Free Will, God and Suffering

Introduction and Definitions

Free will is a subject that often comes up in discussions with believers and usually it takes two forms. The first form is defending God in allowing suffering and creating a world in which sin and evil exist. The other form is a general defense of the idea of Free Will against Determinism.

While these two are very different usages of Free Will I am going to discuss both of them in thus hub and express some of my own thoughts on Free Will.

Free Will is one of those concepts that is hard to pin down. In some instances in discussions with theists they seem to be arguing that free will is merely the ability to do something that is contrary to God's Will. This is particularly true when they argue that God did not want “robots” but rather wanted to create a creature with the capacity to disobey him. Thus in this case Free Will might also be defined as “the capacity to choose to do evil” as Free Will would almost inevitably lead to disobedience (evil) and sin.

The other and more typical definition of Free Will is that human beings have conscious control over our choices. In other words Free Will is the ability of an intelligent agent to freely make choices, typically with the added stipulation or assumption that those choices are made consciously.

Free Will and Suffering

There are few arguments against the existence of God as strong as the Problem of Suffering. The argument is essentially airtight against any benevolent God that mankind has ever dreamed of, though it does leave open the existence of beings with lesser power and more questionable morals. Simply stated the problem of evil is as follows:

The argument typically leveled against the Problem of Evil is that God gave human beings Free Will to make our own choices and that this Free Will is what first allowed evil and suffering into the world. The idea is that our choices, our decisions, our Fall in Eden, is the spark that lit the fire of all the suffering experienced in the world today. But without this precious Free Will we would not be able to worship God freely, we would be compelled to do so beyond our control and we would never make mistakes or grow as people. So according to this view suffering, even suffering that seems excessive and unnecessary, must exist if God wants to give us sufficient freedom to choose a relationship with him.

This view implies that things like childhood cancer began as part of God's love. As in God loved us so much he gave us free will, which let us sin in Eden, which is what created a fallen world filled with childhood cancer. Not only is the Free Will defense used here devoid of Biblical backing, despite its appeal to the Fall of Man, but it makes God out to be a monster. After all it was God's choice to create human beings with the imperfection of Free Will, whatever his motivation God's foresight would have no doubt warned him of the horrors to come, of Holocausts and hurricanes. Rather than do anything to prevent the horrors of the future God actually makes things worse by cursing his creation in Genesis.

The Free Will defense is even more absurd when we consider the fact that angels have Free Will and yet their world seems devoid of suffering and more or less devoid of death. Angels, like human beings, worship God by choice and according to the Bible angels also dwell in Heaven with God. Heaven is a place in which the angels, and the faithful who make it there, would have free will, and yet Heaven is a place without sin... except for when the angels rebel.

Yes according to Christian doctrine Lucifer led a third of the angels astray and sought to supplant God as ruler of Heaven. This means that the angels had free will in the sense that most Christians mean, Lucifer, despite being second in command only to God himself, had the free will to disobey. While non-canonical the book of Enoch is mentioned in Genesis and speaks of another time angels rebelled, coming down to Earth and taking human wives, their children becoming the fabled Nephilim. Yet the angel's were never all punished for the sins of other angels, sin never became a plague for the angels the way it did for man because God never cursed the angels. Angels do not have cancer, they do not grow old, they do not starve to death. Yet angels have free will.

Bart Ehrman destroys the Free Will Defense

So God can create a race of thinking feeling beings that have wills independent of his and are capable of sin but that exist in his presence and do not suffer unnecessarily. Of course God can do that, he's God, he's all powerful, if he cannot create such a world than he is a failure and thus not omnipotent.

Therefore God, if he is all powerful, has the ability to make such a world for us despite Original Sin. The Free Will defense is an absolute mess that simply cannot be defended with any degree of intellectual honesty. There simply is no reason for an all powerful all loving God to allow unnecessary suffering.

Does Free Will Exist?

We're moving on now to the second and much more common definition of Free Will, the idea that humans make choices freely rather than their choices being determined by previous causes. Because of what we understand about physics the only logical choice remaining to proponents of Free Will is a form of Compatibilism, either in the idea that our choices are somehow immune to the physical laws of nature or that there is no conflict between a choice being the product of previous causes as long as our conscious thought processes are the causes we refer to.

The problem is that scientific studies suggest that our decision making is not made solely on the conscious level and that, in fact, many of our decisions are made subconsciously and only then do our brains become consciously aware. This has led to the view that Free Will is an illusion, that we believe we are making our choices consciously but are, in actuality, making them subconsciously only to be made aware of them consciously a few seconds later. Still others suggest a weak form of Compatibilism that involves it being a two way street where the conscious mind can influence the subconscious despite the fact that the subconscious gets to make the first move.

While I am not a neuro-scientist and thus do not know what our final definitive answer should be I do think that Free Will as a concept breaks down when we begin to think about and discuss the ways in which our thoughts actually function. So to do the barriers between subconscious and conscious. In my opinion the two are inexorably linked and impossible to pull apart and I will illustrate this with an example.

Source

Happy Thoughts

In the Disney movie Peter Man it is revealed that in order to fly all human beings need is a sprinkling of Pixie Dust and a happy thought. Thinking happy thoughts is what allows the Pixie Dust to take action and children to take flight off to Never Land. Think of a happy thought. Any happy little thought. Seriously do it. Think about what makes you happy. Chances are the first few answers pop right in there don't they? Maybe they have some memory attached to them, an image, or even begin forming into a chain of conscious thoughts. Did you CONSCIOUSLY think of your happy thought, did you carefully choose it from a list, or did it pop right in there?

While trying to think of what examples to give in this hub the idea of Peter Pan and the happy thoughts popped into my brain. I became consciously aware of it and a moment later became aware of the fact that it would make a great illustration of my point about how the subconscious and conscious actually relate to each other.

One analogy I also thought of was that of a computer. A computer performs a ton of functions even when nothing but a background and a few icons are currently visible on the monitor. Similarly the subconscious is always thinking but these thoughts seem only to emerge when they are important or when they are summoned. But if we are not consciously summoning these thoughts than who is summoning them? The simple answer is, we are. Our brain is not two completely distinct things, a subconscious and conscious, it is one brain, one mind working in unison, like the computer.

In my opinion the consciousness works as a display arising us of a situation and giving us a level of awareness other animal species lack. This display might take the form of reasoning for a given decision or just an awareness of our own desire to make a decision that we actually haven't made yet. Whether or not this display (conscious thought) has any control of the subconscious, if it is indeed a two-way street, is a question that must be answered by science but whether or not it does doesn't change the fact that your brain is indivisibly linked.

People generally seem adverse to the idea that Free Will is an illusion or a defunct concept. They want to cling to the idea that there is something spooky or supernatural about the brain and regard the idea that we might subconsciously make decisions as frightening. In the next section I hope to show that the main fears people have about discarding Free Will are baseless.

A Great Talk on the subject of Free Will

Will judges be out of a job if we discard the concept of Free Will? The answer is no.
Will judges be out of a job if we discard the concept of Free Will? The answer is no.

Discarding Free Will

What is at stake when we talk about discarding the idea of Free Will? Well the consequence that most people fear is that we will no longer be able to hold people accountable for their choices, because those choices will no longer be seen as consciously made. If a murderer's decision to commit a murder was outside of his conscious control can we really hold him accountable for what he did? After all weren't his actions determined by subconscious thoughts outside of his conscious control?

As I attempted to explain above this fear stems primarily from the idea that the subconscious mind and conscious mind are somehow two completely different entities as if our subconscious mind could make a decision that our conscious mind would veto. This idea strikes me as unfounded and absurd. If consciousness is as I described, a read out of our thought processes apprising us of what's going on it would be useless if our subconscious minds were writing checks our conscious minds disagreed with. It simply wouldn't make sense.

In short our decisions MUST BE our own for they simply cannot be anyone else's. If a criminal commits a crime he cannot sit in court and tell everyone that his brain made him do it. You are your brain and whether you are consciously responsible for your actions or not there is no doubt that your brain is responsible for your actions - and thus so are you.

One question we can ask, and already are asking, that affects the ways in which we hold people accountable is about how your brain is functioning. If someone is mentally challenged or mentally ill in some way we generally hold them accountable for their actions in different ways than we would hold someone accountable who possesses a normally functioning brain. While we still have a long way to go in understanding the psychology and neuroscience related to how we hold people accountable we are getting better at recognizing when people have normal control of their actions and when some impedance of brain function is causing changes in their behavior.

Conclusion

The control we have over our own brains may not be as related to conscious thought as we once believed but that doesn't mean someone else is making our decisions. We are still in control of our own choices whether that control is solely conscious or not. Thus I believe that Free Will as it is generally understood is woefully outdated and unnecessary as a concept and we do not need to talk about our choices in such terms anymore.

Free Will does nothing to help God avoid responsibility for evil. If a police officer comes across a purse snatcher attacking an old woman he does not honor the purse snatcher's free will as more important than that of the woman's well being. A being that did honor the free will of the wicked as more important than the well being of the innocent could not be considered omnibenevolent. In regards to suffering that is not caused by human wrongdoing (natural disasters, etc) a being that failed to create a world in which free will exists without said suffering cannot be considered all powerful.

The issue of Free Will is quite dense and I am aware that I somewhat retread territory covered in at least one previous hub but I feel that the issue is an important one. The Problem of Suffering still stands the test of time despite having been first proposed thousands of years ago and Free Will is the typical excuse given by believers for why God allows the world to be so screwed up.

As we begin to discover more about the brain and the way decision making works I have a feeling we will discard the concept of Free Will as an anachronism of a naïve time in our understanding of ourselves. Thanks for reading!

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Comments 71 comments

Lucid Psyche profile image

Lucid Psyche 19 months ago

Good article. Our reasoning being based on our fundamental assumptions is only as accurate in the final analysis as those assumptions are true. I agree with your conclusion, "We are still in control of our own choices whether that control is solely conscious or not."

As for the argument against the existence of a benevolent god from the existence of suffering, I think that it is founded on some very temporal and limited assumptions. I hate to see anyone or anything suffering and the only thing that helps me to put that in context is to reason that my perspective is temporally and physically limited. The argument from this point goes to physicalism itself. It's an assumption that I believe to be unwarranted.

Maybe more later. But for now, I like your take on free will given your physicalist starting point.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 19 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

That the problem of suffering "is essentially airtight against any benevolent God" is certainly nowhere near being a widespread opinion. Christians have been discussing the extent and limits of free will literally for centuries, but there is no substantial body of thought that believes the benevolence of God is at issue in that discussion.

The assertion that free will does not exist is an argument that implodes on itself. If there is no free will, then the person asserting that there is no free will does so not because of any rational process, but simply because that's what they've been programmed to say. It's no different than me writing a program to have my computer print out "there's no free will" 75 million times. It's meaningless.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Ron, it might seem that way at first glance, but the complexity of our thought pattern and the emotion we find our reactions to statements, anger, laughter, interest, outrage... do we control these emotions in us? Do we control how we feel? Do we make rational well informed decisions about everything in our life? And even if we think we do that information is only as reliable as our ability to assess the information. Even more so if we have free will does that mean we have the ability to not be manipulated? Is it possible that every human person is capable of deciding what kind of person they will be and never be influenced by anyone they know or the environment around them? If the answer is no then how do you define free will?


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 19 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

Johnny Lee Clary, raised in a racist home, became Imperial Wizard of the White Knights Of The Ku Klux Klan. But then he became a Christian and joined an evangelical church. He spent the rest of his life preaching and speaking out against racism. Was this all a predetermined result of his genetic inheritance and the environment in which he was brought up? Or did he actually make a free decision that what his background had taught him was wrong, and he needed to go in a different direction?

Free will in no way implies that we are not influenced, many times unconsciously, by emotional factors arising from experiences that may have an unacknowledged influence on our thinking. In other words, we all have biases, and no one disputes that. But many people make decisions to override their biases when rational assessment of facts lead them to that conclusion.

Let me turn that all-or-nothing approach around: are you willing to say that every "decision" I think I'm making in life, down to my choice between bacon and eggs or cereal for breakfast this morning, was actually predetermined by the interaction between my genetic background and my life experiences? Or would you advise a young person living in a rough neighborhood that since his choices are already predetermined, he shouldn't waste energy on deciding between selling drugs on the street or struggling to go to college?

Frankly, it seems to me that advocates of the non-existence of free will are having fun with an interesting intellectual concept, but nobody, including them, really believes it. Otherwise, as you note in your piece, nobody would try to hold anybody accountable for anything.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"but there is no substantial body of thought that believes the benevolence of God is at issue in that discussion."

I am aware that Christian thinkers have tons of excuses for why a benevolent God might create so chaotic a world full of evil and suffering. When looked at with any intellectual honesty however these excuse fall flat. But of course Christians must excuse their God's action and inaction because to do otherwise might put them in danger of hell fire. Doubt is seen as a bad thing, and faith in the face of overwhelming evidence against God is seen as a virtue. Christians have tried, and failed, for thousands of years, to escape the problem of evil.

"If there is no free will, then the person asserting that there is no free will does so not because of any rational process,"

Please refer to the definition of Free Will that I gave. I am not saying that human beings are not free to make their own choices. In fact my argument, if you'd read it carefully, suggests that our choices our indeed our own regardless. What is being discarded here is the common assumption that in order for choices to be part of free will they must be made consciously. We know enough about neuroscience to debunk the notion that we are consciously making choices. There is no reason to fear that your choices are part of some uncontrollable programming because your conscious thoughts act like a read-out of what's going on in your brain. So decisions that you believe you make freely are indeed made freely, despite the fact that your conscious realization of the decision might come after you've already made it.

The ultimate point being that the subconscious and conscious are not divided, the subconscious is not some spooky thing outside of our control and the conscious mind is not some immaterial construct guiding everything we do and ultimately making the choices.

In a sense I am not arguing against Free Will as a whole, but merely that when we look at neuroscience and when we think about how our own brains function, how thoughts flow unbidden from our subconscious, the concept of Free Will is no longer useful. The reason philosophers still debate Free Will may be because the problem is insoluble and when a problem is this tough to crack the reason may be because we are asking the wrong question or focusing on the wrong aspect of things. I believe the focus on consciously made choices and the fear that some have about choices and thoughts stemming from the subconscious first are unfounded and that Free Will is a useless concept.


RonElFran profile image

RonElFran 19 months ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

Titen-Sxull, it seems to me that to say that all our choices are made subconsciously without rational volition, and are ratified after the fact by our conscious minds, is exactly the same as saying those choices arise because of the programming the organism has undergone through its genetic inheritance and life experiences, and rationality has nothing to do with it. What you define as free will is not what most people have historically meant by the term. I agree that the concept you are labeling with the term "free will" is not useful and not worth talking about. But that definition has nothing to do with the historic discussion of free will.

BTW, I do take note that you approach the discussion from the standpoint that "Christian thinkers have tons of excuses" to defend the benevolence of God. Watch out - your subconscious, predetermined, emotionally induced biases are showing!


Stargrrl 19 months ago

Interesting article. I have wondered whether a thought that pops up into my head was MY thinking, or if it was planted there by Satan or a demon. One person once told me that God is in control of everything, every choice we make, and He allows bad things to happen, that Satan cannot act without His permission. My whole issue with that is that if that is the case, then we don't have free will, do we? I'm reading a book by a Presbyterian and they think that everything is predetermined....not sure I agree with that perspective.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

In order for your conclusion to obtain you need to prove there is no good reason God might have for temporarily permitting suffering in the world. Can you?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Actually no I don't Joe, or did you not read what I had to say on the subject?

The burden of proof is actually on you to show why an all powerful God cannot accomplish his goals without needless suffering. You say he has a good reason and yet not only is there nothing to suggest this in scripture or in any Christian doctrine I am aware of but its genuinely insulting to our intelligence to suggest that good God would achieve his ends, whether they justify the means or not, using child cancer, tsunamis and the black plague.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

First off we need to define what free will actually implies, Free will is the ability of agents to make choices unimpeded. By that definition alone free will becomes a nonsense term because there are many things that impede our ability to make these choices freely. Factors that might impede choice include metaphysical constraints (particularly forms of determinism such as logical, physical, biological, social or theological determinism), physical constraints (such as the requirements of the laws of science), social constraints (such as threat of punishment, censure, or imprisonment), and mental constraints (such as compulsions or phobias, neurological disorders, or genetic predispositions).

If a God exists, especially a Christian God and if things such as prophesy are valid (which obviously I am not arguing for but pretty much contradict one giving us free will) then free will in the Christian sense cannot exist because then we are predetermined, destined, to make certain choices and we are not doing so freely. If a God existed then that invalidates any statement made by a God that he has given us free will, especially if an all knowing God had created us and knows what we will do before we ill do it. He has already set in motion our choices and is just waiting for us to make them. This part of God invalidates for me both the existence of God by mere contradiction. Unless you can say God is also a liar. Then you cannot say God is all good. But since this argument is about free will let's go on to the next part of the argument, whether or not a God exists, free will does not.

There are too many factors involved for us to even consider that we have free will even if free will were a thing to have it becomes nonsense by definition in almost any rational context. Merely the state of our education, our mental and emotional states of mind, our fears and even our genetics determine what choices we make, so even a person who becomes one thing can become another thing, not because he has freely made the choice but because something else has changed their mind. New information, social pressures, family pressures.

Human beings a susceptible to mere suggestion, it's why a sales person can trick another person into buying something they don't want or a con artist can cause someone to believe in something absolutely ridiculous, because we are not fully conscious of everything we think or feel or believe or desire and can be played like a game much of the time. Herd mentality wouldn't be a thing if free will were also a thing because many things play into our behaviors. Ever yawn because someone else has yawned? Do you know why this happens? Because we are susceptible to suggestion, because our will is not free we have many unconscious reaction to everything in our environment. Do you know what a tell is in poker? Do you know how police interrogators tell if someone is lying? Because we have unconscious responses to things that determine how we react to stimuli that they understand and take advantage of during questioning. It's not legally presentable in a court of law, but a talented enough interrogator can get someone to admit to something they have done.... it's why people are easy to hypnotize, everyone is whether they know it or not.... Free will? What is it exactly because every definition you have given makes it nonsense.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

One common misperception needs to be cleared up first. Many people think of Almighty God as the ruler of this world, the one who is in direct control of everything. “Not one atom or molecule of the universe is outside his active rule,” said the president of one theological seminary. Does the Bible really teach that?

Not at all. Many are surprised to learn what the Bible actually says about who rules the world. For example, 1 John 5:19 states: “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil one.”(WNT) Who is this Evil one? Jesus Christ identified him as Satan the Devil, whom he called “the ruler of the world.” (John 14:30) Now, does that not make sense? Satan is cruel, deceptive, and hateful—traits that underlie much of the suffering that people experience. Why, though, does God allow Satan to rule?

Just how might an adoring and capable mother or father really feel if they were openly charged of being deceptive to their young children , abusing their authority over them , as well as withholding what they need from them ? Could they disprove those slanderous allegations by physically attacking their accuser ? Certainly not ! Without a doubt , by responding like this , they would give credibility to the charges .

This depiction really helps to clarify Jehovah God’s strategy for managing a challenge brought up against him at the dawn of man's historical past in a region identified as Eden . There God Almighty announced to the very first pair of human beings , Adam and Eve , a fantastic undertaking . These were to fill up the globe , take care of it , and thus transform it into a worldwide paradise . ( Genesis 1 :28 )

Truly being a big-hearted Father , Jehovah handed Adam and Eve an exquisite haven home with all of its succulent fruits . Just one tree was not in bounds for them—“the tree of the knowledge of good and bad .” By avoiding this tree , Adam and Eve would certainly display their absolute trust in their Father , accepting that he had the right to determine that which was right and wrong for his children .—Genesis 2 :16 , 17 .

Lamentably , one amongst God’s spirit sons , inspired by the want to be worshiped , led Eve to believe that when she consumed the outlawed fruit , she would never perish . ( Genesis 2 :17 ; 3 :1-5 ) And so , this wicked angel , Satan , flagrantly contradicted God , in effect calling him a liar ! To boot , Satan proceeded to criticize God of withholding critical facts from Adam and Eve . Mankind , Satan suggested , could determine on their own what is actually good and what is bad . Stated more forcefully , Satan charged God of being an unfit Sovereign and Father and additionally indicated that he , Satan , could perform a significantly better job himself .

Through the use of those astute and fatal mendacities , this angel fashioned himself into Satan the Devil . These particular names stand for “Resister” and “Slanderer .” What exactly did Adam and Eve do, then ? They sided with Satan , turning their backs on God .—Genesis 3 :6 .

Jehovah could have eradicated the rebels just then . But bear in mind , as mentioned above previously in our representation , these kinds of difficulties can never be worked out through violent retaliation . Take into account too that when Satan confronted God Almighty , innumerable angels were paying attention .

By enticing Adam and Eve into deciding on autonomy from their Maker , Satan established a family which was not in fact self-reliant but , as you see , under his command . Prompted , consciously or unwittingly , by their “father ,” the Devil , this family would pick and choose its own objectives as well as values . ( John 8 :44 ) Still , might this way of life bring them genuine liberty as well as enduring happiness and joy ? Jehovah understood full well that it would never . Even so , he left the rebels to go after their ill-fated ambition , for only by doing so could the problems brought up in Eden be completely resolved for all time .

For upwards of 6 ,000 years now , humankind has erected one society after another , attempting more and more varieties of rulership as well as rules of behavior . Do you happen to be overjoyed with the outcome ? Is the human family actually joyful , undisturbed , and united ? Undeniably , the answer is absolutely no ! In its place , wars , famines , catastrophes , disease , together with unspeakable loss of life has besieged humanity , inflicting “futility ,” “pain ,” and “groaning ,” much like the Holy Bible reported long ago .—Romans 8 :19-22 ; Ecclesiastes 8 :9 . Fundamentally , "People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the LORD ." -Proverbs 19 :3 ( NLT )

Nonetheless , some might wonder , ‘Why has God not averted these disasters ?’ Honestly , that would certainly be an injustice , as it would undoubtedly blur the issue by creating the impression that rebelling against God is without deadly repercussions . Accordingly , Jehovah has not been in the background protecting against all the crimes and calamities that results , explicitly or in a roundabout way , from disobedience to him . Jehovah could never ever be party to the fatal myth that Satan’s approach could turn out well ! Notwithstanding , Jehovah has not been apathetic to what has transpired . Truth be told , he continues to be extremely active , as we shall subsequently appreciate .

Since the rebellion in Eden , he has long been very active . Case in point , he inspired Bible amanuensis to document his guarantee that a future “seed” would undoubtedly defeat Satan with everyone who allied with him . ( Genesis 3 :15 ) On top of that , via that Seed , God would constitute a governing administration , a heavenly Kingdom , which would bless obedient people , stop all causes of misery and even death itself .—Genesis 22 :18 ; Psalm 46 :9 ; 72 :16 ; Isaiah 25 :8 ; 33 :24 ; Daniel 7 :13 , 14 .

As a step towards the fulfillment of those wonderful promises, Jehovah sent to the earth the One who would become the primary Ruler of that Kingdom. This one was none other than Jesus Christ, the Son of God. (Galatians 3:16) In accord with God’s purpose for him, Jesus focused his teaching on God’s Kingdom. (Luke 4:43) In fact, Christ provided a living preview of what he will accomplish as King of that Kingdom. He fed hungry thousands, healed the sick, resurrected the dead, and even showed his power over the natural elements by calming a violent storm. (Matthew 14:14-21; Mark 4:37-39; John 11:43, 44) Concerning Jesus, the Bible states: “No matter how many the promises of God are, they have become Yes by means of him.”—2 Corinthians 1:20.

Those who listen to Jesus and come “out of the world”—the system of things that is estranged from God and ruled by Satan—are welcomed into Jehovah’s family. (John 15:19) This global family of true Christians is governed by love, committed to peace, and marked by determination to eradicate any trace of bigotry and racism in its midst.—Malachi 3:17, 18; John 13:34, 35.

Instead of upholding the present world, sedulous Christians support and proclaim God’s Kingdom in obedience to Jesus’ command recorded at Matthew 24:14. Think: Who preach the “good news of the kingdom” worldwide? Who have refused, as a worldwide spiritual family, to engage in warfare and divisive national and tribal disputes? And who let God’s Word guide their conduct, whether its lofty standards are popular or not? (1 John 5:3)


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

One of the problems with many believers, and I have noticed this with pretty much all of them, they don't seem to be very well read in their own holy book. A really great example is the above nut job, Joseph. He is trying to explain his God in terms of the interpretations of the people he relies on to tell him what it says and what it means. Meaning he hasn't read the whole book himself and even if he did wouldn't understand a word of it... Also he doesn't seem to realize that there are MANY MANY MANY DIFFERENT TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE, Hundreds in fact and if you grab a verse from each they all restate the same verses differently as to change the meaning to suit their agenda... And depending on who teaches it, their agenda as well.

Another thing Joe may not realize is that there are several verses throughout the Bible that describe his God's nature, and they are all different: Exodus 15:3 The Lord is a warrior; Yahweh is his name! Romans 15:33 The God of peace be with you all.

He ignores passages I have listed in other areas because I doubt he has read them himself and merely cuts and pastes things from the propaganda he has been brainwashed with has posted for him and rather than reading through for context twists the words of his own holy book to fit the meaning he prescribes them to have not realizing many of us atheists used to be Christians and became atheists after having read the Bible, usually more than three different translations.

For me it was the New King James, Young's Literal Translation, Complete Jewish Bible (not very accurate according to a Jewish friend of mine), The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible and The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

Here is a list of others for you: http://tyndalearchive.com/scriptures/index.htm


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

How long ago were you disfellowshipped?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"One common misperception needs to be cleared up first. Many people think of Almighty God as the ruler of this world, the one who is in direct control of everything. “Not one atom or molecule of the universe is outside his active rule,” said the president of one theological seminary. Does the Bible really teach that?"

I am allowing this copy and pasted Wall o' Text once and only once Joe, in the future please try to either paraphrase or shorten your comments. This does not seem to be in reply to anything that anyone else has said and sections of it are found in tons of other places online. Even if you are the original author of this text, which would be nigh impossible for me to verify because all the places online it has been copied, I would prefer that you not copy and paste massive walls of dense text.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, I'd say about 20 years ago, I had many questions that towards high school not one of the church leaders could answer, I also had been studying a lot of science because, as you know, science actually works, helps people and is the reason for all our progress and knowledge. Much of what science had discovered and shown to be true contradicted all of what the Bible said about the nature of the world and how things happened and science could actually provide evidence. I didn't lose faith or my belief in God til sometime later.... I had accept science's explanations as true because they could be proven so but then I asked, how do we know God exists.... I did all the research on that I could find and also eventually questioned the existence of Jesus (because he could just be based on a real person), I found that not only did Jesus not exist but that he was based on various other religions at the time and was part of a new religious movement to unify the religions of the area and was not accepted until 300 ACE....

I still will go to churches when invited by loved ones but it is a very rare thing, and much of the time I hear some hateful and abhorrent thing, proving that religion only really teaches hate and distrust of anything different. For the most part I avoid religious conversation in public places or work or even amongst close friends.

Doing the research for the past 25 years.

Atheist for 21 years

Anti-theist for 19 years

So I was a Catholic for close to 10 years and Methodist for another 10... you can thank my mom for that.

And went to the University of New Mexico for 6 years.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 19 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Free will is not absolute. We do not choose the circumstances under which we are born, and we cannot control the actions of others. Sure, we're free to choose how to handle situations, but our choices are based on what's happening at the time, and our knowledge of the consequences. A century ago, people took medicines high in morphine, not knowing what was in it and that it could lead to a lifetime of addiction. How much free will did they have?

REALLY interesting, what you said about rebellious angels! How come they don't have the same problems humans have?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"I found that not only did Jesus not exist but that he was based on various other religions"

Except that the historicity of the Bible has been validated time and again. Over the years, skeptics have challenged— and continue to challenge— the Bible’s accuracy regarding the names of people, events and places it mentions. Time and again, though, evidence has shown such skepticism to be unwarranted. The Bible record, as such, is wholly factual.

For example, at one time scholars doubted the existence of Assyrian King Sargon, mentioned at Isaiah 20:1. However, in the 1840’s, archaeologists began unearthing the palace of this king. Now, Sargon is one of the best-known Assyrian kings.

Critics questioned the existence of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who ordered Jesus’death. (Matthew 27:1, 22-24) But in 1961 a stone bearing Pilate’s name and rank was discovered near the city of Caesarea in Israel.

Before 1993, there was no extra-biblical evidence to support the historicity of David, the brave young shepherd who later became king of Israel. That year, however, archaeologists uncovered in northern Israel a basalt stone, dated to the ninth century B.C.E., that experts say bears the words “House of David” and “king of Israel.”

Until recently, many scholars doubted the accuracy of the Bible’s account of the nation of Edom battling with Israel in the time of David. (2 Samuel 8:13, 14) Edom, they argued, was a simple pastoral society at the time and did not become sufficiently organized or have the might to threaten Israel until much later. However, recent excavations indicate that “Edom was a complex society centuries earlier [than previously thought], as reflected in the Bible,” states an article in the journal Biblical Archaeology Review.

There were many rulers on the world stage during the 16 centuries that the Bible was being written. When the Bible refers to a ruler, it always uses the proper title. For example, it correctly refers to Herod Antipas as “district ruler” and Gallio as “proconsul.” (Luke 3:1; Acts 18:12) Ezra 5:6 refers to Tattenai, the governor of the Persian province “beyond the River,” the Euphrates River. A coin produced in the fourth century B.C.E. contains a similar description, identifying the Persian governor Mazaeus as ruler of the province “Beyond the River.”

Regarding the historical accuracy of the Bible, the October 25, 1999, issue of U.S.News & World Report said: “In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments— corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel’s patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus.” While faith in the Bible does not hinge on archaeological discoveries, such historical accuracy is what you would expect of a book inspired by God.

Even more staggering, however, is the fact that there’s more historical evidence for the death and resurrection of Christ than there is for evolution. In fact, any denial of the historicity of Christ’s resurrection is comparable to denying the US declared its independence in 1776 or that Columbus landed in America in 1492.

In his book "The Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus", Michael Licona provides a list of scholars who attest to the historicity of Christ’s death and resurrection which includes Brodeur, Collins, Conzelman, Fee, Gundry, Harris, Hayes, Hèring, Hurtado, Johnson, Kistemaker, Lockwood, Martin, Segal, Snyder, Thiselton, Witherington, and Wright.

Concordantly, British scholar N. T. Wright states, "As a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.” (N. T. Wright, “The New Unimproved Jesus,” Christianity Today (September 13, 1993)), p. 26.

Even Gert L¸demann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”(Gerd L¸demann, What Really Happened to Jesus?, trans. John Bowden (Louisville, Kent.: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), p. 80.)

These are just a minute sampling from the massive throng of scholars whose research attests the historicity of Christ’s resurrection - http://amzn.to/13MQiTE http://bit.ly/18UraA6

Prominently, in his book, “Justifying Historical Descriptions”, historian C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts. The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” passes all these tests:

1. It has great explanatory scope: it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.

2. It has great explanatory power: it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.

3. It is plausible: given the historical context of Jesus’ own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.

4. It is not ad hoc or contrived: it requires only one additional hypothesis: that God exists. And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that God exists.

5. It is in accord with accepted beliefs. The statement: “God raised Jesus from the dead” doesn’t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don’t rise naturally from the dead. The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.

6. It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5). Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as an actual, historical resurrection.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

On Atheists Attempting to Disprove the Existence of the Historical Jesus - bit.ly/18UraA6


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for the comment Say Yes To Life,

You're right about Free Will, it is hopelessly muddled beneath so many factors that affect us as we go about our lives, which is why I think it should be discarded as a concept. Whether or not we are entirely free to make our choices is irrelevant to whether they are our choices and so too is which part of the brain ultimately makes the choice irrelevant. No one seems bothered by the idea that scratching an itch or the beating of our hearts are both actions we have no real conscious control over. People seem afraid that their brains will make choices independent of them following some kind of spooky "programming" while forgetting that WE ARE OUR BRAINS.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Before 1993, there was no extra-biblical evidence to support the historicity of David, the brave young shepherd who later became king of Israel. That year, however, archaeologists uncovered in northern Israel a basalt stone, dated to the ninth century B.C.E., that experts say bears the words “House of David” and “king of Israel.”"

I am approving this comment only so that Art can see it. Joe, please stop copy and pasting giant Walls of Text. I cannot track down whether or not you are the original author of this because it has been used on so many websites. Please use your own words, if these are your own words I will ask that you please use new words or at the very least limit what you are copying and pasting.

I am not going to approve anymore Wall o' Text copy and pasted comments, final warning.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, I am going to put it to you this way, I am not going to try to prove to you that your beliefs in god and jesus are wrong. That's not my responsibility. I am also not going to bother explaining to you why I don't believe in either. What I will say is I have heard all the historical data on jesus, and all the supposed evidence ever presented for a god and say that it is one of the reasons I stopped believing either in the existence of god and jesus. If you want more from me you will have to private message me or do your own research as to why many former christians who are now atheists came to disbelieve in both, but I will no longer continue this in a forum not suited to this continued debate. As well as the fact that I have yet to see an original thought come from your statements, just copy and paste hearsay and other people's opinions.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"I am not going to try to prove to you that your beliefs in god and jesus are wrong."

Because you can't. But don't feel bad because nobody can. If anyone actually could the world's population would be predominantly Atheist. Instead, the overwhelming majority of the world simply accepts the EVIDENCE for their existence.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Are you admitting to being an atheist? Wow, and I agree you can't prove the existence or nonexistence of that which only exists in the mind and imagination of the people who believe in it. That which does exist can be proven to exist to anyone through evidence and all others who refuse to believe in something that has overwhelming evidence for being true is simply in denial. Because losing ones beliefs to accept another that is true is very hard. I should know, it was hard to accept that the religious beliefs I once held were false. Its basically like calling my entire family who I loved all liars. But if you are unaware that your beliefs are false then how can you be held accountable for teaching others that which is not true. That is what I love about science, it doesn't say that what it has is 100% total truth, it says that this is what the evidence says so far and we are still building the model.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

@Joe,

"the overwhelming majority of the world simply accepts the EVIDENCE for their existence."

This is a humorously stupid statement. 31% of the world population identifies as Christian and that is NOT an overwhelming majority, its not even ONE THIRD of the world population.

And don't pretend that you were talking about theism in general and trying to lump yourself in with Hindus and Muslims, because you would never admit or claim that there was "EVIDENCE" for any of their gods. You would never claim that there is evidence of Krishna or evidence that Mohammed really was the chosen prophet of God.

What you are claiming here is false, the majority of the world does not accept Jesus as the Savior/Messiah AND I would argue the majority of those who DO accept Jesus do not do so based on arguments and evidence but on emotion and indoctrination.

About 16% of the population have no religion or do not affiliate themselves with one. Of course some of these folks do believe in some sort of spirituality or maybe even a god concept but statistics bear out that this is the fastest growing demographic, those who profess no specific religion.

The massive division of so many different religions with so many different disagreeing sects of each religion (such as your very own Jehovah's Witnesses) proves that people are not basing their religious convictions on the "EVIDENCE".


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joe still hasn't shown any of us any evidence for anything, just a bunch of, it couldn't happen by itself, must a been god.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Argumentum ad hominem. Try again.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate the breathtaking daedal designs and systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated. Creation thus represents unshakable proof of our Creator's existence.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Argumentum ad hominem. Try again."

Is this a response to me or Art?

Because my last post was mainly about how the statistics defeat your argument and how what you stated about the vast majority accepting the evidence was a flat out false statement.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, again I say, who created the creator? I counter that the legnth of time nature has existed is enough time for it to happen without one. And given that all of nature does happen observably on it's own without aid from any hand, I can safely conclude that a creator is unnecessary for the formation or existence of anything. How some of it happened, is not known but not knowing does not conclude a creator.

I also refer you to in this case a program called the Secret Life of Chaos.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

"Argumentum ad hominem. Try again." There is nothing Ad Hominem about it, maybe you should learn the meaning of that before you use it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Titen

My argumentum ad hominem rejoinder was directed at you. Sorry for the confusion :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

The Creator doesn't need a creator simply because an infinite regress of causes does not have any basis in reality; it can’t be turtles all the way down. (http://bit.ly/1o2W0vq)

And before you bray "special pleading" please remember that this piece of the syllogism I presented you with earlier is based on the premiss that whatsoever begins to exist must have a cause. Since God never began to exist he must, necessarily, be uncaused.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I do not remember attempting to claim your position was wrong by attacking your character, so I did not make an ad hominem argument.

Please also note the difference between saying "your argument or statement is monumentally stupid" "what a stupid ignorant thing to say"

and

"You are stupid"

The former is not a personal attack but a criticism of the things you've said. If I've ever said the latter, and I don't believe I outright have, I apologize. But please know the difference between a personal attack and a declaration that the idea or claim you are making is false/stupid/idiotic.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, that's a contradiction to your statement about the universe since, let me ask you this, have you see the creator? Do you know what he is made out of? Do you know 100% for sure that he exists and can you convince me that he exists? Do I need to convince you that the universe exists or is it not obvious? Do you not understand the difference? You can't say the Creator doesn't need a creator because you don't even know whether or not there is a creator and all you rationalizing his reason for needing to exist and that he does exist doesn't prove that he exists and is not evidence that he exists.

YOU FAILED RIGHT HERE.

I won't say anything just that you believe in something that you have no evidence for simply because you don't understand the nature of the universe or the origin of the universe...

Your entire argument is an argument from ignorance and nothing more.... in other words, you have NOTHING!

Now tell me, what is your evidence that a God exists?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate the breathtaking daedal designs and systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated.

Creation thus represents UNSHAKABLE EVIDENCE of our Creator's necessary existence. http://bit.ly/1Es3oVf

It is this exquisetly simple logic which will ensure the continued existence of Theism for thousands and thousands and thousands of years more. There's no way you're going to convince anyone that the creation of life from inorganic matter was a happy accident.

Thank you for making me an even stronger Christian and thanks for playing :)


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Nature is not evidence of a creator though, nature works without aid, you can assign some being as being as being responsible for it because of some concept of "biometrics" for which you yourself don't fully understand, but because of your lack of understanding of it it seems like a construct to you and not a natural thing. It's kind of sad, because you have assigned a cause, you are too small minded to actually look for the ACTUAL reason for it being the way it is. This is a failure because it stops you from knowing anything new. Take Galilleo, he discovered Jupiter was a planet and had moons like the Earth does and he had discovered, as others before had, that the Earth was not the center of the Solar System, the church had threatened him because it went against what they believed the Bible said about it so he had to recant and live in a prison for many years, if he had been allowed to discover more we might be much further along that we are. Something similar happened to Issac Newton, he was not able to see past a certain point in space and could not figure out why his math showed that there were other planets past saturn so he gave up and said "Only God knows" Imagine what he would have found if he kept looking. Same with every other thing, like diseases were found to be caused by microbes, if we didn't ask we wouldn't have found out, what are things made of, we wouldn't know that they were atoms if we didn't ask.

Same with God, if we don't ask, is God the cause or is it something else, we wouldn't know for sure. If God existed then sure, he would be the cause of things but where did he start the cause and where does it go? Is his hand in everything or does he start them. Same with evolution, if he exists then he is the reason for evolution. You are holding on to the defunked idea that God made us the way we are ignoring all the science and evidence found by science and cherry picking science to fit your image of the universe the way you want it to be... this makes your entire argument a lie. You point out nature as evidence of a God but that is like saying a dead body is proof of a murder. The dead person could have died of a heart attack or old age or some disease, but no you want to insist on murder ignoring all other evidence that says otherwise.

You are unreliable as someone who can prove that there is a God.

I couldn't care less if you believe or not I remain unconvinced that a God exists at all. Who are you trying to convince that God exists? Yourself or me?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

There's no way you're going to convince anyone that the creation of life from inorganic matter was a happy accident.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

I already have, and I wouldn't call it an accident and I wouldn't say it was caused by an intelligence either, but its not me who needs to convince anyone, its the evidence, its not my job to convince you are anyone else anyway, its just the facts. I don't care if I am convincing you are anyone. It doesn't effect me what you or anyone else believes, I am not on the christian hubs telling people they are wrong I am writing about what interests me and reading about what myself and other like minded people think. When I write a hub its for people who are interested in what I believe and why. If I convince people which I have, cool, if I don't, it doesnt matter. You see I care about what is true, I care about what the evidence says. If the evidence says there was a god or that he was even possible, this would be a very different conversation about the nature of said god, but I have yet to see anything convincing from you or anyone that didn't amount to the argument from ignorance. You can believe what you like I would rather believe what is true.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"I already have"

When? Where?


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

My uncle, a few of my friends, even one of my college professors 10 years ago, its not like I am going out trying, its people like you trying to convert us. Personally I don't care what you believe, I mostly write from my own personal experience and education and my posts are about me.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

“Unbelief is as much of a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn't require much of anything at all.”

― Frederick Buechner


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Quote of the day, eh? Let me ask you this, do you believe in Alien Abductions? Do you believe in Allah? Or Vishnu? Or Ra? Or Pan? Or any God from any other religion? Why do people believe in their Gods but not yours and vice versa? Unbelieve is not the same is Nihilism. You see the difference yet? I don't believe in God or any other supernatural because for the most part many things in this universe have been explained, using evidence, that does not require a God at all yet you would insist do. At one time the Vikings believed that an eclipse was caused by one God eating the sun, they actually believed that if they yelled at the wolf God he would let go of their sun god... and it worked. Now what made that belief false? Because we had more information about the planets and the moon and the sun... Now can you convince me that your God is the one true God and all the other Gods, many of whom are still worshiped to this day, are false? You have still yet to convince me that all the evidence that proves Evolution to be true is false. You have still yet to prove to me that the universe was created, you also falsely believe that because it wasn't created that it could only be thought to be caused by random chance, which is also false. You haven't even shown that God is necessary for the elements to form things including organic life, because chemistry shows us otherwise and the mere fact that elements in a system of changing extreme temperatures can't come to combine elements in the environment to form other elements.... cave systems, lakes, volcanoes, our very atmosphere shows that it can all happen naturally and does so all the time, so why not life? What is life? At it's barest it is a molecule that performs a simple function of moving around and collecting parts naturally, self replicating, it doesn't need anyone to self replicate and things in the environment cause them to change (which is observable) it wouldn't be out of this world for it to be a natural process that doesn't require the hands of an intelligent being to make it happen.

And the silly statistics that say there is a 1/1000000 chance that it could happen on it's own is silly when you calculate it with infinity, or even with the observable size of the universe. You have quoted and cited many a failed scientist and many random people and even a book written 2000 years ago, and considering our progress in the last 100 years, quoting the Bible just makes you look silly, and quoting scientists with a religious bias even more silly. The fact is that you are closed minded, you don't care what the truth is you want God to be the truth and refuse any evidence or any possibility that he could be false. I am open minded because I am willing to believe a God exists if you can provide sufficient evidence that says he does and so far I have seen none.

You can believe what you want, I will believe only what the evidence says.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"You haven't even shown that God is necessary for the elements to form things including organic life, because chemistry shows us otherwise"

Actually Pasteur refuted the theory of Spontaneous Generation (aka Abiogenesis) in the 19th century. Try again.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Beliefs of these kind are not a choice. It's not like what color shirt you wear or what you eat for breakfast.

I did not choose to be an atheist, I simply realized I didn't believe in god and I was convinced there was no good reason to believe.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Spontaneous generation or anomalous generation is an obsolete body of thought on the ordinary formation of living organisms without descent from similar organisms. Typically, the idea was that certain forms such as fleas could arise from inanimate matter such as dust, or that maggots could arise from dead flesh. A variant idea was that of equivocal generation, in which species such as tapeworms arose from unrelated living organisms, now understood to be their hosts. Doctrines supporting such processes of generation held that these processes are commonplace and regular. Such ideas are in contradiction to that of univocal generation: effectively exclusive reproduction from genetically related parent(s), generally of the same species.

Which is different than Abiogenesis is the process by which a living organism arises naturally from non-living matter, as opposed to biogenesis, which is the creation of living organisms by other living organisms. It is thought to have occurred between 3.8 and 4 billion years ago, and is studied through a combination of laboratory experiments and extrapolation from the genetic information of modern organisms in order to make reasonable conjectures about what pre-life chemical reactions may have given rise to a living system.

If you want to argue against abiogenesis you really should learn that there is a difference between what Pasteur had thought up and what actually occurred. Otherwise you look like an idiot arguing against what is not the belief.... it's called a straw man argument.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

As for God, God has been shown to be wrong and unnecessary over and over again by many a generation of scientists and historians that have become atheist yet you still believe that a God exists.... at least if something is shown to be false I am willing to accept that, you are not.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Are there any modern examples of abiogenesis in action? In other words, has anyone ever given life to anything in a laboratory setting?


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Depends on what you are defining as life... i am more into the physics side of things, but I did hear of some recent experiments where they were trying to replicated the conditions that certain abundant organic compounds would produce certain types of self replicating proteins...but whether or not there is a successful experiment that humans have done doesnt make a bit of difference to the facts that somewhere in the past the first life arouse... it probably still happens all the time in ponds and lakes and around the oceans but at what point can anyone say this is a recent life form or one related to other life forms other than how simple it's structure is.... many structures remain unchanged due to their success rates.... the best answer I can give you is I don't know. Again, does it matter? Why don't you look at the research being done if you are at all truly interested in it.... I am not sure that you really are. Because the fact is your are asking the wrong person. There are always new discoveries being made everyday and even if they haven't replicated something there is still enough evidence to show that is what happened.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Ever wonder why all the planets are orbiting in the same direction and how gravity works? why many things appear to be a perfect orbit?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTY1Kje0yLg

In the early years of our solar system it was chaos and why the surviving planets are the way they are, it's just a natural eventual result and it is unnecessary for a being to put it in place.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"whether or not there is a successful experiment that humans have done doesn't make a bit of difference to the facts that somewhere in the past the first life aroused"

So it's something you just take on faith ... I get it ...


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

If that's what you want to call it. But its not faith as much as you can see what things are made of and how they form by themselves and you either understand, it doesn't take faith to know that when you don't eat you die. Why? Because we need to rebuild our body which is made of tiny cells, most of these cells do thing pretty much on their own, but they work together in a community, is it possible fora cell to work by itself? Yes, but they are not part of a community, and you can go back further. How did it start? I don't know, but it started and rather than being an idiot and assuming the how, I am going to either investigate myself, let someone investigate and then look at their evidence or continue to say I don't know. That's not faith. Faith is the stupid affirmation of the absurd, I am not assuming anything. I ammaking the observation that I have yet to see nature caused by anything other than more nature. To suggest anything else is absurd and stupid. There is no evidence for anything else.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"I ammaking the observation that I have yet to see nature caused by anything other than more nature." {sic}

You're committing the logical fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantiam.

What you claim is just as absurd as if, prior to 1939, you pompously proclaimed, "There's no such thing as Francium. There's simply no evidence for it's existence."

For you see, in rational thought, things are proven false based on positive evidence of their falsehood not on argumentum ex silentio fallacies.

This brief postmortem of your not-so-well thought out rationale glaringly lays bare why your atheistic philosophy is just plain lazy and sophistic.

“Unbelief is as much of a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn't require much of anything at all.”

― Frederick Buechner


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

And you are commiting straw man fallacies, arguments from ignorance and equivocation fallacies.... i can believe in UFO's, alien abductions or the illuminati but without evidence belief in those things, including a god, is just plain delusion, I would rather believe in what I know to be true and what I know to be possible than something that can be interpreted as a delusional fantasy or in your case wishful thinking, willful ignorance and the argument from ignorance.

you can believe what you want, I would rather believe what is true, what has evidence. This argument is over, you are just trying to tear apart my unwillingness to believe in something that I have already fully researched and found to be invalid. I have no reason or evidence to believe in any sort of god or intelligent designer. The universe works, I know how the basic elements work and I know how evolution works and I can see it working through natural and artificial selection. No I don't know how it started, I don't know how life started but because I don't know I am not going to make any assumptions based on that because that would be stupid. Maybe a god did do it but I can't choose to believe in one nor do I want to because I have no evidence and would rather keep looking for the truth than choose to believe in something that is false. If you understood chemistry and nature more you might understand more how it is possible for life to happen on its own, especially if you know what they sayabout abiogenesis, which you don't, since you admitted to not knowing the difference between that and spontaneous generation.... you have no evidence for god except your lack of understanding for how nature works, its very sad.

give me evidence or stop pestering me with your ignorant nonsense.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Permit me then to share the following:

"I had a deep respect for our body’s sophisticated design. For example, the way our kidneys control the amount of red cells in our blood is awe-inspiring. As you may know, red blood cells transport oxygen. If you lose a lot of blood or if you go to a high altitude, your body will lack oxygen. Our kidneys have oxygen sensors. When they detect an oxygen shortage in the blood, they activate the production of EPO, and the level of EPO in the blood may rise as much as a thousandfold. The EPO stimulates the bone marrow to produce more red cells, which in turn transport more oxygen. It’s wonderful! Strangely, I studied this process for ten years before it struck me that only God could design such an elegant system.

I was intrigued by the way the Bible foretold the year of Jesus’ baptism. It shows exactly how much time would elapse between the 20th year of the reign of the Persian ruler Artaxerxes and the year Jesus would present himself as the Messiah. I am accustomed to doing research—it is part of my job. So I researched history books to confirm the dates of Artaxerxes’ rule and the dates of Jesus’ ministry. Finally, I concluded that this Bible prophecy had come true on time and that it must have been inspired by God." -Dr. Céline Granolleras, former atheist (http://bit.ly/1dNnE8I)


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Then you must accept God's failures and stupidity in his bad designs on the human body. We piss out of the same hole we fuck with. Our appendix is useless and can become inflamed and kill us. We breath through the same pipe we swallow food with so that we may accidentally choke on our own food. Giraffes have a nerve that goes from it's head down it's neck and back up to it's head and is only for it's head... and millions of other biological misdesigns... as for all your other quotes, I have done sinilar research and come to different conclusions, why is this that a supposed former atheist becomes a christian when a former christian, myself, becomes and atheist? You must realize that claims are just that, claims, until evidence is produced. And those that want to ignore the evidence or refuse to understand the evidence seek to hold on to the ignorance of blind belief merely for comfort or control of others who believe blindly.

Your statements are unconvincing, I am still waiting for you to produce evidence not claims. You failed.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

I sincerely doubt you've perlustrated the Bible's many prophecies as Dr. Granolleras did.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

That's your biggest problem though, Joe, is you make these really STUPID assumptions, the biggest fallacy of all time. Rather than asking questions to get your answers you assume that there can't possibly be any other answers. I already told you I used to be a Christian, I already told you that I have studied the Bible, what do you think those studies included???

One. was the Historical accuracy of the Bible = very few, kind of as historically accurate as any modern day fiction is written about current events. As well as bad interpretations of events, like Exodus.

Two. Scientific Accuracy of the Bible = none

Three. Prophesies of the Bible = failure

Four. The morality of God = bipolar homicidal narcissistic = None

The main prophesy failure that let's me dismiss the Bible out right is Jesus saying that within the lifetime of those who had written the Bible he would return. It's been over 2000 years and he has yet to return, that is over 40 lifetimes give or take a few lifetimes where Jesus has failed to return. And if you watched any of the videos I posted you would also know why I don't believe Jesus even actually lived.

Name a prophesy I will show you how it failed.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Not to mention that the existence of Jesus as an actual person is in question since there is no mention of him in any records during the time that he lived other than in the bible itself or afterwards from people who could never have known whether or not jesus was an actual person, hear say is not evidence.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Name a prophesy I will show you how it failed."

I accept your challenge!

Take Daniel 9 :24-27 wherein it is prophesied that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and Messiah would appear and thereafter be murdered ; afterwards the city itself along with its holy place would certainly be destroyed.

Prove it failed.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Do you know what a self fulfilling prophesy is? As for a messiah, that never happened, and finally how many places have seen total destruction and reconstruction.... that's hardly a prophesy. And since when is jerusalem not there?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

Then PROVE it failed.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Then PROVE it failed."

First it would be nice to know the criteria by which you're judging it to have been fulfilled. Because if that criteria is merely "what the prophecy said would happen happened" than Art will only be able to disprove some of the prophecies in the Bible.

There would have to be a much better criteria than it merely 'coming true' to establish that it is supernatural in origin. Here, I'll borrow a tactic from you and copy and paste the criteria from the Iron Chariots wiki:

It must actually be a prophecy. Not a documentation of events that is misinterpreted as a prophecy after a similar event occurs later.

It must be written before the events that it predicts.

The predicted events must actually occur.

The prediction must be both falsifiable and verifiable.

It must not be overly vague.

It must not predict a likely event.

It must not be self-fulfilling.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Define prophesy and tell me what the difference is between that and a plan. Because if you plan to destroy something and call it prophesy and then succeed does that mean it was a prophesy and the prophesy was fulfilled? Because if that is what you are talking about, that is not a prophesy and you'll have to come up with something that was actually a prophesy and not a plan. Otherwise I am a prophet because my prophesy is I will be going to hang out with at least one of my friends today and we will have fun.... does that make any sense to you?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

A prophecy is the prediction of a future event. In this case Daniel 9 :24-27 prophesied that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and Messiah would appear and thereafter be murdered ; afterwards the city itself along with its holy place would certainly be destroyed. It reads as follows -

24 “Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.

25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

26 And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off, and shall have nothing; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war; desolations are decreed.

27 And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

With respect to the beginning of the prophetic seventy weeks , Nehemiah was given authorization by King Artaxerxes of Persia , in the twentieth year of his rule , in the month of Nisan , to reconstruct the walls along with the city of Jerusalem . ( Nehemiah 2 :1 , 5 , 7 , 8 ) In his calculations of the reign of Artaxerxes , Nehemiah evidently made use of a calendar year that commenced with the month Tishri ( September-October ) , as does the Jews’ present civil calendar , and then concluded with the month Elul ( August-September ) as its 12th and final month .

To uncover the period corresponding to the twentieth annum of Artaxerxes , we must go back to the conclusion of the reign of his father and forerunner Xerxes , who perished in the latter part of 475 B .C .E . Artaxerxes’ accession year accordingly initiated in 475 B .C .E . , and his very first regnal annum is counted from 474 B .C .E . , as further historical facts tell us . Thus, the twentieth annum of Artaxerxes’ rulership would correspond to 455 B .C .E .

The prediction states there would be sixty nine weeks of years “from the going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Leader .” ( Daniel 9 :25 ) Secular history , in conjunction with the Holy Bible , presents proof that Jesus visited John and was then baptized by him , thus becoming the Anointed One , Messiah the Leader , at the start of fall of 29 C .E . Computing back from this point in the historical past , we are able to determine that the sixty nine weeks of years commenced in 455 B .C .E . In that year the pivotal “going forth of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem” occurred .

What's so extraordinary about all of this is the fact that Daniel dates the outset of his book as “the third year of the kingship of Jehoiakim the king of Judah .” This is to say, 618 B .C .E . , Jehoiakim’s third year as tributary king to Nebuchadnezzar . And so , hundreds of years well in advance, Daniel’s prophecy pinpointed the precise year of the Messiah’s coming . Almost certainly the Jews in the first century C .E . had made such computations based on Daniel’s prediction and so were watchful for Messiah’s appearance . The Holy Bible declares : “Now as the people were in expectation and all were reasoning in their hearts about John : ‘May he perhaps be the Christ ?’” ( Luke 3 :15 ) Whilst these were anticipating the Messiah , they, needless to say, were not able to calculate the specific month , week , or day of his advent . This is why , they puzzled over whether or not John was in fact the Christ .

Gabriel additionally informed Daniel : “After the sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off , with nothing for himself .” ( Daniel 9 :26 ) It was soon after the conclusion of the ‘seven plus sixty-two weeks ,’ basically three and a half years later , that Christ was cut off in death on a torture stake , sacrificing everything he was , as a ransom for humanity . ( Isaiah 53 :8 ) Facts tells us that the Jesus invested the initial half of the “week” in the ministry . At one time , in all probability in the autumn of 32 C .E . , he presented an illustration wherein Jewish state was portrayed as a fig tree ( cf. Matthew 17 :15-20 ; 21 :18 , 19 , 43 ) that had borne absolutely no fruitage for “three years .” The vignaiolo told the proprietor of the vineyard : “Master , let it alone also this year , until I dig around it and put on manure ; and if then it produces fruit in the future , well and good ; but if not , you shall cut it down .” ( Luke 13 :6-9 ) He might well have referred to the duration of his very own ministry to that indifferent country , which ministry had persisted by this time for at least three years and was to carry on into a fourth year .

It was subsequently after the 70 “weeks ,” but nevertheless as an immediate consequence of the Jews’ rejection of Christ in the course of the 70th “week ,” that the incidents described in the latter portions of Daniel 9 :26 and 27 were brought to fruition . History documents that Titus the son of Emperor Vespasian of Rome was the commander of the Roman armies that besieged Jerusalem . Like raging floodwaters, these legions stormed Jerusalem devastating the metropolis along with its holy place, the temple. The presence of these pagan legions in such a sacred place indeed made them a “disgusting thing .” ( Matthew 24 :15 ) Every single one of the Israelite's endeavors leading up to Jerusalem’s waterloo to calm the circumstances were ineffective simply because God Almighty’s decree was : “What is decided upon is desolations ,” and “until an extermination , the very thing decided upon will go pouring out also upon the one lying desolate .” (Daniel 9 :26 , 27)

Prove to me that this was a false prophecy; prove that none of this actually happened.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Prove to me they did.

Prove to me Bigfoot doesn't exist.

Prove to me that UFOs don't abduct people.

You can't prove that which did not happen or never did exist.

As for prophesies, like I said, if I am a warlord and I read in the Bible that a city will be destroyed what is to stop me from not making that happen?

So many claims, so little evidence.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

Did you forget your claim? You blustered, "Name a prophesy I will show you how it failed."

I've given you a prophecy. PROVE it failed; that or retract your outrageous claim.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

I could go through your entire list of lame "CLAIMS" But I want to know in what they are are prophesies. I won't retract my "outrageous" claim because the claim that they are prophesies is what is outrageous, they are either fictional or they are full on self fulfilled plans.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

"A prophecy is the prediction of a future event. In this case Daniel 9 :24-27 prophesied that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and Messiah would appear and thereafter be murdered ; afterwards the city itself along with its holy place would certainly be destroyed. It reads as follows -"

A prediction of future events can be made by ANYONE, but what makes it a prophesy is to have some kind of knowledge no one else could have.

I can predict that you will one day get into a car accident, is that a prophesy that I couldn't possibly know? No, same with Jerusalem.

Jerusalem has probably been destroyed and rebuilt several if not hundreds of times over, before and after the prediction.... so if I say that one day you will day, is that a prophesy? No, that is a result of what happens in life. Jerusalem has always been located in a place where there have been many many wars so to say it will be destroyed and rebuilt is NOT A PREDICTION!!!!

Now prove the messiah existed and we can get on with that.... if you can prove he was a real person then I will retract. Until then, good luck, you'll need a time machine to create a messiah that actually existed.

And The Bible is not proof that a prophesy existed it is a book of claims you are using to try to prove those claims true, it's kind of sad.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 18 months ago

@Art

"Jerusalem has always been located in a place where there have been many many wars so to say it will be destroyed and rebuilt is NOT A PREDICTION!"

Strawman. The prophecy ties the reconstruction and destruction of Jerusalem specifically to the appearance and murder of the Messiah. Try again.

"The Bible is not proof that a prophesy existed it is a book of claims you are using to try to prove those claims true"

You're engaging in equivocation, a deceitful rhetorical tactic. You do realize that the Bible is a compilation of 66 distinct works recorded by 40 amanuensis over the span of some one thousand six hundred years, right? Your accusation, therefore, is as credible as me accusing you of circularity because you cite Dawkins citing Darwin.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 18 months ago from New Mexico

You really need to learn what the hell a straw man is, because apparently you don't know, and you still have to prove the existence a of messiah. And it doesn't matter who wrote the bible or how many people wrote the bible, none of the people who wrote the new testament even lived at the time of the events they were writing about and the proof is both in the contradictions between chapters and the fact that there is no evidence to corroborate the story.... there is nothing outside of the bible written at the time a messiah was supposedly alive to confirm his existence, despite the fact that the bible claims there were many scribes at the sermon on the mount there was nothing published of him during that time and the archeological findings do not match what the bible claims.

we can have this argument forever, I could show you all the evidence you desire and you'd still live in denial that your religion is false in every way imaginable.... I should know, I have been there, the difference between myself and you is I was never a hate filled sociopath. From everything you have said on other people's hubs and what I have seen from you this past few weeks I can see you don't care about the truth or anything real.

I have made repeated requests for evidence and all tou bring me is more claims and unresearchable quotes by other believers. You have nothing, and your nonsense has made me a stranger and much wiser atheist, and for that I thank you and wish you good luck, you will need it. Goodbye.

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