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Thread: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

  1. #101
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Personal experience, experiences shared with other believers and religious texts.
    When we look at the many differing supernatural claims by people we see some commonality but also a lot of differences, many of the differences are incompatible with the claims of others. What is noticeable is that there is some type of "mental phenomenon" occurring. Perhaps some people really do converse or see actual gods, demons, spirits, auras, different dimensions, etc. But if they do, they do so in situations and manners indistinguishable from imagination/fraud/mistake/delusion. The "spiritual" or "supernatural" events are entirely confined to the minds of the claimants.

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    You said verifiable by ANYONE - my point was that that is a poor measurement of anything.
    If anyone can verify something then that is a pretty good standard for determining that the thing is real. If only a small group of people claim to see/hear/communicate with something and no independent/unaffiliated person can verify their claims then that is a pretty good indication that something is wrong with their claim, perhaps imagination/fraud/mistake/delusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Now you've changed it to verifiable by OTHERS. Thank you for recognizing your mistake.
    This appears to be an insubstantial quibble.

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    What does this have to do with you telling me "you can now understand why people don't believe in your god"? I already understand why people don't believe in God; you should stop making assumptions.
    [QUOTE=theplaydrive;1059587523]Strawman. I don't know - never said or implied I did. I said I believe.
    People don't believe in supernatural for a variety of reasons. Sometimes for good reasons and sometimes for bad reasons. One line of "good" reasoning is that supernatural claims are fundamentally indistinguishable from others. You don't seem to understand that. Many supernatural beliefs stem from the exact line of reasoning you present: I don't understand why X happens but I can imagine that [insert supernatural explanation] causes it. Therefore I believe [insert supernatural explanation] causes it.


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Strawman: I don't believe in God because of a "holy book" - the same applies to many many others.
    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    1)I don't believe in a holy book.
    I was under the impression you were a christian. Am I wrong?
    Do you not believe that the Bible was written/inspired by a god? Are you some type of deist or christian "heretic"?

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Also, sure, unicorns and the like could be posited to exist from "personal experience" and "religious texts". However, most people don't believe in things like that anymore because they are contradicted by science and our near complete discovery of all physical things on the planet.
    As stated before, unicorns can be believed for the same reason you believe in your god: because their existence and abilities can forever be put outside the realm of falsifiability. I.E., there is always some excuse why gods, unicorns, or leprechauns cannot be contradicted by science. (E.G., fur that makes them invisible, living outside space/time, magic, etc).

    Just look at the "evolution" of god as an example:
    Do you see a pattern?
    * We don't know why our crops failed so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know how the sun moves across the sky so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know why lightening occurs so "God-did-it".
    * We don't why the earth shakes so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know why there are so many different types of plants and animals so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know how life first started so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know exactly how consciousness works so "God-did-it"?
    * We don't know how the universe started so "God-did-it".

    You present the latest iteration of flawed thinking that has existed for thousands of years: We don't know how or why X occurs but I can imagine a god-did-it therefore I believe "God-did-it".


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    When things are disproved, educated people stop believing in them and things like unicorns fall into that category.
    You can't disprove an unfalsifiable claim!!! Gods, unicorns, leprechauns, spirits, etc can all be claimed to exist in unfalsifiable ways.


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    The only thing that could have the power to "trick" us and break the laws of nature is the one who created them - this ability goes to one idea - God.
    That is invalid reasoning. There is no reason other beings couldn't exist that are not as powerful/magical as an all-powerful god but still powerful/magical enough to "trick" you, or break laws of nature, or perform magic. All you are demonstrating is that you have a particular BIAS towards one supernatural explanation over others. Which is fine, but at least CONCEDE that other supernatural beings could exist and CONCEDE you have a bias.


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    You seem to think you're teaching me a lot of things in this post, but you're not. I actually made this exact same argument in the previous post:

    The point is that a unicorn has no practical ability to break the laws of nature - God does. You should be able to understand that.
    You are demonstrating that you have a bias that your god is the only thing that can have supernatural abilities. You deny the possibility that other beings can be imagined that have supernatural abilities yet are not your god.


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    God is just the name given to something that may have created the universe.
    god is usually defined as a supreme being or entity. Are you trying to equivocate with the word "god"? That "god" is anything that created the universe, intelligent or not? E.G., if the universe started purely due to random chance or necessity and not the result of some intentional being then you'd call that process "god"? Because until now you've been making statements that "god" is some type of conscious/intentional being.

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Can you understand that a thing that would have created the laws of nature could break them just like human beings can break the laws of society?
    yes, I can IMAGINE that. That doesn't mean that such a being actually exists or even can exist or that anything stated is possible. Can you understand that supernatural explanations have limitless explanatory power? It just so happens that you are particularly enthralled with a supernatural explanation because you can use it to explain anything and everything! Its the 4000 year old "god-did-it" routine.


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Reason: there is a cause for everything else in the universe, maybe the universe itself has a cause to.
    Key word: "maybe".

    "Maybe" the universe has always existed. Maybe it was never created. Maybe it was created by a supernatural unicorn who can only create universes and then the unicorn died. Maybe we are all a simulation being run by humans in the future who are re-creating the past in giant computers. Your imagination is a piss-poor standard for determining what is true and what is not.

    Are you concerned with what is true or are you only concerned with what beliefs make you feel happy or satisfied?

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    1. I don't care if you "respect" my God, so another strawman for you.
    I said nothing about respecting or disrespecting you. What I said was: It can be pointed out that thousands of gods, spirits, demons, auras, and other supernatural claims are EQUALLY supported with the same reasoning that you use to justify a belief in your god. It just so happens that you have a particular bias to one supernatural explanation over others.

    Furthermore, you don't understand that no supernatural explanation is required. There are things in this world that you may never understand or know before you die. Imagining particular solutions for these questions doesn't make them true!


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    2. I don't believe "my God" is anymore worthy of respect than others, so another strawman for you.
    I never claimed your god is any less or any more worthy of respect. What I was stating is that your belief in the existence of a particular god is based on poor reasoning that is no more credible than most other supernatural explanations and ideas.


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    The only one who can break those laws is the one who created them.
    And you determined this how? Because you imagine its true therefore it is?

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Uh. Not so much. What does this have to do with the fact that everything in the universe has a cause?
    Let's get your logic presented:
    1) Everything I know of that exists has a cause
    2) The universe exists
    3) Therefore the universe has a cause.

    Do you know what this fallacy is called?

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Question #1: Why do you think that 4-5 billion people believe in God but not unicorns?
    4-5 billion people do NOT believe in "A God". People believe in thousands of different supernatural entities with different characteristics, qualities, and traits. Some believe god is a guy with a gray beard sitting in clouds. Others believe its some entity living in an imaginary place "outside space/time". Others use the term "god" as a synonym for nature (Einstein, spinoza). They all put the generic label "god" on it but they are NOT talking about the same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Question #2: Why do you think that people still believe in God
    for a variety of reasons too long to list here.

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    Why do you think that people still believe in God but let go of literal interpretations of the Bible ?
    Most do not. Fundamentalists/literalists/biblicists are still a large group (if not the largest) in the US.

    People let go of literal interpretations for a variety of reasons to long to list here.
    If you believe in the Supernatural then you can become a millionaire!

    Questioning or criticizing another's core beliefs is inadvertently perceived as offensive and rude.

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Iíve got to post on belief again. This is not about god specifically, itís more basic than that.

    Iíve found two basic types of conclusion mechanisms that people use. to describe to themselves and then, at times, to others. They use them in three different ways. Iíll use two words. The psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true is a belief (ref. wiki), no proof is necessary, it could come from a proof, emotion or feeling. The other is the understanding of fact that is supported by a proof that can be tested. Note that an exhaustive proof of 1+1=2 was just completed and published; itís over 100 pages.

    So the three types of people: believers, analytical and a combination. One would think that most people are a combination of believers and analytical and few at the extremes. However, as a design engineer for 30 years, a very analytical task, I found that a significant percentage of design engineers were pure believers. Although there were more that had a belief in god or sometimes a specific God and/or in other things; but for most knowledge they required an analytical scientific type proof that they accepted or developed themselves. And there were more pure analytical types than you would find in other types of jobs. But, there were more pure believers that one would expect in the demographic class of design engineers. They believed in the facts that are supported by proofs and they appeared to be the same as analytical engineers. However, there are times in design engineering that what is thought to be a fact is not. When one solves design problems there are so many variables that proofs are near impossible; however, the first solution is often taken as the only way to solve the problem. That solution then sets a standard and is used repeatedly. The analytical engineer may find that the standard solution causes compromises in a design sufficiently to cause him question the standard solution and look for a better solution for a set of particular requirements. His analytical coworkers will praise his solution, but the believers in the old solution will hold the position that he is making a mistake and doing it wrong. Iíve never been able to convert a believer design engineer into an analytical design engineer.

    Pure believers canít know anything by an analytical process even when it appears they do; also, they think that everyone does thinking the same way they do. A believer believes everyone is a believer, and the ones that disagree with them have a problem. This sets up believers to have trouble with almost everyone else, especially other believers. A discussion concerning god is a place where this difference in thinking and problem solving processes makes communication impossible.

    Very briefly, the case that brought me to my above opinion is: Hot air rises, so a cooling fan in electronic equipment should work with convection not against it! Wrong in many cases, but believer engineers, even when itís demonstrated, do not accept that it is ever wrong to work with convection.

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    TOTAL FAIL, the thread you referenced has nothing to do with gay marriage, forcing prayer in classrooms or at NASCAR events. Most people in that thread don't even understand the premise on which the title is based. But we're not going to derail this thread with that one here, are we? You ascersion in the first sentence of your second paragraph has no support.
    Nice try. Your argument was that atheists are "rabid" and "mouthfoaming" when discussing religion, and I linked you a thread - one that you created - where you basically claimed that without God, there are no inalienable rights. You can argue your intentions all day long, but that thread was created for nothing more than to get a rise out of folks who may not see it that way, so that you could bash people who don't believe in God, or who may worship some other entity.

    And now here you are, after being shown your own thread in which you do the exact same thing you despise atheists for, trying to play it off as if gay marriage, NASCAR events, and forced prayer in school was the main focus of my illustration. It wasn't. Go back and reread.

    If anything, I showed you that every person (or group of persons) are capable of going overboard on whatever issue comes down the pipeline. These atheists getting all bent out of shape over this issue are just as stupid as those a few years ago who posted that billboard reminding folks during the holiday season that it's a myth. I chalk that up to nonsense, in the same way I chalk your God & Inalienable rights thread. It's nothing more than something meant to get a rise out of someone who believes something different.

  4. #104
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by NGNM85 View Post



    We are running out of frontiers. Like I said, we're closing in on a unified theory of physics, after that point, physics will, essentially, cease to exist as a discipline. There will be nothing more to know. The human body, likewise, has very few secrets left. etc., etc. The expanse of virgin territory is rapidly dwindling.

    Surely, I must have misinterpreted this part of an otherwise plausible post. Do you really mean to say than humankind, occupying one minor planet circling one minor star among hundreds of billions of other stars in the universe, that microscopic bit of life we call humanity, has run out of new territory to study, that we are close to knowing everything that there is to know?

    Surely, no one could make such a statement.
    "Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud... [he's] playing the American public for suckers." Mitt Romney

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Surely, I must have misinterpreted this part of an otherwise plausible post. Do you really mean to say than humankind, occupying one minor planet circling one minor star among hundreds of billions of other stars in the universe, that microscopic bit of life we call humanity, has run out of new territory to study, that we are close to knowing everything that there is to know?

    Surely, no one could make such a statement.
    I was wondering about that as well. We haven't even begun to reach the end of discovery.

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Atheists tend to be overly self important and the more vocal ones demand to be the center of attention. That is why we see idiots like that moron who sued over the pledge of allegiance or an idiot in Cincinnati who sued to get rid of Christmas as a holiday.

    I think why some of these people advocate atheism is not because they really can prove God doesn't exist (btw I am agnostic) but they hate thinking there is actually something more important than they are

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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Surely, I must have misinterpreted this part of an otherwise plausible post. Do you really mean to say than humankind, occupying one minor planet circling one minor star among hundreds of billions of other stars in the universe, that microscopic bit of life we call humanity, has run out of new territory to study, that we are close to knowing everything that there is to know?

    Surely, no one could make such a statement.
    Excellent point sir.
    Nobody who wins a war indulges in a bifurcated definition of victory. War is a political act; victory and defeat have meaning only in political terms. A country incapable of achieving its political objectives at an acceptable cost is losing the war, regardless of battlefield events.

    Bifurcating victory (e.g. winning militarily, losing politically) is a useful salve for defeated armies. The "stab in the back" narrative helped take the sting out of failure for German generals after WWI and their American counterparts after Vietnam.

    All the same, it's nonsense. To paraphrase Vince Lombardi, show me a political loser, and I'll show you a loser.
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  8. #108
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by Dittohead not! View Post
    Surely, I must have misinterpreted this part of an otherwise plausible post. Do you really mean to say than humankind, occupying one minor planet circling one minor star among hundreds of billions of other stars in the universe, that microscopic bit of life we call humanity, has run out of new territory to study, that we are close to knowing everything that there is to know?

    Surely, no one could make such a statement.
    I said we are close to a unified theory of physics. Once we have that we would have one set of rules governing everything from subatomic particles to supermassive black holes, every manifestation of matter and energy in the entire universe. One need not study the entire universe to completely understand how it works, any more than we would have to study each individual human body to understand human physiology. I'm not saying there aren't discoveries to be made, but they are finite, at the rate of progression, barring an existential catastrophe, it is conceivable that we will discover all that which can be discovered.
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  9. #109
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    I originally wrote out a point by point response, but then I realized you were more interested in projecting your invalid assumptions about theists onto me rather than actually reading what I wrote and understanding my responses, so I did this instead.

    This is you pretentiously teaching me things that I both know and have told you that I understand:

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    People don't believe in supernatural for a variety of reasons. [then you go on to explain atheism to me]
    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Key word: "maybe".

    "Maybe" the universe has always existed. Maybe it was never created. Etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    There are things in this world that you may never understand or know before you die. Imagining particular solutions for these questions doesn't make them true!
    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    People believe in thousands of different supernatural entities with different characteristics, qualities, and trait. [...] They all put the generic label "god" on it but they are NOT talking about the same thing.
    This is you condescendingly and presumptuously projecting your invalid assumptions about theists onto my arguments:

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    Are you concerned with what is true or are you only concerned with what beliefs make you feel happy or satisfied?
    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    It just so happens that you are particularly enthralled with a supernatural explanation because you can use it to explain anything and everything! Its the 4000 year old "god-did-it" routine.
    This is you presenting your subjective claims as objective and absolute:

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    The "spiritual" or "supernatural" events are entirely confined to the minds of the claimants.

    This is you misrepresenting my argument:
    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post

    Let's get your logic presented:
    1) Everything I know of that exists has a cause
    2) The universe exists
    3) Therefore the universe has a cause.

    Do you know what this fallacy is called?
    I don't know, but "therefore the universe has a cause" is not my argument. My argument is that "it MAY have a cause" which is why I believe in God.

    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99 View Post
    You are demonstrating that you have a bias that your god is the only thing that can have supernatural abilities.
    I'll address this point because I'm stupid and masochistic. Analogy: A man-made robot cannot break the "laws" of his programming. A God-made animal (unicorn or whatever) cannot break the "laws" of nature. Human beings can break the programming laws b/c they created them. God can break the laws of nature because He created them. This has nothing to do with "bias" for my God.

    And to answer your question about my beliefs: I am not a Christian. I believe in God. I think anything is possible. The end.


    In conclusion:
    Your misrepresentation of my arguments is the Jesus Christ of why atheism gets a bad name...and to think that at the beginning of our conversation I praised you for being some version of respectful.
    Last edited by ThePlayDrive; 06-23-11 at 02:28 PM.

  10. #110
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    Re: New York Atheists Angry Over 'Heaven' Street Sign Honoring Sept. 11 victims

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    I originally wrote out a point by point response, but then I realized you were more interested in projecting your invalid assumptions about theists onto me rather than actually reading what I wrote and understanding my responses, so I did this instead.
    As anyone can verify, you don't actually show where I have made invalid assumptions in my response. Instead you have snipped my responses from their context and presented ad-hominem after ad-hominem expressing nothing but personal outrage and contempt. You have halted this discussion by failing to directly and honestly respond to my questions and statements.

    Its possible that I have misunderstood your position and created strawmen. That is a normal occurrence in debate. All I can do is assure you that its not intentional. I hope that in the future you will address my responses rather than reading into them and resorting to ad-homs

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    This is you pretentiously teaching me things that I both know and have told you that I understand:
    I don't claim to teach you anything. That is an idea you have invented and have projected onto me. If you disagree with something then you should say so and why. If you agree with something then just quote it and say "I agree".

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    This is you condescendingly and presumptuously projecting your invalid assumptions about theists onto my arguments:
    MY response flows from your statements:

    Quote Originally Posted by thePlayDrive
    The only thing that could have the power to "trick" us and break the laws of nature is the one who created them - this ability goes to one idea - God.

    ...

    Can you understand that a thing that would have created the laws of nature could break them just like human beings can break the laws of society?
    ...

    Unicorns don't have any rational basis for breaking the laws of nature. The only one who can break those laws is the one who created them.
    Quote Originally Posted by scourge99
    You are particularly enthralled with a supernatural explanation because you can use it to explain anything and everything (as opposed to unicorns, or leprechauns, or greek gods which can only be used to explain a limited amount of things by appealing to the supernatural)! God is the ultimate leprechaun/unicorn/greek_god. Its the 4000 year old "god-did-it" routine:

    * We don't know why our crops failed so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know how the sun moves across the sky so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know why lightening occurs so "God-did-it".
    * We don't why the earth shakes so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know why there are so many different types of plants and animals so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know how life first started so "God-did-it".
    * We don't know exactly how consciousness works so "God-did-it"?
    * We don't know how the universe started so "God-did-it".

    You present the latest iteration of flawed thinking that has existed for thousands of years: "I don't know how or why X occurs but I can imagine a god-did-it therefore I believe 'God-did-it'."


    Are you concerned with what is true or are you only concerned with what beliefs make you feel happy or satisfied?
    This is a fair and honest question. There are quite a few people who have said that they ARE NOT all that interested in truth if it affects their happiness. Some ascribe to the saying "ignorance is bliss". I'm wondering if you are one such person.

    Quote Originally Posted by thePlayDrive
    This is you presenting your subjective claims as objective and absolute:
    And if you didn't snip out the context of that statement which supports my claim then it would be obvious:

    When we look at the many differing supernatural claims by people we see some commonality but also a lot of differences, many of the differences are incompatible with the claims of others. What is noticeable is that there is some type of "mental phenomenon" occurring. Perhaps some people really do converse or see actual gods, demons, spirits, auras, different dimensions, etc. But if they do, they do so in situations and manners indistinguishable from imagination/fraud/mistake/delusion. The "spiritual" or "supernatural" events are entirely confined to the minds of the claimants.


    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    This is you misrepresenting my argument:

    I don't know, but "therefore the universe has a cause" is not my argument. My argument is that "it MAY have a cause" which is why I believe in God.
    and I explained why that was poor reasoning:

    "Many supernatural beliefs stem from the exact line of reasoning you present: I don't understand why/how X happens but I can imagine that [insert supernatural explanation] causes it. Therefore I believe [insert supernatural explanation] causes it."
    "You are demonstrating that you have a particular BIAS towards one supernatural explanation over others. Which is fine, but at least CONCEDE that other supernatural beings could exist and CONCEDE you have a bias."

    "Furthermore, there are things in this world that we may never understand or know before we die. Imagining particular solutions for these questions doesn't make them true (or reasonable to believe in)!"


    You are demonstrating that you have a bias that your god is the only thing that can have supernatural abilities
    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    I'll address this point.... Analogy: A man-made robot cannot break the "laws" of his programming. A God-made animal (unicorn or whatever) cannot break the "laws" of nature. Human beings can break the programming laws b/c they created them. God can break the laws of nature because He created them. This has nothing to do with "bias" for my God.
    1) This has EVERYTHING to do with your bias for a god. You are starting with the PREMISE that your God exists and then proclaiming that because your God created everything then nothing can exist that can break its laws therefore if leprechauns, unicorns, etc, exist then they cannot break the laws. Your whole line of thought is poisoned by that premise because you are unwilling or able to consider possibilities without that premise.

    2) Your logic is invalid: Even if a god created everything it doesn't mean his creations are incapable of breaking the laws he created. For example a man could create a computer that can reprogram itself or a god could create or allow for the creation of a being that could break the laws.

    3) Analogies do not an argument make. You can create analogy after analogy if you'd like but they are all trumped by a single DIRECT EXPLANATION. It is a FACT that when debaters struggle to defend their arguments then they often resort to analogies/metaphors to hide the flaws. Analogies/metaphors are excellent in that they help get a confusing or difficult point across but they are NOT a substitute for a direct explanation, which you have failed to provide. A "naked" analogy, like you have presented is a telltale sign that your argument is flawed.

    Quote Originally Posted by theplaydrive View Post
    And to answer your question about my beliefs: I am not a Christian. I believe in God. I think anything is possible.
    Which god do you believe in? There are thousands of gods proposed by man. What are his/her/its characteristics, traits, properties? Why do you believe so?
    If you believe in the Supernatural then you can become a millionaire!

    Questioning or criticizing another's core beliefs is inadvertently perceived as offensive and rude.

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