Here is an interesting email letter that I received today.
An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with God, The Almighty.
He asks one of his new students to stand and.....
Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof : Is God good?
Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Student : Yes.
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal him.
Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't. How is this God good then? Hmm?
(Student is silent.)
Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?
Prof: Is Satan good?
Student : No.
Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Prof: So who created evil?
(Student does not answer.)
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them?
(Student has no answer.)
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you.
Tell me, son...Have you ever
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God? Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your GOD doesn't exist.
What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat.
But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go
any further after that.
There is no such thing as cold . Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of
. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy .. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it .
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?
Student : You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright
light, flashing light....But if
you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? In
reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would be able to make
darkness darker, wouldn't you?
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it.
Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher? (The class is in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?
(The class breaks out into laughter.)
Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir.
With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir... The link between man & god is FAITH . That is all that keeps things moving & alive.
NB: this is a true story, and the
student was none other than.........
APJ Abdul Kalam, the former president of India .
Wondering...why do some have such a hard time believing in something they can't touch, smell, see, hear, feel, etc? It's like when you have a screaming baby in your arms - you don't know what's wrong but your belief system and all the evidence pointing to it (crying) leads you to believe there's a problem. You can't see the actual physical problem (it could be gas or it could be the baby just wants attention), but you know, without a doubt (faith) there is a problem one because of what it has produced.
Hope that made sense LOL
By the way, just wanted to say, faith has a multi part definition. I just learned it recently - and my name is FAITH. Faith is not just belief, in contrast to popular belief. It's also action... you can't sit and twiddle your thumbs and just have faith - it doesn't always work like that. Doesn't really line up with the email, but what caught my attention was the title - what is faith? (I feel a Hub coming on, assuming there's not already one)
that's strange, I have read the same story in my language but it was told the student was different(Ahmed Dydat)
I don't think it really happend.
sometime people want to advertise for concepts by anyway.
though, the question is good.
what is faith?
faith is something inside you tells you that something you don't see or feel is true depending on your emotions , logical experiences or both.
faith in God is to know he is somewhere there . I don't see him but I can ask him to raise this feeling on me of his existence.
what do you think faith is ?
Wow! This thread really took off! I'm back to rally it up some!
I too am interested in seeing what Mark thinks faith is.... it really is a two-part equation. You can't have faith without action - "faith without action is dead" (James 2:17). That ties in with what we were going back and forth about earlier in respects of just believing what you hear. If you believe everything you hear, you will easily be mislead. You should follow your faith with action to either affirm or achieve what you believe. Look up things, research them - that's action!
It's because you have to edit the info when you hit reply or else it automatically quotes everything.
Okay so it wasn't written by APJ Abdul Kalam, it's still good.
Students should give a copy of it to their teachers when learning about evolution. Right Reverend Mark?
With the state India is in and the history of this Prime Minister, quoting him may be counter-productive.By the way a professor of anything would know that cold is the absence of heat. Any smart eight year old knows that.
and the history of this Prime Minister- what the hell you talking about?
ADJ Abdul Kalam is considered as a great scientist who was instrumental in India's nuclear program.
I hope this is the last time I have to mention that this letter is a hoax which in a impulsive moment I posted. We had the ex-President Abdul Kalam visit Seattle and somebody played this joke. I have reported the person to our internal company forum moderator for playing this prank with many of us who may have not heard/received such email earlier. I hope as the days/years go by I would be more mature by my experiences and avoid such mistakes. Once again I have a lot of respect for science and also respect people who have there own beliefs. Have a great day folks
No worries, CW - it sparked a good discussion
I still feel bad that somehow I was responsible for spreading some false information and also may have led some people to question the laws of science (which I respect a lot). I personally have agnostic views and would take me a life time to decide one way or another to figure out with absolute certainty about the existence of God. I hope to enjoy this journey as much as the destination.
The journey is everything, and with agnosticism you can travel far. There is no need for false certainty
My parents love me too much but I have tough time with my grandma though. Although I do nothing to disrespect her beliefs but my questions about our traditional practices(scriptures) has her totally mad and then I have to end up playing the nice little girl that I was.
Although for official purposes I am a Hindu and I have Karma/Reincarnation beliefs but still have many questions about so many things. I once asked her about one of the Avatars of Vishnu called matsya(which is supposed to have carried all the animal species in a big boat) how it is possible to carry dinosaurs and she said everything is possible for God and I find certain things may or may not have historical background like Dwaraka (near Gujarat) has some artifacts about Krishna (another Vishnu Avatar) but all the super human feats performed I am not sure. It is many things like this when I ask my close grandma that she gets upset with me (anyway after a certain age it is difficult to change and who knows even I may become a strong believer when I am in my 60's). Anyway it was nice talking to you and now my husband has finished calling his parents. Got to go to bed now. Good bye and have a great week ahead
That sounds exactly like the story of Noah in the bible. I wonder which tradition borrowed it from the other?
Yeah that is interesting. Apparently there are accounts of the flood of Noah's time in many cultures. It doesn't necessarily mean that one culture borrowed it from another. It could be just that's how the account of the flood was recorded and passed down in that part of the world.
Apparently - it has been proven that there was no flood. It has also been shown that the bible's stories were stolen from many other cultures. There is also evidence that the dinosaurs did not live at the same time as modern humans.
But don't let facts get in the way of your reasoning.
Well I don't know how to respond to this since it would require one to have a lot of faith to answer this question since recorded known history has no mention of such an event. But when I use my logical reasoning it does offend my grandma hence nowadays I try not to upset her.
PS: My grandma has no idea about the geological times and the size of the dinosaurs hence I try not to upset her.
Honestly, I've heard several different variations, one was the the guy talking to a professor was a U.S. Marine who beat up the professor because "god had more important things to do and had the marine take of him" I can't remember how it went exactly, but you get the idea. Then there is the classic about the professor challenging the existence of god by dropping a pencil, and if god existed the pencil wouldn't hit the floor. And the pencil fell it hit the professors pant leg and landed on his shoe.
CW - it's really not very good at all. It is superficially clever, but that's the best you can say for it. I'm pretty sure you can deconstruct it yourself and see why I'm saying that.
I just got it 15 minutes back and read it. I thought I would share it with my friends here at HP. I haven't attempted any deconstruction and have no idea even whether this is a genuine email since I don't know the sender. If you consider this spam then please let me know I will delete this thread.
It is not spam. It is just another religionist attack on genuine knowledge.
Whoever made this up is clearly ignorant of the evolutionary process.
And desperate to justify their irrational beliefs. One step up from preaching the bible I guess.
Just goes to show how desperate the believers are becoming.
Outright lies is the order of the day I guess.
Rather surprised at you CW. Would have thought you would have read and understood this before posting it.
Expect lots of believers to stop by and thank you for sharing this wonderful story. They like make believe stories
What genuine knowledge is that - evolution? There's holes in that too...
Oh - that must prove there is a god.
Golly gosh you believers are getting really desperate lately. Why is that?
Please explain to me your understanding of evolution - we can take it from there.
You're right, it doesn't prove anything. I don't need proof to know there is a God, like pgrundy said
I just like to have a healthy argument every once in a while! I'm mature enough though and can agree to disagree.
To be honest, I don't have a huge understanding of evolution at all because I never hugely cared for it. It contrasted with what I felt in my spirit - I don't believe I came from monkeys or fish or a big bang. I know I was created by a higher infinite being. I don't feel I'm higher or better than anyone else (we're all created equal, but unique) because of my belief system, but can understand you're feeling that way because many Christians are very self righteous.
I have, from cover to cover, a few times. It's called the Bible - can't knock it til you try it!
So - you do not understand evolution - yet you choose to poke holes at it because you cannot have come from monkeys. Which in itself displays your total ignorance of evolution.
And you feel in your spirit that you were created - presumably in your current form - by a higher being.
Not really getting what you are saying here. Any knowledge we gain about our origins is wrong - because you already know where we came from - magic?
The bible is many things - but what it is not is a history book. And I have read and studied it thank you. I guess I just understood it better than you do apparently.
I didn't poke holes at evolution - yet! Just don't really agree with it 100% (from what I recall). I was taught evolution in school - a long time ago. I'm sure there are advancements and all and I can look into the subject again and study it if I care to, but I don't. I care to study the Bible instead. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge, so fine, I guess I'm ignorant in the sense of science. But not ignorant in my beliefs.
No, I don't think we came from magic, not at all. And I'm not saying all knowledge we gain about our origins is wrong. I just don't agree with all of it - but much of it ties in with the Bible.
LOL - good one. Not necessarily, I just lean on my faith more than understanding... as I ask for it, God gives me all the knowledge and understanding I need.
P.S. The Bible is a history book, science has managed to prove many things in it.
I would say historical book - probably some historical basis, but it is a big leap to take it as word-for-word literal.
Kind of like the Iliad.
Ok, well I'm not fussy, I'll settle for "historical book"
You are no fun - we are supposed to argue in the religion forum
Got it......The Giants suck - Go Jets!!!
Aw man, don't have time for this now, will come back though. Or I may just write a Hub on it. I was supposed to be doing a Hub right now, then got sucked into the forum. That's why I try to avoid it LOL! Now it's time to go make dinner! UGH!
Randomly (since it's on topic)
An interesting quote on the topic of faith (and Chrisitanity):
"The faith can receive no real injury except from its defenders... If the faith shall be (God forbid!) destroyed in England, it will not be by open assailants, but by those who think they defend it, while they themselves lost it." - Edward B. Pusey
(not so much science, but more history) For starters - the four world Empires... Babylon, Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman . And I am going to be so bold as to go after the book of Daniel, because it has been the most attacked, for centuries (because of its prophecies).
Daniel's prophecies have been proven to be historically accurate. His book contained accurate descriptions that occurred centuries AFTER his death. (proving they were inspired by God and fulfilled, just as He promised)
In need of historical and textual evidence? Here's some:
Since you say you're familiar with the Bible, you should be familiar with Nebuchadnezzar's dream describing the ancient Roman empire and the revival of it. (If not, see Daniel 2, more specifically verses 36-45)
the Head of Gold was the Babylonian Empire
the Chest of Silver, the Media-Persia Empire
the Belly and Hips of Brass, the Greek Empire/Greece
the Legs of Iron, the Roman Empire/Rome
the Toes of Iron and Clay, the Ten Nations of the Roman Empire
the Stone Cut Without Hands, the Messianic Kingdom
(have you been granted that knowledge or wisdom?)
If that's not enough to consider it a "historical book," here's more...
The last parts, concerning the final stage of the 4 world empires, are represented by the 10 toes of the manlike metallic image. For the past 1500+ yrs many political and military leaders have tried to rebirth the Roman Empire, but have failed. Since the rebirth of the nation of Israel, in 1948, we have all witnessed the early stages of the re-formation of the Roman Empire.
Jeremiah 25:11-12, stating the Roman Empire would only last 70 years, as it did.
The prophecy of the falling of the Babylonian Empire - Isaiah 45:1-3, which happened... what else would you like?
Yet still you defend it.
So you are wrong - science has not proven anything in the bible. Yet you now defend a different position than the one we were talking about:
LOL - Interesting. I interpret them to be aspects of my personality (and yours) that rise and fall as I develop.
How about that for knowledge and wisdom. I even thought it up for myself. I did not need some preacher filling my head with their interpretations that fit their need to justify their existence. Fir certain - you did not think these up for yourself. You were sold them to justify your belief and keep your church in business.
Retroactively showing that by interpreting things after the event mean something that actually happened is not really proof of anything other than your desire to justify your irrational beliefs.
What would I like?
Some actual proof instead of these retroactively fulfilled prophesies.
Som examples of science proving what the bible says is true.
Sorry, thought this was acceptable. For me, anyway, I'm not trying to figure out who's right or wrong. Only trying to deal with and provide facts. If it happens to prove or disprove another, so be it. But that is not by objective.
Actually, I don't go to church - I haven't attended a church in almost 10 years. So there goes that argument out the window! So, no I haven't been sold this idea from a pulpit. If youtruly want to understand it, try re-reading Daniel now with the information I've given you and see if it makes any sense. But you may need a little bit of faith and understanding to lean on ;-)
Much like you (at least it seems, anyway, correct me if I'm wrong) and many others, I too have been wounded by the church and it's people. And it honestly had me walk away from wanting anything to do with God for quite some time. But I never stopped believing - only stopped wanting to know. But then I realized people are people and we are all flawed. I can't look to man, only to God.
If that's not enough to consider it a "historical book," here's more...
The last parts, concerning the final stage of the 4 world empires, are represented by the 10 toes of the manlike metallic image. For the past 1500+ yrs many political and military leaders have tried to rebirth the Roman Empire, but have failed. Since the rebirth of the nation of Israel, in 1948, we have all witnessed the early stages of the re-formation of the Roman Empire.
, stating the Roman Empire would only last 70 years, as it did.
The prophecy of the falling of the Babylonian Empire - , which happened... what else would you like?
If you say so... you can only lead a horse to water, you can't make him drink.
Just for you, Mark, I will see what I can find.
I do say so. Although - some would take offense at the notion that what you are offering me is water and I am just too stupid to drink it. It might even be considered condescending to be told that you have knowledge and wisdom and `if I just opened my eyes - I too could share this same knowledge and wisdom. I unfortunately see it as irrational beliefs and a refusal to seek genuine knowledge.
I have to ask though - I completely understand why people choose to believe in a god - what I do not understand is this need to attack science (getting back to the OP's point) and justify their beliefs the way you seem to be doing.
Care to explain?
I never said you were too stupid to drink it - you did. I only said I couldn't make you. Not saying you need to open your eyes either, that choice is completely yours and I respect it, although I don't necessarily agree with it. Can you define your interpretation of irrational beliefs for me? Because I don't see anything irrational in anything I've said yet.
Sorry if you feel as though I'm attacking science, I thought we already established that I am attacking history?! ;-D And I also can't speak on behalf of anyone else, only myself. I personally have no need to justify my beliefs. I tried a little because I know what I know and I don't need science or a theory to prove or disprove it. I was only trying to shed a little light and engage in conversation. If you took personal offense, that's on you, can't even apologize.
I also don't have to argue science. Much of science is proven by fact, we've established that. But science has yet to concretely disprove the notion of a higher being. Until it does, which it never will, I will continue to believe what I do, and you can continue to believe what you do. I don't hate you or envy you or think "poor Mark."
I'm not trying to convert you or anything like that. Just trying to understand your rational and reasoning seeing as though I already have a firm grip on my beliefs. I find your beliefs (or in this case, lack of) just as interesting and bewildering as you probably find me and mine!
I'm kind of scared to ask, but what is your understanding of why people choose to believe in God (or as you put it a god)?
Well, the original post was an attack on science. It also suggests - as you have just done - that science is attempting to disprove the notion of god. Which it is not.
Why do people believe in a god?
Because they are frightened.
Mark/Paraglider- I am really sorry for not verifying the contents of the letter. In Seattle APJ Abdul Kalam arrived for giving seminars and even today there is a seminar. I guess somebody modified that letter and I was sincerely not aware that the letter was a hoax (and a subtle attack on science). I am an engineering major with Masters in Computers and I usually have a lot of respect for science. Even I am not totally convinced about astrology and nostradamus cryptic predictions. Neither do I have complete belief in the existence of God and I am somewhat agnostic in my beliefs (about which even my grandma has issues with me)
No need to apologize. The religionists are getting desperate - I have had this same thing emailed to me with a number of other people turning out to be the student. Including Einstein.
This is actually one of the many reasons I have for not buying into the christian religion.
If they are prepared to lie to "defend" their beliefs and will attack science because it some how threatens them - how can they possibly know anything about a god - and what value a belief system that makes you lie to defend it?
It didn't sound like an attack on science. Actually it sounded more like the Professor being true in his belief and the student also being firm on his belief.
They both arrive at the same conclusion albeit one for God the other not yet they both arrived on faith.
I think you and believers alike feel like these things are "attacks" on beliefs but like you and so many others say time and time again, no it is not.
I think people believe in God for the same reasons you believe in science.
How was your breakfast?
You are missing the point. Of course. To you - it did not seem like an attack on science. It seemed a perfectly reasonable made up story to demonstrate that belief in scientific theories is no more valid than a belief in a god. Makes perfect sense to you? You believe in something blindly - therefore everyone else must. And evolution is exactly the same as creationism. No different. Just as valid. No more or less proof for eithr.
Science is not about blind faith. And this original "discussion" is about religionists trying to convince everyone that science is as much about faith as religion is. And therefore no more valid.
Believing something that has been measured and tested is not the same as believing in an invisible god.
Although - I notice a lot of believers buy this.
Case in point
Lunch in Italy actually - best pizza in the world - worth the hour's drive
mmm pizza, which I could have some but I am trying to slim down for Hawaii.
I do get it though. Looking from the outside at both perspectives. Which if you could look as an outsider to both science and religion for just a moment and forget your beliefs as well...
What does it look like to you? To me it looks like your personal feelings on matters gives you sustenance to assume it is an attack on science. And this is from your point of view.
It really does look to me as though it is like chess game ending in stalemate. Nothing was won and nothing lost by it either. Just fair game. lol
No. Here you are trying to convince me that belief in science is no more valid than belief in god. Just fair game - nothing won or lost - stalemate - science is just the same as religion.
See what you are doing?
You are not looking at the outside from both perspectives. You are just saying you are. And from your "outside perspective" guess what.
Science is just another belief system the same as religion.
LOL there you go again. This is purely what you think. Again, no harm no foul my friend. It just is the way it is.
Ah well- I guess you are the lucky one. I have to learn things for myself rather than have some one tell me them into my head. Like we did not evolve from monkeys.
Myself - I prefer to understand things. Harder work but more rewarding in the long run.
You laugh at not evolving from monkeys, but some believe it because it *appears to make sense* - "we look like them."
No, not as lucky as you think. I struggle with needing to understand things as well (why else would I be on HubPages??) - never take them for word of mouth. I prefer to learn things on my own or I seek to affirm things for myself (just like you do) and you're right it is hard work, but rewarding.
But then you sometimes get lost in your own affirmation... am I wrong?
You don't even know what a monkey evolved from unless it be another type of monkey... not possible that a human evolved from another type of human... nooooooo now that would be impossible. lol
Ok Mark I will delete this thread. It was an email I received today and since others feel it is a "made up" email then I certainly don't want to spread it anymore. I guess it was one of the those instantaneous moments when I posted this thread and now when I think of it I feel I shouldn't have posted it in the first place without believing in the substance of the email contents. I thought it was about the personal experience of India's ex president and interesting discussion but I had no intention or agenda to ridicule anybody. Sorry folks
You want to delete it because it doesn't impress Mark or Paraglider? Consider it is good thought for other people whether a banana phone story or not.
There is no need to delete it - certainly not on my account.
You need to remember that these people will lie as much as it takes to attack genuine quests for knowledge. They have all the answers they need and will not accept anything other than their fairy tale.
They need it to feel they are more important than they are. They also need to feel they have an understanding they do not.
And will not listen to anything that goes against their beliefs. Despite the fact that science has no intention of attacking their beliefs - every step forward in our knowledge will be fought against.
Read any history book.
Good morning from Qatar - I posted my response then went to bed. Got up to find the thread was one of these "light the blue touch-paper and retire immediately" jobs. Anyway, ignoring the unedifying creation/evolution battle, let's look again at the conclusion of the (apocryphal) conversation:
"Student: That is it sir... The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive".
Look at the wording for a perfect example of begging the question:
"the link between" any two entities implies the existence of both. The student and the professor are de facto entities, different mainly in age and experience. The link does not prove the existence of the second entity; rather, it requires its existence, which is entirely different. Faith is not proof of anything. It is not even evidence.
The second statement:
"That (faith) is all that keeps things moving & alive" is simply untrue. The simplest life forms move and are alive, without faith. Faith is a psychological need felt by some people.
I couldn't disagree more. I think it is an excellent representation of what true faith is and why it means so much to so many of us. Faith is the belief that each of us is inherently entitled to and a hugely important part of life for a great many of us.
Thank you for sharing this, "Countrywomen" - it is not something I shall forget in a hurry.
There are two kind of science. One is true science, observing facts from point A to B. and recording. It involves matter and time. Then there is pseudoscience - scientific fiction and it is politically motivated.
There is faith, link between man and God as was said. But evolution has no one link between million species. How someone can say it is the science? It is nothing else than belief.
We have common ground both we believe. But science is in constant changes. God and His Word never changes.
"Scientific" ideas came later than faith in God. Why SciFi do not prove there is no God?
I did work in scientific lab an experimental pathology for years. That's my credentials.
It is logically impossible to prove a negative. Why do not religionist prove there is a god?
Although, sharpening a stick could be called a "scientific" idea. We were sharpening sticks long before we invented the magical super being in the sky
Mark, we do not have to prove anything. God is not physical God. I had the same problem as you have and I tested God. He said: test me. And I did. This all what I would say. We did not come with Marx-Lenin-materialistic ideas. I do not want to be smart Alec either. Unbelief is low and primitive. Even scientist has to believe in his experiment.
Mark, we do not have to prove anything. God is not physical God. I had the same problem as you have and I tested God. He said: test me. And I did. This all what I would say. We did not come with Marx-Lenin-materialistic ideas. I do not want to be smart Alec either. Unbelief is low and primitive. Even scientist has to believe in his experiment.
Well - I tested him and he failed. Not sure what you are bringing up politics for unless it is to prove to me that the idea of god is purely political. In which case I agree. If you don't have to prove it - why are you asking "science" to disprove it?
Belief is ignorant and uneducated. Easy answer to unanswerable question.
Even believer should keep his belief in his head where it belongs.
I think Disbelief is ignorant and uneducated.
God test us; we don't need to test God because God with us; and the test for us to have a belief in God or not.
Just look to yourself and you will see God signs.
Think who could give you this life and who could make you dead and alive again.
who gave you the mind to lead;
who gave you eyes to see;
who gave you hands and legs;
who the reason for you to be here in this life;
think around you;
think about the sun; who control it;
and there are a lot to think about it;
at all God never close his door fot us; but we do, and that's the test for you and us...
i ask God to guide us to his path.
CW, I can understand why you were taken by this dialogue. What I don't like about it though is that it artificially sets up this false battle between religion and science yet again.
People who have faith aren't threatened by science and people who love science aren't threatened by religion.
It's just people who don't really understand either that get into these silly fights.
That's my feeling on it anyway.
Fully agree - the two are not mutually exclusive. I am a theist yet I am firmly upon the side of evolution. Never been the biggest fan of fundamentalism - it closes off too many doors in the mind.
Many great scientists were religious and many great theologians were scientists.
Sadly, it is probably tin-hat time here again
Pam- You are elder to me then please tell me what I should do. I just thought it was a good discussion between India's ex President but now I am not even sure of that. And also I have no intention of hurting people who are atheists since I myself have little agnostic beliefs. I don't want to be a spam poster and also spread any false information without authenticity. Should I delete this thread as I don't want to keep apologizing again and again for a mistake on my part. I guess I will try to be less impulsive in future. Once again I am sorry.
Don't worry about it, CW - it was just a bit of fun.
Mark and Paraglider are big enough to take care of themselves and will not be offended, I am sure.
Sufi- Even I am big enough (turned 26 this month) but I still keep making such stupid mistakes. I personally also receive some flak from conservative hindus when I say that I believe in Karma/Reincarnation without an absolute certainty of the existence of God. I also believe in evolution and find my spiritual dimension opens when I go for the morning walk and sit quietly and meditate besides the lake near our house. Even my husband finds spiritual moments when he listens to his instrumental music. We both aren't fundamental folks who are trying to push an agenda. I hope Mark/Paraglider forgive me if they find this thread offensive.
PS: Note to myself not to be impulsive and think things through before posting any posts/comments.
That is part of being human - we all do impulsive things occasionally! I am 35 and should know better by now
Anybody who knows you understands that you are not the type of person to push your beliefs onto anybody else. You keep your own spiritual journey to yourself, and do not try to force anybody else to your way of thinking, or insist upon judging them.
Don't worry about it - it you leave it long enough, this thread will go the way of most of the others and turn into a deep conversation about alcohol
PS - Say Hi to Hubby - hope that you are both looking forward to the weekend
Don't be sorry. If it's that big of a deal HubPages staff will delete it. I think anyone who reads it will also read that you didn't know whatever it is you're claiming to not know (still a little sketchy on it). Besides, it's making for interesting conversation anyway - just leave it alone!
Hey, we're both 26, cool! We still have a lot of mistakes to make, if you kick yourself for every one you make, you'll never make the one that makes a difference!
CW, I keep getting elder-er and elder-er every day! LOL!
Seriously, don't be so hard on yourself. You liked it, you posted it, if people take offense they can deal with their feelings themselves. You shouldn't feel like you can only say or post things that don't bother anyone---That isn't even possible!
Pam- WOW!! This thread seems to have a life of its own. Btw I hope I didn't make you feel older. It is just that I wasn't sure and I wanted some advice hence sought your opinion(like I do ask my parents/relatives). Well I do try to be careful about not hurting others since my grandfather once told me non violence isn't just about being vegetarian (which we are by birth) but also any negative/hurting words or thoughts about others also is included within violence (which leads to negative karma which I try to avoid as far as possible). I do try mostly not to hurt others in anyway but sometimes like today I failed. I guess I am still evolving and learning from my mistakes. Thanks for taking the time to respond back to me
CW, you couldn't offend me if you tried--or make me feel old either! Actually I kind of like being older. So many things I don't have to worry about anymore. I can just be myself.
It sounds like you have a wonderful family. They give you lots of good advice. Your grandfather sounds like a wise man.
Good god - stop being so nice to each other !
This is a religion forum.
Thanks Mark for the compliment that we are "nice to each other". Unfortunately, Pam my grandfather passed away and I miss him a lot. He was a very quiet and simple human being. Out of all in my family I liked him the most (of course being his favorite grandchild had a lot to do with it)
I should add that here in the U.S it has a political dimension to it that's pretty ugly. People trying to get evolution out of science class and insisting the U.S. is a Christian nation and that sort of crap.
Which I guess is why Mark keeps up this fight. I'm glad he does, because I have no stomach for it. I just want to pop those people. Which, you know, doesn't help.
Not sure I really want to get involved in any depth, here, but I see so many people posting on these types of topics in the forums, I feel the need to point out one thing:
Evolution and God are not mutually exclusive. Evolution does not disprove God. Disproving evolution does not prove God. The existence of God does not disprove evolution, nor does the lack of existence of God prove evolution. I'm tired of people using one as evidence against the other.
And please, play nice.
Maddie has spoken, and never a truer word
I need an address to send you your cookies now.
Thank you!! Because I completely agree - they kind of go hand-in-hand, if you allow them to...
Guess I will have to spell it out.
We did not evolve from monkeys.
That is what the religionists say evolution says - and I was making fun of you thinking that is what evolution says.
But you need not worry about that - you have all the knowledge you need.
Although - make your mind up.
Do you rely on faith - or did you work out for yourself that a higher being must have created us therefore evolution in "full of holes" or " not 100%" ?
that's a nice 180 compared to your recent post for the last year or so. Thought you an avid believer that humans evolved from chimps?
That is because you have never read or understood a word I have said. Because you already have all the knowledge you need.
Now read some of what evolutionary theory actually says rather than whatever your preacher told you it says.
yeah yeah sure Mark! You said it all the time. But hey, if you say you were wrong I wont think poorly of ya. After all you only eat one baby a week.
No sweetie. I never said it. But I understand why you need to say I did. Please quote me saying we are descended from chimps.
ergo my good sir. lol
Please quote me saying we descended from chimps. Humans are primates - as are chimps - and we both descended from a common ancestor.
Did you even read what I wrote?
Or do you already have all the knowledge you need from your book?
OMG! Your soo funny!
My bad, you said apes, not chimps.
This seems to be you using the word "chimp" - not me.
And technically - Hominidae and Hylobatidae are both hominoids.
Both we and the chimps are members of the family homininae. For want of a better term - cousins.
I guess you didn't see the last part.. that is okay. I forgive you. lol
how are you,
i hope that all is ok, as is my pleasure to contact you after viewing your profile at (hubpages.com) which really interest me in having communication with you if you will have the desire with me ,
here is my email (email@example.com) as i will be waiting to hear from you, yours maureen.
Sandra- Is that a typo baby? Did you actually want to mean baby carrots/tomatoes/corn....
WOW!! You are multi faceted as sufi just said. I can't keep track of so many threads at the same time. Sandra you rock
Aww CW, you are so sweet. Every time you send love I get a warm and fuzzy feeling. right back atcha! 3
You are a sweet angel
and even you give me a nice happy feeling
Sufi, do you think there might be ape/people internet dating services? I mean, I'm thinking there's a business opportunity there...Some of those chimps are pretty cute.
Takes all sorts - although, I am pretty sure that will be a sin.....
Ian Brown is such a musical genius that I would happily have his babies.....
oops - that should have been on the same-sex marriage thread
OMG now we even have separate threads merging! The HP forums are TRULY polymorphous perverse!
(But then I guess most of us already knew that.)
I blame Sandra - we were having a clean conversation until she turned up
Ok, so you do understand that I don't think we come from monkeys then? (sometimes words, without emotions, get confusing) I don't think that's what evolution says, it's just usually the largest topic up for debate.
I think some of evolution makes sense. We have evolved, it's obvious.
Honestly, it was a question in my mind at times, but I personally believe that "God's word will not return VOID." The Bible was the first book my mom read to me, and the first one I read for myself from cover to cover. So, for what I'd think are obvious reasons, it makes sense why my foundation of beliefs stems from the Bible. I can't say I've never doubted it - I'd be lying. But I've witnessed (visual proof - as in miracles) too many things thus far in my life to lead me to believe any differently. If you were to take all that away and just leave me with documents to critique, I could see how it's easy to get confused and mislead.
Any time I try to make sense of it all, it never does! LOL So, I resorted to faith!
Sorry - you lost me. We evolved. I agree. So we were not created the way we are. Monkeys are primates - as are we - descended from a common ancestor.
Miracles - Care to give an example? I will carefully deconstruct it in such a way as to take some of the apparent mystery away and show you there was no divine intervention.
Sure! Explain this one:
This past summer we moved. We ended up having to keep the moving truck a day longer, make a second trip (37 miles each way), all of which we could not afford. And to make matters worse, we had to bring the truck we rented back on a FULL TANK. We had almost completed both trips and were on the way to bring the truck back Monday morning at 8am. On the way there, we made plans to stop and get gas. Mind you, we'd traveled just over 110 miles by now, so the gas tank gauge was somewhere between 1/2 tank and 3/4 of a tank. And this was when gas was just over $5/gallon for diesel. Mind you, we're really tight on money and only have enough to pay for the rental. So, on the way back we're (me and my hubby) driving and both literally WATCH the gas gauge bounce from between 1/2 and 3/4 of a tank to a notch below full!! I still can't believe it, but it's not the first time it's happened (I can give you at least 2 other occurrences when gas appeared in my CAR [not rental truck] out of no where). So, we get to the gas station, fill up, and the total comes to $25.19! How? Impossible! Explain that one... then we get to the rental place to return the truck and instead of charging us for two days, we only get charged for one. Some may not consider that a miracle, but I do. And when you only have a few dollars left to your name, anything that saves you money is a miracle!
I can give you more if you'd like...
You and your husband's inability to correctly estimate how little fuel a diesel engine can use when driven carefully does not really constitute as a miracle. Although I am entertained by the notion that some super being stops by occasionally to fill your gas tank.
Traveled 110 miles and used 5 gallons equals around 22 miles per gallon. Here in Europe we laugh at such massive consumption.
My friend has a 2 litre diesel engine in a station wagon that regularly returns almost three times that.
I suppose that is proof that there is a god?
Yeah, you're right, I had no idea how to estimate how much gas a diesel engine would burn seeing as though I've never used one before, and since has been my only encounter with one.
Ok, so now you broke it down to 22 miles per gallon, even though you may want to re-read what I wrote, because I'm not sure if I did only use 5 gallons. Actually, I know I used more, but anyway.... Explain to me then how the gas meter went up and how a (about) 148 mile trip resulted in me only paying $25.19 @ $5 per gallon! Up for that?
OK - So you used 5 gallons of fuel ($25/$5=5 gallons) and actually traveled 148 miles (sorry I took it as 110 a la first post).
148 miles and 5 gallons equals 29.6 miles per gallon. Not an unreasonable amount of fuel for a carefully driven diesel engine I would think.
Most fuel gauges have just one sensor in the fuel tank which guesstimates the amount of fuel left - depending on the angle that the tank is sitting at this can show different amounts and I guess they are only really accurate if the vehicle is in a dead level position. Try going up and then down a hill in your car and see if the fuel tank reads the same going up and down.
Belief713 - I would be too proud to accept miracles from a god who topped up my fuel tank while allowing children to step on land mines. Or is that just another of his mysterious ways?
Well, Paraglider, pride is a cunning and wicked thing - one that I try not to surrender myself to. And God doesn't control our free will, we do.
I too don't agree with children stepping on landmines or thousands, heck millions, of innocent people being killed. And I honestly can't explain it. I also ask myself "why does God allow certain things to happen?" I, myself, am going through a series of events in my life right now that have allowed me to question God on occasion - which as humans, is completely natural.
I don't even think it's so much of a mysterious way. I do think it's a trick of the devil to cause people to doubt God though. That's the devils plan - to steal, destroy, kill. God's objective is in fact the exact opposite. What he does with situations like that is use what the enemy intended for bad and use it for good. How, don't know? I'm not God - you have to get with Him on that one. The whole idea of Him being an infinite being anyway means things will happen that we can't explain.
Thanks for speaking up though! Wish I had a better answer.
Hmm, so your answer is that the Devil makes children step on landmines while God is busy on your fuel tank. But that's OK, because God knows best.
It seems like you and so many others expect God to come and control everything and make everything nice and wonderful and without pain or suffering, without longing or anything that is bad, right? If it were this way then you would probably be more apt to believing, however at the same time you do not want to be controlled, you want to do things your way, you want to be able to think for yourselves, you want to be yourself.
So God grants it in the free will clause. You can do what you want, when you want, for whatever reason you want, you can believe what you want because, being God, well He already knows that people want to do their own thing.
They want choices they want to learn by their own understandings, they want to make things, build things, eat things, travel places, do whatever it is a human can do and they want to know they did it on their own will. So it was granted, and we do.
So on mans own free will despite the commandment that God saw fit to keep people from hurting each other, from the problems arising in creating wars because of covets made way back to our earliest known "civilized" world (maybe Mesopotamia) out of which rose the thoughts of politics and mans need to control each other, to have what was neither theirs or ours to begin with.
And after all the fighting which still goes on today and all the heartbreak and the sadness and the apparent "evils" ( I use the word lightly for lack of better words) of the world which are obvious, then they say there is no God.
While others say, yes there is if you would listen. They say, why should we listen to this god who has done nothing for us but look at this mess. Look at all those people who hurt people for some god that doesn't exist, why should I believe this, what point is there.
And then all I could say is because no matter what you think you know, via science of the natural world. What wonders God works come from the man's own mind to understand and his want to either be better or to continue on down the road in things that lead to disaster.
So God granted the one thing that all people want. Their independence, freedoms, their will but man is corrupt by the nature of his own thoughts.
But things like this are just statements made to the wind because as people, we don't want to be wrong, we just want to be. And so it is.
No. Entirely wrong, in fact. If I ever come to believe in a God, then I might have expectations pertaining to his agenda. Till then, I'll 'expect' humans to address human issues.
Out of interest, from your 'God exists' perspective, why is he OK with innocent children stepping on land-mines?
He's not Paraglider. Those are things that you believe.
It's not about belief. I know there are children stepping on land mines. I know there is someone on this forum who believes god is a personal fuel pump attendant but who "doesn't have an answer" to the land-mine question. That's why I raised the issue.
With all due respect Paraglider, if I get what you're saying, what I understand is this: I don't think God arranged for the land mines to be there for children to step on. Ultimately we/people are responsible. It really is a 'human' issue as you said much the same as the global economic crisis, global warming. I don't think we can take God to task when it really is a result of our own behaviour. War - and its resulting catastrophes and the costs it has on lives, families as well as its impact on our own ability to draw on our higher nobility and character - is not condoned or prescribed by any religion or its texts.
I think you are all missing Paraglider's point
If god is responsible for filling some one's gas tank - and this is a "miracle" that proves there is a god.
Why does she concern herself with pissing about proving she exists by saving some one a few dollars on gas instead of proving it by preventing children from blowing themselves up on landmines?
There is of course a deeper question
Ah. Nicely put Mark, thanks.
Belief is such a personal thing, necessarily so as part of our own 'journey' (not particularly fond of that word but can't think of another at the moment), and one's person's miracle in not necessarily anothers, otherwise having heard about the loaves and the fishes, the burning bush, the parting of the waters, we would all believe. [Belief then would be assumed and self evident, rather than investigated with heart and soul, and where's the fun in that? lol]. Sure maybe these were allegorical stories, but again how does one know when a miracle has occured anyway?
Sandra, just talking in general here, nothing against your experiences which I think are great.
We need to investigate for our ownselves and get past our own mindsets, opinions and beliefs about how we view things should be/must be/can be.
So lets say God gets rid of the mines, would that be sufficient for everyone? What about those who need something else, and something else again?
It's almost akin to a challenge to God I mean whereas the divine nature of things is, in its essence, somewhat mystical and is for the individual to determine. 'Belief' - especially spirtual - is pretty much that as I understand it. It's also between us and God.
It's a responsibility and also a 'test', and where religion comes is- to help us understand that part of our inherent nature and our relationship with our Creator. So I believe. :-)
Personally - I do not believe in a god - therefore the idea of getting rid of the mines is moot. We put them there - just as we invented a god.
As for religion - it seems as hypocritical and self serving as any human. Perhaps more so. Which leads me to think it is worthless and actually prevents us from moving forward on our own personal "journey."
But it was belief713's "miracle" of the self-filling gas tank. Not Sandra's.
Perhaps I could attempt to ask my version of Paraglider's question in case I am taking him wrong.
If some one chooses to accept a self-filling gas tank as a "miracle" and proof of a divine being. How does one reconcile this with the same divine being allowing children to step on land mines? And then choose to worship and glorify this divine being?
That was exactly my question. And the answer I received was that God fills the petrol tank while the Devil lets children step on mines as a trick to stop people like me believing in God! I lost half a mouthful of coffee over that one
Ah - I must have missed that answer. I do find the notion that anyone who does not believe in god must have been tricked by the devil into it.
I am also waiting eagerly to see if my simple explanation of said "miracle" is enough to persuade belief713 that perhaps that was not a miracle after all - merely good gas mileage - I guess that makes me Satan's operative?
The children may not have known better, but the adults did. And if they weren't practising..love, for example, then tools to annihilate one other would be a natural progression. That isn't God's responsibility, lets assume we need to learn our own lessons. Lets say he shows us and brings us Prophets or Messengers of God but if we make choices that don't benefit us and use our knowledge to make such weapons and put them where people can get hurt and maimed then we take ownership. Who conceived the landmine in the first place? It wouldn't have been someone who was intent on showing love for their neighbour.
But lets look at the flip side; this is the same God that has provided us with the capacity to make huge technological advances, fly to the moon, care for premature babies before they should even be born. We do as much harm as we do good. We make good choices as often as we don't. Which is why science and religion need to be in balance and agree. There can't be two truths eg about creation. There really is only one truth.
Is not that we didn't know, as per the religious texts, its that we decided otherwise. Usually according to our own wants, desires etc.
The other belief is also that there is more to this world than we know, and there is life after death. So if a person dies we think its a tragedy, but not necessarily (certainly it is for those left behind). In the Baha'i Faith we believe that the next life is a natural progression for our souls, hard to imagine, but not to be feared.
We also read that children who die receive a special mercy and bounty from God. We're told they "are under the shadow of the favour of God; and as they have not committed any sin, and are not soiled with the impurities of the world of nature, they are the centres of the manifestation of bounty, and the Eye of Compassion will be turned upon them.. "
And for those who stay behind, our purpose is to know and love God as spiritual beings. Tribulation is part of our growth and necessary for our soul to develop. It gives us virtues and qualities we need in the next life.
I seem to have gone on quite a bit, and maybe I didn't even answer the question...
I bet he's still very close, even if only in your thoughts. Look how he guides your thinking even now? That is true inspiration and true immortality.
But for Mark's sake, I feel I should say something mean now...dammit I can't. I just can't be mean to you CW. You're too darn sweet.
It's CW's fault. She's too nice.
Yes that is so true that real immortality is to live in someone's memory positively forever (I say positive since even Adolf Hitler would be remembered but not for positive reasons)
Btw Pam I know you don't ever mean to be mean to anyone (a little pun for the weekends sake) and I just saw the earlier comment by sufi too. Thanks sufi and we are planning to go to tulips gardens this weekend hence really looking forward to this weekend (I just hope our Seattle rainy weather doesn't play spoilsport with our plans)
It is cold and wet here, with torrential rain - the worst April in living memory
The forum is doing that freaky thing of quotes within quotes within quotes - I hate that.
Well in Seattle it is pretty common and I guess if we don't have a cold/wet day we are lucky. I am really looking forward to summer. About grandpa the feeling is mutual. Nowadays kids spend so much time indoors and when I was a kid on a vacation my grandpa used to take us for long walks(the best days of my life). Btw you guys are always nice and especially you Sufi have the temperament of a sage. If there is someone whom I envy for there knowledge and temperament then it is you.
Thanks, CW - you make me blush.
Sadly, most of my temperament lies at the bottom of a bottle of Ouzo
I know exactly how you feel, CW - my Granddad was a great man, too.
Trying to think of something mean to say to CW........
I will get back to you on that one.
Strange how the students keep changing!
I always wonder how they build an entire dinosaur out of a single tooth.
Faith remains a Spirit walk. How do you expect an atheist who only operates in the realms of his self(mind) and evolution to explain his/her ignnorance of the Spirit beyond his/her knowledge and understanding.
No wonder it doesn't exist in his(professor) literal world. Do you know a professor is still a profound scholar? He will yet know the unseen realities that have posed a big question with several heated debate for him. What an unending search for this atheist prof.
I suppose in short then my reply is it is self-evident truth as I see it that we can believe in God if we understand what our relationship is to Him. And it isn't to assume He is the one allowing tragedies to happen.
But - you are missing the point once again.
Just so I get it straight - he does allow miraculous self-filling gas tanks.
Self evident? Not really sure I understood that one. To me it is self-evident that there is no such thing as god. Is that what you mean?
fair enough - then I'm not really sure what the underlying question/point is...?
If miracles are possible, who's to say this isn't one? If we could exclude through careful study and science other possibilities for this occuring then sure I wasn't there but I don't have a problem with entertaining that it might have some underlying unexplainability. And if it was divine intervention, why not?
To me its self-evident, from what I've gleaned and understand, that there is a possibility of there being a God. I take it further and say yes there is a God. So I find it self-evident, based on my own investigations.
OK. I am obviously not making myself clear.
Of course now you raise another question which is more closely allied to the original question. What is faith?
Why does it satisfy your curiosity to say that something unexplainable was divine intervention?
And why should your magical invisible super being concern itself with the amount of gas in a gas tank yet ignore the children of Paraglider's example?
And you think this is worth worshipping?
I am keen to know what investigations you have done that have made you sure there is a god.
Faith is akin to trust, a suspension of disbelief about any previously held notions, about belief.
I'm not really curious about the gas tank to be honest because the explanations, whether scientific or other, that I can come up with and people have mentioned are all plausible to me.
I don't need to keep thinking with my head on this one, or seeking proof for why it may have occured on a very intellectual level. We could start talking about prayer, there's a big one...!
I don't think the super being is ignoring the plights of children. But is this the clincher? If this super being dropped a hand and picked up the children out of harm's way would this prove His existence to every single person?
Perhaps, in which case we wouldn't be having this discussion about faith, or prayer or supplication.
We would 'know' it to be true and be comfortable without having to take a blind leap of faith. Where's the choice there?
You are missing the point completely.
Whether or not god steps down and prevents the children from being blown up has nothing to do with anything unless you are prepared to take the self filling gas tank as a miracle and proof
But - I agree - faith is the suspension of disbelief. And accepting a non-answer to the question.
Whatever the question is the answer is "god did it" - which is no answer at all.
I personally am not interested in accepting this non-answer. It is certainly the easy option. Prevents you from having to think.
Purpouse and meaning of life?
God did it and he wants you to suspend disbelief and honor him?
The purpouse of your life is to not ask any questions?
I am still keen to know these "investigations" you have done. Although - am I right in saying that you did not do any - you just suspended disbelief?
Actually - yes - this is it. Make the most of it
Well, I'll do my best ...
One instance of a self-fulfilling tank wouldn't convince me per se. Maybe if something like this happened to me directly it'd be sufficient (if I was wondering perhaps, and if that was my secret question to God - 'do this and I'll believe in you'). Of course for someone else they might require another convincer, something more obvious and less explainable, whatever. And what you seem to be saying is, this is absolutely not enough for you. Sure, and why not it's really is quite a deep personal thing.
But it takes us back to the purpose of our lives – to know and recognise God, which is what religions have been extolling since they first appeared. It doesn’t matter to God whether we do or not, our actions or non-actions don’t affect Him, but they affect us.
Btw how would you know that you hadn't experienced your own little miracles as such but you'd written if off via another explanation.
So we're talking now is there a God? And if so prove it? Answer the question that sooo many people have in one smooth answer?
huh. hmmm. this won't be smooth but I'll give it a shot...
Consider the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms for example, and humans. The minerals are unable to understand the reality of plants (substance and growth), and plants can’t understand the reality of animals and their power of movement. And animals cannot comprehend the power of reasoning. So difference of condition can be an obstacle to understanding something of a superior nature. A table cannot understand the nature of the carpenter who created it. That doesn’t mean the carpenter doesn’t exist. And so the same could be said about man in relation to God.
I think questioning and personal search and investigation for the truth is essential. But my personal questions, my own quest and their answers would not be sufficient for you.? I can tell you about one pivotal moment when I knew with a certainty after wondering and searching and looking. But personally, those particular questions have been answered, and my questions and investigations are different now.
How far back do you want me to go? Evolution and science, creation, now? What and where is the crux of the issue?
Love, beauty and orderliness these are some of the attributes of God and signs of His existence (like the 'mind' story above).
Maybe the question is; what is it that one finds hard to accept that presupposes there is a God? Or, what proofs does one have regarding the absence of God?
As to the purpose of life, I think its definitely related to what we decide to believe (in). For me, according to my Faith, its to develop our inner attributes and virtues. Left to our own devices man's inhumanity to man would kick in. I suppose that helps clinch my belief: that we are made for greater things, that we can display goodness and kindness and compassion to one another, that part of our purpose is to grow in character, and yes to recognise God. (And if religions appear to disagree, its personal interpretation and perceived differences- coming as they do from the same source- not the message of the religion per se).
Mark, we could go on, and I may never get your point...
This is untrue. You have taken this from the presupposition that there is a god. And I think you must have mistaken what religions do. If anything - they provide the opposite. Building a great big stone edifice in god's honor and kneeling on the floor once a week? Please.
The behaviors of most people who claim to believe is a good start. A complete absence of proof of a god is another good one.
Left to our own devices?
Sorry - can't accept this. I take responsibility for not being inhuman to others. And I do not need you or any other religion to tell me what I should do.
Are you seriously saying that people who believe in a god behave in any way more humanely towards their fellow man than people who do not?
Well maybe you've missed my points.
Religions cannot be blamed for what people do.
Seriously I'm not saying that. Many people don't believe in God and behave humanely (but what exactly is the definition of 'humanely' anyway? A little white lie acceptable, stealing from someone who doesn't believe in God ok?, being rude to your neighbour who kicks your dog or disagrees with you fine? What's the boundary of humane? Your definition? Mine?) Plus, this could also be taken to prove His existence. That we are capable of these things, that we can recognise them within ourselves and act accordingly does not disprove God. Religion provides a guideline, a prescription. In fact 'if religion is a cause of disunity it is better that there is be no religion' Baha'i Faith. So when we argue we argue, 'religion' didn't make us do it.
So what exactly does religion do if it is not responsible for anything?
It takes no responsibility when people choose to behave "badly," yet presumably takes the credit when they behave "well"?
I assume you prefer not to blame religion for any of it's past atrocities. And teh current pope saying that condoms should not be used as a prevention to AIDS. etc etc etc.
Maybe of we got rid of the religions and the notion of a god - we would start taking responsibility for ourselves? I like this:
"if religion is a cause of disunity it is better that there is be no religion"
You surely must be aware of the amount of strife - even today - caused by believers in a religion?
Absolutely. But to see what religion says one would need to go to the source and the texts (yep, there's controversy who wrote what when but what can't be disputed is that there are an enormous amount of followers of Buddha, Muhammed, Christ, Zoroastians all over the world. Supposedly one individual changed people's lives, presented teachings and has followers world-wide. Again, independantly investigate and don't take my word for it ). The Writings contain the messages. When we decide to interpret them a particular way and say we're right and someone else is wrong I would argue that that was not written anywhere. In fact none of the Prophets ever disparaged the one before him or spoke against him. We do that.
We'll always be discouraged if we look to other people for an answer, we're not perfect but each person does what they understand. We're human I suppose but religion gives us a standard, again a prescription. Certainly it would have taken a very enlightened person to come up with the concept of forgiveness, in any age
In fact none of the Prophets ever disparaged the one before him or spoke against him. We do that- love this line.
I have said it is impossible for one prophet to ridicule another prophet as they both stand for exactly the same thing-God.
Not really possible. And I do not speak any of the languages they were written it. Nor does anyone else.
Yup. A lot of people want the easy answer.
I know how religion gets spread. At the point of a sword or gun most of the time.
Exactly. We interpret them to mean exactly what we want them to mean. Which means they are worthless. Just look at the amount of people who "use scripture to interpret scripture," to make it say what they already believe. No word of god there
As I have mentioned when others forgive me for not believing - forgiveness is a benefit to the one doing the forgiving. Not the one being forgiven. If you have ever had anyone genuinely forgive you a genuine misdeed you will understand.
Once you understand this - you will understand one of the obvious dichotomies in the bible. The guilt trip it lays on you unnecessarily.
Forgiveness is an extremely easy concept to grasp. The moment the first cave man did not kill an interloper because he decided he would be a strength to the tribe - forgiveness was born. And the forgiver benefited.
I have read and understood the bible - and it is pretty clear on the uselessness of religion.
All the messages in the bible are inside yourself. All you have to do is live and there they are. No god responsible. No need for religion. None.
The forgiveness bit is cute.
But I'd add that there are several ways of looking at things, and a certain objectivity needed, even with our own subjective concept of reality.
And for every concept there are at least two sides; on/off, positive/negative, disintegration/integration, useless/useful.
And all sides need to be looked into, rather clinically, with suspension of any personal filters and judgements to do anything or anyone justice. I'm just saying...
Religion, if I can be very simplistic, is like going to school, the non-sectarian type. If you're taught the lessons of grammar say but don't utilise the rules correctly then you can't blame the teacher.
Unfortunately/fortunately, the interpretations of religion are not as obvious, and because it is very much connected to the inner aspects of our selves, some of the writings can be very mysterious and obscure. And interpreted in different ways resulting is schism, division, different denominations, whatever. Not condoned by the teacher, mind, but by the pupils, and even the/a class captain in some cases.
Ultimately as I understand it religions teach us about God and how to live our lives. And sometimes we're taught about difficult concepts like submission, faith, obedience, honesty.
We don't always get it right, but the guidelines are there, like anything else it is growth.
So - what you are saying is we should live our lives according to 2,000 year old standards?
One word proves to me that religion is not the word of a god - and this is the word that causes all the problems:
This is proof enough for me that none of the religious texts were written by anything other than men. And they invented the god responsible. You should:
Have faith in my god. Obey my god. Submit to my god.
Which brings me to the conclusion that religion is a political tool to subjugate small minds that accept the easy answer.
And that - by extension - if the religious texts are proof enough for some that there is a god - they are proof enough for me that there is no such thing. I do not have faith in the guy that wrote it.
I don't see it as growth at all. After 2,000 years and Sarah Palin stands up and says the war in Iraq is god's war. Sorry - I would have though a god could have made himself a little more clear.
I would have though a god could have made himself a little more clear - that's funny. It's been 2000 years already you would have thought he would have gotten it right by now, right?!
Why end 2000 years ago? Its progressive so it gets renewed. That's why we have 9 major religions in the world today, and the most recent 150 years ago. And more to come.
I very much doubt it. Rationalism is the only growth in "beliefs" in the USA and there is a growing movement against religions.
After 2000 years - and I can feel the tension in the town I live in between the christians and the muslims?
I even find myself offended when a cleric walks past me in the street with his covered up wife following along dutifully.
Progressive? I don't think so. It is self perpetuating. Religion has held us back for generations.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/27/us/27 … r=1&em
Mark, what's not even strange is that you and I see the exact opposite happening in the world. So what then is 'real' or right. (That's what makes this all 'funny' is we get so caught up in what our own story is that we fight to the death, don't make up, get divorced because of these kinds of misunderstandings). No its not funny, its tragic and a downright shame.
Anyhow, I see people wondering and questioning and people talking openly about God almost everyday (not you, other people .
But religion isn't a man-made thing so whether or not we want it, it's here. If it was man-made and made to our own definitions we wouldn't have elected to worship a God, but someone else I'm sure, and voted no doubt.
Oh I question the existence of a god everyday. Thank goodness others are doing so as well.
Religion isn't man made?
L Ron Hubbard said - "If you want to make serious money - start a religion."
Guess you didn't read that link I sent you huh?
There is no such thing as an external god. And religion is clearly not any answer at all.
Oh well. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink
Read the link, where's Ron Hubbard in it?
ps not a big fan
No - the link was about the growing number of people who declare themselves without a religion.
L Ron Hubbard - not a fan either. Worst second rate science fiction I have ever read. Clever man though. You do know who he is right?
This means you are about to become VERY wealthy, with you FSM and all.
Now I'll have to become one of your "prophets". Cool!
You are more than welcome. Donations to the usual address.
Meat balls will "go off" in the mail.
I also just watched a program on Discover Science on string theory. Fascinating! One professor said (in effect) that science is what you do in a test tube (or lab), and the rest belongs in the realm of phylosophy. They were exploring the wekness of "gravitrons", and how one theory is exploring multiple dimensions and how they are(not quite) touching each other.
I guess (know) there IS room for me in the here and now. (with all my twisted and misguided beliefs about other dimensions and all)LOL
Yeh, got that. Hey as long as they're certain they really looked into things without immediately and instantly saying 'oh, that's just not me'. Whatever works I say , but gosh do we get in our own way sometimes.
Ron Hubbard -scientology right? If I could understand him and believe him at a deeper level I might have been one. Who knows...
Get in our own way? Lost me there.
Yes - L Ron Hubbard is the founder of scientology. Clever man - religion is historically the best way to make serious money - along with government and banking.
Who knows indeed. Many people will believe just about anything as far as I can tell.
Seriously thinking about a christian website selling something "holy."
Just can't bring myself to do it though. Damn scruples..........
money, power, recognition, mass adoration, being right I think what you're getting at is intent. The why, the purpose. God, man's, er Ron's.
And yes we always get in our own way because we believe something to be real and true and we hold, no cling, on to it at any cost. Those 'ceilings' can be spiritual, financial, emotional, physical. It all holds true in whatever context - that we're right.
So how then do we know what really is right, what's real?
Glad to hear you're scruples are scrupling.
Yes, I agree. I tried, but you refused to drink too.
I was being sarcastic dj - seeing as you religionists are always saying this. I am not interested in throwing my understanding of science and evolution out of the window in favor of "god did it."
Sorry - but you are a prime example of why I have no interest in religion.
Science still doesn't understand the source and agrees on that.
Their theory starts with the big bang but they admit that this is a flaw as they don't know why this happened .I wonder which science you are referring to At least Stephen Hawkins agrees with the above.
Sometimes, it's very rediculus seeing such questions as What is Faith? And Who is a Christian? being hijacked by people who proclaim there're no existence of both respectively.
Unbelievers who know nothing about what doesn't exist in their world try to educate same. The question is What is Faith? These questions can only be explained better if you know and have faith. We can start to examine what faith is from the book of books of which "faith" is grossly associated with;
Hebrews 11:1-6 (King James Version)
1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
So anyone who hasn't heard of your god is doomed?
Great you've heard. The gospel of faith and His saving power will definitely get to the ends of the earth. Believing a wise choice.
Humanity is given the power of choice (free will) to do with the Energy of Universal Love/God as they decide. So humanity pays the price for using the Energy in ways that are not in accordance with the Universal Order of Love/God's Will.
Until enough people wake up and decide to take the actions that are of Love and not anti-Love, the prices will continue to be paid by whomever is caught in the crossfire and eventually paid by those that created the environment of anti-love.
Through faith, humanity believes in the Order, regardless of the timing in the material world. That faith continues to drive the Order, as Shiva, destroying all that is less than within the Universal Order. And to me, faith drives me to pray and act to help get whomever may be caught in the crossfire, out of the way of the destruction, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.
I have never seen a hub generate this many comments. I will try to keep this short.
First, there are no conflicts between science and the Bible. Through the ages there have been scientists who thought what they discovered conflicted with scripture, and there have also been church leaders who thought so. Such mistakes were typically because they were unfamiliar with some portions of scripture or they were drawing conclusions from scripture that were not supported by the scripture itself.
As for evolution, the concepts put forth by Darwin and those who still cling to his thinking make up a theory, and not a very good one. There are myriad problems with the theory, but one simple matter is the fact that, as things change over time, the direction is not from chaos or lack of form to greater complexity and better function, it is the opposite.
As for faith, it is true that to trust God totally in all circumstances takes faith. Such faith can develop as one's personal relationship with God develops. However, most of us (maybe all of us) will sometimes fail to fully embrace that faith. But to pretend that God does not exist is absolute foolishness. Even a modest study of cosmology, for example, presents compelling evidence of the Creator. That is just one area of study. The more one studies nature and any of the sciences, the more evident God becomes. As the scriptures tell us, His existence and even His character can be understood by by simply observing creation.
I think you are alluding to entropy? It is true that within any closed system the total entropy increases with time. That isn't an argument against evolution. All you are doing is misapplying the second law of thermodynamics.
Pretence is certainly foolishness, but who's pretending? My study of cosmology yields a reasonable understanding of the universe, but, thus far, no evidence of a creator.
The blowing up of children being an example of his nature?
But back to the question which none of you believers seem willing to answer.
Faith is a belief in something in which there is a total lack of proof or evidence for.
Compelling evidence? Such as ?
And actually - you are the fool. Pretending to believe in an invisible super being because you cannot open your mind to the wonders of nature and see that there are other possibilities.
Which I guess makes you a close minded fool.
Faith is a related to trust, and trust is related to evidences that an individual holds true and compelling.
Isn't it also true that if we look for what we know, that's what we find. You're right about opening the mind so
in lieu of a long reply re my own compelling evidence and perhaps not really getting what it is you're asking, what is the heart of the question Mark? Is it about the actual existence of God?
And what are the wonders of nature you mentioned? I feel the same way but I suspect our explanations will differ?! lol
"In the beginning, God....." That's how (most versions of) The Bible starts. Down the "track", He has "fellowship" with (the first) man He created. That relationship was broken by (the sin of) disobedience.
Religion, in ANY form, is nothing more than man's best (and yet,very feeble) attempt to re-connect that relationship. The atheists fight any notion of (a god) for their own reason(s). However, due to the nature of man(kind), he has an in-build yearning for that relationship. 90+% of humanity believes in god (of whatever description one wants to give it/him).
http://hubpages.com/hub/An-atheists-guide-to-religion is a good example to read.
This is NOT proof that He exists, but neither is any argument (against) proof that He does NOT exist.
Religion cannot re-establish the relationship. It can only be re-established on His terms, not ours. He HAS made that "way" very clear. But of course, it becomes a matter of faith, (which is personal, and subjective).
I wonder if there is any scientist who ever thought how accurate the Bible spoke of things science haven't uncovered prior the Bible writers penned them.
>Bible explained water cycle even before scientists knew of evaporation and condensation.
>Bible told earth is circular and hangs upon nothing even before Ferdinand Magellan proved it was so.
And have any of these scientists known of things to come like the Bible does with accuracy.
>Bible speaks of a certain Cyrus to cause the fall of mighty Babylon some 200 years before the catastrophe happened.
Science cannot even predict earthquake.
1. Please provide chapter & verse where the bible 'explains water cycle'
2. The Earth is not circular. It is spherical (but imperfect).
No. I answered that on page 1 and page 5. I'm answering a more recent poster who says that the bible explains 'the water cycle' and that the earth is circular. I left you an answer in Science forum 'Please Explain', about the big bang, by the way.
I did read that. Just can't remember if I replied to it or not. I just watched a program on Discover Science on strig theory. Fascinating! One professor said (in effect) that science is what you do in a test tube, and the rest belongs in the realm of phylosophy. They were exploring the wekness of "gravitrons", and how one theory is exploring multiple dimensions (not quite) touching each other.
I guess (know) there IS room for me in the here and now. (with all my twisted and misguided beliefs and all)LOL
True, 'should' is vile (unless very very appropriate eg you shouldn't kill, you can if you like, but you shouldn't, and only when in really good rapport with someone lol) Personally though I haven't seen 'should' anywhere.
It's (obviously) a word brought down in someone's translation, in a parent's tone and I wish I had known better, earlier. Anyway the intent (often) when people use it is to instill a sense of guilt, because they don't know how else to communicate some desire or want and instill and inspire a more appropriate sense or feeling of wanting to do well, create beauty, excellence or do something higher, better, imaginative.
This is more a product of the times it was written in I think. It is hard to read the bible without getting "should" from it.
But - that is the problem with religions - what they "should" teach is self reliance, self exploration and personal responsibility.
Which is what I think the original intentions were.
Unfortunately - it is too good a deal to pass up - human nature being what it is - exactly the same as god's
I think they do. We were just too busy trying to determine who knows what self-reliance, self-exploration and responsibility really means, and who is authorised to interpret it for the masses. Religion has really moved on now Mark, Baha'is don't have clergy for one.
Oh, and here we differ too!
John 3;16 say "for God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life"
It's often called the "ultimater sacrifice". We revere men of honor, and valor, who give their lives for (us) freedom etc.
Now that's the ULTIMATE verb, giving ones life (or son) for another.
Pretty pathetic if you ask me. What sort of a feeble god can only manage one son?
Not that you are being controlled by thinking you will have everlasting life or anything.........
I didn't ask you. You keep telling us how you syudied the Bible and all, you should know how and why "ONE" son!
This kind of control is different to the one others have posted. They were referring to "leaders" dominating the masses (et al) asp er their intended meanings.
I don't mind the "eternal life" part one bit. Looking forward to it, when my time comes.
It is fair to say - this is what wars have been fought over.
All a matter of interpretation wouldn't you say.
But no - this has never made any sense to me. And is one of the founding points of my atheism. Sorry - it is complete rubbish, written to control the masses.
There is only one sun.
At least we only knew of one sun when the story of jesus was stolen.
Faith is subconciously knowing without relying on evidence
I agree cindyvine.
The question's become 'why' and 'how'. Plus others.
Do you believe that consciously, or subconsciously?
Were you taught this or did you just make it up?
The faith; just believe in one One God-the father- and doing good deeds...
@ Paraglider - But without the faith, good deeds = ? Not faith, just good deeds.
Come on Mark, you can at least capitalize Jesus - it's a name, so it would be gramatically correct. Even if we can't "prove" He rose again, He still was a person & that was His name.
Tell you what - you un-capitalize "His" and I will do so
LOL I had a feeling you would say something about that... Seriously though, why won't you capitalize the name? I can understand why the he, his, etc may annoy you, but what about just the name Jesus? Just curious.
(I know, off topic, shame on me)
Somebody called me a mirror.
I tend to do that. Although I suspect you are working that out. Sure - it upsets a few people, and I have been attacked - here, in the real world and at some of my sites, but you are the first to have noticed that one
People capitalize Him, I do the opposite.
Not sure I understand what you meant. (did it go over my head?)
Am I really the first here? Wow.
Sorry you've been attacked, I don't know if it warrants an attack. I was just curious as to your reasoning behind it. You must have a good reason (other than just for fun).
Well, something worked because, I got you to capitalize Him
Faith is the belief without the proof, but I think there are different levels of proof.
That is one of the coolest stories, god is at work in that professors heart, and remeber faith is not always seeing but believing Stay strong everyone
Yeah that is a cool story. It seems it even takes faith for an atheist to believe in evolution. I bet that professor did some deep thinking after his lecture from the student.
At the moment I am under the impression that "Faith" is another name for Jesus.
Dear people, it is a gorgeous day outside (at least in my corner of the world). I’ve just put washed laundry out and it will smell like a sun when it dries. I am going to grill out later with my friends. Then I will study for my final exam (oh, gosh, the more you study our body structure and function, the more you get an idea, now miraculously perfectly designed it is, hint, hint…)
Anyway, why to argue about something that everyone has his own entitled opinion about? One thing is obvious for everyone and it is that we all will die some time.
So, when we die, we’ll know all the answers.
Why argue now? Life is too precious, let’s enjoy it. After all, you are not fanatics, are you?
Have a nice day!
OK. We agree then. There is no god, and we were not "designed" because it is a pretty lousy design.......
Still - a lovely day where I am too. Nature has seen fit to persuade me I need sit in the sun drinking Pastis and reading my book for a while.
Faith is not always ignorance. Everything can also not be proved. God is not the topic of the scientists. Scientists do research on materialistic world that can be known by our senses and machines. There are many things beyond this and God is one of them.
It is up to one whether he or she believes on God or not. This is an endless debate.
Science and religion like coin sides; each side lead to anothor;
and that's clear in Islam; and that's the real problem in christianity when the church denied the science for long times....
This is proved by the uncertainty principle by scientists, they can never get an accurate measurement and so will allways be limited in their findings.This is why the future cannot be predicted. Basically what you are trying to measure gets distorted by what you are measuring with.
An accurate measurement?The belief in god is based on nothing resembling proof.
Can't you see the proof all around you.?
"If you could see the magic in just one flower your life would change drastically"- Buddha .
No I do not see what is as the work of your deity at all, and would suggest that you draw a long bow in doing so, especially in light of current thinking.
You need intelligence and humility to see.
Two traits which you have in abundance no doubt!
And you sir are a complete waste of oxygen.
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