JCC God Exists.

Discussion in 'Community' started by Rogue_Ten, Jun 3, 2013.

?

God Exists.

yes 51 vote(s) 40.5%
no 40 vote(s) 31.7%
nnnnnNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!! 22 vote(s) 17.5%
dunno 35 vote(s) 27.8%
no curr 5 vote(s) 4.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

    Administrator
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    Nov 21, 2002
    star 7
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Sometimes people mistake what I might call the "moral spark" for a sign of God's existence. The classic argument from morality. We have an innate sense of right and wrong, which comes to us from God. See if you can follow this argument: the fact that we can tell right from wrong is proof of God's existence, because without God's moral authority, there can be no reason for preferring one kind of behavior over any other.

    Personally, I like spreading the bible of Frans de Waal. As social primates, we're hard-wired for empathy and altruism. Empathy is a "phylogenetically ancient capacity." It's the proximate mechanism for directed altruism, a capacity we inherited from our primate ancestors. We may indeed have a "moral sense." but we got it from the ancestors we share with bonobo chimpanzees.
  3. V-2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2012
    star 4
    I'm a really smug atheist and I say give the naïve fundy a break for the following reasons:
    1: He probably can't help it
    2: It's not that funny (see point 1)
  4. Adam of Nuchtern Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    hear+soul likes this.
  5. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6

    I just want to chime in and say that having discussions like this current one have helped me immensely in my spiritual walk. I owe much of my current faith to all the JCC and the Senate threads where I debated back and forth with people who disagreed with me and called me on my ****. So I think it's a good thing this is happening. It's also entertaining!
    VadersLaMent and hear+soul like this.
  6. hear+soul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 6
    Well I don't need to prove my "religion." Borrowing this from someone, but it's like defending a lion, He doesn't need my help.
    I believe everyone knows in their hearts that God exists. Doubt also exists. That said, he also has asked me to spread the Word, and He works through me. And I believe in a God who gives chance after chance after chance after chance x100. He is fair and just.
    Also, I believe having these discussions is sharpening to both sides. If taken well, they can lead to everyone's betterment, which I think goes along with what PREN said, to a degree.
    No, it doesn't matter who's arguing the point. The point is what matters. I put forth my reasoning, in very loose terms. You're very familiar with it, and say you oppose it. Have at thee.
    You're basically asking me to start with everything. I'll wait for a specific topic, which is coming...
    Well, that's not true. Eyewitness testimony is direct evidence. There's plenty of other evidence, but that's simple and to the point, so I'll leave it there.
    I'm not.
    I have never heard of any inaccuracies that can stand up to scrutiny. I've heard of plenty surface-level misunderstandings or misconceptions, but no legitimate inaccuracies. Jonah being swallowed by a whale is improbable, but not impossible.
    Show me.
    No, you can't. Or show me how. You have one author writing. The Bible has many authors confirming the same story. And why would they make it up?
    I disagree on both counts. There have been many proofs of the Old Testament's historical reliability, such as the Israelites time in Egypt, to name one.
    No, that's linear. Something was predicted and then it happened. Also, his divinity is not linked to the prophecies alone. I'd say it relies moreso on the reliability of the New Testament, which professes his workings of miracles, which would be evidence aplenty. Actually, perhaps they are of equal importance. But, to me, at this time, the prophecies are more bolstering.
    First of all, as I've said before, after everything that happened, the number of believers at Pentacost was 120. But even if you discount that, to your example with your friend.... People who were there, and saw Lazarus rise, who saw the healing of the sick, they did not believe. Some did, many did, but many didn't. They would walk away arguing about it, so no, your logic doesn't quite hold up in that area. Or, at least, your assertion of credulity. Would one believe their friend? That's completely dependent on the person. Most would have at least some doubt, but that is not to say they would not believe it.

    Twenty-five years is not a long time. You also have to remember these men were going around and preaching this on a daily basis, from the moment Jesus left. It's not as if it was something that happened to you 20 or 30 years ago that you haven't thought of much and then trying to remember the details... They lived with this man every day for three years. Then they talked about it every day for the rest of their lives. Besides that, I can easily remember significant events that happened to me 20 years ago with some exacting details.

    regarding reliability:
    1. We have an accurate copy of the New Testament documents:
    a. While the original New Testament documents do not survive or have not yet been found, we have abundant and accurate copies of the original NT documents- many more than that for the ten best pieces of ancient literature combined. Moreover, nearly perfect reconstruction of the originals can be accomplished by comparing the thousands of manuscripts that do survive. We have discovered manuscript fragments from the early second century and perhaps as early as the mid-first century. There are no works from the ancient world that even come close to the NT in terms of manuscript support.
    b. Reconstruction is further authenticated by the thousands of quotations from the early church fathers. In fact, the entire NT, except for eleven verses, can be reconstructed just from their quotations of it.

    2. The NT documents are early and contain earlier source material.
    a. Since the NT documents are referenced by other writers by about A.D. 100, they had to have been composed before then.
    b. Since the NT documents speak as if the temple and the city were still standing at the time of their writing- and there is no mention of the onset of the Jewish war or the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem- most of the NT documents are probably earlier than A.D. 70.
    c. We have very strong evidence that Acts was written by 62, which means Luke is even earlier.
    d. We have source material that goes back into the 30s. Nearly all scholars agree that the death, burial, and resurrection testimony found in 1 Corinthians 15 comes from the time of those events or within a few years of them. Furthermore, there are at least 40 other creeds in the NT that appear to be of very early origin.

    At least 10 ancient non-Christian writers within 150 years of his life give information about Jesus, and their collective references provide a storyline consistent with the New Testament.

    regarding eyewitness testimony:
    The major New Testament writers record the same basic events with diverging details and some unique material (this is important in proving their reliability).
    They cite at least thirty real historical figures who have been confirmed by ancient non-Christian writers and various archaeological discoveries.
    Luke peppers the second half of Acts with at least 84 historically confirmed eyewitness details and includes several others in his Gospel.
    Luke's proven trustworthiness affirms that of Matthew and Mark because they record the same basic story.
    John includes at least 59 historically confirmed or historically probable eyewitness details in his Gospel.
    Paul and Peter provide the fifth and sixth written testimonies to the Resurrection.

    10 Reasons why the New Testament writers told the truth. they:
    1. include numerous embarrassing details about themselves
    2. include numerous embarrassing details and difficult sayings of Jesus
    3. include the demanding sayings of Jesus
    4. carefully distinguish Jesus' words from their own
    5. include events about the Resurrection that they would not have invented
    5. include at least thirty historically confirmed public figures in their writings
    7. include divergent details
    8. challenge their readers to check out verifiable facts, even facts about miracles
    9. describe miracles like other historical events: with simple, unembellished accounts
    10. abandoned their long-held sacred beliefs and practices, adopted new ones, and did not deny their testimony under persecution or threat of death

    I know saying all of this is not proof in and of itself, but if you'd like to highlight any of them, I've provided it all in one spot, so you can say, "show me this: your first reason here." It's also providing a picture of the vastness of the support for the New Testament, as opposed to focusing on one thing and then moving on to the next without that. I'd rather operate from a place where it's been gathered. Same reasoning I had for posting the overview of the support of the existence of God, so that you could then pick a place to challenge, with the larger picture in mind. aka- it doesn't all fall on just one fact or one point or one argument. It is cohesive.

    a) he was not iconoclastic. He fulfilled the law, he did not destroy it. He affirmed the existence of God, as the Jews knew him, he did not tear it down. Was it a new way? Yes, but even He, himself, says the greatest commandments are to love God and love others, which all the law and words of the prophets hangs on, which can be verified by reading them. The new way did not destroy the old way, it complements it. Romans is very much about this.
    b) You cannot just say he was a teacher. It's what so many love to do, but you must sterilize what he did, and then severely edit what he taught. Once again, people try and limit him and confine him to a label, but he's too much for it. If you wish to label him a teacher, and not God, then he was a liar, or a madman, and therefore not a good or trustworthy teacher. Why listen to him? He claimed to BE God!!! over and over again!

    But C.S. Lewis said it best:
    “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”



    Now, @Jabbadabbado I promise I will attend to your point. I'm going to take a break to accomplish some of the goals I set for today, and I will return later, perhaps this evening. I will respond to you first with greater precision than I demonstrated above, as we are addressing something more specific, though it is still a bit broad, but I will do my best.

    [face_cowboy] Peace, all.
  7. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    The point is that you claimed to have experts when you didn't. I mean if you want to pull philosophy 101 claims of logical fallacies, your initial "I have expert testimony" is an appeal to authority.
    V-2 likes this.
  8. Son of a Bith Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2013
    star 4
    This thread needs more Mike Seaver
    [IMG]
    Bob Octa likes this.
  9. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    "Dunno."

    Show me objective, verifiable evidence of any deity's existence and I'll error-analyze it before concluding it is a) factual or b) a collection of myths and legends written by Bronze Age goat herders.

    ETA: So far the Bible appears to be b).
    Last edited by Merlin_Ambrosius69, Jun 5, 2013
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  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I don't have a problem with Jesus being both a lunatic and a great moral teacher. What makes those two mutually exclusive? Especially if Jesus was only memorializing the way humans naturally behave as social primates. We exhibit caregiving tendencies. We engage in intrinsically altruistic behavior with social group insiders that our evolved empathy response prods us into doing and feeling happy about doing. When you engage in helping behavior, you really do love your neighbor as you love yourself. That's what empathy is. And it's an evolved biochemical response to certain sensory inputs. Unlike chimps, humans can add an extra layer of belated cognition over what they are already inclined to do, and they can add more layers of cognition to override and reject helping behaviors, but at heart we help each other out for the same reason that bonobos do it. It makes us and them feel good.

    Sometimes I feel sorry for poor C.S. Lewis. He was born too soon to hear some of the better responses to his apologetics. That's one of the reasons modern apologists still use him, because he never moved on, didn't live long enough to struggle with more recent developments in science.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jun 5, 2013
  11. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Ah yes, now I remember Darth Deception.
  12. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 2
    I hope that one day humanity will mature beyond the need for religion. Religion may have had a necessary place thousands of years ago, but God has continuously retreated as science and technology have advanced. I think the only reason people still cling to it is out of fear and the need for comfort in the face of an often difficult world and the inevitable death of themselves and their loved ones.
  13. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 4, 2008
    star 5
    @hear+soul
    10 Reasons why the New Testament writers told the truth. they:
    1. include numerous embarrassing details about themselves
    2. include numerous embarrassing details and difficult sayings of Jesus
    3. include the demanding sayings of Jesus
    4. carefully distinguish Jesus' words from their own
    5. include events about the Resurrection that they would not have invented
    6. include at least thirty historically confirmed public figures in their writings
    7. include divergent details
    8. challenge their readers to check out verifiable facts, even facts about miracles
    9. describe miracles like other historical events: with simple, unembellished accounts
    10. abandoned their long-held sacred beliefs and practices, adopted new ones, and did not deny their testimony under persecution or threat of death

    =/= means "does not equal"

    1. In high school I was called "BuFu" because many of my peers thought I was gay. Also, there is a dragon living in my garage. Embarrassing detail + supernatural claim =/= verifiable fact.
    2 & 3. The dragon in my garage wears stinky underpants. Still, you should accept that he exists because he helped Einstein develop the Theory of Relativity, which is difficult to understand. Embarrassing detail + "difficult or demanding saying" =/= verifiable fact.
    4. The dragon in my garage said x. I said y. Distinguishing fictional character's words from the author's =/= verifiable fact.
    5.My dragon told me he exists, and he would never lie about his own existence. Reification fallacy.
    6. My dragon exists contemporaneously with Daniel Radcliffe, Miley Cyrus, Sean Bean and 27 other confirmed public figures. Inserting historical personages into story =/= verifiable fact.
    7. My friend Sam reports that the dragon living in my garage is purple. I report the dragon is pink. Divergent details =/= verifiable fact.
    8. I challenge you to come over and examine the dragon in my garage for yourself. Invitation to others to investigate a claim =/= verifiable fact.
    9. The dragon living in my garage is x long, y wide and z tall. "Simple, unembellished" (whatever that may mean) account =/= verifiable fact.
    10. I used to disbelieve in the existence of dragons. Now I know they are real because there is one living in my garage. When tortured unto death, I did not recount my certainty that a dragon lives in my garage. Unverifiable report =/= verifiable fact.

    @hear+soul
    I know saying all of this is not proof in and of itself, but if you'd like to highlight any of them, I've provided it all in one spot, so you can say, "show me this: your first reason here." It's also providing a picture of the vastness of the support for the New Testament, as opposed to focusing on one thing and then moving on to the next without that. I'd rather operate from a place where it's been gathered. Same reasoning I had for posting the overview of the support of the existence of God, so that you could then pick a place to challenge, with the larger picture in mind. aka- it doesn't all fall on just one fact or one point or one argument. It is cohesive.

    Illogical. A series of unverifiable claims, no matter how numerous, does not add up to a single verifiable fact.
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  14. hear+soul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2004
    star 6
    Let me show you the exchange:

    "3. It is true that the theistic God exists. This is evidenced by the:
    a. Beginning of the universe (Cosmological Argument)" -me

    "You really don't want to bring up cosmology here. I'll give you one chance to retract" -you

    "no, I won't. So, go ahead. I'm not an expert, but I have access to expert analysis and my own ability to reason, so we'll see where it goes. It will be interesting and engaging, at least." -me

    "Darth_Predacon, a bunch of theologians don't count as "expert testimony" when it comes to the universe. You will lose. Badly. I give you this opportunity because I don't like having total and complete victories. They're not fun. But I will not hesitate" -you

    "First of all, keep in mind all does not rest on that argument alone. That said, go right ahead. You seem to know a lot about it, so please, inform me. I will do my best to respond, though I do think I shall do so tomorrow. [face_tired]" -me

    "Darth Maximal, I prefer my meal fighting and angry, not resigned and exhausted" -you

    "Tomorrow, then. Though, this is a message board, so you may start, and I will respond tomorrow, if you like. But I'll post when I am on the boards, otherwise. I do intend on accomplishing things tomorrow, so if this is as significant a debate as is possible, it may stretch more than a day. Anyway, have [at] it, or I will see you tomorrow.

    This will be one of the experts I will be drawing from, and, of course, his research on the subject, which comes from many, many sources. But it really doesn't matter. The arguments should stand or fall on their own merits." -me

    "Darth dinobot, he has a phd in nonsense ( sorry quix, hey whatever happened to that guy?). So yeah bring me some physicists if you want to talk cosmology and the universe." -you

    "No, it doesn't matter who's arguing the point. The point is what matters. I put forth my reasoning, in very loose terms. You're very familiar with it, and say you oppose it. Have at thee." -me

    "The point is that you claimed to have experts when you didn't. I mean if you want to pull philosophy 101 claims of logical fallacies, your initial "I have expert testimony" is an appeal to authority." -you

    @Lord Vivec. It's time to put up or don't. Stop avoiding and dismissing. Cosmological argument: what is your point of opposition?

    moving on:

    Ok, so you agree that there is a universal moral law, then, but you disagree about the source.

    You agree, then, that there is an absolute standard of right and wrong and that relativism is false. Also, you believe that the moral law comes from a higher, or deeper, in your case, source other than ourselves. So, really, your problem is with the design of life aka the teleological argument. I will address that soon, but remaining on the topic of moral law, here's C.S. Lewis again:

    "Human beings, all over the earth, have the curious idea that they ought to behave a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly that they do not in fact behave that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in."
  15. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Okay... going back in. Where did God come from? Who/what created God?
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  16. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I don't think I would call it a universal moral law, and I don't think you're framing the issue correctly in terms of "absolute standards of right and wrong vs. relativism."

    All I'm discussing is the evolutionary advantage of cohesive, cooperative social groups that promote the general welfare of members of the group. It's not really about what's "right" or "wrong" but about what gives people emotional satisfaction. We all have deep programming to gain emotional satisfaction from helping behavior and from living up to social expectations of fairness that others have of us. Reciprocal altruism is part of it, but we enjoy unreciprocated altruism as well. Empathy is the driver. It's the orgasm of cooperative social behaviors other than sex.

    What Christians often mistake for the "moral sense" is our empathy abilities, our primate-inherited ability to project ourselves into another person's situation and experience what they are feeling from their perspective and have an authentic biochemically-induced emotional response to it that induces instrinsic altruism (altruism for its own sake).

    The golden rule wasn't revolutionary even in Jesus's time. It was just a restatement of a deep-seated biological imperative.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jun 5, 2013
  17. Rachel_In_Red Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 12, 2013
    star 2
    If I may respond to a couple of these myself...

    If the universe requires a designer, why doesn't God?

    [face_rofl]

    If humans have always had the same built-in concepts of right and wrong, then explain to me how the world is remarkably more civilized than it was thousands of years ago - or even 150/50 years ago. 150 years ago, blacks were held as slaves in the southern United States. Up until the 1960s, they had no voting rights and segregation existed in many forms. Today, the highest office in the land is occupied by a black man. That is possible because people have changed with the times and past wrongdoings have been recognized. It has nothing to do with deities.

    What humans do recognize is that we are better off working together and pooling our resources and for that to happen there must be fundamental laws from which to build social structures. Laws against stealing, murder, etc. are part of that. And those things have been part of society for so long and taught to us at such a young age that they are part of our collective conscience. But I can assure you that if you had been raised in a hostile cannibalistic tribe in the Amazon thousands of years ago that you would have no problem killing people, consuming their flesh, and making a necklace out of their remains.
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  18. GrandAdmiralJello Emperor: Community & Lit

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Wrong.

    "God is Spanish and fights for our nation these days". -- Don Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel, conde-duque de Olivares.
  19. DarthMane2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2003
    star 4
    Last edited by DarthMane2, Jun 5, 2013
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    This thread gives me old forum Senate flashbacks. The funny part is that the same old arguments crop up and get shot down yet still the antireasonable persist agaosnt all logical fallacies.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    This idea persists because so many Americans grow up in households where they are indoctrinated into a religion from birth. My children have not been indoctrinated about the existence of an omniscient, omni-benevolent deity in the Judeo-Christian model, and hence have no heartfelt belief whatsoever about its existence. But you're right, it can be really difficult to shed lifelong indoctrination that starts in early childhood at the level of the nuclear family.

    In the case of my kids, I haven't forced my atheism on them either. They have never asked me about my beliefs. It doesn't come up, and I think that's the natural way of it in a religion free world. In a true religion-free environment, no one has to self identify as an atheist, because it would never occur to anyone to pit their belief against an arbitrary mythical supernatural being. It would be like staking out a position against the existence of Hogwarts.

    My kids are free to believe what they want, though I emphasize the importance of getting a decent education.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jun 5, 2013
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  22. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 8
    Tom's probably going to be bummed about being misquoted like that.
  23. tom Scattergories Winner

    Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Mar 14, 2004
    star 6
    uh, i didn't say that. what is this slander?! don't make me post some pictures of lettuce.
  24. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Exactly.
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jun 5, 2013
  25. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Can you imagine a world without religion....

    [IMG]

    Well, I'm sold.
    Now quit worshipping deities so I can get my flying car.
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