Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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abelcainsbrother
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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#91

Post by abelcainsbrother » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:29 pm

Kurieuo wrote:I'm actually perplexed by your last posts, both Kenny's and Abe's.

Don't you both realise it is taught in Scripture that people will be rewarded for good done in their lives (given your Christian upbringing Kenny, I'd expect you might be familiar with such teachings). However, the first hurdle to be overcome is being made right with God who we all seem to intuitively think would be all-good, righteous and fair.

As you essentially said previously Kenny, all of us have done wrong, so then God would not be truly good and righteous if He did not condemn us all. The only solution I can see to this predicament of ours, is a solution like I described in my previous post that is said to be on offer in Christ. Something that squashes our wrongs and allows forgiveness to overflow from God rather than holding us accountable for our actions and condemning us all. There is no other form of Theism I see which provides a solution to this dilemma we're in than Christianity.

So then, this first hurdle to overcome is merely being saved from rightful condemnation. We Christians understand that this is dealt with by Christ -- such is understood in Christianity as "salvation" (we're saved from God's righteous judgement). The Way to being saved, just being able to come to God and be accepted, is through Christ. If a person doesn't receive this, then it really doesn't matter what good they may have done for any wrong condemns them.

Yet, to those who are saved, then Scripture does talk of some being rewarded more than others for what they did in their lives. Some will be honoured more than others.
I did not say Christians don't or should'nt do good works I just did not go into great detail like you did.I was being truthful but brief seeing that Kenny told me to stop trying to convert him.But the problem I see is ignorance of religion which is typical with atheists which causes them to assume all religion is the same meant to control people,etc so I'm trying to deal with it while at the same time pointing out why if you're going to believe in God Jesus is the one to choose and why based on religion.

But from a Christian theological perspective it is already inside a Christian to do good works and be rewarded for them,and to ask forgiveness for sin,not for salvation but because you became a new creature in Christ Jesus and old things are passed away and all things are made new and you are a new creature in Christ Jesus more than willing to be as Christlike as you can and to do good works.It is still all God's work though and not really ours despite the good we muster up to do.We cannot even be saved unless the Holy Spirit draws us to Jesus and makes us realize our need for him in our lives.So that God does everything really through us by us allowing him into our lives and we are as close to him as we choose to be.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

Nils
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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#92

Post by Nils » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:04 pm

abelcainsbrother wrote:
Nils wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote: ...
So the dirty little truth is that even atheists believe and are forced to accept things that cannot be proven or seen,and yes it is faith,so cringe atheists because you possess faith far more than a Christian does because it does not require much faith to believe God can do miracles and create universes easily if he chooses to.
....
But to have faith in God I need some evidence.

I was brought up in a Christian family and learnt about Christianity in school so I believed in God, but I but I never found any evidence of God. I didn't find the Bible reliable and in my every day life I saw no signs of a God. When I was about thirteen I read about Occam's razor and draw the conclusion that if there is no evidence of God and no need of God I should just stop believing in God. Since that day I'm an atheist.

As adult I have thought a lot of the question and haven't changed my mind.

Nils
Really? Even if that were true,how could you accept the atheistic world view that has no evidence behind it? It is really hard for me to believe that you could'nt find any evidence for God.Even if I had not found evidence for God I could not choose atheism that has the least evidence and substance behind it out of all other world views.Atheism has no depth at all and it is very weak when it comes to evidence they are correct.So you claim you found no evidence for God yet chose atheism that has no evidence behind it?You still have the same problem choosing the atheistic world view.Why is it so hard for you to believe the God of the bible can create universes if he chooses to? it does not require much faith at all.Just this realization is enough to convince me that God had to be the cause of our vast universe.I mean if you reject gods then you are forced to accept nothing did it."God did it' will beat out "nothing did it" anyday of the week you want to put it to a vote.
Nice of you, Abe, that you consider the possibility that I am telling the truth.

What I described was what happened when I was about thirteen, I don't remember exactly what I thought about the consequences of my belief but that's not important. The reasoning was quite simple: I didn't see any evidence for a God. I didn't find any other arguments for a God. Therefore it was just as good to not believe in God.

Nowadays I have thought more of the consequences but find nothing that changes my mind. On the contrary.

You mention one argument that you think is a defeater namely that it is difficult to explain the beginning of the Universe without a God. I agree with that but what is the alternative? You say that there is an entity that you call God and attributes to him everything that is complex and then say that that solves all problems. But the atheist will ask: How came God into existence? To the atheist this question is exactly as difficult to answer as the question of the origin of the Universe. So nothing is gained by introducing a God. I know that there are lots of theological theories about God being an eternal simple entity and you cannot ask why he exists. But that argument doesn't impress the atheist and that is important to understand when you discuss with atheists.
So I really don't see how you can claim you found no evidence for God and yet choose nothing caused it which is much,much harder to believe and requires far,far more faith to accept. It is easy to believe the God described in our bible can create universes easy,he is easily that powerful so that not much faith is required compared to what atheists are forced to accept not believing in any gods at all and have no cause and nothing to create it.

So how can you claim you found no evidence for God? Look for evidence nothing can create it and see what kind of evidence you find.Just try it and I think you'll start believing in God again.That is if you're truly looking for evidence and not misunderstanding God,etc based on a lack of understanding about God and are truly looking for evidence for God because you have no evidence nothing did it for sure.
I understand that you think it is much harder to believe that nothing (or chance in a multiverse) created our Universe than believing in God. Probably because you believe in God for some other reasons. I don't. Initially, I had no other argument for not believing in God but Occam's razor. Nowadays I have some more but I'll come back to that later, probably in a new thread.

Nils

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#93

Post by Nils » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:01 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:
Really, as I see matters, people willfully ignore the evidence. Have buried their heads in the sand. Are blinded. Hence as Newton reported in his now famous Amazing Grace song, "was blind, but now I see" -- something many, many Christians report experiencing -- being previously blind and now seeing. Previously seeing that world in black and white, and now seeing the world in colour. What are they seeing? Perhaps as Freud and Kant might suggest we see a delusion or illusion.
"willfully ignore" and "burying heads in sand". Not partiularly respectful. Shall we start to discuss who is most blinded? You certainly think that I am not fully aware of your arguments and I think the corresponding about you, but I think you are intellectually honest and I would appreciate if you regard me being intellectually honest as well
I was at first annoyed by Freud and Immanual Kant's characterisation of those who believe in God also as having some psychological issue. Found such disrespectful. But then, think about it.

On both sides of the debate there are presumably equally intelligent people who are familiar with many argument for/against God's existence. It seems a bit rich for one side to say the other side is just stupid, illogical and unintelligent.

Yet then, why if both are presumably logical and rational, does each side come to polar opposite conclusions -- not just on God's existence, but often times falling down on different sides of specific arguments they find/do not find convincing? It seems logic an reason doesn't get us anywhere in objective agreement but comes down to subjectiveness.

Logic, rational arguments and the like, therefore ultimately have nothing to do with why someone believes or doesn't believe. Such might help to reinforce in our own heads the reasons why we do/don't believe, but perhaps such is ultimately merely confirmation bias. Rather, there seems to be something else deeper going on in why we believe or don't.

What I'd argue is that why we believe or do not believe ultimately comes down to something like:

1) One side being blinded and willfully ignorant to God's existence (that doesn't mean you are being purposefully ignorant, rather your heart or nature is such that it is just blinding you to the evidence and truth -- something supported in Scripture and by conversion experiences of many who state something like they once were blind);

OR similarly,

2) People who believe in God are deluded, believing in an illusion due to some psychological issue, mental issue or what-have-you.

It's not disrespectful at all as I see it. Rather, it is stating an obvious possible reason for why both sides do not agree despite having equal human intelligence and reasoning ability. If anything, assuming you and your side are equally intelligent and rational is in fact quite respectful, given the same doesn't seem often returned by Atheists (or Atheist-leaning folk) towards Christians.
Kurieuo, I almost missed your post that arrived just before I answered another post.

Well, In some way I agree with you but I dislike the wordings of your #1. To be "willfully ignorant" is misleading. I think a willfully ignorant person is a person that knowingly avoids getting information. There may be such atheists but I don't think you can find them on forums that discuss philosophy or theology.

I would prefer to state the two camps differently.

I have read somewhere that about 50% of the population believes in some higher power and 25% don't irrespective of the social environment. The remaining 25% are sensitive to the environment. I think that there is some truth in this but I haven't seen the source of the statement. Nicholas Wade writes in his book, The faith instinct, about why evolution favours religious feelings. So it is possible that there are two types of persons.

1) People that have a desire, a drive, a longing, a sensitivity etc. to believe in a higher power that can give extra meaning to life and perhaps make the live seem a bit safer etc.

2) People that don't have that desire.

This structuring doesn't necessarily imply anything about the existence of God.

These two camps will evaluate evidences differently for sure. But I think a dialogue should be possible, finding out which arguments are valid or not, quite independent of which camp you belong to or the answer of the God question.

Personally I belong to camp #2 as you know. A Christian friend says that I am tone-deaf respect to religion and that may be true.

Nils

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#94

Post by abelcainsbrother » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:57 am

Nils wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:
Nils wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote: ...
So the dirty little truth is that even atheists believe and are forced to accept things that cannot be proven or seen,and yes it is faith,so cringe atheists because you possess faith far more than a Christian does because it does not require much faith to believe God can do miracles and create universes easily if he chooses to.
....
But to have faith in God I need some evidence.

I was brought up in a Christian family and learnt about Christianity in school so I believed in God, but I but I never found any evidence of God. I didn't find the Bible reliable and in my every day life I saw no signs of a God. When I was about thirteen I read about Occam's razor and draw the conclusion that if there is no evidence of God and no need of God I should just stop believing in God. Since that day I'm an atheist.

As adult I have thought a lot of the question and haven't changed my mind.

Nils
Really? Even if that were true,how could you accept the atheistic world view that has no evidence behind it? It is really hard for me to believe that you could'nt find any evidence for God.Even if I had not found evidence for God I could not choose atheism that has the least evidence and substance behind it out of all other world views.Atheism has no depth at all and it is very weak when it comes to evidence they are correct.So you claim you found no evidence for God yet chose atheism that has no evidence behind it?You still have the same problem choosing the atheistic world view.Why is it so hard for you to believe the God of the bible can create universes if he chooses to? it does not require much faith at all.Just this realization is enough to convince me that God had to be the cause of our vast universe.I mean if you reject gods then you are forced to accept nothing did it."God did it' will beat out "nothing did it" anyday of the week you want to put it to a vote.
Nice of you, Abe, that you consider the possibility that I am telling the truth.

What I described was what happened when I was about thirteen, I don't remember exactly what I thought about the consequences of my belief but that's not important. The reasoning was quite simple: I didn't see any evidence for a God. I didn't find any other arguments for a God. Therefore it was just as good to not believe in God.

Nowadays I have thought more of the consequences but find nothing that changes my mind. On the contrary.

You mention one argument that you think is a defeater namely that it is difficult to explain the beginning of the Universe without a God. I agree with that but what is the alternative? You say that there is an entity that you call God and attributes to him everything that is complex and then say that that solves all problems. But the atheist will ask: How came God into existence? To the atheist this question is exactly as difficult to answer as the question of the origin of the Universe. So nothing is gained by introducing a God. I know that there are lots of theological theories about God being an eternal simple entity and you cannot ask why he exists. But that argument doesn't impress the atheist and that is important to understand when you discuss with atheists.
So I really don't see how you can claim you found no evidence for God and yet choose nothing caused it which is much,much harder to believe and requires far,far more faith to accept. It is easy to believe the God described in our bible can create universes easy,he is easily that powerful so that not much faith is required compared to what atheists are forced to accept not believing in any gods at all and have no cause and nothing to create it.

So how can you claim you found no evidence for God? Look for evidence nothing can create it and see what kind of evidence you find.Just try it and I think you'll start believing in God again.That is if you're truly looking for evidence and not misunderstanding God,etc based on a lack of understanding about God and are truly looking for evidence for God because you have no evidence nothing did it for sure.
I understand that you think it is much harder to believe that nothing (or chance in a multiverse) created our Universe than believing in God. Probably because you believe in God for some other reasons. I don't. Initially, I had no other argument for not believing in God but Occam's razor. Nowadays I have some more but I'll come back to that later, probably in a new thread.

Nils
It is a strawman for an atheist to ask who created God because Christians don't believe in created gods and our God is eternal and eternal although hard to imagine is forever and thus cannot be created.A typical misunderstanding atheists make is to assume that the Christian God is created or that when Christians point out that things have a cause it means all things including God. But that is not what we are saying that all things have a cause because our God did not have a cause.But the argument is things are caused and so there must be an uncaused first cause based on this fact.

It was just hard for me to understand how you claim you found no evidence for God and yet chose atheism that has no evidence it is the correct world view based on evidence and arguments for Christianity and arguments atheist philosophers have made about not needing evidence to be an atheist which is admitting to everybody there is no evidence it is the correct world view. It was just hard for me to understand how you could come to such a conclusion based on evidence especially when I really don't think evidence is needed if we have God did it or Nothing did it to choose from.
Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,despising the shame,and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

2nd Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not,lest the light of this glorious gospel of Christ,who is the image of God,should shine unto them.

Nils
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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#95

Post by Nils » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:41 pm

abelcainsbrother wrote:
Nils wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:
Nils wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote: ...
So the dirty little truth is that even atheists believe and are forced to accept things that cannot be proven or seen,and yes it is faith,so cringe atheists because you possess faith far more than a Christian does because it does not require much faith to believe God can do miracles and create universes easily if he chooses to.
....
But to have faith in God I need some evidence.

I was brought up in a Christian family and learnt about Christianity in school so I believed in God, but I but I never found any evidence of God. I didn't find the Bible reliable and in my every day life I saw no signs of a God. When I was about thirteen I read about Occam's razor and draw the conclusion that if there is no evidence of God and no need of God I should just stop believing in God. Since that day I'm an atheist.

As adult I have thought a lot of the question and haven't changed my mind.

Nils
Really? Even if that were true,how could you accept the atheistic world view that has no evidence behind it? It is really hard for me to believe that you could'nt find any evidence for God.Even if I had not found evidence for God I could not choose atheism that has the least evidence and substance behind it out of all other world views.Atheism has no depth at all and it is very weak when it comes to evidence they are correct.So you claim you found no evidence for God yet chose atheism that has no evidence behind it?You still have the same problem choosing the atheistic world view.Why is it so hard for you to believe the God of the bible can create universes if he chooses to? it does not require much faith at all.Just this realization is enough to convince me that God had to be the cause of our vast universe.I mean if you reject gods then you are forced to accept nothing did it."God did it' will beat out "nothing did it" anyday of the week you want to put it to a vote.
Nice of you, Abe, that you consider the possibility that I am telling the truth.

What I described was what happened when I was about thirteen, I don't remember exactly what I thought about the consequences of my belief but that's not important. The reasoning was quite simple: I didn't see any evidence for a God. I didn't find any other arguments for a God. Therefore it was just as good to not believe in God.

Nowadays I have thought more of the consequences but find nothing that changes my mind. On the contrary.

You mention one argument that you think is a defeater namely that it is difficult to explain the beginning of the Universe without a God. I agree with that but what is the alternative? You say that there is an entity that you call God and attributes to him everything that is complex and then say that that solves all problems. But the atheist will ask: How came God into existence? To the atheist this question is exactly as difficult to answer as the question of the origin of the Universe. So nothing is gained by introducing a God. I know that there are lots of theological theories about God being an eternal simple entity and you cannot ask why he exists. But that argument doesn't impress the atheist and that is important to understand when you discuss with atheists.
So I really don't see how you can claim you found no evidence for God and yet choose nothing caused it which is much,much harder to believe and requires far,far more faith to accept. It is easy to believe the God described in our bible can create universes easy,he is easily that powerful so that not much faith is required compared to what atheists are forced to accept not believing in any gods at all and have no cause and nothing to create it.

So how can you claim you found no evidence for God? Look for evidence nothing can create it and see what kind of evidence you find.Just try it and I think you'll start believing in God again.That is if you're truly looking for evidence and not misunderstanding God,etc based on a lack of understanding about God and are truly looking for evidence for God because you have no evidence nothing did it for sure.
I understand that you think it is much harder to believe that nothing (or chance in a multiverse) created our Universe than believing in God. Probably because you believe in God for some other reasons. I don't. Initially, I had no other argument for not believing in God but Occam's razor. Nowadays I have some more but I'll come back to that later, probably in a new thread.

Nils
It is a strawman for an atheist to ask who created God because Christians don't believe in created gods and our God is eternal and eternal although hard to imagine is forever and thus cannot be created.A typical misunderstanding atheists make is to assume that the Christian God is created or that when Christians point out that things have a cause it means all things including God. But that is not what we are saying that all things have a cause because our God did not have a cause.But the argument is things are caused and so there must be an uncaused first cause based on this fact.
But didn't you read what I said above: "I know that there are lots of theological theories about God being an eternal simple entity and you cannot ask why he exists. But that argument doesn't impress the atheist and that is important to understand when you discuss with atheists." I can add that to me there is no difference in the plausibility of a God that was created say one hundred billions year ago or a God that has existed eternally. In both cases it is reasonable to ask why he exists now.
It was just hard for me to understand how you claim you found no evidence for God and yet chose atheism that has no evidence it is the correct world view based on evidence and arguments for Christianity and arguments atheist philosophers have made about not needing evidence to be an atheist which is admitting to everybody there is no evidence it is the correct world view. It was just hard for me to understand how you could come to such a conclusion based on evidence especially when I really don't think evidence is needed if we have God did it or Nothing did it to choose from.
"It was just hard to understand". I hope you understand now, the argument is quite simple.

Nils

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#96

Post by Philip » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:55 pm

Nils: I know that there are lots of theological theories about God being an eternal simple entity and you cannot ask why he exists. But that argument doesn't impress the atheist and that is important to understand when you discuss with atheists." I can add that to me there is no difference in the plausibility of a God that was created say one hundred billions year ago or a God that has existed eternally. In both cases it is reasonable to ask why he exists now.
Ah, but atheist don't ask the same deep questions about how the universe instantly came into being, showing the INSTANT things, and the NECESSARY things, IMMEDIATELY showing design and behaviors that obey very strict, complex laws. Where did that come from? How did some non-intelligent thing or things instantly create things that reveal what only an intelligence can provide? And how did they make the non-physical become physical, in a mere second? Or where did the right building blocks and conditions come from? ALL things have a source, right? Or they are eternal - are there ANY other possibilities?

If the UNIVERSE is eternal, OR had been eternal or part of a chain, it still doesn't explain the intelligence necessary for what exists. And ALL chains of things start with the very first link. Blind, non-intelligent things do not plan, strategize, design, "see" advantages, or maneuver to obtain them, cannot move themselves to do anything, cannot think or see in ANY way, can't compel any type of order, etc. And even if eternal, with unlimited time, the universe A) could not create itself and B) could not obtain sophistication, function or design on a level we still can scarcely understand.

Some physicists don't like the Big Bang as the beginning to this one and only universe - because (just like Einstein immediately realized) they well know the implications of a universe coming from a beginning in which NO matter or physical things pre-existed. So they creatively have speculated upon how we might have an eternal universe, or a chain of them. But scientific speculations, no matter how much sophisticated scientific jargon and terminologies are employed - even by attaching such "science-speak" of known processes to them - are not proven by hard data and testing, can't be falsified, etc. Ultimately, EVERY such theory asserting some unproven, eternal mechanisms I've ever read about required some pre-existing things or precise, complex conditions for the mechanisms propelling their theory to have been possible. And as for every such theory, no physical evidence whatsoever has been shown to support their ideas. And they never can explain how either the necessary complex conditions or the first universe came into existence.

So, atheists get all cranked up over how can God exist eternally, and yet they have no problem or concern with the idea that SOME eternal thing or things, on a remarkable scale and with unfathomably spectacular abilities and untold power, HAD to have existed and been eternal. I guess the good thing is that such scientists realize there had to be some ultimate source for all that exists, and that it HAD to be eternal. But to assert blind, random, things, without an intelligence making them possible and also enabling them, can explain all that has ever existed - that's no problem, right? That ANYTHING can exist without a cause - whether a universe or even just its building blocks and its exceptionally narrow range of necessary conditions - those are absolutely no problem - RIGHT?

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#97

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:29 pm

Nils wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:
Really, as I see matters, people willfully ignore the evidence. Have buried their heads in the sand. Are blinded. Hence as Newton reported in his now famous Amazing Grace song, "was blind, but now I see" -- something many, many Christians report experiencing -- being previously blind and now seeing. Previously seeing that world in black and white, and now seeing the world in colour. What are they seeing? Perhaps as Freud and Kant might suggest we see a delusion or illusion.
"willfully ignore" and "burying heads in sand". Not partiularly respectful. Shall we start to discuss who is most blinded? You certainly think that I am not fully aware of your arguments and I think the corresponding about you, but I think you are intellectually honest and I would appreciate if you regard me being intellectually honest as well
I was at first annoyed by Freud and Immanual Kant's characterisation of those who believe in God also as having some psychological issue. Found such disrespectful. But then, think about it.

On both sides of the debate there are presumably equally intelligent people who are familiar with many argument for/against God's existence. It seems a bit rich for one side to say the other side is just stupid, illogical and unintelligent.

Yet then, why if both are presumably logical and rational, does each side come to polar opposite conclusions -- not just on God's existence, but often times falling down on different sides of specific arguments they find/do not find convincing? It seems logic an reason doesn't get us anywhere in objective agreement but comes down to subjectiveness.

Logic, rational arguments and the like, therefore ultimately have nothing to do with why someone believes or doesn't believe. Such might help to reinforce in our own heads the reasons why we do/don't believe, but perhaps such is ultimately merely confirmation bias. Rather, there seems to be something else deeper going on in why we believe or don't.

What I'd argue is that why we believe or do not believe ultimately comes down to something like:

1) One side being blinded and willfully ignorant to God's existence (that doesn't mean you are being purposefully ignorant, rather your heart or nature is such that it is just blinding you to the evidence and truth -- something supported in Scripture and by conversion experiences of many who state something like they once were blind);

OR similarly,

2) People who believe in God are deluded, believing in an illusion due to some psychological issue, mental issue or what-have-you.

It's not disrespectful at all as I see it. Rather, it is stating an obvious possible reason for why both sides do not agree despite having equal human intelligence and reasoning ability. If anything, assuming you and your side are equally intelligent and rational is in fact quite respectful, given the same doesn't seem often returned by Atheists (or Atheist-leaning folk) towards Christians.
Kurieuo, I almost missed your post that arrived just before I answered another post.

Well, In some way I agree with you but I dislike the wordings of your #1. To be "willfully ignorant" is misleading. I think a willfully ignorant person is a person that knowingly avoids getting information. There may be such atheists but I don't think you can find them on forums that discuss philosophy or theology.
Sorry, but I still believe Atheists (especially those who take a positive position that God doesn't exist) are wilfully ignorant. I'd also include those weaker forms who simply do not acknowledge God. This wilful ignorance also extends to Atheists frequenting forums like this and I'd include yourself in that. To be clear, I believe your heart is set against God for some reason, which leads you to desire God to not exist. For I see evidence for God, is plain and obvious, His invisible attributes (goodness, love, beauty, order, power, aseity and like) are clearly visible around us.

Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. Tell me, if someone told you the Sun didn't exist, what would you say of such a person except that they are in denial, being foolish or wilfully ignorant of such? God is just as clear to me as the Sun. How else can I then understand those who deny His existence as anything other than something like being in denial, foolish or wilfully ignorant?
Nils wrote:I would prefer to state the two camps differently.

I have read somewhere that about 50% of the population believes in some higher power and 25% don't irrespective of the social environment. The remaining 25% are sensitive to the environment. I think that there is some truth in this but I haven't seen the source of the statement. Nicholas Wade writes in his book, The faith instinct, about why evolution favours religious feelings. So it is possible that there are two types of persons.

1) People that have a desire, a drive, a longing, a sensitivity etc. to believe in a higher power that can give extra meaning to life and perhaps make the live seem a bit safer etc.

2) People that don't have that desire.

This structuring doesn't necessarily imply anything about the existence of God.

These two camps will evaluate evidences differently for sure. But I think a dialogue should be possible, finding out which arguments are valid or not, quite independent of which camp you belong to or the answer of the God question.

Personally I belong to camp #2 as you know. A Christian friend says that I am tone-deaf respect to religion and that may be true.
Many who come to believe in God's mere existence often had no desire, drive, longing. Rather, many are often logically lead via reason to see what is so obvious, namely, that God exists. Explore the works of CS Lewis, I'd recommend to you reading his Mere Christianity which can be freely found online today.

Regarding your lack of desire, perhaps such just shows your heart's disposition. Don't you see how such supports what I say with the condition of the heart blinding one to evidence and truth? Of course I'd expect you to have no desire. I believe it'd also run much deeper than that, that you actually begrudge God of something or many things in your life and the world. And so, this then clouds your desire to even want to truly know God exists.

Disagree? Let me ask you some questions. Accept as a given God exists, and now explain to me how you perceive God to be? Is this God good? Loving? Does He care about us?
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#98

Post by Kenny » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:08 pm

Kurieuo wrote: Sorry, but I still believe Atheists (especially those who take a positive position that God doesn't exist) are wilfully ignorant. I'd also include those weaker forms who simply do not acknowledge God. This wilful ignorance also extends to Atheists frequenting forums like this and I'd include yourself in that. To be clear, I believe your heart is set against God for some reason, which leads you to desire God to not exist. For I see evidence for God, is plain and obvious, His invisible attributes (goodness, love, beauty, order, power, aseity and like) are clearly visible around us.
Perhaps the reason you believe atheists are willfully ignorant is because you insist on looking at the world from your Christian point of view. Perhaps if you were to look at things from the Atheists point of view, you might see things differently. Just as it you would consider it absurd if a Hindu said Christians were willfully ignorant because they don’t see the Hindu concept of God as he does, the Atheist would see your claims of willfully ignorant the same way
Kurieuo wrote: Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. Tell me, if someone told you the Sun didn't exist, what would you say of such a person except that they are in denial, being foolish or wilfully ignorant of such? God is just as clear to me as the Sun. How else can I then understand those who deny His existence as anything other than something like being in denial, foolish or wilfully ignorant?
Everybody agrees on Sun; the same can’t be said of the countless concepts of God. You can’t compare the two.

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#99

Post by Kenny » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:11 pm

Philip wrote: Ah, but atheist don't ask the same deep questions about how the universe instantly came into being, showing the INSTANT things, and the NECESSARY things, IMMEDIATELY showing design and behaviors that obey very strict, complex laws. Where did that come from? How did some non-intelligent thing or things instantly create things that reveal what only an intelligence can provide? And how did they make the non-physical become physical, in a mere second? Or where did the right building blocks and conditions come from? ALL things have a source, right? Or they are eternal - are there ANY other possibilities?
I don't think it is fair to say Atheist don't ask the deep questions about the Universe simply because their answers are different than yours.

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#100

Post by Justhuman » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:40 am

abelcainsbrother wrote:
Nils wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote:
Nils wrote:
abelcainsbrother wrote: ...
So the dirty little truth is that even atheists believe and are forced to accept things that cannot be proven or seen,and yes it is faith,so cringe atheists because you possess faith far more than a Christian does because it does not require much faith to believe God can do miracles and create universes easily if he chooses to.
....
But to have faith in God I need some evidence.

I was brought up in a Christian family and learnt about Christianity in school so I believed in God, but I but I never found any evidence of God. I didn't find the Bible reliable and in my every day life I saw no signs of a God. When I was about thirteen I read about Occam's razor and draw the conclusion that if there is no evidence of God and no need of God I should just stop believing in God. Since that day I'm an atheist.

As adult I have thought a lot of the question and haven't changed my mind.

Nils
Really? Even if that were true,how could you accept the atheistic world view that has no evidence behind it? It is really hard for me to believe that you could'nt find any evidence for God.Even if I had not found evidence for God I could not choose atheism that has the least evidence and substance behind it out of all other world views.Atheism has no depth at all and it is very weak when it comes to evidence they are correct.So you claim you found no evidence for God yet chose atheism that has no evidence behind it?You still have the same problem choosing the atheistic world view.Why is it so hard for you to believe the God of the bible can create universes if he chooses to? it does not require much faith at all.Just this realization is enough to convince me that God had to be the cause of our vast universe.I mean if you reject gods then you are forced to accept nothing did it."God did it' will beat out "nothing did it" anyday of the week you want to put it to a vote.
Nice of you, Abe, that you consider the possibility that I am telling the truth.

What I described was what happened when I was about thirteen, I don't remember exactly what I thought about the consequences of my belief but that's not important. The reasoning was quite simple: I didn't see any evidence for a God. I didn't find any other arguments for a God. Therefore it was just as good to not believe in God.

Nowadays I have thought more of the consequences but find nothing that changes my mind. On the contrary.

You mention one argument that you think is a defeater namely that it is difficult to explain the beginning of the Universe without a God. I agree with that but what is the alternative? You say that there is an entity that you call God and attributes to him everything that is complex and then say that that solves all problems. But the atheist will ask: How came God into existence? To the atheist this question is exactly as difficult to answer as the question of the origin of the Universe. So nothing is gained by introducing a God. I know that there are lots of theological theories about God being an eternal simple entity and you cannot ask why he exists. But that argument doesn't impress the atheist and that is important to understand when you discuss with atheists.
So I really don't see how you can claim you found no evidence for God and yet choose nothing caused it which is much,much harder to believe and requires far,far more faith to accept. It is easy to believe the God described in our bible can create universes easy,he is easily that powerful so that not much faith is required compared to what atheists are forced to accept not believing in any gods at all and have no cause and nothing to create it.

So how can you claim you found no evidence for God? Look for evidence nothing can create it and see what kind of evidence you find.Just try it and I think you'll start believing in God again.That is if you're truly looking for evidence and not misunderstanding God,etc based on a lack of understanding about God and are truly looking for evidence for God because you have no evidence nothing did it for sure.
I understand that you think it is much harder to believe that nothing (or chance in a multiverse) created our Universe than believing in God. Probably because you believe in God for some other reasons. I don't. Initially, I had no other argument for not believing in God but Occam's razor. Nowadays I have some more but I'll come back to that later, probably in a new thread.

Nils
It is a strawman for an atheist to ask who created God because Christians don't believe in created gods and our God is eternal and eternal although hard to imagine is forever and thus cannot be created.A typical misunderstanding atheists make is to assume that the Christian God is created or that when Christians point out that things have a cause it means all things including God. But that is not what we are saying that all things have a cause because our God did not have a cause.But the argument is things are caused and so there must be an uncaused first cause based on this fact.

It was just hard for me to understand how you claim you found no evidence for God and yet chose atheism that has no evidence it is the correct world view based on evidence and arguments for Christianity and arguments atheist philosophers have made about not needing evidence to be an atheist which is admitting to everybody there is no evidence it is the correct world view. It was just hard for me to understand how you could come to such a conclusion based on evidence especially when I really don't think evidence is needed if we have God did it or Nothing did it to choose from.
Atheists do not ask who created God, but they do ask how God came to be. And always there is this unclaimable answer that God is eternal, had no beginning, has no end. That is something you believe in with blind fate.
We (I as an agnostic materialist) do not believe something on just blind fate. We need evidence, or at least some proof of reliable possibility. And as long as that is not present, we accept the most or very likely logical possibility of our best understanding of that unknown as the answer, until proven (partly) otherwise. There are assumptions involved, but nothing like blind faith.

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#101

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:54 am

Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: Sorry, but I still believe Atheists (especially those who take a positive position that God doesn't exist) are wilfully ignorant. I'd also include those weaker forms who simply do not acknowledge God. This wilful ignorance also extends to Atheists frequenting forums like this and I'd include yourself in that. To be clear, I believe your heart is set against God for some reason, which leads you to desire God to not exist. For I see evidence for God, is plain and obvious, His invisible attributes (goodness, love, beauty, order, power, aseity and like) are clearly visible around us.
Perhaps the reason you believe atheists are willfully ignorant is because you insist on looking at the world from your Christian point of view. Perhaps if you were to look at things from the Atheists point of view, you might see things differently. Just as it you would consider it absurd if a Hindu said Christians were willfully ignorant because they don’t see the Hindu concept of God as he does, the Atheist would see your claims of willfully ignorant the same way
No, I don't insist at all, why would I insist anything to you or those who don't believe in God when I'm quite convinced you/they're blinded to God and evidence that is plain to see? Seems like a pointless battle.

Rather, as previously said, I'm providing an explanation as to why two sides who are equally rational (Theists/Atheists) can't reach much agreement via reason on the numerous arguments and evidences presented for/against God. That no agreement can be reached, suggests something more is going on. It must be something like either we're (Theists) are deluded or the like which impairs our judgement when it comes to logic and reason, or those who don't believe in God are blind and wilfully ignorant which impairs their logic and reason.

Re: some of your words above, such just shows ignorance on your part to Theism. If Hindus have a concept of "God" please explain what it is? Rather as I see they believe is a poly-pantheism of sorts, which is very different from Theism and the logic which leads to such. When it comes to Theism there are actually very few selections, care to name them for me? By and large they generally trace back to Judaistic roots.

Furthermore, I mean no disrespect to you Kenny. However, I believe you to be a prime example of someone who wilfully rejects and ignores God, any and all arguments for God at all cost. You've countlessly gone back on your words, been caught in contradictory statements and much illogic, all because you don't wish to embrace any conclusion that may point in the direction of God. I've had rather extended discussions with you at times, and then after you realise where such lead (i.e., God) which you clearly dislike, you make 180 turns. I'd have to dig up the post, but you have even explicitly said to me you have the right to take back everything you've said. From what I saw, the only reason was because it lead to G-O-D. It often feels like such a pointless exercise having discussions with someone whose heart clearly prefers God to not exist.

So then, I'm sorry Kenny, but as I see, you more than any other on this board, have perhaps shown the most wilful ignorance of which I talk. It's not that I think you're being purposefully in denial, you appear open. But, I truly believe you can't see for your judgement is impaired by the will of your heart which wants zero to do with God. So then, you always end up in denial, falling on the opposite side of whatever a Christian on this board might say because you either don't want God to exist/dislike God should He exist.
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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#102

Post by Justhuman » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:31 am

Kurieuo wrote:I'm not sure how it can work with us being the "Fred" unless you wish to put forward some positive arguments for Atheism.

Re: evidence, the fact Nils didn't even know of Aquinas' arguments which are generally presented at some point an an introductory Philosophy of Religion course... and the fact many of my posts have made you really have to think and even left you unsure how to respond, suggests to me that at least with you two, there are many strong arguments for God's existence that do infact exist which you likely haven't thought about.

Yet, one need not go to such lengths as Aquinas even. Children tend towards belief in God (as scientific studies on such reveal). God from the created order seems to be an obvious intuition, and yet, we bury God for some reason or another, convince ourselves out of belief. The natural disposition of humanity carries recognition of something greater, purpose, eternity, etc. Yet, our natures also tend to want to distance ourselves and run from such.

PS. I'm not thousands of years old. ;)
Sorry for the late respons...

To start with, using that Scooby Doo video to make his point is ridiculous. It is a cartoon! Why did you come up with that Kurieuo? Even in the Scooby Doo universe ALL seemingly supernatural creatures turn out to be of natural origin. No exception. And then, suddenly, real zombies are introduced! In a cartoon one can create everything and thus set things to ones desired outcome. It is in no way representative for the real world.

As for the thousands of years... The theistic indoctrination is thousands of years old. It started with that first idea of a God and kept evolving within all those years. It has since been a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There have been many false believes and ideas in human history. And the theists have used many denials. "The Earth is not the centre of the universe" is a denial (though not only exlusive Christian). People kept believing that until it got too ridiculous to continue believing.
It are the theists that keep on adjusting their believe to new scientific discoveries and truths. Things theists first rejected and denied 'suddenly' are 'bend and twisted' into that new truth. But only when all else has failed. Because they need to hang on their believe and cannot accept the real (cold and bitter) reality.

That's why theists are the real "Fred".

There is no positive side to atheism. And no negative side either. It is indifferent. It is what people make of it. But that also is the case for theism. Theists have done the most unbelievable cruelest things to other humans, in the name of God. And also the most beatiful things. Atheists have the same freedom of doing those things. So, what's the difference?

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#103

Post by Kenny » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:44 am

Kenny wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: Sorry, but I still believe Atheists (especially those who take a positive position that God doesn't exist) are wilfully ignorant. I'd also include those weaker forms who simply do not acknowledge God. This wilful ignorance also extends to Atheists frequenting forums like this and I'd include yourself in that. To be clear, I believe your heart is set against God for some reason, which leads you to desire God to not exist. For I see evidence for God, is plain and obvious, His invisible attributes (goodness, love, beauty, order, power, aseity and like) are clearly visible around us.
Perhaps the reason you believe atheists are willfully ignorant is because you insist on looking at the world from your Christian point of view. Perhaps if you were to look at things from the Atheists point of view, you might see things differently. Just as it you would consider it absurd if a Hindu said Christians were willfully ignorant because they don’t see the Hindu concept of God as he does, the Atheist would see your claims of willfully ignorant the same way
Kurieuo wrote: No, I don't insist at all, why would I insist anything to you or those who don't believe in God when I'm quite convinced you/they're blinded to God and evidence that is plain to see? Seems like a pointless battle.
Consider the possibility that you could actually be wrong. The willingness to see things from the view of those who oppose your view could either show you that you are wrong, or provide further evidence that you are right
Kurieuo wrote: Re: some of your words above, such just shows ignorance on your part to Theism. If Hindus have a concept of "God" please explain what it is? Rather as I see they believe is a poly-pantheism of sorts, which is very different from Theism and the logic which leads to such. When it comes to Theism there are actually very few selections, care to name them for me? By and large they generally trace back to Judaistic roots.
Hinduism is described as a religion. Pantheism is just a term coined by someone a couple hundred years ago to describe a type of theism. But my point was not about Hinduism in particular, I was making the point about any religion that is different than yours might see you as willfully ignorant the same way you see Atheists about your religion
And it seems you are confusing “theism” with Monotheism. And there are other Monotheisms that have been around much longer than the Judeo/Christian Monotheism; obviously they don’t all have judaistic roots

Kurieuo wrote: Furthermore, I mean no disrespect to you Kenny. However, I believe you to be a prime example of someone who wilfully rejects and ignores God, any and all arguments for God at all cost. You've countlessly gone back on your words, been caught in contradictory statements and much illogic, all because you don't wish to embrace any conclusion that may point in the direction of God. I've had rather extended discussions with you at times, and then after you realise where such lead (i.e., God) which you clearly dislike, you make 180 turns. I'd have to dig up the post, but you have even explicitly said to me you have the right to take back everything you've said. From what I saw, the only reason was because it lead to G-O-D. It often feels like such a pointless exercise having discussions with someone whose heart clearly prefers God to not exist.
I wish you were willing to provide an example of me doing this. That is not what I do. There has been a few times I’ve changed my mind on a few issues; such as the Objective/Subjective morality issue. If you remember I used to believe morality was Objective, but after discussing with you guys here, I realized I was using a faulty definition of Objective, admitted my error and (to everyone else’s dismay) continue to recognize morality as subjective. But this is not an example of “willful ignorance” rather it is the opposite when a person shows a willingness to admit when he is wrong, and change his position on an issue, the willful ignorant person is the one who refuses to admit when wrong and instead stick to his guns at all cost. And as far as me taking stuff back when I see the conversation leading to God…. Bruh! Every conversation here leads to God! It’s not like I somehow become unaware of who I am speaking to, or the site I am on.
As far as me having the right to take back what was previously said, (though I don’t remember saying that) Admitting you were wrong IS taking back what you previously said that is an example of learning; that is an example of growing. The person who never does this will never learn or grow, THAT is the person who is willfully ignorant.

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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#104

Post by RickD » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:59 am

kenny wrote:
I wish you were willing to provide an example of me doing this.
Here's one:

We had a conversation in which you agreed that it is always wrong to rape children, yet you claim morality isn't objective.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



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Re: Are You Are Skeptic or In Denial?

#105

Post by RickD » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:03 pm

justhuman wrote:

Atheists do not ask who created God, but they do ask how God came to be. And always there is this unclaimable answer that God is eternal, had no beginning, has no end. That is something you believe in with blind fate.
I think you mean blind faith.

We don't believe God is eternal because of blind faith. We believe God is eternal because of logic.

See Aquinas' Five ways, for example.
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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