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  1. #1
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    Reasons to believe

    Please, Christians of ODN, tell me why you believe. I want real reasons. Faith is not a reason, it is an excuse to believe in something. I ask you this because I believe the reasons for Atheism tower over reasons for Christianity.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Faith is not a reason, it is an excuse to believe in something.
    You misunderstand faith, and thus necessarily the interaction of faith and reason.

    Faith is described in the Bible as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." "Hope" in this context is stronger than our modern connotation of "wish"; it is closer to "trust". It is not an abdication of reason--it cannot contradict reason; rather, faith speaks where reason is silent.

    The "reasons" for Rationalist Atheism are without merit, in my opinion. The notion that everything is false until proven true is simply not true from a logical perspective. Whence morality? How can an objective, absolute moral standard exist within the confines of Secular Humanism? You may speak of "instincts" or "impulses", but you fail to explain how to determine which instincts are right and which are wrong.

    Christianity, on the other hand, has a mechanism for an absolute moral code: God. Christianity's moral code is the best and highest of any philosophy or religion that I've ever heard of. The mandate of Christian love even for those who hate you is amazing. Christianity offers redemption, love, and strength in Christ.

    What does atheism offer?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  3. #3
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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    You misunderstand faith, and thus necessarily the interaction of faith and reason.

    Faith is described in the Bible as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." "Hope" in this context is stronger than our modern connotation of "wish"; it is closer to "trust". It is not an abdication of reason--it cannot contradict reason; rather, faith speaks where reason is silent.

    The "reasons" for Rationalist Atheism are without merit, in my opinion. The notion that everything is false until proven true is simply not true from a logical perspective. Whence morality? How can an objective, absolute moral standard exist within the confines of Secular Humanism? You may speak of "instincts" or "impulses", but you fail to explain how to determine which instincts are right and which are wrong.

    Christianity, on the other hand, has a mechanism for an absolute moral code: God. Christianity's moral code is the best and highest of any philosophy or religion that I've ever heard of. The mandate of Christian love even for those who hate you is amazing. Christianity offers redemption, love, and strength in Christ.

    What does atheism offer?
    Clive, this isn't a thread for boasting one's belief. I'm not looking for what Christianity or Atheism offers, I'm looking for reasons that support them. Christianity offers a lot of things that Atheism cannot, including eternal paradise in Heaven. Atheism cannot compete with how alluring some religions are, but unfortunately, beliefs are decided to be true solely on how much they can offer. Does that make sense to you?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    You misunderstand faith, and thus necessarily the interaction of faith and reason.

    Faith is described in the Bible as "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." "Hope" in this context is stronger than our modern connotation of "wish"; it is closer to "trust". It is not an abdication of reason--it cannot contradict reason; rather, faith speaks where reason is silent.
    Regardless of what you might think, Clive, I have specifically asked that faith be disregarded as a "reason" because it is not a reason. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    The "reasons" for Rationalist Atheism are without merit, in my opinion. The notion that everything is false until proven true is simply not true from a logical perspective. Whence morality? How can an objective, absolute moral standard exist within the confines of Secular Humanism? You may speak of "instincts" or "impulses", but you fail to explain how to determine which instincts are right and which are wrong.
    Please do not assign things like morals to a field of belief that does not deal with morals. Atheism has nothing to do with morals. An Atheist may choose any moral system he or she feels most comfortable with. An Atheist may even choose to follow a religious moral system or perhaps a philosophical moral system. Your attacking something about Atheism that isn't even there, Clive.

    Again, please refrain from any mystical penis measuring contests. I'm not asking you whether Christianity is better or more comfortable, and if you cannot think of any other reasons, I have to ask you do not participate. I'm asking for reasons that support the validity or truth of your belief. Alluring qualities such as a father who protects you in the sky or a paradise that awaits you after death are NOT reasons to support that your beliefs are true or that God exists UNLESS you can actually explain how these alluring qualities provide evidence of God or that your beliefs are true.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Clive, this isn't a thread for boasting one's belief.
    No, this is a thread for explaining why people are Christians. I am doing so by showing how I hold atheism against Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    I'm not looking for what Christianity or Atheism offers, I'm looking for reasons that support them. Christianity offers a lot of things that Atheism cannot, including eternal paradise in Heaven. Atheism cannot compete with how alluring some religions are, but unfortunately, beliefs are decided to be true solely on how much they can offer. Does that make sense to you?
    Of course it does. You asked why I was a Christian; one of those reasons is that I think it is beneficial to be a Christian. If Christianity offered nothing, then what would it matter to be Christian, reasons or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Regardless of what you might think, Clive, I have specifically asked that faith be disregarded as a "reason" because it is not a reason. Thanks.
    Uh...you're welcome? I wasn't citing my faith as a reason; I was explaining to you the mechanism of faith, which you dismissed as an "excuse". You made a point, and I rebutted it. That's debate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Please do not assign things like morals to a field of belief that does not deal with morals. Atheism has nothing to do with morals. An Atheist may choose any moral system he or she feels most comfortable with. An Atheist may even choose to follow a religious moral system or perhaps a philosophical moral system. Your attacking something about Atheism that isn't even there, Clive.
    What was I attacking, Blood Lull? I believe that I specifically mentioned Rationalist Atheism. If you rely solely on reason, you cannot arrive at a moral code. Or, as David Hume put it, "You cannot get an 'ought' from an 'is'."

    An atheist may choose to construct any moral code s/he wishes, but under what mechanism may that moral code be considered absolute (that is, how can it be applied to others, or how can you expect others to follow and/or adopt that code)? Unless you arrive at the conclusion that you are God (which is by definition not atheism), I'm not sure how you can actually institute an absolute morality. Do you have any suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Again, please refrain from any mystical penis measuring contests.
    Mystical penis measuring contests? I'm holding one belief system up to another. Call it "penis measuring" if you like; I'll stick with "critical analysis".

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    I'm not asking you whether Christianity is better or more comfortable, and if you cannot think of any other reasons, I have to ask you do not participate. I'm asking for reasons that support the validity or truth of your belief. Alluring qualities such as a father who protects you in the sky or a paradise that awaits you after death are NOT reasons to support that your beliefs are true or that God exists UNLESS you can actually explain how these alluring qualities provide evidence of God or that your beliefs are true.
    You want evidence, then, not reasons. Do you know what the difference is?

    Are you asking for a demonstration that Christianity is true? Or that God exists? If so, ask for that. If you ask why people are Chrisitan and ask them to provide reasons, that's what they'll do.


    You specifically stated that "I believe the reasons for Atheism tower over reasons for Christianity." With that comparison in mind, I decided to show why I favored the one over the other. I didn't think I was off-topic.



    As far as I know, there isn't proof that God exists. And, as far as I know, there isn't proof that He doesn't. In order for the belief that God exists to be reasonable, the belief must: 1) Be itself rational (i.e., not contradict itself, posit irrationalities such as 1+1=3, etc.); 2) Not contradict known truths. Given that there isn't proof that God doesn't exist, condition [2] is satisfied. The question becomes whether or not Christianity is rational--because the entire religion is based on God's Word, if any part of it is irrational, it must stem from an irrationality in the posited God.

    Now, think about like this if you like: either condition [1] will be satisfied, or it won't. If the latter, then Chrisitianity is false. If the former, then Christianity may be true. Proving that something is logically possible doesn't prove that it is actually true. It is logically possible that when I flip this coin, it will come up heads. That doesn't mean that it necessarily will.

    Which means that the best we can come up with is the claim that Christianity is possible. We cannot determine whether or not its claims are true or false, which is enough for some people to dismiss it as false. I think that such a dismissal is logically uncalled for, because it assumes a fact not in evidence. Essentially, it is a leap of faith--assuming a claim is false without evidence is as great a leap as assuming that it is true. Being a Christian, I don't have a problem with leaps of faith per se; I just find it disingenuous for those who claim to be relying solely on logic and reason to be making leaps of faith.

    The problem arises of differing faiths. How can I, a Christian by faith, indict a Muslim for his faith? Hasn't he simply made another choice? To which my reply is this: our faiths reveal more about ourselves than about the object of our belief. If I decide to trust that all non-Muslims need to die, what does that say of me? Which is to say, faith isn't all of one nature and substance.

    Faith, in my opinion, is trust. Rationalists have faith in themselves, that their own reason and knowledge is sufficient to get at all the truths that they need. I trust in reason, but not in reason alone.

    --------------------------

    Now, is that what you're looking for, Blood Lull?

    Or are you looking for something more scientific, like this:

    [1] Every natural effect has a cause.
    [2] Each cause is itself the effect of another cause.
    [3] An infinite regression of causes is irrational
    [4] Thus, a first, uncaused cause must exist, which we call god.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  5. #5
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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    No, this is a thread for explaining why people are Christians. I am doing so by showing how I hold atheism against Christianity.
    Since when did you get the idea that you could hi-jack my thread, Clive? Do you really think you can walk into any thread you choose and decide what the thread is for? Do you lack the sense that tells you just maybe the person who made the thread is in charge of what the thread is about assuming they follow forum guidelines? Seriously, Clive, what is your problem?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Of course it does. You asked why I was a Christian; one of those reasons is that I think it is beneficial to be a Christian. If Christianity offered nothing, then what would it matter to be Christian, reasons or not?
    No I didn't. Just one post and you've already tried to twist what I said. I asked why you BELIEVE, not why you're a Christian. Why do you HONESTLY believe? You believe simply because it is beneficial for you to be a Christian? That's awfully foolish. I want to know WHY you BELIEVE. Either EXPLAIN how a moral code or paradise after death is important in your discovery that what you believe is TRUE and not just comfortable, convenient, or pleasant - or think of a sensible reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Uh...you're welcome? I wasn't citing my faith as a reason; I was explaining to you the mechanism of faith, which you dismissed as an "excuse". You made a point, and I rebutted it. That's debate.
    Yes, and I'm asking you again to refrain from using faith in this thread. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    What was I attacking, Blood Lull? I believe that I specifically mentioned Rationalist Atheism. If you rely solely on reason, you cannot arrive at a moral code. Or, as David Hume put it, "You cannot get an 'ought' from an 'is'."
    Again, Atheism doesn't deal with morality. Atheists are free to choose any moral system they wish, whether that be religious, philosophical, or personal.

    Regardless, unless you can explain why morality is a key factor in deciding whether Christianity is true, your points are irrelevant to this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    An atheist may choose to construct any moral code s/he wishes, but under what mechanism may that moral code be considered absolute (that is, how can it be applied to others, or how can you expect others to follow and/or adopt that code)? Unless you arrive at the conclusion that you are God (which is by definition not atheism), I'm not sure how you can actually institute an absolute morality. Do you have any suggestions?
    And how is "absolute morality" relevant to whether or not Atheism is true?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Mystical penis measuring contests? I'm holding one belief system up to another. Call it "penis measuring" if you like; I'll stick with "critical analysis".
    You are comparing qualities that are irrelevant to this thread. You have pointed out that Christianity has a moral code and that morals cannot be reached in Rational Atheism. Please refrain from such comparison if you don't even have the decency to explain why a belief system without absolute morality is less reason to believe the system to be true.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    You want evidence, then, not reasons. Do you know what the difference is?
    Please listen, Clive. I specifically asked why you believe. You still haven't explained how morality makes you believe that Christianity is true. It is very simple, and if you continue to post off topic, I'll have to ask that you kindly withdraw from this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Are you asking for a demonstration that Christianity is true? Or that God exists? If so, ask for that. If you ask why people are Chrisitan and ask them to provide reasons, that's what they'll do.
    I've never heard of Christianity without a belief in God, Clive. Is this your belief?

    I didn't ask why people are Christians, Clive. I asked why they believe that Christianity is true. Why do YOU believe, Clive? You've told me a few things about how Christianity is superior in fields like morality but you haven't said WHY that is reason to believe that Christianity is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    As far as I know, there isn't proof that God exists. And, as far as I know, there isn't proof that He doesn't. In order for the belief that God exists to be reasonable, the belief must: 1) Be itself rational (i.e., not contradict itself, posit irrationalities such as 1+1=3, etc.); 2) Not contradict known truths. Given that there isn't proof that God doesn't exist, condition [2] is satisfied. The question becomes whether or not Christianity is rational--because the entire religion is based on God's Word, if any part of it is irrational, it must stem from an irrationality in the posited God.
    Ok, and your point is? Are you saying God's "Word" is rational? What are God's Words?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Now, think about like this if you like: either condition [1] will be satisfied, or it won't. If the latter, then Chrisitianity is false. If the former, then Christianity may be true. Proving that something is logically possible doesn't prove that it is actually true. It is logically possible that when I flip this coin, it will come up heads. That doesn't mean that it necessarily will.

    Which means that the best we can come up with is the claim that Christianity is possible. We cannot determine whether or not its claims are true or false, which is enough for some people to dismiss it as false. I think that such a dismissal is logically uncalled for, because it assumes a fact not in evidence. Essentially, it is a leap of faith--assuming a claim is false without evidence is as great a leap as assuming that it is true. Being a Christian, I don't have a problem with leaps of faith per se; I just find it disingenuous for those who claim to be relying solely on logic and reason to be making leaps of faith.
    I'm not asking for you to prove Christianity, and I'm not asking for an Atheist to prove Atheism. I'm asking why you believe in Christianity. Why do you believe Christianity is true? You can feed me the "it has a better moral system than Atheism" but you haven't explained why that is reason to believe Christianity is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    The problem arises of differing faiths. How can I, a Christian by faith, indict a Muslim for his faith? Hasn't he simply made another choice? To which my reply is this: our faiths reveal more about ourselves than about the object of our belief. If I decide to trust that all non-Muslims need to die, what does that say of me? Which is to say, faith isn't all of one nature and substance.

    Faith, in my opinion, is trust. Rationalists have faith in themselves, that their own reason and knowledge is sufficient to get at all the truths that they need. I trust in reason, but not in reason alone.
    Faith is not a reason to believe. It is a explantion as to why you believe once you already accept that you do believe. This is completley irrelevant, please remain on-topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Now, is that what you're looking for, Blood Lull?
    Not at all. All you had to do was read the first post to figure out that I don't want to hear about faith.

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    Or are you looking for something more scientific, like this:

    [1] Every natural effect has a cause.
    [2] Each cause is itself the effect of another cause.
    [3] An infinite regression of causes is irrational
    [4] Thus, a first, uncaused cause must exist, which we call god.
    That is hardly any reason to believe Christianity is true.

    And how do you know the Christian god described in the Bible is the god you mentioned in this?

    If the god you've mentioned isn't the Christian god, do Heaven and Hell exist? Are Christian morals truley divinely watched? Are prayers truley heard?

    How do you know this first uncaused cause is a god?

    Could this first uncaused cause be a diest's god?

    Infinity and an uncaused cause are equally seemingly impossible.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Please, Christians of ODN, tell me why you believe. I want real reasons. Faith is not a reason, it is an excuse to believe in something. I ask you this because I believe the reasons for Atheism tower over reasons for Christianity.
    Mr Lull. The answer to your question is in your own post. You say:

    " I BELIEVE the reasons for Athiesm tower over the reasons for Christianity."

    Just as they BELIEVE that the reasons for Christianity tower over the reasons for Atheism.

    In the end, there is no conclusive proof of much of anything. We are all forced to rely on faith as our basic tool for making judgments. Anyone who thinks otherwise is only deluding themselves.
    Last edited by PerVirtuous; June 20th, 2006 at 05:17 PM.
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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by PerVirtuous
    Mr Lull. The answer to your question is in your own post. You say:

    " I BELIEVE the reasons for Athiesm tower over the reasons for Christianity."

    Just as they BELIEVE that the reasons for Christianity tower over the reasons for Ahteism.

    In the end, there is no conclusive proof of much of anything. We are all forced to rely on faith as our basic tool for making judgments. Anyone who thinks otherwise is only deluding themselves.
    I know there is no conclusive proof. I never asked for such things, Perv.

    But there are reasons to believe something beyond simply faith, even for religion. I could even give you reasons to believe in Christianity myself if you can't think of any.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    I believe because God's diagnosis of my human condition, and His answer to it, lines up with my experience and needs, in a way that no other philosophy or religion does.

    When Jesus spoke to a woman at a well in Samaria He told her things about her life that astounded her - how could He know all about her? She went and told the men of the city:

    "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" John 4:29

    "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." John 4:39

    God always gets to the heart of a person. His Word is like a precision instrument that cuts to the quick and brings to the surface all those hidden experiences that one would rather forget about and lays them before one's eyes so that they have to be examined and accounted for. Unless you have experienced repentance it is difficult to describe how terrible the experience is; how great is the remorse for past misdeeds, and how joyous is the freedom that follows God's assurance of forgiveness. John Bunyan in A Pilgrim's Progress likened it to a terrible burden being lifted. Charles Wesley, in his hymn "And can it be that I should gain an interest in the Saviour's blood...." described it as like being set free from prison: "my chains fell off, my heart was free, I rose went forth and followed thee."

    Like the woman at the well, God tells us (when we'd rather forget about it) all about ourselves, reminds us of all we ever did, and we cannot duck the truth. He puts His finger on every aspect of our lives that we know is unholy, unkind, evil, and would prefer to keep hidden. Then He gives us His solution. And it isn't to go and re-bury all the guilt and evil and hurt - it is to bring it out into the open, admit to it, and lay it at the foot of the cross where Jesus died and paid the penalty for sin which we KNOW we deserve to pay personally, and LEAVE IT THERE! Try it - there is nothing more liberating in this whole universe than laying your sins at the foot of the cross and walking away free from sin and guilt.
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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    No I didn't. Just one post and you've already tried to twist what I said. I asked why you BELIEVE, not why you're a Christian. Why do you HONESTLY believe? You believe simply because it is beneficial for you to be a Christian? That's awfully foolish. I want to know WHY you BELIEVE. Either EXPLAIN how a moral code or paradise after death is important in your discovery that what you believe is TRUE and not just comfortable, convenient, or pleasant - or think of a sensible reason.
    Poor, poor phrasing on your part, Blood Lull. When you ask Christians "Why you believe", obviously you are asking them their reasons for believing in this particular religion. These reasons are not necessarily objective, logical or scientific.

    Now if you wanted evidence for Christianity, as Clive said, you should ask, "Why do you believe it is true". Not just "why you believe". So don't go around blaming people for misunderstanding you, because you phrased it poorly yourself.
    Trendem

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Since when did you get the idea that you could hi-jack my thread, Clive? Do you really think you can walk into any thread you choose and decide what the thread is for? Do you lack the sense that tells you just maybe the person who made the thread is in charge of what the thread is about assuming they follow forum guidelines? Seriously, Clive, what is your problem?
    Me: "This is a thread for explaining why people are Christians."

    You, in the Opening Post: "Please, Christians of ODN, tell me why you believe."

    And you think that my interpretation is so off-base that you have to fling a series of pompous questions at me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    No I didn't. Just one post and you've already tried to twist what I said. I asked why you BELIEVE, not why you're a Christian. Why do you HONESTLY believe? You believe simply because it is beneficial for you to be a Christian? That's awfully foolish. I want to know WHY you BELIEVE. Either EXPLAIN how a moral code or paradise after death is important in your discovery that what you believe is TRUE and not just comfortable, convenient, or pleasant - or think of a sensible reason.
    "Why do you believe" vs. "Why are you a Christian"? Why do you believe in Christianity versus...why do you believe in Christianity? There's a difference there?

    I believe not simply because it is beneficial to believe as such, but because I find Christianity to be the best-fit explanation for the world as I see it.

    I have not promoted Christianity as being "comfortable, convenient, or pleasant". I have promoted it as a good explanation of the world around us, and as a rational system of belief. I think that the moral code it offers is the best around, and the mechanism by which the moral code operates is also philosophically sound. Christianity, in its essence, is good. It promotes good values and opposes evil values, and it does so in an unambiguous and forceful way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Yes, and I'm asking you again to refrain from using faith in this thread. Thanks!
    I am not "using" faith. I am explaining how articles of faith are different than articles of demonstration (to use St. Aquinas's terms). The distinction is an important one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Again, Atheism doesn't deal with morality. Atheists are free to choose any moral system they wish, whether that be religious, philosophical, or personal.
    How, exactly, can an atheist disavow a religion but accept its moral reasoning? Rejecting the foundation of the structure topples the entire building.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Regardless, unless you can explain why morality is a key factor in deciding whether Christianity is true, your points are irrelevant to this thread.
    Of course morality is a key factor in deciding whether Christianity is true--or at least worth believing in. If the God of the Bible advocated raping women and slaughtering infidels, I wouldn't be a Christian.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    And how is "absolute morality" relevant to whether or not Atheism is true?
    Without an absolute morality, we are merely animals with some ability to reason. Without an absolute morality--that is, lacking Right and Wrong--there is no meaning to existence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    You are comparing qualities that are irrelevant to this thread. You have pointed out that Christianity has a moral code and that morals cannot be reached in Rational Atheism. Please refrain from such comparison if you don't even have the decency to explain why a belief system without absolute morality is less reason to believe the system to be true.
    I would think that showing how a belief system lacks any mechanism by which to hold others to its prescriptions would be enough. Apparently not.

    A belief system without an absolute morality is philosophically meaningless. It may be true, but it is of little or no use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Please listen, Clive. I specifically asked why you believe. You still haven't explained how morality makes you believe that Christianity is true. It is very simple, and if you continue to post off topic, I'll have to ask that you kindly withdraw from this thread.
    Good thing you didn't say "I'll have to ask kindly that you withdraw". That would be a first.

    You asked why I believe. I have given you many, many reasons why I consider Christianity superior to other belief systems--which, of course, are reasons that I am a Christian. I've asked you repeatedly for clarification, which you have refused to give, instead falling back on ambiguous phrases like "why do you believe". Do you want a scientific demonstration? Do you want the reasoning behind my faith that leads me to the conclusion that Christianity is a rational belief system? Do you want the reasoning behind my conclusion that Christianity is not at odds with reality as we know it? Or do you want, as I said before, scientific reasoning that would demonstrate that Christianity is necessarily true?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    I've never heard of Christianity without a belief in God, Clive. Is this your belief?
    No, of course not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    I didn't ask why people are Christians, Clive. I asked why they believe that Christianity is true. Why do YOU believe, Clive? You've told me a few things about how Christianity is superior in fields like morality but you haven't said WHY that is reason to believe that Christianity is true.
    What do you mean??? Do I need to explain WHY a belief system that is superior in every way to another is preferable to that one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Ok, and your point is?
    My point is all of the points that I made. Pay attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Are you saying God's "Word" is rational?
    Excellent deduction.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    What are God's Words?
    Well, "God's Word" is a common euphemism for the Holy Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    I'm not asking for you to prove Christianity, and I'm not asking for an Atheist to prove Atheism. I'm asking why you believe in Christianity. Why do you believe Christianity is true? You can feed me the "it has a better moral system than Atheism" but you haven't explained why that is reason to believe Christianity is true.
    It's a better belief system than any other one out there, Blood Lull. Morally, philosophically, etc. I believe it because I think it is true. It fits with my conception of how the world works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Faith is not a reason to believe. It is a explantion as to why you believe once you already accept that you do believe. This is completley irrelevant, please remain on-topic.
    Faith isn't a reason to believe...well, yes, that's my whole point. Faith is the mechanism by which we hold to articles of faith; it is not a sequence of logic used to hold to an article of demonstration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Not at all. All you had to do was read the first post to figure out that I don't want to hear about faith.
    In a discussion about the reasons why people hold religious beliefs, you don't want to hear about faith? That sounds a bit odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    That is hardly any reason to believe Christianity is true.
    Did I say it was? Where?

    I'm trying to figure out what kind of "reasons" you want. Do you want scientific proofs that will demonstrate the truth of Chrisitanity? That is, actual evidence that Christianity is true? Or do you want moral reasoning? Philosophical reasoning? Metaphysical reasoning?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    And how do you know the Christian god described in the Bible is the god you mentioned in this?
    Considering that atheism rejects any notion of God. If God is necessarily real, then atheism is necessarily false. Guess Atheism doesn't really tower so high above Christianity, does it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    If the god you've mentioned isn't the Christian god, do Heaven and Hell exist?
    They might. It would be pure speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Are Christian morals truley divinely watched?
    What does that even mean??

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Are prayers truley heard?
    They might be. It would be pure speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    How do you know this first uncaused cause is a god?
    It would have to be something that we would consider "supernatural", as it is an uncaused cause and therefor above nature. Aquinas might say--and I think actually argued--that a cause may be known by its effects; the world we know is rational, therefor its cause is rational (i.e., ordered, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Could this first uncaused cause be a diest's god?
    Jeez, for such a pompous nit, you're quite a poor speller.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Infinity and an uncaused cause are equally seemingly impossible.
    An uncaused cause is not inherently irrational. Claim [3] posits that an infinite regression of causes is. Therefor, an uncaused cause is possible, whereas an infinite regression of causes is not.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: Reasons to believe

    I've been gone on a trip and I only had time to glance through. But before I go, I'd like to point out that the default and stand alone statement "I believe in X" is the same thing as "I believe X is true" I didn't realize you and trendem were not aware of this.

    Trendem, Clive has consistently pointed things such as absolute morality in
    Christianity as oppose of a lack there of in Atheism. This is fine and dandy but this doesn't explain why you believe in X. I asked him to explain how absolute morality is a reason to believe in X, and he has consistently failed to do so. Instead, he chose to repeatedly tell me what my thread is here for and ignored my request. For the last time, "Why are you a Christian" and "Why do you believe" are NOT the same thing, and Clive failed to link his absolute morality examples to either question. You simply have to elaborate and explain. I don't know what you skipped or what you misread but your post is oddly placed and simply mistaken.

    For instance, If I were asked "Why do you believe (FSMism)?" Saying "It provides a Heaven with a beer volcanoe" DOES NOT EXPLAIN WHY I BELIEVE. It only almost explains why I AM A Pastafarian. But unlike what Clive has tried to change this thread topic to, I DID NOT ASK WHY YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN. And I'm so dreadfully sorry if you can't understand that.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    The "reasons" for Rationalist Atheism are without merit, in my opinion. The notion that everything is false until proven true is simply not true from a logical perspective. Whence morality? How can an objective, absolute moral standard exist within the confines of Secular Humanism? You may speak of "instincts" or "impulses", but you fail to explain how to determine which instincts are right and which are wrong.
    Just because you don't like the answers doesn't mean you aren't governed by them. You're a social mammal with all that goes along with it.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    Just because you don't like the answers doesn't mean you aren't governed by them. You're a social mammal with all that goes along with it.
    So I must disapprove of murder? Whence Charles Manson, Hitler, et al? Humans are social mammals--but they still act anti-social. What other social mammals kill their own species at the rate that we do?

    Good and evil, therefore, are simply human constructions to describe actions that are helpful or unhelpful to us, correct? So what Hitler did wasn't "wrong", per se, it just wasn't what you would do.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Please, Christians of ODN, tell me why you believe. I want real reasons. Faith is not a reason, it is an excuse to believe in something. I ask you this because I believe the reasons for Atheism tower over reasons for Christianity.
    (Going to regret this )

    Why, for me it is what transpired after the ressurection. Look at the actions of Peter. At first he was one who denied knowing Christ, then he was one who was proclaiming Christ to anyone and everyone. Many were put to horrible deaths just because they would not denounce Christ. I watched a program once on Christianity on the History channel. They attempted to show that the Christian faith was just like all others. They went through all sorts of things and gave their explanations as to why they are this way untill the end of the program. They could not explaine why so many were put to death. In the end all they could say was "something happened". The thing that happened was the ressurection. It gave undenialble proof as to who Christ said he was and what he came to do. Why would anyone suffer as those did for a lie or something to that effect?
    Mongol General: We have won again. That is good! But what is best in life?

    Mongol Warrior: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcon on your wrist,
    wind in your hair!

    Mongol General: Wrong! Conan, what is best in life?

    Conan: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear
    the lamentations of their women!

    Mongol General: That is good.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Why do I believe? Because it is obviouse.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Conan
    (Going to regret this )
    Probably.

    Why, for me it is what transpired after the ressurection.
    Resurrection, Conan. Learn to spell the core fictions if you want to be taken seriously.

    First, the resurrection never happened. Earthquakes, walking zombies, massive eclipses......Nobody but the authors of the NT seemed to notice, and even then the earliest evidence of that myth is 200 years after the gospels claim it happened.

    These days Christians who don't want to appear besotted call the resurrection a spiritual event, and even then they shy away from the hard questions.

    Look at the actions of Peter. At first he was one who denied knowing Christ, then he was one who was proclaiming Christ to anyone and everyone.
    We have libraries full of the writings of early christian fathers. This parable of Peter seems pretty important, right? Find me one mention of him before Justin Martyr and I'll be surprised.

    Many were put to horrible deaths just because they would not denounce Christ.
    There is no extra-biblical evidence for this. Many christians were put to death, sure, but it's beyond anyone to find records thast name 'religious stubbornness' as the crime. Remamber that early christians were all about eschatology, and were not above trying to rush things along

    ......"something happened". The thing that happened was the ressurection. It gave undenialble proof as to who Christ said he was and what he came to do. Why would anyone suffer as those did for a lie or something to that effect?
    Have you looked at the thread that nan and I laid up about the historicity of Jesus? We seemed to agree that Jesus was either an historical figure from another time who was mythologized into the NT Jesus you seem to feel is so real, or a mythical 'teacher of righteousness' who was attributed a human life to make the evolved story seem to have a real provenance. The rock star preacher depicted in the NT never existed.

    Deal with it.
    To begin to think is to begin to be undermined.
    Albert Camus, An Absurd Reasoning

    Who knows most, doubts most.
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    Re: Reasons to believe

    3PP - I know your mind at least appears hardened and closed, but to say that Jesus was a 'mythical figure' is pushing the envelope of rationality and credulity - at the very least there is supportive 'evidence' from external sources that there was indeed a remarkable person (Jesus) in that place and at that time. There are in addition some questions of 'cause and effect' that do have credence. It is reasonable the records are a bit thin in the early times in as far as He would have been viewed as a possible threat to the establishments of the time.

    http://www.bibleviews.com/non-biblical.html
    "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." - Anais Nin.
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    'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt' - Julius Caesar (rough translation, 'Men will think what they want to think')
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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028
    Why do I believe? Because it is obviouse.
    "Obviouse".... heh...

    Quote Originally Posted by Clive
    How, exactly, can an atheist disavow a religion but accept its moral reasoning? Rejecting the foundation of the structure topples the entire building.
    Just because an Atheist does not believe in a god doesn't mean he can't find a religion's moral system useful.

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Lull
    Please, Christians of ODN, tell me why you believe. I want real reasons. Faith is not a reason, it is an excuse to believe in something. I ask you this because I believe the reasons for Atheism tower over reasons for Christianity.
    I am a deist, not a Christian, but I'll answer your question an I can.

    Because I choose to believe. I quite frankly, like the notion that there is something else out there.

    Most, some absurdly high number of at any rate, cultures believe in some form of higher power/diety/dieties. I think this is a clue to the nature of God Himself, and some insight into how little we actually understand Him.

    For whatever reason, it is easier to see this in this way, than to accpet that memes are real...

    The below text has been automerged with this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut
    3PP - I know your mind at least appears hardened and closed, but to say that Jesus was a 'mythical figure' is pushing the envelope of rationality and credulity - at the very least there is supportive 'evidence' from external sources that there was indeed a remarkable person (Jesus) in that place and at that time. There are in addition some questions of 'cause and effect' that do have credence. It is reasonable the records are a bit thin in the early times in as far as He would have been viewed as a possible threat to the establishments of the time.

    http://www.bibleviews.com/non-biblical.html
    Hey Fruity, when Nandy and TPP agree on religion, it's probably worth noting.

    Read this last paragraph again:

    Quote Originally Posted by TPP
    Have you looked at the thread that nan and I laid up about the historicity of Jesus? We seemed to agree that Jesus was either an historical figure from another time who was mythologized into the NT Jesus you seem to feel is so real, or a mythical 'teacher of righteousness' who was attributed a human life to make the evolved story seem to have a real provenance. The rock star preacher depicted in the NT never existed.
    He's not saying Jesus is a myth period...
    Last edited by Slipnish; June 23rd, 2006 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

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    Re: Reasons to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by FruitandNut
    3PP - I know your mind at least appears hardened and closed,
    I am so open minded that birds fly through my skull. Iam willing to accede to a possibility on the flimsiest of evidence. Really!

    but to say that Jesus was a 'mythical figure' is pushing the envelope of rationality and credulity - at the very least there is supportive 'evidence' from external sources that there was indeed a remarkable person (Jesus) in that place and at that time.
    Not really. If Jesus is to honor the CV established for him then he definately DID NOT flourish in the first few decades of the common era.
    To begin to think is to begin to be undermined.
    Albert Camus, An Absurd Reasoning

    Who knows most, doubts most.
    Robert Browning

 

 
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