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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from TwilightRealm

    I believe God exists from FAITH but because I believe my faith is more probable and rational than an atheistic view.

    The "atheistic view," is simply a semantic game. Rational thought is the standard for everyone, regardless of their religion or lack of it.

    Quote from TwilightRealm

    There are many arguments I could use to elaborate but I think an argument from morality is a great foundation.
    Then you should make them. Morality from divinity is invalid if you haven't established the divinity in the first place.

    Quote from TwilightRealm
    Why is something good or right compared to bad or wrong? What makes something good or right compared to bad or wrong?
    Before I give my explanation, I would like to hear some explanations from you guys.

    The social backbone of our species, and the mutual concern of most social animal like us, is the rule of universally preferably behavior and non-aggression against your fellows. Something is "wrong," if the actor would not prefer that his action be used against himself. Someone is "bad," if they habitually use violence (except in self-defense).

    The natural problem is that tribalism dilutes this social adhesive in large groups; however religion, being a form of tribalism itself, is not an answer to that problem unless you suggest the conversion or genocide of everyone not in that religion. I should also mention: religious schisms are inevitable, so even the aforementioned extremity (converting or killing everyone into your religion) is no promise of a uniform tribe.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    I think that all we can currently say, with much empirical certitude, about free will is that the term doesn't have as much meaning as we traditionally liked to attribute to it. We may debate just how many of our neurological "decisions," are made prior to our more advanced cognition of the stimuli involved; however, we don't really have a good control for an experiment.

    It appears, to the best of my knowledge, that our mental faculties are a combination of choices and non-choices. So if that is what we are using as the definition of "free will," then I would submit that the moniker is misleading at best. Clearly what we have is not entirely a choice-dominated mentality. There are many ways to prove that some thoughts are governed vastly, or entirely, by subliminal response.

    TL;DR: I think "free will," is just one of many convenient semantic toys used to defend an illogical point of view (such as theism). It would be akin to arguing that "free physics," exists because of X. As Link mentioned, some degree of "free will" (like physics), is simply a property of our universe.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on People still playing?
    Quote from Zulian

    playin quite often, game is good imo, not where it should be but still better than 90% of the rest.

    Agreed. I don't play as often, maybe one weekend in a month, but there are no (imo) titles worth mentioning in terms of a modern RTS. That said, natural selection 2 is a nice rts/fps hybrid. Of course, only one player per team gets to experience the RTS bit.
    Posted in: Starcraft & SC2
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    posted a message on What methods do you use to study?
    Quote from Ducha

    Wow that actually helps quite a lot proletaria, thank you for that!

    Glad to hear it!
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Kaeron

    oh these threads, can only end well.

    In fairness, it started with a Snoop Dogg last supper gif, so there was little chance of it going anywhere but down from that dizzying height.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on What methods do you use to study?
    As a professor who had to do plenty of studying along the way:

    The optimal "study," routine depends on the individual, so the absolutely most effective approach is going to be yours to figure out. Having said that, without knowing where your emphasis should be (visual, auditory, etc.) a regular schedule to your academic habits is the best environment to ensure that you find your best methods and keep up with coursework. Regular repetition is certainly key.

    I always recommend that students find out how long it takes them to read the requisite materials, go through the perfunctory "homework," (in the case of lecture classes like mine, this usually means spot-reading or marking passages for future essay assignments) and then tack on another 15-30mins to review what you have picked up (short-term memory) and compare that to your syllabus, which should give you an idea of what key terms and processes you are expected to know, cold. Doing this on a regular basis helps you recognize how well you are coming along.

    Some suggest a minimum time be allocated to each subject, but frankly I never found that to be productive. There will be subjects and situations where you simply "get it," out of the box. Other times you will find that twice through the material you're still not processing what is on the page. The key is simply to go through it regularly, examine how much closer you are to the desired proficiency level, and if you don't get it in one format, try another.

    I had a hell of a time memorizing new words in Latin back in my undergraduate days. I had a million and one paper note-cards lying around and would quiz myself three and four times a day during crunch time, but it never seemed to click. I did notice; however, that after discussing translation with classmates I actually retained more of the words. As it turned out I just needed to hear the words to really get that next level of memory going. I started reading my texts and translations aloud after that and the classes became much easier.

    Perhaps that was a bit of a tangent. Anyway, I hope it helps! Best of luck with your studies.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from VasAnNox

    God is always here, when u r not lookin.

    The fact this is reminiscent of Santa Clause ought to indicate something to you.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Syronicus

    Quote from Illythia

    Well this is a recipe for disaster.

    Look at it this way. Religion is about faith.

    /end thread

    Thanks for the bump.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Ireth

    Free will is not a violation of absolute benevolence. Does a parent not punish his child to teach them right from wrong? Does a parent not allow his child to fail so that the child can handle future failures? What is a life of suffering compared to eternal happiness?

    Leaving aside the horror of an eternal paternalistic great leader, A parent is ultimately powerless to prevent bad things from happening to their child. This is not a trait shared by an omniscient and all-powerful deity. I think the better question to pose would be: Why is there no empirical evidence for eternal happiness, the suffering of life all around us, when the eternal deity has supposedly created us (logic and appreciation for evidence and all) to live such a life?

    I assume your next step will be to insist that the almighty works in mysterious ways, but a simpler explanation is that we have no such omnibenevolent figurehead.

    Quote from Ireth

    The truth is that free will is a gift. If you think we would be better off following the will of a all-loving god, then I would encourage you to do just that.

    The truth, as far as we can empirically discern it now, is that free will is more illusory than we've traditionally imagined. Profundity at the expense of muddying or elaborating on our developing knowledge of neurology doesn't support the existence of a divine being.

    If you think we would be better off following anything without question, and in the total absence of empirical evidence, I encourage you to consider how poorly that logic follows in every other aspect of your life.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Ireth

    You have emprircally proven that Christ is not god?

    I have no more need to do so than to prove there is no tea-pot orbiting the moon. The claim is meaningless unless you further assert the plethora of judeo-christian theological baggage which is empirically and logically bankrupt.

    Quote from Ireth

    An all-powerful, all-loving god does have a defense; man's free-will.

    Free-will is contrary to the concept of an all-powerful, benevolent, and loving being. If this god actually knew humans were capable of such evil, the fact it allows for free will is a violation of that absolute benevolence. if it is not capable of micromanaging everyone to the extent that free-will does not exist, then it is not all-powerful.

    The logic is fairly simple. You can run as many examples of that thought-experiment through your head as you like, the conclusion is always the same. All-loving and all-powerful divine being constructs do not wash. If you want to posit an all-loving god, it has to be absolutely powerless to act (not very godlike) in this universe. If you want to posit an all-powerful god, it has to be capricious, disinterested in the universe, or possibly evil.

    Thankfully, there's no empirical evidence for either of those things.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Paragon 100 too easy?
    Quote from Brake Failure

    Quote from Xeris

    Quote from DrShell

    I played like 50% of the weekdays evenings + a little more on weekends.
    Helm with gem, no Leo ring.
    Plvl 38 ...

    I still think that they should have made the grind longer, and yes D2 took much more time. I never had anything above 96 and the time to reach that (for me) was around 2 years ^^

    Casual ftw : - )

    On the other hand, with the spare time of a student I guess I would be up there in the 7x-8x ranges by now ^^

    It's the last thing "to do" in the game, except getting better items, so enjoy the ride ^^

    The sparetime of a student?!
    I'm paragon level 8 or 9 because I havn't had time to play more than that since I started studying..

    He means a bad student in his freshmen year. I'm about to graduate next semester with a 3.7gpa in Comp Sci and there's no "free time" involved..

    Well put. As a professor, I applaud your work ethic!
    Posted in: Diablo III General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from jakpe

    Everyone has their own faith. I know that there's no god and that is a simple truth to me

    It's not possible to disprove deism, although I would argue "god," in the context of deism doesn't mean much. If you meant to say there is no hindu, christian, jewish, islamic, etc. god, then I would agree with you. Theism, to have knowledge about a deity that we necessarily cannot know to exist, is demonstrably false.


    Quote from jakpe

    I don't go around ever thinking about religion or when I see a person I don't think what beliefs he has but see him as a human. There's nothing that can ever change that. To me the current religions are nothing more than mythology, litterature, childrens stories. I can understand that people believe in a god or some kind of energy flow but when I think of it their simply wrong. And that's OK, it's fine! You can at any point think that I'm wrong and that's OK too!

    Except that is an unnecessary false-equivalence. To be "wrong," or to have something you think to be correct proved demonstrably false, is the backbone of empirical science and understanding. When you understand that someone holds an irrational belief about a myth, it is not the same as someone correcting your misunderstanding of facts. If you are rational, you can correct for bad information that you once regarded as true. If you are irrational (as in the case of the religious adherent) there must first be an appeal to rationality itself, otherwise any and all information given falls on deaf ears.


    Quote from jakpe

    I believe that to religious people God is a simple truth and nothing will ever change that, they can't explain it or maybe they can, but it doesn't really matter to them because it is the truth.

    The fact that so many people have left religion or not taken up the religion of their parents, in recent years, discounts this point. Clearly there is no universal impediment to rational thinking, even among believers. Yes, some of them are too brain-washed to be persuaded that rational arguments and logic are worth considering, but that shouldn't be taken as an excuse to halt the exercise of trying to reason with anyone.


    Quote from jakpe

    The difference between religion and science is very, very small.

    They both try to explain the world, they both have authorities such as priests or scientists, and we believe in the text of both science and religion without really understanding how, why, etc.

    The big differences is that scientists don't see their discoveries as definite, they try to prove themselves wrong all the time. While religion has a much stronger sense of belonging and community and they have rituals with people of the same faith.

    The idea that science and religion are anything alike is patently false. Yes, both make claims about the universe, but both a donkey and a rocket ship are means of transportation. That doesn't mean that rocket science and animal husbandry are closely related. Scientists have no obligation to enforce the tribal status quo that is constructed and maintained by religion. Priests are the arbiters of dogma. Scientists actively pursue understandings completely independent of dogma. There is no ultimate and immovable truth in science, only things which we have a better understanding of than others.

    If anything you mislabel the character of difference between the two as well: Establishing a meaningful human community with social fabric compelling people to get along is something that drives our scientific research. Social science is science too. It may be getting much of it's information from other sciences in order to draw conclusions, but to define religion as being more uniquely qualified at the task is untrue.


    Quote from jakpe

    Defining a religion is very hard but there's a number of things that they all have. Authority, holy symbols, gatherings or rituals. This makes christianity a religion with priests, bibles/cross etc, prayer and church gatherings. But at the same time football is a religion. You have the players, the football, stadium for playing with their own rituals and national anthems etc.

    Again, I find the false-equivalence just too much to ignore. To brand something a religion, in a satirical tone, is one thing, but to make the honest suggestion that following a sports team is equal to dogmatic adherence to irrational beliefs? I just don't think that holds water. Sure there are unrealistic expectations (my team is going to win this year!) from a fan, and certainly rivalries in fan base casuse friction. But, when was the last time a world war broke out over a football match? When was the last time someone was labled a heretic and cast out of their home for supporting another team?


    Quote from jakpe

    To sum it up. I personally don't think god exists and that is my truth. The bible is nothing but a collection of exaggerated stories about people who like Dalai Lama or Nelson Mandella were great men in their time.

    The more we post the closer we are coming to the inevitable hitler argument! Be Warned!

    I think I agree with the rest of what you said, such hypocritical and nonsensical theology is really something worth criticizing. I'm not sure I would sign onto the idea that most religious figures were historical or great, but I have been over that point (and iirc, hit the Hitler argument a few times already).

    Quote from Patchwerk

    The reason this argument continues in this day and age is simple, theists will forever be theistic because completely disproving the existence of God is impossible. Atheists understand the illogical nature of religious belief and choose to acknowledge their lack of understanding of the universe until a greater understanding can be achieved. As God is portrayed as a supernatural being (key: not natural), universal physics need not apply, thus regardless of any proof presented for the dawn of the universe, deities may move in as a mysterious way as is required to keep the fallacy alive. A somewhat ranty 2 cents.

    The problem with this statement is, theist notions of god are possible to disprove and we have done so. The all-powerful and all-loving god concept has no defense. Yes, deism can never be eradicated (and I don't see why we would care if deism flourished), but deism shouldn't be conflated with theism in our arguments with religious persons. Too often you will find that theologians use the deist solution to combat skepticism, yet people allow them to bridge the gap from deism because they are not persistent enough in their refutation of theism.

    Of course, I do agree that people are going to act in their, often monetary, interests to keep the fallacy alive, but that does not mean we simply don't have the tools necessary to combat this corruption. The "mysterious ways," argument didn't work in the 17th century. Why should we allow it to work today?
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Belphanoir

    sorry for the vague statement by me on just as violent... it is hard to explain i guess. Humans as a specie display violence, and anger to the most idiotic things, and the most righteous as well..

    Not that I fundamentally disagree with a premise that homo sapiens has the capacity for aggression, but animals of all kinds are also capable of violence. We should avoid using the (irrational) premise that we are either so far removed from our lowly origins (or so close to them still) that we have no means by which to avoid conflict. The number of deaths due to war, contrary to popular belief, has plummeted over the centuries. Even the world wars of the twentieth century lead to fewer deaths than the massive number of dispersed tribal conflicts of past epochs. Clearly there is a correlation between the development of rationality and civil society and the overall reduction of violence. http://reason.com/archives/2012/01/11/the-decline-of-violence

    Quote from Belphanoir

    Those extremist that use religion to act out violence, they would be just as violent in my opinion (key word there) with or without religion. I dislike religion in general cause it makes it more acceptable to discriminate, degrade and promote violence towards others that do not believe in the same bullshit as you.

    I do think it is plausible that some extremeists use religion as a creative excuse to act out, but I don't think you have a shred of evidence to suppose that is the case all the time, or even most of the time. You say that you dislike religion for fueling these tribal sentiments, but you don't see the rather obvious connection these tinder-box mindsets have on ostensibly normal human beings? Take a look at some of the 9/11 hijackers or the 7/7 bombers in London. These men are educated, they have no history of violence, they have families, and a great amount of economic mobility. The only catalyst present in their decision to go out and harm thousands of innocent people was religion. I don't think it stands to reason, at all, that these same people would have found another excuse to mass murder. Unless we are to believe that the current religious population is much more likely to exhibit psycopathy (and no research has found this, to date), we are seeing the presentation of violence, in many cases, entirely because of religion.

    Quote from Belphanoir

    Eliminating religion is a step in the right direct to reducing the violence, it removes the easy excuse, the lazy ignorant shit can no longer say "kill him cause he doesnt believe in my god".. now he has to find some new motivator, some new excuse.. and maybe just maybe in time it will cause them to think through a better response then violence but with how humans are at this moment in time, i just struggle to see it.

    I do admire the fact you are aware that religion provides the excuse to violence for many, but again I don't understand the false equivalence. Human nature has not developed us into mindless killing machines. We are now, more than ever, the social primates who developed means of solving problems resolving conflicts without damaging our population. Failure to do so would not be in the best interest of the species. If you struggle to see that, I would recommend looking at the works of the true rationalists and their affiliates (Thomas Pain, Spinoza, Reason Press, Amnesty International, etc.). Not the fascist or communist demagogues who replaced religion with their own religiously modeled cults of personality and pseudo-science.

    Quote from Belphanoir

    Maybe if humans would have eliminated the belief in myths earlier in our history we would be less prone to violence, but again.. Alexander did not conquer for religion, Ghengis Khan did not conquer for religion... Napoleon was actually an agnostic / atheist and conquered huge swaths of land.

    And which of them could muster an army in the world of today? There is no question that territorial conflict exists, but to present the idea that another Khanate (and I would add, that was a religion) could take the place of any religion seems ludicrous in the current geopolitical climate. Any nation or group of nations that set out to subjugate the world today would be bankrupt and decimated militarily.

    Quote from Belphanoir

    I hope my idea came across better in this, i am not in any way supporting the existence of religion, but i do not believe it is the reason we are so violent... just the reason we are less advanced then we could be science wise.

    The data is available. We are less violent than the have been at any point in history and we are less religious than we have been at any point in history. Again, there is no reason to suppose religion is the sole cause of violence, but if you look at the evidence it seems that the vast majority of avoidable violence is the irrational religious brand. Becoming more advanced, morally and ethically, will necessarily be at the cost of religious beliefs and at the behest of better scientific understanding of ourselves and our world.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Belphanoir

    I doubt the planet would be more peaceful without religion.. maybe less bloodshed but i highly doubt the aggressive nature of humans was brought about purely by the creation of religion.

    I would doubt the intellectual honesty of anyone who said religion could completely disappear or that in the event world peace would follow. That said, it's just as dishonest to propose there is nothing to gain by a more secular and rational world.

    Quote from Belphanoir

    Yes religion fueled that fire quite profusely, but humans by nature are an aggressive specie with an inherit violence within us.. There would have been fewer wars most def but i just have this weird feeling humans would be just as violent...

    There are conflicts over any resource scarcity or difference of opinion, granted, but the important point being made is that aggression over completely irrational dogmas is unnecessary and plentiful. I don't think it follows that the world would be "just as violent," without so much religious fervor.


    Quote from Ludo_frodo

    This thread is annoying, as if someone wanted to prove, desperately and arrogantly that god actually exists. Notice the similarities.

    Sounds like you have nothing to contribute, but thanks for participating. I appreciate the bump if nothing else.

    Quote from Ludo_frodo

    Believe what you want, but keep it for yourself. Else you are just making fun of yourself, because athiesm got nothing to do with science(athiests are just using this as argument and thats wrong).

    Fortunately that isn't a rule. I am glad to see people discuss their beliefs because they impact all our lives by way of evangelism and cultural constructs that branch from them. I may be arguing to dissuade people from irrational thought processes, but I would much rather have that argument than know everyone was so closed minded as to not even address such a prescient issue. I guess you missed the dozens of posts elaborating on the point that atheism is not a belief system, in much the same way that not walking is a mode of transportation.

    It's true you don't need to have an advanced knowledge of science to disprove theism (philosophers were able to do that as far back as the ancient Greeks), but science gives us a model upon which to better understand the things which theism once claimed as their own area of expertise. Therefor it makes a very effective means of disproving irrational claims.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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    posted a message on Prove to me that your God exists.
    Quote from Ireth

    I do not believe we should throw up our arms at the complexity of the universe, quite the opposite. The advancement of science is a great thing. When an engineer looks at a bridge, he also understands the time, thought, and work that went into building it. When a computer programmer plays a new video game, he understands how involved and complex the code is that allows the game to function. When I look at the wonders of this world I see design. Science is reverse engineering.

    Unfortunately for your design theory, evolution has proved to be a very well-evidenced theory for how the universe and everything in it developed. You can, of course, see patterns where none actually exist. I see neat things in the clouds all the time. But your intuition is far from a legitimate critique of scientific understanding.

    Quote from Ireth

    When has Catholicism used its theology as justification for any of these except anti-abortion? I am not arguing for monotheism, I am arguing for Catholicism. Anti-abortion groups are not limited to religious groups. Secular society also has pro-lifers.

    You should study a little bit of world history. The justification for the European enslavement of Africans, and the Native Americans who were subjugated (and massacred), was made by the Catholic Church. Conquistadors were given writ to convert and/or enslave natives and Africans were fast-tracked to slavery by means of the Noah myth (descendants of Ham). Catholic zealots were the antagonists of countless ethnic wars from the first crusade right on up to the Balkan conflicts which saw militant Catholics (in holy orders) attempting to snuff out their Muslim neighbors in Bosnia. I could go on, but I think you get the point.


    Quote from cdaxis212

    I know this was a long story, and probably a "Cool Story". And it doesn't answer your question. I can't prove to you that my God exists. To me, these events proved one thing to me. That something far greater is in control. Far greater than you or I. I tell this story when I'm challenged about life, religion, or the big question of Why? It doesn't answer any of that. It just tells ME that there's something else to life and that we should not spend it arguing about who's right or wrong.

    These days I spend time meditating and trying to communicate appreciation for the life I have, my family and friends. As for religion, I believe that many can hold a framework of communicating ways for humanity to live with and love each other. The internet saddens me at times and I worry about our future. I pray that whoever you are in this life, you should look at your hands, look at everything around you and question "Why did anything have to exist in the first place?". Sometimes it doesn't hurt to just have a little faith. Thanks for reading.

    I am very much fighting the urge to use that phrase, but I will resist. In any event, you appear to be intelligent enough to realize none of those events was proof of the divine or that there is a plan for you or I. The part of this that really strikes me, is that you appear to have some real appreciation for the fact you could pay for the funeral, but the death itself is a footnote. Apparently, the plan was to kill one of your relatives (God did this, I would assume?) in order to give you a grandiose feeling of security or perhaps purpose? I can't quite grapple with which dots you connected to bring yourself to these conclusions, but as I said, I think you are just as aware as I am that you experienced nothing miraculous or even overly coincidental.

    The question you pose is not just silly, it's paradoxical. Why did any of us have to exist? We didn't. It's obvious that, for most of human history, people died in childbirth and before they were old enough to really remember anything, all the time. It is due to the evolution of our species that we are in such a position to speculate on these matters. Chocking it all up to a deity or a cosmic force wrests all the credit due to our ancestors for some imaginary being for which we have zero evidence.

    Sometimes it does not hurt to have a little "faith" in something or someone you know very little about. I trust the police to keep me safe because I have seen them arrest criminals. I don't have an intimate knowledge of every cop, some might be crooked, but I have a little faith that they'll get the job done. If you want to call that "faith," instead of a reasonable expectation, be my guest. However; it is never a good idea to have blind faith in something you know nothing about, certainly not if that something is not even evident to exist in the first place.
    Posted in: General Discussion
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