Are you right?

Airex, you’re proposing a list of gods that the monotheist must pick one of. I’m saying that’s not how it is- if one is already a monotheist, then any god under consideration is that one, and either the things claimed about it are true or else false. So deciding ‘which god to believe in’ is really deciding ‘what to believe about God’, and then things like the source of information, soundness of arguments, and all that stuff becomes valid, and so all the various gods are not on equal footing on odds of existing.

Hurray! Someone actually gets sarcasm on this site! May God bless you with many camels my unbelieving friend.

I think your approach to the issue both sucks and blows because the end-point of your approach is self-evident. Faith does not usually arise from an examination of the available evidence, and then simply going with the choice that will give you the best gas mileage. Therefore, what you present as an “approach” to the issue is actually more like an endpoint.

You have already assumed that choosing the option that is most rational is the means by which every important decision should be made in every sphere of life including metaphysics. If we simply cut to the chase and agree that belief in God is not a decision usually reached by rational thought, then your case is already proved, God doesn’t exist. Hallelujah! Award yourself 327 points!

To be honest I find it difficult to separate “believing” and acting out your beliefs in some fashion. If someone tells may they are a Christian and then proceeds to hold me at gunpoint while the rifle through my pockets for loose change, I start to question their “beliefs”. So, I don’t actually see a huge difference between “being a Christian” and “believing in the Christian God”.

Before I post a more in-depth response in this thread, is it safe to say you’d agree that many atrocities can be attributed to religious belief?

Yes and no. Many atrocities have been committed in the name of religion. Whether they can be “attributed” to religious belief or to normal human nature using religion for it’s diabolical purposes, I don’t think can be proved.

I think I can guess where you are going with this and I’ll probably agree with you that Christians who do terrible things do not actually “believe”. Not because it makes my argument easier but simply because of what I’ve already stated about the nature of belief and action.

The very act of believing in any one god or any set of gods is evidence of rejecting all others. It might not be a literal pick from a list, but that doesn’t change the fact that there IS a list. And by the way no where have I said anything about monotheism and polytheism explicitly. One god… 30 gods… it doesn’t matter. Belief in any amount of gods greater than zero is in question.

If you are a [insert religion here], and someone came to your house with Greek Religion pamphlets on how to save yourself from the underworld and make it to Mount Olympus, what would you tell them? Would you simply tell them “no one believes that stuff anymore therefore its false”??? Clearly someone DOES believe it; hence the person on your doorstep.

What basis do you have to not convert? Why is he wrong? Explain how every other religion but your own is incorrect. GOD DAMN IT SOME ONE DO IT ALREADY!

You’re trying to make an argument from pluralism, and it doesn’t work very well at all. The problem is, “Other people believe different stuff” isn’t a good defeater for anything. The atheist is in a position equally as bad (or, one step worse, because he believes in one fewer god) as any religious believer.

Yes, and that precisely is your problem. Belief in monotheism already eliminates every God for your list except a handful, and most in that handful are actually alleged to be the same God.  Other than Gnosticism* and maybe some varieties of Hindu, I can't think of any monotheistic systems that would claim there's one God that isn't the one I believe in- they just attribute slightly different qualities to Him. 

I would explain to him that the Hellenistic faith didn’t teach salvation from Hades through devotion to the Olympian gods, and express general confusion as to what he was on about. If it seems that I’m being pedantic, I’m not- my point is that particular claims get particular answers, and general claims are really bad arguments that don’t need answers.

  • Which isn’t really monotheistic, to be fair.

Isn’t your God Christian?

I never asked Him. I’m a Christian, though. Why?

Well, if God is Muslim, and “he” believes you’re an infidel, it doesn’t seem like that’d work out in your best interest.

Yeah, that would probably suck. And so…?

So it’s probably something fairly important to find out if one believes in God…you know, whether or not they are actually living up to God’s standards.

Unless of course one’s definition of God is so vague that it’d be impossible not to live up to God’s standards, in which case one would be all set.

Absolutely important, yes. Of course, the Muslim believes that atheists are going to Hell too, so they have the same obligation.

Muslims have the same obligation, or atheists? I agree Muslims do…atheists don’t believe in God, so I’m sure it’s the least of their concerns.

Airex,

Correct and incorrect imply some sort of certainty, which I consider to be impossible about any metaphysical position (including materialism). I consider other metaphysical positions than my own unconvincing, that is, I see no compelling reason to convert to them.

dorkydood

Oh, I’m sure you’re right. But then, neither of us believes Muhammed was a real prophet, so why should what Islam said about our final destination concern either of us?

But anyways, I feel like I’m sidetracking you from the point you wanted to make when you asked me if my God was Christian.

The results speak for themselves: weak philosophical spirits. What a shame.

This poll would make more sense to me if the options were something like

constantly

frequently

occasionally

never

or

totally

mostly

as much as wrong

a little

not at all

Your list of things would illustrate how ACTYALY right people are and how frequently.

This current poll is to illustrate how people feel they are right and to what degree of certainty. Plus it’s about things that by their very nature can’t be (or at least haven’t been yet) proved factual to 100% certainty. It’s about how strong your convictions are.

Oh, here is an interesting one:

How do you prove ANYTHING to 100% certainty? Is there anything, in the world, that we can take at 100%? Are you even prepared to take something as basic as the cogito as 100% certain?

I voted yes! :D/