New Style of Intro

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Bobby Cole, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    A new forum and a new topic calls for new introductions dealing with belief in God. (In my most humble opinion)
    So, to get started, most people on the forums know me as "preacherbob," but I really like just plain "Bobby."
    In my Christian career I was more of a teacher/preacher as opposed to the standard preacher types with the teacher part as a secondary calling.

    As to the denomination, I have been called a Baptist (by ordination) and by the way I lecture I fell into a strange catagory (called by some) a, "Bapticost." It's kind of frightening really to think that a pentacost could get along with a baptist, but I do accept the description with some semblance of grace. In actuality I prefer to be known as a non-denominationalist and forget about the pretenses.

    I hope folks will give me a little break because I will rarely use the word "religion." I hate the word with a passion and will inevitably call everything by "such and such, belief," rather than the round house version I mentioned. Practically anything that a person does or believes in can all be called some sort of religion and who am I to doubt it. Even people who bomb things and rape women say they have a religion but for the life of me I cannot determine which god is in charge of those things. So, when someone says,"I'm religious" it tells me that there is some god in that persons life but very little else. It's like a person who says they like pizza but doesn't say what kind of pizza. All I know is you like to eat. What do you prefer on a pizza? What do you not like on a pizza? It's hard to invite you to a pizza party if I do not know what kind of pizza you like.

    Hopefully, this little intro might give you folks something to talk about and maybe even encourage you to introduce yourself so we can get to know each other a little better. In the mean time......God Bless
     
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  2. Allie Seay

    Allie Seay Active Member
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    Hello Bobby.
    I'm Allie and I absolutely agree with you that the word "religion" hardly begins to describe what I think of as a way of life enjoyed by those who go through it alongside the spirit of their beloved creator God; and so, it's impossible for me to wrap up an ongoing relationship with such a skimpy word, broad though it may seem to some in certain contexts.
    After all, even atheism might well be called a "religion"--just not by atheists themselves.:)
    I get, as well, the term "bapticostal", as the church next door to me, which is the one I attend, used to have the word "baptist" on it's sign. One day I noticed that there was a new sign and I asked a neighbor about it. She argued with me saying that there was no such thing and that the same sign as had always stood there still did.
    The next day she called me and said, "You're right. They changed the sign."
    Then she proceeded to tell me about one certain woman who kicked up a fuss about how she didn't think the church was truly all that much "baptist" and it appeared to her it had a much greater leaning towards being pentecostal. Well, that didn't really hurt anyone's feelings. The pastor just allowed as he could go with that and changed the sign so that the name of the church became simply "Trinity Praise Center" with no denominational name set forth at all.
    The fussy woman left and everyone else has been just as happy as they always had been.
    I think the woman was right, though; and the church does lean just a bit towards being pentecostal.
    Anyway, I'm glad to be here and look forward to getting to know you and all the others who happen along.
    And God bless you, too.
     
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  3. Fredrick Jones

    Fredrick Jones New Member
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    Religion is anything where you believe in something that can not be proven. Athiests can not prove there is not god. A lot of athiests seem to have a hatred for religion and can be more annoying then fundamentalists.

    As long as the other person isn't bothering me I don't care what he believes in.
     
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  4. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    Actually Fredrick, there are roughly 4,200 recognized religions being practiced in this wonderful world of ours.
    Literally anything that becomes part of a belief system regarding an agreeing group of people can be called a religion. Vegans have a belief system in which anything that even remotely comes from an animal is not healthy to eat. ergo: it can be called a religion. They don't but indeed if someone wanted to put a religious label on it they could. The Hindi have over 300 gods and each one of them constitutes an individual religion but the whole is Hindi......the Hindi religion.

    The thing about this topic is it can be a provable or a seemingly non-provable belief system and cannot be defined by any strict perameters. The belief in a "higher power" ie: your cat, wife, the broom in the corner, your mail person, ect can all be called the dreaded "R" word. It is part of your personal belief system and an object of faith. And, oh yes, the lack of a belief in a higher power is also a religion.......atheism. The "ism" at the end of a word means, "belief in." ergo: belief in no god.

    And yes,in part, Fredrick, I agree with you about others leaving you and I alone. It's just that when someone shoots up a school room full of kids in the name of a religion.......I get really bugged! I even get really angry when someone blows up an abortion center in the name of my personal God. That guy is religious yes, but a religious nut who is definitely not Christian and deserves whatever humanity should place upon his shoulders. These are just some thoughts that might help others in their own quest for ................I ain't gonna say that word! God Bless ya Fredrick!!
     
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  5. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I tend to avoid discussing religion because there have been far too many atrocities committed by extremists claiming to represent an entire religion, in the process giving a lot of good people a bad name.

    I observe the major religious holidays of my faith, more out of a sense of tradition than any real belief. I actually regard myself as an agnostic because I can't understand how God (if he exists) could allow some of the terrible things that happen in the world. Yet a part of me envies religious people for the comfort that their faith brings them.
     
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  6. Betty Johnstone

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    I am not a religious person although I was brought up Roman Catholic. I consider myself to be a good person and helpful to others but don't do it because of faith or any "religion". I do, however, commend anyone with faith in a God and am very open to listening to others talk about their beliefs as long as they aren't pushed on me.
     
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  7. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    I have no problem with listening to what others say as long as they aren't too pushy. Thankfully I don't often meet people who try to push their views on me. I actually believe it's better to be a good person because that's what you feel is right rather than because a religion dictates what you do or don't do. Some religious people aren't really as good as they seem either.
     
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  8. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    I share those views. No problem with what religion a person associates with as long as they keep it private.

    I'll state my case up front.
    I do have an interest in religion per se. Strictly from the puzzling aspect that perfectly normal and intelligent people feel they need it to function. That is something that I struggle to understand.
    I am an atheist. A real one, that simply doesn't need any supernatural causes to explain anything to do with my life or with the Universe at large. It all makes perfect sense to me without it.

    I'm not a frothing convert from some religion that disappointed me. I too detest those kind of 'atheists'.
    I simply never had a religion. Ever.
    Religion was a trivial peripheral part of society that had no impact on our family life at all other than for weddings and funerals and Church had no more meaning than did a Post Office. It was a place of business visited only when a transaction was necessary.

    We never said grace or any of that stuff. My mother read me Bible stories, as mothers did back then, however I never knew that there was supposed to be a difference between those stories or Grimms' or Aesop's. I was somewhat amazed to learn in later years that other people believed they were real, yet the others weren't.
    I was apparently baptised, also as it was the done thing and merely in ritual to fill in the registration papers rather than in belief.

    I was though taught ethics!. i.e. the difference between right and wrong, and sociably acceptable behavior versus savagery, from well before I can remember.
    I was better behaved than most of the kids I associated with irrespective of their 'religious upbringings'.
    Ethics made sense to me, the concept had been explained to me, thoroughly and logically.
    Apparently their Biblical parables didn't cut through to their understanding of what the lessons were trying to impart. Too much 'wrapping' on the ethical message and they missed the point of it, saw them only as a 'story,' and behaved accordingly.

    BTW: No, that quip in a previous post that 'atheism is a religion' is dead wrong. At least in my case. To me it is simply the ability to lead a good and ethical life without the need of supernatural supervision.
    What exactly is wrong with that?

    I don't want to murder people who need to refer to divine text books to enable them to make ethical decisions. Why would they take the view that I am 'evil' because I view ethics as a perfectly normal, and human, philosophy based upon rational thought?

    The basic rules and tenets upon which many religions were originally founded are nothing more than well thought out ethics. People over time have come to focus on the fables and tinselling of the rules to make them more palatable, or saleable, and now seem to be missing the essential reason of the existence of their 'religion' in the first place.

    e.g. The giving of gifts at Christmas is a lovely tradition and a good lesson in both giving and in gratitude. But does it need Santa to do that?
    Or Jesus? Really?
    Think about the real meaning of it which predated both of them. A midwinter time to gather together and take stock and share what people had left over with those less endowed with supplies to see them through the rest of the season. It was a time of kindness and giving which sprang from a necessity to share to ensure survival of the clan, nothing more. And let's face it, it really needs nothing more.
    We still need that ethical practice of sharing to survive as a species.

    Does the ethical thinking that allows human society and civilization to survive and prosper need martyrs and prophets and gruesome threats and mythical creative beings to enable our psyches to grasp those simple principles? I personally don't see any need for the 'packaging' at all.

    But it does fascinate me why others can't make those simple ethical decisions merely because they are right decisions, and instead need to refer to "what would ...insert deity here.... do?".
    Why can't they think and decide for themselves? Why don't they instinctively know what is the right way to live? Why do they need to be threatened with hellfire and brimstone if they don't toe the 'religious' line?
    Does that indicate that all 'religious people' are evil at heart and have to be constantly beaten back into line? Really? I don't think that either.
    So why the need for those 'tinselled up beliefs' at all???


    That was a little intense for a first foray onto the forum perhaps, but it really is a subject rarely raised on general forums and piqued my interest.
    I'll try and be a little more laidback in future. :rolleyes:;)
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Why on earth would someone have to keep quiet about their faith. Just as those who have no faith are quite free to express their non-beliefs, so then should those of faith be free to express whatever it is that they believe in.

    I understand that you don't, but think of this. If you believed that you knew something that had the power to keep others from having to suffer for eternity, what kind of a person would you be if you kept it to yourself?
     
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  10. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    It amazes me that we have so many people that want to come into the religious thread, just for the point of saying they don't believe in God.
    If a topic interests you, then join in on the discussion; but when you have no interest in discussing religious viewpoints, and don't even like the topic; why bother to make a post just to say you are against something ? ? Or to tell someone it is fine if you believe in God; but don't talk about it ? (even though it is a thread to talk about God)
    If we had a thread on a forum about learning how to perform rap music; and I am sure not interested in learning that; I would simply not post in that topic, and leave it to people that do want to talk about rap music.
    Even though religion is a "hot button" topic, it doesn't make any sense to me to just post in a thread to say you are against it. No one here is trying to "push religion" on anyone as far as I can see.
    Live and let live.....
     
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  11. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    I noticed that atheists were denigrated and presumed that made it okay to state my case opposing that view? It appears not.

    But okay, fine. If religion is too delicate to brook any outside views I'll just leave you to it. Knock yourselves out. Just leave we 'atheists' out of it if you forbid any input beyond your own beliefs okay???

    Tch, and stop confusing us by inferring that we are somehow included in your discussions by being mentioned, and yet obviously ... not. :cool:
     
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  12. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    Actually, that is not what I was trying to express. I think that people should be able to believe---or NOT believe--in God. I don't like having religion pushed on me, and I do believe in God. I just don't see not being able to discuss things without having it become a battle of what is right or wrong to believe.
    Be welcome here, Val. Say your piece. But do expect those who do have a belief in God to defend their right to that belief; just as you defend your right not to believe.
    I am sure that a "Val Cary" will liven up the forum tremendously ! So swing your hatchet; just don't chop any heads, Val.......
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Perhaps I missed it but, until it was suggested that people of faith should keep it to themselves, I didn't see anyone suggesting that those without faith should keep quiet about it. In most cases, I am inclined to leave it up to the person who begins a thread to determine whether something is on-topic or off-topic. I don't read anything in the opening post that would suggest that someone couldn't say that they didn't believe in God, but I am quite sure that the reverse wasn't true.

    A larger degree of tolerance is to be expected in the "Hot Button Issues" section, but let's be extra careful to disagree with civility and a degree of respect for one another. I am a believer. Just what I believe, I'll probably bring up at some later date, but my beliefs only trump yours if I prove to be right in the end, but I doubt we'll be discussing that here.
     
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  14. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    Ken, sorry not ignoring you just failed to notice your post.
    Could I just explain that my view of 'having the power to keep others from having to suffer for eternity' is why I'm endeavouring to explain that there is no eternity question to consider. My 'belief' is that we are no more aware of our death than we are of our impending conception.

    It is simply a crying tragedy to me that so many waste the only life they are sure of by inflicting deprivation and suffering upon themselves as though that will buy them a ticket to a better seat in the next one.
    Revel in the life you have! Appreciate it! Live this one to the best of your ability and with the best intentions and care for others as you can and you will be free of any fears awaiting in the 'afterlife'. I don't believe there is one but others are perfectly entitled to think so. But why make it all sooooo hard?

    But, I don't go door to door nor 'preach' from a soap box about my views on life and death. That's what 'religions' do.
    I only respond when others denigrate my 'atheist' practice of living by a code of ethics alone as 'evil'. I really do resent that.

    If you don't see where I'm coming from on that point that then maybe you're not thinking about it hard enough.
     
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  15. Allie Seay

    Allie Seay Active Member
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    Hi Val, welcome to the club. I see this isn't going to be your favorite forum, or at least not your favorite thread; but there are plenty of others to choose from. I know you'll find some you enjoy.

    Hi also to Frederick, Michelle and Betty, none of whom I had met until now.

    I think we each can meet and greet and make the most out of seniors only. It promises to be engaging.
    And fun!
    Hey! We're big kids now.:)
     
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  16. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    I can see, Val, and all, that we might even have a little intelligent discourse and study on the freedom of speech here. So, after reading all of the replies to the thread, I see that you are a fellow pot stirrer. The thing we really have to watch out for is what kind of pot are we stirring. I prefer good old beans with a chunk of fat in it. Plenty of protein and the stuff that keeps a body moving along nicely. It is much better and more appetizing than the type of pot I am used to. If you will, please have a seat and let us reason with one another.

    You see, what you have proposed is total subjectivity on your part. What you believe is not objective in any way to you and so you must have a go at silencing those who speak about their own personal beliefs. I do find that in this particular format you are indeed in error. If you walk into my home you will be subject to whatever beliefs and mannerisms that I choose to entertain and the same with yours. This, dear Val, is a forum and under no subjective rules other than those of the polite nature. Everything dealing with ones faith is only subjective to the person wielding the sword.

    You said that atheism is not a religion. It is by DEFINITION. It's weird I know, that no definition of any kind says, "According to Bobby," or, "according to Val" or anyone else. So, let's take that piece of subjectivity off of the board.

    Now then, let's see. Oh yes, belief in and on. You must be aware that even I have a problem with folks who merely believe "IN" someone might be, say, do, or command. ie: I know O'Bama exists. Everyone knows O'Bama exists and who he is. But do I, for one, believe him..No, he lies too much for me to believe even the smallest thing he says. If he said that 1+1=2, I would have to commit myself to research in order to believe it. What does O"Bama have to do with God? I believe God, I believe Jesus but I do not believe O'Bama. You see, now we have changed the objective into a totally different realm of a belief system.

    Now, about proofs. God has been proven mathematically. For one, Benzmuller and Paleo's research team (of the neutrino fame) have proven mathmatically and logically that there is indeed an intelligent force which created the universe. Others before and after the research can only come up with objective data at best. I really shouldn't wax proficient in mathematical data because I never, ever indicated that my wheelhouse was in Math.

    About Christmas and Holidays and Santa Claus. By pure merit that you called Christmas by name, the irrefutable indication is that you cannot break away from the tradition of the name which give the definition of atheist bad character. Christmas gives credit to Christ ergo if you are a non-believer of the Christ why do you not just call it "gift giving day, or " my presents are coming day," or something that does not give merit to the holiday? Nope......you can't call it x-mas either because the X is indicative of Christ by the Greeks. Nope.....You can't call it a "holiday"because again the word denotes a " holy day." And Santa Claus really did exist as did St. Nick and a few others. So, you can't use that comparison.
    But, because you do have freedom of speech you can call anything you want anything at all. It really does not matter in the course of human celebrations what name we apply, merely the reason we apply it. In this case, while the birthday of Jesus is not really known, 25 Dec. has been chosen as a believers holy day in celebration of His birth. Why atheists even exchange gifts on that day is beyond me. Certainly it is not the least expensive time of the year which makes atheists who do celebrate the day illogical.

    I could really go on and on and waste a whole lot of time. There are those, such as yourself, who deem that having a belief system in regard to diety is dangerous and well might be right in many ways. There are some people who want to gain wealth and power by manipulating others into doing their will. Bagdadhi is one such person. It does not matter what he personally believes, but what he can make others believe. It reminds me of the Warner Brothers cartoon called Pinkie and the Brain. Two mice, one with a huge brain, and one follower trying to take over the world.

    As a small finish to a somewhat wordy expository, it might be fitting if the non-believers start their own thread so you can study each others methodology as do those of faith in other threads. A block for those of faith does not mean we are trying to convert anyone to our way of thinking. We merely strengthen each other through study and fellowship. Some of our answers to our particular problems and successes cannot be enjoyed properly by those of nil faith in diety. Why try to interlope subjective negativity into a subject you can neither apply logic or method to beause of your own lack of beliefs? Are you trying to convert "us" or make excuses for your lack of intelligent faith?
    The other question I almost forgot to apply myself to which I will paraphase. Why would intelligent people believe in God or moreover......believe God. My IQ is extremely high, I believe Him because I simply do.
     
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  17. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    Are you on for a ramble? Val's the name, rambling's game. I thought I'd lay it all out at once in case I upset someone have to make a strategic exit.
    I don't intend to, I just have a habit of saying what I think instead of saying what people want to hear. Sorry about that. But I do try hard not to be rude about it.

    What absolute rubbish Bob. The only ones I have an interest in silencing are those who are in my doorway forcing their beliefs into my ears, and those presenting lies and theories as facts to the public in general. Don't 'wrap' what I said in wrongly labeled paper, people get confused enough on this subject without twisting meanings.

    Silencing the opposition is the tactic of those who have something to hide. Religions invented heresy, atheists didn't!

    I think I've been open enough with how my views were formed and why I don't need faith in anything more than the capacity of human beings to think for themselves and make their own decisions based on their own experiences, consciences, and logical conclusions rather than to unquestiongly do the bidding of religion's salesmen.

    It's the salesmen I take issue with, not the believers.

    I'm not here to argue religion per se, just to correct the implication that atheism too is a religion. For some of the more outraged types it may approach that, BUT they are anti-theists, not atheists.
    As you were at pains to point out there are many layers and types of so called atheists, just as there are of theists. The subject is complex and confusing and it's riddled with the bewildered on both sides.

    It is as unfair to include everyone who has no need of belief in the supernatural with the ranting idiots who 'hate' a god that they insist doesn't exist as it would be to declare that anyone with a belief in God is by nature a murdering zealot.
    Perhaps those labelling themselves as being associated with a particular brand of a bad religion makes them somewhat responsible for the performance of its other adherents, but a general belief in deities doesn't make them bad people.
    Lack of belief doesn't either.

    There are crazies on all sides of the argument. One side's crazies are more motivated to commit violence than the other, but I'll leave you to figure out which is which. (and why.)

    If you want to discuss your differing views on the aspects of your beliefs you can do that just fine without me. But once atheism is included in the mix then I feel it is okay for me to steer you away from misconceptions, whether gained by a misunderstanding or deliberately planted, about what atheism really means.
    Some equate atheism with Satanism how idiotic is that? Atheists have nothing whatever to do with religion. They don't believe in it remember?
    I see no reason why you would refer to them as relevant at all. Why not just leave them out of the discussion?
    I can guarantee that Creationists beliefs are never included in serious discussions of how Physics works.

    I don't care if g/God/s exist or not, I don't need them so it doesn't matter. My only interest in religion is from the psychological point of view. Why it is so firmly embedded in the psyche. How did it get that way? Why do people need it? Who is behind it being infused into people's consciousness from the time they are born? Why do they deem it necessary to even do that? But most importantly, why do people fall for all the 'wrappings' and have so much trouble following the basic original principles?
    Why do they prefer the razzmatazz rituals and wrappings aspect of it?

    If it's any consolation I find the same syndrome of ultra-fandom equally fascinating. What makes people need to feel association with something intangible? What is missing from their lives?

    I'll leave you alone in the subject of discussing sects. Not because as Allie remarked it may not be my favourite thread, on the contrary, but simply because I don't care about the various brands of religion. I won't be buying any of them.

    It is one of quite a few favourite subjects, I cruise many forums discussing this stuff, looking for that insight into what makes people tick. I find atheists every bit as interesting and complicated to figure out so I've been to skeptical forums and theists ones and general and seniors ones, even the full on mad fan club and 'geek' ones looking for patterns of thinking and reasons, and they're all really scarily similar.

    All full of closed minds thumping their own tubs and very very few who are confident enough in their opinions to express just how they came to those conclusions and to explain their thinking processes without getting all 'offended'.
    Most have no idea why they think the way they do. No idea at all. They simply haven't thought about it, just shrugged and accepted what they've been told and get 'offended' when called on it.

    But Bob, to get back to your highly practiced if somewhat empty responses.

    Not 'we' Bob. You have twisted the argument to fit in with your preconceived order of textbook responses. We all pretty much recognize that tactic.

    More empty waffle Bob, sorry but just what else is that little marketing bonanza in December going to be called? Oh, and did I glimpse another carefully placed insinuation that 'defined' atheists are of 'bad character' ? Tut on you Bob. A 'subliminal' tactic. You're lucky I'm very difficult to offend.

    So tell us, is there some point in giving it a name thousands of years out of date and in another language?? To posit that as some kind of argument, which is pretty hazy judging by that last sentence, is really scraping the ridiculous barrel.
    As the saying goes sometimes a banana is just a banana.

    The key word is 'tradition' it's the latest traditional name given to a very very old festival. That misguided atheists think they should change the current name of it to prove a point is as stupid as proclaiming that my calling it Christmas 'proves' I believe in Christianity or gods in general. That's infantile stuff. You can do better than that Bob.

    Does uttering the name of, for e.g. Drakensberg, translated as Dragon Mountain prove that all Sth Africans believe in dragons?? At least let's keep the analogies logical okay?

    Now that illustrates your very narrow religiously biased view of how things are. Let me explain where you went wrong there.

    Speaking personally I don't 'celebrate' it much now due to having very little family left to celebrate it with but did in the past.
    It was never 'religiously based' to us. It was used as a time to gather together and be a family and close friends. Most appear to treat Thanksgiving as just that opportunity, with us it had to be Christmas.

    It's just a date on the calendar that everyone can plan around to get together. I can only speak of my own personal experience, reasons vary with the individuals, you'd need to ask all of them to get definitive answers. Got the time? If not then rethink the generalization.

    We didn't even think about that original purpose of the bonding and sharing festival aspect although that was basically what it meant to us.
    It was merely the time of year for a catch up, chat, knees-up, a few drinks and a really big dinner. Together.

    It was a family tradition which had nothing whatever to do with organized religion or superstition.
    If someone brought a guest who felt the need to say grace that was accommodated with not a murmur, the odd bemused expression perhaps, but no hint of protest, and we would bow heads accordingly so as not to embarrass them. It really didn't matter a jot to us either way. If they felt better doing that then fine. Who cared?
    (I used to be a tad chagrined that God got the gratitude for the money it cost and the effort that went into preparing it, but hey, tradition right?)

    Can't Christians manage to do that Christmas 'gathering and sharing tradition' without it having to be significantly religion based?? Why not? It's a pretty good idea, a human idea, celebrated by humans who care about each other.

    Why isn't it a celebration of the birth of human generated ethically sound good intent? Why does it need to be personified by Jesus or Santa at all? It is a celebration of all of humanity's better points, not just carefully chosen particular ones.

    I think that changing history to overlay the Jesus legends onto the already set festivals of MidWinter and Spring Solstice says a lot more about the basic cynicism of Christianity than about that of atheists. But wadda I know? You're the expert right?
     
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  18. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    Part 2 ... While I'm at it may as well get it all done.

    You are kidding right? Even although you admit, that like myself, you are not well versed in maths, you still unequivocally accept the results of these mathemeticians? Perhaps they are akin the "Finnish Philosophers" a devoted Creationist quotes on other forums as proving God exists because these philosophers are atheists yet still tell us that a supernatural entity created the Universe.

    Well, well, there's some proof for ya eh? He or they couldn't be just plain lying about that now could they?
    How reliably unbiased were those mathematicians? Why would they be trying to prove that God is an equation if they didn't already firmly believe in the existence of deities to begin with? Very suspect credentials there Bob.

    Neutrinos are a discovery that can be proven by repeated application of scientific procedures by other scientists. Those mathematical theories cannot be tested materially and remain only a theory, and an odd one at that.
    Sure those references to equations and 'neutrinos' and other quasi scientific proofs that the subject debaters trot out may impress the non academic and those not interested in science. Big words tend to have that effect.

    I can steer you to some forums with people much better credentialed than I who actually are 'rocket scientists', physicists, etc, career scientists, and have all the big word proofs needed to explain to you exactly why the Universe doesn't need supernatural power sources to exist. They probably won't even 'offend' you.

    They didn't have to convince me. My views were already formed by time I could read books without pictures in them. They may though help with the mistaken identification of theorized fantasies as facts. They can teach us how to tell the difference.

    But this is not the place. To be honest, I'm about over batting at the 'proofs' fired on the subject from either side of it. I'm out... unless someone mistakenly labels what atheism means.. again. Keep to what you know about. I get a bit tetchy about misconstrued isms. I'll try and straighten you out on what I know about or find you a Google link with a correct definition if you call on me. (As if) Deal?

    There is no point whatever in arguing the validity of religion. I have a forum friend of many years who is a Christian. We stage mock debates now and then for the entertainment of the members on quiet forums. Neither will ever budge the others' viewpoint and we accept that and remain friends.
    We simply enjoy the arguments. But we are well aware that it is just a pleasant way to waste some time.

    It's fun. It keeps our minds sharp. I makes us think about exactly what is we do an don't believe in. We are under no illusion that what the other says is harmful or offensive to us personally. It is merely a word game that we play on forums. People like that are very hard to find, too hard sadly. Most are so sensitively defensive of their opinions that they howl for moderators to save them from 'offence' where none was intended.

    Strangely enough the only forum I've ever been on which has never had a flame war, howls for help, nor a member banned, is one which isn't moderated at all other than for screening out spammers.

    The offended can unsubscribe whenever they like but if they stick around then they'd better have their points in order, and their facts proven.
    No holds barred, no bad language bleeped, yet it's the most level headed forum I'm yet to see. It's also crewed by some of the funniest and most knowledgeable members I've been honored to be welcomed among. Funny that eh?

    It seems to prove that enforced politeness and overly delicate sensibilities can be quite a handicap to gaining insight into things outside of our comfort zones. Pity. We never learn if we never listen.

    I don't have to defend my philosophy because I don't give a toss if anyone shares it or not. It doesn't matter. I'm not selling it.
    I only weigh in to sort out those darned ism misconceptions if I can. Atheism didn't cast the first stone here folks.... and to be honest I noticed the post in a bored moment and succumbed to the temptation to have a go at it. Shouldn't have done that perhaps but there you go. Old habits and all that.
    And don't take it all so serious. It's all just a theory which will never be proven and there will never be prizes awarded to the winners.
    Oh, wait... sorry. It's the prizes that are important in some religions isn't it?
    Like I said, it's a complicated business but at least I'm doing this ramble for the sheer fun of it and no hope of heavenly reward whatever.


    Helloooo? .... anyone still awake?
     
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  19. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    No Val, I am going to bed. Your tirade made me tired. Goodnight!
     
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  20. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    That was a rather gentle ramble Bob, tirades are whole different ball game, and I don't really do them.

    But Goodnight to you too.:)
     
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  21. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    So anyone who believes something other than what you believe has a closed mind?
     
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  22. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    No Ken, far from it, many atheists are the biggest tub thumpers of all. And many of them are the most easily offended. I'm referring to all of our set ideas. Mine included. I'm trying to convey that settling for just one 'answer' and building a wall around it is a pretty silly way to think.
    My lack of belief came by way of never having been raised with the 'facts' that gods existed and so never needed them as an explanation for things I didn't understand.
    I'm a bit unusual in that I guess as most atheists came to their conclusions by other routes. But it has enabled me to view things unencumbered by preset presumptions if you take my meaning.
    You show me God and I'm open to rethinking the philosophy. Is that fair enough?
    But don't come knocking on my door to show me, that won't work. [​IMG]

    I hope I don't come across as the usual 'god hating religion bashing atheist' as I'm actually not all that intense about it.
    I don't, and can't hate a being I've never believed existed. That makes no sense whatever to me, or anyone.

    What I object to, hate is too strong a word, is not religion itself, but those who profess to have God's private phone number and make a living out of interceding with (him/she/it) on behalf of paying devotees. I object to religion's 'salesmen/brokers/go-betweens/shamans' etc. They have no right to pretend they have the ear of whatever God they represent. That is fraud.

    I look at the religion issue in much the same light as I view politics. An interesting exercise in watching the strange things we humans choose to believe.
    It seems it doesn't matter which side you line up on you can't trust that they're any better than the other.

    I realise that many aforesaid ... what is the generic term for preachers/priests and such?... are perfectly good people doing what they honestly believe is right. And many indeed are an indispensable part of their societies. When they comfort the sick and dying, counsel and steer the 'lost' back to useful lives, arrange charity and care for the helpless etc they are exemplary people. But it is my contention that these people could still do that without the trimmings and psychobabble of sermons and parables. Good deeds shouldn't need to be wrapped up as anything more than the kindness and humanity of the giver. I feel they deserve the plaudits not 'God'.

    It may amaze you to know that among my short list of public figures I really admire are two of those very generic 'shamans'. One is Protestant, the Rev Bill Crewes who has for decades rescued and fed and provided medical care to the homeless for no discernible reward except that he feels right about doing it. Is that because of his religion or because he is basically a highly principled and ethically motivated man? I believe he would do that if religion played no part in it all. It is his nature.

    The other is of all things a Roman Catholic Priest. Fr Chris Riley. Despite all the bad press they've had and the fact that he has foregone his preaching role to devote all his time to the "Kids off the Streets" Organization, which could be a hair-raising prospect given their track record of late, I'm yet to hear a single whispered bad rumour about this guy.

    I have however heard from plenty of dead-end end drug addict throw-away kids who are now in Universities and jobs and making good lives for themselves thanks primarily to him. . But also to a now sadly dead, great lady who was the Chamber Magistrate who spotted these kids, and directed them to Fr Riley's 'boot camp' to straighten them out rather than sending them to jail. Her name deserves a mention too, Barbara Hollingsworth, a good person. No idea if she was religious but she didn't need to be, you know?

    It isn't the fact that someone believes in deities or not that motivates their behaviour, it's their own mind that does that. The beliefs dwell in the individual, they don't need to gather in their thousands, nor 'deify' their head 'shaman', or take up arms to behead those who don't share their exact interpretation of 'God's will.'
    All they have to do is be satisfied that they are right in their beliefs, for themselves,,and not insist that all agree with them.
    That is what I meant about keeping it private but I should have termed it 'keeping it individual'. Sure compare versions but no one can read what is in anothers mind to really understand their concept of belief, in that way it is an individual thing.

    Religion only gets people into trouble when the fraudulent shamans/mullahs/etc force their agenda motivated 'divine interpretation' of texts upon the believers. How many suicide bombers come to that decision if they haven't had any contact with instigators shoving the ideas into their heads? I bet not too many of them are deaf. (too cynical?)

    Sorry, I do tend to get wordy.:(

    One last point just occurred to me, it was something I read in another thread and can't remember by who now but it went along the lines of his contention that God just made the Universe and then left it to run unattended. Now there is a theory I can live with. Not believe, but happily live with. It is win/win. It acknowledges the creation theory for those who need that but it abrogates the necessity of all that 'fancy wrapping' that goes along with most religions.

    I really like that one, and I think I forgot to 'like' it as I'm not a Facebook person and don't really know how that works and certainly not used to seeing it on forums. So apologies if I've missed some I should have acknowledged.:)
     
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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I am going to trust that this doesn't mean that every thread in the Faith & Religion sub-forum is going to be hijacked by someone who will insist that those who believe in God are closed-minded idiots, because that wouldn't be acceptable. If you want to start a thread about why you believe that there is no God, feel free to do so, but not everyone shares your beliefs.
     
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  24. Val Carey

    Val Carey Member
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    You obviously didn't read the post but never mind there is a really simple solution to your problem Ken.

    Stop asking me questions and I'll stop answering. No brainer.
     
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  25. Admin

    Admin Forum Administrator
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    If you want to debate the existence of God, you will have to do so in a thread of your own. You are welcome to start such a thread, and anyone who wants to do so may join you there. This is a faith and religion category, so if you have no faith or religion, perhaps you should try another section of the forum.
     
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