Religion

Discuss anything interesting but not remotely Countdown-related here.

Moderator: Jon O'Neill

Do you believe?

Yes, I am very religious
12
15%
Yes, but not in a big way
7
9%
Unsure, I am agnostic
12
15%
No, I am an atheist
47
60%
 
Total votes: 78

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Rosemary Roberts
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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:53 am

Dinos Sfyris wrote:Worst thing was because he was on about religion no one dared tell him what a twat he is. Whereas if his daughter had been forced to say that KFC wasn't nice or die, everyone would be up in arms. And there's a lot more evidence for KFC being nice than Jesus being real.
I couldn't agree more!
Jon Corby wrote:Wouldn't God know that she didn't really mean it though, and was only forced to say it at gunpoint?
Probably not - the whole edifice is based on lip-service.

Tough though, if he kills his daughter to ensure she goes to heaven and then can't "see her there" because he is in hell for killing her. Some of these guys really make me wish their was a hell for them to go to.

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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie Reams » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:03 pm

Dinos Sfyris wrote:there's a lot more evidence for KFC being nice than Jesus being real.
When I eat KFC, it turns into the body of Christ in my mouth.

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:21 pm

Charlie Reams wrote:
Dinos Sfyris wrote:there's a lot more evidence for KFC being nice than Jesus being real.
When I eat KFC, it turns into the body of Christ in my mouth.
The same thing happens to me when I eat mini Popadoms
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:07 pm

Dinos Sfyris wrote:Anyone witness Stephen Baldwin's utterly stoopid parable on celeb BB last night about how he'd rather let his daughter die than for her to denounce Jesus? My zest for hating religious lunatics runs deeper than ever before.
Are we supposed to know who this Stephen Baldwin is? Is he actually famous and am I just overly ignorant?

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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie Reams » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Dinos Sfyris wrote:Anyone witness Stephen Baldwin's utterly stoopid parable on celeb BB last night about how he'd rather let his daughter die than for her to denounce Jesus? My zest for hating religious lunatics runs deeper than ever before.
Are we supposed to know who this Stephen Baldwin is? Is he actually famous and am I just overly ignorant?
Ta da!

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

I did actually look at his Wikipedia article but still thought the same.

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Re: Religion

Post by Derek Hazell » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:59 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:I did actually look at his Wikipedia article but still thought the same.
It depends what kind of films you watch. While the most famous brother Alec is known for big Hollywood films, Stephen's tend to fall more into the straight-to-video category. He once made a film where he spent most of the time romping naked with British TV star Patsy Kensit and another girl. I wonder if he was thinking about God while he was doing that, or if he has been born/risen again since?
Living life in a gyratory circus kind of way.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:01 am

I caught up with CBB last night and saw the bit Dinos referred to. What a nut. I know it's just words, but they're surely the words of a potential extremist, and it's a shame there was no-one with the balls/intelligence to call him on it. Was pleased when Alex confronted him over the Genesis story, but he also didn't really have the intellectual ability to handle Stephen's stunning riposte of "you only know that you need oxygen to live because you've been told that, in the same way that I've just told you the story of Genesis, yet you believe one but not the other?"

I mean, "I don't believe in evolution - if we evolved from apes, why are there still apes" suggests he knows nothing of the subject he's trying to debate. (Sue Sanders will be delighted, of course)

What an idiot. Interested to see how it pans out as it seems more of the other housemates are getting tired of it.

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Re: Religion

Post by Lesley Hines » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:40 am

Jon Corby wrote:Stephen Baldwin:
"you only know that you need oxygen to live because you've been told that, in the same way that I've just told you the story of Genesis, yet you believe one but not the other?"... "I don't believe in evolution - if we evolved from apes, why are there still apes"
...he knows nothing of the subject he's trying to debate.
WHAT??????? I mean, WHAT????? Do you ever wish you could be with these people for just 24 sweet hours to give them a quick introduction to, say, basic biology? I'm not going to shriek the many flaws in this as I'd be preaching to the converted (and if I'm not feel free to pm me so I don't waste everyone else's time stating the bleedin' obvious (Krebs)).

It's just weird. I lived in a Christian commune for 4 years (incidentally with a biology teacher, among others) and they wouldn't subscribe to those views either.
Lemme at him - lemme at him!
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Re: Religion

Post by Charlie Reams » Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:53 pm

Jon Corby wrote: I mean, "I don't believe in evolution - if we evolved from apes, why are there still apes" suggests he knows nothing of the subject he's trying to debate. (Sue Sanders will be delighted, of course)
Even actual real-life morons advise against using that argument.

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Re: Religion

Post by Lesley Hines » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:01 pm

Just thought I would throw this little cat in amongst the pigeons.
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Re: Religion

Post by John Bosley » Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:03 pm

I am 100% atheist and not that bright

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:18 pm

Lesley Hines wrote:Just thought I would throw this little cat in amongst the pigeons.
Believing in God is pretty much the default position in most cultures, so if someone's not very intelligent and hasn't done much thinking, then they will probably believe in God to some extent. So it's pretty much automatic that intelligent people are less likely to believe in God, regardless of which is the more logical position.

That was the diplomatic answer. My other answer is that believing in God isn't particularly logical, so most people who put the thought into it won't believe in him. You'll still get intelligent religious people, but they need to sort themselves out!

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Re: Religion

Post by Alec Rivers » Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:15 pm

Lesley Hines wrote:Just thought I would throw this little cat in amongst the pigeons.
Interesting, indeed. One problem I have with it, though, is that it is ambiguous. What exactly do people believe in when they say they believe in God? Is it restricted to the deities of the established religions as portrayed by them? Or does it count to say (as I do) that one believes there is possibly a super-intelligent, all-knowing entity that differs considerably from the ones described by those religions?

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Marc Meakin
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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Jul 24, 2016 7:36 am

Bumped .
Did anyone see Mr Robot this week.
Elliot's rant at the bible group Waa priceless
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:23 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:Bumped .
Did anyone see Mr Robot this week.
Elliot's rant at the bible group Waa priceless
No. What is it?

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:35 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:Everyone is an atheist at birth.
Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God. Hence Muslims refer to 'converts' as 'reverts', i.e. a return to their original and natural state.
Er... yeah, I guess I'm pretty sure. Do you believe if you'd been extracted from your environment at birth and raised elsewhere in isolation you'd have some kind of innate belief in your god? I don't.
I should have waded in earlier rather than waiting seven years - but Junaid's claim is stronger than you're acknowledging and therefore even less plausible. He's not saying that you'd develop some belief in god if you were raised in isolation; he's saying it's there at birth. And this is clearly not the case. Babies simply don't have the cognitive ability to hold such a belief. And is it just formed at birth? Birth seems fairly arbitrary. Does a zygote have a belief in god? Clearly not. It's no more reasonable to claim a belief in god at birth than it is to claim an understanding of Pythagoras's theorem.

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Mark James
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Re: Religion

Post by Mark James » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:42 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Marc Meakin wrote:Bumped .
Did anyone see Mr Robot this week.
Elliot's rant at the bible group Waa priceless
No. What is it?
It's this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQi4gDrqtj8

I'd hardly describe it as priceless. It's nothing that hasn't been said hundreds of times before.

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Jon Corby
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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:39 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:
Junaid Mubeen wrote: Are you sure? As a Muslim, I believe everyone is born with the belief in one God. Hence Muslims refer to 'converts' as 'reverts', i.e. a return to their original and natural state.
Er... yeah, I guess I'm pretty sure. Do you believe if you'd been extracted from your environment at birth and raised elsewhere in isolation you'd have some kind of innate belief in your god? I don't.
I should have waded in earlier rather than waiting seven years - but Junaid's claim is stronger than you're acknowledging and therefore even less plausible. He's not saying that you'd develop some belief in god if you were raised in isolation; he's saying it's there at birth. And this is clearly not the case. Babies simply don't have the cognitive ability to hold such a belief. And is it just formed at birth? Birth seems fairly arbitrary. Does a zygote have a belief in god? Clearly not. It's no more reasonable to claim a belief in god at birth than it is to claim an understanding of Pythagoras's theorem.
I don't see how what I wrote is different to what you wrote :?

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:41 am

Jon Corby wrote:I don't see how what I wrote is different to what you wrote :?
I don't think you were explicit enough, saying that you'd have this belief in God if you were raised in isolation - the point being that you'd have this belief before you were even raised, rendering the "in isolation" bit irrelevant.

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Re: Religion

Post by Jon Corby » Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:39 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:I don't see how what I wrote is different to what you wrote :?
I don't think you were explicit enough, saying that you'd have this belief in God if you were raised in isolation - the point being that you'd have this belief before you were even raised, rendering the "in isolation" bit irrelevant.
Well I'm sure he would say that it was always there, even if you weren't necessarily aware until you had the cognitive ability to do so. Like an instinct. At what point does an instinct develop? You're wasting words making a useless distinction.

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Mark Deeks
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Re: Religion

Post by Mark Deeks » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:41 am

Jon Corby wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:I don't see how what I wrote is different to what you wrote :?
I don't think you were explicit enough, saying that you'd have this belief in God if you were raised in isolation - the point being that you'd have this belief before you were even raised, rendering the "in isolation" bit irrelevant.
You're wasting words making a useless distinction.
To be fair Gev, he's got you perfectly pegged for life there.
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Marc Meakin
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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:02 pm

Everyone is born without a belief structure, so surely it cannot be born Atheist....Agnostic would be closer.
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:21 pm

Jon Corby wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Jon Corby wrote:I don't see how what I wrote is different to what you wrote :?
I don't think you were explicit enough, saying that you'd have this belief in God if you were raised in isolation - the point being that you'd have this belief before you were even raised, rendering the "in isolation" bit irrelevant.
Well I'm sure he would say that it was always there, even if you weren't necessarily aware until you had the cognitive ability to do so. Like an instinct. At what point does an instinct develop? You're wasting words making a useless distinction.
No.

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Re: Religion

Post by Stewart Gordon » Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:29 am

Derek Hazell wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:41 pm
Thanks. I've always defined atheist to mean you don't believe there is a god/god(s) and agnostic to mean you don't know whether to believe or not, and Wikipedia at least doesn't seem to contradict that. If some of you have grown up with different definitions, then just ignore those words and vote on whether you're religious (strongly or less so), don't know, or don't believe.
Coming into this discussion a bit late....

In the strictest sense of the word, an atheist is one who believes no deity exists. If you are of that position then that is your faith. But I suspect that in common usage the term is used to mean someone who merely doesn't believe in a deity. If you want to distinguish between the two, there are the terms "hard atheist" and "soft atheist".

But I wonder, have the people who gave "atheist" as their religion on the UK census form been counted as such, or simply counted as "No religion"? I think it's unfair to lump these together with the agnostics, the deists, the apatheists and whatever other categories you care to name. Believing in the absence of a deity and having no position one way or the other are (in my mind) more different from each other than, say, Christianity and Islam. (Of course, if it would be better if the form had an explicit "atheist" option, so that the figures aren't distorted by differing views over whether it counts as a religion. Though the varying definitions and other positions mean that it's hard to get it perfect.)

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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:30 pm

I entirely agree with your argument. For the record, I am of the "there is definitely no god" persuasion: there has never, ever, been any credible evidence to suggest there was. Millennia of misguided humans claiming otherwise is not evidence.

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Re: Religion

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:40 pm

Rosemary Roberts wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:30 pm
I entirely agree with your argument. For the record, I am of the "there is definitely no god" persuasion: there has never, ever, been any credible evidence to suggest there was. Millennia of misguided humans claiming otherwise is not evidence.
What's as bad -if not worse- than the ones who claim there definitely is a God, are the similarly misguided, but often more smug humans who declare there definitely isn't something.

Agnosticism is a smarter position than Atheism.
That's one of the only definites that can be relied on in all of this.
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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:26 pm

Occam's razor rules. As do orbiting teapots. I have no need of your equivocation.

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Aug 10, 2019 10:25 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:40 pm
What's as bad -if not worse- than the ones who claim there definitely is a God, are the similarly misguided, but often more smug humans who declare there definitely isn't something.

Agnosticism is a smarter position than Atheism.
That's one of the only definites that can be relied on in all of this.
This has been discussed already, but at this point we are playing word games to some degree. Just calling yourself an agnostic isn't particularly helpful to any discussion if it covers everyone except those who are 100% sure there is a god and those who are 100% sure there isn't.

It's not a "smarter position" - it's just semantics. I think it's more likely there isn't a god than is. I'm an atheist by any sensible definition. There's no requirement to be 100% certain to use this word unless you're using a pretty weird definition. This also only comes up with atheists. No-one ever says you shouldn't call yourself a Christian unless you're 100% certain.
Rosemary Roberts wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:30 pm
I entirely agree with your argument. For the record, I am of the "there is definitely no god" persuasion: there has never, ever, been any credible evidence to suggest there was. Millennia of misguided humans claiming otherwise is not evidence.
Rosemary Roberts wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:26 pm
Occam's razor rules. As do orbiting teapots. I have no need of your equivocation.
No credible evidence doesn't mean something definitely isn't the case. I'm also pretty sure there aren't any orbiting teapots. But 100% completely definitely certain? No.

I also like how you haven't posted since 2014 but as soon as this thread becomes live again, you're on it straight away!

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:26 am

At least agnostics are never smug about their beliefs.
Although you could call them wishy washy fence sitters
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Re: Religion

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:56 pm

In Stewart's definition I'm a "hard atheist" and completely with Rosemary (welcome back by the way, it's been a while!)

I get that some people like to believe in a mysterious unknowable power controlling the universe, it gives them comfort and that's all great. Actually I'd probably quite like to be able to believe in that kind of shit but unfortunately I can't. None of this wishy-washy agnostic crap, I will categorically say that there isn't a God or any god, never has been, never will be. All gods are human constructs.

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Re: Religion

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:07 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:26 am
At least agnostics are never smug about their beliefs.
You say that and yet
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:40 pm
Agnosticism is a smarter position than Atheism.
That's one of the only definites that can be relied on in all of this.
Smarter. He's smarter than us. Nothing smug there :roll:

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Re: Religion

Post by Paul Worsley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:21 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:07 pm
Smarter. He's smarter than us. Nothing smug there :roll:
I don't think he said he was smarter. He just said that agnosticism is a smarter position than atheism. I assume he means that, because you can't prove 100% that there isn't a god, it is smarter to label yourself a "Don't Know"

By the same token, agnosticism is a smarter position than believing in a god.

I'm an atheist, btw.

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Re: Religion

Post by JimBentley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:42 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:21 pm
JimBentley wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:07 pm
Smarter. He's smarter than us. Nothing smug there :roll:
I don't think he said he was smarter. He just said that agnosticism is a smarter position than atheism. I assume he means that, because you can't prove 100% that there isn't a god, it is smarter to label yourself a "Don't Know"

By the same token, agnosticism is a smarter position than believing in a god.
That's an absolutely ridiculous argument. I can't prove 100% that aliens from another dimension aren't secretly mind-controlling all the world's politicians. Can you? If not, then maybe that should be another thing for the agnostics to be agnostic about.

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Re: Religion

Post by Paul Worsley » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:22 pm

I agree it's a ridiculous argument.

I went to a church school, and was once asked by a teacher, who was also a minister, what I thought about the bible. I told him I was an atheist, and he replied, "There's no such thing as atheist". When he saw the puzzled look on my face, he explained that whereas he was 100% sure there was a god, I could never be 100% sure there wasn't. Therefore, I was an agnostic. I didn't buy it.

I like the Dave Allen story about the Pope and the atheist having an argument about the existence, or non-existence of god. They had been arguing back and forth for several hours, when finally the Pope stood up, pointed at the man, and said, "You are like a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat that is not there!"
To which the atheist replied, "You too are like a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat that is not there. The only difference is that you've found it."

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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:57 am

Dave Allen also rules!

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Re: Religion

Post by Zarte Siempre » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:40 pm

I don't remember if I've ever contributed to this discussion before, and I can't be arsed to check, but I haven't voted in the poll, so I suspect not.

I am, to my mind, an atheist. I've seen no proof that a god exists, I find it unlikely that one could exist - I do accept that I cannot be completely certain of this, and I would obviously change my view if presented with overwhelming evidence, but given the facts available, I am as sure as I can be.

That said, I'm not all that pleased about it. I am somewhat jealous of the comfort that faith seems to provide many people I know.

I also hate vehemently anti-religion types. The majority of religious people that we are ever likely to meet will be warm, open, friendly, and practise the loving, accepting parts of their religion. That they may not be correct to, has never been an excuse to ridicule or discourage them in my eyes.

I find aggresstive atheists more offensive than I find most people who want to discuss religion (in general discourse - I grant you that I've never had someone stop me in the street or knock on my door to try to discuss atheism. Thank God...)
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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:21 pm

My views of religious people has softened over the years to the point that I am never rude enough to ridicule theists as I believe accepting death is easier for these people when they are old or seriously ill.
I will always keep an open mind ,sort of hedging my bets.
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Re: Religion

Post by Paul Worsley » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:46 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:40 pm
That said, I'm not all that pleased about it. I am somewhat jealous of the comfort that faith seems to provide many people I know.
The late Christopher Hitchens considered himself an "antitheist", in that he didn't believe in god, and would be disappointed to discover that he was wrong, even before the point of his death.

The truth about life and the universe is far more spectacular and beautiful than anything that a bunch of 1st century clerics could have imagined.

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Re: Religion

Post by Fiona T » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:04 pm

I was brought up religious, and did the church wedding and getting kids christened thing, although with little real conviction - it was more tradition and expectation. It's taken me a very long time to realise and be happy to say that I really don't believe any of it - easier now my mother's gone as she would get upset unless I kept up the pretence. My family know that when the time comes, I'd prefer my send off to be secular. But I have a number of friends who do have faith, and I respect their beliefs - maybe they do have "something" that I've not. I'm still not past offering a very occasional prayer on behalf of someone to whom religion is important. I see the main benefit of prayer as articulating whatever it is that is troubling you, which can sometimes help you organise your own thought process. I don't have a problem with people having faith, but much religious doctrine was intended to control people and make them behave a certain way. There's still a lot of that in most religions, and people who feel ashamed about who they are because "God" says it's wrong.

As I said when this was discussed in aptochat, I rather like the line from the Proclaimers - "If I am found wanting when my case is heard, it will be by the author not some interpreter of his words."

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:13 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:46 pm
Zarte Siempre wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:40 pm
That said, I'm not all that pleased about it. I am somewhat jealous of the comfort that faith seems to provide many people I know.
The late Christopher Hitchens considered himself an "antitheist", in that he didn't believe in god, and would be disappointed to discover that he was wrong, even before the point of his death.

The truth about life and the universe is far more spectacular and beautiful than anything that a bunch of 1st century clerics could have imagined.
I wonder if Christopher Hitches is smiling down on us from heaven 😀
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:43 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:40 pm
I don't remember if I've ever contributed to this discussion before, and I can't be arsed to check, but I haven't voted in the poll, so I suspect not.

I am, to my mind, an atheist. I've seen no proof that a god exists, I find it unlikely that one could exist - I do accept that I cannot be completely certain of this, and I would obviously change my view if presented with overwhelming evidence, but given the facts available, I am as sure as I can be.

That said, I'm not all that pleased about it. I am somewhat jealous of the comfort that faith seems to provide many people I know.
While I understand this position, I'm not jealous myself. Obviously there' the whole eternal life thing I'm missing out on, but it's not as if I wake up every morning panicking about death either, so I don't think believing in the whole religion thing would massively improve my life. Plus I'd rather have my eyes open and genuinely be seeking the truth than taking comfort in something and not really being questioning or critical about it.
I also hate vehemently anti-religion types. The majority of religious people that we are ever likely to meet will be warm, open, friendly, and practise the loving, accepting parts of their religion. That they may not be correct to, has never been an excuse to ridicule or discourage them in my eyes.

I find aggresstive atheists more offensive than I find most people who want to discuss religion (in general discourse - I grant you that I've never had someone stop me in the street or knock on my door to try to discuss atheism. Thank God...)
Anti-religion types covers quite a wide range of people. I would say that I am largely anti-religion, but not anti-religious people. And there is a big difference. I'm also against things like climate change denial and being scared of the number 13. But if I met someone who had these thoughts and beliefs, I wouldn't be anti that person, although I might want to strike up a conversation about why they think what they do!

And yes, most of the really religious people I've met are of the "Christian union" type, who are friendly etc. But that might partly be down to where you live. In more affluent parts of the world, less is at stake and there is less tribalism, but in poorer areas, religion is another way of seeing people as "different" and can cause wars etc.

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Re: Religion

Post by David Williams » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:55 pm

One thing I don't understand is why being a committed Christian is a source of comfort. I don't imagine God has changed his views much in the last couple of thousand years, so pretty much everyone in this country is going to hell.

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:19 pm

David Williams wrote:
Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:55 pm
One thing I don't understand is why being a committed Christian is a source of comfort. I don't imagine God has changed his views much in the last couple of thousand years, so pretty much everyone in this country is going to hell.
No only those that voted leave 😃
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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:23 pm

Just reading the stuff about other universes. It starts here I think, but I'll quite a select bit.
Kieran Child wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:06 pm
Rosemary Roberts wrote:
Kieran Child wrote: Well that made almost no sense. If this universe is the only one we could have evolved in, and it is the only one that exists, then it is NOT remarkable?

It's the same as betting on a 1/100,000,000 horse, only the odds are much worse with the universe.
There are a number of possibilities - that a number of horses won, that there were lots of races, that the odds weren't actually that bad.
But you cannot pick any possibility because you have no evidence for any of them, and so it remains remarkable and unsolved.

You said earlier that without evidence you weren't going to believe in anything, and now you've just stated that we would be in some other universe....
I said that if we existed, and were not here, we would be in a different universe. Is that so difficult to understand?

As a matter of simple semantics, if we were in an (in some sense) "different" universe, we would still call it "here".
Do you believe in other universes?
Rosemary Roberts wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:45 pm
Kieran Child wrote:Do you believe in other universes?
They come in very handy in fiction, and I understand the idea is useful in some arcane regions of maths and/or physics, but I don't see any evidence of their existence in either case, nor can I imagine what kind of evidence might be forthcoming for anything outside our universe.

In other words, no, but counting.
The reason I picked up on this bit is that a) Rosemary has recently returned to the forum and b) while I'm on the atheist side of things along with it seems most people that have contributed, this side should still be accountable for weak arguments!

It is clearly a big deal if the constants of the universe are "fine-tuned" for life and apparently some sort of fluke. Obviously there might be multiple universes, but I don't think the explanation Rosemary gave makes much sense, which is basically "It's no big deal because if we weren't here we'd be in another universe, which I don't really believe in."

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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:18 pm

That isn't really what I said, and you can't prove it is.

I see no evidence for any gods. I suspect that if there were evidence, somebody would have noticed it and reported it.
I also see no evidence for any other universes, but I understand that some scientists do, or at least have theories that predict the possiibility. Good for them.

But talk about “fine-tuning the universe’s parameters” is bullshit: whatever universe we lived in, if we were able to live in it, would have to have parameters that suited us. This is the puddle parable on a larger scale. It does not imply any entity doing or ever having done any “fine-tuning”.

Other than people desperate for controversy that gives them an online trolling ground, I do not believe that anybody seriously believes it possible that there is a Countdown teapot in orbit around our planet. The argument for a deity is of the exact same robustness. I have no need for the word “agnostic”.

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Re: Religion

Post by JimBentley » Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:46 pm

Zarte Siempre wrote:
Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:40 pm
I also hate vehemently anti-religion types.
I'm not anti-religion in any sense that it would intrude into my real life. I'm totally cool with people doing religion and would never, ever interfere with that. What people are into is all fine by me.

I just think that they're a bit weird, because I can't understand why they would believe in anything like that.

I'm talking about Christianity here, because I've mainly grown up in places that were 95% or more white; Christianity is really the only thing I've ever been exposed to. But I'm quite happy to discuss the other Abrahamic religions, especially Islam. Christianity has largely been neutered over the past century but Islam has yet to reach that stage. Is this a function of the religion or the followers?

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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:00 pm

A couple of days ago I wrote “The argument for a deity is of the exact same robustness.”
It has been pointed out to me that this is not true. The argument for a deity is far less robust that that for the orbiting teapot: Countdown teapots are known to exist.
Sorry about that.

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Re: Religion

Post by Dan Byrom » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:01 am

I'm a Christian.

I've arrived at this point having considered the evidence, but also having met with God personally. That doesn't mean I don't doubt my faith (very often) and I'm very aware that some of the stuff I say can sound ludicrous to non-believers.

The first thing I'd like to point out is that either Jesus rose from the dead, and hence he is who he says he is, and Christianity is true. Or he did not rise from the dead, and hence he was not who he says he was, and Christianity is false.

There is no room to suggest that it is fine for some people to be religious if that is what helps them through life - either we (Christians) are spending our lives worshipping an imaginary creation, or you (non-Christians) are missing out on the most beautiful loving relationship with the one who made you.

Secondly, I would not consider myself 'religious' in the modern understanding of the word. Christianity, rather than being a set of rules and traditions and guidelines for life (a.k.a what we think of as Religion) but is a two-way relationship with a God who loves us enough to die for us. God speaks to us and listens to us.

To suggest that there is no credible evidence at all for Christianity is quite silly (though to choose Atheism having weighed up the evidence, I can understand). The Bible exists, and though it is potentially largely flawed, it contains multiple biographies of this man called Jesus, as well as multiple books written well before Jesus' life that predict Jesus' coming. It is perfectly acceptable to assume Jesus existed, and his character is on the whole similar to how it is described in the Bible. It is conceivable that Jesus is not God, but then who is he? Is he a conman? Has he lied to everyone to go down in the history books? But then how could he be the wisest, humblest most loving man to have existed. Perhaps he is mad then? But reading his biographies suggests to me that he isn't... (You should try looking into this yourself)

It is impossible to prove or disprove the existence of a God using logic and science and reason, if we are supposing that any such God would live outside the realms of human logic and science and reason (and time), so we cannot just claim that the resurrection is impossible.

Moving on to the 'experience' side, I have seen far too many lives completely transformed, and seen too many prayers answered for it to be a coincidence (and I'm a mathematician, so I can understand that coincidences can sometimes happen!) - I've seen people who have been healed through prayer, and seen people prophecy over others' futures with ridiculous accuracy.

Because of all this, I am completely and utterly convinced that, even if God isn't real, there is some sort of Spiritual realm that the human mind can access, that Christians manage to access through prayer. I would go as far as to say that modern Western civilisation is quite backwards in it's understanding of anything other than the purely physical.

I don't expect I'll have convinced anyone to become a Christian based on a few paragraphs on a countdown wiki, but hopefully I've convinced you that it's not just idiots who follow Jesus (billions of people from all cultures and levels of intelligence and points in time over the last 2000 years can't ALL be idiots!), and that it's worth at least considering for yourself - try reading one (or more) of Matthew/Mark/Luke/John and see what you think. Even if you disagree with me, Jesus is a brilliant man and it'll be worth your time to see what he's all about.

If you ever want to send me a message or come and find me at a co:event and ask me more about it then I'd love to. (But I can promise that I won't have all the answers!)

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:00 pm

No offence dude ,if I see you at a Co event, I will avoid you like the plague
Last edited by Marc Meakin on Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Religion

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:36 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:00 pm
No offence due ,if I see you at a Co event, I will avoid you like the plague
The response of the archetypal atheist there...

JimBentley wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:07 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:26 am
At least agnostics are never smug about their beliefs.
You say that and yet
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:40 pm
Agnosticism is a smarter position than Atheism.
That's one of the only definites that can be relied on in all of this.
Smarter. He's smarter than us. Nothing smug there :roll:
In my experience, Agnostics are generally more tolerant and less smug than atheists... and way smarter than you, Jim, of course. ;)
I'm a Christian (lapsed Catholic, to be precise)
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Re: Religion

Post by Fiona T » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:27 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:00 pm
No offence dude ,if I see you at a Co event, I will avoid you like the plague
Wow, that's uncalled for.

In this conversation, Dan isn't the person I'd be avoiding.

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:50 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:27 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:00 pm
No offence dude ,if I see you at a Co event, I will avoid you like the plague
Wow, that's uncalled for.

In this conversation, Dan isn't the person I'd be avoiding.
Sorry if you think me out of order.
But anyone who says they have met god personally really isn't someone I want to be associated with.
Call me picky
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Re: Religion

Post by Fiona T » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:06 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:50 pm

Sorry if you think me out of order.
But anyone who says they have met god personally really isn't someone I want to be associated with.
Call me picky
It's a thread about religion.

Several people, mostly agnostic/atheist, have shared their views.

Dan shared his experience,and offered - only if you wanted to - to talk about it.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dan at a tournament, and oddly, he wasn't wearing a "Jesus loves you" t-shirt. (Unlike the vegans at my parkrun!). In fact, we (our group) managed to play a whole three games without God being mentioned once (he did win though, so maybe something in it! ;) )

I had no idea about his religion until some time later, which is as it should be.

Actually, I would be interested to hear how Dan met God. I doubt the second hand experience would change my mind, but it's always interesting to hear another perspective. I'll ask him next time we meet :)

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Re: Religion

Post by Rosemary Roberts » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:08 pm

I agree. I also wouldn't waste much time with anyone who believes that something written in a book is hard evidence. Believing everything in a book merely because it was written so long ago that nobody knows who was involved in its creation is totally counter-intuitive.

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Re: Religion

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:13 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:06 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:50 pm

Sorry if you think me out of order.
But anyone who says they have met god personally really isn't someone I want to be associated with.
Call me picky
It's a thread about religion.

Several people, mostly agnostic/atheist, have shared their views.

Dan shared his experience,and offered - only if you wanted to - to talk about it.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dan at a tournament, and oddly, he wasn't wearing a "Jesus loves you" t-shirt. (Unlike the vegans at my parkrun!). In fact, we (our group) managed to play a whole three games without God being mentioned once (he did win though, so maybe something in it! ;) )

I had no idea about his religion until some time later, which is as it should be.

Actually, I would be interested to hear how Dan met God. I doubt the second hand experience would change my mind, but it's always interesting to hear another perspective. I'll ask him next time we meet :)
I've met and played against Dan as well and he seems a perfectly decent guy to me. I think some of these comments are very harsh. Sure, I'd be happy to debate with Dan about his beliefs, but I'd want it to be a friendly debate, and I wouldn't go in all guns blazing if he wasn't up for it. But from his comments, it seems he'd be happy to discuss it.

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Re: Religion

Post by Dan Byrom » Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:44 pm

Rosemary Roberts wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 9:08 pm
I agree. I also wouldn't waste much time with anyone who believes that something written in a book is hard evidence
I'm sorry if I was unclear. I cannot claim that the Bible is hard evidence, but I do claim that Jesus almost certainly existed. Now you mention it though, perhaps my assumption on this front is misguided and biased after hearing many a church speaker assume this as fact. It is something I will look into further. From a brief google search, this statement is more disputed than I thought.
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:50 pm
But anyone who says they have met god personally really isn't someone I want to be associated with.
That would be any and every person who calls themselves a Christian. It might be crazy to believe in a God who is real and loves us but it's even more crazy to believe in a God that made us and yet is completely separated from us and cannot influence our world. I'm content for you to think me mad, but if that's the reason then you're throwing every other Christian out of your life too, and really, we're not that odd. (Perhaps the word 'personally' was a bit unusual, but if prayer is talking to God, and prayers are answered, then it is personal. In fact, that's what the definition of Christianity is - a relationship with a living God!)

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:16 pm

Just to be clear.
I was not being hostile.
I just don't think I could honestly find talking about religion in anyway a good thing outside of this thread.
I.e in real life.
I am sure you are a lovely person. (if Gev says so , it must be true ) but this religious nonesense has no place in the modern world
Words like prayers being answered just irk me.
I wouldn't call you mad .You are not a fanatic and haven't spouted about killing in the name of God or smiting homosexuals although some religious paths lead that way .

I do respect Christian values and following the ten commandments is not a bad thing but that's as far as it goes
When it comes to God I'm still standing beside Nietzsche on that one
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Re: Religion

Post by Fiona T » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:21 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:16 pm
Just to be clear.
I was not being hostile.
I just don't think I could honestly find talking about religion in anyway a good thing outside of this thread.
I.e in real life.
I am sure you are a lovely person. (if Gev says so , it must be true ) but this religious nonesense has no place in the modern world
Words like prayers being answered just irk me.
I wouldn't call you mad .You are not a fanatic and haven't spouted about killing in the name of God or smiting homosexuals although some religious paths lead that way .

I do respect Christian values and following the ten commandments is not a bad thing but that's as far as it goes
When it comes to God I'm still standing beside Nietzsche on that one
There does seem to be a recurrent theme here.

Politics thread - someone expresses a political view you disagree with and you start name calling.

Religion thread - someone expresses a religious view you disagree with and you become hostile (saying you're not does not make it so).

If you can't cope with views that differ from your own without coming across as a bit of a dick, it might be best stick to threads about fluffy kittens.

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Re: Religion

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:53 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:21 am
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:16 pm
Just to be clear.
I was not being hostile.
I just don't think I could honestly find talking about religion in anyway a good thing outside of this thread.
I.e in real life.
I am sure you are a lovely person. (if Gev says so , it must be true ) but this religious nonesense has no place in the modern world
Words like prayers being answered just irk me.
I wouldn't call you mad .You are not a fanatic and haven't spouted about killing in the name of God or smiting homosexuals although some religious paths lead that way .

I do respect Christian values and following the ten commandments is not a bad thing but that's as far as it goes
When it comes to God I'm still standing beside Nietzsche on that one
There does seem to be a recurrent theme here.

Politics thread - someone expresses a political view you disagree with and you start name calling.

Religion thread - someone expresses a religious view you disagree with and you become hostile (saying you're not does not make it so).

If you can't cope with views that differ from your own without coming across as a bit of a dick, it might be best stick to threads about fluffy kittens.
Of course I can cope.
Even with your hypocritical name calling of your own.
You need to define hostile as I maintain I was not.
I would equally avoid Trump supporters (equally delusional ) in the same way.
I would also avoid a wasp too , not swat it it.
If you can't handle strong views on this or any other thread I suggest you block me.
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