God is imaginary

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Orodaran
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God is imaginary

#1 Post by Orodaran » 12 Dec 2009 15:56

...which is not stating the obvious for some, or an offense for others... but the title of a website that offers 50 "proofs" about the non-existance of God:

http://godisimaginary.com

Ultimely, sites and debates like this are useless - those who have faith don't need proof and those who want proof will never accept faith as one, but still there are some very interesting points raised throughout the 50 proofs listed... some of the weak points of the site is that the title is also a slogan, as it may seem, so every chapter is always bound to end by reiterating that "God is imaginary", and in other occasions it makes things too simple or addresses them in a too much rude way (you can't go to a religious person and tell him that he believes in a pile of bollocks, there are other ways to give some food for thought to people who believe and make them realize some of the contradictions of any religion), but for the rest there are some quite strong points that should be taken in consideration not much by the average easy going believer who doesn't think to hold the ultimate truth in his/her hands, but rather by any kind of fanatic or still any kind of person that tries to use religion, or things based in religion, to dictate the ways other people should behave, or even the government and the law itself.

Some of my favorite points, or "proofs" as the site calls 'em, that are being raised are :

Proof 5: The Bible is outdated and does not sound at all like something directly inspired by a perfect being (reiterated in Proof 26)
Proof 6: "God's plan" cannot exist, unless we accept that there was a plan for every atrocity, every war and every genocide
Proof 9: The ambiguity of it all: you can't say that God cured you instead of the doctors, there's no way to counter-prove it
Proof 21: "Of course you have free will, but if you don't believe in me you'll burn in hell forever", the false freedom we supposedly have...
Proof 22: We are supposed to kill a very large amount of people if we follow the Bible to the letter
Proof 28: One of my favorites: we are ALL atheists towards the vast majority of gods mankind ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further...
Proof 31: A favorite too, religion is akin to superstition and what's worth a god that answers trivial prayers but does not stop atrocities and wars?
Proof 51: (one of the three bonus points) - if we can rule out Baal the way described in the Bible, why can't we rule out God or Allah as well that way?

Well, as I said, the site either preaches to the converted (yeah, the irony) or falls on deaf ears, so it's not that it's gonna change someone's mind in one or the other way, but still is a nice time to waste some minutes online if one has nothing better to do... or wants some additional input for the next time a fanatic comes along, you know, those kind of narrow minded people that cast a bad light even on all honest and respectable people who have their own set of beliefs and never assumed they hold the ultimate truth or tried to convert other people :wink:
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Andreas
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Re: God is imaginary

#2 Post by Andreas » 12 Dec 2009 17:45

OK, I intended not to react on a topic with such a title, but after seeing these points, I thought I'll say something about it.
Proof 21: "Of course you have free will, but if you don't believe in me you'll burn in hell forever", the false freedom we supposedly have...
Everything in the Bible contradicts the free will theory, so it's not that much of an argument.
Proof 22: We are supposed to kill a very large amount of people if we follow the Bible to the letter
Bollocks. If you think it's not, feel free to try to prove it.

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Re: God is imaginary

#3 Post by John T. Berzanske IV » 13 Dec 2009 10:13

Andreas wrote:
Proof 22: We are supposed to kill a very large amount of people if we follow the Bible to the letter
Bollocks. If you think it's not, feel free to try to prove it.
Leviticus is my favorite part of the Bible. There is some truely brutal stuff in there, these among them...
God wrote:Leviticus 20:2
...Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that
sojurn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall
surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.

Leviticus 21:9
And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the
whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

Leviticus 24:14
Bring forth him that hadth cursed without the camp; and let all that
heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation
stone him.
Now a person could read these as metaphors and thats fine. I'm fairly certain the book was written to be vague and ambiguous anyway, an useful tactic that leaves the writings open to a huge spectrum of interpretation. Most of this stuff, in my opinion, can more or less be attributed as scare tactics used against people who didn't know any better. For instance...
God wrote:'Yet if in spite of this you do not obey Me, but act with hostility against Me, then I will act with wrathful hostility against you, and I, even I, will punish you seven times for your sins. Further, you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat. I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you. I will lay waste your cities as well and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your soothing aromas. I will make the land desolate so that your enemies who settle in it will be appalled over it.
Think about it... You're a surf in the dark ages and you've never had a bit of schooling in your whole life when a priest tells you the quote above. He tells you it's in the book written by God and that you need to worship him or else God is going to destroy your cities and make you eat your children. Now that is just brilliantly sinister!

Logic and probability make me believe that was scare tactics to gain power over people in an age where superstition was considered fact and science was magic. Of course, I can't really disprove God actually saying those things but that's really my problem with faith in the first place. :wink:
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Re: God is imaginary

#4 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Dec 2009 10:51

I disagree about the futility of such endeavors. Obviously, people become christian through some process, because they certainly are not born that way. It's reasonable that reasonable people would first try to reason. But it is true also many religious people (most of the otherwise smart, ethical and rational) are incredibly hardheaded and irrational to the point of being ridiculous when it comes to questions of religion. It's that fact that makes me feel that faith is something like the Stockholm Syndrome: you have every evidence that you are wrong and you have the mental capacity to see that, but something, somehow makes you deceive yourself instead. And I think this something can be different for different people: peer pressure, existential angst, helplessness, emotional survival strategy, a spiritual experience, ... And of course, there are those who just never bothered to question. And these than are the people who might be persuaded by reason. Most others would probably require therapy or reeducation.
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Re: God is imaginary

#5 Post by Orodaran » 13 Dec 2009 12:11

Andreas wrote:OK, I intended not to react on a topic with such a title, but after seeing these points, I thought I'll say something about it.
Proof 21: "Of course you have free will, but if you don't believe in me you'll burn in hell forever", the false freedom we supposedly have...
Everything in the Bible contradicts the free will theory, so it's not that much of an argument.
Proof 22: We are supposed to kill a very large amount of people if we follow the Bible to the letter
Bollocks. If you think it's not, feel free to try to prove it.
If everything in the Bible contradicts the "free will" theory, then why you see EVERYONE talk about it? the point is that everything in the Bible contradicts the Bible ITSELF, and there are many things that cannot co-exist, such as God's plan... it's either free will, or we are all puppets in God's plan, exactly and precisely like the characters of a book are what the book writer wants them to be. Let's assume Tolkien is God and that the characters of Lord of the Rings are all real characters within the universe of Middle-Earth - Boromir's fate is already sealed no matter what, he was born not to be the Steward of Gondor, but to die in an orcs ambush after trying to take a ring from a midget. And think of all the people who died in the war of the ring, all the people that died on the very day Barad Dur fell, if only Frodo and Sam got up on Mount Doom a bit earlier, but Tolkien decided against it, and Sauron fell the day it fell.

It may sounds silly to make this comparison, but if you think about it, this is the implication of the presence of God's plan - your kitten was bound to die under a fast car, a poor innocent girl was bound to be raped, and Hitler was bound to try to exterminate an entire population. And at the same time, so many people talk of "free will", tell you that you have free will to do whatever you want but please please accept Jesus as your saviour... I'd just say talk among yourself, you bishops and clerics, and come out with something that has at least a tiny bit of internal logic.

Oh, and about the "we have to kill a lot of people" - the page of the site lists some examples, and John Berzanske replied to that as well.
John T. Berzanske IV wrote:Now a person could read these as metaphors and thats fine. I'm fairly certain the book was written to be vague and ambiguous anyway, an useful tactic that leaves the writings open to a huge spectrum of interpretation.
One of my favorite points raised by the site is however this one: If the Bible is directly *inspired by God*, why the all powerful and all knowing creator of the universe wasn't able to write something clear, inspiring and encouraging, that would stand as a beacon of morals and examples to follow throughout all the centuries??? why there have to be so many excuses and rationalizations for the Bible? "It shouldn't be taken literally", "This thing was metaphorical", "This other thing was lost in translation"... the creator of the universe is able to, d'uh, create the universe, but all he can whisper into a desert guy's ear is a bunch of outdated laws, senseless violence, and fairytales about talking snakes???
t.a.j. wrote:Obviously, people become christian through some process, because they certainly are not born that way.
The process, IMO, is the same that leads you to speak a language rather than other: religion is also an integrant cultural factor of the enviroment we are born, and so we adopt the religion of our parents just as we start to learn and talk their tongue.

I am italian and I speak italian because my parents did, and I was raised catholic because that's the "default" religion in Italy, simple as that. German people speak german and may find themselves in a protestant zone, greek people speak greek and they find themselves in the orthodox church, and arab people are raised as islamic, simple as that, and I don't see how this can be denied.

Furthermore, what we believe and what we hold to be true depends on our upbringing and what we are taught in an early age where our minds are easy to mold. There are many tales about the creation of the world, some come from religion and some come from fiction. What we believe depends exclusively on what is being stuck in our minds in a time when we believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. Take Tolkien again, for example. Why there can't be a supreme being that created the Valar and taught them to sing? why a woman born from a rib is more plausible?? why a talking snake is acceptable but a giant spider that destroys a tree is not? why a world created in seven days, with light at the first day but sun at the fourth is ok, but seven guys singing stuff is just literature?? Why, if we fear a horned guy that once was a beautiful angel that now stays in a very hot place we don't fear one of the Valar that is currently cast in the Void?

I bet that if a Tolkien fanatics couple that would raise a child reading the Silmarillion as a bedtime story would be able to make the child truly convinced that there is Eru and that the song of the Ainur happened, just like other children are raised to believe that as little kids they had to take a cold bath to avoid problems with the fact that a woman created by someone else's rib accepted an apple from a talking snake.

(This is addressed in other words in "proof" 7, at this link - it shows, seen from the outside, how absurd seem the fundament of other people's religions)
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#6 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Dec 2009 14:26

Many people also acquire religion late in life, making it rather obvious that that is not the whole story.
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Re: God is imaginary

#7 Post by Lilyael » 13 Dec 2009 15:35

Leviticus is OT. The NT god takes on a very different tone. And the point about free will is cause and effect. You can choose to go against God, but you land in deep shit if you do. I don't believe the Bible is meant to be taken quite so literally as suggested, it's metaphor. The point is live your life according to your wishes and you'll reap the consequences - as you sow, so shall you reap. The problem you have with it, as with any organized religion where people are not encouraged to think for themselves but to follow the orders of their ordaned priests, is that you leave it all wide open for abuse. What did Jesus call his followers ? His flock. Sheep. See ?
But as for the existence of God, well there must be a hundred different theories for and against. But how much does it really matter as long as this belief, or non belief, harms NOTHING.
And remember that as much is left out of the Bible as has been left in, on the whims of a few. And I'm willing to bet that various translations are incorrect. I've noticed differences between my copy, and my mother's copy; there must be many more.
As for the Valar.....well, why not eh ? People used to believe in elves as benevolent spirits. Didn't take them long to turn these spirits into the little people puked up by various Victorian artists, heh. But once they were powerful. That was part of the point with Tolkien, he mourned a world long lost. Remember when the elves left Middle Earth ? He got that idea from this world, with the Christians subjugating everything remotely pagan. Though his elven characters are fictional, they're firmly rooted in the mythology that was once a very powerful belief system.
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Re: God is imaginary

#8 Post by Orodaran » 13 Dec 2009 16:11

Lilyael wrote:Leviticus is OT. The NT god takes on a very different tone. And the point about free will is cause and effect. You can choose to go against God, but you land in deep shit if you do. [...] The point is live your life according to your wishes and you'll reap the consequences - as you sow, so shall you reap
Well, these are two ways to see the cause-effect situation... on a general, daily basis I agree that you reap what you sow: if you steal you accept that you may be caught and sent to jail, if you kill you accept the risk of being caught and getting a life sentence or capital punishment, if you cheat on your wife you accept the risk that she may find out and leave you, and so on.

My issue with the religious "free will" is that there is not much of a choice when the alternative is *eternal damnation and suffering in hell forever and ever until the end of times*. With this I don't mean "I want to kill and rape and steal without being told that I go to hell in doing so", but rather "I want to believe in nothing, be a good guy respecftul of other people and the nature, have sex outside of marriage, say the occasional white lie, drool over Natalie Portman and Liv Tyler without being told that I go to hell in doing so".

You say the Bible is not meant to be taken quite so literally (which may save me from being punished for having sex outside of marriage, and desiring someone else's woman, and save as well a lot of people the burden to sell all of their possessions to the poor), but some do, and many did at various times during history; furthermore, the OT is where the ten commandments are, so we should take literally the "thou shalt not kill" thing but NOT take literally the "Homosexuality is an abominion" thing? again, why a book inspired by the creator of the universe is not so crystalline clear, simple, profound that it does not need interpretation, translations and rationalizations?

I bet that the Silmarillion has a better internal logic than the Bible, and that assuming they are both religious books, and accepting as faith things you know can't be literally true (two trees being the early versions for the sun and the moon, which is just as interesting and just as unfounded like a talking snake that offers an apple from the tree of knowledge), you can follow better the inner logic of the Silmarillion than the one of the Bible... damn, I should find the time to make a serious analysis out of this :P
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#9 Post by Lilyael » 13 Dec 2009 18:04

Yeah, you should !
Well.....all that is why I added the bit about thinking for yourself. Anybody who thinks for themself will understand the contradictions within the Bible. Plus, it says thou shalt not kill, full stop. I can kill lunch, can't I ? I tread on a flower, it dies. And if I happen to take a job as an executioner...?* And let's face it, going to prison never deterred anybody. The commandments are more a creed to live a decent life by - see, what they left out of the Bible are the footnotes. Thou better not kill or else......except if you have to, or if it's you or the other guy, or someone's been very, very naughty....

why a book inspired by the creator of the universe is not so crystalline clear, simple, profound that it does not need interpretation, translations and rationalizations?
Inspired by the creator it might have been, but I bet his words, if there were actual words, were immediately analysed and twisted, and then written down by a human, and then translated a million times by other humans who made it say what they wanted it to say. It's a bloody book ! You can't trust them. For all we know, the original documents could have been their equivalent of the Daily Star or something.


*the devil made me do it.
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Re: God is imaginary

#10 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Dec 2009 19:13

Lilyael wrote:Leviticus is OT. The NT god takes on a very different tone.
That was predictable. It's still wrong. Here is one of my favorite quotes from Jesus:
Mathew 15:1-9 (line breaks correspond to verses)

Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Isn't it obviously divine? Little Billy calls his Dad an ass, and 'lo he is struck down and dies the death! Halleluja! God is merciful and just. But there are more gems of course, exlcusive salvation, eternal damnation and of course the hillarious bit with the swines, always a favorite.

Jesus might not be the monstrous and capricious mass murderering tyrant that the Jewish god of the old testament is, but he sure is not even close to anything I would call an ethical person. The character, like the prose that invented him is through and through a product of a dark and brutal age of slavery and unmitigated and unquestioned hierarchies.
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Re: God is imaginary

#11 Post by Lilyael » 13 Dec 2009 19:20

die what death exactly ?

If we are saying that right and wrong are subjective, then how can you accuse it of being "wrong" ?
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Re: God is imaginary

#12 Post by Cerbere » 13 Dec 2009 19:37

Holy shit tldr

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Re: God is imaginary

#13 Post by t.a.j. » 13 Dec 2009 19:46

1. I've not said that right and wrong are subjective.
2. Even if I did say that, I could still accuse J.C. of doing wrong by my standards and say that those standards are shared by most people in western society and probably quite far beyond that.

Want proof for that? Next time you see a child failing to honor its parents, kill it. See current moral judgments first hand. From the first row. Death row, to be exact.

So: I propose that what Jesus portraits as right in the above quote - that "dying the death" is the correct punishment for cursing one's parents - the vast majority of sensible and halfway healthy people across the vast majority of cultures contemporary and ancient (including, I might add, the Pharisees who get dissed in the above quote) find wrong, if not outright monstrous and evil.

As for the curious expression "dying the death":
Exodus 21:17 has this to say about cursing your parents:
And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
Leviticus 20:9 won't fix what ain't broken:
For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 is the real highlight, though. I particularly like the inference of gluttony and drinking from being stubborn and rebellious. If you want to stone your stubbornly and rebellious straight edge vegan daugther, god clearly wants you to lie here!
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:
Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;
And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Lilyael wrote:die what death exactly ?
Does it really matter how? I mean, would you really make a difference between someone who stabbed their child to death as opposed to someone who beat them to death with a club? Do you find any of those things any less morally reprehensible then the others?
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Re: God is imaginary

#14 Post by Lilyael » 13 Dec 2009 20:33

I just typed a load of what I suddenly realised was bollox, and came to this conclusion: God just likes playing cat-and-mouse with us all if he even exists. It's all just an elaborate mind-game to keep people occupied. After all, when was the last time you dissed your parents and got struck down by lightning ??

As for killing children who don't "honour" their parents......come visit Newcastle, you'll soon change your mind.......
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Re: God is imaginary

#15 Post by Orodaran » 13 Dec 2009 20:48

Lilyael wrote:I just typed a load of what I suddenly realised was bollox, and came to this conclusion: God just likes playing cat-and-mouse with us all if he even exists.
He doesn't.
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#16 Post by Andreas » 14 Dec 2009 12:26

Oro, the fact that everyone is talking about free will in christianity, doesn't mean the Bible agrees with it. I'm raised as a christian, and I had some strict religious education, and the point of free will is one of the main points of a Dutch writing in the 17th century, free will being discribed as something that doesn't exist concerning religion.

All those laws are, as Lily already said, OT. The NT explains why those laws aren't necessary anymore. Plus there's said that God is mercyful and such, that could explain then why you're not killed when you commit one violation.

And at some point Jesus says to his disciples that he won't call them followers anymore, but brothers.

I don't mind people not believing that God exists, but if you're going to make things up about the Bible and christianity itself, I really can't stand that.

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Re: God is imaginary

#17 Post by Orodaran » 14 Dec 2009 13:08

Andreas wrote:Oro, the fact that everyone is talking about free will in christianity, doesn't mean the Bible agrees with it.
...which is one more point against the supposedly perfection and divine inspiration of the Bible. Why an Holy Book divinely inspired, as I said already, is not so crystalline clear, simple, inspiring and profound to set things straight once and for all? why there are people taking it literally and others not, why some think all it takes is to accept Jesus as your lord and saviour and others think you have to do good deeds, while some talk of free will and some others talk about God's plan... you may say that it would be clear to anyone who'd actually take the time to read it and understand it, but whatever the truth is, it should be evident to all without any need for perpetual confusion and misintepretation over the years.
Andreas wrote:All those laws are, as Lily already said, OT. The NT explains why those laws aren't necessary anymore. Plus there's said that God is mercyful and such, that could explain then why you're not killed when you commit one violation.

And at some point Jesus says to his disciples that he won't call them followers anymore, but brothers.
If the OT is, well, "OT" as in off-topic ( :P ), why it is still paired with the Bible? especially considering it contains some key fundaments such as the creation of the world (which makes no sense when taken literally) and the original sin (which doesn't make any sense even less), just as a bunch of laws and guides that were suitable for the time the Bible was written, but horribly outdated and inhuman in our day and age? and if all of this is not necessary anymore, why there's a widespread confusions about this, especially among believers? Also, I remember when in the italian TV they showed the reading of the *entire* Bible. I don't remember the occasion (Christmas? Easter?), but I do remember that the Bible was read in its entirety and non stop by people following one after the other, with the Pope starting it all. Why reading the OT as well if it's not necessary anymore?
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A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#18 Post by End Of An Era » 14 Dec 2009 13:50

Andreas wrote:All those laws are, as Lily already said, OT. The NT explains why those laws aren't necessary anymore. Plus there's said that God is mercyful and such, that could explain then why you're not killed when you commit one violation.

And at some point Jesus says to his disciples that he won't call them followers anymore, but brothers.
Oh, so the bible has progressive insights? then why stop after the NT? ;) come on, you're saying the OT is outdated, but the NT not yet? That sounds like total BS.

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Re: God is imaginary

#19 Post by t.a.j. » 14 Dec 2009 14:15

Andreas wrote:Oro, the fact that everyone is talking about free will in christianity, doesn't mean the Bible agrees with it.
It's good that we agree on discussing primarily what the bible says and not what any commentators say or thingk. I would like to inject, though, that without free will, the problem of evil seems completely unsolveable. Thus, there is very good reason for any theist to argue for free will, because without it, the properties of god and our experience of the world certainly form an inconsistent set.
All those laws are, as Lily already said, OT. The NT explains why those laws aren't necessary anymore. Plus there's said that God is merciful and such, that could explain then why you're not killed when you commit one violation.
1. I have provided a quote from Jesus, given in direct speech, that chides the Pharisees for not keeping the law. That does not sound like the laws "aren't necessary anymore". But here is something very explicit in a dozen translations:
http://bible.cc/matthew/5-17.htm
2. Those laws do not describe what god will do, they prescribe what people should do. And they do not say: Be merciful and let the first couple of infractions slide. They say: If someone does x, do y to him.
3. Mercy is all fine and nice, but it kind of makes the laws redundant. Part of the point of having laws is to get rid of arbitrariness and having laws that are sometimes stayed for mercy (and not e.g. for mitigating circumstances) is nothing if not arbitrary.
And at some point Jesus says to his disciples that he won't call them followers anymore, but brothers.
I would like a quote, that would be far better than "at some point". The only place I do remember that brotherhood with Jesus is invoked is Galatians 1:19: http://bible.cc/galatians/1-19.htm. This mention of "The Lord's brother" have sometimes been interpreted as a title and not as a family relation.
I don't mind people not believing that God exists, but if you're going to make things up about the Bible and christianity itself, I really can't stand that.
Unlike you, I have merely quoted the bible and commented on those quotes. Really, a lot a christians have no idea at all what the bible actually says, which might be a reason why so many otherwise rational and ethical people are still christians and have not turned away in horror and disgust from those barbaric doctrines.
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Re: God is imaginary

#20 Post by Andreas » 14 Dec 2009 14:47

Jesus accused the Pharisees for not keeping the law, because those people tended to be proud on the fact that they thought they were good people according to the Bible (enough examples of that).

And yes, the whole point of mercy is that, if someone receives it (receive is NOT take, what would imply free will), he/she isn't "under the law" anymore. But those people will try to obey the law. On others, the law is still applicable.

And I got the quote for you:
John 15, 14+15 wrote:And you are my friends, if you obey me. Servants don't know what their master is doing, and so I don't speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.
And I still don't see what barbaric doctrines you're talking about. God is love, according to the Bible, but also He is a scorching fire, it says in Deuteronomium 4, 24.

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Re: God is imaginary

#21 Post by t.a.j. » 14 Dec 2009 15:54

Andreas wrote:Jesus accused the Pharisees for not keeping the law, because those people tended to be proud on the fact that they thought they were good people according to the Bible (enough examples of that).
That's a nice interpretation, but sadly the last verse of my quote quotes the lord god as saying through his prophet Esaisa : "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

The Pharisees are not merely accused of hypocrisy, but also of "worshiping in vain" and having hearts that are far from god. Seems to me that Jesus doesn't just use rhetoric to show the Pharisees as hypocrites, but does indeed critique their behavior as being ungodly because it is against the law. And this implies by strict logic, that he advocates the killing of children for cursing their parents.
And yes, the whole point of mercy is that, if someone receives it (receive is NOT take, what would imply free will), he/she isn't "under the law" anymore. But those people will try to obey the law. On others, the law is still applicable.
Granted, but the rule of law is generally considered to be a much better way of organizing society than relying on the arbitrariness of even a merciful ruler. Under law, I know what I have to do in order to avoid punishment and I can critique the law itself, because it is explicit and I can know it. Under the rule of even merciful arbitrariness there is nothing I can do about what happens to me. I am completely powerless and subjected to another. Leaving me in a situation of fear and doubt which I cannot rectify (except by revolt). Setting up this kind of structure is itself not merciful but cruel. Thus, if god were merciful, he would have stuck with the law, avoiding arbitrariness.


And I got the quote for you:
John 15, 14+15 wrote:And you are my friends, if you obey me. Servants don't know what their master is doing, and so I don't speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.
Apart from the fact that John 16:12 says that Jesus has yet many things to say unto [the disciples], but [they] cannot bear them now, which seems to indicate that the disciples don't know what their master is doing, and therefore are servants, there is the fact that all of John 15 seems rather preoccupied with making the point that it is very important to obey Jesus and do as he commands, because if anyone does not, "he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." (John 15:6)

So while he does say "let's be friends", he does not at all treat them like friends.
And I still don't see what barbaric doctrines you're talking about. God is love, according to the Bible, but also He is a scorching fire, it says in Deuteronomium 4, 24.
Some very brutal passages have already been quoted. But you can read many more up for yourself. SAB has been so kind as to list all the brutalities of the bible http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/cruelty/long.html.
If you fear subterfuge, just read up the stuff in your own bible. If you can really, in good conscience and out of the deep of your heart think of these things as merciful, just or even loving than people around you should really be worried about their safety.
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Re: God is imaginary

#22 Post by Orodaran » 14 Dec 2009 16:34

And a different angle to look at, for God being a "God of love": if you get cancer and eventually after a painful series of chemiotherapy you survive, and you call it God's miracle (and many people actually would). Well, couldn't God save you from cancer to begin with? why he did not answer a prayer of anyone in your family (Example: "Please keep safe and healthy everyone I love"), but he did answer your "I don't want to die from cancer" prayer?

Or, you get a puppy, and after one week, the house burns down at night but the puppy, barking, wakes you and you escape, while the puppy dies in the flames. Was the puppy sent by God to save you (and there are people who may see it this way)? well, why didn't God stop the spark that ignited the fire in the first place, assuming once again that a good willed and unselfished person of your family prayed for your safety?

There are endless examples that could be done that way, to point out that a true God of "love" would hear unselfish and good-willed prayers (otherwise what's the point in praying), which leads also to the general point of why no prayer to get rid the world of suffering and diseases can ever get answered. Why God inspired some desert cavemen to write the Bible 2000 years ago, but he can't inspire some scientist with clues that lead to a cure against cancer or AIDS?
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Re: God is imaginary

#23 Post by End Of An Era » 14 Dec 2009 17:04

Orodaran wrote:Why God inspired some desert cavemen to write the Bible 2000 years ago, but he can't inspire some scientist with clues that lead to a cure against cancer or AIDS?
Better question yet: Why did got create something so horrible as AIDS and cancer in the first place?

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Re: God is imaginary

#24 Post by Andreas » 14 Dec 2009 17:13

Now you all are still assuming God is only a God of love. But I already said He is also a "scorching fire" (don't know the English translation). According to the Bible, nobody can do good, not even one. So the question "why do we also receive good things instead of only bad things", is far more interesting.

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Re: God is imaginary

#25 Post by Orodaran » 14 Dec 2009 17:36

Then all I can think of is the quote from Epicurus:

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
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A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#26 Post by ThePKH » 14 Dec 2009 17:40

It's easy to prove bible wrong if it claims that people aren't capable of doing good. Just go hug someone or buy a beer to a friend. :)
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Re: God is imaginary

#27 Post by Joost » 14 Dec 2009 17:44

Andreas wrote:Oro, the fact that everyone is talking about free will in christianity, doesn't mean the Bible agrees with it. I'm raised as a christian, and I had some strict religious education, and the point of free will is one of the main points of a Dutch writing in the 17th century, free will being discribed as something that doesn't exist concerning religion.
Yes, predestination vs. free will was the main point of the Synod of Dordt. However, the proclamations of this Synod only represent one side of the debate (the side of the Calvinists, that is, versus the Arminians). As you also should know, the Arminians have countered this point of the Calvinists by saying that God does not determine the events of the world, but infallably predicts them, thereby leaving open an option of free will. Lutherans take in an intermediate stance, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Coptic Christians do believe in Free Will. The majority of American protestants also do believe in free will.

Keep in mind: the influence of the Synod of Dordt mostly restricts itself to Dutch Protestantism/Calvinism, and doesn't extend to Christianity or even Protestantism as a whole. (Except perhaps to Calvinism, but keep in mind that although Calvinism is the main branch of Protestantism in the Netherlands, it is only marginal in most of the rest of the world.)

As with many subjects, you can get various things out of the Bible itself on this view. How would someone believing in predestination, for example, explain the following verses (Deutoronomy 30, 15-19):
30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
30:16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
30:18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
Also, in Judaism, free will is regarded as an axiomatic principle. Their main point being: "The fact that the Torah (replace with OT to reflect Christian terminology) was given to us at all, is evidence of us having free will. If we would not have free will, and if everything were predestined from the beginning, what use would there be to give a book like the Torah, filled with rules on which our fate is based?"


Summarizing: for a big part, it just depends on whether you let Augustine be your guiding theologian, or Maimonides.
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Re: God is imaginary

#28 Post by Andreas » 14 Dec 2009 18:28

Wasn't it Augustine vs. Pelagius? Or are we talking about a different Augustine here? (it's been more than 10 years, so I'm not sure yet)
Orodaran wrote: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Why?

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Re: God is imaginary

#29 Post by Orodaran » 14 Dec 2009 19:06

Point 1 of those you quoted: there's a christian girl about to be raped, she's running in a dark alley but she takes a dead end street and there she is facing the wall, the crazy lunatic behind him, no one passing by. She is terrified for her life knowing fully she's about to be raped and maybe even killed, and from the bottom of her desperated heart she genuinely and sincerely pledges to God to save her. What would happen??? of course the girl would get raped and no lightning from above would strike the rapist, nor would an angel whisper into the rapist's ear "what the hell are you doing, get back to sanity and leave her be".

If a God would hear the plea of the girl but could not reach down to stop the rapist or send an angel to change his mind at the last minute, he's not omnipotent.

Point 2: He COULD strike down with a lightning the rapist, or send an angel, or whisper into a bystander to casually take a stroll into the alley and cry for help making the rapist walk away, but he DOESN'T. Why not call malevolent a God that, having created the universe and being all powerful and all omniscient, could as well stop a rape but doesn't?
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Re: God is imaginary

#30 Post by Joost » 14 Dec 2009 19:17

Andreas wrote:Wasn't it Augustine vs. Pelagius?
Yes, those two pretty much were up to this debate in real life. But the reason why I put Maimonides there as representant of Free Will, and not Pelagius, is that Maimonides (who also is a proponent of free will) is considered a central figure in Jewish theology. And, as the Tanakh is (with a few slight differences) composed of the same texts as the Old Testament, I guess you can say both used the same sources to derive conclusions that are quite different...
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: God is imaginary

#31 Post by t.a.j. » 14 Dec 2009 19:33

Andreas wrote:
Orodaran wrote: Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Why?
Let's be science fictiony here:
It's the near future, you have a wonderful new gadget it's call the stopper. The stopper is a perfect non-lethal weapon. It's impossible to miss with it and when it hits, it makes that person move extremely slow for 10 minutes.
You have the stopper in your pocket as you come upon a scene of soon-to-be rape in an alley. A big, bad looking brute is about to seriously hurt a very young girl. You stood there and watched, while you wondered why you should help.
What kind of excuse can you offer for not using the stopper to stop the rapist?
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Re: God is imaginary

#32 Post by alleyesonazarath » 15 Dec 2009 19:45

No offense to any otherwise cool christians who may be lurking about, but the bible doesn't need to be filled with contradictions (like it is) to be a joke text. The idea of combining a post henotheistic religion (Judaism) with a selection of letters and short stories used to further the political agenda of Rome... How brilliant! Who could have thought of such a thing? Only God!

Besides, this book is the menu for the McDonalds equivalent to religion, and it comes with only one choice: God on a stick.

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Re: God is imaginary

#33 Post by Lilyael » 15 Dec 2009 22:12

that pretty much sums it up, yeah. It's not designed to encourage people to think for themselves. Plus, these quotes from Jesus: I put no more stock in them than I do Gordon Brown's rubbish, and besides, since the first anyone ever wrote of the Bible was 100-odd yrs after J's death, then I doubt everything he's quoted as saying was a) said, and b) said by him. Plus you have to allow for translations, and people making it say what's convenient. The Bible is a good mythology collection. Nothing more.
And what kind of God lets his "son" die in agony ? To save the people ? Why not just rip their souls out, put them back in the Garden of Eden, and move that bloody tree out of their reach ?!
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Re: God is imaginary

#34 Post by End Of An Era » 15 Dec 2009 23:12

Lilyael wrote:And what kind of God lets his "son" die in agony ? To save the people ? Why not just rip their souls out, put them back in the Garden of Eden, and move that bloody tree out of their reach ?!
+1 :lol:

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Re: God is imaginary

#35 Post by Orodaran » 15 Dec 2009 23:36

Lilyael wrote:And what kind of God lets his "son" die in agony ? To save the people ?
It's damn confusing, that's for sure. Some may say that his blood was needed to wash mankind free from sin, since we are all born with original sin (which is there because, I cannot stress it enough, a woman born from the rib of a man accepted a tree from a talking snake), so if you believe that Jesus died for you, you get saved rather than going to hell. No one with sin can enter into heaven => we are all born with sin because of Eve (and until here, in the internal logic of religion, I can follow) => you accept Jesus as your lord and saviour and you are allowed into heaven because HE shed his blood for YOU (this is where I lose it).

Some others may take it more symbolically - I was reading on Wiki that "To most Christians, Jesus willingly sacrificed himself as an act of perfect obedience as a substitutionary atonement, a sacrifice of love which pleased God.", which makes even less sense - offering a blood sacrifice for someone's sins is inhuman, barbaric and unjust, no matter if it's the son of God we're talking about. There's no sense that if a guy rapes a girl today and accept Jesus as his lord and saviour, Jesus' sacrifice makes up for the crime - a lifetime in jail is the punishment under civil law (at least it should be).

Or, to put it on the humour side a bit, the reason behind your question is described in this comics strip: It was necessary for Jesus to sacrifice himself to himself to allow himself to change a rule that he created himself :P
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#36 Post by alleyesonazarath » 16 Dec 2009 01:08

You are all more fair than I.

When I hear this nonsense about salvation, I lose it long before the conversation draws to a close. Let's see, some God creates everything just for shits and giggles, then gives the things called humans a wide spectrum of emotions and abilities to move, think, and act. This same God then one day decides to create a list of orders to prevent this creation from doing the things he created them to do. If that weren't bad enough, this bipolar God decides one day that he wants to forgive this thing he created. What does he do? He creates himself in a human body, and goes through with a very ellaborate suicide (thus breaking one of his original 615 laws in the judaic texts, proving he is a sinner too) in order for him to forgive only a small portion of humans that believe this shit. What an awesome God!

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Re: God is imaginary

#37 Post by Orodaran » 16 Dec 2009 01:15

...but the best part of it is that Satan hardly does any evil throughough the whole Bible; actually the entire Old Testament is a continous showcase of God's murdering intents :P which also include, let's not forget, annihilating the entire population of the planet save a handful of guys on a giant ark and a pair of all animals... if we see God as a programmer, he's a bit of a lousy programmer: he created a program (the universe), he got a virus (sin), he couldn't find a better solution than to format the computer (the flood), and then he got the same virus (sin) again anyway, before finally installing an antivirus (Jesus)!!! well, at least he made a backup before formatting it all :wink:
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#38 Post by Joost » 16 Dec 2009 01:37

Orodaran wrote:...but the best part of it is that Satan hardly does any evil throughough the whole Bible; actually the entire Old Testament is a continous showcase of God's murdering intents :P which also include, let's not forget, annihilating the entire population of the planet save a handful of guys on a giant ark and a pair of all animals... if we see God as a programmer, he's a bit of a lousy programmer: he created a program (the universe), he got a virus (sin), he couldn't find a better solution than to format the computer (the flood), and then he got the same virus (sin) again anyway, before finally installing an antivirus (Jesus)!!! well, at least he made a backup before formatting it all :wink:
Heh, great comparison.

Anyway, in the Old Testament, the "bad guy" Satan doesn't exist at all, actually. When Satan makes his appearance in the book of Job, he's actually the accuser in the court of God. Same with Lucifer... in one of the Bible books, there's this fragment about the Morning Star, a.k.a. Lucifer, but nowhere is it mentioned that this refers to any kind of 'bad guy', let alone the same guy as Satan.

To be honest, I think we got more of our mythology about Lucifer/Satan as the Devil from Milton's Paradise Lost and earlier European folklore, than we actually got out of the Bible. Also, some of these folktales present the Devil more as a trickster type of figure than as a simplistic personification of evil -- pointing to pagan roots (e.g. Loki, Lugh, Hermes, Prometheus).

Also, I think people are believing in some kind of simplification when they say "oh, the Old Testament has all the bad stuff, and the New Testament only has fluffy and peaceful stuff". It's not that simple, and at least in the New Testament there is a lot of stuff that isn't that peaceful or fluffy. Heck, even in Buddhist texts you'd find a lot of stuff that's far from peaceful and fluffy.
You charge each other for the time and breath it takes to say 'good morning',
But the truth is slowly dawning -- things are getting out of hand,
We all pursue our shattered dreams along the roads to our own ruin --
Watch our empires sink and wash away like castles made of sand.
And so cast off the lies that are your lives and find the truth within.
-- Martin Walkyier

Also, Balrogs have wings.

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Re: God is imaginary

#39 Post by Desert_Storm » 16 Dec 2009 01:52

Though some of these points have been touched within the discussion, I think that the main unsolved points were the problems of free will/evil. It's quite a simple thing with the two of them though.

Assuming there is a god that creates people he can either have some robots who do what they're meant (programmed) to do or he can have some things that can actually think and make decisions on their own. Now everyone would probably agree that the most "important" decisions a man can make are the moral ones, and therefor you need to have an alternative to pure devine goodness. If you haven't got one, there is not really a free will, and if you have got an alternative (the evil) you therefor also must have it's consequences, for without them your choice wouldn't really be a choice -> your free will wouldn't be free. So to say, you could assume that the above assumed god created the possibility of evil, as a logical consequence of creating the free will.
God intervening in any of the consequences of the possibility of free will (evil, again) would contradict (it wouldn't be free, again).
Any idea of a masterplan would contradict too. Of course one could say that the masterplan was first and the free will was part of the masterplan, but when you think about it, the will wouldn't be free again.
Any idea of a masterplan would also lead to the catastrophic fatalism we can watch in some religious trends, saying that you neither should nor could do anything in or with your life because an omnipotent god will do what he wants with it anyway. Have fun staying in bed all day waiting for the devine masterplan to include you.

The other thing I didn't quite understood was the comparision between religion and language. seeing that we have houndreds of thousands converts every year and a similar number of people who are prosecuted and tortured and killed for what they believe in, I don't know, but I think that pretty much contradicts the religion/language comparision, especially when looking at the great philosophers from medival times to 20'th-century writers like C. S. Lewis, who wrote millions of pages with their arguments and reasons. If I may quote the one mentioned last: "Everybody should have very good reasons for what he believes in" - "I couldn't imagine a just god who would punish people for their inability to believe in something that contradicts their logical reasoning" (freely translated)

Of course nothing of this was meant as an argument or a proof for the existence or non-existence of a god or whatever you may believe in, and of course the passage about the free will is a little simplyfied, but I'm quite tired and I think my main points are clear so far. Of course in such discussions it's hard for most people to leave personal feelings out of the argument, what makes the discussion less productive...

And, as always, sorry for my incorrect english.

Regards,

desert_storm
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God is like hunger or sex

#40 Post by Hansi Smurf » 16 Dec 2009 04:12

God is likened unto hunger or sex. No one ever asks you to prove that you are hungry or sexually desirous.

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Re: God is imaginary

#41 Post by t.a.j. » 16 Dec 2009 09:54

For a moment I was tempted to find a response to that. Then I realized who posted it.
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Re: God is imaginary

#42 Post by Guilherme » 18 Dec 2009 13:29

Favorite Bible quote ahead:

23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

V E I N

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Re: God is imaginary

#43 Post by Orodaran » 18 Dec 2009 13:50

Well, a God that sends bears to slay your enemies may be not as useful as a God that listens to a selfless and sincere prayer about a cure for cancer and AIDS, but is definitively more badass :D
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

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Re: God is imaginary

#44 Post by Lilyael » 18 Dec 2009 23:26

I much prefer the Egyptian way of seeing things. At some point this random thought decided it ought to be something, so formed itself into a man shape. It realised it had nothing to stand on, but did have a penis, so had a wank and created the earth, then a few more wanks and the people and stuff to go on the earth appeared. Then he magicked some kids, who then set about the usual sibling squabbling, and somehow the inlaws arrived and screwed things up even more, then someone got ripped up by a really pissed off relative ( "it will end in tears you know !" ), and put back together again with more semen by his lover ( this sticky white stuff is really great, you can make things out of it, glue things with it.....)
And there's the God who rolls the magic ball of shit across the sky, bursts into flames, and sinks behind the horizon plunging us all into darkness, only to do it all again the next day - I may sound flippant.....but I love these guys !
At least they're not all like "gotta do this...blah blah....mustn't do that...yipyip....women are unclean, filthy, whores and witches and I'm so repressed, blah blah..."
.......and you deserve us, Leviathan

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Re: God is imaginary

#45 Post by Lilyael » 18 Dec 2009 23:46

Back with a more sensible thought:

The Flood was sent to deal with the Nephilim, who had at that point spread far and wide and caused untold damage. This bit is an Apocryphal text, and most Christians don't read the Apocrypha, so the Flood appears as an isolated event with no explanation. It was an ethnic cleansing in some respects. The arguments and dare I say it evidence for the existence of these "giants" are precarious, and much of it unbacked up by real research or science, but the point is still that you're only getting about half the story with today's Bible since the 17th century - precisely the point, in fact, when it was translated from Latin into secular languages, meaning everybody had access to it and not just priests. A particularly interesting read, though to be taken with a large pinch of salt, is "from the ashes of angels" by Andrew Collins.

Satan: the meaning of the name is literally "accuser" and as someone rightly pointed out, in the OT and in much of his dealings with Jesus, he is accuser and tempter, and not, I don't believe, the same fallen angel incarcerated in Hell. Wasn't the name of that place originally Shaol ? Meaning "prison". It's in the Book of Enoch, and I can never remember his name, but he was actually only one of the twenty ringleaders who defied God and did exactly what they'd been forbidden to do, which was teach medicine, metalworking, cosmetics, science, and astrology, to us mere mortals. Their offspring with the mortal women were the monstrous Nephilim, who ripped their way out of their mothers, grew to monstrous proportions, and brought war and horror and cannibalism to the earth. Hence the Flood.
Despite the archaic language in many versions, it's a pretty interesting story, but it didn't suit the Church to have it in there because an example of God's warriors, his own angels, defying him and apart from one unfortunate scapegoat, pretty much getting away with it, isn't a very good example if you want a nice compliant flock of sheep, is it ?

There is scientific - geological - evidence of a catastrophic flood, around the time this Biblical flood is supposed to have happened. I imagine that the stories in the Bible come from this time and were made up by a population who would have explained away any cataclysmic event such as that in a similar manner, as most cultures did.
.......and you deserve us, Leviathan

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Re: God is imaginary

#46 Post by West Virginia Mule » 19 Dec 2009 12:26

Worship and believe in the state. No Gods allowed.
KILROY WAS HERE

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Re: God is imaginary

#47 Post by Orodaran » 19 Dec 2009 13:55

Lilyael wrote:There is scientific - geological - evidence of a catastrophic flood, around the time this Biblical flood is supposed to have happened. I imagine that the stories in the Bible come from this time and were made up by a population who would have explained away any cataclysmic event such as that in a similar manner, as most cultures did.
Well, I fully believe that something that can be compared to a flood happened - after all there are many myths about it, and for me it's only logical that ancient civilizations see something out of the ordinary happen, and attach their own meaning to it afterwards.

Anyway, a random thought that popped into my mind: why isn't Judas considered an all time hero, rather than the bad guy whose name has become the very synonim for betrayal and disloyalty?? Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, or so we're told. Well, how did Jesus die? he was crucified. Who sold Jesus to the authorities? Judas!! so why being mad at the guy? he actually set the whole thing in motion, it was not sissy Peter that got Jesus on the cross (he was too busy crying in a field or whatever), it was Judas who took the matter in his hands, sold the bearded guy and got him nailed to the cross!! and he killed himself over remorse and his name became an alternative meaning for betrayal... why? just thank the guy for making it happen!! also Jesus on the cross said, of the soldiers that were crucifying him, "Father forgive them for they do not what they're doing". Forgive them? THANK THEM!!! they are actually making the *very fundament of the christian religion* come true. Why would God be mad (and therefore in need of forgiving, at the direct plea of the victim) with those who are carrying out what he meant since the beginning - sending Jesus on earth to die for mankind's sins? someone had to do it, and Judas did it. Bless Judas!!!!

(And - I am serious. Ok, I wrote the post a bit on the irony side, but I am serious. Jesus had to die for our sins. Judas made it happen, he sold him to the authorities. Why is Judas a bad guy?)

EDIT: It just dawned on me another more disturbing angle of this issue. Throughout history jews have been despised because "they killed God", in a sense. Well, since the death of Jesus and his resurrection are the pillars of stone on which the christian faith is based, and the very argument it uses to justify their own rigtheousness ("Budda, Mohammed are all dead - Jesus rose from the dead instead"), why being angry at the jews for making salvation for mankind possible??
"There's a time when a man needs to fight and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny's lost, the ship has sailed and that only a fool will continue. The truth is I've always been a fool"
~~~~~~~~~~~~
A slight call afar is tempting me, like a whisper sweet or an awful scream; I cannot ignore what I've always been, I'm leaving again - one last time? in my little kingdom I can be what I really wanted to be... The wanderer

----------------------
BG news (if you're lazy to check the site) :: You're on Facebook? Look at my photos from concerts, travels and more :: Oh, and since you're at it, check my photos also on 500px

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Re: God is imaginary

#48 Post by t.a.j. » 19 Dec 2009 14:38

West Virginia Mule wrote:Worship and believe in the state. No Gods allowed.
Thank you. At last somebody is being reasonable.
http://www.gedichtblog.de
They say that there's a broken light for every heart on Broadway.
They say that life's a game, then they take the board away.
They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story
Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret...


Still the goddamn Batman.

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Re: God is imaginary

#49 Post by alleyesonazarath » 21 Dec 2009 21:32

This thread is amazing. I love all you guys!

Happy Winter Solstice, and holidays to all who do and don't celebrate!

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Re: God is imaginary

#50 Post by Desert_Storm » 22 Dec 2009 22:44

Orodaran wrote: (And - I am serious. Ok, I wrote the post a bit on the irony side, but I am serious. Jesus had to die for our sins. Judas made it happen, he sold him to the authorities. Why is Judas a bad guy?)
well, though it's clear what you mean, you may realise that your intention defines your action as good or bad, whatever consequences it actually may have had. May sound stupid at first read, but if you think about it, our whole law-system is based on it. You get charged for what your intention was (in the case of poor Judas mostly lust for money), see attempted murder etc., even if you don't manage to kill the guy. If it has some good effects afterwards (e.g. the guy you shot in rage or for whatever reason was up to comit other crimes) it still makes you a murderer, especially if you haven't known about any of his intention. We may assume that Judas didn't (nor the roman soldiers who actually killed Jesus).
We may take that out to other fields. Bush's war on Iraque may have ended the dictatorship of Sadam Hussein and will maybe some day in the future bring democracy and peace to this land, still he'll remain in bad memories for the way he ran the war and for the intentions he (may have) had to do so.
Also, the minaret controversy in Switzerland may result in good discussions, better understanding and more tolerance among muslims and other swiss people, still we (or most of us) think of this vote as something bad.
I'm not defending here any of those things, I'm just trying to show that the act doesn't automatically is better when somehow, someone manages to use it for good consequences. I'm tempted to make some more extreme examples here of people who have done extremly bad stuff and it was somehow of use to our planet/population but I don't want to offend anyone here (probably I've already done so).
This has nothing to do with any kind of faith, just normal ethics.

And as always, the simpsons cover it
Sideshow Bob wrote:I mean what a country is this? Arrested for "attempted murder"! I'm in jail for a crime I didn't even commit! What comes next, a nobel prize for "attempted chemistery"?
:mrgreen:
It just dawned on me another more disturbing angle of this issue. Throughout history jews have been despised because "they killed God", in a sense. Well, since the death of Jesus and his resurrection are the pillars of stone on which the christian faith is based, and the very argument it uses to justify their own rigtheousness ("Budda, Mohammed are all dead - Jesus rose from the dead instead"), why being angry at the jews for making salvation for mankind possible??
This thinking was wrong right from the start, seing that none of the NT autors ever wrote anything against the jews - in contrary: most of them were jews himself, and all of them were spending time with jews. St. Paul for example wrote tons of letters with reminders what people of several places had done wrong and he never wrote anything like that what could be used as a justification for the anti-semitism of some christian people during medival times. It was more that people were looking for black sheeps anyway (as they are today, see the extremism of some radical atheists, claiming that "all terrorist are religious people - none of them are atheists", forgetting that some atheists like Mao, Hitler, Stalin etc. comitted some more crimes than some muslims blowing up themselves or whatever), and the "murders of christ" accusation was just one more among lots of other "reasons" why jewish people are bad people and should be murdered :roll:
I, too, am a neat guy. And I, too, am just a love machine
Also, a stupid europeoid with snake primitive language

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