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Reasons to Believe

  1. JMcFarland profile image92
    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago

    I was a missionary in the christian faith for years.  I went to a bible college.  I've read the bible - at least a dozen times, cover to cover.  I've studied the dogmas, the doctrines and the theology - and I'm an atheist.  What I'm offering is an open forum (open to the degree that it follows the Hubpages rules).  Show me your proof for god - any god.  Show me why I should agree with you and convert to your religious beliefs - but be prepared to have your proof examined.  Ready, set, go.

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      Brenda Durhamposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Sorry, not gonna happen just yet.  Maybe never.  Because you're too much on the offense, trying to put everyone else on the defense.    You don't want answers yet.

      Instead I'll ask you some questions.  When you were a "missionary" in the church, supposedly, did you ever accept Christ as your personal Savior?   Since you've read the whole Bible, as you say, did you just read it with your eyes or did you actually see what it says about Jesus's Love and sacrifice?   Did you ever actually allow the knowledge of the word of God to get into your heart and mind?   Did you ever actually feel the Spirit?

      There are many other questions too.   But indeed I've no patience right now, neither for your dare,  nor to stick around for your answers.   They are for you to think on.

      I'm too sleepy and tired.   Will be curious to see how, or even if, you respond.  Later, that is.

      1. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Okay, first of all, your entire response is sarcastic and almost intentionally demeaning.  You're making snap judgements on someone who posted a forum thread looking for an active discussion - if I want to be insulted, I'd just go back to church.  I have debates all the time on a semi-professional level, and I can hold my own.  I have little time for sarcasm and insincerity, however, which is almost the entire crux on your response.  How am I on the offensive?  I'm asking a question and asking for evidence.  I can counter a lot of it - and do every day.  How is that rude, condescending or otherwise untoward?  Asking for evidence is a dare to you?  Doesn't the bible say that you should always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have? (1 Peter 3:15).

        Why do you put "missionary" in quotes - do you doubt the facts of my history?  I understand that you don't know me from a stranger on the street, but are you trying to insinuate that I'm lying about my past intentionally?  What could be gained from that?  Yes, I accepted Christ as my savior.  I was baptized.  I fully believed in the bible and the doctrine of the church.  Now I don't.  I read the bible as a christian - and even went to theological bible college for several years.  I took courses in Greek, Latin and Hebrew and continue to read the bible in the original languages.  Now I examine it more critically, but I used to read it without question.  So what?  I've laid my hands on sick people.  I've spoken in tongues.  That doesn't mean a dang thing.  What's your point?

        I'm sorry you have no patience right now, but if that's the case, why "waste your time" replying at all?  Just move along.  No one held a gun to your head and forced you to respond.  So why did you?

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          Brenda Durhamposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          To see if you really wanted honest answers.

          My curiosity is satisfied now.

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            more baseless assumptions.  Good to know.  Safe to say that I'm not really going to put much (if any) weight on anything you choose to say, since you wanted to come here and challenge me without any knowledge or grounds to do so. 

            I am more than willing to be open minded to any evidence that anyone presents.  I won't dismiss it because I may not agree with it.  that's being intellectually honest.  But I give respect where respect is due - and when you come at me with sarcasm, insults and assumptions based on nothing - you're not due much.  If you come to me respectfully, you'll get respect in return.  If you don't...well, you got my first response.  I'll respond in the manner in which I'm approached, without resorting to petty insults or name calling - because I AM above that kind of juvenile behavior.  Unlike some.

        2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
          The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          JMc,
          Once we are new born adults we will be able to speak to everyone in the language of their birth without ever having to study it because we have reincarnated in every known language on earth and remembered it.  That's what speaking in tongues is supposed to be when we understand what happened on the day of Pentecost.

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            again, you said you were done talking to me, and I (apparently erroneously) took you at your word.

            1. The0NatureBoy profile image65
              The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I said that concerning that discussion's particulars but not all discussions, go back, read it and see isn't that the meaning of what I wrote.  .

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        riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery." Matthew 19:9
        May be this is not applicable to women.

        Jesus sacrifice? I too have once slept for nearly 24 hrs, that was a sacrifice too? After all he slept only for 36 or 40 hrs.
        And here is love:"If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." Matthew 5:29
        This god is so ignorant to know that it is the brain that commands the action and eye has no will, no wonder he is waiting to "burn you in hell", so much for love.

        1. servantofgod profile image79
          servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Your comment is only a demonstration of how ignorant you are.

          If all people who want to divorce, they might think twice to do it if they will take seriously what Jesus had said about divorce. Since they cannot remarry, then they will try harder to save their relationship.

          Why do you compare your sleeping habit with Christ's sacrifice? Did you also nailed your self on the cross and been beaten to death? How dare you compare yourself to Jesus while you are just a mere human.

          Matthew 5:29 should not be taken literal. You should read the context instead of arriving at a stupid conclusion. Jesus is just showing how serious we should be when it comes to avoiding sin.

          God is very patient with all of us. If He is not, then by the moment you sinned, you should be gone by now.

          Please do not equate God's love with your short-sighted and limited mind.

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            riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            So what does this comment demonstrate, your arrogance?

            That comment was addressed to a specific person who can understand that. What are you trying, showing off?

            If I were a god what is a few nails on my body? Do you know that through out the world humans pierce their bodies? Why there were two "thieves" who were crucified on each side, weren't they suffering?
            Jesus said three days and nights but friday evening to sunday does not constitute 3 days and nights. A sacrifice is when we give up something permanently, so what was that, that was given up permanently?


            Peter was given the key of heaven. Are you given something like that, to decide which part is literal and which part metaphorical?

            Please do not equate god with a hot-headed, ignorant and idiotic barbarian and please do not take up the role of god's spokesman. Let the servant remain a servant and not act the boss.

            1. servantofgod profile image79
              servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Sorry to hurt your ego.

              That is the problem with society. they do not read what the Bible REALLY says. they just rely on what the mainstream religions say. If you read the resurrection account carefully, you will discover that Jesus died on a wednesday and was resurrected on a Saturday.

              It seems pointless to talk to you. Let us end this conversation. thank you for your time.

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                which resurrection account?  None of the gospels agree.  The Synoptics have Jesus dying on Passover.  John has him dying on the day of preparation.  None of the gospels agree on the resurrection either.  Why don't you do the Easter challenge by Dan Barker - it offers a thousand dollars to anyone who can chronologically list all of the events of the resurrection without any contradictions and without leaving anything out.  Go for it.

          2. LucidDreams profile image82
            LucidDreamsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            The funny thing about those who quote the bible is, most of them cannot agree on different scriptures. The bible is faulty and so is religion without question. I agree that in certain terms, religion can actually be helpful and provide a roadmap for some to live a decent and quality life. On the other hand, religion is the source of much war, death and disfunction.

            Who here follows the bible to every word? None of you I'm sure. niether do I and I am proud to say that, Between people telling me that I am taking it out of context, it keeps getting re-translated and the fact that it was apparently written by man, make me seriously question every page. Hey, if you want to take everything in the bible literally, have at it, I applaud you for having such strong beliefs. I for one think that burning people at the stake and putting them to death for adultry, not celebrating the sabbath amongs other so called sins that will cause your death is a little much.

            This is a big part of the reason there is so many spin off religions. To be honest, who really knows what religion was first, reality is, we can only guess and hope to be right. Does it matter? Not at all.

        2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
          The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Riddle666,
          Jesus turned around and said (Matthew 19:29) to forsake everything of this world including families and spouses for the gospel's sake, is that a contradiction to what you said?
          I say no for the following reason.
          Once a man are born of the spirit they have been called out of the world's mentality and are becoming resurrected into angels (Matthew 22:30).

      3. A Troubled Man profile image61
        A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Sorry, but denying to show evidence to support a claim when the person is asking for evidence is usually what one does as opposed to making up excuses about who it is you're showing the evidence in order to not show it to them. It's called dishonesty.

      4. The0NatureBoy profile image65
        The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Brenda,
        Something most Christians and missionaries ignore is Jesus' dialog on the new birth which his words as he was about to ascend (Acts:18) makes us know we must have holy spirit power to be his witnesses.  Then Romans 1:20 makes us to know the new birth must follow the natural birth\ or we are not born again.  Therefore, so long as anyone has no testimony of a new conception, gestation, trivial, birth, childhood, adolescence and, [i]if there be any, adulthood[/b] anyone witnessing for the anointed Jesus has no power to be his witness.

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      shawneemckee92posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I went through something similar to you, kinda. I was raised a "church goer" who must "follow the rules" but I won't say that I was raised a Christian. Eventually, I did find the "real thing" and decided to get saved. Honestly, I've always been a thinker and a doubter, but my theology was if I forced myself to believe, CHOSE to believe, it didn't matter if it was true or not, that's the lifestyle I was going to live. Well, my thoughts and doubts and beliefs eventually overran my choices and I fell out of it. Interesting challenge, can't wait to see what others post. And that person who posted above me seems to be in a rather rude and foul mood.

      1. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I believe that in order to remain intellectually honest, you have to keep studying and keep searching.  That means that you have to be prepared to change your mind if the evidence presents itself.  That being said, I enjoy the subject, and enjoy talking to others of similar (and vastly different) beliefs.  I enjoy the debate and the discussion - and I love to learn, no matter what path that takes me on.

        I agree to your comment on the above poster.  It makes me wonder (since it was clearly such a burden) why they chose to respond at all?

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          shawneemckee92posted 3 years ago in reply to this

          It is a rather interesting topic to discuss and I'm sad to see the debates and discussions ruined by those who seem to let their negative emotions drive their words and replies. Maybe they should have just waited to reply when they were less tired. Regardless, organized religion doesn't fit my personality nor my lifestyle, but I'm not ruling theology or beliefs out entirely. Honestly, if I were to analyze my life and figure out what I "worship" the most, I would have to say learning and knowledge. So maybe that's my "religion" lol

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Learning and knowledge is certainly high on my list too, if not at the very top :-)

          2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
            The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            ShawneeMc,
            I agree, it's an interesting topic and what you said about your life puts you on the edge of being a philosophy, lover of wisdom who is willing to pay any price for it.  That's why I've lived as you see me in the photo for over 36 years, until October 2012 when I went into a VA provided Transition house so I can fulfill my destiny.

        2. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          "I believe that in order to remain intellectually honest, you have to keep studying and keep searching. "

          Why?  That would only be true if a person is interested in knowing Truth with a capital T.  What if they aren't interested in that, but only in their own happiness?

          I know a lady, one whom I greatly admire, that has a faith in God that you couldn't shake with a baseball bat.  Nevertheless she refuses to study any form of religion at all other than her bible.  She's afraid it just might shake that faith and she's very happy with her perception of Truth.  Doesn't want it changed.

          Is there something intrinsically wrong with that?  To value personal happiness and satisfaction higher than truth?  As long as it is not presented as reality, with a demand that others agree, I can't see a problem.

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            You do have a point, wilderness.  I suppose I should have specifically related that to me - and not just in general terms.  Ultimately, when it comes to faith, I think it boils down to a simple question: Do you care if your beliefs are true?  Most Christians that I've encountered have adamantly declared that christianity is true to the exclusion of all else, and it's only christians that are teetering on the edge of faith that are frightened by the idea of having it challenged.  For me personally, that seems to be weak faith.  Those who are strong in their faith seem to be open to discussion, to examining the evidence, to adapting and evolving as knowledge becomes more readily available.

            I do believe, however, that having  a personal faith CAN cause harm.  No one lives in a vacuum.  When you believe in something and think that it's true, you make decisions based on that belief.  Ultimately that can affect other people.  For example, if you are a christian and you want to follow biblical (and church) teachings, you may think that homosexuality is a sin.  Therefore you are likely to vote for others that share your beliefs - and that causes harm to people who do not share your beliefs, when laws are passed that line up with your theology.  I wrote a hub on personal faith - I believe that it's potentially dangerous.

            1. wilderness profile image97
              wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Don't think I can totally agree, although the general concept is correct.

              Those with firm faith will discuss, but are not generally open to actually changing their beliefs.  They will modify those beliefs, but at the root the belief is unchanged.  An example might be Noah's ark - they might accept that the story cannot have happened as written, but the new belief is that it was localized and that, coupled with animal collection and landing high up on Arrarat is just as impossible.  So the next step is that the tale is allegory only, but the root belief remains unchanged in spite of being found to be fraudulent.  The willingness to actually review their faith isn't there.

              Beliefs don't actually cause harm; the cause of the harm is the willingness to impose very personal, subjective beliefs onto others.  Take away that willingness (which could be argued to be a belief in itself) and the belief will not harm others.  The lady I mentioned lives her life very strictly, according to biblical teachings as she understands them, but would not impose those beliefs on others - she has been a beacon in my life, teaching tolerance by example. 

              Rare, perhaps, but I see other believers on HP with the same kind of tolerance and unwillingness to impose beliefs.  As usual, it is a relatively small handful of very vocal people that cause the harm and that minority is slowly finding itself overrun by those that accept others as they are.

          2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
            The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            When anyone isn't interested in discovering The Truth they are only following their destiny.  Every action of every person is their destiny, most are without the knowledge that it is so, therefore none of us have any room to condemn anyone's place in their Evolutionary Journey.

    3. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
      HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I would like to first make clear that this is not an attempt to convert you or anybody to my beliefs. My interest lies more in the 'having my proof examined' portion.

      We talked briefly before, where I gave you my interpretation of the books of Moses, primarily Genesis. This interpretation is not a re-imagined or crudely made-up twist of words, but was pieced together by setting it against actual historical events that match up geographically and chronologically with events described in Genesis. In the context of actual history and modern scientific knowledge, these stories, as I'll attempt to show, become much more cohesive and clear and actually suggest a rather logical 'meaning of life' in the process. And through this lens I'll attempt to illustrate how it resolves many of the more seemingly contradictory portions of the bible by providing context to what's being described.

      This is as close to actual, empirical 'proof' as I think you're going to get, as the evidence that many see as 'proof' that God does not exist is exactly the same as the evidence that supports what I'll be describing here. Because the natural sciences are the study of matter and energy, we are only able to detect and observe what is within this universe. In other words, we cannot 'see' beyond the big bang. If God is the creator, He exists before/after/outside of this universe and is therefore undetectable. To be detectable He would have to be subject to His own laws and own creation, thus leaving a 'detectable' impact. The 'evidence' of His existence IS the physical world. It's the immensely complex, yet incredibly harmonious and elegant existence we've come to know so well through scientific discovery. The one difference being that from the 'God does exist' side of the coin our being here is not the result of random chance and countless fortuitous events that could have just as easily become something wildly different, but is rather the deliberate creation of a purposeful, willful God. From this perspective existence would 'appear' just as science shows us; as if the universe and everything in it came together all on its own. Think about it this way, what would you expect to see through the lens of science if there were a God that created everything? What do you not see that confirms in your mind that there isn't? What do you 'think' we should see if it were true that we don't see?

      Because of your familiarity with the bible, I most hope to get your analysis from that perspective. This is probably the least 'contested' or 'challenged' portion of what I'm laying out here.

      Basically, it started like this. The books of Genesis are undoubtedly the most influential documents in all of human history. They've played a larger role than any other single document in shaping the world we now know, for better or worse. They've had a significant impact on people of every society they came in contact with, again, for better or worse. While the oldest surviving copies are nowhere near the oldest, and while our best scholarly estimations based on the text of those documents place their hypothetical 'source texts' no earlier than around the time of the kingdom of Judah, the stories themselves share many common themes with the oldest known texts of this nature. Texts that are almost as old as writing. Stories about a man in a garden who fell from grace and lost immortality, stories about a golden age before humans became possessive and materialistic, and stories about a large catastrophic flood, echo throughout the mythological tales of many of the first civilizations. And in the case of the Sumerians, the inventors of civilization and the inhabitants of the region/timeframe that Genesis is set in, they also wrote stories about things like a large flood survived by a man who built a boat with a handful of people and a bunch of animals in tow, and about a once universal language that was confused into many. So, based on this, I examined those first 11 chapters of Genesis set against what we now know about the history of that region, tossing aside all previous interpretations or religious-based ideologies built around these texts over the millennia.

      To locate a timeframe I took the fact that Abraham's father was said to have been from the Sumerian city of Ur, and that Egypt played a major role in the Abraham/Israelite/Moses stories, combined with the fact that Genesis says Abraham was born just under 2000 years after Adam's creation, and established that if there's any literal truth to Genesis then it couldn't have happened any sooner than roughly 5500 BC. Of course the traditional interpretation is that Adam was the first human, and that the creation of humans in Genesis 1 and the creation of Adam in Genesis 2 were two different depictions of the the same event. Even though it's made rather clear within the stories themselves that there were other humans in existence during the pre-flood portion of the story. This is made most clear by the last 2/3's or so of Genesis 4 and the first few verses of Genesis 6. Two of the least agreed-upon and most highly debated portions in all the bible. The 'others' that Cain feared would kill him after he was banished, a fear God acknowledged as legitimate by marking Cain to protect him, the city Cain built, the skills the descendants of Cain 'fathered' that clearly survived beyond the flood, and the mysterious man and boy that Lamech killed for wounding him. Then, in the beginning of Genesis 6, the part separated from Genesis 4 by the list of descendants from Adam to Noah later redacted in, probably to explain who Noah was, that talks about 'sons of God' having children with 'daughters of humans' who it describes as 'mortal', only living 120 years, where Genesis 5 says descendants of Adam lived for centuries. And according to other parts of the bible, like Luke 3, the 'sons of God' were Adam and everyone else listed in Genesis 5.

      The significance of Adam is made clear by the stories themselves as well. Notice how the humans in Genesis 1 were given specific tasks that would take numerous generations to accomplish; fill the earth, subdue it, establish dominance in the animal kingdom. All of which describe exactly what homo sapiens actually did by about 10000 BC, just a few thousand years before the timeline of Genesis 2-11. And notice that after this it says God looked on all He made and deemed it 'good'. Now, in Genesis 2 it describes a very different creation. While the first chapter explains that everything in existence, animate or inanimate, followed the will of God exactly, Adam was only given one rule and he broke it. So, how exactly could Adam be expected to realize these commands in Genesis 1, and how could God be certain that the 'others' that Cain feared would kill him simply because he was marked, if Adam, Eve, and Cain were so clearly capable of disobeying? And why would God look on these three that directly disobeyed Him and deem them 'good'? This ability to behave contrary to God's will, the creator of everything in existence, this is what was significant about Adam and Eve. This 'trait' is what caused the 'wickedness' in 'humans' when the 'sons of God' and the 'daughters of humans' intermingled and had children. And this is why it says that God 'regretted putting humans on the earth'.

      Now, I realize none of that means much of anything by itself. So, here's the kicker. If there were any literal truth to Genesis, if there were any truth to what I've just described, then what would you expect to see? We know roughly where everything happened because it directly says. And we know roughly when based on later portions of the bible. Well, you would expect to see behavioral changes for one thing. These stories described Gen1 humans as being 'different' than Adam in that they behaved according to God's will, where Adam, Eve, and everyone 'of Eve' did not. Behavioral changes that reflect the heightened self-awareness and 'knowledge' that Genesis 2 describes. Well, it turns out that it's exactly these kinds of behavioral changes that can be seen first emerging in southern Mesopotamia. The Ubaid culture (5400-4000BC) was the first human settlement that we see the invention of the first human cities (the first being Eridu, 5300BC), complete with a ruling and a working class. All other human settlements up to this point were clearly egalitarian. The Ubaid culture also happens to have lasted the same length of time as pre-flood Genesis, roughly 16 centuries. Then, around 4000 BC, it came to an abrupt, still not clearly understood, end. What is known is that a flood played a role at least in the region where the Sumerian city of Ur is located as the artifacts of the Ubaid come to an abrupt halt just below the tell-tale 'sterile deposit' of a flood.

      Immediately following the Ubaid culture comes the Uruk culture (4000-3100BC). This culture appears to have picked up right where the other left off. They were male-dominant, unlike humans for tens of thousands of years, and they were separated by class much like those of the Ubaid. The city of Uruk was built near the beginning of this period. Both Genesis and the Sumerian King's list say Uruk was built not long after the flood. Genesis attributes it to Nimrod, the King's list attributes it to Enmerkar. Both are described as 'mighty hunters'. It's also around the beginning of this period that there was a large climatological event, known as the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900BC) that transformed the Sahara into desert, again, only this time it never recovered. This climatological event actually did cause massive human migrations, much like what's described in the Babel story. And what's really interesting is that the nomads that came from this growing desert region are actually the ones that brought both the noted behavioral changes, as well as at least two of the oldest known languages (semetic and indo-european), to the other settlements in this region, primarily along the rivers (Tigris/Euphrates, Nile, Indus Valley, etc.).

      Now, as for Adam and his descendants living for centuries, before most of them were wiped out by a flood, what would you expect to see if there were any literal truth to that? Well, obviously we lack physical evidence. Considering this would be a rather small numbered 'tribe', and considering the whole flood thing, this isn't exactly a surprise. So, what else would you expect to see? Well, considering the region described was populated, you might expect to see their influence in the mythologies, or depictions of their ancient history according to them. The Sumerians/Akkadians/Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, they all believed immortal beings existed in their ancient past. In the case of the Sumerians they claim there were immortal, human in form, male and female, gods who lived on the earth amongst them and physically inhabited the temples we know to have actually existed at the center of the cities we know to have actually existed. According to the Sumerians, these gods taught them civilization. The 'gifts of civiliization', each known as a 'me'. In the Sumerian stories, an immortal god named Enki established that first city, Eridu. According to Genesis, Cain established the first city. Then, of course, after roughly 1600 years, this rather advanced culture came to that 'abrupt end' I described above.

      See, this is the age when humans first began to live contradictory to nature, rather than at the whim of nature. This is when we first began to create numerous inventions and began to develop methods of agriculture that actually allowed us to control nature, rather than be controlled by it. Much like Genesis says Adam and Eve began to behave contrary to God/nature, and how it says they would have to work for it. The Ubaid culture invented methods that allowed them to farm, much like the settlements to the north in northern Mesopotamia and Europe, only they did it in the adverse conditions of southern Mesopotamia. Cain, who Genesis says was knowledgeable of working the land, was 'cursed' so that the ground wouldn't yield crops for him, and says he's wonder restlessly. Then it says he settled and built a city. According to the Sumerians, Enki taught them agriculture, and that these efforts were orchestrated by the ruling class of the temple, and carried out the by Sumerian people. The Sumerians then provided for the inhabitants of the temple. In fact, the Sumerians believed they were created by these gods to serve them because that's what they did.

      The birth of every major civilization finds its roots in this dispersion and mass migration of these 'patrist' nomadic 'Saharasians'. It was the arrival of these people in each region that brought about these same behavioral changes and unique languages. And the rest of human history describes these 'civilized' people overtaking the indigenous inhabitants of the lands, killing and enslaving the 'natives' or 'savages'. This, all of this (and quite a bit more), is the best 'proof' I think you'll see. It's this very behavior, this change when humans began to take control of nature to bend it to their will, that Genesis is describing. This leads right up to the story of Abraham, who's father was from Sumer, and his dealings with Egypt. This already populated world scenario also brings a lot of clarity to the whole time in the wilderness, the 613 Mitzvah laws, all of that. It's because this one 'chosen' bloodline that would eventually bring about the savior, had to be protected and controlled. But with this new 'free will' running rampant, this took some doing. That's what the OT is describing, and why it all stopped in the NT.

      As for the flood, it clearly wasn't global. For one thing there would be no sense in a global flood, whether viewed through my interpretation or the traditional one, because the descendants of Adam/Eve just 10 generations along wouldn't inhabit the entire earth. But it's also made rather clear by the only two mentions of the 'Nephilim' (Gen6(pre-flood), Num13(post-flood)), ie survivors. And, of course, the whole last 2/3's of Genesis 4 which would be totally irrelevant if everyone (and all the skills those that had skills Cain's descendants 'fathered') died in a flood.

      I could literally go on and on, but I'll stop for now since this is already a small book. Sorry for the extensive read, but this is no easy task you're laying out. It's dealing with all of existence, all of human history, all of the bible, all the various mythologies of the world, etc. There's a lot to cover. I'll just let whatever you decide to tackle first steer things from here, if you feel so inclined.

      1. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Headly:
        We discussed this briefly, but then our conversation was already part of a much longer diatribe and it sort of got lost in the shuffle.  While I do know a lot about the bible, I will also admit that the history that i've studied is not of that region or that time period, and you know way more than I do.  I have a problem with your opening paragraph - I don't believe that the earth is evidence for god's existence at all, and I have large problems with the argument from intelligent design, the TAG argument used by Christian apologists and the Watchmaker argument.  I do believe if everything that exists has a first cause, then god is subjected to that same idea, which leaves you with the question: Who created god.  Apologists then go for special pleading, and claim that god either a) didn't begin to exist, so no first-cause is necessary to explain him or b) god exists outside of space and time and is not subjective to our perception of its laws or nature.  I don't believe that the earth is evidence of any god, and I believe that all of the arguments for intelligent design, first causes or others have all been sufficiently countered by people with much more knowledge on the subject that I have.  I'm still learning about it, but I am more than content to say that I don't know how or why the universe began - and it doesn't really matter to me.  From everything I do know of science, no ultimate "designer" is necessary.

        As far as the crux of your argument goes - I can see where you've lined it up with the Biblical account and I commend you for that.  But I think that you're starting to enter into dangerous territory when you, again, start with a conclusion and try to fit various pieces of the puzzle into what you hope to believe.   appreciate the fact that you have found flaws in the typical interpretation of the biblical story.  Your theory is going against doctrine that has existed for hundreds of thousands of years.  Ultimately you have a creation myth - that one group of people used to justify their own existence on earth, and gave them a sense of purpose.  The story of adam and eve was written down and created by the jewish people long after the fact to establish their connection and origin with the being they claimed created the universe.  They attributed things beyond their comprehension to this mythical being - much like Romans attributed floods to Neptune, or lightning to Zeus.  While the history of the region may be able to be explained by the adam/eve story when you take it completely out of context and paint it in broad strokes to fit, since the adam/eve story was written down much, much later - why couldn't the writers tailor the story around what they already knew about the history of the region?  Why does it have to be anything special, therefore?  They explained the shifts, therefore, by injecting a special super-human and that human's connection with a deity. 

        I suppose we can begin there - and I'll do more research about the history of the cultures that you mentioned.  I'm sorry that I don't have anything more to go on than that.

        1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
          HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          As for the whole ID thing, my mention of that had more to do with why discussions of 'evidence' of God's existence are ultimately pointless, and why I'm taking this alternate approach. It's not so much a 'first cause' thing because you're talking about a fundamental 'rule' that applies to the observable universe. True or not, the God of the bible is described as the creator of the universe. Therefore He cannot be a part of it and cannot be subject to any 'rules' or 'laws' established through our observation of that universe. So, really its just a question of whether or not you think order can come out of random chaos or not. Can intelligence capable of contemplating the universe and our place in it come from non-intelligence? Are the exact right conditions of this universe that formed this universe and allows for life in this universe to exist as it does just a fluke that resulted in us? A countless series of events within those conditions that just happened to pan out the way it did, but could have at any point gone a totally different direction where we never would have existed? Or, do you believe this existence and this life have a purpose? That they're the result of a purposeful 'intelligence', not unlike the intelligence that eventually evolved in this environment? Personally, I think this does matter because if it is indeed just random chance that we're here, then that means all the purpose and meaning we assign to our lives is nothing more than an imagined thing that makes us feel better about our fleeting time here. It means nothing we do or accomplish really matters at all because it'll all just ultimately go away much like it began. Dust to dust, so to speak. It robs all life of any real sense of importance. True or not, provable or not, is that really the 'better' mindset to harvest and encourage? Or is there a reason the human condition repeatedly 'imagines' something more to all of this? Is that not part of what makes us who we are? What would we be now without it? I honestly can't say that way of thinking would really make the world 'better'. But, that's all aside from the point, and it's this kind of thing that I feel really derails the chance for real discussions that can find real answers because it's fundamentally philosophical and cannot be 'proven' one way or the other. Like free will versus determinism. It's a perpetual argument with no end in sight. That's why I'm going this other route.

          You're making some assumptions here about the bible that are distorting things right from the start. First, it's important to know and understand all that is actually 'known' about these texts versus what is assumed. For instance, "Ultimately you have a creation myth - that one group of people used to justify their own existence on earth, and gave them a sense of purpose". The fact is, nobody knows how old the books of Moses really are or who wrote them. Our best scholarly guesses can basically be summed up the 'documentary hypothesis'. The texts as we know them now were edited together from multiple older sources of unknown origin. We just don't know. What we do know is that stories with very similar themes have existed in the 'cradle of civilization' since the beginning of writing and were clearly very well known throughout the region. As soon as humans began to write, as soon as writing reached a point that narratives could be conveyed, they started writing about these stories.

          As for your question "why couldn't the writers tailor the story around what they already knew about the history of the region?"... A couple of things. First, let's think about that from the 'no God exists' standpoint. We're talking about a span of time that dates back at least 2000 years before writing, and that spans across the rise and fall of at least two cultures. Without writing, you only have verbal stories passed down, again over the course of 200 centuries, with no written record. For these people to have that kind of understanding of the entirety of the history of the region that would allow them to then frame a cohesive narrative around it would be a monumentally impressive task whether there's any truth to the 'God' part or not. Which leads right into the second point... if there's even 50% truth to this, then there's a lot more value in these texts for purely historical purposes than it's currently given credit for. And it also means that the people of this still very 'mysterious' phase of human history that came before the fall of Rome and the onset of the 'dark ages' was even more knowledgeable than even the surviving artifacts of Sumer and Egypt have led us to believe.

          We've only really known about the Egyptians for a couple of centuries and we've only just found out about Sumer roughly a century ago. Yet they were both clearly very advanced and intelligent. For example, the Akkadian empire took over Mesopotamia and basically engulfed Sumer. Yet, they continued to use Sumerian 'religion', mathematics, and science. The Sumerians invented astronomy and mathematics, the Akkadians/Babylonians learned it from them, which is where people like Ptolemy learned it from. They're the 'source', you could say, to everything that came after. In fact, it's incredibly interesting to me that the Sumerian language was used much like we use Latin in modern times. They spoke Akkadian, then later Babylonian, yet they continued to use Sumerian for 'religious' purposes and for their scientific and mathematic practices. Yet the Sumerians themselves didn't give credit to their ancestors for such impressive advances in intelligence and knowledge, they say they were taught.

          This is what drives what I do. It's not, as you say, me "start(ing) with a conclusion and try to fit various pieces of the puzzle into what (I) hope to believe". It's me trying to find the real truth using all the information available to us. And it's me being aware of where the facts stop and the human assumptions begin. Like I said, they distort things. And that includes the man-made 'doctrines' that have existed for centuries. They're still grounded in the knowledge base of their time. Just as we are grounded by the knowledge base of our time. The first step in learning always begins with admitting and recognizing what we do not know.

      2. 0
        Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        How do you know we cannot see beyond the big bang? MACS0647-JD is about 13.3 billion light-years away. The universe itself is only 13.7 billion years old, so this galaxy's light has been traveling toward us for almost the whole history of space and time. The James Webb Space Telescope is NASA's next orbiting observatory and the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. A tennis court-sized telescope orbiting far beyond Earth's moon.
        If the next orbital telescope can see farther back in time it could see what was here before the Big Bang.

        1. 0
          Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Really? Are you suggesting that a telescope will let us see the Universe before it formed? That would be a slick trick since, by my understanding, we have no hope of seeing anything before several million years after the  Big Bang or until after the first 400,000 years of expansion.

          1. A Driveby Quipper profile image60
            A Driveby Quipperposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Turn it around and look through the other end!

          2. 0
            Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Why not. Would not a better telescope see farther and therefore longer ago?

            1. 0
              Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              No. We can't see the Big Bang because we use light to look at distant objects. Light is emitted from matter. But, when the Universe was very young the matter and radiation were so densely packed that light couldn't go anywhere. So, it can't reach us today.

              All this is, of course, assuming the Big Bang theory is correct.

              1. 0
                Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Not all telescopes look for natural light. All we have to do is to look farther away to see what was there. If nothing is visible or detectable then we know that nothing is visible or detectable. We have no idea (yet) of what was going on before the supposed big bang.

                1. 0
                  Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  You might be referencing the European telescopes launched to  detect electromagnetic radiation.  But,  they think electromagnetic radiation hadn't formed until 300,000 years after the Big Bang. We still don't have technology to see anything prior to that. Or, none that I am aware pg.

                  1. 0
                    Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I find this rather funny. You're saying they can't detect anything because there was nothing there, so why even look? We look, and if we find nothing then we know.

          3. Ricardius profile image61
            Ricardiusposted 3 years ago in reply to this
        2. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
          HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I don't mean 'see' in the strictly visible sense. I mean that anything and everything that is detectable/observable scientifically is the result of the big bang. We can apply our understanding of the matter, energy, and natural laws of this universe and trace it all the way back to its original form, but we cannot 'see' beyond it. When I said 'we cannot 'see' beyond the big bang' I was loosely paraphrasing Neil LeGasse Tyson who says the same thing.

        3. A Thousand Words profile image80
          A Thousand Wordsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          How is it that we could possibly know how old the Universe is? That sounds like whoever made that calculation was grasping at straws.

          1. A Troubled Man profile image61
            A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            No, they are making educated calculations based on observation and evidence.

          2. Josak profile image60
            Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            There is a whole explanation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_universe

            Fa from clutching at straws the theory is validated by a multitude of tests.

            1. Soul Man Walker profile image60
              Soul Man Walkerposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Like the Vodka test? Maybe the LSD test?

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Or the troll test - one you should be incredibly familiar with, no?

            2. A Thousand Words profile image80
              A Thousand Wordsposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Thanks for the link. *removing foot from mouth.*

      3. The0NatureBoy profile image65
        The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        HeadlyvonNoggin,
        That is very interesting analysis of what Genesis is about.  The way I see it, however, is there are far to many impossible or illogical, from the things seen, things for it to be literal which but giving them metaphorical interpretations they could be.  However, because we see almost everything happening in cycles and Genesis 1:14 say the sun, moon and stars are for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years, I believe the civilizations follows a pattern of a long time for the evening {time preceding light}, a short transition, a long morning {time of light} and another short transition back to evening.   Here's how I see it. 

        The first 8 verses of Genesis 1 begins with the spirit moving upon the waters {I interpret as people because of Revelation 17:15}, forming of light without a source of light and dividing the waters {people} with a firmament naming the upper one being heaven which, because of the belief in a all-at-once rapture that's what I see it as being.  Because the description in Revelation 1:4 & 23 suggest man don't recognize the conditions their flesh it suggest it's a spiritual civilization, therefore it took some 6000 years before man learned their bodies enough to reproduce and eat, so they reproduced for only 1 thousand of years {day of rest} before Adam came into play as the rise of civilization like sunrise of a morning. 

        Since, according to Genesis 1:9-13, plants appeared on the third day while 2:5 say there was no plants when Adam was formed (V 7) that would be a contradiction unless Adam was born in a desolate place and was then moved to a location with plants at weaning and taught, by a voice[b/] how to survive eating the fruit falling from the trees and drinking from streams until he could reach them.  The [b]tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not a physical tree, was placed in the garden for him to begin judging things good and evil was a metaphorical one suggesting the number of things called good or evil would increase as their knowledge grew. 

        The operation, with him not being told it was going to take place, was a dream suggesting to live in a group as seen among the birds and animals he would have to allow his masculinity or femininity to become dormant but awaking to a presence of the other man he, actually, renamed our specie woven from man in the single term woman, especially since the term man means the ability to become wise or able to comprehend all things.  Why?  Because 2:24 say leave parents to become man again by integrating the wife into his own flesh, that's the only thing it could mean.  Untimely, the flood becomes the completion of the rise of this civilization.  For my whole vision of the Bible's interpretation see http://prop1.org/protest/elijah/vision.htm#unsealed.

    4. Don W profile image83
      Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      "Show me your proof for god - any god"

      That's where you're going wrong in my opinion. People's belief in god is not necessarily based on evidence (it can't be because there is no categorical evidence either way). Instead that belief is grounded in apparent experience of god. This could be the feeling of being loved, or feeling forgiven, or feeling that some event in life is caused/prevented by god etc. That "experience" of god is what many people's belief is grounded in.

      The issue is that belief grounded in experience is different from belief based on evidence. Such belief has a high epistemic status. In other words we tend to believe things we have apparently experienced. This tendency developed due to the process of natural selection because it aids survival (responding quickly and decisively to sensory information was an advantage to our ancestors).

      That means people do not believe in god in the same way they believe Everest is the highest mountain. People believe in god in the same way your friends believe "in" you. Your friend's belief that you exist is not based on evidence. They do not reason that they have seen a birth certificate, driving licence, social security number for you, therefore you must exist. Instead that belief is grounded in the fact that they have "experienced" you. It's on that basis that they say they "know" you exist. That is basic belief. No evidence is required for its formation, so asking for evidence is probably not fertile ground for useful discussion.

      1. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, but there is proof that I exist, and if a god really manifests in the world the way people claim, there should be evidence of his existence.  I've run across dozens of hubs alone that claim to have proof for god.  I just started a forum to open the discussion.

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          "Yes, but there is proof that I exist"

          Yes but it's not needed to form belief in your existence. In the same way, evidence you ate toast for breakfast is not needed for you to believe you did. Your belief is grounded in your experience of eating the toast, not on an analysis of the contents of your stomach. The fact that such evidence exists is irrelevant to the formation of your belief about it.

          "and if a god really manifests in the world the way people claim, there should be evidence of his existence"

          Perhaps, but again lack of evidence is irrelevant to belief grounded in apparent experience. If analysis of your stomach showed no evidence of toast, that would not necessarily alter your belief that you ate some this morning. You are more likely to question the reliability of the test than to question a belief grounded in your own apparent experience. Such is the high epidemic status of experience.

          "I've run across dozens of hubs alone that claim to have proof for god."

          No doubt, but those claims are wrong. There is no categorical, objectively verifiable evidence that proves or refutes the existence of a deity. More importantly there doesn't need to be, for people to form god-belief, which is self-evident if you think about it.

          1. Disappearinghead profile image89
            Disappearingheadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I like this answer.

          2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
            The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            It is possible that what people call god is angelic beings, I have plenty evidence of that but don't call god.

            1. 0
              Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Please provide your evidence.

              1. The0NatureBoy profile image65
                The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                The day of my  new conception after I had analyzed my life because of the mindset I was in a audible voice told me go back to the church and left me so overjoyed I went back to work 15 minutes before lunch hour was up. 

                The year was 1978 in the United States of Mexico I was fasting for a day and half because I had not heard the voice for many months when my appetite flared up so I got off the road and prayed, the voice said get back on the road and in less than a hundred miles a trucker going in the opposite direction dropped me food.

                In 1986 after I left El Passo, TX I got a ride for over 100 miles to a truck stop where I spent the night and ate breakfast.  As I proceeded walking on my way without having food nor water with me around 3 pm I became hungry and prayed for food as there was nothing growing where I was.  About 100 yards further there appeared 2 seeded plaints growing just off the roadway but the seeds didn't have the rust color of ripe ones so I refused to get them.  As I walked along I questioned myself if I had refused them because they were not ripe or because it was not what I wanted and in about another 100 yard there were another 2 of the plants except there was some rust color on the seeds which i cut off and ate.  They were an angel manifesting as the plantsto provide me with food. 

                And that's only three of many.

                1. 0
                  Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  no no no no, I said evidence. I like the United States of Mexico thing though. It made me laugh.

                  1. The0NatureBoy profile image65
                    The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    They are evidence but only to the one who experienced them.

                  2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
                    The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    A laugh indeed!

          3. 60
            puellaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            just the same there is no proof of the non-G0d faith  sad  it takes a leap of faith to believe that all the king horses and all the king men couldn't put humpty together again...

            1. JMcFarland profile image92
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              there is no "faith" involved in not believing in a god.  that's another common misnomer.

      2. cathylynn99 profile image78
        cathylynn99posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        the experience of god's love or forgiveness is something i have known. it was akin to the placebo effect. some folks can have their pain killed by a sugar pill. something so subjective is poor evidence for an efficacious god. i missed it for a while when i first became rationally based. now i have real friends instead of an imaginary one.

      3. secularist10 profile image90
        secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Don:

        Your distinction between evidence and experience is not productive, because all evidence is experienced. That's how it becomes evidence--because we experience it in some way.

        "The issue is that belief grounded in experience is different from belief based on evidence."

        But they are one and the same. How do you know the evidence exists? Because you experienced it (by seeing it, hearing it, or whatever).

        You yourself prove this point by saying:

        "Instead that belief is grounded in apparent experience of god. This could be the feeling of being loved, or feeling forgiven..."

        "Feeling" is one of the five senses, and it is one way we detect evidence.

        So claims about "feeling" or "experiencing" God do indeed count as claims of evidence. And they are therefore subject to the same requirements and constraints and analysis as all other evidentiary claims. Accordingly, such analysis demonstrates those claims are always faulty and flawed.

        1. Don W profile image83
          Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I'm not talking about experience per se. I'm talking about qualia, i.e. a specific kind of subjective experience. And I'm not talking about evidence per se. I'm talking about objectively verifiable evidence. I assumed that to be obvious given the context of the thread.

          1. secularist10 profile image90
            secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            That's what I am talking about too. All objective evidence is experienced by individual people. That's how individuals know it exists.

            Something may be experienced by one individual alone, but it is still an objective thing. That is, assuming it is part of reality, i.e. it is real.

            The OP mentioned "proof" but did not specify a particular kind of proof. He mentioned "reasons to believe" which is very broad, especially given the fact that theists and naturalists tend to have very different conceptions of what counts as legitimate proof.

            1. JMcFarland profile image92
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I didn't specify type of proof specifically.  The large majority of religious people I have encountered claim to have absolute, scientific proof for god - servantofgod even has hubs about it.  I'm asking them to discuss it openly here, since whenever I commented on his hub, he denied/deleted the comments.  Forums make that not possible, if you're going to post.  Therefore, I was hoping for an open discussion.  Don seems unable to wrap his mind around it, and results to insulting me or calling my qualifications into question when I disagree with his arguments.  In the meantime, he's not contributing to the conversation at all - he's just saying there is no proof, so I shouldn't be asking.  I don't feel the need to supply my college transcripts or debate printouts for his perusal.  Fortunately for me, whether or not he believes me has no impact on the reality.  I think he just likes being contrary.

              1. 60
                puellaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I don't know about absolute and scientific proofs of God but I know that atheits can't offer an absolute and scientific proof of a no-God...any news?

                1. JMcFarland profile image92
                  JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  atheists don't have the burden of proof - they're not making any positive claims, and you don't have to prove a negative.

                  Theists are claiming absolutely that a god exists.  The burden of proof rests on them.

                  1. OutWest profile image61
                    OutWestposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    What difference does that make...you are still left without any belief, while others' have one.

                  2. 60
                    puellaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    what is then a definition of atheist? I 'd think that when I say X is and another guy says no, X is not then X and Y are thesis and antithesis and then it's a matter of? Exists means that some stuff  IS and Does not exist means that "that"  IS not...'essence-wise'   therefore to claim that the proof is only the requirement for an existence means that the negation needs a proof for an 'acceptable' 'reason' and then we all start bover the same same old stuff wink
                    and that is a matter  as old as Matusalen or prior so... the easy way out is to say that your logic is 'right' well it may be but by your own same token mine is too...and that  is why I ask if there is any news, so again, any news?   You cannot deny the existence and experience of intuition the same that we cannot deny that facts sometimes more often than they should  would show the absence of spirituality...But, again, spirituality is not provable but determines a life in a way and not in another and that IS...

                  3. 60
                    puellaposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    absolutely anybody with a statement of this nature must have a sound base that validates the correctnes or say the truthfullness of the statement; you, McFarland, do not have one just the same I do not have one...everythinng else is piure conjectures...do you know what that means? it means that it may be possible but probability NEEDS more support. 
                    that's how many science advances have began with and succeded and many more failed!! do you understand what does that mean? it means that as long as you feel like it and it is meaningful mand it does not bother you, in particular smile then it maybe or not...and your statements happen to suffer of the same quality of, perhaps, a possibility...after death we will know for sure...or maybe we won't; in the case we will you loose, in the case we won't you win...it's almost 50/50 % barely Everything else is fruitless if related to the burden of proof on one team wink sorry for the bad news...and too is fruitless because you reject the possibility of a common approach not even by default but by using the same frame of...mere...just... conjectures...If you impose on some the burden of proof and in your own terms that has a definition in psichology :< so the burden is, itt seems, on you too even if you do not acknowledge it...sorry...it's just like that among humans...we all do and undo...there is always two sides of the coin simultaneously or...?

            2. Don W profile image83
              Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              To avoid a pointless semantic argument let me be clear. There is a difference between belief formed on the basis of that which is objectively verifiable, and belief which is not formed on the basis of that which is objectively verifiable. I am making the points that god-belief is an example of the latter, that there are other beliefs of the same type, and that this has implications for the OP.

              By way of illustration I've used the belief of doing something in the past (having breakfast) as an example of belief which does not require objectively verifiable evidence for its formation. It is grounded solely in apparent subjective experience, which by definition cannot be examined by anyone other than the subject. Whether objectively verifiable evidence exists is irrelevant, the point is that it is unnecessary for the formation of belief about what we had for breakfast this morning.

              Likewise, even if some theists (mistakenly) believe there is objectively verifiable evidence that supports the existence of a deity, that's irrelevant because such evidence is unnecessary for the formation of god-belief, which may be grounded solely in apparent subjective experience. If subjective experiences are someone's "reasons to believe" then by definition, they cannot be examined by anyone other than the subject.

              The opening post says: "Show me your proof for god . . . but be prepared to have your proof examined". This implies objective evidence (by definition you cannot examine that which is subjective unless you are the subject). It therefore makes a false assumption about the nature of god-belief. I have already pointed that out to the opening poster. From his responses I suspect he does not understand, rather than disagrees. I can't fault him for not understanding. Whether you understand remains to be seen.

              1. secularist10 profile image90
                secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I understand you perfectly fine, that doesn't mean I have to agree with you.

                Your premise is wrong, there is no legitimate belief that cannot be objectively verified. Because reality is by definition objective in nature--it doesn't change based on the individual.

                You gave the example of eating breakfast--this is objectively verifiable. Someone else can attest that you ate breakfast. Or, if you ate breakfast alone and no one else can vouch, then as I already said, it is still an objective fact that you ate breakfast. Even if no one was around when it happened, the fact is that someone COULD confirm it. It is theoretically possible to confirm it objectively.

                If you later hallucinate and suddenly believe that you did not eat breakfast, you are wrong, because the fact that you ate breakfast is an objective fact, independent of your own beliefs or thoughts.

                By contrast, claims about God, or angels or demons and whatnot, cannot be objectively verified. That is why they are illegitimate claims, and they rank with fantasy and imagination.

                There is not a single legitimate claim that humans can make that is categorically incapable of being objectively verified. And it is the verifiability of the breakfast claim that makes it "believable"--it doesn't take a great leap of faith to accept it. The same is not true of miracles, for example.

                1. Don W profile image83
                  Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  "Your premise is wrong, there is no legitimate belief that cannot be objectively verified . . . You gave the example of eating breakfast. . . . Even if no one was around when it happened, the fact is that someone COULD confirm it."

                  You comments address a misconception of my argument, rather than my actual argument. Either you need to read more carefully, or I need to express myself more clearly. Hopefully both those things will happen.   

                  The point is not whether someone's belief about breakfast can be objectively verified. Not once have I said it can't be. The point is that falsifiability is not necessary to form or maintain such belief. It is the apparent experience which leads to the formation of such belief, not its potential for falsifiability. If that was the case, no one would believe anything which was not falsifiable. Clearly they do, so evidently falsifiability is not the attribute which determines the formation of belief in those cases. I notice you are now qualifying belief with the use of "legitimate". That doesn't really help. Does falsifiability determine whether a belief is "legitimate"?

                  Depends what "legitimate" means. Let me start by taking it at face value. If falsifiability determines whether a belief is "legitimate" (whatever it means) then the belief that someone has a headache is not "legitimate". Let me do some pre-empting here: No, that belief is not objectively verifiable. No, a scan of someone's brain/ nervous system does not categorical tell us what that individual is experiencing. No, there is no instrument, test or method that allows us to exactly experience another human being's experience, so it is not possible to categorically tell someone they are not experiencing a headache. By your standard, the belief someone has a headache is therefore illegitimate(!?)

                  On the other hand if by "legitimate" you mean epistemologically justified, then falsifiability does have some bearing on that, and it doesn't. A belief which is objectively proven false, can still be epistemologically justified. Using your example, if someone hallucinated they had no breakfast, but was not aware they had hallucinated, then belief grounded in that apparent experience is epistemologically justified. This is because, in the absence of contrary evidence, a person is justified in assuming their subjective experience to be real. That is a fundamental axiom by which we live (it happens to aid survival). So the formation of that belief is justified.   

                  However, if it was categorically proven that the experience was not actual, then maintaining that belief would be unjustified. Assuming it was so proven, then for the person in your example we would have to say their continued belief that they had no breakfast is unjustified, but the formation of that belief was justified.

                  The implications of all this for god-belief are: the formation of god-belief is epistemologically justified if it is based on genuine apparent experience and 2) it cannot be determined whether maintaining certain aspects of god-belief is epistemologically justified, because certain aspects of god-belief are not falsifiable.

                  So no, falsifiability does not affect the formation of certain beliefs, and no beliefs which are not falsifiable are not unjustified if that's what you mean by illegitimate. Maintaining such belief maybe if it can be categorically proven that it is not grounded in actual experience, but that's not always possible with god-belief. Hence my original point that a discussion about god-belief and evidence is essentially a red herring.

                  1. secularist10 profile image90
                    secularist10posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Well the word "justified" sounds a lot like "legitimate" if you ask me. But call it whatever you want.

                    "If that was the case, no one would believe anything which was not falsifiable. Clearly they do..."

                    Sure, people believe all kinds of things. Doesn't mean that they are right in doing so.

                    Falsifiability is an essential part of knowledge. I won't go so far as to say it is the whole thing, but it is a necessary condition. The reason is simple: how can I know that something is true if I can't sense it or figure it out myself?

                    I don't entirely agree with the idea that we can't really know if someone is having a headache. But let's leave that aside for now. Suppose I accept the premise that the truth of the headache is indeed unknowable to an outsider.

                    Ok, so take two statements: "I have a headache" and "There are pixies flying around inside my head."

                    According to you, both of these statements carry equal epistemological weight. We have just as much reason to believe one as the other. But if someone made the second claim to you, can you honestly say that you would not be worried for that person's mental health?

                    There is something that makes headaches different from pixies. Headaches and the effects of headaches are observed and experienced by countless people every single day. In other words, it is not an entirely subjective phenomenon. There is something objective at work, even if not on par with the sun, because it is affecting many people in the same way.

                    When someone reports a headache, it does not arouse nearly the amount of incredulousness that head-pixies would. And there is a reason for that.

                    Now for some reason you are creating a distinction between the formation of a belief and the maintenance of a belief. That's all very interesting, but it seems unnecessary. The question on the table is, what makes a belief (epistemologically) legitimate. You admit that when evidence arises to the contrary, non-evidenced experience must yield.

                    Now, suppose I accept your argument that certain beliefs are justified in the absence of falsifiability--specifically, beliefs dealing with one's internal world which is not accessible by outsiders. Ok, great. You still have a problem: the belief in God is not a belief about something internal, it's a claim about something external, in the external world. It may be based on one's lonely experiences, but it is still a claim about objective reality--there is a thing called "God" hanging out there in the universe. Well, if reality is so ordered, then it must be accessible to other people in some way too.

                    One doesn't get to make an objective claim but then hide behind the shield of subjectivity when challenged.

                    "in the absence of contrary evidence, a person is justified in assuming their subjective experience to be real."

                    No, all one can say is that it's sometimes pragmatic to believe something without evidence. It requires less brainpower expenditure to just accept whatever silliness pops into one's head than to rigorously apply the scientific method and spend hours researching and experimenting on every idea one has. But pragmatism that enables the average person to get on with their daily life is a far cry from epistemological legitimacy.

              2. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Sorry, but having breakfast is indeed an objective experience, there is hard evidence for that. To imagine having breakfast on the moon would be subjective.

    5. A Driveby Quipper profile image60
      A Driveby Quipperposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You are breathing, brother. That's good enough for me.

      1. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        that, unfortunately, is not good enough for me.  Everybody breathes.  That doesn't mean that a god out there made it happen.

        1. Jerami profile image79
          Jeramiposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I exist and you exist. This is a fact ! ... ?
          If a person comes to me saying they are your representive; If they say things to me that I expose to be untrue, does can I assume that you do not exist?

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            If an all-powerful being existed and manifested in the natural world, there would be signs of his presence.  There aren't.  My existence isn't what's at question here - your god's is.

            1. Jerami profile image79
              Jeramiposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Who/what do you presume my God is?
              Everything and everybody is under some kind of doubt from somebody

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                that's the point - i'm not presuming who your god(s) is.  I'm asking for evidence of any god, and it doesn't really matter which out of the thousands of gods that have been proclaimed throughout history you're claiming to prove exists.

                1. Jerami profile image79
                  Jeramiposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Hundreds of years ago there was no proof that bacteria existed yet a few people “Knew” something was there. Some people thought that evil spirits hid in the sheets and clothing so they burned them. There was no proof that this thing existed yet it did.   Their theories were wrong concerning what it was, as is many of our ideas concerning the identity we call God.  We Christians are close minded when we refuse to change our ideas concerning who/what God is and where God resides.
                  If All doctors and scientist had kept a closed mind, bacteria would still be unnamed and thought to not exist.

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image59
                    Mark Knowlesposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    You must admit that your god is supposed to be undetectable - yes? So your argument is silly. I understand you need to defend the belief in any way you can - no matter how silly, but this is scraping the barrel. lol

                    In any case - Bacteria actually exist. wink

                  2. 0
                    Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    There was plenty of evidence that bacteria existed. The evidence is what led people to burn burn sheets. If you were to point to what evidence we have for a God that is like the evidence for bacteria you would certainly have the worlds attention. Unfortunately a ticking clock is only evidence of a clock maker.

                  3. A Troubled Man profile image61
                    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Strawman argument.

            2. Don W profile image83
              Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              False assertion. Every natural phenomenon is a sign of something, but we can't always perceive what. Quantum entanglement may be a "sign" there are more spacial dimensions than we thought. We don't know because we can't currently perceive those spacial dimensions. The universe may be the "sign" of a big bang, or a rapid inflation, or a collision between two inter-dimensional membranes. Again we don't know, so we can't determine what the universe signifies. Some people assert existence is the sign of a deity which constitutes existence. Again, we can't tell what existence as a phenomenon signifies.

              So unless you have some never before seen information about the universe, you cannot determine what aspect of the natural world does and does not constitute the "sign" of a deity, let alone determine that no such sign exists.

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                if you're claiming that I'm using a logical fallacy, do tell me which one.

                I think that you're trying to get at "everything in the universe has a cause" which is simply untrue.  And still, none of it adds up to evidence for a god.

                1. Don W profile image83
                  Don Wposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  "if you're claiming that I'm using a logical fallacy, do tell me which one."

                  I'm suggesting that your assertion there are no signs of a deity's presence, is false i.e. the opposite of true. I think that's fairly clear. What's more I'm suggesting such an assertion is as nonsensical as suggesting there are signs of a deity's presence. There is no rational basis on which to make such assertions.

                  "I think that you're trying to get at "everything in the universe has a cause" which is simply untrue. "

                  Now that is a fallacy. Straw man to be precise. You are responding to a misconception of my argument, not my argument. My argument is that any phenomena could be a "sign", i.e. an indicator, of some wider phenomenon. Causal relationships have nothing to do with it. The issue is that we can perceive certain phenomenon without being unable to perceive the wider phenomenon it is part of. Therefore we are unable to determine what it indicates, or if it indicates anything at all. It does not follow that because we are unable to determine a wider phenomenon, that therefore no wider phenomenon exists. In other words, just because we are unable to determine whether a phenomenon indicates the existence of a deity, it does not follow that therefore a deity does not exist. That's another fallacy, a non sequitur.

                  "And still, none of it adds up to evidence for a god."

                  You seem preoccupied with evidence. Let me repeat myself: there is no categorical, objectively verifiable evidence that proves or refutes the existence of a deity. So you (and the theists who think there is) would do better to move along and stop flogging a dead horse in my opinion. However, that's all irrelevant to god-belief, many instances of which are not formed on the basis of evidence, but are grounded in apparent experience.

                  If you are refuting the supposed "evidence" for god presented by theists just for the sport, then say so, and I'll leave you to your sport. Otherwise you could develop your position to address the argument that evidence is irrelevant to certain beliefs, including god-belief.

                  1. JMcFarland profile image92
                    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    What signs of a deity's presence would those obvious signs be?  You on the one hand claim that there is no empirical evidence for the existence of a god, then turn around and say that the assertion that there are no signs of a deity's presence are false.  You're contradicting yourself - which one is it?
                    "I think that you're trying to get at "everything in the universe has a cause" which is simply untrue. "

                    Your second paragraph made no sense at all.  I'm a debate student and have years and years of experience, but your assertion of logical fallacies do not fit into any rational knowledge I have on the subject.

                    If i'm preoccupied with evidence, so be it.  I think extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence if they're to be believed.  The fact that religion, and not just christianity, has existed for thousands of years without any evidence whatsoever is ridiculous.  there should be evidence if you're going to devote your life to a supernatural being.  Without it, there is no justification for belief.  It's blind faith - and I cannot see blind faith as a good thing.

                    Evidence may be historically irrelevant for religious beliefs, but it's not to me.  Without evidence, why believe?  Servantofgod has several hubs claiming to irrefutably prove the existence of god - but he falls far short of the mark, and deletes comments that disagree with him.  That's willfully ignorant if not intellectually dishonest.  It's not a sport.  I'm genuinely curious.  If there IS no evidence for god, it's sure to catch a lot of believers by surprise.  I'm just asking them to present their case.  I don't understand how that personally affects you at all.  You claim there is no evidence.  Fine.  So why are you in a forum that is asking for that evidence?

                  2. A Troubled Man profile image61
                    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    If we can observe the "wider phenomenon", why bother with a sign? That would suggest the sign is merely a subjective opinion of interpretation and diminishes the phenomenon for what it is exhibiting to being irrelevant. 



                    But, one need not create that fallacy considering your argument for a "wider phenomenon"  that has yet to be observed and is being asserted as a deity is a non sequitur. Nature has never in any way, shape or form given indications, evidence or "signs" for the existence of deities. By stating that some "wider phenomenon" will eventually show up as a deity in another phenomenon as a sign is the same as waiting by the chimney for Santa to come down or watching your pillow for "signs" of the Tooth Fairy.

              2. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                That would be an argument from incredulity based on your own words...

    6. ahorseback profile image48
      ahorsebackposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      You have chosen to ask and answer and loaded your question up front ! Fine , you're here among fellow God stompers , roll on man !

    7. chatpilot profile image75
      chatpilotposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I have been an atheist for the past 18 years but before that I was a Pentecostal evangelist. I too have a similar background with Christianity and have read the bible on 4 occasions cover to cover. I was a literalist and believed the bible to be the true and inerrant  word of God. I was baptized and I preached for four years mostly in local area churches and I had a street ministry with my partner that we ministered publicly on Saturdays and Sundays.

      One thing I hate about theists is that as your first responder Brenda Durham has so nicely demonstrated is that they immediately doubt your experience with Christianity. They assume you did not truly serve the Lord of have a genuine conversion etc. It's insulting and arrogant when they do this.

      As for your request for evidence of God, I don't think anyone can provide that since the only evidence they truly have are subjective and therefore invalid. I still search as you do for truth in all matters but I am convinced that the evidence for God does not exist. This is the reason that faith is necessary. Faith does not require evidence all it needs is your acceptance to believe without evidence.

    8. The0NatureBoy profile image65
      The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      If you accept Jesus as the son of god or an enlightened person his last words on the cross (Matthew 17:46-50) suggest his own lifeforce, the Bible calls the ghost, was his god.  Otherwise I see no proof of god in any religion's sources.

    9. 0
      Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I would never try to convert you to my beliefs for two reasons:

      1) My beliefs are mine and based on my understanding of the Bible. You believe what and how you choose to believe (or in your case not believe) as according to your understanding

      2) I have too much respect for you to try to limit you to my way of thinking. As a scholar, You have way more knowledge of what the bible says than I do. When I hear a scripture, I try to analyze what it is saying to me. My opinion is not the total truth. It is simply my opinion.

      1. The0NatureBoy profile image65
        The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        That is the way it's supposed to be, people are to discuss their views and if one reasons the other is or isn't to their satisfaction they respect them in what they believe.  The reason for Christian's working to convert others is because of how it became a world religion as revealed in
        Revelation 6:2.  And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow {weapon}; and a crown {knowledge or gospel about Jesus} was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. 

        That tells how Constantine's crusades the Catholic Church continued to go about preaching Jesus and if they didn't accept it they killed them until they accepted it.   Today it's the attempt of 1% of the 1%, or what Revelation 13:1-3 calls the Beast who wants to control the world by using the United States' nuclear arsenal to instill afraidness in everyone world wide.  That's why there's so many up-heavers worldwide, they are causing them to send the United States {Beast that came our of the sea} to occupy them in this new way of colonizing the world.

    10. lookinginpdx profile image59
      lookinginpdxposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I agree with Brenda somewhat you are on the defense but i think you may be plagued with things you saw and thnk to yourself " if there's a God why would he allow this" the answers are in that book you claim you read cover to cover "The Bible". We all go thru trials and tribulations that is apart of life.

    11. pennyofheaven profile image80
      pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      No man, no philosophy, no doctrine can provide the proof you seek. These things can only point to God. Only by experiencing will you have all the proof seek. Will you understand these experiences? Probably not, at first, but when you disengage the mind that is designed to seek knowledge your proof will come to the fore. It is beyond words or thoughts.

      Like the experience of love, you cannot share that experience with any one except through using words to describe it. They however will never experience what you have experienced.

      Any experience is unique to each and every one of us.

      1. JMcFarland profile image92
        JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I'm sorry, but it sounds like you're saying that the only way to find god is to willfully decide not to use your brain and think.  Didn't your god create your brain?  Does he not want you to use it?  What kind of god would give you the ability to think, decide and reason and then only reveal himself if you ignore the tools that he gave you?

        It does not escape my notice that the "original sin" in the garden of eden was that adam and eve ate from the tree of "knowledge of good and evil"  If they cannot tell the difference between right and wrong, then they cannot possibly be expected to understand the consequences of their actions.  Without that understanding, god still judged them guilty of disobedience - even though they can't possibly understand disobedience or the consequences because of it.  that's not moral.  You don't sentence a mentally handicapped person to the death penalty if they kill someone.  You sentence them to get treatment.

        The church has been anti-knowledge, critical thinking and rational thought since its inception.  Apparently, that philosophy is still in full force.

        1. pennyofheaven profile image80
          pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Yes that is what I was saying.

          An analogy might help? When we experience the wind we cannot catch the wind in our hands and give it to another. We do not use the logic to experience the wind, we use it only to describe it. We can think about it through the experience but as soon as we do the essence of the experience is lost.

          Just so you know, my understanding of God is not like the mainstream understanding. God does not have a gender but is the essence of all that exists. It cannot be described or it becomes something entirely different in nature although still connected.

          Good/evil, right/wrong, etc are concepts (dual in nature) created by the logic that separates 'this' from 'that' when really there is no separation. We separate ourselves from 'what is' because we subscribe to the reality of the logic, as in Eves case.

          1. A Troubled Man profile image61
            A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Couldn't you just hold a fan up to your face?

            1. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              If you like, haha. So is holding a fan to your face the exact same experience of feeling the wind on my face or is it something different? Was the speed the same was the gentleness the same or was it a lot more forceful than my experience. If you believe that it was, it is a belief, not a reality.

              1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I suspect many couldn't tell the difference.

                1. 0
                  Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Or they refuse to entertain the difference wink

                2. pennyofheaven profile image80
                  pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Really?

          2. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            but we know what wind is.  Its effects can be observed.  So can the effects of  love.  So can familial bonds.  Your analogy doesn't really hold water.  We can't see air, either, but we know that it exists and we can define it.  It has properties that can be tested through experimentation.

            I'm sorry, but I can never see giving up my brain and my thought-process and my critical thinking skills just to possibly experience a god.  If you give up logical thought, you become open to any claim that anyone makes.  In that regard, you should believe in every possible religion because you cannot think critically about any of them.

            1. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Effects can be observed I do agree. How do you test for properties you do not yet understand. How do you test for properties that are yet to be discovered?

              Yes and therein lies why many do not understand God. Critical thinking or the tree of knowledge of good and evil is too enticing to the masses. The fear of giving up logic keeps one bound to the rules that it governs no more no less. The fear that we lose what we are is exactly what makes us lost to what  we are.

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                It is only through testing and exploration that we come to understand things that are not yet known.  Can you imagine what would have happened if Galileo or DaVinci had never explored the unknown - in the face of persecution and potential death at the hands of the church, no less?

                If humans didn't use their brains, we would be no different from the other animals today.  It is our brains that set us apart from practically every other creature.  We evolved to have bigger brains and to be able to use them to think critically.  If you want us to stop using our brains, then we'd no different or better than cavemen.  I rather like our technological advances - or else I couldn't be here talking to you.  How did it come about?  By people using their brains, challenging what they've been told about what is/is not possible and pushing the boundaries.

                1. 0
                  Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  What makes you think that animals don't use their brains? Animals have reasoning skills as well. As for cavemen, They used the tools that they had access too at that time and when something new came along, they adapted to it all the way to today.. That's called evolution (I think...)

                  1. JMcFarland profile image92
                    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    animals do use their brains, but not in the same manner that we do.  Some animals are HIGHLY intelligent (like Dolphins, for example)  The fact of the matter is that the current homosapian brain is bigger.  That doesn't mean that all of us big-brained folks actually USE it, however :-)

                2. pennyofheaven profile image80
                  pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Things yes, God no. We can test and explore God till the end of days with logic, yet God will be as elusive and incomprehensible as God has been since the beginning of time. Especially if we persist in using the brain and logic.

                  Logic leads us to believe we are some how 'set apart' from other species simply because we have the ability to use our brains, that by design separate "this" from "that", when really nothing is separate. The same brain separates rich from poor, beautiful from ugly, high from low type of thing. That is it's learned function. Generally it is whole, is does not discriminate, but old/learned habits die hard, which is why we need to disengage it for a while when seeking the experience of God

              2. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                It's called the 'Scientific Method', which is used to test things like properties.



                The reason is because gods are invisible and undetectable, hence impossible to understand.

                1. pennyofheaven profile image80
                  pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  And impossible to test right? No scientific method available yet.

        2. 0
          Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          If you recall, God warned them that if they ate from that tree they would surely die. What's not to understand about that? So they knew the consequences of their actions, but ate the fruit anyway. With this in mind (based on my understanding of the story) I would conclude that they were guilty of disobedience because they were warned of what would happen, But Eve listened to the serpent then caught a look at the fruit that was looking good and then she and Adam ate. But of course this is how the story goes.

          1. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            If you tell your child to not touch a hot stove or else they will get hurt, do you fully expect them to understand the pain and negative sensation that touching that stove will cause? 

            If they disobey you and touch the stove, do you ground them for the rest of their lives - or condemn them to death because they disobeyed?  Do you expect them to understand at that age that actions have consequences?  Does telling them NOT to do something not automatically make that forbidden action more attractive?  Most of the time, if a child touches a hot stove once, they'll never do it again.  They learn by doing and accepting the consequences because they're fully able to comprehend them.

            Actually, what god really said "the day that you eat of it you will surely die".  They didn't.  They lived for a few hundred years afterwards.  Sure they "started to die" from that moment on, yadda yadda.  The fact of the matter is that god told them of a consequence that did not come to pass, so he had to compensate for it by kicking them out of the garden and cursing them instead.

            Do you disown a child for a single act of disobedience - ESPECIALLY when they're not in a position to understand what you're saying?  Of course not.  that's not a moral judgement.  Until they understood the difference between right and wrong, how could they know what disobedience really was - or what it would cost them?

            1. 0
              Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              No argument from me here.. Then again, I currently don't believe this story is true. When I was a kid, I always viewed this story as a harsh example of what would happen if I disobeyed God and this story (among some of the others) kept me fearfully in line for several years. Then I grew up and started expanding my mind to different books (time away from the church help that too) as well as the dictionary and stumbled across the definition of myth. This opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities and ideas regarding the bible and how I never looked at it for myself and the context of which I was reading it all of my formative years was totally off base. This led to my rediscovery of the bible and my new mindset as to being open to any possibility.

          2. A Troubled Man profile image61
            A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            And then, mankind was cursed forever more.

            It would appear more reasonable to conclude God was guilty of incompetence and took his anger out on his own failed creation.

            Or, is that the type of behavior we should be learning from this wonderful story of love and compassion, to curse forever the very thing you create, for having made one mistake.

            Is that how we are supposed treat others?

            1. 0
              Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              You have NO argument from me on this one if this story is true (which I doubt).

              Nah this is not any kind of behavior I learned from that particular story. I never thought that particular store had any love or compassion even when I actually believed in it. I looked at that story as a story of punishment for one mistake with no forgiveness involved (which kept me fearfully in line for years)

              1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Fear, and more precisely, the reward/punishment system is what is supposed to keep believers in line with religions, yet it is a failed system as we can observe believers don't even follow the system, they do whatever they want, anyways.

                Just like Adam and Eve with the apple.

                1. 0
                  Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Right!!! I agree with this wholeheartedly!!

              2. Chris Neal profile image82
                Chris Nealposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Except that there is both love and forgiveness involved.  Even though they were cast out of Eden, they weren't  forever banned from communion with God (which satan was.)

                1. 0
                  Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  So in other words.. Get out but call me?

                  1. Chris Neal profile image82
                    Chris Nealposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    No. It's "I can't let you stay in this house but that doesn't mean I don't love you and I won't help take care of you."

            2. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              It seems you missed the point. The point of the story was in the beginning no distinctions were made, when you make distinctions (ie eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil) you will surely die..... from the awareness that there is no such thing as  good or evil except if our minds make it so.

              1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I have no idea what you're talking about. Distinctions?

                1. 0
                  Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  What I think she is referring to is that in the beginning there were no differences made known to Adam and Eve between good and evil. As a result, they were unaware that not listening to God's warning would be considered evil until they ate the fruit off the tree of knowledge

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    All that manages to do is support the incompetence of God for not having made those distinctions clear.

                  2. pennyofheaven profile image80
                    pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Actually no, the knowledge of good and evil did not come about until she ate from the tree. The eating of the tree was neither good or evil. Gods warning was that they would surely die. We know from biblical texts they did not physically die, so it was pointing to a spiritual death or death of the awareness of the whole. Knowledge then tended to make one believe it was now separate from the whole and duality as we know it came to the fore.

                2. pennyofheaven profile image80
                  pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Is there a difference between good or evil in your mind or not? Is that not a distinction?

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    That depends, but those distinctions were never placed in the minds of Adam and Eve. Incompetence on the part of God.

      2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
        The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Well said Pennyofheaven, but I do have one exception and that's to your "when you disengage the mind that is designed to seek knowledge your proof will come to the fore."  Disengaging the mind from seeking knowledge isn't what is required but stopping the mind from clinging to taught concepts without proof is the requirement.  Knowledge objectively observed leads one to determining purpose and proper use for it but even from our mother's womb the concepts of right and wrong are instilled into us which prevents our being objective in our approach to things.  It's the concepts of good and evil deeply instilled into us which prevents our seeking evidence which will make us wise.  Even that book tells us everything unseen is revealed through the thing made therefore it is only our lack of objectivity which blinds us.  Otherwise I agree with everything you said.

        1. pennyofheaven profile image80
          pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          I am not advocating disengaging the mind when in search of knowledge. It is useful. In search of experiencing God however is an entirely different thing. If the logic is engaged while experiencing, the essence of that experience, for the most part, is lost.

          I do agree, everything unseen is revealed through the thing made and vice versa. Yet most cannot see beyond the surface of the made and the mind needs to be disengaged. When the experience comes to the fore, most are able to see, even if it is part thereof,  the essence of the made and the unseen.

          We cling to concepts sometimes without awareness. Words are such concepts we blindly accept to define our logical reality.  Nothing wrong with that. It works for the reality we accept. If we seek the understanding of God however, words fall short.

          1. 0
            Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Good points, But the issue with this is that in disengaging our minds and just living by the experience, we would essentially dismiss any other possibilities of other occurrences that our engaged minds would consider. For example, Some believers get pregnant and say God did it but dismiss the fact that the man stuck his part into a woman's parts and the resulting mixture of an egg ans sperm actually created the child.. The origin of this design is irrelevant (for the most part). The point is that Some people thank god when the actual power to conceive the baby is ours

            1. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Yes that is the dilemma most face when they think about disengaging the mind. Believing that God did it however is an engagement of the mind.

              1. 0
                Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                In that case.. Please clarify a little more what you mean about disengaging the mind

              2. The0NatureBoy profile image65
                The0NatureBoyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                I agree, please, do give more clarification of its meaning.

          2. A Troubled Man profile image61
            A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Sorry, but that sounds like the lamest of excuses. Logic makes God disappear? How does that work? God is so weak that He can't stand up to logic? Hilarious.

            1. 0
              Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              You lost me here as well. I will not say that it is an excuse, Just that it makes no sense

            2. pennyofheaven profile image80
              pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Where did I say God disappears in your mind? If you read carefully, it said the essence of the experience is lost. Simply because the logic (when it comes to God) will always try to fit what it does not yet fully understand into a box.

              1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                That is pure baloney and a lame excuse.

                1. pennyofheaven profile image80
                  pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  How so?

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    There's absolutely nothing to support that view.

              2. A Troubled Man profile image61
                A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Doesn't matter, the experience will not be fettered no matter what logic is put forth. If it does, then the experience is false.

                1. pennyofheaven profile image80
                  pennyofheavenposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes agree, it becomes false when logic rules because that is the way logic deals with what it cannot grasp.

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image61
                    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    LOL. Sorry, but logic can easily grasp your examples. If it becomes false with logic, then it IS false.

              3. 0
                Deepes Mindposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Can you clarify what you mean by the essence of the experience is lost? How is it lost?

    12. moneyfairy profile image61
      moneyfairyposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      The cool thing about life is that you have the choice to believe whatever you want and you shouldn't need someone else to prove anything to you as if you believe something you do and if not , then not!!! Enjoy the choice you have chosen for yourself!!! No one else's opinion should matter.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image61
        A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Absolutely, people have the right to believe as ridiculous and childish things as they want. They shouldn't complain then, about the sorry state of the world when they are the ones contributing to it.

    13. Apostle Jack profile image60
      Apostle Jackposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      When you can see it and touch it,it is no longer a maybe,but a fact. It will later come to the world that God shall reveal Himself to world population in many ways,yet,some will not believe,but it was meant to be.
      I don't speak from books nor schools of education,but from experience and hands-on knowledge. He made me a witness,and so I speak.

    14. Slarty O'Brian profile image86
      Slarty O'Brianposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      If you define god as that which produced all this then it is self evident that there is a god, because all this did not always exist. Simple as that.

      But no where in the definition does it say what this god is.

      You now have two choices. It might be a conscious god of which you have over 4000 models to choose from, or it might be a non-conscious process such as the nature of energy.

      Despite there being  over 4000 conscious god models there is no evidence for any of them.

      But there is plenty of evidence for the nature of existence and the laws of physics.

      No one converts to Pantheism. You either recognize your own world view in it or you don't.

  2. TahoeDoc profile image94
    TahoeDocposted 3 years ago

    Dan Barker goes into some detail in his book about how real his faith was, how he FELT the presence of Christ and so on. He gives accounts of people saying that he must not have been a 'true' Christian if he fell away from it. Good reading. This defense is just another one that religious people use to find a way to dismiss your claims. I'm sure your faith at the time was as solid as anyone's.  You should write lots of hubs or a book about your experiences.

    Have you read his book, "Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists?" It's quite good and I'm sure you could relate to much of what he expresses. I'd encourage the faithful to read it too, but that would really be pointless, I think.

    1. JMcFarland profile image92
      JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I love that book.  In fact, I've had to get several copies of it because I loan it out to friends and they like it so much they don't give it back.  I've even had the chance to see Barker speak.

      That's one of the Christian tactics that I find the most frustrating.  As soon as they find out I'm an atheist, they seem to automatically dismiss my history as irrelevant.  If I tell them about my background, their first line of defense is to tell me that I was never a true christian at all - because it would be impossible for a true christian to become an atheist.  It grates on me to no end.  Who are they to tell me that?  They weren't there.  They didn't live through it.  To me it seems arrogant at the very least - simply because a christian turned atheist makes them uncomfortable.

      1. 0
        shawneemckee92posted 3 years ago in reply to this

        I believe that's exactly the case, they are uncomfortable with someone converting because everyone who is "right" is a Christian (in their minds). Personally, even when I was a Christian, I never really "felt" right doing it, it was just a choice I made to stick with... Church made sense and I like the values and some of the right way of doing things (like the importance of staying faithful to your spouse and don't kill, among other things), but I don't like the way that Christians try to guilt you into doing these things, instead of explaining. I never understood the mentality of Christians I've encountered, but then again, I've known many Atheists with the same mentality as well. In the words of Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along?"

      2. Disappearinghead profile image89
        Disappearingheadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        After reading the praise of Dan Barker, I thought I'd look it up on Amazon. Now when I look up a book on Amazon, I make it a habit of reading both the gushing 5 star praise reviews and the 1 star 'the book is crap reviews'. It appears that Barker has come out of the right wing intolerant fundamentalist branch of Christianity, which as we see evidenced on these forums, is populated by people who are often wilfully ignorant of the bible; people who choose to rely on their church leaders to interpret it for them rather than thinking for themselves. Apparently he freely admits that as a Christian he was not very knowledgeable of the bible. Now evangelists do not need to be; they only need to memorise sound bite verses that support their mission to convert people. So it seems to me that as a Christian, Barker was as far removed from a deep thinking sober biblical scholar as it is possible to be. So why should I be inclined to believe he has applied any more rigour to his arguments now as an atheist? If he singularly failed to apply himself to understanding the bible as a Christian, should we assume he has any better understanding of it now? If his grasp was shallow then am I to believe it is any deeper now?

        Just for the record, I do not hold the view that if someone walks away from Christianity, they never were one in the first place, and I accept without question your testimony as a former Christian. I have spent an awful lot of time examining my own history as a Christian, reevaluating, asking myself if what I believed and went along with was real. I think that today's Christianity is very often a feelings based, experiential, sensationalist religion, which when serious questions are asked of it, it does not stand.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image59
          Mark Knowlesposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Understanding of what exactly? It is simply not possible to "understand," something that is beyond human comprehension.

          1. Disappearinghead profile image89
            Disappearingheadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            What's beyond human comprehension Mark?

        2. servantofgod profile image79
          servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Hi disappearinghead,

          I agree with some of your statements. I really do not know Barker but I assume he is also an atheist. I cannot blame anyone if one turns to be an atheist. To tell you the truth, if I had not made my own investigation, I should have become an atheist. But my study and personal experience of God became an unshakable faith that there is God and there is hope beyond this lifetime.

          Sad to say, the majority of this world's religion has blatantly and erroneously represented Christianity. So SAD... I hate to say this but the leading misrepresentor of Christianity is the Catholic church who blended the Christian faith with paganism which God clearly abhors. But if one truly came to the TRUTH, I believe that that person will also develop an unshakable faith. We have to realize that Satan deceived the WHOLE WORLD (Rev. 12:9). So what we see in the world today is not the doing of God but of Satan but one day He will finally intervene and establish His kingdom here on Earth and every atheist and person will bend their knees to the one TRUE GOD.

          1. heatblast92 profile image83
            heatblast92posted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Hi, we don't need any more religious extortionists here, thank you big_smile

          2. JMcFarland profile image92
            JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            How exactly do you think that christianity is misrepresented?  You do understand, don't you, that without the Catholic church which you hate so much, there would BE no christianity today?  They were the ONLY christian church up until the reformation.  They were responsible for the texts, the scriptures, the gospels, the writings, etc from the earliest days of christianity up until now - and without them (as flawed, distorted and altered as they are) you would have nothing. 

            Tell me one thing in your particular version of "true christianity" (which miraculously every denomination claims to have while decrying everyone else) does NOT have pagan roots?

            1. Disappearinghead profile image89
              Disappearingheadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Actually in parallel to the Catholic Church there was the Eastern Orthodox Churches and the Coptic.

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                yeah, and all of them have different versions of christian history and fail to agree on even the most mundane points.  How do you reconcile that?

                1. Disappearinghead profile image89
                  Disappearingheadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Heck I dunno, I guess I'll sort that out after I've implemented World Peace. smile

                  1. JMcFarland profile image92
                    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    If you really want world peace, do away with organized religion.  It won't solve all of the world's problems, but it would probably be a good start.

            2. servantofgod profile image79
              servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              I agree. This world's religion cannot achieve world peace because it is not what the TRUE Church is supposed to do. This world is ruled by Satan and time will come that God will ultimately step in the world scene and intervene in man's affairs and establish lasting peace on Earth.

              Yes. I firmly believe that my Church do not have pagan roots.smile

              And by the way, it is not the catholics who come up with the Bible. The oracles of God is given to the Jews. It was the scribes who painstakingly made copies of the manuscript.

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Everything IN your religion has pagan roots.  Have you ever studied it?  Any of it?

                You get that all religions claim that they're the "true" church, right?  And none of them, including yours, have any actual proof to back up that claim.

                DO you know how the bible was formed?  Put aside the old testament for a moment - how was the new testament formed?  Do you know that there are more recorded mistakes/copying errors/differences between the earliest copies available for the new testament books than there are words in the new testament?  True story.  Look it up.

                1. servantofgod profile image79
                  servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  @ JM - that is interesting. How can you say that my religion is of pagan roots when you do not know my specific beliefs?

                  - really? well, please give me one link so I can read them.smile

                  I firmly believe that God is the Creator and Possessor of the whole universe. He will not let His very Word to be adulterated by us humans. He is God and He can protect the Bible from malicious people.

                  1. heatblast92 profile image83
                    heatblast92posted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Sorry, mate, that's already been done before God himself could even blink. smile

                  2. JMcFarland profile image92
                    JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    1) Christmas is not actually christ's birthday - it is the Saturnalia celebration in ancient pagan Rome.  Incidentally, it's almost Yule, the celebration of the winter solstice, which has existed for millenniums prior to the birth of christ.

                    2) Easter is named after the pagan goddess Ostara.  hence why it is still celebrated by the easter bunny (a symbol of fertility.

                    3) there are hundreds of other "messiahs" in both jewish and pagan traditions - sun gods who die, and after three days are resurrected.

                    http://www.scribd.com/doc/78751914/Misq … art-Ehrman

                    Bart Ehrman is a world-renowned biblical scholar.  "What good is it to say that the autographs (i.e., the originals) were inspired? We don’t have the originals! We have only error-ridden copies, and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways….There are more variations among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.1 [emphasis in the original"

                    If god can protect the bible, then how come it's been changed, forged, altered, etc.  For example, none of the gospels were written by the people who's names are on them.  In fact, no one knows who wrote them.  Dating them, however, has proven interesting.  The earliest date for the earliest gospel (Mark) is in the mid 70's - after the destruction of Jerusalem.  We know that because Mark makes errors, which are later corrected by Matthew and Luke, neither of which were eyewitnesses.  They mess up geography (they have jesus going 55 miles out of his way on a journey, stating that a city was on his way to another city - when it's in the opposite direction) they call the sea of gallilee a sea, when really it's a lake - one that is not troubled by hurricane like storms, incidentally.  They go out of their way to prove prophecies have been fulfilled, when, in order to fulfill a prophecy, you can't ACTUALLY go out of your way to try to inject it.  This has been studied for thousands of years, it was mocked by philosophers in Rome, and it is criticized by biblical scholars today.

                    I studied theology, and I read the scriptures in the original languages.  I went to one of the most prestigious bible colleges in the country, and I actually have a background in studying this crap.  Because I studied it, I no longer believe it.  The bible is no more the word of god than "The Night Before Christmas" is truth about Santa Clause.  If you examine the evidence rationally, and without your pre-existing bias, it's easy to see.

          3. A Troubled Man profile image61
            A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            You have made no studies, it is your indoctrinated faith that drives your belief system.



            No, we won't. smile

          4. chatpilot profile image75
            chatpilotposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            More claims of arrogance servantofgod from yet another theists who claims to know the "truth." In the U.S. alone there are around 35,000 Christian sects and they like you all claim to have the truth. Which one is right? Somehow you have managed to find the truth all on your own of course with the aid of the Holy Spirit which every Christian church known to man claims to have. But I guess you sog are the exception.

            Your faith is self contradictory as are its texts and most of the information there is not historical but rather doctrinal. All the accounts of the trial, death, and especially the resurrection of Christ disagree with each other blatantly. It's actually an insult to my intelligence that I once believed it all hook line and sinker. Also, your faith does not require evidence since it is based entirely on hearsay and cannot be corroborated by any credible external sources.

  3. servantofgod profile image79
    servantofgodposted 3 years ago

    The truth is, for an atheist, there is no proof of God's existence. So no matter how many proofs presented, all will become in vain and pointless. I believe forums like this does not aim in seeking the truth but only for amusement.


    Just like what Psalm 14:1 says, "the FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no God".

    So no matter how you to talk to an atheist, since he or she is a FOOL, then nothing will happen. It is like talking to a chicken.

    Atheists believe that there is no God and yet they always attack God (which they think does not exist). How ironic.

    An atheist will refuse to look at the hard evidences that God exists because he or she does not like Someone or God for that matter, to tell him or her what to do with his or her life. Plain and simple. For example, people read in the Bible that HOMOSEXUALITY is a sin, abortion is murder, divorce is wrong, since they practice such behavior, instead of changing their ways, they will rationalize things and discredit God so that they will not be bothered by their conscience. FREEDOM as what they call it. But Freedom without God's guidance will just lead to destruction.

    Look at America today. What was previously the greatest nation now becomes the WORLD's number one debtor. All because of moral degradation especially the re-engineering of the family unit which results to many untold sorrows. America is founded in the Bible and the founding fathers recognize God and His word to be the best Guide to run a country. Deviate from that Guide and suffer the consequences.

    1. heatblast92 profile image83
      heatblast92posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Fact-check before imposing silly arguments, please and thank you. Also, through what logical train of thought did you manage to relate 'the re-engineering of the family unit', the concept of which is, like the Bible itself, man-made itself, to America's somewhat bleak financial crisis? Bear in mind the OP's sexual orientation, by the way, if you're going to lambaste on anyone else's behind that facade of self-righteousness of yours.

      1. servantofgod profile image79
        servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        @ heatblast - I am not being self-righteous. I am just telling what the Bible says. It is not me who said it, it is the bible. you can read it yourself.

        I believe the Bible is written under the inspiration of God though written by men.

        The only way a family work is having the traditional structure of family composed of father, mother and children. You can see the statistics that most juvenile youth came from broken family.

        Because of unending cycle of poor family structure such as single moms and unprepared pregnancy, more and more people rely on the government to meet their needs. this leads to further financial crisis.

    2. JMcFarland profile image92
      JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I don't really care what you believe about the purpose of this forum.  If you want to just come and preach and not provide any evidence to prove your case, why are you here?  There are no proofs.  There haven't been for thousands of years, and I don't believe it's possible to prove god - any more than it's possible to prove purple pet dragons.

      Almost every scripture in the world without fail has some kind of passage like this in it.  It is an attempt to validate itself and discredit any alternate beliefs, rather than providing firm evidence for its claims.  Funnily enough, however, Jesus himself says that if you call your brother or sister a "fool" you are in danger of hellfire. 

      How is asking for proof attacking something/someone?  I don't understand this logic.  If a god exists, and that god manifests in the natural world, there should be ample evidence that he exists.  In the case of the christian god, he supposedly used to travel down to earth quite a bit and talk to people face to face - yet there's not one shred of proof that he was actually here, so you have to make justifications and excuses for his existence - none of which hold water.

      I'm not refusing to look at anything.  I'm asking for something.  There's a big difference - one that you seem incapable of understanding.  You are in no position to lump all atheists together and judge us as a whole - especially since you seem to have no understanding at all what atheists actually think.

      Your little diatribe about America is sounding dangerously like the Westborough Baptist church.  Picketed any soldier's funerals lately?

      1. servantofgod profile image79
        servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Hi JM,

        Sorry, I am not too familiar with American setting or news for that matter. So i cannot really relate what you are talking about Westborough.

        But let me explain about the "fool" part.

        You should not fail to see the context. Being angry with sin is lawful. there are many instances in the bible that talks about being angry and not sin. God is righteously angry with the wicked (psa 7:11) because of the suffering they have caused. Jesus was angry with the pharisees (mar 3:5). When Jesus was talking about calling someone a fool, He is saying that a person is in danger of hell fire if he calls someone a fool without a CAUSE. Sometimes strong words are needed to rebuke people. Thus, there is nothing wrong when God said that people are fools when they do not believe that God does exist.

        Alright. Let me ask you something JM, how can you prove evolution?

        1. A Troubled Man profile image61
          A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Evolution proves itself with natural selection and diversity of species.

          1. A Driveby Quipper profile image60
            A Driveby Quipperposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            In the same way, God proves himself by what has been created. Ask any Hopi.

            1. A Troubled Man profile image61
              A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              He told you that?



              Why not ask God, that is, if you can find Him?

          2. servantofgod profile image79
            servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            @troubled man,

            evolution is a fairy tale. that is why it is still called "THEORY" and nothing more. Charles Darwin was so frustrated that he cannot come up with the evidences to support his theory. He "HOPE" that the evidences will surface in the future but more than 150 years ago, there is no solid evidences to support this pigment of imagination of Darwin. When he hoped, this is only an exhibition of his "FAITH" on his theory, more faith is needed to believe on his theory than what the bible actually says.

            1. 0
              riddle666posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Jesus is a fairy tale. that is why it is still called "FAITH" and nothing more.
              How is that?

              1. A Driveby Quipper profile image60
                A Driveby Quipperposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Riggle666 only exists in the mind of one fool. No one else cares about the ramblings of a pathetic loser with a skewed agenda, except Jesus.

                1. 0
                  Emile Rposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  How very Christian of you.

            2. JMcFarland profile image92
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              the only thing your response demonstrates is that you know nothing about science - just like you know nothing about history, archaeology or ancient literature.

              the "just a theory" argument is so ridiculous it's actually laughable.  Do you believe in gravity?  It's a theory too, you know.  Evolution is a FACT.  It can be observed, repeated and tested in a laboratory.  Why don't you add the scientific process to your list of things to study.

            3. A Troubled Man profile image61
              A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              So, you admit to evolution being a "THEORY" yet you call it a fairy tale. Of course, your dishonesty in calling it that is due to the fact you know nothing about evolution and are only trying to defend your religious beliefs at any cost, lying included..



              That is entirely false. Why are you lying about that?



              So sorry, that you're must resort to such tactics in order to defend your beliefs. How very sad. It's little wonder your religion causes so much conflict in the world.

            4. cathylynn99 profile image78
              cathylynn99posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              figment

              1. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Perhaps that was right...the man had a dark imagination.  wink

            5. cathylynn99 profile image78
              cathylynn99posted 3 years ago in reply to this

              the definition of theory that applies to evolution is the same as the wave "theory" of light or the "theory" of gravity. these are overarching principles that tie together a field of science. this sort of theory does not mean someone's best guess or hypothesis.

              1. Chris Neal profile image82
                Chris Nealposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                It's also slightly different than the application of "theory" I've heard used for evolution before, which is that enough evidence has been found that scientists are comfortable that any holes will be filled in at a later time. So while you can see gravity more or less en toto right now, the same is not true for evolution, but the scientists have faith that it's all there waiting to be discovered.

                1. Josak profile image60
                  Josakposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  Evolution is better understood than gravity, the cause of gravity is distortion in the space time continuum by way of complex relativity a hazy field at best, evolution is simple genetics, are there points in the evolutionary chain that we don't have fossils from? Sure but that is mathematically inevitable given enough points.

                  We can definitively genetically prove that several species evolved so we are on the working assumption that all did, maybe one day we will find one with no genetic markers of previous forms in the evolutionary ladder.

                  In our genome for example there is code for a reptiles' three ventricle heart, a Japanese man was recently found with just such a heart due to a genetic oddity after going to the hospital with chest pains, a part of his DNA that is usually inactive because we have evolved out of it (reptile heart) was activated.

                  There is no question at all therefore that humans evolved, we can trace that process in inactive genes.

                  1. Chris Neal profile image82
                    Chris Nealposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Not questioning at all that the genomes are there (I admit I don't know much about it but I do find it fascinating and do appreciate opportunities such as this to learn a bit more!) why is it "proof positive" that we evolved? Why is it not possible that God did create humans with similar genetic material to other creatures, not unlike an artist reusing themes and motifs from other work?

                2. A Troubled Man profile image61
                  A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  It is dishonest to reject that which one has very little understanding and only shows a deep indoctrination of religious beliefs being defended at any cost.

                  1. Chris Neal profile image82
                    Chris Nealposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    I rejected nothing. In fact I was very grateful to Josak for an opportunity to learn something, even if for me it opened up other questions. I find it ironic that a person who so often claims  that people like me don't think for ourselves doesn't seem too keen to help us do that. Berating is more fun, I know, but it's also still ironic.

    3. cathylynn99 profile image78
      cathylynn99posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      there is NOTHING in the bible about abortion being murder.

      1. servantofgod profile image79
        servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        though not directly mentioned as abortion, we can derive some principles when it comes to abortion.

        Exo 21:22  If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
        Exo 21:23  And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life...

        God gives importance to unborn babies that He will punish anyone who will cause a pregnant woman to give birth prematurely.

        When Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, despite of being a shame to Joseph and a shame to the whole community, she still decided to continue her pregnancy and did not decide to abort the child. The same situation happens to most women today who consider their pregnancy to be unwanted.

        Abortion is killing. PLEASE BE HONEST WITH YOUR SELF.

        1. JMcFarland profile image92
          JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          what about all the times that god commanded his people to kill children and "rip unborn children from the womb"?  How do you line that up with your theology?  Or what about: Numbers 5: 12-19 sets the stage: if a man knows or suspects that his wife has been sleeping with someone else, then he has to take her to the priest with a “grain offering of jealousy”. The priest takes the woman to “stand before the LORD”. He unloosens her hair. He puts the jealousy offering of grain into her hands. He takes some “holy water”, and sprinkles into it some dust from the temple floor. Then he puts her under oath and says “If you’re innocent, may this bitter water not harm you.”

          But if she is guilty, it is God’s command that the priest ask God to curse her and cause her to have an abortion and have her uterus collapse, as a warning to others and as a way of making sure that the husband is only raising his own children.

          God provides a recipe for a forced miscarriage.

          1. Disappearinghead profile image89
            Disappearingheadposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            I have to admit that upon rereading Numbers 5 it is a bit bizarre and full of medieval style superstition.

            1. JMcFarland profile image92
              JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              There's a reason that this passage is not often quoted or studied.  For all of those that claim that god is "pro-life" there are lot of biblical passages (and this is among them) that seem to contradict that assertion.

          2. servantofgod profile image79
            servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Hi,

            I admit in the surface, numbers 5 seems very negative. But with the proper understanding, it can be explained. Let me quote a statement from our website.

            "The offering of jealousy can seem to be one of the strangest offerings in all the Bible, offered by a jealous husband who suspects his wife of infidelity. Stranger yet, perhaps, is the awful ritual the wife is required to undergo. But there is a purpose to everything God commands. The Nelson Study Bible notes, "This text can be read as an exceptionally harsh judgment on an unfaithful wife [or even a faithful one!]. But there is a sense in which this law ameliorated the harsh realities for a woman in this time period. A woman could be divorced in the ancient world on the mere suspicion of unfaithfulness [thus leaving her destitute]. Without the limitations of laws such as this, a woman might even have been murdered by a jealous husband just on the suspicion of unfaithfulness. Here at least there was an opportunity for the woman to prove her innocence before an enraged husband" (note on 5:11-31).

            Still, to some this whole proceeding might conjure up images of witch trials from medieval to colonial times, in which women were dunked in water to see if they drowned. A survivor was considered a witch and burned at the stake, leaving drowning as the only proof of innocence. Yet there are major differences here. For one, the faithful wife did not die but was exonerated in childbirth, and her unjustly jealous husband made to look the fool for his unfounded accusation.

            Yet there is another, even more important difference. Whereas God never commanded and had no part in the completely absurd witch trials just described, He directly commanded and was an integral part of the trial of jealousy. Notice: "Bitter water that brings a curse was not a 'magic potion,' nor was there some hidden ingredient in the water. The addition of dust from the floor of the tabernacle to a vessel of holy water and the scrapings from the bill of indictment (verse 23) were signs of a spiritual reality. Holy water and dust from the holy place symbolized that God was the One who determined the innocence or guilt of the woman who had come before the priest" (note on 5:18)—not freak happenstance or the reasoning of ignorant people.".

            1. servantofgod profile image79
              servantofgodposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              It is true that God commanded Israel to make war and wipe out another tribe and race, including children and women. Rather than an act of cruelty, this is an ACT OF MERCY. God in His infinite wisdom chose to end the miserable life of these people instead of continuing in their lifestyle. Instead of suffering the consequences of their sin, it will better to stop them from causing harm to themselves and others. That is how loving and merciful God.

              AND it should be noted that those people are not forever forgotten because there is a resurrection waiting for them where they will finally hear and learn God's word and way. GOD is truly a God of Justice. He will give everyone the chance for salvation.

              1. JMcFarland profile image92
                JMcFarlandposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                Okay, first of all - you have absolutely no proof that these people were having a miserable life - and how does murdering them, slaughtering them or condemning them to a life of sexual slavery make their lives any better?  It's immoral.  It's repulsive and it's ignorant.  Do you go around killing everyone that doesn't accept your god?  It would be an act of mercy, right?  After all, they disagree with you - they don't accept your god or your beliefs, and since your god is SO MERCIFUL death would be better than continuing to live. (ironically, this kind of rationality is the EXACT same mindset of terrorists who fly planes into buildings - you're basically saying that terrorism is justified)

                Not everyone is going to be resurrected.  According to Jesus himself, the only way to eternal life is through him - and that not everyone who says "lord, lord" who has done miracles and cast out demons etc will be saved.  Once you're dead, your chance at "redemption" is over - at least according to the majority of christian theology.  You are an immoral, evil person if you believe that killing another person on behalf of a god is a GOOD thing.  What did those innocent children do?  What did the unborn fetus' do to deserve that kind of gruesome death?  Yet you're opposed to abortion - unless god commands it, in which case, killing an unborn child is a GOOD thing.  what is WRONG with you?  You're an excellent spin doctor if nothing else - I have never heard anyone speak so highly of genocide before - it's mind-blowing.  Hitler would be proud.

                1. HeadlyvonNoggin profile image87
                  HeadlyvonNogginposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                  If you’re going to discuss these portions of the bible, you should at least do so in the proper context in which they’re set. It makes a world of difference. You’re right, from our modern view, living in our modern socially evolved communities, protected by an established government in a land protected by a military from the outside, and governed by established laws and law enforcement agencies within, it’s easy to read these stories as barbaric. But just as you would in any other case, you should go into reading these with an understanding of the environment in which they’re set in, especially if you’re going to criticize them. Given your knowledge of the material, you should know what I’m talking about.

                  Let’s just imagine this for a minute. Whether it be in the context I’ve described (world already populated), or whether it be in the traditional context, we’re talking about an environment where there are only two established civilizations (Sumer and Egypt). The rest of the landscape was lawless and demonstrably violent and chaotic as even our archaeological and historical record will attest. This was arguably the most turbulent time in human history. This is the age when organized warfare was invented. Artwork during this timeframe shows a low regard for human life, or life in general, than in any other age prior.

                  If you wanted to survive in this age, you had very few choices. If you were not part of the established majority in an already ‘civilized’ society, then you were most likely either a slave or you were out in the lawless lands outside of those established societies fending for yourself. And you remember the stories in the bible about the gangs of men attacking visitors of their town, like in Sodom, or how the Israelites were under constant attack while out in the wilderness, often losing the weaker members of their party while out in the open. You and I can hardly imagine the landscape these people lived in. If you wanted to keep yourself and your people safe, your only real option was to take a plot of land by force and hold it. And in those cases you had to do something with the inhabitants of that region. It’s not like they could just go the next town over, or go find some sort of gainful employment elsewhere. And it's not like those being overtaken were just going to cohabitate with those that overtook them, though God gave specific commands about that as well that were otherwise unheard of in that age. Though it sounds detestable to us now, slavery then was a way of life. As a slave you were provided for and protected.

                  And in the case of Numbers 5, it’s not like there was an established social norm, or established laws to handle this kind of situation. I can assure you that what’s described there is a much better alternative for the accused woman than what would happen if these rules were not put into place. Again, whether it be in the context I describe where the world’s already populated and Adam is the introduction of a ‘free will’, or whether it be in the traditional context, this was the early days, just 30 or so generations after Adam. The commands given to the Israelites obviously had everything to do with controlling breeding, protecting against disease and infection, and maintaining order where there was none, and no established law. Things that were much more important then than they may seem to us now because that age is when the first societies that would ultimately lead to what we know now were first established. If not for these laws and for the actions of these people, there may not be a Jewish/Israelite population in existence for everyone here to be discussing now. They may never have made it.

                  If you are here, and I am here (as well as everyone else in these forums), that means that we all descend from people who in some way had to do much the same thing you’re condemning now for any of us to be here. Indigenous cultures were uprooted, enslaved, massacred, for us to be here. It may seem harsh to you now, but like it or not it’s what was necessary. What can I say, ‘free will’ is a volatile thing.

                  1. 0
                    Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Absolutely amazing!! A few thousand years ago a group of people convince themselves that God told them to commit atrocities on other tribes and a few thousand years later you are defending murder, rape and slavery as a means of survival of this particular group as directed by the same God as if it matters that it was a few thousand years ago. You would think an ethical God would have instead convinced other tribes to leave the special ones alone? You would think an ethical God wouldn't have favourites? This would involve thinking and not justifying and defending the bully.

                    What is the ethical thing to do with children in the school yard? Teach your favourite to strike first or teach them all to respect each other?

                  2. A Troubled Man profile image61
                    A Troubled Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    That sounds just like something Hitler would have said and followed through...

                  3. 0
                    Rad Manposted 3 years ago in reply to this

                    Survival of the fittest? Is that what you get from the bible? We can't just all get along? You should not kill, unless of course you suspect your neighbour will attack first? Is that your religion causes so many wars? Sorry, couldn't help it.