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I believe in God but I have an open mind
Posted: 02 December 2010 11:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Just wanting to get some feed back - I think about the existance of a higher power constantly and I have never heard anything that has made me truly question its existance - my belief -I feel - is completely science and reason based, so I would love to hear any opposition -  (though not too much as I’m a father of small children and should really be spending more time with them than this).  Athiest generally seem like pretty open minded people so I hope you don’t mind having a believer in your midst.  I logged on as a member as I saw the promo for the T.T.C. “extrodinary claims require extrodinary evidence” and I think it has a major flaw (or not).  Wouldn’t a higher intellegence know familiarity breeds contempt and not provide evidence for that reason?  Or at least evidence that would convince the average joe - like a “hi it’s me God”  Wouldn’t it be mysterious and know humans will be more intregued by a possibly unanswerable puzzle - as some would say the present situation is?  Or is this campaign aimed at the average joe?
Just wondering
On another note - is there any interest among athiest to change the names of the days of the week or months as they obviously have religious connotations…?
Patrick

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Posted: 02 December 2010 11:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome S-P.  While I’m an atheist and have thought through my postion quite carefully over many years, I don’t believe in prosletyzing.  The only time I bother is when someone tries to convert me to being a christian.  So, I’d suggest you read articles by some of those atheists who do seem to be missionaries.  See if you can pick holes in their arguments or if they sound reasonable to you.

While I’m annoyed when someone insists on using patently religious words on me, such as talking about my soul or spirit, I don’t get upset at common usage words.  It doesn’t bother me that the middle of the week names come from Woden, Thor, and Fria.  Similarly, it doesn’t bother me that two of our months are named for Roman emperors, that the first month is named after a two faced Roman god, or that the last four months are based on the Roman numbers (although Caeser andAugustus screwed them up by inserting their months before them.

Occam

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Posted: 02 December 2010 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Sunday=Sun—-Roman god
Monday= Moon goddess
Tues = Tyr—Norse god
Wednesday = Wodan—Roman god
Thursday = Thor—Norse god
Friday = Frigg—Norse god
Saturday = Saturn—Roman god
What’s to change? Would YOU want to change it, after all, they are all considered ‘pagan gods’, which should be antithetical to ‘christian’ beliefs. Those ‘gods’ are no more real to me than any other.  If the names were Brahma Christ and Buddha, it wouldn’t matter any more to me, they are all myths as far as I am concerned.
Which of the 10,000 (or so) gods do you believe in. Why, if a god exists, didn’t s/he reveal consistent laws to be followed by all people all over the world? Why are all the worlds ‘one truths’ mutually exclusive? Why are there so many ‘laws’ in the bible (to use one book) which are now seen as abhorrent to moderns society, and why can they be overlooked when they were once seen as the word of ‘god’.

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Posted: 02 December 2010 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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sobpatrick - 02 December 2010 11:13 PM

Just wanting to get some feed back - I think about the existance of a higher power constantly and I have never heard anything that has made me truly question its existance - my belief -I feel - is completely science and reason based, so I would love to hear any opposition -  (though not too much as I’m a father of small children and should really be spending more time with them than this).  Athiest generally seem like pretty open minded people so I hope you don’t mind having a believer in your midst.  I logged on as a member as I saw the promo for the T.T.C. “extrodinary claims require extrodinary evidence” and I think it has a major flaw (or not).  Wouldn’t a higher intellegence know familiarity breeds contempt and not provide evidence for that reason?  Or at least evidence that would convince the average joe - like a “hi it’s me God”  Wouldn’t it be mysterious and know humans will be more intregued by a possibly unanswerable puzzle - as some would say the present situation is?  Or is this campaign aimed at the average joe?
Just wondering
On another note - is there any interest among athiest to change the names of the days of the week or months as they obviously have religious connotations…?
Patrick

Hi Patrick,

It’s taken me awhile but I’m really over the whole discussion of whether there is or isn’t a god. I’ve yet to see any evidence to convince me that such a being exists. Most theists would make the opposite claim.

If you feel your life is less complicated, more fulfilled, et al, by believing in a god then that’s okay with me. Believe away! grin So why do you believe?

In regards to “extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence” you mention that you see a “major flaw (or not)” but don’t mention that flaw (or not). (Well I guess by not mentioning it that covers the “or not” grin) Since you are open minded I humbly recommend reading the Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 03 December 2010 12:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Well, in my honest opinion, the idea of a deity is a human concept and while I don’t buy into religion or believe a god exists, that doesn’t mean I don’t welcome Xians, as long as they don’t try to impose their beliefs on me or anyone else.  The thing is, I think Tom Harpur said it best in a video on YouTube when he said, “Religion is mythology misunderstood”.  In other words, I think religion is just modern day mythology and one day, the god(s) people have created today, well be a thing of the past, much like Thor, Zeus, and all the other gods, asanta mentioned.  In it’s place will either be nothing at all or humans will create yet another god concept.

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Posted: 03 December 2010 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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asanta - 02 December 2010 11:54 PM

Sunday=Sun—-Roman god
Monday= Moon goddess
Tues = Tyr—Norse god
Wednesday = Wodan—Roman god
Thursday = Thor—Norse god
Friday = Frigg—Norse god
Saturday = Saturn—Roman god
What’s to change? Would YOU want to change it, after all, they are all considered ‘pagan gods’, which should be antithetical to ‘christian’ beliefs. Those ‘gods’ are no more real to me than any other.  If the names were Brahma Christ and Buddha, it wouldn’t matter any more to me, they are all myths as far as I am concerned.
Which of the 10,000 (or so) gods do you believe in. Why, if a god exists, didn’t s/he reveal consistent laws to be followed by all people all over the world? Why are all the worlds ‘one truths’ mutually exclusive? Why are there so many ‘laws’ in the bible (to use one book) which are now seen as abhorrent to moderns society, and why can they be overlooked when they were once seen as the word of ‘god’.

*—

No I don’t really want to change anything - I like tradition- I grew up with the Brontosaurs and Pluto and now they’ve been changed (somewhat) - I don’t agree with that.  I take some offence to Christmas being called the holidays - why change it?  Why change any holiday’s name - Valentines day, Halloween - why change them - for the same reason you wouldn’t change the day of the week - tradition - basically -plus if Jesus did exist, it seems he had a rough go during life - I’d say go easy on him now that he’s dead.
I believe in somewhat of an evolutionary God - I can’t see any logic in the notion that the sun (an object of zero intellect) and some asteriods or comets (zero intellect as well) are responsible for beings of intellect - and therefore - all the great past present and future acheivements of beings of intellect - it makes no sense unless you believe that the sun has an intellect that we are just not advanced enough to comprehend - it’s like saying a balloon and a brick is responsible for the Einstein’s and Wittens of the world - doesn’t make sense - but that’s what science suggests.  If God does existist it would be advanced to us on the evolutionary chain - like we are to a sponge or cockroach - neither a sponge nor cockroach can understand us - we wouldn’t/shouldn’t be able to understand a being higher on the evolutionary chain.  Just as we can easily manipulate sponges and rats - so would a higher evolutionary being be able to manipulate us - even though there’s almost seven billion of us we still only share one type of brain - if you can fool one you can fool them all so to speak - In answer to your other questions - we are beings that obviously enjoy diversity, and challenges/conflicts - I higher power wants to make us happy so this is why the world is the way it is - that’s the way we like it.  I believe God made free thinkers and Athiests for those same reasons - I don’t want to offend athiests - or anyone - but I see Athiest as some of Gods most important creations.

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Posted: 03 December 2010 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I have absolutely no problem with any theist who takes the position you describe, sobpatrick.

I suppose that we could get into a discussion about how pockets of increasing complexity can arise under a general sets of circumstances to help describe how intelligence can arise seemingly from orderlessness, but this is probably a subject for another thread, not this introductory one.  And, sobpatrick, you’re right: it is not intuitive.

Feel free to start the thread if you wish.

smile

IMHO, you should have a good time on here.  Yes, there are people here who really enjoy religion-bashing, but also note that we often argue with each other here so that the arguments become (I hope) better.  Most of the religion-bashing is directed at organized religions, not the more individualized kind of interpretations like what you describe.

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Posted: 03 December 2010 02:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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sobpatrick - 03 December 2010 05:28 AM

No I don’t really want to change anything - I like tradition- I grew up with the Brontosaurs and Pluto and now they’ve been changed (somewhat) - I don’t agree with that.  I take some offence to Christmas being called the holidays - why change it? 

To reflect the fact that we are a multicultural society, and there is so much more going on in December along with christmas. Why object to celebrating all of them? Happy holidays is more inclusive, and recognizes that fact.

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Posted: 03 December 2010 09:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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asanta - 03 December 2010 02:16 PM
sobpatrick - 03 December 2010 05:28 AM

No I don’t really want to change anything - I like tradition- I grew up with the Brontosaurs and Pluto and now they’ve been changed (somewhat) - I don’t agree with that.  I take some offence to Christmas being called the holidays - why change it? 

To reflect the fact that we are a multicultural society, and there is so much more going on in December along with christmas. Why object to celebrating all of them? Happy holidays is more inclusive, and recognizes that fact.

I think multiculturalism is great -  the more celebrations the better, however I believe tradition gives a place its culture - if you take away tradition you take away culture - most people travel to explore the traditions of other countries, but when we replace names of cultural or religious holidays we loose a little more than words - what if Mardi Gras was called the holiday in February - you loose more than just a title you loose a part of the spirit of the event (I’m guessing ‘spirit’ is an acceptable term in this forum).  The other thing with the title Christmas is that there seemed to be a concerted effort to deliberately change it in such overt ways - Holiday trees instead of Christmas trees?  come on.  Of course it doesn’t stop there - Valentine’s Day is friendship and caring day, Easter is egg week, Halloween is black and orange day - to me it’s just nuts - could you imagine changing Ramadan to starving month, New Years eve to western time change night or your birthday to annual day?  Sounds crazy right??  Any event that traditionally had Christian word associated with it is now targeted for title termination.  To me it’s like an old friend that’s getting beaten up and it needs to be defended - that in itself sounds crazy but that’s the way I feel.

I believe all beliefs and non beliefs should be respected, but within each there are celebration days that are more important than others.  Hannuka is a lesser holiday in the Jewish Faith - Kwanzaa - I’ve honestly never met or heard of anyone who celebrates or can even tell me anything about it and I’ve worked in the multicultural field for 25 years.  Christmas is supposed to mark the birthday of the son of God - it’s a pretty big day - lets be honest - 95% of Canadians will mark that day in some way - I bet even more than half of those who consider themselves athiest will do something special on the 25th - if only to give or recieve a gift - we’ve had Christmas at my sister-in-laws for years and she considers herself an athiest. 
Will you be receiving or giving a gift on that day?  If so does a part of you feel hypocritical

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Posted: 03 December 2010 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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harry canyon - 02 December 2010 11:55 PM
sobpatrick - 02 December 2010 11:13 PM

Just wanting to get some feed back - I think about the existance of a higher power constantly and I have never heard anything that has made me truly question its existance - my belief -I feel - is completely science and reason based, so I would love to hear any opposition -  (though not too much as I’m a father of small children and should really be spending more time with them than this).  Athiest generally seem like pretty open minded people so I hope you don’t mind having a believer in your midst.  I logged on as a member as I saw the promo for the T.T.C. “extrodinary claims require extrodinary evidence” and I think it has a major flaw (or not).  Wouldn’t a higher intellegence know familiarity breeds contempt and not provide evidence for that reason?  Or at least evidence that would convince the average joe - like a “hi it’s me God”  Wouldn’t it be mysterious and know humans will be more intregued by a possibly unanswerable puzzle - as some would say the present situation is?  Or is this campaign aimed at the average joe?
Just wondering
On another note - is there any interest among athiest to change the names of the days of the week or months as they obviously have religious connotations…?
Patrick

Hi Patrick,

It’s taken me awhile but I’m really over the whole discussion of whether there is or isn’t a god. I’ve yet to see any evidence to convince me that such a being exists. Most theists would make the opposite claim.

If you feel your life is less complicated, more fulfilled, et al, by believing in a god then that’s okay with me. Believe away! grin So why do you believe?

In regards to “extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence” you mention that you see a “major flaw (or not)” but don’t mention that flaw (or not). (Well I guess by not mentioning it that covers the “or not” grin) Since you are open minded I humbly recommend reading the Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan.

Take care,

Derek

Hi Derek, thanks for your interest
in response to the flaw I see, it is in asking for evidence - maybe the word evidence itself.  Does the athiest really want God to appear and give them a pot of gold or three wishes?  I don’t think so and I wouldn’t think a higher power/ intellegence would think so.  I also don’t think the athiest wants an example of something that simply can’t be explained (though I think almost everyone has at least one of those experiences once in their lives) What evidence do you think you need?
As a believer I just think it’s a poor choice of words as we (I) see evidence in everything around me - so we have the extrodinary evidence that the ad is asking for.
Your other question - why do I believe - several reasons - but I’ll just give four - save more for later
1) I think intellegence (us)coming from non intellegence (the sun) is impossible - much like saying a balloon is as intellegent as Einstein - (actually more intellegent if you believe the sun theory because it would be responsible for creating his intellegence plus all future intellegent people deemed more intellegent than him) - I know you can say a lot of stuff happened naturally inbetween, but I see that suggestion really in the realm of magic (or God of course)
2) Evolution is a mathimatical impossibility (not really but according to Dr. H.J. Morowitz - renowned biologist and athiest at the time of his conclusion - the number he arrived at of life evolving by chance was one to a number followed by 340 million zeros - even with Sagans’ estimates of our universe having a trillion galaxies with a hundred billion stars in each would require 34 million universes for life to evolve on one planet in one of the 34 million unverses - not impossible but not likely - plus this figure only means life could evolve - not survive and mutate millions of times - which it would have to do
3) Evolution will produce a God - If you do believe in evolution then you have to believe that we are just a link in an advancing chain as a protozoa to a sponge to a cockroach to a rat… We currently manipulate life, DNA, create steme cells, theorize time travel capture time (in photos - it still blows my mind that we can do that) and can control the universes of lesser life forms. If we advance just one link we would likely be capable of doing anything we’d see God doing.
4) Science/math are devine lego blocks and hampster wheels - they keeps us busy running towards infinity - we use it for everything but have no idea what anything is - most recent theories will be old theories and a final answer will never be reached -  Gravity, energy, electricity, matter, force - modern science admits we have no conclusions on any of these -we can manipulate them like lego given to us - we can make wonderful things like this computer - but why is sitting on my lap and not floating? - why does it produce light? - why does it have substance?  I’m still in shock that science doesn’t have the answers - but if we did have the answers then we would get bored and life would loose a lot of its meaning. God wants us to enjoy life, have a sense if accomplishment and fulfillment. Science is God’s gift that will keep on giving.

As far as Sagan goes, I grew up with him, took a course on him, watched the cosmos series a couple times.  I think he’s a very important figure in history - I’ll check out the book
Thanks
Patrick

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Posted: 04 December 2010 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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sobpatrick - 03 December 2010 09:10 PM

Will you be receiving or giving a gift on that day?  If so does a part of you feel hypocritical

Yes, I do expect gifts for my very secular christmas celebration. Nope, not a hypocrite at all. Christmas is a co-opted holiday. It has its origins in a pagan solstice holiday. In my home, we get together as a family, we put up a tree (not mentioned in the bible BTW, and neither is Santa), the small kids wait excitedly for Santa Claus, until they become skeptical enough to figure it out. It is the beginning of their skeptical education. Do you feel like a hypocrite stealing Oester to celebrate your ‘resurection’ story. The whole easter bunny and eggs are a part of another pagan holiday (and, yes, we hide eggs for the kids too). Church, Jesus, and gods are never a part of our celebration, except to compare myths from all over the world.

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Posted: 04 December 2010 02:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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sobpatrick - 03 December 2010 11:20 PM

1) I think intellegence (us)coming from non intellegence (the sun) is impossible - much like saying a balloon is as intellegent as Einstein - (actually more intellegent if you believe the sun theory because it would be responsible for creating his intellegence plus all future intellegent people deemed more intellegent than him) - I know you can say a lot of stuff happened naturally inbetween, but I see that suggestion really in the realm of magic (or God of course)
2) Evolution is a mathimatical impossibility (not really but according to Dr. H.J. Morowitz - renowned biologist and athiest at the time of his conclusion - the number he arrived at of life evolving by chance was one to a number followed by 340 million zeros - even with Sagans’ estimates of our universe having a trillion galaxies with a hundred billion stars in each would require 34 million universes for life to evolve on one planet in one of the 34 million unverses - not impossible but not likely - plus this figure only means life could evolve - not survive and mutate millions of times - which it would have to do
3) Evolution will produce a God - If you do believe in evolution then you have to believe that we are just a link in an advancing chain as a protozoa to a sponge to a cockroach to a rat… We currently manipulate life, DNA, create steme cells, theorize time travel capture time (in photos - it still blows my mind that we can do that) and can control the universes of lesser life forms. If we advance just one link we would likely be capable of doing anything we’d see God doing.
4) Science/math are devine lego blocks and hampster wheels - they keeps us busy running towards infinity - we use it for everything but have no idea what anything is - most recent theories will be old theories and a final answer will never be reached -  Gravity, energy, electricity, matter, force - modern science admits we have no conclusions on any of these -we can manipulate them like lego given to us - we can make wonderful things like this computer - but why is sitting on my lap and not floating? - why does it produce light? - why does it have substance?  I’m still in shock that science doesn’t have the answers - but if we did have the answers then we would get bored and life would loose a lot of its meaning. God wants us to enjoy life, have a sense if accomplishment and fulfillment. Science is God’s gift that will keep on giving.

So, you are presenting us with argument from incredulity??????  wink

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Posted: 04 December 2010 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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asanta - 04 December 2010 02:12 AM
sobpatrick - 03 December 2010 09:10 PM

Will you be receiving or giving a gift on that day?  If so does a part of you feel hypocritical

Yes, I do expect gifts for my very secular christmas celebration. Nope, not a hypocrite at all. Christmas is a co-opted holiday. It has its origins in a pagan solstice holiday. In my home, we get together as a family, we put up a tree (not mentioned in the bible BTW, and neither is Santa), the small kids wait excitedly for Santa Claus, until they become skeptical enough to figure it out. It is the beginning of their skeptical education. Do you feel like a hypocrite stealing Oester to celebrate your ‘resurection’ story. The whole easter bunny and eggs are a part of another pagan holiday (and, yes, we hide eggs for the kids too). Church, Jesus, and gods are never a part of our celebration, except to compare myths from all over the world.

That’s great that you celebrate in pretty much the same way I do -a bit more secular- but traditional - I guess then you would agree that Christmas is a little bigger than the other December Holidays and might be deserving of some distinction?  How do you feel about changing the other holiday names - do you feel that even myth names should be respected ?  As for Oester stealing the name (and St. Patrick stealing the sun for the Celtic cross - if you believe that) no - I would only feel hypocritical if I denied that those pagan rituals existed prior to the Christains taking them - I know they did and I know why they did. I do feel a bit hypocritacal since I’m Catholic and I don’t have my Children baptized (yet) or go to church.

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Posted: 05 December 2010 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Nope, christmas is just more fun! Who doesn’t like getting and giving presents under any pretext?

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Posted: 05 December 2010 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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asanta - 05 December 2010 03:29 PM

Nope, christmas is just more fun! Who doesn’t like getting and giving presents under any pretext?

At least you still call it Christmas - enjoy your Christmas presents - (or holiday gifts - that one bugs me too)

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Posted: 05 December 2010 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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sobpatrick - 05 December 2010 07:40 PM
asanta - 05 December 2010 03:29 PM

Nope, christmas is just more fun! Who doesn’t like getting and giving presents under any pretext?

At least you still call it Christmas - enjoy your Christmas presents - (or holiday gifts - that one bugs me too)

It is a totally secular excuse to get together with family and friends. Not a manger in sight. We have a Santa come by for the kids and enjoy good food and drink. We do the same at easter, except of course we have an egg hunt. We also celebrate the new year, which is a totally arbitrary mark of the end of a time period.

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