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Old 26th March 2019, 02:13 PM   #321
GDon
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
As David mentioned above we are waiting for you to define your god GDon, so we can subject him/her to our withering gaze. There's a good lad, colour the picture in for us.
Come now, I spent many pages outlining what I believed and why and answering questions in a thread last year. I know you know this because you contributed questions, and IIRC said my answers were thought out and not glib, or something along those lines. You can resurrect that thread if you like.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:16 PM   #322
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Right, but the rules were different back then, or something. After Eden, God separated into the Trinity and was not embodied again until Jesus.

Something like that, anyway. Wait, who was that guy who fought God?

Really answers like that just boil down to making a claim of the supernatural, and saying that hence whatever answer or explanation they may give is automatically correct (because no matter what your objection is or how clearly you show their claim cannot be true, they just say it happened by a supernatural process from God).
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:19 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
In other words, the atheist's version of God is based on the Bible, while the Christian's is not. Most peculiar.
Yes, it sometimes happens, and it is peculiar. Especially when the atheist insists that the Bible should be taken literally, while the theist does not.

Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
This brings us back to my as-yet-unanswered question: If you reject the Biblical description of God, even if it's just to shift from literal to metaphorical, what is the source of your information about God? Because, as far as I know we have literally nothing else.
That has been a question in theology circles for ages. If someone hasn't heard the Gospel message or whatever holy text being referred to (e.g. those people born in earlier times or far away), are they doomed? One answer is "no, because God has written His rules in our hearts." So inspiration from God is another source.

(Edited to add) Now that I think about it, that's a strange question you asked. Cosmic Yak, surely you've heard this from theists before? Even the most literalist theist would regard inspiration from God as a source for knowledge about God. Why do you think that theists have "literally nothing else" other than the Bible? What do you think their God is like? One that can only communicate through the Bible? One that doesn't provide inspiration?

Last edited by GDon; 26th March 2019 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:24 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Come now, I spent many pages outlining what I believed and why and answering questions in a thread last year. I know you know this because you contributed questions, and IIRC said my answers were thought out and not glib, or something along those lines. You can resurrect that thread if you like.
Come now yourself. If I believed in a god it wouldn’t take me “many pages” to give a brief overview of what that god is, and I wouldn’t expect people to go back and find those many posts from an unidentified thread from a year ago.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:31 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Come now, I spent many pages outlining what I believed and why and answering questions in a thread last year. I know you know this because you contributed questions, and IIRC said my answers were thought out and not glib, or something along those lines. You can resurrect that thread if you like.

Yes I do recall an exchange we had a while ago and being encouraged by your responses, but I don't recall if we ever really got down to defining your god. It would seem ynot and David feel somewhat in the dark on this also, so perhaps it is not just a lack of perception of mine.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:42 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Yes, it sometimes happens, and it is peculiar. Especially when the atheist insists that the Bible should be taken literally, while the theist does not.

I know you aren't targeting me with this accusation but would like to go on the record as saying I am not one of them. I am happy to accept that much of the Bible is not meant to be literal, but would like to know how one defines, which part is and what part is not, literal. I would also like to know what deep allegorical message, is contained in the non literal parts.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:49 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Come now yourself. If I believed in a god it wouldn’t take me “many pages” to give a brief overview of what that god is, and I wouldn’t expect people to go back and find those many posts from an unidentified thread from a year ago.

I'm think many theists intentionally do this. They are shy of defining their god so disbelievers like us have nothing to target. We find ourselves shooting at shadows and then get accused of defining our own gods to disbelieve in.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:53 PM   #328
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I am happy to accept that much of the Bible is not meant to be literal, but would like to know how one defines, which part is and what part is not, literal. I would also like to know what deep allegorical message, is contained in the non literal parts.
Serious question: Why would you like to know those things?
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:56 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I'm think many theists intentionally do this. They are shy of defining their god so disbelievers like us have nothing to target. We find ourselves shooting at shadows and then get accused of defining our own gods to disbelieve in.
Exactly, it's a way of disarming atheists by hiding their god in an definition vacuum, now that "the gaps" are disappearing.

I’ve asked theists to explain what their god is countless times over many decades and have yet to receive a single coherent explanation. Perhaps GDon is evading/avoiding/ignoring the question because (s)he can’t do any better. Given Christian theists are unable/unwilling to explain their particular god (other than the pathetic “God is love”), the only “God explanation” atheists have to go on therefore is the one written in The Bible, and even that is interpreted a million different ways by theists.
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Old 26th March 2019, 02:58 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Yes, it sometimes happens, and it is peculiar. Especially when the atheist insists that the Bible should be taken literally, while the theist does not.
.

The sort of biblical claims that atheists are putting to theists are claims such as Jesus rising from the dead and God creating the planet & humans. And those are things that Christians do claim as literally true, aren't they? Because (for example) their most senior christian leaders, such as Popes and Archbishops of Canterbury, have historically always claimed those are literal facts.

Atheists are simply pointing to biblical "facts" like those and saying it's no longer credible in the 21st century to believe or claim that people really rise from the dead, or that the Earth and humans could ever have been created by an instant miracle.

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Old 26th March 2019, 02:59 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Serious question: Why would you like to know those things?
Serious question: Do you really expect us to take that as a serious question rather than a redirection and/or obfuscation?
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Old 26th March 2019, 03:15 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It would seem ynot and David feel somewhat in the dark on this also, so perhaps it is not just a lack of perception of mine.
IanS, ynot, David Mo and dejudge are the sum total of my ignore list.
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Old 26th March 2019, 03:25 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I am happy to accept that much of the Bible is not meant to be literal, but would like to know how one defines, which part is and what part is not, literal. I would also like to know what deep allegorical message, is contained in the non literal parts.
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Serious question: Why would you like to know those things?

What motivates me is not something I have been shy about. Repeatedly I have stated I am anti theism, (not anti theist as I think theists are the biggest victims of theism), for many, many reasons that I have stated over and over.

Yes, I want to know these things so I can attack theistic nonsense effectively.

Cheers, I'm here to help.
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Old 26th March 2019, 03:27 PM   #334
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
What motivates me is not something I have been shy about. Repeatedly I have stated I am anti theism, (not anti theist as I think theists are the biggest victims of theism), for many, many reasons that I have stated over and over.

Yes, I want to know these things so I can attack theistic nonsense effectively.

Cheers, I'm here to help.
I can respect that.
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Old 26th March 2019, 03:28 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
IanS, ynot, David Mo and dejudge are the sum total of my ignore list.

That's a bit anti social isn't it?
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Old 26th March 2019, 04:17 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Serious question: Why would you like to know those things?

Well that's a very odd (defensive) reply, isn't it?

Look, we are really talking about the biblical miracles (inc. miraculous prophetic insights with their communications from God), because no atheists are complaining about passages in the NT that mention Roman rulers being in the region at that time, or passages that mention place names like Palestine or Jerusalem … no atheists are disputing such places exist or that Romans existed in the region. So we're really asking about the miracles …

… which of the countless miracles are actually still claimed to be true, and on what basis do Christians today say that certain miracles actually did happen whilst others did not? How did they decide that?

Just to short-circuit the answer (because I doubt that you will produce one) – I think the answer is that they are doing it by the method known as God-of-the-Gaps. That is – where the scientific evidence has become totally overwhelimg and impossible to argue against, they will eventaully accept it, but where they think there is still the slightest gap in our scientific understanding they just claim that must be where God is still hiding (very first formation of life on Earth, that's a gap in scientific knowledge, hence God must fill that “gap” … don't yet know exactly how the Big Bang occurred?, OK well that's a gap where we must put God).
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Old 26th March 2019, 04:26 PM   #337
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
That's a bit anti social isn't it?
An accurate representation of the poster.
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Old 26th March 2019, 06:36 PM   #338
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
In other words, the atheist's version of God is based on the Bible, while the Christian's is not. Most peculiar.

This brings us back to my as-yet-unanswered question: If you reject the Biblical description of God, even if it's just to shift from literal to metaphorical, what is the source of your information about God? Because, as far as I know we have literally nothing else.
Usually the church itself, its doctrines and so on. Often mediated via a heirarchal system, in other words one bloke at the top telling everyone else what the crack is and those under him trying to find a way to justify those proclamations.
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Old 26th March 2019, 11:57 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Come now, I spent many pages outlining what I believed and why and answering questions in a thread last year. I know you know this because you contributed questions, and IIRC said my answers were thought out and not glib, or something along those lines. You can resurrect that thread if you like.
Excuse me, how do you want to have a friendly conversation with an atheist if you despise his polite questions?
I'm not asking for a fight. I am very interested in your answer.
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Old 27th March 2019, 01:09 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Now that I think about it, that's a strange question you asked. Cosmic Yak, surely you've heard this from theists before? Even the most literalist theist would regard inspiration from God as a source for knowledge about God. Why do you think that theists have "literally nothing else" other than the Bible? What do you think their God is like? One that can only communicate through the Bible? One that doesn't provide inspiration?
I suspect it's the fact that God apparently inspires some people to devote themselves to the welfare of others and other people to blow themselves up in crowded restaurants that makes most atheists dismiss "inspiration from God" as a valid answer to Cosmic Yak's question.
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Old 27th March 2019, 01:59 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
That has been a question in theology circles for ages. If someone hasn't heard the Gospel message or whatever holy text being referred to (e.g. those people born in earlier times or far away), are they doomed? One answer is "no, because God has written His rules in our hearts." So inspiration from God is another source.

(Edited to add) Now that I think about it, that's a strange question you asked. Cosmic Yak, surely you've heard this from theists before? Even the most literalist theist would regard inspiration from God as a source for knowledge about God. Why do you think that theists have "literally nothing else" other than the Bible? What do you think their God is like? One that can only communicate through the Bible? One that doesn't provide inspiration?
The more I look at this answer, the less sense it makes.
If your god has, as you claim "written his inspiration in our hearts", then no-one would be an atheist, everyone would agree on the definition of god, and there would be only one religion.
That this is clearly not the case surely points to a rather large hole in your claim.
Furthermore, so many of God's rules are so bizarre, unjust and/or intolerant that I fail to see how I could be aware of them just from somehow examining my heart. Yes, I know you're being metaphorical here- or we could dissect any human heart and find these rules written on it- but who looks deep inside himself and decides that he should grow his beard, don a square cloak with a tassel on each corner, foreswear cotton-polyester underpants and sacrifice a goat every month? How many homosexuals would consider themselves to be sinful if they hadn't been told this from an external source?
Then there's all the other stuff about God- heaven and hell, Moses, Adam and Eve, the Flood, original sin, Jesus, the resurrection. None of this can be known from studying our hearts. None of it. And yet the entire crux of Christianity rests on knowledge of these supposed events.
Finally, as Pixel42 has correctly pointed out, inspiration from god makes people justify all sorts of atrocities. How is it that this supposedly universal and unambiguous inspiration can create such horrors?
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Old 27th March 2019, 02:04 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
IanS, ynot, David Mo and dejudge are the sum total of my ignore list.

You can ignore whoever you like. And I don't know your reasons for ignoring the others, but in my case you are certainly not doing it because of me ever saying anything rude or personally aggressive towards you (I think you probably took offence in the Historical Jesus threads where I was actually very patiently explaining why there really is no genuine or independent evidence of Jesus as a real person ... if you take such offence at that, then I think the problem is with you rather than with anything I actually ever said to you).

I appreciate that you do stay on a site like this to argue a case for religion, because most theists leave very quickly taking offence when atheists produce long lists of examples to say why they think the persons religious beliefs are absurd or irrational or delusional or whatever, and the theist takes offence at words like that. But if you are going to create an ignore list that includes people who are genuinely, politely, patiently and constructively trying to explain why belief in God & miracles is no longer credible in the light of all that we have learned in the last 150 years (particularly what we have now discovered from science), then you are really not trying to argue for religion on a genuine credible basis anymore.
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Old 27th March 2019, 02:20 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
The more I look at this answer, the less sense it makes.
If your god has, as you claim "written his inspiration in our hearts"...
I'm not claiming anything. I was wondering about your earlier response that "If you reject the Biblical description of God, even if it's just to shift from literal to metaphorical, what is the source of your information about God? Because, as far as I know we have literally nothing else."

But surely you'd heard of theists claiming Divine Inspiration? Fair enough that you, as an atheist, reject it as a source of anything. I just found it strange you thought that, other than the Biblical description of God, "we have literally nothing else".
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Old 27th March 2019, 02:31 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
(Edited to add) Now that I think about it, that's a strange question you asked. Cosmic Yak, surely you've heard this from theists before? Even the most literalist theist would regard inspiration from God as a source for knowledge about God. Why do you think that theists have "literally nothing else" other than the Bible? What do you think their God is like? One that can only communicate through the Bible? One that doesn't provide inspiration?

But that's just completely circular reasoning, isn't it? That is - in your example the theist begins by saying that he/she has convincing evidence of God, and their evidence is that their "inspiration"/belief must have come God ... that's the same as them saying that "because I believe God exists, that belief is evidence that he does exist!.
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Old 27th March 2019, 02:41 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post

But surely you'd heard of theists claiming Divine Inspiration? Fair enough that you, as an atheist, reject it as a source of anything. I just found it strange you thought that, other than the Biblical description of God, "we have literally nothing else".

Well what you are calling their "inspiration" is just their "belief" in the existence of God .... you are really saying that belief in God is actually evidence of God.

Just because you believe something, that is very definitely NOT evidence that the thing is true.

But apart from that – how would any Christians today ever believe in the existence of a God called Yahweh if they had not all got that belief from what people had written 2000+ years ago in the stories of the bible? The belief that Christians have today comes to them entirely from the bible.

If there was no bible, ie if you took that away, it's inconceivable that people today would be going around calling themselves Christians saying they believed in God and believed in Jesus and all the things said for him in the bible.
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Old 27th March 2019, 05:16 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I'm not claiming anything. I was wondering about your earlier response that "If you reject the Biblical description of God, even if it's just to shift from literal to metaphorical, what is the source of your information about God? Because, as far as I know we have literally nothing else."

But surely you'd heard of theists claiming Divine Inspiration? Fair enough that you, as an atheist, reject it as a source of anything. I just found it strange you thought that, other than the Biblical description of God, "we have literally nothing else".
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
But that's just completely circular reasoning, isn't it? That is - in your example the theist begins by saying that he/she has convincing evidence of God, and their evidence is that their "inspiration"/belief must have come God ... that's the same as them saying that "because I believe God exists, that belief is evidence that he does exist!.
Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Well what you are calling their "inspiration" is just their "belief" in the existence of God .... you are really saying that belief in God is actually evidence of God.

Just because you believe something, that is very definitely NOT evidence that the thing is true.

But apart from that – how would any Christians today ever believe in the existence of a God called Yahweh if they had not all got that belief from what people had written 2000+ years ago in the stories of the bible? The belief that Christians have today comes to them entirely from the bible.

If there was no bible, ie if you took that away, it's inconceivable that people today would be going around calling themselves Christians saying they believed in God and believed in Jesus and all the things said for him in the bible.
Thank you, IanS- you took the words right out of my mouth.
Without the Bible, we would have no information whatsoever about the Christian god.
I would like to add that, while theists may claim divine inspiration, there is no way to prove the divine origin of this so-called inspiration, nor any way to separate this from mental illness, wishful thinking or outright fraud.
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Old 27th March 2019, 06:14 AM   #347
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I think there's some chicken-egg going on. The New Testament was written by Christians, it wasn't written first and then people who read it became the first Christians. While having texts helps preserve a religion it doesn't create one: somebody believed in something first, and wrote it down.

Without the various texts that make up the various versions of the Bible we'd no doubt have different versions of Christianity than we actually got, but there's no reason to assume the religion wouldn't exist at all. Lots of ancient religions didn't have written texts: Mithraism, the Orphic and Eleusinian mystery cults, Sol Invictus and its Emesan progenitor, the Roman Isis cult, Magna Mater, Serapis. Some of those lasted centuries and spread widely. Had they written stuff down they might still be around.
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Old 27th March 2019, 06:37 AM   #348
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
IanS, ynot, David Mo and dejudge are the sum total of my ignore list.
That is an extraordinarily blinkered view to take. If you don't agree with what they say, you can simply not respond, but what a lot of sound common sense you will be missing.

ETA Do you think their opinions would harm you in some way? How? Why?

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Old 27th March 2019, 08:48 AM   #349
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think there's some chicken-egg going on. The New Testament was written by Christians, it wasn't written first and then people who read it became the first Christians. While having texts helps preserve a religion it doesn't create one: somebody believed in something first, and wrote it down.

Without the various texts that make up the various versions of the Bible we'd no doubt have different versions of Christianity than we actually got, but there's no reason to assume the religion wouldn't exist at all. Lots of ancient religions didn't have written texts: Mithraism, the Orphic and Eleusinian mystery cults, Sol Invictus and its Emesan progenitor, the Roman Isis cult, Magna Mater, Serapis. Some of those lasted centuries and spread widely. Had they written stuff down they might still be around.

But nobody is saying that religion would not exist without the NT bible. For a start there were hundreds of different religions with hundreds of different gods for thousands of years before Christianity and the NT gospels.

However, what Christians today are claiming as true, is that a particular OT God called Yahweh, does actually exist, that he really is the only God who does actually exist, and that Jesus was actually his miraculous Son who actually did rise supernaturally from the dead etc. ... and that's the sort of thing atheists are arguing against when Christians today make those claims ...

... if those Christians want to say instead that they now believe in some other god and some other miraculous stories, then they are just going to be asked the same question again - how do they justify belief in whatever other supernatural god is being claimed ... where is the evidence for the alternative god & the miracles claimed for him/her/it?

Last edited by IanS; 27th March 2019 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 27th March 2019, 10:11 AM   #350
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
IanS, ynot, David Mo and dejudge are the sum total of my ignore list.
Is this an example of theists reaching out amicably?
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:44 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
That is an extraordinarily blinkered view to take. If you don't agree with what they say, you can simply not respond, but what a lot of sound common sense you will be missing.

ETA Do you think their opinions would harm you in some way? How? Why?
More than merely blinkered, theism blindfoldedfaithed.
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Old 27th March 2019, 01:57 PM   #352
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OK, I was raised Midwest USA white bread middle class catholic.

Sort of, an entire childhood of Sunday church and the proper other stuff to be confirmed.

I thought I questioned everything. Reading this thread I see now how little was actually questioned and how much was mostly not caring enough to bother to pay attention anymore.

It was never mentioned and I never asked:
What does god look like
Why so much "just believe" and so little explanation of religious oxymoron. Virgin mothers, yeah, right. The list is huge.

The logic of the trinity and saving us from sin. Pure divine ego tripping.

So much pomp and ceremony and all in a sea of repetition of shallow matters. I never asked where it was leading or why further deeper knowledge was never offered.

I refused to be confirmed and even if it shattered my mother for a moment at least it was a truth. I wasn't going to play church on the surface to appease her.

And for the first time in my life it was my decision and I could make it. Except nobody mentioned we were not supposed to say no. Oops.
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Old 27th March 2019, 02:31 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Without the Bible, we would have no information whatsoever about the Christian god.
The Holy Trinity? Jesus as the same substance as the Father? Bodily assumption of Mary into Heaven? Various ideas about God as proposed by philosophers like St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas?

It's an extraordinary statement you make, but it is along the lines of what I've expressed here and elsewhere: some atheists are obsessed with the Bible, to the point of blindness. This may not be you, but I don't understand why you keep making such statements.
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Old 27th March 2019, 02:38 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
That is an extraordinarily blinkered view to take. If you don't agree with what they say, you can simply not respond, but what a lot of sound common sense you will be missing.
It isn't fair for me to talk about people who can't respond back, but I put people on ignore if I think they don't argue in good faith (no pun intended), and they have responded often enough in that way that it appears to be a pattern.
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Old 27th March 2019, 02:42 PM   #355
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Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
OK, I was raised Midwest USA white bread middle class catholic.

Sort of, an entire childhood of Sunday church and the proper other stuff to be confirmed.

I thought I questioned everything. Reading this thread I see now how little was actually questioned and how much was mostly not caring enough to bother to pay attention anymore.

It was never mentioned and I never asked:
What does god look like
Why so much "just believe" and so little explanation of religious oxymoron. Virgin mothers, yeah, right. The list is huge.

The logic of the trinity and saving us from sin. Pure divine ego tripping.

So much pomp and ceremony and all in a sea of repetition of shallow matters. I never asked where it was leading or why further deeper knowledge was never offered.

I refused to be confirmed and even if it shattered my mother for a moment at least it was a truth. I wasn't going to play church on the surface to appease her.

And for the first time in my life it was my decision and I could make it. Except nobody mentioned we were not supposed to say no. Oops.

Interesting 8enotto and probably fairly typical of the detail of theistic belief held by many. The belief in the trinity is a road full of so many pot holes it's hard to navigate. Essential for Christianity however.

There seems a very high proportion of posters here who are ex Catholic. It would be interesting if we could have a quiz asking posters, what they are now and where they came from. If it's been done before could someone please direct me to the thread.
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Old 27th March 2019, 04:16 PM   #356
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
What motivates me is not something I have been shy about. Repeatedly I have stated I am anti theism, (not anti theist as I think theists are the biggest victims of theism), for many, many reasons that I have stated over and over.

Yes, I want to know these things so I can attack theistic nonsense effectively.

Cheers, I'm here to help.
Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I can respect that.

OK well I suppose that's a good start. We still haven't seen any detailing of the god (or gods?) you believe in however. Perhaps we can get to this if I ask a series of questions. I recall you remarking you found inspiration from the Bible some time back, (correct me if I'm wrong here), so:

- Can we assume the god you believe in is, or resembles, the Abrahamic God?
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Old 27th March 2019, 07:37 PM   #357
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
We still haven't seen any detailing of the god (or gods?) you believe in however. Perhaps we can get to this if I ask a series of questions.
Just not interested in doing that again, I'm sorry.

Last edited by GDon; 27th March 2019 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 27th March 2019, 11:41 PM   #358
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Is this an example of theists reaching out amicably?
Unfortunately, almost all discussions with theists/Christians end this way. It seems they are uncomfortable with a rational debate.

Last edited by David Mo; 28th March 2019 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 28th March 2019, 12:01 AM   #359
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
It isn't fair for me to talk about people who can't respond back, but I put people on ignore if I think they don't argue in good faith (no pun intended), and they have responded often enough in that way that it appears to be a pattern.
How do you know I'm arguing in bad faith? I don't know what made you think that.
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Old 28th March 2019, 12:31 AM   #360
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Just not interested in doing that again, I'm sorry.

You know what this does to your credibility don't you?
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