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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 08-08-2014, 10:55 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by DMAC View Post
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.
If you really want to know about the evolution of religions in a fun and interesting 9 minute youtube video just say yes and I'll bump the Creationist thread and put it at the end.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:00 AM   #32
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:46 PM   #33
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http://www.ncbi..nih.gov/pubmed/19633921

Link that was given earlier supposedly supporting the belief that evolution says life originated from inert chemicals. (sounds like it's more a link to an article about Darwin's personal beliefs and intuitions about abiogenesis to me, but I'm not in this debate.)
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:49 PM   #34
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:14 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcan View Post
http://www.ncbi..nih.gov/pubmed/19633921

Link that was given earlier supposedly supporting the belief that evolution says life originated from inert chemicals. (sounds like it's more a link to an article about Darwin's personal beliefs and intuitions about abiogenesis to me, but I'm not in this debate.)
Well I'm still waiting for Erics response before I proceed.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:38 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by listopencil View Post
Your video fails to note how often science has disproved previously accepted science too. It only tells how it has disproved "beliefs" using a silly example. Between the use of the word "beliefs" and coming up with the Medieval era example it implies a certain thing—religion or spiritual things. When it goes on to point out being too attached to a conclusion when science subjects a conclusion to abuse to see if it holds up, I can only think the example Dr. Semmelweis was scorned and rejected by his peers only to have his conclusions vindicated after his death.

Humans are humans. Religion alone doesn't make them biased.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:56 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Dave Lane View Post
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.
It's amusing to see Dave admit he's outgunned when facing anything but the dimmest of bulbs.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:02 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
It's amusing to see Dave admit he's outgunned when facing anything but the dimmest of bulbs.
It makes you wonder where he supposedly has converted "hundreds" of Christians...

The special olympics?

Tard asylums?


"Oh darn you actually have basically the same beliefs as a majority of modern christians.....that makes my job difficult...I guess I will spout 3 paragraphs about how my mom abandoned me and why I hate her and not address theism at all"
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:13 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Your video fails to note how often science has disproved previously accepted science too.
That is the fundamental point of the video.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:13 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Your video fails to note how often science has disproved previously accepted science too. It only tells how it has disproved "beliefs" using a silly example. Between the use of the word "beliefs" and coming up with the Medieval era example it implies a certain thing—religion or spiritual things. When it goes on to point out being too attached to a conclusion when science subjects a conclusion to abuse to see if it holds up, I can only think the example Dr. Semmelweis was scorned and rejected by his peers only to have his conclusions vindicated after his death.

Humans are humans. Religion alone doesn't make them biased.
Scientific and religious thought are both products of the human mind. Scientific thought recognizes human ideas can be in error and allows those ideas to be challenged and over turned based on observational evidence. Religious thought is considered to be dogma and is at the very least strongly resistant to challenges based on (mere) observation. Ironically, religious thought turns humans into gods, as ideas from the past are enshrined and not subject to challenges from evidence.

Science disproving science is called progress.

Consider the last 2000 years. The advances in science have increased our life span and greatly improved each and every day that we have to live on this planet. We know so much more about our planet and the universe. Our lives are longer and easier. We are better able to care for our loved ones. Thanks science! Many of the things that were accepted about the universe 2000 years ago --based on religion-- have now been proven false and supplanted with a much more rational understanding. Our lives are inarguably better through the contributions enabled by science.

In what ways have advances in religion improved our lives in the last 2000 years? What new understandings about our lives or our universe have emerged from religious thought over the last 2000 years? Should we return to a first century understanding of the world? First century life styles? If not, then what place does a first century understanding of our place in the universe or a first century understanding of our relationships with one another have in a twenty-first century world? It is time we consider that Gene Roddenberry and Issac Asimov have as much to say to us regarding these questions as the Bible.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:16 PM   #41
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Finally one of your post worth seeing.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:28 PM   #42
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I just spent an hour responding to a few different quotes, but accidentally closed it out and I can't get the tab to restore. Will try again in the morning. Sorry for the tardy response. After tomorrow, I should be able to respond within an hour or so. Was at the game last night and have been swamped today with family.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:50 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
It's amusing to see Dave admit he's outgunned when facing anything but the dimmest of bulbs.
Thats why we have you here, to make me not only look good but GREAT!!!

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Old 08-09-2014, 05:37 AM   #44
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Thats why we have you here, to make me not only look good but GREAT!!!

LOL

TJ teed that up nicely for you.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:56 AM   #45
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