Ten Reasons To NOT Believe In God

For Those Who Are Truly Willing To Explore The Question

Just as there is no way to definitively prove that God exists, there is no way to prove that he doesn't.* Interpretations of the available physical evidence will always be subject to personal bias. Critical examination of “holy books” can be easily dismissed with the claim that such texts are merely "metaphorical" or "allegorical" or have been "mistranslated." Thus, we are left with logical arguments to guide us in an honest quest for the truth.

This hub is designed for people on both sides of the question. For those who believe in a supreme being, it is hoped the arguments below will encourage an open-minded and objective examination of that faith. For those who already reject such belief, hopefully they will illuminate your skepticism in new ways, and will help you articulate the logic of your position in discussions with others.

(note: Any reference to “God” below is to the monotheistic male deity of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths)

*(I've recently reconsidered this notion, and have made an attempt at actually disproving the existence of Yahweh, the deity of the Bible and Quran, in my hub "The Disconfirmed Deity")

So simple, even a child can do it
So simple, even a child can do it

REASON ONE: HE’S UNNECESSARY

The progress of human understanding has closed more and more of the gaps of ignorance that used to be filled by God. The scientific explanations for nature agree with processes and conditions we can actually see, measure and experience, requiring fewer assumptions (and fewer leaps of blind faith) than the belief that “God did it.” This is the test of “Occam’s razor.”

REASON TWO: HE’S IMPOSSIBLE TO PROVE

If God truly existed he would make it possible, especially for those who are skeptical, either by demonstration or by sound logical argument. He would know exactly what it would take to “open the heart” of every non-believer. Yet for more than two millenia the greatest philosophical and scientific minds of humanity - presumably inspired by God - have offered nothing more than circular and illogical arguments.

REASON THREE: HE’S ILLOGICAL

An omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing) God is an absurd logical paradox. He is either unable to create an impossible task for himself or is unable to perform it once created (because it's impossible). If God knows the past, present and future, these states are known quantities and God is unable to change them, and is not omnipotent. If they are subject to change, then God cannot know them with certainty, and is not omniscient. Additionally, if he knows his own actions in advance, even his free will is in question.

REASON FOUR: HE’S UNORIGINAL

The idea of God(s) has changed in form and number over the millenia, from many to few and eventually, to one. As numerous mythologies have come and gone, borrowing and discarding from each other along the way, only the generic idea of deities has persisted. This suggests not a single, specific eternal god but a fluid and evolving human imagining of the supernatural.

REASON FIVE: HE’S TOO MUCH LIKE US

Every aspect of the mythology of God is limited by human circumstance and understanding. Like humans, he is jealous, vengeful, misogynist and cruel. Like humans of the time, his “holy” books reveal an extremely limited knowledge of the physical universe. Like humans, his religious identity is geographical, depending largely on one's nation or culture of origin. This sounds like a god created in Man's image, and not vice versa.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?      Epicurus
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? Epicurus

REASON SIX: HE’S INCOMPETENT

He abandoned his innocent and ignorant first human creations, Adam and Eve, to be corrupted by a talking (?) serpent in the Garden of Eden, then blamed them for their failure. When their descendents went further astray, he killed them all and tried again with Noah's family. When their descendents failed as well, he sacrificed his son to assume the debt of their failure. How many fixes does an all-knowing and all-powerful God need until he gets his human creation right?

REASON SEVEN: HE’S INCOHERENT

If God truly existed, he would speak to each of us personally, clearly and conclusively. He would not rely on fallible priests, rabbis and mullas to represent him. His “holy” books are ambiguous and full of contradictions and inconsistencies, and there are countless contrary religions and denominations, suggesting a human, not divine, origin.

The truth is so much more spectacular than the myth
The truth is so much more spectacular than the myth

REASON EIGHT: HE’S ASLEEP ON THE JOB

According to the religious texts of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, God used to personally intervene constantly in human affairs through miracles, commandments, etc. He spoke clearly to some in his own voice or, more often, through angels. This was millenia ago, and any supposed witnesses or participants are lost to history. Now there is only silence, and prayers go unanswered.

REASON NINE: YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN OTHER GODS

With regard to most gods, you consider it perfectly normal and rational to not believe, and your skepticism is well-placed. Yet for one reason or another, you've chosen to set your skepticism aside and accept one particular deity as genuine. If those believers in other myths are mistaken, perhaps you're mistaken in your belief too.

REASON TEN: YOU DON’T REALLY BELIEVE IN HIM, EITHER

God is supposedly an all-pervasive deity who sees your every action and knows your every thought, and he decides your eternal destiny in either Heaven or Hell. Given the stakes, this should be the overriding concern in every moment of the life of every believer. Is it for you?


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Comments 323 comments

Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

And the sooner everyone knows this, the sooner we will develop as the human race :)

Good hub, some mistakes, like the God is illogical bit. He is, I agree, but not for the distinct reasons that you mentioned.

The idea of being able to do anything includes breaking logic. By this standard, it is logical to say that he can do both create something he cannot do and do it at the same time. This goes for the other points such as knowing his own decisions and not being able to control them. By definition he can do anything, the only time you can say "he can't" do something is in the context of "He can do something that he can't".

So the illogical part is the part where he can break logic. The most illogical thing that can be said. Every other example of what he can or cannot do is just a follow on from that fundamental fallacy, but if you take that fallacy to be true, the rest is all logical.

Just nitpicking, but detail is key to the truth ^^

Well done on your Hub :)

Have a Good evening,

Philanthropy,


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Philanthropy, while I would argue that God cannot be exempted from logic any more than anyone else, I agree that's a minor issue with regard to the main premise. And I do appreciate your positive reply. Thank you!


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 5 years ago from The Land Up Over

Hello Paladin

While I believe that the three faiths you mention (jewish, christian, muslim) have gotten it wrong, some thoughts. (offered only as my opinion)

1 God is unneccessary. The science does not eliminate the necessity for a cause that started the universe in motion, though I accept that does not point to god as described in the three faiths. Hawkings has said that because the reality prior to the bang is impossible to determine it is therefore irrelevant. This does not eliminate the notion that there was a cause. (and of course, not every scientist, rationalist or atheist believes the big bang is more than a theory).

Also, if the big bang is in fact just as formulated, it is a unique event, one time occurance in the universe. The probability that it occurred is 100%, even though spontaneous generation of matter in a vacuum is considered low probability. Clearly the universe's beginning was an extraordinary event, so I'm not sure 'simplest explanation' applies.

2) Impossible to prove does not mean does not exist. And faith doesn't require proof (by most definitions, though some make a difference between 'ordinary' faith and blind faith) Just saying item 2 is not a compelling reason not to believe to someone who has never required proof in the first place.

3 to 8 All good reasons to reject religion and the definition of god they provide, but not (I would submit) as compelling reasons to reject the existence of an entity that was capable of some of the things the religions were trying to get at. (creation for example)

9 A sound argument. Why should one deity be more believable than another?

My only reponse to that is the old elephant analogy. All religions are an attempt to describe the one reality. Some have inklings of the truth, but all have been contaminated by the point of view of their human founders and adherants trying to understand the unknowable. I don't know that someone who picks one religion over another is rejecting an actual deity. Since one cannot be proven, at best they are rejecting a description of a deity. (or dieties)

10) This is my favourite point. I am constantly perplexed by people who talk themselves out of the importance of their faith. I know so many who tell me how important their relationship to god is, but skip the rituals (sunday church) because of some earthly item, (game, day off, don't feel well, Super Bowl, etc.) Well observed.

Thanks for writing.

cheers


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

@AntonOfTheNorth

I seem to be under the impression that Stephen Hawking has claimed that he has proof that the universe could have been created without a creator? The proof of course is complicated haha. What he cannot prove is whether it actually did happen that way, although the work at Cern is trying to change this so that we can determine the atmosphere before the big bang?

I can only predict that neither of us are physicists here, so we're both way out of the water, but it's worth a spiel anyway? :)


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Anton, thank you for your thoughtful comments.

As for argument #1 ("unnecessary"), my application of science to the gaps of ignorance was, I suspect, much broader than yours. Still, the Big Bang is an excellent single case in point, for even there science (for example, in the guise of quantum fluctuations) is just beginning to address the possibilities of an explanation.

In particular, you made some excellent observations regarding argument #2 ("impossible to prove"). However, my emphasis with that point was toward the NON-believer, who requires proof, not with the believer, who doesn't.

Also, while I tried to make my arguments as persuasive as possible, I must repeat again that none are offered as proof.

Having said all that, I am grateful for the time you took to examine and analyze my thesis. Thank you!

p.s. I love your avatar.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

I am now following you, Paladin....because my head is spinning and I expect YOU to un-spin it! (kidding) ...You have my attention (even though I looked over my shoulder before writing this) This "trip" for me all started with amy_marie5..and it's STUCK somewhere that I'm wrestling with. Until I clear the webs....I just want to say....I LIKE #5....which would make us all, GOD. I'll be back!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, fpherj! I don't write very often, but when I do I'll try to ensure that it's worth the wait. :-)


Knowing Truth profile image

Knowing Truth 5 years ago from Malaysia

Hi Paladin, admired your observations and courage to write a controversial subject, well done and I follow you now!

By the way, Buddhism believes in gods (small capital letter and plural), but not one mighty God.

According to Buddha, gods (or sometimes called deities, devas or Brahma) are beings stay on other planes of existence, where the human eyes are unable to see.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Indeed, there are still religions with more than one god. For instance, I once dated a Pagan who, as I recall, worshipped two gods: male and female (with the female predominant).

Still, given the overwhelming presence of Christianity in the United States (my country), and my own familiarity and history with that religion, I chose to focus on that god.

Thank you for your comments, Truth!


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 5 years ago from The Land Up Over

@ Philanthropy,

With his latest book, he has stated he is comfortable with the belief that there is no god. Fair enough.

Critics of the book aren't convinced he has proven the scientific explanations he is supporting either, so I would be surprised if he has 'proven' that there is no god/God/gods.

But I don't have the math either.

cheers


AntonOfTheNorth profile image

AntonOfTheNorth 5 years ago from The Land Up Over

@Paladin

Thanks. I like bears. Cute and deadly all at once!

cheers


SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 5 years ago from NJ, USA

Great to see you here too! Love this one - should promote quite a lot of debate!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Simey!


EddiePenetti 5 years ago

You could take each of the ten reasons and simply change them a bit and make them the same reasons why we can't disprove a supreme being.

It is hilarious to the extreme, for people to pretend as though they know the answer from either direction (no offense Paladin -- you're one of millions who are pretending to do this).

The information that's built into things that exist is so vast that there are no human words to describe it. To think that extremely the limited intelligence in mankind (even all of the intelligence combined) can result in them claiming to know absolutes is again, extremely hilarious.

Not even remotely possible...but do keep trying, we all need a little comic relief from time to time.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

@EddiePenetti,

Do you disagree with axioms?


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 5 years ago from United States

I definitely think that with a greater awareness of history, comes a greater understanding of the use of religion and deities. If you don't know much about history, it's easy to think that the god that's around now is the only god ever and is the 'right' god. But once you start researching older religions and you learn how they have been changed and combined to suit the needs of humans, it's pretty obvious that none of them have any real weight to them. At least, not any more weight than the Flying Spaghetti Monster. One could argue that primitive groups of humans, isolated from each other, will come to the god conclusion without exchanging notes, but such a thing isn't proof that deities exist, but rather, is proof that human's default on an invisible pack leader when faced with the unknown. Great hub!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Eddie, you don't need to change my arguments a bit, for I never claimed to be able to "disprove" a supreme being. The items I listed are not intended as "proof" either way, though I think they're pretty convincing. They're ten logical arguments offered with the intention of persuading the reader toward a particular point of view. That's not proof.

As for the "information built into things" being so vast that man can neither describe nor understand it, I have no idea what you're talking about. But I suppose I need a good laugh too.

M.T., I agree that the more one learns -- not just about history, but about humanity -- the more one realizes that religion is bunk.

Thanks to everyone who commented.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

@M.T

You bring up a very good point, humans naturally sort themselves into packs (tribes, clans, families) and so there is evidence that it is in our very nature to actively seek for an authority figure.

As children we usually find that in our parents and elders, when we're told by our physical authority figures of an even greater, even wiser power that even they fear, it would seem almost unnatural to not jump on the bandwagon. The boss of your boss, is definitely your boss too.

This seems to change as we grow older and more independent though, we no longer seek for authority figures and in fact often want to become them. This is probably why (along with the fact that it's seemingly illogical) religion does not see that many converts at adult ages (9.1% for Christianity).


Charles Webb-it profile image

Charles Webb-it 5 years ago from Edmonds,WA

Hey Paladin nice writing.

You do realize a Paladin is a Holy Warrior dedicated to preserving the church and Gods standards. just thought i would mention it.Perhaps you were being ironic intentionally.


Darrell Roberts profile image

Darrell Roberts 5 years ago

Very interesting hub. I think we as humans are trying to create God in our image so we could feel more secure in our beliefs.

The free will argument does make reason six questionable. God allowed his creations to make their own choices, they chose to go astray. Is it fair to call God incompotent because the created chose to not to listen.

Well just food for thought.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

@Darrell Roberts

God created us with the intent that we would go "astray". After all, he is omniscient :)


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

@Charles Webb-It

A paladin is also someone who fights for what he believes in, so it could also be that Paladin is passionate about things?


Charles Webb-it profile image

Charles Webb-it 5 years ago from Edmonds,WA

philanthropy

That's not the definition of paladin.your reaching...A paladin is a holy warrior/knight supporting all standards and preserving and protecting the church and GODS will.


Charles Webb-it profile image

Charles Webb-it 5 years ago from Edmonds,WA

philanthropy-

CORRECTION-your right..i apologize.i did some research. My experience with the word paladin has always been a holy warrior in charge of protecting the church and gods standards. I didn't realize there was alternative definition...man these topics take wild turns sometimes...LOL


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

Haha it's okay, I accept that there might be a religious definition too since over history it's been common for people to fight for religion and their beliefs ^^


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I'm glad you guys sorted that out. I'd hate to have to change my name! ;-)


Charles Webb-it profile image

Charles Webb-it 5 years ago from Edmonds,WA

LOL sorry i just caught my self laughing at myself...


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

YOU'RE BOTH WRONG!!!! "Paladin," was played by Richard Boone in the late '50's Western Series, "Have Gun Will Travel." C'mon guys.....get serious!!


Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

A good hub Palidin;

I think you missed a few such as;

Throughout time there have been thousands of gods. However the followers of all of these gods have fared no better or worse than the followers of the others. Likewise there are billions who either are simply atheists or follow an atheistic religion, such as Buddhism, who have gotten on just as well as the most devout of any theistic religions.

In other words gods are irrelevant even if they do exist.

Using religious books as proof of a god;

The religious books are so full of holes that they hold no great truths. For the most part they are claimed to be true based only on themselves. The problem is that most of those who claim to interpret them simply fill in the holes by claiming that they say something other than what is written. “The bible says such and such but it really means this and that.”

No; a book, any book, says what it says and if it is proven wrong that doesn’t mean that one can rewrite it to plug the holes.

If the Bible, or most any other religious book, were to be written today it would never get onto the best seller list, probably would never find a publisher.

Finally; the idea that belief in gods is a universal “naturally occurring” part of the makeup of man.

Well; no, there have been any number of groups / tribes who never had any belief relating to a god. People also have worshiped countless things that aren’t held to be gods by the terms that theistic beliefs do. Again they have gotten on just fine without gods.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

You are a fool.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

@Borsia

You're completely right! I still don't understand how religious texts can be taken as proof of anything in the modern day :S The fact that the Bible has been interpreted in so many ways really questions the value of the principles it teaches anyway. Homosexuals, condoms and ethnic minorities have all seen the sharp end of the interpretational knife.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

@WD Curry, There's no need for that :(


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Philanthropy, I didn't reply to WD because I wasn't exactly sure to whom he (or she) was referring. If it was to me, it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Not that I have no regard for what WD has to say (I do), but that it's long been one of my principles that when you make public statements you must be prepared to defend them and/or accept whatever reactions you may inspire. Of course, not everything is acceptable, but being called a "fool" is relatively mild.

I've been called much worse. ;-)


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

No I didn't get who it was to either, but no one should be insulted on hubpages D:!


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

A place for intellectual sanction!


Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Paladin; When someone breaks down to the 5 year old's reaction of simply calling names they are saying that they have no intellectual argument.

Its like the old saying that when you drag Hitler into your argument it means you have lost.


Knowing Truth profile image

Knowing Truth 5 years ago from Malaysia

1. As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, even so the wise are not ruffled by praise and blame.

2. Conquer anger by love. Conquer evil by good. Conquer the stingy by giving. Conquer the liar by truth.

Cheers


gconeyhiden profile image

gconeyhiden 5 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

Paladin is no fool WD40 in the beginning there was fear of the dark, creation myths and religions helped filled the void and try to make some sense of mans place in the world not science. this is why religions always have a hard time with scientists breaking new ground. look at Gaileo and Darwin. they fear becoming trivial. that means losing power and the hold they have on people. a missionary once tried to get me to accept Jesus as my savior. He wanted to know if I was afraid of dying. the key word is afraid. I told him he has the wrong guy, not a snow flake in hells chance. I heard the pope say to scientists that they could look into the creation of the universe but not too closely. what's He afraid of??? thumbs up!!!


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

Just so you know Gconeyhiden, the argument of "well since you can't think of anything up, It must be God" is called "The God of Gaps" argument. (It is widely unaccepted).


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

The Bible says,"Only a fool says in his heart that there is no God." It is not name calling, it is a state of being.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

The Guide says that god disappeared in a sudden puff of logic.

There are lots of books, any of them that fall back to name calling are equally intellectually bankrupt.


Philanthropy2012 profile image

Philanthropy2012 5 years ago from London

I second that! The Bible is not a fact book.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Good enough reasons. It will still ultimately boil down to faith I suppose. How people keep faith with such a world as evidence I have no idea


chuckbl profile image

chuckbl 5 years ago from Scotland

Interesting post :) For your amusement I have written a hub on Jediism! Hope you like it :) http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Jediism-Th...


Cranfordjs 5 years ago

No one can bring a rational argument against any of your numbers 1-10. Very nice hub, it has a slight philosophical twang to it, also!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

Here's a fact from the Bible. It is better to sleep on the roof, than be warm and dry under the roof with a contentious woman.

My guess is you have never read the Bible and have no idea what it really is.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you for your positive comments, Cranford.

WD, I again don't know to whom it is you're speaking, since you didn't specify it in your comments. If you're speaking to me, I must inform you that your guess is wrong. I have, indeed, read the Bible, some parts of it many times.

If, on the other hand, you're referring to someone else, my apologies.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

How about that Ezekiel. He was a trip! How would you like to have him comment on this hub. He would be a real consternation to you. Get it? He "became a consternation" to the stiff necked, unbelievers in Israel.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

WD, since I doubt ol' Ezekiel has internet access, perhaps you can speak for him? ;-)


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

In Florida, we call that "dredging" for a comeback.


Steve Orion profile image

Steve Orion 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Great Hub, each point as valid as the last. I'd think that if there was some sort of creator of the universe and of all life, we'd be born with an intrinsic sense of Him and grow up not having to be told of God, but already knowing full well. Voted up, keep writing!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Steve!


Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

A good point Steve. Theists claim that a belief in their god is natural.

But tribes who never heard of their fables rarely develop a monotheistic belief system if they believe in any gods at all.

Most will attribute powers to the "spirits" of animals they respect for certain abilities or have no gods at all, only a respect for nature.


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

Here's a guy with no internet access. I'll give him some.

From Wankan -Tanka, the great mystery, comes all power. It is from Wakan-Tanka that the holy man gets his wisdom and the power to heal and to make holy charms (art). Man knows that all healing plants are given by Wankan-Tanka, therefore they are Holy. So too is the Buffalo Holy, because it is a gift of Wankan-Tanka

Flat Iron (Maza Blaska) Oglala Sioux Chief

This is from his surrender speech to the American Army. He wouldn't think much of your ten reasons. Give it some thought.


Healthy Pursuits profile image

Healthy Pursuits 5 years ago from Oregon

Sorry, Paladin, but you've got it all wrong. If God exists, God is not a "he". Why would God need a gender? To reproduce? Oh, wait. Maybe that's why there are so many! :)

Good hub. Obviously thought provoking.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 5 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, Pursuits!


EddiePenetti 4 years ago

Do you also go by the name "David Bowman" on HubPages. I ask because your writing and your replies to comments are remarkably similar to his. The only difference is that when he gets comments he thinks are strong against his disbelief theories, he removes them instead of answering. I know this for a fact because he did this to some of mine I posted using my other comment-contributor username. None of mine were offensive or attacking either, he just apparently felt they were too strong in the opposite direction from his theories, to leave them up or to answer them. He likes to come across as a true debater but...


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

No, I'm not David Bowman, though I do follow his hubs. However, it appears that he no longer writes hubs or comments.

I promise not to remove comments unless they are extremely abusive or spam. So far, that hasn't been a problem. Welcome to the hub!


paralegalpro 4 years ago

Paladin: Reason Six is perhaps the most compelling to me. I could never understand why a god would create a deeply flawed being and then blame that being for its flaws. It doesn't make a bit of sense of to me. Excellent hub.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, paralegal!


GodlessHeathen profile image

GodlessHeathen 4 years ago from Arizona

The biggest reason is, God is just pretend

http://www.squidoo.com/god-is-just-pretend


Matthew Kirk profile image

Matthew Kirk 4 years ago from Liverpool

Agree that the reality is so much more interesting than the myth!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

You left one out, "It is what you need to do to be accepted by me and this crowd."

Or, did you cover that when I fell asleep?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

On the contrary, WD -- I accept you, no matter how misguided you may be. ;-)


X the unknown1 4 years ago

I think this is a good hub. I'm still searching, but definitely do not believe in any of the gods of the big three religions. As for people calling names and trying to refute logical arguments by using a holy book, I can only assume that's the best they can do because they themselves aren't too good in the logic department. Just sayin'.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, X. I also did a lot of searching, until I finally realized I was asking the wrong questions. I wish you great success!


meanpeace 4 years ago

It seems there is an error right from the start on this one. So first things first before we get to the "10 reasons".....

If you are alive, there is your proof. How be it so that everything is preprogrammed? Does time or repetition own this programming of things? Time is of human measurement and repetion even has a programed momentum to try again. Evolutions momentum would have to be programmed. Or else why would it try again? So your being alive is not only proof of God, but is also proof that preconception is paramont.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, meanpeace, your argument is a perfect reference to reason number one: He's unnecessary.

We currently have enough scientific understanding of the evolutionary process that an assumption of "preprogramming" of human life is no longer necessary -- or even viable. It is no longer necessary because we have other, more sensible and demonstrable explanations for human existence.

And such an assumption is untenable because even the most rudimentary grasp of evolutionary theory includes an understanding that the process produces MANY, MANY more failures than successes. I've heard it said more than once by experts that more than 90% of the species that ever lived are now extinct. If evolution is "preprogrammed," then apparently it is preprogrammed for horrific failure. And if God is the "programmer," he'd better go back to school.

As for your comments regarding time, I don't understand what you're trying to say, so I don't know how to respond.


meanpeace 4 years ago

How can you prove that something does not exist, by saying its not needed? That doesn't make sense. An example given was your parents. The title here on this hub pursues your argument is the belief.  In the case of the example of your parents, they are no longer needed, yet you exist. So we know at one time, they were not only needed but exsisted. Because your exsistence is proof of that. So that's like saying that you don't need to believe in them anymore cuz you can take care of your self now, so then you can justify saying that they dont exsist.  Yes indeed that is confusing yet obviously false. Because it obviously displaces the fact that they indeed exsisted and you are the proof.

And who is the "we"? You mean humans. Humans can only understand what is revealed to them. That being said how can you say that something does not exist simply because you can't see it. Especially If we know things exist despite wether they are revealed or not.  Like the game Peekaboo i see you. What is covered up doesn't disapear, its just covered up. Like peekaboo Mommy and daddy never went away they just covered your eyes. 

Science is observation. It is not a provider or a reason. To think otherwise is a "belief" in itself, and thus bieng the case would be like a mormon and a jew arguing over doctrine. Science hasn't provided anything. Collectively it shows us proccess, thats about it.  The passing of knowledge is what gives you what you have today, that you did not have yesterday. The creator of knowledge owns knowledge, we just use it. A "believer" in God simply gives credit to the creator. A non believer gives credit to what? A rock banging together by some unkown force that exsisted before, the force needed to create something in the first place even exsisted...... Yikes that is dredfully faulty. 

A watch doesn't put it self together, someone has to make it. The maker had a plan and manifested it. The maker didn't throw all the parts in a bowl and by random chance shake the bowl until the watch magicaly assembeled its self. And what the heck throw in some lightning and gas n stuff for dextarity too. That is what i meant by time. That would require time. Of course im speaking about the time needed for "evolution" to take its course. Wich is what millions of years har har? The point there is, something, has to have the force to proceed. Or else the chance of evolution would have halted and we wouldn't be here if we are a product of "evolution" only. How can the force that initiated any alleged "natural" occurance that gives way for evolution only, have the drive to try and try again. Obviously evolution can't get it "right" the first "try" otherwise it wouldn't be evolution, wich requires repetition by mere definition. You see "something" had to have "desire" to repeat and repeat again.... Furthurmore even if evolution did have desire to repeat and repeat again, that momentum had to be put into place by "something".

 We have the understanding that we are given, this understanding changes, wich still gives no reason for momentum of life.  If you want to believe that a watch was assembled by the parts bieng magicaly manifested by chance and then by more chance, assembled by whirling about and colliding to be perfectly assembled, go right ahead. But its logicaly unsound to say its truth. You are proof that God exsists, just as a watch is proof that its maker exsists. 

Aww we are making head way I see. Yep there is entropy. Everything breaks down and dies. It has to dude, Earth is only so big. What would Earth look like if nothing died. I get a feeling it would at least violate mans maximum capacity health/fire code standards to say the least. Insert emotion and blame to God here if you'd like. But the fact remains that life is in place no matter the circumstances. Sort of resembles unconditional love eh? That's why us "believers" aknowledge Gods grace etc. We could fall victim to non exsistence physicaly and spiritualy but we are given opportunity otherwise. 

 You mentioned many many failures.... So what or whom gave the momentum for evolution to try again then? Science or did nature have a design to. That precisely is the point. God is that momentums delegator. His choices are irrelevant to his exsistence. Just as you or i wouldn't be a perfect parent or child, God so is intitled to do as God pleases like it or not.


meanpeace 4 years ago

1. Here you assert that knowledge is valuble, as so much it is more valuble than the creator of it, and its users. As its capacity is also magnifyingly attractive. A mind full of crap is just as valuble as a mind full of beauty. To think otherwise only feeds ego. "UNNECESSARY" is like saying that your mother or your father, are unnecessary. Indeed they may now be just that. But examine the correlations there.......... 

Scientific explanations are valid for observing functions. We can observe functions all day, does that give reason for the function........

No, it gives reason for more..... or other functions. Why is it that more functions are wronfully considered reason. 

What is there to assume? Something created us, right. If we came from mere mater without "conception", than why evolve in the first place.. Let alone over and over again. And why the "sudden stop". We are not evolving, we discover or adapt the things around us. In essense im telling you that yes " science" exsists, yes it makes oberservations about observations. That's about it. 


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Meanpeace, you begin your last paragraph with the question, "what is there to assume?" Yet your entire commentary is chock full of one unsubstantiated (and erroneous) assumption after another. So many, in fact, I'm not certain I can address them all without seeming to drone on myself. But I'll give it a go...

You begin by assuming that the purpose of this hub is to "disprove" the existence of God. It isn't. As I've explained to others, the intention of this hub is to PERSUADE, not to prove or disprove.

Next, you assume that the existence of one's parents (something that is quite easily demonstrated) is somehow an equivalent analogy to the existence of God (something that has thus far proven impossible to demonstrate). As I've explained time and again, my argument is that God is no longer needed as an EXPLANATION, because there are now much more plausible explanations available.

You continue to insist that I am "proof" that God exists. But your own example undermines your argument. I am proof only that my PARENTS exist -- or existed at one time, and I can provide you with all sort of documentation to support this contention. You, on the other hand, are left completely empty-handed in trying to support yours.

Next, you assume that somewhere I've stated that "something does not exist (sic) simply because you can't see it." I challenge you to locate in anything I've written, ANYWHERE, where I've made such a ridiculous statement.

Next, you assume that science is merely "observation," and that it "hasn't provided anything." Yet you couldn't possibly be more WRONG on both counts. Science is MUCH more than observation -- It is the most consistent, objective, logical and successful method for investigating nature that mankind has ever found, and has provided far too many benefits to humanity to list here.

Next, you assume that there is a "creator" of knowledge. One can only speculate how in the world you have the foggiest notion this is true (though I suppose I could make a few assumptions).

Next, you assume that I could somehow believe that a watch was "assembled by the parts bieng magicaly (sic) manifested by chance..." I don't know of ANYONE who could or would embrace such an idiotic notion. To suggest this of a non-believer is a most offensive strawman argument, and you should be ashamed for even trying to use it.

A rationalist -- which is what I consider myself, among other things -- understands the difference between a mechanical machine and a living creature capable of genetic reproduction. Again, the analogy you've chosen is laughably inappropriate.

As for our discussion of evolution, you've assumed my emphasis on "failures" and "successes" referred to individual living things. It didn't. Just as evolutionary theory focuses on entire SPECIES, my argument referred to the failure and success of species, not whether a single being lives or dies. Entropy has nothing to do with it.

Next, you assume that God is the "delegator" of the momentum of evolution. But this is based upon yet another assumption -- that the evolutionary process has some sort of predetermined goal or direction -- the desire to "try again," as you put it. But it doesn't.

You also assume that "we are not evolving," and that the evolutionary process has come to a "sudden stop" (presumably with regard to homo sapiens). This, perhaps more than any other statement you make, reveals your fundamental lack of understanding of evolutionary theory.

The evolutionary process NEVER stops. Humans are a product of it, and continue to be subject to it, just like every other living thing on the planet.

To borrow your own analogy, it's like glancing at a watch and assuming that 2 o'clock is the only time it will ever display. However, if you take the time to learn about the watch, you'll find that it has cycled through countless hours and minutes previous to this, and will continue to do so.

Another of your assumptions is that somewhere I gave the impression that "we" came from "mere mater (sic) without conception..." On the contrary, I -- and almost every other human being on the planet (with the exception of test tube babies), am the DIRECT RESULT of "conception." My parents conceived me, and here I am. So I don't know what you're trying to assert here.

I'll conclude by returning to your final question, "what is there to assume?," which you answer with (coincidentally enough) yet another assumption, that "something created us." You assert this as if it's self-evident, which it certainly isn't.

In my own reply to this question I submit that there are a great many things to assume on a daily basis. In fact, none of us could even function without making a minimum number of assumptions each day -- but that is subject matter for another hub I'll write someday.

However, I can fairly certainly address the question of what there is NOT to assume -- that God is a plausible explanation for anything. Hence, my argument number one.

My contention is that those who objectively seek an honest understanding of the world can usually find plausible answers that are vastly superior to the old assumption that "God did it." The old mystical and supernatural explanations (including God) that once seemed so self-evident are no longer necessary.


meanpeace 4 years ago

Oh silly me, then lets convert, revert, or divert what I said about exsistence, to the.......persuasion factor then. We can marvel over the differences or lack thereof when retrospect takes its course. As you said This hub is designed for people on both sides of the question, and For Those Who Are Truly Willing To Explore The Question. So in favor of exploration lets continue. 

Im not persuaded because I find it bias. Conflicting is the omitting of the persuasion of exsistence on one side and proposing (persuaing) that another more tangible exsistence does exist on another side,  having "fewer" assumptions. 

If an assumption exsists in the first place, what is the signifigance of numerical comparisson then. How are more or less assumptions on one side or the other, more tangible. Not very persuasive....

 

Taking the stance of persuasion gives you intellectuall diplomatic immunity from having to provide tangible evidence on the part of your persuasion or er uh science's part. This is covered with a sold as is sticker saying "Just as there is no way to definitively prove that God exists, there is no way to prove that he doesn't". Basing your persuasional bias on explanation with fewer assumptions. That's tit for tat if you ask me. Im not persueded because of an explanation or demonstration of proccess. I can demonstrate love exsists yet shall it be seen. 

If no cause is evident, we are left with the effect to examine. Look at the effect of science and where its "heading", look at the effect of the belief of God and where its heading. Ask your self this,  in which capacity of the two belief systems (science "explanation" Or belief of God) would be more true. Something that came from tangible creational origin (the whole God thing). Or something that observes, and modifys according to its own prespective (science).

 Again im speaking of the direction its heading, not the proccess or fallacies associated within them.  As we are all aware science had been rewriten many times over, due to what.... Error. What is this error. Simply Incorect observation.That is persuasive to me. 

As you have gathered my point on this already im sure but for other influential eyes viewing ; Basing this all on tangibility, you imply that scientific explanation produces something more tangible. Yet we know that it doesn't. Infact we can't even see science "either". Science is a fiction that exsists in minds and on paper, just as you propose that God is fiction and with books relating to God.

You have stated "The scientific explanations for nature agree with processes and conditions we can actually see, measure and experience, requiring fewer assumptions". Using your logic, yes the belief of God can also be seen, measured, and expirienced.   Using persuation as basis, not basing on exsistence as you prescribe that could be persuasive equally.

Scientific explanations can only conclude, and that's concluding what "it" can explain. As for what "it" can not conclude, "it" can't explain...  As far as tangibility goes, explanation and belief go hand in hand. We all know the difference, with the use of science an explanation is followed by demonstration.  Its the demonstration that is tangible not the explanation.  However you persue that science's explanations are a more logical belief. The bias there bieng a belief over a belief, this is false because the pretense here is that belief is false because it not tangible. 


meanpeace 4 years ago

As you're aware, The concept of God is that God is the original creator of life, or force, or what ever "thing" that was necessary for us to haven been given opportunity to be alive today. Such is the God that i speak of. The god of a book is a god of a book. A book is a fiction and so is the god within that book. Until otherwise persueded, its more logical for me to base belief on the tangible presence of that life force  (i just pinched my self) than the intellectual or scientific observations of it. 

This is why i say the proof is that you're alive. As for assumptions im sorry i assume that your alive and had parents. Im only human.

 Im not persuaded because. Its "substantiated" that You exist. Wether its you individually or us collectively,  were designed to be created, it is substantiated. If we weren't designed to be created we wouldn't be created. If you didn't exist then yeah i could see how you could pursue that there was no God.......Everything has a design. That Also is substantiated. 

The contingency there is if it was preconcieved or not. Until you present substantial material for consideration, its is evident to me that everything is preconcieved. Im not saying there is no randomness. What im saying is that what is, has design, and designs have a designer. If you want to call that an assumption, so be it, its used by science as well.

The outcome of what happens is irrellevant, the motion of life or death etc is substantiated. In a sense this is all bicameral. Did the design exist before, or after mater was created. Holy smokes.... Either aspect requires a designer. Now that may not have persued you but it does me.

Naturally you would think any opposing view would be erroneous, cant blame you there. 

Im not persuaded  because despite what everyone around me says, i see that im alive and everything starts initially having been formed. 

 Im not persuaded because a space rock's thought (or lack thereof) at the moment of impact  either resembeled a flat line heart beat sound, or something to the effect of....oh schmit. 

The thought of a space rock or anything else having a thought (plan) before thought was even created "millions of years later" is ludicrous. 

I used you parents as an example because after,if, or when they die, what proof do you have that they exsisted? Some papers, pictures and other articles that persuasively speaking resemble other articles (holy books etc)

Your absolutely correct God isn't needed as an explanation, just like your parents arent for your exsistence. Because we know life force is evident, as even science is,  so is its creator. 

Im not done yet. Its snack time


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Meanpeace, you appear to believe that my choice of the term "persuade" instead of "prove" is some sort of semantic copout, but I assure you it isn't. The effort to "persuade" doesn't relieve one of the burden to provide facts, evidence and logic in support of his or her argument. On the contrary, it usually requires MORE.

The proof of a factual question can often be established with the presentation of one piece of indisputable evidence. For example, the question of whether my car is parked in the driveway can easily be settled with a quick glance through the window.

On the other hand, trying to conclusively "prove" or "disprove" a more abstract notion like the existence of a deity is an exercise in futility. The best one can do is try to "persuade" -- to try to cumulatively tip the scales of reason to one side or the other with the best arguments one can muster. Far from granting me any sort of "immunity" -- as you claim -- it makes my job a lot more difficult.

Thus, your complaint about "bias" seems somewhat silly to me. OF COURSE the hub has a bias -- toward a particular point of view. That's the whole idea! How can someone make a persuasive argument without exercising some sort of "bias" toward the idea he's trying to promote?

What's even more ridiculous is your flatly refusing to be persuaded merely because some "bias" exists in an argument. In essence, this is admitting that you are completely immune to persuasion of any kind. So why are we having this discussion?

As for our discussion of assumptions, I do acknowledge again that they are often necessary. Yet that does not make them PREFERABLE. When it comes to drawing conclusions regarding a particular question, I agree with Occam that the fewer assumptions, the better. Thus, to answer your question: the number of assumptions is quite significant.

I find your comparison of science and belief in God -- and the conclusions you draw from that comparison -- fascinating. Amazingly, you perceive the self-correcting aspect of science as a great weakness, when in truth it is its most magnificent strength. The quantity and quality of knowledge bestowed by science continues to grow precisely because the scientific method DEMANDS the constant challenging and re-evaluating of observations and conclusions. What you deride as a multitude of "errors," science regards as necessary steps in the honest pursuit of truth and knowledge.

On a more general note, you claim that "Science is a fiction that exsists (sic) in minds and on paper." It's true that science is a fairly broad term that can be used in a variety of ways. However, in the context of my argument number one -- which appears to more or less encompass the bulk of our discussion thus far -- "science" can more specifically be referred to as a manner of investigating nature, as exemplified by the scientific method. If a meticulously objective method of investigation can truly be called "fiction," then such a word no longer has any meaning.

You've also asserted that "Using your logic, yes the belief of God can also be seen, measured, and expirienced (sic)." That may well be true, but so what? The BELIEF in God does not equal (or prove) the EXISTENCE of God, any more than the belief in unicorns equals the existence of unicorns. So I fail to see the value of your attempted analogy.

As for your comments regarding the "tangibile" nature of scientific explanations, it's difficult to decipher what you're trying to say, and it seems a bit circular in the reading. However, what I do discern is your attempt to equate belief in the scientific method with belief in God. You observe that, for me, belief in science is more "logical," and I wholeheartedly agree. I believe in scientific explanations more because they are the product of a consistent and objective method of investigation with a proven record of reliability.

Meanpeace, you continue to insist that the "tangible presence of that life force" (including you and me) are "proof" that God exists. But you haven't demonstrated WHY this is true. If, in your example, you pinch yourself, it proves (though Descarte may object) only that you're alive and conscious.

Even if I were to accept -- solely for the sake of argument -- that you and I were, indeed "created," it still doesn't prove that God was the agent of that creation. THAT is the enormous chasm you must still cross to demonstrate the truth of your argument.

You also assert that "Everything has a design. That Also is substantiated." No, it isn't, though I'm open to being convinced.

Next, you state that, "Until you present substantial material for consideration, its is evident to me that everything is preconcieved (sic)." Yet again, you haven't demonstrated WHY you believe this is so. If I don't know the reasons for your belief, how could I possible know how "substantial" my material is required to be? In any case, given your admitted immunity to persuasion, I question the wisdom of even making the attempt.

You've presented a curious "chicken or egg" sort of question about whether matter existed before its design, or after, and you insist that either answer "requires a designer." Yet that's only true if one accepts the necessity of design implicit in the question. I don't. If the existence of matter doesn't require design (and I don't believe it does), your question is irrelevant, and is entirely unpersuasive.

The most perplexing element of any of your comments thus far has been your recurring reference to some "space rock" and some sort of impact it had with something or other. I don't have the slightest notion of what you're referring to, but I must admit having a morbid curiosity what this idea is all about. I'm sure it's a doozy!


meanpeace 4 years ago

So you can provide documents that your parents exsisted.  Now how about your great great great (you get the idea) grand parents. Hopefully you see why grandparent relate with parents so we need not go into that, but if need be I can. After all evolution is relation after relation after......yep relation. Can you produce documents about them greatest granparents? Now remember the persuasion here is that God is older that dirt, having been the creator before creation. So please go back as far as possible in your parental lineage. What's that got to do with it you might say. Again God is the original creator. So Yes you know who,  your first grandparent you have all them documents on.

 Im sure the documents might be chisled in stone or in different language etc but owell.  My empty hands are waiting for your documents.

By persuading that there is no God, you imply or assume that he doesn't exist by suggesting there is more plausable explanations. This is confirmed by the statement you made "The scientific explanations for nature agree with processes and conditions we can actually see, measure and experience, requiring fewer assumptions". So it appears like you stated that something does not exist without seeing it by implication.....Do you where you said "actually see".  Maybe that Is persuasive manipulation intended for gullable readers.....

"Science...It is the most consistent, objective, logical and successful method for investigating nature that mankind has ever found, and has provided far too many benefits to humanity to list here."

Consistent? Benefits? Method? Investigating? Sort of sounds like a governmental program to me. 

Consistent... So are my bowel movements. 

A benefit is a privilege. Privileges are given. Privileges arent inherently unalienable. Something has to give (+) to be privilege. Science uses (-) to show (+). Maybe that is why science can only demonstrate oppinion with demonstration. 

It takes a human to do the giving. What science gives in due time or never (so going by the motto) is hopefully knowledge. 

The humans pass along the knowledge, the humans build and do the whatever etc etc. And its through accumulation of knowledge wich leads to more knowledge of whatever. 

Science doesnt DO anything. I admire your faith and belief though.

Method..... So we are to believe or be persued to believe in a method versus a force? Persuasionally speaking id take the force as more "plausable". Try the bean dip though its off the chain.

Investigating....you don't have to investigate the belief in God. God is evident by bieng self evident. 

Science however is never ending investigation with a goal of what? 

What happens when everything has been "discovered" or manipulated or What then will be the hope or belief. Or .....ya catch my drift.... If i was to be investigating i would say science would speak that it will never be satisfied. On the other empty hand, i would say that God is exsisting satisfed. Corn chip?

Ok ok who made this picture on my desk. Somebodys a prankster, they drew a picture of me with rose colored glasses on. Let me further investigate.... Paper says mead....... Hmm does that mean mead made it...... Surely not cuz a big entity like mead surely wouldn't care about lil ole me enough to draw me. Sides look at this crap its not even accurate my nose is more pointy and im not that skinny...... Boy this dip is rockin. 

Seriously though yeah I do say there is a creator of everything, your welcome to prove me otherwise. Aww persuasion sweet sweet persuasion. 

Am i Ashamed to say that evolution is like a rock banging together and then sparking a plan together with the inherent structure neccesary for massly chaotic yet coincidently organized, (think preconception here lad) but just oddly enough elements and ballance essential for the ballance scale of life we live in.  (think oh i dunno how about science stuff like contiguous reproduction and its fallacy that poses flaw to evolution). Nope not ashamed to think or say it. Were talking RANDOM multiplication that ended up bieng a perfect inviroment just for ever dependant life? Are you aware of the time frame and componets neccesary for such a habit to exist that have to be fine tuned and maintained. Science sys it has to be perfectly maintained to keep life yet the assumption its evolving at the same time. Talk about contridiction....  I Might even have a little onion dip too.

Scientificly speaking To multiply is to increase. This pattern bieng random would have to repeat like a lot of times bro, to finally "take". Pop goes the weezle 

Ya dig. 

So thats why i gave the metaphor of a watch swirling. The whatch having a maker. Swirling about represent the many times it takes to assemble it. The ole evolutionary jackpot. Ya catch my drift...

I see you fancy reproduction. That's cool. Got 2 kids myself. Its nice to be made in the image of something isn't it......... Okay then smartie pants replace the watch with i dunno a organism.  Bieng contiguous, hows it sopposed to evolve from one extreme to the other? Organism bieng an elleged first "creature". An organism mates with like mates. Like is simular. Puts a damper on the ole evolution thing. So Rock to walk (us) don't make much sense using sciences explanations. Like X becoming Y if X has only X to work with. 

Rock to walk Hey that's got a ring to it.....

Especially without us seeing like creatures. Yeah you can show me a picture of gorrila boy likewise someone could show you a picture of God. To say everything died off is awfull convient on the part of science as well .... My that cave boy looks frozen. Wonder if it knows an organism is his grandfather. Tis would Be nice to have the documents to confirm it.

The Cosmolgical constant and all of sciences theorys all hang on what. A support system. We can go into what support is and its role, or a supporter and how fine tuned it (life as we know it) must be in order for this three ring circus we live in to keep from being sucked into a vortex of chaos, but you seem pretty intellegent so must we go there.... 

More to follow, i know the anticipation must be overwhelming.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Sunkentreasure, I just did something I didn't believe I'd ever do on one of my hubs: I deleted someone's comments. I struggled a bit with the decision, but finally concluded that the poem you posted -- "The Beauty Of God's Love" -- was nothing more than spam. So I've removed it.

If you have constructive, relevant comments, then of course you are more than welcome to add them to the discussion. But please don't spam.

In any case, thanks for visiting.


Ryan McGill profile image

Ryan McGill 4 years ago from Omaha, NE

An excellent presentation. The truth of the matter is that the burden of proof does not lie on those disproving something; rather it lies with those trying to prove the existence of something. There is just no proof, end of argument. A fun read though!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, Ryan!

I apologize to everyone for the length of my comments, as I try to keep brevity in mind whenever composing my hubs. However, some of the comments to which I've replied have been so incredibly long that it's impossible to satisfactorily address them without engaging in equally lengthy comments myself.

Thanks again for your complimentary comments!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Meanpeace, it appears we may be finally making some sort of progress. Your initial contention -- so many, many paragraphs ago -- was that I was "created." Now it seems you're at least conceding that I can demonstrate my conception by my parents. You've now retreated to demanding evidence of THEIR conception, or their grandparents' conception, ad infinitum, attempting to demonstrate that at least someone, somewhere down the line was "created."

Perhaps you'll discern that the re-adjustment of your argument tends to support my argument number one. Your initial explanation for my existence was that I was "created." Mine was that I was conceived by my parents. My explanation, easily demonstrated with evidence, requires no assumptions. Your explanation, in the absence of evidence, continues to require multiple assumptions:

1) that God exists

2) that I was "created" and

3) that God is responsible for that creation.

Now, with your attempt to hold your argument together by extrapolating endlessly into the past, It appears that even you are beginning to realize my explanation is more plausible. You may, indeed, be open to some sort of persuasion, after all.

With regard to another point, I did, indeed, say that scientific explanations agree with things we can actually see and measure. Being able to see and measure something for yourself certainly makes it easier to support or confirm any particular claim.

But I never, EVER claimed (or even implied) that if you CAN'T see something, it means it doesn't exist. I wouldn't apply such a ridiculous standard to God any more than I would to quarks in an atom or a black hole in some distant galaxy. And I never have.

With regard to your most recent claims regarding science: It does, in fact, "do" something. It provides an objective, logical and consistent framework within which we can investigate nature. I don't know which "force" it is to which you're referring in your comments, but odds are that science has provided a pretty solid explanation of that force and its behavior.

Midway through your most recent comments, you've offered another nugget that seems to be extremely revealing regarding yourself in particular and theistic apologists in general:

"you don't have to investigate the belief in God. God is evident by bieng self evident (sic). "

Earlier, you accused me of seeking some sort of semantic immunity with my choice of a particular phrase. I daresay it would appear to any reasonable reader that, with the phrase above, you're seeking some sort of immunity from logical argument. God is evident by being self-evident? That's like saying the sky is blue because it's blue! How does one even challenge such an impenetrably circular argument?

You follow that statement with a re-iteration of an earlier point that is also very revealing (because you draw the wrong conclusions):

"...i would say science would speak that it will never be satisfied. On the other empty hand, i would say that God is exsisting satisfed."

Exactly! This illustrates the great strength of science and, conversely, the great weakness of religion. Science CONSTANTLY seeks new truth and knowledge, and is never satisfied. Thus, it is always vibrant and growing. Religion, on the other hand, proceeds from the assumption that the truth is already known, and is more than satisfied to remain stagnant and lifeless.

As for your most recent comments regarding evolution, I still have no idea what your "rock" reference is supposed to mean. Is this some crazy theory from one of those creationist websites? I also have no idea what you mean by "contiguous reproduction." Do you mean to say "continuous" reproduction? In any case, if you feel it bears some significant relevance to the topic of this hub, I'll be happy to discuss evolutionary theory -- at least to the extent of my knowledge of the subject.

Meanpeace, I know full well why you used the watch analogy. Far and away, it's the most popular example among creationist analogies in discussions like this, and I've seen it employed more times than I can count. My complaint wasn't that you used it (though I still find it ridiculous). My problem was with your using it to make preposterous and slanderous claims about what atheists and skeptics believe.

You also still don't appear to understand the fundamentals of evolution very well, for in your most recent comments you demand to know how one organism is "sopposed (sic) to evolve from one extreme to the other." Of course, individuals DON'T evolve. Species do.

At the end of your commentary, it appears you're promising to touch upon the anthropic argument for God's existence in your future comments. This may indeed shed some additional significant light on the topic at hand, but I'll wait to see what you have to say.


Lovelovemeloveme profile image

Lovelovemeloveme 4 years ago from Cindee's Land

Wow, a very interesting hub. I was a little concern to click on your hub as I would think a lot of god-loving individuals may have a lot to say about your hub. A very debatable and sensitive topic which I personally, don't like to indulge in to much. Just mainly because it's one of those topics that is so broad with so many opinions. Neither right nor wrong; black or white. But i did enjoy your hub very much and i applaud some of the pointers in your hub.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you for reading my hub, and for your kind comments, Loveme. I'm glad you enjoyed it!


meanpeace 4 years ago

My comment regarding entropy was directed at what you stated ;  " If evolution is "preprogrammed," then apparently it is preprogrammed for horrific failure. And if God is the "programmer," he'd better go back to school"

Species, or "a" single living thing..... What's the difference. Even single living things would have required energy,space,time etc (design) before hand. In physics a singularity is interesting because of what comes out of it is unpredictable or its used in applications where theres no explanation.. What are the odds of just that eh......

Evolution and the whole this came from that thing wich caused this, is a major leap of faith in its self. Of course im speaking in terms of the probabilities, etc etc. Of wich science says is infinite. According to physics infinity demolishes its theories. Go to that site with videos and whatch  science vs God, how about the 9 minute range? Funny eh.

Just as the other side of this discussion has sects and functions of beliefs. Again we are discussing persuasion....But I was directing that at your assumption that Gods programing of evolution is in a course of horrific failure and that God isnt God because he didn't get it right. That assumption or implication is what i was refferencing by entropy and my example of Earth only bieng so big etc etc. 

Delegation in terms of elemental orientaion my friend. The momentum of the universe is only able to be seen in the very end. How do you know where your going until you get there. As anything can happen along the way. Im not saying that God is in the clouds pulling puppet strings on everything or assinging duties. God may or may not be. Only God would know what God does or did. Point is that God is the original creational designer that delegated elemental orientation. If evolution is responsible for creation why does it move its stance so much or why does opinion vary umung scientists. It says its not this its this that causes this or does that. Wich is always moving or changing. Yet somehow fine tuned. Rather odd and iconsistent......

But avoids the obvious question where did these or that come from. Wheres the explanation when things are moved er uh excuse me, evolved. In a sense it doesn't explain nothing because collectively as far as enough data goes, the data is always changed or given some mysterious unexplainable by something new or random. Science is doomed by tactical evasion for explanation. Dang that's got a ring to it too.

So how is that persuasive. Um I will pick the side that is pretty consistent with its standing of origin.........God

A rationalist eh? So you do believe in commitment. Because it produces something right. (+) theres good ole (+) again.

Anyway so you believe in the infinite randomness, mutation, some carbon, oxegen and other stuff coming together somehow how out there in infinate territory,  by what, and for the mutation to do what. Turn to some other unexplainable thing. If you believe that Randomness, statistics, and the laws of physics are what created all this than That's cool. But one thing from them 3 still leaves one. You can't pinpoint randomness, statistics change and physics is trying to figure out what happened. So yeah science is there, but as for tangible reason why things are like they are its lacking. Science is trying to figure out this physical world, yet we are discussing something that doesn't exist in the same world. Im speaking of the original creative hierchy of evolutionary creator God the creator. How is random rational anyhow ya know. Randomness wich is embraced and the core glue that holds evolutionary theory together.  It is need for the math to correspond with the theory. 

Theres a common assumption that says God is sopposed to interact. Oh yeah says who? Does a creator of an enigine do the repairs. No that's where science comes in or eh mechanics. Science is assumed to be self refuting. Yet that obviously depends upoun things around it. They are ever changing. So what kinda crap is that, shall we believe of proof that changes all the time. Science is autonomous in subject. Science says what is this all about. If you remove that question, it brings science to a halt. So ask your self this what is God all about. Almost persueded?

God, is proof that Something does come from nothing. Common assumption on sciences part is that it doesn't. Yet science will insist there is infinite insert whatever here. Of course this only comes into play with mathmatical formulas and things unexplainable by science, how convenient for sciences accountability and for its at the moment views.

When Newton discovered the "law of gravitation" he said that it was intellegent design and wrote a book called Principia Mathmatica. Of wich expresed wish or message from newtons book bieng, that the reader of that book be a thinking person who believs in God. How do ya like them apples..... 

There is social or cultural dogma associated with the belief of God. 

Here lts important to remember that science is based on faith. Trusting that its done on evidence but initated from a belief , Evidence based faith. 

Will be right back after a word from our sponser.....

Appologies for the long responses. But we must remember the magnitude of the discussion we are having.


iamakid profile image

iamakid 4 years ago from Philippines

i believe every individual has their own perception of God :)


belleart profile image

belleart 4 years ago from Ireland

Good hub, I had my concerns clicking into it at first but overall, it's quite a rational look at the God myth. I have always found my self a disbeliever and put most of my faith in the world that I see around me, things that can be proved.


meanpeace 4 years ago

It occurred to me that i forgot to address the creator of knowledge. Sciences very core belief tries in its very eforts to find this creator of knowledge. Im not speaking about some mystical force with a secret code, that only it knows and distributes upon its own descression, that created the brain to house the forbiden knowledge yada yada. Again, Im speaking of the evolutionary original creator that initiated the inherent knowledge neccesary for continual reproduction and or evolution from there forth. Only that original creator would have the full scope of data conclusive to the original mater (first original thing created) and the relations needed to adapt for modification or the evolutionary sequential dependency upon the previous exsisting host mater. Hope that helps you some.

As far as my comment regarding that we have not evolved. Im doing a toe and finger count as well as physical facilty inventory of wich is compared to early "known" human formation. I will admit as i have aged my muscles have grown weak and i am losing the hair upon my head. Is this the evolution you speak of. 

As far as physical evolution of wich science accounts for "proof", we are still walking and talking using our original known facilty. If you are speaking of how we evolve intellectually or how we adapt the things around us, that does not classify as evolution as per this discussions topic and its ramifications. Again your persuasion that God is not needed as the belief anymore is preceeded by the persuasion that God is the original yada yada here. The Mental facilty cannot be pre measured (the 1st original human mind for a scientific control is missing), as far as modifying exterior surroundings or using tools for such, that's not evolution that is simply survival adaption and frankly to me personally it confirms the exsistence of a inherent internal desire to change. Anyway That can only be manifested by the manipulation of external components around us etc etc. Sure we can produce something that was initiated through mental facilty and then introduced internally. But a pill or a prostetic limb is not inherent genetic evolution. Niether would be the act of cloning etc etc. as that requires an external deviated scource. Please do inlighten my ignorance on the THEORY of evolution on this brother.

Im still adressing you first response to mine, also i haven't addressed any of the topics reasons past #1 yet so bear with me as my personal "time" allocates. 


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you to iamakid, belleart and naimishika for taking the time to read my hub and offer comments.

As for meanpeace, I'm afraid another lengthy commentary is in order (again, my apologies to everyone):

Meanpeace, in your most recent comments, you stated that "Evolution and the whole this came from that thing...is a major leap of faith in its self (sic)."

I can understand why you think that way, for you earlier asked,

"Species, or "a" single living thing..... What's the difference?"

If you can't grasp the difference beween the radical transformation of a single being and the evolution of an entire species over numerous generations, then you certainly can't comprehend any other aspect of evolutionary theory. If you did truly understand evolution, you'd realize it doesn't require much of a leap of faith at all.

And I never "assumed" that God doesn't exist because he "programmed" evolution so horribly. I don't believe in God. Nor do I believe that evolution has been "programmed" in any way. I was being hypothetical, speculating on the argument YOU made, which suggested that he did. Notice that I began the sentence in question with "IF..." (In other words, IF what you say were true, these are the implications...)

You also begin a question, "If evolution is responsible for creation..." This is yet another misunderstanding on your part. Evolutionary theory is an explanation for the origin of species. To the best of my knowledge, it makes no assertions about anything being "created" -- certainly not with regard to species.

On what do you base your assertion that evolutionary theory "...avoids the obvious question where did these or that come from." I've seen plenty of explanations for the evolution of particular species. Yes, it's an obvious question, but it's just as obvious that the answers are readily available if one is willing to look. But then, one must actually be willing...

You've also made a few more assumptions about what it is I believe. You suggest such things as " infinite randomness, mutation, some carbon, oxegen and other stuff coming together...(sic)" It appears what you're trying to refer to here is abiogenesis.

I honestly don't know if abiogenesis is how life on this planet originated (which has nothing to do with evolutionary theory, by the way), but it seems a pretty plausible theory. MUCH, MUCH more plausible than the idea of some imaginary guy in the sky blowing into the dust and creating a fully-formed human being -- which is what you believe if you subscribe to the Biblical account. Which it seems you do. Talk about a gargantuan leap of faith!!

I actually laughed out loud a bit when I read your surprising question that begins,

"Theres a common assumption that says God is sopposed to interact. Oh yeah says who? (sic)"

Are you kidding me? Have you read the Bible or the Qur'an? Have you listened to a religious sermon? Have you ever prayed? The Old Testament alone is FILLED with stories of God interacting with mankind -- either directly or through angels. Coincidentally, this brings us back to my reason number 8.

Next, you suggest that I ask "what is God all about?" Indeed, I've already done this, and have been doing it for years. In fact, it's one of the reasons I'm now an atheist -- because I asked myself that question (and many others), and honestly and objectively contemplated the answers. I sincerely suggest that you ask yourself the same question and follow my example. You may discover that my "Ten Reasons To Not Believe" are suddenly lot more compelling.

You've stated that "God, is proof that Something does come from nothing." Yet God CANNOT be "proof" of anything if his own existence is not proven. For example, telling me that leprechauns are proof of something makes absolutely no logical sense until you've first demonstrated to me that leprechauns exist.

You offer the example of Isaac Newton, a brilliant physicist who believed in God, as if he were some sort of trump card that settles the argument. Coincidentally, I've often offered him as an example myself -- to demonstrate that belief in supernatural nonsense has nothing directly to do with intelligence.

You can be the most brilliant human being that ever lived -- and I would argue that Newton was indeed that -- and still believe in the most preposterous notions. Newton also believed in pseudo-scientific rubbish like astrology and alchemy. All this demonstrates is that --brilliant and intelligent as he was -- he wasn't always right.

In your most recent set of comments, you assert that "Sciences very core belief tries in its very efforts to find this creator of knowledge (sic)." I disagree with your assessment of science. I've never seen a single example of the scientific method assuming and seeking out any "creator" of knowledge. However, if you can provide such an example, I'll happily reconsider my own take on the matter.

As you return once again to evolutionary theory, you reaffirm your belief that the evolutionary process has some sort of preconceived goal or direction-- that there is some set of designer "data" necessary for adaptation or modification for some evolutionary "sequence." But there isn't -- at least not within the scope of natural selection, which is actually the specific evolutionary theory to which we've be referring all along.

Mutations and adaptations aren't designed or directed toward achieving any particular advantage. They simply occur. If environmental circumstances change, those mutations or adaptations may provide an advantage or disadvantage (or they may not have any effect at all).

Over time, those with the beneficial mutations or adaptations reproduce and flourish, while those without (or with harmful mutations) die off. If enough mutations are passed along through descending generations, the newest members of the species may actually have changed enough from their ancestors to be considered a new, separate species. My goodness -- I've just provided a basic explanation of evolutionary theory!

And to answer your subsequent question: No, the intellectual "evolution" of an individual is not the evolution to which I've been referring. You originally brought the subject up, and it's clear from your references thus far that we're both talking about evolutionary theory as it applies to species (though you don't always appear to understand it as such).

You've also capitalized the word "THEORY" in your final reference to evolution. I can only assume you're trotting the old creationist canard that evolution is "only" a "theory," while not understanding that the word has a much different -- and more significant -- scientific meaning than in its more conventional use. It is much more than a "guess."


Ishkonspooge 4 years ago

Paladin,

I agree 100% with you regarding your nonbelief in a god.I have never been a religuous person but i have always been hesitant to fully commit to an aetheistic stance for fear that if there is a remote chance that there is a god i will undoubtedly be punished for my nonbelief.Such a childlike rationalization but nonetheless the reason i have allowed this issue to fester for so long.Your writings have really instilled in me a sense of confidence and conviction to once and for all put this lifelong religuous dogma issue to bed for me.I have read many other articles promotimg the idea of nonbelief but none have had as much a positive effect such as your ideas.Your clear articulation for your beliefs are very compelling.I will be visiting this site regularly.Keep up the great work!


Ishkonspooge 4 years ago

Please excuse my typo for the word "religious".


scotty 4 years ago

Paladin, great debate! Here's my thoughts.

I think a particular misconception about evolution that people find hard to swallow or understand is that it's random. How can the beauty and complexity of life be random!

The way I understand it is that evolution is quintessentially not random, because it's the random mutations that don't survive. A mutation that develops due to environmental factors will. Evolution, for me (and many others), is such an elegant and simple explanation for where we came from (not to mention proved correct with physical evidence) that when confronted with a theory such as creationism, I feel I'm left with more questions rather than accepting the answer "God did it".

Another crucial factor in understanding evolution is attempting to understand the time scale, which is huge (somewhere close to 4 billion years I think?). The best analogy I've found is this; If you were to hold out your arms, straight and horizontal, and imagine that your left fingertip was the moment life started and your right finger tip is the present day. On this time scale, we'd have nothing but primitive bacteria up until your right shoulder. Dinosaurs arrive around about your elbow and the first mammals just past your wrist. The entire history of the human race, including the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and everything else would be erased in the single brush of a nail file.

We didn't just pop into existence, and there was enough time for our world to become so beautifully complex.

So, the religious may revise their original statement and say "ah, urm, well god created that first bacteria..." or "god designed the big bang". This may be true, I certainly can't prove otherwise, but surly we owe it to ourselves, to our intelligence, to at least attempt to come up with an alternative, evidence based, theory.

Personally, I'm a complete non believer. I think it's such a privilege to be alive at such a time where I can go on the internet and learn about what our scientists are achieving (such as CERN, I wish I was clever enough to explain what they're on the brink of discovering) or educate myself to understand how life evolved or debate topics such as this.

To be honest, I think that any intelligent debate would cast away the notion of specific religious institution, such as Christianity or Muslim, pretty quickly and get to the juicy philosophical questions that really are worth asking.

Lastly, my main beef with religion is the harm it causes. Issues such as gay rights or equality for women are issues that religion actively challenges. The latter in particular is a serious serious issue! Society is only going to improve if women have the same educational opportunities as men. An educated women is less likely to have lots of children at a young age, and more likely to aspire to provide their children with a better environment and further education. Nothing could be more important. A religion such as Muslim and (to a now lesser extent) Christianity that harbor such policies against equality shouldn't be beyond reproach, they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a school and certainly shouldn't have spaces reserved for them in a government!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you for your kind words, Ishkon.

Yes, fear is a great motivator, and there is no greater threat than eternal punishment in Hell. It's very difficult to abandon this dogma, for we're brainwashed with it our entire lives.

But whenever you find yourself struggling with this fear, just remember that there are other religions, each with their own threats for non-belief. Islam threatens that, if you don't follow the doctrines of Mohammed, you'll go to Hell. Hinduism threatens that if you don't follow the Vedas, you'll go to their Hell. Zoastrianism threatens that if you don't give thanks to Ahura Mazda, you'll go to their Hell, and so on. They can't all be right. But they can all be WRONG.

As for not being 100% certain regarding the question of God's existence, that's entirely reasonable. That means you -- like me -- are an agnostic with regard to KNOWLEDGE of God's existence. But atheism refers to BELIEF -- you either believe in God or you don't. I don't believe in God, therefore I'm an atheist. And so are you.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you for your excellent comments, scotty!

I'm not certain that you're correct about random mutations not surviving. I suppose that, according to Darwin's theory, even random mutations can offer some advantage -- or disadvantage -- regardless of external environmental factors.

I even considered including something like that in another post after my last comments. But like you, I'm no expert on evolutionary theory, and I didn't want to turn this discussion into a debate over evolution. So I left it alone.

In any case, I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding the harm religion does, and I find it extraordinarily coincidental that most of the major religions are very misogynistic. That perhaps tells you more about the origins (and predominance) of religion than anything else.


scotty1985 profile image

scotty1985 4 years ago from India

I've been inspired by your hub paladin. This is my first time on the website and I have now made my first hub which expands on my views above.

http://scotty1985.hubpages.com/t/32b4eb

I'd be interested to hear your critique.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 4 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you for humbling compliment, scotty. I'm happy to be an inspiration for anyone!

I've read your first hub, and have left my critique there. A good start!


Kieran 3 years ago

It's weird, when I look at science, like Isaac newton, Einstein, Planck, Edison, Faraday, Pasteur ( don't get me wrong, I do not I include myself with these names !!!), all I see is God. Even the master of deceptive theories himself ( Darwin ) had no doubt that God was all around. I look at a blade of grass, and see intelligence, not chaos. Newton once wrote " in the absence of all other evidence, my thumb alone, convinces me of God". There is so much intelligence, and design in nature it is amazing. Maybe look into science a bit more mate, before you go using it as proof God doesn't exist.


Kieran 3 years ago

To date, no one has witnessed any lifeless chemicals arranging themselves into complex information-bearing bio-molecules needed for life. The odds of just one single protein molecule (in all its mathematical complexity) being arranged by chance has been calculated at 1 in 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000. However, 239 protein molecules are needed for the smallest theoretical life.

It is ironic that many people refute beliefs of Christianity on the basis of lack of supportable evidence, but happily turn to ‘theories’ of evolution, never once questioning – where is the evidence?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Kieran, there is plenty of evidence that supports Darwin's theory of evolution. It is reinforced not only by a wide variety of scientific disciplines, it's actually observable. It's something even the non-scientist can witness for himself. If you've "looked in to science" as much as you suggest you have, I know you'd discover that for yourself.

From what you've said here, the essence of your argument for the exstence of God is that there are things we can't explain. But that proves nothing (and I'm sure even brilliant scientists like Newton understood that). To be compelling, such an argument must essentially include two premises:

(a) that there are phenomena that are unexplainable

(b) that God is the best explanation for these phenomena

Unfortunately, every time a believer like yourself tries to present this argument, they never get farther than (a). And even that premise fails more and more often as the phenomena that were previously "unexplainable" become explainable (like evolution now explains the diversity of life).

We have a fellow here on HubPages who's put a lot of time and effort into promoting premise (a) of this argument. He's filled paragraph after paragraph of scientific jargon telling us why we can't explain all the complexities of the DNA molecule. Naturally, this all seems very impressive for those who are already predisposed to agree with his argument.

Yet all he can do to promote premise (b) is to speculate that God is the reason for our intelligence and understanding. No proof. No consistent logic. Only an assumption that MUST be accepted for the premise -- and thus the entire argument -- to hold any water. Thus, despite all the effort, in the end his argument is no more compelling than when he began typing.

Kieran, I suggest you consider the doubt you now hold for the theory of evolution. If you apply only a fraction of that skepticism to the notion of God -- and do so objectively and honestly -- I'm certain you'll find that facade begin to crumble before your eyes.

I wish you good luck!


Spikology 3 years ago

I just stumbled across this Hub and I found it very insightful. Regarding #4 He is Unoriginal. Some people, like me, use this as a basis that He is real, meaning that how come so many people, from cultures that have never crossed paths, still believe in something so similar. Some say that this is because we are all born with original sin, therefore it is an instinct in all of us to worship (thought there are many differences, too).

As for Him changing, I think your argument is against religion, not God on that one.

Keep up the good work!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 3 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you, Spikology!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Except for the reality that the myth “that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form"(this fiction: http://bit.ly/18b2Jxe http://bit.ly/12K0jnv) is shorn of any demonstrable , quantifiable , empirical , testable or replicable evidence . The reasoning here is this requires millions upon millions of years - which absolutely no one has actually observed since , well , it needs millions upon millions of years. Nevertheless the fossil record , which ought to demonstrate a string of infinitesimally progressive adjustments from one being to another over a course of millions of years , reveals the complete opposite . . . but it’s anticipated that ( one day , someday ) the “missing” fossils of those intermediate species are going to eventually be discovered . In short , the only evidence for evolution is the presumption of evolution . If that's not lunatic fringe circular thinking , just what is ?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Indirect evidence is frequently and reliably depended upon to ascertain the reality of the world we live in . As a case in point , it's long been widely-used to show that our Sun generates power via nuclear fusion , hydrogen is present on it or that the our planet features an iron core . In like manner , creation as well as the reality that not a one of fulfilled Bible predictions has at any time been completely wrong constitutes unquestionable attestation for the reality of it's composer , Jehovah God .

This is, by far the most persuasive logical reason why millions upon millions of rational people today the world over accept the Bible as the Inspired Word of Jehovah God. Simply no other book – religious or not – comes with such an illustrious prominence. Considering the fact that it's literally ** impossible ** for any person to foresee with complete precision what's sure to occur from one hour to the next, there's no two ways about it: Bible prophecies are not of natural origin. I kindly invite you to examine for yourself numerous examples of these accurately fulfilled prophecies: http://bit.ly/1d0Y82v


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, there are plenty of examples of "intermediate" species in the fossil records. Unfortunately, creationists consistently keep changing their criteria of what they will accept as examples.

For example, if a fossil representing something "intermediate" between species A and B is discovered (let's call it species A.1), creationists then insist that, instead of ONE gap between species A and B, there are now TWO gaps -- between species A and A.1, and between A.1 and B.

In the end, what creationists truly expect is some concocted combination of two separate species -- for example, the infamous "crockoduck" (which is now, rightly, used to ridicule such foolish creationist notions). Of course, anyone who actually understands evolutionary theory knows this isn't how things work.

Actually, there is plenty of evidence for Darwin's evolutionary theory -- and not just in the fossil record -- for those who are willing to look beyond their theocratic delusions and examine it objectively.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, you begin your second comment by referring to "indirect" evidence as a reliable and frequent tool of discovery (incidentally, our knowledge of the sun's fusion is from DIRECT -- not indirect -- evidence). Judging from your first comment's diatribe, I wonder if you're as generous when it comes to "indirect" evidence for evolutionary theory.

Your assertion that "not a one of fulfilled Bible predictions has at any time been completely wrong" is absolutely absurd, and I must admit I actually laughed out loud when I read that. The Bible is FULL of predictions and prophecies that have no relation whatsoever to reality.

As for your link to the Jehovah's Witness site, it contains far too many examples of supposed examples of fulfilled prophecies to discuss all of them here. If you'd like to pick a few of what you consider the strongest examples, I'll be happy to give them a critical examination here. Or, if you prefer, I can select a few myself and examine them.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Since time immemorial , canines are and continue to be canines , felines keep on being felines and elephants are still elephants . All the more catastrophic to the theory of Gradualism is the presence chimerical creatures like the Duck-Billed Platypus , Red Panda , Hoatzin , the Spiny Anteater and the Pronghorn Antelope . Were there to be numerous animals composing a range in which , to illustrate , on one end , every single one is a little less Platypus as compared to the following until it’s not a Platypus and , on the other end , every one is a little more Platypus in comparison with the following until such time you wound up with something which was not a Platypus I’d have no option but to embrace this constant gradation as definitive attestation of evolution .

Nevertheless that’s not what we observe in any way . Rather the Platypus , as well as each one of these various other chimerical creatures , comes to us completely formed with an exceptionally distinct as well as fixed body plan .

The same is applicable to the fossil record . In spite of disinterring countless millions upon millions of fossils the world over there is absolutely no continuous , fine gradation of one particular body plan to the next . In fact , as numerous mainstream researchers as well as paleontologists have proven , the fossil record is remarkably erratic with primary types of vegetation and even beasts showing up suddenly , evincing little if any modification ( even with eons ) then simply vanishing just as immediately . Never mind the impossible chasms which exist between primary plant and animal kinds .

P.S. How does evolution prove God Almighty's non-existence?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Feel free to pick any of the numerous examples of fulfilled Bible prophecy supplied and present your refutation.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Btw, happy Friday!

If I also may, you forget that we're talking about a being, an intelligence, not some abstract, mechanical construct. As such, there's no reason why God Almighty cannot use any of his abilities in discrete measures.

What you're proposing is akin to a weightlifter who can press 450 lbs. but only 450 lbs. But that's obviously absurd. Just because he can lift 450 lbs it doesn't follow he can't lift 300, 120, or 3 lbs. or that he must always lift precisely 450 lbs.

That is to say, just because God Almighty can know everything it doesn't mean he always chooses to do so. He chooses, rather, to limit the use of this ability so as to preserve our free will.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Happy Saturday to you, Joseph!

With regard to your more recent comments regarding evolutionary theory, I believe I see where one of your errors in reasoning lies. You begin by stating that canines have been canines, felines have been felines and elephants have been elephants "since time immemorial."

However, this is not the case. To the best of my understanding, none of these sorts of animals existed tens of millions of years ago. Rather, they are descendants of other species.

Yet this descendancy isn't exactly linear, and I believe this is where your primary error lies. Correct me if I'm wrong, but you appear to believe that evolution is a linear progression of one original species to another species, then to another, and another, ad infinitum.

But that isn't the correct evolutionary model. To get a better grasp of evolution, think of a tree, beginning with the trunk and extending out into branches. As the tree grows larger, some of the branches die out completely, others continue on but change as they grow out. Still others split off into multiple new branches. Even this isn't a perfect analogy, but it's much closer than a straight line.

As for whether evolutionary theory proves God doesn't exist -- it doesn't. But then, I've never heard anyone who accepts the theory actually claim that it does. All evolution does is provide a scientific, rational explanation for the diversity of life on planet Earth.

At best, this only removes the need for a creator. It doesn't say anything about whether a creator actually exists or not. In my mind, it's a better, more sensible explanation than the notion that some unseen mystical being just "poofed" it all into existence.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, I'll have to do some browsing through your JW link that you provided. This is going to take some time, so I don't know when I'll get back on this. But rest, assured, I will, because it will probably give me fodder for another hub or two.

In the meantime, you might be interested in my examination of a couple of the more popular claims of Biblical prophecy I've already considered. For example, the "Immanuel" prophecy in Isaiah chapter 7:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Immanuel-C...

or the supposed references to Jesus in Isaiah 53:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Isaiah-53-...

As for your weightlifter analogy, I must admit I have no idea what you're talking about. I must have missed something, so you'll have to explain that one to me. Sorry.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Thank you my friend!

And apologies for the confusion. My weightlifter analogy was in refutation of Reason Three in your piece.

Likewise, since the TOE, “that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form"(this fiction: http://bit.ly/18b2Jxe http://bit.ly/12K0jnv) makes no comment on God's nonexistence it cannot serve as a rational justification for Atheism.

Finally, I certainly look forward to your efforts at presenting evidence in refutation of the numerous Bible prophecies you're in the process of perlustrating :)


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, while I now see what you're referring to with your weightlifter analogy, I still fail to see how it undermines my reason number three (that God is illogical).

Whether or not God can choose to use his powers in discreet measures doesn't eliminate the logical paradoxes of omnipotence and omniscience. For example, the issue isn't whether or not God can CHOOSE to create something so heavy he cannot lift it, but whether he CAN. It's not a matter of choice. It's a matter of ability -- of possibility.

Similarly, one cannot CHOOSE to not know something. You either know something or you don't, and this is more pointedly true if you're supposedly omniscient. If God is omniscent, he CANNOT choose to "not know" his future. He has no choice. Omniscience is a state of KNOWING, not CHOOSING to know.

As for Darwin's theory of evolution, it doesn't make the claim that "all the living forms in the world have arisen" from an "inorganic form." This is a red herring that is CONSTANTLY thrown out by creationists (and I suspect a great many of them know it's B.S., but use it anyway).

The theory of evolution doesn't make any claims about the origin of life -- only the DIVERSITY of life that currently exists. What you're confusing with evolution is actually something abiogenesis, a separate hypothesis that has nothing to do directly with evolutionary theory.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Or can God create married-bachelors, gelid cerulean stars, gelatinous diamonds, dehydrated rain or a gas guzzling electric car, etc., etc?

All in all, such questions are an exercise in the absurd because they're not logically possible. It's just gibberish.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

You mean to tell me you can't help but know Calculus, Neurosurgery, Diesel Engine Mechanics, Molecular Biology or even Infrastructure Engineering? Are you really suggesting you were born knowing everything about ... everything?

I'm being facetious, of course, but this clearly illustrates the nature of knowledge; it must be sought after and acquired otherwise it cannot be possessed.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

You are engaging in equivocation, a deceitful rhetorical tactic since The General Theory of Evolution is "The theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form."- Gerald Kerkut - ”Implications of Evolution" (Oxford: Pergamon)

P.S. Why is it you evolutionsits can't agree on your definitions? (You have the same problem with "species.") If you can't define what evolution is, how can you prove it's veridical?


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, with regard with your first and second comments in your latest group of three, we're not talking about what WE know. We're talking about what GOD knows. God is supposedly omniscient, so he has no choice but to know EVERYTHING. By definition, if there is something he does not know, he is NOT omniscient.

THAT is the logical paradox. It is not "jibberish." It's a paradox created by asserting that a being is both omniscient and omnipotent. The fault lies not with those who point out the paradox, but rather with those who create it in the first place with such ludicrous assertions.


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, you speak of equivocations and deceit, yet this is exactly what you've done in your most recent comments. To begin, you've essentially plagiarized (almost verbatim) the argument of Jonathan Sarfati (a young earth creationist), from when HE quoted Kerkut!

When I read your Kerkut quote, I immediately suspect "quote-mining" -- a well-known deceitful tactic used by creationists. Essentially, it's when someone purposefully takes a quote out of context to support his or her argument or position.

Here is Kerkut's quote regarding the definition of "General" evolutionary theory as you presented it in your comments:

"The theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form."

Now, here is the LARGER quote from Kerkut, suggesting that your selected definition isn't all it's cracked up to be (with my emphasis in all caps):

"...On the other hand there is the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form. This theory can be called the " General Theory of Evolution " AND THE EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS IT IS NOT SUFFICIENTLY STRONG TO ALLOW US TO CONSIDER IT AS ANYTHING MORE THAN A WORKING HYPOTHESIS."

Even if Kerkut's explanation of the "General Theory of Evolution" were an actual definition, it would still be HIS ALONE, and not authoritative. But he isn't offering a definition. He's explaining that it's a HYPOTHESIS for which there is INSUFFICIENT support!

The problem is, I don't know whether you knowingly engaged in the deceit yourself, or whether you simply relied on another, who engaged in the deceit. If it's the former, shame on you. If it's the latter, at least now, you know.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

If by Omniscient you're claiming God has to know everything that's going to happen whether or not he chooses to know it then, obviously, God Almighty is not Omniscient.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

What do you mean "it's not authoritative"? Are you suggesting there's some kind of official global tribunal that adjudicates what is and is not scientific orthodoxy? Because if there isn't, you're argument has no purchase whatsoever.


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

It means that one scientist's chosen definition doesn't, by itself, overturn a definition widely and commonly accepted by experts in the field (not to mention definitions found in common dictionaries, which are, themselves, an authoritative source).

In any case, the point is moot, isn't it, because Kerkut WASN'T establishing a definition of evolutionary theory, as you falsely claimed. He was simply explaining that "general evolution" was a hypothesis to which some subscribe, without sufficient support.

So, the question remains: Did you knowingly lie about the Kerkut quote, or were you innocently and ignorantly relying on somebody else who did?


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Friday!

To answer your question, neither because Kerkut was, in fact, commenting on one of the many definitions of Evolution. Your criticism, therefore, is a Strawman and a very bad one at that since that definition is what I and many like me were taught in school as gospel.

Btw, how are you coming along with your analysis of the prophecies I presented as examples of the Bible's non-naturalistic origins? I'm curious to see what you've come up with :)


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Happy Saturday, Joseph!

On the contrary, my criticism is quite relevant, not only because Kerkut's explanation is NOT the conventionally accepted definition of evolution, but because you CONTINUE to lie about it by claiming that it was the definition that was "taught in school as gospel."

This, of course, is blatantly untrue. It is NOT the definition that is taught as "gospel" in schools, and I honestly don't know how you believe you can get away with such a lie, when it is so easy to debunk with an examination of any standard high school biology text.

Now you're beginning to backtrack, allowing that it is only "one" definition among many. But that's certainly not the characterization you offered when you first quoted Kerkut. As you may recall, in your earlier comment, you presented it as THE definition. In fact, you were so confident in that "definition" that you presumed to call believers in evolution deceitful equivocators because they contradicted it.

However, as my expansion of the Kerkut quote illustrates, it doesn't offer a scientifically acceptable definition of evolutionary theory at all. And Kerkut makes no effort to present it as such, beginning with a semantic qualification:

"This theory CAN BE CALLED the " General Theory of Evolution...(my emphasis)"

He then continues to explain that it is nothing more than an alternative "working hypothesis" for which there is insufficient support.

Either you borrowed Sarfati's misquoting of Kerkut knowing all this (hoping that nobody else would know the difference), or you didn't know, and proceeded from ignorance. Judging from the way you quoted Sarfati almost verbatim, and from your subsequent comments, I'm inclined to give you the benefit of a doubt and conclude that you merely (and foolishly) trusted in creationist sources.

Obviously, you selected what appeared to be the one "definition" of evolutionary theory that suited your purposes, even though it disagrees with the prevailing conventional and scientific definition.

Rather than research the issue for yourself (as I did) and go to the source, you simply trusted the authority and knowledge of others who agreed with your ideological point of view. You had no motivation to question it, because it meshed nicely with what you had already concluded.

As for the prophecies in the link you provided: Yes, I've examined them more completely and I'm ready to offer an analysis, but I don't want to distract from our current discussion. So I'll wait until we're done here.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Saturday my friend!

Let me clarify further. "Evolution" is a catch-all for everything from "simple change" to "the original primordial soup" to "molecules-to-man evolvement" and everything else in between. As such, when you claimed earlier, that "Darwin's theory of evolution, [] doesn't make the claim that "all the living forms in the world have arisen" from an "inorganic form"" I flagged it as untrue since that is exactly what he believed.

In a famous letter he wrote to his friend and botanist Joseph Hooker he theorized that, “[The original spark of life may have begun in] a warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, lights, heat, electricity, etc. present, so that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes.”

That said, I don't for a moment believe you were being maliciously mendacious, just that you made an honest mistake (provided, of course, you don't insist on defending your original claim).

Given all the flip-flopping evolutionary theory has experienced since Darwin, though, I can hardly blame you for your innocent gaffe :)


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, that's NOT what Darwin believed -- even according to your own quote from his letter to Hooker. Your own version of the quote admits that Darwin theorized that the "original spark of life MAY have begun..."

That is speculation, not belief. Moreover, a more accurate quotation of Darwin's letter to Hooker reveals that it was even more speculative than your own version suggests (with my emphasis in all caps):

"...It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are now present, which could ever have been present. But IF (AND OH! WHAT A BIG IF!) WE COULD CONCEIVE in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, &c., present, that a proteine compound was chemically formed ready to undergo stillmore complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed...(sic)"

Darwin is clearly speculating on a possibility that even he admits is a "big if!" To further accentuate the point, in another correspondence with Hooker, expressing regret over a particular "Pentateuchal" term he used, he observed:

"...It is mere rubbish, thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter..."

Clearly, Darwin only speculated about abiogenesis (the emergence of organic materials from inorganic sources), and even observed that such speculation -- at least in his time -- was "mere rubbish."

Darwin NEVER claimed that abiogenesis was a fact, and it was certainly NEVER part of his scientific theory of evolution. And, contrary to your other assertions, it is NOT part of the scientific nomenclature of evolutionary theory taught in schools.

So, no, it's not a gaffe on my part -- innocent or otherwise.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

So the Miller-Urey experiments of the '50's had absolutely nothing to do with evolution, yes?


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

No, Miller and Urey's experiment didn't apply to Darwin's evolutionary theory. It was to test a hypothesis regarding the origin of life itself, which evolutionary theory doesn't address.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Looks like somebody forgot to tell the editors of this high school science textbook:

"The transition from a lifeless planet to one that teems with living things came in two stages. The first stage involved the appearance of the fist living cell from the lifeless chemical compounds that existed in the early Earth. Chemical evolution was governed by the laws of chemistry and physics.

Chemical Evolution: The Miller-Urey Experiment" - "RBS Science and Technology Series - General Science for High School I" Gil Nonato C. Santos, Jorge P. Ocampo


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Please provide a link to this text. The only copy I can find is at Google Books, with numerous pages missing (presumably, including the page with your quote, as I can find it nowhere).

Given your dubious record of quotes thus far, I'd like to check this quote myself for accuracy and context.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

http://books.google.com/books?id=g4gBK56paaEC&pg=P...

Read page 436.

I thank you in advance for your heartfelt apology.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

You CAN'T be serious.

Your previous quote doesn't even appear in the snippets available in the link you just provided. Obviously, I'm not going to comment directly on something for which I can neither establish the accuracy nor examine the context (incidentally, I'm curious to know where you got your quote if it isn't available on Google).

That said, there are some mitigating factors that suggest that your quote isn't quite as supportive of your argument as you propose. First, even though your particular quote isn't available for examination, in the pages of Santos and Ocampo's textbook that ARE available, there are clues that that their use of the word "evolution" isn't always formal scientific nomenclature.

For example, within their section on astronomy, they include a header titled "Evolution Of The Earth And Moon." Later there is a sub-header that reads "The Evolution Of Planetary Atmospheres."

It is clear that the authors repeatedly use the word "evolution" in a much broader, non-scientific sense to simply refer to change. This could very well be the case in their reference to "chemical evolution" in your quote (but since we can't actually READ the quote in its context, it's impossible to tell).

Second, there is actually text available online from ANOTHER science book by Santos and Ocampo that is much more revealing with regard to our discussion, called "Science And Technology IV.

http://books.google.com/books?id=uMdnXMo1QzEC&pg=P...

In it, the personal agenda of the authors becomes much clearer. For example, in the very beginning of the book, they explain that the natural sciences are a "gift from God."

They go on to explain that, with regard to "scientific concepts, laws, theories and principles," "it cannot be denied that all these were there even before they were discovered and it was part of God's plan to make this known to man."

Throughout the rest of the book, they use religious images and references to explain scientific concepts. For example, to explain equilibrium, they quote Psalm 132, then proceed to use the example of Benedictine monks building a church, and include in their diagram the words "Jesus is the way, the truth and the light."

Later, to explain projectile motion, they use the example of David and Goliath, quoting the story directly from 1 Samuel 17.

While none of these religious references specifically demonstrate that your original quote (assuming it verbatim) is scientifically inaccurate, they DO cast doubt on the motivations of the authors. If anyone has an incentive to undermine traditional evolutionary theory with an inaccurate, strawman definition, who more so than authors who use a science textbook to proselytize?

THIS is your proof that abiogenesis is taught as part of evolutionary theory -- as "gospel" -- in high schools? By quoting text from authors who, for all practical purposes, are on your "side?"

Perhaps I should offer some quotes from high school biology texts widely used throughout the United States (which I already have in hand) to demonstrate to you that evolutionary theory is taught NOT as you suggest, but in agreement with MY original, correct defintion. Maybe then, you could begin working on YOUR apology (though I highly doubt it).


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Google is your friend: http://books.google.com/books?id=g4gBK56paaEC&pg=P...

I thank you in advance for your heartfelt apology.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Well, I'll certainly offer an apology (though not heartfelt), dependent upon one fact: Is this the textbook from which you were taught evolutionary theory? If so, you were genuinely misinformed, and I was wrong for calling you a liar.

As for Santos' and Ocampo's texbook, they include abiogenesis (though they don't call it that) -- as suggested by the Miller-Urey experiment -- as part of evolutionary theory. But it isn't. While Miller and Urey's results have been properly reproduced, it's still only a hypothetical explanation for the actual origin of life here on Earth, which Darwin never included in his theory.

Darwin's evolutionary theory, on the other hand, is not only an observable fact, but an established scientific theory that has been reaffirmed again and again, and supported by evidence from across numerous scientific disciplines. The two ideas are simply not equivalent in a proper discussion of evolutionary theory.

As my and your examples both demonstrate, Santos and Ocampo use the words "evolution" and "theory" far too casually, and -- if my own experience and the following examples are any indication -- incorrectly.

We'll begin with an excerpt from a widely-used high school biology textbook published by Prentice Hall, probably the largest educational publishers in the U.S. (they claim to be the largest in the WORLD):

http://ocas.pearsonschool.com/ph/cd/0-13-115540-7/...

You'll find no mention there of abiogenesis or the origin of life -- only a reference to the "process by which modern organisms have descended from ancient organisms."

If that isn't clear enough, here you'll find an excerpt from the textbook authors themselves, specifically answering your argument (with my emphasis):

http://www.millerandlevine.com/ten-answers.html

"Because evolutionary theory works with any model of the origin of life on Earth, HOW LIFE ORIGINATED IS NOT A QUESTION ABOUT EVOLUTION. Textbooks discuss the 1953 studies (Miller-Urey) because they were the first successful attempt to show how organic molecules MIGHT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED on the early earth."

Or take this excerpt from the McGraw-Hill edition of high school biology (another widely-used textbook from a huge publisher):

http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072437316/s...

Again, you'll find no reference to abiogenesis, only a reference to Darwin's theory and its place in understanding biology.

Here's a definition, via study "flashcards," courtesy of the Holt-McDougal biology textbook:

http://www.studyblue.com/notes/note/n/biology-ch10...

Again, a simple definition of evolution that mentions nothing of inorganic origins or abiogenesis.

If you were genuinely taught that abiogenesis is part of established evolutionary theory, and not just a hypothesis, you were taught wrong. And for that, I'm REALLY sorry!


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

I accept your apology :)

Now, since the TOE is not germane to the question of God's existence, can we turn our attention to the results of your analysis of the various Bible prophecies I directed you to?


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

As for the prophecies in the link you provided, I must admit I was a bit disappointed, both in quality and quantity. At first glance, it appeared that there was a lot of material, which is why I waited until I had more time before I even began to thoroughly read them.

However, once I began going through them, I realized there were only two or three prophecies in each of the separate articles. And most of the prophecies are not what I'd consider significant or profound.

Some are merely mundane, like the prophecy regarding Abraham's descendents becoming the nation of Israel. Others were fairly generic, like predicting God's punishment of the Israelites for disobedience (hint: if you wait long enough, something bad's going to happen to these people and, wala! Prophecy fulfilled!).

Others, I've already addressed in other hubs, like the supposed predictions of Jesus in Isaiah 53, which I fairly demolished in my examination of the chapter.

Others don't even qualify as bonafide "prophecies," as they relate circumstances that (according to the Bible) already existed when the prophecies were made -- such as the persecution of the new (unpopular among some circles) Christian sect.

This also applies to the oft-quoted "nation shall rise against nation," (which is also ridiculously vague) and "men will be lovers of themselves and money" -- again, referring to circumstances that certainly ALREADY existed during and prior to the supposed prophecy. Which makes it not a prophecy at all.

Still others are simply inaccurate, like the prediction of Bablyon's burning (to my historical knowledge, Babylon was never burned or destroyed. It simply fell into disuse and disrepair).

Still others make a prophetic claim whose "fulfillment" hasn't even come to pass yet, such as the prediction that God will "crush all man-made kingdoms." How ANYONE can consider this a fulfilled prophecy is beyond me.

I was sincerely hoping that the link you offered would give me more material into which I could 'sink' my metaphorical 'teeth.' As I said before, I've already examined a couple of the more popular prophecies, and was hoping for more material -- perhaps for another hub or two.

But, alas, in the end, I was disappointed.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

So you want to jump into the deep end, huh? Ok:

Daniel 9:24-27 -

24“There are 70 weeks that have been determined for your people and your holy city, in order to terminate the transgression, to finish off sin, to make atonement for error, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. 25 You should know and understand that from the issuing of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Mes·si′ah the Leader, there will be 7 weeks, also 62 weeks. She will be restored and rebuilt, with a public square and moat, but in times of distress.

26 “And after the 62 weeks, Mes·si′ah will be cut off, with nothing for himself.

“And the people of a leader who is coming will destroy the city and the holy place. And its end will be by the flood. And until the end there will be war; what is decided upon is desolations.

27 “And he will keep the covenant in force for the many for one week; and at the half of the week, he will cause sacrifice and gift offering to cease.

“And on the wing of disgusting things there will be the one causing desolation; and until an extermination, what was decided on will be poured out also on the one lying desolate.”

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)

So, yet again, we see the accurate fulfillment of specific events prophesied hundreds and hundreds of years ahead of time. But just like all these you will find dozens upon dozens of prophecies held within the Holy Bible. As it's unquestionably absurd for anyone to foresee with 100 % perfection what's certain to occur from one hour to the next, there's no two ways about it: Bible prophecies simply cannot be of natural origin.

These are each the unmistakable manifestation of the transcendent wisdom of our Creator, Jehovah God.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

I will be addressing your specific concerns on Isaiah in that hub.


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

First, I must thank you for bringing to my attention a prophecy with which I'm not yet familiar. Now THAT'S what I was looking for!

That said, I immediately see a problem with the reasoning of your argument. You claim (about midway through your comments) that

"...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)”

But Daniel 9:25 DOESN'T say that. It never mentions "weeks of years" -- only "weeks." Even if we consider the original Hebrew translation, in which "weeks" is actually "heptads" -- which means "sevens" -- on what basis are you converting the word "sevens" to "weeks of years?"


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Wednesday!

Excellent question! Needless to say, the events identified in the prophecy were of such a character that they definitely would not be able to have transpired in a literal 70 weeks , or a tad bit more than sixteen months . This is notably but one underlying cause for the Tanakh , a new Bible translation published in 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society , to render the verse as "seventy weeks of years" .—See Daniel 9 :24 , ftn . The Bible—An American Translation ( 1935 ) , J . M . Powis Smith and Edgar J . Goodspeed , A New Translation of the Bible ( 1934 ) , James Moffatt and the Revised Standard Version , Second Edition ( 1971 ) , to just list a modicum of translations , also give this passage the same exact treatment .

This notion of weeks of years , or alternatively seven-year units , was well-known to Jews of ancient times . As a case in point , they observed a Sabbath annum each and every seventh year . ( Exodus 23 :10 , 11 ) On top of that it stood for the complete seven-year span , or week of years , resulting in a Sabbath annum . ( Leviticus 25 :2-8 ) Most prominently, the Jewish Mishnah over and over again employs the idiom “week of years .”—Sheviʽit 4 :7-9 ; Sanhedrin 5 :1 .


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Happy Friday!

To be sure, the Hebrews certainly did like their references to "sevens," but it could be interpreted in a variety of ways -- as your own reference to Exodus demonstrates. For example, in the very next verse, Moses offers another reference to "seven":

"Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest:"

This is a reference to seven DAYS, not weeks, months or years, and it reiterates what is arguably the MOST common (and most significant) reference to "seven" in the entire Old Testament.

My point is that, just because the writers of the Old Testament made references to seven year units in the Bible, it doesn't mean that was their intent in the verses in Daniel (especially when Biblical references to seven DAYS are much more common).

This same principle applies to your Talmudic references. What's important here -- for me, at least -- is not that Talmudic scholars made frequent references to "weeks of years" from the rest of the Bible, but rather the actual, definite translation of the relevent verses in Daniel.

This is critical to the interpretation of the prophecy -- perhaps more critical than any other issue. If, when the original author(s) of Daniel wrote "weeks," he (or they) literally meant WEEKS, there is absolutely no way the prophecy could apply to Jesus, hundreds of years in the future.

In my most recent comments, I made a reference to a translation of "weeks" as "heptads." But, unfortunately, the author who made that reference on his (or her) page doesn't provide any source material. So I've been scouring the web trying to find a more attributable resource.

Thus far, the only direct to English translations I've been able to find all translate the "weeks" in the Daniel verses as literal weeks -- which doesn't bode well for the accuracy of the prophecy (at least with regard to Jesus).

However, in the interest of fairness, and as an atheist who cares about the actual truth of the thing (heck, it's why I became an atheist!), I want to be sure I have this right. And as someone who often engages in discussions and debates with believers, I want to make certain I have an authoritative, unimpeachable source.

To that end, I'm currently searching for a direct-to-English translation of the best source material currently available for these verses, which appears to be the Masoretic text of the Aleppo Codex. Unfortunately, I've been unsuccessful thus far. But I'm going to keep on trying.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Saturday!

I admire your sincerity and reasonableness. As such I kindly caution you against committing the fallacy of Presentism, that is, the fallacy of ascribing an anachronistic definition to ancient phraseology. In order for you to successfully - and, more importantly, correctly - apprehend the passages in Daniel you need to think like an ancient Israelite, not like a contemporary 21st century non-Israelite.

Remember, as per Luke 3, the ancient Israelites were in expectation of the Messiah right around when he finally appeared in 29 CE in fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy.


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

To be certain, there really is no surefire way to ascertain WHEN the ancient Jews expected their messiah.

There is only ONE unequivocal mention of the Jewish messiah (by that specific title) in the Old Testament, and it happens to be the prophecy in Daniel we're currently discussing (the rest -- including the reference to Isaiah in Luke 3 -- are open to interpretation).

The prophecy in Daniel also happens to be, (and I could be wrong about this, as my Biblical knowledge isn't exhaustive), the only Old Testament reference to a messiah that offers any timeframe whatsoever. No other reference suggests when the "messiah" will actually appear.

As for getting into their mindsets, I think the best we can do is try to get as close to the original source material as possible. To that end, I've continued my web search for an authoritative reference. After hours of examining literally hundreds of search results, the best I can find is the 1917 English translation by the Jewish Publication Society.

As for the JPS's source, they claim their translation is "according to the Masoretic text," which presumably means either the Aleppo Codex or the later Leningrad Codex.

Here is a link to the JPS's English translation of Daniel Chapter 9:

http://www.breslov.com/bible/Daniel9.htm#25

The website also offers two comparison versions of the chapter, in the original Hebrew and with the Masoretic notations (for those who can read either):

http://www.breslov.com/ref/Daniel9.htm

As you can see when you visit the link, the English translation of the relevant verses in Daniel 9 reads literally as "weeks," not "weeks of years" or any other variant.

Until I can find a more authoritative resource that tells me otherwise (perhaps an English translation of the Apocryphon of Daniel from the Dead Sea Scrolls?), I'm going to consider myself satisfied that the timeframe of the prophecy in Daniel 9 eliminates Jesus as the messiah in question.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Concerning 29 CE we read at Luke 3:15, “Now as the people were in expectation and all were reasoning in their hearts about John: ‘May he perhaps be the Christ?’”

Do you really think it pure coincidence that their expectation of the Christ's presence perfectly lines up with Daniel's prophetic timetable (from a "weeks of years" perspective)?


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Leviticus 25:8

Douay-Rheims Bible

"Thou shalt also number to thee seven weeks of years, that is to say, seven times seven, which together make forty-nine years:"

English Standard Version

“You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years."

NET Bible

"You must count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, and the days of the seven weeks of years will amount to forty-nine years."

As you can see here, this type of creative philology was not at all foreign to the ancient Israelites.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

As for your first question regarding Luke, I don't think it's a coincidence at all. It doesn't strike me as coincidental that the authors, compilers and editors of New Testament books would try their best to make their stories mesh with Old Testament phrophecies of a coming messiah. Years or even decades after the event, they could pretty much fashion the stories pretty much any way they wished.

As for your more recent comments, it doesn't matter to me that the phrase "weeks of years"was used elsewhere in the Old Testament. I'm not saying it was "foreign" to them. What matters is what the authors of the relevant verses in Daniel meant IN THOSE SPECIFIC VERSES (which, after all, actually comprise the prophecy in question).

According to the most authoritative source I can find thus far (the 1917 JPS translation of the Masoretic text), when the author of Daniel said "weeks" in chapter 9, he (or they) literally meant WEEKS.

You earlier offered the 1985 JPS Tanach as evidence that "weeks" in Daniel chapter 9 actually meant "weeks of years" -- and it is certainly annotated that way. But the 1985 version admits it uses a wide range of interpretations, while the 1917 version is reportedly a more literal reading of the Masoretic text -- which is why I consider it more authoritative.

Again, to be fair, neither of the online copies of the 1917 version to which I have links carry any notations, so it's impossible to know if the actual printed version has footnotes referring to "weeks" as "weeks of years," as the 1985 version does. I suppose I'll have to try to find out if there were similar notations in the 1917 version.

Until then, I don't know what else I can add to the discussion.


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

To follow up on my most recent comments: I just purchased a Kindle copy of the 1917 version of the JPS translation (less than a buck on Amazon, thank goodness!), and there aren't any notations or footnotes explaining that the Daniel references to "weeks" actually mean "weeks of years."

So I don't know where that leaves us. Obviously, you prefer the 1985 version, which presumably supports your analysis of the prophecy in Daniel. And clearly I prefer to rely on what is considered a more literal translation.

I don't even know if it's possible to discover the exact reasons for the differences in interpretation between the 1917 and 1985 versions, but I suppose that is the only way to overcome (or at least clarify) the difference between our own two opposing interpretations. So I suppose it's back to researching...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Thursday!

A question, if I may. Is your focus how the ancient Israelites understood Daniel or how you understand it?


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Happy Wednesday (for those of us on the other side of the dateline)!

An excellent question! To be fair, as I recall, all the references you've offered in that regard have been from the New Testament -- not exactly the domain of the "ancient Israelites."

Ideally, I'd like to think it's how ANYONE could reasonably understand it -- though I realize that in such cases we're actually left relying on authorities that know more than either you or I. In which case all we can do is come to the most reliable and accurate understanding possible, based on available sources and our own assessment of them.

As for the difference in interpretations of "weeks" -- as much as I'd like to know the reasons for the JPS's change in translation from 1917 to 1985, I don't want that to be an obstacle to our further examination of this prophecy. I can continue with my own research in that regard while we proceed to other aspects of it.

That's not to say that I believe -- even for a second -- that this is a genuine prophecy, or that I believe the Old and New Testaments are anything more than complete fiction, or that God and angels exist, or that even Daniel ever existed.

However, I want to more comprehensively examine this prophecy for a number of reasons. First, I'm curious to see if -- among the countless failed prophecies in the Bible -- one actually came close to the mark, if only by coincidental chance.

Second, I recognize that it will be extremely useful to me to have a full understanding of this prophecy in my objectives as an anti-theist. The better I understand all the apologetic arguments, the more effective I'll be in debunking religious nonsense and helping to free people from the sinister grip of religious delusion (sorry, but that's how I genuinely feel).

Third, by the time we're done examining every "jot and tittle" of this prophecy, I ought to have enough material for another hub. This is of particular concern as my production has traditionally been haphazard and slow.

So, let's agree -- purely for the sake of argument -- that there are at least enough differences of interpretation by the experts that it makes other timeframes for the prophecy plausible.

Though I'm still not completely satisfied, for the sake of moving on we can at least proceed from the ASSUMPTION that the prophecy's timeframe is 70 "weeks of years," and not literal "weeks."

Of course, I'll now have to familiarize myself more with historical timeframe in question, but I should have a pretty good grasp of it by the weekend.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Really? Can you take a moment and explain what’s so sinister and delusory about these?

““You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy. However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have?" (Matthew 5:43-46)

“But now you must put them all away from you: wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another. Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, humility, mildness, and patience. Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Just as Jehovah freely forgave you, you must also do the same. But besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.” - Colossians 3:8,9, 12-14.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I could, but this would certainly take us away from our current debate on a VERY long tangent.

I'd prefer to get to the bottom of this prophecy for now, and we can perhaps discuss this after we've finished (or, if I ever finish my hub where I address this, you can do it there). In the meantime -- at the risk of promoting yet ANOTHER of my hubs -- you can probably glean some hints from my hub "Ten Clues Your Religion Might be BS:"

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Ten-Clues-...

As for the prophecy in question, I think I have a fairly good grasp of its historical context now, and have concluded that there are essentially two points from which we can begin to calculate its timeframe:

The first is seventy weeks ("of years") from the issuance of the prophecy to its fulfilment. The second is 69 weeks ("of years") -- seven plus threescore and two weeks ("of years") -- from Cyrus' order to rebuild the "house of God" in Jerusalem.

I want to address them both in detail, and unless you have a particular preference, I'll begin with the first possibility after whatever additional comments you may have beforehand...


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Friday!

If I may, Daniel 9:25 actually reads, "You should know and understand that from the issuing of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Mes·si′ah the Leader, there will be 7 weeks, also 62 weeks. She will be restored and rebuilt."

With respect to the beginning of the prophetic seventy weeks, Nehemiah was given authorization by King Artaxerxes of Persia (not Cyrus) , 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.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, if we consider the timeline from the issuance of the prophecy until its "fulfillment" -- the full 70 weeks ("of years"), it's fairly easy to determine the starting point -- which is specified in the very first verse of Daniel 9:

"In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;"

To begin, however, we must correct a mistake the authors of this chapter made. Darius was NOT the son of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). Actually, it was the other way around -- Xerxes was the son of Darius!

Darius began his reign in 522 BCE. Since the prophecy was issued in the "first year" of Darius' rein, it follows that it was issued in 522 BCE. So that's our starting point.

As for the finishing point, we must look to verse 24:

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

If the "most Holy" -- the "Messiah" -- is Jesus, he was "annointed" (baptized) when he was 30 years old (according to Luke). Depending upon which time you accept, this means that Jesus was annointed -- and the prophecy was "fulfilled" -- in either 28 or 30 CE.

However, if we count 70 weeks ("of years") -- 490 years -- from the original prophecy, that takes us from 522 BCE to only 32 BCE, which is actually SIX DECADES from when Jesus was "annointed." So if this was a prophecy of Jesus, it was six decades off the mark.

I'll address the other way of counting in my next comment:


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Now, if we consider the other method of counting -- beginning from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem (specifically, the "house of God" in Jerusalem), our starting point is also fairly obvious, as specified in 2 Chronicles 36:

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah..."

God gave his commandment for the building of the Jerusalem temple in the first year of Cyrus' reign. Cyrus began his reign as king of the Persian empire in 546 BCE. So, accordingly, the "commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" was issued in that year. That's our starting point.

As for the finishing point, the prophecy is also specific, in Daniel 9:25:

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:"

It's reasonable to conclude that "unto the Messiah" means "until the appearance of the "Messiah" -- which, in Jesus' case is either 2 BCE or 0 CE.

However, if we add "seven weeks ("of years")" and "threescore and two weeks ("of years")" -- 483 years -- that takes us to 63 BCE -- again, SIX DECADES before even the appearance of Jesus.

Counting either way, the prophecy is sixty years off the mark with regard to Jesus. Nobody in their right mind could consider that an accurate prophecy -- ESPECIALLY when it presumably comes from God, whose omnipotence should guarantee an exact prediction.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Monday!

Small problem. Your exegesis completely ignores Daniel 9:25 which explicitly states that the 69 "weeks" begins to countdown "from the issuing of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem." This makes 455 BCE the only plausible starting point as per Nehemiah 2: 1, 5, 7, 8.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, there are TWO plausible starting points, as the prophecy gives two ways of counting -- as I already clearly explained. You're obviously already familiar with the second, so I'll reiterate the first by re-quoting the very first verse of the prophecy in Daniel 9:

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy."

According to Daniel, this prophecy was issued in the first year of Darius' reign, which was 522 BCE, which makes it a plausible starting point (though I'm not going to go through it all again).

That said, I can see how you're confused regarding the order to rebuild the temple, as you're confusing Artaxerxes' order with Cyrus' ORIGINAL order to build it. THIS was the "commandment" spoken of in Daniel 9:25, because (according to 2 Chronicles) it actually came from GOD.

If you look to Ezra 6:14-15, regarding the temple's completion, it sheds more light on the succession of orders:

"And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king."

There were actually MULTIPLE orders to rebuild the temple: From God, from Cyrus, from Darius and, finally, from Artaxerxes. The commands of Darius and Artaxerxes were only to FINISH the original order given by Cyrus decades before.

But here's the problem: The biblical narrative screws this up, too. Not only did the authors of Daniel reverse the order of Xerxes and Darius but, in discussing the completion of the temple, the Bible includes a whole story about Artaxerxes -- which, chronologically, had to happen AFTER the temple was already finished!

As I just showed, according to Ezra 6, the temple was completed in the sixth year of Darius' reign. But Artaxerxes came AFTER Darius! In fact, he came after XERXES, who came after Darius!

If the temple was already completed during Darius' reign -- as Ezra says -- then neither Xerxes nor Artaxerxes would have had anything to do with its completion, as they ruled after Darius.

It's no wonder people are confused when trying to understand anything the Bible says...


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Where does Daniel 9:25 ever mention rebuilding the temple?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

It doesn't. My reference to the completion of the temple doesn't actually have anything to do directly with the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the prophecy in Daniel 9.

Hence, it actually doesn't have anything directly to do with our current debate. I only included it to demonstrate how unreliable the Bible is in a larger context. Feel free to ignore it with regard to the discussion at hand.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Thanks for clarifying. I had no idea where you were going with that tangent.

Where are you, though, in your evaluation of the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy. Still think it's one big giant conspiracy? :)


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, it's Gabriel's prophecy. He just happens to make it the middle of one of Daniel's prayers, in chapter 9.

That said, my evaluation of it is that, regardless of which way you count off the timeframe it offers, it's too far off to possibly apply to Jesus.

If you take "weeks" literally, none of the timeframes comes even close to the time of Jesus. I'm sure we both agree that's pretty self-evident.

If you count the total 70 weeks in the initial prophecy as "weeks of years" to the "annointing of the most holy," it projects only to within six decades of Jesus' "annointing."

Similarly, if we use your preferred method, beginning the timeframe with Gabriel's illucidation beginning in verse 25 -- counting 69 weeks ("of years") from God's command (in 546 BCE) to rebuild the Jerusalem temple "until the Messiah," it still only comes to within six decades of Jesus' appearance.

So, counted as literal "weeks," the prophecy is hundreds of years off the mark (with regard to Jesus), and counted as "weeks of years," it's still decades off. Not very impressive for a prophecy coming directly from one of God's angels (and, therefore, presumably from God himself).


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Where did you get 546 BCE from?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I already posted this, but you may have missed it. It's the account of God's original command to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem -- not the orders of Darius or Artaxerxes to finish it -- but the ORIGINAL commandment to begin the project:

In 2 Chronicles 36:

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth hath the Lord God of heaven given me; and he hath charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah..."

and in Ezra 1:

"Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah."

The first year of Cyrus' reign was 546 BCE. Thus, 546 BCE was when God's commandment was given for the rebuilding, to which Gabriel refers in Daniel 9:25:

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:"

It's obvious why you prefer one of the later orders for the temple's completion -- supposedly issued by Artaxerxes -- as it fits more neatly into your presumption that the prophecy regards Jesus.

But think about it -- when Gabriel referred to the COMMANDMENT to restore the temple, which of the following seems more plausible...

...that he was referring to the original commandment issued by God, or

...that he was referring to the later orders for the completion of a project already initiated, issued by mortal kings?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Did you forget you said, "My reference to the completion of the temple doesn't actually have anything to do directly with the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the prophecy in Daniel 9"? 546 BCE, then, is irrelevant.

The only relevant date to Daniel 9:25 is 455 BCE.

455 BCE + 483 years = 29 CE the precise year Christ was anointed as the Messiah and the prophecy at Daniel 9:25 is fulfilled.

So either the Bible is actually from God Almighty or this is all the denouement of a massive conspiracy the likes of which the world has never known. Which of the two do you honestly feel the evidence supports?


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, nowhere in my most recent comments did I refer to the actual completion of the temple. I used the words "orders for the completion," which makes it pretty obvious that I was only trying to distinguish between the original command to start the project and the later orders to finish it. It's not as complicated as you're making it out to be.

As for 455 BCE, it doesn't even exist as a reference. According to your own quoted versees -- from Nehemiah 2 -- Artaxerxes issued his rebuilding command in 444 BCE, NOT 455 BCE! Here is how the chapter begins:

"And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king..."

Artaxerxes became king in 464 BCE. Therefore, the twentieth year of his reign was in 444 BCE. Therefore, his command to rebuild the WALLS and the GATES of Jerusalem was in 444 BCE, NOT 455.

As for all the relevant dates and commands, I'll now itemize them so there can be NO MISUNDERSTANDING!

546 BCE -- The year of GOD'S COMMANDMENT to rebuild Jerusalem. This is also the year that Cyrus, following God's commandment, ordered the rebuilding of the TEMPLE in Jerusalem. THIS is the date to which Daniel 9:25 refers.

520 BCE -- The year Darius orders resumption of the building (after previous interference had stopped it).

444 BCE -- The year that Artaxerxes orders the the WALLS and GATES of Jerusalem to be rebuilt -- because the city was not yet finished.

The ONLY date that is relevant to Daniel 9:25 is the first -- 546 BCE -- the year that God commanded the rebuilding of Jerusalem. EVERY OTHER DATE is only an order to CONTINUE the rebuilding that was originally ordered by God. That includes 455, 444 or any other date!

Counting the prophecy in Daniel from 546 BCE -- the correct starting date -- doesn't even get you close to Jesus. So the prophecy -- at least with regard to Jesus -- is an utter failure.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

464 BCE is a non-starter because astronomical tablet BM 32234 records the demise of Xerxes as 14/V/21 between a pair of lunar eclipses, the first dated 14/III/21 (26 June 475 BCE) along with a subsequent one dated 14/VIII/21 (20 December 475 BCE). Accordingly the death of Xerxes undoubtedly occurred in 475 BCE the same eyear his son, Artaxerxes, began ruling. -Dating the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes, Gerard Gertoux; Mémoires présentés par divers savants à l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de l’Institut Impérial de France , first series, Vol. VI, second part, Paris, 1864, p. 147; Revue apologétique, Paris, Vol. 68, 1939, p. 94.

Daniel 9:25 explicitly states that the 69 weeks of years is to countdown "from the issuing of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem," not the temple.

Nehemiah 2: 1, 5, 7, 8 clearly states that the order to reconstruct Jerusalem was given in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes rule which brings us to 455 BCE.

So to sum up:

i. Daniel 9:25 refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem, not its temple.

ii. This particular order was given by Artaxerxes in 455 BCE as per Nehemiah 2: 1,5,7,8 (not by Cyrus who explicitly ordered the rebuilding of the temple, not Jerusalem).

iii. 455 BCE + 483 years = 29 CE the precise year Christ was anointed as the Messiah and the prophecy at Daniel 9:25 is fulfilled.


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Okay, so Daniel 9:25 refers to the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem, not just the temple. My mistake. In the midst of sorting out that confusion, I can now understand why you're disregarding God's original commandment -- as it specifically refers to the temple, not Jerusalem.

However, the building of the city (not the temple) was already in progress when Artaxerxes ordered it STOPPED in Ezra 4 -- which is why, presumably, he had to order it to re-commence in Nehemiah.

It is clear that Artaxerxes' "stop" order in Ezra came before his "build" order in Nehemiah, because the narrative in Nehemiah stretches from his order to build Jerusalem to its completion -- with no mention of any order to stop. The "stop" order couldn't have come AFTER the completion, so it had to come BEFORE.

Even if Cyrus had authorized only the building of the temple, the people of Jerusalem obviously couldn't just begin building the walls of Jerusalem on their own, without authorization from the Persian ruler.

If they had, that alone would have been sufficient reason for Artaxerxes to order it stopped. But it's not the reason given in Ezra 4. In fact, it's never even suggested that it's being done without authorization.

So the following question arises:

If the rebuilding of Jerusalem was already happening when Artaxerxes ordered it stopped, then resumed -- who issued the ORIGINAL order to begin building?


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

By the way, looking back over our most recent comments, I just noticed an error in the way you concluded the "fulfillment" of the prophecy regarding Jesus. You counted 69 weeks ("of years") from the order to rebuild Jerusalem to the "annointing" of the "most holy." However, that's not how Gabriel lays out the timeframe for the prophecy.

The sixty-nine years ("of years") from the order to rebuild Jerusalem doesn't go until the "annointing" of the messiah. It goes until the APPEARANCE of the messiah -- in Jesus' case, thirty years earlier.

The "annointing" of the "most holy" only applies if we use the seventy weeks ("of years") count in the first part of the prophecy, which doesn't begin with the order to rebuild Jerusalem, but with the issuance of the prophecy.

Thus, even if we accept everything you claim about counting the timeframe of the prophecy, sixty-nine years takes us 30 years BEYOND the appearance of the messiah -- which means it overshoots by three decades.


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Where are you getting 69 years from?


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Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

"It was then that the work on the house of God, which was in Jerusalem, came to a halt; and it remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of King Da·ri′us of Persia." - Ezra 4:24

Again, this pertains to the rebuilding of the temple. It is not germane to our discussion concerning the Artaxerxes Longimanus command to rebuild Jerusalem and, therefore, irrelevant to Daniel 9:25.


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Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

No, it pertains to the rebuilding of the CITY. Here's the relevant excerpt from the letter (in Ezra 4) that the "adversaries of Judah" sent to Artaxerxes (emphasis mine):

"Be it known unto the king, that the Jews which came up from thee to us are come unto Jerusalem, building the rebellious and the bad city, and HAVE SET UP THE WALLS THEREOF, AND JOINED THE FOUNDATIONS. Be it known now unto the king, that, if this city be builded, and the walls set up again, then will they not pay toll, tribute, and custom, and so thou shalt endamage the revenue of the kings."

Artaxerxes studied the letter, agreed with it, and ordered the building stopped.

I suppose we could just attribute its absence from the account in Nehemiah as just another one of those Bible inconsistencies, and move on with our discussion...

As for the sixty-nine weeks ("of years"), it's the count in the prophecy from the order to rebuild Jerusalem. It's the 483 years you've been using all along: "Seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks." You don't recognize it?

The problem is that, with each count -- the 70 weeks ("of years") and the 69 weeks ("of years") that follows -- there is a DIFFERENT, separate set of details. What you're trying to do is cherry-pick details from each to make the prophecy apply to Jesus.

The first count -- the 70 weeks ("of years") -- begins (presumably) with the issuance of the prophecy, in 522 BCE, and culminates with the annointing of the "most holy."

The second count -- the 69 weeks ("of years") -- begins with the order to rebuild Jerusalem -- by your own measure, 67 years later, in 455 BCE -- and culminates with the APPEARANCE of the "Messiah."

These two counts clearly DO NOT begin at the same time, and DO NOT have the same criteria for completion. So you can't take the completion criteria from the first (the "annointing") and combine it with the starting point of the second, which begins counting from a completely different point in time.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Happy Monday!

I must point out that your exegesis obviates both Ezra 4:24 as well as Haggai 1:1-15 since Cyrus' command was to rebuild Jehovah's temple. He gave no order regarding the rebuilding of the city itself.

From a purely constructivist perspective, the only time a command was given specific to the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem was in 455 BCE by Artaxerses Longimanus. As such, this is the only plausible starting point for both the 70 weeks of years AND the 69 weeks of years begin to countdown concurrently. It's all pretty straightforward, really ... unless you're going out of your way to justify your atheistic preconceptions :)


belleart profile image

belleart 2 years ago from Ireland

I think I commented on this before, but every time I read it, it makes so much sense to me. You are absolutely right, in postmodern society there is no need for him, and yes, the reality behind life is a much more incredible story than the myth about 'god'. Watching the new series 'Cosmos' and honestly it explains so much about the galaxy and universe that 'god' seems trivial in comparison.

Believing in god was worth it in like 1600 when people thought the world was the center of the universe, now that we know earth isn't even close to be the center, religion is unnecessary, we know now where we came from , how the universe started, how the earth was made, how everything works. Really like your hub, brave for putting it up here, I'm sure many will see it as heresy!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Happy Monday, Joseph!

Actually, though I'm not going out of my way to "justify" my "atheist preconceptions," I readily admit that I AM making every effort to critically and skeptically analyze every facet of your claim. And that's a perfectly reasonable approach. I daresay it's the ONLY reasonable approach!

I wholeheartedly subscribe to the very wise and practical addage that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence -- and your claim that Daniel 9 predicts the arrival of Jesus is, without a doubt, an extraordinary claim. So, naturally, my intention is to take every piece of it and examine it under a microscope -- and we're just getting started.

As for your claim that 455 is the "only plausible starting point for both the 70 weeks of years AND the 69 weeks of years begin to countdown concurrently...," I beg to differ (at least with regard to Jesus) -- for two reasons:

First, if the two countdowns begin concurrently, the "Messiah" will appear in 69 weeks ("of years"), and the "most holy" will be "annointed" in 70 weeks ("of years"). However, the New Testament narrative clearly states that Jesus was "annointed" THIRTY years after his appearance -- not seven (1 week "of years").

Second, the date you insist upon for the start of the 69 weeks ("of years") countdown is 455 BCE. But Gabriel's prophecy -- beginning with the 70 weeks ("of years") countdown -- is proclaimed in 522 BCE -- 67 years earlier!

The only plausible way for both countdowns to begin concurrently is for Gabriel to have added this qualifier to his prophecy:

"Oh, by the way... Remember that 70 weeks of years I told you about? Don't start counting them for another 67 years!"

That simply doesn't make any sense.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thank you for your kind words, Belleart, and thanks for reading my hub! I hope you take a moment to check out some of my other work.

I see you have quite a wide assortment of topics in your in your own hub collection. I'll be sure to check a few of them out!

By the way, I LOOOOVE the New Cosmos, and have thus far greatly enjoyed all three episodes. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is the perfect successor to Carl Sagan, and I especially love the poignant tribute to Carl at the end of the first episode.

Neil is the man!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

@belleart

Does it explain why there is anything instead of just nothing at all?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

You've lost me. 455 BCE + 483 years = 29 CE the precise year Christ was anointed as the Messiah and the prophecy at Daniel 9:25 is fulfilled. What numbers are you working with?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

No, the prophecy in Daniel ISN'T fulfilled (at least with regard to Jesus), because -- according to the prophecy -- it ISN'T 483 years until the Messiah is "annointed." It is 483 years until the ARRIVAL of the Messiah.

The ARRIVAL and the ANNOINTING are NOT the same thing, and -- with regard to Jesus -- they happened 30 years apart!

What you're trying to do is cherry-pick the END of the 70 weeks ("of years") countdown (Daniel 9:24):

"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression...and to anoint the most Holy..."

and combine it with the START of the 69 weeks ("of years") countdown (Daniel 9:25):

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem UNTO THE MESSIAH the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks..."

But these two countdowns are not the same. They both begin at different times (at least 67 years apart), and -- as you can see -- they culminate with completely different events.

Sorry, but it just doesn't work.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

You're making a distinction without a difference. Do you know what Messiah (מָשִׁ֣יחַ) means?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I see what you're saying. It will be useful -- the next time I discuss this prophecy with an apologist -- to remember that "Messiah" means "annointed leader." Thanks!

However, in researching that definition in the JPS Tanach, I went ahead and re-read Gabriel's prophecy to Daniel -- with all the corrected language -- and noticed something peculiar.

The King James Version of the prophecy -- to which I've been referring all this time -- states that it is 69 weeks ("of years") from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until the Messiah:

"...from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks..."

However, in the JPS translation, it states that it will be only SEVEN weeks ("of years") until the Messiah (note -- though I've separated the quote into sections, I've left out no words or punctuation):

"...From the issuance of the word to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the [time of the] annointed leader is seven weeks;"

Notice the semicolon (very important). It then returns to discussing the rebuilding of Jerusalem:

"and for sixty-two weeks it will be rebuilt, square and moat, but in a time of distress."

It then returns to the Messiah:

"And after those sixty-two weeks, the annointed one will disappear and vanish."

So, according to the JPS version of Daniel, there are now two NEW, even BIGGER, problems with your attempt to fit Jesus into the prophecy:

The first is that the Messiah is annointed in SEVEN weeks ("of years"), NOT sixty-nine -- which, according to the date you've arbitrarily chosen (455 BCE) -- should have occured in 406 BCE (455 minus 49).

That places the arrival of the Messiah HUNDREDS of years before Jesus.

The second problem is that the total of 69 weeks ("of years") -- 483 years is no longer relevant at all, because the seven weeks ("of years") isn't added to the 62 weeks ("of years"). They begin CONCURRENTLY. They overlap!

As you can tell from reading the verses yourself, the appearance of the Messiah comes seven "weeks" INTO the sixty-two "weeks" of the re-building of Jerusalem. The sequence:

1. The command is given to rebuild Jerusalem. THIS is the beginning of the sixty-two "weeks."

2. Seven "weeks" later, the Messiah arrives. Seven "weeks" have already been ticked off the total of sixty-two.

3. After the sixty-two "weeks," the annointed Messiah will "disappear and vanish."

To summarize, not only does the Messiah come hundreds of years before Jesus, there isn't even a count of sixty-nine "weeks" anywhere in the prophecy!

Thanks again for forcing me to make that clarification and go to the source! :-)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Let's turn, then, to the original Hebrew. Both the Aleppo and WLC codices read "כה ותדע ותשכל מן מצא דבר להשיב ולבנות ירושלם עד משיח נגיד--שבעים שבעה ושבעים ששים ושנים תשוב ונבנתה רחוב וחרוץ ובצוק העתים", that is to say, "You should know and understand that from the issuing of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until Mes·si′ah the Leader, there will be 7 weeks, also 62 weeks. She will be restored and rebuilt, with a public square and moat, but in times of distress." (NWT)

Other scholars have rendered the passage as follows:

New International Version

"Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.

New Living Translation

Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler--the Anointed One--comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times.

New American Standard Bible

"So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.

Holman Christian Standard Bible

Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and 62 weeks. It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat, but in difficult times.

International Standard Version

So be informed and discern that seven weeks and 62 weeks will elapse from the issuance of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed Commander. The plaza and moat will be rebuilt, though in troubled times.

NET Bible

So know and understand: From the issuing of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until an anointed one, a prince arrives, there will be a period of seven weeks and sixty-two weeks. It will again be built, with plaza and moat, but in distressful times.

GOD'S WORD® Translation

Learn, then, and understand that from the time the command is given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed prince comes, seven sets of seven time periods and sixty-two sets of seven time periods will pass. Jerusalem will be restored and rebuilt with a city square and a moat during the troubles of those times.

Jubilee Bible 2000

Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the word to cause the people to return and to build Jerusalem unto the Anointed {Heb. Messiah} Prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks, while the street shall be built again and the wall, even in troublous times.

King James 2000 Bible

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.

Douay-Rheims Bible

Know thou therefore, and take notice: that from the going forth of the word, to build up Jerusalem again, unto Christ the prince, there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: and the street shall be built again, and the walls in straitness of times.

Darby Bible Translation

Know therefore and understand: From the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah, the Prince, are seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks. The street and the moat shall be built again, even in troublous times.

English Revised Version

Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the anointed one, the prince, shall be seven weeks: and threescore and two weeks, it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troublous times.

Webster's Bible Translation

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and sixty and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

World English Bible

Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times.

Young's Literal Translation

And thou dost know, and dost consider wisely, from the going forth of the word to restore and to build Jerusalem till Messiah the Leader is seven weeks, and sixty and two weeks: the broad place hath been built again, and the rampart, even in the distress of the times.

Not only do these scholarly renderings coincide with 69 prophetic weeks of years but they're also consistent with the context of Daniel 9.

Given your demonstrated lack of Hebraic scholarship, what cause do you have to gainsay the evidence?


belleart profile image

belleart 2 years ago from Ireland

@Joseph O Polanco

You should watch it and take from it what you wish.....It explains everything and nothing simultaneously in the sense that while it shows how everything came about, it doesnt explain why.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

@belleart

So much for "the new series 'Cosmos' [explaining] so much about the galaxy and universe that 'god' seems trivial in comparison."


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, I certainly admit that I'm no expert on Jewish "scholarship" of the Bible. However, I have learned enough during my research for our debate -- largely through trial and error -- to recognize that the JPS translation of the Tanach is considered by many to be a highly authoritative translation of the Masoretic text -- which is the closest thing we have (aside from the Dead Sea Scrolls) to an original Biblical source.

I also know enough about debate tactics to insist that your list of alternate Bible translations isn't going to wash.

When it suited your purposes during our debate over the meaning of "weeks," you cited the JPS version of the Tanach as an authoritative source.

Now, suddenly, when the JPS translation directly and convincingly contradicts your own interpretation of Gabriel's prophecy, you're dropping it like an ugly girlfriend. Now, you turn to other versions that are more agreeable to your preferred interpretation.

This is similar to your earlier reference to the date of Artaxerxes' order to rebuild Jerusalem. You selected the one academic paper that appears to align the prophecy's timeframe with the appearance of Jesus -- even though that paper contradicts the actual historical records of the time.

You are clearly determined to pick and choose whatever references and sources happen to fit your interpretation -- using them when they're convenient, and abandoning them when they're not.

When there are so many Biblical resources that have accumulated over the centuries -- with such a wide array of interpretations and translations -- there is clearly enough material for you to cherry-pick bits and pieces of each to fit your preferences.

When I find a source that contradicts a detail of your argument, you simply cite another source. When I cite THAT source to contradict another detail of your argument, you switch sources again. When the historical record contradicts another detail of your argument, you find something that questions the record, then cite that as an authoritative source.

If we continue examining other details of Gabriel's prophecy, I have no doubt that this pattern will continue. Skeptical of your interpretation, I'll offer sources that contradict some detail. And you'll find another source that supports it -- even if that source contradicts other elements of your argument.

In any case, such cherry-picking hardly presents a convincing argument for your rather fantastic claim that Gabriel's prophecy predicts the coming of Jesus. Common sense dictates that such an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence. Thus far, the evidence you've offered thus far is -- at the very best -- debatable, and hardly extraordinary.

So, unless you can present some genuinely extraordinary evidence that isn't contradicted by another of your own sources, or by the historical record, I honestly don't know if there's any point in continuing this discussion.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

As for "Cosmos" -- to be fair to Belleart, I believe she was referring to Tyson's comments regarding the actual grandeur of the universe compared to the simplistic and pathetic image of "God's universe" offered in the Bible.

The Biblical description of the universe pales in comparison to what we now know of the magnificent and breathtaking features of a universe so vast and complex that it boggles the imagination. And, as I recall, Neil DeGrasse Tyson examined this quite eloquently -- and with great visual effects -- in the third episode of Cosmos (though I can no longer recall his exact words).

I highly recommend it to everyone!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Were you an expert in ancient Hebraic translation work or even if you could read Hebrew your opinion and what is and is not authoritative would be meaningful. (I mean you didn't even know what Messiah meant and yet you had the chutzpah to tell me my explication of Daniel 9:25 was wrong.)

Instead your benighted opinions are just pretension.

I see now that you are only interested in confirming your preconceived atheistic views rather than following the evidence where it takes you. That being the case I think it best we leave our dialogue where it stands and part on amicable terms.

Thank you again for the exchange. It's been a real pleasure.

All the best!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I'm sorry, Joseph, but you're full of it. I know it, and you know it, too. It's why you're trying to deflect with this new red herring of yours (about the word "Messiah"). ;-)

Certainly, I didn't know the meaning of the word "Messiah." And you didn't know that the prophecy in Daniel chapter 9 came from GABRIEL, NOT DANIEL.

So? Does this now mean that "your opinion and [your assessment of] what is and is not authoritative" is meaningless? I think not.

You and I both know who was trying to confirm their "preconceived ideas," and it wasn't me.

Since the burden of proof was on you (as you were the one making the fantastic and absurd claim), all I had to accomplish to plausibly claim victory (and "confirm" my "preconceived ideas") was to create reasonable doubt regarding your claim. I had a number of opportunities to end it in this manner, yet I declined.

For example, I could have more closely examined your reference to the 455 BCE date -- which is based solely on a single academic paper that contradicts the actual historical record of the time. That, alone -- even if every other detail of your argument were accepted -- would have made the prophecy off by a decade (with regard to Jesus).

But I didn't. I relented and carried on, because I wanted to further explore the prophecy. I wanted to LEARN MORE about it (and I certainly did!). I actually cared about discovering and discerning the truth.

Or, if I had been looking to "confirm" my "preconceived ideas," I could have similarly ended the debate and claimed victory when our citing of reputable, but contradictory, sources regarding the meaning of "weeks" placed your interpration of the prophecy in doubt (especially since your preferred interpretation ("weeks of years") is actually counterintuitive, requiring more substantial evidentiary support).

But I didn't. Again, I relented and continued our debate, because I actually cared about exploring the truth of the matter.

On the other hand, you've demonstrated from the very beginning of our discussion your determination to support your conclusion at any cost. You will cite any source (even one of questionable historical validity) to support a particular detail of your argument.

Or, when one of your sources later contradicts another detail of your argument, you move to another source and act as if the earlier source is now no longer reliable or authoritative -- just as you did with the the JPS Tanach.

So, who's trying to "confirm" their "preconceived ideas" --

...Someone who demonstrates a willingness to correct his own interpretations, acknowledge his mistakes and set aside plausible claims of victory for the opportunity to comprehensively examine an extraordinary claim?

or

...Someone who cherry-picks from questionable and CONTRADICTORY sources to create a hodge-podge of support for that extraordinary claim?

All the best to you, too! :-)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

464 BCE is a non-starter because astronomical tablet BM 32234 records the demise of Xerxes as 14/V/21 between a pair of lunar eclipses, the first dated 14/III/21 (26 June 475 BCE) along with a subsequent one dated 14/VIII/21 (20 December 475 BCE). Accordingly the death of Xerxes undoubtedly occurred in 475 BCE the same eyear his son, Artaxerxes, began ruling. -Dating the reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes, Gerard Gertoux

Mémoires présentés par divers savants à l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de l’Institut Impérial de France , first series, Vol. VI, second part, Paris, 1864, p. 147

Revue apologétique, Paris, Vol. 68, 1939, p. 94.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, I've been debating whether or not to reply to your latest comments (which are actually just a re-iteration of your earlier quoting of Gertoux's academic paper). On one hand, I suspect our current pattern will continue, where you cite one source favorable to your interpretation of the prophecy, and I cite others which question it.

However, I am interested in this topic, and -- at the very least -- I'm curious to learn just how much research of your own you did on this, aside from merely locating and quoting favorable sources.

For example, despite hours of my own research, I can find nothing to corroborate Gertoux's interpretation of the astronomical diary BM 32234. He insists that the tablet dates the death of Xerxes at August 24, 475 BCE.

However, according to the Journal of Hellenic Studies, that same tablet dates the death of Xerxes at between the 4th and 8th of August 465 BCE -- a full ten years LATER.

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/632645?uid=3...

I can't personally vouch for the academic reputation of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies (though they have been doing this sort of research for well over a century). Nor can I vouch for the author of the paper, Matthew W. Stolper, though he is a Professor of Assyriology and Oriental Studies at the University of Chicago, and does appear to be an expert in the field.

That said, I will note that -- unlike Gertoux -- the interests of Stolper and the Society appear to be exclusively historic, and not tinged with the inherent bias of religious apologetics.

How can we know that Gertoux's interpretation of the dates on the tablet are any more correct than Stolper's? In the course of your own research, did you find some other authoritative interpretation of the tablet that suggests that Gertoux is correct, and Stolper is incorrect?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Because I referenced three independent sources which corroborate each other and BM 32234 situates Artaxerxes death between a pair of lunar eclipses. According to NASA, there were no lunar eclipses in August of 465 BCE: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/LE-0499--0400....

So, you're back to reconciling BM 32234 with your atheistic preconceptions.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, you do realize that neither of the lunar eclipses listed by Gertoux are on that NASA list, don't you? Or did you even bother to check?

Yeah, I'm the one who's trying to reconcile their preconceptions. Sure.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Sure they are. In fact, they're the only two eclipses that occurred that year:

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/5MCLEmap/-0499--0400/...

http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/5MCLEmap/-0499--0400/...


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

No, they're not. Check the year, my friend. Gertoux cites two lunar eclipses from the year 475, not 474. Here's a reminder, in Gertoux's own words (and yours, when you quoted him):

"...the death of Xerxes is dated 14/V/21 between two lunar eclipses, one dated 14/III/21 (26 June 475 BCE), which was total, and a second dated 14/VIII/21 (20 December 475 BCE)..."


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

You're misreading the information:

"Years in this catalog are numbered astronomically and include the year 0. Historians should note there is a difference of one year between astronomical dates and BCE dates. Thus, the astronomical year 0 corresponds to 1 BCE, and astronomical year -1 corresponds to 2 BCE, etc.. " - http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEcat5/LE-0499--0400....

So you see, the astronomical date -474 corresponds to 475 BCE.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Indeed, I am misreading the NASA chart. However, I notice, looking back at your previous answer, that you misread Stolper's work as well.

Stolper never said the eclipse occured in August -- only that the assassination did. The eclipse he cited was actually on 5-6 June, 465 BCE (which is on NASA's list). But that only nails down the year.

The August reference on the tablet is to the actual date when Xerxes' son killed killed him:

"abu + 14(+ x) Xerxes' son killed him."

"Abu" is the fifth month (July/August, since the Babylonian calendar begins in the spring). Apparently, the "x" is unreadable, hence, the range of dates between the 4th and the 8th. Here's the link again if you wish to check it for yourself:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/632645?uid=3...

As I said before, I can't personally vouch for Stolper's accuracy (actually, as I found out, the translation is that of one C. B. F. Walker), but both Stolper and Gertoux's interpretations of the tablet cite eclipses that match astronomical records.

The primary difference is in the year they each read from the tablet. Also, Gertoux insists that the assassination takes place between two eclipses, while Stolpher insists that a single eclipse only marks the relevant year.

As for Stolper/Walker's work, unless I can learn to read cuneiform, there's really no way I can double-check their interpretations.

However, having checked Gertoux's own references, I have significant doubts about his accuracy -- even aside from my inherent skepticism regarding his apologetics. I found numerous mistakes, from simple spelling errors to outright erroneous misreading of text.

Given Gertoux's outlandish mis-interpration of a particular passage in Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War, it's quite easy to believe he made a similar mistake when interpreting (or citing an interpretation) of the astronomical diaries on the Babylonian tablet. He's hardly a credible source.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Which is why I based my conclusions on three sources, not just one. These additional sources corroborate Gertoux's findings.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, I just looked back through your comments and can find only the Gertoux reference for your 475 BCE date. I'm sorry, but could you refresh my memory? Thanks.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Sure. The other two references are:

1. Mémoires présentés par divers savants à l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de l’Institut Impérial de France , first series, Vol. VI, second part, Paris, 1864, p. 147

2. Revue apologétique, Paris, Vol. 68, 1939, p. 94.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks again.

Joseph, given your reference to the French Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Humanities, I expected to find (with great difficulty, given that it's in French) some authoritative translation of the astronomical diaries on the Babylonian tablet in question.

However, after finding the relevant excerpts from both your other sources, I've discovered that all three of your sources (Gertoux, Koutorga and Levesque) merely cite the same material -- Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War This begs the question: If they all rely on the same source, how can they confirm each other?

As for the source itself, I can see nothing in Thucydides' narrative that dates the accension of Artaxerxes at 475. The only chronological reference is that Themistocles met Artaxerxes more than a year after the seige of Naxos (which, incidentally, Gertoux erroneously refers to as "Nexos").

But there is nothing to date the seige of Naxos, other than an earlier reference to it occurring after the attack on Scyros, followed by a "war" against Carystus. Gertoux attempts to date it with a reference to Plutarch's biography of Theseus, but there is no such reference chronologically linking the attacks on Scyros and Naxos in the book.

From what I can see, all three of your sources for the dating of Artaxerxes' rule cite an historical work that never actually provides a date. Is there something in Thucydides' work that I'm missing?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Glad to help. Now, an incident in ancient Greek history facilitates the calculation of the moment Artaxerxes commenced his reign. Greek statesman as well as military champion Themistocles fell into disfavor with his countrymen and then fled for protection to Persia. As reported by Greek historian Thucydides (I, CXXXVII, 3 ), who has attained publicity for his accuracy and reliability, during this time Themistocles “sent on a letter to King Artaxerxes son of Xerxes, who had lately come to the throne.” Plutarch’s Lives ( Themistocles , XXVII , 1 ) presents the factual information that:

“Thucydides and Charon of Lampsacus relate that Xerxes was dead, and that it was his son Artaxerxes with whom Themistocles had his interview .”

Charon was a Persian subject who experienced the shift of rulership from Xerxes to Artaxerxes. From the testimonials of Thucydides and of Charon of Lampsacus, we can easily determine that at the time Themistocles turned up in Persia, Artaxerxes had only recently started ruling.

One can then easily confirm the point in time at which Artaxerxes first began ruling by computing back from the moment Themistocles passed away. Historian Diodorus Siculus ( Diodorus of Sicily , XI , 54 , 1 ; XI , 58 , 3 ) relates his demise in an account of events which took place “when Praxiergus was archon in Athens.” Praxiergus was archon in Athens in 471/470 B .C .E . ( Greek and Roman Chronology , by Alan E . Samuel , Munich , 1972 , p . 206 ) As reported by Thucydides , Themistocles’ arrival in Persia was accompanied by 12 months of foreign language education in preparation for an audience with Artaxerxes . Afterwards the king awarded him settlement in Persia together with many honors . If Themistocles died in 471/470 B .C .E ., his settlement in Persia must absolutely have been not later than 472 B .C .E . and so his arrival one year prior, in 473 B .C .E . During that time Artaxerxes “had lately come to the throne .”

With regards to the moment when Xerxes passed away and then Artaxerxes ascended the throne, M. de Koutorga explicates: “We have seen that, according to the chronology of Thucydides, Xerxes died towards the end of the year 475 B.C.E ., and that, according to the same historian, Themistocles arrived in Asia Minor shortly after the coming to the throne of Artaxerxes Longimanus.”—Mémoires présentés par divers savants à l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de l’Institut Impérial de France , first series, Vol. VI, second part, Paris, 1864, p. 147.

Further buttressing this date, E . Levesque highlights: “Therefore it is necessary, according to the Alexandrian Chronicle, to place Xerxes’ death in 475 B.C.E., after eleven years of reign. The historian Justin, III, 1, confirms this chronicle and the assertions of Thucydides. According to him, at the time of Xerxes’ murder, Artaxerxes, his son, was but a child, puer [a boy], which is true if Xerxes died in 475. Artaxerxes was then 16 years old, whereas in 465 he would have been twenty-six years old, which would not justify anymore Justin’s expression. According to this chronology, since Artaxerxes began to reign in 475, the 20th year of his reign proves to be in 455 and not in 445 as it is said quite commonly.”—Revue apologétique, Paris, Vol. 68, 1939, p. 94.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

That's all very interesting, but Gertoux, Kourtorga and Levesque are referring to Thucydides' narrative in the mistaken belief that it supports their contention that Artaxerxes ascended to the throne in 475 BCE. It doesn't.

Every source I can find dates the ostracism of Themistocles to either 472 or 471 BCE (the ostracism is what caused Themistocles to go into exile in the first place). In any case, it wasn't until Themistocles was implicated in the treason of Pausanias -- after Pausanias' death in 470 BCE -- that he was compelled to leave his exile and begin running from the Athenian authorities.

So he didn't even BEGIN the journey that led him to Naxos until at least 470 BCE -- and he made stops at Corcyra, Epirus and Pydna along the way.

This makes Stolper and Walker's date at least possible, depending upon the elapsed time of each interval of Themistocles' journey. For example, we don't know how long it took after Pausanias' death for Themistocles to leave his exile and flee to Corcyra. And we don't know how long he spent there. Nor do we know how long his journey took from Corcyra to Epirus, or how long he stayed at Epirus. Nor do we know how long the trip from Epirus to Pydna took (though it was overland, so it was inevitably slower).

Given a sufficient lapse of time for each of these steps, it's possible that, from the time of Pausanias' death in 470 BCE until Themistocles arrival at Naxos, five years had elapsed -- drawing the date closer to Stolper's reference.

On the other hand, it is absolutely impossible for the date offered by Gertoux, Koutorga, Levesque and yourself to be correct, if we use Thucydides' Themistocles reference to date the battle of Naxos (and, hence, the ascension of Artaxerxes). Themistocles didn't even BEGIN his journey to Naxos until after 470 BCE -- five years after you insist that he arrived!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Don't be shy :)

What are your sources?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Hehe. ;-)

All the events, along with the sequence (with one exception), are from Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War -- the very same source that Gertoux cites.

The exception is the segment regarding Pausanias' death and the beginning of Themistocles' flight from Athenian authorities. That comes from Plutarch's Life of Themistocles (though beware -- the translation spells it "Themostikles").

(Unfortunately, my Kindle copies of Plutarch and Thucydides don't provide page numbers. However, if you wish, I could provide quotes which you could easily use to find the relevant passages in your own copies.)

As for actual dates, they had to come from additional sources, as neither Thucydides nor Plutarch provides actual dates for their events. For that information, it was basically a matter of searching through scores of websites, seeking a range of dates.

For Themistocles' ostracism, every date I could find listed either 472 or 471 BCE. As for the death of Pausanias, those references were fewer, but they each agreed on 470 BCE


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

I may be mistaken but it appears you've got your chronological calculations backwards. 475 BCE came before 470/471, not after since years descend when going from BCE to CE. In effect, your entire argument supports an accession year for Artaxerxes of 475 BCE, not 465/464 BCE.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Moreover, a tablet links "the end of Artaxerxes’ reign and the beginning of the reign of Darius II [with] the following date: “51st year, accession year, 12th month, day 20, Darius, king of lands.” (The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, Series A: Cuneiform Texts, Vol. VIII, Part I, by Albert T. Clay, 1908, pp. 34, 83, and Plate 57, Tablet No. 127, designated CBM 12803)

Since the first regnal year of Darius II was in 423 B.C.E., it means that the 51st year of Artaxerxes was in 424 B.C.E. and his first regnal year was in 474 B.C.E." not 465 BCE.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Huh? Joseph, I don't understand your confusion regarding my date chronology.

You're quite correct that 475 BCE came before 470/471. That's my entire point! My argument is that, according to Thucydides' own chronology, it's impossible for Artaxerxes to have ascended to the throne in 475.

This is because -- according to Thucydides, it happened AFTER Themistocles had escaped from the Athenians at Naxos:

"Themistocles started inland with one of the coast Persians, and sent a letter to King Artaxerxes, Xerxes’s son, who had just come to the throne."

Again, this happened AFTER Themistocles had escaped from Naxos. But Themistocles didn't even begin the journey that would lead him there until 470 BCE -- after Pausanias' death. In chronological order:

-----

475 BCE -- the year you insist that Artaxerxes ascended

474 BCE

473 BCE

472 BCE -- the year Themistocles was ostracized and began his exile

471 BCE -- alternate year Themistocles began his exile

470 BCE -- the year Pausanias was executed, Themistocles was implicated in his treachery and began fleeing from the Athenians.

470 BCE or after -- when Themistocles arrived at Naxos, fled to Ephesus and wrote a letter to Artaxerxes, who had JUST ascended to the throne.

-----

So, if we accept Thucydides as a reliable source (which you were perfectly willing to do before), Artaxerxes couldn't have ascended to the throne in 475 BCE. However, he could very well have ascended to it ten years later, in 465, depending upon the length of the intervening events (which we don't know).

As for your new source regarding the end of Artaxerxes' reign, I'll have to research that one. In the meantime, how do you reconcile Thucydides' chronology with your date of 475 BCE, when it clearly and conclusively contradicts it?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, I've just given your new source (the University Of Pennsylvania Babylonian Expedition, Series A, Volume 8) an examination, and can find nothing in it that supports your quote. Specifically, there is no mention of the "51st year" of Artaxerxes' reign. The intermediate source you've likely quoted must have misread the text, or lied outright.

Quite to the contrary, I quickly found a passage that -- again -- directly contradicts your assertion that Artaxerxes ascended to the throne in 475 BCE. According to Dr. Clay, Artaxerxes DIDN'T reign 51 years. He reigned only 42 years! The relevant passage from the text of the Expedition report:

"The dated tablets of Artaxerxes I show that he ruled, instead of forty years, as given by Diodorus, about forty-two years."

If Xerxes II began his reign in 423 BCE, and we count back 42 years from then, that puts Artaxerxes' ascension at -- get ready for it...

465 BCE!


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Simple. There were TWO Darius'.

As per BM 54557, Bertin 2889, BM 33342, BE 10 no. 4, BE 10 no. 5, BE 10 no. 6, PBS 2/1 no. 1, BE 10 no. 7, PBS 2/1 no. 3, in his 41st regnal year, Artaxerxes begins a co-regency with his (legitimate) son, Darius (not his illegitimate son Ochus, aka Darius II). This co-regency lasts eight years until Darius' plot to murder his father fails and is himself executed BY ARTAXERXES.

Artaxerxes resumes sole rulership until his death in 424 BCE. He is succeeded by another legitimate son, Xerxes II but he only rules for a few short months because he's murdered by his half-brother, Sogdianus who is subsequently murdered by his brother Ochus a few months later. 423 BCE thus becomes the first regnal year of Ochus (who changed his name to Darius once upon the throne). -DATING THE REIGNS OF XERXES AND ARTAXERXES pp. 50-55.

Stolper assumes CBM 12803 contains a scribal error but the truth, as you can see, is more nuanced than that. He, like many others, were simply confusing Artaxerxes legitimate son, Darius, with his illegitimate son Ochus (who changed his name to Darius when he became king in 423 BCE).

In conclusion, the chronology I've presented stands up to scrutiny as does the prophecy recorded in Daniel thus proving the Bible is in fact the Inspired Word of God.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, aside from the supposed interpretation of the tablets you just listed, there is NO evidence that there was any "co-regency" of the two kings --

Not in your FIRST source (the historical works of Thucydides and Plutarch, quoted by Gertoux) -- which you conveniently abandoned and forgot as soon as they directly contradicted your interpretation.

Nor in your SECOND source (the Babylonian Expedition report of the University of pennsylvania) -- from which you quoted a passage that doesn't even exist.

Now you offer a THIRD source, for which there appears to be no available online version. However, I have managed to discover that, according to Dr. Stolpher, only ONE of the nine tablets you've listed alludes to a 51 year reign for Artaxerxes, and it's likely an error.

Now, in an attempt to pre-empt this inevitable contradiction, you suggest that Dr. Stolper -- a Professor of Assyriology and Oriental Studies -- couldn't tell the difference between Ochus and Darius. That's simply absurd.

As for the supposed "co-regency," it is Plutarch (whose story of the attempted murder of Artaxerxes you've just indirectly quoted) who clarifies the issue. In his biography of the king, he states that Artaxerxes

"...proclaimed Darius, then twenty-five years old, his successor, and gave him leave to wear the upright hat."

He then goes on to refer to Darius as the "heir apparent" -- NOT a co-ruler or co-regent. Actually, it makes no sense for the Babylonians to even use such a term, as a "regency" refers to the rule of one person in the stead of another who is too young or too incapacitated to rule on their own -- and neither of these applied to Artaxerxes or Darius.

In conclusion, each of the sources you've proposed thus far -- with the possible exception of the last -- suggest that Artaxerxes began his reign in 465 BCE. Predictably, as I've examined each and demonstrated how it fails to support your premise -- or even directly contradicts it -- you completely abandon it and move on to another -- just as you did earlier with the JPS Tanach.

Now, your entire argument rests upon the premise that, contrary to every other historical source (including those you've recently cited yourself) Artaxerxes and Darius II shared a "co-regency" that somehow stretched Artaxerxes' reign from 42 years to 51 years.

This, in turn, appears to rest upon ONE source -- the inscription on a single tablet that -- given it's chronological opposition to the other eight -- is likely a scribal error.

This is the entirety of your case. And yet you insist that your chronology "stands up to scrutiny." I'm beginning to suspect that even YOU don't believe this anymore. :-P


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Strawman. I very clearly stated that "As per BM 54557, Bertin 2889, BM 33342, BE 10 no. 4, BE 10 no. 5, BE 10 no. 6, PBS 2/1 no. 1, BE 10 no. 7, PBS 2/1 no. 3, in his 41st regnal year, Artaxerxes begins a co-regency with his (legitimate) son, Darius (not his illegitimate son Ochus, aka Darius II). This co-regency lasts eight years until Darius' plot to murder his father fails and is himself executed BY ARTAXERXES." I never claimed that Artaxerxes was a co-regent with Darius II, aka Ochus.

Did you even read pages 50-55 of "DATING THE REIGNS OF XERXES AND ARTAXERXES"?


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Reason two: He's impossible to prove. Wrong!

Try reading Kurt Godel's theorem. Godel was Einstein's successor and proved with pure logic and math that God exists.

(Please don't give me the a priori argument: string theory is a priori and I bet you are up late at night studying that!)

Try to understand that without "God's necessity" we will always have the same old chicken and egg problem with physics (as Godel also stated in another theorem: physics will always be incomplete; and Hawking agrees if you read his free online Essay: "Godel and End of Physics").


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, there's no strawman. Somehow, you merely misunderstood me. I realize you never claimed that Artaxerxes and Ochus had a co-regency. I never claimed you did. I was addressing your claim Stolper confused Ochus and Darius II -- which, given his expertise, seems absurd.

You claimed that Artaxerxes and Darius II (the original) shared a "co-regency," and I explained that there is nothing to indicate that such a co-regency ever existed -- not in any historical source, nor in any of the tablets you cited.

In fact, except for one of them, they all state that Artaxerxes' reign lasted 41 years (the one exception mentioned by Stolper displays "51" but, as already explained, is quite likely an error).

As for referring back to Gertoux's paper for a translation of the tablets, do you really expect to once again present Gertoux as an authoritative source?

I'm supposed to trust the translation of ancient, weathered and difficult-to-read Babylonian cuneiform by a man who couldn't even bother to read and comprehend the simple narrative of Thucydides...Who couldn't even discern (or perhaps, didn't wish to discern) that the very sources he was quoting DIRECTLY CONTRADICT the date he was asserting for Artaxerxes' ascension?

Hardly.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, you and I have been over this Gödel nonsense before, and I've already explained to you that his Incompleteness Theorem doesn't prove the existence of God at all. I also see you continue -- in other hubs -- to present it as his "God Theorem," which is also incorrect (and, by this point, a bit disingenuous).

As I explained to you before, the theorem -- as applied to the question of God's existence -- is merely an attempt to mathematically reiterate the old ontological argument, which is routinely (and fairly easily) refuted by skeptics.

Also, as I said before, if you're willing to explain here -- in your own words -- how Gödel's theorem proves the existence of God, I'll be happy to critically examine it. Or, if you prefer, submit an ontological argument in your own words, and I'll likewise happily examine it.

Otherwise, please stop posting this nonsense as conclusive evidence, relying on an appeal to authority (Einstein and Hawking). It simply isn't going to work, and will only make you look silly.

That said, thanks for posting!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin for pete's sake get your facts right!

the Incompleteness theorem IS NOT THE GOD THEOREM. OK? got it?

So what are you going to say now? You got it wrong? Of course not. You just don't check the simple facts.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Perhaps Stolper's error is, much like yours, rooted in a capricious refusal to accept the inconvenient historical facts presented by Plutarch, Justinus, Ctesias and Polyaenus, among others.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

er..like Polanco said! :)


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, if I've confused Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem with another theorem of his called the "God Theorem" then, by all means, explain it to me and set me straight. After all, I want to make sure I get things right! ;-)

Incidentally, I'm still waiting for your reply to an identical request I made to you three weeks ago on another hub.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, it's quite possible that Stolper made an error (though neither you nor anyone else has yet to demonstrate that he has). It's also quite possible that, if he DID make an error, he did so for capricious reasons -- though, again, you or anyone else has yet to demonstrate this.

As for a refusal to accept "inconvenient historical facts," I'm simultaneously bemused and bewildered that you would accuse me of such a thing with regard to Plutarch and others (especially when I notice the conspicuous absence of Thucydides in your list).

How can you possibly know that I "refuse to accept" the "historical facts" of these writers, when you've presented nothing of their work (aside for a brief reference to Plutarch) for me to examine? I haven't had a chance to even REACT to their "facts" let alone REFUSE them. Nice projection, though.

On the other hand, I see you have yet to address the "historical facts" presented by both Thucydides and Plutarch that DIRECTLY contradict you and your fellow apologists Gertoux, Koutorga and Levesque.

Plutarch and Thucydides' works are an historical narrative sequence, translated in simple English, that even a sixth grader could follow, yet all of you failed (or, perhaps, refused) to see how it conflicted with your theological presumptions.

-------------

Joseph, we really don't need to go on with this. There's no shame in admitting that you've been duped by the greatest con in the history of the world. Billions of people -- including, formerly, myself -- have fallen for it. It happens quite easily, especially as we live in societies where religion and religious memes are so prevalent.

Despite some of my comments to you thus far, it's obvious to me that you are an intelligent and articulate person, and -- outside of a religious context -- you're probably as reasonable as anyone. So you must realize by now that at least some elements of your apologetic argument simply don't add up.

Looking back on our discussion thus far, I'm certain that there have been moments, when you've presented some of your more half-assed arguments and apologist talking points, when a tiny voice inside you was saying, "something isn't right here!!!" But the apologetic mindset quickly overpowers that voice. In a split second, you ignore it and return to maintaining the foregone conclusion at all costs.

With all humility, I can see it in the difference in our approaches to this issue. You've never admitted to a mistake or acknowledged a single incorrect or contradictory reference or source. Your committment to the apologetic mindset simply won't allow you to do so.

On the other hand, I've admitted mistakes and misjudgements more than once, because I have complete FREEDOM to do so. If -- through my mistakes and misjudgements -- the truth is eventually gained, then my feeling is that nothing is really lost.

If a mistake makes me look ignorant or foolish, then so be it. But, in the end, I'll know what's actually right. In my opinion, this is part of what you've lost -- what religious delusion has taken from you.

My sincere hope is that, somewhere along the way, I (and others) have (or will) spark that tiny voice in you enough times that perhaps, eventually, you'll have to stop and begin listening to it.

Then, perhaps, you'll find your own escape from the intellectual, emotional and spiritual prison of religious delusion -- like so many of us already have -- and maybe even join the ranks of us who are struggling to make the world a more rational and reasonable place. We could sure use your help! :-)

Sorry for the sermon, but I feel that needed to be said...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

I know that your refusal is out of mere caprice because I referred you to the writings of these historians in pages 50-55 of "Dating the Reigns of Xerxes and Artaxerxes" and you refused to perlustrate it just ... because.

Medice cura te ipsum! :)


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

No, what you referred me to was GERTOUX'S INTERPRETATION of these historians. And, given his horrendously inept interpretation of Plutarch and Thucydides in your earlier references, there's really no point in examining his other citations.

The man has clearly and conclusively demonstrated that he is an unreliable and untrustworthy source for interpretation of historical narratives. You are obviously quite aware of this, given your exemption of Thucydides' work from your historical list, above.

Heal thyself, indeed! :-P


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

I see what you mean because when anyone quotes a historian verbatim they're actually putting their own personal spin on what they're saying ...


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

You see, Joseph, that's the problem...Gertoux WASN'T quoting Thucydides verbatim:

He cherry-picked select segments from Thucydides' narrative, being careful to leave out any parts that would contradict his argument; He was also drew conclusions that the narrative simply doesn't support; He even referenced passages from Plutarch that don't even exist! And, from what I can see, he continues to do this throughout his paper (more on that in a moment).

If you'd like, I can compare and contrast Gertoux's excerpts from Thucydides with the more complete excerpts, and demonstrate for you exactly how Gertoux mucked it up -- either through carelessness or by design.

In the end, Gertoux attempts to date all his assumptions and cherry-picked references from two eclipses on one of the tablets in the Babylonian astronomical diaries. But, as I've already shown, an actual expert in the field (Stolper) reads a different relevant date from the tablet -- one that actually corresponds to the other historical sources, and fits in Thucydides' narrative (as Gertoux's dates do not).

Incidentally, my curiosity got the better of me, and I took a few moments to peruse pages 50-55 of Gertoux's paper, as you suggested. There didn't seem to be much there of substance aside from what we've already examined (some of which I've already refuted).

However, I DID find one reference from Plutarch in those pages for which I must make a personal correction. I asserted before that there are no historical sources that support a co-regency between Artaxerxes and Darius, but there is ONE -- in Plutarch's biography of Artaxerxes, which Gertoux quotes.

That said, there is nothing in Plutarch's biography to suggest that the co-rule was anything more than a brief interim before Darius' execution. Furthermore, there is no indication in Plutarch's biography -- or any other historical source -- that it had any bearing on the beginning date or length of Artaxerxes' reign.

Every historical reference I can find (including Gertoux's tablets) -- with the exception of Plutarch -- all indicate a reign for Artaxerxes from 40 to 42 years.

Which leads to the question of Plutarch's accuracy in recounting the co-rule, for he actually claims that Artaxerxes ruled for 62 years, which contradicts every other historical reference or claim (including yours)!

True to form, in discussing this apparent mistake, Gertoux first makes an unsupported assumption, then flat-out lies.

First, he claims that the "50 years" in the relevant quote refers to the "50th year of Artaxerxes' age" (his reign). But it doesn't. Plutarch is CLEARLY referring to Darius' age, not the age of Artaxerxes' reign at the time:

"...he proclaimed Dareius, then fifty years of age, his successor to the throne..."

Next is the lie regarding the 62 years. Gertoux claims that Plutarch states that Artaxerxes "reigned up till 62 years age." But that is NOT what Plutarch says at all, and he is very specific:

"...He had lived ninety-four years, and had been king sixty-two..."

After quoting multiple paragraphs from Plutarch's narrative, Gertoux purposefully omits the one line (quoted above) that contradicts his own timeline for the beginning of Artaxerxes' reign.

And we're supposed to trust this guy as an authoritative source? Sure...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Gertoux clearly states that Artaxerxes "reigned up till 62 years age" IOW, that Artaxerxes reigned for 62 years. (He's not saying Artaxerxes ruled until the age of 62.) Nothing he says, therefore, contradicts Plutarch.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I'm sorry, Joseph, but you're reading it wrong. In his footnote, Gertoux CLEARLY states that the 62 years refers to Artaxerxes' personal age, NOT the age of his reign. Here's the quote (from page 51), which makes his intentions unambiguous (the "it" to which he's referring is the "fifty" mentioned by Plutarch):

"...In fact, it refers to the 50th year of Artaxerxes age (born in -485), who reigned up till 62 years age (in -423) as Plutarch says at the end of his story..."

By stating that Artaxerxes was born in 485 BCE, then adding 62 years up to the end of his reign in 423 BCE, Gertoux is CLEARLY stating that Artaxerxes reigned until he was 62 years old (not 94, as Plutarch ACTUALLY says at the end of his story).

Reading Gertoux's quote, there is no doubt that he is purposefully misquoting Plutarch, dishonestly trying to convince us that Plutarch was using the word "age" as a synonym for "reign" -- instead of the more literal use that Plutarch obviously intended.

If we had examined nothing else of Gertoux's thesis, this single, clear instance of obsfucation alone should be enough to make one doubt the integrity and reliability of Gertoux's argument.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

Just read about Godel on wiki....


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I did (along with other sites). That's how I learned about his Incompleteness Theorem, what it means and how some have tried to use it to "prove" the existence of God.

With all due respect, Oztinato, I'm not going to do your work for you. If you're going to continue to make posts on hubs insisting that Gödel has a theorem that conclusively proves the existence of God, it's up to you to understand it enough to be able to defend your remarks.

It's common knowledge for those of us with some experience that -- more often than not -- a believer who's quoting something from a creationist or apologist website hasn't even bothered to research or understand the material for themselves. They're already convinced, so they're eager to accept, at face value, anything that seems to support their point of view.

So merely finding an impressive-sounding scientific or mathematical reference from such a site isn't going to convince a non-believer, if you can't defend it yourself. As I said before -- and I'm genuinely not trying to be snarky here, but helpful -- it's only going to make you look foolish.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

You're not making sense. How does any of this change the fact that:

1. Artaxerxes I began ruling in 475 BCE as per Charon, Thucydides, Cornelius Nepos, Eusebius, etc., etc. as well as per BM 32234?

2. That his 20th year of his rulership corresponds to 455 BCE and marks the beginning of the countdown of the seventy weeks of years prophesied in Daniel?

3. And that the prophecy of the seventy weeks of years takes us to the baptism of Christ in 29 CE?

4. Thus proving the Bible to be the Inspired Word of God Almighty?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Of course, I'm making complete sense. I said -- and I'll say it again -- that, in addition to making unsubstantiated assumptions, misquotes and spelling errors, your primary source for the 475 BCE date (Gerard Gertoux) is a demonstrable liar.

I've already explained -- twice -- how Gertoux lied outright regarding Plutarch's narrative regarding Artaxerxes' age. You can ignore it (as you appear to be doing), but you can't change that fact.

That you continue to rely upon his "research" -- despite all these glaring discrepancies -- demonstrates that you're more committed to clinging to your misguided belief in the Daniel 9 prophecy than you are to the actual truth. This is what religious delusion does to people.

Also -- again, as I've already demonstrated -- Thucydides absolutely DOES NOT say that Artaxerxes began ruling in 475 BCE. Given the known dates that correspond with his narrative, Thucydides actally makes your 475 BCE date impossible.

And -- again, as I've already demonstrated -- an actual expert in the field (Stolper) contradicts the dates you've drawn from BM 322234. According to his translation of the tablet, the date they list for Artaxerxes' ascension is 465 BCE, which agrees with EVERY other historical reference.

As for Charon, Nepos, Eusebius, etc, these are new references you've now added. If they're as reliable as those you've already offered, I daresay they'll probably make your case even weaker.

Joseph, every reference that you've offered thus far -- most of it from Gertoux's paper -- has proven to be either contradicted by actual experts in the field, contrary to your own arguments, outright fabrications or demonstrable untruths. Your desperate insistence that these still constitute "proof" of God's "inspired word" demonstrates just how far down the rabbit hole you've fallen.

Please come to your senses. This is getting truly pathetic.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Incompletenes theorem:(wiki)

The first incompleteness theorem states that no consistent system of axioms whose theorems can be listed by an "effective procedure" (e.g., a computer program, but it could be any sort of algorithm) is capable of proving all truths about the relations of the natural numbers (arithmetic)

God theorem: (wiki)

Gödel's ontological proof is a formal argument for God's existence by the mathematician Kurt Gödel (1906–1978).


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, we're all very pleased to see that you can copy and paste from a Wiki page. But that doesn't explain how Gödel's theorem proves God's existence -- or, for that matter, how the ontological argument proves it.

Please elaborate, in your own words.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

And yet Gertoux's paper is inconsequential to the fact that Artaxerxes began ruling in 475 BCE. For instance, a tablet links "the end of Artaxerxes’ reign and the beginning of the reign of Darius II {that is to say Ochus} [with] the following date: “51st year, accession year, 12th month, day 20, Darius, king of lands.” (The Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, Series A: Cuneiform Texts, Vol. VIII, Part I, by Albert T. Clay, 1908, pp. 34, 83, and Plate 57, Tablet No. 127, designated CBM 12803) {Braces mine.}

Given Artaxerxes' relatively brief co-regency with his legitimate son Darius, as per Plutarch, and since the first regnal year of Ochus, aka Darius II, was in 423 B.C.E., it means that the 51st year of Artaxerxes was in 424 B.C.E. and his first regnal year was in 474 B.C.E." not 465 BCE.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

paladin, it is meant to show you what the facts of Gödel's two different theorems are. Comprende?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, either you have a very short memory, or you simply choose to forget any evidence that contradicts your argument.

As I already demonstrated in an earlier comment, the report you quote from the University of Pennsylvania's Babylonian expedition says nothing about a "51st year" of Artaxerxes' reign. There is no such quote, and no such citation -- on the tablet translation or in the discussion of it.

First, I'll repeat again the relevant quote from Dr. Clay (from the report):

"The dated tablets of Artaxerxes I show that he ruled, instead of forty years, as given by Diodorus, about forty-two years."

As for the supposed reference to "51st year" (of Artaxerxes' reign) on tablet 127, here is the actual text, which is a "Receipt given for the payment of wool":

------

"'2 1/2 minas of silver the price of 5 talents of wool, Dannu-aheshu-ibni, son of Bel-iddina, received from the hand of Belshunu, son of Mannu-ki-Nand, as per order of Ellil-shum-iddina. He shall deliver the money, namely 2 1/2 minas. Dannu-aheshu-ibni with Ellil-shum-iddina paying for Belshunu.

The names of five witnesses, of the scribe and the date follow."

------

That's it. The reference to the tablet (on page 83) has only the following specifications as to date:

Dariamush [Darius] II

Ascension year

month 12

day 20

That's all. The reference to the "51st year" is conspicuously ABSENT. Either you falsely added that to the reference or -- more likely -- you simply trusted another source who did so.

So, Joseph, I'll ask again: How many of your sources have to be revealed as unreliable or untrustworthy before you accept that your 475 BCE argument is wholly unsubstantiated?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

That's very interesting and enlightening, Oztinato. But you still haven't explained to us how Gödel's theorem -- or the more conventional ontological argument -- proves God's existence.

We're still waiting...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

I will be glad to move onto those points Paladin as long as we now both agree that the ontological proof is NOT the same as the incompleteness theorem. Once we fully clarify that in our minds, I will proceed.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Had you bothered to go to plate 57 you would have come across this: http://bit.ly/R9Ot0H. You'll notice where he inserts a note indicating 41 years as a purported correction for the 51 years of Artaxerxe's actual reign. Problem with this "correction" is that it ignores the brief period Artaxerxes coruled with his legitimate son, Darius.

In other words, there's no need for a correction; there is no scribal error and 465 BCE is eliminated as Artaxerxe's accession year.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, Oztinato, the real question is whether YOU understand the difference between the two. You may recall, about six weeks ago, in the hub "Faith: Crazy Belief Without Evidence," you mentioned "Gödel's recently proven "God Theorem."

However, it WASN'T his "God theorem" that had been recently "proven." Rather, it was his INCOMPLETENESS theorem. This is what led to all the confusion in the first place -- that you made a reference to one theorem, while actually citing recent events that concerned the other.

Now that we both appear to understand the difference, please procede with your "proof" -- either with the traditional ontological argument or Gödel's version of it -- that God exists.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, why did you reference pages 34 and 83 of the Babylonian Expedition Report in your earlier comments, when neither page -- nor the entire report -- makes reference to the "51st" year notation?

In any case, it's interesting that you suggest that Dr. Clay's correction of tablet 12803 is in error, since ALL the other tablets you referenced in an earlier comment state that Artaxerxes's reign lasted 40 years or so. Funny how the ONE tablet out of the ten is correct, and all the other nine -- and Dr. Clay -- are wrong!

If that's not cherry-picking, I don't know what is!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

I would like to proceed but unfortunately both Godel's theorems were proved and not just the incompleteness theorem.

I feel as if you are unclear that there are two separate theorems both of which have been proved.

Nevertheless as the God theorem has been proved it contradicts the first three points you have made in your premise ie. god IS necessary(as proved by Godel), God is quite possible to prove (by science/math) and God is provable by logic.(ie the theorem).

Your reason 8 ("asleep on the job") is a negative proof of God that atheists often use. By blaming God you atheists are providing a negative proof.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Actually some better questions are::

1. Why did you ignore the actual text of plate 57, which I referred you to multiple times?

2. Why do you ignore Artaxerxe's brief co-regency with his legitimate son Darius as per s per BM 54557, Bertin 2889, BM 33342, BE 10 no. 4, BE 10 no. 5, BE 10 no. 6, PBS 2/1 no. 1, BE 10 no. 7 and PBS 2/1 no. 3 as well as Plutarch?

3. Why do you ignore the fact that, in addition to CBM 12803, B. M. 65494 proves that Artaxerxes ruled beyond four decades?

And finally,

4. Why do you monomaniacally insist on pretending all of this explicit evidence of the Bible's divine inspiration and God's necessary existence just doesn't exist?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, now you've now made three assertions for which you STILL have to offer any explanation or proof:

First, you claimed that Gödel's theorem proves God's existence, but your explanation is still forthcoming...

Next, you claimed that his "God" theorem has been proven, but you haven't yet demonstrated this.

Finally, you NOW claim that God is "quite possible to prove by science, math and logic, but offer no evidence of this either.

You appear to be quite adept at making claims, but severely lacking in offering anything to back them up. I'm still waiting...


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, how can I ignore the "actual" text of the plate in question when it doesn't exist? The text you claim is there --

"51st year, accession year, 12th month, day 20"

...is NOWHERE to be found in the entire report of the Babylonian Expedition. Not on the specific pages you cited, nor in the entire text of the report (including the notes).

You linked to an image of the plate, but the phrase isn't on the plate, either. In fact, the plate is entirely in cuneiform, and the ONLY way either you or I can tell what is there is by relying on experts who've translated it.

The actual expert -- the author of the report -- Dr. Clay (Professor of Semitic Philology and Archaeology) makes it clear that the ONE tablet you choose to quote contains a scribal error. However, since the expert and ALL the other tablets disagree with you, THEY must be wrong!

As for the other tablets you've cited, there is no translation that I can find of their contents that suggests a co-regency of Artaxerxes and either of his sons. If you have an authoritative source for these translations (aside from Gertoux, a demonstrated liar and NOT an expert), please provide it!

As for Plutarch's reference to a co-regency, you've conveniently forgotten that he also insists that Artaxerxes ruled for 62 years! Which pretty much destroys your timeline, doesn't it? ;-)

As for CBM 12803, you DO realize that's the same as plate 57, don't you? Why are you repeating yourself in questions 1 and 3?

And where the heck did B. M. 65494 come from? That's a completely new reference you just pulled out of your bag!

Joseph, you say that I'm "pretending" that all your "evidence" for the "divine inspiration" of the Bible doesn't exist. But there's certainly no need on my part to pretend.

Thus far, your evidence is practially non-existent:

-- You cite the JPS Tanach to support your definition of "sevens," then, when a closer look at the tanach obliterates your timeline, you ignore it altogether, never to mention it again.

-- You quote ancient tablets which actual experts translate as saying something else altogether, but you insist that THEY'RE the ones who are wrong.

-- You quote Thucydides, until a more complete reading of his narrative makes your own chronology physically impossible, then you abandon him, too (though I notice you did try to sneak him back in more recently).

-- You quote Plutarch, but when a more complete reading of HIS narrative contradicts your timeline as well, you simply choose to ignore the offensive part, and continue to quote the rest.

-- You cite an academic paper from a graduate student as an authoritative source for historical references, but when it's demonstrated that he clearly lies at least once in his paper, you say it's "inconsequential."

Joseph, your argument simply isn't convincing. EVERY piece of "evidence" you've cited thus far -- from the historical narratives to the translations of ancient tablets by actual EXPERTS -- appear to contradict and undermine it.

Of course, you can continue to insist that all this disintegrating "evidence" somehow "proves" that your argument is sound, that the prophecy in Daniel 9 truly applies to Jesus and that the Bible is "divinely inspired." But by this point, the only person you're going to convince is yourself.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

So let me get this straight:

- you claim the text "51st year, accession year, 12th month, day 20" is nowhere to be found in CBM 12803 yet Dr. Clay claims this phrase should actually read 41st year instead of 51st year

- you have no clue what BM 65494 states yet you insist it doesn't prove that Artaxerxes ruled more than four decades

- and, finally, you still choose to ignore all of the references to Artaxerxes' co-regency with his legitimate son Darius as per BM 54557, Bertin 2889, BM 33342, BE 10 no. 4, BE 10 no. 5, BE 10 no. 6, PBS 2/1 no. 1, BE 10 no. 7 and PBS 2/1 no. 3.

And I'm the one trying to convince themselves? lol :)


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

well it looks like a Mexican stand off as I can't continue until we clear up the fact that we are talking about two Godel theorems.

Do you or do you not acknowledge that we are talking about two separate/proven Godel theorems?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Hehe. Oztinato, you don't get off that easy. I already stated that I agreed that there are two different theorems -- two comments ago.

As for whether both are proven, that is entirely UP TO YOU to demonstrate. I'm still looking forward to your explanation of how this "God" theorem demonstrates the existence of God.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, you must have had plenty of practice at creating strawmen, because you seem awfully good at it! ;-)

I'm not saying that tablet 12803 doesn't read "51st." I NEVER claimed that. I'm not even saying that the complete phrase you quoted --

"51st year, accession year, 12th month, day 20"

-- isn't actually on the tablet!

What I AM saying is that specific quote can't be found anywhere in the report. Not in the image, not in the notations and certainly not on the two specific pages you cited as your evidence.

It may seem like a minor semantic quibble to you, but if you're going to put something in quotation marks as a specific reference -- especially citing specific pages -- one ought to be able to find it somewhere in that reference, should they not? At the very least, they ought to be able to find it on the pages you cite.

I also never specifically claimed that BM 65494 doesn't prove that Artaxerxes ruled more than four decades. In fact, I admitted that I knew nothing about that particular tablet (I'm actually still searching for an authoritative translation).

Nor am I ignoring your claim that the other tablets you mention suggest a co-regency of Artaxerxes and Darius (though I suspect you're assuming that the double-dating on some of the tablets constitutes such evidence).

What I AM claiming is that these tablets don't support your overall argument that Artaxerxes' reign began in 475 BCE, and that this somehow makes the verses in Daniel a genuine prophecy of Jesus.

You may recall, I even asked for proof -- in the translation of an actual EXPERT - of this in my most recent comments, but you're too busy building strawmen to provide it. Something tells me I'm going to have a long wait... ;-D


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Sorry for the double post, Joseph, but I've finally managed to find a source that quotes BM 65494, making a reference to "month 6, day 4, year 50" of Artaxerxes' reign. However -- again, an expert in the field (C. B. F. Walker of the British Museum) has stated that this is an error, and that it should actually read "40."

Thus, you appear to have at least two tablets that suggest that Artaxerxes ruled for at least 50 years, but both of them have been corrected by experts. Are you still insisting that the experts -- as well as all the other tablets that suggest a 41-year reign -- are wrong, and you are right?

In any case, I'll still wait for the evidence I requested in my preceding comments.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Except that no tablet suggests a 41 year reign in the first place! They ALL point to the brief co-regency between Artaxerxes and his legitimate son Darius which Plutarch wrote of.

Given this fact and since the first regnal year of Ochus, aka Darius II, was in 423 B.C.E., the 51st year of Artaxerxes was in 424 B.C.E. and his first regnal year was in 474 B.C.E. not 465 BCE. 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.

To surmise, 455 BCE + 483 years (the 69 weeks of years) = 29 CE the precise year Christ was anointed as the Messiah and the prophecy at Daniel 9:25 is fulfilled.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

OK so now that you have finally admitted you were wrong about the two separate theorems being the same I am free to continue?

Is that correct?

The fact that the God theorem stands up to math means that a belief in God is not in fact illogical.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, I've suspected from the beginning that you don't understand Gödel's theorem -- either of them. But now, given your persistent refusal to explain how either of them prove God's existence (even after you claimed you'd be happy to do so), I'm CONVINCED that you don't understand them.

So, unless you quit equivocating and evading and justify your assertions in your next comments, I'm going to procede from the assumption that you're just posting nonsense you don't even comprehend, and treat your comments accordingly.

Also, if I ever find you posting this Gödel nonsense in other hubs I come across, I'll challenge you there as well.

In other words, put up or shut up!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, Joseph, ALL of the tablets DO suggest a 41-year reign, including the aforementioned BM 33342, which has been corrected from 51 to 41. But there are more.

For example, according to Dr. Stolper, BM 54557 refers to a time period up "to the end of month XII, year 41, accession of Darius.”

Or consider Bertin 2889, which, according to Dr. Francis Joannès, refers to "day 26, month XI, year 41, accession-year of Darius."

Or BE 10 no. 4, which is "dated to day 14, month XII, year 41, accession-year of Darius II, king of the lands"

Or BE 10 no. 5, which makes a reference to "until the end of Adar (month XII) of year 41, accession-year of Darius, king of the lands.”

Or BE 10 no. 6, which mentions "the first month of year 41 to the end of month XII of the accession-year of Darius."

Or PBS 2/1 no. 1, which is "dated to day 22, month XII, year 41, accession-year of Darius II."

Or BE 10 no. 7, which notes a "receipt for produce for, “year 41, accession-year of Darius.”

Or PBS 2/1 no. 3, (involving missing characters), which makes reference to "up to the end of month XII, year (4)1, (ac)cession year of Darius."

In the end, all you have left in your ever-diminishing list of evidentiary resources is a particular interpretation of ancient tablets (which is contradicted by the translations of the experts who can actually read them), and a couple of historical narratives (Thucydides and Plutarch) which actually CONTRADICT your 475 BCE chronology.

THIS is what you're basing your conclusion of a "fulfilled" prophecy on. I've seen better proof for the Loch Ness monster (at least they have photographs)!


gconeyhiden profile image

gconeyhiden 2 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

Hi Paladin, My humble opinion is this hub is concise and accurate and makes it's points brilliantly. Your making all the points I try to make w.o going on and on. A big thumbs up!!!!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, GConey! It's been my policy -- ever since my first few hubs -- to try to keep the total words in any of my pieces to 1,000 or less. I think that's just about right to keep people interested and make one's points without droning on and on.

It's good to know one's efforts are appreciated!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

I already did put up; I'm still waiting for a response to my observation re

"The fact that the God theorem stands up to math means that a belief in God is not in fact illogical".

You haven't responded to this as yet!!

I take it you have now admitted you know there are two separate theorems and that you were in fact wrong that they were one and the same?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, your "observation" doesn't prove anything. All you've done is make one more statement that you can't explain. How can we take your word on this or any other statement when you refuse to explain ANY of them?

You've tried to escape the burden of justifying your assertions by claiming that the theorem "stands up to math." But how do you know this?

Please explain...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

to an unbiased observer i have put forward two observations that are true and need a response;

1. you were mistaken about the two theorems being the same

2. the Godel ontological proof theorem proves that a belief in God is not illogical.

To proceed we need a response to hopefully both of these points. I would be happy if you responded to point 2.

Thanks.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Fair enough. I'll happily reply to both.

As to the first, yes I was mistaken about the two theorems, and I've no problem admitting that. They both have been used as ontological arguments for the existence of God, and the first articles I came across dealt with the Incompleteness Theorem. Hence, I mistakenly believed that was what you referring to.

That settles that, and it should no longer exist as a distraction or an excuse.

As for point number 2, I disagree. Gödel's "God" Theorem (the more exclusively ontological theorem to which you're referring) does NOT prove that a belief in God is "not illogical." Furthermore, I propose that it doesn't prove ANYTHING with regard to God.

In any case, your original point wasn't merely that Gödel's theorem makes belief in God more logical. It was that the theorem actually PROVES God's existence. I'll quote your initial comment here:

"...Godel...proved with pure logic and math that God exists."

Hopefully, now, you'll offer your evidence for this statement.

You're welcome. :-)


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Yes, that's why I qualified my statement ie only according to maths Godel proved (mathematically) that God exists.

What is needed is a repeatable scientific experiment to prove the math in real life.

However, just as with so called string theory (which is another a priori assumption based on necessity) this is as yet unprovable by scientific experiment. This does not stop string or God theorists from using either theory to explain and work with the math in real life.

Both theories may, or may not, ever be proved by actual scientific repeatable observable experiments.

The necessity of string theory is that it explains the way particles behave both as particles and waves.

The necessity of God theory is that it gives an ultimate casual factor to the universe which science can't provide (as shown by the Incompleteness theorem). In other words the God theorem alone is capable of being a "complete" answer or "true" in the final sense of the word.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

But, Oztinato, I'm not convinced that Gödel DID prove mathematically that God exists!

That's from sensational (and irresponsible!) news headlines regarding the academic paper by Benzmüller and Woltzenlogel -- the two scientists who supposedly did the "proving." Of course, news publishers know that such headlines are going to get attention, but they're not entirely accurate.

What Benzmüller and Woltzenlogel actually did was prove a modified version (by Dana Scott) of Gödel's theorem as expressed in mathematical syntax. However, to constitute evidentiary "proof," the theorem must fulfill three fundamental requirements:

First, the axioms, definitions and component theorems must all be logically coherent or consistent. The computer programs the two scientists used insist that they are -- at least as expressed in their mathematical syntax.

Second, the mathematical translation of each must express the logical or philosophical meaning of the original language EXACTLY. I'm not convinced this is even possible, though I lack the mathematical knowledge to say so with authority.

Third -- and most importantly -- the original axioms, definitions and component theorems of the complete theorem must present a rational, comprehensive and convincing argument. They don't, and this is where I insist Gödel's argument fails.

Whether or not the overall theorem -- as expressed in mathematical syntax -- can be "proven" by computer software as logically consistent and coherent doesn't constitute evidentiary proof. If the original argument isn't convincing, all the mathematical translations in the world aren't going to prove anything.

As for the Incompleteness Theorem, I disagree with your assessment of it's implications as well. But let's stick to this theorem for the moment.

Incidentally, I also share your dislike of string theory, and I've never embraced its absurd notions of additional dimensions (actually, it's beginning to fall out of "vogue" with many scientists as well). So that's a non-starter with regard to this topic.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Once again, you're confusing Artaxerxes legitimate son, Darius, with his illegitimate son Ochus (who changed his name to Darius when he became king in 423 BCE).

As I've already proven, in his 41st regnal year, that is, 414 BCE, Artaxerxes begins a co-regency with his (legitimate) son, Darius (not his illegitimate son Ochus, aka Darius). This co-regency lasts eight years until Darius' plot to murder his father fails and is himself executed BY ARTAXERXES. Artaxerxes then resumes sole rulership until his death in 424 BCE. He is succeeded by another legitimate son, Xerxes II but he only rules for a few short months because he's murdered by his half-brother, Sogdianus who is subsequently murdered by his brother Ochus a few months later. 423 BCE thus becomes the first regnal year of Ochus (who changed his name to Darius once upon the throne).

All of this is clearly explained by Plutarch whom you have yet to refute!

So you see, all of these tablets reference Darius' co-regency with his father Artaxerxes in 414 BCE, not Ochus' regency (a.k.a. Darius) which began in 423 BCE, his first regnal year.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Need more evidence? Diodorus Siculus wrote, “In Asia King Xerxes died after a reign of one year, or, as some record, two months; and his brother Sogdianus succeeded to the throne and ruled for seven months. He was slain by Darius [aka Ochus], who reigned nineteen years.” (Diodorus of Sicily, XII, 71, 1) (Brackets mine).


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Damn this delete function!!!

No, Joseph, I'm not confusing Ochus with original Darius. And, no, you HAVEN'T proven that Artaxerxes began a co-regency with ANYONE in 414 BCE. If Artaxerxes began a co-rule in his 41st year, it would have been in 424, not 414 BCE.

Even by your own timeline, you haven't proven that. You've insisted, time and time again, that Artaxerxes began his rule in 475 BCE. If he began a co-rule in his 41st year, that would make it -- BY YOUR OWN TIMELINE -- 434, not 414 BCE. Either your math sucks, or I'm missing something here...

As for Plutarch, his narrative doesn't support your argument, either, so there's no need to "refute" him. Yes, he states that Artaxerxes began a co-rule with one of his sons, but he doesn't specify WHEN that co-rule began, nor does he specify HOW LONG that co-rule lasted. It could have been a week, or it could have been a decade, for all we know.

In any case, it's interesting that you continue to refer to Plutarch, who actually contradicts your timeline -- which depends upon a 51-year long reign for Artaxerxes. But Plutarch clearly states that Artaxerxes reigned for 62 years -- which you seem to conveniently keep forgetting.

As for Diodorus, I don't know what you think that proves. All his quote states is that Ochus succeeded Sogdianus, who succeeded Xerxes (II). It says nothing about the existence or length of any co-regency.

In the end, the only evidence you appear to have for a co-rule of Artaxerxes and ANYONE is a quote from Plutarch, who contradicts your timeline.

Some evidence! :-P


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin,

the God theorem has been proved to the satisfaction of highly qualified mathematicians/physicists like Stephen Hawking. It is also historical fact that Godel and Einstein were the closest of friends in the last years of Einstein's life and spent many hours discussing these theorems. They were arguably cross checked by Einstein and found to be worthy. Subsequent history and powerful computers concur.

The "necessity" of string theory is that wave/particle behavior needs to be solved. In other words string theory "works" as a theory.

Likewise a "God theory" is needed to solve the insolvable problems left out by physics. It too "works" on many levels; the main level it works on is paradoxically the existential human dilemmas we face as sentient beings (which is part and parcel of the definition of a God concerned about the human condition).

As the saying goes "if it ain't broke don't fix it".


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

I take it then you've never heard of the Murashu Tablets. From these we know that Artaxerxe's co-regency with his legitimate son Darius, not to be confused with his illegitimate son Darius Ochus, began in his 41st regnal year and ended on his 49th, that is to say from 434 BCE - 426 BCE. (The dates in my last rejoinder got thrown off by the BCE math. I should have been going the other way.)

Taken in conjunction with Diodorus' account we can work backwards from the date of Darius Ochus' first regnal year to arrive at Artaxerxe's first regnal year:

Darius Ochus: 423 BCE (as per CBM 12803 and The Encyclopedia Britannica)

Sogdianus: 424 BCE

Xerxes: 424 BCE

Artaxerxes: 425 BCE (rules for 51 years until his death in 425 BCE which includes the Artaxerxes/ Darius co-regency: 426 BCE - 434 BCE (From Artaxerxes' 41st regnal year until his 49th as per Tablets of Murashu))

So you're faced with the challenge of refuting Plutarch and Diodorus, whose historical recordings not only affirm 475 BCE as the first regnal year for Artaxerxes but make 464 BCE an impossibility, as well as the Murashu tablets. It's either that or become a theist :)

The floor is yours ...


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, I believe you're mistaken about Gödel's "God" Theorem being proven to "the satisfaction" of Stephen Hawking. The last I knew, Hawking was a confirmed atheist.

In any case, what you're doing is making an appeal to authority, which isn't a logically valid or convincing argument. What is important is if Gödel's argument is convincing to YOU, and why -- not Stephen Hawking.

I asked you repeatedly why you found Gödel's theorem convincing, and you eventually offered an answer that is at least reasonable -- that the theorem "holds up to mathematics." That's fine if it's the ONLY way we have to examine the theorem. But it's not.

Gödel's theorem exists in an English translation that you and I can both examine and analyze for ourselves, without having to make the assumption that the mathematical syntax is accurate. In that more original form, the theorem is merely another form of the age-old ontological argument for God's existence and, like the ontological argument, it is wholly unconvincing.

As for your second-to-last paragraph, where you proclaim that Gödel's "God" Theorem is needed to solve unanswered questions in physics, and that it "works" on "human dilemmas," you're WAY off base. The theorem says NOTHING about any of this.

Are we even talking about the same theorem?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Yes, Joseph, I assumed you added the ten years instead of subtracting them. With all the negative numbers, it's a wonder we both don't get more confused. :-)

And, yes, I've heard of the Murashu tablets. They're the same tablets we've been discussing all along (at least some of them are part of the Murashu collection). And -- again -- from what I understand, those tablets are merely double-dated, which doesn't confirm a co-regency.

I think we both agree on the ENDING date of Artaxerxes' rule. The problem is that you insist on counting 51 years back to date the beginning, whereas the evidence tells me that we need to count back only 41 years.

As for "refuting" Plutarch and Diodorus -- again, there's no need to. Neither of their accounts "affirm" that Artaxerxes' rule began in 475 BCE. That is based entirely upon YOUR assumption that Artaxerxes ruled 51 years, counting back from 423 BCE.

Diodorus says NOTHING about the length of Artaxerxes reign, and I'll remind you -- AGAIN -- that Plutarch claims it lasted SIXTY-TWO years!

So, are you going to "refute" Plutarch, or are you going to become an atheist? ;-)


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Sorry for the second post, Oztinato, but it appears you're somewhat confused about what Gödel's "God" Theorem actually says. Either you haven't read it, or perhaps you're relying on someone else's assessment of it.

Would it help if I posted it here -- at least Dana Scott's updated version of it (which is the version mathematically "confirmed" by Benzmüller and Woltzenlogel)?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

So you're just going to chuck the Artaxerxes/Darius co-regency Plutarch and the Murashu tablets attest to which lasted from 434 BCE to 426 BCE?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Joseph, where does Plutarch state that the Artaxerxes/Darius co-rule lasted from 434 to 426 BCE? Or, for that matter, where do any of the Murashu tablets say this?

Please provide specific references I can check for myself. Thanks.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Sorry for the second post, Joseph, but I've managed to answer part of my own question, in a manner of speaking.

A couple of things have been nagging me about Plutarch's account of Artaxerxes' life. As Plutarch is generally respected as an authoritative historical source, his claim that Artaxerxes ruled for 62 years seems an outrageous error. Also, he refers to Artaxerxes' first choice of successor as "Darius," when Artaxerxes' initial successor was actually Xerxes II.

Now, after taking a longer and more comprehensive look at Plutarch's biography, I understand the reason for the apparent mistakes: Plutarch's life of Artaxerxes isn't the biography of Artaxerxes the First. It is the biography of Artaxerxes the SECOND!

The narrative in Plutarch's story matches the events of the SECOND Artaxerxes -- his struggle with his brother Cyrus over who was to rule, his troubles with his mother, Parysatis and his battles with the Greeks.

Even more to the point, Plutarch begins his "Life" of Artaxerxes with the following sentence (emphasis mine):

"The first Artaxerxes, preeminent among the kings of Persia for gentleness and magnanimity, was surnamed Longimanus, because his right hand was longer than his left, and was the son of Xerxes; the SECOND ARTAXERXES, THE SUBJECT OF THIS LIFE, was surnamed Memor, or Mindful..."

Part of the understandable confusion arises because the repetition of names through multiple reigns. For example, the first Artaxerxes and the second Artaxerxes BOTH had a son named Ochus:

Artaxerxes 1's son Ochus became Darius II (after replacing Sogdianus, who replaced Xerxes II).

Artaxerxes 2's son Ochus became Artaxerxes III after replacing his first successor, yet ANOTHER Darius!

(Incidentally, it's no accident that Plutarch makes no mention of Sogdianus (another point that's been bothering me). He was a successor to the FIRST Artaxerxes, not the subject of Plutarch's narrative).

So the supposed "confusion" between the "first" Darius II and the "second" Darius II in the aftermath of the first Artaxerxes' death is a complete fiction. The first son (and first successor) was named Xerxes, not Darius.

Plutarch's reference to a co-rule between Artaxerxes and his son applies to the SECOND Artaxerxes (nearly a hundred years after the ascension of the first) -- so it has NOTHING to do with your timeline, nor with our debate.

So it seems NEITHER of us has to "refute" Plutarch. :-) Still, I'd like to see that co-rule quote from the tablets...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

I understand its existential repercussions completely, as did Einstein and now Hawking.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, whether Einstein and Hawking understood the supposed "existential repercussions" of Gödel's theorem isn't even an issue.

You're suggesting Einstein agreed with the theorem, but it hadn't been mathematically "proven" while he was still alive. In fact, it had to be ALTERED from Gödel's original format before Benzmüller and Woltzenlogel could even perform their computer "confirmation!"

As for Hawking, he is a self-declared atheist, so it's IMPOSSIBLE that he agrees with the "existential repercussions" of the theorem -- specifically, that God exists.

In both cases, you're simply trying to name-drop, making an appeal to authority to bolster your case. And in the case of these two scientists, they don't even agree with you!

In any case, as I suggested before, what matters is if YOU AND I understand the "existential repercussions" of Gödel's theorem. Given what you claimed in your last comments -- regarding it's application to the "insolvable problems" of physics and "existential human dilemmas" -- you clearly DO NOT understand it.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

of course I disagree with you. Einstein's mind of course understood the maths and the implications of Godel's God theorem. No one can seriously doubt that.

The existential implications are the whole point of the argument here: Hawking agrees that science can never answer all questions, hence indirectly giving greater weight to Godel's key idea of "necessity". Hawking's comments are often agnostic.

I completely understand the repercussions of these theorems: In terms of both science and existence it means 1.the God theorem is the only possible answer to "a theory of everything"; 2. the idea of God is the only provable theory regarding the "human dilemma" as science admits it cannot existentially answer all questions.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I'm sorry, Oztinato, but you're simply wrong regarding Einstein, because Einstein NEVER SAW Gödel's theorem.

Gödel didn't even make his ontological theorem known until 1970, when he had Dana Scott copy it out for limited distribution. Albert Einstein died in 1955 -- 15 years earlier. So your assertion that...

"...Einstein...understood the maths and the implications of Godel's God theorem..."

...is absolute, unadulterated B.S, and EVERYONE can "seriously doubt" it! Again, you simply don't know what you're talking about.

As for Hawking, whether or not he ever claimed that "science can never answer all questions" has NOTHING to do with whether Gödel's theorem is valid. And he obviously doesn't agree with the theorem's implications regarding the existence of God because he's a declared atheist.

As for your two numbered assertions, you're absolutely wrong on both counts. The idea of God has yet to be proven, so you're statement that the "idea of God is the only provable theory" is nothing but a completely unfounded assumption.

As for the "God" theorem being the "only possible answer to a 'theory of everything,'" you clearly have misunderstood the meaning of the TOE. It doesn't mean a theory that literally explains EVERYTHING. It is much more specific. Rather, it is the goal of physicists who seek to unify the laws governing the four fundamental forces of the universe:

-- the strong nuclear force

-- the weak nuclear force

-- electromagnetism

-- gravity

Thus far, physicists have managed to combine the first three in some limited fashion but, thus far, we have yet to add gravity to the mix. THIS is the dream that Einstein was pursuing to his dying day, and what most physicists still dream of even today. But Gödel's theorem says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about this.

So, again, you're just spitting in the wind, and clearly have no idea what you're talking about.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

the facts are on Wiki for all to read.

Einstein discussed everything with Godel nearly every day during the last years of his life (while Godel was formulating his theorems). It can all be fact checked. Such all encompassing work is not just formulated overnight.

Hawking's free online essay about Godel's Incompleteness theorem does indeed factually dismiss the power of science to ever find the "theory of everything" and implores scientists to stop trying this approach (all based on Godel's work).

The only other "theory of everything" (so called string theory) is also regarded as a philosophy and is based on another "a priori" premise.

All objective readers will decide for themselves as to the correctness of these propositions for and against Godel: however the finest scientific minds and computers of the last hundred years all agree with Godel.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, indeed, the "facts" are available on Wiki to read. According to Wiki, Gödel showed NOBODY his Ontological Theorem until 1970 -- 15 years after Einstein's death -- when he allowed Dana Scott to copy and distribute it. So, again, your suggestion that Einstein understood and agreed with the theorem is B.S.

You're also full of it when you suggest that Gödel formulated his Ontological Theorem near the end of Einstein's life. Again, according to Wiki, Gödel formulated the theorem as early as 1941 -- 15 years BEFORE Einstein's death.

And you keep making references to Hawking and Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. But that's not what we're talking about, is it?

In your very first comment on this hub, you declared that Gödel's "God" (Ontological) Theorem meant that my reason number 2 is wrong (that God's impossible to prove). When I confused it with his Incompleteness Theorem (which has also been used to try to "prove" God's existence), you made a big deal out of drawing a distinction between the two -- and were quite adamant about it.

Now, when faced with the prospect of examining Gödel's Ontological Theorem at face value, you're subtly trying to shift the focus back to his Incompleteness Theorem -- which is on much firmer philosophical ground.

Again, Einstein never read Gödel's Ontological Theorem and, while Hawking may be impressed with Gödel's INCOMPLETENESS Theorem, he clearly doesn't agree with his ONTOLOGICAL Theorem (because he's an atheist).

Even if Einstein and Hawking agreed with Gödel's Ontological Theorem, it wouldn't make it correct. But they don't. So your assertion that the "finest scientific minds" agree with Gödel's Ontological Theorem is just something you pulled out of your butt.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

paladin

I do not respond well to personal attacks. Its a sign that you are losing the debate as well.

Einstein was completely familiar with Godel and his ideas. he would not have embraced his company so0 readily if he wasn't interested. As I said these theorems and ideas don't happen overnight.

I have clearly said that Hawking embraces Godel's incompleteness theorem.

If the insults and personal attacks don't stop there is no point in continuing.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, I'm sorry if you consider my comments "personal attacks." It just seems to me that you're being a bit disingenuous in some of your comments and your overall tactics.

For example, your very own source (Wiki) has stated that Gödel didn't show anyone his Ontological Theorem until 1970 -- 15 years after Einstein died. Yet you continue to insist that Einstein was "completely familiar" with Gödel's ideas, without a shred of evidence that he ever actually saw his Ontological Theorem -- actually DESPITE evidence to the contrary! You're just assuming.

And you keep pointing out that Hawking "embraces" Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem. But the topic of this discussion ISN'T Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem! It's his ONTOLOGICAL Theorem.

I know -- from your initial comments -- that you understand the difference between the two theorems. So the only plausible explanation for your constantly referring to Hawking's view of the Incompleteness Theorem is that you're dishonestly trying to deflect from the ACTUAL topic of our discussion.

In any case, the most absurd aspect of this debate is that you're arguing a point that is completely irrelevant! Even if both Einstein and Hawking DID understand and agree with Gödel's ONTOLOGICAL Theorem, it wouldn't make it correct!

Brilliant minds are often wrong about subjects outside their field of expertise. Sometimes, they're wrong even about subjects WITHIN their fields of expertise (Einstein and Hawking among them)!

You've been trying for the last week or so to lend weight to your own assessment of Gödel's ONTOLOGICAL Theorem by claiming that two of history's greatest minds also agree with it. But your own reference points out that Einstein NEVER read the theorem, and Hawking concurred with an altogether DIFFERENT theorem.

Perhaps I still need to post the original text of Gödel's ONTOLOGICAL Theorem here, just to move this discussion back on track (and to see you try to defend it without resorting to appeals to authority).


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

the acceptance of the Incompleteness theorem by Hawking is meant to show 1. the respect that Godel has in the REAL scientific community, and 2. it is the other side of the coin to the same debate. ie. Godel's theories were often God oriented and critical of the theist trends in modern scientific thought (such as science's claim it can solve every problem).

There is no doubt that Einstein also showed the same respect to Godel: their conversations were highly personal and touched on all topics especially science for years. I can quite safely argue that Godel was Einstein's successor; others can try to dispute it.

I feel my argument is the better one as no one can in all honesty claim to have greater knowledge of these matters as Hawking and Einstein without looking foolish.

The Ontological proof (and its mathematical equation) stand as testimony to the soundness of a formal mathematical proof of God's existence. It is not up to us here to disagree with it, but rather the best math minds in the world.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

To begin, I must first apologize for the length of my post. There's a lot of ground to cover here.

Oztinato, nobody is challenging the respect Einstein and Hawking may have had (or has) for Gödel as a scientist (though I believe I could reasonably challenge your assertion that Gödel is Einstein's "successor," but that's not germaine to our discussion).

My point -- and it could be that I haven't expressed it clearly enough -- is that Gödel's standing as a scientist or theoretician doesn't mean that everything he proclaimed is correct. As I suggested before, even Einstein and Hawking both made self-admitted errors in their work. Even brilliant minds can be wrong.

As for your last statement, it's not clear whether the "best math minds" in the world agree or disagree with the mathematical "translation" of Gödel's Ontological Theorem. As I said before, your own reference suggests that Einstein never saw it.

And even if he did, here's a news flash -- Einstein WASN'T one of the best math minds in the world. In fact, Einstein needed help with the mathematical aspects of his relativity theories, and it was his friend Mercel Grossman and the Italian mathematician Tullio Levi-Civita who helped him finalize his equations and correct his mistakes.

As for Hawking, while he's a brilliant theoretical physicist, there's nothing to indicate that he's among the "best math minds" in the world, either.

And, as I suggested earlier, before anyone can convince me (or, I'd wager, any other objective observer) that the mathematical "translation" of Gödel's theorem has been "proven," they must first convince me that the "translation" is an accurate representation of the original theorem, or that such a translation is even possible.

In any case -- and, again, I'm repeating myself here -- whether or not the mathematical translation of Gödel's Ontological Theorem has been "proven" to the satisfaction of some scientists, his theorem in ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE is completely unconvincing.

I've been toying with the idea of posting his theorem in its original language, and I believe now is the right time to do so, so everyone can see that it's the same old abstract, generic ontological nonsense that apologists have been pushing for centuries.

Here is Gödel's Ontological Theorem, in all it's mundane glory:

----------

-- Either a property or its negation is positive, but not both:

-- A property necessarily implied by a positive property is positive:

-- Positive properties are possibly exemplified:

-- A God-like being possesses all positive properties:

-- The property of being God-like is positive:

-- Possibly, God exists:

-- Positive properties are necessarily positive:

-- An essence of an individual is a property possessed by it and necessarily implying any of its properties:

-- Being God-like is an essence of any God-like being:

-- Necessary existence of an individual is the necessary exemplification of all its essences:

-- Necessary existence is a positive property:

--Necessarily, God exists:

----------

As anyone can see, it's the standard ontological method of attempting to arbitrarily define a quality, assigning that quality exclusively to God, then declaring that, since the quality exists and since only God possesses it, God exists.

However, even Benzmüller and Woltzenlogel admit that Gödel never defines what is meant by a "positive property." So, not only does Gödel's argument suffer from the usual generic problem of the ontological argument (in the sense that it can be arbitrarily applied to practically anything, hence, proving nothing), it also suffers from a lack of a qualitative definition.

In other words, epic fail.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Well it seemed fairly clear you were challenging Godels reputation and then you circumnavigated that denial with another attempt at the same kind of challenge.

So yes it seems clear that most non Believers try to challenge Godel.

The problem of course in a debate such as this that we are not in a position to challenge the math that supports it. The only worth the Godel theme has here is that he has presented a logical scientific math based proof of Gods existence. Thats where it starts and ends.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, I never suggested -- in any of my comments here -- that I was challenging Gödel's reputation as a mathematician. I couldn't possibly presume to.

What I DID challenge -- and continue to challenge -- is his ontological argument. It is as baseless and unconvincing as every other version of the standard ontological argument, and Gödel's reputation as a mathemetician has nothing to do with that one way or the other.

The question of God's existence neither "starts" nor "ends" with Gödel's theorem. What you're basing your entire assessment on is the supposed translation of the theorem into mathematical syntax -- which NEITHER of us can be certain is actually accurate or valid.

Still, this mathematical "translation" could be "proven" a hundred times -- a THOUSAND times -- and it still wouldn't make the original theorem any less mediocre. You've now seen it with your own eyes, and can see for yourself how banal and useless it is.

Of course, if you wish to keep ignoring Gödel's actual argument -- his original theorem -- I can keep posting it here, just for your benefit. ;-)


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

I don't accept that you, or indeed I, have the qualifications or right to challenge either Gödel's ontological argument or his maths.

We can only debate the repercussions of its already proven validity, as it is has been shown to be faultless by modern (impartial) ethical theoreticians, modern maths and computers.

I do NOT respect comments by people like Richard Dawkins (who is merely a biologist and would be ethicist) regarding Gödel.

I am waiting for real experts to prove the veracity or otherwise of Gödel's ontological and mathematical proofs.

Gödel's God proofs remain faultless, hence we have at least some Logical proof of God's existence. Ergo, a belief in God is scientifically speaking eminently logical.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oztinato, I can't believe what I'm reading here. This has to be a joke.

Let me get this straight -- you're saying that neither you nor I "have the qualifications or right" to challenge Gödel's pathetic ontological argument. ARE YOU SERIOUS?

You clearly have a "working" mind. You can read English. And I presume you understand the basic elements of logic, and have some basic understanding of how the world works. How can you NOT be "qualified" to challenge his argument?

And HOW DARE you proclaim that we don't have the RIGHT to challenge it!

Earlier, you complained when I accused you of dishonesty and making things up out of 'thin air.' But now, I realize it's even worse than I imagined. You've completely and unequivocally abdicated your sense of reason to an argument that you're not even going to TRY to understand -- because you think you don't have the "qualifications" or "right" to do so.

Frankly, that angers me, because it means you refuse to even THINK about the reasons why you believe what you do, and to me, that is the highest form of dishonesty. It's what religious delusion does to otherwise rational people, and it SICKENS me.

Oztinato, you've just admitted you can't verify the "veracity" of Gödel's ontological argument, and you've just declared that you're not "qualified" to challenge it. But if you're not qualified to verify it or challenge it, NEITHER are you qualified to promote it as an authoritative argument -- for the same reasons.

If you continue to do so -- if you continue to promote a theorem that you just admitted you REFUSE to understand -- you will be a bald-faced liar, and if that bothers you, too damned bad.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Paladin

Sorry you feel that way.

I am not of the mind that you or I can change such a great theorem.

This debate is not about claiming to change theorems.

Perhaps you could present your new ideas to an international math group.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Sorry for coming on so strong in that last comment, but you definitely pushed the wrong buttons when you just threw up your hands and refused to exercise your intellect and your reason. I started asking myself, "Why am I even wasting my time talking to this guy? He prefers to not even think!!"

So, if I can't convince you to examine the theorem on your own, perhaps you'll listen to the words of the two researchers (Benzmüller and Woltzenlogel) whose supposed "proving" of Gödel's theorem you seem to revere so much (emphasis mine):

----------

"The critical discussion of the underlying concepts, definitions and axioms remains a HUMAN responsibility..."

----------

In other words, it is left for people like you and me to "critically discuss" the axioms, definitions, component theorems and corrolaries of Gödel's original theorem, despite the suposed "confirmation" of its mathematical extrapolation.

I've already indulged in significant examination of Gödel's theorem, and it's becoming more and more clear to me as I continue that the theorem that you so cavalierly call "great" actually sucks worse than I original noticed. Its terminology is poorly defined, its axioms are highly redundant, and its component theorems depend upon unsupported (and even counterfactual) assumptions and circular reasoning.

Once I feel that my analysis of Gödel's ontological argument is comprehensive and complete (sometime in the next few weeks), I'll publish the hub I'm currently writing on it, and post a link here.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

I've finally finished my analysis of Gödel's theorem, and have published a hub on the subject. Here is the link:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gdels-Onto...

Hopefully, this hub will prove an informative resource for both believers and non-believers, and especially useful for atheists who are confronted with ridiculous assertions that Gödel's theorem somehow "proves" God's existence!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

I certainly wasnt trying to push any buttons.

It remains clear that unless we have the right higher university qualifications all our math assertions are pointless and remain subjective.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

That's completely true. However, we DON'T need a degree in mathematics or advanced logic to examine and analyze Gödel's original ontological theorem, which is in plain English -- a point I tried to make clear numerous times.

And now, I HAVE analyzed it, and have published a hub with my observations and conclusions:

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Gdels-Onto...


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

If the grammatical version of the theorem has been turned into a complex math equation then ideally a refutation also needs the math to back it up.

I dont claim to have that math.

I am interested in the existential repercussions of logical proofs of Gods existence.

Of course when I get time I will take a look at your hub.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Of course it doesn't, Oztinato. That's complete bollocks (and I suspect you know it).

Just because an argument or thesis has been translated into another language -- be it the mathematical syntax of modal logic or simply another semantic language -- doesn't mean the original can't be analyzed on its own merits.

You're obviously using the math angle as an excuse to avoid any examination that may cast doubt on what you've already concluded to be the truth.

Still, you've promised to look at the Gödel hub in the future, so let's see how far my analysis of your true motivations proves correct.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Well in my humble understanding Maths is the highest form of logic.

We can both debate on an on but unless either of us can come up with a math interpretation of our arguments we wont get anywhere. I have chosen to rely on Gödel's Math theorem as logical proof.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Yes, Oztinato, but what you're refusing to acknowledge -- for obvious reasons -- is that the "math theorem" is a TRANSLATION of a theorem originally expressed in simple grammatical language, which you, I and anyone else reading this are undoubtedly competent to analyze.

Furthermore, it's questionable whether the mathematical translation of Gödel's theorem is even accurate. For example, how do you represent God as a mathematical value? Gödel appears to use the simple variable "G," but he uses it to represent both "God" and "God-like beings" (which, for a number of obvious practical reasons, aren't the same thing).

And if you represent "God" in mathematical syntax with a simple quantitative variable, how abstract (hence, essentially useless) does that make a representation of a QUALITATIVE entity like a supreme deity?

Given how easy it is to understand how problematic Gödel's mathematical theorem is -- even WITHOUT understanding modal logic -- it's obvious you have "chosen" to rely on Gödel's "math theorem" for one reason only -- because it appears to agree with what you've already decided is true.


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

I am mainly interested in Godel as he shows it is possible to talk in logical terms about God.

By "translating" a statement into coherent math that works gives such statements great credibility.

I dont believe Godels work actually proves God exists of course: only that his work stops the criticism that such a subject cant be treated scientifically. My own input doesnt go beyond this as I dont have the math to do so.

I totally agree with Godels grammar. The idea of necessity is commonsense.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

"...I dont believe Godels work actually proves God exists of course..."

Well, at least this is a philosophical and logical improvement from your initial comments here on this hub:

------

"...Try reading Kurt Godel's theorem. Godel was Einstein's successor and proved with pure logic and math that God exists..."

------

I congratulate you on moving in the right direction. There's hope for you yet, my friend! :-)


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

I have often felt atheists assume I am saying Godel's theorem finally proves God's existence. Although God's existence has been proven by maths it needs to be taken to the next level with verifiable experiments to be finally "proved" with tangible experimentation.

Many theories have been "proved"by maths (eg String theory) but have not been subjected to repeatable experiments.

There is no contradiction in this: God has been proven by maths until someone comes along with an actual math opposing formula and not just words.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, God has NOT been "proven" by maths. As I just suggested to you in my previous comments -- and as you can easily see for yourself -- translating the concept of "God" to a mathematic quantity or variable has its own problems.

I think you're confusing the mathematical concept of "proof" with the evidentiary meaning of the word. A mathematical "proof" doesn't constitute evidence for something. It only means that a conclusion logically arises from its component axions, definitions and corollaries. It says NOTHING about whether the component premises themselves are true.

This is easily discerned when the right analogy is presented. For example, I can offer the following theorem:

A1 -- All horses are mammals

D1 -- Unicorns are horses with horns on their heads

T1 -- Therefore, all unicorns are mammals

This theorem can be formally translated into the mathematical syntax of Henkin semantics -- just as Gödel's theorem was -- and be "proven" -- just as Gödel's was. Even as a purely logical statement (all mathematics aside) the conclusion is correct, assuming all the premises are true.

And THAT'S the problem! You can easily recognize that -- even though it can be mathematically "proven" -- the theorem ISN'T true, because you know the definition (of unicorns) is hogwash.

Gödel's theorem suffers from the very same shortcoming. His theorem is incorrect because the propositions and premises of his theorem are flawed -- just as in the theorem above -- and the mathematical translation doesn't affect this one iota!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

Its unscientific to be emotive about a maths theorem. Objectively string theory is on a par with the God theorem: both cant be proved by a test of some kind. Only one attracts an emotive reaction from certain atheists. The same atheists dont get emotive about string theory.

Why? Because they treat one with contempt due to a subjectively held belief.

You or I are not in a position to claim Godel was a lousy mathamatician or that he was illogical. To do so is just an error: Godel was a genius. We are hubbers!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oz, nobody's getting "emotive" about a theorem. If I'm getting "emotive" at all, it's at your dishonest claim that, because Gödel was a mathematical "genius," he MUST be also correct about God (we BOTH know why you're clinging to this ridiculous proposition, and it has nothing to do with Gödel's authority as a mathematician).

However, since you seem to believe that mathematical genuises must be right about everything, I offer you the example of Bertrand Russell -- a mathematical "genius" by anyone's objective standards, and a Nobel laureate who was also respected by Einstein (with whom, in fact, Einstein collaborated). And Russell was an outspoken ATHEIST.

So the mathematical genius has spoken! God doesn't exist! And you can't contradict him, because he was a genius, and you're just a hubber!


Oztinato profile image

Oztinato 2 years ago from Australia

It doesn't matter if someone is a scientist and an atheist: the point is they need to come up with a sound mathematical way to disprove Godel's theorem. That takes all the emotion out of the argument.

To date there has been no successful attempt to disprove Godel's theorem by any scientists (including B. Russell). Perhaps it can't be scientifically contradicted. When it has been please let me know.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 2 years ago from Michigan, USA Author

The problem is, nobody has come up with a "sound mathematical way" to PROVE God's existence, either -- despite your claims to the contrary -- not Gödel or anyone else.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

I will be honest I first looked you up because I was trying to point you to my hubs on the proof for Jesus and the Bible.

I'm glad I did look you up as I really enjoyed what you put together here, it's refreshing to come across an original thinker with a sense of humor.

I disagree with you and your arguments didn't shake me but I think theres a lot to discuss here.

One argument for God I read recently is the "Kalam" argument.

Never heard of it? It's actually a Medieval Islamic (in origins) argument that goes like this

(1) Whatever begins to exist has to have a cause.

(2)The universe had a beginning. (The Big bang theory or God simply speaking the effect is the same!)

(3) The universe had a cause.

I've been thinking of doing a series on the arguments for God, I might just do them as a way of gettibg discussion going

Lawrence

By the way. The Islamic scholars of Medieval times did come up with a sound mathematical way of proving it. Aquinas never wrote about the universe having a beginnibg as he thought it would be too easy to oeove God existed and at the time no one thought it did!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 16 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Yep. I've heard of the Cosmological Argument (as well as the Kalam version, which adds a few more particulars), and I'm sure you won't be surprised when I say I don't find it convincing (first, because it means that God must ALSO have a cause; and second, because the universe's cause could be a million things OTHER than a deity)

I must admit, I've never heard of the mathematical approach from Islamic scholars. So if you happen to write a hub on this, I'll be sure to check it out!

Thanks for visiting and commenting!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

Thanks for the reply. I'm just getting my head round it at the moment (and I believe in God!)

As for the Kalam argument saying that God must have a beginning apparently not as the cause has to be outside of that which has a beginning. The cause itself has to be eternal otherwise it too becomes part of that which was created!

Apparently tge mathematical model is based on the absurdity of infinity. I'll be looking into it.

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 16 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Actually, Lawrence, there's no aspect of the Kalam argument that demonstrates that the universe's cause must be eternal, only EXternal! And that premise alone solves nothing, for one can simply say that God's cause must also be EXternal to him! And THAT cause's cause must be external to it, and so on and so forth.

All the Kalam argument does is change the semantics somewhat, but the essential flaw in the argument remains the same.

Incidentally, I forgot to thank you before for your kind words regarding my hub. Whether one agrees or not, it's nice to know one's work is appreciated! :-)


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 16 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Oh, and of course, I forgot to specify that the Kalam argument's necessity of the universe's cause being 'external' (if we accept that premise) also does nothing to require that that 'external' cause is a deity. It's only insists that the universe's cause is outside itself, and demonstrates nothing about the nature of that cause.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 16 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

Thanks for the reply. I'd agree with what you say but I only came across the argument proper the other day so I'm still reading up on it (when I get the chance).

As for me I enjoy good debate and I've learned lots from those who don't share the same opinion

Have a good day

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 16 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Lawrence! You have a great day as well, in lovely New Zealand (envious)!


Himangsu Sekhar Pal 14 months ago

God is said to be spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, all-pervading, one, unborn, uncreated, without any beginning, without an end, everlasting and non-composite. If God does not exist, then there will be no one about whom it can be said that he is spaceless, timeless, immortal etc.

So God does not exist means nothing is timeless in this universe. If nothing is timeless, then why was it necessary for science to explain how anything could be timeless? This is because in special theory of relativity it has been shown that at the speed of light time totally stops.

By denying the existence of God science is also denying the existence of any permanent state of timelessness in this universe. In spite of that science has shown how a state of timelessness can be reached. Is it not self-contradictory on the part of science?

It can be shown by simple logic that the existence of a spaceless and timeless being in this universe implies the relativity of space and time. This is because if such a being is really there, then space and time are non-real, non-existent for that being, whereas for us human beings space and time are very much real, existent. Therefore the same space and time have two different values for different beings, which means that they have no absolute value. Science has also shown that space and time are indeed relative. On the basis of this it can be argued that if special theory of relativity is scientifically correct, then there is no justified ground for discarding mystical experience as a mere hallucination, because mystics have repeatedly and unanimously reported that both their senses of space and time were gone when they have met God.


uchitrakar 14 months ago

God is said to be omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He is also said to be spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, all-pervading, one, unborn, uncreated, without any beginning, without an end, everlasting and non-composite. So if we deny the existence of God, then we are also saying that there is no one in this universe about whom it can be said that he is omnipotent, omniscient, spaceless, timeless etc. So God does not exist means nothing is timeless in the universe. If nothing is timeless, then why was it necessary for science to show how anything could be timeless? Because in special theory of relativity it has been shown that at the speed of light time totally stops. By denying the existence of God science is also denying the existence of any permanent state of timelessness in this universe. At the same time science has shown as to how a state of timelessness can be reached. Is it not self-contradictory on the part of science?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 14 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

I'm not sure whether I should reply to either of the above comments, as each contains contain segments of text that are almost verbatim copies of text from the other. Yet each comment is from a 'different' user with a different ip address. In fact, HubPages automatically identified them as spam (which I had to change). Strange....

Still, given the curious nature of the argument presented (a new variant of the ontological argument), I'll offer a reply (though it will be a single comment addressed to both).

Himangsu/Uchitrakar, the flaws in your argument are numerous, and fairly easy to spot if one examines it objectively.

First, you assert that "If God does not exist, then there will be no one about whom it can be said that he is spaceless, timeless, immortal etc..."

This is simply untrue. This could be SAID about ANY being, deity or non-deity. Simply SAYING something about a creature doesn't make it true. I could make the exact same assertion about the neighborhood cat that visits my yard each day, and it has no bearing on whether the same could be said for any other creature.

Next, you assert that "So God does not exist means nothing is timeless in this universe."

Again, this isn't true. Whether or not any god exists has NO bearing on whether ANYTHING ELSE in the universe is timeless. Indeed, EVERYTHING in the universe could hypothetically be "timeless," and that still wouldn't require a deity of any sort.

Next, you declare that, "in special theory of relativity it has been shown that at the speed of light time totally stops."

This only theoretically true, and has no practical application, because general relativity reminds us that NOTHING with mass can accelerate to the speed of light. So, even if a photon can conceivably exist in a "timeless" state, that has no bearing on ANYTHING else in the universe!

So, in the context of your argument, there is no contradiction -- unless you're arguing that "God" is a photon!

As for the supposed 'unanimity' of "mystics," anyone who takes the anecdotal accounts of such con artists and hucksters seriously needs to have their BS detector repaired!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

Just a little correction as you said in your reply that 'nothing with mass' can travel at the spped of light.

This isn't quite true as light itself has mass (it can be affected by gravity). Nothing with mass can exceed lightspeed (lighspeed itself has been shown to have been much faster in the early universe and is recognised by all 'sides' of the argument).

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 14 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Lawrence, I beg to differ. You may be correct with regard to the reach/exceed differentiation, though I don't think so, for theoretically it would require an infinite amount of energy for any amount of mass to reach light speed. Of course, it's been a while since I've brushed up on my physics, so I might have to re-check that.

However, one detail about which I'm certain is that light does NOT have mass, and is NOT affected by gravity.

It may appear that light is affected, for example, by gravitational "lensing." However, it isn't the light -- or any individual photon -- that is affected. Rather, it is SPACE that is affected gravitationally (or inertially) by the presence of mass. The photons themselves are unaffected.

I must also disagree with both your assertion that light speed has been shown to be much faster in the early universe and that it is recognized by 'all sides of the argument.' I have seen no such scientific exposition on this assertion, and certainly have heard of no such scientific consensus. Could you offer a link on this, so I can check your source?


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

I've got a hub on the issue "Young earth, distant starlight" that explains the theory put out by Dr John Moffat (protege of Einstein)

Have a read as that has the information I'm using.

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 14 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks, Lawrence. I'll check that out!


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

By the way. You were right about light not having mass as it has momentum, so sorry for that point.

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 14 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Lawrence, the sources you cite on your hub suggest that the changing speed of light over time is only a HYPOTHESIS, and proposed by only a couple of scientists (while that doesn't make it wrong, it's certainly NOT a scientific consensus, recognized by "all sides").

So, unless you have other sources beyond what you included in your hub, I must disagree with your earlier assertions that "lighspeed itself has been shown to have been much faster in the early universe and is recognised by all 'sides' of the argument (sic)."


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 14 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

Just checked on google and the BBC has an interesting article where in 2012 researchers were able to slow photons below lightspeed and keep them there even in a vacuum!

It doesn't prove it happened in the past, but it does make VSL more than a hypothesis! I'll try to rember to put a link on the hub tonight.

Lawrence


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks! I'll see if I can find it.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

I put the link on the hub last night. I also found out NASA is using the hypothesis to start research on the idea of a 'Warp drive'

If they're right it would still obey Einstein's theory but would warp time itself!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Found it!

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-3...

According to the article, they slowed down one photon (in a pair of photons) to a speed less than light speed by sending it through a special mask -- a "software controlled liquid crystal device."

This doesn't exactly sound like something that one would find in nature, out in the universe, and it apparently only works with a single photon (which is why they couldn't discover it before, because they always experimented with BEAMS of light). Still, it does cast doubt on the absolute nature of light speed.

In any case, if you read near the end of the article, they specifically mention that it's not something that's going to apply on cosmic scales, as in those used to determine the distance of stars and the age of the universe:

"...Light is used to make extremely precise measurements such as how far the Moon is from Earth. The good news is that we are not in for any nasty surprises on that scale..."

Fascinating article! Thanks again.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

I just found another, more comprehensive article on the same experiment:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-292...

According to this article, the affect CAN apply to an entire light beam, but the effect (the slowing down of the photons) "...only applies at short range."

This suggests that, even if some crazy natural effect managed to mimic the "liquid crystal device" used in the experiment -- which seems pretty dubious -- the effect would have been short lived. It certainly would not have been enough to account for the orders of magnitude difference between billions and thousands of years (which some creationists insist upon as the age of the universe).


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 13 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

True. But the possibility is there! Its also why I put in the hub that what is under discussion now was the 'order of magnitude' as Moffat was the one said "upto 600 times present speed"

Lawrence


Himangsu Sekhar Pal 13 months ago

I posted a comment in your blog few days ago, but it did not appear immediately. I opened the blog for several days after that with a hope to find my comment posted in the blog. But not finding it posted there I decided to post another comment, thinking that perhaps it has been deleted by the hub-author. (The hub-author has every right to post or not to post any comment in his blog. It is fully his discrimination, and I have nothing to say about it.) But when I entered my username, this automated comment was returned: ‘The username you specified is not available. Please try another one.’ So I was compelled to use my pseudonym here. So it is not my fault that I have posted two comments in two different names in your blog. It is due to the fact that my first comment took at least five days to appear in it.

You have written: ‘Indeed, EVERYTHING in the universe could hypothetically be “timeless”, and that still wouldn’t require a deity of any sort.’

Indeed, for the first time in my life I come to learn from someone that ‘EVERYTHING in the universe could hypothetically be “timeless”.’ This is because whenever I have posed the below question to any atheist or to any atheistic scientist, without any fail and without any exception he has turned deaf, dumb and blind: ‘What is timeless in this universe that required an explanation from science?’ He is blind, so how can he read my question? He is deaf, so how can he hear my question? So how can he answer my question if he is totally unaware of it? Therefore my question remained unanswered all the time. Now I learn from you that EVERYTHING in the universe could hypothetically be timeless. A timeless thing is an eternal, everlasting thing. It lasts forever and ever and it can never cease to be. This is because in the case of a timeless thing time does not pass at all. For a proper timeless thing there is no next moment. That is why it cannot change, it cannot cease to be, because occurrence of any sort of change requires time. This is the precondition that must have to be there if any change is to occur. This is the reason as to why God is not only called timeless, but at the same time he is also called changeless, immortal and everlasting.

So, do you think that EVERYTHING in the universe could hypothetically be timeless, changeless, immortal and everlasting?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 13 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Welcome back, Himangsu!

No, what I said is that everything could hypothetically be timeless. And that's only true because we don't yet quite fully understand the nature of time. When you add the qualifiers, "changeless," "immortal" and "everlasting," you alter the nature of the question.

For example, "changeless" or "everlasting" makes any potential references much more narrow and specific. And "immortal" necessarily refers to a living being.

Which brings us back to my essential point -- that this combination of adjectives (timeless, changeless, immortal and everlasting) could be SAID about anything. With no basis in fact, such a claim can freely be made about anything or anyone. But SAYING it doesn't make it true.

As for atheists becoming "deaf, dumb and blind" in response to your question -- I'm sorry, but I find that incredibly hard to believe. As I previously pointed out, your proposition is simply another version of the age-old ontological argument, which most atheists would easily recognize as fatally flawed (for the reason noted in the previous paragraph).


Himangsu Sekhar Pal 10 months ago

Here is a link below:

https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/is-fine...

One can go through this link and decide for oneself whether there is any God or not.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 10 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for the link, Himangsu. Unfortunately, the link you provided sheds absolutely no light on whether or not a god (or gods) exists. All it does is presuppose that there is some fundamental "superior" (exterior) cause for the universe, which is nothing but a reiteration of the very old -- and inherently flawed -- cosmological argument.

This argument fails in two very fundamental ways, even if we accept the premise that everything -- including the universe -- must have an exterior cause. First, it brings us no closer to knowing that the cause is a supernatural deity, especially the deity of one's choice.

Second, if we accept the premise, logical consistency demands that we apply it to EVERYTHING -- including our presumed deity. Therefore, our "god" must have a cause external to him or herself. And THAT creator must ALSO have an external cause, and that cause, in turn, must have ANOTHER cause -- and so on, and so on, ad infinitum. Which essentially subordinates one's chosen deity into one tiny, insignificant step in an infinite regression of external causes.

Once one carefully and comprehensively considers the argument your link proposes, the decision is pretty easy that the notion of God doesn't make much sense.


lawrence01 profile image

lawrence01 10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

Paladin

I see the argument/discussion is going on well here and it's getting interesting.

The points you raise in the prevoius reply are only true to a certain extent!

The 'everything' you talk about that must have a beginning is actually 'everything that exists in our universe' that has to have a cause external to itself! That means that whatever or whoever created it has to be external to it hence is not necessarily restricted by it.

The 'cause' itself actually can't have an external cause otherwise he/she/it can't be the 'prime cause' because it becomes part of the creation.

Whether the notion of 'God' makes sense is partly subjective but the reasons you give above haven't fully taken into account the cosmological argument.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 10 months ago from Michigan, USA Author

Thanks for visiting and commenting, Lawrence! :-)

But why must the notion of 'everything' apply ONLY to our universe? If it's a valid logical precept, then it applies to everything, or nothing. In effect, your objection is only a semantic one.

With only a slight modification, we can still just as easily apply your modification to the notion of God. We can simply say that "everything that exists within God has to have a cause external to itself," and that "whatever or whomever created God has to be external to it, hence is not necessarily restricted by it."

The notion of a "prime cause" is actually antithetical to the fundamental premise of the cosmological argument -- that everything must have a cause. By itself, the premise is a sound logical argument, as it can be applied universally and consistently.

However, that there must be a FIRST, or "prime" cause is a PHILOSOPHICAL argument, because it is wholly arbitrary (there is no known logical precept that demands or requires it).

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