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I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!! (Read 5985 times)

Offline mjedwards

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #100 on: March 21, 2014, 05:19:02 PM »
Consider Hell and Heaven, as a possibility, to be the exact same location but with polar binary states: Earth.

On the one hand, you have Heaven, which is represented by a binary state of 1, meaning that all that bears meaning and purpose and positive alignment ends up there. Imagine Heaven as the possible utopian Earth we never could experience because of the fall of man. It would be a world without darkness, pain, agony, disease, suffering, disaster, impurity, or death. As intended, death cannot tear us from it.

On the other hand, you have Hell, which is represented by a binary state of 0, meaning that all that is without meaning and purpose and has negative alignment ends up there. Imagine Hell as the Earth we live in now, the dystopian world we chose to live in when we defied God and fell from grace. That is a world filled with darkness, pain, agony, disease, suffering, disaster, impurity, and death. It is only different in that death cannot release us from it. For all we know, the true cruelty and suffering of Hell may very well come from what the world would be like if only the wicked ruled it, and no one did good to balance it out.

God provides two simple choices for mankind. The first is that we can embrace him, indicating we want to be with him, and shall go to Heaven as is our desire. The second is that we can reject him, indicating we want nothing to do with him and would rather be with Lucifer, and God shall allow us to go to Hell, as we desire. Both paths are made clear to us, and which one we cling to is by a choice entirely of our own volition.

So, though God assigns fate, he gives us a lifetime to choose. Even in our dying breaths, we can change our path, for better or worse. Understand, though, that Heaven and Hell are simply a matter of choosing between two masters. God is no happier about losing those he created than Lucifer is about losing those he could potentially have garnered.

     Hmmm... must completely disagree with much of what you say, kakeithewolf.  Some of your statements sound like assertions based on religious faith, not ones that are self-evident, or deducible from undeniable facts.
     I don't see how it is a black-and-white, yes-or-no choice - there are degrees in between, shades of grey - in fact I would see the attitudes, and choices, of most people on such issues as being some shade in between.
     I don't see how anyone can claim that those who choose Satan do so knowingly and deliberately, by consciously rejecting God.  I would think very few would do that, actually.  If I elaborated on my world-view here (which I won't), I feel pretty sure you would say that I have already rejected God and chosen to side with Satan - yet nothing could be further from the truth, of myself at least.  There are all sorts of factors that muddy the supposed black and white polarity of such life choices - if that black and white polarity exists underneath it all in the first place.
     God provides us with two simple choices?  I don't see that he provides any choices at all - whether simple, binary ones, or immensely complicated ones.  Life is complicated, and when choices seem to come to us, we often don't know where they are ultimately coming from, and often cannot see the long-term ramifications of them.  If they came from God, that fact may be well and truly obscured by all the "fluff" of life that gets in the way.  To make eternal judgement depend on such choices would be unfair in the extreme, with everything stacked massively against us right from the start.
     If Hell is as bad as you assert, I think it is highly unlikely many, if any, people would "choose" to go there.  Both paths are made anything but clear to us, and I do think you present the whole thing as being very much simpler than it is in reality.

     I've debated issues of this sort for decades with a wide range of Christians, from "Jesus people" to Pentecostalists to Jehovah's Witnesses to mainstream church ministers to very liberal people (although they tend not to believe in Hell - the chief of that last group being my secondary-school chaplain, quite an important formative influence in my life from the age of 13 onwards for some decades), and I am aware of most of the arguments that come up.  I have considered them many times with as open a mind as I can, and I simply cannot be convinced of doctrines of this sort, and none of the arguments used to back them up convince me.  Most of the arguments I've heard many times before and it is extremely rare now for me to hear a genuinely new argument - which of course I would consider with an open mind if it came to me.
     I suppose, on your showing, nothing can save me from the horrors of Hell after I die.  Believe me, though - I am not choosing it, and nor am I rejecting God.

Regards, Michael.


Offline mjedwards

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #101 on: March 21, 2014, 05:47:54 PM »
Consider, though, how they stand up to time. In case you haven't noticed, cults don't last all that along in the grand scheme of things.
    That has nothing to do with whether something is true or not, and how durable something is is often determined by accidents of history.

And let us assume Islam is right, for a moment. Let us look to what the core of the Muslim God, Allah is. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, the full Arabic name for God in Islam, is the Muslim expression of the Judeo-Christian God, Yahweh. Therefore, if the God of Judeo-Christian faith and Islam are the same, would it not stand to reason that if you ask the God of either for forgiveness, you are indeed making a request to the same God?
    I find futile debates about whether Gods from different traditions are the "same" God or not.  If Allah and the Christian God are the same, is the Jehovah's Witnesses' God, Jehovah, the same or not?  J.W.s do believe in the ransom sacrifice, but reject all Trinitarian views of God, and do not consider Jesus to be God, but just his Son.  They also don't believe in Hell, either.  Is the Mormons' God the same, or not?  They have a three-tiered system of Heaven, I think - something like that - and view God as a physical being, albeit very powerful; and also those who achieve the highest level of Heaven become Gods themselves.  But they also accept many standard Christian teachings.  Oh, but what about this God, or that God, ad infinitum?
     Debating about whether such Gods are the "same" or not is, to me, not too far removed from the hoary old cliché of debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

The belief(s) of any given person(s) does not affect veracity; what is true is true regardless of belief.
[...]
your view is merely the construct of a being with a fallible and limited perspective.
    Well, you know, kakeithewolf, this argument *could* be turned around and used against the view you are arguing here: your argument could be discredited on the grounds that it is just your view or opinion, the view of a being (yourself) with a fallible and limited perspective.  As could mine, of course - but I am not even trying to present my view as an absolute, but just as a possibility - seemingly quite a reasonable one.
     This could even be used against the Bible itself, if you wish to rebut what I'm saying by turning to it for support.  I don't know whether anything in the Bible was ultimately inspired by God or not, and don't see how that is even knowable.  Occam's Razor would tend to suggest not, unless very good arguments can be presented that it is.  But, regardless of that, what is certain is that, after putatively coming from God, those ideas in the Bible have come through the intermediary of human writers around two thousand and more years ago, and the *immediate* source of those ideas is just fallible humans with limited perspectives - which completely obscures the less immediate (vaguely possible) ultimate inspiration from God.  In a sense, it doesn't even matter, logically, whether God did inspire the Bible or not, because, subsequently to that, that fact has been thoroughly obscured from knowability.  All we can know now is that it came in the immediate term from fallible human beings.
     As a naive boy brought up nominally in the church, I was afraid of God because I felt sure I was not good enough to get to Heaven, and I felt sure I would go to Hell (I believe this enormously damaged my whole view of God, very adversely).  I struggled with the idea for ages, and ultimately Christianity lost its credibility for me, despite the positive influence of my school chaplain in my teens and subsequently.
     For all the fearful huffing and puffing about damnation that much religion gives, perhaps one needs to remind oneself that all this is nothing more than human opinion, and therefore not to be regarded as infallibly true, and not taken too seriously.  But the fear of Hell is so horrific that it can still send a chill through one, and I believe it has done enormous damage to humanity down the centuries, in instilling a very unhealthy fear of God's awful vengeance.  I would recommend the article on Hell in the Catholic Encyclopedia to anyone who would really like to get a feel for the utter horror of this horrible teaching: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm.  I think it took a rather sick mind to come up with this, to be honest - a human one, of course.

And speaking of believing in crap, atheists propose that everything that exists came from an explosion that violates every single law of nature, and that life evolved from what can basically be described as magic mud.
    No, no - I suggest you read books by Richard Dawkins such as "The Selfish Gene" (especially the early chapters which talk about the origin of life), "The Blind Watchmaker", and "Climbing Mount Improbable", which deals explicitly with the supposed improbability of life just happening to evolve into being.  He argues it far, far better than I can - so I won't even try, as it is beyond my capability to debate it at that level.  Dawkins is a very, very good writer, and astonishingly clear in the way he explains very subtle and complex ideas.

Foolish arguments, as neither hold up to scrutiny if rendered by an automated system of chaos and neither invalidate the concept of an omnidimensional being, as said being could have used both methods (though many laws would have to be very bent to do so).
    Richard Dawkins would eat up this argument for an entree before breakfast! - even if it would give me slight indigestion to try to do so.

Regards, Michael.

Offline oxy60

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #102 on: March 21, 2014, 05:52:18 PM »
I just noticed that the poster's moniker refers to a CHRISTIAN publishing house who prints BIBLES for distribution in hotel rooms and other public places. So what's the problem???
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."  John Muir  (We all need to get out more.)

Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #103 on: March 21, 2014, 06:27:17 PM »
     Hmmm... must completely disagree with much of what you say, kakeithewolf.  Some of your statements sound like assertions based on religious faith, not ones that are self-evident, or deducible from undeniable facts.
     I don't see how it is a black-and-white, yes-or-no choice - there are degrees in between, shades of grey - in fact I would see the attitudes, and choices, of most people on such issues as being some shade in between.
     I don't see how anyone can claim that those who choose Satan do so knowingly and deliberately, by consciously rejecting God.  I would think very few would do that, actually.  If I elaborated on my world-view here (which I won't), I feel pretty sure you would say that I have already rejected God and chosen to side with Satan - yet nothing could be further from the truth, of myself at least.  There are all sorts of factors that muddy the supposed black and white polarity of such life choices - if that black and white polarity exists underneath it all in the first place.
     God provides us with two simple choices?  I don't see that he provides any choices at all - whether simple, binary ones, or immensely complicated ones.  Life is complicated, and when choices seem to come to us, we often don't know where they are ultimately coming from, and often cannot see the long-term ramifications of them.  If they came from God, that fact may be well and truly obscured by all the "fluff" of life that gets in the way.  To make eternal judgement depend on such choices would be unfair in the extreme, with everything stacked massively against us right from the start.
     If Hell is as bad as you assert, I think it is highly unlikely many, if any, people would "choose" to go there.  Both paths are made anything but clear to us, and I do think you present the whole thing as being very much simpler than it is in reality.

     I've debated issues of this sort for decades with a wide range of Christians, from "Jesus people" to Pentecostalists to Jehovah's Witnesses to mainstream church ministers to very liberal people (although they tend not to believe in Hell - the chief of that last group being my secondary-school chaplain, quite an important formative influence in my life from the age of 13 onwards for some decades), and I am aware of most of the arguments that come up.  I have considered them many times with as open a mind as I can, and I simply cannot be convinced of doctrines of this sort, and none of the arguments used to back them up convince me.  Most of the arguments I've heard many times before and it is extremely rare now for me to hear a genuinely new argument - which of course I would consider with an open mind if it came to me.
     I suppose, on your showing, nothing can save me from the horrors of Hell after I die.  Believe me, though - I am not choosing it, and nor am I rejecting God.

Regards, Michael.



Let me just start by stating that your shotgun approach to debate is of a caliber that would make Duane Gish proud.

First, I'm going to start with your completely wrong statement that things aren't black and white, in this matter or others. What isn't true in a Boolean system must be false, and what isn't false must be true. Trilemmas do not exist in binary systems, as every state accounted for must either be of truth or falsity, on or off, yes or no, black or white, et alli. So, yes, it is a black and white choice, as all choices are. We choose do or do not in everything.

As for the next argument, you should know well that Satanism is in fact a religion, so there isn't a shortage of people eager to join him. And your lack of willingness to examine life's binary qualities doesn't interest me, sorry.

Next point you make deals with trilemmas, the trite shield of those who don't like the concept of black and white. As I stated already, not a point of significance. Life is far from complicated, life lacks the fluff you want, and I fail to see why it's God's fault that you and others don't like to take the time to think about the ramifications of actions. It's much like a slacker child who doesn't wish to learn, think, or process anything beyond basic arithmetic and the alphabet; coddling those unwilling to think even though they have the ability to do so is a laissez-faire approach for the weak of resolve and mind.

As most of human history dictates, people don't give a crap what price they pay for temporary reward, so I highly doubt the pain of Hell is something anyone would give up a life of "pleasure" for I use quotes for pleasure because I've yet to find any sin that gives me anything for the time I waste doing it. And again, life is not remotely as complicated as you purport. I know from personal experience that it is very simple, if you spend just a single bloody moment out of your day to analyze it.

And for the record, don't bring up Richard Dawkins. He is to debate as Lang Lang is to piano.

And now I await your next Gish Gallop, sprinkled with your tasteful flair for selective application of mental resource and the results of your childhood inferiority complex and whatever other sob story you'd like to present.
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Offline mjedwards

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #104 on: March 21, 2014, 06:54:33 PM »
Let me just start by stating that your shotgun approach to debate is of a caliber that would make Duane Gish proud.
     You're probably going to have to give a bit more detail.  I understand Duane Gish is a creationist of the fundamentalist type, but otherwise I know little about him or the kind of argument he might use.  Given my point of view, I find it difficult to believe that he and I would have much in common, though.
     You refer to my shotgun approach; but I don't know quite what you mean by that.

First, I'm going to start with your completely wrong statement that things aren't black and white, in this matter or others. What isn't true in a Boolean system must be false, and what isn't false must be true. Trilemmas do not exist in binary systems, as every state accounted for must either be of truth or falsity, on or off, yes or no, black or white, et alli. So, yes, it is a black and white choice, as all choices are. We choose do or do not in everything.
     I know what Boolean logic is: I learned computer programming about 20 years ago, in Pascal, a language which makes strong usage of Boolean logic.  But who said this issue is Boolean in nature?  You are asserting that; but you have not said anything that convinced me of this.
     You are making assertions here without any support.  I simply do not agree that this issue, or life in general, is even nearly as binary as you are saying.  The burden of proof is on you to show that, since you are asserting it; not on me to refute it.

As for the next argument, you should know well that Satanism is in fact a religion, so there isn't a shortage of people eager to join him. And your lack of willingness to examine life's binary qualities doesn't interest me, sorry.
     If you are not interested in my point of view, then you are in no position to debate this with me, and we are both wasting our time.  My lack of willingness to examine life's binary qualities?  You have not demonstrated that that is real.
     I know that Satanism is a religion - but so what?  You are surely not asserting that all who reject God, as you would see it, are explicitly adopting the religion of Satanism?

Next point you make deals with trilemmas, the trite shield of those who don't like the concept of black and white.
     Or don't believe life is like that.  Prove what you are saying if you want to keep debating this.

As I stated already, not a point of significance. Life is far from complicated, life lacks the fluff you want,
     Ad hominem.  I didn't say I wanted it, just that I believed it was there - so please don't put words into my mouth that I didn't say, to favour your own view or weaken mine.

and I fail to see why it's God's fault that you and others don't like to take the time to think about the ramifications of actions.
     Your failure to see someone else's point of view is no argument at all.

It's much like a slacker child who doesn't wish to learn, think, or process anything beyond basic arithmetic and the alphabet; coddling those unwilling to think even though they have the ability to do so is a laissez-faire approach for the weak of resolve and mind.

As most of human history dictates, people don't give a crap what price they pay for temporary reward, so I highly doubt the pain of Hell is something anyone would give up a life of "pleasure" for I use quotes for pleasure because I've yet to find any sin that gives me anything for the time I waste doing it. And again, life is not remotely as complicated as you purport. I know from personal experience that it is very simple, if you spend just a single bloody moment out of your day to analyze it.
     You are sounding like a typical dogmatic fundamentalist, just simply asserting things because you "know" them to be true, and not offering any real reasoning at all to support them.

And for the record, don't bring up Richard Dawkins. He is to debate as Lang Lang is to piano.
     Prove it.  Don't just assert it because you don't like Dawkins' point of view.  Like it or not, he has a point of view many find credible, and should be refuted properly if you disagree with him.

And now I await your next Gish Gallop, sprinkled with your tasteful flair for selective application of mental resource and the results of your childhood inferiority complex and whatever other sob story you'd like to present.
     You are not to be taken seriously.  This is not even a pretence at argument, but just an attempt to belittle or ridicule me or my point of view.  I also detect that you are starting to sound annoyed, and that doesn't strengthen your position, either.  Why are you taking this so personally?

Regards, Michael.

Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #105 on: March 21, 2014, 06:57:17 PM »
     You're probably going to have to give a bit more detail.  I understand Duane Gish is a creationist of the fundamentalist type, but otherwise I know little about him or the kind of argument he might use.  Given my point of view, I find it difficult to believe that he and I would have much in common, though.

Duane Gish is known for using a type of argument known fondly as a Gish Gallop. He just throws mountains of arguments upon whoever he gets, essentially trying to bury them so they can't possibly respond to every point.

It's the same bloody thing with you.
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #106 on: March 21, 2014, 07:41:11 PM »
He just throws mountains of arguments upon whoever he gets, essentially trying to bury them so they can't possibly respond to every point.

We have a saying in jolly old England.

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit".

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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #107 on: March 21, 2014, 07:50:27 PM »
We have a saying in jolly old England.

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit".

Thal


A saying oft put to practice in America.
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #108 on: March 21, 2014, 07:59:48 PM »


This particularly interesting story was edited out of the Bible.

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Offline ahinton

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #109 on: March 22, 2014, 04:00:42 PM »


This particularly interesting story was edited out of the Bible.
Was it really? Well, one learns something new every day, however fatuous it might be! Do you by chance happen to know who "edited (or perhaps more properly plucked)" this "out of the Bible" and under what circumstances, given in particular that the known history of the banjo extends to five centuries at the very most? I was also unaware that the Afro-Amercian origins of the instrument would have been widely documented in the Middle East in Biblical times...

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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #110 on: March 22, 2014, 04:08:23 PM »
Was it really? Well, one learns something new every day, however fatuous it might be! Do you by chance happen to know who "edited (or perhaps more properly plucked)" this "out of the Bible" and under what circumstances, given in particular that the known history of the banjo extends to five centuries at the very most? I was also unaware that the Afro-Amercian origins of the instrument would have been widely documented in the Middle East in Biblical times...

Best,

Alistair

Perhaps it is a custom tanbur.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #111 on: March 22, 2014, 06:43:35 PM »
Perhaps it is a custom tanbur.
Is that meant to be an anagram for turban? I expect that Thal sees lots of those.

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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #112 on: March 22, 2014, 06:47:14 PM »
Is that meant to be an anagram for turban? I expect that Thal sees lots of those.

Best,

Alistair

No, a tanbur. It looks like this:

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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #113 on: March 23, 2014, 01:00:47 AM »
I hate how Jesus is often depicted as a white man in pictures, so stupid.

kakeithewolf there is no point arguing with people who don't believe, why waste your energy on them? Let them be ignorant. The same goes for atheists, if you truly don't believe why waste your time talking about magical made up things? We don't have a duty to strangers to try and make them see our perspective, in fact, we shouldn't really be interested one iota what they think and believe when it comes to things like this! It certainly doesn't improve your situation debating with others, but it is fun I guess ahaha :)

People believe in a God because it benefits their life a great deal, if you think it doesn't then good for you, off you go living your own life no need to get your knickers in a twist thinking other people are delusional. I couldn't care less if a non believer talk their crap around me, it doesn't bother me one bit because it is like water on a ducks back. I also would not offer them any advice on God because it would also be like water on a ducks back to them!

If someone is open to a proper discussion then it can be a very rewarding interaction, you certainly don't find that very commonly on the internet and it is as rare as hens teeth on a public internet board!!!
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Offline mikeowski

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #114 on: March 23, 2014, 01:54:06 AM »
People believe in a God because it benefits their life a great deal

Yes, just look at Iran. Oh, never mind...

Offline ahinton

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #115 on: March 23, 2014, 09:45:14 AM »
No, a tanbur. It looks like this:

Yes, I know what one is, of course! I just couldn't resist the anagram reference. Never mind...

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Alisair
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Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #116 on: March 23, 2014, 09:06:32 PM »
I couldn't care less if a non believer talk their crap around me, it doesn't bother me one bit because it is like water on a ducks back. I also would not offer them any advice on God because it would also be like water on a ducks back to them!


I like your position.

Unfortunately the US is a unique place where one sect has been able to dominate public law in such a way as to force the atheists to comply.  There are countless examples - being forced to teach creationism in science class, banning same sex marriages, putting the Ten Commandments up in the courtrooms, etc.  This is an international forum and this insanity does not exist everywhere. 
Tim

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #117 on: March 23, 2014, 09:14:21 PM »
kakeithewolf there is no point arguing with people who don't believe, why waste your energy on them? Let them be ignorant.

That sort of works both ways. It is impossible arguing with believers as they will never budge.

I can think of no greater ignorance than the unshakeable belief in a 2,000 year old book of fairy stories.

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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #118 on: March 23, 2014, 09:28:49 PM »
This is an international forum and this insanity does not exist everywhere. 

Thankfully true. The Christian "grip" on life in England has never been weaker since the 5th Century. The inability of the Church to modernize and cope with its own problems, along with the fact that it can no longer burn anyone who does not agree with it, gradually erodes its influence.

I feel sorry for my local vicar who now covers 2 churches and struggles to get a congregation in double figures. A lovely man who has never once tried to convert me to anything.

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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #119 on: March 24, 2014, 02:26:46 AM »
Yes, just look at Iran. Oh, never mind...
Such generalizations are meaningless to me, but I guess some people find it insightful.


Unfortunately the US is a unique place where one sect has been able to dominate public law in such a way as to force the atheists to comply.  There are countless examples - being forced to teach creationism in science class, banning same sex marriages, putting the Ten Commandments up in the courtrooms, etc.
Yeah I don't believe anyone should be forced into any type of belief system, Atheists as a minority group should have the freedom to their belief systems.

I can think of no greater ignorance than the unshakeable belief in a 2,000 year old book of fairy stories.
There are much greater examples of ignorance which is agreed as ignorant by almost everyone. A belief in God is accepted by the majority of people in this world.
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #120 on: March 24, 2014, 07:43:12 AM »
A belief in God is accepted by the majority of people in this world.

Eat crap, a trillion flies cannot be wrong.

I too believe in a God, but that does not necessarily mean that one believes in your silly book of fables and the rather nasty God therein.

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Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #121 on: March 24, 2014, 08:56:36 AM »
There are much greater examples of ignorance which is agreed as ignorant by almost everyone. A belief in God is accepted by the majority of people in this world.

Wich probably says more about human psychology than about the credibility of a belief.
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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #122 on: March 24, 2014, 12:58:09 PM »
I like your position.

Unfortunately the US is a unique place where one sect has been able to dominate public law in such a way as to force the atheists to comply.  There are countless examples - being forced to teach creationism in science class, banning same sex marriages, putting the Ten Commandments up in the courtrooms, etc.  This is an international forum and this insanity does not exist everywhere. 

One thing is true for both atheists and theists, as all groups are bound to. Both have the few intelligent are drowned out by the dumb masses. I'd like to point out, though, that there are some thing I do find to be of note in your examples.

The first is that I personally neither support creationism or evolution being taught in science classes, the former due to lack of total information to render proper lesson, and the latter due to it being an extremely outdated theory that hasn't been proven.

The second is that some people, myself being one of them, are actually against gay marriage for non-religious reasons. Personally, I'm against it because I'm a pragmatist; marriage doesn't really have a utility, and the only significance it can even have is as a ritualistic ceremony. Otherwise, marriage is just throwing money down the drain because one or both people in a relationship believes that the ever-so-simple "I love you" isn't enough for either themselves, the other person, or both.

The third point I'd like to make is that you should consider the fact that at least part of the Ten Commandments is part of our law (specifically theft and murder). It can be construed as merely a foreboding example to set, even though it is a weak one, as it preys on the subconscious.

But I will agree on one point: The US is a hellhole of a country, for more reasons that what you list. I hate this country enough that, if given the chance, I would betray it in an instant.
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Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #123 on: March 24, 2014, 01:36:32 PM »
Quote from: kakeithewolf
The third point I'd like to make is that you should consider the fact that at least part of the Ten Commandments is part of our law (specifically theft and murder).

Why on earth should I consider that?  Secular and religious law are two different categories, one designed by man with the purpose of maximizing utility in society, one designed to meet the religious preferences of one particular group.  There is bound to be some overlap, but that doesn't justify posting the Ten Commandments in official government settings. 

Besides, you have the Ten Commandments wrong.  I don't think theft or murder are in there.

Tim

Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #124 on: March 24, 2014, 01:51:01 PM »
Why on earth should I consider that?  Secular and religious law are two different categories, one designed by man with the purpose of maximizing utility in society, one designed to meet the religious preferences of one particular group.  There is bound to be some overlap, but that doesn't justify posting the Ten Commandments in official government settings. 

Besides, you have the Ten Commandments wrong.  I don't think theft or murder are in there.



You're right. I don't know why I included that third point. It neither made sense nor was needed. Maybe it was OCD.
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Offline ahinton

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #125 on: March 24, 2014, 02:37:04 PM »
Thankfully true. The Christian "grip" on life in England has never been weaker since the 5th Century. The inability of the Church to modernize and cope with its own problems, along with the fact that it can no longer burn anyone who does not agree with it, gradually erodes its influence.

I feel sorry for my local vicar who now covers 2 churches and struggles to get a congregation in double figures. A lovely man who has never once tried to convert me to anything.
I don't think that your first paragraph is entirely correct and the example you cite in your second tends to prove it. By no means all Christians of any kind - even those who officiate within the Christian Church - try to convert people to something; not only that, the Church has made some effort "to modernise and cope with its own problems", even though such effort seems still to be sadly short of reasonable expectations. I also think that, in noting its current comparative weakness, it might be worth making more effort to distinguish, where appropriate, between the Christian grip on life and the Christian Church's grip on life, as I'm less than convinced that the two are not necessarily always wholly synonymous.

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Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #126 on: March 24, 2014, 03:31:23 PM »
I also think that, in noting its current comparative weakness, it might be worth making more effort to distinguish, where appropriate, between the Christian grip on life and the Christian Church's grip on life, as I'm less than convinced that the two are not necessarily always wholly synonymous.

Best,

Alistair

I think you're from the UK, and don't have quite the same problem as we do in the US.

The conservative end of politics has seen an advantage to an alliance with the conservative end of Christianity.  As a liberal Christian this horrifies me.  This has led to confusing faith and patriotism to the detriment of both.  IMO of course. 
Tim

Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #127 on: March 24, 2014, 03:45:27 PM »
You're right. I don't know why I included that third point. It neither made sense nor was needed. Maybe it was OCD.

Well, I know why I included it.  The Ten Commandments are a pet peeve of mine.

We know there was a list of ten, there are several references to it.

But there is one and only one place in the Old Testament that says "these are the ten commandments."  That is Ex 34.  And the list of Ten in Ex 34 are not the commonly quoted Ten.  They are the ten sometimes known as the ritualistic or sacramental ten, including the infamous injunction to never boil a kid in its mother's milk. 

It continues to horrify me that conservative Christians with their literalist devotion to the scriptures are nevertheless so careless with them. 
Tim

Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #128 on: March 24, 2014, 03:49:52 PM »
It continues to horrify me that conservative Christians with their literalist devotion to the scriptures are nevertheless so careless with them. 

Such a problem, however, is common in any type of belief that has written literature central to it. Interpretation, perspective, observation... all of these have a very imperfect medium they travel through: one or more human beings.

Humans are flawed, fallible, and of a relatively small scope of knowledge in the grand scheme of things, yet we rely on each other anyway.
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Offline chewbacca_90

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #129 on: March 24, 2014, 07:16:30 PM »
Damn... Religion threads just aren't the same without pianistimo around.  :'(

Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #130 on: March 24, 2014, 07:21:09 PM »
Damn... Religion threads just aren't the same without pianistimo around.  :'(

Yeah, there is an unexpected dimension of reasonableness to this one.  That kept me wondering what was missing, then you reminded me..................
Tim

Offline chewbacca_90

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #131 on: March 24, 2014, 07:35:52 PM »
Yeah, there is an unexpected dimension of reasonableness to this one.  That kept me wondering what was missing, then you reminded me..................

You're welcome, sir. I think we all secretly yearn for return...  8)

Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #132 on: March 24, 2014, 08:37:00 PM »
You're welcome, sir. I think we all secretly yearn for return...  8)

She's been gone since August of 2010.  I suspect the chances of a return are slim.
Tim

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #133 on: March 24, 2014, 08:57:51 PM »
She might have only got 4 years in the Asylum and be ready for a return.

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Offline ahinton

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #134 on: March 24, 2014, 09:13:45 PM »
I think you're from the UK, and don't have quite the same problem as we do in the US.

The conservative end of politics has seen an advantage to an alliance with the conservative end of Christianity.  As a liberal Christian this horrifies me.  This has led to confusing faith and patriotism to the detriment of both.  IMO of course.
I am and I agree with you having written from what I openly admit is largely a UK perspective.

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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #135 on: March 25, 2014, 05:26:21 AM »
Eat crap, a trillion flies cannot be wrong.
Except flies and humans are totally different species with different brain capability lol.

Why breath oxygen? There are atoms in space which don't need such things.


I too believe in a God, but that does not necessarily mean that one believes in your silly book of fables and the rather nasty God therein.
Lol I didn't know I was an author of such a book.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #136 on: March 25, 2014, 05:29:16 AM »
Wich probably says more about human psychology than about the credibility of a belief.
The comment wasn't meant to highlight credibility of belief but rather that there are plenty of more irrational ideas out there than a belief in God (which is accepted by mainstream society).
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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #137 on: March 25, 2014, 05:43:50 AM »
The comment wasn't meant to highlight credibility of belief but rather that there are plenty of more irrational ideas out there than a belief in God (which is accepted by mainstream society).

Seriously...there are plenty of irrational ideas, true. I personally cannot think of much more irrational than to believe in "God". But that is simply because I don't. If I did I wouldn't find it irrational. That's why conversations like this are completely useless. It's a power struggle and as long as those who believe (or pretend to believe) have more power, the rest of us will have to endure.

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #138 on: March 25, 2014, 07:19:13 AM »
Except flies and humans are totally different species with different brain capability lol.

I am sure there are loads of tambo bangers with the mentality of a fly.

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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #139 on: March 25, 2014, 01:17:57 PM »
I am sure there are loads of tambo bangers with the mentality of a fly.

Thal

Could not the same be said for some atheists?

I recall talking to one once that believed that one day, infants will be born with such a high degree of sentience that they will be able to choose their biological sex at birth.
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #140 on: March 25, 2014, 04:58:47 PM »
Could not the same be said for some atheists?

To be an atheist requires thought. To be a tambo banger requires only faith.

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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #141 on: March 25, 2014, 05:13:52 PM »
To be an atheist requires thought. To be a tambo banger requires only faith.

Thal

That's quite debatable. All it takes to be an atheist is simply not believing something. Thought is not a prerequisite at all, but rather, a lack of thought is. True, religion requires faith as the core, but the same is inherently true for atheism as well. You can be dumb as a brick, but as long as you believe one thing or another, you can be a theist or atheist.

And, with atheism, you have to have an incredible degree of faith. If you claim to have any answers at all, you have to put all your stock in either theories made in the infancy of nearly all fields pertinent to them or you have to put your faith in the constantly shifting entirety of scientific knowledge. Hell, most atheists I've known are convinced Darwin's original theory is completely true to the core.

Atheist doesn't require intellect. It just requires believing there isn't or is likely not a God.
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Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #142 on: March 25, 2014, 06:58:27 PM »
Quote from: kakeithewolf
Atheist doesn't require intellect. It just requires believing there isn't or is likely not a God.

That's theoretically true, but not how it works in practice.

Until very recently, most atheists were raised religious, and abandoned faith after considerable exposure to facts and logic that was contrary to what they'd been taught. 

The people who were raised religious and remained believers for the most part have never examined the inconsistencies that all faiths have.  And that's okay.  Religion is not required to withstand critical thinking, and in fact none of them can, that's why there's something called faith. 

Atheists do not believe there is no god, they simply fail to believe there is one.  (most of them, anyway, there are a few evangelical atheists) 

The sets of atheists and scientists overlap considerably but they are not the same thing.  Scientists do not believe in anything in the same sense religious people do, with one exception:  they believe evidence means something.  After that initial principle, which is in its way a kind of faith, faith is not required.  Everything must be supported with evidence, and any hypothesis or theory must be abandoned if the evidence does not support it.

And that brings me to evolution.  We do not talk about proof except in mathematics - science does not use the word.  However if it were ever used in science, it would certainly apply to evolution, which is supported by so much evidence from so many fields that it might as well be called that.  There is no controversy within the biological sciences; everyone who is not mentally ill accepts the basics (common descent, natural selection, etc.)  Your repeated disparagement, with the apparent perception you are among those that shares your mindset, simply reveals your ignorance.  This is common among those whose only exposure to science has been through church produced publications or abysmal websites like AiG or ICR. 
Tim

Offline thalbergmad

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #143 on: March 25, 2014, 07:17:56 PM »
All it takes to be an atheist is simply not believing something.

If you have had it drummed into you from an early age, as it was at every school I ever attended, it takes a lot of thought to question that which was taught as fact.

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Online outin

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #144 on: March 25, 2014, 07:21:41 PM »
That's quite debatable. All it takes to be an atheist is simply not believing something. Thought is not a prerequisite at all, but rather, a lack of thought is. True, religion requires faith as the core, but the same is inherently true for atheism as well. You can be dumb as a brick, but as long as you believe one thing or another, you can be a theist or atheist.

And, with atheism, you have to have an incredible degree of faith. If you claim to have any answers at all, you have to put all your stock in either theories made in the infancy of nearly all fields pertinent to them or you have to put your faith in the constantly shifting entirety of scientific knowledge. Hell, most atheists I've known are convinced Darwin's original theory is completely true to the core.

Atheist doesn't require intellect. It just requires believing there isn't or is likely not a God.

You cannot really define anyone for being an atheist. One can not believe in god but still think that the world came from an egg laid by a giant galactic hen. Atheism is not a belief system in the same way religions are. Maybe you are assuming that people always need to know and understand WHY everything is the way it is, and are always looking for an all embracing explanation. Looking for some special meaning in life and nature was what made people come up with religions. Some of us just don't need it but are fine with the chaotic uncertainty of everything. Sometimes parts of it make sense, mostly thanks to science, but there will always be a limit in our understanding. Religions are a way to try to explain the part that cannot really be explained with what we got. One problem with religion is that when our understanding inevitably grows, either the religion needs to be flexible for change or one has to stop accepting new information at some point and become a fundamentalist.

To believe in god doesn't require much thought at all either. Where I live most people do not really practice religion at all, they just belong to a church by custom and maybe visit the church 3 times during their life: The christening while babies, the marriage and the funeral (a common reason for people to belong to the church is that they want to have a church wedding and a funeral) . If you ask them if they believe in god most say yes, somehow, but they never think about it and if you ask they really cannot tell what they think god is or what it means to them. To be honest, they probably just say it because it seems appropriate and it's easier than trying to explain why you don't believe in god. In my country the general public mostly thinks of "real" believers as religious freaks. I still have to endure all kinds of religious stuff around me, but simply because the majority couldn't care less and don't see it as a problem at all. So little do they care that they cannot even understand how someone coming from a completely different religious background could be offended by being forced to take part in their christian rituals. But could be worse of course...I could live in US...

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #145 on: March 29, 2014, 01:42:03 PM »
I am sure there are loads of tambo bangers with the mentality of a fly.

Thal
Yeah perhaps in a poetic simile kinda sense.

Seriously...there are plenty of irrational ideas, true. I personally cannot think of much more irrational than to believe in "God".
That's fine, but you would be a part of a minority group on this one.
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Offline timothy42b

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #146 on: March 29, 2014, 01:46:53 PM »

That's fine, but you would be a part of a minority group on this one.

Then you are delusional.

Believing in a God IS an irrational idea.  We honest believers admit that and choose to believe anyway - that's called faith. 

Only a person who's never thought about it can honestly say the whole theology thing makes sense.  It doesn't.  But that doesn't matter, it isn't supposed to matter.
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Offline kakeithewolf

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #147 on: March 29, 2014, 02:48:24 PM »
Then you are delusional.

Believing in a God IS an irrational idea.  We honest believers admit that and choose to believe anyway - that's called faith. 

Only a person who's never thought about it can honestly say the whole theology thing makes sense.  It doesn't.  But that doesn't matter, it isn't supposed to matter.

Hence why apologists bear the name they do.
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Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #148 on: April 01, 2014, 03:13:04 AM »
Then you are delusional.

Believing in a God IS an irrational idea.  We honest believers admit that and choose to believe anyway - that's called faith.  

Only a person who's never thought about it can honestly say the whole theology thing makes sense.  It doesn't.  But that doesn't matter, it isn't supposed to matter.
You are free to think that, but unfortunately you are a part of a minority group on that one. Faith is not a choice, it is given to us by God.
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Re: I HAVE A FRIEND WHO'S TRYING TO CONVERT ME TO CHRISTIANITY HELPPP...!!!
«Reply #149 on: April 01, 2014, 04:46:48 AM »
Faith is not a choice, it is given to us by God.

In that case God did choose to leave some of us without it. Interesting...