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Angels on the Head of a Pin


Guest Radagast
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Guest Radagast

I thought I'd throw my two cents in on the discussion of God, Faith and Religion. I've been reading a lot (not all) of the discussion on this board and, frankly, it makes my head spin.

I am an agnostic because there is no way to prove the existence of God. However, there is no way to prove there isn't a God either. Something could have created the universe or the universe could have always been here. There is no way for us to know.

So, if you accept God or religion, you accept it on faith. Faith is a good thing. Sometimes I wish I had it. People with an unshakeable faith tend to be a lot more content than me most of the time. Faith isn't something you can just wish upon yourself, however, and it's not something you should argue about. You have it or you don't ... end of discussion.

People who have faith sometimes believe that you can prove the existence of God but that too is faith not fact. On the other hand, I've never heard an atheist prove there isn't a God. Perhaps they're afraid they might be right.

When I was in school, evolution got along very well with religion because, 'God created evolution'. Simple enough. I'd never heard of 'Creationism' until very recently and, to my mind, it doesn't make as much logical sense as evolution. When I look at the patterns of everything I've experienced in my life, I side with evolution as the answer to how we got to where we are. Can I offer absolute proof that evolution is the whole story? No, but I also can't offer absolute proof that humans were not left here by space aliens either. As a matter of fact, Creationism and the space alien theory hold about the same amount of water logically.

So, I guess if you guys are having fun batting Pascal around, who am I to complain... enjoy. The truth to the angels on the head of a pin question can be the source of endless ideas but no answers no matter how deep you dig or how many references you have.

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I thought I'd throw my two cents in on the discussion of God, Faith and Religion. I've been reading a lot (not all) of the discussion on this board and, frankly, it makes my head spin.

I am an agnostic because there is no way to prove the existence of God. However, there is no way to prove there isn't a God either. Something could have created the universe or the universe could have always been here. There is no way for us to know.

I'd PM you my thoughts on why I am atheist instead of agnostic (just to see what you think--I used to be agnostic), but you're not registered. D'oh. :)

So, if you accept God or religion, you accept it on faith. Faith is a good thing. Sometimes I wish I had it.

I'm going to have to partially disagree with you, in saying that it all depends on what the faith is 'in.' When it comes to theistic faith, at least, I think that faith in anything but a Deistic deity (which is, off the top of my head, apparently the only kind of deity one could believe in where the belief would not conflict at all with scientific discovery etc.) is inherently detrimental and 'a step backward' when it comes to human progress overall. Extreme example: if everyone decided to believe that blindness was a curse from God to sinners, then no one would do any actual research into the subject, and the causes of blindness would never be known.

People with an unshakeable faith tend to be a lot more content than me most of the time.

Well, actually, I think that depends on the person too. Being totally blunt, it's hard to judge the true 'contentment' of someone who's been heavily indoctrinated (and those are the people most likely to have truly "unshakeable" faith)--that chunk of people will invariably seem content, but under the surface, there is, more often than not, an unhealthy level of dependence on that same faith. Is someone who is content with faith, but not (or worse, a total wreck) without it, truly content?

At the same time, I could argue that I, as well as a lot of other atheists (especially those brought up theist), feel much more 'contentment' in abandoning beliefs that make no sense to me. I know that I am happier now than I was when I was Catholic.

I know you weren't really generalizing, and comparing to yourself, but basically, to the above quoted statement, I say "well, not more than me."

Faith isn't something you can just wish upon yourself, however, and it's not something you should argue about. You have it or you don't ... end of discussion.

People who have faith sometimes believe that you can prove the existence of God but that too is faith not fact. On the other hand, I've never heard an atheist prove there isn't a God. Perhaps they're afraid they might be right.

Well, this a bit confusing, because you seem to refer both to the Christian god (whose name is God (real original, guys ;))), and to the idea of "a God" (got the feeling you didn't mean the Christian god there). The existence of any god or gods? Of course no one can disprove that. But the Christian God (as ? Yeah, I can prove "He" doesn't exist, actually. :P Because of the way Christians define God (and I haven't looked into it enough, but I believe this also applies to both of the other 'big three' religions that worship the Abrahamic god), "He" is a self-contradiction that can't exist. So either "He" doesn't exist, or Christians have 'got him all wrong.' I won't bother explaining that all out here, but if anyone thinks it's worth starting a new topic on, I'll do it. *shrugs*

When I was in school, evolution got along very well with religion because, 'God created evolution'. Simple enough. I'd never heard of 'Creationism' until very recently and, to my mind, it doesn't make as much logical sense as evolution. When I look at the patterns of everything I've experienced in my life, I side with evolution as the answer to how we got to where we are. Can I offer absolute proof that evolution is the whole story? No, but I also can't offer absolute proof that humans were not left here by space aliens either. As a matter of fact, Creationism and the space alien theory hold about the same amount of water logically.

Very true. Thing is that as much as nothing in science can be called "absolute proof," at least it's something. At least with this little bit that we know, we can actually make accurate predictions, cure diseases, and stuff like that. That's a hell (pun intended :P) of a lot more than faith alone, whether in a deity or in anything else, has ever accomplished. So, I must say I'd rather go with something than with nothing.

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I thought I'd throw my two cents in on the discussion of God, Faith and Religion. I've been reading a lot (not all) of the discussion on this board and, frankly, it makes my head spin.

I am an agnostic because there is no way to prove the existence of God. However, there is no way to prove there isn't a God either. Something could have created the universe or the universe could have always been here. There is no way for us to know. 

So, if you accept God or religion, you accept it on faith. Faith is a good thing. Sometimes I wish I had it. People with an unshakeable faith tend to be a lot more content than me most of the time. Faith isn't something you can just wish upon yourself, however, and it's not something you should argue about. You have it or you don't ... end of discussion.

People who have faith sometimes believe that you can prove the existence of God but that too is faith not fact. On the other hand, I've never heard an atheist prove there isn't a God. Perhaps they're afraid they might be right.

When I was in school, evolution got along very well with religion because, 'God created evolution'. Simple enough. I'd never heard of 'Creationism' until very recently and, to my mind, it doesn't make as much logical sense as evolution. When I look at the patterns of everything I've experienced in my life, I side with evolution as the answer to how we got to where we are. Can I offer absolute proof that evolution is the whole story? No, but I also can't offer absolute proof that humans were not left here by space aliens either. As a matter of fact, Creationism and the space alien theory hold about the same amount of water logically. 

So, I guess if you guys are having fun batting Pascal around, who am I to complain... enjoy. The truth to the angels on the head of a pin question can be the source of endless ideas but no answers no matter how deep you dig or how many references you have.

What most people miss is that the way we think is in many ways as important as our conclusions, sometimes more important. What gets lost in a chain of thought like the above is not only that science and belief-in-god operate in different ways, but that those differences make a difference as to how relevant each field is to our lives. So while I accept that Radagast is an agnostic, I suggest constructively that he or she take a closer look at the scientific method and its applications versus this kind of "faith" and its "applications."

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Good to see you back Rad..even though according to some of these children we're not Legitimate because we aren't "Registered"..no matter that we've been posting here through 4 different board owners. It's a matter of respect..some of these people just cant agree to disagree, they have to attack and belittle.."You dont believe what i Believe, therefore you must be Stupid". Pascal's wager is fine with me. Live a good Life, dont steal, cheat, murder, ect, and even if there IS no heaven, you'll still die knowing you were a good person. It really IS that simple.

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Pascal's wager is fine with me. Live a good Life, dont steal, cheat, murder, ect, and even if there IS no heaven, you'll still die knowing you were a good person.  It really IS that simple.

Uh, that's not Pascal's Wager--not even close. Pascal's Wager basically says (wrongly) 'you should believe in God, because the consequences for being wrong are greater for the disbeliever than the believer.' In fact, what you said sounds a lot more like the "atheist's wager" rebuttal that was conceived to counter Pascal's Wager:

"You should live your life and try to make the world a better place for your being in it, whether or not you believe in God. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will be remembered fondly by those you left behind. If there is a benevolent God, he may judge you on your merits coupled with your commitments, and not just on whether or not you believed in him." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_wager#Atheist.27s_Wager

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I thought I'd throw my two cents in on the discussion of God, Faith and Religion. I've been reading a lot (not all) of the discussion on this board and, frankly, it makes my head spin.

I am an agnostic because there is no way to prove the existence of God. However, there is no way to prove there isn't a God either. Something could have created the universe or the universe could have always been here. There is no way for us to know. 

So, if you accept God or religion, you accept it on faith. Faith is a good thing. Sometimes I wish I had it. People with an unshakeable faith tend to be a lot more content than me most of the time. Faith isn't something you can just wish upon yourself, however, and it's not something you should argue about. You have it or you don't ... end of discussion.

People who have faith sometimes believe that you can prove the existence of God but that too is faith not fact. On the other hand, I've never heard an atheist prove there isn't a God. Perhaps they're afraid they might be right.

When I was in school, evolution got along very well with religion because, 'God created evolution'. Simple enough. I'd never heard of 'Creationism' until very recently and, to my mind, it doesn't make as much logical sense as evolution. When I look at the patterns of everything I've experienced in my life, I side with evolution as the answer to how we got to where we are. Can I offer absolute proof that evolution is the whole story? No, but I also can't offer absolute proof that humans were not left here by space aliens either. As a matter of fact, Creationism and the space alien theory hold about the same amount of water logically. 

So, I guess if you guys are having fun batting Pascal around, who am I to complain... enjoy. The truth to the angels on the head of a pin question can be the source of endless ideas but no answers no matter how deep you dig or how many references you have.

Thank you, what I was trying to get through to Paul is, what works for him, might not work for everyone. You know . . . . . . . . freedom of religion. I don't want him to believe in what I do, just embrace his own beliefs, and leave me to mine.

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Thank you, what I was trying to get through to Paul is, what works for him, might not work for everyone.  You know . . . . . . . .  freedom of religion.  I don't want him to believe in what I do, just embrace his own beliefs, and leave me to mine.

Loki, I understand that what works for me might not work for you. My point is that some things are abhorrent, and eternal torment being called justice is among them.

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I'd PM you my thoughts on why I am atheist instead of agnostic (just to see what you think--I used to be agnostic), but you're not registered. D'oh. :blink:

I'm going to have to partially disagree with you, in saying that it all depends on what the faith is 'in.' When it comes to theistic faith, at least, I think that faith in anything but a Deistic deity (which is, off the top of my head, apparently the only kind of deity one could believe in where the belief would not conflict at all with scientific discovery etc.) is inherently detrimental and 'a step backward' when it comes to human progress overall. Extreme example: if everyone decided to believe that blindness was a curse from God to sinners, then no one would do any actual research into the subject, and the causes of blindness would never be known.

Well, actually, I think that depends on the person too. Being totally blunt, it's hard to judge the true 'contentment' of someone who's been heavily indoctrinated (and those are the people most likely to have truly "unshakeable" faith)--that chunk of people will invariably seem content, but under the surface, there is, more often than not, an unhealthy level of dependence on that same faith. Is someone who is content with faith, but not (or worse, a total wreck) without it, truly content?

At the same time, I could argue that I, as well as a lot of other atheists (especially those brought up theist), feel much more 'contentment' in abandoning beliefs that make no sense to me. I know that I am happier now than I was when I was Catholic.

I know you weren't really generalizing, and comparing to yourself, but basically, to the above quoted statement, I say "well, not more than me."

Well, this a bit confusing, because you seem to refer both to the Christian god (whose name is God (real original, guys ;))), and to the idea of "a God" (got the feeling you didn't mean the Christian god there). The existence of any god or gods? Of course no one can disprove that. But the Christian God (as ? Yeah, I can prove "He" doesn't exist, actually. :( Because of the way Christians define God (and I haven't looked into it enough, but I believe this also applies to both of the other 'big three' religions that worship the Abrahamic god), "He" is a self-contradiction that can't exist. So either "He" doesn't exist, or Christians have 'got him all wrong.' I won't bother explaining that all out here, but if anyone thinks it's worth starting a new topic on, I'll do it. *shrugs*

Very true. Thing is that as much as nothing in science can be called "absolute proof," at least it's something. At least with this little bit that we know, we can actually make accurate predictions, cure diseases, and stuff like that. That's a hell (pun intended :P) of a lot more than faith alone, whether in a deity or in anything else, has ever accomplished. So, I must say I'd rather go with something than with nothing.

When your time is near it's end and fear is gripping you, ask for Him you will and answer you He shall.

Peace to you my friend. Pass that along and you will find true contentment.

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When your time is near it's end and fear is gripping you, ask for Him you will and answer you He shall. 

Peace to you my friend.  Pass that along and you will find true contentment.

Maybe he has true contentment, perhaps more than any Christian on earth. You don't know. You don't even know who he is. That's why this sort of thing is arrogant.

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When your time is near it's end and fear is gripping you, ask for Him you will and answer you He shall.

You wish, both that I would do that and that there is a "Him" to address. The Christian god, as Christians define him, does not and cannot exist, in the same way and for the same reason that one can be just as confident in saying that a square with three sides doesn't exist.

Peace to you my friend.  Pass that along and you will find true contentment.

Sorry, but I don't find chatting with an imaginary friend all that fulfilling. I prefer real people.

(you asked for it, with that condescending attitude)

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