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Farooq
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(04-25-2012, 05:31 AM)
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Originally Posted by ZealousD

Are there any former believers in this thread, that actually steered away from their religion because of the sort of arguments by prominent atheists like Hitchens and Dawkins?

The more I watch these sorts of debates and bickering, the more I'm inclined to believe that deconversion is more of a personal process. I feel like very few people are ever swayed by any of these sorts of arguments, no matter how logically sound they are.

For me personally, being raised a Muslim. My de conversion started when I watched a video of someone being beheaded, while the murderers were reciting the name of their God. I kept asking myself what kind of ideology could motivate someone to perform such a barbaric act.

The video had a profound effect on me. It lead me to question everything about the religion. The questioning lead me to some videos of Dawkins and Hitchens, but honestly I think I was too far gone at that point that it didn't matter what arguments I heard. I was never going to be a practising Muslim again.

Carl Sagan had a big influence on me. He really inspired me to be curious about our world, and to be enthusiastic about science. I was a History major, but after reading and watching Cosmos, I switched majors into Physics and that really changed how I look at the world.

So for me it was a gradual process. I don't think anyone watches or reads an argument and bam becomes a non-believer. I would agree that it is personal. I would also add, that the process is shaped by that individuals history with their faith and experiences with other faiths.
Buckethead
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(04-25-2012, 05:47 AM)
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Originally Posted by zmoney

Meh. Not all of us think atheists or members of other religions are going to hell. A friend of mine is an atheist now and he credits "The God Delusion" for starting him on the path.

This goes back to the argument that I was having with you the other day.

If the Bible is not literally true (whilst considering genre, syntax, narrative, etc.) - what is the point in believing anything that it says?
You could relegate it to "literature" which would make sense to me but anything beyond that seems very strange.

If original sin is preposterous/if God commands immoral things/if Jesus never died for anyones sin - why believe in heaven or hell?
Because you want to? Because it's a nice thought? What evidence do you have for your opinion?

Also Paul pretty much says who's going to hell in the Bible so the Bible itself would disagree with you regardless of your opinion.

It raises more questions than it answers, so who really cares?
If God were smart, that is real and true to his character, he would have promised no reward and it would've been a big surprise.
Last edited by Buckethead; 04-25-2012 at 05:50 AM.
Buckethead
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(04-28-2012, 05:23 AM)
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Someone I knew from church texted me asking me "why I left" and said they were considering it, too.

Awkward.

I also feel kind of weird blogging about my atheism and all that when 70% of the people on my Facebook are from church.

Should I delete them?

Obviously I don't want to hide my beliefs but I feel a little bad potentially making 16 year old girls (friends' daughters) lose their faith.
Then again, being a Christian at 16 fucked up one of my best romantic relationships so I probably should try hah.

Thoughts, ethical Atheist-GAF?
surly
Banned
(04-28-2012, 05:37 AM)
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Originally Posted by Buckethead

Someone I knew from church texted me asking me "why I left" and said they were considering it, too.

Awkward.

I also feel kind of weird blogging about my atheism and all that when 70% of the people on my Facebook are from church.

Should I delete them?

I don't think you should delete people from your Facebook friends list if they are still people you associate with/like/are cool with.

As for the conversion issue, I wouldn't worry about that either. Be honest with people if they ask questions. There is absolutely no reason to feel bad if someone loses their faith over something that you said.
UrbanRats
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(04-28-2012, 05:42 AM)
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It's not like a 16 years old is brainless.
If they don't want to hear your atheist opinions, they'll block you; besides, if you lose your faith by reading a few comments on facebook, it wasn't that strong to start with.
Buckethead
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(04-28-2012, 05:45 AM)
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Originally Posted by surly

I don't think you should delete people from your Facebook friends list if they are still people you associate with/like/are cool with.

Yeah.

I just see it ending badly for me.
Either people are going to judge me or think I'm attacking their beliefs.

But if they're going to be condescending or make stupid judgments I should realize they're just fake friends.
And reason and understanding aren't principals championed by the bible so I should expect the worst.

Originally Posted by UrbanRats

It's not like a 16 years old is brainless.

When you grow up in/around the church and become indoctrinated with Christianity at a young age, despite maybe some secretly held beliefs, you're pretty much brainless.

Originally Posted by UrbanRats

If they don't want to hear your atheist opinions, they'll block you; besides, if you lose your faith by reading a few comments on facebook, it wasn't that strong to start with.

That's true.
Last edited by Buckethead; 04-28-2012 at 05:48 AM.
UrbanRats
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(04-28-2012, 06:06 AM)
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When you grow up in/around the church and become indoctrinated with Christianity at a young age, despite maybe some secretly held beliefs, you're pretty much brainless.

One reason more NOT to remove them.
surly
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(04-28-2012, 06:16 AM)
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Originally Posted by Buckethead

But if they're going to be condescending or make stupid judgments I should realize they're just fake friends.

Yep, that's it ultimately.

I'm a British and somewhat "hardcore" atheist, but my last girlfriend (of 7 years) was an American Christian. Neither she, nor her family, nor any of the people in her church ever judged me based on my beliefs (or lack of!). I can't really claim to know what "true Christianity" is, but "judge not lest ye be judged" appears to be a part of it and so I consider the people I met to be true Christians and very nice people too. Had people turned against me solely because of my lack of religious beliefs, then to put it bluntly I would have thought "fuck you!". Who you are is far more important than what other people think of who you are and if friendships are lost then it's through their intolerance and not yours.
Buckethead
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(04-28-2012, 06:27 AM)
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Yeah.

The problem is, I'm a tender hearted dude and while I ultimately value being true to myself (and the truth) over other people's opinion -- it hurts deeply when someone rejects you and says evil, fucked up things to you.
Especially when you consider my more sensitive disposition. Things affect me more than they do other people, I think. I don't think I'm overly emotional or fragile but I do "feel deeply", if that makes sense.

I could be angry at them and tell them to fuck off but I try my best to be rational and see things through their perspective but unfortunately (at least in my experience) I don't see any level of respect or rationality from them.

As I've noted in the thread, their reaction to my Atheism has been pretty much nothing but judgmental, arrogant, and condescending.

Originally Posted by UrbanRats

One reason more NOT to remove them.

Yeah.

I mean I'm against organized religion and The Bible, etc., I'm just trying to go about things in the best way possible. Despite my wanting to be firm with the truth - I don't want to be hostile or antagonistic.
surly
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(04-28-2012, 06:34 AM)
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Originally Posted by Buckethead

Yeah.

The problem is, I'm a tender hearted dude and while I ultimately value being true to myself (and the truth) over other people's opinion -- it hurts deeply when someone rejects you and says evil, fucked up things to you.
Especially when you consider my more sensitive disposition. Things affect me more than they do other people, I think. I don't think I'm overly emotional or fragile but I do "feel deeply", if that makes sense.

I could be angry at them and tell them to fuck off but I try my best to be rational and see things through their perspective but unfortunately (at least in my experience) I don't see any level of respect or rationality from them.

I can't relate to your exact situation, but at the end of the day you're gonna have to be hard faced about it. If a mentally ill person was abusing me I could try and see it from their point of view, but if I can't cure their illness then I'm best just distancing myself from that person altogether. That's the harsh reality of it.
Zeitgeister
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(04-28-2012, 11:23 PM)
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Originally Posted by Buckethead

Someone I knew from church texted me asking me "why I left" and said they were considering it, too.

Awkward.

I also feel kind of weird blogging about my atheism and all that when 70% of the people on my Facebook are from church.

Should I delete them?

Obviously I don't want to hide my beliefs but I feel a little bad potentially making 16 year old girls (friends' daughters) lose their faith.
Then again, being a Christian at 16 fucked up one of my best romantic relationships so I probably should try hah.

Thoughts, ethical Atheist-GAF?

No. What you do, is what you do. And you shouldn't think your theist friends to be that small minded. If they have an issue with anything, they will de-friend you on their own. Which they haven't and probably won't, because it just doesn't concern them at all.

And a 16 year old is not in need of protection from bad ideas, they have plenty of their own by that time.
thoughthorizon
Junior Member
(04-30-2012, 12:20 AM)
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Originally Posted by Buckethead

I also feel kind of weird blogging about my atheism and all that when 70% of the people on my Facebook are from church.

Should I delete them?

Obviously I don't want to hide my beliefs but I feel a little bad potentially making 16 year old girls (friends' daughters) lose their faith.

I'm a pretty (make that very ) vocal atheist, but that doesn't stop me from being friends with people who are believers from all kinds of religious faiths

If the people on your FB are your actual friends, then I don't see any need to delete them. If they are just there for no reason, remove them. People can hold onto their faith for all kinds of reasons, and even though they don't make a lick of sense to me, it doesn't mean the person has nothing to offer in life as a friend.

Unless someone is being particularly obnoxious on facebook about their beliefs I refrain from making any kind of serious argument - there are plenty of other forums to air opinions on that, and I try to keep FB as a friendly place.

If you do engage someone in a discussion of FB and it causes someone to lose their faith, then good for you! You have caused someone to question the worldview they are presented with, and that is ALWAYS a good thing: whether it results in a change of belief or not, it serves to enrich everyone by making them think for a change.
soul creator
at 10 you suck
at 9 you're f*cked
at 8 you're a sucker
at 7 a motherf*cker
(05-01-2012, 02:21 PM)
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brought over from a separate thread since it seemed more appropriate here:

Originally Posted by Oldschoolgamer

C'mon son. You know damn well that's not what went on with the majority of the threads based on this particular subject. It had little to do with social stigma, and more to do with someone taking the childish route with ad hominem tactics and schoolyard jokes. Both sides were at fault, but most of the time it was caused by someone straight up resorting to name calling or being cute with their "criticism" of religion. It got so bad in OT with religious threads that the mods had to step in to keep things separate for a long while. :/

If you can't debate with someone without calling them irrational thinkers or whatever cute terms a lot people were using, then you should come up with a better way of having the discussion, imo. Goes for both sides. I'd enjoy the threads a lot more if it had more leveled discussion and less artsy ways of an atheist calling a theist irrational, or a theist calling an atheist an idiot heathen.

At any rate, platinum games is filled with marvelous trolls. :(

Originally Posted by onemic

This is exactly what I'm talking about.

but "irrational" is the best way to describe tons of religious arguments. In fact, plenty of religious folks often embrace the irrationality of their position, and make it a virtue (usually called "faith" or "personal revelation"). I've had plenty of people say things like "evidence doesn't matter, there's something more that we should look to..."

So why get defensive if someone calls someone irrational when they make inherently irrational arguments?

If "you're being irrational" is an example of "ad hominem", even if that accurately describes someone's position, then that's kind of proving the point that religious beliefs tend to get special treatment in comparison to other ideas, and that relatively mild criticisms get treated as if they were youtube comments or something.
Last edited by soul creator; 05-01-2012 at 02:26 PM.
Buckethead
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(05-01-2012, 03:33 PM)
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I think one should be really careful with the words they use when getting into these sorts of debates and also not leave anything up to the imagination, that is, when you use more dramatic/incendiary words, e.g.: "irrational", etc., be sure to explain why you think that.

I.E.: I find this belief really irrational because of article 1, article 2, article 3. You're supporting your opinion with evidence. And by focusing on the belief, you are externalizing the criticism.
If someone is being obtuse and avoiding something then I think it's more appropriate to be direct or more accusatory but one shouldn't go in all guns blazing or in a condescending manor. That's just douchey and won't help anyone.

And to your point, when I was a Christian and heard about Dawkins' book "The God Delusion" I found it offensive, but now I see that the description is completely accurate.

Delusion:
A false personal belief that is not subject to reason or contradictory evidence and is not explained by a person's usual cultural and religious concepts
(so that, for example, it is not an article of faith). A delusion may be firmly maintained in the face of incontrovertible evidence that it is false.
(link)

So either they feel the evidence for their God is superior or they feel that "faith" exempts them from logic and reason (which I find to be problematic).
Last edited by Buckethead; 05-01-2012 at 03:37 PM.
Log4Girlz
I recently went to my friends house to check out his wii. I was generally impressed. It was larger than I expected though.
(05-01-2012, 03:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by Buckethead

I think one should be really careful with the words the use when getting into these sorts of debates and also not leave anything up to the imagination, that is, when you call someone "irrational", etc., be sure to explain why you think that.

And to your point, when I was a Christian and heard about Dawkins' book "The God Delusion" I found it offensive, but now I see that the description is completely accurate.

Delusion:
A false personal belief that is not subject to reason or contradictory evidence and is not explained by a person's usual cultural and religious concepts
(so that, for example, it is not an article of faith). A delusion may be firmly maintained in the face of incontrovertible evidence that it is false.
(link)

So either they feel the evidence for their God is superior or they feel that "faith" exempts them from logic and reason (which I find to be problematic).

For the vast majority of people in the world belief is synonymous with truth. If you believe something, it is true. To question their beliefs is to question their reality, which is highly offensive to them.
Onemic
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(05-01-2012, 03:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by soul creator

brought over from a separate thread since it seemed more appropriate here:





but "irrational" is the best way to describe tons of religious arguments. In fact, plenty of religious folks often embrace the irrationality of their position, and make it a virtue (usually called "faith" or "personal revelation"). I've had plenty of people say things like "evidence doesn't matter, there's something more that we should look to..."

So why get defensive if someone calls someone irrational when they make inherently irrational arguments?

If "you're being irrational" is an example of "ad hominem", even if that accurately describes someone's position, then that's kind of proving the point that religious beliefs tend to get special treatment in comparison to other ideas, and that relatively mild criticisms get treated as if they were youtube comments or something.

ugh, I don't want to stay here longer than I have to, but I'll bite.

My problem is that the irrational argument is almost always used in an ad hominem context. Usually to show that said poster you are replying to or religious people in general are complete dumbasses that don't know their left from their right. Rarely do I see it used in a context that actually invokes discussion that doesn't go beyond being a thinly veiled insult(ie it is irrational for Christians to believe that being gay is a sin, it is irrational for muslims to believe in the Sharia law) I'm even okay with the usage of saying that religion itself is irrational as long as it is consist within the context of discussion and it is supported with arguments, but usually it isn't or it at least devolves into more petty usage once a thread gets a few pages in. Usually the usage of irrationality goes more like this "if you believe in xyz religion you are irrational/lack rationality" or "at least I'm a rational human being that doesn't believe in flying ghosts in the sky" There's a huge difference between the two and I find the latter used much more frequently than the former, which is used to insult the poster or anyone of faith while stifling any form of honest discussion or criticism.
ivedoneyourmom
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(05-01-2012, 03:39 PM)
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Originally Posted by soul creator

brought over from a separate thread since it seemed more appropriate here:

but "irrational" is the best way to describe tons of religious arguments. In fact, plenty of religious folks often embrace the irrationality of their position, and make it a virtue (usually called "faith" or "personal revelation"). I've had plenty of people say things like "evidence doesn't matter, there's something more that we should look to..."

So why get defensive if someone calls someone irrational when they make inherently irrational arguments?

If "you're being irrational" is an example of "ad hominem", even if that accurately describes someone's position, then that's kind of proving the point that religious beliefs tend to get special treatment in comparison to other ideas, and that relatively mild criticisms get treated as if they were youtube comments or something.

It's simply yet another tool in their mimetic arsenal to aid the spreading around of their ideas. They will always request special treatment, because that is how they 'win', and will continue to win - unfortunately.
soul creator
at 10 you suck
at 9 you're f*cked
at 8 you're a sucker
at 7 a motherf*cker
(05-01-2012, 07:08 PM)
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Originally Posted by onemic

ugh, I don't want to stay here longer than I have to, but I'll bite.

My problem is that the irrational argument is almost always used in an ad hominem context.

The "irrational" comments stem from the thousands of years of irrational religious beliefs proposed by believers of various stripes. It's not just some random thing atheists on message boards started doing to piss people off. Irrational religious beliefs existed far before the internet came around.

Of course, I don't dispute that there are some folks who just want to be snarky and a smart ass, as opposed to discussing anything. But I guess for me, it's...so? There are plenty of folks who do propose very real arguments and viewpoints, so it seems odd to be concerned about some smartasses on a message board, who are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.

It's like when people say things like "I want to support gay rights, but sometimes they're just so...flamboyant and loud and angry! It's hard for me to take them seriously."

At best, it's annoying tone trolling, and at worst, it's another example of subtly trying to shut off discussing actual issues because someone somewhere at some point in the same group made a dumb comment.

Usually to show that said poster you are replying to or religious people in general are complete dumbasses that don't know their left from their right.

and often, people take a comment like "Religious believers are incorrect and their ideas are incredibly silly" to mean "lolz religious people are 100% dumb and worthless I hate them"

And I would argue that this is faaaar more common than the "lol religious believers are dumbasses" variants of atheist, since it's pretty much the same phenomenon that has occurred with every other minority group as soon as they start to be more vocal.

Rarely do I see it used in a context that actually invokes discussion that doesn't go beyond being a thinly veiled insult(ie it is irrational for Christians to believe that being gay is a sin, it is irrational for muslims to believe in the Sharia law) I'm even okay with the usage of saying that religion itself is irrational as long as it is consist within the context of discussion and it is supported with arguments, but usually it isn't or it at least devolves into more petty usage once a thread gets a few pages in.

I wonder if that's the disconnect? Because someone may call the "nice" religious believers irrational, just like the "bad" religious believers, that's where people think the line is crossed? "It's ok to beat up on those fundamentalists, but leave the liberal religious believers alone!"

Of course, the irrationality of position isn't determined by how nice it is. Someone could believe that god loves puppies and flowers and that would still be as irrational as the gay hating fundamentalist.

Usually the usage of irrationality goes more like this "if you believe in xyz religion you are irrational/lack rationality" or "at least I'm a rational human being that doesn't believe in flying ghosts in the sky"

There's a huge difference between the two and I find the latter used much more frequently than the former, which is used to insult the poster or anyone of faith while stifling any form of honest discussion or criticism.

Well, at least in the context of a discussion about the vast majority of religious beliefs out there...that would be true. I don't really see the vast difference between the two statements, except I would maybe remove the word flying, lol. "Ghosts in the Sky" has been a super popular form of religious belief, believed by billions of people over the years. And yes, I think I'm more rational on that topic. Not sure why that should be controversial. "I'm right, and you're wrong" has pretty much the foundation of every disagreement in the history of forever. Hell, I've heard worse phrases being thrown around in discussions about sports.

They may very well be the smartest person in the world when it comes to everything else, and an atheist could be the dumbest person in the world when it comes to everything else, but if the only thing I'm discussing with someone is religious beliefs, it seems obvious that that's what the "I'm more rational than you" comments come from.
F#A#Oo
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(05-01-2012, 07:32 PM)
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Ah...hmm...by whose standard of irrationality are we to judge these so called irrational religious beliefs as "irrational" exactly soul creator?

Plato? Pascal? Kant? Freud? Wilhelm Dilthey? Schelling? Nietzsche? Camus?

Let me know this empirical standard for which we should be judged please.
GrizzNKev
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(05-01-2012, 07:37 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Ah...hmm...by whose standard of irrationality are we to judge these so called irrational religious beliefs as "irrational" exactly soul creator?

Plato? Pascal? Kant? Freud? Wilhelm Dilthey? Schelling? Nietzsche? Camus?

Let me know this empirical standard for which we should be judged please.

What you're looking for is a specific system of logic used to determine rationality, but I think any system of logic could say that a belief that something is real without sufficient evidence is irrational. At least that seems to be the way he's using it.
soul creator
at 10 you suck
at 9 you're f*cked
at 8 you're a sucker
at 7 a motherf*cker
(05-01-2012, 08:17 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Ah...hmm...by whose standard of irrationality are we to judge these so called irrational religious beliefs as "irrational" exactly soul creator?

Plato? Pascal? Kant? Freud? Wilhelm Dilthey? Schelling? Nietzsche? Camus?

Let me know this empirical standard for which we should be judged please.

the same standard that says

-"if I want my car fixed, an auto mechanic is better for the job, as opposed to praying to mystical spirits for a repair"

-"if I lose my keys, I should probably look somewhere around my house, not in an ocean I've never been to"

-"If I get sick, it's probably related to bacteria/fungi/etc., not invisible demons"

-"Thor is a mythical being from Greek culture, not an actual God of Thunder"

-"If I walk into this wall, it will probably hurt. I doubt I will instantly teleport through it"

You know, that system that everyone's comfortable with (religious or otherwise) when it comes to the billions of other claims with no evidence they deal with every day. It doesn't take a degree in philosophy to realize that (unless, again, we succumb to social pressure to elevate religious claims to some special place separate from other claims people make with no evidence)
F#A#Oo
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(05-01-2012, 08:25 PM)
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So it's none.

Thanks...
Kinitari
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(05-01-2012, 08:35 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

So it's none.

Thanks...

In what way is believing in a God, not even the Abrahamic ones, rational? I'm calling you out, and I know others will too.

Rationality isn't completely nebulous and subjective, there is an agreed upon loose rationality that I think no one will disagree with - believing in things 'just because' is irrational.
Orayn
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(05-01-2012, 08:36 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

In what way is believing in a God, not even the Abrahamic ones, rational? I'm calling you out, and I know others will too.

Rationality isn't completely nebulous and subjective, there is an agreed upon loose rationality that I think no one will disagree with - believing in things 'just because' is irrational.

I like to think rationality lies in the general direction of some methodology that consistently produces useful results, like, y'know, science.
F#A#Oo
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(05-01-2012, 08:42 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

In what way is believing in a God, not even the Abrahamic ones, rational? I'm calling you out, and I know others will too.

Rationality isn't completely nebulous and subjective, there is an agreed upon loose rationality that I think no one will disagree with - believing in things 'just because' is irrational.

"Loose" being the key word...

Call me out on what exactly?
Orayn
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(05-01-2012, 08:45 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

"Loose" being the key word...

Call me out on what exactly?

You implied that either "rational" doesn't exist, or that "rational" is arbitrary in the same sense as religion just because it can't be ascribed to any single person or rigidly defined school of thought.
Last edited by Orayn; 05-01-2012 at 08:55 PM.
Kinitari
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(05-01-2012, 08:54 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

"Loose" being the key word...

Call me out on what exactly?

Loose, only to give room for things like solipsism. Calling you out because you're not really saying much with any of your posts here, being evasive is annoying in these sorts of settings - so how about I ask you some clear cut questions so everyone is on the same page?

1. Do you think belief in Abrahamic Religions is rational?
2. Do you think belief in a undefined Deity is rational?

If yes to either, could you define rationality, and if you want to be really nice, explain how these beliefs fall in line with your definition?
GrizzNKev
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(05-01-2012, 08:56 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

So it's none.

Thanks...

It's not none. It's any and all.
F#A#Oo
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(05-01-2012, 09:06 PM)
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Originally Posted by Orayn

You implied that either "rational" doesn't exist, or that "rational" is arbitrary in the same sense as religion just because it can't be ascribed to any single person or rigidly school of thought.

Not at all...

soul creator and others continue to use the word "irrational" when describing theistic beliefs and as onemic has tried to point out it isn't backed up with anything...it's just thrown out there as a pejorative term and it doesn't seem to be adding anything to the discussions.

So my question was what empirical standard is everyone using to judge what is/isn't irrational.
ivedoneyourmom
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(05-01-2012, 09:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Not at all...

soul creator and others continue to use the word "irrational" when describing theistic beliefs and as onemic has tried to point out it isn't backed up with anything...it's just thrown out there as a pejorative term and it doesn't seem to be adding anything to the discussions.

So my question was what empirical standard is everyone using to judge what is/isn't irrational.

By and large, I would say that the placating of the hopes and desires of an all powerful all knowing thing that can't be known of, who has a claimed important impact on this universe yet the impact can't be measured, and telepathically talks to billions using their own inner voice is irrational. People who do these things, or things like them, I may be inclined to call irrational.
Vaporak
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(05-01-2012, 09:28 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

So my question was what empirical standard is everyone using to judge what is/isn't irrational.

If we're using rational in a strict definition sense instead of a vague associative sense then it means having repeatable scientific tests in support of your theory, or a deductive proof in formal logic. Every single religion has neither of those. Contrast those with, for example, the theory of Special Relativity, or The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra.
jdogmoney
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(05-01-2012, 09:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Not at all...

soul creator and others continue to use the word "irrational" when describing theistic beliefs and as onemic has tried to point out it isn't backed up with anything...it's just thrown out there as a pejorative term and it doesn't seem to be adding anything to the discussions.

So my question was what empirical standard is everyone using to judge what is/isn't irrational.

"Belief" is by definition the opposite of rational. A belief is something that you subscribe to despite (and sometimes in the face of) evidence. Being rational means using reason to adjust your views. Belief means keeping to your views when there's no logical reason to.
F#A#Oo
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(05-01-2012, 09:38 PM)
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Originally Posted by Kinitari

Loose, only to give room for things like solipsism. Calling you out because you're not really saying much with any of your posts here, being evasive is annoying in these sorts of settings - so how about I ask you some clear cut questions so everyone is on the same page?

1. Do you think belief in Abrahamic Religions is rational?
2. Do you think belief in a undefined Deity is rational?

If yes to either, could you define rationality, and if you want to be really nice, explain how these beliefs fall in line with your definition?

Yes and Yes.

As for your question I'm not particularly interested in giving a full responce because it would be futile for myself but also you hold no real interest in such discourse. I would be lying if I told you I could give you a coherent definition of the God. Is my God personal or impersonal, dynamic or static, simple or complex, inclusive or exclusive, finite or infinite, etc?

These are all things I battle with...and you want an answer? If I could live a million years I would not be able to give you a definition of my god.
ivedoneyourmom
Banned
(05-01-2012, 09:40 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Yes and Yes.

As for your question I'm not particularly interested in giving a full responce because it would be futile for myself but also you hold no real interest in such discourse. I would be lying if I told you I could give you a coherent definition of the God. Is my God personal or impersonal, dynamic or static, simple or complex, inclusive or exclusive, finite or infinite, etc?

These are all things I battle with...and you want an answer? If I could live a million years I would not be able to give you a definition of my god.

Could you explain why you think it could be a rational stance? Believing in a god, specifically "God"?

Edit: Or how.
Last edited by ivedoneyourmom; 05-01-2012 at 09:46 PM.
BruiserBear
Member
(05-01-2012, 09:49 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Yes and Yes.

As for your question I'm not particularly interested in giving a full responce because it would be futile for myself but also you hold no real interest in such discourse. I would be lying if I told you I could give you a coherent definition of the God. Is my God personal or impersonal, dynamic or static, simple or complex, inclusive or exclusive, finite or infinite, etc?

These are all things I battle with...and you want an answer? If I could live a million years I would not be able to give you a definition of my god.

Do you find it at all peculiar that this God who created everything, and loves us all so much, wouldn't make it abundantly clear exactly who they are? Wouldn't things be a lot better for all of us if we knew EXACTLY who God was?

We've got people around the world killing each other over disputes about who God really is, and this God just sits around and watches it all happen? Don't you think it's possible there just isn't a God? That sure does make a lot of things far more sensible, right? Why do so many people starve to death every day? Because there is no God. Why do so many awful things happen to so many people every day? Because there is no God. Why do children die of cancer? Because there is no God. Why do you not know who God really is? Why has humanity struggled to explain exactly who God is for thousands of years, with wars being fought over it, and continuing to this day? Because there is no God.
Last edited by BruiserBear; 05-01-2012 at 09:54 PM.
F#A#Oo
Banned
(05-01-2012, 10:04 PM)
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Originally Posted by ivedoneyourmom

Could you explain why you think it could be a rational stance? Believing in a god, specifically "God"?

Sure as simply as I can before I have to go to bed...

I do not believe the universe is eternal. I believe there is a beginning. If it was eternal we should be able to know something which is infinite in our real world. Infinity as I see it is an idea not a reality. I believe in the work of Edwin Hubble. I believe the universe could not have come from nothing. Nothing meaning there is no pre-existing stuff not the quantum vacuum.

Because of the above imho the universe being created or brought into existence by an uncaused entity is the best explanation...

Bit hurried but I got to go to bed...I will post more tomorrow if people want follow ups.

Originally Posted by BruiserBear

Do you find it at all peculiar that this God who created everything, and loves us all so much, wouldn't make it abundantly clear exactly who they are? Wouldn't things be a lot better for all of us if we knew EXACTLY who God was?

We've got people around the world killing each other over disputes about who God really is, and this God just sits around and watches it all happen? Don't you think it's possible there just isn't a God? That sure does make a lot of things far more sensible, right? Why do so many people starve to death every day? Because there is no God. Why do so many awful things happen to so many people every day? Because there is no God. Why do children die of cancer? Because there is no God. Why do you not know who God really is? Why has humanity struggled to explain exactly who God is for thousands of years, with wars being fought over it, and continuing to this day? Because there is no God.

See I don't think of these events as anything other than the world at work...this world is full of things people see as horrible. Male sharks rape female sharks for procreation is that morally wrong to sharks or is that normal behaviour and survival of the fittest? Just because we managed to be the top species and made up morals for ourselves doesn't mean we're "right"...we cobble things up and make things up as we go along...
Last edited by F#A#Oo; 05-01-2012 at 10:11 PM.
Kinitari
Black Canada Mafia
(05-01-2012, 10:10 PM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Sure as simply as I can before I have to go to bed...

I do not believe the universe is eternal. I believe there is a beginning. If it was eternal we should be able to know something which is infinite in our real world. Infinity as I see it is an idea not a reality. I believe in the work of Edwin Hubble. I believe the universe could not have come from nothing. Nothing meaning there is no pre-existing stuff not the quantum vacuum.

Because of the above imho the universe being created or brought into existence by an uncaused entity is the best explanation...

Bit hurried but I got to go to bed...I will post more tomorrow if people want follow ups.

So many problems with this.

1. You start this off with a unsubstantiated belief - that you believe the universe had a beginning, that it isn't eternal. But lets pretend that's the case, it isn't eternal.

2. If the universe is infinite, WHY must we know something that is infinite in our world? That doesn't follow, you're going from A to Z, skipping all the letters in between - is our world the end all be all representation of the known and unknown universe?

3. You don't believe that anything can be eternal, yet you believe a deity who must be eternal created the non-eternal universe? Or are deities allowed to be eternal, and universes not?

None of this is rational.
Last edited by Kinitari; 05-01-2012 at 10:14 PM.
Buckethead
Member
(05-01-2012, 10:12 PM)
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"You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged.

And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system that they will fight to protect it".
Log4Girlz
I recently went to my friends house to check out his wii. I was generally impressed. It was larger than I expected though.
(05-01-2012, 10:12 PM)
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Grandiose assertions and claims without observational evidence or any kind of logical support are irrational.

Religion is irrational.

This does not make you a wholly irrational person because society as a whole is religious and does not deem you so. In my book, yes, you are ultimately an irrational person on some level. You can make perfectly rational decisions in other aspects of your life, but when it comes to your views of reality, well you place faith on the UNOBSERVABLE, UNTESTABLE, UNFALSIFIABLE and ultimately the FANTASTICAL for no logical reason. Religion is a cultural phenomenon fueled solely, wholly, and completely by superstition, tradition and emotion and absolutely nothing more.

Atheists, skeptics, non-supernaturalists or what have you have issues with such views.

Defending religion and claiming it is not inherently irrational stems from a disconnect from the cold hard reality of religion and how it developed.
Raist
(05-01-2012, 10:21 PM)

Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Sure as simply as I can before I have to go to bed...

I do not believe the universe is eternal. I believe there is a beginning. If it was eternal we should be able to know something which is infinite in our real world. Infinity as I see it is an idea not a reality. I believe in the work of Edwin Hubble. I believe the universe could not have come from nothing. Nothing meaning there is no pre-existing stuff not the quantum vacuum.

Because of the above imho the universe being created or brought into existence by an uncaused entity is the best explanation...

Bit hurried but I got to go to bed...I will post more tomorrow if people want follow ups.

The issue here is that you have to invoke a being with properties that the universe, according to you, cannot have. Not only this is unjustified, but it's also just displacing the problem.
Log4Girlz
I recently went to my friends house to check out his wii. I was generally impressed. It was larger than I expected though.
(05-01-2012, 10:24 PM)
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Originally Posted by Raist

The issue here is that you have to invoke a being with properties that the universe, according to you, cannot have. Not only this is unjustified, but it's also just displacing the problem.

Which religious people cannot understand is a problem. Because ultimately, it doesn't matter. They are not concerned about the nature of the universe. The only thing that matters is that there is some all powerful being who cares about them and won't let them cease to exist, that a paradise awaits them if they are faithful. And that's that.

Edit: The "logic" goes like this.

I cannot imagine how this universe can simply come from nothing. It is too orderly to have simply have sprung from nothing, or to have existed forever.

So clearly a more orderly entity, which came from nothing, or existed forever, is responsible.

Then what about that being, who created it? Pff, nothing has to, it loves me and I'm gonna live forever.

Flawless.
Last edited by Log4Girlz; 05-01-2012 at 10:27 PM.
GrizzNKev
Member
(05-01-2012, 10:32 PM)
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Originally Posted by Log4Girlz

Which religious people cannot understand is a problem. Because ultimately, it doesn't matter. They are not concerned about the nature of the universe. The only thing that matters is that there is some all powerful being who cares about them and won't let them cease to exist, that a paradise awaits them if they are faithful. And that's that.

Edit: The "logic" goes like this.

I cannot imagine how this universe can simply come from nothing. It is too orderly to have simply have sprung from nothing, or to have existed forever.

So clearly a more orderly entity, which came from nothing, or existed forever, is responsible.

Then what about that being, who created it? Pff, nothing has to, it loves me and I'm gonna live forever.

Flawless.

This is also the reason why F#A#Oo didn't offer an explanation for why they said religious belief is rational. From the perspective of someone who holds those beliefs, of course they're rational. They believe that the religion is the truth, and consequently objective rationality is broken. They're told that everything else isn't rational and have no reason to think otherwise until they start denying the truth of that religion.
Log4Girlz
I recently went to my friends house to check out his wii. I was generally impressed. It was larger than I expected though.
(05-01-2012, 10:53 PM)
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Its a battle between Theism, which boils down to "I want to believe" and Atheism, which boils down to "I want to believe, but only when presented evidence".
Onemic
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(05-01-2012, 11:22 PM)
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Originally Posted by soul creator

The "irrational" comments stem from the thousands of years of irrational religious beliefs proposed by believers of various stripes. It's not just some random thing atheists on message boards started doing to piss people off. Irrational religious beliefs existed far before the internet came around.

Of course, I don't dispute that there are some folks who just want to be snarky and a smart ass, as opposed to discussing anything. But I guess for me, it's...so? There are plenty of folks who do propose very real arguments and viewpoints, so it seems odd to be concerned about some smartasses on a message board, who are relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.

It's like when people say things like "I want to support gay rights, but sometimes they're just so...flamboyant and loud and angry! It's hard for me to take them seriously."

At best, it's annoying tone trolling, and at worst, it's another example of subtly trying to shut off discussing actual issues because someone somewhere at some point in the same group made a dumb comment.



and often, people take a comment like "Religious believers are incorrect and their ideas are incredibly silly" to mean "lolz religious people are 100% dumb and worthless I hate them"

And I would argue that this is faaaar more common than the "lol religious believers are dumbasses" variants of atheist, since it's pretty much the same phenomenon that has occurred with every other minority group as soon as they start to be more vocal.



I wonder if that's the disconnect? Because someone may call the "nice" religious believers irrational, just like the "bad" religious believers, that's where people think the line is crossed? "It's ok to beat up on those fundamentalists, but leave the liberal religious believers alone!"

Of course, the irrationality of position isn't determined by how nice it is. Someone could believe that god loves puppies and flowers and that would still be as irrational as the gay hating fundamentalist.

They may very well be the smartest person in the world when it comes to everything else, and an atheist could be the dumbest person in the world when it comes to everything else, but if the only thing I'm discussing with someone is religious beliefs, it seems obvious that that's what the "I'm more rational than you" comments come from.


All of what you said right now is what I have absolutely no problem with. This is using the irrationality argument intellectually and to create discussion. It all comes down to the way it is used. My problem isn't with the term itself, but it's tendency to be used offensively. Humans in general are irrational so I see no reason to try and take some type of intellectual highground by using the term to act like you're smart and the other person is dumb/insane. And those minority of people that are snarky/smartasses are much larger than you think they are. I mean, just check out any religous based thread past the third page and see if it doesn't devolve into constant trolling by its end. Its come to the point where if someone even mentions God in a post you can expect some type of trolling to come along, even if its in very bad taste.(most recent example I can think of is Sadsics thread)

Well, at least in the context of a discussion about the vast majority of religious beliefs out there...that would be true. I don't really see the vast difference between the two statements, except I would maybe remove the word flying, lol. "Ghosts in the Sky" has been a super popular form of religious belief, believed by billions of people over the years. And yes, I think I'm more rational on that topic. Not sure why that should be controversial. "I'm right, and you're wrong" has pretty much the foundation of every disagreement in the history of forever. Hell, I've heard worse phrases being thrown around in discussions about sports

The ghosts in the sky example I used is something I generally see as a direct personal insult used as a quick snarky jab. By itself it's harmless, but usually it's used in a way that is patronizing (ie At least I don't believe in ghosts in the sky), I don't think it takes much insight to see that it is being used a thinly veiled insult to whomever it was directed at. In all discussions regarding that phrase I've never seen it used in a constructive way. It's sorta similar to the "religion of peace" phrase that is sometimes said towards muslim posters. Once again a harmless statement by itself, but it is pretty much never used constructively and is often used as an insult. If religious discussions were like this thread(or at least this page of posts) I'd have no problem popping in and out of them on ocassion. Sadly, they usually boil down to petty personal insults being thrown at both sides.
Buckethead
Member
(05-01-2012, 11:41 PM)
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RE:

Rationality, etc.

I think that a lot can be said about insularity and as a result unchallenged beliefs and confirmation bias.

Once someone is "in" they're on Team Jesus (or whatever) and all good.

Most religious people never deal with strong opposition for a variety of reasons (targeting youth and the fact that most people are just living their lives and don't give a shit).
The only people who question things enough are ministers and they only expose their doubt to other ministers.
The only books they read (probably) are books on apologetics by Christian authors and nothing of a contrarian nature.

There's a lot more to say on the issue but that's the gist.
Log4Girlz
I recently went to my friends house to check out his wii. I was generally impressed. It was larger than I expected though.
(05-02-2012, 12:08 AM)
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Science and religion are polar opposites of one another.
ivedoneyourmom
Banned
(05-02-2012, 12:14 AM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo

Sure as simply as I can before I have to go to bed...

I do not believe the universe is eternal. I believe there is a beginning. If it was eternal we should be able to know something which is infinite in our real world. Infinity as I see it is an idea not a reality. I believe in the work of Edwin Hubble. I believe the universe could not have come from nothing. Nothing meaning there is no pre-existing stuff not the quantum vacuum.

Because of the above imho the universe being created or brought into existence by an uncaused entity is the best explanation...

Bit hurried but I got to go to bed...I will post more tomorrow if people want follow ups.

I was hoping for something more along the method of how you came to define rational as capable of holding "it is rational to believe something for no good reason and without sufficient evidence".

Originally Posted by onemic

The ghosts in the sky example I used is something I generally see as a direct personal insult used as a quick snarky jab. By itself it's harmless, but usually it's used in a way that is patronizing (ie At least I don't believe in ghosts in the sky), I don't think it takes much insight to see that it is being used a thinly veiled insult to whomever it was directed at. In all discussions regarding that phrase I've never seen it used in a constructive way. It's sorta similar to the "religion of peace" phrase that is sometimes said towards muslim posters. Once again a harmless statement by itself, but it is pretty much never used constructively and is often used as an insult. If religious discussions were like this thread(or at least this page of posts) I'd have no problem popping in and out of them on ocassion. Sadly, they usually boil down to petty personal insults being thrown at both sides.

Teasing, poking fun at, heckling, and snark are some of the more innocent methods humans and many social animals use to keep our social groups in check, namely keeping certain members or ideas from gaining too much control over the group as a whole. I don't see much harm at the occasional "well shucks, there you go again doing that crazy thing you do, I frankly don't see the rational". If you want to be part of a group that while in power makes decisions irrationally and tries to limit their opposition, be prepared to be poked a bit by the group you are oppressing.
imtehman
Banned
(05-02-2012, 12:20 AM)
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Originally Posted by Log4Girlz

Its a battle between Theism, which boils down to "I want to believe" and Atheism, which boils down to "I want to believe, but only when presented evidence".

there is evidence, you just deny the evidence.

You have so many resources available to you now, go search for God and you will find him.
BruiserBear
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(05-02-2012, 12:22 AM)
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Originally Posted by F#A#Oo




See I don't think of these events as anything other than the world at work...this world is full of things people see as horrible. Male sharks rape female sharks for procreation is that morally wrong to sharks or is that normal behaviour and survival of the fittest? Just because we managed to be the top species and made up morals for ourselves doesn't mean we're "right"...we cobble things up and make things up as we go along...

You're response is very vague, and I suspect that's not by accident. People "see" others dying of hunger as horrible? Is that supposed to mean that such events merely appear horrible, but really aren't?

Also, religious people make things up as we go along. Scientists don't. They observe, and test, and eventually provide evidence to explain how something works. Once I truly understood science, and what we know right now about the universe, and how life came to be on earth, religion seemed silly to me. My faith in god just melted away.
CornBurrito
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(05-02-2012, 12:27 AM)
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Originally Posted by imtehman

there is evidence, you just deny the evidence.

You have so many resources available to you now, go search for God and you will find him.

Can you humor me and post at least one example?

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