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Santa portrayed as having a gay, black husband...
Neil Roy
Member #2,229
April 2002
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Bam.... I am still waiting for your alleged contradictions or show me how the Bible discredits itself.

In order to recognize than an explanation is the best. You don't have to have an explanation of the explanation. This is an elementary point in the philosophy of science. Suppose astronauts were to find on the backside of the moon a pile of machinery there that had not been left by American or Russian cosmonauts. What would be the best explanation for that machinery? Clearly it would be some sort of extraterrestrial intelligence that had left the machinery there. You don't have to have an explanation of who these extraterrestrials were or came from or how they got there or anything of that sort in order to recognize that the best explanation for this machinery is intelligent design. In order to recognize than an explanation is the best. You don't have to have an explanation of the explanation. In fact when you think about it, requiring that would immediately lead to an infinite regress of explanations. You would need an explanation of the explanation but in order to recognize that as best you would need an explanation of the explanation of the explanation. And then an explanation of the explanation of the explanation of the explanation! So that nothing could ever be explained! At one point you have to have an uncaused cause or there would be nothing in existence today.

Everything that begins to exist has a cause. Something cannot come into being out of nothing. The universe exists, therefore it has a cause. The cause has to be immaterial, beyond space and time.

If something is eternal and timeless than it doesn't need a cause. The concept of God is the concept of an eternal, self existent, necessary being and so the answer simply is that God is uncaused, He is self existent.

There had to have been a first cause. And that cause, I call GOD; though I will admit to not knowing His name, but then nobody does, I simply know that He exists, He must exist, or universe would not.

Now some may object to the idea of anything or anyone being "eternal". But I submit that the thermodynamic law of energy conservation proves that not only is the concept of something, or someone being eternal logical, it is actually the only thing that the laws of physics support! Let me explain. The law of energy conservation proves that ALL matter and energy IS ETERNAL... that is, the POWER that forms all matter IS eternal. The reason being that the thermodynamic law of energy conservation states that matter and energy CANNOT be created or destroyed! When you burn something for example, you do not destroy the matter and energy, you simply convert it to heat, smoke, ashes etc. The same goes for plants. When a plant dies, it decays and microbes, worms, insects, animals etc... consume it. We then kill the animal and eat it maybe. That matter then becomes a part of our body, we die, decay and what makes up our body is consumed and the cycle continues... and has continues all down through time.

The idea of a big bang for example clearly defies the proven thermodynamic law of energy conservation in the biggest possible way! Universally! HOWEVER, if an eternal creator God who used His power, which is eternal, to create everything, THAT would fit the facts perfectly. All energy and matter are eternal, we know that, it's been proven. So it HAD to have had an eternal source. The source I already talked about above, I call God. Surpremely intelligent. Without a beginning or an end, who has lived forever, which used to seem like a pretty ridiculous concept to me as well, until I realized that ALL energy and matter has already been proven to be eternal and that NOTHING has had a beginning or an end... oh we live and die, but all the energy and matter that makes us up has ALWAYS been here.... unless you wish me to believe that all energy and matter suddenly popped into existence out of NOTHING for NO REASON?! Now THAT is a ridiculous idea... and science... REAL science, proves that all energy and matter are eternal and so MUST have an eternal source. You simply cannot get around that fact.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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dusthillresident
Member #16,778
December 2017

Edit: I want to be clear that I meant no disrespect or insult by this post, and I meant to be civil.

Neil Roy said:

Everything that begins to exist has a cause. Something cannot come into being out of nothing.

You say this, and then you immediately contradict yourself in the next paragraph where you use special pleading for god.

Neil Roy said:

If something is eternal and timeless than it doesn't need a cause. The concept of God is the concept of an eternal, self existent, necessary being and so the answer simply is that God is uncaused, He is self existent.

How do you know that god is uncaused? Why do you allow god to be 'self existent', but not the universe, or anything else?

Neil Roy said:

There had to have been a first cause.

The thing is that your god has the exact same problem, you've just moved it up a layer, and then you're trying to avoid it by arbitrarily declaring that your god is 'timeless and eternal' and 'self existent' and 'uncaused'. If we accept that it's possible for something to have those attributes, then it's possible the universe itself could have those attributes, or something else other than the god you believe in.

There are contradictions and discrepancies in the bible. They range from smaller things, like the number of chariots in an army, to larger, like Jesus's conflicting genealogies, and things like Jesus getting crucified on different days relative to the passover depending on what part of the new testament you read, with key details of the story being completely different as a result.

They're in there, whether you accept it or not - I know you won't. I know well about how religious apologetics works as I was a (more fundamentalist sort of) christian myself for many years. And not a 'I went to church now and then' christian, I mean a serious earnest and honest believer who literally lost sleep over thought about what the bible said about stuff. In fact, it's precisely because I took it seriously that I ended up losing my faith.

Neil Roy said:

Even science is now starting to see the universe appears to have been intelligently designed

No, it really isn't, unless you cherry pick scientists.

Quote:

and so they have come up with a new theory that we are all living inside a computer simulation! I kid you not. I laughed when I first heard this and thought it was a joke, until I looked into it and discovered they were serious.

This is not limited to atheistic scientists as you seem to be thinking. I encountered a (more fundamentalist sort of) christian who very enthusiastically believed this idea, and seemed to think it was proof for god. Not all (or even most) scientists accept this idea, and it's impossible to prove or disprove.

And supposing it's true, it doesn't mean a lot as an explanation for existence. It's similar to what I said earlier about your claims about your god. It pushes it up a layer. What's running the simulation? And what's running the thing that's running the simulation? And so on.

Edit: I want to be clear that I meant no disrespect or insult by this post, and I meant to be civil.

Neil Roy
Member #2,229
April 2002
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And thus ends my involvement in this. It is impossible to convince a non-believer that there is a God. There will ALWAYS be some sort of argument against it. These sorts of conversations, however respectful, can never end in anything but frustration.

I stated my case and I stand by them. I could go on as there is much more I could say, but I have been here before and I have already posted more than I originally wanted to.

As I told my atheist father, "We will all find out the truth in the end, if I am wrong, than I have lived my life being the best person I can be and will never know it. But if he is wrong..."

John 12:40 (NIV)
“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.”

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.

Psalm 14:1 (NIV)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

dusthillresident
Member #16,778
December 2017

Neil Roy said:

Psalm 14:1 (NIV)
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

I don't appreciate this, it's regrettable that you would post this quote.
Regards,
Brian

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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There are contradictions and discrepancies in the bible. They range from smaller things, like the number of chariots in an army, to larger, like Jesus's conflicting genealogies,

Not personally worried about these.

dusthillresident said:

and things like Jesus getting crucified on different days relative to the passover depending on what part of the new testament you read, with key details of the story being completely different as a result.

Which books are you referring to? Could you elaborate please?

Neil Roy said:

In the end, it all boils down to beliefs doesn't it? You believe everything came from nothing and came together randomly, which defies logic (to me anyhow). I believe an all powerful, super intelligent creator designed and created it all, which makes more sense to me.

I have to agree with Neil on this one. It makes more sense for God to exist, than not to. If you can't see a divine hand in the beauty of creation, I don't think you can ever see God. He's all around us!

bamccaig said:

It's easy for me at least to see that the stories of the Bible come from fallible human minds instead of the all-knowing wisdom of an omnipotent being. Since the only reason we believe in any such god is the Bible and the history of Christianity based upon it we can pretty much rule out the existence of any such god.

Have you read the New Testament bam? It is one of the largest collections of modern day moral guidance that there ever has been. The wisdom of Jesus couldn't have come from humanity, it's too corrupt.

Mark 1:21-28 said:

Jesus Expels an Unclean Spirit
(Luke 4:31-37)

21Then Jesus and His companions went to Capernaum, and as soon as the Sabbath began, Jesus entered the synagogue and began to teach.

22 The people were astonished at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.

23 Suddenly a man with an unclean spirit cried out in the synagogue:

24 “What do You want 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 the spirit and said, “Be silent! Come out of him!”

26 At this, the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and came out with a loud shriek.

27 All the people were amazed and began to ask one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him!”

28 And the news about Jesus spread quickly through the whole region of Galilee.

dusthillresident
Member #16,778
December 2017

Not personally worried about these.

I'm not suggesting you should be worried. You can very well be a Christian without subscribing to the idea of biblical inerrancy. That the bible has contradictions is a fact, and you might as well accept it.

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Which books are you referring to? Could you elaborate please?

This page explains it: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/passover_meal.html
Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman also mentions it in his book 'Jesus Interrupted'. It's an excellent book, which I highly recommend.

Quote:

It makes more sense for God to exist, than not to. If you can't see a divine hand in the beauty of creation, I don't think you can ever see God. He's all around us!

What you've written here reminds me of the song 'all things bright and beautiful'. This way of thinking seems to ignore the inconvenient details. I don't see a divine hand in nature (or 'creation' as you call it), I see a bitter and brutal struggle for survival. Insects whose life cycle is dependent on eating alive the young of other insects. Animals whose life is dependent on eating the flesh of other animals. I've seen a video of a pack of wolves attacking a pregnant wildebeest as it's in the process of giving birth. I hear news stories about wars, child sex abuse, etc. Televangelist cult leaders getting rich off donations. If this world was designed and created deliberately by something, in my opinion that thing is an utter monster. This is sometimes called 'the problem of evil' and I know religious apologists have many different 'answers' for it, I don't find any of them remotely convincing.

Quote:

It is one of the largest collections of modern day moral guidance that there ever has been. The wisdom of Jesus couldn't have come from humanity, it's too corrupt.

This isn't true. I'm not very impressed with much of the teachings of the Jesus character in the new testament. Some of them are obvious, some of them are good, and some of them are bad and harmful. Confucius had the 'golden rule' ('do unto others as you would have them do unto you') well before Jesus was born.

Neil Roy said:

As I told my atheist father, "We will all find out the truth in the end, if I am wrong, than I have lived my life being the best person I can be and will never know it. But if he is wrong..."

I know Neil Roy has left the thread, but I still want to address this. This is Pascal's Wager, and it's not a good argument. For instance - what if you die and then find yourself face to face with Allah? Or Zeus, or Thor, etc. Your belief in the bible would probably get you in trouble. It gets worse when you consider that there's many possible interpretations / variants of each religion. Maybe the Catholics are right - and in that case even though you're Christian, you'd still be going to hell.

I also want to address this:

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than I have lived my life being the best person I can be

I contest that. If you're wrong, you'll have spent your life hating gay people for no cause, and backhandedly calling people stupid with copy-pasted bible quotes because they didn't share your religious belief, thinking yourself superior to people who don't think like you do. What good are you doing that you wouldn't be if you weren't religious?

(No offense is meant by any of this. I mean to be civil. And I fully recognise that not all Christians hate gay people - what I wrote in the above paragraph is to Neil Roy specifically.)

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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I contest that. If you're wrong, you'll have spent your life hating gay people for no cause, and backhandedly calling people stupid with copy-pasted bible quotes because they didn't share your religious belief, thinking yourself superior to people who don't think like you do. What good are you doing that you wouldn't be if you weren't religious?

Further to this, it also highlights the moral inferiority of many christians who need the threat of eternal damnation and the promise of eternal reward to act like decent human beings.

The best person is the one who does good for no reason other than doing good.

beoran
Member #12,636
March 2011

Wow, what a derailment. From a parody book to a religious debate. Since my basic policy is that I am here mainly for Allegro, I'll refrain from making any comments except for pointing out that there are better forums for such debates.

I am worried about the polarization. Especially in the USA. The main reason why western culture and civilization works is that we don't let private opinions, especially on controversial subjects, interfere with public cooperation. That's the essence of western civility. And that valuable treasure is trampled on by most "sides" of the "divide".

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
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beoran said:

From a parody book to a religious debate.

It's really not that far off.

On New Years Eve I stopped in at my cousin's before going out to celebrate with friends, and she said "Hey! Did I give you a black Jesus!?"

"No..."

"Err, no, not black Jesus... a black Santa!"

Then she gave me this:
{"name":"611187","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/3\/c\/3cc1240ff3b8c14026c9e5b090646e2c.jpg","w":1920,"h":1080,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/3\/c\/3cc1240ff3b8c14026c9e5b090646e2c"}611187

It's really not a huge stretch from Santa to Jesus. :)

The wisdom of Jesus couldn't have come from humanity, it's too corrupt.

All of the religions came from humanity. It's more important to feel comfortable with your personal experience with it, and experience your personal spiritual journey. The path you take is just a path, other people of other spiritual paths are not inferior, and many would consider thinking like that to be immoral itself.

I go to church, a couple of them. I've missed the last 3 Sunday's, but intend on going again this week. I don't believe that Jesus was anything more than a human man who saw things differently than most other people of the time.

[Edit] For the record, I don't identify as atheist, but I believe you're just as much God as my couch and my cats, neither of which are mine yet. The words 'God', 'Universe', 'Love' and 'Spacetime' are interchangeable concepts used under different contexts to represent the same general thing. :)

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
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I never said or even implied I was Christian, I stated quite the opposite. He was a human man.

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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If you don't believe Christ was the Son of God then there is no reason for you to go to church, or to even read the New Testament, because it would all be based on a false premise.

Remember when Israel tempted God in the Wilderness? They all died without reaching the promised land. They all failed because none of them had faith, and they didn't believe God's word, even after everything they witnessed. They fell away, and lost the prize. He delivered them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, to Mount Sinai, where the mountain smoked and shook, where Moses came back with the Ten Commandments, where they worshipped a golden calf, etc...

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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If you don't believe Christ was the Son of God then there is no reason for you to go to church, or to even read the New Testament, because it would all be based on a false premise.

Ever heard the saying "a broken clock is correct twice a day at least?" Your bible might be mostly full of crap, but there are some good lessons in it.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/John-Chapter-3/

John 1:16-21 said:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Derezo
Member #1,666
April 2001
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If you don't believe Christ was the Son of God then there is no reason for you to go to church, or to even read the New Testament, because it would all be based on a false premise.

I don't always go to Christian church -- but my partner is Christian, so we often go together.

I realize a lot of churches and mosques are not welcoming to outsiders, but this is a very welcoming church, as is the Unitarian church I go to. I will also say that the leaders of both churches have spoken kindly of each other when I've talked to them about attending other churches.

"He who controls the stuffing controls the Universe"

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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Quote:

but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Go fuck yourself.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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Quote:

No one comes to the Father except through me.

Come visit me. I'll help you on your way to see him.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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Such unnecessary anger. :(

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs

LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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I've already tried to kill someone this year and am currently under a 7 day psych review, so I'm not in the best mood. Angry is an understatement.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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And really, threatening to murder me because I quote Jesus and it bothers you? That's pretty sad.

Being stupid enough to think I thought you would come here is even sadder.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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LennyLen
Member #5,313
December 2004
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Wanna see where they filmed the Hobbit.

The mountain scenes were 45 mins from here. If I survive this, I'll show you.

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