has been proven as a theorem, for all I know, there may be measurement techniques for quantum physics that have yet to be discovered), and state that it applies to God too, without adequate reasoning. Limitations on tools that humans can use to measure properties of matter at a quantum level mean nothing to God. Again, God already knows everything, and could just use magic to obtain information even if decided to 'forget' this information. Human tools disturb what is being measured, in a way immeasurable to humans, and that is why the Uncertainty Principle came about in the first place.

And if being subject to the Uncertainty Principle contradicts your definition of omniscience, then God is not omniscient. Of THAT we can be certain.
It would go further, it would make God vanish in a puff of logic. However, as Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle cannot be applied to someone who has other means of measurement, or who already has omniscience, then God has not been disproven.

2) A - Hitler: "Hitler's actions were good because he had a divine revelation from God, in which God told him to kill all the Jews. Hitler questioned the morality of this, but God claimed he had an Unknown Purpose that would make everything okay, so Hitler did as he was told."

I have justified Hitler's actions using the "God has an Unknown Purpose" argument, and being a mere human you have no right to say that Hitler didn't receive his orders from our good Lord, Jesus Christ. If you find this offensive in any way, then you are a hypocrite.
I'm going to assume this is a hypothetical argument, and Hitler believes every word he is saying (if this assumption is wrong, then please say so). If so, I would have to question the nature of this revelation, if possible, a word-for-word transcription of what happened. In particular, I would be looking into how God was questioned, and how much justification God gave. If he claimed God just said Unknown Purpose defence by itself, without anything additional such as 'Failing to do this will cause even more suffering because of conditions X, Y, and Z, that you can argue effectively to other humans', then I would judge him guilty for putting too much faith into God, and he would be at fault. I have made it clear that any faith I have, has its limits. If God told me to go and murder people, the answer would be a resounding 'No'. If he claimed he had a good reason, I'd require a justifiable proof understandable by humans, and nothing less. Without that, no dice. God might have an 'Unknown Purpose' defence, but it's unknown to everyone except him. He would act on absolute proof that it's the best thing to do, and I would require something similar. It's unreasonable for him to do otherwise.

So, let me summarise, if Hitler did not provide a proof that would satisfy humans, then he is guilty of placing too much faith in God. If, however, this defence put forward by Hitler was a lie, then obviously he's guilty of evil.

Humans have limits, and cannot use an Unknown Purpose defence based on what someone else told them. The possibility of an Unknown Purpose defence existing due to the radically different, unfathomable nature of what God is described as, is the only reason he has not been disproven entirely. It's the only reason I call premises such as 'God always tells the truth' into question. The fact that these premises aren't necessarily true is why there is doubt as to whether God is fictional.

Finally, as far as real life was concerned, when I did History in school. Germany, from WW1, through to WW2, and the period in between was studied, with a focus on Adolf Hitler, naturally. Historical evidence would seem to indicate Hitler had a hatred of Jews. Arguments of a 'master race' do not make any sense.

B - Great Flood: Sure, God could justify his actions mathematically. We both agree that it would blow people's minds. Alternatively, he could explain it in simple terms to a finite extent, as humans define their morality in simple terms and do not think in infinities. Our standards of good behaviour are not that high, so God does not need to explain his entire plan for us to forgive his actions.
Here is the problem though, he could go for a simplified explanation, however, that means a lot of stuff remains unknown, and you would end up having to just take his word for it. In essence, the Unknown Purpose behind his actions has not become known well enough to justify it to humans. An explanation for humans would have to be 'any alternative to this would cause a greater amount of suffering/evil over all of future time, and using the flood minimises suffering/evil over all of the time, compared to all other approaches. I cannot explain the details without blowing your mind, so you'll just have to take my word for it that I know what I'm doing'. God can touch on infinities, but do you really think that a human would accept an argument so vague? Some might, but a lot of logical thinkers certainly won't accept it. I, ultimately, cannot accept an argument like that in the end.

C - Evidence: It is not invalid. If there is no evidence that he did it, then we cannot say he did it.
The argument I made was that lack of evidence cannot be used to prove that it did NOT happen. It says nothing about proving that it did happen either. No evidence of The Great Flood (not counting the text in the Bible, which is unproven) means you cannot state, with any certainty, that it did happen. You may believe that it happened, but that is all. However, stating that no evidence means that it did NOT happen, if there is a possibility that the evidence can be removed, is a logical fallacy.

If I told you that I just got abducted by aliens, took control of their ship, flew it through a wormhole to escape the destruction of the galaxy, landed in Middle-Earth, had to trek all the way to Mordor to stop Frodo destroying the One Ring so I could use it recharge the ship, jumped back to my own universe twenty days in the past and sabotaged the weapon that destroyed the galaxy, then set the ship to self-destruct in Hyperspace after it had teleported me back to my chair in front of the computer at exactly the same time I left, and that there is conveniently no evidence of any of this happening, then I do not expect you to believe that it happened.
True, however, technically speaking, as far as logic is concerned, I cannot state that it DEFINITELY did not happen (except for the fact that I believe time-travel itself would be contradictory, and would allow paradoxes to exist, which defies logic, but that's another argument entirely).

Likewise, do not expect me to believe any of this Great Flood nonsense unless you can prove it didn't happen in some caveman's imagination.
Unless there is any evidence suggesting God exists, with no direct evidence of the Great Flood happening, then I would not believe it myself.

3) If God lied about Hell then he can lie about making the world. He can also lie about saving humanity. He's about as trustworthy as a stranger on the internet.
Now things are getting really interesting. He can technically lie about anything. However, for God to not contradict himself entirely in the Bible and vanish in a puff of logic, there would need to be some good reasons for him going Gregory House with the lies. Something along the lines of 'honesty is usually the best policy'. Some of these explanations for lies may be grasped by humans, e.g. people may not be able to handle the truth, or they may not understand it, due to it being too complicated, which means the 'Unknown Purpose' defence applies again.

4) A - Hearing Problems: ANYTHING is more probable than the intervention of an all-knowing, all-powerful, completely undetectable man in the sky who is conveniently absent 100% of the time and has a strange obsession with what humans do with their naughty bits. Yes, even aliens, cosmic rays, quantum fluctuations or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The fact that you like the idea of God better than any of those other options does NOT make him more probable.
That first sentence is only, definitely true, if God does NOT exist. You cannot make an assumption either way, however. I do not see why any of the alternatives are any more likely, especially given that this is not the only strange event I've seen with a possibility that cannot be explained away by something mundane. If you go for God does not exist, then something else must have fixed the hearing condition, but how would any of the other possibilities do this? How likely are they? Remember, there are two other events, and God explaining them away is more likely than something like Cosmic rays or aliens tapping into someone's mind and making them speak in a language they do not know, then in English. God existing makes more sense than any alternative, IMO. I cannot ignore evidence that suggests God may exist, that I witness first-hand, or that come from very reliable accounts. Of course, technically, I CANNOT say that God is the only possible explanation, but I do believe God is the most LIKELY explanation (yes, that is an opinion).

You have not even argued why anything is more likely than God in your rebuttal, and you cannot state with any certainty that he is absent 100% of the time. The Bible has been going for a long time, without being thoroughly debunked beyond a shadow of a doubt. Sorry, but I reject your claim as invalid on the grounds you have not argued your case here with enough logic.

B - Ten Commandments: The only version that is "accurate" is the original stone upon which Moses inscribed them. Anything else is an approximation and I'll thank you not to split hairs on the issue.
Here is a question, how do we know which English version is an accurate translation of the original text, that would have been in another language? I will agree that the original inscription on the two stone tablets is the one that should be used, but that's hard when I don't know the language the Ten Commandments were originally inscribed in. That being said, the version you quoted had the final commandment badly abridged, so the list you gave could not have been the original. The list I got from the NIV does not have that problem, so it MAY be the original (but it may also suffer from mistranslations, I don't know about the text in the original language). That's as much as I can say on this issue.

1. Just because he exists does not mean they have to worship him. Making it a legal requirement for somebody to worship you shows you are a megalomaniac, regardless of cultural context. If you want people to worship you, make them WANT to by treating them the same way you'd want to be treated.
The commandment here states that there are no OTHER gods, effectively, i.e. you will not worship any OTHER gods. Why would God do this? The Egyptians know he's there. The most logical reason that comes to mind is that God knows he's the only God there, and that worshipping any other God would be worshipping someone who does not exist. In essence, breaking this commandment is wasting time. Now, I cannot claim this commandment is common sense for certain, due to the fact that it is conditional on God existing in the first place. I should note, at no point in the 1st commandment does God say 'Worship me'. Don't try to imply anything in the commandment that is not explicitly stated. 0/1 (goes to 1/1 if God exists, but I may not assume that).

2. Religion itself goes against common sense. If people want to pray to a rock, tree, statue or even a trading card, then that's their choice and nobody has the right or moral high ground to dictate otherwise.
If people were to pray to an inanimate object, whether or not they made it, and expected said inanimate object to become a live God or something, and for something to happen, THAT is what this commandment is aimed at. People creating religions (with no deity involved) that are guaranteed to be false. If you're certain God does not exist, then there is no point in praying to him either, by the same logic in the 1st commandment. One other thing you have to bear in mind, God was leading the Egyptians out, he would KNOW how mature they were, and he would know what the consequences of their behaviour would be. He doesn't throw down laws as a tool to oppress people, he would throw them down for protecting people. It's not much different to laws in society today. If you say someone cannot dictate that a behaviour, that they KNOW is harmful, should not be allowed, then there is nothing stopping that person from passing a law forbidding it, if they are in a position of authority. Laws like these are not about oppression, they are about protection.

This law is about protecting people from wasting time worshipping inanimate objects that people perceive as imaginary gods, and expecting stuff to happen. Gods are not created out of inanimate objects. Why would you believe that an inanimate object that you created be a God? It defies common sense. Therefore this law is common sense. 1/2
3. You offend me by having a pony avatar. Does that mean you should change it? Of course not, because you can post whatever pictures you want. Likewise, I can say whatever I want. If I want to use God's name for some purpose other than worship, then that's none of your business. If he gets offended, then that's his problem. Offense is taken, not given.
I'm not sure whether that first statement is hypothetical or real, but I'm assuming the former, as it is the actual argument you are posing that is important. 'Does that mean you should change it'? That depends on what rules are in effect, and whether those rules make sense. If I was posting PMs to you, and I had the option to switch the avatar off if you genuinely did not like it, then yo u can ask me to disable it in PMs, and I would probably comply. As for 'using the Lord's name in vain', or whatever, at no point did the commandment say you may only use it for worship. It did not state that the only way to use the name properly is in worship of God. At no point in the Ten Commandments do I see any instructions to worship God.

Here is a statement I am going to take issue with, as I believe I have witnessed some very severe logical fallacies in you arguments on this thread, which I need to point out:

Likewise, I can say whatever I want. If I want to use God's name for some purpose other than worship, then that's none of your business. If he gets offended, then that's his problem. Offense is taken, not given.
OK, if people can say whatever they want, and it's nobody else's business what happens, and that it's the problem of the people being talked to if they take offence, and not the person doing the talking, then let me present you with a scenario.

Person A decides to go on Internet forums, and starts flaming people left, right and centre, using racial slurs and other derogatory terms, and so on. Person A honestly believes that the people he are flaming are what he says they are (e.g. idiots, or worse). Let's also say Person A does not see why swearing can be wrong, and throws that in, and goes on a swearing rampage, as well as flaming.

Now, by your logic, Person A would be perfectly justified in what he is doing. However, it should be obvious that the problem lies with Person A not knowing the trouble it will cause. Just because other people will be offended, does NOT mean it is their problem, that is a huge logical fallacy. The problem here, clearly lies with Person A being ignorant of how others would react, or be harmed, not other people. Person A cannot be allowed to 'do what they want', that would just bring lots of harm to other people. I will state this again, laws are put in place to restrict what people may do for a very good reason! Without laws, there would be utter chaos, destruction, evil, and so on. If you were to state that nobody has a right to tell you if you're making mistakes, then you're effectively stating that nobody is allowed to help you see what you're doing wrong.

Let's go for another example, one which is sadly all too common in today's world. Person A is a convinced then anyone not of his faith is a sinner that is going to burn in Hell for all eternity, and that they are immoral enemies deserving of harsh criticism and judgment. Person A then starts going around, telling people who do not share his faith that they are going to suffer an eternity in Hell, and persecuting other people just because they don't believe in his faith. Person A believes he is right, has freedom of speech, and that he is doing nothing wrong. Now, going by the 'offence is taken, not given' logic that you use, the problems would lie with the people Person A is ostracising, not with Person A! Clearly that logic is flawed. It is blatantly obvious that Person A is clueless about the harm he is causing, and it is HIS problem that he is ignorant, and relying on heavy-duty troll logic and blind faith, NOT the problem of the people he's ostracising. 'Offence is taken, not given', no, it can end up being either, or both people's problem.

Breaking the 3rd commandment will quite rightly make people angry, whether or not God is fictional. It will be seen by some as an attack on their religion, and some people are VERY touchy about this. It is common sense, therefore, to not do it. 2/3

4.
Firstly, the Sabbath is on Saturday. They just shifted it to Sunday because that made converting pagans easier.
I just googled 'sabbath saturday', and yes, it was moved. http://www.sabbath-day.net/

After reading this, come to think of it, the week technically starts on Sunday, and ends on Saturday, given a seven-day week, the last day is Saturday, which is the Sabbath. I don't think this is a coincidence.

Secondly, he could have just said, "Nobody may be forced to work on the Sabbath Day", instead of killing people for gathering firewood on that day.
If he did that, then people may well overwork themselves, and they may not know their own limits. God would. As for God doing law enforcement by ordering people to murder, it's yet another thing he must explain in his Unknown Purpose defence, however, it does show that he does authorise exceptions to his own commandments, even without writing said exceptions out by himself. God WOULD recognise that the commandments are not going to be always absolute throughout all of time. For example, if you had to kill to defend yourself and your family, you would quite rightly break the 6th commandment, law or no law. Overworking yourself and not taking rests is a violation of common sense, which this law guards against. 3/4

5. Seeing them get punished is not "honouring them". Telling people that your parents abuse you would bring dishonour to them, and is thus a blatant contradiction of this commandment. Why do you think domestic violence is so common in the Middle-East?
Getting justice delivered to them, so that they can restore their own honour, is effectively honouring them, IMO. However, even if you are right (and very well may be, in this case), there is still the fact that laws are not to be rigidly applied 100% of the time with no thinking about the situation. In the majority of cases, parents bring you into existence, they love you, protect you, and raise you, therefore this is a good way of repaying them. 4/5

6. Having a commandment against murder is common sense, but one commandment does not justify the entire list.
For me to say that The Ten Commandments, as a whole, are common sense, then more than 50% must fall into this category. In other words, 6/10 is a bare minimum. Even a standard as low as more than 50% may be too lax, something like at least 80% would be better.

Now, as far as commandments so far, we have 5/6 being common sense, regardless of whether or not God exists.

7.
It being gender-neutral does NOT mean it makes more sense as a translation, just that you like it more. The two are not the same thing, as I have stated already.
Of course they aren't, but the version that you posted had the last commandment abridged so badly, that it could not have been the original. The same cannot be said about the list I got from the NIV. As for laws that support this commandment, people that agree with the law, would follow it, hence it would lower the previously listed undesirable problems.
Adultery as a subject is sexual in nature, and is thus not appropriate for this forum. We are not discussing it any further.
I was forced to investigate the ToU, there is nothing forbidding the discussion of this subject, HOWEVER, graphic content would effectively become pornography, which IS prohibited, so I will not go there.

In any case, 6/7 here.

8. 7/8.

9. 8/9. The 80% threshold has been reached.

10. "Covet" does not mean "steal". It just means you want it. This is something we have no control over, and so this commandment violates common sense.
For some strange reason, I thought it meant 'sell', I had to use define:covet in Google. There is a meaning for it that is to have a very powerful, lustful desire to possess something your neighbour owns, something that can lead to a bigger problem, such as you attempting to steal it, which is a violation of agreed common-sense commandment 9. This is a commandment against a dangerous thought process that will lead to disaster, such as breaking commandment 6. Really wanting something someone else owns can lead you to try to use troll logic to rationalize stealing it. e.g. 'This person is so rich, I REALLY want some of his money, stealing some money from him really won't hurt him'. Would it be common sense not to engage in potentially destructive thought processes? I'm not so sure, so I'm going to stick to 8/10, which is still enough.

At least 8/10 are common sense, and at least 9/10 have a good reasoning behind them, and the only other commandment is the one dependent on God existing.

I really cannot deny the logic of the commandments that do not depend on God existing.

Your point about laws being broken is also rubbish. There are specific exceptions defined by the legislation, which are considered part of the law. If you fit one of those exceptions, then you did not break the law. This is not the same as breaking a law that has no exceptions.
Laws would be different a long time ago, exceptions may not have been written in, and in any case, humans cannot write laws that cover every single situation. If there was a law against stealing, yet someone stole food to survive, despite there being no written exception against that, then you can't really use the letter of the law to judge them, it makes no sense. In any case, even God ordered people to make exceptions to his own law, namely involving breaking the 6th Commandment. As for why he went for that approach the way he did in the Bible, it's a mystery that he would have to explain. You can't claim my argument is rubbish because of existing legislation that allows exceptions. When people judge others for breaking laws, they often consider why the law is there, and whether breaking it was the right thing to do. The Ten Commandments are no exception.

C - Illogical Text: Not an ad hominem. An ad hominem is where I attack your character, which I'm not doing (at least not in that sentence). At any rate, I'm not going to change any minds so it doesn't matter what people think of my argument.
It's more the implication that you're implying that I'm not logical, as opposed to my arguments being illogical, the latter is fine, the former is not. As for the 2nd sentence, that is not necessarily true, there are cases where my mind can be changed on some issues.

1. The logic behind the sacrifice of Jesus makes perfect sense, the motive's just despicable and stupid.
The only way for people to pay for their sins is for an innocent man to die in their place? I fail to see the logic here. It makes sense to a lot of people though, and that may be what matters. God will have to explain it, ultimately, however.

2. Premise A - "I don't like getting wet."
Premise B - "Cats don't like getting wet."
Conclusion: "I am a cat."

Premises A and B were both logical, yet the argument overall is illogical. If the Bible can be deemed logical by containing SOME logic, then so can my argument.
Let me take your statement to the conclusion you seem to be implying. If the overall argument in the Bible is illogical, then it is false. It is possible, however, for people to make flaws in their arguments, even though what they are trying to prove is true. Furthermore, even though people were inspired by God, they were still writing it as humans, and humans do make mistakes. Why God would let the Bible be written in this way is yet another thing for the Unknown Purpose defence. However, this does mean a lot of it is written from the perspective of humans, not from the perspective of God. How people back then could possibly begin to comprehend how God might think would be a mystery, and I doubt they could get much further than I have. A bible written from God's perspective would naturally be too much for humans, for reasons already stated.

3. It doesn't lend any weight to God existing because it's a BOOK written by PEOPLE. There is no way of knowing if a single word in it is true unless we compare it to other evidence, and so far the Bible has done very poorly on that test.
Some of the stuff written in the Bible are prophecies of events that will happen after it is written, which CANNOT possibly be predicted by humans. http://www.amazingbible.org/ Now, IF a whole, massive, string of prophecies were predicted, correctly, without fail, then Occam's Razor *MUST* shift to God, because the only alternative (humans wrote it without God) is so unlikely that people will discard it.

Your own experiences don't lend any weight to the argument either, for the reasons I've already outlined and have no intention of repeating.
When your reasons don't explain why I'm wrong, this claim is not valid. There is the fact that the Ten Commandments make sense, as a whole. Combine my experiences, with what's been going on, and the fact, that many premises people use to judge the Bible may be false (along with the fact that various parts of it will be interpreted in various ways), and you really can't claim my own experiences don't lend any weight to the argument.

I believe I have said enough regarding my points, so there is a good chance I may not respond to claims you disagree with. I am certainly not going to repeat myself over why uncertainty cannot apply to God, nor will I go over why the Ten Commandments make sense overall, and that they are not absolute laws that may never be broken. I am also not going to argue any further with you over my own experiences.

I'm going to leave you with fuel for thought: http://www.godisimaginary.com . You'd need to question premises carefully, and see if there are other possibilities when doing this, but it is definitely worth going through.
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Re: God

Post  Badass_Bunny on 2012-02-01, 15:04

You two look silly...

You're discussing a matter in which neither of you can prove or deny anything you are claiming.
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Re: God

Post  CheyMcFly on 2012-02-01, 15:06

Badass_Bunny wrote:You two look silly...

You're discussing a matter in which neither of you can prove or deny anything you are claiming.
for some reason Hitler always comes up too.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-02-01, 17:10

You're discussing a matter in which neither of you can prove or deny anything you are claiming.
If you're talking about the original debate question, that is true. If you're talking about specific things, such as whether certain commandments make sense, then that is different. Also, people will have opinions on whether proofs are valid to go along with this. TBH, this is how debates involving religion will go. There are so many ways to throw doubt on to an supposed proof one way or the other, that you cannot definitively go one way or another. There are issues where the both of us do agree, after initial disagreement.

The one difference to the question is this:

Does God exist? If so, he has to lie at least once (see descriptions involving eternal suffering in the Bible), or else he is self-contradictory (not pure good), and cannot exist. This much has been proven.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-02-01, 18:38

Badass Bunny,

If this topic is silly, why don't you get it locked?


Chey,

Hitler is well-known and almost universally agreed to be evil, so I use him as an example. Ironically, God has done more bad things than Hitler, yet people don't condemn him.


JDC,

1) If God can know a piece of information that physically does not exist, and thus can't be known, then that requires the suspension of logic. I have already pointed out what happens to the universe and to human sanity when logic is thrown out the window.

Instead of "does not exist", I should say "has every value simultaneously". Even if God did know it, the knowledge would be absolutely useless to him.

2) A - Hitler: You realise you just contradicted yourself, right? Hitler can't say, "God knows what he's doing", yet somehow it's alright for Moses to do so? You won't carry out an action of God unless he tells you why you should do it, yet you can condone an action that he or somebody else carried out, whilst having faith that they know what they're doing?

This a complete double standard. Shame on you.

B - Great Flood: I would consider the testimony of the accused to be admissible evidence at a criminal trial, unless they are obviously insane, and it doesn't look like God is. Whether you consider his reasons valid is entirely up to you, but God, by virtue of being omnipotent, must be capable of explaining his actions in a way that humans can understand and condone.

C - Evidence: We cannot disprove it, but we shall apply Ockham's Razor and cut it out.

3) God being a lying, manipulative psychopath will not make him vanish in a puff of logic, it just makes him a lying, manipulative psychopath. In fact, this is probably the simplest explanation besides his not existing for why the world and the Bible are what they are. It requires fewer assumptions to say "God is evil" than to say "God is good, here's a list of excuses for his bad deeds".

4) A - Hearing Problems: The reason aliens, cosmic rays and quantum fluctuations are more likely is because we know those things do/can exist. The existence of God does not definitely fulfill that requirement, because we know absolutely nothing about him.

B - Ten Commandments: Um... Hebrew? Duh.

1. Even if God does exist, people can worship whatever they damn well want. God is just as capable of answering prayers addressed to Thor as he is of addressing prayers addressed to himself. After all, he is omnipotent. Freedom of Religion FTW.

0/1

2. This is exactly the same argument as the 1st Commandment. I thus merge the two.

0/2

3. Yes, Person A is perfectly entitled to say whatever he likes, no matter how offensive it is. As long as he's not threatening, slandering, libeling or perjuring then he can say whatever he likes, wherever he likes. But likewise, the Administrator of the site has sole discretion over whether Person A is allowed to be there, and can ban him at any time for any reason. This also goes for being on private property, somebody's television network, or in a place controlled by the local council.

While it is courtesy to be polite to people, it is not a requirement. Same goes for educating yourself instead of being an ignorant moron. And in case you haven't noticed, people DO get away with telling others they're going to Hell. Westboro Baptist Church, anybody?

0/3

4. I've already addressed the Unknown Purpose Defense up top, so I won't waste my time again down here. Besides, this section is about the 10 Commandments being common sense. If the goal of the 4th is to stop people from working too hard and hurting themselves, then killing them for doing that directly undermines the goal.

0/4

5. If somebody is accused of... um... "being too friendly with children", then that pretty much makes them guilty for the rest of their lives no matter what the court decides. There will always be this little voice in the back of people's minds that says, "That man is a pervert." I can think of no greater infringement upon somebody's honour.

0/5

6, 7, 8, 9. I'll be lenient, and accept 6/10 as an acceptable mark. However, by my count we're still a bit short. Also, due to us agreeing on these, I'm listing them as the same point.

4/9

10. So we agree on this one.

4/10

The 6th Commandment is "Thou shalt not murder". "Murder" does not apply to executions or war, so God did not break this commandment. How laws are amended to apply for new situations depends on the existing law, the constitution, and the power of the judge. In ancient times, the constitution was usually something along the lines of, "The king makes the rules", or, "The guy with the biggest battle-axe makes the rules". In most cases, we can just disregard their legal system as a complete and utter farce.

C - Illogical Text: Your mind can be changed? Then could you please list the criteria my argument would have to fulfill in order for your mind to be changed on the matter?

1. God created Adam and Eve as innocent and child-like, and put them in a garden with 2 trees. One gives eternal life, the other gives knowledge. He forbids them to eat the latter, on pain of death. Why he put the tree there is unknown, presumably he wanted an excuse to be a jerk to them.

The serpent convinces Eve that God wouldn't really kill them, so they eat. God turns out to be an abusive parent, and curses them and their descendants. However, when he realises that they can just eat from the Tree of Life and live forever just as he does, he feels threatened and kicks them out of the garden.

Having become sentient, humanity proceeds to screw up the world. The punishment for sin is death, but God doesn't care whose death it is as long as blood is shed. This creates a loophole, where people can redeem themselves by sacrificing animals to God in exchange for forgiveness. Eventually, God gets tired of animal sacrifices, and manifests in human form as Jesus Christ. He then proceeds to sacrifice himself to himself to save us from himself, and subsequently demands that everybody join his new religion so they can get the benefits of this sacrifice. Everybody can just go to Hell - literally.

Like I said, the logic isn't that faulty. It's the mind that invented that logic that is.

2. Sorry, you have not actually addressed my point. You just said the Bible was not illogical, then didn't prove it. The Unknown Purpose Defense cannot be used as a cop out.

3. I am not reading through 10,385 prophecies to see if they're all legit. I have better things to do with my time. At any rate, God is still the least probable explanation. Time travel, precognition and lucky guesses are far more likely. Please merge with A - Hearing Problems.

4. Your own experiences? Please refer to A - Hearing Problems, as this is the same argument.

Your End Note: So you've basically said, "I'm not replying to you." Thank you very ****ing much for telling me this at the BEGINNING of your response, so that I knew not to waste my time going through your comment step-by-step and rebutting your points.


On a different note, am I the only one who's loving the new Dark Magician Girl header for the Forum?
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Re: God

Post  MaiValentine93 on 2012-02-01, 18:54

Badass_Bunny wrote:You two look silly...

You're discussing a matter in which neither of you can prove or deny anything you are claiming.
I totally second that.
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Re: God

Post  JDC on 2012-02-02, 02:55

Firstly, to those people who are not involved in the debate, if you don't like what is going on, please do not comment on people who are involved, thank you.

chey: I will agree with Occultdude17 using Hitler as an example. It would be hard to find a better example for something like this. I cannot imagine a human who would be viewed as more evil than Hitler.

Occultdude17:

I believe I have said enough regarding my points, so there is a good chance I may not respond to claims you disagree with. I am certainly not going to repeat myself over why uncertainty cannot apply to God, nor will I go over why the Ten Commandments make sense overall, and that they are not absolute laws that may never be broken. I am also not going to argue any further with you over my own experiences.

What I ACTUALLY said was I may not respond to certain points, and that I am not going to continue repeating myself over and over on points that I feel have already been discussed to death. I did not state there was no chance I would respond. There's no point in simply repeating myself. Why? It effectively amounts to 'Is too! Is not! Is too! Is not!' etc, only with reasoning, and it is FAR more time consuming. If there are certain things in those points I agree with you on, or there have been actual changes, rather than nothing that changes opinions, THEN I may respond. If we can't change each other's minds then there's no point if the cycle is going to go on like that. With that in mind, however, there have been some significant changes to what you have been saying, meaning I can respond to some degree, without going back on what I originally said.
2. a. I never vouched for Moses, nor condemned him. Furthermore, someone acting on what information they know, rather than putting faith in someone else, means the criteria for judgment must naturally be very different. God acts on what he knows. I effectively stated that I would want to operate in the same way, acting on information that I know is right. If I accept God exists, then I would have to accept Satan exists, plus there are lots of people that would manipulate/mislead people for their own evil or misguided ends. I need a way of guarding against that, which is where the proof comes in. God would be no different in this respect. No double standard here.

b. Well, I can't deny that there is a possibility God may be able to pull it off, although a lot of humans are going to be left wanting at some point. Now, if God was to grant temporary omniscience, or something, then humanity would have all they need to judge him. Without doing that, it would be supplying loads of data that they can access, people who are not satisfied with the basic explanation then goes through the data, until they are satisfied. However, I can't help but feel, that ultimately, the argument will involve infinite data, which will not satisfy some, but going THAT far may not be necessary.

c. If you want to use Occam's Razor without going through other evidence that suggest the Bible might be true (because it would be time consuming, especially going checking if prophecies have come true.), then I really don't blame you. BTW, I did not say to check ALL prophecies, that is way too time-consuming. I just put in a link if you wanted to do research on that issue.

3. So, you are questioning the premise that if God exists, then he must be all good etc? OK, I like this 'questioning premise' style of thinking. The arguments that I have been using have run under one premise alone, assuming God exists. That premise is, God is omnipotent/omniscient/perfect/pure good, and by that nature, would have a master plan that is not (fully) explainable to humans (with limits), where he may commit utterly bizarre and evil-seeming actions (they seem evil on the surface). Genesis alone would have plenty of this. This premise is the reason why God has not been cast out into the 'definitely does not exist' category when I have been debating the issue. This is why I have not accepted proofs that God cannot exist. They operate under different premises that I do not accept as being definitely true. However, if all of his prophecies are true, including what has not happened, then Revelation 20:10 contradicts the premise I set up, as there is no way I can possibly see a justification for eternal punishment. This means that, if my premise is true, then God has to lie at least once if he exists, and I cannot deny the possibility that good people may well have good reasons for not always telling the truth.

The alternative is your alternative, that the premise I have been using is not true. Let me put things this way, if God is not pure good, then he cannot possibly justify all his actions without lying. This behaviour is horribly inconsistent with his teachings on how people should deal with others (particularly when he's not around intervening himself), and you might think that someone who is an evil person with a severe case of, as you put it earlier, SBS, based on a lot of the stuff we can both see in the Bible, would not want to put in anything that would disrupt his evil plans for torturing humans. Then again, you could also argue that this is part of a really special sick and twisted plan to make him appear like the good guy. However, there is a flaw with assuming the latter, the eternal punishment thing goes one step too far IMO, and I doubt a God (even an evil one), would make a mistake like that. It would be far more satisfying to leave out the eternal punishment, and then watch people fall into a trap and get tortured forever. IMO, the premise that God is evil would mean Occam's Razor would force the Bible to be discarded as false. Feel free to tear away at this argument.

4. Alrighty, now you are using logical reasoning to assert your argument, rather than just claiming that I am wrong. This is the sort of thing that can change my mind. As far as aliens are concerned, I have not seen any definitive evidence that puts them on the 'definitely exists' pile, however, I will agree with 'cosmic rays' and 'quantum fluctuations' being on the definitely exists pile, and that you are going with stuff that definitely exists as more likely than stuff that may exist. You would naturally use Occam's Razor to go for the most likely thing on the 'definitely exists' pile.

Now for my opinion (note that this is not stating something as a fact). I had a look through that site with prophecies coming true. I don't have time to check them all out, but based on the way they do seem to be coming true, the probability that humans wrote the Bible alone with no God is approximately 0 (this is assuming a MASSIVE number of coincidences where people got it right without foreknowledge, but lucky guesses). OK, how do I got about determining what is most likely? It's different to Occam's Razor, but it seems reasonable enough. I assign a probability that a statement is true, and a probability that it explains what is happening. To get an overall probability of what is most likely, I simply multiply the two together. IMO, this would be God. I don't see how quantum fluctuations and cosmic rays, or a lot of other things that definitely exist for that matter, would cure hearing loss diagnosed as incurable. i.e. The probability that they would do so would be infinitesemally small (i.e. approximately 0). I've not seen any evidence to suggest this. The probability of God curing it is a fair bit higher than completely random things, but the probability of God existing, IMO, under the assumption that all these prophecies coming true are evidence to suggest that God exists (when you use the fulfillment of prophecies to corroborate the Bible as evidence), you get a very high probability of it being true. It is not 1 exactly, because over 10,000 coincidences are technically possible, especially if vague prophecies are used. Still, it is going to be a number much higher than 0. Using my system, I believe 'God did it' is the most likely possibility out of all of them.

B. I don't know Hebrew, that's the point. One thing you stated earlier, however, is vital, that is, the original Hebrew transcription of the stones, and the exact translation into English.

Now, when I talk about the 10 Commandments being common sense, here are the premises I operate under:
- With the exceptions of premises that deal directly with law, humans should NOT be forced to follow them by other humans. I did not mention God as he would operate differently, I am dealing with how humans would deal with them today. 6, 7 and 9 are something that I would expect of other people.

Before I get on with the next one, I did not state that I agree with law enforcement used by God (he would have to prove it to me via the Unknown Purpose defence first) in the Bible. Using God's style of law enforcement today would not make sense, because there is no way even the Unknown Purpose defence could possibly apply (God did not say those methods should continue to apply, he may have had reasons for applying them, which may well have been based on possibly messed-up cultures that you hinted at).
- In other words, the premise here is, there are good reasons to follow them in the majority of cases, and there may well be exceptions (some people will have to work on the Sabbath, e.g. in hospitals, to expect that commandment to be strictly, rigidly obeyed all the time is madness, as people would die). They are not something to be rigidly obeyed all the time without applying thought to the situation you are in.
- I am not concerned with how God did things in a very different world, where he may have had to behave differently. I am concerned with how humans apply them today, whether or not God exists.

Under these premises, my opinion is still 8 or 9 out of 10 commandments. I have noticed you have operated under the premise of God issuing laws of capital punishment for dealing with people who break commandments, in the Old Testament, where he does not seem to allow for exceptions. This is a premise I am NOT operating under.

C. Yes, my mind can be changed.
First, how NOT to go about doing it: I will need to refer to the DN forums ToS first, for parts that apply especially to debates (especially of this nature)

2 relevant rules from the DN forums ToS wrote:
- Aggressive messages, personal insults, offensive critics, vulgarity towards others, hostility, remarks about someone's heritage/culture, and more generally any message contravening the French laws are prohibited. This means that you are not allowed to curse with the intent of offending someone else.
- There are moderators and Administrators in these forums for a reason, this means it is not your job to "mini-moderate" let them do their jobs instead of trying to do it for them.

Now, I am listing these because I want to show you what won't help you, which is basically stuff in the 1st rule I quoted. Basically, aggressiveness/anger/belittling/flaming etc, anything of this nature won't help your case at all. I do not react well to that sort of thing being directed at me. Doing it means you risk me refusing to continue the debate. The reason I put the second rule in is that it is important that we know that we can't simply call others out for breaking rules (mini-moderating isn't simply giving a reminder of the rules, but it's stating, with some hostility/imitation of authority, that you should follow them, or other things like 'This thread should be locked'). Only people with the authority to do so can do that, because otherwise it creates a hostile environment. What I am doing is not this, I am just pointing out relevant rules to bear in mind if you want me to listen, and you want to avoid trouble. I don't think there's anything wrong with a gentle reminder.

On to what DOES make me listen:
- Explaining reasoning behind claims you make. If I do not see the reasoning, I may not understand the claim. Also, if you cannot see reasoning behind my claims, say so. This is to prevent annoying back-and-forth repetition with no progress. Claims without clear reasoning don't work in debates.
- Spotting flaws in logic, and pointing them out, reasoning is essential if you do this, and it must be clear. The more flaws spotted, the better. Don't hesitate to tear apart faulty logic with evidence and/or reasoning. At this point, it may be easy to forget that you have to respect the person who posted the faulty logic, as they have just made a mistake. i.e. Ad hominem is not necessary, just destroying the actual 'logic'. Be careful to be gentle to the person whose logic you are destroying.
- Spotting incorrect use of words, and countering with their definition (or at least a 'Google define:word') will fix this. e.g. You ended up making me Google 'Define:murder'. I was not aware of 'unlawful' being a part of the definition, I'd been operating under 'deliberate killing'.
- Be very technical and precise when you define stuff. You have been doing this, e.g. original Hebrew version of 10 commandments (obviously translated accurately into English). Keep it up.
- If necessary, state premises/assumptions clearly, then follow with an argument based on these premises/assumptions. I have had to do this with The Ten Commandments, as my opinion has remained unchanged; however, we have been operating under different premises.
- If you find the style in which I present arguments unsatisfactory, suggest an alternative style.
- For this specific debate, refer to specific books/chapters/verses if necessary. I will go and look at the text around what is referred to if necessary, to establish a proper context.
- Use formal logical techniques explicitly. e.g. Propositional logic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propositional_calculus
- Need to prove something true beyond a shadow of a doubt, if certain premises are true? Mathematical proof techniques can be of use to you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_proof

Regarding your point 1.
1. I would need to see what premises you are operating under, because I don't see where you're coming from.
2. I'm not sure I'm understanding your argument. Now, about why the Bible is written the way it is, with all the weirdness and God with apparent heavy-duty SBS. God would have to know that the following will be done with the Bible, the exact details would have to be left to his Unknown Purpose defence (something which I LOATHE having to bringing up without being able to go further, because it goes into heavy-duty cop-out territory, which we both do not like). Bear in mind that I am operating under my usual premise of a perfect, good, Almighty god.
A. It is going to be translated into various languages, and things will get altered/lost in translation. What is written originally (I'm not sure Hebrew is the only language, Greek may have been getting used as well) will have to take this into account. Furthermore, God would have to be aware that people may well intentionally produce versions of the Bible that are false, not to mention he must know that people are going to take the contents out of context.
B. People are going to come up with very different interpretations of how anything in the various versions of the Bible is meant to be 'read'. What is written originally, will again have to take this into account.
C. The book, in all its various incarnations, is going to have to make a reasonable degree of sense to people as a whole (not everybody), from the time it is written, to the events in Revelation that have not happened yet (note that I am not stating that is prophesied to happen in the future will have to happen, more on this later). Everybody's minds work differently, so a whole variety of different style would have to be employed. A very small minority of people would actually read it cover-to-cover.
D. A lot of it will have to be an accurate enough, for the majority of humans, account of history, warts and all. By that I mean no hiding the truth of what happened in the past, however ugly it might be, despite the fact that this will lead to many people questioning why God acts like an evil tyrant, not to mention disagreements with scientific theories. One possible reason (but not the only reason) for this is that God might wants people to strengthen their logic by debating tricky issues like this. This, IMO, would actually be one, very tiny fragment, of an Unknown Purpose defence for allowing himself to be viewed as a villian by many.
E. After Jesus leaves, and there is no more overt acts of God, for whatever reasons he has for not needing to act overtly, God requires some way of allowing the Bible to be seen as valid evidence, given that he knows people cannot trust historical accounts alone from ages ago. His solution, use omniscience to prophecy the future to people writing the Bible. If these prophecies were to come true without fail, then this would be evidence that people can use to prove, beyond the reasonable doubt of many, that he does exist, and that the Bible, overall, is true. Note, very carefully, under this scenario, God is NOT wanting blind faith, but proper faith based on actual evidence. There is no way God could possibly expect everyone to believe Jesus went around performing loads of miracles 2000 years ago just because the Bible said so.
F. When it comes to matters of how people should treat other people, particularly without God around, THESE matters need to be logical, even if they seem illogical at first glance (e.g. 'Love thy enemy'). Note that these matters must have logic discernible by humans. A lot of what happened in the Old Testament is history that is to be left in the past, but something has come out of it that is still seen to be something that is a good idea to apply today. The Ten Commandments are what I'm talking about. I tested the logic behind them (using my own premises mind you, based on the world we live in today), and they seem sound enough.
G. There may be matters that God cannot explain properly to a lot of people in terms they can understand, under the limitations of a written text; so he may well have to fudge it, use troll logic, and cause people to write things in a way that will make sense to some people, but not to others. To me, the Gospel seems to fall into this category. Bear in mind he has to deal with other points mentioned previously when doing this.
H. God also seems to be interested in teaching subjects that can be of use, even if it's just for fun, but without the dangerous side-effects. There is music in the form of hymns/psalms with singing. An activity that frequently occurs in church. However, they can also contain messages for people just reading the Bible. God would seem to have multiple reasons for at least some of the verses that appear in the Bible. The whole structure of the Book Chapter:Verse used throughout the entire Bible is a simple, but effective precise referencing system that can be used to help arguments along, and for writing other documents (particularly legal documents), and allowing specific parts to be referred to easily later. There's also the fact that this allows any part of the Bible itself to be referenced down to a verse exactly. Finally, there are fictional stories, parables, that are educational, and they do illustrate points that would happen in the real world. The story of the boy who cried wolf, for example, and the consequences of repeated, dishonest lying with no good reason. The story that has the moral 'You can't please everybody!'. This particular story is quite significant in that it also indicates God is fully aware that a book with text, such as the Bible, cannot please everybody, so it needs to be written in a way to accommodate those who need it the most, and that does not necessarily mean a 100% logical Bible.
I. There have to be specific objectives the Bible is meant to fulfil. Among them: How to have fun safely (e.g. singing), the dangers of sin (e.g. parable about lying), how people should treat people (e.g. love thy enemy, treat thy neighbour as thyself), how to help people making mistakes with how they live their life, to watch out for evildoers who will corrupt people, and twist the Bible intentionally (a lot of out-of-context quoting is a prime example of this), how people should rely on evidence and think critically (http://www.rationalchristianity.net/unknown_verses.html). I will say this again, because it is VERY important, and it's precisely what we're doing to the Bible. Thessalonians 5:21 'Test everything, hold on to the good'. There may well be a whole load of other objectives, but only God would know them all.

Now, given ALL THESE REQUIREMENTS, would it make sense to write a Bible that would be seen as 100% logical by our definition? Would it fulfil its objectives? A major premise that is going around is that every statement in the Bible must be logically true. I would argue that this contradicts the requirements I outlined above, and hence that premise must be called into question.

Here is something from Exodus, which is written from Moses's perspective. Exodus 9-14: At this point, Moses has just learned from God that the people freed from slavery in Egypt have been committing idolatry, after receiving the first two stone tablets that The Ten Commandments were originally inscribed on.

NIV Bible, Exodus:9-14 wrote: 9 “I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. 10 Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.”

11 But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’” 14 Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
God states that he is intent on destroying people, yet he does not. Now, as God would have to know everything, actually destroying them would never actually be part of his plan, so technically speaking, he lied when he threatened to destroy them. It would seem that in some cases, the mere threat of judgment is enough to stop people from misbehaving. I believe Revelation 20:10 is something similar. I don't see how he could genuinely justify a literal execution of eternal punishment.

Overall, given the requirements that God would have to deal with, the Bible does seem to fulfil its purpose, and seems logical enough in the sense that it does what it's meant to. A lot of the stuff in the Old Testament would need to take into account the way the world works at that time, and that might explain why God set up laws that are barbaric by today's standards. Those laws might have been consistent with the standards of the people of those days, and had God tried to apply our standards, the people may not have gone through with the, and the results may have been worse in the long run. That's a possible explanation as to why God would go through with something like that.

Overall, the Bible seems to do it's job, and it's 'logical' in that it seems to fulfil its purpose reasonably well, compared to other approaches that would appear logical to us, but might not be understood by a lot of people.

3. I'm not expecting you to check ALL of them. If you want, you can check SOME of them, but certainly nowhere near all of them. That site I linked goes through 20 quickly.

4. See my response above.

For those of you who would like an alternative to the debate above, http://www.rationalchristianity.net/moral_authority.html . This would explain some key differences between God and humans, and why God would naturally act differently, and hence need to be judged under different criteria.
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Re: God

Post  Occultdude17 on 2012-02-02, 18:18

JDC,

This all seems to come down to 2 questions, so I reduce all points to the following:

1) Q: Does God exist?

A: There is no direct evidence for his existence, of that we can be certain. At any rate, who cares? God keeps to himself, we should do likewise.

2) Q: Is God evil?

A: I'm bored with trying to understand how omnipotent minds work. In fact, I distrust higher powers on principle, because they treat people like chess pieces and don't understand/care that other people can be hurt by their actions, and that the best move is not always the right move.

I had spent the last hour typing out a full reply to your argument, but then I thought, "What the hell am I doing this for? I've got better things to do with my life."
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Re: God

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