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Atheism?

Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 1:40pm

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dancinD

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A documentary on atheism, how atheist don't really exist. I used fxhome for grading and several optic flares.

MODERATOR'S NOTE: Given the subject of this video, we will allow discussion of religious subjects in this topic. HOWEVER, keep your posts polite and friendly and respect other people's beliefs. FXhome.com is known for its tolerance and restraint: let's keep it that way!


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Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 2:12pm

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Simon K Jones

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Congratulations on a passionate and mostly eloquent expression of a topic that is clearly very close to your heart. You're comfortable on camera which makes watching and listening to you very easy, although a little more variety in the actual shots might be a good idea for your next piece. You're a good presenter, though, so well done - I know it isn't easy!

Choice of music was good, neatly off-setting the intricate pop-philosophy and pseudo-science with jaunty tunes, which made the whole thing much more palatable.

As for the argument itself, there's four main areas that I felt weren't entirely convincing. Please note that I'm commenting on your argument strategy here, I'm not criticising your actual beliefs. smile

1. Atheist and agnostic definitions

I'm not sure you really understand the terms 'atheist' and 'agnostic', which slightly defeats the point of this video.

Being an atheist isn't about knowing that God doesn't exist. As you say, it's impossible to know 100%. All it means is that the atheist 100% believes that God does not exist. With something that cannot be proven either way, that's the way it goes.

An agnostic, however, finds the lack of proof difficult to deal with and therefore makes no decision, instead deciding to "wait and see". Agnostics often make the mistake of presuming that there's a 50/50 chance of God existing, which isn't really accurate. There's a chance of both outcomes, but it's not an equal chance.

"Theist -> agnostic -> atheist" is not a digital, 3-way-only selection system. It's an analogue, smooth scale and people can be at any point along that scale. Therefore you can have an agnostic who believes in God more than he disbelieves, but is still not sure. You can have a theist who 100% believes in God. You can have a theist who believes in God, but is not 100% certain. You can have atheists who 100% believe there is no God. You can have atheists who believe there is no God, but aren't 100% sure.

Generally speaking, anybody that believes 100% in the existence or non-existence of God (ie, fundamentalist extremism) is in trouble, and is seriously at risk of being manipulated by devious people with agendas. Anybody that is anywhere else along the scale is OK in my book, though.

I'm an atheist, but I'm not an extremist atheist. As you say, I have no idea whether God does or does not exist. Based on the evidence, or lack thereof, I'll assume he does not, and will live my life on that assumption.

It's important to get terms right before you start an argument, otherwise it'll all just descend into semantics. Starting an argument by saying that a commonly accepted term ('atheist') is actually wrong isn't going to get you very far, given that it's a totally accepted English language term.

2. You can't prove there's no gold in China

This metaphor wasn't entirely watertight.

You can actually go to China, and you can check to see if there's any gold there. It will take you a very, very long time to check everywhere, yes, but it is entirely possible - at least theoretically.

You can't, however, go anywhere to check if God exists or not.

Therefore the metaphor and argument fails. It's not a genuine comparison.

Oh, and that's without even mentioning the obvious element that you overlooked - if atheists can't prove anything, and are therefore classed as agnostics, then surely you and all Christians are also agnostics?

3. The house/painting/croissant exists, therefore it was built argument

This is a common misconception of theists. Just because something exists, does not mean it was 'created', in the human sense of the word 'create'.

A snowflake is incredibly intricate under a microscope, and you'd be forgiven for thinking on first glance "wow, somebody must have created that, it's so beautiful!" But, in fact, it's simply a result of various weather conditions. Each part of the weather condition is relatively simple, but when combined can have complex results. Its complexity is an illusion, really.

The same goes for the eye. Sure, it's incredibly complex. But it didn't simply spring into being fully formed. It started off really, really, really, really simple. It barely worked at all. It was rubbish. Then, gradually, it developed over time into what we now call 'an eye'. Nature in the 21st century is full of all kinds of eyes, some of which are indeed still utterly rubbish, and very simple.

Thinking that the eye requires 'a creator' is simply a failure to view the universe on a long enough time scale ("you're not thinking 4th dimensionally, Marty!").

4. Science in the bible predates actual science

I didn't really understand the second half of the video, as it seemed to contradict your point.

As far as I could see, you were pointing out that science changes over time, altering its viewpoints as more evidence becomes available. You're saying that it's a progressive structure, which strives to perfect itself and become increasingly accurate as more information arrives, and which isn't afraid to admit it was wrong. Science, at its core, is about increasing knowledge and information.

And you're saying this is a bad thing? I don't really understand that point of view, I'm afraid. crazy

Beyond that, however, the second half of the video failed simply due to a lack of references. Rather than you paraphrasing the Bible, I want to hear (and see) exact passages. Otherwise people will suspect that you're paraphrasing to suit your argument. Similarly, you should cite exact references for the scientific side of the argument, so that people can check those.

Finally...while the video initially seems to be discussing atheism vs theism (with bits of agnosticism thrown in for fun), the second half goes off on a strange tangent about science. Atheism/theism and science are two totally separate disciplines. Are you trying to say that no religious people can be scientists? Or that all atheists are scientists? I simply don't understand the logical point you're trying to make here, and it dilutes the main point of the argument.

While I'm an atheist, my criticisms above aren't really about the theism/atheism/belief argument. They're simply about forming a coherent argument, irrespective of the subject, which I don't think you did here.

There are some decent arguments out there for the existence of God, but I'm afraid they're not represented in this video.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 4:13pm

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Mellifluous

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A well produced documentary that was interesting even though I don't agree with it. I did find a potential mistake, it seems to be Corinthians 15:41 which comments that stars are different.

Arguing that the Bible knew things before science did is a flawed argument, and a weird one considering the Bible contains inaccuracies (and I'm not talking about evolution). The reference you use doesn't comment that the earth was a sphere, it comments that it was a circle, which a flat disc also is. Throughout history, Christianity put itself in opposition with science (e.g. the earth is round, the earth revolves around the sun). Science and the church disagreed about key points in the past and they disagree now, so I don't know what you want the audience to conclude by arguing from this perspective.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 5:32pm

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GeeksGoneBad

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Some more interesting angles and compositions would have helped things I think - I didn't like the fact that you were centered in the shot for practically the whole thing

smile was OK though
Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 6:45pm

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Atom

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I'm going to refrain from really commenting on this simply because I'm known to have strong opinions on religion (although I'd definitely say I don't fall on the 100% one-way-or-the-other scale), but I appreciate your effort and finding something with such emotional and persuasive potential, such as film, to convey your feelings.

It's always so intruiging and creative to me to see someone display an argument pro/con in video form.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 6:49pm

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dancinD

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Thanks Tarn I'll work on all those things, it is harder than I thought it would be but in the next videos I'll correct all those things. And mellifluous, you are right that isaiah 40:22 says the earth is a circle. The original hebrew word they used translates to circle/sphere. So it did say the earth is round.

Luke 17:34–36 says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night at the same time.

I'm going to make another video more detailed in the facts so I don't confuse anyone.
But thanks for all the tips.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 6:53pm

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Atom

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dancinD wrote:

Thanks Tarn I'll work on all those things, it is harder than I thought it would be but in the next videos I'll correct all those things. And mellifluous, you are right that isaiah 40:22 says the earth is a circle. The original hebrew word they used translates to circle/sphere. So it did say the earth is round.

Luke 17:34–36 says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night at the same time.

I'm going to make another video more detailed in the facts so I don't confuse anyone.
But thanks for all the tips.
Generally you're handling things very well so as not to encroach on the beliefs of others; but be careful with the use of "clear indication" and words of that nature. Nothing in our religion can be proven or disproven to a complete science (heh), and your argument is just as strong without those words of 'this is the truth!'-ness. Granted, you're giving fairly strong evidence to support your case- but nothing is certain.

That's the entire reason we have faiths.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 7:09pm

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pixelboy

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Aha, but "faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see." (Heb. 11:1, NIV) biggrin Sorry, just had to throw that in there - though in fact I think Atom makes a good point.
I should probably actually watch this now...
Posted: Wed, 23rd Apr 2008, 10:43pm

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Evman

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I too will not get heavily involved in any discussion about religion because that never ends up going well.

Though I disagree almost entirely with this documentary, I do admire you tackling such a divisive topic, and I must thank you for inadvertently giving me one of the best ideas for a film I've ever had. razz
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 8:23am

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Simon K Jones

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dancinD wrote:

Thanks Tarn I'll work on all those things, it is harder than I thought it would be but in the next videos I'll correct all those things.
Cool. I have to say, your reaction to this feedback has been quite exemplary. Considering it's such a sensitive topic and considering your age, you've handled it in a very restrained, mature manner. I wish I could say that about some of the adults around here. wink

One thing I'd advise for future pieces is to consider your audience carefully. Are you talking to people that already agree with you, or are you trying to convince people that disagree (such as myself)? Because that will affect your style and approach hugely.

If you want to convince someone of your point of view, then I'd advise against telling them that they're wrong. That will immediately put up barriers between you. Telling an atheist that he doesn't exist isn't going to convince him of anything. Similarly, saying that science is rubbish isn't going to convince anybody that isn't already on your 'side'.

What you really need to do is show why your viewpoint is valid. What makes it so great? If you illustrate that well enough, then people may be convinced, or at least more open minded.

This is the problem with Michael Moore's films. I actually agree pretty much 100% with his viewpoint, but I've never liked his style. He's so aggressive, it immediately puts up a barrier between him and his opponents, which means they won't actually listen to the (valid) points he's trying to make. So in the end the only people that listen are the people that ALREADY agree with him. Which, of course, makes the entire exercise pointless.

And mellifluous, you are right that isaiah 40:22 says the earth is a circle. The original hebrew word they used translates to circle/sphere. So it did say the earth is round.

Luke 17:34–36 says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night at the same time.
As Atom mentioned, be careful of presenting analysis and opinion as fact. These two instances do not 'clearly' show anything. It might mean the Earth is round, it might not. Due to translation issues we don't really know what Izzy meant. To interpret it as meaning the Earth is round is fine, but you need to present it that way - as an interpretation. If you present it as undeniable fact, it actually weakens your argument.

Anyway, hope this feedback is useful!
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 1:21pm

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Xcession

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As documentaries go this was surprisingly good, especially from someone so young.

That isn't to say that its without fault because as Tarn has demonstrated, a great deal of your logic is simply wrong. I don't mean that in an opinionated way ("you're just wrong because I disagree") I mean the factually incorrect kind of wrong ("2 plus 2 equals 5").

Its really hard to get the right balance in a documentary, as no documentary maker has a completely impartial agenda. Impartiality is key, obviously, but factual accuracy is also important as a single incorrect fact sheds doubt on all the other facts stated.

The biggest fault was the over-saturation of Proof by Example which has no logical conclusion. Ironically you debunked various athiest beliefs for reasons of Proof By Example (although you didn't actually use that term) but continued on to confidently illustrated several of your own points using the exact same method razz Subject matter aside, its key that you don't destroy your own argument when presenting a documentary!

Proof by example is commonly understood to be a week argumentative tool, but is also known particularly well for its frequent use in religious discussion, therefore the athiests you're appealing to will probably be extremely knowledgeable about this method of discussion. My point here is to know your audience. If you know they're going to blow up when you mention something...don't mention it, at least not directly. Let them draw the conclusion you want them to from the other information you've provided.

The more subjective statements, inaccuracies and logical fallacies creep into a documentary, the less it sounds like a documentary and the more like a sermon/diatribe. Given the subject matter of this documentary, your target audience will treat it even more cautiously!

It should be said that I completely disagree with what you're saying, but I'm not here to debate the facts - i'm just here to explain the techniques of how to put across an argument in a way that demands attention.
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 1:48pm

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Travis Kunze

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First off i would like to say the video was excellent!! You did i great job, i am a Christian and therefore believe 100% what was being said except for the misinterpretation of a few things that tarn mention earlier.


Cool. I have to say, your reaction to this feedback has been quite exemplary. Considering it's such a sensitive topic and considering your age, you've handled it in a very restrained, mature manner. I wish I could say that about some of the adults around here.
- Tarn

Hey Tarn thats what are beliefs tells us to do, were told not to DEBATE our beliefs but to embrace those who not nessisarrily attack it but disagree with it.

Isaiah 58:4 AMP

[The facts are that] you fast only for strife and debate and to smite with the fist of wickedness. Fasting as you do today will not cause your voice to be heard on high.
So what use is debating a topic when its not going to be taken. So i believe nicely discussing a topic is better. But unfortunely people always seem to try and make it a debate. I hope not hear.[/quote]
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 2:45pm

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Xcession

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Hey Tarn thats what are beliefs tells us to do, were told not to DEBATE our beliefs but to embrace those who not nessisarrily attack it but disagree with it.
Surely its just general common decency which tells people to embrace other people's ideas? Being disagreeable is frowned upon whether you're religious or not.

Debate isn't a negative word anyway - its not the same as attack. Debate is the act of discussion, with a view to achieving wider understanding. Debating sharpens the intellect and educates people and is the cornerstone of modern society, so its a rather backward step to question nothing after millenias of progress. I'd prefer to see some debate in this thread, provided that its kept impersonal.
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 6:38pm

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Atom

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Xcession wrote:

[after millenias of progress.
Careful, Xcession. "Millenias" could be inferring some religions are outright wrong in their depiction or accounting of time. smile
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 7:23pm

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ajveltri22

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Great Job! It took some guts to put your work up to be scrutinized by so many people, christians and non-christians alike. Take the criticism but make sure not to get discouraged. These people are simply trying to help. biggrin

You've got a great ministry in the making, and I'm eagerly awaiting your next film!

God bless!
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 9:31pm

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Zephlon

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Rating: +1

Looking on the technical aspects, your music fit well but most of your music was too over-powering and the dialogue couldn't be distinctly heard. Your framing had no variety, all of your shots were center framed, which tends to be boring and plain considering the length of your video (rules of third, try it). The grading was nice and fit the piece and you did mix up locations a little which kept it slightly interesting. Then your speech was slightly slow and you repeated yourself a lot which made me lose interest.

For the religious part, I am Christian, but I agree with what tarn said, some of the points you made are very mute and really don’t correlate. With the gold in china, yes you can prove that there is no 100% reason there is no god, but there is also no 100% reason there is god. A person will not believe in god because you give him reason why he should believe, I believe in god because of all the things he has help me with and blessed me with (not meaning to be preachy or anything). Telling an atheist that they are wrong because of “this and that” really won’t help change their mind; it all comes down to personal stuff, events in your life, people in your life.
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 9:42pm

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B3N

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Well first off I’m going to basically review the film seeing as I don’t know that much about Atheism but lets just say after watching this I may consider researching it.

Right, to start with the opening credits (titles) were pretty decent, quick but decent and they showed some codes/conventions of what the audience is about to watch, and those codes and conventions were telling me it was going to be a religious thing. The camerawork wasn’t too bad but there is a suggestion for when you do documentaries of any kind and that is basically keeping the camera at eye level otherwise it feels like the audience is overpowering the presenter, whereas at eye level we are at the same level as the presenter. The choice of backdrops were interesting as well seeing as hardly any were distracting and bought the viewers attention to the presenter.

I have a huge issue with the length of shots though, I know this is intended as a serious “get-the-point-across” documentary but the length of each individual shot was mind numbingly boring and I found myself listening and poking my temples with an eraser. Perhaps using more camera angles would be something to improve on in your next episode. You were extremely confident in front of the camera, which is great, but I felt that perhaps you were isolated and had planted the camera in an area. However your introduction shaky zoom indicates that perhaps you have got a cameraman. You say you used Effects Lab for Grading and Optics, I didn’t spot a great deal of grading going on, the only thing I possibly noticed was a brightness and contrast filter.

The area at 3:04 to 4:34 was just an absolute boredom, interesting facts but uninteresting to watch, perhaps using cutaways of other codes and conventions related to what your talking about. That’s all I can really say, I think this is worthy of three stars due to the fact that you have created a pretty much documentary that hasn’t gone half-arsed in the middle like I see videos on youtube do smile

All in all great job.

B3N
Posted: Thu, 24th Apr 2008, 11:56pm

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nanafanboy

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Rating: -1

I am probably going to come of as a jerk, but I am afraid this is absolutely worthless. It was not created in such a way to make an atheist question his ideals, it was made to preach to the choir. All you are doing is reinforcing an opinion that already exists. You really have proved nothing. Also... it is entirely futile to try and prove the bible correct by citing passages from the bible. Did you know that there are 2 accounts of creation in Genesis? Did you know that the bible endorses beating disobedient children upon rocks and stoning mouthy teenagers to death?

You have shown a complete misunderstanding of atheism. Its a lot more thought out than you think it is, and your quick dismissal of it "Atheists don't exist" "they're just agnostics, they don't know what they are" is absolutely insulting. This would be like an atheist saying "Christians don't exist" "they're just silly people who believe in silly things" which is equally as insulting.

You should also know Atheism to most isn't necessarily a belief. Its the lack of one. The average Atheist's ideals can be summed up like this

Guy: Hey... do you believe in God?
Atheist: No
Guy: Alright see ya later
Atheist: Take it easy

It's not like they get together for Atheist church and talk about how God doesn't exist... and if they do... then they are idiots and hypocrites. It is misleading to say that all atheists beliefs are based on the nonexistence of God... because... that is basically the only atheist belief.

If your goal was to reinforce incorrect information about atheists and to inspire your fellow Christians to action then you have succeeded.

If your goal was to prove to Atheists that God exists then you have failed entirely. Unless you can sit down in an interview with God himself and have him do something that proves he is God... this is an impossible task.

If your goal was to educate people about Atheists then you have also failed. Your facts are mixed up and oversimplified. Try interviewing an actual Atheist and try to understand his ideals. It is also important not to dismiss someone else's beliefs and choices right off the bat without attempting to fully understand them. Atheists are not your enemy... not by a long shot.

Some things you need to understand are that most Atheists just want to be left alone (they aren't all sitting around waiting to be "saved") and atheists and scientists aren't mutually exclusive.

I'm not trying to be a jerk here... I just don't think this video is terribly effective. I am sure your friends and the folks who go to your church will be quite pleased with it, though, so for that you should be commended.
Posted: Fri, 25th Apr 2008, 5:00pm

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Sollthar

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Erm... Being an atheist myself, I have to comment on a few things said bz nanafanboy - which I think is rather insulting.

It's not like they get together for Atheist church and talk about how God doesn't exist... and if they do... then they are idiots and hypocrites.
I guess you just called me an idiot and a hypocrite, which I believe was entirely uncalled for and unnecessary. Why do people always have to resort to such words and ways to lead a debate... Is it really that difficult to write down your ideas without resorting to namecalling?

Yes, there are atheist gatherings in according buildings (the name "church" is misleading, but they work similar) and yes, the existance or nonexistance of god is debated there o. Not as a religion, but as a philosophic debate. One I personally attend often and find highly valuable. The debate of your own beliefs is something I always encourage and study. Summorizing everything I invested into my conclusion intellectually as "is there a god?" "no" "bye then" is more demeaning then saying I dont exist.


As for the film, I cant currently watch it because Im on holiday and accessing over a terrible internet cafe which cant run anything...
However, the premise ^atheists dont exist^ and tarns excellent post already give me some idea of how well thought out the premise for the film is. I will post a more in depth review of the film and its ideas once Ive actually seen it. Just felt the need to post a reply to nanafanboy because I believe was insulting.
Posted: Fri, 25th Apr 2008, 6:48pm

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nanafanboy

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I too am an Atheist, Sollthar. Perhaps my words were a bit strong but I stand by my statement to a degree.

On one hand... I have to apologize. I shouldn't have used insults. I get sort of whipped into a frenzy when it comes to matters of religion and I was out of line, so please forgive me.

but

In my opinion there is no reason for a gathering of Atheists, but that doesn't mean such a gathering isn't valid. Even so, I probably wasn't referring to the activities you engage in ( I should have clarified more). I disagree strongly with Atheists who gather to poo poo on religion and actively fight it. I doubt this is what your gathering is like Sollthar. But if that is what you do... then well... I guess I was referring to you, and cut it out.

I must ask though (and this is actual sincere curiosity) If the existence or nonexistence of God is debated, then isn't that agnosticism? Perhaps I am wrong... but thats how I understand it. I considered myself an agnostic for some time before I realized I just don't believe and am in fact an atheist.

I want to clarify that my hypothetical was when asked if he believes in God an atheist says no. This was also concerning the average Atheist, who's ideals I believe are merely that simple. Sollthar, you are obviously not what I believe to be the average Atheist. You seem to put a bit more thought into it than that.

I get attacked quite often where I live, as most people around me are Christians, so perhaps I flew off the handle too easily. I just often find myself trying to defend how I feel while at the same time reminding people that Atheists aren't evil religion destroyers. I was probably dragging in the anger of past persecutions.

in any case. I am sorry that you (or any one else) felt insulted, and in the future I will try to be a bit more tactful in debates such as these.
Posted: Fri, 25th Apr 2008, 8:04pm

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Thrawn

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A well made documentary. Good point, though obviously debatable.. Someone said to use the rule of thirds, and I totally agree. It will make your documentary seem much more interesting. Since I have strong feelings about my Christian beliefs, I'll probably stay quiet on this one.
Posted: Fri, 25th Apr 2008, 10:56pm

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Atomatonn

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I agree with nanafanboy on most of everything he said. I'm not an atheist but I am an agnostic and for this video to say with absolute certainty there is a god is false. This is simply a matter of opinion and it is absolutley insulting to try to convert an atheist,agnostic, ect. to believe there is a god. I think if we show the respect to not question your religion and stick by our own than you should do the same. I too get very defensive about what I believe in as I'm sure everybody does so when a video like this is released it is just asking for a debate.

As for the video, it was nicely put together and for that you get props. Just do a little research before ever making a statement like this though there is really no way to ever prove any religion.

- Atomatonn
Posted: Sat, 26th Apr 2008, 2:08am

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Atom

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Why atheism doesn't exist.

We win.
Posted: Sat, 26th Apr 2008, 7:36am

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Sollthar

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I see where youre coming from nanafanboy. But I argue from a philosophical and intellectual standpoint, and there the whole subject of "atheism" is a lot more complex then just a "god doesnt exist now lets get on with our lives" , which makes the point that atheists dont exist even more dubious and obviously concluded by someone not very knowledgable about the subject.

An atheist belief is merely the conclusion that an omnipotent being such as god, allah or whatever else religious contruction is made up by men and does not actually exist, or is of no importance (practical atheism). The ways that lead to that conclusion are hugely different depending on the type of atheist you talk to.
And the conclusions deducted FROM that basis are very different too.

Because "god doesnt exist" isnt the end of the atheist thought chain, its the part where things get interesting.

So I personally have some troubles with atheists who stop thinking beyond the anti-god conclusion same as I have trouble with theists who stop thinking beyond the pro-god conclusion.
Stopping to think is generally a bad thing in my eyes. Hence I look for the debate and actively join atheist AND theist discussions.


If the existence or nonexistence of God is debated, then isn't that agnosticism?


No. There are many different kinds of atheism. Agnostic atheism, nihilistic atheism, pragmatic atheism, existentialistic atheism, reconnaissant atheism and so on. All are different and have different conclusions on why god doesnt exist and what that means for the earthly existence.
Even agnosticism has two main philosophical streams, the weak agnosticism and the strong agnosticism. The strong stream basically argues that knowledge cant be obtained, ever and at all. So you can never know. The weaker stream argues that knowledge is currently limited, but doesnt rule out the entire possibility that it could be obtained.

The debate wheter god exists or not is neither agnostic nor non-agnostic. It is a VITAL part of an intellectual chain of thoughts - entirely independent wheter you end up as an agnostic or not.

I disagree strongly with Atheists who gather to poo poo on religion and actively fight it.
That also depends on the type of atheist. I also "actively fight" religion in certain ways you could say. As a teacher, I am also teaching about religion and as an active atheist I try to engage people into putting more thought into things then a simple "the bible says so and the bible is 100% truth" - which thankfully is a mostly american symptom you dont find much in europe. I disagree with it and I find it highly dangerous and something that most be dealt with.
I also actively fight atheism though if the thought is simply @god doesnt exist, I know it and you suck" which is a symptom I find everywhere. Also something that should be slightly more thought out nd also something I find a bad thing.
That :fight: should not be by agressive means, but by education. People dont need to be "poo pooed on" or dismissed with words like moron, idiots or whatever, but I do believe strongly that many people are very little educated about the subject... on both sides. Theists AND atheists. And Im highly pro-debate and believe a calm, intelligent dialogue should always be supported and searched for so both sides can interact and learn from each others point of view.

tolerance is a good thing, but the line to ignorance and a simple "each to his own, lets just not care" is blurry and I find the last one to be often misinterprated as tolerance. And I find it a bad thing.

Hence the debate on philosophical ideas and eventually the debate about god should be supported and engaged in. In a friendly, direct and intelligent way.
Something that is difficult to achieve, but something I invest a lot of time in.

Hope that clears up a few things. smile
Posted: Sat, 26th Apr 2008, 2:16pm

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nanafanboy

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Thanks Sollthar that explains a lot, and though I admit I disagree with some of your views I respect the hell out of them (and you) for being so thoughtful.

"the bible says so and the bible is 100% truth" - which thankfully is a mostly american symptom
Oh my friend... the things I have heard, and hear on a daily basis... you would not believe. lol
Posted: Sat, 26th Apr 2008, 5:24pm

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BomboFilms

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I feel that this video is very hypocritical because you say that basically that atheists are stupid to say that there is no god then you say that you cant say that without proof then you say that their is a god but show absolutely no proof I'm not a Christian man but I'm also not an atheist I just simply think that this video is a direct attack on atheist beliefs which is one of the main reason I don't belong to a religion. So far all I've seen is that religion is the main cause for disagreements and war and yet most religious people just think I'm ignorant for saying that. So basically what I'm trying to say is live and let live it's not your position to control others beliefs.
Posted: Sat, 26th Apr 2008, 6:41pm

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Thrawn

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BomboFilms wrote:

I feel that this video is very hypocritical because you say that basically that atheists are stupid to say that there is no god then you say that you cant say that without proof then you say that their is a god but show absolutely no proof. I'm not a Christian man but I'm also not an atheist I just simply think that this video is a direct attack on atheist beliefs which is one of the main reason I don't belong to a religion. So far all I've seen is that religion is the main cause for disagreements and war and yet most religious people just think I'm ignorant for saying that. So basically what I'm trying to say is live and let live it's not your position to control others beliefs.
First of all, take a breath. I'm not gonna post as much as I'd like, but let me clear up a few things.

His point of the video was not to bring evidence of christianity, but to point out what he thought atheism was. So, don't call him a hypocrite, because I'm sure he could bring up evidence that Christianity is true.

I'm not sure how you define an "attack on atheism" but every time a Christian states his belief, it's going to disagree with what an atheist would say, and vice versa. So, it wasn't as much of an attack as it was a state of beliefs.

I honestly doubt he is trying to control other people's beliefs. Try and convince them of his point, maybe, but not control them. Believe it or not, Christians try and not force their views on others, as hard as it can be. Controlling other's beliefs would be something like running around and killing everyone that disagrees with us, such as Hitler did, and Radical Muslims are doing now.
Posted: Sat, 26th Apr 2008, 11:07pm

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BomboFilms

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Thrawn wrote:

I'm not sure how you define an "attack on atheism" but every time a Christian states his belief, it's going to disagree with what an atheist would say, and vice versa. So, it wasn't as much of an attack as it was a state of beliefs.
heres why its a direct attack on atheism the whole video is saying that atheism doesnt exist its entitled Atheism? for a christian man to say your beliefs dont exist is but mine do i feel is a direct attack and its specifically geared towards atheism. again i dont care if you believe this that or the other thing just dont tell others that their belief doesnt exist
Posted: Sat, 26th Apr 2008, 11:33pm

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Thrawn

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BomboFilms wrote:

Thrawn wrote:

I'm not sure how you define an "attack on atheism" but every time a Christian states his belief, it's going to disagree with what an atheist would say, and vice versa. So, it wasn't as much of an attack as it was a state of beliefs.
heres why its a direct attack on atheism the whole video is saying that atheism doesnt exist its entitled Atheism? for a christian man to say your beliefs dont exist is but mine do i feel is a direct attack and its specifically geared towards atheism. again i dont care if you believe this that or the other thing just dont tell others that their belief doesnt exist
Atheism is not a belief, but rather a disbelief. So, even athiests should accept the fact that their belief's don't exist.. biggrin
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 12:02am

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ragnar

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dancinD said: "I'm going to make another video more detailed in the facts so I don't confuse anyone.
But thanks for all the tips."

That sounds a bit like the scientific method to me. Do your experiment, show it to others who critique it for errors and go back and do the experiment again to verify your findings.

As to the rest of all these discussed matters, I too am an atheist as I don't see any repeatable scientific evidence for the existence of any god or gods. That's as near to 100% that you'll ever get.

What are the odds, as claimed by christains, that the God of the bible is it, the real and only one? Well, the odds are very very small, so small that they aren't worth considering really. If you can't design a test to even test a claim than all you have left is faith. So, while technically I can't say 100% that gods don't exist, at some point the lack of evidence should be enough for any intellectually honest investigator to conclude that further study isn't needed or required.

If my friend claims there is a ghost in his closet and shows me a picture of his closet with an orb light in it shouldn't I than ask for a little more proof? How is that being disrespectful? If, after hundreds of experiments, under hundreds of varied conditions, done by many different teams of scientists, using an agreed upon double-blind research methodology we find no ghosts in my friend's closet and he still insists that there are ghosts in his closet, than what are we to assume?

Ragnar
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 12:42am

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FXhomer46784

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BomboFilms wrote:

So far all I've seen is that religion is the main cause for disagreements and war and yet most religious people just think I'm ignorant for saying that.
That's an interesting statement. Sure there have been many wars caused by religion in the past (perhaps even most of them were at one time), but in modern times (since about the 19th century onward), almost all wars between developed nations have been caused by a lack of religious values. Take a look at World War I and II in particular. Clearly these were caused from a lack of moral values and respect for human life (more people were killed in these wars than any before them, not including the mass murder carried out by Hitler and Stalin).

In light of this evidence, it seems to me that without religion there would only be bloodier wars. So, regardless of whether any religion is true or not, it seems like a fairly necessary and beneficial thing purely from a sociological perspective.

ragnar wrote:

I too am an atheist as I don't see any repeatable scientific evidence for the existence of any god or gods. That's as near to 100% that you'll ever get.

What are the odds, as claimed by christains, that the God of the bible is it, the real and only one? Well, the odds are very very small, so small that they aren't worth considering really. If you can't design a test to even test a claim than all you have left is faith. So, while technically I can't say 100% that gods don't exist, at some point the lack of evidence should be enough for any intellectually honest investigator to conclude that further study isn't needed or required.
I feel like this statement kind of puts atheism in a bad light. You can't design a test to prove that a god(s) exists, but at the same time you can't create a test to prove that the universe can create itself without one. The scientific method has no bearing on this question because no one can observe it. So I guess I don't even see the point of bringing science into this. You go in not knowing for sure, and you come out not having proved anything.

Yet, you claim to have chosen Atheism because you "don't see any repeatable scientific evidence for the existence of any god or gods" and say "That's as near to 100% that you'll ever get." But using your argument, you have no more proof one way or the other. No offense, but it makes it sound like you just flipped a coin. Not a strong argument in my opinion (perhaps more of an argument for agnosticism than anything else?).
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 7:26am

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Sollthar

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I realize youre probably a youngster Thrawn and maybe even tried to make a joke, but that doesnt change the fact you should stand corrected:

Atheism is not a belief, but rather a disbelief. So, even athiests should accept the fact that their belief's don't exist..
Atheism is the belief that an omnipotent entity does not exist.

Try to use your mind to tell the difference between semantics and actual deduction. Im sure you can do it. I have faith in you, young padawan. wink
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 7:59am

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Atom

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Just because I noticed this, I thought I'd throw out some food for thought. It isn't meant to instigate anything, but I'm curious on this whole issue of having a moral code without any convictions or judgments to bring it forth from.

FXhomer46784 wrote:

not including the mass murder carried out by Hitler and Stalin.
I just want to throw out there that, and this absolutely does not go with all atheists, but that Stalin was an atheist and considered himself, in the psychological sense, himself and the state the "God" and the peasantry the "believers". He shunned the idea of a God because he did not have proof. Which is, I guess, somewhat logical. But at the same time (and maybe this only pertains to Stalin) this disregard towards religion was largely cultivated over his refusal to accept that he perhaps didn't control his own circumstances. And sometimes I wonder if this is the case with certain atheists. (not all, mind you)

His disregard for human worth and cavalier attitude about it all spurned from a distinct hatred for certain things, people, and cultures and could be attributed to the complete lack of an ethical code or moral compass. In the many pieces of literature I'm currently reading on the fascist and totalitarian leaders during that point of history, Stalin's lack of any kind ethics is one of the most-noted points.

Stalin killed everyone close to him that either he supported or supported him for fear of being overthrown. He broke every alliance he made. He killed millions in the Baltic regions, openly lied and called it 'nothing', and continued this into the Cold War.

In European History I'm learning increasingly how Stalin is perhaps the more 'evil' party in the World Wars, because he openly killed people without reason, guilt, or a moral conscience. However sad or sick it may sound, Hitler revived a completely decimated, starved, and economically crippled Germany through his message of morality and unity.

However skewed it may have been, he had a set of codes he stood by that allowed some people to rise and maintain good standards of living. This absolutely doesn't excuse any of his actions; arguably he's the worst single human being in modern history- but it certainly says something for the two fascist leaders.

A man of science and a man of faith can be equally matched in the actions of terror and death; but is one more just than another because of their purpose? It's a curious question I've been struggling with for a while now.
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 12:28pm

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Mellifluous

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FXhomer46784 wrote:

Take a look at World War I and II in particular. Clearly these were caused from a lack of moral values and respect for human life (more people were killed in these wars than any before them, not including the mass murder carried out by Hitler and Stalin).

In light of this evidence, it seems to me that without religion there would only be bloodier wars. So, regardless of whether any religion is true or not, it seems like a fairly necessary and beneficial thing purely from a sociological perspective.
Firstly, morals and ethics are not the exclusives of a religious system. Religion has helped shape Western moral codes, and legal systems, but the Greeks discussed these issues before religion became the vehicle for them. A lack of moral values and respect for human life can occur in anyone, atheists, Christians, Muslims etc. Any immoral act lacks moral values but that doesn't mean it wasn't committed by a religious person purporting to be moral.

History is littered with wars, and it is INEVITABLE that religion played a part in many of them. Mostly because religion is strongly associated with territorial and ethnic identity. I would point out Jewish/Roman conflicts, Spanish/Moorish conflicts, the Crusades, internal conflicts within Great Britain and Ireland and with the Pope, the Spanish Inquisition, witch hunts - in the post World War I period you highlight, there've been Balkan conflicts (not helped by things that occurred in WWI), Israel-Palestine conflicts etc.

It all boils down to one issue for me. There are still many different beliefs in the world today. People believe in them as strongly as you believe in God. So these issues can never be resolved about who's right and who's wrong, it's about being firm in your personal belief but acknowledging that ultimately both your beliefs are valid. They're expressions of thousands of years of culture and human development, so do you actually have the right to say to someone their belief is tripe? Some beliefs develop similar in some ways and different in others (e.g. Christianity and Islam) or are totally different (e.g. witchcraft). All are culturally valid to me. Accepting that is not agreeing with it, but it is accepting one mode of religious belief has just as right to exist as any.
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 3:07pm

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Sollthar

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As to your point atom, morals are not necessarily directly connected to religion. I save us both a list of examples of christian, moslem, jewish, buddhist or hindu people commiting great crimes and unthinkable cruelty either in the name of their respective religion or independent of it to serve as a counter example, but merely point you to other sides of the river:

According to countless philosophers, "ethics" develop from different perspectives. One is religion, but there also a social perspective, a cultural perspective, an evolutional perspective, a psychological perspective, a practical perspective and so on and so forth. All of them have their own roots as to where ethics and morals come from, all of them are non-religious.
Obviously I cant sum them all up within the boundaries of a forum post, but Id recommend you read up on certain of those philosophical streams to find out what they state. Regardless wheter you agree or not (I find a lot of philosophical streams pretty funny in their chain of thoughts myself) it gives you quite a good insight into how colorful the human mind is and how complex something as ethics and morals is.

The often used "atheists have no morals because they dont believe in god" is a very shortsighted and plainly laughably wrong conclusion with no base to stand on apart from the entirely useless "I know X, and X was an atheist and he was bad, so all atheists must be bad".

But I find the question very interesting too. Especially for myself obviously, seeing as I dont believe I will be judged by anyone but humans and earthly institutions for my actions. But even so, thats enough not to go around doing whatever I feel like, if I feel like it.



Very clever post Mellifluous! I think respect for other cultures, value systems and conclusions is a very important thing that so many people forget.
As for the religious debate of "truth" however, not every belief there is is valid. As a possible theory, it is of course. But at the end of the day, at best, ONE of those theories is true (unless of course you take the multiverse-theories into account, then actually all of them or many of them could be true).

And I think the main thing that ALL sides should understand, regardless of atheist, christian, muslim, jew, jehovas witness etc is the simple fact that you are dealing with a THEORY, something you can choose to believe or not to believe. But youre not dealing with absolute truths.

And statistically, whatever belief-system you have, at least 90% of mankind disagrees with you and the chances youre the one whos right is close to zero. smile
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 8:40pm

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FXhomer46784

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Sollthar wrote:

As to your point atom, morals are not necessarily directly connected to religion. I save us both a list of examples of christian, moslem, jewish, buddhist or hindu people commiting great crimes and unthinkable cruelty either in the name of their respective religion or independent of it to serve as a counter example, but merely point you to other sides of the river
To clarify my earlier post:

I didn't mean to say that Atheists don't have morals. There are some that have and follow them and some that don't. The same could be said about those who practice any given religion (or to be fair I guess, those who say they practice a certain religion, some would say this is an important distinction).

I was merely disputing BomboFilms earlier post where he said that religion was the main cause of war, when in fact Stalin and Hitler alone killed millions more people than had ever been killed in any war previously. I don't think any of us would argue that Stalin and Hitler weren't Atheists who lacked morals, but they certainly aren't a typical case either.

Atom wrote:

Stalin killed everyone close to him that either he supported or supported him for fear of being overthrown. He broke every alliance he made.
Not strictly true. Hitler was the one who broke the alliance between him and Stalin. smile

Last edited Mon, 28th Apr 2008, 5:08am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 9:03pm

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Fill

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So far all I've seen is that religion is the main cause for disagreements and war and yet most religious people just think I'm ignorant for saying that.
The missionaries trying to create peace in the tribes and helped poverty stricken countries all over the world are the cause of wars? What kind of point are you trying to make? You realize that most of the help from the world to people less fortunate than you comes from Christian groups, right? Unlike the Crusades, or Roman Catholic scams, Christians are actually making a good difference in the world. That statement is outrageous.

Yes, there's jihad, and radical, yes radical activists of certain religious groups, but putting them all in the same boat is ignorance. I'll call you ignorant, and I'm not even religious.
Posted: Sun, 27th Apr 2008, 9:14pm

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Atom

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I'd have to agree here.

A good friend of mine and fellow FXHome member, ssjaaron, is on a mission trip for the Church of Latter Day Saints. And while I may, almost completely, not agree with his beliefs I can appreciate and commend his efforts to do good and show good morals around the world.

Aaron hasn't been on here in almost 2 years because he's in Japan and he's dedicated himself to something- if you look past the semantics of his church's message- well-intentioned and with the purpose of helping others.

Granted, you can be an atheist and do the same. But to lump the billions of people who follow things as such- it simply isn't a fair generalization. Something I would expect atheist and theist sides alike to respect. (And that both, commendably, overall have in this thread)

FXhomer46784 wrote:

Atom wrote:

Stalin killed everyone close to him that either he supported or supported him for fear of being overthrown. He broke every alliance he made.
Not strictly true. Hitler was the one who broke the alliance between him and Stalin. smile
This is true. But Stalin had every intention, and he openly said so, of breaking the agreement himself if time of the binding had continued. They were both just biding their time. smile
Posted: Mon, 28th Apr 2008, 1:25am

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Rocinante

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FXhomer46784 wrote:

I don't think any of us would argue that Stalin and Hitler were Atheists who lacked morals, but they certainly aren't a typical case either.
I'm not saying this is totally wrong and I'm not saying what I'm about to say is right, just an interesting fact.

Hitler killed himself on walpurgis night (the supposed night where the line between the spirit world and our is thin) and ordered his body burned.
On walpurgis night people lite bonfires to keep the evil spirits away
some say hitler did this to keep the spirits out of his body.

Now if this is true Hitler wouldn't exactly be an atheist.

Ummm... upon reading your quote again I might have it wrong I don't know
so forget the thing that hitler wasn't an atheist and just take it as an interesting fact :p

Really I don't believe in arguements over the subject, since it's something we'll never know (in this world anyway) and of course we can't change it. So I just decide to be happy and have fun. There are sad moments yes, where people look to religion and theres nothing wrong with that at all, I've done it myself.
All I can say is yay friendship, thats the real cure for dispare


We just have to wait and find out razz
Posted: Mon, 28th Apr 2008, 2:23am

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Atom

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Rocinante wrote:

Now if this is true Hitler wouldn't exactly be an atheist.
Hitler wasn't an atheist. I'm not necessarily sure if he completely claimed a specific religion (obviously not Judaism unsure ); but he believed in a higher power and didn't try to defeat it. However sick it may sound, I think this judgment on him might've kept him from destroying others like him, given him someone to look to and...perhaps....fear.

Whereas the case was null for Stalin. He openly stated he believed in no power. He declared that if the state must have some belief, the belief was in him as the Lord and the state as the church. Again, cathedrals were turned into 'Halls of Atheism'.

I'm not saying either side is better than another or whatnot; but again it says something for the vices and motives of two of the worst people in history. Stalin had no boundaries. To some extent, a very small one: Hitler did.

But just for the record, I'm not trying to validate either man or either side of the argument. Just throwing it out there. Like I said, I'm debating whether religion or belief in a higher power has a positive bearing even on the most tyrannical of people.

Brings up the 'atheists don't have morals!' argument. It's dumb, sure; but it isn't entirely preposterous. Logically, one without reservations about anything could.....do anything, right? I don't know the answer, I'm just thinking out loud.
Posted: Mon, 28th Apr 2008, 7:38am

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Sollthar

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I'm just thinking out loud.
And completely ignoring my entire post above. smile
I was directly responding to you atom - so read it and respond, if you may, seeing Im also a very good example of a so called "moral less" atheist because I entirely dont believe in any higher power, I dont believe in heaven, or hell, or any judgement of any other kind then what is on this earth, I dont believe we have been "created" by a being, nor do I believe anyone is out there watching us , helping us OR harming us. I dont believe people have souls, nor that there is any sort of "cathegorical imperative", if youre familiar with Immanuel Kants theories on morals. Yet, I am not without ethics and morals because, as Ive already said, morals and ethics are not exclusively religious.

As for your history lessons. Its always interesting to hear how in the US, atheists is often very closely seen to communists.
Hitler was no atheist, to get that out of the way. Strictly speaking, Stalin was neither. What Stalin was after was power. And if you research the way russia worked at the time then Stalin simply tried to overrule any sort of other power but himself. So he turned to atheism and claimed himself a god (allthough he obviously didnt use that word, but in fact, it was pretty much that).
So if you look at the Stalin reign from that perspective, what he did was to use atheism for his own gain of power. Just like many people in this world use a religion for their own arguments *cough Bush cough*

Brings up the 'atheists don't have morals!' argument
If your idea that Stalin had no morals and Hitler had, seeing he wasnt an atheist, brings up the "atheists have no morals" argument - then logically, your Hitler standpoint brings up the "theists have morals" argument... With Hitler as an example. Well done logic. smile

Logically, one without reservations about anything could.....do anything, right?
"One without reservations about anything" does not equal "atheist" though, which appears is the point where you make faulty - and dangerous - deductions.
Besides, I dont believe there is such a person with "no reservations about anything", regardless of his religion.
Posted: Mon, 28th Apr 2008, 4:42pm

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Mellifluous

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Atom wrote:


I'm debating whether religion or belief in a higher power has a positive bearing even on the most tyrannical of people.
Hitler's vision of Christianity was rose-tinted and strongly influenced by Arthurian grail myth, namely Parsifal. His interpretation didn't give him a moral code, it justified (for him) his beliefs about Jewish people, who he felt blighted Christianity as well as being at the core of Germany's depression.

Stalin's impetus was similar. He wanted to take a firm grasp of the Soviet Union's flailing economy, and so executed, deported and set to work large numbers of people to attempt to do this.

Both perceived themselves to be taking an (utilitarian?) approach that was for the overall good of their homelands. Just because Stalin targeted many ethnic groups and Hitler targeted one (plus sympathisers), or that Hitler's logic somehow involved religion, doesn't give Hitler the minutest claim to moral superiority.

Atom wrote:


Logically, one without reservations about anything could.....do anything, right? I don't know the answer, I'm just thinking out loud.
True, they can and do, but as Sollthar points out you're making a leap. Atheists, just as much as Christians, can have strong feelings about right and wrong, act to others as you would to yourself etc. It may be one of the main aspects of a religion to teach reservations but that doesn't mean at all that atheists don't incorporate them on a personal level. We don't know a person is one without reservation until they do something to indicate this, be them religious or atheist. On top of that, there are social "buffers" that deter ALL people - if you do something wrong, you will be punished - but I don't feel those alone are responsible for restraint by atheists. That question is for another day... but my own feelings are that the ultimate reasons/intent behind any morality are the same, social and human cohesion, as well as (I hope) being in human beings' nature.
Posted: Mon, 28th Apr 2008, 6:28pm

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Atom

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Sollthar, I'm not arguing it one way or another. Like I said, I'm just thinking out loud. In the same regard, I'm not saying all atheists are without reservations, but certainly it is a possibility because an overall judgment is null. Whereas true theists (of who the 'true' group is, I'm unable to qualify)- logically- have someone/thing to answer to. I'm not trying to generalize, I'm merely stating- like Pascal's Wager- that one road has infinitely more opportunities- for good and for bad- than the other does when it comes to certain things. It tips in the favor of atheism for some things; theism for others.

In this case, an atheist could live life without any reservation or morality and still be considered a true atheist. For a theist, this would not be so. And this is why I think I believe in God. Not for the comfort of something after death, but for purpose. I'm compelled to something, and I accept it. The idea being, allegiance aside, that someone who is actually of a religion has reservations because they are required to. Without them, they're just claiming something they aren't really able to. Whether this is just or not, I'm not to judge. I'm just thinking out loud once again.

I'm not going to directly respond to your comments because, well, you know how sensitive and tempermental I am. smile
Posted: Tue, 29th Apr 2008, 7:02am

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Sollthar

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I'm not going to directly respond to your comments because, well, you know how sensitive and tempermental I am.
Alright. If you just plan to throw your thoughts out there and are not willing to engage in a debate because youre touchy, then I recommend you stay out and keep your thoughts to yourself in the first place then. wink


I do find the concept of reservations very interesting. If Id believe in a god, Id have different reservations. Not believing in a god doesnt give me zero reservations (sometimes I wish it would, but it doesnt), just different rules I play by.

But yes. I dont believe I will be judged by someone at the end of my time. But I will be judged by the people I interact with, those close to me and most importantly - myself. Which is as important as it gets for me.


A +1 to Mel for another insightful post.
Posted: Tue, 29th Apr 2008, 1:41pm

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Atom

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Sollthar, you'll always say you're open to others to in the end always think you're correct; and I the same. You'll +1 posts agreeable to yours (as you seemingly have) and I the same.

Even if none of it is intentional, we're human and bound to defend what we believe in. I'm open to listening and responding, but when we get into semantics neither of us are going to convince the other and change to one another's belief- so I see the need to directly respond......perhaps pointless.......if nothing else.
Posted: Tue, 29th Apr 2008, 4:01pm

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Sollthar

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Sollthar, you'll always say you're open to others to in the end always think you're correct
Thats quite a pretentious accusation there, coming out of nowhere too. I disagree, but if thats your opinion of me, then Im going to let it stand.

You'll +1 posts agreeable to yours (as you seemingly have) and I the same.
I was actually DISagreeing with something mel said. I dont +1 his post because I agree with him, I +1 his post because I belive them to be insightful and adding something valueable to the discussion at hand - in my opinion.

but when we get into semantics neither of us are going to convince the other and change to one another's belief
I cant speak for you and wont. If you state that youre not even considering the possibility of changing your "belief" (whatever that means in this context, because I thought our discussion was to be about a question you raised and threw out there)then thats a sad thing in my eyes, but at the end of the day, your own right.
However, I entirely disagree with you making statements about MY state of willingness of accepting another viewpoint or even seeing and admitting Im wrong. I find that presumptios. Ive done so many times because - that might be a shock now - Im not perfect and I might be wrong and actually even find that out in a debate. I actually mostly find that out in debates. And I also mostly change my viewpoints in long debates, which is probably why Im quite debate-proof. Im used to them and enjoy them.

So again, if your unwilling to debate or willing to debate but start with an entire unwillingness to adapt in the first place, Id agree that it might be best to leave it be.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 1:29am

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Atom

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I would find it disrespectful for someone to try and challenge not my beliefs but my faith in them and also, personally, find it rude to simply demean a religion (or lack thereof). This is the reason I'm trying to stay detached from the debate.

I won't get at you for some of the things you've said in this thread that, warranted or not, I may find somewhat of a double-standard in, but I'd expect somewhat of the same passive attitude towards what I'm saying.

I've tried to be open-minded in the sense that I'm not saying you're wrong in believing what you do; but I most certainly believe what I believe is correct-at least for me- otherwise, obviously, I wouldn't lead my life by that religion.

Past that, I really don't know what you want me to say or how you want me to respond. I'm not trying to be inflammatory, really. I just don't know how to go about the whole 'religious discussion' without making it more of a religious 'argument'.

I'm abrasive, and I know this.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 4:42am

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

This is the reason I'm trying to stay detached from the debate.
By posting more than almost everyone else in here? Heh.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 7:13am

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Sollthar

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Hmm... As far as I know the topic of the debate wasnt your christianity nor my atheism. Not sure where you get a challange of your faith from...
It was to debate YOUR thought that atheists have no morals. YOU wanted to throw some food for thoughts and discussions in and I took the bait, obviously. Naive of me some might say.
I guess my mistake was to assume that you wanted more then just have your own thoughts written out in a thread where a discussion was going on you didnt want to perticipate in, despite writing paragraph after paragraph, throwing your own thoughts out there and then cowardly backing out when they are challenged. Knowing your posting pattern I should have known better. I take the blame on me and do what youve been promising for nearly a page, stay out of this part of the thread for now.

But I will watch the video and comment on it when I get home, just like I said I would.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 7:39pm

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Randito3

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I understand both sides of this Atheism and Christianity debate. I'm alot like many of you who need proof that there is something beyond what we are. I grew up in a chatholic household and my best friend was an atheist. I know both sides of the debate very well. If not for my own personal experiences it would be hard for me to believe in anything beyond what I could see or touch. It is because of those experiences that I lean more to the christian side than the atheist side. This is MY choice not blind faith because someone told me I should believe. It is for each one of us to decide what we believe in and no one should push their beliefs on anyone else.

Atheist will not change their stance on what they believe and Christians will not change their stance on what they believe. The debate is a waste of time. It does not matter if you are christian or atheist, what does matter is how you treat each other and others around you throughout your life.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 8:24pm

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Sollthar

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Atheist will not change their stance on what they believe and Christians will not change their stance on what they believe. The debate is a waste of time.
I disagree on both sentences.

Firstly, I know of atheists who became christian / muslim / buddhists and I know of christians who became atheists, I know of jehovas witnesses who became atheists, I know of muslimes who became christians and so on and so forth.
Even though many obviously want to make out mankind as stubborn and unable to learn and evolve they DO sometimes change their faith and religion and DO evolve into something else. If thats for the better or for worse is entirely different question, but people changing their beliefs happen all the time. Fortunately. Otherwise we would stop evolving.

As for the debate being worthless, I again entirely disagree. A debate where you are forced to question your own chain of thoughts, need to learn to respect, follow and understand the chain of thoughts of others is a VITAL part of human interaction and of any dialogue based learning process. Humankind only evolved because of people who were willing to engage in debates instead of sitting on their own prejiduces.
As this thread has shown, the art of proper debate is lacking and people rather stay on their own, which I find sad. But fortunately there are others too.
And the point of a debate should never be to "turn someones opinion" or "convince someone of your own opinion" which seems to be the only idea of a debate some people here appear to have. A debate is a dialogue where thoughts are shared, ideas are shared, perspectives are learned and knowledge and views are exchanged. If done properly.

Rant over. smile
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 8:45pm

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Bryce007

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I suppose you're right in some regards Marco, however, I have to question your reasons for wanting to redefine what the term "Debate" means...

"To engage in argument through the expression of opposing points of view"

I'm sure you're educated enough to know that faith isn't something that entails 100% logic, or even any overwhelming evidence. In fact, that's exactly why it's called "Faith".

Thus, due to debates and/or arguments requiring strong, visual and logical evidence, I feel debating beliefs and faith while leaving out any personal experiences and feelings to be a sort of Mexican standoff without resolution.

It really comes down to this for me:

Either you think we're here for a reason, or you don't.

If that concept seems far fetched or illogical to anyone, then so be it. The only 100% factual way we'll know if anyone is right is when we're dead anyways.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 9:16pm

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Atom

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Sollthar wrote:

It was to debate YOUR thought that atheists have no morals. YOU wanted to throw some food for thoughts and discussions in and I took the bait, obviously. Naive of me some might say.
Naive, indeed. Never did I say, outright or otherwise, that atheists have no morals. And never would I. Read what people write, lose the tone, then get back to me. Honestly, Sollthar- I really don't know what route to take in this matter that- if not please you- will leave you content with what I'm saying without abandoning my real feelings.

I'm not trying to be a dick, but honestly. How do you expect me to answer you when you've jumped on every little neutral thing I've said?
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 9:18pm

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Mellifluous

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I think whether we can debate here is down to individuals rather than their faiths. My theology teacher at college is a die hard Catholic but she was always happy to debate her religion. The vicar of the biggest (Church of England) church in my home city holds weekly debates about politics, religion and philosophy. He even puts forward his own personal opinions that go against some "accepted" Church of England doctrine. None of the people who go to the church feel threatened or that participating goes against their faith, or that atheists/agnostics are debating with them. When I debated the Koran with Pakistanis in an Indian restaurant, it was them who approached me to talk about it rather than the other way around and they felt comfortable discussing it.

The purpose of this debate can be the pursuit of knowledge, self discovery or the affirmation of beliefs. It's not a debate competition where one side is declared the winner.

Last edited Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 9:25pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 9:22pm

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Atom

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Mellifluous wrote:

It's not a debate competition where one side is declared the winner.
This is true. However, it seems that one side outweighs the other- at least in this thread- and like Bryce said, because of the nature of what 'faith' actually is, it is incredibly hard to debate without bringing in personal feelings.

You can disagree, of course. But you've got logic and science (for the most part) on your side. Why wouldn't you? Hopefully you can see how we're somewhat backed into a corner here. Can't turn one way or the other without sounding not-engaged-enough or too-engaged-and-emotional.

I promised myself I wouldn't, but this is ridiculous:

Sollthar wrote:

I guess my mistake was to assume that you wanted more then just have your own thoughts written out in a thread where a discussion was going on you didnt want to perticipate in, despite writing paragraph after paragraph, throwing your own thoughts out there and then cowardly backing out when they are challenged. Knowing your posting pattern I should have known better. I take the blame on me and do what youve been promising for nearly a page, stay out of this part of the thread for now.
I've restrained myself from your generally elitist attitude that has been flagrant throughout this thread and the cavalier nature to which you address religion. But I have no means of vanquishing or defending my religion on the grounds you set; simply because we don't see things the same way and because- while I may be open to the possibility there is no God- you quite clearly are not open to the opposite.

Take a note out of Mel's book and learn to peacefully react to religious people- as I am trying my absolute hardest (honest to god, no pun intended) to give you- because right now, at least to me, you're coming off like a really, really big dick. And I know you're not meaning to.

And this is the fundamental problem with the quips we throw eachother. I can respond to what you say, but until I write what you want to hear you'll likely continue with incredibly rude and strongly-worded bits of immaturity like the above quoted.

I'm no coward, I'm just not a condemner of your beliefs. The two things are monumentally different. Done.

Last edited Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 9:44pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 9:41pm

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Mellifluous

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I can understand because the very point of faith is you take it on faith that God exists. Respect for that (not being flippant). Sorry Bryce, just read your comment and you make the same point.

But I was hoping that you still had leeway when we were discussing morals, moral absolutism etc, like other Christian scholars before you, e.g. Anselm, Aquinas et al.

But the last thing I want as you know is for people to feel uncomfortable and backed into a corner, so it's all good.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 10:05pm

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Sollthar

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You're right Bryce

I'm sure you're educated enough to know that faith isn't something that entails 100% logic, or even any overwhelming evidence.
The same applies to "love" which is entirely unclearly defined to begin with and experienced and expressed in endless different ways depending on who is experiencing or trying to describe it, never the less it is entirely possible to debate the topic. And it has fascinated and been done so for hundreds of years and I have no doubt it will continue just so. smile

I had very enlightending and highly interesting debates with hardcore christians and hardcore jehovas witnesses. In fact, there's few religious people where I come from which are not open for a discussion and I have to say I often walked away feeling that I understood something more and could take something valuable from that. And I know many of them did as well.

I feel debating beliefs and faith while leaving out any personal experiences and feelings to be a sort of Mexican standoff without resolution.
I could't agree more. I don't think I said anything else though?
However, I didn't want to debate religion or faith really, rather was interested in this:

atom wrote:

Brings up the 'atheists don't have morals!' argument. It's dumb, sure; but it isn't entirely preposterous.
And I simply wanted to correct some wrong claims of what atheists are or should be, because they were factually wrong - not because I disagree with them in terms of my own belief. I try not to mix these things up, if I have done so somewhere, then obviously I apologize.

Everyone's entirely free to disagree with atheism as a state of belief of course.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 11:00pm

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Bryce007

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Atheists clearly have morals...

Now, what these morals are based on is an entirely different subject. For the most part, I'd say the primary difference is what they based these morals on, and how relative they tend to be.


For instance, a Protestant Christian like myself would base his morals on the teachings of Christ, and thus, so would every other one (if in fact they are an actual Christian)

Whereas, an Atheist can decide what is right for himself, and set his own moral and ethical boundaries. Consequently, there won't necessarily be a defining/universal code of conduct for Atheists the world over.


Which then begs the Question: How do you define Absolutely truth? Because if there isn't one, then no human in the history of man was either more wrong, or more right then another.

Which leads to the conclusion that I'm just as right as Hitler or Stalin.
Posted: Wed, 30th Apr 2008, 11:45pm

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Plainly

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Bryce007 wrote:

For instance, a Protestant Christian like myself would base his morals on the teachings of Christ, and thus, so would every other one (if in fact they are an actual Christian)
Let me start off by saying that I agree with you. However, I'm Protestant, but I still base my morals more on what I think than what is said in the Bible. This is partly because the Bible was written 2,000 years ago, and morals have, since then, changed. For example, I don't see anything wrong with homosexuality, while the Bible clearly states it is wrong. (I'd put a direct quote here, but I read the French version of the Bible. However, it basically says, You shall not sleep with men as you sleep with women. Which brings me to the conclusion that there's nothing wrong with being a lesbian. unsure)

What I usually do is, instead of thinking of what is written in the Bible (for remember, there are mistranslations, plus the simple fact that it's neither Jesus nor God who actually wrote it), I simply ask myself, 'What would God think of this?'. I always find that this is the best thing to do. (I also literally ask him what he thinks of it. Once, I was writing a script and feeling a bit uncomfortable with it since it involved religious themes [I always feel uncomfortable when writing stuff involving religion, I don't know why. This time, though, it really showed the Chrisitan religion as a negative thing, which was basically due to the fact that my bad guy was the priest.] so I asked him what he thought, and the day after that, I broke my arm. I'm glad He did it that way [well, kinda], because I really learned from my mistake. unsure)

Anyway, about atheism, I don't really see how you could say that it's not a belief as it involves believing that there is no god (no, the lack of capitalization isn't a typo). Saying that it's not a belief is like saying that it's actual fact and that all Christians/Jews/etc are wrong.
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 1:31am

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Bryce007

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Plainly wrote:


Let me start off by saying that I agree with you. However, I'm Protestant, but I still base my morals more on what I think than what is said in the Bible.
The definition of a Christian is:

"A person who is a follower of Jesus and his teachings"


So how then, exactly, does that make you a Christian? If you're truthfully saying you follow your own judgment and opinions more than those of Christ, then it's unnecessary to call yourself a Christian. Essentially, you're saying you like the idea of being a Christian, but trust yourself more then your creator (Who specifically insists on your full trust)...
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 1:38am

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Atom

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I think what Plainly is saying is that he bases his moral compass around his knowledge of Christ/God, then decides of his own conscious effort whether it is Christ-like (moral, for lack of a better word) or not. Whether he's really lying to himself about the verdict (e.g. telling yourself something haneous like murder is okay)- that's up to his conscience to work out.

Whether the Bible enters this is another question entirely. I know that I've read the Bible and understand what my God has done; and do the exact same thing as Plainly. I base my decisions around the (somewhat cliche now) premise of 'What Would Jesus Do?'.

I believe there's judgment for certain things, but I also believe in redemption. And I'm not one to judge others (homosexuals, a good example Plainly) -that may be cited in the Bible- for anything because of that.

The Bible is imperfect because it is written by the imperfect human hand. Even if it is the word of the Lord, it can be interpreted a number of ways. This is debatable, sure. Absolutely. But I stand by my convictions on the basis of my knowledge of my God.

And that's enough for me. As I'm sure it is for Plainly, Bryce.

Last edited Thu, 1st May 2008, 1:40am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 1:40am

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Coureur de Bois

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Bryce007 wrote:

The only 100% factual way we'll know if anyone is right is when we're dead anyways.
Even then, it's a crapshoot.
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 1:59am

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Plainly

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I'll just do some paragraph-by-paragraph quoting to make sure I don't forget anything:

Bryce007 wrote:

The definition of a Christian is:

"A person who is a follower of Jesus and his teachings"
Well, I'm a follower of Jesus, and as I said, I agree with a good chunk of his teachings.

Bryce007 wrote:

If you're truthfully saying you follow your own judgment and opinions more than those of Christ, then it's unnecessary to call yourself a Christian.
Not more than those of Jesus, more than what is stated in the Bible. I consider myself as Christian because I agree with the general idea of the Bible, of Jesus. (Actually, I find that whenever reading Jesus I like the Bible more and more) If you found that what I said seemed as though I was lying to myself, it's really more that lately, I'm very confused, because I do definately see flaws in the Bible. Atom sentenced that very well:

Atom wrote:

The Bible is imperfect because it is written by the imperfect human hand.
I like that philosophy, as I think that even a perfect god's Bible can very possibly be flawed if he hasn't written it himself.

Actually, I was about to quote things from Atom too, but I basically agree with his whole post, so I won't. razz Let me just add:

Atom wrote:

homosexuals, a good example Plainly
Thank you! Actually, it has been a while (a year at least) that I really think that there should be another 'savior', as our world evolved so much that I practically think it necessary. Of course, if I remember correctly, Jesus said that he'd be the last one, but then again, in Zeitgeist, it clearly stated that Jesus also said 'I'll be with you until the end of the era'. By this, should we assume that by the end of the Pisces, a new savior will come, with a modern philosophy with which what is now the New Testament will become the 'Middle Testament' or something of the sort? I think it would be very possible.

Plainly
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 2:01am

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Bryce007

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I wouldn't say recognizing immorality is judging anyone. I certainly don't see a gay dude and think "HUH! That's a terrible person!". I think "Well. It's not a decision I would make"

However, it's a rather post-modern idea to subscribe to vaguely defined "Tolerantism" and accept everyone and everything as OK. I suppose it's due to everyone wanting to feel comfortable and never disagree.
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 2:09am

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Plainly

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Bryce007 wrote:

"Well. It's not a decision I would make"
If you believe that it's a decision, that is.

And I don't see what's wrong with accepting everyone, either. On the contrary, I think it would be an important step forward.

Last edited Thu, 1st May 2008, 2:48am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 2:18am

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Atom

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Really, Plainly, that's another (and probably inappropriate) discussion in it's own right. Just make sure you don't encroach on Bryce's beliefs. Especially when they're understandable to following his religion. I may not agree, you may not agree; but it isn't our place to judge him really.

All three of us believe in a God that does that for us. smile
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 2:18am

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Coureur de Bois

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Stop.

If this topic becomes a homosexual nature v. nurture debate I'm going to take a cyber shit on everybody.

Now back to your regularly scheduled atheism debate.
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 2:21am

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Atom

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Atheists hate ice cream.


There, I said it.
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 2:25am

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Coureur de Bois

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Atom wrote:

Atheists hate ice cream.


There, I said it.
Just as I suspected!!! Sickening.
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 5:52am

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Sollthar

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Bryce wrote:

Whereas, an Atheist can decide what is right for himself, and set his own moral and ethical boundaries. Consequently, there won't necessarily be a defining/universal code of conduct for Atheists the world over.
That's very true, yeah. Atheism is a belief, but it's no organized religion. There's no atheist bible that tells an atheist what is right and wrong, so they have different morals and different beliefs and sometimes very little common ground. I know atheists who, for example, still embrace the idea of a soul and some form of afterlife. Then there's atheists who neglect that idea as well.

The same is, as you've seen in this thread alone, the case for organized religions though. There is different kind of "christians" who believe different things and interprete the bible differently. Sometimes hugely differently. In my countless debates I found there to be a great number of differences in the details, sometimes even fundamental ones. But they're all "christians", just a different subcathegory (protestant, catholic, orthodox, agnostic, practical, constructivistic and so on and so forth).
As to who is the "true christian" and who isn't, and if there's even such a thing as a true christian is another thing. I guess the exclusiveness is part of how the human mind likes the world to be, especially considering religion. The idea that you are right and others who disagree are simply "wrong christians" is a simplistic way to look at a complex concept in my view.

Bryce wrote:

Which then begs the Question: How do you define Absolutely truth?
Hehe yeah. That's a subject that has crippled many minds of great thinkers in the last couple of millenias. Personally, I'm a constructivist, so I don't believe in an "absolute truth". However, the conclusion that everyone's right with everything is a faulty deduction from that. There IS truth, it's just not absolute but depending on the cunstruction things are judged by. Within your own construction however, you can very well be wrong.

There's a good mathematical example for what that means: 1 + 1 = 10
Most people will say that this is factually wrong, simply because we automatically assume it's a decimal system calculation, which makes sense, seeing as most of the world thinks in decimals. So within the construction "decimal addition" this is factually wrong. If you change the construction to "binary addition" however, it's true.

I've actually helped developping a scientific thesis about truth together with another philosophy student which is being published as part of a larger work. Complicated subject.

So from a certain constructivistic standpoint, yes, you could just be as right as Hitler or Stalin.

bryce wrote:

it's a rather post-modern idea to subscribe to vaguely defined "Tolerantism" and accept everyone and everything as OK. I suppose it's due to everyone wanting to feel comfortable and never disagree.
That's actually part of the development that constructivism has become the main philosophical stream in the postmodern times. If has GREAT influence on society and that's a very constructivistic idea. Unfortunately, some people misunderstand and misuse it to say "everything's ok and everyone should be able to think, believe and do whatever he or she wants" which is A a misunderstanding of what constructivism is and B something I, on a personal level, highly disagree with.

Tolerance is a good and vital thing and applied right, it makes the world a better place. Tolerance applied too much or in the wrong places can make everything very difficult. As with almost everything in life, it's an act of balance.
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 6:47am

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Bryce007

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Well, aside from our widely varying belief systems, I suppose we agree on most of the points made then.


Except, let me throw this one out there...


Let's say, Marco, that I were to strap you down to a chair in a room, lead your Mother into the room, then execute her with a shotgun blast to the head while you were forced to watch.


Are you and I both still equally right and equally moral? If not, then why not?
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 8:51am

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Sollthar

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I'm going to answer this as good as I can. smile

Are you and I both still equally right and equally moral? If not, then why not?
I'm not sure about the english language, but in german, the word "right" has nothing to do with ethics - that's "good" and "bad". And you're asking an ethical question, not a factual question so we're neither "right" nor "wrong" (A factual question would be "Did you use a shotgun?" to which the answer yes or no is either right or wrong). I suppose that's different in the english language but I wanted to make that distinction.

How morally adequate your actions are depends on what construct you chose to apply to the situation. I suppose there would be few people in this world who'd say what you did was "morally good". I certainly wouldn't. However, that doesn't make it "morally bad as an absolute truth", it's just the viewpoint of the person you ask. It could be that someone truly hated my mother and that she was, in the eyes of some, a danger to society and a potential threat. From that point of view, killing her, could be morally "good".

Example: death penalty.
Killing is always wrong says the bible clearly and you won't find many who'd argue killing is a good thing, but yet, some people's morals obviously disagree with that in their actions. Even you said that you would kill someone in self defense in a gun topic we had a while ago despite the fact that the bible makes no distinction between self defense or non self defense in regard to the commandment thou shall not kill.
It's one thing to SAY what morals you have and another thing to actually live them.

Ethics and morals depend on the perspective. I would believe you to be a morally low person in the context of your story above and so would probably most of mankind. However, that doesn't make it absolute. YOU for example, within that story obviously, would probably not agree. You shot my mother and made me watch. You had a motive for doing so and obviously believed it was the "right" thing to do, hence you did it. Even if you would be aware that society condemns you for it in the moment you pulled that trigger, you would have to be convinced to do a good thing. If even just to prove that you can do a "bad" thing, in which case it would be "good" in your eyes to prove a "bad" thing can be done.

Hope you get my meaning. It's a complex subject to summarize in a few lines. smile
Posted: Thu, 1st May 2008, 5:09pm

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Bryce007

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That was well stated. At least now I know when you're coming from.


Alright, having made my point and heard others, I shall now exit the debate and move on to other threads, where I shall answer many film related questions and proceed to post up a new film.
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2008, 12:43am

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Dreadalus

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just want to throw it out there, has anyone read the books written by Josh McDowell? If you are agnostic read his stuff, if you are an atheist read his stuff, and if you're a theist DEFINITELY read his stuff. His book "more than just a carpenter" actually changed my worldview. Which if you know me is absolutely incredible. Best part though is its cheap so you don't waste any money if you think its a bunch of crap. Im serious though go buy it.
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2008, 12:50am

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Dreadalus

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Oh and sollthar killing is not a sin. Its a mis translation. murder is sin.
the difference is a selfish motive. War for example, it is to protect your country. The crime of murder is because you wronged me, which according to the Christian is wrong because you are supposed to be loving,yeah soooo. "the ten commandments" never actually said thou shalt not kill. yeah a lot of christians get mixed up in that to.
Just thought you should know.

im gonna stop now before i offend someone.
Posted: Fri, 2nd May 2008, 1:16am

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Bucees

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dancinD wrote:

A documentary on atheism, how atheist don't really exist.
i may be wrong,not sure but, if atheists dont exist, how can there be athiesm?
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 7:52am

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Thrawn

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Sollthar wrote:

I realize youre probably a youngster Thrawn and maybe even tried to make a joke, but that doesnt change the fact you should stand corrected:

Atheism is not a belief, but rather a disbelief. So, even athiests should accept the fact that their belief's don't exist..
Atheism is the belief that an omnipotent entity does not exist.

Try to use your mind to tell the difference between semantics and actual deduction. Im sure you can do it. I have faith in you, young padawan. wink
Haha, as much as I appreciate the youngster comment, and the -1, let me explain myself.

Christians, such as myself, have a faith in the fact that God is real, and that he sent his son to die for the sins of all. That is the christian belief. Atheists, on the other hand, directly appose what Christians stand for, and insist that God does not exist. Now, if the Christian religion is based off of faith (or rather a belief) than atheists are all about a disbelief in what Christian's believe is God. Now, of course, you could turn this around to say that Atheists believe that what Christians believe is wrong, but that's a lot like double negatives, and will get us no where. So, before you go off blaming it on my "immaturity" and giving me -1's, I thought I might as well point that out.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 9:51am

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Sollthar

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I know what you're thinking, that doesn't change the fact that atheism is still a belief, but not a religion, per definition.

Muslims don't believe "that God is real, and that he sent his son to die for the sins of all", nor do buddhists or Hindu. Yet, saying they all have no belief is simply wrong. They all disagree with what christianity says, just like atheists, and believe something different. They all have a "belief", and with the exception of atheists, they all have a "religion" to follow.

This isn't a double negative. You're making a wrong deduction from "atheists disbelieve in what christianity says", which is right, into "atheists have no belief", which is wrong.
And there's a difference between "faith" and "belief".
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 10:51am

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Randito3

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Sollthar wrote:

Atheist will not change their stance on what they believe and Christians will not change their stance on what they believe. The debate is a waste of time.
I disagree on both sentences.

Firstly, I know of atheists who became christian / muslim / buddhists and I know of christians who became atheists, I know of jehovas witnesses who became atheists, I know of muslimes who became christians and so on and so forth.
Even though many obviously want to make out mankind as stubborn and unable to learn and evolve they DO sometimes change their faith and religion and DO evolve into something else. If thats for the better or for worse is entirely different question, but people changing their beliefs happen all the time. Fortunately. Otherwise we would stop evolving.

As for the debate being worthless, I again entirely disagree. A debate where you are forced to question your own chain of thoughts, need to learn to respect, follow and understand the chain of thoughts of others is a VITAL part of human interaction and of any dialogue based learning process. Humankind only evolved because of people who were willing to engage in debates instead of sitting on their own prejiduces.
As this thread has shown, the art of proper debate is lacking and people rather stay on their own, which I find sad. But fortunately there are others too.
And the point of a debate should never be to "turn someones opinion" or "convince someone of your own opinion" which seems to be the only idea of a debate some people here appear to have. A debate is a dialogue where thoughts are shared, ideas are shared, perspectives are learned and knowledge and views are exchanged. If done properly.

Rant over. smile
Sollthar,

Although I can understand your point on one hand I also disagree on another. Here is why. People who are really into their faith are not going to change that faith based on something an atheist tells them or anyone else for that matter. No debate on this earth is going to change what they believe. I have a family full of those people who are strong in their faith and trust me there is no way anyone will change that belief. The only people that you will get to change their beliefs are people who are already "on the fence".

Take me for instance, you can sit here all day long and tell me why you believe the way you do and that would not change my stance on my belief system one bit. You seem pretty strong in your beliefs. Do you think someone can convince you otherwise? Maybe, but I doubt it. That is my whole point.

Remember we are talking about Atheist and Christians here and not about all walks of life. I agree debates are good for many things, I just dont believe religion should be one of them, unless of course you're "on the fence" already. wink
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 11:32am

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Sollthar

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People who are really into their faith are not going to change that faith based on something an atheist tells them. No debate on this earth is going to change what they believe.
I think the ultimate misunderstanding here is that you seem to assume the goal is to to change someones faith, or change you into an atheist or me into a christian, which isn't the idea. Rather to get a new perspective on thoughts, ideas, chain of logic etc. That MIGHT change someones stance, but it doesn't have to nor is it required to. I have had many discussions with christians which had a great impact on my own beliefs or rather the logic behind it and I had great influences on others, without changing peoples religion. Some have changed, as I said before, some haven't. Both is entirely fine.

And debating religion has helped my a great deal to understand it better and have more respect for it. Avoiding any topic entirely is, in my view, the worst mistake people can make and usually no good is coming from that.

Take me for instance, you can sit here all day long and tell me why you believe the way you do and that would not change my stance on my belief system one bit.... Unless of course you're "on the fence" already.
Stating that what I know now is to be the end of things and will never change one bit is, in my opinion, arrogant (because we're not all knowing gods, I can't rule out the possibility I made a mistake somewhere in my logic, neither can you), stubborn (makes me and you sound like one of those annoying 80 year olds who are simply too tired to learn new things in life) and very sad ( because it denies even the posibility that we could evolve our thoughts).

"I will never change" is an abolute which I don't agree with one bit. I'm not naive enough for that. I WILL change. I have done so a lot in the 28 years I've been on this planet and I will continue to do so.

Do you think someone can convince you otherwise?
Yup, of course. I've changed my beliefs and ideas MANY times after a discussion or after university where I got schooled in philosophy, psychology and theology - funny enough, I actually teach religion in class. It's part of my job as a teacher. wink

I think it's not likely and will require a lot of time, but I won't rule out the possibility completely.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 2:39pm

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Thrawn

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Sollthar wrote:

I know what you're thinking, that doesn't change the fact that atheism is still a belief, but not a religion, per definition.

Muslims don't believe "that God is real, and that he sent his son to die for the sins of all", nor do buddhists or Hindu. Yet, saying they all have no belief is simply wrong. They all disagree with what christianity says, just like atheists, and believe something different. They all have a "belief", and with the exception of atheists, they all have a "religion" to follow.

This isn't a double negative. You're making a wrong deduction from "atheists disbelieve in what christianity says", which is right, into "atheists have no belief", which is wrong.
And there's a difference between "faith" and "belief".
Well, Sollthaar, I totally agree that Muslims, or Hindus for that matter, do not believe that "God sent his son to die". BUT, Muslims (last time I checked) had a God, and Hindu's or Buddhists have strict beliefs, not disbelief's. Sure, they disagree with christianity, but is it their "religion" to disagree with it, and prove how wrong it is?

I can't post much now, because I'm on my way to football, so I'll post more on this later.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 3:14pm

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Bucees

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*makes 2 pistols with his hands* goctha!
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 4:09pm

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Randito3

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[quote="Sollthar"]


Stating that what I know now is to be the end of things and will never change one bit is, in my opinion, arrogant (because we're not all knowing gods, I can't rule out the possibility I made a mistake somewhere in my logic, neither can you), stubborn (makes me and you sound like one of those annoying 80 year olds who are simply too tired to learn new things in life) and very sad ( because it denies even the posibility that we could evolve our thoughts).
Believing as I do does not make me arrogant, I believe the way I do because of things that have happened in my own life. Mere words no matter how well articulated will never change that fact. It's not arrogance, I am no better than anyone else nor do I claim to be. I'm not saying that no one can change my mind about other things in life. I'm saying no one will change my stance on my religious beliefs unless they can provide Undeniable PROOF that what I believe is wrong. Mere words will not do it. Whether you accept it or not is up to you.

"I will never change" is an abolute which I don't agree with one bit. I'm not naive enough for that. I WILL change. I have done so a lot in the 28 years I've been on this planet and I will continue to do so.
You are right we all change. We change throughout our lives. You have 28 years, I have 41 years on this planet and have changed my thoughts on many things through those years, but no person has ever changed my religious belief. Only through my own personal experiences has that changed. Now if someone could show me concrete proof that my views are wrong then I would change them. Words are not proof, debating about it is not proof, therefore my views on it will stay the same. As I said in an earlier post show me proof. If you show me proof that what I believe is wrong then I will change it, if not, then it will not change.

Our dialogue back and forth proves my point. You have not changed your position nor have I changed mine.

I do appreciate the dialogue though. I also respect your views whether I agree with them or not.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 6:18pm

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Sollthar

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Believing as I do does not make me arrogant
I wasn't saying your religious belief is arrogant nor was I trying to say you're an arrogant person (obviously, I don't know you) just to get that clear in case I phrased myself wrong. I was merely arguing the presumption "Atheist will not change their stance on what they believe and Christians will not change their stance on what they believe. The debate is a waste of time." in itself is arrogant because it needs absolute knowledge of what is to come, which you don't have, nor me.

I have entirely no intention to prove to you that what you believe is wrong. I don't know if it is wrong. I know I don't share your belief, I have a different one.
Yours is based on your personal feelings, your experiences and what has happened to you, mine is based on logic deduction.

It's probably a bit like a relationship in which males want to talk about facts and females rather talk emotions, hence they believe to be talking about the same subject but ultimately end up often not understanding each other. smile

Words are not proof, debating about it is not proof
Interesting point, I'd argue "experience" is certainly no proof of anything. I've experienced the sun rising every morning is no proof it actually has risen or will rise again tomorrow. But that's another thing obviously best left aside. smile

Our dialogue back and forth proves my point. You have not changed your position nor have I changed mine.
Well, we've exchanged 4 or 5 form posts so far, if I would have changed your worldview or you mine within that frame I would be incredibly surprised (and worried about how easy it is to convince you of something as fundumental as religious beliefs. smile

My longest debate has been ongoing for 9 years now, in mostly weekly sittings. We're still debating and still disagree on many things and will probably never leave the discussion having exactly the same viewpoint on things. Hopefully not! Because that would mean the end of the debate and the end of our progress together.
We both developed interesting new views within that time and could profit from oneanother greatly (and we both changed our beliefs, I used to be a strict agnostic, now I'm more of a constructivist, he used to be a jehovas witness, now he's a pragmatist).

I still assume we have different concepts of what a proper debate is and what it is aimed to do.

And I also respect your religious views. I simply disagree with your statement that a debate on religion is a waste of time, as you basically declare 3000 years of philosophy and theology that has had great impact on the world and still has as "useless". And I also disagree that "people will never change their beliefs in a debate" as an absolute sentence. You might not, Some might not. But some might. Some have and some will.

And that disagreement has entirely nothing to do with the fact you're a theist and I'm an atheist.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 6:23pm

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Sollthar

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Oh, didn't see Thrawns new post there...

Thrawn wrote:

and Hindu's or Buddhists have strict beliefs
Imagine that, so do Atheists. Depending on what type of atheist you deal with they have a strict belief and reasoning behind it. Maybe you should do a bit of reading on what an atheist actually is. Even wikipedia might help there.

There's atheists which don't even neglect the idea of a god, but they're still atheists. Funny enough, the christians used to be referred to as "atheists" before the religion got as popular as it is today.

Sure, they disagree with christianity, but is it their "religion" to disagree with it, and prove how wrong it is?
I have entirely no idea where you're trying to go with this... Are you asking me if it's in the muslim, hindu or buddhist religion to disagree with christianity and prove how wrong it is?
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 6:40pm

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ben3308

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Sollthar wrote:

Sure, they disagree with christianity, but is it their "religion" to disagree with it, and prove how wrong it is?
I have entirely no idea where you're trying to go with this... Are you asking me if it's in the muslim, hindu or buddhist religion to disagree with christianity and prove how wrong it is?
How can do you not get this? smile This sort of touches on something I said in my PM, about how people who follow their religion as their core means of living (read: most religious followers) regard some terms differently than people who merely follow their religion (read: atheists) as a philosophical discipline.

While Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism may all reject the facets of Christian faith, they are not based off of their rejection. Rather, they have their own code of ethics/beliefs/religious texts.

Atheism, on the other hand, is merely a product of the refutation of religion. It may have become a 'following' in and of itself, but the cornerstone of it is the disbelief in God.

Consider this: were there no theism whatsoever- no Islam, no Judaism, no Christianity, none of it- could atheism exist at all? No, it could not, because there'd be nothing to question or refute.

Likewise, if atheism didn't exist, could theism still exist? The answer, of course, is yes, it could. Logically, that's generally how atheism can even exist: theism must first exist.

I think the whole issue here is the pragmatic use of the word 'belief' in this thread. Christians- and other religious followers as well- are apt to have a deeper meaning in 'belief' (a stringent set of rules, texts through which to study, a 'life meaning') and as such find it hard to regard atheism as a 'belief', simply because the meaning of the word does not align with the meaning they assign to it.

As such, I think a much better operative word for a religious 'belief' is simply 'faith'. Though, like 'belief', people consider faith different things, the general ideologies associated with 'faith' are religiously and spiritually based. See, atheists can have beliefs, but they can't have 'faith' in their religion. Logically, that wouldn't make sense! biggrin

Simply, I think we need to discern better use of the term 'belief' and realize that different people (especially when from different idealogical backgrounds) put different weight in the word.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 6:44pm

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D3L3T10N

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wow didn't think this topic would be so hot!
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 7:58pm

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Sollthar

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Excellent post there Ben, a definite +1 smile

Atheism, on the other hand, is merely a product of the refutation of religion.
I see now where probably the main misunderstanding is. The word "Atheism" has a heritage and had a different meaning through time. As I mentioned, christianity, when it was in it's beginnings and one of the few monotheist religions was considered "atheist" by the currently ruling religions, mostly polytheistic. So the christians used to be referred to as "atheists" because "atheist" simply meant "disagreeing with the true polytheist view of the world".
Later, when the first philosophical stream appeared that disagreed with the now ruling theist world view in general, "atheists" were people who disagreed with that, without having much of a theory of there own, just as you and Thrawn say. But the term has since then again changed many times and for the modern and post-modern understanding of "atheism", this "disbelief" is no longer a definete requirement or still gives justice to how the term is seen now.

An example: People who believe in the evolutionary theories of Darwin are "atheists". They do have a theory on how the world view came to be what it is and answers to certain questions, while disagreeing with the christian idea obviously,this isn't BASED on a disbelief - rather on scientific methods of deduction. The outcoming disbelief in theist theories is rather a consequence of the theory.

Also, there are atheist streams which don't neglect the idea of a god. My own atheism for example, the constructivistic atheism, doesn't start with "there is no god" either. It doesn't technically even say "there is no god". God simply has no place in it.
The pragmatic atheists for example can even believe in a god, but don't incorporate the idea of a godly entity into their everyday life because they believe it's nonpragmatic.(A funny stream in my view, but a rather growing stream)

Logically, that's generally how atheism can even exist: theism must first exist.
That logic is false and based on a rather dated understanding of what the word "atheism" means.
There are theories about how the world came to be that doesn't require a god entity nor are based on the refutation of these. These theories would and could still be applied even if a "god theory" had never been uttered.


However, I totally agree with what you said about the word "belief", is a had already written myself in two posts. "Belief" and "Faith" are two different things and while it's entirely true that atheists probably don't have "faith", they do have a belief.

Simply put: Atheism is NO religion and NO faith, but it is a belief. Some streams of atheism ARE based on the refutal of religion, even today, some aren't.

I think the problem is the simplistic idea of a "christians vs atheists" as if all christians shared one and the same belief and all atheists share one and the same belief. While the different streams of christianity (orthodox, catholic, protestant, etc) might be closer to each other, the different atheistic streams somethings largely disagree with each other and follow entirely different rules.


Hope this clears up some things as well.


EDIT: Reading up I have actually found something interesting as well. The term "atheism" has a different heritage and weight in the english language then in the german language. Heh, talk about language barrier.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 8:14pm

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ben3308

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First, Marco, let me say that I agree with most of what you've said. I just want to clarify this, if you will...

Sollthar wrote:

Logically, that's generally how atheism can even exist: theism must first exist.
That logic is false and based on a rather dated understanding of what the word "atheism" means.
There are theories about how the world came to be that doesn't require a god entity nor are based on the refutation of these. These theories would and could still be applied even if a "god theory" had never been uttered.
When I say 'atheism' cannot exist beyond counteracting theism, I mean the titled belief itself, not the ideas which the belief encompasses. As in, people are free to be transcendentalist or existentialist or what have you about the meaning of life, the origin of the planet, and all that: that's fine. Of course these alternatives views of creation, etc can exist without theism, or even the rejection of theist ideas.

But if no theist ever lived, 'atheism', as the term goes, can't exist. Because being 'atheist' means you have to disbelieve or doubt the existence of a supreme being. To even acknowledge the possibility of a supreme being is to confirm the existence of theism. And so on and so forth. As far as I know (and you might be able to shed light on this), this is the cardinal reasoning for the entire atheist movement: a search for something else and further truth that is based off of the fact that maybe we need more than a 'God did it' to justify things.

So what I am simply saying is this: people can search for scientific and philosophical meanings in life without taking any inference from higher powers- or even the followers of such powers. But to factor God, at all, into the equation, means you have to acknowledge that theism must exist, whether or not you find it to be true.

I'm arguing semantics now, so I apologize if this sounds too analytical. I suspect the language barrier is yet again the problem in our personal definitions of these terms.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 9:50pm

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Sollthar

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I know we're arguing semantics, yeah. And in the old definition of the term, you're absolutely right. Obviously an "a-theism" is verbally the counterpart to a "theism", since the addition "a" infront of the word basically means "non-" or "anti-".
That's how people with new ideas that contradicted the world view were seen back when the term was branded. However, as I have pointed out, the term has developed beyond what it used to mean and how you define it.

Because being 'atheist' means you have to disbelieve or doubt the existence of a supreme being.
As I said, christians used to be atheists when they came up. The interpretation of a word, a stream or symbol often changes in time and often has to be seen in the context to it's relative time. Some modern atheists don't even necessariliy doubt the existence of a god (practical atheism for example).

To even acknowledge the possibility of a supreme being is to confirm the existence of theism
No one doubts the existence of theism. The doubt of the existence of a god doesn't mean you doubt theism. Theism is a stream and as an idea exists, undoubtably.

a search for something else and further truth that is based off of the fact that maybe we need more than a 'God did it' to justify things.
Historically, christianity came to be because the common polytheistic world view was no longer a satisfying
truth. So the idea came up, that there could be one god. The now dominant religions came to be and the older vanished. So christianity has a similiar history to that.

But as I said, Darwinism and evolutionism for example are theorie that aren't based off of the idea that "god isn't enough". Obviously though, since they historically came after the monotheistic religions became utterly dominant, darwin doubted the current view of the world and set up a new one. Just like the christians did with the polytheist world. That's just how things come to be, chronologically.
But as in the theory itself, it does not factor god into the equation. The theory of evolution or the big bang don't say anything about god. They just state that, if looked at from that angle, a god probably would not be necessary and the historical chain of proof for theists, which was "the world exists, hence god must exist" is invalid. Which does not say god is invalid, but proving him by pointing at stuff at exists is an invalid proof.

And proof of god was looked for since religion came to be. Fortunately for us, human beings as a whole question things and don't take everything for granted. And that's the way it should be.
Posted: Sat, 3rd May 2008, 10:10pm

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Mellifluous

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Sollthar wrote:

proving him by pointing at stuff at exists is an invalid proof.

And proof of god was looked for since religion came to be. Fortunately for us, human beings as a whole question things and don't take everything for granted. And that's the way it should be.
Hmm, even as an atheist, not happy about that. Because if I were a Christian the world around me would provide proof that God exists. We point at a flower and say, that's a beautiful flower. But beauty is an abstract concept and we can't prove it's beautiful. That doesn't mean calling a flower beautiful is invalid.

Edit: I'm reading this without my glasses, so realised you may have intended the above comment about the way Darwinist thought considers things. If I have misread, apologies.
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2008, 6:42am

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Gibs

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Nice job with this video. While the footage itself wasn't that great (in terms of lighting, framing, etc.) your argument was clearly and eloquently spoken. I can tell you spent a while working on the script. As a fellow Christian, there is one issue I had, however.

I don't really think the Bible can prove much, if anything, scientifically. The Bible is essentially God's revelation to mankind. As such, it's purpose is not to prove anything scientifically. For example, you said that Job 38:19-20 says that light moves. Actually the Lord is questioning Job whether he knows where light dwells and the darkness resides. The rest of the chapter records many other rhetorical questions and even sarcasm from God directed toward Job! God is showing Job how little he really knows about the world, not proving a scientific fact ahead of its time.

In Biblical times, God met the people where they were. The first of the ten commandments is "You shall have no other gods before me." The late OT and the whole NT clearly claim that the Lord is the only god, but here in the early OT the Lord tells Israel to have no other gods before him. This concept is called Henotheism, the belief in one god while accepting there might be others as well.

See, in that day and age everyone thought there must be many gods; it was their only explanation for the natural phenomena around them. Yet the Lord didn't say, "Hey guys, it's stupid to believe in a rain god because rain is actually caused by the formation of clouds due to unequal heating of the earth." Instead he told Israel to follow him and only him, because he was their God who brought them out of Egypt. The point was for Israel to know to follow only the Lord, rather than to show them the scientific truth of the matter.

As a fellow Christian, I applaud you for having the boldness to speak up about your faith, it's something I definitely could use more of. I just wanted to also point out that trying to prove the Bible with science doesn't really convince any non-Christians and it ultimately misses the big picture of the Bible.
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2008, 6:43am

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Sollthar

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Yeah, I was simply stating the effect Darwinism and constructivism had historically Mel.

There's a famous example of Magritte where he drew a pipe and wrote "this is not a pipe" beneath it. Because it's the image of a pipe, not an actual pipe.

Every experience - visual, auditive, tactile etc - is an interpretation by the mind. It's something your brain constructs after it has gotten "input". What you see when you look at a flower is light beams that enter your eye and are interpreted by your brain, which is then being assigned to a word and understanding you learned: "flower" or in my case, "blume".
Technically, all of that *could* be an illusion. (The movie "the matrix" comes to mind, which is basically hard core constructivistic), which is what construcitivsts argue. Hence the name, because everything is a construction.

So "things that are there" we're no longer considered proof of anything and still aren't because they could well be an illusion (Descartes made the start of this with his famous "I think, therefore I am" which is pretty much the only thing one can be sure about).


Obviously, a christian believes god has created the world hence he sees the worlds existence as a proof of god. Absolutely and logically, that deduction is invalid. Even if we leave aside the constructivistic world view that the world could be an illusion and assume it's actually there, all it proves is that the world is there. Not that it has been made by a god or made at all, it could just as well have always been there, or been created in the big bang or even just randomly appeared. Which doesn't prove it HASN'T been made by a god, it just neglects it's existence as proof of the opposite.


Calling a flower beautiful isn't invalid obviously. But calling a flower beautiful is also a personal aestethic statement and no logic deduction. "the flower exists, hence god exists" is a deduction (A = B hence C). A wrong one.
Just like "there's no proof of god, hence god doesn't exist" which so many atheists refer to is a false deduction. The video is quite right there. The fact you have no proof of something is no valid proof that it doesn't exist.

But we're going into third semester philosophy now.

Last edited Mon, 5th May 2008, 4:51am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 4th May 2008, 7:42am

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ben3308

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I'm so glad you phrased the Book of Job, Lloyd, because out of probably every book in the Bible it helps to show us the context of how we should read it: with up-to-date, broader interpretations in mind.

Also, the Book of Job is possibly one of the greatest and most entertaining parts of the Bible. It shows how deep faith is, and is also almost disturbingly dramatic. Great stuff.

For those that don't know, the Book of Job is essentially the story of Satan testing a farmer named Job's faith in God. God agrees to this, and Satan continues to taunt Job on his faith, forcing him to at one point question it. Like with Saul's change to Paul (another great change in the Bible, from a partial agnostic, I believe), Job's life is characterized by a lot of ruthless tests; and is pretty much the reason people justify the whole 'God is testing us' mantra, which, funnily enough, is not something I completely subscribe to. biggrin

But I've gone completely off-topic, sorry. It's just funny that the Book of Job- where a man's faith is put into doubt- was cited.
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2008, 1:24pm

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Coureur de Bois

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Sollthar is such an Atheist, that when Jesus reads this thread even he questions his own divinity.
Posted: Sun, 4th May 2008, 4:49pm

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drspin98

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I'm not going to get into the subject matter of the film as those discussions can go on for ever (having been in a few on other sites I should know!). Whether I agree with you or not, I applaud your passion, for some one of your age I find it refreshing. Even the people on here who don't necessarily agree with your subject/take have to say its a nice change from the countless garbage by upper middle class kids your age that try to act like "ganstas" online. Those whose entire "film" is a bunch of crappy fights inter-spaced with them doing their best ghetto accents (looking and sounding nothing but ridiculous the whole while). I am also very impressed with your presence in front of the camera, again considering your age-VERY impressive. You did a nice job of hiding your sardonic tone for "unsaved" persons, though make no mistake, it did occasionally rear it's head.

From a film standpoint I thought the side shots were too long-those are best used in an interview for short clips. The music during the building shot was too loud and the fade at the end of that same shot was rough-both music and video-it should have went a few more clips after you stopped talking.

The ending was pretty anti climatic-it just kinda wound down. Considering how well you carried the scenes up to that point I was actually a little surprised.

Nice effort!! I was impressed!!
Posted: Mon, 5th May 2008, 3:21am

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Gibs

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I agree, Ben. Job tells an amazing story; I think it be made into a great film.
Posted: Tue, 6th May 2008, 3:10am

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D3L3T10N

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+1 to B3N, great stuff
Posted: Tue, 6th May 2008, 6:01pm

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Joel M

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One thing i will say about this is that it seems whenever a Christian states his faith in God alot of people jump on him about it. I know not everybody does but the majority do. Believe me it takes alot of courage to state your faith like that!!
Posted: Tue, 6th May 2008, 11:31pm

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Thrawn

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Sollthar wrote:

Excellent post there Ben, a definite +1 smile
haha, I love how Ben was arguing the point I made, and I've got 2- so far, and he's gotten a few +1's... smile Ironic..

Yeah, I'm done arguing my point. I'll leave it to those who can articulate well, such as Ben. Besides, getting multiple minus points on my record for stating my beliefs (just as everyone else is doing) is not how I prefer to spend my time.
Posted: Wed, 7th May 2008, 1:32am

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ben3308

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Welcome to the wonderful, biased world of the internet. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 7th May 2008, 3:28am

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Coureur de Bois

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ben3308 wrote:

Welcome to the wonderful, biased world of the internet. biggrin
Funny innit?
Posted: Wed, 7th May 2008, 3:35pm

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Sollthar

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Yeah, we're all very poor people. Look, there's a tear in my eye. crazy
Posted: Mon, 12th May 2008, 8:28am

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Thrawn

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Ouch, and another -1 is added to my record... neutral Keep em coming. wink