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In your opinion, what is the probability that God exists?

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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:43 AM
Original message
Poll question: In your opinion, what is the probability that God exists?
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 10:01 AM by Skinner
Found this in a book I'm reading, and thought it would make an interesting poll for DUers. Where do you fall on this spectrum of belief in God?

1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C.G. Jung, 'I do not believe, I know.'

2. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. 'I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.'

3. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. 'I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.'

4. Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. 'God's existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.'

5. Lower than 50 per cent but not very low. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. 'I don't know whether God exists but I'm inclined to be skeptical.'

6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. 'I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.'

7. Strong atheist. 'I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung "knows" there is one.'

EDIT: Spelling

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. what book ya reading boss? sounds interesting!
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 09:45 AM by AZDemDist6
edit to add: give Romeo a scratch behind the ears for me eh?
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'll tell you later.
I don't want to possibly prejudice the responses.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #2
50. I read the book that you are reading.
It really is an amazing book, imo.
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NavyDavy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
3. I can only hope that he comes to the aid of the world and get rid
of these false prophets.....

as ghandi once said "I like your Jesus Christ, but I don't like his christians" or something to that affect
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niallmac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. While I chose #7 this does not mean that if god wants to show him/her/itself
by stuffing my bank account with heaps of cash that I won't re consider.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. Define "God."
I'm more like a deist or pantheist than a theist. I think the universe has a facet that involves some sort of all-pervasive consciousness, but I don't presume to know much about that consciousness--what its purposes are, or even if it has purposes.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. For the purposes of this exercise, "God" is any supernatural power.
This poll does not refer to any specific god or gods. This is supposed to be bottom line -- is there some higher power is isn't there?
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. I think I have a problem with "supernatural."
Either consciousness is a natural phenomenon or we are all part of the supernatural. (Well, except for fundies, who apparenlty lack consciousness.) Is consciousness "supernatural" merely because it exists outside the human cranium? I prefer to think that consciousness is one of the entirely natural attributes of the universe.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
79. That question can't be answered without it being proven...
...that consciousness exists outside of an animal's cranium.

So far, is there any evidence of that? I've seen none, and heard of none.

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skyblue Donating Member (724 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #9
74. Putting "God" in title can be confusing (and biased)........
Cool tho' anyway.
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. As described by most religions....zero.
Every one of the religions comes up with some scenario that is based on the yearning for someone to be out there watching over us, keeping score, dealing out rewards and punishments like a Mommy or Daddy. I think that if there is some encompassing intelligence in this universe, its probably like a kid with an ant farm, watching us and once in a while sadistically zapping us with sunlight focused through a magnifying glass or pouring boiling water into our colonies. Or perhaps leaving us forgotten at the back of the garage.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. The question is not religion-specific.
Even if you disagree with how god is portrayed by any religion, the question is whether you believe in some kind of higher power or not.
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bunkerbuster1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
7. I went for Door #4, mostly because half of me wants it to be true
and the other half is a diehard skeptic who'd just as soon believe a purple dragon lives in my basement.
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'd say I'm a 1.5 on this scale.
I believe that there is a God, but He/She is different than as is described in the usual fashion (Bible, etc).

Good poll. I'm interested in seeing the results.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
11. a separate, but related question is:
are there lifeforms in this collection of billions and billions of galaxies, each of which contains billions and billions of stars which are far more evolved than humanity?

I say chances are pretty good that they exist. But what happens when we interact with them?

Remember that any techology that is sufficiently advanced will appear as magic to lesser civilizations. Were we (perhaps we have already) to come in contact with these creatures, we would understand them about as well as my 5 mo. old puppy understands my detailed oral description and criticism of the Patriot Act. (Even powerpoint would not help my cause.) Although I have my doubts whether humanity currently is a civilized life form, I do not doubt that higher forms exist elsewhere. They know better than to meddle with a war-mongering, crime-ridden, torturing, empathy-absent, bloodthirsty group like us humans until we grow up. But are they god? naw.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
12. The underlying principle of the universe
is Murphy
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. and he is our god.
I forgot about the blessed murphy. my bad.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. OMFG!! When I first read your post I thought it said
"...the blessed murphy, my bed."

I've known people who almost worship sleep, but actually revering the bed as a god is a new one on me!

Ans in any case we all know the FSM is the one true god. RA-men.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
15. Results after 30 minutes
Poll result (36 votes)
I'm in category 1 (8 votes, 22%) Vote
I'm in category 2 (7 votes, 19%) Vote
I'm in category 3 (0 votes, 0%) Vote
I'm in category 4 (1 votes, 3%) Vote
I'm in category 5 (1 votes, 3%) Vote
I'm in category 6 (10 votes, 28%) Vote
I'm in category 7 (9 votes, 25%) Vote
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ulysses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
17. I said #4, but it tends to vary
between 3 and 5.
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MindPilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
18. I fall between 6 & 7
I of course cannot prove non-existence--no one can--so I don't know. But since there so far is no evidence for existence, I THINK no god exists. Of course we humans still have a lot of science to discover, so down the road we may pin down exactly what causes this "god" to manifest itself in the brains of so many.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Yeah mine would be a 6.999999999999999999.......
always leave a little wiggle room :rofl:
learned that from the politicians
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #20
63. I'm with you, but that number is equal to 7.
You can prove it mathematically. So I'm saying 7. (Thanks for reminding me of that maneuver for rationalizing a repeating decimal.)

--IMM
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
19. the numbers at the moment...
answer 1 to 3: 18
answer 4 to 7: 28

this is why I (accurately) point out the agnostics/atheists vastly outnumber the theists in this forum.

for a religion/theology forum, should this be so? :shrug: I'm just suggesting this should be renamed to the atheism forum or the atheists should set up their own, as the liberal christians have.

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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:03 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Answers, dear Lerkfish.
1) "the atheists should set up their own, as the liberal christians have."

There IS an atheist/agnostic forum. It's the most used of any of the religion groups, possibly because there's quite a few of us here.

2) "for a religion/theology forum, should this be so?"
Why not?

I see no reason that it would matter... :shrug: is there something I'm missing?

3) Thanks for terming your post politely, in a non flamey way. :)
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. There is an atheist/agnostic forum...
This forum is to discuss religion and theology not to promote it.
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seaglass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #19
28. There are more votes than distinct posters in this thread. I saw
Skinner's post on the Latest page - but don't hang out here often. Could be true of others too. I wouldn't use these votes as a measure of the breakdown in this forum. (What you're saying may be true, just that this poll is not evidence of that).
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #19
29. actually, your previous suggestion of Atheism vs. Theism is the
most accurate description of what happens here, but this is a public forum and it will reflect whatever the majority want to write about. I agree with you that it is not really a Religion and Theology forum.

I think religion and spirituality is inherently hard to discuss, anyways. It isn't really discussed well in all the specialized forums dedicated to certain religious subsets, either. There is little activity in many of them. Part of that is the liberal impulse to not interfere, but to tolerate, the beliefs of others. This sometimes results in no conversations at all!

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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. I think the problem is some people do not want to have their beliefs...
challenged and have no interest in(and in some cases no knowledge of) the theology of their chosen religious label.

In the case of Christianity for example, it has led to the need for thousands of sects historically and accusations back and forth of heresy.

Look within and you can get a hint of why(in the past) some religions(leaders) have tried to prevent knowledge, control education and limit debate and discussion even if in some cases they had to burn, imprison and torture those who would question.
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #19
54. There already is an atheists group.
As for whether it "should be so" that there are atheists in a religion forum, I believe the answer is: Absolutely yes, it should be so. Just as there should be believers in a religion forum. There are plenty of non-believers who are interested in religion and who enjoy discussing it. Just as there are many believers who are interested in religion and enjoy discussing it. I see no reason to exclude any particular point of view about religion from this forum -- doing so would only impoverish the discussions here.

If believers want to discuss religion without intereacting with non-believers, they can do so in any of the religion groups. Just as atheists can visit their group if they don't want to talk to believers. Not surprisingly, I think many believers and non-believers find the discussions in these groups to be much less interesting because there is little disagreement.
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. you missed my point, unfortunately.
I"m NOT suggesting excluding anyone, I'm commenting on the percentages or the balance of atheists to theists in a religion forum.
the atheists who had responded outnumbered the theists 3 to 2.

My question was about the imbalance. My point was that this forum tends to gang up on theists and drive them away.

But thanks for trying to paint me as someone who wishes to disinclude atheists, which is not accurate or fair, and is frankly insulting.

IF anyone would have been following my posts, they would know I applaud and support ALL religious and nonreligious thought.

In fact, MY objection is that it appears that what is happening is shutting down participation from all groups.

but thanks for trying to paint ME as doing what I was complaining about.



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WhollyHeretic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #55
58. "the atheists should set up their own"
Sounds pretty exclusionary to me.
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #58
61. wasn't meant to be.
I meant if there were enough here to outnumber theists, they should start up their own group as well, I didn't realize that had happened already, mea culpa. Obviously, by pointing out there was a progressive christian forum IN ADDITION to this forum, I was not suggesting that no progressive christians post here, either. But I"m sure you'll continue to interpret this however you see fit, regardless of what I say.

My preference, since its a religion/theology forum, is that it would be an open interchange AMONG religions, as well as atheists and agnostics, ON RELIGION issues. Instead, it has devolved into an ATHEIST VS. THEIST forum, where bloody battles are waged daily, and in which theists blame the world's ills on religion and force theists to be on the defensive just because they're theists.

But I'll shut up now, since nothing will be accomplished, since the rules are enforced on a double standard, here.

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #61
68. There's no double standard in rule enforcement
The moderators here are very fair. Point to the instances of double standards, if you're sure they exist. The interchange here is open, whether between religions, or theists and atheists. What conversation between religions has been shut down here?
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jonnyblitz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. it is obvious what your problem is.
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 12:11 PM by jonnyblitz
you don't like your religious views challenged and you consider any challenge equal to shutting down or driving out folks like you. not all religious folks are thin skinned and don't mind standing up for their beliefs. there are forums for people who only want agreement and affirmation of their views. this forum apparently wasn't set up for that. you completely missed skinner's point. you obviously wish we bothersome atheists would don't agree with your views would go away. what would your solution be, limit how many atheists can participate so religious folks are the majority? :shrug:
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Lerkfish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. sigh....
I cannot explain things to a closed mind.
Your characterization of my "problem" is incorrect.
If I explained it badly, that's my fault. If you choose to jump to wrong conclusions, that's yours.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #55
62. Imbalance issue is separate from ganging up and driving away issue
My question was about the imbalance. My point was that this forum tends to gang up on theists and drive them away.

The Pope is unlikely to complain that there's just one Pope and say that there need to be a few hundred Popes so that it'll be less likely that Catholics who aren't Popes will gang up on him.
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
21. God does or did exist. What God is or was or are or were is another
question entirely...

I don't think our puny little minds could ever wrap themselves around an entity or entities that that is or are "GOD"...

I tend to like STAR TREK TNG's "Q" continuum idea of an omnificent, diverse group of spoiled rotten adult children who go about creating and discreating out of curiosity and on whims...

But I rather hope that isn't the reality. :D
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
23. A six! Although, I do take each God on a case by case basis.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:15 AM
Response to Original message
24. One in infinity. n/t
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seaglass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
25. I picked 6 because I am learning to revel in uncertainty. Otherwise
I would have picked 7.
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
26. I was going to choose 6 until you defined it as supernatural...
so I chose 7.

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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:10 PM
Response to Original message
30. Other
I have the opinion that the probability is 0% so I don't fit into #6, but I don't know so I can't agree with #7.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #30
64. Who would have expected this thread to provoke a discussion of
nonempty sets of measure zero?
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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. I know for sure with no doubt
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 12:53 PM by moobu2
that no "God/s" exist outside of human imagination.
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
33. Personally, I don't think the question is relevant
Whether or not god(s) exist, there is absolutely no objective evidence that s/he or they have any interaction with the world. With that, the question of existence or non-existence is irrelevant.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
34. Polls like these are meaningless.
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 12:55 PM by TheBaldyMan
Anyone who tries to claim infallibility or certitude in any belief system is talking nonsense. This includes Jung. If he had claimed to have faith without appending an unbending religiosity he could then have retained some measure of humility.

I don't claim to have any answers to the question of the existance (or non-existance) of God. To say that you have absolute knowledge is a sign of not only misunderstanding the universe it means you misunderstand yourself as well as your fellow human beings.

It is impossible to be sure of anything.

btw could somebody please explain WTF is a 'theist' when it's at home ? Is it a bit like a made up word like FReeper, moran or DUer or what ? :dunce:
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Finder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. A "Theist" is one who believes in a theologically defined deity.
Dogma and doctrine tend to form what is to be believed by the followers of said theology. This includes Islam, Christianity, Judaism.

Then you have atheists who lack belief in theological god(s).

Deists believe in the possiblity of a deity but not personal deities.

Agnostics believe god(s)are unknowable whether the theological ones or the deist's.



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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. thank you for that most enlightening explanation.
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 02:10 PM by TheBaldyMan
I don't think I will define myself as either deist, atheist, theist nor as an agnostic. It is unnecessarily restrictive and makes me feel as though I would have to present my views from a pre-defined position that another has imposed upon me.
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charles22 Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. Discourse of God's existence been around centuries and centuries.
Not many original arguments.
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. Not if you're interested in what others think -
you know, getting a sense of the audience. It's one way to understand the world. That's not meaningless.

I'm always amazed that there are so many atheists here. That tells me there are more than 10 percent in the so-called real world.

Having absolute knowledge wasnt among the poll choices, and neither was humility. That's your interpretation and your value judgment on questions about probability and degrees of conviction.

If it was impossible to be sure, you wouldn't have 46% of respondents (at this posting) saying they're sure.

You seem to prefer the middle ground. Why is that better than taking one position or the other?
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. the people expressing absolute faith are lacking in humility.
doubt is a central part of faith. To accept any tenet credulously and uncritically is a betrayal of your belief. Using your God-given reason is not irreligious.

To refuse to admit doubt that you may in fact be wrong about the existance (or non-existance) of God is not only contradictory to faith it is illogical and unscientific.
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charles22 Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Not exactly.
The question of God's existence is pretty well defined, such as in Christian Sunday schools, etc.
One does not have to believe in that story, thus not a question of doubt if one never held it to be true or plausible. A formal, principled postiton of doubt is not the best path to truth--pure scepticism never gets off the ground.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. I have to disagree almost completely, scepticism - principled or ...
otherwise - is the only way to even an approximation of truth, unfortunately it is an asymptotic path. Blind acceptance is a cop-out, a blank refusal to examine faith. This uncritical approach to belief weakens any expression of faith.

Faith that has not been tested is no faith at all.
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charles22 Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #42
43. Well, I don't know about faith, don't operate that way.
A principled scepticism would have to confront scepticism toward it's own program. As Hume said, I don't know the sun will rise tomorrow, but I still go to bed each night expecting it to.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. the argument applies equally to people that have faith and those who
have no belief. If you can follow the argument through replacing "faith" with "lack of faith" in the appropriate places. I would assert that non-belief must be examined equally. Without this self-examination lack of belief is just as feeble. IMO uncritical acceptance is unacceptable.

btw I liked the Hume quote :thumbsup:
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charles22 Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Yes, but consider this:
One who does not have faith, or belief, is simply reporting absence of something; at some point, one has to know one's own mind.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. I would disagree again, (sorry)
I consider belief and non-belief not as mutually exclusive opposites but different aspects or manifestations of similar concepts. Rather than the lack of something, it is the presence of an alternative.

As a clumsy analogy; Red and green are both colours, different colours, you could argue that they are mutually exclusive in that the colour red can't be the colour green.

I'll admit that I don't know my own mind. The closest I come to that is a knee-jerk gut reaction, whether this is conditioned or pre-programmed I cannot tell, I simply call it prejudice. Although I have a few positions or stances on some issues that I have held for a time. This is because no-one has yet convinced me that the alternative provided is preferable.

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charles22 Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. Well, it's kind of like dating, courtship, marriage.
As some point in your life, you make decisions and alternatives fall away. By definition, belief in God is not a rational process, so degrees of doubt don't seem relevant. We are not starting at the same place: It is not a matter of saying whether one doubts God's existence, it is saying, I don't accept that as the starting point.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. fair enough, it sounds like your present position has been arrived
at by a process of evolution through constant evaluation rather than something arrived at by blind acceptance.
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neebob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #40
56. Okay, so humility is good.
Does your definition allow judging the humility of unseen persons responding to the poll? Because somehow that doesn't seem very humble to me.

Don't get me wrong, either, because I'm one of those really sure people. At least I'm willing to admit that my position isn't a very humble one.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #56
57. Well let's see, poverty - check, chastity - check, humility ... er...
if I ever achieve humility, I'll join a monastery.

I agree with you that my comment is arrogant but it is my opinion. I don't think absolutism in anything can be justified.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #40
80. It's also not terribly honest. They don't KNOW gods exist...
...any more than I KNOW gods don't exist.

Of course, as they assert gods exist, the burden of proof is on them, not myself - yet I doubt they can even prove it to themselves, due to the overwhelming lack of evidence for gods outside believers' own minds.

Ah, if only we could connect minds and finally show each other what we believe (or lack belief in, in my case)!

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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
39. Probability makes sense only in contexts where repeated trials are possible.
The probability that "G-d exists" should be the fraction of the time the assertion were true in a number of iterations of some experiment.

I'm having trouble deciding what the experiment could possibly be and how its outcome would be determined. Presumably, the closest sort of thing would go like this:

(1) Without bias, from the collection of all universes, grab a universe
(2) Determine whether "G-d exists" is true in that universe: score 1 if the assertion is true and 0 if the assertion is false
(3) Repeat (1) and (2) many times (N times, say)
(4) Add the scores from step (2), divide the sum by N, and report the quotient as an estimate of the probability
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #39
66. Are you sure that probability only makes sense in those contexts?
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 02:36 PM by Boojatta
Finite frequentism gives an operational definition of probability, and its problems begin there. For example, just as we want to allow that our thermometers could be ill-calibrated, and could thus give misleading measurements of temperature, so we want to allow that our measurements of probabilities via frequencies could be misleading, as when a fair coin lands heads 9 out of 10 times. More than that, it seems to be built into the very notion of probability that such misleading results can arise. Indeed, in many cases, misleading results are guaranteed. Starting with a degenerate case: according to the finite frequentist, a coin that is never tossed, and that thus yields no actual outcomes whatsoever, lacks a probability for heads altogether; yet a coin that is never measured does not thereby lack a diameter. Perhaps even more troubling, a coin that is tossed exactly once yields a relative frequency of heads of either 0 or 1, whatever its bias. Famous enough to merit a name of its own, this is the so-called problem of the single case.


Source:
http://www.seop.leeds.ac.uk/archives/spr2004/entries/pr... /

To read more, go to the source, scroll down to the contents, and click on the link "3.3 Frequency Interpretations."
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:33 PM
Response to Reply #39
67. Let's suppose that a special lottery is established and that there will
Edited on Sun Oct-29-06 02:39 PM by Boojatta
be only one drawing. How would you respond to someone who tells you that you should buy a ticket? After all, you will have trouble saying that the probability of winning is low if you aren't allowed to speak of probability in that context.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #67
69. Buying lottery tickets is against my religion.
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salvorhardin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
48. I chose 7
But like Kali, I can't say I know. So read my response as a very large value of 6.
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54anickel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 09:08 PM
Response to Original message
51. Interesting tally for a topic forum called Religion/Theology. Seems
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 09:17 PM by 54anickel
there are more people hanging around here that don't have "it" (religion/theology) than ones that do. :shrug:

Oops, on edit - just caught the previous post (19?) that noted the same thing....nevermind. :blush:
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
52. I'm a six
:popcorn:
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MikeH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:21 AM
Response to Original message
53. I am in category 3
I am only the second vote, so far, in category 3. For a long time I have considered myself to be just on the believing side of agnostic. Having recently (in the last year) discovered web sites about deism, I would now consider myself to be a deist.

I used to be a Christian. However I found that Christianity, and supposedly having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and with God through Jesus Christ, did not at all help me in dealing with any personal issue or any source of pain, frustration, or unhappiness in my life. For me Christianity did not live up to its promise of making any radical transformation in my life.

However I cannot quite accept that our reason, and our sense of beauty, truth, and goodness, are not rooted in some reality higher and greater than ourselves and (presumably) the natural universe. C. S. Lewis was one of my favorite authors when I was a Christian, and I still accept his philosophical arguments along these lines.

Given my unhappiness with Christianity I now definitely cannot accept or become an adherent of any revealed religion. Deists say that any revelation from God to a person can be a revelation only to that person; otherwise any alleged revelation from God is at best second-hand, or hearsay. I fully agree with that.

I think one of the differences between a deist and a theist is that a theist believes that God has given some kind of special revelation (i.e. the Bible, the Koran, etc.). That being the case, I would not be a theist.


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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #53
82. Now, see, Deists I feel no concern over.
Edited on Mon Oct-30-06 08:47 PM by Zhade
Don't get me wrong - I like many theists, but their belief system is of a different sort. Deists don't go in for 'revealed' religion, which means they have no desire to make others live their lives as they do based on their own mental state. (I know, many liberal theists don't either, but most believers at least talk as if they think they're on The One True Path, with nothing to support that thinking.)

I have to get to know theists to trust that they have no desire to push their beliefs on me and society; I don't have to worry about that with deists, who don't believe in ancient myths dictating their lives.

Uncertain as to the point of being a deist, I confess, unless it's just to feel a certain way about the universe as one understands it (which honestly moves it more into the realm of philosophy, in my mind).

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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
65. Anyone else think of hurricanes after reading this poll?
I'm category 7, fwiw.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
70. How would Jesus vote? ;)
Good poll which sheds some light on things here.
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beam me up scottie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
71. Wow. 25% are in category 1?
I really didn't expect to see that.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-29-06 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. What were you expecting?
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skyblue Donating Member (724 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
73. Any Creator(s) could Exist, Any "Omnipotent" Destroyer(s) could exist
I think it's easier to believe in an "omnipotent" destroyer/torturer at this point.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
75. If "God" is the primary creator, it's 100% certain that something was
created. This is an observable fact. We don't "know" any more than that, therefore we can't add anything else to the definition, "God is the Creator."

Using language to say anything, one way or the other, about "God" in inherently invalid. People forget what language is and treat it as though it were an absolute, instead of a fuzzy logic machine. All we can really do is talk about what we call "God".
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charles22 Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #75
76. You observe God creating Universe?
Please explain.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #76
83. I observe that there is something, not nothing. That something had to come from somewhere.
And that "somewhere" had to come from somewhere and where that came from had to come from somewhere too . . . . All of the way back to the First Cause and whatever caused the cause.

And yes, I do observe God creating a universe, the causes of which can be explained in rational terms, but why should anything **necessarily** cause/create anything else? What makes the "laws of nature" so? What makes logic logical? Or what makes it possible for rational empiricism to produce "knowledge" instead of just a bunch of disconnected random "facts"? Even if you just say that it is our mind that makes it so, that it's really just this synchronicity between what goes on inside our skulls and the rest of the phenomenal world, you still have the problem of everything that isn't in that set of patterns, which IS a great deal, that we "know" only in-directly. Where'd all of that come from?

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charles22 Donating Member (200 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #83
89. Why does our world have to be caused?
Besides you have faith, what is your explanation?
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #89
90. It's the way things work in the physical world.
Cause and effect, you've heard of it?

Doesn't require faith.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #90
91. Um.
Why should we assume God did it? That just beggs the question what caused/created God.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #91
93. I am proposing that whatever caused "Cause and Effect" could
Edited on Tue Oct-31-06 07:20 PM by patrice
be called "God" (because people usually define "God" as ((amongst other things)) the Creator) and whatever that is, whatever caused cause-and-effect, we don't know anything more about it than that. We don't know anything more about it than that something has been created. All other divine attributions are more or less in error.

Are you sure your objections are with what I'm saying (i.e. something caused the physical world) or with what you THINK my definition of "God" is (i.e. the conventional paternalistic Great-Teddy-Bear who dotes on every human twitch).

I don't believe in what most people believe in when they refer to "God".
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #93
94. Well...
obviously lots of problems are created when we talk about god without a good working deffinition. But the thing is...

Why call it god? As you say that is not how the word god is typicaly used. God implys something beyond a simple natural thing that we do not currently (and may never) understand.
I think what you are saying is that we can call whatever caused the universe 'god' but why do that? Why not just say we don't know what caused the universe or even if the term 'caused' works because of the potential breakdown of time as we understand it before that point?

I don't think there is something Therefore 'god' is a vailid argument.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
77. It's mathematically impossible to do this one.

Both the existence and the non-existence of God are consistent with the observed evidence (as indeed are a brain it a vat or Descarte's invisible demon), and we have no information about the relative probabilities, so we can't make any meaningful statements about which is "more likely".

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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. The question asks for opinions, not facts
Although you may be correct in your evaluation, that is not what the poll asks for. It asks for an opinion of probability. Actual probability may not be anywhere near perceived probability.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #78
84. No, I'm saying that even an opinion of the probability is mathematically meaningless.

Essentially, when one says "the probability of event I is X", one means "if one did this experiment infinitely many times, the fraction of outcomes that were I would be X"

"The probability that there is a god" means "the fraction of possible universes that look like this one that have a god". We don't know that, and we can't get any data on it, so there is no way to form a meaningful estimate of the probability of the existence of a god.

You can say "I think that the probability is X" if you like, but no-one can put forwards any reason why their probability is any better than anyone else's (except for 0 and 100, which are clearly wrong), so doing so is a meaningless exercise - all it's saying is "pick a random number between 0 and 100, wave it in the air".
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cyborg_jim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #84
85. The existence of something is not a probability
Call it a confidence factor if you will.
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cosmik debris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #84
86. I don't believe that the OP is looking for mathematical meaning.
It seems to me that the OP is looking for the distribution of opinions. Very few opinions are mathematically meaningful. It could just as easily be opinions about fruitcake.

And sometimes a thing that is meaningless to you may have some meaning to others.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #86
88. Unfortunately, the OP uses specific numerical percentages
1. "100 per cent probability"
2. "Very high probability but short of 100 per cent"
3. "Higher than 50 per cent but not very high"
4. "Exactly 50 per cent"
5. "Lower than 50 per cent but not very low"
6. "Very low probability, but short of zero"
7: No specific number is mentioned, but if you think the OP meant zero, that's because you're using the mathematical meaning of "probability".

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moobu2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. It looks like the OP question
is directed at the God of the Abrahamic religions, i.e. the God of Judaism, Islam and Christianity and some other minor religions etc not some unknown God in some theoretical universe where some God species may have evolved.

This bronze age God is well defined in the Torah, the old and new testament and the Koran and lives in a specific place and supposedly interacts with humans and so forth.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #77
92. Not necisarily true.
Some people firmly beleive that lack of a god is inconsistant with observed reality.

Precentages are used here only as a proxy for general personal position on the issue. If one bleives there is absolutely no evidence for god, that it is an ulikely hypothisis, but one is not willing to say it is certain that god does not exist you go with 6 etc.

The whole poll is taken out of context obviously but I think its wrong to assume that we have no ability to judge wither it is likely that there is a god. Dawkins goes into some detail on why he bleives this and exactly which type of god is being refered to. Part of the reasoning is based upon the exact type of god being discussed. In fact some gods are rather inconsistant with current observed evicence.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
81. #6 - don't have proof no gods exist, there's no proof they do, so I lack belief.
NT!

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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-03-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
95. #1
n/t
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Meshuga Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-03-06 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
96. I am #2 as of today but I've been #2 through #6...
...throughout my life. Number 1 and number 7 cannot be proven either way and are two opinions that are too radical.
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Jamastiene Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-04-06 01:47 AM
Response to Original message
97. I sit on the fence until a bad storm comes up...
then I pray like a good little girl. I guess I can say I lean toward believing, but sometimes I go the other way too. I figure it balances out to option 4. Depending on my mood though, I could go with option 3 or 5. That's the best way I can describe it. :shrug:
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