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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 06:43
Why to believe in God? Why not?
 
Actually, i am agnostic. Which simply means I don't know the answer if God exist or not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adalwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 07:59
Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

The premise for many theological and philosophical discussions seems to be that there is a God (or gods or godesses). But why should there be a God? Is there any tangible, convincing, unambiguous proof that there is such a thing?
 
What makes people in todays world, with it´s scientific worldview, still believe in a God (s)?


Why believe in  gods? Because you can see their work in everything. You can feel their presence. And frankly, because it is right.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 10:59
Quote That's just faith in science.


No its not. I'm not a scientist, and I cannot properly discuss science with people who know it, who work with it or study it. I suppose in a way this does make me a 'believer' in science as opposed to someone who truly understands it.

I look at it as a matter of reason. Over time people needed answers to questions far beyond their capacities to answer. Religion filled that gap. Now science has offered reasonable answers. Therefore religion is no longer required. Thats how I view it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 11:01
I should probably add that I'm 10% Christian, 80% agnostic and 10% Atheist, depending on mood. Somedays I see something which makes me think there is a pattern to everything - sort of like fate.

Then all I have to do is remind myself of times when I took pretty strong weed or ecstasy, when I was convinced that the world had a pattern and that I was somehow an integral part of it...

So yeah, I view religion as an illusion. Don't get me wrong, a very comfertable illusion I'm sure but not one I've ever found myself really believing.

P.S- Barbarossa: It is impolitic to compare me to Paul LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 13:17
I'm worried somewhat by the phrasing of the question. 'Why believe in God' seems to indicate a choice is being made - it implies that there is some motive or reason for believing in God - some expectation of gain in doing so. But surely anyone who 'believes in God' simply for some reason or another doesn't really believe in God at all?
 
This isn't to deny there are people who profess belief in God in the expectation of some kind of gain, emotional or otherwise, because there obviously are.
 
There's another way of reading the question in which it asks for the causes of belief in God- as one might ask what evolutionary benefits does the belief in God provide, or discuss how far it is a question of nurture or nature or both combining. In that case however there is no question of choice involved, and I'm kind of interested in how far someone who chooses to believe in God (or anything else) can be said really to believe.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 14:13
 
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

. Atheism, on the other hand, cannot be used to unite or control people. It is simply the belief that there is no God, which in itself cannot be used as a source of inspiration or fear to motivate. It is not a belief system, merely a single belief, and as such has no utility for powerbrokers in getting people to do what they want them to do.
Sure it does. The environmentalist movement is heavily atheist / agnsotic. The gospels of environmentalism,  global warming and the purported concequences are used to advance political and social agendas. At times, violence is used against blasphamers.  (Environmental terrorism). Some believers make extreme sacrifices (Italian couple that sterilized themselves for the "sake of the planet"). The high priests of atheism / environmentalism continously solicit donations from the faithful using the same psychological leverages as theists.  Some of the high priests of Atheism undoubtably embezzle or misuse the donations sent by their faithful.   
 
Some Atheist high priests are guilty of hypocrisy by using science to "disprove" a belief in a divine being while pushing the psuedo science of global warming as their own "gospel", a gospel that is not subject to question or rejection. Those that do, are of course, guilty of blasphemy.  
 
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:


It has its preists (like Dawkins), its adherents, and its religious duties. It certainly both unites and controls people, and most certainly is a source for both inspiration and fear to motivate. It has prophets (Darwin), its places of pilgrimage (Galapagos, Natural History Museum), its body of religious knowledge
Well said.  
 
 


Edited by Cryptic - 06-Jun-2009 at 14:28
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 15:18
[quote=Cryptic]}
Sure it does. The environmentalist movement is heavily atheist / agnsotic. The gospels of environmentalism,  global warming and the purported concequences are used to advance political and social agendas. At times, violence is used against blasphamers.  (Environmental terrorism). Some believers make extreme sacrifices (Italian couple that sterilized themselves for the "sake of the planet"). The high priests of atheism / environmentalism continously solicit donations from the faithful using the same psychological leverages as theists.  Some of the high priests of Atheism undoubtably embezzle or misuse the donations sent by their faithful.   
 
Some Atheist high priests are guilty of hypocrisy by using science to "disprove" a belief in a divine being while pushing the psuedo science of global warming as their own "gospel", a gospel that is not subject to question or rejection. Those that do, are of course, guilty of blasphemy.  {/quote]

provide evidence for your claims, then we can discuss them (one couple getting sterilised does not count as evidence for a demographic which encompases an average of 15% of the developed world's population)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 15:28
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

 
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

. Atheism, on the other hand, cannot be used to unite or control people. It is simply the belief that there is no God, which in itself cannot be used as a source of inspiration or fear to motivate. It is not a belief system, merely a single belief, and as such has no utility for powerbrokers in getting people to do what they want them to do.
Sure it does. The environmentalist movement is heavily atheist / agnsotic. 
No it isn't at least not particularly. In fact a whole swathe of it has overt religious associations including a lot of New Age and Gaian believers as well as adherents of more established religions.
 
In fact I have no idea where you get the idea from. Most of the environmentalists I meet, especially the fundamentalist ones are heavily religious. Very little of the movement seems to be concerned with the immmediate practical issues that on the whole one would expect from the irreligious or the humanists, like me.
Quote
The gospels of environmentalism,  global warming and the purported concequences are used to advance political and social agendas. At times, violence is used against blasphamers.  (Environmental terrorism). Some believers make extreme sacrifices (Italian couple that sterilized themselves for the "sake of the planet").
That's pretty religious behaviour. Sounds very like the cult of Cybele. Or indeed some early Christian examples. http://tinyurl.com/oszqsw 
Quote
The high priests of atheism / environmentalism continously solicit donations from the faithful using the same psychological leverages as theists.  Some of the high priests of Atheism undoubtably embezzle or misuse the donations sent by their faithful.   
Same point. And to conflate atheism with environmentalism is simply ridiculous.
 
Why you should claim that only religious people pollute the atmosphere or destroy the forests or use up inordinate amounts of plastic I have no idea. Personally I know lots of religious people who are very meticulous in that regard.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 15:37
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

...The key word there was convenient: it is simply more convenient and easy to go along with a book you can read in under a week than spend many years taking the classes, exams and practical experiments in the natural sciences which refute claims of the existence of a divinity.

 
Regardless of the learning curve, how do the natural sciences reject divinity?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 16:54
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

In fact I have no idea where you get the idea from. Most of the environmentalists I meet, especially the fundamentalist ones are heavily religious.  
The ones I have met are very secular. Likewise the literature that I read presented by these groups did not contain any religious messages. Of course, here in the the USA, declared atheists are rare. So that raises the question of when does a very nominal Christian etc become a de facto atheist or agnostic.  
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

That's pretty religious behaviour. Sounds very like the cult of Cybele. Or indeed some early Christian examples. http://tinyurl.com/oszqsw 
You are right, it is religious behavior. The followers simply substituted subserviance to theistic beliefs with subserviance to science /  environmentalism. As Omar pointed out, the underlying concepts are the same.
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Same point. And to conflate atheism with environmentalism is simply ridiculous.
I did not conflate it. I simply stated that enviromentalism is heavily atheist or agnsotic.


Edited by Cryptic - 06-Jun-2009 at 17:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Emperor Barbarossa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 16:57
Originally posted by Akolouthos Akolouthos wrote:

Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa Emperor Barbarossa wrote:

Nice to see you guys again, Omar Northman, and Ako.
Also, never really saw you before Parnell (kudos to your name, Charles Parnell is one of my favorite figures in Irish history), but you seem to be pretty cool Irishman. You remind me a lot of Paul.

There is no religion of atheism. Sure, some atheists like to think that we are some sort of club, but we are not. Alright, there are some trendy people who think atheism is the new "cool" fad. But the mainstay of us don't believe because we don't believe. We don't believe because God was never actually proven to us, He was taken for granted. We believed in God because our friends did, our families did, basically because we were taught to. Why complicate things? People believe in religions because they want answers to questions that mankind might never know the answers to.


Great to see you again too! It's been too long. Smile

If your beliefs are still the same as they were when last we discussed the topic, then yes, I do understand where you are coming from here. I would generally characterize your position, for the purposes of simplification and wider understanding, as "agnosticism", but I do understand the sense in which you use the term atheist. Indeed, I believe you use it validly, when reflecting back on our conversation several years ago; I just don't know that it would be understood in the proper sense by someone who hadn't discussed the issue with you previously. My criticisms above are directed more at the people who do view it as a sort of club.

-Akolouthos


I'm actually more atheist than I was a couple years ago (I went from 50% chance of divine powers, purely agnostic agnostic, to a more atheist belief through equating it the chances of ghosts, fairies, etc. ~1%). Actual atheism is simply the disbelief in theism, so I think almost anyone that does not believe in a god qualifies.

Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Sure it does. The environmentalist movement is heavily atheist / agnsotic. The gospels of environmentalism,  global warming and the purported concequences are used to advance political and social agendas. At times, violence is used against blasphamers.  (Environmental terrorism). Some believers make extreme sacrifices (Italian couple that sterilized themselves for the "sake of the planet"). The high priests of atheism / environmentalism continously solicit donations from the faithful using the same psychological leverages as theists.  Some of the high priests of Atheism undoubtably embezzle or misuse the donations sent by their faithful.  


How is the environmentalist movement atheist? Al Gore, if you want to call him the "high priest" of environmentalism, is religious. Besides, many religious people are environmentalist because they view destroying this world with destroying God's own precious and special creation.

Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


Regardless of the learning curve, how do the natural sciences reject divinity?


I think the fact that the natural sciences do not directly confirm and show that divinity is not necessary does not help divinity's claims. I mean, time after time natural science has replaced the absurd divine myths that man used to explain the world in ancient times.

Originally posted by Omar al Hasim Omar al Hasim wrote:


That's just faith in science.


Faith in science is about the same faith as the faith in my senses. When you can sense something, it's not faith, it's real, it's tangible, it's there.

Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:


P.S- Barbarossa: It is impolitic to compare me to Paul LOL


I meant it in the best way possible. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cryptic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 17:08
Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa Emperor Barbarossa wrote:


How is the environmentalist movement atheist? Al Gore, if you want to call him the "high priest" of environmentalism, is religious.
I did not say that it was atheist, I said that it was heavily atheist or agnostic. This is especially so as one moves towards the more extreme groups. There are exceptions (Al Gore). The core concept is that these people have simply substituted faith in science as expressed through environmentalism for theistic faith.  Read the material of the environmentalists. They have in effect created their own secula religion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 17:49
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

You could also argue that the Mona Lisa is more complex than all the books on physics ever written, or any religious text. Not because this is true, but because the substance and nature of the Mona Lisa is determined esoterically and can be reinterpreted so many times as to mean almost anything.


And, in fact, I would argue that -- although I'd probably pick a different painting. I've never seen what the big deal was with that smile. Wink

Quote The same is typical of religious belief systems (hence the vast number of them which exist and compete with eachother). Sure, we could reinterpret the same passage over and over again until it means anything and everything. But people will generally go for the literal meaning of what they read.

This is what happens in the natural sciences which compete in providing evidence for creation and the existence of divinity. Plenty of complicated jargon, but the literal meaning of the text is what is important, not whatever esoteric interpretations we wish to attach on extra after we have read it. So at the end of the day we do have two bodies of knowledge, and one is simply more vast than the other, and hence requires more patience and sheer work to properly understand even at the basic level. Of course if we each started ascribing our own personal esoteric non-literal 'takes' on passages written by Darwin and Dawkins, then we could be here until the end of time.


Methinks thou wouldst make a good fundamentalist were you an adherent. Wink Yes, people, if left to their own devices, or what Luther optimistically called "evident reason", will generally go to the most literal interpretation of any given passage of Scripture first; whether or not they choose to remain there is up to them. It certainly doesn't present a very broad application. If you wish to find someone to argue for a basic, literal interpretation of Scripture with you, I'm not your man.

With regard to Darwin or Dawkins, I think you might have missed the dichotomy I was -- albeit in a poorly phrased manner -- trying to establish between the different sorts of questions one might ask. When one is seeking to establish and quantify data, a basic, literal reading will usually suffice. When one is seeking to apply a metaphysical or cosmological system, it will not. Darwin is the former, Christianity is the latter, and Dawkins is somewhere in between, depending on what you read. Wink

As for which body of knowledged is more vast, it would depend whether you were speaking of vastness in terms of application or in terms of assertion.

Quote The transition from primate hunter gatherer to civilised human being was never going to be easy. Hence, even a good belief system would make errors. And in any case, persecution was a feature of a strong and successful belief system. The Abrahamic religions were especially big on persecuting heretics and enforcing dogma, which is one of the reasons they simply defeated the less strict pagan belief systems around them.


I was referring more to the time period at the beginning when the Church did not have the apparatus of the Roman state behind it; when it was, quite often at odds with that state, and often persecuted. I think your explanation holds well for the post-Nicene Church through the Early-Modern era. I think it is less applicable to the period after, and wholly inapplicable to the period before.

Quote As for the modern era, well if you go to church you then have an especially well disposed sub culture to welcome you and make you feel part of something. If you are an atheist.... well, so what? No one hosts atheist dinner parties, or gives random strangers a hi5 when upon learning they are also an atheist. The incentive to be part of a group is still here in today's world, perhaps even stronger since most people in your church are likely true believers rather than simply dragged along by their families to conform as has been more common the case in the past.


Atheist culture in Australia might be different than it is here in the States. Suffice it to say that there are dinner parties, discussion groups, high-fives, and occasionally even quasi-churches formed. This is largely the result of the prosyletizing of individuals such as Dawkins coupled with the fact that, in America, atheists are still existing in a cultural context which emphasizes religious belief -- albeit less so than it has in the past. To these two factors, add the increasing dogmatization of our political ideologies, and you have your separate subculture. I'd be interested to hear a bit of analysis as to how things are over there.

Quote No, we do not need an us vs. them complex for this to work. You want to create stable family units which are cohesive households (easier to tax in ancient times) - tell people god will kill them for adultery. Your enemies are attacking you and you can't raise the cash to equip an army - tell people they will go to heaven if they die fighting for a god given mission. You want to remain in power even though you are a languid and unattractive ruler - tell people that god put you there and defying you means also defying the divine.

So you see a control system does not need an adversarial competition going on, it just needs someone who is imaginative and really wants to get people to do things they ordinarily won't do.


I think you misread me here, which is likely a result of my legendarily imprecise writing. I was taking your basic assumption as a given under certain circumstances, and then applying it to the context in which we -- or at least I -- live, where this assumption does not apply. Thus, I was not saying that Christianity requires a certain context to become a system of motivation and authoritarian control -- although this is a broader issue which we could flesh out in another thread. I was explaining the circumstances which need to exist -- and do, in the postmodern era -- for atheism to become a system of motivation and, to a lesser extent, authoritarian control. Feel free to re-read what I wrote above in that light, and ask me for clarification if need be. I don't want to respond yet, seeing as we were speaking past each other, for fear we might get a bit further off track.

Always a pleasure, Cosntantine XI. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 17:56
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I'm worried somewhat by the phrasing of the question. 'Why believe in God' seems to indicate a choice is being made - it implies that there is some motive or reason for believing in God - some expectation of gain in doing so. But surely anyone who 'believes in God' simply for some reason or another doesn't really believe in God at all?
 
This isn't to deny there are people who profess belief in God in the expectation of some kind of gain, emotional or otherwise, because there obviously are.
 
There's another way of reading the question in which it asks for the causes of belief in God- as one might ask what evolutionary benefits does the belief in God provide, or discuss how far it is a question of nurture or nature or both combining. In that case however there is no question of choice involved, and I'm kind of interested in how far someone who chooses to believe in God (or anything else) can be said really to believe.


You have touched, here, on the deeper question of what, precisely, faith is. In fact, that would be a wonderful topic for a sister thread to your thread dealing with what God is -- although the Scriptures teach us simply that He Is.

I would say that you've dealt with the question fairly well; faith and belief -- two separate, inseparable aspects of our spiritual makeup. Faith is not antithetical to doubt; rather is doubt necessary for faith, which leads to belief. Faith and belief are united in a matrix which includes nature, nurture, and, if you believe in Elfland, external action. Wink

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 19:42
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

In fact I have no idea where you get the idea from. Most of the environmentalists I meet, especially the fundamentalist ones are heavily religious.  
The ones I have met are very secular. Likewise the literature that I read presented by these groups did not contain any religious messages.
Again I have the opposite reaction. I would certainly have thought humanism was much more common among atheists and agnostics than environmentalism would be, at least fundamentalist environmentalism. http://home.earthlink.net/~wodensharrow/earthlinks.html#gaia for intance
Quote
 Of course, here in the the USA, declared atheists are rare. So that raises the question of when does a very nominal Christian etc become a de facto atheist or agnostic.  
I don't see why it particularly raises that question. The question that seems to arise is what do you class a religious behaviour? Fervent devotion to the environment would seem to be a classic case of religiousness.
Quote
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

That's pretty religious behaviour. Sounds very like the cult of Cybele. Or indeed some early Christian examples. http://tinyurl.com/oszqsw 
You are right, it is religious behavior. The followers simply substituted subserviance to theistic beliefs with subserviance to science /  environmentalism. As Omar pointed out, the underlying concepts are the same.
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Same point. And to conflate atheism with environmentalism is simply ridiculous.
I did not conflate it. I simply stated that enviromentalism is heavily atheist or agnsotic.
I was referring to your reference to "The high priests of atheism / environmentalism " as if atheism and ebvironmentalism were the same thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 19:46
Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa Emperor Barbarossa wrote:


Actual atheism is simply the disbelief in theism, so I think almost anyone that does not believe in a god qualifies.
Actually I disagree with that, since it seems to me that the concept of 'atheos' - godlessness - was coined before 'atheism' which is therefore better parsed as 'athe(o)-ist' someone who positively believes in the state of being godless, and not as 'a-theist' implying someone who is not a theist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 19:48
Originally posted by Cryptic Cryptic wrote:

They have in effect created their own secula religion.
I can see that many of them have created their own religion. I just don't see what is secular about it. It's religious, that's all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bulldog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 19:50
People have always believed in God and always will.

Why believe in God? to a believer the world, universe, nature, our ability to think, basically everything you can think of is proof of God as everything was created.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 19:54
Originally posted by Bulldog Bulldog wrote:

People have always believed in God and always will.
I doub t that is justified. Drop the capital G and add an 's' and you'd have a better chance. Make it 'people have always believed in supernatural beings and always will' and you'd be really close.
Quote
Why believe in God? to a believer the world, universe, nature, our ability to think, basically everything you can think of is proof of God as everything was created.
Possibly, but it doesn't answer the question. To a non-believer that isn't true, so why should he change his mind?
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Joined: 01-Sep-2004
Location: United States
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Points: 8682
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Jun-2009 at 20:23
Originally posted by Emperor Barbarossa Emperor Barbarossa wrote:


Originally posted by Seko Seko wrote:


Regardless of the learning curve, how do the natural sciences reject divinity?


I think the fact that the natural sciences do not directly confirm and show that divinity is not necessary does not help divinity's claims. I mean, time after time natural science has replaced the absurd divine myths that man used to explain the world in ancient times.




The fact that natural sciences do not confirm divinity? That's what I'm trying to find out. How? So what you're saying is that because absurd divine myths have been replaced by natural sciences that means, in your assumption, there is no divinity? Please continue.
Copyright © 2004 Seko
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