Author Topic: Religion is declining in the US  (Read 703 times)

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2017, 08:44:51 AM »
Without miracles there can be no evidence for God.  No wonder the Jews believed when seas parted for an entire army; And the Christians when water turned into wine, although that's undoubtedly part of some Las Vegas magic act too.  But since God doesn't do obvious miracles anymore, Christians have resorted to cheese molds and successful outcomes to hernia operations.  And my favorite, "Just look around you.  Everything you see is a miracle!"

I've often thought that modern Religion survives by lowering it's standards for identifying miracles.  Parting of seas was for the uneducated riff raff of the ancients who could only be convinced by a hard slap in the face.  Today we make no such demands of a god that has apparently lost his steam and can no longer defy the laws of physics.  Everything, including the most mundane, is holy.

Online Hydra009 (OP)

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2017, 12:18:14 PM »
I've often thought that modern Religion survives by lowering it's standards for identifying miracles.
They have to.  In the ancient past, you could come up with all sorts of things and no one could disprove it.

Nowadays, you have to be very careful about what you call a miracle.  It has to be something real - or at least plausible - and then attribute that to God even if it seems like it's wholly within the scope of nature or human capability.  That's why they've moved away from the sun standing still for several days (presumably, time was kept by some other means than the rising/setting of the sun) and the sea parting to Jesus toast and "miraculous" recoveries performed with modern medicine.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 12:30:32 PM by Hydra009 »

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2017, 12:42:41 PM »
They have to.  In the ancient past, you could come up with all sorts of things and no one could disprove it.

Nowadays, you have to be very careful about what you call a miracle.  It has to be something real - or at least plausible - and then attribute that to God even if it seems like it's wholly within the scope of nature or human capability.  That's why they've moved away from the sun standing still for several days (presumably, time was kept by some other means than the rising/setting of the sun) and the sea parting to Jesus toast and "miraculous" recoveries performed with modern medicine.
In my life time I have not seen a miracle.  Nor have I heard of one that was proven.  A 'miracle' is something that would be unnatural--and there is no such thing.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2017, 12:48:32 PM »
I've never seen a miracle, either.  But my standards might be too high, I suppose.  And I've got a suspicion that those things reported in days of old never happened either.

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2017, 12:58:49 PM »
I've never seen a miracle, either.  But my standards might be too high, I suppose.  And I've got a suspicion that those things reported in days of old never happened either.
Definition of miracle

1 :an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs the healing miracles described in the Gospels
2 :an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment The bridge is a miracle of engineering.
3 Christian Science :a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law.

I don't think any of those definitions exist.  A miracle is simply impossible.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2017, 01:27:05 PM »
Definition of miracle
2 :an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment The bridge is a miracle of engineering.
2, maybe, but it's an equivocation.  It's not the same thing that a theist means when he talks about a miracle.  We understand that such a thing is simply ":an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment."  It's in the dictionary because it's commonly used to punctuate one's sense of awe or appreciation about something natural, and it's understood as such by most people.  A person with Asperger's Syndrome may find it intolerable, but others let it slide with a polite nod.

Online Hydra009 (OP)

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2017, 01:34:15 PM »
I've never seen a miracle, either.  But my standards might be too high, I suppose.  And I've got a suspicion that those things reported in days of old never happened either.
I've seen some extraordinary rare events, but that's it.  I once flipped a coin and it landed on edge.  A flying squirrel landed in my friend's car while he was going 45 mph with the windows cracked less than a foot.  Stuff like that.

Offline SGOS

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2017, 01:55:18 PM »
I've seen some extraordinary rare events, but that's it.  I once flipped a coin and it landed on edge.  A flying squirrel landed in my friend's car while he was going 45 mph with the windows cracked less than a foot.  Stuff like that.
Well, that's the type :2 miracle, and quite amazing for sure.  I was once parked in a pleasant spot overlooking the ocean on a sunny day with the windows open.  I was killing time before a job interview, when some small bird flew right through the car from the passenger side window and out the driver's side, and the little bugger crapped a splotch of bird shit on my clean shirt, so I went to the interview with a bird stain, which I explained during the interview, just to make sure people didn't think I was a slob.

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2017, 04:54:50 PM »
And the Christians when water turned into wine, although that's undoubtedly part of some Las Vegas magic act too.




God Not Found
“Money supplants skill; it's possession allows us to become happily stupid.”
Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2017, 08:40:49 PM »
In my life time I have not seen a miracle.  Nor have I heard of one that was proven.  A 'miracle' is something that would be unnatural--and there is no such thing.

Your definition presupposes atheism ... so it is a circular argument.  Signs ... weren't the miracles as defined by Enlightenment wags.  Do you know, in Hebrew, that a "letter" is a sign ... something divine?  Hence not incredible that the Muslims define the whole Quran, which has many letters, as a great miracle.

And myths are always symbolic, not to be understood literally.  But clergy and their enemies ... make hay.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 08:49:34 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #25 on: October 25, 2017, 08:44:39 PM »
Without miracles there can be no evidence for God.  No wonder the Jews believed when seas parted for an entire army; And the Christians when water turned into wine, although that's undoubtedly part of some Las Vegas magic act too.  But since God doesn't do obvious miracles anymore, Christians have resorted to cheese molds and successful outcomes to hernia operations.  And my favorite, "Just look around you.  Everything you see is a miracle!"

I've often thought that modern Religion survives by lowering it's standards for identifying miracles.  Parting of seas was for the uneducated riff raff of the ancients who could only be convinced by a hard slap in the face.  Today we make no such demands of a god that has apparently lost his steam and can no longer defy the laws of physics.  Everything, including the most mundane, is holy.

A jaded personality, a modern cynic, would claim thus.  Those mythic events ... are mythic.  But I have seen some very good stage magic.  And I have personally experienced paranormal things.  But none of that convinces me ... but then I am not a professional skeptic.  Just a reasonable person, who avoids extreme views.

It never was "defy the laws of physics" ... in Jesus't time, no such idea existed.  Since we now have "laws of physics" more or less, though in early modern times these were presumed to be anti-Catholic pro-Protestant proof of G-d's laws ... not proofs of materialism ... this provides a straw man argument for the materialists.  But a straw man argument is so .. infallible!
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Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #26 on: October 25, 2017, 08:46:24 PM »
They have to.  In the ancient past, you could come up with all sorts of things and no one could disprove it.

Nowadays, you have to be very careful about what you call a miracle.  It has to be something real - or at least plausible - and then attribute that to God even if it seems like it's wholly within the scope of nature or human capability.  That's why they've moved away from the sun standing still for several days (presumably, time was kept by some other means than the rising/setting of the sun) and the sea parting to Jesus toast and "miraculous" recoveries performed with modern medicine.

Nobody was doing any proofs, except for egg headed gay Greeks.  Until modern times, literal interpretation was more viable ... not so much today.  But not everyone, not even in ancient times, took to literalism.  Of course for materialists, literalism is a good thing, since it helps their argument.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #27 on: October 25, 2017, 08:47:07 PM »
Definition of miracle

1 :an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs the healing miracles described in the Gospels
2 :an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment The bridge is a miracle of engineering.
3 Christian Science :a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law.

I don't think any of those definitions exist.  A miracle is simply impossible.

A stawman invented by stupid theologians, and exploited by stupid materialists.
שלום

Offline Baruch

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #28 on: October 25, 2017, 08:48:08 PM »
2, maybe, but it's an equivocation.  It's not the same thing that a theist means when he talks about a miracle.  We understand that such a thing is simply ":an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment."  It's in the dictionary because it's commonly used to punctuate one's sense of awe or appreciation about something natural, and it's understood as such by most people.  A person with Asperger's Syndrome may find it intolerable, but others let it slide with a polite nod.

There is a lot of autism posted here .. not that there is anything wrong with that.  Socialism too ... which is anti-social, ironically.
שלום

Re: Religion is declining in the US
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2017, 08:48:41 PM »
Your definition presupposes atheism ... so it is a circular argument.  Signs ... weren't the miracles as defined by Enlightenment wags.  Do you know, in Hebrew, that a "letter" is a sign ... something divine?  Hence not incredible that the Muslims define the whole Quran, which has many letters, as a great miracle.
I have not been an atheist all of my life.  I have been skeptical--but at times open to 'miracles'--none came forth.  I have come to understand that a theist insists that a miracle is other-wordly;  there is no other world.  And no miracles.  All that happens has a rational reason; and if we don't know what that is right now does not mean we won't learn.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?