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Kevin.

Religulous

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4 hours ago, Commander Riker said:

What I am attempting to grasp (and apparently failing) is that it sounds as though the belief in things at a molecular level is the a faith that is akin to believing in a god.

It's taking it a step further actually.  

In science, we believe that nothing is 100% certain.  We can test and re-test, come up with a degree of certainty - then assume that in those conditions we are confident to predict they will always happen given the model.  Am I certain electrons exist?  Yes, to 99.999999999 ...etc %.  Do I open the door for some other model to describe them down the road better?  Sure.

Religion is the opposite, they are 100% certain - using their assumptions, "tests", texts, practices, etc God exists.  Period.  Their God(s) is/are the one(s).  Their savior in their version is the way to live after you die.  

Mormon's have it pretty good, I get to go to heaven, but still have to look up to Alain.  

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I don't understand how you guys can debate what Alain is saying; unless you've personally tested these things yourselves, you guys ARE taking what these people are reporting as reality in faith. You've never seen it, all you have to base your knowledge of these things is what you read.

Forget molecules... how exactly do you guys know the wind exists? Have you seen it? Where's it come from?

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1 hour ago, mattsk8 said:

Forget molecules... how exactly do you guys know the wind exists? Have you seen it? Where's it come from?

iWKad22.jpg

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5 hours ago, ErikS said:

iWKad22.jpg

Good rebuttal. So... have you personally tested these things? Or are you taking them by faith as truth?

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6 minutes ago, Kevin. said:

Matt.....seriously?

Yes Kevin... seriously. If it's so glaringly obvious to you, then instead of skirting the question like you always do, explain how you personally know these things as fact, outside of taking someone else's word on it (in faith).

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Matt... I love you bro... but I know wind exists.  I have seen it... come to my mountain of knowledge my friend... the view is great!  <3

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32 minutes ago, Commander Riker said:

Matt... I love you bro... but I know wind exists.  I have seen it... come to my mountain of knowledge my friend... the view is great!  <3

Definitely mutual... and the beauty of it is being able to discuss these things w/out going all terrorist on each other. And I look forward to some day being able to tip a few w/ you and actually discussing things like this (and whatever else we feel like talking about) in person.

That said... technically you've never seen the wind; you've only seen the effects of the wind and assumed it was the wind that made things move. Now we can obviously Google what makes wind, but if you believe what you read you're taking that in faith, because you still weren't the one that tested it.

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On 5/27/2016 at 0:38 PM, ErikS said:

It's taking it a step further actually.  

In science, we believe that nothing is 100% certain.  We can test and re-test, come up with a degree of certainty - then assume that in those conditions we are confident to predict they will always happen given the model.  Am I certain electrons exist?  Yes, to 99.999999999 ...etc %.  Do I open the door for some other model to describe them down the road better?  Sure.

Religion is the opposite, they are 100% certain - using their assumptions, "tests", texts, practices, etc God exists.  Period.  Their God(s) is/are the one(s).  Their savior in their version is the way to live after you die.  

Mormon's have it pretty good, I get to go to heaven, but still have to look up to Alain.  

FAIL.  Sorry Erik you don't get to define how we look at things.  

Religion is not 100% certain.  That's not how faith works.  It works exactly like the scientific method.  How would I know? Because I've tested it and spent a lifetime developing the understanding I have now.

Do I believe God exists? Yes.  Do I know God exists? About as certain as I know electrons exist. But not 100 percent.  Nothing in life is 100% except as they say, death and taxes. And if you have a good attorney in Panama perhaps taxes are not 100% either. But I'm certain enough to say I know.

As for this claim that Mormons have it pretty good? Yes, because we have an extremely realistic view on life and our relationship with God. We accept truth wherever it may be found and verified. We believe that further revelation is possible. We're not locked to a single text to try and interpret God's intentions. As for what comes of each of us when we depart mortality? No one will be denied, each will be given every opportunity to access the highest degree of glory. The question is whether we will be climate deniers not unlike the Israelites who were bitten by poisonous serpents (the Bible describes them as "fiery) but refused to look up to the Nehushtan (a staff with a brass snake on the top) that Moses held up that healed all who looked at it. The opportunity is there and available to all.  Even in the life to come.  But if we are so convinced that there is no reason for faith in God or a Messiah then quite possibly even when presented with the facts some may find themselves unable to accept it even then.  Kind of like those who deny science even when strong evidence contradicts their beliefs. 

Now there may be Catholics, Evangelicals, Muslims, even other Mormons and those of other faiths who have developed extreme views and lean to the far Right in their absolute certainty.  I respect their approach and their beliefs but I fear emotion carries them further than real faith warrants.

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2 hours ago, Burn-E said:

FAIL.  Sorry Erik you don't get to define how we look at things.  

Religion is not 100% certain.  That's not how faith works.  It works exactly like the scientific method.

Sure I do.  You believe there is a god with no physical evidence.  You believe your religion will give you life after death with no physical evidence. That is how faith works, confidence and trust without evidence, in this case anything that can be proven using how we now form our understanding of the physical world.  You believe an invisible dragon lives in your garage.  I can't prove it doesn't, but it sets the bar to how a person like me sees a person with your beliefs.  I respect your right to believe it, just respect my right to let you know how silly it seems to me.  

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Unfortunately your claim that I believe without evidence is without merit.  I could share my evidence with you but given your disposition and unwillingness to open the door to an alternative model to better describe what you do not recognize, I can only conclude you do not really believe in the scientific method.

I respect your unbelief but I reserve the right to declare that you mock what you don't understand.

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I don't give my life to science, and not all beliefs are equal.  We are allowed to doubt the scientific method. If you doubted your faith you would be a hypocrite.  If science were to stop working or no longer provided a working model of our physical world, I'd look for another method to describe it.  You are not going to become a Hindu, Jew, or catholic if you find your religion no longer works - all you have is self-supporting evidence and "personal" experience to tie you to your specific faith.  There are no inherent contradictions when I use science to describe my world, and what happens when I die.  Religion is one where God loves all but is merciful, one where we have free will but the future is also foretold. Its a series of contradictions bound by human storytelling and reinforced through financial gain.  Powerful churches are rich, the most powerful ones if God, Jesus, whomever truly existed and were real should have no money at all.

You sound frustrated spouting back my arguments Alain, like you are experiencing some cognitive dissonance.

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There's no cog dis Erik.  It's a pretty trite claim that typically gets leveled when a believer explains that's it's possible to have doubts at times in a relationship with God and yet be perfectly comfortable with that reality. That is part of faith. That is the reality of human to human relationships so why should it be any different with God who created us?

My point is you reject what is available though you claim to be open minded.  You reject an explanation that perfectly describes how one comes to know eternal truths and discovers a relationship with God. You tell me I only have some personal insight but you've never once asked how that process really works.  You reject that it has any relationship to how science operates in describing how man discovers the world around him. To me this is similar to the sailor rejecting the message concerning the weather that is over the horizon when it is provided by a weather service even if he cannot see what they can see.

There is no hypocrisy in explaining how this works. Nor is there frustration.  I'm just explaining how the statements you make do not line up.

There's a pretty strong condemnation of any who would use religion to enrich themselves.  I could share passage after passage but I know you're probably familiar with some of them though it extends even more deeply in the other teachings and books of scripture that Mormons accept that you might not know.  If that is your concern as you have stated then we are in complete agreement.  I see in Pope Francis a devoted servant to God who is doing his part to shift a church that has been overly concerned with tha trappings of wealth and prestige at its highest levels.  I see in my own faith a leader, Thomas Monson, who has devoted his life to being there for the lost and dispossessed.  I respect these men for how they lead by example in living a life not unlike that of Jesus: wearing out their lives in the service of others.

I find myself at times experiencing what Krister Stendahl called holy envy as I look upon Pope Francis' efforts to teach his flock.

You might examine Stendahl for some insight, as a Swedish Bishop he has had a powerful influence in providing an approach for developing common understanding between those of different beliefs.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krister_Stendahl

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On 5/9/2016 at 3:10 PM, ErikS said:

I hope you understand that I am not happy with any of the judeo-christian religions Alain, or most religion in general.  When you keep presenting yours it leaves it for scrutiny, I am not trying to attack your faith just presenting questions that seem reasonable. I respect your faith and admire your convictions.

If I had it my way I'd be re-incarnated as a buddhist in Bhutan in the next life sipping tea and staring at the mountains.

I wish I had a life that simple.

So Erik I've offered a deep set of answers on how faith works so I'm going to flip the coin ask a few questions to clarify where you stand.

Do you believe there is a supreme being or creator? Do you hedge on it or doubt it while some nagging belief remains that you can't or do not want to entirely shake off? I'm not interested in titles or movements (like agnosticism or atheism) but how you describe your worldview on the question. I get the sense you do not outright reject a supreme being exists but rather that finding an answer to that question is unimportant to you.  It has no meaningful impact in your daily life.  Which in Bible thumping Texas is no small thing.

I understand you have an issue with most religions. Other than Buddhism is there any faith that appeals or speaks to you?

From what we've discussed it seems your issues are with how religion has been leveraged by men to gain prestige, power, money and influence rather than applying the principles it purports to teach of asceticism and charity to the point that it nears the point of personal deprivation.  

Many turn to Eastern philosophies and religions out of frustration with the strictures of organized religion as experienced in modern Judeo-Christian / Islamic faiths. The ability to focus on the individual, of turning away from the excesses of life and finding harmony with the Earth and all living things has an appeal for finding oneself and harmony with others. Again, my observation and conjecture is that your personal sense of justice drives you to evaluate religion in stark terms of what is promised and what is delivered. I suspect given how Evangelicals in Texas have such a strong influence and are so outspoken on matters like creationism and prayer in schools that this further detracts rather than enhances your perception of faith.

Is that a fair evaluation?

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Alain, in the same way you are asking Erik to be open to alternatives, I think you are not.  Do you consider the possibility that we are nothing more than a mere accident in the cosmos?  A random chance of events that has eventually led to this position, without any influence form some grand creator.

If you are all up about scientific method, then you have to consider this a possible reality, and that your faith is potentially flawed due to this.

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