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Discussions

billh billh call -141
  • It's Quiet

    Hope nobody takes offense to this...I haven't been here in a while...but what happened to all the deep tech discussions that used to happen around here? It seems kind of quiet lately...especially on the weekends...Perplexed

  • I'm back

    Colin Angus Mackay wrote:
    A guy I know who used to run Alpha Courses (i.e. he'd convert people to Christianity) but is now an atheist told me that one of the reasons he quit was that he'd convert people who had a problem. That would work out for a while until something happened and they fell back into their old habits. e.g. An alcoholic becomes tee-total for a while after "finding god" but for what ever reason falls off the wagon. This time round they fall much harder than they did before. Because this time they hate themselves for what ever it is they don't want to be doing, but this time round god hates them too.

    He realised that what was getting people out of their hole was personal will power. It was nothing to do with supernatural beings living in the sky. Yes, people occasionally failed, but when they failed "with God" they got in much worse mess than they were in before. When they failed and it was just them they weren't burdened with the additional distress of having disappointed some mythical bearded guy which they had taken to be real.

    So, in short, finding god is probably the worst solution to any problem.
    Uh...the Alpha Courses have a few well known "issues", and one of their notable downfalls is that they tend to get people "hooked on an experience" rather than sticking to what the Bible says. In some cases, they can actually make things worse. And although I can't speak for the other poster, I would argue that medicine does have its place...and in some cases it is needed. But yeah, not dealing with people's underlying problems is not good either...oh and then there is this rather sobering passage...which seems to address things such as false conversions. But it's not a person's job to force somebody else to convert. 

    btw, hi Rory. Welcome back!

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    odujosh wrote:
    
    billh wrote:
    
    odujosh wrote:
    Christian nations have done amoral things throught history. Thus you cannot demean a group based off your own ideals. For your group does not always hold to the same ideal.
    Define "Christian nation". And being "Christian" does not mean a person is without fault...quite the contrary, it's actually an admission in many ways that you can never be truly "faultless" by your own abilities. And, as stated before, many things have been done in the name of one religion or another...that does not change the core truth one bit.

    Take any medieval european country. Ruled by the theocracy by extension of the king. If you ask any historian thats why the pilgrims came to america to get away from religious persicution. Guess who instigated that?
    Although I'm not well versed on Pilgrim history, didn't they carry much of those beliefs overseas with them?

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    odujosh wrote:
    Christian nations have done amoral things throught history. Thus you cannot demean a group based off your own ideals. For your group does not always hold to the same ideal.
    Define "Christian nation". And being "Christian" does not mean a person is without fault...quite the contrary, it's actually an admission in many ways that you can never be truly "faultless" by your own abilities. And, as stated before, many things have been done in the name of one religion or another...that does not change the core truth one bit.

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    blowdart wrote:
    And unmathematical; redefining pi in 1 Kings 7, verse 23.
    Heh...I just learned something today. Try drawing this picture:

    NKJV wrote:
    23 And he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference. 24 Below its brim were ornamental buds encircling it all around, ten to a cubit, all the way around the Sea. The ornamental buds were cast in two rows when it was cast. 25 It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their back parts pointed inward. 26 It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It contained two thousand baths.
    When I reread this, does it mean the ten cubits is being measured from the outer edge of the rim to the other outer edge? Is the circumference measurement on the inside or the outside of the rim? Did the Sea's top rim have a width to it...maybe a handbreadth? In verse 26, it is still describing the Sea, as having it's brim like the brim of a cup...like a lily blossom. Now lilies typically have a wide brim that quickly tapers down to the base of the blossom/stem...so what are the measurements actually describing?

    Edit: it also appears the definition of "cubit" has changed a bit over the years...

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    blowdart wrote:
    
    billh wrote:
    
    The word is loaded with examples throughout both Testaments...for all types of purposes...thanksgiving, asking for wisdom, making requests. 
    Don't forget praying for children to be torn apart by bears because they teased you about being bald
    Oh, you mean this passage? But you didn't bring up the one about the Baal worshippers vs. Elijah and the sacrifices catching fire and all that.

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    blowdart wrote:
    
    billh wrote:
    


    So let me guess...you've had prayers that weren't answered at some point? Anyway, what is your threshold of "proof" in any situation then? At what point do you say "I have enough proof".
    That's avoiding the point I was making about having to belief the documentation of true.

    And as you've said already, if you're not supposed to put God to the test, then you shouldn't be asking for things in your prayers. If you believe it.
    I'm not avoiding anything. Yes, a certain amount of faith is required. From a logical standpoint it would be absurd for me to make it a requirement that I have to go back in time and space 2,000 years and witness the Resurrection. Do I believe World War II happened? Of course I do. Am I saying faith is an easy thing? Nope.

    Re: prayers...

    The word is loaded with examples throughout both Testaments...for all types of purposes...thanksgiving, asking for wisdom, making requests.  By "testing God" I'm talking about throwing yourself off a cliff (for example) and saying "catch me!" Moses prayed. Samuel prayed. Paul prayed. The list is endless.

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    blowdart wrote:
    
    billh wrote:
    
    blowdart wrote:
    
    billh wrote:
    You seem to think that people who "believe" do so out of a lack of critical thinking skills
    But the whole idea of faith is to believe despite your critical thinking skills. It is belief not based on proof.

    I guess it depends how you define critical thinking of course.
    IMHO, The purpose of some of the miracles in the New Testament was to offer the "proof" that many people desire. Read the end of John 20:

    NIV wrote:
    30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
    The miracles were written down for a reason...to record an accurate account.
    Again no. Because you have to have "faith" that they are an accurate account of "proof".

    And again you know this.
    So let me guess...you've had prayers that weren't answered at some point? Anyway, what is your threshold of "proof" in any situation then? At what point do you say "I have enough proof".

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    blowdart wrote:
    
    billh wrote:
    
    blowdart wrote:
    And growing up in Northern Ireland you don't escape experience of the church at all.
    And what did that experience teach you? Did anybody in the congregations you visited routinely study the Word? Did they routinely pray? Was their relationship with God authentic? (Although I suppose it could be argued that nobody could ever ascertain that for sure by simply looking at someone else's life, but it becomes fairly clear at a certain point).


    Fairly clear? Are we back to counting good works and attitude again, with the assertion that athiests or those not of your faith cannot perform them?

    And you know fine well that study and prayer are not indications of faith at all; as you seem to indicate with question 3, so why put them there?
    I know full well that athiests are very capable of performing "good works". I'm not disputing that.

    My point about study and prayer is that you can tell quite quickly who is doing it and who is not..."by their fruits you shall know them" and all that. And yes, it is an indication of faith. I should have elaborated a little bit better with my point...but what I was getting at was people who were putting on a show for others and not actually living out what they read/supposedly believed. Of course, this sort of thing affects many groups of people, regardless of belief system.

  • How do Atheists find hope?

    blowdart wrote:
    
    billh wrote:
    You seem to think that people who "believe" do so out of a lack of critical thinking skills
    But the whole idea of faith is to believe despite your critical thinking skills. It is belief not based on proof.

    I guess it depends how you define critical thinking of course.
    IMHO, The purpose of some of the miracles in the New Testament was to offer the "proof" that many people desire. Read the end of John 20:

    NIV wrote:
    30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
    The miracles were written down for a reason...to record an accurate account.