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Kevin.

Religulous

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38 minutes ago, Burn-E said:

OK, I'm not the moderator in this thread but I will say this: we're all sinners.  Every single one of us. I would hope this thread can remain above personal accusations.

I don't think anyone was pointing fingers, if that's what you took from what I said you misunderstood me. I don't know Fudge from Adam, for all I know he's as close to sin-free as we can get. I never said I don't sin, I sin all the time, and I absolutely don't say that proudly, but it's a fact. But, up until I surrendered to God and accepted His sacrifice for my sin, I was separated from Him. One of the biggest differences between me now vs me then is that when I do sin, I listen to God and surrender, rather than run from Him. Unless I don't, then God disciplines me, and that never ends well.

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2 hours ago, Commander Riker said:

Atheism has evolved into a religion of sorts.  Claiming definite lack of existence of things is as much a stretch as claiming existence.  It is a very "us vs them" group... just like.... religion.

Just because there are extremists who share the view does not make it a religion.

1 hour ago, mattsk8 said:

Not a fan of labels? Either way... that pretty much is an agnostic stand you're taking. And don't think of it as "shirking God to live a sinful lifestyle", it's more like shirking God because of sin. Closely related but still very different.

I'm not a fan of this attempt to incorrectly redefine the label, especially considering how central it is to the topic. And I also didn't want that to interfere with my point. I'm not sure I understand how it's shirking god because of sin. What makes it different?

1 hour ago, Burn-E said:

OK, I'm not the moderator in this thread but I will say this: we're all sinners.  Every single one of us. I would hope this thread can remain above personal accusations.

No Alden, that's not what I'm talking about.  I specifically spoke of two other methods of communication because they are substantial and tangible but they also require effort and focus to develop the skill. It requires more than just meditating on a topic though that is an element of the effort.

I'm not seeing any personal accusations. Maybe I'm reading things differently?

I understand that I over-simplified my example. But I'm not sure how that changes my point. Are you saying that a person who has practiced religion well could learn not only to speak to god, but to confirm what was done with other people? Because that might lend as stronger evidence. But the idea that all conversations are private sounds a lot more like the imaginary friend. So... study: one group talks to god, the other doesn't. Could a strongly religious person confirm with god which of the participants he spoke to, and maybe the subject matter? If your answer is no, then that's what my original point was- can't call him up to confirm.

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The answer to your question is that it is dependent on each individual to receive their own confirmation of what they've heard.  We firmly believe this as Mormons.  So yes, I have received clear confirmation that someone was speaking of something that God revealed to them.

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3 minutes ago, Fudge_Brownie said:

I'm not a fan of this attempt to incorrectly redefine the label, especially considering how central it is to the topic. And I also didn't want that to interfere with my point. I'm not sure I understand how it's shirking god because of sin. What makes it different?

Help me understand what you're saying because I don't follow. What I read in this post...

2 hours ago, Fudge_Brownie said:

It would probably be easier for me to believe in a god, to believe in a religion. Why would I (or Erik) choose not to? I doubt he or I are the type who've shirked god to live a sinful lifestyle. Your phrasing still points to this 'us verse them' that implies atheism is a following, with believers. It's not that I chose to believe someoneelse's word. I just don't believe in the concept of god right now. I have not heard any good proposals to explain our existence beyond big bang. I don't know what is above/behind/around that starting point. But to assume that god is the likely answer seems so implausible that it is likely wrong.

I've included that last sentence specifically to avoid any claim that I just defined agnosticism.

...is that you aren't saying "there is no God"; you're saying you don't believe in any of the religion's views about who He is? So therefor... no one can know God?? I'm still not following, but IMO, it sounds awfully agnostic to me.

As far as "shirking God because of sin"... it's not that you've found one particular sin that you aren't willing to let go of so you avoid God, you're "shirking God" and you don't know it, because of sin.

 

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33 minutes ago, mattsk8 said:

...is that you aren't saying "there is no God"; you're saying you don't believe in any of the religion's views about who He is? So therefor... no one can know God?? I'm still not following, but IMO, it sounds awfully agnostic to me.

As far as "shirking God because of sin"... it's not that you've found one particular sin that you aren't willing to let go of so you avoid God, you're "shirking God" and you don't know it, because of sin.

There is a lack of evidence of his existence, and it is an unlikely hypothesis to explain what we don't understand. But to be a reasonable person, I'm open to reconsidering my views based on new information. Since there's no new info, then there's no reason to believe there is a god. I determine this view for myself, based on what I've heard from people on different sides. I did not come to believe this because I bought in to someone's ideas. "There is evidence for God's existence, you just choose to ignore it because you choose to have faith in someone else's word over God's." I don't ignore it, I just don't consider it good evidence. And I don't ignore it on anyone's recommendation. The second half your quote implies that I (or Erik who you were responding to) is a follower of someone's idea structure. I don't think that's right.

36 minutes ago, Burn-E said:

The answer to your question is that it is dependent on each individual to receive their own confirmation of what they've heard.  We firmly believe this as Mormons.  So yes, I have received clear confirmation that someone was speaking of something that God revealed to them.

We might not be on the same page. You received confirmation that someone (say, a bishop) was speaking on behalf of conversations between them and god. But I'm asking if you could do that without hearing the person speak. Two study groups, half speak to god that day successfully, half do not. You don't get to interview any of them, or even see them. But you ask god to tell you how you can identify those people he spoke with. Write it all down, then a researcher confirms with the group. E.g. "Middle age man spoke to god about difficulties in knowing which bathroom to use". My point of the experiment is to prove god spoke to someone without relying on their honesty.

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4 hours ago, Fudge_Brownie said:

Just because there are extremists who share the view does not make it a religion.

 

Riiiiiiight... they're just a group of people who enjoy telling other people they are incorrect in their beliefs... and the universe is a set certain way with a specific outcome for all life.  Sound familiar?

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10 hours ago, Commander Riker said:

Riiiiiiight... they're just a group of people who enjoy telling other people they are incorrect in their beliefs... and the universe is a set certain way with a specific outcome for all life.  Sound familiar?

Agreed Lucas. This whole argument that there isn't some form of loosely organized effort across those holding agnostic and atheist views to kick God out of any public conversation falls on its face when you hold it up against the light of reality.

How about we call it a MOVEment? Not a religion but nonetheless a clearly organized effort funded and supported by a wide variety of those who support that view?

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Atheism is a religion... very clearly.  I get that I'm upsetting both sides when I say that... but if it looks a saab... drives like a saab... it's probably a saab, ya know?  The only difference is that there is congregation on the internet instead of in a fancy building every Sunday.  As a person who is outside of both... Atheism and organized religion if you want to call them separate... they sound very much the same, especially in the extremist visceral tones used by all parties in that realm.

Please do not lump those who are agnostic in with those who are atheist.  They are considerably different positions.  Just because they are "not religious" in view by those who are religious doesn't mean they are the same.

I agree that there is some sort of effort to remove god from public conversation... but you have to agree that there is and has been an equal if not larger public effort for a longer period of time to put god into public conversation and space.

The agnostic crowd, from my experience, just doesn't care.  The whole debate is (as I view organized religion as well), has just become irrelevant.  It doesn't need to be a public conversation, not in an attempt to stifle discussion, just not something that is time well spent by the public discussing uncertainties.  Not if you're not willing to consider all possibilities, at least.

Religion in it's current form is just a modernization of previous religions.  Atheism may be a replication of that, I'm not sure... but we often do not look back to the past, so it's no surprise that we make the same mistakes over and over again.

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53 minutes ago, Commander Riker said:

Please do not lump those who are agnostic in with those who are atheist.  They are considerably different positions.  Just because they are "not religious" in view by those who are religious doesn't mean they are the same.

I agree w/ a lot of what you said, except that I definitely don't think the debate is irrelevant. Also, I don't put atheists and agnostics in the same category, I absolutely agree w/ you 100% that atheism is a religion. IMO, an agnostic is someone that neither believes or disbelieves; they either think we don't know or can't know... or they don't care.

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Agnostics are intellectual fence sitters. That's generally my perception with those I know or have encountered.

Nothing wrong with that but that is a fair characterization in my mind. Given the origins of the word it should be properly understood as someone who claims that it is impossible for humans to know whether or not God exists.

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13 hours ago, Commander Riker said:

Riiiiiiight... they're just a group of people who enjoy telling other people they are incorrect in their beliefs... and the universe is a set certain way with a specific outcome for all life.  Sound familiar?

Incorrect. Some atheists enjoy being vocal yes. But not all. You're taking an extreme group and trying to apply it broadly, and deciding that it has become a religion because certain people who share the view have goals.

3 hours ago, Burn-E said:

Agreed Lucas. This whole argument that there isn't some form of loosely organized effort across those holding agnostic and atheist views to kick God out of any public conversation falls on its face when you hold it up against the light of reality.

How about we call it a MOVEment? Not a religion but nonetheless a clearly organized effort funded and supported by a wide variety of those who support that view?

Movement probably makes sense. Though to assume anyone who claims to be atheist is part of any movement is a mistake.

1 hour ago, Commander Riker said:

Atheism is a religion... very clearly.  I get that I'm upsetting both sides when I say that... but if it looks a saab... drives like a saab... it's probably a saab, ya know?  The only difference is that there is congregation on the internet instead of in a fancy building every Sunday.  As a person who is outside of both... Atheism and organized religion if you want to call them separate... they sound very much the same, especially in the extremist visceral tones used by all parties in that realm.

Please do not lump those who are agnostic in with those who are atheist.  They are considerably different positions.  Just because they are "not religious" in view by those who are religious doesn't mean they are the same.

I agree that there is some sort of effort to remove god from public conversation... but you have to agree that there is and has been an equal if not larger public effort for a longer period of time to put god into public conversation and space.

If you claim atheism is a religion, I don't see how you can say agnosticism isn't. There may be an effort to remove god from public conversation, and those people obviously are atheist, but that does not mean all atheists are involved in it. All atheism does is describe someone's views. By your logic, we all belong to the church of volvo because we all share an interest and congregate to talk about it. By choosing not to believe in a higher power, a god, etc, you have NO religion. You have lost or left religion. You may have shunned religion. You did not join or become a part of another one.

If atheism is a religion, how do I describe that I have no religion?

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that you have a religion of not believing in religion. Apparently not believing in religion is unnatural, just like being gay :P 

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1 hour ago, Fudge_Brownie said:

Incorrect. Some atheists enjoy being vocal yes. But not all. You're taking an extreme group and trying to apply it broadly, and deciding that it has become a religion because certain people who share the view have goals.

Movement probably makes sense. Though to assume anyone who claims to be atheist is part of any movement is a mistake.

If you claim atheism is a religion, I don't see how you can say agnosticism isn't. There may be an effort to remove god from public conversation, and those people obviously are atheist, but that does not mean all atheists are involved in it. All atheism does is describe someone's views. By your logic, we all belong to the church of volvo because we all share an interest and congregate to talk about it. By choosing not to believe in a higher power, a god, etc, you have NO religion. You have lost or left religion. You may have shunned religion. You did not join or become a part of another one.

If atheism is a religion, how do I describe that I have no religion?

Alden, we get it, you think there are many reasons why people do not believe in God.  But your over reactive effort is starting to become comical as you keep bending further backward in order to ensure that everyone understands that atheism isn't a religion.  Here's the thing, religion does not just mean someone believes in God.  It also can mean something they pursue with great enthusiasm and to which they place significant importance in their life.  

Like Volvos. :wink: 

Just as there is a group of highly enthusiastic, even even evangelical Christians, there is equally a group of highly evangelical atheists.  Some have even made a name and following from their efforts.  Think Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens. The so-called Four Horsemen of New Atheism.

So tell me, what's the difference between Joel Osteen and Sam Harris?

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On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 1:14 PM, Fudge_Brownie said:

They have faith someone proved the existence of wind, but if they wanted, they could reproduce whatever experiments were performed. Is the same be true about evidence supporting the existence of a god? A lot of the evidence seems to be moments when god told someone something. I can't call him up and say "Hey, did you talk to Bob yesterday and give him clarification on verse 3:16?".

Doubtful but ok.

On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2016 at 1:51 PM, ErikS said:

Not believing in something because there is no evidence for it, how is that being close minded? An invisible floating corporeal dragon in my garage is no more silly than believing in God. There is equal evidence for both, and you can't disprove either of them because of the context and direction one takes to exclaim how faith operates  

 

 

No its mocking someone because you don't have the same beliefs.   Maybe you should turn your back to it and ignore it as you do the voting booth when election time comes again.  Just because you don't believe something doesn't make it silly or stupid. 

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