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    Thank you for a long, but outstanding post
    (Original post by BefuddledPenguin)
    what I found was that not only does the book (Bible) come across as less realistic than Harry Potter, but that god, as a concept, is fundamentally totalitarian.
    yes : the Bible God is a totalitarian . As he says it, people shall have no other Gods, because Jhwh "is a jealous God"

    In fact, all monotheistic religions (Christianity, Islam, Judaism in particular) strike me as being far more totalitarian than polytheistic religions: polytheism can easily accommodate supplementary deities, reflecting acceptation of regional cults, natural forces, exotic imports. In short, polytheism is usually far more democratic, nature-friendly, and tolerant of diversity than monotheism, and reflects a much more open, inclusive, lively society

    (Original post by BefuddledPenguin)
    The assumption that theistic dieties exist is not only patently false but would be completely undesirable if true. If christianity was true, I'd ally with Satan in order to dethrone god, as such a throne cannot exist alongside freedom and morality.
    again, I entirely agree.

    The classical human/God relationship is highly unbalanced. In this tyrannical world order, we are oppressed, tortured, deprived of our dignity and status. Any human worth his salt should rebel.

    True, God and his minions (led by that execrable goody-goody, archangel Michael) have won the first two rounds of war in Heaven (Angelic Wars I and II) but this is not a good reason for giving up.

    With the help of the Lord of Darkness, of the one-eyed Dajjal, of the Antechrist, and an army of sympathetic jinns and fallen angels (Asmodel, Zauriel etc), we will establish a wide coalition, overthrow the tiranny of this sadistic "God", and establish a truly democratic, egalitarian, multicultural religion in afterlife

    religious proletariat, arise ! we have nothing to lose but our chains

    All the best
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    This'll be interesting.

    (Original post by Tahira__)
    Then how were you created
    This being, a human body, which is the most complex creation on this earth
    Was created by no one? It just came to be?
    I presume you've heard of evolution?
    This isn't an atheist vs theist point btw - even the religious should 'believe' evolution.

    (Original post by Tahira__)
    What would you believe is the purpose of life?
    What do you believe is the purpose of life?


    PS. I'm an atheist btw.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    I don't think that it's true to say that you can't choose to believe something. With regards to religion, in particular, I've noticed plenty of people indulging in wish-thinking in the face of contradictory evidence and argument.
    let's say that we do have some influence on the outcome : but not a real "choice"

    yes, you can have wishful thinking, confirmation bias, strong doubts (which you may try to repress)

    it may take some time, and you can change your views several times in the process

    the most common voluntary "distortion" is trying to cling to your old faith/belief for some time, because most people, instinctively, fear change and confrontation with their environment

    but, deep inside, you know what you believe : and you don't actually "choose" it

    best
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    (Original post by The Assassin)
    It's not immediately obvious to me why this has to be the case.

    But you just said above that you went past Christian dogma, now you're referencing it again? How did reading the Bible make you abandon classical theism when you already abandoned the dogma previously?


    How have you managed to confirm that? You've just said that it was reading the Bible that led you to finally leaving your faith and somehow you've not only extrapolated that to other forms of theism/religion but also concluded that it must be patently false? There are many forms of theism which aren't religious...
    The old testament in particular presents a world in which an intervening god exists. This is an extremely useful fictional example of theism. Ultimate power can never be benevolent. It doesn't matter that I rejected christianity as any text which offers a theistic world, regardless of how fictional it is, can be analysed in theistic terms. Just as a book which is presented as fiction can teach us things about the real world, the bible can teach us about a theoretical world in which a theistic god exists.

    1984 teaches us about totalitarianism, even if though it isn't true.
    The bible teaches us about theism, even though it isn't true.

    Theism is inherently totalitarian. Deism isn't. A non-interventionist god doesn't matter to anyone other than philosophers, only theism matters.
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    Because it is very easy to dismiss something you have no evidence for, and self gratifying to not adhere to the possibility that there is a being that is intrinsically above you.

    Personally atheism to me is the embodiment of ignorance in belief. You use the judgement that you have no information about something as a means to say it does not exist. Atheism is treated religiously and followed almost biblically. However religion to me is the same. It is the embodiment of fear following blindly.


    Those who understand that we as animals are not intelligent enough to understand the world in more than a singular perception with no certainty for anything -- will know that agnosticism is the only way we can begin to understand anything. It is the belief that there is a possibility for god, but we do not know enough, it does not dismiss or idolize anything. A belief that is in equilibrium between extropianism and nihilism.
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    (Original post by BefuddledPenguin)
    This is an extremely useful fictional example of theism. Ultimate power can
    never be benevolent.
    But because of supersessionism, most Christians would adhere to the principles of the NT.

    It doesn't matter that I rejected christianity as any text which offers a theistic world, regardless of how fictional it is, can be analysed in theistic terms.
    Your readings of the Bible led you to be offended by the notion of God, and led you to the antitheism, right? This is faulty reasoning. You can't analyse one religion in the same way to others, whilst using your methodology of trying to assess totalitarianism (especially when you say Buddhism is wrong for different reasons but now elaborate here with an explanation like this) I have no idea what you mean by analysed in theistic terms, because that's about as vague as vague can be.


    Just as a book which is presented as fiction can teach us things about the real world, the bible can teach us about a theoretical world in which a theistic god exists.
    The theistic God of the OT, rather than theism, sure.
    Theism is inherently totalitarian.
    I haven't seen it as popular for religious scholars or many philosophers to describe it as 'inherently' totalitarian, only when it intertwines with politics for example, or leads to extreme examples. Much exegesis would say that they are not totalitarian per se but interpretations or certain theologies can be totalitarian. Christian fundamentalism and Evangelicalism can be very totalitarian. However, inherently totalitarian? Sorry, can't see why Christian universalism (for example) follows that.

    In classical theism, God's intervention in the universe is to sustain it's existence; it doesn't necessarily refer to having control over what we should and shouldn't do, in particular when free will is a big part of many religions.

    (also, why theism, again? You mean, religion or more specifically, Christianity? How the hell can theism be totalitarian when it has no inherent dogma?)

    A non-interventionist god doesn't matter to anyone other than philosophers, only theism matters.
    I can't really make sense of this, sorry. Theism encompasses all sorts of belief in God, and classical theism, which is what you're referring to, doesn't have to necessitate anything from any scripture (as many philosophers have shown).
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    I have a question for atheists.

    Its a very common claim from atheists that the universe exists inexplicably - there just is no explanation for why the universe exists.

    However, in every corner of science and philosophy, arguments from explicability are used (or EA's).

    For example, a common argument from physicists regarding the reality of consciousness, is that if it isn't reduced to physical systems it is essentially inexplicable. We argue things are likely false because they are inexplicable.

    Now, suppose we apply an EA to the question: why do things exist? Well that would seem to rule out the common claim by atheists that the universe is a brute fact or the laws of nature are brute facts. Because an EA implicitly entails that these options are false, that an inexplicable options is false.

    Ofcourse, atheists may say: well it's meaningless to apply and Explicability argument to that question. Fair enough.

    But this seems to leave us 3 options with how to use EA'S.

    1) some EA'S are legitimate forms of argument. Others - like for why things exist - are not.

    2) no EA'S for a conclusion are legitimate.

    3) all EA'S are legitimate forms of argument. Even for why things exist.

    If you are atheist who thinks the universe and/or the laws of nature are brute facts, you cannot take option 3.

    It seem option 2 is ruled out by anyone who uses an EA in other contexts, scientific or philosophical. Almost all atheists?

    So that leaves 1.* The trouble, though, is that there doesn’t seem to be any non-question-begging way of defending option 1.* For why should we believe that EAs are legitimate in other cases, but not when giving some account of the sheer existence of things?* It seems arbitrary to allow the one sort of EA but not the other sort.* The atheist cannot respond by saying that it is just a brute fact that some kinds of EAs are legitimate and others are not, because this would beg the question against 3, which denies that there are any brute facts.

    Interested to know how far explicability arguments go!

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    (Original post by chemting)
    Why don't theists believe in rainbow-coloured invisible dragons?

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    point of order... if the dragons are invisible how can they be rainbow- or any other- coloured ?

    :holmes:
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    Because it's sexy.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    point of order... if the dragons are invisible how can they be rainbow- or any other- coloured ?

    :holmes:
    if the invisible unicorn can be pink, why can invisible dragons not be rainbow-coloured ?

    if God can exist uncreated, why not the Universe ?
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    because they are atheists.
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    (Original post by the bear)
    point of order... if the dragons are invisible how can they be rainbow- or any other- coloured ?

    :holmes:
    How can a "god" be supernatural but yet have an effect on the natural world?
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    (Original post by mariachi)

    if God can exist uncreated, why not the Universe ?
    Does the universe seem that it has existed without a beginning?

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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    I'm not disputing that. Rather, I'm taking issue with what mariachi said about it being impossible to choose what you believe. That's not an argument against the influence of somebody's social environment in their formative years on their beliefs as an adult; it's just saying that wish-thinking is a real thing and is a frequent component of religious apologetics.
    Oh alright, and I agree with you.
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    (Original post by Josb)
    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    I'm sure you could tell me the Koran predicted that Leicester was going to win the Premier League.
    and it came to pass in the land to the East a King of Power, yea a mighty Warrior, did build a vast stadium for the amusement of his servants . This great King invited champions from other regions to test the footeh skill of his vanguard.
    The greatest of the King's satraps was a giant called Vadi. His skill at the King's game was unsurpassed. And lo he triumphed in eleven challenges without fail, thus beating Ruud Oxchin from the City of Devils.
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    I believe that whatever doesn't kill you, simply makes you...
    ...stranger
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    Psalm 14:1
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    (Original post by chemting)
    How can a "god" be supernatural but yet have an effect on the natural world?
    Because the natural world is his creation..DUH

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    (Original post by the bear)
    and it came to pass in the land to the East a King of Power, yea a mighty Warrior, did build a vast stadium for the amusement of his servants . This great King invited champions from other regions to test the footeh skill of his vanguard.
    The greatest of the King's satraps was a giant called Vadi. His skill at the King's game was unsurpassed. And lo he triumphed in eleven challenges without fail, thus beating Ruud Oxchin from the City of Devils.
    I can't find it in the Koran. :confused:



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    (Original post by Supermonkey92)
    Does the universe seem that it has existed without a beginning?

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    Possibly, we have no way of knowing.
 
 
 
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