A Message To Religious People

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Stu. K.'s picture
A Message To Religious People

I know most (if all) religious people won't listen to this, but I can't not say this.

When I was religious, I thought I was thinking straight and correctly as I said "god will help" or "god has a reason for something that doesn't make sense". I believed those statements were true.

But when I left, then was I able to see religion for what it truly is. You see how religion is set up to trap you in. You see the flaws and how things don't add up. So what I'm saying is that I truly think that you can't honestly see religion for what it is unless you stop believing it. And it makes sense because if you don't let religion control the way you think, then there are no set things you have to think/believe that would influence your thoughts. To further prove this, if you tell someone born and raised an atheist a story about a man in the sky and eternal hell, certainly they would almost certainly think that it's ridiculous. This is because there's no influence on the mind, except true logic instead of faith and misguided morals and whatnot. This is from experience and something I've realized after I left religion. So try it! No devil is helping you, no hell, no sin, and I guarantee you will see that if you can just scrap it.

And, if it doesn't work then you can just pray that you're sorry you lost your faith for a minute :b

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Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
For various periods of my

For various periods of my life I have felt drawn away from it. But in the end I always end up choosing it. I believe in logic and questioning. Every time I find a 'fault' in the bible, I don't think "Ha, religion is wrong!". Instead, I give it the benefit of the doubt until I find an accurate answer. I was an atheist for about a year in my life because I thought I found a fault, but instead I asked someone who knew about this stuff, and he answered it. I then turned back to God. Without questioning and freedom of choice and speech, our life can be tangled in horrific ways, but logic and questioning puts it straight. When I questioned the bible, I got answers. Every question that I've had has been answered. I've got questions now, but that doesn't mean that it is wrong.

Stu. K.'s picture
This is kind of my point

This is kind of my point though. Whether it's subconscious or not, chances are you just cannot truly be open minded when you're religious even if you say and think you are. Because if most religious people were, they would probably dismiss religion just because of the obvious red flags in the bible. You say you give the bible the benefit of the doubt. Why not not the fact that he doesn't exist the benefit of the doubt?

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. " Because if most

1. " Because if most religious people were, they would probably dismiss religion just because of the obvious red flags in the bible." - My point on this is that these "obvious red flags" have been answered by those who are religious (like myself). Whenever myself, or other religious people, find these "red flags", we attempt to find answers. I think I have sufficiently answered all the red flag I have found.
2. "Why not give the fact that he (God and co.) doesn't exist the benefit of the doubt" - You can only give the benefit of the doubt for so long. Any idea proclaimed has the burden of proof. When you say 'there is no God', you have the burden of proof, as do I when I say the opposite. I give both ideas benefit of the doubt. The problem I have is that I believe that the proof points towards Christianity than from it.

Jared Alesi's picture
Answer this red flag: in

Answer this red flag: in Genesis, it states that you can change the color of livestock by placing stripped poplar shoots in front of them while they mate. Gen 30:31-43 I think.

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
What is recorded in this

What is recorded in this passage is not a observation of a supernatural event, as the bible leaps to say that it was 'an act of God' or a miracle. What is recorded is just observation. Jacob is portrayed as being clever and witty. The commentaries I have read say something along the lines of that when the females cam to drink, they were curious about the stick, the striped colour, and then the males took advantage of this and mated. It wasn't "change the colo(u)r of livestock" over one generation, like 'POP' different colours, but a change of colours over time. I myself am a bit confused over this as this is the first time I have read this passage. I am open to objections of this. BTW are there any good sides about weird OT passages?

Sky Pilot's picture
UnKnown,

UnKnown,

It pays to remember that all of the biblical stories are based upon the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 34:10-28. The story about Jacob's livestock illustrates the 4th Commandment, Exodus 34:19 (NLT) = “The firstborn of every animal belongs to me, including the firstborn males[a] from your herds of cattle and your flocks of sheep and goats. 20 A firstborn donkey may be bought back from the Lord by presenting a lamb or young goat in its place. But if you do not buy it back, you must break its neck. However, you must buy back every firstborn son.
“No one may appear before me without an offering."

By changing the animals colors it reinforces the promise in Exodus 34:10 (NLT) = "The Lord replied, “Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you."

When you read a biblical story, no matter what is is, analyze it to see which of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 34:10-28 it illustrates. That's the real point of the stories.

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
The 4th Commandment is about

The 4th Commandment is about the Sabbath. How does that relate to this?

Sky Pilot's picture
You only think that the 4th

You only think that the 4th Commandment is related to the sabbath because you are clueless as to what the real Ten Commandments are. You shouldn't get your religious beliefs from watching Hollywood movies.

How many times did Moses go up and down the mountain with those very heavy stone tablets in his arms?

So let's first agree upon what the Ten Commandments are:

1. Laws given by the God character to Moses.

2. They were written on stone tablets.

3. They were called the Ten Commandments.

Here's a simply challenge you can do in an hour or so. Simply read the story from Exodus chapter 20 through Exodus chapter 34. Get a pen and paper. As you read (very carefully) write down a summary of what you have read every couple of verses. This is important because you might otherwise miss important details.
Exodus20-34 WYC;CJB;KJV;TLB;VOICE - And the Lord spake all these words, I - Bible Gateway
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus20-34&version=WYC;CJB...

Now as you read and summarize important points you will notice that Exodus chapter 20 consists of God yakking directly to the people, who complain. Nothing is written, especially on stone tablets.

Exodus chapter 21 is just God yakking away.

Exodus chapter 22 is more yakking.

Exodus chapter 23 God is still yakking. He just won't shut up.

Exodus chapter 24 Moses relays to the people all that God told him. He then wrote everything down. He did some fancy witchcraft and then he, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders went to hang out with God and party. God then tell Moses to climb the mountain and that he will give him some stone tablets (Exodus 24:12). Moses went up, covered in cloud for six days, emerged on the seventh day (sound familiar?) and spent the next forty days and forty nights on the mountain.

In Exodus chapters 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31 God is yakking as usual, playing the engineer and designer role. He was very vocal. Moses couldn't get a word in edge-wise.

Now, pay attention because in Exodus 31:18 God gives Moses the two stone tablets that God wrote with his very own finger!

In Exodus chapter 32 the people get antsy. Moses has been gone 47 days and they need something to worship before they go completely bonkers. So they tell dumb bunny Aaron (he partied with God) to make them a god so that they could get their religious fix. Aaron, being the nice guy that he was, told the addicts to give him their gold and he would make them a god. So they did and he whipped one up in a flash. Meanwhile, up on the mountain, God and Moses hear the celebration going on and God got super-pissed and wanted to go on one of his killing sprees. Moses told God to chill and that he needed to relieve his tension of being cooped for 47 days listening to God's babbling. Moses trudges down the mountain, carrying over 600 pounds of stone tables in his arms. He then sees the people exercising freedom of religion, smashes the stone tablets, gets his henchmen, and kill over 3,000 of his former friends. After Moses slakes his blood lust he scurries back to God asking for forgiveness.

In Exodus 33 God tells Moses to hit the road and go kill some of the local people. In 33:11 Moses and God have a face-to-face chat.

Now we get to the meat of the story.

In Exodus chapter 34 God tells Moses to chip out two new stone tablets and to lug them up the mountain. Moses complies. God then sings his own praises to himself (Exodus 34:6-7). Moses was convinced and kowtowed to God. Then God started in on the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:10-28). Moses was on the mountain again for forty days and forty nights, without bread or water. God then gave Moses the stone tablets called the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28). Moses the went down the mountain.

So read the story for yourself and make notes about what you have read. It will help you understand the story. It will also show you why they push the spoken laws off in Exodus chapter 20 as the Ten Commandments. Would any rational Gentile buy the ones written on the stone tablets and called the Ten Commandments in Exodus 34.

Which 10 Commandments? - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkCJ8rb8Grw

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. "You only think that the

1. "You only think that the 4th Commandment is related to the (S)abbath because you are clueless as to what the real Ten Commandments are." - The fourth commandment mentioned is about the Sabbath. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20
2. "You shouldn't get your religious beliefs from watching Hollywood movies." - You're right to shouldn't
3. "Exodus chapter 24 Moses relays to the people all that God told him. He then wrote everything down. He did some fancy witchcraft"- What witchcraft?
4. "After Moses slakes his blood lust he scurries back to God asking for forgiveness." - Forgiveness for the the people of Israel, not himself.
5. "In Exodus 33 God tells Moses to hit the road and go kill some of the local people." - Which verse says he kills some local people?
6. The video shown, and what you said, struck me. I didn't know this before so thank you. However, what was on the first tablets, the ones broken, were the commandments written in Chapter 20: 2-17 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+20%3A2-17&version=NIV.
In Exodus 34:1, God says that he "will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke." This means that God will write the Chapter 20 commandments himself.
Exodus 34:10, "I am making a covenant with you.", does not refer to a new covenant, but the one told in Chapter 20
Exodus 34:11 states that Moses is told by God to "Obey/Observe what I command you today". What is said in Exodus 34:12-26 is not the 10 commandments.
When Exodus 34:28 says "Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.", the "he" in the last sentence ("he wrote on the tablets") refers to God not Moses.

Sky Pilot's picture
UnKnown,

UnKnown,

1. You should read the story for yourself. To be considered the Ten Commandments they must be written on the stone tablets and called the Ten Commandments. All of the verbiage in Exodus chapter 20 is spoken. The God character is talking directly to the people, who are complaining as usual.

Moses goes up and down the mountain after that. He and his buddies even party with the God character. It's only in Exodus 31:18 that Moses gets the stone tablets. He then breaks them, kills people, and gets a new set, Exodus 34. In verse 28 they are called the Ten Commandments.

3. Moses' witchcraft = Exodus 24:5-8

4. Moses killed about 3,000 of his buddies. Not a big deal. They wanted freedom of religion, which he considered to be a major crime. He should have been beheaded.

5. Continue to read the story. Moses was a killer. The Brick Testament
http://www.bricktestament.com/the_wilderness/massacre_of_the_amorites/dt...

The Brick Testament
http://www.bricktestament.com/the_wilderness/massacre_of_the_bashanites/...

6. As I said and as the Bible says, the words in Exodus chapter were not written on the stone tables and they are not called the Ten Commandments. Some writers put a heading "Ten Commandments" because the real Ten Commandments are a bunch of ethnocentric claptrap. Would any Gentile want those posted all over the place? Besides, all of the biblical stories are based upon those Ten Commandments. The ones in Exodus chapter 20 are just routine laws.

Moses when up and down the mountain more times than a mountain goat before he got the stone tablets. Read the story and make notes about what you read. So you're calling God a liar? What does he plainly say in Exodus 34:1? https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus34:1&version=KJV;TLB;...

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. "All of the verbiage in

1. "All of the verbiage in Exodus chapter 20 is spoken." - Yes, but God wrote the 10 commandments in stone. Exodus 34:1 and Exodus 24:12
2. When it says that he wrote the 10 commandments in verse 28, it doesn't refer to verse 15-26. They don't repeat the 10 commandments from before because it is already recorded.
3. When I say witchcraft I refer to the supernatural. There is nothing supernatural in Exodus 24:5-8
4. The people of Israel could only be people of Israel if they consented to the rules and punishments set by God. They consented. It's basically a contract. They violated it, so they deserve the punishment.
5. You are right, he is a killer.
6. No I am not. God wrote on the stone tablets the 10 commandments. He went up the mountain the first time.
7. Basically God will write on the tablets "the words that were on the first tablets", the 10 commandments. The first tablets had the 10 commandments in them, then God wrote them again. Exodus 34:27 "LORD said to Moses, "Write these words"". After the Lord gave the original ten commandments (Exodus 20), he also gave other commandments (Exodus 20:23-23:33). A similar thing happened here: there were other things that the Lord said to Moses, besides just writing the new tablets. The quite logical explanation is, then, that the Lord wrote the new tablets and gave them to Moses. Then the Lord spoke other words and told Moses to write them down. The content of the tablets is not recorded in Exodus for a second time, since the content was the same as originally.

SBMontero's picture
1º- If the red flags in the

1º- If the red flags in the Bible have been answered by those who are religious, like you, please, With whom did Cain have offspring? Did he take advantage of his brother's sheep after killing him, or What?
2º- No, I don't need to prove that god exists, I need to ask how and when the universe originated... and we know, how and when the solar system originated... and we know it, when and how appeared life in The Earth... and we know, when the first human being appeared on earth... and we know it. Did any of this intervene in any of these gods or gods? No, and we know it. Then, Why would I have to believe that there're any gods, or gods? According to you because a written book that is a compilation of gospels written by Greeks in the third century says... hmmm well, doesn't seem a... very big proof, Right? And if god doesn't exist, Why must we supposed that Christianity, or any other religion, has any meaning? Because, after all the above, profess one seems so stupid.

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. Genesis 4:16-17. Cain

1. Genesis 4:16-17. Cain found people in another land. Just because Adam and Eve were the first humans, does not mean that there weren't any others
2. "No, I don't need to prove that god exists". I didn't say you should. "(C)ompilation of gospels written by Greeks in the third century says". I think you need to know a little more about the bible and its making.

SBMontero's picture
1.- Lying is sin:

1.- Lying is sin:

Genesis 4:16-17.
"16 And Cain went forth from before the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, eastward of Eden. 17 And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and gave birth to Henoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city of the name of his son Henoch."

Make up what the bible doesn't say is lie. If you know, you know, if you don't know...

A man, Adam, from him a woman, Eve, god throws them from paradise, they have two sons, Abel and Cain. Cain kills Abel... Where does the genesis say that god created more men and women, and above out of paradise? Or did he create them into paradise and were throwen by the original sin of Adam and Eve? Go ahead, I'm very interested in your reflection about, but don't lie me. C'mon.

2.- You can believe what you want. I'm graduate UNED in Philosophy, specializing in Anthropology and doctorate about comparative studies on religions. My thesis was about the origin of Christianity... oh, and I know read. Your book, Especially the New Testament, was writen by greeks in the third century, and, of course, I can prove it... Can you prove that God exists? Can you prove that Jesus existed? To explain me how Cain had offspring you invent things that aren't in Genesis, surprise me answered one of those two questions with common sense, with archaeological, or historical evidence about Jesus, for example.

Ah, before I forget, that image you see there is part of the Gospel of John, written by hand, in Greek, dated in the third century, there is no previous one, although we know that the apocalypse is older. You can see it exposed in the British Library. There're forty-eight gospels in Greek dating from the third century, although we know that there were more than two hundred and that at the Council of Nicea seventy-three were presented... all in Greek.

P.S.
And before you try, don't go to get the manuscripts of the Dead Sea, or the Qumran documents, because they belong to the Essenes and don't speak of any Jesus, or any disciple and, above all, a Jewish historian of the first century wrote about them... but surely you know what historian I'm talking about and in what book he wrote about them. Who was this historian and what book is? C'mon.

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LogicFTW's picture
@Unknown

@Unknown

Let me greatly simplify this for you.

Why do you not believe in the Quran? It is strikingly similar to the bible, lots of people believe in it. The same arguments you gave for believing the bible despite its many, (MANY!) flaws, can be used for the flaws in the Quran.

This thought exercise is a good way to have an "outside" perspective towards your own religion/book. Ask yourself why is it so easy to dismiss the Quran? What arguments did I use to do that? Now it is only fair you apply those same arguments the same way against the bible. You will find your own book will not hold up to those arguments either. How do I know? Because the are the same arguments I use when I dismiss your book/religion.

A badly paraphrased (on my part,) quote I have heard:

"I state that you are an atheist just like me. The only difference is, I believe in one less god then you do."

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
I don't believe in the Quran

I don't believe in the Quran due to the contradictions in theology and the claims the Quran makes with the New Testament theology.

LogicFTW's picture
You dismiss all of the quran

You dismiss all of the quran for only two reasons? That over a billion people feverently believe in? Just the reasons you state?

You stated back in the beginning of this thread:

"Every time I find a 'fault' in the bible, I don't think "Ha, religion is wrong!". Instead, I give it the benefit of the doubt until I find an accurate answer."

Why do you not give the same benefit of doubt to the quran contradictions in theology? Why do you not give the same benefit of doubt to the claims quran makes with new testament theology? Why don't, if you get stuck on something wrong with the Quran you do you not go and ask a quran religious leader about it? Have you even read the Quran before you dismissed it?

Why does the bible get special "benefit of the doubt" treatment, but not the Quran, or atheism? You abandoned atheism after 1 year when you had one question answered by a religious person that spent their entire lives perfecting the art at giving emotionally satisfying answers to your questions to bring you back to their faith. (And really?, back when you were an atheist you only found one thing wrong with the bible that made you leave your church for a year?)

Are you sure you are questioning and being properly skeptical of a book that basically tells you how to live? That all these brilliant scientist are confused and you are not? That the tremendous amount of scientific evidence laid out against your particular religion is simply wrong? That the other 99% of all people that have ever lived, or currently live, got their religion/belief system wrong but this particular church you ascribe to is 100% infallibly correct?

Does your particular church believe in hell? If so, you are okay with the idea that this god sent at least 20 billion people to hell to languish in agony for an eternity for not following the particular, confusing, tricky, hidden rules of your particular church?

If you hold to that, above, I got tropical beachfront property in Wyoming to sell you...no no, don't check up on this property with facts! Just take my word for it! Hey I will sell it to you for 50% off! Last chance offer! Hurry Hurry!

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. "Why do you not give the

1. "Why do you not give the same benefit of doubt to the quran contradictions in theology?" - Because I have seen the claims made by the Quran against the bible being refuted. I have given the benefit of the doubt. I have done this by finding the accusations made by the Quran against the New Testament, and finding evidence against the claim made by the Quran. When the Quran makes a claim, I find evidence on both sides of the argument, only to discover the evidence backing the New Testament to be stronger.
2. "And really?, back when you were an atheist you only found one thing wrong with the bible that made you leave your church for a year?" - Yes
3. "Why does the bible get special "benefit of the doubt" treatment, but not the Quran, or atheism?" - I don't give special treatment. When each one of those faiths, or lack thereof, makes a claim, I look at the logic, reasoning, proof etc. With my observation of the evidence I have seen, I have concluded the Bible to be correct.
4. "no no, don't check up on this property with facts!" - What I am saying is that I have found facts, or fiction claimed as facts, of both sides of different sides, and have concluded which side has one. Example, I believe the NT to be historically accurate. Another example is that I believe evolution to be accurate.

LogicFTW's picture
I apologize for not getting

I apologize for not getting back to you until now. I appreciate the effort you have taken to have this debate.

1. So the New Testament argument is better than the Quran, I can accept that. I assume you also open yourself to the possibility that there is evidence backing something else that is even stronger, (doesn't have to be atheism, perhaps buddhism?) I am always open to new evidence that there is a god, just none of the religions have been able to present new evidence, only old "evidence" they been claiming in some variation for the last 3000+ years.

2. I commend you leaving your religion behind for only one thing wrong. I feel like it would take a lot more, if I was a theist, for only 1 problem to abandon my faith. Must of been a pretty big thing that was wrong. But obviously answerable by your faith with clarification. A confusing series of events, but hey, each to their own. I suppose I could boil down why I am still an atheist down to two things:
-- no verifiable proof of the existence of a god
-- the enormous amount of inconsistency, logical/reasoning flaws, contradictions in human's description of this god (any god across any religion that I know of.)

3. Okay, if you say all others get the same benefit of the doubt, great. How sure you have no bias towards your church's beliefs? How sure are you that despite the fact that admitting your church got it wrong would be very difficult, and having confirmation bias is much more comfortable is not creating any sort of bias?
I will tell you, I am a strong atheist, and I STILL worry about confirmation/fear biases. I know I and anyone that I have gotten to know is prone to biases. To be biased is to be human.

4. Of the facts you have found, please share with me if you found any that are provable facts that can be verified by the scientific method. I have been unable to find any myself, if there is one or some, I would love to know about it/them. If it is truly verifiable via scientific method, this could be the most important conversation I ever had in my life.

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. "I assume you also open

1. "I assume you also open yourself to the possibility that there is evidence backing something else that is even stronger," - I go where I believe the evidence points.

2. "I feel like it would take a lot more, if I was a theist, for only 1 problem to abandon my faith." - I believed if there was one thing, even one little thing found out to be inconsistent or a lie, or just not true, then how can we trust the rest of it. I found one thing wrong, I then thought it to be all wrong since it took me ages to find an answer, my benefit of the doubt ran out. I found the answer, I converted back. Basically I ran out of time to give the doubt. Believe or not, since it was a while ago, I forgot what it was.

3. "How sure you have no bias towards your church's beliefs?" - I am sure that I do have bias. When I say that, I mean that I always get anxious whenever I come here, because I know I will find some 'proof', big or small, against my belief. I get anxious and stress when I can't find an answer within an hour roughly. I don't feel this way with 'proof' against Atheism. I try not to let my bias change the way I see evidence. That's why I come here, and other skeptical sites, to try and unbalance my bias.

4. "Of the facts you have found, please share with me if you found any that are provable facts that can be verified by the scientific method." - I am not sure of anything that points towards God is happening today. They only 'proofs' of God today are either 'miracles' (which can be proven by science (BTW I believe all supernatural miracles have ceased since the end of the New Testament)) or 'feeling' God (this 'feeling' can also happen with falling in love, despite the fact you can fall in love with almost anyone, and it can also happen with orgasms). I am not sure whether the scientific method applies to historical documents. I am unfamiliar with the scientific method.

"I appreciate the effort you have taken to have this debate." - Every time I have time to spare, whether in class or studying, I come here :)

LogicFTW's picture
Woah, this is one of the most

Woah, this is one of the most reasonable conversations I have had with a theist in a while.

I am bummed you do not remember the original reason you left your religion a while back or what brought you back to the fold. I am curious. What more recent things that you do remember created questions for you that you had to answer for yourself.

Most major religions system of:
1.God is all powerful God is all knowing.
2. God must remain hidden/vague to give us free will
3. God has a plan for us, but God is too complex for us to fully understand god's plan when the plan does not make sense to us.
4. We all know god to be real, we just need to "accept that he is real"

The source of the above 4 is a special book(s) and religious leaders, but the book is written by man and translated by man, so prone to error, but it is god's word by his divine will, it is not supposed to be perfect because that is part of the "test" to find god.

Is pretty bullet proof to any argument against god, (any god). And the only real counter to it is anyone can use the same rules to say their god is real. Basically that it is "unfalsifiable."

So I am curious what more recent questions did you have that you needed to have answered, the above 4 answers in possible questions to if a god is real.

I strongly urge you to familiarize yourself with the scientific method, it is one of the greatest tools we humans have ever invented. A good place as any to start is:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. "most reasonable

1. "most reasonable conversations I have had with a theist in a while" - I'm afraid there aren't as many of us as I'd like.
"Most major religions system of:"
2. "God is all powerful God is all knowing." - I am yet to find a religion, that is no Abrahamic, that believes this. In Greek, Roman, Hindu, there are multiple gods, all more powerful in one way than the rest. If at any point, something is more powerful than them, they are not all powerful. I don't know any mainstream religion, besides Judaism, Islamic, or Christian, that has a being that nothing is more powerful. Although, my knowledge is severely limited in religions other than Judaism, Islamic or Christian (for obvious reasons).
3. "God must remain hidden/vague to give us free will" - How does God being hidden/vague give us free will. By the way, find a bible passage that says we have complete free will.
4. "God has a plan for us, but God is too complex for us to fully understand god's plan when the plan does not make sense to us." - I hear to many people saying "It's God's plan", which basically translates as, "I don't know". When is it ever bad to admit you don't know something. The thing is, at least with Christianity, we know God's plan, just not everything about it, the tiny little details.
5. "it is not supposed to be perfect because that is part of the "test" to find god." - When something is not 'perfect' doesn't mean it is a "test" to find God. I agree with you making fun of this. It is irrational and idiotic. Incompleteness isn't proof for God.
6. I know roughly the scientific method as, "you have a hypothesis, you find proof, you make a conclusion". But, due to the name, I thought it was only used scientifically. I know that if a claim is made, you should have proof to back it up.
7. "I am bummed you do not remember the original reason you left your religion a while back or what brought you back to the fold." - It was basically about human nature. Like "did God want us sin?", or "since sin is part of out nature, and we can't help to sin, is it our fault?" Something very similar to this.

LogicFTW's picture
2. Well I did mention most

2. Well I did mention most major religions. In most religions that have multiple gods their usually is one god that is the most powerful, like Zeus in greek gods. But yes I am talking about religions that use the paradigm of the 4 steps laid out.

3. Most of the time when I debate with a theist about why their god does not give us obvious, easy, testable signs that he is real, it is because according to their religion: our lives here is a test of sorts to find god and follow his rules as best as you can. And if god was obvious it is sort of like "cheating" on the test that is free will to choose/believe in their god if their god made it obvious it would take away "your free will" to choose him. If you have another reason why your god does not prove he is real in a way that is easy, and requires large leaps of faith I would be happy to hear it.

4. So we agree, right? When people say it's "God's plan" it is really: "I dont know" from a religious leader that spent their lives studying god. What part of god's plan do you know? I assume you know that if you are good, believe in god, god has heaven and other good things planned for you.

5. So we both agree that your bible is not perfect. It has lots of contradictions etc. If these flaws are not part of the test to find god, why are they there? Because people wrote, edited, printed the bible? (psst.. I agree!) If the bible is not perfect, and the flaws in it are not part of the test to find god. What else can we conclude from the fact that the bible is not perfect? Perhaps that is simply not perfect? Well that opens up a can of worms. What parts of it are not perfect? What is correct in the bible and what is not? How do we tell which from which? What if the first page is wrong but the rest is correct? The bible is supposed to be the word of god right? So much of many organized religions depend on the various holy books to instruct and help prove their god is real but if it has flaws...

6. Scientific method also includes, publishing results, showing how others can conduct the test, building new scientific methods that support or possibly discredit the results. And building towards a consensus.

7. Thanks for sharing what you could remember. I am always quite curious what makes someone jump to or from atheism.

SO, if read your responses correctly, you agree at least for your particular religion, that you believe: God is all powerful and all knowing, God must remain hidden/vague. (maybe not for reasons of free will, but then why?) And that god has a plan for you. (Except that you mostly understand god's plan except for the finer details.)

So my statement that I said earlier, holds true.

"The major religion system of these 4...... ....Is pretty bullet proof to any argument against god, (any god that has this system). And the only real counter to it is anyone can use the same rules to say their god is real. Basically that it is "unfalsifiable."

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. I think there is a slight

1. I think there is a slight difference between 'all-powerful' and 'most powerful'. It is possible to be the 'most powerful' but not 'all powerful'. Zeus was the most powerful god, but he wasn't all powerful. In order to be all-powerful, you mustn't be limited by anything. Zeus was the most powerful, but not all powerful due to that fact that he could be hurt. I believe that it is also possible to be both, all powerful and most powerful, which God is. (Christian God).

2. In the bible, we have free will, but not complete free will. People can make choices, but they are limited by they can do by their nature. (1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:10-12; Rom. 6:14-2)

3. The using of God's Plan can either mean that is actually is God's Plan, or they don't know. How you determine whichever one it is, I don't know. Maybe ask them, "How does X fit it God's Plan?", "Why is X in God's Plan?" or other questions.

4. I said 'incompleteness". It doesn't mean that is a contradiction. For example Mark said X happened one way, but Matthew just says X happened. Matthew is incomplete of what Mark said, but it doesn't mean it is a contradiction. I don't believe there are contradictions, just incompleteness or inerrancy.

5. "Scientific method also includes, publishing results, showing how others can conduct the test, building new scientific methods that support or possibly discredit the results. And building towards a consensus." Ah, okay cheers.

6. "God must remain hidden/vague." - I don't think he is hidden/vague. He revealed himself through the Gospels and Old Testament (whether they are actually reliable is a different topic). However, I will admit he is vague in modern times. Nigh-everything is explained by science. Sure there are often stories of survival in disastrous times or another disease cured, but anyone who says it is supernatural, without evidence, is ignorant. I believe God is behind everything, but he does so through scientific means. That is what I mean by vague.

7. "And that god has a plan for you. (Except that you mostly understand god's plan except for the finer details.)" - To be more accurate, we fully understand God's plan, but we don't know the finer details of how he achieved each step. For example, I know that to get good marks for tests so I know to study, but I don't know the steps to an effective study. I know the what should happen, but how it does happen, I do not know. Plus I they better word to use is 'know' instead of 'understand'.

jamiebgood1's picture
LogicForTW,

LogicForTW,
"I believe in one less god then you do. "
Did you steal that line from Ricky Gerveies on late show withcolbert. debating religion was awesome segment. I have used that line since. lol. so true:)

LogicFTW's picture
I think I did. Although I saw

I think I did. Although I saw it as a qoute on the net first, unrelated to "the late show."

It is a great line. It feels like check-mate to us rational atheist, but alas, in most very religious peoples minds, it is as easy to dismiss as just about anything else for them, because, well they have to or admit that they and most people they know fell for a huge scam.

To me it basically says: How can you be so sure you are right and 99+% of everyone else alive and has lived be so wrong? As well as tying in the thoughts of another great quote that I am probably going to butcher goes something like:

"The reasons you do not believe in other gods, are the same reasons I do not believe in yours." Of course, I like to add, as an atheist: "...and much more."

Another quote I like that fits well: "The best scams are the ones the victims are not even aware of."

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
Hey LogicForTW! I have a

Hey LogicForTW! I have a question for you. It is "How can you be so sure you are right and 99+% of everyone else alive and has lived be so wrong?"

LogicFTW's picture
Good question. Probably the

Good question. Probably the best question I have received on these boards so far. So glad I got you thinking critically along this line of thought.

I cannot be completely sure I am right, that's why I look for real evidence, and sound reasoning. Just like every church's particular belief systems think 99+% of all people alive and have lived got it all wrong in part or in whole. All we have is either confusing old books with a major $$ agenda to tell us we are right, or logic, reasoning, the scientific method, and compounding evidence to tell us if we are likely correct. I personally pick the science 1% of the 1000's of the most popular choices in human history.

the 1% that is most unified, fastest growing, had the most advances in the last few hundred years, utilizing a system that has answered many more questions in detail (not "he works in mysterious ways") utilizing a proof system that greatly increased the quality of life here on earth. Also science never pretends to have all the answers, or be always right, it is a human endeavor for advancement I can take part in myself.

I am not 100% sure I am right at all, to be so would be incredibly arrogant. But do I think no god is a million times more likely than your god? Oh yeah. So much I happily willing to risk an eternity of torment and not entry to an eternity of paradise. And even the atheist being right, and our understandably bleak "there is no afterlife."

Why? Because in a world of real evidence, the evidence is overwhelming your god as depicted in your holy books is not real. But what science, and reasoning has done for us is very real, right now, that I can confirm with my senses and intellect.

Joshua Thanopoulos's picture
1. "I look for real evidence,

1. "I look for real evidence, and sound reasoning" - So do I
2. "(W)ith a major $$ agenda" - Please tell me this agenda within the bible.
3. "(L)ogic, reasoning, the scientific method, and compounding evidence" - These can also be used to support Christianity
3. "the 1% that is most unified, fastest growing" - Wrong. "Muslims Are Rising Fastest and the Unaffiliated
Are Shrinking as a Share of the World’s Population" http://www.pewforum.org/files/2015/03/PF_15.04.02_ProjectionsFullReport.pdf
4. "he works in mysterious ways" - I am yet to hear a Christian say that, despite all the fact I go to a Church and at least 4 Christian conventions a year, the largest being well over 2000 people.
5. "I am not 100% sure I am right at all" - Neither am I
6. "Because in a world of real evidence, the evidence is overwhelming your god as depicted in your holy books is not real." - The Answers in Genesis site says that "Geology overwhelmingly supports the historicity of the global Flood" (https://answersingenesis.org/geology/) despite the fact that I am yet to find a scientist that agrees with that. You can make claims about 'overwhelming evidence', but that does not make it true.
7. Before Darwin, no scientist believed that the Earth was over millions of years old (that I know of), but I doubt there is a serious scientist that doubts the age of the Earth to be millions of years. Just because people to believe it, doesn't make it true. Evidence does. I remember a quote, I think it was from the Atheist Republic, which says, roughly) that :A lie is a lie, even when everybody believes it. A truth is truth, even if no one believes it.

LogicFTW's picture
1. Great to hear.

1. Great to hear.
2. impossible to tell you the influence $$ within the bible, I can point tons of evidence and history towards $$ influence outside the bible, that influenced the writing of the bible.
3. They can a little bit, but they support atheism at least 10 to 1, probably more like 100 to 1 or 1000 to 1
3. (again, did you do a typo?) The link you gave is for 2010 to 2050. With data from 2008. I am talking The last 100 years or so, sorry I did not specify, I agree clarifying that now makes it look like I am moving the goal post, I can redact if you want. Atheist are definitely the most unified. Also across all major religions regular church attendance is way WAY down over the last 100 years or so. People may still say they are christian or whatever on a poll, but people spend a whole lot less time thinking about god now, compared to the past. The amount of church seating in % to the total population is way way down.
4. So when a wonderful little girl dies horribly of some agonizing disease over 5 years, how do they explain that? God has a plan?
5. We agree! yay!
6. Okay do not take my word or someone's word for it. (I do not blame ya, I certainly do not take your word on that your god is real, I should amend that the evidence is overwhelming to me and many of my fellow atheist. I look at books and sites that confound the bible versus evidence that supports the bible in both real world and in reasoning. To me the list that confounds the bible is far far longer than the list that supports it. One does not have to look into it for very long from my viewpoint on the disparity of evidence between the two.
7. Not exactly sure what you are trying to say here but I think I agree with you, I am getting tired perhaps a fresh look tomorrow.

---thanks for numbering, makes a late night response easier. :)

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