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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 October 2018 at 9:26pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Someone said that faith is believing in something you know can’t be true. There’s also the great difference between believing something (the plane won’t crash) and believing IN something (the plane won’t crash because I prayed it wouldn’t).

Semantics? Maybe. But on one side lies common sense, and on the other the persecution and murder of millions of innocent people.

You know where I prefer to hang my hat!

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DW Zomberg
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 8:15am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

You know believers have lost the battle when they start comparing their faith to things like elevators and traffic intersections. 
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Eric Sofer
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 10:15am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Althougjh, Mr. Zomberg, I'm not a believer. I adhere to Judaism because I find it the least offensive and because I - and more importantly, my family - are invested in it. Really, I'm more of  Rosh Hashanna/Yom Kippur Jew than a strict adherent.

As for traffic intersections... ain't never said I believe in THOSE! The principle, sure - but them drivers is CRAZY.

Mr. Byrne, you're certainly correct in that there is believing something and believing IN something. There are things I believe in, such as mother love (in many species), greed and self-entitlement (or else, Communism might work better), and evolution (but I live too short to prove it, although I see from records sufficient evidence.)

And of course, you've always made clear your hook!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 10:22am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Eric, to believe IN something is to do so without evidence. There’s plenty of evidence for evolution!
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 3:03pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Magical thinking. I take it Oprah peddles it along with some silly book titled 'The Secret' meant to show others the magical way positive thoughts attract wealth and health and good fortune, just like it has for Oprah Winfrey. If it doesn't work then you are subconsciously thinking negative and attracting negative things to yourself, or in some original sin you haven't actually even committed you are fallen, same difference.

Chant And Be Happy (endorsed by the two deceased Beatles), still in print after forty some years! If people weren't buying there wouldn't be so many people selling.
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DW Zomberg
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 4:52pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

traffic intersections

You didn't use this argument in your post, Eric, but believers sometimes trout it out, claiming one has to have faith that other drivers will obey red lights and not slam into your car when you have the green.
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Kevin Sharp
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 6:42pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

...yet he firmly believes fossils were planted by the Devil to deceive us.

***

Of all the "mysterious ways" arguments, this to me is one of the most baffling. If it were true why wouldn't God simply make the fossils vanish? He'd surely have to be aware of the Adversary's "prank"...?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 6:44pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

God wants us to fail. The weight of evidence is too overwhelming to assume otherwise.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

For God to exist, I think the most acceptable theory is that they are a fallible god. I'm an atheist, so I don't have to wrestle with these things on a daily basis, but that makes more sense than a god that can do anything, yet allows horrible things to happen. There's also the 'it's all part of some strange, incomprehensible but wonderful plan' line of thought, but that doesn't really add up -- if God can do anything, then God can do anything. Everyone can have wonderful lives and He/She/It can still make any outcome occur.

Edited by Peter Martin on 13 October 2018 at 8:44pm
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 10:31pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

One of my favorite jokes is this: "God put dinosaur bones there to test our faith" - my father turning me into an atheist

Of course it would be more turned back into an atheist since that's what everyone is at birth. 
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 13 October 2018 at 10:48pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

God wants you on your knees 'worshipping' him! Yes... #youtoo! The original abusive boss. He even discriminated right off kicking 'Adam' and 'Eve' out of his garden (they were Jews). We don't ask what became of 'Lilith', maybe she was those dinosaur bones.

Actually it couldn't be clearer. God wants us to burn oxen flesh and lots of other things too. Know your God LINK. Except for WKRP DJ Dr Johnny Fever... him he wants to become a golf pro.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 4:23am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

A distasteful story from the Bible is the "Book of Job". So much suffering for what does seem a lot like a wager/bet between God and Satan!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 5:34am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

The God of the Bible is a very small god. He’s petty and jealous and cruel. Which tailors him perfectly for the times when the various chapters were written. Creation itself was also very small and cruel.

But as our knowledge expanded, God shrank more and more. Eventually people began to realize this tiny, primitive god just didn’t work any more, and with that realization came the beginning of the true human experience.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t everyone who came into the Age of Reason, and the World as we see it today is directly a result of that.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 5:40am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Yes, I agree.

The OT God was small in a power sense. I can't recall the exact chapter, but I seem to recall one where people had to put a mark on their doors so that God's angels could spare their homes during one of God's many onslaughts.

As a kid I thought, 'But wouldn't an all-knowing God know which houses to be spared? Why would residents have to mark them?'

The OT God is to the NT God what the Sphinx is to Galactus: the former is very powerful, but the latter is even more powerful. The OT God appeared to be running on "lower power levels" than the NT God (not to mention the different personality).
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 5:55am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

What’s your evidence for the NT God being more powerful, Robbie?
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 6:00am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Perhaps "more powerful" was the wrong phrasing, but thinking of the fact that the NT God had more of a global/universal outlook. All that talk about a New Heaven/New Earth, resetting creation, destroying evil forever, casting the devil down, raising people from the dead, etc.

I realise, as an atheist, this is akin to me discussing comic power levels!

I suppose, rather than "more powerful", the NT God felt more universal whilst the OT God was a localised God.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 6:17am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

I suppose, rather than "more powerful", the NT God felt more universal whilst the OT God was a localised God.

••

I think that's an overly generous interpretation! The NT God still focuses all his energy into a small section of the Middle East. Rome, the most powerful nation on Earth at the time, exists only to provide bad guys, and even that role is played down by later edits. No mention is made at all of India, or China, or the New World.

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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 14 October 2018 at 6:23am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

That's a fair point!
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