So there is lots of talk about God in here. I am encouraged that you all have picked such a worthy subject. As I have been reading these posts I find it interesting that everybody has an opinion, and a reason underlying their opinion is typically given. However, what I find discouraging is what appears to be lots of reference made to the content of the Bible or supposed major Christian beliefs, yet little apparent knowledge of what the Bible actually teaches. My main question is simple:
How much of the Bible have you actually read?
A lot of the time we like to think more highly of ourselves, so we say things like I read War and Peace although we really only read the first three chapters. So, in my question I want you to be entirely honest. That is to say, how much of the Bible have you REALLY read (you opened the book, opened your eyes, focused your mind on what you were reading, and were able to understand it)? If it was only the first 12 chapters of Genesis and the last 3 chapters of Revelation, please say that. If it was only certain "key verses" that someone pointed you to, please say that.
Secondly, where would you say you fall currently on a spiritual scale:
Atheist (an emphatic, "There is no God!") --> Staunch Agnostic (an emphatic, "We can't know whether there is a God or not... so leave me alone!") --> Open Agnostic ("There might be a God or there might not be... I really don't know, but I'm open either way.") --> Uninterested ("If there is a God, I don't care... if there isn't a God, I don't care.) --> Have a personal religion ("I'm not into all that organized religion, so I took a little of this and a little of that and made up my own.") --> Follower of a religion other than Christianity (please be specific as to what you are: Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.) --> Follower of Christianity ("I go to church, but that is about as far as my commitment goes.") --> Follower of Jesus ("Jesus died so I could know Him, follow Him, trust Him, love Him, and obey Him, which includes believing the words of the Bible; and that is what I seek to do.")
[EDITED comment: Let's add to the above list: Deist (there is a God somewhere that made everything, but God isn't involved in the affairs of this world anymore); Pantheist (everything is God - you are God, I am God, and that tree is God... we are all part of God); Distant Follower Of... (Please state the religion. "I ascribe to ______, but I'm not faithfully following the teachings OR I don't really attend any type of worship/religious service.")]
Since I asked, I will answer first. It wouldn't be very polite of me to ask this of everyone else without being open about where I stand. I have read all 66 books of the Bible (on more than one occasion) and I would consider myself a follower of Jesus, as I have defined it above. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I especially thank you if you and I are coming from different backgrounds.
I have read all of the Bible. Some parts I have read multiple parts and some parts I just skimmed through (parts of the OT were dreadfully boring). I am an atheist. Although I do accept that it is impossible to disprove the existence of God (although that still doesn't give him much credibility because it's also impossible to disprove the existence of Gandolf from Lord of the Rings), I think that the entire idea is silly and far-fetched.
That's just my two cents...
I have read the Bible, however quite a while ago. Some of it I have read a few times. Revelations has always been a scary chapter for me as well as long-winded, so have not really read it properly.
Regarding spiritual beliefs I don't fit into any of the above categories. I don't see myself as an agnostic nor atheist. I am perhaps a mixture of a deist and non-church attending christian.
I have read the Bible fully through once, and am reading it nearly every day since I want to know God better and understand His beautiful will for this world and for those who love Him. Revelation is an extremely interesting book and goes to gether with Daniel. They talk a lot of the same things as does 1st and 2nd Thessalonians and parts of 1st Corinthians. They talk about the future which we are seeing this day. E.g. the man of lawlessness hasn't yet appeared but is very near especially since Obama is good friends with Iran as is Putin. The world is planning on one world leader who will be the Antichrist who will be doomed to destruction whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of His mouth.
Daniel also prophesied the rise and fall of Alexander the great and how his Kingdom will be divided among his 4 generals.
Btw Alexander the great was called Alexander the goat by those who didn't like him. The goat represents him in this vision.
And so much more. The Bible is has so many things in it that have already happened. Mr. David Pawson, a learned Bible teacher, told that over 80% of the prophesies of the Bible have already been fulfilled.
I have read none of it because I am not a Christian. (I know that doesn't mean that I can't read the Bible, but well, till now I have not read the Bible)
I am follower of another religion. I am a Hindu. I am also someone who believes that there is a God.
I'm a staunch agnostic. I would like to believe there is a God, but I honestly think we will never know.
I have read the bible from cover to cover once, and I have read some parts of it more than once. I am an atheist. It is impossible to say with absolute certainty that there is no god, but the probability is so small that it is for the moment a negligible amount and so I assert that there is no god.
I've read it cover to cover many times. My mind doesn't retain useless information, so I can't sit here and quote it like a pro without looking through it.
I am atheist. Though I would leave out the "leave me alone" part. I don't mind people trying to sell their religion to me, I just don't like when they get angry about me trying to sell my disbelief to them.
I just don't see the point of religion. If you can't be a good person without the coercion of some vengeful deity hanging over your head, then you have big problems.
To sum it up, here's how I feel about religions:
I haven't read it. Everything I know is bassically stuff that I saw in some cartoon, what a I read in these discussions, and stuff that I just picked up somewhere. I am an atheist and have no intention to read it.
I would call myself open agnostic, certainly. I haven't read much of the bible at all, but maybe someday I will. That's a book you really have to commit to reading, that's for sure.
Word for word, probably around 50% of it. It's a gradual process and I do my best to research what I've read so far, with intentions to finish the rest of the reading in a respectable amount of time.
Agnostic atheist. Currently I do not think we hold any legitimate way to prove beyond a doubt that any god(s) exist or don't exist (agnostic), but I personally live my life as if there is no god(s) (atheist). I have never factually stated that god(s) do not and cannot possibly exist; I think it's fairly unlikely god(s) exist, especially the one's asserted by past and present religions, but the possibility is there.
Your definition of atheist in your opening post is only a part of the definition of atheist, and it's certainly not the stance for all atheists (I would argue it's the stance of only a minority of atheists).
One of my favorite defenses for my stance:
Thanks for your honest response. I think I'd be willing to retract the word "emphatic" from my definition of atheist. But the meaning of the word is literally "without God." The entry given by the Online Etymology Dictionary follows:
1571, from Fr. athéiste (16c.), from Gk. atheos "to deny the gods, godless," from a- "without" + theos "a god" (see Thea). A slightly earlier form is represented by atheonism (c.1534) which is perhaps from It. atheo "atheist."
There is a degree of certainty expressed by the atheist - that there is no God - which is not held by the agnostic, who is principally defined by his uncertainty of the existence of "a God or supreme intelligent Being." However, I was slightly surprised to see that the term agnostic was rather dogmatic in its inception (as some still are today). Although it is a position of uncertainty, ironically it is quite certain about uncertainty. The online etymology dictionary gives the following entry:
1870, "one who professes that the existence of a First Cause and the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known." Coined by T.H. Huxley from Gk. agnostos "unknown, unknowable," from a- "not" + gnostos "(to be) known" (see gnostic). Sometimes said to be a reference to Paul's mention of the altar to "the Unknown God," but according to Huxley it was coined with ref. to the early Church movement known as Gnosticism (see Gnostic).
"I ... invented what I conceived to be the appropriate title of 'agnostic,' ... antithetic to the 'Gnostic' of Church history who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant." [T.H. Huxley, "Science and Christian Tradition," 1889]
The adj. is first recorded 1873.
I am curious as to one thing. You say that you research the Bible as you read it. How do you do this? What sources are you consulting in your researching of the text?
By the way, I like Thomas, too. I believe in having a reasonable faith. You may recognize this passage (John 20:24-31):
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe."
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
*I'd like to make it clear I absolutely do not deny there are atheists who do walk around with unfaltering certainty that no deities exist, and atheists who especially carry certainty the Abrahamic god does not exist. I do think that group is a small minority of all atheists, however.*
My view of the word and how I personally feel myself when I self-proclaim my being atheist is that it "translates" literally to "without belief in God(s)." The words "belief in" hold significance and I don't think a lack of belief in god(s) inherently means a belief or certainty that particular god(s) do not exist.
My view is somewhat based on the word theism. Since you're using the Online Etymology Dictionary, I suppose I could maintain some consistency. Theism is given as:
Now, we see theism in it's bare form is "belief in god(s)." In the English language, the a- prefix means "without, lacking, non-, etc.," so it would seem to me that atheism would literally mean without belief in god(s), lacking belief in god(s)...you get the point.
Without belief in god(s) (or any of the others above) is VERY different from adamantly claiming that god(s) do not and/or cannot possibly exist.
There is an important part missing in that 'definition' of agnostic. To me it should read:
And that would seem to include any sane person, because frankly we do not yet have the capabilities to prove/disprove beyond a doubt the existence/nonexistence of god(s). I think this is a more acceptable definition in modern terms. That also seems to take away slightly from your comment on how certain agnosticism is of uncertainty, because it is merely a recognition of reality and mankind's current abilities.
I don't claim any expertise in etymology or any authority over the etymology dictionary. My views of the words are based on the origins and definitions, but they're also based on my personal experiences with many people who claim to be atheists. Most of my personal experience has led me to think that the majority of atheists are of the "without belief in god(s)" not "god(s) do not exist." Furthermore, most of my experience has led me to think the majority are also agnostic atheists, as they, if asked, adhere to the view that we do not hold capabilities to fully prove/disprove the existence/nonexistence of god(s).
I do feel that words and their meanings are constantly evolving and perhaps this etymology source is slightly outdated in some instances.
I try to get my hands on any accounts of Biblical scholars. Read books by both Christian and non-Christian authors who discuss the legitimacy of the Bible, the specific views of Christianity, and so on. Admittedly, I'm not sure if this is considered research, but I do take part in discussions on a couple forums of this nature and read quite a few blogs by Christians/non-Christians to pick up differing viewpoints...and if something is raised that I want to know more about, I'll try to find what I feel are legitimate sources to cross check things (for instance, how the story of Noah aligns very well with the story of Gilgamesh).
I suppose you're referring specifically to the "Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed?"
Actually, that definition is correct: agnosticism does mean "entirely impossible to know", not just "impossible know given the current state of knowledge".
To differentiate, we use "strong", "hard" or "pure" agnosticism to mean what Huxley meant: "... the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known". And "weak", "soft", "temporary", "impure" or similar words to mean just: "... the essential nature of things are not and cannot be known now, but may be some day".
Under normal circumstances, "agnostic" should technically mean "hard agnostic"... but hard agnosticism is so rare, and so indefensible, that common practise has it meaning "weak agnostic", as you say it.
If i were you, then in any case where it matters i would explicitly qualify it all the time ("hard agnostic" and "soft agnostic"). Where it doesn't matter (which is most of the time), then it doesn't matter.
(Incidentally, this differs from the case of "atheist", which is a bit of a mess. Common use of "agnostic" is the same everywhere - it really is common use. "Common" use of the word "atheist" differs depending on which group you talk to. Among non-theists, "atheist" almost always means "non-believer". Among theists, "atheist" usually means "disbeliever". So you can't ever trust "common" use for "atheist", while you can for "agnostic".)
I didn't read the Bible really. The reason is I'm not Christian but still I believe that Jesus existed and God exists.
I sometimes read some verses though, and I don't know which chapter they are from honestly.
But, I want to explore the Bible one day. I'm not going to convert to Christianity, but I seriously want to see where some religions agree and where they disagree.
To clarify... I don't really think of myself as an Atheist, it just seems to be the category that I fall into. I don't know much about all the little sub-groups of Atheism and Agnosticism for the same reason that I don't know much about all the little sub-groups of Christianity and Islam. Because none of it is that important to me on a philosophical level.
I think everyone is in agreement that we can't prove the (non)existence of any given deity, because they are not proposed to exist on a physical level, and we base the idea of "proof" in the physical realm. Evidence is something you can experience with the physical senses(see, hear, touch, smell and feel). Because god(s) can't be experienced in this manner, we essentially have no proof or evidence.
Having said that, anyone can classify me as what they wish; Atheist or Agnostic are the usual terms used. Other than this forum, where I find the debates interesting, I do not discuss religion at all. It does not matter to me(I did study it when I was young, but only because my mother gave me no choice). There are exceptions; such as everything in the news about angry Muslims or homeless guys stabbing Christian Ministers, etc. Oh, and the Jehovas' Witness that comes to my door weekly. But she is strikingly beautiful and I will let her read an Army Field Manual on Utility and Cargo Helicopter Operations to me. ::swoon::
But I digress...
As an adult, I see no point in myself having a religion. It seems impractical and outdated.
In my opinion philosophy is just words... talking talking and talking. religion is also a philosophy but it is put in practice .
In all honesty a few passages... but I believe that is enough. Maybe it's an ignorant view I don't know... maybe I should try reading more. I'm not an atheist, I am open to the concept of a god but in general I don't think the Bible should be taken so literally. The bible does teach good morale values though which is the good thing about it, I think it's led many people to live better lives but at the same time you've got severe misinterpretations (Westboro baptist church anyone?) that causes extremism.
Philosophy is talking to other people about what you think. Religion is talking to a never-answering deity about what you think.
I decided to try to read the bible, but it was way too boring for me. Kinda like a really bad fantasy-book. I much rather prefer the Norse mythology. Now that's some good stories!
I consider myself an atheist, but I don't really care where I classify.
I've actually read through a lot of the Bible, skipping over the extremely long-winded and boring parts (who begot who, etc.). I think people are generally turned off from the Bible because of its esoteric language and mundane writing. The strange thing is that I know many Christians who haven't read the Bible yet claim that they are well versed followers of Jesus (per your definition).
I'm an agnostic atheist as well, as I don't think it's possible to disprove the existence of anything.
I've read something like 95 to 99% of the bible. Almost all of that reading was done around the age of 12 to 13 (I'm now 24) so I'm unable to cite direct quotes but almost always know exactly what someones talking about when mentioning something from the bible and which book or general area it can be found in.
I'm a non-believer of all super natural things. I don't believe a God or Gods exist so in this case I'm atheist. I'm entirely convinced that the Christian God as depicted in the bible does not exist. I can't be quite as certain when it comes to other Gods since this is the only religion in which I'm fully educated. Still I take the stance of skeptic towards other religions with supernatural beliefs since proof has yet to be provided.
I've read most parts of the NT, but missed a huge chunk of the OT.
I think liljp had it down pretty spot on:
But that's where all the interesting stuff is. I found the new testament to be incredibly boring by comparison.
I have read almost all the books. I just got bored with a couple.
I'm a follower of Jesus, in that I aspire to live like I believe He would want me to live and I pray to Him to help me follow His way. But I do not believe in the infallibility of of the Bible. I can't believe that Jesus would want us to put all of our belief in a book written by humans when we could be praying to Him and asking Him to guide us Himself.
So I believe what I believe and I don't worry too much about what "Christians" and atheists have to say about it.
To be perfectly honest, this was the only forum that thoroughly demonstrated to me how the bible contradicts itself. But given that, I didn't even need to disprove the bible to get to my current state of mind. I was raised catholic, but I started questioning (the christian) god's existence when I got to high school. At that time, society and peers really made it hard to ask those questions because it was and always will be considered 'horribly wrong' to doubt god's existence, but I honestly felt I was being dishonest with myself if I didn't. My biggest motivator was my mind - the fact that my brain existed, and the fact that the deluded thought of god "allowing" me to think these very appropriate thoughts (which was, by the way, still within the bounds of my morality) was more than enough for me to carry on with the questioning.
I feel christianity, together with other religions, is just another failed attempt to define the extraordinary. Despite all the scientific advances, I still do feel that the universe has something magical about it- though I only think that because we, as humans, are ignorant and at the same time in awe of the universe.
But the Book of Revelation is in the NT and that book is pretty interesting... and acid trippy...
Yeah, but that book almost didn't even make it into the bible.
I would loved to have been there too, but in all honesty, it's not a great deal different than what some of my friends and I do regularly. Except for the robes.
I always wanted to start a local Philosophers' Den, that gathers weekly and just throws ideas around, contemplating everything in existence.
I haven't read it yet ^^
I cannot tell how much I read but I can tell that I read some.
My grandfather was an orthodox priest and I grew up in his house.
Well, I saw MANY bibles, I read "The little Bible" - a bible for kids.
The right question on this "issue" is: how much do you BELIEVE from bible?
I think that will be the right question and I personally have quite a few doubts on some facts...
But anyway it made it into the Bible because God so wanted it to be. Revelation is a fascinating book and it really tells very accurately about the things of the end times, e.g. the mark of the beast which most probably is the microchip implant. Revelation also tells us how God will create a new Earth and new heavens! That is something wonderful and exciting!!! I think Revelation is a very important book in the Bible!
It also tells us very accurately that only 144,000 people will be "saved." And given that none of us here are the most "moral people" (given that we're all on a computer and we're supposed to sell all of our possessions and go spread the "good news," we must all be going to Hell. So let's just party and have fun...
I've read most of the NT, and a few books of the OT.
Moses' epic miracles were pretty cool, and I wonder what the heck the manna from heaven might have been. Samuel was a bloodbath (200 foreskins?). The Song of Songs didn't make sense from a spiritual standpoint... it didn't seem like much more than a horny barbarian's love poem, sorry I just couldn't see the spiritual side, did I miss it somehow? And Ezekiel seemed to mostly be someone criticizing his country and prophesying fire fire fire. Kind of like an ancient Michael Moore.
The four gospels I liked very much. Jesus' message of love, service and devotion, his fight against hypocrisy and two-facedness, and his miracles (which all seem to be deeply symbolic to me), all make these books keepers. The epistles and works and chronicles are pretty interesting, with some inspiring teachings and such, but they don't have the power for me that Jesus does. Paul was a good teacher for his time, and an exemplary disciple, but IMHO his interpretation of Jesus' teachings are off.
That's why I hesitate to call myself a "christian", because I don't see it written in the gospels that Jesus was this sacrificial lamb who died for everyone's sins. He was crucified and resurrected to show the people the glory of god, to inspire belief and faith in the higher power. It was a continuation of what he had been doing his whole life. I think the sacrificial lamb bit was something Paul and others came up with later.
I guess pantheism would be my category. Of God is omniscient and omnipotent and unlimited, it seems reasonable that he (she/it) is omnipresent too. If he/she/it was in one place and not in another, that would mean God has some sort of limitation. I think the Creator is a dancer and the creation is the dance. The two are not separate, although the dancer can stop the dance at any time.
Jesus called himself the only begotten son, but quite a few other great souls spoke the same way. It would make a lot more sense form a pantheistic perspective: He had realized the oneness of God, and so he and his father are one. He was special because he could come speak to the masses as a man with the authority of the creator, hence being the only son. Other god-realized souls without this special mandate will not and cannot speak of it.
And also Jesus embraced all other people and religions, preached acceptance and fellowship... in direct contrast to the modern christian belief that all the world should join their churches, and that other religions are evil devil-work.
So yea, I want to follow Christ, but I don't think the best way to do this is by following his followers.
click the link at the bottom in blue Message: Rob Bell Watch...
I have never read the bible, I am not a big fan of fictional work.....i prefer biographies and factual info...
I have never read the bible,i did dip into Leviticus once,and it was all ,God says" Do as i say or i will chop your bollocks off and fry them in oil and make a bollock sandwich,then play football with your severed head while Jesus films me and we will send the video to funniest home videos for your sinning family to watch " (Or something like that)
I like the nice little way that your paraphrase the scripture in Leviticus. I think you covered some of the mild parts rather well.
It was over the top,but thats how i remember reading leviticus,Gods reaction to the slightest wrong doing seemed "over the top" burn in hell for this burn in hell for that,for i am GOD your lord and master (Why do i have the voice of He-Man in my head when i write that "For i have the power") .
My post may not be funny,but religion can be,and shouldn't be exempt from humour. The life of brian was voted the funniest film of all time by channel 4 viewers after all.
I never said that it was amusing; I said that I liked the way that he paraphrased Leviticus. It's actually quite sad that many Christians do follow Leviticus (well actually, they are hypocrites so they only follow the parts they want to follow. They have no problem shaving - which is expressly forbidden in Leviticus - but make sure to go out of their way to be bigots and not let homosexuals marry or let their children read Harry Potter).
By the way, how does it lack respect? It's not like you have to respect religion - I don't respect religion. You just have to respect peoples' rights to have a religion.
I think his point was that it doesn't matter if it was offensive.
Ironic how you mention Jesus, I'm sure you knew already that Jesus came many hundreds of years after Leviticus was written. Not that jokes like that need to be accurate or anything.
Ironic too that one of Jesus' main messages was against the sort of extreme judgements that the book of Leviticus is famous for. He said: even if somebody does something wrong... always be nice to them and love them. Wash their feet. Forgive. Give them your shirt. Even if they say something offensive, hurt you or throw poo on you, take it and don't throw it back...
I think that's a pretty good message. Peaceful. Good for the world... don't you? My point is: the Bible ain't all bad.
I have no idea of the chronological order of the bible,and who fits in where,but from the few verses i read (Leviticus) it seemed that what was said came straight from the horses mouth,God himself. So if Jesus did preach a different message to his dad,then maybe they should communicate more.
I can't deny despite all the absurdities in the bible that there's still something good in it. And I think the debates between christians and atheists depend heavily on the validity of the bible, that both parties miss the point. I know it seems like a stretch to say that, but sometimes I think so...
And by the way, I think christians are evolving. Of course, the staunch conservatives are still there, but I feel most christians have become more mindful of things like humanism, evolution, and the like - treating christianity as nothing more than a way of life rather than a fact-finding device of life's beginnings and its end. I live amongst christians, and I don't think any of them take genesis literally nor in constant conundrums whether they'd go to heaven or hell when they do something.
I agree with deanhills though. One thing I won't do is make fun of their beliefs. I don't have any reasons for it.
We all know how religion can be so sensitive. I have christian friends, and I know how sensitive it is. Even the biggest clown who happens to be christian probably won't take jokes about his religion lightly. So I guess I'm saying I have more reasons not to.
Besides, humor is in rich supply elsewhere that I might as well spare religion.
Why can't Jesus eat Skittles???
Because he has HOLES IN HIS HANDS!
...I learned that one from a Marist brother, when I was in Catholic school.
Most of my good friends are also avid Christians who scoff at the idea of something like the Big Bang. While I don't make it my goal when I'm around them to constantly poke fun at their beliefs, if the situation arises, I see absolutely nothing wrong with making light of it. If they're offended I can't help it...my best friend is also an insanely huge LA Lakers fan, but I still joke around with him about how Kobe Bryant is a ballhog and the Lakers suck. He let's stuff like that roll off his shoulders and understands I'm joking; I see no reason why it should be different for religion. I won't treat it differently just because some people hold it "close to their hearts." Some people hold the appearance of their clothes "close to heart," that doesn't mean their clothes can't be joked about without somebody getting "butthurt."
I think it is good to remember that each time you laugh at a Christian because of his beliefs or behaviour you are laughing at Jesus. What will you answer Jesus when you stand before Him in on the White Throne judgment and He asks you about your attitude toward the Christians and Jews around you? What will you say in your defence when Jesus asks you why you laughed at His brothers?
I think we ought to think twice before we laugh at anyone or poke fun at them because God sees, hears and knows every thing we think, say and do!
*EDIT*On a side note, you say we should "think twice" before we laugh or poke fun at Christians because God is basically spying on us. So we should be nice, not out of the goodness of our hearts, but because God sees and hears us and knows our thoughts. That's not decency for the sake of decency, that's obedience through coercion. *EDIT*
Frankly, these are often the things I poke fun at.
I think it goes without saying I do not believe a thing you just said and thus don't particularly care what a supposed man who died thousands of years ago "thinks" about a joke.
If he asks me for my defense I'll tell him his followers are way too damn serious about him and he should get them to lighten up a bit.
Of course, I doubt I'll get to speak with the almighty father since I'm going straight to burn in a lake of fire anyway.
On a side note, why would he only care about what I think about Christians and Jews? What about the other billions of people in the world? Are they important?
I think Jesus would look at me and say "yea they are total idiots" cause no offense I have never met a true christian.....by that I mean someone who actually listened too the message of Jesus (if he existed) love, peace, respect etc......if Jesus was real he wouldn't hate anyone as he forgives all and loves all, no matter how evil or bad they are.....
all i see Christians do is speak about love and peace but then i see them saying things like "i am gonna pray so obama gets killed" or "homosexuals should be stoned too death"
not ever christians....
When will you ever understand that you're talking to an atheist? Seriously, do yourself a favor. The same way that you cannot easily talk about how Jesus is the one true savior in front of a Muslim or a Jew. The world isn't 100% christian you know.
a) Do you think all Christians are representative of Jesus? Do you think Jesus would like to be represented by people who kill abortion doctors, for example?
b) Since I don't believe in a divine Jesus then I have no problems with the second part of this.
It's not even like making light of (in my case) Christian beliefs of my friends is carried out in "lolz your beliefs are stupid and you're stupid for having them rofl!"
It's more we'll be watching TV and for whatever reason Scientology is mentioned and they'll start making sarcastic jokes about how realistic it is to be here because of some crazy aliens...in which case I'll happily remark that it's much more realistic a giant invisible guy in the sky did all this, then raped a woman so he could send himself to commit suicide and could go back to heaven, etc. etc.
Hehe. Now that is being offensive. The same way as Whong telling the atheists in this forum they'll all go to hell.
So it's a tie?
I know the whole world isn't Christian and will never be expect probably during the millenium reign of Christ. Anyway, I'm talking from a Christian point of view but for a change I'll try something else.
What is the meaning of life if there is no God? Is it only to have pleasure and pain as long as we live here? How were the galaxies and the world formed if God did not create it? The Big Bang? Who or what iniciated it? The odds are clearly against that that everything we see came into existence out of a coincidence... I can't believe that all this came from a series of coinicidences... I need a more logical explanation, don't you?
If you truly believe that the idea of an infallible, omnipotent, omniscient, invisible sky-deity with zero backing evidence thought up by uneducated individuals 2000 years ago is logical, perhaps you're not looking for a logical explanation (in fact, I can only assume you don't want a logical explanation...what you spend your time preaching is the antithesis of logic).
It's your call on what you want to preach and you can do it all you want (and I'll happily defend your right to preach it all you want), but please don't attempt to play off the notion that the description of God in Christianity is logical and that modern day science and mathematics is illogical -.- It's pure nonsense and you know it.
The questions you asked have been discussed in detail a dozen times on these forums and are answered on probably thousands of websites. Do you really want to know the answers to your questions?
"the question makes no sense because if time and space were created at the instant of the BB then it follows that 'before' is an impossible concept".
Not very satisfactory, I grant, which is one reason that theorists are looking at other models. Just because it isn't very satisfying to our 'common sense', however, doesn't mean that it is wrong.
Now, contrast the scientific search for answers with the Christian religious position:
q. Where did the universe come from?
a. God did it! (in 6 days, or not, depending on which sect you belong to)
q. What created God?
a. You can't ask that question because God is infinite
Do you seriously think that is more plausible or satisfying as an answer?
You want to believe that complexity such as humans (or the universe itself) requires a designer. You cannot accept the palaeontological evidence, the genetic evidence or any other evidence that shows that a mindless process - evolution - can produce the complexity we see.
I suppose you also believe that other complex phenomena - a snowflake for example - must have a designer, rather than being an emergent pattern. The notion of God designing billions of individual snowflakes is quite amusing - room for a good cartoon there somewhere...
I have read the entire Bible (even different versions), I just finished re-reading it entirely just a couple of months ago. There are certainly some books that I found more enjoyable (easier reading sort-to-speak) than others.
I like the Old testament myself, the wording can be rather confusing, but I find I enjoy it more.
I have read the entire Bible, several times actually. I know best the Torah and the major prophets. Of course the Psalms also. But I must define that to me the Bible is only the TaNaK. What christians define as ot.
I have read a good part of the christian nt I would say probably 80-90 %. I admit to rushing through pauls writings as I dont like them at all.
I like to be informed of what I dont believe also .
I am Jewish to answer the second question .
I think your problem is not being able to acknowledge the beliefs of the rest of the human race. Yes we know that as a Christian, you believe Jesus is your saviour and you'll only gain access to the heavens through him and him alone. We already know that - yet you treat people here like they have no damn clue.
And as for the meaning of life. I don't know, there's just so many! As Bikerman said - "you find your own", which you've clearly shown already. But personally, I'd start from a love perspective, and then to a 'wondering' one. One thing is for certain though, I'm not living my life just so I'd pass the final judgement of whether or not it's heaven or hell for me. It's kind of selfish to live life like that, don't you think?
Your comment is interesting. You say the right question on the issue is "How much do you belive from the Bible?" I would say that question is secondary in the order in which we should really consider the topic. The better question is, "How much of the Bible is true?"
[For those who like to obscure the clear and plain meanings of words to suit their own purposes... the word "true" essentially deals with its correspondence to reality. The phrase "there is a red tree next to the driveway" would be "true" only if there is in reality a red tree next to the driveway. It doesn't matter if one finds meaning or poetic beauty or whatever ridiculous notion one might want to find in the statement "there is a red tree next to the driveway." If there is not a red tree next to the driveway, this is not a true statement. You can have a "eureka moment" and be deluded into believing something false, but if the tree is not there the statement is not true (whether you believe it or not). For further clarification... occasionally statements are made by poets and not by scientists (OK... this is a frequent occurrence). The poet may say something without the same degree of precision as the scientist and will likely speak with vocabulary chosen specifically for its poetic effect, whereas the scientist may use highly advanced technical terms with a high degree of specificity. As long as both say something which carries the meaning of a red (whether foliage or bark, etc.) tree (it may technically be a shrub pruned to look like a tree or even be a vine that resembles a tree - points which the scientist will be sure to clarify) being located within a reasonable distance (for some this is inches... for others this is feet... for some this is yards... for others this is a mile, etc.) from the driveway they would both be true. If the intended meaning differs from this concept, the speaker is false in what he says at the point in which he veers from this correct understanding.]
Again, a better question is not "how much do you believe?", but "how much is true?" and, therefore, "how much should you believe?" Obviously, you should aspire to believe the Bible at every point in which it is true.
(Please don't mince words should you respond to this post. I have given enough of an understanding of what I am communicating by saying "true." Please don't play word games here.)
Why does everyone insist on having a "meaning to life?" Human beings evolved here.... That's it. We're just here and let's try to make the best of it.
Solon Poledourus the Great,
I beseech thee that thou mayest inform me from whence thou hast receiveth thine profound understanding. Did you read a book, watch a movie, talk to somebody who claimed to have in his possession knowledge of great secrets, or was it something else? Please inform me with specific factual claims you have of there having been an editorial process to the Bible. What do you mean by editorial process? Who were these editors? When were they doing their editing? What has been subtracted from the Bible according to your theory? What has been added? What mistranslations are you referring to? How about political bias (is the Bible pro-Republican or pro-Democrat)? What deleted parts were considered to be as divinely inspired as the rest? Who were the men that decided otherwise? Why do you have such a hard time capitalizing "God" (the Bible doesn't deal with a junior deity but with the Senior and Only Deity, therefore a capital letter would be appropriate whether you believe in this Deity's existence or not). By the way, I am asking for factual statements that can be proven or disproven not your conjecture or anyone else's.
Whong is expressing his faith in the book (probably due to his well-founded faith in the Author vs. actual historical facts which would support the truthfulness of the book). Whether the book of Revelation accurately depicts the end times or not is a hard topic to dispute. Time will tell. I "believe" it will, but I am willing to admit that I don't have much along the lines of historical evidence to further the cause. I do, however, have a well-grounded, high degree of confidence in the God whom the book is about, that He has spoken on the matter and that He will bring about all that He has said. But, in response to your critique of Whong, I would agree that the microchip implant "probably" being the mark of the beast is not a very persuasive point (for the reason you mentioned - that nobody has it - and because when people start getting specific about the symbolism in the Book of Revelation, many start getting flaky.)
Solon Poledourus the Brashly Self-Confident,
No, God did it right the first time. He wasn't surprised by the turn of events. He intended the remaking before He did the making. This was not an experiment turned sour nor a glitch in the program. This was all intended and all you need to do is wait long enough and you will find out why for yourself. But, the point at which you err is that you, a mere man, are in no position to forgive God. Your life is but a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow (as is mine). Neither you nor I nor anyone else stand on the higher moral ground as the judge of God. If you hold "unforgiveness" in your heart toward God, the issue is not of God wronging you, but you wronging God. You are the one in need of forgiveness (whether you believe it or not is irrelevant if it is so).
I do not fault you in your lack of understanding of Jesus' words because not that long ago I didn't understand them either. When you find the supreme worth of Jesus Christ and compare it to everything else you have held near and dear your entire life you realize that you have found something on a level of greatness you did not know even existed. It is proper for a man to leave his parents and cling to his wife more tightly than them (of course, it is right for him to continue to honor his parents). However, his love for his parents should diminish in comparison to his love for his new bride. Likewise, the person who truly finds Christ finds that his love for all other relationships take an immediate second place. You have made a lot of comments here that express your animosity toward God, the Bible, and Jesus. I have answered you according to the tone in which you seemed to be speaking. However, I believe there is something much greater here than winning either the battle or the war of arguments. I have studied much conservative and liberal scholarship on the Bible. I have been an agnostic non-believer and a passionate follower of Jesus. I have studied philosophy more than the average person. I have heard the urban legends about the Bible and believe I can adequately refute most of them without having to refer to a reference book. But, I know that only God can grant a sinner repentance. It is His kindness that leads anyone to repentance. "Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed." (Romans 2:3-5) It is my very sincere prayer that the Lord will grant you repentance which leads to life and a love for God that doesn't make sense to anyone who doesn't know Him. Please consider the words of Jesus: "Repent and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15) and of Paul: "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31) In case you haven't heard it before or haven't understood, God took your sins and laid them on Jesus, who willingly bore them on the cross, where God poured out His wrath toward you for your sins on His Son whom He loved. He did this because there was no way for you to ever pay for the evil you have done (in action, word, thought, and motive of heart), yet He does not want you to perish, but to have everlasting life. Turn from your sins and turn to Christ and the benefits of His cross and resurrection - the forgiveness of sin, finding the greatest Treasure there is to find, eternal life, being filled with the love of God - will be yours. If this doesn't make sense, humble yourself and ask the God I am speaking of to give you understanding.
Why do you have a face, DNA, fingerprints, a voice print, eye prints, and I would assume a whole lot more physical traits which have yet to be discovered, all of which differ from everybody else in the "matrix?" It would seem to me that we were born with significance in that we are all different from each other, no two exactly alike (not even "identical" twins). So, maybe the better question to ask is why are human beings born with inherent significance?
Also, why should we "try to make the best of it?" If everything is one great big cosmic accident, where does the desire to "make the best of it" even come from? How does one determine good from bad or best from worst if there is nothing external from which meaning is derived? And besides, isn't trying "to make the best of it" your way of finding meaning? Which comes back to the question you asked, 'Why does everyone insist on having a 'meaning to life?' If all of our thoughts are simply biochemical processes working themselves out while neurons are firing (conclusions your evolutionary views necessitate), why is everyone, including yourself and myself, seeking meaning? Since when do chemicals care about meaning?
By the way, if there is no meaning, isn't your question meaningless?
Becuase we evolved that way we reproduced and how is it called... hmmm... ah.
From ourselves everyone gives his own meaning to life as said before everyone gives his his life his own meaning.
We make out that ourselves we don't need a god for morals we can figure it out ourselves, "don't do something to others what you don't want others to do to you" is a start it's not covering everything but it's a start.
As for the origine of morals: it also comes from evolution (according to some at least). If every human would be cruel to each other we'd kill ourselves and the human race would go extinct much faster.
Take a look at piranha's they kill just about everything that get's into the water but they never kill each other why is that? "Programmed" by evolution?
Because that's our nature we are a curious race we want to know a lot. Perhaps not every individual but as a collective.
NoT every question is meaningless you will always find answers if you try to find them wheter scientifically o r philosophically. If you try to...
Yes, and it's entirely up to us humans to find our own answers to these questions. Christians have an answer in the existence of God, and others find answers elsewhere. Furthermore, others don't even bother. But yes, it IS remarkable. I've always been in awe of my own unique consciousness/awareness - but I can't easily bring myself to believe "I" exist because there is a God that created everything.
But if you really think about it, the beauty lies in the questions. Doesn't it?
...then again, some people don't bother.
You make interesting comments, but I had a hard time following your rationale. Please answer my questions so I can follow your reasoning a little better. How do you know what you know? Why do you believe what you believe? How much of your belief system hinges on blind faith? What hard evidence or soft evidence or philosophical reasonings can you provide as the basis for your view of life? Or, is it all simply one atheist said "X" so I'll accept it as a possibility (so long as it doesn't allow for God in the equation because that is the one conclusion I will resist with every fiber of my being)? There seems to be so much conjecture in your view and others' here as well, but you guys are the ones who purport to be the intellectual elites in the debate. Where is the intellectual integrity, the solid reasonings for why I should accept that everything is one great big cosmic accident? Can anyone give me better reasoning than, "I believe in EVOLUTION. Therefore, my answer to every question is EVOLUTION."? Is it so hard to see that this is an uncritical, blind faith you have (and anyone else following this reasoning)?
One other thought. You acknowledge EVOLUTION only as the great TRUTH from which everything is derived, but you exclude the only other decent possibility - GOD as the great TRUTH from which everything is derived. I'm willing to consider both possibilities or a combination of the two (though my conclusion is GOD alone as the great TRUTH). Who is being more open-minded and intellectually honest? By the way, what amount of evidence do you need to believe in EVOLUTION? And what amount of evidence do you need to believe in GOD?
I am really looking for answers to these questions. As one who is intellectually honest, I'm sure you will be open to explaining and critically examining what you do believe.
Testing everything and holding fast to that which is good,
You seem to be a thoughtful person, so you obviously understand that two conflicting views can not both be right on the points in which they contradict. They can both be wrong, but they can't both be right at the points of contradiction.
Do you know why it is so hard for you and everyone else to bring themselves to believe they exist because there is a God that created everything? I'm not convinced it is intellectual in root, although that is how it is presented. It seems to me that these descriptions are a little more accurate:
You seem to be a thoughtful person, so you obviously understand that conflicting views can not both be right on the points in which they contradict. They can all be wrong, but they can't all be write at the points in which they contradict.
Do you know why it is so hard for you and everyone else to bring themselves to believe they exist because there is a God that created everything? I'm not convinced it is intellectual in root, although that is how it is presented. It seems to me that these descriptions are a little more accurate:
1 The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
there is none who does good.
2The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man,
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
4Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
who eat up my people as they eat bread
and do not call upon the LORD?
- Psalm 14:1-4
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
- Romans 1:18-32
No, Deanhills. Blasphemy is misusing God's name, not assuming I know what God's intentions have been. I have not invented anything I have said. I have simply stated the very plain and clear teaching of the Bible on the matter. God has never been surprised and never will be surprised, nor was he powerless to do that which he sought after. Heresy is a better word for what you accuse me of than blasphemy, that is to teach something other than the clear and intended meaning of Scripture. However, I am not guilty of this either.
I don't put a human face on God. He is untouchable and unapproachable. However, He is the One who stated, "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Genesis 1:27) Therefore, it would not be that I am putting a human face on God, but that God did something along the lines of putting a God face on man. Therefore, we think and reason. Therefore, we hold to moral values. Therefore, we both seek and find meaning in life. I said God is untouchable and unapproachable. He is that and so much more. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9) However, the way I know that He is who I describe Him to be is that He has revealed Himself. He has stepped down from the high and lofty place and simplified His speech so that simpletons like you and I can understand and has revealed the truth about Himself through Scripture. This is God's revelation of Himself to us. The only way I know that God is who I said he is is that He first said He is that way. The words I speak of are recorded in the Bible and the Bible is the topic which first generated this conversation.
In the end, I respect everyone's religion as long as it does not cause me any grief. My own mother is very religious, and I have no problem with it. But she doesn't look down her nose at me or hurl insults at me, and she sure as hell doesn't love some character in a book more than she loves her own 6 sons. That idea is completely insulting to anyone who has a family, and offensive to the idea of family in general. A harmful and disgusting ancient tradition in my opinion.
If the basis for "significance" is that you're born differently than other individuals in your species, then the vast majority of organisms on this planet are just as "significant" as humans? Which yields humans not all that significant in the grand scheme...
By the way, if there is no meaning, isn't your question meaningless?
You make the best of it to enjoy yourself, because this is probably the only chance you get? I don't get why that concept would be any different if this was an "accident" (which I don't think it was..not in that sense of the word) or if some supernatural being planned it all. What difference does it make? You're saying people shouldn't try to enjoy their lives if there is/are no god(s)? That's pretty lame. What a depressing state of mind...
When someone says "why does everyone insist on having a meaning to life" in the context it was said in, they probably mean why does everyone insist on thinking there is some complex, supernatural purpose to life. Why can't the purpose be simple, realistic, and of this world?
I don't intend to speak for tingkagol, but I feel I must point out to you that the following scripture is factually incorrect:
Certainly you must be aware that the non-religious are capable of good deeds (not to mention all other non-Christians out there, including followers of atheistic religions such as Buddhism)? I have a hard time accepting that anyone who does not believe in Yahweh is "corrupt and evil" since reality clearly does not reflect the idea. Therefore, you must concede that this scripture is factually incorrect. You yourself did say this after all:
I wonder how you will respond to this contradiction..
On a side note, I'd like to point something out.
As much as I see religion as being unnecessary for survival, so is art, literature, music, etc. Someone long before me stated that these things are not necessary for survival, but they do help make survival necessary. An astute observation, I think. So I can understand people wanting, even needing, to believe in something bigger than the physical experience of life. I don't condemn this, even though I don't necessarily embrace it myself. What I cannot understand is why, when certain types of people come to this point of finding that for themselves, be it religion or art or music, why they feel they must hold it up as the only meaning. I have alot of 'wonder' for life and the Universe, and to narrow that view down to one source of meaning diminishes that wonder and awe. It makes me feel claustrophobic.
Life would seem pretty dismal to me if we humans had only been around a few thousand years and been given a book full of answers to everything right from the start. If that were the case, what then would truly be the point?
It's sad that we can be condemned for enjoying life as it is, and choosing not to believe one book amongst thousands that claim to have all the answers.
Before I start - I'll concede, for the purposes of this, that we are using the word 'believe' to represent 'accept that something is the case'. We could have a semantic argument about the fittingness of the word in this context but let's leave that for another time. 'Blind Faith' we will take to mean 'belief without evidence or in spite of evidence to the contrary'
Now, on what basis do we believe things? One could have direct personal evidence, one could rely on the accounts of reliable witnesses, one could accept 'unknown' third-party testimony, or one could just decide to believe, for whatever other reason.
With regard to evolution it is a combination of the first two. I have read the theory in the original, and kept up to date, as best I can, with some of the developments in genetics and evolutionary theory over the last 150 years.
Now, of course I have to rely on reliable witnesses (scientists) for the results of their research, and they could be telling lies. Science has a mechanism for dealing with this, however. We insist that results must be replicable - ie other groups of scientists should be able to repeat the experiment and produce the same results. If not then there is something fishy. There are many examples of this in science - perhaps the most well known would be the 'cold fusion' experiments.
So, what we have, in evolutionary theory, is a coherent, self-consistent and logical account/model of speciation which has been, and is being, constantly tested and challenged. IE - a scientific theory, certainly not, by any measure, blind faith.
But there is much more. We have a fossil record that provides the first test of the theory. Find a mammal fossil in the pre-Cambrian and the theory is blown out of the water. What we actually see, however, is consistent and provides massive support for the theory.
Then we have direct evidence - we have actually SEEN evolution at work.
Next we have the genetic evidence
Finally we have the circumstantial evidence - vestigial features for example.
So when you ask why I believe in evolution, you have my answer. I believe in it because it is logical, self-consistent, supported by a huge amount of evidence, testable, and it is the only such theory around.
The supporter of evolution says - "this is what the evidence shows, therefore, until a better model comes along, if ever, this is the theory which explains speciation the best". If you want to call that a belief then, OK, let's do so, but don't pretend it is in the same category as religious faith - that is a completely different beast.
If we confine ourselves to considering evolution vs God as an explanation for species, then the 'God hypothesis' has no evidence at all - outside folk-tales later written down. It is worse than that, however. The statement 'God created species pretty much as they are now' (which is a simple, but I don't think unfair summary of the creationist position) is actually a scientific proposition - we can test it. Guess what? It fails. We have a pretty good fossil record showing the development of species over the last few billion years, and the idea that they were all created 'as is' is clearly untrue. We see a constant change which is entirely consistent with evolutionary theory.
Now, how does the creationist explain this? The main 'hypothesis' is that the flood, after it killed everything, resulted in the corpses being laid down in a particular order - the order we see today. It is not just impossibly unlikely, it is actually not possible at all. Consider a global flood kills men, other mammals, dinosaurs, birds, insects - everything. Now try to work out how those corpses could be deposited across depths of rock strata that span over 3 billion years. Then try to work out a mechanism whereby a flood could have caused this.
Actually, don't bother - it can't be done.
(Now, I could go on to consider why other elements of the biblical account fail - by taking Genesis apart verse by verse - but I've already done much of this in other threads. Besides - I've already thrown up one problem with this 'belief' - decent methodology says - 'when the hypothesis is contradicted by the data then you ditch the hypothesis'.)
First of my last post wasn't meant as one story it were several thoughts on different subjects.
Bikerman has already given answer to most things for me and I agree with just about everything he said. And I would redirect to his post if you need some proof of evolution, just do clicky's on the linky's..
Most of the things i picked up while here on school on ot some other site.
1. Don't believe in anything supernatural.
2. I trust "science" so I go with the flow (of science)
3. Most of the stuff I say has evidence to support it. (Apart for the meaning of life bit)
No i think for myself, but since I don't have a any degree in something biology-ish I trust science.
Open the first proper science-text book or a peer reviewed paper and read it it's all in there. And while I never started about a big bang etc. (wich is the correct term, and not a strawman)
1. You don't believe in evolution but you accept it. Evolution has nothing to do with faith, it's a fact.
2. If evolution has always been right you should be able to aply it to other things that have something to do with it.
Evolution is not the "great truth" whatever that is it only explains biological matters and issues. I'm not believing in god beacuse:
1. Occam's razor.
2. No proof
I'm not going to judge that. But I'm willing to come to the conclusion of god if you give me some satisfactory proof.
Evidence for evolution; the fact that it has been accepted by the complete scientific community. It has been used to explain a lot. And is used to develop vaccines etc. etc. etc. What I have read in textbooks.
What evidence needed in favor of god...
Simple if he just got his ass here on earth and I could have a chat with him...
Did something magical we could only attribute to him...
Determine the level of proof needed is a bit tricky because I need to think what the proof is going to be and then determine for how much it weighs. The more arguments the better.
I know I do that all the time even though you may think I don't.
PS my pc is crap right now, forgive me for any errors in spelling etc.
I am Atheist. I haven't read any full books from the bible. If ever I read any, I need a bible with large print. I can't sit down and read the bibles I have - it hurts my eyes. Some of the stories I've HEARD, I enjoy; however, I don't believe in them. I love reading, and I hope to buy a bible with larger print so that I may enjoy its stories. (Which, I am broke, so I can't actually buy one! lol!)
Why do we have DNA, fingerprints, etc.? Easy. We evolved that way. We evolved through natural selection, sexual selection, possibly group selection (I've read very little about group selection and it seems interesting, although there seems to be some discreptancies among biologists). One could argue that human beings are significant, but in the grand scheme of things (with the millions of billions of planets that exist), I think that we're pretty insignificant to the vast universe.
Why wouldn't you want to make the best of our lives? That's pretty anti-social and cynical of you. I would think that everyone would want to live the best life possible and make life better for future generations. That's just the decent and moral thing to do; plus, making the best of life makes life enjoyable. You might as well have fun during the short time that you're here.
Why do you think that you need an external force to derive good from bad or best from worst? That's actually pretty ridiculous if you think about it. Chimpanzees cannot swim yet they have been observed drowning while trying to save each other from drowning. Doesn't that seem like some since of morality or "right from wrong?" Are you implying that they must have some external force (like some "chimp God") to worship?
The second point is a point of cherry-picking. Name one, just one, external force that you get your morality from one. You cannot because there is not just one source that society gets its "right and wrong or best and worst" from. Many Christians, which I am assuming that you're doing, like to argue that morality comes from the Bible. That's absurd. The Bible tells you not to kill, lie, cheat, etc. All of those are important laws. But... The Bible also tells you not to shave. Having a long beard is socially unacceptable (I would know; I used to have a long beard and many people scoffed at it). The Bible also tells you not to wear clothes of two different fabrics. Who follows that rule? The Bible also teaches "eye for an eye" (which most people agree is wrong) while also teaching "turn the other cheek." Which rules do you follow? People tend to follow only the ones that society follows. People don't accept murder or lying but then encourage people to shave! People cherry-pick the rules they want to follow.
This now brings up an interesting question: on what basis do we decide which rules out of the Bible to follow? We obviously cannot use the basis of the Bible because if we did, we'd follow all of them. This means that we must use a secular reasoning to decide our morals! See? I logically proved to you that our morals come for secularism and not an external force!
Now... This brings up another question? How do we derive our morals? Well I am not a biologist or a psychiatrist, but I can think of one evolutionary example (I think I got this argument from Dawkins). For the majority of human history, we were tribal animals. We lived in tribes. We eventually found out that if we helped people in our tribes and worked together, we were more likely to survive. This started our basis of morality. We wanted to help each other out because we knew that eventually the favor would be returned to us and this means that everyone, including ourselves, would be more likely to survive. Yes, our morality started off with our basic will to live and make sure that we're taken care of. We then started teaching these values to children, who with their limited mental abilities to think for themselves, would indoctrine the knowledge and pass it on. We eventually dropped the tribal status and moved into small cities where we would still help each other out (this became known as "the golden rule") even without being helped back.
Making the best of life isn't trying to find a meaning. People tend to act like (even if they don't believe it, they still act like it) we were placed on this planet by some alien life forms (or God if you're a theist) for some specific mission. What are we here for? What's our purpose in life? What's the meaning of life? I do not believe that we have a mission. I do not believe that we have a purpose. We're just animals that are here as a result of billions of years of evolution. It's as simple as that. Bam! We're just here! There's no purpose to being here because we're just here. But... the chemicals that make up our bodies (which you seriously seem to underestimate with your statement "Since when do chemicals care about meaning?") have evolved in a way to give us emotions. We have compassion. So why not use that compassion to help other people? We enjoy things like "fun, comfort, and love." So why not fall in love with some beautiful woman (or man), nail her and reproduce (unless you're like me in that you do not want kids), have fun, and then give back to society so that the next generation can have a better life because we're just here... Make the best of it!
My question is not meaningless... It has meaning. Why don't we make the best of our lives? What's wrong with that?
Peace out and rock on!
And here it is.
Here is where you (and other Christians) start to offend. It's always been a habit. I would have preferred you say those exact same words instead of quoting from the Bible. But it would feel less "valid", won't it?
And I think the rest of my reply was already posted by miacps... Do you honestly think non-christians, specifically atheists, are incapable of doing good deeds?
i've read all the 72 books of the Bible, even the genealogies of the Old Testament. The bible was not written for unbelievers. The original addressees were believers. Atheists or the unbelievers only came out very recently, about the 18th century. To see that they are reading the Sacred books is alright I guess. But they are not expected to understand them.
Atheists have been around longer than theists, though O_o
That depends on what you mean by 'believers'. The OT was written for the Hebrews and is the basis of the Jewish faith. The NT is a selection of writings mainly from the Pauline sect of the new Christian religion...
Haha! Weapon of choice Pope Mobile
I would imagine he's referring human species.
I suppose a dinosaur could be atheist, but I don't really think it's relevant to the way the discussion was going...and it's pretty silly overall
Please forgive my rudeness in taking so long to respond to your post dated 6/22/09. I intended on taking a break from spending so much time on the computer, but not as long of a break as it ended up being! First, I would like for you to know that I had no intention of offending you, nor of being unnecessarily harsh, nor of being condemning. For whatever it’s worth, there are quite a few people who made very meaningful posts that I would like to respond to, but I chose yours first, knowing that it will be all I can respond to tonight.
I am not uninformed as to what you describe as an editorial process of the Bible. The Bible is composed of 66 books, so it is not technically “a” book. It is more of an anthology than a single piece. However, even though it was written over the course of 15 centuries, it presents a unified story. It is the story of God’s redemption. First, the perfect world before sin. Then, the fallen world and the promise of God to redeem. Next, a lot of history, poetry, praise, and prophecies of the people through whom God’s redemption would ultimately come. Then, the long awaited Redeemer’s arrival, teachings, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection, followed by letters explaining the application of this redemption to believers’ lives. Finally, the return of the Redeemer. That over 40 different authors from diverse backgrounds and during all sorts of life situations, even writing and speaking different languages... that they would all present one unified story is unheard of. The only editor I know of that has lived that long who could make sure that it worked out this way is... well, you know who I would say. But, that time went by doesn’t necessitate a human editor. Obviously, people kept up with what was written, but there is no need nor evidence to suggest someone making editorial deletions or signifcant additions as these texts were passed from one generation to another. In fact, much evidence has been presented which shows that the transmission process (copying of the text) was fiercely guarded. If a flaw were found in the Hebrew copy, it would be destroyed. Many hours and focusing all down the drain due to a minimal mistake! This is a major reason for why there is such great purity in the Hebrew text within the hundreds of manuscripts (hand-written copies) we have today. The New Testament, however, had a rather different purpose. It’s intended purpose was for the spreading of the good news that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah who paid the penalty for all of mankind’s sins as He, the sinless Savior, bore the anger and wrath of God in Himself, and that all men everywhere need to hear this message, respond in faith, repent of their sins, trust Christ, and follow Him. If it hadn’t been for this missionary purpose, we probably wouldn’t have heard of the Bible or Jesus. [We probably wouldn’t even be in America. We would probably still be sitting in the dark on whatever continent our ancestors are from, but that is another topic altogether.] As a result, the Bible was quickly spread into many different languages and cultures, leaving us with some 20,000 New Testament manuscripts. They didn’t have printers or printing presses back then, so everything that was copied had to be hand copied. If you have ever copied a long literary work, you would be able to recognize how easy it is to misspell a word, forget a punctuation mark, skip a word, skip an entire line of text, and so on. That there are differences doesn’t bother me. There is a sophisticated field of study known as textual criticism that delves into these matters for the purpose of discerning the original words, spellings, punctuations, etc. from the errors. I have studied Greek and I am quite aware of how this works. For a concise primer, I would recommend “New Testament Textual Criticism: A Concise Guide” by David Alan Black. For whatever it’s worth, it should be noted that the vast majority of errors which have crept into the text are relatively insignificant and that no major biblical doctrine is called into question by these errors. I am trying to write in one (very long) paragraph what can easily fill a large library. Much more could be said and has been said in other sources, but space does not permit...
Your above quote would imply, for the sake of debate, I suppose, acceptance of God’s existence. Then, you wrote as if you stood on the higher moral ground than God and could almost be gracious enough to forgive His recreation of the Earth, but not Heaven. So, if God exists, it is both brash and self-confident to assert yourself to be higher than God. If this were possible, God would cease to be God and you would become God. I honestly wasn’t trying to put you down, but I was trying to describe what you had just done – made yourself out to be higher than God (see Ezekiel chapter 28).
For someone who respects every religion, as you claim, I am surprised by your posting of Jesus as the Cosmic Jewish Zombie (6/16/09) and that you laugh at Jesus (6/13/09) and by your caricatures of each religion (5/17/09). Although I found the caricatures humorous, I have to question what you mean by the word “respect.” I wonder which definition of the word “respect” you are going for. I didn’t see one that mentioned “mock” or “despise” as the definition. It’s okay if you don’t really respect any religions, but why did you say that you do?
If I held animosity against you, why would I express that my desire is that you may find life and forgiveness in Christ? I don’t despise people in general, but I especially don’t despise people for their lack of faith or their animosity toward faith. I used to be that way myself. Despising someone who is like I was is almost like despising myself. I don’t fault you for your positions because I held similar ones. Just consider thoughtfully what I am saying. That’s all I ask. If there is a God who has revealed Himself through the Bible and through Jesus Christ and a person humbly seeks Him, I have found that that person will find Him.
P.S. Why the name "Solon Poledourus"? Solon, the Athenian, I presume. But, why "Poledourus"?
I know these aren't directed at me, but I'm bored and a couple things just popped in my head as I was reading. I'll let Solon reply fully, as it was directed at him/her specifically.
I think most people's point against this would be it is not as unified as one would think it should be. Just a commonly used example would be the lack of mention of the Virgin Birth in two of the four gospels (it seems like a somewhat important event to at least make note of). And even those two that describe it contradict each others details of the birth.
When people say "I respect other people's choice of religion" in that context, they most often mean they respect that person's right to such a belief, not necessarily the belief itself. I don't know what was specifically meant by the person you're asking, just tossing another possible explanation out there.
Most people who disagree with the idea of or oppose religion in general usually don't respect the religious belief itself (why should they?), but they usually respect the right to such a belief.
I have a feeling what was meant by that person is "I respect your right to your beliefs," rather than "I will not purposely mock or poke fun at your specific beliefs."
I don't believe the basis for significance to be that you are born different than others in your species. Although that is true (a good question to ponder would be WHY this is so), the basis for significance lies not in the differences. The differences are like markers on a trail which are meant to point us down the trail to its end. The end of this trail would be that God is a personal being, unlike anything or anyone else who made us in His image. Therefore, we, although similar, are not entirely alike any other person in all of earth's history. I realize, of course, that not everyone here will accept this form of reasoning back to God. My point is simply that the reason everyone has significance is because God gives us this significance, not that it lies in the differences themselves.
As for the question following your second point - yes! I am saying that people shouldn't try to enjoy their lives if there is no God, that this is a pretty lame way to think, and that it only leads to a depressing state of mind or worse. Without design you have no intended outcomes. Without a Designer you are without any intended results. Everything, therefore, which happens is unintended. Everything as you know it (and everything you don't know) is merely coincidental, accidental, unintended, purposeless, mindless, meaningless, etc. You are an accident. Your family is an accident. Your hair color, eye color, birth mark, sex, native language, native land, time period lived in history, etc. are all without any meaning beyond accidental. You, in fact, become little more than re-arranged proteins and amino acids (etc.) running their biochemical unprogrammed programs. This should trouble you if you don't believe in God. Of course, there are the happy atheists who are happy because they have this wide gaping hole in their thought process (you may be in this category). But, for the critically honest, thinking atheist, who is actively following their core beliefs to every logical conclusion - there is little happiness (actually there is none if this is done well). I'm glad you don't find yourself in the second category.
The reason the purpose can't be "of this world" is that matter doesn't give birth to purpose. And you are merely rearranged matter.
Now, I reject this way of thinking entirely. God, the only infinite One, made the finite universe and all that is in it out of the creative power within Himself. He assigned purpose to hair color and eye color (beauty), family and sex (relationship), language (communication), and everything else. We have purpose because He has given us purpose; and that can never be changed.
[If I weren't so tired, I would find the following source and quote it a little better.]
C.S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity (I think), discussed the many desires he had in life and the things which satisfy those desires (thirst is satisfied by drink, hunger by food, sexual desire by sex, tiredness by sleep, etc.). Then he makes the following quote: "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this earth can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world." You see, every desire has a purpose. It points us to that which satisifies the desire. When I find the desire within me to eat, I can find food on earth to eat. The same with drinking, sleeping, and sex. Everyone desires these things and we can find satisfaction in this world. But it becomes interesting when we desire things that can't be found here, such as the desires to live forever and to avoid pain. As Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life." - John 5:24 Likewise, God's Word states in the book of Revelation:
"3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." 5And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
We were made - this implies purpose. And we aren't made for this world, but another.
Thanks for the input. I hope you are right. Solon is the only one who can truly set the record straight. I am curious to see what he says.
Flowery indecipherable nonsense.
David, how do you cope with living without Odin in your life?
You keep throwing a negative term in there among the neutrals; "accident". Obviously if the universe (and everything associated with it) is unintended, it can't be an accident. An accident is what happens when an outcome is different from the intended outcome, right? Intention is everything with this term.
There's that word again.
Why do you suggest there's a supernatural meaning to these completely natural phenomena? I'm serious, I can't figure you out.
...who are capable of amazing things. Do you know how much has been accomplished in just the last 50 years? How about purpose in accomplishment? Sound reasonable?
If you want to credit a "programmer", you need look no further than billions of years of progression through evolution. Primitive middle eastern deities need not apply.
You may be taking life too seriously, David. Was everything really so bad before your birth?
Can living organisms give birth to purpose? Humans must be capable of creating purpose, many have done so through religion. But then we get to the question of what makes your personal supernatural subscription more real and meaningful than all the others..
Yeah, these things could not have come about through natural means. Definitely a primitive middle eastern deity at work.
C.S. Lewis must not have been thinking very hard. Physical pain is the result of harmful stimulus on the body. Too much harmful stimulus can negatively affect our ability to pass on our genes which is a desire hard wired into most humans. So in conclusion, the desire to avoid pain stems from our innate need to pass on our genes. We fill this desire of "avoiding pain" by "avoiding pain" as best we can. If someone chucks a brick at you, you're not going to just stand there.
Likewise, longevity also effects our ability to pass on our genes, thus there is the desire to live as long as possible.
These are not otherworldly desires.
I'm not liljp617 but what the heck...
This must be religous stuff because i really don't get it...
Why not look if you don't want to have fun that's your own choice but why shouldn't other people have fun? I rather think you way of thinking is lame... and why the heck would it lead to depressing state of mind. I don't believe in god and am not depressed...
Never heard of "design without a designer"? http://www.pnas.org/content/104/suppl.1/8567.abstract
Humans just like all life have a purpose.
If you look at life it's main intention for all life is to reproduce, otherwise it wouldn't last more than one generation. But since working full time to get kids an everything is a bit too much, (although if life were one big orgy it would be fun) not even animals do it. You have a lot of time, you work eight hours. Sleep eight hours. And if there is some time left you can do what you want hanky panky for eight hours a day every day of the week is a bit much.^_^[/quote]
Of course there is no therefore because well the logic is far to fetch and the premise is kinda wrong.
Apart from that accident is kinda wrong wording (it has a negative undertone from accidents that you don't want to happen like a car crash) coincidence is better. Yes a lot of things are a coincidence in fact you had more chance of not being born then being born. You have a life now and will life for abut 70 years or more, having kids and bringing them up will take about 20 or 25 years, depending how many you have. you got a lot of time to learn and enjoy yourself I would say get out into the world and enjoy yourself. And if you think you would be depressed if there is no god for you it doesn't mean that very one is like you and would be depressed too.
Think I'm more or less a critically honest, thinking atheist, but have no core beliefs I'm tring to be moral and have the most amount of fun in my life, most of us don't have any core beliefs because they could be wrong. Following core beliefs and being critically & honest don't go together well. And what would that wide gaping hole in their thought process be? Could you explain it clearly? And why would for the critically honest, thinking atheist, who is actively following their core beliefs to every logical conclusion - there be little happiness could you explain it do you somehow know how they think? Judging from your post you weren't an atheist till just now? So how do you get such knowledge?
Well we are we all are and we get and give meaning to our own life. See above...
And I reject this thinking for me it is assumed make yourself feel good idea's based on some ancient self contradicting text.
And what are those desires? I would say they are from this world, they are ll there to help us survive a species that isn't trying to survive won't last for a generation.
Yup generating offsring for the survival of the species.
miacps already explained it.
And those biblical texts mean nothing... everything is already explained.
Yes we were "made" by our parents in order we can do the same and god has nothing to do with it.
Of course we aren't exactly like someone else. The number of possible genetic combinations doesn't allow it. Our experiences don't allow it. I don't see the connection to a god. This is purely chemical, biological, and psychological. We're each unique as complete individuals in just the three previously mentioned categories, never mind all the other ways (of course, we share many similarities in the more simple "ingredients" that construct our complete selves). Being unique in those respects is significant; it fulfills the idea that, even if it's relatively small, we're different from everyone we'll ever meet in our lifetime. I can't comprehend how that isn't significant. Almost 7 billion people currently on the planet -- if I met every single one of them, I would still never find someone identical to me. That's significance, and quite an awesome (for lack of a better word) thing to have come about through natural forces, perhaps even slightly simple natural forces.
"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference." -Dawkins
It is all very much luck. I'm very lucky to have been born into a middle-class, suburb-living family in a fairly stable nation where I don't have to be overly concerned with my survival every minute of the day. I'm lucky to have friends and family around me who show their affection for my existence. I could have just as easily been born in Darfur had I not received the luck I did.
Although I don't personally think the choices we make are done through our own free will (choices are either determined by past events or are completely random), it is beneficial as an individual to believe such a thing. It is beneficial to live your daily life as if you have control over it, as if you have the free will to choose what you desire. It is beneficial from a personal psychological perspective, as well as from a social perspective. We are a social species; in order to maintain a level of consistent social interaction, we have to attempt to remain optimistic, as people respond positively to optimism in most cases, therefore benefiting us. We attempt to deceive ourselves into happiness even if we're in the worst of situations, because it benefits us. It keeps us sane and appeals to others among us. We desire approval among our peers, and this usually requires an attempt to show happiness.
"The idea that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the idea that a drunk man is happier than a sober one." - Shaw
The desires to live forever and avoid pain have been discussed dozens of times on this board alone, and each time logical, natural reasons have been given for why we have such desires.
You assume we were created. I don't. You assume there is another world. I don't. I have yet to see a single reason to assume these things.
It is not logical, in any fashion, to feel a desire to avoid pain and automatically jump over a gap the size of 50 Grand Canyons to conclude there is another invisible world somewhere that is completely undetectable, non-observable, and not supported by a shrapnel of evidence. What is logical about that? Not logical, blind hope.
Your answer is too easy. What are the evolutionary benefits of having no two alike in any of the physical traits mentioned above? Why is everybody different? Your answer is unsatisfying to the intellect.
So, you're saying that people, who, in your opinion, are essentially a combination of all the right chemicals, are able to give meaning to themselves without deriving it from anywhere outside themselves? Since when do chemicals give meaning to life? Since when does matter impart meaning? Please give me an example other than people to prove this is possible.
The highest ethic ever presented is the converse to yours: "Do to others as you would want them to do to you." What you presented was common in the ancient world, but when Jesus taught what I said he broke new ground and raised the bar from don't be bad to others to be good to others. Piranhas were programmed by God - that's why they don't eat each other. A programmer uses his mind to program, therefore, programs are the result of a mind.
I am amazed at how much faith you put into a mindless process, overlooking the fact that you ascribe to the mindless process thoughts. Help me figure this out because I find it highly perplexing that intelligent people like yourself can think this way: Once upon a time there was nothing - Nothing. Then, all of a sudden, "BOOM" (where did that come from?), and there was the beginning of everything - Everything. Out of the big boom came a mindless process - a Mindless process - that is able to think and determine what characteristics of the big boom's creation are best, select those, and guide the whole process of developing characteristics that most benefit the creatures and advance them into higher and higher beings. From nothing came everything, even a mindless process that seems to have a mind, people with minds, and every other really cool thing there has ever been.
You missed the point: Since when do chemicals care about meaning? How can chemicals be curious?
I am amazed that you believe matter can form itself into questioning beings with the help of a mindless process that came from nothing.
There is one God who made Heaven and Earth. He made all of the universe as we know it (and as we have yet to discover). He created men and women in His image, which is why we have the ability to reason, why we seek to learn, why we know the difference between good and evil, why we have a conscience, and even why we have language with which we can communicate and have this conversation. You and I are no great coincidence. We are part of a great plan, God's great plan. He is the mind that oversees everything and sees that everything falls into place according to His plan. I hope one day you will see this and believe this and find the God who made you.
I have deleted older quote's to make it clearer... (if you think wtf are they talking about read above.)
May I add it's weird that you respond for a second time to a older post? but perhaps you came to new insights since then.
But I would find it more interesting if you would also respond to my other post just above... of course it's your choice.
We evolved in such way that there are billions and billions different ways a human DNA could be so the chance that 2 people have the same DNA is so astronomical small that you could say it is impossible, also due to the fact the we eep evolving and that new possibility's for a DNA program come to exist.
Ass for fingerprints;
they exist because they make the finger more sensitive to touch if you had smooth skin your fingers would be 100 times less sensitive.
An explanation for ever changing fingerprints is sort of stated above; impossible to keep making exact copies due to the many possibilities.
-Since our ancestors evolved a big enough brain to do so... if you don't want to believe it that's your problem. But give me just one argument that it is impossible.
-And an example other than people? I don't know, we ARE the example and you just somehow ruled it out, all animals as far as we know don't have a big enough brain, (though chimps are a lot like us (brainwise)). And asking an animal what his meaning of life is.... is rather hard since I can't speak whale or dog.
-And "matter" doesn't give a meaningjust lke so it needs to be in a form of a brain which is more like a superduper complex machine and not a bunch of matter like you make it sound.
Yea well is said it was a start not all and I could write some ethnic code but it would be a painstaking job (because at some point i would start giving every possible situation it's own "code"). Furthermore I don't believe that Jesus was the first who said; help other people I'm fairly sure that others did it before him.
Your proof for this is? I say you should read "the selfish gene" it would explain a lot.
As for: A programmer uses his mind to program, therefore, programs are the result of a mind.
It's wrong because you assume that programs are only result of the "mind" while it may also come about in different ways. And I said "programmed" between "" because it's not programmed like a pc program but part of the genetic make up like instinct.
May I say that this is basically some big super massive straw man argument?
The big bang started pretty much everything we see. Al matter radio waves etc. That's ture...
But why can't anthing mindless happen? (take you mean not guided)
The fission that happens in the sun is a mindless process but nevertheless it happens this very moment has happened for a long time and will for a long time, you have electrons flying through your computer without any mind guiding them, when you read this. Why is it then so strange that I think that a whole lot of mindless processes eventually made us?
And I put no faith in anything I accept it two big difference things I see the evidence and say yes that looks likely, BIG difference.
And one more thing I find it amazing that some religion made people believe there is some invisible puff daddy in the sky? A global flood that left no single trace a Jewish zombie god who was it's own sun. I find that pretty much amazing.
Wait what? What you just called a mindless process now has something choosing the best characteristics of the big bang? This bit is vague at best I'll try to make sense of it....
... you are doing what all creationists do and that is confusing big bang with evolution. Evolution is design with out a designer evolution doesn't "Pick" the best characteristics. Animals with bad mutations die more quickly and thus they have little chance to pass on their genes.
Big bang and solar/planetary formations are not like evolution there is no real design without a designer just natural laws guiding them.
O and I never said that the big bang came from nothing why are yo saying that? Because you copied it from other creationists who also don't get it... I guess
Since they make the human brain and also other animals re curious too. Like said before it's an trait we have since it was beneficial to our survival.
Yes i would be amazed if I would believe that but since I don't believe it...
I am amazed you put so much words into my mouth...
And your proof for this? NONE! It's no accident and well I have tons of peer reviewed literature made by the greatest mind of the past centuries what do you have? I will believe it you provide some real poof too bad no one has found any proof for it in the past couple of eons.
"Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him." – Pittacus
"Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing." – Thales
"What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be also to them." – Sextus the Pythagorean
"Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others." – Isocrates
"What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others." – Epictetus
Christians often like to pretend that Jesus was saying something new and revolutionary here - he simply wasn't. It is true that the reciprocity ethic is mostly expressed in the negative (don't do..) but not always - as Sextus demonstrates.
Science explains how we came to be via evolution. It doesn't (yet) explain how the first life arose and nor does it yet agree on how the universe (or multiverse) first 'came about' - although there are several theories.
Religion offers nothing here - it simply ignores the issue by substituting an 'infinity' into the equation (in this case God).
Sticking infinite terms into expressions can often produce a desired, yet illogical, outcome. I can prove that 2=1, 1=0 or any manner of other illogical statements by simply introducing an infinity into the explanation. Thus
It follows that A^2 = A*B (we simply multiply both sides by A)
and that A^2-B^2 = A*B - B^2 (we simply subtract B^2 from both sides)
Now, if we factorise, we get
(A+B)*(A-B) = B*(A-B)
finally we cancel the A-B term on both sides (divide both sides by A-B) to give
A+B=B (or 2=1)
Now clearly this is a nonsense and anyone with any maths awareness will spot the mistake - we introduce an infinity by dividing both sides by A-B since that is dividing by zero.
The point is, however, that introducing an infinity doesn't explain anything and will nearly always lead to invalid conclusions. That is as true for 'God' as it is for dividing by zero...
Nice. You just arrived at one of the launch pads of St. Thomas' proof of the existence of God from physics.
It is, of course, based on a fallacy (that of the 'prime mover' - everything must be caused to move and therefore, to avoid an infinity of movers, one has to posit a 'prime' mover which we call God). This view ignores what we have since learned from physics - particularly quantum physics.
It is also, of course, a semantic slight of hand. On the one hand Aquinas suggests that causality must have a 'starting point' because the idea of infinite regression is absurd. On the other hand he simply replaces one infinity (infinite regression) with another one (God). Thus he avoids the question 'who created God' by simply stating that God is the prime mover and therefore does not need creating. I am constantly amazed that people still think there is any validity in this 'proof'.
Consider - the universe cannot have existed for an infinite time (the 'proof' goes) so something must have caused it. Ah, says the sceptic, but something must have 'caused' God. Nope, says Aquinas, God is infinite and does not need a creator.
Anyone who can't see the logical problem with that is, I suggest, not trying (which is why I was so astonished when an otherwise sensible person like Antony Flew bought into this 'proof').
I start saying that I'm am Catholic, and I used to be a light Catholic for many years.
Few years ago, a friend of mine who is evangelical started sharing me the Word. So I decided I didn't wanted to be only told, I wanted to know by myself, so I went to a Catholic library and bought my own Bible, a Nacar-Colunga of little size. Then I started reading.
I took me two years, but I read the whole books, not having a better method, I started from Genesis and I went forward. Now I'm starting the exercise of reading it all again, I'm in Numbers by now.
I don't know if it helped, but my life has changed too much from the one it was when I started reading. Now I'm attending a Catholic Praying Group two days a week, the mass every weekend and I have a strong desire to share the Word with others.
I'm still friend with my evangelical partner, I always had clear that God wanted me to change my life, not my religion. However I admire the strenght she has in the Gospel and how she shares what she have learned with others.
That's not really fair to Flew. The man is starting to go senile. He doesn't even understand Spinoza anymore.
I have read it all because I am a born again christian and I like to know more about God's word.
but I am very surprised with all the atheists that read the bible, i don't understand why someone would read the bible if they are sure God doesn't exist
Not the meaning of atheism. Has nothing to do with atheism.
Do you think that everyone who reads Harry Potter believes in wizards?
I have read a huge amount of books in my life, and most of them did not require belief in the central premise.
I actually didn't get a choice about reading the bible - it was compulsory.
What amazes me is the number of Christians who HAVEN'T (and obviously haven't) read the bible.
I have read the bible from front to back once and the new testament 5 or 6 times, some books many times. I was once a committed Christian, these days I'm not so sure.
I feel there must be a god but I see little in the world to support this belief.
The universe and it's amazingness is the only real evidence of a god.
Mankind comes close to proving god doesn't exist.
The human mind is very adept at believing whatever suits it so it is difficult to be objective in this assesment.
I hope god exists, or the continuous effort to do good is pointless, but I still think it is the best choice, it is just that if there is no god the evil bastards are bound to win as they don't play by the rules of the decent people.
From what I've seen the bastards are already winning, I hope I'm wrong.
a) What constitutes a 'bastard'? From the way you frame it, I get the impression you are describing self-centred people who have little or no regard for others. Now, first question - does religion tend to influence either the number or the behaviour of this 'type' of person? Are there less 'bastards' in very religious communities? Or does their behaviour change because the majority of folk around them believe in some deity who will surely punish them at some point? I don't really think so, but I'm prepared to listen if you want to make the case....
b) This analysis seems to rest on the fact that the only reason to do good is to please some deity. When we look around, however, we see atheists and agnostics don't generally 'stand out' from theists in terms of their behaviour in this regard. Do you really think that people are good only because they either fear retribution or crave reward? That in itself seems pretty selfish....
Many religious people spout this line - that without religion there is no moral 'compass' to guide our actions. It is self-deluded, patronising, nonsense, completely unsupported by any sort of empirical evidence. It strikes me as the last desperate defence of religion. It can't be defended on rational grounds so we get a scare tactic based on wishful thinking.....
It isn't an argument, purely my view of things.
If there is a god then the "bastards" will either lose eventually in this life or in the next.
If no god they have already won in 90% of the world and nobody can call them to account.
I guess that sums it up pretty well.
Apart from mentioning that I was once Christian I didn't put a case for or against religion. purely hypothesised if there is a god or not.
One would first have to agree that there is before even considering if religion is valid, either generaly or specifically.
That is not at all what I said.
I hope he exists because if not no matter how much good some people do it will not be enough to overcome the "bastards" without some external factor. But as I said it is still the best course to take. I believe that in some ways it is even more important if god doesn't exist because if there is no god then the only force for good in the universe is those humans who try to be a positive influence in this world rather than negative.
This is merely my pondering of mans dealings in this world, nothing more.
I am just putting it out there for feedback.
And thanks for yours.
As a youngster I read The Five Books of Moses:
I still have a Bible laying on my book shelf,
but seems to me that I have not have the time to read it.
Do it in the morning.
Nobody can disturb You.
Meditation opens the day for You.
This is a very good piece of advice.
So far, I have read my e-mail early in the morning.
Maybe I could actually use that time to explore the Bible.
When I was a kid i read the bible quite often, great stories: flood, 7 plagues, conquer of Jericho.. Daniel fighting the lion, David beating Goliath with a swing shot. The spectacular parts.
Further confession: I watched Ben Hur 3x
Must say I wasn't too fond of the old testament of the Bible. My preference has always been for Proverbs and the New Testament. I've never been able to get to grips with revelations.
One of my favorite Bible movies is "The Greatest Story Ever Told" [preview] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyJMTk0mw68 . An interesting fact about that movie is that it was filmed in the area that is now part of Lake Powell, behind the Glen Canyon dam. Apparently no movie had ever used that scenery before, and it's unlikely to be used again unless someone does an underwater movie.
Why there are no movies about the Old Testament besides Moses?
Here's a list if you want to check it out:
aethiest, religion was made up to protect society from the knowledge that existence is a pointless and futile accident, and life has no meaning, just a short time between nothingnesses. no i have not read the bible
A youtube user called "Jesus saves" has selected a playlist of 200 videos, most about Old Testament subjects. Some are direct from the Bible, one about book of Enoch; many arguing for doctrinal viewpoints. You can get a pretty good selection of the major events here, but I don't know how consistent the quality is. The playlist is available at:
Thats the bible.
We watch Paul.
Paul is a main member of so so called NT
so does Paul sit lazy in front of a TV machine and screaming against a stupid king and his minister
did he waste body with drugs and bored Sundays
he travelled through Greece Italy and many other islands
and did LOVE
and thats great dont throw Your body away like a used tin box.
Enjoy pentecost with Your loved family.
Jesus does love us all.
I certainly did !! a free holiday day here ! two yippee
Can't you believers arrange for more free days, loveandormoney ? or… let your fellow christianity mainstream "powers that be" allow some other religions some free days too ? please ?
Of all the Jewish feast days, the two which mean the most and refer to a specific event in Christianity are firstfruits and pentecost. Interestingly, they are the only two feasts which always occur on Sunday, so in most countries they don't add another holiday to the work year. Originally, firstfruits was a celebration of the barley harvest, and pentecost was a celebration of the wheat harvest. Firstfruits occured on the Sunday of Passover week, and pentecost literally means the "fiftieth day", which is 49 days after firstfruits, therefore also a Sunday.
Christians believe Jesus was the "firstfruits" from the dead, that he was resurrected on the day of that feast. Many Christians celebrate that day as a major feast, called "resurrection day". Others know the holiday by its more common name, Easter. While pentecost is often not specifically celebrated as an anniversary, most Christians do regard it as, in effect, the birth date of the Christian church.
If you want to find more holidays, Catholic and Orthodox Christians set aside many days to honor specific heros of the faith, who they call "Saints". These can occur any day of the week as far as I know, but good luck getting someone to make all of them holidays from work.
Can't you believers arrange for more free days, loveandormoney ?
Live with Jesus 366 days of FREEDOM/year
live like Judas/Pilatus 365 days of prison a year but money at birthday is your love.
Up to u.
People love beining innocent like Pilatus with clean hands.
I have read the revelations... with all the doomesday profecies
"aethiest, religion was made up to protect society from the knowledge that existence is a pointless and futile accident, and life has no meaning, just a short time between nothingnesses. no i have not read the bible"
I'm practically an atheist (I may not disagree with all spiritual concepts but I have no reason to believe there is a god either). But if you say life has no meaning it seems like you degrade living. Why can't the meaning of life be to enjoy it?