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The God Delusion

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Total Votes : 12

The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Sun 6 Jan 2008 - 10:30

First topic message reminder :

When I was a little kid mom used to tell me: "It's already 18:00, go and do your prayer. You need to pray to get peace and prosperity in your life..."

However, while picking up my days I started having a different approach at this thing which is called religion. What is the meaning of religion? Does God exist? 24 years of age right now and I've been an atheist for more than half of my life. The God Delusion is a book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at the University of Oxford.

In his book, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator almost certainly does not exist and that belief in God qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. He is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig's observation that when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity and when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.

I should admit that I have not got the opportunity to go through his book but I've been really inspired by his beliefs and ideas when I watched him on BBC World some days ago. I come from a religious family as are an estimated 86% of the world's population. So, in this regard I belong to the minority group referred as non-religious. Still, I am firm on my beliefs and I would like to hear about your perceptions and beliefs in God and religion.


Last edited by Varun on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 19:45; edited 6 times in total (Reason for editing : Update)

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 19:33

I guess suicide bombers think they would make their community/religion proud of themselves when they blow themselves up along with other innocent people thinking they are fighting for an important cause... But what cause? What good thing can it be to create chaos everywhere? I don't know! Some theists might tell me it's beyond my grasp.

That said, there's something I don't agree with you, Jeet... You don't need to lie to yourself and participate in a prayer. There's nothing wrong in admitting you're an atheist. It's time for you to make people understand that they need to respect your belief and personality when you're doing nothing wrong.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 19:47

I know Varun but there's a case like that in my house.
Will tell you later.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 20:06

Don't be afraid, spit it out right now...

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Sneha on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 20:12

Right, baby... I want to know it too, Jeet. Razz

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 20:32

Ok, here it is;

Everyday my parents tell me to go do prayers.
When i tell them no, a scene goes on, through which i get to listen to all kind of talks.
Then i have to do prayers silently without arguing.
Else you know how my father is Varun.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 21:13

That's called violation of one's rights...

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 21:15

What can i do, have to compromise

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 21:20

It depends on you.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 21:23

Well whatever i do, you know the way my father is: authoritative.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 21:27

Try to discuss the matter with your mom then.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Tue 22 Dec 2009 - 21:28

She is a bit of the same opinion as my father for the prayers.
What can i say?

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by simpleguy on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 10:49

I don't think there is much subject for debate here. Theism and atheism are both opinions. As long as theists don't shove their belief in God down atheists' throats and vice versa, live long and be merry.

Atheists who rant about the non-existence of a God entity are as obnoxious as theists who rant the same.

I do not believe in the current definition of the God entity. If you want to believe, fine with me but you'll meet with bitter opposition if you're going to use your *belief* to impose things on me.

I observed that Karma worked for me. You reap what you sow. Do good things and good things happen. Do bad things and bad things happen.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 12:32

simpleguy wrote:
Atheists who rant about the non-existence of a God entity are as obnoxious as theists who rant the same.

Can you be clearer about this sentence of yours simpleguy.
I didn't understand what you said

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 13:47

simpleguy wrote:I don't think there is much subject for debate here. Theism and atheism are both opinions. As long as theists don't shove their belief in God down atheists' throats and vice versa, live long and be merry.
The debate is ON and HERE. A very solid point sustaining my opinion is that because of this debate we've had a theist turned into an atheist.

simpleguy wrote:Atheists who rant about the non-existence of a God entity are as obnoxious as theists who rant the same.
It can only be offensive if you don't respect one's opinion and fortunately, we haven't had such incidents here. However, this should not omit the presence of a debate and debating (not fighting) is good because it helps one's brain work effectively.

simpleguy wrote:I do not believe in the current definition of the God entity. If you want to believe, fine with me but you'll meet with bitter opposition if you're going to use your *belief* to impose things on me.
Now, this statement is almost a threatening one if not an obnoxious one. Razz

simpleguy wrote:I observed that Karma worked for me. You reap what you sow. Do good things and good things happen. Do bad things and bad things happen.
Universally, karma is known as a religious concept but how do you keep karma and religion/God separately in your belief?

Jeet wrote:
simpleguy wrote:
Atheists who rant about the non-existence of a God entity are as obnoxious as theists who rant the same.

Can you be clearer about this sentence of yours simpleguy.
I didn't understand what you said
Did my above analysis of simpleguy's comments made it any clearer to you?

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by simpleguy on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 14:53

Jeet, there are theists who are hell bent on proving the existence of their God entity. They are loud mouthed, call you a sinner and say you'll go to hell for not believing, etc. They are obnoxious. Likewise there are atheists who are equally loud mouthed, get all worked up when presented with a theist approach and call you fucking stupid for believing in something whose existence cannot be scientifically proved. They are as obnoxious as the theists.

Karma is a concept that stands alone by itself, without the support of a God entity. You are not required to believe in a God or several to adopt a good Karmic behaviour. Its elementary: if you're an ass to people, they will be an ass to you.

Jeet, my wife is religious. I attend prayers with her even though I do not believe in her concept of deities because supporting her is what I do as a husband. There are other things that I am not interested in but interest her so I do participate in them nevertheless.

As I understand it from religious folks, prayers are meant to be offered with sincerity. If your parents are imposing prayers on you because, lets face it, you're 15 and living in their house, it kind of defeats the purpose of praying. Good news is that if you're non-religious by the time you're independent, you can spend the prayer time on something that you're interested in.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 17:50

Yep truly said simpleguy and i fully agree with your last sentence:

simpleguy wrote:
As I understand it from religious folks, prayers are meant to be offered with sincerity. If your parents are imposing prayers on you because, lets face it, you're 15 and living in their house, it kind of defeats the purpose of praying. Good news is that if you're non-religious by the time you're independent, you can spend the prayer time on something that you're interested in.

Thanks for clearer explanation to both Varun and Simpleguy.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Sneha on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 20:22

In fact, I'm facing the same situation as Jeet at home. My folks are too religious and blinded by their faith to see truth in an atheist logic. Hence, I can't tell them I've become an atheist or they'll put me out of the house or I dunno what. Shocked

I'll tell you one of the reasons in brief... Couple of months ago, my doubts about the existence of god influenced me so much that I could not allow myself to pray as I said earlier. Mum used to say: "You're letting yourself get carried by atheists like Varun, that's why you've stopped praying?" After that, for hours she would continue taunting me about the same subject. "Can't you see you're getting ill over and again since your interest in god is not the same as before?" or "You've seen the result for yourself, countries where people pray less have been attacked by tsunamis and other natural catastrophes. If you stop praying, god will not be there to let you succeed in whatever you do. You'll fail in every project you'll try to accomplish." and the list goes on. It's next to impossible for me to inform my parents I've turned into an atheist. For this reason, I understand your state and sympathise with you, Jeet. Neutral

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by simpleguy on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 21:20

Sneha,

A few years ago, I found out that my beliefs matched something called Agnotiscism. I invite you to read a bit on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic and determine if it describes how you feel about all this.
You're not required to be a hardcore atheist or theist :-)

Unfortunately, your mother has her strong beliefs and you cannot change that. There is no study that shows catastrophes happen more in countries with less faith. I have family who are devotees of Sai Baba. They still believe he can magically produce holy ash from his bare hands, even after I showed them videos of how he produces it using nothing more than a skilled magician's sleight of hand, often with the aid of assistants in the crowd who mix with the rest of the people seeking blessings.

History has shown there are brilliant and successful atheists and theists. Next time you're told to accompany them to prayers, try to think like I think.

In my mind, its a social thing to do with family, like dinner, picnic, day out, movies etc. Even if you're not having the most awesome time, you're still doing something with family.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 21:33

Doesn't agnosticism also mean the non-belief of anything (not only God) beyond the material world?

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by simpleguy on Wed 23 Dec 2009 - 22:48

Its not about absolute belief or non-belief. Its about having a skeptical approach to some claims that have no scientific explanation. When presented with the God entity theory, one agnostic can think

"Well, God itself is full of paradox. One of them being omnipotence. If that God can create a rock that is so heavy that he cannot lift it himself, it means God is not omnipotent. On the other hand, we're just a speck of dust in the universe and we exist since a very brief moment in the universe so we cannot know everything either."

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Thu 24 Dec 2009 - 3:22

So, how do you define yourself concerning this matter; agnostic, atheist or both?

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Thu 24 Dec 2009 - 11:32

Well well a what a nice debate here
Thank you Sneha and i also sympathise with you

These details that you, Varun, and simpleguy are discussing, make me get a head ache. It's way too far beyond my understanding.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Wed 30 Dec 2009 - 19:50

Why? What a Face

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Thu 31 Dec 2009 - 14:12

I can't understand this agnostic thing???

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Sneha on Thu 31 Dec 2009 - 14:15

Neither me... I researched a bit about it but I got several explanations due to which I'm quite confused about the exact definition. confused

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Thu 31 Dec 2009 - 14:17

Anyone can explain it in a simple way???

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Thu 31 Dec 2009 - 14:43

From what I've known since ages, agnostic is defined as a person who believes that nothing exists or can be known about God or beyond the material phenomena.

Example: Do you believe in God? No, I'm an agnostic.

However, it can also be defined as someone who is non-committal or unsure about a certain thing.

Example: Do you think Chelsea will win the English Premier League this season? I don't know, I'm an agnostic on this matter.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Sneha on Thu 31 Dec 2009 - 16:02

Okay... I understand it better now. Smile But then, what's the difference between an atheist and an agnostic? Suspect

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Thu 31 Dec 2009 - 16:48

This is clearer and what's the answer to Sneha's question??

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Thu 31 Dec 2009 - 19:09

Sneha wrote:Okay... I understand it better now. Smile But then, what's the difference between an atheist and an agnostic? Suspect
I presume you're asking for the differences between an atheist and an agnostic atheist because, don't forget, we do have agnostic theists too.

In general, this is how we can summarise the difference(s):
An agnostic atheist won't claim to know for sure that nothing like God exists or that such cannot exist, but he/she also doesn't actively believe that such an entity does indeed exist.

So, basically, an agnostic atheist is not a 100% atheist.

That said, the same applies for an agnostic theist, but with the reverse logic.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 10:21

Ok.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 10:55

I'm thinking of adding a poll here, asking people about the nature of their beliefs. What do you think, friends?

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Shanu on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 15:26

yeah, good idea

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Sneha on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 17:42

Not a bad idea... I hope everyone participates. Smile

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Mon 4 Jan 2010 - 19:14

Varun wrote:I'm thinking of adding a poll here, asking people about the nature of their beliefs. What do you think, friends?
Shanu wrote:yeah, good idea
Sneha wrote:Not a bad idea... I hope everyone participates. Smile
Implemented! Very Happy

Let's get back to the debate now...

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Wed 6 Jan 2010 - 12:26

Ok

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Sneha on Sat 9 Jan 2010 - 11:40

I voted I'm an atheist. Neither I believe in God nor I doubt my belief that God doesn't exist. I believe in what I see with evidence, of course. In other words, I believe in what science has shown/done so far as it has always proved its distinctiveness.

People voted, but no one shared his/her opinion. I'm waiting... Basketball

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Sat 9 Jan 2010 - 15:24

Oki, me i voted agnostic theist.
Because i am now confused whether God exists or not, since many people whom i've met and asked them about their beliefs, they told me that they do believe in God and the reason is that witnessed some extraordinary things, like the God Ganesh drinking milk.

That's a mystery.
Hope you understand my vote.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Sat 9 Jan 2010 - 16:29

Sneha wrote:People voted, but no one shared his/her opinion. I'm waiting... Basketball
True... I've even observed vote cancellations and re-votes. I wonder why some people are so keen in keeping their mouth shut. Do they lack confidence in themselves or do they take this subject as taboo?

Jeet wrote:Oki, me i voted agnostic theist.
Because i am now confused whether God exists or not, since many people whom i've met and asked them about their beliefs, they told me that they do believe in God and the reason is that witnessed some extraordinary things, like the God Ganesh drinking milk.

That's a mystery.
Hope you understand my vote.
Jeet, if I go by your logic, does this mean that if tomorrow someone tells me he saw Lord Krishna or Jesus wandering on the local football pitch at midnight I should believe him/her? Razz

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Sat 9 Jan 2010 - 17:50

No, but Varun many people told me that, of course the statue/murti doesn't go and drink the milk, people see the milk vanish slowly.
Can you explain that?

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Sat 9 Jan 2010 - 21:13

I'll answer you by a question, Jeet. Can you explain to me what is meant by capillary action?

If yes, please, elaborate on it and if no, please, consult your physics books and teachers so that you can tell us what have you learnt about the matter. Is it fine with you, kid? Smile

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Sat 9 Jan 2010 - 21:24

No, i don't know.
You know the type of glass call Lota, in this milk is filled almost completely.
And within a few minutes it is over.
Is it still about that capillary action.
But i'll do my research on this capillary action.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Sat 9 Jan 2010 - 21:58

I've asked you to come back after your research, not before.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Vishaan on Tue 12 Jan 2010 - 11:41

Varun, can you please elaborate on Capillary Action?

How is it connected to the event that Jeet described above?

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Tue 12 Jan 2010 - 18:21

Yes varun can you please explain.
And yes i asked my physics teacher, he told me to ask a biology teacher.

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varuni on Sat 16 Jan 2010 - 22:17

Hello.. This seems a long long chain to go and read all those. But seems to be very interesting.. Can someone sum up in a few lines? I knw it is the great belief and atheist..

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Sun 17 Jan 2010 - 9:06

Varuni wrote:Hello.. This seems a long long chain to go and read all those. But seems to be very interesting.. Can someone sum up in a few lines?
Indeed, it is interesting but you'll need to read it by yourself to get a better grasp of the debate. Luckily it has evolved into a more "intelligent" one lately. Smile

Varuni wrote:I knw it is the great belief and atheist..
Could you rephrase that, please? confused

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varuni on Mon 18 Jan 2010 - 22:03

I meant, on one side are the ones who have lots of faith in God, whilst on the other's, the one who does not believe @ all...

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Varun on Mon 18 Jan 2010 - 22:40

Everybody knows that, Varuni. However, what we want to know is what are you? Upon what is your belief founded and why is it so? Wink

Also, did you cast a vote? Suspect

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Re: The God Delusion

Post by Jeet on Tue 19 Jan 2010 - 18:24

Hi, Varuni, so what's your belief in god!!

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Re: The God Delusion

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