Bit Of A Religion Argument.

I’ve noticed I’ve had a bit of a short fuse with religious folk lately – I blame it on the weather, it’s hot as hell this week.  Anyway, I thought this was an interesting bit of a conversation between me and someone else, so I’m posting it.  I occasionally include previous comments from myself in brackets where additional context is needed, and his comments are in quotes.  In the beginning he is talking about the idea that god cursed cain for killing his brother and that when his cursed blood hit the ground it cursed mankind and caused us to be wicked (this is actually the mythical origin of vampires in one of my favorite PC games, Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines) .  He characterized jesus’ death as a “vaccine” against it, and I pointed out that vaccines are given before the illness, and that god apparently wasn’t clever enough to do that.  And we continue:

“Ok… Vaccination was a bad word… how about “medicine”? Better?”

But if (as you say) it didn’t cure the illness, how is it medicine?  And how is torturing someone to death supposed to make us better?  And what god would demand that his son be executed so he could forgive us?  And forgive us for what, existing?  Isn’t that his doing, not ours?

“There is life in blood.”

No, there isn’t.  That is like saying a car’s life is in the oil.  The oil is one of many components that allow the whole to function – blood is associated with life simply because it is the easiest component to accidentally deplete.  Taking the salt out of someone’s body or the iron out of their blood or the electrolytes or a million other things would cause instantaneous death just as surely as draining the blood, it’s just logistically harder to do.  Blood pressure is a weak point in human anatomy, it is not “the” source of life.  Just like the heart beat, we romantically associate it with life and death but only because it was the earliest means of telling whether someone is alive or dead.  And we think if your heart stops and is re-started that you’ve “died”, when in reality you’ve done no such thing.

“By faith, we take that blood is sacred.  When this sacred blood hit the ground that God cursed, our blood was cursed.”

God cursed eve, if blood is sacred why didn’t this happen when she had her first period?

“Again, God was the one that cursed the ground. He has the kind of power to do that in a supernatural kind of way. We don’t. I don’t think people can supernaturally curse anything. So in a purely physical manner of speaking, no. I don’t believe in curses. When the curse is from our God and creator though, yes. However, you fail to realize that I’ve said that this whole thing is a theory. I never said I agreed with”

That’s like saying you don’t believe in magic unless it comes from a wizard.  The concept of curses came from primitive societies where they didn’t understand things like weather, illness and psychology and were trying to work out cause and effect patterns for these things without sufficient understanding to reach better conclusions.  If someone broke your heart they “cursed” you, that is the origin of the notion of “curse” words.  If you got sick or had a seizure you were possessed by a demon, if it rained too much and flooded or rained too little and the crops died god was punishing you for your sins.  We have better explanations than these now for why the world works the way it does, and a series of simple constants (strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity etc) govern every complex wonder in our world, from weather patterns to biology.  The weather is shitty this week for the same reason steel is hard and glass is cold and the sun shines.  It’s all tied together.  That’s just the kind of universe we live in.  If there are “curses” anywhere in this, they are very good at hiding.

[“Lots of religions have a hell, how is picking one at random “playing it safe”?”]

“That would be a good question if I did indeed pick a religion at random. But I didn’t.”

No, your culture did that for you.  My point was that bias is effectively the same as picking one at random and that muslims are muslim for the same random reasons christians are christians – but whatever.

“Besides, I am talking in the area of Christianity. Taking this outside of the context of the conversation is an insult to the point.”

How is it an insult to ask a question?  You were saying why you believe in christianity if I recall, so you are basically saying it’s an insult to ask why you should believe in christianity without making the assumption that it’s the correct religion, that is circular reasoning.

[You have an inflated view of the probability of christianity being true, because you live in a predominantly christian culture and were exposed to it growing up.]

“You are right. I do. I’m a lucky one. I believe this is what God intended for me.”

Are you that dense or are you just refusing to take two steps back and look at what I’m saying?  YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR RELIGION FOR THE SAME (BAD) REASONS PEOPLE OF OTHER FAITHS DO.  If you had been born in another country you would believe in another religion.  That you are christian is completely random, and if you think god rewards or punishes people based on random things they do not choose for themselves, he is a monster.

[If you were raised in palestine you’d be muslim just to “play it safe”, and if you were raised 2,000 years ago in a place that worshipped zeus you would worship him for protection. There’s no sense to it.  If you were raised in palestine you’d be muslim just to “play it safe”, and if you were raised 2,000 years ago in a place that worshiped zeus you would worship him for protection. There’s no sense to it.]

“Again, my “play it safe” comment is in regards to the Christian idea of hell- in the bounds of Christianity. By taking it outside of Christianity, you are insulting the point. I also know of people who were raised in Palestine and now they are Christians. Whose to say if that would or wouldn’t happen to me if I grew up in Palestine?”

It is possible, but statistically unlikely.  And I don’t see how thinking outside of the box of christianity is an “insult”.

“There is plenty of sense to it. Unfortunately, when it comes to God, you have to think beyond what is physical. I understand that some people find that difficult.”

No, it is impossible.  Thinking beyond what is observable or verifiable is just a license to make shit up.  It is a waste of time if your goal is to pursue truth, and a boon if your goal is to shut your eyes and make pretend.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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22 Responses to Bit Of A Religion Argument.

  1. jmallory says:

    You were a bit off in the beginning. It wasn’t Cain who was cursed. It was the ground that was cursed. When the blood hit the cursed ground, we became cursed. Just keep in mind that I told you that I never said that this is what I believe. It’s just a theory.

  2. a verifiable waste of time, i’d say.

  3. preach, brotha! (that was towards agno. lol)

  4. jenessa1889 says:

    Classic dodging of questions.   Sometimes I find people aren’t even intentionally avoiding answering the question, it’s just that they’re not good at expressing their opinions in an argument.   maybe that’s what happened here

  5. jmallory says:

    @jenessa1889 – I think if you looked at the entire conversation in context, you’d see that I am answering his questions. I don’t want to speak for agno, but I’m sure he’d agree, even if he doesn’t like my answers. 

  6. lol.ohhh the religious debate.  my favorite. 🙂

  7. Thinking beyond what is observable or verifiable is just a license to make shit up. That is a false statement proven so by the use of reason which allows us to make inferences.Inference is HUGE in science but tiny in atheism.

  8. I didn’t even read it because the guy had it wrong from the very beginning. Christianity teaches that man’s sin starts with Eve taking the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you think about it, however, man’s tendency to sin begins with man’s creation. God is, by definition, sinless. God is what it means to be sin free. Because we are not God, we can sin. His whole argument started with a statement that does not follow the teachings of Christianity.

  9. heckels says:

    I’ve got a friend who is a hardcore Christian and for years he has been trying to convert me. Well, he gave me a book that I’m currently reading called the god who is there. I’ve always said that religion is the biggest scam ever perpetrated upon man and this book is only confirming that. Man, what a fucking load of shit this stuff is.

  10. Hinase says:

    @jenessa1889 – I have that trouble and it’s worse when people misunderstand etc; or don’t get what I’m saying. 

  11. Hinase says:

    Also, I love your taste in music 😉 especially in this playlist!

  12. jmallory says:

    @TheBlueNinjaTiger – check out my latest post. You may understand where I am coming from a little better. This post didn’t do justice to the actual conversation.

  13. It may be the heat but then again, I’m tired of Christians (all religions really) in the middle of a winter. There is no point in debating this issue (between non-believer and believer) – they argue from fantasy (faith) and non-believers argue from fact (science). The two roads just don’t cross or even run parallel … they exist on two separate planets. For the most part, I’m all for sending them (every religious folk) off mine and to whatever planet they came from …

  14. @suzibikerbabe – To the contrary: faith without (or despite) evidence is not extra-planetary. It is one of the most human things there is. Unfortunate – but very human.

  15. agnophilo says:

    @jmallory – It doesn’t really matter.@complicatedlight – Yup.@SoftlyPearlsSlipOffAString – : )@jenessa1889 – To be fair it isn’t fair to say someone’s dodging questions without seeing the whole back and forth.  But then it’s taken me awhile to respond and I’m too lazy go go back and re-read the conversation to comment further : )@TheBlueNinjaTiger – The notion that a god who created us knowing we would sin is sinless is absurd.  But I’ve never met a theist who will deal with this, since it’s kind of a religion-killer for a lot of people.@heckels – I know the feeling.  Apologetic arguments are typically so feeble, you have to really, really want to see it to be swayed by them.@Hinase – Thanks : )@suzibikerbabe – True, faith views the world based on certain assumptions and reaches entirely different conclusions.

  16. jenessa1889 says:

    @agnophilo – oh alright, i thought that what you posted in here was exactly how the conversation went.   i’ve had people be that bad at answering questions that the second i questioned something they say they just pick up a new argument and it looks this random =p

  17. agnophilo says:

    @TheBlueNinjaTiger – It’s like shooting a bullet at someone and saying “I didn’t kill them, the bullet did”.  Setting something into motion knowing the outcome (or even the possible outcome) tracks morally back to you.  This is why we put people in jail for negligent homicide, manslaughter etc.  If we held ourselves to the standards you hold god to we could do almost every evil thing and be not just okay, but infallible.  Your kids disappoint you?  Drown em’ in the tub!  After all, that’s what infallible god did in genesis, right?  Or lets say you like your kid but their big brother picks on them – well if your second child is your favorite, just instruct your second child to murder your first child, like god did with his chosen people.And so on and so forth.The people who hold themselves to the same standards christians hold the biblical god to are mass-murdering psychopaths.@jenessa1889 – Just a snapshot of the convo.  I mainly posted it for the sciency stuff in my response.

  18. @heckels – Even if Atheism is the truth, I wouldn’t call all religion a scam. My beliefs rob me of nothing. My church does a lot of good through mission work.@agnophilo – “The notion that a god who created us knowing we would sin is sinless is absurd.” “Setting something into motion knowing the outcome (or even the possible outcome) tracks morally back to you.”I see what you mean, but this leads me into thoughts about what it means for God to be omniscient. If, as you say, God set his creation in motion knowing the outcome to be sinful, it does point to sin at the origin. But here is where I disagree with a lot of Christians over the idea of omniscience of God. The idea of predestination and that God knows exactly what we will do conflicts with the concept of free will. Because God gave us free will, there is not one, linear outcome that God knows, but rather an infinite number of possible outcomes that God knows. God knows all the possible outcomes, some good and some bad, and he knows what we are most likely to choose, but he doesn’t know exactly what we will choose because it cannot be known. If it could, that, to me, would mean we don’t have free will, which we obviously do. Because we have free will, and because that means the possible outcomes are infinite, and can be either good or bad (we have the ability to choose God and not sin), that means that God CAN be sinless and still create sinful man. Because of free will, the blame of our choices is placed on our shoulders, not God’s.Now, you use negligent homicide as an example, that the fact God does not stop evil means God is in the wrong. Again, I think it comes back to free will. My understanding of evil, is completely denying God, turning completely away from him. (The denotation is “morally wrong,” but since I believe our morals come from God, being morally wrong means turning from God). If God were to ensure no evil could happen, no bad could happen, that would mean removing free will, which would not be loving.As for the rest of your answer, I’m off to lunch, I’ll respond to that later.

  19. heckels says:

    @TheBlueNinjaTiger – I’m quite certain that some churches and some religions do some good sometimes. But, basically, it is a load of shit and for the most part, a scam. Just look at the Catholic Church. I’m quite certain that a portion of the money they collect goes towards lawsuits. Also, many churches only do good for people in exchange for something: their soul (if you believe in a soul) or their support. Missionary groups, for example, do good, but they do it for the ulterior motive of converting people to their religion. 

  20. agnophilo says:

    “Even if Atheism is the truth, I wouldn’t call all religion a scam. My beliefs rob me of nothing. My church does a lot of good through mission work.”There are many, many, many religious scams.  Not all religion is a scam, but sheep are fleeced a thousand times an hour.  Televangelists are often con-men, the catholic church has all the scruples of the mafia (if that) – hell, the first vending machine ever invented sold “holy water”.  At least they just use BS magic water these days as an incentive and guilt you into giving cash.”I see what you mean, but this leads me into thoughts about what it means for God to be omniscient. If, as you say, God set his creation in motion knowing the outcome to be sinful, it does point to sin at the origin. But here is where I disagree with a lot of Christians over the idea of omniscience of God. The idea of predestination and that God knows exactly what we will do conflicts with the concept of free will. Because God gave us free will, there is not one, linear outcome that God knows, but rather an infinite number of possible outcomes that God knows. God knows all the possible outcomes, some good and some bad, and he knows what we are most likely to choose, but he doesn’t know exactly what we will choose because it cannot be known.” And you know this how?”If it could, that, to me, would mean we don’t have free will, which we obviously do.” How it is obvious that we have free will?  What would be different if we didn’t have free will?”Because we have free will, and because that means the possible outcomes are infinite, and can be either good or bad (we have the ability to choose God and not sin), that means that God CAN be sinless and still create sinful man. Because of free will, the blame of our choices is placed on our shoulders, not God’s.”So if I lived in a house with my two kids and no one else existed on the planet, and I told my kids to not leave the backyard and without their knowledge invented and planted land mines along the other sides of the fence, then left them unattended while my neighbor who I had created went over and goaded them into hopping the fence, I would bear no blame for the resulting gory explosion?  Imagine if we held people to these standards – no one would be responsible for how they raised their kids, no one would be responsible for negligence of any kind.”Now, you use negligent homicide as an example, that the fact God does not stop evil means God is in the wrong.” If we’re talking about the fruit in the garden story, god made the fruit, made it what it was and put it in the garden.  Didn’t so much as put a fence around it.  And even made the serpent.  And didn’t reverse the fruit’s effects.I find it absurd that we’re even entertaining the notion that bad things happen to good people because of a magic tree six thousand years ago.”Again, I think it comes back to free will. My understanding of evil, is completely denying God, turning completely away from him. (The denotation is “morally wrong,” but since I believe our morals come from God, being morally wrong means turning from God).” So if abraham refused to slaughter his son that would be evil?  If moses refused to order the murder of 3,000 people for not being jewish, that would be evil?  I’m an atheist, am I evil?”If God were to ensure no evil could happen, no bad could happen, that would mean removing free will, which would not be loving.”So then how is god infallible?  You basically want to have your cake and eat it too – god lets evil persist because he loves us but doesn’t have anything to do with it because then he’d be a monster.  Can’t have it both ways. And the problem of evil is still valid even if you ignore all suffering which flows from free will.  The bubonic plague wasn’t a result of free will, nor childhood leukemia, nor earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions/explosions etc, etc.”As for the rest of your answer, I’m off to lunch, I’ll respond to that later.”Alrighty.

  21. agnophilo says:

    @heckels – Actually they just bankrupt the local perish/diocese and walk away from the debt like a corporation shielding itself from liability by creating a “separate” company so when it fucks up they can just walk away with the profits.

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