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Prove me wrong and I'll change my faith

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posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 04:33 AM

Originally posted by thematrix
To whoever said "faith = free will" I couldn't agree less, but if thats what you think, good for you.

Who said faith = free will?

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 09:20 AM

Originally posted by melatonin
However, that belief should also not restrict the advancement of society, deceive people for religious motivations, or restrict other people's freedom of expression.

I agree with you melatonin. Well said.

My church is hardly in a place to influence policy or law. In fact we have lost “church” status in many states. My church doesn’t qualify as a “real” church because it doesn’t mandate a belief in a single deity. In many states, my church is not tax-exempt, is not recognized as a church by the state, and is sometimes generally looked down upon.
We are humanists that embrace reason and science.
We believe that every person possesses inherent worth and dignity.
We believe that choices for organizations should be made by a fair, democratic process.
We have no ancient text that governs us as a group.

Originally posted by holidaystar1
I would just like to point to the thread titled i.e. "moving past religion 101",
and remind some that this section of the board was delegated by the mods with these purposes in mind...

That’s a good point and I certainly don’t want to misuse the forum. If I am misusing it, then my thread should be closed at once. I am hoping to move into a deeper discussion of theology now. As I stated, I was purposely ambiguous in my opening thread. I actually started this because I am tired of the constant bickering over the existence or non-existence of deities. I respect the beliefs and convictions of others, I just wish we could truly move past Religion 101.

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 10:59 AM
I don't see how your church causing harm give you reason to leave it. ALL churches cause people harm in some way, however big or small. Anyone who thinks their church/religion causes no harm or ever has is probably deluded.

I'm not interested in you changing your faith... I think you said this was for purposes of learning and discussion anyway, and that's why I wrote.

Perhaps the good outweighs the bad, most of the time it does with any well-meaning religion. But really, what are the odds of such perfection ever existing in this world as a church that does no harm?

That's like expecting there to be a doctor who never makes mistakes. Even the best doctors have at some point made a mistake in their career and brought a trusting patient harm. Is that a reason to dismiss the doctor, of course not.

So by the same idea, I cannot see how harm caused by your church would give you reason to switch to another.

Shoot, I have seen people have houses built for them for the sake of goodness, only for them to move in and get broken into weeks later. All valuables taken. What a harmless cause huh? Building a house for somebody. Like I said, mistakes are made.

Of course the good outweighs the bad, and the intent and the ideal are awesome, but still harm was done. There is no such thing as a perfect cause.

[edit on 24-1-2007 by Novise]

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 06:11 PM

Originally posted by wellwhatnow
The point of my challenge is this:
My religion doesn't hurt you, so why must you try to change it? I think that this is what my exercise will prove.

Let the challenge begin.

No matter how heated a topic can get about religion, I don't think anyone wants you to change your religion. How you feel/what you base your faith on is up to you, noone else. I don't believe in god for many reasons. My major one would be because I don't like to think of something "higher up" being in control of my life, I like to have control. I also see no real evidence, but it all boils down to what you have faith in. If you have faith in it and you believe it, why change? Even if someone does prove you wrong, there is no point in changing what makes you happy and what you believe.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 04:00 AM
I know this may sound a lot harsher than I mean it to but I'm going to say it anyway.

I, as an theist, don't really care what other people believe (told you it'd sound harsh).
What I mean is it doesn't fuss me if you believe this or that. I will respect your beliefs, I will even learn as much about them from you as you can be bothered to teach me... but at the end of the day, your beliefs are yours, and I wouldn't ever try and tell you they are wrong or stupid or whatever. And I would expect the same treatment from you.

Although I find the idea of believing in a god or whatever pointless, other people find it reassuring, or important, or freeing... and that's fine. If something is making somebody happy, it isn't doing anything wrong.

Believe what you want, as long as I can believe what I want.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 08:20 AM

Originally posted by JackofBlades
I, as an theist, don't really care what other people believe (told you it'd sound harsh).

Sounds like me. Harsh maybe. Truth definitely.

Believe what you want, as long as I can believe what I want.


Free will means we will be free.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 08:53 AM

Originally posted by Novise
But really, what are the odds of such perfection ever existing in this world as a church that does no harm?
There is no such thing as a perfect cause.

I can really appreciate what you are saying. Nothing is perfect, not even a church. However, if my faith were really doing some serious (intentional?) harm I would be obligated to try to change it. I would either try to make changes in my church, change my personal beliefs, or change religions all together. I could never, in good conscience, keep doing things once I knew they were harmful to others. I just need to know what those things are (if any) that should be changed.

However, the real points I think I am trying to make with this exercise are:

1) When it comes to spiritual matters, there is no proof, and very little evidence, for why we believe what we believe. My actual spiritual practice (the activities in which I engage) are unlikely to have ever done anyone any harm, therefore, why should anyone care what I believe? It all leads me to believe that most of the bickering on this board exists for its own sake and not for the sake of finding truth.

2) People assume too much. I wanted to see just how many people would argue against my beliefs when they have no idea what my beliefs are in the first place. I see the same thing happen to atheist. Atheist are lumped all together into one group as if they all believe the same thing. Those who believe in a GOD or higher power are lumped together in the same way - as if they all believe the same thing.

However, I could be wrong about the above points. When I see people arguing so heatedly about beliefs, I wonder why. I wonder what difference it makes. There are very few times when I can see real reasons for the argument. So I think to myself, “Maybe I am missing something. Maybe some harm is being done that I just don’t see. What else could make these people act this way?”

My religion, my church, my faith, are all very flexible. If I am wrong and if there is any good reason why something, anything, about my beliefs should be changed, then I am all for changing it.

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 09:11 AM

Originally posted by wellwhatnow
If I am wrong and someone is able to demonstrate that my religion should be changed and/or abandoned, then I truly win, because I am made a better person, I am put on a better path.

We are all on a path for a reason, even those that are practicing evil/negative.

As long as you path harms none then do what you will. Remember though there are not any better people, we are just different.

We all have a role to play...

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 10:50 AM
I agree with you.

This has been an interesting excersize.

And it's funny, because while I agree with you, I questioned your purpose for questioning.

And I see that even while we had nothing to argue about, I still questioned...

So at the base of all this, is simply the idea that people rarely give others the benefit of the doubt...

Past that though, the really nasty arguments are stemming from ego, and also that some people are taught to believe in their faith as fact. They are taught that if they don't get mad when someone "Blasphemes" They themselves are blaspheming...

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 06:21 PM

Originally posted by Novise
So at the base of all this, is simply the idea that people rarely give others the benefit of the doubt...

That is pretty much what I have concluded at this point.

Originally posted by Novise
They are taught that if they don't get mad when someone "Blasphemes" They themselves are blaspheming...

I really like the way you put that.

I am curious about this one though:

Originally posted by Novise
I don't see how your church causing harm give you reason to leave it.

If one knows that what they are doing is harmful, why not stop? Sure there is no perfect cause. I am sure that the parking lot full of pavement could be better used by some burrowing animal as a habitat. Perhaps the machinery used to erect the building produced air pollution. I understand those things.

However, as far as dogma, liturgy, spiritual practices - if I found these to be doing harm I would feel obligated to quit them at once. Wouldn't you?

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 10:01 PM
The problem is, where do you draw the line? You are talking ethics, and ethics are never yes or no!

Once harm is done, it cannot be undone. To be capable of causing harm is really a probability of doing harm, not an absolute, because the future is never certain. And everything has a chance of doing harm.

So you can't change the past, and you can never be sure that you are harmless.

The thing is where do you draw the line. That is an opinion.

I'm pretty sure the majority of charities and mainstream churches have a decent amount of negative side effects, but they do enormous amounts of good. They cause harm on some level, all of them, but they do more good than harm (that is arguable, but I do believe the good outweighs the bad).

2 Ethical questions: Do you keep building houses for people if the odds remain 50/50 they will get busted into? Do you put in a $2000 security system with a monthly service fee that will raise their mortgage and living expenses and raise the chances of forclosure?

Do you continue evangelizing at every opportunity, even when you can NEVER know if the religion is right for that person? That stranger? And there is a possibility of effecting their life negatively - socially, politically, financially, and psychologically?

The answer is seemingly a resounding yes, you keep trying, even though you know there is always a chance of bad things coming from it.

But you can always draw the line, the answer is just never in black and white.

I'm sorry, but there just isn't a right answer to this question.

I really haven't been in that situation enough to know what's best , but to give you an answer... when it comes to seeing harm with my own eyes done on pretty much any level, that is enough of a reason for me to quit doing it. Though it may have been better to stick with it and deal with the imperfections.

What is the result? I don't go to church and I'm no longer involved in charity/good causes atm... This is a dilemma and I doubt that's the solution.

At the end of the day everyone is responsible for their own lives...

I'm sure I have spoken beyond what experience I have in life, truth is... I don't know

posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 11:26 PM

Originally posted by queenannie38

Originally posted by wellwhatnow
Faith is insanity.

Please. Say that again.
The most truth i've heard in aeons.

queenannie38 I not sure what you meant so I am directing this at wellwhatnow

NO NO NO, faith has many dimensions to it. Tell me do you believe in human rights? If you do then you will agree I have the right to have faith in my bathroom tap and offer it gifts. I have faith in Rodger Federer winning the Australian Open does that mean im insane? Just like you have faith in your agnostic, athiest, religious or own belief system.

[edit on 26-1-2007 by Selmer2]

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 02:13 AM
Sorry I didn’t make this clearer Selmer2 - I should have cleared this up earlier. Queenannie38 took my comment completely out of context. Here is the whole section:

Originally posted by wellwhatnow
It seems that both ATS and BTS are just full of threads that pit the atheist against the believers. We keep doing this topic to death.

Faith is illogical. Atheism is best. Jesus is the only way. There is no proof of GOD. We're all going to hell. Faith is insanity. The Bible says, "_______" fill in the blank. Etc, ad nauseum.

I truly don't see anything new being introduced. All I see is bickering.

You see, I was making a list of all the old tired arguments of which I am absolutely sick. I am told by some atheists that faith is illogical or insane or ignorant. They can say this even though they don’t know me, my needs, or my faith.

I am told by some Christians that Jesus is the only way when they don’t know what my goal is. How can they tell me how to achieve it when they don‘t know what it is? Sometimes Christians quote the Bible as if it were established fact. I have a Bible too, but you don’t see me quoting it as if everyone needs to follow it.

These types of comments disgust me too Selmer2. I often see them as ignorant as well.
That’s kind of the reason I began this thread in the first place.

edit spelling

[edit on 1/26/07 by wellwhatnow]

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 03:30 AM
I can see we are on the same wavelength I sincerly apologize. I see you are fed up with the same things I am.

I will edit the last few sentences to make my previous post less heavy.

I am a Catholic and I do not represent this baggering you have recieved from Christians, I am a servant of my God not my church I don't believe in the past and present evil of the vatican. I only stick to my religion because I believe in the first little church of St Peter not the history of man's corruption.

[edit on 26-1-2007 by Selmer2]

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 03:36 AM
i didn't mean to throw a wrench in the discussion with my comment about faith being insane.

for me, it has been - but not in a negative way either to me or to others (i hope and so far as i know)

but, because of holding only to a faith in God that God is true and God is love and God's love for us is life's path has been beyond what might be called 'insane.' and the only thing that kept me steady was my trusting God, truth, and love

and so now these days i wonder what does the word insane or sane really mean? i'm starting to believe that irrationality is the only way to leap across the chasm to nirvana

because it is an insane idea to leap across the abyss deep and wide but if God is on the other side and we are to break on through then we must take the insane leap of faith

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 04:31 AM
I understand queenannie its all good

so your saying your life at times has been 'insane'.

gotch ya.

[edit on 26-1-2007 by Selmer2]

posted on Jan, 26 2007 @ 09:03 AM

Originally posted by queenannie38
i didn't mean to throw a wrench in the discussion with my comment about faith being insane.

No problem. I have read enough of your posts here to have a good idea of where you stand. I knew that you didn't mean anything derogatory about faith.

I saw the potential for others to get the wrong idea, but then again, I could have been wrong - so I didn't say anything. In the end - no harm done.

For me, faith is like this - when I fall, I know I will fall downward. I will not fall up or sideways. Gravity works and always pulls downward.

The laws of physics will not become void today. Bodies at rest will still tend to stay at rest and Force will still equal Mass times Acceleration.

Some people today will die and some will be born and the cycle of life will continue in the same manner it did yesterday. People will not suddenly stop dying and humans will not suddenly begin to reproduce through budding.

Just like my arms are a part of me, I think that the above things are a part of GOD. I can't see gravity or potential energy, but I know they exist - and therefore GOD exist.

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