Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

in reality, all of this has been a total load of old bollocks

Is there a god?

There is a god.
16
21%
There isn't a god.
44
57%
I don't know.
17
22%
 
Total votes: 77

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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Copehead » 12 Nov 2011, 23:36

Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Copehead wrote:


Imagining or even wanting a world without religion does not mean that you wish to divorce society from its religious roots, Dawkins, as I have said, has fully acknowledged societies religious roots, and their importance in the development of society.

I think you are just failing to understand what Dawkins is on about, he doesn't want to divorce us from a religious past, which is impossible as it has already occurred and is fact, he wants to divorce us from a religious future, which is thoroughly admirable as religion seems to produce far more evil in the world than good.


You are splitting hairs. Whether he acknowledges the past is meaningless and beside the point. How is wanting to "divorce us from a religious future" not the same as divorcing us from our roots? He is seeking to sever those roots and take us an entirely new direction. Hence my comment.


Because divorcing us from what has already occurred is logically impossible and therefore not what he was on about.

He acknowledges that religion played a major part in our development and states that its time has passed, now it is reactionary and a brake on progress, has been for 100s of years.

We no longer need to appeal to supernatural agencies to understand nature we have science, that being the case religion, unless one can't del with ones own mortality, is pointless.

That is what he is saying, he on;y wants to divorce religion from society not individuals.

Believe whatever mumbo jumbo you want - don't legislate for it.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Copehead » 12 Nov 2011, 23:51

Medb wrote:
Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Medb wrote:I wonder why you'd jump to the conclusion that I was saying you were ignorant? This is despite my disclaimer within that post which said "...before you get all defensive and claim I think you're ignorant...". Could it be that you know how ridiculous your god appears to someone like me?


I didn't jump to that conclusion. I criticized you for calling people of faith ignorant.

You didn't call me ignorant till the next post.


Subtleties just seem to go right over your head don't they?

I wasn't suggesting all theists were ignorant. I said that religion thrives among the poor and ignorant. It does. That's a fact. It's dying in the educated populations and thriving in the poor, uneducated populations.

Now if you take from that that I'm saying you, or in fact all, theists are ignorant then that's quite ignorant of you, which is what I said in my next post :D


You can't get around the fact that the more highly educated people are the less religious they become.

It doesn't directly correlate disbelief with intelligence, but close enough. There will always be a few outliers like Collins.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby never/ever » 12 Nov 2011, 23:54

Copehead wrote:You can't get around the fact that the more highly educated people are the less religious they become.


Can you prove that?
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 00:20

Copehead wrote:You can't get around the fact that the more highly educated people are the less religious they become.

It doesn't directly correlate disbelief with intelligence, but close enough. There will always be a few outliers like Collins.


Medb used the words " poor and ignorant" - not educated. I'm sure he appreciates the assist as you try to shift the goalposts for him, but hopefully I don't have to explain to anyone else but him why his contention is elitist.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 00:27

Copehead wrote:
Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Copehead wrote:Imagining or even wanting a world without religion does not mean that you wish to divorce society from its religious roots, Dawkins, as I have said, has fully acknowledged societies religious roots, and their importance in the development of society.

I think you are just failing to understand what Dawkins is on about, he doesn't want to divorce us from a religious past, which is impossible as it has already occurred and is fact, he wants to divorce us from a religious future, which is thoroughly admirable as religion seems to produce far more evil in the world than good.


You are splitting hairs. Whether he acknowledges the past is meaningless and beside the point. How is wanting to "divorce us from a religious future" not the same as divorcing us from our roots? He is seeking to sever those roots and take us an entirely new direction. Hence my comment.


Because divorcing us from what has already occurred is logically impossible and therefore not what he was on about.

He acknowledges that religion played a major part in our development and states that its time has passed, now it is reactionary and a brake on progress, has been for 100s of years.

We no longer need to appeal to supernatural agencies to understand nature we have science, that being the case religion, unless one can't del with ones own mortality, is pointless.

That is what he is saying, he on;y wants to divorce religion from society not individuals.

Believe whatever mumbo jumbo you want - don't legislate for it.


We can go around and around if you want. My initial statement still stands. The notion that society can or will remake itself in Dawkins' or you image is not only hubris. It is rank stupidity.

And as a side note: Stop this shit about "supernatural agencies". One can believe in God and believe in nothing supernatural.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 00:37

Zeke wrote:
Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:Zeke - this is the argument you made

I'd say any use of the resources gained by being a religious organization (donations and anything bought with those donations) to promote a specific political agenda (e.g. vote this way, support this ballot initiative and so forth) should forfeit that church's exempt status. Preaching moral and social values is one thing. That's supposedly the province of religion. But advocating specific candidates and policies crosses that line IMHO.


The law - even the law you continually cite - does not back you up on that point. I think I've established that pretty clearly.


Which I then elaborated upon and amended from "any" to "significant" when pointing out the existing laws. What you quote above is my opinion hence the "IMHO" at the end. I'd certainly like to see much more stringent restrictions.

Again, are you really as, well, not bright as you appear to be? Or are we talking about being intentionally obtuse? Just sort of playing the moron for effect?

I must say that if it's an act it's very convincing.

Kudos.


Ah now you resort to personal attacks. A sure sign you've lost a debate.

Zeke - whether you softened your stance somewhere over the course of the conversation as it became impossible to maintain your initial position does not matter. Your argument was about the overall tax exemption of religious institutions, not simply their 501(c)3 status. The two are not the same. And that is a fact - I don't need to add IMHO to run away from it later.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby toomanyhatz » 13 Nov 2011, 00:42

Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Copehead wrote:You can't get around the fact that the more highly educated people are the less religious they become.

It doesn't directly correlate disbelief with intelligence, but close enough. There will always be a few outliers like Collins.


Medb used the words " poor and ignorant" - not educated. I'm sure he appreciates the assist as you try to shift the goalposts for him, but hopefully I don't have to explain to anyone else but him why his contention is elitist.


Medb is a she, I'm pretty sure.

As far as the above correlation, I'm fairly certain well-educated/wealthier people also tend to be more politically conservative, so I'm not sure anyone should be using it as any judge of "rightness."
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 00:52

More money to protect.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 01:05

Jimmy Jazz wrote:
Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:More money to protect.


You believe what you wanna believe.


You think that doesn't play into why people become more politically conservative?
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 01:13

I'm talking about larger swaths of people - not our own social circles.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Shaun » 13 Nov 2011, 01:47

So god isn't needed to explain existence, it has been reduced as a concept to some deist form of "nature" or "oneness" as science closes gaps of knowledge, as a corollary there is no good evidence that says god exists, it has little to no influence on our lives as human beings....what's the point in believing in such a thing? Is death really so frightening that it reduces the human mind to such an undignified state?

God gave you the gift of reason. Why don't you use it and work out that the existence of deities is extremely improbable? On top of that, the probability that the god you personally believe in exists is vanishingly small.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 02:17

Shaun wrote:So god isn't needed to explain existence, it has been reduced as a concept to some deist form of "nature" or "oneness" as science closes gaps of knowledge


I'm willing to argue that monotheistic religion has always had at its highest levels intellectuals who posited a pretty amorphous concept of God. I don't think science has reduced it much. I think bad theology has become popular enough over the years that a different impression may have been created, but the precedent for a mysterious God exists all the way back to the old testament.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Chuck [Bot] » 13 Nov 2011, 02:27

The original thought which prompted this thread was that I also just don't get why people believe in something so intangible. One possibility for The thread was to maybe have some people explain why they do or don't believe in whatever you want to name it him them she.

That would be more interesting than all this dick-slap we've been enjoying for the last few days. It could be a genuine sharing of points of reference.

Personally, despite having been in a school where praying, hymn singing and general god referencing was rife from the age of five to eleven, I never have believed it for a second; never had any type of feeling there was any presence of god nor seen any evidence to suggest the whole thing is anything but make-believe.

I always felt astounded and somewhat disappointed when people I knew turned out to feel there might be some form of intelligence watching over us. I don't understand how intelligent people could possibly think that.

If you believe in god, why do you? What makes you think it all isn't merely the product of human imagination?
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 07:57

Chuck_Yoghurt wrote:The original thought which prompted this thread was that I also just don't get why people believe in something so intangible. One possibility for The thread was to maybe have some people explain why they do or don't believe in whatever you want to name it him them she.

That would be more interesting than all this dick-slap we've been enjoying for the last few days. It could be a genuine sharing of points of reference.


No doubt. Certainly that's the spirit with which I entered into the first several of these threads I participated in. Sadly no conversation on the subject of faith has even been allowed to go any other direction but the one you've witnessed here.

But what the hell - I'll try again (and again, and again). Watch what happens.

I was not born into a particularly religious family. My parents were Jewish, but neither were practicing Jews. My mother identified as a Jew culturally. My father dabbled with Eastern religions, finally arriving at Huna - a new age Hawiian religion. I don't think he practices it though - I simply think he had read about it and found it appealing.

My grandparents were not particularly religious either. My grandfather on my mother's side openly described himself as an atheist. My other grandparents all identified as Jews, but none were particularly observant. I went to Hebrew school and we belonged to a temple, but we seldom went and barely observed holidays. I never quite understood why I was sent to Hebrew school. I think it mattered to my grandparents on my father's side. My paternal grandfather drove me over the hill from the San Fernando Valley every week for six months in preparation for for my Bar Mitzvah. I'm glad he did as he only lived about a year an a half after the event. Those car trips we took together were the only time I ever got to spend alone with him getting to know who he was. In retrospect, that time with him was the beginning of my seeing the value of religion. I saw in a literal way how tradition can tie the generations together.

I was an atheist throughout my youth. I saw religious people as cartoons. I saw my Judaism as a thing to be hidden. Something I'd be hated for by some, looked down upon by others, and joked about by almost everyone. I was a target for Christian evangelists worried about my soul. I was going to hell they told me. A chunk of my family tree had died at the hands of Nazis, so being a Jew seemed to have very few advantages. In the media we were buffoons. Jewishness was nebbishy and loud and to be laughed at. I learned to joke about it first before anyone else said anything.

In junior high I was caught not saying the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance. I resented being made to say it - in fact I still do. My homeroom teacher took it upon himself to make sure I said it. he singled me out in front of the class and made me explain to everyone why I wouldn't say it. He stood next to me every morning to hear the words come out of my mouth. If i didn't say it, I had to do pushups in front of the whole class. I did them every day that semester. I could have reported him but I began to enjoy doing the pushups every day as a way of flipping him the bird. I began reading the scriptures of all religions with an agenda of negation.

My best friend during those years came from a pretty religious background. I was cruel to him - mocking him for what I saw as the stupidity of his beliefs. He stopped hanging around with me when it got too thick. We lost touch for 20 years over it. I was an asshole. I knew it even then. As sure as I was that there was no God, I also knew that the people I was judging and mocking led more soulful lives than mine. They were nicer people than the person I was turning out to be. The more reactionary I became about religion, the more I disliked the person it made me into. I didn't want to be that guy. But I didn't want to be religious either. I didn't know what to be.

As I got older I began to spend time with people who were very different from me. I became a musician and spent time around other musicians - often the ones I admired most sang songs about their spirituality. They challenged my preconceptions. They were smart, tough-minded - everything I wanted to be. Meanwhile I'd find myself going back to the religious songs of folks like Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and responding to gospel and gospel influenced R&B. My own religious training (as scant as it was) began to start coming back to me. In particular the idea of a God for whom one could never speak his name.

So one night I was explaining to my father why I was an atheist. I told him what I did believe in - the unknowable mystery at the core of it all. He looked at me and said, "so why not call that God" and all at once things clicked in place for me. The God I'd been rebelling against was the version represented to me by humans. I suddenly understood what "no man sees my face and lives" meant. I understood what the idea of an incorporeal and unknowable God meant. It was simple and elegant. Most importantly, I began to see that this was not simply my notion of God, but one that was wholly consistent with the God described in Judaism.

As I've gotten older and dealt with challenges, this idea has continued to deepen for me and animates my life in ways I never would have imagined. Instead of standing on the outside judging others as they worship, I find that I am able to connect deeply with others and myself when I allow myself to worship with them. Moreover, I find that I've softened to all people of faith. I accept their prayers - even their attempts at conversion with empathy. I empathize with people who do not believe as well. I know where they are coming from. I do not believe that every person needs faith. It has value for those who find value in it. One can be a soulful person without it. One can be a jerk with it. The good guys are not all gathered an either side of the line. What matters is kindness and openness of spirit. I try to respond to it whenever it is offered to me. That's why I am bothering to answer this question despite all of the acrimony here. Because Chuck asked with an openness that deserves response.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Medb » 13 Nov 2011, 09:00

Davey, why didn't you give this response days ago? Instead you were evasive and woolly to say the least. It explains a lot, in a way that I can sort of understand, where you stand.

I don't have time to respond at the moment, and I'm sure others will anyway, but I do just want to clarify that I am a woman.

I'm also not an elitist. You completely misunderstood the point I was trying to make.

Western world = Religion dying out, slowly but noticeably. Even in America there are signs that this is happening, however it is far slower than in Europe

3rd World = Religion is thriving. The poor, uneducated people have a greater need for divine intervention. Fuck I can even understand why the poor NEED to look forward to paradise/heaven at the end. They've got lives more miserable than we can ever comprehend and I might not want to face 'this is it, this is all I have'.

There is also a direct correlation that atheists are more likely to be educated to a high standard.

None of the above says I believe all theists are ignorant. Interesting how you choose the 'ignorant' tag and leave the poor. You didn't accuse me of saying all theists were poor. That of course would be ridiculous.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 13 Nov 2011, 09:34

Medb wrote:Davey, why didn't you give this response days ago? Instead you were evasive and woolly to say the least. It explains a lot, in a way that I can sort of understand, where you stand.


Most of that is stuff I've shared before here. Generally it has been met with hostility and mockery. None of what you are seeing take place on this thread is without some history. To the extent it has caused me to be shorter with you (when you did not contribute to that history), I apologize. I also appreciate your willingness to consider my POV with some empathy. That doesn't happen here often when religion is the subject.

I don't have time to respond at the moment, and I'm sure others will anyway, but I do just want to clarify that I am a woman.


Fair enough - and mea culpa for my assuming otherwise.

I'm also not an elitist. You completely misunderstood the point I was trying to make.


No. I got your point the first time you made it. I responded to the word ignorant because it carries a strong level of judgment with it. Calling someone ignorant is not the same as calling them uneducated. Saying "as long as there are poor and ignorant people there will be religion" reads as an elitist statement no matter what explanation you attach to it. I am willing to accept that it was just a poor choice of words and does not reflect your actual feelings if you tell me that is the case. I do get the point you were trying to make - I think the modern world has given us a lot of distractions to invest our energy into, whereas people who lead lives that keep them more rooted to issues of survival and to nature might tend to find more resonance in faith. That might be another way of saying the same thing you said - but I think it is more empathetic.

Anyhow - I'll try to cut you more slack in the future. Nice to have you on the board.
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Chuck [Bot] » 13 Nov 2011, 09:39

Thanks Davey, I enjoyed reading that. I understand how your religious feeling evolved out of that conversation with your father. It seems to me though that your religiousness was already there, when you talk about the 'unknowable mystery at the core of it all'. You used that phrase before on this thread.

There is the difference. I don't know what you mean by that. Can you explain more about it?
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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Medb » 13 Nov 2011, 10:42

I think what happened to you, Davey, is what happens to a lot of young people. Every young person goes through a period of needing to fit in somewhere and you never found your niche. Not surprisingly this angered you and you needed something to attribute that to, and that was your atheism. I have been atheist my whole adult life, I say adult life because I don't believe children understand the notion, but I certainly cannot remember having faith. As I explained in another post, as a very small child religion scared me but I would have been equally scared of monsters at that time and hell seemed pretty, well, hellish.

So, as a young atheist I never experienced the anger you did, or more accurately I never attributed my anger to my atheism. You then found your niche in the form of attributing your feelings to god, you felt this fitted, therefore you fitted somewhere. You say your father searched for a religion that suited his needs too, it seems to me anyway, that this religion you hold needs to fit like a pair of shoes. I'm sorry but that just makes it more meaningless to me. You could quite easily have called this lack of understanding in your life "Bob".

I too would like to know more about the "unknowable mystery at the centre of it all", if you could try to be as clear as in the post I'm addressing that'd be good, I also want to know more about your "worship", what did it do to deserve worship, why do you worship, because from what I've read you don't attribute anything much to it ;)


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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Zeke » 13 Nov 2011, 15:35

Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:Ah now you resort to personal attacks. A sure sign you've lost a debate.

Zeke - whether you softened your stance somewhere over the course of the conversation as it became impossible to maintain your initial position does not matter. Your argument was about the overall tax exemption of religious institutions, not simply their 501(c)3 status. The two are not the same. And that is a fact - I don't need to add IMHO to run away from it later.



Davey, it's not an insult, it's merely a statement of fact. You're acting like an idiot. Whether you genuinely are as idiotic as you appear to be is another matter.

BTW you're wrong. While a church doesn't have to apply for 501c3 status it is still obliged to meet it's requirements to maintain its tax exempt status. Simply not applying doesn't allow a church to skirt them.

From

JACK LANE TAYLOR, Petitioner v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL

Section 508(c)(1)(A) provides that churches, their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of
churches are excepted from the general rule of section 508(a). Section 508(a) provides that organizations described in
section 501(c)(3) and organized after October 9, 1969, are required to apply formally for recognition of their tax-exempt
status. Thus, section 508(c)(1) simply relieves churches from applying for a favorable determination letter regarding
their exempt status as required by section 508(a). Nothing in section 508(c)(1) relieves a church from having to meet the
requirements of section 501©(3).

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Re: Do you or do you not believe there is a god?

Postby Copehead » 13 Nov 2011, 17:34

Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
Copehead wrote:
Davey Avon FatBoy wrote:
You are splitting hairs. Whether he acknowledges the past is meaningless and beside the point. How is wanting to "divorce us from a religious future" not the same as divorcing us from our roots? He is seeking to sever those roots and take us an entirely new direction. Hence my comment.


Because divorcing us from what has already occurred is logically impossible and therefore not what he was on about.

He acknowledges that religion played a major part in our development and states that its time has passed, now it is reactionary and a brake on progress, has been for 100s of years.

We no longer need to appeal to supernatural agencies to understand nature we have science, that being the case religion, unless one can't del with ones own mortality, is pointless.

That is what he is saying, he on;y wants to divorce religion from society not individuals.

Believe whatever mumbo jumbo you want - don't legislate for it.


We can go around and around if you want. My initial statement still stands. The notion that society can or will remake itself in Dawkins' or you image is not only hubris. It is rank stupidity.

And as a side note: Stop this shit about "supernatural agencies". One can believe in God and believe in nothing supernatural.


:lol:

Only if you believe he is a bloke called Colin Patterson who lives at number 33
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