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Thread: questioning the existence of god

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    mfassett is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Default questioning the existence of god

    Interesting article: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/0...omment-1430686

    My take... I think it's a positive that people question the existence of god. It seems to me that questioning something like religion would be a natural and intelligent thing to do. I think it speaks to the additional information that a connected world has access to.

    BTW... I know of a great many people who questioned then still came out of it with belief. So I'm not necessarily saying atheists or agnostics are smarter. I am saying that questioning your beliefs that were handed down to you by your parents, IMHO, is an extremely intelligent thing to do.

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    Not so much on the OP, but contained within the linked page:

    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/0...ic-and-hebrew/

    I just want a bag of popcorn and a good seat for this one.

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    You'll get no argument from me about the questioning. Looking back over the 50+ years I've been sentient of spiritual things, doubt and questions have been essential in forming and informing my time on this rock. "Smart" has little to do with it. Wide ranging sources, honest questioning (of my motivations as well as facts, historical and anecdotal evidence, agnostic arguments, and, in my case, Holy Writ) and an openness to an "other" (what AA would call a "higher power") outside "this mortal coil" have been, and continue to be, part of my journey. Also essential... my fellow travelers. You know who you are.

    I found this humorous... "According to Jesse Galef, communications director for the Secular Student Alliance, the growth in “doubting” youths has led to a surge in secular student groups." As if "doubting" youths are monolithically averse to matters of faith... regardless, I know I'd rather hang out with honest agnostics than with closed-minded legalistic religious navel-gazers... like the guys Jesus called "whitewashed sepulchers". Better arguments (or "discussions"... for the politically correct among us) ensue... and there is usually tasty beverage involved.

    But, then, maybe because I'm a boomer, I appear merely happy to cling to my guns and religion (I prefer the term "faith")... even though I'm probably one of the least "religious" people I know.

    Pass the popcorn. I'll have a beer with mine...

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    Tommy Yonley is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    I think that our education system is essentially designed to cause exactly this. Take a population of people who are primarily religious, but require that their children are taken out of the religious home environment for 8 hours a day and raised in a secularized educational setting where Children are taught that their parents' religious teachings are untrue.

    The idea that God created the earth and man is a foundational theological point in most religions. The idea that man evolved from an ape precludes the possibility of the biblical original sinless man, which reasonably eliminates the need for salvation--because, in effect, God would have therefore "created" (via evolution) an originally sinful man. In short, asserting the evolution of man as a scientific fact cuts out the root of the gospel message.

    Belief in evolution of man--something which can be neither observed, measured, nor repeated--is a matter of faith. It is a religious belief (methodological naturalism) sold as a scientific theory in large part so that the mass (anti) religious indoctrination of children in schools can be sold as "science". If you can't observe it, measure it, and repeat it, it isn't science. http://www.apologeticspress.org/apco...9&article=2299

    I think that it makes a great deal more sense to question the doctrine ("fact") of (macro) evolution rather than the existence of God. http://www.designinference.com/docum...estions_ID.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Yonley View Post
    Belief in evolution of man--something which can be neither observed, measured, nor repeated--is a matter of faith. It is a religious belief (methodological naturalism) sold as a scientific theory in large part so that the mass (anti) religious indoctrination of children in schools can be sold as "science". If you can't observe it, measure it, and repeat it, it isn't science. http://www.apologeticspress.org/apco...9&article=2299
    OK. I wasn't coming NEAR this thread but....... really? Evolution has most certainly been observed and measured. It is fact. It can not be repeated because it is an on-going process....

    Here's a little story of how I got into a bit of trouble in the 2nd grade. Catholic school. Our teacher (a nun), was talking about Adam and Eve and so on.... I raised my hand and said "Well, if there were only TWO people in the beginning, where did everyone ELSE come from, unless they did things we know we are not allowed to do?"
    I was promptly sent to the Principal's office for the rest of the day.

    So you see Creation is, by definition, completely a matter of faith, as logic and science would dictate.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Yonley View Post
    The idea that God created the earth and man is a foundational theological point in most religions. The idea that man evolved from an ape precludes the possibility of the biblical original sinless man, which reasonably eliminates the need for salvation--because, in effect, God would have therefore "created" (via evolution) an originally sinful man. In short, asserting the evolution of man as a scientific fact cuts out the root of the gospel message.
    Actually, that's only one interpretation of the classic sin-death problem.

    In it is several assumptions:
    • that pre-fall that people didn't experience physical death as part of a natural life cycle
    • that the initial creation was the finished product
    • that resurrection (and being raised in glory in the likeness of Jesus) was not part of the plan from before the beginning


    All I'm saying is there's more than one way to view the sin-death problem within the narrative.
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    mfassett is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Tommy, I'm absolutely certain if it wasn't for evil liberals nobody would ever question the existence of a being for which there is no evidence.

    Seriously, the question was an individual question and you answer with an institutional answer. Much like the evil liberals who want government always to be the answer, to you government is always the problem.

    If you want to discourage people from questioning the existence of god, which you seem to prefer, I think you need to ban the Internet, ban science class, and stop teaching logic.

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    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfassett View Post
    Tommy, I'm absolutely certain if it wasn't for evil liberals nobody would ever question the existence of a being for which there is no evidence.

    Seriously, the question was an individual question and you answer with an institutional answer. Much like the evil liberals who want government always to be the answer, to you government is always the problem.

    If you want to discourage people from questioning the existence of god, which you seem to prefer, I think you need to ban the Internet, ban science class, and stop teaching logic.
    I don't believe the point is to stop questioning. In fact, I think it's most unhealthy and even displeasing to God when we do stop asking good questions.

    I believe a question that Tommy appears to be asking - and I'd ask it too - what is the effect of the current social indoctrination? Despite what many would love to believe, I don't for a moment think that the current social indoctrination messages are in any way neutral.
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    mfassett is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by PookyNR View Post
    I believe a question that Tommy appears to be asking - and I'd ask it too - what is the effect of the current social indoctrination? Despite what many would love to believe, I don't for a moment think that the current social indoctrination messages are in any way neutral.
    I don't agree with the premise. I don't think it's indoctrination for a public institution to take no positon on religion. I think a public institution should respect science, and leave religion out of it. I think, in general, that is quite often what happens in public school these days, and in no way is that indoctrination.

    But to answer your question, I think indoctrination has limited value in any case. I was bombarded with facile religious messages as a child that often made no sense and/or were contradictory. Somehow I made it through OK and was able to make up my own mind. Think of all those students in the 60's and 70's who made it through college with socialist professors. Somehow they all made it through without turning pinko commies and turning the US into a socialist mecca.

    Bottom line... intelligent people see through the BS the majority of the time in my opinion and observation. That is my thesis, and the reason why I posted this thread. Sometimes it takes years and sometimes years of therapy, but eventually people seem to make it through all right. I would prefer, of course, no indoctrination, religious or otherwise, but obviously I have no say in what happens in people's homes.

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    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mfassett View Post
    I don't agree with the premise. I don't think it's indoctrination for a public institution to take no positon on religion. I think a public institution should respect science, and leave religion out of it. I think, in general, that is quite often what happens in public school these days, and in no way is that indoctrination.

    But to answer your question, I think indoctrination has limited value in any case. I was bombarded with facile religious messages as a child that often made no sense and/or were contradictory. Somehow I made it through OK and was able to make up my own mind. Think of all those students in the 60's and 70's who made it through college with socialist professors. Somehow they all made it through without turning pinko commies and turning the US into a socialist mecca.

    Bottom line... intelligent people see through the BS the majority of the time in my opinion and observation. That is my thesis, and the reason why I posted this thread. Sometimes it takes years and sometimes years of therapy, but eventually people seem to make it through all right. I would prefer, of course, no indoctrination, religious or otherwise, but obviously I have no say in what happens in people's homes.
    Just because the philosophy is not theistic does not mean it's not a religion. Fundamentalist secular humanism operates as it's own religion.

    The indoctrination of philosophies need not have anything to do with recognized theistic religions. But students certainly are indoctrinated in various philosophies and philosophical world views. That is the crux of the matter.

    What is considered 'BS' and what is considered 'enlightenment' and 'who sees through what' are a matter of debate. And that's exactly why some people object to the indoctrination of ideas from one side or the other.
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