Which one are you?
Lets see how many of each there are here.
Side Score: 87
Side Score: 123
"Praying to the Virgin mary" or "Praying to the Pope"
Are common misconceptions born of a combination of general Catholic ignorance of their own religion and a wide and vast Protestant marketing campaign.
The true idea is that a Catholic can have a conversation with these dead people (not the living pope naturally) through prayer - they're talking to these dead people - much how Christians have a "personal relationship" with that mythical Jewish fellow hanging from a cross.
both dumb, neither any dumber than the other though.
no, it has been separated so much from normal Christianity
By whom? There is no such thing as "normal Christianity", what I assume you are referring to is protestant Christianity which is often just called "Christianity" by those ignorant of their own familial religious affiliation. Interestingly enough, your form of Christianity branched off of Catholicism and would not exist if not for it. The term "protestantism" itself comes from the term "protest" in particular protest of Catholicism and the church bureaucracy. If you want to know more you should research the Protestant Reformation.
catholic does that count! Do you understand what the defenition of being a christian? IT means beleiving in the power of the cross. It means beleiving that he gave his life over as a sacrifice for our sin! And that he razed himself from the dead. It means he defeated death, he conquered sin! We are free through JEsus christ! Thats the defenition of being a follower of jesus christ/ christian. All these different sects and seperations are going against what God has planned for us through the church. He wants all of us to be one in him.
I understand what it means to be a Christian. Believing that He raised Himself from the dead does not require me to get down on my knees in front of a man-made ornament on which a man with a six pack is pinned to a varnished cross that matches the mantlepiece. Believing what He did for me requires me to pray, worship and obey Him, not confuse Him with miniture Mr.Muscles dude. As for "all these sects and seperations are going against what God has planned for us through the church" I do agree with that whole-heartedly; the seperation of the saints is awful and completely against what He wants, but I prefer the seperation than being in the same organization as alcoholics, liars and generally bad people.
Or perhaps it is because the atheist side happens to have a few thoughtful and well-written posts, and people like to upvote good posts. I upvoted NerdvanaGirl for listing several major objections to Christianity, mentioning the unfalsifiability of God, and mentioning the moral dangers of Christianity, all in one relatively succinct post. I also upvoted imrigone for an concise explanation of the agnostic atheist viewpoint, which also happens to be my own stance.
I didn't upvote anyone else, but I see several other informative atheist posts - ones that not merely stated which side the poster sat on but also explained their views, and a few more on the unfalsifiability argument.
The Christian posts here, however, are basically just paraphrases of "I am a Christian", which is far less informative or interesting to read. If someone had simply written "I am an atheist", I wouldn't upvote that either. The only exception is Billie's reply to iamdavidh, which does contains interesting information - and I suspect that didn't get upvotes from Christians only because most Christians don't agree with it.
"The only exception is Billie's reply to iamdavidh, which does contains interesting information - and I suspect that didn't get upvotes from Christians only because most Christians don't agree with it."
Well first off, thanks. When debating, I often feel outnumbered in the argument I am debating (there is often more atheists than Christians on these sites) which can sometimes make me feel slightly small but that does in no way indicate my argument is false. As for iamdavidh's post, I really did find it rather ignorant. I, personally (and I am positive I am speaking for the thousands of other Christians who believe this) find that worshipping and praying to a man made ornament is completely pointless in every meaning of the word, but however, that is just my opinion.
I do still believe that atheists get their posts upvoted (not by you, unless the post is well-structred etc) just because the post attempts to drag down God. Many will say this is untrue but hey, this is a debate site and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
Don't lump all atheists/agnostics into the same category... I'm agnostic but I'm also a conservative/libertarian... almost all of my friends are Christian and I have no problem with any of them... I'm not ashamed to be agnostic and to my fellow agnostic/atheist friends, I'm not ashamed of my Christian friends... I don't think references to God should be taken off money or taken out of the pledge, I'm libertarian and as such... as long as what you do doesn't negatively effect me, then I don't care.
P.S. I didn't up vote any of those people and I did up vote a Christian friend of mine's post.
Agnostic atheist. I do not believe in God due to lack of incontrovertible evidence and due to my knowledge of human psychology, history and anthropology. However, I do not claim that God definitely does not exist because I am aware that neither science or logic are up to the task of making such a statement. The way I see it, if God does exist, there is no methodology I can use to determine which religion, if any, truly knows the nature of such a being.
For the sake of debate I'll set aside the straight-forward logical notion that the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. I'll also allow myself to temporarily forget that the extra-biblical evidence for Jesus is limited, vague and debatable.
I do find it reasonable to accept that, about 2000 years ago, there was a man in the middle-East named Jesus (or, Jeshua.) I also find it reasonable to accept that this man was able to draw about himself a strong following, and in doing so became the biggest fly in Rome's ointment. History is filled with such people. Most religions were started by charismatic people of great wisdom or virtue, and people like that still live today. But it is when they step beyond the bounds of reality and start becoming attributed with supernatural powers that we should be skeptical. The ancient tales of all civilizations are filled with miracle workers and magic-users, yet in the modern age we easily dismiss them as legends, myths, folktales. Only a few pernicious ones remain, carried through as fact for no better reason than some group of people never gave up believing. And those who believe in one rarely accept the others as anything more than misguided fantasies, unless, of course, the other can affirm their own faith. Do you believe in the miraculous deeds associated with Muhammad or the Buddha? Though fantastical tales are told about both men, at least their followers knew when to say "enough is enough" and not elevate them to Godhood.
I don't think anybody would ever doubt he existed. Just doubt he was the son of a celestial being who died, saving the world by giving his life to repent/forgive (whatever) their sins, who also came back to life (seemingly canceling out what he died for). I have no doubt he was a person, the son of two humans, who had a gift for making people believe what he had to say.
Atheist (as I'm assuming you meant by "athiest"). There is no logical reason or empirical evidence to believe in any god, much less the Christian one (which is based on a book of contradictions, erroneous information, and logical fallacies). I think religion tethers us to superstition and ignorance, as well as provides an opportunity for moral corruption of a very dangerous nature (which would be hard for followers to refrain from succumbing to, given that it's allegedly purported by a divine being and thus not open for reconsideration). I certainly don't believe any of the nonsense is true. Christianity alone has multiple problems, including:
1) The Epicurus view - God cannot be both benevolent and omnipotent, since evil exists. (Furthermore, a perfect being cannot create something that could make evil choices, even allowing for freewill. This is because unless the creator made a mistake - impossible if it's infallible - the creation would have to be perfect and make perfect decisions.
2) The idea of Jesus's death being the only way to salvation is a version of the scapegoat idea. It's also disturbing that a perfect, all-knowing being could subscribe to the idea of inherited blame (since WE didn't eat from the Tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil, Eve did...supposedly).
3) How could Eve be at blame for eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? She did it before she had the knowledge of good and evil (ie knew right from wrong), so how could be liable for doing something she didn't understand was bad?
4) You have to accept Jesus into your heart to be "saved", and thus love God if you don't want to burn in hell for all eternity. This is mandating compulsory love. Also, God demands blind faith. So, if you can't force yourself to love someone, or have faith in something despite all logic and evidence, you're screwed, and there's nothing you can do about it.
These are but a few problems in the religion, not even taking into account those that have been disproved in the light of science.
Firstly, id like to say i agree with nearly everything you said, i view myself as a kind of spiritual athiest, although i admit my views need to be refined (and they probably always will).
How do you explain the finely tuned universe we live in, i know this is a favourite for any thiest to throw in the face of an athiest, but seriously, its probably the one really credible argument they have.
"God is a metaphor for that which trancends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that." Joseph Campbell
Are you familiar with the book "The Grand Design" by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow? I admit I haven't gotten to it yet, but I understand that it addresses such questions. I assume you're talking about the order of the universe though, not the anthropic principle (which states that conditions on a planet/in a universe have to be very specific in order for life to exist). Incidentally, Richard Dawkins does a great job providing examples of order coming out of chaos in his book "The Blind Watchmaker." For instance, he points out that stones along a beach look deliberately placed (designed) there, but a naturalistic explanation is available for why large rocks tend to be with large rocks, and pebbles with other pebbles - that has to do with the effect of gravity/force on objects of different size and weight. This is a relatively simple example, but I know Hawking dives deeper into the issue - I believe Asimov discussed it at some point as well. The cosmologist Lawrence Krauss also gave a great talk called "A Universe From Nothing", which is available on youtube. It's extremely witty and informative, and well worth the hour or so to watch it.
If you're referring to the anthropic principle however (eg, if the planet was a bit closer or farther from the sun, life couldn't exist or would be vastly different), this is often misinterpreted to be an argument for intelligent design, when it's really the opposite. It's absurdly simple, really - it comes down to the fact that if the Earth WASN'T that particular way, we wouldn't be here to discuss it. There are plenty of worlds without life, but to suggest that it's beyond reason to expect any worlds to have the particulars necessary for life (be in the "goldilocks zone", as it's often described) is to ignore the law of large numbers. The sheer amount of worlds there are provides ample possibility for life-friendly worlds to exist. If you're interested in the subject, I believe there's a section in "The God Delusion" (also by Dawkins) devoted to it.
Atheist (which i always thought sounded like A Theist, but anyways), I do not see any reason to believe in god more than i would Allah, Zeus or the flying spaghetti monster. Analyzing the world from a scientific, rational, and logical viewpoint alone is adequate for understanding the world around me, God, in my opinion, is an unnecessary hypothesis. I see the problem of evil given the characteristic of a loving god to be too big of a hurdle to take without thinking for myself. A deistic god is unfalsifiable, meaning it cannot be disprove, but it also cannot be proven, and i have always held to the belief that i will not believe in something without substantial evidence for its existence, why not believe in leprechauns and unicorns, plenty of stories tell me they exist too.
Actually upbringing certainly has an immense amount to do with who you are. If you are born in the middle east to Muslim parents, chances are you will be Muslim. If you are born in Israel to Jewish parents, chances are you will be Jewish. And if you are born in the western world to Catholic parents then chances are you will be catholic. The majority of people are religious because they were raised to be that way. There is some wiggle room but that depends on a massive amount of external factors such as culture, society, friends, experiences, etc. But if all those external forces point you towards one religion, most people are going to do what they are told from birth and follow that religion.
ok, first and foremost, this would be a much more interesting post, in my opinion if were simply, theist vs atheist, why limit the theist side to one religion? id much rather hear all of the arguments from all different perspectives, well, that is if the different religions could get along long enough to write a few thoughtful posts, or if they'd attack each other immediately. (though they could finally unite under the common enemy of atheism, which would be quite a refreshing change)
However, i am an atheist, and for MANY reasons, a few of which are
1 from the initial creation of religion, during medieval times, it is my view that it was created in that time to promise to all the peasants that they would receive retribution in the next life. That if they simply let their king reap all of the benefits in this life, and they didn't rebel against them that after they died they would be rewarded by being let into heaven.
2 onto creationism for a second, or as i prefer to refer to it as the gap-theory. creationism at its core, and I'm not 100% sure which of the religious beliefs is for creationism still, if any, is in my opinion, by far the most harmful to human kind itself. it is a belief that sincerely promotes people NOT to be curious, as St. Augustine said himself - "there is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease of curiosity. it is which drives us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing and which man should not wish to learn" again, basically telling people to not be curious about things that religion has labeled unknowable.
before i use up 3 pages just on creationism
4 back to theism in general- for the sake of the argument, if i did believe in a god or an omnipotent being or whatever u believe in. and he designed me with all my logic and my brain and everything at my disposal, why would he not want me to use all of these things to make a rational decision about this., he/she/it gave me the common sense to know that when someone tells you something with no evidence other than a book someone else who believed the same thing wrote, and tells me to believe it i question it, i am only 16 and Ive read more books on this topic than i can count. and from both sides. it seems to me, with the logic your so called god gave me i can not make sense of any theistic ideals or values.
5 repeating what another poster here already said briefly. whatever god you believe in, it is an omnipotent being, and supposedly, perfect. one simple question, how can anything perfect, in and of itself create something that lacks this perfection? it violates all laws of logic.
leaving with one word of advice for anyone on this debate. one article i would beg people to read, more than anything Ive ever read, is the article "Gerin Oil" by Richard Dawkins.
..then again, what do i know? I'm just a 16 year old boy...
I'm just Atheist. I believe religion is interesting to me though Religion is like History.
Religion has useful rules, is interesting, has good teachings we should learn from it but utterly its just that I don't believe in some supreme super-natural spirit.
To me I am not here to insult anyone I know any Religion not just CHRISTIANITY is a touche subject, however I just want to say where I stand.
If you believe in something so bizarre as a God/goddess/etc then you have to believe in other things which actually people who are religious do not believe in which to me seems hypocritical. To believe in THAT then you should also believe in leprechauns, fairies, vampires, pixies ..etc. For there are books on all of these even stories of actual sightings but too me that is what the Bible or other scriptures are...fairy-tales.