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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Leap Of Faith

This pretty much sums up my conversations with the vast majority of christians. After all the discussions and trying to defend their position logically, it all comes down to a series of leaps of faith.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the humour Alan. I guess Christianity is a faith based belief system, so although the cartoon was not accurate (for example there is only one translation involved in going from Greek to English, or Hebrew to English), it does have a point. I believe in God because of my faith. The interesting thing is that the result of my conversations with Atheists have resulted in the same conclusion with what they believe.

    Why do you believe there is no God, when it seems so many do believe in a god? Leap of faith

    Why do you believe in evolution when there is no evidence that can be demonstrated to support the theory conclusively? Leap of faith

    Why do you believe there is no God when you have no evidence proving conclusively there is no God? Leap of faith.

    Why do you believe that all religion is bad and/or unhelpful when evidence suggests it is? Leap of faith.

    Why do you believe that life ends at death when you have no evidence of this? Leap of faith.
    Why do you believe that people can be good without Gods? Leap of faith.

    Why do you think our society would be better with secular education and values only? Leap of faith.

    Perhaps we are in the same boat? I am sure you can defend yourself to some extent against some of these things. So can I against what the cartoon suggested. Perhaps we should embrace our differences!

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  2. In answer to your questions:

    1: Just because lots of people believe it, doesn't make it true!! Everyone used to believe that the sun revolved around the earth.

    2: This is a lie. Do some real research that is not from christian apologists.

    3: There is no evidence proving conclusively that there are no leprechauns. You don't believe in leprechauns... do you?

    4: Religion is bad because is not based in reality. It is NOT helpful to believe in a magic sky fairy and eternal life if it's not true.

    5: Actually, the evidence from the natural world pretty clearly suggests that this is all there is. But at the end of the day, I don't know and neither do you.

    6: I believe people can be good without god(s) because I am good and I don't believe in god(s).

    7: Because I don't want ANY religion taught in schools, not just christianity (and I don't mean comparative religious studies). If your kid wants to pray, no problem. But it should NOT be required in the classroom.

    And it's our blog, we can make as much fun as we want of silly beliefs!! Stupid beliefs deserve to be ridiculed. :)

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  3. Rach, I guess you don't think we are in the same boat and you do not want to embrace our differences. Oh well, it was worth a try.

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  4. I forgot to ask Rach, how do you know my second question was a lie? Seems like a harsh accusation to make without evidence!

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  5. @Dave: To be in the "same boat" is to believe that God will save me from drowning??? I would prefer to use a bucket and bail out!

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  6. Because evolution is a FACT. No evidence???? Only creationists say "oh it's just a theory, it can't be demonstrated". Anyone who says this does not understand the word "theory" when it is used in science. I suggest you look into research by real evolutionary biologists and not just the rubbish put out by the Discovery Institute. There is no question of whether evolution happens or not. It does,and anyone in denial of that is willingly being ignorant of the evidence.

    Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers are a good start.

    Also:
    http://www.talkorigins.org/
    http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/

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  7. Rach, I was going to just ignore it, but I am struggling so I think I will go ahead anyway...

    ”In answer to your questions:”
    I thought the context was clear. I was not looking for answers, this is my conclusions from the answers I have received from Atheists already, but thanks anyway.

    ”1: Just because lots of people believe it, doesn't make it true!! Everyone used to believe that the sun revolved around the earth.”
    True, but this was not the point – I refer again to the context of the comment in light of the post. It is still a leap of faith.

    ”2: This is a lie. Do some real research that is not from christian apologists.”
    As I said, how do you know it is a lie? Have you been listening in on my conversations with Atheists? I have not discussed evolution with Atheists at this blog before today. Which reminds me, Alan’s comments regarding natural selection and evolution have not caused me to change my mind on my conclusions. The Atheists I have discussed it with have NOT been able to produce evidence!

    ”3: There is no evidence proving conclusively that there are no leprechauns. You don't believe in leprechauns... do you?”
    It is true, I have made a leap of faith to believe there are not leprechauns. Your point? This some how means you have not made a leap of faith? I am not the one saying a leap of faith is a bad thing.

    ”4: Religion is bad because is not based in reality. It is NOT helpful to believe in a magic sky fairy and eternal life if it's not true.”
    Is this based on fact, or is it a leap of faith? I do like the idea that if something is not true it might be bad...we can think about that in a minute.

    ”5: Actually, the evidence from the natural world pretty clearly suggests that this is all there is. But at the end of the day, I don't know and neither do you.”
    Sounds just like a leap of faith to me, seeing neither of us really know.

    ”6: I believe people can be good without god(s) because I am good and I don't believe in god(s).”
    Now this is the bit you are probably really going to hate. Rach, you (nor I) are good. As we have noted, things that are not true are bad. The last time we talked you justified not sharing the truth about being a strong Atheist. Thats fine, you do not have to be honest with everyone all of the time. You can hold back truth when it is to your advantage, but please do not pretend this is good!

    ”7: Because I don't want ANY religion taught in schools, not just christianity (and I don't mean comparative religious studies). If your kid wants to pray, no problem. But it should NOT be required in the classroom.”
    Why not? Leap of faith?

    Yes this is your blog, in which you claim to promote critical thinking. I do not care if you want to bag out people because of their beliefs. I just thought it might be helpful to Alan to consider both sides of the equation.

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  8. The same old game where the religious have only to turn to their book yet require the atheist to have a phd in biology an a library of catelogued evidence on hand.

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  9. Sean, nearly all Christians and most atheists (the honest ones anyway) understand that their position involves a leap of faith.

    When an atheist denies this, it simply provides a good source of amusement.

    Carry on...

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  10. Dave wrote:
    "Why do you believe there is no God, when it seems so many do believe in a god"
    Let's look at this sentence a little bit. Notice the first "God" is in capital and second in "god" lower case. To unwrap this sentence it would be:
    "Why don't you believe in my loose definition of monotheistic type of God, when so many people believe in all kinds of supernatural undefined beings."
    Once we clearly define the word "god" the sentence becomes a non sequitor and refutes itself.

    Same kind of analysis should be applied to "leap of faith" as I just made a "leap of faith" that I do not have a $100 note in my pocket. I also used to know that perpetual motion machines don't exist, but now it seems to fall in to category of "leap of faith".


    Dave wrote:
    "The Atheists I have discussed it with have NOT been able to produce evidence!"
    If observed speciations/DNA/Fossil record are not enough what would be sufficient evidence for you?

    Dave wrote:
    "Rach, you (nor I) are good."
    Dave, Rach (and probably you) is good, trust me on this on. Religions and all good salesmen create a non-existent problem that only they just happened to have a perfect solution. The best salesmen even create a system where one-off payment is not enough, but you have to keep on paying for the rest of your life. And once you are in it's difficult to get out (a'la timeshare holiday accommodation). So be careful what you are selling, I want to see the evidence that Rach is not good. Fotos or Youtube or it did not happen.

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  11. Trav,

    Let me amuse you. I believe in things that I can not prove and I am undecided/unsure on several thing I have tried to understand, but I claim I don't take a leap of faith on issues. So can you show me where I am not honest or I don't understand my position. It also might be helpful to remind what the meaning of "faith" can be.


    From Wikipedia:
    Faith is a belief, professedly without proof (i.e. without an acceptable standard of evidence). It is the confident belief in the truth of or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. Formal usage of the word "faith" is usually reserved for concepts of religion, as in theology, where it refers to a trusting belief in a transcendent reality or Supreme Being.

    Informal usage of the word "faith" can be quite broad, and may be used standardly in place of "trust", "belief", or "hope". It can also refer to a religion itself or to religion in general. (For informal uses of the word "faith", see Faith (word)). As with "trust", faith involves a concept of future events or outcomes.

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  12. Guys, I feel this has all been taken out of context! Alan claimed the video summed up HIS conversations with Christians - that it is all about a leap of faith. I simply said that a 'leap of faith' sums up MY conversations with Atheists. Peter, I have never discussed evolution with you (though I noticed we have just started) before this post. This is ALL I was saying!! The Atheists I have spoken with have not provided me with evidence youwould be happy with Peter, seeing Fotos or Youtube seem to be the standard!!

    Peter, if you go back through all the comments I have made I do not think you will find much consistency in the use of God or god. I am not as pedantic about capitalising god, as I know some Christians are. You have shown me for who I am though...I do not follow your analysis of the sentence. I will read it again!

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  13. Hi Sean! You said

    "The same old game where the religious have only to turn to their book yet require the atheist to have a phd in biology an a library of catelogued evidence on hand."

    My whole point (that appears to be very hard for everyone to grasp), is that I am not requiring an Atheist to have a phd in biology and a library of catalogued evidence on hand. I am not condemning, judging or sledging the Athiest at this point. I am simply saying that your position also requires faith. Now, Peter has given a great definition of faith, and although I cannot judge him personally on his position, the definition he provided appears to back up MY point from MY experience.

    If you guys want to deny you are making a leap of faith, fine. But that was all I was trying to say. Perhaps I have communicated poorly.

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