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Aragon-TypeR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Charles View Post
On the other hand, I believe that everything I have is there because God gave it to me anyway, so whether it's miraculous or coincidence I'll thank Him either way.

I personally think that this view of god and prayer cheapens it

What about the wife praying every night that her husband makes it home from Iraq only for him to get killed by an IED the next day? You have what you have because you and your family and the people around you worked for it or inherited it.

The same principle applies to the concept of 'miracles' in my mind. People praying to god not for some greater spiritual insight but essentially treating it as some kind of genie that will grant wishes if you're a nice enough person. You aren't more important than anyone else and if there is some omnipotent entity in the ether they don't give a shit about you.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:39 AM Aragon-TypeR is offline  
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The purpose of miracles is to show God's glory to unbelievers; in today's world it would be nearly impossible to convince those who do not want to be convinced.

Fucking idiot. If anything miraculous happened to most people (something amazing, like god actually showing his powers), 99% would believe. To say that YHWH doesn't do miracles today because it wouldn't be enough for the unbelievers is absurd. If there was a shred of evidence for a creator/magic man in the sky, I would investigate it thoroughly with an open mind.

All YHWH or Allah have to do is appear just once to us in a public, visible, undeniable way, and 99% of the world would follow him. That's it. Just take one minute to appear in the sky over all the world and say 'I am YHWH (or Allah), follow me, do ___!' He doesn't do that becasue he doesn't exist, YHWH and Allah are both inventions of idiot men like you.

Why are people in the pit always attacking me? PopeKevin is a prime juicy piece of idiot meat; why not tear at him for a little while?

Last edited by FSM; 09-11-2007 at 12:27 PM..
Old 09-11-2007, 12:24 PM FSM is offline  
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mathlete
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Originally Posted by FSM View Post
Why are people in the pit always attacking me? PopeKevin is a prime juicy piece of idiot meat; why not tear at him for a little while?

Because pope is a reasonable and well-spoken adult, and you're just a whiny brat. Being right or wrong on any particular issue doesn't change these facts.

Last edited by mathlete; 09-11-2007 at 01:10 PM..
Old 09-11-2007, 01:03 PM mathlete is offline  
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PopeKevinI
 
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Originally Posted by cromicus View Post
If you sincerely hear voices of people who aren't talking to you, then you require psychiatric treatment.

You take things way too literally. "Voices" is a metaphor for anything might influence your decisions. It could be other people, thoughts, scripture, media...or even an actual still, small voice.

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What's wrong with that? If God is responsible for everything, why shouldn't he get blamed for his fuck-ups like everybody else?

Umm...that's my point. If we say that each and every good thing is done directly by God--a child surviving cancer, a barely avoided auto accident, rain after a drought--then we also have to blame him for every child that doesn't survive, every accident that isn't avoided, and every day the drought doesn't break.

If, however, we acknowledge that much of what happens simply happens according to the laws of the universe and God is passively observing the majority of the time, then the only blame we can lay on God is for not directly controlling our lives so that bad things never happen...which kind of defeats the point of us being able to do what we choose.

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Where exactly was God and his true healing miracles when millions of Europeans were dying of the Plague in the middle ages? I'll take modern medicine over mass misery with the chance to win a true healing miracle any day

God was where God chose to be. I won't try to defend God for ignoring the suffering of any person or group. I lack the necessary knowledge to justify such an action.

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The truth is, God has never spoken to you and you're just pretending. Get over it already.

I honestly can't say that God ever has spoken to me. I've never made that claim (edit: well, not in years, not since I gave it careful consideration), nor have I made claims of miracles or anything else we're talking about here.

You should quit trying to read so much into a post that isn't there. I'm trying to make a case for rational consideration of religious phenomena and here you come attacking me for things i didn't say. Methinks that chip on your shoulder needs to be whittled down a bit.
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Last edited by PopeKevinI; 09-11-2007 at 01:40 PM..
Old 09-11-2007, 01:34 PM PopeKevinI is offline  
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Fucking idiot. If anything miraculous happened to most people (something amazing, like god actually showing his powers), 99% would believe. To say that YHWH doesn't do miracles today because it wouldn't be enough for the unbelievers is absurd. If there was a shred of evidence for a creator/magic man in the sky, I would investigate it thoroughly with an open mind.

All YHWH or Allah have to do is appear just once to us in a public, visible, undeniable way, and 99% of the world would follow him. That's it. Just take one minute to appear in the sky over all the world and say 'I am YHWH (or Allah), follow me, do ___!' He doesn't do that becasue he doesn't exist, YHWH and Allah are both inventions of idiot men like you.

And then we would essentially be compelled to believe, and to follow. And that's not what God wants. Choosing to follow in faith from our own free will is important to God. Suddenly appearing and saying "Hi, I'm God, your all-powerful creator and ruler of the entire universe" would put a damper on that whole "freely chosen" thing. We would all believe, nearly all would follow, and God would not get whatever it is he wants from faithful believers.

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Why are people in the pit always attacking me? PopeKevin is a prime juicy piece of idiot meat; why not tear at him for a little while?

Most have at some time or another. I've had epic conversations over months with some of the regulars here.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:38 PM PopeKevinI is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopeKevinI View Post
You take things way too literally. "Voices" is a metaphor for anything might influence your decisions. It could be other people, thoughts, scripture, media...or even an actual still, small voice.
Who wrote down the scripture? Did God tell it to him or did he magically manifest it? If the former, how would you characterize the "voices" that influenced his writing?

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Umm...that's my point. If we say that each and every good thing is done directly by God--a child surviving cancer, a barely avoided auto accident, rain after a drought--then we also have to blame him for every child that doesn't survive, every accident that isn't avoided, and every day the drought doesn't break.
That would make sense, but you're using this argument to establish that God does not perform miracles very often because if he did, we would have to also blame him for the misery he causes just as often, and since we can't blame God all the time, that can't be true. So miracle's don't happen very often. Right? I have a problem with the premise that we should necessarily resist blaming God.

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If, however, we acknowledge that much of what happens simply happens according to the laws of the universe and God is passively observing the majority of the time, then the only blame we can lay on God is for not directly controlling our lives so that bad things never happen...which kind of defeats the point of us being able to do what we choose.
And what is the point of that?

Quote:
God was where God chose to be. I won't try to defend God for ignoring the suffering of any person or group. I lack the necessary knowledge to justify such an action.
Why do you rule out the possibility that he deliberately intended to kill those people? What makes you think he ignored them?

Quote:
You should quit trying to read so much into a post that isn't there. I'm trying to make a case for rational consideration of religious phenomena and here you come attacking me for things i didn't say.
Well, you can't make a rational case for religious phenomena and I'm making that case.

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Methinks that chip on your shoulder needs to be whittled down a bit.
My parents hired a lodge of beavers to do just that once, it didn't work.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:54 PM cromicus is offline  
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PopeKevinI
 
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Who wrote down the scripture? Did God tell it to him or did he magically manifest it? If the former, how would you characterize the "voices" that influenced his writing?
I don't care to speculate on what influenced the writing of scripture 2,000-4,000 years ago.

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That would make sense, but you're using this argument to establish that God does not perform miracles very often because if he did, we would have to also blame him for the misery he causes just as often, and since we can't blame God all the time, that can't be true. So miracle's don't happen very often. Right? I have a problem with the premise that we should necessarily resist blaming God.
That was written primarily as an appeal to Christians. Obviously we don't believe that God is responsible for all the bad things that happen in the world, but a lot of Christians give God the credit for every good thing they see in the world. I don't think that's wise or accurate. If God is directly responsible for every good thing we ever see, then we have to point the finger at him for every bad thing. I believe that good and bad things happen without any divine intervention.

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And what is the point of that?
It seems to me that our existence would be moot if we were nothing but puppets moving about on God's whim. It's our individuality and self-determination that seems to be what is important to God. Again, I prefer not to speculate on God's motivations, I can only guess at his intentions

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Why do you rule out the possibility that he deliberately intended to kill those people? What makes you think he ignored them?
That may very well be, though I don't believe that's the way God does things. Either way, I don't...I can't...see the big picture.

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Well, you can't make a rational case for religious phenomena and I'm making that case.

I'm sorry, but I'm lost. What do you think I'm trying to do here?
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Old 09-11-2007, 02:13 PM PopeKevinI is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Charles View Post
That morning (or maybe the night before, I dunno) the group leaders got the idea that they would "Ask The Lord" what to do. Basically, everyone was supposed to pray, and ask God for direction on what they should do that day. When the group did this, most of the people there got the idea that they should go canvassing
We can agree nothing so far is the least bit unusual. You went on a church field trip and your leaders asked you to think up a way to do good. The social context -- Christian youth group on an Indian reservation -- defines a small set of correct answers, missioning and community service being the obvious ones.

Magicians call this a "cold read."

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, along with a picture of some object or place that they should go to. These people got into three vans and left. Now, everyone who saw something like this actually found these places or objects - that they had never seen before - in a town they had never been to - over the course of an afternoon. What's more is that at every one of these places something significant happened. Most of the time it was simply that they found a whole lot of kids to invite to this VBS event. Once they found some Mormon missionaries, and another time they found that the local Catholic church was basically blending the Native American beliefs with Christianity to make it more acceptable to the local people.
Children, Mormons, and a church are not significant. They are ordinary.

Finding places in an unfamiliar town is not surprising. We all do that when we travel.

Finding your "picture" is not surprising. The instruction imagine an object or place to go suggests objects and places you can find. So school, church, cemetery, bus stop, basketball court, grocery store and pawn shop are all answers, while volcano is not. As for objects, I imagine tree, rock, dog and cactus would be on the list; I've never been out west so I can't picture the geography in better detail. That was the purpose of your sightseeing trip to the canyon.

How'd I do? Notice your group didn't pray to me.

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In my mind there's no doubt that this is a miracle. What's nice about this occurance is that we can play a few probability games to demonstrate how unlikely it really was.
The frame, arguably the purpose of your trip, is that your group expected spiritual feedback, maybe a sign from God, or a unique feeling. Having your expectations confirmed completes a psychological transaction -- Pentacostals go into a trance. We accurately recall those stories on the 6:00 news that agree with our politics. Patients on a sugar pill feel better. Fortune tellers tell single men they'll be successful and single women they'll find love. Mediums learn unique details about a dead relative and convey their love and advice. Hypnotists make ten people bark like dogs. Psychics describe imagery and you draw a particular object.

I hope you've taken something from my explanation. Please don't worship me or anything (you can send money, though). As a final point, can you really say with certainty everybody went with his first instinct? God showed me a cliff, but even though I've found the highest altitude I can, there aren't any cliffs...say, though, there's Chief Winnabuck's casino! And a cherry did cross my mind...hey, God must have wanted to send me to the slot machines all along! Now that's an awesome God, right there. May He send me a waitress.

Now, getting back to where we started -- you're willing to believe a man rose from the dead because of a free association game?
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Last edited by möbiustrip; 09-11-2007 at 02:39 PM.. Reason: ironic trance smiley
Old 09-11-2007, 02:32 PM möbiustrip is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ry_goody View Post
interestingly enough, this is completely plausible under the metaphysical defintions of God
do you by any chance own a Wu-Tang shirt? I saw a guy who looks just like your ass last night.
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Old 09-11-2007, 02:41 PM möbiustrip is offline  
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cromicus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopeKevinI View Post
I don't care to speculate on what influenced the writing of scripture 2,000-4,000 years ago.
Forget about the "influence" for a moment and think about the authenticity.

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I believe that good and bad things happen without any divine intervention.
What causes things to happen without divine intervention?

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It seems to me that our existence would be moot if we were nothing but puppets moving about on God's whim. It's our individuality and self-determination that seems to be what is important to God. Again, I prefer not to speculate on God's motivations, I can only guess at his intentions
Why do you think that individuality and self-determinism are important to God?

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That may very well be, though I don't believe that's the way God does things.
Why not? He killed an awful lot of Egyptians didn't he?
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:02 PM cromicus is offline  
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Originally Posted by mathlete View Post
Because pope is a reasonable and well-spoken adult, and you're just a whiny brat. Being right or wrong on any particular issue doesn't change these facts.

This is actually the reason.
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Old 09-11-2007, 06:17 PM Tom Kazansky is offline  
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Something that really amazes me is the fact that a good friend of mine is one of the smartest people i've ever met, yet has next to no common sense

It's one of the most annoying things ever
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Old 09-11-2007, 07:44 PM Namtaru is offline  
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PopeKevinI
 
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What causes things to happen without divine intervention?
Huh?

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Why do you think that individuality and self-determinism are important to God?
Because he gave us those qualities?

Or do you mean to ask why would those be important to God? Honestly, I don't know. I believe that there's a certain set of qualities God wants, but he wants those qualities to arise naturally in independent beings capable of choosing their own path. We must be able to decide our own fates (to the extent that the natural world and other people will allow us) in order for us be capable of whatever it is God is hoping to develop in us.

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Why not? He killed an awful lot of Egyptians didn't he?
For the purpose of a greater good. God sees the whole picture; if and when he decides to directly kill someone, it's because the repercussions of that death will be ultimately beneficial.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:52 PM PopeKevinI is offline  
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FSM
 
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And then we would essentially be compelled to believe, and to follow. And that's not what God wants. Choosing to follow in faith from our own free will is important to God. Suddenly appearing and saying "Hi, I'm God, your all-powerful creator and ruler of the entire universe" would put a damper on that whole "freely chosen" thing. We would all believe, nearly all would follow, and God would not get whatever it is he wants from faithful believers.



Most have at some time or another. I've had epic conversations over months with some of the regulars here.

Your politeness is making me feel bad for being an asshole, but, well, your beliefs are just so irrational.

You say he wants us to freely choose him. Fine, but if he wants us to use our free will to make a decision, he could still appear to us.You see, YHWH apparently sent his son into the world to die for us, and now he wants us to choose whether or not to accept that sacrifice. The thing is, he did a shitty job of getting the message to us- many millions on earth don't know who jesus was, and the only source we have on this amazing event in human history (ahem) are a collection of shitty, shitty documents containing lies and contradictions- not to mention no dates or authorship attributed. Not to mention that YHWH allowed Muhommad to be born, who then lead 1.3 billion astray.

You see, YHWH (you claim) wants us to choose whether to accept jesus or not, but he did such a terrible job of presenting that option to us as a species. Most aren't aware they're supposed to make that 'choice'; they don't know of the offer. That's why YHWH should have appeared in the sky 2,000 years ago and told everyone of the deal- 'except jesus or burn.' Or he could have just, y'know, made that offer immediately after The Fall, instead of sending a flood, then confounding the languages of makind, then choosing a chosen group of barbarians and instructing them to massacre other tribes and slaughter animals for a few thousand years before sending his son to die for us, but not lining up any eyewitnesses to record this amazing Greatest Story ever Told... man, what an idiot fuckup YHWH is.

Again, I'll note how you, like many christians i've called 'idiots' on the net, have shown impeccable restraint in your response to my insult. I feel bad about it, but keep in mind that I dont' call you an idiot to be mean- I do it b/c your beliefs are idiotic. I do it out of anger and frustration, not sadism.
Old 09-11-2007, 09:26 PM FSM is offline  
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mathlete
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your beliefs are just so irrational.

lol religion
Old 09-11-2007, 09:31 PM mathlete is offline  
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