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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Pascal last won the day on September 16 2011

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About Pascal

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  1. Science does not make ruling or determinations of truth on matters of religion. As you say, it is true evolution is a well established fact, this does not cancel out religion. The Catholic Church (the largest religions organisation in the world) accepts the truth of evolution but they are still obviously highly religious. The scientific method can only apply to things that are falsifiable (things that are capable of being proven false); we can prove it false that Drug X cures cancer (proving it false would mean it DOES NOT cure cancer), we cannot prove something does not exist, that is impossi
  2. That is not an accurate depiction of historical scholarship, so, no, in this case you are mistaken. Of course in this thread i see two approaches: (1) The secular academic historical perspective based on evidence; archaeological, literary, linguistic, etc (2) The approach based on what any one certain belief system (say Islam) dictates. The general consensus of (1) is that the very first religions were not organised or unified religions (like the religions today are). They were likely small local cults to local Gods. If Pagan is the only term you have an understanding of, you could approxima
  3. Do you willingly choose to believe or does it just seem like a true fact about the world? It seems like it would be very hard to choose to believe any fact unless you first felt that fact was true and actually represented reality. An example i often give - Imagine someone ties up your family and points a gun at their heads, they threaten to kill them unless you form the belief that a large, pink elephant is in the room, could you do it? It seems impossible. Likewise, even if you try really hard i doubt you could suddenly choose to be hindu or i could suddenly choose to be a Buddhist. So, I
  4. Done Taekwondo for a number of years and i wouldn't recommend it as absolutely the best style to use. The idea is your leg is the longest part of your body and puts a lot of distance b/w you and your opponent and the leg is rather powerful. There are a lot of fairly fancy kicks though. In a real situation, you want something simply and very effective because you might not get to make a mistake twice. You really don't want to have to recall a complicated series of steps to pull of a kick. Of course, a lot of the martial arts, are arts like painting or dancing, they have philosophy, spiritiualit
  5. Cardinal Bergoglio (now the current pope) was actually a favorite two elections back. After Pope John Paul II died, Bergoglio was one of the favourites to win (instead, Ratzinger [AKA Benedict XVI] obviously won). It's not a massive surprise really. Unexpected, definitely. The bookmakers and gamblers offering odds on this all got it totally wrong. It was unexpected but not outlandish, he's been a front runner before. http://ncronline.org...ould-be-pope-13 None the less, it is a good sign. For a few hundred years there, almost all the popes came from an even smaller pool, pretty much all Itali
  6. I'm not sure if you mean arguments that try prove God exists or arguments that try show God doesn't exist. If its the first case, i can assure you, most of the well known philosophers go to quite some length. Summa Theologica by Aquinas goes into roughly 3000 pages across 5 volumes for example. I think the problem with how most people interpret these arguments and how some atheists attack them is they see a skeleton outline of an argument and assume it *is* the actual argument. For example, in his Kalam cosmological argument, William Lane Craig goes into quite some depth proving why we cant ha
  7. I don't think anyone actually likes testing drugs on animals, i know it makes me squeamish. The problem is there is no alternative. It's one of those unpleasant facts of life - Children starve every day while we throw away food, an animal had to die for you to eat, likewise, unfortunately, we must test drugs on animals. There is no way around it. Before we test it on something alive, we have somewhere between a bit of an idea and absolutely no idea how it will behave. If we were to regularly test it on humans, we would have people dropping dead which creates numerous ethical, legal and money p
  8. Because life is wonderful. If you don't like life so much that the only thing from stopping you killing yourself is God, then, you have much deeper problems. Surely, there are other reasons you enjoy being alive as well. All of you look both ways before you cross the road, no matter how religious. --------------------------- You are spot on. The only thing that is stopping me from literally hanging myself this single second is the quest to convince strangers that God does not exist. You have us all, the entire atheist movement. We surrender. It can't be that we don't have jobs to go to, famil
  9. I find this idea very tantalising one. I won't lie; i come here bearing my full intentions. This view obviously springs out of my beliefs as an atheist and someone who finds the idea of hell distasteful. It's the same reason why i like the idea of anihilationism. I am obviously very partial to the idea that no one should go to hell for mistakenly holding the wrong belief. Of course, this view may be hard to reconcile with the traditional view of lack of salvation for non-believers present in many world religions. I am no expert on the matter but it might be hard to reconcile with the Quran. Do
  10. No. I believe there are several things wrong with proceeding in this manner. For one, suggesting that you need something external to the holy book or the belief system, to prove such a belief system, is almost insulting to the religion itself. If the Quran is not self-evident, just on the basis of what is in the Quran and if Islam cannot seen to be true, just on the basis of what Islam is, it seems to me therein lies a gaping flaw. Secondly, to put it (semi)politely, i think the so-called scientific miracles are some of the most baffling, ham-fisted and utterly unconvincing arguments for a God
  11. No, not really. If you get a timeline and a big red marker, you can mark out the time that you did exist. People have realised the same thing your quote states for a long time. Epicurus for example said something like this: I was not, I am, i will not be So, in that case, we can draw it a little like this |..........................|xxxx|...................................|> Buddhists have this idea of all things being impermanent. You are merely a temporary process or collection of atoms. Before you were this present collection, your atoms were in something else but they always existed. On
  12. I do not know if i agree with this. To me it seems that every religion is roughly equal concerning thoughtful, well-considered believers and those who only believe as their fathers before them or culture did. I would wager that Islam suffers from this no more or no less, generally. The Jewish and Christian traditions have an impressive philosophical tradition for example, it is not clear that these traditions or believers are massively more deficient than Muslims are or Islam is. This is a very provocative question in the philosophical community right now. I'll try to avoid boring yo
  13. Since your post was not targeted to any specific group, I’ll throw my hat in too. The simple answer is No. Is it totally inconceivable that modern biology is true and God exists, is it really all that strange to believe both those facts can be true? I do not think so. The strongest negation we can be sure of is a logical contradiction. We cannot have a 4 sided triangle, we can even disprove the idea in our minds. It is a contradictory thing. Is the existence of a naturalistic law or processes, evolution, gravity or plate tectonics logically contradictory with the existence of God? It is far fr
  14. Hello pureethics, i am doing well, i hope you and your family are just as well. I am back again but i think only for a short while. I thank you for your reply and the time it must have taken to write a piece like that. Please note, in my post, i was not claiming the Problem of Evil conclusively shows there is no God (no argument could) nor was i even saying it might show that. My main purpose was to show that, the defense that evil necessarily needs to exist for good to exist is not a good defense. So, as such, i will not reply to most of your post, in this thread i was merely replying to that
  15. I thank you for your reply Haji 2003 and i thank the mods and admins for their time and diligence in reviewing our posts. I note you that you did not address the vast majority of my argument but instead chose to personally attack me and then go on to mention a diversionary issue, one separate to the issue at hand, which is slavery. It seems you are grasping at straws to reply to the vast majority of my post, so, i thank you for your time so far, it does not seem we will take it much further. I will point out this, if i created a religion exactly like Islam and a book exactly like the Quran, ex
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