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Do atheists truly understand what kind of proof they are asking for?

Have atheists stop to think about what they are asking for? You guys want objective evidence for the existence of God. How do you expect to ever come across such evidence? How can the scientific method ever be applied to this? I'm trying to understand your guys logic. Hear me out.

Example #1 - God comes down here on Earth and shows himself to you in person.

Problem: What form does He take to reveal himself to you? As a human? A fish? An alien? What if He tries to sit there and prove to you He is a God? How would you know the difference between an alien race and the actual God? What if the alien's technology was capable of summoning objects out of thin air? Would God have to scare you into believing in Him? Think of what it would take to provide you with enough objective evidence for you to believe in Him. Would He have to simply speak and spark some kind of great emotion in you, what if the same feeling could be achieved with a gas weapon? What would it take?!

Example # 2 - God calls on your phone and makes an appointment to come see you. Over the phone he says he understands your frustration for having to believe in your fellow man for proof that he exists. When he shows up he allows you to completely satisfy the proof of his existence through the scientific method.

Problems: What happens with the next generation of humans? Will they believe your documented work? What happens 2000 years later? The technology that you previously used would be completely out dated. Would they believe your video & photography? Does God have to completely come down here on earth, educate every human in the forms of the scientific method, sit down with them and completely convince them of his existence for every born human?

Mr. T

It seems that Logic and Reasoning are not your strong points. As if repeating the same thing over and over again will make it become true.

I wouldn't be surprised if this "follower" doesn't believe he has converted everyone by writing this idiotic diatribe. Send up a flare we surrender; don't shoot us with that gas weapon God just call me on the phone.

Do you know how idiotic everything you have said is? Anyone can make threats especially when they don't have a leg to stand on.

Unless Mr. T can prove three things: 1. A deity known as "god" exists. 2. This deity known as god is both omniscient and omnipotent. 3. Establish the truth of the biblical claim that its writers were inspired by the god. Unfortunately for Mr. T these are all very big ifs, none of which Mr. T could actually prove if his life depended on it. This accentuates the major problem in the doctrine: it is based on unprovable assumptions. Any belief founded on assumptions is worthless.

1. A deity known as "god" exists. - Even if you had the evidence, the next generation of skeptics like yourself would doubt the evidence claiming it is forgery, false, or come up with some doubt. Atheism is more of a personality I think. 2000 years later they would laugh at the technology we have today and the evidence would be tossed out. ________________

2. This deity known as god is both omniscient and omnipotent. - I agree with #2, doesn't it feel good when you say that. _______________

3. Establish the truth of the biblical claim that its writers were inspired by the god. - All I can do is trust my fellow man. If they lie to me, then at least God sees my good intentions of trusting my brothers & sisters. Linda, if you witness a great miracle, I will believe you. Wouldn't you want your children to believe you and their children believe you? ____________

Ultimately it's best to believe in God, give him respect. Then at the same time follow the scientific method and understand God's design in more detail. I think maybe you're a rebel. You don't like answering to anyone above you right? That is normal among atheists. Also you want to "see it to believe it", which goes to my original post. Does God have to literally come down and ensure everyone is educated in the scientific method, and prove to us that he exists? Ultimately I think atheists enjoy the attention they get because by denying God and embracing science you get a sense of empowerment and ego. I say embrace both and be the wiser. God is a deep part of being a human, don't cut that major part out.

Mr. T

You just don't f 'n get it ! You didn't answer anything you just repeated the questions, and then said it made you feel good. Isn't that just about what everything you know is all about!

I'm sure it makes you feel good that's what fairy tales are supposed to do. But it doesn't do a thing for grown-up people.

Hi Linda! Gregory here: No Mr. T didn't answer the questions that were put to him. Even Palin didn't pretend that she had answered question when she hadn't.

These were the questions with my answers:

1. A deity known as "god" exists. There is no evidence/confirmation. Those who believe must just believe.

2. This deity known as god is both omniscient and omnipotent. Nobody can prove anything about god. Until an "omnipotent being" is discovered and examined it's not the truth. If it can not be confirmed it is not the truth.

3. Establish the truth of the biblical claim that its writers were inspired by the god. A claim of divine inspiration is not logical since nobody can confirm that there is an "inspirer". There are plenty of divinely inspired books. Christianity is just one among many who claim their holy book was divinely inspired. Bible scholars would instantly reject such a claim as this, because their biblical studies have made them aware of many inconsistencies and discordant themes in the Bible text. Dozens of these have been identified, unless errors aren't really errors.

If god is omniscient and omnipotent, then any document that he verbally inspired would have to be inerrant, because an omniscient, omnipotent deity would be incapable of error. The so-called canonical books were selected by a committee who discussed and debated various books and finally selected the divinely inspired one's. Anyone who doubts that the books of the Bible were selected like this should read some unbiased history.

Anyone can read and memorizes one book over and over again the bible and be convinced of it's validity if they never read any other secular history to compare the stories side by side (since these stories are exclusively found in the bible.) You will not find any confirmation elsewhere for much of the bible.

According to the bible when Jesus was crucified the heavens and earth affirmed his deity, causing a three-hour eclipse of the sun over all the earth. There was an earthquake causing Jerusalem's temple curtain to be split in two, and many Jewish saints resurrected from their graves appearing to the people in Jerusalem. Within three days, the Son of God, defeated Satan, rose from the dead appeared to his disciples, then ascended into heaven. A story that would not of escaped the attention of the historians worldwide.

Scholars who do objective investigations into history have found no confirmation of this story in the writings of non-Christian Jewish, Greek, and Roman writers. The authors (some of the most prominent figures of that era) philosophers, poets, historians make no mention of Jesus. What is known is that the little that is there is forgery.

Anyone who thinks the bible is compatible with science isn't playing with a full deck. First you have to scientifically analyze the source materials in Genesis objectively, and determine whether or not it is possible to base any theory of science upon such a book. Mythology may have an emotional and spiritual meaning, but a myth has no value to science, or to history, never having been historical, but rather is just a religious myth. A Myth is not true in any historical or scientific sense. A myth is a subjective interpretation of reality while science and history requires objective facts, and that is something altogether different.

"Within three days, the Son of God, defeated Satan, rose from the dead appeared to his disciples, then ascended into heaven. A story that would not of escaped the attention of the historians worldwide."

If they could have possibly heard this story (which could easily be doubted of its truthfullness, especially without any evidence), their response might have easily been,

"Jesus who?"

Luke 5:15 says (referring to Jesus) that there grew "a fame abroad of him." Not one historian, philosopher or poet living during the time of Jesus ever mentions Jesus.

"any belief founded on assumptions is worthless."

You realize that your assuming there is no god has led you to believe there is no god...?

Carl Sagan's phrase "The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" is a criticism of the argument from ignorance found in "The Fine Art of Baloney Detection". He compares the phrase "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" to an appeal to ignorance. Carl Sagan's "The Dragon in My Garage" is the same kind of statement about an invisible dragon in the garage that cannot be detected by any means. A theist using these arguments to prove something about God has simply missed the point.

Caral Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. For all I know we may be visited by a different extraterrestrial civilization every second Tuesday, but there's no support for this appealing idea. The extraordinary claims are not supported by extraordinary evidence."

In "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark" Sagan presented tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent ones, essentially advocating wide use of the scientific method. He said, "The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying - it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity."

When you start basing what is true on assumptions you wind up with religion.

Linda, what do you do for a living?

because you are the one that created this god thing, i would ask you to define his characteristics. then, when i was visited by aliens that were impersonating your god i could use your definition to see through their deception. hopefully i won't waste so much time trying to figure out if they are your god that i forget to gather some evidence that aliens had visited me.

once i am convinced, what difference does it make if future generations accept my evidence? it is conceivable that i could have some personal experience that was not verifiable. i can tell you that i might then believe, but without a way to demonstrate the evidence for my belief i wouldn't tell other people they should believe me. they would have no REASON to. i would never be 100 percent certain in any case because i might be misinterpreting data and i'm sure if this new, unverifiable, belief was of central importance to me i could think of plenty of ways to try and test my personal experience so that another more reasonable explanation isn't overlooked.

if i am right, the evidence will bear it out. if more information confirms or denies my conclusions so be it.

so Mr.T i ask you: do you realize how lazy your belief system seems to me? you don't test it, you don't question it and you spend time telling others they should believe as you do. if you don't have evidence to justify your beliefs, why the hell should i believe them?

"Have atheists stop to think about what they are asking for? You guys want objective evidence for the existence of God. How do you expect to ever come across such evidence?"

There are plenty of ways. One easy one would be to demonstrate that praying to a particular deity results in verifiable miracles (like spontaneously regrowing a limb) that can be measured and witnessed. That wouldn't be "proof" but it would certainly constitute enough evidence for people to take the claim seriously.

You could also watch, "How to convert an Atheist" on Youtube for more examples: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rqUsC2KsiI

>"Have atheists stop to think about what they are asking for? You guys want objective evidence for the existence of God. How do you expect to ever come across such evidence?"

Irony being that the same statement could be made of the Emperor's New Clothes.

Omnipotence/Omniscience are such, that it would take an Omnipotent/Omniscient being to prove itself.

An Omnipotent/Omniscient being would know exactly how to prove himself in a way that no being on Earth could deny his existence.

I am not omniscient or omnipotent, but even I can tell you.. If some being revealed itself as a God and then demonstrated his claim by turning the Moon into a second Earth. That would be enough for most if not everyone, granted people may argue that it is a being with greater technology that seems like magic to us or that the being may still not be omniscient or omnipotent. However Atheists would no longer reject the notion of creation. Further if the being identified himself as one of the Gods of an existing religion and reconciled the contradictions of sacred texts, there would be no reason to doubt its claims.

Now there may be flaws with that scenario because I am not Omniscient or infallible. You posit a being that could make a flawless scenario that could make a superior proof of his existence.

ANY evidence would do! Of course 2000 years ago it was much easier, you could use black death, tsunmai, earthquakes, eclipse, comets, monsoons as evidence. Not quite so easy now. Hmmmmmmmmmmm! oh, incidently, despiter what people of your 'faith' believed, the earth has been proven not to be flat AND it seems the earth revolves around the sun. Sorry!

Title: do christians truly understand what kind of claim they are making?

Apparently not.

Not sure if this article helps or hinders your argument but there is some interesting stuff on here, especially the plagues thing. It does beg the question though, could science one day explain God, the Univers and everything and would make people more or less religious. Can religion and science co-exist? http://kenwoodtravel.com/blog/five-miracles-of-moses-debunked-by-science/

Well the easiest way would be that we were born with the knowledge that the god is real. Kinda like what frank herbert wrote in the dune novels, where the bene gesserit have all the accumulated knowledge of their predecessors But why not make an apearance every year. Have god come and heal all the sick people. That would be nice. That would be a clear sign of his devinity. And then it wouldnt even matter what form he would take. I mean its god. If god is all powerfull why assume he can only communicate with us through ways we know? Surely god can come up with a way to make it known on e per year to all the people in the world that he is god

Why don't you believe in Zeus, Odin or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? How much evidence would ever be enough to convince you?

Read William James "The Will to Believe" regarding "live" and "dead" hypotheses. [http://ajburger.homestead.com/files/book.htm#will] It's in Part I. Odin, Zeus, and FSM hypotheses are dead for most of the people. This means that whether they exist or not is not going to cause anyone to change their actions or behavior. Jesus is a different story. For better or for worse, belief in Jesus has huge implications for many people. That's the primary difference between belief in Jesus and belief in FSM.

No God past or present gave morality to humanity; religion is not necessary to have morality. Traits that help a species to survive are passed to the next generation, and traits that don't will die out. The basic adaptation possessed by humans for survival is reasoning ability; an evolutionary ethics would make this a primary consideration. All of the evidence points to natural causes and no evidence points to a Creator or Creation; it is now sensible for scientists and other well-grounded people to say the existence of God is not a reasonable hypothesis.

It's an archaic idea that is still being promoted by instilling this folly into a population that the world would be lost without a savior (part man part god) who was tortured and killed on a bloody cross. No civilized society needs grotesque myths in order to do what is right, it's really a myth made up to make man indebted to something that they must worship and doggedly follow, and to give the Roman Empire's Christian soldiers something to die for. The common man in the time of the Jesus myth were ignorant, superstitious and gullible when it came to understanding nature and disease. The gospel myths relate that the man named Jesus had the same understanding of nature and disease as the people of his day. I don't consider that very convincing evidence that he was a Superior Being.

I think that this guy poses an interesting question. I think the proof would have to come in the form of knowledge. Future,past and present. I would expect god to have knowledge of all three simultaneously. Imo no alien...no matter the technology would be able to show that. Only a deity

No that wouldn't be proof either. As an 'alien' may be be able to mind read the entire human race and also have great knowledge of our insignificant past (you know its only been 200k (earth) years that humans have been around)

The real point is that believers feel they have been touched or experienced god, or have a 'relationship' with him. And now they have faith in his existence.

I know :D Its absolutely absurd.

I stand by my previous topic, we should have a weekly comedy series on TV where people visit churches and speak to believers. I'd laugh all the way through.

In the beginning there was light. This must have been when life evolved eyes. Hmm, all those other lifeforms without eyes they must have been the aliens Lol

People who ask for evidence of God appear to know about scientific method as much as those who try to present such evidence. It is well known that hypothesis must be *falsifiable* in order to be meaningfully tested. This means that one should be able to construct and experiment or an observation that would, possibly, contradict to the predictions of the tested hypothesis. I.e. "if hypothesis A is false, then we would observe B".

Hypothesis "God created everything seen and unseen" is impossible to falsify. If this hypothesis is false, one should be able to produce something NOT created by God. Good luck... This exercise is only useful to realize that we are chasing our own tail.

Evolution is stronger today than it was when it first started because of DNA. If evolution was an erroneous theory DNA would have falsified it, but instead DNA is confirming evolution. Where are the experiments or any proof of Creation or Intelligent Design?

Evolution operates by 'natural selection' traits that help an organism survive to reproductive age, and that help it to produce offspring that do the same, will be in evidence in those succeeding generations. Traits that did not do this will disappear with the organisms that died before they could pass them on.

Creationist (Intelligent Design) have not shown that they have a theory that can account for any of the data evolution accounts for, and they have not provided any reason for believing that their theory (intelligent designer) even has the potential to produce anything useful to science.

There are all sorts of findings and experiments that could have falsified evolution. In the century-and-a-half since Darwin published his theory, not one has.

Everything in our universe evolved out of matter. That is where life came from, and as we became more complex we developed morals and emotions that helped us to survive. Two of the first emotions that helped our ancestors survive were fear and love.

In 2001 the Human Genome was Mapped (ge·nome - one haploid set of chromosomes with the genes they contain; the full DNA sequence of an organism.) The human genome mapping provides indisputable proof that Darwin was right. Mankind evolved over a long period of time from primitive ancestors.

The big bang theory is the basis for other theories about the cosmos. The reason God was created was to fill in the knowledge gaps, but science has taken away the need for that. Creation hasn't offered a useful theory that explains anything about the origin of the universe or life in the universe. creation science and intelligent design

Everything in our Universe has come into being through mechanistic processes without any kind of supernatural intervention. The origin and development of the Universe and all of its complex systems living and non-living organisms can be explained on the basis of continuing natural processes, innate in the very structure of matter and energy.

Man was not a special creation as the Bible teaches (but a single experiment can prove me wrong) there is scientific proof that we evolved from primates and nothing supporting Creation.

Everything evolved from nothing unless you can prove otherwise.

Why do atheists think of God as of something material, physical, touchable, visible, or detectible by physical means? Isn't religion supposed to be about "spiritual" things?

Again, if one thinks of a "soul" or a "spirit" as something existing independent of human body and detectable by some physical device, it becomes absurd again. But don't we all have passions, intentions, tastes, preferences, dreams, emotions, griefs, frustrations?

Perhaps, it's possible to describe these things in terms of DNA, pheromones, hormones, and associations between trillions of neurons in our brain. But why bother? Don't we understand what happiness or sadness or guilt mean without these scientific definitions?

It seems to me, that's what religion is about. Science is useless to explain why our life is worth living or justify our existence on this planet. There are no people on Mars and Venus. What would be wrong if Earth were like Mars? Millions of nuclear explosions take place on the Sun each secon. Why would it be a bad idea to detonate a couple hydrogen bombs in New York? Science cannot answer this. Science can only tell us that if we do that, millions of people will die. Why is it bad? Science cannot answer this question. We BELIEVE that death is bad. We BELIEVE that our life is worth living. We BELIEVE that there is, in theory, a psychological state called happiness. Why do we BELIEVE those things? Why do atheists believe those things? That's interesting to know. Well, yes, such beliefs may be required for survival, according to Darwin. So? If these beliefs cannot be supported by evidence, we have to get rid of them ASAP. Isn't that what an atheist should say? That's when religion comes into play. We cannot justify our existence or any action without a religious belief of some sort.

If someone calls me on the phone or appears next to me looking like an alien and doing some weird stuff, that's not God. That will not make me believe. And that never is a reason why people believe in God. But watching the sunset, feeling a breeze on my face, watching stars or a flower, or hugging my son, or making someone feel better does make me believe that my life is worth living. And I'm aware that it's a totally bogus belief which has no scientific evidence whatsoever.

Reply to message From: AG (Posted Jun 29, 2012 at 12:58 am)

AG said, "Why do atheists think of God as of something material, physical, touchable, visible, or detectible by physical means? Isn't religion supposed to be about "spiritual" things?"

Atheist don't think any kind of a god exists; consequently, atheists don't define god in any way what-so-ever. Christians have done all of the defining concerning god.

Atheists simply disbelieve that there are gods, spirits or supernatural beings that lives in (never, never land) or a supernatural realm. The savior god/man story didn't originate with atheists it came from ancient myths about a Sun god that evolved into the Son of god.

AG said, "Again, if one thinks of a "soul" or a "spirit" as something existing independent of human body and detectable by some physical device, it becomes absurd again. But don't we all have passions, intentions, tastes, preferences, dreams, emotions, griefs, frustrations?"

There is no evidence, definitive proof, definition or description of a soul or a spirit. The two things (emotions & souls and spirits) are not comparable in any way. I hope this point is clearly made understandable this time; but somehow I doubt it. Everything in our universe evolved out of matter; that's where life came from, and as we became more complex we developed complex emotions that helped us to survive. Two of the first emotions that helped our ancestors survive were fear and love. Negative emotions (fear) helped us avoid danger, while positive emotions help us approach what we need to survive food, shelter, and procreation. Evolution operates by 'natural selection' traits that help an organism survive to reproductive age, and that help it to produce offspring that do the same, will be in evidence in those succeeding generations. Traits that did not do this will disappear with the organisms that died before they could pass them on. Emotions evolved to help humans survive and emotions involve physiological responses from the nervous systems; emotions help us make fast decisions in crucial situations, although emotions are genetically determined they can change during a lifetime. We know things like emotions exist because of studies that prove they exist and why they exist; on-the-other-hand there are no studies that confirms the existence of spirits or souls. Many things that we can't see are proven to exist all the time. A priori (Latin for beforehand) a priori truth is something you know must be true before you even start looking. Theories without evidence are considered first approximations (not the same thing as theories with evidence) the evidence may not be known, but it has to be looked for and confirmed to be a theory. Gravity is a force that can only be "known" by the observable effect. Things that exist are evident; meaning there is some kind of real evidence. The rules of logic, we can discover what truths follow from other truths. There is always evidence for "existence" logically, empirically etc. that will be proven if indeed it exists.

AG said, "Perhaps, it's possible to describe these things in terms of DNA, pheromones, hormones, and associations between trillions of neurons in our brain. But why bother? Don't we understand what happiness or sadness or guilt mean without these scientific definitions? "It seems to me, that's what religion is about."

Religion is a man-made concept that has it's roots in ancient mythology; religion doesn't explain anything, it's purpose was avoiding explaining anything. Before there was a scientific method to study various physical process or phenomenon the only thing humans could do is tell fantastic stories; various kinds of phenomenon was attributed to different gods in the Pagan religions, and like all fishy stories they just got bigger and bigger. Creation stories can be found in pagan religions that date as far back as 3000 BC. Pagan religions also involved worshiping the Sun as a god, but the main goal of pagan and monotheistic religions was to explain how the Universe and all life came to be or "created". This is what primitive man had until science (the scientific method) was employed to study things and find the real answers. Religious beliefs have not answered any questions, science has done that. Science has unlocked the mysteries that the Holy writ claims nobody will ever know.

AG said, Science is useless to explain why our life is worth living or justify our existence on this planet."

Those of us who want to know the real answers think that science makes life worthwhile. What you think is worthwhile is nothing more than blind servitude.

AG said, "There are no people on Mars and Venus. What would be wrong if Earth were like Mars? Millions of nuclear explosions take place on the Sun each secon. Why would it be a bad idea to detonate a couple hydrogen bombs in New York? Science cannot answer this."

You don't know why? No wonder you don't know the difference in fairy tales and science. All that you have done is show YOUR inability to comprehend what the difference is in ignorant folklore and knowledge.

There are scientists that have devoted their lives to unlocking the mysteries of the Universe and life in the Universe, and because of that they have made profound scientific discoveries. Science has put a man on the moon and made the discovery of DNA possible. Science has and will lead to many things that benefit mankind, while the bible (aka god's word) suggests sprinkling bird blood around to cleanse things.

AG said, "Science can only tell us that if we do that, millions of people will die. Why is it bad? Science cannot answer this question."

You wouldn't know the H-bomb would kill millions of people unless you knew how the H-bomb worked (or the science). Scientists like Einstein have been totally benign to humanity. You are attempting to find a reason that we need mythology when there is none. Your contempt for science is due to the fact that it has rightfully taken the place of the ignorance and superstition known as (religion) or belief in deities.

AG said, "We BELIEVE that death is bad. We BELIEVE that our life is worth living. We BELIEVE that there is, in theory, a psychological state called happiness. Why do we BELIEVE those things? Why do atheists believe those things? That's interesting to know. Well, yes, such beliefs may be required for survival, according to Darwin. So? If these beliefs cannot be supported by evidence, we have to get rid of them ASAP. Isn't that what an atheist should say?"

What is it about believing that (if you screw things up) or doubt religious indoctrination you might burn in hell for eternity; that makes anyone happy? The fact is that emotions exist and evolved in order to help man survive, and the existence of emotions is supported by evidence and that's why we think they exist. On-the-other-hand (again) souls and spirits are just not in the same category; that is more along the lines of science fiction or Ghost Busters.

AG said, "That's when religion comes into play. We cannot justify our existence or any action without a religious belief of some sort."

No, we can justify our existence with fantasy land; it's people like you that can't because of willful ignorance!

AG said, "If someone calls me on the phone or appears next to me looking like an alien and doing some weird stuff, that's not God."

So what? Saying that you know something isn't a god doesn't mean there is a god.

AG said, "That will not make me believe. And that never is a reason why people believe in God."

That's right! People believe in god because of ancient myths based on saviors gods, reward and punishment. It's superstition and indoctrination from birth.

AG said, "But watching the sunset, feeling a breeze on my face, watching stars or a flower, or hugging my son, or making someone feel better does make me believe that my life is worth living. And I'm aware that it's a totally bogus belief which has no scientific evidence whatsoever."

It's not necessary to believe in nonsense in order to appreciate the beauty of nature. "Nothing is too wonderful to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature."--Michael Faraday

Everyone would be better off with more actual education and knowledge (allowing them to find the facts out for themselves) without indoctrination or fear tactics; kindness is not being an authoritarian tyrant like "the god of the myths" no matter how many hugs go along with it.

AG said, "Why do atheists think of God as of something material, physical, touchable, visible, or detectible by physical means? Isn't religion supposed to be about "spiritual" things? God (if there was one) would have to be something you could define in some tangible way-even the invisible air is tangible-we know it exists. As for "spiritual" things-what is the definition of "spiritual?" AG said, "Perhaps, it's possible to describe these things in terms of DNA, pheromones, hormones, and associations between trillions of neurons in our brain. But why bother? Don't we understand what happiness or sadness or guilt mean without these scientific definitions?" I think reality is worth the bother. I like knowing real stuff-unprovable fake stuff means nothing to me. I don't conduct experiments to examine all the ramifications of "sadness" or "guilt" but if someone out there wants to and is intelligent enough to do so that is great, in my opinion. Sadness, guilt, and happiness are very "scientific" experiences in the brain, not some kind of magic-people used to think everything from epilepsy to guilt was magical or demonic. AG said, " It seems to me, that's what religion is about. Science is useless to explain why our life is worth living or justify our existence on this planet." I personally don't think religion OR science explain why our life has meaning. Individuals have to do that themselves-what alot of people can't handle, in my opinion, is that there are some things that will never be wrapped up in a neat comfortable package. Science tells us the uncomfortable truth-this universe is far from perfect. There is no special well-organized plan. It is up to people to decide if their life is worth living, and up to people to create the world they want to live in. People think they need religion to "justify our existence on this planet." There is no justification-we just exist, and that's all there is to it. I doubt grasshoppers self-aggrandize as much as people do-they just live their lives (I assume). I think this overthinking about our "special purpose" keeps us from living happier lives. AG said, "There are no people on Mars and Venus. What would be wrong if Earth were like Mars? Millions of nuclear explosions take place on the Sun each secon. Why would it be a bad idea to detonate a couple hydrogen bombs in New York? Science cannot answer this. Science can only tell us that if we do that, millions of people will die. Why is it bad? Science cannot answer this question. We BELIEVE that death is bad." As Kyle's mom on Southpark would say, "What, what, WHAT?" Science can answer that question pretty well-death by explosion sucks, and we all know it, so we don't want to get blown up. We love our family/friends and don't want to see them go kablewy either. AG said, "We cannot justify our existence or any action without a religious belief of some sort." From what I said earlier-why do we have to "justify our existence?" Religion is in the business of "justifying our existence." Just freaking exist without asking "the Reverend LoveJoy's" permission. Can you justify why jellyfish exist? They are ugly and weird, why did gawd make them? Why does the West Nile Virus exist? AG said, "But watching the sunset, feeling a breeze on my face, watching stars or a flower, or hugging my son, or making someone feel better does make me believe that my life is worth living. And I'm aware that it's a totally bogus belief which has no scientific evidence whatsoever." It is not a bogus belief and does have scientific evidence-every mineral in dirt is in our body-we are of the earth, we are of this universe. So stars, flowers, and breezes give us joy, as well as friendship and family relations-it doesn't get more scientific than that-we have a tangible connection to all these things and need them for our continued existence. I think you should enjoy all these things out of life because they are the real stuff life is made of-not religion.

AG said, "Why do atheists think of God as of something material, physical, touchable, visible, or detectible by physical means? Isn't religion supposed to be about "spiritual" things? God (if there was one) would have to be something you could define in some tangible way-even the invisible air is tangible-we know it exists. As for "spiritual" things-what is the definition of "spiritual?" AG said, "Perhaps, it's possible to describe these things in terms of DNA, pheromones, hormones, and associations between trillions of neurons in our brain. But why bother? Don't we understand what happiness or sadness or guilt mean without these scientific definitions?" I think reality is worth the bother. I like knowing real stuff-unprovable fake stuff means nothing to me. I don't conduct experiments to examine all the ramifications of "sadness" or "guilt" but if someone out there wants to and is intelligent enough to do so that is great, in my opinion. Sadness, guilt, and happiness are very "scientific" experiences in the brain, not some kind of magic-people used to think everything from epilepsy to guilt was magical or demonic. AG said, " It seems to me, that's what religion is about. Science is useless to explain why our life is worth living or justify our existence on this planet." I personally don't think religion OR science explain why our life has meaning. Individuals have to do that themselves-what alot of people can't handle, in my opinion, is that there are some things that will never be wrapped up in a neat comfortable package. Science tells us the uncomfortable truth-this universe is far from perfect. There is no special well-organized plan. It is up to people to decide if their life is worth living, and up to people to create the world they want to live in. People think they need religion to "justify our existence on this planet." There is no justification-we just exist, and that's all there is to it. I doubt grasshoppers self-aggrandize as much as people do-they just live their lives (I assume). I think this overthinking about our "special purpose" keeps us from living happier lives. AG said, "There are no people on Mars and Venus. What would be wrong if Earth were like Mars? Millions of nuclear explosions take place on the Sun each secon. Why would it be a bad idea to detonate a couple hydrogen bombs in New York? Science cannot answer this. Science can only tell us that if we do that, millions of people will die. Why is it bad? Science cannot answer this question. We BELIEVE that death is bad." As Kyle's mom on Southpark would say, "What, what, WHAT?" Science can answer that question pretty well-death by explosion sucks, and we all know it, so we don't want to get blown up. We love our family/friends and don't want to see them go kablewy either. AG said, "We cannot justify our existence or any action without a religious belief of some sort." From what I said earlier-why do we have to "justify our existence?" Religion is in the business of "justifying our existence." Just freaking exist without asking "the Reverend LoveJoy's" permission. Can you justify why jellyfish exist? They are ugly and weird, why did gawd make them? Why does the West Nile Virus exist? AG said, "But watching the sunset, feeling a breeze on my face, watching stars or a flower, or hugging my son, or making someone feel better does make me believe that my life is worth living. And I'm aware that it's a totally bogus belief which has no scientific evidence whatsoever." It is not a bogus belief and does have scientific evidence-every mineral in dirt is in our body-we are of the earth, we are of this universe. So stars, flowers, and breezes give us joy, as well as friendship and family relations-it doesn't get more scientific than that-we have a tangible connection to all these things and need them for our continued existence. I think you should enjoy all these things out of life because they are the real stuff life is made of-not religion.

I don't have to know what would make me believe in a god. An omnipotent, omniscient god would know what it took for me to believe in him, and would provide sufficient proof. He could do the same for the next generation and so on. A god that relies on questionable "historical" documents should realize how invalid they are. Wouldn't he just make me believe from birth? You probably think he did, and I'm just rebelling against him, which is an entirely different discussion

I'm just gonna play hard to get and not tell god that I exist. If he wants to know about me he'll have to get on his knees on the cold bathroom floor at midnight and cry and pray for hours like that poor kid in the movie "A Hero Ain't Nothing But A Sandwich."

Lee said, "I don't have to know what would make me believe in a god. An omnipotent, omniscient god would know what it took for me to believe in him, and would provide sufficient proof. He could do the same for the next generation and so on."

They have idiotic answers to anything that just doesn't make sense with their beliefs. This particular question does have an illogical answer, "God is testing your faith."

Lee said, "A god that relies on questionable "historical" documents should realize how invalid they are. Wouldn't he just make me believe from birth?"

If you were born with a knowledge of God; as many Christians claim (people are born with a God shaped void) then why would God be testing your faith?

Lee said, "You probably think he did, and I'm just rebelling against him, which is an entirely different discussion."

No it's not and entirely different discussion. That's exactly the excuse given whenever they are confronted with the fact that many people around the world don't believe in any god/gods.

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