Creationism versus Naturalism. Where is the Logic?


How did our universe come into existence? There are plenty of theories, and numerous opinions. Many people do not think the question is important; others will spend hours upon hours debating over the subject. We need to ask ourselves does the beginning of the universe matter. Do we really need to grasp at straws to try to understand something that occurred so many years before our existence?

Like most controversial topics I believe it deserves some pondering. There are two main arguments for the beginning of the universe, it was created, or it was not created. Sounds simple enough but questioning either theory can spark a heated argument amongst individuals. I want to examine both possibilities.

Creationism

I have heard many people say that the creationist theory to the start of the universe is illogical and naïve. I have also heard people say the complete opposite. The best argument for this theory on the start of the Universe I have seen was presented by William Lane Craig in his book On Guard. It is an argument originally designed by a Muslim philosopher in the twelfth century Al- Ghazali. It is in the form of a three point syllogism. There are two premises, if both premises are accepted then the third point, the conclusion must logically follow. Here are the premises:

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

2) The Universe began to exist.

3) Therefore the Universe had a cause.

This is a sound logical argument. Looking at the two premises there may be some opposition. I have heard people say that not everything needs a cause, for example some atoms just start to exist without reason. The problem with that reasoning is the fact that cause and reason are being used interchangeably. There may not be a reason we can think of for something to exist, but if began existing there is cause for its existence. For example if you were to find a hunk of ice in the summer you would assume it had somehow been exposed to very cold temperatures to cause it to freeze. Ice would not just come into existence on its own during the summer. It is implausible to think of anything that has begun to exist without cause. If you can think of something that could begin existing without cause I would like to know what it is, so comment below.

The second premise is even more ridiculous to reject. This would mean saying that the universe did not begin to exist. This would imply that the universe has been here for an infinite amount of time. This is an insane thought seeing as infinity is concept that simply cannot be applied to reality in this manner. Think about it, if the Universe has been around forever then that means it would take an infinite amount of time to reach this point in time. If it takes an infinite amount of time to reach this point, this point in time could not logically ever arrive. There would have had to be infinite time, and infinite events that happened before the present would occur. That is impossible! The thing about infinity is that it is just a concept for a really large number that cannot be calculated. It is not an actual number; it cannot apply to something finite such as time.

Both premises are valid and sound, everything that begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist therefore the universe had a cause. Sweet and simple logic.

Craig doesn’t stop there, he continues into a second argument to back up the creationist theory in the same format. (Craig, 111)

1) The fine- tuning of the Universe is due to physical necessity, chance or design.

2) It is not due to physical necessity or chance.

3) Therefore, it is due to design.

The first premise is pretty airtight. The second one can be questioned to a certain degree. Why couldn’t the Universe be fine-tuned by necessity? Well because that seems improbable. Our Universe simply has to exist exactly as it is for some unknown reason, this is not a very well supported viewpoint, nor have I ever met anybody who supported it. M-Theory has predicted a range of possible universes (10 to the power of 500) and almost all of them would not permit life. If anything it seems more likely for life prohibiting Universes to exist than fine-tuned Universes. The other option is chance, which would mean if there are enough Universes eventually one would allow for life. The problem is this is so highly improbable it is almost inconceivable. The chances of any universe existing is slim; on top of that the chance of that universe being life permitting is even slimmer. Finally the chances of that Universe having life on it is slim to none. Chance cannot account for all the improbabilities associated with our Universe.

That leaves us with the third premise. Therefore, it is due to design. This is another logically sound argument.

These arguments for creation are very convincing and derived from cold, hard logic. The beauty of logic is that it is unbiased and if the premises are accepted the conclusion must be accepted.

Naturalism

This viewpoint maintains that the Universe was not designed and came into existence on its own. Or it was created by a multiverse generator. Which leads me to ask where this multiverse generator came from. People may ask the same question of the concept of a designer. Where did the designer come from? Well this designer would be God, and God necessarily exists for eternity. Note that eternity is very different from infinity. The designer must have existed before time and space since He created both. He existed before there was space or matter so he must be immaterial. This concept of God, means that He always existed even before the concept of time. (On a side note I must include that by saying He I do not mean a God that has male primary and secondary sex characteristics, I am simply referring to the Judeo-Christian God Yahweh).

Continuing on I fail to see the logic in the other approach to the start of the Universe. The Universe just started to exist without cause. Whether it is by chance or as many Atheists claim through the Big Bang. The problem with this idea is that the Big Bang implies the Universe had a beginning, and that something started this Big Bang. The Big Bang is a theory that basically says the Universe is expanding and as it does so the space between galaxies is increasing. The most important thing is to realize that the Universe is expanding into previously non existent space. Looking backwards with the Big Bang theory implies that at some point the galaxies were very close together as the Universe is expanding outwards. Eventually there would be no space at all; this would the beginning that the Big Bang implies. This would be the beginning of space and the beginning of time. The obvious question that comes next is why did space and time begin to exist at this point? Did they just come out of nothing?

What is nothing? Nothing is the complete lack of anything, even space. Nothing would imply there are no gases, particles, matter or anything else seeing as nothing could exist where there is no space. How could everything come from nothing? This rejects any form of logic. The other option is that the Universe caused its own existence. This would be a circular fallacy; the Universe could not create itself as it would have had to exist prior to existing to create itself. Again this is an illogical premise.

I tried searching for logical causes to the beginning of the Universe online. I was overwhelmed by the number of results naming God as the logical conclusion, and the complete lack of anything saying otherwise. I am not trying to sound insulting I mean I honestly found nothing! This article was supposed to lay out two syllogisms for creationism, followed by two syllogisms for naturalism. Then I intended to compare the logical arguments, the problem was that naturalism does not have a logical argument for the start of the Universe.

That leaves us with only two options; the Universe was uncaused, which does not fall in line with anything observed by science. Or it had a cause. If it had a cause the cause must be outside of time and space in order to create the beginning of time and space, also known as the Big Bang. This would be a cause outside time and space that fine-tuned our Universe in order to support life. This sounds an awful lot like God.

At this point we need to take a step back from our pre-existing notions and beliefs and think about which worldview satisfies the demands of logic.

Citations

Craig, Willaim. On Guard. USA: David C. Cook, 2010.

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Comments 104 comments

Neil 4 years ago

Just because it's improbable does not make it impossible. To throw out an argument because the chances of it possibly being wrong is a fallacy in itself. In the end, M-theory needs just one universe to have life to be true, and for all we know, this is our universe.


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

Nice Hub.

I like the simplicity of the deeper issues involved.

I'm with you. I also fail to see how any argument agains (God) a designer holds any merit at all!

As for probability being somehow equal to possibility, that too is far fetched.

Try selling someone a lifetime of lottery tickets, and guaranteeing they will win it every week for the rest of their lives. I don't think they will buy!

The truth is, that the lotto "possibility" is SSSOOOO remote, that the probability is ZERO.

But, that is 10 to the something less than the "chance" of it all (universe) happening, without a cause (designer).


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest

A very interesting and well stated hub. While I believe that something caused the big bang, in my mind it is not necessary that this was a "God" or another being. The truth is we are so young as a species that we have not discovered all there is scientifically to discover. I think the work they are doing in Europe with the Higgs Boson particle is a great example of us being in the process of discovering just how the universe sprang to life.

It is certainly interesting to think about - and I think it also proves that spirituality and scientific thought are not as polar opposite as we tend to view them. :) Either way the process of life is beautiful.

Voted up and interesting.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Weird - this does not compute:

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

What caused god in that case?

2) The Universe began to exist.

You know there was a time when the Universe did not exist?

3) Therefore the Universe had a cause.

False - for 2 reasons:

1. Unless you have a cause for god - your first premise is false.

2. You have not shown that there was a time that the Universe did not exist, therefore have not shown that it was caused.

This is actual logic.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Well that would be logic if we had the same understanding of the terminology.

1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

This is a true statement, I would ask you provide me of anything we as humans have ever observed as beginning to exist without a cause. This is the very simple concept of cause and effect.

God did not begin to exist. In order to object to my premise you need to use the terminology correctly.

2) The Universe Began to exist.

I addressed the beginning of the universe in the hub. You can reject the premise if you like, but it is quite ridiculous to say that the Universe existed for an infinite amount of time when it is governed such finite natural laws. One of these being time.

Give me logical reasons to reject the premises, and I will explain my thinking behind them. As it stands I think they are pretty solid and your objections are simply misunderstandings of the terms.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Right - so your premise is false.

1. On the one hand you are arguing that EVERYTHING that begins needs a cause. But God did not begin to exist?

Why is god excluded from this "cause and effect" that applies to EVERYTHING ELSE?

Give me a logical reason why everything needs a cause- except this one being.

2. The Universe exists. I think we can agree on that.

You have not given me a logical reason to suppose there was a time when it did not exist.

I understand you just fine thanks. Your grasp of English seems rather poor and accusing me of "misunderstanding" does not help our discussion. I have given you logical reasons to reject your irrational premises. You have not addressed them. Simply stating that everything needs a cause - except one thing is not logical and directly contradicts itself. Odd you do not see that. Perhaps you simply misunderstood the term EVERYTHING?

Until you can give me a logical reason why god did not begin to exist, your entire argument is based on nothing.

Why not apply this to the Universe instead? We know that exists.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Mark my grasp of the English language has nothing to do with the conversation. The comment made me laugh but please stay on topic.

Now we agree that the Universe exists, good. I have actually debated that topic before and it is really frustrating.

Next part of the argument is that the Universe began to exist. The reason I did not go to in depth in answering your rejection to this premise was simply that I thought you were joking. You have a history of trolling, I didn't know you were seriously rejecting the premise.

Let us say that it did not begin to exist. That it always existed. For an infinite amount of time. We would never reach this point in time. Infinite time would have had to pass before the current moment. The concept of a Universe that has always existed entirely ignores the natural laws that we know and understand. Look at Hilbert's Hotel for more examples of the absurdity of infinity.

As for God beginning to exist and not beginning to exist. This is where I said you were not understanding the term.

God is the name given to the Being who is Timeless and Spaceless.

I believe that there was something that caused the creation of the Universe, a first Cause.

In order for this first cause (I will call it Omega rather than God to avoid further confusion in the term) to create time it would have to exist outside of time. (If it was governed by time, time would have existed before Omega. Since Omega created time there was no time before Omega. Since there was no time before Omega, there was nothing before Omega).

In order for Omega to create space and everything that requires space (I do not mean outer space I mean empty space itself) this being must be without matter.

When I say the word God, I am using it within the context of the Christian meaning for the word God.

To ask why a timeless, spaceless, eternal does not have a beginning is not a flaw in the premise but simply a misunderstanding of what the concept of God actually is.

If you need clarification on anything just let me know. I will try my best to explain the concepts to you. I could even write a hub on the subject if you would like.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Ah - I understand now - it is Magic. Sorry - you had me confused by using terms such as "logic"

No need for clarification on anything I get it now.

Why not just use the word "magic" in the first place instead of pretending to use logic and reason?

Thanks for clearing that up for me. LAWL!


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Oh dear Mark I actually thought you were going to be mature in these posts. I am always here when you do want to talk logic and reason.

Asking questions that are in the same realm as why aren't triangles round and then being amused that the other person cannot answer is not using logic. It is twisting terms (whether knowingly or not) and using the incorrect meaning of a term to try and win your argument.

That is a fallacious way to argue and you know it. If you want to argue logic then you need to follow the rules of logic. Emotion and insults have no place in such a debate. If you would like to have a conversation which is not solely based on logic that is fine too. I can tell you other reasons why I trust in creationism over naturalism.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Emotion and insults? Ah - you mean telling me I misunderstand the terms you use and offering to "clarify" the terms I am having trouble understanding? And accuse me of being a troll.

I logically explained why your premises are false, and you resort to magic as the answer.

Your argument the this time will never come if the Universe has always existed is also false. Sorry. No logic here. I had hoped for some reasonable argument - instead I get "magic."


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Mark all I can say to you is read something of Craigs. I was not insulting or attacking you. I was telling you that you misused the term God in order to reject my premise.

Telling you that you are misunderstanding is not insulting, it is factual. You need to use the correct terms in order to reject the premise.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Sorry - Your definition is poorly stated. An uncaused first cause = magic.

You have offered no logic, and I can only conclude that your grasp of English is poor.

I understand just fine thanks. An uncaused first cause is impossible. It is not that I misunderstand what you are saying. Sorry. I understand just fine.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Why do you question my grasp of English? I am a white Canadian born English speaker. Do you want to know why I laughed at that comment? I am an English major at York University. I have taught English to children.

Ad hominems are a sad way to try and win an argument. If you are ever feeling curious and want to approach the logical argument with an air of intellectual honesty then message me. I am always willing to discuss. I am not willing to exchange verbal blows.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

No - you do not seem to understand basic English. You said you were using logic, yet when I questioned you - you resorted to "magic" not logic.

I have proven your premises false. Now you tell me there is an uncaused cause called "omega" . Exactly how is that an ad hominem attack? You obviously do not understand the term "logic".

If you did - you would have offered up some logical argument for this uncaused cause you claim. But - great job on avoiding the questions.

Not only is an uncaused first cause impossible - you also seem to be claiming this uncaused cause managed to "cause" something from nothing.

You see how I wonder at your grasp of English?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

That would not be an inability to grasp English, it would be an inability to grasp logical formulas. Do you see the difference?

I did not give you magic for an answer. I gave you the definition behind the term God or Omega. God is not the word for a big man in the sky looking down on us. At least not the Christian God. If you want to understand it as magic that is your prerogative.

How about you tell me what you think caused the Universe. Maybe if I have a better understanding of what you believe we can find some common ground to stand on.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

OK - fair enough - you are unable to construct a logical argument and this has nothing to do with your grasp of English. :D

Still not understanding why you have not given me a logical explanation as to why the Universe was "caused" exactly. This is one of your basic premises that I have proven wrong. Matter and space are eternal and cannot be created. Therefore the Universe has always existed.

Yes - "omega, the uncaused cause" = "magic." This is not a question of "prerogative." Your explanation is lacking any substance and actually "magic" is a more appropriate term.

Looking forward to you logical explanation and proof that the Universe did not exist at some point.

Then a reasonable explanation and definition of this "god/omega" thing you say has always existed outside of time/reality/the Universe/everything.

And another reasonable explanation as to how it magicked the Universe into existence from nothing. I am making an assumption here - as the Universe was "created" by this majickal being - there was "nothing" here - so cause and effect no longer apply.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Sorry for the late response Mark, I have not been near a computer all weekend.

Okay so you want to know why I think that the Universe began to exist right?

I will go through the arguments that convinced me.

I already talked to you about the absurdity of infinity. It is not possible for time to be infinite, as we can distinguish two points in time and understand how much time passed between them. In order for the universe to have always existed it would mean it has been existing for infinity and will continue to exist for infinity.

This would mean that from the start of life to the current moment infinite time has passed, but at the same time no time has passed at all.

Infinity is a concept that cannot be applied to a finite reality. We cannot say that something governed by natural laws has existed for an infinite amount of time and stay with in current scientific understanding as well as making logical sense.

Our understanding of infinity is just a concept, it is used to talk about a potential not an actual number.

Think of it this way, can you count to infinity? Even if you lived an infinite amount of years could you count to infinity? No you couldn't, there would always be an infinite amount of numbers left to count. Could the Universe exist for an infinite amount of time? No there would always before an infinite amount of events that would need to occur before the current event, meaning that the current moment could never be reached, it would always be an infinite amount of time away.

Another approach is the scientific approach to the argument. According to the Big Bang theory (the theory not the show) space itself is expanding. As it expands galaxies seem to be moving away from each other, while in reality the space between them is just expanding (The example used by William Lane Craig is that of a balloon. Picture a balloon on which you glue many buttons. Then you blow up the balloon. The space between the buttons has increased but the buttons themselves have not moved). When you picture the balloon however remember that there is no space inside or outside the balloon, the balloon surface represents space itself.

Now lets go back in time, deflate our imaginary balloon. What happens? The buttons become closer together as the space between them does not yet exist. Going back through time the galaxies would be closer and closer together. Eventually the space between the galaxies would be zero. Zero space. This would be the beginning of space and time. Remember the galaxies need space to occupy, when the amount of space is zero there is zero space for a galaxy.

So this is the beginning of space and time, this point in which space began to exist and expand of an extent of time (and it continues to expand). The Big Bang theory claims that there was nothing before this point. Allow me to define nothing. No space, no matter, no time, no anything. Nothing is not empty space, nothing meaning not even empty space.

There is also the argument of thermodynamics, which honestly I do not know well enough to explain to you. You can read about though.

I want to know what your thoughts are on this topic before addressing the second part of your comment. I think if we stick to discussing one idea or premise at a time the conversation will flow more smoothly. Mind you I am not avoiding the magical cause question, I am asking to discuss it after we discuss the Beginning or lack of beginning of the Universe.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

No - you did not talk about the absurdity of infinity. You made a claim and then proceeded tell me that our reality is finite.

Your argument makes no sense whatsoever - sorry.

Why is reality finite exactly? The fact that time is infinite does not mean that this time would never exist. The concept of "infinity" does not discount the passage of time. All points along this infinite timeline must come to pass.

This is not a logical argument. Basically it is a self supporting argument that then relies on an infinite being that exists outside of time/reality/the Universe to magick the Universe from nothing.

So - on the one hand you are claiming that there was "nothing" and infinity is impossible. On the other hand you are also claiming that there was something (omega) which has existed for an infinite amount of time, but because this omega can exist outside of time - this does not apply this being.

Why do we need this being exactly? Why can the components that make up the Universe not have always existed?

There is no such thing as "zero space". Another impossibility.

What is outside the boundary of this imaginary balloon? Nothing?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Remember how I asked us to stick to one topic at a time? That was to avoid really jumbled questions and answers. Everything is clearer when we can address one thought at a time.

The whole reason I wanted to completely leave God out of this portion of the argument (the universe having a beginning part) was to avoid accusations of a self supporting argument.

I am only discussing the possibility of the Universe beginning and the possibility of the Universe not beginning at the moment. This will limit any confusion.

We were talking about the Beginning. We can talk about God later when we understand each others views on the Universe.

Points on an infinite timeline could never come to pass Mark. There would be an infinite amount of time before their occurrence. It isn't logically sound to apply infinity to time. Infinity is an abstract concept, and just like many mathematical concepts not applicable to reality.

I do not know how else to explain the absurdity of infinity to you, the fact that it still eludes you blows my mind. I am not trying to be insulting or negative I am actually speechless.

Let me try some sources, check these out and tell me what you think.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3994011/william_lane...

http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.ht...

I found some other very tempting links that I wanted to post but I decided not to. Instead I encourage you to read Hawkings speech, listen to Craigs. After that you can do some of your own research on the beginning of the Universe and the concept of infinity, because honestly I do not know what else to tell you about the abstract concept of infinity beyond that it is indeed abstract.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

OK - let's stick to one thing at a time. I do not agree with either of these religious positions - sorry. They are illogical and based on opinion only.

The matter and space that make up the Universe exist. There is no reason to suppose that there was a point (inside or outside of time) where they did not exist.

Unless you are making an irrational religious argument. Which both of those links offer. As we are now using other people's opinions to support our discussion - try this:

http://hubpages.com/education/UNCAUSED-FIRST-CAUSE...

Then we can discuss the impossible claims you have made.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

The article you posted is quite funny. If this is what you believe in ( I am not going to assume you do as you did not explicitly say that you do) then I can definitely understand the allure. I especially liked the comments, I didn't read all of them since it is the same babble I always get hooked into...I honestly do not need another religious conversation. It always turns into what I believe when I am a lot more interested in what others believe.

I will be honest I hadn't heard that argument in its entirety. I had heard bits and pieces. I think it is really interesting and I will do some more digging in order to learn more. I will say politely that I disagree with the article, although there were some good points made. I have a different understanding of space and I guess a less radical view of the Universe.

I will say Mark that I knew talking to you would eventually lead to some sort of real information, there had to be a reason for the respect you get from hubbers. So thank you for giving me this piece of meat to chew on, this has been what I was after the whole time. People seem to think I want to impose my views a lot of the time, when really I want to present my views and my reasons. And take in their views and reasons.

As for our discussion I do not think there is much left to discuss. We disagree on the definitions of the words. If we cannot even agree on the definitions I do not think we can really discuss the premises.

As always I will leave you with an open invitation to chat...hopefully next time it can be with less insults and more actual discussion. :)


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Ah - condescending as always. Odd you did not bother addressing anything I said. Just reiterated other people's irrational beliefs. I guess that could be considered actual discussion, but - really - I am not convinced that the Universe had a beginning. Nothing you have copied and pasted has convinced me that matter and space can be created from nothing. Sorry. :(

Pretty radical stuff. There was "nothing," god exists outside reality and time, god is infinite, but infinity is absurd, un-caused cause, creation from nothing, etc, etc. lol


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I wasn't trying to convince you :s I also wasn't trying to be condescending I am sorry if my comment came across that way.

I tried addressing what you have said, it has been repetition on both our parts. Realizing that there was nothing left to say on the topic (we seem to be running in circles) I addressed the article you posted instead.

My intent in writing this article was not to convince anybody, this hub was the result of repeating myself in the forums. I wrote a hub that I could refer people to if they wanted my opinion. Like that I could focus on the conversation instead of my opinion. This is not meant to push my views on anybody. It is not meant to convince anybody. It is meant as an easy out for me in forum posts. As I said I am interested in what other people think and believe, not in dictating my beliefs to others.

I participate in the forums to prod people for clarification in my quest to understand people.

Mark I don't care if I have convinced you. I don't care what you think of me. All I cared about was getting to the root of your beliefs. I dunno if that is what you presented me with or not but it is certainly a good hunk of meat.

Now I shall very happily leave the conversation and start some nit picking of my own.

I do want you to understand something though, Christ did not tell His followers to chase people around with an open Bible force feeding them ideas they don't believe in. He said to relay the Gospel, if they accept it stay with them and teach them what you know. If they don't dust off your feet and move on. Hubpages is not a place I come to spread the Gospel, I have no doubt that most of the people on this site have been exposed to the Gospel. If not I have made my beliefs clear as well as the fact that I am open to discussion. Beyond that I have no need or desire to push my beliefs on anybody.

My only goal is to learn what others believe and think. The hostility was unexpected, though I never really took part in an online community before so I suppose expecting friendliness was naïve on my part. If you ask me a question I will answer it. Not to convince you, but to tell you what I think.


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

I have been following this conversation, and all I can say is, it put a smile on my face. LOL.

I note, certain people love to play word games.

There is an apt proverb that applies here, and that is,

"you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink".

I have yet to see Mark acknowledge any point that anyone (with different views than himself) makes. I stress, acknowledge, NOT agree with, as I don't expect all to agree with all things said (P'sOV).

Great topic, and discussion. :)


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Aww - DJ. I acknowledge everything you say. It is complete nonsense for the most part. Your lack of understanding regarding science and the fact that the only reason you believe in majik is because evolution does not make sense to you is probably the funniest thing I have heard from a believer.

Why would I want to drink calynbana's water exactly? He/she thinks there was a point where there was no space in existence and a majikal super being that exists outside of reality and time made it from nothing.

calynbana - OK, fair enough. Now you know. I "believe" that matter and space are eternal and cannot be created or destroyed. I also "believe" that no objects (omega/god) can exist outside of matter and space.

Odd though - I thought you were attempting to make a sound logical argument for the creation from nothing of the Universe, in order to support the belief that there is a god. If that is not to convince people - why bother in that case?


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

Mark says, "I also "believe" that no objects (omega/god) can exist outside of matter and space."

An AHA moment!

You actually said you have faith. Well done!

And, exposed a major flaw in your argument also. God (omega) is not an object! Nor does He "exist" in the material sense of the word.

Making such assumptions is where your argument (if you can call it that), falls down.

At least you are consistent, but still not learning from believers, for the most part. (IE, God does not need an original cause).


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Right - Got me again DJ - well done. I don't believe in "majik". I thought I already explained that?

You believe in impossible beings that do not exist, are not objects and create things from nothing - I don't believe in the impossible - sorry. Did you not understand that when I explained it the last time?

And I used "quotations" to show this "belief" is not a faith based belief. Matter can not be created or destroyed. This is a fact - not a faith based belief. Sorry. LAWL!

Nothing exists outside of reality. This is also a fact - not a faith based belief. LAWL2!


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

She Mark, my name is Christina :)

Anyway I bothered so that I won't have to bother in the future. I will be writing more hubs about different aspects of my beliefs. I can then refer people to my hubs when they ask me what I believe. Like that I can focus on the actual forum discussion instead of having it turn into a dissection of what I believe. It isn't about convincing people, honestly that isn't my place or duty. It is about satiating people when they ask me what I believe so that I can ask them what they believe and possibly get an answer.

People's beliefs are intriguing. Even more interesting is the way in which they form them. That is what I am most interested in. Sometimes beliefs are based on actual historical and scientific fact. Sometimes they are based on culture and upbringing. Sometimes it is strictly faith. I think it is amazing to learn what drives people's actions and thoughts.

Like it or not religion is a major driving factor in people's actions. I want to understand the different religions and read as much as I like I won't get the understanding I crave without talking to people. Seeing as I am busy in the real world and do not have the time to cultivate relationships with many different people I turned to the closest source. The Internet. Sure people aren't always truthful and real when you talk to them, but with enough patience and prodding they usually spit out a bit of useful information.

@Aka-Dj Thanks :D Glad you enjoyed the article and the Discussion!


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Missed that - sorry, Christina. :D

Always truthful and real myself. I also am intrigued at the irrational beliefs people hold. lol


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

"believe", or just - believe - is all the same thing. Faith.

Faith is not a religious word, and you definitely have faith Mark. Sorry, but it's true.

You just put it into action towards the wrong things, that's all.

As for everything being eternal, that is a debunked concept/theory. But, YOU having faith in it doesn't surprise me at all. Please enjoy your irrational delusional beliefs in this regard.

Blessings DJ. :)


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

You see dj? This is why your religion causes so many fights. "Faith" that matter cannot be created or destroyed is not the same as "faith" in majik with no evidence.

You have "faith" that if you jump out a 10th floor window you will fall to the ground. That is not the same as "faith" in the Invisible Super Daddy.

Fortunately - this is testable and provable.

Make me some matter from nothing.

I do have a question though. Why do you need to lie about this? We both know that faith in testable things such as gravity and matter being impossible to create or destroy is different to the faith you have in the Invisible Super Daddy.

Or do you genuinely not understand the difference? Do you honestly think your "faith" that you will fall to the ground if you jump out a 10th floor window is exactly the same as your "faith" in majik?


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

Mark, you argue for argument sake.

You have no more evidence for eternal state of the universe than I do for the "existence" of God. So, it's a matter of faith (on your part).

Furthermore, where's the "fight" you always speak of?

Certainly not here with me. Don't bother introducing that any more, it's a pointless and irrelevant comment.

PS. where did I say I have faith to survive a 10th story jump? (Silly!) :/


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

I never said that dj. Please answer the questions I posed and re-read it, because that is not what I said.

You are the one arguing for argument's sake so please stop lying about me. I posed a reasonable set of questions which you avoided in favor of arguing a nonsensical position.

Go ahead - make me some matter. LAWL!


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Or - do you agree that matter cannot be created?


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

No, I don't agree.

But, I'm not God, to do any creating.

So, you agree that the universe is eternal, why?

It's a debunked theory. What do you know that most experts don't?


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

How funny. You do not agree with the proven scientific law that matter cannot be created or destroyed, yet think an eternal Universe has been debunked?

My opinion is that the Universe is eternal - yes. It exists and I see no reason to suppose it did not at some point. You are the one telling me there was a point where it did not exist and it was majicked from nothing by a god thingy. Prove it!

Experts? These are the same experts that offered you the theory of evolution dj. LAWL+10!


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

LOLOLOL - Yes - I understand the theories and the various arguments dj.

Odd - I didn't see anything about Majikal Super Beings that do not exist, but exist outside of reality and majik things into existence from nothing. Did I miss that?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Oh dear this is ridiculous lol

Mark just admit that you have faith in a theory the same way that Aka-dj has faith in a theory. Neither theory is proven.

Both have evidence. Different kinds of evidence I will grant you that, but evidence nevertheless. Ridiculing each other for believing in theories that remain just that, theories that are unproven is not going anywhere...although it does mean my hub is getting a nice number of comments haha

You guys are funny though. No matter how much you talk you won't come up with an answer to what caused or didn't cause the Universe to exist. All you can do is try to make an informed decision using what we currently know in the scientific world. Using testimonies from throughout history. Using our own ability to sort through information and create opinions which of course will be biased depending on our life experiences, and finally forming a belief system. Then having faith in that system. All that anyone can ask is that you do not have blind faith in any system. That you would continue to seek information and continue to shape your opinions as you become more educated.

I doubt we will ever prove beyond a shadow of a doubt what created/didn't create the Universe. Nor can we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Universe has existed for a finite period of time or an eternal period of time. It is all about Faith and opinion. Isn't that delightful? :)

It is a matter of opinion. The only ridiculous aspect of a theory is when the theory has zero evidence behind it. Ahem Scientology. Speaking of which I had an amazing chat in a church of Scientology! I asked the man who was trying to sell me things if he was aware the religion was entirely made up. He said yes but that it didn't matter because if I just read this book it would change my life. See that is the blind faith I am talking about. I don't care that it is made up, or what history, science and my own brain tell me. I am going to live this way anyway. I gotta go back to that church and talk to him again sometime.

Anyway go ahead and continue arguing it is quite entertaining. Mark your idea of proven is interesting. Would you mind providing the proof that you speak of? I think it would definitely be worth a read.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

No - I will admit no such thing. The fact that matter cannot be created or destroyed is a scientific law. Sorry. Not the same as the theory of majik and creation of something from nothing.

Your "theory" of a majikal super being that exists outside of time/ reality/existence has zero evidence behind it either.

I must admit I find it very, very funny when religious believers attack another religious belief as you have just done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_mass

The Universe exists. We agree on that.

You have postulated that there was a time when it did not exist and was subsequently created from nothing by a being that exists outside of existence/reality/time. This being is not an object, yet is able to interact with reality. It is also capable of breaking most (if not all) of the scientific laws we have discovered.

See how I have not added anything to the fact (The Universe exists) that we have to hand? But - you have?

Not only that, but - you have zero evidence behind it. None at all. It is (as you just agreed) simply your opinion. No worse than Scientology I'm afraid.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I think you meant no better.

Oh Mark I thought we were taking baby steps in the right direction toward understanding each other. I said we rely on different types of evidence. You have evidence that you feel supports your beliefs. I have evidence that I feel supports my beliefs. I will not insult you for believing in an unproven theory, that is also highly unpopular among scientists. You should show the same courtesy when I say I believe in the authenticity of historical documents that majority of historians vouch for. We have different criteria for forming our belief systems.

I do not believe that matter can be created or destroyed btw. But I do believe in a God who created those laws. You can disagree, in fact I know you do :p but you cannot prove your beliefs any better than I can prove mine. You know why? They are beliefs. They have proofs but not enough to ever give somebody the false sense of being absolutely right.

Btw I wasn't attacking Scientology. I was just regurgitating what I heard from some members of the church. They (The ones I spoke to I am not claiming all adherents) don't believe their religion is based on any real facts. Neither do I. I am in agreement with them. I think it is ridiculous to hold to a belief that you know is made up. They don't. It is a matter of opinion. They want to believe in something that they claim is made up that is fine by me. I think it is ridiculous (the mindset not the religion btw) but I am not going to insult them for it.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

See - this is why we will never be able to understand each other.

We both agree that matter cannot be created or destroyed. But - you don't actually believe that. You think there is an exception to this rule.

I agree we have different criteria for forming our belief systems. I use rational reasoning - you do not. Lets talk "logic" as this is what your article was supposed to be about:

We both agree matter cannot be created or destroyed. How can you then make an argument that there was a point where no matter existed and it was willed into existence by an invisible being that exists outside of reality?

Not sure what you mean about the historical documents. Can you repeat that in a different way?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I do not think there is an exception. I think that we do not fully understand the matter...so to speak. I believe in God, a God that created the laws of nature and put them into place. Once creating the laws they must remain consistent in order to govern created beings. Before the laws are exist they don't really apply.

A great book to read about this matter is by C.S Lewis. It is called Miracles I think. I am not even going to attempt to explain his book, I have too much respect for the author to butcher his work. lol Give it a read, you are a thinker I believe you would enjoy it.

Back to matter. I do not think we can create matter. That is not to say that an all powerful God could not. Am I imposing this as an absolute truth? No. I do not know for sure what happened before we existed. Neither do you. We do not know all the laws of science and nature. We never will. The best we can do is educate ourselves using different means. That is my only argument.

I like to look at history where you seem to prefer some aspects of science. The documents I was referring to were the Biblical documents. From the research I have done I feel they are sufficient to support my beliefs. Tying them together with modern science I feel that my beliefs are further supported. You may not feel the same way. That is to be expected, we are different people with different criteria.

I am not even saying that my current belief system is the one I will die with. I am willing to adjust my beliefs according to the new information I am presented with. As of yet I feel confident in my beliefs.

You seem confident in yours, and that is great. But they are beliefs. And unless we can recognize the difference between fact and belief we cannot grow and form more mature understandings of our world. That is all I am requesting of you. Recognize that you have beliefs that are comparable to others beliefs. I want to make clear that I understand you think my beliefs are irrational and false. That is fine by me. My opinion of your beliefs is that they are interesting but do not fit into my understanding of science, or the beliefs of many scientists. Since it is a theory that has less proof behind it than the Big Bang theory I choose to research it but not to adopt it as my own belief system unless I find more proof than my current belief holds.

Does that make sense? I feel I rambled a bit but I am messaging you in between getting ready for a job interview. Which I am really excited for. lol


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

I understand the difference between beliefs and facts. The fact is - we both agree - matter cannot be created or destroyed (except when god did majik and created the laws of nature along with all matter) lol

The Big Bang theory is consistent with an eternal Universe. No one is suggesting that matter was created during the big bang.

My beliefs are not comparable to yours - sorry. You believe that the laws of nature can be suspended, that matter can be created from nothing, and that there is an Invisible Man watching us who needed to murder his only son in order to save us from something we do not need saving from.

The bible is not a historical document. It is - at best - hearsay. There is zero extra biblical evidence of the man you claim to follow. I have read the bible. It is the best argument for atheism ever written. It makes no sense at all.

Good luck with the job.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Thanks Mark.

I am happy to know where you stand. I am sure we will cross paths again on the forums but at least now we know that our discussions will probably go in circles.

I agree that the Bible is not a historical document. It is a collection of 66 historical documents :p Your opinion about the Biblical documents is nonfactual however. I suggest doing some research on the matter before making such claims.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Ah -back to condescending. Yup - you are a Christian all right. My opinion is perfectly factual and I have done my research. Your research is lacking apparently.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

If you want to believe that go for it. If you want to be honest with yourself do some research.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

I did. Sorry - odd that just a few moments ago you were talking about the difference between beliefs and facts.

No - not so odd after all. Clearly you have not done any research.

I have facts - you have beliefs. This is why your religion causes so many wars.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I just have to laugh here. I am done.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Yes - of course you are. Bye bye. This is why your religion causes so many wars. See = history. LAWL!


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

@calynbaba , I rest my case! LOL

Now you see first hand what we are dealing with! LOL

Blessings. :))


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I knew what to expect, I just hoped to encourage a little maturity. Oh well. I had a good laugh, and it seems you and Mark did as well. That is the important part. :) I know I am coming out of this conversation with some new research to do. I hope you are as well Mark.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

A little maturity? Exactly how does a condescending comment like, "I suggest doing some research on the matter before making such claims." encourage maturity exactly?

Odd you guys don't see why this holier than thou attitude is at the root of the conflicts your religious beliefs cause.

I wish I could say I did come out with some new research to do. All I have done is convinced myself that Christians are condescending, have a high opinion of themselves, won't listen to reason and don't care about anyone but themselves.

I mean - look at dj's comment. Any stroll through any history is littered with conflicts between various Christian factions - yet you ignore this completely when some one attempts to explain to you why this is.

Still - belittling others and claiming the high ground is what your religion is all about - isn't it dj?


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

calynbana - I assume you have some "research" to back up your claims that the bible is a historical document? I have looked and can find nothing that backs up the majikal parts of it.

As you have some solid research - perhaps you could show me where I could find say - 10 contemporary references to this Jesus person outside the bible to back up your claims? I am sure there must be authority historical internet sites with this information on.

I could not even find any records that indicate there was a census at the time Joseph was supposed to return home with his child bride - and the Romans kept great records of such things. Odd that this one slipped through the net - isn't it?

And no - Josephus and Pliny do not count. I want contemporary. No doubt you have found many of them to be so sure of yourself and so certain my research is faulty.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Alright Mark give me a some time. I babysit until late today. I will be back in the evening with your sources. Also I wasn't trying to be condescending. I was trying to correct you. No differently than I would correct my husband or my mother. It was a polite "no you are incorrect, do your research". If you took it differently I am sorry but that was not how it was meant. I think much of the condescension you claim to receive from others may be an assumption of the worst.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Well - I suggest you give more careful consideration to the way you speak to people. Correcting them the way you would correct your mother is condescending at best. And this is not the first time I have had to attempt to educate you in proper manners when speaking to people.

I look forward to these sources of contemporary evidence.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I used the example of mother because I thought that was an example of somebody most people would show a lot of respect for haha fine no different than the way I would contradict a professor.

Anyway I shall talk to you later Mark, I am going to have fun finding you these sources.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Next time you choose to "correct me" I suggest considering whether or not you are qualified to do so before speaking.


idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

This is a thought provoking read. A good one. of course there will be arguments but that is really makes us think deeply and solidify reason with logic.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Thanks Idigwebsites!

Okay Mark I found you some sources. I tried to look for a variety of texts. Some of them are more professional than others. I wanted to make sure I covered the academic realm with some scholarly peer reviewed essays, as well as the google search realm with some youtube videos and simple websites. I hope you enjoy. Some of the sources come from my school so I do not know for sure that the links will work. Let me know if they don't and I will find a way to send them to you.

I want to start with this little article about the authenticity of the New Testament. It's a two minute read, give it a look.

http://www.str.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdqJyk-dtLs

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com.ezproxy.li...

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com.ezproxy.li...

http://www.bede.org.uk/price1.htm

http://leestrobel.com/info_TCFTRJ.php

/content/9789004203501

http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com.ezproxy.li...

I stuck to contemporary sources, but I would like to point out it is better to look at the actual historic sources for a fuller view of whether or not Jesus existed. Consider the New testament documents themselves for which we have: http://carm.org/manuscript-evidence

There are the letters of early church fathers: http://carm.org/intro-ecf

and many other reasons.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_there_any_documents_...

I limited myself to these sources. I have more. All you need to do is ask. All I ask is that you seriously look at the facts.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Well - I cannot access the booksandjournals site. But I was hoping you could find me some extra biblical evidence rather than a bunch of sites claiming that the New Testament is authentically translated and citing the same nonsense of Josephus et al - none of whom were contemporary.

I assume you could not find any thing. Seeing as there is nothing. And trust me - I have looked.

So - what you have provided me is a list of Christians claiming that the New Testament is accurate. Oddly enough - I don't accept religionist's arguments that Jesus walked on water by majik because the bible sez so. Sorry.

According to one of your links:

"The Bible is the only textual-direct reference to the existence of Jesus. Any outside documents that reference Jesus were only made after Christianity became a major cult movement thus inferring that the references of Jesus in the Roman texts are not independent but from outside sources i.e. Christianity. Regardless of current writings-the Bible was still written many years after the death of Jesus and his Disciples, which one must conclude there may be some exaggerations.

Regardless of other documents that mention Christ-One must keep in mind the impact Christianity was having on the world even around 105 AD and that there was not a direct source of the knowledge of Christ; yet, a past down story. So consequentially, the Bible is the only direct source at the time of Christ to prove existence."

You have given no historical evidence. None. No research. None. Nothing extra-biblical, nothing contemporary.

The CARM site is just funny. Really? The illiad is less authentic than the bible?

I thought you had a lot of research? Instead you offer me Christian apologetics. If you believe by faith - that is your prerogative, but to accuse me of not having researched the subject when this is the sum total you have to offer is somewhat offensive.

If you have something outside a bunch of religious people arguing that it is real - I would genuinely love to see it. I have traveled extensively, been to the private areas of the Vatican, my Grandfather worked for the CoE and I have visited more crypts than you can imagine. And I have never seen or heard of anything outside the bible to support the contents as "historically accurate." I had one sniff of a "maybe," once - but I missed a chance to see it.

So - exactly what research have you done to support your beliefs ?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I threw in couple new testament sites because they have some good information in them. The books and journals site has approximately 30 contemporary essays on Jesus by theists and atheists alike.

Tell me what pops up when you click on the link and I can see about getting you into them.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

I get a login page, but I have no library card. 30 contemporaries of Jesus?

I find that hard to believe. The NT sites are worthless. Christians will say almost anything to defend their beliefs. I did not find any good information on them either. I found illogical arguments.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I was actually debating giving you my login info but then realized that is a terrible idea because it could get me in serious trouble. Let me do this instead. Do you have a library card where you live? If you do I can give you the ebook info and you can access through your library.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

No I don't. I live in France. Don't give me your login I don't want to get you in trouble. I very much doubt there is 30 essays of Jesus' contemporaries though.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I thought you said you live in the states. Hmm okay I guess we have come to a dead end in the conversation. I will believe what I want to believe based upon the facts that I have found and find convincing. You believe what you want to believe based on the facts you have found convincing. I think we should both be open to new facts and ideas and should not close our minds or eyes to other possibilities. I am actually really disappointed you cannot access these essays though...


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Well - I asked you for some facts and you did not offer me any. I have looked hard - there is ZERO contemporary evidence. NONE. Even the sites you linked to agreed there is no evidence outside the bible.

I suggest you think about the difference between facts and beliefs some more. I have facts. I have now shown you that there is no evidence outside the bible for the existence of this person. This is a fact.

You believe because you have a belief. And these 2 things are not the same at all. Show me some facts - I start believing in majik. Seriously.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Try giving Case for the Real Jesus a read.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Why would I read such religious nonsense? I understand the roots of the Christ myth just fine thank you. It is highly unlikely this person was real.

That is like telling me to read the bible for proof. Once you understand the roots of this religion - agricultural season worship - it makes a lot of sense taken from the perspective of agricultural peasantry. Especially when you compare it to preceding religions and myths. I live in the heart of this religion's roots. Agricultural France. There is a cross on almost every corner. The Cathars were murdered just a few miles from me.

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Death-...

Try reading some of the works referenced in that article. And here is some pre-agricultural religion to explore.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/06/gobekli-...

http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/gem-projects/h...


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

I am going to give these links a read.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Enjoy. I am especially interested in the difference between pre- and post- agricultural beliefs. I would dearly love to know for sure what Stonehenge was all about.

Sun worship makes a lot more sense than this Jesus thing.

http://www.thechristmyth.com/solarworship.htm

Napoleon Bonaparte said it best:

"If I had to choose a religion, the Sun as the universal giver of life would be my god,"


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

"'If I had to choose a religion, the Sun as the universal giver of life would be my god,'"

That'd be Jesus, no doubt.

John 1 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Vs 3 explains clearly why you don't understand.

Also contradicts your "eternal universe" fantasy. :)


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

That's easy.

The chicken.

God made it, and it laid the first egg.

How hard can it be?

God was the creator, the laying of the egg was "caused" by the chicken, not God (directly).


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

dj - I understand just fine thanks. I know you need to feel superior and understand better than I do, but - posting scriptural nonsense in order to demonstrate your superior understanding is why your beliefs cause so many fights.

I mean - what do you think you achieved by dumping that rubbish here? All I got was that you have never read the bible and don't understand the root of your beliefs.

Just because I don't agree with you - that does not mean I don't understand.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

ELS- I would say that the egg came first. The chicken is descended from the dinosaur. I don't remember which dinosaur but a dinosaur nonetheless. It slowly evolved until an animal that was not quite a dinosaur and not really a chicken laid an egg that was slightly more a chicken than it was. And so on and so on.

I want to address your comment about love. You said that you would do anything to protect your children right? How do you better protect your child by surrounding them with pillows and never letting them fall when they are near you, or by preparing them for the inevitable falls they will encounter when you are not there?

Is it your job to protect them from everything, or is it your job to educate them and help them to build character. To show them how they fit into this world and how they can contribute to, or harm their environment.

Having children is NOT about simply protecting them. I am a teacher. I protect my class, but sometimes they do things which will cause them to get hurt. I know they will get hurt, and I do not prevent the hurt. Because there is a such thing called natural consequences. Children need to learn about natural consequences or else you are creating a false reality for them which will in the end cause them more harm.

Here is another example. God loves us too much to leave us as we are. I love my class too much to leave them as they are. I want them to grow and learn. I want them to experience difficult situations in which they may be emotionally suffering. It isn't that I want them to suffer. It is that I want them to build up their character. Build up their resources so that they can effectively interact with a very cold world. Suffering without a doubt builds character. Whether its suffering through a tough social situation. Or suffering through a terminal illness. You grow and you change the most when you are experiencing tough times. To wish that a child never encounters any pain seems like a great wish. But then that child misses out on the experience of life. What would be your purpose if all that you could ever experience is joy? How could you possibly grow as a person if there is never an obstacle to overcome. What goals would you possibly make, what would drive you forward?

Futhermore this seems to be leading towards the problem of evil. If God is good and God is all powerful why does he allow suffering? Why does he allow evil.

To ask something along these lines implies that we could live in a world without evil. Now the Godly definition of evil is anything ANYTHING that is against God. So lying, thinking ill of somebody, cheating stealing. They are all evil.

In order for God to put a stop to evil he must stop all evil. This is necessary to the character of God. This is a being defined as being perfectly good, and perfectly just. In order for him to stop the evil of some he must stop the evil of all to remain consistently just. But wouldn't that mean he would have to stop our evil thoughts?

This is the point, could God stop all evil? Yes, could he stop all evil while being loving? No. To control our thoughts, to take away our free choice is not all loving. In giving us free choice he gave us the ability to choose between good and bad. He gave us the choice create evil. If He didn't we would be akin to mindless puppets. Always doing what God tells us to do. Only thinking what God allows us to think. That is not in the character of God.

Now to the creator/cause comment. I do not want to say that everything that begins to exist has a creator. I wanted to say that everything that begins to exist has a cause. What that cause is depends on the situation. For example my husband got burned at work the other day. His injury does not have a creator, it has a cause. The burner on the stove. The burner is not sentient, it is not a creator of the injury, it didn't knowingly cause harm to my husband. He was still harmed, and that burner was the cause.

My argument remains everything that begins to exist has a cause. Please explain more thoroughly why you reject this premise without changing my wording.

I never said that God is infinite. The very definition of God is that he is a timeless being without matter. This is a being that exists out of time. Eternal. Not infinite. Very different terms.

As for being arrogant in claiming that God is the cause of the Universe perhaps you should read through my conversation with Mark Knowles. This article is not about shoving my belief in God down anybody's throat. It is about simply displaying my beliefs. This is what I believe, you can like it or hate it. I don't care either way. But to come to my article and call me arrogant for stating my beliefs is kind of a pot meet kettle position don't you think?

As for the mathematical rules. I said many do not apply to reality. For example divide the number 1 by three on a really old calculator. Now multiply it by 3. You get 0.33333333 multiplied by three that is not 1. Many calculators now have been programed to fix this error. But this is an example of math not perfectly applying to life. The concept of infinity is an abstract concept. It is not an actual amount of time. Our world is governed by linear time. Infinity cannot be applied to a real number or a finite object. It is a concept. Can some math be applied to life? Of course. I really hope that in teaching my class division they are learning something applicable to their lives.

When I used the word many, I was not trying to say all. I was saying many, the exact word that I used.

Space according to the Big Bang theory is like the surface of a balloon. As the surface expands the space between the galaxies expand. This creates the illusion that the galaxies are racing away from each other when in reality the space between them is rapidly expanding. I am not claiming that God is creating that space. I am saying that God created natural laws that govern our universe. In creating the Big Bang he set this pattern in motion. Is he sitting there moving galaxies around like a game of chess? No, I don't think so. I think he created a set of natural laws that would apply to every one his creations in order to govern our Universe.

I am willing to discuss any issues you have with my argument. I will warn you not to change or twist my wording however. I laid out my argument very carefully and chose my words very carefully. If you change my wording around we will waste a lot of time with me simply restating what I said. The words that I used are used for a reason. Putting words in my mouth is not a way to argue logically, it is a way to say a lot without really saying/proving anything.

I want to have an intelligent conversation. When you talk to me I expect that the insults will be left at the door. Santa clause remarks have no place in a mature, adult conversation. I will talk to you about your beliefs and mine as logically and politely as possible. I would expect you extend the same courtesy.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

But - calybana - you are not talking logically here. You have a "majikal" getout clause. Everything that begins to exist has a cause - except - the Majikal Super Being did not begin to exist.

This is not logical. You have given no logical reason for this other than to satisfy your need to believe. We have already determines a god did not set the big bang in motion.

The same applies to the "concept" of infinity. Your majikal Super Being gets another getout clause.

If you want people to speak to you logically - you need to extend them that courtesy in the first place. Invoking an Invisible Super Being that cannot logically exist does not makes sense.

I genuinely don't understand why you keep bringing up logic when you have made no logical arguments. Everything you argue against such as the eternal nature of existence and uncaused matter from nothing is bang on.

But - then you have a majikal escape clause.

God did not begin to exist, god CAN exist for eternity and create matter from nothing. Thus your arguments are completely illogical.

Plus your suggestion that this god started the big bang now contradicts your argument. The big bang is an argument for eternal matter. Plus - you have never demonstrated a lack of existence.

I really don't think it is reasonable to ask people to treat you logically - yet you get to invoke impossible feats of majik. Do you?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Hey Mark do I have your permission to correct your English in that last comment?

We have not already "determines" ;) anything about God's existence.

Honestly Mark I am not going to dance in circles with you here. Your understanding of the concept of a God does not fall in line with the definition of God that I have been using in this argument. Until our definitions can line up we will go nowhere in this discussion. If you have something positive to offer to the conversation I will continue this. If you would prefer to say I am wrong and illogical but offer nothing positive or logical about your own belief system I cannot bring myself to waste my time.

I chose what I think is the best answer (for me, in my opinion, from what I know, from the research I have done, etc) to explain some of the big questions in life. For example the bonding of the essential building blocks of life happening underwater in an environment in which these building blocks REPEL each other. An explanation that can fit hand in hand with current scientific knowledge. My beliefs work with the Standard Big Bang theory as well as the theory of evolution. They fall in line with historical evidence. They explain intrinsic morals. For me this is enough.

Maybe you do not agree. I don't care. Believe whatever you want to believe. Do not try and force your beliefs on me. I was patient in explaining what I believe and why, but I am done. I have explained all that I care to explain to you. Until you can offer me a better solution to all of these huge life questions I do not see your beliefs as any better proven or grounded than mine.

Prove to me that the Universe always existed Mark. Explain to me its age if that is the case because your beliefs do not coincide with current scientific theories about the age of our galaxy. Explain to me how life could have occurred and why it would have occurred when the chances of it happening our slim to none. The only reason I cannot say there is no chance of it is because that would be positing an absolute. Which I cannot in confidence do. Explain to me thousands of historical documents and why they came into existence. Explain to me why hundreds of people would die for the belief that they saw the resurrected Christ.

Or tell me it is all magic and escape having to say anything of worth beyond you are wrong nahnahnahnah.

I am asking you to contribute. If you can't do that then please leave me alone. I don't want to repeat myself anymore. Ask whatever you want. If I have already answered I will tell you to reread our discussion. If you ask something new I will answer. If you want to ridicule you better darn well have some better solution to the issue at hand. If not your ridicule is groundless.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

I have contributed. I have offered a logical argument and you choose to ignore it in favor of your majikal argument. I have proven the Universe has always existed. We both agree matter cannot be created or destroyed - except on the majikal invocation of an Invisible being that exists outside of reality. lol

I have given multiple links to science and arguments that you have completely ignored in favor of offering me Christian apologetics websites full of religious lies.

I don't care how many people will die for their beliefs. What sort of an illogical argument is that? How many hundreds will die as a martyr for Allah - does that make Islam true?

Seriously - you are being unfair. You demand logic and proof, yet offer "getout" clauses for your own belief. This is dishonest - and - really - this is why your religion causes so many fights.

The Universe exists. You are the one making a claim that there is a point when it did not exist. The burden of proof is yours. Prove it to me!

We have determined that a god was not needed for the big bang. Nothing in the big bang theory suggests that the matter that makes up the Universe did not exist at some point.

You are making ridiculous, unfounded claims. You have not defined god. You have claimed a being that exists outside of time, reality and existence that can interact with existence and "cause," everything, yet was not itself caused. This is not a definition of god - this is magic.

I don't care how much odds against life occurring are. The odds against your majikal super being existing are far, far higher. :D


An AYM 4 years ago

I see there are tons of comments on this (Which I didn't entirely look over) so I hope my contribution is actually something different and not just some late-to-the-party-spam.

"Everything that begins to exist has a cause." This is an assumption. We know things exist, but we don't know what caused them to exist. If we don't know what caused them to exist then we don't know that they have a cause, we just know that they exist.

"This would mean saying that the universe did not begin to exist. This would imply that the universe has been here for an infinite amount of time." I indeed don't believe the Universe began to exist, I think it simply always did. I believe this holds much greater logic than assuming it to be created. We know that all things exist as an exchange of energy both nuclear and chemical. If all matter and energy is exchanged than it must have come from a prior source of energy. I think that logically speaking it makes more sense to assume this energy has simply always been, rather than to assume it all simply suddenly appeared without a precursor.

"Chance cannot account for all the improbabilities associated with our Universe." Why not? Unlikelyhood doesn't mean impossibility. Unlikely things happen all the time. With such a fantastically varied universe it strikes me as much more unlikely for it to be absent of life. I believe that logically speaking there is probably more life in the universe that we simply are unaware of due to its vast size much in the sense that we used to not know there were whole other continents with very different people. Take the Miller-Urey experiment for example, in a test of primordial conditions on Earth we were able to generate amino acids from Water, Methane, Ammonia, and Hydrogen. Being that organic compounds can be synthesized shouldn't it only be a matter of time before life springs up in various locations?

And on a more religious, less logic based point, I find it strange to imagine that an infinite, weightless, enegyless being that is somehow both omnipresent yet still cohesive would have any vested interest in being worshipped.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

ElS,

The thing is, I was talking about natural consequences in regards to children. Nothing that a child can do would make rape a natural consequence.

Like I said please pay attention to word usage. Otherwise emotional arguments spring from mole-holes believed to be mountains.

Yes I agree that there are horrors being committed. Is God committing these horrors? Or are we committing these horrors?

Starving children around the world, are they starving because there isn't enough food? No. There are enough resources, in fact there are abundant resources. We as humans are selfish and stash these resources for ourselves leaving others to suffer.

Is that God's fault that we withhold the resources He created for these children from them?

Is it God's fault when a sick person commits horrors on another person? Or is it the fault of that sick individual, or of society for failing to protect the victim?

This argument is really a refusal to accept responsibility for ones own actions. God is just sitting back watching it happen right? What are you doing? Are you stepping in? Are you providing food for the hungry? Are you stopping child abuse?

Perhaps you are, I don't know. But I do know that many, many people are helping in God's name. My own church feeds approximately 300 people a week, and we only have about 80 members. My church has stepped in to help gypsies, people with no identities who suffer atrocities every day. They are all the way in France but church members are going there and helping them the best they can.

Often the best help is the offer of hope, and love. Saying to a suffering person I love you, and you know what I know somebody who loves you more. He brought me to you.

By the way, how do you know God is just sitting there ? You know the intimate details of His actions? That is amazing! I didn't know you were so close with Him!

How do you know He isn't sending people to the suffering? How do you know if He isn't comforting those suffering people? How do you know if He isn't taking them to Him to end their suffering?

Now on to the heaven comment.

Do you know what it means to accept Jesus Christ as your savior? It means to willingly give Him everything. Submit to His will knowing that He is going to want the best for you and others. By the time you are going to heaven you have made the choice to follow God's will. Does this mean you have choice yes, your choice is to follow God. Experiencing what the Bible described heaven to be means you will have no desire to do anything else. You have given everything to God, and He has given everything to you. Perfect relationship, perfect love.

I am going to say this again.

Pay attention to what I actually said. Do not put words in my mouth. If you don't understand something that I said then ask for clarification. Making assumptions and building a long rant off of them is just a waste of your time, and mine.


aka-dj profile image

aka-dj 4 years ago from Australia

@ calynbana.

A BIG +1 from me on your last post!


will45 4 years ago

All religious people are stupid! Cannot believe how gullible they are, religion is the root of ALL evil!


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Hey - at least we have dropped the pretense of "logic" and reverted to "holier than thou, submit to His will, My Church is better than your church," religiosity.

Where are your people going in France Calybana?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

They are going just outside of Lille.

I was not trying to convert anybody Mark. I was explaining (to the best of my ability) the beliefs that were being questioned. I do not care if what I say converts anybody. I don't want conversions. The people who do are counting on their own power rather than their God's power. That isn't right. Like I said I am going to explain the answers to the questions I am asked. Where did I try and say that is the only way? Where did I say this is the best way?

I didn't. I won't. It doesn't serve any purpose to try and convert people. I like to tell them my thoughts what they ask to know. Point out incorrect stereotypes when I notice them and learn more about what others believe.

You could tell me tomorrow that something I said made you become Christian. I would be unhappy. A choice like that should never be based entirely on the actions or words of a Christian. There is more to it. It isn't about us, it isn't about converts, it isn't about big churches or money, or happiness or any of that crap.

In my opinion it is about love. Just love. Show everybody around you love, and hope that it rubs off. By the way I am not always the nicest person. Don't mistake that for being unloving, love is not nice. Love is good.

Anyway continue to think I am religious and just counting converts if you like. In reality I am walking around in my jeans and a tshirt avoiding anything even vaguely ritualistic. I go to church yes, that is as close to religious ritual that I get. No communion at our church, no and the church said amen, no stand then kneel then sit, no asking for money, no fancy clothes, no pointing fingers, no asking for converts. We have everybody from crack addicts to teen moms coming to the church, wearing everything from suits to swag. We don't care about the rituals. We care that people come and hang out with us. That we play awesome music to sing and dance to. (Awesome as in we have a bass, drums, and a couple guitars so most of the time the guys rock out) and then we drink coffee and hang out. Then our pastor talks to us about something he read that week, and about any news frome Lille or the children's palliative care hospital we are opening up and the adults hospice we opened a while back. Then we do whatever we want. That is the extent of my religious behavior. Rock out, drink coffee and chat.

but like I said think what you want, doesn't change anything about what I will do. I will answer questions. I will ask questions. I will talk to you the same way whether you act insultingly or not. Just wanted to give you a bit of info about my church in hopes that you will realize it isn't about being holier than thou. I screw up, all the time. So does my pastor, so do all of our members. So do you. Its part of life. There is no point in thinking you are better than anybody else no matter what beliefs you hold. I think if one does hold that you are holier than others then they are probably delusional...and not understanding what Jesus taught.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Where exactly in Lille are they going to help these 300 gypsies? I thought you said they had already gone?

"My own church feeds approximately 300 people a week, and we only have about 80 members. My church has stepped in to help gypsies, people with no identities who suffer atrocities every day. They are all the way in France but church members are going there and helping them the best they can."

What atrocities are these gypsies suffering in Lille exactly?

And honestly - you bragging about your church helping people does indeed sound holier than thou - yes.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Actually those were two separate things. 300 people are fed in Toronto. They have gone to Lille in the past and people go multiple times a year to help out. What they did was start up churches with the gypsies in Lille and offer some financial support and continual communication. If you want to know what is happening to them maybe you could do some research?

I wasn't bragging about what the church is doing. I was saying look, these people are doing something. They are working, they are sacrificing. They are not sitting around on their butts pointing fingers. They are out doing what needs to be done.

They are not what most people think of when you think of Christians. If I wanted to brag I would talk about myself. I was talking about what Christians are supposed to do. They offer help to whoever needs it. Wherever they are, however they can. They aren't supposed to judge, ask for converts or sit around doing nothing. I used my church as an example to illustrate this point.

What do you mean by better by the way?

Better for a person? I would say that my church is better for ones health than a cult church that serves kool aid. Other than that it depends on where someone is comfortable.

Financially better? We have no finances :p Not many members not much money lol

Aesthetically better? Not really I think any catholic church will beat us there. We sit on fold up chairs in a rented room.

Better in terms of acceptance? Better than churches that ban homosexuals in that respect.

Better as in we are just arrogantly better than another church? No. Different aspects are better than other churches, certain aspects are worse. Just like comparing two schools.

Exactly whose church was I saying mine was better than?


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Well - I live in France and have never heard anything like this. In fact - it sounds like complete bullshit - sorry. That is why I asked. Where exactly in Lille? What is the address? How did they manage to start up churches exactly? What denomination is this? Why go all the way 'round the world ?

The only thing I know about is removing Romanian "gypsies" and shipping them back to Romania. These are not actually gypsies. Looking forward to the details of these "atrocities."

I said it sounded like bragging - and it still does.

But - I think it is great you have dropped the pretense of logic and are now trumpeting your church's good works and telling us what it is like to have a relationship with an Invisible dead guy.

Thanks for explaining to me what "love" means though. That was not at all condescending. lol


An AYM 4 years ago

"And honestly - you bragging about your church helping people does indeed sound holier than thou - yes."

Wow, you're really grasping at straws when you're trying to jeer someone by merit of their charity.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Defend the believer! That the best you can offer?


An AYM 4 years ago

Hmm, strange man. I'm an atheist as you appear to be, I'm just not a self-righteous clod as you appear to be.

Naively I had hoped that bringing your words to your attention might remind you of your humanity, via the embarassment of realizing how hard you're trying to attack someone for being different. Maybe I'm out of the loop, believing in silly things like self-awareness and compunction.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Mark they are gypsies...they don't have addresses! They build places up only to have them trashed and burned. They don't have identities they are shipped off to Romania yes, where they are violently driven away. I am not going to do your research for you. Look it up. The church in Lille started by accident to be quite honest. Some church members were traveling in France and happened to stumble upon a caravan. They couldn't believe what was happening to these people and offered them some help.

Denomination wise it is a grey area. Our church doesn't really have a denomination. And the church in lille have their culture mixed in there with what they know so it isn't really any denomination I can name.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Where is this church - what is the address? Why are you not going down south and supporting Illegal Mexican Immigrants instead of illegal Romanian immigrants?

Build what and have it trashed and burned? LOL Is that how it works in Toronto? Bunch of illegal Mexicans turn up and build a shanty town and get welcomed?

AYM - please stop lying at me. I have a lot of comments and discussion here - did you bother reading anything before defending the self righteous believer bragging about "charity"? LOL Really weird you felt the need to step in at that point.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

The church isn't a building. Like the Roma its mobile. It's a group of people not a building with a pointy roof.

You can laugh if you like. If you think you can handle it look into what's really going on with these people. If you would rather just poke fun and be insensitive to other people's hardship then do that. I would think it would be smarter to look into the issue before ragging on it, but that is your call.

Why aren't we helping Mexicans? I dunno because people in France were found that needed help, when our members were in France they were probably thinking about the people that were there, not people all the way in Mexico that they could be helping instead :p


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

No - I guess I don't believe you , that is all. I don't believe you fly all the way to France every now and then to defend a group of illegal immigrants from "atrocities," lol

Roma? Romanians are not Roma. Please get your facts straight before claiming the high ground. The Roma are left well alone in France. In fact - there is a large camp of them just a few miles away from me. They are here for the Haricot Tarbais harvest. They are a very welcome, mobile agricultural work force.

So - tell me some "atrocities" please. Give me some facts instead of once again accusing me of not looking up an issue I am very familiar with. Oh wait - is this the same as contemporary evidence of Jesus?

Illegal Romanian beggars get sent back to Romania all the time. Legal Roma Gypsies are very welcome. I suggest you do some research into this. Seriously - I live here.


An AYM 4 years ago

I'm not sure where I'm lying, I DO find your comments embarrassing. It's quite the heroic display of pointless, childish pride.

The reason I interjected at charity is because the act of charity is good, but you would mock if it doesn't fall in line with your shallow perspectives. I see it as a cornerstone of blocking progress in the world.

I enjoy siding with "The self righteous believer" because he's more logical and expresses himself more intelligently than you.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Really? I embarrass you. Yeah - that would be the sort of lying I am talking about. Either that or you are a complete idiot. I embarrass you? LOL Genuinely - a person who needs to hide their real identity is embarrassed by me disagreeing with a religionist? LAWL

Logical? LAWL again.

Genuinely funny that you are so "embarrassed"

You seem OK with the self righteous religionist who lies about their church going to France to help against the "atrocities" that are not happening to the Roma who are not Roma.

How odd.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Good don't believe that I am flying out to France haha I never said that I was. I never have, in fact I have never been on a plane.

You are the one who brought up Romanian Gypsies Mark. I was talking about the Roma. I said yes they are shipped off to Romania. They are. Other places too. I do know the difference...my husband is Romanian :p

Left alone? Really you think so? Look it up. I am not doing it for y0u. Honestly I have already done that research when the church first became involved. I am not going to do it again when you could just as easily do it yourself. I am not trying to brag about my church, what purpose would it serve for me to go look this stuff up for you and display it here other than to make it appear that I am bragging?


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Really? Is that the same research as the Jesus research? Non-existent? I genuinely asked for some information, because I live here and this is BS.

The Roma are shipped off to Romania? LOLOL What does your "church" do to stop this "atrocity?"

I don't believe your "church" is flying out here to save gypsies from "atrocities" - No. But - you can prove it to me. That is why I asked. You have already bragged about it - all I want is it verified.


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

We don't do anything about that. We are Canadian we can't really intervene with French politics.

I already listed the ways we help. Pay attention to what is actually being said Mark. Assumptions do nothing.

Believe that I am lying I don't care. I was entirely honest. I said what I could. I have nothing left to say about the matter. In fact I wasn't even talking to you about the Roma, I was talking to ELS. You just jumped in with your usual insults.

Honestly, it is starting to get old Mark.


An AYM 4 years ago

Yes. My word you've revealed it all. I hide amongst the shadows of the internet for fear it will ruin the proliferative political career I enjoy in the real world.

I find it very weird you use the phrase "Self-Righteous" about others without any conception of the hypocrisy.

Is that what makes you mad? That they're religious? Is it that you don't believe the small issue you've attached yourself to so strongly? Or are you angry that someone would pose a different viewpoint than your own rather than blithely agreeing with everything you say, which I assume you're probably used to?


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

Sure I could prove it for you. But what does that accomplish? Why do I need to prove it to you? I don't care what you think about me or my church, I don't care how informed you are about your country.

Trying to prove it to you would only prove that it was a matter of pride, that I actually have something to prove to you. I don't. If you honestly wanted to know more you would research it.

If you want me to spell things out for you I believe it is for the opportunity to attack the things that I say some more. There's no point.

I know what I said was true, I have nothing to prove.


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

Ah - back to condescending. Exactly - you do not intervene in French politics to stop these "atrocities." In fact - there are no "atrocities" to find - are there?

But no - you were talking to me about the Roma - "The church isn't a building. Like the Roma its mobile. "

ciao


calynbana profile image

calynbana 4 years ago from Toronto Author

That is not where the conversation began Mark. I answered your comments about the Roma yes, but they were brought up in response to ELS. You just jumped in at that point. Anyway that isn't worth continuing the conversation.

Ttyl


Mark Knowles profile image

Mark Knowles 4 years ago

I did not comment on the Roma. You bought them up when I asked where this "church" was that ministered to these "gypsies" who were suffering "atrocities."

OK - not worth continuing. ciao

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