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Old 08-07-2014, 12:14 PM  
Bufkin Bufkin is offline
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Atheism vs Theism: A discussion between Dave and Eric

While I find myself enjoying formal debates (for nostalgic purposes), I agree with Dave that a discussion is more thought provoking and ultimately will go further on this topic.

To begin, let me identify myself when I use the term "theist". I grew up in a very strict religious household which I ran away from my senior year in high school. I identified myself as an atheist up until my sophomore year of college, when I read the Bible in its entirety following the death of my best friend. While I would argue that my belief in God and the Bible can be supported intellectually, scientifically, historically, and philosophically, I would concede that my "born-again" conversion was wholeheartedly an emotional one.

Notice I said scientifically. I love science. Even though I am a philosophy major, it was the scientific arguments for a transcendant being (or lack thereof) that got me interested in the theism vs. atheism debate. I would argue that the beauty of my specific belief (Christianity) is that our worldview is not defined by a specific theory of how life began. For the atheist, it's evolution or nothing. If Darwinian Evolution is debunked, then the atheist has precious little to lean on without invoking a designer. As a Christian, I would say that I'm agnostic on a lot of parts of macroevolution. There are a lot of questions that I have regarding the theory that seem to be unanswered. With that said, accepting the theory as true in its entirety would not affect my faith in the Bible in any way, shape, or form.

I've often said that the belief in a young Earth is about as scientifically literate as saying the distance between Texas and California is 6 inches. Francis Collins was a leader on the Human Genome Project and is on the National Institutes of Health. Alister McGrath is a molecular biophysicist who teaches at Oxford University. C.S. Lewis, is well, C.S. Lewis. What do all of these brilliant minds have in common? Not only are/were they all evengelical Christians, but all accepted the theory of evolution as true. It certainly does not contradict the Old Testament when read figuratively.

So with all of that said, now you have a basic background on my faith. What say you? Did you grow up in a household that was anti-theistic? At what age did you begin to question the belief in a higher power? And perhaps the most important question I could ask you throughout all of this, what evidence would it take for you to accept a theistic worldview?
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Well, you were nice at first.
I'm nice, and I'll continue to be nice to you.

I just never expected you to use a creationist straw man argument. It stunned and disappointed me. It's just not my place to get involved. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals. I suppose another question that could be asked is how could such an organism really come about spontaneously from nonliving chemicals?
SOme search terms that may assist you (and might assist Dave if he weren't a complete moron)

Abiogenesis

The Great Filter / The Fermi Paradox
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:21 PM   #18
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Eric, nice opening and I appreciate you laying out where you are as a theist.

Personally I'm sad you accept evolution and the age of the earth as it makes my job much more difficult. In essence where we diverge in our belief systems is more or less where the spark came from that started the universe and life on this speck of dust. That's a far more difficult discussion as you have pointed out. Strict young earth creationists can be taken apart with evidence so easily its not even a challenge. This will be more difficult and interesting. Kudos to you for being already half way to being a free thinker.

I'll give you my background as a theist. I was as most of my baby boomer era brought up christian (Presbyterian) with relatively devote parents. Mom sang in the choir dad was a deacon in the church. I have a pin from the church that was given out for in Sunday School for consecutive attendance. Its has 13 bars to it and a dangling star indicating I taught as well as attended every Sunday for 13+ years.

Probably around the time I was 8 or 9 I had my first doubts. It was the Noah story. I couldn't wrap my brain around the 20-30 million creatures that needed to be on board. It was the first chink in my god googles.

I decided to read the entire bible so that maybe I could understand my misgivings at about 10. I couldn't understand why so many seemed to completely accept what was told to them and i did not. I was afraid I was the only person alive that had any doubt what-so-ever as no one ever expressed anything other than I wish we could play ball instead of going to church.

At about 12 my mother kinda went off the deep end and started getting me to read books like the" Cross and the Switchblade" and other books. She became a bit of a holier than tho jesus freak. I decided I needed to do this as well to keep her happy. I was born again at a jesus freak camp in Beatrice NE at some church college. I was certain I had felt the hand of god on my heart.

So I doubled down, well maybe tripled down at this point, because The doubts kept coming. Why were they so many passages that were undeniably contradictory? Contradictory on virtually the same page. So I took it upon myself to re-read it again. Front to back. I couldn't believe my expanded reading of the book at this point and when I was done I laid it down and was no longer a believer. My faith was shattered into a million pieces. I tried one last time to read it cover to cover and found it comical and laughed out loud frequently that I had ever believed such things.

After that decades went by as I became a big shot (at least in my own mind) and devoted myself to business enterprises.

Religion became meaningless to me. Didn't care about it at all and had no real debates about other than one humorous incident with a full on believer from Metro vineyard. At one point I stopped my car on the highway in Iowa during a lightning storm, got out climbed up on the roof of the car with arms outstretched, cursed god, called him a pussy, dared him to strike me dead, got back in the car and finished driving to Minnesota.

Then a few years ago I began to feel the creep of religion pushing science and social issues in ways I felt were morally unjustified. I began to speak out. I had talked to plenty of friends and acquaintances over the years when the subject came up about the silliness and folly of religion. It was honestly so easy to deconvert them it was silly. This was mostly in the 70s and 80s when religion was at a low ebb.

Now it appeared religion, much like Sauron, was rising again. This time with even newer arguments and agendas. It appeared that religion, while I was paying no attention had reconstituted itself in a even more malevolent way.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s

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Old 08-07-2014, 05:24 PM   #19
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:30 PM   #20
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So I took it upon myself to no longer be quiet about it. Really though not gay I do feel the gays got it right by having parades and speaking out. I was surprised when speaking out at public locations how many people had never spoken to a atheist (or non-christian) and had never seen or talked to an open one. Many who were already lapsed christians took to information like fish (not our Fish). Many drove by and honked with a thumbs up and even more flipped me off. Most seemed eager to talk about things and I decided to continue to speak out whenever possible and Chiefsplanet has been the lesser or better, depending on viewpoint since.
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Originally Posted by Chris616 View Post
High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s

Last edited by Dave Lane; 08-07-2014 at 05:37 PM..
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:32 PM   #21
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derp
Its nice that someone who is a complete caricature picked a cartoon to explain his viewpoint.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris616 View Post
High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:47 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals. I suppose another question that could be asked is how could such an organism really come about spontaneously from nonliving chemicals?
As others have said this is incorrect. Although I could point you to discussions of RNA and the self replicating molecules that likely were precursors to DNA based life I'll ask you a question instead.

Where did you get this information from and how did you vet it? I promised I would not post lengthy posts from places like talkorigins.org if you leave out nonsense from places like answersingenesis and kaalam silliness.

So where did you come by this belief?
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:52 PM   #23
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Okay okay. Introductions are done.

I've deigned myself the mediator (when I'm available) and simply hope both of you will answer questions I ask in hopes of furthering the discussion. You can, of course, ignore me. I'll try to be fair. I LIKE understanding what is beneath an individual's philosophy on life. My involvement here is purely curiosity.

The first question is

A)Eric Fisher, what is the most convincing evidence or reality that convinces you your belief is true, and to follow up: do you consider this a knowledge or faith?

B)Dave Lane, Do you believe there is no god or do you simply reject theism and are open to accepting the idea with evidence? A follow up question for each answer: If you believe the former, what evidence do you have to support that claim? If you believe the latter, what kind of evidence would it take for you to accept the existence of a god?

I actually WANT to see this discussion move in a positive direction.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:03 PM   #24
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My answer would be I am an atheist to the Christian and hence Muslim and Jewish god.

I AM open to there being something way beyond our powers to understand. I do feel our significance or importance to any such being is as us to a protozoa in the jungles of the Amazon
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #25
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And I have no evidence to support that claim. My claim is basically I don't know. I do feel I can dismiss the christian god, much like Eric will dismiss Thor.
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:13 PM   #26
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:35 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Eric Fisher View Post
Evolutionary theory states that the original cell, which is the source for all life, spontaneously emerged from Earth's inert chemicals.
No, it doesn't.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:32 PM   #28
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:51 AM   #29
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My great-great-great-great-great-great-great grampa Gil says that story is ridiculous.


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Old 08-08-2014, 10:33 AM   #30
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I've always been interested in the Bible stories. But mostly how they connect with many other stories from other cultures.

I've wondered if they are just myths passed down over time, and if so, who started them and why? Was there a reason behind them?

Or, if they were actual events that took place and the stories have just mutated into a fable.

It's really fascinating to think about.
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