Absolute proof that GOD EXIST (Pretty Cool)
superstar4410
Bruce Perry

Hate to say it but that's full of warning signs:

  • The like/dislike count is hidden on both videos.

  • Comments are disabled on one of the videos. The other, I can't fathom why comments appear enabled but there aren't any, given that there are 1.6 million views. Technical glitch?

  • The wording "Absolute proof" tells me that it's trying to appeal to scientifically/mathematically minded people, which is a lost cause. I instantly know that the presentation will be difficult to swallow because the creators are pushing an agenda and don't actually know what their audience wants.

I guess you're convinced of the content. Can you summarise it for those of us who would have trouble spending that much time on it?

See also http://theoatmeal.com/comics/religion ;) (I'll summarise this too since it could be difficult otherwise: religion is a great way to give many people a sense of purpose, but absolutely must not be pushed on others.)

(I'm being nice because I remember you from years ago :D)

jmasterx

Oh God ::)

Arthur Kalliokoski

I'm on Time-Warner cable again, so I refreshed the video at 1:42 when it buffered endlessly and again at 3:16 before I gave up in disgust.

I'm pretty sure if I actually got through it that even a dummy like me would find well known fallacies in the "absolute proofs", but, like claims of perpetual motion or squaring the circle, I'm pretty well convinced it's a waste of time to start with.

Kitty Cat

video

Gideon Weems

I came in here thinking someone had discovered bread pudding...

Chris Katko
All threads are yours except this one.
    ATTEMPT NO LANDING THERE

Elias
Quote:

Your series is not life changing because although my mind is open it is not empty.

;D

piccolo

I already knew it could be proven with science.
I was doing similar research. there are also many inventions and discoveries in the Bible we have found over time but they was always in the Bible. it is as if ever thing we have now already existed in the past and we are just (redefining/rediscovering) them

Yodhe23

Exactly which "Bible" are we referring to, as there are an awful lot of differences between them?

bamccaig

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After work. >:(

GullRaDriel

Pure shit. I could also make the same episode with 'god does not exist', they didn't used ANY science.
>:(

piccolo

@GullRaDriel
you blind yourself and talk with your feelings and not your brain. Any logical person can understand it. it was clear. He use many scientific laws and principles the govern the technologies we have today.
I sujest you take a step back and reflect on what he was saying the principles along are enough 1+1 must and has to equal 2. logic

someone972

Could this become one of the great A.cc 100 page flame wars of old?

grabs popcorn ;)

Derezo

Of course dog exist! Is in a book people wrote about on it's behalf! It's called a bibble book. Is how proof works know you

Edgar Reynaldo

To say it's 'absolute' proof, is kind of silly. There are many convincing arguments about the completely astronomical odds of earth or life existing at all that make sense to me at least, but then I already believe in God's existence.

For me, the bible speaks for itself. What it says just makes senseTM. And for anyone who disagrees, what part of the ten commandments are immoral? Summed up they say, love thy neighbor as you love yourself and love God with all your heart, mind and strength. Those aren't very hard to fulfill when you realize just how blessed you are to even exist at all, much less so when you count the rest of your blessings. I fully believe God rewards those who seek him. Since I started believing in God about 13 years ago, my life has slowly and steadily improved, and it's getting better all the time. 13 years ago I never could have imagined myself going back to school and getting a degree, but God helped me have faith, and faith helped me put my life back on track one step at a time. Now I'm on track to graduate this December, and I'm pretty lucky to have gotten a full tuition scholarship to a great school, and I'm very lucky to have been able to get federal loans to cover the rest of the expenses, which were not cheap. When I graduate and get a CS job, I'll be able to pay back my loans in just a year or two, and then my life will finally be put back together again. I gladly give God all the credit. Without His support I would be nowhere.

And Superstar, why'd you have to go and tempt bambam? You know he'll never relent until he's bashed your religion to pieces, because he doesn't have any faith in anything but what he can see with his own eyes. Eyes to see and ears to hear for anyone who would listen. Doubting Thomas wouldn't believe Christ rose from the dead until he felt the holes where the nails pierced his hands and where the spear pierced his side.

Do not doubt, but believe.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God.

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God".

Psalm 94 vv 7-15 (NRSV) said:

7 and they say, "The LORD does not see, the God of Jacob does not perceive."
8 Understand, O dullest of the people; fools, when will you be wise?
9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?
10 He who disciplines the nations, he who teaches knowledge to humankind, does he not chastise?
11 The LORD knows our thoughts, that they are but empty breath.
12 Happy are those whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law,
13 giving them respite from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the LORD will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;
15 for justice will return to the righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it.

Good luck trying to get Aetheists to believe in God. Although there is the Bible verse, "With God nothing shall be impossible". Also relevant, "All things are possible for those who believe".

Don't worry about trying to convince Aetheists that God exists. One way or another, they will find out the truth eventually.

Romans 14 vv. 10-12 said:

10 Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.
11 For it is written,
"As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God."
12 So then, each of us will be accountable to God.

</flame bait>

Johan Halmén

Did someone listen to it far enough to get one proof? And what was it?

Edgar Reynaldo

One 'proof' that I remember goes like this. The 2nd law of thermodynamics states that all things tend toward disorder. Explosions create disorder. So how could the biggest explosion of all time (the big bang) create an orderly universe? Have you ever seen a tornado sweep through a junkyard and assemble a boeing 747 out of the parts? Have you ever seen a hand grenade create order? No it creates chaos.

That was one of the arguments anyway, as best as I remember it. Basically it's just saying that because the universe is so orderly, there must be a divine intelligence behind it that created it.

Another argument was how astronomically improbable the formation of the universe was to begin with, because even the tiniest adjustment to the ratio between the strong and weak nuclear forces would have resulted in no stars forming at all. Further along those lines was how ridiculously dependent life is on hundreds of different parameters where if even one was off by a tiny bit no life would have formed on Earth. Example 1 - You need a big planet like Jupiter in the solar system to attract all the asteroids otherwise the Earth would have been pelted, pulverized, and pounded to bits by giant meteorites.

Just some of the arguments put forth. Not saying they're 'absolute' proof, but they make sense to me anyway.

Bruce Perry

Edgar, you're lucky you have "</flame bait>" on the end there. I nearly had to reiterate a point on the Internet ;)

The bible makes sense all right:

video

[EDIT]
As for the 'tending towards disorder' thing, that's merely an observation regarding the universe as we know it in the time we've lived in. We can extrapolate it back a certain distance, but since the Big Bang is a description of the beginning of the universe (not of something in the universe), extrapolating it to include the Big Bang is not realistic.

Johan Halmén

...because even the tiniest adjustment to the ratio between the strong and weak nuclear forces would have resulted in no stars forming at all.

Are they adjustable in any sense, independently? Like from a creator point-of-view. I know nothing about that field, but my guts tell me that it's stupid to think there's no connection. I mean, if there's a ratio, isn't it like pi? God couldn't have created a world with pi not being 3.14159... "Even the tiniest adjustment to the decimals of pi would have made no circles possible."

Neil Roy

I think I'll follow the cat out of here... ;)

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Edgar Reynaldo

Oh come on. We haven't had a good old fashioned religious flame war in ages. :P

Neil Roy

Oh come on. We haven't had a good old fashioned religious flame war in ages.

Yup, the way I prefer it. ;D

...needs some porn in here... ;)

610118

Edgar Reynaldo

What a pussy. ::)

Neil Roy
Quote:

What a . ::)

Okay, lets see if I can dig up something to spark the debates, but don't expect me to argue back. I have my beliefs, everyone knows them in here by now, and I do not enjoy arguing/debating whatever. There's some good arguments in favour of a Creator existing though, one of my favourites is in the following video...

A short explanation... (~9mins)

video

A longer explanation... (~40mins)

video

And he refutes arguments against this...(~57mins)

video

And a really kewl video with a variety of opinions... (~41mins)

video

Food for thought, at least I would hope people would consider these arguments before attacking them... yeah, in these forums? I almost laughed out loud at that idea. :)

Anyhow, I have much more I could share, but I already regret posting this so. Don't expect a reply back in the near future. :)

bamccaig

Part 1

Faith

The first 5 minutes are pretty laughable to start. The presenter is pretty much fucking himself by saying you must prove God exists before you can have faith in it. Not only is that notion preposterous, but since you can't actually prove God exists[1] this line of reasoning essentially would leave Christianity with no other conclusion than that God doesn't exist. That will likely be enough to split the religious community apart: on one side the semi-rationale thinkers that understand that you can't, and practically don't need to, prove God's existence to have faith; and on the other side the irrational thinkers too hasty to get one over on the non-believers to even stop and think if this man, saying things that already agree with them, is actually making any logical arguments or proving his points (hint: he's not). There may be more sides than two, but those are probably the most interesting ones anyway.

On a side note, he doesn't even seem to comprehend what the word "faith" means. He qualifies it as "absolute confidence". The rationale thinking population seem to understand it to be, "belief without evidence" (quite contrary to everything he's preaching). To be fair, the dictionary does cite several generic and potentially contradictory definitions, albeit I'd argue that they're so generic as to be useless. Apparently the word dates back to around the 1200s and derived from words meaning "belief" or "trust" (approximately).

Interestingly, Wikipedia notes that, «the word translated as "faith" in the New Testament is the Greek word πίστις which can also be translated "belief" or "trust"». It's just another reminder that when reading and attempting to make some sense of the Bible one must remember that the English text (or whatever other language, except for the native ancient Hebrew and Greek) that they're reading have already been approximated by countless interpreters over the centuries and that the languages do not necessarily mesh up 1:1 (I've never even seen an example of modern day languages that do in their entirety).

"Proofs"

(I'm attempting to document what the presenter is asserting so when it's not obvious I'm probably restating what he has, not making a claim for myself... Try not to hold me to claims made here unless it's clear that I'm steering away from what the presenter has stated...)

  1. The supposed odds for conditions to be exactly right are "zero" because of approximately 200 parameters required for life to exist. There appeared to be no citation for how he comes to this, unless this comes from the unreliable source of a for-profit business newspaper (the Wall Street Journal) or I simply missed it.

    Essentially the presenter argues that extremely low odds are equal to zero, and that somehow the odds of an omnipotent creator[2] are greater and therefore more likely, and that, assuming that that was even true that it would be "proof"[3].

    • That leads into allegedly even more unlikely odds for the universe to exist, again I believe without credible citations, noting that it's such an unlikely event that the universe's existence is "proof" of a creator. This again demonstrates a lack of comprehension in what probabilities are. He offers a layman's example of an extremely large number of coin flips landing "heads" every time. The odds of it happening are extremely low, that's true. That's irrelevant. According to our understanding of coin flips, it could happen. Things that are extremely unlikely to happen do happen all of the time.

  2. Cesium atoms/atomic clocks are proof of God because they're approximately perfect. In particular, the physical laws that govern interactions with the time keeping mechanism are so precise, and we just happen to be able to harness them to keep time. As with most religious arguments of this nature, it is essentially saying that because it's "perfect" or "damn close to perfect" it must have been created by God (who is, presumably, perfect; despite all evidence to the contrary). This is not a logical argument and certainly not proof.


    • Optical clocks, again, because they're so almost perfect the presenter asserts that it can only be the result of a designer. Again, no. You don't comprehend what proof is if you believe that to be. We're no longer talking about probabilities, but about the very core nature of our universe. We're not actually talking about perfection either. Even optical clocks skew eventually. If anything, the lack of perfection would seem to indicate the lack of a "God" more than the approximate perfection would indicate one.

    • Just for fun, I'll note that although the presenter indicated that surely I, the viewer, must have a watch; I honestly do not. I, like many others, track time with my mobile phone. Before I had that, which is not too long ago, I used various other time keeping devices: digital clocks in vehicle dashboards or stereos, wall mounted clocks, clock radios/alarm clocks, and personal computers to keep relative track of time (and many of these I still use since I don't glue myself to my mobile phone).

      Generally I don't concern myself with time unless forced to. It seems like a very dated notion that everybody must have a watch. My girlfriend has a watch, and a rather expensive one at that, and I honestly can't comprehend why. Likely it's a fashion piece more than a utility, though she swore she used it for utility at least as well. Even she doesn't seem to wear it anymore (perhaps because they continued to tarnish regardless of repeated servicing and replacement by the jeweler, furthering the why).

  3. The presenter argues that because the scientific community believes that the universe came into existence (presumably during the Big Bang), and that the first law of thermodynamics states that, "matter and energy can be neither created nor destroyed," that this is proof that God exists because they contradict each other.

    It has been a while since I took a science class, but Wikipedia states that the first law of thermodynamics is a restatement of the law of conversation of energy, which essentially states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant (energy is neither created nor destroy).

    The actual first law states that the "internal energy" of a system is equal to the work being done by the system plus or minus the heat energy flowing in or out of the system and any other work done on the system. The important part to grasp here is the "system" part. The scope of the problem is defined. I'm probably not fully aware of all of the intricate details of the Big Bang or theories of the universe's origin point, but it's not difficult to imagine that (a) we don't have all of the answers yet (obviously), and (b) that the so called energy that the universe is composed of must have come from elsewhere. Whether that's a creator or some other phenomenon I don't know and I don't think science thinks it knows yet (I imagine science will need to go deep into the quantum realm for that).

    It's certainly not proof of God. It's undefined. It's incredibly illogical to use alleged contradictions in science as proof of God's existence. If and when science is contradicting itself it doesn't prove anything other than that the science is incomplete or wrong.


    1. This leads into an argument that radioactive elements degrade and therefore could not have always existed and therefore came into existence, again allegedly defying the first law of thermodynamics. Once again, it demonstrates a lack of comprehension in the science from the presenter. Not to mention that we know that atoms can be created and destroyed through nuclear fission (creating smaller atoms from a larger one) and fusion (creating a larger atom from smaller ones). To assert that the scientific community is "ignoring" a law to let this occur is blatantly ignorant.

  4. The presenter states the the second law of thermodyamics is in contradiction to the theory of evolution. The second law of thermodynamics is non-trivial to understand, and essentially hinges on the idea of "entropy" (Wikipedia failed to give me a simple explanation for this). If anybody has one let's have it.

    It appears to state that the entropy of a system always increases. It cited an example where two rooms, a warm and a cold room, were separated by a wall and all energy could not escape nor penetrate the wall. When an external force is applied to the wall to allow heat energy specifically to pass through, the heat energy spreads into the colder room. This increases the temperature of the colder room, decreases the temperature of the hotter room, and generally reduces the amount of work that can be done by the collective energy of this system due to the decrease in difference in temperature.

    Ultimately, the temperatures would come to an equilibrium. At any time, restoring the wall would not increase the temperature of the hotter room nor decrease the temperature of the cooler room (obviously, this is assuming a hypothetical isolated system).

    I believe that this false proof hinges on the application of a microscopic physical law against a macroscopic biological process (or perhaps, set of processes that converge towards a result). It also probably hinges on the vague concept of "better" in terms of evolution. While it's generally true that evolution will tend to favor "better" changes, better is entirely subjective to the "here" and "now". What's better at any given space and time for a particular macroscopic entity is subjective and may not apply at another space or time regardless of how close or far they are.

    Evolution is not an intelligent force that steers organisms towards perfection, but merely a natural law of coincidence that overall increases the liklihood of "better" transformations surviving versus "worse" transformations (or replicating perfectly).

    It's important to note that humans and indeed every organism on the planet is generally not regarded as "perfect" or anywhere near to it[4]. On the contrary, it's routine to discover seemingly useless or counter-productive parts or processes within nature (whether in living organisms or in the "unliving" world around us, which could also be described as being driven by evolution). These are evidence that things have not evolved "better" in every way, but that overall things tend to evolve to at least keep us alive so far. This again suggests that "evolution" is intelligent so it's worth noting that the transformations that occur are chaotic and somewhat random, or at least infeasible to predict, and that evolution is not a physical law or act itself, but really a high-level description of the cumulative effect of natural forces: evolution describes the strengths and weaknesses of successive generations of organisms (or non-organisms if taken out of a biological context), which either encourage or discourage the overall success of the class of entities which share these mutations. Evolution in particular describes those mutations that succeed and carry on in spite of environmental variations.

    It's also worth noting that the theory of evolution does not guarantee success. The countless extinct species are evidence of this. The unintelligent transformations that occurred (or the lack of such transformations given the limited scope of time) were insufficient to keep said species' alive.

    The presenter appears to hinge his argument on the assertion that evolution involves a continuous increase of "order" and "organization", which I think is highly subjective and misleading. Things tend to get more complex and chaotic, in general, but certainly not more ordered or organized. I'm sure if you were to analyze a reasonable sample of single-celled organisms you'd find fewer flaws than that of a realistic sample of complex organisms such as a humans. We certainly seem to get more complex, but not necessarily more ordered or organized. Considering the dinosaurs, I think it's wrong to generally assert that things tend to get larger too, though I'm not certain if there is evidence of an evolutionary link between a larger ancestor and a smaller descendant. I find that an interesting question to try to find an answer to (but I'm too tired to do so now).

  5. He then quotes a man that Wikipedia cites as considered by many to be "the father of modern creation science". Considering that "creation science" does not gain much credibility within the scientific community that's not a very reliable source. That seems to have been a common them of the video production.

    The quote claims that various "blood chemistry tests" indicate various alternative closest relatives to humans than apes (e.g., snakes and beans). Don't ask me how they did tests on the chemistry of a butter bean's blood... If you have the energy to track down the sources and give us a credible answer than more power to you. I think I'll spare myself the waste of resources. It seems obvious to me that they lack an understanding of the science.

  6. (...more improbabilities posing as proof for the feable minded to buy...)

  7. He offers up a mouse trap as an example of a device that cannot be simplified without it ceasing to function (arguably, that would depend on the particular class of mouse trap). From here he leads into organisms representing "irreducible complexity" meaning that if you were to remove any "part" of the system it would cease to function, and offering that as a contradiction to a quote from Charles Darwin which presumably hinged the theory of evolution on the lack of an example of a complex organ in existence that could not have been formed by numerous slight modifications... Presumably from a lesser organ leading back to a simpler organism and ultimately back to lifeless chemicals in primordial soup.

    To debunk this I'm simply going to offer up examples of deformed animals (humans included) that for no explainable reason have misshapen or missing "parts" that barely resemble the fully functional piece (and these are complex, macroscopic examples), yet still manage to function on the whole. We understand chemical reactions occur that can transform molecules into other forms. We also understand that the building blocks for life are essentially molecules (and the definition for life can vary, but generally means self-replicating). I'm not sure yet if science has traced our steps back to the first "living organism" or identified such a primordial soup that would constitute life, but it's not entirely difficult with a basic understanding of science to imagine such a thing forming.

    We're not talking about minutes. We're talking billions of years for these "random" chemical reactions to become fruitful enough to form sustainable chemicals that actually "evolved" into more complex structures and eventually life (and who's to say it got all the way to us the first time). We're talking several orders of magnitude longer than the human race, or even multi-celled organisms have even existed just for the origin species of organism to form. And we're talking about extremely long periods of time for those first, basic organisms to replicate into transformed organism that were more complex and eventually, after millions upon millions more years into what you see today.

    Once again the presenter seems to lack a comprehension of the science he's debating in thinking that parts just magically come or go into or out of existence. It's probably not so clear cut as life tends not to be. The changes are likely so subtly incremental that you wouldn't necessarily notice them as an observer in a particular human span of time. It's not difficult to envision this simply from observations of differences among ourselves.

A little bit of logic and a basic secondary (high) school understanding (which is basically all that I have) of science is all that anybody needs to debunk this (and the Web can fill in anything that you lack if you care to try). Notably, that's significantly less understanding of these ideas than the actual scientists in our society have. Arguing science against the scientific community without science is absurdly comical. Nothing in this video proves that God doesn't exist either, but it certainly does not prove that he does. Essentially we're left right where we left off with the last debate (unfortunately!). We don't know for sure one way or the other. Though I'd argue that reading the Bible will leave any open minded, rational thinker with a clear conclusion regarding that deity.

References

  1. Or at least, as far as I know; and seemingly most of the rationale, educated human population throughout time knows, thus far.
  2. I don't even know how we'd approach calculating such a probability.
  3. Protip: That's not proof. If you think that's an example of proof then you don't comprehend what proof is.
  4. That said, the world is full of amazing things which humans find beautiful, elegant, strange, and any other assortment of awesome.
piccolo

@bamccaig
You tryed but you failed.
Your post seems to be only for intemadate a reader because of its size.
However I was not intemadated and read it completely. However it contains nothing logical suppoting any thing. What I found was restating of the vid content with topicless rambling flowing each time.

The youtube vid clearly uses logical deduction to prov that the there has to be a creator what you call the creator is erelivent. But to deny a creator is unlogical.

Polybios

If bambam's summary is more or less accurate (thank you bambam), all of these "proofs" boil down to variants of the old teleological argument. Nothing new under the sun.

If all the "proofs" are basically applications of the same argument, the video can't be any good. :P
They could at least have tried to include some of the other traditional lines of argumentation.

What I've liked best and what imho comes closer to a formal "proof" is the "ontological argument".
Wikipedia gives the following summary of its original version by Anselm of Canterbury:

Quote:

It is a conceptual truth (or, so to speak, true by definition) that God is a being than which none greater can be imagined (that is, the greatest possible being that can be imagined).
God exists as an idea in the mind.
A being that exists as an idea in the mind and in reality is, other things being equal, greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.
Thus, if God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God (that is, a greatest possible being that does exist).
But we cannot imagine something that is greater than God (for it is a contradiction to suppose that we can imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.)
Therefore, God exists.

While it's obviously flawed, I think it is an achievement in terms of structuring your thoughts - for someone living in the 11th century that is.

piccolo

His summary is not accurate at all. The bottom line of the vid is that there has to be a creator. It has nothing to do with God as known in the Bible. You can call the creator what ever you want but according to logic a creator has to exist.

Polybios
piccolo said:

The bottom line of the vid is that there has to be a creator. It has nothing to do with God as known in the Bible.

Well, that's what I thought.

Quote:

You can call the creator what ever you want but according to logic a creator has to exist.

Logic is a means of connecting propositions (and validating those connections). Unless it's pure formal stuff, such a statement does not make much sense in a general way without showing some actual "content".

Edit: Well, whatever. ^^
Maybe someone will come along and tell us if there's anything in the video that isn't just teleological argument reloaded.

Derezo

I can get behind the idea of the universe having been created by something. However, if I speculate about that something, I would probably think it might have been another universe that created this one.

Sort of like how a flower grows, fertilizes, seeds, etc, and presto we have more flowers, maybe there is a process by which universes are born from other universes as well. The universes are probably all different in one way or another, but all very similar, kind of like everything else.

I dunno. Maybe it's jibbers crabts.

Regardless, most religions have fictional interpretations of the creator, which is more of an illustration. Giving the creator properties like gender and intelligence, and humanizing the creator, is perfectly fine but it doesn't seem very in touch with any sort of scientific reality of the situation. The claims of virgin births and all that are not something I give any credit.

You don't need to believe in any sort of details about a creator for any purpose. You can, but it's not necessary part of anything and is solely a personal experience, and it is something that you can only share with like minded people... which again is fine.

Bruce Pascoe
Derezo said:

Sort of like how a flower grows, fertilizes, seeds, etc, and presto we have more flowers, maybe there is a process by which universes are born from other universes as well.

There is. It's called Sburb. ;)

Neil Roy

piccolo, you're wasting your time buddy. This is all you'll get from these clowns...
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piccolo

Its hard to believe people can think without logic.

Bruce Pascoe

Not that I expect to convince anyone one way or the other, but I'll just say this is relevant:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

I'll see my way out now. I don't want to be anywhere near this blast furnace when it all goes to hell. :P

Neil Roy

piccolo: Here are some good bible verses for you. Ones I pay close attention to these days. Answering questions is fine, but endless arguing with people who are not interested in learning from you, will only tear you apart spiritually. (took me a while to learn the same lessons) Anyhow, check these out... they contain good advice.

Matthew 7:6 (NIV)
"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

2 Timothy 2:14 (NIV)
Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarrelling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.

2 Timothy 2:23 (NIV)
Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

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Romans 1:20-22 (NIV)
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

bamccaig

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U mad, bro?

Neil Roy
bamccaig said:

U mad, bro?

At what? Sorry, but I am beyond that. I am actually more concerned about you, because while you may think this is a joke now. There is coming a day when it will get very serious for you. And you will see God in person, and you will know that He is quite real, and that your existence is coming to a violent end. So I feel sorry for you, and hope that someday you change before it is too late.

But I simply will no longer debate when it gets nowhere. It is pointless, and we have done this in the past to no effect.

I know God exists, I have proven it to myself beyond doubt. It's a fact, and the only person I need to prove it to is myself. And I did that a long time ago.

My main reason to post anything in here at all is to give my fellow believers advice to abstain from endless arguments like these. Don't let the wolves tear you apart (spiritually). But leave the conversation and maybe pray for them as we are commanded.

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Gideon Weems

Could this become one of the great A.cc 100 page flame wars of old?

grabs popcorn ;)

Make mine caramel!

I want a good, clean fight. No punches below the belt and no pokes to the female groin eyes. If anyone leaves the boards in a tissy fit, we reserve the right to not only mourn our collective loss but also make fun of you for taking things more seriously than they ever should have been.

bamccaig

Sorry, Neil, that wasn't addressed at you, but at the video presenter and presumably the "CEO" of that "church" (and the OP for posting this thread). :-/ While we have each others' attention I'll refer you to the rules for a discussion (I think we both know you don't agree to those terms).

It's pretty comical how you post in a thread that you claim to not want to participate in, and then respond to a post not addressed to you as if you were personally called out (to be fair, it came right after your post, but that was the only indication that it might have been addressed to you). It honestly looks like you're begging for attention. Just chill. If you don't want to participate then it's easy. Close the thread. You can even hide threads, IIRC (worst case you could with CSS, but I digress). I think we both know that you actually want to be here and will continue to post in this thread. Even if you reply that it's your last post in this thread! I avoid engaging you because I already know that you're incapable of, or at least refuse to, have a rationale discussion on the subject. If this changes let me know.

Aaron Bolyard

It's really sad reading this thread.

I do my best to sift through information to come to a sound conclusion. This also means I don't actively form opinions on things I have no knowledge of (nor the ability to research or understand--e.g., I'll delegate the validity of much more difficult sciences to those who are experts in their fields, but won't espouse an opinion or such)...

But then you have self-proclaimed atheists, who are right (or so I believe--I'm an atheist, as well), but come to this conclusion incorrectly. If you claim to be an atheist based on rational thinking and logic, but then have incredibly irrational and illogical and unsupported beliefs in other fields of your life--well, you're doing something wrong. You've come to the "right" conclusion using the wrong methods. It's like arriving to the right answer in some math/logic problem, but you made glaring mistakes on the way there that manifest themselves in other problems...

And that's a very big problem. It's incredibly hypocritical. You can't claim superiority (as in "I am right and you are wrong") because you're wrong, too.

(The same goes on elsewhere with beliefs/groups I identify with, including pseudo-liberals/pseudo-progressives that would claim otherwise. You're not progressive when you have a trunk full of regressive views/ideas. An extreme example would be the incredibly tiny group of extreme feminists cited in an earlier thread, but I'd group many members here in the same group, albeit to a lesser extent...)

At the end of the day, I grow tired of the rampant irrational beliefs (be it family and friends or internet-goers or random people I meet for brief moments in life) so firmly held by others. It seems human thought is some shaky, unstable structure...

And it's really upsetting because I have to apply a strict sense of proper "truth finding" (I can't think of a word that fits--essentially, verifying thoughts/beliefs/experiences are accurate/truthful using critical thinking, logic, and [sometimes] research) to any partially consequential thought/belief/experience I have, and it's getting harder and harder to know if I'm simply too late and should simply not bother or if I'm making any sense of progress. Otherwise I would act on these painful, exhausting and dissonant thoughts/beliefs I have due to exterior issues and that would not be a pleasant experience for me or those around me, leading to involuntary commitment, jail, or death.

In brief (or tl;dr, if you will), I suppose what I'm trying to say is that discussions like this remind me of how so many people take an otherwise unimpaired understanding of the world for granted, while I struggle to discern the truth from the sickness. E.g., I can rationally conclude there's really not horrible eldritch abominations manipulating this world and my life, but it doesn't stop me from believing and making changes in my life as a result... It's incredibly frustrating, for me at least.

Neil Roy

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GullRaDriel

Hahaha.

I'm astonished that so many of you believe in god. Make my arse roll around my chair while still being able to type.

These things as gods, creatures that no one have ever see but that are extremely well explained in text, angels, heaven, hell. They only exists in human mind, because they are human made things for humans to believe in.

And it's a pretty poor and sad story. Real murder are made in so called name of whatever god.

If you look through the ages, humans have always believed in one or another or all gods. How can you think yours is better than the ones already made before ? How outrageous !

And yeah, let me tell you one more thing: isn't it a proof that all is in the 2000 years old book, and that the earth, the fossils, the space are way way way older ?

God or whatever will never make a miracle for you. You're the only one allowed to grant your own life miracles. I'm sorry, that's rude, but no one is gonna help you. Just fall in real disgrace one time and you'll see your friends fade away like smoke.

If someone that strong as a god still exist and doesn't make a move to kick Donald Trumps fat arse, it's really that there isn't a god.

And man, hiding yourself behind bible quotes is just funny, but that's all. A book isn't the truth because it's a fucking book.

Of course you're not going to convince me that your religion more than another one, or your god more than the others are existing. And if ever I'm wrong, I'm going to give the fucking gods a buttkicking party for eternity for doing nothing while being everything (or so I understood the garbage in the books).

And please, stop loop reading ONE pesky book. There are tons of others to change your mind. Don't be afraid, come to the light.

8-)

Neil Roy

One of my favourite passages, very comforting. :)

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I'm just proving my arguing days are long behind me. :) I would rather joke around in these forums or talk programming then get upset over beliefs.

Johan Halmén

I'm astonished that so many of you believe in god. Make my arse roll around my chair while still being able to type.

These things as gods, creatures that no one have ever see but that are extremely well explained in text, angels, heaven, hell. They only exists in human mind, because they are human made things for humans to believe in.

I'm astonished that so many people talk about things that happened 14 American billion years ago, when the holy books that are meant to tell us something about being a human are written a few thousand years ago. Both "Christians|Moslems|Jews|Atheists|Potrzebists" escape to discuss irrelevant things when stating their view point.

<edit>
What happened 14 billion years ago is very fascinating. But whether or not science can find a god behind it (and I mean really find, like finding an element), is not as interesting as the pure science itself.

GullRaDriel

I ack what Johan said.8-)

Neil Roy

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:D
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Chris Katko

Why.... why is this a thread?

Bruce Perry
Neil Roy said:

There is coming a day when it will get very serious for you. And you will see God in person, and you will know that He is quite real, and that your existence is coming to a violent end.

What did I say in my very first post?

DO NOT PUSH YOUR RELIGION ON OTHERS.

If God is good for you, fine. But what you are doing in this quote is psychological blackmail. For God's sake, SHUT UP :P

[EDIT]
bambams, that's the longest post I've ever seen ;D

[EDIT #2]
I ought to temper what I wrote above. So here goes. You know, on someone's advice, I tried going to church a number of years ago. I found a church with people around my age, and found I got on with them in general. There was a wonderful sense of community and I continue to be friends with them. This was a time when I was single and a bit miserable, and the community and the sense of welcome were good for me. The services incorporated some explanation of various bible passages, which is useful when you compare it to the very formal, inaccessible services I found in another church. However, one thing I noticed from the vicar after a while was the psychological blackmail and other manipulation. We were told that we must live in fear of God, and that we are sinners. We were also told that there's nothing we can do about this. All we could do is love him and not even hope for the best because even hoping would be presumptuous, presumably. I don't remember exactly. In any case, it drove me away.

The reason I mention all this is that I think what you're doing could simply be learning from someone like the vicar above, and doing the same thing to other people, with the best of intentions and without realising what it actually is. If that's the case, please take my post as a friendly reality check, and I endeavour to take back any offence I may have caused. Provided you don't do it again of course ;)

Neil Roy

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And for the record, I do not attend churches either, can't stand them.... which brings to mind another image I created a while back...

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bamccaig

bambams, that's the longest post I've ever seen ;D

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Chris Katko

I think he meant that he actually bothered to read.

Are you... mad... someone acknowledged reading your posts?

Bruce Perry

No, I didn't read it :)

Remind me of a longer post then - I don't remember one ;)

Also, Neil, you're still preaching. Stop it. >:(

Neil Roy

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:P

bamccaig

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Neil Roy

bamccaig, nice image! That is precisely why I am against most churches. Especially the Roman Catholic church who is the exact opposite of my beliefs.
(saved that image and reposted it on Facebook myself, love it!)

bamccaig

Remind me of a longer post then - I don't remember one ;)

An approximation (literally copy/pasting from Firefox in Fedora 23 into wc(1)) yields 75 lines, 2800 words, and 17093 characters. I can't recall a particular thread. What would speed this greatly along is ML executing some SQL against the database. Alas, that's not likely to happen because it would probably spark some kind of competition. >:( In any case, my longest post in this thread so far doesn't look very long. I'm pretty confident that I've had to shorten posts to get past the physical length limit. I drink a lot though so I may be remembering wrong. It's hardly relevant anyway. It's much more entertaining to watch Neil Roy's antics.

Neil Roy

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bamccaig

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Neil Roy

Well, I got bamccaig to quote from the bible. My job here is done. ;D

Proverbs 1:22-27 (NIV)
“How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—
when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.”

Polybios

I don't think God gave us intellectual capabilities just to scare us away from their use. Also, in my experience, humility and core concepts of Christianity (and other religions) go together rather well, while those who raise their voice loudly and appear to be overly certain of the transcendental, are prone to not seeing the log in their own eyes and generally tend to embody the darker sides of religion.

Bruce Perry

Now in fairness, the starving African in the photo is probably not starving because of Western attitudes. It's more likely to be because his own country is corrupt. Replace the photos of the church looking rich with equivalent photos of his country's leaders looking rich, and it makes sense.

Neil's obviously trolling at this point. I had hoped this was the case all along (I even edited such a comment into one of my posts briefly), but it didn't seem that way at first ;)

piccolo

I figured it out now. They don't want the creator to be proven to them because they enjoy sinful things they are doing. If the creator is realized to them they would have to stop the things they enjoy. They think ignorance is a get into haven free card.

Sad news buddies you want be able to say you did not know and think you can slide in like with everyone else when the time comes. Childish thinking humans are capable of.

Bruce Pascoe
piccolo said:

I figured it out now. They don't want the creator to be proven to them because they enjoy sinful things they are doing.

Hey, did you see a guy around here? His name was Sh!t-Sherlock, first name "No". To quote Billy Joel:

Quote:

They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun...

...yeah, I just figured it was time to heat things up in here. ;)
My job here is done. 8-) *mysteriously disappears into the pig* ...Stupid pig!

Neil Roy
piccolo said:

I figured it out now. They don't want the creator to be proven to them because they enjoy sinful things they are doing.

That is exactly right. But the following verse is quite clear, there will be no excuses come judgment day. I sincerely hope some of these scoffers change, as I would not wish to see anyone suffer the punishment that is coming to the disobedient.

Romans 1:20 (NIV)
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

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bamccaig

It's exactly text like that that gives us such confidence that you guys are delusional. :D

Bruce Pascoe

I swore to myself I wouldn't get involved in this, but, well...

Okay, here's some logic for you: For every religious person who says they "know" what the "truth" is (and have thoroughly convinced themselves of this), there's a million others with contradictory beliefs (even within the same faith!) who are just as convinced of their idea of "truth" as you and will not hesitate to shout "Heresy!" and tell you, just as you have us, that you're going to burn in hell for your sins.

Surely there can't be multiple "truths" can there? Either one version is right and all others are wrong, or none of them are right--and given that there's nothing even close to resembling a consensus, Occam's razor dictates the latter.

Either that or maybe the many-worlds hypothesis is true (and therefore there are multiple pantheons), and somehow all the timelines merged into one... ::)

Anyway, I'll go back to standing outside the oven (now that I stoked the flames a bit) and peeking through the glass. It's safer than sticking around for what I'm sure is about to come. Hint: It involves lots of Neil spewing Bible quotes and bambam rolling his eyes at them. :D

Edgar Reynaldo

There's an explanation for everything in the Bible. All you have to do is look for it.

Matthew 7:7-8 said:

7 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.…

bamccaig's image said:

We simply cannot afford to feed this person.

Matthew 24:5 said:

5 "For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many.

Saying you're Christian doesn't make you one. It's what you do.

The Son of Man Will Judge the Nations

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[a] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him,[b] saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Your rewards are based on your works. Do you want rewards? Or punishment?

Galatians 6:7-10 said:

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternhal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

Everything has been foretold from the beginning. God declared it. All you have to do is choose to listen and believe.

Isaiah 46 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

46
1
Bel bows down, Nebo stoops,
their idols are on beasts and cattle;
these things you carry are loaded
as burdens on weary animals.

2
They stoop, they bow down together;
they cannot save the burden,
but themselves go into captivity.

3
Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from your birth,
carried from the womb;

4
even to your old age I am he,
even when you turn gray I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.

5
To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me, as though we were alike?

6
Those who lavish gold from the purse,
and weigh out silver in the scales—
they hire a goldsmith, who makes it into a god;
then they fall down and worship!

7
They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
they set it in its place, and it stands there;
it cannot move from its place.
If one cries out to it, it does not answer
or save anyone from trouble.

8
Remember this and consider,[a]
recall it to mind, you transgressors,

9
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is no one like me,

10
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, “My purpose shall stand,
and I will fulfill my intention,”

11
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man for my purpose from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have planned, and I will do it.

12
Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from deliverance:

13
I bring near my deliverance, it is not far off,
and my salvation will not tarry;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.

Matthew 13 is especially rich in wisdom. I won't quote it all here, except for the most relevant part, but if you like parables you should definitely read it.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13&version=NRSV

Matthew 13:10-17 said:

10 Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
11 He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets[b] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
13 The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’
14
With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:

‘You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.


15 
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
    and their ears are hard of hearing,
        and they have shut their eyes;
        so that they might not look with their eyes,
    and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
    and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.

God is glad to give you his help, if you're humble enough to just ask for it.

James 1:5-8 said:

5
If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.

6
But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind;

7, 8
for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Proverbs Chapter 2 tells us that god is glad to give us wisdom.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+2&version=NRSV

Proverbs Chapter 2 : The Value of Wisdom said:

6
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

Everything is there in the Bible, if you're just willing to open your eyes to see it and your ears to hear it.

To anyone who says I'm forcing my religion on you. Grow up. I'm merely showing you a door. Walk through it or don't. Where you go in life is up to you. Believe what I say or don't. Your life is in your own hands. Do what you will with it.

Chris Katko

I wouldn't poke this thread with a five foot stick. However one specific part stood out:

Occams razor

That may be the most abused razor of all time. So much so Galileo himself wrote about its misuse hundreds of years after its creation.

When everyone thought the world was flat, the simplest version was that the world wasn't moving so therefor it must not be moving per Occam's Razor.

http://anthonypeake.com/occams-razor-as-the-arbiter-of-scientific-truth/

Quote:

Surely there can't be multiple "truths" can there?

Actually, I see no reason on a philosophical level that one set of logic has to apply universally, or one set of morality has to apply universally. Whether it be per person, situation, or deity. While not necessarily probable, it is entirely possible that one person is allowed to abort babies, and another is not, and we are judged according to our specific sets of rules with our conscious being the arbiter.

And our thought that "God cannot be both perfect and inconsistent" is purely a man-made fallacy.

The laws of physics vary throughout the universe. Why can't logic, morality, God and/or Gods, and more?

Who is to say--and in fact history screams the converse--that how we think of physics, religion, and God are finally "correct" and we're not walking around with huge blindspots and unnecessary constraints in our understanding? We are almost certainly living in another era of "flat-world science."

I am absolutely willing to believe God exists or doesn't exist. I am not willing to believe that I understand everything, or that it can be as simple and clear-cut as people make it out to be.

Bruce Pascoe

Who is to say--and in fact history screams the converse--that how we think of physics, religion, and God are finally "correct" and we're not walking around with huge blindspots and unnecessary constraints in our understanding?

Exactly, and that's what science is all about, looking for answers but being open-minded to new viewpoints. That's the problem with religion--and politics too, incidentally--everyone is so thoroughly convinced they have the one right answer and that anyone who doesn't agree is delusional/going to burn in hell/both.

By the way, don't take what I said in my previous post too seriously: I was mostly just trolling. ;)

bamccaig

You can quote the entire Bible. It's just a text. It doesn't mean anything in itself. At best, it can express universal wisdom. At worst, it makes empty threats and tempts foolish people with empty promises of rewards. Well, at worst, people take it upon themselves to cause destruction and suffering in the name of earning rewards. I digress. Keep going. You've almost got me convinced! :D

Edgar Reynaldo

bam, it doesn't bother me in the least bit that you don't believe me.

Let's see what happens when people find out the truth :

Revelations 6:12-16 said:

12
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and there came a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,
13
and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree drops its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.
14
The sky vanished like a scroll rolling itself up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15
Then the kings of the earth and the magnates and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains,
16
calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

bamccaig

video

Edgar Reynaldo

Punishments such as those are from 1000's of years ago, when sentences were much harsher. It was before the time of grace that Jesus bought with his blood. Have you read the story of the adulteress who was caught in the act? Many men wanted to stone her to death because that was the law according to Deuteronomy. Jesus began to write in the sand, telling each man in turn what he had been doing the other weekend (committing adultery or various other mortal sins), and each in turn left. When all her accusers were gone, Jesus asked her where her accusers were, and she said they are all gone. So Jesus then said to her :

John 8:10-11 said:

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.”[b] And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

Hebrews 9:22 said:

22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Jesus shed his own blood so that we might be forgiven our sins, because there is no sacrifice of animal or treasure that could ever forgive them.

Hebrews 10 : Christ's Sacrifice Once and for All
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+10&version=NRSV

Hebrews 10:1-10 said:

Hebrews 10

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

1
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it[a] can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach.

2
Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshipers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin?

3
But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year.

4
For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

5
Consequently, when Christ[b] came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body you have prepared for me;

6
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.

7
Then I said, ‘See, God, I have come to do your will, O God’
(in the scroll of the book[c] it is written of me).”

8
When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law),
9
then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.
10
And it is by God’s will[d] that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The shortcoming of the law is that it condemns everyone equally. But the power of grace is that everyone who believes on the name of Jesus Christ and repents has their sins forgiven.

Gideon Weems

Say what you want about its authority, but no work of literature has ever wielded as powerful of imagery as has the Bible. Those were some good passages from Revelations.

Aaron Bolyard

Say what you want about its authority, but no work of literature has ever wielded as powerful of imagery as has the Bible. Those were some good passages from Revelations.

Have you read a lot of classic literature? I've pretty much only read certain periods of English literature (mostly Modernist/Romantic and specific authors like Shakespeare), but any notable poet of those periods greatly surpasses anything in the Bible as far as literary skill...

(For an example of something similar in ... purpose[?], T. S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" invokes incredible imagery and emotion [regardless if you understand the underlying allegory or not] and is one of the most beautifully haunting poems I've read... I would not say the same about Revelations, nor the Bible.)

Edgar Reynaldo

literary skill...

The Bible has one of the most complex literary devices of all time. There is the Masoreh, there are the numerous nested layers of each chapter of each book. Have you ever studied the structure of the Bible? You might be surprised how complex it is, and how much skill it took to write it the way it was.

Polybios

I am not willing to believe that I understand everything, or that it can be as simple and clear-cut as people make it out to be.

This.

It can be rather demanding to deal with the complex modern world, that's why people try to seek simple solutions / absolute truths all the time. It's so much more relaxing when you feel you've sorted it all out for certain. If your ideology is religious, you'll get an express ticket for salvation on top of it for free. Rather comforting. Then there's this book that will resolve every cognitive dissonance if you look long enough. Of course, the small residual doubts have to be dealt with. That's why you have to offensively laugh at the "fools" who haven't grasped absolute truth yet. Makes you feel even more secure. Because that's what you want in this confusing world. I can understand that.

Fortunately, burning the "fools" who think otherwise has been out of fashion for quite a while in the western world. But this is the ultimate consequence of this line of thinking. We can even see the tendency in this thread: Those who don't agree immediately must surely be immoral and sinners. Yeah, right. ::)

Edit:
I'm not saying all religious people follow this pattern. Just the militant types are suspicious.^^

Neil Roy said:

the disobedient

Well, Jesus himself was rather "noncompliant" regarding the authorities of his day...

As for the bible, it is certainly one of the most important literary works of all time and without doubt there's much wisdom in it. I've read some of it just because of the style, imagery and language. It varies a lot, though.
By the way, I don't think you can compare "literary skill" so easily, it's just so different a genre.

Ben Delacob

For those who are saying that belief is logic, saying people with opposing viewpoints are illogical is pointless. Could you pick one of these proofs for specific discussion?

Bruce Perry
piccolo said:

I figured it out now. They don't want the creator to be proven to them because they enjoy sinful things they are doing. If the creator is realized to them they would have to stop the things they enjoy. They think ignorance is a get into haven free card.

Sad news buddies you want be able to say you did not know and think you can slide in like with everyone else when the time comes. Childish thinking humans are capable of.

Congratulations, you sound like a Scientologist.

video

To anyone who says I'm forcing my religion on you. Grow up. I'm merely showing you a door. Walk through it or don't. Where you go in life is up to you. Believe what I say or don't. Your life is in your own hands. Do what you will with it.

Fighting words, but you are showing people a door while simultaneously warning them that they will go into everlasting punishment if they choose not to walk through it. I fully accept that you believe this is simply the truth and you have no intention of being manipulative. However, I am also trying to help you understand how it comes across. By all means offer religion to people who could benefit from it, but leave out the part about punishment.

bamccaig

Could you pick one of these proofs for specific discussion?

The sensible approach to this thread would have been to attack my summary of the so-called "proofs" in the video and defend them with logic, reason, or further evidence. Or, if you don't believe this video series proves anything then to agree with that and let the thread die there. You'll note that nobody has done this.

Fighting words, but you are showing people a door while simultaneously warning them that they will go into everlasting punishment if they choose not to walk through it.

Less of a "door" and more of a heavily armed "gate", or better yet, a figment of their imagination! This door or gate exists only in their own minds. There is no such door or gate. Even a figurative or metaphorical door does not exist. I used to be a believer in this bullshit. Saying you're merely "showing a door" is either a blatant lie or a delusion.

By all means offer religion to people who could benefit from it, but leave out the part about punishment.

It's not up to anyone else to determine whether or not religion can benefit somebody. People that need it will seek it out. Everybody else doesn't need it. Giving them the freedom to decide such a thing is a mistake because in their own minds everybody could benefit from it.

They cannot leave out the part about the punishment. It's impossible to sell the delusion without it. "You must dedicate your life to the interpretations of a compilation of books written by an ancient people in a foreign language, no matter how absurd they seem, and just have faith that everything is true, even when it seems to contradict itself."

"What if I don't?"

"Nothing! You'll probably be completely fine. So, will I see you next Sunday?"

34c5a5d89699a28f2486c23c5b381486b62553f3eba9ebaccf36df6306494e00.jpg

Threats are all they have. They're most effective against women and children. :-/

Gideon Weems

Have you read a lot of classic literature?

No. :D

Have you ever studied the structure of the Bible?

No. :D

Elverion

That God fellow sure is an asshole. I swear, if I hear one more religious nut tell me that God loves me, but also hates me and that I'm going to hell, I'm going to lose it. Just recently after finishing a job at a church, the pastor was incredibly rude to me about my "choices." As a result, I'm done dealing with those people. Until the nuts can learn to practice some basic human decency towards members of the LGBT crowd, I'm going to continue to decline any and all IT work requested from them.

Besides, God allowed their computers to become fucked up. Who am I to fix their mistakes? ::)

Elias
Elverion said:

Until the nuts can learn to practice some basic human decency towards members of the LGBT crowd

I always find it funny how the Evangelical Lutheran Church (largest Lutheran denomination in the US) supports gays (we even have a gay-married bishop) and the Missouri synod (second largest Lutheran denomination in the US) excommunicates every gay and believes they all go straight to hell. Not only do both believe in the same Bible, they are both Christian churches, and on top of that both protestant and Lutheran within Christianity... and yet believe in completely opposite things o_O

I'm Lutheran myself and of course think synods like the Missouri synod are completely wrong (not to even speak of other denomination like Catholicism... I think all Catholics go straight to hell) or other religions...

However, my personal interpretation of the Bible is that quoting it makes little sense. Versions like the NIV (or worse, KJV) were heavily modified over the centuries and have little to do with the original text. So whenever someone quotes something from the NIV or KJV, I wonder if it was added by some Catholic scribe in the 9th century or if it was truly in the original Bible.

Neil Roy

Matthew 13 is especially rich in wisdom.

Good quote, thanks. I'll have to sit down and study this chapter more in depth tomorrow.

I love discussing t he bible with fellow believers, provided we can all agree that the bible is our foundation and we will believe what it says without twisting it. It can be quite rewarding to have someone like you quote a passage and study it in depth.

But debating the word of God with scoffers and mockers? There is absolutely no value at all in that, I will not waste my time arguing. It can be fun to watch them get upset when I refuse to engage them in arguing but instead quote the word of God in reply, after all, God has the answers, I don't need to make anything up. They can get angry, call me everything but a white man, I won't respond, I've heard it all before. To me it would be like getting involved in a debate over which is better, the Commodore 64 or the Atari 800. It's all pointless and old (the C64 is by the way). :)

Elias said:

However, my personal interpretation of the Bible is that quoting it makes little sense. Versions like the NIV (or worse, KJV) were heavily modified over the centuries and have little to do with the original text.

You need to study this more in depth, as I have. When the dead sea scrolls were discovered, the oldest bible text they had was 1000 years younger than the dead sea scrolls, yet when they compared the dead sea scrolls to the text they had, even though there was 1000 years difference in age, they discovered that they were, word for word, precisely the same. This is because of how the bible text is copied. Generally there would be several people copying, one person speaking the text, another writing. If a mistake was made, the page was burned and started over again. So errors are unheard of. Other historical texts are more prone to error and treated with less respect, yet it is rare that people question them.

There are two sets of manuscripts that most translations come from. There is debate over which is more accurate. I tend to prefer the NIV as it is missing verses which do not appear in the older manuscripts, which makes sense. If you have two documents, both copies of the same text, but one is older, and one is newer, and the newer manuscript has added verses, than it is clear that someone added verses. This is the case with the manuscripts the KJV and such were translated from. You will find added verses (one the Catholics obviously added, they were famous for that). And other verses were altered, but not for any deceptive means, someone thought it would be a good idea to harmonize the new testament books. That is to say, when you have two books which tell the same story, they would alter one book so the story more closely matches the other. Their intention was good, but it was still wrong to do. This has lead people into believing that verses and words etc... were removed from the NIV for some nefarious reason. The fact is, the NIV is based off of older manuscripts which simply do not have certain verses and words on them. It is more accurate. The translation itself is done a little differently in that they try and translate the meaning of the sentence, rather than a word for word translation (though they do try and keep it accurate above all). And this makes sense, anyone who know more than one language knows you cannot simply do a word for word exact translation, you have to translate what the sentence means, often with different words in a different order (French to English is a good example, where you will say an adjective after a noun in French, and in English you say the adjective first, a word for word translation would be confusing). I agree with this method. But as with all translations, you will have problems, simply because often you run across a word in Greek for example (new testament was written in Greek) which will have more than one possible meaning, but where there is no equivalent English word with the same number of different meanings, so you have to pick an English word which more closely matches the original meaning. So you have to take into account context, but often there is disagreement. In my own studies I have found that people will say the NIV got some word wrong. When I looked into it I found out they did not, but that the original Greek word could have meant the word that was used for the same verse in the KJV, and for the verse in the NIV. As English we see them as separate, but in Greek it is not. This leads to confusion and often conspiracy theories (usually against the NIV). But you can look into the original text and determine what was originally written, all that is well documented. Strong's Concordance is a good resource as well as many lexicons which help you determine the proper meaning.

As for different churches getting different meanings out of the bible. Usually that is coloured by their preconceived doctrines, and they will try and twist the bible to match, rather than read the bible, and simply believe what it says. John 3:13 for example clearly states that no man has ever went to heaven except Jesus. That blows away all church heaven doctrines. The word "Hell" is translated from no less than FOUR different words! It is also a false doctrine. Most of the time you read "Hell" or the Greek "Hades" it simply means "the grave". The problem is, most people believe their preachers who are teaching lies, rather than studying their bible. If you support gays in your church than your church is wrong. The word of God clearly states it is wrong in both the old and the new testament and in ALL translations, you simply cannot support that and say it is okay and claim you are a Christian. I can quote the verses, there is no misunderstanding that. But I don't wish to get into that here.

If you do not get your information on your Christian beliefs from the word of God, than WHERE are you getting it from?! Men?! Seriously??

That's one area I don't have a problem with. Churches. I don't attend ANY. I have no label like Catholic (the exact OPPOSITE of a true Christian church), I am not Lutheran or any other label. I abhor all those "churches", they almost all teach the opposite of what the bible says.

Go ahead, show me from your bible where it says you go to heaven when you die. You cannot find it. But I can find where it says you do not (John 3:13) and where the dead are DEAD and in there GRAVES when Jesus returns. if the dead go to heaven or hell when they die... who does Jesus resurrect from the grave when he returns?! Why did Jesus resurrect Lazarus after he was dead for four days, wasn't he in heaven by then? If people are judged guilty and sent to hell at the moment of death, or good and sent to heaven when they die, than WHO does Jesus resurrect?!?! And WHY is there a judgment day, for WHO?! Weren't they already judged when they died?! THINK! Read your bible and quit believing LIES.

The reason why many churches have many different and often opposing doctrines is because their doctrines are usually all man made and not from the bible AT ALL.

bamccaig

Neil Roy is just some white man. >:(

Neil Roy said:

It can be fun to watch them get upset when I refuse to engage them...

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Neil Roy

If you think I am unchristian that way, you should try insulting me to my face and see how unchristian I get on people. You would be out cold on the pavement. (hey, I never said I was perfect, but I am working on that)

bamccaig
Neil Roy said:

If you think I am unchristian that way, you should try insulting me to my face and see how unchristian I get on people. You would be out cold on the pavement. (hey, I never said I was perfect, but I am working on that)

This is an absolutely perfect example of what the net worth of this bullshit is. None. They don't take it seriously, but everybody else is supposed to. ::) Hahahahaha.

GullRaDriel

Poor is the one that only have an old and outdated book as a single reference on how to live.
Poorer is the one that hide behind texts with just the proof that is has ever been written.

You seems to like to mention the bible. I like, too:

"Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."
http://biblehub.com/psalms/137-9.htm

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet."
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Timothy+2:12

And a tons of others:
http://www.cracked.com/article_15699_the-9-most-badass-bible-verses.html
http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/7-shocking-bible-verses-you-probably-wont-hear-in-church#.phy3n4MRK

So please, don't come and say "My lord greatest 'o' the greatest, ...tonofshitslater... amen". Because it is not great, it's not even real unless in your mind if you have faith in it.

Your religion is like the tons of others around and before: a bloody little bastard one.

And god does not exist. I'm sorry for you, I also would have loved to see some of the magics in my younger's read to be real, but it's not.

And I don't see why your god would exist more than the tons of other one.

And a dead sea scroll of 2010 of 2030 years old is not that old. We have paints of existing religions way before that one. And they were better because see, they had super strange looking magical creatures (Inca, Aztec, Egyptians i.e). That is something else than falling frogs and separated sea, or a burning talking wood (that one still make me lmfao).

You all religious terrorists. And part of your mind is living 2000 years in the past.

>:(

Dizzy Egg

When I was 5/6 years old I believed in God, and Santa, and I thought dragons had once existed. By about 9/10 I had grown out of that. Now, as an adult, I don't believe in anything like Santa, dragons, or any of that other made up rubbish. I know children do, but like I say, people usually grow out of it.

Bruce Perry

Santa Claus is definitely real, and we have video evidence of it:

video

Neil Roy

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Bruce Perry

Well, it gave us aeroplanes. Beat that :)

Neil Roy

Well, it gave us aeroplanes. Beat that

I'm not exactly sure about the connection between planes and atheism. You realize you cannot tell someone's beliefs based on what they invent right? ;) Solomon built a temple for God, Egyptians built the pyramids based on their beliefs.

Isaac Newton believed in God, most of the greatest scientists that came up with theories we used today did in fact (including theories used in flight). :)

Elverion

Neil: while I understand your above image is meant as a bit of a joke, I'm guessing it is something that you actually believe. The only one that believes that there was nothing and then magically there was something is religious folks; in fact, isn't that the core of your religion?

Aside from that, it is neither consistent with atheism nor scientific theories on the beginning of the universe (In reality, it's more like "We don't know how it happened, but we see absolutely no reason to even suggest it was because of magic").

raynebc

I'm not a religious person, but I don't consider the belief that an entity had influenced the creation of the universe is less likely than the belief that all matter in the universe (and the natural laws that govern it) simply always existed on its own and there never was a time it didn't exist.

Neil Roy

I do have an answer to your comment, but I know where it will lead. I have been actively researching quite a bit in the past few years, almost daily but... this is not the place to discuss it.

I tell ya what, I'll stop quoting the bible and atheist jokes and just post unrelated humour, that's what this place needs anyhow. ;)

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Bruce Perry

Neil, on a more serious note than my aeroplane troll, I think my view on religion is that it can be a valuable personal belief system that doesn't really impact one's choices in life. (We know that atheists and religious people can both behave ethically and not.) With that in mind, what would you say is the personal value you gain from believing?

Others who have been arguing for their religion in this thread are also welcome to answer this question.

Elverion

Neil, my question wasn't meant in a rude way. I am legitimately interested in your answer.

For what its worth, I've always defended others' right to practice religion in any way they see fit (so long as it is within the law), even the crazies shouting hateful things in my general direction. In return, I reserve my right to call them crazy and avoid having to deal with their nonsense.

GameCreator
Niunio

tl; nr; but there's something in the first page that makes me think:

So how could the biggest explosion of all time (the big bang) create an orderly universe?

Actually, the so called Big Bang wasn't an explosion: it was an inflation of space. I know that it is hard to picture.

Take a balloon and inflate it. Initially it grows fast, but the bigger it is, the slower it grows. With the universe it happens just the same. On the first seconds it grown so fast that it was explosive, but not ignition or explosion happened: it is just space growing.

Why I am commenting this? Well, you see the Big Bang as an actual explosion, I see it as an inflation. So we started from different points. So we aren't in the same road. So we can't discuss.

Also, most people mix theory and hypothesis concepts (the so quoted phrase "evolution is just a theory" for example [and no, evolution isn't just a theory: it is a fact]). It is hard to talk with people that doesn't understand the difference.

Not sure if that has sense, but it sound very well in my mind few minutes ago. ::)

Johan Halmén
Albert Einstein said:

The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.
To know that what is inpenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms — this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness.
In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.

This equals very much my thoughts. Scientists like Einstein may be religious, in faith, believers, whateveryoucallit, but if they are real scientists, they don't include the idea of God in their theories. Einstein could have included God in some of his theories. Like the cosmological constant. Instead of claiming that God keeps the Universe static, he kept it on a scientific level and introduced the cosmological constant.

The difference between art and science is that in science man continues to explore everything to be explored, believing he can eventually find everything. And what's not yet found, is yet untouchable, unusable. In art, a lot is found but a lot is unexplored. In music, f.i., we have a whole lot of music theory, which explains this and that, why chords sound good or bad, why melodies appeal, but still there's an essential part unreachable (or inpenetrable, as Einstein puts it) for theorists, but not for artists. We know a lot of Mozart's music, but still we experience more than we understand. Same goes with Lennon & McCartney. Or any other classical music.

So follow Einstein! Love your science. Love your art. Love the beauty of nature.

Edgar Reynaldo

To save space I wrapped my (rather lengthy) response(s) in spoiler tags. You know you want to read what I wrote. You know you do. To save you time, I wrote specific responses to Niunio, GullRadriel, Elverion, Neil Roy, and Bamccaig. CTRL-F for the win. Kudos to anyone brave enough or patient enough to read everything I wrote.

Niunio said:

Actually, the so called Big Bang wasn't an explosion: it was an inflation of space. I know that it is hard to picture.

Expansion and slowing are hallmarks of explosions. Besides if it was expanding, what was it expanding into? Existence? What is outside of the beginning of the Universe? The fact that I believe in both God and a super old universe probably blows your mind. The Bible DOES NOT say that the Earth is 6,000 (or 10,000) years old. It says that this Earth AGE (Greek aion in the NT) is that old. There are THREE Earth ages. Genesis says Earth became void and without form, NOT that it was created that way.

Edit - I am wrong about the part in brackets.
It was the [flood of Noah] that destroyed the [first Earth (age)], to destroy the Geber, the children of the daughters of Adam and the Nephilim (fallen angels) (human/angel hybrids).

Genesis 6:4 NRSV said:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went in to the daughters of humans, who bore children to them. These were the heroes that were of old, warriors of renown.

It wasn't the flood of Noah that destroyed the first earth age, but a world wide flood that destroyed all life. Noah's flood was to destroy the Geber though, that part is accurate.

This web page explains it thoroughly.
http://worldeventsandthebible.com/2009/11/world-that-then-was-first-earth-age.html

You can learn all about this from the man who taught me the Bible, Line by Line, and Verse by Verse, Pastor Arnold Murray, of Shepherd's Chapel. RIP Pastor Murray. His son Dennis is carrying on the Ministry. He is one of the most intelligent, enlightened men I have ever known. He teaches the truth of God's word, through in depth Bible study. He puts so called 'biblical scholars' to shame. I digress. You can view part one and two of his series on the three Earth ages on Youtube here :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAwNvyHiWT0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O6LELPOfJo

I know I just blew your mind like a thousand times over, but I've studied with Arnold Murray long enough to know he knows what he's talking about.

It is beyond my biblical skill to teach this subject, but I leave you in capable hands if you're willing to listen. Second Peter Chapter 3 teaches about the Earth ages if you're willing to study it in depth, and read it with understanding. I'll try to explain some of it here :

2 Peter 3:10-18 KJV said:

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

So basically what it says is that the (second) Earth and Heaven (age) will pass away in order that a new Heaven and Earth (age) will come to pass where righteousness shall rule.

GullRadriel said:

"Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks."
http://biblehub.com/psalms/137-9.htm

You're missing context. This is a song written by psalmists of Judah mourning their captivity and exile to Babylon. Babylon had committed terrible crimes against Judah, including murdering infants, women, and children. This psalm is the voice of those who suffered under Babylonian rule wishing for the crimes of their captors to be repaid upon their own heads. It is a cry for justice, not a call to murder babies. The following commentary on Psalm 137 verse 9 is spot on.

EXPOSITION

Verse 9. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. Fierce was the heart of the Jew who had seen his beloved city the scene of such terrific butchery. His heart pronounced like sentence upon Babylon. She should be scourged with her own whip of wire. The desire for righteous retribution is rather the spirit of the law than of the gospel; and yet in moments of righteous wrath the old fire will burn; and while justice survives in the human breast it will not lack for fuel among the various tyrannies which still survive. We shall be wise to view this passage as a prophecy. History informs us that it was literally fulfilled: the Babylonian people in their terror agreed to destroy their own offspring, and men thought themselves happy when they had put their own wives and children to the sword. Horrible as was the whole transaction, it is a thing to be glad of if we take a broad view of the world's welfare; for Babylon, the gigantic robber, had for many a year slaughtered nations without mercy, and her fall was the rising of many people to a freer and safer state. The murder of innocent infants can never be sufficiently deplored, but it was an incident of ancient warfare which the Babylonians had not omitted in their massacres, and, therefore, they were not spared it themselves. The revenges of providence may be slow, but they are ever sure; neither can they be received with regret by those who see God's righteous hand in them. It is a wretched thing that a nation should need an executioner; but yet if men will commit murders tears are more fitly shed over their victims than over the assassins themselves. A feeling of uersal love is admirable, but it must not be divorced from a keen sense of justice.

The captives in Babylon did not make music, but they poured forth their righteous maledictions, and these were far more in harmony with their surroundings than songs and laughter could have been. Those who mock the Lord's people will receive more than they desire, to their own confusion: they shall have little enough to make mirth for them, and more than enough to fill them with misery. The execrations of good men are terrible things, for they are not lightly uttered, and they are heard in heaven. "The curse causeless shall not come;" but is there not a cause? Shall despots crush virtue beneath their iron heel and never be punished? Time will show.

GullRadriel said:

"I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet."
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Timothy+2:12

Again, you're missing context. This verse is speaking of the role of a member of the church in relation to it's preacher. Neither man nor woman should be attempting to teach or speak during a church service or bible lesson. Does the student know more than the teacher? If so, why are they there?

In addition, assuming that this verse is literal, and not figurative, presenting this as the sole opinion of the Bible on how women should be treated is near-sighted and for the most part, is not what the Bible teaches. There is an excellent article about what the Bible says on how to treat women here :
http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_womensrights.htm
This bible verse sums it up quite nicely :

Ephesians 5:21-30 NRSV said:

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind--yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, because we are members of his body.

It says wives should be subject to their husbands, not subjugated by them. It says for men to take care of their wives, not to mistreat them.

For one thing, the page your first link goes to doesn't even quote the Bible (nor any translation of it) accurately. It deliberately twists, mocks, and distorts God's word into something that it is not.

Galatians 6:7 said:

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.

Secondly, did you even read the second page you linked to? Did you even read the context surrounding the verses that it quotes? Take Jeremiah 19 for example. The verse your link quotes is in italics. Bold is my emphasis.

Jeremiah 19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

The Broken Earthenware Jug

1 Thus said the Lord: Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jug. Take with you[a] some of the elders of the people and some of the senior priests, 2 and go out to the valley of the son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. 3 You shall say: Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to bring such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 4 Because the people have forsaken me, and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah have known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent, 5 and gone on building the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it enter my mind; 6 therefore the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter. 7 And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth. 8 And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. 9 And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and all shall eat the flesh of their neighbors in the siege, and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.

10 Then you shall break the jug in the sight of those who go with you, 11 and shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. In Topheth they shall bury until there is no more room to bury. 12 Thus will I do to this place, says the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. 13 And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah shall be defiled like the place of Topheth—all the houses upon whose roofs offerings have been made to the whole host of heaven, and libations have been poured out to other gods.

14 When Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people: 15 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am now bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks, refusing to hear my words.

Did you read what they were doing? It is the first section I marked in bold. I ask you this : Does God have the right to punish those who do evil? To repay evil with evil? Surely he does. They were burning their children to death as sacrifices to Baal. They were killing innocent people. They were worshipping other gods. Have you never heard that God is a Jealous God? The people had broken His Commandments :

Exodus 20:2-6 KJV said:

2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

God warns us (his children) again and again, and yet some refuse to listen.

Hebrews 10:26:31 said:

26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.” 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

But again, God calls us to repentance. Do you think he wants to destroy his own children?

Matthew 9:13 KJV said:

13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

I don't feel the need to debunk your second link any further. All it consists of is ignorance and quotes taken out of context.

Elverion said:

I swear, if I hear one more religious nut tell me that God loves me, but also hates me and that I'm going to hell, I'm going to lose it.

Let me ask you this. Do you do good? I assume you do. Are you always good? Or at times do you do evil, whether intentionally or not? Are you perfect? I highly doubt it. If then at times you do good, and at times you do evil, is God then not allowed to love the good that you do and simultaneously hate the evil? What it boils down to is that God loves good, and hates evil. Flesh is weak. Flesh suffers temptation. Flesh does what is wrong. Have you never heard that God himself repented (regretted) that he had made man flesh?

Genesis 6:5-8 NRSV said:

5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7 So the Lord said, “I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.

So then God destroyed the early world with a great flood, but saved Noah, who was righteous. So then God loves good, and hates evil.

More biblical proof that God loves you :

John 3:16-21 NRSV said:

16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

bamccaig said:

They cannot leave out the part about the punishment. It's impossible to sell the delusion without it. "You must dedicate your life to the interpretations of a compilation of books written by an ancient people in a foreign language, no matter how absurd they seem, and just have faith that everything is true, even when it seems to contradict itself."

"What if I don't?"

"Nothing! You'll probably be completely fine. So, will I see you next Sunday?"

...

Threats are all they have. They're most effective against women and children. :-/

Your perception is mistaken. They are warnings, not threats. Let me ask you this. If someone you loved was doing something that endangered their well being, would you try to prevent it? If they were heroin users, would you let them continue their habit, despite the fact that they might die of an overdose? (Heroin overdoses are real, I know someone who died of one, and it's a damn shame). If your friend wanted to drive home drunk would you let him? If someone you knew was suicidal, would you try to get them help? Or would you simply stand there and watch them kill themselves? In a way, that is at the heart of what is going on here. As a Christian who believes in Heaven and Hell, what is the responsible action for me to take here? Should I simply let you all go to Hell? Or should I do the right thing and warn you of what I believe to be a danger to your existence? Now I'm not saying I believe you're all going to Hell, because I fully believe in God's mercy and forgiveness. It is God's will that all men come to repentance. (And sins are forgiven upon repentance, through Christ's blood. And if your sins are forgiven, then you are saved from the judgement of destruction that they would have brought upon you. They call Jesus Christ a savior for a reason.)

God has foretold all things. God knows people will stubbornly refuse to believe in Him. God knows people will scoff at him.

2 Peter 3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

The Promise of the Lord’s Coming

1 This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you 2 that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken through your apostles. 3 First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!” 5 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, 6 through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.

8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? 13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Final Exhortation and Doxology

14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Something I find personally amusing is that atheists talk about how Christians (and other religious folk) expect them to believe in God without any proof, but atheists expect us to believe there is no God when there is also no proof that he doesn't exist. To the contrary, there IS proof he exists. He wrote us all a letter. It's called The Bible.

And the reason I quote the Bible is because it speaks for itself.

I feel sorry for those who refuse to believe in something that is so plainly clear to all who are willing to give the Bible a chance and keep an open mind.

Proverbs 15:29-31 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

29
The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

30
The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
and good news refreshes the body.

31
The ear that heeds wholesome admonition
will lodge among the wise.

I feel sorry for everyone who believes that after we die we simply cease to exist. Have you ever seen someone die? It is clear to me that when someone dies their soul leaves the body. Where does it go if not to be with the LORD? Do you really all believe that a fleshly body is all that we are made of? Truly I would rather bet on life after death than choose to believe that all that we are simply ceases to exist. I watched my Dad die before my very own eyes, but I know in my heart that all that he was is not lost. I have felt my Dad's presence long after he was gone. I know he's watching over me. I know that he languishes when I suffer, and that he rejoices when I find success.

Neil Roy said:

Go ahead, show me from your bible where it says you go to heaven when you die. You cannot find it. But I can find where it says you do not (John 3:13) and where the dead are DEAD and in there GRAVES when Jesus returns. if the dead go to heaven or hell when they die... who does Jesus resurrect from the grave when he returns?! Why did Jesus resurrect Lazarus after he was dead for four days, wasn't he in heaven by then? If people are judged guilty and sent to hell at the moment of death, or good and sent to heaven when they die, than WHO does Jesus resurrect?!?! And WHY is there a judgment day, for WHO?! Weren't they already judged when they died?! THINK! Read your bible and quit believing LIES.

Neil, all due respect, but I have to firmly disagree that everyone who has died is waiting in their graves for Jesus to resurrect them. Something you should know is that there are TWO resurrections. Bear with me. The first resurrection comes when Jesus returns. The second resurrection happens at the end of the Lord's Day. At the first resurrection, all those who believed on Christ will put on eternal life. Then the Lord's day comes, 1000 years of teaching where those who didn't make the first resurrection get a chance to change their minds and come to repentance and believe in God. At the end of the Lord's day, those who do believe will then join those of the first resurrection and put on eternal life. Those who still refuse to believe end up in the lake of fire. That is the second death. The one you can't come back from. At least that is what I have been taught. I would have to do research to show it is biblical though. However, neither resurrection has come yet, but surely people's souls are not lodged in the ground tied to their rotting corpses. Who could believe in such a thing? What kind of God would do such a thing? I know there is scripture to support this. The first thing that comes to mind is this :

Matthew 22:31-33 NRSV said:

31
And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God,
32
‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living.”
33
And when the crowd heard it, they were astounded at his teaching.

Clearly, this is to be interpreted as saying that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are all still alive. Granted, their flesh bodies died, but their spirits (souls) continue to live (and are now with God in Heaven).

And I went to John Chapter 3 to see what reference you were making. Humor me, and read it again, paying special attention to the parts I have put in boldface :

John Chapter 3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

Nicodemus Visits Jesus

1 Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus[a] by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.[c] 7 Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You[d] must be born from above.’[e] 8 The wind[f] blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?

11 “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you[g] do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

So you must be born of water (have a mother and live in the flesh) and be born from above (be born of Spirit (born from God)) to enter the kingdom of God. Personally I would interpret that as saying that only the spirit (soul) can enter Heaven.

Also, allow me to rephrase verse 13, which you believe to be proof that no one who has lived and died has entered Heaven. The part I changed is in boldface italic :

My paraphrase of John 3:13 said:

No flesh has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.

When you read it that way, it does not provide proof that no one who has died has entered Heaven.

Have you read the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man? It clearly shows there is a Heaven and a Hell apart from this Earth where the "dead" reside :

Luke 16:19-31 NRSV said:

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. 20 And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man’s table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried away by the angels to be with Abraham.[g] The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side. 24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your lifetime you received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in agony. 26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who might want to pass from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 27 He said, ‘Then, father, I beg you to send him to my father’s house— 28 for I have five brothers—that he may warn them, so that they will not also come into this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ 30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

This also clearly shows that when someone dies, they are placed on (judged to go to) one side of the chasm or the other, that is to say, to "Heaven" or to "Hell".

I also feel sorry for everyone who doesn't know of God's promises, or even worse, for those who refuse to believe them. I know I have something to look forward to. I know that this life of suffering and sorrow and evil is merely a waypoint in the journey to something better. And I know that the LORD will lead me there. All I have to do is follow Him.

Isaiah Chapter 44 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

God’s Blessing on Israel

1
But now hear, O Jacob my servant,
Israel whom I have chosen!

2
Thus says the Lord who made you,
who formed you in the womb and will help you:
Do not fear, O Jacob my servant,
Jeshurun whom I have chosen.

3
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my spirit upon your descendants,
and my blessing on your offspring.

4
They shall spring up like a green tamarisk,
like willows by flowing streams.

5
This one will say, “I am the Lord’s,”
another will be called by the name of Jacob,
yet another will write on the hand, “The Lord’s,”
and adopt the name of Israel.


6 
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
    and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
I am the first and I am the last;
    besides me there is no god.

7 
Who is like me? Let them proclaim it,
    let them declare and set it forth before me.
Who has announced from of old the things to come?[a]
    Let them tell us what is yet to be.

8 
Do not fear, or be afraid;
    have I not told you from of old and declared it?
    You are my witnesses!
Is there any god besides me?
    There is no other rock; I know not one.

The Absurdity of Idol Worship

9 All who make idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit; their witnesses neither see nor know. And so they will be put to shame. 10 Who would fashion a god or cast an image that can do no good? 11 Look, all its devotees shall be put to shame; the artisans too are merely human. Let them all assemble, let them stand up; they shall be terrified, they shall all be put to shame.

12 The ironsmith fashions it[c] and works it over the coals, shaping it with hammers, and forging it with his strong arm; he becomes hungry and his strength fails, he drinks no water and is faint. 13 The carpenter stretches a line, marks it out with a stylus, fashions it with planes, and marks it with a compass; he makes it in human form, with human beauty, to be set up in a shrine. 14 He cuts down cedars or chooses a holm tree or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of the forest. He plants a cedar and the rain nourishes it. 15 Then it can be used as fuel. Part of it he takes and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Then he makes a god and worships it, makes it a carved image and bows down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he roasts meat, eats it and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Ah, I am warm, I can feel the fire!” 17 The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it and worships it; he prays to it and says, “Save me, for you are my god!”

18 They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, so that they cannot understand. 19 No one considers, nor is there knowledge or discernment to say, “Half of it I burned in the fire; I also baked bread on its coals, I roasted meat and have eaten. Now shall I make the rest of it an abomination? Shall I fall down before a block of wood?” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deluded mind has led him astray, and he cannot save himself or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a fraud?”

Israel Is Not Forgotten

21
Remember these things, O Jacob,
and Israel, for you are my servant;
I formed you, you are my servant;
O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.


22 
I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud,
    and your sins like mist;
return to me, for I have redeemed you.

23 
Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done it;
    shout, O depths of the earth;
break forth into singing, O mountains,
    O forest, and every tree in it!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob,
    and will be glorified in Israel.

24 
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
    who formed you in the womb:
I am the Lord, who made all things,
    who alone stretched out the heavens,
    who by myself spread out the earth;

25 
who frustrates the omens of liars,
    and makes fools of diviners;
who turns back the wise,
    and makes their knowledge foolish;

26
who confirms the word of his servant,
and fulfills the prediction of his messengers;
who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be inhabited,”
and of the cities of Judah, “They shall be rebuilt,
and I will raise up their ruins”;

27
who says to the deep, “Be dry—
I will dry up your rivers”;

28
who says of Cyrus, “He is my shepherd,
and he shall carry out all my purpose”;
and who says of Jerusalem, “It shall be rebuilt,”
and of the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”

What makes me so confident? I have seen and felt God's presence in my life. There is a great analogy, likening the Spirit of God to the wind. You can't see it, but you can see it's effects. You can see the wind blowing the leaves in the trees. You can see the wind sweep the clouds along the sky. You can see the devastation a tornado leaves in it's wake. But air is invisible. Who though in their right mind would deny the existence of wind or air? We all know it's there. To deny it would be sure folly, and the people of the Earth would declare you mad. It is the same way with God. His Holy Spirit is with us always. You just have to open your (spiritual) eyes to see that it is there, through the things that it affects.

You can all scoff, you can all disbelieve, you can all poke fun, you can all deny God all you want, but if you want to know where it will get you, all you have to do is read the Bible.

Matthew 10:26-33 said:

Whom to Fear

26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

So, who wants to know the ending of the story? If you hadn't heard, it's called the Good News for a reason.

Revelation Chapter 22 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

The River of Life

1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4 they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

6 And he said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true, for the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must soon take place.”

7 “See, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Epilogue and Benediction

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed them to me; 9 but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your comrades the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

10 And he said to me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. 11 Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” 12 “See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they will have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. 15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. 16 “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
17
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.

18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; 19 if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20 The one who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.”

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.

And it goes without saying that God deserves all the credit. Everything I have shown you He has shown me. This is His wisdom, not mine.

Romans 16 NRSV said:

25 Now to God[m] who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but is now disclosed, and through the prophetic writings is made known to all the Gentiles, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, to whom[n] be the glory forever! Amen.

TL;DR;
God is real. His Word is true. Listen to Him.

Edit
I edited my response to Niunio for accuracy.

Dizzy Egg

Did Noah take all the freshwater fish on his boat? Presumably the floods would have been mostly saltwater.... ???

Elverion

Pfft, don't be silly. Fish aren't even real animals. They're just freaks that haven't figured out how to walk on land yet. Dumbasses.

Bruce Pascoe

Bible-thumper logic, ladies and gentlemen: Any passage that doesn't match up with accepted societal norms is allegorical, otherwise it's to be taken 100% literally (i.e. "God is real because the Bible tells me so"). And what's worse: Nobody can even agree on which parts are which!

Let's not forget that it was the case once upon a time when people defended belief in a flat Earth on the basis of biblical text. Even Christians laugh at these people today. What makes evolution any different?

Neil Roy

With that in mind, what would you say is the personal value you gain from believing?

As difficult as may be for some to understand, I honestly know (and I am not trying to push this on anyone), in my innermost being that there is an almighty, higher power, I label him God, but admit I do not know His name. So with that in mind, I feel that if there is a God, than it is in my best interest to see what he wants from me, how he wishes me to behave and what will I gain from it.
I don't hate atheists, I get along quite well with most of them (my father is one and he loves to remind me that we come from monkeys, I usually just laugh it off, he's a wonderful man in all other respects). In fact, I usually find that I can have a conversation about my beliefs with atheists and agnostics more so than I can with people of similar beliefs, usually we have issues with doctrine, but I won't get into that here.

If there is a God, than there are certain benefits that I will gain in this life as well as after Jesus returns. I have already received many benefits in this past year alone. For example, last year I prayed to God to help me with my health, I am a type 2 diabetic and was on 3 medications at the time. Well, the following month when I went to refill my prescriptions there was some sort of mixup and they refused to refill them. They thought I already had some and that it was still too early. I took that as a sign and so I stopped taking ALL medications as well as certain logical steps like cutting out all sugar. Six months later, at my next doctor's appointment, my A1C levels were exactly the same as my last appointment when I was on the meds still plus I had lost 20 lbs, the doc was impressed. His looks changed when I told him I was not on the meds anymore. :) But that is not all, I also have a problem... and I am trying to remember what it is called, something like "occular migrains", it is not a headache, but a visual distortion in my vision. When it flares up, it will start as a fuzzy dot in my vision and that dot will grow in size, like a growing letter C until it fills my vision and eventually it will keep growing until it goes off the edge of my vision and disappears. It's very disorienting and usually lasts 1/2 hour. When ever I got it in the past it has ALWAYS acted this way. Well, I seen it starting up again, and this time, I decided to pray again and ask for help with it and for the first time ever, the fuzzy distortion shrunk and vanished and I have never had it again. Another incident happened last year (yeah, 2015 was quite the year for me!), someone hacked into all my online accounts and were committing fraud on them, ripping me off etc. I was a nervous wreck, literally shaking on the inside (I had already been down in the dumps before that, so it didn't help any). While sitting here, shaking, not knowing what to do, I suddenly, again, just dropped everything and prayed about it. And something amazing happened. For the first time in my life I felt an incredible wave of calm come over me, from head to toe and it put me in the best mood that lasted for days! I made some phone calls and got the friendliest people you could imagine that cleared up the fraud in no time at all. It's something I will not soon forget! It's difficult to describe honestly. And lastly, not too long ago, around Christmas, shortly after Star Wars came out, I went to the movie with a friend (loved it by the way!). After I got home something else with my health flared up, this time with my leg. Something called "Cellulitis". My leg turns red, and I get a high fever. I have always ended up in the hospital for days, popping pills to get rid of it etc... this time around, given what I had already gotten help with, I laid in bed, burning hot all over, leg red etc... and I just prayed. I prayed all night and by the next morning... you guessed it. It was totally gone! Healed. My wife even offered me some medication to help, but I refused, I wanted to go 100% on faith.

So you see, I have very good reason to believe and to never be afraid to talk about my firm belief in God (not afraid to discuss it rationally that is, length arguements with people who hurl insults is another story). In just the past few months He has done a lot for me. He answered prayers about my wife, when I first met her. I wasn't sure about marrying her, I prayed about it and a few months later, SHE ASKED ME. In our first home together there was a brand new bible laying in it, almost like a sign to me. We will be celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary in a few days (on the 8th).

Plus, I firmly believe that when Jesus returns those who obeyed God will be rewarded with eternal life. There is meaning in this life. It would be truly miserable if we all just existed and died. There is plenty of evidence to support a Creator and a young universe, but I seriously hate arguing about my beliefs. I don't mind rational discussions, but if I get mocked and scoffed at, that's it for me, I'll leave. Mainly because I have learned that it goes nowhere. But I don't mind explaining my beliefs or why I believe. I respect people's right to not believe, that's their business, all I ask is that you respect mine and don't treat me like some sort of idiot. I am far from it.

Anyhow, I hope this wasn't a waste of my time. I'm trying to steer clear of this, but I just keep coming back for some odd reason. ;)

Edit: This was an reply I had saved because the site was down. From some of the rude replies since, I think I'll leave this my last post. I may reply to comments on THIS post only but... yeah... sitting here reading people's insults is not something I care to do.

Bruce Pascoe

That's just confirmation bias though: People remember the times they prayed and got what they wanted/needed, and completely forget the times things didn't turn out the way they hoped--or worse, rationalize it as "God knows best, that wasn't really what I needed at the time". No matter what, you're always instinctively going to spin something so that it affirms your faith (notice I said "instinctively"--I realize there's nothing to be done for it). So it's impossible to have a reasoned debate about it.

Anyway, I don't see many insults being thrown around here, except from bambam who, I suspect, is just trolling you deliberately. :P Everyone else seems pretty civil (which is why I pop in from time to time).

Neil Roy

That's just confirmation bias though

Sorry Bruce, but when I prayed, especially when I was under so much stress, the response was instant and I felt it. It was such an amazing feeling that I will carry the memory of it to my grave. The same goes for my ocular migraine, the response was instant. It had NEVER done that before and I have NEVER gotten it since. The same was with my cellulitis in my leg. The response was overnight, and I was ALWAYS hospitalized for it in the past, without exception, and even then, it took weeks to clear up. To have it go away, over night, after praying without a hospital or medication is unheard of. I prayed about my wife, and she changed her mind... you can dismiss it all you like. I know what happened, I felt God's presence when he calmed me down, literally felt Him, and I will never deny Him, ever. Like it or not. I'll die before I deny Him.

Anyhow, I am in no mood to put up with people like this. I think I'll change my mind and not bother replying at all anymore. This sort of nonsense is too annoying and I don't wish to get that way. If you don't think there is a God, fine, wait until you die, you'll find out then.

Bruce Perry

Edgar, I'd also be interested in your take on my question to Neil:

I think my view on religion is that it can be a valuable personal belief system that doesn't really impact one's choices in life. (We know that atheists and religious people can both behave ethically and not.) With that in mind, what would you say is the personal value you gain from believing?

[EDIT]
Neil, I've only just seen your post, and I'm enjoying reading it - I'll reply to it later :)

Bruce Pascoe
Neil Roy said:

Anyhow, I am in no mood to put up with people like this. I think I'll change my mind and not bother replying at all anymore. This sort of nonsense is too annoying and I don't wish to get that way. If you don't think there is a God, fine, wait until you die, you'll find out then.

This right here is what makes it impossible for atheists and religious people (regardless of the exact religion) to have an intelligent debate. I honestly don't know why anyone tries anymore. ::)

Bruce Perry

OK, so I think I must have got distracted before I finished reading everything, but I'm back now ;)

First thing is, I think I know the visual disturbance you're talking about. Were they scintillating scotomata? I've had them. In my case, I think they were triggered by a combination of tiredness, vitamin tablets[1] and whiffs of cigarette smoke. I've only had a few of them with long gaps in between. Sometimes they've come with migraines. I think I may have nearly had one the other day, and I just lay back, shut my eyes and tried to think about something else, and nothing bad happened. In any case, they're a rare occurrence and I know that they're harmless.

In your case, the scientist in me would put your experiences down to strength of mind and/or the placebo effect, while also expressing concern that cutting out the medical science was risky (with the caveat that medical treatment isn't always well administered, of course). However, it's impossible to deny the power it seems to have for you, and why change a winning formula?

I can't quite make sense of what you said to bambams earlier in the thread about coming to a violent end (the thing I jumped on). Hopefully you were trolling, because it's so far outside of bambams's beliefs that it won't have achieved anything else :) But if you were trying to make a serious point, then I would say, with a large amount of licence, what you said could be rewritten along these lines: "I feel sorry for you because you seem to spend so much time attacking people's beliefs, and one day you might need support and not have it since you've been doing it so long that you only know how to alienate people." Maybe it's not exactly what you believe (and you could choose another rewriting), and it's still a tenuous point because actually there are plenty of atheists for him to be friends with, but it's expressed using ideas that are closer to bambams's belief system, and it'll be possible to discuss.

;)

[EDIT]
Your interaction with Other Bruce is tricky, isn't it? Confirmation bias is as valid a hypothesis as any from his point of view, and I don't see any rudeness there. However, as you would find it truly miserable if we didn't have a purpose or existence beyond our lifetimes, it seems quite destructive to try and dispel your faith.

Well, I learnt something - my original point stands (no threatening people with hell and shaming them with sin and stuff), but having understood your mindset a little, I think it is a more useful point if worded more sensitively :)

[EDIT 2]
You definitely got the two Bruces mixed up. ADMIT IT!!! ;D

References

  1. Vitamin tablets seem to help me be tired less often, but they're not a complete solution, and things feel slightly wrong and these were a consequence.
Bruce Pascoe

However, as you would find it truly miserable if we didn't have a purpose or existence beyond our lifetimes, it seems quite destructive to try and dispel your faith.

I actually agree wholeheartedly with this. If someone's beliefs empower them, all the better. Just don't try to force it on everyone else (that's the difference between faith and religion). This comic from The Oatmeal says it best, I think:
http://theoatmeal.com/comics/religion

Disillusioning people of their religions is generally bad juju. See: Gamzee in Homestuck. :P

bamccaig

If someone you loved was doing something that endangered their well being, would you try to prevent it? If they were heroin users, would you let them continue their habit, despite the fact that they might die of an overdose? (Heroin overdoses are real, I know someone who died of one, and it's a damn shame). If your friend wanted to drive home drunk would you let him? If someone you knew was suicidal, would you try to get them help? Or would you simply stand there and watch them kill themselves?

Emphasis mine. Of course, I would try to prevent it. As you noted of heroin, these are real things. There is substantial evidence for them. We can test them. We can prove that they're real.

Hell is not real. At least, I can find no reliable evidence for its existence. There's even reason to criticize its existence even if you do take the Bible at its word because there's a reasonable argument that the entire concept derived from misinterpretions last I checked.

As for ceasing to exist, I personally find this a peaceful notion. It's certainly sad that our loved ones that pass away are actually gone; that the only thing that remains of them is historical records and memories. Unfortunately, inconvenient truth isn't evidence for falsehoods.

You probably won't be open to that explanation so let me give you another one that may blow your fucking mind (probably not). If you saw somebody seemingly brainwashed by nonsensical beliefs would you not try to get them to see reason? Try to explain to them that the ideas that they believe, and that they preach to you as absolute truth, are unsupported by evidence, and based on contradictory ancient scripture interpreted imperfectly by third parties? That they aren't alone in having such a strong belief in such a thing and that in fact there have been several contradicting or incompatible belief systems throughout human history and that there even coexist today such belief systems also based on ancient scripture whose followers believe it to be the absolute truth for the same reasons they do and that is incompatible with their beliefs?

In a way, that is at the heart of what is going on here. As a Christian who believes in Heaven and Hell, what is the responsible action for me to take here? Should I simply let you all go to Hell? Or should I do the right thing and warn you of what I believe to be a danger to your existence?

As a deluded person with irrational beliefs I think that the only thing that you can be expected to do is to spread your irrational beliefs onto others. It's unfortunate, but it's natural.

As an intelligent human being with a presumably functional brain and mind what you should do is question your beliefs, question the foundation for them, and question your own authority on the origin of life and whatever happens to a human consciousness after death. If you're an intelligent and honest person then you'll have to conclude:

  • You don't know for certain if this world was created by a deity or not.

  • You don't know for certain what becomes of a person's consciousness or "spirit" after they die.

  • Etc...

Given your general inability to know for certain either of these things, considering that the only evidence that you have for your beliefs is:

  • A book constructed from a compilation of scrolls presumably originating from the work of ancient men with rudimentary understandings of our world and imprecisely interpreted between languages from those that followed, with no guarantee of divine intervention or even inspiration at any stage; and

  • On the funny feelings that you sometimes get and can't explain with rationale thought,...

What you should do is acknowledge that your so called "warnings" are unwelcome to people that don't share your faith or negligible criteria for proof and exclude yourself from rationale discussions about these topics knowing that you have nothing to offer of value to add for the people that have them.

Your participation is very welcome, but ideally you're here seeking a better understanding of the true reality in which you exist instead of merely to recite your beliefs without backing them up with evidence in hopes of reinforcing your existing beliefs from only positive affirmation from other like-minded participants.

This thread has seemingly gotten away from me. I forgot that there were so many replies to catch up on. This is all I have time to reply to tonight. I do want to say thank you, Edgar, for finally taking the time to reply in depth and give us something to talk about. I may not agree with what you've said, but at least now there's something to discuss.

Neil Roy
bamccaig said:

Hell is not real. At least, I can find no reliable evidence for its existence.

Believe it or not, this is something we agree upon, as for the rest of your ramblings, I won't bother to comment, as it would be pointless. Especially given the following comment from you.

Quote:

As a deluded person with irrational beliefs

Anyhow, you will not find the concept of hell backed up in the bible, nor does it fit with a loving and merciful God. In fact, I find the idea of burning people forever, constantly on fire and in pain (can you imagine it? I can't stand a split second with my finger over a flame!) to be, quite frankly, blasphemous in the extreme! To claim that a so called loving merciful God would do that to anyone is evil, and I am not afraid to say that. Now don't get me wrong, there IS a lake of fire, but it doesn't exist... YET... it will be at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus on judgment day. Those who have not repented of their sins (and all that means is to stop breaking God's laws and ask Him for forgiveness then try your best obey them, accepting that Jesus took the punishment for your past transgressions), anyhow, those who have not repented and asked forgiveness will be judged. Now, that still doesn't mean you will be destroyed by fire, I think God will show a great many people mercy, but there are some that will still refuse to obey Him, even after they see Him in person and have the evidence before their eyes. There will also be those that are guilty of crimes God assigns a death penalty to, murder and such, that will be destroyed by fire. This isn't the false, Roman Catholic idea of Hell, it is a lake of fire, and those that are thrown into it will be physical like we are now and they will be destroyed forever... that is to say they will burn up and never live again. Jesus called it the second death. Death... is death, it is not eternal life on fire, and that is what the bible says, accept it or mock it at your pleasure.

So what I mean was that IF people continue to mock and scoff at God and attack people who believe in Him, than they risk being destroyed by fire someday. If people who claim to be "Christian" do not believe than they are quite simply not reading their bibles, because that is precisely what it says. Notice what the following verse says, you cannot misinterpret it...

Revelation 21:8 (NIV)
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

...if you do not believe what this verse clearly says than you believe a lie. Plain and simple. Notice it doesn't say you burn forever and ever, it says it is the second DEATH. I don't know what part of the word "death" people do not understand. God is a merciful, loving God, yes, but He is also a just God. And justice has to be dealt out, or what is the point of even trying?

As for going to heaven when you die, I also do not believe that either. Notice what Jesus says in the following verse, again, you cannot misinterpret it. It means what it says. I have heard many excuses and many ways people have to twist this to mean something else, but none of their reasoning is based on the bible, but based on false doctrines taught by modern day churches.

John 3:13 (NIV)
“No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.”

So has anyone went to heaven besides Jesus? What does this verse say? Where is everyone that died when Jesus returns? Lets see what the bible (not me) says...

John 5:28-29 (NIV)
“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned.”

...they're in their graves. You'll have a tough time explaining who is in their grave when Jesus returns if they all went to heaven or hell when they died. You'll also have a tough time explaining why Jesus even bothered to resurrect Lazarus after he had been dead for 4 days if he was enjoying heaven, why bother? Even the apostles resurrected dead people, a girl etc... that had died in Acts. Why bother? If she is enjoying heaven. That is a Roman Catholic doctrine, not supported by the bible (as most of their doctrines are not biblical).

Anyhow, I have said too much already, but I just don't want people lumping me in with other Sunday "Christians" who believes in the horrible, blasphemous doctrine of hell, or going to heaven when we die for that matter.

You definitely got the two Bruces mixed up. ADMIT IT!!! ;D

Lies!!! ;D Could be... :P

Oh, and Bruce Perry, thanks for a great reply, you seem like someone I can talk to, you don't lower yourself to hurling insults and the like, thanks, I appreciate that.

Edit: oh, and yes, looking at those images, that does look like the same thing. Only I don't smoke or take pills, nor was I tired. But the last time I had it, I prayed and it vanished. Think what you will, I don't believe in coincidences, especially when I had so many happen as a direct result of prayer within months of each other. BUT, those miracles are not why I believe in God. I have always believed, I have never not believed my entire life, and I am not even sure why because my mother never attended church (until she got cancer) and my father is an atheist. I used to believe a few false ideas, but after much research my beliefs have changed, quite dramatically actually (as you can read above). This isn't a "funny feeling" I get that makes me believe, that, well maybe... perhaps there's a invisible man in the sky... no, I know He exists, and the more research into the science I do, the more I am convinced, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY do not want to get into THAT in here!!! I am just explaining my beliefs and some of my experiences that have reinforced them over the years (but not the main reason for believing, I would believe without the miracles). My bible does tell me to be ready to give an answer for why I believe, so I am. But it doesn't tell me to engage in endless debates, so I am trying to limit my replies now to explaining my beliefs (and I hate to call them beliefs, I know there is a God as much as I know the earth is not flat, which by the way, the bible says it is round, not flat, but that's another topic).

GullRaDriel

Edgar, I took my time to read everything in your answer.

Man, you sure do know a lot on the bible. Maybe too much. I suspect you to be Pope François disguised.

Regarding our exchange: I don't care bible quotes or bible related exchange. Remember, I do not believe, so quoting the bible isn't going to bring us anywhere, as it does not bring any scientific proof. I can take Lord Of The Ring full series, with the annex stories, and say it is my bible. Look, it even have it's own dialect. Then I would quote the songs or prayer in that book and go against anyone who don't think that everything in Lord Of The Ring is the truth, and that we were once all saved by an half man.

I can also write down things and told anyone it has been 'god inspired'. If I have enough follower believers, then will it be the truth ? No, unless from the start it was something that you could verify by yourself.

Bring me science, or bring me nothing. A burning wood isn't anything else than a burning wood. Tornadoes have already been proven to be a source of spider, frogs, chickens and even cows raining.

Why do you trust so much the Christian books only ? there are tons of others (and olders) religions that have their own commandment. (You can have a look here).

Taoïsme , Buddhism, Confucianism, for example, are proven to be 500 years older than the foundation of Christianity.

And wait, there is more to come: Hinduism is proven to be AT LEAST 1500 years OLDER than Christianity.

Now to my point: all these religions are coming with their tons of books, sacred texts, traditions. Why Christianity would be the only one to have the truth ?

I leave you on that famous atheist quote, which source is unknown (god inspired ?):
"Arguing with a religious person is like playing chess with a pigeon.
You can a make the best move in the world but they can knock over all the pieces, take a shit in the middle of the board and stand there triumphantly."

Johan Halmén

Let's see.

"Arguing with an atheist is like playing chess with a pigeon.
You can a make the best move in the world but they can knock over all the pieces, take a crap in the middle of the board and stand there triumphantly."

Yip. Works both ways. Unless...

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Niunio

@Edgar Reynaldo:

You really didn't blow my mind. Unfortunately, a lot of people talk about the Bible and (actually) didn't read it. I'm glad you read it. :)

Anyway, read "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. I know, it's old and the String Theory isn't the official theory, but it includes a comprehensive depiction of the Standard Theory, the classic model, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, and explains what does mean "inflation" and how to understand that the universe is expanding "creating" it's own space.

@Johan Halmén

So true. ;D

Bruce Perry

Reply to Johan's spoiler:

But no one was able to marry the Muslim ;D

So, Neil, it's clear that what you're telling us about the lake of fire is just something you believe to be true, and you're sharing it for all the right reasons. On the other hand, I can't read it without saying that if you did want to concoct a religion, with completely fictitious content, and you had no scruples and wanted your religion to spread, then one thing you could do is include such content in order to scare non-believers into believing. (See also: Scientology.) My personal view is that Christianity did exactly this. I will happily accept that my personality led me to this conclusion, and want to reiterate that I'm not asking you to change your beliefs. But we can agree that out of those who don't believe to start with, some will submit to such scare tactics, while others will overreact and fight back, and that should explain why you encounter so much hostility with this subject :P

Now, all that said, it's worth mentioning that this is about the worst thing religions can do that's still permitted in the developed world (except Islam which has got us believing it's a special snowflake). Still, the sensitive thing to do is to be careful not to expect others to buy in to the "God will judge" part. Which you probably are doing, since all of this is only because I asked about your beliefs. :)

[EDIT]
An inflammatory video, just for fun - if you believe the comments, then apparently all the people standing around this guy are Jewish ;)

video

GullRaDriel

@Johan you for sure choose wisely which little parts of my posts to quote.

A word about the other 80% ? ;-p

I'm not an asshole, or so I think. Effectively, people walking into a bar are going to have fun time, until ... Until someone bring the OP topic on the table.

I don't question my friends about their belief. If they do talk to me about god or religion I'll give my point of view and do my best to defend it. All that without quoting the bible of course ;D

That quote is from me, and it's life experience in a sentence (it came to me while talking to my ex):

"Do not ask questions for which you don't want to hear the answer"

Or in French: "Ne pose pas de question dont tu ne veux pas entendre la réponse".

;)

Polybios

I'm quite impressed by these long posts above and I respect your beliefs.

There is one thing that strikes me though. You seem to take the bible quite literally.
Remember that the ancient folks were mostly illiterate and certainly no masters of abstract thought.
You had to tell stories, use imagery, metaphors, similes, ... to reach them.
So even if we accepted the bible as God's own word, since we know (or hope) it hasn't changed much for ~2000-2500 years, it is not improbable that God would have "written"/dictated/whatever it in a way to address the audience of 2000-2500 years ago.

What I mean is that, in the Bible, you see God's message(s) trough a lens that was made for these ancient people.

then one thing you could do is include such content in order to scare non-believers into believing

Well, I think scaring actually has/had its merits. :P
How do you get people who stubbornly refuse to listen to reason to behave? You scare them into thinking their soul is at stake. Has worked quite well for centuries - I wouldn't dismiss the idea altogether. :P

Concerning the "lake of fire" and all the other quotes from the "Book of revelation": This book is probably the least authentic in the New Testament, as, IIRC, it wasn't even considered part of the Bible in early years (yes, it's humans who decided that).

bamccaig
bamccaig said:

I do want to say thank you, Edgar, for finally taking the time to reply in depth and give us something to talk about. I may not agree with what you've said, but at least now there's something to discuss.

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OK, I take it back. It appears that 90% of Edgar's post was copied from copies of the Bible online, and he's just trying to trick us into wasting our lives reading it too... ::)

Bruce Perry

I hate baby pictures, but you may have just found the one I don't hate :)

[EDIT]
So, Buddhism. Opinions? I get the impression it's quite a respectable 'religion', because it largely focuses on lifetime meditation, doesn't dwell on what happens when you die, and doesn't act as if it has anything to prove. I could be wrong about all this though.

What reminded me of this was: Neil, your praying experience could be said to be a form of meditation?

bamccaig
Neil Roy said:

I have already received many benefits in this past year alone. For example, last year I prayed to God to help me with my health, I am a type 2 diabetic and was on 3 medications at the time. Well, the following month when I went to refill my prescriptions there was some sort of mixup and they refused to refill them. They thought I already had some and that it was still too early. I took that as a sign and so I stopped taking ALL medications as well as certain logical steps like cutting out all sugar. Six months later, at my next doctor's appointment, my A1C levels were exactly the same as my last appointment when I was on the meds still plus I had lost 20 lbs, the doc was impressed. His looks changed when I told him I was not on the meds anymore. :) But that is not all, I also have a problem... and I am trying to remember what it is called, something like "occular migrains", it is not a headache, but a visual distortion in my vision. When it flares up, it will start as a fuzzy dot in my vision and that dot will grow in size, like a growing letter C until it fills my vision and eventually it will keep growing until it goes off the edge of my vision and disappears. It's very disorienting and usually lasts 1/2 hour. When ever I got it in the past it has ALWAYS acted this way. Well, I seen it starting up again, and this time, I decided to pray again and ask for help with it and for the first time ever, the fuzzy distortion shrunk and vanished and I have never had it again. Another incident happened last year (yeah, 2015 was quite the year for me!), someone hacked into all my online accounts and were committing fraud on them, ripping me off etc. I was a nervous wreck, literally shaking on the inside (I had already been down in the dumps before that, so it didn't help any). While sitting here, shaking, not knowing what to do, I suddenly, again, just dropped everything and prayed about it. And something amazing happened. For the first time in my life I felt an incredible wave of calm come over me, from head to toe and it put me in the best mood that lasted for days! I made some phone calls and got the friendliest people you could imagine that cleared up the fraud in no time at all. It's something I will not soon forget! It's difficult to describe honestly. And lastly, not too long ago, around Christmas, shortly after Star Wars came out, I went to the movie with a friend (loved it by the way!). After I got home something else with my health flared up, this time with my leg. Something called "Cellulitis". My leg turns red, and I get a high fever. I have always ended up in the hospital for days, popping pills to get rid of it etc... this time around, given what I had already gotten help with, I laid in bed, burning hot all over, leg red etc... and I just prayed. I prayed all night and by the next morning... you guessed it. It was totally gone! Healed. My wife even offered me some medication to help, but I refused, I wanted to go 100% on faith.

So you see, I have very good reason to believe and to never be afraid to talk about my firm belief in God (not afraid to discuss it rationally that is, length arguements with people who hurl insults is another story). In just the past few months He has done a lot for me. He answered prayers about my wife, when I first met her. I wasn't sure about marrying her, I prayed about it and a few months later, SHE ASKED ME. In our first home together there was a brand new bible laying in it, almost like a sign to me. We will be celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary in a few days (on the 8th).

I'll let a little bit of comedic relief reply for me.

video

Johan Halmén

A word about the other 80% ? ;-p

Ok.

Remember, I do not believe, so quoting the bible isn't going to bring us anywhere, as it does not bring any scientific proof.

You're right. You might be what they would call a lost soul. This is no offense! I'd imagine that if they go on quoting the bible, they do it because every once in a while they find some not lost soul, meaning someone who finds the light. You're just not one of them. And now I don't mean that you don't see the truth. You just don't see the light in the bible.

The problem why nothing of this takes us anywhere is that even the preachers think the light is the same as the truth. I use the word light here, because everyone understands how it does not refer to electromagnetic radiation. The preachers however are so attached to the word truth, that they can't see that the word means for the modern man something scientifically provable.

Quote:

Bring me science, or bring me nothing.

I'd bring you art. Read again my post about Einstein.

Derezo

So, Buddhism. Opinions? I get the impression it's quite a respectable 'religion', because it largely focuses on lifetime meditation, doesn't dwell on what happens when you die, and doesn't act as if it has anything to prove. I could be wrong about all this though.

Buddhism is pretty awesome, at least the westernized concepts I've learned. I came into contact with Buddhism in high school and eventually bought books and started meditating. It's a very practical way to live your life really, and I'm not talking about being a monastic monk, but in following the basic layman precepts and aspiring to the 8 fold path. Daily meditation and daily exercise are important parts of Buddhism which is very respectable.

Mind you, there are "crazies" in all religions, and Buddhism is no exception... and I'm not saying there are no crazy atheists.

Ben Delacob

My trick to not getting too bent up about this stuff (and politics too) is to view philosophies as tools. Does it help you and others in life? If so, it's a great tool, regardless of truth. I say this despite being someone who finds great beauty in seeking truth.

Science, like formal logic, is a limited tool for determining truths with the fewest assumptions possible. Myself, I feel there is a Truth that cannot be defined with words. This is much closer to belief implied by Gödel's incompleteness theorems than that of an animistic God. The ideas could be one and the same, but it seems extremely implausible.

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The problem with this is you view it as showing how atheists are wrong while the comic actually supports them (or agnostics anyway, depending on how we're defining things). If those flees has studied their world carefully, they would have lots of evidence supporting the existence of Dog. We have studied our world and the story it tells - a story perhaps written by God Himself - directly contradicts all the creation stories written by Man before, including one written by Man a couple thousand years ago in many, many ways. Why do you ignore God and listen to the conflicting tales of Man? Perhaps you don't believe the parts of the Bible that are direct contradictions are "the literal ones" but I have talked with people who do. This seems blasphemous to me yet I don't seem to hear of denominations bearing the same opinion. What's your take on that, Neil?

bamccaig

Another problem with it is that they're also trying to draw a parallel between the world they live in and the alleged invisible creator of that world. A more accurate human equivalent would be people that don't believe the Earth exists (or indeed, for example, people that believe it's flat; we're looking at you, B.o.B).

Dizzy Egg

Get higher than it - pigs cant really look up, so just hide up there for a bit.

bamccaig

Dizzy, that's your solution to everything! And this is the wrong thread!

Edgar Reynaldo

I don't have the time to reply to everyone in full at the moment, but I will say a couple of things.

@Gully
Asking me to teach about God without the Bible is like asking you to teach me science without a textbook. It's silly. If you refuse to listen to the Bible, then there's little point in me trying to teach you what I know about God. In the same fashion, if I refuse to listen to scientific knowledge, there's little point trying to teach me science. I will reply more in depth to you later.

@bambam
I just wanted to thank you for calling me a deluded person with irrational beliefs. I could easily say the same thing about you, but where does that get us? Not very far.

bamccaig said:

What you should do is acknowledge that your so called "warnings" are unwelcome to people that don't share your faith or negligible criteria for proof and exclude yourself from rationale discussions about these topics knowing that you have nothing to offer of value to add for the people that have them.

If you shared my faith there would be no point warning you. As for being unwelcome, bad news usually is. That doesn't make it any less true or any less important to share. I won't apologize for making you uncomfortable. You should be. As for being negligible criteria for proof that is merely your opinion. Saying I have nothing of value to add is again, just your opinion, not to mention how rude that is. I find it funny you feel the need to repeatedly insult me. It's a sign of insecurity.

bamccaig said:

OK, I take it back. It appears that 90% of Edgar's post was copied from copies of the Bible online, and he's just trying to trick us into wasting our lives reading it too... ::)

Yes, I used online references to quote from. It's a lot easier than trying to type it all out by hand. :P And if you noticed, for the most part I quoted from the New Revised Standard Version, which is an excellent study bible. It uses modern, natural English, and is one of the best translations available. No tricks, just an attempt to show relevant biblical knowledge. I even boldfaced the important parts for people like you who won't even bother to read what I posted to save you time.

@Neil Roy
Did you read my response to you in my last post? Heaven and Hell are biblical and there IS an initial judgement when a person dies, that decides where they go. Again, read about Lazarus and the Rich Man, and about how God is God of the living, not the dead.

And as a general reply. Worship the Creator, not the creation. Put your faith in God, not in man or his (very limited) knowledge. I feel very very sorry for anyone who looks at the perfection and wonder of nature and the universe and yet still can't see God in it. Do you all honestly believe that life, Earth, and the Universe are all just some kind of happy (and unbelievably improbable) accident? There is no doubt in my mind that there is a Divine hand at work in all of creation.

And I didn't even quote the Bible this time. Happy? :P

bamccaig

I just wanted to thank you for calling me a deluded person with irrational beliefs. I could easily say the same thing about you, but where does that get us?

Quoting 300 pages of Bible text doesn't get us anywhere either. The sooner you realize that the better.

As for being unwelcome, bad news usually is. That doesn't make it any less true or any less important to share. I won't apologize for making you uncomfortable. You should be.

I'm not uncomfortable in the least. Keep the threats coming if that floats your boat. Just spare us the walls of bullshit quotes from the Bible. I prefer to read everything people say in a conversation, but when you quote large walls of mindless drivel it's extremely tiring to try to work through it. Surely you're intelligent enough to comprehend how it doesn't hold any weight with non-believers? If not, see again Gull's Lord of the Rings reference. Once you acknowledge that the Bible is completely meaningless to us it should save us a lot of trouble and needless tension.

As for being negligible criteria for proof that is merely your opinion. Saying I have nothing of value to add is again, just your opinion, not to mention how rude that is. I find it funny you feel the need to repeatedly insult me. It's a sign of insecurity.

Calling you delusional is not meant as an insult. It's simply stating what I believe to be the truth based upon the available evidence. It is an observation that believers in deities, particularly those of Christianity and Islam and other mainstream religions, appear to be delusional.

Quoting the Bible is useless unless its claims can be verified and they cannot. If you'd settle on admitting that you believe what you believe based solely on "faith" (i.e., without evidence) then we wouldn't be arguing. We wouldn't even have anything to discuss. You, Neil, and the humorously absent OP insist on trying to "prove" that God exists when it cannot be proven and so you force us to acknowledge your fallacies. The only conclusions appear to be that you're either dishonest or delusional. I don't believe that you're intentionally trolling us so that leaves delusional.

I even boldfaced the important parts for people like you who won't even bother to read what I posted to save you time.

I always try to read through every word spoken in a thread. I don't like to skip parts. You never know what you're missing. Even just the boldfaced Bible quotes were painful to get through. I do bother to read what people post. That's why it's infuriating when you post things that I already know to be wastes of my time. I still tried to give it a chance, and read through it, and I'll never get that time back.

Do you all honestly believe that life, Earth, and the Universe are all just some kind of happy (and unbelievably improbable) accident? There is no doubt in my mind that there is a Divine hand at work in all of creation.

Yes, for the most part, although the "happy" part is entirely subjective. You'll note that for most of the creatures on the planet life is a constant struggle and that death appears to usually be quite harsh. Modern day humans and their pets happen to live in somewhat exceptional circumstances, disconnected from that reality.

It's funny. Most people don't have the slightest clue what goes on for the meat that they consume daily to arrive on their grocery store shelves or on their plate, and when they're given a glimpse it usually makes them sick.

I do agree, life can be very beautiful and wondrous. Even when it is horrific it can sometimes be quite beautiful. However, I don't need to invoke any magician in the sky for this to be so. I can rationalize it through the nature of the universe alone. I actually find that to be much more beautiful than the notion of "God" ever was to me (remember, I used to be a believer). The idea that all of this just happens by itself somewhat chaotically is much more beautiful to me than the notion that an omnipotent mastermind engineered everything down to the tiniest detail.

If a creator had engineered all of this then it would appear clear that it must have made a lot of mistakes (what's even more funny is the Bible even allegedly detailing God's regret over the "flesh" bit, which seems to acknowledge that he's not perfect, which I find as further evidence that it was created by man...). I'm referring to what most believers brush off as God's "mysterious ways".

Anybody can invoke magic to explain anything. It's not useful. That's why in this age of knowledge and discovery many of us abandon the thought. You're welcome to believe in magic. I find it a very beautiful idea. I prefer to limit mine to imagination, fantasy, and video games. If you choose to invoke it in real life then keep it to yourself.

And I didn't even quote the Bible this time. Happy? :P

Somewhat. Yes. Aside from the accusations of abuse, it was a tolerable post.

Append:

It's also worth pointing out that delusions are nothing to be ashamed of. They can be pathological mental illnesses, in which case people are merely victims of their biology. In other cases, it's just our fallible minds playing tricks on us. It can be extremely difficult to make absolute sense of the world. Our brains are amazing organs, but they're much more fallible than we think. The only thing for certain is that every one of us is flawed. And that's OK. Some of our flaws can be overcome, at least.

Bruce Pascoe

For what it's worth (not much in this thread) I think it's backwards to look at the world through the lens of "This is all so perfect, there had to have been a creator". It's probably more useful to look at it from the opposite direction: We see what is because that's how things happened to turn out, as opposed to the infinite other ways things could have gone.

We can observe what is because it happened. We can't observe what isn't because it simply didn't happen, not because it couldn't have. If the chain of events that led to us had worked out differently, some different lifeform than us would be here making the same argument of "it's too perfect". We are not special except in the sense that we are here in lieu of any number of equally plausible possibilities. For that we may count ourselves very lucky, but it's not evidence of a design any more than a coin flip coming up in your favor is inherent evidence of a design.

This quote from Douglas Adams is relevant I think:

Quote:

This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

bamccaig

I suspect that for a lot of believers in "creation" they look at things exactly in reverse and that's why they can't understand the logic. Where I think atheists generally see this as a somewhat physically guided chaos that just happened to arrive here so far, I think creationists see it as this being the only possible destination and questioning what could have lead us to here. If you presuppose that this is the only possible outcome then it becomes a bit difficult to comprehend things like "evolution", and a creator might start to make the most sense. If you look at things in reverse then suddenly you can comprehend how it all might have developed slowly through natural processes.

I think creationists understand evolution to be a literal transformation. A bird turns into a frog. Instead, it's more like a bird that was supposed to grow wings with an approximately 23 cm span grows them 20 cm and for whatever reason that happens to give it a competitive advantage in its particular space-time environment. It survives for a reasonable period and reproduces successfully and its genes carry on, increasing the chances that the approximately 20 cm wing span will continue.

Another bird of the same species happens to grow wings with an approximately 27 cm span. Now depending on the exact characteristics bigger or smaller can be an advantage or a disadvantage. In this case we'll imagine it's a disadvantage. That bird is less likely to survive, and even if it does survive perhaps it's less likely to mate because the opposite sex just happens to find it less attractive because of how they just happened to be formed. So the 27 cm span is less likely to be carried on.

Now carry that process on for 100 million years. The environment changes. The birds of this particular species, as with all species', are constantly changing ever so slightly, giving certain members advantages and certain other members disadvantages. Over all, the advantaged lot succeeds the most.

If you were to look at the original example bird 100 million years ago and compare it to 100 million years later you might find that they've changed noticeably. Not just in one way. Maybe in several ways. Maybe they began to change one way, and then the environment changed and the opposite variation became more successful and they reverted somewhat. Maybe we wouldn't even classify them as the same species anymore. The original "species" might no longer even exist if the chaotic "design" of nature preferred some variation of it.

Note, this isn't a design as in a consciousness making decisions about what might work better for the next generation. It's about the biological processes in the reproductive system of plants and animals being an imperfect cloning mechanism. When things reproduce they don't create an exact clone. They create a very similar, related organism, but one that is slightly different. Some of those differences are surprising to us. They're an "accident" of the imperfection of the process. This is what evolution means. Some of these "accidents" are beneficial and some of them are detrimental. Some of them have no effect either way. The beneficial ones if they happen enough will tend to transform the species into something different and better suited to their environment.

There's no sudden transformation from a bird to a frog. There's a very, very, very gradual transition from a thing that swims in the ocean and breathes through gills to a thing that can absorb oxygen through the atmosphere and can walk on land. Not all at once, in one animal, but in very small, gradual steps, over the course of many years and many generations of animals. At some point you will have a hybrid that may be able to do both, albeit perhaps poorly. And eventually that species may transform into something that can walk on land better and breath directly from the atmosphere better, but cannot breath in water anymore or swim well.

Evolution is not some black magic. It's a rational, logical explanation for the life of the planet; and even the universe itself.

Derezo

[edit: uhh.. ok]

Derezo

Asking me to teach about God without the Bible is like asking you to teach me science without a textbook. It's silly.

I know this was directed at Gull, but isn't it easy to teach Science without a textbook? ???

Quote:

If you refuse to listen to the Bible, then there's little point in me trying to teach you what I know about God.

Phew! ;)

The Bible is just a heavily edited collection of old books. It is a man made document and is not evidence of a creator or supernatural phenomena like prayer healing. If it really did contain any evidence you could demonstrate that without referencing it, much like you can with any other textbook.

Of course, I'm of the opinion that it is impossible to demonstrate the existence of God(s) as described by those who have one.

I'm also of the opinion that the reason for that is that God(s) do not exist outside of the human mind that creates them (but they are very real on the inside, and have physiological structures that have evolved to necessitate them, which is evident in many current studies).

[edit: DOUBLE POST POWER]

Bruce Perry
bamccaig said:

(remember, I used to be a believer)

Now that, I didn't know :o

Now, it's against my better judgement, but I can't resist getting involved a little here:

Asking me to teach about God without the Bible is like asking you to teach me science without a textbook. It's silly.

Not true actually. The best teachers will take the time to understand their pupils and tailor their teaching accordingly. A textbook or a bible can never do this. Obviously printed resources can help, but you need both. Now please note, teaching - not preaching. Do not preach.

Quote:

I won't apologize for making you uncomfortable. You should be.

As before, I am willing to accept that you genuinely consider this material to be fact and want the best for everyone. However, that leaves us at an impasse, because I am equally certain of Christianity being fiction that was able to spread precisely because people put this kind of threatening material into it[1], and I am not going to buy it.

None of this invalidates the fact (yes, I consider it fact) that religions provide a valuable belief system for a lot of people. What I would like to do is ask you (again) what you gain from Christianity and why you believe. Neil had a great answer to this question. What about you?

References

  1. Disclaimer: vastly oversimplifying how it worked in history, and also not the whole picture because of course people would have rejected Christianity if it didn't also offer good parts. I'm just trying to summarise why I don't buy it as succinctly as possible.
Aaron Bolyard
Derezo said:

I know this was directed at Gull, but isn't it easy to teach Science without a textbook?

Off-topic: I seriously want to briefly learn practical applications of historically important scientific discoveries that would be relatively easy to understand and implement with a modern understanding of the world...

Things like electricity and batteries and lighting, long distance communication, even steam engines. Imagine if tech reverted back to pre-Industrial Revolution due to Plot Point(tm). How many people would be able to even begin on restoring certain useful advances? So many of us depend, but don't even understand or know to create a rudimentary implementation of these inventions...

And if you get transported back in time, you could make a major difference in world events! Imagine if a country of your choice had even crude wireless communication back in the 1600s! Or railroads! (I suppose much further and the language in, e.g. the British Isles, would be a major barrier...) Heck, even proper sanitation and hygiene would put you at an advantage...

But it would mostly be fun.

(I'd also include other non-practical but otherwise interesting things in there, like a cloud chamber and general experiments such as measuring CO2's warming capabilities.)

It's really incredible what is possible to learn or witness about our world with easily attainable supplies and tools. Example: we can see cosmic particles with a cloud chamber--particles that are otherwise non-existent and invisible to us.

piccolo

Guys the whole point of the video was to show that there was no need to go into the details in the Bible to prove anything. all we need to do is discuss the logical equations that were in the VID. after one is unable to refute the arguments and unable to provide anything logical other then a creator.

then we can use the Bible to explain about the creator.

Moving Shadow

The video is a joke, right? I mean, it's clearly a creationist with no proof, no understanding of abiogenesis, no understanding of the proof for evolution....just another creationist who says "it's all so amazing, it must have been god.

Proof != it's so amazing it can't be random

piccolo

There is no such thing as random even in programing. Give me logic show me how to achieve random.

Johan Halmén

Great! Now we have computers that prove that there's no thing as randomness.

Bruce Perry
piccolo said:

There is no such thing as random even in programing.

Great! Now we have computers that prove that there's no thing as randomness.

Erm, actually... ;)

piccolo

AND Erm, actually what?

Bruce Perry

Our current understanding is that the universe has true randomness built in and there's no way to avoid it.

piccolo

"Our current understanding" is that so? so happen that the

philosophy of randomness and infinity is the lack of understanding.

Bruce Perry

Well, I've provided a reference and you haven't, so :P nyaaaaaaaa

Elverion

Sorry for the late reply but I had a bit of an accident. Broke my arm so its quite difficult to type. i was quite swollen before I got to the hospital for a cast and it has only gotten worse. http://i.imgur.com/foVwt4G.jpg

Anyways, Neil, I appreciated your response. I do try to be a good person. Sure I have had a few slip ups in my life but over all I would say I have done far more good than bad. Still, it gets under my skin when religious folk judge others based on silly details (such as being gay/lesbian). For what its worth, my highly religious friend is totally cool with me and was on my side about how out of line that pastor was acting towards me. I don't really hold a grudge against all religious people, just the ridiculous ones.

Neil Roy
Elverion said:

Anyways, Neil, I appreciated your response. I do try to be a good person. Sure I have had a few slip ups in my life but over all I would say I have done far more good than bad. Still, it gets under my skin when religious folk judge others based on silly details (such as being gay/lesbian). For what its worth, my highly religious friend is totally cool with me and was on my side about how out of line that pastor was acting towards me. I don't really hold a grudge against all religious people, just the ridiculous ones.

We have all slipped up. I feel the important thing is that we keep trying to do right, learn from our mistakes and move on.

When it comes to "judging" people, I really don't do that, or I try not to. But there are certain things the bible states are right and things that it clearly states are wrong. I will educate people on what the bible says, that is often misinterpreted as me judging, it is not, it is God judging what is right or wrong. Now if you don't believe in God, not a problem, you shouldn't be bothered by it honestly. If however you do believe in God, and decide to attend a church, I feel that one should not expect to attend and do their own thing without any reguard for the rules that govern it. It's like any organization you are apart of, religious or not. They all usually have rules that must be followed in order to be a member. Churches are no different. The bible contains those rules, and it says that homosexuality is wrong. Now I won't get into a debate on the subject, I'm just saying what the bible says. The rest is between you and your Creator, He will be the one judging, not me.

Actually, the bible does tell church members not to judge those outside of the church, so what you do with your life, if you are not a church member, is nobody's business. But the bible does tell us to judge those who are in the church and lays down some rules on how to deal with situations (in a kind manner, but you do have to deal with them) and even has rules for expelling people from the church who refuse to obey God's laws and continue to be wicked.

If you wish to believe, attend and ultimately be saved from destruction, than you need to seriously consider that if there is a God, and you wish to attend and worship, than should you not be obeying Him to the best of your ability?

As I said, I don't want a debate, and I don't judge, God does that. But for me to sit here and say homosexuality, or drunkenness, or adultery etc... is okay, would be a lie, and it would be leading you astray, which would ultimately get me in trouble for not at least trying to help you and save you. Because I care about your future, not because I hate. If you see what I mean.

bamccaig

You claim to disavow yourself from churches because you don't agree with them, and then you claim that anybody that believes in god is subject to the beliefs of the church. Do you not see how hypocritical you're being?

Claiming it's God judging, not you, is a lie and a cop-out. You don't know what God is doing at this point in time and anybody claiming to know with absolute certainty the actions of God today or in the future is absolutely lying and projecting their own beliefs on others while hiding behind the idea of God to avoid the consequences for their actions.

You can claim to know God's actions in the past by asserting that the events of the Bible are true. That doesn't prove anything, but at least it gives your claim context to work from. To claim to know what God is doing today or tomorrow asserts that you are personally in contact with him, and you can prove this. Since we all know this is not actually the case then you need to provide evidence for how you could possibly know the actions of God today or reword your phrases to afford them doubt. You believe God is judging people for their homosexuality based on what you've read in the Bible and the moral rules you've constructed as a result of your life, but you don't know that he is judging them today, and you can't know for sure what he will conclude in the end.

Regardless of what actions you believe God to take, the actions that you take, such as threatening homosexuals with punishment for their lifestyle, are your own actions. You can be judged for them, not only by "God", but also by the rest of us. You are not above judgment yourself.

Stop pretending to speak for God. It stands to reason that he wouldn't take kindly to that either.

Mark Oates

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Neil Roy
bamccaig said:

Stop pretending to speak for God.

Stop pretending I read your posts (all I read was what you placed in bold), or remotely care what you think. When you can have a reasonable conversation without attacking, I'll gladly have a talk with you. My reply was to a specific person, otherwise I would not have posted.

God bless. :)

Mark Oates: Nice one. It is probably the most difficult thing to do, to forgive one's enemies and pray for them. But I am working on it... Bam doesn't make it easy for me though. ;)

GullRaDriel

Edgar, if you don't understand that there is no point in arguing by quoting a book that do not contain any scientific evidence, then you can't argue correctly.
Bible, like other religious book, is a matter of belief. As an atheist I do not have any belief in those books.

The difference with science is that even if your belief don't go along with it is still right when scientifically proven.

Johan: Yeah, there may be some light. Like do not kill your brother but kill the heretic, thehehe. The light in it is like the light in the politics. One light, tons of shit. If you need the bible to be a moral person, then it's an educational problem.

Plus common religions are misogynous, macho, and teach man to treat woman like shit. At least for the three main currents (Christianisme, Islamism, Judaism).
I challenge you to prove me the contrary ;D

Edit: and that goes without talking about homosexuals, relation without weddings, abortion,...

Polybios

The difference with science is that even if your belief don't go along with it is still right when scientifically proven.

What's more, scientists will happily change their beliefs if proven wrong.

Still, we haven't really discussed the original "absolute proof" yet.

It's one the nicest Western traditions to doubt absolute truths, btw. IIRC, there were some revolutions (French, maybe American) about that, people dying for it etc. But who cares these days.

Elias

Plus common religions are misogynous, macho, and teach man to treat woman like shit. At least for the three main currents (Christianisme, Islamism, Judaism).
I challenge you to prove me the contrary

As I said, Lutherans (except Missouri synod) make no difference whatsoever between what sex or sexuality a person has. Our presiding bishop is a woman [1] and our bishop of California is openly gay [2]. It's only Catholics and some other misguided denominations who either make up or completely misinterpret the Bible. A lot of methodist and baptist churches allow women and gays as well but have other weird believes (usually stemming from their own misinterpretations of the Bible, for example methodists think you can't drink alcohol).

Dizzy Egg

...it's a book....I mean....I love Dark Eden by Chris Beckett, but I know none of it happened...it's just...a book? ???

Matthew Leverton
piccolo said:

Give me logic show me how to achieve random.

I once thought there was no such thing as random. Then I met you. :-X

Neil Roy
Elias said:

It's only Catholics and some other misguided denominations who either make up or completely misinterpret the Bible.

That's a very interesting statement. I have to wonder if you have even opened your bible and looked into what it actually says? Tell me, seeing as how I am one of those misguided individuals, explain to me what these verses really say...

Verses on homosexuality from both the old and new testament:

1 Corinthians 5:11 (NIV)
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

Leviticus 18:22 (NIV)
Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

Isaiah 3:9 (NIV)
The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.

Jude 1:7 (NIV)
In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Romans 1:26-27 (NIV)
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV)
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

And concerning women (all new testament quotes)...

1 Peter 3:1 (NIV)
Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behaviour of their wives,

1 Timothy 2:11-14 (NIV)
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (NIV)
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Titus 2:3-5 (NIV)
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Can you honestly state, after reading those verses, that women should teach and preach in churches (they can teach other women and children actually, but not preach)? That homosexuality should be accepted as okay? Seriously? Which bible does your church go by, because mine says otherwise.

If you don't believe in God, none of this matters and in fact, many will get angry from this. But this is not directed at non-believers so chill out. But if you do believe in God, and claim the bible is His word, than should you not at least do what it says and not make up nonsense which is contrary to it??

Elverion
Neil Roy said:

But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

1) "Brother or sister"? Do they mean literally (ie. don't have sex with your sibling), or figuratively (ie. brother/sister of the church)?

2) "Sexually immoral"? The meaning of that varies greatly by each person's perspective.

3) People seem to have no problem ignoring the rest of that quote, so why is that one specific thing left with any standing?

Quote:

Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

I'm not having sexual relations with a man at all. So does this mean it's okay for me to be gay and not go to hell? Lesbians get a free pass?

But seriously, "that is detestable" doesn't mean much. I dislike a lot of things and find them to be detestable, but it doesn't mean the people that do them are bad people.

Obviously that line only targets gay men. Can't speak from experience here, but do gay men not have sexual relations in different ways than "as one does with a woman"? Because, you know, lack of vagina and all.

Quote:

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.

Um... okay?

Also, you know a lot more went on with Sodom and Gomorrah than allegedly gay sex, right?

Quote:

In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

And yet again, "sexual immorality and perversion" is incredibly vague. It could mean absolutely anything, and is greatly influenced by culture. What you find "sexually immoral" might not be the same as what others find to be so.

Quote:

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Finally a quote that actually mentions gay sex! And...it's all meaningless. Again. Everything else was tossed out and ignored, but hey why not cherry pick the gay sex thing. Because, you know, you find it gross, and that means others shouldn't be allowed to do it.

Any "wrongdoer" will not inherit the kingdom of God? So what. If all of the things the bible said were true, that sounds like a pretty shitty and hateful place to go anyways. It still doesn't justify telling others they aren't allowed to do something that you don't like.

I know you said this wasn't directed at non-believers and all, but I just have to say, those aren't very convincing arguments. The problem here is that these things are used as a tool to justify unfounded hatred or just to control others.

Elias

Since you quote Leviticus 18:22, what about the rest of Leviticus? Did you ever do work on a Sunday? Did you ever eat pork? Did you ever eat shrimp? Did you ever eat anything that contains fat? Did you ever shave? Did you ever forget to comb your hair? Did you ever were old cloths? It has about 100 random things you cannot do ... go read the whole chapter yourself and then still say you think every single thing in there said to be a sin is a sin and that you try and don't do any of those :P

GullRaDriel

Elverion & Elias both got bonus points for using bible against bible ;-p

Derezo

Neil's post is an excellent example of how the Bible was so out of touch with humanity and why it is no longer acceptable to practice the horrible things it teaches.

Polybios

If Neil got a phone call from Jesus, he wouldn't listen but concentrate on the background noise. :P

Now, how well have you listened, understood and adhered to Matthew 5-7, Neil?

Neil Roy
Elias said:

Since you quote Leviticus 18:22, what about the rest of Leviticus? Did you ever do work on a Sunday? Did you ever eat pork? Did you ever eat shrimp? Did you ever eat anything that contains fat? Did you ever shave? Did you ever forget to comb your hair? Did you ever were old cloths? It has about 100 random things you cannot do ... go read the whole chapter yourself and then still say you think every single thing in there said to be a sin is a sin and that you try and don't do any of those :P

I work all the time on Sunday. What special importance is Sunday? The Sabbath is on the 7th day (Exodus 20:8-11), or Saturday, not Sunday, you cannot find a verse anywhere in your bible that changed it to Sunday. But no, I never work on the real Sabbath, from Friday sunset until Saturday sunset.

As a matter of fact, no, I do not eat pork, or shrimp, or oysters, or lobster or anything that Leviticus 11 tells us is unclean (unhealthy), I haven't eaten in it many many years, and I rarely get sick. I don't recall reading anything about combing hair or shaving, please quote me the verses and I will look into it. I am more than willing to obey it, especially shaving, I have a beard and cannot stand shaving, so that isn't a problem for me. :)

My point is, and I noticed that you totally evaded it, is that the NEW TESTAMENT (even if you think the old testament is done away with, which it is not) also clearly states that homosexuality is wrong, and that women are not to preach. And the verses I quoted were written by Christ's own apostles, so how do you argue your way around that? Again, look at the verses (from the new testament only if that is what you prefer) and debate them! You cannot, you are evading it. It is the new testament that also speaks out against all this. And you stated that the bible doesn't, and your church seems to think it is all okay. I have proven your church wrong. Make fun of me and try and change the subject all you wish.

To the atheists: You will notice that those who claim to be Christian and claim to believe in God and the bible, when confronted with what it says, will suddenly do a 180 and act like we no longer have to obey it. But they are quick to point out how others are sinners... hypocrites.

I am different, I am strange... I try and actually study my bible and do what it says. I don't cherry pick my verses and ignore the ones I do not like.

Derezo said:

Neil's post is an excellent example of how the Bible was so out of touch with humanity and why it is no longer acceptable to practice the horrible things it teaches.

Unless of course, God is real, and the bible is his word, in which case this should be obeyed. Just look at the world around you and how it is going to crap since we have implemented all theses rights, and legalized sin. Is it really so much a stretch to think that maybe the bible has been right all along and that maybe what we are doing in our society today has been harmful to ourselves?

I just celebrated my 31st anniversary yesterday. My wife believes as I do, and she is quite happy, we both are. We never argue, we both share in all the work around the house (I cooked supper). Because you see, my bible also tells me to love my wife and not to be harsh with her, so I am not. But nobody who hates God focuses on those verses.

Elverion & Elias both got bonus points for using bible against bible ;-p

If I were them, I would not be too proud of that fact. They need to seriously rethink what they are doing and saying in here. For their own good.

Elverion

Using the bible to attack people that you've arbitrarily decided you should hate -> Good
Using the bible to point out hypocrisy of bible-thumpers -> Horribly evil

piccolo

@Matthew Leverton

Nothing I do is random. You just have not figured on the pattern yet, so you label me as random. its just lack of understanding.

Elverion

Piccolo is using capitalization and proper English grammar and syntax now? Maybe there is a god.

Bruce Perry

Neil, I bet we can agree on what we think of this ;)

video

Full version for those of you with nerves of steel:

video

Elias
Neil Roy said:

I don't recall reading anything about combing hair or shaving

Leviticus 19:27 - Actually you are not allowed to trim your beard.

Leviticus 10:6 is about unkempt hair and torn clothes.

Quote:

My point is, and I noticed that you totally evaded it, is that the NEW TESTAMENT (even if you think the old testament is done away with, which it is not) also clearly states that homosexuality is wrong

Um, there's pretty big hints that Jesus himself was gay, the entire thing how he never really moves on with Mary Magdalene, but at the same time spends all his time drinking and vagabonding with a group of young males. And often the New Testament is rather explicit how Jesus is naked and lying on the other and guys at their orgies. And that with all the revisions done to the New Testament by the Catholic church :P So I at least am 100% convinced he was gay. Also 5 minutes of Google reveal there's the story where Jesus heals the gay slave of the Roman centurion - so Jesus clearly had nothing against gays and therefore neither should any Christian.

Neil Roy

Neil, I bet we can agree on what we think of this

I hate to admit it, but I would probably be her. ;) Only I wouldn't have put up with him nearly as long. :P

I'll ignore the long version.

What is interesting to me, is I know the passage they are talking about and it has nothing to do with a rapture (the "rapture" doctrine is not supported in the bible at all).

But I won't give a sermon here. ;)

Edgar Reynaldo

Edit

To all those who expect to be provided proof of God yet refuse to acknowledge the Bible, that's like a blind person refusing to believe in the world because they can't see it with their eyes. There are other ways to perceive the world, and God, if you simply open your spiritual eyes to his presence.

If you seek God, you will find Him. He wants you to prosper, not flounder.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 NRSV said:

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Elias said:

Since you quote Leviticus 18:22, what about the rest of Leviticus? Did you ever do work on a Sunday? Did you ever eat pork? Did you ever eat shrimp? Did you ever eat anything that contains fat? Did you ever shave? Did you ever forget to comb your hair? Did you ever were old cloths? It has about 100 random things you cannot do ... go read the whole chapter yourself and then still say you think every single thing in there said to be a sin is a sin and that you try and don't do any of those :P

Have you ever heard that Jesus is Lord even of the Sabbath? And that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath? Or how Jesus declared all foods clean when received with thanks and blessings?

Mark 7:14-23 said:

14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”[f]

17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

1 Timothy 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

False Asceticism

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later[a] times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. 3 They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

A Good Minister of Jesus Christ

6 If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters,[b] you will be a good servant[c] of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, 8 for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and struggle,[d] because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

11 These are the things you must insist on and teach. 12 Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture,[e] to exhorting, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.[f] 15 Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Elias said:

Um, there's pretty big hints that Jesus himself was gay, the entire thing how he never really moves on with Mary Magdalene, but at the same time spends all his time drinking and vagabonding with a group of young males. And often the New Testament is rather explicit how Jesus is naked and lying on the other and guys at their orgies. And that with all the revisions done to the New Testament by the Catholic church :P So I at least am 100% convinced he was gay. Also 5 minutes of Google reveal there's the story where Jesus heals the gay slave of the Roman centurion - so Jesus clearly had nothing against gays and therefore neither should any Christian.

Jesus is most certainly not gay. :P Nor did he marry a woman. Haven't you heard of the Bride of Christ? Ie. Believers. He is the Son of God, and if you've seen the Father, you've seen the Son. Jesus is part of the Trinity of God. If he was to have relations with flesh men/women, he would be having relations with his own children. God is clearly against this, as he destroyed the world with the flood of Noah to destroy the Geber, the hybrid children of "the sons of God" (the fallen angels) and women. Where do you people get shit like this? Do you believe everything you read on the internet? I am honestly dumbfounded at the amount of ignorance in this thread. As the Son of God, Jesus has the power to forgive sin, but that doesn't mean he condones it.

And Elverion, the Bible is clearly against homosexuality. To say otherwise, or try to re-interpret it as supporting it is completely mis-guided.

1 Corinthians 15:34 said:

Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

Hosea 4 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) said:

God Accuses Israel

1 Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel;
for the Lord has an indictment against the inhabitants of the land.
There is no faithfulness or loyalty,
and no knowledge of God in the land.

2
Swearing, lying, and murder,
and stealing and adultery break out;
bloodshed follows bloodshed.

3
Therefore the land mourns,
and all who live in it languish;
together with the wild animals
and the birds of the air,
even the fish of the sea are perishing.

4
Yet let no one contend,
and let none accuse,
for with you is my contention, O priest.

5
You shall stumble by day;
the prophet also shall stumble with you by night,
and I will destroy your mother.

6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

7
The more they increased,
the more they sinned against me;
they changed their glory into shame.

8
They feed on the sin of my people;
they are greedy for their iniquity.

9
And it shall be like people, like priest;
I will punish them for their ways,
and repay them for their deeds.

10
They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
they shall play the whore, but not multiply;
because they have forsaken the Lord
to devote themselves to 11 whoredom.

GullRaDriel

That's a batshit amount of junk.

Lemme add mine:

Mickaël 1:1 said:

Note how 2000 years ago your god loved to make public manifestations against the evils, and how now the evil is higher than ever HE DO NOTHING.

Maybe it's because he's already bored of you all, maybe it's... because it's a fiction from mid ages ?

How is it possible that before we have the science to analyse them miracles suddenly do not occur anymore ? Maybe because most of it was human made ?

Clearly it was both a fiction and human made 8-)

And it's right because it's written by Mickael, a well known saint floating around here.
::)

Elias

If he was to have relations with flesh men/women, he would be having relations with his own children.

He had plenty of relationships, and he was a man. That's what the bible tells us. There's plenty of stories where he's having fun wandering around from village to village, or gets angry about little things. Sometimes I feel I'm the only one who ever read the entire bible :P Jesus also must have had his childhood years and teenager years and everything (before the events of the New Testament). He was born in Bethlehem as a human child and lived a human life. The trinity is something completely different - but a lot of people have a hard time understanding it. My pastor back in Austria was talking about the meaning of the trinity quite often. This reminds me, I believe it also was her facebook where I first saw an article that Jesus may have been gay. I don't know if there is an official Lutheran position, but I assume to them it simply does not matter either way whether he was hetero or gay. Or asexual which is what you seem to be implying and I find ridiculous.

GullRaDriel

Not asexual, Trinitesque ! ;D

piccolo

"My pastor back in Austria was talking about the meaning of the trinity quite often. This reminds me, I believe it also was her facebook "

This says it all. I say no more.

Polybios

Everyone who claims to be Christian and refuses to tell us how he copes with the demands of Matthew 5-7 is just a bigot and will burn in hell forever. >:(

Edit: Uhm, no. :P
But it'd be really interesting, because these are some extraordinary demands. It's easy to eat no pork, but how do you comply with that? I'd honestly like to know.

Bruce Pascoe

like a blind person refusing to believe in the world because they can't see it with their eyes.

This is a really bad analogy on par with the comic with the atheist fleas posted earlier. Even if I were religious I couldn't defend this argument. And anyway, the Bible doesn't prove God exists any more than the Harry Potter books prove wizards exist, or LOTR proves Hobbits and Dwarves exist. If you believe in it and it helps you get through life, great. Just don't hold it up as absolute evidence of God's existence, because it's not.

The Bible has a lot of wisdom in it. I'm not denying that. I forget who it was here that had it in their signature, but I agree with their quote (paraphrasing):

Quote:

The Bible has a lot of good ideas. God isn't one of them.

piccolo

@Polybios
note that each of those demands are to protect human Christians and keep them strong in body and mind. failing to follow them has its own "punishments" associated with the deed. basically it makes you weaker and or leave you variable for other things to happen to you when you face hard times.

Johan Halmén
Leviticus 25:44 said:

Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.

A friend of mine says this means Russians, but not Swedes. Is it so? Why can't I own a Swede?

About who can approach the altar, Leviticus 21 said:

18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles.

Our vicar is near sighted and wears glasses. Should we collect money for laser surgery or shall we just stone him?

Leviticus 20:18 said:

If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her monthly period, he has exposed the source of her flow, and she has also uncovered it. Both of them are to be cut off from their people.

While doing my military service, one of the guys told he had sex with his girlfriend, though she had her period. What do you do, I mean, one weekend off duty in a month. Anyway, should they be deported to Sweden or Russia? Sweden might be a bit easier, because of Schengen. But Sweden is almost our people. I mean Scandinavia, or Fenno-Scandia. And at least half a century of Nordic cooperation. But this guy was in the middle of his military service. How can such guy be deported to Russia? Actually it was Soviet at that time!

Exodus 21:7 said:

If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do.

Since the quoted verses about the disgrace of homosexuality were literally only about men, and directed to men, and the modern interpretation is that it includes also lesbian love, could this verse be applied in my case? I have no daughters, but three sons. Can I still sell them as servants? Would they go free and I'd still get my money from them?

Leviticus 11:10 said:

But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales—whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water—you are to regard as unclean.

A friend of mine says eating oysters is bad, but not as bad as gay sex. I'm not sure.

All these are quotations (and modifications) from this writing, which I find most amusing:
{"name":"620410858.jpg","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/c\/ac1ae0b3fce75088e6fb01b790736bc4.jpg","w":468,"h":1200,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/a\/c\/ac1ae0b3fce75088e6fb01b790736bc4"}620410858.jpg
Though I do find the writing amusing, I still consider the Bible not to be taken as a joke as a whole. But people who pick Bible verses to support their misogyny or homophobia should read this writing thoroughly.

Elverion

And Elverion, the Bible is clearly against homosexuality. To say otherwise, or try to re-interpret it as supporting it is completely mis-guided.

I did no such thing. I just pointed out that all these anti-homosexuality bible quotes are strangely absent of even mentioning homosexuality. And you've combated that by not supplying a quote to the contrary, but rather more incredibly vague quotes about other things, things which your average Christian or whatever else doesn't complain about, are evil and people that are doing those things are sinners.

But, I'm doing that all in good fun. I just like to debate and poke holes in things. Maybe I should have been a lawyer instead. Anyways, even if the bible did say in no uncertain terms that homosexuality is wrong (which so far you guys have done a terrible job supporting), I still wouldn't care. I don't subscribe to your religion, I'm still going to be attracted to women (it's not a choice, in the same way you don't choose to like/dislike mustard), and it just doesn't matter either way. You're more than welcome to live your own life in any way you choose, whether through your own free choice or that of your cult-of-choice's book, and I won't raise issue with it so long as its within the law and not infringing on my own rights.

And you people wonder why you have any trouble winning over anyone that actually questions these things...

GullRaDriel

That one is for me:

Matthew 5-7 said:

Divorce
31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’[f] 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Yes, because when two persons who once loved each other can't bear to be even in each other sight, they HAD to stay married and kill each other until one die.

Is that the bible definition of happiness ?

Let me tell you a real life story: I'm divorced. I know a lot of people around me who got divorced too. Some have left, some have been left. It's true that there is a hard part in each divorce story, and it's also true that most of the divorced are, after at least a few years, making a life with a new love. And even the lonesome are happier than when they were with their ex.
Sure there have been pain, but at least it's not lasting for life.
If you are in a hell life with your companion, YOU BOTH HAVE THE CHOICE TO KEEP YOUR LIFE A HELL OR CHANGE IT. It's just stupid to ruin your life with a relation that do not work anymore, whatever you try to do, just because of a random sentence in an old book.
And your companion isn't an object that YOU hold. He/She have his own brain to think.
And man, if you think that a man commit an adultery because he's in love and couch with a wife that already had a life before him, you're insulting both.
A woman isn't one property. A man isn't a woman manager. A woman is as a human as a man.
And I put all that just on ONE pesky set of sentence in a book full of crazy things like this.
Now you got me started. Come with me with your books, in return I shall teach you real life; ya biggots.

>:(

piccolo

@GullRaDriel

you need to have your self a bong hit.
Every thing is logical there is no need for emotions.
A man is to a woman what a women is to a man.
I don't believe in relation ships that don't work anymore. the relation never worked in the beginning.

if you don't come to terms to make something work for the rest of your life's; don't start it.

Society has been poisoned and confused by the vile celebrity marriage.
that in its self distorted what marriage truly is.

marriage is not a game or some faze you trough in life.

marriage is a bond made between a man and a woman to endure life trial and tribulations while growing closer to the Lord God and producing children to Grow in his name.

you are only getting mad because you lack upstanding of what you call "real life" you know not the forces that influence you.

Bruce Pascoe

That's it. I'm out. This has gone way past "intelligent debate" and there's no reason to keep wasting my time checking the thread. :P

Derezo
Neil Roy said:

Just look at the world around you and how it is going to crap since we have implemented all theses rights, and legalized sin.

The world around me has certainly not "gone to crap". I'm very comfortable and people mostly die from accidents or disease where I live here in Canada. I know it's not so crappy there where you are either >:(
This "land of sin" we live in is one of the greatest spots on this rock to be living in right now. We have our problems, as do all places, but to attribute that to not following the bible is ludicrous and just silly. Of course, I understand that the world isn't like this everywhere and that other people have a very hard time. Those daesh bastards like to stone people because it is written in their special god book. They've been known to throw gay people from buildings, too. I would never hope a nation goes back to the dark ages like the people of that region have been pushed into, and that our forefathers had to bear through when the lords of their lands decided to follow the bible as if it were a book of law. Those were not better times than now at all.

Quote:

Is it really so much a stretch to think that maybe the bible has been right all along and that maybe what we are doing in our society today has been harmful to ourselves?

Yes. Yes it is. Very much so.

Neil Roy
piccolo said:

Society has been poisoned and confused by the vile celebrity marriage.
that in its self distorted what marriage truly is.

marriage is not a game or some faze you trough in life.

marriage is a bond made between a man and a woman to endure life trial and tribulations while growing closer to the Lord God and producing children to Grow in his name.

you are only getting mad because you lack upstanding of what you call "real life" you know not the forces that influence you.

I don't want to post in here, but I just had to applaud your response. On this we 100% agree. My wife and I just celebrated our 31st anniversary on the 8th, and we still say "I love you" every day, usually several times a day. I told her that just before she went to bed tonight, and I meant it. We understand marriage, she understands her role. Too many people focus on what they see as negative, while ignoring all the positive and how marriages truly are wonderful when they are done right, according to God's word. But people do things their own way, and then when it goes wrong, blame the bible as being wrong for forbidding divorce (except for fornication where it is allowed), rather than blaming themselves for not living right in the first place, which is what leads to divorce.

I am head of the house here. But as head, I obey my bible which tells me to love my wife, to not be harsh to her, to provide for her and if need be, give my life to protect her, which I would in a heartbeat. Just ask our family doctor how much I love my wife, he made her cry once and I threw him across the room. :) And I would do it again.

Anyhow, I just loved your response. As for the rest, there is some good from all this bickering and hatred... I see atheists reading their bibles. ;D ;D

GullRaDriel
piccolo said:

I don't believe in relation ships that don't work anymore. the relation never worked in the beginning.

That prove you didn't have that much relationships.

piccolo said:

if you don't come to terms to make something work for the rest of your life's; don't start it.

I know one who will end lonesome with his right hand has a wife. Pro tip: a reversed left hand is like a stranger hand.

piccolo said:

you are only getting mad because you lack upstanding of what you call "real life" you know not the forces that influence you.

I would really love to compare my lack of understanding and yours. And there are no force influencing me. I'm not a believer.

piccolo said:

marriage is a bond made between a man and a woman to endure life trial and tribulations while growing closer to the Lord God and producing children to Grow in his name.

Marriage isn't a christian thing from the start. It's a pagan tradition that have been adapted. Where do you think the ring and sail thing are coming from ?
In other country it was common for some people to marry only for a defined time period. (i.e the Celtes who renewed their wish each year). The church made it a sacerdoce.

Neil:
Because your couple life is a charm doesn't mean that it is the case with everyone.
Now I'm asking myself if you really love your woman, or if you only do love her and defend her because the book told so.
In the book it's also stated that you have the right to hurt your wife if she does not follow your orders.
Are you hurting her with no remorse in that case ? (Ephesians 5 22-24)

Is she talking in assembly ? she shouldn't (Corinthians 14 34)

Is she asking things to someone else than you ? she should't (Corinthians 14 35)

piccolo

@GullRaDriel

You are very right and I honor my relationship.
That's the confusion I am talking about its like your saying having many relationship implies quality.

But you are being influenced.

The system influences you
Your magic picture box of "truths" influences you
The Bible tells you to follow Caesar's laws unless the laws go against the Bible until the day the lord comes back and Caesar's time is up.
There are many things that influences you; you just have not taken note.

GullRaDriel

Be good with your wife, I hope she's good with you.

I didn't clearly stated that quantity bring quality. But staying in a relationship that have no future is dumb, whatever the reason. That was my point ;-)

The system influences us all, I give you that.

Time sure are changing, I somewhat agree with you on the last block of your answer.

bamccaig
Neil Roy said:

As for the rest, there is some good from all this bickering and hatred... I see atheists reading their bibles. ;D ;D

video

Neil Roy

Are you hurting her with no remorse in that case ? (Ephesians 5 22-24 [biblia.com])

You forgot a few verses in that, I wonder why you stopped at verse 24? Lets find out, shall we?

Ephesians 5:25 (NIV)
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”

Ephesians 5:28 (NIV)
“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Colossians 3:18-21 (NIV)
Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Now show me where in all these scriptures that it gives the husband the permission to hurt her without remorse?!

Quote:

Is she talking in assembly ? she shouldn't (Corinthians 14 34 [biblehub.com])

My wife never did. But then, I no longer attend churches because none of them seem to obey this law as well as others. But I 100% agree with it, why wouldn't I? I don't question the laws of the Almighty. Certain members in here attend churches that have female ministers, maybe you should ask them how is it they can have that when this verse clearly states they should not instead of asking me, I agree with this verse, apparently they don't read the bible they claim to believe in.

Quote:

Is she asking things to someone else than you ? she should't (Corinthians 14 35 [biblehub.com])

That doesn't say she can't ask someone else outside of the church, it says she is not to speak in the church, not even to ask a question but to wait until afterwards, outside of the church. But anyhow, no, she does not. Because we don't attend churches, so not a problem, but yeah, she understand to obey, so if she is told by the bible not to talk in church, I guarantee you my wife would not. She is not a rebellious, feminist wife, she's loving and obedient. And she gets that love right back. So you're barking up the wrong tree pal. I actually obey my bible. You probably assumed I was a Sunday keeping "christian" who doesn't obey it. You are wrong, I study my bible in depth and know it far better than you do, guaranteed!!!

piccolo

@bamccaig

have a hit of a nice sativa then watch that video again.
only then will you see his short comings.

I can see it with out the sativa. When I watch the video I feel very sorry for him a sense of pity even. It is unfortunate that he grow up around a very weak and unknowledgeable religious leader.
let me leave you with this to ponder..

Is it possible for someone to read a computer programing textbook cover to cover and not understand it?

my answer is yes.. what is yours?
When someone who has failed to understand the computer programing textbook after reading it cover to cover finds another like them self they feel relief and comfort.

If this still dose not help you understand that man predicament take a read of the book. -> "Life of Pi"

Johan Halmén
Neil Roy said:

Now show me where in all these scriptures that it gives the husband the permission to hurt her without remorse?!

1 Corinthians 14:33-35 states: "As in all the churches of the holy one, women should keep silent in the churches, for they are not allowed to speak, but should be subordinate even as the law says. If they want to learn anything, they should ask their husbands at home. For it is improper for a woman to speak in the church."

That's what hurt women! And all the misogyny that relates to what Paul wrote. I believe it's possible to raise a boy to a misogynist. Just let him live in a society, which relies heavily on the 2000 year old view on women. I see a lot of it in the American lifestyle, where the husband is supposed to support his wife economically.

piccolo

@Johan Halmén

Ill help you understand.

What you are forgetting is that is the past when something was said in public it is said from a household point of view not an individual point of view.

This means the house would have to take responsibility for what is said. It is meant for house hold to have a meeting in private come to a concession and that statement or view point is delivered by the head of the housed(or elder).

In the end if any backlash were to come from the statement or point of view expressed. The head of the household would sacrifice himself.

The household could be come headless (no-pon-intended) but the children will still have mother.

things should not be uttered carelessly in public as to create conflict or war.

As I said in this case the Bible is protecting the family from complete break that can accrue when humans come down on humans. At the same time creating unity where the voice of the family is unified as one and holds weight.

Its not like today where differences like political parties football teams, social view points break up families leaving children confused orphaned or even dead.

EDIT

Here is an example case you could relate to. You are walking with your wife in public. your wife see a man and his family. your wife says to the man those kids do not look like you are you sure you are the father?

The man wants to retaliate physically you as the house head has no choice but to step-up and try and resolve the situation.

on a good day in todays world it much just end with you saying
"omg honey you cant say that like that." I am sorry Sir she did not mean to say it like that. please accept my humble apology.

Polybios
piccolo said:

note that each of those demands are to protect human Christians and keep them strong in body and mind

That's your interpretation. So it's just some sort of spiritual means? By the way, who are the non-human Christians?

Neil, you have raised your voice loudly to spew out some random Bible quotes that are largely irrelevant to the teachings of Jesus anyway.
However, when you're being asked about something more substantial, you remain silent.
I assume you, too, notice this discrepancy?

By the way, the Bible is quite harsh about bigots. Some of my favorite quotes (it's been a while, there are probably others/better ones I don't remember / can't find right now).

Amos 5:21-24 said:

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.
Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them : neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.
Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.
But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream

Hosea 6:6 said:

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Jesaja 1:11-17 said:


11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them .
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Mark,12:29-33 said:

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Now, you guys who take everything literally will probably say it has been a while that you made your last "burnt offering"... :-/

Edit:
About the women: They have better education today and therefore more to contribute. Why shouldn't they if they want to? Because old Paulus said so?

piccolo

@Polybios
my interpretation of that is the Lord God requires given from the "heart" out of sincerity. It shows a man giving offerings to show-off to his pairs trying to show that he loves God more then someone else.

you can related this to the celebrity garbage "marriages".

They buy their spouse expensive rings and gifs for show.
these type of gifs show of wealth mean nothing to the Lord God and he will shun you if you think they do.

Edit
I for got to explain the teaching or lesson in it.
We Gods Creations in his image are to strive to be like God. its hard because we are weak humans but if some of give us offerings in the same manner we should shun then because you can not by love from someone and it will only lead to divorce. divorce/fakefriends is what the lord wants to protect you from.

EDIT 2

Ok you are probably think "wait a min how can giving somebody some be a bad thing?" however it can a very bad thing. one of the key things the Bible teaches is moderation.
you have people that become addicted to giving. Example someone passes a homeless man on the street each and they give him enough money to get some food. It make them feel good and sometimes they even get high from it.
They keep doing it until it build a sense of superiority to the homeless man and the real reason for giving is loss in the petty high.

The Bible teaches that the right thing to do is to help the man on his feet so he can feed himself and not be sub servant to you.

so you are asking "how can I tell when an offerings is true to the heart and not a show of wealth or superiority."
Most of the time the offerings is something you need and not something you want.

example 2 friends are jobless, one of the friends manages to land a job. A true offering would be if the friend uses some of his paycheck to help get supplies to help the jobless friend get a job as well.

So now your thinking how am i supposes to know what God is in needs of as a offering. if you read your Bible you should already know God is at war and he needs his children to be on his side when judgment day comes.

example. I should be working on my allegro 5 bus simulator application that is going to make me money however I am offering some of my time to the Lord to try and satisfy some questions from is unfaithful children in hopes they will see the light and one day sit a his side again.

this is a true offerings however now that i have told you my offerings has become invalid as an offering between and God and more like the offerings of the fatty beast Polybios Quoted.

Neil Roy
Polybios said:

Now, you guys who take everything literally will probably say it has been a while that you made your last "burnt offering

I take the bible literally, because that it how it is meant to be taken.

As for burnt offerings, I assume you mean sacrifices. They are no longer necessary. Sacrifices were always a shadow of what Christ would eventually do for us, they showed the future. Once Christ appeared and sacrificed Himself for us, the shadow is no longer needed. Christ IS my sacrifice, that is why He is referred to the "lamb of God" and in fact, God himself states that he does not particularly like sacrifices, but prefers mercy and obedience. Notice the following verses...

Hosea 6:6 (NIV)
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Psalm 51:16 (NIV)
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

Psalm 40:6 (NIV)
Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—but my ears you have opened—burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.

Isaiah 1:11 (NIV)
“The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the Lord. I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.”

There are many more like this, and note that most of these are from the Old Testament as well, so this was nothing new when Jesus arrived.

And the verses you quoted I love those, for they are talking about people who would keep pagan traditions and man made celebrations, flagrantly disobey God, then come to Him with sacrifices to "make it all better". They wouldn't even try in most cases to obey God and not keep these pagan traditions, but just keep them anyhow with the idea they could sacrifice later! THAT is what those verses are talking about. People would use the sacrifices as SIN FREE card. Much like Sunday keepers use God's grace as a SIN FREE card today. People celebrate Christmas and call it christian when it is pagan in origin. People will be celebrating Valentines day soon, and then Easter, all pagan in origin. God prefers people to actually obey Him, or at least TRY. So I totally understand the verses you quoted, I have quoted them for decades now against celebrating Xmas and Easter, which I do not, nor ever have celebrated since I moved out of home at the age of 17.

Also, no, I do not answer every question in here because most of them come from hateful people who only wish to attack God, attack his word, make fun of it and ask a nonstop barrage of questions to me without answering any of mine. Then if I do answer, from my bible (where the hell else am I supposed to answer from?!) they attack me for quoting the bible. So I have mainly focused on conversing with fellow believers and, for the most part, ignore the mockers, I could care less what they think about me or God.

As usual, this is a never ending round of bickering, arguing, attacking and mocking. Utterly pointless. Just a whole lot of hate, which I despise.

bamccaig

I think I preferred grammarless piccolo. :'( He still doesn't make sense, but at least before it was funny. :'(

Ben Delacob
Neil Roy said:

Also, no, I do not answer every question in here because most of them come from hateful people who only wish to attack God, attack his word, make fun of it and ask a nonstop barrage of questions to me without answering any of mine. Then if I do answer, from my bible (where the hell else am I supposed to answer from?!) they attack me for quoting the bible. So I have mainly focused on conversing with fellow believers and, for the most part, ignore the mockers, I could care less what they think about me or God.

I think it's great you believe in God (I see no denial or inconsistencies with that), but the literal interpretation of the Bible is presently not sitting well with me at all. God wrote "The Bible is lying." thousands of times across the universe. Why do you ignore His direct work? Or, conversely, why did He make everything (plate tectonics, radio carbon dating, red shift, fossil records, magnetic striations, viable mutation rates, etc.) seem to indicate that many words in the Bible were direct lies? Why did He create the universe to look exactly like it was far, far older than claimed in the Bible? A test of faith? Is this like He seems to have created Adam to look like a young adult when he wasn't yet a day old? Seriously, what is your literal interpretation of the Bible perspective on this?

GullRaDriel

@Neil you effectively seem to be a 'real' Christian ;-)

On the topic, as stated by myself and seconded by Johan, part of the way you have to act as a Christian is misogyne, or not the modern way of living together if you prefer.

I can't picture myself forbidding something to my wife, even more if she have some questions. I don't see why because I'm a man I would be allowed to do more things than a woman.

I understand that you said 'forbidden in the church, but she can ask outside', but even that is problematic for me at least.

It's just that I prefer to be on an right,equal foot with my wife and women globally.

And yes, if you're both happy with it don't change anything ! You don't have to listen and obey an atheist god, there isn't one :D

Aaron Bolyard

(I'll try and keep this as brief as I can without sacrificing the meaning as to not wander into too-long-didn't-read territory.)

Firstly, I'm an atheist. Unless proven otherwise, I take the stance there is no god (or gods) and trying to find proof for the existence of such or against the existence of such beings isn't worthwhile (or perhaps even possible). However, I do explicitly believe there is no Christian god, just as I believe the Greek pantheon does not exist. It's an issue of the Christian god being impossible within the observable world of ours due to claims made by the Bible...

The first, and most important, issue is the very real problem of evil (and therefore sin). The Christian god is supposed to be all powerful, all knowing, and perfectly good--yet evil exists. The Christian god has the means to remove evil and even prevent it from ever occurring, yet he does not. Why?

The Christian god could still allow the concepts of temptation and evil to exist, but have made the world (being he is all powerful) in such a way that while these options present themselves, we as humans never give in to the temptation and therefore always make the good (according to Christianity) choice since the god is all knowing. Alternatively, evil options would never occur due to a similar perfect starting condition, and while choices will be made, the possibility of making a sinful choice never occurs due to an initial starting condition (all powerful, again) that results in an evil-free world with free will (all knowing, after all). This is possible and would allow the Christian god to exist within the framework of a world otherwise like our own, but evidently he has not done so since there is evil and suffering. Why?

(Not to mention "natural evil" exists, such as disease and natural disasters. These are definitely were out of the control of man even hundreds of years ago, and even today are largely uncontrollable/unpreventable [though I suppose while we can cause earthquakes and engineer diseases and negatively affect the climate, we definitely can't stop the tectonic movement that would cause earthquakes regardless or prevent the evolution of bacteria that would happen regardless, etc]).

And yes, there is the abstract idea of choice in these ideal worlds. In the world where sin is an option but we never choose to sin does not lessen the impact of the good/non-sinful choice. It's unnecessarily arbitrary and incorrect to reason or claim that people must make sinful choices for the Christian god to exist. And the other world where a sinful option never presents itself does not invalidate the Christian god either, just as Morgan Freeman not being the Democrat candidate in the 2008 presidential elections did not invalidate the choices of Americans to elect a president in 2008...

So since there is evil in this world, that means the Christian god (to exist) must be some combination of all powerful, all knowing, and perfectly good, but not all three... which contradicts what the Christian god is according to the Christian belief system. Unless there's an interpretation that the Christian god has the ability to be evil and has done so? Or the Christian god is not all knowing or all powerful? And the Christian god can't be all powerful but not all knowing (since if he were all powerful he could therefore will himself to be all knowing). Those would not remotely common beliefs, however, and therefore irrelevant to the majority...

The other issues include the effectiveness of prayer and such, but the post is too long so I'll leave that for now.

(And arguments like "look in your heart" or "you'll see/feel the truth when you open your [mind/heart/soul]" and whatever else are incredibly terrible. I most definitely have more proof of eldritch beings manipulating my life than you have of the Christian influencing your life, but at least I'm aware that it's much more likely my proof is complete coincidence and such thought processes are as a result of a sickness. Those making similar arguments for the Christian god generally have no excuse.)

GullRaDriel

@Mark I misused the word; I had 'folks' in mind and foes appeared. meh.

Polybios
Piccolo said:

...

While I can see some bits of it that (could) make sense, on the whole, that seems to further obfuscate things instead of clearing them up.
One thing that strikes me: God at war? With whom? Satan? Mammon in the theater of our minds?
I can only say that "Christians as soldiers" seems quite contrary to what I know about Christianity.

Well, Neil, surprisingly we seem to have found some common ground. I'm beginning to find your perspective interesting, so I'd like to kindly ask you to answer my questions below.

Matthew 5:39 said:

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Wouldn't God require you to turn your other cheek to bambam, for example? Yet, you threatened him with violence. :-/

Matthew 5:44 said:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Do you love and pray for bambam, for example? (sorry bambam, I know you're a decent person - most of the time ^^)

Matthew 6:19-20, 25 said:

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

How's your progress on these?

Now to something different:

Matthew 7:12 said:

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Note this was also in Mark 12:29-33, cited above, where Jesus was asked what the most important commandments were.

Now, about women and homosexuals:
1) If that golden rule applies AND is clearly classified by Jesus himself (!) as most important AND as essence of commandments and prophets, how can someone (= Paulus) bar women from speaking? Doesn't seem to go together well in my book.
2) I don't have time to reread, but IIRC Jesus surprised his disciples at least once by talking to people who were not commonly socially accepted. Isn't that open-heartedness that could/should inspire?

piccolo

@Polybios

Neil has answered your question already. so I will repeat what he said for you in different words so I do not sound repetitive.

We all should aspire to be like the Lord God however we can not be God because we are Human only God is perfect. So as a human we can just try our best.

bamccaig

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In other words, if we live our lives in ways that God doesn't approve of we're going to be tortured for all eternity in a lake of fire, but if you live your life in ways that God doesn't approve of he'll understand and forgive you and you'll be rewarded with eternity in paradise? :-/

Derezo

I'm an atheist. [...] It's an issue of the Christian god being impossible within the observable world of ours due to claims made by the Bible...

Clearly, if you watch the video, he explains the absolute proof that GOD EXIST! ;)

The christian god feels very childish to me anymore, perhaps because it was something that I associate with my own childhood. As long as it's a healthy belief in god I'm pretty respectful of other people's beliefs, but if they ask me about what I believe in I will usually tell them that I believe I am the light of the world and that the sun is the source of all life on this planet and without it this rock would be inanimate and desolate.

Although I am an atheist, I have a hard time labeling myself as an atheist. I feel that label carries many unwelcome connotations.

bamccaig
Derezo said:

...the sun is the source of all life on this planet and without it this rock would be inanimate and desolate.

video

Derezo

I know the clip without clicking it ;D It's pretty great.

Neil Roy
Polybios said:

Wouldn't God require you to turn your other cheek to bambam, for example? Yet, you threatened him with violence. :-/

You're absolutely right, and I was wrong. I am human and that is part of my own weaknesses. I am working on that aspect, but it is not easy. Being bullied on a daily basis in school as a child, I grew up and vowed never to take it again, so I tend to strike back. I am working on that though. Well, except when it comes to my wife, if anyone hurts her or makes her cry, I will lose it, Christian or no and they will be in a whole lot of pain. Actually, I thought I was quite controlled when I threw my doctor across the room for making my wife cry. And the police he phoned were partially in agreement with me, given how cold he was and the weird irony that the cop that showed up had the same medical condition my wife had that our doctor wouldn't do anything about, but that's a life story. ;) Suffice it to say, she ended up getting help once I made it known how serious I was about not liking her crying. :)

Quote:

Do you love and pray for bambam, for example? (sorry bambam, I know you're a decent person - most of the time ^^)

This is not something I used to do a lot, but believe it or not, I have tried harder to do this in the past couple years. It is another thing that is aweful hard to do, but I am starting to see why. And I would not wish any harm on anyone here, whether we agree or not. I DO hope people someday see the truth and change, given what I know is coming, I do not wish that on anyone. So I am getting there. Not easy and I am human, I don't claim to be perfect, not by a long shot. The important thing is to try, and when you mess up, get back up, pray for forgiveness (God is "quick to forgive and slow to anger", something you may not think given how some churches preach Him) and try not to make the same mistakes twice. I have a long way to go.

Quote:

How's your progress on these?

Actually, I do quite well with that! I struggle to make ends meet, but my wife and I have often commented that through all the hard times we have been through, we have always had a roof over our head, clothes on our back and have always been fed. I am not wealthy by a long shot, I live month to month. But I never worry. I could give examples where I feel God has helped me (I know, atheists will see coincidences etc). I needed more pants, my old ones all wearing out, as I said, I am NOT wealthy and can barely even afford those. Plus my size can be large (I am around 6'0" tall, size 15 feet etc), but when I went to the store to find something recently, I found two pairs of pants that were exactly my size (the only two there) and they just happened to be on sale for $7 each, even the teller couldn't believe the price. Same with shoes... I went looking for the hard to find size 15s, there was only ONE PAIR available in the store my size... and they were on sale. Coincidence? Perhaps, but I prefer to believe differently. When in need, I always seem to get something. We were short on food plus at the time we had a cat last year who needed to be put down... each time we ran short on money, suddenly I got a donation for my Deluxe Pacman game. When we needed to get out cat put down, we got a $1250 donation for my game (which blew me away!) that helped in a multitude of ways. So again, coincidence? Perhaps, I don't think so. My cellulitis flare up, normally a hospital visit and lots of meds for a week or two, I prayed about it and it cleared up overnight. I could go on and on for just the past year, but the more I have faith and trust in God to provide, the more He seems to do for me, so... no amount of laughter or scoffing in here will deter me, especially after I was extremely stressed and prayed and literally felt a wave of calm come over me the instant I got done praying like I have never felt in my life, that was the pinnacle for me. Again, coincidence? Sorry, I know where that came from, and you cannot understand it unless you felt it... literally. Anyhow... that should answer that question. ;)

Quote:

Note this was also in Mark 12:29-33, cited above, where Jesus was asked what the most important commandments were.

Do to others what you would have them do to you. Of course. I don't steal from others, I try and help when I can. I rarely pass by a beggar on the street without helping in some way (rarely with money, but I will usually go buy food and come back, or I will ask what they need). As I already stated, if someone pisses me off, this can be harder to stick to, but I am working on it. I stopped lying totally a few decades ago, it's hard to believe, but I do not lie to anyone for any reason. Of course, doesn't mean I have to spill the beans, not lying doesn't mean you are given a truth syrum and have to answer everyone's questions. I have met people that think that though. I honestly can't think of any area where I have done something to someone else I wouldn't want done or expect done to myself under the same circumstances.

Quote:

I don't have time to reread, but IIRC Jesus surprised his disciples at least once by talking to people who were not commonly socially accepted. Isn't that open-heartedness that could/should inspire?

Read the story again. Jesus met with them in his home, not in a church group setting. And He was trying to save them, to get them to repent and change. He wasn't accepting them as they were. He called them sinners, they were the ones who needed him the most. Now this can be difficult to understand, and the reason why is that most modern churches feel that their church buildings are places to invite sinners in to save them. But in the bible, when a church met on the Sabbath to worship God, those that met were all expected to be people who have repented and stopped sinning and all are wishing to obey God. God loves all of us, but we all have our roles. The reasons why women are not allowed to speak IN THE CHURCH (and only in the church) or have authority over men is due to the fact that it was women who first sinned. So it was part of the curse God places on them, they would be subservient to their husbands, but this doesn't mean a husband can be a ruthless, cruel dictator over them. There are rules about that. And God allows women to teach other women and children outside of the church. There have been some very famous prophetesses that prophesied and taught. But I guarantee you that they never disobeyed God and spoke out in the church or disobeyed their husband, and God always blessed them for it, so their lives were generally happier and richer for it. This is a difficult concept to understand in this modern age of feminism and absolute rebellion. Homosexuality should be a no brainer, it's not the way God designed us to be. Human sexuality is supposed to take place within marriage (by the way, contrary to the teachings of the Roman Catholics, sex is NOT a sin, when done right). There are even instructions in the bible for married couples to "come together often to avoid temptation", and that means sex. Which makes sense, a married couple who have sex often, will be less likely to be tempted, but how many husband end up cheating because their wife refuses sex for them (or vice versa, goes both ways equally). And of course, once married with a stable, proper reliationship, you eventually, if all the plumbing works, have children. They grow up in a home with both parents and are happier and healthier for it. Believe me, I know about the problems with a single parent family with no father, I grew up in one. There is nothing normal or natural about men and men sleeping together or women with women (and the bible does mention women with women too). I don't see how anyone could not understand that, whether you believe in God or are an atheist, how is it people cannot see that is not natural I don't know. There are a few examples of people in the church that used to be that way that changed, and the bible mentions them as well. That would be a good reason why Jesus spoke to them. But there is no way t hey could have been allowed into a church meeting of any sort. There were some that were expelled from churches you read about in Acts until they stopped sinning (a case of incest if I recall), and they ended up stopping that and were welcomed back in later on. I won't quote the verses unless asked as I get enough flak for quoting the bible in here as it is.

My main point is, IF there is a God, and IF the bible is His word, than we need to obey it whether you agree with it or not, and to disagree with it is to disagree with God, not a healthy attitude to have. But you're coming at this as an atheist who does not believe and wondering how I can take this fairy tale book literally. Well, if I didn't believe in God, I couldn't! But if I believe in God, and believe this is His word, than you're damn right I take it literally and I will do my best to obey it (and fuck up often times, because I am not perfect, not by a long shot). But one can show many examples that the bible is accurate and true. Jesus certain existed and was executed, all historians worth their sale understand that because there is evidence outside of the bible that confirms it. Especially from the Roman senator/historian Tacitus who hated Christians. He wrote about them and Jesus and His execution by Pilot. hostile witnesses like that are the best examples. I have heard from some great historians on the subject, one was an agnostic historian who stated out of the thousands of historians he knew, not one didn't think that Jesus existed, they all know he did, based on the evidence. Whether you think he was the son of God is your own business.

Anyhow... enough of my novel. so much for not replying in here again, ;D... but you were polite enough and respectful in how you asked your questions, so I felt a response was due.

Edit: okay, I will reply to this one Bam...

bamccaig said:

In other words, if we live our lives in ways that God doesn't approve of we're going to be tortured for all eternity in a lake of fire

Nope! Absolutely NOT! But I am not a Sunday "Christian". I feel the doctrine of burning in hell forever is an evil and blasphemous one in the extreme and doesn't show God as merciful and loving AT ALL. There is an end time lake of fire, reserved for the wicked, I do believe that because that is what the bible actually says. But you won't burn "forever" in it, you will be physical as you are now, and you will be thrown into it and destroyed forever. Eternal life is given to believers who obey, not to the wicked. And in order to burn forever, one would have to have eternal life. In revelation it is called the second death, from which there is no return. Death... is death. I don't know what about the word "death" Sunday keeping Christians don't understand. Also, we don't go to heaven at any time either, that's another false doctrine, read John 3:13 sometime, see what Jesus said. I bet you never hear that verse in a Sunday church. When we die, we are dead, and we stay dead until Jesus returns and resurrects the dead. The dead... are dead. Everyone that has ever died, except Jesus, is still dead and unconscious. According to your bible anyhow. There is a reward for the obedient though and why not?! You expect to be rewarded for mocking God, laughing at Him and disobeying Him? Did your parents reward you when you didn't do what you were told?! Perhaps this is how it is done in modern society, we reward people no matter if they deserve it or not, but God is not only merciful and loving, but He is also just. He wouldn't be very just if he rewarded the wicked disobedient with the same reward as those who obeyed him now would he?! Wouldn't make any sort of sense, why bother obeying in that case?

Have a good one.

bamccaig

I hear you about the "no actual Hell" thing. But of course, in my opinion, that takes a whole lot of sting away from the whole thing. It would be difficult to convince people of the Bible God without a threat of Hell, which I'm sure is why it manifested... Most people would probably just think, "OK, fine," if you told them they'd just "die" as already anticipated. And with science on their side, there's zero chance in Hell (no pun intended) that you'd get them to take you seriously.

For the record, the way you describe assaulting your doctor sounds rather unprovoked and juvenile. Sometimes news from a doctor is worthy of an emotional response. That isn't justification for assaulting him. That's his job. Obviously you've been pretty vague about the circumstances. Fuck if I know. Nevertheless, it's not very encouraging. And I take it you're not a Spring chicken at 18 so for you to keep defending that you're "working on it" sounds like a rather convenient excuse for "I take it seriously when it's convenient and do whatever the fuck I want when it's not (much like the rest of the population, in practice)".

Your description of yourself reminds me of a "friendly" "giant" that I've recently met. Nice guy. Not unlike others in our field he does lack a certain polish to social skills. Apparently if you push him he can snap. I hope not to be on the receiving end as he is quite large. Of course, this all makes him appear rather less evolved and generally less intelligent.

You can use your pants and shoes anecdote when starving children in Africa happen upon them.

While atheists certainly laugh at the expense of believers, I think those intelligent enough to take you on in a debate would not take pleasure in your suffering. Some certainly enjoy your logical fallacies and enjoy defeating you, but at the end of the day I don't think any atheist aims to harm you. On the contrary, I imagine any atheist giving enough of a shit to debate it at all considers it worthwhile to try to free you from the shackles of superstition.

I'm glad that the Bible approves of sex. Maybe I can use that to convince my girlfriend... I'll need to dodge the bit about "marriage" until a prenup is affordable though. :-X

I must admit that I am quite surprised by your description of your physical attributes. From previous avatars, pictures, and posts I never would have placed you as 6 feet tall with size 15 shoes! I could be quite impressed by pictures of that.

I'm 29 years old and a mere 5 foot 9 inches or so weighing around 140 lbs. Even so I'm only 140 according to my new digital bathroom scale, and probably only because of my girlfriend encouraging full meals and perhaps getting older. I held 125 - 130 for years prior and was happy with that. :-/

Johan Halmén

The discussion seems to be very much about proof this and proof that. Some believers think the OP video included absolute proof that God exists. Some atheists say that they don't believe until there is proof.

How long are you going to keep up the debate about scientific proof? Is that particular debate very important to any of you? Or is it just fun for an atheist to state that they will start believing, as soon as someone has the proof? Are there believers that actually believe that there will be a future, where the existence of God has finally been prooved scientifically?

Such future will never happen. That is not the future any Christian should look forward to. Instead, build the Church on what you have. Build a better tomorrow. Love thy neighbour, no matter if he's a Christian or not, black or white, gay or straight. All this is possible following what Jesus taught, and believing in God. All this is possible, even for all of you not believing in God.

If you still hang up on the proof thing, I'd like to add my point of view. The day someone has real scientific evidence of the existence of God, I'll stop believing in God.

piccolo

My point is the OP shows mathematical prof that a creator must exist.
I think if the thread title read "Absolute proof that CREATOR EXIST (Pretty Cool)" atheist would be caught off-guard and not have time to put their emotional blocker that is blocking out clear logic right in front of their faces. They put up the logic blockers so they do not go into oxymoron mode and self destruct or wakeup(become enlighten).

This why they derailed the tread to try and discredit the Bible.

Neil Roy
bamccaig said:

Sometimes news from a doctor is worthy of an emotional response. That isn't justification for assaulting him.

I didn't tell the whole story there, and I do not regret what I did.

Here's the whole story, which I am certain you will find more fault with, but, so be it.

My wife had back problems, severe back problems, so bad that she was laying in bed all day long, almost 24 hours a day, not able to get up for long due to the pain. I was serving her meals in bed etc. That's how bad it was.

We made an appointment with our family doctor to get something done about it. When we went there and described how bad it was to him, he wouldn't do a thing. Nothing, he wouldn't prescribe her pain medications, he wouldn't send her to a specialist... NOTHING! At the prospect of being in constant pain with no end in sight and no help, my wife broke down crying. At that point I turned to him and said: "You bastard, I should break your back so you can feel what she goes through!" and then I threw him across the room! They called the police and one of the officers that came just happened to have the SAME back problem my wife did! And when I told him the doctor wasn't going to do a thing, the officer was surprised. I was never charged, but I dropped him as my doctor and didn't bother with doctors again for over 10 years (I still can't stand them). BUT, the doctor agreed to send her to a back specialist and she ended up getting surgery she needed which helped a lot.

So he got what he deserved, I was fully justified, and it helped get her the help she needed. He should be thankful I didn't actually break his back like I wanted to. I have a great deal of self control, EXCEPT when it comes to my wife, hurt her in any way, and you are toast. Guaranteed. I'll get very unchristian on your ass, and I won't be sorry I did it. That is my role as her husband. She's a tiny person compared to me, 5'0" tall and about 110lbs, so I am very protective of her.

One thing about me personally that may not come across here, is that in person, I don't preach to anyone. Have a HUGE sense of humour and love to sit down and have a few drinks with friends. It takes a lot to get me angry, I rarely get angry (except about my wife as stated). I'm a very intellectual kind of person, spend my time just learning, either studying my bible, studying math (which I was doing all yesterday), reading about the history of each letter of the alphabet (fascinating!), about the history of our calender, space... you name it. I built my own computer and programmed them since the 80s. It's difficult to know someone based on text in here.

-------

About God though. I noticed there were two opinions coming out here. One where people think God is cruel for punishing people for breaking his laws, and one where people ask "if God exists, why does He allow evil". These are interesting contrasts when you think about it. Lets examine them closer...

There are three ways God could be...

1) Allows all evil and never punished for them.
2) Doesn't allow any evil and forces you to do His will.
3) Allows you total freedom, but punishes for disobedience.

For the first one, lets say God allowed all evil, disobedience and never punished for it. How would you feel come judgement day (actually, there would be no judgement day, we would all get eternal life in paradise), if in this life I entered your home, murdered you and your family and stole everything you had, then when Jesus returned, and I was resurrected, I got the same reward as you did? Sound fair? You would hate God at that point for rewarding me and not punishing me, guaranteed, to state otherwise would be a blatant lie.

What if God did as some say He should, if He exists and not allow any evil. What if God FORCED you to do His will and didn't allow you any freedoms? You would hate him for that guaranteed. Also, what would you learn? How would you know why God has the laws He does?

The whole reason why God allows total freedom, but with punishments for disobedience and rewards for going out of your way to obey Him is because of freedoms. You are allowed to choose, and if you try hard to obey Him, you deserve rewards. If you disobey him than there are consequences, as there should be. But the main reason for all of this is so that people can understand why it is that God has these laws, and we will soon find out when mankind enters into the final war in the years to come, WW3 and we almost wipe ourselves out of existence. At that point Jesus will return and put a stop to the madness.

I don't know what you think a God should be like, if He exists, but anything like how He is now, would cause even greater resentment against Him for allowing evil without punishment or disallowing freedom and forcing His will on you.

Aaron Bolyard
Neil Roy said:

What if God did as some say He should, if He exists and not allow any evil. What if God FORCED you to do His will and didn't allow you any freedoms? You would hate him for that guaranteed. Also, what would you learn? How would you know why God has the laws He does?

I clearly outlined how there would be no force necessary to eliminate evil. Your god is all knowing and all powerful, it would be possible to create universes as I suggested where people freely choose to do no evil* or where an evil option never occurs. That's the nature of "all knowing" and "all powerful."

A population of perfectly morally (by the Bible's standard) sound people or a world where evil never occurs does not invalidate freewill. The existence of evil, however, does invalidate the all knowing, all powerful, perfectly good god of the Christian faith, though.

*: It's evident the Christian god purposely created a universe where people commit sinful acts and therefore are punished. He would know the fate of all people of all times when he created it.

The only ways the Christian god is possible is if he is all knowing and perfectly good (but not all powerful) or all knowing and all powerful (but not perfectly good). Otherwise he is impossible by merit of evil existing.

GullRaDriel

I'm no more an atheist. I'm now a Bolyardist.

;D

piccolo

@Aaron Bolyard

The Lord has clearly outline how to deal with and protect thyself from the evils that are in the world. However the text is only understood by the fathfull.

Edit
The Lord expect more from his creations there is more then enough hand holding.

Polybios

Thank you very much, Neil! I didn't expect such a thorough elaboration. You seem to be very consequent in your beliefs, I like that. (I suspected you were just some troll throwing around bible verses to cover up his sins ^^).

I'm not an atheist, though, rather an agnosticist. I think I can (partly) agree with what Johan said. Metaphysical claims and discussions usually rather bore me, I think the whole thing is about human behavior and ... well beliefs, or rather believing as such.
I especially like this statement:

The day someone has real scientific evidence of the existence of God, I'll stop believing in God.

Knowledge is more or less a dead thing. When you've proven something, it's settled, you're finished with it. In contrast to that, believing in something is what keeps you going (for example, that's usually why people set out to proof something in the first place^^). Now, I think, for human-behavior issues, God should best thought of as something without properties at all. Not in a sense that it/He has no properties, but rather in a sense that our ability is not sufficient. When you attribute properties, in a way, you partly kill it/Him, as you transfer it from the belief to the knowledge zone. Maybe, in a way, that's what the burning bush that isn't consumed by the fire (paradox) should express. I think there are more passages in the Bible that would support such a view (i.e. the name isn't used/forbidden, the commandments before the one about the sabbath (just looked it up, everyone counts them differently)).
Note that the church has developed a system of thought (scholasticism) that is completely contrary to that (this, too, has its own merits).

So, in a way, I am probably religious, but I do have my problems with some of the stuff in the Bible. Some parts are full of wisdom and I even enjoy the language, but others (e.g. Paulus, who has been very important for the development of the church), I rather dislike.
The bible is by no means a coherent text and we know historically that it was compiled by humans, so I think I can very well pick what parts I like. ^^
So you see, to mock the "certaintists" (of both sides) is a religious act for me ^^ - I'd also mock the atheists, but they usually have arguments that are easier on the intellect.

I'll stop discussion here, I'll just mention that I personally don't think believing in God should be about obedience, a word that you use rather frequently (to me, this appears like the projection of a human relationship which is probably inadequate).
Thank you again, Neil.

bamccaig

Saw this on imgur:

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GullRaDriel

Haha that one is good ^^

Neil Roy

bamccaig, I have seen that one before, and it always gave me a chuckle. There is no amount of pot in the universe that will make me want to sleep with a guy. Sorry, I like my women without handles. ;D

bamccaig
Neil Roy said:

For the first one, lets say God allowed all evil, disobedience and never punished for it. How would you feel come judgement day (actually, there would be no judgement day, we would all get eternal life in paradise), if in this life I entered your home, murdered you and your family and stole everything you had, then when Jesus returned, and I was resurrected, I got the same reward as you did? Sound fair? You would hate God at that point for rewarding me and not punishing me, guaranteed, to state otherwise would be a blatant lie.

The funny thing is that this is the option that most closely matches with reality. Except that there is no God. There is no judgment day and no punishment after death. At least, I've seen zero evidence or even logical reasoning for it. And that means that evil people really are never punished (unless we punish them, but even so it's a very fine line to not be evil ourselves, and odds are people that commit evil acts are incapable of feeling the kinds of pain the rest of us feel).

I believe Jesus would tell you to forgive this person. He doesn't say forgive him because God will punish him later. He says forgive him. Period. This is actually very wise advise because the hatred would only consume you. It would only hurt you. It wouldn't hurt the murderer (unless you happened to use the hate to retaliate, but violence typically multiplies so there's no guarantee it would end there).

My girlfriend and I had supper with my girlfriend's great aunt today. She's a Catholic nun. She gave some great advise regarding some wrongs that were done. Just forget about it. The "guilty" party has already forgotten about it. It doesn't cross their mind anymore. You can't do anything to make them upset about it and fretting over it is only going to hurt you.

You forget that people live their lives on the planet without really being given a fair shot at life. It's easy from Suburbia to preach about doing good, etc., but most people committing horrible acts do so because they're desperate and that's the best that they know how to do. They need our help and support. It's not coincidental that crime in impoverished communities is significantly higher than anywhere else.

Should these people be punished for the wrongs that they commit? Should they be excluded from the hypothetical reward of afterlife? I don't think so. Even truly evil people should probably be forgiven. There's evidence now that they're born with brain defects that influences the way they think. They literally cannot rationalize not being evil. The way their minds work being "good" doesn't make sense. Being programmers we should be able to understand quite easily how little it takes for a program to malfunction. The circuits are broken in their brain.

It's understandable for a primitive culture that believed that our minds are magical to devise Gods to explain it away and give themselves a sense of justice for it all. We don't have to be primitive anymore. We can comprehend that there's no reason for it all, and the people committing evil acts are probably in need of help themselves. We can try to them help cope with their condition or environment (and better yet, to improve their environment), and we can find better ways to cope ourselves.

Johan Halmén

bamccaig, wise words! As you point out, that's what Jesus might have said. And that really is very close to one way to interpret Christian values. And that should work as an example on how Christians and atheists could come together and discuss about things that really matter and possibly make together a better world. Of course, being an atheist doesn't mean that you hold those values. But Christians should really stop bothering about non-Christians not believing particular things, as well as atheists should stop bothering about believers believing peculiar things.

Niunio

I didn't read for a long time, but I have an uncomfortable question:

Let's say that God exists. Since He is the God of Christians, Muslims and Jews, just with different names, which one of the three is the true religion? All them, or just one? Why?

@bamccaig: Good one. Ra bless you! ;D

Johan Halmén
God said:

You shall have no other gods before Me.

In those days, I think it was more about having a god, not that much about whether God existed or not. If God said that in the first commandment, didn't He simply imply that there are/were other gods, too? And if I remember correctly, the Old Testament mentions some of the other gods by name. Again, it's about having a god. Like Mammon. Well, perhaps Mammon or mammon wasn't really a god, but later it has often been treated like a god.

So, I don't have other gods. And if I treat a person that has an other god than I, like a fellow human being instead of killing him, I don't feel I betray my god, no matter what the Bible says. Even if I do nothing to convert him, I don't feel I'm a bad Christian. I might find a connection to him, I might discuss things with him. He might convert, I might convert. Neither of us might convert. And he might as well be an atheist. What's the big deal?

The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) may at its best tell us something about how to treat people of different faith, race, ethnicity, whatever. Comparing Samaritans to Jews might not be similar to comparing say Christians to Muslims or theists to atheists. But that's not important. Loving thy neighbour is.

GullRaDriel

I don't have any god. You're all perverted.
;D

Edgar Reynaldo

You should read Isaiah 45.
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+45&version=NRSV

Selected quotes :

Isaiah 45:5-7 said:

5
I am the Lord, and there is no other;
besides me there is no god.
I arm you, though you do not know me,

6
so that they may know, from the rising of the sun
and from the west, that there is no one besides me;
I am the Lord, and there is no other.

7
I form light and create darkness,
I make weal and create woe;
I the Lord do all these things.

Isaiah 45:18-19 said:

18
For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he did not create it a chaos,
he formed it to be inhabited!):
I am the Lord, and there is no other.

19
I did not speak in secret,
in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob,
“Seek me in chaos.”
I the Lord speak the truth,
I declare what is right.

@Aaron Bolyard
What you are talking about is the philosophical "problem of evil". You claim it proves that God doesn't exist or that he is in some way flawed, but that is not the case.

God did not create the world in chaos. It was good when he created it.

Genesis 1:31 said:

31
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

If you think this means the Earth is only 6-10 thousand years old, you need to read about the 3 Earth and Heaven ages. I told you about them here :

This web page explains it thoroughly.
http://worldeventsandthebible.com/2009/11/world-that-then-was-first-earth-age.html

You can learn all about this from the man who taught me the Bible, Line by Line, and Verse by Verse, Pastor Arnold Murray, of Shepherd's Chapel [shepherdschapel.com]. RIP Pastor Murray. His son Dennis is carrying on the Ministry. He is one of the most intelligent, enlightened men I have ever known. He teaches the truth of God's word, through in depth Bible study. He puts so called 'biblical scholars' to shame. I digress. You can view part one and two of his series on the three Earth ages on Youtube here :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAwNvyHiWT0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6O6LELPOfJo

It was Satan's pride that made him corrupt. The King of Tyre is a type for the Anti-Christ. Ezekiel 28 speaks about Satan and how he fell from grace. It speaks of the time before, and of the time to come.

Ezekiel 28:11-19 said:

Lamentation over the King of Tyre

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me: 12 Mortal, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God:

You were the signet of perfection,[b]
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

13
You were in Eden, the garden of God;
every precious stone was your covering,
carnelian, chrysolite, and moonstone,
beryl, onyx, and jasper,
sapphire,[c] turquoise, and emerald;
and worked in gold were your settings
and your engravings.[d]
On the day that you were created
they were prepared.

14
With an anointed cherub as guardian I placed you;[e]
you were on the holy mountain of God;
you walked among the stones of fire.

15
You were blameless in your ways
from the day that you were created,
until iniquity was found in you.

16
In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and the guardian cherub drove you out
from among the stones of fire.

17
Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I exposed you before kings,
to feast their eyes on you.

18
By the multitude of your iniquities,
in the unrighteousness of your trade,
you profaned your sanctuaries.
So I brought out fire from within you;
it consumed you,
and I turned you to ashes on the earth
in the sight of all who saw you.

19
All who know you among the peoples
are appalled at you;
you have come to a dreadful end
and shall be no more forever.

So the world started out good, but Satan fell from grace and tried to lead a rebellion against God so He destroyed the first Earth age and created the Second, where we are now, in the flesh, for us to be born innocent and make our own minds up about whether we will follow God and Wisdom, or Satan and deception.

Aaron Bolyard

Edgar, the logic doesn't deny the existence of some creator, it denies the existence of an all powerful, all knowing, perfectly good creator, which is what the Christian god is supposed to be.

The addition of Satan does nothing. It's delegating the problem (i.e., evil), but the initial problem exists: God willfully created a flawed universe with suffering. He knew (because he is all knowing) the future, and could have created a world where that future wouldn't happen (because he is all powerful) and instead an ideal future (of no sin or suffering, because he is perfectly good) occurs, but he didn't.

The other details are fluff and simply do not address the issue about the traits of the Christian god which, given the world we live in, are contradictory. Unless the Christian god is above fundamental logic (an absurd proposition), he is impossible.

(I'd like to note claims of the supernatural can be ruled incorrect. E.g., rituals to alter the weather are impossible. It's not unreasonable to extend this to larger claims when possible. "A godlike being created the universe" is too vague and open to be disproven [at least now], but specific instances of godlike being with definitive traits can be [such as the ancient pantheons, or in this instance, the Christian god]).

edit: Elaborated on some points.

Mark Oates

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Neil Roy

I just watched a very good video by a man I have grown to respect. It's very intelligent and quotes many scientific sources which backs up, nay, proves that there is a God. Check it out. I doubt any atheists will watch it but I encourage all Christians to watch it, you will like it, guaranteed!

video

Edgar Reynaldo

Edgar, the logic doesn't deny the existence of some creator, it denies the existence of an all powerful, all knowing, perfectly good creator, which is what the Christian god is supposed to be.

The addition of Satan does nothing. It's delegating the problem (i.e., evil), but the initial problem exists: God willfully created a flawed universe with suffering. He knew (because he is all knowing) the future, and could have created a world where that future wouldn't happen (because he is all powerful) and instead an ideal future (of no sin or suffering, because he is perfectly good) occurs, but he didn't.

The other details are fluff and simply do not address the issue about the traits of the Christian god which, given the world we live in, are contradictory. Unless the Christian god is above fundamental logic (an absurd proposition), he is impossible.

Saying God is perfectly good doesn't mean that there can't be evil in the world. The world was created Good, but Satan was corrupted by pride and tried to turn everyone against God. Saying that God knew it would happen doesn't mean that all of a sudden he is no longer good because he allowed evil to happen.

Romans 9 gives a partial explanation :

Romans 9 NRSV said:

22
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction;
23
and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory—
24
including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

That fact that God knew evil would exist does not make Him any less Good. But now you will say that God is not all powerful, because he didn't create a world without evil in it. Then you go on to say that God could have created a world where everyone freely chose to do good, and not evil. I then refer you to the above passage. It says why God chose to do it this way.

The answers are all there if you're willing to look for them.

Proverbs 8:17 NRSV said:

17
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me.

Aaron Bolyard

I don't think you see the flaw with your argument.

Yes, the Christian god being perfectly good is fine if he wasn't all powerful. I never argued otherwise. As a result, then there could be evil, but the god would unable to have created a world without evil. But that's not the Christian god!

It doesn't matter if the Christian god chose to do it "this way." If he was perfectly good, he wouldn't have chosen to "do it this way." Unless the Christian god purposely wants people to suffer and deny him? That's radical... (And also it's not "perfectly good.")

And for the record, the idea of "choice" when discussing an all knowing and all powerful creator is rather flimsy. He created the world where people deny him and commit sinful acts. He knew, yet created it anyway. The difference between a world without evil and a world with evil are completely arbitrary to an all powerful and all knowing being, and choosing one with evil over one with good is contradictory for the supposed Christian god (i.e., he is perfectly good).

The three criteria (all knowing, all powerful, and perfectly good) cannot all be true for the Christian god (by the Christian idea of "good"). He can be all knowing and perfectly good, or all powerful and all knowing, but all three? No. It's not logically sound because it's a contradiction.

Elverion

If God said that in the first commandment, didn't He simply imply that there are/were other gods, too?

Way back in the early days of civilization, it was pretty common for each state/province to have it's own god; conquering another meant you got to shove your god down their throat because, after-all, your god is clearly better. Back then, religions (if you could even call them that) didn't state that others were wrong or that other gods didn't exist. In fact, they were acknowledged but each city always asserted that their god was stronger (until it was overthrown).

piccolo

@Aaron Bolyard
what your skipping over is God gave us free will just as all in the heavens have.

There are ways to take away free will, but that is not what God wants. He wants his favorite creation to use free will to make the right choses and The Bible is a guild to help us do so.

Think about

Humans are trying to do the same thing God has already done and have the same mind set.

They want to create the perfect AI where it learns and make the right choses use a basic Guild to help it stay away from its own destruction or the destruction of its environment.

Think of Humans as the perfect AI. What good is AI if you have to program everything into it and hold its hand at ever turn?

Dizzy Egg

@Neil Roy

I tried watching the video, but it's the same old same old same old thing - first off, he seems comfused between creation/evolution/abiogenesis, which is annoying. Also he claims that atheists only accept the material, without other dimensions, which is SOOO wrong. Then we get onto "they can't prove it" - wrong way round, the burden of proof is on YOU, otherwise we could say "yeah bananas turn into frogs, you can't prove they don't" - it doesn't work that way. Then he was saying we only have 2 possibilites, either God created everything or there was evolution - again, he doesn't understand the difference between evolution and abiogenesis.

This is one of the weaker arguments for god that I've seen, TBH.

Elverion

I'm surprised you even got that far in, Dizzy. I got bored of hearing one logical fallacy after another followed by some unsupportive quotes out of the bible. I just assumed that the "proof" the presenter had promised at the beginning just wasn't going to come, ever. And it seems I was correct.

bamccaig

There is no inherently "good" or "evil" deed. God would have to decide on a whim what he wishes to be "good" and what he wishes to be "evil". It's evident from the Bible that we may not all agree on what those things are (i.e., some things we would pretty much all agree are evil God seems to think are great). In any case, for him to design us so that we're inclined to chose "sin" is the strong indication that he's not real because that contradicts what the Bible is trying to tell us about him. That's what Aaron is trying to explain. God is an illogical notion.

Anybody with functioning reason centers in the brain can work that out. Open your mind to the idea that God doesn't exist. Start by freeing your mind. Say to yourself out loud, "God doesn't exist." Even if you don't believe it. Humor yourself. He'll obviously forgive you for that. Then acknowledge that for God to exist the Bible must be a reliable source of information. Then return to reading the Bible and question everything you read. Would it make any sense at all to do the things the Bible says he does if everything in the Bible is true? Can it all fit at once? If you still conclude that it makes perfect sense consider seeing a doctor. You're probably having a stroke.

Bruce Perry

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O hai. What have you guys been up to? I've been in crunch putting together a demo for our next round of pitches ;)

Neil Roy

I shared that video, mainly for fellow believers. I could care less what atheists think. Your response is always predictable... and old.

Aaron Bolyard

O hai. What have you guys been up to?

Well, Vulkan was released!

But my card (Nvidia 560 Ti) isn't supported by Nvidia for Vulkan...

It is rather disappointing, I suppose. Definite proof of evil right there.

This 700+ line example to draw a triangle is something I will not experience for some time.

Edgar Reynaldo

I don't think you see the flaw with your argument.

Yes, the Christian god being perfectly good is fine if he wasn't all powerful. I never argued otherwise. As a result, then there could be evil, but the god would unable to have created a world without evil. But that's not the Christian god!

It doesn't matter if the Christian god chose to do it "this way." If he was perfectly good, he wouldn't have chosen to "do it this way." Unless the Christian god purposely wants people to suffer and deny him? That's radical... (And also it's not "perfectly good.")

And for the record, the idea of "choice" when discussing an all knowing and all powerful creator is rather flimsy. He created the world where people deny him and commit sinful acts. He knew, yet created it anyway. The difference between a world without evil and a world with evil are completely arbitrary to an all powerful and all knowing being, and choosing one with evil over one with good is contradictory for the supposed Christian god (i.e., he is perfectly good).

The three criteria (all knowing, all powerful, and perfectly good) cannot all be true for the Christian god (by the Christian idea of "good"). He can be all knowing and perfectly good, or all powerful and all knowing, but all three? No. It's not logically sound because it's a contradiction.

God CAN be perfectly good, wise, and all-powerful. That doesn't preclude evil from existing in the world. Who are you to say that God can't allow evil if he is perfectly good? Perhaps the reason evil exists is to show people what good is. The fact that he gave us free will to choose one or the other doesn't mean that he isn't all powerful nor does it mean that he isn't perfectly good.

If God created a world that was perfectly good - ie. no evil, then that would be a world where free will didn't exist. You can't make everyone choose good and then call that free will.

You're caught up in the wisdom of the world. The wisdom of God puts the wisdom of men to shame. You simply have no faith to trust that God knows what he is doing. There is a purpose for everything. If you had the faith to ask God for wisdom, he would give it to you. But if you deny Christ then he will deny you.

Matthew 10:26-33 NRSV said:

Whom to Fear

26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.[e] 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31 So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33 but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

God is perfectly good.

James 1:12-18 NRSV said:

Trial and Temptation

12 Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord[d] has promised to those who love him.
13 No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one.
14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved.[e]

17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[f] 18 In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

And God is perfectly wise. If you want to read about his wisdom, you can do it here :
https://bible.org/seriespage/4-wisdom-god

And God is all-powerful.

Ephesians 3:14-21 NRSV said:

Prayer for the Readers

14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,[g] 15 from whom every family[h] in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16 I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17 and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18 I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 19:23-26 NRSV said:

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

The reverence of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.

Proverbs 9 NRSV said:

Wisdom’s Feast

1 Wisdom has built her house,
she has hewn her seven pillars.

2 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
she has also set her table.

3 She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
from the highest places in the town,

4 “You that are simple, turn in here!”
To those without sense she says,

5 “Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.

6 Lay aside immaturity,[a] and live,
and walk in the way of insight.”

General Maxims

7 Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse;
whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.

8 A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you; the wise, when rebuked, will love you.

9 Give instruction[b] to the wise, and they will become wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.

12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

Folly’s Invitation and Promise

13 The foolish woman is loud;
she is ignorant and knows nothing.

14 She sits at the door of her house,
on a seat at the high places of the town,

15 calling to those who pass by,
who are going straight on their way,

16 “You who are simple, turn in here!”
And to those without sense she says,

17 “Stolen water is sweet,
and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”

18 But they do not know that the dead[c] are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

Don't be a doubting Thomas.

John 20:24-29 said:

Jesus and Thomas

24 But Thomas (who was called the Twin[c]), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

bamccaig said:

There is no inherently "good" or "evil" deed. God would have to decide on a whim what he wishes to be "good" and what he wishes to be "evil". It's evident from the Bible that we may not all agree on what those things are (i.e., some things we would pretty much all agree are evil God seems to think are great). In any case, for him to design us so that we're inclined to chose "sin" is the strong indication that he's not real because that contradicts what the Bible is trying to tell us about him. That's what Aaron is trying to explain. God is an illogical notion.

Good and evil exist, and even a child knows the difference between them. What you call the evil of God is evil's just reward. God rewards good, and punishes evil. Does he not have that right?

2 Chronicles 7:22 NRSV said:

22 Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord the God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore he has brought all this calamity upon them.’”

There's nothing illogical about God. You simply don't understand Him or His plan yet. God gives wisdom liberally to all men, if you ask for it in faith.

James 1:2-8 said:

Faith and Wisdom

2 My brothers and sisters,[b] whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

5 If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. 6 But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; 7, 8 for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

bamccaig said:

Anybody with functioning reason centers in the brain can work that out. Open your mind to the idea that God doesn't exist. Start by freeing your mind. Say to yourself out loud, "God doesn't exist." Even if you don't believe it. Humor yourself. He'll obviously forgive you for that.

My mind is open, and I choose to believe. I don't have to, but I've seen and experienced the truth of God's word in my own life, along with His power, and the healing that His forgiveness brings. He forgives those who repent in earnest, not those who simply expect to be forgiven, despite willfully doing evil. Pretending God doesn't exist won't save you. See above. Deny Christ, and he will deny you before the Father.

bamccaig said:

Then acknowledge that for God to exist the Bible must be a reliable source of information. Then return to reading the Bible and question everything you read. Would it make any sense at all to do the things the Bible says he does if everything in the Bible is true? Can it all fit at once? If you still conclude that it makes perfect sense consider seeing a doctor. You're probably having a stroke.

What part of the Bible is unreliable? Which parts are false? Please point them out to me, and I will do my best to educate you in your lack of knowledge. I'm in perfect health by the way.

As to those who say they won't listen to the Bible for information about God, that's like saying you won't read a textbook to learn math or science. And for those who say "Oh but there are so many religious texts in the world, how can I choose? How can they all possibly be right?" Well it's easy. Pick one, read it, and see if it comes true in your life. The Bible proves itself to be true time after time after time, which is one of the reasons so many people follow it. But you have to read it with understanding. Not everything is immediately apparent in the Bible. Jesus Himself tells us this.

Matthew 10:13-17 NRSV said:

The Purpose of the Parables

10 Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets[b] of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 13 The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ 14 With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:

‘You will indeed listen, but never understand,
and you will indeed look, but never perceive.

15
For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and listen with their ears,
and understand with their heart and turn—
and I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.

bamccaig

Good and evil exist, and even a child knows the difference between them.

All animals have a comprehension of "good" and "bad". An abundant food source is good. A predator is bad. These things are hard-wired into most animals, probably having been either inherited from a common ancestor or naturally evolving in parallel. Or perhaps being obvious to a sufficiently conscious mind.

In any case, "good" and "evil" are a different matter. If you were to ask a child or even an adult not exposed to Christianity if something is sinful would they answer the same as the Bible? I mean, if they did, who would need the Bible to tell them? Nobody. A funny anecdote is Christians that believe that atheists are without morality because they don't believe in the Bible.

"Evil" is generally synonymous with "bad for my survival". The thing is, we're allowed to do things that are bad for everybody else's survival i.e., kill them (in particular, animals for food, but according to the Bible also other tribes/ethnicities). It's easy to understand how a primitive mind would define evil in these terms. It's difficult to accept that as reasonable these days.

Insert: A good example might be slavery. Do people naturally understand that slavery is evil? Obviously not or we wouldn't have such a long and disgraceful history of it. Do children naturally know that slavery is evil? I'd say no, though if you were to test it you may have a hard time finding one that wasn't "tainted" already by things they've been taught or observed. You certainly couldn't test a child that attends any kind of church or religious teachings. Would an adult member of a primitive native tribe in Africa that has been sheltered from the developed world think slavery was evil? I don't know, but I suspect not.

Alas, even the Bible seems to tell us that slavery is generally OK, as long as you enslave the right demographics.[1] How many Christians support slavery? Raise your hand. God apparently does.

In the grand scheme of things, it's easy to see that it doesn't really matter to the universe when an animal is slaughtered or even a human is raped or murdered. The universe keeps moving forward. Long after all the life on this planet has passed the universe will continue going. I see no actual "evil" on a universal scale. It's up to us as intelligent beings to define evil to be what we consider to be universally unpleasant, especially when it's threatening to our very survival or the survival of others. That said, we wouldn't necessarily consider it evil for a starving bear to kill and eat a man unprovoked. That's natural. It's no different than a starving man killing and eating a bear. Of course, men don't need to be starving to kill a bear. They don't even need to be hungry. Most humans don't even consider that wrong (I generally would in this particular space-time, but I wouldn't necessarily have in others).

Does he not have that right?

That is a meaningless question. If he has that right then who gave him that right? If nobody had to give him that right then why does somebody need to give me rights? Why can't I just assume them too? In other words, undefined. In particular, because there is no God.

There's nothing illogical about God. You simply don't understand Him or His plan yet. God gives wisdom liberally to all men, if you ask for it in faith.

That's just cult speak. Nothing meaningful in that. Human brains are far from perfect. Unfortunately, the more we believe things the more convinced we become that they're correct even without evidence. "Faith" is precisely the perfect formula for the wrong conclusion. The only hope you have of arriving at the correct conclusion is skepticism and careful, rational thought. Well, the only real hope you have is scientific testing, but where that is impossible you're left with skepticism and careful, rational thought (and doubts about your conclusions).

My mind is open, and I choose to believe. I don't have to, but I've seen and experienced the truth of God's word in my own life, along with His power, and the healing that His forgiveness brings. He forgives those who repent in earnest, not those who simply expect to be forgiven, despite willfully doing evil.

See above. Your mind is weak and is convincing itself of a delusion because you're unwilling to truly question it. I am very familiar with this way of thinking because I used to be like that myself (when I was 8). That is not an open mind. Anybody can say that their mind is open. Humorously, religious believers often assert that their minds are open and that everybody else's mind is closed. I'd have to say that this is another weakness of the human brain to fail to see the flaw in their own reasoning.

Pretending God doesn't exist won't save you. See above. Deny Christ, and he will deny you before the Father.

What does that even mean? That's a ridiculous thought. Is Jesus a conscious mind that chooses one by one whether or not to save somebody? Isn't everybody saved implicitly? What about God? Couldn't God just say, "Nah, fuck you Jesus, bambams is cool; he's in!?"

What part of the Bible is unreliable? Which parts are false? Please point them out to me, and I will do my best to educate you in your lack of knowledge. I'm in perfect health by the way.

We've already tried. You seem incapable of comprehending that using the Bible to support the validity of the Bible is a confirmation bias. There is no logical reasoning behind your beliefs. There are countless theists that acknowledge it, and for good reason. This leaves you as the weakest link trying to convince rational human beings that there is. Especially after countless debates and countless posts. Who are you really trying to convince, us or yourself?

As to those who say they won't listen to the Bible for information about God, that's like saying you won't read a textbook to learn math or science.

You don't need to read a textbook to learn math or science. Somebody could explain it to you, and explain experiments to verify it, and you could prove it to yourself through testing. This has already been pointed out in this thread at least once.

There's certainly the possibility that you could arrive at a different answer and challenge the knowledge of the rest of the world and that would be welcome. You'd have to be able to prove your results though so that other people could confirm them. Do that and you'd change everybody's minds that was willing to listen (everybody worth a damn).

There's also the possibility that you could be wrong. The tools are there for you to use. You can do so at you discretion. The difference is, unlike your religion, the math and science can actually be proven to be correct (or, it stands to reason, and is only as relied upon as the logic is until we can prove otherwise). Math and science are essentially both open to revision as necessary. That's something that you can never boast about your religious beliefs.

Aaron Bolyard

If God created a world that was perfectly good - ie. no evil, then that would be a world where free will didn't exist. You can't make everyone choose good and then call that free will.

Disregarding the concept of freewill (it's an illusion; the universe is fundamentally deterministic and any truly indeterministic portions are beyond control of humans or greater species), I can't choose to read the collected poems about the evils of the internet by George Washington because it doesn't exist. I also couldn't vote for Morgan Freeman as the Democrat Party's candidate back in '08 because he wasn't the nomination in '08. I can't choose to teleport, either, because that option is nonexistent. Yet, according to you, I have free will. And, of course, within most conceptualizations of free will that's true, because free will doesn't mean I can choose the impossible.

If evil is never an option (and therefore impossible), then I don't see how it denies free will. Similarly, you seem to fail to realize the Christian god apparently (and purposely!) made a world of hundreds--thousands!--of religions that deny his existence or superiority and purposely damned these people to hell. Is your god not all knowing and all powerful? If he were perfectly good (and I use "perfectly good" by the Christian idealization of good--I'm not going to pin humanist or Hindu or nihilistic or whatever else attributes to the Christian god because that's dumb--this is a note to clarify what I mean by "good" to others, for the record), this simply does not add up. He made a world where I chose to mercilessly clean my home in January, too--there was the choice I didn't clean, but... he made the world as it was on purpose, and therefore knew I would merciless clean my home. So much choice, huh?

Quote:

As to those who say they won't listen to the Bible for information about God, that's like saying you won't read a textbook to learn math or science.

That's not true and you know it.

Back in grade school / elementary (e.g., I was somewhere around 8 to 10 years old), we were given a small section of electricity in our "science block" or whatever you want to call it. I learned that certain materials allow electricity to pass through much better than others.

Within a small time frame afterwards, I was gifted some science-toy (a gimmicky, or perhaps low-tech, microscope sort of thing that acted more like an old-school rear projection television than your traditional cliche microscope) and it needed three D batteries to function. This particular type of battery was relatively uncommon and there were only two in the house.

Previously I learned from personal fiddling around (i.e., taking apart otherwise broken toys) that to power a light, or a motor, or whatever else, the circuit had to complete (i.e., the wires needed to form a loop).

So I had two previous observations that could easily be proven:

1) An electrically powered device has to have an unbroken connection to both terminals of a battery to function.

2) Certain materials conduct electricity better than others.

My hypothesis: If I complete the loop by using some conductive material between two functional batteries, then the microscope will work.

The experiment: I placed one battery in the left compartment and one in the right. I used a paperclip (made from a conductive material [because shiny metal!]) to connect both batteries and thus complete the circuit.

The result: It worked.

This was with an incredibly basic understanding of science and the scientific method.

Given a similar understanding, anyone could do the same. And, for example, with further understanding I've developed in 14? 16? years, I could replicate existing inventions given time and resources using the scientific method and my otherwise basic scientific understanding, such as radio communication or crude engines.

Do I know off the top of my head how to setup a radio system? Well, no. I don't. But I do know radio works by sending and receiving electromagnetic waves. And I know electricity can be generated using acids and certain metals, or by a coil and some magnetic source. If I were transported back into some time period of hundreds years prior--1800s, 1600s, 1000s, it doesn't matter--assuming other issues don't interfere, I would be able to replicate crude radio communication using existing observations, but more so because of the scientific method.

However, the same is not possible for any religion. It's asinine to argue otherwise. If all copies of the Bible were somehow destroyed and its followers croaked, the religion would die. It's simple as that. No future society would piece together the religion in any fullness from non-literary remnants, nor could they retroactively prove or verify it.

Edgar Reynaldo

I will briefly reply to a few things before I go to bed.

There's a lot more I want to reply to, but I simply don't have time to repudiate all the insane crap you guys are spouting.

bamccaig said:

In any case, "good" and "evil" are a different matter. If you were to ask a child or even an adult not exposed to Christianity if something is sinful would they answer the same as the Bible? I mean, if they did, who would need the Bible to tell them? Nobody. A funny anecdote is Christians that believe that atheists are without morality because they don't believe in the Bible.

Good and evil are easily discernible by anyone with half a heart. When one kid takes away another kids toy and he cries, the kid who took it away feels guilt and gives it back, because he knows he did wrong. Or he keeps the toy choosing greed and malice and chooses to ignore his conscience. People have a conscience to tell them when something is right or wrong. That some people choose to ignore it doesn't mean they don't know any better.

James 1:13-14 NRSV said:

13 No one, when tempted, should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself tempts no one.
14 But one is tempted by one’s own desire, being lured and enticed by it; 15 then, when that desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and that sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved.[e]

bamccaig said:

Insert: A good example might be slavery. Do people naturally understand that slavery is evil? Obviously not or we wouldn't have such a long and disgraceful history of it. Do children naturally know that slavery is evil? I'd say no, though if you were to test it you may have a hard time finding one that wasn't "tainted" already by things they've been taught or observed. You certainly couldn't test a child that attends any kind of church or religious teachings. Would an adult member of a primitive native tribe in Africa that has been sheltered from the developed world think slavery was evil? I don't know, but I suspect not.

Yes, people naturally understand slavery is evil. See above. They are tempted by their own greed and desire to force their will upon others. It is a conscious choice.

God made rules for slaves for their well being. Not because he thought people should be slaves. Slaves were to be set free in the 7th year, unless they wanted to remain under their masters (because they were being taken care of). Also, God does not explicitly endorse slavery. He brought the Israelites out of Egypt precisely because they had been in bondage. He redeemed His people and set them free. He performed miracles for them, and led them through the Red Sea, and gave them manna and water from the rock. He gave them His Laws (for their well being) and when they broke them he punished them. Should a Father not punish his children when they do wrong? What would it teach them not to punish evil?

If you seek God, you will find Him.

Jeremiah 29:10-14 said:

10 For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

bamccaig said:

That is a meaningless question. If he has that right then who gave him that right? If nobody had to give him that right then why does somebody need to give me rights? Why can't I just assume them too? In other words, undefined. In particular, because there is no God.

God has the right to punish his children because He is their Father. It is the right of a Father to choose how to treat his own children. Would you deny that? You're not making any sense. There are certain rights that most people can all agree that everyone has as living beings, whether they observe them or not. You do have rights. You're exercising one right now, in denying God and choosing not to believe in what He says. That's your right. And God gave it to you. If you really want to deny God, go right ahead. See how far it gets you. See how many blessings he chooses to give you when you won't even acknowledge his existence. Why should he bless and give anything further to someone who shows zero gratitude for what they've been given already?

bamccaig said:

See above. Your mind is weak and is convincing itself of a delusion because you're unwilling to truly question it. I am very familiar with this way of thinking because I used to be like that myself (when I was 8). That is not an open mind. Anybody can say that their mind is open. Humorously, religious believers often assert that their minds are open and that everybody else's mind is closed. I'd have to say that this is another weakness of the human brain to fail to see the flaw in their own reasoning.

You're mistaken. I've already questioned my beliefs, and been proven wrong about them. There was a time when I thought I had gotten to be where I was simply on my own, disregarding the blessings of God. And so He let me fall away, until I realized that true blessings come from Him. And then He returned them to me. My life has only improved since I've started believing in God. You can call it a coincidence if you like, but I know it's not. Can I scientifically prove it? No, but I still choose to believe it anyway, because he's shown me He's really there, and that He really cares. See above. "If you seek Me ye shall find Me." Believe it or not, I don't really care.

bamccaig said:

What does that even mean? That's a ridiculous thought. Is Jesus a conscious mind that chooses one by one whether or not to save somebody? Isn't everybody saved implicitly? What about God? Couldn't God just say, "Nah, you Jesus, bambams is cool; he's in!?"

Yes, Jesus is a conscious entity. He is the living Son of God. He chooses whether to reward or punish people based on their works. Do good and be blessed. Do evil and be punished. Pretty simple really. And Jesus obey's God, because He is His Father. If you've seen the Son, you've seen the Father. The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father. He does the works of His Father, because he is an obedient, loving Son.

bamccaig said:

You don't need to read a textbook to learn math or science. Somebody could explain it to you, and explain experiments to verify it, and you could prove it to yourself through testing. This has already been pointed out in this thread at least once.

That's not true and you know it.

Back in grade school / elementary (e.g., I was somewhere around 8 to 10 years old), we were given a small section of electricity in our "science block" or whatever you want to call it. I learned that certain materials allow electricity to pass through much better than others.

Let me ask you both a question. Where would you two be without the collected knowledge of the ages behind you? That's what textbooks are, collected knowledge. Just how long did it take men to invent electricity anyway? Oh, somewhere around 10,000 years since the dawn of the Homosapiens. And where did you get your knowledge of electricity from? From a book. From the collected knowledge of the ages. That's what the Bible is, the collected knowledge of God and His prophets throughout the ages. If you hadn't been shown electricity, there is nearly zero chance you would have invented it by yourself. We are where we are today because of the collected knowledge of the ages. Where would man be without libraries? Nowhere.

Aaron Bolyard said:

However, the same is not possible for any religion. It's asinine to argue otherwise. If all copies of the Bible were somehow destroyed and its followers croaked, the religion would die. It's simple as that. No future society would piece together the religion in any fullness from non-literary remnants, nor could they retroactively prove or verify it.

You're a hypocrite. The exact same thing goes for you. If you lost all your textbooks you would be back in a cave with the cavemen shivering your ass off wondering where your next meal would be coming from. Just as scientific knowledge could be rebuilt through experimentation, so could the knowledge of God be rebuilt through His prophets. But the Bible's not going to be lost, because God gave it to us for our knowledge. He wants us to have His knowledge. He wants us to have wisdom. Destroy this temple, and I will rebuild it in three days. See if you can beat that. :P

Aaron Bolyard

Edgar, you're wrong and there's no point in continuing this discussion. I especially didn't think I was rude by any measure, but it seems I'm spouting "crap" and am a hypocrite (which is rather insulting in my situation). Disappointing...

Bruce Perry

Aaron, you're right of course. Just spend your time doing more of that cool stuff instead of trying to save these people from their own personal Stockholm syndromes 8-)

GullRaDriel

Enough of silly questions. Believers, here are some common life things that I need you to enlight with your bible knowings.

What do the bible told you about masturbation ?
Do you think I'll take as granted that you didn't touch yourself around your fourteens ?
So will the bible help you with your son when he'll have "the devil" down in his pants ?

And what do the bible says about woman menstruation ? Will you tell your daughter that she have to hide from people because the bible says she's not 'pure' during her menstruation ?
Are you sure your wife's periods were always perfectly ended each time you had sex ? BE sure, it's a-stoning story.

And depending of your degree of brain obliteration, will you refuse blood/whatever transfusion/organ donation ?
Even if it's your son's life who's in danger ? Your own life ? Your wife life ?

???

edit

Edgar said:

And then He returned them to me. My life has only improved since I've started believing in God. You can call it a coincidence if you like, but I know it's not. Can I scientifically prove it? No, but I still choose to believe it anyway, because he's shown me He's really there, and that He really cares. See above. "If you seek Me ye shall find Me." Believe it or not, I don't really care.

It's basically Cauet's method with 'god/lord' word everywhere. You could have done it just telling yourself that whatever come it's still going to be better.
It's a scientific and proven effect, but now I'm lazzy to google for you.

Onewing

I coded a program that governs a 3D space (i.e. Universe) via light (in lieu of gravity) and time and initialized it (i.e. Big Bang) with a series of objects at varying degrees of light emission. Time causes the light to decay, but at various rates set by the initialization that creates various colors. The lights blend and have some degree of impact to all other light-objects.

The program attempts to create code to move (remember, no gravity in this system) the objects in ideal positions to maximize the light presented. When objects are moved in a way that creates bright white light, the code can spawn a new object inheriting its properties as a combination from the parent light-objects used to make it. The program compiles its code and runs it on a separate thread to ensure it doesn't crash before merging the code in.

I fast forwarded this system to see a future result. Lo and behold, I found an active pixel that served multiple light-objects where they had learned how to communicate with each other. Reading their conversations, I came across something interesting:

"Absolute proof that ONEWING EXIST (Pretty Cool)".

The discussion was very...colorful. I shut the program down because it was using too many resources on my machine.

Dizzy Egg

“Call on God, but row away from the rocks.” - Hunter S Thompson

Neil Roy

And depending of your degree of brain obliteration

I was about to answer you, until I read that. If you want answers, try showing some respect and be civilized, if that is at all possible with you.

In the meantime, for my fellow believers (I don't expect any atheists to watch this or give it any chance at all). You may just like this. It is a lecture given by a former NASA engineer on evidence from our solar system that it is not that old. He has other videos as well that are worth watching. There's quite a bit that you are not told on those TV specials that tell you how the solar system came to be, and he covers all the problems and what you are not told in this. It's quite good. No preaching in it at all. Just the facts.

video

bamccaig

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/05/22/creationist-heh-astronomy-hahahahahahahahaha/

This guy was allegedly an electrical engineer. His affiliation with Nasa, if it's even true (Google him; I saw nothing to verify this) doesn't help his credibility here because he's outside his field.

I'm only 11 minutes in so far, but his argument so far is essentially "scientific theories don't account for what we see" and therefore God. Ignoring whether or nor there's any validity in what he claims because we can't verify that without studying physics and astronomy, we can still debunk him quite simply: scientific theories being incomplete or flawed does not offer evidence for "creation theory". All of the scientific knowledge that we've accumulated could be 100% wrong and it still wouldn't offer the tiniest bit of support for the Bible stories. If you can't comprehend that then you're simply not intelligent enough to even be in this debate (which would explain which side you're on quite nicely, I think most would agree).

Edgar Reynaldo

Edgar, you're wrong and there's no point in continuing this discussion.

What a cop out. You're just being chicken because you know what I am saying made sense and you can't refute it properly.

Aaron Bolyard said:

I especially didn't think I was rude by any measure, but it seems I'm spouting "crap" and am a hypocrite (which is rather insulting in my situation). Disappointing...

The crap I was speaking of was mostly coming from bamccaig. And you really are overly sensitive, aren't you? It IS hypocritical of you to say that if the Bible disappeared Christianity couldn't survive if you don't also apply it to your own situation, which is what I showed that you did not do.

And no Christianity wouldn't be lost without the Bible. The main principle of Christianity is to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. Calling you a hypocrite may not have been very kind, but at the same time it was not inaccurate of me to say so.

GullRadriel said:

Believers, here are some common life things that I need you to enlight with your bible knowings.

There's nothing wrong with the laws of God. They are made for people's good. But God also knows that his people will break them, whether intentionally or not. That is why God brought about a new covenant, based on grace, and not on the law, because he knew that the law gave power to sin. He took away the power of death (sin) through the reconciliation of Christ and grace.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 NRSV said:

A New Covenant

31 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband,[g] says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Aaron Bolyard

That statement simply indicated I was discontinuing the discussion with you, Edgar (and it was a simple summary of how I felt). There was no cop out because I simply don't want to continue the discussion (and there's no obligation for me to) for many reasons. I would like to note I find it rather out of place for you to become aggressive and rude, when in other discussions/threads we've participated in (non-religious, admittedly), this was never the case. Evidently I was mistaken.

The hypocrite sling is indeed insulting because I correct my worldview and beliefs when objective and credible information proves otherwise. This is necessary for any consequential thought or experience I have (within some reason, of course*).

You, and much of everyone else (religious or otherwise), can reasonably survive with a worldview built on a foundation of sand and constructed out of straw because you don't have incredibly bizarre and irrational thoughts and experiences haunting you day in and day out caused by some mental illness. If you did, however, you would have a terrible prognosis, because you don't have the means or ability to correct your own behavior. Just like most others.

On the other hand, it's simply not possible in my case. I have to apply a much more strict rational process in my life. For example, I believe there are eldritch beings manipulating certain events in my life for some greater plan. At the same time, I am aware these events are simply coincidences caused by personal attributes (e.g., I gravitate towards darker and obscure media) and observation bias. So when I read "I Feel Sick" series by Vasquez a few months back, I simultaneously believe 1) that the creation of this work was guided by eldritch beings and events in my own life were manipulated so I would eventually read the series so said beings could threaten me, and 2) that it was a complete coincidence caused by my previous exposure to Vasquez's work (Invader Zim on Nickelodeon back in the... 2000s? I think) and that there are no eldritch beings (for many, many reasons).

I can't stress how exhausting, stressful, and even emotionally/mentally painful keeping this fragile balancing act up. How would you feel if you believed hundreds of contradictory beliefs, and were completely aware of the contradictions? Keeping my thoughts and behaviors in order is struggle enough. Sometimes I think I'm doing a good job, except when confronted with contradictory and irrational behaviors/beliefs of people around me who are otherwise able, functional, and normal.

So yes, I do take offense when the very attributes that specifically enable me to function somewhat reasonably in familiar scenarios/situations are removed from my description as a form of insult (I'm not sure of the words or phrasing here, sorry if it's confusing). Because it's not true and it completely removes the daily struggles I face as someone at a gross disadvantage to you or most others.

You and and whoever else can keep up the (admittedly pointless) discussion, but I'd like to clarify that particular portion. There's a difference between a simple, aimless insult (e.g., the majority in this thread) and a targeted attack like that. Most insults are in the former (even insulting my intelligence or lack thereof would be), only a very few are in the latter.

And yes, I'm aware you most probably didn't know how that would affect me. I can't expect people to know, just like I can't be expected to know similar things with others. But that doesn't make it any less upsetting.

*: E.g., keeping certain lights on and having a flashlight handy is simply easier and less stressful than overcoming a constant fear of threatening shadows. The end result is insignificant (and not complying is probably worse).

edit: phrasing.

Dizzy Egg

I quite like that every time Neil shares a video it's with "I doubt atheists will watch this".

I'm going off him quite quickly.

Neil Roy

That is why God brought about a new covenant, based on grace, and not on the law

1 John 2:3-4 (NIV)
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

2 Peter 3:17 (NIV)
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

Matthew 7:21-23 (NKJV)
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ and then i will declare to them, ‘i never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Romans 2:13 (NIV)
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

1 John 3:4 (NIV)
Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.

1 John 3:6 (NIV)
No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. no one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

Matthew 19:17 (NIV)
"Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."

Luke 16:17 (NIV)
"It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law."

James 1:25 (NIV)
But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

James 2:17 (NKJV)
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

1 John 3:21-22 (NIV)
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

1 John 5:3 (NIV)
In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. and his commands are not burdensome

And of course, there are many, MANY more I could quote. I don't need to comment on them, they speak for themselves.

axilmar

The 'god-by-design' argument has been easily invalidated by Dawkins and Hitchens

1) it is a circular argument. We humans happen to not know how these things came to be, we assign their creation to God, and then we prove there is a God because these things are designed.

2) it is a argument that simply displaces the question of who created the Universe. Who created God? that's the next question to answer, if we accept God created the Universe.

There is actually a very simple argument on why it is impossible for God to exist: any being that is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent cannot create or destroy anything, because these actions will destroy those properties.

-my 2 cents.

piccolo

@axilmar
Watch the last video you will get your answers in logic

Edgar Reynaldo

@Aaron Bolyard
I apologize Aaron. I was not intending to make a personal attack on you, only to make you aware that what you were saying applied to your situation as well.

@Neil
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. What do all those verses have to do with anything but the law? You're totally neglecting why Christ died, because no one is perfect enough to obey every law fully. Otherwise, why would we need forgiveness of sins? The law by itself cannot save anyone. You should read Romans 7 and 8 if you want to understand what I am saying.

Romans 8:1-4 NRSV said:

Life in the Spirit

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit[a] of life in Christ Jesus has set you[b] free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Everyone sins. All have fallen short of the glory of God. We are saved through faith in Christ and through the grace of God.

Romans 3:21-26 said:

Righteousness through Faith

21 But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ[d] for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; 24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement[e] by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; 26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.

axilmar said:

The 'god-by-design' argument has been easily invalidated by Dawkins and Hitchens

1) it is a circular argument. We humans happen to not know how these things came to be, we assign their creation to God, and then we prove there is a God because these things are designed.

2) it is a argument that simply displaces the question of who created the Universe. Who created God? that's the next question to answer, if we accept God created the Universe.

I don't believe I've been using the argument you speak of in your first point. I am using God's word as proof of his existence. It rings true to all those who listen to it with understanding. And to the people who say there are too many religious books for everyone's God to be real, well you're quite right. You should pick one and see if what it says holds merit and proves itself to be true. I suggest you start with the Bible to avoid wasting your time.

Who created the universe? Why don't you ask Him?

Colossians 1:15-23 said:

The Supremacy of Christ

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in[h] him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He himself is before all things, and in[i] him all things hold together. 18 He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.

21 And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled[j] in his fleshly body[k] through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23 provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

axilmar said:

There is actually a very simple argument on why it is impossible for God to exist: any being that is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent cannot create or destroy anything, because these actions will destroy those properties.

-my 2 cents.

Your argument needs explanation. How would creation destroy omniscience, omnipresence, or omnipotence?

LennyLen
Neil Roy said:

Your response is always predictable... and old.

That nicely sums up this entire discussion. Both sides of it.

Bruce Perry

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Niunio

I am using God's word as proof of his existence.

(I'm pretty sure I may be punished for the next question.)

So Mr. Holmes also existed, doesn't he?

Remember that books, all books, any book, were written by humans. Even if God exists and He dictated that book, it was actually written by humans.

For example: John Smith. He read the Golden Book. And if you believe Moses read the Tablets of the Law, you can't say that John Smith didn't read the Golden Book. Or that Muhammad wasn't inspired by Gabriel to write the Quran.

Edgar Reynaldo
Niunio said:

(I'm pretty sure I may be punished for the next question.)

So Mr. Holmes also existed, doesn't he?

Remember that books, all books, any book, were written by humans. Even if God exists and He dictated that book, it was actually written by humans.

For example: John Smith. He read the Golden Book. And if you believe Moses read the Tablets of the Law, you can't say that John Smith didn't read the Golden Book. Or that Muhammad wasn't inspired by Gabriel to write the Quran.

Mr. Holmes may not exist, but the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, most certainly does (did, if you believe people die when they die) exist.

Did Gabriel write the Quran? I can't answer that. I would say no offhand, but I have never read it before, and I don't know what it really contains. As to why it is included in the Muslim panoply and not in Christian writings, I would say it is because it wasn't from God. Yes, I know I just upset 1.7 billion people, but I'm not sorry. Satan is just as real as God, and he wants to deceive as many people as he can into following him instead of God. He even tried to prevent the birth of Christ by seducing Eve (who then gave birth to their son, Cain, the first murderer). But God gave Adam and Eve another son, Seth, through which Christ came.

What it all boils down to is this. Pick a religion, read it's tenets, and see for yourself whether what it says holds true or not. I have read a good portion of the Bible and none of it has ever proved false to me. God's promises are true, and He hears my prayers and answers them, and so I choose to believe what He says in the Bible (despite being dictated by human hands).

Bruce Perry

It's somehow sad to see those two paragraphs together: such conviction alongside such resignation. I'm not sorry I just insulted every other religion, but by all means, of course I accept that this is an individual thing. On the plus side, I suppose it's finally an answer to that question you ignored earlier ;)

Edgar Reynaldo

My apologies Bruce, I wasn't really trying to ignore you.

By all means offer religion to people who could benefit from it, but leave out the part about punishment.

That would be irresponsible and promote a Christianity that is false.

Neil, on a more serious note than my aeroplane troll, I think my view on religion is that it can be a valuable personal belief system that doesn't really impact one's choices in life. (We know that atheists and religious people can both behave ethically and not.) With that in mind, what would you say is the personal value you gain from believing?

Others who have been arguing for their religion in this thread are also welcome to answer this question.

A personal belief system that doesn't affect the choices you make in life is worthless. Faith without works is dead.

As to the question that I haven't answered (because it is somewhat insulting, and when you say it like that you are implying there is no value in my belief), I will say this. Everlasting life. Forgiveness. Blessings. God's Love. A place in His Kingdom. An end to the suffering and evil of the present age on Earth. Confidence. Rewards here and now and later on as well. Wisdom. Help when I need it. God's uplifting Hand holding me up when I am weak.

such conviction alongside such resignation. I'm not sorry I just insulted every other religion, but by all means, of course I accept that this is an individual thing. On the plus side, I suppose it's finally an answer to that question you ignored earlier ;)

Like I said before, someone's right and someone's wrong. And nothing anyone has said in this thread has refuted any thing I've quoted or anything that I believe in. The Bible and science don't disagree if you know how to read the Bible with understanding.

Given the infinite nature of the universe and the infinitesimal chance of life existing in the first place I suppose a person could reason that it evens out to about a chance of 1. But I've seen all the wisdom that the Bible holds. It has knowledge that applies to every aspect of life and I fully believe that it is divinely inspired. The teachings of Jesus are divine wisdom, and they come from the Father.

Mark 1:21-28 said:

The Man with an Unclean Spirit

21 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. 22 They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. 23 Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, 24 and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” 25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26 And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He[m] commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” 28 At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

Matthew 7:24-29 said:

Hearers and Doers

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

28 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astounded at his teaching, 29 for he taught them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.

Neil Roy

You're totally neglecting why Christ died

I'm no neglecting anything, read my reply again, I didn't say a word, I just quoted the bible. So, you're arguing against the authors who wrote those verses, not me. But from your reply, it is clear you understand what those verses are saying and somehow trying to claim I said it. That is precisely why I didn't comment, I only quoted the bible. You know what it says. It wasn't that said it, so do not try and state I am neglecting anything. :)

As for it being impossible to obey the law... seems like the bible disagrees with you...

Matthew 5:48 (NIV)
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 19:21 (NIV)
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

As for the forgiveness of sins, yes, the forgiveness of past sins. Once you are forgiven you are expected to obey the law. Yes, the law cannot save you, that is grace. But grace doesn't negate the need for obedience, that's nonsense! And I already proved it by the clear verses I quoted which tell you to obey it.

Do you plan to ignore those verses which contradict the false doctrines you were taught? You can't pick and choose which verses you wish to obey.

Edgar Reynaldo

The way you quoted those verses it was basically as if you were stating that to be saved everyone has to perfectly follow the law. That's not possible, and I showed you clearly where it says that in the Bible. I never said that what I was saying contradicted anything you said, merely I was pointing out that you are not presenting the whole picture. Without context and without explanation, many things can be easily misinterpreted, and they often are.

Neil Roy said:

As for the forgiveness of sins, yes, the forgiveness of past sins. Once you are forgiven you are expected to obey the law. Yes, the law cannot save you, that is grace. But grace doesn't negate the need for obedience, that's nonsense! And I already proved it by the clear verses I quoted which tell you to obey it.

Do you plan to ignore those verses which contradict the false doctrines you were taught? You can't pick and choose which verses you wish to obey.

You're putting words in my mouth that weren't there. :/

The word "perfect" in Matthew 5:48 and Matthew 19:21 actually means 'complete'. See Strong's Greek word 5046 here :

https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5046&t=KJV

It means to follow through and fulfill everything as fully as you can. You can't actually be perfect, as the verse I quoted clearly shows you :

Romans 3:23 NRSV said:

23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;

Clearly, no one is perfect, so for the verse you quoted to make sense, you need to think about it a different way. 'Complete' makes more sense.

Hebrews 12:1-2 said:

The Example of Jesus

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,[a] and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of[b] the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.

We are perfected through Christ, not the law. As I said before, the law cannot save anyone. NOTE : I'm not saying to disobey it, just that by itself it is not enough to bring salvation.

Neil Roy

Sorry Edgar, but the following verse pretty much sums it up for me...

1 John 2:3-4 (NIV)
We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

You can try dancing your way around the scriptures all day if you wish. You cannot change the meaning of them all. And this one is very clear about anyone that teaches that we do not need to obey the law.

Also...

2 Peter 3:17 (NIV)
Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

...yes, I am definitely on my guard against the error of the lawless... you cannot cherry pick verses like that. The bible is clear and you are in error.

Edgar Reynaldo

Neil, do you have trouble reading? I never said to disobey the law. I said that it cannot save anyone, because no one is capable of fully following it. God knows this, I quoted it before.

romans 8:3-4 said:

3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin,[c] he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The one cherry picking verses here is you. You seem to feel perfectly fine ignoring the verses I quote to you. And furthermore, you are making me out to be someone who has been brainwashed by false doctrine. I study the Bible just as much as you do. You're the one who isn't listening.

Neil Roy

I never said to disobey the law. I said that it cannot save anyone

Where did I say it could? The problem is, I see this by far too many "Christians" to justify grace only, no law, no obedience. And it is usually because they refuse to obey the 4th commandment. You cannot do away with one commandment, so they claim they are all done away with. Or they will claim that it is somehow "Jewish" only (even though the Jews were only 1 tribe out of 12, and Moses was not a Jew, he was a Levite). Plus we have the following verse which sums it up really well...

Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)
Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.

...We are to 1) Fear God, 2) Keep His commandments and this is the duty of "all mankind" (that means everyone, not only "Jews").

But you are correct, keeping the law alone, does not save us, absolutely not. Grace saves us. But far too many feel that you have to choose one over the other, when BOTH are in effect. Yes grace saves you, but you still have to obey the law. When you are saved your PAST SINS are forgiven, so from then on out you do your best to obey (stop sinning, and sin is law breaking). Can we be perfect, well, certain scriptures seem to say so, but I will admit that not all of us can. I strongly feel that God looks at our motives, if we mess up and didn't mean to, and we turn back to God and ask forgiveness, I feel He will show mercy, but dependant on whether you are honestly trying or not.

Anyhow, if I misunderstood you, my apologies. I just hear the grace only, no law thing so much I guess I may be seeing it where it doesn't exist. ;)

Here's a prophecy that really sums up today's churches...

Ezekiel 22:26 (NIV)
“Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.”

Anyhow, God bless. ;)

Edgar Reynaldo

Something I don't understand is what does it mean to keep the Sabbath? In today's context? Has the Sabbath been superceded by Christ? He says a couple things about it that I know of :

Matthew 12:5-8 said:

Or have you not read in the law that on the sabbath the priests in the temple break the sabbath and yet are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”

Mark 2:27-28 said:

Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28 so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.”

bamccaig

Check it out, guys! We have two Christians arguing with each other over the contradictions in the Bible. 8-) Oddly, they can't comprehend that the Bible is contradictory so they're accusing each other of reading it wrong...

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GullRaDriel

I second bamccaig. I'm eating popcorn since they started and didn't even thought to mention none of them answered my questions ^^

Good thing with science, there are some things universally understood (and by the way accepted, note the order).

8-)

Edgar Reynaldo
bamccaig said:

Check it out, guys! We have two Christians arguing with each other over the contradictions in the Bible. 8-) Oddly, they can't comprehend that the Bible is contradictory so they're accusing each other of reading it wrong...

Check it out Christians! We have an aetheist who can't read! There are no contradictions between what I said and what Neil said. Both apply equally.

Neil Roy

Check it out Christians! We have an aetheist who can't read! There are no contradictions between what I said and what Neil said. Both apply equally.

Agreed. :) We're merely trying to clarify what it says and help each other understand it better. I didn't mention contradictions and neither did Edgar. Because there aren't any.

You can find contradictions in SCIENCE though! For example, in the proven laws of thermodynamics it states that energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, then we have the big bang theory which states it was created from nothing.

We have the thermodynamic law of entropy, which states that everything tends towards decay. Then we have evolutionism which says that over time things improve and get better.

There are many... MANY more. 8-)

bamccaig

This remains amusing. Keep it up. :D

Derezo
Quote:

There are many... MANY more. 8-)

Uhh.. none of those are contradictions.

Mark Oates
Neil Roy said:

We have the thermodynamic law of entropy, which states that everything tends towards decay. Then we have evolutionism which says that over time things improve and get better.

Evolution is the acceleration of destruction. 8-)

Mark Oates
Neil Roy said:

We have the thermodynamic law of entropy, which states that everything tends towards decay. Then we have evolutionism which says that over time things improve and get better.

Evolution is the acceleration of destruction. 8-)

GullRaDriel

Acceleration is double posting ! ;D

GameCreator
Neil Roy said:

I didn't mention contradictions and neither did Edgar. Because there aren't any

You might have missed this earlier then
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html

Mark Oates

Acceleration is double posting ! ;D

8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)

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8-) 8-) 8-) 8-)

Neil Roy

8-)
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Bruce Perry

As to the question that I haven't answered (because it is somewhat insulting, and when you say it like that you are implying there is no value in my belief), I will say this. Everlasting life. Forgiveness. Blessings. God's Love. A place in His Kingdom. An end to the suffering and evil of the present age on Earth. Confidence. Rewards here and now and later on as well. Wisdom. Help when I need it. God's uplifting Hand holding me up when I am weak.

Edgar, acting insulted? And claiming that what I said completely devalues your belief, which it doesn't? Dirty tactics. As a Christian, you might say it's your job to try and help other people see the light. What you just did is the opposite - you pushed me away. God won't like that, will he? Neil didn't seem to take offence like this ;)

Now all that said, I'm happy for the things it brings you, and of course they have immense value for you. Just remember that everyone has to make their own decisions about what constitutes confidence, forgiveness and rewards, and where they get them. Yours are valid, but only for you and others who share your faith.

Neil Roy said:

You can find contradictions in SCIENCE though! For example, in the proven laws of thermodynamics it states that energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, then we have the big bang theory which states it was created from nothing.

The way to resolve this one is to consider the Big Bang to be the creation of the rules, not the creation of matter or energy within pre-existing rules.

Quote:

We have the thermodynamic law of entropy, which states that everything tends towards decay. Then we have evolutionism which says that over time things improve and get better.

Our highly structured and ordered life here is at the cost of huge amounts of decay in the sun, which is rather bigger and more powerful than the Earth is. The rule is more that you can't do certain things like move heat the wrong direction along a heat gradient unless you use a decay-esque process somewhere else (such as burning fuel) to achieve it.

No contradictions here :)

Neil Roy

610206

I just wanted to share this bible passage with fellow believers. It's one of my favourites. Actually, this entire chapter is very encouraging...

Psalm 91:14-16 (NIV)
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honour him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

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