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Old 04-06-2007, 02:29 AM   #16
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Originally posted by trevster2k


True, and thanks to inquisitive people like scientists, the list of things credited to a divine being has shrunk dramatically over the past few centuries. Sacrificing a lamb doesn't make your crops grow better or increase your chances of having a baby.
I've made the point before, and I'll make it again: It's a common misperception that the primary purpose of faith is to explain what we can't explain. Especially in today's world where science has explained so much of the natural world, this is not where faith gains it's strength.

What makes faith compelling to so many people (though not everyone) is that it addresses questions that are beyond the scope of science--the "why" questions--"why are we here", "why do I have to die", "why can't I live for ever" etc.
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Old 04-06-2007, 02:32 AM   #17
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I'm beginning to think these kinds of discussions are really pointless. Invariably they seem to come down to attempts by one side or the other, or both, to rig or frame the argument (by claiming knowledge of another person's mind or content of beliefs you don't actually have, by asserting all meaning is just a construct while reserving for yourself the right to deem some constructs innately less meaningful than others, by adducing evidence retrospectively for what is in fact taken as a priori true then holding it against your opponent when the 'method' doesn't work in reverse for them, etc. etc.) with the ultimate aim of demonstrating that the signature feature of your opponent's position is an inability to think properly. It is never really a debate about actual points of argument and probably couldn't be.
Only when the unbelievers think believers are stupid for believing (or vice versa). I keep holding out hope that there could be some mutual respect and we could have a meaningful discussion and even learn from each other.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:37 AM   #18
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Maybe we are hardwired to seek out answers beyond the scope of our knowledge, to make sense of things, to fill in the gaps--that would apply to the religious and nonreligious alike.

The direction we head to seek those answers owes more to our individual makeup than our species makeup.
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


I've made the point before, and I'll make it again: It's a common misperception that the primary purpose of faith is to explain what we can't explain. Especially in today's world where science has explained so much of the natural world, this is not where faith gains it's strength.

What makes faith compelling to so many people (though not everyone) is that it addresses questions that are beyond the scope of science--the "why" questions--"why are we here", "why do I have to die", "why can't I live for ever" etc.
It's not a misconstrued when many people use the argument of creationism and the unanswered beginning of the universe as proof of the existence of a god. The origins of faith almost certainly originated from explaining the unexplainable which is what I commented on. Every ancient religion had gods of purpose and the acts of humans like sacrifice were attempts to appease these gods to improve life whether it be weather, fertility, financial, health and so on. Are we hardwired for faith, I don't think so, we are hardwired for explanations which has led to faith in an attempt for a solution.

I look to nature for answers to the "why" questions. We live to create more life, IMHO. Some creatures get a day to do it and that's it. We get a little more time and the ability to think about it, that's all. I think about those "whys" all the time and never use religion in the thought process.

I don't think anyone is stupid for believing. Their brain works differently than my brain, that's all. Different parts of the brain are more active than other parts which allow some people to be drawn to belief while others aren't.
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:11 AM   #20
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Originally posted by maycocksean


Only when the unbelievers think believers are stupid for believing (or vice versa). I keep holding out hope that there could be some mutual respect and we could have a meaningful discussion and even learn from each other.
Peoples intelligence is independent of belief, if we aren't careful then we justify our assumptions regardless of intelligence.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:04 PM   #21
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Maybe we're hardwired for a relationship with God, not just the need to believe something.

Again, if it's just believing in something for the heck of it, how do you explain the fulfilled prophecies in the NT, the evidence of Christ's miracles outside of the Bible and other things that point to him being something more than just another one of us humans?
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:18 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
Maybe we're hardwired for a relationship with God, not just the need to believe something.


aren't you assuming her existence?


Quote:
Again, if it's just believing in something for the heck of it, how do you explain the fulfilled prophecies in the NT, the evidence of Christ's miracles outside of the Bible and other things that point to him being something more than just another one of us humans?

the fulfilled prophecies in the NT? seems hugely subjective, the same with "evidence" of Christ's miracles. this was 2,000 years ago. can you explain further? to my knowledge, science has never verified a "miracle" -- such a definition of an even is in the eyes of the beholder.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
Maybe we're hardwired for a relationship with God, not just the need to believe something.

Again, if it's just believing in something for the heck of it, how do you explain the fulfilled prophecies in the NT, the evidence of Christ's miracles outside of the Bible and other things that point to him being something more than just another one of us humans?
Well I must be the abberation because I have never felt the slightest inclination to faith; I was raised in an agnostic household and exposed to religious education during primary school (incidently at a state school, very dodgy setup here) and it was always a bunch of make believe. I don't have emotional contempt for faith, I feel absolutely nothing towards it.

And your insistence on the divinity of Christ and the rest of it meaning that we must be hard wired for more than just belief is demeaning to the pretty much every non-Christian believer who has arrived at different religions one way or another. Viewing all of it as false is a lot more even handed than selective elevation of one theology.

The problem with prophecies is that they are retroactive; it is only a matter of time before an event occurs that can be twisted to fit around it; it's a self affirming bias.
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Old 04-06-2007, 01:41 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
Maybe we're hardwired for a relationship with God, not just the need to believe something.

Again, if it's just believing in something for the heck of it, how do you explain the fulfilled prophecies in the NT, the evidence of Christ's miracles outside of the Bible and other things that point to him being something more than just another one of us humans?
Ok, first we have to assume that everyone on this planet of 6 billion plus people accepts God as being the only deity. Not the case. Millions of people around the world don't believe in a deity and no, they aren't all communist dictators like Stalin.

The Bible isn't the only place where prophecies are said to come from. There are ton of prophecies from all sorts of sources which when viewed from the present can be interpreted in different ways. Millions of people believe in horoscopes which is just a bunch of foolishness.

These prophecies, miracles and signs mean nothing to someone who doesn't believe the source in the first place. Therefore, no need for an explanation.
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