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Atheist Dilemma


Guest 2smart4u

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Guest 2smart4u

Interesting show the other night on PBS. A debate between a christian and an atheist led to the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death. I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity. Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it. But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win. On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

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Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

Everyone is destined for several other religions' punishment, and missing out on several other religions' reward. That being the case, the christian's odds are only marginally better than the atheist's. In other words, if Islam or some other religion were right, then the christian would have made "the biggest mistake any human can make", just like the atheist.

And if we allow that the one true god, whichever one that might be, might value honesty over feigned belief, then the atheist may well have better odds than the fire insurance christian.

Do you think that pretending to believe will get you into heaven, even if you don't actually believe?

I don't know about you, 2smart, but I can't just choose to believe something. I'm just not built that way. I could chant "I believe" 10,000 times, and at the end of it, all that would have changed is that I would have told exactly 10,000 more lies than before.

The "fire insurance" argument provides a good basis for deception of both one's self and others, but no basis at all for honest belief. This is true regardless of whether christianity is right or wrong.

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Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

2stupid4words strikes again. If there was a god vicious enough to cause anyone to suffer in torment for eternity, then no one would win because God would not only be unjust, he'd be criminally insane.

A god that vicious couldn't be trusted, or counted on for anything. Why, who knows, he might even be crazy enough to curse an entire species for one sin by their first two ancestors; and then a few generations later kill nearly every living being on earth in a massive flood, supposedly in an attempt to purify the human race and start over, only to have it emerge from the ordeal pretty much the same as before he killed nearly everyone off. So in addition to everything else, he'd be stupid and ineffectual.

Why do you want to have faith in that?

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Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

Then a moslem and a jew spoke up from the audience. The moslem said, "But if I'm right, then both of you have made the mistake and only I will get to heaven when I die."

The jew said, "You're all spiritual people, even you atheist, you who have struggled with your faith, but if I am right, then all of us, even you, will get to heaven when we die."

"when I die ..... I win."

Good grief!!

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Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

But who cares? We will be dead.

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Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

LOL, you call that a dilemma? That's a VERY old and very flawed argument called Pascal's Wager. It's amazing the ignorance of anyone who is still attempting such an old and discredited argument.

There is more than one way for a Christian to be "wrong," 2dim4words. What if the Christian's error is not that he's wrong about the existence of a god, but that he's been worshipping the WRONG god? What if he meets Allah after he dies? Or Zeus? Or Wotan? How would that result be any different for the 'recently deceased' than that of an atheist meeting the Christian God? In fact, I could imagine a deity seeing an atheist as 'not as bad' as someone who actually took the step to go and worship the wrong god. Even the Christian God seems to have a bigger problem with idolatry than atheism (the first commandment prohibits worshipping other gods, but there's nothing in the commandments about worshipping no god). Regardless, the atheist meeting the Christian God is no worse off than the Christian meeting the Islamic Allah. The "Wager" fails.

I have no doubt that the atheist soundly refuted the flawed "Wager" on that program as well, but that you willfully ignored it. You underestimate us atheists, buddy. We're not as gullible as you are/think. B)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_wager#Rebuttals

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Guest Autonomous
Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

What is interesting is that he thinks salvation is about separating the good from the bad. First off, look at Matthew 19:17. Second, he seems to be implying that he is morally superior to Gandhi. Gandhi exhorted his followers to reject the religion of their suppressors, so he's burning in hell. Third, the Pascal's Wager Argument (which he's making in reverse) tells us to try to feign belief. The fact is, some people cannot believe.

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Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

No, quite wrong indeed. The biggest mistake a human can make is to kill in the name of thier god.

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Guest Paul
Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

Good grief, that idiotic argument again? If you guys are right, then a vicious maniac is in charge of the universe! Look what you're putting your faith in. Actually look at it for once. There are no winners in that scenario, just a great many sad and sorry people who would be content having others burn in hell for a trillion trillion years --- and at the end of that time their suffering would be not one second nearer its end than when they started.

For you to accept that (and take glee in it, no less!) says absolutely nothing about the universe, but a great deal about you.

And these are often the first people to complain that the world's values are sick. Good grief, do you not see how profoundly sick that is?

What is wrong with you?

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Interesting show the other night on PBS.  A debate between a christian and an atheist led to  the following comment by the christian; "Neither of us know for certainty what awaits us beyond death.  I believe in God and I believe this short "visit" on earth is simply to separate the good from the bad, to determine where we will spend eternity.  Now, if I'm wrong, if there's nothing after death, then so be it.  But if I'm right and when I die I'm accepted into the Kingdom Of Heaven, then I win.  On the other hand, if you are wrong, then you've made the biggest mistake any human can make".

I'd say the Christian speaking of the possibility of being wrong is showing he really doesn't have real faith in his beliefs.

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Guest Autonomous
What is interesting is that he thinks salvation is about separating the good from the bad. First off, look at Matthew 19:17. Second, he seems to be implying that he is morally superior to Gandhi. Gandhi exhorted his followers to reject the religion of their suppressors, so he's burning in hell. Third, the Pascal's Wager Argument (which he's making in reverse) tells us to try to feign belief. The fact is, some people cannot believe.

I meant oppressors-oops.

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Guest KearnyChristian
LOL, you call that a dilemma? That's a VERY old and very flawed argument called Pascal's Wager. It's amazing the ignorance of anyone who is still attempting such an old and discredited argument.

There is more than one way for a Christian to be "wrong," 2dim4words. What if the Christian's error is not that he's wrong about the existence of a god, but that he's been worshipping the WRONG god? What if he meets Allah after he dies? Or Zeus? Or Wotan? How would that result be any different for the 'recently deceased' than that of an atheist meeting the Christian God? In fact, I could imagine a deity seeing an atheist as 'not as bad' as someone who actually took the step to go and worship the wrong god. Even the Christian God seems to have a bigger problem with idolatry than atheism (the first commandment prohibit worshipping other gods, but there's nothing in the commandments about worshipping no god). Regardless, the atheist meeting the Christian God is no worse off than the Christian meeting the Islamic Allah. The "Wager" fails.

I have no doubt that the atheist soundly refuted the flawed "Wager" on that program as well, but that you willfully ignored it. You underestimate us atheists, buddy. We're not as gullible as you are/think. ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_wager#Rebuttals

You're a lost soul, I'll pray for you.

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Guest 2smart4u
Good grief, that idiotic argument again? If you guys are right, then a vicious maniac is in charge of the universe! Look what you're putting your faith in. Actually look at it for once. There are no winners in that scenario, just a great many sad and sorry people who would be content having others burn in hell for a trillion trillion years --- and at the end of that time their suffering would be not one second nearer its end than when they started.

For you to accept that (and take glee in it, no less!) says absolutely nothing about the universe, but a great deal about you.

And these are often the first people to complain that the world's values are sick. Good grief, do you not see how profoundly sick that is?

What is wrong with you?

It's amazing to me the way atheists use the bible to disprove God. Most intelligent people understand there are passages in the bible that aren't to be taken literally. But Paul (who knows everything and is never wrong) doesn't get that.

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Good grief, that idiotic argument again? If you guys are right, then a vicious maniac is in charge of the universe!

Look what you're putting your faith in. Actually look at it for once. There are no winners in that scenario, just a great many sad and sorry people who would be content having others burn in hell for a trillion trillion years --- and at the end of that time their suffering would be not one second nearer its end than when they started.

Why should they be?

Oh, that's right--you can't be bothered making your argument for true justice (which, last we saw, looked like it could allow a murderer to kill an infinite number of people).

For you to accept that (and take glee in it, no less!) says absolutely nothing about the universe, but a great deal about you.

Which term indicated glee to you, Paul?

And these are often the first people to complain that the world's values are sick. Good grief, do you not see how profoundly sick that is?

What is wrong with you?

Well, you could probably tell us in greater detail, but you probably figured that you'd done enough argumentum ad hominem for one sitting.

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Good grief, that idiotic argument again? If you guys are right, then a vicious maniac is in charge of the universe! Look what you're putting your faith in. Actually look at it for once. There are no winners in that scenario, just a great many sad and sorry people who would be content having others burn in hell for a trillion trillion years --- and at the end of that time their suffering would be not one second nearer its end than when they started.

For you to accept that (and take glee in it, no less!) says absolutely nothing about the universe, but a great deal about you.

And these are often the first people to complain that the world's values are sick. Good grief, do you not see how profoundly sick that is?

What is wrong with you?

You are so quick to accuse everyone else as crazy but the sad truth is that you are looking in the mirror when you say that. You profess to open your mind with the possibility that it will help you grow and yet you publicly call people’s opinions here idiotic and sick.

The power of the pen is a very powerful weapon. It can alter the facts if it is written in the way the author chooses to write it. Sort of like the story of a young boy you know named Matthew and the gospel according to Paul.

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Guest Paul
You are so quick to accuse everyone else as crazy but the sad truth is that you are looking in the mirror when you say that.  You profess to open your mind with the possibility that it will help you grow and yet you publicly call people’s opinions here idiotic and sick. 

The power of the pen is a very powerful weapon. It can alter the facts if it is written in the way the author chooses to write it. Sort of like the story of a young boy you know named Matthew and the gospel according to Paul.

You think about what causing someone to suffer in unremitting torment for a trillion trillion years would mean, and then another trillion trillion and a trillion trillion after that, ad infinitum. Then ask yourself what purpose it could possibly serve. Instead of attacking me personally, ask yourself what that would actually mean. Get past the words and try to give meaning to what you're saying in accepting eternal and unremitting torment as a part of justice.

Look, you folks think you have the right to say what God's eternal justice is, assuming of course that there is a god. Those of us who disagree with you have the right to comment on what you're saying. You can't have it both ways.

Could it be that what's bothering you is the fact that our concept of justice is just as strong as yours, and more firmly grounded? I suspect so.

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You're a lost soul,

Ah, the soul. Another Christian fantasy. Yes, it's easy to declare that a part of me is "lost" when no one has ever found one of them before. That's like me saying your sixth eyebrow is lost.

I'll pray for you.

"One of the most condescending things a theist can do to an atheist is to make a point of announcing that they'll be praying for us. Atheists don't believe in the power of prayer, but even theists can't think that prayer will be more effective for having announced. So what's the purpose? Some say that it's to express well-wishes, but people say that they'll pray for someone when the person is sick or having trouble. One way or another, the theist appears to be expressing superiority over atheists in a passive-aggressive manner. That suggests they weren't interested in serious conversation to begin with." --http://atheism.about.com/od/atheismatheiststheism/tp/DebateKillers.htm

"Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." --Proverbs 16:18

"The haughty shall be humbled." --Isaiah 10:33

Doesn't sound like your god is a big fan of your attitude. You should be praying for yourself, hypocrite.

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It's amazing to me the way atheists use the bible to disprove God.  Most intelligent people understand there are passages in the bible that aren't to be taken literally.

Considering that nowhere in the Bible does it dictate that this is so, this assertion is an example of you adding something to the Bible that isn't there. What was it the Bible said about the fate of those who add or remove things from the Bible? Tsk, tsk.

Atheists needn't "use" the Bible to do anything. It stands alone, in all of its ambiguous, self-contradictory, absurd glory. All we have to do is point out what's already in there.

Tell us, o master of Biblical interpretation, which of the three passages that state what Jesus's last words were the correct one, and which are the lies? They can't be derivatives of each other, because the differences are too great. "It is finished" and "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" aren't even close to the same sentence--one is triple the length, and ZERO of the words match! How do you explain that?

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If the atheist think he's right and has no doubt, then he has greater faith than the Christian.  Is that right?

First of all, very few atheists are dogmatic like that (no greater than the number of Christians who would actually physically murder someone for being non-Christian, to be sure). The vast majority of them go with the "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of mindset. Some real objective evidence of a god or gods would turn the vast majority of atheists, myself included, into believers.

Secondly, even for the hypothetical, no, why would that be greater faith? It would be equal.

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You are so quick to accuse everyone else as crazy but the sad truth is that you are looking in the mirror when you say that.  You profess to open your mind with the possibility that it will help you grow and yet you publicly call people’s opinions here idiotic and sick.

This reminds me of a saying:

"Open your mind, but not so much that your brain falls out."

Being open-minded doesn't mean losing the ability to know when something is retarded. Pascal's Wager is a retarded argument, and it is quite idiotic to see it used even after it has been so thoroughly destroyed so long ago.

The power of the pen is a very powerful weapon. It can alter the facts if it is written in the way the author chooses to write it.

And the Bible is a perfect example.

Sort of like the story of a young boy you know named Matthew and the gospel according to Paul.

Oh, really? Who 'rewrote' those recordings, hotshot?

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You are so quick to accuse everyone else as crazy but the sad truth is that you are looking in the mirror when you say that.  You profess to open your mind with the possibility that it will help you grow and yet you publicly call people’s opinions here idiotic and sick. 

The power of the pen is a very powerful weapon. It can alter the facts if it is written in the way the author chooses to write it. Sort of like the story of a young boy you know named Matthew and the gospel according to Paul.

What nonsense. Remember, we all HEARD THE TAPES. We know very well what was said in the classroom, and also what tripe has been spouted by those of your ilk on this board.

Besides, your opinions ARE idiotic and sick.

Leigh

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Guest Keith-Marshall,Mo
It's amazing to me the way atheists use the bible to disprove God.  Most intelligent people understand there are passages in the bible that aren't to be taken literally.  But Paul (who knows everything and is never wrong) doesn't get that.

Oh really.

Why don't you tell us which passages of the bible are to be taken literally and which passages are not to be taken literally and why that is the case. So, you mean you can pick and choose what parts of the bible you believe in and which you don't? How can that be? How can you have it both ways? Either you have faith or you dont, right? So what your saying is that you're either a part time atheist or a part time christian. Would that be correct? Given your flair for hypocrisy I would have to say that you are probably more christian than atheist.

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Guest 2smart4u
What nonsense.  Remember, we all HEARD THE TAPES.  We know very well what was said in the classroom, and also what tripe has been spouted by those of your ilk on this board.

Besides, your opinions ARE idiotic and sick.

Leigh

Leigh, you're very angry. You need to spend more time with your sheep.

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You think about what causing someone to suffer in unremitting torment for a trillion trillion years would mean, and then another trillion trillion and a trillion trillion after that, ad infinitum.

Okay, and you think about forgiving a murderer for murder, and then another murder, and then another murder ... a trillion upon a trillion ad infinitum. Isn't that your idea of justice?

Of course, Paul would probably say that he wants God to somehow stop the murderer without any hell.

Isn't taking away somebody's freedom to act a punishment? Won't a murderer be tormented by the inability to murder? Tormented ... for an eternity?

Then ask yourself what purpose it could possibly serve. Instead of attacking me personally, ask yourself what that would actually mean. Get past the words and try to give meaning to what you're saying in accepting eternal and unremitting torment as a part of justice.

Hell would mean that imperfect beings who decline to be made perfect would not have fellowship with God. I don't expect any less from justice. Paul's concept of justice seems more vulnerable to criticism, IMHO--but Paul has decided to abandon that debate for some reason (habit's as good a guess as any).

You are so quick to accuse everyone else as crazy but the sad truth is that you are looking in the mirror when you say that.  You profess to open your mind with the possibility that it will help you grow and yet you publicly call people’s opinions here idiotic and sick.

Look, you folks think you have the right to say what God's eternal justice is, assuming of course that there is a god. Those of us who disagree with you have the right to comment on what you're saying. You can't have it both ways.

Yes, and? Where did he suggest he wanted it both ways?

Could it be that what's bothering you is the fact that our concept of justice is just as strong as yours, and more firmly grounded? I suspect so.

If that's what you suspect, then why have you been dodging the criticism of your view of justice?

Edited by Bryan
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