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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 06:52 AM
I am surprised to see atheists here. I thought they preferred to stay in their safe echo chambers. As a former atheist myself, I hope they don't mind if I ask them a few questions.

First, why are you here? To learn about Islam? Are you more interested in Islam than other religions? If yes, why?

Are you against religion? Against all religions, some religions, or no religions?

How do you define God? Do you believe that your truths are just in your mind, or are actually in the external world (in the spirit of Plato)? If the latter, is there any more basis for this belief than for a belief in God?

I will be honest, I wouldn't mind having a real debate with an atheist. This is generally impossible because I am banned virtually everywhere where atheists are found, since modern culture is the world's most intolerant culture.
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Scimitar
06-09-2016, 03:38 PM
Wait... let me grab some popcorn... ah maybe I should wait, iftar is still some hours away... can this wait? :D
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sister herb
06-09-2016, 03:43 PM
It did not bother us that they are here. Does it bother you?

(DonĀ“t eat all popcorns, scimi.)
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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 04:35 PM
Originally Posted by sister herb
It did not bother us that they are here. Does it bother you?
Not at all. I am thrilled with the possibility that open minded atheists may actually exist.
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Delphi
06-09-2016, 04:48 PM
I will debate you, if you want. It's always good to hear/have a decent debate.
I am honestly here to prove, or disprove the assertions of certain european Identitarian groups. Hopefully, disprove, but that to me depends on how much faith I have in human nature. Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihadwatch don't paint a good picture, and at least some of that is serious news instead of conservative ranting. I came here to hear the other side of the coin as I am traditionally leftist and only support such viewpoints with reluctance.
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EgyptPrincess
06-09-2016, 04:51 PM
Jihadiwatch is that an actual site? LOL ;D
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Delphi
06-09-2016, 04:54 PM
I always try to stay open minded. Personally I don't believe Islam is entirely negative - I've met many open minded modern muslims. Sufis, Mu'tazila, the Islamic/Arabic golden age of science, during which Christianity was stuck in the dark ages. I am honestly deeply upset by religious fanatics who want to remake the world in the image of their ancient holy texts, rather than the modern system of secular law and scientific reason that allows different cultures to live together in peace. I'm here to prove, or disprove, the assertion that conflict is inevitable. Hopefully, it is not.
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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 04:58 PM
Originally Posted by Delphi
I am honestly here to prove, or disprove the assertions of certain european Identitarian groups. Hopefully, disprove, but that to me depends on how much faith I have in human nature
Before debating, I would like to understand this. What assertions and which groups? I am not Muslim but I am sympathetic to most traditionalist groups including traditional Anabaptists, Karaite Jews, Muslims, and the European far right.
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Delphi
06-09-2016, 05:02 PM
Yes. It's Robert Spencer's website. He's an intellectual conservative. I myself am liberal, and probably more a fan of Richard Dawkins. I would only embrace those views if confronted with a clear and present danger of a theocracy in the west. Right now in my head, the jury's out. Freedom of Religion DOES mean something to me - I'm compelled by my humanistic code to seek a better answer than just to dismiss people. However, I keep feeling that the entirety of the west will fight to the last to preserve that freedom of conciousness and existence. However, far be it for us to tell traditionally Muslim countries what to do. I'd prefer to live, let live, and not intervene militarily unless for defensive purposes. I guess that means, yes, Afghanistan, no, Iraq. Ideally people would stay within their traditional spheres of influence and practice their traditional culture the way they wished.
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Delphi
06-09-2016, 05:07 PM
Pegida, the AFD, the English Defense League, ect. I don't like neofacists. My ancestors fought to keep england free of facist evil. "We will fight on the beaches, we will fight in the hills and on the landing grounds." I am honestly hoping they are wrong - that conflict is not inevitable. I think it revolves around the central matter of religion being a private matter of concience vs something that the state has the duty to endorse, enforce and promote. This is the age old conflict in western culture and after endless religious wars in Europe, our answer was that "It's a private matter. You can believe whatever you want, but you can't use force to enforce that. God/the divine/the universe will sort it out when you die." It's this law of peace that keeps multiculturalism together. We've all agreed to live, let live, and let the other live.
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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 05:29 PM
Delphi, okay I see. I didn't know about jihadwatch. So a few comments...

I am a strong supporter of freedom of religion myself. Both traditional Christianity and traditional Islam have a good record for freedom of religion. Atheism has a terrible record. Christian history is mixed with Catholicism being pretty bad, but America was a Christian nation when it was founded and put in place very strong guards of freedom of religion. Islam actually has freedom of religion built directly into it with the dhimmi concept. This has been abused in the last few centuries, but hopefully Muslims will reject modern ideas and return to their roots which support freedom of religion. I don't think the world has ever seen a more intolerant religion than Atheism. Its most transparent form was communism, but modern liberalism is the same, only more hypocritical and so less transparent in its aim of destroying other religions. Here is an example just from today:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPRdK4x7ojk

Now regarding jihadwatch... I only skimmed this but I assume it is standard far right anti-Muslim stuff. You may wonder how I can be sympathetic to both Islam and the European far right when they oppose each other. So let me explain. Leftism is a cultural disease much like cancer is to the body. It has made Western Europe rotten. In its weakened state, Western Europe is open to be taken over by some other culture. The obvious contestants are Islam and the European far right. They are competing to take over Western Europe, so naturally they oppose each other, but either one would be far preferable to the rot of Leftism. Here is a good explanation:

https://caamib.wordpress.com/2016/01...ion-of-europe/
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Delphi
06-09-2016, 05:56 PM
I can respect the police harassing a person in grade 1 for handing out bible verses being a bit ridiculous. I learnt a lot about science at about the same age.

I'm not sure what to say about the second link. I'm honestly a lot more comfortable with traditional Chrstianity and the alt-right. It just seems to represent a very cynical view of human nature. If we're all just competing tribes of apes then eventually someone will raise the mating duel ante to nuclear weapons, and then we're all doomed, or the resulting cataclysm will severely damage our potential as a species. To me the only answer against our primitive nature is logic and reason.
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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 07:02 PM
Originally Posted by Delphi
I'm not sure what to say about the second link. I'm honestly a lot more comfortable with traditional Chrstianity and the alt-right. It just seems to represent a very cynical view of human nature. If we're all just competing tribes of apes then eventually someone will raise the mating duel ante to nuclear weapons, and then we're all doomed, or the resulting cataclysm will severely damage our potential as a species. To me the only answer against our primitive nature is logic and reason.
Don't you see the irony in your statement? From an evolutionary point of view, we are all just competing tribes of apes. Do you believe in evolution? I do. In fact the Old Testament, which I follow, also fundamentally views people as just competing tribes of apes. Leftism views people as some kind of gods who have escaped the forces of biology. So which view do you think is more scientifically accurate?

At this point, I am honestly starting to support the idea of nuclear war. Humanity is currently in rapid genetic decay, thanks to leftism and feminism. Some abrupt force is needed to put strong survival pressure on humanity to cause positive genetic selection to prevent irreversible genetic decay which would cause us to become primitive primates. I think nuclear war would do the trick.
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Pygoscelis
06-09-2016, 07:53 PM
I have no interest in stepping on Delphi's figurative toes, and I have little interest in debates online, but I will answer your questions :) And I will point out that wherever you wind up with Delphi, is Delphi and Delphi alone, and the same would be true of myself or any other atheist, as there is no common dogma for atheism - it literally just means one who doesn't have a belief in Gods. I've had as many disagreements with fellow atheists as I have had with theists :)

Originally Posted by fschmidt
First, why are you here? To learn about Islam? Are you more interested in Islam than other religions? If yes, why?
I cam here shortly after 9/11 and all of the hysteria and islamophobia that came after it. I found a lot of what people were saying hard to believe, and some of it was just plain obviously wrong. I am Canadian, and I had people from the USA insisting to me that Canada had adopted sharia law and that we were cutting off hands, etc. I came here to see what other things I'd heard about Islam were false, and what may be true. I got answers pretty quickly, and in doing so formed some long lasting online friendships with some Muslims here. I am glad that I came here, as it helps me to rebuff islamophobic statements of other non-muslims around me in real life, and it helps me to broaden my view and see things from a perspective that is alien to my own.

Plus it just downright fascinates me. In Islam I am seeing an entire world view and extensive system of how life should be lived, including just about every aspect of it, based on what I see as the imaginary. And these are very intelligent and very well meaning people who honestly think this way. How and why does that happen? How could that not fascinate me?

Are you against religion? Against all religions, some religions, or no religions?
That really depends. I can see some positives to religion: the sense of community, the ingroup bonding, the music and poetry and art and cultural contributions, the hope for ultimate justice, the comfort factor, etc. I also see a lot of negatives though, mostly the concepts of faith and revelation (rather than science and skepticism) as a virtue, and obedience to power trumping empathy etc. More specific negatives vary from religion to religion, but for me on the whole I see religion as a net negative.

When it comes to Christianity, I especially dislike the concepts of original sin (that I could be held responsible for something an ancestor did) and of vicarious redemption (that somebody else is allowed to pay for my "sins"). I also see the God depicted in the bible (which is a fictional character from my viewpoint) as more of a tyrant than saviour. When it comes to Islam, I am especially concerned over the pushing of obedience as virtue, and the idea that we should be "slaves" to Allah. I find a lot of the cultural aspects and fringe elements of it very troubling as well, but that varies wildly from Muslim to Muslim. I recognize that daesh is an outlier, but I do see them as following what they see as Islam.

How do you define God?
It changes every time I hear from a new theist. I try to listen to what they believe is God and try to address that accordingly. I know some people who believe that God is an active mind that literally watches all we do and literally interferes with our lives daily, that they will face him when they die like in a movie, etc. And I also know some deists as well as some people who think of "God" as nothing more than love or kindness itself, which would make me by their definition not an atheist.

Do you believe that your truths are just in your mind, or are actually in the external world (in the spirit of Plato)? If the latter, is there any more basis for this belief than for a belief in God?
I don't believe in any "Truth" to the same extent or with the same "Faith" that many religious people believe in religious truths. I am scientifically minded, and I believe that everything I think I know could be wrong (yes, including my atheism) and is subject to change with better evidence.

I will be honest, I wouldn't mind having a real debate with an atheist.
I don't know if that will be encouraged or shut down by the mods here. I do know that they have shut down threads before due to people encouraging belief in other religions or atheism. But if they allow it, then I look forward to reading through your debate with Delphi :)
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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 09:43 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Plus it just downright fascinates me. In Islam I am seeing an entire world view and extensive system of how life should be lived, including just about every aspect of it, based on what I see as the imaginary. And these are very intelligent and very well meaning people who honestly think this way. How and why does that happen? How could that not fascinate me?
There are actually many systems (religions) of how life should be lived. It is very healthy to recognize this, but this seems very rare in modern culture.

When it comes to Christianity, I especially dislike the concepts of original sin (that I could be held responsible for something an ancestor did) and of vicarious redemption (that somebody else is allowed to pay for my "sins").
I am not Christian, but I would like to answer this. The concept of original sin originated with Saint Augustine and is not intrinsic to Christianity. Eastern Orthodox Christians don't have this concept. They also don't really have the concept of vicarious redemption. Their view is Jesus's death made salvation possible. A completely secular way of understanding this is that Jesus's death made possible the spread of monotheism which made possible Islam, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, thereby saving the West from terminal cultural decline that was seen in most other parts of the world (Mayans for example).

I also see the God depicted in the bible (which is a fictional character from my viewpoint) as more of a tyrant than saviour. When it comes to Islam, I am especially concerned over the pushing of obedience as virtue, and the idea that we should be "slaves" to Allah. I find a lot of the cultural aspects and fringe elements of it very troubling as well, but that varies wildly from Muslim to Muslim. I recognize that daesh is an outlier, but I do see them as following what they see as Islam.
Humans are primates who are only capable of being moral under the direction of a strong alpha-male. God serves as a virtual alpha-male who promotes morality. Without this, high levels of morality are not possible, as history proves.

It [definition of God] changes every time I hear from a new theist.
Don't you think that if you are going to say that X doesn't exist, you should know what X is and not change the meaning of X all the time?

I don't believe in any "Truth" to the same extent or with the same "Faith" that many religious people believe in religious truths. I am scientifically minded, and I believe that everything I think I know could be wrong (yes, including my atheism) and is subject to change with better evidence.
You still aren't differentiating yourself from the religious here. Many religious people would say that they aren't certain of the nature of God and that whatever they believe about this "is subject to change with better evidence". But they have faith that God exists. Analogously, I am not asking you about a specific truth, rather I am asking you whether you believe that external Truth exists regardless of exactly what that Truth is? And if so, what is the basis of this belief?

I don't know if that will be encouraged or shut down by the mods here. I do know that they have shut down threads before due to people encouraging belief in other religions or atheism.
I don't know either, but I do know that on any forum in modern culture, this thread would have been shut down already, so Islam is already proving itself a better supporter of free speech.
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jabeady
06-09-2016, 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
I am surprised to see atheists here. I thought they preferred to stay in their safe echo chambers. As a former atheist myself, I hope they don't mind if I ask them a few questions.

First, why are you here? To learn about Islam? Are you more interested in Islam than other religions? If yes, why?
Yes.
Yes.
I am interested in Islam because I know nothing about one of the major forces in the world today.

Are you against religion? Against all religions, some religions, or no religions?
I am not opposed to any religion, provided that religion does not attempt to impose itself onto others.

How do you define God? Do you believe that your truths are just in your mind, or are actually in the external world (in the spirit of Plato)? If the latter, is there any more basis for this belief than for a belief in God?
I define God as a super-being capable of suspending, violating or amending the laws of physics at will.

Atheism is neither truth nor belief. It is a lack of belief, period. That I do not believe in God is not to say that I believe God does not exist, it is rather that I see no verifiable evidence supporting his existence. Give me verifiable, incontrovertible evidence that he exists and I will change my interpretation of the totality of the evidence accordingly.

I will be honest, I wouldn't mind having a real debate with an atheist. This is generally impossible because I am banned virtually everywhere where atheists are found, since modern culture is the world's most intolerant culture.
Hmm...
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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by jabeady
I am interested in Islam because I know nothing about one of the major forces in the world today.
Very good. Have you tried reading the Quran?

I am not opposed to any religion, provided that religion does not attempt to impose itself onto others.
Also very good. So then if a Christian baker doesn't want to sell a cake to a homosexual couple, Secularism should not impose its views on him and force him to sell the cake, right?

I define God as a super-being capable of suspending, violating or amending the laws of physics at will.
But quantum mechanics shows that basically all aspects of reality are probabilistic, this being significant at the quantum level and becoming increasing statistically insignificant as mass increases. But still, this proves that essentially any imaginable miracle is possible without violating the laws of physics, just highly unlikely. Therefore God can do almost any miracle without "suspending, violating or amending the laws of physics".

Atheism is neither truth nor belief. It is a lack of belief, period. That I do not believe in God is not to say that I believe God does not exist, it is rather that I see no verifiable evidence supporting his existence. Give me verifiable, incontrovertible evidence that he exists and I will change my interpretation of the totality of the evidence accordingly.
We will need to clarify your definition of God before I can do this.
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jabeady
06-09-2016, 10:33 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Very good. Have you tried reading the Quran?
Yes, and I find the official translations difficult to follow. I can read Shakespearian English quite easily, but would really like to find a plain-English version.

Also very good. So then if a Christian baker doesn't want to sell a cake to a homosexual couple, Secularism should not impose its views on him and force him to sell the cake, right?
This is a political, not a religious, question. It is being decided in our courts, and I will comply with the decision.

But quantum mechanics shows that basically all aspects of reality are probabilistic, this being significant at the quantum level and becoming increasing statistically insignificant as mass increases. But still, this proves that essentially any imaginable miracle is possible without violating the laws of physics, just highly unlikely. Therefore God can do almost any miracle without "suspending, violating or amending the laws of physics".
I think I see why you have trouble on most atheist forums. The invocation of quantum mechanics is seen as a red flag that pseudoscience is being introduced.

Personally, I wasn't there when the universe came into being; all I know is that physicists are generally quite happy with the Big Bang theory, although there are indications that it may be due for some alterations. It is my understanding, however, that quantum mechanics, while they may signify a realm where the rules of Newtonian and Einsteinian physics no longer apply as we know them, still conform to certain rules of their own, which we are only now beginning to dimly recognize.


We will need to clarify your definition of God before I can do this.
See above. I believe my definition of God stands, as is. If you wish to discuss the Theistic v Deistic views of God, I'll bow out until God's existence has been validated.
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fschmidt
06-09-2016, 11:23 PM
Originally Posted by jabeady
I am not opposed to any religion, provided that religion does not attempt to impose itself onto others.
Originally Posted by jabeady
This is a political, not a religious, question. It is being decided in our courts, and I will comply with the decision.
I am confused. How can a religion impose itself on others if not politically?

I think I see why you have trouble on most atheist forums. The invocation of quantum mechanics is seen as a red flag that pseudoscience is being introduced.

Personally, I wasn't there when the universe came into being; all I know is that physicists are generally quite happy with the Big Bang theory, although there are indications that it may be due for some alterations. It is my understanding, however, that quantum mechanics, while they may signify a realm where the rules of Newtonian and Einsteinian physics no longer apply as we know them, still conform to certain rules of their own, which we are only now beginning to dimly recognize.
I have a very strong background in science. I was raised atheist and studied science and history when I was young. I only became interested in religion later. The reason that atheists hate me is because I can respond to anything they throw at me, because I completely understand their way of thinking.

Science doesn't deal with certainty to begin with. Any theory may be disproven later. But the best theories of science can be subject to controlled experiments. Anyone who believes in inductive reasoning will accept such theories. Other theories are accepted because they seem to be the simplest explanation given the facts, in other words the most probable explanation. The Big Bang theory is such a theory. I happen to believe in the Big Bang, but I would never tell a religious person that his view of the origin of the universe is wrong, only that I personally find it less probably than the Big Bang theory. It is arrogant atheist with a shallow understanding of science who tend to be the harshest critics of religious views.

Finally I will explain the relationship of quantum mechanics, relativity, and Newtonian physics. All science is just an attempt to describe some realm of nature. Newtonian physics came first and accurately describes physics at human scale (in terms of mass and speed). But this broke down at high speed, so relativity came in and described the world at human scale and up in mass and speed. Newtonian physics works out mathematically to be an approximation of relativity at human scale. Quantum mechanics deals with the very small. Our human concepts break down here, but we can describe things mathematically without really understanding it conceptually. Quantum mechanics does not describe relativity, these are simply different domains so far. But to not describe doesn't mean to not apply. Of course relativity should apply to the very small, but it is focused on forces like gravity that are not significant here, so relativity doesn't actually describe much. Similarly, quantum mechanics applies to larger scale but is not significant enough to describe much. I hope that clarifies things.

See above. I believe my definition of God stands, as is.
Actually it doesn't. My criticism of your definition based on quantum mechanics is still unanswered.
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Pygoscelis
06-10-2016, 03:58 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
They also don't really have the concept of vicarious redemption. Their view is Jesus's death made salvation possible. A completely secular way of understanding this is that Jesus's death made possible the spread of monotheism which made possible Islam, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, thereby saving the West from terminal cultural decline that was seen in most other parts of the world (Mayans for example).
Vicarious redemption is at the core of the idea of Jesus "dying for your sins" and redeeming you through him, etc.

What does Jesus' death have to do with monotheism? You don't need a dead demi-god to have monotheistic beliefs. Nor do monotheistic beliefs save you from cultural decline.

God serves as a virtual alpha-male who promotes morality. Without this, high levels of morality are not possible, as history proves.
Obedience to king, fuhr, dictator or God may be a means of creating and maintaining order, but it is not morality. Morality is listening to our evolved senses of empathy and fairness. It sometimes means going AGAINST power. Might does not mean right. And in the case of Gods, ultimate might does not mean ultimate right.

Don't you think that if you are going to say that X doesn't exist, you should know what X is and not change the meaning of X all the time?
It would be disingenuous for me to insist on what God is and then argue against such a straw man. I have no identity or ownership over the word "God", and I am quite happy for you to define it and then to respond to your claims from there. As I said, it changes drastically from theist to theist.

You still aren't differentiating yourself from the religious here. Many religious people would say that they aren't certain of the nature of God and that whatever they believe about this "is subject to change with better evidence".
If they have an evidence based and falsifiable belief in God readily changed by evidence, then I agree, such a theist would not be very different from myself. That isn't the sort of theist I routinely encounter, especially online.

I don't know either, but I do know that on any forum in modern culture, this thread would have been shut down already, so Islam is already proving itself a better supporter of free speech.
What do you mean by "modern culture" and why are you excluding Islam from it? Are you saying that Islam is archaic or backwards culture? And none of the forums I visit that would have shut this thread down thus far, not even this one.

You seem to think that atheists hate you, etc. I can't see why that'd be so. Other than if you happen to carry on in a rude manner, which you haven't thus far. I can point you to an atheist forum where people will openly, calmly, and fairly address you if you would like.
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Pygoscelis
06-10-2016, 04:04 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
They also don't really have the concept of vicarious redemption. Their view is Jesus's death made salvation possible. A completely secular way of understanding this is that Jesus's death made possible the spread of monotheism which made possible Islam, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment, thereby saving the West from terminal cultural decline that was seen in most other parts of the world (Mayans for example).
Vicarious redemption is at the core of the idea of Jesus "dying for your sins" and redeeming you through him, etc.

What does Jesus' death have to do with monotheism? You don't need a dead demi-god to have monotheistic beliefs. Nor do monotheistic beliefs save you from cultural decline.

God serves as a virtual alpha-male who promotes morality. Without this, high levels of morality are not possible, as history proves.
Obedience to king, fuhr, dictator or God may be a means of creating and maintaining order, but it is not morality. Morality is listening to our evolved senses of empathy and fairness.

Don't you think that if you are going to say that X doesn't exist, you should know what X is and not change the meaning of X all the time?
No, because there is little reason to say X doesn't exist if there isn't somebody putting forth the claim that X does exist. And it would be disingenuous for me to insist on what God is and then argue against such a straw man. I have no identity or ownership over the word "God", and I am quite happy for you to define it and then to respond to your claims from there. As I said, it changes drastically from theist to theist.

You still aren't differentiating yourself from the religious here. Many religious people would say that they aren't certain of the nature of God and that whatever they believe about this "is subject to change with better evidence".
If they have an evidence based and falsifiable belief in God readily changed by evidence, then I agree, such a theist would not be very different from myself, but they would be a rare theist indeed.

Analogously, I am not asking you about a specific truth, rather I am asking you whether you believe that external Truth exists regardless of exactly what that Truth is?
I can't know that for certain, but I believe so, yes, due to controlled experimentation and repetition finding consistent results.

I don't know either, but I do know that on any forum in modern culture, this thread would have been shut down already, so Islam is already proving itself a better supporter of free speech.
What do you mean by "modern culture" and why are you excluding Islam from it? Are you saying that Islam is archaic or backwards culture? And I don't know of any forums I visit that would have shut this thread down so far other than religious ones.

You seem to think that atheists hate you, etc. I can't see why that'd be so. Other than if you happen to carry on in a rude manner, which you haven't thus far. I can point you to an atheist forum where people will openly, calmly, and fairly address you if you would like, and if the mods here would allow it.
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fschmidt
06-10-2016, 04:38 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Vicarious redemption is at the core of the idea of Jesus "dying for your sins" and redeeming you through him, etc.
This isn't the place to debate Christianity, so I will pass here.

What does Jesus' death have to do with monotheism? You don't need a dead demi-god to have monotheistic beliefs. Nor do monotheistic beliefs save you from cultural decline.
Tying one's ideas to a martyr seems to be a pretty effective marketing strategy. Plato did it with Socrates and Paul did it with Jesus. Without Jesus's death, I doubt monotheism would have spread as effectively as it did.

Obedience to king, fuhr, dictator or God may be a means of creating and maintaining order, but it is not morality. Morality is listening to our evolved senses of empathy and fairness. It sometimes means going AGAINST power. Might does not mean right. And in the case of Gods, ultimate might does not mean ultimate right.
The average person, by default, is stupid, immoral, and lacking in self-discipline. Religion is needed to overcome the default. Maybe 1 person in 1000 can find morality in himself, not more. A benevolent king can inspire morality, but he is mortal, so this is temporary. To make morality long-lasting, it must be encapsulated in religion. Machiavelli discusses this in detail here:

http://www.constitution.org/mac/disclivy1.htm#1:11

It would be disingenuous for me to insist on what God is and then argue against such a straw man. I have no identity or ownership over the word "God", and I am quite happy for you to define it and then to respond to your claims from there. As I said, it changes drastically from theist to theist.
You can find my thoughts on this here:

http://www.mikraite.org/God-for-Atheists-tp18.html

If they have an evidence based and falsifiable belief in God readily changed by evidence, then I agree, such a theist would not be very different from myself. That isn't the sort of theist I routinely encounter, especially online.
Sorry but you are still missing the point. The Western idea of Truth which originated with Plato and which is assumed by all atheists that I know of is not a falsifiable belief. It is fundamentally a religious concept.

What do you mean by "modern culture" and why are you excluding Islam from it? Are you saying that Islam is archaic or backwards culture?
"Modern culture" is a poor name, but the best I can think of. I am referring to current post-Christian Western culture. Islam is not part of this (thankfully).

And none of the forums I visit that would have shut this thread down thus far, not even this one.
I am sure that I have been banned from over 100 "modern" forums for posting things similar to what I posted to this thread. The general pattern is that I get hostile rude insults. And when I defend myself effectively, I am banned, and then they ridicule me after banning me. This is standard practice in "modern culture". "Modern culture" is by far the nastiest, most intolerant culture in the world.

You seem to think that atheists hate you, etc. I can't see why that'd be so. Other than if you happen to carry on in a rude manner, which you haven't thus far. I can point you to an atheist forum where people will openly, calmly, and fairly address you if you would like.
I have posted to a number of atheist forums, and they all insult me and then ban me. In fact, before I became religious and I still considered myself an atheist, I received this treatment just for posting on an atheist forum that I like the Old Testament. These days I do everything I can to avoid places where modern culture is dominant. I am currently planning to move to a Conservative Mennonite community to get away from modern culture.

One other point, besides the immorality of modern culture, what I find most offensive is that it is extremely anti-intellectual. Modern culture is quickly becoming an Idiocracy where intelligence is viewed as ridiculous.
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Scimitar
06-10-2016, 04:45 AM
Are you sure you two know what monotheism is?

Jesus preached it, but after his time Paul the anti-christ of xtianity taught the TRINITY - that's polythiesm, sheesh.

Scimi
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Pygoscelis
06-10-2016, 04:49 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
I have posted to a number of atheist forums, and they all insult me and then ban me. In fact, before I became religious and I still considered myself an atheist, I received this treatment just for posting on an atheist forum that I like the Old Testament.
I would be weary of you if you endorsed old testament "morality" to me in person, but I wouldn't ban you from anything.
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Scimitar
06-10-2016, 04:52 AM
I would be weary of an atheist defining old testament morality to be frank... or john, or harry :D
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fschmidt
06-10-2016, 04:53 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Are you sure you two know what monotheism is?

Jesus preached it, but after his time Paul the anti-christ of xtianity taught the TRINITY - that's polythiesm, sheesh.

Scimi
Then why did Muhammad call Christians "People of the Book" and consider them above pagans?

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Scimitar
06-10-2016, 04:57 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Then why did Muhammad call Christians "People of the Book" and consider them above pagans?
Your contextual dissemination needs work.

May I give you a pointer - not a null pointer as you are concurrently pushing, but a real pointer - laser style ok?

People of the book refer to a previous people who had failed their faith, and so - Islam came to set the record straight.

The Jews claimed Ezra was the son of God,

The Christians did the same with Jesus (blame paul the mercenary and dajjal of that time period for that crap)and went further with the holy ghost - three separate entities - polytheism.... do you know what theology is?

I would advise a crash course.

Scimi
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Scimitar
06-10-2016, 05:08 AM
Anyway, as you were fellas - I go bed.

Assalaam.
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fschmidt
06-10-2016, 05:08 AM
Originally Posted by Timi Scar
Your contextual dissemination needs work.

May I give you a pointer - not a null pointer as you are concurrently pushing, but a real pointer - laser style ok?

People of the book refer to a previous people who had failed their faith, and so - Islam came to set the record straight.

The Jews claimed Ezra was the son of God,

The Christians did the same with Jesus (blame paul the mercenary and dajjal of that time period for that crap)and went further with the holy ghost - three separate entities - polytheism.... do you know what theology is?

I would advise a crash course.

Scimi
I was just asking. I don't see how asking a question is a "null pointer". Anyway, Christians don't consider themselves to be polytheists, they consider themselves to be monotheists. It is all a matter of definitions. My definition of God happens to be closer to the Islamic definition, but I don't see much benefit to arguing with Christians. And I have spent time studying Christian theology to understand their viewpoint. It doesn't appeal to me, but at least I understand it.
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Cpt.America
06-10-2016, 05:41 AM
Originally Posted by jabeady
Yes, and I find the official translations difficult to follow. I can read Shakespearian English quite easily, but would really like to find a plain-English version.


This is a political, not a religious, question. It is being decided in our courts, and I will comply with the decision.



I think I see why you have trouble on most atheist forums. The invocation of quantum mechanics is seen as a red flag that pseudoscience is being introduced.

Personally, I wasn't there when the universe came into being; all I know is that physicists are generally quite happy with the Big Bang theory, although there are indications that it may be due for some alterations. It is my understanding, however, that quantum mechanics, while they may signify a realm where the rules of Newtonian and Einsteinian physics no longer apply as we know them, still conform to certain rules of their own, which we are only now beginning to dimly recognize.




See above. I believe my definition of God stands, as is. If you wish to discuss the Theistic v Deistic views of God, I'll bow out until God's existence has been validated.
I think you're reading the Yusuf Ali translation.
Try the "Noble Quran" translation.
It's pretty easy to follow.

-Peace
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Sm412
06-10-2016, 07:07 AM
I don't know why atheists would waste their time here. People get banned left and right for being critical of Islam and/or debating Islam's validity.

If we can't stand up to scrutiny, are we really representing Islam? If Islam is the one true religion, and it is, it should stand on its own merits, which it does. I say we let it. Let's debate the critics.

Or not. We could just keep banning them.
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Scimitar
06-10-2016, 11:18 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
I was just asking. I don't see how asking a question is a "null pointer". Anyway, Christians don't consider themselves to be polytheists, they consider themselves to be monotheists. It is all a matter of definitions. My definition of God happens to be closer to the Islamic definition, but I don't see much benefit to arguing with Christians. And I have spent time studying Christian theology to understand their viewpoint. It doesn't appeal to me, but at least I understand it.
you haven't studied anything lol.

the only monotheistic Christian group in the world is a minority group known as Eastern Orthodox Church who only believe in one God and do not deify Jesus or and Holy Ghost - please stop chatting out of your rear end fella.

Fix up
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jabeady
06-10-2016, 06:18 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
I am confused. How can a religion impose itself on others if not politically?
Socially. However, it would be all to easy to let this particular question/answer devolve into bickering about definitions, so I urge caution.

To clarify, however, I was thinking primarily of witch burnings, book banning, taking a cholera sufferer to a clergyman rather than to a doctor, that kind of thing.

I have a very strong background in science. I was raised atheist and studied science and history when I was young. I only became interested in religion later.
I attended a seminary and only began my way to atheism as a result of reading "Inherit the Wind."

The reason that atheists hate me is because I can respond to anything they throw at me, because I completely understand their way of thinking.
That "completely" makes me think arrogance has something to do with it. That, and body odor.

Science doesn't deal with certainty to begin with. Any theory may be disproven later. But the best theories of science can be subject to controlled experiments. Anyone who believes in inductive reasoning will accept such theories. Other theories are accepted because they seem to be the simplest explanation given the facts, in other words the most probable explanation. The Big Bang theory is such a theory. I happen to believe in the Big Bang, but I would never tell a religious person that his view of the origin of the universe is wrong, only that I personally find it less probably than the Big Bang theory. It is arrogant atheist with a shallow understanding of science who tend to be the harshest critics of religious views.
So far, we agree, with the possible exception of that last sentence. I would hardly call my own understanding of the sciences deep, but I know enough to realize I could be wrong. If I am, however, it's an honest error. If I should not be condemned for making an honest error, then I have no right to condemn an honestly religious person for making what I believe to be an error.

Finally I will explain the relationship of quantum mechanics, relativity, and Newtonian physics. All science is just an attempt to describe some realm of nature. Newtonian physics came first and accurately describes physics at human scale (in terms of mass and speed). But this broke down at high speed, so relativity came in and described the world at human scale and up in mass and speed. Newtonian physics works out mathematically to be an approximation of relativity at human scale. Quantum mechanics deals with the very small. Our human concepts break down here, but we can describe things mathematically without really understanding it conceptually. Quantum mechanics does not describe relativity, these are simply different domains so far. But to not describe doesn't mean to not apply. Of course relativity should apply to the very small, but it is focused on forces like gravity that are not significant here, so relativity doesn't actually describe much. Similarly, quantum mechanics applies to larger scale but is not significant enough to describe much. I hope that clarifies things.
So, you still haven't established that quantum physics doesn't follow a set of rules. Therefore, my definition of God as a superbeing capable of breaking the rules at will, stands.

Another clarification: Here, I am thinking about the granting of prayers and the performing of miracles, as they are commonly understood. A "miracle" is, by definition, the suspension, alteration or violation of physical law, quantum or otherwise.

BTW, you're going to have to cut me a little slack. For some reason, my computer will only work properly if I'm using the Advanced Reply interface. This means I can't scroll up and refer to a post previous to the one I'm actually replying to. Consequently, I sometimes have to guess, based on your follow-on comments, at the context.
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Scimitar
06-10-2016, 09:22 PM
Your passive aggressive post is not working out for you.

Scimi
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fschmidt
06-11-2016, 02:18 AM
Originally Posted by jabeady
Socially. However, it would be all to easy to let this particular question/answer devolve into bickering about definitions, so I urge caution.

To clarify, however, I was thinking primarily of witch burnings, book banning, taking a cholera sufferer to a clergyman rather than to a doctor, that kind of thing.
Socially? I don't understand what this means. A religion can use social pressure, all religions and cultures do. But socially impose? A strange concept.

Witch burnings are not social, they are just simple violence. Book banning is political. And a cholera sufferer going to a clergyman rather than to a doctor is a personal choice that people should be free to make.

That "completely" makes me think arrogance has something to do with it. That, and body odor.
Spoken like a true Atheist.

So, you still haven't established that quantum physics doesn't follow a set of rules. Therefore, my definition of God as a superbeing capable of breaking the rules at will, stands.

Another clarification: Here, I am thinking about the granting of prayers and the performing of miracles, as they are commonly understood. A "miracle" is, by definition, the suspension, alteration or violation of physical law, quantum or otherwise.
It is somewhat frustrating to explain science to those with little background. While you studied Christianity in seminary, I was entertaining myself in college by reading original papers in mathematics (my major).

I will try explaining again. Quantum mechinics describes things mathematically using probability density functions which effectively defines the probably distribution of where something might be if it is interacted with. This doesn't really fit with human common sense and is described in various ways by physicists. Here is one popular view:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation

The key point here is that the world is not fundamentally deterministic, but is probabilistic. The laws of physics don't say what will happen, but rather say what the probability is of various outcomes. Based on this, a miracle turns out not to be a violation of physical law, but rather a very low probability event (which does not violate the laws of physics).

BTW, you're going to have to cut me a little slack. For some reason, my computer will only work properly if I'm using the Advanced Reply interface. This means I can't scroll up and refer to a post previous to the one I'm actually replying to. Consequently, I sometimes have to guess, based on your follow-on comments, at the context.
What I do is to copy-and-paste the text into a text editor, edit it there, and then copy it back into the browser.
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jabeady
06-13-2016, 06:02 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Socially? I don't understand what this means. A religion can use social pressure, all religions and cultures do. But socially impose? A strange concept.
Why? Any kind of peer pressure is an imposition. Shunning would be a classic example. In any case, the idea is the same: conform, or be ejected from that society.

Witch burnings are not social, they are just simple violence. Book banning is political. And a cholera sufferer going to a clergyman rather than to a doctor is a personal choice that people should be free to make.
Regarding the last, feel free to consult all the clergymen, snake charmers, homeopaths, snake oil salesmen or whatever you want, so far as it's on your own behalf. You have no right, however, to force someone else to do it. Denying qualified medical care, especially in life-or-death circumstances, should be outlawed (and is, in some jurisdictions).

For the rest, it's just quibbling about definitions, again.

It is somewhat frustrating to explain science to those with little background. While you studied Christianity in seminary, I was entertaining myself in college by reading original papers in mathematics (my major).
Maybe it's your tone of voice? Just a thought.

I will try explaining again.
No need. What it boils down to is that you have found a way to justify the idea of a super-being manipulating physical laws at whim somehow does not violate scientific principle.

In McLean v Arkansas, 1974, one of the numerous US court cases over whether Creationism belongs in school science classrooms, a group of scientists submitted an amicus curiaebrief defining "science," which was accepted by the court and incorporated into its finding. Science, it said, follows these principles:

1) It is involved solely with the natural world;

2) It seeks answers solely through natural explanations;

3) Its propositions are falsifiable;

4) It's propositions are testable;

5) Its conclusions are tentative.

Near as I can tell, reliance on a super-being violates all of these. Additionally, all scientific theories make predictions; it seems to me that any theory relying on the will or whims of some intelligence exercising free will cannot make predictions.
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fschmidt
06-13-2016, 10:48 PM
Originally Posted by jabeady
Why? Any kind of peer pressure is an imposition. Shunning would be a classic example. In any case, the idea is the same: conform, or be ejected from that society.

Regarding the last, feel free to consult all the clergymen, snake charmers, homeopaths, snake oil salesmen or whatever you want, so far as it's on your own behalf. You have no right, however, to force someone else to do it. Denying qualified medical care, especially in life-or-death circumstances, should be outlawed (and is, in some jurisdictions).
This is the type of hypocritical double-talk that is typical of atheists and the rest of the Left. Basically, when they push their ideas, they are just being "rational", but when anyone else pushes contrary ideas, they are "imposing". All I can say is thank you for demonstrating what complete hypocrites Atheists are.

In McLean v Arkansas, 1974, one of the numerous US court cases over whether Creationism belongs in school science classrooms, a group of scientists submitted an amicus curiaebrief defining "science," which was accepted by the court and incorporated into its finding. Science, it said, follows these principles:

1) It is involved solely with the natural world;

2) It seeks answers solely through natural explanations;

3) Its propositions are falsifiable;

4) It's propositions are testable;

5) Its conclusions are tentative.

Near as I can tell, reliance on a super-being violates all of these. Additionally, all scientific theories make predictions; it seems to me that any theory relying on the will or whims of some intelligence exercising free will cannot make predictions.
Virtually everything taught in the "social sciences" also violates these principles. I actually agree that religion should not be taught in science class, it should be taught in religion class. But similarly, "social science" is a complete misnomer that should be renamed "the religion of liberalism" and be taught in a class on the religion of liberalism/atheism. Do you agree?
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jabeady
06-14-2016, 12:40 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
This is the type of hypocritical double-talk that is typical of atheists and the rest of the Left. Basically, when they push their ideas, they are just being "rational", but when anyone else pushes contrary ideas, they are "imposing". All I can say is thank you for demonstrating what complete hypocrites Atheists are.
In my "Hello" thread, I promised that I knew when to walk away. That point appears to have been reached.

Peace.
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Pygoscelis
06-14-2016, 02:50 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
This is the type of hypocritical double-talk that is typical of atheists and the rest of the Left.
Do you equate "atheist" with "left"? Because I know many atheists to the far right of the political spectrum.

Basically, when they push their ideas, they are just being "rational", but when anyone else pushes contrary ideas, they are "imposing". All I can say is thank you for demonstrating what complete hypocrites Atheists are.
This is mere trash talk with no basis. Jabeady didn't seek to impose anything. He is right to walk away from you.

Virtually everything taught in the "social sciences" also violates these principles.
Define "social sciences". Do you mean all of sociology? All of social psychology? All of psychology? Neurology? I have studied social cognition and neurology and I can tell you that both follow the scientific method and make falsifiable hypotheses.
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YusufNoor
06-14-2016, 03:04 PM
hey Pygo,

long time, no see!

i'd say Pygo being here is a good thing. he always has good manners despite all of our differences and is never nasty or mean.

perhaps, we can all learn a thing or two from him, eh?

i know they'll close comparative religion if I post in it, but take a pointer from Pygo. he talks facts, even if they are as he sees them (or if I disagree with them ;D). this section is full of Muslims repeating things that they aren't familiar with and end up writing fiction in place of fact. we are not supposed to do this!

Comparatively speaking, little love flows in this section, so...

May Allah comfort all of those injured and killed in Orlando and may He comfort, succor and and assist all those affected by it.

May Allah accept all the fasts of those who are fasting.

May Allah increase the knowledge of the Muslims and decrease their love and hold on ignorance.

Ma Salaama!
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fschmidt
06-14-2016, 08:34 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Do you equate "atheist" with "left"?
No, but there is a large overlap and many similarities between the groups.

Define "social sciences". Do you mean all of sociology? All of social psychology? All of psychology? Neurology? I have studied social cognition and neurology and I can tell you that both follow the scientific method and make falsifiable hypotheses.
Sociology, social psychology, and psychology are "social sciences". I don't know what "social cognition" is, but neurology is part of biology and is real science.
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Pygoscelis
06-14-2016, 09:06 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Sociology, social psychology, and psychology are "social sciences". I don't know what "social cognition" is, but neurology is part of biology and is real science.
Social Cognition is how minds and brains react to group pressures. A classic studies of social cognition are social loafing, the bystander effect, group think, and the Asch experiments (social conformity). Milgram's classic experiment is also borderline social cognition. These phenomena can be and are studied scientifically, with falsifiable hypotheses.
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Pygoscelis
06-14-2016, 09:08 PM
Originally Posted by YusufNoor
hey Pygo,

long time, no see!

i'd say Pygo being here is a good thing. he always has good manners despite all of our differences and is never nasty or mean.

perhaps, we can all learn a thing or two from him, eh?

i know they'll close comparative religion if I post in it, but take a pointer from Pygo. he talks facts, even if they are as he sees them (or if I disagree with them ;D). this section is full of Muslims repeating things that they aren't familiar with and end up writing fiction in place of fact. we are not supposed to do this!

Comparatively speaking, little love flows in this section, so...

May Allah comfort all of those injured and killed in Orlando and may He comfort, succor and and assist all those affected by it.

May Allah accept all the fasts of those who are fasting.

May Allah increase the knowledge of the Muslims and decrease their love and hold on ignorance.

Ma Salaama!
Good to see you! But hey, don't go ruining my cred as the bad guy here ;)
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fschmidt
06-14-2016, 09:21 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Social Cognition is how minds and brains react to group pressures. A classic studies of social cognition are social loafing, the bystander effect, group think, and the Asch experiments (social conformity). Milgram's classic experiment is also borderline social cognition. These phenomena can be and are studied scientifically, with falsifiable hypotheses.
To understand what this is, I looked here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_c...ty_experiments

While this is theoretically falsifiable, in practice all such experiments generally are conducted with the same flaw, namely that it is only conducted on members of one culture. To make a general statement about social cognition, the experiment must be conducted in a wide variety of cultures, and this never seems to be done. So in practice, I would consider this field to be worthless.
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Pygoscelis
06-14-2016, 10:22 PM
So you read about a few studies from one group of researchers on one small topic of social cognition, and conclude that because you remain ignorant of other studies, you dismiss not just that small topic, but the entire feild of social cognition? Despite all of the other research that fills entire decades of peer reviewed scientific journals?

And yet you expect me to believe in your God, with no tangible evidence or falsifiability whatsoever?

Sure, that makes sense.....

As for research areas like this needing more cross cultural focus, I agree, but let us not pretend it doesnt exist at all. It is actually a great area to explore right now, and people are.
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fschmidt
06-14-2016, 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
So you read about a few studies from one group of researchers on one small topic of social cognition, and conclude that because you remain ignorant of other studies, you dismiss not just that small topic, but the entire feild of social cognition? Despite all of the other research that fills entire decades of peer reviewed scientific journals?

And yet you expect me to believe in your God, with no tangible evidence or falsifiability whatsoever?

Sure, that makes sense.....

As for research areas like this needing more cross cultural focus, I agree, but let us not pretend it doesnt exist at all. It is actually a great area to explore right now, and people are.
First of all, I told you up front that I don't know this field. Then I used the one example that you provided to judge it, which seems fair. I also know that many of these kinds of studies that I have seen in the past suffer from the problem that I described. It isn't enough to just add "more cross cultural focus", it should be a requirement before any such theory is accepted.

Regarding God, I have actually suggested a falsifiable experiment to prove the validity of God here:

http://www.mikraite.org/Programmable-Gods-tp20.html

I haven't gotten much interest in this, but if you are interested in conducting this study, I would be glad to help and I am a programmer who can do this.
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Pygoscelis
06-14-2016, 11:10 PM
I only had to read the first few paragraphs of that to reach your agreement that the existence of God is not falsifiable...

If God belief yields some advantages (and it should since it has evolved), that says nothing of the actual existence of gods. A lot if irrational and untrue beliefs can be useful.
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fschmidt
06-14-2016, 11:33 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
I only had to read the first few paragraphs of that to reach your agreement that the existence of God is not falsifiable...

If God belief yields some advantages (and it should since it has evolved), that says nothing of the actual existence of gods. A lot if irrational and untrue beliefs can be useful.
To discuss the existence or nonexistence of something like God or gravity is meaningless. What matters is whether the concept usefully describes what we experience. Gravity is valid concept because it accurately describes the behavior of objects of mass. But arguing about the actual existence of gravity is basically philosophical nonsense. The same applies to God. As gravity describes objects of mass, God describes societies and cultures. And God is a valid concept for the same reason that gravity is a valid concept, because God does accurately describe what we know about history. And now I have suggested a way of experimentally validating this. How long will you let your blind faith in Atheism prevent you from seeing the facts?
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jubal
06-15-2016, 01:50 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
To discuss the existence or nonexistence of something like God or gravity is meaningless. What matters is whether the concept usefully describes what we experience. Gravity is valid concept because it accurately describes the behavior of objects of mass. But arguing about the actual existence of gravity is basically philosophical nonsense. The same applies to God. As gravity describes objects of mass, God describes societies and cultures. And God is a valid concept for the same reason that gravity is a valid concept, because God does accurately describe what we know about history. And now I have suggested a way of experimentally validating this. How long will you let your blind faith in Atheism prevent you from seeing the facts?
I hope you don't mind if some random guy jumps in sir, I apologies if you do.....

However I must point out that if your point about God being a useful concept is true based upon its ability to explain is to be taken seriously then the word God must mean something.

The primary attribute (essence) of God is usually the various omi's (all powerfull all knowing etc.)

I'm sure you have seen how these potentially contradict, likewise im sure how you have seen people make the claim that God's true nature is unknowable as well.

This poses to problems that brender the word God potentially cognitively meaningless:

1: incoherence- "I was drawing a squiangle" (defined as a 3 sided square) doesn't tell me what im drawing because the idea of a squiangle is literally unthinkable.

2. Undefined essence- If God's essence is unknown then we are unable to ascribe meaning to the word God.

For example: I can see a chair in a dark room, I can't tell what color it is but i can see its a chair. I know what word corresponds to the idea of chair thus I have the means to tell you there is a chair in the dark room.

If however I cannot tell its a chair and can only see its red I cannot have knowledge of the chair and therefore cannot tell you of the chair.

If God exists outside of our cognitive ability to understand him then we may not use him as a means to explain anything at all.

For the word God would have the same level of meaning as the word Blark. (Which isn't a word in English in case your not a native speaker.)

In situation two God would be just a noise not a word.

I'm not accusing you specifically of having a bad definition, as I have yet to see you provide one for God, I however wish to challenge you to provide one that is cognitively meaningful and does not render God trivial like that of a naturalistic pantheist's God.
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fschmidt
06-15-2016, 02:36 AM
jubal, Exodus 3:13-14 specifically rejects defining God, but for your sake, I will try. Let's talk about gods generally first. The pagan gods were Man's first attempt to describe the forces of the world, done by personifying them. Science, beginning with Galileo, took a different approach to describing forces, namely describing them mathematically. But Galileo's gravity was local, just the force he saw on earth. It took Newton to recognize that this force is in fact global, that gravity is One. The difference between the pagan gods and the god of the Old Testament is similar to this difference between Galileo's gravity and Newton's gravity. The god of the Old Testament is universal and is One.

There are some forces in science that are not described mathematically, only conceptually. Evolution is an example. Evolution is a concept that is actually somewhere in between pure science and religion. It is neither personified like a god nor described mathematically, and it cannot really be subject to controlled experiments. Those who believe in evolution do so because it makes sense to them, not because of any scientific proof. (I believe in evolution for this reason.)

Now returning to God, there are 2 possible definitions that I can think of. One is to say that God is all of the forces in the world (including gravity, evolution, etc.). (Note that this is not pantheism because God is not the universe itself, but is only the forces.) Another is to say that God is just those forces that effect human societies, in effect the force of sociology. I prefer a compromise in saying that God covers all forces but should be primarily thought of as the force of sociology.

What is the significance of this concept? This concept is a direct rejection of liberalism which denies the idea of a consistent force guiding human history. The liberal view is exemplified by Karl Popper's "The Poverty of Historicism". In effect, liberalism denies the application of inductive reasoning to society and ethics. The Old Testament clearly takes the opposite view and most of its arguments are based on inductive reasoning. Of course this rejection of inductive reasoning isn't new and was common in all decaying cultures that rejected tradition for this reason. Ecclesiastes 1 provides the clearest endorsement of inductive reasoning ever written, and describes how people tend to reject this. A belief in God is, above all, a belief in inductive reasoning because it is a recognition that history is guided by consistent forces.
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jubal
06-15-2016, 03:58 AM
The passage in exodus you cited is precisely the problem I seek to address.

Let me be clear, my position is not that the statement "God exists" is false, rather my position is that "God exists" is a meaningless sentence. (prototypically anyway)

If I cannot define God I can't know what you mean when you say "God commands X". Even if we assume the anthropomorphic language used in the Abraham's texts is a analogy I would still need to know what the analogy is analogous too.

You Have opted to define God as all forces in the universe, I can understand this.

However is this his primary attribute or a secondary one? If its his primary attribute then God is not a intelligent being capable of commanding a objective morality as he would just be gravity+inertia+conflicting human opinions etc.

One might say God thinks because we think, since we are a part of God. However this is a composition fallacy.

That would be akin to saying because I think my fingernail thinks.

Is God deserving of all the anthropomorphic language? It sounds God to you is more like Karma (based on your reference to to the Historicism) if so then your God is not "alive" its a metaphysical computer that punishes certain behavior but it doesn't feel love or hatred or anything that the ye old faith books describe.

Or are the attributes you give to God are secondary attributes (I suspect it is since you warned against defining God) then I still cannot know what your talking about. In order to understand the sentence "Ubhaodordsi is not a living creature but he is red" I must know what ubhaodordsi is.

Moreover whatever ubhaodordsi is must also be not alive and capable of having gender. When I hear ubhaodordsi I might subjectively think of a robot, but you may think of a tribal warrior.

Communication of God's essence from the prophet to his audience can only be done through words the understand and HAVE CONTEXT for. (caps for emphases not rage)

If I cannot know his primary attribute then I cannot ever think successfully "God Exists" because God is a word with no concept behind it.
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fschmidt
06-15-2016, 05:31 AM
So let me make a few points. First, it is absolutely essential that the Old Testament not define God. It is this flexibility that allowed it to be the basis of 3 different religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each religion shares the ethics of the Old Testament while defining God is a more specific way. And each religion depends on its own definition of God to give that religion coherence. So for example, Islam uses the Quran as its final statement on God and all Muslims share this Quran-based view of God. This is what makes Islam coherent.

So now I will return to my definition of God which is purely a personal definition. Note that just because my definition differs from another definition doesn't make the other definition wrong from my view. These are just definitions after all. In my definition, God is not an intelligent being and doesn't command. But this doesn't mean that God does not imply objective morality. Just as gravity objectively implies that jumping from a tall building is bad for your health, God implies that certain behaviors are good for society (moral) or bad for society (immoral). God is not a metaphysical computer, to me God is a force of nature (history).

So now I will explain why I do not want most people to use my definition of God. Humans are primates who naturally obey a dominant alpha-male. By personifying God, God can occupy the position of virtual alpha-male of a society. This makes people much more likely to respect God than if God is understand as an abstract force. And for this reason, I would much prefer that most people use a definition of God more like Islam's than like mine.

From the Old Testament perspective, the definition of God is irrelevant. The Old Testament is fundamentally a book of ethics with God being the force behind this ethics. As long as a religion supports the ethics of the Old Testament (often described as "God's will"), the religion is compatible with the Old Testament. Both traditional Islam and traditional Christianity meet this requirement, so from my perspective, both are sound religions. Atheism is fundamentally unsound because it causes (immoral) behavior that historically correlates with declining cultures.
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Pygoscelis
06-15-2016, 01:34 PM
So.... You started this thread looking for atheists and hoping to debate them. Now you tell us that to pretty much all the theists here, you yourself are an atheist. You don't believe in an intelligent sentient supernatural being that gives commands. Me neither. We are both atheists.

If you want to define Gods as sociology or gravity or other measurable forces of nature, then sure, you are not an atheist by that definition, but neither am I, and I dont think anybody else is either.

You have also revealed that you want to argue that religion is useful and not that God exists. And you have made sweeping assumptions about your fellow atheists. Why do you assume that we wouldn't find religion useful? A lot of illusions and delusions are useful.

I think you are going to have to start over at this point.... Maybe start a thread like "Is God delusion good for individuals and for society?" That seems a more suitable topic on an atheist board though.
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Cpt.America
06-15-2016, 01:47 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Just as gravity objectively implies that jumping from a tall building is bad for your health.
"Chickity-check yo self before you wreck yo self
Yeah,
come on and check yo self before you wreck yo self
Cause shotgun bullets are bad for your health"

-Ice Cube
Reply

Pygoscelis
06-15-2016, 01:53 PM
I actually know a lot of atheists who believe as you do, fschmidt, that God doesn't exist but God belief is essential to keep the masses in line. That it is the opiate if the masses. That it is for weak minded people.

Sounds a little arrogant to me. If you can see there is no God and you are not out raping, killing, stealing, etc, why assume that others would be? Our prisons are not overflowing with atheists. Or do you mean more on a societal level?

And you should also take into account the attrocities people commit in the name of religion, that obedience to such Gods can trump morality in their minds, and the tribalism and group think that results from religion. It isnt all upside from a utilitarian point of view. I would rather be dealing with a rational enemy in nuclear Soviet Russia that values self preaervation than an irrational suicidal due to religion enemy such as nuclear armed Isis for example.

Nonetheless, it would be an interesting question to study, and if the answer is yes, then the next question is does that justify any action towards encouraging people to live in fantasy. Reminds me of the matrix. If people are happy and living in order is that paramount, or is truth important?
Reply

fschmidt
06-15-2016, 05:53 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
So.... You started this thread looking for atheists and hoping to debate them. Now you tell us that to pretty much all the theists here, you yourself are an atheist. You don't believe in an intelligent sentient supernatural being that gives commands. Me neither. We are both atheists.
You can classify me however you want, as an atheist, a penguin, whatever. The irony here is that you are less tolerant of definitions of God that differ from your own than most theists are. Each version of monotheism has its own definition of God, and they usually consider other definitions to be wrong but they don't thereby conclude that people who follow these other definitions are atheists. And this is why no theist that I have ever met has considered me to be an atheist. Most atheists also agree that I am not atheist.

But labels just aren't that interesting anyway. What matters to me is what a person does. From my perspective, an atheist who follows the principles of God is much better than a modern Christian who basically does nothing. In the little Mikraite group that I am a part of where we follow the Old Testament, we welcome atheists. But what actually happens is that atheists who join us quickly change their mind and no longer consider themselves atheist and usually end up with views like mine.
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Pygoscelis
06-15-2016, 06:34 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
From my perspective, an atheist who follows the principles of God is much better than a modern Christian who basically does nothing.
You are being quite cryptic. How are there "principles of God" if God is nothing more than the natural world and forces of nature? We all follow the law of gravity, like it or not. So, are you are are you not pushing "spiritual" woo?

I don't insist what "God" is. I allow you to define that. I am just pointing out that if you define it as nothing but "forces of nature" and nothing involving spiritual woo or supernatural sentient intelligent beings, you are not talking about "God" as defined by Islam or Christianity or Judaism. You have acknowledged this. So by their definition you are an admitted atheist, whether or not you like that label.

I'm also curious if you will address the rest of what I said in the posts above.

You seem to be more concerned with having an alpha-male, dominant dictatorial figure, for all to bow down to and obey as a means of keeping order, than anything to do with spirituality. Is that a misreading of you? Is the book 1984 your end goal, only through the oppression of religion instead of through oppression of the state or king?
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anatolian
06-15-2016, 07:52 PM
Actually Allah is not serving as an alpha-male since Allah is neither a "male" nor "serving" but we serve Him. Instead, Allah sent Prophets for this purpose. This is another wisdom behind why Allah sent religions. Muhammed a.s. is the perfect example. He both taught the order and the spirituality we need to construct our world.
Reply

fschmidt
06-15-2016, 08:55 PM
Originally Posted by anatolian
Actually Allah is not serving as an alpha-male since Allah is neither a "male" nor "serving" but we serve Him. Instead, Allah sent Prophets for this purpose. This is another wisdom behind why Allah sent religions. Muhammed a.s. is the perfect example. He both taught the order and the spirituality we need to construct our world.
Yes God is not male and I didn't mean "serving" in your sense. But my basic point is that God should be the true leader of society, not a man. Remember that in history, many male rulers called themselves a god just to have ultimate authority. By "alpha-male", I am referring to ultimate leadership, a role which should ideally be occupied by God.
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fschmidt
06-15-2016, 09:29 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
You are being quite cryptic. How are there "principles of God" if God is nothing more than the natural world and forces of nature? We all follow the law of gravity, like it or not. So, are you are are you not pushing "spiritual" woo?
Aren't there principles of gravity? Applying the principles of gravity to one's life would imply not jumping from high places. God acts on a much longer time scale than gravity, so the effects of actions can take generations. For example, the behaviors of modern culture is similar to a culture jumping off a cliff.

I don't insist what "God" is. I allow you to define that. I am just pointing out that if you define it as nothing but "forces of nature" and nothing involving spiritual woo or supernatural sentient intelligent beings, you are not talking about "God" as defined by Islam or Christianity or Judaism. You have acknowledged this. So by their definition you are an admitted atheist, whether or not you like that label.
Are you intentionally ignoring my previous point? Each religion defines God differently, but this doesn't mean that they view other groups with other definitions as being atheists. The same applies in my case. And by the way, I am planning to join a Conservative Mennonite community. These people are very religious and they recognize my view of God.

I'm also curious if you will address the rest of what I said in the posts above.
You mean post #55? Maybe later.

You seem to be more concerned with having an alpha-male, dominant dictatorial figure, for all to bow down to and obey as a means of keeping order, than anything to do with spirituality. Is that a misreading of you? Is the book 1984 your end goal, only through the oppression of religion instead of through oppression of the state or king?
Define "spirituality".

I am concerned with morality and I support any means that works to produce it. Political oppression, as in the book 1984, doesn't produce morality. Good religion does. And good religion provides for people's emotional needs, whatever those are.
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Pygoscelis
06-15-2016, 09:58 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Each religion defines God differently, but this doesn't mean that they view other groups with other definitions as being atheists.
Yes, it does. Unless you are going to redefine what "atheist" means as well? Atheist means non-belief in God. If you don't believe in God as they define it then you are an atheist, by definition.

I am concerned with morality and I support any means that works to produce it. Political oppression, as in the book 1984, doesn't produce morality. Good religion does.
I think you are going to have to define what you mean by "morality" now, as you seem to be working with definitions unique unto yourself. Especially given that you hold up the old testament bible as a book full of "morality".

This is a barbaric book that calls for everything from human sacrifice to genocide. Do you consider the stories of Abraham and Isaac (where God calls for a human sacrifice as an obedience test) and of Lot (who pimps out his daughters to avoid angel rape) and Job (whose life is ruined just to settle a bet) moral? How about Adam and Eve? What is the morality in that? How about the slaughter of neighbouring tribes, mountain of foreskins, God purposefully hardening the pharoah's heart and then slaughtering all the first born sons of Egypt? Seriously, where is the morality in this book? The Ten Commandments? Is that it? The one that is only half about being good and the other half about blind obedience to power?

And good religion provides for people's emotional needs, whatever those are.
So do a lot of drugs.
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fschmidt
06-15-2016, 10:29 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Yes, it does. Unless you are going to redefine what "atheist" means as well? Atheist means non-belief in God. If you don't believe in God as they define it then you are an atheist, by definition.
Wrong. Here we are on a Muslim forum, so why don't you just ask them if they consider Christians and Jews to be atheists.

I think you are going to have to define what you mean by "morality" now, as you seem to be working with definitions unique unto yourself. Especially given that you hold up the old testament bible as a book full of "morality".

This is a barbaric book that calls for everything from human sacrifice to genocide. Do you consider the stories of Abraham and Isaac (where God calls for a human sacrifice as an obedience test) and of Lot (who pimps out his daughters to avoid angel rape) and Job (whose life is ruined just to settle a bet) moral? How about Adam and Eve? What is the morality in that? How about the slaughter of neighbouring tribes, mountain of foreskins, God purposefully hardening the pharoah's heart and then slaughtering all the first born sons of Egypt? Seriously, where is the morality in this book? The Ten Commandments? Is that it? The one that is only half about being good and the other half about blind obedience to power?
Of course you don't understand the Old Testament, and I wouldn't expect otherwise. And I don't really need to define morality yet, but I will just let you know how far apart we are and we can come back to this later. In my opinion, most members of modern culture will need to be exterminated eventually (in a few generations). This is because modern culture is highly dysgenic and is doing enormous damage to the human gene pool. Modern culture is not yet genetically inferior, but it certainly will be in a few generations. Culling these bad genes from the human gene pool will be essential to human survival as a superior species. Now I am sure that you are horrified by this, which is fine because it lets you see how far apart we are, and possibly lets you see why I support the ethics of the Old Testament.
Reply

Pygoscelis
06-15-2016, 10:40 PM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Wrong. Here we are on a Muslim forum, so why don't you just ask them if they consider Christians and Jews to be atheists.
Christians, Muslims, and Jews, are all monotheistic religions that believe in a personal intelligent God being. You said that you don't. And if you don't meet their definition of what God is, then you are an atheist. That is how words work. Unless you have a completely different definition unique to yourself of what "atheist" means. I asked you above and you didn't say you do.

And I don't really need to define morality yet
I am afraid that yes, you really do. Based all your other definitions unique to you, I can not assume that we are talking the same language when you say "morality". You may mean something completely unique to yourself. So discussion with you is pointless until you define your terms.

most members of modern culture will need to be exterminated eventually (in a few generations).
So now you are Isis and want to kill everybody who doesn't agree with you. You are getting more and more fun.

This is because modern culture is highly dysgenic and is doing enormous damage to the human gene pool. Modern culture is not yet genetically inferior, but it certainly will be in a few generations.
Culture is not genetic... I can only wonder what else you think is genetic. Are you one of those people who believe that certain "races" of people are inferior to others?

Now I am sure that you are horrified by this, which is fine because it lets you see how far apart we are, and possibly lets you see why I support the ethics of the Old Testament.
I am not horrified. I'm not even sure if I should take you seriously. You appear to be a troll making this up as you go along.

But if you are serious, no, it does not explain at all why you would see ethics in the old testament. You have given no explanation of what exactly your values are other than that you want obedience to an alpha-male, and the old testament bible (the whole bible actually) is so full of ambiguity that you could mean many different things.
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fschmidt
06-15-2016, 11:37 PM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Christians, Muslims, and Jews, are all monotheistic religions that believe in a personal intelligent God being. You said that you don't. And if you don't meet their definition of what God is, then you are an atheist. That is how words work. Unless you have a completely different definition unique to yourself of what "atheist" means. I asked you above and you didn't say you do.
Judaism does not require that God be "a personal intelligent God being".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_in...tic_conception
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apopha...wish_tradition

I am afraid that yes, you really do. Based all your other definitions unique to you, I can not assume that we are talking the same language when you say "morality". You may mean something completely unique to yourself. So discussion with you is pointless until you define your terms.
Fine. Morality is subjective, so cannot meaningfully be defined, but I can approximately describe my morality. In my view, morality is basically what is good for the long term health of a society. This is probably the most objective definition that you will see and can be objectively measured. Those behaviors that correlate with rising cultures are probably moral, and those behaviors that correlate with declining cultures are probably immoral. (Probably, because correlation isn't causation and in fact causation cannot be proven in history, but correlation is the best thing we've got.) Note that morality has nothing to do with the success of societies other than one's own. If wiping out the neighboring society is good for one's society, then it is moral.

So now you are Isis and want to kill everybody who doesn't agree with you. You are getting more and more fun.
Isis will fail in the long run (from making too many enemies), so it is not moral.

Culture is not genetic... I can only wonder what else you think is genetic. Are you one of those people who believe that certain "races" of people are inferior to others?
Culture is currently human's biggest environmental factor, so it plays the biggest role in human evolution. Certainly races differ but humanity is continually evolving, so these differences are transitory.

I am not horrified. I'm not even sure if I should take you seriously. You appear to be a troll making this up as you go along.

But if you are serious, no, it does not explain at all why you would see ethics in the old testament. You have given no explanation of what exactly your values are other than that you want obedience to an alpha-male, and the old testament bible (the whole bible actually) is so full of ambiguity that you could mean many different things.
I am not making this up as I go along, and you can read the Mikraite website to see this and to see my views explained in detail.
Reply

Pygoscelis
06-16-2016, 03:53 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
Fine. Morality is subjective, so cannot meaningfully be defined, but I can approximately describe my morality. In my view, morality is basically what is good for the long term health of a society. This is probably the most objective definition that you will see and can be objectively measured.
It isn't objective at all if you don't define what "health of a society" means. Do you mean population number? Average lifespan? Average contentment and happiness? Number of disease causing viruses and bacteria? Diversity? Lack of diversity?

Isis will fail in the long run (from making too many enemies), so it is not moral.
So if isis had some sort of super weapon and was able to destroy all of its enemies and reign supreme, whilst cutting off heads of all that disagree with its barbaric "moral values", that would make it properly moral to you? Might makes right to you?

Culture is currently human's biggest environmental factor, so it plays the biggest role in human evolution.
But it is not genetic. Read what you wrote above. Try to be consistent eh?

Certainly races differ but humanity is continually evolving, so these differences are transitory.
Which race is superior? Are you a white supremecist KKK type? I have to keep guessing with you since you are so cryptic.

I am not making this up as I go along, and you can read the Mikraite website to see this and to see my views explained in detail.
I took a brief look. You appear to be a wannabe cult leader with only a handful of followers. That or you are a troll looking for attention (more likely). Now you have plugged your little website and made your agenda clear, get back to us once you and your weird little homocidal cult (or pretend one) have enough followers to be a real concern. Until then, we'll focus on Islam, since that is what this site is about after all.
Reply

fschmidt
06-16-2016, 04:09 AM
Originally Posted by fschmidt
I am thrilled with the possibility that open minded atheists may actually exist.
This was probably my main motive in starting this thread, to find out whether open minded atheists actually exist. Apparently not. So now this thread can fade away.
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Pygoscelis
06-16-2016, 05:23 AM
Riiiiight, you, an atheist yourself, came to a Muslim board looking for atheists, to tell them about how you want to murder them and adhere to might makes right dictatorial values.... and plug your little cult website. I don't think anybody reading this will fail to see right through you.
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YusufNoor
06-23-2016, 09:36 AM
Originally Posted by Pygoscelis
Good to see you! But hey, don't go ruining my cred as the bad guy here ;)
Sadly, Pygo, Muslims do not realize that they ARE the bad guys! Muslims are full of hate, the Prophet wasn't. Muslims are ignorant, the Prophet wasn't.

Muslims do not realize that Anwar Al Awlaki was a stooly for the FBI/CIA. Muslims are caught in the old MK Ultra/Cointelpro net!

The Prophet had the best of character, yet Muslims come of as a bunch of misogynistic, uneducated, backward fools!

Muslims would rather kill, than develop their character into anything resembling Rasulullah!

Islam brought much freedom and equality to women, yet Muslims oppress their women!

Islam is awesome!

Muslims......

pretty much come off as scum of the earth and they are proud of it!

Athiests, Buddhists, Christians, gays and transgenders in America show much more love and compassion than Muslims.

Muslims are quick to kill and slow to understand!

It is sad. I no longer associate with Muslims, except that Masjid in Albuquerque amazed me! Some of the Muslims there went to one of the vigils for the folks in Orlando! They even invited the LGBT community to break fast any time during Ramadhan! I must visit them, in shaa Allah! They chose love and compassion over idiocy! Just watch the Muslims freak out when they learn that!

My favorite speaker, Mufti Ismail Menk, posted condolences for the people of Orlando on facespy and then proceeded to get attacked by many Muslims!

where is the "Comparative Character" section? we'd lose that one!

Why are atheists here?

maybe they are here just to raise the level of discussion! to "raise the property values" so to speak!

Muslims want to prove that everyone else is wrong! That is a waste of time!

Focus on character and manners! Hard to do, when you don't have them! But it is the proper Jihad!

Just think of all of the countries with a majority Muslim population. How many of the countries are oases' of Justice, with the world clamoring to live there?

any???

not even one!

Pygo ain't the enemy! We are!

It is a good thing that Rasulullah did not live to see Muslims today. How broken-hearted would he be?????

Ma Salaama
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