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Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
#76

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:06 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: It's the typical "atheists don't care about anything!" straw man.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

Just the opposite - it's atheists shouldn't care about truth, except as it's necessary for happiness.
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#77

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 05:28 PM)Percie Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 05:13 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: The 10 happiest countries in the world are among the least religious.

https://www.christiantoday.com/article/1...127465.htm

Doesn't jive with your worldview though so you'll reject it.

No, I'll reject it because it's an unnecessary correlation and direct studies have been done:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/20...-question/

This survey is about whether religious people are more likely to describe themselves as happy. It's not a measure of actual happiness, nor does it identify causes.

Quote:But the analysis finds comparatively little evidence that religious affiliation, by itself, is associated with a greater likelihood of personal happiness or civic involvement.

In the U.S., religion tied to some measures of health, happiness and civic engagement Moreover, there is a mixed picture on the five health measures. In the U.S. and elsewhere, actively religious people are less likely than others to engage in certain behaviors that are sometimes viewed as sinful, such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. But religious activity does not have a clear association with how often people exercise or whether they are obese. And, after adjusting for differences in age, education, income and other factors, there is no statistical link between being actively religious and being in better self-reported overall health in any of the 26 countries and territories studied except Taiwan, Mexico and the United States.



That said, other demographic factors also have close links to well-being. For example, in the regression analysis, being over 40 reduces the chance that one will report being very happy or in very good health and increases the likelihood of always voting. Men are more likely to be smokers and drinkers. Having above-median income and being married or cohabiting are associated with greater happiness. Completing college increases the chance of belonging to a nonreligious organization and always voting.



In 13 out of 26 countries, both before and after controls, the actively religious are happier than everyone else (that is, the combined population of the inactively religious and the unaffiliated). In the remaining countries, there is not much of a difference between the two groups.

Similarly, whenever there is a difference on voting, the actively religious vote more often – in 13 countries prior to controls and 12 countries after controls. And after factoring in the demographic characteristics of each group, the number of countries in which the actively religious are more likely to join voluntary groups rises from 12 to 14.

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#78

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:09 PM)Percie Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 06:06 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: It's the typical "atheists don't care about anything!" straw man.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

Just the opposite - it's atheists shouldn't care about truth, except as it's necessary for happiness.

Truth about what?
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#79

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 11:44 AM)Percie Wrote:
(05-22-2021, 02:03 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote: Do you ever have doubts?

No.

And this is exactly one of theists'—and your—crippling lack of logical thought.

Quote:
Jerry Wrote:What do you believe will be the post-life fate of atheists such as you encounter here?  Are we fucked?

Yes.

What are your actual reasons for saying this?  Simply because we're atheists?  Surely not.

Quote:
Jerry Wrote:What do you imagine Hell to be like (regardless of whether you think we are headed there or not)?

I don't know. I know it won't be like it often is in popular culture, with Satan and demons ruling. I think the Bible shows that it's not the same for everyone - there are different levels of punishment, based for one thing on the amount of light that was given to, and rejected by, a person.

If you say that you "don't know" what defines an alleged hell, then why do you attempt to define it?
Are you just making that up in order to respond to a question that has no answer?  And how do you
know specifically that it won't  be like it's represented in popular culture?

At any rate, the bible repeatedly warns of a place called hell; there're over 162 references in the
New Testament alone.  A few:

•  In Luke 16:23, "And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments."
•  In Luke 16:24, a man cries: "...I am tormented in this flame."
•  In Matthew 13:42, Jesus says: "And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
•  In Matthew 25:41, Jesus says: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
•  Revelation 20:15 says, " And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#80

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:13 PM)Dānu Wrote: In 13 out of 26 countries, both before and after controls, the actively religious are happier than everyone else (that is, the combined population of the inactively religious and the unaffiliated). In the remaining countries, there is not much of a difference between the two groups.

(05-24-2021, 04:52 PM)Percie Wrote: Ironically, if there is no god, then truth isn't important - only happiness is. Surveys show that the religious report greater happiness. The difference is usually small in richer countries, larger in poorer countries.

Er, yes, I said the difference is small in some countries, larger in others. So does my link. Not sure why you quoted that.
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#81

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 05:40 PM)Percie Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 05:36 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Studies show that people in secular countries with the largest atheists population are much happier than theistic countries.  Secular societies rely on logic and reason, not a fairytale book with talking donkeys, snakes and a women who turned into a pile of salt.   They also have much less violence and murder.   Theistic countries around the world have consistantly been the most violent.

Do you live in one of those countries? If not, why not? Serious question. You seem pretty miserable. I feel sorry for you.

You're trying to divert the attention away from your book so you don't have to defend it.  It doesn't matter where I live or who I am .   It's your book that's being discussed.   When someone holds up a god as the paragon of virtue and love who condones slavery and sends two bears to kill 40 children for teasing a bald man and murders 20 million people in a flood I'm a-gonna say something about it, honey.   You bet I am.  Darned tootin'.
                                                         T4618
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#82

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:31 PM)Percie Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 06:13 PM)Dānu Wrote: In 13 out of 26 countries, both before and after controls, the actively religious are happier than everyone else (that is, the combined population of the inactively religious and the unaffiliated). In the remaining countries, there is not much of a difference between the two groups.

(05-24-2021, 04:52 PM)Percie Wrote: Ironically, if there is no god, then truth isn't important - only happiness is. Surveys show that the religious report greater happiness. The difference is usually small in richer countries, larger in poorer countries.

Er, yes, I said the difference is small in some countries, larger in others. So does my link. Not sure why you quoted that.

Something that only holds half the time isn't much of a correlation. And it is just a correlation. You can't discount one study for being a correlation, only to turn around and embrace correlation in a different study. That smacks of confirmation bias.
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#83

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:49 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: You're trying to divert the attention away from your book so you don't have to defend it.  It doesn't matter where I live or who I am .   It's your book that's being discussed.

Actually no, it wasn't, except regarding hell. I have no problem defending it, but there's a place and time.
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#84

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:57 PM)Dānu Wrote: Something that only holds half the time isn't much of a correlation.

Seems significant to me. 

Quote:And it is just a correlation.  You can't discount one study for being a correlation, only to turn around and embrace correlation in a different study.  That smacks of confirmation bias.

Mine is at least a direct correlation to religious activity. An attempted correlation by countries as a whole is obviously weaker.
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#85

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 07:01 PM)Percie Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 06:57 PM)Dānu Wrote: And it is just a correlation.  You can't discount one study for being a correlation, only to turn around and embrace correlation in a different study.  That smacks of confirmation bias.

Mine is at least a direct correlation to religious activity. An attempted correlation by countries as a whole is obviously weaker.

Since it isn't a correlation to happiness, any support you thought this study provided is nil. For the same reason that inter-country studies are deserving of skepticism, self-reporting between people with different worldviews is also questionable, especially when you don't control for minority stress and other relevant factors.
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#86

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 07:07 PM)Dānu Wrote: Since it isn't a correlation to happiness,

Not sure what you mean. Mine asked people about their happiness and about their level of religious participation.
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#87

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
I’m pretty sure there was a study published by researcher Chaeyoon Lim, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the American Sociological Review (I’ll try to find a link) that increased happiness amongst the religious is not because of a relationship to God, but rather the social networks that believers build through attending religious services, this study applies to Catholics and mainline and evangelical Protestants, the interviews of other religions were not enough to gather concrete results.
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#88

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 07:33 PM)Cypher44 Wrote: I’m pretty sure there was a study published by researcher Chaeyoon Lim, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the American Sociological Review (I’ll try to find a link) that increased happiness amongst the religious is not because of a relationship to God, but rather the social networks that believers build through attending religious services, this study applies to Catholics and mainline and evangelical Protestants, the interviews of other religions were not enough to gather concrete results.

Here’s the study - 

The Study
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#89

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 07:10 PM)Percie Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 07:07 PM)Dānu Wrote: Since it isn't a correlation to happiness,

Not sure what you mean. Mine asked people about their happiness and about their level of religious participation.

Happiness is a tricky thing to measure, and self reports, as any self report, are vulnerable to confounding effects like expectation effect, cultural norms, and so on.

In short you're measuring what people report is true, through a myriad of complicating factors, rather than what actually is true.

I forget which is which, but people report their happiness differently depending upon whether they're being asked at the time or afterward. So naively interpreting self-reports about happiness is a problem.

I ran across this other study which may or may not mean anything, but I thought I'd pass it along.

Are you really happy? Self-reported well being doesn’t match up with external observation
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#90

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:09 PM)Percie Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 06:06 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: It's the typical "atheists don't care about anything!" straw man.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

Just the opposite - it's atheists shouldn't care about truth, except as it's necessary for happiness.

I have no clue what you are trying to say there.

Why should atheists not care about truth except as it's necessary for happiness?
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#91

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 02:39 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 11:59 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: The "lack of evidence / thats not evidence" canard is just a version of the argument from divine hiddenness.

And its typically just the atheist expecting God to perform on-demand. (In violation of Deuteronomy 6:16)

...The bible is not a book of evidence, it is a book of claims.  ...You cannot use a book of claims for anything except more claims. 

So you claim.

Quote:And then you have this other problem.  The "cafeteria Christian syndrome".  You pick and choose what you want your god to be so it fits your worldview. 

Not me.
The bible is what describes God's characteristics and I have never cherry picked verses I prefer. The Old Testament describes God equally with the New Testament. 

You know who cherry picks verses? 
You guys. See below.

Quote:You go with the bible's claim that the face of god can be seen in Genesis,  but dismiss the anonymous writer of "John" who claims one cannot  see the face of god.
  

Jacob (Genesis) says he thinks he can see the 'face' of God. God says no, you can't. There's no cognitive dissonance required to see that this isn't God contradicting God.

Quote:...you are holding up a book of claims that has a mythical god who condones slavery and incest. 

God doesn't condone those things. Humans do.
How does "Thou Shalt Not Steal" condone wage theft?
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#92

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 04:52 PM)Percie Wrote: Ironically, if there is no god, then truth isn't important - only happiness is. Surveys show that the religious report greater happiness. The difference is usually small in richer countries, larger in poorer countries.

This is a misrepresentation.

The world's 10  happiest countries 2021 OECD are:

1. Finland
2. Iceland
3. Denmark
4. Switzerland
5. Netherlands
6. Sweden
7. Germany
8. Norway
9. New Zealand
10. Austria

(At #12 is Australia, and at #14 is the United States)

The bolded countries are also amongst the top 10 most irreligious, with Sweden at #1, according to a 2018 WIN/Gallup poll.

—It's difficult to get precise figures, as many of the global
   surveys differ in parameters, particularly for religion. It's
   more than obvious though, on average, that the happiest
   countries are also amongst the least religious.
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#93

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
I note how Percie doesn't have the courage of his convictions; he repeatedly ignores my comments directed
specifically at him, and has never answered one of my direct questions.  See my posting HERE for example.

Although, like a lot of theist keyboard warriors, he may've added me to his ignore list in frustration.     Chuckle
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#94

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 08:12 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 02:39 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 11:59 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: The "lack of evidence / thats not evidence" canard is just a version of the argument from divine hiddenness.

And its typically just the atheist expecting God to perform on-demand. (In violation of Deuteronomy 6:16)

...The bible is not a book of evidence, it is a book of claims.  ...You cannot use a book of claims for anything except more claims. 

So you claim.

Quote:And then you have this other problem.  The "cafeteria Christian syndrome".  You pick and choose what you want your god to be so it fits your worldview. 

Not me.
The bible is what describes God's characteristics and I have never cherry picked verses I prefer. The Old Testament describes God equally with the New Testament. 

You know who cherry picks verses? 
You guys. See below.

Quote:You go with the bible's claim that the face of god can be seen in Genesis,  but dismiss the anonymous writer of "John" who claims one cannot  see the face of god.
  

Jacob (Genesis) says he thinks he can see the 'face' of God. God says no, you can't. There's no cognitive dissonance required to see that this isn't God contradicting God.

Quote:...you are holding up a book of claims that has a mythical god who condones slavery and incest. 

God doesn't condone those things. Humans do.
How does "Thou Shalt Not Steal" condone wage theft?

When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
[b]7[/b]But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
[b]8[/b]With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”

This is taken from Numbers 12, God himself clearly states He speaks to Moses ‘face to face’ meaning Moses has seen the face of God, the fact that the Bible then, further down the line, states that none have looked upon the face of God, except the Son is a contradiction.
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#95

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 11:59 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: And its typically just the atheist expecting God to perform on-demand. (In violation of Deuteronomy 6:16)

Funny, I've always wondered at the selfish conceit of theists directing their god to perform on demand.  On occasion such direction may take the form of a request, or a suggestion, but however framed, the expectation of god acquiescing and fulfilling the prayer is constant.

There's no logic to prayer.  To start with, what are you going to tell your omniscient god it doesn't already know?  Your omniscient god knows WHICH butterfly in the year 3462 will be the trigger for a hurricane over what remains of Louisiana, according to its plan - acquiescence to what YOU think is necessary would constitute deviation from that plan.  Your god knows every detail of its big picture; you barely understand a few molecules of pigment on the canvas and have no idea what, for the larger picture, would actually be best - or. more accurately, more consonant with whatever the plan is.  Every prayer is a call to depart from the plan.  Your prayer for rain on Saturday could, if granted, be a disaster for a village that would be flash-flooded.

Every call for divine intercedence is a demand to deviate from natural course.  Oh, so what, say the witless desperate souls intent on achieving only personal satisfaction, consequences elsewhere be damned.  But departure from natural course has a devastating consequence:  it makes science impossible.  If prayer worked, science wouldn't.  Science depends on reproducing scenarios.  That'd be impossible in a universe where random intercessions make any statistical study worthless.

Still, the thoughtless hordes of believers continue to instruct their god to perform on demand - and almost never for anything truly worth interceding for.  No, all the mewling prayers are for getting an A on the final, or winning some money, or wishing Aunt Belle's terminal cancer cured.  No one ever prays for anything really useful, like even the concept of firearms erased from all human consciousness, or the destruction of the last I Love Lucy rerun.

But that's the hallmark of religiosity:  excessive focus on narrow selfish interests, and the rest of the world can go hang.
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#96

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 08:12 PM)Lion IRC Wrote: The bible is what describes God's characteristics...

And, just where did you think we got the idea that your gawd is a sick, twisted, evil beast that wouldn't be worthy of worship even were it real?!?

The gawd you profess to love and worship and the gawd described in that steaming pile of monkey shit you call a book are two very different gawds.
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#97

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 08:12 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 02:39 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 11:59 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: The "lack of evidence / thats not evidence" canard is just a version of the argument from divine hiddenness.

And its typically just the atheist expecting God to perform on-demand. (In violation of Deuteronomy 6:16)

...The bible is not a book of evidence, it is a book of claims.  ...You cannot use a book of claims for anything except more claims. 

So you claim.

Quote:And then you have this other problem.  The "cafeteria Christian syndrome".  You pick and choose what you want your god to be so it fits your worldview. 

Not me.
The bible is what describes God's characteristics and I have never cherry picked verses I prefer. The Old Testament describes God equally with the New Testament. 

You know who cherry picks verses? 
You guys. See below.

Quote:You go with the bible's claim that the face of god can be seen in Genesis,  but dismiss the anonymous writer of "John" who claims one cannot  see the face of god.
  

Jacob (Genesis) says he thinks he can see the 'face' of God. God says no, you can't. There's no cognitive dissonance required to see that this isn't God contradicting God.

Quote:...you are holding up a book of claims that has a mythical god who condones slavery and incest. 

God doesn't condone those things. Humans do.
How does "Thou Shalt Not Steal" condone wage theft?

The bible is considered a book of claims because none of it's magical events can be substantiated outside of it's pages.  As a matter of fact many of the claims in the bible can be completely refuted.  There was no world wide flood,  evolution and DNA proves there was no Adam and Eve.   Even many the non magical claims can be proven wrong or were highly embellished. 

The Quran and the Red Vedas are also books of claims.  The Quran claims Mohammad split the moon in half and over a billion people around the world believe it because it's in the Quran.  The Quran says this alleged event happened before the migration to Medina and it was witnessed by Anas Malit, Ali Huzayfa, Abdullah Masud, Jubayr,  and several other men.  Replace those names with Jesus and his 12 apostles and it's the same stupid shit. 

LOL.   The biblical god  ABSOLUTELY DOES  condone slavery.    Leviticus 25-44.  This is the very definition of slavery.   

 [url=https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki:Annotated_Bible/Leviticus#Leviticus_25:44][/url]

Quote:  Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.

And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family.  


Some of the newer bibles have completely sanitized this paragraph or omitted much of it.   Slavery is in other areas of the bible as well.  The Bible says  you can beat a slave but as long as he or she doesn't die after three days you won't be prosecuted.  Gee, how nice.  I guess a slave is supposed to be really grateful for not being beaten to death. 

You need to sit down and read your religious instruction book sometime.
                                                         T4618
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#98

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 06:06 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: It's the typical "atheists don't care about anything!" straw man.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

(05-24-2021, 06:09 PM)Percie Wrote: Just the opposite - it's atheists shouldn't care about truth, except as it's necessary for happiness.

That makes no sense, Percie.  Atheism isn't a worldview; it's a position on one thing, and one thing only:

"Do you believe that gods exist?"

One can be an atheist and a humanist, an atheist and a non-theistic Buddhist, an atheist and a follower of a particular political ideology.  (I self-describe as an agnostic atheist humanist Stoic, former Buddhist, former agnostic polytheist, cultural Asatruar.)

Truth is valuable in and of itself, and it's of critical importance in a crisis situation where dangerous realities need to be confronted - and it doesn't always lead to happiness.
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#99

Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 09:31 PM)airportkid Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 11:59 AM)Lion IRC Wrote: And its typically just the atheist expecting God to perform on-demand. (In violation of Deuteronomy 6:16)
Funny, I've always wondered at the selfish conceit of theists directing their god to perform on demand.  On occasion such direction may take the form of a request, or a suggestion, but however framed, the expectation of god acquiescing and fulfilling the prayer is constant.

There's no logic to prayer.  To start with, what are you going to tell your omniscient god it doesn't already know?  Your omniscient god knows WHICH butterfly in the year 3462 will be the trigger for a hurricane over what remains of Louisiana, according to its plan - acquiescence to what YOU think is necessary would constitute deviation from that plan.  Your god knows every detail of its big picture; you barely understand a few molecules of pigment on the canvas and have no idea what, for the larger picture, would actually be best - or. more accurately, more consonant with whatever the plan is.  Every prayer is a call to depart from the plan.  Your prayer for rain on Saturday could, if granted, be a disaster for a village that would be flash-flooded.

Every call for divine intercedence is a demand to deviate from natural course.  Oh, so what, say the witless desperate souls intent on achieving only personal satisfaction, consequences elsewhere be damned.  But departure from natural course has a devastating consequence:  it makes science impossible.  If prayer worked, science wouldn't.  Science depends on reproducing scenarios.  That'd be impossible in a universe where random intercessions make any statistical study worthless.

Still, the thoughtless hordes of believers continue to instruct their god to perform on demand - and almost never for anything truly worth interceding for.  No, all the mewling prayers are for getting an A on the final, or winning some money, or wishing Aunt Belle's terminal cancer cured.  No one ever prays for anything really useful, like even the concept of firearms erased from all human consciousness, or the destruction of the last I Love Lucy rerun.

But that's the hallmark of religiosity:  excessive focus on narrow selfish interests, and the rest of the world can go hang.
When I left Catholicism for Wicca, I was surprised at the way the nature of my prayers changed -- they ceased to be about 'I need this' and changed to 'help me understand why it's this way'.  Which, if you're going to pray for something, seems rather more sensible than selfishly asking any almighty universe-directing authorities to please suspend the rules for one's desires.

Those seemed to get "answered" far more often -- although I came to realize that I was in a frame of mind where I was willing to accept reality as it was so I was able to sort it out on my own more often.  And eventually I realized I didn't need a god or gods to do that, I could just sort things out on my own.
"Aliens?  Us?  Is this one of your Earth jokes?"  -- Kro-Bar, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
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Questions for new (to me) Christians on the forum
(05-24-2021, 10:50 PM)Astreja Wrote:
(05-24-2021, 06:06 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: It's the typical "atheists don't care about anything!" straw man.  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

(05-24-2021, 06:09 PM)Percie Wrote: Just the opposite - it's atheists shouldn't care about truth, except as it's necessary for happiness.

That makes no sense, Percie.  Atheism isn't a worldview; it's a position on one thing, and one thing only:

"Do you believe that gods exist?"

One can be an atheist and a humanist, an atheist and a non-theistic Buddhist, an atheist and a follower of a particular political ideology.  (I self-describe as an agnostic atheist humanist Stoic, former Buddhist, former agnostic polytheist, cultural Asatruar.)

Truth is valuable in and of itself, and it's of critical importance in a crisis situation where dangerous realities need to be confronted - and it doesn't always lead to happiness.

That's way too nuanced for...
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