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Thread: Which do you think is harder:

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    Default Which do you think is harder:

    going after what you want, or knowing what you want in time?

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    Ouch, tough one for me to answer.
    I tend to act spontaneously, feeling as if I want something and gotta have it now, now NOW! But I don't always know how to get it, nor get around the obstacles in my way.

    However, often times I've seen something, thought I should get it, but didn't want it at that moment. Then later really wanting it...only to have it be gone gone gone! grrrrr

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    Quote Originally Posted by songofsappho View Post
    going after what you want, or knowing what you want in time?
    Both are hard, but 2 > 1. I can be very persistent and undefeatable if I have a clearly defined "want" (or goal) but sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I'm going after or if it's the right thing (or the thing I really want) to be going after.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Sometimes I wonder if I've ever really known what I want. Maybe that's an excuse not to chase what I think I might want though?
    Moonlight will fall
    Winter will end
    Harvest will come
    Your heart will mend

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    I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I feel like my life has no fucking direction. After continual failure I've ditched all my plans for the future and there seems to be no one around to help me recognize realistic possibilities and work towards something feasible. Plus I seriously lack motivation.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I feel like my life has no fucking direction. After continual failure I've ditched all my plans for the future and there seems to be no one around to help me recognize realistic possibilities and work towards something feasible. Plus I seriously lack motivation.
    Dude. That's all I can say right now. Dude.

    This is seriously freakily uncanny.
    Moonlight will fall
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    Quote Originally Posted by songofsappho View Post
    going after what you want, or knowing what you want in time?
    can you help me out here? in time for what?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbmmama View Post
    can you help me out here? in time for what?
    I think what's being implied is that a lot of ppl don't realize what they want out of life in time to go after it fully ... AKA "To be gifted is to be lost, unless one sees clearly in time to level the slopes instead of sliding down them." -- Jean Cocteau

    I think #2 is harder--by a lot.

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    Going after what I want is 50,000 times harder for me. I already know what I want in time so fucking easily/naturally.

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    #2. I'm extremely inconsistent. When I know what I want, I have no problems obtaining it but keeping focused on something for more than 1.5 minutes is a joke.

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    I'm honestly shocked that people aren't saying going after what you want is much more difficult. Does my brain really work in that different of a way lol haha. I know exactly what I want, 'just doing it' and going after it is always the hardest part. ( dual-seeking)

    Oh wait yay Mimosa is the same as me. Identical love <3 <3 <3.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    I've been thinking a lot about this lately. I feel like my life has no fucking direction. After continual failure I've ditched all my plans for the future and there seems to be no one around to help me recognize realistic possibilities and work towards something feasible. Plus I seriously lack motivation.
    That sounds to me like you might need more of something that they don't teach you at school, which is spirituality, the higher purpose. When I lack motivation it's because I really can't see the importance of doing something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    That sounds to me like you might need more of something that they don't teach you at school, which is spirituality, the higher purpose. When I lack motivation it's because I really can't see the importance of doing something.
    yes I was thinking that too but I could not put it into words at the time. Issues of who we are and where we are going can have a major impact on how we feel now.

    Topaz
    The artifact which is the source of my power will not be kept on the Mountain of Despair beyond the River of Fire guarded by the Dragons of Eternity. It will be in my safe-deposit box. The same applies to the object which is my one weakness.

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    Going after what I want. I've got a nice big book about what I want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    Knowing what I want is much much harder. Going after it is much easier.
    "Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities..."

    - Voltaire

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    You must be bullet & doves (and mine) identical as well!!! <3

    I have a theory here: If people don't know what they want in life, of course it is not difficult to get it... But if people have a life goal, it is most probably not something you get easily. Just a thought.
    i dont have a problem with either. i have other "issues." and who said it (that big life goal) would EVER be easy to get?! i've fought long and hard on the outside as well as on the inside to get it. but, it's been a kickass fun rollercoaster ride, as i know it will continue to be...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimosa Pudica View Post
    You must be bullet & doves (and mine) identical as well!!! <3

    I have a theory here: If people don't know what they want in life, of course it is not difficult to get it... But if people have a life goal, it is most probably not something you get easily. Just a thought.
    Huh? Your signature says you're an IEI. That's hardly the identical of an LSE. I wonder what UDP's answer is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

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    Identically pathetic, maybe...
    We are not pathetic, grr. I'm all for self-loathing humor but we kick ass as much as we are pathetic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by songofsappho View Post
    going after what you want, or knowing what you want in time?
    Going after what you want is relatively easy; getting what you want is pretty hard... almost as hard as trying to determine what you want.
    SLI/ISTp -- Te subtype

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    Quote Originally Posted by munenori2 View Post
    Dude. That's all I can say right now. Dude.

    This is seriously freakily uncanny.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    That sounds to me like you might need more of something that they don't teach you at school, which is spirituality, the higher purpose. When I lack motivation it's because I really can't see the importance of doing something.
    Perhaps. I am very unreligious and stay away from churches, sects and similar group institutions, so perhaps that's why I haven't developed an interest in spirituality. But perhaps I should.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    Going after what you want is relatively easy; getting what you want is pretty hard... almost as hard as trying to determine what you want.
    Perfect.

    Quote Originally Posted by songofsappho View Post
    These are interesting answers; most line up w my theory, which was that those w stronger N would say going after what they wanted is more difficult, while those w stronger S would say it's determining what to go after that is more of a challenge.
    I would think the same.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    I pretty much concur with my identicals.

    WP, I lived most of my childhood and young adulthood as an atheist. Then I realized that has become a belief just as structured as religion. So I tried to open my mind and look at what other people believed, wanted to believe, walked & talked, etc. I think what it comes down to is that I'm way too skeptical to cling to a formalized belief system period. I want to have useful assumptions by which I can move through my reality without banging my head against too painful contradictions, but I don't feel a powerful underlying need to identify with something larger than myself.
    So even though I no longer call myself an atheist, neither do I care to consider myself particularly spiritual. But I will say that the process of opening myself up to the different possibilities was worth the experience, and has taught me respect for those who do consider themselves spiritual - as long as they are also demonstrably engaged in making sure their beliefs don't bring them into conflict with reality.
    Obviously more than simply type related, but thought I'd put my $.02 in.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    Perhaps. I am very unreligious and stay away from churches, sects and similar group institutions, so perhaps that's why I haven't developed an interest in spirituality. But perhaps I should.
    Quote Originally Posted by iAnnAu View Post
    I pretty much concur with my identicals.

    WP, I lived most of my childhood and young adulthood as an atheist. Then I realized that has become a belief just as structured as religion. So I tried to open my mind and look at what other people believed, wanted to believe, walked & talked, etc. I think what it comes down to is that I'm way too skeptical to cling to a formalized belief system period. I want to have useful assumptions by which I can move through my reality without banging my head against too painful contradictions, but I don't feel a powerful underlying need to identify with something larger than myself.
    So even though I no longer call myself an atheist, neither do I care to consider myself particularly spiritual. But I will say that the process of opening myself up to the different possibilities was worth the experience, and has taught me respect for those who do consider themselves spiritual - as long as they are also demonstrably engaged in making sure their beliefs don't bring them into conflict with reality.
    Obviously more than simply type related, but thought I'd put my $.02 in.
    I think religion is not an easy subject to talk about, especially considering how many different ones there are, along with differing points of view. But denying the spiritual element altogether, regardless of denomination, does not seem like the right choice to me... Even with socionics, if you don't have a religious background, I can see how it might be used as the only model by people to explain human nature, and actually "explain" religiousness by type: "NFs are religious, STs are not," "NFs are not grounded to reality, STs are" and so on. Being a certain type is your identity when there is no consideration for higher purpose or spirituality.

    The scientist-atheistic point of view would be that we're born with inclinations determined by type probably (in this case), we live and have moments of happiness where our brains are actually sending some sort of chemical whose actual purpose is for the advanced of the species and what not along with reproduction, then we die and become part of the Earth and that's it. Everything is explained by science, it's silly to consider anything else that we cannot see or use the scientific method... It sounds so depressing though, and why exactly is this the "truth"? If it feels depressing, doesn't that mean something as well? In that there is something inside people that naturally rejects such a dry concept? People have to be true to themselves and not just go with the flow in terms of their religion. Personally, I find it hard to believe that being atheist is the more intelligent choice. Denying spirituality to me is like dying internally, and I don't know how atheists can sustain an optimistic outlook on things without there being some kind of spiritual aspect that they have overlooked within them. I can attest to how better it is to live life religiously, as opposed to those periods where I have contemplated that there is no God and that everything that I read in science books and logical concepts of humanity are "it."

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    My religious uncle and I were discussing evolution versus creationism once so, essentially, science versus religion. I told him both were very important to me and I did not find them to contradict in anyway. Then he asked me, "but you have to believe one more than the other, so which one is it?" I told him there is no way I can choose one over the other.

    In my point of view, science is the greatest gift from God (yes, I love science). Frankly, it annoys me just as much for an atheist to say only science as a creationist to say only God is behind the creation of the universe. Why do we have to choose one over the other?
    Science can find out everything about the world and the universe, but in the end, there will always be room for God. And for those who believe there is a God, science cannot be denied because it is right in front of our faces.

    A wise physics teacher of mine once said, "Science cannot disprove Religion just as Religion cannot disprove Science." If you at least acknowledge this, I mean really acknowledge it and not just say you do for show, I do not care what you believe.

    Anyway, after that discussion, I convinced my uncle to put more value in science and he told me he very much enjoyed the conversation.
    Ceci n'est pas une eii.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    Personally, I find it hard to believe that being atheist is the more intelligent choice. Denying spirituality to me is like dying internally, and I don't know how atheists can sustain an optimistic outlook on things without there being some kind of spiritual aspect that they have overlooked within them. I can attest to how better it is to live life religiously, as opposed to those periods where I have contemplated that there is no God and that everything that I read in science books and logical concepts of humanity are "it."
    Many atheists are spiritual; I count myself among them.

    When I think of how the Earth formed, and where the Moon came from, and the hundreds of millions of years that past before complex life arose on this planet... and then the evolution of that life, and how many times it had to start over from mass extinctions... and how there could be millions of other intelligent species out there in the universe, all feeling alone and wondering if anyone else exists...

    It's hard to put the feeling into words, but some guy bleeding on a stick doesn't even come close.
    SLI/ISTp -- Te subtype

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    I struggle to know what I want out of life. I think I know, but the realization of that goal is a long ways off, and in the meantime I fidget as I wait, looking for purpose in the mundane.

    I don't know if I've ever not gone after something that I wanted that was within my reach. Often, when I arrive at my destination I find that it wasn't all that I thought it would be and I am left disappointed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    Many atheists are spiritual; I count myself among them.

    When I think of how the Earth formed, and where the Moon came from, and the hundreds of millions of years that past before complex life arose on this planet... and then the evolution of that life, and how many times it had to start over from mass extinctions... and how there could be millions of other intelligent species out there in the universe, all feeling alone and wondering if anyone else exists...

    It's hard to put the feeling into words, but some guy bleeding on a stick doesn't even come close.
    Well, you're already jumping into Jesus with respect to the complexity of the universe... One thing I would like to point out, like The Greeter was mentioning, is that science cannot be used to disprove religion, unless there is some kind of dogma in the religion where a scientific observation shows otherwise. I for one think that the concept of evolution has become overrated when I hear people use it to justify atheism. If we look at intuitive probability, how is it that the majority of Earthlings for example (as in animals and humans) are vertically symmetrical, have two eyes, a mouth to ingest, bipedal or quadpedal? along with very similar characteristics if we're talking about natural selection and what works the best for survival.

    I'm not implying or defining any aspect of "God" as designing it that way, regardless of personal conviction, but I have yet to hear someone explain that. What would it mean then, most (don't know the actual relation) Earth beings come from the same general blueprint? Maybe, and it is an interesting concept.

    As for saying that Jesus was "some guy bleeding on a stick"... That's the equivalent of an anti-science religious person saying that the Earth is just some flat rock and the sun moves around it... It's definitely a more complicated issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    Well, you're already jumping into Jesus with respect to the complexity of the universe...
    No, I don't believe so? I'm contesting your (implicit) claim that where spiritual satisfaction is concerned, mythology trumps science. I disagree on personal grounds, and I think more people would do so as well if the culture-at-large was different. Most people cannot explain the difference between natural selection and evolution, let alone understand the awesome history of the Earth and the universe in which it resides. Of course they're not going to see naturalism as spiritually fulfilling.

    One thing I would like to point out, like The Greeter was mentioning, is that science cannot be used to disprove religion, unless there is some kind of dogma in the religion where a scientific observation shows otherwise.
    Agreed. Science is concerned with what can be falsified, and very little in religion can, hence why the latter is based faith and not logic.

    I for one think that the concept of evolution has become overrated when I hear people use it to justify atheism. If we look at intuitive probability, how is it that the majority of Earthlings for example (as in animals and humans) are vertically symmetrical, have two eyes, a mouth to ingest, bipedal or quadpedal? along with very similar characteristics if we're talking about natural selection and what works the best for survival.
    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. The fact that all living organisms fall on a morphological continuum based on their life habit is one of the best intuitive 'proofs' of evolution. And that you think evolution is overrated doesn't really have much point in the discussion, other than as a possible explanation for why you feel naturalism is spiritually bankrupt.

    I'm not implying or defining any aspect of "God" as designing it that way, regardless of personal conviction, but I have yet to hear someone explain that. What would it mean then, most (don't know the actual relation) Earth beings come from the same general blueprint? Maybe, and it is an interesting concept.
    I'm asking a sincere question - do you understand evolution? Like, have you studied it in any formal capacity?

    As for saying that Jesus was "some guy bleeding on a stick"... That's the equivalent of an anti-science religious person saying that the Earth is just some flat rock and the sun moves around it... It's definitely a more complicated issue.
    I'm sure that to many religious people, the Earth is indeed just a flat rock. Joseph Campbell (likely along with many other scholars) noted that Christianity has an anti-nature theme, and that subtext filters into many different parts of the religion. The Earth isn't the story - it's the backdrop. Or, if the Earth is actually important, it's to serve our end. Of course, geology tells us otherwise, but to those who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, scientific knowledge is irrelevent.

    As for my comment, that's how I legitimately see it, as offensive as it may or may not be. The mythology does nothing for me, despite 15 years of programming in a religious home.
    SLI/ISTp -- Te subtype

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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    I'm not sure what you're getting at here. The fact that all living organisms fall on a morphological continuum based on their life habit is one of the best intuitive 'proofs' of evolution. And that you think evolution is overrated doesn't really have much point in the discussion, other than as a possible explanation for why you feel naturalism is spiritually bankrupt.
    I'm not trying to disprove evolution though, since there is nothing to disprove that I know of. What I am saying is that people sometimes use evolution as a means to "attack" the validity of religion, when if you look at the morphological similarities found between completely different species (such as humans and fish) it seems to point to an original blueprint so to speak. At least it is something that is worth thinking about.

    I'm asking a sincere question - do you understand evolution? Like, have you studied it in any formal capacity?
    I'm not an expert on evolution, and I don't understand what it means to study something at a formal capacity. You mean read extensively and research? Then I haven't. However, I believe (and I may be wrong) that what I have mentioned is in accordance to the theory of evolution. My understanding of it is that through natural selection, certain rare or alterations of traits make an individual more fit to survive and are passed down to its offspring, resulting in some sort of "optimization" throughout the generations. Like I mentioned before, it is strange if you think about probability, that there aren't any changes in some factors between species on Earth, such as how widespread it is for them to be symmetrical, have two eyes and what not. It just seems strange to me, or at least out of my scope of reasoning.

    I'm sure that to many religious people, the Earth is indeed just a flat rock. Joseph Campbell (likely along with many other scholars) noted that Christianity has an anti-nature theme, and that subtext filters into many different parts of the religion. The Earth isn't the story - it's the backdrop. Or, if the Earth is actually important, it's to serve our end. Of course, geology tells us otherwise, but to those who believe the Earth is 6,000 years old, scientific knowledge is irrelevent.
    Exactly , that is my point. Just as it is an incredible simplification to say that Jesus was just a guy bleeding on a cross, it is to say that the Earth is just a rock. There are people who don't agree with the first claim and can provide a deeper explanation.

    As for my comment, that's how I legitimately see it, as offensive as it may or may not be. The mythology does nothing for me, despite 15 years of programming in a religious home.
    I'm not offended, but I just wanted to point that out. I wonder if the majority of atheists actually come from religious homes, at least that's the trend I see.
    Last edited by Lobo; 10-24-2008 at 05:41 AM. Reason: one sentence was written poorly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    I'm not an expert on evolution, and I don't understand what it means to study something at a formal capacity. You mean read extensively and research? Then I haven't.
    I was asking if had you studied it in school at all... or even to the extent of reading a popular science book on the subject, which would be more than the bulk of our society has done. A lot of debates about science and evolution have been caused by the opposing party simply not be aware of the concepts involved, hence my asking just to be sure. But no matter - I see by the following quote you have a good idea about the subject.

    However, I believe (and I may be wrong) that what I have mentioned is in accordance to the theory of evolution. My understanding of it is that through natural selection, certain rare or alterations of traits make an individual more fit to survive and are passed down to its offspring, resulting in some sort of "optimization" throughout the generations. Like I mentioned before, it is strange if you think about probability, that there aren't any changes in some factors between species on Earth, such as how widespread it is for them to be symmetrical, have two eyes and what not. It just seems strange to me, or at least out of my scope of reasoning.
    Well, symmetry does vary between groups. Porifera and cnidarians, for example, have radial symmetry while other groups like the chordates have bilateral symmetry. It's much easier for a terrestrial organism to walk around on 2-4 four legs than it is hop around only on one - no surprise that the former was selected over the latter. That said, symmetry as an idea isn't especially telling in itself - a water droplet in free-fall is symmetrical from every angle, but there's no blueprint behind that save for the polar nature of the H2O molecule.

    As for eyes, it's true that a number of animals have two eyes. But then you have arthropods in which a number of groups and species have several eyes (think spiders). One of my favourite extinct species is the eurypterid which actually featured two types of eyes - a body plan vastly different than our own. Then you have several major groups of organisms with no eyes whatsoever. So I don't necessarily think morphological similarity is a convincing argument for looking into anything beyond cladistics.

    Exactly , that is my point. Just as it is an incredible simplification to say that Jesus was just a guy bleeding on a cross, it is to say that the Earth is just a rock. There are people who don't agree with the first claim and can provide a deeper explanation.
    My personal pet peeve is those who refuse to acknowledge the validity of having seen both sides. When engaged in religious debates with people, they invariably come to recognize that I am not an atheist by choice, and certainly not by an act of rebellion. Yet they never seem to make the final link, that of what would cause me to lose my faith (or perhaps they touch on that link, but subconsciously realize they'd remain much more comfortable if they didn't go there). Included in that is the unwillingness to concede the fact that my perspective is broader than their own, and thus by the rules of common knowledge, is more justified. Experience always counts more on issues of perspective, and whether or not atheism is spiritually satisfying relies primarily on perspective.

    I'm not offended, but I just wanted to point that out. I wonder if the majority of atheists actually come from religious homes, at least that's the trend I see.
    It makes statistical sense, as there are many more religious homes to come from.
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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post


    My personal pet peeve is those who refuse to acknowledge the validity of having seen both sides. When engaged in religious debates with people, they invariably come to recognize that I am not an atheist by choice, and certainly not by an act of rebellion. Yet they never seem to make the final link, that of what would cause me to lose my faith (or perhaps they touch on that link, but subconsciously realize they'd remain much more comfortable if they didn't go there). Included in that is the unwillingness to concede the fact that my perspective is broader than their own, and thus by the rules of common knowledge, is more justified. Experience always counts more on issues of perspective, and whether or not atheism is spiritually satisfying relies primarily on perspective.
    What do you mean you are not an atheist by choice?
    Ceci n'est pas une eii.




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    Quote Originally Posted by The Greeter View Post
    What do you mean you are not an atheist by choice?
    How can you choose to believe something, or conversely, not believe? Do you make the choice to believe in gravity, or are you convinced by the facts at hand? People may choose to do activities to lead to belief or non-belief, but that disctinction itself is pretty much out of their hands.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    The scientist-atheistic point of view would be that we're born with inclinations determined by type probably (in this case), we live and have moments of happiness where our brains are actually sending some sort of chemical whose actual purpose is for the advanced of the species and what not along with reproduction, then we die and become part of the Earth and that's it. Everything is explained by science, it's silly to consider anything else that we cannot see or use the scientific method... It sounds so depressing though, and why exactly is this the "truth"? If it feels depressing, doesn't that mean something as well? In that there is something inside people that naturally rejects such a dry concept? People have to be true to themselves and not just go with the flow in terms of their religion. Personally, I find it hard to believe that being atheist is the more intelligent choice. Denying spirituality to me is like dying internally, and I don't know how atheists can sustain an optimistic outlook on things without there being some kind of spiritual aspect that they have overlooked within them. I can attest to how better it is to live life religiously, as opposed to those periods where I have contemplated that there is no God and that everything that I read in science books and logical concepts of humanity are "it."
    Y'know, you're not the first person to say that contemplating a secular viewpoint is depressing. But I don't see it that way at all. There's so much we still don't know about the universe and our existence, and on several aspects it seems that we get very confusing results from trying to run headlong toward a concrete answer. So I'm willing to study a lot of different things, and I'm willing for people to have their own viewpoints not least because those views are due to their own studies and unpredictable experiences.
    But I have no need to be part of some grand design by something called God. I have no need for an afterlife, either because I fear the termination of my individual existence or because I want to believe in a kind of justice that doesn't seem to be consistently carried out during our lives.
    That said, I have had experiences that I would describe as sublime, as maybe even moments of enlightenment. I've seen inexplicable coincidences and met people whom I respect who believe in all sorts of stuff that would otherwise sound to me like pure hogwash.
    I'm willing for there to be mystery. And behind the mystery could lie any explanation at all. But I don't feel this need for spirituality that I've heard talk about. It doesn't depress me to look within (and I do look within) and find a lack of faith.
    I'm not trying to undermine anyone's perspective who considers faith to be an integral part of their existence. But surely I can't be the only one who feels this way.
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Bukowski
    We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    My personal pet peeve is those who refuse to acknowledge the validity of having seen both sides. When engaged in religious debates with people, they invariably come to recognize that I am not an atheist by choice, and certainly not by an act of rebellion. Yet they never seem to make the final link, that of what would cause me to lose my faith (or perhaps they touch on that link, but subconsciously realize they'd remain much more comfortable if they didn't go there). Included in that is the unwillingness to concede the fact that my perspective is broader than their own, and thus by the rules of common knowledge, is more justified. Experience always counts more on issues of perspective, and whether or not atheism is spiritually satisfying relies primarily on perspective.
    Actually, when I hear of someone being an atheist, I already have it in my mind that they were born into a Christian family. The transition seems logical to me if we are talking about fundamentalist Christianity, though it does happen with Catholics as well. As soon as you find an inconsistency in the Bible, and if your faith is purely scriptural (as is the case with fundamentalists from my understanding), then it no longer can be considered as the "truth." The path to atheism is many times marked by hurt from those who took their religion seriously only to find that what they were believing in was not true. It is very painful to recognize this, and can lead to deep anger and resentment towards not only Christianity, but towards all aspect of religion as well. There are other cases where people are simply born into an atheist family and remain that way, not really feeing the need for theism.

    However, I don't believe that both sides are invalid, especially if we are comparing atheism to a particular religion that has an improportional amount of thought and reasoning applied to it. You might say this is biased, but personally I do not see how atheism is the "more accurate" choice compared to Catholicism for example, and the extensive amount of theological study that has been done. There are so many things that I would say even the majority of Catholics do not know about in terms of what is available to them in terms of information. Simply going to church without deepening knowledge of the faith does not really provide a solid foundation. I understand that atheism is a valid argument when we are talking about simple lower level reasoning given from a particular practicing member of a religion, but it's a whole different level when we are talking about someone who knows about their religion extensively or even the entire religion altogether.

    I respect those atheists who are not rebellious and are only seeking the truth, but I don't know if a strong religious argument is shown in front of many of them that they will readily accept it however. In this case, I do see how atheists that come from religious backgrounds have a better perspective in some things since they have considered both sides. I do find it humorous when people disagree with the other side of an issue without having thought or investigated about it in a serious level. The last time I was involved in a discussion against Catholicism for example, the person didn't even know what the Catechism of the Catholic Church is... I wonder how people can provide valid arguments against Catholicism when they don't even know the most basic source of Catholic apologetics.
    [/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by songofsappho View Post
    Yes, it is interesting...

    Quote Originally Posted by iAnnAu View Post
    Y'know, you're not the first person to say that contemplating a secular viewpoint is depressing. But I don't see it that way at all. There's so much we still don't know about the universe and our existence, and on several aspects it seems that we get very confusing results from trying to run headlong toward a concrete answer. So I'm willing to study a lot of different things, and I'm willing for people to have their own viewpoints not least because those views are due to their own studies and unpredictable experiences.
    But I have no need to be part of some grand design by something called God. I have no need for an afterlife, either because I fear the termination of my individual existence or because I want to believe in a kind of justice that doesn't seem to be consistently carried out during our lives.
    That said, I have had experiences that I would describe as sublime, as maybe even moments of enlightenment. I've seen inexplicable coincidences and met people whom I respect who believe in all sorts of stuff that would otherwise sound to me like pure hogwash.
    I'm willing for there to be mystery. And behind the mystery could lie any explanation at all. But I don't feel this need for spirituality that I've heard talk about. It doesn't depress me to look within (and I do look within) and find a lack of faith.
    I'm not trying to undermine anyone's perspective who considers faith to be an integral part of their existence. But surely I can't be the only one who feels this way.
    To each his own, but when I mentioned "depressing" I wasn't talking about lack of faith really. What I meant is in looking at things in the very cold manner that I see some people do, and claiming that it's the "truth." I do see a difference though between a simple truth, and the complete truth. For example, someone can say that we are born into this world, we live, and we die. That is the simple truth, but is that the "whole" truth? There is this tendency to relate coldness to what is supposed to be the whole truth, because emotionality and meaning is deemed a subjective and unreliable source. However, Science only provides the observations, but people are the ones that give those observations some kind of meaning... If I remember correctly, Songofsapho's article talks about this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    Actually, when I hear of someone being an atheist, I already have it in my mind that they were born into a Christian family.
    When I hear of someone being Christian, I already have it in my mind that they were born into a Christian family. As I pointed out in an earlier post, it makes statistical sense that more atheists come from Christian families, because there are more Christian families.

    (It occurs to me I may be thinking you're trying to say more than you actually intended to say.)

    The transition seems logical to me if we are talking about fundamentalist Christianity, though it does happen with Catholics as well. As soon as you find an inconsistency in the Bible, and if your faith is purely scriptural (as is the case with fundamentalists from my understanding), then it no longer can be considered as the "truth." The path to atheism is many times marked by hurt from those who took their religion seriously only to find that what they were believing in was not true. It is very painful to recognize this, and can lead to deep anger and resentment towards not only Christianity, but towards all aspect of religion as well. There are other cases where people are simply born into an atheist family and remain that way, not really feeing the need for theism.
    In my own case, I was left without a 'centre', but it was a very freeing feeling. When you actually lack belief, the possibilities of life come rushing in with great clarity. Reading other atheist testimonies on the internet has shown me not alone in that experience.

    However, I don't believe that both sides are invalid, especially if we are comparing atheism to a particular religion that has an improportional amount of thought and reasoning applied to it. You might say this is biased, but personally I do not see how atheism is the "more accurate" choice compared to Catholicism for example...
    Well, I kind of question your use of 'more accurate' because that phrasing lacks rigor. If we were to compare atheism versus Catholicism on something better defined - such as logic, for example - then it could be shown that atheism makes the stronger case. People who contest this claim are not aware of the arguments that exist against their position.

    I understand that atheism is a valid argument when we are talking about simple lower level reasoning given from a particular practicing member of a religion, but it's a whole different level when we are talking about someone who knows about their religion extensively or even the entire religion altogether.
    Extensive knowledge about the rites, passages, and history of a religion does not preclude the logical arguments put forth by some of the big names in philosophy. The degree to which any particular theologian can be considered a heavyweight in his or her field does not really matter, as there's always going to be an atheist with at better argument who will, in the end, force their opponent into conceding theism is a faith-based position alone.

    I respect those atheists who are not rebellious and are only seeking the truth, but I don't know if a strong religious argument is shown in front of many of them that they will readily accept it however.
    I have yet to see one, and I debate Christians frequently. What I would accept is a personal religious experience that I could not otherwise explain, or some 'falsifiable' proof such as - to pick something at random - the efficacy of prayer with respect to the quote, "ask and you shall receive".
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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    Well, I kind of question your use of 'more accurate' because that phrasing lacks rigor. If we were to compare atheism versus Catholicism on something better defined - such as logic, for example - then it could be shown that atheism makes the stronger case. People who contest this claim are not aware of the arguments that exist against their position.
    I meant "more accurate" in how it represents reality, but again, that's a personal belief. Also, how can you use logic to prove or disprove religion when logic needs undeniable truths for it to be in anyway useful? Like I mentioned before, I agree that atheism can have a better argument over fundamentalist Christianity as soon as the Earth is found to be created in a lot more than 7 days, because to them what is written in the bible is the literal truth (as far as I know). But, how would this work with Catholicism or other religions that are not completely scripture based, or are based on matters of personal experience? Man's innate disposition toward religion and the supernatural throughout known history is an unquestionable reality of humanity, and that would have to be questioned logically in order to disprove religion altogether, since it has yet to be proven how religion is another appendix.

    Extensive knowledge about the rites, passages, and history of a religion does not preclude the logical arguments put forth by some of the big names in philosophy. The degree to which any particular theologian can be considered a heavyweight in his or her field does not really matter, as there's always going to be an atheist with at better argument who will, in the end, force their opponent into conceding theism is a faith-based position alone.

    Yes, theism is faith based, but with the belief there is a point where it merges with the observations of science. However, there is also paranormal activity to take into account as well (I hate using that word though). But if we are talking about big names in philosophy, where does (St.) Thomas Aquinas fall into? I'm not a philosophy major, or incredibly interested in reading about pholosophy, but I have heard that he is indeed a big name in philosophy, and definitely not an atheist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    I meant "more accurate" in how it represents reality, but again, that's a personal belief. Also, how can you use logic to prove or disprove religion when logic needs undeniable truths for it to be in anyway useful?
    With respect to atheism as a concept itself, it depends on tightening the criteria of the argument. For example, theism is belief in the supernatural, but in terms of epistomology - that is, on the nature of knowledge - we divide knowledge from belief. Atheism is essentially defined as, "not theism", or, "without theism", which extends to, "without belief in the supernatural". Therefore, atheism is a statement about a metaphysical claim, not one of epistomology. (This is techinically why we're all agnostic theists, or agnostic atheists, but never just agnostics.) Realizing that, atheism in its true context is not concerned with disproving supernatural claims.

    Because most people aren't philosophers (myself included), we tend to lump separate philosophies together and transfer between them shared attributes, or at least ones which do not openly conflict. The above is kind of beyond the scope of your argument, but I thought I'd clarify a couple of things from the first.

    As for logic itself, I'm not sure I agree that we need 'undeniable truths' to use it, if I understand your words correctly. Consider a logical tautology, for example: "A or not A". If we assign a value of true to 'A', then clearly 'not A' is false. I don't consider myself a logician (quite frankly, spending more than 10 minutes on the subject hurts my brain), so not going to flesh out too much of the argument in formal terms. But in the case of the above example, it can be shown how strong of a tool logic is for determing the truth of a claim.

    One of Christianity's biggest flaws is its reliance of the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. God exists because the Bible says so, and the Bible is true because it's the word of God. Clearly this statement cannot be substantiated as 'true' on its own - some independent evidence is needed. That's where the so-called conflict between science and religion comes in. Religious claims can often be tested and shown wrong on natural grounds, but are never truly falsifiable. There's a supernatural component that stands outside of empiricism that basically says your imagination is free to claim anything conceivable as true.

    Thankfully, logic states that the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. As an atheist, I am not required to disprove your claim, but as a Christian you are required to prove it. Our justice system has adopted this very same principle; "innocent until proven guilty". Of course, that line of debate devolves very quickly. Just as science cannot falsify God, Christians have an equally impossible time proving one exists. Arguments relating to natural phenomenon are usually then brought up, but for every divinely-inspired natural occurence, there is a more logical, scientific explanation.

    Like I mentioned before, I agree that atheism can have a better argument over fundamentalist Christianity as soon as the Earth is found to be created in a lot more than 7 days, because to them what is written in the bible is the literal truth (as far as I know). But, how would this work with Catholicism or other religions that are not completely scripture based, or are based on matters of personal experience?
    Like the scientific method showing the Earth is older than 6000 years old, matters of personal experience can also be subjected to similar scrutiny. They just need to be identified and defined. For example, there are few Catholics in the west who would still consider schizophrenia and tourette's syndrom demon possession because we have a more likely and logical explanation based on our own biology. Same goes with hallucinations and seeing the Virgin Mary in peanut butter.

    Man's innate disposition toward religion and the supernatural throughout known history is an unquestionable reality of humanity, and that would have to be questioned logically in order to disprove religion altogether, since it has yet to be proven how religion is another appendix.
    It is an unquestionable reality, but it begs the question - why? Is it a function of something spiritual within us (which cannot be proved), or is it related to our nature as self-conscious beings? Humans are intelligent, creative, and inquistive. In the absence of knowledge about the natural world, why wouldn't ancient peoples incorporate mysticism into their societies? Archaic religions are rife with supernatural explanations to natural events.

    Yes, theism is faith based, but with the belief there is a point where it merges with the observations of science.
    Can you clarify this, and/or provide an example? At the risk of getting ahead of myself, the Catholic church accepting the Big Bang theory does not lend credence to the existence of the supernatural in terms of logic.

    However, there is also paranormal activity to take into account as well (I hate using that word though).
    I kind of addressed this earlier, so I won't waste more bandwidth in repeating myself.

    But if we are talking about big names in philosophy, where does (St.) Thomas Aquinas fall into? I'm not a philosophy major, or incredibly interested in reading about pholosophy, but I have heard that he is indeed a big name in philosophy, and definitely not an atheist.
    He would be a big name for sure! It's worth pointing out, however, that philosophers in the intervening hundreds of years since his time have addressed his arguments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by force my hand View Post
    With respect to atheism as a concept itself, it depends on tightening the criteria of the argument. For example, theism is belief in the supernatural, but in terms of epistomology - that is, on the nature of knowledge - we divide knowledge from belief. Atheism is essentially defined as, "not theism", or, "without theism", which extends to, "without belief in the supernatural". Therefore, atheism is a statement about a metaphysical claim, not one of epistomology. (This is techinically why we're all agnostic theists, or agnostic atheists, but never just agnostics.) Realizing that, atheism in its true context is not concerned with disproving supernatural claims.

    Because most people aren't philosophers (myself included), we tend to lump separate philosophies together and transfer between them shared attributes, or at least ones which do not openly conflict. The above is kind of beyond the scope of your argument, but I thought I'd clarify a couple of things from the first.

    As for logic itself, I'm not sure I agree that we need 'undeniable truths' to use it, if I understand your words correctly. Consider a logical tautology, for example: "A or not A". If we assign a value of true to 'A', then clearly 'not A' is false. I don't consider myself a logician (quite frankly, spending more than 10 minutes on the subject hurts my brain), so not going to flesh out too much of the argument in formal terms. But in the case of the above example, it can be shown how strong of a tool logic is for determing the truth of a claim.
    To me an "undeniable truth" is something that is not subject to interpretation or perspective. (Bear with me in my attempts to explain this since I'm not a philosopher in any way ). So how can the existence of something that is greater than the senses, such as "God," be disproved using logic? However, I do agree that you can disprove certain attributes that someone may describe of "God" once the definition becomes more detailed. For example, like I mentioned before, you can disprove the literal meaning of a statement saying "God made the world in 7 days," because we know the world was not literally made in 7 days. I honestly don't see it as necessary as other people to apply logic to something so personal as religion, instead of just using it in more day to day applications. You can't just go to the Pope for instance, and convince him in any way that there is no God, because it's something that goes above cold logic for him, and for all those who believe in God throughout their lives.

    To be honest with you, sure, if we argue about religion with complete disregard of personal feelings and look at all the minutae that people have stated that can be analyzed with their literal meanings and the like, and whatever other system that depends absolutely on reason, then based on that I can see how you can supposedly "prove" that there is no God. But that to me amounts to raping religion. There is nothing really to gain from disproving it this way, because there are people who are living testimonies of their faith, and you cannot make them disbelieve using cold logic or cold reasoning.

    Suppose I encounter a stranger on the street and tell them that I have a brother, but I don't have proof of it with me, such as a photo. Then the stranger starts disproving that I have a brother because he/she doesn't have any proof to believe that it's true. That's similar to how I see an argument against religion.

    One of Christianity's biggest flaws is its reliance of the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. God exists because the Bible says so, and the Bible is true because it's the word of God. Clearly this statement cannot be substantiated as 'true' on its own - some independent evidence is needed. That's where the so-called conflict between science and religion comes in. Religious claims can often be tested and shown wrong on natural grounds, but are never truly falsifiable. There's a supernatural component that stands outside of empiricism that basically says your imagination is free to claim anything conceivable as true.
    Technically speaking, so long as you believe in Christ then you are a Christian, and it is unrelated to how one applies reasoning. "God exists because the Bible says so" is an example of fundamentalist Christianity, which appears to be what you have in mind when talking about Christianity in general. There is something I would like to point out though regarding the Catholic Church, assuming you believe that they are Christian to being with, which is something that at least certain fundamentalists are in disagreement. God does not exist just because the Bible says so, and the Bible is not understood by simply reading it and taking everything literally...

    Thankfully, logic states that the burden of proof lies with the one making the claim. As an atheist, I am not required to disprove your claim, but as a Christian you are required to prove it. Our justice system has adopted this very same principle; "innocent until proven guilty". Of course, that line of debate devolves very quickly. Just as science cannot falsify God, Christians have an equally impossible time proving one exists. Arguments relating to natural phenomenon are usually then brought up, but for every divinely-inspired natural occurence, there is a more logical, scientific explanation.
    Can you clarify this, and/or provide an example? At the risk of getting ahead of myself, the Catholic church accepting the Big Bang theory does not lend credence to the existence of the supernatural in terms of logic.
    That's the idea of faith and science meeting. Faith is a model of the reality we have yet to see and understand, and when certain specific aspects are shown to be not true, then they should be modified in light of what is found. This is the crude way I look at it at least. As for me, I consider the "most accurate" model belonging to the Catholic Church. Do you understand more or less what I'm saying? I see no reason to discard the entire faith, if I have my own reason to believe that it is still generally valid.

    Like the scientific method showing the Earth is older than 6000 years old, matters of personal experience can also be subjected to similar scrutiny. They just need to be identified and defined. For example, there are few Catholics in the west who would still consider schizophrenia and tourette's syndrom demon possession because we have a more likely and logical explanation based on our own biology. Same goes with hallucinations and seeing the Virgin Mary in peanut butter.
    There is debate on this topic within the Church when it comes to distinguishing those cases that should be treated with a Psychiatrist or Exorcist. There are those who question the need to even perform Exorcisms, which is something that Exorcists disagree with, who are the ones with actual experience in the matter. If we talk about Adolf Hitler for instance, there is no doubt in the mind of an Exorcist that he was indeed posessed by the devil, and not just some psychological ailment, considering his deep involvement in the esoteric.

    It is an unquestionable reality, but it begs the question - why? Is it a function of something spiritual within us (which cannot be proved), or is it related to our nature as self-conscious beings? Humans are intelligent, creative, and inquistive. In the absence of knowledge about the natural world, why wouldn't ancient peoples incorporate mysticism into their societies? Archaic religions are rife with supernatural explanations to natural events.
    It is an interesting question, but it is something that we have yet to definitely explain, at least scientifically with proof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sereno View Post
    To me an "undeniable truth" is something that is not subject to interpretation or perspective. (Bear with me in my attempts to explain this since I'm not a philosopher in any way ). So how can the existence of something that is greater than the senses, such as "God," be disproved using logic?
    Arguments for the existence of God can be 'disproved' by logic.

    I honestly don't see it as necessary as other people to apply logic to something so personal as religion, instead of just using it in more day to day applications.
    Well, clearly it is necesary as religion isn't just a personal thing. I agree that it should be, but it takes its own 'truths' to seriously and goes political with them. That's when the problem starts, and that's when religion deserves to be under attack.

    To be honest with you, sure, if we argue about religion with complete disregard of personal feelings and look at all the minutae that people have stated that can be analyzed with their literal meanings and the like, and whatever other system that depends absolutely on reason, then based on that I can see how you can supposedly "prove" that there is no God. But that to me amounts to raping religion. There is nothing really to gain from disproving it this way, because there are people who are living testimonies of their faith, and you cannot make them disbelieve using cold logic or cold reasoning.
    And that's fine, so long as it's kept personal and they realize it's a faith-based position and not one of logic.

    Suppose I encounter a stranger on the street and tell them that I have a brother, but I don't have proof of it with me, such as a photo. Then the stranger starts disproving that I have a brother because he/she doesn't have any proof to believe that it's true. That's similar to how I see an argument against religion.
    If you told a stranger on the street that you had a brother, but could not bring up any evidence to support your claim, he would be justified in not believing you. Why not get the evidence that your brother exists first, before you try to convince random strangers that he exists? Furthermore, you shouldn't be surprised that if you were to ostracize this person that they themselves would go on the attack from your uncalled-for actions.

    Technically speaking, so long as you believe in Christ then you are a Christian, and it is unrelated to how one applies reasoning. "God exists because the Bible says so" is an example of fundamentalist Christianity, which appears to be what you have in mind when talking about Christianity in general.
    Not really, because you're ignoring the issue of divine revelation. Christians today may have adopted their belief from their parents or church, and so on and so forth back into history. But sooner or later you reach a finite point where revelation comes from the Bible. To have faith in Christ you need to believe that Christ existed, and the belief that Christ exists was not snatched out of thin air - it comes from the Bible.

    There is something I would like to point out though regarding the Catholic Church, assuming you believe that they are Christian to being with, which is something that at least certain fundamentalists are in disagreement. God does not exist just because the Bible says so, and the Bible is not understood by simply reading it and taking everything literally...
    Of course. But to pretend the beliefs and traditions of the Catholic church originated in a void is nonsensical. In fact, having a written document was so important to the church that, as you're well aware, they had a big ho-down about it in the 4th or 5th century. So clearly the Holy Book does play some role of importance.

    That's the idea of faith and science meeting. Faith is a model of the reality we have yet to see and understand, and when certain specific aspects are shown to be not true, then they should be modified in light of what is found. This is the crude way I look at it at least. As for me, I consider the "most accurate" model belonging to the Catholic Church. Do you understand more or less what I'm saying? I see no reason to discard the entire faith, if I have my own reason to believe that it is still generally valid.
    Not entirely sure that I am... as a theist, you're going to be a lot more forgiving of gaps in evidence. As an atheist, I value fundamentals such as, "the absence of evidence is not evidence". There is a tendency for the religious to point to gaps in scientific knowledge and exclaim, "aha, God!" whereas the non-theist just say, "who knows?" It's worth pointing out that over the past 200-300 years more and more of these gaps are disappearing.

    Intellectually speaking, I also find it kind of distasteful that religion continually updates itself and adopts the various findings of science while pretending to somehow be 'above' base materialism. I feel like saying, if your position is so correct, why do you need to scam from science?

    There is debate on this topic within the Church when it comes to distinguishing those cases that should be treated with a Psychiatrist or Exorcist. There are those who question the need to even perform Exorcisms, which is something that Exorcists disagree with, who are the ones with actual experience in the matter. If we talk about Adolf Hitler for instance, there is no doubt in the mind of an Exorcist that he was indeed posessed by the devil, and not just some psychological ailment, considering his deep involvement in the esoteric.
    Do you believe that people get possessed by supernatural beings, and that exorcists have a legitimate skill set to get rid of them? Do you think most people that we would use the word 'reasonable' to describe believe such things?
    SLI/ISTp -- Te subtype

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