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EvenBob
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December 20th, 2011 at 7:02:05 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

their belief in a creator God forces them to think that a human being is of such value that every human person is worth more than all the stars of heaven to God.



Gee, no conceit or egoism in that statement. What a burden
you must bear, being so special. Invent a god you can't see
or prove exists, than make yourself super special in his eyes.
Its kinda like walking the fine line between real life and the
looney bin. Thats why there have been so many Christian
nut cases over the years, pushing them over the line doesn't
take much. We don't commit Christians to mental hospitals,
even though they have an invisible best friend, talk to him
frequently, eat his flesh and drink his blood, believe his mother
was a virgin, and think he's coming back to life any day now.
We don't commit them because they seem mostly harmless.
Its when they try and drag us into their delusions that we get
worried.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 20th, 2011 at 8:38:11 PM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

if you toss out the whole religion part, it's that much more significant because all of that beauty and greatness comes from within you and not bestowed magically upon you by some invisible friend who lives on a cloud.



if you do toss out the religion part where does that beauty and greatness within you come from if not bestowed on you from above? What makes you so special or beautiful or great if no more thought went into you than the accidental combination of atoms that make up a banana? Instead of just saying I am wrong can you tell me why?
EvenBob
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December 20th, 2011 at 8:49:33 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

What makes you so special or beautiful or great if no more thought went into you than the accidental combination of atoms that make up a banana?



Whats wrong with a banana? Can YOU make a banana? Do you know
how beautiful a banana is? Especially if it evolved, became a banana
out of its own banananess. And how much thought goes into reading
a book of musty old fables written by long dead men, and saying hey,
I don't have to figure anything out, I'll just believe all the crap in this
book. Yeah, thats real original.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 20th, 2011 at 8:52:06 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Gee, no conceit or egoism in that statement. What a burden
you must bear, being so special.



If it is any consolation I believe you are that special too. I also think you are right that it is a burden recognizing that all of us are so special. It means even though I really want to be mean to others or disrespect them I really shouldn't. It means that I, like HotBlonde, need to continually challenge myself and make goals to be better. I wonder if you can tell me what the burden is like to think that you are not special at all and no more important than the spider on the wall?

Quote: EvenBob

Thats why there have been so many Christian
nut cases over the years, pushing them over the line doesn't
take much. We don't commit Christians to mental hospitals,
even though they have an invisible best friend, talk to him
frequently, eat his flesh and drink his blood, believe his mother
was a virgin, and think he's coming back to life any day now.
We don't commit them because they seem mostly harmless.
Its when they try and drag us into their delusions that we get
worried.



I reckon there have been many more atheist nut cases over the years who have to make up science fiction or crazy stories about how we or anything has come to exist in the first place, who feel they don't have any real reason for existing beyond the present and foreseeable future and cannot see the supernatural and miraculous in life and who think that death is actually an end with nothing existing for us afterwards. Talk about teetering on the edge of craziness, despair, and delusion.
Keyser
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December 20th, 2011 at 8:54:56 PM permalink
Geez Bob,

You are one very cynical and bitter little man. Who did this to you?
rxwine
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December 20th, 2011 at 9:00:08 PM permalink
Why would you want a god you fear and worship?

(and that's from 1994, not 2011, btw.) (However, "fascinating" to quote Spock)
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
EvenBob
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December 20th, 2011 at 9:04:17 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

who feel they don't have any real reason for existing



Why does existence need a reason? You're doing it again. You
think you see a creation, so you invent a creator. You see existence,
so you invent a reason for it. You think you see good, so there must
be evil to balance it. There's no end to it.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 20th, 2011 at 9:08:23 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

And how much thought goes into reading
a book of musty old fables written by long dead men, and saying hey,
I don't have to figure anything out, I'll just believe all the crap in this
book. Yeah, thats real original.



I think bananas are wonderful and I think you are bananas :)

With just a cursory glance at most of your posts it is clear that you are the one dealing in sweeping generalites here about what I believe. The idea that we should not try to figure anything out about our natural world is the antithesis of the Christian thought. One of the fundamental premises underlining scientific inquiry is that the world is made according to rules and order that are quite unique and amazing. Believing that God created the universe and all that exists is the lauching pad for a desire to study and learn as much as possible about every kind of fruit and how it evolved. God uses nature to teach us. What makes this world so exciting to study and exlpore is that in figuring out how things work we discover more about God and ourselves.
EvenBob
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December 20th, 2011 at 9:46:53 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Believing that God created the universe and all that exists is the lauching pad for a desire to study and learn as much as possible about every kind of fruit and how it evolved.



Fruit didn't evolve, remember? God made it just for you. Thats
what the Bible says.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
MathExtremist
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December 20th, 2011 at 10:33:39 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I wonder if you can tell me what the burden is like to think that you are not special at all and no more important than the spider on the wall?


Just to interject, spiders are really much more impressive than you seem to give them credit for being. Spider silk is one of the most amazing physical materials known to man, yet human science can't replicate it after decades of research. Spiders can intuitively build complex architectural structures out of this material, and many are so poisonous they can kill multiple adult humans. What makes you think people are inherently *more* special than spiders?


"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
HotBlonde
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:02:10 PM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

Ahura Mazda, Zeus, Elohim, Jehovah, Odin and the Flying Spaghetti Monster believe in you equally as much.

...

Quote: EvenBob

We don't commit Christians to mental hospitals,
even though they have an invisible best friend, talk to him
frequently, eat his flesh and drink his blood, believe his mother
was a virgin, and think he's coming back to life any day now.

...

Quote: EvenBob

Whats wrong with a banana? Can YOU make a banana? Do you know
how beautiful a banana is? Especially if it evolved, became a banana
out of its own banananess.

... I am seriously loving you guys right now. Very humorous ways to prove good points. And I especially love the mental hospital comments, Bob. So true!

Quote: FrGamble

I reckon there have been many more atheist nut cases over the years who have to make up science fiction or crazy stories about how we or anything has come to exist in the first place, who feel they don't have any real reason for existing beyond the present and foreseeable future and cannot see the supernatural and miraculous in life and who think that death is actually an end with nothing existing for us afterwards. Talk about teetering on the edge of craziness, despair, and delusion.

Once again you are making an assumption of atheists. Again, atheists believe that there is no God. That doesn't mean that all atheists don't believe in an afterlife. I'm sure most don't, but again you're generalizing here. I personally don't believe that there is a heaven or hell that exists in our afterlife. I think it is the human mind that creates all these delusions. And heaven is a seemingly wonderful delusion. But a delusion nonetheless. So let me ask you, FrGamble, if there is no afterlife are you going to say that my life here on earth therefore has no meaning and no value simply as a life lived momentarily in existance?
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
EvenBob
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:03:57 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

What makes you think people are inherently *more* special than spiders?



Thats funny, I have total respect for spiders. I never kill them,
I always let them go around me, or I divert them. They toil and
spin, and have their own agenda. They're mysterious to me, I
love them. I am certainly no better than a spider, how could I
be. We walk the earth in good company. Our fellow, equal, creatures
are everywhere.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
HotBlonde
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:18:45 PM permalink
Byron Katie teaches that things are as they are... and then there's a story.

It's humans who create stories about this and that. Other than that life just is as it is. And I can drive through Yosemite and take in the beauty and I don't have to believe in a God to appreciate the beauty and wonder of nature.

And to go even past religion, which is a whole bunch of stories, I can look in my own life at any thought I have and catch the stories I tell myself. "I should eat healthier." "My neighbor is an asshole." "My kids have to go to college." "I'll never smoke another cigarette again.", etc., etc. And these are all stories we tell ourselves. They seem simpler than these elaborate religious beliefs and even seem to be thoughts that most people feel they can justify. But they are still stories that cloud our reality and our awareness of the here and now. I catch myself constantly thinking similar thoughts and I realize that I believe these thoughts without ever questioning them. How funny that we do this! And it's constant, until you start to get in the habit of taking these thought to inquiry. I mean, if you think about it, how many thoughts do we believe simply because our parents believed and taught us these things and we just accepted these things as our own, never really questioning these stories we carry around with us.

Fascinating.
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
EvenBob
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:21:14 PM permalink
Quote: HotBlonde

. Very humorous ways to prove good points. And I especially love the mental hospital comments, Bob. So true!



If there was no Christian religion, and somebody went
to a shrink and told them all the things Christians believe,
the guy would be labeled a nut case. But because these
beliefs have been grandfathered in, so to speak, we accept
the weirdo's who believe them as being harmless deluded
misfits. We nod and smile when they go on about what
they believe, pat them on the head, and hope they don't
bother us anymore.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
MathExtremist
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:31:53 PM permalink
Quote: HotBlonde

Byron Katie teaches that things are as they are... and then there's a story.


I just went and looked up Byron Katie, and then I chuckled when I found that she bases her philosophy on something called "The Four Questions."

Mah nishtanah halaylah hazeh...
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
JB
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:32:35 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

We nod and smile when they go on about what they believe, pat them on the head, and hope they don't bother us anymore.


The same could be said about people who think they are perfect and know everything.
MrV
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:42:36 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I reckon there have been many more atheist nut cases over the years who have to make up science fiction or crazy stories about how we or anything has come to exist in the first place, who feel they don't have any real reason for existing beyond the present and foreseeable future and cannot see the supernatural and miraculous in life and who think that death is actually an end with nothing existing for us afterwards. Talk about teetering on the edge of craziness, despair, and delusion.



Oh, please.

Pick up your missal and wave it to fend off the bogeyman if you must; me, I face life the way I started: alone.

What, you aren't up for the task?

Can't face the truth: this is all there is.

Afraid of dying, are you, father?
"What, me worry?"
EvenBob
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:45:50 PM permalink
Quote: JB

The same could be said about people who think they are perfect and know everything.



Again, this describes Christians. I have to gird my loins,
my wifes family are rabid Christians, and I have to attend
their ritual family event on Friday. Pray for my safe return..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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December 20th, 2011 at 11:47:32 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Again, this describes Christians. I have to gird my loins, my wifes family are rabid Christians, and I have to attend their ritual family event on Friday. Pray for my safe return..


I do not personally know every Christian in the world, so I'll just take your word for it.
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:09:14 AM permalink
Quote: JB

I do not personally know every Christian in the world, so I'll just take your word for it.



Last year I caught two of my brothers in law laughing
hysterically because people believe dinosaurs are millions
of years old. All Christians know they were here just a
few thousand years ago. You think I'm joking.

I'm not.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
MrV
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:10:46 AM permalink
Hey, they have it on film... The Flintstones.
"What, me worry?"
thecesspit
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:12:56 AM permalink
Not all Christians are young earth creationists.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:14:39 AM permalink
Quote: thecesspit

Not all Christians are young earth creationists.



Don't ruin my axioms. Spoilsport...
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:17:09 AM permalink
Quote: MrV

Hey, they have it on film... The Flintstones.



Yes! The modern stoneage family. So near to us in history,
if we could only grasp the literal meaning of the Bible.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 21st, 2011 at 8:32:33 AM permalink
I get this weird idea that is seems like atheists are living underwater.

When we are underwater it is more clear that human beings aren't so special. It limits our ability to speak, we can't move around too well. There are no constant reminders of what we have built, like cars or skyscrapers. We are just part of nature floating around like everything else.

The problem is we can't stay underwater for very long, its not natural to us, we have to come up and breathe. When we rise out of the water we are embarrassed again that we are so gifted and powerful and in so many ways special beyond belief. Let me say here that I love spiders too, I think they are amazing. I love all of nature and its wonders - how could I not they are God's creation. I am so happy that EvenBob has an enlightened atheist view of nature, because I think it would be just as easy for a true atheist to think this spider isn't worth anything and is here for no other reason than for me to stomp on it. Unfortunately for us religious folks, if we take our faith serious, we have to respect God's creation. Anyway, I digress, where was I? Oh yeah, the human rises out of the water and says I am awesome! So are spiders and even horseshoe crabs, even though they freak me out, but nothing is even close to being as special as a human being. I'm surprised this thought is so abhorrent to some of the atheists on the forum, but it seems painfully obvious to most people that you, your neighbor, and the stranger down the street, and every human person is of inestimable value. Since atheism does not have an answer to why we are so freaking cool, at least no one has given me an answer, we dive back into the water to pretend for a little while longer that we are just like everything else and no more special than the plankton.
DeadRats
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December 21st, 2011 at 9:00:20 AM permalink
" Since atheism does not have an answer to why we are so freaking cool, at least no one has given me an answer, we dive back into the water to pretend for a little while longer that we are just like everything else and no more special than the plankton. "

Now if only those who believe in God could recognize that a religion other than their own might be the true one ????
MathExtremist
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December 21st, 2011 at 9:18:59 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Since atheism does not have an answer to why we are so freaking cool, at least no one has given me an answer, we dive back into the water to pretend for a little while longer that we are just like everything else and no more special than the plankton.


Humanity's achievements are amazing. The majority of life on this planet is very good at adapting to its environment. Humans generally suck at it -- but, we're excellent at adapting our environment to ourselves. You live in a house with central heating and a toilet, I presume.

Faith is not a prerequisite for humanity being cool. I can't speak for atheism, but with homage to Descartes, we're freaking cool because we think we are. I have a quarrel with your idea that somehow being freaking cool necessarily implies that religion is the answer (or was the question). But first, in the spirit of the discussion, let me pose a parable:

Two boys, Todd and Biff, are scheduled to take their final exam in math class. Todd is a straight-A student and, in addition to reading and learning all semester, has intensely studied for the past two weeks for this test. Biff is a slacker, hasn't even gone to half the classes, and is on the verge of failing. Todd arrives at the beginning of the exam hour, studiously works through all the multiple-choice problems, and carefully fills in the ovals on his standardized testing sheet. Todd finishes 15 minutes early. Biff arrives late, with just 10 minutes to spare. On his way past Todd's desk, he uses his phone to take a picture of Todd's scoresheet, then spends 5 minutes copying the answers onto his own. Naturally, the teacher doesn't see this and both students pass the final exam with exactly the same scores.

Now then, between Todd and Biff, whose achievements in passing the math test would you consider to be more impressive?
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Mosca
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December 21st, 2011 at 9:22:38 AM permalink
Why do we have to define humanity as EITHER "special" or "ordinary"? Everyone is treating this as if it is one or the other. It can be both, and neither.

We are unique in some ways, ordinary in others. Even our good FrG would admit that our biology and ecology is the same as that of other animals. Even EvenBob would agree that our organization and its effect on our world is extraordinary.

"All these things are the same." Yes, they are.
"All these things are the same." No, they're not.
"This one thing is special." Yes, it is.
"This one thing is special." No, it isn't.

All those equations are true. None of them preclude any of the others.

If it was an easy answer, we'd already have it. But like everything else that makes life so interesting, the answer is really, really hard, and might never be found.
A falling knife has no handle.
DeadRats
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December 21st, 2011 at 9:27:29 AM permalink
" Now then, between Todd and Biff, whose achievements in passing the math test would you consider to be more impressive? "

The guys I grew up with would have applauded Biff's action. Of course their motto was, Win if you can, Lose if you must, but always CHEAT !
thecesspit
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December 21st, 2011 at 10:08:52 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I am so happy that EvenBob has an enlightened atheist view of nature, because I think it would be just as easy for a true atheist to think this spider isn't worth anything and is here for no other reason than for me to stomp on it.



Bob, the Father as spoken and you are not a true atheist. Please return your special atheist robe, and certificate, and retire to the nearest church.

Father : The spider does not need a reason to exist. Therefore it can not be there "just for me to stomp on" as that implies it has an explicit reason for existence, which implies a creator, which therefore implies the person making that logical step believes in a creator. And therefore is not an atheist.

"embarrassed we are special beyond belief" -- nope, I exist, I can do wonderful things. Or not :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLUX0y4EptA

Life is what YOU make it, not what your planned to do.
"Then you can admire the real gambler, who has neither eaten, slept, thought nor lived, he has so smarted under the scourge of his martingale, so suffered on the rack of his desire for a coup at trente-et-quarante" - Honore de Balzac, 1829
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 10:58:39 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

but it seems painfully obvious to most people that you, your neighbor, and the stranger down the street, and every human person is of inestimable value.



This is true. Its also true they have no value at all. Ask
the Nazi's, they found lots of humans they considered
valueless. Its all a matter of opinion, isn't it. 'One womans
trash is another womans treasure.' FrG considers his
opinion to hold more weight than most others, so he
tries to persuade as many as he can over to his side. Its
for their own good, you know.

Here's a question, padre. Its a fact (look it up) that the
higher your IQ, the less chance there is you'll believe in
god. And the lower your IQ, the greater the chance you'll
be a believer. This begs the question, why is god so attractive
to stupid people.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
HotBlonde
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December 21st, 2011 at 11:13:53 AM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

I just went and looked up Byron Katie, and then I chuckled when I found that she bases her philosophy on something called "The Four Questions."

Well it's called "The Work" but it's based on four questions and turnarounds. There are tons of videos of her on YouTube where she speaks about The Work and lots of videos where you actually see her facilitating The Work on others.

She says that any time you're feeling a negative emotion, it is ALWAYS because you are believing a thought that isn't right for you. And she invites people to sit down and apply The Work to the thought that is causing you the stress.

A basic rundown of The Work:
(and by the way, it's usually important to WRITE THIS STUFF DOWN)
So let's say I believe that I'm feeling frustrated or mad because my friend, Kim, doesn't listen to me.

So here is the stressful thought:
KIM DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME

(The steps of The Work are italicized)

So... KIM DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME...

1. Is that true?
(So maybe I would immediately answer yes. We're looking for only a yes or no for questions 1 and 2.)

2. Can you absolutely know that it's true (that KIM DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME)?
(So maybe I would hesitate and say well, no, she could be listening even though she's looking down texting.)

3. How do you react when you believe the thought KIM DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME?
(So I would list all the ways I react, the emotions I feel, the way I treat her when I believe that, maybe an addiction I turn to, I can think of the first time in my life when I believed I wasn't being listened to, etc., etc.)

4. Who would you be without the thought KIM DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME?
(So I imagine myself sitting there in that same situation in front of Kim and she's looking down and texting and imagine myself sitting there in that situation but without the possibility of being able to even think that thought at all. So maybe my response to this question would be that I would just be someone sitting there with a friend on my couch, talking to her and enjoying her company.)

Then you move from the 4 questions into the Turnarounds. You can usually find at least 3.

If I turn the original statement around to the opposite, the new statement becomes...
KIM DOES LISTEN TO ME. (Turnaround #1)
So now I have to find 3 genuine examples of how this new statement can be as true or truer than my original statement.
(So I can say 1. She does listen to me cuz even though she is not responding to EVERYTHING I'm saying to her she is respond to most of what I'm saying. 2. When I had a problem with my boyfriend she was there for me and listened to my pain. 3. She has ears and I'm sure they're working fine just like anyone else's ears.)

I can turn the original statement around again, this time...
I DON'T LISTEN TO KIM. (Turnaround #2)
Now onto 3 genuine examples.
(At this point I'm probably thinking, "Damn!" cuz who wants to be wrong, right? Our egos don't like to prove that we're in the wrong but we often choose to point the finger outwards at others. So I come up with 3 genuine examples of how I DON'T LISTEN TO KIM can be as true or truer than my originial statement.)

And at least one more turnaround I can find...
I DON'T LISTEN TO ME. (Turnaround #3)
And I then find 3 genuine examples of how this new statement is as true or truer than the original statement that KIM DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME.

By the end of doing the work I sometimes am laughing at how absurd my original statement was, or crying, feeling a sense or relief with realizing that my pain and anguish is not real but was all in my head all along.

If you're interested, I've included a short video of Byron Katie herself facilitating The Work on another that's only a few minutes long to demonstrate the power of The Work. This one has always been a favorite of mine. Enjoy!:

Wonderful Example of The Work
OFFICIALLY and justifiably reclaimed my title as SuperHotBlonde!
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 11:24:02 AM permalink
Quote: HotBlonde


She says that any time you're feeling a negative emotion, it is ALWAYS because you are believing a thought that isn't right for you.



Thats why drugs are so popular. They make you feel
good without putting forth any effort. I remember in
1970 I got ahold of some opium. It was the most
mellow and wonderful high I ever had. Nothing upset
me, everything was just fine. I could see how you could
easily become addicted to that feeling, not withstanding
the physical addiction of a narcotic.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 11:49:37 AM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

the higher your IQ, the less chance there is you'll believe in god. And the lower your IQ, the greater the chance you'll be a believer. This begs the question, why is god so attractive to stupid people.


Look, we all get it: you don't believe in a creator, that's your right. And you disagree with everyone and everything they say, fine. But why do you feel the need to word your disagreements in the most antagonizing manner possible? Is politeness beyond your capabilities?

Looking through your posting history, it seems the answer is obvious. There's a word for people like you.
Mosca
Mosca
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December 21st, 2011 at 11:55:32 AM permalink
Quote: JB

Look, we all get it: you don't believe in a creator, that's your right. And you disagree with everyone and everything they say, fine. But why do you feel the need to word your disagreements in the most antagonizing manner possible? Is politeness beyond your capabilities?

Looking through your posting history, it seems the answer is obvious. There's a word for people like you.



Yeah, EB likes to tweak people. You just tweaked him back from your position as moderator.

A better solution might be to cite people who are both very intelligent and who also believe in a creator, and in a personal god. Or, just disengage.

Ahhhh, whatever. Who cares, it's just the internet. It's not like it really matters.
A falling knife has no handle.
MrV
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:05:19 PM permalink
Quote: Mosca

Ahhhh, whatever. Who cares, it's just the internet. It's not like it really matters.



Hey, doesn't it matter ... to god?
"What, me worry?"
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:10:45 PM permalink
Quote: JB

But why do you feel the need to word your disagreements in the most antagonizing manner possible? Is politeness beyond your capabilities?



MENSA is well known for having
far more than their fair share of atheists. Why is that? If its so obvious,
as FrG points out constantly, that there is a god, there is a creation,
the universe is a moral place, why do so many really smart people
not see it? It makes no sense. If it were obvious, it seems the really
smart people would be all over it, and they're not. Even Einstein said:

"It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems."

"treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem". He didn't believe the
the universe was a moral place either, he didn't believe in a personal god. He said
"I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly."
He described belief in an anthropomorphic deity as being "naïve" and "childlike". Whats
wrong with saying these things, religious people get up on a pulpit and scream their
beliefs every Sunday. An atheist expresses his opinion and is told to keep his mouth shut.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:20:46 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

An atheist expresses his opinion and is told to keep his mouth shut.


I know atheists who are far, far more pleasant than you. The Wizard, for example, is probably the most polite atheist I can think of. The difference between him and you is, his response to someone who believes in God is "We all have to walk our own walk in life" whereas your response is to call them stupid.

Also, I was an atheist all the way up until the point where God's existence was shown/proven to me.
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:26:36 PM permalink
Quote: JB

I know atheists who are far, far more pleasant than you.



Most people are more pleasant than me, let alone
most atheists. But I guarantee you if we had dinner
together, you'd never leave early because I was boring.
In fact, you'd want to do it again.

OK, how was god's existence proven to you. I'll be as
polite as is possible for me in my responses.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:38:48 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Most people are more pleasant than me, let alone most atheists. But I guarantee you if we had dinner together, you'd never leave early because I was boring. In fact, you'd want to do it again.


I believe you!

Quote: EvenBob

OK, how was god's existence proven to you. I'll be as polite as is possible for me in my responses.


It can't be explained any simpler than, the proof is everywhere. The difficulty is that we are born blind to it (i.e. given free will), but you aren't allowed to realize that until it's too late (like it is for me).

God is love, therefore, God is by definition an invisible energy -- like these lyrics describe on behalf of God:
Quote:

And I don't want the world to see me
'cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 12:59:42 PM permalink
Quote: JB

but you aren't allowed to realize that until it's too late (like it is for me).



Why is it too late for you. What do you mean.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 1:12:31 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Why is it too late for you. What do you mean.


It is impossible to describe in words.

If you have ever used LSD or mushrooms, then you are familiar with the psychedelic experience. If you are, imagine trying to describe that experience to someone who has never taken them before: you can't. Not effectively, anyway, because they haven't used that part of their brain yet.

The same difficulty arises once you realize that you have lost everything; it cannot be described in words, it can only be experienced.
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 1:24:33 PM permalink
Quote: JB

It is impossible to describe in words.



I don't know why its too late for you. Too late for what? If
you had the experience, how can it be too late.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 1:36:48 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

I don't know why its too late for you. Too late for what? If you had the experience, how can it be too late.


Too late to go back to how I was before (blindness, ignorance, bliss), at least in this life.
MathExtremist
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December 21st, 2011 at 1:46:43 PM permalink
Quote: JB

Too late to go back to how I was before (blindness, ignorance, bliss), at least in this life.


Interesting. Normally those who have found faith later in life express it as a discovery that brings joy. Yet you seem to say that your ignorance (lack of faith) in your former beliefs was blissful -- does that mean that it is not so now? Are you less happy now that you believe in God?
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 1:49:47 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

Interesting. Normally those who have found faith later in life express it as a discovery that brings joy.



Its interpreted differently by different people. To some
it brings joy, to others it brings unwanted obligation.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 2:04:45 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

Are you less happy now that you believe in God?


When I look back on all of the stupid things I've done that I thought I could get away with...I get more ashamed, paranoid, and frightened with each passing day.
EvenBob
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December 21st, 2011 at 2:09:30 PM permalink
Quote: JB

I get more ashamed, paranoid, and frightened with each passing day.



Things you did in ignorance can't be held against you,
isn't that the whole point of the religion? 'I once was
lost, but now am saved, was blind but now can see.'
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 2:15:06 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Its interpreted differently by different people. To some it brings joy, to others it brings unwanted obligation.


The knowledge that everything you do, say, and think is being watched and recorded at all times could indeed be considered "unwanted" knowledge. There are so many illusions in this world; privacy is only one of them.
JB
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JB
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December 21st, 2011 at 2:18:20 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

Things you did in ignorance can't be held against you, isn't that the whole point of the religion?


I don't know.

Quote: EvenBob

'I once was ... blind but now can see.'


This is true for me.
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