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Hitchens: To American Atheists


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#21 SuitedAces21

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:23 PM

View Postbrvheart, on Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 4:48 PM, said:

"It wouldn't mean much" wasn't supposed to conveying emotion, but reality. What would be the point of Jesus dying?
but that's still you using human faculties to evaluate god's choices, is it not? how can we judge anything about god if he exists outside of our reality? how can we know what it means? and i dont accept "because the bible tells us what it means" as an answer.
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#22 brvheart

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:24 PM

View PostSuitedAces21, on Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 9:23 PM, said:

but that's still you using human faculties to evaluate god's choices, is it not? how can we judge anything about god if he exists outside of our reality? how can we know what it means?
I think this is fair.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#23 SuitedAces21

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:55 PM

View Postbrvheart, on Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 9:24 PM, said:

I think this is fair.
Serious Question:Then how can you believe in god?
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#24 Spademan

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 09:41 PM

View Postbrvheart, on Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 7:24 PM, said:

I think this is fair.
You've been providing some striking examples of cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization on this type of issue (your god being "outside of our ability to comprehend" vs. you making explicit statements that claim to comprehend your god). Striking enough that it bears highlighting.It happened also in the thread discussing morality where I hammered your "sniff test" analogy as being able to know what rules would be of god and which wouldn't when you had earlier claimed god was outside of our ability to understand in such a way.You concluded, "that's fair". Basically falling back on your god being unknowable.What has happened in both instances (and I think there are more but these are the two I remember off hand) is you have attempted to defend the absurdity of describing the god of Abraham as "moral" by, at first, stating that humans can't know your Imaginary Conception's mind, therefore maybe it is more moral. A higher, incomprehensible morality. This is challenged in some way, "that means baby rape can be moral if god says so", for example. Examples that show your position is stupid, or at the very least devoid of any "morality" in any sense that is not arbitrary or revolting. You intuit the position is stupid - you don't actually see that it's stupid - and, instead of recognizing the absurdity of your position your brain switches gears. That "unknowable" position heads off to squirrel itself away in another part of your brain. A different compartment. In it's place you personify god - bring your conception of god back into knowable reality and defend it with a variation "god wouldn't do that" or "maybe it's because of this [human reasoning]". Explicitly claiming that human moral reasoning can "sniff out"... you know... morality. Implying that it isn't, in fact, some arbitrary thing based upon what some nebulous unknowable being commands. This allows your god concept to survive the arguments being made against you. You've switched gears and answered the issue, to your mind.Then, once it is pointed out that you have contradicted yourself by claiming you know what god's morality is, and you're claiming to know what would be "gods moral directive" and what wouldn't... the same thing happens, in reverse.Namely, you go back to "I think it's fair to say we have no idea what is 'moral' or 'not moral' according to the unknowable god".In your mind you've successfully addressed the problem raised, again. It's remarkable. You hold, simultaneously, two completely incongruous ideas in your head. And whichever is necessary, depending on the moment, to preserve your belief in the "absolute morality of god" is swiftly switched into the foreground. This is one of the most insidious traits of the supernatural. Whether it be aliens, bigfoot and other monsters, gods, ghosts, psychics - anything that people can make up that is "outside of our ability to understand" and "outside of testable reality". It allows for an excellent place to compartmentalize away from all reason, logic, evidence, empiricism, and critical thought. A place unassailable by any actual means of knowing. It can be accessed and used at any time. Then, once the assault is over, the old positive claims can return. The claims that can be questioned or dissected. And the believer isn't even aware this switch is happening, in any real sense. They are utterly oblivious to the contradiction. And will follow the same process when a variant, or even the same problem arises in the future. We really need to have a focus on critical thought in early education. A huge focus. We aren't equipping our youth with the tools necessary to help them decipher nonsense from sense. Allowing someone to slip through a high school degree believing that faith is as valid as evidence, in terms of knowledge, is outrageous. I'd wager even the word "epistemology", for example, is utterly foreign to a vast majority of high school graduates, which would be outrageous. Not equipping a student with the ability to self-regulate cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias - to lessen their effects at the very least - is outrageous. Ending a high school career without learning that the beginning of any hypothesis should be the null hypothesis:H0: There are no bigfoot. Even if you believe there is a bigfoot, even if you have evidence for bigfoot, the correct methodology is to have your first hypothesis as the null hypothesis... and you set to disprove this hypothesis via evidence. This is in your own mind, in your own research, in your own formulation of belief, before even adopting the position - and certainly before presenting it to others as true. To allow someone to finish their basic education thinking an acceptable way to go about understanding things, knowing things, or believing things is to adopt a positive hypothesis and defend it from there, is outrageous. Just begging for cognitive dissonance, compartmentalization, and confirmation bias. Leading to BG's and brv's and fundies and conspiracy nutters and YEC's and every other flavor of credulous idiot buying into innumerable frauds, shams, systems, cons and ideologies of abject quackery. *note*This is muddled as hell, I'm sure, but at the moment I'm way too lazy to clean it up, edit it for clarity or, well, anything really. So deal.
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#25 Roll the Bones

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 12:30 PM

View PostSpademan, on Friday, May 13th, 2011, 1:41 AM, said:

You've been providing some striking examples of cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization on this type of issue (your god being "outside of our ability to comprehend" vs. you making explicit statements that claim to comprehend your god). Striking enough that it bears highlighting.It happened also in the thread discussing morality where I hammered your "sniff test" analogy as being able to know what rules would be of god and which wouldn't when you had earlier claimed god was outside of our ability to understand in such a way.You concluded, "that's fair". Basically falling back on your god being unknowable.What has happened in both instances (and I think there are more but these are the two I remember off hand) is you have attempted to defend the absurdity of describing the god of Abraham as "moral" by, at first, stating that humans can't know your Imaginary Conception's mind, therefore maybe it is more moral. A higher, incomprehensible morality. This is challenged in some way, "that means baby rape can be moral if god says so", for example. Examples that show your position is stupid, or at the very least devoid of any "morality" in any sense that is not arbitrary or revolting. You intuit the position is stupid - you don't actually see that it's stupid - and, instead of recognizing the absurdity of your position your brain switches gears. That "unknowable" position heads off to to squirrel itself away in another part of your brain. A different compartment. In it's place you personify god - bring your conception of god back into knowable reality and defend it with a variation "god wouldn't do that" or "maybe it's because of this [human reasoning]". Explicitly claiming that human moral reasoning can "sniff out"... you know... morality. Implying that it isn't, in fact, some arbitrary thing based upon what some nebulous unknowable being commands. This allows your god concept to survive the arguments being made against you. You've switched gears and answered the issue, to your mind.Then, once it is pointed out that you have contradicted yourself by claiming you know what god's morality is, and you're claiming to know what would be "gods moral directive" and what wouldn't... the same thing happens, in reverse.Namely, you go back to "I think it's fair to say we have no idea what is 'moral' or 'not moral' according to the unknowable god".In your mind you've successfully addressed the problem raised, again. It's remarkable. You hold, simultaneously, two completely incongruous ideas in your head. And whichever is necessary, depending on the moment, to preserve your belief in the "absolute morality of god" is swiftly switched into the foreground. This is one of the most insidious traits of the supernatural. Whether it be aliens, bigfoot and other monsters, gods, ghosts, psychics - anything that people can make up that is "outside of our ability to understand" and "outside of testable reality". It allows for an excellent place to compartmentalize away from all reason, logic, evidence, empiricism, and critical thought. A place unassailable by any actual means of knowing. It can be accessed and used at any time. Then, once the assault is over, the old positive claims can return. The claims that can be questioned or dissected. And the believer isn't even aware this switch is happening, in any real sense. They are utterly oblivious to the contradiction. And will follow the same process when a variant, or even the same problem arises in the future. We really need to have a focus on critical thought in early education. A huge focus. We aren't equipping our youth with the tools necessary to help them decipher nonsense from sense. Allowing someone to slip through a high school degree believing that faith is as valid as evidence, in terms of knowledge, is outrageous. I'd wager even the word "epistemology", for example, is utterly foreign to a vast majority of high school graduates, which would be outrageous. Not equipping a student with the ability to self-regulate cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias - to lessen their effects at the very least - is outrageous. Ending a high school career without learning that the beginning of any hypothesis should be the null hypothesis:H0: There are no bigfoot. Even if you believe there is a bigfoot, even if you have evidence for bigfoot, the correct methodology is to have your first hypothesis as the null hypothesis... and you set to disprove this hypothesis via evidence. This is in your own mind, in your own research, in your own formulation of belief, before even adopting the position - and certainly before presenting it to others as true. To allow someone to finish their basic education thinking an acceptable way to go about understanding things, knowing things, or believing things is to adopt a positive hypothesis and defend it from there, is outrageous. Just begging for cognitive dissonance, compartmentalization, and confirmation bias. Leading to BG's and brv's and fundies and conspiracy nutters and YEC's and every other flavor of credulous idiot buying into innumerable frauds, shams, systems, cons and ideologies of abject quackery. *note*This is muddled as hell, I'm sure, but at the moment I'm way too lazy to clean it up, edit it for clarity or, well, anything really. So deal.
I agree. This should be a primary goal of education
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#26 phlegm

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:20 AM

View PostSpademan, on Thursday, May 12th, 2011, 10:41 PM, said:

I dont believe in God, ergo, anyone who does by definition is an idiot.*note*This is muddled as hell, I'm sure, but at the moment I'm way too lazy to clean it up, edit it for clarity or, well, anything really. So deal.
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#27 brvheart

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:26 AM

View Postphlegm, on Monday, May 16th, 2011, 2:20 PM, said:

FYP
sigh. Now I'm going to have to actually make a well thought out response. Thanks a lot.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#28 phlegm

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 02:03 PM

View Postbrvheart, on Monday, May 16th, 2011, 12:26 PM, said:

sigh. Now I'm going to have to actually make a well thought out response. Thanks a lot.
Awell thought out response to matters of faith,being nothin more than an academic exercise, belongs in theology class.
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#29 Spademan

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 02:45 PM

View Postphlegm, on Monday, May 16th, 2011, 12:20 PM, said:

I am a worthless piece of shit.

'"Luck" is people taking the laws of probability personally; Luck is the excitement of bad math.'

#30 phlegm

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 05:25 PM

Spademan is a baby killing, turd swallowing, f ucktard.Nothing like a juvenile, name calling contest on the internet.Im sorry you are so unhappy with your miserable little life, that trying to become an online bully is the highlite of your day.
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#31 brvheart

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 05:32 PM

fuck

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#32 BigDMcGee

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:22 PM

View Postphlegm, on Monday, May 16th, 2011, 8:25 PM, said:

Spademan is a baby killing, turd swallowing, f ucktard.Nothing like a juvenile, name calling contest on the internet.Im sorry you are so unhappy with your miserable little life, that trying to become an online bully is the highlite of your day.
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#33 Spademan

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 06:03 AM

View Postphlegm, on Monday, May 16th, 2011, 6:25 PM, said:

Seriously. I am an unrelenting, irredeemable piece of shit.

'"Luck" is people taking the laws of probability personally; Luck is the excitement of bad math.'

#34 vbnautilus

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:53 AM

View Postphlegm, on Monday, May 16th, 2011, 3:03 PM, said:

Awell thought out response to matters of faith,being nothin more than an academic exercise, belongs in theology class.
brvheart has been threatening to write a well-thought out response in the religion forum for years, but he never quite gets around to it.

#35 brvheart

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:37 AM

View Postvbnautilus, on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011, 10:53 AM, said:

brvheart has been threatening to write a well-thought out response in the religion forum for years, but he never quite gets around to it.
Bastard.

View PostiZuma, on 20 August 2012 - 11:32 AM, said:

napa I was jesus christing suited, you guys just slipped in before me.

View PostEssay21, on 25 February 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

.

#36 BigDMcGee

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:45 AM

View Postvbnautilus, on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011, 10:53 AM, said:

brvheart has been threatening to write a well-thought out response in the religion forum for years, but he never quite gets around to it.
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#37 ezelisko

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Posted 19 May 2011 - 11:22 PM

First off, I am a christian because that is what I choose to believe in (not trying to start a war here, just background). Mother is Catholic, father is Protestant. When it comes to religion, I do believe in God and Jesus. I try to follow the path the best I possibly can, although I horribly mess it up. To be honest, I do not think anyone on earth can really get any sort of a grip on what God or whomever you believe in wishes for us to do. I think sin is as rampant as air, disease, or water. I think the first key to truely being a man/woman of religion is to admit that you are not perfect and, therefore, should not attempt or feel obligated to impress your religion on anyone, reguardless of how perfect you may feel. Second, I think that to look at the possibility that your religion might be wrong OR to possibly look at the idea that religion does not exist would not only open your eyes elsewhere, but reaffirm your belief in your specific religion. It could possibly lead you astray, but that is what growing up/self discovery is about. Rather then just say 'there is nothing, and everyone who believes otherwise is retarded' or 'if you don't believe in this religion, you are wrong', think to yourself some examples of how you feel God has specifically changed your life. Provided you with food? Shelter? Water? No, thats your free will that he gave you. You decided to earn money doing whatever you do, which is why you can AFFORD food, water, shelter. Allowed you to wake up in the morning? Debatable, to be honest. Yes, in essence, he could have checked you out, but at the same time it could be that either you have nothing wrong with you or your body/mind has not quit on you. As a Christian, it does bother me a bit that everyone screams 'God provided me with food, shelter' when it was the individual who technically provided it for themself. I use the bible as a, for a lack of a better term, 'guide' on how to try and strive. That doesn't mean that the bible hasn't been manipulated. Any response would be appreciated.

#38 digitalmonkey

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 06:57 AM

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 2:22 AM, said:

First off, I am a christian because that is what I choose to believe in (not trying to start a war here, just background). Mother is Catholic, father is Protestant. When it comes to religion, I do believe in God and Jesus. I try to follow the path the best I possibly can, although I horribly mess it up. To be honest, I do not think anyone on earth can really get any sort of a grip on what God or whomever you believe in wishes for us to do. I think sin is as rampant as air, disease, or water. I think the first key to truely being a man/woman of religion is to admit that you are not perfect and, therefore, should not attempt or feel obligated to impress your religion on anyone, reguardless of how perfect you may feel. Second, I think that to look at the possibility that your religion might be wrong OR to possibly look at the idea that religion does not exist would not only open your eyes elsewhere, but reaffirm your belief in your specific religion. It could possibly lead you astray, but that is what growing up/self discovery is about. Rather then just say 'there is nothing, and everyone who believes otherwise is retarded' or 'if you don't believe in this religion, you are wrong', think to yourself some examples of how you feel God has specifically changed your life. Provided you with food? Shelter? Water? No, thats your free will that he gave you. You decided to earn money doing whatever you do, which is why you can AFFORD food, water, shelter. Allowed you to wake up in the morning? Debatable, to be honest. Yes, in essence, he could have checked you out, but at the same time it could be that either you have nothing wrong with you or your body/mind has not quit on you. As a Christian, it does bother me a bit that everyone screams 'God provided me with food, shelter' when it was the individual who technically provided it for themself. I use the bible as a, for a lack of a better term, 'guide' on how to try and strive. That doesn't mean that the bible hasn't been manipulated. Any response would be appreciated.
You use the bible as a guide to try and strive? How?
Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

#39 vbnautilus

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:26 AM

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM, said:

not trying to start a war here
Your avatar suggests otherwise...

Quote

To be honest, I do not think anyone on earth can really get any sort of a grip on what God or whomever you believe in wishes for us to do. I think sin is as rampant as air, disease, or water.
If we can't know what god wants us to do, how do you know what qualifies as "sin" or that there is such a thing?

Quote

Second, I think that to look at the possibility that your religion might be wrong OR to possibly look at the idea that religion does not exist would not only open your eyes elsewhere, but reaffirm your belief in your specific religion. It could possibly lead you astray, but that is what growing up/self discovery is about.
I appreciate the sentiment here, but I think it doesn't go far enough. If you go into the consideration that you might be wrong with the goal of reaffirming your belief in your specific religion, then there is really no point. A truly open-minded inquiry is done with the goal of finding out what the truth is, regardless of whether it is what you want it to be.

Quote

Rather then just say 'there is nothing, and everyone who believes otherwise is retarded' or 'if you don't believe in this religion, you are wrong', think to yourself some examples of how you feel God has specifically changed your life. Provided you with food? Shelter? Water? No, thats your free will that he gave you. You decided to earn money doing whatever you do, which is why you can AFFORD food, water, shelter. Allowed you to wake up in the morning? Debatable, to be honest. Yes, in essence, he could have checked you out, but at the same time it could be that either you have nothing wrong with you or your body/mind has not quit on you. As a Christian, it does bother me a bit that everyone screams 'God provided me with food, shelter' when it was the individual who technically provided it for themself.
So what did he do then?

#40 Spademan

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Posted 21 May 2011 - 08:32 AM

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM, said:

First off, I am a christian because that is what I choose to believe in (not trying to start a war here, just background). Mother is Catholic, father is Protestant. When it comes to religion, I do believe in God and Jesus. I try to follow the path the best I possibly can, although I horribly mess it up. To be honest, I do not think anyone on earth can really get any sort of a grip on what God or whomever you believe in wishes for us to do. I think sin is as rampant as air, disease, or water. I think the first key to truely being a man/woman of religion is to admit that you are not perfect and, therefore, should not attempt or feel obligated to impress your religion on anyone, reguardless of how perfect you may feel. Second, I think that to look at the possibility that your religion might be wrong OR to possibly look at the idea that religion does not exist would not only open your eyes elsewhere, but reaffirm your belief in your specific religion. It could possibly lead you astray, but that is what growing up/self discovery is about. Rather then just say 'there is nothing, and everyone who believes otherwise is retarded' or 'if you don't believe in this religion, you are wrong', think to yourself some examples of how you feel God has specifically changed your life. Provided you with food? Shelter? Water? No, thats your free will that he gave you. You decided to earn money doing whatever you do, which is why you can AFFORD food, water, shelter. Allowed you to wake up in the morning? Debatable, to be honest. Yes, in essence, he could have checked you out, but at the same time it could be that either you have nothing wrong with you or your body/mind has not quit on you. As a Christian, it does bother me a bit that everyone screams 'God provided me with food, shelter' when it was the individual who technically provided it for themself. I use the bible as a, for a lack of a better term, 'guide' on how to try and strive. That doesn't mean that the bible hasn't been manipulated. Any response would be appreciated.
Ugh. Paragraph breaks. Minor editing. An attempt at clarity and brevity. <---- Try these things.

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM, said:

First off, I am a christian because that is what I choose to believe in (not trying to start a war here, just background). Mother is Catholic, father is Protestant.
This is funny. I'll leave it there and hope you can figure out why.

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM, said:

When it comes to religion, I do believe in God and Jesus. I try to follow the path the best I possibly can, although I horribly mess it up. To be honest, I do not think anyone on earth can really get any sort of a grip on what God or whomever you believe in wishes for us to do.
Jesus Christ, fix your brain. Learn to logic. 1. You try to follow "the path" but you mess it up.2. You don't think anyone on earth can know what God's path could be.Does. Not. Fucking. Compute. You claim to know what path you're supposed to be on, and claim to be messing it up from time to time. Then in the next fucking sentence you claim that nobody can know what the path is. How does this slip out of your brain without you seeing it makes no fucking sense. They are fucking mutually exclusive. If nobody on earth can know what God wants you to do: how the fuck do you know when you're doing it, not doing it, messing it up, or... fucking anything, dude?Use your fucking brain. Cognitive dissonance. Compartmentalization. From one fucking sentence to the next.

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM, said:

I think sin is as rampant as air, disease, or water. I think the first key to truely being a man/woman of religion is to admit that you are not perfect and, therefore, should not attempt or feel obligated to impress your religion on anyone, reguardless of how perfect you may feel. Second, I think that to look at the possibility that your religion might be wrong OR to possibly look at the idea that religion does not exist would not only open your eyes elsewhere, but reaffirm your belief in your specific religion. It could possibly lead you astray, but that is what growing up/self discovery is about.
Wat.

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM, said:

Rather then just say 'there is nothing, and everyone who believes otherwise is retarded' or 'if you don't believe in this religion, you are wrong', think to yourself some examples of how you feel God has specifically changed your life. Provided you with food? Shelter? Water? No, thats your free will that he gave you. You decided to earn money doing whatever you do, which is why you can AFFORD food, water, shelter. Allowed you to wake up in the morning? Debatable, to be honest. Yes, in essence, he could have checked you out, but at the same time it could be that either you have nothing wrong with you or your body/mind has not quit on you. As a Christian, it does bother me a bit that everyone screams 'God provided me with food, shelter' when it was the individual who technically provided it for themself.
It isn't "there is nothing, and everyone who believes otherwise is retarded", it's "there is no evidence for your spectacular superstitious nonsense, therefore 'believing' in it is retarded." Important distinction. Try to learn it. The rest of this section doesn't make much fucking sense.

View Postezelisko, on Friday, May 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM, said:

Any response would be appreciated.
We'll see.
'"Luck" is people taking the laws of probability personally; Luck is the excitement of bad math.'




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