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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 01-13-15, 01:18 PM   #101
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
Not sure what you are writing here, but if somebody is only seeing things, that from their persective, always existed (like our planet), they simply may not care where it came from and only focus on the things that are actually, actively, changing in and around them. Who cares where the planet came from if your villiage is being wiped out by something your science hasn't evolved enough to understand (plague).
So we're reducing skeptics to the level of villagers who don't understand plague?

It's pretty obvious what kefrank is saying. What we see over & over in these threads are those claiming to be atheists (non-believers) who seem to share a common belief that "science" will ultimately provide the answers, along with assertions that Christians are "anti-science", "uneducated", "backward", "knuckle-draggers", etc. because many Christians do not believe that "science" (that is, "human" ideas of science that presume to exclude God rather than God-created scientific principles) can provide all of the answers (and, indeed, that many cherished positions held by non-believing "scientists" run contrary to belief in "natural principles" (those that can be observed and which operate in predictable ways).

Just look at the posts from some here who lift their posts from atheist blogs (judging by the copyright data...not from speculation). SOMEBODY is buying those "Darwin" stickers.

Now it seems that there is a whole cadre of non-believers out there who are saying, "I only need to know what is in front of me and don't care about origins," etc...views that I have always thought were anathema to most "public" atheists.

And, before someone posts for the 1,000th time that there are "atheists are not a team," please at least acknowledge the conventions, book sales, videos, celebrity status, etc. of those claiming to be atheists. Perhaps there does not need to be a consistency of philosophy or creeds among atheists, but it surely seems that there is some common need among many of them to band together, post youtube videos, and buy the wares of their heroes who are hawking them.

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Old 01-13-15, 01:21 PM   #102
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Again, your very use of the word "atheism" argues against your own sentiments.

A "non-belief" that can be expressed becomes a "belief" if it summarizes an intellectual position. Yes, I can say that I "don't believe that unicorns exist," but most people don't sit around discussing how their actions might be affected due to the absence or existence of unicorns. Not so with atheism...otherwise, great writers such as Dostoyevsky would not have said that, in the absence of God, all things are permissible.

"Romantic love" is a concept that cannot be "proven" to exist. Some people act (in various ways) due to the idea that they "believe in love" or "are romantic at heart." Others may not do so and state that their lack of actions is due to the following: "I don't believe in romantic love." To say that non-belief in concepts cannot influence actions is to deny the power of ideas (and rejecting those ideas).

A person can say, "I don't believe in capitalism" and then act upon those ideas to eliminate capitalism. You may say that it's their belief in some other economic system, but the point is that their choice of philosophy becomes their creed (unless they constantly change belief systems at the drop of a hat). To do otherwise would be to live in constant turmoil and chaos without any belief system.

Arguing that "atheism isn't a thing" (which is oxymoronic in itself) denies that such a belief lead someone to choose actions & philosophies that would not otherwise be considered. If you ask someone, "Why don't you go to church?" and they reply, "Because I don't believe God exists...otherwise, I would," then that "non-thing" has become a reason.
Do you go around looking for pots of gold at the ends of rainbows? No? Then you're an A-Leprachaunist!

The only reason atheists discuss God and religion is because they are often affected by religious people who want to enforce their religious views on us.

Also, you can't treat belief in the existence of God the same as belief in romantic love. Love is an emotion. We all have emotions. We see the evidence of our emotions, and the emotions of others. We form our belief that someone loves us based on what they say and do, and how they act towards us. Not all abstract concepts are equal. You may say that you see evidence of God's love all around, but others can respond with equal authority that what you interpret as a sign of God's love can just as readily be attributed to something else. Not so with the love of a particular person towards another particular person.


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Originally Posted by creekdipper
What we see over & over in these threads are those claiming to be atheists (non-believers) who seem to share a common belief that "science" will ultimately provide the answers, along with assertions that Christians are "anti-science", "uneducated", "backward", "knuckle-draggers", etc. because many Christians do not believe that "science" (that is, "human" ideas of science that presume to exclude God rather than God-created scientific principles) can provide all of the answers (and, indeed, that many cherished positions held by non-believing "scientists" run contrary to belief in "natural principles" (those that can be observed and which operate in predictable ways).
I also see that reaction, and I wish it were otherwise. I always like to say that science may provide us with answers to all of our questions, but it may not. I don't contend that the scientific method, or rational thought, is the only path to knowledge - it's just the only path that has been proven so far to be reliable.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:25 PM   #103
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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The law of conservation of energy, if you consider the universe to be a closed system. But I'm not a physicist, so don't take my word for it.
I'm not a physicist either, but my rudimentary understanding is that the law of conservation of energy is not widely held to be applicable at a cosmological level, though inflationary theory and "zero energy universe" hypotheses may jive with it. I do not claim to understand the details on any of that though. My point is that scientific explanations of what is considered natural still don't answer the question of the universe's "eternality" so belief that the universe has existed forever requires some amount of belief in the "supernatural" or at least the "not-yet-definitely-natural".
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Old 01-13-15, 01:30 PM   #104
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Do you go around looking for pots of gold at the ends of rainbows? No? Then you're an A-Leprachaunist!

The only reason atheists discuss God and religion is because they are often affected by religious people who want to enforce their religious views on us.

Also, you can't treat belief in the existence of God the same as belief in romantic love. Love is an emotion. We all have emotions. We see the evidence of our emotions, and the emotions of others. We form our belief that someone loves us based on what they say and do, and how they act towards us. Not all abstract concepts are equal. You may say that you see evidence of God's love all around, but others can respond with equal authority that what you interpret as a sign of God's love can just as readily be attributed to something else. Not so with the love of a particular person towards another particular person.
I've considered that argument, but the same thing can be said for emotions. Are they "real"...or are they mere responses to chemicals in our brains & biological programming?

You can point to 'evidence' of emotions, but those can be attributed to other things. A person expressing emotions that signal one thing may actually be feeling or thinking something quite different. Outward expressions can be used to mask inward feelings...or to deceive for selfish purposes. Emotions can change rapidly, as anyone who has taught middle school can tell you. And it is undeniable that people who claim to feel the same emotion may express those feelings in drastically different ways.

If "love" is so transparent, why has so much art revolved around the abuse of what was portrayed as "love" when it was actually something quite different?

I was going to post that atheists discuss God & religion because they're naturally whiny (knowing that you'd take it in the humorous way it was intended), but some people just take things too personally.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:32 PM   #105
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I also see that reaction, and I wish it were otherwise. I always like to say that science may provide us with answers to all of our questions, but it may not. I don't contend that the scientific method, or rational thought, is the only path to knowledge - it's just the only path that has been proven so far to be reliable.
While I obviously don't agree with your conclusions, Bando, your post is most helpful in understanding your line of thinking.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:37 PM   #106
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I've considered that argument, but the same thing can be said for emotions. Are they "real"...or are they mere responses to chemicals in our brains & biological programming?

You can point to 'evidence' of emotions, but those can be attributed to other things. A person expressing emotions that signal one thing may actually be feeling or thinking something quite different. Outward expressions can be used to mask inward feelings...or to deceive for selfish purposes. Emotions can change rapidly, as anyone who has taught middle school can tell you. And it is undeniable that people who claim to feel the same emotion may express those feelings in drastically different ways.

If "love" is so transparent, why has so much art revolved around the abuse of what was portrayed as "love" when it was actually something quite different?
Good point. I don't know whether love is due to chemical reactions in our brains, or whether it is a separate phenomena. If it were due to chemical reactions, I don't think that denigrates it at all. The effects are the same. We don't know why someone has those (chemical or other) reactions to one person and not another, they just do.

And I've never claimed that love is transparent or easily understood. It's quite complex, because emotions and people are complex.

Quote:
I was going to post that atheists discuss God & religion because they're naturally whiny (knowing that you'd take it in the humorous way it was intended), but some people just take things too personally.
If not naturally whiny, then naturally combative. Or at least naturally persnickety.

I'm really enjoying this conversation. Thanks, creek.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:41 PM   #107
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I'm not a physicist either, but my rudimentary understanding is that the law of conservation of energy is not widely held to be applicable at a cosmological level, though inflationary theory and "zero energy universe" hypotheses may jive with it. I do not claim to understand the details on any of that though. My point is that scientific explanations of what is considered natural still don't answer the question of the universe's "eternality" so belief that the universe has existed forever requires some amount of belief in the "supernatural" or at least the "not-yet-definitely-natural".
Point taken. As I said in the Charlie Hebdo thread, there might be some "supernatural" explanation for the universe, i.e., something outside of our natural universe from which the building blocks of our universe came. Whether or not that involves some intelligence or purpose is an even more difficult question.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:44 PM   #108
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Not sure what you are writing here, but if somebody is only seeing things, that from their persective, always existed (like our planet), they simply may not care where it came from and only focus on the things that are actually, actively, changing in and around them. Who cares where the planet came from if your villiage is being wiped out by something your science hasn't evolved enough to understand (plague).
I was just asking for clarification from dave-o, because his "third option" seemed somewhat inconsistent to me. I don't mean to reduce it or characterize it poorly, but it sounded like he was describing a belief that leaves no room for the supernatural, except for the apparently supernatural notion that the universe has existed forever in some form. Unless I'm just uninformed (very possible!), our understanding of nature has not confirmed or denied that notion with any certainty.

As for your example, you seem to be describing what I would call a "context-centric humanism" that believes in or is concerned with only what is directly observed, experienced and understood by the individual. In some sense, many people operate that way in that they are only concerned with the corner of the universe that is centered on them and their experiences. On the other hand, very few people actually operate like that fully though. We all accept plenty of things as true, significant and even "natural" that we've never personally observed or experienced.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:47 PM   #109
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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As I said in your sig quote, mallet...

What would be the difference between an "unbeliever" and a "non-believer"? Surely you would acknowledge that there are atheists who once professed belief (just as there are believers who once did the opposite...everybody, in fact, if you believe in original sin. We were born on the same side, mallet)
In this case I was using the terms unbeliever and non-believer synonymously. I was trying to highlight the middle category, that of lapsed believer, which would encompass the "bad Christian" (for example, a believer who habitually commits adultery), as opposed to lumping those people in with actual atheists. I feel like you're still making assumptions about atheism and I'm trying to more precisely define what it is and what it isn't.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:51 PM   #110
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Point taken. As I said in the Charlie Hebdo thread, there might be some "supernatural" explanation for the universe, i.e., something outside of our natural universe from which the building blocks of our universe came. Whether or not that involves some intelligence or purpose is an even more difficult question.
Agreed. That's the line where physical cosmology transitions to metaphysical cosmology. Despite what some strong adherents might want to preach on both sides of that line, one does not necessarily negate, nor provide definitive support for the other.
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Old 01-13-15, 01:57 PM   #111
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Aside from some mostly good-natured snark, this seems to be a useful discussion (continuing many previous discussions over the years). I like to try to get in a now & then (yep...usually falling flat) but hope no confuses posts from either side that may be challenging (even aggressively so) as being intentionally hostile or demeaning. I think most of us here have been there, done that & are old enough that we've learned that back-and-forth insults just get tiresome after so many years. I have some regrets about alienating a few posters in the past due to being too aggressive...hopefully, learned a few lessons along the way.

Sometimes it seems that posters are seeing things almost the same way (drawing different conclusions, naturally) but that it's like being on either side of a smudged plane of glass and trying to see the other person's views distinctly. I appreciate the effort made by those of any viewpoint to at least try to understand where the other person is coming from...it certainly encourages me to look more closely at views contrary to my own (even if it's just to come to a more harmonious existence).

DVDTalk is a mostly peaceful refuge on the internet. I think that it's fair to say that nearly all posters here can take their views being disparaged to some degree without getting angry or holding grudges.

And the mods do a nice job keeping things civil, friendly, and stimulating (just not in the Eddie Money way).
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Old 01-13-15, 02:08 PM   #112
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I would think the notion of anything having always existed would be inherently a "supernatural" notion. What in nature supports the notion of eternal existence?
Why would it have to be supernatural? What in nature precludes the eternally existent universe? Just because we have a bias of think in terms of temporal, beginnings, endings etc., does not mean it is the only option....
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Old 01-13-15, 02:13 PM   #113
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Mallet, I see that as a cop-out. I agree that there is no consistent, agreed-upon philosophy that characterizes atheists (the same can be said for many who claim to be under the "Christian" umbrella while holding highly-contradictory views). However, it is that very lack of an agreed-upon "moral" framework that makes antisocial behavior not only possible but beyond universal condemnation for atheists. An atheist can say, "I don't personally agree with your behavior, but that's just my opinion (which may or may not be shared by others). That's it.

The argument usually goes that atheists don't need "religion" or a deity in order to lead "moral" lives (but, as you yourself say, that term is ambiguous anyway). However, I submit that the majority of those who commit antisocial behaviors ARE atheists in the way they conduct their lives. I can claim to be an atheist or a Christian, but whereas only one expression of belief is necessary to be the former, MOST people would examine standards of behavior to justify the former. I've already stated that Christians do commit immoral acts, but (according to scriptures) sincere, credible Christians express remorse and do not continue to habitually, repeatedly, willfully continue to commit those sins as though they don't matter.

I am not making any claims about atheists other than recognizing what qualifies one as an atheist and also acknowledging that atheists can conform to any set of standards and be a member of the family, so to speak. There must be some connection to and defect in the belief that God doesn't exist since so many who commit crimes are de facto atheists judging by their actions.
I think you should give up on trying to think like an Atheist. You are awful at it. It is clearly beyond your cognitive skills to put yourself in anyone's shoes but your own. Again and again it's either they're antisocial serial killers who refrain from killing because of fear of getting caught, or some sort of robot that Darwin programmed to operate only within the narrow scope of your personal understanding of his theories, or a religious fanatic operating under the guise of Atheism.

The idea that Christians don't commit crimes because anyone who commits a crime can't be Christian because a Christian would never commit a crime because they'd really be an Atheist is goofy.
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Old 01-13-15, 02:18 PM   #114
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I think you should give up on trying to think like an Atheist. You are awful at it. It is clearly beyond your cognitive skills to put yourself in anyone's shoes but your own. Again and again it's either they're antisocial serial killers who refrain from killing because of fear of getting caught, or some sort of robot that Darwin programmed to operate only within the narrow scope of your personal understanding of his theories, or a religious fanatic operating under the guise of Atheism.

The idea that Christians don't commit crimes because anyone who commits a crime can't be Christian because a Christian would never commit a crime because they'd really be an Atheist is goofy.
Who are you and what have you done with our bob?

Seriously, bob...I've never seen you post anything remotely like this before. Aside from the contradictory part ("think like an Atheist"...when it is commonly agreed that atheists can think anthing...a point stated multiple times in this very thread by both sides), there's the second paragraph which is just a jumbled mess that is, by mutual agreement, just plain goofy. If only I had an inkling of where you got such notions, I could respond. But it makes it impossible to believe that you actually wrote those words unless you're just not yourself today.

bob, are you okay? (serious question...no sarcasm involved) I'm actually worried.

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Old 01-13-15, 02:26 PM   #115
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

First, you guys are all stupid for letting this thread get this long since last night. But I'll respond because I'm home sick and fuck you all in as Christian a manner as possible. Now to your collective stupidity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Danger View Post
I'm familiar with the saying, "If God seems distant, guess who moved?"

Is this the similar observation, "If God's message is garbled, there must be a bad connection at your end"?
No.

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
I would love to hear what the reasons for it being wrong are.
Yes, it would likely be fascinating to you.

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Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
Since Christians accept everything God orders as good, and God has ordered rape, torture and genocide, I don't think that's possible.
You've already got on your big boy pants, so let's try on a big boy thinking cap to go with it. I'm a Christian. Much of the bible is history and written by the victors. I can easily accept that many terrible things were done that scribes attributed to God that had nothing to do with God. No different than any other religious culture. But I see atheists want to use this, and if often works because the majority of Christians don't really think about things, or get concerned that if they give an inch, and something in the bible isn't perfectly true, then they won't know what is and what isn't. That is weak minded nonsense.

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^^^^^^^^^
This is religion

Atheism is not a team, it means belonging to no team.
What is so difficult about it.
Hey, there is no team and this guy has 1.1 million followers on his lack of team. https://twitter.com/richarddawkins

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Atheism is a religion like money is speech. Atheism is a religion like corporations are people. Those would be much better analogs, wouldn't they? None of those things seem like they ought to be associated with those groups, but they are according to the highest court in the land.
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Old 01-13-15, 02:28 PM   #116
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Well, so much for Peace In Our Time.
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Old 01-13-15, 02:32 PM   #117
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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As for your example, you seem to be describing what I would call a "context-centric humanism" that believes in or is concerned with only what is directly observed, experienced and understood by the individual. In some sense, many people operate that way in that they are only concerned with the corner of the universe that is centered on them and their experiences. On the other hand, very few people actually operate like that fully though. We all accept plenty of things as true, significant and even "natural" that we've never personally observed or experienced.
I think the key is when the third person observation begins. It's been a very long time my schoolin' days, but I seem to remember examples where it was found that small groups did actually have context only belief systems. But it was found they quickly exploded into full religions as the answer for "why are so many of us dying from sickness" became something other than scientific explantion and expanded into did the same cause also create everythign else? And then any third party would then enter into the equation and make it even more complicated.

But the main point, which I thought was a simple one, is that if a person can understand true athiesm, it's also possible that a belief in something other than science can, at least for a time, be totally focused on only what is currently happening. Not things some people see as a given like earth, air, life, and death.

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Old 01-13-15, 02:33 PM   #118
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Do not think that I came to bring peace on this thread; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

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Old 01-13-15, 02:35 PM   #119
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Do not think that I came to bring peace on this thread; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

While I understand the sentiment, don't you think your statement might be regarded as just a tad presumptuous?
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Old 01-13-15, 02:37 PM   #120
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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I think you should give up on trying to think like an Atheist. You are awful at it.
Yup.

I would say more about the no true Scotsman fallacy again (as a rep for my many Great! Christian friends and family members that simply disgaree with other Christians) but that too seems to be like
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Old 01-13-15, 02:37 PM   #121
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Well, so much for Peace In Our Time.
You were like the DVDtalk Neville Chamberlain, failing to recognize the unreasonable malevolence of kvrdave.
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Old 01-13-15, 02:38 PM   #122
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Do not think that I came to bring peace on this thread; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

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Old 01-13-15, 02:41 PM   #123
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

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Do not think that I came to bring peace on this thread; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

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Old 01-13-15, 02:51 PM   #124
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

This thread got weird. Leave it to kvrdave.
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Old 01-13-15, 02:52 PM   #125
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Re: Brand-spanking New Atheist- & Christian-bashing thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
Why would it have to be supernatural? What in nature precludes the eternally existent universe? Just because we have a bias of think in terms of temporal, beginnings, endings etc., does not mean it is the only option....
Does that bias not come from our understanding of the laws of nature? I guess we can assign a word other than "supernatural" if there's a better one, but an eternally existent universe is not currently affirmed by our understanding of the laws of nature nor is it necessarily contradicted. Maybe it's transnatural?
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