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Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Loving God

January 24, 2007

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To the editor:

In response to Kyle Batson and his "moral compass," I would ask this: What empathy do you share with Hitler, Stalin and others who have murdered millions in their atheistic genocides? They knew what caused discomfort and suffering to others and delighted in it.

Mr. Batson apparently acknowledges that God exists because he calls God an "angry, invisible deity." I wish that Mr. Batson and others who hold that misconception could see how much God loves them and desires for us all to live together in that love. Unfortunately, the "moral compass" often interferes with that, as demonstrated by Hitler and Stalin, for example.

I am so glad that God provided a better way for us than an internal "moral compass," since "shared empathy" cannot save anyone (myself included) from our sinful nature and its tendency toward heinous acts. Kyle Batson and others, God loves you and gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, that if you believe in him, you will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16-18).

Richard Dorshorn,

Baldwin City

Comments

Kelly Powell 7 years, 11 months ago

i wish there were more evangelical buddhist out there....but they are to busy being peaceful and serene, the bastards.

Strontius 7 years, 11 months ago

Where to begin with what's wrong with this LTE?

First and foremost, Hitler was not an atheist. National Socialism reaches back to German mysticism and pagan tradition and combines that with their strange Aryan beliefs.

Stalin was an atheist as far as we can tell, but what many people (including the author of this LTE) do not seem to understand is that not one person has ever been killed in the name OF atheism. Being religious says nothing about what kind of person you are or what you sort of atrocities or good works you might be capable of achieving. If we are judging religious truth based on the actions of those who profess to believe it, I promise that religious people have much more to atone for than non-religious people. How utterly insulting it is to be compared to some of history's greatest monsters.

And please stop with the "God loves you" and John 3:16-18 crap. Unlike most Christians, we secular people know what the Bible says, and we reject its claims. It does no good to point scripture to people who don't accept its basis. Frankly, it's an insult to our intelligence and shows an ignorance towards the mindset of people who do not believe as you do.

werekoala 7 years, 11 months ago

""shared empathy" cannot save anyone (myself included) from our sinful nature and its tendency toward heinous acts. "

Well, given that India has no higher rates of theft, murder, and rape than we do, it's obviously not Jesus, either.

People like you scare me, because you think the only way to get me to be moral is to force me to conform to your beliefs. Heck, I probably even agree with most of your theology. It's just the insufferably arrogant superiority complex that frightens me as you people seek secular power.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

And please stop with the "God loves you" and John 3:16-18 crap. Unlike most Christians, we secular people know what the Bible says, and we reject its claims. Strontius

Okay, you are under the wrath of God. Amazing that you say you know what the Bible says when the Bible says that the natural man cannot understand the things of God. You don't believe because you hate the things that are in it.

It does no good to point scripture to people who don't accept its basis. Strontius

Does it do any good to point a gun at people that deny a person's right to have one? In other words, your denial of Scripture does not mean that God cannot use it as He wishes. The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit and your denial of it does not change its effectiveness.

Frankly, it's an insult to our intelligence and shows an ignorance towards the mindset of people who do not believe as you do. Strontius

Or perhaps it shows an awareness and understanding of the mindset of people that do not believe as we do that you don't have. While many think that the Bible is something that is beneath their intelligence, it is actually supra-intelligent as it is a path to the mind of God. A person's belief does not change reality just as the denial of God does not change the being of God one bit. In fact, a person that denies God is actually just trying to suppress the knowledge of God and is coming more and more under the judgement of God.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

""shared empathy" cannot save anyone (myself included) from our sinful nature and its tendency toward heinous acts. " werekoala

That is correct, it is only God that can change a human heart.

Well, given that India has no higher rates of theft, murder, and rape than we do, it's obviously not Jesus, either. werekoala

Your argument here does not follow. To demonstrate your argument to be true you would have to show that the people that Christ has really saved (as distinct from a mere profession of Christ, words only) and lives in have the same crime rate as India.

People like you scare me, because you think the only way to get me to be moral is to force me to conform to your beliefs. werekoala

I am not sure where you picked that idea up, but convincing someone of a position is not the same as forcing them. It is also true that being convinced is not the same thing as having the life of God in the soul. Christianity is not just about a few intellectual tidbits here and there, it is about human beings having the life of God in their souls.

Heck, I probably even agree with most of your theology. It's just the insufferably arrogant superiority complex that frightens me as you people seek secular power. werekoala

Perhaps you should not judge quite so quickly on that one. How is it arrogant to repeat the truth? Not all seek secular power.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

"A person's belief does not change reality just as the denial of God does not change the being of God one bit."

And a person's belief in a god won't create one where one doesn't exist, either.

Keep your superstitions to yourself.

werekoala 7 years, 11 months ago

"How is it arrogant to repeat the truth? "

Why do you believe Christians are right and Hindus are wrong? The answer, if you're being hioonest with yourself, is that you were told to believe in Jesus, not Vishnu, and that things have been going well for you since then, so why argue with sucess. It's a horribly myopic way to approach the world - as though you and your bretheren are the only ones who have valid experiences.

====================== "You don't believe because you hate the things that are in it. "

True, I have trouble worshiping a deity that condones rape, slavery, and genocide. Is that my moral compass talking? And how can I find something immoral that the Bible holds up as moral?

======================== "Your argument here does not follow. To demonstrate your argument to be true you would have to show that the people that Christ has really saved (as distinct from a mere profession of Christ, words only) and lives in have the same crime rate as India."

Oh, so the only way you will listen to me is if I can prove I can read minds? Thanks, I'll get right on that.

Here's the deal: Would you admit that there is some fraction of people who have been "saved by Christ" in both countries? And that the percentage in America is larger than the percentage in India?

Because from that, we can conclude that since there is no real difference in crime rates, either the number of people who have been saved by Jesus is statisticly insignificant, or being saved by Jesus has no effect on people's behavior.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"A person's belief does not change reality just as the denial of God does not change the being of God one bit."

And a person's belief in a god won't create one where one doesn't exist, either.

Keep your superstitions to yourself. bozo

A superstitious denial of God does not mean that God is not there and will not judge. Why are you trying to command me to keep the truth to myself at the expense of your own superstitions? What moral authority can you generate in order to do that? The One who upholds every fiber of your being is the One that you answer to and the One that down deep you know exists. You cannot look at a tree or flower or even make an argument against God without something inside of you declaring that He is. There is no basis for knowledge or morality apart from Him and yet you make truth claims and claims for morality? If you want me to keep my beliefs to myself, then you must stop using nature, reason and morality because they declare the glory of God too. You can't escape the reality of God no matter how deep you go into your superstitions.

Ragingbear 7 years, 11 months ago

You want to know the truth of this so-called Jesus? Ok.

Mary slept around while engaged to Joseph and made up the entire "God made me Pregnant" bit to avoid being stoned to death. Joseph proceeded to raise the child as his own, and stupidly believing that the child was indeed concieved by God.

His name was not Jesus. Jesus is a title. A Greek Title nonetheless. Interesting how the entire story of this Jesus character takes place almost entirely in the Middle Eastern and Roman empires would end up with a Greek title. His rightful birth name was Yeshua(Joshua) Bar-Yoseph(Son of Joseph). Roughly translated, the name of your so-called messiah was Joshua Josephson. Always boggles when people do things in "the name of Jesus" and don't even have a clue what Jesus' real name is.

12 years later, when they went to the temple, the kid got lost. They found him talking to some of the priest who were impressed by how much of the material out there he had memorized.

Instead of working, him and a bunch of his friends believed what his parents had told him, and tried acting the part. False teachers were looked down upon and eventually executed for inciting riots.

Every single accounting that anyone has of this 2000 year old mythical character was supposedly written by people that travelled with him. How good is that? If your on a road crew with Pink Floyd, you are going to find that the road crew all will claim stories and stuff that never happened to embellish the character.

He was a fraud, he is a fraud, and will always be a fraud that self-rightous people use to wave around in other people's faces to justify thier bigotry and intolerance as something that is somehow "good" because "god said it was good".

Well let me fill you in. God says it's good to kill women and children in war. God says it's good to own slaves. God says it's good to rape preteens and then force them to marry the rapist. God says it's good that an accusation of about any crime on a woman is enough to have her buried up to her neck in the ground, and large stones dropped on her head. God says that it is good to do all sorts of things. So I got a message for every single one of you "Christians" out there.

I am not interested in your dead god. I am not interested in your 2000+year old teachings that tell us how inferior everyone but Christian males are. I am not interested in sitting at the foot of some glowing being for all eternity telling him how great and wonderful he is. I am not interested in you coming to my door. I don't want anything that you or your god have to offer.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"Okay, you are under the wrath of God."

Is that what Mary told little Jesus before sending him to his room? scenebooster

No, that is what happened when Jesus was on the cross in order that anyone might be saved from the eternal torments of hell. That is what happens to all who will not turn from following after themselves and loving themselves supremely and follow Christ loving God supremely.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"How is it arrogant to repeat the truth? "

Why do you believe Christians are right and Hindus are wrong? The answer, if you're being hioonest with yourself, is that you were told to believe in Jesus, not Vishnu, and that things have been going well for you since then, so why argue with sucess. It's a horribly myopic way to approach the world - as though you and your bretheren are the only ones who have valid experiences. werekoala

No, I used to be an atheist. It also depends on what you mean by things going well. Things are actually much harder from a this world sort of view. All people have valid experiences in the sense that they happen, but the interpretation of those is a different story. How does one interpret experiences? Is an experience good or bad? The basic reality of all things is a different story.

====================== "You don't believe because you hate the things that are in it. "

True, I have trouble worshiping a deity that condones rape, slavery, and genocide. Is that my moral compass talking? And how can I find something immoral that the Bible holds up as moral?

What do you mean by condone? The fact that sin happens does not in and of itself mean that God condones it as such. Why do you believe those things are even wrong in the first place from a naturalistic worldview? If a society holds them to be moral, then who are you to say that they are not moral if society itself determines what is right and wrong?

======================== "Your argument here does not follow. To demonstrate your argument to be true you would have to show that the people that Christ has really saved (as distinct from a mere profession of Christ, words only) and lives in have the same crime rate as India."

Oh, so the only way you will listen to me is if I can prove I can read minds? Thanks, I'll get right on that.
werekoala =====================================

No, I am listening to you in a sense now. However, your argument depends on many things that you cannot show. I will admit to you that many and perhaps most of those that profess Christianity today do not understand anything about what it has historically meant.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Here's the deal: Would you admit that there is some fraction of people who have been "saved by Christ" in both countries? And that the percentage in America is larger than the percentage in India? werekoala

There have been some saved in both countries but I am not going to say that there have been more saved in America than India. I simply don't know that and I have grave concerns for what passes as Christianity in America.

Because from that, we can conclude that since there is no real difference in crime rates, either the number of people who have been saved by Jesus is statisticly insignificant, or being saved by Jesus has no effect on people's behavior. werekoala

One cannot conclude either of those things. Those who hate Christ might simply be equal in both nations. Let us not forget that laws and the way those things are enforced also have an influence on those things. In many parts of India it is not wrong to burn your wife for certain things, so that does not show up on the crime statistics.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Smith's strongsuit is to make totally unprovable statements, not be able to back them up, and then offer impossible challenges to anyone who questions him.

Baa, baa.. scenebooster

I am not making totally unprovable statements. I am simply saying that to put werekoala's test to reality is something that is impossible. By the way, what you have said is totally unprovable within the realm of reality. Is it moral in your universe to go around saying things that are untrue about people?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

Thank you, Smith. Thanks to your lengthy posts, I have converted to your brand of Christianity.

But I have a question.

Should have my new-found moral compass gold plated, or will God be OK with it in the original brass?

trinity 7 years, 11 months ago

this would be an interesting thread if it weren't for the overdone copy&paste bit. sheesh.

craigers 7 years, 11 months ago

Christians are the only group that worships a God that came to earth, died for us, and rose from the dead. All other gods that the world has are dead, never to raise or live again. There is a very unique difference in Christianity.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

You want to know the truth of this so-called Jesus? Ok. Ragingbear


I would love to know the truth.

Mary slept around while engaged to Joseph and made up the entire "God made me Pregnant" bit to avoid being stoned to death. Joseph proceeded to raise the child as his own, and stupidly believing that the child was indeed concieved by God. ragingbear

Ah, but where is the truth? By the way, do you have any evidence for this as being true? Why should we believe that this is the truth apart from the naturalistic speculations of people that hate the truth?

His name was not Jesus. Jesus is a title. A Greek Title nonetheless. Interesting how the entire story of this Jesus character takes place almost entirely in the Middle Eastern and Roman empires would end up with a Greek title. His rightful birth name was Yeshua(Joshua) Bar-Yoseph(Son of Joseph). Roughly translated, the name of your so-called messiah was Joshua Josephson. Always boggles when people do things in "the name of Jesus" and don't even have a clue what Jesus' real name is. ragingbear


Sorry, but His name was and is Jesus. Sure it is the English version of the Greek name. Remember that the parents were told to name Him that by the angel.

12 years later, when they went to the temple, the kid got lost. They found him talking to some of the priest who were impressed by how much of the material out there he had memorized. ragingbear

How do you know that He got lost? Where do you come up with these speculations and hopeful thinking?

Instead of working, him and a bunch of his friends believed what his parents had told him, and tried acting the part. False teachers were looked down upon and eventually executed for inciting riots. ragingbear

Simply more wild speculation. I thought you were going to give me the truth?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

"Christians are the only group that worships a God that came to earth, died for us, and rose from the dead."

No, you worship the myth that this happened. Myths can be useful things in a society, but they are myths, nevertheless.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Every single accounting that anyone has of this 2000 year old mythical character was supposedly written by people that travelled with him. How good is that? If your on a road crew with Pink Floyd, you are going to find that the road crew all will claim stories and stuff that never happened to embellish the character. ragingbear

So maybe they knew what really happened and you don't? Could it be that they spoke the truth and you simply don't like it?

He was a fraud, he is a fraud, and will always be a fraud that self-rightous people use to wave around in other people's faces to justify thier bigotry and intolerance as something that is somehow "good" because "god said it was good". ragingbear

Sorry, but the opposite is true. Jesus the Christ was and is real. People show their bigotry against God by accusing those who love Him of bigotry and intolerance. If you want to see true intolerance, look in the mirror. If you desire true tolerance then you should show some. Is it intolerant to try to tell people what is true? Good is not because God says it is, but because it is what He is. Human beings are good to the degree that the goodness of God shines through them.

Well let me fill you in. God says it's good to kill women and children in war. God says it's good to own slaves. God says it's good to rape preteens and then force them to marry the rapist. God says it's good that an accusation of about any crime on a woman is enough to have her buried up to her neck in the ground, and large stones dropped on her head. God says that it is good to do all sorts of things. ragingbear

But why do you think those things are wrong? What moral basis do you have from your worldview that demonstrates those to be wrong and not more than a preference on your part? I will put it bluntly. You have no basis for saying those things are wrong apart from God. Even more bluntly, you might want to check the statements you are making above for verity. Just because something happened in the Bible does not mean that God ordered it. It is also true that just because something happened does not mean it was unjust for God to do so. Read the context.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

So I got a message for every single one of you "Christians" out there.

I am not interested in your dead god. ragingbear

I am not interested in a dead god either, but God is not dead as He is the living God. Of course you are interested in Him as you are doing your best to suppress the truth about Him. Your interest is to try to explain Him away in order to fulfill your own way of doing things. Your interest will certainly peak after death if not before.

I am not interested in your 2000+year old teachings that tell us how inferior everyone but Christian males are. Ragingbear

Who is teaching that? Sounds like something someone made up to express their intolerance. By the way, while the Bible does not teach that, it is interesting that you think it is wrong. What basis do you have for asserting that it is wrong for everyone else?

I am not interested in sitting at the foot of some glowing being for all eternity telling him how great and wonderful he is. Ragingbear

Whether you are interested or not, you will be in His presence one way or another for all eternity. It is not in your control. Every knee will bow and confess Jesus as Lord. At that point all the things that you are saying now will be seen as the deceitfulness of the heart. I will say that certainly you have not come to grips with the real Christian teaching on heaven or hell, but know that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God for He is a consuming fire.

I am not interested in you coming to my door. I don't want anything that you or your god have to offer.
Ragingbear


I will take that as a non-invitation, so I will not come. However, until you understand the claims of Christ you should not be in such haste to assert that you don't want anything He has to offer. But let me also tell you that He does not just offer, He commands.

keivspare 7 years, 11 months ago

"Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . We need believing people." - Adolf Hitler. April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordat of 1933.

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited." -Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922

Also, I have heard that Stalin was Eastern Orthodox. But I don't really know.

keivspare 7 years, 11 months ago

"Christians like yourself invariably declare that monsters like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and Kim II Sung spring from the womb of atheism. While it is true that such men are sometimes enemies of organised religion, they are never especially rationa. In fact, their public pronouncements are often delusional: on subjects as diverse as race, economics, national identity, the march of history, and the moral dangers of iltellectualism. The problem with such tyrants is not that they reject the dogma of religion, but that they embrace other life-destroying myths. Most become the center of a quasi-religious personality cult, requiring the continual use of propaganda for its maintenance. There is a difference between propaganda and the honest dissemination of information that we (generally) expect from our liberal democracy.
Tyrants who orchestrate genocides, or who happily preside over the starvation of their own people, also tend to be profoundly idiosyncratic men, not champions of reason.

Consider the Holocaust: the anti-Semitism that builty the Nazi death camps was a direct inheritance from medival Christianity. For centuries, Christian Europeans had viewed the Jews as the worst species of heretics and attributed every societal ill to their continued presence among the faithful. While the hatred of Jews in Germany expressed itself in a predominately secular way, its roots were in religious the explicitly religious dominization of the Jews of Jews of Europe continued throughout the period. The Vatican itself perpetuated the blood libel in its newspapers as late as 1914. And both Catholic and Prodestant churches have a shameful record of complicity with the Nazi genocide.

Auschwitz, the Soviet gulags, and the killing fields of Cambodia are not examples of what happens to people when they become too reasonable. To the contrary, those horrors testify to the dangers of political and racial dogmatism. It is time that Christians like yourself stop pretending that a rational rejection of your faith entails the blind embrace of atheism as a dogma. One need not accept anything on insufficient evidence to find the virgin birth of Jesus to be a preposterous idea. The problem with religion -- as with Nazism, Stalinism, or any other totalitarian mythology -- is the problem of dogma itself. I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence to support their core beliefs."

  • Sam Harris, Letter or a Christian Nation

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

Spain isn't much better. From the inquisition and missions of conquest right through the partnership of the dictator Franco with the Catholic Church in the mid-20th century, Christian moral depravity isn't hard to find.

craigers 7 years, 11 months ago

jabotb, and you observe the myth that he didn't live, die, and raise from the dead.

Agnostick, he did allow all the other religions because he allows free choice. Also the loving God mentioned is available to all. He doesn't want anybody not to come to know Him, but it is a choice and it is Christians duty to take the gospel all around the world so they can all here. The gospel is being preached all over the world and will continue to be done. There is order in our world and there is order in God's kingdom. We come to know Him through His Son, one way. If he made many ways to Him there might be some confusion on how to get there, but He only alots one way and that is Jesus. It is very straight forward and that is what I would expect from a loving being.

craigers 7 years, 11 months ago

jabotb, neither is Muslim depravity, Buddha depravity, etc. Thanks for pointing out that we all have our problems.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

"jabotb, neither is Muslim depravity, Buddha depravity, etc"

But I'm not making a case for the moral superiority of any of those belief systems as you are for Christianity.

BTW, Buddhism, in its pure forms, is not a relgion in the same sense that Christianity and Islam are. It's a philosophy which doesn't recognize or worship any deity or deities. But they certainly have their own myths (the reincarnation of Tibetan Lamas, for example.)

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

So, Smith, if I have read your many lengthy expositions on here with some degree of correctness, then your position is, essentially, as follows:

"If you do not believe in a god, or, more specifically, the Judaeo-Christian trinity, then you must, logically draw all of your conclusions on morality and the condition of human existence from provable and testable datum, which, in the end, you cannot do, and are precluded the opportunity to make assumptions and have faith in those assumptions. I (as in you, Smith), due to my acceptance of the Christian trinity, have the Truth of the Word of God as said in the Bible upon which to base all of my beliefs in this area."

Is that a correct read on what you have, essentially, been saying? I'm having trouble understanding your critique of a secular viewpoint having to need a provable base without, as you said, "borrowing from your viewpoint."

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Bozo: Buddhism does, even without direct entities that you can put a face too, have a clear sense of a higher order and purpose; a sense, I dare say, of intelligent design.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

As I said, it is a philosophy, but it is much more akin to quantum physics than it is the other great relgions of the world. I don't think your characterization is accurate.

MyName 7 years, 11 months ago

Wow, instead of trying to demonstrate that the previous LTE was wrong, and that there is no way a person who is not a Christian can live a moral life, Richard Dorshorn decides to just bring out the Nazis in the first paragraph. Obviously he's never heard of Godwin's Law, which could probably apply to endless LTEs about Religion and/or politics as well as to the general phenomena of Internet message boards.

Dorshorn's argument is really stupid. I mean first he brings out the worst of humanity and tries to pass it off as an example of atheism, or of what the average atheist is like, and then he claims that Christianity is the better alternative because nobody is perfect. It's down to two simple questions: Is it possible for an ordinary person who is not a Christian to live a moral life? If it is possible, than how can anyone make the claim that Christianity (or any other religion) is better than no religion. On the face of it, it seems like it would be a battle of equals.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

And on and on it goes. Where does it end? The false dichotomy is there of course. The "if you are not a christian, you must be an atheist". The "We are unique claims" are there. The dumbing down of our intelligence is there "you must be obedient" or "you have to have faith". You know where this will end up. Do you know where this goes. The only place it can go is violence and ultimately war. That is what this whole thing comes down to. That is what the end result is.

As Rodney King says "why can't we all just get along". Yes why can't we. It is clear that most of us at least recognize that we live in a pluralistic world but do we understand what the experience of a pluralistic world means? I think christianity in the way Smith and others on here mean it is a lie. Look at yourselves. Look at how you live. If you live in this society, here in the US, and claim to be a christian, then I say you are living a lie. The LTE writer brought up Nazis and Stalin but of course left out many other clear connections of what might considered to be "evil" acts or events that specifically relate to "christianity". Does that mean that all christians are "evil" as well?

My point is you can change christianity to mean anything you want to mean. Look at all the different types of christians you have. Christianity can mean everything which is the same thing as saying it means nothing. Obedience and blind faith only lead to dogmatism. As Sam Harris says "The problem with religion -- or any other totalitarian mythology -- is the problem of dogma itself. I know of no society in human history that ever suffered because its people became too desirous of evidence to support their core beliefs."

Maybe it is time for a new theology. One that embraces, cherishes and transcends all experiences. We have so much to learn from each other. Why not be progressive and find a place that is integral to all of us. What a world this could be if we would only put our minds and hearts together.

Jamesaust 7 years, 11 months ago

"What empathy do you share with Hitler, Stalin and others who have murdered millions in their atheistic genocides?"

Probably the same with the Reformationists, and the Counter-Reformationist, the Crusaders, and a list of kings, princes, popes, and pretenders as long as your arm all pretending to speak for God who have murdered millions in their THEISTIC genocides.

The author of this letter confusingly cites but fails to quote Jn 3:17 = "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." So, what's with this fixation on condemning the world among persons like this letter's author? The false premise is that: absent the Bible or religion telling man not to murder man man would engage in an uncontrollable orgy of violence that any "moral compass" would be incapable of limiting.

Not only is this false, its not even Christian doctrine, which holds that reason and truth are not antagonistic at all.

The opening words of the Gospel from St. John are that in the beginning was "logos" and "logos" was with God, and "logos" was God. - which means word, truth, reason, logic and principle. The current Pope has directly addressed this point in detail, summarizing that "From the beginning, Christianity has understood itself as the religion of "logos," as the religon according to reason."

Does a lack of religion (or Christianity) prevent human beings from reasoning to truth? Not at all. At least, that appears to be God's position (even if not Mr. Dorshorn's). While its often said "God is love," St. John would say "God is reason, truth, and logic" and by implication to attack reason, truth, and logic is to attack God.

drewdun 7 years, 11 months ago

I can tell that craigers is really smart.

Like really smart.

I especially like this:

"he did allow all the other religions because he allows free choice"

How conveeeeeenient, as the Church Lady might say.

There's also this little gem:

"Christians are the only group that worships a God that came to earth, died for us, and rose from the dead. All other gods that the world has are dead, never to raise or live again. There is a very unique difference in Christianity"

You should go to wikipedia.org and check out 'avatar.' That might clear up some of your abject ignorance.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

I wonder what Dorshorn would say about I Samuel 15...

1 Samuel also said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'"

And this is the god of love?

Or how about II King 2 where the prophet Elijah curses 42 boys for "mocking" him and a she-bear come out to destroy all of them. Really now, is this your compassionate and loving god? Killing children because they are "mocking" someone?

It is bad when Hitler or Stalin do it but if god does it well we can't know his ways or maybe we heathens aren't interpreting this passage correctly. You can try to interpret this any way you want to but all I see here is a cruel and vindicative god. There is no benevolence here. There is no ominescient god here. Violence only begets more violence. Humans know this but your literal god does not?

Thomas Paine says....

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon rather than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest all that is cruel" - Thomas Paine.

I say AMEN to that.

prioress 7 years, 11 months ago

God (a concept) is cool; religion (a political and economic machine run by weak and selfish humans) SUCKS!

HoosierPride 7 years, 11 months ago

We should probably only read the Jefferson Bible and not the King James Bible. That way we could take some of the teachings of Jesus without all the silly, childish fantasy world portion of what was put into the Bible to scare folks. The simple fact is that as a philosopher Jesus is a smart cat. When people began to turn his teachings into a religion it became something else very political and very evil in intent.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"What do you mean by condone? "

scenebooster then responded with several verses of Scripture of which can be reviewed above.

First, you will notice that God did not just condone those things, but He even commanded them. This is the God that people absolutely hate and despise. They think that they are moral than He is when they read those things. However, they usually read those verses in isolation and so do not get the whole story.

There are places in the Old Testament where God commands that people be killed. That sounds so bad in our society today. However, it is actually a toning down of the way things were at first. Before each and every sin was a sin that deserved death. While each sin deserved death and continues to deserve death as a just punishment against those who violate universal law and sin against God Himself, He did drop the death penalty in this life down from each and every sin. However, as God He has the right over His creation to execute at any moment. This is what people hate and that is that God hates sin and does punish every sin in some way.

There are other matters like raping a virgin in Israel. The issue there is that men wanted virgins for wives and if a woman was not a virgin she was not as desirable. So if a man raped a woman he had to marry her and never divorce her for any reason. That meant that he had to care for her until either he or she died. That is not the same as condoning rape, it is dealing with it.

Other issues like slavery are dealt with in the system in place. There was a form of slavery in the Old Testament that did not bear much in common with the slavery in place during the 1800's in Europe and here. However, the practice was regulated and guided.

But again, what you have is a God that hates sin and sinful people that do not want God to punish sin. Mankind does not want to see the truth of such a holy God that hates sin as it scares him. As Richard Dawkins correctly pointed out in both his lecture here and his book, the New Testament teaching of the cross is at least as bad from most people's viewpoint. Sin is the worst thing in the universe and one of the awful things about it is that it deceives people about sin and blinds people to what it is and what it does. Sin blinds us to who God is and hates Him for what it does see. Read the posts here and see if hate for God is not demonstrated.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Scenebooster wants me to prove my statement about Jesus suffering the wrath of God on the cross. Okay, read the Bible because it is the Word of God. Now, clearly, he will laugh at that and say that I have not proved it. I will reply that from his worldview he cannot prove anything since his worldview does not allow for knowledge and morality.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Seems to me that if "God" really cared about people... God would make the "message" available to as many people as possible, in as many different cultures and languages as possible. agnostic

Why do you think that God cares for people in any way? In other words, maybe God operates differently than you think. Why should He make the message available to as many as possible? Are you the one to tell Him what He should do with His enemies? What moral basis are you coming from to tell Him what He should do?

After all, if you're going to allow that God is responsible for everything... that God created EVERYTHING... then you also have to allow that God created all these different religions, as well. agnostic

All false religions are simply deviations from the way God has set out as the true way to be in communion with Him. He did not create them, they are simply deviations of the truth by sinful man wanting to find his own way and be responsible for himself. Atheism and naturalism are actually deviations of the way to God as well.

Calliope877 7 years, 11 months ago

Who wants to bet that Richard Dorshorn and Richard Smith are one and the same? If not, I guess all Dicks think alike....sorry, I just couldn't resist.L

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

Richard,

Your ramblings and statements of beliefs are self-contradictory, illogical, incoherent, delusional and as always completely meaningless. For the god that you talk about is not one that is omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent or omni anything for that matter. The god that you have descibed does not have an absolute morality, it only has one that is different than ours. You tell us that your god can hate (sin), it can have envy, it can have lust, it can have jeolousy. Such a god cannot be absolutely moral Richard. An omnibenevolent god by definition cannot know what it means to hate. If a god does, then he or she are no better than humans. Of course that also violates the idea that your god is omniscient. Can you imagine why this being that you call god that KNOWS the past, the present, the future would create anyone if he or she ALREADY knows that person is going to hell or will be punished somehow. That is sadistic Richard. Your god is sadistic. Your god creates humans who he or she knows will be punished for an eternity in hell?

Your attempt to base moral, social or political doctrine upon a belief in god (specifically YOUR interpretation of a Judeo-christian god) is meaningless and extremly dangerous. You don't live or participate in a society where that is even done or condoned. I also would guess that if you do participate in this society, that would make you already in violation of many of your own deluded christian beliefs.

Ultimately Richard, the god you worship is merely an idol. Nothing more. I hate your idol Richard. I say your religion is a false one Richard.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

I was raised to believe in God. I just sometimes find it very difficult to do so anymore. I would guess that would make me an agnostic.

Why would a loving God make people suffer so? Why do children, some very young children, have to go through the pain of cancer, and suffer horrible deaths, when they have done nothing?

Why do kind, loving people suffer at the hands of criminals; murderers, rapists, etc.?

Why do kind, loving people who have never done anything wrong suffer at the hands of nature, and have everything they have wiped away in an instant?

Why do young children have to suffer the loss of a parent to some horrible disease?

If God is so "loving", then why does he allow these things to happen? If he's God, then he has the power to stop it, doesn't he?

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

"Ah, yes! The inevitable I'm-Smarter-Than-You superiority complex on full display by the secular progressive rabble." -- Pilgrim

Ah yes! The inevitable I-can't-respond-with-anything-else-so-I-will-just-ad-hom complex on full display by the fundamental religious far right.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

What could a 3-year-old with terminal cancer possibly learn about who they are and what they're capable of? Especially if they're dead by their fifth birthday...

The analogy with the profs doesn't quite cut it with me. Profs CHOOSE to have exams. Are you saying that God CHOOSES to give people terminal illnesses? Even children?

What purpose does it serve?

Or are you saying that God sacrifices the lives of children so that their parents can learn a lesson?

Either way, it still doesn't sound like a loving God to me. What kind of love wants people to suffer?

craigers 7 years, 11 months ago

Avatar did not die to save mankind and then rise again as himself. Your link speaks of reincarnation. I guess I should have phrased it differently. Jesus came and lived His sinless life, died for each and every one of us, rose from the grave, not reincarnated in some other person or form, and then ascended into heaven to live forever. Christianity still stands uniquely different from all other religions.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

craigers: They all stand uniquely different from each other. That's why they were/are successful religions.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Smith: At 10:45am yesterday I asked if you would be kind enough to confirm or point out errors in my attempt to synopsise what I saw as your underlying argument. I don't know if you saw it or not, but I would still like an answer.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

Pilgrim,

I owe you an apology. I had a lapse of judgement. I should not have mocked you in that way. Please forgive my shortcomings. Someone on here accused me of being angry, scared, and close-minded and I readily admit I can be those things. I will work harder at trying to understand your message with compassion instead of anger. I don't feel like I am superior to you at all. I just have lots of questions that have no good answers or at least answers that I can believe in. I sincerely believe that I am an honest doubter who is working on his personal belief system. Some people have criticized me for using this forum in that way instead of talking with friends (for various reasons) but I have found it to be very fruitful for me in helping me formulate a personal philosophy. I am not trying to be a smart *ss or tell you that you are wrong. I am just asking questions and looking for answers. So once again Pilgrim, I do apologize for disrespecting you.

gr 7 years, 11 months ago

"saved from the eternal torments of hell."

Torment. What are the ways in which Strong's defines the word as used in the Bible?

verity 7 years, 11 months ago

The posters on both sides of this argument are ignoring one thing---you are not going to convince the other side.

So I have only one thing to say. It was my born-again Christian family and community that helped to convince me that religion is not truth. Those of you who feel commanded by God to save others should look to your attitide. What I see manifest here is probably not going to convince anyone to be "saved".

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

verity: Haven't forgotten in the slightest, but to paraphrase Thank You For Smoking:

"But you didn't convince me." "No, but I'm not interested in you." "You're not?" "No, I'm interested in them." "Them?" "All of them out there. They're the ones I'm trying to convince."

pagan_idolator 7 years, 11 months ago

craigers - Jesus Christ is not the only god that suffered for the betterment of humans. Before him there was Odin and Prometheus to name two. Hardly unique.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

Well, in my opinion, God IS how people transmit disease.

Didn't he creat the mosquitos? Didn't he create the disease? Didn't he create the people?

If he's omnipotent, didn't he already know what was bound to happen when he created those three things?

If he's omnipotent, couldn't he stop innocent people from getting sick? Or couldn't he cure any innocent people of any sickness that they do get?

Try again to explain to me how a 3-year-old getting cancer and dying from it in any way involves any kind of choice by the 3-year-old. So what does free will have to do with it?

Also try again to explain to me why a loving God would allow the pain, suffering and death of an innocent child.

Or are children expendable to God, in order to serve some greater purpose?

Please enlighten me, oh wise one.

Larry Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

crazyks: By giving us free will God allows us to make our own choices. One of the results of those choices is that all of creation became contaminated with evil. When God started it all, animals did not eat other animals. They (and humans) ate plants. (at the end "the lion will lay down with the lamb:") The evil we see now is because creation has evil present in it as a result of our free will decisions. This does not remove the devastation we feel when a child dies. But that event is the result of sin, not God saying "die!"

Larry Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

God does not say eating meat is sinful so I do not say it is either.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

LarryM,

So Larry our choices are either choose to be good and join our Father in heaven or choose to bad and be punished eternally. Of course according to Smith above, at first this was pretty much how it was but then after a certain length of time god decided oh maybe I am being a little too harsh here so I am going to give humans a chance to atone for their badness (because I love them so much of course) so I will send myself/son/(insert whatever it is you believe here) down there and then sacrifice myself/(etc) so that humans can still get to heaven despite being bad. Quite the choice there isn't it Larry.

But of course I have a lot of trouble with the concept of "free will" itself because such a concept restricts the infallibility or absoluteness of any being. Free will is incompatible with an omniscient being. Otherwise such a being is sadistic. Some christians or theists try to reconcile this incompatibility in various ways including the catch-all phrase "well we are only humans and we can't understand a god's ways" which always begs the question of what can we know or not know and will ultimately breakdown into incoherence for me. In all cases though it suggests a being who is restricted and/or fallible. Is a being who is restricted or who is fallible worthy of praise? This also brings up all kinds of other questions. I mean is the only way we can attain a place or concept of heaven is by learning through suffering and pain? Again it places more restriction on the creator because it doesn't make sense why a creator would create this specific scenario when he could have easily created other scenarios where we wouldn't need to have pain and suffering to be able to attain such a status. Or why didn't the god just go ahead and create heaven first. Avoid all of this. But of course this god chooses not to because he or she "loves" us?

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

Saving a child from dying a horrible, painful death would "ruin his plans"???

Yes, what a loving God that is.

Larry Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

Kodiac: "So Larry our choices are either choose to be good and join our Father in heaven or choose to bad and be punished eternally." NO, NO, No, No Our choice is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior or Not. We CANNOT Do Anything to "join our Father in heaven." It is the Good News we can make that choice because Jesus made the choice to pay for our sin.

Start with the understanding that God wanted people to choose to be with Him. If we do not have free will, we cannot choose. He chose to let us choose. There are consequences for that decision.

"it suggests a being who is restricted and/or fallible.:"
If you decide to not cross the street it does not mean you couldn't - it means you decided not to do so. That is not a "restriction," it is a decision.

"This also brings up all kinds of other questions. I mean is the only way we can attain a place or concept of heaven is by learning through suffering and pain?" Heaven is being in the presence of a Holy God. Suffering and pain have nothing to do with it. We make the choice to accept Jesus or not. You are trying to make a simple concept complicated as do many people.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

"Start with the understanding that God wanted people to choose to be with Him. If we do not have free will, we cannot choose. He chose to let us choose. There are consequences for that decision." - LarryM

Yeah but Larry that isn't much of a choice is it dude. Either be with god or burn in h*ll. How in the heck is that a choice. You aren't crossing the street here buddy. You are in the MIDDLE of the street and there is a big 18 wheeler coming at ya. What are you going to do? Uh well let see I guess I gotta get out of the middle of the street don't I? You may make it simple because you choose not to put any thought into it but it doesn't mean that I have to be ignorant about it.

"He chose to let us choose. There are consequences for that decision." -- LarryM

Very good Larry. Can't make it any more plainer and illogical than that.

You missed my point Larry. Let me say it again. There is a possible world where humans are free and yet they always do what is morally correct. Your god could have created a place where everyone has free will and chooses to cross the street every time. Since your god could have created such a possible world but did not, your "free will" concept fails. If your god could have created a world with free will in which heaven is an essential part, it is difficult to see why he did not create a world with free will that is heavenly in its entirety.

"If you decide to not cross the street it does not mean you couldn't - it means you decided not to do so. That is not a "restriction," it is a decision." -- LarryM

No it is a restriction on god not you. Yeah according to your "free will" philosophy you are making a decision, but that would imply that your god doesn't know what you are going to do. In other words, your god is not omniscient anymore. If he is omniscient, then he already knows what decision you will make so why does your god make a human that he knows will choose to go to h*ll. Otherwise you have a pretty sadistic being there. If your god can't know what you will do then I say he isn't omniscient anymore and therefore does not deserve my praise.

Of course you never dealt with the idea that this god of yours decided to give humans this choice long after the so-called original Adam and Eve fell out of his good graces. So before that people didn't have this choice. Do you think your god was being remorseful and decided to change his tune? Don't you find this the least bit disturbing? I do. It tells me that I am dealing with a being that just has a different morality than I do. Again not deserving of my praise.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Dear God, please deliver me from shallow, jingoistic cliches.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

How about this LarryM.

Even if people have been exposed to your religion and failed to believe, why should they be punished? A person rejects the bible for because they find the idea of the resurrection, virgin birth, and incarnation to be improbable based on what they consider to be strong evidence against it. Even if the bible was true and not improbable in the light of the evidence, rational people surely can fail to be impressed by the evidence. It would be going beyond what the evidence dictates--if not being in conflict with the evidence--to accept jesus as their savior. So what if a person has completely bungled the evidence and it does indeed provide solid grounds for belief, that person sincerely believes that evidence is lacking. Why would your god want to withhold the gift of heaven to a SINCERE nonbeliever who might lack sufficient insight, knowledge, or analytical skills to appraise the evidence correctly?

Ah yes I can just feel those verses being lined up for this one. Please spare me the "must be obedient" or "prefers a childlike mentality" verses. I am already very familiar with them. They of course don't jibe with the actively seeking the truth or developing a strong faith. Your god gave us a mind to think with but then tells us to dumb it down. Of course many call this arrogance but I say the arrogance is with those who believe their religion to be "superior" or "unique" to everyone else's.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

Sorry,

I am on a roll here. On this uniqueness thing. I see it brought up over and over by many believers and I find it to be self-delusional. Why is it necessary to bring this up. Why is it necessary to say "hey looky here there is noone else like us". It implies that your religion is somehow "superior". How is it that going to persuade anyone. You should rely on the merits of your religion instead of trying to make any kind of comparison. Such a justification should be completely unneccessary and is most definitely not characteristic of what your religion should be. Whenever I hear someone saying this, it makes me think hmmm, this is a very anxious person here. I also think it is a source of misconceptions about other religions as well as your own. So next time you start trying to make those hey my religion is better than yours statements, stop and think about what it is you are trying to accomplish here.

Larry Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

Kodiac, one quick comment for now. The "punishment" for not deciding to have a relationship with Jesus is that after you have been in the presence of God for "the judgement," you are sent away from God because that is what you chose. The "burning" is your reaction to being away from God.

I'll add some more later.

Porter 7 years, 11 months ago

I'm waiting for Pilgrim to respond with the classic "I know you are but what am I?".

heysoos 7 years, 11 months ago

All of you stop, I say!

No one is going to be saved on this board and nobody is going to suddenly turn from their lack of reason on this board.

If you haven't figured it out by now, you never will.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

Hey Larry,

I guess I will wait to say much more until I hear about your "more later" comment. I do disagree with your comment that our "burning" is because of our reaction being away from a god from a biblical standpoint. Biblically speaking I think you are on very shaky grounds here and I suspect you will try to use your own rationalizations or interpretations of the bible to make everything sound better. Anyway I am looking forward to hearing about your "more later" comments.

deec 7 years, 11 months ago

If humans weren't meant to eat meat, why do we have meat-tearing teeth? Evolution?

Larry Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

Kodiac: "A person rejects the bible for because they find the idea of the resurrection, virgin birth, and incarnation to be improbable based on what they consider to be strong evidence against it."

Actually the few people who actually check out the evidence become believers. You should check out "The Case For Christ" by Lee Strobel who was an atheist. The book also provides a lot of additional references for those topics you might want to pursue to a greater depth. http://reports.roundearth.net/case_for_christ_lee_strobel_.htm gives the contents listing.

And I should have said that the "burning" comment is my opinion.

So the question becomes, are you really searching or are you just looking for excuses to avoid checking it out?

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 7 years, 11 months ago

Watching people bicker back and forth over these religious letters to the editor are pure comedy gold!! Keep up the good work, Smarties!

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Kam-Fong: Not as much fun as when you participate. Then you can help direct the flow.

Sadly, it doesn't seem that Smith wants to talk to me anymore. Or perhaps he's just been out. I suppose it would be better for me to not make assumptions.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

"Actually the few people who actually check out the evidence become believers." -- LarryM

I would venture that this is also an opinion of yours as well and not based on any reality?

Of course you never dealt with my questions regarding the billions of people already as you put it, separated from your god or how the bible puts it will be or have been "thrown" into hll by your god. Don't you have any compassion for the ones that your god never gave the chance to redeem themselves through what you view as his son. That would mean a clear majority of people that has lived, is living or will be living throughout human history will be judged to be "thrown" into hll. Ah yes I can feel the farming parable about to be thrown into my face. I find such a parable to be incompatible with my own views.

To answer your ending question Larry, I have checked it out and I have rejected it. I continue to weigh the evidence and I still find myself rejecting such a limiting and obviously flawed doctrine (in my honest humble opinion of course).

I most certainly will take a look at Lee Strobel and see what he has to say. Of course I would have to challenge you to at least walk in different paths yourself. Explore other experiences. Don't become so captive of your own beliefs that you find yourself becoming dogmatic and apologetic.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Boldaq: So now you're saying that it just makes a better story? Well, no arguments there, it does indeed make a much better story.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

If we all have free will, then why isn't our sin totally dependent on our own choices, and not those of our ancestors?

Why should I have to pay because Adam and Eve couldn't be good? Why am I being "punished" for something that someone else did?

Larry Miller 7 years, 11 months ago

crazyks: You are not being "punished" because of what someone else did. You are responsible for your response to God - it is a personal relationship between you and Jesus. That is all that matters. You make the choice. Not anyone else. And you bear the responsibility for that choice - not anyone else.

God says that if you truly seek Him, you will find Him.

boldaq 7 years, 11 months ago

The prophets of the disappearance of religion seem to have proven themselves to be false prophets. Even though the world is becoming richer, religion seems to be getting stronger. The United States is the richest and most technologically advanced society in the world, and religion shows no signs of disappearing on these shores. China and India are growing in affluence, and the Chinese government is not exactly hospitable to religion, yet religious belief and practice continue to be strong in both countries. Europe's best chance to grow in the future seems to be to import more religious Muslims. While Islam spreads in Europe and elsewhere, Christianity is spreading even faster in Africa, Asia and South America. Remarkably, Christianity will soon become a non-Western religion with a minority presence among Europeans.

My conclusion is that it is not religion but atheism that requires a Darwinian explanation. It seems perplexing why nature would breed a group of people who see no purpose to life or the universe, indeed whose only moral drive seems to be sneering at their fellow human beings who do have a sense of purpose. Here is where the biological expertise of Dawkins and his friends could prove illuminating. Maybe they can turn their Darwinian lens on themselves and help us understand how atheism, like the human tailbone and the panda's thumb, somehow survived as an evolutionary leftover of our primitive past.

budwhysir 7 years, 11 months ago

One should actualy strive to be NOT similar to the people the criticize but in todays world it seems this is not the case.

Why all the talk of religion in the local newspaper now adays

boldaq 7 years, 11 months ago

Across the globe, religious faith is thriving and religious people are having more children. By contrast, atheist conventions only draw a handful of embittered souls, and the atheist lifestyle seems to produce listless tribes that cannot even reproduce themselves.

Russia is one of the most atheist countries in the world, and there abortions outnumber live births 2 to 1. Russia's birth rate has fallen so low that the nation is now losing 700,000 people a year. Japan, perhaps the most secular country in Asia, is also on a kind of population diet: its 130 million people are expected to drop to around 100 million in the next few decades. And then there is Europe. The most secular continent on the globe is decadent in the literal sense that its population is rapidly shrinking. Lacking the strong Christian identity that produced its greatness, atheist Europe seems to be a civilization on its way out. We have met Nietzsche's "last man" and his name is Sven.

Traditionally, scholars have tried to give an economic explanation for these trends. The general idea is that population was a function of affluence. Sociologists noted that as people and countries became richer, they had fewer children. Presumably, primitive societies needed children to help in the fields, and more-prosperous societies no longer did. From this perspective, religion was explained as a phenomenon of poverty, insecurity and fear, and many pundits predicted that with the spread of modernity and prosperity, religion would fade away.

The economic explanation is now being questioned. It was never all that plausible anyway. Undoubtedly, poor people are more economically dependent on their children, but on the other hand, rich people can afford more children. Wealthy people in America today tend to have one child or none, but wealthy families in the past tended to have three or more children. The real difference is not merely in the level of income. The real difference is that in the past, children were valued as gifts from God, and now they are viewed by many people as instruments of self-gratification. The old principle was, "Be fruitful and multiply." The new one is, "Have as many children as enhance your lifestyle."

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Or when they act like they know things and they don't. Shinto and Buddhism are both, more or less, religions.

Also, I wonder, are your population statistics including the immigrant population? I've heard that without immigrant influx the USA population is dropping.

Also, I wonder, how do you know what the motivations of the people of the past were in having children? Maybe they just had poor education and no birth control.

EvaTrujillo 7 years, 11 months ago

....and gave his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ...
Fact: This is CHILD ABUSE by today's moral compass.

boldaq 7 years, 11 months ago

"I love it when people try to pass correlations off as causations."

Of course you love it. It's your way of life.

In the secular account, "You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach 3 1/2 billion years ago. You are a mere grab bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a meaningless universe. You came from nothing and are going nowhere."

In the Christian view, by contrast, "You are the special creation of a good and all-powerful God. You are the climax of His creation. Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among your kind. Your Creator loves you so much and so intensely desires your companionship and affection that He gave the life of His only son that you might spend eternity with him."

Now imagine two groups of people -- let's call them the Secular Tribe and the Religious Tribe -- who subscribe to one of these two views. Which of the two is more likely to survive, prosper and multiply? The religious tribe is made up of people who have an animating sense of purpose. The secular tribe is made up of people who are not sure why they exist at all. The religious tribe is composed of individuals who view their every thought and action as consequential. The secular tribe is made up of matter that cannot explain why it is able to think at all.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Richard,

Your ramblings and statements of beliefs are self-contradictory, illogical, incoherent, delusional and as always completely meaningless. kodiac

As usual people call names and then provide no intellectual evidence for it. Evidently there was some meaning because you sure responded with a degree of anger.

For the god that you talk about is not one that is omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, omnipresent or omni anything for that matter. kodiac

He is all the above except for what you would describe as omnibenevolent. You would describe that one as you would wish, but not as God has revealed Himself.

The god that you have descibed does not have an absolute morality, it only has one that is different than ours. kodiac

No, it has an absolute morality. Remember, you have provided no consistent basis for morality at all from your worldview.

You tell us that your god can hate (sin), it can have envy, it can have lust, it can have jeolousy. Such a god cannot be absolutely moral Richard. kodiac

Wrong, sir, except for the lust and envy part you are describing true holiness and love. If one has true love, then one has true hate as well. If I love person X then I will hate what harms person X.

An omnibenevolent god by definition cannot know what it means to hate. kodiac

By your definition, but not by the biblical one.

If a god does, then he or she are no better than humans. Of course that also violates the idea that your god is omniscient. kodiac

The true God hates because there must be hate if there is to be love and holiness.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Can you imagine why this being that you call god that KNOWS the past, the present, the future would create anyone if he or she ALREADY knows that person is going to hell or will be punished somehow. kodoac

The fact that you cannot imagine it does not change the fact. You can call it what you want and try to explain the obvious away, but that does not change it. God knows the future and an exhaustive manner and knew that beings He would create would go to hell. But He also knew that He would not force them to sin and spew forth hateful things against Him.

That is sadistic Richard. Your god is sadistic. Your god creates humans who he or she knows will be punished for an eternity in hell? kodiac

No, it is holiness and justice. You hate holiness and justice and so try to do away with the concept. But down deep you know what it is.

Your attempt to base moral, social or political doctrine upon a belief in god (specifically YOUR interpretation of a Judeo-christian god) is meaningless and extremly dangerous. kodiac

I have not said that I am attempting to base social or political doctrine on anything. I have simply asserted and you have not demonstrated it to be untrue that the naturalistic and evolutionary worldview can come up with a consistent basis or reason for morality.

You don't live or participate in a society where that is even done or condoned. I also would guess that if you do participate in this society, that would make you already in violation of many of your own deluded christian beliefs. kodiac

You are wrong since it does not go against my beliefs.

Ultimately Richard, the god you worship is merely an idol. Nothing more. I hate your idol Richard. I say your religion is a false one Richard. kodiac

No, He is the true God and He is the One revealed by Holy Scripture, nature itself, and human beings. What you hate is the true God, nothing more and nothing less. The true God is the center of the universe and you don't like that. He is the standard of holiness and morality and not you or anyone else. He has created all human beings in His image and they are commanded to live for His glory and not their own. People hate that and so try to deny that God exists.

BrianR 7 years, 11 months ago

Mmmmm, so many "truth's" surround your man-made gods.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

I have seen the "love of god" in a dark alley full of bodies. I have seen the "love of god" in a children's cancer ward. I have seen the "love of god" in the eyes of starving children. If it's all right with you, I will take a pass on the "love" of YOUR god! Marion


What you are seeing is the effects of sin. Instead of taking God to task, you might begin to ask yourself about sin. You might also wonder if there is a real power or person of evil in the world. You might also ask yourself, from the point of view of the naturalistic worldview, how those things can even be wrong from that worldview since it is just the way that nature operates.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

So, Smith, if I have read your many lengthy expositions on here with some degree of correctness, then your position is, essentially, as follows:

"If you do not believe in a god, or, more specifically, the Judaeo-Christian trinity, then you must, logically draw all of your conclusions on morality and the condition of human existence from provable and testable datum, which, in the end, you cannot do, and are precluded the opportunity to make assumptions and have faith in those assumptions. I (as in you, Smith), due to my acceptance of the Christian trinity, have the Truth of the Word of God as said in the Bible upon which to base all of my beliefs in this area." Jonas

In a general way, though not in all the particulars, this is true. There are many things left out and a few things assumed that I would not say. But in a general way naturalistic evolution has no basis to assume that it knows any truth and has no basis to build a morality.

Is that a correct read on what you have, essentially, been saying? I'm having trouble understanding your critique of a secular viewpoint having to need a provable base without, as you said, "borrowing from your viewpoint." jonas

When atheists and naturalistic evolutionists assert that something is wrong, they are not asserting that it is wrong from a basis that is consistent within their worldview. They assert that it is wrong based on reasons that are only consistent with the Christian worldview. If they say that it is obvious or innate or intuitively wrong, then they have no reason from their worldview for those things to be the basis to assert that something is wrong. Person X says that murder is wrong. Fine, it is wrong. But how can that be wrong from the naturalistic worldview that tells us that we are germs that have grown up and are all absurd accidents in a universe that is an absurd accident and all are headed toward utter extinction? How can anything be wrong based on that worldview?

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Cancer and starvation are caused by sin?

The thing that makes humans humans is our ability to understand and manipulate the natural world to better suit are needs. The natural order has little to do with human morality, and is very rarely considered the basis on which right and wrong, so to speak, operate.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

smith,

How are these things "the effects of sin"? Please explain. I am finding it hard to imagine how a child with cancer is the result of sin. Explain, please.

boldaq 7 years, 11 months ago

"So now you're saying that it just makes a better story? Well, no arguments there, it does indeed make a much better story." - jonas

Not only a better story but a more believable one.

"Wow, did we already reach the point where you start making up factually incorrect statements just so you can make a point?" - das-uber

"Factually incorrect statements?" Name one.

boldaq 7 years, 11 months ago

"The 'warm, shallow pool' hypothesis is only one of the views which scientists have suggested."

You mean all scientists have are "suggested views" for the origin of life? No kidding.

"Don't tell a astrophysicist that space is empty."

Only the space between your sideburns, mr. astrophysicist. If you thought you were insignifant before, check this out-
http://www.samtsai.com/p318

"...you are taking a whole bunch of oranges and calling them apples..."

No,you're simply denying that redder apples exist at all.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

So, errr, are you one of those people that really thinks that size DOES matter, Boldaq?

And surely you can see the difference between an origin theory that could potentially fit into the realm of physical possiblities, at least as we know them today, and an origin theory that only works if you discard all of that in favor of an all-powerful being that operates on a level beyond any physical properties or possibilities. Or maybe you can't.

boldaq 7 years, 11 months ago

"And surely you can see the difference between an origin theory that could potentially fit into the realm of physical possiblities..." - jonas

Of course. There's no limit to the theories darwinists can "potentially fit into the realm of physical possibilities." Just like das_uber, the astrophysicist, theories are all you will ever have no matter how hard you think about it. How big is big? You'll never know. Only when you come down from your smug, intellectually superior ivory tower will you see that an "all-powerful being" makes perfect sense. Ask someone on their deathbed.

"...when I back a Christian into a corner where they cannot find a way to logically disagree with me, they will start quoting scripture about how God loves me and will accept me if only I open myself up to him." - das_uber

Is that you, Raskolnikov? Do you mock God out of fear and intellectual smugness? Aren't you "demeaning other people's point of view" by attacking Christians? Where is the "logic" in pursuing nihilistic theories? Aren't you "backed into a corner" of your own insignificant little world of atheism?

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

Saying that our current morality derives from xtianity or any other religion is ludicrous. Examples abound of "moral laws" stated in the bible that we do not follow: 1) Stoning and killing disobedient wives and children. 2) Polygamy. 3) Eating pork. 4) Wearing "mixed fibers".

One must ask, why do we follow some ideas in the bible and not others? Why do we no longer burn witches or kill infidels who do not believe?

The answer is that there is a morality that exists in humanity that is evolving and that is independent of religion and religious belief.

The driving force in current morality is reason and realism, not laws supposedly written by god 5000 years ago.

werekoala 7 years, 11 months ago

"theories are all you will ever have no matter how hard you think about it."

Theories are all you have too, they're all anyone will ever have.

Theories (in general) are posited explanations for how what we see before us came to be, and what will happen to it in the future. We base them on personal observation, and what we are told by others. They can be atheistic, agnostic, Christian, or Buddhist.

It suits you to call the theory you've been handed down by a preist, "truth" and that which is handed down by a sicentist, "guesses", but that's a difference of rhetoric, not substance.

More to the point, I'd say there is more value to a scientific theory than a supernatural theory, because the scientific theory offers a possibility of understanding and control, while a supernatural theory merely offers blind hopeless abasement to forces forever beyond your ken.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, xtians are the ultimate nihilists.

It matters not what one does on Earth, as long as one repents before death. One will go to heaven to be with God regardless, so be as abusive as you like here on Earth.

To an atheist, this life on Earth is all there is, and is short and precious. Therefore, atheists generally want to make earthly life better for all.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

Good point, scenebooster. Smith has yet to explain his assertion that a child with cancer is the result of sin.

Mister big-poster smith is suddenly silent when asked to explain his ridiculous remarks.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Interesting posts, Vile. A good read.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Boldaq: Right, because when people are faced with the unknown realm of death and potential non-existence, that's surely when they are going to be the most rational and sensical, ne?

And you're wrong about theories and what will fit as well. At least, in the way science is SUPPOSED to be applied. Admittedly, it doesn't always happen that way, but at least there are controls that allow theories to be tested and proven or disproven.

vile 7 years, 11 months ago

I want to thank you all. I've been bound up for days now, and I've needed something to get things moving again. Nothing loosens my bowels quite like a good flame war over the existence of God.

To the christians, I say this: if you are unable to defend your faith with more than regurgitated scripture and soundly refuted historical and scientific "evidence", please keep your mouth shut. You do the Church a great disservice and give ammunition to her opposition. Quite frankly, the very fact that you choose this forum to engage in debate undermines your credibility before you post a single word.

To the atheists, etc..., I say this: do not be so presumptuous as to think you have seen all there is to see - especially when it comes to us bible-thumpers and the God we serve. Not all of us are as the ignorant, condescending, self-righteous Pat Robertson clones that you see so often. Although I am very amused that those are the types that you attract... Which is it that offends you more - the notion that something might exist that is imperceptible to the physical senses, to which someday you will be held accountable, or the thought of being associated with people who readily accept such a possibility?

I'm not so naive as to think anything I say here will sway anyone, but just to insert my .02 so I don't burst a vessel... Isn't the universe finite? Didn't it begin at a finite point in the past by an event that defies all comprehension? Doesn't truth exist independently of human preference? Isn't it patently obvious that there is something at once supremely unique and frighteningly amiss about humanity among all the other living things on this planet?

If there is a creator, who by definition is the source from which truth and perfection exist, wouldn't it stand to reason that he would be beyond our understanding? Wouldn't he be imperceptible to us unless he revealed himself to us? Wouldn't it stand to reason that if we were created, that there would be purpose in our existence, and that our creator would have an interest in how we conduct ourselves? Wouldn't it stand to reason that he would make some move to reconcile us to himself if we divorced ourselves from him?

Read your history - not just the books that reinforce your own prejudices, but also the ones that shake what you think you know to be true. And do it with an attitude that says, "What knowledge is to be gained here?", rather than "How can I pick this one to pieces?" Try taking the blinders off for once in your life.

Then again, what do I know? I'm as ignorant a fool as any of you...

vile 7 years, 11 months ago

I just had to post again. This is too much fun.

How is it that a child with cancer is the result of sin? Consider the following...

  1. Sin = the state of mankind having rejected God's authority in order to assume authority over himself.

  2. Man now serves his own interests without regard for God's will.

  3. Man now relies upon his own efforts, rather than God's providence.

  4. Man must now subsist either on what he is able to find or what he is able to produce.

  5. Man by necessity becomes industrious - through cultivation, through animal husbandry, also through development of tools to assist in the former two occupations.

  6. Industry evolves, leading to surpluses, then to trade, eventually prosperity.

  7. Prosperity coupled with blind greed cause a study to be quietly financed by a manufacturer of a certain cleaning chemical that is under scrutiny due to possible links to health problems.

  8. The study shows no health risks associated with this chemical. Imagine that. A powerful lobbying effort is successful in getting this study admitted into the hearings. The chemical is deemed safe, and is left on the market.

  9. A woman spends most of her pregnancy working for a cleaning service that uses this chemical extensively.

  10. The woman's daughter is born with a genetic abnormality - nothing immediately apparent, but affecting her central nervous system. When the girl is six years old, a tumor appears in her left temporal lobe.

The end result here is a six-year-old girl with cancer as the direct result of sin - not only the sin of mankind, but the sin of a single man. Ironically, this man is a corporate executive who just happens to be a christain. Not only that, but he is a christian with strong ties to the republican party. How else could the study that his company financed have been admitted into evidence?

Man, those christians really are the anti-christ, aren't they...

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Smith, Get help.

If you can't get help anywhere, at least retreat to someplace where you cannot continue spreading the sickness and lies which infect you. Marion.

Ah, a real argument? No, just many assumptions that you are asserting underneath your statement. You assume that I am wrong and that there is help for that. You also assume that I am telling lies. However, from your worldview you have no basis for demonstrating anything as true or wrong. Therefore, you are speaking into the wind in terms of being able to say anything with meaning. In other words, a consistent position from your apparent worldview is that I simply evolved differently as far as you can tell. But then again, nothing would have meaning and so it matters not a bit.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

How are these things "the effects of sin"? Please explain. I am finding it hard to imagine how a child with cancer is the result of sin. Explain, please. yourworstnightmare

You and most others think that I think that sin is simply a behavior that violates a standard. Sin is something different, it is a violation of God's purpose or intent. For example, sin is defined in Romans 3:23 as that which is not to the glory of God. When sin entered the world, it was a violation of God's original creation and order. So sin brought disorder of every kind into the world. Sin also brought the curse of God on the world in many ways. While it would take many posts to even begin to set this out, it will only take these few comments to get the basic issue out.

Many people complain that a loving God would never allow a child to have cancer. Why not? Can you explain how cancer should be treated in a world that has evolved like it has? Is cancer advantageous to the species? If it is not, then should we treat it since if those who survive pass it on it will weaken the species? Just as a reminder, I am not giving my position about cancer, I am just inquiring about the logical view of those who are atheists and believe in naturalistic evolution.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"I watched with glee While your kings and queens Fought for ten decades For the gods THEY made" Mick Jagger has it right. Marion.


Indeed he has to some degree. Science is the god, epistemology, and morality of athiests. While there is certainly benefit to science, can it really tell us about the most important things of life? Yes, so people today are in such a rush to see the demise of God in the world that they are inventing gods made in their own image and after their likeness.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Saying that our current morality derives from xtianity or any other religion is ludicrous. yourworstnightmare

Then I must say that you are able to have knowledge that only a god could have and as such you are a religion. For you to know that to say that our current morality derives from any other religion is assuming virtual omniscience.

Examples abound of "moral laws" stated in the bible that we do not follow: 1) Stoning and killing disobedient wives and children. 2) Polygamy. 3) Eating pork. 4) Wearing "mixed fibers". yourworstnightmare


Which does not have anything to do with the present position. Those laws passed away in the Bible as well. It is pretty much like bringing up a 5,000 year old theory and asking why scientists don't believe it.

One must ask, why do we follow some ideas in the bible and not others? Why do we no longer burn witches or kill infidels who do not believe? yourworstnightmare

Because the Bible itself teaches not to do those things any longer. However, from the athiestic worldview there is no real reason not to do those things.

The answer is that there is a morality that exists in humanity that is evolving and that is independent of religion and religious belief. yourworstnightmare

So, where did that morality come from? If it evolved, then there is no basis for believing that it applies at all and there is no real reason to practice it. If it is genetic, maybe we are growing beyond that and no longer should have it. Maybe morality of any kind is an anomaly in our genetic code and should be defeated like cancer or other things.

The driving force in current morality is reason and realism, not laws supposedly written by god 5000 years ago. yourworstnightmare

But your worldview does not give you a basis for reason, knowledge, or morality. The fact that you assert that those things are true demonstrates that down deep you recognize that you are created in the image of God and simply want to suppress that information. It is impossible for you or anyone else to live in a way that is consistent with a naturalistic evolutionary worldview.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, xtians are the ultimate nihilists. yourworstnightmare

Surely you jest?

It matters not what one does on Earth, as long as one repents before death. One will go to heaven to be with God regardless, so be as abusive as you like here on Earth. yourworstnightmare

Actually you have the whole scene backwards. The fact that there is an eternity gives real meaning to life now.

To an atheist, this life on Earth is all there is, and is short and precious. Therefore, atheists generally want to make earthly life better for all. yourworstnightmare

If this is all there is, then it is meaningless. Life is short, brutal and nasty if this is all there is. That is a paraphrase of sorts from Pope (not the pope, I believe).

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

All Chistians must blame the conditions of the world either on Satan or sin as to do otherwise denies the notion of a "loving" god and renders that "loving" god responsible.

Christianity falls apart at this point. Marion

No, it does not deny the notion of a true God that loves according to what the true nature of love. You are trying to plug your concept of love into the divine and hold Him by that standard. It is not Christianity that falls apart at this point, but your position. The naturalistic worldview cannot come up with a standard for morality or love that really works. You can't even come up with a real basis for morality to accuse God on and yet you want to attack God because things in the world are not to your liking. Why should God or anybody else operate according to your standards? Where did they come from and how do they obligate God or anyone else to do them? How are they a standard for anyone to follow?

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"However, from your worldview you have no basis for demonstrating anything as true or wrong. " quoting smith

The same applies to you, smith. You base your version of "truth" on a book, the true origins of which are unknown, and the contents of which can never be proven. scenebooster

There you go again. From your worldview, nothing can be proven to you unless it comes from your worldview. However, your worldview presupposes other things out of existence without the evidence that your own worldview requires. Am I going around quoting Scripture to you over and over again? Then why do you bring this up? Are you left without a basis for your position?

You can post on here all day long (and you have) about why your faith is the "right" faith - but you can never prove anything about why. Great. Good for you. scenebooster


Then you are continuing to miss the point. I am saying (at this point) and have been saying that the argument for my postion is that it answers the problems and questions that human beings have. Your position has no answers at all. Your worldview has no basis for morality, knowledge, and the meaning of life.

"However, from your worldview you have no basis for demonstrating anything as true or wrong. " quoting smith

Anyone (Muslim, Buddhist, etc.) can make the same claims, and you cannot refute them (substantially, that is). scenebooster

Actually, that is not correct. I am not discussing anything with them at the moment. I am discussing the Christian worldview versus the naturalistic one.

Still waiting for a response about your whole "sin=kids with cancer" BS.

I responded to this already, though perhaps not to you.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"But your worldview does not give you a basis for reason, knowledge, or morality. "

Prove it. scenebooster

My proof is the continuing lack of proof of those who claim to believe the opposite. My claim is that your worldview cannot give a basis for reason itself, provide a way of having a justified, true belief, and of anything remotely like morality. All you have to do to prove me wrong is to provide a real basis and obligation for people to be moral. Remember, it must be real and not just something based on what you like.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"Is cancer advantageous to the species? " quoting smith

Is religion? scenebooster

Religion does not have to show itself as advantageous to all members of all the species to be true. I am simply questioning your worldview in terms of cancer and asking you to be consistent within your worldview. However, without God ( true Christiantiy) there is not basis for reason or morality. Those things are an advantage to humanity, though I will admit they will make judgment day much harder for those who suppress the truth of God.

sourpuss 7 years, 11 months ago

After all of this, I'm just wondering why the LJW prints letters like this. I thought this was a local, secular paper? Shouldn't they be more prone to print letters complaining about dead trees, sewage leaks, how great the local Glee Club is, and thank you messages for making the Breakfast Optimists' event a success? Please, I would SO much rather have a holy war over roundabouts than religion (or perhaps roundabouts are a religion...)

More civic bellyaching and less oecumenical claptrap, please.

boldaq 7 years, 11 months ago

"Boldaq: Right, because when people are faced with the unknown realm of death and potential non-existence, that's surely when they are going to be the most rational and sensical, ne?"

Yes, when the flames of death are licking at your smug, self-righteous butt you're more likely to become realistic about life and death. More so than say, sitting on your beachfront condo veranda surrounded by other members of the liberal intelligentsia trying to impress each other with your money and so-called "education". Who needs God? Not you. Not at this time.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

I have a beachfront condo? Cool! Can you tell me where it is?

You realize, don't you, that you calling me smug and self-righteous is not so much the pot calling the kettle black, but the beam calling the mote an eye-irritant.

And, just for your information, I'm neither a liberal or an atheist, at least by my own considerations. I'll admit that I'm probably more of either than you, but when you're on the wings of extremity everything else looks slanted the other way, I've observed.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

smith, while you have quoted the bible and made some pretty incredible statements ("Because the Bible itself teaches not to do those things any longer." Whaaaa?), you have not answered how a child with cancer is the result of sin.

As for cancer and evolution, that's easy. Most cancers form in the elderly. Until recently, most people died at around age 45, so there was no selection against cancer in old age. Indeed, genes that have a selective advantage in the young might lead to cancer in the aged; they have not been selected out.

Childhood cancers are rare because of evolutionary natural selection against them. However, human populations carry mutations that in certain combinations (via sexual reproduction) can lead to cancer. Also, mutations can spontaneously arise that cause cancer (but they are kept rare in the gene pool by natural selection).

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 11 months ago

smith, your writings make no logical sense. Just because you write something doesn't mean it is a logical response.

Our morality does not derive from the bible. Modern xtians follow some things said in the bible and do not follow others.

The question is, what ethics and morality led to their choosing? What system of ethics do xtians follow to decide that they will follow some of god's words but not others?

The answer is an ethics outside of the bible, an ethics that exists in all human beings.

I will grant you that this ethos is expressed in many parts of the bible, but it is not derived from the bible.

This ethos is derived from reason, observation of reality, and from a shared empathy among human beings.

At base, that empathy could derrive from "I would not want that to happen to me and mine". I guess Kant called it the "categorical imperative".

JumporFall 7 years, 11 months ago

Here is something related, I thought it might point out how human physiology is the same, whether or not one has ever been exposed to the Bible. http://www.livescience.com/healthday/601147.html

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

"But your worldview does not give you a basis for reason, knowledge, or morality." -- Smith

But your worldview that incorporates a belief in an imaginary being whose first 4 commandments have to do with her vanity, a being that uses violence and retribution and favoritism to teach us about what is "right", and a being that can only be described as a sadistic, narcisstic cruel despot provides some basis for reason, knowledge, and morality?

I say the fact that you continue to be delusional, irrational and ignorant tells me that you are scared. Maybe you are scared to die Richard. Maybe you have lost loved ones and you hope to see them again. I don't know. But I can tell you that your dogmatism and religious ferver scares me. It angers me because I want a better world for our children. Your religion can only lead to war. It is divisive, it is about hatred and it is about greed.

I have no need to rely on some external source to justify my morality. I have no need to believe in some myth to appreciate the beauty and immensity of our universe. The only basis I need for morality is our connection to each other. Your worldview has no basis in reality. Your worldview is based on a "faith" on a made-up 2000 year old human created myth. It is time to discard it Richard.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

What Robin always used to frame his epithets and euphamisms

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

I thought it was in reference to something having a lot of holes?

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Your ability to talk in circles is second to none.
scenebooster


Thank you for the thought on my ability that surpasses all. However, I must confess that I am not really talking in circles.

As I've never stated a "worldview", I'm not sure how you can make this supposition. scenebooster

Perhaps I have made a mistake but it sure seemed that you had a naturalistic worldview. Correct me if I am wrong on that. If a person is a naturalist, then the consistent worldview unfolds from that. By that I am meaning what the naturalistic worldview must have if it is to be consistent.

As I have repeatedly pointed out, you have not, even once, made a statement based on fact that can be verified through anything other than faith.
scenebooster


From your view of faith, that is not exactly true. From my view of what faith is, then maybe so. The issue is that you don't recognize what is going on yet. I have yet to see a naturalist (if you are really one) make a statement here that is based on anything but a blind faith. You see, naturalism and all that flows from it is really based on a blind faith because it rests on presuppositions that it cannot prove. In other words, I am essentially arguing with you about your presuppositions which you have yet to see yet.

I believe that that is great, and would support your right to believe ANYTHING you like. What I chafe at is your position that only you and yours know "truth" - especially when you are unable to back up your statements with anything but circular logic.
scenebooster


But I do support them, it is just not in a way that you are used to. For example, person A might give a scientific hypothesis as a fact. Underlying that statement are many presuppositions that are not demonstrable. They are taken on a blind faith. On another thread I tried to show some of those by setting out why the naturalist can never arrive at knowledge. While that sounds arrogant to many, I am simply arguing in a way that is not familiar. I am attempting to dive to the depths of a person's basic presuppositions which determine what they believe. Most never really deal with those at all and so believe on a blind faith.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

smith, while you have quoted the bible and made some pretty incredible statements ("Because the Bible itself teaches not to do those things any longer." Whaaaa?), you have not answered how a child with cancer is the result of sin. yourworstnightmare

Thank you for admitting that I make incredible statements. However, I did answer how sin and cancer are related. Certainly I am not able to answer the hows and whys of each case. I am simply saying that sin has entered the world and has turned the state of things upside down. Because sin is in the world, there is disease and illness. Remember, I am talking about sin in a way that is different than outward behavior. I am talking about something that involves the inward nature of man.

Since sin is in the world humanity is not in the same form or way that God created. Since the argument is that an omni-benevolent God would never give a child cancer, we must remember that God is holy and hates sin. God is just in doing whatever He pleases with a sinful world. That being said, I am also not arguing that God specifically sends cancer to a specific child because of that child's sin. I am just arguing that God is just in whatever He does because of sin in the world. Disease is in the world because of sin.

Within your position (as argued by you and others) you are arguing against a God that would allow a child to have cancer as if that is an argument. It is not an argument against God, it argues that you are wrong with your view of God. What happens is that people set up a standard that they think God is like and then argue against that.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

smith, your writings make no logical sense. Just because you write something doesn't mean it is a logical response. yourworstnightmare

I would agree that just because any person writes something does not in and of itself make it logical in that sense of the word. I think you need to take your own words to heart. However, remember that each of us is writing from within a certain worldview. What you write at times is so far from being logical that it gives me the pleasure of a smile. So I recognize that you believe that my writings are not logic. But remember, I am trying to get you to see that from your worldview the use of logic is not logical.

Our morality does not derive from the bible. Modern xtians follow some things said in the bible and do not follow others. yourworstnightmare

Remember, I am not arguing that morality of moderns come from the Bible. I am arguing that apart from the Christian God there is no possiblility of a basis for and an obligation to be moral.

The question is, what ethics and morality led to their choosing? What system of ethics do xtians follow to decide that they will follow some of god's words but not others? yourworstnightmare

Faith and/or belief in God from the historical Christian perspective is not just a simple belief. It is the deepest conviction that is in the soul. There are many that believe in God as something that flits around in the brain, but the deep conviction based on many things is the issue. True morality is not just following a system of rules, but it is to love all things for the sake of God and His glory who is to be loved above all things.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

The answer is an ethics outside of the bible, an ethics that exists in all human beings. yourworstnightmare

But again, there is not basis for or obligation for ethics apart from God. Humanity wants to have ethics, but people all want ethics based on their own selfish desires and opinions. Apart from God there is no real reason for ethics. The naturalistic worldview cannot provide any real basis for ethics.

I will grant you that this ethos is expressed in many parts of the bible, but it is not derived from the bible.

This ethos is derived from reason, observation of reality, and from a shared empathy among human beings. yourworstnightmare

Naturalism cannot account for reason or knowledge. Empathy cannot be a basis for ethics. It simply says if I feel a certain way then I will behave toward others a certain way. But again, it provides no obligation or basis.

At base, that empathy could derrive from "I would not want that to happen to me and mine". yourworstnightmare


But that is essentially an ethic based on what I would want to happen to me. So if I would want to be murdered if X happened to me, then it is okay to murder another person. As stated, and apart from other basic moral issues as flow from the character of God, that ethic can be used as an excuse to do anything.

I guess Kant called it the "categorical imperative".
yourworstnightmare


ant gave five different versions of his "categorical imperative." It has been said that they were based on the biblical "Golden Rule." The Golden Rule in the Bible is really a restatment of love your neighbor as yourself which flows out of a love God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength. In other words, that can only be kept in reality if one is loving God. Apart from that, it becomes a selfish and self-centered way to do what I want.


smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Hence the invalidity of some opinions expressed here. Without an understanding of the concept of 'holiness', the discussion fast becomes meaningless. 75x55

Indeed, apart from the character of a holy God the discussion of ethics is meaningless. Then again, ethics is meaningless apart from holiness.

I thought it was in reference to something having a lot of holes? kodiac

I am somewhat sorry for doing this kodiac, but I am not going to resist this one. Without holiness one cannot have a whole ethics. So to try to have an ethic apart from holiness and the holiness of God is to have holes in ones ethics and logic.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

In your view, God created people. In your view, I assume you believe that God is all-knowing, all-powerful.

God created mankind. God created mankind with free will. God created sin...here's a point that you haven't covered...because if God didn't create sin, who did? Where did it come from?

Regardless, God created mankind. God knew that sin existed. Otherwise, there would have been no point in warning Adam and Eve to leave the damn fruit alone. Because he knew that then they would learn all the other things.

If God created mankind, and knew sin existed, and he's all-knowing and all-powerful, then didn't he know what was bound to happen?

And I still don't understand why, if I have supposed free will now, I should be held responsible in any way, or have to suffer in any way, for the choices that my ancestors made. That just doesn't seem fair, does it?

This is basically the concept of God and religion that I was taught as a child...and it's no different than the concepts that many Protestant religions teach:

I am God! You must worship me! You must love me! You must glorify me...that is the whole point of your existence!

And if you don't do those things, then... You will go to hell and suffer torment forever!

How does that equate to any kind of "love"?

I had a relationship with a man that was basically like that. And it was no kind of "love", believe me.

gr 7 years, 11 months ago

crazyks,

Just momentarily butting in, but believe it or not, I'm in agreement with you on most of this one. How is the God, which some promote, any different than any man - specifically a dictator.

"And if you don't do those things, then... You will go to hell and suffer torment forever!" (You should add, "anyone else want to disagree with me? I didn't think so. Ok, back to worshiping me.")

I sure would not want anything to do with a god like that!

"if God didn't create sin, who did? Where did it come from?" You answered it: free will. Otherwise, it's back to a dictator.

"didn't he know what was bound to happen?" It was "bound" to, but not absolute. It depended upon free choices. But, there was a plan from right then for bringing man back to God - but, still allowing free will.

"And I still don't understand why, if I have supposed free will now, I should be held responsible in any way, or have to suffer in any way, for the choices that my ancestors made. That just doesn't seem fair, does it?"

Nope, it doesn't. But, what if what you suffer is a cause and effect result of yours and others' choices? For example, if you jump off a building, you will suffer. If your parents throw you off a building, you will suffer.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

"Indeed, apart from the character of a holy God the discussion of ethics is meaningless. Then again, ethics is meaningless apart from holiness."

You have not adequately proved this or supported it. Try again.

I mean, try for the first time.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 11 months ago

I saw a show on PBS once, with Terri Garr (back in the young years!) in which God was a student, and the creation of the earth and mankind was his senior thesis.

He got a C.

vile 7 years, 11 months ago

I've come to think that if God were a democrat, many of you would be more keen on Him. Praise Him that He is a republican!

There is no god but Yahweh, and Tim LaHey is his prophet! How dare you mock our religion of peace. You infidels are worthy only of the sword. We will erase you from the memory of the earth.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

In your view, God created people. In your view, I assume you believe that God is all-knowing, all-powerful.

God created mankind. God created mankind with free will. God created sin...here's a point that you haven't covered...because if God didn't create sin, who did? Where did it come from? crazyks

Indeed God created mankind, but He did not create man with free will. Free will is a myth of epoch proportions. However, if all you mean by that is that God does not force people to do certain things, then we can agree on that. I would call that free agency in that sense. However, sin was not created by anyone and is not a thing in and of itself. Sin has no ontological being. Sin is something a moral agent does. Sin is actually the absence of holiness rather than the presence of something in and of itself. So sin happens when human beings choose to do something that is not for the glory of God.

Regardless, God created mankind. God knew that sin existed. Otherwise, there would have been no point in warning Adam and Eve to leave the damn fruit alone. Because he knew that then they would learn all the other things. crazyks

If God created mankind, and knew sin existed, and he's all-knowing and all-powerful, then didn't he know what was bound to happen? crazyks

Of course He knew what would happen. Are you saying that He should have created them as robots and made them perform actions apart from human choice?

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

And I still don't understand why, if I have supposed free will now, I should be held responsible in any way, or have to suffer in any way, for the choices that my ancestors made. That just doesn't seem fair, does it? crazyks


It is perfectly just and fair, though your are probably using the word "fair" more like I am using the term "just." Fairness just means equal and if all are fallen in Adam then it is certainly equal. So I think you are asking if it is just. I think it is very just.

If God set up the human scenario with Adam as a federal head or representative of all humanity, the only real question about justice is if Adam would be a proper choice to represent all. If God knew that all would fall given the same circumstances, or if He knew that Adam who was created without sin and would still fall, then it is a perfectly just situation. All human beings sin and fall short of the glory of God over and over again every day. In that we show that we are doing things like Adam and would do them if we were the head.

Apart from operating along the lines of a federal head, I fail to see how anyone could be saved by Jesus Christ. For example, when the angels fell (became demons) they were never given a Redeemer. One sin and they were lost forever. If we all fell into sin seperately, then we would all have to be saved seperately. Since humanity fell in a federal head or representative, Jesus Christ can save all who will be saved by acting as their head. So Christ can die once and all who will be saved will be saved. If people reject Adam as a federal head, then they must logically reject Christ as their head as well.

This is basically the concept of God and religion that I was taught as a child...and it's no different than the concepts that many Protestant religions teach:

I am God! You must worship me! You must love me! You must glorify me...that is the whole point of your existence!

And if you don't do those things, then... You will go to hell and suffer torment forever!

How does that equate to any kind of "love"?

I had a relationship with a man that was basically like that. And it was no kind of "love", believe me.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

This is basically the concept of God and religion that I was taught as a child...and it's no different than the concepts that many Protestant religions teach:

I am God! You must worship me! You must love me! You must glorify me...that is the whole point of your existence crazyks


I understand your pain at these points. However, I hear His tone as different than yours. Perhaps, as you point out below, your life experiences have altered how you hear the tone of the voice behind those words. What is those were commands of love because that is the very best thing for human beings? There is no source of love in the universe apart from God. So a command to love God is in line with what man's created purpose is which is to share in the delight and joy of God Himself. Every now and then I will walk up to a child of mine and command them in a gruff voice to eat a piece of candy that I have for them. Is that mean? God created us for Himself and commands us to love Him which He alone can give. Is that cruel to command people to love that which is what they were created for and which is best for them?

And if you don't do those things, then... You will go to hell and suffer torment forever! crazyks


If a person rejects the love of God, then what do they expect but to go to a place where there is no love at all.

How does that equate to any kind of "love"?

I had a relationship with a man that was basically like that. And it was no kind of "love", believe me. crazyks


But you are not putting sin into the equation. God is not obligated in any way to love sinners with His highest love which is Himself. If people do not want that love and reject Him with hatred, then how does that obligate Him in any way? His ending people to eternal torment is a love for justice and holiness. So it really is love but just not for a human being at that point.

ksmoderate 7 years, 11 months ago

"epoch proportions" - smith

So smith, in which "epic" did God create dinosaurs?

(couldn't resist)

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I take that back. You provide some basis for your viewpoint first. You have continuously steered the conversation back into an offensive position, over and over again, and have not allowed critiques of your own position to be delved into in any meaningful way. Jonas


Until your worldview can allow for morality, knowledge, and meaning, it is not possible for your worldview to critique anything in a meaningful way. That is what I am trying to show you. With the naturalistic worldview you have no way of critiquing any other worldview. Your system of thought has necessary presuppositions that will always conflict with offering any substantive critique of any position that requires morality, reason, or meaning. I realize that this can be frustrationg from a person with that worldview that does not recognize that part of his or her worldview yet. However, when you start to offer a critique of my position with something that is not consistent with your worldview, that needs to be dealt with first. There is no way to deal with just facts, because we approach those differently because of our basic presuppositions.

Until you do that, we're not really even having a conversation, unless you count an explanation, followed by a retort of "sorry, you're wrong," repeated ad infinitum to be a conversation. And I don't. Jonas

Ah, and here I thought it was your side that was doing that. When I tell you that your position does not have a basis for using reason or morality to critique my position, then I am discussing with argumentation. When I say that you are wrong in what you are asserting about my position, then I am using argumentation. Again, I understand that this may be different than you are used to, but that does not make it less than a real position. I simply ask questions about what must be true (what presuppositions you are operating on) in order for what you say to be true (conditions for intelligibility).

For example, if you say that there cannot be a God because He cannot be omni-benevolent and omnipotent at the same time, I must ask what is meant by those two attributes and of what basis you have within your worldview for asserting that morality and applying it to some concept of God. Instead of arguing with the exact langauge you use, I assert that those things are inconsistent with your worldview. That means that you are borrowing from my worldview to try to prove yours.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

"Indeed, apart from the character of a holy God the discussion of ethics is meaningless. Then again, ethics is meaningless apart from holiness."

You have not adequately proved this or supported it. Try again.

I mean, try for the first time. jonas

From your apparent worldview, you can prove nothing to anyone including yourself if you follow it consistently. With your apparent set of presuppositions, you will not accept what is real proof and presuppose them out of evidence by your own sheer fiat. You have not provided any basis for morality or rationality from your worldview. Why don't you prove that rationality or morality are consistent within your worldview?

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

I've done that several times. Check my profile, cuz it was on another page, at least the last one that I wrote. I don't particularly feel like writing it all out for you again. Bottom line is that, as humans, we all are mostly the same, thus what I intuit for myself, in terms of positive and negative emotions and sensations can be extrapolated to other people as well, and as I am no more special or important as any of them, being the same human stuff as them, it is incorrect to believe that the levels of respect and personal decorum I expect to be demonstrated to myself should be changed or lessened for anybody else.

It's essentially the golden rule, which you should note doesn't rely on the need for a deity or absolute founder of everything. It doesn't even rely on communication, which is, of course, much better to use when finding out how to treat people.

Feel free to comment, but I'm going to have to ask that you actually provide support for your critiques, not simply say that something is wrong because you say that something is wrong, or becuase I haven't used god and/or the Bible. Any less, and I can't see you as being worth any more of my time.

Then, please, take your own viewpoint, and explain to us how it can be rational and logical, or even consistent. In short, apply the same standards of deduction and base to tip consistency that you demand from every veiwpoint other than your own.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I take that back. You provide some basis for your viewpoint first. You have continuously steered the conversation back into an offensive position, over and over again, and have not allowed critiques of your own position to be delved into in any meaningful way. Until you do that, we're not really even having a conversation, unless you count an explanation, followed by a retort of "sorry, you're wrong," repeated ad infinitum to be a conversation. And I don't.

budwhysir 7 years, 11 months ago

Politicaly speaking, this is an old story that wont go away

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

Then, please, take your own viewpoint, and explain to us how it can be rational and logical, or even consistent. In short, apply the same standards of deduction and base to tip consistency that you demand from every veiwpoint other than your own. jonas

Great. My worldview is that there is a God that has created all things and is sovereign over them. Without those basic presuppositions, nothing else can really be explained in a consistent way. We all look at what is in the world and try to explain how it got here. How can we explain how rationality arrived on this planet and how is it possible to use it in an organized way? Naturalism offers no hope for rationality at all. But the Being who is all wisdom and knowledge as well as sovereign does because He has a rational being created man in His own image.

On the other hand, naturalism cannot even provide a consistent account of what is rational and how we could know anything at all. So everytime a person uses rationality to try to explain God away that person is inconsistent with his or her own worldview. Rationality is not consistent from a totally naturalistic worldview.

The same things can be repeated with morality and meaning for anything and meaning for life. Naturalism has no basis to offer for morality or meaning or meanings in life and so cannot use those to argue for its position. However, the Christian can. While admittedly many people that claim to be Christians have given it a bad name by wrong behavior, that is not an argument against what it really is.

The reason that I do not accept what you call facts from your position is that I am looking underneath that information and asking how they can be facts and if you could possibly know that they are facts from your worldview. It is, in other words, going to the very basis of everything in an effort to discover what is really there. After all, if one wants to argue against the existence of God, that is what they must do. So I am simply calling you on your positions by going to the very roots of those ideas.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

"But I have addressed them, it is just that I address things differently than you are used to. I address them at the level of presuppositions and what can make something intelligible within a worldview."

Yes, except that doesn't actually MEAN anything. At least not on any tangible level.

"I am not trying to get you to blindly agree with me, but to see that you are blindly agreeing with others and presuppositions with what you believe. You have accepted certain positions and are not looking at the presuppositions of those things which must be true if the positions are true."

Accepted certain positions? The only position I have really accepted and used in my argument is that I can observe things happening, and make inferences on them. Are you able to disprove my ability to do that?

"But I am not relying on some intangible, Cartesian level of philosophical doubt. I am trying to go to the underlying presuppositions that you are relying on and perhaps have swallowed without looking at them. That is what it means to examine a worldview to see if it is consistent within itself."

You say you aren't, and prove you are, in the same paragraph. Tell me how the line "how can you know anything at all from a naturalistic worldview?" is not relying on Cartesian or Kantian doubt. For that matter, can you tell me what "presuppositions that you are relying on and perhaps have swallowed without looking at them" you are even talking about? Just saying that there must be some there doesn't really do anything. List them out, and say why, or drop it as an unsupportable argument.

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

So, essentially, this goes down to how can I possibly know anything, and the answer is, I can't? Is that what you are, in a great many words, trying to say?

See, the problem is, you took my second post, and you did not, apparently, even look at my position, because you certainly did not address any of its points. I very much fear that you glazed your eyes over as you read it, and then, since you had already assumed that it was not going to use God as the final justification, when on to say that it was wrong and impossible.

If I can't even get you to address the things that I've written, why should I give you the courtesy of even considering your position. To be honest, I'm not that concerned with critiquing your faith in god. I don't really have the urge to call you wrong. The problem is that you are calling ME wrong, and there isn't anything I can say, other than blindly agreeing with you, that will make you say that I might not be. If you can factually disprove my assertions, without relying on some intangible, Cartesian level of philosophical doubt, then I'll give you credence enough to consider the necessity of adopting your position.

Logic is, at its core, the idea that if something works one way thirty times, it will do it the the thirty-first as well. That is something that you can simply observe, and remember.

smith 7 years, 11 months ago

If I can't even get you to address the things that I've written, why should I give you the courtesy of even considering your position. jonas

But I have addressed them, it is just that I address things differently than you are used to. I address them at the level of presuppositions and what can make something intelligible within a worldview.

To be honest, I'm not that concerned with critiquing your faith in god. I don't really have the urge to call you wrong. The problem is that you are calling ME wrong, and there isn't anything I can say, other than blindly agreeing with you, that will make you say that I might not be. jonas

I am not trying to get you to blindly agree with me, but to see that you are blindly agreeing with others and presuppositions with what you believe. You have accepted certain positions and are not looking at the presuppositions of those things which must be true if the positions are true.

If you can factually disprove my assertions, without relying on some intangible, Cartesian level of philosophical doubt, then I'll give you credence enough to consider the necessity of adopting your position. jonas


But I am not relying on some intangible, Cartesian level of philosophical doubt. I am trying to go to the underlying presuppositions that you are relying on and perhaps have swallowed without looking at them. That is what it means to examine a worldview to see if it is consistent within itself.

Logic is, at its core, the idea that if something works one way thirty times, it will do it the the thirty-first as well. That is something that you can simply observe, and remember. jason

I hate to be so disagreeable and all, but that is not logic. Logic is essentially the science of argumentation by which arguments are presented in such a way that if the premisses are true the conclusion is necessarily true. That is distinguished from invalid arguments that have a bad form.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

Smith,

Your arguments are still circular. Your arguments would also work for the Muslim, the Jew, the Hindu, or any non-materialistic view for that matter. There are even non-materialistic atheists that could use this argument (although I am pretty sure none of them would). Any of these beliefs could represent a "consistent worldview" using the exact same arguments you are using. All of this of course boils down to a matter of faith. That is the irony of your arguments Smith. You are arguing for consistency and not really about the existence or non-existence of a god. It is strictly a philosophical position based on faith and not an evidential position.

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

Logic is essentially the science of argumentation by which arguments are presented in such a way that if the premisses are true the conclusion is necessarily true. -- Smith

So you are essentially concluding that God exists based on your premises correct?

Kodiac 7 years, 11 months ago

Does logic require the existence of a god?

jonas 7 years, 11 months ago

"I hate to be so disagreeable and all, but that is not logic. "

Yes, it is. At it's most basic, non-philosophical level. It is the ability to make inferences based on past observable happenings.

"Logic is essentially the science of argumentation by which arguments are presented in such a way that if the premisses are true the conclusion is necessarily true."

That's the philosophical view of logic, that you get out of a philosophy classroom. It also, by necessity, relies on observable evidence and inference, my core, in order to make it's premises correct, they aren't just correct on their own.

I should also note that I have put forward an argument which follows your logical structure, that you have not analyzed in the slightest. You may say that you have, but if your method of discussing involves not discussing it, but just saying that it's wrong, or grouping it unread into some nefarious group of OTHER atheistic, non-deistic and agnostic comments, then it is YOUR logic that is fallacious. There's even a term for the way you conduct arguments in this fashion: it's called a straw-man argument.

So, you have, essentially, talked at me in your assumption of me being a part of a larger whole, which is incorrect and insulting. Address MY argument, that is both consistent and logically sound, from above, not someone else's argument that you are by proxy attributing to me.

Kodiac 7 years, 10 months ago

A little bit late but nevertheless, an interesting find....

From a speech by Adolph Hitler:

"My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people."

-Adolf Hitler, in a speech on 12 April 1922 (Norman H. Baynes, ed. The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, April 1922-August 1939, Vol. 1 of 2, pp. 19-20, Oxford University Press, 1942) Martin Phipps, October 18th, 2004

So much for being an atheist huh

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