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This is where the principle of negativism comes into play. Our job as rational people are to form ideas about our existence and test them against what we can observe. Through such a method, it is possible to rule out competing theories until we have a perception about our reality that is as near to perfect as we can get it with the tools we possess. We must remain open to the possibility that a new idea could come along any day and completely change the way we view reality. The existence of a god does not stand in the face of competing theories, and therefor I cannot believe in one.

It is also important to realize that gnosticism is not a dichotomy of agnostic or gnostic, but a spectrum of belief. My stance as an atheist is entirely separate from my stance on gnosticism. Personally, I lie very near to the position of gnostic, but because I am negativistic, I believe that there is always some doubt as to what we as people can know absolutely.

I say very nearly because the things we think we know are based on physical evidence, and that is the only tool with which proof can be established. But there is always a window for error or misconception and I accept that as part of knowing. Thank you all very much for your opinions on this subject. Though we may not agree with each other, I believe it is of the utmost importance that we listen and understand. Thanks again. Is everything you believe based on whether or not it is reassuring? Actually, there is no evidence that there is not survival by the consciousness after death.

I seem to recall Gandhi pointed this out. I seem to recall one of the heroes here saying something about an absence of evidence not being evidence of absence too.

Once it stops functioning, it seems a very safe bet that since it was responsible for our feelings, thoughts, et al. Polly, no one has any idea what consciousness is, what it consists of, where it is located, etc. It may turn out to be a lot different from the way we understand it subjectively — i. I dunno. Polly, I believe that Susan Blackmore has made some noise about consciousness not existing, the old 50s line. You might want to check out Blackmore who is pretty much a phony. Look at what her doctoral research consisted of and ask if it would stand even the James Randi level of debunking, nevermind real research critique.

Then, for the next 24 hours, choose not to believe it. When the experiment is over, tell us how it went. All this name dropping really takes away from this discussion. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. Given that privilege, you must back up your opinion with rationality, not an allusion to some neuroscientist or critic of said scientist. The principle that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence is a flimsy defense at best.

I prefer to live my life based on principles proved in the positive , that is to say I choose to believe in things that are proved to be existent and thus not to believe in things yet to be proved nonexistent. Kyle F. That was directly in response to an assertion made by Happy Nat at AM.

I prefer to live my life based on principles proved in the positive, that is to say I choose to believe in things that are proved to be existent and thus not to believe in things yet to be proved nonexistent. Since I ask whenever an assertion such as the one I quote above is made, please give a positive proof that that the separation of church and state is a good thing. I fully intend to not go without it while you are trying. You might want to consider what other unprovable things you are going to have to do without to satisfy your ideal of positive proof.

I believe he says pretty much this in the book you mention. And that those effects can be passed on to offspring over generations. Evolutionary psychology has always been pretty shaky, with all those stories made up for the occasion and the wild assumptions of the kind that prevent the social sciences from being science. I choose to believe in the existence of an entity if its existence is supported through positive proof.

Both exist. Positive proof of existence is concrete. I agree with you wholeheartedly that the governing of a nation should be completely secular. But this is my personal opinion and you will be hard pressed to find empirical evidence to support it. I suppose that you could ask citizens living under differing forms of government if they felt happy, free, or any other number of subjective variables.

If you absolutely demand a proof that a secular state is best, here are the logical steps I took to come to that conclusion. A God belief is irrational because there is no evidence of a higher power. B Even if there does exist a supernatural realm, government is concerned with the operation of the natural. C The decisions concerning the wellbeing of a nation should be made using our powers of reason. D Therefor, states should be separate from the church because A nor B satisfies C.

Does that please you? This includes the beliefs surrounding materialism, which are not known but are habitually asserted as if they are known. That and the condescension that comes with that attitude. Having read widely among religious thinkers, many of them reason at the highest possible level and some practice a very high level of honesty and integrity. The level of material people actual require for acceptance of an idea or belief is almost always short of what is needed to produce proof.

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That includes those who assert that only empirical evidence producing proof is the only acceptable standard. Having had very unruly hair myself for longer than Pinker has been alive, I can tell when someone is enhancing the effect for sartorial purposes. I was going to ask about Pinker. Thanks for the recommendation. The average atheist, has not sufficiently though through these arguments at all, but has simply found an insufficient way to ignore them.

The fulfilment of prophecy can be used to show that the God of the Bible is true. If it can be shown that the words of the prophets were written hundreds of years before the fulfilment of the prophecy, and fulfilled in such a way as to be remarkable, then the book contains evidence that should be examined. Seeking to show that Jesus Christ is a real person who supernaturally fulfilled prophecy is not circular reasoning but is seeking to give true evidence.

If a person claims that they have experienced a miracle then that claim should be tested for its trustworthiness. Arguments that immediately deny such testimony are extremely shallow. Check it out by listening to the story yourself. You can make up your own mind as to the truth of the story, but you cannot deny the fact that thousands upon thousands of people have repented of their sins and put their faith in God through such claimed events as after death experiences. While the mind can be affected by disease, his spirit cannot and therefore his thinking would naturally return.

Fear of death can be a real experience and while a wish of an afterlife is not proof of an afterlife, it is certainly wise to be prepared for an afterlife. If God is true then the atheist should acknowledge that he is on his way to hell. A religion would have to be true for its hell to be true. Our need is to find the true God and in that way you will escape the true hell. Christians have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Atheists have nothing to gain and everything to lose. This is a true statement which should challenge their belief system.

Can the atheist really be assured in his own heart that he has honesty examined everything that has been provided to him for finding God? Maybe there is a spiritual blockage which is stopping him from having discernment. The atheist should question whether his heart is hardened in a state of unbelief due to his own sin and denial of sin. Being so preoccupied with the things of this world can cloud out spiritual things.

Being aware of the end of the world is not a scare tactic but a reality. Your time is short. What the atheist thought was great meaning will turn out to be his own condemnation. Faith in God definitely gives greater meaning to life. If an atheist examined his own life: thinking about what living with faith in God compared to living without faith in God could mean, if he carefully thought through all the options and scenarios, he should be able to see that at the end of the day faith in God gives more meaning.

God demonstrates Himself by certain types of actions. Discerning the hand of God may be difficult for an atheist, but not for those who are spiritual in tune. A belief in moral absolutes is far better than a denial of such. Then we can acknowledge that there will be a Day of Judgment. Those who propose that Jesus was a fictional character ignore basic facts. Atheists constantly fail to impress me. This atheist was definitely not an honest seeker of truth. Atheism is intellectually weak if this is the kind of message atheists pass around with each other. I would take up numbers in more detail, but the problem is that atheists think they have already sufficient thought them through.

There are several books written about proof of Gods existance. However, it is almost futile to convince an atheist to consider this evidence. There are several reasons why — Pride, a need for excuses an alternative, easier approach , over-reasoning this one reminds me of my puppy chasing after its own tail and such.

I used to be an atheist once, but not anymore. Receiving the Lord is really all about having a personal relationship with Him. Nothing anyone can give you. And I can quite understand sketicism and doubt, however when taken to great lengths it ends up being ridiculous, and completely throws reason out the window.

When Skeptics Ask

As for our need for- as you put it- an easier approach, to my mind trying to find out the truth is alot more difficult than having faith. I do have some thoughts on some of the comments Hemant has made, which I will place on the web once I have finished the book. I would like to ask this question though: Hement would I be correct in saying you are a skeptic but not an Atheist?

The reason I say this is that by saying you might change your mind you are in fact stating that there might be evidence that there is a God! Glenn — Thanks for the comment. I do not believe in god s. And yes, I would be willing to change my mind if I saw evidence otherwise. I think most atheists would admit the same thing. Does that make sense? The confusion might come with the definition of atheist. I think I used some of those in my last post..

Hmm, Do all atheists hold to these truths? And if there is no free will why are we even discussing this stuff. A Robot must not hurt humanity or allow humanity to come to harm. A robot must not hurt a human or allow a human to come to harm unless 0. A robot must follow orders unless it contradicts with 1 and 0. Apart from 2, I think these are good general morality codes to live by, although 1 may ben undefinable. More specifically I want to just deal with this one line, since most everything else you have proposed has already been refuted.

This sounds like it comes from someone with a serious entitlement complex and also someone who is unfamiliar with animal behavior in general. To say such a thing as animals are incapable of logic is pretty ridiculous. Sure all animals have certain instincts but also a lot of animal behavior is based on things that they have learned. How else do you learn something except with logic? If I am a rabbit and I was grazing with another rabbit and a wolf came and ate him as I ran away, I know to stay away from that area because there are wolves.

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Why do I know? Dude, just a couple of quick points here- Nobody needs to prove God. To ask a human to prove God is to ask a fender washer to prove a Cadillac. God reveals himself as he pleases, but certainly he has done so through the majesty of our natural world. I am no anthropologist, but I cannot think of any civilization that does not ascribe to some type of creator-deity.

You apparently think about god alot. Second, I think scientific inquiry does a lousy job of disproving Him. It seems the more we learn about the world around us, the more we realize its complexity and obvious organization point to some type of author. As a simplistic example of this; I can remember that in grade school it was thought that it would require 2. Greater complexity has doubled the bake time! Science is not friendly to atheism right now. It seems to me that it takes greater faith and effort to disbelieve in the existence of God.

Nobody needs to prove God. We could spend more time fixing real social, environmental, medical and economic problems. Scientific inquiry is not trying to disprove any gods. I never heard of any scientific inquiry trying such a silly thing. This is the perennial lie of a few fundamentalists who want to discredit all science because some of it contradicts their ancient, obsolete ideas about the world. That is your interpretation of complexity. The control panel of a is bewilderingly complex to the average person, but to a trained pilot it is familiar and simple.

There is nothing about complexity that logically demands that a mind must have created it. Yes, it is a simplistic example. Using a misconception thrown about sloppily 35 years ago to build an argument about how science is on the wrong track now is absurd. That is not an education, that is just more indoctrination. This is another misconception about most of the people here. That would mean they actively believe there is no god. The vast majority of atheists simply have no belief in god. So they simply abstain from belief.

It is difficult for believers to understand that a person can be free of belief, that they are not busy filling in a contradictory belief in place of another one. No belief in gods does not mean belief in no gods. Kevin, it is really a good thing to express your skepticism about things, and I hope you continue to do so. It is always interesting to read threads like this, and a bit frustrating too, because of the lack of agreement. It is tough enough to convince a spouse that you really did leave the toilet seat down, that I really wonder at any attempt by anyone to try and convince anyone of anything more complicated like belief in God, let alone something that is often far removed from it, like religion.

I happen to have grown up an atheist. Not the mealy-mouthed semi-agnostic form, but the fire-breathing anti-God variety. I have always disliked evangelization and still do. It is intrusive, offensive, and often perpetrated by people who have no idea what they are talking about. It is so easy to argue with evangelists, that it takes all the fun out of the effort.

Despite this, I am no longer an atheist, nor even an agnostic. Not because anyone convinced me of anything. No arguments were made, no books read on the subject, no influence whatsoever was applied. What happened was I started making observations of things that were incompatible with scientific orthodoxy. I am pointing out only that, when you lack any personal first hand knowledge of a subject, and this is true of almost every believer AND non-believer on the planet, your argument is bound to be so weak that it only invites argument and dissension.

It is clear on this board that both sides of the issue are passionate, and equally ill-informed. The proof is that none of the arguments proferred so far are the result of first-hand direct observation or investigation. Instead, they are the by-product of other observations, most of which are logic extrapolations instead of actual facts. The 21 points, true or false, are reasonable arguing points to use against primarily Christians, but they are also easy fodder for the other side.

Hi Apaq, your story is interesting and I would like to hear a bit more detail. You left some points ambiguous. You speak of first hand direct observations that you made….. You portray yourself as having a very special knowledge that most people, both believer and non-believer lack. Could you please tell us more about your very unique experience and what sounds to be the resultant broader, deeper and more correct viewpoint that you have? As a philosophy major, this argument always pisses me off because it is one of the weakest arguments in the history of philosophy. Pascal makes huge assumptions from the start.

He assumes that if there is a god, there is a heaven and hell, and that God would send believers to heaven and nonbelievers to hell, and sets up his wager without considering any other options, such as everyone goes to heaven regardless a belief that was present at the time Pascal made up the argument , there is a god, but no heaven or hell this belief is seen in some very old jewish groups , there is a god, a heaven, and a hell, but god punishes believers and rewards nonbelievers okay, so no one likes this one, but it would still be an option.

Since Pascal gives no argument at all as to why he eliminates all of these choices, while claiming to cover all possibilities, it is a crap argument. This is the flaw in the argument, not the one mentioned above, because Pascal claims his wager holds so long as the negatives of belief and the positives of nonbelief are finite in any scenario.

Also, since Pascal considers the threat of an inifinite punishment more of a reason for belief than the threat of a finite punishment, his wager is more in line with 8. I have a hard time imagining the scenario you describe, so can only say I think you are mistaken. I do believe in God singular, not sure if capitalisation is required, but…might as well, in lieu of a name , but do not follow any single religion completely.

I am probably most sympathetic to Judaism, and least sympathetic to Christianity. As for what my experiences are, and the beliefs based on them, I would rather not be drawn into becoming an evangelist against my will, and suspect that might happen if I answer. The reason is that, whenever a person has stated something to me that I thought was wrong, my instinct is to immediately explain why. His reaction, an instinctive one, I have no doubt, is to present justification for his position.

The next thing you know, a debate is underway. My comments are meant for an entirely different purpose. The nature of the subject makes it nearly impossible for either side to convince the other of anything, so I am surprised at the passion that goes into the it at times. If you only look at the moral component of religion as it relates to claims of God, and the impact universal agreement would have, it is easy to see the value of agreement. The problem is that accomplishing it requires information that is ordinarily unavailable.

It would be easy for you to believe a statement regarding a commonplace, well-understood activity, like the number of backgammon games I might have played in , particularly if the number was uncontroversial. It could be a totally false statement, and in this case I think it is, but there is no way I could prove it to you either way, nor do I have a way to find out for myself. The difference between that and an experience related to observations that might lead one to conclude God must exist, is that for someone else to believe it, that person should have some kind of corollary experience to lend credibility to the claim.

When I was an atheist, I was always disgusted with agnostics, because it seemed to me they were hedging their bets. So, I understand the dilemma now, but still consider them to be atheists. If it were money, the state of having no money would be the equivalent to being agnostic, at least in the mind of the agnostics I know. It is either on or it is off. For fun, and this is only for fun, though true, I will mention that the famous atheist The Amazing Randi does know who I am or at least, he did at one time , because of a mutual friend of ours who is a physicist and who contacted him about me some years ago.

The upshot of the interchange was this: Randi told my friend that as a professional scientist, he had been hoodwinked somehow by me, but my friend, being more fully aware of the facts of the matter because he experienced them directly , knew it was impossible. As for me, I was no more interested then than I am now in convincing anyone of anything, it just so happened that my friend was present when a certain event took place, and my friend was the first to spot the meaning of it, because I had no way of knowing what he already knew on his end.

The point is that there are no convincing arguments for God at all. The reason is that without a personal experience that leads one to believe that God exists, no argument posited by anyone else will have any credibility. If that person then tried to convince someone else that God was real on the basis of his experience, his tale would not be credible regardless of its truth.

If he was a bit crafty, he might try other ways to convince his friends that his experience was real, but no argument he could possibly come up with would be persuasive to someone without an experience of a similar kind. A different path would be, for instance, a scientist is working on some project when he suddenly realizes, based on his observations, that his environment includes what appears to be all the signature characteristics of conscious direction.

This might lead him or her to conclude that it is possible for God to exist, and then after more research, to decide that God does exist. That scientist might feel he is on better footing to make an argument in favor of the existence of God than the person with a mystical experience, but all of his evidence, while tantalizing, is circumstantial. Unless and until it can conclusively be proven to be impossible, any person he tries to persuade will always have an alternate that, for lack of proof on either side, is at least as credible to him as the argument for God.

Where this becomes a problem is when people come to form these very different opinions on this subject and discover that their world views are consequently so incompatible that it affects many aspects of their lives. If God is real, and the words of prophets are to be trusted speaking only of the generally accepted prophets, guys like L.

On the other end of the spectrum, If there is no God, then the world really is an all or nothing gamble, and moral imperatives are only of use so long as they are aligned with other goals such as survival, success, and personal pleasure. These two different world views are one of the major reasons why some people make an effort to convince others that theirs is the right one, yet it is not likely to succeed. Anyone who is convinced purely on the basis of an argument, without personal experience to back it up, cannot ever be truly persuaded because there is always the next argument.

This is why it seems to me that cross-pollination of ideas on this subject, while interesting to an extent, will always fail to persuade either side of anything. Actually, the point is more that we are just really tired of hearing these, not that any valid arguments exist. Not necessarily. A person could decide it was a hallucination or other manifestation of illness or injury to the brain. If God is real, and the words of prophets are to be trusted parenthetical remarks omitted by me then there is such a thing as an absolute moral authority.

Again, not necessarily. The point is that these arguments are old, tired, and discredited, and we would really like it if christians quit trotting them out like a small child with a new toy. I really am not trying to drum up interest in anything here. In fact, quite the opposite. The reason is that I know that there is nothing you could read, no fact that could be presented, nothing that anyone could write, that would have any weight with you or anyone else on this board for the reasons given earlier.

What might be interesting though, is an acknowledgement that the atheist end of the argument comes from lack of information, just as the theistic one sometimes does as well. Because you think it is impossible to begin with, that alone is enough to explain your naivete, but it is also expressive of your haste to be clever without taking into account that in the hypothetical given, the idea is to accept the hypothetical and all it represents.

That would mean also accepting that a revelation of that type would be all that any beleiver would expect it to be, and this you surely can imagine or know from your own encounters with non-atheists. What might be interesting though, is an acknowledgement that the atheist end of the argument comes from lack of information.

Why not? Perhaps you should be reading more closely. That would mean also accepting that a revelation of that type would be all that any beleiver would expect it to be. The point of this list at the top is that these are worn-out arguments. The funny thing here is that before any question of God comes up, it is impossible to even define the framework of conversation.

If God appears, no one could deny it, period, regardless of their former state of disavowal, you included. Your free will would be entirely subordinate to your knowledge, and unless you were in the mood to be perverse at such a moment by intentionally falsifying your experience a thing I doubt would even be possible , your suggested course of action could not take place. This is just one of the reasons that disbelievers come across as not only arrogant, but academically quite stunted as well. In fact, it is interesting to note the level of scholarship that goes into religious studies by even the commonest of church attendees.

Back to the original list for a moment: An argument is not the sort of thing from which belief in God naturally springs. This is because of the lack of a common frame of reference. A contributing factor is a lack of knowledge on at least one, if not both, sides of the issue. The list of arguments betrays a simplistic notion of what they are, though the conclusion is largely correct.

The issue here is not whether an atheist could ever be convinced, but what would it take to convince an atheist? Is it possible that the only person who could ever win over an atheist is the atheist himself? Maybe everyone else is just a support group for when it happens. Your free will would be entirely subordinate to your knowledge, and unless you were in the mood to be perverse at such a moment by intentionally falsifying your experience a thing I doubt would even be possible.

Have you met people? Wow, are you in for a shock. You apparently have no idea who atheists are and where they come from…. The sheer amount and depth of biblical knowledge of many of the people who regularly post here is amazing, as many of them are former believers with a lifetime of bible study behind them. There was an earlier post asking what books people had read that inclined them toward atheism. The number one book? The bible. They read it for what it was, and they no longer believe. Feel free to engage them on an active thread rather than this old one, they will mop the floor with you.

There was also a post asking what we would do if it was proved to us that the god of the evangelicals was real. There were even some believers that said they would think twice about continuing to worship. Some people have higher standards. I appreciate that you believe they do, and even that your sarcastic but irrelevant remarks might be germane and witty, but the orders of magnitude difference between a bona fide encounter with God and the things you describe is so huge that there would be no possibility of denial.

Your humility in that situation would already be too great to allow any continuation of ignorance, for any reason. This is a fallacious position to take, however common it may be among atheists. The meaning of this is clear enough that I expect it requires no explanation, but to put it in context, I think of it in relation to your claim of all the former believers on this board.

If they were believers in the first place, they could not ever become non-beleivers. They may be people who grew up in a church and never really understood anything their religion was based on. This is a common syndrome that sprouts from the many inconsistencies to be found in most possibly all churches. This is also why I do not think that argument is going to truly or completely convince anyone in a matter such as this. When you have, as the Christians do, a Bible that has clearly been tampered with over the centuries, so much so that there are multiple versions of it extant, it becomes very difficult to support the claim that it is inerrant and perfect.

What is important to note is that his beliefs are not belief in God, but in a book. The Christians are not alone here. This is why, for true belief to take hold, it must also have some personal experience or supportive observations to back it up. It may suffice for a time in the absence of anything else, but without real-world personal observation and experience, its value is greatly reduced. Unfortunately for many people, their entire belief system is without foundation, which makes them easy prey for atheistic argument.

That is where argument comes in, but by arguing against the senseless devotion to a book, an argument that is easy to follow by the way, the result is not a loss of belief in God. It is a loss of belief in the book. God is not a book or a religion. To confuse one with the other is another common fallacy, so common indeed, that it is easy to see how people on this board could mistake one for the other. It is uncomfortable to be told baldly that one is in error, and in this case, much as I am certain you believe the opposite to be true, the discomfort is the natural consequence of this fact.

It will come from your own experience, not a post from someone on the Internet. No trauma was involved, I assure you. If I converted to a brand of theism would you say I was never really a non-believer?

Convincing the Unconvincible

I suppose you are proving your own earlier point with this remark, Apaq. You are clearly referencing your own personal revelation, but as you have noted, such does not count as real evidence to anyone else. Your own encounter may have been such an undeniable experience, but that in no way proves to us that it was not a delusion, or that it is representative of all godly encounters. This is one of the most irritating things you can say to an unbeliever who really has actually read a bible. Despite your best efforts to play the impartial moderator, you just stated that if our interpretation of the bible is not as positive as yours, it MUST be that WE lack understanding.

Now that certainly is true. The same applies to the theist. Regardless of your beliefs on the issue, what you believe makes perfect sense to you. Even young earth creationists are convinced that it makes perfect logical sense that the whole of existence was poofed into being in just under a week nevermind why a being capable of poofing things into existence would need a week to do it. Books, blogs and personal experiences help provide the data, but it is left to each of us to processes it ourselves.

It certainly did with me. So, assuming for the sake of conversation that there is such a thing as a genuine experience of this type, I am saying it would be irrisistible. It may be irritating, but I think it is true, nevertheless. On every occasion where I had an opportunity to determine the justification for the statement, it came down to the same thing: there is violence described in the Bible, including violence directed by God, and therefore God is the equivalent of Manson or Hitler.

What makes a comparison of that type not only overly simplistic, but completely wrong as well, is that it is clearly designed as a means of comparing characters from history who are known primarily as homicidal maniacs with God, who is not described as anything approaching being a maniac of any kind. The purpose of the comparison is to be shocking and offensive, but its naivete and pure commonness rob it of its power.

Regardless of the fact that severe punishment is exacted, or that tests are also described as severe as well, it is not without motivation, senseless, or symptomatic of dysfunctional mentation. Strictness on its own is not dementia, but the comparison with Manson is clearly designed to evoke equality by that measure. This is not an appropriate comparison. Failure to understand that cannot come from a position of great knowledge, regardless of how many hours may have been spent with ones eyes focused on the fine print of a Bible. This is the difference between a surgeon who amputates a gangrenous leg, and a psychotic killer like Dr.

To not recognize the difference between God and Manson is the same as not recognizing the difference between an honorable doctor and Dr. This is not a small error, and can most easily be explained as simple perversity or lack of knowledge. Examples of this type of thing are not uncommon, but what they accomplish can be transitory if they are not fused with actual experience.

Therefore, a person can feel quite convinced of one position or the other on the basis of an argument or series of them over many years, but the effect of such things will always bow in deference to the thing itself, if it is ever presented to the person in question. So, barring any sort of unarguable, irresistable proof, there will always be some amount of uncertainty that may be exploited by the other side of the argument, regardless which side you are on at the moment.

For those who have been presented with some form of unassailable proof, that due to its nature can only be conveyed by anecdote, it will naturally be considered unreliable, even if coming from a person of impeccable character, honesty, and intelligence. This means that some people do have inferior information at their disposal in comparison to others. The person who possesses this information may be wholly inferior to the one who does not by any number of measures save this one, where, for whatever reason, he knows something, or has seen something, that the other has not.

That may be irritating to read, but how can you argue otherwise? If, in an airtight hypothetical environment, you accept that one person has certain knowledge of a thing and another does not, on that one point alone, he has superior knowledge, regardless of any other factor. To continue with the example, if the certain knowledge is derived from an event so rare that it is almost never witnessed and cannot reliably expected to recur, no matter how much the person in an inferior position might wish it to be otherwise, he may never be enlightened on the issue.

In that situation, the person with knowledge cannot be expected to discard or discount it, simply because very few people besides himself have access to it, nor can he expect anyone to accept his description of the event at face value, or accept his word on the basis of his reputation. Therefore, while reading and conversation can to an extent prepare a person for thoughts on spiritual matters, they can never be truly conclusive without solid experience. In reality, however, the question of whether or not the supernatural exists is up for debate, and human minds are hardly infallible.

No matter how convincing your unique, personal experience was to you, it cannot be touted as a fact. You may very well have been in the presence of the one true god of the universe, but in the end you cannot responsibly claim to others that it was real if there was no way to confirm it. Or, perhaps when one connects with the all-pervading life force of the universe, the human mind naturally personifies it as a sentient being.

Either way, the result is caused by the brain playing tricks on us. Now, there is nothing wrong with you personally taking your own experience as absolute, irrefutable truth. By all means trust your own senses and intuition, but you must acknowledge that, per your hypothetical scenario, god really may not exist and all experiences to the contrary are either misunderstandings or delusions.

Here sir, is the uncomfortable rub: when asked, what is Mr. What of Mr. Or Mr. In all three cases the named individual has no choice but to answer honestly, regardless of whether his answer is correct. And the party on the other side should not be offended or even surprised to receive the answer to his question, even if he considers the answer to be incredible.

This is why conversations between people who believe in God and those who do not cannot be expected to bear good fruit, at least when the subject is why one should or should not believe. I have written earlier that I am not even remotely interested in convincing anyone of my own beliefs, or of making any attempt on anyone to change theirs, and I stand by that. The end result then, is that atheists may congratulate each other on their good sense on this board, and believers may do likewise on theirs. Instead of standing there talking about the measurements, I went up to my office, opened a cabinet, and produced the article itself for him to use as a reference.

In the situation here, there is no femur to produce, so we may as well stand on the stairs for thousands of years without ever convincing the other who had the most accurate notion of its dimensions. Why do you think you can have it both ways? I certainly never asked for any details. If you think that the presence on this board of people who have studied the Bible is a justification for any argument that God and Manson are in some way equivalents. No one is infallible, not even you. Let me put it more plainly: the god of the old testament is psychotic, sadistic, twisted, and evil, and in no way worthy of worship.

Also, for some reason, he is intimidated by iron chariots…. Especially if they are dangerous. That is the stupidest thing so far, and sadly, not even very original. Unless, of course, you ARE god and can see into their hearts? It can, and it does. Feel free to do so. In the cases of Mr. Deluding Myself, Mr. Hallucinating and even Mr. Still, if causing someone to take a harder look at their own beliefs is all we can hope to accomplish with these arguments, I would not consider it a pointless endeavor. Jason: We have indeed found common ground, and I agree with your conclusion.

Belief, and those things that make us believe, can be far more interesting than what the belief itself is. There are many things people believe in, like the lunar landing I do believe this happened as reported btw , and yet very few have first hand experience that would qualify as evidence.

It comes down to the cumulative effect of our experiences. I believe that God created everything, including free will and free thought. So people are free to believe what they like. You seem like you would go to a Unitarian church based on your veiwpoint. I only skimmed your post, i am meant to be doing as level revision, which i will do once my mind has been put to rest! This does lend the book some kind of credibility, but in no way does it then suggest that the entire book must be true as well, for example, Harry Potter.

In addition the earth is NOT egg shaped, the Earth is also not spherical as you stated, but it is indeed slightly fatter at the equator, giving it an almost ellipsoid shape, but in no way do the poles converge into rounded points, as can be proved by going into space and looking a earth, or doing simple topology.

Oh, this is an edit: i have jus read a bit more of another post, and honestly, this maths rubbish is getting out of hand, just like the bible code. Someone just decided that they would put day in times, to show that this could be believable to the next gullible person? However, we often send people to their deaths at least in the US based just on the testimony of one single person, so why is not the testimony of so many not good enough? Anyway, I had a question for all atheists — if the Christ or some other Avatar returned to the world today.

What if you heard his voice in your head without him actually speaking aloud? Would that be good enough? Pluto has been demoted and is now classified as a dwarf planet. Balance of planets proper is 8. I could add another false dichotomy are the witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus. By the same evidence Elvis is still alive.

A third possibility is that hundreds of people on grief were honest, but deluded. There are other examples but these should suffice. Something like that would be neat. Keep in mind that a definition of this god would be nice. Many people have heard the voice of God. All atheist are willing to send people to their deaths on the basis of witnesses, but they chose not to trust those you who that they have heard the voice. Maybe someday soon you will hear the voice too.

How do they know it was a god? How do they know which god it is? I have so many questions for them. You dug your argument a cozy grave when you said all atheists are willing to send people to their deaths over testimony. Saying that all it takes is testimony shows a lack of understanding. Proof and evidence are basically the same thing. It is against the law. It is true you do not know that it is THE god.

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Whether you are convinced it is god or something else, depends on what the voice says and what kind of person you are. You can ask the voice whatever you want. Maybe I should have said most atheists. Consider a place like China which has the most atheists in the world. You obviously have not heard this voice. And again, with any luck, you may someday be one of them. My perspective is not so unique. If you keep an open mind you will see a lot of it around. The problem is that the minds of atheists are pretty closed, just like fundamentalist Christians. Such a proof would negate the Divine Law that guarantees human free will.

That is just not allowed. If the existence of God was so unquestionably evident then people would not be free to choose between good and evil. They would be too afraid to choose to do any evil which includes things like all the lies at the recent RNC. The only way the existence of God can be known is by personal experience. You can become a believer either by your own experience or by accepting the testimony of others who have had such an experience.

Most nonbelievers are not spiritually developed enough to have an experience of their own with rare exceptions like when Saul became Paul. Atheists are so clever and superior that they believe that all those hundreds who have had such an experience are either liars or delusional — this is really the height of arrogance.

Like I said before, perhaps someday you will hear a voice in your head. If you are lucky you may see a vision also. However, you may die of fright, because according to all atheists, you will be going crazy. Men always ask this question about what is it that will help them get the right women. There are some important steps that every man must keep in mind before he approaches a woman. These steps will not only him be successful but also help him attract women. All relationships go over bumps in the road.

What a lot of complicated crap. All humans need to do, of necessity, is learn to keep it simple. To do that is really the easiest thing to do: keep oneself focused on what really needs to be done to make a better world, by starting with oneself. For the sake of ethical living. Because we are all humans, a type, a species. The question of God will answer itself automatically. There is a paper from the s by a geophysical fluid dynamicist which examines the roles of planet size, geochemical cycling, and distance from the sun.

Actually, there is reason to believe that Venus and Mars are already inhabited even in the condition they are in now. I would just like to say that your generalization of who atheists are about as close-minded as Fundamentalist Christians. I am an open atheist and have encountered s of others, none of them ever being close-minded to religion. Also, atheists have been around for thousands of years and most of them have morals because we believe in living a good, happy life.

My morals include making yourself happy and the ones you love happy without infringing on the rights of others. God who I believe in the New Testament alone killed , people and ordered the killing of millions, does not sound like a moral guy to me. If you are going to post on an atheist website you may want to be truly open-minded.

So Islam and proven science go hand in hand.

True Christians In The Workplace Part 1 by Sanjay Poonen

Toggle navigation. Want more from the Friendly Atheist? September 24, Tagged with: General. Previous Post. Next Post. And not witty trolls, Expecting every person to The seller signed Browse Our Archives. Tao Jones. I guess Berkshire is one of those guys who believes in one less planet too. Tao Jones — Just as an update, Pluto no longer counts as a planet. Hopefully that makes sense to you now. It should be clear my comment was sarcastic. You guys should really learn more about Islam. For one, it contains no mistakes what so ever. Not even grammatical mistakes. Sorry this had to be so long but I hope someone finds this interesting.

Jason Berger. Let me give you one example. Calculate the sums of each column to give and In a third column write the sum of each chapter number with the corresponding number of verses. Katie Molnar. Count them. Christian Guy. Keep seeking the truth and you will find it. Bob Miller. Thank you, Bob Miller. Richard Wade. Thank you for providing a place for me to shared my views. Happy life everyone. Heroes had their egos, but I had no problems with them and remained friends with everyone including veterans Dev saab and Shammi Kapoor. This sort of vast experience enabled Sujit occasionally to branch out to other avenues of film making.

Physically fit, Sujit remained tall, erect and slim and whatever type of costumes he wore, they suited him. This was an asset for any actor. Born in Varanasi, Sujit came to Bombay with great hopes and was lucky that many of them were realised. Submit Please enter a valid email address. Related Topics Cinema Cinema cinema. Hindi cinema.