Posted by RB on February 26, 2008 · 44 Comments
Hat Tip: Ringwood
Filed under Evolution, Intelligent Design and Creationism, Religion, Science · Tagged with Bible, Creationism, endogenous retrovirus, Jesus, transitional species
Ha, this is hilarious. Mind if I link to it from my blog? Granted, you’ll probably get more traffic to it on your own than I’ll bring in, but it’s funny and frighteninly close to the truth ;)
This is hilarious. For years atheists have been asking for any archaeological evidence of the exodus. All explanations for this lack have been derided. Now when something is finally found, that, too, is derided. So, here is the truth: if you want to believe something strongly enough, you will find a way and, if you don’t want to disbelieve something strongly enough just dismiss it…a silly cartoon will help. dwhitsett.wordpress.com
I don’t doubt the exodus took place- it isn’t a supernatural event and there is evidence for it. I don’t see why it would prove the bible is accurate though- the Illiad was used to find Troy, and no one believes in Zeus now.
This is hilarious. For years atheists have been asking for any archaeological evidence of the exodus. All explanations for this lack have been derided. Now when something is finally found, that, too, is derided. So, here is the truth: if you want to believe something strongly enough, you will find a way and, if you don’t want to disbelieve something strongly enough just dismiss it…a silly cartoon will help. dwhitsett.wordpress.com
If the evidence is weak enough that it deserves derision, don’t be surprised when that’s what happens.
I don’t believe the Exodus happened the way the bible tells it. Maybe there was some migration of Semitic people from Egypt back to the Levant, maybe even to Canaan. Where’s the evidence?
Everyone is barking up the wrong tree. The Holy Word is a multi-dimensional document. If understanding Scripture was so staightforward the Lord would not have had to “open the eyes” of His disciples “so that they might understand scripture.” In the same way that our outer bodies hide more miraculous organic processes taking place within, so to do the outer or literal sense of the Word. How else could the Lord God fit Infinite Wisdom within a mere 1400 pages if it did not contain “vertical” interpretations?
The God Guy
Well, I’m convinced. Now, which brand of christianity is the one with the bible that predicted wagon wheel shaped corals? I don’t want to switch to the wrong one and end up hellbound like the dirty catholics.
Dear God Guy,
Nice that God would give his word in a very human book so full of contentions, contradictions, and open-for-very-widely-different interpretations in order that we can see His ways.
Have I understood the following versus’ correctly, or have I missed some “vertical” interpretation?
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
— 2 Timothy 3:16
One day the older daughter said to the younger, Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let’s get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father.” That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him.
— Genesis 19:31–33
If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.
— Exodus 21:20-21
You are clearly trying to confuse the situation with rationality. The God Guy’s point was that it’s a bunch of irrational nonsense that you can use to justify whatever you like, once you are enlightened. Apparently even incest, for those of you who are tempted.
creationism, intelligent design and young earth “theory” all stand and fall with believing in the bible. Once you take this away there is not much left to support this so-called theories.
All this talk about “understanding scripture” is nothing else but distraction from the real question: The bible is nothing else than a set of stories and should be treated as such, IMO.
limonit, do you stand with evolution? Do you believe that everything was created with the Big Bang and then evolved within billions of years? If you do, then you also believe in a theory and that makes you a hypocrite. What if I just took away all of your science text books and any other resource with which you base your belief upon, and then ask you to stand on it? You can’t; you will fail. How much do you understand about the people you criticize; about what you believe? A little; a lot? If you know a lot, then tell us. If you do not know a lot, then why do you criticize? This doesn’t go to just “limonit.” Anyone who reads this should ask this question to themselves. How much do I really know? Why do I criticize Christian followers (if you are a skeptic)? Can I really base a good reason to dislike, criticize, or go against Christian beliefs (again, for skeptics)? Do I often approach them with a closed mind, yet give everyone else an open mind (skepticism again)?
Moving on to the Bible…
If it were just a book composed of a set of stories, then why does it accurately portray actual historical events? Why does every historical reference in the Bible turn out to be postively correct? Can anyone of you answer these questions? If you can, great. If you can’t, then why?
The bible is far from historically accurate. Take the whole exodus fairy tale. The biblical account suggests 2 million people left Egypt and moved to Palestine all at once. On the way, the spent 40 years living in the desert. Archeologist have yet to find any evidence 2 million people lived in the desert for even 5 minutes, yet there is tons of evidence of the inhabitants of small tribes that lived in the desert before and after this supposed mass migration.
Moreover, if 2 million people showed up in Palestine, there would be evidence of a huge population explosion, changes in the pottery, the architecture, the art work that would be really apparent. Never happened. No evidence whatsoever.
Even further, the historical evidence for Jesus outside the bible is looking sketchy. While other bible figures like John the Baptist can be accounted for, the only evidence for Jesus is in the bible, has lots of contradictions and was written decades if not centuries after he supposedly lived. Jesus is a myth.
So, the easy answer to your question is that the bible is not more accurate than Aesop’s fables as a historical document. It’s a load of BS.
Anonymous – 1) The big bang and evolution are completely separate theories, neither of which requires the other, or is in any way connected to the other.
2) There is a huge difference between a theory and an ad hoc hypothesis. Evolution and the big bang are both theories. They make predictions, and those predictions are born out by the world. Divine creation is an ad hoc hypothesis – it makes no predictions whatsoever, and is intrinsically hostile to any form of testing. To believe a theory supported by a wide array of scientific evidence is imminently sensible. To believe a bunch of gibberish because a book written 2000 years ago says so is insanely stupid. There is a huge difference between faith based religious belief, and evidence based scientific belief, and your inability to understand this difference is likely a sign of some kind of mental defect.
3) Busy Monster already handled the claims of biblical accuracy. The bible most Westerners read is not even an accurate depiction of the bible (unless you read Aramaic.) It is certainly not an accurate historical document. Such claims are simply silly, on par with claims that Nostradamus predicted all of history, and based on the same kind of (basically non-existent) evidence.
I agree completely with the cartoon. However, atheism is illogical.
(1) Some things are in motion, for every motion there is a mover, an infinite regress of mover is impossible, therefore there must be an unmoved mover.
(2) Some things are caused, everything that is caused is caused by something else, and infinite regress of causation is impossible, therefore there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
(3) Many things in the universe may either exist or not exist, such are contingent beings. It is impossible for everything in the universe to be contingent, because something cannot come from nothing. There for there must be a being that is non-contingent
(4) Varying perfections of varying degrees may be found throughout the universe. These degrees assume the existence of an ultimate standard of perfection. Therefore perfection must have a pinnacle.
(5) All natural bodies in the universe act towards ends. These objects in themselves are unintelligent. Acting towards and end assumes intelligence, therefore, there exists and intelligent being directing natural bodies towards their ends.
Sorry, but your “science” is complete bollocks.
Superior post.Keep up the avid work,You must definitely have to keep updating your site
@Colin: Did you read Spinoza’s “Ethics”, by any chance? Because your arguments sound very much like his.
I agree, atheism doesn’t have a sound foundation in logic (anymore than solipsism or nihilism)… but I emphatically disagree that the cartoon has an exclusively atheistic interpretation – or that the scientific method is intrinsically atheistic. Actually, I would describe the sciences as “pragmatically agnostic”; God is not a testable hypothesis, so God simply doesn’t figure in scientific reasoning. The existence of God can neither be affirmed or denied by the scientific method. However, scripture and alleged “manifestations” of God (weeping statues of the Blessed Virgin, stigmata, faith-healing and the rest of the “sideshow” acts) _can_ be tested.
“infinite regress of causation is impossible”
Only in your mind. Or, more to the point, the only problem is that your feeble mind can’t handle the concept, so you reject it in favour of something even more ridiculous. Good luck with that.
@Busy Monster: how is that you know that God is more ridiculous than infinite regress of causation? Can you make empirical observations about either? Good luck with that…
Easy, Occam’s razor. Silly God stories have implications for the stories religious nuts tell about day to day life, moral decisions, etc. Infinite regress of causation implies none of that nonsense.
Less nonsense == more likely to be true. Feeble minded lack of imagination is not proof that god exists. All I’m claiming is that stories of infinite chains of causation don’t bother me much. I have nothing to prove. God-mongers have a lot of explaining to do…
To our brothers and sisters who do not believe in God and reject his ever-penetrating presence:
I ask you, what are the origins of this world? Could it be some huge explosion millions of years ago that somehow gave birth to ALL OF THIS. Just like how an explosion in a junk yard somehow brings thousands of parts together and creates a car…oh wait, that doesn’t happen. For all of you who want to make a purely scientific argument against the existence of God, I want to let you know that I am in no way able to argue against you, because I am not a scientist. And you should know that science cannot be used to invalidate a God who does not exist in the realm of empiricism, it can only be used to reassure us of His presence, but any lack therof. Nevertheless, I implore you to read the book by Lee Strobel called “the case for a creator.” I think you will find it very informative. Lee Strobel interviews legitimate scientists who will blow your mind away with what they have to say, but be careful, although this book is fairly “readable” it can get a bit academic…so read it slowly.
Many of you seem bitter and frustrated, retaliative…all of this is aimed at a God you claim doesn’t exist?
Please don’t take what I have to say as criticism or even argumentation, just the thoughts of another human being like yourselves…
Existence is too overwhelming for there to be no God. Examine the complexity of this world: from a sperm and an egg comes a fetus that grows into an adult and can do marvelous things like become a doctor, clone other humans, fly to the moon, and use intellect in various forms of expression. Humans have developed language that they may speak to one another and get things done. Humans have developed complex organizations that they may pierce the world with innovation, but where did all of this complexity originate? Surely enough, it is not the contemplation of mans accomplishments that lead to a logical conclusion that there is a God, but the existence of God that gave forth the existence of man. I know that He exists because He spoke to me, and I’m not trying to sound like some crazy man who claims to have spirits of divination…no, He spoke to me, and everyone else through His Word…that is the Bible. Its fine that you don’t accept the archeological, logical, scientific, and historical accounts that proof the infallibility of the Bible…now, until you do, just read it in good faith. My atheist friends seem to be open minded and able to use logic, but that’s not the way you get to know the Creator. I’m not saying ignore your thoughts, but try reading the Bible and seeing it for what it is, one COHERENT message to man, try acting out a few of its commandments, try praying to the God you claim doesn’t exist in the first place. For how many of you when they decide to buy some material good, say a used car, find out everything you can about that car, yet refuse to take it for a test drive before making the final decision as to whether or not to buy it? How many of you when taking an exam or answering any question never double-guess yourselves and never change your initial responses?
It would be too good to be true that as humans, I don’t need to prove the human tendency towards error; that as humans, we never fail…but we do. Give it a shot, take it for a test drive…for after all, if God doesn’t exist, what do you have to lose?
And know this, the Bible has affirmed this several times, no biologist can deny, no geologist can fail to emphasize, that the world WILL come to an end, sooner or later. Resources are running out, water is running out, the world is torn apart by wars and persecution, natural disasters are tearing cities apart, and amongst all of this, instead of running to God and asking Him for comfort, we deny His ever-present existence. We are an arrogant if we chose to deny His presence, and we are foolish to practice atheism, the belief is foolish, not the person. Who can deny that life is short, and it is almost like one snap of a finger and we’re gone? No one can deny this, who can deny that each one of us will die? No one can deny this. Who can deny that if tornadoes can devour homes, and hurricanes can blow cities away, and that tectonic plates converge and separate, that there can’t be a God watching over every single one of us. There is a consequence to disbelief, and that is banishment from God. When we die we are going to see Him, whether we believed in Him or not while on earth.
Do it for yourselves, and not for anyone else.
and here is something I think will help..
“If there were no God, there would be no atheists”
–GK Chesterton, Where All Roads Lead
* The existence or non-existence of God is the most important question we humans are ever asked to answer.
If God does exist, a significant set of consequences follow, which should affect every day and every moment of our earthly existence.
* We are living in an increasingly atheistic world. The magazines we read, the music we hear, the peers and professors we have, are all shifting towards disbelief in God.
* Every Christian must be ready to discuss the question of God’s existence — especially if he/she is in a leadership position. This can make all the difference to the young people who are still open to see both sides of the question.
* Science is becoming our greatest endeavor to discover truth. People tend to equate science with truth and other kinds of knowledge with imagination. Atheists have used this mindset to their advantage by claiming that science has disproved God.
II. Can We Prove Gods Existence?
* The simple answer to this question is yes!
* The existence of God can be proven using logical principles. Not empirical methods.
* In other words, we cannot setup an experiment in a laboratory where God will appear for us in a test tube or under the conditions of some other controlled environment.
* But we must understand that the scientific method, while extremely valuable, is only one of the many vehicles that we have for learning about truth and reality.
III. The Limits of Science
* The aim of science is to study matter and energy.
For example, love is a fact of life, but since it is neither matter nor energy it cannot be investigated by science. There is no gadget to measure the mass, length, breadth, or temperature of love.
* The aim of science is not to investigate all reality, but rather to investigate those realities that are seen in the form of matter and energy.
* God is neither matter nor energy. Therefore the methods of experimental sciences cannot be applied to disprove His existence.
* It is true that we cant prove God by the empirical method of verification. But there are many things we cant prove in this way.
* For example, we cant use the scientific method to prove the existence of Abraham Lincoln. History, by its very nature, is unrepeatable. We cant rerun 1994 Super Bowl game, yet no one denies that these events took place.
* No one would deny the existence of love or justice or compassion, yet none of these can be proven scientifically. There are certain things that simply cant be measured, and the existence of God fits into that category.
IV. Different Instruments for Each Science
In the search for truth, one uses different instruments of investigation. Every department of Science has its own specific instruments for investigating truth.
Medicine —> Scalpel
Astronomy —> Telescope
Biology —> Microscope
Chemistry —> Test Tubes
* Same with God, since He is neither matter nor energy and cannot be dissected with a scalpel or placed in a test tube, we use other instruments to investigate His truth. i.e. Prayer, Repentance, Purity of Heart, His Word (Holy Bible), His Body (Church).
* We simply use spiritual tools to discover spiritual truths.
* Faith in God is not against reason, it is beyond reason. If we could analyze God in a test tube and understand Him logically, He would not be God. We would be God.
V. Arguments for the Existence of God
+ The Law of Cause and Effect
* It has always been a fundamental first principle of philosophy and science that “from nothing, nothing comes”.
* We know that every event in the Universe has a cause for it. Apples fall down because of gravity while rockets go up because of thrust from burning fuel.
* Every effect has a cause. That cause in turn has another cause behind it. This cause in turn must have another cause behind it.
* Everything in this Universe has a cause except the First Cause. This first cause gave rise to everything else: God.
There are 4 possible explanations for the existence of the universe.
It is either:
1. An illusion 2. Self-created 3. Eternal 4. Created
1. An Illusion: If the universe is merely an illusion, than who or what is having the illusion? Something must exist to experience the illusion. We dont have to worry about such people. If they are right, even they dont exist! And they shouldnt worry about us, because we dont exist!
2. Self Created: This is referred to as “spontaneous generation”
But for something to create itself, it must first be!
In other words, in order for something to create itself, it must exist prior to itself. This is, of course, logically impossible.
3. Eternal: Science proved that the Universe is not eternal.
For example it would violate the 2nd law of Thermodynamics.
According to this law, the universe will eventually reach a state of equilibrium, a cold, dark, dead, virtually motionless universe. Clearly if the universe is without beginning, then the universe should already be in a state of equilibrium.
4. Created: Having established the first 3 options to be unreasonable, we arrive at the final option: the universe is created. In the words of the very first line of the Holy Bible, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1).
* Moreover, if something exists, there must exist what it takes for it to exist. The universe exists.
* Therefore, there must exist what it takes for the universe to exist.
* What it takes for the universe to exist cannot exist within it.
* Therefore, what it takes for the universe to exist must transcend it.
* Also whatever comes to being or goes out of being doesnt have to be. Suppose that nothing has to be. Then right now nothing would exist.
* If the universe began to exist, then all being must trace its origin to some past moment.
* And we said that from nothing, nothing comes. So the universe could not have begun.
* So there must exist something which has to exist, which cannot not exist. This sort of being is called necessary.
* Either this necessity belongs to the thing in itself or it is derived from another. If derived from another there must ultimately exist a being whose necessity is not derived, that is, an absolutely necessary being. This absolutely necessary being is God.
+ The Argument from the Origin of the Idea of God
* We have ideas of many things. These ideas must arise either from ourselves or from things outside us.
* One of the ideas we have is the idea of God, an infinite, all-perfect Being.
* This idea could not have been caused by ourselves, because we know ourselves to be limited and imperfect, and no effect can be greater than its cause.
* Therefore, the idea must have been caused by something outside us. Someone that is infinite, all-perfect, all knowing.
* But only God Himself has those qualities. Therefore God must be the cause of the idea we have of Him.
* Therefore God exists.
+ The Argument From Design
* Common sense tells us that the existence of a magnificent universe sustained by countless laws of physics requires the existence of a Creator of those laws, a Designer of those structures.
* An intricately crafted universe points to an intelligent Designer.
Could time plus chance result in such an intricate design of our universe? Would that not be the greatest leap of faith?
What are the chances that a tornado blowing through a junkyard containing all the parts of a 747, accidentally assembling them into a plane, and leaving it ready for take-off?
* When one sees a beautiful painting, his thoughts immediately go to the artist who worked on it. When one looks at the infinitely complex Universe, one has to think of the infinitely intelligent and powerful Artist who put it all together!
+ A Planet Perfect for Life
* Our atmosphere contains a mixture of gases in perfect proportions to sustain life. Oxygen makes up 21% of our air. If the proportion of oxygen in the air increased by only 2%, objects around us could literally burst into flame.
* If earth were only a little larger, making its gravity slightly stronger, hydrogen would be unable to escape earth’s gravity and would collect in our atmosphere, making it inhospitable to life. Yet, if earth were only slightly smaller, oxygen would escape.
* The earth travels through space at 66,600 miles an hour as it orbits the sun. That speed perfectly offsets the sun’s gravitational pull and keeps earth’s orbit the proper distance from the sun. If earth’s speed were less, it would be gradually pulled toward the sun, eventually scorching and extinguishing life. Mercury, the planet closest to the sun, has a daytime temperature of about 600 degrees.
* Astronomers estimate that, if the distance from earth to the sun changed by as little as 2 percent, all life would be extinguished as water either froze or evaporated.
* No wonder the Genesis creation account concludes with this summary of God’s handiwork: “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
+ The Argument From Conscience (Moral Values)
* Our sense of moral responsibility cannot be explained except by the existence of a Superior Lawgiver whom we are bound to obey.
* CS Lewis said When I was an atheist my argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.
* The existence of a standard of morality requires the existence of a moral God. What else could set the standard? Unless there is a God, there is absolutely no objective basis for morality.
* If there is no God, who holds us accountable for these things? What can you appeal to say they are wrong?
* A moral constitution and moral law imply a creator, law-giver, and judge. This creator, this law-giver and judge, is God.
+ Relational Verification of God
* In our everyday life we all experience love, peace, anger. All these feelings are “real”, but there is no scientific method to detect them, verify them, or to measure them.
* Love is neither matter nor energy. Therefore no scientific apparatus can measure it. Yet love is accepted as a reality. This is because people experience love relationally.
* The same concept is applied in our knowledge of God. He is neither matter nor energy as we stated above. He is a Supreme Being, and He can be known, experienced, and verified only by the method of relations.
* God can be known in a personal way, and when people know God it reflects in their lives. There are so many changed lives around that no one can refute this as mere propaganda.
* Countless number of Christians have devoted their lives to serve the poor, the orphans and the unfortunate. How many atheists do that?
* Further, when these deluded young people reap the consequences, atheists are nowhere to be seen. They do not run hospitals, orphanages, old-age homes, and shelters for the destitute. Christians do that because of their relationship with God. This relationship motivates them to express their love practically.
* In many cases the arguments are not the real issue. The issue is that Atheists have decided beforehand that they want to be autonomous, independent, masters of their own destiny. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things (Romans 1:20-23).
* Blaise Pascal the French philosopher and mathematician said: “God has given us evidence sufficiently clear to convince those with an open heart and mind. Yet evidence sufficiently vague so as not to compel those whose hearts and minds are closed.”
* God wants all His creation not only to know Him but to get into a deep relationship with Him. He desires all to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). But we have to be ready to search for this truth with all out heart. “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13).
* Pascal also says that there are three kinds of people: those who have sought God and found Him, those who are seeking and have not yet found, and those who neither seek nor find. The first are reasonable and happy, the second are reasonable and unhappy, and the third are both unreasonable and unhappy. If whats at stake stimulates us at least to seek, then it will at least stimulate us to be reasonable. And if the promise Christ makes is true, all who seek will find (Mt 7:7-8), then we will be reasonable AND happy.
Glory be to God Forever.
– A Quest for God, Paul Johnson
– The Mind of God, Paul Davies
– God and the Astronomers, Robert Jastrow
– Whatever Happened to Truth, Anthony Coniaris
– A Brief History of Time, Stephen Hawkins
– The Origin of the Universe, John Barrow
– The Quotable Einstein, Albert Einstein
– The Columbia History of the World, John Garraty
– Can you Prove that God Exists, Gannon Murphy
– Darwins Black Box, Mike Behe
There are so many things wrong with what you just said and, from personal experience, I’ve learned that it is almost always pointless arguing with a person who would go to as much trouble as you did to amass such a compendium of argumentational weakness.
I’ll just say that in actuality, science and basic rationality have utterly destroyed any pretenses of intellectual integrity in theism. You will disagree with me on this, and I will disagree with your disagreement. I will say that you are living in delusion, and you will say the same to me. This is the very problem with arguing with dogmatists. Of course, I will say you’re the dogmatist, and you will say that I am.
Lets just save ourselves the 6 hours.
L. Ron Brown:
Thanks for replying,
If we are to be scientific and logical in the least sense, than we ought to be proponents of the following premise: findings from case studies cannot be generalized to a population of people. If you have had personal experience in arguing with a person “who would go as much trouble…to amass such a compendium….” then you should have realized that because you are one person and because it is inherently impossible for you to have argued with a random sample of people who practice Christianity and feel that atheism is a tool used against people like you and I, you absolutely don’t know whether or not it is worth it to argue with me. And like I said in the previous post (not the one with the logical arguments) but the one before…I’m not arguing with anyone, just sharing my thoughts. But you are right on one thinking, I do disagree with you, respectfully of course, but I don’t say that you are living in a delusion. Moreover, I don’t feel myself to be a dogmatist, neither do I believe that any atheist thinks like a dogmatist; simply because if it where a law that atheists and Christians were dogmatists, we couldn’t explain why Christians leave their faith ever-so-often, and why atheists chose to accept God, take for example the famous author C.S. Lewis who was quoted as saying the following: “You will never know how much you believe something until it is a matter of life and death.” “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.” – God in the Dock, page 52.
And saving the supposed six hours it would take for either one of us to be convinced of the others fundamentals is not worth the consequences, at least to me, that one person, just one person who I could potentially influence, will as we say it “see the light.”
Other explanations for my long note:
1. I have enough free time.
2. I find this intellectually stimulating.
3. I’ve been thinking and doubting God so much that I believe in Him now more than ever.
Excellent content and style…keep up the good work!
1. An argument that proceeds “I am to feeble minded to explain all this, therefore some god made it happen” is not logical, and barely rates as an argument.
2. Atheists don’t hate imaginary gods, we usually have a problem with the sodomy and wars god-heads like to commit in the name of said gods.
3. Science doesn’t have to claim to have all the answers, it’s just a system that distinguishes answers from non-answers. If science hasn’t answered your pet questions yet, get a job in a lab and get to work.
Thanks for your reply,
The truth of the matter is, if there is a God we would be too feeble minded to understand everything about the said God. Any “god” that could be fully understood by the human mind would not be a god at all; If God could be fully understood by the human mind it would lead to speculation, it would lead to incorrect assumptions about what or who God is. And no, we are in no sense feeble minded, yet who can deny that the human intellect has limitations? It has been said by those who study the universe that there are planets and objects in outer-space that have yet to be discovered, just because we haven’t seen them…just because we don’t have tangible evidence that they don’t exist, doesn’t mean we won’t take the words of that scientist who claims the presence of those unseen stars/planets.
Pertaining to your second point, if there is a group that commits atrocities and then seeks to hide behind their religion, then they have no true religion, neither do they have a real God…for example, you can’t commit terrorist acts and then say that God made you do it, I have no reverence for the deeds of women who drown their babies in bathtubs because “God told them to do so in a dream” or terrorists who blow up buildings because there are “infidels” in them. That is not religion, that is not how God to be worshiped. The one and only true God, who manifested Himself as Man…did not stand for such violence. So, your argument is understandable…..but not only do atheists have a problem with the “sodomy” committed in the name of “god” but so does every Christian…every loyal Christian…notice how I didn’t call the crusaders Christians…
You are right, science doesn’t claim to have all the answers, but scientists like to think they can answer everything. And as a matter of fact, science is not always able to distinguish answers from non-answers, rather science tends to come up with inadequate explanations. Take for example, the evolutionary theory of Natural Selection (most believe that Charles Darwin gave birth to this theory, but he actually took this idea from his grandfather). A major argument for his theory (since it is impossible for us to see an ape turn into a human) is gradualism…the notion that change happens too slowly to be documented….well that’s nice isn’t it? That really explains natural selection! The point is, science doesn’t always do as good of a job as we think it does, if it did I might not have the belief in God as I do today. Science has not answered my “pet questions” it has affirmed them…refer to THE CASE FOR A CREATOR by Lee Strobel, and see the sources cited in the message on Nov. 21. I can’t get in a lab and try and answer my religious or spiritual questions, because God can’t fit in a lab. St. Augustine, philosopher, orater, doubter of God, turned-Bishop sometimes during the first few centuries?….was walking along the beach-shore one day and was pondering God…he was thinking, how could God be without origin, how could God be without end? Some kid was sitting along the beach shore and said…and I am paraphrasing…”you nut, the heavens can’t contain God and you want to fit Him in your puny little head?”
What a bunch of mystical bullshit and ridiculous half truths.
An argument that can’t be disproved is not an argument at all. You basically claim that your god can’t be understood, so no empirical evidence can be brought against it (the first sign of bullshit). Then you claim that religious groups who commit atrocities don’t count as religious groups so that religion itself is beyond criticism (the second sign of bullshit).
The only argument any of your references ever makes is the same old nonsense. “I can’t imagine a universe without a god, so there must be one.” Proclaiming your ignorance doesn’t prove anything except your ignorance. That same silly argument has been used to create huge economic and political organizations which continue to perpetrate genocide and sodomy and racism and…
Every moment you participate in that system of irrational beliefs you assume guilt for all the atrocities ever carried out in the name of your God.
How can you even live with yourself?
Nothing mystical about what I said.
Arguments for God cannot be disproved…and that doesn’t mean that what was made was not an argument.
You have the basics of what was argued all wrong my friend. God can be understood, but our comprehension has limits, so in essence, we can’t understand EVERYTHING about God, but we can understand enough. Furthermore, it isn’t that empirical evidence can’t be brought against God merely because God exists outside of the realm of empiricism, its that there has been no real science used to disprove the existence of God until this very day…secondly science tends to approve of Biblical contentions and has yet to disprove a single one. Christians don’t preach religion, Christians preach Christianity…you don’t have to like the following but here it goes anyways: Christianity is not a religion (its not all about a legalistic way of life) its about once relationship to his/her God through Jesus. The legalistic aspect of Christianity is not meant to hold the Christian down but to boost the Christian…unfortunately, even many Christians don’t understand that. With that said, Christianity is not a religion, but a lifestyle that brings one above plain old religion. Islam is a religion, Buddhism is a religion, Hinduism is a religion, they all have you belief certain things and act certain ways, yet without benefit…a true Christian lifestyle will actually get you somewhere…no offense of course to any non-Christians…we’re still all human regardless of what faith we adhere to. I did not write the following in my previous post: “religious groups who commit atrocities don’t count as religious groups so that religion itself is beyond criticism.” Totally DID NOT write that. I think it was clear that what I was saying is along the lines of…you can’t commit atrocities and then claim it was done in the name of your god, you can’t kill and hide behind religion…for example you can’t go stab a man to death and then go to confession and then its all good…no can do, you’re still bound by the laws of the land and you are obligated to do the time behind bars. You can criticize religion and Christianity all you want, but hardly with merit. My friend, pay attention, regardless of how we imagine the universe, with or without a God…there is still a God…whether we like it or not. It would be plausible if being an atheist meant being angry with God rather than denying the presence of God, because that’s the kind of vibe I get from people who deny God’s presence…they are more angry than ever. No doubt about what you say though brother, there are huge economic and political organizations that “perpetrate genocide…” but please tell me which ones proclaim the existence of God and actually follow what has been prescribed for all who believe in Jesus? Once again I emphasize that if you don’t walk like a Christian, talk like a Christian, then you aren’t a Christian…..you can’t claim one thing and do another, that’s what we call being a hypocrite and not a Christian. For it makes no difference whether or not you are baptized/go to confession/take communion…etc., if you don’t live a Christian lifestyle. The companies who commit those atrocities can hardly be said to actually believe in this “argument” that is if they actually made that sort of argument to begin with….
Atheism is a system of irrational beliefs, it is the remedy for confusion and doubt. Truly indeed, Christian breeds confusion and doubt, but without confusion there could never come clarification, and without doubt our faith would stop growing and Christianity would fade away. But take a look around you, those who deny the existence of God are of a fairly small number, in comparison to those who believe in God. And I’m not saying that this is why Christianity is strong, because we are large in number, but we are strong because there are real Christians in this faithful majority…although there are enough that commit atrocities and hide behind their religion, there are even more who are true believers, who seek God with their all and don’t give up, it is those people who keep this faith strong…through the grace of God of course. You say, “participate in that system of irrational beliefs” and you miss what Christianity is about…although I just mentioned that Christianity is a lifestyle and its about your relationship with God blah blah blah…and the legalistic aspect is to help boost your Christian life…I can’t emphasize enough, that Christianity is not just about what you believe but how you act as well. Those who commit atrocities in the name of Christ are not Christians, they are looking for a way to justify their actions. Think of it this way…we all know that smoking cigarettes is not good for your health, it is highly addictive and very few people can successfully quit. And pretend that you are an elementary school student attending a presentation on smoking and how it is bad for your health. The presentation is presented by some young doctor….he shows you the tarred-black lungs in the plastic case and the pictures of people with the holes in their throat…and at the same time, the doctor is smoking up a storm…the doctor who is giving a presentation on how smoking is bad for you is smoking a cigarette? NOW…say that there are thousands of physicians just like him/her…do we go on to discredit medicine in its entirety because of a few thousand physicians, are you going to stop getting your check ups? Are you going to stay home if you catch a virus or get seriously ill? I think not. Do we lose faith in the American Government because of a few bad presidents? I think not. Do we believe in the inferiority of black people because a hundred years ago phrenology used to be a widely accepted science? I think not. Do we condemn a major faith with evidence because of some instances that contradict the doctrines of that very faith?…only if it makes you feel good about yourself.
You provide and excellent case study in mystical bullshit. I could replace all your references to God and Christians with Flying Spaghetti Monster and it wouldn’t lose any meaning. That’s how you know it has no meaning to begin with.
You make a nice empirical claim that science tends to affirm things from the Bible, which is a complete lie and I’m sure you know better. The whole story about Moses leading a million or so people out of Egypt has been completely and thoroughly refuted by science. Being as that is kind of a big deal in the Bible, it reflects badly on the whole tome. Bald faced lies don’t improve your credibility, but they do affirm your Christianity.
The only anger I have is at the countless Christians who enable their organized religion to perpetrate genocide and other atrocities. The moment you pick up the Bible, you own all the crap that goes with it. My objection to Christianity is based on the fact that it is founded on lies and bullshit and is consistently used to dis-empower and abuse. If you participate at any level, you own the entire history of the organization.
Thanks for your reply,
The phrase “mystical bullshit” really makes me laugh, not in a cynical way, I really think it to be jocular…
On to a more serious note…
You cannot place any reference about God with “flying spaghetti monster” because when Jesus walked on this earth he referred to God, as God the Father not the flying spaghetti monster. Its absolutely childish to try and refute a faith adhered to by billions using terms like flying spaghetti monster…
Christianity teaches that the word of God is 100% infallible, hence; “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). Although the Bible was written by man, it was inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, therefore we believe that It is without error.
You claim that the story about Moses leading a million or so people out of Egypt has been refuted by science, so my questions to you are as follows…since you are the one claiming the error it is only logical that you defend your claims:
1. Who are the “scientists” that have “refuted” this story.
2. Could a political agenda be behind their claims?
3. What contentions/premises do they provide as support?
4. What precise scientific evidence do they have that this story is not true?
I still hold to the fact that science tends to affirm things from the Bible, it is NOT a lie at all, and I can’t know any better because this is how the facts are presented to those who chose to apply their intellect and comprehension
Lets take a closer look about what I mean…
1. The Bible was written over a period of 1600 years, by over 40 different people using different literary styles, and written from many different places. Despite all of the above proven facts it is still a single unified book with a consistent theme and message throughout.
Don’t think so?
– take 10 people with the same educational, socioeconomic background, professional, and geographical background, that all use the same language, have them write about 1 topic, would they agree? Absolutely not!
2. The Bible has withstood the test of time, it has antiquity. It has withstood the repeated attacks of atheists, critics, modernists, rationalists, and communists. Something that can withstand the passing of time has truth.
3. The Bible we have in our hands today is the same one, just read a bit about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the quality of the manuscripts that support the current existing Book we have today.
4. THE BIBLE HAS SCIENTIFIC ACCURACY:
– For example: 15th century scientists discovered that the world was not flat but round. The Old Testament records that the earth was round 2200 years before this discovery: “It is He who sits above the CIRCLE of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22).
– In the year 600 B.C. the Prophet Jeremiah revealed that number of stars were innumerable. We know that 600 B.C. is WAY before the invention of the telescope: “The host of heaven cannot be numbered” (Jeremiah 33:22).
5. There is more…archeological evidence proving the infallibility of the Bible, of course there is the fulfillment of prophecy from the Old Testament in the New Testament.
6. Most of all, the Bible has transforming power.
– I’m an Orthodox Christian and in our church we have recorded stories of saints who were thieves, gangsters, harlots…you know, the worst of the worst…and through the Bible their lives were changed. I don’t know of any other book that can do that.
I don’t know what you mean when you say Christianity has been used for abuse, and dis-empowerment. I don’t believe anyone who tells me this is an epidemic in the Church, whether you be Catholic/Orthodox/Protestant…whatever… I can’t deny that Christians do commit atrocities, but just because they try to hide behind their faith, doesn’t make their faith at fault. Hold those people accountable, not the faith, because their faith did not teach them to commit atrocities. Remember the doctor telling you to not smoke cigarettes while puffing on one himself…do you discredit medicine in its entirety for his sake?
Oh yeah and I don’t even see the word “million” anywhere in the Book of Exodus?
1) Jesus never walked on the earth. There is no evidence he ever existed outside the imagination of a bunch of Cult members. If you have evidence that doesn’t come from quoting the Bible, let’s see it.
2) The Bible teaches that the Bible is infallible (mystical bullshit)
3) There is absolutely no archaeological evidence of people wandering the desert for 40 years, even though there is lots of archaeological evidence that there were people living there during the time period specified (so your convenient flood story doesn’t apply) and there is archaeological evidence that no mass migration into Israel ever occurred. It’s a complete lie. If your book teaches it’s own infallibility and there are demonstrably false statements in it, then you are either deluded or a liar.
4) The Bible was edited, re-edited and represented as convenient, Recently some gnostic literature was discovered that presented a much different story. Seems it was conveniently left out. The Bible is fabricated bullshit, used as a means of oppression. Fun little club you’ve joined.
5) The Greeks proved the earth was round, not the Christians or the Jews. If one of them wrote it down, big deal. The flat world is hardly a scientific claim, you are seriously deluded if you think Christianity promotes anything besides book burning and ignorance. Perhaps you’ve not heard of the Christians burning the books from the library at Alexandria to heat their bathwater. If they’d have read a little bit instead of debating the origin of their belly buttons, we wouldn’t have to put up with so much bullshit in the world.
6) The Bible is pile of crap which hasn’t withstood any academic scrutiny by a non-Christian historian or philosopher. If you can present one non-apologist who is willing to claim the Bible meets any standard of historical accuracy, let’s see it.
7) Name one prophecy that has been fulfilled.
8) Read your Bible before you tell lies, you might get your story straight. Exodus 12:37 (King James Version)
“And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.”
600000 men plus women and children makes for a couple million claimed refugees.
8) You are completely full of it, almost every claim you make is a lie, and that makes you the perfect Christian.
You haven’t really refuted anything I’ve said….all you do is curse and take this entire matter as one big cynical joke. Other people who refuse Christianity at least do so with some respect. I hope that God shows you and anyone else who don’t believe in Him that he really does exist. Don’t bother replying. Best of luck TBM, I guess we’ll all find out about the truth when we die.
I haven’t really read much of this current exchange beyond a quick skim of some of the posts. But, generally speaking, I thank you for being willing to have these sorts of debates with religious readers here. I personally have, for all intents and purposes, retired from having such “debates”. In my experience they’ve been an unbelievable waste of time and effort. I genuinely do think that many of the people whom I’ve had this debate with can truly be characterized as having a cognitive disorder. They are so utterly addicted and/or intellectually-hobbled to/by their beliefs that seemingly no amount of reasoning can cause them to budge. They will accept as powerful evidence the most easily counterargued premises. Since they are direly motivated to believe, they will set their threshold for belief remarkably low – lower than they would need to believe just about – if not absolutely – anything else. And you can multiply the level of evidence for which they would be required to stop believing in something else by 1000, and they’ll still hold to their believes.
Yes, I definitely see the value in at least bringing into their frontal cortex the consideration of doubt. And I see the value of contributing to keeping doubt in the cultural discussions. But it also seems to me that time could be better spent. If instead of indulging these terrible debates more of us started devoting that time to doing things like contributing to various important social causes such as helping in whatever small ways to developing enriching nonpolitical warm secular humanist communities (akin to churches with respect to community), I think we’d all be much better off. Help create cultural alternatives. A fullblown supportive community setting that celebrates rationality would be massive. And few things are more corrosive to religious communities than seeing more and more of their members not only walk away, but walk away and be happy and fulfilled. One of the most important things I think nonreligious people can do for promoting reason, it seems, is to simply deemphasize the politics and try to live well themselves. If they can live well themselves, they show that it is possible. Community is very important to most humans, so helping ourselves out is a good thing to do for ourselves. And as an added bonus, it will provide an enriching alternative to organized religion.
One unfortunate thing, though, is that because atheism is so politicized, it may be difficult to create such a group where it isn’t simply a group dedicated to the political cause. But it’d be great to have a group where many personal and community-enhancement and enjoyment activities were done together, e.g., meditation, considering important ideas, doing art, having big pot-luck meals together, doing fun stuff for all ages and over-19 members, etc.
If I haven’t refuted anything it’s because you’ve said nothing to refute. You haven’t made a single claim except that your god exists because you think so and that the Bible is infallible because it says so. I provided evidence that the Bible claims 2 million people spent 40 years in the desert and entered Israel in a mass migration, but that archaeological evidence proves otherwise. You lose, the Bible is full of lies.
As for the abuse you suffered, you deserve it for spouting the nonsense you do. You come into a public place and spout lies, refuse to be held accountable for them, and then whine when you are not welcomed. I hold you and every other believer accountable for every single atrocity committed throughout history in the name of your nonsensical lies.
You are making claims about the existence of a god and the infallibility of a book. Offer some proof. Offer an academic assessment by a non-apologist that suggests even one major event in the Bible actually occurred as written. Why is this so hard for you?
I sympathize with your situation. You have created a library of fair and balanced debate and tolerated much more nonsense than I would have the stomach for. As you can see, I am feeling less generous towards these zealots lately. Besides, it’s fun to see them sputter in the face of a direct challenge.
The biggest reason this Christian nonsense doesn’t fly is a simple one, but it rarely gets mentioned. Even if you grant them the need for a first cause, it gets them nowhere in the argument for Christianity. It is quite plausible that the first cause of the Universe blew herself to smithereens during the act of creation, then the normal processes took over and here we are in a godless meaningless world.
The first cause argument doesn’t carry the Christian story forward even an inch, it’s pure bullshit and lies perpetrated by exploitive scumbags who know better. Simple.
TBM: I don’t agree with holding current believers responsible for atrocities before their time. However, I may agree with the according of partial responsibility to a current belief community as a whole for actions that are done which were enabled by the belief community – e.g., cases where the action would have been far less likely to have happened had the rest of society not been sitting on their hands out of fear of “persecuting” religious people. The ID movement, anti-gay bigotry, warped abortion debates, various types of abuse (e.g., people being withheld medical treatment by relatives because of religious rules; Islamic wife abuse) would not have been even remotely as significant – some may not have even made so much as a blip on the national news – if it weren’t for the greater – and more moderate but still ultimately intellectually baseless – belief communities.
Next, onto the claim that Christian beliefs and apologetics are pure bullshit and lies perpetrated by exploitative scumbags. I agree that the beliefs and apologetics are intellectually insufficient. I agree that lies and liars are involved. But I think we can agree that not all religionists – or even all religious leaders – are liars. Some are. I’m ready to agree with that. But not all.
However, we can also agree that religion as we know it could not exist in the absence of ignorance (willful or innocent – e.g., children and people who just haven’t thought to question certain ideas), irrationality, and dogmatism.
Moving on, if you’re having fun with this, then by all means go on. I definitely think that the debates are a good contributor to promoting rationalism – indeed, it’s obviously a core of rationality.
I think there are three categories of religious types (roughly). The halfway religious types who belong to those organizations that are more social club than anything else. They acknowledge the Bible is not literal but feel the need abdicate responsibility for their choices to someone else. They are cowards and they help put a reasonable face on religious belief.
Second, the hardcore religious type, like our overwhelmed friend, who spouts lies and garbage in full knowledge that it is lies and garbage. This is the worst type.
Third is the certifiably crazy, deluded crowd, who can be excused. They are a small minority and could likely be helped with medication.
I do hold the first two accountable for all the horrible consequences of religious belief. Imagine instead they espoused racism, either apologetically or hardcore. You would lump them in with the bigots who bombed churches, lynched innocents, or even the Nazis who created the holocaust. Why does religion get a pass when racism doesn’t?
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