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Author Topic:   Choosing a faith
nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 6 of 3810 (896975)
08-27-2022 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by GDR
08-27-2022 1:59 PM


Firstly, I contend that there is only one cosmic intelligence that is responsible for our existence.
I doubt that there is any such thing as a cosmic intelligence. The closest we get to that is with thoughtful people working together. The cooperative enterprise of science does pretty well. But the creationists reject them.
For too many years the church has put the emphasis on personal salvation. All humanity, (and maybe even beyond humanity), are chosen. However, we aren’t chosen for salvation, but for vocation. We are all called to spread God’s love as embodied by Jesus into the world. As to what happens to us after our deaths is in God’s hands and with the resurrected Jesus we do have a small glimpse of what that might be.
I agree with your criticism of the church. However, I stopped believing in the resurrection long ago. Apart from that, I do think yours makes for a better outlook on life that what typically comes from the churches.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 30 of 3810 (897005)
08-27-2022 9:03 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by GDR
08-27-2022 6:17 PM


Some background. I dropped out of Christianity almost 60 years ago. And, at that time, I pretty much decided that I didn't want to get involved in religion.
The problem is that no naysayer, except Paulk has responded to what I said and asked for the reason for me believing that way, or expressed what they believ in opposition to it.
I don't need to know the reasons for your belief. You are entitled to believe as you wish. I think I did indicate that I disagree with the idea of a cosmic intelligence. But I'm not saying you are wrong. I only say that I disagree. But perhaps we have few common interests so there might not be much to discuss.
Continuing with a response to Message 27:
I don't believe that the Bible being inspired in any way means that it was dictated by God.
There, I can agree.
IMHO it is far more likely to have an intelligent root that it is to have a mindless root.
I take the view that all life is intelligent. Yes, a mouse is more intelligent than a tree, but there even some intelligence in the tree.
I can agree that there is something intelligent about evolution. But that comes from distributed intelligence -- a little in each organism -- rather than intelligence concentrated in a single mind.
Darwin agreed with the statement that evolution involved the survival of the fittest. I'm involved with a school for homeless young women in Uganda. I would be better off if there was no human life in Uganda and my society could have access to all their resources. Evolution does not explain altruism, again IMHO.
You might be looking at "fitness" too narrowly. There's a notion of "inclusive fitness" which counts what you contribute to the population as a whole.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 93 of 3810 (897137)
08-29-2022 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Phat
08-29-2022 3:23 PM


Re: Making It All Up
What's wrong with me "making up" the God I want while remaining respectful of reality?
I don't have a problem with that. But there is a problem if you write it down and expect others to follow the God that you want when that might not be the God that they want.
If you make up the God that you want, then best to keep it to yourself.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 128 of 3810 (897209)
08-31-2022 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 125 by GDR
08-31-2022 2:25 AM


Re: What does God want of Us
I think we would both agree that there is a right and wrong. Why would there be a right and wrong in a totally materialistic world?
Right and wrong are human concepts. They are invented by humans.
I'm not sure what that has to do with "totally materialistic world". But then I'm not a materialist so maybe I don't understand "totally materialistic world".

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 131 of 3810 (897212)
08-31-2022 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 130 by GDR
08-31-2022 11:06 AM


Re: What does God want of Us
And you know that how?
We see people making it up.
a person who supports the theory that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.
Does existence exist?

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 137 of 3810 (897222)
08-31-2022 1:43 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by GDR
08-31-2022 1:25 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
Again, it is a belief or faith issue.
I see them put up one-way signs on a street. That defines the right way.
In such a case, it is not a "belief or faith" issue. It is a social convention.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


(2)
Message 186 of 3810 (897284)
09-01-2022 7:10 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by GDR
09-01-2022 4:41 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
You are inventing your own God.
Actually, this is very common. Most Christians claim they worship the Christian God. But they argue and disagree about the details of that God's character. That's because they have invented their own God, but agreed to say that it is the Christian God.
Why not just take life as it comes, and without inventing your own God? Yes, there are aspects of our experience that we cannot completely explain. But we can get along without needing everything to be explained. We can celebrate the gaps in our knowledge, because they provide an opportunity for future discovery and learning.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 201 of 3810 (897310)
09-02-2022 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by Phat
09-02-2022 3:12 PM


Re: Schooling God
The apologists would explain that the reason God kills not only the men but the women and children is twofold.
1) He gave them over a hundred years to repent and change.
2) He foreknows that the cancer is incurable and that the children would end up growing into the same decadent monsters that their parents had become.
This is just making feeble excuses for God.
There is a standard and God sets it.
All standards that we know about, are human standards. No God was involved.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


(1)
Message 210 of 3810 (897323)
09-02-2022 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 208 by GDR
09-02-2022 6:10 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
I can’t accept the belief that intelligence and morality can evolve from mindless origins.
What does "mindless" actually mean?
When we use our minds, a lot of what we are doing is simulating experiences in our thoughts and running trial and error tests on those simulations.
Evolution is itself a trial and error system. It isn't a simulation, but it is real time trial and error. It should not be surprising that evolution can do what minds do. And it can sometimes do it better.
You are trying to impose your ideas from human thought. Have you considered that nature may have different ways of doing something analogous?

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


(1)
Message 239 of 3810 (897372)
09-03-2022 5:13 PM
Reply to: Message 232 by GDR
09-03-2022 4:37 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
Are we completely the result of nothing but natural processes by chance or is there a mind or intelligence behind those processes?
This is the dumbest of creationist arguments, although it is one that is much repeated.
No, it isn't all chance. Whether there is a mind or intelligence involved depends on what you mean by "mind" and what you mean by "intelligence". Somehow the doubters of evolution are unwilling to ever give useful definitions.
Yes, there is intelligence behind the processes, because evolution itself is intelligent.
Every biological organism has a tiny bit of intelligence which it uses is choosing its behavior.
No, I don't see any reason to believe that there is a single intelligent agent behind it all. Rather, what we have is a distributed intelligence that comes from the little bit of intelligence in each organism.
Yes, humans are individual intelligent agents. But when you look at human intelligence, you begin to notice that this is also a distributed intelligence, arising from a little bit of intelligence in each neuron.
Biological systems are engaged in trial and error testing. "Survival of the fittest" amounts to the survival of the results of successful testing. Natural selection amounts to the collecting and concentrating of the successes and elimination of the errors. To me, this seems very intelligent, though it is a different from of intelligence from what we normally see with human activity.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


(1)
Message 307 of 3810 (897456)
09-05-2022 5:50 PM
Reply to: Message 296 by GDR
09-05-2022 3:51 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
Sure, but posters here claim that because there is no evidence that there is a god as evidence that there isn't.
I'm agnostic on the question of whether there is a god. To put that in perspective, I'm also agnostic on the question of whether there are leprechauns or gremlins.
Actions speak louder than words. The actions of Christians belie their claims of belief.
Take an example. The Trumpian Christians believe that their God wanted Trump to win the 2020 election. They also believe that their God is omnipotent and could have affected how voters chose to vote. And they believe that their God is omnipotent and omniscient so could not be affected by attempts at fraudulent voting. And yet they believe that the result of the election was fraudulent.
They also believe that there God is omnipotent, yet they stormed the capitol on Jan 6th because they didn't expect God to do the job for them.
There's a whole bunch of confusion and incompatibility there.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 296 by GDR, posted 09-05-2022 3:51 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 336 of 3810 (897492)
09-06-2022 2:12 PM
Reply to: Message 334 by GDR
09-06-2022 2:01 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
Just how do you know it was Christians who did those things?
Many of them have been quite open about it.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


(5)
Message 357 of 3810 (897534)
09-07-2022 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 350 by GDR
09-07-2022 11:35 AM


It isn't about what we name the our god but the nature of the such a deity.
When you study the nature of your God, you will really be studying your own nature.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 489 of 3810 (897855)
09-13-2022 10:00 PM
Reply to: Message 488 by GDR
09-13-2022 8:25 PM


Re: What does God want of Us
However, I do think that I am more than just my brain.
May I recommend a book.
Why I Left, Why I Stayed: Conversations on Christianity Between an Evangelical Father and His Humanist Son
Tony Campolo is an Evangelical Christian, somewhat on the liberal side. You will probably see him as having views somewhat like yours.
Bart Campolo is his son. He was a Christian, but he left Christianity. He is still very much a humanist.
The book has alternating chapters by the two of them and where they disagree.
Bart has been through the kind of issues that concern you. He has thought a lot about them. He still considers himself to be religious, but in the sense of natural religion. He now sees the natural world as all that there is.
I don't know whether he will persuade you. But I think you will find that he challenges you. So give it a try.
I still have the book on my Kindle, and can discuss it if you want to start a thread about it.

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
 Message 488 by GDR, posted 09-13-2022 8:25 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 674 by GDR, posted 09-26-2022 2:12 PM nwr has replied
 Message 1043 by GDR, posted 10-20-2022 5:12 PM nwr has replied

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 6435
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 496 of 3810 (897877)
09-14-2022 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 495 by Phat
09-14-2022 2:44 PM


Re: History For Atheists
“Tim O’Neill is a known liar …. an asscrack …. a hack …. a tinfoil hatter …. stupid …. a crypto-Christian, posing as an atheist …. a pseudo-atheist shill for Christian triumphalism [and] delusionally insane.” – Dr. Richard Carrier Ph.D., unemployed blogger
LOL.
I am not a fan of Richard Carrier.
I do respect Tim O'Neill.
(We may be drifting off-topic).

Fundamentalism - the anti-American, anti-Christian branch of American Christianity

This message is a reply to:
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