The Heretical Atheist

Other Religions — By on November 11, 2004 at 1:04 am

Frequent commenter DS recently posted an interesting take on a common disagreement:

Calling atheism a “religion” is like calling not collecting stamps a “hobby.”

Whether atheism is itself a religion is certainly a debatable point. But atheists and agnostics shouldn ‘



  • ~DS~

    I can’t speak for all atheists, but there’s no religious belief involved in atheism in the conventional sense. So the term ‘heretic’ probably doesn’t apply. If an atheist is some kind of closet theist then maybe the term ‘hypocrite’ would come in play. But generally speaking going or not going to church, reading or not reading the bible of Quron, etc, among atheists isn’t considered a very big deal.
    I’ve gone to church a few times in the past mostly at the request of friends or because someone I cared about asked me to for whatever reason. Once on Christmas Eve ’99 with a good friend of mine in Austin who wanted to recieve communion (I think that’s the term, not sure) and I was interested in what the ceremony would be like. It was kinda cool and she saved me the cracker she was given so I could see what it was like.
    I’ve known some atheist who go to church out of boredom. For example I have a friend who teaches High School in a little bitty Texas town in the valley. He says there’s nothing to do there and they let him play in the band at church, he’s into music, so he goes.
    Since athiest don’t believe in supernatural beigns or the benefits super natural beings bestow upon their worshippers, (This is pretty much the rough definition of what an atheist is) there are no beliefs to ‘betray’ in that sense in which heretic is likely meant in your article and no risk incurred for doing so; at least not from the supernatural beings themselves. I suppose in some really arch conservative area like Iran it might turn out badly for the atheist if he was ‘outed’ to the devout followers of the faith.

  • ~DS~

    I can’t speak for all atheists, but there’s no religious belief involved in atheism in the conventional sense. So the term ‘heretic’ probably doesn’t apply. If an atheist is some kind of closet theist then maybe the term ‘hypocrite’ would come in play. But generally speaking going or not going to church, reading or not reading the bible of Quron, etc, among atheists isn’t considered a very big deal.
    I’ve gone to church a few times in the past mostly at the request of friends or because someone I cared about asked me to for whatever reason. Once on Christmas Eve ’99 with a good friend of mine in Austin who wanted to recieve communion (I think that’s the term, not sure) and I was interested in what the ceremony would be like. It was kinda cool and she saved me the cracker she was given so I could see what it was like.
    I’ve known some atheist who go to church out of boredom. For example I have a friend who teaches High School in a little bitty Texas town in the valley. He says there’s nothing to do there and they let him play in the band at church, he’s into music, so he goes.
    Since athiest don’t believe in supernatural beigns or the benefits super natural beings bestow upon their worshippers, (This is pretty much the rough definition of what an atheist is) there are no beliefs to ‘betray’ in that sense in which heretic is likely meant in your article and no risk incurred for doing so; at least not from the supernatural beings themselves. I suppose in some really arch conservative area like Iran it might turn out badly for the atheist if he was ‘outed’ to the devout followers of the faith.

  • ~DS~

    I can’t speak for all atheists, but there’s no religious belief involved in atheism in the conventional sense. So the term ‘heretic’ probably doesn’t apply. If an atheist is some kind of closet theist then maybe the term ‘hypocrite’ would come in play. But generally speaking going or not going to church, reading or not reading the bible of Quron, etc, among atheists isn’t considered a very big deal.
    I’ve gone to church a few times in the past mostly at the request of friends or because someone I cared about asked me to for whatever reason. Once on Christmas Eve ’99 with a good friend of mine in Austin who wanted to recieve communion (I think that’s the term, not sure) and I was interested in what the ceremony would be like. It was kinda cool and she saved me the cracker she was given so I could see what it was like.
    I’ve known some atheist who go to church out of boredom. For example I have a friend who teaches High School in a little bitty Texas town in the valley. He says there’s nothing to do there and they let him play in the band at church, he’s into music, so he goes.
    Since athiest don’t believe in supernatural beigns or the benefits super natural beings bestow upon their worshippers, (This is pretty much the rough definition of what an atheist is) there are no beliefs to ‘betray’ in that sense in which heretic is likely meant in your article and no risk incurred for doing so; at least not from the supernatural beings themselves. I suppose in some really arch conservative area like Iran it might turn out badly for the atheist if he was ‘outed’ to the devout followers of the faith.

  • dh

    DS How do you explain that 1 out of 2 atheists believe that heaven and hell exist? Aren’t these supernatural areas that contain humans as supernatural beings? Seems to me that you can’t call Christians hypocrites if half believe in a heaven and hell. Also if they believe in heaven and hell then in my opinion it takes more faith not to believe the rest of the Christian belief system.

  • dh

    DS How do you explain that 1 out of 2 atheists believe that heaven and hell exist? Aren’t these supernatural areas that contain humans as supernatural beings? Seems to me that you can’t call Christians hypocrites if half believe in a heaven and hell. Also if they believe in heaven and hell then in my opinion it takes more faith not to believe the rest of the Christian belief system.

  • jpe

    If an atheist is some kind of closet theist then maybe the term ‘hypocrite’ would come in play.
    The term ‘dim-witted’ comes to mind, also.

  • jpe

    If an atheist is some kind of closet theist then maybe the term ‘hypocrite’ would come in play.
    The term ‘dim-witted’ comes to mind, also.

  • dh

    DS How do you explain that 1 out of 2 atheists believe that heaven and hell exist? Aren’t these supernatural areas that contain humans as supernatural beings? Seems to me that you can’t call Christians hypocrites if half believe in a heaven and hell. Also if they believe in heaven and hell then in my opinion it takes more faith not to believe the rest of the Christian belief system.

  • jpe

    If an atheist is some kind of closet theist then maybe the term ‘hypocrite’ would come in play.
    The term ‘dim-witted’ comes to mind, also.

  • http://www.imago-dei.net/ Steve Thomas

    I think you’re correct, Joe, in saying that atheism is a religion is a debatable question. Perhaps you’ve already covered this ground sufficiently, but I thought I’d offer a couple of thoughts off the top of my head.
    Atheists, like everyone else, have their fundamental notions of metaphysics and epistemology. Moreover, they are confronted with many of the same questions that theists are (viz., What is truth?, What is valuable?, What are human beings?, How they should live?, and so on), and come to conclusions on those questions based on their more fundamental commitments. In that sense, I think, atheism is just as “religious” as theism, and can’t be given any a priori advantage in, for example, debates over public policy. So, for example, invoking “separation of church and state” can only achieve a pretended neutrality at this level of discussion.
    Is atheism a religion as is Christianity? In the bare sense, atheism doesn’t have any practices and rituals, but neither does theism in the bare sense. Buddhism – or at least some varieties of it – is essentially atheistic and does have practices and rituals associated with it. So atheists can be religious from this perspective.

  • http://www.imago-dei.net/ Steve Thomas

    I think you’re correct, Joe, in saying that atheism is a religion is a debatable question. Perhaps you’ve already covered this ground sufficiently, but I thought I’d offer a couple of thoughts off the top of my head.
    Atheists, like everyone else, have their fundamental notions of metaphysics and epistemology. Moreover, they are confronted with many of the same questions that theists are (viz., What is truth?, What is valuable?, What are human beings?, How they should live?, and so on), and come to conclusions on those questions based on their more fundamental commitments. In that sense, I think, atheism is just as “religious” as theism, and can’t be given any a priori advantage in, for example, debates over public policy. So, for example, invoking “separation of church and state” can only achieve a pretended neutrality at this level of discussion.
    Is atheism a religion as is Christianity? In the bare sense, atheism doesn’t have any practices and rituals, but neither does theism in the bare sense. Buddhism – or at least some varieties of it – is essentially atheistic and does have practices and rituals associated with it. So atheists can be religious from this perspective.

  • http://www.imago-dei.net Steve Thomas

    I think you’re correct, Joe, in saying that atheism is a religion is a debatable question. Perhaps you’ve already covered this ground sufficiently, but I thought I’d offer a couple of thoughts off the top of my head.
    Atheists, like everyone else, have their fundamental notions of metaphysics and epistemology. Moreover, they are confronted with many of the same questions that theists are (viz., What is truth?, What is valuable?, What are human beings?, How they should live?, and so on), and come to conclusions on those questions based on their more fundamental commitments. In that sense, I think, atheism is just as “religious” as theism, and can’t be given any a priori advantage in, for example, debates over public policy. So, for example, invoking “separation of church and state” can only achieve a pretended neutrality at this level of discussion.
    Is atheism a religion as is Christianity? In the bare sense, atheism doesn’t have any practices and rituals, but neither does theism in the bare sense. Buddhism – or at least some varieties of it – is essentially atheistic and does have practices and rituals associated with it. So atheists can be religious from this perspective.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ Kevin T. Keith

    Very confusing stuff.
    Note first that the fact that some “atheists” believe in God does not mean atheism is a religion. (Nor does it mean that those people are “heretics” – we leave that kind of finger-pointing to you theists.) It simply means some people who think they’re atheists are wrong. “Atheism” is very simply nothing more than . . . well, “atheism” – “no belief in a god”.
    But it’s not surprising that some people who call themselves “atheist” would have beliefs incompatible with that label. Huge swaths of the population hold beliefs that are completely at odds with definitive or at least widely-accepted tenets of their nominal religious affiliation (or lack thereof). See more Barna data below. (In analyzing the below statistics, keep in mind that about 79% of the population self-identifies as “Christian”; beliefs that are incompatible with Christianity but are held by more than 21% of the population are thus beliefs held by at least some Christians.)
    For instance:34% say there are some sins that God cannot forgive. (1997)
    More than half of all adults (54%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (2004).
    63% of women who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ believe that they will

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ Kevin T. Keith

    Very confusing stuff.
    Note first that the fact that some “atheists” believe in God does not mean atheism is a religion. (Nor does it mean that those people are “heretics” – we leave that kind of finger-pointing to you theists.) It simply means some people who think they’re atheists are wrong. “Atheism” is very simply nothing more than . . . well, “atheism” – “no belief in a god”.
    But it’s not surprising that some people who call themselves “atheist” would have beliefs incompatible with that label. Huge swaths of the population hold beliefs that are completely at odds with definitive or at least widely-accepted tenets of their nominal religious affiliation (or lack thereof). See more Barna data below. (In analyzing the below statistics, keep in mind that about 79% of the population self-identifies as “Christian”; beliefs that are incompatible with Christianity but are held by more than 21% of the population are thus beliefs held by at least some Christians.)
    For instance:34% say there are some sins that God cannot forgive. (1997)
    More than half of all adults (54%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (2004).
    63% of women who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ believe that they will

  • http://www.leanleft.com Kevin T. Keith

    Very confusing stuff.
    Note first that the fact that some “atheists” believe in God does not mean atheism is a religion. (Nor does it mean that those people are “heretics” – we leave that kind of finger-pointing to you theists.) It simply means some people who think they’re atheists are wrong. “Atheism” is very simply nothing more than . . . well, “atheism” – “no belief in a god”.
    But it’s not surprising that some people who call themselves “atheist” would have beliefs incompatible with that label. Huge swaths of the population hold beliefs that are completely at odds with definitive or at least widely-accepted tenets of their nominal religious affiliation (or lack thereof). See more Barna data below. (In analyzing the below statistics, keep in mind that about 79% of the population self-identifies as “Christian”; beliefs that are incompatible with Christianity but are held by more than 21% of the population are thus beliefs held by at least some Christians.)
    For instance:

    • 34% say there are some sins that God cannot forgive. (1997)
    • More than half of all adults (54%) believe that if a person is generally good, or does enough good things for others during their life, they will earn a place in Heaven. (2004).
    • 63% of women who have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ believe that they will
  • rick

    Of course, non-stamp collectors don’t spend their valuable time trying to eradicate the societal influence of stamp collectors.

  • rick

    Of course, non-stamp collectors don’t spend their valuable time trying to eradicate the societal influence of stamp collectors.

  • rick

    Of course, non-stamp collectors don’t spend their valuable time trying to eradicate the societal influence of stamp collectors.

  • 49erDweet

    Don’t atheists by definition have a ‘belief’ system? They ‘believe’ there is no God. And since they can’t ‘prove’ it, isn’t that then a deep-seated belief?

  • 49erDweet

    Don’t atheists by definition have a ‘belief’ system? They ‘believe’ there is no God. And since they can’t ‘prove’ it, isn’t that then a deep-seated belief?

  • 49erDweet

    Don’t atheists by definition have a ‘belief’ system? They ‘believe’ there is no God. And since they can’t ‘prove’ it, isn’t that then a deep-seated belief?

  • dh

    That also proves a point of mine that many people who say they are Christians are not and that many people who say they are atheists are not. I believe both of these sects need to find the truth becaues these groups are obviously searching. I think this is a testament to what Jesus said “The fields are ripe for harvest but the laborers are few.”

  • dh

    That also proves a point of mine that many people who say they are Christians are not and that many people who say they are atheists are not. I believe both of these sects need to find the truth becaues these groups are obviously searching. I think this is a testament to what Jesus said “The fields are ripe for harvest but the laborers are few.”

  • dh

    That also proves a point of mine that many people who say they are Christians are not and that many people who say they are atheists are not. I believe both of these sects need to find the truth becaues these groups are obviously searching. I think this is a testament to what Jesus said “The fields are ripe for harvest but the laborers are few.”

  • Jack McCullough

    Even if you assume that the Barna data are accurate (an assumption I would not make, since teh Barna Group is clearly a pro-religion organization and did not reproduce the questions and answers so that we can evaluate their interpretation), it is only possible to reach the conclusions that you draw by wilfully misinterpreting the results as Barna reports them. Specifically, whereas you report many beliefs that are held by a certain fraction of “atheists”, the Barna report to which you cite says that these beliefs are held by that fraction of “atheists and agnostics”.
    The term “atheist” encompasses not only people who assert there is no got, but also people who accept the possibility of the existence of a god, but have no affirmative belief or may be questioning. The term “agnostic” is typically used by people who are more open to the idea of god but are just wondering about it, but is not used by people who assert there is no god. The Barna data do not report the atheist/agnostic breakdown, but there is no question that people who call themselves agnostics would be more likely to be open to the ideas of god, afterlife, heaven and hell, etc. Since the figures as reported by Barna relate to both atheists and agnostics, it is false to assert, as you do, that half of all atheists believe in heaven and hell or life after death, and that a third of atheists have prayed to god in the last week.

  • Jack McCullough

    Even if you assume that the Barna data are accurate (an assumption I would not make, since teh Barna Group is clearly a pro-religion organization and did not reproduce the questions and answers so that we can evaluate their interpretation), it is only possible to reach the conclusions that you draw by wilfully misinterpreting the results as Barna reports them. Specifically, whereas you report many beliefs that are held by a certain fraction of “atheists”, the Barna report to which you cite says that these beliefs are held by that fraction of “atheists and agnostics”.
    The term “atheist” encompasses not only people who assert there is no got, but also people who accept the possibility of the existence of a god, but have no affirmative belief or may be questioning. The term “agnostic” is typically used by people who are more open to the idea of god but are just wondering about it, but is not used by people who assert there is no god. The Barna data do not report the atheist/agnostic breakdown, but there is no question that people who call themselves agnostics would be more likely to be open to the ideas of god, afterlife, heaven and hell, etc. Since the figures as reported by Barna relate to both atheists and agnostics, it is false to assert, as you do, that half of all atheists believe in heaven and hell or life after death, and that a third of atheists have prayed to god in the last week.

  • Jack McCullough

    Even if you assume that the Barna data are accurate (an assumption I would not make, since teh Barna Group is clearly a pro-religion organization and did not reproduce the questions and answers so that we can evaluate their interpretation), it is only possible to reach the conclusions that you draw by wilfully misinterpreting the results as Barna reports them. Specifically, whereas you report many beliefs that are held by a certain fraction of “atheists”, the Barna report to which you cite says that these beliefs are held by that fraction of “atheists and agnostics”.
    The term “atheist” encompasses not only people who assert there is no got, but also people who accept the possibility of the existence of a god, but have no affirmative belief or may be questioning. The term “agnostic” is typically used by people who are more open to the idea of god but are just wondering about it, but is not used by people who assert there is no god. The Barna data do not report the atheist/agnostic breakdown, but there is no question that people who call themselves agnostics would be more likely to be open to the ideas of god, afterlife, heaven and hell, etc. Since the figures as reported by Barna relate to both atheists and agnostics, it is false to assert, as you do, that half of all atheists believe in heaven and hell or life after death, and that a third of atheists have prayed to god in the last week.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Kevin,
    Note first that the fact that some “atheists” believe in God does not mean atheism is a religion.
    Using a strict definition of religion I would have to agree. That

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Kevin,
    Note first that the fact that some “atheists” believe in God does not mean atheism is a religion.
    Using a strict definition of religion I would have to agree. That

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Kevin,
    Note first that the fact that some “atheists” believe in God does not mean atheism is a religion.
    Using a strict definition of religion I would have to agree. That

  • DH

    How do you know that they included Agnostics? Just because they are “more likely” to believe in heaven and hell doesn’t mean they were included. You just may need to face that many so-called atheists are not atheists at all. Were they included? WE DON’t KNOW. So don’t assume. Just because it is possible doesn’t mean that this occurred. Couldn’t the opposite be right that Barna was right?

  • DH

    How do you know that they included Agnostics? Just because they are “more likely” to believe in heaven and hell doesn’t mean they were included. You just may need to face that many so-called atheists are not atheists at all. Were they included? WE DON’t KNOW. So don’t assume. Just because it is possible doesn’t mean that this occurred. Couldn’t the opposite be right that Barna was right?

  • DH

    How do you know that they included Agnostics? Just because they are “more likely” to believe in heaven and hell doesn’t mean they were included. You just may need to face that many so-called atheists are not atheists at all. Were they included? WE DON’t KNOW. So don’t assume. Just because it is possible doesn’t mean that this occurred. Couldn’t the opposite be right that Barna was right?

  • Athor Pel

    An atheist walks out his or her door every morning seeing the same world as everybody else.
    That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    For there to be a creator there would be responsibility to that creator because the creator would be the only being capable of truly holding them accountable for their actions, good or ill.
    It’s an evasion of responsibility. They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality. In effect, they wish to be their own god. But since they know in their gut there is a being greater than themselves they don’t outright claim to be a god, they only claim that God the creator of this universe does not exist.
    I see it as hubris.

  • Athor Pel

    An atheist walks out his or her door every morning seeing the same world as everybody else.
    That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    For there to be a creator there would be responsibility to that creator because the creator would be the only being capable of truly holding them accountable for their actions, good or ill.
    It’s an evasion of responsibility. They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality. In effect, they wish to be their own god. But since they know in their gut there is a being greater than themselves they don’t outright claim to be a god, they only claim that God the creator of this universe does not exist.
    I see it as hubris.

  • Athor Pel

    An atheist walks out his or her door every morning seeing the same world as everybody else.
    That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    For there to be a creator there would be responsibility to that creator because the creator would be the only being capable of truly holding them accountable for their actions, good or ill.
    It’s an evasion of responsibility. They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality. In effect, they wish to be their own god. But since they know in their gut there is a being greater than themselves they don’t outright claim to be a god, they only claim that God the creator of this universe does not exist.
    I see it as hubris.

  • dh

    Very eliquintly said Arthor Pel. It would be great for you to make this into a poem. You are a very, very good writer. Do you write poems or other writings? You truly have a gift.

  • dh

    Very eliquintly said Arthor Pel. It would be great for you to make this into a poem. You are a very, very good writer. Do you write poems or other writings? You truly have a gift.

  • dh

    Very eliquintly said Arthor Pel. It would be great for you to make this into a poem. You are a very, very good writer. Do you write poems or other writings? You truly have a gift.

  • dh

    Very eliquintly said Arthor Pel. It would be great for you to make this into a poem. You are a very, very good writer. Do you write poems or other writings? You truly have a gift.

  • dh

    Very eliquintly said Arthor Pel. It would be great for you to make this into a poem. You are a very, very good writer. Do you write poems or other writings? You truly have a gift.

  • dh

    Very eliquintly said Arthor Pel. It would be great for you to make this into a poem. You are a very, very good writer. Do you write poems or other writings? You truly have a gift.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Jack,
    Even if you assume that the Barna data are accurate (an assumption I would not make, since teh Barna Group is clearly a pro-religion organization and did not reproduce the questions and answers so that we can evaluate their interpretation),
    Surely you

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Jack,
    Even if you assume that the Barna data are accurate (an assumption I would not make, since teh Barna Group is clearly a pro-religion organization and did not reproduce the questions and answers so that we can evaluate their interpretation),
    Surely you

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Jack,
    Even if you assume that the Barna data are accurate (an assumption I would not make, since teh Barna Group is clearly a pro-religion organization and did not reproduce the questions and answers so that we can evaluate their interpretation),
    Surely you

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    Two words: sampling error.
    A few other words: you’re assuming – as is Barana- that these “atheists” are not responding ironically.
    Why would anyone assume that?
    Also, “reading from the bible” doesn’t connote a religious practice for many people.
    Neither is believing in “absolute moral truth” a religious indicator.
    The truth is, conservative Christians have fallen so far off the moral wagon that they really don’t know what is religious and what is not, it seems, nor what the truth is from what a falsehood is, nor why there are some things you should tolerate and accept and things you should not.
    At my blog (which is from a Buddhist perspective), I will be calling conservative Christians to account for their moral failings.
    It is time we held up conservative Christians to moral standards that are real moral standards, and insist that if they want to use a word like “Christian,” that there should be honesty, humility, and a lack of hatred, at least insofar as what Christianity preaches.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    Two words: sampling error.
    A few other words: you’re assuming – as is Barana- that these “atheists” are not responding ironically.
    Why would anyone assume that?
    Also, “reading from the bible” doesn’t connote a religious practice for many people.
    Neither is believing in “absolute moral truth” a religious indicator.
    The truth is, conservative Christians have fallen so far off the moral wagon that they really don’t know what is religious and what is not, it seems, nor what the truth is from what a falsehood is, nor why there are some things you should tolerate and accept and things you should not.
    At my blog (which is from a Buddhist perspective), I will be calling conservative Christians to account for their moral failings.
    It is time we held up conservative Christians to moral standards that are real moral standards, and insist that if they want to use a word like “Christian,” that there should be honesty, humility, and a lack of hatred, at least insofar as what Christianity preaches.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    Two words: sampling error.
    A few other words: you’re assuming – as is Barana- that these “atheists” are not responding ironically.
    Why would anyone assume that?
    Also, “reading from the bible” doesn’t connote a religious practice for many people.
    Neither is believing in “absolute moral truth” a religious indicator.
    The truth is, conservative Christians have fallen so far off the moral wagon that they really don’t know what is religious and what is not, it seems, nor what the truth is from what a falsehood is, nor why there are some things you should tolerate and accept and things you should not.
    At my blog (which is from a Buddhist perspective), I will be calling conservative Christians to account for their moral failings.
    It is time we held up conservative Christians to moral standards that are real moral standards, and insist that if they want to use a word like “Christian,” that there should be honesty, humility, and a lack of hatred, at least insofar as what Christianity preaches.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    The biggest problem I see here is that the study doesn’t differentiate between atheists and agnostics, although the distinction is very important in this context. It would be quite ironic, if not downright hypocritical, for an atheist to pray. But for an agnostic to do so? Not at all.
    This again comes down to Smith’s assertion (with which I agree) that agnostics can be divided into two groups: agnostic atheists and agnostic theists. It would not be all that unusual for a self-described agnostic to pray, or to believe in heaven and hell, etc. That person would be an agnostic theist, and may still have very real doubts about whether God exists, or may suspect that God exists but not have any clue whether the Christians or Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists have it right.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    The biggest problem I see here is that the study doesn’t differentiate between atheists and agnostics, although the distinction is very important in this context. It would be quite ironic, if not downright hypocritical, for an atheist to pray. But for an agnostic to do so? Not at all.
    This again comes down to Smith’s assertion (with which I agree) that agnostics can be divided into two groups: agnostic atheists and agnostic theists. It would not be all that unusual for a self-described agnostic to pray, or to believe in heaven and hell, etc. That person would be an agnostic theist, and may still have very real doubts about whether God exists, or may suspect that God exists but not have any clue whether the Christians or Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists have it right.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    The biggest problem I see here is that the study doesn’t differentiate between atheists and agnostics, although the distinction is very important in this context. It would be quite ironic, if not downright hypocritical, for an atheist to pray. But for an agnostic to do so? Not at all.
    This again comes down to Smith’s assertion (with which I agree) that agnostics can be divided into two groups: agnostic atheists and agnostic theists. It would not be all that unusual for a self-described agnostic to pray, or to believe in heaven and hell, etc. That person would be an agnostic theist, and may still have very real doubts about whether God exists, or may suspect that God exists but not have any clue whether the Christians or Jews or Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists have it right.

  • dh

    To mumon. I love you in the Lord and have no hatred toward you but just because people who are “so-called” Christians don’t act that way doesn’t make all Christians fail. I think you need to account for your over-generalizations of Christians. What is there to account for?
    I’ll leave with this: Jesus said, “I am the way the Truth and the Life no one can come to the Father except through Me.”

  • dh

    To mumon. I love you in the Lord and have no hatred toward you but just because people who are “so-called” Christians don’t act that way doesn’t make all Christians fail. I think you need to account for your over-generalizations of Christians. What is there to account for?
    I’ll leave with this: Jesus said, “I am the way the Truth and the Life no one can come to the Father except through Me.”

  • dh

    To mumon. I love you in the Lord and have no hatred toward you but just because people who are “so-called” Christians don’t act that way doesn’t make all Christians fail. I think you need to account for your over-generalizations of Christians. What is there to account for?
    I’ll leave with this: Jesus said, “I am the way the Truth and the Life no one can come to the Father except through Me.”

  • jpe

    I see it as hubris.
    Funny, I read your post as hubristic. You look at the world and think x, and you’re shocked – shocked! – that not everyone thinks exactly what you think.
    They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality.
    That’s flat-out bizarre. Presumably you meant that being responsible only to oneself (whatever that means – i assume that you meant ethical egoism) is somehow derived from not considering oneself responsible to God.
    That’s just weird. Either that, or you haven’t noticed that we’re surrounded by other people.

  • jpe

    I see it as hubris.
    Funny, I read your post as hubristic. You look at the world and think x, and you’re shocked – shocked! – that not everyone thinks exactly what you think.
    They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality.
    That’s flat-out bizarre. Presumably you meant that being responsible only to oneself (whatever that means – i assume that you meant ethical egoism) is somehow derived from not considering oneself responsible to God.
    That’s just weird. Either that, or you haven’t noticed that we’re surrounded by other people.

  • jpe

    I see it as hubris.
    Funny, I read your post as hubristic. You look at the world and think x, and you’re shocked – shocked! – that not everyone thinks exactly what you think.
    They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality.
    That’s flat-out bizarre. Presumably you meant that being responsible only to oneself (whatever that means – i assume that you meant ethical egoism) is somehow derived from not considering oneself responsible to God.
    That’s just weird. Either that, or you haven’t noticed that we’re surrounded by other people.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com/ William Meisheid

    The simple dictionary definition of religion is:
    1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    The second half of that definition allows science and its stated absolutes, which are the arbitors of the power that creates and governs the universe, to be defined as a religion in the way that most atheists practice their reverence for science and its underlying principals and is not its holy grail, the unified theory, a quest for a secular god?
    We should also remember that strickly speaking Buhddists do not believe in God or gods, but in an impersonal force enabling everything that is. While some may argue this is supernatural, it doesn’t have to be in the traditional sense.
    So the real question is between a personal sentient God or something else being responsible, since eternal impersonal matter and governing forces acting as a coherent system are a type of god in that they create and control all that we experience in the material and submaterial world. It is that submaterial world where the distinctions start to break down, even for them.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com/ William Meisheid

    The simple dictionary definition of religion is:
    1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    The second half of that definition allows science and its stated absolutes, which are the arbitors of the power that creates and governs the universe, to be defined as a religion in the way that most atheists practice their reverence for science and its underlying principals and is not its holy grail, the unified theory, a quest for a secular god?
    We should also remember that strickly speaking Buhddists do not believe in God or gods, but in an impersonal force enabling everything that is. While some may argue this is supernatural, it doesn’t have to be in the traditional sense.
    So the real question is between a personal sentient God or something else being responsible, since eternal impersonal matter and governing forces acting as a coherent system are a type of god in that they create and control all that we experience in the material and submaterial world. It is that submaterial world where the distinctions start to break down, even for them.

  • http://www.gryphmon.com/ Patrick

    That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    Just complexity itself does not automatically indicate the existence of god. Atheists do not deny that the universe was created, they just deny that it was created by a supra natural intelligence.

    For there to be a creator there would be responsibility to that creator because the creator would be the only being capable of truly holding them accountable for their actions, good or ill.

    Even granting the existence of God, the above quote assumes that you know the will of God. You don’t know that God is paying any attention at all to the universe he created. He could have even created it by mistake. You can’t assume you know the motives of God. Unless of course you believe the Bible is the revealed word of God.

    It’s an evasion of responsibility. They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality. In effect, they wish to be their own god. But since they know in their gut there is a being greater than themselves they don’t outright claim to be a god, they only claim that God the creator of this universe does not exist.
    I see it as hubris.

    In a sense, making a choice to believe the Bible is the Word of God can also be seen as hubris. It says you think you are so smart that you know what the Word of God is when you run across it.
    In spite of the fact that Jesus has not appeared to you personally, handed you an autographed copy of the Bible, and said “Here read this, it’s my autobiography”.
    So even though God does not personally confirm to you that the Bible is the Word of God, you choose to trust in your own human judgment that it is anyway. So in a real sense, you actually think you are smarter than God, as able to make that judgement. This is real hubris.
    Perhaps the order of the 10 Commandments is as it is for a reason. “Thou Shalt have no other God before me”, would include your own human judgment, yourself. It’s a more difficult and complex commandment to follow than you might think.

  • http://www.gryphmon.com/ Patrick

    That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    Just complexity itself does not automatically indicate the existence of god. Atheists do not deny that the universe was created, they just deny that it was created by a supra natural intelligence.

    For there to be a creator there would be responsibility to that creator because the creator would be the only being capable of truly holding them accountable for their actions, good or ill.

    Even granting the existence of God, the above quote assumes that you know the will of God. You don’t know that God is paying any attention at all to the universe he created. He could have even created it by mistake. You can’t assume you know the motives of God. Unless of course you believe the Bible is the revealed word of God.

    It’s an evasion of responsibility. They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality. In effect, they wish to be their own god. But since they know in their gut there is a being greater than themselves they don’t outright claim to be a god, they only claim that God the creator of this universe does not exist.
    I see it as hubris.

    In a sense, making a choice to believe the Bible is the Word of God can also be seen as hubris. It says you think you are so smart that you know what the Word of God is when you run across it.
    In spite of the fact that Jesus has not appeared to you personally, handed you an autographed copy of the Bible, and said “Here read this, it’s my autobiography”.
    So even though God does not personally confirm to you that the Bible is the Word of God, you choose to trust in your own human judgment that it is anyway. So in a real sense, you actually think you are smarter than God, as able to make that judgement. This is real hubris.
    Perhaps the order of the 10 Commandments is as it is for a reason. “Thou Shalt have no other God before me”, would include your own human judgment, yourself. It’s a more difficult and complex commandment to follow than you might think.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    49erDweet:

    Don’t atheists by definition have a ‘belief’ system? They ‘believe’ there is no God.

    I don’t know. Do you have a “belief system” about the Tooth Fairy, since you believe there is no Tooth Fairy? Can you conclusively prove that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist?

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    49erDweet:

    Don’t atheists by definition have a ‘belief’ system? They ‘believe’ there is no God.

    I don’t know. Do you have a “belief system” about the Tooth Fairy, since you believe there is no Tooth Fairy? Can you conclusively prove that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist?

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com William Meisheid

    The simple dictionary definition of religion is:
    1. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    The second half of that definition allows science and its stated absolutes, which are the arbitors of the power that creates and governs the universe, to be defined as a religion in the way that most atheists practice their reverence for science and its underlying principals and is not its holy grail, the unified theory, a quest for a secular god?
    We should also remember that strickly speaking Buhddists do not believe in God or gods, but in an impersonal force enabling everything that is. While some may argue this is supernatural, it doesn’t have to be in the traditional sense.
    So the real question is between a personal sentient God or something else being responsible, since eternal impersonal matter and governing forces acting as a coherent system are a type of god in that they create and control all that we experience in the material and submaterial world. It is that submaterial world where the distinctions start to break down, even for them.

  • http://www.gryphmon.com Patrick

    That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    Just complexity itself does not automatically indicate the existence of god. Atheists do not deny that the universe was created, they just deny that it was created by a supra natural intelligence.

    For there to be a creator there would be responsibility to that creator because the creator would be the only being capable of truly holding them accountable for their actions, good or ill.

    Even granting the existence of God, the above quote assumes that you know the will of God. You don’t know that God is paying any attention at all to the universe he created. He could have even created it by mistake. You can’t assume you know the motives of God. Unless of course you believe the Bible is the revealed word of God.

    It’s an evasion of responsibility. They wish to only be responsible to themselves and to create their own reality. In effect, they wish to be their own god. But since they know in their gut there is a being greater than themselves they don’t outright claim to be a god, they only claim that God the creator of this universe does not exist.
    I see it as hubris.

    In a sense, making a choice to believe the Bible is the Word of God can also be seen as hubris. It says you think you are so smart that you know what the Word of God is when you run across it.
    In spite of the fact that Jesus has not appeared to you personally, handed you an autographed copy of the Bible, and said “Here read this, it’s my autobiography”.
    So even though God does not personally confirm to you that the Bible is the Word of God, you choose to trust in your own human judgment that it is anyway. So in a real sense, you actually think you are smarter than God, as able to make that judgement. This is real hubris.
    Perhaps the order of the 10 Commandments is as it is for a reason. “Thou Shalt have no other God before me”, would include your own human judgment, yourself. It’s a more difficult and complex commandment to follow than you might think.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    49erDweet:

    Don’t atheists by definition have a ‘belief’ system? They ‘believe’ there is no God.

    I don’t know. Do you have a “belief system” about the Tooth Fairy, since you believe there is no Tooth Fairy? Can you conclusively prove that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist?

  • dh

    To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Bylan: “You gotta serve somebody”. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me”.

  • dh

    To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Bylan: “You gotta serve somebody”. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me”.

  • dh

    To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Bylan: “You gotta serve somebody”. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me”.

  • dh

    To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Bylan: “You gotta serve somebody”. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me”.

  • dh

    To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Bylan: “You gotta serve somebody”. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me”.

  • dh

    To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Bylan: “You gotta serve somebody”. Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me”.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    to DH:
    I didn’t say “Christians,” I said conservative Christians. Please stop confusing the two.
    It is “conservative Christians” who have to take responsibility for the increasees in poverty, the deaths in Iraq (hundreds of thousands of Iraqis), the rampant abuse of the environment, the rise in abortions (yep, they went up under Bush), and the abuses of civil liberties.
    By your fruits we know you.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    to DH:
    I didn’t say “Christians,” I said conservative Christians. Please stop confusing the two.
    It is “conservative Christians” who have to take responsibility for the increasees in poverty, the deaths in Iraq (hundreds of thousands of Iraqis), the rampant abuse of the environment, the rise in abortions (yep, they went up under Bush), and the abuses of civil liberties.
    By your fruits we know you.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    to DH:
    I didn’t say “Christians,” I said conservative Christians. Please stop confusing the two.
    It is “conservative Christians” who have to take responsibility for the increasees in poverty, the deaths in Iraq (hundreds of thousands of Iraqis), the rampant abuse of the environment, the rise in abortions (yep, they went up under Bush), and the abuses of civil liberties.
    By your fruits we know you.

  • Larry Lord

    “An atheist walks out his or her door every morning seeing the same world as everybody else. That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    Actually when I walk out the door I see cars, telephone polls, the stairs leading down to the cement sidewalk, the iron rail next to the stairs, the paved street, the manhole, the street lights, and weird looking tree.
    Indeed, all this stuff was created, either by humans or natural processes. The tree was planted by a human. It grew from a seed. It looks weird because it was struck by lightning (a natural process).
    I don’t believe in god for the same reason I don’t believe in leprechauns or ghosts: I haven’t seen any evidence to convince me that god exists. In fact, what I have seen suggests to me that even if there were omnipotent beings out there, they would not merit worshipping.
    Perhaps if my mind and body were wired in a way where it was necessary for me to pray daily and worship something in order to feel better about my life, I might make the leap of faith, as many humans do. I can imagine making the leap. I just don’t feel compelled to do so and, generally speaking, I prefer not to make decisions based solely on fear of the unknown (i.e., that I might be wrong and will suffer eternal torment or something like that).
    So make no mistake: there is nothing “deep seated” about my failure to believe in god. It’s no more deep seated than my failure to believe in gremlins.
    What is (relatively) deep seated is my belief that human beings should do everything they can to avoid making their neighbors miserable and to make every effort to resolve disagreements without hurting each other. My personal experiences and understanding of history has taught me that this approach helps to avoid the creation of wounds that do not heal.

  • Larry Lord

    “An atheist walks out his or her door every morning seeing the same world as everybody else. That they don’t find any significance in the sheer complexity of this universe is the most telling point for me. They see all that the universe is, the large volume of evidence of creation, and still they say, “this was not created”.
    Actually when I walk out the door I see cars, telephone polls, the stairs leading down to the cement sidewalk, the iron rail next to the stairs, the paved street, the manhole, the street lights, and weird looking tree.
    Indeed, all this stuff was created, either by humans or natural processes. The tree was planted by a human. It grew from a seed. It looks weird because it was struck by lightning (a natural process).
    I don’t believe in god for the same reason I don’t believe in leprechauns or ghosts: I haven’t seen any evidence to convince me that god exists. In fact, what I have seen suggests to me that even if there were omnipotent beings out there, they would not merit worshipping.
    Perhaps if my mind and body were wired in a way where it was necessary for me to pray daily and worship something in order to feel better about my life, I might make the leap of faith, as many humans do. I can imagine making the leap. I just don’t feel compelled to do so and, generally speaking, I prefer not to make decisions based solely on fear of the unknown (i.e., that I might be wrong and will suffer eternal torment or something like that).
    So make no mistake: there is nothing “deep seated” about my failure to believe in god. It’s no more deep seated than my failure to believe in gremlins.
    What is (relatively) deep seated is my belief that human beings should do everything they can to avoid making their neighbors miserable and to make every effort to resolve disagreements without hurting each other. My personal experiences and understanding of history has taught me that this approach helps to avoid the creation of wounds that do not heal.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com/ William Meisheid

    >Are atheists statistically more likely to disobey societal rules and responsibilities?…Are atheists more likely to be self-centered?
    The only way to judge that is to look at atheist who grow up in a system totally outside the religious inspired social structure you atheists currently swim in.
    In areas where something akin to this happend, say Cambodia under the Khemer Rouge, they abandoned most of the moral preceps known to all of us. It was almost all fang and claw. I would not point to them as examples of how you expect atheists should live. They don’t call it the law of the jungle for nothing.
    Can you give any examples of a totally atheistic society that produced a system of morals and a society that you would care to live in? Every social structure we currently have has a religious underpinning. Reward and punishment is fundamental both to religion and significant social structures, since it places the action of reward and punishment outside the whim of any given leader. It transcends those who must respond to it. All atheistic systems are at the mercy of those within the system who define and administrate it and from my perspective break down past the family-clan level and even there are subject to the whims of passing leadership.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com William Meisheid

    >Are atheists statistically more likely to disobey societal rules and responsibilities?…Are atheists more likely to be self-centered?
    The only way to judge that is to look at atheist who grow up in a system totally outside the religious inspired social structure you atheists currently swim in.
    In areas where something akin to this happend, say Cambodia under the Khemer Rouge, they abandoned most of the moral preceps known to all of us. It was almost all fang and claw. I would not point to them as examples of how you expect atheists should live. They don’t call it the law of the jungle for nothing.
    Can you give any examples of a totally atheistic society that produced a system of morals and a society that you would care to live in? Every social structure we currently have has a religious underpinning. Reward and punishment is fundamental both to religion and significant social structures, since it places the action of reward and punishment outside the whim of any given leader. It transcends those who must respond to it. All atheistic systems are at the mercy of those within the system who define and administrate it and from my perspective break down past the family-clan level and even there are subject to the whims of passing leadership.

  • Larry Lord

    “To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Dylan: “You gotta serve somebody”.”
    A great song from a solid album (“Slow Train Coming”). I’m also partial to “When He Returns”, which closes the record. It’s good all the way through, though.
    Other Christian songwriting masterpieces from Zimmy: “What Can I Do For YOu” (from “Saved”) and “Every Grain of Sand” from “Shot of Love.”

  • Larry Lord

    “To TG I’ll leave you with a line from Bob Dylan: “You gotta serve somebody”.”
    A great song from a solid album (“Slow Train Coming”). I’m also partial to “When He Returns”, which closes the record. It’s good all the way through, though.
    Other Christian songwriting masterpieces from Zimmy: “What Can I Do For YOu” (from “Saved”) and “Every Grain of Sand” from “Shot of Love.”

  • dh

    Why should we take responsibility? More money than ever before has been given to the poor, the environment is better now than it was under Carter’s administration, Bush wasn’t able to make abortions illegal so it could only go up. Other than making abortions illegal what could Bush do? We spend tons of money on sex education but if students don’t take to heart what is being taught how can that solve the problem? What abuse of civil liberties are there? Maybe on an individual level but not on a government level. I would say the only abuse would be the free expression of religion that has been talked about earlier in this post.

  • dh

    Why should we take responsibility? More money than ever before has been given to the poor, the environment is better now than it was under Carter’s administration, Bush wasn’t able to make abortions illegal so it could only go up. Other than making abortions illegal what could Bush do? We spend tons of money on sex education but if students don’t take to heart what is being taught how can that solve the problem? What abuse of civil liberties are there? Maybe on an individual level but not on a government level. I would say the only abuse would be the free expression of religion that has been talked about earlier in this post.

  • Jack McCullough

    Who gotta serve somebody?
    I guess this just goes to show how two different people can look at the same phenomenon and come to different conclusions. I hear one of those songs like “You Gotta Serve Somebody” and I just see more evidence that nothing Dylan did after “Nashville Skyline” (with a slight exception for “Blood on the Tracks”) was any good.
    On a more serious note, I don’t think we’ve gotten to a basic question, which is, what is the point of posting something like these survey results? I am reluctant to challenge someone’s own characterization of their beliefs (call them religious or not, as you wish), but I have a hard time seeing how someone who believes in life after death, a soul, heaven and hell, and salvation, reads the bible, goes to church, and prays gets off calling themselves an atheist or agnostic.
    What’s more, what is the point? Are you trying to prove that we atheists are a minority? I grant you that, not that it matters. Religions, either the one you belong to or the ones that lots of other people belong to, make factual statements about the nature of the universe, and the truth of those statements is independent of the number of people who believe them.
    For instance, let’s just say that you believe that Judaism started when a god revealed himself to a man by speaking out of a bush, and that man eventually wrote a set of books that later became part of the bible. Before that happened, when your got hadn’t told this guy Moses his big story, nobody knew about your god or believed in him. You would agree, though, that even though every human in existence at that time was an atheist with regard to your god, that had no effect on whether your god existed.
    Similarly, there was a time when very few people, a tiny minority out of the entire population of the earth, who believed that this guy that you call Jesus was god. You wouldn’t attach any particular significance to the fact that Christianity started out small and that there was a long time when most people didn’t believe it, would you?
    If that’s the case, why does it help your argument at all to point out that in the United States there aren’t that many people who deny the existence of got, and that even in the category of people who, by virtue of calling themselves atheists, would seem to deny the existence of god, many of them may have at least some of the beliefs that people who believe in god have?
    By the way, I suspect you may have more in common with us atheists than you think. I suspect that, like us, you don’t believe in Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Shiva, Krishna, the Polynesian Turtle God, Baal, the spirits of the trees, rivers, and bison, Odin, Thor, Allah, and a whole list of other gods neither one of us has ever heard of. I submit to you that the adherents of all those other gods are just as smart as you, and just as convinced that they’re right as you are.

  • Jack McCullough

    Who gotta serve somebody?
    I guess this just goes to show how two different people can look at the same phenomenon and come to different conclusions. I hear one of those songs like “You Gotta Serve Somebody” and I just see more evidence that nothing Dylan did after “Nashville Skyline” (with a slight exception for “Blood on the Tracks”) was any good.
    On a more serious note, I don’t think we’ve gotten to a basic question, which is, what is the point of posting something like these survey results? I am reluctant to challenge someone’s own characterization of their beliefs (call them religious or not, as you wish), but I have a hard time seeing how someone who believes in life after death, a soul, heaven and hell, and salvation, reads the bible, goes to church, and prays gets off calling themselves an atheist or agnostic.
    What’s more, what is the point? Are you trying to prove that we atheists are a minority? I grant you that, not that it matters. Religions, either the one you belong to or the ones that lots of other people belong to, make factual statements about the nature of the universe, and the truth of those statements is independent of the number of people who believe them.
    For instance, let’s just say that you believe that Judaism started when a god revealed himself to a man by speaking out of a bush, and that man eventually wrote a set of books that later became part of the bible. Before that happened, when your got hadn’t told this guy Moses his big story, nobody knew about your god or believed in him. You would agree, though, that even though every human in existence at that time was an atheist with regard to your god, that had no effect on whether your god existed.
    Similarly, there was a time when very few people, a tiny minority out of the entire population of the earth, who believed that this guy that you call Jesus was god. You wouldn’t attach any particular significance to the fact that Christianity started out small and that there was a long time when most people didn’t believe it, would you?
    If that’s the case, why does it help your argument at all to point out that in the United States there aren’t that many people who deny the existence of got, and that even in the category of people who, by virtue of calling themselves atheists, would seem to deny the existence of god, many of them may have at least some of the beliefs that people who believe in god have?
    By the way, I suspect you may have more in common with us atheists than you think. I suspect that, like us, you don’t believe in Zeus, Apollo, Athena, Shiva, Krishna, the Polynesian Turtle God, Baal, the spirits of the trees, rivers, and bison, Odin, Thor, Allah, and a whole list of other gods neither one of us has ever heard of. I submit to you that the adherents of all those other gods are just as smart as you, and just as convinced that they’re right as you are.

  • ~DS~

    DH I doubt one could be a strictly speaking atheist and have a sincere belief in heaven or hell. It would be kinda like saying you’re a vegetarian but you eat lots of red meat and fish.
    As Tom pointed out there is no consensus among you for what an atheist is or what an agnostic. I’d probably be an atheist agnostic meaning I strongly doubt there is any kind of anthropormorhic deity or super natural being. I don’t rule it out. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Atheists tend to be strong individualists and they come in the same varieties in every way as any other broad group of people.
    Joe brought up worldview and there seems to be a tacit belief among some of your that atheists such as myself hold beliefs. I really can’t think of a single such belief I hold. Pretty much everything I can think of I believe for one of two reasons:
    1. It makes sense
    2. There is good evidence for it
    And in most cases both. I can’t prove beyond metaphysical certainty that other people have emotions, but it makes sense that they do and there is evidence they do based on how they act, the fact that they have the same physiology as I do, and what they say. Quantum Physics makes no intuitive sense, but it makes testable prediction so there is a great deal of evidence that it’s a valid model.
    To me the idea of anthropormorphic deities doesn’t make any sense. In the Christian doctrine for example allegedly an omniscient omnipotent omni benevolent being created the universe and mankind. That doesn’t make any sense because such a being would be perfect, and a perfect being would have no need of a change in the status quo. In that same doctrine this creature produced a hybrid offspring of himself and a human female who went on to ‘die for our sins’. But immortal beings cannot die and if it wanted to forgive us for our sins it is omnipotent, there is no need for such a process and that process makes no sense rationally. Lastly there is no empirical evidence for such a being. It can allegedly make galaxies but when tested it cannot even manage to move a paper clip across a table under controlled conditions. A good chunk of sermons reinforcing the belief in this being are taken up apologizing for why it can’t or will not provide any evidence for it’s existence, etc.,. And one can literally trace the OT deity from earlier mythologies and legends in the middle east, so it makes sense that the latest incarnation is no more real than Baal. Thus it doesn’t make sense to me and there is no evidence for it. The same is true for all the other deities in every other religion one earth. That’s why I’m an atheist.

  • ~DS~

    DH I doubt one could be a strictly speaking atheist and have a sincere belief in heaven or hell. It would be kinda like saying you’re a vegetarian but you eat lots of red meat and fish.
    As Tom pointed out there is no consensus among you for what an atheist is or what an agnostic. I’d probably be an atheist agnostic meaning I strongly doubt there is any kind of anthropormorhic deity or super natural being. I don’t rule it out. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Atheists tend to be strong individualists and they come in the same varieties in every way as any other broad group of people.
    Joe brought up worldview and there seems to be a tacit belief among some of your that atheists such as myself hold beliefs. I really can’t think of a single such belief I hold. Pretty much everything I can think of I believe for one of two reasons:
    1. It makes sense
    2. There is good evidence for it
    And in most cases both. I can’t prove beyond metaphysical certainty that other people have emotions, but it makes sense that they do and there is evidence they do based on how they act, the fact that they have the same physiology as I do, and what they say. Quantum Physics makes no intuitive sense, but it makes testable prediction so there is a great deal of evidence that it’s a valid model.
    To me the idea of anthropormorphic deities doesn’t make any sense. In the Christian doctrine for example allegedly an omniscient omnipotent omni benevolent being created the universe and mankind. That doesn’t make any sense because such a being would be perfect, and a perfect being would have no need of a change in the status quo. In that same doctrine this creature produced a hybrid offspring of himself and a human female who went on to ‘die for our sins’. But immortal beings cannot die and if it wanted to forgive us for our sins it is omnipotent, there is no need for such a process and that process makes no sense rationally. Lastly there is no empirical evidence for such a being. It can allegedly make galaxies but when tested it cannot even manage to move a paper clip across a table under controlled conditions. A good chunk of sermons reinforcing the belief in this being are taken up apologizing for why it can’t or will not provide any evidence for it’s existence, etc.,. And one can literally trace the OT deity from earlier mythologies and legends in the middle east, so it makes sense that the latest incarnation is no more real than Baal. Thus it doesn’t make sense to me and there is no evidence for it. The same is true for all the other deities in every other religion one earth. That’s why I’m an atheist.

  • Emmaus

    Mumon says: “It is “conservative Christians” who have to take responsibility for the increasees in poverty, the deaths in Iraq (hundreds of thousands of Iraqis), the rampant abuse of the environment, the rise in abortions (yep, they went up under Bush), and the abuses of civil liberties.
    Ahhh.. I see. Everything is our fault, right? How, in any way, does anything in this post have even the LEAST bit to do with conservative Christians specifically? Do we control the world? Heck, we can’t even WIN the abortion debate, much less PREVENT abortions in the U.S. Last I checked, Roe was still in effect. Until that gets overturned, it’s the responsibility of the U.S. and state governments, not those of conservative Christians. We’ve been talking to whoever will listen about the scourge of abortion for 30 years! What else shall we do, dear murmon? Please, enlighten us? Because I’m fairly sure that every conservative Christian would love to know how to put a stop to the killing.
    the deaths in Iraq (hundreds of thousands of Iraqis)
    This is utter bunk, bud. This is a blown-out statistic created by a bunch of European doctors who have a political reason to inflate the casualty count. Truthfully, newer estimates show that there have been some 8,000 casualties in Iraq, although the number is debatable, and no one, I think, truely knows at this point how many have died. Those casualties are unfortunate, and I think we can all agree that it would have been better had they not happened at at all. However, what is worse, I ask: several thousand innocents lost in the battle for freedom, or several MILLION killed in the name of evil? The logic used by folks who think like you is utterly ridiculous in it’s ignorance of the facts. Beyond that, there are times when God says that war is right. But, again, that decision was not up to me or any other conservative Christian. That was a decision made by the secular government of the United States, with the advice and consent of the U.S. Congress, and enough U.N. resolutions to wallpaper your living room. Again, I ask, what in the world does this have to do with conservative Christianity?
    the rampant abuse of the environment
    Again, what does this have to do with conservative Christianity? Why would you tie the environment to this group, and assign responsibility? How is this, in any way, our responsibility as a group? I would say this is the broader responsibility of Americans, or, perhaps everyone who lives on this planet. Why would you single out conservative Christians as soley responsible? Silliness, mumon.
    the abuses of civil liberties
    What abuses would those be, mumon? I’ve heard unbelievable levels of sophistry with regard to this issue. For every alleged “abuse” you can name, I can name one fewer terrorist who threatens us. For every alledged “civil liberty” that have been “trampled on,” there are equally as many cases of terrorist rings that have been broken up, terror plots foiled. Do you get the point? Beyond that, again I ask, how is this the responsibility of conservative Christians? Civil liberties are created by government, and enforced by the, again, secular government in the U.S. There are no churches involved in “civil liberties” – assigning those rights, enforcing those rights, and punishing those who violate them. This is the responsibily of civil govnerment.
    Again, you utterly fail to explain how any of this is the responsibility of conservative Christians.

  • Emmaus

    Mumon says: “It is “conservative Christians” who have to take responsibility for the increasees in poverty, the deaths in Iraq (hundreds of thousands of Iraqis), the rampant abuse of the environment, the rise in abortions (yep, they went up under Bush), and the abuses of civil liberties.
    Ahhh.. I see. Everything is our fault, right? How, in any way, does anything in this post have even the LEAST bit to do with conservative Christians specifically? Do we control the world? Heck, we can’t even WIN the abortion debate, much less PREVENT abortions in the U.S. Last I checked, Roe was still in effect. Until that gets overturned, it’s the responsibility of the U.S. and state governments, not those of conservative Christians. We’ve been talking to whoever will listen about the scourge of abortion for 30 years! What else shall we do, dear murmon? Please, enlighten us? Because I’m fairly sure that every conservative Christian would love to know how to put a stop to the killing.
    the deaths in Iraq (hundreds of thousands of Iraqis)
    This is utter bunk, bud. This is a blown-out statistic created by a bunch of European doctors who have a political reason to inflate the casualty count. Truthfully, newer estimates show that there have been some 8,000 casualties in Iraq, although the number is debatable, and no one, I think, truely knows at this point how many have died. Those casualties are unfortunate, and I think we can all agree that it would have been better had they not happened at at all. However, what is worse, I ask: several thousand innocents lost in the battle for freedom, or several MILLION killed in the name of evil? The logic used by folks who think like you is utterly ridiculous in it’s ignorance of the facts. Beyond that, there are times when God says that war is right. But, again, that decision was not up to me or any other conservative Christian. That was a decision made by the secular government of the United States, with the advice and consent of the U.S. Congress, and enough U.N. resolutions to wallpaper your living room. Again, I ask, what in the world does this have to do with conservative Christianity?
    the rampant abuse of the environment
    Again, what does this have to do with conservative Christianity? Why would you tie the environment to this group, and assign responsibility? How is this, in any way, our responsibility as a group? I would say this is the broader responsibility of Americans, or, perhaps everyone who lives on this planet. Why would you single out conservative Christians as soley responsible? Silliness, mumon.
    the abuses of civil liberties
    What abuses would those be, mumon? I’ve heard unbelievable levels of sophistry with regard to this issue. For every alleged “abuse” you can name, I can name one fewer terrorist who threatens us. For every alledged “civil liberty” that have been “trampled on,” there are equally as many cases of terrorist rings that have been broken up, terror plots foiled. Do you get the point? Beyond that, again I ask, how is this the responsibility of conservative Christians? Civil liberties are created by government, and enforced by the, again, secular government in the U.S. There are no churches involved in “civil liberties” – assigning those rights, enforcing those rights, and punishing those who violate them. This is the responsibily of civil govnerment.
    Again, you utterly fail to explain how any of this is the responsibility of conservative Christians.

  • Jack McCullough

    Emmaus said:
    We’ve been talking to whoever will listen about the scourge of abortion for 30 years! What else shall we do, dear murmon? Please, enlighten us? Because I’m fairly sure that every conservative Christian would love to know how to put a stop to the killing.
    Here’s one thing you could do: convince the conservative Christian who’s in the White House and the government he runs to stop trying to block people who want to teach kids where babies come from and how to stop it. If you really wanted fewer abortions you would be in favor of making contraception and contraception education available to kids who you know you can’t prevent from having sex. By pushing abstinence-only sex education programs you are making abortions inevitable.
    For an example, read this article from today’s Salon about sex education in Texas, including an illustration from a textbook they’re using down there that lists getting plenty of rest as one way to avoid catching sexually transmitted diseases, but doesn’t list using condoms.

  • Jack McCullough

    Emmaus said:
    We’ve been talking to whoever will listen about the scourge of abortion for 30 years! What else shall we do, dear murmon? Please, enlighten us? Because I’m fairly sure that every conservative Christian would love to know how to put a stop to the killing.
    Here’s one thing you could do: convince the conservative Christian who’s in the White House and the government he runs to stop trying to block people who want to teach kids where babies come from and how to stop it. If you really wanted fewer abortions you would be in favor of making contraception and contraception education available to kids who you know you can’t prevent from having sex. By pushing abstinence-only sex education programs you are making abortions inevitable.
    For an example, read this article from today’s Salon about sex education in Texas, including an illustration from a textbook they’re using down there that lists getting plenty of rest as one way to avoid catching sexually transmitted diseases, but doesn’t list using condoms.

  • Emmaus

    You know what’s funny about the athiest’s responses in this thread? They’re attacking the methodology, the statistics, and the definitions of athiests vs. agnostics. But you know what they’re not doing? They’re not discussing the essence of the results! We’re not here to talk about dictionary definitions and about homogeny among populations! This thread is about how, in a group that claims to have no particular religious beliefs, there are literally large percentages of a sample population who say that they pray, go to church, read the bible, and want to talk about faith. The real question here is why, when these folks profess having no interest in all things “religious” do these same folks participate in clearly “religious” activities?

  • Emmaus

    You know what’s funny about the athiest’s responses in this thread? They’re attacking the methodology, the statistics, and the definitions of athiests vs. agnostics. But you know what they’re not doing? They’re not discussing the essence of the results! We’re not here to talk about dictionary definitions and about homogeny among populations! This thread is about how, in a group that claims to have no particular religious beliefs, there are literally large percentages of a sample population who say that they pray, go to church, read the bible, and want to talk about faith. The real question here is why, when these folks profess having no interest in all things “religious” do these same folks participate in clearly “religious” activities?

  • Emmaus

    Jack – abstinence education works. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
    Beyond that, contraception won’t stop legal aborition. It might reduce it. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about eliminating it.
    Also, I don’t consider Salon a valid source. They have an obvious axe to grind. If you want to discuss scientific study, then, by all means, lets. But, I won’t discuss hyperbole and sophistry by a left-wing online magazine with obvious motive to distort.

  • Emmaus

    Jack – abstinence education works. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
    Beyond that, contraception won’t stop legal aborition. It might reduce it. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about eliminating it.
    Also, I don’t consider Salon a valid source. They have an obvious axe to grind. If you want to discuss scientific study, then, by all means, lets. But, I won’t discuss hyperbole and sophistry by a left-wing online magazine with obvious motive to distort.

  • Emmaus

    Jack says: block people who want to teach kids where babies come from
    The only people he’s trying to “block” are schools. I would strongly disagree, as the father of a young girl, that this is where I want my children learning about “where babies come from.” I think that this is something that should be taught in the home, when the parents feel its appropriate. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather see sex education as a whole removed from public school curriculums.

  • Emmaus

    Jack says: block people who want to teach kids where babies come from
    The only people he’s trying to “block” are schools. I would strongly disagree, as the father of a young girl, that this is where I want my children learning about “where babies come from.” I think that this is something that should be taught in the home, when the parents feel its appropriate. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather see sex education as a whole removed from public school curriculums.

  • Joe Carter

    Jack,
    On a more serious note, I don’t think we’ve gotten to a basic question, which is, what is the point of posting something like these survey results?
    To show that the actions of those who call themselves atheist are often at odds with their claims not to be

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Jack,
    On a more serious note, I don’t think we’ve gotten to a basic question, which is, what is the point of posting something like these survey results?
    To show that the actions of those who call themselves atheist are often at odds with their claims not to be

  • http://barwise.blogspot.com/ BCB

    When the study you cite says that 1 out of 2 Atheists and Agnostics believe X, does that mean that both 1 out of 2 atheists believe X and 1 out of 2 agnostics believe in X or is it a composite. And if so, if it an equal distribution of participants and are the response patterns evenly distributed?

  • http://barwise.blogspot.com/ BCB

    When the study you cite says that 1 out of 2 Atheists and Agnostics believe X, does that mean that both 1 out of 2 atheists believe X and 1 out of 2 agnostics believe in X or is it a composite. And if so, if it an equal distribution of participants and are the response patterns evenly distributed?

  • Joe Carter

    BCB,
    When the study you cite says that 1 out of 2 Atheists and Agnostics believe X, does that mean that both 1 out of 2 atheists believe X and 1 out of 2 agnostics believe in X or is it a composite.
    My understanding is that it

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    BCB,
    When the study you cite says that 1 out of 2 Atheists and Agnostics believe X, does that mean that both 1 out of 2 atheists believe X and 1 out of 2 agnostics believe in X or is it a composite.
    My understanding is that it

  • http://www.gryphmon.com/ Patrick

    “The real question here is why, when these folks profess having no interest in all things “religious” do these same folks participate in clearly “religious” activities?”
    If you start looking at the Barna Group’s statistics on what Christians believe, you would also find quite a few surprises. Apparently atheists have not cornered the market on confusing beliefs.
    http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topics
    I will point out that agnostics are quite different from atheists in many ways. They should not have been grouped together in the study.

  • http://www.gryphmon.com Patrick

    “The real question here is why, when these folks profess having no interest in all things “religious” do these same folks participate in clearly “religious” activities?”
    If you start looking at the Barna Group’s statistics on what Christians believe, you would also find quite a few surprises. Apparently atheists have not cornered the market on confusing beliefs.
    http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=Topics
    I will point out that agnostics are quite different from atheists in many ways. They should not have been grouped together in the study.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com/ William Meisheid

    >trying to block people who want to teach kids where babies come from and how to stop it. If you really wanted fewer abortions you would be in favor of making contraception and contraception education available to kids who you know you can’t prevent from having sex.
    Nothing like giving up and giving in. Oh yeh, it’s just sex as if the only moral component to sexual activity and the betrayal that is an integral part of it is related to religion.
    Your argument is like getting everyone to wear oversize boxing gloves because it is impossible to stop kids from fighting and any effort to do so is doomed, so we might as well keep them from doing too much damage. Ha!
    Fighting is wrong for kids and so is sex. People do wrong things. Facilitating that and then, if they acted even more irresponsibly and get pregnant, rewarding them with an “out” by allowing them to murder the child they created is a complete denial of responsibility.
    At least abstanence admits there is responsibility for what you might do and places things in a larger than my selfish motives and desires perspective. The “education”, condoms, and abortion approach denies it all.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com William Meisheid

    >trying to block people who want to teach kids where babies come from and how to stop it. If you really wanted fewer abortions you would be in favor of making contraception and contraception education available to kids who you know you can’t prevent from having sex.
    Nothing like giving up and giving in. Oh yeh, it’s just sex as if the only moral component to sexual activity and the betrayal that is an integral part of it is related to religion.
    Your argument is like getting everyone to wear oversize boxing gloves because it is impossible to stop kids from fighting and any effort to do so is doomed, so we might as well keep them from doing too much damage. Ha!
    Fighting is wrong for kids and so is sex. People do wrong things. Facilitating that and then, if they acted even more irresponsibly and get pregnant, rewarding them with an “out” by allowing them to murder the child they created is a complete denial of responsibility.
    At least abstanence admits there is responsibility for what you might do and places things in a larger than my selfish motives and desires perspective. The “education”, condoms, and abortion approach denies it all.

  • Larry Lord

    Emmaus
    Maybe you should drink more coffee.
    “I think that this is something that should be taught in the home, when the parents feel its appropriate. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather see sex education as a whole removed from public school curriculums.”
    What about all the parents who never feel it’s appropriate to talk about the details of the birds and bees with their children? Where are their children supposed to learn about contraception, Emmaus, if not in the public school?
    The nice thing about having you around, Emmaus, is that, as far as I can tell, you embody *perfectly* the sort of head-in-the-sand hear-only-what-you-want-to-hear righteous judgmental fact-denying ill-informed shortsighted Christian (dare I say it) that Karl Rove adores. You are IT, man. You do exist and when Joe Carter asks “Who Is the Christian Right?” he need look no further than you. Congratulations, I guess.
    “The real question here is why, when these folks profess having no interest in all things “religious” do these same folks participate in clearly “religious” activities?”
    Emmaus, can you show me where a group purporting to represent all of of this country’s atheists ever said that “atheists have no interest in things ‘religious’?
    Of course you can’t. So enough with the strawman.
    How many times do I have to point out that I’m extremely interested in “things religious” before you feign shock over the heterogeneity of self-proclaimed atheist lifestyles?
    I also enjoy the feelings of awe and quietude that I experience when I step into a beautiful church (there’s a lot of really nice ones in France which I assume you’ll never see) or when I watch a movie by Carl Dreyer or Robert Bresson.
    What does that say about my atheism? Am I a “weak” atheist because I don’t scribble profanity on the sides of church’s or because I don’t want to make religion illegal? Of course not.

  • Larry Lord

    Emmaus
    Maybe you should drink more coffee.
    “I think that this is something that should be taught in the home, when the parents feel its appropriate. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather see sex education as a whole removed from public school curriculums.”
    What about all the parents who never feel it’s appropriate to talk about the details of the birds and bees with their children? Where are their children supposed to learn about contraception, Emmaus, if not in the public school?
    The nice thing about having you around, Emmaus, is that, as far as I can tell, you embody *perfectly* the sort of head-in-the-sand hear-only-what-you-want-to-hear righteous judgmental fact-denying ill-informed shortsighted Christian (dare I say it) that Karl Rove adores. You are IT, man. You do exist and when Joe Carter asks “Who Is the Christian Right?” he need look no further than you. Congratulations, I guess.
    “The real question here is why, when these folks profess having no interest in all things “religious” do these same folks participate in clearly “religious” activities?”
    Emmaus, can you show me where a group purporting to represent all of of this country’s atheists ever said that “atheists have no interest in things ‘religious’?
    Of course you can’t. So enough with the strawman.
    How many times do I have to point out that I’m extremely interested in “things religious” before you feign shock over the heterogeneity of self-proclaimed atheist lifestyles?
    I also enjoy the feelings of awe and quietude that I experience when I step into a beautiful church (there’s a lot of really nice ones in France which I assume you’ll never see) or when I watch a movie by Carl Dreyer or Robert Bresson.
    What does that say about my atheism? Am I a “weak” atheist because I don’t scribble profanity on the sides of church’s or because I don’t want to make religion illegal? Of course not.

  • Larry Lord

    William writes
    “Fighting is wrong for kids and so is sex.”
    Since when, William? What is a “kid” exactly and since when is sex “wrong” for “kids”?
    More specifically, on what date in history did sex become “wrong” for this group of humans you define as “kids”?
    Feel free to recognize and admit your hypocricy at any time, William. That way you prevent me from wasting my time pointing out to you. If you get a kick out of wasting people’s time, then you should ask yourself whether that’s the sort of enjoyment that Christ approves of.

  • Larry Lord

    William writes
    “Fighting is wrong for kids and so is sex.”
    Since when, William? What is a “kid” exactly and since when is sex “wrong” for “kids”?
    More specifically, on what date in history did sex become “wrong” for this group of humans you define as “kids”?
    Feel free to recognize and admit your hypocricy at any time, William. That way you prevent me from wasting my time pointing out to you. If you get a kick out of wasting people’s time, then you should ask yourself whether that’s the sort of enjoyment that Christ approves of.

  • Rob Ryan

    “If an atheist reads the bible, goes to church, believes in the existence of the soul, heaven, hell, life after death, teaching creationism, absolute morals, and prayer, are they considered a

  • Rob Ryan

    “If an atheist reads the bible, goes to church, believes in the existence of the soul, heaven, hell, life after death, teaching creationism, absolute morals, and prayer, are they considered a

  • Larry Lord

    More baloney from William:
    “Your argument is like getting everyone to wear oversize boxing gloves because it is impossible to stop kids from fighting and any effort to do so is doomed, so we might as well keep them from doing too much damage. ”
    No it’s not. It’s like saying that fighting is likely to give you a bloody nose so if you don’t want to get a bloody nose, don’t fight. But if you do fight, wear overize boxing gloves, and recognize that you still might get a bloody nose or a concussion, which is something you desperately want to avoid until you are fully prepared to accept the consequences which, I can assure you, you are not.
    Is it really so hard to write an accurate analogy, William?
    Please show me an example of one school that encourages kids to have sex, conceive of an unwanted baby, and abort it. Just one.
    Until you do that, William, you’ve got nothing but your own hung up views on sex to deal with. Go rent a movie.

  • Larry Lord

    More baloney from William:
    “Your argument is like getting everyone to wear oversize boxing gloves because it is impossible to stop kids from fighting and any effort to do so is doomed, so we might as well keep them from doing too much damage. ”
    No it’s not. It’s like saying that fighting is likely to give you a bloody nose so if you don’t want to get a bloody nose, don’t fight. But if you do fight, wear overize boxing gloves, and recognize that you still might get a bloody nose or a concussion, which is something you desperately want to avoid until you are fully prepared to accept the consequences which, I can assure you, you are not.
    Is it really so hard to write an accurate analogy, William?
    Please show me an example of one school that encourages kids to have sex, conceive of an unwanted baby, and abort it. Just one.
    Until you do that, William, you’ve got nothing but your own hung up views on sex to deal with. Go rent a movie.

  • dh

    To Rob Ryan; read Romans 1 you will see that all people know there is a God. It is a matter of what they will do with that knowledge. Reject it or accept it.

  • dh

    To Rob Ryan; read Romans 1 you will see that all people know there is a God. It is a matter of what they will do with that knowledge. Reject it or accept it.

  • ~DS~

    Last time I checked, Rick, stamp collectors weren’t trying to impose their views on everyone else. You just let me know if the bastards start. Hehe, good comment.
    DH it’s kinda silly to claim atheists or non christians ‘really’ believe in God because it says so in the bible.

  • ~DS~

    Last time I checked, Rick, stamp collectors weren’t trying to impose their views on everyone else. You just let me know if the bastards start. Hehe, good comment.
    DH it’s kinda silly to claim atheists or non christians ‘really’ believe in God because it says so in the bible.

  • dh

    I’m not saying they “believe” in God. I’m just letting you know how many ex-atheists have come to know Christ. They see the Creation and realize the fact that the odds for all of this to come into existance are far beyond the possibilities of chance. Romans 1:20-23 “20: Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived 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 senseless minds were darkened.
    22: Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
    23: and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling MORTAL MAN” or birds or animals or reptiles.”
    29: “They were filled with all manner of wickedness…” one being 30: “…haters of God…” atheists.

  • dh

    I’m not saying they “believe” in God. I’m just letting you know how many ex-atheists have come to know Christ. They see the Creation and realize the fact that the odds for all of this to come into existance are far beyond the possibilities of chance. Romans 1:20-23 “20: Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived 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 senseless minds were darkened.
    22: Claiming to be wise, they became fools,
    23: and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling MORTAL MAN” or birds or animals or reptiles.”
    29: “They were filled with all manner of wickedness…” one being 30: “…haters of God…” atheists.

  • ~DS~

    DH the point is your trying to shore up one unsubstantiated claim by using another unsubstantiated claim from the same text of unsubstantiated claims…this is known as circular reaosning. It’s not necessarily wrong in it’s conclusion but structurally it’s an invalid method of getting solid conclusions.
    Look, you want some advice on who to make your religoin more plausible to atheists like me? I think you might get past a lot of the inherent paradoxes in the classical idea of God as a perfect being if you’d allow God the capacity to make mistakes. Free Will has been a dicey issue in theistic philosophy for centuries. If God knows everything that will happen to a certainty, and if you indeed have free will, then it’s possible for you to cause the omniscient being to have a false belief about the future.
    That’s a conundrum which has occupied the minds of generations of religious scholars and there is no neat solution to it. Either God knows what you will do and configured your personality and circumstances in such a way as to make His knowledge of your future actions 100% perfect, or he does not know for sure what you’re going to do which eliminates total omniscience.
    You could easily get around that and avoid convoluted apologetics-which in the end don’t make a damn bit of sense-simply by leaving the possibility that God gave up some of his omniscience in order to allow humans Free Will. You would also remove the problems related to this paradox such as ‘why did God not see Satan’s rebellion coming” or ‘why did God let Satan into the Garden of Eden if he knew what was going to happen’ and so on.
    I don’t want to give anyone the idea that I or other might jump on board once you do that, but it would remove a big chunck of the ‘this doesn’t make any damn sense’ objection a lot of us have.

  • ~DS~

    DH the point is your trying to shore up one unsubstantiated claim by using another unsubstantiated claim from the same text of unsubstantiated claims…this is known as circular reaosning. It’s not necessarily wrong in it’s conclusion but structurally it’s an invalid method of getting solid conclusions.
    Look, you want some advice on who to make your religoin more plausible to atheists like me? I think you might get past a lot of the inherent paradoxes in the classical idea of God as a perfect being if you’d allow God the capacity to make mistakes. Free Will has been a dicey issue in theistic philosophy for centuries. If God knows everything that will happen to a certainty, and if you indeed have free will, then it’s possible for you to cause the omniscient being to have a false belief about the future.
    That’s a conundrum which has occupied the minds of generations of religious scholars and there is no neat solution to it. Either God knows what you will do and configured your personality and circumstances in such a way as to make His knowledge of your future actions 100% perfect, or he does not know for sure what you’re going to do which eliminates total omniscience.
    You could easily get around that and avoid convoluted apologetics-which in the end don’t make a damn bit of sense-simply by leaving the possibility that God gave up some of his omniscience in order to allow humans Free Will. You would also remove the problems related to this paradox such as ‘why did God not see Satan’s rebellion coming” or ‘why did God let Satan into the Garden of Eden if he knew what was going to happen’ and so on.
    I don’t want to give anyone the idea that I or other might jump on board once you do that, but it would remove a big chunck of the ‘this doesn’t make any damn sense’ objection a lot of us have.

  • Emmaus

    DS: If God knows everything that will happen to a certainty, and if you indeed have free will, then it’s possible for you to cause the omniscient being to have a false belief about the future.
    I don’t want to be simply contrarian, DS, but, I disagree with your reasoning here. Just because one has free will does not mean that God cannot know what you’ll do with that free will. If God is omniscient (and He is), he already knows how you’ll choose when you make a choice or decision. That doesn’t preclude you from making the choice, and thereby negating God’s omniscience. It just means that God will know what you’ll do.
    Let’s frame that argument in scientific terms. If you are a third dimensional being (which you are), and there is a fourth dimensional being watching you, he’ll know what you did in the past, and what you’ll do in the future, based upon the facts of 4th dimensional space-time. Your decision on which way you go doesn’t change the beings ability to see which way you went, and which way you’re going to go, since he can see your future. In other words, to him, you’ve already made the choice, regardless of what choice you actually make in the third dimension.

  • Emmaus

    DS: If God knows everything that will happen to a certainty, and if you indeed have free will, then it’s possible for you to cause the omniscient being to have a false belief about the future.
    I don’t want to be simply contrarian, DS, but, I disagree with your reasoning here. Just because one has free will does not mean that God cannot know what you’ll do with that free will. If God is omniscient (and He is), he already knows how you’ll choose when you make a choice or decision. That doesn’t preclude you from making the choice, and thereby negating God’s omniscience. It just means that God will know what you’ll do.
    Let’s frame that argument in scientific terms. If you are a third dimensional being (which you are), and there is a fourth dimensional being watching you, he’ll know what you did in the past, and what you’ll do in the future, based upon the facts of 4th dimensional space-time. Your decision on which way you go doesn’t change the beings ability to see which way you went, and which way you’re going to go, since he can see your future. In other words, to him, you’ve already made the choice, regardless of what choice you actually make in the third dimension.

  • ~DS~

    If God is omniscient (and He is), he already knows how you’ll choose when you make a choice or decision.
    If you have no ability to force God into a situation in which he has a false belief then you have no free will. If you do have that ability then God can be wrong, this is true regardless if that permutation ever actually occurs. It’s simple, it’s basic…it’s been around since the dark ages.
    Look I could care less about the Free Will thing. It’s been done to death centuries ago and the aplogetics for it frankly suck imo they’re so ridiculously bad.
    I’m saying if you want to appeal to folks such as myself who see the idea of a perfect being incompatable with the world we observe then you might consider allowing God the capacity to make a mistake here and there.
    Otherwise you end up with a being who purposely set mankind up to fail and who purposely created old age, death, or ebola as examples knowing full well the horror and pain it would produce who is perfectly loving and who could have done all of it another way which didn’t hurt anyone because it can do anything.
    This is obvioulsy from any rational perspective a load of crap. It’s designed to reconcile the real world we observe with the mythological inconsistentcies in your faith-and lest someone think I’m picking on Christians the same is true of most religions.
    Such a creatures, if they existed, would be considered the most dangerous murdering psycho in the universe. Now I don’t know if such creatures exist or not but they certainly aren’t detectable using our own senses or high precision instruments that go far beyond our senses.
    These entities if they do exist so far have exactly the same properties as entities which do not exist at all. as it makes no sense and cannot be tested, it is imo opinion futile to propose as a real solution to anything. I recognize that religion providea real benefits regardless if these super natural creatures exist or not, but not everyone can simply turn beliefs in thigns which make no sense and which have no evidence on and off at will. I can’t. I didn’t make a concious decision to be an atheist. The rleigion just doesn’t make any sense and their is no evidence for it, the only way I could pass as a thiest is if I was faking.

  • ~DS~

    If God is omniscient (and He is), he already knows how you’ll choose when you make a choice or decision.
    If you have no ability to force God into a situation in which he has a false belief then you have no free will. If you do have that ability then God can be wrong, this is true regardless if that permutation ever actually occurs. It’s simple, it’s basic…it’s been around since the dark ages.
    Look I could care less about the Free Will thing. It’s been done to death centuries ago and the aplogetics for it frankly suck imo they’re so ridiculously bad.
    I’m saying if you want to appeal to folks such as myself who see the idea of a perfect being incompatable with the world we observe then you might consider allowing God the capacity to make a mistake here and there.
    Otherwise you end up with a being who purposely set mankind up to fail and who purposely created old age, death, or ebola as examples knowing full well the horror and pain it would produce who is perfectly loving and who could have done all of it another way which didn’t hurt anyone because it can do anything.
    This is obvioulsy from any rational perspective a load of crap. It’s designed to reconcile the real world we observe with the mythological inconsistentcies in your faith-and lest someone think I’m picking on Christians the same is true of most religions.
    Such a creatures, if they existed, would be considered the most dangerous murdering psycho in the universe. Now I don’t know if such creatures exist or not but they certainly aren’t detectable using our own senses or high precision instruments that go far beyond our senses.
    These entities if they do exist so far have exactly the same properties as entities which do not exist at all. as it makes no sense and cannot be tested, it is imo opinion futile to propose as a real solution to anything. I recognize that religion providea real benefits regardless if these super natural creatures exist or not, but not everyone can simply turn beliefs in thigns which make no sense and which have no evidence on and off at will. I can’t. I didn’t make a concious decision to be an atheist. The rleigion just doesn’t make any sense and their is no evidence for it, the only way I could pass as a thiest is if I was faking.

  • Emmaus

    DS – you’re ignoring my argument.

  • Emmaus

    DS – you’re ignoring my argument.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    William:

    The only way to judge that is to look at atheist who grow up in a system totally outside the religious inspired social structure you atheists currently swim in.

    Umm, no, why would that be the case? And much of our social structure is not “religious inspired.” You need to be careful with your reasoning, too, because you could be making the implication that people who discover religion later in life will never have the moral foundation of people who were brought up in religion. I’m not sure that’s where you want to go.

    In areas where something akin to this happend, say Cambodia under the Khemer Rouge, they abandoned most of the moral preceps known to all of us.

    Selective anecdotes don’t really make your case. If you’d like to, I could point out all kinds of pointless slaughters that have historically been carried out in the name of religion, but what would it prove? That people — religious or not — have a propensity to kill each other, sometimes in large numbers. It doesn’t tell you much about the relative merits unless one clearly has a much better history than another.

    Can you give any examples of a totally atheistic society that produced a system of morals and a society that you would care to live in?

    Honestly, I can’t give you an example of a totally atheistic society at all, but then, I’ve never called for a totally atheistic society. Just a society that is neutral — neither friendly nor hostile — toward religion. In that way, its citizens can participate in religious practices, or not, as they see fit.
    And while we’re at it, can you give me an example of a large religious society that lacks a violent past?
    dh:

    Other than making abortions illegal what could Bush do?

    Well, for starters, he could stop rolling back the very environmental protections that made the current environment cleaner than Carter’s (by the way, I’m not sure that’s true — can you back it up?).
    Emmaus:

    You know what’s funny about the athiest’s responses in this thread? They’re attacking the methodology, the statistics, and the definitions of athiests vs. agnostics. But you know what they’re not doing? They’re not discussing the essence of the results!

    Actually, Kevin T. Keith addressed it very early. The nutshell version: people are dumb, have inconsistent beliefs, and often believe weird things that aren’t in keeping with their claimed religious outlooks. No group — not atheists, not agnostics, not Christians, not Buddhists — has a monopoly on this.

    abstinence education works. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

    It’s nice you can say that. Too bad the facts mostly disagree. At best, it seems to be completely ineffective.

    Beyond that, contraception won’t stop legal aborition. It might reduce it. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about eliminating it.

    #1: So you’re taking an all-or-nothing approach? If you can’t eliminate it completely, it’s not worth doing everything you can to reduce it?
    #2: You can never eliminate it. Ever. All you can do is make it illegal, but that would barely even affect the numbers.
    #3: It’s nice that you can see the world in black-and-white terms, but to many of the rest of us, even those of us who might be uncomfortable with abortion, the idea of early term abortions is a lot easier to swallow than dumpster babies and coathanger abortions.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather see sex education as a whole removed from public school curriculums.

    Until you get the majority of people to agree with you about this, tough luck. :) In the meantime, you can always remove your daughter from public school and put them into private or parochial school, or even home-school her. That’s your right.
    Joe:

    To show that the actions of those who call themselves atheist are often at odds with their claims not to be

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    William:

    The only way to judge that is to look at atheist who grow up in a system totally outside the religious inspired social structure you atheists currently swim in.

    Umm, no, why would that be the case? And much of our social structure is not “religious inspired.” You need to be careful with your reasoning, too, because you could be making the implication that people who discover religion later in life will never have the moral foundation of people who were brought up in religion. I’m not sure that’s where you want to go.

    In areas where something akin to this happend, say Cambodia under the Khemer Rouge, they abandoned most of the moral preceps known to all of us.

    Selective anecdotes don’t really make your case. If you’d like to, I could point out all kinds of pointless slaughters that have historically been carried out in the name of religion, but what would it prove? That people — religious or not — have a propensity to kill each other, sometimes in large numbers. It doesn’t tell you much about the relative merits unless one clearly has a much better history than another.

    Can you give any examples of a totally atheistic society that produced a system of morals and a society that you would care to live in?

    Honestly, I can’t give you an example of a totally atheistic society at all, but then, I’ve never called for a totally atheistic society. Just a society that is neutral — neither friendly nor hostile — toward religion. In that way, its citizens can participate in religious practices, or not, as they see fit.
    And while we’re at it, can you give me an example of a large religious society that lacks a violent past?
    dh:

    Other than making abortions illegal what could Bush do?

    Well, for starters, he could stop rolling back the very environmental protections that made the current environment cleaner than Carter’s (by the way, I’m not sure that’s true — can you back it up?).
    Emmaus:

    You know what’s funny about the athiest’s responses in this thread? They’re attacking the methodology, the statistics, and the definitions of athiests vs. agnostics. But you know what they’re not doing? They’re not discussing the essence of the results!

    Actually, Kevin T. Keith addressed it very early. The nutshell version: people are dumb, have inconsistent beliefs, and often believe weird things that aren’t in keeping with their claimed religious outlooks. No group — not atheists, not agnostics, not Christians, not Buddhists — has a monopoly on this.

    abstinence education works. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

    It’s nice you can say that. Too bad the facts mostly disagree. At best, it seems to be completely ineffective.

    Beyond that, contraception won’t stop legal aborition. It might reduce it. But, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about eliminating it.

    #1: So you’re taking an all-or-nothing approach? If you can’t eliminate it completely, it’s not worth doing everything you can to reduce it?
    #2: You can never eliminate it. Ever. All you can do is make it illegal, but that would barely even affect the numbers.
    #3: It’s nice that you can see the world in black-and-white terms, but to many of the rest of us, even those of us who might be uncomfortable with abortion, the idea of early term abortions is a lot easier to swallow than dumpster babies and coathanger abortions.

    As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather see sex education as a whole removed from public school curriculums.

    Until you get the majority of people to agree with you about this, tough luck. :) In the meantime, you can always remove your daughter from public school and put them into private or parochial school, or even home-school her. That’s your right.
    Joe:

    To show that the actions of those who call themselves atheist are often at odds with their claims not to be

  • Larry Lord

    It’s sometimes worthwhile to season the abstract discussion with the concrete:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6450861/
    FALLUJAH, Iraq – Fighting in Fallujah has created a humanitarian disaster in which innocent people are dying because medical help can

  • dh

    I will lovingly answer regarding this “free will” issue. I care about you so with care I will answer. — We are in a different dimension than God so therefore we do not nor will not, until we get to heaven, understand what eternity, omnisence or omnipotents is. God could have created us like the angels who currently and in the future have no free will. If He did then that would be like treating the human race like robots. God cared about you so much and wanted a closer relationship to you that he wanted you to have the ability to choose Him or reject Him. “Before you were in your mothers womb I knew you”. God also knew who will accept Him and who will reject Him and He knew this before the foundation of the world. So he has never left any of his omniscence or omnipotents, “at the table”. God also gives us free will to sin but at the same time gave us a way through Jesus to have forgiveness as part of His free will plan (mentioned earlier with the angel relationship). Jesus also was fully God but also fully man, died and rose again as a perfect sacrifice for sin which entered as a result of first Satan and then Adam and Eve sinning. Paul mentions that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Satan also was in His plan as part of free will to try to influence us, within our dimension, to sin and to not choose a relationship with God. Paul mentioned in his letters,” To work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Jesus said,”I have not given you a Spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.” Satan is the author of that fear and he is used as part of the “working out your salvation with fear and trembling”. I hope this helps. It might not answer all of your questions but hopefully you will have somewhat of an idea to begin from.

  • Larry Lord

    It’s sometimes worthwhile to season the abstract discussion with the concrete:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6450861/
    FALLUJAH, Iraq – Fighting in Fallujah has created a humanitarian disaster in which innocent people are dying because medical help can

  • dh

    I will lovingly answer regarding this “free will” issue. I care about you so with care I will answer. — We are in a different dimension than God so therefore we do not nor will not, until we get to heaven, understand what eternity, omnisence or omnipotents is. God could have created us like the angels who currently and in the future have no free will. If He did then that would be like treating the human race like robots. God cared about you so much and wanted a closer relationship to you that he wanted you to have the ability to choose Him or reject Him. “Before you were in your mothers womb I knew you”. God also knew who will accept Him and who will reject Him and He knew this before the foundation of the world. So he has never left any of his omniscence or omnipotents, “at the table”. God also gives us free will to sin but at the same time gave us a way through Jesus to have forgiveness as part of His free will plan (mentioned earlier with the angel relationship). Jesus also was fully God but also fully man, died and rose again as a perfect sacrifice for sin which entered as a result of first Satan and then Adam and Eve sinning. Paul mentions that “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Satan also was in His plan as part of free will to try to influence us, within our dimension, to sin and to not choose a relationship with God. Paul mentioned in his letters,” To work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Jesus said,”I have not given you a Spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind.” Satan is the author of that fear and he is used as part of the “working out your salvation with fear and trembling”. I hope this helps. It might not answer all of your questions but hopefully you will have somewhat of an idea to begin from.

  • Jack

    How come these threads never stay on topic?
    When I was an agnostic, I dabbled in the spiritual for the same reason I dabbled in art or music; I was intensely curious.
    People who completely reject the possiblity of anything spiritual aren’t necesesarily evil or intellectually committed to a point a view, they are more likely just indifferent to the possibility of of the existence of anything they don’t see with their own eyes.
    They are probably equally agnostic about gravity.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Joe:

    There is a huge difference between denying that any God exists and having a misunderstanding of what He is like.

    But by what right do you even assume that there is just one God, or that He is a “He?”
    William:

    Nothing like giving up and giving in.

    What’s your alternative, then? And what’s more important to you, reducing and/or eliminating abortions, or maintaining what you perceive as the moral high ground while abortions skyrocket? (Yes, I realize that by itself is a false dilemma, but until I hear the “better idea,” that’s what we’re left with.) It’s well-established that abstinence-only education is ineffective, and it’s well-established that making abortion illegal does not significantly affect the rate at which women seek — and obtain — abortions.
    It should also be pointed out that the evidence suggests that following comprehensive sex education (not just the “abstinence-only” kind), kids are more likely to wait before engaging in sexual activity. Less sex, fewer pregnancies, fewer abortions. What’s not to like?
    dh:

    To Rob Ryan; read Romans 1 you will see that all people know there is a God.

    Paraphrased: “The Bible is true! Don’t believe me? Read the Bible, it says so!” Somehow that’s not terribly convincing.

  • Jack

    How come these threads never stay on topic?
    When I was an agnostic, I dabbled in the spiritual for the same reason I dabbled in art or music; I was intensely curious.
    People who completely reject the possiblity of anything spiritual aren’t necesesarily evil or intellectually committed to a point a view, they are more likely just indifferent to the possibility of of the existence of anything they don’t see with their own eyes.
    They are probably equally agnostic about gravity.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Joe:

    There is a huge difference between denying that any God exists and having a misunderstanding of what He is like.

    But by what right do you even assume that there is just one God, or that He is a “He?”
    William:

    Nothing like giving up and giving in.

    What’s your alternative, then? And what’s more important to you, reducing and/or eliminating abortions, or maintaining what you perceive as the moral high ground while abortions skyrocket? (Yes, I realize that by itself is a false dilemma, but until I hear the “better idea,” that’s what we’re left with.) It’s well-established that abstinence-only education is ineffective, and it’s well-established that making abortion illegal does not significantly affect the rate at which women seek — and obtain — abortions.
    It should also be pointed out that the evidence suggests that following comprehensive sex education (not just the “abstinence-only” kind), kids are more likely to wait before engaging in sexual activity. Less sex, fewer pregnancies, fewer abortions. What’s not to like?
    dh:

    To Rob Ryan; read Romans 1 you will see that all people know there is a God.

    Paraphrased: “The Bible is true! Don’t believe me? Read the Bible, it says so!” Somehow that’s not terribly convincing.

  • Emmaus

    DS – and on further reading, it seems that what you’re saying is that you reject Christianity because it doesn’t make any sense to you. To that, I would say that you haven’t, then, given it a real chance. If you outright reject something because it seems foolish or contradictory to you, well then, you’d be putting down the scientific method that you hold dear. If that were the case in the science world, things like quantum mechanics would have never been “discovered.” After all, the laws of quantum mechanics go completely against what you can see, or feel, describe, experience, or, sometimes, what you *think* should happen. The laws of quantum mechanics seem to contradict things like statics and dynamics, Newton’s laws, etc. In other words, the normal laws of physics. However, I don’t doubt that you believe that they are real. You find, after some study, that quantum mechanics, although contradictary to our everyday experiences as humans, actually do exist. But, you have to look, learn, and understand why first.
    The same argument can be applied to the supernatural, and specifically to Christianity. Look, I was you not too long ago… a skeptic, an unbeliever. But, when I started investigating Christianity, something unexpected happened.. I became a believer, just like millions of others before me. But, the first step to even understanding where anyone on this site, or any other Christian site for that matter, is to first understand our Christianity. I just don’t think, it seems, that you’ve ever given it a *real* chance. It’s easy to reject Chrisitianity outright with claims of fairy tales and contradictions. But, when you give it a real chance, seeking out people who can answer your questions, and then giving them a real chance to explain without prejudgement, then you might be surprised at how much sense it actually makes.

  • Emmaus

    DS – and on further reading, it seems that what you’re saying is that you reject Christianity because it doesn’t make any sense to you. To that, I would say that you haven’t, then, given it a real chance. If you outright reject something because it seems foolish or contradictory to you, well then, you’d be putting down the scientific method that you hold dear. If that were the case in the science world, things like quantum mechanics would have never been “discovered.” After all, the laws of quantum mechanics go completely against what you can see, or feel, describe, experience, or, sometimes, what you *think* should happen. The laws of quantum mechanics seem to contradict things like statics and dynamics, Newton’s laws, etc. In other words, the normal laws of physics. However, I don’t doubt that you believe that they are real. You find, after some study, that quantum mechanics, although contradictary to our everyday experiences as humans, actually do exist. But, you have to look, learn, and understand why first.
    The same argument can be applied to the supernatural, and specifically to Christianity. Look, I was you not too long ago… a skeptic, an unbeliever. But, when I started investigating Christianity, something unexpected happened.. I became a believer, just like millions of others before me. But, the first step to even understanding where anyone on this site, or any other Christian site for that matter, is to first understand our Christianity. I just don’t think, it seems, that you’ve ever given it a *real* chance. It’s easy to reject Chrisitianity outright with claims of fairy tales and contradictions. But, when you give it a real chance, seeking out people who can answer your questions, and then giving them a real chance to explain without prejudgement, then you might be surprised at how much sense it actually makes.

  • ~DS~

    Emm your argument doesn’t make any sense. In your theology not only does God ‘know’ what you’re going to do, he configured eveything about your personality and circumstances, every atom, every electron, he not only knows what you’re going to do, he’s solely responsible for what you’re going to do because he l knows everything and can do anything and nothing can happen he does not engineer into the fabric of reality. Therefore you cannot be held responsible if yuo follow this preordaine dpath and to be held accountable for it would be rather psychotic if the punishment is eternal torture.
    It’s like programming a ‘bug’ to add numbers and stating you know exactly what it will do but then saying it can do ‘whatever it wants’ and oh by the way if it doesn’t do what I know it will do including disobey me which I programmed it to do in the first place and which I know it will do and which I won’t intervene to stop even though I could … I’m going to torture it for…eternity.
    It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why you have such extensive convoluted apologetics in theistioc faiths which demand perfection in the head deity.
    Now you did ignore my comment which started this which was you could get rid of a lot of the jaw flapping nonsese which atheist find so ridiculous simply by allowing God the capacity to make mistakes.

  • ~DS~

    Emm your argument doesn’t make any sense. In your theology not only does God ‘know’ what you’re going to do, he configured eveything about your personality and circumstances, every atom, every electron, he not only knows what you’re going to do, he’s solely responsible for what you’re going to do because he l knows everything and can do anything and nothing can happen he does not engineer into the fabric of reality. Therefore you cannot be held responsible if yuo follow this preordaine dpath and to be held accountable for it would be rather psychotic if the punishment is eternal torture.
    It’s like programming a ‘bug’ to add numbers and stating you know exactly what it will do but then saying it can do ‘whatever it wants’ and oh by the way if it doesn’t do what I know it will do including disobey me which I programmed it to do in the first place and which I know it will do and which I won’t intervene to stop even though I could … I’m going to torture it for…eternity.
    It doesn’t make any sense. That’s why you have such extensive convoluted apologetics in theistioc faiths which demand perfection in the head deity.
    Now you did ignore my comment which started this which was you could get rid of a lot of the jaw flapping nonsese which atheist find so ridiculous simply by allowing God the capacity to make mistakes.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Emmaus:

    Just because one has free will does not mean that God cannot know what you’ll do with that free will. If God is omniscient (and He is), he already knows how you’ll choose when you make a choice or decision. That doesn’t preclude you from making the choice, and thereby negating God’s omniscience. It just means that God will know what you’ll do.

    Sorry, but that’s a circular argument, and I don’t buy it. If God “knows” that I’m going to have roast beef for dinner tonight, then I must have roast beef tonight, because to not do so would be to prove him wrong. Any illusion of free will I may experience is exactly that — an illusion.
    I should point out that philosophers — atheist, Christian, and otherwise — have struggled with the free will problem for centuries, and still haven’t come up with a decent answer. Your dismissive hand-wave isn’t going to make the problem go away.
    I should point out an alternative way of looking at things: Joe likes to point out that “God is omnipotent” doesn’t mean that He can do anything; it means that He can do anything that is logically possible. Therefore, you avoid the “can He create something so heavy even He cannot lift it problem.” It’s similar to the irresistable force / immovable object problem. They simply cannot both logically exist; the existence of one precludes the existence of the other.
    Tying this all back together, the only way it’s logically possible for God to know, with 100% certainty, what I will “choose” to have for dinner tonight is if there is no other possible option. As long as there is free will, there is uncertainty. As long as there is certainty, there is no free will, at least not in that context.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Emmaus:

    Just because one has free will does not mean that God cannot know what you’ll do with that free will. If God is omniscient (and He is), he already knows how you’ll choose when you make a choice or decision. That doesn’t preclude you from making the choice, and thereby negating God’s omniscience. It just means that God will know what you’ll do.

    Sorry, but that’s a circular argument, and I don’t buy it. If God “knows” that I’m going to have roast beef for dinner tonight, then I must have roast beef tonight, because to not do so would be to prove him wrong. Any illusion of free will I may experience is exactly that — an illusion.
    I should point out that philosophers — atheist, Christian, and otherwise — have struggled with the free will problem for centuries, and still haven’t come up with a decent answer. Your dismissive hand-wave isn’t going to make the problem go away.
    I should point out an alternative way of looking at things: Joe likes to point out that “God is omnipotent” doesn’t mean that He can do anything; it means that He can do anything that is logically possible. Therefore, you avoid the “can He create something so heavy even He cannot lift it problem.” It’s similar to the irresistable force / immovable object problem. They simply cannot both logically exist; the existence of one precludes the existence of the other.
    Tying this all back together, the only way it’s logically possible for God to know, with 100% certainty, what I will “choose” to have for dinner tonight is if there is no other possible option. As long as there is free will, there is uncertainty. As long as there is certainty, there is no free will, at least not in that context.

  • Larry Lord

    Jack writes
    “They are probably equally agnostic about gravity.”
    You mean the invisible sucking force generated by the deity Geofunkstar, who lives (in billions of separate but indivisible parts) in the center of every solid object in the universe?
    I’ve no doubt Geofunkstar exists. Do you? If so, why? Can you prove he doesn’t exist? I didn’t think so.
    Fyi, Geofunkstar really hates people who don’t worship him. Don’t make that mistake.

  • Larry Lord

    Jack writes
    “They are probably equally agnostic about gravity.”
    You mean the invisible sucking force generated by the deity Geofunkstar, who lives (in billions of separate but indivisible parts) in the center of every solid object in the universe?
    I’ve no doubt Geofunkstar exists. Do you? If so, why? Can you prove he doesn’t exist? I didn’t think so.
    Fyi, Geofunkstar really hates people who don’t worship him. Don’t make that mistake.

  • dh

    You are correct TG but that is because we are in a different dimension than God. There are parelle dimensions. Gods dimension and our dimension. Within our dimension we have the free will but within God’s dimension He is all knowing. Don’t you get how much God loves you? God CREATED free will.

  • dh

    You are correct TG but that is because we are in a different dimension than God. There are parelle dimensions. Gods dimension and our dimension. Within our dimension we have the free will but within God’s dimension He is all knowing. Don’t you get how much God loves you? God CREATED free will.

  • ~DS~

    TY Tom I was having trouble articulating that point and Mrs DarkSyde was demanding pork chops and mashe potatos as I tried to respond. You’d think god would have tipped me off AHEAD of time that she would want this for dinner so that I could be prepared :)

  • ~DS~

    TY Tom I was having trouble articulating that point and Mrs DarkSyde was demanding pork chops and mashe potatos as I tried to respond. You’d think god would have tipped me off AHEAD of time that she would want this for dinner so that I could be prepared :)

  • Emmaus

    TG: As long as there is certainty, there is no free will, at least not in that context.
    I would disagree, first of all, that this is circular logic. But, that’s for another time. The fact that God knows what you’ll do does not preclude your ability to choose what you’ll do. It just means that God knows what you’ll do. I think that you’re simply convoluting the argument with philosophical overlays to try and make a point, ignoring the essence of the argument. Simply, it is just that by my performing some action does not mean that God is controlling my actions. It simply means that God knows what it is that I will decide before I decide it. That doesn’t change my will, because, after all, it is my decision. It just means that God will know my decision before I do. If it were as you put it, then God would *prevent* me from making a decision, which is not what I’m arguing at all.

  • Emmaus

    TG: As long as there is certainty, there is no free will, at least not in that context.
    I would disagree, first of all, that this is circular logic. But, that’s for another time. The fact that God knows what you’ll do does not preclude your ability to choose what you’ll do. It just means that God knows what you’ll do. I think that you’re simply convoluting the argument with philosophical overlays to try and make a point, ignoring the essence of the argument. Simply, it is just that by my performing some action does not mean that God is controlling my actions. It simply means that God knows what it is that I will decide before I decide it. That doesn’t change my will, because, after all, it is my decision. It just means that God will know my decision before I do. If it were as you put it, then God would *prevent* me from making a decision, which is not what I’m arguing at all.

  • Emmaus

    DS: Now you did ignore my comment which started this which was you could get rid of a lot of the jaw flapping nonsese which atheist find so ridiculous simply by allowing God the capacity to make mistakes.
    Actually, I didn’t mean to ignore your argument. It’s just that it is irrelevant, in light of the argument I was trying to make.
    Beyond that, I will never say that God is errent, because it would go completely against what I believe. It’s like me asking you to admit that the scientific method is wrong.

  • ~DS~

    yes Emm it does preclude it. If God is responisble for everything that happens, i.e. omnipotent and omniscient, then he’s responsible for the ‘choices’ I make. If I have free will then God is not 100% responsible for the choices I make and therfore he is not in 100% control of at least one aspect of the universe meaning he is no longer omnipotent.

  • Emmaus

    DS: Now you did ignore my comment which started this which was you could get rid of a lot of the jaw flapping nonsese which atheist find so ridiculous simply by allowing God the capacity to make mistakes.
    Actually, I didn’t mean to ignore your argument. It’s just that it is irrelevant, in light of the argument I was trying to make.
    Beyond that, I will never say that God is errent, because it would go completely against what I believe. It’s like me asking you to admit that the scientific method is wrong.

  • ~DS~

    yes Emm it does preclude it. If God is responisble for everything that happens, i.e. omnipotent and omniscient, then he’s responsible for the ‘choices’ I make. If I have free will then God is not 100% responsible for the choices I make and therfore he is not in 100% control of at least one aspect of the universe meaning he is no longer omnipotent.

  • Emmaus

    DS: I would discuss your post further, but, tg beat you to the punch, so, I think that what I posted to him also applies to your argument.

  • Emmaus

    DS: I would discuss your post further, but, tg beat you to the punch, so, I think that what I posted to him also applies to your argument.

  • dh

    DS Just because God allowed sin into the world doesn’t mean that God is imperfect. It was part of His plan. You still don’t get it because your bug analogy was God treating humans like robots. He didn’t. He wants a relationship with us based on our free will choice. Change the bug analogy you used with us choosing Him and you will see how incredibly God loves you.

  • dh

    DS Just because God allowed sin into the world doesn’t mean that God is imperfect. It was part of His plan. You still don’t get it because your bug analogy was God treating humans like robots. He didn’t. He wants a relationship with us based on our free will choice. Change the bug analogy you used with us choosing Him and you will see how incredibly God loves you.

  • ~DS~

    Dh is some ethereal creature out there wants humans to believe it loves us all then then all it has to do is appear, be a visible part of the universe, stick around and get to know us and earn our trust. Instead your religion is chock full of folks who ponder and talk until they’re tuckered trying to explain why this creature refuses to make itself known in any ampiircal way and instead chooses to behave exactly like a legend cooked up thousands of years ago by ignorant nomadic goat herders.

  • ~DS~

    Dh is some ethereal creature out there wants humans to believe it loves us all then then all it has to do is appear, be a visible part of the universe, stick around and get to know us and earn our trust. Instead your religion is chock full of folks who ponder and talk until they’re tuckered trying to explain why this creature refuses to make itself known in any ampiircal way and instead chooses to behave exactly like a legend cooked up thousands of years ago by ignorant nomadic goat herders.

  • Emmaus

    DS: If God is responisble for everything that happens, i.e. omnipotent and omniscient
    Who said anything about Him being “responsible” for anything? The way that omnipotent is defined has nothing to do with responsibility or control. It has to do with power. God is omnipotent because He has the ability to do anything, not because He is controling everything that happens. He can control everything that happens, but, that doesn’t mean that He does. He gave us free will, which means that we call the shots in our lives. We have the choice to turn our lives over to God, and that’s a big part of my belief system. But, that doesn’t mean that God inherently controls us.

  • Emmaus

    DS: If God is responisble for everything that happens, i.e. omnipotent and omniscient
    Who said anything about Him being “responsible” for anything? The way that omnipotent is defined has nothing to do with responsibility or control. It has to do with power. God is omnipotent because He has the ability to do anything, not because He is controling everything that happens. He can control everything that happens, but, that doesn’t mean that He does. He gave us free will, which means that we call the shots in our lives. We have the choice to turn our lives over to God, and that’s a big part of my belief system. But, that doesn’t mean that God inherently controls us.

  • ~DS~

    The way that omnipotent is defined has nothing to do with responsibility or control.
    Look Emm I’m not going to argue with you anymore. You’re not making any sense and I think you’re just pulling stuff out of your ass at this point. I’ll read your last response and after that if you want to argue the age old dillema of free will I’ll be happy to direct you to some websites run by philosophers where you can do so.

  • Emmaus

    DS: explain why this creature refuses to make itself known in any ampiircal way
    DS, my man.. the signs are everywhere. It could be that you’re just not looking or seeing them because you don’t want to see them. God IS everywhere. All you have to do is to *see*.

  • ~DS~

    The way that omnipotent is defined has nothing to do with responsibility or control.
    Look Emm I’m not going to argue with you anymore. You’re not making any sense and I think you’re just pulling stuff out of your ass at this point. I’ll read your last response and after that if you want to argue the age old dillema of free will I’ll be happy to direct you to some websites run by philosophers where you can do so.

  • Emmaus

    DS: explain why this creature refuses to make itself known in any ampiircal way
    DS, my man.. the signs are everywhere. It could be that you’re just not looking or seeing them because you don’t want to see them. God IS everywhere. All you have to do is to *see*.

  • Emmaus

    Look, DS. If you’re going to have an “I’m gonna pack up my toys and leave” kind of atitude, then, you’re really defeating the entire point. My argument is quite clear. And, yes, those words are not in the definition of omnipotent. Look, don’t be a Larry:
    Main Entry: 1om

  • Emmaus

    Look, DS. If you’re going to have an “I’m gonna pack up my toys and leave” kind of atitude, then, you’re really defeating the entire point. My argument is quite clear. And, yes, those words are not in the definition of omnipotent. Look, don’t be a Larry:
    Main Entry: 1om

  • Larry Lord

    Emmaus shoots from the hip
    “I will never say that God is errent, because it would go completely against what I believe. It’s like me asking you to admit that the scientific method is wrong.”
    No, Emmaus, it’s not like that at all. There is nothing I could admit that would go “completely against what I believe” in the sense that you use the term “believe.”
    You won’t admit that God is errant because you have been told (by who?) that “true” Christians must believe in His perfection or else they’ll be kicked out of the club (i.e., sent to hell as a blasphemer or whatever). You have no evidence to suggest that God is inerrant. You just believe it because that is what your preacher told you is what you must believe (please correct me if the teaching is found instead in your holy book).
    Contrast: every one of my beliefs is subject to challenge. Just show me the evidence. I’ve changed my mind before lots of times. I’m still me. The world is still the world. Life will go on and I have no reason to believe my existence will be better or worse after I die. I will simply have ceased to be alive.

  • Emmaus

    DS: You’re not making any sense and I think you’re just pulling stuff out of your ass at this point
    What, exactly, in my argument is made-up and what doesn’t make any sense? I said, basically, that if God *wants* control, He has it. But, he chooses not to.. i.e. free will. What is unclear about that?

  • Larry Lord

    Emmaus shoots from the hip
    “I will never say that God is errent, because it would go completely against what I believe. It’s like me asking you to admit that the scientific method is wrong.”
    No, Emmaus, it’s not like that at all. There is nothing I could admit that would go “completely against what I believe” in the sense that you use the term “believe.”
    You won’t admit that God is errant because you have been told (by who?) that “true” Christians must believe in His perfection or else they’ll be kicked out of the club (i.e., sent to hell as a blasphemer or whatever). You have no evidence to suggest that God is inerrant. You just believe it because that is what your preacher told you is what you must believe (please correct me if the teaching is found instead in your holy book).
    Contrast: every one of my beliefs is subject to challenge. Just show me the evidence. I’ve changed my mind before lots of times. I’m still me. The world is still the world. Life will go on and I have no reason to believe my existence will be better or worse after I die. I will simply have ceased to be alive.

  • Emmaus

    DS: You’re not making any sense and I think you’re just pulling stuff out of your ass at this point
    What, exactly, in my argument is made-up and what doesn’t make any sense? I said, basically, that if God *wants* control, He has it. But, he chooses not to.. i.e. free will. What is unclear about that?

  • ~DS~

    Emm I just don’t find the concepts here that hard to understand, they’re very olod and well worn in the annals of philosohpy, and I think you’re arguing against some fairly solid age old philosohpical concepts which frankly I don’t find that interesting.
    I said initially that if you allowed God the capacity to make mistakes you’d solve a lot of dilemmas that have gone unsolved since theism began. that might help make yuor religion more flexible and more plausible to atheists who object to paradoxes within it.
    The free will argument is not one I started, it was merely an exmaple I chose to illustrate the kind of problems you would solve in one fail swoop if you allowed God the ability to be wrong from time to time. I’m sorry fi you thought I wanteds to argue free will, I don’t, although perhaps others on the forum do. Direct your comments to them and you might gain more satisfaction ok?

  • ~DS~

    Emm I just don’t find the concepts here that hard to understand, they’re very olod and well worn in the annals of philosohpy, and I think you’re arguing against some fairly solid age old philosohpical concepts which frankly I don’t find that interesting.
    I said initially that if you allowed God the capacity to make mistakes you’d solve a lot of dilemmas that have gone unsolved since theism began. that might help make yuor religion more flexible and more plausible to atheists who object to paradoxes within it.
    The free will argument is not one I started, it was merely an exmaple I chose to illustrate the kind of problems you would solve in one fail swoop if you allowed God the ability to be wrong from time to time. I’m sorry fi you thought I wanteds to argue free will, I don’t, although perhaps others on the forum do. Direct your comments to them and you might gain more satisfaction ok?

  • Emmaus

    DS – You raised the issue of free will to try and further your own arguments. You say “fairly solid age old philosohpical concepts” – I say, so what? A bunch of Bertrand Russell wanna-be’s get together in a smoke-filled coffee house to debate free will, and I’m just going to believe what they say, lock, stock, and barrel, over the allmighty? Look, it ain’t gonna happen. Now, if you want to shy away from an argument about free will, fine, so be it. But, if you don’t want to debate the issues that you yourself raise, then, I’d think about it more in the future before you type it. I’m not too keen on people insulting my God, and then running. If you want to do so, then be you’d better be prepared for the consequences of doing so.
    Now, I’m willing to keep this a civil conversation, and I’m willing to take it out to its logical conclusion. However, I’m also not too keen on cowards and others who run at the first sign of trouble. Are you going to do so?

  • Emmaus

    DS – You raised the issue of free will to try and further your own arguments. You say “fairly solid age old philosohpical concepts” – I say, so what? A bunch of Bertrand Russell wanna-be’s get together in a smoke-filled coffee house to debate free will, and I’m just going to believe what they say, lock, stock, and barrel, over the allmighty? Look, it ain’t gonna happen. Now, if you want to shy away from an argument about free will, fine, so be it. But, if you don’t want to debate the issues that you yourself raise, then, I’d think about it more in the future before you type it. I’m not too keen on people insulting my God, and then running. If you want to do so, then be you’d better be prepared for the consequences of doing so.
    Now, I’m willing to keep this a civil conversation, and I’m willing to take it out to its logical conclusion. However, I’m also not too keen on cowards and others who run at the first sign of trouble. Are you going to do so?

  • ~DS~

    No I raised the free will issue as an example of a problem that has plagued religious scholars for years and which is easily solved if you grant God the ability to make mistakes. There are many other issues that are also easily solved if you allow that God does not know everything. I stated rather clearly I didn’t want to argue about Free Will but that I wa susi8ng is as an example of the kind of thing that such a dispensation would solve .. I even said in the beginning and along the way several times and I quote from one of my own posts early on above:
    Look I could care less about the Free Will thing. It’s been done to death centuries ago and the aplogetics for it frankly suck imo they’re so ridiculously bad.
    I’m saying if you want to appeal to folks such as myself who see the idea of a perfect being incompatable with the world we observe then you might consider allowing God the capacity to make a mistake here and there.

    So there you go.
    Emm I think you’re probably better off on a personal level believing sincerely in a God that cares about humans. It reduces anxiety and provides comfort when nothing else will-outside of being drugged to the point of retardation and coma. But not everyone gets to choose to abandon their critical thinking skills and pay no heed to glaring contradictions in a given faith. I didn’t make a conscious decision to be an atheist. I never thought Gods were real from the moment I can remember first thinking about it. It seemed from my earliest memories, even as a four year old child, to be along the lines of a pleasant fiction like Santa Claus.
    It makes no sense to insist that God has a master plan for the universe, that he is the sole architect of the universe, that his plan cannot be changed for it is perfect, that he knows everything that will happen, that he cannot be wrong,ever, that he could change what is going to happen if he chose to, and that he designed every aspect of the universe and there can be no varience from his intended future history … but that he’s not responsible for it. That. Does. Not. Make. Any. Sense.
    And what the hell is the point of such a cosmogony anyway? If the devil is absolutely destined to be defeated and there is zero possibility that God will fail, if God holds all the cards and has the super duper trump secret powers to do whatever he wants, what the hell is the point of the universe?
    In this context the ‘struggle’ between good and evil is nothing but an illusion. The devil might as well pack up and go home because he has as much chance of winning as the South has of winning the civil war in Gone With the Wind
    God might as well take his toy soldiers out of the sandbox and go home as well, the universe might as well end, now, for there is no point in acting out a prearranged cosmic pissing contest between rival deities with humans as unwilling autonomic dronelike pawns used as chips with which to keep score in which the future outcome is absolutely 100% assured. At least there is no point in doing so from the vantage point of what’s in the interests of humans … I suppose, maybe, perhaps, it might be for some reason entertaining to the deities involved. Kinda like watching a good movie more than once even though you know the end.
    What you end up with if you insist on inerrancy and total absolute knowledge and ability to do anything in a master creator deity is the possibility that our fate is in the hands of inhuman creatures with bizarre motives completely removed from human reasoning and in direct conflict with our best interests; that is not comforting to me Emm.
    Furthermore those humans who would blindly facillitate this charade of reality and complete involuntary control of our day to day activities at the most intimate detail no matter how horrid the conditions therein are about as worthy of respect as Nazi Collaborators.
    So it doesn’t make much sense … unless you grant that God is capable of making mistakes. That the future struggle and who will win is not assured, that God might loose.
    Then you have a legitimate conflict between good and evil where we humans can make a difference and wher we have a big stake in the outcome.
    Anyway, for me or most atheists to really believe this stuff is happening we’d like some kind of solid evidence. Not the face of Mary in a watermelon. Not vacuus platitudes like “Look at the trees! Aren’t they beautiful? That’s proof of the Christian YVWH!” … Testable solid evidence that there really is a supernatural creator, a head supernatural creator, not a clever alien or a clever human who pretends to be the real deal. We’d want to make sure that the supernatural creature, even if it was produced, was really who it says it is and not a faker using some powers we don’t understand to pose as something it is not.

  • ~DS~

    No I raised the free will issue as an example of a problem that has plagued religious scholars for years and which is easily solved if you grant God the ability to make mistakes. There are many other issues that are also easily solved if you allow that God does not know everything. I stated rather clearly I didn’t want to argue about Free Will but that I wa susi8ng is as an example of the kind of thing that such a dispensation would solve .. I even said in the beginning and along the way several times and I quote from one of my own posts early on above:
    Look I could care less about the Free Will thing. It’s been done to death centuries ago and the aplogetics for it frankly suck imo they’re so ridiculously bad.
    I’m saying if you want to appeal to folks such as myself who see the idea of a perfect being incompatable with the world we observe then you might consider allowing God the capacity to make a mistake here and there.

    So there you go.
    Emm I think you’re probably better off on a personal level believing sincerely in a God that cares about humans. It reduces anxiety and provides comfort when nothing else will-outside of being drugged to the point of retardation and coma. But not everyone gets to choose to abandon their critical thinking skills and pay no heed to glaring contradictions in a given faith. I didn’t make a conscious decision to be an atheist. I never thought Gods were real from the moment I can remember first thinking about it. It seemed from my earliest memories, even as a four year old child, to be along the lines of a pleasant fiction like Santa Claus.
    It makes no sense to insist that God has a master plan for the universe, that he is the sole architect of the universe, that his plan cannot be changed for it is perfect, that he knows everything that will happen, that he cannot be wrong,ever, that he could change what is going to happen if he chose to, and that he designed every aspect of the universe and there can be no varience from his intended future history … but that he’s not responsible for it. That. Does. Not. Make. Any. Sense.
    And what the hell is the point of such a cosmogony anyway? If the devil is absolutely destined to be defeated and there is zero possibility that God will fail, if God holds all the cards and has the super duper trump secret powers to do whatever he wants, what the hell is the point of the universe?
    In this context the ‘struggle’ between good and evil is nothing but an illusion. The devil might as well pack up and go home because he has as much chance of winning as the South has of winning the civil war in Gone With the Wind
    God might as well take his toy soldiers out of the sandbox and go home as well, the universe might as well end, now, for there is no point in acting out a prearranged cosmic pissing contest between rival deities with humans as unwilling autonomic dronelike pawns used as chips with which to keep score in which the future outcome is absolutely 100% assured. At least there is no point in doing so from the vantage point of what’s in the interests of humans … I suppose, maybe, perhaps, it might be for some reason entertaining to the deities involved. Kinda like watching a good movie more than once even though you know the end.
    What you end up with if you insist on inerrancy and total absolute knowledge and ability to do anything in a master creator deity is the possibility that our fate is in the hands of inhuman creatures with bizarre motives completely removed from human reasoning and in direct conflict with our best interests; that is not comforting to me Emm.
    Furthermore those humans who would blindly facillitate this charade of reality and complete involuntary control of our day to day activities at the most intimate detail no matter how horrid the conditions therein are about as worthy of respect as Nazi Collaborators.
    So it doesn’t make much sense … unless you grant that God is capable of making mistakes. That the future struggle and who will win is not assured, that God might loose.
    Then you have a legitimate conflict between good and evil where we humans can make a difference and wher we have a big stake in the outcome.
    Anyway, for me or most atheists to really believe this stuff is happening we’d like some kind of solid evidence. Not the face of Mary in a watermelon. Not vacuus platitudes like “Look at the trees! Aren’t they beautiful? That’s proof of the Christian YVWH!” … Testable solid evidence that there really is a supernatural creator, a head supernatural creator, not a clever alien or a clever human who pretends to be the real deal. We’d want to make sure that the supernatural creature, even if it was produced, was really who it says it is and not a faker using some powers we don’t understand to pose as something it is not.

  • Rob Ryan

    Why so confrontational, Emmaus? You should try Sanka Brand decaffeinated coffee.

  • Rob Ryan

    Why so confrontational, Emmaus? You should try Sanka Brand decaffeinated coffee.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Emmaus:

    I think that you’re simply convoluting the argument with philosophical overlays to try and make a point, ignoring the essence of the argument.

    No, I’m really not. Put yourself in that position. What is the only way you could conceivably know with absolute certainty the outcome of some future event? The only way that’s even possible is if there the known outcome is the only possible outcome. Why is this difficult for you to understand? Anyway, as I said, this is an issue that philosophers have been fighting with for centuries, and I don’t expect two schleps like you and me to be able to sort it all out. :)

    A bunch of Bertrand Russell wanna-be’s get together in a smoke-filled coffee house to debate free will, and I’m just going to believe what they say, lock, stock, and barrel, over the allmighty?

    I didn’t realize Calvinists were “Bertrand Russell wanna-be’s.”

  • http://www.leanleft.com tgirsch

    Emmaus:

    I think that you’re simply convoluting the argument with philosophical overlays to try and make a point, ignoring the essence of the argument.

    No, I’m really not. Put yourself in that position. What is the only way you could conceivably know with absolute certainty the outcome of some future event? The only way that’s even possible is if there the known outcome is the only possible outcome. Why is this difficult for you to understand? Anyway, as I said, this is an issue that philosophers have been fighting with for centuries, and I don’t expect two schleps like you and me to be able to sort it all out. :)

    A bunch of Bertrand Russell wanna-be’s get together in a smoke-filled coffee house to debate free will, and I’m just going to believe what they say, lock, stock, and barrel, over the allmighty?

    I didn’t realize Calvinists were “Bertrand Russell wanna-be’s.”

  • ~DS~

    Emm point being; we don’t have to exhaustively review the last millenia of convoluted apologetics on Free Will or many other facets of contradiction in which no clear consensus has ever emerged if you simply allow God the capacity to make mistakes. You do that and we don’t have to argue about this stuff ever again. I’m not saying you should do that, I’m saying if you do that all these tortured apologetics cease to be necessary and you might find your religion more credible in the eyes of some atheists.
    If God can be surprised, then there is no conflict with Satan getting the drop on him. If God cannot see the future with 100% clarity, then it’s not his fault if Satan sneaks into the Garden of Eden to tempt man into Original Sin. By allowing God that simple ability to err you elminate all these problems and many more. Yes you might open up a whole new can of worms in some theological sense, I really don’t know and I haven’thtought that through. I figured perhaps some others might have some productive thoughts on the consequences of allowing God the capacity to make errors. But you at least get rid of the mind numbing futile double talk that has persisted in religious philosophy since before the Black Plague.
    They say there is no good deed that goes unpunished Emm. I make what I see as a good natured helpful suggestion about a possible way to make your faith more appealing by making it more plausible to folks like me, and you get all caught up in an age old philosophical issue that has no clear solution apparently thinking I was trying to start a fight about it. I wasn’t. The thoughts of atheists on specific issue issues was the thread topic and it has evolved into atheism in general and why some is don’t think your religion makes sense.
    A comment I said played a central role in kicking the original post off. So I thought maybe some folks might actually care what an atheist like me thought about your religion in terms of making it more palatable to us on this thread. I was offering a potential solution; not starting a fight.

  • ~DS~

    Emm point being; we don’t have to exhaustively review the last millenia of convoluted apologetics on Free Will or many other facets of contradiction in which no clear consensus has ever emerged if you simply allow God the capacity to make mistakes. You do that and we don’t have to argue about this stuff ever again. I’m not saying you should do that, I’m saying if you do that all these tortured apologetics cease to be necessary and you might find your religion more credible in the eyes of some atheists.
    If God can be surprised, then there is no conflict with Satan getting the drop on him. If God cannot see the future with 100% clarity, then it’s not his fault if Satan sneaks into the Garden of Eden to tempt man into Original Sin. By allowing God that simple ability to err you elminate all these problems and many more. Yes you might open up a whole new can of worms in some theological sense, I really don’t know and I haven’thtought that through. I figured perhaps some others might have some productive thoughts on the consequences of allowing God the capacity to make errors. But you at least get rid of the mind numbing futile double talk that has persisted in religious philosophy since before the Black Plague.
    They say there is no good deed that goes unpunished Emm. I make what I see as a good natured helpful suggestion about a possible way to make your faith more appealing by making it more plausible to folks like me, and you get all caught up in an age old philosophical issue that has no clear solution apparently thinking I was trying to start a fight about it. I wasn’t. The thoughts of atheists on specific issue issues was the thread topic and it has evolved into atheism in general and why some is don’t think your religion makes sense.
    A comment I said played a central role in kicking the original post off. So I thought maybe some folks might actually care what an atheist like me thought about your religion in terms of making it more palatable to us on this thread. I was offering a potential solution; not starting a fight.

  • Larry Lord

    Here are some questions I’d like someone to answer (bonus points for Biblical support):
    Can God be disappointed?
    Can God feel pity?
    Can God be happy?
    Can God be proud?
    Can God be needy?
    Can God be merciful?
    Can God be angry?
    Can God be surprised?

  • Larry Lord

    Here are some questions I’d like someone to answer (bonus points for Biblical support):
    Can God be disappointed?
    Can God feel pity?
    Can God be happy?
    Can God be proud?
    Can God be needy?
    Can God be merciful?
    Can God be angry?
    Can God be surprised?

  • http://ravingatheist.com/archives/2004/11/atheists_and_agnostics.php The Raving Atheist

    Atheists and Agnostics

    In a post titled

  • http://ravingatheist.com/archives/2004/11/atheists_and_agnostics.php The Raving Atheist

    Atheists and Agnostics

    In a post titled

  • Phil Troyer

    DS
    Jumping in here to help my buddy Em, I would say that the omniscience of God would indicate that he knows all possible outcomes of all possible choices we can make.
    But I admit that I cannot resolve the issue of the Soveriegnty of God and the free will of man. This has divided entire denominations.
    But neither can you resolve the statistical and mathimatical impossiblity of even one amino acid forming by chance.
    It is my observation that there is no evidence that you would accept to prove the existance of God. Even if he appeared before you, you would still have the choice to worship him or not.
    The Pharisees were presented with undeniable proof that Jesus had raised a man from the dead. Many, many people were eyewitnesses of this event and they could not deny it. However, they also would not affirm it either, even though Lazarus was walking around. What was their solution? Destroy the evidence.
    So I submit that there is no evidence that I could offer you. God did come to this earth and revealed himself to mankind so we could see him and touch him. Many still did not believe.
    I do, and it’s not based on fairy tales but on the number one selling book in the world, ever since printing began.
    P.S. A movie about Jesus’life is also the most watched film of all time. To date this film has been viewed 5.2 BILLION times.
    I do not base my beliefs on fairy tales, majic mittens, or other little examples you, TG, LL, JPE and others love to thrown out.
    Our entire western civilization does not divide all of history from the life of a Majical Mitten. Nor does a huge proportion of Western Civilization celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of Majical Mittens.
    I base my Faith on historical verifiable facts.

  • Phil Troyer

    DS
    Jumping in here to help my buddy Em, I would say that the omniscience of God would indicate that he knows all possible outcomes of all possible choices we can make.
    But I admit that I cannot resolve the issue of the Soveriegnty of God and the free will of man. This has divided entire denominations.
    But neither can you resolve the statistical and mathimatical impossiblity of even one amino acid forming by chance.
    It is my observation that there is no evidence that you would accept to prove the existance of God. Even if he appeared before you, you would still have the choice to worship him or not.
    The Pharisees were presented with undeniable proof that Jesus had raised a man from the dead. Many, many people were eyewitnesses of this event and they could not deny it. However, they also would not affirm it either, even though Lazarus was walking around. What was their solution? Destroy the evidence.
    So I submit that there is no evidence that I could offer you. God did come to this earth and revealed himself to mankind so we could see him and touch him. Many still did not believe.
    I do, and it’s not based on fairy tales but on the number one selling book in the world, ever since printing began.
    P.S. A movie about Jesus’life is also the most watched film of all time. To date this film has been viewed 5.2 BILLION times.
    I do not base my beliefs on fairy tales, majic mittens, or other little examples you, TG, LL, JPE and others love to thrown out.
    Our entire western civilization does not divide all of history from the life of a Majical Mitten. Nor does a huge proportion of Western Civilization celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of Majical Mittens.
    I base my Faith on historical verifiable facts.

  • Phil Troyer

    Hey Joe,
    This was a good post to help prove my original point:
    There is no such thing as a non-religious human being.
    Maybe you can come up with something that proves this point to our Atheist friends.
    It’s easy to prove it Biblically. It’s also easy to prove anthropologically. I lived in Ecuador, South America for 12 years. In almost every town I came to in that country there was a church. My brother worked for nine years among primitive tribal groups in Indonesia. They all worshipped something.
    In other words the default condition of human beings is God consciousness. Atheism is a learned response, not a natural condition.

  • Phil Troyer

    Hey Joe,
    This was a good post to help prove my original point:
    There is no such thing as a non-religious human being.
    Maybe you can come up with something that proves this point to our Atheist friends.
    It’s easy to prove it Biblically. It’s also easy to prove anthropologically. I lived in Ecuador, South America for 12 years. In almost every town I came to in that country there was a church. My brother worked for nine years among primitive tribal groups in Indonesia. They all worshipped something.
    In other words the default condition of human beings is God consciousness. Atheism is a learned response, not a natural condition.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re all skirting the main issue. The only non-mathematical axiom one can make is that the universe exists. That’s it. We have nothing to compare it to (which is why the “watch in the desert” analogy is completely meaningless), which is why the opinion that it was “created” is an assumption. In order to be valid, there must first be evidence of a “Creator”. There is none, therefore the existence of said “Creator” is an assumption. That’s why theology is a house of cards, and all discussion of the nature/properties/etc of “god” (however you define it) is baby-talk. It’s literally nonsensical, because it has no basis in objective reality. It’s like trying to evaluate the hair-colour of a Hdqeiukwe. That’s why atheism (the absence of god-belief) and, to a lesser extent, agnosticism (although, in order to be agnostic in reference to the god-question, one must be agnostic towards the infinite set of all things which can be imagined, which is why Occam’s Razor neatly shaves it out of my life) are the only intellectually sound position to take.
    I don’t post this in order to bait or offend, I’m genuinely fascinated in hearing what you think. Please feel free to pick my arguments apart, if you can.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re all skirting the main issue. The only non-mathematical axiom one can make is that the universe exists. That’s it. We have nothing to compare it to (which is why the “watch in the desert” analogy is completely meaningless), which is why the opinion that it was “created” is an assumption. In order to be valid, there must first be evidence of a “Creator”. There is none, therefore the existence of said “Creator” is an assumption. That’s why theology is a house of cards, and all discussion of the nature/properties/etc of “god” (however you define it) is baby-talk. It’s literally nonsensical, because it has no basis in objective reality. It’s like trying to evaluate the hair-colour of a Hdqeiukwe. That’s why atheism (the absence of god-belief) and, to a lesser extent, agnosticism (although, in order to be agnostic in reference to the god-question, one must be agnostic towards the infinite set of all things which can be imagined, which is why Occam’s Razor neatly shaves it out of my life) are the only intellectually sound position to take.
    I don’t post this in order to bait or offend, I’m genuinely fascinated in hearing what you think. Please feel free to pick my arguments apart, if you can.

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Ben,
    Please feel free to pick my arguments apart, if you can.
    Well, let

  • Joe Carter

    Ben,
    Please feel free to pick my arguments apart, if you can.
    Well, let

  • ~DS~

    I’d say new born infants have no religion Phil so you might want to modify your ‘all human beings are religious’ statement. I don’t know if you feel that embryos or blastocytes are human beings, but if you do it’s probably a little too much to expect an undifferentiated ball of 128 cells to have a clear concept of religion as well.

  • ~DS~

    I’d say new born infants have no religion Phil so you might want to modify your ‘all human beings are religious’ statement. I don’t know if you feel that embryos or blastocytes are human beings, but if you do it’s probably a little too much to expect an undifferentiated ball of 128 cells to have a clear concept of religion as well.

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    DS,
    I heard an interesting discussion disagreeing with your idea that newborns have no religion. It was the author of this book talking on a radio show. He said that recent experiments on newborns indicate that infants naturally have a concept of soul independent of body.

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    DS,
    I heard an interesting discussion disagreeing with your idea that newborns have no religion. It was the author of this book talking on a radio show. He said that recent experiments on newborns indicate that infants naturally have a concept of soul independent of body.

  • Larry Lord

    Mark O writes
    “He said that recent experiments on newborns indicate that infants naturally have a concept of soul independent of body.”
    I heard on the radio that the author of that book is a pedophile who escaped from jail and once wrote “Satan is Lord” in the snow with his own scat.
    So you might want to take those experiments with a grain of salt.

  • Larry Lord

    Mark O writes
    “He said that recent experiments on newborns indicate that infants naturally have a concept of soul independent of body.”
    I heard on the radio that the author of that book is a pedophile who escaped from jail and once wrote “Satan is Lord” in the snow with his own scat.
    So you might want to take those experiments with a grain of salt.

  • ~DS~

    There is no evidence that randomness and time can produce anything of similiar complexity to the human mind.
    Actually one can follow threads in the biostratified fossil record showing a succession from vertbrates, to craniates, to reptiles, to synapsids, to placental mammals, to primates, and so on. We get a lot of endocasts along the way, that is the fossilized inside of skulls which shows us changes in the brain physiology, at least on the exterior portions. So the evidence does support strongly that the human brain developed from earlier precursors systems like the rest of the organism and we have no evidence that any kind of super advanced alien or deities intervened. It’s possible it happened or that this process was planned or tweaked along by some kind of exterior intelligent agents, but we have no evidence for it.
    So yes there is evidence for what you claim there is no evidence for, although your qualifiers ‘chance and randomness’ do not by themselves adequately portray the elements of processes that we surmise may have actually occurred.
    Perhaps what you emant is that we cannot produce a complete step-by-step linear chart from the first metazoan through any specific modern brain which is detailed to the point of showing the exact origin of each and every neural pathay and neuron or glial cell along with each minor variation in the genotype which produced and the factors which may have selected for it. If we could that would be quite a read :) You could start at age 10 and you wouldn’t be done with 1 % by the time you were old.
    But my guess is that you’re asking for someone to lay some kind quick easy ten lesson primer on you explaining the intricacies of the evoluiton of the human brain specifically under the conterxt of the strawman you set up with the ‘chance and randomness’ bit and that failing that you will assume that your specific version of Old Earth Creationism is vindicated. I could be wrong Joe but that’s been your MO in the past.

  • ~DS~

    There is no evidence that randomness and time can produce anything of similiar complexity to the human mind.
    Actually one can follow threads in the biostratified fossil record showing a succession from vertbrates, to craniates, to reptiles, to synapsids, to placental mammals, to primates, and so on. We get a lot of endocasts along the way, that is the fossilized inside of skulls which shows us changes in the brain physiology, at least on the exterior portions. So the evidence does support strongly that the human brain developed from earlier precursors systems like the rest of the organism and we have no evidence that any kind of super advanced alien or deities intervened. It’s possible it happened or that this process was planned or tweaked along by some kind of exterior intelligent agents, but we have no evidence for it.
    So yes there is evidence for what you claim there is no evidence for, although your qualifiers ‘chance and randomness’ do not by themselves adequately portray the elements of processes that we surmise may have actually occurred.
    Perhaps what you emant is that we cannot produce a complete step-by-step linear chart from the first metazoan through any specific modern brain which is detailed to the point of showing the exact origin of each and every neural pathay and neuron or glial cell along with each minor variation in the genotype which produced and the factors which may have selected for it. If we could that would be quite a read :) You could start at age 10 and you wouldn’t be done with 1 % by the time you were old.
    But my guess is that you’re asking for someone to lay some kind quick easy ten lesson primer on you explaining the intricacies of the evoluiton of the human brain specifically under the conterxt of the strawman you set up with the ‘chance and randomness’ bit and that failing that you will assume that your specific version of Old Earth Creationism is vindicated. I could be wrong Joe but that’s been your MO in the past.

  • ~DS~

    Yeah it’s possible imo Mark that humans have a hard wired sort of ability to take on a religion somewhat like we have the hard wired ability to learn a language. Religion, spiritualism, has some powerful adaptive value, so it’s possible that after generations such a propensity could become reinforced through selection. One hypothesis abuot why modern humans dispalced neanders goes something like ‘modern h saps had an invorn propensity to suspect unseen hidden cause and effect, this drove both investigation and innovation as well as early forms of animsim, i.e. rleigion. Both those behaviors are powerful advantages to any culture.”

  • ~DS~

    Yeah it’s possible imo Mark that humans have a hard wired sort of ability to take on a religion somewhat like we have the hard wired ability to learn a language. Religion, spiritualism, has some powerful adaptive value, so it’s possible that after generations such a propensity could become reinforced through selection. One hypothesis abuot why modern humans dispalced neanders goes something like ‘modern h saps had an invorn propensity to suspect unseen hidden cause and effect, this drove both investigation and innovation as well as early forms of animsim, i.e. rleigion. Both those behaviors are powerful advantages to any culture.”

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    Larry,
    Read the damn book. The radio show was hosted by a respected U of Chicago professor. WGN Radio (on the web) Milt Rosenberg. The book is by a respected scientist as well, who happens to be personally a secular atheist. Can you point me to any indepenant references about Mr Bloom to support your claims or where you just making it all up?

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    Larry,
    Read the damn book. The radio show was hosted by a respected U of Chicago professor. WGN Radio (on the web) Milt Rosenberg. The book is by a respected scientist as well, who happens to be personally a secular atheist. Can you point me to any indepenant references about Mr Bloom to support your claims or where you just making it all up?

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    DS,
    The claim wasn’t that the idea of soul was learned. It was that it was innate. The 3-5 month old tykes which were the subject of the experiments didn’t learn it from anyone.

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    DS,
    The claim wasn’t that the idea of soul was learned. It was that it was innate. The 3-5 month old tykes which were the subject of the experiments didn’t learn it from anyone.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Larry:
    Ooh, ooh, ooh! I’m so on this! I can get a couple of these:

    Can God be disappointed?

    Depends how you mean. It seems He’s disappointed with His creation in Genesis 6. It also seems to indicate that God is capable of regret (but how could He not know this was coming?).

    Can God feel pity?

    Yep! See 2 Chron 36:15

    Can God be happy?

    If you accept “pleased” as a synonym for “happy,” then yes. See Colossians 1:19M

    Can God be merciful?

    Yep. See Exodus 33:19.

    Can God be angry?

    Good Lord, yes. It’s hard to find a single chapter of the Bible where God doesn’t get His proverbial panties in a bunch about something. See Numbers 11:10 and Numbers 22:22 for a couple of early examples.

    Can God be surprised?

    Phil:

    Even if he appeared before you, you would still have the choice to worship him or not.

    That would be a very good start, actually. I am Thomas, aptly named. I want to put my hand in the wound.

    A movie about Jesus’life is also the most watched film of all time. To date this film has been viewed 5.2 BILLION times.

    Lots of people listen to Kid Rock, too. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t suck. :) And people spend millions upon millions every year on alternative medicine, but that doesn’t mean it works. The point? Popularity, in and of itself, has no bearing on validity, quality, or truth.

  • http://www.leanleft.com tgirsch

    Larry:
    Ooh, ooh, ooh! I’m so on this! I can get a couple of these:

    Can God be disappointed?

    Depends how you mean. It seems He’s disappointed with His creation in Genesis 6. It also seems to indicate that God is capable of regret (but how could He not know this was coming?).

    Can God feel pity?

    Yep! See 2 Chron 36:15

    Can God be happy?

    If you accept “pleased” as a synonym for “happy,” then yes. See Colossians 1:19M

    Can God be merciful?

    Yep. See Exodus 33:19.

    Can God be angry?

    Good Lord, yes. It’s hard to find a single chapter of the Bible where God doesn’t get His proverbial panties in a bunch about something. See Numbers 11:10 and Numbers 22:22 for a couple of early examples.

    Can God be surprised?

    Phil:

    Even if he appeared before you, you would still have the choice to worship him or not.

    That would be a very good start, actually. I am Thomas, aptly named. I want to put my hand in the wound.

    A movie about Jesus’life is also the most watched film of all time. To date this film has been viewed 5.2 BILLION times.

    Lots of people listen to Kid Rock, too. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t suck. :) And people spend millions upon millions every year on alternative medicine, but that doesn’t mean it works. The point? Popularity, in and of itself, has no bearing on validity, quality, or truth.

  • Joe Carter

    DS,

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    DS,

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Hmm, if people are naturally inclined to believe in a soul separate from body, it might help explain why so many of us collectively believe that crap. :)
    Of course, people are naturally inclined to believe that the world is flat and that they are the center of everything, too. That doesn’t make it true. :)

  • http://www.leanleft.com tgirsch

    Hmm, if people are naturally inclined to believe in a soul separate from body, it might help explain why so many of us collectively believe that crap. :)
    Of course, people are naturally inclined to believe that the world is flat and that they are the center of everything, too. That doesn’t make it true. :)

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    That is simply an assumption, not a fact. You might consider its axiomatic that you (and your own mind) exists but everything else is a matter of speculation. The ontological reality of everything else is simply an analogy from that starting point.
    No, it’s an axiom. Even if the universe is defined as a philosophical solipsism, its nature, by definition, remains unchanged (ie, all that can be proven to exist). So you’re essentially arguing over superficial semantics. Reality exists because unreality does not exist.
    Also, by using analogical reasoning, we can draw the conclusion that certain types of complex entitles cannot be generated by chance or accident.
    Without evidence for the existence of an entity, it must simply be accepted as existing qua existence. Stating that x exists for no observable cause, and was therefore created by y, without a) evidence supporting the existence of y, and b) evidence for a direct causal link between x and y, is not only illogical, but an anthropomorphic intellectual copout.
    I think Syd dealt with the last part of your rebuttal, so my input would be extraneous.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    That is simply an assumption, not a fact. You might consider its axiomatic that you (and your own mind) exists but everything else is a matter of speculation. The ontological reality of everything else is simply an analogy from that starting point.
    No, it’s an axiom. Even if the universe is defined as a philosophical solipsism, its nature, by definition, remains unchanged (ie, all that can be proven to exist). So you’re essentially arguing over superficial semantics. Reality exists because unreality does not exist.
    Also, by using analogical reasoning, we can draw the conclusion that certain types of complex entitles cannot be generated by chance or accident.
    Without evidence for the existence of an entity, it must simply be accepted as existing qua existence. Stating that x exists for no observable cause, and was therefore created by y, without a) evidence supporting the existence of y, and b) evidence for a direct causal link between x and y, is not only illogical, but an anthropomorphic intellectual copout.
    I think Syd dealt with the last part of your rebuttal, so my input would be extraneous.

  • ~DS~

    Yes Joe. Having physical evidence showing a clear progression in brain size over time, genetic evidence of common descent among close related and distant lineages, and mechanisms such as inheritance, make the idea of evolution of human brains far, far, more plausible than appeals to unknown magical intervention by space aliens or divine gods and goddesses.

  • ~DS~

    Yes Joe. Having physical evidence showing a clear progression in brain size over time, genetic evidence of common descent among close related and distant lineages, and mechanisms such as inheritance, make the idea of evolution of human brains far, far, more plausible than appeals to unknown magical intervention by space aliens or divine gods and goddesses.

  • Phil Troyer

    TG says: “Lots of people listen to Kid Rock, too. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t suck. :) And people spend millions upon millions every year on alternative medicine, but that doesn’t mean it works. The point? Popularity, in and of itself, has no bearing on validity, quality, or truth.”
    I agree. However I do believe my original point remains. I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.
    It is dishonest to compare a belief based on historical facts with “majic mittens” and fairy tales, which seems to be often the case on these threads.
    History is absolute truth. Your perspective of history and your beliefs about history can certainly change, but not the facts themselves. Palestinian children are taught that the holocaust was a myth but that certainly doesn’t change the reality of the events that happened. Ditto for the historical event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • Phil Troyer

    TG says: “Lots of people listen to Kid Rock, too. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t suck. :) And people spend millions upon millions every year on alternative medicine, but that doesn’t mean it works. The point? Popularity, in and of itself, has no bearing on validity, quality, or truth.”
    I agree. However I do believe my original point remains. I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.
    It is dishonest to compare a belief based on historical facts with “majic mittens” and fairy tales, which seems to be often the case on these threads.
    History is absolute truth. Your perspective of history and your beliefs about history can certainly change, but not the facts themselves. Palestinian children are taught that the holocaust was a myth but that certainly doesn’t change the reality of the events that happened. Ditto for the historical event of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    The Christian says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Muslim says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 1500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Buddhist says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 2500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Hindi says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 3500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Jew says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 3500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Zoroastrian says…

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    The Christian says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Muslim says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 1500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Buddhist says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 2500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Hindi says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 3500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Jew says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 3500 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Zoroastrian says…

  • ~DS~

    Btw Joe if it suites your purpose to include some version of super natural design, what you might call non-materialist processes, then all we need do is throw in a caveat that evolution could have been planned and directed by a super natural being and viola. We have a supernatural non materialist explanation which is consistent with the known evidence of evolution/common descent. No chance needed, no blind processes involved. Problem solved.

  • ~DS~

    Btw Joe if it suites your purpose to include some version of super natural design, what you might call non-materialist processes, then all we need do is throw in a caveat that evolution could have been planned and directed by a super natural being and viola. We have a supernatural non materialist explanation which is consistent with the known evidence of evolution/common descent. No chance needed, no blind processes involved. Problem solved.

  • Joe Carter

    Ben: No, it’s an axiom. Even if the universe is defined as a philosophical solipsism, its nature, by definition, remains unchanged (ie, all that can be proven to exist). So you’re essentially arguing over superficial semantics. Reality exists because unreality does not exist.
    Then by this reasoning the existence of God is an

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Ben: No, it’s an axiom. Even if the universe is defined as a philosophical solipsism, its nature, by definition, remains unchanged (ie, all that can be proven to exist). So you’re essentially arguing over superficial semantics. Reality exists because unreality does not exist.
    Then by this reasoning the existence of God is an

  • Joe Carter

    Ben: The Christian says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Atheist says: “I base my beliefs on my own experience which is X years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    DS: Btw Joe if it suites your purpose to include some version of super natural design, what you might call non-materialist processes, then all we need do is throw in a caveat that evolution could have been planned and directed by a super natural being and viola. We have a supernatural non materialist explanation which is consistent with the known evidence of evolution/common
    descent. No chance needed, no blind processes involved. Problem solved.

    Yes it would be; which is precisely the point. A

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Ben: The Christian says: “I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    The Atheist says: “I base my beliefs on my own experience which is X years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.”
    DS: Btw Joe if it suites your purpose to include some version of super natural design, what you might call non-materialist processes, then all we need do is throw in a caveat that evolution could have been planned and directed by a super natural being and viola. We have a supernatural non materialist explanation which is consistent with the known evidence of evolution/common
    descent. No chance needed, no blind processes involved. Problem solved.

    Yes it would be; which is precisely the point. A

  • Phil Troyer

    Ben,
    Since, as I stated, history is absolute, it would behoove you to verify what actually happened. You mentioned a lot of books. The Bible has more historical evidence for its veracity than any other. Don’t dismiss it as simply another religious book like all the others. It exists in a class of it’s own.

  • Phil Troyer

    Ben,
    Since, as I stated, history is absolute, it would behoove you to verify what actually happened. You mentioned a lot of books. The Bible has more historical evidence for its veracity than any other. Don’t dismiss it as simply another religious book like all the others. It exists in a class of it’s own.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ben, here’s the deal. It’s not that the Bible “has not been proved to be historically inaccurate.” It’s that the valid historical documents document an EVENT, not a philosphy.
    Islam is based on Mohammed’s ideas (or, if you’re a Muslim, Allah’s dictation to Mohammed). Mormonism is based on Joseph Smith’s ideas (or, if you’re Mormon, the angel Moroni’s dictated translation of the golden plates). Buddhism is based on the ideas of Guatama. Hinduism is based on really, really ancient animist practices and stories.
    Christinity is based on an historical EVENT – the resurrection of Jesus. Take away the resurrection and you have the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule (neither of which are particularly unique as philosophies for living), some talk about the Kingdom of God, and some miracle stories – again not much unique there.
    It’s the Resurrection that sets Christianity apart.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ben, here’s the deal. It’s not that the Bible “has not been proved to be historically inaccurate.” It’s that the valid historical documents document an EVENT, not a philosphy.
    Islam is based on Mohammed’s ideas (or, if you’re a Muslim, Allah’s dictation to Mohammed). Mormonism is based on Joseph Smith’s ideas (or, if you’re Mormon, the angel Moroni’s dictated translation of the golden plates). Buddhism is based on the ideas of Guatama. Hinduism is based on really, really ancient animist practices and stories.
    Christinity is based on an historical EVENT – the resurrection of Jesus. Take away the resurrection and you have the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule (neither of which are particularly unique as philosophies for living), some talk about the Kingdom of God, and some miracle stories – again not much unique there.
    It’s the Resurrection that sets Christianity apart.

  • ~DS~

    Well you seem to indicate that the thevo position is acceptable in principle so that’s good enough for me. I get to have an explanation that makes sense as is concordant with the evidence and you get one that doesn’t realy exclusively on materialism. Sounds like a win-win to me my friend.

  • ~DS~

    Well you seem to indicate that the thevo position is acceptable in principle so that’s good enough for me. I get to have an explanation that makes sense as is concordant with the evidence and you get one that doesn’t realy exclusively on materialism. Sounds like a win-win to me my friend.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Then by this reasoning the existence of God is an

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Then by this reasoning the existence of God is an

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ben, you’re mixing inductive and deductive reasoning. Induction begins with the evidence. Deduction begins with a premise. You begin with a premise, but you (in error) call it evidence.
    Answer me this – is it certain that humans can understand everything, or is it possible that there exists that of which the human mind cannot conceive?

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ben, you’re mixing inductive and deductive reasoning. Induction begins with the evidence. Deduction begins with a premise. You begin with a premise, but you (in error) call it evidence.
    Answer me this – is it certain that humans can understand everything, or is it possible that there exists that of which the human mind cannot conceive?

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Since, as I stated, history is absolute, it would behoove you to verify what actually happened. You mentioned a lot of books. The Bible has more historical evidence for its veracity than any other. Don’t dismiss it as simply another religious book like all the others. It exists in a class of it’s own.
    In your mind. Christianity is simply the overriding religion of your culture at this point in time (probably because that’s the family religion into which you were born), so naturally you’re going to believe that it’s head and shoulders above the rest. The Bablyonians, the Zoroasters, the Ancient Egyptians all thought the same thing about their own religions. Try to look at this objectively.
    Ben, here’s the deal. It’s not that the Bible “has not been proved to be historically inaccurate.” It’s that the valid historical documents document an EVENT, not a philosphy.
    Islam is based on Mohammed’s ideas (or, if you’re a Muslim, Allah’s dictation to Mohammed). Mormonism is based on Joseph Smith’s ideas (or, if you’re Mormon, the angel Moroni’s dictated translation of the golden plates). Buddhism is based on the ideas of Guatama. Hinduism is based on really, really ancient animist practices and stories.
    Christinity is based on an historical EVENT – the resurrection of Jesus. Take away the resurrection and you have the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule (neither of which are particularly unique as philosophies for living), some talk about the Kingdom of God, and some miracle stories – again not much unique there.
    It’s the Resurrection that sets Christianity apart.

    So? Followers of Apollonius of Tyana, who was also allegedly resurrected, probably believed the same thing.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Since, as I stated, history is absolute, it would behoove you to verify what actually happened. You mentioned a lot of books. The Bible has more historical evidence for its veracity than any other. Don’t dismiss it as simply another religious book like all the others. It exists in a class of it’s own.
    In your mind. Christianity is simply the overriding religion of your culture at this point in time (probably because that’s the family religion into which you were born), so naturally you’re going to believe that it’s head and shoulders above the rest. The Bablyonians, the Zoroasters, the Ancient Egyptians all thought the same thing about their own religions. Try to look at this objectively.
    Ben, here’s the deal. It’s not that the Bible “has not been proved to be historically inaccurate.” It’s that the valid historical documents document an EVENT, not a philosphy.
    Islam is based on Mohammed’s ideas (or, if you’re a Muslim, Allah’s dictation to Mohammed). Mormonism is based on Joseph Smith’s ideas (or, if you’re Mormon, the angel Moroni’s dictated translation of the golden plates). Buddhism is based on the ideas of Guatama. Hinduism is based on really, really ancient animist practices and stories.
    Christinity is based on an historical EVENT – the resurrection of Jesus. Take away the resurrection and you have the Sermon on the Mount and the Golden Rule (neither of which are particularly unique as philosophies for living), some talk about the Kingdom of God, and some miracle stories – again not much unique there.
    It’s the Resurrection that sets Christianity apart.

    So? Followers of Apollonius of Tyana, who was also allegedly resurrected, probably believed the same thing.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Answer me this – is it certain that humans can understand everything, or is it possible that there exists that of which the human mind cannot conceive?
    Of course it’s possible. But if the mind cannot conceive it, what makes you think that anyone’s religion is in any way related to it? You’re throwing darts at an infinitely large dartboard in a dark room and claiming you have a bullseye.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Answer me this – is it certain that humans can understand everything, or is it possible that there exists that of which the human mind cannot conceive?
    Of course it’s possible. But if the mind cannot conceive it, what makes you think that anyone’s religion is in any way related to it? You’re throwing darts at an infinitely large dartboard in a dark room and claiming you have a bullseye.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ben, please compare the evidence for the resurrection of Apollonius of Tyana to the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
    To keep it simple, please provide the name of one individual who claimed to have personally seen Apollonius of Tyana alive again after he died, who would have been in a position to know if the resurrection had been faked in any way, but who willingly suffered martyrdom rather than recant.
    IOW, an equivalent of Simon called Peter. Or Andrew. Or Thomas. Or the Zebedee brothers. Or Matthew. Or…

  • Joe Carter

    Ben: Not quite. The universe isn’t an object, it’s the set of all things which exist. All that exists, and can exist, within that set, do so not because they were “created” by that set (which is another anthropomorphism), but because the properties of that set (ie, the laws of physics) do not forbid their existence. Atoms exist because of the electromagnetic property, planets exist because of the gravitational property, etc.
    I assume that you are claiming that these

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ben, please compare the evidence for the resurrection of Apollonius of Tyana to the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
    To keep it simple, please provide the name of one individual who claimed to have personally seen Apollonius of Tyana alive again after he died, who would have been in a position to know if the resurrection had been faked in any way, but who willingly suffered martyrdom rather than recant.
    IOW, an equivalent of Simon called Peter. Or Andrew. Or Thomas. Or the Zebedee brothers. Or Matthew. Or…

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Ben: Not quite. The universe isn’t an object, it’s the set of all things which exist. All that exists, and can exist, within that set, do so not because they were “created” by that set (which is another anthropomorphism), but because the properties of that set (ie, the laws of physics) do not forbid their existence. Atoms exist because of the electromagnetic property, planets exist because of the gravitational property, etc.
    I assume that you are claiming that these

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, please compare the evidence for the resurrection of Apollonius of Tyana to the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
    Sure. Zero and zero. Conjecture and hearsay does not count as evidence.

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    tgirsch,
    Even though natural to infants I recently read that the Hebrews through the time of Christ didn’t believe the soul to be distinct from the body. That abstraction is due to Hellenistic influences (spread by the military successes of the Alexandrian conquests) in the Mediterranean. Paul had a good Greek education and had some small influence on Christian thought. Which in turn has been passed on to us.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, please compare the evidence for the resurrection of Apollonius of Tyana to the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.
    Sure. Zero and zero. Conjecture and hearsay does not count as evidence.

  • http://pseudopolymath.blogspot.com/ Mark O

    tgirsch,
    Even though natural to infants I recently read that the Hebrews through the time of Christ didn’t believe the soul to be distinct from the body. That abstraction is due to Hellenistic influences (spread by the military successes of the Alexandrian conquests) in the Mediterranean. Paul had a good Greek education and had some small influence on Christian thought. Which in turn has been passed on to us.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ben, you just contradicted yourself.
    All that I know to exist is what can be shown to exist. I will not accept claims which aren’t backed by evidence….
    And then you agreed with me that
    Of course it’s possible [that there exists that of which the human mind cannot conceive]
    Unless, of course, you have evidence of the existence of the ineffable. :-D

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ben, you just contradicted yourself.
    All that I know to exist is what can be shown to exist. I will not accept claims which aren’t backed by evidence….
    And then you agreed with me that
    Of course it’s possible [that there exists that of which the human mind cannot conceive]\
    Unless, of course, you have evidence of the existence of the ineffable. :-D

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    I assume that you are claiming that these

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    I assume that you are claiming that these

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, you just contradicted yourself.
    No, I didn’t. You need to understand the difference between verifiability and speculation.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, you just contradicted yourself.
    No, I didn’t. You need to understand the difference between verifiability and speculation.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Thanks, Joe. It’s a staple of my apologia. :-)
    Ben, if I were typing on my own normal keyboard instead of my wife’s curvy ergonomic wonder I’d give you some basic-facts info on the documentary basis for the veracity of the New Testament. If you call the NT “heresay and conjecture” the so must be ALL of what we claim to know of classical history.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Thanks, Joe. It’s a staple of my apologia. :-)
    Ben, if I were typing on my own normal keyboard instead of my wife’s curvy ergonomic wonder I’d give you some basic-facts info on the documentary basis for the veracity of the New Testament. If you call the NT “heresay and conjecture” the so must be ALL of what we claim to know of classical history.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, if I were typing on my own normal keyboard instead of my wife’s curvy ergonomic wonder I’d give you some basic-facts info on the documentary basis for the veracity of the New Testament.
    Go ahead. Then I’ll talk to a Muslim and get the documentary basis for the veracity of the Q’uran. Then I’ll talk to a Jew and get the documantary basis for the veracity of the Torah. Will I take one of you more seriously than I take the rest? No.
    If you call the NT “heresay and conjecture” the so must be ALL of what we claim to know of classical history.
    This is illogical. Just because the Bible gets many historical facts right, doesn’t mean that I have to equivocate into accepting the whole “Son of God” thing. You’re right that the NT is an historical document, and that’s all it is.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, if I were typing on my own normal keyboard instead of my wife’s curvy ergonomic wonder I’d give you some basic-facts info on the documentary basis for the veracity of the New Testament.
    Go ahead. Then I’ll talk to a Muslim and get the documentary basis for the veracity of the Q’uran. Then I’ll talk to a Jew and get the documantary basis for the veracity of the Torah. Will I take one of you more seriously than I take the rest? No.
    If you call the NT “heresay and conjecture” the so must be ALL of what we claim to know of classical history.
    This is illogical. Just because the Bible gets many historical facts right, doesn’t mean that I have to equivocate into accepting the whole “Son of God” thing. You’re right that the NT is an historical document, and that’s all it is.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    “You need to understand the difference between verifiability and speculation.”
    Oh, I do. That’s why I take the seriously the claim that Jesus actually rose from the dead. It’s verifiable. Even better, it’s falsifiable! :-)
    See, that’s inductive reasoning at work. You’re operating deductively, but calling it inductive. Major, major error, sir.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    “You need to understand the difference between verifiability and speculation.”
    Oh, I do. That’s why I take the seriously the claim that Jesus actually rose from the dead. It’s verifiable. Even better, it’s falsifiable! :-)
    See, that’s inductive reasoning at work. You’re operating deductively, but calling it inductive. Major, major error, sir.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Oh, I do. That’s why I take the seriously the claim that Jesus actually rose from the dead. It’s verifiable. Even better, it’s falsifiable! :-)
    This is a perfect example of a claim sans evidence.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Oh, I do. That’s why I take the seriously the claim that Jesus actually rose from the dead. It’s verifiable. Even better, it’s falsifiable! :-)
    This is a perfect example of a claim sans evidence.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ben, you’re getting close, but you still seem to be operating from ignorance. For example, you DO know that Jesus was a Jew and kept the Torah laws, right? You know that Mohammed based the Q’ran largely on the Tanakh, right? (Tanakh = Torah + The Histories + The Prophets + The Writings, IOW the OT).
    There’s no question of the historical veracity of the documents of the OT, the NT, or the Q’ran. The modern texts are near-exact copies of the original writings – the documentary evidence makes that clear.
    When you look at the NT documents as historical documents, though, they tell a remarkable story. The bottom line is the Empty Tomb.
    That’s what makes the NT unique. It’s an eyewitness account of a remarkable event. IF it was faked, then the people who faked it did something that has never been done in history – died for a lie they knew to be a lie.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ben, you’re getting close, but you still seem to be operating from ignorance. For example, you DO know that Jesus was a Jew and kept the Torah laws, right? You know that Mohammed based the Q’ran largely on the Tanakh, right? (Tanakh = Torah + The Histories + The Prophets + The Writings, IOW the OT).
    There’s no question of the historical veracity of the documents of the OT, the NT, or the Q’ran. The modern texts are near-exact copies of the original writings – the documentary evidence makes that clear.
    When you look at the NT documents as historical documents, though, they tell a remarkable story. The bottom line is the Empty Tomb.
    That’s what makes the NT unique. It’s an eyewitness account of a remarkable event. IF it was faked, then the people who faked it did something that has never been done in history – died for a lie they knew to be a lie.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ahh, evidence. (Lordy, I do not like this keyboard!!!!!)
    Ben, how much do you know about analyzing historical documents? Let me see if I can go grab something I wrote earlier somewhere else….

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ahh, evidence. (Lordy, I do not like this keyboard!!!!!)
    Ben, how much do you know about analyzing historical documents? Let me see if I can go grab something I wrote earlier somewhere else….

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    OK, here’s the line of argument assembled from several posts in the Miscellaneous forum in the discussion area over at guitar.com. I apologize in advance for any cut-n-paste errors.
    Lots of people confuse induction and deduction. They begin by saying, “if it’s not measurable it doesn’t exist, so measure me a God.” That’s deductive thinking masquerading as induction. Induction has to start with facts. Facts don’t lie. They can be interpreted variously, but facts are facts.
    Absent a break in the natural order, dead people stay dead – that’s a fact.
    There are a bunch of ancient manuscripts that purport to contain eyewitness accounts of a dead man coming back to life – that’s another fact. (The existence of the documents, that is.)
    Now, one might (and many do) draw the conclusion that because A, B is false. The Gospel stories are fairy tales because, well, miracles don’t happen.
    BUT WHAT IF THEY DO? There’s the sneaky deduction infiltrating your good clean scientific thinking. You’ve got an a priori assumption that miracles do not, can not, have never happened. Ever. And that assumption is not a fact.
    It is a statement of faith, because you cannot observe all events over all time to state conclusively that miracles cannot ever happen. It’s logic as circular as the Fundie who quotes Scripture to “prove” that the Bible is true.
    Show me the body of Jesus and I’ll become a Buddhist or a Pagan immediately. Christianity is totally dependent on the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus never lived, or did not rise from the dead, then it’s all hogwash.
    The problem is, you can’t prove a negative. You can’t prove he never lived. You can interpret the evidence any way you like (that’s inductive reasoning), but there’s all kinds of evidence that he really did live, even if we don;t have incontrovertible proof.
    You can’t prove he’s still dead (unless you come up with the body, of course). Now, then, I fully realize that I have the burden of proof – or at least the burden of preponderance of evidence – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
    First, we need to agree on some basic facts. Dead people generally stay dead, right?
    if Jesus were to have really come back to life, it would take a miracle. If you have credible evidence that a dead man came back to life, then you’d have credible evidence of a miracle. Ergo, evidence of the supernatural. Not proof, mind you, but evidence.
    That immediately raises the canard of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” That’s false. We believe all sorts of extraordinary claims with perfectly ordinary proof. Men walked on the moon. A teenage girl who heard voices led an army to victory. (Of course, there are those who claim we never went to the moon.) The cry for “extraordinary evidence” is a cop-out, since those who make it are never satisfied with any evidence presented, and cannot give a reasonable example of evidence that would convince them.
    The real question is, how credible is the evidence of the event? Are there other scenarios that fit that evidence? How reasonable are those scenarios?
    Note: Saying that the evidence is not credible because it describes a miracle and miracles don’t happen is fallacious, deductive, circular reasoning. We’re staying on an inductive track here. Just the facts.
    Let’s look at the New Testament as a collection of ancient documents. Never mind their content (for now) – just consider them as a collection of manuscripts, the same way you’d look at, say, pay records from the Roman Army, or the writings of Socrates or Julius Caesar. Or perhaps the records from the trial of Joan of Arc.
    When you’re looking at ancient documents, the first question to ask is, do we have an original autograph, in the original author’s own handwriting, or do we have copies?
    You can go to Washington DC and read the Declaration of Independence in Jefferson’s own handwriting. You can’t get more authentic than that.
    But for a lot of ancient documents, the originals are lost to time. Paul dictated a lot of his letters, but at least one he wrote himself. He says, “I’m writing this myself. See what large letters I’m using? Pay attention!” That original (called an autograph), we don’t have. Maybe someday it’ll turn up, but for now we don’t have it.
    We do have copies, though, because people thought his letters were important enough to bother copying them out by hand.
    So now we have to ask two questions: 1. How old are the copies? and 2. how many duplicate copies do we have?
    The older the copies are, and the more copies you have to compare with each other, the more confident you can be that you have an accurate record of the original writing, even if the autograph is lost.
    For example, we have four or five copies of Socrates’ writings that date to within a few hundred to a thousand years of his life. Scholars are therefore very confident that they have an accurate copy of Socrates’ works.
    Likewise with other writings from ancient Greek and Rome. We have in some cases as many as a dozen or so copies, the oldest of which are within a few hundred years of the originals. Scholars are very confident that they have accurate texts for the writings of Cicero, Pliny, Julius Caesar, Aristotle, and a host of others.
    Scholars are thrilled that they have three, five, a dozen copies of these texts. They’re delighted when they can date their oldest copy to within 500 years of the original.
    The New Testament documents are in a completely different class. The oldest copies date to within at most 150-200 years of the originals. It is entirely reasonable to think that the oldest copies could well have been copied from the originals.
    Further, there are THOUSANDS of copies of the texts. There are also thousands of non-Biblical documents such as letters that quote the NT documents – so many that one can recreate the entire New Testament just from those quotes.
    You’d think that with all those copies, there would be errors. And indeed, different copies have differences. But of all the variant readings, there is not one single point of doctrine that is called into question by textual variance. Not one.
    That’s a rather round-about (but necessary, I think) way of getting to this point: It’s clear from the evidence that within a few years after Jesus’ death, the strong belief that he had risen bodily from the grave and then ascended into Heaven was widespread among his followers.
    This belief was promoted by a number of people who claimed to have seen the risen Jesus themselves, and who persisted in their belief despite being threatened, beaten, imprisoned, and killed.
    That’s what the evidence shows.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    OK, here’s the line of argument assembled from several posts in the Miscellaneous forum in the discussion area over at guitar.com. I apologize in advance for any cut-n-paste errors.
    Lots of people confuse induction and deduction. They begin by saying, “if it’s not measurable it doesn’t exist, so measure me a God.” That’s deductive thinking masquerading as induction. Induction has to start with facts. Facts don’t lie. They can be interpreted variously, but facts are facts.
    Absent a break in the natural order, dead people stay dead – that’s a fact.
    There are a bunch of ancient manuscripts that purport to contain eyewitness accounts of a dead man coming back to life – that’s another fact. (The existence of the documents, that is.)
    Now, one might (and many do) draw the conclusion that because A, B is false. The Gospel stories are fairy tales because, well, miracles don’t happen.
    BUT WHAT IF THEY DO? There’s the sneaky deduction infiltrating your good clean scientific thinking. You’ve got an a priori assumption that miracles do not, can not, have never happened. Ever. And that assumption is not a fact.
    It is a statement of faith, because you cannot observe all events over all time to state conclusively that miracles cannot ever happen. It’s logic as circular as the Fundie who quotes Scripture to “prove” that the Bible is true.
    Show me the body of Jesus and I’ll become a Buddhist or a Pagan immediately. Christianity is totally dependent on the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus never lived, or did not rise from the dead, then it’s all hogwash.
    The problem is, you can’t prove a negative. You can’t prove he never lived. You can interpret the evidence any way you like (that’s inductive reasoning), but there’s all kinds of evidence that he really did live, even if we don;t have incontrovertible proof.
    You can’t prove he’s still dead (unless you come up with the body, of course). Now, then, I fully realize that I have the burden of proof – or at least the burden of preponderance of evidence – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
    First, we need to agree on some basic facts. Dead people generally stay dead, right?
    if Jesus were to have really come back to life, it would take a miracle. If you have credible evidence that a dead man came back to life, then you’d have credible evidence of a miracle. Ergo, evidence of the supernatural. Not proof, mind you, but evidence.
    That immediately raises the canard of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.” That’s false. We believe all sorts of extraordinary claims with perfectly ordinary proof. Men walked on the moon. A teenage girl who heard voices led an army to victory. (Of course, there are those who claim we never went to the moon.) The cry for “extraordinary evidence” is a cop-out, since those who make it are never satisfied with any evidence presented, and cannot give a reasonable example of evidence that would convince them.
    The real question is, how credible is the evidence of the event? Are there other scenarios that fit that evidence? How reasonable are those scenarios?
    Note: Saying that the evidence is not credible because it describes a miracle and miracles don’t happen is fallacious, deductive, circular reasoning. We’re staying on an inductive track here. Just the facts.
    Let’s look at the New Testament as a collection of ancient documents. Never mind their content (for now) – just consider them as a collection of manuscripts, the same way you’d look at, say, pay records from the Roman Army, or the writings of Socrates or Julius Caesar. Or perhaps the records from the trial of Joan of Arc.
    When you’re looking at ancient documents, the first question to ask is, do we have an original autograph, in the original author’s own handwriting, or do we have copies?
    You can go to Washington DC and read the Declaration of Independence in Jefferson’s own handwriting. You can’t get more authentic than that.
    But for a lot of ancient documents, the originals are lost to time. Paul dictated a lot of his letters, but at least one he wrote himself. He says, “I’m writing this myself. See what large letters I’m using? Pay attention!” That original (called an autograph), we don’t have. Maybe someday it’ll turn up, but for now we don’t have it.
    We do have copies, though, because people thought his letters were important enough to bother copying them out by hand.
    So now we have to ask two questions: 1. How old are the copies? and 2. how many duplicate copies do we have?
    The older the copies are, and the more copies you have to compare with each other, the more confident you can be that you have an accurate record of the original writing, even if the autograph is lost.
    For example, we have four or five copies of Socrates’ writings that date to within a few hundred to a thousand years of his life. Scholars are therefore very confident that they have an accurate copy of Socrates’ works.
    Likewise with other writings from ancient Greek and Rome. We have in some cases as many as a dozen or so copies, the oldest of which are within a few hundred years of the originals. Scholars are very confident that they have accurate texts for the writings of Cicero, Pliny, Julius Caesar, Aristotle, and a host of others.
    Scholars are thrilled that they have three, five, a dozen copies of these texts. They’re delighted when they can date their oldest copy to within 500 years of the original.
    The New Testament documents are in a completely different class. The oldest copies date to within at most 150-200 years of the originals. It is entirely reasonable to think that the oldest copies could well have been copied from the originals.
    Further, there are THOUSANDS of copies of the texts. There are also thousands of non-Biblical documents such as letters that quote the NT documents – so many that one can recreate the entire New Testament just from those quotes.
    You’d think that with all those copies, there would be errors. And indeed, different copies have differences. But of all the variant readings, there is not one single point of doctrine that is called into question by textual variance. Not one.
    That’s a rather round-about (but necessary, I think) way of getting to this point: It’s clear from the evidence that within a few years after Jesus’ death, the strong belief that he had risen bodily from the grave and then ascended into Heaven was widespread among his followers.
    This belief was promoted by a number of people who claimed to have seen the risen Jesus themselves, and who persisted in their belief despite being threatened, beaten, imprisoned, and killed.
    That’s what the evidence shows.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    This is all irrelevant. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even ignoring the contradictions and inconsistencies of the original Scriptures, if you honestly want me to believe that ANYONE who has been dead for three days, and came back to life (well before the era of cryogenics), you’re going to have to do better than showing me a couple of dusty old manuscripts.
    That’s what makes the NT unique. It’s an eyewitness account of a remarkable event. IF it was faked, then the people who faked it did something that has never been done in history – died for a lie they knew to be a lie.
    But, if Christinity is the One True Religion ™, then that’s exactly what Mohammed, Buddha, Abraham, Zoroaster, Joseph Smith, etc, all did, thereby contradicting your claim.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    This is all irrelevant. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even ignoring the contradictions and inconsistencies of the original Scriptures, if you honestly want me to believe that ANYONE who has been dead for three days, and came back to life (well before the era of cryogenics), you’re going to have to do better than showing me a couple of dusty old manuscripts.
    That’s what makes the NT unique. It’s an eyewitness account of a remarkable event. IF it was faked, then the people who faked it did something that has never been done in history – died for a lie they knew to be a lie.
    But, if Christinity is the One True Religion ™, then that’s exactly what Mohammed, Buddha, Abraham, Zoroaster, Joseph Smith, etc, all did, thereby contradicting your claim.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ben, please read the argument before responding. It’s long, but written reasonably clearly. I already dispatched your “extraordinay claims” copout.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ben, please read the argument before responding. It’s long, but written reasonably clearly. I already dispatched your “extraordinay claims” copout.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Hang on, I wrote that before you responded again. Give me a chance.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Thanks. Standing by…

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Hang on, I wrote that before you responded again. Give me a chance.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Thanks. Standing by…

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    May be getting ahead of you, but I’m guessing that the next question is, So What? Read here: http://www.itasca.net/~corrie/rantgod.htm#sense

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    May be getting ahead of you, but I’m guessing that the next question is, So What? Read here: http://www.itasca.net/~corrie/rantgod.htm#sense

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Corrie, you still haven’t provided me with any reason to take Christian historical claims any more seriously than Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Hindu, etc, historical texts. What makes you right and them wrong?

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Corrie, you still haven’t provided me with any reason to take Christian historical claims any more seriously than Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Catholic, Hindu, etc, historical texts. What makes you right and them wrong?

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Whoa, Ben, let’s not mix inductive and deductive here. Your list of religions seems to indicate some basic lack of understanding. Catholicism, for example, is a branch of Christianity. Catholics make no different historical claims than Protestants. Doctrinal differences, yes, but we’re not getting into that here. Catholics are Christians.
    Also, Christianity subsumes Judaism. So everything that Jews claim to be historically true, Christians affirm, with the exception of the Messianic claims of Christianity.
    You’re ignoring the point that Christianity is based on an EVENT, not a philosophy (Buddhism), personal revelation (Buddhism, Mormonism, Islam), or codified prehistoric animist practice (Hinduism).

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Whoa, Ben, let’s not mix inductive and deductive here. Your list of religions seems to indicate some basic lack of understanding. Catholicism, for example, is a branch of Christianity. Catholics make no different historical claims than Protestants. Doctrinal differences, yes, but we’re not getting into that here. Catholics are Christians.
    Also, Christianity subsumes Judaism. So everything that Jews claim to be historically true, Christians affirm, with the exception of the Messianic claims of Christianity.
    You’re ignoring the point that Christianity is based on an EVENT, not a philosophy (Buddhism), personal revelation (Buddhism, Mormonism, Islam), or codified prehistoric animist practice (Hinduism).

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    I began writing a parsing reply to your big post, but I deleted it. There’s just too much crap to slog through, and the main thrust of the “logic” is the old argument from incredulity. Answer my “One True Religion” point. That’s all I ask.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    I began writing a parsing reply to your big post, but I deleted it. There’s just too much crap to slog through, and the main thrust of the “logic” is the old argument from incredulity. Answer my “One True Religion” point. That’s all I ask.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re ignoring the point that Christianity is based on an EVENT, not a philosophy (Buddhism), personal revelation (Buddhism, Mormonism, Islam), or codified prehistoric animist practice (Hinduism).
    Then provide evidence for the event. Historians can’t even conclude that Jesus of Nazareth ever existed, let alone Jesus Christ, let alone that he was executed, let alone that he was executed via crucifixion, let alone that he rose from the dead. Why are so many historians contemporary to that era so silent about this character for whom the entire civilised world would have no doubt taken notice?

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re ignoring the point that Christianity is based on an EVENT, not a philosophy (Buddhism), personal revelation (Buddhism, Mormonism, Islam), or codified prehistoric animist practice (Hinduism).
    Then provide evidence for the event. Historians can’t even conclude that Jesus of Nazareth ever existed, let alone Jesus Christ, let alone that he was executed, let alone that he was executed via crucifixion, let alone that he rose from the dead. Why are so many historians contemporary to that era so silent about this character for whom the entire civilised world would have no doubt taken notice?

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Your list of religions seems to indicate some basic lack of understanding.
    No, it was an innocent typo.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Your list of religions seems to indicate some basic lack of understanding.
    No, it was an innocent typo.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    Ok, Ben, by focusing on “One True Religion” you seem to want to work deductively. I can go there, no problem.
    But first let’s finish the inductive side. You seem to be ceding to me the inductive argument. IOW, you agree that the best, most rational interpretation of the historical evidence is that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. Is that correct?
    Accepting each religion’s claims prima facia is a prerequisite to a deductive comparison, right?

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    Ok, Ben, by focusing on “One True Religion” you seem to want to work deductively. I can go there, no problem.
    But first let’s finish the inductive side. You seem to be ceding to me the inductive argument. IOW, you agree that the best, most rational interpretation of the historical evidence is that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead. Is that correct?
    Accepting each religion’s claims prima facia is a prerequisite to a deductive comparison, right?

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re free to make that hypothesis. Now provide the evidence.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re free to make that hypothesis. Now provide the evidence.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    “Then provide evidence for the event.”
    *rips what little hair remains*
    Ben, that whole long post was EXACTLY that!
    Jesus during his life was totally unknown outside of a very small area. Even within that area, he was viewed by the powers-that-be as just another itinerant preacher, who became a seen as a troublemaker – a threat to the power structure. They got him killed, but within days his followers were proclaiming that he was alive again. For months, perhaps several years afterward, they continued to gather together and preach publicly, but apart from a few beatings and short imprisonments the authorities mostly ignored them.
    Then came Stephen.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    “Then provide evidence for the event.”
    *rips what little hair remains*
    Ben, that whole long post was EXACTLY that!
    Jesus during his life was totally unknown outside of a very small area. Even within that area, he was viewed by the powers-that-be as just another itinerant preacher, who became a seen as a troublemaker – a threat to the power structure. They got him killed, but within days his followers were proclaiming that he was alive again. For months, perhaps several years afterward, they continued to gather together and preach publicly, but apart from a few beatings and short imprisonments the authorities mostly ignored them.
    Then came Stephen.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, that whole long post was EXACTLY that!
    No, it’s a long exposition of ancient, possibly forged (forgeries of historical texts being a long, proud Christian tradition), conjecture and hearsay, sprinkled with appeals from personal incredulity. Insufficient.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Ben, that whole long post was EXACTLY that!
    No, it’s a long exposition of ancient, possibly forged (forgeries of historical texts being a long, proud Christian tradition), conjecture and hearsay, sprinkled with appeals from personal incredulity. Insufficient.

  • ~DS~

    Corrie he’s asking for some evidence that a human being died and decomposed as a stiff for three days and got up afterward and walked away. Not for claims from an ancient book or ancient eyewitness accounts that claims such a thing happened. It’s a pretty extraordinary claim that a human (Or a man-God hybrid if you prefer) died for several days and then came back. We understand you believe that’s what happened. And we’re not asking for evidence with some kind of unattainable metaphysical certainty. Just some evidecne, physical evidence, preferably something which can be tested.
    Hell I’d be happy if you showed me any human anywhere who was 100% dead and on his way to stinking to high heaven with his blood dried in his veins who went on to ‘recover’ from that state.

  • ~DS~

    Corrie he’s asking for some evidence that a human being died and decomposed as a stiff for three days and got up afterward and walked away. Not for claims from an ancient book or ancient eyewitness accounts that claims such a thing happened. It’s a pretty extraordinary claim that a human (Or a man-God hybrid if you prefer) died for several days and then came back. We understand you believe that’s what happened. And we’re not asking for evidence with some kind of unattainable metaphysical certainty. Just some evidecne, physical evidence, preferably something which can be tested.
    Hell I’d be happy if you showed me any human anywhere who was 100% dead and on his way to stinking to high heaven with his blood dried in his veins who went on to ‘recover’ from that state.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    DS and Ben, you are copping out. You’re like a person who won’t believe men walked on the Moon unless you can do it yourself. The photos and videos – faked. The astronauts – brainwashed or liars.
    If you want to claim that the NT texts are forgeries (which goes against the documentary evidence) then please back up your claim. The documentary evidence is that the Gospels are contemporary collections of eyewitness accounts. Eyewitness testimony is not heresay.
    The tomb was empty. That is the crux of the matter, if you’ll pardon the pun. Historically, factually, empty. That is what the preponderance of evidence shows.
    Explain it.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    DS and Ben, you are copping out. You’re like a person who won’t believe men walked on the Moon unless you can do it yourself. The photos and videos – faked. The astronauts – brainwashed or liars.
    If you want to claim that the NT texts are forgeries (which goes against the documentary evidence) then please back up your claim. The documentary evidence is that the Gospels are contemporary collections of eyewitness accounts. Eyewitness testimony is not heresay.
    The tomb was empty. That is the crux of the matter, if you’ll pardon the pun. Historically, factually, empty. That is what the preponderance of evidence shows.
    Explain it.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com/ corrie

    off to bed, gents. It’s been fun.

  • http://sddc.blogspot.com corrie

    off to bed, gents. It’s been fun.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re like a person who won’t believe men walked on the Moon unless you can do it yourself. The photos and videos – faked. The astronauts – brainwashed or liars.
    Not really. The level of technological advancement at the turn of the 60’s-70’s makes the claim plausible. The evidence of radio transmissions picked up from satellite dishes all over the globe. The silence of the Soviet military, who surely would have cried foul if they suspected that anything was up. Photographs. Verifiable personal accounts by a great number of people. That’s what you call evidence. Of course, if you don’t want to believe that man walked on the moon in 1969 (and again about a dozen times after that), I’m not going to kick up a fuss and tell you you’re going to Hell. ;)

    If you want to claim that the NT texts are forgeries (which goes against the documentary evidence) then please back up your claim. The documentary evidence is that the Gospels are contemporary collections of eyewitness accounts. Eyewitness testimony is not heresay.

    No, no, I’m not saying that the New Testament is a forgery. I’m saying it’s fictional. Sorry for the misunderstanding. The accounts of several historians, including Josephus, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, were forged to include references to Jesus Christ. Even Christian Scholars accept that.
    The tomb was empty. That is the crux of the matter, if you’ll pardon the pun. Historically, factually, empty. That is what the preponderance of evidence shows.
    Explain it.

    Sure, then I’ll explain why Dionysos’ tomb was empty. Then I’ll explain why Apollonius’ tomb was empty. Would you then be willing to incorporate their respective religions into your Christian one with equal measure? The principle of the resurrection of the Savior of Humanity is not only not unique to Christianity, it’s not even original to Christianity.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    You’re like a person who won’t believe men walked on the Moon unless you can do it yourself. The photos and videos – faked. The astronauts – brainwashed or liars.
    Not really. The level of technological advancement at the turn of the 60’s-70’s makes the claim plausible. The evidence of radio transmissions picked up from satellite dishes all over the globe. The silence of the Soviet military, who surely would have cried foul if they suspected that anything was up. Photographs. Verifiable personal accounts by a great number of people. That’s what you call evidence. Of course, if you don’t want to believe that man walked on the moon in 1969 (and again about a dozen times after that), I’m not going to kick up a fuss and tell you you’re going to Hell. ;)

    If you want to claim that the NT texts are forgeries (which goes against the documentary evidence) then please back up your claim. The documentary evidence is that the Gospels are contemporary collections of eyewitness accounts. Eyewitness testimony is not heresay.

    No, no, I’m not saying that the New Testament is a forgery. I’m saying it’s fictional. Sorry for the misunderstanding. The accounts of several historians, including Josephus, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, were forged to include references to Jesus Christ. Even Christian Scholars accept that.
    The tomb was empty. That is the crux of the matter, if you’ll pardon the pun. Historically, factually, empty. That is what the preponderance of evidence shows.
    Explain it.

    Sure, then I’ll explain why Dionysos’ tomb was empty. Then I’ll explain why Apollonius’ tomb was empty. Would you then be willing to incorporate their respective religions into your Christian one with equal measure? The principle of the resurrection of the Savior of Humanity is not only not unique to Christianity, it’s not even original to Christianity.

  • ~DS~

    You’re like a person who won’t believe men walked on the Moon unless you can do it yourself. The photos and videos – faked. The astronauts – brainwashed or liars.
    LOL…Well no I accept that men walked on the moon Corrie. I saw it on TV, I live and work in Cocoa Florida, I’ve been to KSC many many times, I can see the pad and the VAB from my roof, I’ve worked for USA, I’ve talked to people first hand every day who made it happen, I’ve seen and handled moon rocks, I’ve reviewed the data rather thoroughly myself, I understand the technology that made it possible. Thus it is plausible that it did really happen.
    What you’re claiming is something no one has ever been able to demonstrate and which goes against the experience of all of observed science not to mention common sense. I understand you believe it, what you don’t understand or seem willing to admit is that we do not accept that humans have ever beeen ressurected from dead corpses nor will we until such time as you can give some quality evidence for why we should.

  • ~DS~

    You’re like a person who won’t believe men walked on the Moon unless you can do it yourself. The photos and videos – faked. The astronauts – brainwashed or liars.
    LOL…Well no I accept that men walked on the moon Corrie. I saw it on TV, I live and work in Cocoa Florida, I’ve been to KSC many many times, I can see the pad and the VAB from my roof, I’ve worked for USA, I’ve talked to people first hand every day who made it happen, I’ve seen and handled moon rocks, I’ve reviewed the data rather thoroughly myself, I understand the technology that made it possible. Thus it is plausible that it did really happen.
    What you’re claiming is something no one has ever been able to demonstrate and which goes against the experience of all of observed science not to mention common sense. I understand you believe it, what you don’t understand or seem willing to admit is that we do not accept that humans have ever beeen ressurected from dead corpses nor will we until such time as you can give some quality evidence for why we should.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Just a postscript to the technological advancement point which I neglected to elaborate upon. Modern medicine, which can performed heart transplants, neurosurgery, replace limbs, map genomes, implant embryos, screen for genetic conditions, clone sheep, etc etc, can’t restore life to the dead. Yes, a person can undergo cessation of neurological activity for a few minutes, and be revived, normally with the side-effects of severe brain-damage, but technically this person was never “dead”, “death” being defined as the permanent cessation of life functions. If a doctor phoned the media and told them that a body lying at room temperature for 72 hours had suddenly sprung back to life, with or without any medical intervention, would you expect me to believe them? Would YOU believe them? If the doctor provided you with eyewitness statements of those who had seen it happens, but who had mysteriously died before being able to be interviewed, would you say that it was perverse to remain skeptical? If you requested to analyse the body, and the doctor told you that it had vanished, would you still believe him? Now if the doctor claimed to be able to channel the Inerrant Word of Allah, and his writings must be used to transform all of humanity, under threat of eternal hellfire, would that lend weight to his testimony? Now multiply that by a factor of 2000 years. Are you beginning to understand?
    If ANYONE IN HISTORY, even a SINGLE PERSON, has EVER risen from the dead, then the definition of “death” is meaningless, and must be changed to something more akin to “dormancy”. Claiming that the laws of physics can be miraculously suspended is as perverse as claiming that if you roll a die enough times you’ll eventually get a 7, and if you disagree, are you willing to jump off a cliff to prove that it’s possible to defeat the laws of universal gravitation? If one person jumped off a building every minute for the next million years, how many people would float? Based on experience, I can confidently say zero. You’re saying at least one, with no realistic basis for your claim. That’s what reality is; objective experience. Similarly, I can confidently say that every single person in history who has died, has remained dead. You’re saying “Every person except at least one”. Who’s the one being perverse here?

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Just a postscript to the technological advancement point which I neglected to elaborate upon. Modern medicine, which can performed heart transplants, neurosurgery, replace limbs, map genomes, implant embryos, screen for genetic conditions, clone sheep, etc etc, can’t restore life to the dead. Yes, a person can undergo cessation of neurological activity for a few minutes, and be revived, normally with the side-effects of severe brain-damage, but technically this person was never “dead”, “death” being defined as the permanent cessation of life functions. If a doctor phoned the media and told them that a body lying at room temperature for 72 hours had suddenly sprung back to life, with or without any medical intervention, would you expect me to believe them? Would YOU believe them? If the doctor provided you with eyewitness statements of those who had seen it happens, but who had mysteriously died before being able to be interviewed, would you say that it was perverse to remain skeptical? If you requested to analyse the body, and the doctor told you that it had vanished, would you still believe him? Now if the doctor claimed to be able to channel the Inerrant Word of Allah, and his writings must be used to transform all of humanity, under threat of eternal hellfire, would that lend weight to his testimony? Now multiply that by a factor of 2000 years. Are you beginning to understand?
    If ANYONE IN HISTORY, even a SINGLE PERSON, has EVER risen from the dead, then the definition of “death” is meaningless, and must be changed to something more akin to “dormancy”. Claiming that the laws of physics can be miraculously suspended is as perverse as claiming that if you roll a die enough times you’ll eventually get a 7, and if you disagree, are you willing to jump off a cliff to prove that it’s possible to defeat the laws of universal gravitation? If one person jumped off a building every minute for the next million years, how many people would float? Based on experience, I can confidently say zero. You’re saying at least one, with no realistic basis for your claim. That’s what reality is; objective experience. Similarly, I can confidently say that every single person in history who has died, has remained dead. You’re saying “Every person except at least one”. Who’s the one being perverse here?

  • Joe Carter

    Ben,
    Claiming that the laws of physics can be miraculously suspended is as perverse as claiming that if you roll a die enough times you’ll eventually get a 7, and if you disagree, are you willing to jump off a cliff to prove that it’s possible to defeat the laws of universal gravitation?
    The

  • http://jpcarter@evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Ben,
    Claiming that the laws of physics can be miraculously suspended is as perverse as claiming that if you roll a die enough times you’ll eventually get a 7, and if you disagree, are you willing to jump off a cliff to prove that it’s possible to defeat the laws of universal gravitation?
    The

  • Emmaus

    Rob: “Why so confrontational, Emmaus? You should try Sanka Brand decaffeinated coffee.”
    You know, Rob, I tend to get a bit upset when someone who I’m trying to have a disagreeable, yet civil conversation with, suddenly jumps up, and says “I’m not going to discuss this anymore because I don’t understand your argument.” This is an problem of epic proportions with the unbelievers who frequent this site, and, frankly, it frustrates me. When the argument is suddenly squeezing around you, you up and leave, claiming that our arguments “don’t make sense.” Let me let you in on a secret, they do make sense. Perhaps you don’t understand them. In that case, give us (me) the opportunity to correct or clarify. To simply say “that’s it” is flat out rude, and insulting.

  • Emmaus

    Rob: “Why so confrontational, Emmaus? You should try Sanka Brand decaffeinated coffee.”
    You know, Rob, I tend to get a bit upset when someone who I’m trying to have a disagreeable, yet civil conversation with, suddenly jumps up, and says “I’m not going to discuss this anymore because I don’t understand your argument.” This is an problem of epic proportions with the unbelievers who frequent this site, and, frankly, it frustrates me. When the argument is suddenly squeezing around you, you up and leave, claiming that our arguments “don’t make sense.” Let me let you in on a secret, they do make sense. Perhaps you don’t understand them. In that case, give us (me) the opportunity to correct or clarify. To simply say “that’s it” is flat out rude, and insulting.

  • Emmaus

    DS: In order for me to “allow for God to make mistakes” is for me to deny who God is! I don’t see why you don’t get this? Again, it’s like me asking you to deny the scientific method. If you accept that this is something that we, as Christians believe and are not going to give up, then at least we have a jumping-off point to begin discussing why we believe what we do.
    As to your earlier comment about how it would be easier for people to believe if God just came down and revealed Himself… let me let you in on another little secret: He did! And you know what, people ridiculed Him, beat Him, and then nailed Him to a tree! He already did exactly what you’re asking of Him, yet you still don’t believe!

  • Emmaus

    DS: In order for me to “allow for God to make mistakes” is for me to deny who God is! I don’t see why you don’t get this? Again, it’s like me asking you to deny the scientific method. If you accept that this is something that we, as Christians believe and are not going to give up, then at least we have a jumping-off point to begin discussing why we believe what we do.
    As to your earlier comment about how it would be easier for people to believe if God just came down and revealed Himself… let me let you in on another little secret: He did! And you know what, people ridiculed Him, beat Him, and then nailed Him to a tree! He already did exactly what you’re asking of Him, yet you still don’t believe!

  • Emmaus

    Ben: I was having a conversation about this very subject the other day with someone, and it appears very relevant here: You, it appears to me, make the same mistake as so many others… you worship at the alter of science as the source of meaning in your life. Let me tell you, it’s a dead-end. Science, and specifically physics, does not explain the *meaning* of the natural world – it only creates demonstrable models to explain the behavior of the natural world. In other words, its not an answer, but a suggestion. Physics just uses mathematics to explain the mechanics of the natural world – it doesn’t replace the question of “why does it behave the way it does” – it just says “it behaves the way this mathematical model says it does.” This should not replace the wonder of how God created everything to work in such fantastic ways. Just because we have a tiny bit of insight into the way God created the universe does not (or should not) reduce the wonder and awe of God’s power and love for us. Instead, I think the more we learn and understand, the more wonder we should have for God’s creation.

  • Emmaus

    Ben: I was having a conversation about this very subject the other day with someone, and it appears very relevant here: You, it appears to me, make the same mistake as so many others… you worship at the alter of science as the source of meaning in your life. Let me tell you, it’s a dead-end. Science, and specifically physics, does not explain the *meaning* of the natural world – it only creates demonstrable models to explain the behavior of the natural world. In other words, its not an answer, but a suggestion. Physics just uses mathematics to explain the mechanics of the natural world – it doesn’t replace the question of “why does it behave the way it does” – it just says “it behaves the way this mathematical model says it does.” This should not replace the wonder of how God created everything to work in such fantastic ways. Just because we have a tiny bit of insight into the way God created the universe does not (or should not) reduce the wonder and awe of God’s power and love for us. Instead, I think the more we learn and understand, the more wonder we should have for God’s creation.

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Yeah, thanks Emmaus. Can I talk to an adult now?

  • http://www.muckraking.net/ Ben

    Yeah, thanks Emmaus. Can I talk to an adult now?

  • ~DS~

    He did! And you know what, people ridiculed Him, beat Him, and then nailed Him to a tree! He already did exactly what you’re asking of Him, yet you still don’t believe!
    I wasn’t there. No one made any kind of recording of it. If he did it then he could do it now. But instead all you can muster is a few chapters in an ancient book of Bedouin fairy tales similar to other such fairy tales found all over the world.

  • ~DS~

    He did! And you know what, people ridiculed Him, beat Him, and then nailed Him to a tree! He already did exactly what you’re asking of Him, yet you still don’t believe!
    I wasn’t there. No one made any kind of recording of it. If he did it then he could do it now. But instead all you can muster is a few chapters in an ancient book of Bedouin fairy tales similar to other such fairy tales found all over the world.

  • DH

    DS: I’m sorry you look at these as “fairy tales”. Can you look at the heart of what I said earlier? I care about you or I wouldn’t have said what I said earlier if I didn’t. Please don’t harden your heart. Please reread Nov 11, 2004 from 4:51pm and the rest of my posts.

  • DH

    DS: I’m sorry you look at these as “fairy tales”. Can you look at the heart of what I said earlier? I care about you or I wouldn’t have said what I said earlier if I didn’t. Please don’t harden your heart. Please reread Nov 11, 2004 from 4:51pm and the rest of my posts.

  • ~DS~

    DH, Joe, Corrie, and anyone else who wants to play along, anytime you have some kind of decent evidence to back up your claims I’m open to hearing it. For example if you’re ‘in contact’ with, and you have a ‘personal relationship’, with an ethereal creature which can do pretty much anything including read thoughts, know the future, and can communicate with dead people, then that would be easy to test. If you think you can pass such tests then I’m very interested in proceeding and giving you a wide open shot at doing so.
    If on the other hand you make up excuses for why the deity you believe in perfectly imitates one that doesn’t exist, I’ll keep you in the ‘deluded or lying’ catergory along with psychic John Edwards and friends.
    BTW, I can float two feet off the ground by pure thought power, (I’m doing it right now and it makes typing this out kinda challenging, that explains any typos) but I can only do it when I’m completely isolated from all observation of any kind. Only people who believe me 100% can witness it, and if I can’t do it in front of you it means you don’t believe me 100% no matter what you say to the contrary which is proof that what i say is true! A few days ago a buddy of mine named Ben from australia who does believe me 100% saw me demonstrate this psychic ability and he even recorded it and measured it to the inch and wrote down the results of his observations on a legal pad. How could you deny such rock solid evidence? Ben tell them!
    Oh ,and also, I can predict the future in complete detail by talking to my invisble friend Kenny who lives in the fourth dimension but who cannot be observed in anyway except by me, but I’m not allowed to tell the future out loud until after the events happen. I also have a magic invisible fire breathing dragon in my attic which no one can see or interact with in anyway except myself …. seriously though, I’m telling the truth!
    What’s wrong with my claims?

  • ~DS~

    DH, Joe, Corrie, and anyone else who wants to play along, anytime you have some kind of decent evidence to back up your claims I’m open to hearing it. For example if you’re ‘in contact’ with, and you have a ‘personal relationship’, with an ethereal creature which can do pretty much anything including read thoughts, know the future, and can communicate with dead people, then that would be easy to test. If you think you can pass such tests then I’m very interested in proceeding and giving you a wide open shot at doing so.
    If on the other hand you make up excuses for why the deity you believe in perfectly imitates one that doesn’t exist, I’ll keep you in the ‘deluded or lying’ catergory along with psychic John Edwards and friends.
    BTW, I can float two feet off the ground by pure thought power, (I’m doing it right now and it makes typing this out kinda challenging, that explains any typos) but I can only do it when I’m completely isolated from all observation of any kind. Only people who believe me 100% can witness it, and if I can’t do it in front of you it means you don’t believe me 100% no matter what you say to the contrary which is proof that what i say is true! A few days ago a buddy of mine named Ben from australia who does believe me 100% saw me demonstrate this psychic ability and he even recorded it and measured it to the inch and wrote down the results of his observations on a legal pad. How could you deny such rock solid evidence? Ben tell them!
    Oh ,and also, I can predict the future in complete detail by talking to my invisble friend Kenny who lives in the fourth dimension but who cannot be observed in anyway except by me, but I’m not allowed to tell the future out loud until after the events happen. I also have a magic invisible fire breathing dragon in my attic which no one can see or interact with in anyway except myself …. seriously though, I’m telling the truth!
    What’s wrong with my claims?

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Phil:

    I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.

    Problem is, it hasn’t been proven to be accurate, either, except in the most mundane of claims. It got the fact that there was a king named Herod right. Bully for you. Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, despite the fact that the Egyptians were meticulous historians. No record of a massive death of the first-born, or of plagues, or of an entire people being set free. They have records of the most mundane diplomatic visits, but none of these major watershed events even bear passing mention. Why not? In all likelihood because they didn’t actually happen.

    The Bible has more historical evidence for its veracity than any other.

    This is simply untrue. If it were accepted, undisputed historical fact that Jesus not only existed, but was executed and ressurrected, then there wouldn’t be any non-Christians.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Phil:

    I base my beliefs on an historical document that is 4000 years old and has not been proven to be historically inaccurate.

    Problem is, it hasn’t been proven to be accurate, either, except in the most mundane of claims. It got the fact that there was a king named Herod right. Bully for you. Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, despite the fact that the Egyptians were meticulous historians. No record of a massive death of the first-born, or of plagues, or of an entire people being set free. They have records of the most mundane diplomatic visits, but none of these major watershed events even bear passing mention. Why not? In all likelihood because they didn’t actually happen.

    The Bible has more historical evidence for its veracity than any other.

    This is simply untrue. If it were accepted, undisputed historical fact that Jesus not only existed, but was executed and ressurrected, then there wouldn’t be any non-Christians.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Corrie:

    The tomb was empty. That is the crux of the matter

    Ben & ~DS~:
    Don’t you see? Don’t you get it? The fact that we don’t have a body proves that He was ressurrected! And the government denies that there were ever aliens at Area 51, which proves that they were there!
    Back to corrie:
    Seriously, comparing the evidence for the moon landing to the evidence for Christ? Puh-lease. Apart from everything else (amount and quality of evidence), we could replicate the moon landing if we really wanted to. The fact that a man walked on the moon is a far less extraordinary claim than the claim that a man was executed and ressurrected after three days, and we have reams more evidence in favor of the former claim than we do in favor of the latter.
    So which claim is an objective observer more likely to find true? Clearly the moon claim.
    The problem with the Jesus claim is that outside of scripture, there’s no documentary evidence for any of it. And I’m sorry, but the idea that scripture is true because scripture says it’s true is not anywhere near compelling.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Corrie:

    The tomb was empty. That is the crux of the matter

    Ben & ~DS~:
    Don’t you see? Don’t you get it? The fact that we don’t have a body proves that He was ressurrected! And the government denies that there were ever aliens at Area 51, which proves that they were there!
    Back to corrie:
    Seriously, comparing the evidence for the moon landing to the evidence for Christ? Puh-lease. Apart from everything else (amount and quality of evidence), we could replicate the moon landing if we really wanted to. The fact that a man walked on the moon is a far less extraordinary claim than the claim that a man was executed and ressurrected after three days, and we have reams more evidence in favor of the former claim than we do in favor of the latter.
    So which claim is an objective observer more likely to find true? Clearly the moon claim.
    The problem with the Jesus claim is that outside of scripture, there’s no documentary evidence for any of it. And I’m sorry, but the idea that scripture is true because scripture says it’s true is not anywhere near compelling.

  • dh

    Many people reject undisputed facts all of the time. Especially if they have preconcieved ideas.

  • dh

    Many people reject undisputed facts all of the time. Especially if they have preconcieved ideas.

  • rider of the apocalypse

    ‘I can predict the future in complete detail by talking to my invisble friend Kenny’
    is it kenny from southpark? cool!

  • rider of the apocalypse

    ‘I can predict the future in complete detail by talking to my invisble friend Kenny’
    is it kenny from southpark? cool!

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    dh:

    Many people reject undisputed facts all of the time.

    You mean like evolution?
    *ducks*

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    dh:

    Many people reject undisputed facts all of the time.

    You mean like evolution?
    *ducks*

  • dh

    Evolution is not an undisputed fact. That is why they call it the “theory of evolution”.

  • dh

    Evolution is not an undisputed fact. That is why they call it the “theory of evolution”.

  • dh

    tg have you heard of Josephus? You may want to check it out.

  • dh

    tg have you heard of Josephus? You may want to check it out.

  • Larry Lord

    Way up above Joe Carter wrote
    “The Atheist says: “I base my beliefs on my own experience ….”
    That’s right, Joe. The Atheist says that and so do Christians. And Muslims. And Jews. Etc.
    The vast majority of your beliefs about the world are based on your personal experience and your understanding of natural processes which you’ve observed time and time again.
    The primary difference between atheists and theists is that the theist has made a choice to adopt an additional set of beliefs in the supernatural, where the outline of those beliefs is found not in the natural world but in ancient writings which make extraordinary and untestable claims.
    The theist’s decision to adopt those beliefs is not irrational. What is irrational is the attempt by theists to argue that their supernatural beliefs can be validated scientifically or to argue that the supernatural aspects of those beliefs are relevant to atheists.

  • Larry Lord

    Way up above Joe Carter wrote
    “The Atheist says: “I base my beliefs on my own experience ….”
    That’s right, Joe. The Atheist says that and so do Christians. And Muslims. And Jews. Etc.
    The vast majority of your beliefs about the world are based on your personal experience and your understanding of natural processes which you’ve observed time and time again.
    The primary difference between atheists and theists is that the theist has made a choice to adopt an additional set of beliefs in the supernatural, where the outline of those beliefs is found not in the natural world but in ancient writings which make extraordinary and untestable claims.
    The theist’s decision to adopt those beliefs is not irrational. What is irrational is the attempt by theists to argue that their supernatural beliefs can be validated scientifically or to argue that the supernatural aspects of those beliefs are relevant to atheists.

  • Larry Lord

    dh writes
    “Evolution is not an undisputed fact. That is why they call it the “theory of evolution”.”
    Sadly, you are wrong. It is an undisputed fact that life evolved and continues to evolve. The “theory” refers (generally speaking) to the forces which “drive” evoltion, e.g., the natural selection of inherited traits based on the reproductive fitness the traits provide to the animal. As theories, goes it’s damn near rock solid and explains a great deal of what scientists observe in nature. Does the theory explain everything? No. Like all theories, there are aspects of evolution that are not completely understood. But scientists are unraveling (and have been unraveling) these mysteries steadily and Darwin’s theory has been an extraordinarily useful tool for doing so.
    Of course, this is all 7th grade biology (at least, that’s where I recall being presented with the information in my public school). The reason you pretend to be surprised, dh, is probably because you don’t know jack diddly squat about science except for what some Bible thumpers told you.
    If a scientist who never studied the bible started lecturing you about what the bible teaches, you’d laugh in his face. But eat up and spew back the pseudoscientific script handed to you by non-scientists without question.
    Kind of hypocritical, don’t you think?
    Of course you don’t.

  • Larry Lord

    dh writes
    “Evolution is not an undisputed fact. That is why they call it the “theory of evolution”.”
    Sadly, you are wrong. It is an undisputed fact that life evolved and continues to evolve. The “theory” refers (generally speaking) to the forces which “drive” evoltion, e.g., the natural selection of inherited traits based on the reproductive fitness the traits provide to the animal. As theories, goes it’s damn near rock solid and explains a great deal of what scientists observe in nature. Does the theory explain everything? No. Like all theories, there are aspects of evolution that are not completely understood. But scientists are unraveling (and have been unraveling) these mysteries steadily and Darwin’s theory has been an extraordinarily useful tool for doing so.
    Of course, this is all 7th grade biology (at least, that’s where I recall being presented with the information in my public school). The reason you pretend to be surprised, dh, is probably because you don’t know jack diddly squat about science except for what some Bible thumpers told you.
    If a scientist who never studied the bible started lecturing you about what the bible teaches, you’d laugh in his face. But eat up and spew back the pseudoscientific script handed to you by non-scientists without question.
    Kind of hypocritical, don’t you think?
    Of course you don’t.

  • dh

    There are many Scientists who happen to be Christian. Evolution within species yes. Between species? no it is not undisputible. I know many Scientists who are Christian who can dispute atheist evolutioniary thought. Check out http://www.creationscience.com. A professor of MIT is mentioned but oh I forgot you probably forgot that many evolutionist have preconceived ideas not to even look into the analysis these scientists have done.

  • dh

    There are many Scientists who happen to be Christian. Evolution within species yes. Between species? no it is not undisputible. I know many Scientists who are Christian who can dispute atheist evolutioniary thought. Check out http://www.creationscience.com. A professor of MIT is mentioned but oh I forgot you probably forgot that many evolutionist have preconceived ideas not to even look into the analysis these scientists have done.

  • Emmaus

    Ben: Yeah, thanks Emmaus. Can I talk to an adult now?
    Wow. Fascinating response. How long, exactly, did it take you to come up with this?
    Do you deny what I’ve posted, or do you accept it? I would challenge that I know at least as much about physics as you do, and, look, it hasn’t convinced me to give up my Christianity. Just because you’ve got some mathematical “laws” that show you that something behaves a certain way when a certain force is put upon it is no substitute or “answer” for anything!
    Now, do you want to debate this issue, or, do you want to fold your arms, scrunch your forehead, and hunker down like an obstinate donkey? Because that is exactly how you are behaving.

  • Emmaus

    Ben: Yeah, thanks Emmaus. Can I talk to an adult now?
    Wow. Fascinating response. How long, exactly, did it take you to come up with this?
    Do you deny what I’ve posted, or do you accept it? I would challenge that I know at least as much about physics as you do, and, look, it hasn’t convinced me to give up my Christianity. Just because you’ve got some mathematical “laws” that show you that something behaves a certain way when a certain force is put upon it is no substitute or “answer” for anything!
    Now, do you want to debate this issue, or, do you want to fold your arms, scrunch your forehead, and hunker down like an obstinate donkey? Because that is exactly how you are behaving.

  • Anonymous

    TG: Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, despite the fact that the Egyptians were meticulous historians. No record of a massive death of the first-born, or of plagues, or of an entire people being set free.
    Uuuumm, yeah. I’m gonna have to go ahead and dispute you on this one. Yeah. .
    What are your sources, TG. ‘Cause what I’ve read about these events, from non-biblical sources say otherwise.

  • Anonymous

    TG: Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, despite the fact that the Egyptians were meticulous historians. No record of a massive death of the first-born, or of plagues, or of an entire people being set free.
    Uuuumm, yeah. I’m gonna have to go ahead and dispute you on this one. Yeah. .
    What are your sources, TG. ‘Cause what I’ve read about these events, from non-biblical sources say otherwise.

  • Emmaus

    Whoopsie!! These were my remarks earlier:
    TG: Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, despite the fact that the Egyptians were meticulous historians. No record of a massive death of the first-born, or of plagues, or of an entire people being set free.
    Uuuumm, yeah. I’m gonna have to go ahead and dispute you on this one. Yeah.. (done with Emm’s best “Office Space” impression).
    What are your sources, TG. ‘Cause what I’ve read about these events, from non-biblical sources say otherwise.

  • Emmaus

    Whoopsie!! These were my remarks earlier:
    TG: Meanwhile, there’s absolutely no archaeological evidence for the Exodus, despite the fact that the Egyptians were meticulous historians. No record of a massive death of the first-born, or of plagues, or of an entire people being set free.
    Uuuumm, yeah. I’m gonna have to go ahead and dispute you on this one. Yeah.. (done with Emm’s best “Office Space” impression).
    What are your sources, TG. ‘Cause what I’ve read about these events, from non-biblical sources say otherwise.

  • dh

    Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists? Are you saying they are stupid? They are looking at the same analysis just with different conclusions. To call the science BS is exactly what scientists who called the world flat said to those who thought the world was round. I don’t think name calling is required here. I know that I have stated my position in a non-judgemental, loving and caring way. Maybe you need to look at the site more indepth. I don’t think you have because you have preconceived ideas. Open your mind to the possibility of creation and you will see that God loves you and wants a relationship with you rather than a bunch brew of mino-acids conjured up by chance. (I’m just trying to be humorous and I’m not attacking)

  • dh

    Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists? Are you saying they are stupid? They are looking at the same analysis just with different conclusions. To call the science BS is exactly what scientists who called the world flat said to those who thought the world was round. I don’t think name calling is required here. I know that I have stated my position in a non-judgemental, loving and caring way. Maybe you need to look at the site more indepth. I don’t think you have because you have preconceived ideas. Open your mind to the possibility of creation and you will see that God loves you and wants a relationship with you rather than a bunch brew of mino-acids conjured up by chance. (I’m just trying to be humorous and I’m not attacking)

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Emmaus:
    If you’re doing Office Space, do it right. Yeah, umm, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree…
    In any case, it’s easy to prove me wrong. Show me the hieroglyphics that talk about the Exodus, and I’ll be proven wrong.
    As for my sources, start here:

    Strictly speaking, there has never been any clear evidence discovered in Egypt, or elsewhere, to support the Israelite Exodus from Egypt, though there is no small amount of conjecture and theories. In fact, today it is fashionable, among Egyptologists, archaeologists and even some Jewish scholars to doubt the whole biblical story.

    Now, doubtless you could find some apologetics sites that would have differing views, but none offer what would be considered compelling evidence.
    If the Exodus from Egypt did actually occur, then the ancient Egyptians went to great lengths to remove any trace of it from their histories. That idea pushes the limits of credulity.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    Emmaus:
    If you’re doing Office Space, do it right. Yeah, umm, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree…
    In any case, it’s easy to prove me wrong. Show me the hieroglyphics that talk about the Exodus, and I’ll be proven wrong.
    As for my sources, start here:

    Strictly speaking, there has never been any clear evidence discovered in Egypt, or elsewhere, to support the Israelite Exodus from Egypt, though there is no small amount of conjecture and theories. In fact, today it is fashionable, among Egyptologists, archaeologists and even some Jewish scholars to doubt the whole biblical story.

    Now, doubtless you could find some apologetics sites that would have differing views, but none offer what would be considered compelling evidence.
    If the Exodus from Egypt did actually occur, then the ancient Egyptians went to great lengths to remove any trace of it from their histories. That idea pushes the limits of credulity.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    dh:

    Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists? Are you saying they are stupid?

    Well, define “many.” The creationists and ID scientists are still decidedly in the minority. And I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “stupid,” but I will say that they are letting personal prejudices and preferences get in the way of their science. They’re allowing what they want to believe to override what they can demonstrate.

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ tgirsch

    dh:

    Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists? Are you saying they are stupid?

    Well, define “many.” The creationists and ID scientists are still decidedly in the minority. And I wouldn’t go so far as to call them “stupid,” but I will say that they are letting personal prejudices and preferences get in the way of their science. They’re allowing what they want to believe to override what they can demonstrate.

  • ~DS~

    Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists?
    I’m sure there are some who went from mainstream biology to some kind of full blown anti-common descent creationism. But honestly I can’t think of a single one off the top of my head.
    There are plenty who claimed to be ‘evolutionists’ before becoming creationists like Jonathon Wells or Kent Hovind.
    I think it depends on what you mean by creationism. Most folks when they say creationism usually have in mind rejecting common decsent. Using that criteria Michael Behe, the father of Irreducible Complexity and the author of Darwin’s Black Box is not a creationist becuase he accepts common descent including humans from earlier primates. But he also advocates a form of Intelligent Design Creationism in which the process was directed. In his version the alleles for such things as hemoglobin or clotting were present from the beginnning in the very first replicating molecules.
    If by creationist you mean someone who accepts that there was a non natural, a supernatural, direction or tinkering or intervention in evolutionary history but accepts the known the evidence then pretty much any legitimate scientist who is a theist is a creationist.
    Are you saying they are stupid?
    No I’d say most of the hard core creationists who have a solid education in biology aren’t stupid, they’re lying. Again it depends on how you define a creationist.
    Some may not be lying but they’re deluded, or completely out of touch with reality. But in most cases I’d say they’re lying especially when they profit so handsomely from their anti science stances or if they make a living as creationist lobbyists.
    Kent Hovind and Carl Baugh for example both clear hundreds of thousands of dollars a year doing what they do-although we can only prove that for Hovind because he’s been hit up several times by the IRS and his financial records are available. And both of them have Doctorates from phony degree mills so they’re not a good representation of scientists at all. Hovind is sometimes considered the worst representation of creationism on the planet. He does have the one fake degree from Patriot University (PU). But I like Baugh better as far as complete con men. Baugh has this museum in Texas which is hysterical called “The Creation Evidence Museum” and he’s like an academic hyrda in the sense that for every new twist and turn in science he magically sprouts a new Doctorate in that field from an unknown defunct university that no one can confirm as being legit.
    There are creationists who are as far as I can tell, honest. Kurt Wise and Art Chadwick are both Young Earth Creationists but they freely admit the evidence doesn’t support their view and state that for them it is a matter of faith over reason. I’d say these guys are maybe a little bit out of touch but I don’t think they’re lying. Niether Kurt or Art employed underhanded techniques like quote mining or denying clearevidence and they confront directly the modern science they work to over turn with legitimate research.
    Kurt once said at a YEC meeting [paraphrasing] “If you guys think evolution doesn’t explain a whole bunch of stuff you’re lying to yourselves or your readers’.

  • ~DS~

    Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists?
    I’m sure there are some who went from mainstream biology to some kind of full blown anti-common descent creationism. But honestly I can’t think of a single one off the top of my head.
    There are plenty who claimed to be ‘evolutionists’ before becoming creationists like Jonathon Wells or Kent Hovind.
    I think it depends on what you mean by creationism. Most folks when they say creationism usually have in mind rejecting common decsent. Using that criteria Michael Behe, the father of Irreducible Complexity and the author of Darwin’s Black Box is not a creationist becuase he accepts common descent including humans from earlier primates. But he also advocates a form of Intelligent Design Creationism in which the process was directed. In his version the alleles for such things as hemoglobin or clotting were present from the beginnning in the very first replicating molecules.
    If by creationist you mean someone who accepts that there was a non natural, a supernatural, direction or tinkering or intervention in evolutionary history but accepts the known the evidence then pretty much any legitimate scientist who is a theist is a creationist.
    Are you saying they are stupid?
    No I’d say most of the hard core creationists who have a solid education in biology aren’t stupid, they’re lying. Again it depends on how you define a creationist.
    Some may not be lying but they’re deluded, or completely out of touch with reality. But in most cases I’d say they’re lying especially when they profit so handsomely from their anti science stances or if they make a living as creationist lobbyists.
    Kent Hovind and Carl Baugh for example both clear hundreds of thousands of dollars a year doing what they do-although we can only prove that for Hovind because he’s been hit up several times by the IRS and his financial records are available. And both of them have Doctorates from phony degree mills so they’re not a good representation of scientists at all. Hovind is sometimes considered the worst representation of creationism on the planet. He does have the one fake degree from Patriot University (PU). But I like Baugh better as far as complete con men. Baugh has this museum in Texas which is hysterical called “The Creation Evidence Museum” and he’s like an academic hyrda in the sense that for every new twist and turn in science he magically sprouts a new Doctorate in that field from an unknown defunct university that no one can confirm as being legit.
    There are creationists who are as far as I can tell, honest. Kurt Wise and Art Chadwick are both Young Earth Creationists but they freely admit the evidence doesn’t support their view and state that for them it is a matter of faith over reason. I’d say these guys are maybe a little bit out of touch but I don’t think they’re lying. Niether Kurt or Art employed underhanded techniques like quote mining or denying clearevidence and they confront directly the modern science they work to over turn with legitimate research.
    Kurt once said at a YEC meeting [paraphrasing] “If you guys think evolution doesn’t explain a whole bunch of stuff you’re lying to yourselves or your readers’.

  • Larry Lord

    Dh
    “Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists? Are you saying they are stupid?”
    Stupid? Sure. But more accurately just deluded. I honestly have no idea who these scientists are that you are referring to but let me guess — you have no idea either. You just read a bunch of crap and you swallowed it whole. What is your background in biology and molecular biology, DH? Upon what do you base your belief that the vast vast majority of the world’s scientists are deluded and that these fundie Christian “scientists” are right?
    Do you know that some “scientists” believe in UFOs and anal probing by aliens? Do you eat that up too? The psychic John Edwards is a rich man because he can talk with the dead. Do you believe in his powers?
    “I don’t think you have because you have preconceived ideas. ”
    Preconceived? What are you talking about? I arrived at my conclusion by looking at the evidence that evolution occurred and that it is occurring and that it occurs essentially according to how Darwin understood it to have occurred. That evidence is massive. It’s huge. It fills libraries. It’s growing every freaking day. Go visit pubmed.gov and have a taste.
    No, you’d rather listen to some fundie Christians with an agenda who represent a tiny tiny minority of people and whose opinions on the matter have been debunked over and over again for the past 100+ years. What’s up with that, DH? Where is your brain? Do you read the Bible to decide whether to take your umbrella with you to work? Or do you use your brain? Seriously. Do you ever use your brain? If so, under what circumstances? When do you not use your brain to make decisions? Under what circumstances? Have you ever thought about these issues? You should. They’re important. They can help prevent you from making a fool out of yourself.
    At the link below you can read a story from CNN this morning which discusses a case in which your bogus creationists are getting their asses handed to them in Federal Court in Georgia. Enjoy.
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/11/12/evolution.embarrassment.ap/index.html

  • Larry Lord

    Dh
    “Explain to me how many scientist who were evolutionists that have been in the research for over 20 years changed to be creation scientists? Are you saying they are stupid?”
    Stupid? Sure. But more accurately just deluded. I honestly have no idea who these scientists are that you are referring to but let me guess — you have no idea either. You just read a bunch of crap and you swallowed it whole. What is your background in biology and molecular biology, DH? Upon what do you base your belief that the vast vast majority of the world’s scientists are deluded and that these fundie Christian “scientists” are right?
    Do you know that some “scientists” believe in UFOs and anal probing by aliens? Do you eat that up too? The psychic John Edwards is a rich man because he can talk with the dead. Do you believe in his powers?
    “I don’t think you have because you have preconceived ideas. ”
    Preconceived? What are you talking about? I arrived at my conclusion by looking at the evidence that evolution occurred and that it is occurring and that it occurs essentially according to how Darwin understood it to have occurred. That evidence is massive. It’s huge. It fills libraries. It’s growing every freaking day. Go visit pubmed.gov and have a taste.
    No, you’d rather listen to some fundie Christians with an agenda who represent a tiny tiny minority of people and whose opinions on the matter have been debunked over and over again for the past 100+ years. What’s up with that, DH? Where is your brain? Do you read the Bible to decide whether to take your umbrella with you to work? Or do you use your brain? Seriously. Do you ever use your brain? If so, under what circumstances? When do you not use your brain to make decisions? Under what circumstances? Have you ever thought about these issues? You should. They’re important. They can help prevent you from making a fool out of yourself.
    At the link below you can read a story from CNN this morning which discusses a case in which your bogus creationists are getting their asses handed to them in Federal Court in Georgia. Enjoy.
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/EDUCATION/11/12/evolution.embarrassment.ap/index.html

  • dh

    DS and TG: Even though we disagree I still respect you guys. You guys do come off a bit harsh but I know sometimes the emotion gets the best of us. Did you guys check out http://www.creationscience.com? I really enjoyed it. Think you guys could ever be a theistic evolutionist? Seems like this would be a happy medium between us. On a side note:I would love to show you how you can become a believer because Jesus has changed my life. Back to the original thought: I have also read Evidence that Demands a verdict by josh McDowell. I also heard there is a second book Evidence that demands a verdict part two also by Josh McDowell. He converted due to the overwhelming evidence “in his opinion” for the evidence of God . He also was an ex-atheist and later an ex-agnostic and was in science for about 10 years. I haven’t read the second book but I will. I see a lot of Creation Science (young earth)out there lately. 20 years ago there was nothing now there seems top be an increase.

  • dh

    DS and TG: Even though we disagree I still respect you guys. You guys do come off a bit harsh but I know sometimes the emotion gets the best of us. Did you guys check out http://www.creationscience.com? I really enjoyed it. Think you guys could ever be a theistic evolutionist? Seems like this would be a happy medium between us. On a side note:I would love to show you how you can become a believer because Jesus has changed my life. Back to the original thought: I have also read Evidence that Demands a verdict by josh McDowell. I also heard there is a second book Evidence that demands a verdict part two also by Josh McDowell. He converted due to the overwhelming evidence “in his opinion” for the evidence of God . He also was an ex-atheist and later an ex-agnostic and was in science for about 10 years. I haven’t read the second book but I will. I see a lot of Creation Science (young earth)out there lately. 20 years ago there was nothing now there seems top be an increase.

  • dh

    Larry: The only fool is yourself. Because “the fool says to himself there is no God”. You need to get your heart checked out because it seems you don’t have one. I have never attacked you but you seem to love to attack me. I can take it my election is sure if you know what I mean. You need to take a lesson from TG and DS who seem to both believe similar to you. Although we disagree, I still respect them.

  • dh

    Larry: The only fool is yourself. Because “the fool says to himself there is no God”. You need to get your heart checked out because it seems you don’t have one. I have never attacked you but you seem to love to attack me. I can take it my election is sure if you know what I mean. You need to take a lesson from TG and DS who seem to both believe similar to you. Although we disagree, I still respect them.

  • ~DS~

    DH, YEC is relatively new believe it or not. It’s based on an old calculation by an Irish Roman Catholic Bishop named James Usshur who figured out if you added up all the begets in the OT and synchronized the lineage’s with know events along the way as much as possible, the date of creation would be 4004 BC. October 22, beginning at what would have been ‘sunset’ to be precise.
    A school of thought in geology grew up around the biblical stories of Genesis called ‘catastrophism’ in which the early geologists tried to explain the obserrved geological data with things like giant floods or earthquakes. by a couple of hundred years ago the view that the earth was only a few thousand years old among geologists, while still present, was being heavily challenged by even catastropists and catastraphism went on to develop into something very different from the origian global flood geology. That was the begiining of the end for YEC and for over a century the prevailing vewi among even fundamentalist scientists was Old Earth Creationism or theistic evo.
    YEC stirred up a little bit in the 1920’s but it didn’t become ‘mainstream again until the 1960’s after Henry Morris and later Dwayne Gish published some YEC books. Both went on to form the Institute for Creation Research. One of the later faculty of the ICR was a mechanical engineer named Walt Brown and a core group of ICR ministers/scientists went on to form a sister group to the original ICR called the Center for Scientific Creation, or the CSC . The site you referenced creationiscience.com, is Walt Brown’s site on the CSC server. brown is known best for his Hydroplate Theory of the Noachian Flood. In this hypothesis, the flood waters come from under the crust of the earth which is, or was, floating on a huge reservoir of water. (This idea has stirs up some huge problems physics wise.)
    Most scientists long ago, say in the 1800s, were what we’d call today thevo’s or Old Earth Creationists.
    In answer to your question about becoming a thevo, were I a theist I’m sure that would be my viewpoint on science. I know no evidence for or against thevo. It’s important to understand that thevo is a theological position and it is a type of super natural creationism fully consistent with modern science although many thevo’s don’t like being called creationists. In calling thevo a kind of creationism I’m not intending any insult at all and in fact t I know many thevo’s who do some excellent science whom I have the highest respect for.

  • ~DS~

    DH, YEC is relatively new believe it or not. It’s based on an old calculation by an Irish Roman Catholic Bishop named James Usshur who figured out if you added up all the begets in the OT and synchronized the lineage’s with know events along the way as much as possible, the date of creation would be 4004 BC. October 22, beginning at what would have been ‘sunset’ to be precise.
    A school of thought in geology grew up around the biblical stories of Genesis called ‘catastrophism’ in which the early geologists tried to explain the obserrved geological data with things like giant floods or earthquakes. by a couple of hundred years ago the view that the earth was only a few thousand years old among geologists, while still present, was being heavily challenged by even catastropists and catastraphism went on to develop into something very different from the origian global flood geology. That was the begiining of the end for YEC and for over a century the prevailing vewi among even fundamentalist scientists was Old Earth Creationism or theistic evo.
    YEC stirred up a little bit in the 1920’s but it didn’t become ‘mainstream again until the 1960’s after Henry Morris and later Dwayne Gish published some YEC books. Both went on to form the Institute for Creation Research. One of the later faculty of the ICR was a mechanical engineer named Walt Brown and a core group of ICR ministers/scientists went on to form a sister group to the original ICR called the Center for Scientific Creation, or the CSC . The site you referenced creationiscience.com, is Walt Brown’s site on the CSC server. brown is known best for his Hydroplate Theory of the Noachian Flood. In this hypothesis, the flood waters come from under the crust of the earth which is, or was, floating on a huge reservoir of water. (This idea has stirs up some huge problems physics wise.)
    Most scientists long ago, say in the 1800s, were what we’d call today thevo’s or Old Earth Creationists.
    In answer to your question about becoming a thevo, were I a theist I’m sure that would be my viewpoint on science. I know no evidence for or against thevo. It’s important to understand that thevo is a theological position and it is a type of super natural creationism fully consistent with modern science although many thevo’s don’t like being called creationists. In calling thevo a kind of creationism I’m not intending any insult at all and in fact t I know many thevo’s who do some excellent science whom I have the highest respect for.

  • Emmaus

    TG: To quote a great president “There you go again, ” tgirsch. You can’t simply disregard Christian sites, books, research, etc., simply because it is Christian. It has as much validity as your archeological sites, books, etc. I would argue that these sites have just as much of an axe to grind as the Christian one’s do. I would say that there is compelling evidence of the historical accuracy of the Exodus, and dozens of other Biblical events.

  • Emmaus

    TG: To quote a great president “There you go again, ” tgirsch. You can’t simply disregard Christian sites, books, research, etc., simply because it is Christian. It has as much validity as your archeological sites, books, etc. I would argue that these sites have just as much of an axe to grind as the Christian one’s do. I would say that there is compelling evidence of the historical accuracy of the Exodus, and dozens of other Biblical events.

  • DS

    That’s why I used the term theistic evolution in my earlier post. Are there any Creation (young earth) scientists that you respect? I would like to know. I personally believe in a young earth but I don’t believe it prevents one from being a Christian. So this goes back to my original question. How about becomeing a beliver in Jesus and experiencing a new life with Him? Don’t let Creationism keep you from having a personal relationship with Him. If I didn’t care about you I wouldn’t have asked you this. This goes for TG too. I haven’t forgot about you. :)

  • DS

    That’s why I used the term theistic evolution in my earlier post. Are there any Creation (young earth) scientists that you respect? I would like to know. I personally believe in a young earth but I don’t believe it prevents one from being a Christian. So this goes back to my original question. How about becomeing a beliver in Jesus and experiencing a new life with Him? Don’t let Creationism keep you from having a personal relationship with Him. If I didn’t care about you I wouldn’t have asked you this. This goes for TG too. I haven’t forgot about you. :)

  • dh

    sorry my earlier post is from dh not DS. sorry I’m bad. :)

  • dh

    sorry my earlier post is from dh not DS. sorry I’m bad. :)

  • Larry Lord

    DH
    “Larry: The only fool is yourself. Because “the fool says to himself there is no God”. ”
    Well, if that quote were correct, I’m certainly not only the fool around here. But the quote carries no weight whatsoever.
    “You need to take a lesson from TG and DS who seem to both believe similar to you. Although we disagree, I still respect them.”
    Wonderful. Some day we can have a wonderful discussion about the meaning of respect. For now, I admit to being very disappointed that you didn’t try to answer the questions I posed. They were not intended to be rhetorical. I repeat them below, with some minor rephrasing:
    (1)Do you read the Bible to decide whether to take your umbrella with you to work? Why or why not?
    (2) Do you ever make decisions — any decisions — without consulting the Bible or asking God what to do beforehand? Examples? Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    (3) Are there some kinds of decisions for which you always refer to the Bible or pray before making the decision? Examples?
    Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    Think carefully before you answer the questions, DH. And please, try your best to be honest and not worry what your pastor or God would think of your answers (if possible).
    Anyone else reading this is welcome to contribute.

  • Larry Lord

    DH
    “Larry: The only fool is yourself. Because “the fool says to himself there is no God”. ”
    Well, if that quote were correct, I’m certainly not only the fool around here. But the quote carries no weight whatsoever.
    “You need to take a lesson from TG and DS who seem to both believe similar to you. Although we disagree, I still respect them.”
    Wonderful. Some day we can have a wonderful discussion about the meaning of respect. For now, I admit to being very disappointed that you didn’t try to answer the questions I posed. They were not intended to be rhetorical. I repeat them below, with some minor rephrasing:
    (1)Do you read the Bible to decide whether to take your umbrella with you to work? Why or why not?
    (2) Do you ever make decisions — any decisions — without consulting the Bible or asking God what to do beforehand? Examples? Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    (3) Are there some kinds of decisions for which you always refer to the Bible or pray before making the decision? Examples?
    Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    Think carefully before you answer the questions, DH. And please, try your best to be honest and not worry what your pastor or God would think of your answers (if possible).
    Anyone else reading this is welcome to contribute.

  • dh

    I would have answered your questions but I could see from your emotion and the cursing that there was no respect from your end. You just want to ridicule. I can only answer questions if there is a sense of respect from the questioner. I’m very disappointed that you can’t ask questions in a respectful way. The last post was a little better but I need a little move from your end first.
    P.S. the quote is stright from the Bible. Oh I forgot you don’t believe yet.

  • dh

    I would have answered your questions but I could see from your emotion and the cursing that there was no respect from your end. You just want to ridicule. I can only answer questions if there is a sense of respect from the questioner. I’m very disappointed that you can’t ask questions in a respectful way. The last post was a little better but I need a little move from your end first.
    P.S. the quote is stright from the Bible. Oh I forgot you don’t believe yet.

  • ~DS~

    Dh on becoming a Christian. I’d say the conditions that would require are perhaps similar to what it would take for you to become a devout Hindu. It’s possible, but it would take either some very very convincing empirical evidence or an unpredictable life changing event.
    I have a friend from Austin who was a pretty solid atheist back in the late 80’s. She became an engineer at Dell in the early 90’s and because of the amazing growth of that company she became pretty loaded by the late 90’s. Then around 1998 she just up and disappeared for a few months.
    I found later that somewhere along the line she got into cocaine heavily and evenutally heroin. She ended up getting a couple of DWI’s and felony possesion. She ended up doing a short hitch in some kind of miminum security prison and went on to rehab after that. Somewhere in that process she was born again.
    So it’s possible an atheist can change no doubt. This particlualr gal came from a family that was pretty seriously catholic though and I don’t have that kind of background. I think that probably helped her go the route she did and I wouldn’t dream of screwing up her recovery by getting in an argument with her over her religion.

  • ~DS~

    Dh on becoming a Christian. I’d say the conditions that would require are perhaps similar to what it would take for you to become a devout Hindu. It’s possible, but it would take either some very very convincing empirical evidence or an unpredictable life changing event.
    I have a friend from Austin who was a pretty solid atheist back in the late 80’s. She became an engineer at Dell in the early 90’s and because of the amazing growth of that company she became pretty loaded by the late 90’s. Then around 1998 she just up and disappeared for a few months.
    I found later that somewhere along the line she got into cocaine heavily and evenutally heroin. She ended up getting a couple of DWI’s and felony possesion. She ended up doing a short hitch in some kind of miminum security prison and went on to rehab after that. Somewhere in that process she was born again.
    So it’s possible an atheist can change no doubt. This particlualr gal came from a family that was pretty seriously catholic though and I don’t have that kind of background. I think that probably helped her go the route she did and I wouldn’t dream of screwing up her recovery by getting in an argument with her over her religion.

  • dh

    DS It doesn’t matter whether you are Catholic or not. I’m just asking you if you would like to have a relationship with Christ and know His love. Hinduism never had anybody die for you and rise again. Jesus is alive today waiting for your response. Don’t be too late. That friend of yours could have died and had no opportunity. Fortunately, she survived and was able to accept Christ. Don’t let yourself hit rock bottom to accept Him. Accept Him in the good times so you can get through the possible hard times. Life is hard even for a Christian but with Christ “all things are possible”.

  • dh

    DS It doesn’t matter whether you are Catholic or not. I’m just asking you if you would like to have a relationship with Christ and know His love. Hinduism never had anybody die for you and rise again. Jesus is alive today waiting for your response. Don’t be too late. That friend of yours could have died and had no opportunity. Fortunately, she survived and was able to accept Christ. Don’t let yourself hit rock bottom to accept Him. Accept Him in the good times so you can get through the possible hard times. Life is hard even for a Christian but with Christ “all things are possible”.

  • ~DS~

    DH in order for me to have a relationship with anyone and to ‘feel their love’ I have to, at the very very least, know they exist. If you can produce God or even pass a few simple tests involving some of the alleged properties of God then I’d be open to learning more and considering the possibility that such a creature exists. In the absence of that you might as well be asking me if I want to get chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny everyday of the year.

  • ~DS~

    DH in order for me to have a relationship with anyone and to ‘feel their love’ I have to, at the very very least, know they exist. If you can produce God or even pass a few simple tests involving some of the alleged properties of God then I’d be open to learning more and considering the possibility that such a creature exists. In the absence of that you might as well be asking me if I want to get chocolate eggs from the Easter Bunny everyday of the year.

  • Larry Lord

    DH
    “The last post was a little better but I need a little move from your end first.”
    Okay I apologize for being testy. Someone burned the coffee here at the office and I had to make a new pot. I was irritated. I shouldn’t have taken it out on you, though.

  • Larry Lord

    DH
    “The last post was a little better but I need a little move from your end first.”
    Okay I apologize for being testy. Someone burned the coffee here at the office and I had to make a new pot. I was irritated. I shouldn’t have taken it out on you, though.

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/ Joe Carter

    Ya know DS, I can think of about 50 species of fish I could repeatedly smack over my own forehead, and it’d be far more rewarding than trying to hammer some sense into these Santa-Claus-For-Adults-Believin’ dumbskulls.
    I think Ben finally got tired of people pointing out his errors in logic and reasoning. Oh well, no loss. It just makes us appreciate the thoughtful atheists like tgirsh and DS (mostly) and (on occasion) Larry. ; )

  • http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com Joe Carter

    Ya know DS, I can think of about 50 species of fish I could repeatedly smack over my own forehead, and it’d be far more rewarding than trying to hammer some sense into these Santa-Claus-For-Adults-Believin’ dumbskulls.
    I think Ben finally got tired of people pointing out his errors in logic and reasoning. Oh well, no loss. It just makes us appreciate the thoughtful atheists like tgirsh and DS (mostly) and (on occasion) Larry. ; )

  • David Scott

    Um, atheism may not be a religion for all atheists, but I’ve known some former Christian people convert to radical atheism… one in particular does public speaking about atheistic things, has a big website he puts together that basically seems to spend its time making fun of Christians (he’s not uncommon there), can’t help (un?)proselytizing religious believers, and is even planning to run for city council on a ‘seperation and church and state’ type platform.
    So… what’s his deal, then? Seems like un-belief would make him, um, concentrate on his job. He’s sort of devoted to non-belief with a religious zeal… which makes him a religionist in my mind anyway.

  • David Scott

    Um, atheism may not be a religion for all atheists, but I’ve known some former Christian people convert to radical atheism… one in particular does public speaking about atheistic things, has a big website he puts together that basically seems to spend its time making fun of Christians (he’s not uncommon there), can’t help (un?)proselytizing religious believers, and is even planning to run for city council on a ‘seperation and church and state’ type platform.
    So… what’s his deal, then? Seems like un-belief would make him, um, concentrate on his job. He’s sort of devoted to non-belief with a religious zeal… which makes him a religionist in my mind anyway.

  • Anonymous

    After trudging through these posts, I gotta say WOW! I never knew people were so passionate about aetheism vs. Christianity. I have to ask where does the hate come from? If someone choses to believe in Christ and all that that entails, why do others have to question it? If someone actually lives what the Bible teaches to the best of their ability, realizing that person is still human and will make mistakes-ie. sin, why is it so important for that person to “prove” their beliefs to you? I understand that this is a debate board, but some of the comments hit below the belt.
    I am not a skilled debater, but if there is “no historical evidence” to prove the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as some claim, yet others claim to rely on the evidence provided by the Bible, the answer is summed up in one word… FAITH. I can’t actually prove anything because I am not 2000 yrs old, and wasn’t there, but neither are those who question the validity of these claims. But I can have faith in something I can’t prove. I know some of us cannot believe it unless we see it or experience it in some way, and that is just a simple difference. Nothing to get hot under the collar about. I think the world is big enough for different world views or religions or whatever term you wish to insert. It seems like most major religions stem from the same basic priciples: love, peace, respect for others… Whether it’s Jehovah or Allah you praise, or someone else entirely, or no-one for that matter, who are we to judge each other’s faith?
    I know some will ignore my comments or trash them, but it came from a place of peace, not anger.

  • Anonymous

    After trudging through these posts, I gotta say WOW! I never knew people were so passionate about aetheism vs. Christianity. I have to ask where does the hate come from? If someone choses to believe in Christ and all that that entails, why do others have to question it? If someone actually lives what the Bible teaches to the best of their ability, realizing that person is still human and will make mistakes-ie. sin, why is it so important for that person to “prove” their beliefs to you? I understand that this is a debate board, but some of the comments hit below the belt.
    I am not a skilled debater, but if there is “no historical evidence” to prove the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as some claim, yet others claim to rely on the evidence provided by the Bible, the answer is summed up in one word… FAITH. I can’t actually prove anything because I am not 2000 yrs old, and wasn’t there, but neither are those who question the validity of these claims. But I can have faith in something I can’t prove. I know some of us cannot believe it unless we see it or experience it in some way, and that is just a simple difference. Nothing to get hot under the collar about. I think the world is big enough for different world views or religions or whatever term you wish to insert. It seems like most major religions stem from the same basic priciples: love, peace, respect for others… Whether it’s Jehovah or Allah you praise, or someone else entirely, or no-one for that matter, who are we to judge each other’s faith?
    I know some will ignore my comments or trash them, but it came from a place of peace, not anger.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com/ William Meisheid

    >I never knew people were so passionate about aetheism vs. Christianity
    Yes, it makes you wonder why people who do not believe desire to spend so much time trying to “debunk” Judeo/Christianity.
    Christians at least appear to have the motivation of trying to help save a soul to explain their dogged efforts, but what drives those who argue for nihilism?
    As to the utility of all of this for Christians, what is it? Is there a single biblical example of this type of effort? I don’t know of any. If that is true then what is the premise for continuing, especially considering the following passages.
    Psalm 53:1
    Proverbs 1:7
    Proverbs 14:7
    Proverbs 17:12
    Proverbs 18:2
    *Proverbs 23:9
    Proverbs 26:4
    Proverbs 27:22
    Ecclesiastes 5:3
    Ecclesiastes 7:5
    Jeremiah 5:21
    Matthew 7:6
    Romans 1:22
    1 Corinthians 1:18
    1 Corinthians 1:20
    Titus 3:9
    1 Peter 2:15
    While it is possible that God may call the rare person to enter the Areopogus of atheism, it is unwise unless specifically called to do so and even then I wonder, since even Paul only argued from a theistic context and I can find no biblical warrant for engaging in this kind of debate. I am content to leave fools to God and keep my pearls clean.

  • http://beyondtherim.meisheid.com William Meisheid

    >I never knew people were so passionate about aetheism vs. Christianity
    Yes, it makes you wonder why people who do not believe desire to spend so much time trying to “debunk” Judeo/Christianity.
    Christians at least appear to have the motivation of trying to help save a soul to explain their dogged efforts, but what drives those who argue for nihilism?
    As to the utility of all of this for Christians, what is it? Is there a single biblical example of this type of effort? I don’t know of any. If that is true then what is the premise for continuing, especially considering the following passages.
    Psalm 53:1
    Proverbs 1:7
    Proverbs 14:7
    Proverbs 17:12
    Proverbs 18:2
    *Proverbs 23:9
    Proverbs 26:4
    Proverbs 27:22
    Ecclesiastes 5:3
    Ecclesiastes 7:5
    Jeremiah 5:21
    Matthew 7:6
    Romans 1:22
    1 Corinthians 1:18
    1 Corinthians 1:20
    Titus 3:9
    1 Peter 2:15
    While it is possible that God may call the rare person to enter the Areopogus of atheism, it is unwise unless specifically called to do so and even then I wonder, since even Paul only argued from a theistic context and I can find no biblical warrant for engaging in this kind of debate. I am content to leave fools to God and keep my pearls clean.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com/ mumon

    Emmaus:
    Well, where to begin?
    First, with abortions, if people really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, they’d want better access to contraception, and they’d want to make sure there were better social services for women.
    You can read my blog to find out what the real problem is.
    Secondly, with respect to the number of Iraqis, that’s the best knowledge we have at the moment. You sound, frankly, (and I don’t want to be offensive) that you’re in a bit of denial.
    Finally, with the environment, and with Iraq, we have to get off the “petroleum” based economy. That doesn’t mean nuclear either.
    That’s “being a good steward.”
    Read my blog for more, but the big shortcoming of conservative Christians seems to be actions.
    Just my take on things.

  • http://mumonno.blogspot.com mumon

    Emmaus:
    Well, where to begin?
    First, with abortions, if people really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, they’d want better access to contraception, and they’d want to make sure there were better social services for women.
    You can read my blog to find out what the real problem is.
    Secondly, with respect to the number of Iraqis, that’s the best knowledge we have at the moment. You sound, frankly, (and I don’t want to be offensive) that you’re in a bit of denial.
    Finally, with the environment, and with Iraq, we have to get off the “petroleum” based economy. That doesn’t mean nuclear either.
    That’s “being a good steward.”
    Read my blog for more, but the big shortcoming of conservative Christians seems to be actions.
    Just my take on things.

  • http://ambientirony.mu.nu/ Pixy Misa

    I need to clear up one misconception here:
    Atheism is the lack of belief in god(s). It doesn’t require a belief that god(s) don’t exist. Many atheists do believe that, and this belief is often termed “strong atheism”. “Weak atheism” then is the simple absence of belief, without belief of absence.
    Also note that atheism is not anti-Christian. Atheists not only do not believe in the Christian (and Jewish) God, but also in Buddha (as a divine being rather than a human), Ganesha, Amaterasu, Ahura Mazda, Thor, Zeus, Jupiter, Moloch, Satan… And so on.
    I’ll note that Christians do not believe in the divine Budda, Ganesha, Amaterasu, Ahura Mazda, Thor, Zeus, Jupiter or Moloch either. And many of them do not believe in Satan.
    Now, to tackle the points in the survey:
    # 1 out of every 2 atheists and agnostics say that every person has a soul (1)
    That’s not in direct conflict with atheism, but it’s pretty far out. Some “pagans” for example believe this.
    # 1 out of every 2 atheists and agnostics believes that Heaven and Hell exist (1)
    And this is even further out. Heaven and Hell without God and Satan (or similar beings with different names)? I would not regard people with this belief as atheists. Agnostic? Agnostics can believe whatever they like, since agnosticism is not a statement on belief.
    # 1 out of every 2 atheists and agnostics believes that there is life after death. (1)
    Kind of weird, agreed.
    # 1 out of every 3 atheists and agnostics talks about faith-related matters during a typical week. (2)
    Which doesn’t really say anything about anything. Maybe they’re discussing the origins of faith as a question of anthropology.
    # 1 out of every 3 atheists and agnostics prayed to God, in past 7 days (3)
    There’s nothing to say that agnostics can’t pray to God, of course. Atheists don’t believe in God, but who knows? Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe a word with the big guy wouldn’t hurt?
    # 1 out of every 3 atheists and agnostics want

  • http://ambientirony.mu.nu Pixy Misa

    I need to clear up one misconception here:
    Atheism is the lack of belief in god(s). It doesn’t require a belief that god(s) don’t exist. Many atheists do believe that, and this belief is often termed “strong atheism”. “Weak atheism” then is the simple absence of belief, without belief of absence.
    Also note that atheism is not anti-Christian. Atheists not only do not believe in the Christian (and Jewish) God, but also in Buddha (as a divine being rather than a human), Ganesha, Amaterasu, Ahura Mazda, Thor, Zeus, Jupiter, Moloch, Satan… And so on.
    I’ll note that Christians do not believe in the divine Budda, Ganesha, Amaterasu, Ahura Mazda, Thor, Zeus, Jupiter or Moloch either. And many of them do not believe in Satan.
    Now, to tackle the points in the survey:
    # 1 out of every 2 atheists and agnostics say that every person has a soul (1)
    That’s not in direct conflict with atheism, but it’s pretty far out. Some “pagans” for example believe this.
    # 1 out of every 2 atheists and agnostics believes that Heaven and Hell exist (1)
    And this is even further out. Heaven and Hell without God and Satan (or similar beings with different names)? I would not regard people with this belief as atheists. Agnostic? Agnostics can believe whatever they like, since agnosticism is not a statement on belief.
    # 1 out of every 2 atheists and agnostics believes that there is life after death. (1)
    Kind of weird, agreed.
    # 1 out of every 3 atheists and agnostics talks about faith-related matters during a typical week. (2)
    Which doesn’t really say anything about anything. Maybe they’re discussing the origins of faith as a question of anthropology.
    # 1 out of every 3 atheists and agnostics prayed to God, in past 7 days (3)
    There’s nothing to say that agnostics can’t pray to God, of course. Atheists don’t believe in God, but who knows? Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe a word with the big guy wouldn’t hurt?
    # 1 out of every 3 atheists and agnostics want

  • 386sx

    What’s wrong with my claims?
    Nothing, apparently.

  • 386sx

    What’s wrong with my claims?
    Nothing, apparently.

  • http://www.wasdarwinright.com/ 386sx

    corrie says: That’s deductive thinking masquerading as induction.
    Oh baloney. He never specified whether it was inductive or deductive, so how could he be masquerading anything. Besides, induction/deduction can be mixed (indeed it’s often hard to tell which is which) – it’s overall cogency that matters.
    corrie says: Induction has to start with facts.
    No it don’t. (Since we’re playing Mr. nitpicky.)
    Socrates: “Socrates is a man.”
    corrie: “Oh no! We can’t make them assumptions!”
    Ergo, the moon is Giblets.
    QED

  • http://www.wasdarwinright.com 386sx

    corrie says: That’s deductive thinking masquerading as induction.
    Oh baloney. He never specified whether it was inductive or deductive, so how could he be masquerading anything. Besides, induction/deduction can be mixed (indeed it’s often hard to tell which is which) – it’s overall cogency that matters.
    corrie says: Induction has to start with facts.
    No it don’t. (Since we’re playing Mr. nitpicky.)
    Socrates: “Socrates is a man.”
    corrie: “Oh no! We can’t make them assumptions!”
    Ergo, the moon is Giblets.
    QED

  • Larry Lord

    To the anonymous poster at November 13, 2004 03:53 PM:
    “the answer is summed up in one word… FAITH. I can’t actually prove anything because I am not 2000 yrs old, and wasn’t there, but neither are those who question the validity of these claims. But I can have faith in something I can’t prove.”
    The people who make these incontrovertible and sublime statements do not post here often enough. This anonymous poster is obviously a Christian who “gets it.” I wonder why doesn’t Emmaus educate this anonymous poster as to the overwhelming proof that the Biblical stories are literally true?
    “If someone choses to believe in Christ and all that that entails, why do others have to question it?”
    Speaking for myself, I do not question the beliefs. I question the (frankly bizarre) claims by some believers that their beliefs are not faith-based, and I question the claims by certain Christians that certain scientific facts such as the age of the earth and the evolution of life are lies promulgated by a “materialist conspiracy.”

  • Larry Lord

    To the anonymous poster at November 13, 2004 03:53 PM:
    “the answer is summed up in one word… FAITH. I can’t actually prove anything because I am not 2000 yrs old, and wasn’t there, but neither are those who question the validity of these claims. But I can have faith in something I can’t prove.”
    The people who make these incontrovertible and sublime statements do not post here often enough. This anonymous poster is obviously a Christian who “gets it.” I wonder why doesn’t Emmaus educate this anonymous poster as to the overwhelming proof that the Biblical stories are literally true?
    “If someone choses to believe in Christ and all that that entails, why do others have to question it?”
    Speaking for myself, I do not question the beliefs. I question the (frankly bizarre) claims by some believers that their beliefs are not faith-based, and I question the claims by certain Christians that certain scientific facts such as the age of the earth and the evolution of life are lies promulgated by a “materialist conspiracy.”

  • Larry Lord

    I still would enjoy hearing some answers to these questions
    (1)Do you read the Bible to decide whether to take your umbrella with you to work? Why or why not?
    (2) Do you ever make decisions — any decisions — without consulting the Bible or asking God what to do beforehand? Examples? Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    (3) Are there some kinds of decisions for which you always refer to the Bible or pray before making the decision? Examples?
    Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?

  • Larry Lord

    I still would enjoy hearing some answers to these questions
    (1)Do you read the Bible to decide whether to take your umbrella with you to work? Why or why not?
    (2) Do you ever make decisions — any decisions — without consulting the Bible or asking God what to do beforehand? Examples? Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    (3) Are there some kinds of decisions for which you always refer to the Bible or pray before making the decision? Examples?
    Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?

  • Steve_in_Corona

    Larry, I suppose there are some issues in your life that you would take some time to ponder. Sleep on them, give it the weekend..that sort of thing. Maybe even turn off all the TV and noise, and sit alone, quietly and just THINK.
    You would do this since they are such important decisions. Likewise, deciding to hastle with an umbrella is less so, thus you probably do not think too hard. If you are wrong, all you do is get a little wet.
    Christianity claims that Christ resides within the believer. Christians have the mind of Christ, and are led in life by Christ. Christ actually lives within me.
    I think your question, while fair, is indicative of a certain misunderstanding. I would imagine that you and I would look quite similar as we ponder a difficult decision, sitting in a chair in our den…I would describe my thinking as prayer, and you would describe yours as thought. But as a Christian, I do not get on my knees and speak to the ceiling and wait for an answer on each decision in life, small or great.

  • Steve_in_Corona

    Larry, I suppose there are some issues in your life that you would take some time to ponder. Sleep on them, give it the weekend..that sort of thing. Maybe even turn off all the TV and noise, and sit alone, quietly and just THINK.
    You would do this since they are such important decisions. Likewise, deciding to hastle with an umbrella is less so, thus you probably do not think too hard. If you are wrong, all you do is get a little wet.
    Christianity claims that Christ resides within the believer. Christians have the mind of Christ, and are led in life by Christ. Christ actually lives within me.
    I think your question, while fair, is indicative of a certain misunderstanding. I would imagine that you and I would look quite similar as we ponder a difficult decision, sitting in a chair in our den…I would describe my thinking as prayer, and you would describe yours as thought. But as a Christian, I do not get on my knees and speak to the ceiling and wait for an answer on each decision in life, small or great.

  • http://www.bmc-oc.org/ Steve_in_Corona

    Larry,
    Let me expand on a couple thoughts. There are different reasons for reading the Bible, but the context of your questions speak to one avenue – namely making the “right” decision.
    As a Christian, I would consult the Bible to make sure my decision was not sinful, and thus displeasing to God. I do not consult it like a horoscope, and in fact since I now know the Bible quite well, I do not consult it per se (out of ignorance of its contents) like I would as a new believer. I still read it though, regularly, but for different reasons not related to your questions.
    Getting wet for lack of an umbrella, or deciding whether it is Taco Bell or Burger King for lunch would not involve a sinful choice in any manner.
    One thing I (and many Christians do) is commit each day new to the Lord – asking Him to guide and direct us. So if I “feel” like Burger King, I go to Burger King. There is no sin in the decision, and I would be the first to admit I have no idea if God wants me to eat at Burger King, or simply that my stomach is in the mood for a Whopper. However, there are scores of examples when myself (or other Christians) have acted on a hunch or feeling, and done something originally unplanned for the day – only to have it turn into an interesting, helpful experience. In such occasions, you will often hear Christians claim God led them to that place, though at the time you probably had no idea.
    I guess I am trying to give you a better idea about how some of this terminology is used among us (at least by me).

  • http://www.bmc-oc.org Steve_in_Corona

    Larry,
    Let me expand on a couple thoughts. There are different reasons for reading the Bible, but the context of your questions speak to one avenue – namely making the “right” decision.
    As a Christian, I would consult the Bible to make sure my decision was not sinful, and thus displeasing to God. I do not consult it like a horoscope, and in fact since I now know the Bible quite well, I do not consult it per se (out of ignorance of its contents) like I would as a new believer. I still read it though, regularly, but for different reasons not related to your questions.
    Getting wet for lack of an umbrella, or deciding whether it is Taco Bell or Burger King for lunch would not involve a sinful choice in any manner.
    One thing I (and many Christians do) is commit each day new to the Lord – asking Him to guide and direct us. So if I “feel” like Burger King, I go to Burger King. There is no sin in the decision, and I would be the first to admit I have no idea if God wants me to eat at Burger King, or simply that my stomach is in the mood for a Whopper. However, there are scores of examples when myself (or other Christians) have acted on a hunch or feeling, and done something originally unplanned for the day – only to have it turn into an interesting, helpful experience. In such occasions, you will often hear Christians claim God led them to that place, though at the time you probably had no idea.
    I guess I am trying to give you a better idea about how some of this terminology is used among us (at least by me).

  • 386sx

    Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    I would probably call it superstition myself. Sometimes Jesus tells us not to make graven images because they might lead to superstitious worshiping. But sometimes he tells us to, yes, go ahead and make a graven image if he knows it’s going to save our lives – even though he knows that later on we are going to falsely worship the graven image.
    For example, when Jesus sent in the fiery serpents to bite the chosen people and many of them died, Jesus told Moses to make a serpent of brass and put it on a pole so that if someone was bitten by a real fiery serpent they could look at the brass serpent and they would mercifully be spared from death. But then then later on the people began worshiping the brass serpent that Moses built, so king Hezekiah had it broken into pieces, and he called the graven serpent Nehushtan.

  • 386sx

    Can you articulate a generic description of those kinds of decisions?
    I would probably call it superstition myself. Sometimes Jesus tells us not to make graven images because they might lead to superstitious worshiping. But sometimes he tells us to, yes, go ahead and make a graven image if he knows it’s going to save our lives – even though he knows that later on we are going to falsely worship the graven image.
    For example, when Jesus sent in the fiery serpents to bite the chosen people and many of them died, Jesus told Moses to make a serpent of brass and put it on a pole so that if someone was bitten by a real fiery serpent they could look at the brass serpent and they would mercifully be spared from death. But then then later on the people began worshiping the brass serpent that Moses built, so king Hezekiah had it broken into pieces, and he called the graven serpent Nehushtan.

  • DH

    The object became graven when people worshiped the image not when the people made the image. All objects are not graven but become graven when we worship them.

  • DH

    The object became graven when people worshiped the image not when the people made the image. All objects are not graven but become graven when we worship them.

  • DS

    What type of revelation from Christ would make you believe Him? My thing is if you knew of the possiblity of something giving you eternal love, wouldn’t you do all you can seek it out and disprove what could give you unending benefit? I hope I helped to reveal to you the “possibility”.

  • DS

    What type of revelation from Christ would make you believe Him? My thing is if you knew of the possiblity of something giving you eternal love, wouldn’t you do all you can seek it out and disprove what could give you unending benefit? I hope I helped to reveal to you the “possibility”.

  • dh

    Sorry the “DS” post should be called DH. I’m bad :)

  • dh

    Sorry the “DS” post should be called DH. I’m bad :)

  • 386sx

    All objects are not graven but become graven when we worship them.
    Actually, graven image means something like “carved image.”
    http://www.google.com/search?q=graven+%22carved+image%22
    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
    Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
    But it’s easy to play word games with the text and pretend it means something else. Pretending is easy.
    I’m afraid the Amish have it right in this instance!

  • 386sx

    All objects are not graven but become graven when we worship them.
    Actually, graven image means something like “carved image.”
    http://www.google.com/search?q=graven+%22carved+image%22
    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
    Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth:
    But it’s easy to play word games with the text and pretend it means something else. Pretending is easy.
    I’m afraid the Amish have it right in this instance!

  • dh

    Noticed it says”….to bow down unto it.” I think you are taking it out of context. Also, there are more than one definition so you need a clarification of what the definition is with the context of the message.
    graven
    Grav”en, p. p. of Grave, v. t. Carved.
    Graven image, an idol; an object of worship carved from wood, stone, etc. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” –Ex. xx. 4.
    Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary,

  • dh

    Noticed it says”….to bow down unto it.” I think you are taking it out of context. Also, there are more than one definition so you need a clarification of what the definition is with the context of the message.
    graven
    \Grav”en\, p. p. of Grave, v. t. Carved.
    Graven image, an idol; an object of worship carved from wood, stone, etc. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” –Ex. xx. 4.
    Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary,

  • 386sx

    Deuteronomy 27:15 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.
    Do the molten images only become molten when the people worship them? Like I said, let the pretend games begin…

  • 386sx

    Deuteronomy 27:15 Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth it in a secret place. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen.
    Do the molten images only become molten when the people worship them? Like I said, let the pretend games begin…

  • dh

    I don’t understand what your talking about with the “pretend games”. Scrpiture should always be looked at with other scripture for proper context. Graven and molten is refering to how the idols are made. The reason being that God wanted to make it clear that any and all idols whether it be graven, molten or etc (man-made). are not from God. The brass serpent was not an idol but becasme an idol when it was worshipped. Therefore God judged the people of Israel for the worshipping of the idol.

  • dh

    I don’t understand what your talking about with the “pretend games”. Scrpiture should always be looked at with other scripture for proper context. Graven and molten is refering to how the idols are made. The reason being that God wanted to make it clear that any and all idols whether it be graven, molten or etc (man-made). are not from God. The brass serpent was not an idol but becasme an idol when it was worshipped. Therefore God judged the people of Israel for the worshipping of the idol.

  • Anonymous

    Joe,
    As the good book says, “They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell …”
    While I believe that there are honest athiests and agnostics, my experience leads me to see the truth of these verses. My brother in law was an avowed athiest. I debated with him for hours, but it took a near death experience to change his mind. Deep down inside he actually believed, but used all types of excuses to avoid God. Many people do not want to believe in God, just as many people do not want to believe that they are mortal.

  • Anonymous

    Joe,
    As the good book says, “They have eyes, but they cannot see; They have ears, but they cannot hear; They have noses, but they cannot smell …”
    While I believe that there are honest athiests and agnostics, my experience leads me to see the truth of these verses. My brother in law was an avowed athiest. I debated with him for hours, but it took a near death experience to change his mind. Deep down inside he actually believed, but used all types of excuses to avoid God. Many people do not want to believe in God, just as many people do not want to believe that they are mortal.

  • Larry Lord

    “While I believe that there are honest athiests and agnostics, my experience leads me to see the truth of these verses. My brother in law was an avowed athiest. I debated with him for hours, but it took a near death experience to change his mind. Deep down inside he actually believed, but used all types of excuses to avoid God.”
    How do you know that he isn’t just lying because he’s sick of arguing with you?

  • Larry Lord

    “While I believe that there are honest athiests and agnostics, my experience leads me to see the truth of these verses. My brother in law was an avowed athiest. I debated with him for hours, but it took a near death experience to change his mind. Deep down inside he actually believed, but used all types of excuses to avoid God.”
    How do you know that he isn’t just lying because he’s sick of arguing with you?

  • Larry Lord

    Steve in C writes
    ” I would imagine that you and I would look quite similar as we ponder a difficult decision, sitting in a chair in our den…I would describe my thinking as prayer, and you would describe yours as thought.”
    I agree. And I also think we agree that for all those decisions that are not “difficult” (i.e., decisions which don’t raise concerns of “sinfulness” in your mind), our thought process is virtually indistinguishable.
    For example, when you receive your utility bill, how do you decide if it is accurate? You use your brain, based on your understanding of how you are charged and the cost of fuel and your knowledge of the previous bills and your utility usage during those pay periods. If you had any doubts about the bill, would you pray for the answer? Would you ask God to help you “look into the heart” of your utility company to see if they are misleading you? No. You’d get out your calculator and do the math.
    When you ask these questions, you don’t wonder whether a poltergeist or some aliens from outer space switched the genuine bill in your mailbox and put a fake one in there. When you punch the numbers into your calculator you don’t enter “2+2″ into the machine to make sure that you are still living in the universe where 2+2=4.
    So my follow up question is: since you don’t resort to supernatural explanations when you’re calculating your utility bill, deciding whether you need an umbrella, or deciding to go to Taco Bell or Burger King (and note — for my Hindu friends, the choice is not so trivial!), why do you choose to reject non-supernatural explanations for the diversity of life on earth?

  • Larry Lord

    Steve in C writes
    ” I would imagine that you and I would look quite similar as we ponder a difficult decision, sitting in a chair in our den…I would describe my thinking as prayer, and you would describe yours as thought.”
    I agree. And I also think we agree that for all those decisions that are not “difficult” (i.e., decisions which don’t raise concerns of “sinfulness” in your mind), our thought process is virtually indistinguishable.
    For example, when you receive your utility bill, how do you decide if it is accurate? You use your brain, based on your understanding of how you are charged and the cost of fuel and your knowledge of the previous bills and your utility usage during those pay periods. If you had any doubts about the bill, would you pray for the answer? Would you ask God to help you “look into the heart” of your utility company to see if they are misleading you? No. You’d get out your calculator and do the math.
    When you ask these questions, you don’t wonder whether a poltergeist or some aliens from outer space switched the genuine bill in your mailbox and put a fake one in there. When you punch the numbers into your calculator you don’t enter “2+2″ into the machine to make sure that you are still living in the universe where 2+2=4.
    So my follow up question is: since you don’t resort to supernatural explanations when you’re calculating your utility bill, deciding whether you need an umbrella, or deciding to go to Taco Bell or Burger King (and note — for my Hindu friends, the choice is not so trivial!), why do you choose to reject non-supernatural explanations for the diversity of life on earth?

  • http://www.bmc-oc.org/ Steve_in_Corona

    Larry, You might have misunderstood me, especially my lunch example. I commit my day to the Lord, and believe He lives within me and is guiding me. I do not claim that He necessarily guides me to every fast food joint, but I do not claim that He NEVER guides me either.
    However, as I said, it is not that big an issue since where I eat is not a matter of sin, and thus, cannot be displeasing to God.
    However, this has nothing to do with Biblical revelation, or my rejection of same…so your followup question does not seem to me to be related to this discussion.

  • http://www.bmc-oc.org Steve_in_Corona

    Larry, You might have misunderstood me, especially my lunch example. I commit my day to the Lord, and believe He lives within me and is guiding me. I do not claim that He necessarily guides me to every fast food joint, but I do not claim that He NEVER guides me either.
    However, as I said, it is not that big an issue since where I eat is not a matter of sin, and thus, cannot be displeasing to God.
    However, this has nothing to do with Biblical revelation, or my rejection of same…so your followup question does not seem to me to be related to this discussion.

  • DH

    Larry my answers to your questions pretty much line up with Steve answers. I know I said I wouldn’t answer because you continue to ridicule Steve and I based on your post previous to Steve’s. Yet, now you know that I have at least a sense of humor. I will leave with a personal story of myself and how God miraculously healed me. I was in the hospital for an over-active adrenal gland. This would give me high blood preasure like 170 over 115 and I was only 19 years old!! This particular day it reached 190 over 130. A friend of mine who knew I was in the hospital got a feeling he should pray. He ultimately came and prayed. My blood preassure was confirmed just before he got there as 190 over 130 immedieately after he left they checked my blood pressure (to confirm if I needed to go to ICU) and it was a perfect 117 over 90. The doctor told me that if the last check would have confirmed I would have went to ICU. Prayer works and Jesus cares about us.

  • DH

    Larry my answers to your questions pretty much line up with Steve answers. I know I said I wouldn’t answer because you continue to ridicule Steve and I based on your post previous to Steve’s. Yet, now you know that I have at least a sense of humor. I will leave with a personal story of myself and how God miraculously healed me. I was in the hospital for an over-active adrenal gland. This would give me high blood preasure like 170 over 115 and I was only 19 years old!! This particular day it reached 190 over 130. A friend of mine who knew I was in the hospital got a feeling he should pray. He ultimately came and prayed. My blood preassure was confirmed just before he got there as 190 over 130 immedieately after he left they checked my blood pressure (to confirm if I needed to go to ICU) and it was a perfect 117 over 90. The doctor told me that if the last check would have confirmed I would have went to ICU. Prayer works and Jesus cares about us.

  • dh

    You know what the miraculous thing is? My blood pressure went down from 190/130 to 120/90 in 15 minutes!!! I had multiple doctors look at me saying it was a miracle with no explanation. Glory to God!!!!

  • dh

    You know what the miraculous thing is? My blood pressure went down from 190/130 to 120/90 in 15 minutes!!! I had multiple doctors look at me saying it was a miracle with no explanation. Glory to God!!!!

  • skinnydwarf

    Holy crap! A study of a sample of people that includes possibly religious people (agnostics- those who believe in god but don’t think his existance can be proven or disproven) shows that some of those people have religious beliefs!

  • skinnydwarf

    Holy crap! A study of a sample of people that includes possibly religious people (agnostics- those who believe in god but don’t think his existance can be proven or disproven) shows that some of those people have religious beliefs!