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RE: a stranger in a strange land

paulj59paulj59 Posts: 420Member
: So that's where I am. Either there is a God or there is no God, we can't test the hypothesis so therefore we can't know the answer so therefore it doesn't really make any difference. All that matters is how we deal with the life we have.
:
Actually you can test the hypothesis. You can say "ok, I'll believe in God and see what happens." Most everyone I know who has come to the realization that there is a God has done so by meeting God halfway.
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Comments

  • infidelinfidel Posts: 2,900Member
    : : So that's where I am. Either there is a God or there is no God, we can't test the hypothesis so therefore we can't know the answer so therefore it doesn't really make any difference. All that matters is how we deal with the life we have.
    : :
    : Actually you can test the hypothesis. You can say "ok, I'll believe in God and see what happens." Most everyone I know who has come to the realization that there is a God has done so by meeting God halfway.

    That isn't really a test. It sounds a lot like Pascal's Wager. I haven't yet figured out how to "just believe" in "God". I don't think my brain works that way. At least not the Grand High Cosmic Poo-Bah of the Christians/Jews/Muslims. If there is a God, I imagine it to be more like the Tao than anything else. I just have found that every time I come close to believing, I discover no good reason to.
  • lionblionb Posts: 1,688Member ✭✭
    [b][red]This message was edited by lionb at 2002-11-27 11:50:21[/red][/b][hr]
    : : : So that's where I am. Either there is a God or there is no God, we can't test the hypothesis so therefore we can't know the answer so therefore it doesn't really make any difference. All that matters is how we deal with the life we have.
    : : :
    [blue] This is it. That's what I was trying to explain to infidel[/blue]
    :
    : : Actually you can test the hypothesis. You can say "ok, I'll believe in God and see what happens." Most everyone I know who has come to the realization that there is a God has done so by meeting God halfway.
    :
    : That isn't really a test. It sounds a lot like Pascal's Wager. I haven't yet figured out how to "just believe" in "God". I don't think my brain works that way. At least not the Grand High Cosmic Poo-Bah of the Christians/Jews/Muslims. If there is a God, I imagine it to be more like the Tao than anything else. I just have found that every time I come close to believing, I discover no good reason to.
    :
    [blue] That's for infi ;-). I asked you question yesterday but did not get answer. Looks like you missed it. Let me ask it again.
    Did you try to convert your opponent(s) from religious chat? If yes, were you successful? You do not have to answer
    [/blue]



  • paulj59paulj59 Posts: 420Member
    : At least not the Grand High Cosmic Poo-Bah of the Christians/Jews/Muslims. If there is a God, I imagine it to be more like the Tao than anything else. I just have found that every time I come close to believing, I discover no good reason to.
    :

    I consider myself a Taoist more than anything else. I believe the Christians/Jews/Muslims have screwed themselves up over the years.
    But I believe that all monotheistic religions have to be talking about the same thing.
    Here's something to try the next time you are in the religious chat room:
    Take a quote from the Tao te ching and substitute "God" for "the Tao".
    You will probably get a few "Oh, that is so true!"

    We cannot know the Tao itself,
    nor see its qualities direct,
    but only see by differentiation,
    that which it manifests.
    Any attempt to debate God is like the blind men describing the elephant. One feels the tail and says it is like a snake, one feels a leg and says it is like a tree. Add that one is not touching it at all and says it doesn't exist.
  • lionblionb Posts: 1,688Member ✭✭
    : We cannot know the Tao itself,
    : nor see its qualities direct,
    : but only see by differentiation,
    : that which it manifests.
    : Any attempt to debate God is like the blind men describing the elephant. One feels the tail and says it is like a snake, one feels a leg and says it is like a tree. Add that one is not touching it at all and says it doesn't exist.
    :
    That's right. At the same time, all major religions says that God is here to protect us against bad things/events. Let me ask where he/spirit was at September 11?
  • infidelinfidel Posts: 2,900Member
    : [blue] That's for infi ;-). I asked you question yesterday but did not get answer. Looks like you missed it. Let me ask it again.
    : Did you try to convert your opponent(s) from religious chat? If yes, were you successful? You do not have to answer [/blue]

    That's a good question. The short answer is "No". The slightly longer answer is "Depends on the topic." Most of the debates and arguments there were entirely defensive on my part. I would be bombarded by any number of people with Bible verses, Creationist myths, invalid logic, etc, etc and I would do my best to refute, correct, or clarify each and every point. In a sense I suppose you could say that I was trying to "convert" them to accepting more science and to use better logic, but I never tried to create atheists out of them. My main point was to defend my reasons for being a nontheist, or evolutionist, or even libertarian as sometimes the conversations went political.

    Even for me, one of the most frustrating things was dealing with people that seems like clones of each other. I could spend an entire afternoon explaining evolution or anything else to one particular Xian, and the very next day I'd have to literally start all over again because someone new would come along and start off with the same old refuted nonsense again.

    I do feel that I was successful, though, in many regards. I know that I helped at least a handful of other humans see past the "atheist" and "evolution" stereotypes, and I freely admit that many of my own stereotypes of Christians were broken down. If nothing else, I became good friends with a number of them despite our differences.

    There were a few who I think became more open to my ideas over time. A couple who truly understood what I was saying and where I was coming from, but for personal reasons could not or would not give up their beliefs even though they agreed with me they sounded ridiculous. I did see one guy over time switch from devout Roman Catholic to more of an agnostic position, though I didn't really have much to do with that personally.

    I really love the honest communication that a good chat room can bring out of people who can hide behind a nickname and not worry so much about appearances.
    [size=5][italic][blue][RED]i[/RED]nfidel[/blue][/italic][/size]

  • infidelinfidel Posts: 2,900Member
    : I believe the Christians/Jews/Muslims have screwed themselves up over the years.

    Amen to that.

    : But I believe that all monotheistic religions have to be talking about the same thing.

    Ultimately they would have to. Too bad they are all exclusionist.

    : Here's something to try the next time you are in the religious chat room:
    : Take a quote from the Tao te ching and substitute "God" for "the Tao".
    : You will probably get a few "Oh, that is so true!"

    I've done that and you are right. It's really an amazing thing to see. Especially since the very same people, if you leave Tao in the quote, will have a violent reaction.

    : Any attempt to debate God is like the blind men describing the elephant. One feels the tail and says it is like a snake, one feels a leg and says it is like a tree. Add that one is not touching it at all and says it doesn't exist.

    Except that the elephant is invisible, intangible, and leaves no physical traces of it's presence.
  • lionblionb Posts: 1,688Member ✭✭
    : I really love the honest communication that a good chat room can bring out of people who can hide behind a nickname and not worry so much about appearances.
    : [size=5][italic][blue][RED]i[/RED]nfidel[/blue][/italic][/size]
    :
    :
    That's what I do hate. Because to day he/she's talking to you as atheist/nonereligous person and tomorrow will go to religious temple and become good christian/jew/muslim.
  • infidelinfidel Posts: 2,900Member
    : That's right. At the same time, all major religions says that God is here to protect us against bad things/events. Let me ask where he/spirit was at September 11?

    LOL, lion, you are forgetting that God only protects the "true believers". And for that matter, only protects them when he feels like it. And for that matter, God also punishes people, often brutally. At least if you listen to the Xians/Jews/Muslims.

    Xian: "God works in mysterious ways."
    Me: "So mysterious it's as if he isn't even there."
  • infidelinfidel Posts: 2,900Member
    : : I really love the honest communication that a good chat room can bring out of people who can hide behind a nickname and not worry so much about appearances.
    : : [size=5][italic][blue][RED]i[/RED]nfidel[/blue][/italic][/size]
    : :
    : :
    : That's what I do hate. Because to day he/she's talking to you as atheist/nonereligous person and tomorrow will go to religious temple and become good christian/jew/muslim.

    Well there are always hypocrites or people playing other personalities. And there are always the "Churchtians", the people that do whatever they like because they'll be "forgiven" later. Some just seem to believe that hostile action towards nonbelievers is justified because they are nonbelievers. If you spend enough time with people, even those hiding behind internet nicknames, you will get a sense of their true personality. Often you get to know them well enough that you can spot them hiding behind a different nickname when they're trying to fool people.
  • lionblionb Posts: 1,688Member ✭✭
    : : That's right. At the same time, all major religions says that God is here to protect us against bad things/events. Let me ask where he/spirit was at September 11?
    :
    : LOL, lion, you are forgetting that God only protects the "true believers". And for that matter, only protects them when he feels like it. And for that matter, God also punishes people, often brutally. At least if you listen to the Xians/Jews/Muslims.
    :
    : Xian: "God works in mysterious ways."
    : Me: "So mysterious it's as if he isn't even there."
    :
    Actually, I knew your answer :-D ... Still waiting for Paul's
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