/me probes gently with ten foot pole. Most of the world does NOT believe in god. They believe in A god, or even Gods Believing in God because you fear there is a small chance of his/her existence only plays the odds if there is only ONE god. If you chose the wrong one, you're just as screwed when it comes to sign in day at the pearly gates.

I don't recall many predictions of the future in the bible. I recall that it specifically states that no man but god knows the future. I also seem to recall that the most prophetic of the bibles books are really secret communications in well known code between the Apostle John and his congregation in Corinth.

What's so hard to believe about the evolution of man from a simean. We share over 98% of the same genetic material with the modern chimpanzee. That's not to say we are related to a chimp, but rather we are related to the same evolutionary ancestor. Remember we're talking about millions of years here. I can't explain or fathom the number a billion any more than I can infinity. So what, my perception has limits. God is not in my heart. My heart is too full of rich creamy blood for any god to sequester himself inside. Even if he did, I'm sure the relentless valve pounding would eventually irritate him. He might be in my mind though.

Preface: I consider myself an agnostic, but I have no beef with believers. I just don't think you can prove the existence of God. It's an act of faith, isn't it? Otherwise, it'd be pretty easy to believe in God wouldn't it?

Rebuttal:

  1. See: Flaws with Pascal's Wager
  2. God may know what is right and wrong, but the Church has a pretty shoddy track record (e.g., the Inquisition, the Crusades, the fighting in Northern Ireland, the (past) support of slavery, the fighting in Israel).
  3. Forgiveness certainly does not require the existence of God. And you really don't have to worry about sin if you don't believe in God (as God is really the one that defines sin, right?).
  4. Can you explain the Standard Model or the Kreb's Cycle or my dad's weird behavior? I can't, but that doesn't necessarily make me believe in God.
  5. Yes you can. And evolution does not teach that "Man originated from the monkey".
  6. I don't know. No one knows. There does not have to be an afterlife just because you might want one.
  7. Vaguely-worded predictions are bound to come true.
  8. Yes, by all means, let's return to the morals of our witch-burning, native american-slaughtering forefathers...
  9. At one point in time, most of the world believed that the world was flat and that the Sun rotated around the Earth. These beliefs did not alter the reality of the situation.
  10. Maybe.
  1. While there is no proof for the existence of God, there is also no proof for the non existence of God. This leaves the possibility that God does exist. However, this says nothing about the religion that that God promotes nor the duties required by that God. Hinduism is just as likely to be true as Christianity. The cycle of reincarnation and Nirvana are just as likely has Heaven. Pascal's wager does nothing to say which god to believe in, or the outcome of that belief. The safest thing to do is keep an open mind to all possibilities, not just those of Christianity.

  2. Moral dilemmas are different for different societies. The question is where do we get our morals from? Even within the branches of Christianity, there are divisions in morality. Abortion and birth control are paticularly strong dividing lines. Roman Catholics believe both of these are morally wrong in the eyes of God, while many Protestants do not see any moral problem with either of them. Can they both be correct?

  3. What is a sin? Different religions define sin in different ways. In ancient Greece, hubris was the major sin that was taught against. Killing a person was perfectly acceptable, and accepting the deities of different cultures was nothing odd. This differs quite significantly from that of the teachings of the 10 commandments. In Islam, it is a sin to make an image of God, and since people are created in the image of God, creating a sculpture or painting of a human is a sin. Homosexuality is considered a sin in the more orthodox religions while it is perfectly accepted in others. Can they all be right?

  4. Please, do not do the infinity implies god. Infinity is a mathematical construct. If you wish a deity to be a mathematical construct, thats fine. Spinoza did this, and has a very thought out view of God. Its not the most useful one, but its very thought out.

  5. Bah. Creationists. How does evolution not explain man? Missing links are very small populations. I would rather not have to copy the entire node that exists elsewhere. It is very good reading and pointless to replicate all that data here. Monkeys are also conscious beings, and not all that far below us at all. Personally, I'd much rather be evolved from a dolphin or a whale who seem to have far less cares in the world.

  6. No, there doesn't have to be an afterlife. Its nice to think that there will be something to go on to, but its not necessary. It is a carrot that is held out there as incentive for being good in this life.

  7. There are many works in the past that have perdictions about the future, the Bible is hardly alone. Many of these predictions have come true - there will always be earthquakes, wars and volcanoes. Comets will always be in the sky, and planetary alignments will happen. So what? Given a large enough block of data, and a function it is always possible to find the data that you're looking for. But why not the Koran? Or the works of Buddhists? These also contain predictions about the future that are just as true.

  8. Moral codes have very little to do with belief. Plato proposed a very good system for life in his works that do not require belief. There are as many possible utopias as there are people. Some of these hinge upon the foundation of a higher power, others don't. I would even go so far as to say that Objectivism can provide just as much as a solution as any religious one can. While it is true that I'd rather have any potential children grow up in a different society than the one that exists now, it requires respect and open mindedness rather than strict religious belief.

  9. Most of the world believes in a higher power. The higher powers are not all the same. There are also multitudes of past religions that are no longer in existance today. The religion of the ancient Greeks is just as viable as any religion today, so is that of the ancient Egyptians. There is Gaiaism, Buddhism, Shintoism, the beliefs of the Native Americans, the dreamland of the Australian aborigines.

  10. This statement is just as true for a person who has grown up deep in the Amazon rain forests, never seeing or hearing of a person who believes in anything other than the tribal spirits as it does to a bishop. It is just as true for a person who lived in ancient Egypt and saw Ra, Osiris and Set as a person who lived in ancient Scandinavia and saw Odin, Thor, and Loki. It is also true of the atheist who sees only himself.

An atheist has a belief that there is no higher power. It is just as much a religion as any other. If you believe in 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 then you are not an atheist, and most likely to be Christian. The Islamic, Judaism, Christian family of monotheism is not the only viable religion.

1 - As pointed out, see Flaws with Pascal's Wager (to sum it up here, reapply that argument toward Allah, Zeus, Brahma, or whoever - and if you don't come to the same conclusion, you're very likely not being honest with yourself)

2 - Everyone has moral dilemmas. It's the fact of living in a world of uncertainties, of differing opinions, ideas, and lifestyles. You can't get out of them. "If you are ever stuck again with a moral dilemma, just ask your local priest, rabbi or equivalent. He'll explain it all to you." What, I can believe and therefore give up thinking? I can let someone else do it all for me? No thank you.

3 - "You have sinned, you know." No I haven't. Never. Not a single sin in my life, assuming you define sin to have something to do with wronging some diety. Have I done things that are wrong? Yes, everyone has. Have I felt guilty about it? Sure. But instead of sitting and asking some non-corporeal entity that may or may not exist for forgiveness, and walking around feeling fine while the person I wronged is still upset, I go and try to repair things with them. I'd rather have their forgiveness then that of some so-called god.

4 - How does belief in god explain infinity? It sounds more like "God exists, therefore I won't think about infinity" to me.

5 - Some versions of creation theory do contradict evolution - ask many believers in creationism. Besides, evolution does make a lot of sense when you sit down and look at it and examine it, and is quite the amazing thing.

6 - "There has to be an afterlife." Um, you can't make there be an afterlife just because you can't conceive of there not being one. I can't conceive of what kind of mindset can make someone hate due to racism, but look, there it is. Asserting something doesn't make it true.

7 - Bible predictions and prophecy are always touchy topics. Many so-called predictions are poor fits and require faith just to believe one implies the other. There's also the fact that some prophecies, once known, can be created to come true. (I predict I'll eat leftover nachos for dinner. And I will, cause I get to choose what I have).

And the Bible Codes? They've done the same thing with all sorts of other books, and shown that with a large enough document, all sorts of odd patterns can be seen. Heck, analysis of pi shows patterns and the like in it, also. Randomness does not imply total lack of patterns.

8 - What things in life are "wrong" are different to different people. I consider the hate out there to be much more destructive than pornography or violent video games. Oddly, a lot of that hate seems to come from religious types. Seems like belief doesn't do a thing for that.

Besides, I'm sure I'd disagree with you on what is moral and immoral - there are likely some things you want to eliminate that I think it would be immoral to do; and likely the reverse also.

9 - "Everyone was born capable of believing in God." Everyone is born an atheist. They have no inherent belief in God. Parents just tell them over and over to believe in one, and presto, it occurs. "He WILL take you back." This sounds like a threat to me.

10 - Funny, I thought there was blood and muscle in my heart. Must have been taught lies by those damn atheist scientists. So if I kill another person and eat their heart, have I just eaten God? Maybe I'll made a God Casserole, or some Fried God.

Yup, those are roughly the ten main arguments for believing in God. It also serves as a neat casebook of informal fallacies. Let's look at them one by one

1. Are you sure God doesn't exist?
Argument From Ignorance
You're right, I'm not. I'm also not certain that Winston Churchill didn't have sexual relations with Adolf Hitler, but prove me wrong. Being unable to prove something does not make its opposite true.

2. Just ask your priest, rabbi, etc.
Appeal To Authority
On what basis, exactly, do you believe that a priest is more likely to understand the difference between
right and wrong
between, say, a plumber. Even if you do believe in God, you must surely still accept that, in a world of free will, no one man can truly understand morality. They just want you to think that.

3.YOU HAVE SINNED!!!
Appeal To Force
The basis of Pascal's wager, and most organised religion. Doubt us if you want, but then you'll BURN!!!. This is equivalent to saying : the theory of evolution - believe it or we'll break your bloody legs.

4. Can you explain infinity?
False Dilemma
Believe in God or admit the universe defies human comprehension. Er, of course there is also the possibility that there is a third option, like that there is a way of understanding the universe that is lying outside the sphere of current human knowledge.

5.You can't believe that Man descends from the monkey, which is so far below him?
Appeal To Consequence
"Maybe it's true, but that means your ancestors ate their own crap." Fair enough. There's no law that the truth can't be disgusting. Anyway, if you'd ever hung out with students you'd have no trouble believing it.

6.Don't you have a soul? Of course you do
Proof By Assertion
Of course it's true. It has to be, doesn't it. No really, it must be. Ah, think about it. And so on. Do you actually have an argument, or are you just going to carry on whining?

7.There are many predictions in the bible that have already come true.
Anonymous Authority
What predictions? Where are they in a bible? When did they occur? You say "many experiments have shown this". What experiments? Are they documented? Can you produce written documents? Or are you in fact just quoting something you vaguely remember reading in the Weekly World News once?

8.The return to morals is the only solution
Coincidental Correlation
Even if you accept that there's been a drop in faith and a rise in immorality, what actually connects the two? What about other factors - social change, movement from rural to urban life, industrialisation, advances in information
technology, etc.?

9.Most of the world believes in God
Appeal To Popularity
Too easy. Most of Germany voted for Hitler. England voted for Margaret Thatcher, three times. Why don't we all become communists? One billion chinamen can't be wrong.

10.Look in your heart
Now that's just silly.



Thanks to anomie for his/her excellent documentation of logical fallacies

#1) The noders preceding me seem to have summed up the logical faults or absence of proof that I see in your node, but I think I should say that what you have written is not groundless. The part where you say "Are you sure God doesn't exist?" is a question that is well worth asking. I'm not going to offer any proof that he doesn't exist, because I don't believe it can be proved either way. Humans have very limited perception, ie. we can (directly or indirectly) observe the movement of atoms and even sub-atomic particles, but we have a very limited knowledge about the force(s) causing this. Perhaps God is there. I don't know. But the second half of Reason #1 is what disturbs / offends me. Your scare tactics are an insult to the average man's intelligence. I am not sure that God exists, but I am not willing to conform myself to what the bible says and compromise my own values in order to be "safe" from the wrath of God. I believe that a person should always act based on his beliefs, no matter what. Trying to believe something that I don't believe would be hypocritical, and also detrimental to life.

#2) This part ties in to Reason #2. I think that I should solve moral dilemmas myself, and not leave them up to a book. That is, I should act on my own beliefs, not someone else's. I might ask the advice of a pastor, though I don't know any, only because I see them as an experienced and learned person. Even then, I won't folllow it as an order, but take it as a suggestion. I often find that it is best to seek advice from one's community, such as in Quaker Meeting, and draw from one's experience in order to make decisions.

#3) How can you tell me what I do or do not know? This is the kind of bigotry that can turn people away from religion. I do not care what religion gives me forgiveness; I'm not looking to buy indulgences.

#4) "If you believe in God, no problem." Religion and philosophy should be here to guide us in determining the answers to our questions or thinking about certain subjects. It should not a way to hide, like cowards, from questions of existence, morality, or what it means to be human.

#5) Your scare tactics, again, aren't working.There does not have to be an afterlife; you are offering opinion, without proof, without any evidence whatsoever. Also, see #3.

#6 - #9) Sigh. no comment.

#10) I was raised as a Quaker. Quakers believe that there is an inner-light inside everyone, and that this is the source of our spiritual guidance, our emotions, etc. Many believe that this is God, or God's voice, or what-have-you. Others, like me, do not. What I love about Quakerism, as a religion, is that they leave this decision up to you.
I'd like to respond to this as a writeup and tell you what I think is right and wrong with it.
Right: Footprints raises questions about what we take for granted: "Are you sure God doesn't exist?", "Can you explain infinity?", "Creation theory does not conflict with the belief in natural selection", etc. I think that these are thing we should speculate about, and we should not take the answers we've been given for granted. In that respect, he makes a very good, and well-intentioned, point.

Wrong: Footprints tells us what we know and do not know. He tells us, that we "can't possibly believe that evolution theory completely," that "there has to be an afterlife", and that we "know it's wrong" to watch movies. This kind of content in a node is self-defeating. We have to remember that we are on a website made for the sharing of factual information, and sometimes for a discussion on certain topics. It is time for us to treat each other as equals and to respect the opinions and beliefs of others. It is best that we try to understand the positions of others and when there are disagreements, we should not assume that we are always right, in fact, we should not make many assumptions at all. We should know that other people have reasons for their beliefs, just as we have reasons for ours; we are all coming from radically different backgrounds and geographic areas, so tolerance is the key. I'm sure that I've made mistakes to this effect, but I hope that I can change that. (Not to change what I've written, but to keep this in mind as I continue noding.)
Thought I would add my own ten reasons here why I believe in a "God" type thing. It should be noted that I am not ascribing to any one religion. I call it "Divinity" but everyone has their own word for what is or is not out there. This also does not mean I neccesarily worship this "God" thingy, but rather acknowledge it's out there somewhere.

  1. Something out there, is the Most Powerful Wossname: Let's get down to brass tacks. Just going on a power scale, there is a definite hierarchy. In some places it loops, but I think that whatever is The Most Powerful Wossname is effectively GOD... until something more powerful or clever takes it's place. In a beehive, the queen bee is God, until she is replaced.
  2. Even if a "God" didn't exist, it would be neccesary to create it: Again, let's just be perfectly blunt here... Most people are too simple-minded to find their ass with both hands and a flashlight. They need someone to tell them what to do so that they will be productive and generally contribute something of worth. That is where the "priestly class" comes in.

    Let us compare how a conversation could go two different ways.

    PRIEST: "Oh, hallo there, you shouldn't do that anymore."
    SIMPLE: "Wot? Having sex with all these people each night? Why not, then?"
    PRIEST: "Because you will contract diseases and spread diseases. You should look for something more stable."
    SIMPLE: "Wot's a disease?"
    PRIEST: "It's...where you...ummm... you get sick."
    SIMPLE: "It never made me sick before..."
    PRIEST: "Well there are these little germs and..."
    SIMPLE: "A germ? What's a germ."
    PRIEST: "It's this little invisible creature that makes you sick."
    SIMPLE: "Right."
    PRIEST: "errr..."
    (silence for a few moments)
    PRIEST: "You're not buying this, are you?"
    SIMPLE: "No, squire, not a bit."
    PRIEST: "Right... Good morning."
    SIMPLE: "Bugger off now, yer nutter."

    Now let's throw God in the picture.
    PRIEST: "HEATHEN! YOU MUST CEASE YOUR UNGODLY WAYS!"
    SIMPLE: "What?!?! What'd I do, then?"
    PRIEST: "THOU HAST OFFENDED THE LORD IN THY LUSTFUL WAYS!"
    SIMPLE: "Oh, shit!"
    PRIEST: "BLASPHEMOR! UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!"
    SIMPLE: "Oi!... right you are, squire, what should I do?"
    (about this time the Priest gets a really big shit-eating grin and tells Mr. Simple exactly what he should do to get back in good with this "Lord"...

  3. We are Gods ourselves to other Wossnames: This one always gets some people the wrong way. What I mean is this, to an Amoeba, we are a God. We are infinitely larger than one. We are capable of freezing one, bringing it back to life, splicing it with other things, altering it's DNA, and generally messing with it's world to the extent that we have Godlike Powers over it. The Amoeba, in turn has no concept of what we are... no idea what we look like... no idea who just poked it with a sharp pointy thing and suddenly it has turned blue... all it knows is... well... whatever it is that Amoebas know... The Amoebas, in turn, are gods to the tiny little bacteria that it feeds upon. The bacteria do not "see" an amoeba coming and know they should leave, or stay. They have no concept of amoeba. They do not learn to flee because they simply cannot comprehend the amoeba... all they know is that they are adsorbed...

    Let's move up the scale rather than down... it seems reasonable to think that we are definitely not exactly the pinnacle of life in this universe. We might have some concept of this guy in flowing robes and a "pull my finger" look on his face, but in reality, perhaps our "God" is just so much larger, and so differently shaped, we have no idea what it actually is...

    ...this would, of course, mean that "God" in turn, has a "God".... and so on...

  4. There's a LOT of Universe out there: I mean a WHOLE lot of Universe. I won't go into arguements on this, I'll just leave it at a quote from Jack Burton (Big Trouble in Little China.
    "Now I'm not saying I've been everywhere, or done everything, but a man'd have to be some kinda fool to think we were alone in this Universe."

  5. No one ever proved that "God" cares: Going from Number One, earlier, it is entirely possible that the "God" at the time neither knows about us, cares about us, or even wants us. For a more detailed arguement, I recommend reading Anselm's Ontological Argument, but from the opposite perspective of Anselm. We are, in theory, the most intelligent species on the planet, and yet the abominations we visit upon our children regularly exceed even the cruelest acts of nature. Why should something even more powerful and more intelligent than us be required to give a damn about us? Because we think He/She/It should? BWAHAHAhahahAHAHahahaAHA!!!

  6. Midgets and Dwarves: They have shown us that there is something more powerful than us out there and that It has a sense of humor. Please note that I never gave claim or denial as to whether or not "God" has a "Good" sense of humor.

  7. Because the son of a bitch that left me a goddamn Jack Chick pamplet instead of a tip when I was a waitor, made me believe: Actually he didn't make me believe, but I'm sure his self-righteous skinflint ass would love to think so... In point of fact he made me go on a lifelong crusade against those stupid bits of pulp, and now whenever I see one, I snatch it up and throw it away as quickly as possible or save it to burn. But I'm not bitter or anything.

  8. Because if I was a God, I'd do the same thing as...er..."God Wossname": See, if I was God, I gotta be totally honest with you. I'd be a total prick. In fact, I can't wait until I get a better machine so I can run Black & White to simulate being a God that is a total prick. After all, God has pretty much been a total prick to me my entire life, seems to have a really good time laughing it up, and enjoys to do this regularly, and she never once has to worry about retribution because she's...well...GOD...
    ...yeah it'd be good to be The King...

  9. Did I mention that bastard that left me the Jack Chick propaganda instead of a tip? Yeah, I used to be a waitor back in the day. Christians just LOVED to come to my table... and instead of a tip they'd leave those lame-ass pulp propaganda0 KomiK booKs or one of those cards that looks like a twenty dollar bill till you pick it up, and there's a stupid poem about what money can't buy you...

    To the people that do that, you make me hate your God. Me and every other waitor that got stiffed by your cheap ass, you made us believe--YOU MADE US BELIEVE WE HATE YOUR GOD! Because in OUR world, we still have to EAT... Our God Gives Good Tips, not reading material

    ...but I'm not bitter about it or anything...

  10. Some things you just can't explain: Despite it all, there are times when things happen you just can't explain. Times when you get a certain feeling. I usually attribute these to gas. But occasionally I'm pretty sure there's something out there, just from watching a cloudscape, or maybe even the way the wind tosses a bit of paper around an empty parking lot...

Anyways, those are my ten reasons... I never said I LIKED this "God" person... I just believe in It.
Does God exist? Is life just a meaningless accident or is there more to it than that? These questions have puzzled countless philosophers throughout the ages and stumped some of history's most intelligent individuals, but I can tell you the answer! There is a God, and here's why you should believe in Him, in just 8 short reasons (really, who needs a whole 10?):

1. A race as divisive, violent and downright sadistic as mankind could surely not be related to the gentle, sensitive mountain gorilla or the noble orangutan. The human race could only have originated in a special, separate act of creation.

2. Think back to the most tragic events of your life. These events could not have simply been unfortunate coincidences: you could not unaided have dug so many holes for yourself or placed so many barriers in your own way. There is a guiding presence at work in your life, tripping you up and stamping on you every step of the way.

3. Take a look at all the horror and misery in the world around you. A world as terrible as this one could not have arisen by random chance alone; unrelenting suffering and pain on such a devastating scale could only have been achieved by careful, calculated planning.

4. It might be comforting to think that you and all the people you hate will someday pass away and that you'll finally be able to rest your weary mind in oblivion, but to entertain such a hope is, of course, unrealistically optimistic. You may as well resign yourself to having to face the mind-numbing eternity of the afterlife as well.

5. As a human being you are weak, servile, pathetic and insignificant. You need to vicariously live through the achievements of an all-powerful deity in order to derive any kind of satisfaction from your worthless existence.

6. No one here on Earth likes you, so why not invent an imaginary friend who talks to you in your head, loves you, and is omnipotent? Why not call him Jesus?

7. Approximately 95% of the world are religious in some way. So many rational, intelligent, freethinking human beings could not all be deluding themselves.

8. Next time you walk down a street, take a look around you. Observe that about fifty percent of the people are on the opposite side to you. That's not just coincidence; it's because they're avoiding you. This has nothing to do with God. This is because you smell funny. But God can fix that.


this node was getting to be much too long. time to change to subject please and thank you.

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