Atheist to Christian: 180 Degrees in 10 Seconds

For 25 years Richard Morgan was a card-carrying atheist and flaming Richard Dawkins fan. Born in the UK, living in France, he came to Chicago to tell this special story.

Richard had a radical conversion experience in 2008. Not only did it rock his world in an instant, it incited a riot on the Dawkins Internet discussion board. Despite his mannerly approach, he was quickly banished from the forum.

In this video, Richard tells you his strange yet wonderful story. (It’s featured in the book “The Dawkins Letters” by David Robertson, 2nd edition.)

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700 Comments

keswick08 says:

I was dissappointed with this video because personal,unverifiable experiences does not add to the vast stock of human knowledge. Richard may just as well have spent his time telling us about being abducted by aliens.

Personal experiences are real. You can be in love with someone and that love is real even if others cannot “verify” it.

If you want objectively verifiable miraculous experiences I refer you to http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles – watch the videos and, in particular, read the paper in Southern Medical Journal which documents the healing of blind and deaf people in Mozambique. This is peer reviewed academic research.

Barry says:

why dont we go w/ his personal experience of the burning in his bosom re conversion to mormonism?
because theres no objective mormon apologetics,scholarship,translation arrangements,ect;ditto for the other afterlife truth claims
norman giesler,HELP!

muichimotsu says:

If you purposely obfuscate the meaning of verify to explicitly hands on empirical testing, then you’re trying to structure this in a way that doesn’t technically apply to all sciences in terms of what constitutes verification.

But in terms of the oft used love example in relation to science, there is always the consideration of brain scanning to discern a person being in love according to at least general patterns of those who are married, for instance, versus dating.

And even if there was medical evidence that a healing happened, this in no way supports the outlandish claim that God or Jesus had anything to do with it. It merely means there’s a part of the workings of the human body and medicine we don’t yet know.

Hitch says:

That is an utterly “outlandish claim” of your own.
If this is mere nature at work why aren’t all bodies healed by the same?
If this is not miraculous and you yourself have such a literally unverifiable answer for it then your answer is no answer at all.

Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.
This is not hard.

“When trying to explain the world on a strictly materialistic basis one finds oneself in strange paradoxes:
“If the ‘natural’ means that which can be paralleled, that which can be explained by reference to other events, then Nature herself as a whole is not natural. If a miracle means that which must simply be accepted, the unanswerable actuality which gives no account of itself but simply is, then the universe is one great miracle”
(CS Lewis: God in the Dock

Atheists never understand simple logic because they immunize themselves against any and all logic that contradicts their feckless world view.

greyfox says:

Perry, Up to now I thought you were just a bible thumping christian but I lost all respect for you when I checked out the site you posted on Oct 2,2011. I am almost tempted to believe you were joking with this site. How is it possible to witness the healing of someone claiming to have been deaf in one ear? This defies common sense and I shall take none of your future posts with any seriousness. As a matter of fact I will not read anything with your name attached. I thought this forum was for serious discussions not the clap trap of evangelistic con men.

“If you want objectively verifiable miraculous experiences I refer you to http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles – watch the videos and, in particular, read the paper in Southern Medical Journal which documents the healing of blind and deaf people in Mozambique. This is peer reviewed academic research.” You MUST return to the mother ship at once.

The healing of the deaf man was documented by the Charlotte Observer and the healing of both blind and deaf people by laying on of hands is documented under peer review in Southern Medial journal. (Are you unaware that Southern Medial Journal is a peer reviewed formal scientific publication? Did you read the paper in its entirety?) All links I have mentioned are available on this page.

asolis says:

I believe that uncommon phenomenon or “miracles” can occur but that is due to our lack of complete knowledge of the complexities involved between the brain and the mind. The power of prayer, meditation or suggestion can be very powerful if the individual is open to it and the examples that you were referring to from the website you provided were internalized medical phenomenon that can be scrutinized over its validity. A true miracle would be one that defies the laws of nature and is irrefutable. An example would be the growing back of a limb. Till that day that prayer groups will gather together and praying for soldiers lost limbs to grow back is a realistic option, I will continue to be a skeptic. Sorry, I cannot disregard more rational explanations before jumping to the extraordinary claims. I don’t know… call me crazy.

greyfox says:

Perry, with all the scams that go on in this world, how easy would it be for me to pretend deafness and then have some scam artist lay on his hands and cure me. Alas
I can hear again, it’s a miracle.
Or does this sort of thing not occur in your world? It goes on all the time and the gullible are
fooled all the time. The more you believe the easier it is to get scammed. I know, you have peer reviewed proof, good for you.

YES, scams go on in the world of healers. Does that make all healers scammers?

Scams go on in the world of scientists. Does PIltdown Man make all scientists scammers?

Do you suppose that the people who carried out this study might have considered this? Is it possible to accurately identify who a deaf person is in Mozambique? Might other people be able to tell you if they’re being truthful?

Remember, the opposite is also possible. People could experience improvement in hearing and lie about it. Why would they do that? Not wanting to become a Christian would be a good enough reason.

Your reply has a bitter tone. Why should you be disappointed that healing really does exist and it’s been documented in peer reviewed literature (not to mention the physicians, Lourdes, other references on my page etc.) ?

YES I know, it seems like the more you believe the easier it is to get scammed.

Or is it?

Skeptics get scammed all the time. Richard Dawkins has been convincing people that evolution is random for decades (it’s not, it’s algorithmic) and that life is a “happy chemical accident” (an unscientific hypothesis if there ever was one) and all kinds of “skeptics” drink that pink koolaid all day long.

Who’s really more gullible, the believers or the skeptics?

I think the skeptics are more gullible. You have to be gullible to walk around and assert a universal negative like “I am quite certain there is no God.” They’ll believe almost anything as long as it’s not God. People who say that are MARKS. With a big red bulls eye on their head.

My experience is that the only way how to learn how to trust people is to start by trusting and then figure things out from there. I’ll tell you this, speaking as a professional marketer (Google me or look me up on Amazon): if your starting point in any transaction is fear, you never develop enough emotional intelligence to become adept at figuring out who’s actually telling you the truth.

Religious scams exist. Not all religious people are scammers.

Business scams exist. Not all business people are scammers.

My friend, you’re going to live your life with faith in something. I invite you to start with the presumption that anybody from anywhere *might* be telling you the truth, then follow the evidence wherever it leads.

If you as God to reveal Himself to you, He will. As Jesus said, “He who seeks will find, to him who knocks, the door shall be opened.”

greyfox says:

“YES, scams go on in the world of healers. Does that make all healers scammers?” A Resounding
—-YES—–The faith healer who is not a scam artist has not yet been born. Desperate people do desperate things and grab any thread of hope and faith healers are all too eager to supply the thread. You have obviously bought the scam.
I hope you never get into a position where you will require the services of a faith healer, I can assure you you will not be pleased with the outcome.
In your voodoo world of make believe you can concoct all manner of reasons and beliefs as to what is real and what is not real. In my world “faith healers” are scam artists that exist to prey on the weak and vulnerable. Believe what you will and good luck to you, I will remain true to my own beliefs that are reality based. As for scam artists in other fields, yes some are but unlike the field of faith healers where they are all scammers, some in the other fields you mention are legitimate. Your argument is weak and self serving. Show me someone with a bona fide case of advanced Gangreen that was cured by a faith healer and you will have made a convert.

Hitch says:

Poor greyboy, you have bought the obvious scam of atheism, so how are better than anyone else.

Can you prove your no god belief? No you can’t there atheism is a position held by blind faith alone.

So your own voodoo world of make believe (there is nothing but matter and energy, the universe has no purpose, nothing created everything etc.), is spurious and tells much about your ability to think badly.

Even Voltaire rebuked atheist stupidity, “The atheists are for the most part imprudent and misguided scholars who reason badly who, not being able to understand the Creation, the origin of evil, and other difficulties, have recourse to the hypothesis the eternity of things and of inevitability…..” – Philosophical Dictionary

greyfox says:

Even Voltaire rebuke atheist stupidity you say. I guess Voltaire cam back from the dead to enlighten us did he? Wise men like Voltaire may be wise but their opinions are just opinions.
Being good with words proves nothing more than, you are good with words. I don’t know if nothing created everything and neither do you that a supreme bring created everything. You may believe that to be the case,
and in your reality it is in fact the case, but not in mine.
Let’s get real, in your mind I am a skeptic and in my mind you are the skeptic and in fact no one is a skeptic we simply believe in different things. If I don’t believe what you believe, that makes me a skeptic? Well why isn’t it equally true that if you don’t believe what I believe, you are the skeptic? If you could give me factual, actual, real, touchable proof of the existence of a God and I didn’t believe it, then I would be a skeptic but you cannot supply such proof, therefore my position is as valid as yours or as wrong as yours. Another way to put it might be, because I might disagree with some of Obamas ideology I’m a racist? What if I’m black and disagree, what then? We all believe what we want to believe because of our life experiences or lack of.

Hitch says:

You sure took your time responding. ;-)

Ok, your response is nothing but atheist bad reasoning again.

Your statements are dead wrong.

1. “Wise men like Voltaire may be wise but their opinions are just opinions.”

Not if their opinion happens to be a fact, sorry.

Sadly, atheists usually can’t tell the difference; and understandably so given their empty world view and lack of reasoning.

2. “…I don’t know if nothing created everything and neither do you that a supreme bring created everything.”

Wrong again.

An atheist has NO CHOICE but to believe nothing created everything. Hello?!

The only truly logical – and obvious – cause is a supreme supernatural being.

When you finally figure that out you might get somewhere.

3. “You may believe that to be the case, and in your reality it is in fact the case, but not in mine… We all believe what we want to believe because of our life experiences or lack of.”

Wrong again again.
As usual, atheists do not even understand the meaning of the word “truth”.

Here’s the bad news for you: reality doesn’t depend on your beliefs.

Believing anything at all merely because “you want to” is pure stupidity. You need a reason to believe anything.

Atheists only reason is “self”, period. You don’t like the idea of God. It disturbs your guilty conscience – even if subconsciously – and you have a psychological need to believe he isn’t there, to make you feel better.

Where does that leave you and your dumb ideas?

Somewhere over the rainbow.

greyfox says:

Hitch: do you ever read what you write? you wrote: “Can you prove your no god belief? No you can’t there atheism is a position held by blind faith alone.”

Why must I be the one to supply proof of my beliefs? Religion itself is a system of blind faith.

No one an supply tangible proof of things spiritual or the existence of God, they can supply only what they believe to be true.

mcblanc says:

Pardon My intrusion…

However–
I must point out to You–greyfox–that for the last year & a half You’ve been posting comments to the Cosmicfingerprints website…

AND…
IF–You have the necessary educational background (a couple years of college level science)…

AND–The necessary intellectual curiosity (which–I admit–IS sadly lacking in most of the atheists that I’ve known)…

You might’ve read–BY NOW–the rigorous (yet readable) analysis of the many ways across multiple fields of science that “proof” of GOD has been established… as much as science can “prove” the existence of anything.

The Ultimate Irony IN All This IS…
That we’ve established stronger proof of GOD than we have of “us”…

Oscar Hammerstein II got it right in “The King and I”…
Life–Is a Puzzlement !!

greyfox says:

Poor hitch: I have never heard of a scam that was not financially
oriented or material gain oriented. Calling atheists scam artists is to not understand the meaning of “scam”. You say: “Can you prove your no god belief? No you can’t there atheism is a position held by blind faith alone.” This sounds more like a nya nya response than anything substantive. One of the big problems I have with
people of “faith” is that they will not allow any other view on the subject but their own. They are much like most liberals, my mind is made up don’t confuse me with facts. Whether or not there is a supreme being, I don’t know and neither do you. You believe there is, I believe there is not. The idea of “God” is as old as man himself. Whatever man could not explain he ascribed to a “god”, a God I might ad that took many forms.
You might say, and some do, that God shows himself in many ways, a tornado, a storm, lightening, and all manner of natural phenomenon. If that provides comfort in your life, I say good for you. If what you believe, in a religious sense, makes each day a wonder and one step closer to that “welcome to heaven day” well that’s great and bully for you, lucky you. You have found what many people are looking for. The truth, my truth, is, look into your own heart and you will find everything you ever wanted. love of your fellow man, kindness to all creatures, sensitive to the feelings of others. Do right by others without reward or favor but just for the sheer pleasure of it. Yes I am an atheist and my life is not consumed with a love of god and a fear of god. Nor is it consumed with the question of the existence of a god. My life objective is to be the best person I can be each and every day and to do, to the best of my ability, whatever I can to help whenever I see the need to provide that help. I have volunteered my services and often contributed financially, where there was a need, all of my life. I no longer volunteer for anything as age has gained it’s edge, but we can still contribute financially to some extent. I will stack up my atheistic life against any so-called christian or “god fearing” life without fear of falling short. You can believe whatever you want to believe but in my opinion it’s what you do that counts.
Hitch, I trust that you live your life in a similar manner.

greyfox says:

“Skeptics get scammed all the time. Richard Dawkins has been convincing people that evolution is random for decades (it’s not, it’s algorithmic) and that life is a “happy chemical accident” (an unscientific hypothesis if there ever was one) and all kinds of “skeptics” drink that pink koolaid all day long.”

“(it’s not, it’s algorithmic)”

Perry, why should we drink your kool aid rather than that of Dawkins, if we in fact drank his “Kool aid”

And why do you try so hard to convince us that your “truth” is any more believable that any one elses “truth”

If “God” knows all things, why would he create man and allow him to make a shambles of earth.

It’s like saying I know that my children are all going to be serial killers but I don’t care, I’m going to have them anyway.

Perry does this really make any sense to you?

I know, according to most religious people, God works in mysterious ways, but this is insanity.

mcblanc says:

greyfox- It’s true what You say–skeptics do get scammed all the time. Blind doubt is no more “enlightened” than blind faith. GK Chesterton summed things up well…

“Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”

The information and analysis that Perry has presented throughout Cosmicfingerprints is SOLID and it’s yours to freely take part in…or not.

NOTE: As for the fallacy that you concocted …”It’s like saying I know that my children are all going to be serial killers but I don’t care, I’m going to have them anyway.” Dude–I’m not going to waste any effort swinging at this wild pitch…to do so wouldn’t be “insanity” but it would be “poor judgment.”

greyfox says:

Isn’t that what the word game is all about? Fallacy.

mcblanc says:

Evidently…
You do NOT hold “words” in the same levels & degrees of respect that Believers do… Which is NOT to say that We don’t have fun with words &/or are never playful with them–au contraire…

However–To Answer Your Question:
NO.
Constructing Fallacies May Be Word Games That Some People Play. Deciphering Fallacies & Shedding Stronger Light ON Their Shadowy Reasoning IS What I Do…

And Yeah…
I’ve ticked off plenty of People in My day if/when I illuminated Their “Fav” Fallacies & demo’ed these “stumpers” to be nuthin’ more than clever deceptions, tortured logic & cheap tricks… used singly &/or in combination.

greyfox says:

GK Chesterton: ““Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”” Here we go again with “something solid” Solid, by whose interpretation of solid? GK Chesterton? Quoting platitudes and phrases proves nothing other than quoting platitudes and phrases.

mcblanc says:

Dude- The real question is…
Does a particular quote “ring true” with You?

And judging by history–GK Chesterton stated & wrote a lot on philosophy, ontology, poetry, plays, journalism, public lectures and debates, literary and art criticism, biography, Christian apologetics, and fiction, including fantasy and detective fiction–that “rang true” with Many People at His time & decades-to-a-century+ later.

So–You didn’t like…”The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid” quote. Let’s try another one on for size:

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.”
GK Chesterton – Illustrated London News (1924-04-19)

greyfox says:

mcblanc says:

“Not if their opinion happens to be a fact, sorry.”

In general, an opinion is a belief about matters commonly considered to be subjective, i.e., it is based on that which is less than absolutely certain.

A fact is something that actually exists; reality; truth; certainty.

Did Voltaire know the difference?

enkonkeror says:

Why does Sir Perry tries so hard to convince you (and I found myself, too though maybe not that hard yet)? It is because he doesn’t want you to die (that’s according to the words of the One he believes in). Shouldn’t that be a wonder why somebody who doesn’t know you will even bother care whether you’ll live or die?

Yeah, I also had that question before..of why would He create us when He know very well how we will fall and hurt Him, hurt Him so badly. I wondered why God let me live when He knew how messy I could be.
And then He taught me some years ago that it is because He Himself believes in us, He believes in me, He believes in you. He has faith that we can rise from the ashes we have fallen. He is that God. He is the God of faith! He Himself is a risk-taker!
And He couldn’t help Himself but create us because He is just so in love. He might be crazily in love thinking that He’s thinking of us even when we’re not there yet in existence. That’s who God is! He is Love and He’s got lots of faith!

You know, mysteries will not always stay mysteries. One thing about God is that He is a person. And we can only understand the mystery in a person by knowing Him personally, by having a relationship with Him.

I know you’ve got lots of questions but why don’t you try starting with Him? You know, He isn’t that far really. And you can ask Him to reveal Himself. I once asked Him the same thing and He didn’t fail me and it actually caught me by surprise. And everything just made sense. :D Yes, and even when I still don’t know a lot of things and there are things I still don’t understand, my heart is at peace because I know this Person I’m walking with is trustworthy. And since He’s truthful (I believe Him just like how I believe my daddy and my best friend), He said He’ll work out everything for my good and that He knows well His plans for me, I actually am walking life with excitement and enthusiasm. Life is so good with God. Wanna try?
Living is far more better than mere existence. :)

God bless you! I pray that you would understand the freeing truth of Jesus. :) God loves you, as in!

mcblanc says:

Excuse me–enkonkeror…

I love your screen name…I “hear” the message to conquer-internal-error… much as IT and IIS workers are tasked with identifying and righting buggy code.

One of the great advantages of our times is that our “man-made” intelligence–computers–are fairly polished mirrors…

Reflecting to us all–
In simpler and more understandable terms–
Our Own GOD-Coded Intelligence.

At any rate…

The Computer Model of Human Intelligence IS FAR & AWAY–A Better Model of Human Inner-Workings Than “CLOCKWORK” Was… Thank Goodness For The Moderation & Balancing of THAT EGREGIOUS Dictator. [NOTE: And Thank You--JK Toole a.k.a. "Ignatius J Reilly" for Highlighting THIS GREAT WORD in "A Confederacy of Dunces" !!]

ANYWHO–
RE: Your Last Sentence–enkonkeror…

“God loves you, as in!”

1) I’m going to make the assumption that you intended to write…
God loves you, as is!

2) And–I Agree–God Does Love You–AS IS…

HOWEVER–

GOD ALSO Created THE REST of US All Sharing The “Mothership” (Planet Earth) WITH YOU–AND GOD LOVES US–AS WELL…

SO–
Here We All Are…
Sons & Daughters of GOD–

Who OFTEN Have JUST CAUSE To Be Upset & Provoked With Each Other…

So…
While We Can All Rest IN The Comforting Knowledge of GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR US…

Let US NOT Completely Tune Out Those proverbial “grains of salt” That Come To US All From Our Extended Family of HuManKind…

GOD LOVES YOU–AS IS…

But The Rest of US–
Who Have To Live and Work and Play and Share This World With You IN The “Here & Now”–

We All Need You To Make Contributions That Are Useful and Respectful and Delivered When & As Needed.

greyfox says:

I am 85 years old and everything does make sense to me. It’s made sense all of my life, you came from nothing, you enjoyed a few years of life,(that’s up to you)
and you passed away into the eternal nothingness you came from. I can live with that, as a matter of fact I’m content with that. I am not so arrogant as to think that there is some heavenly whatever waiting for me when my time is up. I don’t need that “carrot” to live a contented and happy life, doing whatever I can for my friends and neighbors, causing no one misery or harm, contented, lucky and happy with my life. And above all being truthful, to myself and those around me, if there is a utopea I have found it. However I feel quite certain that some of you can give me a few reasons why I’m wrong and provide analysis to prove it, but my friends that’s your problem not mine.

shellbell95 says:

We are in this world of shambles because of FREE WILL. If everyone was just programmed to worship God like robots then faith would be pretty pointless. Scripture says when God created man he went from one side of the heavens to the other and basically said…LOOK WHAT I MADE….ISN’T IT WONDERFUL AND AMAZING!! God wants a relationship with his creation, but will not FORCE us to pray and talk to HIM. We are all created in HIS image This logic of there being millions of paths to God does not jive. If you are diffusing a bomb it DOES matter what cord you cut. It DOES matter that you have the right foothold or branch when climbing. We are all created with a deep, deep need to be loved. We are always looking for something to fill us up. We need more stuff, a better house, better car, to expand our collection of something, to look better, to have the attention of people, to be recognized, to be respected, to have the opposite sex desire us….more, more, more. Then we will be happy…when we just get THAT we will be happy….right?! HA-ha! We will always come up empty eventually won’t we? Then we move on to something us to fill us. It is sad really. Everyone is always trying to find their purpose. We were all purposely made with this incredible need ONLY God can fill! I can tell you as a former skeptic that I spent years in denial. I spent years moving from one thing to another…studying lots of faiths. What I found was that Budda was dead, Juddaism was empty and just full of customs with no real relationship with God, Jehovah wittness only believed 144,000 people were going to heaven…and so on and so on. I promise you this, if you even remotely think there may be a God at all, then the most IMPORTANT question you could ever ask YOURSELF is….WHO IS JESUS CHRIST? No faith anywhere completely denies his existence. He is mentioned in other works besides the bible, such as Josepheous, Pliny the Younger..etc. We can all agree he existed in SOME capacity. Now you need to figure out how. If he was just a teacher then he was blaspheming God with his claims of DIETY! If he was insane walking around saying the things he said, it is highly unlikely after his cruxifiction that his disciples would walk around talking about what he did. I don’t know about you, but after I saw what happened to Jesus, I sure would not say I had any faith in anything he said or assocciation with him at all. But, that’s not what happened, is it? That handful of disciples proclaimed HIS message, and it is still alive and well today. Understand that that as wonderful as we may be we have all screwed up, hurt someone, lied, cheated, stolen, wanted someone else’s things, tought lustful thoughts…etc… No one is PERFECT! BUT GOD IS. To just say to us…well you tried pretty good…so you get a pass to heaven even though you never prayed, or you worshiped trees, believed in white magic, spent more time with your antique cars than your family, only hit your wife a couple times would be ridiculous. A perfect, holy God can NOT be in the presence of SIN at all, and EVERYONE has sinned at some point. That is why Jesus went to the cross. TO PAY YOUR SIN DEBT. To reconcile you to your heavenly father. I am covered by the blood of JESUS…thank you Lord! I am so thankful and humbled by his. sacrifice. I will never get over it, or you Jesus. Thank you for loving, and forgiving me. I LOVE YOU TOO! When you ask him into your heart there IS a change. I have witnessed it in others and felt it in myself. Anyone can do it, and it is ABSOLUTE proof that GOD DOES EXIST. Figure out who Jesus was. Take the time to discover the answer to the MOST important question you will ever be faced with. If I am wrong it hurts NOTHING at all, and if anything just makes be a kinder better person. WIN WIN! If you are wrong…what then? How could you look in his tearstained eyes, and nail printed hands and say you don’t need HIS love? There is a heaven, and there is a HELL! You not believeing doesn’t make it any less true. God doesn’t send anyone there. You send yourself! The worst thing you could ever do to your children is die and leave them here to wonder where you are! Satan also believes in God. Don’t you think we could do a little better than that?

Daniel Benzion says:

Would you provide your Email Address? You are right, the church had not understood what was the message of Jesus.
Jesus didn’t claim he is the messiah. When Peter said to Jesus you are the messiah Jesus strictly commanded them “You should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ”. Jesus told the Jews not to believe any individual who claims he is the messiah. Not only that Jesus told the Jews no individual would come as messiah as they expect, but who or what will come is the kingdom of God.
Jesus told the Jews to always remain prepared to accept the Kingdom since it is not known when it will come. The Jews who expected Jesus is their messiah were disappointed that He didn’t overthrow the Romans and declare himself King, like the Messiah was supposed to do. So they rejected Jesus saying he is a failed messiah and failed to understand his message.
On the other hand, the Jews who found their messiah in Jesus interpreted words of Bible in such a way to make others also to believe Jesus is the messiah and son of God. Christian church is the culmination of that wrong interpretation of Bible.

mcblanc says:

Mr Benzion- Please excuse Me for interrupting You at this point…

HOWEVER–Somewhere or Another…

On one of Perry Marshall’s MANY Cosmicfingerprints forum pages or maybe over at CoffeeHouse Theology dot com… or–More Likely Yet–at a PerryMarshall dot com Spiritual Series…

ANYWHO–
SOMEWHERE He posted the best summary statement that would serve to answer Your comments & ideas–given above:

[My paraphrase] The Catholic Church hasn’t been faced with any truly new challenges to Her Teaching for approximately 500 years–only same ol’ Same Old Misunderstandings &/or Misinterpretations–Repackaged & Recycled & Delivered–Once Again–With Greater or lesser Degrees of… for this discussion–we’ll just call it: Stubbornness.

Daniel–There are many people who do agree with You… Much of The Jewish Nation–For Example.

HOWEVER–
What Receives little-to-no Notice IS–That There Are Many Jews Who Do Think That Jesus IS The Messiah… Only They Usually Their State Their Belief IN Jesus As Messiah IN More Tactful Ways & BY Visual &/or Subtly Verbal Means… INCLUDING MUCH of WHAT’S KNOWN AS “Jewish Humor”… AND–of course–It’s ONLY Fair That They Be Allowed To “Take Pot Shots” At The MANY Ways & Means That We “Card-Carrying Christians” GET Much of Christ’s Teaching–AS WELL AS HIS TEACHING METHODS–Wrong.

Christ’s Kingdom ALREADY HOLDS US All IN His Hands…

But It’s Up To Each Generation To Help EVERYBODY To Know THIS…

And See Good Reasons To Want THIS…

AND–
To Control & Contain The Damage of Those Accidents-Unto-MAJOR-DISASTERS-IN-The-Making That Come To US All From Dudes & Dudettes Who REFUSE To Believe That They Are NOT–IN FACT–

“Smarter Than GOD”

greyfox says:

“God created man he went from one side of the heavens to the other and basically said…LOOK WHAT I MADE….ISN’T IT WONDERFUL AND AMAZING!” Little kids say the same thing when they do some simple thing like making a mud pie. A “God” that would say “LOOK WHAT I MADE….ISN’T IT WONDERFUL AND AMAZING!” is a 1. braggard and
2. who the hell is he talking to? And who is it supposed to amaze. Give me a break!

shellbell95 says:

A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”
Hands started going up. He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” Still the hands were up in the air.”

Well,” he continued, “What if I do this?” And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. “Now who still wants it?” Still the hands went into the air.

“My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson.

No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.

But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.
Psalm 17:8 states that God will keep us, “as the apple of His eye.”

I find it incredibly awesome that God IS giddy over us!

mcblanc says:

LOL…
greyfox–To Anyone with a Living/Breathing/Working Knowledge of Scripture, in general, and The Gospels, in particular–Your statements/arguments have the hilarious content & timing of Someone TRYING to be–Funny… in the “Walter Matthau School of Grumpytragicomedy” sense.

Genesis Tell US All…
We’re Created IN GOD’S Image…

And in The Gospel According to Matthew–Christ tells us Adults that we must turn and become like children… to enter into a state of heaven while still living on earth.

So… YES
GOD IS MORE LIKE A BIG KID–HAPPY & EXCITED BY ALL HE CREATES…

[IMPORTANT NOTE: Keeping IN Mind That--As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are GOD'S WAYS higher than Our ways, GOD'S THOUGHTS higher than Our thoughts... Etc...]

…than HE IS a cranky old man who mocks & insults & ridicules The Very Young & The Young At Heart.

IF GOD APPEARS TO “BE ANGRY WITH US” & IT Feels Like HE’S Hurling MORE Thunderbolts &/or Hurricanes AT US (AND Accurately Recorded Statistics Back UP Our “Feelings”) THEN–YEAH–I Think That We Must Be Harming MORE Kids Than We’re Helping & We’d Better CHANGE! Our Ways–Pronto

“Give me a break!”…
Dude–Your break is UP–Get Off Your Duff & Start Helping To Make THIS A Better World For GenNEXT.

greyfox says:

Perry, I haven’t submitted anything in a long while but I would like to say very briefly:
In the ream of the hereafter it is possible to attribute any manner of “miracle” or anything the human mind can conjure as having some basis in the world of make believe. Anything and I mean anything is believable to some in the world of myth. How do I know this to be true? I don’t, anymore than anyone can provide truth of anything in the mythical world of spirituality. The only thing I know for certain is the imposition of taxes and th3 inevitability of death.

mcblanc says:

Gee greyfox…
For Somebody who posted in October of Last Year:

“Perry, Up to now I thought you were just a bible thumping christian…I lost all respect for you…I am almost tempted to believe you were joking with this site…This defies common sense and I shall take none of your future posts with any seriousness. As a matter of fact I will not read anything with your name attached. I thought this forum was for serious discussions not the clap trap of evangelistic con men…”

Here WE Are–
Going ON 9 Months Later AND–
After All Your Many Other Posts–You’re… BACK !!

Hey–How’veyabeen?

ANYWHO…
RE: These Statements & Big Question–

“In the ream of the hereafter it is possible to attribute any manner of “miracle” or anything the human mind can conjure as having some basis in the world of make believe. Anything and I mean anything is believable to some in the world of myth. How do I know this to be true? I don’t…”

For All of US–
The Vast Majority of “What We Know” Has Been Handed Down To US By Various Authority Figures of Any/All Fields And Basically Accepted As… Articles of Faith… Until & Unless We Delve INTO & Challenge The Subject Matter To Such Degrees That–WE HAVE FIRST HAND CONFIRMATION FOR OURSELVES of THE INTEGRITY & AUTHENTICITY of WHAT WE’D BEEN TAUGHT… or NOT.

Of course–Particular Areas of Disciplined Study (such as Electrical Engineering) have a separate language and sets of code to explain & describe its understandings in more efficient & effective communication forms that better suit it than Formal English… And MANY An Argument Has Raged On & ON Simply Because People So Often INSIST THAT– What You Say ISN’T TRUE Until I Hear You Say IT IN My “fav” Words/Way.

As You May Recall–
This whole “conversation” began with an update to & Abrupt Change! in a 25-year direction of the story of former atheist Richard Morgan… Remember… “Atheist to Christian: 180 Degrees in 10 Seconds”… ?? Evidently–You Haven’t Had Your “ABOUT FACE” Yet. IT Could Still Happen–So Long As You Live & Breathe–IT’S NOT TOO LATE… To Be–Quite Suddenly & When You Least Expect IT– Born Again Into A New Life & Way of Being… IN THIS WORLD.

IF It Doesn’t Happen–
Until You’re Already WELL ONTO The NEXT World of Being…
DON’T WORRY–You’ll GET THERE…
ANY Ol’ Way…

So–Cheers–Mate…
IF We Don’t Cya Postin’ Here Again…
THEN Some Day–We Will See You–ON THE OTHER SIDE !!

greyfox says:

And then you can tell me how wrong I was.

mcblanc says:

Oh–hells bells–greyfox…

By then we’ll have our differences well behind us.

greyfox says:

Perry, I was wondering why I haven’t read anything about spontaneous combustion as it applies to humans. Would this not
qualify as a miracle? It would seem there are some 200 documented cases over the past 300 years which cannot be fully explained. Why would these cases not qualify as miracles? Could it be that miracles or events that cannot otherwise be explained are only miraculous if the outcome is of a positive nature? There are things with negative outcomes that cannot be explained, shouldn’t they also qualify as miracles? Just wondering (not a gotcha)

greyfox says:

Perry; We all believe what we wish to believe, how else can you explain Scientology? Do you believe Scientologists have the answer? if not, why not? Why is their belief in whatever it is they believe in, inferior to your belief? Voo doo is Voo doo and there are poor souls who cannot conceive of the idea that this is all there is. I’m 85 and quite content to believe that when I die, I die, end of story. I am not so vain as to believe some God created me, the great me, to serve and adore him so that I might find my way to a non existent heaven.
Dust thow art and to dust thow shall return. These words were made up by man and I believe them to be true. How arrogant to believe that there is something more in store for you when your mortal body expires. That’s what I believe, I don’t ask that you believe the same. I only ask that you refrain from qvetching your way into some mystical realm hoping that a God will take you to his /her bosom and let you play among the stars for eternity. Good luck!

mcblanc says:

greyfox- I apologize for–cutting in line–YET AGAIN… But–

RE: “I’m 85 and quite content to believe that when I die, I die, end of story.”

Well–Bully For You.

RE: “How arrogant to believe that there is something more in store for you when your mortal body expires. That’s what I believe, I don’t ask that you believe the same. I only ask that you refrain from qvetching your way into some mystical realm hoping that a God will take you to his /her bosom and let you play among the stars for eternity.”

HERE IS WHERE YOU–CROSS THE proverbial LINE–Dude.

There ARE More Ideas About GOD (or lack thereof) & ManKind Than Can POSSIBLY Be Enumerated… Precisely Because Each & Every Person Living NOW OR EVER–IS or WAS or WILL BE ON THEIR OWN PATH–Thru Experience With & Influence From Other Living Beings… The World… and The Universe…

So–Even IF We Are or Were Card-Carrying Members or THIS Religion or THAT Secular School of Thought–NO TWO PEOPLE CAN or WILL EVER HOLD EXACTLY THE SAME SETS of IDEAS & BELIEFS & ASSUMPTIONS–About ANY Thing–Living or Non-Living…

And–Seriously…
At 85–I’d think that You’d know this by now–too… If–for no other reason than… It’s some of The Wisdom acquired with Age…

Last Point For Today–I Promise…

RE: “Dust thow art and to dust thow shall return. These words were made up by man and I believe them to be true.”

The actual quote is…
“Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return”…

And the irony… whether intentional–or NOT… is that these are the traditional words spoken when marking foreheads with ashes at Ash Wednesday… Services whose roots date back to the 8th century of the Roman Catholic Church.

And Yes–greyfox–I also prefer the ancient formulation that I first learned in My youth… to the biblical-yet-blander quote from Mark 1:15… “Repent, and believe in the gospel”… that the Church started using on Ash Wednesdays soon after the Vatican II Council put into place so much CHANGE! in the ways that Catholics were to now practice Their Faith…

Because–After All…
HOW We Communicate The Message That We Attempt To Deliver IS CRUCIAL To What Message IS–IN FACT–Received…

JC Demo’ed THAT Better Than ANYBODY.

greyfox says:

“The actual quote is…
“Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return”…”

Gee now that I know the “actual”
quote I feel so much better, and you have made it all so crystal clear “Dust thou art and to dust thou shall return.” was way off the mark, thanks for the clarification “Dude”.

mcblanc says:

LOL…
You’re a stickler for detail when it suits You–greyfox. We all have Our Moments in the heat of debate when We’re much better at “giving” than at “receiving.”

greyfox says:

I’m going to stikle a bit further:

“The actual quote is…
“Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return”…”

No mention of an afterlife, only dust. No mention of heaven or hell. What is one to believe or do we just make it up as it suits us? Is you is or is you ain’t?

mcblanc says:

Well…
Nearly a year has passed and We’re well into the Lenten Season of 2014.

Considering that there was a 9-month lag time between My August 2012 post and Your May 2013 reply… I’ll NOT be apologizing FOR THIS delay in My response to You…

RE: “‘Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.’…

“No mention of an afterlife, only dust. No mention of heaven or hell. What is one to believe or do we just make it up as it suits us? Is you is or is you ain’t?”

Here–You take THIS passage found early in the Book of Genesis–written centuries BEFORE the Time of Christ… but is a part of the Ash Wednesday Services to Start The 40 Day Season of Lent that precedes & prepares Christians for Holy Week–Holy Thursday / Good Friday / Holy Saturday and culminating in the Observance & Celebration of EASTER–THE GREATEST FEAST DAY of The Christian Calendar…

AND–You treat THESE 12 words of the OLD Testament AS IF They’re Supposed To Hold All The Keys To Christ’s Teachings.

Obviously–You’re connected to the Internet…
Therefore–Even IF You don’t own a Bible…

You can easily look up what You plan to write–online & fact check Your statements for validity BEFORE You post such shallow interpretations for Others to correct FOR YOU.

AS IT IS–You’ve brought no more respect to these matters & discussion than a sneering Punk who hates doing “homework” & whose main interest is–Insult Artistry–would…

SO…
What is one to believe about You? DO You just make it up as it suits You?

Is you is or is you ain’t…
Jes’ an Insult CLown@Heart ??

greyfox says:

Your concoction of words does not
deserve a reply.

FredHahn says:

“Personal experiences are real. You can be in love with someone and that love is real even if others cannot “verify” it.”

Yes just like a dream of a terrible fire breathing monster. The dream is real, but the fire breathing monster isn’t.

The *feeling* of God is real, but the imaginary man-being who judges from on high and can convict you of thought crimes and who commands his people to kill people (even children) who utter a word against him is (thankfully), not real.

mcblanc says:

Yes–Experiences are “real”…
Feelings are “real”…
Dreams are “real”…
Thoughts-Judgments-Convictions
These are ALSO “real”…

However–The traces…
The “footprints”–if you will–of Experiences & Feelings & Dreams & Thoughts & Judgments & Convictions THAT SERVE TO DIRECT & MOTIVATE OUR ACTIONS…

These are locked away inside each of our crania and attempts to PROBE & ACTUALLY TOUCH TANGIBLE EVIDENCE of THEIR REAL PRESENCE used to require that the subject be killed & dissected. With today’s Brain Imaging Technology we have non-lethal means to see crude evidence of neurological pathways… tho’ the detail that we can perceive is no better resolved than what Cosmologists “know” of Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 080319B.

ANYWHO–
I only point this out in order to demonstrate–Yet Again–how very puny your reasoning is–Fred–that you will acknowledge the profoundness of the Human Mind & in the next breath–conclude that because Our Minds can misread, fail to fully grasp &/or mislead Others…

RE: GOD’S THOUGHTS–

That THIS Means–THERE IS NO GOD.

I’d say–You’re an idiot…
But I Know–You’re NOT–
Therefore–The reason(s) for Your persistence must lie…
elsewhere… hmmm ??

greyfox says:

Perry, I was wondering: if you knew for certain, now play along with me, that there was no god, how would it affect your life? would you live any differently?
what difference would it make in your life?
I pose this as a serious question.

This question is for anyone who cares to give their thoughts on the matter. I can give you my answer; I don’t believe there is a god yet I try to do what is right and kind, as dictated by the norms of the society I find myself a part of.

Do you behave as you do because of a fear of god or because it’s the right way to behave?

I believe that every society has a code of behavior. with or
without a belief in god.
perhaps someone could tell me why I’m wrong.

Great Unwashed says:

I’m not Perry, but…

I know some very good, kind people that don’t believe in God. Some of my best friends, actually. I’ve also met some believers I didn’t much like. Most of us understand that we need each other and that it’s better that we get along. I think the question is not really what motivates us to act as we do from day to day, it’s what’s underlying it, and whether or not it’s consistent with our actions.

You mention that each society has a code of behavior – which I believe is correct – and that you willingly follow the norms of yours. You ask, “Do you behave as you do because of a fear of god or because it’s the right way to behave?” Personally, I can answer “no”, because I like getting along with people. I could turn your question back at you: Do you do what’s right only because there is a social benefit to you, and, more pointedly, if you were ever in a situation where social norms didn’t apply or had broken down, would your moral code change? If not, then why not? Is something only “wrong” if it is a societal norm, or are there some things which you believe are wrong whether or not your society accepts them?

If I didn’t believe in God, I guess I would be a pretty nice guy, too, because that’s the way I like to be. However, I will admit that concepts of right and wrong would probably mean little to me. When we observe animals in the wild, we never judge their actions as being right or wrong. If a stag kills another fighting for a mate, or if a Black Widow eats hers, it’s just what stags and Black Widows do. If I didn’t believe in God, I would have a hard time seeing humans as anything different, although I probably wouldn’t think about that very much.

Joe Mobley says:

Perry,

I normally don’t give much time to this topic. But out of respect for you I watched the video. Here are a couple of my thoughts.

Why don’t you believe in god?
There may very well be a god. If so, he (she? they? them? it?) does not come from Greek, Roman, or Abrahamic mythology. I can find no fact-based evidence to support their claims.

What could make you believe in god?
I’m a simple guy. Something with some truth would go a long way to pique my interest.

“Certainly not logic and proof and reason.” Ha!

Let’s see… in EVERY area of our human discourse logic, proof, and reason carry high regard. Except when it comes to belief in god. Hmm. My (god given?) bull-shi-TOM-eter pegs in the red when I hear someone say “You have to throw away facts, logic, and reason for this to work.”

Sorry, I’m not going for it.

Joe Mobley

wb4qiz says:

Hi Joe,

What would it take for you to believe in God as the creator of the universe and the one who gave you life? What would it take for you to believe without a doubt?

Sincerely,

Deryl

FredHahn says:

He’d have to put his arm around my shoulder look me in the eye and say “Hey pal, I’m here.” That’s one way.

Joe Mobley says:

Deryl,

As I mentioned in my original post, ideas with some facts, truth, evidence, etc. would be a good start.

Joe Mobley

Hitch says:

You yourself are proof. Sad that you can’t see that.

The existence of the Jew is proof.

The moral sense is proof.
You’re born with it and will have a devil of time to try to get rid of it.

As brilliant ex-atheist CS Lewis stated,

“The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of planting a new sun in the sky or a new primary colour in the spectrum…”

“The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike…Unless we return to the crude and nursery-like belief in objective values, we perish.”

“If naturalism were true then all thoughts whatever would be wholly the result of irrational causes…it cuts its own throat.”

Cosmic fine-tuning is proof – and please spare me the popular yet itself unprovable “multiverse” response.

DNA is proof. Its an information molecule but that information is anything but random. Genetic information is prescribed algorithmic information. Algorithms do not and cannot arise by stochastic processes.
Algorithms are instructions, step-by-step instructions.

Pretending that random mutations (errors) in the genetic code (code implies intelligence by default) create algorithmic sequences is ludicrous.

Even the bible itself is proof.
How has it survived the endless onslaughts of opponents trying since over a 1000 years to destroy it both literally and bibliographically?

Yet we have many researchers and archaeologists saying things like,

“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” – Nelson Glueck

“There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament traditions.” – William F. Albright

“Where Luke has been suspected of inaccuracy, and accuracy has been vindicated by some inscriptional evidence, it may be legitimate to say archaeology has confirmed the New Testament record.” -F.F. Bruce

“Old Testament archaeology has rediscovered whole nations, resurrected important peoples, and in a most astonishing manner filled in historical gaps, adding immeasurably to the knowledge of biblical backgrounds.” – Merrill Unger

“Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown in a number of instances that these views rest on false assumptions and unreal, artificial schemes of historical development … The excessive skepticism of many liberal theologians stems not from a careful evaluation of the available data, but from an enormous predisposition against the supernatural.”
- Miller Burrows

That last reveals the real reason there is and always has been such vehement hatred for that volume.

None of the standard and bland or canned atheist answers are sufficient to explain away that one problem alone.

If you don’t believe any of the above it is you that have a deep psychological problem with the very idea of the existence of God.

All atheists molded in the image of Dawkins carry profound psychological anomalies in themselves.

Truth is they do not WANT there to be any God as it interferes with their selfishness, their need to have only 1 god in their lives – themselves.

greyfox says:

And how is it that viruses mutate?

mcblanc says:

A detailed scientific response to this question is above my paygrade but the approaching 2000 years old answer to this question rests among the understandings expressed by “…the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength…”

In other words…
What schools of science call a “mutation”–
The eyes of faith might also call God’s “typo”…knowing that More Sense & Greater Power exists in God’s typos than there is to be found in the entire history of mankind’s writings.

greyfox says:

A clever response but without substance, and therein lies the problem: always clever, no substance.

mcblanc says:

Sez You–Dude.

We appear to be in the opposite of a “Mutual Admiration Society”

Hitch says:

Viruses mutate?

And? What does this have to do with anything at all?

Radiation, polluted environment and a dozen other things can cause mutations. And?

You have no point.

Even the most staunch YEC knows that mutations exist and occur all the time.

About 60 mutations per generation in humans. Do the math. They accumulate. Mutations are errors, not new beneficial sub routines.
If Lenski’s experiments prove anything its that minor variation occurs within the taxonomic family. Nothing more.

E.Coli are still E.Coli – after 50000 generations.

Mutations are not good.

Most are neutral, many are deleterious and practically none are good (Kimura)
The mutations Data Base has passed the 100,000 mark and most of them are related to disease! Not x-ray vision, super powers, better living!
Get over it.

Genomes run down due to mutations, they don’t get better because of them.
Mutational meltdown is a known fact. All living things are moving towards it -not to mutational improvement.
The human genome is slowly deteriorating.

That’s genetic entropy.

That fact alone proves Darwinian scenarios are all wrong.
How can the mechanism that seriously damages genomes over time also be the one that made all life on earth?
This is not hard.

Again, algorithmic information, of which DNA is crammed, cannot arise by any stochastic process. It ONLY comes from intelligence and CANNOT come from any random event or events.

“Code”, by definition, implies intelligence and convention and intention. Only intelligence has those properties. The laws of physics and chemistry cannot create encoded algorithmic information. So Darwin’s “simple idea” is an all wrong idea.

The genetic code even contains symbolic representations of ZERO and the decimal point (shCherbak, 2008). It is arithmetically organized too.

However, zero and the decimal point are purely abstract concepts.
They DO NOT EXIST in nature. Nature cannot abstract, it doesn’t think.

Only intelligences can conceive abstractions like zero,…

Do the math.

So – you’re wrong. Period.

You need to get right or when you die you will die a fool, like all atheists die.

Howard Storm’s story could be useful to you. But then, stubborn as you are in clinging to your errors, I’d be surprised.

samd says:

OK – let’s come to the point. Unlike Fred, I believe in God. I believe in some supernatural entity/force who created the universe. Fine!

Then what? What is your next point then? If you want to then tell me that whatever the Bible says is God’s only message to humanity – then sorry, no, thank you.

There were many such books earlier than the Bible and many such after the Bible.

Other books or paths also came across many oppositions and onslaught and some lasted for less than 1000 years and some more than 2000, 3000, 4000 years.

Just because you believe in the Bible and Christ does not mean that other paths are wrong and yours is right.

Wake up and open up!

mcblanc says:

samd- Fine! The overwhelming vast majority of humanity have believed (and still do) in God…”some supernatural entity/force who created the universe.”

The…”Then what?”…question is–

What then–among the numerous conflicting and competing ideas about God and God’s universe–should we believe…and why ??

Are the Bible and Christ just other paths among many equally worthy choices…or was there something about this Son of Mary that fills THIS WAY with… Difference ??

Yes–Dude–Wake up and open up.

samd says:

To mcblanc: YES.

The Bible and Christ is just one of the many different paths which leads to God, just like there is NOT one but are many different rivers which all finally goes to Ocean. There is no speciality in one river vs another. Maybe one river is more popular among some men/women and they wanted to promote it and made it popular and so more travellers flock to view it (just like any popular travel-spot) but the truth is ALL finally leads you to the big Ocean.

So wake up and be humble and admit there are many paths.

And BTW: what do you think of God. If He/She can make thousands/millions of different tasty foods to satisfy everybody’s physical appetite in this planet, based on their preference and mood, then do you think He/She will make just one food to satisy their mental and spiritual appetite, only one way to reach Him/Her? I do not think so.

There are millions of people on this earth. And there should be millions of ways to reach God.

The God you call “God” or “Jesus”, somebody else calls Him Budhha, the other one calls Him Allah, the other one calls Him Krishna. That does not make any other person’s calling anything less than your calling to God. What matters is how sincere you are, how pure you are and how honest you are. How you call Him/Her does not matter.

Just because you like burger does not mean that all other foods are crap. Your burger is as delicious to you as my chowmein to me.

I see it but you don’t.

That is what your problem is.

So yes, wake up and open up.

mcblanc says:

samd- And you see some things clearly… while other things that you see are in such poor focus that you misunderstand them… and still other things fail to appear at all—to your way of thinking. Welcome to the “Human Condition” as THIS is true of all of us.

You accuse me of basically being blinded by arrogance… advising me to… “wake up and be humble and admit there are many paths” … “Just because you like burger does not mean that all other foods are crap. Your burger is as delicious to you as my chowmein to me.”

What you fail to understand is that I am in humble awe of all of the world’s cultures and all of the great wisdom to be found in every person and in every family and in every religion and civilization and nation. I like chowmein—too… and egg fooyung & lamb kabob & tabouli & curries & naan & Cornish pasty & sauerbraten & haluski & pasta fagioli & sushi & chile relleno & enchiladas & simple boiled potatoes… etc… etc… etc…

What is ALSO true is that—as noted above—
Nobody Sees…
Nobody Hears…
Nobody Can Do…
Nobody Can Understand…
EVERYTHING.

We All Need Each Other…

Even tho’ we often think of each other as competitors for scarce resources or… at the very least…
As nuisances who impede our progress.

To state—as you did—that… “‘God’ or ‘Jesus’, somebody else calls Him Budhha, the other one calls Him Allah, the other one calls Him Krishna”… is to give a good selection of the world’s dominant religions & regions…

Jesus/Christian—Western & Extreme Northern Asia, much of Southern Africa, Australia plus some neighboring islands, Europe & the Americas

Buddha/Buddhist—Mongolia, Southeast Asia, Japan & South Korea

Allah/Islamic—South Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa plus a good chunk of Africa’s Center-South as well as its Somali Horn, West & Central Indonesia

Krishna/Hindu—India with fingers that reach north to boarder Afghanistan to its east as well as reaching east to boarder Myanmar (a.k.a. Burma) to its north

Noticeably Absent from your list is “YHWH”…

The Jewish name for “GOD”…

And—of course—

The Jewish region of the world—That teeny tiny little spot squeezed between the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the western shores of the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee and reaching down to touch the northern tip of the Red Sea.

ANYWHO—
You went on to state… “What matters is how sincere you are, how pure you are and how honest you are”…

I understand what your general thrust is in this statement… but it’s where your error lies…

Sincerely AND Honestly—
You Ought To Know By NOW That Human Beings Are Highly Complex Creatures And That We Can NEVER Be “Pure” About ANYTHING That We Are… or Try To Be… or Do…

Women… Especially those of us who are mothers of grown children… are more sensitive to and aware of THIS TRUTH.

Like Mary—Jesus’ Mother…

Women are often asked—in private & without witnesses—to compromise our reputations and all that we’ve been taught in order to obey the requests of a Higher Authority…

Our child(ren) are often viewed as a threat to the “good order” of established society—who employ any & all means at their disposal to dispose of these perceived threat(s)…

We are expected/demanded to respect and follow all laws & customs—even/especially those designed to bring us &/or our children harm…
And to resist—
Is to invite accusations of and “treatments” for hysteria…
or worse.

I Could Go On…
But I’m sure you’ve gotten my general gist.

You concluded this paragraph by writing…
“How you call Him/Her does not matter”…

NOT True.
And—
You’ll find precious few people who would agree with this statement…
Which—I admit—is not… in and of itself… proof positive of the unsoundness of this conclusion…

Anymore than the Death By Crucifixion was proof positive of the unsoundness of the Life & Teachings of Jesus Christ…

Au contraire…
In The Final Analysis—
Jesus’ Death By Crucifixion was the Proof Positive of the UN-Soundness of the lives & teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees and the Roman Conquerors… and those who thought that if you couldn’t “beat” them—then it’s better to “join” them.

Christ engaged with EVERYBODY—
However—
He did NOT agree with Everything that they said or did…

Although—
He DID see and “called the shots”…

#1 – That many of the “downtrodden” who’d been accused of wrong doing… had been given few—if any—other options by their accusers… And…

#2 – That where 2 were involved in “criminal activity”… such as adultery… usually… only 1 was ever charged.

So—samd—
Welcome to the Dawn of The 3rd Christian Millennium…
When… Ready or NOT—
The Voices of The Women of The World…
Largely Silenced &/or Marginalized For All These Centuries Unto Millennia By Cultural and Religious Traditions Throughout The World…

Will Finally Be Heard—
Loud & Clear—
And IN Their First-Person Narrative…

THIS “Genie” IS OUT of The proverbial Bottle…
AND—She Ain’t Goin’ BACK…
ON THIS or ANY Continent…
Dudez.

A Very Merry Christmas…
AND Happy New Year(s) 2U…
et al. !!!… ; D

samd says:

mcblanc:
I simply do not get what you are saying here.

For example: You said human beings cannot be pure. With all respect… what a nonsense! We are all God’s kids. Right? Men, women, christians, hindus, muslims, buddhists, jews – we are all God’s kids, His/Her reflection. So if He/She is pure why the heck we are not pure or cannot be pure? This is a complete nonsense! To me, we are His/Her reflection. Just like a mirror. The mirror can be dusty – but it is still a mirror. Well, get rid of your dust… your ego, lust, anger, infatuation, partialty, bias etc. and the God can be seen in you, in anybody – whatever condition they are at present. So please! do not tell me we are impure and cannot be pure. That is ridiculous.

And what about women? What Truth you are talking about that the mothers are aware of? I do not get that. Compromise what reputation?

I believe women are as pure as men. Whether you are a single-man woman or a prostitute, if you are pure in your heart then I bow to you. I have seen enough single-man women with full of lust, and can imagine there are many prositutues who are very pure in heart but situations forced them to that profession.

So what you do cannot be and should not be used to judge you. Outsiders cannot see your mind, and so cannot judge you. You yourself know how pure you are, how selfless you are, how honest you are. If you know you have lust in your heart then you can spend your life as a nun, in the church, but you are worse than a prostitute – who is pure in heart, is forced into that profession and hates it everyday and tries to get out and seek God’s help. I bow to that woman more than a lustful nun.

And what about Jesus that is not there in other messengers of God? If they are all messengers of God or God’s incarnation, then who are you and who am I judge them and squabble to see who is greater than others. How can you compare infinity with infinity?

So my suggestion is that – we should shut up. If you like Jesus, then good, please pray to Him and just have respect to the other religion and messengers and consider them as equal to yours. I guess you have that.

Similarly, let me pray to my God. I have enough respect for Jesus and at the end I would like to follow my God or my messengers messages. You should leave me there. Do not try to encroach on my believe and come to my house and tell me how great Jesus is and why I should be Cristian. I know Jesus is great! As great as my God but I will pray to my God (rather same GOD but with a different name). So stop the preaching.

And BTW: What about 3rd Christian millenium? do not consider women as unheard or marginalized. There are many good men and women in this world who respects men and women both, and have a good sense of equality in their minds. I am a guy, and if I am not wrong, I believe you are a woman. As a matter of fact I try to keep a good sense of equality to men and women. I hate dominating men and I equally hate dominating women.

You should come out of this sexist mentality. This is a bias. There are only good people and bad people in this world. I believe women have more access, more laws and power to fight domestic violence agianst them than dominated men have. The stat shows an alarming number of domenstic violence against men and they do not get enough attention.

Anyways, I am digressing from the main topic… so let’s stop here. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

And again, let me tell you. “How you pray – meaning in what religion or what language you call your God does NOT matter. What God sees in you is how sincere and pure and honest and good you are.”

God will accept a non-temple-going-but-pure-heart Buddhist anyday who-cares-for others-and-help-others-selflessly than a Christian-person-who-goes-to-church-every-sunday-and-cheats-others-either-financially-or-sexually-or-other-ways-and-confess-and-cheats-again.

The vice versa is also true (replace Buddhist and Christian in the above sentence).

mcblanc says:

samd- One month and MANY column inches ago…You wrote–

“OK – let’s come to the point.”

THAT’S a good idea–let’s try again…

1) RE: Your statements (slightly modified) “Men, Women, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews – we are all God’s kids, His/Her reflection. So if He/She is pure why the heck we are not pure or cannot be pure?… To me, we are His/Her reflection. Just like a mirror. The mirror can be dusty – but it is still a mirror. Well, get rid of your dust… your ego, lust, anger, infatuation, partiality, bias etc. and the God can be seen in you, in anybody – whatever condition they are at present. So please! do not tell me we are impure and cannot be pure. That is ridiculous.”

A mirror reflects only what is on our outer surface–and only one side of our outer surface–at that.

Our…”ego, lust, anger, infatuation, partiality, bias etc.”… These do NOT land on as if they are foreign particles the way dust lands on a mirror’s surface–

These States of Being Come From Within–Hidden From The Mirror–And Usually IN RESPONSE To Other States of Being Beyond Our “Personal” Borders.

We Have Bodies & Minds–All of US…And BOTH Need To Be Fed & Nurtured & Challenged To Learn & Grow Into As Healthy & Wholesome A Being As We Can Become…

However–
The sticky wicket here is…

ONLY GOD KNOWS ALL THAT WE CAN BECOME…

It Is Up To Nations & Neighborhoods & Families To Provide The Best Possible Nourishment & Educations & Opportunities For All of GenNEXT…As Well As To Instill Habits of Respectful Service–As Well As–Mature Understandings of The Responsibilities That Must Be Fulfilled IN Timely Manners For The Healthiest Maintenance of Our World…both near & FAR.

Naturally…
All these various interests are going to bump into each other and be at cross-purposes & conflict much of the time.

The baby needs feeding…his big brother needs something from the store for a school project that is due tomorrow…sister’s music lesson is finished but it started to rain and she & her instrument’s case & music will get all wet if she has to walk home…Dad will be home soon and dinner isn’t on the stove yet…and it’s Election Day–there are hotly contested issues and you haven’t voted yet…

What’s A Mother To Do !?!?!

No Matter WHAT “Mom” Decides To Do Next–Somebody’s Going To Be Unhappy…at least for a while…

We Are All… flesh & blood & bone & muscle & brains & guts & heart & soul & laughter & tears & love & hate & hunger & thirst & satisfaction & nostalgia & hope & change… etc… etc… etc…

And All of THE ABOVE IS OPERATING…on some level or another…At All Times–Even Those Times That We’ve Trained Ourselves To Repress & Tightly Control SOME of The “UN-Desired Responses”… 8 /

THIS is what I meant when I wrote–Human Beings Are Highly Complex Creatures And That We Can NEVER Be “Pure” About ANYTHING That We Are… or Try To Be… or Do–

Infants & Toddlers offer us their responses that are about as “pure” as Human Responses can be… I remember one time when I was holding my happy & angelic baby (girl) and in the next second she was screaming at me in anger (with me) and in the NEXT second she was burying her head onto my shoulder for comfort…

We All Can Be Like That…
It’s just that… as we grow & mature… we develop more insightful & sophisticated responses… and hopefully learn to resolve our own problems before we have to “run to momma”…or “whatever” that is our “Baseline Comfort & Support Setting.”

Anyway–
We All Need Each Other…even if SOMETIMES we think that we need each other to GET OUT of OUR WAY…And “Needing Each Other” Means That There Are MUTUAL BENEFITS To Our Interactions… So It’s IMPOSSIBLE For US–As HuMan Beings–To Ever Hold “Another Being(s)’” Best Interests PURELY At Heart… Because Any Benefit That We Can Bestow To Another–Will Make This World A Better Place For US–As Well.

2) RE: Your statement “You should come out of this sexist mentality. This is a bias. There are only good people and bad people in this world.”

I refer You BACK to Your Own Words…”Men, Women, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews – we are all God’s kids, [God's] reflection.”

There Are ONLY GOD’S People In This World…Who are capable of doing good and bad…

And OFTEN–
What We Thought Was “Bad” At The Time That IT Was Done…

Turned Out To Be The RIGHT THING TO DO–However Unpopular IT WAS At That Time…AND VICE VERSA…

e.g., President Abraham Lincoln Was Assassinated For Having Emancipated Our African-American Slaves. As We Know…Lincoln composed the Emancipation Proclamation and issued it as an Executive Order…it took a couple more years to pass the 13th Amendment making Slavery illegal everywhere in the US…and it’s taken another century and MORE for US to start to Realize The Full Promise made by these words on paper.

We Are All GOD’S People…

But We Have NOT ALL Received The Best & Most Complete Nourishment Delivered At The Proper Times & IN The Most Wholesome Manners…

And Some of US Have Been Raised To See ONLY Ourselves & Our Circles As “GOD’S People”–

and everybody else as –unholy– or worse.

3) RE: Your statement “God will accept a non-temple-going-but-pure-heart Buddhist anyday who-cares-for others-and-help-others-selflessly than a Christian-person-who-goes-to-church-every-sunday-and-cheats-others-either-financially-or-sexually-or-other-ways-and-confess-and-cheats-again.

The vice versa is also true (replace Buddhist and Christian in the above sentence).”

You & I will accept the “good Buddhist” over the “bad Christian” and vice versa.

GOD Forgives US All & Accepts US All INTO ETERNAL LIFE… when our life comes to its earthly end.

As You Stated Earlier… “I have seen enough single-man women with full of lust, and can imagine there are many prositutues who are very pure in heart but situations forced them to that profession.”…

Unlike Our Fellow HuMan Beings…

GOD KNOWS–OUR ACTIONS—AND EXACTLY WHY WE THOUGHT THAT WE NEEDED TO DO THEM…BETTER THAN WE KNOW ALL THIS–OURSELVES

GOD KNOWS HOW & WHERE WE HAVE BEEN LED… AND MISLED… AND THAT MUCH of THE TIME EACH of US HAS BEEN HANDED MIXED BAGS of INFO CONTAINING TRUE UNDERSTANDINGS AND…

what we thought was true but was…for whatever reason…not not as Completely True as we thought it was…

And Other Times The Truth Was Taught–But NOT Caught By US…

And Still OTHER TIMES–We Found THE TRUTH To Be …inconvenient… To Our Agenda–So We Ignored IT &/or Ripped THOSE PAGES OUT of The Book.

ANYWHO–
Each & Every One of US Are Unique & Amazing Beings… Never Seen Before & Never To Be Exactly Seen Again…

There IS Karma–Among Many Other Things–It’s Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion…But–IN Addition To Karma… There IS Also…

Grace

And one of the many grace notes to be found in the Quran that Shiite Cleric Ali al-Sistani emphasizes to His Followers & to US All is…

Quran 2:256
“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion…”

True That.

shellbell95 says:

I agree with some of what u r saying…such as the condition of the heart being the main factor! Old Testament

greyfox says:

“The overwhelming vast majority of humanity have believed (and still do) in God…” An overwhelming
majority voted for Obama, does that make him a good president?
Only asking.

mcblanc says:

OK—I’ll give You My answer:

I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008—but I will THIS time around because—Yes—He’s been an Outstanding President & Michelle has been an Outstanding First Lady…

Furthermore—
The fact that We elected Our Nation’s First African-American President on the 40th anniversary year of the assassination of the Rev Martin Luther King, Jr—This Alone Spoke Volumes… And Anyone Paying Attention Observed That Test Scores Among African-American Students FINALLY Started To Rise As Never Before.

ALSO—In My State…
Traditionally—A Red State—When it became CLEAR in 2007 that after it’s long series of “heart attacks” and numerous Economic-Cardiovascular Interventions over the last couple/few decades that—This Economy IS Going DOWN—BIG TIME & There Ain’t Nuthin’ or Nobody Who Can STOP IT—

THEN—The State & Local Republicans/Conservatives voted “for” Obama as part of a “Pin The Tail ON The Donkey” strategy to have a Democrat in Office to BLAME For All The Nation’s Ills…

Ain’t that right—Indiana ??

greyfox says:

“He’s been an Outstanding President & Michelle has been an Outstanding First Lady…” I was going to respond to your post but
on reflection, I didn’t have the heart.

mcblanc says:

Excuse Me for finishing Your sentence… “but on reflection, I didn’t have the heart”…

to open THAT Pandora’s Box.

Yeah–Better to stick to the scripted, RNC-Approved Talking Points for the next couple months.

shellbell95 says:

Well, I guess it is positive that some are confident in their decision for this November. I on the other hand am nauseous. I realize politics is not the purpose of this site…but since it was brought up by others, I figured I’d chime in.

I have about zero faith in either side at this point. It will come down to voting for the lesser of two evils. I have always been pretty non bias, and could care less about parties, and even less about skin color. As Martin Luther King would say….men should be judged on the content of their character!! AMEN TO THAT!!

That being said, our choices stink ON BOTH SIDES!!

On the right…Morman. Someone had a vision and wrote a book other than the Bible that is inspired by God? Freaky…I don’t even need to say anymore about him (although I certainly could)to know he would not be among my presidential picks.

Left…we are subject to the healthcare bill, but congress is not? BULLCRAP! It is specifically stated that this bill will not apply to members of Congress. Members of Congress are already exempt from the Social Security system, and have a well-funded
private plan that covers their retirement needs. If they were on our Social Security plan, I believe they would find a very quick fix to make the plan financially sound for their future.

After age 76(in a year) my grandma can’t get cancer treatment? Page 50/section 152: The bill will provide insurance to all non-U.S. residents, even if they are here illegally. Page 58 and 59: The government will have real-time access to an individual’s bank account and will have the authority to make electronic fund transfers from those accounts.

Also, I have health insurance through my job for me and my son. I pay about 40 bucks a week for it and my employer pays like 700 bucks a month. Over 12 months thats 8400 dollars! That money that I have NEVER laid eyes on will now be added to my W2 as taxable income, pushing me into a higher tax bracket, and eliminating my earned income, which I rely on. So much for fixing my furnace…gonna be a cold winter.
How about Project Gunrunner and Operation Fast and Furious? Google those if you’re ever in the mood to see if your bottom lip can really touch the ground from a standing position.

Taxpayers have spent millions so that the First lady can go ski in Aspen, go to S Africa, Spain (4 days cost 375,000), the Winter White House…FYI…thats Hawaii every Christmas(cost = 1.5m), and Indonesia. Not to mention that she has more aides and staff than any First lady in history..all funded by the American taxpayer. check out
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/08/michelle_blames_it_on_the_kids.html

Oh…and as if abortion is not bad enough as it is, this president supports partial birth abortion! As a Christian, and a believer in God as the author of life, I can not vote for him. I believe there should be a couple of exceptions, like medical,rape,incest..etc.. but never (a fancy term for murder)Partial Birth Abortions!

The world is in utter chaos with American embassies being attatcked, people being killed, and Islamists shouting Death to America. Instead of meeting with the leader of Israel, during this crazy time, when Israel could nuke Iran, this president blew him off for an appearence on the Letterman Show. Really? The only place this couple should be outstanding is on the Penn Ave sidewalk looking at the White house fom afar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=xOAgT8L_BqQ&feature=player_embedded

shellbell95 says:

Please read my above comment!

greyfox says:

Your bar for proof is very low.
“Truth is they do not WANT there to be any God as it interferes with their selfishness, their need to have only 1 god in their lives – themselves.”
The truth is: many people could not bear the thought of, this life is all there is. The idea of God provides a reason for their existence, and that’s cool, I don’t have a problem with that. But why is it that my thoughts, ideas and beliefs are, according to you, so wrong? Your statement “their need to have only 1 god in their lives – themselves.” suggests to me that you somehow
know what is in my mind, you make conclusive statements about me when you have not the slightest clue as to what I think or how I think. This is what I find most disturbing about people like you.

iwtk says:

Hitch, you seem to know so much, but I really don’t think you have a clue about knowing the difference between what you believe and what you know. It seems like you claim to know what others only believe. In case you have not realized it yet, a lot of people really do want to know the truth. We all know that you do not know it. I certainly do not. I know you really want to know the truth as well, but you have already decided that you know it now. News Flash, you don’t. The bottom line is you believe you do, but you have no proof so stop pretending. We see through it. Now, I do believe there is a difference between an atheist and an agnostic. To me, and I’m sorry to say, atheists like Dalkins are fools, why? Because they don’t know there is not a God, no one does. Agnostics, on the other hand, will say they don’t know and some do not believe. And that’s ok. There’s no difference between them and a believer. Now a Christian who says they know God exists is the same as an atheist (in my opinion) because they don’t know, they believe and that belief goes very deep, I know I was one and you could not tell me I was wrong. Now that I’ve did my research (for me I know different). Others will either find out in time, or not at all, and that’s fine. It doesn’t make them any better or worse. The atheists out there who have an agenda to prove a point (that can’t be proven) are a waste of people’s time and energy. I mean let’s be real. If God does not exist, how can that be proven? And if he does exist, I’d say it is possible to prove it, but that doesn’t mean we will, but possible it is. It’s not a difficult concept to understand. If you know dirty politics, you know atheists (with a determined agenda) are in the same boat, they have an agenda and it leads to no good. That’s a fact whether we like it or not. I do believe there is room for an exception to the rule. Maybe some atheists are sincere and believe what they do because that’s what they are taught just like Christians were taught what they believe. Their experience tells them they are right. We know that some atheists have done their research for the truth and found out they were wrong and some Christians have done their research and found out they don’t know what they thought they did. That’s where we are at now. No one really knows, but we know there will always be people who claim to know and believe and not believe. We just have to keep on searching and see what the future holds. That’s the great enjoyment of it all, at least as I see it. I just wish we could all discuss our difference without all the name calling and belittling of each other. For all those out there seeking truth, that should not be a problem. For those out there with an agenda to prove they are right, you need to do it. If you are right, it will stand on its own, if you are not, you will crash and burn for sure and need to just be quiet and listen. I’ve learned a lot by listening to others, but I and I think many others want to know so much more. These things we discuss so much pose so many questions and many have so many answers. That’s fine, love to talk about it, but the attitude on how we do that can impact our understanding. For example, DNA is really an important topic and absolutely does point toward something which lead us to believe in some kind of higher intelligence or power. But I heard someone say that making a giant leap from that information to Christianity does not make sense. I have to agree. Just reading the history about Christianity and religions in general makes that point very clear. But if we refuse to accept that, we will argue to no end and nothing is gained but bad feelings. Lastly for all you Christians out there, I’m not questioning your intelligence or sincerity. I was one for 25 years and I get it. I do live the same as I did as a Christian now, but I cannot say I am a Christian, because I do not believe in it the same as I did. I’m afraid that disqualifies me. I do believe in all the principles though. I don’t hate anyone, no not even an atheist, I just believe they are wrong. Nothing wrong with that, they think I’m wrong too, that’s ok. I think logic will get us farther than emotions. It’s ok to be passionate about something, but we need to be mature in our emotions. If you know something, there’s nothing wrong with proving it, but if you believe something and try to pass it off as knowing it (because you really believe it to be so) when it’s not, you will probably have a conflict to deal with if the person you are talking with is just like you. Well, enough of this philosophizing BS, hope you get my point. One approach of the bottom line is “you need to get it” and if you don’t, your lack of reasoning, adjustment to situations and empathy will shine so bright it will blind others to no end and that not in a good way. We can do better.

Hitch says:

We all know you’re wrong?

Prove it.
We all know you can’t and never could.

If you can’t see the major error in your statements allow me to explain it to you.
You yourself are making a claim to knowledge, you do not and cannot have.
In other words you’re doing exactly what you claim I’m doing!!

You cannot know that no one knows the truth, be it I or anyone.
Where did you get that nonsense from?
It’s pure pretension and indeed very arrogant.
That is just as great a claim to knowledge you do not possess, as your claim that I’m making!

Right there you screwed your whole argument. If what you say were true, then you cannot know that what you said is true!
Major catastrophe in that kind of bad reasoning.

The only possible way you could “all know” I’m wrong, is precisely by knowing the truth.
The idea that no one knows the truth about God, or anything else, is pure foolishness based a very bad comprehension of things.
You’ve conveniently made the truth inaccessible to all, no doubt to excuse yourself for denying it.

In other words, you’ve stabbed yourself with your own sword.

You also make the same root error as Mr Hahn.
You don’t understand the word faith.
It doesn’t mean believing without proof – that is stupidity.
It means trusting that the evidence you see and understand is good enough to warrant trust.

I hope you see your errors, they are severe, but typical of agnostics.

greyfox says:

The kind of proof,(Ludicrous in itself), does not exist and there is no way you could provide it. you are suggesting that the unprovable is provable. There is only one absolute proof it’s called death, and so far death just isn’t talking. When you and I meet in the great beyond you can say I told you so. In my opinion, being as relevant as yours, that will never happen.

lil_prple says:

Death is talking. http://www.testimoniesofheavenandhell.com/
You do not have the right to criticize, unless you read some of this testimonies. I know people who would make up their mind on this matter without even reading. If you have difficulty choosing which to read or watch first, try Mickey Robinson.
http://www.freeevangelism.com/HeavenandHell.htm
On this site you could read “Ex-Buddhist Monk – “Came Back to Life a New Man”" Or whatever else you want to read… There are also on Youtube. I would really like to know your thoughts on this.
I remember seeing a clip from a french site like youtube saying that over 300 000 or 3 million people in North America have had life after death experiences. Most I believe are only seeing a tunnel, but others are like these.
Like I said I would really appreciate your thoughts on this.
Merry Christmas to everyone reading this. :D D

muichimotsu says:

Problem is you’re trying to boil belief in God down to proof and also belief without a doubt, both of which are counter-intuitive to the notion in Christian theology that one should believe on faith, not arguments or scientific evidence and that doubt is perfectly healthy in moderation to a believer who is supported by something spiritual anyway. It’s this sort of verificationist apologetics that is ineffective on its face.
At least evidentialists admit they’re only proving God by intellect and only to the faithful anyway. Presuppositionalists are even worse though, since they refuse to even see common ground about philosophical notions of what God reasonably would be understood as.

greyfox says:

If all people stopped lying, if all greed were eradicated and all Nations would be at peace with one other, I might think about it.

My book says that when people obey God, obey the 10 commandments; love God and love their neighbor as themselves, then all greed and lying WOULD be eradicated.

We’ll never have the world you seek until people are willing to obey God. If you are willing to seek and follow God FIRST, you will get the world you wish for. It starts with taking responsibility for your own actions and being the person you want others to be.

Hey Joe,

I strongly recommend reading books like “the Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. Lee was an investigative reporter in Chicago and an ardent atheist. He set out to prove that Christianity is false. Instead, he found the evidence was overwhelmingly in favor for the case for Christ.

I also recommend “The Reason for God’ by Timothy Keller. Search for Keller on Youtube. He’s an extremely thoughtful speaker.

The belief in God is consistent with all logic.

The belief that everything came into existence from nothing is not logical at all.

Nor is the belief that we evolved randomly, where mathmeticians calculated is pretty much so slim as to be zero.

greyfox says:

The existence of Christ and Christianity does not, in any way, prove the existence of “God”. “The reason for God” I can fully agree with but the reason for something and the existence of something are two different things. A reason for wanting a million dollars, does not give me a million dollars. “The belief that everything came into existence from nothing is not logical at all.”
Yet the existence of God is logical?

Greyfox,

I respectfully disagree. Jesus claimed many times to be God. If the existence of Jesus is evidentially solid and the New Testament canons historically reliable, including the eyewitness accounts of Christ’s death and resurrection, then that does indeed prove the existence of God. For if Christ died and did not rise from the dead, all our hope is in vain as Paul put it.

Yes, because we’ve not seen any cause for the physical to emerge from nothingness and chaos. Therefore the explanation must be beyond our physical realm ;)

Ed

greyfox says:

How can you possibly know about anything “beyond our physical realm” That statement is just plain ludicrous. You have eye witness reports of Christs death and resurrection. You make your case by going from if to proof. My stand on the matter is simply this; for those who believe that there is a god, there is a god. For those who believe otherwise there is no god. Why do we insist on providing “proof” one way or the other when there really is no tangible proof. The “proof’ is made tangible
by someone believing it’s tangible proof. In the end we all believe what we want to believe and no amount of evidence pro or con will change our minds. There are some so steeped in their belief that they will not even accept the fact that death will provide the answer to any presumed after life. My position is that if the believers are right they can give me a great big (I told you so)in the “spiritual” world. If they are wrong there will be no rejoicing and no spiritual world.

TruthHurts1 says:

I’ll throw a little spanner into the works here.
Jesus said:
“None can come to the Father but by ME”.
I AM ME.
I AM ME are the first 3 basic levels of human consciousness – going right back to the origin of the species.
The first person who became aware of themself as an Individual – was ‘I’. A Self who had evolved – in consciousness, UP from the animal or beast level of consciousness.
Then, the next level of consciousness is ‘AM’ – or, I AM.
Then, the third level of consciousness is – ‘ME’. Discovering the ‘WHO’ am I? of the Self.
Then, there is the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, HOW and WHY am I?
WHAT I am is: MY SELF.
WHEN I am is: NOW.
WHERE I am is: HERE.
HOW I am is: WHOLE.
WHY I AM HERE, NOW is: To EXPRESS MY WHOLE SELF AS – ‘ME’.
That which is conceived of as being ‘GOD’ is, in actual fact -pure consciousness. Consciousness is INTELLIGENCE-AND-EMOTION-coupled with WILL.
The Highest level of Intelligence is: GENIUS.
The Highest level of Emotion is:
LOVE.
For the moment, I think, I have given you enough to consider and construct arguments over.

greyfox says:

No argument from me, nothing you have said is open to argument.

samd says:

What happened to all the good folks who happened to be born before Christ? Were they all DUMB? Was there no CONSCIOUSNESS? Was there no LOVE? And finally NO ONE Went to God before Jesus – right? Because you (rather Jesus) said: “None can come to the Father but by ME”. So all good folks who happened to be born before Jesus were all sent to Hell – right? How sad it is! Why did not God, the Father then create Jesus as the first person on earth? Why He had to send so many good men and women to Hell? Awwwwwwwwww!!! Those poor souls!

mcblanc says:

samd- You raise an Important Point of Misunderstanding that even MANY Christians “get” wrong…

You quoted a portion of John 14:6… which in its entirety is…

Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. …”

One of THE GREATEST SOURCES of Misunderstanding of Christ’s Messages is that people know bits taken from here & there of “this” Gospel &/or the general gist of “that” Book of The Bible…

But they haven’t read–coherently & comprehensively & in consecutive order–the entire Books/Letters of The New Testament–Especially The Gospels.

By the time the reader gets to John 14:6–it is critical that they know and comprehend the meaning and implications of the statements that are advanced at the very beginning of The Gospel According to John–John 1:1-5.

Anyone posting on this platform certainly has the ways and means to look THIS up… so I leave it to you–for one–samd–to dig into it and figure out…

WHY IT IS THAT–
Christ’s Message IS THAT NO ONE Went or Will Go To Hell… in the sense of an Afterlife of Eternal Damnation… EVER–

HOWEVER… What Christ DID Address Was THAT–
The Lives of MOST People IN The Hellenistic World (And Beyond) Were (and still… to certain extents… are–today) TOO NEEDLESSLY OFTEN–Living Hells…

For Which Christ Came To…
Show US All The Ways of GOD-Intended Forms of Inter-Personal Human Relations and Societal Orders… As Well As The Truest Means of Worship (Mercy)… IN A World That Was Hellbent ON Defining Worship As–SACRIFICE–and those definitions were–of course–enforced by Temple Leaders who were–in turn–GREATLY ENRICHED By All Those Sacrifices That They DEMANDED.

It can be said that among the many reasons WHY Christ Came… Was…

To Show US All The Way To Build The World’s Economies IN Ways & By Means OTHER Than The same ol’ same ol’ Pyramid Plans.

greyfox says:

Beware of he who has all the answers. I have noticed on this forum that there is no thrust that cannot be parried by virtue of scripture. Religion and politics are similar in that whatever side you are on is the right side. My mind is made up don’t confuse me with facts. On either side there are few facts and many opinions.

shellbell95 says:

People have always been saved on the basis of Christ’s death
for their sins. This includes those people who lived before He died. The Bible speaks of Jesus as “…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8). In the mind of God, Christ’s death was as good as
done, even before the world was created. Some 800 years before Jesus died, Isaiah wrote of His death in the past tense, “…the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:6). Paul says, “Whom God set
forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins
that were previously committed” (Rom 3:25, emphasis added). God
could pass over the sins of men committed before Jesus came because, in His mind, Jesus had already paid for those sins. Therefore, before Jesus
came, people were saved on the basis of His death for their sins.

Now let’s consider what people had to do to be saved before Jesus came. Paul says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness…But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Rom
4:3, 5). Using Abraham as an example, Paul demonstrates that, before Jesus came, people were saved by faith alone, not by their works.

Jesus said,“…Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John8:56). Two thousand years before Jesus came, Abraham looked ahead in
time and believed in the coming Christ for eternal life. Therefore, he was saved by faith alone in Christ alone.
Job made a similar statement, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and
He shall stand at last on the earth. And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God” (Job 19:25-26). Two thousand
years before Jesus came, Job knew that his Redeemer was coming to this earth to pay the price for his sins. Job had a certain assurance that because
of his Redeemer, he would live with God after his death.

So, you see, people have ALWAYS been saved by CHRIST alone, through FAITH alone!!!!

mcblanc says:

“So, you see, people have ALWAYS been saved by CHRIST alone, through FAITH alone!!!!”…

To which there needs to be included just one more little point that Christ made to us:

“I am the way and the truth and the life.”

SO–
Whether You Want IT or NOT…
Whether You Know IT or NOT…
Whether You Believe IT of NOT…

By Your Very Existence–
YOU ARE ON YOUR WAY TO–CHRIST–AND YOU WILL…GET THERE.

Tho’ it may appear to Others that We abjectly failed all of Our Spiritual Tests given to us in THIS world…

Never-The-Less–
We Will ALL ACE THE FINAL EXAM–Thank You–Jesus…

All Those Who You Cited…

Isiah… Paul… Abraham… Job…

They Enjoyed–THE FAITH–That IS Described@ The Start of Chapter 11 of Hebrews…

FAITH NOT as the world often defines “faith”…
“something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion”… but…

FAITH–THE REALIZATION of WHAT IS HOPED FOR AND THE EVIDENCE of THINGS NOT SEEN… YET–By Others…

And IF/When You DO REALLY GET IT–THE FAITH…

You’ve GOTSTA Find Your Own Ways To Join With Others of faith & Faith & FAITH & Let–Your Light–SHINE…

Especially Where Thangs Are… dim and people seem to be looking for simulations of the sensations of love–But Are Failing To Seek The REAL DEAL…
while They still can !!!!!

shellbell95 says:

Yeah…we are all headed to Christ honey…but everyone ain”t gonna get the same greeting.

shellbell95 says:

From paying the penalty for sin.

muichimotsu says:

Strobel didn’t set out to prove Christianity was false except by using weak questions and only interviewing those who agreed with him. Many self respecting Christians wouldn’t even recommend him because he’s disingenuous in the claim that he’s being skeptical. At best he makes a claim that he was atheist, which is better structured as antitheist, and then became Christian because he thought the evidence pointed one way.

Being a journalist only gives you so much credulity in historical analysis and at best, it means you can put together interviews well. So? That doesn’t mean he’s a good one, he’s only presenting one side of the argument.

JPeasemould says:

- Christian up-bringing
- Sunday school
- Mormonism

Richard Morgan is steeped in religion!

“Personal experiences are real…”

Yes, to that person. But beyond that, they have little value.

And they certainly have nothing to do with fact.

FredHahn says:

Personal experiences may be real as you say, but this does make for evidence of a god in a heaven with angels and a hell with demons.

We ALL experience the same emotions as humans and that is how we know these feelings are real. But god? We don’t all experience this. This is clearly not the case.

Dreaming is real but the dreams aren’t. Belief in god is no different than this.

Question – what does god have against amputees? He heals the blind, the deaf, those with cancer but he never gives the limbs back to people who have lost them. And why doesn’t he ever revive people who died violently but needlessly as in a beheading?

If god want us all to know he’s really there, why does he beat around the bush? Why doesn’t he appear in the sky to all people and say hello?

RMacD says:

Perhaps you are correct that God doesn’t want us “all” to know he’s really there. Sure he could write in the sky with fire, “I am”. Maybe he doesn’t want people to come to him that way, but those whose hearts are not filled with arrogant pride in their own intelligence. Jesus said he always taught with parables to filter out such folks (Mk4:11-12NJB). The Great Commandment is about “love”, and that cannot be forced. Human reason and logic can be tyrants at that.

FredHahn says:

He wants people, all people to “come to him” correct? He could make that so very simple. Why threaten with Satan and hellfire when instead he could welcome us all with a celestial smile?

Jan says:

Hi Fred. Jesus loves you. God has made peace with you – He has decided that He will be at peace with you, even though you may continue to hate Him; He will nevertheless love you; Unconditionally. You are not going to Hell (irrespective of how deserving of it you may be). You don’t have to ‘accept Him’, follow any rules or hold any creeds. NOTHING is required of you – He has done it all for you. He is not only the Truth and the Life, he is even the Way to it – He has taken care of it for you. As for His invitation to ‘come to Him’ – it’s like saying: “sit back and relax, it’s all taken care of…”

FredHahn says:

Hold on there Jan – you can’t hate anything that you don’t know about. And we only “hate” the ones we love.

I can’t hate that which does not exist. And to play the game a bit, I certainly don’t hate god. But I know a few believers who do because god took their child from them or gave them cancer or destroyed their home – or at least allowed these things to happen when he could have prevented it.

As I see it, it is the believers who from time to time hate god. Not me.

gabrielhml says:

Hi Fred,
Can I give it a try at offering my reasons for belief in God?

Im as much an existentialist as a Christian.. so we already share some pressupositions..
If you’re interested could you drop me a line? My email is my user name here + “@hotmail.com”

gabrielhml says:

Well actually.. I could just say everything right here… I just wanted to make sure someone will listen so I dont waste my time…

greyfox says:

Sounds a little like welfare to me, just sit back and the government will take care of everything. If it’s all taken care of and we’re all going to be with God in the end, why bother to go through all the trial and tribulation of life. “NOTHING is required of you” Then what was the point?

Grey,

We are to be tools of God, doing our best to live out our faith in this life. That does not mean sit on our couch and munch chips until his Kingdom Comes ;)

Thanks,

Ed

greyfox says:

Gee I never thought of it that way
thanks for clearing it up.It was so simple I guess it escaped me.
Silly me!

shellbell95 says:

Curious. Jan….what Bible do you learn/study out of…or if you don’t mind my asking…do you have a denomination of sorts? Thanks

TA says:

Hi Fred:

An accurate reading of the bible teaches that what God promises for obedience to him is everlasting life on a paradise earth, while the wages of sin (disobedience) is death. There is no hell fire.

Cheers.

greyfox says:

Here we go again..”An accurate reading of the bible”, Accurate by whose measure? You take what you want from the bible, that which serves your purpose or belief system. In My “accurate reading of the bible” it is filled with contradiction. Why is your “accurate reading” more “accurate” than my “accurate reading”?

TA says:

Hi greyfox; if you were to ignore my phrase “accurate reading of the bible” does your own reading of the bible disagree with the specific claim that I made?

Best regards!

greyfox says:

Don’t know, don’t care. I stand by what I said in my previous post.

TA says:

Hello greyfox. It seems to me that you’re a pretty angry person. I also have the feeling that you’re not fully convinced of your own positions regarding a creator. If you were, and are certain that you knew “the truth”, you would want to patiently educate others rather than come across so angry.

Best regards.

greyfox says:

Is that how it seems to you? Well I’m hardly surprised at that. In truth I am a live and let live kind of person. If you think I seem angry, that’s OK. I will refrain from making judgments on you realizing that we all believe what we want to believe. Have a great day.

TA says:

Sorry about that greyfox. I wrote that comment a while back prior to reading some of your other posts.

Since then I believe that your comments are fairly logical even if I don’t agree with them.

shellbell95 says:

Please list a single contradiction. Then give people an opportunity to address and respond. Once we do that, we can move on to other things you feel are discrepencies.

greyfox says:

“while the wages of sin (disobedience) is death.”

Obey or die, are these the options? Well, since we are all going to die, I guess the options are clear. If I am to take this literally there isn’t much hope for any of us.

shellbell95 says:

UM…no.. finish the verse. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. also… Romans 3:22-24 Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Summation…there is a way out!

shellbell95 says:

So, first of all, if you do not believe in hell, you obviously do not read your Bible, and, secondly, in denying the existence of hell, you are calling Jesus a liar.

Now, you don’t have to take my word for it. I will show you verses so that you can see them for yourself.

(1) The Bible’s description of hell and why I know that hell is not here on earth.
(1) THE BIBLE’S DESCRIPTION OF HELL

Hell is described in the Bible as a place of great despair, sorrow, and agony. Read the following verses, and you will see what I mean.

Matthew 8:11-12, “Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13:41-42, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13:49-50, “So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Yes, hell is truly a place of torment. And those in hell will face not only physical torment, but mental anguish as well. For, you see, those in hell will be fully aware of the fact that they could have gone to heaven if only they had not chose to reject Christ. Luke 13:28, “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” In hell people will learn the true meaning of regret.

“BUT THE WORLD IS SO BAD NOW, I FEEL THAT HELL IS RIGHT HERE ON EARTH”

To those who say, “hell is right here on earth,” you haven’t seen the half of it. Think about it. No matter how bad things seem here on earth, your life here will some day end. You will live what? 80 years? 90 years? Then theoretically your death would put an end to this earthly so-called hell. Here on earth you have an escape from all sickness or evil. Death is your escape.

But the real hell which awaits those who reject the Lord IS NEVER OVER. That is how I know that hell is not here on earth, because where hell is concerned, there is no escape! Mark 9:44 says that hell is “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” And Matthew 25:46 tells us, “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” And in Revelation 14:11 we read, “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night…” Friend, a heart attack cannot end the true hell. A bullet to the head will not end hell. Nothing will put an end to the torment of hell.

Your worst experience here on earth pales in comparison to the place called hell that Jesus spoke of. Therefore, comparing the evil that is happening on earth to hell is like comparing a slight sunburn to being set on fire — a fire that cannot be quenched. There is no comparison!

mcblanc says:

Chill–Dude.

Sincerity of belief does not “save” us from misunderstanding & misinterpreting Jesus’ meaning in all instances.

Even The Apostles–Who’d Been Hand-Picked & Personally Taught By Jesus–NONE of THEM Scored 100% ON Their “Jesus Tests” During Their Lifetimes–EITHER… Tho’ John seems to have scored the Highest Marks Overall and of the 12–He Was The One To Have “Aced” His “Final Exam” On Calvary… Which Didn’t CHANGE! The Fact That Peter Was The One To “Get” The Best Answer To Jesus’ “Pop Quiz” FIRST–And So–He Was The One Appointed By Jesus To Be–what was eventually known as–The First Pope.

ANYWHO–
All I’m trying to say to You–shellbell95–is that Your “Everlasting Hell” idea is one of those early ideas… going back approximately 2000 years now… that–along with the idea that THE FINAL Time of Tribulation AND Coming of The Son of Man On An Unknown Hour and Day Was Going TO HAPPEN–SOON–During Lifetimes of The Apostles…”Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.” Matthew 24:34… That The Church Had To Finally Recognize That–ONCE AGAIN–”We” Had NOT Clearly Understood What Christ Had Meant.

shellbell95 says:

So then what is the place where the fire is not quenched and the worm dieth not?

greyfox says:

“Now, you don’t have to take my word for it. I will show you verses so that you can see them for yourself.” I read some of your quotes and my question to you is: Do you honestly believe that “a loving God” would condemn
even one of “his” creation to an eternal “hell”? If there is a God, and that’s still up for debate, how could he be that cruel? He, presumably forgave Judas, and, if we are to believe the words handed down to us, Judas betrayed him and got him crucified. Could there be a worse sin? What could it possibly be? Or perhaps when Jesus presumably said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” he excluded Judas. I think you might consider reading the bible less and do a little more critical thinking.

shellbell95 says:

There is only ONE sin that is unforgiveable. Only one sin that keeps you from eternity with God. That sin is the rejection of the Holy Spirit. That deliberate refusal to believe, seems to be what Jesus called the unforgivable sin. Jesus gave the solemn warning in these verses to people whose hard-heartedness placed them on the brink of disaster. Blasphemy against the Spirit evidently is not just a one-time offense; rather, it is an ongoing attitude of rebellion – a stubborn way of life that continually resists, rejects and insults the Holy Spirit. This is what makes it, in effect, an eternal sin (Mark 3:29). Blasphemy against the Spirit is not unforgivable because of something done unintentionally in the past, but because of something being done deliberately and unrelentingly in the present.”

greyfox says:

Why would a “loving God” even contemplate a place called hell?
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of love in condemning one to hell. But then I guess I shouldn’t be so arrogant as to question the motives of a “loving” God.

“Your worst experience here on earth pales in comparison to the place called hell that Jesus spoke of. Therefore, comparing the evil that is happening on earth to hell is like comparing a slight sunburn to being set on fire — a fire that cannot be quenched. There is no comparison!” WOW!

shellbell95 says:

I too am curious as to your denomination and translation you use for study?

greyfox says:

“Jesus said he always taught with parables to filter out such folks (Mk4:11-12NJB).” What folks was he trying to “filter out” and would that not suggest a certain discrimination. Are we to assume that the “folks” filtered out were throw away people? Hardly an admirable trait for such a compassionate God. Isn’t it strange? a dog loves unconditionally but Gods love is conditional. I guess it is God and he can do as he pleases, who am I to Question?

FredHahn – thank you for your comments, but let’s be honest here. If God DID appear in the sky and hello, what would your reaction be? Truly?
Would it change your heart, or would you rush to get your mobile to film the phenomenon and post it on YouTube? Or something in between?

FredHahn says:

If it was really him or her? Of course it would change my mind/heart. C’mon.

rado says:

How would you know for sure if it was really him or her?

FredHahn says:

I think god could find a way to make it quite clear. Moses knew.

adunavan says:

I realize I’m a few days behind, and I’m not going to come back, I joined simply to leave you this message and to tell you that if you really have a desire for truth, then you won’t rule out any possibility. One would have to honestly and humbly approach all possible options. -I recommend that anyone who is truly searching to understand how it could be possible for science and faith to mingle, watch this interesting video, first to open your mind,
I can safely say that I’m not near as intelligent as Dr. Francis Collins, I figure it’s worth my time to give him a listen and consider what he says…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjJAWuzno9Y&list=FL3ebiUEvJ8l2EjvIZ166UcA&index=22

“The Language of God” Presentation by Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project and director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Dr. Collins presents a case for harmony between faith in science and faith in God. He also shares about his personal intellectual and spiritual journey from agnosticism, to atheism, and to Christianity.

And then maybe move onto some Tim Keller (he is good and I see he comes recommended…) or I’m currently reading “The Case For God” by Karen Armstrong. (I’ve also read ‘The God Delusion’, ‘Good Without God’, ‘The End of Faith.’ In addition, some methaphysical books such as ‘Biology of Belief’ and ‘The Grand Design’)
I was a believer when I was younger, but spent much time reading all that I could in my later years, and approaching things from a logical standpoint – scientific if you will. I found though, that after my time out of faith and doubting it, searching for reasons AGAINST it…I came to believe that the idea we were all alone was just as wild as the one that we’re not -so I began researching all points and it led me back, to humility anyway. And coming back to the faith has offered me more peace and comfort than all those things I was replacing it for. Perhaps believers can’t give us “the proof in the pudding” but what about the proof in the change that occurs in the people’s lives who follow it – and I mean, true Christians, followers of Jesus – not followers of their church or dogma, but people who claim to have a personal relationship and it has made a palpable effect on their hearts, minds, and therefore lives. I feel there’s something to be said about *that truth…

And if you are searching to understand Jesus in a more literal way, you watch the film “The Encounter.” It’s available on NetFlix. I watched it, it seemed painfully cheesy at first – but it’s right around 1.5 hours – stick with it until about half an hour in and just…watch. It’s got some compelling ideas at least.
If someone is really open and wants to know truth, or at least understand how someone came to call it truth – it is illogical to dismiss any chance to learn or understand.

greyfox says:

” One would have to honestly and humbly approach all possible options.” Is one of my options that this guy could be wrong? or is that option being denied?

greyfox says:

Silly! you can’t photograph God.

Jan says:

Are these “factual” statements by authority of His Holiness, Fred Hahn?
Because you say so, we have to believe that He heals cancer but does not replace lost limbs? Well friend, I have it on good authority (MUCH more reputable than your claims to the contrary), that on the night they came to arrest Him, one of His disciples grabbed a sword and chopped of the ear off of one of the ‘arresting officers’. He reprimanded His disciple, picked the ear up, gave it a dusting, and used some spit to stuck it back onto the head of the poor fellow… and it stayed on!
Hmmm… sounds like a good case of limb replacing to me! And as for reviving people who died by beheading, you seem to suggest that the mode of death would somehow pose a greater difficulty than death itself. Maybe you are not aware of Him having raised a rotten corpse from the dead, but if you know about this reported incident, then I would suggest that you may be lacking in the intelligence ‘department’.
As for not beating around the bush: “You Fred, are not God, despite the fact that you think you are God…”

FredHahn says:

Jan, Why did you respond the way you did?

Even if the ear story was true, (and we have no evidence that it is) n ear isn’t a limb. We’re talking today. People claim TODAY that Jesus/God heals cancer, blindness, etc. Why isn’t he restoring people’s limbs today?

And I don’t think I’m God. I think I’m Fred.

Jan says:

Unless a so-called ‘Atheist’ would deny existential reality, (s)he is no atheist, but merely a usurper that is clamouring for God’s position…
In other words, unless the atheist denies that life and living and its related events and ‘happenings’ are real, (s)he is simply under a god-delusion, thinking that (s)he is God. To be a real atheist, you have to believe that all of this ‘reality’ is merely an insubstantial puff, a dream state where nothing is fixed; all is relative and meaningless and without context… for the minute that you start fixing reality, you are no longer an atheist, you are indeed a god-maker (your own).
The logic for this assertion can be explained as follows:
When Atheism talks about God (which it claims does not exist), what all is included in this conception of God?
The answer is essentially ‘a deity by virtue of the fact that such deity determines reality’. In other words, a supernatural being who is ‘in charge’ by virtue of the fact that (s)he determines ‘what goes’. This corresponds to the so-called Judaeo-Christian conception of God (which of course is exactly what Atheism rejects).
For example, if we consider the first Mosaic introduction of God in Genesis, we can abstract certain essential attributes of God. Moses namely described God as the one that establishes Reality. He explains that God spoke creation into existence.
Although it is perhaps commonsensical, some consequential particulars need to be carefully considered. If it is accepted that God – or the ‘god-concept’ – indeed equates to Reality, it follows that this reality should be consistent, persistent, and invariable. In other words, God’s will (His avowed desire), should at all times persevere. Clearly, if it would be possible for anything to be established contrary to Reality (in other words, in opposition to God’s version of reality – or His expressed will), such a thing (or more accurately, the being that establishes the thing), would succeed in denying Reality, and would indeed establish a ‘higher’ reality. Likewise, if it would be possible for anything to prevent, or even frustrate God’s Reality, such a thing (or the being behind the thing) would succeed in denying Reality, and would also establish a ‘higher’ reality. The conclusion of this would be quite simple: God would no longer be God, since He would not be the one that ultimately determines reality. That which establishes the higher reality would then be God.
Consider the temptation in ‘The Garden’: “God is a lie(r) – eat and free yourself from this delusion by becoming your own god by knowing what is true and good”… i.e., you, Fred, will thus determine reality…
You are not an “Atheist” Fred. The term “Atheism” is a misnomer. You are simply deluded thinking that you are God…

FredHahn says:

Jan -

What you are saying makes very little sense to me.

You seem to be saying because I don’t believe in god I think that I am god – the creator of galaxies, atoms, cells and such?

Um, no I don’t. I have no idea what “created” it all.

darkened says:

I might be misinterpreting you and I am open to correction.
At times it seems as though you are saying that God = everything/reality. In that case I believe in God (at least to a good approximation).
At other times you say that God is that which is responsible for the universe. Then God might be a quantum fluctuation or an endless regress of universes or any of many other things, including nothing at all.
At other times it seems you are defining God as that which is responsible for all reality. I see this as non-sensical.

You also say that God is the christian god. This is a completely different definition. It describes a singular, well-defined, personal entity with thoughts, opinions, cares etc. This is not the entire universe or all of reality or any such amorphous idea. It is also not a quantum fluctuation or nothing at all.

You also say that an atheist must deny existential reality otherwise they are not an atheist. If you define a god as existential reality, then that is correct. This is not a useful definition of a god and does not at all fit with the christian god or any other personal entity (or at the very least needs much elaboration to demonstrate that it does) but sure. An atheist is one who does not believe in any gods. Belief is an active process. Rocks do not believe. Chairs do not believe. It requires a mind, a concept of what one is believing in etc. If one refrains from belief in a god then one is an atheist. There are no constraints, by definition, that would make an atheist try to be a god in any sense or “believe that all of this ‘reality’ is merely an insubstantial puff, a dream state where nothing is fixed”. If you can draw a causal line between the two I would be interested but I very much doubt one can be drawn, partly because rocks refrain from belief in god and also refrain from believing that reality is an insubstantial puff. Lack of belief in one thing does not cause belief in another thing.

Again, I’d be interested in being demonstrated incorrect.

greyfox says:

Jan, I lay awake nights wanting desperately to be god.(sarcasm)

“Unless a so-called ‘Atheist’ would deny existential reality, (s)he is no atheist, but merely a usurper that is clamouring for God’s position…”

What absolute nonsense! Jan, you have created your own world your own language and put your own meaning to the words, as they best suit your purpose.

“You are not an “Atheist” Fred. The term “Atheism” is a misnomer. You are simply deluded thinking that you are God…”

Now you’ve become a spiritual shrink. Good for you.

greyfox says:

Jan, your attempt at intelligent discussion falls short of the mark. You are trying very hard to make sense out of nonsense.
“You are not an “Atheist” Fred. The term “Atheism” is a misnomer. You are simply deluded thinking that you are God…”. Jan You make up you own terms and provide your own meaning to the terms and delude yourself into thinking this is intelligent thought. Since atheists don’t believe in “God”
How could they aspire to be what they don’t believe exists. That makes absolutely no sense.

greyfox says:

My my we are getting a bit testy aren’t we: Jan Says?

greyfox says:

Hey Jan, good authority? c’mon now
are we supposed to believe that because you say so? Your authority is some book, a book of words, you choose to believe that as good authority, I don’t. You’re not trying to tell us that you spoke with someone who was there at the time are you?

Fred,

I’ve been watching the atheist-theist pingpong ball go back and forth for 20 years.

I’m sorry that some people seem to take joy in condemning atheists to hell. I have to admit to having evil thoughts towards people who disagree with me, I’m human too. But again I apologize that you and others have been told gleefully by fundamentalists that you’re gonna burn.

Your statement “what does god have against amputees? He heals the blind, the deaf, those with cancer but he never gives the limbs back to people who have lost them” is proof positive that God is not beating around the bush, and that you already know it.

Blindness, deafness and cancer isn’t good enough? Really, you have to see an amputee healed?

The healing of blindness, deafness and cancer by laying on of hands is medically documented. You can read about it in a peer reviewed scientific paper, Southern Medical Journal, Sept 2010. It’s linked at http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles/. I even have a link to a thoroughly attested report of an amputee being healed in the 1600′s.

Is this really not good enough?

Is the fine tuning of the big bang to 200 decimal places not good enough? Is the astonishing complexity of even a single bacterium not good enough?

Why is the “why doesn’t God heal amputees question” always stated with a sneer?

I can stop an atheist cold in 15 minutes with any of the following questions:

-Where did the big bang come from?
-Why is the universe orderly and logical?
-Where did the genetic code come from?
-Where did life come from?
-What basis is there for objective moral values?
-If the only mechanism that drives life forward is survival, why do humans prize things like beauty and music and poetry and spirituality, given that we all know practically speaking that most of those things are paths to starvation? The very term “starving artist” testifies to the fact that art is a disadvantage to natural selection.

After the evading and dodging are exhausted, the atheist has no good answer to any of these questions. I know this for a cold fact after years of doing this.

All of these questions directly infer the existence of something transcendent, intentional and immensely powerful. Yet atheists respond with nothing but a sneer and a barrage of insults.

Why?

Richard’s video describes a PERSONAL experience. I think it happened to him for two reasons:

1) He began thinking about the question, “Richard, what would it take for you to believe in God?”

2) He was asked that question by someone who loved Jesus, and who sincerely wanted to express that to other people, who was praying for God to show up.

Fred, what do you REALLY WANT? I can’t help but suspect that you would, deep down, like to find God, if he is real. You are, after all, HERE and paying attention.

Richard’s experience was utterly real. I know this because I have had similar experiences. Not just once but ongoing. It is sheer pleasure to experience the touch of God, to be spoken to and valued as a son of the Most High. You can’t decide when those experiences are going to take place, but when they do it’s unforgettable. Regardless of what anyone thinks about what happened, Richard KNOWS what happened to him.

One thing you can be certain of:

You will never have an experience like that if you are sneering at God and attempting to dictate the criteria under which you will accept God.

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Sneering and insulting people is not earnestly seeking. If you take the posture of shaking your fist and demanding that he heal an amputee for you, God will be a trillion miles away. You will NEVER find God. Ever. He will hid from you and evade you. You’ll look at people who are close to God and think they are crazy.

But they will know in their hearts that they are not crazy. You’ll spend the rest of your life wondering why the world is so irrational.

So this is my invitation to you:

Set aside your criteria and your temptation to be proud and say, “God if you are real, please show yourself to me. I am open to whatever that may be.”

And wait.

I would invite you to consider that God may be showing Himself to you through nature itself. Through its order and beauty. Fred, when you say, “If god want us all to know he’s really there, why does he beat around the bush? Why doesn’t he appear in the sky to all people and say hello?”

- God is already doing that, He has done that through every sunset you have ever seen. Through every person who has shown love to you who asked for nothing in return.

But God doesn’t shout. He whispers. He comes to the rescue of those who patiently listen.

You do not want to wait until He is shouting. For then it will be too late.

My wish for you is that you will encounter God personally in that quiet place, because once you have you will NEVER be the same.

Perry

mcblanc says:

THANK YOU–Perry…We don’t usually hear from You AT LENGTH in these discussions that follow Your Introduction.

Anyway–
The proverbial “2-cents” that I’d like to add regarding the…“why doesn’t God heal amputees question”…is that–

For The MOST Part…
There is a Serious SHORT-SIGHTEDNESS To The Definition of “Healing” That IS AT THE ROOT of This “Argument”…

If the amputated wound site is no longer bleeding–It has “healed”…

If a prosthetic device can fill in for the amputated limb or…whatever…organ has been lost…”healing” is now advanced to the NEXT Level–Restoration of Form & Function !!

GOD’S “healing” of amputees is more akin to the “healing” that HE offered to Job–Replacing What Was Lost With Something(s) & Someone(s)…NEW.

Anyone Who Knows Anything About Today’s Fields of Prosthetics & Orthotics Knows That WE DO–INDEED–LIVE IN AN AGE of MIRACLES…
Relatively Speaking…

Thanks For This Constant Reminder–Albert.

greyfox says:

mcblanc: I don’t think Fred was thinking about healing in the terms you suggested. I may be wrong but I think he was suggesting something along the lines of limbs returning to their original state, purpose and function. At least that’s what I understood. That would truly be miraculous, even I would buy that one. But on the other hand he did give that ability to Lobsters, Hmmm!

mcblanc says:

I’ll touch only lightly upon THE FACTS that You–on Fred’s behalf–ignored in Your example…

Namely–The Worlds of Differences Between…

Lobsters:
Phylum – Arthropod
(a.k.a. The Insect Family)
Subphylum – Crustacea
Class – Malacostraca
Cold-blooded Invertebrates With Exoskeletons, Segmented Bodies and Jointed Appendages…

AND–

Human Beings:
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Mammalia within the
Class – Synapsida
Warm-blooded Vertebrates With…”a large brain relative to body size, with a particularly well developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, making them capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, problem solving and culture through social learning.”

greyfox–You’re correct in Your example that lobsters and crayfish really are able to lose and even break off a limb at will and regenerate the lost part… and… maybe if Human Beings’ limbs were as tasty as those of lobsters and crayfish–then We’d have this “Survival Skill” embedded into Our Codes–as well.

Hmmm–Yourself !!

greyfox says:

The worlds of differences as you state have nothing to do with the question of healing. The deaf are healed when they can hear the blind are healed when they can see, and that’s considered a miracle. Is it miraculous because of prosthetic intervention or is it a spontaneous cure so as to be considered a true miracle? It’s good to know that lobsters regenerate claws because they are tasty.

FredHahn says:

I’ve been watching the atheist-theist pingpong ball go back and forth for 20 years. I’m sorry that some people seem to take joy in condemning atheists to hell. I have to admit to having evil thoughts towards people who disagree with me, I’m human too. But again I apologize that you and others have been told gleefully by fundamentalists that you’re gonna burn.
****Thanks Perry. But it’s ok. I’m not bothered by people who point at me and condemn me because I know there is no hell to burn in. I actually feel sorry for people who do this – who act exactly as Jesus would not want them too.
Your statement “what does god have against amputees? He heals the blind, the deaf, those with cancer but he never gives the limbs back to people who have lost them” is proof positive that God is not beating around the bush, and that you already know it. Blindness, deafness and cancer isn’t good enough? Really, you have to see an amputee healed?
****First, I don’t think god causes or reverses any condition. And it’s not a matter of good enough. The question still remains – why doesn’t he heal amputees? As you are well aware, there are many cases of people who have regained eyesight and hearing, healed from cancer and other diseases who have not invoked the help of God. I know one person myself. The only way one can know for a fact that a God did the healing is if a person who is afflicted is healed of something that is medically impossible like a new limb growing back, or a head reattached or eyeballs growing back or someone’s massive atherosclerosis vanishing overnight. Jesus never performed a miracle that could not be explained by medical science. Even dying and coming back to life can be explained by the fact that he never actually died. This too has happened – people thought to be dead have revived.
The healing of blindness, deafness and cancer by laying on of hands is medically documented. You can read about it in a peer reviewed scientific paper, Southern Medical Journal, Sept 2010. It’s linked at http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles/. I even have a link to a thoroughly attested report of an amputee being healed in the 1600′s. Is this really not good enough?
****Laying of the hands has also failed Perry. Like I said, it has to be something that could not possible happen on its own. Will the laying of hands bring back sight to a man who has lost both eyeballs? No it hasn’t and it never will. As for the healed amputee, something like this has to happen today Perry. Anecdotal tales from the 1600’s are worthless. But I would be interested in reading this story. How can I find it?
Is the fine tuning of the big bang to 200 decimal places not good enough? Is the astonishing complexity of even a single bacterium not good enough?
****No it’s not. Just because something as complex as the universe or a bacterium cannot be fully explained by science YET does not mean you say “See – it’s God then!” In Jesus’ time (I think) they didn’t know what an Earthquake was. We’ve only just begun to get out of the stone age in thinking that a god caused a tornado or a tsunami. We’re a mere few thousand years along. Who knows what we’ll know in the year 6,478,545.
Why is the “why doesn’t God heal amputees question” always stated with a sneer?
*****I don’t follow you here. A sneer? Perhaps you are taking it that way because the question does indeed bother you and makes you think that it is indeed a valid question? Guessing here.
I can stop an atheist cold in 15 minutes with any of the following questions:
-Where did the big bang come from?
****I don’t know, neither do you, nor does anyone else.
-Why is the universe orderly and logical?
*****Because it is. And the adjectives you are using to describe the universe lack the words chaotic, violent and dangerous. FE: Do you think god is going to deflect all the asteroids headed our way? Or if one hits the Earth, that was simple god’s will?
-Where did the genetic code come from?
****I don’t know, neither do you, nor does anyone else.
-Where did life come from?
****I don’t know, nor does anyone else and neither do you.
-What basis is there for objective moral values?
*****Survival. Sexual reproduction. Ants have “moral” values too. They rarely kill their own. They care for their young. They work together to build houses, cross rivers, find food, etc. You can also read Sam Harris’ work on the subject The Moral Landscape. It’s interesting to say the least.
-If the only mechanism that drives life forward is survival, why do humans prize things like beauty
*****Sex
and music and poetry and spirituality,
*****Communication just like birds and insects.
given that we all know practically speaking that most of those things are paths to starvation? The very term “starving artist” testifies to the fact that art is a disadvantage to natural selection.
****That’s only because artists living in an agricultural society need money to buy food. Artists (you know the ones that did the cave paintings and other lost art) didn’t starve 50,000 years ago.

After the evading and dodging are exhausted, the atheist has no good answer to any of these questions. I know this for a cold fact after years of doing this.
******It’s not a matter of having a good answer, but having a factual one. No one knows the answers to these questions but we are learning. It used to be thought that a hurricane was a blast from gods nostrils. Nope. It used to be thought that a tidal wave was god slapping the waters. Nope. It used to be thought that the sun was gods eye. Nope. On and on and on. We keep learning more and more. One day the big bang will be explained or we’ll learn there was not a big bang and it was something else. That’s the beauty of learning and growing. To say “God did it” just because we can’t explain it is flawed thinking.
All of these questions directly infer the existence of something transcendent, intentional and immensely powerful. Yet atheists respond with nothing but a sneer and a barrage of insults. Why?
****Why? Because some people are unruly and are so because they have great self-doubt. Also, that is the way believers often take what “atheists” say. Both sides sneer. Both sides listen calmly and respond thoughtfully. And remember that there is no such thing as an actual atheist any more than a non-football player. Atheist is the label believers put on nonbelievers as if it’s a thing that has a philosophy or a credo. Atheism is nothing.
Richard’s video describes a PERSONAL experience. I think it happened to him for two reasons:
1) He began thinking about the question, “Richard, what would it take for you to believe in God?”
2) He was asked that question by someone who loved Jesus, and who sincerely wanted to express that to other people, who was praying for God to show up.
Fred, what do you REALLY WANT? I can’t help but suspect that you would, deep down, like to find God, if he is real. You are, after all, HERE and paying attention.
*****I would like to know if there is a god, sure. Who wouldn’t? But without one, I still feel love, am a good father, respect the Earth as best as I can, treat other people with respect and integrity, have my moments of anger, pain, etc. What is god for exactly? To make me feel guilty about myself? What for?
Richard’s experience was utterly real. I know this because I have had similar experiences. Not just once but ongoing. It is sheer pleasure to experience the touch of God, to be spoken to and valued as a son of the Most High. You can’t decide when those experiences are going to take place, but when they do it’s unforgettable. Regardless of what anyone thinks about what happened, Richard KNOWS what happened to him.
*****First, strong emotions (bad or good) can be triggered by violent hormonal swings and or mini strokes that go undetected. Richard is morbidly obese and thus his hormonal health (and his health in general) is greatly compromised. So he experienced something really good – a feeling that gave him joy. Why assume this means there’s a god or that a god made him feel that way? Should we then assume that if a day came when he felt really bad and miserable, satan made him feel that way? Are we really to believe that sudden feelings of great joy or sorrow are caused by invisible god-like beings? I felt great joy and amazement when both my daughters were born. That’s god? If so, ok. Great. Cool. Fine. Amazing. Now what? Am I supposed to dress up in my Sunday best and go to a building to pray to him? The creator of everything known in the universe (save for him) needs praise and worship like some insecure human king? I’m just asking – does that really make any sense? Any at all?
One thing you can be certain of:
You will never have an experience like that if you are sneering at God and attempting to dictate the criteria under which you will accept God.
****First of all, how do you know? And why? Even if I was sneering, which I am not, wouldn’t an all loving god see and feel that it is folks like me who need his love most? I am perfectly open to anything god would like to do to allow me to know he is there. I am completely game.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
****So what that it says this? It’s all made up and written by men. I am supposed to believe that god told some people that this is how he felt and thought?
Sneering and insulting people is not earnestly seeking. If you take the posture of shaking your fist and demanding that he heal an amputee for you, God will be a trillion miles away. You will NEVER find God. Ever. He will hid from you and evade you. You’ll look at people who are close to God and think they are crazy.
*****Again, I am not sneering nor am I trying to insult anyone. If I say I don’t think a god exists and someone who believes in god chooses to feel insulted, that his issue. You simply do not want to see the reality in this. I am not demanding that god heal an amputee. I am wondering why he has never done it. And it is understandable that you think this way because if you didn’t, you wouldn’t believe. To believe you have to put reality aside. Are people who believe that imaginary things exist – things that have absolutely no proof whatsoever – crazy? You tell me.
But they will know in their hearts that they are not crazy. You’ll spend the rest of your life wondering why the world is so irrational.
******The world is both rational and irrational. Yin/yang. Good/evil. That is the way it is. I’m not wondering about this much if at all. People who kill other people for no reason are obviously either hormonally dysfunctional, mentally and physically abused, drug addicted, or some other unnatural unhealthy state.

So this is my invitation to you: Set aside your criteria and your temptation to be proud and say, “God if you are real, please show yourself to me. I am open to whatever that may be.” And wait.

I would invite you to consider that God may be showing Himself to you through nature itself. Through its order and beauty. Fred, when you say, “If god want us all to know he’s really there, why does he beat around the bush? Why doesn’t he appear in the sky to all people and say hello?” God is already doing that, He has done that through every sunset you have ever seen. Through every person who has shown love to you who asked for nothing in return. But God doesn’t shout. He whispers. He comes to the rescue of those who patiently listen.
****He doesn’t shout? I think you need to re-read the Old Testament. And if what you say is true that his face is the oceans, his arms are the trees, his legs are the mountains, etc. then that is wonderful. Am I supposed to do something because of this? I appreciate the Earths beauty very much. I planted an orchard myself and enjoy the fruit. What more must I do? Isn’t this enough?

You do not want to wait until He is shouting. For then it will be too late.
*****Why? Is he some sort of child that will throw a tantrum and be violent?
My wish for you is that you will encounter God personally in that quiet place; because once you have you will NEVER be the same.
*****I have experienced feelings of great joy many times. But I don’t think god caused them anymore than I think Satan made me feel depressed and lonely.

Perry

yeshua says:

Mr.Hahn to be completely honest as I read your response to Mr. Perry I couldn’t help but think that you are missing a very important point which I will address shortly, but I would like to comment on some of the things you wrote.
First, I am convinced that you have never, ever read the old testament in it’s entirety, you talk about things that you do not understand, because you haven’t taken the time to study them carefully. Why does the Bible say what it does? When was it written, in what context? Why is the portrayal of God in the old testament so apparently different than the God of the new testament? Please, until you do so stop repeating what people have told you or your perception of the two pages of the old testament that you may have read.
There is a reason, a context there that you are missing that makes it possible to understand it.

On other things…

I understand, truly, your need for proof. I can identify with you because it’s also my nature to be skeptical and to need evidence. However, there is a point in which evidence intersects faith. This is the nature of all transcendent things. To go beyond. To surpass our brain capacity and enter the realm of spiritual things. Faith is not blind. It’s not devoid of reason,evidence or science even. Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the Doctors of the church understood this when he invited people to faith through reason. I don’t think I have to mention the vast amount of pioneering scientist who where all Christian and who saw science as a way to glorify God and learn of His mysteries. Even if we take it down a notch -from spirituality- and stay within the boundaries of universal human experience there are things that cannot be explained through science only. If one asks a person. Does your mother love you? In a normal situation I think a person would say -yes she does. Now, no matter what the person shows as evidence for his/her mother’s love I can always refute it by saying things like: well no, love is simply chemical reactions, or she did it for self interest,etc. I can always just tear it down to it’s basest level. This, however changes nothing. The experience of love of that person is higher than my reasoning of the why’s and why nots. He/she has found satisfactory evidence for love.
It is the same with God. I have found evidence, in fact in my personal case I didn’t even have a choice in the matter because I have been exposed to supernatural things almost all my life. Now, maybe there’s something wrong with me,maybe I have some sort of pathology or chemical unbalance but what I’m trying to say is that the concept of evidence or proof is extremely subjective.
God already revealed Himself to mankind, and with great miracles and power, and yet from among his own apostles there was one who did not believe. If Jesus, who gave evidence of His power, did not convert the world, neither will I, but it shows that some people even if proof is staring them in the face still choose not to believe. They have very good reasons not to. It’s very convenient.
Now to get to the point I think you are missing.
What makes you think you can demand such proof? If a woman is walking down the street and I stop her and say: Hey, what type of underwear are you wearing, what do you think would happen? I’d probably get slapped in the face and deservedly so. But if I ask the same question to my wife she’d not only tell me she’d probably show me. What is the difference?
The relationship.
You cannot demand intimacy if you don’t even know the person.
You have no right to demand miracles and proof from God anymore than I have of knowing the intimate details of strangers. I haven’t earned it.
If you want evidence of God and you want to experience His wonders then you have to get to know Him.Look for Him,at least try to get to know Him, if you try you won’t be disappointed.
No Christian can do that for you. I can set you up on a blind date but you have to take it from there.
Now you might say well which god? And well, regretfully, I can’t answer that for you. All I have, that is of true weight for me is my experience of Christ, my relationship with Him, what he has done in my life and if you need a little bit of evidence then study the event of the resurrection. How did Christianity arise from a seeming failure? Why where his apostles tortured and killed all still professing to the truth of this event? How does this event separate Jesus from every other religion on earth? Maybe these will guide you along, I sure hope so. By denying the existence of God simply because you don’t want to feel guilty you aren’t taking anything from anybody but yourself.

FredHahn says:

You said: Mr.Hahn to be completely honest as I read your response to Mr. Perry I couldn’t help but think that you are missing a very important point which I will address shortly, but I would like to comment on some of the things you wrote. First, I am convinced that you have never, ever read the old testament in it’s entirety, you talk about things that you do not understand, because you haven’t taken the time to study them carefully.

****Actually, I studied the OT quite a bit in Hebrew school (6 years – Jews don’t study the NT), when I lived in Israel involved in a ultra-religious program in S’fat called Livnot U’libinot and took bible study in college.

You said: Why does the Bible say what it does? When was it written, in what context?

*****Let’s not play the context game now. Take a look at this video. It sums up the idea of context nicely:

http://www.youtube.com/user/NonStampCollector#p/u/24/PK7P7uZFf5o

Many believers like to play the context game taking what is in the bible that sounds good and fair at face value, but when the evil stuff pops up like instantly killing anyone who speaks against the name of god, watching wild animals kill your children if you speak out against god, being put to death for mixing wool and cotton, etc., you shout “Out of context!” C’mon. It wasn’t that long ago. 5,000 years is a blip on the ladder of human existence.

You said: Why is the portrayal of God in the old testament so apparently different than the God of the new testament? Please, until you do so stop repeating what people have told you or your perception of the two pages of the old testament that you may have read.

****Because the NT is simple a collection of stories written by people who followed Christ and/or by people who wanted to create a religion based around Christ. The contents of it deals explicitly with 1st century Christianity. The first book was written it is believed 50 years after Christ died. This alone is telling. IOW, the NT is NOT the word of god as is the OT.

You said: There is a reason, a context there that you are missing that makes it possible to understand it.

*****The only way to understand and accept it is to pretend that there is some sort of context with which to view it in. Otherwise, it’s pretty clear that it’s an incredibly violent, hateful and malevolent story.

You said: On other things…I understand, truly, your need for proof. I can identify with you because it’s also my nature to be skeptical and to need evidence. However, there is a point in which evidence intersects faith. This is the nature of all transcendent things. To go beyond. To surpass our brain capacity and enter the realm of spiritual things. Faith is not blind. It’s not devoid of reason, evidence or science even. Saint Thomas Aquinas, one of the Doctors of the church understood this when he invited people to faith through reason. I don’t think I have to mention the vast amount of pioneering scientist who where all Christian and who saw science as a way to glorify God and learn of His mysteries. Even if we take it down a notch -from spirituality- and stay within the boundaries of universal human experience there are things that cannot be explained through science only. If one asks a person. Does your mother love you? In a normal situation I think a person would say -yes she does. Now, no matter what the person shows as evidence for his/her mother’s love I can always refute it by saying things like: well no, love is simply chemical reactions, or she did it for self interest,etc. I can always just tear it down to it’s basest level. This, however changes nothing. The experience of love of that person is higher than my reasoning of the why’s and why nots. He/she has found satisfactory evidence for love.

*****We all feel love. We all feel pain. We all feel anger. We all feel sorrow. These emotions are universal to all. Gorillas love their children too. They care for them and fiercely protect them as we do. Elephants mourn their fellow family members. A mother elephant will stay with its dead calf for days stroking it, protecting it, loving it and mourning it. But believers claim that only people have souls and go to heaven. Well, if you’re going to play the love/soul = god game, you’ll need to give up your position on animals not going to heaven. Take a step back and see that these things we call “feelings” are present in ALL living creatures and are especially similar in mammals. IMHO, it is the believers who allow themselves to live in a brainwashed state, parroting what other believers have said before them. “God is love.” “God is real because love is real and since you can’t prove love you don’t have to prove god.” This is not meant as an insult. It is simply my observation. I lived like that for many years.

You said: It is the same with God. I have found evidence, in fact in my personal case I didn’t even have a choice in the matter because I have been exposed to supernatural things almost all my life. Now, maybe there’s something wrong with me,maybe I have some sort of pathology or chemical unbalance but what I’m trying to say is that the concept of evidence or proof is extremely subjective.

****True. It can be subjective when the evidence is poor (as in cholesterol and saturated fats being a cause of heart disease) and misinterpreted. As I mentioned to Perry, seeing lights and feeling really warm and euphoric all of a sudden can mean you had a mini stroke and/or an ocular migraine.

You said: God already revealed Himself to mankind, and with great miracles and power, and yet from among his own apostles there was one who did not believe. If Jesus, who gave evidence of His power, did not convert the world, neither will I, but it shows that some people even if proof is staring them in the face still choose not to believe. They have very good reasons not to. It’s very convenient.

****I mean no distrespect here in the least but I must say that your beginning to sound like one who is inculcated.
You said: Now to get to the point I think you are missing. What makes you think you can demand such proof? If a woman is walking down the street and I stop her and say: Hey, what type of underwear are you wearing, what do you think would happen? I’d probably get slapped in the face and deservedly so. But if I ask the same question to my wife she’d not only tell me she’d probably show me. What is the difference? The relationship.

****I have never demanded proof. All I said was, for me to believe in the god of the bible, I’ll need some serious evidence. And I’m not alone. I’m not demanding that god do anything. Certainly not for me at least. I don’t ask his for his help nor do I expect it. If he loves me, I’m fine with that. I don’t walk around defaming him or anything of the sort. My Christian friends say to me “Jesus loves you Fred and he wants to be with you.” I always say “Fine! Great! OK by me.” So now, what am I supposed to do? Dress up differently on Sunday? Say things like “Praise Jesus!” from time to time. Go to a building that has people in it waving their hands in the sky? Why? Why isn’t it enough to just accept it as it is. Why do I have to do things and behave differently? It’s so fake. It’s EXACTLY what Jesus didn’t want people doing.

You said: You cannot demand intimacy if you don’t even know the person. You have no right to demand miracles and proof from God anymore than I have of knowing the intimate details of strangers. I haven’t earned it.

*****Well, the bible sure says I can demand stuff. I can command my wife to do all sorts of things. Oh right I forgot – context. Like I said, I am NOT demanding anything. The whole thing sounds so childish doesn’t it? God is angered and appalled at my insolence! How DARE I demand proof of the Lord of the Universe! I shall pay for my pride! C’mon.

You said: If you want evidence of God and you want to experience His wonders then you have to get to know Him.Look for Him,at least try to get to know Him, if you try you won’t be disappointed. No Christian can do that for you. I can set you up on a blind date but you have to take it from there.

****As I said, if god is real and Jesus loves me I’m good with that. I have no issues with this at all.

You said: Now you might say well which god? And well, regretfully, I can’t answer that for you. All I have, that is of true weight for me is my experience of Christ, my relationship with Him, what he has done in my life and if you need a little bit of evidence then study the event of the resurrection.

*****The resurrection is not proof of anything and is very easily explained.

You said: How did Christianity arise from a seeming failure? Why where his apostles tortured and killed all still professing to the truth of this event? How does this event separate Jesus from every other religion on earth? Maybe these will guide you along, I sure hope so. By denying the existence of God simply because you don’t want to feel guilty you aren’t taking anything from anybody but yourself.

*****I don’t know why some religions come and go. I can guarantee you that in 50,000 years Christianity will be gone just like many other religions that came and went.

And I don’t deny the existence of a “creator” of sorts. You’re putting words in my mouth . My position is that there is no proof that there is a god-like man in the sky who is smiling, fuming, loving and basically behaving like a father, a mother, a spoiled child and a punisher. Yes, I know the speil: I am punishing myself. If I go to hell for not believing that Christ is God before I die, I put myself there. Yeah, it’s just like I tell my daughters – if whenever I beat and torture them, it’s not my fault, it’s theirs for disobeying me. Think about that the next time you tell someone that if they don’t believe, they send themselves to hell. God has nothing to do with it. He’s sad I chose to have my soul burn in hellfire. That he weeps for me as my flesh if torn asunder for all eternity but I did it to myself. Have you ever stopped to think how absolutely absurd that idea is? It is also interesting when a believer tells me that god wants me to come to him on my own and that is why he doesn’t pop out of the sky and say hi to everyone in a way that made it certain he was there or put his arm around people so they could physically feel him and know he existed. The idea is, if he made it plain as day that he did indeed exist (like he used to way back in the day), we’d know that he existed and faith would not be needed. God would get exactly what he wanted, but not the way he wants to get it. This is, in and of itself, totally weird. For some odd reason, god wants us to have faith instead of knowing even though he wants us all to know him. Rather than allowing us to know he’s there, he threatens us instead to get us to know him. Think about this just for a split second. Rather than giving us solid evidence that he does exist so that we don’t need faith and can know his love, he offers punishment for not believing. How sick is that? I mean that. That is just terrible. Imagine doing this to your own child? What all loving god would EVER concoct such a set up? When I’ve said this to religious people before, I cannot believe the excuses – the passes – they give to god for such an outrageous set up.

If a human did something like this to his child, his child would be taken from him and placed in child services or protective custody. The Adam and Eve story is even worse. God gets mad and punishes Adam and Eve and ALL their children for eternity for doing something that he knew, long before they were ever created, that they would do. On top of this, he does this to two people who were completely innocent and did not yet know right from wrong. God says to Eve “Don’t eat from that tree over there.” Eve, not knowing right from wrong, good from evil, meets up with the most evil being ever created who tells her to go on and eat from it and she does.” Remember, she doesn’t know good from evil or right from wrong YET. She has to eat the fruit first before she realizes what this all means. She wasn’t thinking spiteful or prideful thoughts yet like “HA! I’ll show you god! I’m gonna eat from this tree whether you like it or not.” Satan told the most innocent being ever created to eat the fruit. So she did. And god got mad at her? If you told your daughter not to cross a certain street and while she was outside playing, a fake policeman lied to her and told her that you said that she should cross the street and so she did, would you be mad at your daughter? I certainly hope not because if you did get mad at her, you’d need serious therapy and probably shouldn’t be a father.

mcblanc says:

Fred- Your “Bottom Line” Says IT All…

“I certainly hope not [be mad at his daughter for disobeying him] because if you did get mad at her, you’d need serious therapy and probably shouldn’t be a father.”

In other words…
Your advice is to place our faith in therapists & what they “parrot.”

Some of Your observations & criticisms—I agree with—but the true statements were too often interspersed among so much fatuous & downright juvenile analysis that…I’m not touching it—EXCEPT FOR…
YOUR Version of The Adam and Eve Story…

For Someone who spent so many years studying the OT in Hebrew school—no less—Your paraphrased version of The Adam and Eve story is SERIOUSLY OFF The Mark.

You wrongfully cast the “Snake” who “Spoke” to Eve—As An “Authority Figure”—a policeman…when that “Voice”…that had neither arms nor legs with which to act on its own…That “Voice” that crept down out of the “Branches of Her Mind” and “Spoke” To Eve—That “Voice” Came From Her Own Thoughts With Whom She Held—

First—An “Interior Conversation”…

Then—She Acted Upon Her Thoughts & Did What She’d Been Told By Her FATHER To NOT Do…

And Once She’d Done IT—Herself—
IT Sure Wasn’t Too Tough To Talk Adam Into Joining Her—As He—NO DOUBT—Had ALSO Had PLENTY of The Same “Snaky & Rebellious Thoughts” ALONG SIMILAR LINES of ACTION—Himself.

What Followed IS History’s First “Recorded” Shotgun Wedding…

AND STILL TODAY—
Rushing Sexual Relations Ahead of Fuller Marriage Understanding & Preparation & Readiness—

IS A FORMULA THAT HAS BUTTERED THE BREAD FOR AN ARMY of MARRIAGE COUNSELORS & THERAPISTS…

As Well As DIVORCE LAWYERS & ALL THE ATTENDING COURT CLERKS & JUDGES…

NOT To Mention…
THOSE OTHER ARMIES…of CHILD THERAPISTS & SCHOOL COUNSELORS FOR CHILDREN WHO SUFFER FROM THE FALL-OUT of (All Too Often) A SEEMINGLY ENDLESS SERIES of MALFORMED / NEVER-FORMED / BREAKING &/or BROKEN FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS & “HOMES” IN WHICH THEY ARE (All Too Often) VIEWED AS AN UNWANTED SIDE-EFFECT of SEXUAL RELATIONS—NOT THE POINT.

Oh—
And Another Note…
Regarding Your Statement…

“*****I don’t know why some religions come and go. I can guarantee you that in 50,000 years Christianity will be gone just like many other religions that came and went.”

Oh—Do TELL.

Fred—I can guarantee You that in 50,000 years Christianity will be practiced in MORE ways than the EXPLOSION That Has ALREADY OCCURRED in the Variety & of the Forms/Formats of Worship—IN THESE…JUST THE FIRST 2 Christian Millennia !!

It Ain’t “Over” Now…
It Ain’t Gonna BE “Over” IN 50,000 Years…
Baby—We’re Jest Gittin’ STARTED !!!

FredHahn says:

Wow.

Q: The serpent was Satan. Satan can make people do and think things they shouldn’t. ‘Nuff said on that. And since he was posing as a snake, why did god curse his creation the snake? The snakes didn’t do anything wrong. Satan was posing as a snake yes he cursed the snake? God’s idea of who to punish for a crime is pretty twisted. But I’m sure there is some apologeitc excuse for this too.

And I wasn’t saying to place all trust in the advice from professional therapists. what I’m saying is that God punished Eve wrongly and any human father who did what God did to Adam, Eve, their progeny and the poor snakes should have his head examined.

There were counselors, lawyers, doctors, etc. in Christ’s time too. What are you going on about?

Many religions have come and gone. Christianity, Judaism and the rest will vanish as well. Just like the United States will one day vanish. All things come to an end – as the world will in a few billion years – as our solar system will and so too our galaxy.

mcblanc says:

“Wow.” … ??
Methinks You don’t intend THIS Exclamation in a “positive” sense.

“The serpent was Satan”…Who You previously paraphrased as “a fake policeman”…and…”Satan can make people do and think things they shouldn’t.”

I can see WHY Your Next Sentence Was…”‘Nuff said on that”…as THIS IS A BIG Whoops.

You’re Hilarious–Fred…
You’ve Written ACRES Challenging God…as well as the fools who swallow the teachings & practices of religions…

But You glibly accept “Satan”–AND–Accord him the power to…”make people do and think things they shouldn’t.”

[NOTE: I think that These 2 verbs should've been given in reverse order--Think and Do]…

ANYWAY…
Thank You–Your statement gave Me an “Instant Replay” of Flip Wilson doing His “Geraldine–The devil made me do it” sketch…
An’ I’m ALL SMILES !!

There IS A…Problem…among certain Christian sub-sects with Scriptural Literalism…

And–
MANY Protestant Denominations Have Chosen To Reject The Catholic Church’s Interpretations of Scripture…

And They Even Rejected The Catholic Church’s Decisions As To Which Books Should Be Included In Scriptural Canon…

And So–Aligned Their OT Scripture With The Hebrew Version…burying the additional “catholic” stuff in an appendix in the way-back labeled “Apocryphal”…meaning “of dubious origins”…not unlike Christ–Himself.

And–Fred–The More I Live & Learn “Old School” Protestant OT Biblical Interpretation …and… Jewish Biblical Interpretation–

THE MORE I FIND OUT JUST WHERE THE OVER-EMPHASIS ON “LITERALISM” COMES FROM !!…

AND–
The Greatest Grandaddy of OVER-EMPHASIS on Biblical Literalism OF THEM ALL IS–

One of THE Cornerstones of Kosher Kitchens–

Keeping Meat & Dairy COMPLETELY SEPARATED Because of The Command…

“You shall not boil a young kid in its mother’s milk.”

AND For Centuries…
Orthodox Jewish Mothers Have Scrupulously Kept…

dishes, knives, spoons, forks, pots, pans, cups, shelves, cabinets, drawers, tablecloths, napkins, placemats, washcloths, dishwasher etc… etc… etc…

For MEAT–

And…dishes… etc… etc… etc…

For DAIRY–

Because–Heaven Forbid–We Would EVER–Even Accidentally–Boil A Young Kid IN Its Mother’s Milk–BETTER TO NEVER-EVER ALLOW MEAT & DAIRY TO EVEN TOUGH EACH OTHER–AT ALL…

AND–
AT THE VERY SAME TIME…
“The Jewish Mother” stereotype…shared with us by Jewish comedians and authors the world over…is generally a nagging, overprotective, manipulative, controlling, smothering, and overbearing mother or wife, one who persists in interfering in her children’s lives long after they have become adults…

IF–The “endless caretaking and boundless self-sacrifice by a mother who demonstrates her love by constant overfeeding and unremitting solicitude about every aspect of her children’s and husband’s welfare[s]“…[Thanks for THIS Summary Statement--Lisa Aronson Fontes]…

ISN’T–
“BOILING A YOUNG KID IN ITS MOTHER’S MILK”…

THEN–
I DON’T KNOW WHAT–IS.

And…
Of Course–
Jewish Mothers…and Their Chinese “Sistahs” a.k.a. Tiger Moms…Have Been EXTREMELY Reliable Suppliers of BOTH–Patients AND Therapists–To Try To Understand…

Why Am I So DRIVEN To Meet The Highest of Expectations & Standards–AND–NEVER Satisfied That I’ve EVER Done ANYTHING–Well-Enough ??…

But All These Years Unto Decades Unto Centuries–
It’s Been A LOT SAFER…at least for Jewish Kids…To TALK ABOUT…”God’s idea of who to punish for a crime [being] pretty twisted.”

Fred–You’re right in the sense that…
Some day Our trails & pains WILL come to an end…

And Thanks To Computer Enhanced Communication–
The Day IS COMING–FASTER THAN EVER–When NEEDLESS Trials & UNNECESSARY Pains That We Coulda/Shoulda/Woulda Avoided…on THIS Side of Heaven…Are Being Properly Addressed IN Timely Manners…

Cheers !!

FredHahn says:

First of all, I wasn’t paraphrasing the story. I was making an analogy using a policeman as an authority figure – a strong force that could make you do something that you would normally not do.

The bible CLEARLY indicates that satan and demons can make people do things they would otherwise not do. Since this is a fact of the bible, it is highly likely that satan caused Eve and thus Adam to eat from the tree. And you didn’t make mention of why god cursed the snake for all eternity when snakes didn’t do a darn thing.

You said:
“You’re Hilarious–Fred…You’ve Written ACRES Challenging God…as well as the fools who swallow the teachings & practices of religions…
But You glibly accept “Satan”–AND–Accord him the power to…”make people do and think things they shouldn’t.”

I don’t accord satan any power – god did that. And I don’t see where god punishes satan either. Did I miss that part somewhere? No. He punishes all the wrong creatures and not the right one. Brilliant.

It appears from your long and winding response that you have chosen to side-step the issues I brought up for discussion. I think you did because you don’t have or cannot concoct a cogent response.

But don’t feel bad because whenever I’ve discussed this same stuff with other believers, the same thing happens and at some point in the conversation they either shift the goal posts, create logical fallacy after fallacy, or just give up and start praying for me.

If you believe that Mickey Mantle is the greatest baseball player who ever lived, no stats to the contrary are going to change your mind. He’s clearly NOT the greatest player by a long shot but if you are a die hard Mantle fan, fahgettabout it. You’ll defend your position that he is vehemently.

Same goes for religion. The religious can’t be bothered with the facts. They choose to live in a controlled delusion like anyone else who wants desperately to believe in something that makes them feel good and gives them comfort.

Vegans are among the strongest types of these sorts of folks.

The fact remains that the Adam and Eve story, when you read it word for word and take it for exactly what it is without trying to justify it, is remarkably ridiculous.

TA says:

14 And Jehovah God proceeded to say to the serpent: “Because you have done this thing, you are the cursed one out of all the domestic animals and out of all the wild beasts of the field. Upon your belly you will go and dust is what you will eat all the days of your life. 15 And I shall put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.”

Genesis 3:15 appears to be a continuation of Genesis 3:14. However, I am being taught that the reference “I shall put enmity…between your seed and her seed…” implies enmity between Satan and Jesus Christ, and that “He will bruise you in the head and you will bruise him in the heel.” means that Satan would have Jesus Christ killed on earth (“you will bruise him in the heel”) although he was raised up, while Jesus Christ will destroy Satan permanently (“bruise you in the head”).

shellbell95 says:

Eve’s creation reminds us of several crucial truths about womanhood in general. It speaks of Eve’s fundamental equality with Adam. The woman was “taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). She was of exactly the same essence as Adam. She was in no way an inferior character, but she was his spiritual counterpart, his intellectual coequal, and in every sense his perfect mate and companion. NOT some full sized retard with no common sense, and the wherewithal of a suckling babe. She was the mother of all living…the epitomy of womanly perfection! She knew right from wrong, and that God told her NOT to eat! Otherwise, why would he waste His breath?

Her creation also reminds us of the essential unity that is ideal in every marriage relationship, and it illustrates how deep and meaningful the marriage of husband and wife is to be. It is not merely a physical union, but a union of heart and soul as well. The intimacy of her relationship with her husband is rooted in the fact that she was literally taken from his side.

After creation and before the fall, Adam and Eve were partners and companions, fellow-laboeres in the garden. God dealt with Adam as head of the human race, and Eve was accountable to her husband. This was true paradise, and they constituted a perfect microcosm of the human race as God designed it to be. It was not as though they were created and then 5 min. later Eve eats the fruit!

Seed of Woman..The severity of the curse must have shattered Eve’s heart, but God’s judgment was not entirely harsh and hopeless. There was a good deal of grace, even in the curse. Although their relationship would now have tensions that did not exist in Eden, Eve remained Adam’s partner. She retained her role as a wife, and she would still be the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20).

The promise that Eve would still bear children mitigated every other aspect of the curse. That one simple expectation contained a ray of hope for the whole human race. There was a hint in the curse itself that one of Eve’s own offspring would ultimately overthrow evil and dispel all the darkness of sin (Gen. 3:15).

A prophecy was given to the woman that she would be at enmity with the serpent and bruise his head, but he would bruise her heel (see Genesis 3:15). This was a prophecy of Christ who would be born through a woman, and as a man destroy the works of the devil.
Christ, who was uniquely “born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4) – being born of a virgin, and God in human form — literally fulfilled God’s promise: that the Seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. As a result, heaven will be eternally filled with Eve’s redeemed offspring, and they will be forever occupied in celebrating the work of her victorious Seed. This sounds like a pretty just and loving God to me!

Seed of serpent…The curse upon the serpent was that he would crawl on his belly and eat the dust. This speaks of how the serpent’s seed would be bound to the earth, conforming to the contour of the earth. Because man was made from the dust, and this is what the serpent would eat, it speaks of how the devil would feed on the earthly or carnal nature of man. This is why the devil is so intent on sowing carnality in man – he feeds on it.

Distinction…One of the most basic distinctions between the two seeds can be seen in the offerings that Cain and Abel brought to the Lord. Because of the sin of man, the ground was cursed so that he could only bring forth fruit from it by “the sweat of his brow” (see Genesis 3:19). Therefore, when Cain brought an offering of grain to the Lord, he was bringing that which was produced by his own works. In contrast to this, Abel brought a blood sacrifice, which was a prophecy that man could only be acceptable to God through the blood sacrifice of Jesus.

It was the nature of these sacrifices that brought the enmity between Cain and Abel. Likewise, it will always be the cross that is the enmity between the two seeds. This is still the primary reason for the persecution against Christians, and will be until the end. Those who are of the seed of Cain will be enraged at those who claim the only way we can be acceptable to God is through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and that our own works will never make us acceptable to God.

shellbell95 says:

Eve (the mother of all living) must have been a creature of unsurpassed beauty. She was the crown and the pinnacle of God’s amazing creative work, the last living thing to be called into existence — actually fashioned directly by the Creator’s own hand in a way that showed particular care and attention to detail. Adam was refined dirt; Eve was a glorious refinement of humanity itself. She was Adam’s necessary partner who finally made his existence complete — and whose own existence finally signaled the completion of all creation.
Eve’s creation reminds us of several crucial truths about womanhood in general. It speaks of Eve’s fundamental equality with Adam. The woman was “taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23). She was of exactly the same essence as Adam. She was in no way an inferior character, but she was his spiritual counterpart, his intellectual coequal, and in every sense his perfect mate and companion. She was NOT some full-sized retarded chick with the mentality of an infant. She knew right from wrong, and understood no means no! She understood the pecking order, and willfully made her choice without checking with Adam.

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were partners and companions, fellow-laboeres in the garden. God dealt with Adam as head of the human race, and Eve was accountable to her husband. This was true paradise, and they constituted a perfect microcosm of the human race as God designed it to be.

Genesis 3 records the temptation and fall of both Eve and her husband, and the subsequent curse they received. The severity of the curse must have shattered Eve’s heart, but God’s judgment was not entirely harsh and hopeless. There was a good deal of grace, even in the curse. Although their relationship would now have tensions that did not exist in Eden, Eve remained Adam’s partner. She retained her role as a wife, and she would still be the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20).

The promise that Eve would still bear children mitigated every other aspect of the curse. That one simple expectation contained a ray of hope for the whole human race. There was a hint in the curse itself that one of Eve’s own offspring would ultimately overthrow evil and dispel all the darkness of sin (Gen. 3:15).

Christ, who was uniquely “born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4) – being born of a virgin, and God in human form — literally fulfilled God’s promise: that the Seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head. As a result, heaven will be eternally filled with Eve’s redeemed offspring, and they will be forever occupied in celebrating the work of her victorious Seed. Sounds like a pretty just and loving God to me.

Immediately after the Fall in the garden, the Lord prophesied the destiny of the seed of the serpent, and the seed of the woman (see Genesis 3:15). As we are told in Revelation 12:9, the “serpent of old” is the devil. The seed of the serpent is the nature of the devil, which was sown in man by the Fall. A prophecy was given to the woman that she would be at enmity with the serpent and bruise his head, but he would bruise her heel (see Genesis 3:15). This was a prophecy of Christ who would be born through a woman, and as a man destroy the works of the devil. With the first two sons of Eve, we can discern the nature of these two seeds. In the Scriptures, we find the story of the development and maturity of these two seeds in man, and the conflict between them throughout history.

The curse upon the serpent was that he would crawl on his belly and eat the dust. This speaks of how the serpent’s seed would be bound to the earth, conforming to the contour of the earth. Because man was made from the dust, and this is what the serpent would eat, it speaks of how the devil would feed on the earthly or carnal nature of man. This is why the devil is so intent on sowing carnality in man – he feeds on it.

One of the most basic distinctions between the two seeds can be seen in the offerings that Cain and Abel brought to the Lord. Because of the sin of man, the ground was cursed so that he could only bring forth fruit from it by “the sweat of his brow” (see Genesis 3:19). Therefore, when Cain brought an offering of grain to the Lord, he was bringing that which was produced by his own works. In contrast to this, Abel brought a blood sacrifice, which was a prophecy that man could only be acceptable to God through the blood sacrifice of Jesus.

It was the nature of these sacrifices that brought the enmity between Cain and Abel. Likewise, it will always be the cross that is the enmity between the two seeds. This is still the primary reason for the persecution against Christians, and will be until the end. Those who are of the seed of Cain will be enraged at those who claim the only way we can be acceptable to God is through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and that our own works will never make us acceptable to God.

shellbell95 says:

“I still can’t help wondering how we can explain away what to me is the greatest miracle of all and which is recorded in history. No one denies there was such a man, that he lived and that he was put to death by crucifixion. Where … is the miracle I spoke of? Well consider this and let your imagination translate the story into our own time — possibly to your own home town. A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father’s shop. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father’s shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside, walking from place to place, preaching all the while, even though he is not an ordained minister. He never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal, so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing — the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place for him so he is interred in a borrowed tomb. End of story? No, this uneducated, property-less young man has, for 2,000 years, had a greater effect on the world than all the rulers, kings, emperors; all the conquerors, generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who have ever lived — all of them put together. How do we explain that — unless He really was what He said He was?” –President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

greyfox says:

Of all the people posting to this forum, and I’ve read a lot of them, Fred Hahn makes the most sense. His arguments are reasoned
and grounded in reality. His admission of things that he doesn’t know are refreshing and his claim that those who don’t know credit God as the answer is right on the money. When discussing the “spiritual world” the refuge always seems to be “you have to believe”. Well isn’t it great that we question things or the world would still be flat, at least many would believe it to be flat. As with many other aspects of knowledge of our world. We don’t have all the answers to all the questions and may never have. We may be wiped out as a species long before that happens. We might colonize space someday and there will be those who will take their God along just for
comfort and that’s OK. Fred doesn’t have all the answers and I don’t have all the answers but it would seem that neither of us are willing to put the blame or cause for all things on some spiritual entity. The easy way out of course is to say, as most liberals do, Bush did it. Replace Bush with God for those who don’t get it.

Joe Mobley says:

Perry,

You’re kidding right?

“Why is the “why doesn’t God heal amputees question” always stated with a sneer?”

Would that be the same kind of condescending sneer given by Christians when asking “If you don’t believe in God you must think your hand appeared by accident? Ahuk-Ahuk.”

“I can stop an atheist cold in 15 minutes with any of the following questions:”

Any atheist? ANY atheist??? Every atheist has been stopped cold by only 1 beer from the Perry six-pack. I can’t resist that. Let’s go.

First of all I would like a definition of “stop an atheist cold.” Are the questions so brilliantly powerful that the atheist became born-again believers? Or did the simple logic of the questions turn the atheist away in shame? I am eager to see your definition.

-Where did the big bang come from? – Non-sequitur.
Would the best, most accurate answer ever given in the world result in proof of the Christian God? Provide undeniable evidence of a resurrected Jesus? I don’t think so.

-Why is the universe orderly and logical? – Invalid question.
Your questions assumes that the universe is orderly and logical. It is not. Should you think that it is, I invited you to pass on mowing, trimming, and doing normal household maintenance until next June. I think you’ll see that orderly universe creep away week-by-week. (Perhaps with your wife and children.)

-Where did the genetic code come from? – Non-sequitur. (See “Where did the big bang come from?” above.)
Again, this doesn’t point to God, Jesus, etc. But I do find this topic hugely interesting. Maybe a clue can be found here.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2087758,00.html

Wouldn’t that be a hoot!

-Where did life come from? – Non-sequitur. (See “Where did the big bang come from?” above.)
All of these “non-sequitur” questions basically fall into the “This is so awesome that only God could have done it.” category. Maybe, maybe not. There is no way that this verifies any Christian ideology.

-What basis is there for objective moral values? – Foolish Christian arrogance.
Humans, by their nature are tribal animals. Good moral values are in our best interest.

Perry, I’ll bet you know many non-Christian, and maybe some non-believers that are people of high character and great morals. Perhaps you might know some Christians that have less-than-wonderful morals. There are no requirements for a belief in a God to have a good values system.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x12Ln1PSyvo

-If the only mechanism that drives life forward is survival, why do humans prize things like beauty and music and poetry and spirituality, given that we all know practically speaking that most of those things are paths to starvation? The very term “starving artist” testifies to the fact that art is a disadvantage to natural selection.

This question implies that survival is the ONLY mechanism that “drives life forward.” That simply isn’t true.

Wow! All the way through the Perry six-pack. I think I need to go to the bathroom.

One thing that I have noticed is a bait-and-switch tactic in these types on conversations. Usually after the Christian-Jesus arguments fail, there’s a quick switch to the “prove-a-God” discussion. This is not acceptable. If you, a Christian are talking about God, then my assumption (yea, I know) is that you are talking about the Biblical God.

Regards,

Joe Mobley

Joe,

And you have the audacity to say ‘ “Why is the universe orderly and logical” is an invalid question?’ !!!

What an anti-intellectual statement. Stated with a sneer, I might add.

If it’s not, then the entire basis for practicing science goes out the window. This is the fundamental presupposition of modern science. Oh, and by the way, this supposition came from theology. 3000 years ago Solomon said, “Thou hast ordered all things in weight and number and measure.” The first such statement of its kind in recorded history.

Origin of the genetic code:

1. The pattern in DNA is a code.

2. All codes we know the origin of are designed.

3. Therefore we have 100% inference that DNA is designed and 0% inference that it is not.

Show me a code we know the origin of that’s not designed and I’ll write you a check for $10,000. Here’s the specification: http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

You said, “This question implies that survival is the ONLY mechanism that “drives life forward.” That simply isn’t true.”

Fine. If you believe that you’re not a true Darwinist.

Did you actually answer ANY of these questions?

Or did you just evade them?

FredHahn says:

According to science, the sequence of bases in DNA is a code.

However, DNA is a polymer of a sugar and phosphate which constitutes the “tape” along which the code is specified by the four bases A, T, C, G. adenine (abbreviated A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T).

Every 3 bases is considered a codon. The “plain text” is an amino acid, or a few are “punctuation,” so-called stop-codons. A copy is made of the DNA code into RNA code and the message is translated on the ribosome which incorporates the specified amino acid into growing protein. There are graphics of this all over the internet.

It only appears that something like Morse code and the alphabet were created and designed. They are the product of the natural evolution of people – which “happened.”

Here’s what we know about God -he hasn’t published anything in ~2,000 years.

Jan says:

It seems to me that the counter argument (against Perry’s thesis), is that it is not actually a code…

However, no-one seems to deny that actual information reflects intelligent design (i.e., the ‘mind’ behind such information).

So lets forget about the DNA example for the moment. Let’s take your favorite newspaper or magazine – does that particular publication contain REAL/ACTUAL information? (in other words, can we ‘scientifically’ assume that there is intelligence behind it?

So my question to you is: can information exist without it having been created by intelligence in the first place?

Joe Mobley said : ” Good moral values are in our best interest.”
What is “good” and who does the “our” refer to? This idea is almost an atheist mantra, but it crumbles under examination.
Are you in favor of eugenics? That’s where your affirmation leads if you can be self-consistent.

Oh, and the fact that atheists also can have high moral standards says absolutely nothing about the origin of those morals. I am hoping you can do better, Joe.

Joe Mobley says:

Mr. Morgan,

While I can appreciate that there are several worthwhile tenets in Christianity, there are some values in need of reconsideration.

Like a father teaching his children they, by the mere fact that they were born, are worthless no-good bastards.

How many of us cringe when we hear adults talk like that to their children in a restaurant or grocery store? And yet the “You’re just so un-wuuurthy!” message is a staple of Christian teaching.

Fortunately, values like “it’s okay to have slaves, just don’t beat them to disfigurement or blindness”, or “stone your children to death if they talk back to you”, or “stone a woman to death who is not a virgin on her wedding night” have not aged very well.

Thousands of years before there was a Garden of Eden, there were groups of people, tribes, even governments putting together laws and value systems. Some good, some not so fantastic. The idea that you need a deity to put values in place is simply not true.

“I am hoping you can do better, Joe.”

Thank you Mr. Morgan, I have done better. I have chosen to walk away from the foolishness of faith. I am enjoying the search for truth, facts, evidence, logic, reason, etc. I was hoping to find some here. But as of yet, not so much.

Regards,

Joe Mobley

Joe Mobley : I can fully understand the joy you experience in searching for truth, facts and evidence. May your joy continue for a long time.
However, your openness seems a little doubtful, since you have chosen NOT to reply to my questions. This is disappointing, since my questions did appeal to truth, facts, evidence, reason and logic. While the private nature of my personal experience of the love of God makes it difficult to share, I would have thought that facts, reason, evidence and logic would represent a place where we can meet and exchange. Could I invite you for a second and last time to address my questions?
If not, I wish you all the best anyway. Perhaps we will meet up somewhere else one day. The Internet is a big place.

Joe Mobley says:

Mr. Morgan,

“However, your openness seems a little doubtful, since you have chosen NOT to reply to my questions.”

I have been busy with my business and have been unavailable for a couple of days.

I have posted a response to your questions.

Joe Mobley

Joe,

I spent a lot of years vomiting up the exact sort of clenched-fist Christianity that you refer to here. It’s not the only kind there is.

I do not blame you for one second for hating the “you’re a worthless no-good bastard” “you’re just so un-wuuurthy” message. I HATE it too. Loathe it.

I do not find this teaching in Jesus’ words. I tend to find it in churches that like to talk about Paul all the time and somehow manage to leave Jesus out most of the time. Any flavor of Christianity minus Jesus is not likely to be very kind. It’s corrosive.

The Jesus I know said, “Which if you fathers, if your children asked him for bread, would give him a stone?” He said, “If you want to enter the kingdom of God, you must become like this child.”

I address the question of amputees in my article http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles/. Perhaps you will take the time to read the article.

I am confident that in my lifetime I will see amputees healed and said facts documented on video for all to see. I’ve certainly seen enough other miracles with my own eyes. In that case, I wonder how many of the “Why doesn’t God heal amputees” folks will change their minds?

It seems likely that some percentage of them will jeer and sneer: “Alright, so God healed somebody. Woo-hoo you religious nutcase, I’m so excited for you. What I want to know now is, why was that guy the only one? Huh? Answer me that!” And on and on the mockery goes.

This is not without precedent. Mark reports:

6:1 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.

Why doesn’t God heal amputees? I think this hints at an answer.

In the miracles article I reference hundreds of pages of readily available documented healings, some in peer reviewed medical journals, some in books by medical doctors complete with documentation; others on video so all can see, confirmed by multiple credible media outlets. You can obtain most for free and the rest for all of 20 bucks on Amazon.

Seems to me that a person who is asking this question seriously would avail themselves of this information.

Joe, if you want truth, facts, evidence, logic, reason, etc., then spend the next few weeks reading every single article on this website. Read the other articles at http://www.Coffeehousetheology.com Do you want to parse the fine line between faith and logic, between induction and deduction? Read my post on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, and read the discussion and arguments in the comments.

I’m assuming you’re serious about these questions. If you are then I have painstakingly written this website for people just like you.

Perry Marshall

Joe Mobley says:

Perry,

I appreciate the time and thought you have put into your response.

There seems to be leaning on proof-of-miracles here. I do not fall into that category. I do not require miracles nor proof of them.

I have great respect for your journey and ultimate results regarding you trip through MLM. I liked how you used engineering (logical?) background to be able to step back and reevaluate and learn from your situation.

I was hoping for a similar logic here.

If you are suggestion that I might consider a Christian God –> resurrected Jesus spiritual belief system, fine. All I’m asking for is reasonable, simple, logical evidence to support your idea.

I will take you up on your offer to visit Coffeehousetheology.com and review your post on Gödel’s incompleteness theorem.

Again, thank you for your time.

Joe Mobley

Joe,

I think it’s cool that you bring this up, because as you know, I decided to use the web as an anvil to see if the MLM machine could stand up to scrutiny.

I saw very quickly that it crumbled under the weight of hard analysis. (To put it mildly.) Was there a good reason for the tool systems being the way they were, etc, other than the powerful exploiting the gullible?

In a word, no.

A few years later I found myself putting together my coffeehouse website with an eerily similar thing in mind. Point/counterpoint, thesis/antithesis. Let’s get all this out on the table and start hammering on it.

I’d been raised Christian, my dad was a minister, and I thought there was a very real possibility that Christianity might crumble the same way Amway did. Not only that, websites like Infidels were attracting hundreds of thousands of followers and the arguments were very strong.

Atheists are a small minority, the perfect population for being under-represented in the brick and mortar world but strong on the web. You see that today with the New Atheism.

I was open to the possibility that the whole Christianity thing might be a sham. And if so, I might as well find out sooner rather than later. Maybe churches would someday be filled with those people left who couldn’t be bothered to get on the Internet.

By the way I had a deep dark fear of feeling the same way about having been a Christian as I’d felt about being a “naive enthusiastic ambot.” ie they saw me coming a mile away. I was a gullible idiot. What a horrible fear.

Meanwhile I decided to try my best to defend Christianity based on what I did know. I decided to take all comers. Sort of like I am doing here on this blog, but back then it was via email. The Autoresponder replies all came back to me. So the convos were private, which helps. I decided that I was willing to “fight to the death” – someone was going to win. Maybe it was going to be me, maybe it was going to be the atheist that I was talking to.

Sooner or later we would find out. If Christianity was a sham I would give it up.

What happened to me was, I became more and more sure of fewer and fewer things.

There are a lot of things that I would never be interested in trying to defend. There are other things that I think really do stand up to logical, historical, philosophical and scientific scrutiny.

One of those things is Christian God –> resurrected Jesus spiritual belief system. The Judeo-Christian account of the origins of the universe; the case for the resurrection of Jesus; for the reliability (not utter perfection) of the gospel texts; for various prophesies coming true, for Christian ideas of equality giving birth to our modern notions of human rights; for developing the philosophical roots for modern science; healings from disease; the case for all these things is much stronger than most people would ever suspect.

In fact I’ll go so far as to say that Judaism and Christianity together laid the foundations for modern colleges and universities and a great deal of the Western intellectual tradition.

I don’t expect you to accept any of this just because I say so. But I think if you page through the various articles, the q&a in the blog comments, the presentations and MP3′s – you will find a reasonable, logical articulation of Christianity as a rational belief system.

By the way I just ran across this yesterday. David Stove was a brilliant, incisive atheist philosopher from Australia. Wrote “Darwinian Fairytales” and “Rationality of Induction.” I bought both of those books several years ago. I wasn’t aware he had a son.

His son RJ Stove writes this riveting account of converting to Catholicism: http://budurl.com/g7yy

I think RJ’s story is a shining example of what happens when you put atheism on the anvil and start pounding on it, the same way I pounded on Christianity. It shatters like brittle iron. I doubt many people know the real story of David Stove, I sure didn’t. David Stove’s books are outstanding by the way, and very witty.

greyfox says:

Morals come from the society in which they are practiced. Your morals are neither from your religion or from your god. They have been honed through years of use, acceptance and denial and handed down from generation to generation. My morals said, Marriage was between a man and a woman. Today’s morals say marriage is between a man and a man and a woman and a woman and young people living together out of wedlock is an acceptable way o life. My morals are at odds with these morals yet I have little choice but to accept them in today’s society. Perhaps I have completely missed the intention of your comment.

Joe Mobley says:

Richard Morgan,

In answer to your questions…

Good = Values that support the best interest of the group.
Our = The group, tribe, community, etc.

Again, ”Good moral values are in our best interest.”

Michael Shermer on The Science of Good and Evil
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar2gIynxedw

I’m not sure I agree with your opinion that my thinking in this area ultimately leads to eugenics.

Hope that answers your questions.

Joe Mobley

JPeasemould says:

@ Joe Mobley
When I read some of the wilfully ignorant rubbish written by these god-believing religious fruit cakes it makes me fume. So, well done on your straight-forward response to the questions that can, supposedly, stop an atheist in 15 mins!

The credulity of these people is amazing. But I guess if you believe in and base your world view on the supernatural, then you can pretty much believe in anything, without evidence.

I’ve been asking for years, what has god got against amputees but have never had a straight or honest answer.

JPeasemould : “wilfully ignorant”? What on earth is that supposed to mean? I’m 65 and have never met anybody who has chosen to be “wilfully ignorant”.
And how can you be “amazed” by the credulity of the majority of the population of the Earth?
This kind of comment is very revealing concerning your own attitudes.
But the best is this “I’ve been asking for years, what has god got against amputees but have never had a straight or honest answer.”
For YEARS? I find it very worrying that anybody could be asking the same question for “years”! Have you tried listening to the answers? Doesn’t sound like it. As an atheist, why should it bother you?
I’ve never made this remark to anybody before, but rather than fixating on the same question for years, and being amazed by the commonplace, don’t you think you should be getting yourself a life? Take long walks, get out and around, meet people, that kind of thing.
All the best, pal.

JPeasemould says:

‘Wilfully ignorant’ – as in disregarding established facts and evidence. The sort of rubbish found in ‘Answers in Genesis’. You know, the kind of stuff that’s continually trotted out by some people on this forum.

So come on Richard, what IS the answer to why god doesn’t heal amputees? Is it that god won’t do it? Or can’t? Either way, it’s not much of a god, is it? Either ambivalent, evil, weak or, as I suspect, non-existent.

I treat my pets better than your god treats his/her creation!

Thanks for the advice Richard, regarding my ‘fixation’. I see you are probably equally afflicted, judging by your presence here. I like to do my bit in redressing the balance from blind faith to science and reason.

You only have to look back a couple of thousand years or so, to those bronze-age superstitious desert dwellers to see that god was everywhere in their lives. Thanks to science and human enquiry, many of us no longer feel the need for appeasement or sacrifice to an all powerful deity. The rest of you will catch-up soon and then we will be rid of the evil that is religion.

ooOoo

Thanks for the kind words Joe.

Best regards

JP

Jpeasemold : I have tried, in my way, to enter into an intelligent exchange with you and others here.
I look forward to the day when you, too, benefit from scientific knowledge and the fruits of human enquiry. They seem to have passed you by for the time being.
I note, in passing, your use of the word “evil”. Now, where can that have come from, I wonder…

I see that dreams of a godless Utopia die hard on your side of the Atlantic. Dream on, pal, dream on. Come back when you are ready to discuss reasonably, logically and without acrimony.

All the best,
Richard

JPeasemould says:

Richard: “Intelligent exchange”? Sorry, Pal, must have missed that one. Though I did spot some of the usual pseudo science that probably passes for rigorous peer reviewed science “on your side of the pond”. Or at least in certain sectors.

And having lived for several years in the bible belt, I feel I am qualified to comment on that. And the prejudice that accompanied it.

I use the term ‘evil’ advisedly. Which is how I think the media described a group of very pious men that crashed their aircraft on 9/11. At least they were the ‘wrong’ religion. Previously, in Northern Ireland, you’d be killed for being the wrong type of christian. Still see no evil?

I do.

But maybe my sense of being good is more highly developed than yours? You know the Steven Weinberg quote; “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

I heard a report today that church attendance is down in the USA. Maybe you’re not so immune to the godless utopia as you imagine. Secularism is alive and well in the UK and most of Europe, despite the vagaries of evangelical xtians and radical islam.

I would go on to wish you an insincere ‘all the best’ but you do it so well, so I won’t bother.

Religion is an affront to humanity. The world will be a better place without it. And for the rest, keep drinking the cool aid.

Yours

JPeasemould – you come across as a very bitter person. Is that your intention? Because bitterness doesn’t make for reasonable dialogue.
However your reply does give the chance to debunk (once again) that very silly atheist Weinberg mantra, sound-bite – call it what you like.
“But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
1) It starts with the false premise that people are either good or evil.
2)Inasmuch as we evaluate a person’s relative goodness/evilness by their acts, if a person commits an evil act (whatever the motivation) he is no longer your mythical “good person”.
This is almost as silly as the “I just go one god further” thing.
And believe it or not, when I wish a person well, I mean it. And it just so happens that I wish all people well – you included. So, truly, you don’t need to project any of your dark feelings on to me.
Next time you’re in France I would be happy to offer you a nice glass of Beaujolais Nouveau – so much nicer than KoolAid.

JPeasemould says:

Bitter, angry, annoyed, fed-up, despair? Good old plucky British cynicism? Take your pick.

So just to be clear, someone who performs an evil dead on behalf of their religion, is that nothing to do with their religion? Or do you have a more convoluted/scholarly way to excuse it?

So Richard, as you mention it, what about all the other gods? Either all gods are true or all gods are false. If you can discredit one or many without evidence, then how can you argue for another without evidence? I understand there are almost 4,000 recorded gods in history. Are you saying none of those are/were true? Though I guess faith doesn’t require truth.

I like a drop of Beaujolais Nouveau, as it goes. Sancerre for a nice dry white. I’ve spent many a pleasant summer holiday in France, you are fortunate to live there. You might laugh, but even southern England manages to knock out a reasonable vintage these days.

greyfox says:

Why are people with whom you disagree “come across as a very bitter person” Does the very fact that someone does not believe as you do make them “bitter”, I would think that your beliefs would have your refrain from such
opinionated judgements. This logic, if you can all it logic, escapes me.

greyfox says:

Richard, no wonder you believe what you believe. I’m quite sure
JP has not spent his entire life asking the same question, one would need to be quite stupid to make such an assumption and not
recognize it as something people say. You have jumped on this perfectly innocent phrase and made a gigantic mountain out of it. I am 85 and I have met people who are “willfully ignorant”. By taking JP’s phrase and jumping all over it you have demonstrated the meaning of “willful ignorance”

shellbell95 says:

FELLOW BELIEVERS!!!! I JUST WANT TO ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU ON HERE AND ALSO REMIND YOU NOT TO BE HURT OR OFFENDED BY SOME OF THE MEAN/TWISTED THINGS THAT ARE SAID BY SOME ON HERE.

The word rejection is defined as:
-verb
1. to refuse to accept, acknowledge, use, believe, etc
2. to throw out as useless or worthless; discard
3. to rebuff (a person)
4. (of an organism) to fail to accept (a foreign tissue graft or organ transplant) because of immunological incompatibility

-noun
5. something rejected as imperfect, unsatisfactory, or useless

MATT 10:14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.

Remember Gods word will never come back void. Those who think it useless and disposable are rejecting God. It is not personal! You tried. Shake off the dust and continue to pray for a softened heart toward God for them. We were ALL created with a need to be loved that only God can fill. IF A PERSON TRULY SEEKS GOD THEY WILL FIND HIM! When Jesus sent disciples out to preach the good word, He told them if a town or house doesn’t accept you then shake the dust off your feet and depart that city. Isn’t that great advice!! Don’t sit there pleading your case, trying to make them want you, or conforming to someone you’re not, shake the dust off your feet and keep moving! So much of our pain comes from trying to change the way a person feels about us. I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but if someone doesn’t want to be part of your life, nothing you do can change that. We waste precious energy when we hold onto someone that doesn’t serve us and nor can we serve them. Jesus knew not everyone would accept the disciples, and he tried to prepare them for the rejection they’d surely face. He said bring your peace if they won’t accept it take it back. I think he meant don’t let the rejection you experience steal your peace take it back with you. If we’re going to move forward on the journey God has awaiting for us, we have to let go of rejection in all its forms, people, places and things. Rejection can be a door of opportunity, it is all in your perception. That fantastic job you didn’t get may be because God is preparing you for a better job. Instead of fighting it flow with it. We’re human so I’m not sure if we can help but to feel pain, but we can’t dwell or get stuck in it’s web. Pray for God to give you peace and take that peace with you when you make your departure. Shake the dust off your feet and keep moving forward. Remember this, you’ll be accepted and loved by many when you let go of those who’ve rejected you. You’re already accepted by God and there is no acceptance more worthy than His.

Also, keep in mind that the BIBLE is written to the saved.
JOHN 12:40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts–so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.”

greyfox says:

“JOHN 12:40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts–so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.””

A discriminating god:How
Wonderful!

shellbell95 says:

GREYFOX! Your comment is classic! Again, the BIBLE is written to the believer. This verse does not mean that it was the design of God that they should not be converted, but that it was the effect of their rejecting the message. When you accept Christ the Holy Spirit lives within you and the light switch comes on. That is how I can attest to the truth of the gospel. I am different than I was before.
G

shellbell95 says:

Jesus Himself was, in His human nature, of the seed of Abraham. Isaiah’s prophecy is accompanied by the promise of a holy seed (John 12:13);John quotes these words, and adds that “even of the rulers many believed” (John 12:42);Paul quotes them when “some believed the things which were spoken and some believed not” (John 12:24); our Lord quotes them, and immediately says, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.” There is, indeed, a judicial blinding and a judicial hardening—let no man therefore presume; but these come only to eyes that will not to see, and to hearts that will not to hear—let no man therefore despair. In the Hebrew text, as in the Authorised version, the prophet is commanded to “make the heart of this people fat.” . . . The Greek text says simply, “The heart of this people was hardened.” . . . John represents the action which God commanded to be done as done by Himself, and speaks of it in the past tense.
And I should heal them.—The pronoun here refers to Christ. St. John in his interpretation of the prophecy has made God (“He”) the author of the judicial blindness and hardness, and represents Christ as the physician. This clause is, however, not to be taken separately, but is governed by “that not” which precedes, The effect of their not turning was that Christ could not heal them.
On the whole verse comp. Note on Matthew 13:14, and Acts 28:26.
12:37-43 Observe the method of conversion implied here. Sinners are brought to see the reality of Divine things, and to have some knowledge of them. To be converted, and truly turned from sin to Christ, as their Happiness and Portion. God will heal them, will justify and sanctify them; will pardon their sins, which are as bleeding wounds, and mortify their corruptions, which are as lurking diseases. See the power of the world in smothering convictions, from regard to the applause or censure of men. Love of the praise of men, as a by-end in that which is good, will make a man a hypocrite when religion is in fashion, and credit is to be got by it; and love of the praise of men, as a base principle in that which is evil, will make a man an apostate, when religion is in disgrace, and credit is to be lost for it.

Joe Mobley says:

JPeasemould,

“When I read some of the wilfully ignorant rubbish written by these god-believing religious fruit cakes it makes me fume.”

Yea, I feel your pain. Let me suggest that you not stay to long in this type of environment. The willfully blind have little interest in seeing. There are far better uses of your time and your life.

“So, well done on your straight-forward response to the questions that can, supposedly, stop an atheist in 15 mins!”

I appreciate that. Thank you.

“I’ve been asking for years, what has god got against amputees but have never had a straight or honest answer.”

Be aware that there may not be an answer… or an answer that fits with our thinking. If there is no Christian God, and I can find no evidence that there is, then one amputee “miracle” every 500 years or so may be all that you get.

The Christians I see trying to live from miracle-to-miracle are often broke, sickly, and lead very frustrating lives. You deserve better. Go get the best life you can get.

Best regards,

Joe Mobley

greyfox says:

Atheism is the spear that gores the Christian Ox.

mcblanc says:

Joe–Thank You for Your response to the…”Why is the universe orderly and logical?”…question.

You replied–That this is an…”Invalid question”…and went on to explain Your assertion with following example–that’s fairly close to home (so to speak) for Many of US here in this discussion…

“Your questions assumes that the universe is orderly and logical. It is not. Should you think that it is, I invited you to pass on mowing, trimming, and doing normal household maintenance until next June. I think you’ll see that orderly universe creep away week-by-week. (Perhaps with your wife and children.)”

Don’t You “Get” IT ??

The “Miracle” of Photosynthesis and the growth of Life that it fuels–first on the Algal/Botanical sides of Life…and then captured in various ways & by a multitude of means by Non-Photosynthesizing Beings & Critters…

You Deny The Order That IS PHOTOSYNTHESIS & Logic of The LIFE & GROWTH That Photosynthesis Fuels–

IF & WHEN The Growth…
Grows Beyond The Boundaries That YOU (and possibly Some of Your Neighbors) Have Decided Are–
The Limits.

What a sadly limited POV.

keswick08 says:

Re:I can stop an atheist cold in 15 minutes with any of the following questions:
-Where did the big bang come from?

Perry, you are unclear about the nature of ‘nothing’. When you understand what’nothing’ is, then you’ll know that matter could never have been caused to come into existence. The corollary being that there could never have been a causal agent.

greyfox says:

-Where did the big bang come from? Ans; It’s a theory and one which I tend to lean towards, can’t prove it but you can’t prove it’s a false theory.

-Why is the universe orderly and logical? Ans; I didn’t know that was the case, Galaxies collide asteroids hit the earth, doesn’t sound too logical to me.
-Where did the genetic code come from? I don’t know personally but scientists have some pretty fair thoughts on the question and I’ll rely on them.
-Where did life come from?
Ans; Evolution satisfies me. Where did the dinosaurs go and why?
-What basis is there for objective moral values?
Ans; Many years of social acceptance and rejection and we’re not done yet.
-If the only mechanism that drives life forward is survival, why do humans prize things like beauty and music and poetry and spirituality, given that we all know practically speaking that most of those things are paths to starvation? The very term “starving artist” testifies to the fact that art is a disadvantage to natural selection. Ans; Particularly spiritualism is a path to starvation, you probably exclude that one. The term “starving artist” testifies to nothing, all artists are not starving, as a matter of fact some artists are extremely wealthy doing very well, thank you.

Leaning towards one theory or another does not explain the origin of the universe.

Every asteroid collision obeys the laws of physics, which are logical.

Show me any scientists who have answered the question of the origin of the genetic code.

Evolution cannot explain the origin of life. You have to have replication before evolution can happen, and replication requires code and a living organism first.

“Many years of social acceptance” is not objective.

If art helps 1% survive but is a disadvantage to 99%, then natural selection doesn’t explain where it came from.

You have not answered any of these questions. Your response to these very important questions are glib. Your response suggests that these questions deserve much more investigation than you’ve given them thus far.

greyfox says:

OK Perry; let me ask you some questions.
What was god doing before creation?

If god created everything out of nothing (Gen.1:1)did he exist in the middle of nothing?

Was he the only “something” in nothing?

In the flood story god destroyed
humans as punishment for their sins. Why did he also destroy the animals?

Why did god create humans with all their failings and then punish them for it?

Why do we have to fear god?

How can you love god if you fear him?

I know! God acts in mysterious ways, Right?

God created space and time. God lives outside of space and time. There is no telling how many worlds God has made. I cannot fathom what all God may have done. The Bible makes it very clear that an entire spiritual realm predates the universe we know.

God is something, not nothing. God created space. Even space is not nothing.

Everything on earth is under the stewardship of man and as Paul said, all creation groans with birth pangs. Earth is under man’s care. This question is no different than asking why the Amazon rainforest is being burned down right now.

We should all fear God because someday you and I will be judged for everything we have done, good and bad. If you respect and fear a tornado then why wouldn’t you respect and fear the being that created a universe where tornados can happen?

When Jesus said, “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” he wasn’t talking about the devil or any such thing. He was talking about God.

Can you both love and fear a pitbull?

Now I’ve got some questions for you:

Where did the big bang come from?

How and why did matter, energy, space and time appear out of nothing?

Where did the genetic code come from?

Can you name a single code that is proven to be naturally occurring, i.e. not created by an intelligence? If you can answer that question according to the spec at http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/ I’ll write you a check for $10,000.

Is evil real, or does it only exist in our imaginations?

greyfox says:

“God created space and time. God lives outside of space and time.”

Is this something you know for a fact or just something you believe? If you know it for a fact I’d like to know your source.

“There is no telling how many worlds God has made.”

You’re right on this one, there is no telling, who could possibly know?

“I cannot fathom what all God may have done.”

Yes that would be a puzzler.

“The Bible makes it very clear that an entire spiritual realm predates the universe we know.”

And yet you question the BBT.

Proving yet again, we believe what we want to believe.

FredHahn says:

DNA is not a code as you describe made by a mind. I explained this to you before. Just because you say it is, doesn’t make it so. Can you really not get this?

The sequence of bases in DNA is a code. DNA is a polymer of a sugar and phosphate which constitutes the “tape” along which the code is specified by the four bases A, T, C, G. Every 3 bases is considered a codon. The “plain text” is an amino acid, or a few are “punctuation,” so-called stop-codons. A copy is made of the
DNA code into RNA code and the message is translated on the ribosome which incorporates the specified amino acid into growing protein. You can find graphics of this all over the internet.

It only appears that Morse code and alphabet were created and designed by a mind. They are, in fact, the product of the natural evolution of people which “happened.”

As my scientist friend has said: If you’re asking about God, all we academics know about God is that he hasn’t published anything in 2,000 years.

Forgot to address one of your questions:

“Why did god create humans with all their failings and then punish them for it?”

Which would you prefer:

1) To only be permitted to do right, or
2) To choose between right and wrong and experience the consequences?

greyfox says:

Is right and wrong a universal given or is it a societal norm? I ask this because when I think of right and wrong I think, in my world it is wrong to practice cannibalism but cannibals must feel it’s OK to do so. In the Muslim world women are subjugated to the will of man in our world this is not the case. Just asking.

TA says:

In addition to Perry’s comments one analogy that I often use to rationalize the idea that “God lives outside of space and time” is to imagine a virtual world, obviously created by a software programmer, inside a computer’s memory. If the programmer imbued the characters in the virtual world with some intelligence and self-learning abilities would the virtual characters be accurate to assume that they had no creator? Obviously, without any information to tell them otherwise the characters could assume that they had no creator but they’d still be wrong. However, man has the bible – the Word of God – which gives sufficient information about the creator of man.

You asked “Why did God create humans with all their failings and then punish them for it?”

Genesis 2:16 states: And Jehovah God also laid this command upon the man: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. 17 But as for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will positively die.”

Clearly, God gave Adam and Eve free will. However, God also created man to be dependent upon him for guidance and direction.

Jeremiah 10:23 states: “…It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”

Adam and Eve, who were initially without sin and were perfect, deliberately disobeyed God and wanted to be God-like by believing in Satan’s lie. This is potentially a challenge to God’s sovereignty.

Genesis 3:4 states: At this the serpent said to the woman: “YOU positively will not die. 5 For God knows that in the very day of YOUR eating from it YOUR eyes are bound to be opened and YOU are bound to be like God, KNOWING good and bad.” 6 Consequently the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was something to be longed for to the eyes, yes, the tree was desirable to look upon. So she began taking of its fruit and eating it. Afterward she gave some also to her husband when with her and he began eating it.

As an analogy, we wouldn’t want our own creation to dominate or have the same power as us. Also, when man creates something there is usually a purpose. There are certain safety parameters or instructions (written in a manual) outside which man’s creations may not perform well or may be destroyed. This analogy is apt regarding God’s relationship with man in terms of obeying God’s instructions to us in order that we might live and be safe.

Of course God forgives sins and he loves man because he clearly has a purpose for creating man – it can’t be for nothing that God went to great lengths to create earth and everything to support life on earth, as stated in Genesis chapter 1 and as scientists are continuing to discover and marvel at. Therefore, because God wants his purpose for man to be fulfilled, the entire bible is dedicated to helping man to understand strict obedience to God, through faith in Jesus Christ – a perfect being like Adam whose life was given as a sacrifice for mankind; faith in Jesus Christ would enable man to get back to enjoying the everlasting life promised to Adam and Eve and their offspring in Genesis 1:28:

“Further, God blessed them and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving upon the earth.”

Interestingly Genesis 2:9 states:

“Thus Jehovah God made to grow out of the ground every tree desirable to one’s sight and good for food and also the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.”

There was a “tree of life” which Adam and Eve could eat. However, it appears that they didn’t eat it prior to disobeying God. My opinion is that they probably didn’t need to eat it as long as they obeyed God. It seems to me that it is the person who has “the knowledge of good and bad” that would want to eat from the tree of life.

Genesis 3:22 states: And Jehovah God went on to say: “Here the man has become like one of us in knowing good and bad, and now in order that he may not put his hand out and actually take [fruit] also from the tree of life and eat and live to time indefinite,—” 23 With that Jehovah God put him out of the garden of E´den to cultivate the ground from which he had been taken. 24 And so he drove the man out and posted at the east of the garden of E´den the cherubs and the flaming blade of a sword that was turning itself continually to guard the way to the tree of life.”

greyfox says:

“Clearly, God gave Adam and Eve free will. However, God also created man to be dependent upon him for guidance and direction.”

Can both be true? Does that mean he only gave Adam and Eve “free will”, but when it cam to man he decided to guide and direct him/her. A bit inconsistent wasn’t he?

TA says:

Hi greyfox I actually don’t see the inconsistency in this. My reference to “Adam and Eve” in this context is a reference to humans (man).

If man didn’t have free will we wouldn’t have the capability to do as we wished (including disobeying God); we’d be like programmed robots. From my own understanding of the bible God created us for a purpose. However, he also wants us to worship (respect and obey) him.

One way to analyze this is to put yourself in the position of a creator. If you believe that you have given your creation the best that you could for their own good and success, you’d feel free to give them free will with the expectation that your rules would be followed and that your sovereignty wouldn’t be challenged. This analogy is apt because the bible claims that we’re created in God’s image.

I know that if you don’t believe in the bible my previous explanation could be discounted. However, imagine my explanations only within the context of you being a creator. How would you feel and what would you want of your own creation assuming that you could give them the same intelligence and physiology as man?

Best regards!

greyfox says:

Perry, my answers to your “gotcha”
questions are what I believe. You are free,of course, to believe whatever you wish. Please afford me the same consideration.

asolis says:

Mr. Perry,

You can really stop an atheist in 15 minutes by asking the questions that you stated? Really? Where did the Big Bang come from? No one knows the cause of this particular singularity and by you using it as proof for the existence of a non-corporeal, omniscient, omnibenevolent deity, (A Christian one no less) you are infringing upon scientific findings. It’s just tad bit contradictory on your part that you would use science and logic yet conveniently compartmentalize it when it is time to turn the attention to the existence of a god. Don’t try to fool yourself in believing you can defend a “Faith based” belief with logic and reason. If you could it would be a workable theory supported by evidence such as evolution or the Big Bang Theory however, since the claims of a god is such an extraordinary claim it would obviously need extraordinary evidence. Of Course Mr. Perry Hinduism would need much much more evidence than Christianity. LOL!
Why is the universe orderly and logical? There is much about the universe we yet do not understand but the universe is in a state of entropy and chaotic in my opinion. We are the observers of our environment and we are the ones through our consciousness who create order (therefore a logical interpretation) out of chaos.
Where did the genetic code come from and where did life come from is really the same question? The” genetic code” is comprised of amino acids and there has been experiments that recreate a primordial environment similar to the conditions of earth billions of years ago, that gave rise to single celled organisms. Through time and evolution (mutation) the development of more organized life forms developed.
What is the basis of objective moral values? The basis would be the existence of an ultimate moral agent such as a god. Yes, “subjective” moral values are a result of needs for survival as you stated.
Mr. Perry, many of your questions teeter on the unknown and I would admit that to you because it is reasonable to do so however, regardless of difficulty in answering questions such as these, there is evidence to support them all.
Here is a question you didn’t ask… Why are there so many people that believe in a god and so few who don’t? In my opinion, everyone is a single consciousness and is aware of their linear existence and this creates a state of concern or fear and they adhere to a religion based on the culture, region or personal taste to provide a sense of relief. Many people believe in an anthropomorphic god, which in my opinion contradicts the concept of an omniscient god out right. The main reason for this title of reverence is part of the human condition to create a hierarchical system. Creating hierarchical system of order is a human condition that is intertwined with the development of morality but that is older than religion and even language so it’s not surprising to me that primitive man concluded that an “unknown” such as the Sun or the Moon is a GOD but modern man still adhering to such antiquated methods of deduction is disheartening.
Question: If your God or any god does exist, do you think it knows it’s a god?

sullivanb3 says:

“Is this really not good enough?”

NO ITS NOT GOOD ENOUGH… WHY CAN YOU ASK QUESTIONS THAT SHOULD ALWAYS APPLY BUT THEN YOUR ANSWERS DO NOT HAVE TO ALWAYS APPLY… OF COURSE YOU ANSWER WITH A QUESTION…

“-Why is the universe orderly and logical?”

You consider the universe to be orderly and logical which are both completely based on opinion. What makes the universe “orderly” or “logical”?

“Is the fine tuning of the big bang to 200 decimal places not good enough? Is the astonishing complexity of even a single bacterium not good enough?”

200 decimal places? If i start describing the distance from new york to los angeles in light years does that make it an extremely tiny distance? You feel that bacterium being astonishingly complex means that god has to exist for some reason? again just opinion based on definitions in which YOU give.

Your “proof” only seems to be questions Mr. Perry. Someone pointed out previously that you seem to think pretty high of yourself when convincing the intellectually easily swayed but among the actual intellectuals you seem to be just another peon. I will leave you with some questions of my own and i guess if you cannot poke holes in them then it is “proof” that god does not exist:

-Where did the big bang come from?

Where did god come from?

-Why is the universe orderly and logical?

Again… opinion… please define orderly and logical.

-Where did the genetic code come from?

You seem to think the genetic code is some sort of “message” just because you apply the word “code” to it. DNA is a molecule, and so isn’t water. Are you interpreting water? I see the water and i know that is water. I am “decoding” what it is based on the definition that has already been applied to it. I, therefore, am the sender. I look at its molecular structure and can see that it is defined as water… Basically your argument is that just because it is there, it MUST NEED a creator. Why? Why must their be a creator? and if there must be one? then who or what created god? he/she does not require one? seems like your “logic” goes against your own “logic”.

-Where did life come from?

Where did god come from?

-What basis is there for objective moral values?

The benefit of you and the people around you… the thought that you require a make believe creature to justify what you do as good and bad is quite scary actually.

your very questions are nonsensical because they are circular… they dont prove anything at all. religion has never supplied any proof at all ever.

“After the evading and dodging are exhausted, the atheist has no good answer to any of these questions. I know this for a cold fact after years of doing this.”

answer my previous question Perry… where did your “god” come from? if everything needs a creator then why does he not require one?

god did not create man… man created god to answer the questions we did not yet have answers for…

what you seem to be doing perry is holding the religious hostage… give me a million dollars (answer my question) or else suffer the consequences. not actually giving any type of answer but yet you ask everyone else to supply the answers.

You are welcome to assume the universe is not orderly or logical.

Please be reminded that you have thus destroyed the foundations of science, which is based on the assumption that the universe is logical.

greyfox says:

I beg to differ about the foundation of science. Science is based on pursuit of the absolute truth, not assumption, and not consensus but truth.

“The first foundation of science is mathematics-”

“The second foundation of science is logic.”

“The third foundation of science is observation, the ability to perceive the universe through our senses aided by instruments as needed. Also required is the faith that what we perceive has objective reality, i.e., that you will observe the same thing I do if you view it from the same vantage point. What’s true for me is true for you.”

Nowhere can I find “the foundations of science, is based on the assumption that the universe is logical.”

Perhaps you could explain that conclusion a bit further.

mcblanc says:

Dude–As You Essentially Stated:

Science IS Founded On The Facts That Since Ancient Times… We Have Observed Repeatable & Verifiable Phenomena That Can Be & Have Been Described By The Logical Relationships a.k.a. Mathematics.

Perhaps you could explain the conclusions that have been drawn concerning the astronomical meaning and significance of Stonehenge. Such a task might serve to advance your thinking a bit further.

greyfox says:

You give me far too much credit by asking me to explain anything about Stonehenge. Perhaps you might ask the Druids what it all means, I understand they hold ceremonies there, they should have some idea. Since, unlike many of you, I don’t know everything, I tend to stay with the little bit I do understand.
Granted it’s not much but I’m very selective in what I find believable.

lmybarra says:

Dear sullivanb3,

It might be helpful to you to read the FAQ page.

Lorena Ybarra
Assistant to Perry Marshall

mcblanc says:

Touché–Perry.

Sullivan appeared–at first–to have “caught some big air”…
However–THE POINT Was Scored By… You.

shellbell95 says:

AWESOME!!! GOOOO PERRY!

Graham says:

Hi Fred
I was blissfully agnostic for 49 years. I work as a clinical psychologist. My colleague was a “devout” atheist. She visited me one day and described how she was being tormented by demons. I thought she was nuts and couldn’t wait to get rid of her.

She left and i planned never to see her again – good friend I was. I found out later that she saw a psychiatrist after about 10 months of this hell and hoped that she was delusional so she could be sedated. Otherwise she was going to kill herself because she was of no use to her children or partner.

But the psychiatrist told her to see a priest after a 2 hour consultation. Her partner thought she was crazy despite what the doctor had said.

Independent of this my brother was diagnosed with metastasized melanoma. Every doctor he saw said he would die – and he did. But in the midst of this I was co-erced into going to a church service where I heard a testimony about a doctor (trained at Oxford University) whose daughter accidentally hung herself and died, but miraculously came back to life after prayer (Google the “miracle of Sara Lyn”).

At this same service, which was 6 months after I met with my “atheist” colleague, I saw her in the church audience. She told me later that after 14 months of demonic torment, she was delivered when she, by faith knew her position in the spiritual realm as a Christian – totally freaked me.

But I’ve met Jesus too. On three occasions, out of the blue I’ve had experiences that can only be described as spiritual. I’ve studied brain mechanisms etc about these experiences and they occur (according to the literature) after intense prayer or other “spiritual” activity – mine didn’t.

Once He saved my life where I avoided a nasty accident. I’m certainly into “the mind” because of my profession. And I think there are many things we fail to grasp – I think it’s a bit dangerous to say we have all the answers.

I understand in the physicists and mathematicians need to assume extra dimensions of reality to explain the behaviour of sub atomic particles. I understand they now assume at least 7 dimensions of reality that we will never see. I’ve seen some things in my work where the “spiritual realm” was evident and people being healed of psychological problems in one session.

But others that seem to me very “demonic”, we get nowhere – and neither do any conventional forms of treatment.

Why? – I don’t know – but I tap into the spiritual realm by faith. I had enough faith or at least my wife did to get me to church that day. This doctor was a visiting person from another country who had no intention of speaking that day.

The truth is I would not have listen to any pastor – but I would listen to a doctor – I get all my work from doctors. For me – Jesus did welcome me with a celestial smile. Interestingly, God spoke to me and told me that may people had prayed for me.

They included my neighbour, another former work colleague, my mother in law and others. When I spoke to them they confirmed this was the case.

If any Christians read this can I encourage you to pray for Fred “the eyes of Fred’s understanding be enlightened; that he may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

FredHahn says:

Thanks for the prayers. I’m not sure what they are for but I appreciate it. I do have to say that your final paragraph is really kind of eerie. Sounds like a cult-like mantra to keep yourself mesmerized into keeping the “faith” and away from reason and fact.

But I suppose if you are getting some sort of comfort out of such a mindset, so be it.

The problem is when this mindset makes it impossible to elect a President of the US who doesn’t talk like this in some way. If a candidate ran who was did not have a religion or any belief in God, fahgettabout it. He’d NEVER get elected. It’s sort of sick in a way.

And god’s name is on our money. It’s in our pledge of allegiance. God sneaks its way in in places where it does not belong.

Take a look:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwBqGpQ1RDU

Most religious people can’t handle what this video is saying.

Graham says:

Hi Fred
Your welcome (for the prayers)
The final paragraph is from the book of Ephesians – written about 2000 years ago.
There will be times when the natural and spiritual realm will interact in front of you. You will either go one way or the other (just like Adam and Eve). The rules of the spirit are different to the natural, that’s why God says you can’t please Him without faith. When you please Him it’s like if your son is really working hard it benefits him (your son), that is pleasing to you. God knows we need faith to enter eternity. I think (I could be wrong) that your main purpose of being on this chat is to evangelize atheism. When Richard Morgan had the road to Damascus experience he was genuinely answering the questions posed to him, and his heart was open. I believe God works with open hearts, but when you have opportunities like when the two realms interact in front of you, and you harden your heart, God will honour your free will.
God bless you

I echo the sentiment of prayers for Fred. I have witnessed many times what God is capable of. God, I ask you to show up in the life of Fred. Fred, I ask you to open your heart to this. What will it be? I don’t know. God is known for all kinds of delightful surprises.

FredHahn says:

Why does god want me to please him? Why does he need worship and sacrifices and such? Do you really not see how utterly ridiculous this is? I sure don’t need my children to please me. I want them to be happy, that’s all. They don’t need to try and please me.

And why did god make it so that we need faith to enter eternity? Why such a condition? What for? To keep some people out? Is there not enough room up there? Do retarded people and autistic people who barely know what your talking about when you discuss god go to heaven?

You can’t evangelize atheism. Atheism doesn’t exist. It isn’t a thing. It doesn’t have precepts or laws or anything. Atheism – without god – is a term used to describe people who do not accept or believe that there are supernatural beings. You can’t be a non-stamp collector.

As for the heart, a heart is a muscle. You can’t open or close your heart. What you mean is feeling something. One can fall in love at first sight but of course that is just being highly physically attracted to another person. You have to get to know that person to truly love them or not.

I’ve yet to meet god.

Remember that a story is a story. One can make up all kinds of stories. But we don’t believe them just because someone said it’s true. If we do and there’s no proof that the story is true, we are then delusional like kids are who still believe in Santa.

I clearly remember when I was a staunch Jew how I felt and it was akin to what you are saying – I felt god. But I came to realize I was in a mesmerized state. I had said prayers and all the things one says so many times since I was a child that I simply made myself feel things about something that just wasn’t really there.

That was an epiphany.

If I am evangelizing anything, it’s reality. Many people use religion/god to feel safe, comforted, something to look forward to when they die. And I suppose this controlled delusion is fine – to a point.

As I see it, one problem that arises when a person gives over too much is inaction when action should be taken. Jesus will save me! They’ll pray over a loved one with cancer rather than spend that time scouring the literature for an alternative cure. I’ve seen this nonsense with my own eyes.

Jesus will not save you from anything. You have to save you. One day you’re in an accident and come away scott free. Not a scratch. Did Jesus save you? Another day you don’t see an open man hole cover and you fall in. Now you’re a cripple. Did Jesus do that to you or let it happen to you? What is the answer – he suddenly needed to test me to see if I still have faith or, to see if now I will have faith? Either is a sick game to play on us puny humans.

I put to you all that if religions vanished – if no one thought that they had any special relationships with supernatural beings – this world would start to become the most productive and loving we have ever seen it.

I say “Christ” will come when we get rid of Christ and all the other made up beings as well.

I remember hearing on the radio a few years ago a top Christian minister (I forget his name)talking about another minister who was going to burn the Koran publicly. This was when there was a big broo-haha in NYC about a mosque being constructed near where the Twin Towers. The top minister condemned the action and then said “But of course their religion is the wrong religion.”

Nice. That’s quell the flames of hatred.

The nice thing about being an “atheist” is that we don’t hold these sorts of views. We are freed of feeling and thinking that we are right and you are wrong about these fundamental issues.

Other than the insane, I’ve never met an atheist who was a racist or said racist things. Every racist person I have ever come across has been religious.

Telling indeed.

samd says:

God, I love these responses Fred. I have not read all but whatever I read so far of this thread, I must say when it comes from logic it strikes a chord.
I am not sure what label do I get – theist or atheist, but I believe in God. I believe He/She is there and I also pray to Him/Her but in my own way. I know He is like my Father or She is like my Mother. So I have nothing to worry.

I just do not get the others(Richard or greyfox and others).

I do not demand to see Him/Her and/or I may not be ready to experience the God, however what is this fuss all about?

Theist or atheist are all our label to each others. The bottom line is who cares? I do not think the God does! I do think He does care whether you or I is theist or atheist, Christian or non-Christian or Hindu or Buddhist or of any or no religion.

If He/She created us (which all the so-called theists are claiming) – then He/She considers all of us as His/Her children and to say that “if you do not do this” or “if you do not praise Him”, He/She will be angry and we will be burning in hell is to just insult Him/Her.

If we start punishing our children for not calling us – then how bad do we look? And God is infinitely better than us and He/She will let us burn is just pure non-sense.

BTW: Even more fundamental question to Christians here… why do I have to believe in Christianity at all? If God created everything and everybody then why I cannot reach Him/Her with other religion (rather I should say through other path)? Will you mind if you understand all languages and one of your sons is calling you “papa” in english and other son is calling you “dad” in french or chinese or russian? It should not matter to you as you know that both of them are calling you in some way. If you are a good father you should even have same amount of love and affection to your third son who is not calling you at all.

If you believe religion is the language to talk to God, so why does it matter if you talk in Christianity and I talk in Judaism or in Buddhism or in Hinduism or in my own way (like a so-called atheist)?

Why Fred has to explain so much about his stand here? He is as much a God’s son as any of you. I think he is better than lot of you as he does not have prejudice and a clear and open heart to accept anything logical and you do not have that much guts or openness. Open you heart and see the world in non-religious way. There are millions of good people in the whole world who are working and bleeding for others…. they are not all Christian or they do not have to be – to go to God. God loves them much more than any of us believers who go to Church on Sundays and do nothing else.

So religion does not count at all. What matters is whether you are good, responsible, helping, caring person who has love and sympathy for others and who work hard and who has open heart and other good qualities. Nothing else matters.

Graham says:

Atheist governments like those of Stalin, Mao were indeed racist. I’ve also met a large number of Atheists who were racists. In our church 60 countries are represented.
Sorry i didn’t explain myself well about the “please” thing. When my son does really well, that pleases me. When he does well like study hard and get good marks, i know that will be good for him, he will get a good job and that is very pleasing to me.
You raise many issues that i don’t know the answer to. Like why are there children who suffer from autism etc and how can they experience faith in God. Interestingly the rate of autism, depression and other mental illnesses in the western world is increasing alarmingly. Medical science is struggling to stem the flow. Depression is another one – huge increases in the last 100 years. Probably something to do with selfishness.
God designed His universe, and gave the earth to men. Many of us choose to do it our way rather than His. The above results.
God bless you. I continue to pray that you will know the truth.
BTW when Jesus saved me from the nasty accident – He spoke to me.

Fred,

I’d like to reply to your comment

“I clearly remember when I was a staunch Jew how I felt and it was akin to what you are saying – I felt god. But I came to realize I was in a mesmerized state. I had said prayers and all the things one says so many times since I was a child that I simply made myself feel things about something that just wasn’t really there.

That was an epiphany.”

10 years ago my brother Bryan was watching Larry King and the illusionist and skeptic James Randi was on. Randi said exactly what you just said, he said that all such things are just our imagination, and he had this million dollar prize for anyone who could prove the paranormal. Bryan was in a state of discouragement such that he was quite receptive to hearing this. It made a huge shift and to make a long story short he abandoned his faith.

He is wicked smart and he started pressing ME with very hard questions. He was dragging me with him. Most specifically he had a master’s degree in theology and he asked me this:

“Perry, I’ve studied the New Testament inside and out. I’ve studied Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. And you know what? There is NOTHING in the Bible whatsoever to suggest that miracles should stop.

“So… WHERE’S THE MIRACLES???”

At this point our paths split for awhile. He became an agnostic – in fact for a little while he was leaning close to atheist.

I decided to suspend judgment for awhile and watch and listen. I decided to use my http://www.coffeehousetheology.com site as a sounding board to see if all the other comments and emails I got added up to the same conclusion.

For almost a year I wondered if I might come to the same conclusion you came to.

But then I started seeing medically documented or personally verifiable healings. I started having more experiences myself, where I FELT the presence of God. Like Richard described. And like *you* describe right here.

Fred, those experiences were real. Later in life you dismissed them as fanciful thinking.

But I know that you too have experienced God.

By the way James’ Randi’s million dollar prize is irrelevant, because the Princeton University Engineering Anomalies Research Lab published a book quite some time ago called “Margins of Reality” that documents paranormal phenomena in excruciating detail. It proves telekenesis and remote viewing, among other things, to 99.999% statistical confidence. It overturns much of what Randi claims with hard scientific research. Stanford did similar experiments with the same results.

Bryan has come back from his near-atheism, concluding that atheism is the greatest of all fundamentalisms and eventually thanking me for keeping him from embracing that.

What happens when you deny the spiritual is you say things like this:

“The nice thing about being an “atheist” is that we don’t hold these sorts of views. We are freed of feeling and thinking that we are right and you are wrong about these fundamental issues.”

And then in the same breath you go around insulting everyone like you do here on my blog. You’ve been explicitly rude to every person talking to you who’s advocated a spiritual viewpoint.

You also say things like this:

“It only appears that something like Morse code and the alphabet were created and designed. They are the product of the natural evolution of people – which “happened.”

This statement relegates even the act of designing something like the Morse code to a state of non-existence. What an incredibly disempowering view. You dismiss what you can see right before your eyes based on something that you assume happened millions of years ago, that you cannot observe. You call that science?

This is why the world never quite makes sense to atheists and it’s why atheists are always mad.

Fred, you do not have to hold on to that anger.

This is what St Paul said, Colossians 1:

19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation…

There is no accusation. All you have to do is stand before God and offer yourself to Him in repentance and He will reveal Himself to you. He will do this on his timetable, not yours – but he will most certainly do it.

People are praying for you, Fred.

FredHahn says:

Perry you said: “But then I started seeing medically documented or personally verifiable healings.”

With all due respect Perry, I’ve said this a half dozen times already and you have yet to respond – where are these medically documented miracles? Why are they not in the NY Times? On the evening news? On a TED talk?

I put to you that you have not come up with a single medically documented miracle because you can’t. If I’m wrong and you can, please show us all where we can find these. Can I find it on PubMed? A YouTube clip with a panel of physicians stating that in their expert opinion there is no way the patient could have gotten better and that is has to be an act of god?

If these proofs do not exist then please stop saying that miracles exist when they do not.

You said:

“Bryan has come back from his near-atheism, concluding that atheism is the greatest of all fundamentalisms and eventually thanking me for keeping him from embracing that.”

Atheism is form of fundamentalism? I don’t follow. Fundamentalism refers to theological doctrines. What is is about atheism that is theological? Your brother has it completely backwards.

You said:

“And then in the same breath you go around insulting everyone like you do here on my blog. You’ve been explicitly rude to every person talking to you who’s advocated a spiritual viewpoint.”

Rude? Insulting? You mean to say don’t you that people have allowed themselves to become insulted because I challenge their viewpoint. That is in now way the same as insulting someone. Give me a single example of where I have made rude and insulting statements please.

You said:

“This statement relegates even the act of designing something like the Morse code to a state of non-existence. What an incredibly disempowering view.”

Disempowering how? To whom? That is the way it is. Prove otherwise.

“You dismiss what you can see right before your eyes based on something that you assume happened millions of years ago, that you cannot observe.”

I assume it happened millions of years ago? No, it happened billions of years ago. We know this. Perry, c’mon now. Why you are choosing not to know this is quite telling as I see it.

“You call that science?”

Yes I do because it is science. Little by little human beings have uncovered facts that have diluted the idea that a god did it or made it. We are only a few thousand years into this process. In a hundred thousand more years we will know so much more than we do now it will make what we have already discovered look like we knew nothing at all.

I suggest everyone here read Dawkin’s new kid book called The Magic of Reality. It’s quite fantastic.

mcblanc says:

One Last Note:

The Youtube link–The Values We All Stand For–that Fred supplied…with the additional comment that…”Most religious people can”t handle what this video is saying”…

Is a fairly good summary of what the–

“IN GOD WE TRUST” v. “Atheists” FUSS IS All About…From The Atheists’ Point of View.

The Major POINT that’s missing in this analysis is contained in the Preamble to the US Constitution’s…

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union … and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”

Around the mid-point of the video it became apparent that the video’s dominant thrust as a Pro-Gay&Lesbian Rights “ad”…and just as we saw in American politics…

First came the official acknowledgment of and acquiescence to Atheist Rights in the 1960′s…followed in short order by the Explosions of the…

Sexual Revolution in general…

And the Gay Rights Movement…

Which soon expanded and franchised OUT & INTO…

Lesbian Rights–Bisexual Rights–Transgendered Rights…NOW summarized by the umbrella acronym–LGBT…

And–
Just as the “Good Sisters” used to do with the children enrolled in Their Catholic Schools…to open the eyes and ears and minds and plant the seeds of wonder and discernment to the possibility that… Matbe YOU Have A Special Calling From GOD To A Religious Vocation…

Parents Can SEE That Completely Analogous Techniques Are Being Used IN MANY Public Schools–To Get Kids Thinking That Maybe THEY Are…The Class Gay/Lesbian/Whatever…

And Furthermore–
Parents SEE that the Teachers and Counselors who work to promote the beliefs and opinions of the GLBT Lobby and plant These Seeds in the Kids’ Heads–

DEMAND THAT PARENTS PAY FOR THIS Belief System With Public Tax Dollars.

The Bottom Line IS:

“Heather Does NOT Have Two Mommies”–

Heather may be growing up in a home with 2 Women who live together in mutual love and support of Each Other AND of Heather…

But that does NOT negate the fact that SOME Way and How–A Male “Sperm Donor” Biologically Fathered Heather…

AND THE FACTS of LIFE REMAIN:

Each and Every ONE of US on the Planet is “Male AND Female” Genetically Sourced…(hear the sound of Your OWN Personal “Genesis” in these words?)…

AND Even A “Cloned” Human Life WON’T Alter THIS FACT Because…after all…Where Did The Cloned Cell’s DNA Come From ??

Yes–
Let’s Teach The Established Science IN The Public Schools–

AND–
Start Leaving The Matters of Personal Conjecture AT The Door.

greyfox says:

Your post only proves one thing;
We believe what we want to believe. For every so-called “miracle” you can cite I can give you a thousand cases directly opposite. Isn’t it funny and hasn’t it always been funny, the things we wish to call “miracles”
are always attributed to GOD. but the millions upon millions of atrocities, traumatic experiences, births gone wrong, accidental deaths and untold human suffering we conveniently put in a box called “These things are sent (by god) to try us”. If you give “god” credit for the good things, well you know where I’m going with this.

Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to (Moses), “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

greyfox says:

“Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to (Moses), “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the LORD? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.””

“teach you what to say” Whatever happened to free will? This sound much like brainwashing to me.

greyfox says:

Now Fred you’ve crossed the line. You are approaching this subject from an entirely too practical point of view. The subject can only be treated in the spiritual real, that’s the realm where you just have to believe. You believe the Bible, Quoran and all holy books written by man and containing the word of god as handed down to man, without question. To question the existence of god is blastphemy, whatever the hell that means. The holy people ahve got a good thing going for themselves, do you really want to spoil it?

iwtk says:

I’ve been seriously observing people for 40 years now and have not seen God heal anyone of anything. I will not say he doesn’t or cannot, but I have not witnesses it and I’ve been trying to find one for years now. Every time someone tells me God did this or that and I check it out; it turns out to be simply an emotional issue or hope that really is delusional to the speaker. I really would like to find something real, but so far I’ve not seen it yet.

My experience was very similar to yours – for about a year. I am sorry it has taken so long for you. I suggest you read my blog post at http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/miracles. Watch Darren Wilson’s movie “Father of Lights” or “Finger of God.” Go to one of the churches he talks about in his movie.

mcblanc says:

iwtk- You’ve written AT LENGTH elsewhere in these discussion threads. You were once a “True Believer” in some “Flavor Flavs” of “Christianity”… but NOT anymore. NOPE–NOW You Are Agnostic.

You claim here & at numerous other times to be a Serious Observer of People–For 40 Years–which, I imagine… to Your Way of Thinking–Makes You An Expert. Well… I’ve been a serious observer of people–too–for 55+ years… so… does THAT make Me MORE of “An Expert” than You ??

I Know The Direct Communications of GOD… yet… as these ultimately impacted & directed My Life… By Your Own Definitions–You would belittle & dismiss THEM as no more than manifestations of self-fulfilling prophecy and self-delusion–on my part.

The One You Need To Observe Closely To KNOW GOD’S DIRECT WORDS & GOD’S HEALING IS…

Y.O.U.

As I Believe You’ve Proven To Yourself–Already…

You Are NOT Going To Find HYMN By Closely Observing Anyone ELSE &/or Their Stories. We do–however–share Our Experiences with Others so that They might be encouraged & receive clues for how & where to begin THIS Search–NOW–WITHIN THEIR OWN LIVES.

So–iwtk–spend a few more years being as close of an observer This Time Around of YOURSELF & Your Own Interactions With THIS WORLD & ITS MANY INHABITANTS… And THEN–I’d Like To Know What You Have To Report.

iwtk says:

Mcblane, you appear to be quick to judge. My observing people for 40 years is simply an observation. What’s makes you think I think I’m an expert? It’s simply a stated fact. When are we ever an expert at such an endeavor? I’d say it’s a life journey. You say you know the direct communication of GOD as they direct and impacts your life. Well that’s great that that works for you. I wish GOD would give you better guidance in reading people instead of labeling someone that doesn’t agree with you as them saying you are delusional. Surely GOD has taught you more than that, especially when you are talking to me. Sounds to me like you want me to think you have all the answers for me. We both know that’s far from the truth. You are right about me observing myself, that’s exactly why I’ve come to the realization of what I have now. Since I really do want to know the truth, I’m not concerned about when I see something different than mainstream Christianity, that I’m so wrong. Believe me if I knew I was, I’d change my mind in a second. Common sense tells me that we do what we believe is right. That goes for both of us. You have to right to share with others your experiences and so do I. I will take your advice though and continue observing other and the interactions with myself. I’ve only been doing it with several thousand people in 27 countries. There is a couple of hundred countries, so I’ve got a ways to go yet. And I’ve only been involved with the seven major religions and a little over 100 cults as far as my research goes, I’ve only just begun. That’s doesn’t make me any better than anyone else, I just like the research and talking with people. It’s a journey and I enjoy it. When all is said and done, your belief works for you and mine works for me. You may believe more than me, but do you know more than me and vice versa? I do like to hear from people that really have facts (there is a time for faith) to back up their “knowing”. I really don’t think there is any difference between us. You believe you are right, I believe I am right. You know things, I know things. I don’t know things, you don’t know things. Now you may say you know that God is. I don’t know that, but I do believe it. Maybe not the way that you do. I do believe you believe in God, but I do not believe you know it. If you do know it, I think a lot of us out here would like to know how you do. I think the best thing you can say is you know it by faith; and that’s simply a belief that you accept, but that doesn’t mean you know. That’s a matter that will only be settled when Jesus comes back. Until then, you are just like everybody else, and so am I. When you understand that, then you will have gotten it. Thanks for your input.

Carl Dick says:

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I say an experience is worth a thousand pictures, which would make an experience worth a million words.
I have had my fill with people who demand “verifiable” proof of God. If you are one of them, then I’m truly sorry for you.
I’m not a swearing man, but all this business about relying on the vast stock of human knowledge sounds like B.S. to me.

FredHahn says:

Carl – that’s because you’re a believer. Nothing wrong with that but it’s strange that you don’t want proof. Would such proof be swell?

If I met you ans said to you “Jesus spoke to me yesterday and told me that I’m supposed to go journey in the desert.” You’d probably reply “Great.” But if I said an alien spoke to me and told me to journey in the desert.” You’d probably reply “You’re nuts.” What’s the difference? The difference is you *believe* in Jesus and you don’t *believe* in aliens. There’s not proof that either one exists. You simply choose to believe in Jesus. Some choose to believe in Mohammad. Some in other things. But in order to believe, you have to also believe that everyone else’s beliefs but yours is wrong. This is the seed of hatred, anger, murder and all of the other horrible things that the old testament is replete with.

Jan says:

Open your eyes, Fred! You see God “in the skies” every day. Creation (including life – animated souls that “will to live”) is the expression/revelation of God. When you stand in front of the ‘Mona Lisa’, do you see a beautiful painting that was created by a genius, or do you conclude that it is merely a canvas with some random paint stripes that creates an optical illusion that bears a cunning resemblance of a person – but its all just a fluke – a mere accident of nature?

FredHahn says:

I think my response was removed…Perry?

greyfox says:

Open your ears Jan, listen to the news, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Tidal waves, forest fires, rebellions, starvation, genocide. You can’t have it one way only, if god does good, he also does bad. But you probably have a way to absolve him of any
thing but the good things we see.

greyfox says:

Jan I know your response was to Fred but I can’t help but comment.

You say “Open your eyes, Fred! You see God “in the skies” every day.”, Jan may I respectfully submit, you, Jan, see god in the skies every day, I see beautiful clouds wafting across a blue sky. I see the occasional jet, kite or some other wind blown object. If you wish to see god, that’s cool but maybe, just maybe some of us see what is really there. Imagination is a wonderful thing, mine often sees shapes and faces in clouds but they aren’t really anything the wind can’t blow away in a few moments. We believe what we want to believe and that’s a fact.

greyfox says:

Still too practical Fred.

John 317 says:

Hi, I found Richards comments very powerful,it reminded me of my own experience in becoming aware of Gods Presence during the early 1980′s. Having lived for many Years as an Agnostic, late one night I came across a prayer book, I had used as a child going to school. While glancing through it I came to The Lords Prayer and began to read it, I had barely started when I experienced a sense of burning like a Furnace in my chest which was accompanied by a tremendous feeling of Love. This was immediately followed by a recognition of my own wretched condition, and sinfulness in comparison to the Love I was Experiencing, which I knew was coming from God. I fell to my knees and begged The Lord for Forgiveness, I became very conscious that the world was entering the end times and the importance of holding on to our Faith in Jesus Christ, and encouraging others who would listen to do likewise. However to get back to Richard I am convinced if we read all the books in the World, that there is only one Book we will be Judged on, and that is The Bible, especially The New Testament…..Thanking You For Your Kind Attention….John Foley

elcee305 says:

And what if you had been born in Iran or Pakistan or India, etc.? If your god wants people to worship him, why hasn’t he revealed himself to everyone?

I used to like the feeling that there was someone all-powerful, a loving heavenly father who would answer my prayers. Years and years of praying proved otherwise. I feel more secure now that I am grounded in reality.
Peace

elcee305 : I can only say that I am truly happy for you if you feel that your need for security is better satisfied by your feeling that you are “grounded in reality”. However, if this feeling of security is genuinely central to your life, I would advise you to avoid looking too deeply into the question of the nature of reality. However, in the last analysis, I suspect we all need to feel grounded in our own reality.
(On a personal note, I think that today, I probably feel less “secure” as a Christian than I did in the days when I didn’t feel the need to look beyond that which was immmediately available to my senses. But that’s just me, I suppose. I am stimulated and motivated by the challenges of uncertainty. My faith is all about where I’m going, not where I am. Faith isn’t a place, it’s a journey… for me.)

elcee305 says:

I appreciate your comments Richard. My feeling is that believing in the supernatural (spirits, angels, devils, gods) directs the mind away from reality. This can be very unhealthy. Humanity must respond to many serious problems. It is imperative that our mental abilities be focused on what is real if we are to manage these problems. Peace, Lois

elcee305 : It seems like you are making a distinction between what you might call internal (and thus imagined) reality, and external (perceived) reality.
Evolution has equipped us with sense organs which allow us to detect and determine the nature of your “external” reality in order to survive. Get that wrong – the species hits the wall.
However, these apparently accurate (not) perceptions of external reality exist in the same brain that has functions that go beyond concepts of material reality.
There’s the rub.
I can imagine tomorrow.
I can conceive of the future. Things that don’t exist. From there we move beyond tangible reality. That’s where the fun begins!

elcee305 says:

Thank you for your thoughts Richard. I appreciate your explanation of the difference between internal reality and external reality. If, however, it is meant to change my feelings as expressed in my previous comment, I still feel that belief in the supernatural (god(s), angels, heaven, hell, etc.) is superstition and is a disadvantage when it comes to solving the problems of our very real world.

elcee305 : you say, “…is superstition and is a disadvantage when it comes to solving the problems of our very real world.”
Er, yes, I think we can all agree that superstitions are pretty useless for avoiding famines, earthquakes and economic crises.
I am somewhat surprised that you would suspect that I might want to change your feelings, but I suppose it’s due the the kind of mentality that permeates so many of these forums.
I think that you bring up a very real issue – the difference between superstitions and religious belief systems. Monotheistic religions are very severe in condemning superstitions. Where do we draw the line? Apparently you have put all things non-material in the same sack, somewhat indiscriminately in my opinion, but understandably so. Much of what I hear about some brands of evangelical Christianity in the USA sounds a lot like what I would call superstition.

FredHahn says:

Why did this experience lead you to believe that there’s a god in the sky? I’ve felt that way about poems I’ve read.

jedsrose says:

Nice video regarding keswick08
You are showing one of the very bad side-effects of molecular biology…After this set of scientific techniques was accepted as a substitute for Science a lot of bad symptoms emerged.
You may find yourself very at easy with a Scientific report that by definition is not verifiable. For instance, the “genome” of a sea. To repeat it you may try two things together…First. To build a Time-machine, to travel in time a take the very same sample whose data were published first to publish it again. However, you will need a step further your yacht will need to occupy the same spot as the one of the first yacht at the same time. Eventually you think that these shortcomings will be solved in the near future. I think that your faith seems to be driven you towards a wrong place.
We could consider singularities in physics as a good example, or the absolute zero temperature that is for no bad reason considered as non-verifiable but, I will present you with far more trivial observations. Some EEG ( Electrical signals obtained from a patient brain) and or ECG ( Electrical signals from the heart) may be almost unverifiable either in the sense that even in a “cloned” twin brother or sister you will not be able to get it again.
I will not entangle in further discussion. My English is not good enough.

elcee305 says:

180 degrees in 10 seconds? I was Christian for 20+ yrs and have been atheist 30+ yrs. It took me years of stress and study to break free from Christianity. Many Christians say vile things on YouTube in commenting on atheist videos or replying to atheist comments. I’ve been told to my face that I deserve to burn in hell for eternity. Billboards along highways condemn nonbelievers. Personal religious experiences are not evidence of a god. The Bible reveals the Christian god to be a sadistic, cruel being. The purpose of religion is control through fear, shame and empty promises. My advice, don’t trust anyone who tells you to believe something extraordinary (supernatural) without extraordinary evidence.

wb4qiz says:

Dear Elcee305,

What extraordinary evidence do you need? Please define it. Please make it real good!

What would it take for you to believe in God as the creator of the universe and the one who gave you life? What would it take for you to believe without a doubt?

Sincerely,

Deryl

elcee305 says:

It would have to be something I could be certain was more than my imagination.

rado says:

God is that “something” which among others has the ability to be conscious, to experience, feel, to think etc.. That something is inside of you, it is your very core – that is why you are conscious, experience, feel, think etc..

Is that part of you that is conscious a figment of your imagination?

elcee305 says:

Regarding, “God is that “something” which among others has the ability to be conscious, to experience, feel, to think etc.. That something is inside of you, it is your very core – that is why you are conscious, experience, feel, think etc.,” how do you know this rado?

elcee350 :
You asked, “how do you know this rado?”
I think this is a vital question, and one that must be asked AND answered every time a Christian makes the kind of claim that rado is making. Particularly when the claim is followed up with the astonishingly illogical question, “Is that part of you that is conscious a figment of your imagination?”
Don’t forget, I am making this comment as a “true believer”.
I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that this won’t degenerate into that “How-do-you-know?” presuppositionalist silliness.

(rado – here’s a hint: start off by saying what you mean by “know”, because it can have some quite different uses according to the context. For example, when I say, “I know that my Redeemer lives,” the knowledge I am referring to has nothing to do with “I know that today is Sunday. It is closer to a statement like, “I know you love me.”)

FredHahn says:

Well said. Why is god so violent and malevolent?

rado says:

By claiming that you acknowledge that God exists, don’t you?

greyfox says:

Rado says “By claiming that, you acknowledge that God exists don’t you?” Is that a gotcha? I think you put your own interpretation on Feds comments.

StonetoFlesh says:

@elcee305. I’m curious if this person who told you to your face that you deserve to go to Hell, told you why it is that you deserve to? I can understand that to be a “vile” thing, if it lacked explanation. So is it that you didn’t understand why you deserve to go to Hell, or is it because you simply didn’t like the idea? Is it vile for a doctor to tell a terminal cancer patient , that he has terminal cancer? I’d also like to challenge your notion that you were a Christian for 20+ years. A Christian is someone who personally knows Jesus Christ, and the first elementary prerequisite to knowing Jesus Christ is knowing that you indeed do deserve to go Hell. So, it sounds (based on very limited information I admit) that you were not a Christian, but a natural man, trying to live a lifestyle that only a super natural man could; and that must have been frustrating.

elcee305 says:

The person who told me to my face that I was going to hell told me because I asked her if she thought I was going there because I am an atheist. Hell is a “vile” thing because no matter how terrible any human being might be, I would never, if I had the power, commit anyone to that kind of suffering. Suffering don’t like suffering, whether another person’s suffering or any living creature. If it is necessary or unavoidable suffering, I would be comforting and supportive to whomever or whatever was suffering. As far as whether I was an actual Christian who personally knew Jesus Christ, I thought I knew JC; but I now know that it was ONLY “thought”, that is, my personal experience. I have the same type of feelings when I listen to moving music or read a beautiful peom or experience the beauty of nature. I don’t understand what you mean by, “trying to live a lifestyle that only a super natural man could; and that must have been frustrating.” What would be the lifestyle of a super natural man? I am a natural human being; nothing unusual there. Ordinary life…married to my wonderful husband of 48 years with a terrific grown daughter and terrific grown son. Most of my relatives are Christians as are most of my friends.

iwtk says:

I can tell your understanding is delusional as was once mine. You see things only one way according to your question. I was a Christian for 25 years and believed it to the point of dying for my beliefs. I did all the things a Christian does and had no insecurities about it. I was happy. I could not be convinced by anyone I was wrong in serving God. Baptist, Assembly of God, Pentecostal to name a few, I’ve enjoyed all of them. But when I started to research more and more and meet more people and travel to 26 countries, spent over 30 years in the military and I started to find out some things were not as I believed, I decided to question things deeper. I really was having a hard time proving my points to some people. The word didn’t seem to work on everyone, like I believed it should. In the beginning I knew I knew the truth. Now I realized in the beginning I believed the truth by faith without question. Now I can say I don’t know what a lot of people claim they know and I know they don’t either, in spite of how much they think (or know) they do. Now I am an agnostic, not a atheist. I don’t believe anyone can know God doesn’t exist. I do believe something (call it God if you must) did cause everything to happen in the beginning but now I do not take that huge leap to say it was the Christian God and thus Christianity is the only way. I will not say it is not, but I don’t believe it. If God is, he is so far beyond our understanding, we know nothing. For the last 17 years, probably the only things I do differently is not believe as I did, but I do believe in obeying the commandments and loving my neighbor as myself. In a way, I live like a Christian, but I don’t believe like one. Just because I don’t believe as I did doesn’t mean I turned into a bad person. I was very concerned at first that changing my beliefs would cause a lot of problems spiritually, but it didn’t. I have just become more aware of reality and my desire to do the right things has not changed at all. But I do believe when I die, I will just not be anymore. Maybe I am wrong, but I see nothing that has convinced me otherwise yet. I sure hope I am wrong. I’ve seriously studied the bible for over 40 years to include (Greek and Hebrew meanings) and probably know 5 to 6,000 verses of scripture (because I used it extensively in witnessing to others to lead them to be saved) but I see now after a very long time I was brainwashed and living a very delusional life. Happy, but not true. Now my life has a more sound meaning. I do understand far more than I did, and the things I don’t understand, I’ve have not met anyone else who does either. I know that may sound arrogant, but I don’t mean it to be. I do follow the truth and the truth has indeed has set free. I like to discuss the deep issues of life, but I’m not interested in just arguing my point to the point of making someone believe the way I do, because I believe people will believe what they really feel comfortable in believing. I would like for people to do the research though and know why they believe what they believe. And don’t just limit the research to the Bible. There are many good things out there and bad things also. You need to know the pros and cons. We have a brain, we need to use it. The bottom line is this. If God is out there and he/she wants me to find him/her he knows I would not disagree with that and welcome whatever brings that into fruition. I keep my eyes and ears open to all and welcome all. God can talk to me himself, through people or whatever way he wants but it will have to prove true and have some kind of impact beyond just people’s emotions. Faith will have to prove results. I have learned that man can cause all prophecy to be fulfilled except Jesus’ return and the rapture (if it happens). Neither of those have happened yet, so all other Bible prophecy does not prove anything yet. I’ve been a Bible prophecy studier for 45 year now. I thought the rapture was going to happen 42 years ago, still waiting. Things have been adjusted so many times and I believe it will continue to be adjusted throughout the future. I’m getting do deep into this, I just get carried away because I do love the research. My motto is when you can find meaning to life where there is none, that’s when you really begin to live and maybe get a slight clue of what is really going on, but light-years from really knowing. In the end, it ends up in believing by faith whether it be good faith or bad faith, we just will not know, but we will believe something.

elcee305 – “The purpose of religion is control through fear, shame and empty promises.”
Religion doesn’t have a “purpose” per se. People have purposes. And people have always sought to “control”. And, yes, religion has been used in this way. But hat only informs us about people – not God.

elcee305 says:

As far as I am concerned, people created god(s), not the other way around. That would explain why there are so many different interpretations of god(s) and so many different religions. All religions can’t be right….but they could all be wrong.
Peace

Jan says:

NEW MATHS FORMULA BY elcee305: 1+1 = 3… not!
Unfortunately your apparent personality flaws does not suffice as evidence of God’s non-existence. You being offended and perturbed by certain YouTube videos, ‘Christian-replies’ to Atheist lies, Billboards and insults to your face have left you rather scarred and fragile. I don’t know which Christian Bible you have read friend, but the God I know LOVES you unconditionally, and without regard to your response to His love. I can assure you, despite how deserving you might be of burning in hell for all eternity, you will most certainly not burn in hell (not even for a second). If you were a Christian for 20+ years as you say, you probably never read the Christian Bible. Cause if you did, you probably would not have become an Atheist. Or at least you would not have made the silly suggestion that “the Bible reveals the Christian god to be a sadistic cruel being…”. The Christian Bible I have read (and by the way, I do not consider myself to be a Christian) reveals a God that is loving, and kind, and giving, and forgiving… encouraging us to love and good neighborliness, and to turn the other cheek, to walk the extra mile… to be charitable, care for the sick and the weak… Maybe you are confusing the Bible for the Koran?
You are making the same mistake as many so-called ‘Atheists’ – you are confusing religion and God.

elcee305 says:

To what personality flaws of mine do you refer? To what atheist lies do you refer? How do you tell whether a good person is good because they are Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or just a good person?
Peace

Jan says:

Personality flaws – note that I originally wrote ‘apparent’ personality flaws… do you really want to go there? The mere fact that you are are asking the question speaks volumes. You originally wrote that you were told to your face that you deserve “to burn in hell for eternity”. And you are obviously troubled by this as you also said “Hell is a “vile” thing” and that you would “never commit anyone to that kind of suffering”.

Thus, the apparent personality flaw that I’m referring to is “Cursed” which refers to a person who has befallen a prayer for evil or misfortune, placed under a spell, or placed into an evil circumstance, and suffers for it… (which you clearly are).

Therefore I wrote the words of encouragement to you which you (apparently) missed: “God… LOVES you unconditionally, and without regard to your response to His love. I can assure you, despite how deserving you might be of burning in hell for all eternity, you will most certainly not burn in hell, not even for one second…”

His love for you remains true and unwavering, even though you expressed your hatred for Him (implicit in your claim to be a so-called “Atheist”).

As for your question: “To which atheist lies do I refer?”… common now, don’t let me start suggesting some other personality flaws (I’m going to take it you were not serious in posing this question).

Regarding your question “how do you tell who is good?”. Simple. You don’t. That is the curse of religion, that it would judge people as good and bad.

FACT is, God loves and accepts all, based on the ‘substitutory’ goodness of the One. You, Elcee, are accepted and loved by God, fully, finally and unconditionally (despite any character flaws that you may have – THAT is the GOOD NEWS).

elcee305 says:

Regarding your reference to my being “cursed,” who do you accuse of putting a curse on me? No matter, it’s not a problem, unless you or they would be considering carrying out the curse personally, in which case, that would not be a curse but a hate crime!

Indeed I was told to my face that I would burn in hell for eternity; and now you assure me that despite how deserving I might be of burning in hell for all eternity, I will not burn in hell. Which Christian is right, the one who told me I will burn in hell, or you, or all the many other Christians who have their own interpretations of the “word of god”?

I DO ask that you name the “atheist lies” of which you accuse me. If you are going to accuse a person of lying, you should name the lies to which you refer.

As for your “GOOD NEWS” that I am loved and accepted by god…I DENY GOD(S) and all things supernatural, but I do not deny the right of all to their beliefs, as long as they do not interfere with my life.

Peace

Jan says:

This hell-curse that is on you is really upsetting you, isn’t it? (I pray that you will find healing soon).

Your atheist lie? Let me spell is out to you: YOU ARE LYING, YOU ARE NOT GOD!

You can deny God all you like – as I said, you are a liar…

and as for not denying others certain rights (as long as they meet certain conditions)… once again: who cares what you would allow and disallow – you are not God… (note the falsehood in your statement that you would allow other to believe as they want to – if so, why did you post here!?)

Jan,

Cool it down. You don’t need to shout or accuse. The facts alone are enough.

Jan says:

I’ll try very hard to be more gentle in future…

Jan says:

elcee305 (Elcee?), you probably think I’m nuts for accusing you of thinking that you are God… but the mere fact that you are denying God’s existence implies exactly that.

You see, the believer’s view-point is that God determines reality. He said: “Let there be…”, and so it was. Add thus reality is – it corresponds to Him who determines reality.

Thus, by denying God, you are indeed declaring that you make reality (in other words, you are usurping God’s position).

Besides an amazing account of how God created the universe (“Big Bang”, evolution ‘an all’), Moses also recounts how this world was taken captive to believe the Atheist lie, that God is a lie(r), and not to be trusted, and that man would reach god-status by creating his own reality (i.e., by knowing good from evil).

The modern-day “Atheist” falls for the same lie, declaring it to be truth, and in so doing is making himself god – i.e, you will be ‘like god’. That’s why I propose that as believers we stop calling them ‘a’-theists, but adopt the more accurate term – the ‘man-gods’.

As for the ‘curse’… there is no hocus-pocus, witchery or wizardry suggested in my assertion that you are ‘cursed’(if that what you are asking, i.e., “who do you accuse of putting a curse on me…”).

If anyone has “put a curse on you”, it is you for taking it to heart, or paying any attention to it. It isn’t real – it is imaginary – but it can nevertheless be very powerful if it takes a hold of you. A curse is a limiting ‘spell’ – like being ‘spell-bound’. Why, because the words has some ‘magical’ power? No, of course not, it’s nonsense. But the one who is under the curse suffers for it because they themselves make it real.

In the postings you made here, you repeatedly make reference. It’s like you are sobbing and crying: ‘look at these terrible Christians, boo–hoo, sniff, sniff, they are sending me to hell, boo-hoo!”

When I first saw that my reaction was: What!? Is this woman serious!? She claims to be a man-god (‘atheist’) but yet she’s upset at this!?

Here’s the thing – if some unkind mentally-challenged person person tells me that the bogey man is going to get me because I do not get into bed from the left side (or some bad ‘Karma’ will be my due for not doing something), I will probably have a good giggle about it, wink at the person at say something like: “maybe I am the boogey man”, and ‘brush it off’.

Hell is no human being’s destiny. The price that has been paid for our salvation is so great, that not even your (meager) attempts at insulting God will get you a spot in hell.

Paul explained in his writings that because sin was fully and finally dealt with, God was able to raise Jesus from the grave… In other words, if any sin of any (wo)man remained (past present and future), He would have had to stay in the grave, as the debt would have remained unsettled. In other words, even the sins that you will yet commit has been paid for… whether you ask for forgiveness or not. As a matter of fact, the settlement of the debt was done and accomplished without any of your doing or involvement. Yeah, I realize that some man-gods are so arrogant that they will reckon themselves guiltless. So, elcee305, again, how’s this for good news (caps intended, but I promised Perry I won’t shout): You are loved by God – isn’t He just awesome? Even though you hate Him, He does not hold it against you!

greyfox says:

Jan, when it comes to religious gobbledygook and claptrap you are the best on this forum.

“Hell is no human being’s destiny. The price that has been paid for our salvation is so great, that not even your (meager) attempts at insulting God will get you a spot in hell.”

This implies that there is such a place as hell. What, pray tell, is it’s purpose?

As usual Jan you make no sense.

shellbell95 says:

ORIGINAL PURPOSE OF HELL. PULLED A SCRIPTURE FROM THE OLD AND NEW TEST JUST FYI….
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).

“Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?” (Isa. 14:15-6).

IT WAS MEANT FOR SATAN

elcee305 says:

What else can I say, Jan. Quoting from your previous statement, I “have had a good giggle…wink…”maybe I am the boogey man.”…”Now, brush off.”

Peace
elcee

greyfox says:

Hi Jan, your “Christian” tolerance is showing, likewise you seem to have run out of the “milk of human kindness” is this what your beliefs engender? It is apparent that you have no consideration of other points of view. You are on ranting on as if you have lost all semblance of reason. Read your post and tell me, it is in any way reasoned.

mcblanc says:

LOL…
Aren’t You running about 9 months LATE to making This Point to Jan ??

“It is apparent that you have no consideration of other points of view.”

greyfox–This “Shoe” Belongs ON Your Foot That ON Many Occasions You Have Placed Squarely IN Your Mouth (figuratively speaking).

Let us recall Your statements to Our Host–Perry Marshall–in the 6th of the current 557 posts–Your First–that appears near the very top of this page under the heading…

greyfox says:
October 15, 2011 at 9:14 am

And I quote:
“Perry, Up to now I thought you were just a bible thumping christian but I lost all respect for you when I checked out the site you posted on Oct 2,2011. I am almost tempted to believe you were joking with this site. How is it possible to witness the healing of someone claiming to have been deaf in one ear? This defies common sense and I shall take none of your future posts with any seriousness. As a matter of fact I will not read anything with your name attached. I thought this forum was for serious discussions not the clap trap of evangelistic con men.”

I Rest My Case.

greyfox says:

Hi Jan, glad to see you are still looking at things as you think they should be. The world according to Jan.

gatormb says:

John clearly answers the question of “How about those who left us?” with “They were never one of us to begin with.”.

Sorry elcee, how can one who “knows” Christ then deny Him ever say he knew Him to begin with. Sorry, false conversions don’t count.

elcee305 says:

I was raised to believe that I was a Christian. As far as whether I was an actual Christian who personally knew JC, I thought I knew JC; but I now know that it was ONLY “thought”, that is, my personal experience. I have the same type of experience when I listen to moving music or read a beautiful poem or enjoy the beauty of nature. Peace

greyfox says:

What is life when all the veils are pulled away
Two eternal nights on either side of one short day
And in that single span of time we live and play
What is life but one short day
We probe the darkness knowing all too well
There is no heaven nor is there a hell
We send our spirits deep in outer space
But never have we seen another face
We trust too much in those who say
There is eternal light beyond the day.

Is there a God? There is if you believe it, but only death can say for sure.

Jan says:

Your poem reminds me of a lullaby my wife would sing to our children to comfort them when they were restless and their little souls troubled by the darkness of night…

You ask the question “Is there a God?” and then acknowledge that contrary to the bold statements of your poem, you are actually clueless. Seeing that (by your own acknowledgement) you don’t know, maybe you should start ‘closer to home’, by considering your own purpose and the meaning of your own life…

Does your life have meaning and purpose?

By considering this your are implicitly asking whether ‘God’ exists or not. Any reference to ‘purpose’ implies a higher will. If there is no higher will, it’s purposeless – it simply is…
Is mankind the ‘higher vehicle’ purposed to be the “image and likeness” of God as revealed to the primordial Mosaic mind, or is man – as per the Carl Sagan school of higher philosophical learning – a mere unintended accident of evolution? No (great) mind behind it, no (higher) purpose. Mere clumps in a fortuitous evolutionary f@rt…
I guess this is the ‘do-or-die’ question of bona-fide atheism. If there is no God, what then is the purpose of man? How do you find meaning in life?
The answers proposed by Atheism’s priesthood unfortunately provide little solace to my puerile need for meaning.

If there is no higher purpose, if this is all there is, the only meaningful attitude would have to be base (raw, primitive) instinct. Anything other than selfishness, greed, self-indulgence, self-gratification and immediacy would be stupid, egotistical BS. Because no matter how you look at it, it’s all going to be over tomorrow – whether it be a mere day, or several billion days after today. So-what if you inconvenienced yourself to show kindness to a fellow being (human or otherwise) – you were simply a gullible fool, and aside from the fleeting sense of moral superiority, you would probably have been better-off to have served yourself instead.

When this epoch of man and its earthly host has played itself out, it will be over and done… completely and utterly. There will not be a single memory left to tell the story of you and me. Nothing, just empty meaningless nothingness…

Kinda wants me to comment: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’”.

This is the atheists’ impasse. If there is no God, there is no meaning and no purpose…

greyfox says:

That is your perception of an impasse. Life has meaning for it’s own sake it does not need the fortification of a belief in God to make it meaningful, If you require that belief for a meaningful life, great, but please don’t decide for me that my life is meaningless because I happen not to believe as you do. Are you suggesting that all the civilizations that were unaware of God as you know him to be were meaningless? I would consider that arrogant and presumptious.

Jan says:

The fact your life is meaningless to you (i.e., ‘all the civilizations that were unaware of God…’) doesn’t mean that it is meaningless – because God is, it all has meaning in the greater context of His Story…

Exactly which ‘civilizations’ are you referring to?

greyfox says:

Jan, Stop! please stop! You don’t even know what you are reading, you just prattle on and on. Not only do you not know what you are reading but you don’t comprehend what you are reading. There are other views than yours but you are so self absorbed in your religious clap trap that you deny all possibility that any one else has a point of view. As I said in a previous post you are arrogant, pompous and presumptuous. You don’t discuss you preach.

Jan says:

Touched a raw nerve, did I? It always does – the minute you dare to touch the ‘purpose and meaning’ topic it sends them over the wall – it always does…
Religion, nope – I don’t do religion. Haven’t done religion for about 15 years. What I have is Emunah (THE FAITH) – real knowledge directly from The Source. Religion is what you have – you, who by your own admission, are clueless – YET, despite the fact that you are clueless (by your own admission), you not only cling to an apparent irrational belief … you determinately and deliberately set out to promote and defend that position!? That is religion, plain and simple… when you develop a world-view and follow and (attempt to) impose some derived creed that supposedly represents ‘the ultimate truth’ – yet, the evidence for such ‘truth is always second-hand and hearsay; it cannot be proven and it is thus mere myth… (and consequently the need for ‘priestly class’ to sustain the religion – those with ‘special knowledge’).
Like ‘Atheism’, or more accurately, Humanism (and its high priest – one Dawkins).
Talk about pompous!? You attack and belittle those that have expressed belief in God. You accuse of them being ‘intellectual’ when the facts get to much for you to bear. Are these statements ‘respectful’? ” Here we go again.. ‘An accurate reading of the bible’, Accurate by whose measure? “, or how about “My, my we are getting a bit testy aren’t we..” or “Atheism is the spear that gores the Christian Ox” or “I told him that I got the same sensation from a Live Sinatra concert. Perhaps God was present at the concert…” (to mention only a few). You make rubbish statements about only death knowing truth and attempt to dress gibberish as prose – an obvious attempt at awing some imagined audience… and you expect me to shut up?
You now what? Death knows squad! Your disrespectful taunting, bravado and pretence have no effect here. This is no university campus – or ‘infidels forum’ – with a bunch of impressionable 18 year-old pot heads that are eager to get their empty craniums filled with humanistic drivel dressed up in the garb of ‘academia’.
Your suggestion that I don’t have respect for the opinion of others could have been a joke if it wasn’t so condescending. You see, you are right in that I don’t have respect for the humanist ‘viewpoint’… are you seriously suggesting that I should have respect for what I factually know to be a lie? But the mere fact that you are accusing me of being disrespectful would suggest that you reckon you are (‘respectful’)!?
Well, let’s explore that for a second, shall we. There are only two possible positions from which you issued your accusation, namely:
1. Either the tree trunk in your own eye is blinding you from your noticing your own disrespect towards any view that is contrary to ‘The Lie’ (‘atheism’), or
2. You are deluded thinking that you are God and thus believe that you entitled to be disrespectful to the ‘opposing view’, a right which you do not afford to Theists…
This thread started out in response to Richard Morgan’s testimony of his ‘conversion experience’… If you were so respectful of others’ viewpoints as you seem to suggest, you would have listened to Richard’s presentation, and would have thought: “… hmmm interesting viewpoint, I disagree, but the man has a right to his own viewpoint…”. And that would have been that. You would have refrained from attacking those who believe in God (e.g., “How can you possibly know about anything “beyond our physical realm? That statement is just plain ludicrous…”)
From the minute this debate thread started your responses and replies have consistently been akin to frivolous intellectual contempt, presenting nothing but demagogic ranting. You have abandoned rationality and have embraced an embittered manifesto of dogmatic atheist fundamentalism – and that in the face of clear counter-evidence…

As for your accusation that “you do you not know what you are reading…”. What are you talking about? Are you perhaps suggesting that what I’ve put forth I got from some book? I’ve got news for you – what I’ve got I got from no book – holy or otherwise – and from no man…

So, as for you commanding me to stop – I know by who’s authority you are trying to get me to shut up… bad news for you fox, that authority has no affect here, mate…

greyfox says:

Jan, I sincerely apologize if I have, in any way, offended you. I sometimes get carried away on the subject of spirituality and forget that there are some who take it deadly seriously. Our beliefs or non-beliefs are very dear and personal things and should be respected.

greyfox says:

Jan, if you are unable to analyse my comments in the way they are intended, that’s OK. You have shown in most of your posts that you interpret things to suit yourself and put meaning to things that were never intended. You might say, “The world according to JAN”.

“This is the atheists’ impasse. If there is no God,
there is no meaning and no purpose…” again according to JAN. What it tells me that there is no meaning and no purpose for YOU without God. But
I would have to say that that is very arrogant and presumptious of you to determine this for anyone else.

greyfox says:

It has always struck me as rather strange that most Christians get all bent out of shape at the atheist view of the idea of god. As an atheist I have no problem with anyone who believes in god. Why is the reverse not true?

TA says:

The reverse is sometimes true. I am a Christian (still studying the bible) and I am not bent out of shape by atheists’ idea of God.

What might make sense for an atheist to claim is that he/she is unsure whether there is a God (creator of man and the universe), and that would be fair.

Everything that we know – aside from nature (life, the universe and the laws that govern it) – is “created” by man. Isn’t it rather naïve, arrogant and presumptuous to accept that man can “create” things but that man and nature aren’t “created”? We have to believe that man is the most intelligent creature within and without the universe to accept that there is no other more intelligent being that could have created life and the universe. The fact that you cannot see your creator does not mean that you were not created. By congruential and inferential reasoning, as sure as we are that intelligent man can create things we can be sure that man was created by an intelligent being, whom some of us call “God”.

The idea of God (a creator of the universe) is not far-fetched because all that is real and true cannot always be immediately observed, discovered or proven scientifically. Electricity and gravity were discovered eons after they had existed. Perhaps some wish to discover and prove God scientifically before they can believe. The evidence is all around us but the mathematical equation doesn’t yet exist to prove God. Science is a man-made process and is imperfect; to subject the proof of our creator to scientific rigor may be elusive.

We do not have to prove what was before our creator, or who created our creator, to deduce that we have a creator. Lastly, the state of the world (crime, diseases, famine, wars, death, etc.) does not disprove a creator.

All that have intelligence, let them reason.

greyfox says:

I didn’t say you were, I said “most Christians” not “all”.

Qqccho says:

All life is violent by nature. All living entities survive on behalf of others. Same principle applies when in discussing blogs some use it as they keep on receiving unverified “truths” as valid arguments to state theories that are “the ones nobody saw”. I am not an atheist but I can understand when they start losing their patience as same stuff comes back over and over by just “changing” the story actors or words or stating “new” unverified theories. It is hard for me to believe that anybody can change any believe in just ten minutes, especially those reached through a life time as Richard stated. How wrong can one be? I think the argument of violent replies as the reason for changing his believes it’s just an argument in the lack of others. Perhaps Mr. Richard was never an atheist at all.
Love experiences are real but there’s no need to verify anything there and yet, a beautiful word as Love is used in order to “chain” us to arguments as truthful ones. For some people may be important to use arguments that are not as abstract or gaseous as love or empathy, even miracles, when arguing on important matters. I think that they deserve the same respect you want for yourselves because nobody knows, at this point, what the real truth is.

StonetoFlesh says:

God has revealed in the Scriptures that man does in fact know He exists, but they surpress that knowledge for the sake of unrighteousness; man wants to live with autonomy, especially in the moral realm. If one admits to God’s existence, it’s an admittance of a Supreme Authority over him; and natural, prideful man will have none of that. Either he outright rejects the existence of “a god”, or fashions one that fits his preferences, so long as he remains lord of his own life.

iwtk says:

What extraordinary evidence do you need? Please define it. Please make it real good! Well to start how about answers to prayer. I was a christain for 25 years and have known many christains in my time. While I do believe that God or something created the universe, I do not see him communicating to people. I do see people communicating or praying to him (if he is there). It’s really easy to test. One prays in church services where others know there requests and people come to the rescue and answer…people say that’s God. I believe that to know whether it is God or not, pray just to him only and see how long it takes for answers. My experience and all others I’ve known prove, when other people don’t know, you don’t get the answers like when other people do know your requests. It’s not hard to figure out. Try it over and over again, you will see. If you really want to KNOW this you can know. And honestly I don’t see it.

FredHahn says:

Perry – this doesn’t prove anything. Where is the medical evidence? We are supposed to believe these people’s stories?

If you refuse to believe peer reviewed scientific research (Southern Medical Journal) and videos you can see for yourself, which are widely confirmed in the media (Delia Knox) then I can not help you.

FredHahn says:

I’ll look again but I didn’t see any documented evidence. I must have missed it.

Zoran Ozimec says:

Thank you Perry for your mail regarding Richard’s extraordinary experience although in his 49 minutes long funny and entertaining speech he spend only a few minutes to specifically address his extraordinary experience, by telling us (his own words) “he cannot describe it and cannot share it with us” (25th minute of his speech). Well I waited 25 minutes to hear what? Together with the rest of the speech it was quite a disappointment for me and it just reaffirmed my position on the topic, which I can roughly describe in a few words as follows;
A quick look through the human timeline reveals how science replaced numerous Gods one by one by a sound scientific description of Their domain. As it is often said, everything is a miracle before it becomes a science. Based on the mentioned historic facts, it is not hard to predict which approach wins in future, religious or scientific. For example, today we know that Big Bang occurred some 13.7 billion years ago. It is not important shall we call it Big Bang or God’s creation, what matters is what we can learn about it through science and alternatively through religion. The Bible is not even close in specifying the age of the universe or even our planet earth (4.5 by). Surprisingly, ancient Vedic tradition offers much closer figures at around 8.6 billion years. I definitely vote for science here, but remain open to alternatives.
Sorry Richard! I am not in.

Zoran

Ackld2008 says:

“For example, today we know that Big Bang occurred some 13.7 billion years ago. ”

Is faith involved in your statement? Where were you when the big bang occurred? Were you there to be the eye witness in order to tell us it did happen?

How did scientists know big bang really happen? Were they there? Is that a theory of desperate people? Why do you allow them to control you just in the name of science?

Look the world around you, the universe, look the super micro beings in our earth not to mention in the universe. Do you really need a scientist to tell you what and how to think? Do you want them to tell you that those complexity just happen by CHANCE? Does logic not at least play minimum role here to not just accept what scientists tell you.

Zoran Ozimec says:

As a matter in fact scientists are eye witnessing “Big Bang” today, they are “there” today. You need to learn-refresh knowledge of some basic physics to understand that and than look around you, as you suggested, but preferably through telescope as Edwin Hubble did for example.
You do not need to be an expert in cosmology, there are many popular articles written on that subject that are relatively easy to grasp. This year’s Nobel prize for physics goes to the scientists that work in the field of cosmology. They do not look like desperate people to me !
There is no room for faith where knowledge exists, but if you want a friendly advice, focus your attention to events that preceded “Big Bang” like scientist Roger Penrose did. There is practically no scientific knowledge about that era, only speculation. Maybe faith turns out to be right in that domain??

Zoran

mcblanc says:

Zoran- I see that You consider These Remarks [posted on Oct 5 at 4:56 am & again on Oct 7 at 3:43 am] to be Worth Repeating.

Your “friendly advice”…to confine matters of “faith” to “events that preceded [the] ‘Big Bang’ like scientist Roger Penrose”…and Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain and Albert Einstein and a host of others…

Who found “Deist Philosophy” to be a far more productive way to set aside the ENDLESS & Too Often TRAGIC Religious Arguing of Their Day with a philosophy of religion—tagged “Deism” in 1621…or the less-formal-but-more-helpful-for-getting-a-handle-on-the-essence of these assertions…

“Clockwork Universe Theory”…
Tho’…
It’s ironic that Enlightenment Era Deists cited Newton’s Laws of Motion and of universal gravitation as The Explanations for How & Why the universe “Ticked” and “Moved” that didn’t require the intervention of a “GOD” in ours or the universe’s daily lives—BUT NEWTON—HIMSELF—WAS UPSET BY SUCH “HIJACKING” of HIS WORK AND WAS AN OPPONENT of CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE THEORY.

The best-quick summary that I found of “Deism” is Wikipedia’s:

“Deism in the philosophy of religion is the standpoint that reason and observation of the natural world, without the need for organized religion, can determine that the universe is a creation and has a creator. Furthermore, the term often implies that this supreme being does not intervene in human affairs or suspend the natural laws of the universe.
Deists typically reject supernatural events such as prophecy and miracles, tending to assert that a god (or “the Supreme Architect”) does not alter the universe by (regularly or ever) intervening in the affairs of human life. This idea is also known as the Clockwork universe theory, in which a god designs and builds the universe, but steps aside to let it run on its own. Deists believe in the existence of a god without any reliance on revealed religion, religious authority or holy books…”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism

Roger Penrose is reported to operate with something closer to today’s—Secular Humanist—edition of “Deism”…Which I’ll summarize as being a…

Motivated & Truth-Seeking & Collaborating Person Who Works To The Best of Their Abilities To Advance What They Find To Be TRUE In Their Field(s) of Endeavor(s) That Will—Hopefully—Advance Better Understandings & Improved Capabilities For ALL…

And…
IF THIS AIN’ T BEING “Christlike”—
THEN I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS.

However—
It’s ALSO True That…
Christ warned US All of the Slippery Slope that We head down…
When We Fail To Acknowledge THE SOURCE of All That…
WAS—IS&WILL-BE…
And KNOW That…
HE LOVES US &
COMMUNICATES WITH US—
CONSTANTLY—ALL THE TIME—IN EVERY WAY—
SINCE BEFORE “The World” Even conceived…
The remotest of possibilities of…OUR BEIN’

P.S.
A Clear Example of WHY IT IS ESSENTIAL To Keep Judeo-Christianity IN OUR EQUATIONS Came To US All Just THIS Week—As The World Mourns The Death of Steve Jobs…Who Needs NO Introduction To Posters At THIS Website…

I’m sure the irony is NOT lost to “People of Faith”—ESPECIALLY Earnestly Practicing Christians & Muslims…That—Had Steve’s (Biological) Mother Conceived Him During The Years/Decades of His Adult Career…THERE IS A HIGHLY LIKELY CHANCE THAT—She would’ve felt & yielded to…among other sources…Planned Parenthood Pressures and opted for a Legal Abortion…instead of giving birth to Him and placing Him with Adoptive Parents—As She Did.

garyk51188 says:

Interesting question, to the effect, “Why doesn’t God just write in the sky, ‘Here I Am!’”

When the Jews left Egypt He was before them as a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of smoke in the day. And, yet, some still went away from Him (they had “proof”).

In the Lazarus story, the rich man plead that if only someone could be sent back from the grave to warn his brothers, that that “sign” would be enough to convince them. Abraham said no, that wouldn’t get them to repent, either.

There seems something in human nature that defeats any test of God we can imagine that would be sure proof to make us, as we say, “believe.” Maybe it is because that really isn’t the question at all.

Believing — a word we use to mean, repenting and turning to Him — is something some people wouldn’t do if He was standing in front of us. So, we are not really talking about “proof.”

This makes sense considering God hiding Himself to certain people from their POV. They claim they can’t find Him, but it is because they are really not seeking Him.

When we demand God show Himself in one way or another on our own terms, it is foolish because we stand in the middle of every evidence of Him that could possibly be imagined.

It is like saying, “I already don’t believe in You, nor would I turn to You.”

kenkoskinen says:

I think Richard’s conversion was emotionally based. Perhaps similar to Saul’s conversion, without the vision, as outlined in the book of Acts. Download my free PDF essays “What Resurrection?” and “Comments on a Debate: Does God Exist?” via my website http://antspub.com

I was also banned on the Dawkin’s website for what they called “trolling”. I had merely mentioned that some sort of life after death might be possible if there were physics to support it. The members pressed me for details but I had not yet published my theory so I repeatedly resisted their cries for more info. In any case the mods banned me. However I view this as a bandage of honor. I think, the moderators of the site need to allow more freedom of communication! What are they worried about if they have their bases covered?

In any case Richard dodged the question asked by those on the Dawkings’ Forum. It was only given a scant reference so let me re-frame the question: how one can jump from the idea there isn’t any god … to the emotional need for being loved firstly; to that of believing in the Biblical God/Christ. I say there is much more emotionalism going on here than was originally apparent

There isn’t anything wrong with listening to emotional urges; after all we are all human. The question that comes down to us is: are we being strictly rational or is it some mix including the spice of emotionalism? One cannot prove the Biblical god exists, even if you think any god does!

W. Cravens says:

“Personal experiences are real…
but.. they have nothing to do with fact.”

Too simple. I too stumbled for a long time over the personal element in Faith. One seemed to “choose” Faith, whereas Fact simply “is what it is”. When the “faith” is just a desire for something (material) I agree that “wishing for it won’t make it so”. I want a new car. God (via the Cosmos) says “Well then, get up off your duff, go earn your keep, and buy one!” But a “worldview” is NOT (ever) based ONLY on “facts”. Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn were very helpful in this area. Atheists believe they have Facts. They believe that Scientists start with an “open mind”, look at the Data, then decide what theory to accept. This is not so. We (all of us, atheists included) START WITH A WORLDVIEW. We then seek to fit the events around us (and, yes, our feelings and desires are events) into that worldview. Nobody argues with Science when it says that apples fall down. But what is Gravity? We can predict it’s behavior but, to this day, it’s nature still stymies us. Consider a Biblical miracle… say, Christ walking on the water. If “Belief” tried to offer a method or mechanism (i.e. the proper role of Science) then if this was attempted and the believer took a dunking, their method would be debunked. In fact, Magic and Superstition are not “alternatives” to Science. They are (failed) attempts at Science. As CS Lewis pointed out, Magic and Science were born at the same time and of the same impulse… to control Nature and make her do as we please. Magic is just “failed applied science”. Superstition is just “failed theoretical science”. The miracle of Christ walking on the Sea of Galilee was NEVER presented (even by the apostles) as something we could count on happening normally. The question never was “Does Nature allow a man to walk on the surface of liquid water?” Everyone knows that the answer is “No!” (Peter, especially, was an expert witness to that fact!) The real question is, given the presence of a Real Creator, are the “normal rules” we discern through Science Absolutes? Or could they, conceivably by some means (known or unknown)be over-ridden? NO AMOUNT OF SCIENCE OR OBSERVATION CAN ANSWER THAT QUESTION. The last hope of a rigorous inviolable Materialism was 19th century classical Physics. Given Natural Law and the Initial Conditions, what DID happen was the ONLY thing that could happen. With the advent of Quantum Theory, the whole idea of absolute unbreakable Natural Law having the same quality that Philosophers call “Truth” and Mathematicians call “Rigor” must give way. With quantum uncertainty, the “wave function” of countless “possibilities” collapses into an “observable event” when we elect to watch it, but it NEED NOT have been as it was. We cannot follow the chain of cause-and-effect backwards and downwards into some set of conditions that simply “IS”. We cannot “See Causality Happening”. From this point of view, so it seems to me, Natural Events are simply a “special class of Miracles”… the ones that “usually happen”… Nature’s Default Settings, if you will. I assume that Nature will usually obey them. That’s what Science teaches me. And, I know of no current “techniques” for reliablty over-riding them. But when the Bible tells me that, on rare occasions, they have been over-ridden, I cannot just arbitrarily set that account aside. Of course, I am not obliged to believe (or put money into) every single account of the miraculous I read of in the newspaper. But I am not obliged to dogmatically hold (as Dawkins would) that all accounts of miracles are demonstrably false on logical grounds alone. Admittedly, they are “unusual” but, without the assumption “Only that which normally happens CAN happen.”, I am free to take an account at face value if I so choose. And it is that choice that God is looking at. Not so much “that” the atheist does not believe in Him, or in miracles. More along the lines of “why” he chooses not to. This kind of choice has nothing to do with “facts” per se. It has everything to do with “worldview” and personal choice. Reasons for defending one choice or the other come afterward, and only serve to support a worldview already chosen as an expression of the Soul.

greyfox says:

“But a “worldview” is NOT (ever) based ONLY on “facts”. Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn were very helpful in this area. Atheists believe they have Facts. ”

As an Atheist I reject your premise “Atheists believe they have facts” I don’t have any facts
I don’t require them similar to
Gos fearing Christians who don’t have facts, I just Don’t believe, my doubts started when I realized there wasn’t a Santa Clause. No Santa Clause, no Easter Bunny, no great pumpkin, no ghosts, no spirits, no afterlife. A great Chinese philosopher the afterlife (death) as the same state you experienced before you were born. Remember?

W. Cravens says:

>>If god want us all to know he’s there, why doesn’t he appear in the sky to all people and say hello?<<

In a very complex subject this, I think, is easy to answer. The Bible does not present Humanity as we know it today being as God intended. We are, all of us, "corrupted". The faith we are urged to have is not mere "intellectual assent to the existance" of God. Rather, it is choosing as an act of will to take the idea of God's goodness and righteousness as being self-evident. Yes, horrible things happen. I take it that God has good reasons for what He does and allows, even if those reasons are not clear to me at the time. If God were to do as you describe, what would you have Him do? Such an event would confront us with a powerful "supernatural being". Our reaction might be a magnified version of what we would feel if a (very) advanced alien civilization were to arrive in a starship and announce itself to us. We would, I'm sure, be awestruck by their power and knowledge. Isaac Asimov himself (no friend to religion) said that "It is impossible to tell the difference between a sufficiently advanced science and magic." But would we trust them? If they admonished us to "do good, and not evil"… to "love our neighbors as we love ourselves".. to "be faithful to our families", "respectful of authority", "humble", "forgiving", "honest in our dealings", and "patient and long-suffering"… would we heed them? We would do everything we could to get our hands on their technology and the power it would convey. We would probably NOT take their advice as to how to live our lives, even if they were a million years ahead of us. God, appearing by means of some (neccesarily finite and metaphoric)"avatar", would "get our attention", but He would not change our hearts and souls. What such an appearance WOULD do, is drive our sin underground. FEAR of what the aliens might do to enforce their will would cause us to "get our act together". But what we really are in our hearts is what matters. God remains Invisible for precisely this reason… that it may NOT be clear that He is there watching us. In this fashion, the choice (and I must emphasize CHOICE) to accept one set of operating principles vs the other, has real substance. Unbelief is possible. Therefore Belief has real meaning, for it was chosen freely. As it is written, "They that serve God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." The day you speak of will come. But, as CS Lewis put it, "That will not be a day for making choices. It will be a day for discovering what choice we were actually making all along."

FredHahn says:

That was a nice speech. Still, why doesn’t he? Because he knows it won’t work? But then he knew all along that humans, long before he made us, would not become the ideal he wanted. If so, why create us at all? Is it some sort of godly joke? Make imperfect beings that will NEVER live up to what you want and then get angry and condemn them for not living up to an ideal you know they never will live up to. OH and on top of this brilliant idea, create an evil being to tempt them. That’s just nuts.

If you dispense with the “glory story” and just look at the entire story for what it really is, it’s absolutely crazy. Jesus loves me? Fine. What am I supposed to do about it? Start looking into the sky and smiling?

Jan says:

Ahhh, Fred, finally… some intelligent questions and inquiry! (and I’m not being facetious, I am very serious…) Well done! Now we can have a decent conversation – that is, if you are up to it and if you are indeed serious about it (and not just poking fun at what you think are some religious nutcases).

I’ll would like to make a deal with you. If you can find it in yourself to agree to the following 4 statements, I will give you the answers to all the questions you have – why He created us, why He created us ‘imperfect’ incapable of ‘living up to the ideal’, why He ‘created an evil being’… and why the entire story – as crazy as it may appear to you now – is indeed the most awesome and astounding epoch that you will ever come across… it will blow your mind.

My only ‘condition’ for sharing this with you is that we would start with you being open to reason, and that you put your humanistic religion (‘Atheism’) to the side for the duration of this conversation – in other words, approach this with an un-opinionated attitude.

To continue, would you agree that:

1. No-one has yet provided any existent proof of God’s non-existence whatsoever…

2. Science (e.g., quantum cosmology) has to date failed to provide an explanation for the emergence of the universe that contradicts the existence of God…

3. Science has to date failed to provide a satisfactory hypothesis to explain the reason for the universe’s existence…

4. Nothing in science could justify the claim that the belief in God is irrational…

I look forward to continuing a meaningful conversation with you…

P.S. In case you were wondering: I do not belong to, subscribe or ‘follow’ any denomination, church, sect, cult, assembly, fellowship or any other form of organized religion. I am not a pastor, preacher, priest or any form of clergy. It’s been about 15 years since I have left ‘Christianity’ and abandoned any and all forms of religious activity.

In case you are wondering…
I believe:
That God is a (like a) family, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist, and one Bride who holds the Testimony of God’s Grace and Mercy, and to whom the likeness of God is promised and that such likeness will be established in the coming resurrection of the dead; one family united by one holy, undivided God Spirit

FredHahn says:

Jan said:
Ahhh, Fred, finally… some intelligent questions and inquiry! (and I’m not being facetious, I am very serious…) Well done! Now we can have a decent conversation – that is, if you are up to it and if you are indeed serious about it (and not just poking fun at what you think are some religious nutcases).

*****I’ve been serious all along.

Jan said:
I’ll would like to make a deal with you. If you can find it in yourself to agree to the following 4 statements, I will give you the answers to all the questions you have – why He created us, why He created us ‘imperfect’ incapable of ‘living up to the ideal’, why He ‘created an evil being’… and why the entire story – as crazy as it may appear to you now – is indeed the most awesome and astounding epoch that you will ever come across… it will blow your mind.

****I’ll see if I can. I have read Lee Strobel’s work as well as stuff from William Lane Craig and a bunch of other apologetics. So unless you have something to say that they haven’t already, I’m not sure it’s worth your time but I’m all ears.

Jan said:
My only ‘condition’ for sharing this with you is that we would start with you being open to reason, and that you put your humanistic religion (‘Atheism’) to the side for the duration of this conversation – in other words, approach this with an un-opinionated attitude.

****Oy vey. OK. But please, I don’t think of myself as “having” humanistic religion. I don’t have a religion of any kind. These are labels you put on me in order to define me for yourself.

Jan said:
To continue, would you agree that:
1. No-one has yet provided any existent proof of God’s non-existence whatsoever…

****Would I agree? Jan – c’mon now…you know as well as I do that you can’t prove a negative – at least not in this case. This is a common tactic used by believers to prove that god could exist. I cannot prove that the Easter bunny doesn’t exist either. But it doesn’t exist and we all know it. Clearly, it is possible to prove some negative statements. The issue here is the nature of the positive statement, right? When a person asserts that God exists, he never specifies the EXACT nature of that God. What color is he? Where exactly is he? Is he gaseous or liquid? It’s impossible to prove that God does not exist because god is a thing that has no specific definition or characteristics. You can prove any kind of negative you can think of like Jesus did not watch television or 30 is not equal to 10. The only negative you can’t disprove is the non-existence of completely imaginary beings like the tooth fairy. I can’t disprove that you don’t have a dragon in your garage. Read the Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan.

Jan wrote:
2. Science (e.g., quantum cosmology) has to date failed to provide an explanation for the emergence of the universe that contradicts the existence of God…

*****See above. You’re trying it again. Jan – the burden of proof lies entirely upon the claimant, not on the person who is questioning the claim.

Jan said:
3. Science has to date failed to provide a satisfactory hypothesis to explain the reason for the universe’s existence…

*****The REASON for it’s existence? Why does there have to be a reason? A few thousand years ago, science had failed to prove that the sun didn’t revolve around the earth. Then Galileo came around. Don’t you think that in a few thousand years from now when we have developed telescopes that make the Hubble look like a weak magnifying glass and when we can travel to distant galaxies as easily as we travel to different states we’ll know a lot more about the universe than we do now? Maybe the universe exists because it just does. No reason,no rhyme.

Jan wrote:
4. Nothing in science could justify the claim that the belief in God is irrational…

******Well science isn’t needed for that. Is belief in Hercules irrational?

Jan wrote:
I look forward to continuing a meaningful conversation with you…

***I too.

Jan wrote:
P.S. In case you were wondering: I do not belong to, subscribe or ‘follow’ any denomination, church, sect, cult, assembly, fellowship or any other form of organized religion. I am not a pastor, preacher, priest or any form of clergy. It’s been about 15 years since I have left ‘Christianity’ and abandoned any and all forms of religious activity. In case you are wondering…I believe: That God is a (like a) family, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist, and one Bride who holds the Testimony of God’s Grace and Mercy, and to whom the likeness of God is promised and that such likeness will be established in the coming resurrection of the dead; one family united by one holy, undivided God Spirit

****Got any proof of this? I’m serious and not making fun at all. I would expect the exact same question from you if I told you that I believe that there are 50 different gods all of whom control different aspects of the world and the heavens. If you asked me if I had any proof and I said “Nope. I don’t have any evidence I just believe it.” I would not expect you to believe me. How can you expect anyone to believe you when there is no evidence? If I said “Just look around you! Where do you think all this came from?” This would only be evidence that there is stuff around me – not who made it or HOW it came to be.

Please tell me how you KNOW that your god and his son jesus are THE gods.

Hitch says:

1 – “The REASON for it’s existence? Why does there have to be a reason? …”

If you cant see why you have a real problem.
Read :
Chantilas: “[Suppose] we just finished poisoning the earth and everyone was dead in a hundred years. Then what was the point of anything? Art, beauty-all gone-the Greeks, the Constitution, people dying for freedom, ideas. None of it meant anything?” 1 – “The REASON for it’s existence? Why does there have to be a reason? …” – the red planet

Sadly, that is the only view atheists can logically hold. -That nothing has any real meaning. Its the only logical conclusion of atheism. Nothing has any meaning at all – including any personal imaginary ‘meaning’ the electrochemical processes in your 2 lbs of meat (brain) may give arbitrarily.

Nice philosophy that. Get rid of it, it sucks big eggs.

2 – “Well science isn’t needed for that. Is belief in Hercules irrational?”

Indeed, belief in Hercules and any and all other “gods” – polytheism, pantheism etc – is irrational.

You have a serious problem here.
You’ve swallowed so much bull crap from the atheist high priests and their dupes, that either you never stopped to ask whether what you were hearing were true or not -or worse, you don’t want to know the real truth.

Now – a little Hercules “fact”:
“Hera didn’t know whose child she suckled – just that its mother had abandoned her baby, but when the newborn sucked too hard, Hera threw him from her breast with a cosmic spurt of milk that created the Milky Way.”

Now, does that sound rational to you?
The same kinds of inane stories abound for all the old heathen gods, goddesses, sons, daughters, cousins, brothers …
Or maybe Thor – a guy in tights swinging a hammer – who is said to ride a chariot drawn by 2 goats, which he – being hungry – ate, and then resurrected…and is always getting into arguments with both his father and brother?
Good luck on that lame analogy.

The worst thing about atheism is how its victims never realize the logical conclusions of their own foolish beliefs.
A major one is this thing called rationality.

As ex-atheist CS Lewis said, “If naturalism were true then all thoughts whatever would be wholly the result of irrational causes…it cuts its own throat.”
“Unless thought is valid we have no reason to believe in the real universe.”

Now please explain how non-rational nature created the rational. Try hard.

Then explain why this, necessarily pseudo, rationality ought to be “true”.

You can’t.
Therefore, under atheism you have an excellent reason not to believe in your own rationality! Yet you claim to be rational!
Oh, and you can’t test your brain using your brain.

Again, a far more brilliant thinker than any of the so-called “new atheists” (who are even more lame than the old ones):
“The theory that thought is merely a movement in the brain is, in my opinion, nonsense; for if so, that theory itself would be merely a movement, an event among atoms, which may have speed and direction but of which it would be meaningless to use the words ‘true’ or ‘false’”. – Lewis

This is not hard.

3 – “Got any proof of this? …if I told you that I believe that there are 50 different gods”

It is easy enough to prove there can only be one supreme being, with proper logic – if you still think logic is real and not some human invention as other inane drone atheists have tried to tell me.

So tell me, how can there be more than 1 omnipresent being?
Think about it first please.

You really should research more before you debate using these old & dumb little ignorance based arguments.

All you’re proving here is that you’re very good at denying reality, denying all evidence for the supreme being and anything that doesn’t fit with your vain worldview.
Vain and utterly meaningless indeed, if atheism were true.

Think about that too, as its also the ONLY possible logical conclusion of a no reason, no purpose, no plan, no goal universe.

4- “you can’t prove a negative – at least not in this case. This is a common tactic used by believers to prove that god could exist. I cannot prove that the Easter bunny doesn’t exist either. But it doesn’t exist and we all know it. Clearly, it is possible to prove some negative statements.”

This is standard atheist bad thinking. Russell’s teapot and other such crap.
Easter bunnies, invisible pink unicorns, FSM’s — go ahead make a fool of yourself.

That is what’s know as a “false analogy” in the rules of logic.
Or are you one of those really lame brained atheists that claim that the laws of logic aren’t absolutes?

But then, here is the question you must ask yourself. Why have the great majority of men, since the beginning, believed that only a supernatural being could have made this universe?

More precisely, why is there no one claiming, in best selling books, that there is no teapot orbiting the sun?

Why is there not a soul claiming that some invisible pink animal created the universe.

There is where you logical fallacy lies – a very glaring false analogy.

5- “The issue here is the nature of the positive statement, right? When a person asserts that God exists, he never specifies the EXACT nature of that God. What color is he? Where exactly is he? Is he gaseous or liquid? It’s impossible to prove that God does not exist because god is a thing that has no specific definition or characteristics.”

That is false and you know it. Most theists refer to the bible (or the Koran) to describe the supreme intelligence we call God.

The biblical descriptions are reasonable and anything but unclear vagueries.

Moreover your own questions are not rational at all!
-”What color” – surely that’s just a joke right?

-”Where is he” – that too right?

-”Is he gaseous or liquid?” – even worse, that is really shallow thinking man!

In case you still don’t get it:
Tell us, where do you think an omnipresent being is? hmmm? Think hard now.
And tell us how a supernatural entity could be composed of matter? Think hard if you must.

I hope you see the salient foolish nature of those questions.

I’m not trying to ridicule you as a person, but I do indeed ridicule to the utmost atheism and all of its very low-level brain activity.

The worst is that you all think yourselves sooooo intelligent … and everyone else sees you as poor reasoning dupes of a meaningless ideology.

greyfox says:

“You have a serious problem here.
You’ve swallowed so much bull crap from the atheist high priests and their dupes, that either you never stopped to ask whether what you were hearing were true or not -or worse, you don’t want to know the real truth.” Truth? Do you even know what truth is?

Hitch, my views on religion and God were formed long before I knew there was such a thing as an Atheist.

Hitch says:

You respond with “Truth? Do you even know what truth is?”

This is a very stupid answer.
When your mommy tells you, “Now little greyfox, did you eat those cookies? Tell me the truth now”
Do you ask her if she knows what truth is?

Talk about a childish deviation response!

Nevertheless, Do YOU know what truth is?
Apparently not.
You’re playing sematics with this kind of diversion tactic.

You say, “Hitch, my views on religion and God were formed long before I knew there was such a thing as an Atheist”

Well first I don’t believe you at all.
But even if this were somehow true, that by some amazing happenstance you never heard of an atheist before, and you had formed your own personal ideas on God; And?
What does that change?
NOTHING at all.

Why didn’t you address the points made?

mhanafi123 says:

God in Islam is (QS. 112:1-4)
Say: He is Allah, the One!
Allah, the eternally Besought of all!
He begetteth not nor was begotten.
And there is none comparable unto Him.
Sincerely
Han
http://mhanafi123.wordpress.com

Machaeus says:

I’m just going to say it. Troll. And I’m going to troll back.

Listen, Fred…Atheism is a creed, a type of faith without faith, a belief system complete with “bogey men” (those who believe in religion). Maybe you don’t think of it as a religion, but except for having a central organization, it’s the exact same thing. It has a doctrine, even – that religion is universally bad and should all be destroyed, forever and completely.

Have you heard of a little game called “Dungeons and Dragons”? My favorite, my hobby, my future career, is in roleplaying games such as this one, and in writing fiction, especially fantasy. It is based on myths and fiction. Fiction is often based on myth and feeling. Myth is based on religion. You therefore are my mortal enemy BY NATURE. How can I possibly allow you to simply sit there smugly smirking at all of us as you play “intellectual superior” to the lot of us?

You bring your preconceived notions and lack of observations to this site. You insult our ability to think. You threaten my future with death and misery. I’ve chosen my words carefully, Atheist…perhaps you should have done the same.

Because this…is OUR Sparta. *kicks*

Okay…I got the anger and “300″ reference out of my system. Sorry, but you spit in my face and pissed on your spit. That doesn’t sit well with me.

Come back when you’ve learned that opening your mind means not having a hard heart to another’s belief system, and when you’ve learned that attacking people only makes them defend themselves and attack back.

FredHahn says:

I never once said or implied that I was anyone’s intellectual superior, nor did I attack anyone.

And I’ve already said that the beliefs of others should be respected. Maybe you missed that post.

As far as pre-concieved notions are concerned, all notions are pre-conceived. You seem to be implying that I don’t have a right to my own ideas and opinions and am not allowed to share them. What is the point of a forum if this is the case?

What I really want to know is, why did god punish snakes in the Adam and Eve story when snakes didn’t do anything wrong?

Jan says:

Oh, but they do Machaeus, they do! They have it all, even a central organization – it’s called the Humanist Society; they evangelize, they have sermons, they have clergy – even a ‘high priest’ (a man they call Dawkins or something)…

It is a religion by every definition of the term – and apparently the fastest growing at that.

greyfox says:

Jan, there you go again, making outlandish statements and claims that make no sense. As an Atheist, I don’t belong to any societies that claim atheism to be their province. I don’t evangelize, I don’t sermonize and I know of no clergy and Richard Dawkins is a high priest only in your imagination and definition, which I have stated before, you make your own definitions of things. Why can’t you just accept the fact that there are people who do not believe as you do, why must you bend them to your convoluted way of thinking? You say you aren’t a Christian, that’s cool and that’s OK, I have no problem with that but can you tell me why that makes you a better person or someone with the right answers? And perhaps you might tell me what is so wrong with humanism or the humanist society? It seems to me that you live in a very narrow intolerant world that accepts nothing but your own myopic view of things religious. Open your troubled heart Jan and embrace life and differing views
with love and tolerance. If you continue on your exclusionary path of singular myopia you could find yourself in a very difficult place. Since I am an Atheist I cannot pray for you but I will have positive thoughts that you embrace and tolerate thoughts other than your own.

Barry says:

walter martin,HELP!perry,back to basics:the early church believed in jesus because of various divine endorsements,esp the ressurrection of the scripture-fullfilling messiah,etc;then god knows how many eye-witnesses to said events
the only way can get in on a bible-based arrangement w/ god is by lots of rigerous research,etc–or we’re just believing that whatever comes into our heads is true,or whatever comes out of the pulpit is true.thats a choice.its a choice you decided against a long time ago

Redzep Pehlic says:

will give my thoughts on religion. I distinguish cosmic system of religion, because religion is a problem in the human spirit and not in the dead of nature that has been given powers to govern the cosmic mechanism. People older than religion, belief in “something” is revealed when people are slowly were smarter and did not know how to explain natural phenomena of thunder storms and winds, earthquakes and other miracles, and they attributed it to the natural force behind that one is a toje at that time was more of these masters of the gods according to a miracle happened then God gave rain rain made the sun then the sun god of love, then God is love, enjoyment further. means the problem is the people that animals can not see how this man sees the spirit of the pastures or cat does not. People once had reduced the knowledge so created mass telepathy example a leader of the tribe said, Behold, I see building up in the sky everyone would see it even though it does not. At the present time I personally have no proof of the argument of some transcendent being or a master of all worlds, I have never seen the “spirit” or an angel. Cosmos is something for something else to his game rule known thermo-nuclear forces, electro-magnetic and gravitational. atoms of water playing on the principle of quantum mechanics. Bodies in the universe were formed millions of years of regular work, but because of age, and among them there are errors. or a black hole that swallowed the stars and come up empty space to move in another direction. Hello everyone

greyfox says:

I lean towards atheism which makes the most sense to me. A catholic priest friend of mine was explaining and extolling the virtues of a “healing” mass, and as proof of the existence of God he told me of the chills than ran up and down his spine during this so called “healing” mass. My response was quite simple and true. I told him that I got the same sensation from a Live Sinatra concert. Perhaps God was present at the concert, I don’t know.

Ackld2008 says:

While God can do healing but it has never been the focus of Jesus’ ministry in the world to bring people to HIM.

Yes, He used healing and miracle but again it is not the focus.

So arguing that you feel the sensation from a Live Sinatra concert has nothing to do with God’s healing.

In the Old Testament, the Witchcraft performed miracle so did God. The difference, God’s is more powerful.

Saying that you believe or disbelieve something based on sensation (miracle) begs to te empirical methodology. While we know that not all things in the world we can empirically experience but they exists.

So the incorrect methodolgy I think.

Just like, a Vet is talking to an IT Technician. When a Vet mentioned “mouse” the IT Tech perceived it differently.

greyfox says:

“So arguing that you feel the sensation from a Live Sinatra concert has nothing to do with God’s healing.” I cannot let you comment go unchallenged. I did not suggest nor infer that my reference to a Sinatra concert had anything to do with healing. I merely expressed getting the same sensation “chills running up an down my spine” as he did from the healing mass. May I suggest you understand what you read rather than make wild assumptions about the meaning of what is written. The operative word was “sensation” not “healing”.

greyfox says:

To argue the existence or non existence of a God is an effort in futility. For me the answer is a very simple one. If you believe that there is a God, then there is. If, however, you do not believe there is a god, then there isn’t. Only death will tell for sure and death ain’t talking.
So take your pick and if we can discuss it on the other side you will be right. if we can’t, well, you see where I’m going with this.

Ackld2008 says:

Are you sure there is no other way to find the truth about this before we die?

Are we here talking about epistemology? How do we know what we know?

Don’t you think there are things that we can not touch and grasp but we do not argue about its existence? You know the examples as I believe you are smart.

Bless you

greyfox says:

Yes I am sure. All of this intellectualizing on the existence or non existence of a god is a matter of I’m smarter than you, see my clever explanations. There are no clever explanations.
I find remarks like “Are we here talking about epistemology? How do we know what we know?” to be rather silly. Can you recall anything from the time before you were born? Now can you imagine the hundreds of thousands of sperm that you outraced to become you?
There must be something really special about you to have been chosen over all those other sperm. Now go back a few billion years when your god was contemplating “creating” you in the 20th century AD. Wow what a long shot that was. Believe what you will, and I will believe what I wish and,as I said before only death will reveal the truth and death ain’t talking right now. I’ll see you on the other side…or..maybe not.

You can argue against my point of view till the day you die and it will not change a single thing. The arguments will continue unabated, proving to be a great waste of time and solving nothing.

Now I must return to the mother ship.

Jan says:

Talk about intellectualizing! Listen to yourself:
“Is there a God? …only death can say for sure…”

Hmmm OK… yet then you also say: “Only death will tell for sure and death ain’t talking…”

Hmmm… intellect seems indeed to be lacking…

Let’s listen some more:
“The arguments will continue unabated, proving to be a great waste of time and solving nothing…”

So why bother writing what you did?

You suggest (rather arrogantly for someone who claims to be ‘undecided’ – but leaning towards the ‘atheistic’ viewpoint) to ‘…go back a few billion years when your god was contemplating “creating” you in the 20th century AD…’

Here’s something ‘intellectual’ for you to chew on:
What if God made the consideration about creating you only next month? What if ‘creation’ started at the end (or at some mid-point) and it worked its way back?

greyfox says:

“Here’s something ‘intellectual’ for you to chew on:
What if God made the consideration about creating you only next month? What if ‘creation’ started at the end (or at some mid-point) and it worked its way back?”

That’s not intellectual that’s called mental masturbation. Much of what is written on this forum lends itself to MM.

Greyfox,

Your logic is a bit faulty here. You’re basically saying that if you believe in something, that makes it so.

The biggest proof that there is God is the Bible. It’s the most scrutinized book in the history of mankind. Study it and study some books that discuss why the Bible and the books of the New Testament are so reliable, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell is a good one.

Zoran Ozimec says:

“The biggest proof that there is God is the Bible”

Well so much about faulty logic. How the Bible alone can be the proof for the existence of God?? The Bible is a human being written text ( http://academicearth.org/lectures/bible-parts-of-the-whole -around 25th minute- ) and as such it is as imperfect as it’s writer(s), therefore you cannot know it is true or false without a proof. The Bible or any human being written text cannot be the proof for itself!! However, it is your choice to believe what is written in the Bible is true, and for that reason your belief is called a faith, not historic fact or a science. You can choose to join one of the world’s religions and believe in God associated to that particular religion, but it again, is not evidence to claim your belief is truth.

Zoran

elias says:

Prominent Philosophers and Historians agree that historical events cannot be predicted long before they occur.

However, many of the Bible Prophecies have actually come to pass!
One example is Isaiah 2:3:
“Out of Zion will go forth the Torah and the word of God from Jerusalem.”
How could a Hebrew living 3000 years ago know that some day millions of copies of the Christian Bible (the first part of which is the Torah) would be spread throughout the World??

The only explanation of the unique fulfillment of Bible Prophecies must be:
They were written by mortals, but were envisioned by God.

Zoran Ozimec says:

elias: “The only explanation of the unique fulfillment of Bible Prophecies must be:
They were written by mortals, but were envisioned by God.”

It is ok if you believe that, however, it is very wrong if you declare it as truth or knowledge!

Zoran

mcblanc says:

So–Zoran…
If I Understand You Correctly…

You’re saying that if GOD–THE MASTER & CREATOR of THE UNIVERSE & AUTHOR of ALL LIVING BEINGS–Communicates “Something” To “You” AND ALSO Makes IT KNOWN To “You” That You’re NOT To Just “Sit” On THIS INFORMATION BUT ARE TO PROCLAIM THESE WORDS of GOD TO OTHERS…Whether “You”–Yourself–”Get” The Message(s) That You’ve Been Handed or NOT…

…But According To Zoran…

“You” should “hedge the bet” that THESE WORDS…may or may not be “truth” or “knowledge”…

Zoran–Good Luck Selling THIS Idea To ANYBODY Who Recognizes Truth & Knowledge When They’ve Encountered IT !!

Zoran Ozimec says:

to mcblanc:
I do not recognize any of my words in your reply, it seems that you are commenting yourself.
And, yes, for your reference, science is nothing about luck and-or selling ideas !!

Zoran

mcblanc says:

Little do You know.

shellbell95 says:

Can we believe the Bible? How can we know it is anything more than a collection of sayings and stories? Can we truly believe that the Bible is the Word of God?
There are many reasons to believe in the Bible. Here are a few things to help to explain to a nonbeliever:

Composition. It was composed over sixteen centuries by forty authors with one central theme. Written by soldiers, shepherds, scholars, and fishermen. Begun by Moses in lonely Arabia, finished by John on lonely Patmos. Penned by kings in palaces, shepherds in tents, and inmates in prisons.
Forty writers, most unknown to each other, writing in different countries and three different languages, separated by three times the number of centuries since Columbus discovered America—was it possible for these authors to produce a book of singular theme unless behind them there was one mind, one designer? The Bible is remarkable in composition.

Durability. It is the single most published book in history. The top seller for three hundred years. Translated into twelve hundred languages by an army of translators. Bibles have been burned by dictators and banished from courtrooms, but God’s Word continues. The death knell has tolled a hundred times, but each time the grave is opened, and God’s Word continues. The Bible is remarkable in durability.

Prophecy. The pages of your Bible contain more than three hundred fulfilled prophecies about the life of Christ. A substantial biography was written about Jesus five hundred years before he was born. Can you imagine if the same occurred today? Can you imagine if we found a book written in 1900 that prophesied two world wars, a depression, an atomic bomb, and the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King? What would we think of the book? Wouldn’t we trust it?
Applicability. Paul says the Bible “is useful for teaching, for showing people what is wrong in their lives, for correcting faults, and for teaching how to live right” (2 Tim. 3:16 NCV). Apply the principles of stewardship to your budget, and see if you don’t get out of debt.
Apply the principles of fidelity to your marriage, and see if you don’t have a happier home.
Apply the principles of forgiveness to your relationships, and see if you aren’t more peaceful.
Apply the principles of honesty at school, and see if you don’t succeed.
Apply the Bible, and see if you don’t agree—the Bible works

greyfox says:

To firecrackerpr: “Your logic is a bit faulty here. You’re basically saying that if you believe in something, that makes it so.” It is not I who made that statement far from it, I say
we all believe what we want to believe, whether it’s true or not is a different matter entirely.

greyfox says:

Not at all: You are the one making this assertion, I never said, belief in something makes it so, That’s an argument made by the “True believers”
You say “The biggest proof that there is God is the Bible” This is what you believe and because you believe it, that makes it so.
I do not agree.

TA says:

Hi Greyfox I’m sure you’ll agree that a belief in evolution is as much a matter of faith as is the belief in a creator called God.

Again, considering that man can create there is no reason to believe that a superior being could not have created the universe and everything in it. As man creates more sophisticated things why couldn’t a superior being have created a sophisticated universe and humans?

To me, evolution is unfounded reasoning, a theory. While, to me, the concept of a creator is reasonable given that we (humans) create.

greyfox says:

No I do not agree that evolution is a matter of faith. I do however believe that there are certain facts that support the theory of evolution enough to
continue the research. Perhaps the “theory” of evolution does not satisfy everyone, and it never will but it is based on more fact than the many beliefs of
the existence of many so called Gods. Each faith believes they have the one true god. The theory of evolution makes no such claim it simply pursues, in a relentless way the existence of objective evidence, not belief, factual evidence.

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