mersenneforum.org  

Go Back   mersenneforum.org > Extra Stuff > Soap Box

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 2006-03-05, 14:12   #1
jasong
 
jasong's Avatar
 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

3×7×167 Posts
Default My fatalistic(sp?) reason for believing in God.

Seeing as how R.D. Silverman loves to disparage people for believing in God(actually I think he loves to disparage people over just about everything, lol) I'd like to post my reasons for believing in God.

After being an atheist for a long time(a conceited one), at 16 I moved with my parents to Arkansas. After living in Arkansas for about a year, I began having visions, hallucinating, believed someone was trying to kill my little brother, etc.. I was in and out of hospitals for awhile, and finally was placed in long-term treatment at a place in Texas.

During this whole time, I was forced to deal with a lot of hard questions I'd been refusing to deal with before. What is the purpose of life? Does existence have a meaning? That sort of thing.

Being a bit of a fatalist(I still am, btw), I naturally approached it from that angle. Put in it's simplest terms, I was dealing with two things:

(1) Is there a God?(assuming he's benevolent if he exists)

(2) Do I believe in God.

These are yes/no questions, and, as such, there are 4 possible combinations of answers. Let's look at each combination, separately.

No, No There is no God and I don't believe in him. In this instance, you believe something that's true, but does this do you any good? I don't think so, since sooner or later, you are going to die(cease to exist).

No, Yes Here's a rather pitiful person(me, possibly?) He insists on believing in God, but to no avail. He runs after something which will never benefit him. In the end he loses, just like the person who didn't believe.

Yes, No Here's where I let the influence of my peers affect me. Assuming Christianity(or Islam, say) has the proper God, then disbelieving has dire consequences. A Buddhist God(for example), on the other hand would just mean that things are stretched out a little longer. Consequences are indistinct if each possibility is considered equally probable.

Yes, Yes There is a God, and I believe in him(or her). Here is where I'd like to stand. Since I only consider life to have value if God exists and is at least similar to the Christian God. This is where I truly want to stand.

Unfortunately, I'm a fatalist. Just because I want to believe something, doesn't mean I do. I believe a Universe without a God is a worthless Universe, but that doesn't mean I haven't seriously considered the possibility.

So there is my conundrum, I want to believe my life has value, but desire doesn't equal truth.

Comments?
jasong is offline  
Old 2006-03-05, 15:21   #2
jasong
 
jasong's Avatar
 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

3×7×167 Posts
Default

Um, I may have made an error in the subject line, I thought "fatalistic" had an assumed negative connotation. (Because of the word "fatal.")

Sorry about that.
jasong is offline  
Old 2006-03-05, 16:44   #3
clowns789
 
clowns789's Avatar
 
Jun 2003
The Computer

401 Posts
Default

Many people believe it's necessary to worship a higher power so you aren't full of yourself and are therefore a better person.

I think bringing R.D. Silverman into the picture was inappropriate. He may get the sense that he was the reason for this post. But even I don'tunderstand why he goes over the top for "not my cup of tea" but he calls people appointed by President Bush SPOSs. What's more, he says everything's "double standard" and "hypocritical".
clowns789 is offline  
Old 2006-03-05, 17:43   #4
ColdFury
 
ColdFury's Avatar
 
Aug 2002

1010000002 Posts
Default

Quote:
A Buddhist God(for example)
Buddhism itself has no gods. In any particular region, however, Buddhism might be practiced with a mix of local traditions, which might have gods. However, there's nothing in Buddhism itself which has dieties.
ColdFury is offline  
Old 2006-03-10, 05:52   #5
jasong
 
jasong's Avatar
 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

66638 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdFury
Buddhism itself has no gods. In any particular region, however, Buddhism might be practiced with a mix of local traditions, which might have gods. However, there's nothing in Buddhism itself which has dieties.
While I accept there are no deities in Buddhism(which I didn't know), I'd like to suggest the following as a possible definition of God.

That which holds the most importance in one's life, whether it be money, Jesus, Allah, one's mother, or whatever...
jasong is offline  
Old 2006-03-10, 05:54   #6
jasong
 
jasong's Avatar
 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

3·7·167 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by clowns789
Many people believe it's necessary to worship a higher power so you aren't full of yourself and are therefore a better person.

I think bringing R.D. Silverman into the picture was inappropriate. He may get the sense that he was the reason for this post. But even I don'tunderstand why he goes over the top for "not my cup of tea" but he calls people appointed by President Bush SPOSs. What's more, he says everything's "double standard" and "hypocritical".
I agree that bringing Mr. Silverman into it was inappropriate. Unfortunately, by the time I regretted it, the editing time had expired.
jasong is offline  
Old 2006-03-10, 13:30   #7
R.D. Silverman
 
R.D. Silverman's Avatar
 
"Bob Silverman"
Nov 2003
North of Boston

1D5416 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong
I agree that bringing Mr. Silverman into it was inappropriate. Unfortunately, by the time I regretted it, the editing time had expired.
I hold in reverence PEOPLE who are accomplished. They are real.
Their accomplishments are real. Evidence of their existence and
their accomplishents can be shown to others. (and please, let's
not start an argument over solipsism)

I hold in disdain people who do not make an effort to be accomplished.

I try (but clearly don't always succeed) to be rational. Belief in something
for which there is no evidence is irrational and stupid. Claims by
people that they have "received the word of God" is not evidence because
it can't be duplicated by others.

Atheism is every bit as stupid as belief in God, because there is no
evidence that God does NOT exist. I am not an atheist.

What distinguishes us from other animals is our ability to think and to be
rational. Blind belief in God throws that away. It is *irrational*.

An intelligent person is agnostic and admits "I don't know". They do
not take a stance one way or the other until they are shown reproducible
EVIDENCE.
R.D. Silverman is offline  
Old 2006-03-10, 17:03   #8
Zeta-Flux
 
Zeta-Flux's Avatar
 
May 2003

7×13×17 Posts
Default

Okay, I can't help but take the bait. I guess I'm just one of those dumb fish.

Quote:
I hold in disdain people who do not make an effort to be accomplished.
Why does this matter to you? From my understanding of your worldview, you believe that we all will (probably) cease to exist when we die. The universe is (basically) described by physical rules. And so (in my understanding of your view), from the evidence we have, it is unlikely that any recognizable record of your existence will exist, say, in a million years. (Or, if you'd like, we could say a trillion years, or whatever number you think is most likely, and any evidence of our planet's existence will likely be gone.) So what lasting value does someone being accomplished hold in your view? It is a temporary thing. There is no intrinsic value in accomplishment, as far as I can see, in such a worldview. Further, what you might see as accomplished, those in the near future might see as criminal/illogical/silly/or whatever. In fact, those future people might hold those "who didn't make an effort to be accomplished" as the accomplished ones. Historians are known for changing their (collective) minds (and getting things wrong).

Quote:
Claims by people that they have "received the word of God" is not evidence because it can't be duplicated by others.
I agree that it isn't evidence for other people. But, consider the following thought experiment. Aliens come visit you. They talk to you, take you to their ships, and eventually return you to your home. You now believe that there are aliens (and, possibly, that you were deluded, insane, drugged, tricked, etc... but the experience leads you to believe that the most likely scenario is that there are aliens). And your memory is evidence for you. But not for others.

It might be illogical for you to believe that others should merely take your word for it that there are aliens, when you can't give them evidence (or a way to verify your claim), but it isn't illogical for you to continue to believe in aliens.

So, I guess my point is that duplication of evidence is only important if you are trying to convince someone else. Non-duplication of evidence does not make a personal belief invalid/stupid/irrational.

Quote:
An intelligent person is agnostic and admits "I don't know".
I agree, with the following caveat:

Only if such a person has no personal evidence that there is a God.

Quote:
They do not take a stance one way or the other until they are shown reproducible EVIDENCE.
Here I completely disagree. For example, suppose when you were fifteen your mother gave you a birthday card that really meant something to you. Should I expect you to stop believing in that experience if you cannot show me reproducible evidence of such a birthday card (especially if you've lost it)? No, of course not. Your memory, as prone to human error as it is, is sufficient evidence (which is currently non-reproducible) to make your belief in past experiences not illogical or stupid.

If we only believed in those past experiences which we could reproduce, we'd believe in very little about our past selves.
Zeta-Flux is offline  
Old 2006-03-10, 17:07   #9
Zeta-Flux
 
Zeta-Flux's Avatar
 
May 2003

7·13·17 Posts
Default

And by the way, just to clarify, I do believe that a logical belief in God should be born of hope AND evidence. But reproducibility, in my mind, is only important when trying to help others get the same evidences we have and come to the same beliefs.
Zeta-Flux is offline  
Old 2006-03-11, 09:43   #10
Uncwilly
6809 > 6502
 
Uncwilly's Avatar
 
"""""""""""""""""""
Aug 2003
101×103 Posts

22·7·389 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman
Claims by people that they have "received the word of God" is not evidence because it can't be duplicated by others.
While not discussing particular individuals, as a general basis, why not apply the test for a sci. theory against 'scriptures'? Do they make predictions? Do the predictions come to pass?

Sumbitted for your consideration:
In the book of Daniel several predictions are made concerning politcal events. Notably in chapter 8 in predicts that the Persian empire would come to an end at the hands the ruler of Greece that would be notable and that after that ruler there would be a division of the kingdom into 4 parts. This was written prior to 535 BC. Alexander of Macedon was born in 356.

In the book of Isaiah (c. 740-700 B.C.) in chapters 44 and 45 it refers to Cyrus by name and stating that he would say 'of Jerusalem, Thou art built, And of the temple, Thou art founded.' Cyrus was not born until over 100 years later. In 535 he did give the command for the rebuilding. This is recorded on a notable cylinder that can be seen today in London.


Just to examples that are quick and easy to point out. The currently visible Jewish presence in the land was also predicted.
Uncwilly is offline  
Old 2006-03-31, 21:44   #11
jasong
 
jasong's Avatar
 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

1101101100112 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman
I try (but clearly don't always succeed) to be rational. Belief in something
for which there is no evidence is irrational and stupid. Claims by
people that they have "received the word of God" is not evidence because
it can't be duplicated by others.

Atheism is every bit as stupid as belief in God, because there is no
evidence that God does NOT exist. I am not an atheist.

An intelligent person is agnostic and admits "I don't know". They do
not take a stance one way or the other until they are shown reproducible
EVIDENCE.
Holy mackeral, we agree on something not math related.:surprised

One of the definitions of faith is "hope in the unseen." I chose Christianity because I felt it was the only religion that I would want to spend an eternity in. I don't consider a life that lasts less than 1,000 years to be worthwhile so I behave in a way that I feel Jesus, if he's real, would want me to.

I may have pointed this out already, but if there is no God, then EVERYBODY loses sooner or later.

It's better to have hope.
jasong is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What's a good website for believing Christians to discuss prophecy? jasong jasong 87 2017-03-10 02:42
The crime of reason jasonp Soap Box 1 2009-12-20 15:09
Is there any good reason for why GMP does this? ShiningArcanine Software 2 2007-12-11 15:11
Another reason for high attrition... guest PrimeNet 27 2004-03-17 13:50
eBay suspending users for no reason? eepiccolo Lounge 12 2003-05-05 19:25

All times are UTC. The time now is 08:35.


Thu Feb 2 08:35:39 UTC 2023 up 168 days, 6:04, 1 user, load averages: 1.04, 1.06, 0.98

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum has received and complied with 0 (zero) government requests for information.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.
A copy of the license is included in the FAQ.

≠ ± ∓ ÷ × · − √ ‰ ⊗ ⊕ ⊖ ⊘ ⊙ ≤ ≥ ≦ ≧ ≨ ≩ ≺ ≻ ≼ ≽ ⊏ ⊐ ⊑ ⊒ ² ³ °
∠ ∟ ° ≅ ~ ‖ ⟂ ⫛
≡ ≜ ≈ ∝ ∞ ≪ ≫ ⌊⌋ ⌈⌉ ∘ ∏ ∐ ∑ ∧ ∨ ∩ ∪ ⨀ ⊕ ⊗ 𝖕 𝖖 𝖗 ⊲ ⊳
∅ ∖ ∁ ↦ ↣ ∩ ∪ ⊆ ⊂ ⊄ ⊊ ⊇ ⊃ ⊅ ⊋ ⊖ ∈ ∉ ∋ ∌ ℕ ℤ ℚ ℝ ℂ ℵ ℶ ℷ ℸ 𝓟
¬ ∨ ∧ ⊕ → ← ⇒ ⇐ ⇔ ∀ ∃ ∄ ∴ ∵ ⊤ ⊥ ⊢ ⊨ ⫤ ⊣ … ⋯ ⋮ ⋰ ⋱
∫ ∬ ∭ ∮ ∯ ∰ ∇ ∆ δ ∂ ℱ ℒ ℓ
𝛢𝛼 𝛣𝛽 𝛤𝛾 𝛥𝛿 𝛦𝜀𝜖 𝛧𝜁 𝛨𝜂 𝛩𝜃𝜗 𝛪𝜄 𝛫𝜅 𝛬𝜆 𝛭𝜇 𝛮𝜈 𝛯𝜉 𝛰𝜊 𝛱𝜋 𝛲𝜌 𝛴𝜎𝜍 𝛵𝜏 𝛶𝜐 𝛷𝜙𝜑 𝛸𝜒 𝛹𝜓 𝛺𝜔