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  1. #1
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Psalm 14: Who was Jesus' grandpa?

    I. This Thread, Me, and You
    This is the fifth incarnation of the (in?)famous "Psalm 14, FTW" thread. The initial thread was created by myself and it's title is a reference to the titular psalm which claims that atheists are all fools and that none have ever or will ever do good. It was created in response to a thread by WW2Dude in which he would ramble on and evangelize but refused to allow any dissenting opinion. I took offense both at the concept of the thread and the fact that WW2Dude evidently thought that truth is something so fragile and weak that it cannot stand up to scrutiny. Several scores of pages and lots of hilarity and nonsense later (Highlights including WW2Dude summoning his father to argue with me and the theists of the threat (WW2Dude and Vang mostly) arguing that there are certain situations under which genocide is a morally acceptable course of action) the thread died when I was forced to take a sudden leave of absence from these boards due to personal reasons. Thom started a second incarnation but this one focused itself a bit too strongly on evolution in my opinion and eventually tapered out when Vang, the only one as far as my quick re-skim of the thread goes, who was defending creationism suddenly disappeared and stop replying.

    Not wanting to see this thread die I created its third incarnation.
    That died with the old-old forum.
    Same story for the fourth.
    So here we are at the fifth verse, same as the first.

    For those who don't know me I am a dystheistic anti-theistic atheist. I am firmly convinced that if there was a God or gods they would be, by default, evil and I am also as strongly convinced as I am of anything else that there is no God or gods and that the belief that there is is one that is harmful to both the individual and humanity as a whole. I also, however, strongly believe that every single person is entitled to believe whatever on Earth they want to believe, no matter how stupid or vile their beliefs may be. This does not, however, mean their beliefs are exempt from criticism or that they have the right to force their beliefs on others or demand that others fund their beliefs.

    Anyway, this thread is for the timeless theism/atheism debate. If no one wants to take up the plate first lemme know and I'll be happy to toss out a topic to get things started.

    II. Some Guidelines
    1. Be up to date. I predict and hope this thread will be as big and successful as the first and so, to that end, I make the same suggestion I made in the first thread - Please read at least the three most recent pages before posting anything. I'm aware this thread may become quite huge but I don't think it's too much to ask that you read at least those three pages so as to get a general feel for where things currently are headed and to, hopefully, minimize the amount of repeated arguments.
    2. Be civil. Unless someone says or does something truly reprehensible/ignorant let's try and treat each other with the respect we all deserve.
    3. Be reasonable.
    This ties into the things below a bit. I don't expect you all to be theology and/or philosophy majors but at least try and back up any claims with some form of reasoning beyond "because!." I'm not asking for citations or things but do at least make sure you are posting arguments and not statements.

    III. Some Common, Bad, Theistic Arguments Refuted
    1. "Without God life is not worth living."
    Now while I cannot say how much I disagree with this statement it is also a statement that is completely irrelevant to the existence or non-existence of God or gods. If a man's wife dies his life may very well become unlivable and miserable but this fact does not make his wife any less dead. Whether life without God is worthless or not has absolutely no bearing on whether or not God does in fact exist. The same thing applies to any arguments like "Atheists are evil and we need God to be good" whether or not this is true means nothing to whether or not God exists. On the flip side I don't want any fellow atheists necessarily using the horrible atrocities committed in the name of God or purportedly by God as evidence either. Hitler existed and he was evil. Atheism may be wrong but dystheism/misotheism may still be right.
    2. "Things exist, ergo they must have a creator."
    This is an laughable argument that is so clearly unsound that, to my knowledge, no modern theologian dares utter it. Even without bringing up the fact that the human mind is hard-wired, by virtue of being rooted in reason and logic, to assume a creator where it sees order this is still an unsound argument. If the argument for God is that everything must have a creator than God too must have a creator and His creator a creator and so on unto infinity. If we argue that God is the sole exception and that He is without cause than the entire argument collapses as we can just as well argue that there is no God and that the universe itself is the sole exception and devoid of creator. One cannot have it both ways.
    3. "Faith!"
    Arguments put forth without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
    4. "I don't have to prove God exists you have to prove He does not!"
    No, no I do not. You are claiming that God or gods exist(s) and I am claiming you have yet to prove such a thing. The burden of proof is solely on the heads of the theists.
    5. The Ontological Argument: Existence is not, in and of itself, a quality. QED

    IV. Related Links
    The Skeptics Annotated Bible
    Ethical Atheist
    The Church of Reality
    Positive Atheism's Big List of Scary Quotes

    V. Opening Challenge
    With all that introductory nonsense out of the way I'm going to do something I shouldn't do in an attempt to foster discussion - I'm going to present an argument against God's existence when the burden of proof is not mine.

    In order to know something exists we have to know something about it. Existence is determined by qualities. There is nothing mankind claims to know without knowing anything about it. Theistic agnosticism, ergo, makes the insane claim of "I know God exists." "What is God?" "I don't know" "Then what do you know exists?" "I don't know that either."

    Clearly then if the modern theist is to make any claims at all about their beliefs being anything but the most insane abortions of reason they must be able to say something about God. My challenge then to the theists is to give me some qualities about what God is - note that I said what God is, not how he behaves. "Good" is not a quality of existence and, in the case of God, is also highly dubious.

    So that's my challenge/initial claim and I'd love to see it addressed, of course I don't mind steering the thread in other directions either if that's where it ends up going - I aim to please.
    Last edited by Kodos; 08-10-2012 at 07:20 AM.

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  2. #2
    Fenn
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    You KNOW I am jumping all over this thread! Really weird 'cause I was about to make a thread just to "lure" you into having some good 'ole discussion and debate.

    Can I start with my own question? What do you specify, or rather what are the limits, of what a "God" can be defined as? If I read everything thoroughly you never specified this, so I may as well say "I am God" and name some of my personal qualities as evidence of my existence. Omnipotence? Omniscence? Does it have to be immortal?

    Also, I remember last thread you said if something was fundamentally unknowable it could not exist? How is that? Wouldn't we be assuming humans could understand everything that exists?

  3. #3
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    You KNOW I am jumping all over this thread! Really weird 'cause I was about to make a thread just to "lure" you into having some good 'ole discussion and debate.
    Psalm 14 is like Jesus Christ himself - it doesn't stay dead.

    Can I start with my own question? What do you specify, or rather what are the limits, of what a "God" can be defined as?
    This is a bit fuzzy, I admit but that's because god and God can mean many different things. I'd argue that it's a sort of intuitive thing. It's one thing to say Yahweh or Zeus or Thor or even Inari are gods, it's another to say the Strong Nuclear Force or a Chair is a god. At the very least I'd argue a God is a being and ergo must be something with consciousness and will.

    If I read everything thoroughly you never specified this, so I may as well say "I am God" and name some of my personal qualities as evidence of my existence.
    I'd argue that breaks with the normal definitions of a god.

    Omnipotence? Omniscence? Does it have to be immortal?
    See above.

    Also, I remember last thread you said if something was fundamentally unknowable it could not exist? How is that? Wouldn't we be assuming humans could understand everything that exists?
    I said that if something is fundamentally unknowable it may as well not exist. Existence is defined by qualities. To know something exists is to know at least one quality of that thing. If you cannot claim knowledge of even one quality of a thing then you cannot claim to know that the thing exists. While I do believe that the universe is ultimately more or less fully comprehensible - in principle - to human minds, I'm not saying that ultimate knowledge will be attained. But it is not necessary. If you can't name a single quality of something that means that you literally have no idea what you are even talking about. Name one thing that reasonable people believe in - besides the divine - which they also claim to be utterly ineffable. I am aware of nothing.

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    Teen Member Electric_Nomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    I said that if something is fundamentally unknowable it may as well not exist. Existence is defined by qualities. To know something exists is to know at least one quality of that thing.
    lol, you are still in this, Kodos.(DDX here, if you remember me, that is ). Doesn't that awfully sounds like David Hume theory, Bundle Theory? If anything that does not have an empirical(notice) quality, it does not exist.(or so I think how it is). As for me, I share a similar story to this guy(A lot of things happened in my timeskip).

  5. #5
    Regular Member Sunny's Avatar
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    Before saying what I have to say, I'd like to first pose a question, "What, then, is proof of God?" To someone, it might be as simple as seeing the sun rise after a terrible night and feeling that everything is going to be all right or something like a miracle, like miraculously becoming well after being devastatingly sick. There are many through the ages who have said they have seen God. So, if these things weren't God, what were they?

    Not everything can be answered with a scientific formula, but on the same coin, I think God and science go hand in hand. I think God uses science to do whatever it is that He happens to be doing. That's how I view at, at the very least. I don't believe God is the only being out there like Him, either.

    There are plenty of things about God that could be answered. As far as I'm concerned, He's like us, and we're in His image, and there are way too many caps to the sentences. I'm sure he eats, breaths, and call me what you will for this, farts, too. In other words, like a normal human being, only perfected. I mean, there are plenty of books through the ages, beliefs, myths....Take the story of Noah and the Ark. There are over 200 versions of the story, and it didn't originate in the Bible. (My point is that there are tons of texts that talk about Him....) For all we know, Socrates never existed, if you want to say that written text/verbal proof means nothing. If you want an example of qualities...I mean, they're all over the Bible, really. Everyone has a personality and it shows through.

    Take a look at Christ. (I believe they're two separate beings, not one.) He often spoke in parables. Obviously, symbolism meant a lot at the time. He tried to connect in a way that people could understand, and for those who were really interested, could find more connections in their lives. As for God...well....God is pretty patient with His people, like the Israelites. He totally didn't just wipe them off and shove them in some sand dune. Granted, he made them wander around for a long time, but you can tell He's a patient God.

    There are tons of other qualities I could point out. You don't have to look too far to find them.

    (With these things being said, I'd like to state that I really just don't care if you're convinced about what I have to say. I mean, seriously...whatever. But I do like to share how I think and feel and why I feel what I do....so, I'm not going to get into some huge debate about how I should change how I feel, just so yeh know. )

    As for your comment about God....well, to me, I'd say, "Well, lulz, without God...or A God, we prolly wouldn't be here. At least, He would have hand His hand in something, or been aware." Not that I'm not saying that life couldn't be created on its own, but I'm sure God would be in the creation process, at least if it was important, somehow, whatever that happens to be. Plus, it would have to be on a planet, besides ours, that would have perfect conditions. Since we can't see all of the universe, we can't see all the possible inhabitable planets. We're always searching for proof of life, even at simply the cellular level, and maybe, someday, that will help going towards proving more of the existence of God.

    Faith doesn't mean there isn't an evidence, either. I mean, there are some things you just can't prove at this point of this planet's development. Maybe in the future, perhaps, but there are plenty of unknown things in the universe.

    But, anyway, that's the bulk of what I wanted to say. Fufufufufufu.

  6. #6
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electric_Nomad View Post
    lol, you are still in this, Kodos.(DDX here, if you remember me, that is ). Doesn't that awfully sounds like David Hume theory, Bundle Theory? If anything that does not have an empirical(notice) quality, it does not exist.(or so I think how it is). As for me, I share a similar story to this guy(A lot of things happened in my timeskip).
    Sorry I have absolutely no recollection of who you are. As a general rule - and I've said this before - I am only likely to remember any given user if one or more of the following conditions is met:
    1. They are in my DnD campaigns.
    2. They have a really memorable avatar or username.
    3. I really like them.
    4. I really dislike them.
    Sorry, bad memory and all. Nothing personal.

    And it's not even a theory, it's pure simple logic. If you can not say anything about something then by what metric do you have knowledge of it? What is knowledge? Whatever definition you subscribe to I am certain that you must run into some form of "Knowledge is, among other things, knowing something about something."
    If you can't name a single quality of something then you know nothing about that thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sunny View Post
    Before saying what I have to say, I'd like to first pose a question, "What, then, is proof of God?" To someone, it might be as simple as seeing the sun rise after a terrible night and feeling that everything is going to be all right or something like a miracle, like miraculously becoming well after being devastatingly sick.
    The argument from miracles is begging the question. First it must be demonstrated that something which cannot be explained by the current body of human knowledge occurred which is not a simple task. Once you have done that you must then somehow demonstrate that God exists and that he caused that miracle.
    The argument from miracles is literally saying an unexplainable thing happened and then proceeding to immediately explain it with God. It's begging the question. You can't offer God as an explanation for anything when the very thing being debated is whether or not God exists.
    That the sun rises after night is merely proof that the Sun exists and that the Earth orbits it. That it can engender feelings of happiness in people is merely proof that people can perceive and react to external stimuli.

    There are many through the ages who have said they have seen God. So, if these things weren't God, what were they?
    First it must be demonstrated that they saw something. Then we can start debating what they saw. The "testimony" of "witnesses" written down by anonymous authors centuries after the supposed witness died and then edited and re-translated repeatedly over tens of centuries is not compelling evidence of anything. Hearsay is inadmissible in a court of law for a reason, and this is hearsay of such a laughably poor quality that I struggle to think of anything less convincing.

    If I told you that my grandfather saw your mother murder someone would you accept that as sufficient evidence to condemn your mother as a murderer? What if my grandpa died 60 years ago and spoke only Yiddish and I am going on what my friend (who had my grandfather's words translated for him by a third party) told me even though he never actually met my grandfather.

    Yeah. Didn't think so.

    Not everything can be answered with a scientific formula,
    Actually the funny thing is that in principle, they can! Science is awesome!

    but on the same coin, I think God and science go hand in hand.
    Wrong. The core of science is that every idea must be falsifiable and constantly held up to scrutiny and examination. The core of faith is that some things just are and can be known magically and are utterly beyond questioning. They are mutually exclusive epistemological methodologies. Of course, that's being generous, faith is not a valid epistemology because faith does not actually arrive at knowledge. But that's neither here nor there at the moment.

    I think God uses science to do whatever it is that He happens to be doing.
    God is omniscient and omnipotent. He is literally incapable of science. An omnipotent being could alter the outcome of any experiment to his liking and furthermore he already knows the outcome of any experiment. Science is a method for arriving at knowledge and hinges around the idea of repetition. God cannot arrive at knowledge because he already has all knowledge, and as stated above, he can change the outcome of any experiment on a whim.

    That's how I view at, at the very least. I don't believe God is the only being out there like Him, either.
    What.

    There are plenty of things about God that could be answered. As far as I'm concerned, He's like us,
    How is he like us and how did you arrive at this knowledge? Anyone can rattle off a list of vague qualities. You must be more specific and you must demonstrate how you came to know of this quality.

    and we're in His image, and there are way too many caps to the sentences.
    See above.

    I'm sure he eats, breaths, and call me what you will for this, farts, too. In other words, like a normal human being, only perfected.
    It is not unreasonable to assume that there exists at least one human being on this planet who I am superior to in literally every single way. I am smarter, faster, stronger, better looking, more witty, and so on and so forth than this person. Am I a God to him? Whatever the definition of "god" may be, I daresay that it must be something more than "Like X but better!" because then you run into absurd situations like this. I am vastly more intelligent, physically capable, and so on than a small housecat. Am I the Lord of Housecats?

    I mean, there are plenty of books through the ages, beliefs, myths....Take the story of Noah and the Ark. There are over 200 versions of the story, and it didn't originate in the Bible.
    And?

    (My point is that there are tons of texts that talk about Him....)
    There are tons of stories that talk about Elves. Do Elves exist?

    For all we know, Socrates never existed, if you want to say that written text/verbal proof means nothing.
    I never said that. I said a number of things:
    1. Evidence should be proportional to the claims. An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.
    2. Evidence should be corroborated by more than one source.
    3. Evidence should be internally and logically consistant.
    The Bible satisfies none of these definitions and further more the Judeo-Christian God is logically impossible. It can be said with 100% certainty that Yahweh does not exist. I can be, and am, more sure of this simple fact than I am that there exists an external universe.

    [quote\If you want an example of qualities...I mean, they're all over the Bible, really. [/quote]
    Name one and them demonstrate that Bible is reliable evidence.

    Everyone has a personality and it shows through.
    Okay?

    Take a look at Christ. (I believe they're two separate beings, not one.) He often spoke in parables.
    Which is stupid. Why would an omnipotent being need to use vague and mystical allegories to get his points across?

    Obviously, symbolism meant a lot at the time. He tried to connect in a way that people could understand, and for those who were really interested, could find more connections in their lives. As for God...well....God is pretty patient with His people, like the Israelites.
    God is so patient that he sent a bear to massacre dozens of children for mocking a blind man.

    He totally didn't just wipe them off and shove them in some sand dune. Granted, he made them wander around for a long time, but you can tell He's a patient God.
    He must be. He created the entire fucking universe and then waited 15 billion years or so just to tell a bunch of desert dwelling savages how to behave themselves.

    Of course that becomes even more amusing when you consider the fact that the behaviors he instructed them to adopt are barbaric and completely unfitting for civilized human beings.

    There are tons of other qualities I could point out. You don't have to look too far to find them.
    Except you still have not named a single quality that tells us what he is rather than how he is, nor have you demonstrated how you arrived at knowledge of that quality.

    (With these things being said, I'd like to state that I really just don't care if you're convinced about what I have to say. I mean, seriously...whatever. But I do like to share how I think and feel and why I feel what I do....so, I'm not going to get into some huge debate about how I should change how I feel, just so yeh know. )

    As for your comment about God....well, to me, I'd say, "Well, lulz, without God...or A God, we prolly wouldn't be here.
    There are plenty of ways for life to happen without a God. It did happen without a God.

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    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    THIS NEW FORUM IS SO AWFUL I HAD TO BREAK THE POST IN TWO FFFFFF
    At least, He would have hand His hand in something, or been aware." Not that I'm not saying that life couldn't be created on its own, but I'm sure God would be in the creation process, at least if it was important, somehow, whatever that happens to be.
    What.

    Plus, it would have to be on a planet, besides ours, that would have perfect conditions. Since we can't see all of the universe, we can't see all the possible inhabitable planets.
    Any planet is inhabitable, theoretically speaking. Life adapts to the environment, not the other way around. The water fits the puddle, the hole does not fit the water.

    We're always searching for proof of life, even at simply the cellular level, and maybe, someday, that will help going towards proving more of the existence of God.
    See my statement about definitions.

    Faith doesn't mean there isn't an evidence, either.
    Yes, it does. That is literally what it means. Belief in spite of absence of evidence.

    I mean, there are some things you just can't prove at this point of this planet's development.
    Like? Name one thing reasonable people believe that is not either a necessary fiction for communication and interaction (like the refutation of solipsism) or based on some form of logical reasoning.

    I'm tired and sleepy so apologies if this post is less clear than usual.

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    Lucky Member Blue_Dragon's Avatar
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    ^Maybe Rio knows a way to allow longer responses, so the debate doesn't have to be interrupted.


    I agree with the logical process of finding proof before expecting everyone to believe in things and writing something out as fact. Therefore, what I believe, I'm not going to debate because I have not proof and it's pointless to argue cause I'd look like an ass (not saying others here look like asses for arguing their point.)

    I just want to leave some a thought I have, and if it gets shot down, so be it. I'm okay with that.

    One thing I always keep in mind, is that although mankind has discovered a lot, but there's still a lot out there we have not discovered. For instance, before we had the technology to go deep deep sea diving, there were all kinds of species we did not know existed. My question: because we had not discovered them yet, does that mean they didn't exist prior to discovery? I use this, because it could be we simply haven't the capability yet as humans to discern whether or not their is/are (a) god (lowercase intentionality.) (that's just how I feel, because something hasn't been proven yet, doesn't mean it doesn't necessarily exist.

    Having said that, for the purpose of a debate on whether or not something exists, you really do need proof.
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  9. #9
    Bad Enough Dude to Rescue the President Kodos's Avatar
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    It is absolutely within the realm of possibility that certain beings that satisfy certain definitions of the word "god" exist. However most of these beings are improbable in the extreme since they are said to be extremely powerful and take an active interest in the lives of humans. If a being has the will and the means to bring about something and that thing does not happen, clearly one or both of the premises must be wrong. Most concepts of God are beings that supposedly desire to be known. If a literally godlike being fails to prove its existence within some 4000 years of human history, that says something. Absence of evidence does become evidence of absence after a certain period of time.
    Thing is, lots of things are possible. There is very little that is actually impossible in the literal sense, and yet we do not believe them. It is impossible to disprove most things so the only reasonable and sane way to behave is by assuming they do not exist until you have been given sufficient cause to believe otherwise. Very few atheists truly believe all concepts of god are known to be false. It's only an amusing irony that the most common concepts of him - the Judeo-Christian ones - are demonstrably and provably false.

    The position of atheism towards most deities is simply "I don't see that." Atheism is an innately reactive position. The theist makes a claim; "there is a God" and the atheist reacts to that claim; "I do not see sufficient cause to believe that statement."

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  10. #10
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kodos View Post
    This is a bit fuzzy, I admit but that's because god and God can mean many different things. I'd argue that it's a sort of intuitive thing. It's one thing to say Yahweh or Zeus or Thor or even Inari are gods, it's another to say the Strong Nuclear Force or a Chair is a god. At the very least I'd argue a God is a being and ergo must be something with consciousness and will.

    I said that if something is fundamentally unknowable it may as well not exist. Existence is defined by qualities. To know something exists is to know at least one quality of that thing. If you cannot claim knowledge of even one quality of a thing then you cannot claim to know that the thing exists. While I do believe that the universe is ultimately more or less fully comprehensible - in principle - to human minds, I'm not saying that ultimate knowledge will be attained. But it is not necessary. If you can't name a single quality of something that means that you literally have no idea what you are even talking about. Name one thing that reasonable people believe in - besides the divine - which they also claim to be utterly ineffable. I am aware of nothing.
    Well if we are talking about conscious beings than...no. I don't believe that. However, I think God might actually be a part of scientific knowledge.

    What many Christians might call acts of God others will call coincedences. In fact many times when unexpected events occur people look for a reason, but really there doesn't have to be. Or does there? Studies and research have shown that things which seem completely random at first sight, like the stock market or insect movements, actually involve deeply complex patterns. In fact, much of science involves searching for the causes of events and occurences. Could what many call God actually be the undiscovered rules and patterns which dictate the actions and reactions of people to situations and each other, a sort of "scientific karma," if you will?

    I'm not going to pretend I have studied this idea, but I am simply trying to evaluate the plausibility of this idea.

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