Simon Paynton

  • Simon Paynton replied to the topic The Power of Prayer in the forum Atheism 33 minutes ago

    @bellerose – there’s nothing for it, but you’re always going to have to be confused.  That comes with the territory of taking a stand one way or the other on this question.  Nobody can actually ever know the answer.

    It’s very true that the world behaves as if there is a God in it: at least, a version of the monotheistic one.  So, I think the fr…[Read more]

  • I just don’t think your conclusion follows from the premises.

    if magical and supernatural beliefs are hard wired into our brains there is a reason for that” => “God does in fact exist

    I don’t think it necessarily follows, as night follows day, because there may be many reasons why those capacities are hard-wired into our brains.  One of those…[Read more]

  • @bellerose – could you please specify which arguments in those articles you would like to draw on?  It’s a bit much for us to drag through.

    “Evolution News” is an Intelligent Design website.  I still think they’re not sure what they’re asking, or saying:

    • we have evolved to believe in a Christian/Moslem/Jewish type God
    • we have evolved s…

    [Read more]

  • I would say that the purposes why we believe in God, evolved as purposes, but then these got filled by the religious God somewhere along the line.

    These same purposes can be fulfilled by other means, for example by atheists, who don’t miss God.

  • Why do atheists get along just fine without feeling any need to believe in God?

  • I think there’s not much question that we’ve evolved the psychological space, or inclination, for some of the things that “God” does, for example:

    1. objective morality
    2. having our behaviour monitored for moral goodness, by something “out there”
    3. wanting to reproduce, survive, and thrive
    4. sense of agency from within the anonymous physical…

    [Read more]

  • Simon Paynton replied to the topic The Power of Prayer in the forum Atheism 1 day, 5 hours ago

    It’s true that we may have evolved to believe in God, however, this in itself doesn’t prove that there is a God.  It’s just proof (or a suggestion) that we have evolved to believe in one.

    However, it would seem unlikely that this evolved belief is completely “blank” and without reason.  It seems likely that we have this belief because of s…[Read more]

  • Simon Paynton replied to the topic The Power of Prayer in the forum Atheism 1 day, 15 hours ago

    Theologists spend their whole lives chasing down that rabbit hole. This is really because the different parts of the Christian story don’t fit together with each other, even though they have validity as individual patches in the patchwork.

    – the problem they have is trying to take into account all the aspects of the religion, like Jesus said t…[Read more]

  • Simon Paynton replied to the topic The Power of Prayer in the forum Atheism 1 day, 21 hours ago

    It’s a definition of darkness: the necessary and sufficient condition that is the single defining feature of darkness.  That’s what it means when it is dark: there is no light.

    “Darkness” is not a “description” of the absence of light: it’s a single word, a label.  It’s a noise, which we have given to “absence of light” as a name.  So, it do…[Read more]

  • Simon Paynton replied to the topic The Power of Prayer in the forum Atheism 2 days, 2 hours ago

    What knowledge is there about God that could ever be captured within the pages of a scientific journal?

    If God is to be defined, it has to be in a philosophical way.  And, good luck with that.  Theologists spend their whole lives chasing down that rabbit hole.  This is really because the different parts of the Christian story don’t fit to…[Read more]

  • Simon Paynton replied to the topic The Power of Prayer in the forum Atheism 2 days, 5 hours ago

    What does “define” mean?

    How would you detect the presence of this entity that you have defined?  How could you tell if it is there?  What signs would it give of its existence?  You certainly couldn’t look straight at God and say, hello God.

  • @strega – “physical description

    – it’s acknowledged that God doesn’t have physical form.  There isn’t some kind of creature who lives in some place, who is God.

    Now we have people who think they are in direct communication with this force. That this force wants something from humans individually. That this force can dish out punishments and…[Read more]

  • I would have thought that instead of a “definition”, which is actually just our analysis and labelling of something, which can seem kind of irrelevant in practical terms, we can look at other things to do with God, such as actions, forces in the world, interventions.  People ask for evidence of things God would do, rather than evidence of a…[Read more]

  • @bellerose – maybe like this

  • we would be able to have communion with God, know who God is and have a relationship with Him.

    – what would this look like, for you?  What does it consist of in concrete terms?

  • There’s seriously something wrong with you lot. (except Jake and Belle.) I am actually finished.

  • This site’s fucked up. You’ll do precisely nothing.

  • As in, if someone can tell me he’s actually banned, I will understand you’ve sorted your heads out.

    Jake, you did a very good thing.

    Dang Nasty: fuck off you creep.

  • Can you let me know if that cunt’s actually gone? And I may come back.

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