"Do you beleive in good and evil? In morality? do you love anything or anyone? what is love?" With out God there is no good or evil, it would only be a matter of opinion as to what good and evil would be. With out a moral law giver, there is no moral law
Both are perceived concepts establish based on actions.
Yes. Wrote a Hub on it and where it comes from, which the human conscience.
Wrote a Hub on it.
I can't take your question seriously, ref. this god thing, until you can define "it" in a form other than opinion.
Can you do that for me?
If you can, I'd love to chat with you about the possibility of its existence
It's early. Let me pour ya a nice fresh, hot cuppa coffee. :
Now, lets see....oh yeh, thank you for another "opinion" on the definition of this "god thing."
Have a good'n! :
Those are some bold assertions. Without a Law Giver there is no morality? Yet even Piranha's in a feeding frenzy don't eat each other. If you took the time to study nature you'd see quite clearly that morality is something which has evolved, particularly altruism and empathy, to exist primarily in social animals like humans.
One doesn't need some spooky sky man to say that murder is wrong, we can see the damage such actions do to others through simple natural empathy.
And what we see when we look at religious morality is that God's moral laws are often those of primitive men.
Have you ever read the Old Testament? In it the Biblical God commands genocide, condones slavery, the law says that women who commit adultery should be stoned, along with rebellious children. Dogmatic religious morality is what happens when people lose touch with natural empathy.
And by the way, good and evil are words we use to describe human behaviors, good behaviors are generally positive for the individual or society and have little negative impact. Evil behaviors harm others and usually have NO positive impact.
You seem to assert that a Piranha's not eating one of its own constitutes an action that falls under the category of that which is "moral." But consider whether the piranha is acting in accordance with duty, or from duty (see Kant's Fundamentals of the Metaphysics of Morality).
Do you really think that the piranha heads to the frenzy saying to itself, "Now, as much as I'd really like to eat my friends, I know that I ought not to do that, so I won't." Of course it doesn't! It's simply acting on that which its nature has determined.
However, if we say that the Piranha does indeed act "morally" simply because it is acting in accordance with its nature, then I guess we should also say that human beings are acting "morally" when they kill someone in a moment of passion, or commit rape as a result of lust and desire for control. Additionally, we would have to say that the naturally happy person who stops the murderer or rapist because they see that such an action will result in sadness and pain is also acting morally, because they have done that which their nature suggested to them. So it is both moral to commit murder and to stop murder. Such a contradiction is ridiculous!
Feelings of empathy and altruism (and feelings of all sorts) are not the basis of morality, and acting in accordance with them is not acting morally at all.
Now, perhaps we don't need, as you say, "some spooky sky man" to determine some absolute form of ethics (though frankly, I think that it's awful hard to assert any form of morality without such a being), you should at least withdraw your claim that our moral actions are a result of our nature.
No the piranha does not go through an internal dialogue about what to do, in fact that is exactly my point, these behaviors we call "moral" exist in nature even without the level of cognition seen in humans. In fact our higher cognitive ability is actually a double-edged sword of sorts.
Scientists have found that the most intelligent animals also have the greatest tendency to commit acts of senseless violence. Chimpanzees for instance have been known to go to war with other groups over land and even fashion crude spears. Dolphins to have been known to kill without cause.
Your assertion that somehow we would have to acknowledge murder as moral is absurd. When did I ever insinuate that because a behavior was possible within an animal's nature than automatically makes it moral? I'm not sure why you're leaping to such absurd conclusions.
No empathy would not lead us to conclude that murder is moral, as I said before behaviors which hurt other individuals or are detrimental to society.
Yes empathy is the basis of morality for humans and human morality also benefits from our ability to form hypothetical situations in our mind. We can imagine what it's like to be someone else and play out possible consequences from possible actions we might take. Empathy tells us what damage we might be doing and from this we tend to extrapolate many of our morals. It is this principle from which Christianity gets one of its most popular teachings and many other philosophers throughout the ages have given their own version of a similar rule... you may know it as the Golden Rule.
Treat people the way you want to be treated might as well be the definition of empathy.
Now I'm curious as to why you think morality cannot exist without a deity. It is obvious that moral behavior is important to the survival of social species of animals. It makes perfect sense that those species who live in societies and act morally and help each other have a better chance of survival than those that, for instance, eat their own young. Empathy is even more important for placental mammals like us who require a great deal of care when we are young. Without strong instinctual morality reinforcing the social mores and rules we set up human society would have never gotten started.
I encourage you to do some further research on the subject.
First, let me say thank you for a legitimate response, I truly appreciate being able to "spar" like this. Anyway, the dialogue.
"these behaviors we call "moral" exist in nature even without the level of cognition seen in humans."
I think there is a difference between those actions which you call moral and those which I do. As you asserted in your first response to this whole thread, you seem to think that those actions are moral which are generally good for society and cause little or no harm. This, however, is not what I would call moral behavior. I would call it beneficial, certainly, but if it has not been done out of some sense of duty, then it is only beneficial--not moral. I think that there is a moral difference between the naturally happy person who goes around making other people happy (someone who does it out of their nature) and someone who is internally depressed, but out of the knowledge that happiness is a good thing, decides to promote happiness instead of the sadness they feel inside (thus doing it from duty). According to your view, both these people are deserving of the same respect in terms of morality, because their actions yield beneficial results. I, however, think that only the second person is deserving of any respect, because it is this person who follows their moral law on principle.
I would also wonder if you think that the thought of killing someone, or a desire to commit adultery is immoral. Since these don't have any directly negative effect on society, it seems that they do not fit your definition of that which is immoral. You might argue that such thoughts can lead to immoral behaviors and could thus be considered immoral, but for the sake of this example, let's say that the person only has the thoughts and never acts on them. I'm just curious.
"When did I ever insinuate that because a behavior was possible within an animal's nature than automatically makes it moral?"
This, quite honestly, I'll give you. I failed to read your first post as carefully as I should have (namely, the last paragraph) and I made a critically inaccurate judgment regarding the consequences of your position. My sincere apologies.
So, why is it that I think that empathy is not at the core of morality, and why should I posit that it is necessary for us to call only those actions moral which are done from a sense of duty? This, I think, is one of the first areas in which our opinions differ, and it is worthy of looking over.
Rather than empathy, I would suggest that it is our ability to acknowledge an action as being moral or immoral that lies at the core of true morality (Note, it is the ability to do so, not the acknowledgment in itself). If a tornado destroys a city and kills thousands, it has done something that harms others and has had no positive effect. Yet, would we call the action of the tornado immoral? If a dog bites another dog or a person, do we claim that the dog is immoral? Or, if the dog refrains from biting people, do we uplift it as being an animal that has a true sense of morality--a dog with great integrity? If a mentally handicapped person kills someone by mistake, do we claim that the person is terribly immoral?
The tornado serves as an example by which I question your definition of those things which are immoral. The examples of the dog and the mentally handicapped individual serve as ways for me to suggest that there are indeed certain beings that are capable of empathy, but that I would not consider to be creatures who are capable of being judged as moral or immoral.
Because of this, although I am somewhat unsure of my footing here, I think I would reverse the statement from your most recent post, saying instead that our ability to form hypothetical situations in our mind is the basis of morality for humans and that human morality also benefits from empathy. If I can consider a situation in my mind as having terribly negative consequences, I should avoid that action on principle, whether I have any empathy for the others involved or not. If I choose to avoid this behavior based on principle, I have done the moral thing, and if empathy--a feeling of aversion towards having the behavior done to myself--assists, so be it. If I simply avoid the behavior out of empathy, but am completely lacking in any ability to consider the consequences--whether the action benefits society or harms it-- then I have acted beneficially, but not morally.
Immorality, I believe, exists when in a situation such as this-- "I know that my performing this action will harm others. Despite this, I am going to continue with the act."
Alright, so, moving on to the "morality without a deity" issue. My parenthetical comment regarding my belief that it is difficult to posit any form of morality without also asserting the existence of a god, was aimed more at saying that I think it is difficult to show why it is that anyone ought to act in a moral way if there is no god. I likely should have clarified that, so I apologize.
I agree, moral systems can exist without a deity. I can set up a moral system right now. I would likely fail, however, to show why it is that someone should follow that system. That is, unless we get into the realm of there being a form of morality closely related to Platonic forms, in that they have an objective reality outside of the existence of anything else...but that is an entirely different conversation.
I'm eager to continue this. I know my skills in reasoning have a long way to go, but I'm working on it, so I truly appreciate being able to have a discussion like this. Thanks.
The difference between the two people you describe seems to be one of motivation or intent. One is motivated by a sense that he is required to do good even if he himself is miserable and the other only does good because of his own self-interest. While certainly I think that self-interest has a lot to do with all human behavior I do not think that those two people's internal motivation is necessarily mutually exclusive. In other words I think someone can act morally both because it is the right thing to do (what you might call duty) and also because it is beneficial. Let me put it another way, you can act morally both for yourself AND others at the same time.
"I would also wonder if you think that the thought of killing someone, or a desire to commit adultery is immoral."
I'm not sure I have an answer, that's a tough one. Many people fantasize about killing or committing other acts deemed immoral by society the real question is whether these fantasies are mere day-dreams or if they are actually planning on acting. An employee might spend time imagining ways to end the life of a boss or fellow employee they loathe but if they're just venting their emotions in a realm of pure hypothetical thought I don't see the harm.
Another thing to consider is how much cognitive thought goes into the fantasy itself. If a married man sees a woman walk by and his eyes follow her and his mind gets caught in a momentary fantasy that fades almost as soon as it enters his mind it is a bit different from him spending night after night imagining his wife is some other woman as they make love. Plus there are dreams, what if a man who is entirely faithful to his wife even in his thoughts dreams he's having sex with another woman.
In general I would argue that moral and immoral, right and wrong and good and evil are labels that should only be applied to actions and the thoughts that plan those actions. Mere fantasy would be excluded from those labels until it becomes actual premeditation of a deed.
"The examples of the dog and the mentally handicapped individual serve as ways for me to suggest that there are indeed certain beings that are capable of empathy, but that I would not consider to be creatures who are capable of being judged as moral or immoral."
Well for the mentally handicapped it depends on the severity of course however I would argue that any accidental death, though tragic, is not necessarily immoral (depending upon the circumstances). In my original response I mentioned that good/evil and right and wrong are labels we attach to human behaviors and indeed we wouldn't attach the same concepts we have for each other to animals or acts of nature.
"If I can consider a situation in my mind as having terribly negative consequences, I should avoid that action on principle, whether I have any empathy for the others involved or not."
I agree however without empathy you might have NO perspective on whether the consequences are truly negative. Without empathy, without feeling for our fellow human being, we wouldn't be able to see the difference between a negative and positive consequence.
"If I simply avoid the behavior out of empathy, but am completely lacking in any ability to consider the consequences--whether the action benefits society or harms it-- then I have acted beneficially, but not morally."
I would agree that what is beneficial is not ALWAYS moral, certainly not. As I alluded to in my previous post there is a weighing of pros and cons. Slavery for instance was certainly beneficial to society, it was a massive part of the economy, however after people questioned the status quo they found the cons outweighed the pros. This is why things like slavery rely on dehumanization, dehumanization overcomes the natural empathy we feel toward one another. I certainly agree that empathy and the ability to look at the hypothetical consequences of a decision go hand in hand in influencing morality. One without the other and we wouldn't have the same sort of morality we have today. That sort of proves my point in one way or another that our morality is merely a complex version of what animals already have and what we inherited from our ape ancestors.
"My parenthetical comment regarding my belief that it is difficult to posit any form of morality without also asserting the existence of a god, was aimed more at saying that I think it is difficult to show why it is that anyone ought to act in a moral way if there is no go."
We're a social species and we thrive together. The phrase No Man is an Island comes to mind as well as the phrase it takes a Village to Raise a Child. These figures of speech reveal something about our nature as social animals. Thanks to the mechanisms of morality we've been discussing we humans understand the damage our actions can do and empathy allows us to put ourselves in the shoes of those we influence with our actions. We understand that our actions affect the group as well and perhaps that is who we have a sense of "duty" towards. Most of all we might have a duty to ourselves via what is called the "conscience" or moral compass which I think is a combination of natural empathy and the extrinsic morals we are taught by parents, friends and personal experience.
One doesn't need an objective morality that transcends humanity, or some immortal judge to decide who is good and who is bad - we already do that to ourselves. Society and civilization have created many moral codes throughout the centuries and while yes at first they often required summoning up vengeful gods to reinforce those morals and scare people into obedience as time as gone on we've learned more and more about ourselves, our psychology and our evolution. Just take a look back at history and you'll see the slow but sure progression of morality and that with it our quality of life has gone up as well. So we may not have God given morals or even Platos forms but we have our own constantly shifting human collective morality. Yes it's a damn mess but that's just kinda the way it is, in my opinion anyway. And really would anyone want to subscribe to a dogmatic morality? To be honest with you I think a dogmatic absolute morality would be rebelled against far more than the subjective-collective morality of current society.
"I'm eager to continue this. I know my skills in reasoning have a long way to go, but I'm working on it, so I truly appreciate being able to have a discussion like this. Thanks."
Indeed it's nice to talk to someone who is interested in real conversation. There's some interesting ideas about this subject floating around the internet including a fairly recent talk by Sam Harris about how he thinks science can help determine moral values. It's not something I agree with fully myself but it is an interesting take on the subject:
http://fora.tv/2010/11/10/Sam_Harris_Ca … man_Values
“…you can act morally both for yourself AND others at the same time.”
I have no quarrel with this statement. People certainly can act morally “both because it is the right thing to do…and also because it is beneficial.” The problem is with which variable one decides to take out of the equation. Moreover, the problem is with which form of motivation affects a person first. Perhaps the actual use of something like an equation would help.
Okay, so let me explain these a little bit, since I know they go against the strict mathematical grain. When someone acts beneficially entirely because of empathy, I think they have only performed a benevolent/beneficial action. If someone acts beneficially based on principle, I think they have acted morally (I’ll get to the part about “without empathy we have no perspective on consequences” part in a bit).
If someone decides to act beneficially first on principle, and then is encouraged by empathy they have acted morally. If, however, someone decides to act beneficially because of empathy, and then develops principles to encourage the action after the fact, they have only acted beneficially.
This last case is a bit like the explanations of evolutionary psychologists. They look at the behavior of, say, a woman deciding to marry a man who is wealthy and strong as being the result of her evolutionary desire to have her children protected. But, there are any number of evolutionary ways to describe this behavior if we simply get a little creative. When we try to apply a theory in this way, we get a bunch of results that sound accurate, but each of which is equally likely.
In the same way, if someone acts first on empathy and then applies principles, they might come up with any number of rationalizations for the action, each of which being equally likely, but none of them being what I would call “real.” However, if someone can clearly see, prior to performing an action and without being swayed by feelings, the consequences of an action (again, I’ll get to the perspective and empathy part here shortly) then they have acted on principle alone, what I would call moral action. If such an action is then encouraged and strengthened by empathy, that’s wonderful, and I’m glad to hear that the person has some feelings.
“Another thing to consider is how much cognitive thought goes into the fantasy itself.”
Why? You say in the next paragraph that “Mere fantasy would be excluded from those labels until it becomes actual premeditation of a deed.” So why should it matter how much thought goes into a fantasy if it simply remains a fantasy?
It sounds like you’re uncomfortable with stating that the creation and development of fantasies is never a moral or immoral action, and I can’t blame you. But at the same time, if morality is only based on actions and their results, then there is absolutely no reason to say that the creation of a fantasy is moral or immoral.
I indeed do think that the development of fantasies involving immoral actions is an immoral behavior in itself, but if we want to assert that, then we would have change your definition of morality a bit.
“In my original response I mentioned that good/evil and right and wrong are labels we attach to human behaviors and indeed we wouldn't attach the same concepts we have for each other to animals or acts of nature.”
I’m a little confused by this. In your first response you do indeed say that good and evil are terms we attach to human behaviors, but at the same time you give the example of piranhas not eating one another as being representative of moral-type behavior in nature. So do the piranhas act in a way that is not at all analogous to the moral behavior of humans? I’m guessing you would disagree.
But if their behavior is entirely analogous to human moral behavior, then why shouldn’t we call their actions moral or immoral, good or evil? If my deciding not to kill someone when they make me angry is the same as a piranha not eating its fellow piranha at the frenzy, what serves as reason to suggest that one of these actions is any more good or evil than the other? Why should we only apply the terms good and evil to human behavior if there isn’t any difference?
“Without empathy, without feeling for our fellow human being, we wouldn't be able to see the difference between a negative and positive consequence.”
First of all, touché—good one. But at the same time, I have to disagree. I think that even if we had no sense or idea of what other people felt as a result of certain actions, we would still have a way of determining positive and negative consequences.
For instance, assuming I had no sense of empathy, let’s say I came across someone robbing a store. Without saying to myself, “I wouldn’t want to be robbed,” I think that I could still observe the action and develop the following argument for its immorality.
Person 1 has taken from person 2 that which was originally the property of person 2.
Person 1 has not given anything to person 2 constituting payment for or trading of the object.
Person 1 has thus reaped a benefit that leaves person 2 with less than he began with.
Since the benefits and losses are unequal, Person 1 has acted immorally.
It’s sort of a utilitarian approach, but I think it could work without empathy. If we apply it as a universal maxim, we might say—only perform those actions which result in benefit for all persons involved.
Again, this is not to say that this is the way that we should operate, or that we should use this as a moral code, it is simply put here to show what I think to be a valid example of someone determining positive and negative consequences without involving empathy.
“I certainly agree that empathy and the ability to look at the hypothetical consequences of a decision go hand in hand in influencing morality. One without the other and we wouldn't have the same sort of morality we have today.”
I believe that even without empathy, we would indeed have the morality that exists today, but I suppose that this belief is the direct result of my also believing that there is an absolute, objective moral code in the universe that applies to everyone in all situations, whether they feel a certain way about performing the action or not. Empathy enhances our motivation to act in accordance with said law, but it is not, in my humble opinion, that which determines morality.
“So we may not have God given morals or even Platos forms but we have our own constantly shifting human collective morality. Yes it's a damn mess but that's just kinda the way it is, in my opinion anyway.”
You’re absolutely entitled to your opinion, so I won’t say too much on this one, but I would like to say that, yes, things are a damn mess, but that I don’t believe that they are mess because morality itself is shifting and changing, but because people are constantly going against the eternal moral law. And yes, I know that’s sort of a wishy-washy term, but my response has gotten pretty long as it is, so I might be able to address that in another post.
“To be honest with you I think a dogmatic absolute morality would be rebelled against far more than the subjective-collective morality of current society.”
I don’t think the fact that an absolute morality would be rebelled against has any bearing on the truth of whether or not an objective, absolute morality exists.
Thanks again for your thoughtful response, and I am letting the Sam Harris video buffer as I’m typing this, so I’ll be watching it soon. Thanks for the link!
"When someone acts beneficially entirely because of empathy, I think they have only performed a benevolent/beneficial action. If someone acts beneficially based on principle, I think they have acted morally (I’ll get to the part about “without empathy we have no perspective on consequences” part in a bit)."
The problem is that the outside observer is usually only aware of the action itself and not the motivation. So someone giving to charity because of a combination of empathy and principle would appear no different than someone acting solely on one of those factors.
"If, however, someone decides to act beneficially because of empathy, and then develops principles to encourage the action after the fact, they have only acted beneficially."
This may be the primary area we disagree. I think that our natural moral framework is the only reason we have developed moral principles in the first place. The sense of 'this is the right thing to do' comes from social reinforcement. The moral compass, in other words, is a combination of Nature and Nurture (as the dichotomy is often phrased), nature provides the empathy and basic moral framework and nurture provides that sense of duty and goes into more detail than our basic nature.
"When we try to apply a theory in this way, we get a bunch of results that sound accurate, but each of which is equally likely."
Indeed I agree there are a great many plausible options when it comes to questions like that and hopefully science will be able to refine their hypotheses and falsify or confirm them.
"In the same way, if someone acts first on empathy and then applies principles, they might come up with any number of rationalizations for the action, each of which being equally likely, but none of them being what I would call “real.” "
That is why I think they work in collusion, with natural empathy and nutured principle each playing their role. You may have a point about actions based on pure empathy however in some sense I think it might be impossible for an adult human to truly act solely on empathy. We might see empathetic actions from toddlers of infants but we probably wouldn't call the actions of an infant moral or immoral because they do not have a fully formed moral compass yet.
"But at the same time, if morality is only based on actions and their results, then there is absolutely no reason to say that the creation of a fantasy is moral or immoral."
That is the conclusion I reached and you're right that I arrived at it tenetatively although upon further thought I think it makes sense. We can't really judge the thoughts of others and fantasizing about something immoral is not the same as acting it out. I think there is a line between fantasy and premeditation of an actual act.
"but at the same time you give the example of piranhas not eating one another as being representative of moral-type behavior in nature."
This was an example to point out the source of our morality as evolving from the ground up instead of being delivered from the top (a God) down. Perhaps it was a mistake to word it that way, my point was merely that what we call moral behavior exists in many social animals.
"But if their behavior is entirely analogous to human moral behavior, then why shouldn’t we call their actions moral or immoral, good or evil?"
Well the "moral" behaviors of animals are not entirely analogous to our own. I was merely trying to point out that on that behaviors we might deem moral exist outside of our species in nature thus suggesting that they evolved rather than they were granted on stone tablets or written on the tablet of our hearts as some religious folks might say.
"It’s sort of a utilitarian approach, but I think it could work without empathy. If we apply it as a universal maxim, we might say—only perform those actions which result in benefit for all persons involved."
I see your point and I generally agree with your example however it'd be hard to make those judgments without empathy or at least it'd be hard to make them accurately. Without knowing how Person 2 feels about being robbed from we're left to make a cold decision devoid of feeling. Is it possible? I guess. Is it moral? I don't know.
"Empathy enhances our motivation to act in accordance with said law, but it is not, in my humble opinion, that which determines morality."
I think the two are interdependent really. Nature and Nurture both play their part. In my personal opinion what people often mistake as an objective moral code (passed down from a deity or simply transcendent in and of itself) is probably just the natural moral framework we all have. It is a very hard thing to judge as by the time we are truly cognizant of ourselves and others our parents have already given us moral guidance and the line between what is social and what is natural in our morality is blurred.
"And yes, I know that’s sort of a wishy-washy term, but my response has gotten pretty long as it is, so I might be able to address that in another post."
I do have to wonder what contact we humans have with this eternal law. Where do we make contact with it? Is it in our minds? Our genetics? And what sets it apart from natural morality? When you talk of an eternal moral law and I talk of a natural moral framework I think we are talking about the same thing, the difference being that I don't think its eternal or absolute just a product of natural evolution.
I'm curious to know more about it though so don't worry about long responses
Alright, so, simply for the sake of maintaining some sense of focus, I propose a summary. Thus far, I have asserted these things: That morality does exist, that it is dependent on our ability to create hypothetical scenarios and may be encouraged by empathy, and that there is a single, moral code that is a part of reality as much as the law of physics or Platonic forms, and that everyone ought to follow.
As I understand it, you have asserted the following: That morality does exist, that it is subject to change over time, that it is most generally defined as the description of human behaviors that, after having weighed pros and cons are either beneficial or harmful to society, and that it is dependent upon empathy and the results of evolutionary processes.
If I’m wrong or skewed on any of these things, feel free to let me know, and we can go ahead and clear them up
If you are curious to know about the eternal law that I’m talking about, I would urge you to read Plato’s dialogue called “Meno.” I believe, though I’m not sure off the top of my head, that it is in this dialogue that Socrates talks about there not being any “perfect” circles in nature, but that we can clearly understand what it is to be a circle because the form of a circle is an inherent part of the universe (more or less).
They also go into a short conversation about the soul being exposed to all the truths of geometry and physics prior to its being assigned to a body, thus explaining why such truths are obvious to us when we are presented with them. Personally, I think that sounds a little ridiculous, but I’m not sure that Socrates or Plato entirely believed that either. It was likely just a clever way of explaining the concept.
Morality, I think, is exactly like Plato’s circle. It is an inherent part of the universe, whether any human has ever exhibited it or not, or even whether humans exist or not.
Personally, as much as I’m enjoying this conversation, I suggest that we approach a different question: Does a god exist? Differently phrased, is there a being that brought the universe into being at the start.
I think this question is a little more aptly suited to this particular forum, and I think two people such as ourselves could have quite an interesting and constructive conversation about it. If you want to go into this, I’ll let you go first (I’m assuming you’ll take the negative position, so I’ll go ahead and take the positive).
I hope to hear back soon!
"If I’m wrong or skewed on any of these things, feel free to let me know, and we can go ahead and clear them up"
You summed it up pretty well. I would say that morality is part nature and part nurture. Or to put it another way part instinct one part cognition.
"Morality, I think, is exactly like Plato’s circle. It is an inherent part of the universe, whether any human has ever exhibited it or not, or even whether humans exist or not. "
I do remember learning about Platonic Forms in an intro to philosophy course I once took. It's an interesting idea but I think it raises too many questions at least too many for my liking. Namely how these platonic forms interact or how they are interwoven into the Universe/living things.
"Differently phrased, is there a being that brought the universe into being at the start."
To me positing such a being raises more questions and it brings in the supernatural when we really don't need it. The origin of the Universe is a mystery in many ways and to me inserting a God into the gap in our knowledge cheapens that mystery and stops us from pursuing other avenues.
The argument that God started the Universe is often called the First Cause Argument in which God is the "Prime Mover", the issue with it is that it creates an Infinite Regress. The question than becomes "Where did God come from" or "What CAUSED God?". This issue has existed for millennia with even the likes of Aristotle trying to overcome it by adding an "Uncaused Cause" or an "unmoved mover". Many believers and religious thinkers still use this argument today claiming that God exists separate from our Universe and thus has neither beginning nor end. So while it may seem tempting to introduce a God to explain everything I see it as a cop-out of sorts, an attempt to patch an answer onto an existing mystery by positing an even greater mystery (God).
Okay, so it sounds like you're pretty well versed in your ontological arguments. That's a good thing So let me run this by you...
Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
The universe began to exist.
Thus, the universe has a cause.
You yourself seem to agree that the universe began to exist (by bringing up the issue of an infinite regress and also using the phrase "the origin of the universe") so you must accept that the universe has a cause. Moreover, if all things that begin to exist have a cause, then we must accept that at some point, there was indeed some uncaused cause.
Where people start jumping to conclusions, however, is when they apply this conclusion to their favorite variety of religious teachings. Clearly, this argument does nothing to show that any particular religion's God is the god of the universe, but I think that it does show that the universe does have a primary cause, and I don't think that calling that cause "God" cheapens the mystery of the universe's origin necessarily.
In fact, I think that we have to posit "an even greater mystery" like God to explain the origin of the universe. If we agree that all things that BEGIN to exist have a cause, and yet we recognize that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes, then we have to recognize that at some point, there was indeed, some uncaused causer/ unmoved mover. Calling such a unique force "God" seems pretty fitting to me.
What nonsense. Your assumptions in order to defend your belief that there is an uncaused cause are rather silly.
Why not take the far simpler explanation available instead of this non answer?
Why assume that there was a point in space/time when the Universe did not exist?
Why assume that - although everything that exists had to have a beginning - there is a special majik thing that this does not apply to?
We both agree existence exists - now offer me a reasonable argument or some proof that existence did not exist at some point?
"Majik" or "god" (same meaning different word) do not cut it.
First, you say that "We both agree that existence exists." Existence is a state of being. States of being are merely descriptions of the way an object presents itself to us. It most certainly does not exist with any objective reality. Either your phraseology is poor, or your premise is inherently flawed.
As for why the universe cannot have always existed? Let me explain.
To say that "there is not a point in time when the universe did not exist" is to say, instead, that the universe has always existed. However, if the universe has always existed, then there is an infinite regress of events into an infinite history. This, however cannot be.
Imagine a book with an infinite number of pages. If you sit down and start reading from page one, and you read for months on end, you will be no closer to the finish than you were from the start. Moreover, if you open up to the middle of the book and start flipping pages backward, you will never get any closer to reaching the start of the book because there is an infinite number of pages your page and that particular end.
In the same way, if the universe had "always existed" then we would eternally trapped, waiting for time to catch up with us. History would never reach us, because the beginning of history would be infinitely far behind us, and we would be infinitely far from it.
It is entirely absurd to believe that the history of the universe extends backwards infinitely.
Thus, the universe must have begun to exist at a certain point in time. Moreover, this results in our having to assert that something caused that beginning.
Study your logic textbooks and get back to me.
Absurd? Cannot be? Please offer at least some reasonable argument that existence did not exist at some point - other than telling me it is absurd.
Then offer me some reasonable argument that everything has a beginning and needs a cause - except the majik juju that you call "god."
Then we can talk about logic as you seem to be having trouble grasping that concept.
Dear me. No wonder your religion causes so many wars.
"Moreover, if all things that begin to exist have a cause, then we must accept that at some point, there was indeed some uncaused cause."
Well not exactly. We've pin-pointed the moment our Universe was "caused", the Big Bang, we're still not sure exactly what caused it though. So the fact is that even before the Universe there was apparently SOMETHING and everything the Universe is currently made of existed in the form of a singularity. Now you can posit this something as an uncaused cause but I think that is jumping the gun, how do we KNOW that there was an uncaused cause other than to arbitrarily wish away infinite regress.
"but I think that it does show that the universe does have a primary cause, and I don't think that calling that cause "God" cheapens the mystery of the universe's origin necessarily. "
Well it depends on what definition of God we're using. If, for instance, we use an essentially naturalistic God, the sort of God a deist believes in, than perhaps it doesn't cheapen the mystery however it does just replace one unknown for another even greater unknown.
"In fact, I think that we have to posit "an even greater mystery" like God to explain the origin of the universe. If we agree that all things that BEGIN to exist have a cause, and yet we recognize that there cannot be an infinite regress of causes, then we have to recognize that at some point, there was indeed, some uncaused causer/ unmoved mover. Calling such a unique force "God" seems pretty fitting to me."
But what function does this God serve other than as a God of the Gaps? All it does is occupy a place where otherwise a big question mark would be. So while it may be tempting to call the answer to the mystery God I think it is better to let the mystery stay a mystery until all the facts are found or to at the very least stick to natural explanations as opposed to supernatural. To me this Unmoved mover God of the Gaps is much like Zeus hurling lightning, the ancients were amazed by the mystery of lightning and so they used Zeus to explain it. We're amazed by the cosmos and the bizarre mystery of how it all began and so we use God as a place-holder.
My personal favorite hypothesis about the Universe is actually one that includes an infinite regress of sorts but it is an idea that exists in the scientific community. The Universe is still expanding rapidly but many scientists believe it will be blue shifted at some point in the distant future, it will collapse back in on itself in something called the BIG CRUNCH. The Universe will go back to a state similar to that before the Big Bang and since matter and energy cannot be utterly destroyed it is possible that another Big Bang will follow. So the Universe may be an eternal series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches constantly recreating itself. Of course it's all hypothetical at this point but it all works without inserting a greater mystery into the gaps in our knowledge.
“…how do we KNOW that there was an uncaused cause other than to arbitrarily wish away infinite regress.”
Good point, and a necessary observation for sure, but I don’t think that we’re arbitrarily wishing away infinite regress when we posit an uncaused causer/unmoved mover. The logic behind this idea, however archaic, is pretty infallible.
All things in motion are moved by something else. That some things are in motion is obvious by the senses. Therefore, things in our universe that are in motion have been set in motion by something else. Whatever moves these things is either moved or not moved. If that mover is not moved then we have reached our conclusion. If it is moved, then we need to seek the mover that it has been moved by. Consequently, we must either proceed to infinity or arrive at some unmoved mover. Since it’s impossible to posit an infinite regress, we must therefore posit that there is something out there which is an unmoved mover.
Despite all the advances in thought and science over the years, I think this logic holds true. If you’ve heard a refutation of this argument, I’d love to hear it (and I’m not being sarcastic—I really would like to hear it, because sometimes it seems just a little too easy, even to me).
“it does just replace one unknown for another even greater unknown.”
It does replace one unknown with another, to be sure, but I’m not sure the latter is necessarily a greater unknown. When I’m arguing for a primary cause of the universe, I’m not trying to attribute any form of personality or a particular nature to it. Personally, I don’t see how taking something previously called a mystery and giving it the name God makes it any bigger of a mystery until we start trying to give that primary cause a personality, compassion, a triune nature, whatever.
This being said, it may seem a little pointless or unnecessary to call the first cause God. Your opinion might be different than mine, but I don’t think even an atheist would necessarily have a problem with saying that the universe was caused by something. Calling that cause “God” might (and probably would) cause some disagreement for an atheist, but I’m not sure the disagreement is really warranted until we start trying to say more about that first cause than we absolutely know—namely, that it was the first cause.
Now, from the fact that this first cause brought the universe into existence, I think there are some sort of traditionally “God-like” things that we can say about it, so that we haven’t simply established “a God of the gaps.” I’ll try to go through a couple of the first of those things here.
First, we know that in order to establish any attributes of this first cause, we must establish those things which the cause is NOT as opposed to what it IS. The reason for this is that a cause as mysterious and unfamiliar to us as an unmoved mover is likely to be largely inconceivable by the workings of our finite and error-prone minds.
Moreover, as in the workings of symbolic logic, we naturally come to know things more clearly as a result of establishing their differences from other things. We first establish them as part of a genus, and then establish their differences from other members in that class resulting in a more perfect knowledge of the particular species.
So, in coming to know this God by establishing what he is not, let us first embrace the principle which we have absolutely established about it—that it is unmoved (Incidentally, the Christian’s Bible points to God being unmoved in verses like Numbers 23:19, James 1:17, and Malachi 3:6, but I’ll stay away from things like that in an argument such as this).
From the fact that the first cause is unmoved, we can establish that it is also eternal. Since everything that comes into existence or passes out of existence does so through motion or change, the first cause which we know to be unmoved and unchanging, must not come into or pass out of existence, thus rendering it eternal. Moreover, we only measure things in time according to how much they change over that course of time. Since the first cause does not change at all, we may call it timeless—that is, there is no before or after with that which we have called God.
Finally, and this is the last thing I’ll try to establish about the first cause in this post, is that in the first cause, there is no potential. This is because in all things in which there is some form of passive potency, we say that they “can be” certain ways, and thus that they may also “not be.” But since we have established that God is eternal, it cannot not be. Therefore, there can be no form of potentiality in its being. It is complete in itself, never changing for any reason.
The only thing I’ll say about the theory of an oscillating universe, one that expands and contracts, is that I still don’t think this shows at all that the universe is in an infinite regress. With every expansion and contraction, the level of entropy in the universe increases. Thus, by measuring said entropy, we can trace backwards through smaller and smaller levels, exactly how many times the universe may have gone through such a process. In fact, the physicists that study this have determined via measure of radiation levels in the universe, that if our universe is oscillating, that it has gone through no more than 150 cycles of expansion and contraction. So what set off this process? I’d like to call it God.
one can have ethics without a religion or belief in god
yes they can BUT it is not the level of ethics that God wants. Often we banter about ethics and morals, whether they come from God or not.
Gods morality and ethics come from God
mans morality and ethics come from themselves.
God is not concerned with man ethics or morality
God is concerned with Gods standards or ethics and morality.
Are these the "ethics" you are talking about?
"I will sweep away everything in all your land," says the LORD. "I will sweep away both people and animals alike. Even the birds of the air and the fish in the sea will die. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, along with the rest of humanity," says the LORD. "I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship. I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests, so that even the memory of them will disappear. For they go up to their roofs and bow to the sun, moon, and stars. They claim to follow the LORD, but then they worship Molech, too. So now I will destroy them! And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the LORD's guidance or seek my blessings." (Zephaniah 1:2-6 NLT)
Nasty and psychotic don't you think?
morals are not necessarily ethical. Morals are a set of rules prescribed by religion, including in the bible (because there are such stupid rules in there like killing people)
Yes there is good and evil; moral is what the Creator-God has commanded human beings to do.
We must love the Creator-God who is all love and mercy for the human beings.
The Creator-God does exist and I believe in Him.
Jesus was not god or son of god.
moral law is what people have determined to be right or wrong over the length of our existence. 10,000 years ago, i'm betting that murder was still considered wrong. the incas believed in many gods but they still had morals. it isn't about some god, it's called common sense.
well you cant really call the incas moral then or full of common sense. You should read up on what these human blood drinkers did on a daily basis before you go saying that X,000 years ago murder was still considered wrong.
Murder was considered right through much of society if:
1)there was enough money in it
2) she was pretty enough and abused by her husband
3) if one did not get caught.
Morality is subjective, but having a non-existant entity dictate the level of your morality suggests a more severe problem than creating your own moral boundaries.
Yes I think there is good and evil. Yes morality exists. I do love.
Love is simply our need to make other people or even things part of us. A big part of it is empathy.
We all perceive doing intentional harm as evil.
Morality decreed by a god is a decree, not morality. Morality is an objective good. Is it right to take what is not yours? Of course it isn't. Why not? Because it brings real harm. If you take from someone, they can no longer use what you took. At times this hits home if it a persons rent money or a drug they need to survive. There are degrees of harm that are done to the victims, of course. Which is why we judge an act in accordance to the specific scenario involved, and no longer cut people's hands off for taking a loaf of read to feed their starving family.
But immoral acts escalate and end up hurting some times many people.
Someone mentioned adultery. Is it a crime that does not hurt society? Hardly. It effects kids and how they grow up, it effects the spouses of the people that do it. They feel betrayed and often their trust is stolen from them. And if disease comes from it it can effect hundreds of people.
If there was no disease involved, if people didn't care about fidelity, If people make an agreement that they will sleep with other people, if no one was harmed in any way, it would not be immoral. But as long as people are who they are it is. Because immorality is doing intentional harm.
Others have touched on the idea that morality is natural, and it is. Not only does being immoral hurt others, it hurts you. You bring consequences upon yourself that are usually negative. The thief or murderer on the run knows that there are consequences if they are caught. That may not deter them but it means they have to watch their back. How can you live a stable happy life on the run? And if you are caught, you have to pay.
So morality is cause and effect. More so than any god, cause and effect demands morality or your life will be hell. It's natural. How can you expect to live a secure and happy life when you bring conflict upon yourself and others?
I want to live a happy and secure life. So I don't take what is not mine, I don't cheat on my wife, and I don't harm anyone for gain or revenge or any other intent. I'm selfish that way.
Again, and some will know I did a hub on this subject, but how can I justify hurting others when I do not want to be hurt? The consequences of hurting others is being hurt yourself. So it is a very selfish thing to be moral. It is a contract or understanding. I will not hurt you if you do not hurt me. It's the oldest social contract in history. Do unto others as you would they do unto you.
Not originated by Jesus or the Christian god. This phrase is said in a hundred different ways by almost every ancient culture of the world from ancient Sumeria to China.
No god is required for morality to exist. Again, morality can not be decreed.
Those who think it can don't know what it means.
Oh. And why do I believe there is no god? I don't. I just don't believe there is one. There is a difference. I do not actively believe there is no god. I don't know and I know full well no one else does either, no matter how much they claim it lives in their heart or where ever else. To say one knows for certain a god exists is a lie. But to say with certainty that you know one does not exist is a lie as well.
There are probably in excess of 4000 gods to choose from. Don't forget, you lack belief in only 1 less than an atheist does.
So why do I lack belief in your god? Because there is no evidence of it. I lack belief about big foot in the same way. It may exist, it may not. Until we catch one no one will know for sure. Why believe in something speculative?
Do you believe there are invisible pink squirrels living in my attic? Can you prove they don't? No. Can I prove they do? No. But no one can know until they are found.
You can always falsify a claim if you find one instance that contradicts it. You can prove ravens are not all black the day you see a white one. But until you do, there is no proof either way that all ravens are black, and there is no proof that they are not. Your god is in the same situation. Until it shows up, you can't know it exists.
So you are on the better end of things. Show me just one god, and I won't be able to be an atheist anymore. You have over 4000 to choose from. Can you prove even one?
Until someone can, lacking belief in them is my only rational option. Should probably be yours too, but each to their own.
Right and wrong are subjective. If there is such a thing as gods moral law then you must agree that it is right to stone a rape victim to death for not crying out in a public place. You agree that it is right to kill anyone who tries to lead you away from god.
I know that these things are wrong because I have my own morals.
I dont get them from a book that is full of such hatefull nonsense.
"I know that these things are wrong because I have my own morals."
If your way is correct, and right and wrong is relative, who says "your morals" are any better than someone else's? Book or no book!
You can't be serious!
And you come on these forums with such condescension! Is that right? Or is that (morally) wrong?
Obviously your morals allow for it.
I think your argument probably held some water hundreds of years ago. When people were still uncivilized. I believe the evolution of our way of thinking and our culture has led to the point that we can, as a society, come to conclusions as to what is moral, by simply using good judgement. What is morality other than living together peacefully and making decisions that are in the best interests of you, your fellow man and the planet? It is possible, now, to do this with out what is perceived as Divine guidance. I don't think love of God or spirituality is necessary in this process for everybody and professed faith has been shown to be a hindrance to some in making moral decisions.
What is 'civilized'? Webster's defines it as: enlightened, refined, humanized.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but I don't believe the world today can be considered anymore civilized than it was hundreds of years ago. The only real difference between life from then til today is the technological advancement.
I agree and while some technology is great ,I dont see how its advanced the Earth at all.
There's no such thing as advancing the Earth. Earth will do what it's supposed to do no matter what humans do.
For the main parts thats true ,but I also think we as humans have aged the Earth,abused the environment prematurely, through our greed and total disregard for the planet as a whole.
Most of the oceans are polluted.
Landfills overflowing or being shipped and dumped in the ocean.
Gas ,emissions filling the skies..
Oh I could go on ,but Im sure you get my point.
It means nothing though from a purely planetary perspective. The earth is 4.5 billion years old and we've been a species for around 0.003% of this time - and only polluting on an industrial scale for around 200 years of this.
We haven't even scratched the surface!
We haven't even scratched the surface!
omg!! This makes it sound like we should do more! As in, "do as much damage as you possibly can because it doesn't matter anyway!"
Haha, no that's not what I'm saying at all. But the thread began by talking about the earth from a purely plantetary perspective. I just think that we rather overstate our influence upon the world from this perspective.
As Hawking said; "the human race is just a chemical scum on the surface of a moderately sized planet, on the edge of a moderately sized galaxy." In a sense, even this emphasis is wrong, because where we live in the universe is fairly atypical.
comes from the attitude that humans think they have the right to dominate over the earth & everything on it
You cannot be serious. It is not those supporting the stance of the church who fought for the end of segregation, or equality. It is not the religious right who believes in the compassionate care of the poor.
I'm not saying the world is compassionate or moral, but developed nations have raised the level of the education of their societies to the point that their citizens are perfectly capable of answering the question of what appropriate behavior might be from a moral stand point. In my opinion.
And don't even get me started on the church's stance on the environment.
Abuse, rape, incest, humiliation for the sake of humiliating someone, bullying, discrimination, wealth distribution - need I continue?
How about picking on people for being different? Because they're gay, extra tall or short, overweight, too skinny, "ugly", have freckles, don't meet the "standard" set by society, believe in God (or not), or simply because they have a disability and are unlikely to stand up for themselves.
When these issues are gone then humans can be considered civilized.
These issues have been around since the dawn of time. We realize today that they are wrong. In previous ages they not only continued unchecked, but were sometimes encouraged. I do not contend that society is perfect. What I believe is that we are capable of seeing right and wrong and making decisions on how to act using our brains. People act in accordance with their conscience. This does not reflect a habit of checking to make sure it is in accordance with the teaching by any religion. It is in accordance with what they believe to be fair.
and so it has always been. the world is no more civilized today than it was a couple hundred years ago, because people are people and people never change. the only thing that has changed are laws and a few attitudes, and yet, the same uncivilized behaviors continue....
I think it can. But not by much. Evolution is slow and we are barely out of the trees. The bible thinks nothing of slavery, and we don't think that's moral anymore. Human sacrifices were done for thousands of years and yet people even 5000 years ago started thinking they were immoral. Now no one thinks it moral anymore. Genocide was thought to be normal. Leave no one so you don't get kids growing up wanting to go after you and start another war. Now we think it is disgusting and immoral. We are even making international laws against it.
Yes, people still kill and rape and hurt others in unspeakable ways. But on the whole our morality has improved. We are more civil and more civilized. But you are right, we are not fully civilized yet.
You talked about people hating gays and anyone different. That's true. But look around. All over the world the "other" people are moving in next door. The strangers or the past are no longer strange.
When I was a kid I didn't go to school with anyone that was not from white European decent. I didn't see a black person until I was in high school. He was strange. A novelty. Someone to be a little scared of. Now the streets are full of people from all over the world. They are our friends. My kids went to school with every type of face in the world.
In Canada gays can marry. It was the 1970s before they were legal, thanks to our PM at the time who said "the government has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." Do gays still get beat up? Yes. But it happens far less often than it did. And now there are laws against it. Hate crimes are not tolerated in Canada. The people themselves are outraged when it happens. That's progress.
No, the world isn't perfect and may never be. People will hurt others thinking they can get away with it. But eventually more and more people will see that they are also hurting themselves.
I think the rational, logical mind will develop in the human race over time. I'd like to say we will see in a few thousand years, but neither of us will be here by then.
But we have not done with evolving. It's an on going and slow painful process. But if we survive long enough as a species, we might make it to civilized after all.
That's exactly what I'm talking about - Thousands of years, maybe, but not hundreds. Except, I have to ask, do you really think nobody in existence opposed to slavery or sacrifices way back then? Not every society accepted these behaviors....
Slaves didn't like it but when they got into power they had slaves. Certainly there were people against slavery and cultures that didn't practice it but they were few and far between. China had them, Japan had them, the Jews had them, the Sumerians had them. The reason Christians were persecuted by Rome was because they roused the slaves to revolt. No other reason. Except when Nero blamed them for burning Rome when he actually did it himself.
The Jews and Romans got along so it wasn't because the Christians only believed in one god. The Aztec had slaves. It was common. Now it is outlawed. What a change. Still happens though.
The way I look at it is that when you are traveling between NY and LA, you are where you are until you get there. It takes time. But you will get there. Same with the evolution of morality.
Truthful, logical and sane comment. How did this manage to get in to the religious forums? I'm in deep shock!
"Curious" made just 1 mistake in that comment i.e.
"I think your argument probably held some water hundreds of years ago. When people were still uncivilized."
I define "civilized" as Showing evidence of moral and intellectual advancement; humane, ethical, and reasonable.
I also define "civil" as sufficiently observing or befitting accepted social usages; not rude.
When has man become a "civil/civilized" creature?
Not since he has become "modern man!"
Now, if "curious" means when he says "civilization," an advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the extensive use of record-keeping, including writing, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions, I can understand his approach.
"MAN" IS NOT A CIVIL CREATURE!
He is a genetic predator preparing, every moment of every day, to destroy himself and most life on this planet!
How depressing. I'm not sure you're right, though it may be a matter of semantics.
I think that we are civilised by virtue of the fact we invented the word and now apply it to ourselves! We fit the bill pretty well, high state of level of culture, social development and technology etc.
Are we really destroying all life on the planet?
Either way, the concept that we had no morals before we became "civilised" is erroneous. It does a bit of a diservice to our stone-age forebears given that they survived the first 200,000 years of our existence.
If a conscious, semi-intelligent species of life has spent the greatest portion of it's existence trying to destroy others of it's kind and continues to do it with the intent of doing it more efficiently and without compunction, I have a very hard time defining that activity as being "civil."
I didn't intimate that we are "...really destroying all life on the planet?"
I said we are preparing, each and every day of our existence, to destroy ourselves without compunction...and we, most certainly, are!
Actually you didn't smell anything. You did manage to read his words properly. Qwark is Hubpages' resident pessimist.
Pessimism based on fact.
Convince me otherwise.
No need to..
Not my place to hinder your choice of being miserable.
All my best..
Hahaha..I have a wonderful life!
Miserable? Naw! I'm just a pragmatic realist watching my human brothers rapidly slipping, sliding into a morass of deadly activity that will surely result in creating a new direction of evolution for all life on this planet.
Yes I am very aware of pragmatism. It relates to relativity, which is a failure of an explanation.
Relativity and SR actually lead to the point of Light being the ultimate of things known as it is constant. God says I am light. Light is constant. God is constant. Meaning He is the source from which all originate. Everything is based from Him which is the origin, meaning the theory doesn't apply to Him. He transcends time, as does light. Jesus said, I am the light of the world.
Enlightenment? yep! To him who believes in fairytales.
I'll tell ya another one that will really enlighten ya: "Alice in Wonderland"...and its'a helluva lot more fun to read.
Ya can get it on line!
I'm a fan of the three bears story myself.
Both Alice and the three bears are a lot more feasible than a tale about an invisible fairy who "saves" the extremely gullible, while the rest of us rot in hell because we don't run exactly the same script.
Oh yes, Earn, I've read all those "fairytales" (including the bible) and found them "ALL" to be entertaining when I was "intellectually immature."
But'cha know what? When I was young and dumb and fulla **m, the "majority" led me to believe in a divine "superman!"
A few years later when I "grew up," I did my homework and put all my "ducks-in-a-row."
Suddenly, there was a loud clap of thunder, the skies cleared, and I looked to the heavens!
I found nothing but blue sky and fresh air! I felt a new sense of freedom! the shackles of fear, punishment and reward were removed from my life and I, Alice, the 3 bears, Santa Claus, the toothfairy, jesus christ and the biblical god danced, sang and praised the eternal powers of new found enlightenment!
Now wasn't that a wonderful story? You see, TRUTH IS MORE ENTERTAINING THAN FICTION!
Hahahahahaha.....I feel much better now and the coffees perked!
I'm gonna sit back and watch Qaddafhi earn his martydom.!
Have a great day Earn!
Did someone mention popcorn -can I join in
Hey qwark, you're an intuitive woman. That was exactly what I meant. I realize man is still a savage in many respects.
Why do you believe there is one? It seems that in 2,000 years not one single prayer documented to have been answered out of the billions of prayers every day, a god is an invisible entity who killed himself through his son to appease himself because he made a bad being? That sounds more like bronze aged myth than something to believe in.
Still ranting on that old topic are ya. I thought after a 4 month ban you might have given some thought to all your nonsensical arguments and perhaps decided that playing with grandchildren was more important. Wouldn't that be the moral epitome? But i see you are back and just promoting the same old crap again. Whoopee
You claimed to be a catholic prior to your ban and since coming back you state that you were a born again christian, hmmm, contradiction
You say that contradictions in the bible occur and when proved wrong have not the backbone to stand up and apologize.
No morals, none.
You are aware that if you pray for material gain or for reasons of pride or if your prayers are to another entity, like mary or some saint, God will not answer them.
If you are a stranger to God, as i am certain most catholics are: God will only seek to draw you out of that religion, not to bless your favorite saint.
If you continue to crucify Jesus afresh daily you will never receive an answer to a prayer because what you judge with will be judged back to you.
So to hear you claim that no prayers have ever been answered is a huge laugh, a mountainous laugh.
Not really worthy of reply, but I will anyway. Your attempt at personal character assassination is baseless as anyone who knows me will attest. I changed religions then got over it all altogether. Was it you who got me banned? As for praying for personal gain, again displays to all that you don't know me at all.
The gods live in the basolateral complexes of the amygdalae
Am I searching in the right area ?
Among these nuclei are the basolateral complex, the cortical nucleus, the medial nucleus, ..... Two people arguing about the existence of God. ... found species that live in larger and more complex social groups have bigger amygdalas.
For the record I respect Science, (dont know many Christians who dont), and if I understood that stuff above ,wow how could ya not marvel at the intricacies,detail,fine tuning etc etc.
Yep you are in the right spot. I have been fascinated by the brain, particularly brain chemistry since I tried drugs in the sixties.
The effects of MDMA are a bit interesting, as in my experience religion is replaced with an inner knowing of that aspect of self. The results were that at many parties I attended people loved each other.
I also saw that "believers" had a different outlook after taking this drug.
MDMA and MMDA had been used in early psychotherapy with great results, then came the war on drugs. I have kept studying it and psychology all these years since.
Oh Im sure there was heaps of 'lovin'
Can you expand on how 'believers' reacted differenty?,Im curious.
Definately you have written food for thought, and my middle son is in his 3rd year at Uni learning weird n wonderful things ,all to do with Psychology and the brain.
( He even has a picture of the brain (?) dissected on his Facebook page....hmmm)
Oh there is much to think and say,but alas my cortex is screaming for chocolate
I need chocolate myself! It has a good effect on me and is one of my favorite foods.
The change that took place was the usual one. A huge drop in fears they never knew they had, and a feeling of empathy.
I have seen religious believers dump what they believed after taking one dose of MDMA. The subconscious fear of dying seems to get disconnected for a while. (only about 90 minutes.)
and 30 yrs in the bible and ya see where that got him
I am amazed at what replaces God. People who have never experienced a relationship with jesus always replace God with something else. Thats because God, not having been experienced, is not real to them.
The reason Jesus came was to have a relationship with people. God is completely real to me. Sometimes the things i have to do to clean up my life hurt my flesh and make me feel uneasy but thats part of the parcel. The work of Gods spirit should never be confused with devilry or mind altering drugs.
God says not to use mind altering drugs because they will alter your mind. Be sober and vigilant.
God is not replaced by drugs but the human being will turn to drugs as a crutch that only God can replace.
Human inclination is to take the path of least resistance.
fine tuning....hmmm....like cancer, allergies, autoimmune diseases, crappy eyesight, bung knees...
If I say God lives in my heart, one might respond with ,that is all in your imagination.
Could it not also be said ,That ones disbelief is imagined also?
With due respect, I don't think that's how it works Eaglekiwi I see it as I stated, but I will add that many people religious or not seem to have "god" in their hearts. Some people are happy and have a good strong connection with the positive "god" of self.
I believe that religion is a response to fear triggered in the flight or fight response which has no connection with reasoning, but a strong connection with the "lizard brain" at the top of our spinal column.
Yes! Eaglekiwi, I agree with you totally!! (disbelief is in the imagination! lol)
how can an invisible superbeing live in hearts?
well, if you're human, your heart is made of muscle tissue & pumps blood around your body
Your defination is only a biological one.
I am made of more
oh, so you have a metaphorical heart? So does that make god a metaphor too?
No I dont have a metaphorical heart,so no that doesnt make God a metaphor.
God is real.
Eaglekiwi, Exactly. God is living in the hearts of believers because he is a spirit.
So - not an actual entity then? Why the need to fight and argue and try to force your ridiculous beliefs on others in that case? Now you admit this is simply a concept that is only alive in your "heart"?
No Mark, very good at swindling those who don't know from the right idea.
God is an entity. Omnipresent. But He especially lives within those who serve Him because He helps them.
He lives in our hearts as in our relationship with Him. He speaks to us through our hearts... Obviously He doesn't speak to others, as they don't listen to Him. They tell Him He isn't there simply because He won't give them a sound to focus on.
And she never once mentioned the word 'only.'
So, when did our hearts take on extra duties over and above pumping blood? You have made it out to be a house and a set of ears.
Any other amazing demeaning words you forgot?
atheists are dead from the feet up apparently.
Cant believe that feelings and intense emotions are stored in vital organs and hearts.
Concrete pillars of lead stone who believe in nothing.... thank God i am a christian and not an atheist.
vector, God bless you. You summed it up quite well.
I gather all my morals from the Bible. I don't eat any pork or shellfish and the food I do eat is prepared by my army of slaves. I do not allow a woman to teach or have authority over myself or any of my sons, one of whom I stoned to death this morning for back-chatting me.
Need I go on?
yes, you should Superwags, because you forgot that Jesus, the epitome of morality, taught that if your slave disobeys you but didn't know they were doing it , you should beat him less severely than the slave who willfully disobeyed you.
Also, importantly, if your daughter is raped, please do not worry about her. If the rapist pays you 5o silver pieces, she gets to marry him (lucky, lucky girl). But at least, she is not stoned to death like the rape victim who was raped inside the city but did not cry out for help.
and Deuteronomy 22:23-24
What would we do without the 'good book'?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr1I3mBo … BC613E8C4D
Praise the Lord! What would we do without His moral guidance?!
I apologize for disagreeing, but Jesus was not advocating, or demanding, the beating of slaves. The passage is an illustration only to show a person that they must live to the highest standard of their understanding of their duty. This passage does not reference beating in the New Living Translation. I wouldn't argue the insanity of any text in the Old Testament by our standards today.
I know JustCurious, it's a "parable" involving slaves. But here's my problem..
Say I'm the supreme, all-powerful creator of the universe. I think I could make my point without referencing slaves AT ALL.
Further, I would use this opportunity, with my audience to say
Oh, I forgot the commandment "Thou shall not OWN another person, ever", by the way.
The apologists' explanation that it's a "just a parable" about beating or punishing slaves or whatever version you choose to 'accept'does not make it any more palatable to me. It references owning another human. And, yes, the apologists will come back with it wasn't really 'ownership', it was paying off debts -- whatever, I don't buy that, either. It's all sugar-coated now that our collective morals have changed to where slave-ownership is unacceptable. The bible is being rewritten/reinterpreted to make it more acceptable to people who KNOW right from wrong IN SPITE OF, not BECAUSE of the bible.
Oh, and you don't have to apologize for disagreeing. I'm happy to prove you wrong with my superior logic Just kidding, JustCurious (sort of).
Did you watch the video? It's quite genius and pokes good fun at the Old T.
Nice to 'see' you again J.C. (love those initials for you)
I am a slave to my employer and the IRS, and probably a few others.
you get paid by your employer, so you are not a slave
I am not advocating slavery and neither did Jesus.
But its what was happening all over the Middle East ,then the UK, finally Amercia.
Surely you dont think God made all those people all create those laws.
Jesus was not lying ,but trying to teach the people using current examples of their everyday environment-slavery was one of them.
All I know is God knows best. Last thing I want to do is show up at His door telling Him it's all His fault. I'll admit, I fear God. Planets can crush things...
You should not let a sorceress live. Exodus 22:17 NAB
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." Leviticus 20:13 NAB
"If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death." Leviticus 20:10 NLT
"Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed." Exodus 22:19 NAB
"They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman." 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB
I'm sure you'll appreciate the last verse.
More "Send the disobedient to me." versus? I love them. You still think they cease to exist or something? These people were brought "out" of slavery by God. With wonderful miracles that saved their hides.
Oh, and the last one... I love it. Idolatry... Got to hate it. I would certainly tell them to send the disobedient to me if I gave them every scrap of life and pleasure they had and saved them from slavery just for them to praise some "other" non-existent god or material thing for all the wonderful things I done for them. I don't find it out of place at all.
Hey, you just keep posting them up there. I'm sure you'll convince everyone soon. Not like hundreds of people seeing the same God could be right anyhow right?
Then your a slave to money. That sum it up for you?
To set the record straight, it is not my intent to apologize for the behavior of the society during the rule of the roman empire. I don't know why I would be expected to apologize. I was simply staying that to take something out of context, in an attempt to twist the intent lacks integrity.
Now that you have stated your stand, you have cleared up this problem.
It was this kind of ambiguity which allowed the slave trade to continue with the church's blessings for hundreds of years.
If people think that morality is meant to be written in stone and applied from the times where watching people fight to the death in arenas was considered fun, then they shouldn't come lecturing people on how to achieve an understanding of right and wrong.
p.s. I don't aim that at you, but the original poster.
No wags. This was not ambiguity. This was simply a reflection of the society Jesus walked in. It was not within the power of a Jewish teacher to change Roman laws. Unless someone knows something about history that I am not aware of.
His message was to the individual. And there is no message to the individual to beat another. To take something out of context is as dishonest as the fundamentalists are being. In my opinion.
And...how do you know your interpretation of the "context" is more correct than mine or the fundies, anyway?
It is not interpretation on this point. It is simply reading the whole thing. You are bright enough to know this. I believe. You cannot argue a lie with any integrity. Sorry.
What is the lie? That Jesus talked about slaves? That he talked about beating them? That he is widely perceived to be one-and-the-same God that made the OT rules? That Jesus/God is perceived and proclaimed (in this very thread) by many people to be the best guide for morality?
Which of those is a lie?
The lie, as I so see it, is the ommission of simple facts. If you were to look up a course of treatment for a patient and follow half of the suggested course, but not the whole, I wonder if you would feel that you had done your best.
You have the right to believe anything you want. You have the obligation to show integrity when standing up for that right. At the least, this is how I believe it should be. But hey, I don't have the power to change the world; so it is simply my opinion.
What simple fact am I ommitting? If it's simple, quit referring to it in the abstract and tell me what it is, please?
I'm really confused at this point. Did you read my post where I said I realized that this 'lesson' was supposed to be a parable (in some interpretations), but that I still had a problem with it?
And to continue to call me a liar and attack my 'integrity' because my interpretation is different from yours? really?
I believe, after you posted your complete explanation as to what your reservations were, I responded that you had sufficiently backed up your reasons for discomfort.
But I stand behind my statement that if one is going to attack something, it is necessary to attack it in its entirety and not cut and paste a portion of a thought, thereby twisting its intent. I apologize if you find this offensive.
I could not agree more. So should we then address the Bible in its entirety? I would be happy to "attack it in its entirety", but every time someone does that, you or someone else jump in with, "...but that's the Old Testament, so it doesn't count" or "...but that story is a metaphor, not to be taken as a real event". But some of the other stuff, that really happened..."
Or, if it's not to be taken as whole, then which portions should we 'cut and paste' to believe/disbelieve? and without 'twisting its intent?" How do we know the intent? It's up to interpretation, thus the many, many ways that people use these 'lessons' to support whatever belief they already have or their personal goal at the time.
Do you see how this is a problem for me?
Why does any one person (you or me) get to decide which portions are its 'entirety'? If I can't, then you can't either.
Also, importantly, if your daughter is raped, please do not worry about her. If the rapist pays you 5o silver pieces, she gets to marry him (lucky, lucky girl). But at least, she is not stoned to death like the rape victim who was raped inside the city but did not cry out for help.
and Deuteronomy 22:23-24
ignorant and unlearned savage.
the reason for the payment and the marriage is because the woman having her virginity ruined is unfit for marriage. Virginity is a special item that the woman carries with her into the bedroom on wedding night and if it is not there, then cause for divorce is prevalent. If you think the rapist got off easy, try living with her relatives after you raped their daughter... lol
I wish people would stop spouting off about the bible when they know not even the basics.
haha..for a minute there, I thought you were actually DEFENDING this practice because the rapist ruined her, he was now saving her since she would otherwise be unmarry-able.
Then I realized it had to be a joke. A breath of fresh air, though, by claiming that this was actually a good thing, rather than the usual apologetics.
...and a woman not being a virgin on her wedding night was not cause for divorce, it was cause for being stoned to death.
"But if this charge is true, and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst." (Deuteronomy 22:20-21)
I wish people would stop spouting off about the bible when they know not even the basics.
Its the Internet
A little bit of Google and everyones an expert
Haha - Eagle...Google can make searching for the exact scripture faster, but many of them are rote from study and discussion and debate over several years with educated apologists.
Ironically, that last sentence was a quote from the original poster about what he/she perceived to be my lack of knowledge about the bible. Just a return volley from me. I don't 'spout'.
No,but I feel you will.
The Earth is not that old btw.
You started Your response with "I'm sorry for disagreeing..." That was why I said that. I was also attempting to be friendly and keep things a bit lighter since you usually seem to be fairly non-abrasive in your replies as well. I guess the context wasn't clear I hate when that happens. It leads to misunderstandings and such...
And you may believe Jesus was a Jewish teacher. Others believe he WAS god, just in flesh and blood, which gives him a lot of 'splainin' to do.
He was both.
Yes that did ,still does upset some Jewish people.
No it gives him NO explaining to do.
jesus started as a teacher
he died as priest
he comes back as king
jesus' 3 offices are progressive.
the fact that he was/is God is correct we just need to remove the taught wrongly catholic doctrine to find the truth in the bible scriptures.
yes, you should Superwags, because you forgot that Jesus, the epitome of morality, taught that if your slave disobeys you but didn't know they were doing it , you should beat him less severely than the slave who willfully disobeyed you.
Below is the correct translation:
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
Note Jesus is preaching on what is already in place. Bit like a President speaking to Senators ( on decisions they already have in place0 or another words-Freedom.
Jesus came to preach/teach and guide NOT dictate and terrorise people into submission
all this reference to beating of slaves...the bible is rather out of date, isn't it?
It's your humanity that you claim is so great which caused slavery. God said love your neighbor as yourself.
People screwed up history, not God. He just wrote a book trying to keep the peace between the ding dongs that screwed the whole idea up.
No god wrote any book, but nice try.
All books in existence were written by man.
Thanks for straightening everyone out and telling them like it is.
They don't deserve opinions anyhow right?
Opinions? Everyone has an opinion on some topic, then again, some people only speak opinions, and some only speak about beliefs, and then again, some people don't bother spreading their opinions or beliefs to others, but do in fact spread learned knowledge and discerned wisdom.
However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. Leviticus 25:44-46
When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. Exodus 21:7-11 NLT
Well, at least one good thing is that you can buy your daughter back and she can't be sold to foreigners.
Hmm, I guess the good thing is we see you like to pick out what you like huh?
Why would anyone like that stuff? It's pure evil, and it comes from the bible, gods word, supposedly.
Notice how it shows that slavery is condoned by your god? So much for your assertion about humanity.
Beezeldad you have shown you misunderstand other scripture ,not lookin good on this one either-sorry, thats reality I guess.
Yeah right, I don't understand the words written there.
...everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death...
You must have some other understanding of the words, "shall be put to death"
That doesnt happen in my neighborhood? and I suspect not yours either.
So, you don't follow the word of your god? Isn't that rather hypocritical?
http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-e … 7439.story
Here's the relevant bit..."According to court documents obtained by NBC10 in Philadelphia, Thomas said he received a message in his prayers that he must end Seidman's life.
Thomas told authorities that he read in the Old Testament that homosexuals should be stoned to death."
Also relevant is the fact that the criminal was the executor of the older man's will. Money seems to be the motive and the bible gives him justification.
I used to live in Philly...my neighborhood...
And to tie in another forum thread. This loony-toon read the bible and did what it said. Is he a true Christian?
Haven't I explained that if God told them that, that death was only sending them to Him?
Is is wrong for God to tell people to follow His rules or to be sent to have a little chat with Him? Sounds just like a Father to me. Those little sit downs always do the young ones a plenty of good.
But of course, to those to whom God doesn't exist. Yes, how unfair...
And don't forget, God proved He existed to these people.. Not to worry, they knew who they were going to see.
Your comment has no meaning for me until you can define this god thing you mention in terms other than opinion...and you can't!
Killing people = sending them to Him.
Killing people = a little chat with Him.
And, you were there to see it.
"Well, at least one good thing is that you can buy your daughter back and she can't be sold to foreigners."
Well, I can assure you Christ Jesus doesn't endorse slavery, and since you brought up the touchy subject I figured I'd give everybody curious some interesting reading.
Lots of good info there, you guys dig in...
A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master (Matt. 10:24)
Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. (Matt. 24:45-46)
Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. (1Tim. 6:1-5)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Eph. 6:5-6)
Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior. (Titus 2:9-10)
Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval. (1Pet. 2:18-29)
The slave should be resigned to his lot, in obeying his master he is obeying God... (Saint John Chrysostom)
...slavery is now penal in character and planned by that law which commands the preservation of the natural order and forbids disturbance. (Saint Augustine)
The Freedom which Christianity gives, is a Freedom from the Bondage of Sin and Satan, and from the Dominion of Men's Lusts and Passions and inordinate Desires; but as to their outward Condition, whatever that was before, whether bond or free, their being baptized, and becoming Christians, makes no manner of Change in it. (Edmund Gibson, Anglican Bishop)
...when southern clergy became ardent defenders of slavery, the master class could look upon organized religion as an ally ...the gospel, instead of becoming a mean of creating trouble and strive, was really the best instrument to preserve peace and good conduct among the negroes. (Kenneth Stamp on Christianity adding value to slaves)
There is much more, shall I go on?
Certainly. I wouldn't want anyone here to think they couldn't click a link. I posted just for that purpose. Go on and pick out what you like. Enjoy.
How can anyone like that garbage? It's pure evil. It condones the buying and selling of human beings.
That's gods love for you.
No I don't claim humanism is all that brilliant either, I'm just saying that it is human's that cause the shifting improvment in peoples' morals, not holy scripture.
You are exactly right. The scripture has been used at every turn to fight the movement toward equality for the races, for the sexes, and now they're beating the homosexuals up with it. As long as they twist them for hatred they hurt us all.
slaves back then is equal to servants today.. servants the rich can afford, like a maid and a butler. We can have those to, if we pay for them.
back then people were sold into slavery to pay off debts that the family might want to purchase or slaves were taken in wars. Some slaves were good and some were bad. Since one could not take a slave to court and sue them or return them previous to the fulfillment of the debt or just let them go free.. one had to make them do their chores.. beating was the only way... if they were inclined to be stubborn. Different times, different ways.
also God instituted jubilee years every 49th year the next year was to be a year of setting the slaves and captives free. This was so people were not enslaved their whole lifetimes.
No, they were never equal as there were paid servants back then, too. Slaves are slaves, by definition.
How very sad it is for believers to defend their gods righteousness for the buying and selling of humans. Did your god actually make slaves for others to buy?
Gosh, what a loving and thoughtful god, create slaves to live out their lives in utter despair allowing the odd one here and there to be set free.
"All men lose when they die and all men die.
But a slave and a free man lose different things.
They both lose life.
When a free man dies, he loses the pleasure of life.
A slave loses his pain.
Death is the only freedom a slave knows.
That's why he's not afraid of it.
That's why we'll win."
Ah, but you see the point I was making is that this is not applicable to the modern world by and large. There are plenty of edorsements of slavery right the way through the bible.
You can't base your morals on an iron age document because that way madness lies. Any book would be the same because it's outdated the second it's written. Morals and attitudes have shifted massively since the time the bible was written. It is utterly obselete now.
Hi wags. You are exactly correct. (sorry to butt in). Anyone using this text, as written, for guidance can easily fall into an archaic trap if they don't use the lessons history has taught us, the compassion we were meant to develop and their brain to see what is fair and right. The world has changed. For the better in many more respects than not.
So why bother with the bible anymore if we've moved on? Or religion?
I agree. Religion as an institution is outdated and counter productive in many ways, but I do know people that show a need for a firm, guiding hand. For some bizarre reason, they can't make moral decisions for themselves without some type of reward/punishment system in place beyond the laws we have. I doesn't know, maybe we do need to find some replacement.
I think we generally have, to be honest. I find it very bizarre that in modern, rich societies people still need this crutch.
I don't know that it so bizarre. My general observation has been that church is a social club. People go where they think they should be seen, or where they enjoy the atmosphere. There does not appear to be a search for spirituality. But, there are those who do stop drinking and driving, who step away from drugs, who stop doing a lot of things you would have expected them to know better than to do in the first place.
I don't know that we have an alternative system in place for these people. You couldn't pay me to step inside a church, but I'm comfortable enough with who I am to believe I have no need for what they offer.
I get it in a sense for non-indigenous people - this is the only catergory of people my age in my country who still have any kind of a belief in god(s). But there are other ways of meeting people nowadays, it doesn't have to be underpinned with something that I suspect many people don't believe in anyway.
I can see how social norms persist - my siblings and I were christened despite the fact my parents are probably less religious than me. Actually I think the term ignostic fits better with them.
I'll be subjected to even more weirdness when I get married as my partner is Sikh!
Cool. My husband and I took an online quiz to see where our philosophies lined up. His came back Sikh. He was horrified, but he was raised in a Bible thumping environment. It's been a challenge to argue with him that it's all bogus. He calls me a heretic when I tell him what I think, and I only tell him the half of it.
I do honestly believe we are slowly moving away from the organized church, but it will take a few more generations to see its demise here in America. We just have to raise our children with our skepticism, and let them build on it. It will eventually run its course.
Yeah, I think it'll probably peter out in time. Having said that, I don't doubt that something else will probably rush in and fill the gap.
When I refer to her as Sikh, she is in a cultural sense rather than a real believer in god and the scriptures etc. Though it seems a generally more relaxed religion. It still doesn't stop it from being abused.
I find religions fascinating generally. Cargo cults in the south pacific are my absolute favourites at the moment. I recently wrote a hub on John Frum - if you're interested. Kind of funny, naive and sad all rolled into one!
quiz sounds interesting - do you have a link?
No. sorry. That was a year or two ago. I just googled it and there are quite a few quizzes available. They're hilarious. my results said I'd be comfortable with Quakers. I looked up the website of a local church. They're cool. You go in, sit and meditate for an hour and then have cookies. No service. I thought about going, but it occurred to me I'd be a whole lot more comfortable meditating in pjs with coffee. So I never got around to trying it out.
recent stats shows that crime rate are far lesser in religiously non inclined countries than religious countries which shows that morality ,ethics and religion are two different things...yes religion tries to promote morality but that makes sense only as long as fear exist...true test of ethics would be eliminate premise of judgment day , hell , reward like heaven to see how much people still remain ethical...that would be true triumph of humans as race...
Who is 'not believing' what?
What is god?
If it is a creator you mean, there is no rational explanation for such a thing, so don't accept your(anybody's) claim.
Moral law giver?
Every humans(why, even lions, in fact all animals that live as a group), have a sense of morality. Its part of evolution which is based on a sense of general well being. Without that the group will get extinct! No need of any law giver there...
It is a complete myth that we cannot have morality without God / religion. Sadly, too many people believe it. They then assume that any non-believer, or doubter, is full of sin ~ and basking in that sin.
I dont assume that.
What I do assume is that you have made a choice. Sometimes Im curious how you or any one comes to that decision ,but I dont lose sleep over it.
That's why humanity is still letting millions die from lack of food? Because humanity can be moral without God?
Without one person to guide the body of humanity, they will follow their own desires. Of course their are people who still have morals, but without a single voice to follow then not all people will agree, hence the starvation and genocides which so many claim are caused by Christianity. (Beelzedad)
The truth is no matter what you bring up in the Old Testament of the Bible you cannot justify yourselves as a human race, maybe try to justify yourself but even then your morals lack at one point or another by someone else's definition. And what does that lead to? Oh yeah, disagreement, which is the beginning of the cause of wars. When people agree there is no fighting, when they don't it DOES escalate and anyone can deny it but they are wrong. Watch the news... You'll see something that happened on a large scale of which began as a simple disagreement on a idea between two people.
Atheist's please feel free to jump on the opportunity. I won't argue back I promise you can have the last word...
You are free to deny the atrocities and genocides committed by Christianity in the name of Jesus. That isn't anything new.
If humanity could be ethical without God there would not be people dying unnecessarily every day from malnutrition, while loaded men die with bank accounts large enough to feed the entire world for 12 years.
Of course the athiest will say that 'we can't control them' or something to the effect, the bottom line is that if we listen to 'our creator' then we would love one another and everyone would be equal.
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Apparently we can't accomplish this on our own, so God sent Christ Jesus to try to tell us. And they still don't listen. So much for human ethics.
Love you all..
The thing is, Daniel, mankind doesn't seem to be able to accomplish this, even ~ supposedly ~ with the help of God / Jesus.
And I am not talking about atheists, agnostics, etc, I am talking about Christians, who have carried out some horrific atrocities ~ as well as more minor unpleasantness.
As for setting a good example, the Bible is full of terrible atrocities, carried out, supposedly, in the name of God or on his orders. (The slaughter of innocent Amalekites, for example)
Wrong again. Those that carry out your "atrocities" are NOT true followers of my God. Maybe they thought they were, or maybe they misused His name, but assuredly let me insist that God knows the evil from the good. And not to mention, with all the liars in the world you guys actually think there aren't bound to be some people misrepresenting God for self gain? Seriously?
And with the help of God we certainly could have accomplished this. The problem is people telling God He doesn't exist, or to shove off. Then guess what, separate moral guidelines for separate cultures. Then disagreement... Then war.... (Pride ensures that they don't back down)
God is not responsible for people who will not listen.
And as for the atrocities you claim God enacted. Well, I can't tell you His purposes, but can assure you that they didn't just cease to exist. They went to see Him. So how again is it so evil to bring those you create to talk to you personally I ask? And also, how are you aware they were innocent? I'm guessing you read a diary or something maybe? By the way... We have all disobeyed God at least once in our life, so I think you might want to reconsider the innocent thing.
You offer more meaningless "prattle" which is entertaining to read.
I try to understand the kind of mind mind that can produce such highly imaginative and entertaining garble. :
No one can establish the standards of what is right. Only the creator of all reality can do that. The human mind isn't automatically equipped with morals. Jeremiah 10:23, Proverbs 20:24. God's word is the only moral way of living whether one choose to do so or not. The bible serves as the operating manual for human behavior. I am not forming my own opinions, but presenting the amazing true facts in the word of God. Some desire to rebel against God's word because they prefer to do things their own way by making up their own morals which is doing the wrong things.
Yes, one must actually use their minds, first.
Thinks we should move to the top of the class -lol
God is certainly very pleased with both of you...
Burble, burble, burble.
Iz the majik god thingy displeezed wiv me? Is it gonna hurt me when I ded?
You got the wrong crowd little buddy.
We still love you. I'm sure the other two agree.
No. You do not. If I feel it as animosity - then it is not love is it? Do you love me enough to tell me what I should be doing? For my own good?
Hey Mr. Knowles, I forgot one thing in my message to you, and since I can't seem to reply to your comment on my own response above, I figured I'd just tack it on here. At the end of your last message you said "No wonder your religion causes so many wars." Who ever said I subscribe to a religion?
You seem to be arguing for the existence of something called "god" - the uncaused cause that "Created" the Universe. This is usually combined with notions of "goodness" and "love" and other such stuff - is this not the case in your case? Is your god the type of god that has no further interaction with its creation and does not welcome some of us back home with open arms when we die?
While I am arguing for the existence of something called god, what I am arguing for is the traditional god of philosophy, not that of any particular religion. The god that I argue for above is simply what I posit to be the unique, unmoved mover that resulted in the universe's beginning to exist. Nothing more, nothing less.
I'll give you, however, that this doesn't necessarily mean that I don't subscribe to a religion. It may very well be that I do. I prefer, however, to keep my religious stance (whether it be theism or atheism) unidentified when I'm attempting an argument like the one above, and thus, I will not disclose it here either.
Most people who believe in an uncaused causes or unmoved mover in your case - tend to belong to a religion.
Either way, I find "majik" to be a useless answer and it invariably causes conflicts.
I often wonder where religionists would get religion from if they do not believe in a religion.
No Mark, you have heard what I would share and you utterly reject it.
I simply love you. Period. Feel however you wish. I still love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. And... I love you.
No animosity. No attempted correction. Your funny sometimes actually.
By the way. I love you..
Please excuse me if I am not impressed by another anonymous religious troll claiming to love me and then telling me I am too stupid to make rational choices.
"telling me I am too stupid to make rational choices."
I never said that. Putting words in people's mouths doesn't make you look any better.
Is There a God?/ Why Do You Believe There Isn't a God
Yes, the Merciful and Kind Creator-God does exist:
[14:11] Their Messengers said, ‘Are you in doubt concerning Allah, Maker of the heavens and the earth? He calls you that He may forgive you your sins, and grant you respite till an appointed term.’ They said, ‘You are but men like ourselves; you desire to turn us away from that which our fathers used to worship. Bring us, then, a clear proof.’
http://www.alislam.org/quran/search2/sh … p;verse=10
I just wanna know why people won't just straightforwardly answer a question without mocking it.
To the Christians, Paarsurrey has quoted a passage from a book that a large portion of humans on earth believe whole-heartedly to be divine from Allah.
Why do you not accept what he has quoted. It's an ancient book that states it's from God and a lot of people believe it. Many, many muslims 'feel' connected to their God and there is no doubt in their mind that they are right. There is much evidence that to them, clearly proves that Allah is at work.
Paar- hello there. There are many Christians here who passionately believe that their book is the only truth, that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. Why not believe them? Their book is also old and claimed to be from God.
When you understand why you reject each other's explanations, you may begin to understand why some of us reject all of them.
I believe in books that tell of the future. The Bible has done this hundreds of times.
Jesus was surely a Messiah but Bible was not written by him or anybody authorised by him. The sinful scribes wrote in Jesus's name whatever came to their siful minds; they were not even eye-witnesses of the event of crucifixion.
Jesus's Second Coming is not physical; it is metaphorical only to recity the wrongs scribes wrote in his name.
I don't reject Jesus; Jesus is part of my faith.
But I'm guessing as a Muslim, you don't believe Jesus is God or is part of God as Christians do. You do not accept Jesus Christ as the one and only savior and path to eternal life, and Christians don't believe Allah is the same God that they worship. You have different books and rules that are part of your religion, right?
My only point was this...
You each have reasons for deciding that the other religion isn't correct. Atheists feel the same way as you do about the 'other' religion. We also feel the same way about your religion, though. ,just disbelieving one more religion than you.
Does that make any more sense?
You are right that we don't believe that Jesus was god or son of god; even Jesus himself didn't believe that he was a Christian; he was a Jew and he believed in only ONE-True-God. He did not believe in Trinity; all these creeds are invented by the cunning Paul and the sinful Church.
We have everything common with truthful Jesus and truthful Moses; and that is what matters most.
Hey Paar, you don't even understand the time frame in which Mohammad lived, so please don't try to understand the time frame in which Jesus lived.
What is wrong with the time frame? Please elaborate.
You lack the knowledge needed to understand where the human brain and mind were at the time that Mohammad lived, just like Christians lack the knowledge in the same area with regards to Jesus.
Whle I am certain "Jesus" was not the mans name, I do agree on a few points.
Paul & Others, wrote those letters to one another nearly 50 years post event, to instigate/alarm Rome --and they succeeded in forming a religion, uniting the Greco-Roman ideologies with the Sect. As even the correspondences claim, the members of this Sect were first called "Christians" in Antioch, one of the most bloody, lawless, pagan "holistic" cities in the empire. Like Vegas only no neon lights.
One reason they did, was because the original evidence of the Spirit that revealed itself to those in the "upper room" had been reduced to nothing by religious practices and a massive lack of faith.
A 2nd Coming is never mentioned my Him, nor that in any way, shape or form was he to be worshiped. This is the mistake of the sect and the tool used by the scribes --funded in part by the Sanhedrin-- to achieve power.
His work tells a completely different story than most care to believe and why he considered himself equal to us --because he was a man. Not just an ordinary man, but a man consumed by Grace. As he is called: the 2nd Adam.
that is one of the questions I asked myself when I started to doubt - all these different religions & even different sects of same religion all claiming to be right and everyone else is wrong - how can they all be right? Maybe they're all wrong?
Just because a bunch of people are wrong doesn't mean there isn't a truth out there.
If everyone here couldn't agree on what a tree was, does that mean that everyone is wrong and there's no such thing as a tree?
Don't fool yourself. Just because people make up lies, doesn't mean there isn't a truth.
When people perpetuate lies that are 2000 years old for their own purposes, that doesn't make it truth either.
Referring to the Bible I'm sure. Those are called historical documents. And are proven accurate by secularist and atheist scientists might I add.
Any other misconceptions you have?
Again, you don't listen well. Go do some research on your precious book. Then come back and we might have something to discuss. Other than that, all you are doing is blowing smoke.
At least then you might actually be on solid ground instead of being in the mysticism grip on you presently.
I challenge that! Please indicate where you gleaned your information, because it does not match what I have seen.
Since BB didnt believe Christians from her past ,it doesnt surprise me that she would believe any on here either.
Excuse you and your implied insult.
And, your point? If you have one please try to make it without making yourself sound like a fool.
Wow your like a little lightning bolt.
I decided I was wrong in my statement. Not that I don't believe it. Just that I was wrong in posting it, especially in that fashion.
Calling me a fool does not make me one.
I didn't call you a fool. I asked you to reply without making yourself look like one.
Please do try and read the words in the sentences I post. It would be helpful.
Yes, it is called an implication. Please pay attention.
I certainly read them, hence the reply points that fact out.
I asked you to reply without making yourself look like a fool. It's not an implication. It was a request. I figured you were smart enough to figure that out.
I see it was directed at me, but is deleted. I didn't get to read it
Hey Bailey, you said that WOC side stepped answering. I posted a comment to you with regards to that. Look for my post, because it hasn't been deleted. Vector was talking to me, because of what I said. In Vector's response to my post to you, is where you are missing something.
My post to Vector was for Vector and not you.
ok - these threads can be a bit confusing. I didn't see why I was given an insult - see that happens a lot with religion - people get their emotions in the way of debate of ideas
Strange you would say that ,I have seen you make emotive statements ie: how you felt when other Christians labelled you incorrectly.
Emotions can and are a good thing-are they not?
of course I have emotions - I'm not a robot. But where have I resorted to name-calling & personal attacks?
Cagsil, I disagree with the false comment. Thanks for the sarcastic insult. I love you anyway.
Hey WOC, there was nothing in my comment to Bailey that was false. So, with that said- you should try to be more careful about who and what is a false statement/comment.
I cannot help that believers cannot see that they are selfish by nature, but what I can do is point it out.
And, as far as a sarcastic insult, if you were insulted by what I said, then you need to grow up and gain some thicker skin.
As far as you loving me, not likely otherwise you wouldn't address me at all. Seriously, it's your words that cause the conflict you so righteously claim doesn't exist.
Get the hint would you please. I really despise dishonesty and most religious are dishonest at their inner core, simply because they refuse to be honest with themselves, which also means that they cannot be honest with others.
Therefore, so much for you loving anyone or anything. You've a lot to learn.
Hi Cagsil, I never stated that I felt insulted, but I can acknowledge a childish insult. Your point is irrelevant, and your words of selfishness is your own reflection. Please look in the mirror. I hope you feel better. Believe it or not, I do love you Have a great day.
You would be lucky if you could see anything beyond yourself or your belief.
My own reflection? Nice to see you like to twist things around that you cannot accept. Would you like me to spell it out for you? Just curious.
My integrity is intact. It's unfortunate I cannot say the same for you.
You hope I feel better? Not likely.
You cannot, because I know the basis for your belief and every action you derive from that belief is selfish in nature. Again, if I have to explain it, then by all means, ask and I'll oblige.
Yes it is. I feel in the the atmosphere
Not if it comes from a religious person. Sorry, but truth wins out. If you think I'm wrong, then you should visit another forum thread, which Brenda Durham and I discussed it.
We'll actually see if you truly understand where you stand.
If someone doesn't agree with you ??? They just don't get it Huh??
Cagsil, I have visited that particular thread and respectfully disagree with your comments. God is love. Without God, not anyone will have love to offer. If you are right, I will happily agree with you, but you are not. No one knows everything, but God. Now if you reply back to me with ugly, demeaning statements, I will politely throw them in the trash. God loves you and so do I.
I have no god in my life, then how do you explain my love for humanity?
Which thread did you read, just so I know which one.
Then explain my mother's love for me and my love for her?
Are you willing to die for a complete stranger?
This isn't the first time you've said that. I'm willing to challenge it.
I'm sure you would.
To be polite, I'm not touching it, simply because I know better.
Bailey, I don't think I side-step the question. God reveals himself to those who seek him. God never fails. It's a spiritual connection. Other christians testify of the same personal experience with God.
Actually PDH, that would be your own human sense of life you're feeling. You're attributing it to god to make yourself feel better, because you don't understand it.
"You're attributing it to god to make yourself feel better..."
And if she feels better what is it to you. You want to take away her happiness Cagsil? That's very mean.
"...because you don't understand it."
Implying someone is ignorant or stupid is very demeaning. Also very mean Cagsil. Shame on you.
Actually, your perception is skewed about my comments, but I guess that would be nothing new for you.
However, I find your comments about my comments to PrettyDarkHorse, completely out of line, considering I wanted her to respond to my comment.
If you really must know- selfish people justify their actions for all the wrong reasons and one of those reasons is called chosen ignorance. They choose to be ignorant about their own life. If you don't like TRUTH, then too bad.
Cags are you trying to tell someone else what they feel?
No EK, I'm explaining the same exact feeling every other person on the planet feels. It's common and been discovered to be what I explained it to be. But, nice try at twisting what I'm talking about.
'every other person on the planet'
My goodness you know eveyone on the planet Cags.
Im good .but not that good
Again, nice twisting of what is said.
Human species- sense of life is all the same. Do try to keep up.
Edit: (not self promotion)- Here is a hub written, so you can learn about what I am talking about?
Oh Im keeping up my friend ,and wallpapering at the same time!
(Although the latter may be suspect in the morning) rest assured the former is spot on.
Yes ,I will take a look at your hub, so you can quit critising me.
I'm not criticizing you EK. I'm just explaining.
Then leave out the sarcasm when you explain ,and I will listen
I read your Hub and left a comment. Its awaiting approval (or rejection)
Thank you for taking time to read it and comment. Much appreciated.
Great communication via your hub Cags, helps me understand where youre coming from a little better .
By the way feel free to swing by mine. Onein particular was contraversial,though it was not my intention.
I just wrote what had been on my heart,in my mind for some time.
Though of course you do relise I hail from the land that bought the USA Zena Princess Warrior.
Wait til Beezle and Mark read that one
Hey EK, I stopped by your hub on America, with regards to god and science. I left a comment.
Awesome Cags ,thankyou just read your comments this morning
Definately off to read your Homeless related one.
Cool thanks a bunch for your respectful coments.
I'm starting to think your smiley's right eye is poked out.
Just kidding Cag..
What god? You make a broad based assertion for which you cannot prove. Nothing new for believers.
And, yes I'm aware that you will play the game and attempt to turn it around, like you have with others, and say prove "God doesn't exist". Yet, you fail to realize I don't have to prove your assertion doesn't exist, since it doesn't.
The "proof" is on YOU, since you've open your mouth to make the assertion. You are making the assertion, not I.
I only asked "what god". Now, you can go about your speaking of "god", but no matter what, at the end of the day, you'll fail to point it out or prove your assertion is actually real in any way, shape or form.
But, I'm sure you'll try. Not to mention, I've actually read a couple of your hubs recently, since you have been coming to the forum and you are no different than any other believer on the planet- you assume your assertion is real. And, to top that off, you lack any knowledge with regard to Jesus.
I'm sorry to inform you, but I've done the research on Jesus, and what you believe him to be is completely out of context, considering you didn't do the research with regards to his actual life. So, you in essence know nothing more than the average believer who has been deceived. Nothing new.
I didn't read much. Just "What God?"
The God you don't know or believe in.
It's ok, I completely understand and know why you don't.
I hope you do too one day.
Actually, you would be clueless, besides, I'm not selfish like a believer. So, with that said. I've had my fill with enough dishonesty today. Enjoy yourself.
Let me help everyone understand you:
"you would be clueless"
An assumption, made by Cag as to what I know and don't. A demeaning adjective applied to me.
"I'm not selfish like a believer."
A stereotype made by Cag, that all who believe in God are selfish. Another demeaning statement.
"I've had my fill with enough dishonesty today"
A statement made by Cag, by which he is stating I'm dishonest. Of which he has no proof.
Hey Vector S'up oh didnt mean the tongue one ,oh well
Did you get my email re Hubpages Ads etc?
I hope I didnt hit reply -lemme know
Oh analyse me Cags.
Do you think I am dishonest at my core.
Ignore that ,but your post to ,W.O.C got me thinking some.
If we all analysed each other ,kinda became judge ,jury all in our heads,why would we ever need to communicate ( I mean this all in a general manner)...
I guess what Im trying to say is 'I only know how people think on here ,by what they tell me or openly share via other topics or hubs. Sometimes I glean a personality and after a while certain characteristics become apparent.
But for instance if you tell me your a Hindu, live in China and believe women are inferior, that us all I know.
Yet ,constantly I hear Non-believer assuming to know the opinions ( or mind) of Christians.
If I am being assessed by Gods standards ,wouldnt it be right that God do that?
Alternately ,we all should never assume to know what the other person is thinking.
Least thats what I think
Hey EK, it's not analysis of the person, which is your first mistake. It's an analysis of the belief itself.
Again, it's not about the person themselves, it is about recognizing the belief is dishonest.
I'm sure and I'm glad.
You should be analyzing yourself and others wouldn't do it for you.
But, you can distinguish between honesty and dishonesty by the words they use.
Again, see the words, as actions. Actions are judged.
Many people who are not religious are able to determine honesty and dishonesty, much easier than the religious can. Why? Because, most religious cannot see their own actions, which are dishonest.
What god? The only standards one is required to live by is their conscience.
That would be nice, except when you type, it comes from conscious thought, so it is giving you what they think.
I appreciate the conversation.
Nooooooooo..thats not quite how you said it (original post) but no matter I got the gist of it.
Why do I feel I just walked out of a shrinks office
Next you'll be sending me an invoice!
Hi Eaglekiwi, Agreed. It's very disrespectful to assume what others are thinking. Assumptions are not always correct.
Did you bother reading my response or did you just skip over it? There was NO assumption.
Cagsil, I read your post and felt it would be a waste of time in responding. You seem to be anxious for an answer, so I will respond here. God created all of us. This is why you have the ability to show love to the people of your choice. Take care.
So Cags are you saying that because you feel Christianity is a lie ,then people who adhere to its teachings therefore are dishonest for (in your opinion) believing it?
Time to mention the top 10 reasons that keep the holy rollers afloat.
Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian
10 - You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 - You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 - You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 - Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
6 - You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 - You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 - You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects - will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 - While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
2 - You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 - You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history - but still call yourself a Christian.
Ok well I will walk where angels fear too tread
The world behind me ,the Cross before me.
No turning back ,No turning back.
While you may analyse my reasons for doing so ,I will never deny the prescence of Jesus in my life.
He is my friend.
He was my friend when I had none.
Father to the fatherless
Faithful when I was unfaithful.
Merciful when I showed no mercy.
Truthful when others lied.
Loyal when I was disloyal.
Because of what Jesus did for me, I can confidently say my life has purpose, I am the apple of his eye and He died that I might live again..
Jesus came to set people free,free from the burden of anything holding them back from being loving ,healthy joyful and peaceful,
Allow me to insert one scripture that I like alot
Jesus said ..'My peace I give unto you, not a peace that the world can take away ,because the world didnt give it to you.
So you see Earnest all of mans theories matter little to me,when I found my life changed as a result of a personal encounter.
Proof is in the pudding as the saying goes.
Not exactly Hollywood material, or worthy of a bestseller ,but what price could you ever put on peace or eternal love for that matter.
Names cant hurt me either, because my friend has been through it all before, for me
I didnt need too.
My faith is complete in what I presented.
By the way Earnest ,why are you here ,like why do you exist?
Do you know
Certainly I know! I have produced children who have children, heaps of em! I live with my grandchildren and have no doubt why I am here.
My life has been wonderful so far, apart from a belt from supposedly fatal cancer many years ago. I got over it quickly and survived because I refused to die and leave my loved ones. Not ready to die yet, life is fantastic! The top ten is pretty damning isn't it? I don't blame you for ignoring it, it rips your beliefs to shreds!
Good for you surving the nasties!
Truly I am happy for you ( My Mum died of cancer @44yrs)
No I sincerely responded with my testimony.
I dont do the academic thing.
Guess Im not the Intellectual type.
But hey at least I dignified your post with a reply
Sorry you lost your mom so early.
My mom and dad are long gone.
I lost my beautiful 30 year old daughter in law to a heart problem 3 years ago. I still think about her every day.
That bites.Beautiful people leave poignant memories.
I wrote a poem for my mum (hub).
Discovered Im not a poet but family will always remain ,if we desire it.
ooo.. OOO... I addressed one of the top ten..
But just for fun, that's the extent of it as I'm not aguing..
Not keen to address all of them? I still haven't seen where you addressed any of it.
I saw that before. I didn't understand if you were addressing number ten or all of it.
It is hardly a rebuttal!
Please note the whole post. As it wasn't a sincere address to your post.
And the reason for it not being sincere, as I'm not arguing.
I like to think that love is a doing thing.
please elaborate on what loving Earnest actually means
Seems this one would fit nicely with your post.
"3. While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity."
God MAY Be real. There's no proof, unless you count the bible as one.
But the burden of proof isn't on atheists. If you say "the sky is pink" and I say "I don't believe you", the burden of proof is on you to prove what you just said, not on me to disprove it.
Yes it is. Heres Benny!
I'd say let's do an experiment. Get enough wooden plank to build a boat and put them out in your garden. Leave it there and see what happens the next day.
I'm guessing what happens the next day is I walk outside and exclaim "Since when do I have a garden? I live in an apartment!"
oh man.. You're missing the point here.. What i'm trying to get at is that no.. nothing's gonna happen.. No one is gonna make it into a boat unless a carpenter comes and creates a boat out of it.
The same goes for this universe. Someone did create this universe. We can't just happen to exist without someone making us exist.
Why do theists always use this rule? There is no logic to it. Let's go by your logic for a second and say, yes, everything - everything ever - has to have a creator. And that has to mean everything, okay?
Okay. So the universe has to have a creator. Let's say that's God. But wait, the rule we just made says EVERYTHING has to have a creator, so God has to have a creator. And it all falls apart in one fell swoop.
The universe was created by the Big Bang. Before the Big Bang there was literally nothing. We did just happen to come into existence, just like we experience lots of tiny coincidences (I just happen to find a dollar, so I buy something with it) every day.
True that.. True that.. That's a very good point. But I have always looked at it this way.. Imagine the complexity of creating this universe, from the big, massive things to the complexity of creating just a single tiny atom.. I would say it's too much to handle such complexity and I've always think "No weak beings could've ever created this universe to the best of detail" and leads me to the conclusion that God is majestic, perfect and powerful. So, i have never see a problem in accepting God without a creator and i believe in One God. What do you think?
I'm a muslim btw.. I find lots of people saying islam is a bad religion and i find it really sad.. As a muslim, as what i've been taught, it's every muslim's obligation to tell people about the "One-ness of God". If people accepts it, good! But, if they don't, it's fine, we're still friends and heck, i'll still invite them to my birthday party!
I'm being carried away aren't i? But that aside, i really wish everyone finds what they're looking for! When all else fail, some things, you just have to listen to your heart. I mean literally, lie down on a grass field~ looking at the clouds~ stars~ you know the scenario and just have a sincere heart to know the truth. Maybe, just maybe, you'll find your way.
I made an assumption based on the logic that "what existed must have a creator". But, if we keep on using this assumption, it leads to an infinite cycle of creation and creator. For example, universe created by God, and God created by GodCreator1, GodCreator 1 created by GodCreator2 and so on...
I understand some people say "Universe is created from nothing and it's fine to accept that" i.e. not obeying the logic "what existed must have a creator" at all. And some people say "Universe is created by a God" i.e. obeying the logic "what existed must have a creator" but who created God then? That goes to what i've said above. We terminate the cycle there. haha.. Saying this makes me think of the limits for summation.
Nevertheless, it's still an ongoing debate about this existence of God. We could be repeating this process of making a theory based on logic and such but people will still argue about it. In the end, It all comes to the individual's point of view. Anyhow, hope everyone finds what they're looking for! I've found it. I've found everything in islam.
**And no.. I'm not that "typical muslim" you heard on tv and such.. Sigh.. It always made me sad thinking about it..
And, you can support that with some sort of proof, or just blowing smoke like all religious.
Really, says who exactly? You?
It would be better if you could explain your understandings to me. because i'm not quite sure what is it that you want to know.
I can see from your posting, you've nothing to add to the knowledge I've already obtained. I was just curious if you would answer the questions, but as I said, you cannot, so I guess the point is moot regardless.
By the way, I noticed you mentioned the existence of a god. But, I am curious- what god would you be referring to? Or better yet, making an assertion to?
If you're like most religious, you'll gladly admit that your god lives outside of reality, which begs to ask the question- What's outside of reality?
I know god is real. But no one understands what are ufo's and also why in the bible it will not explain. Well i have a great article that has some shocking info on ufo's
In my own opinion, there are some things here in the world that science could not explain. Thus, I strongly believe that God exists and no man could ever understand such things EXCEPT God.He created the world,so knows everything.
It is a sad state of affairs when all the answers in the universe are not made readily available to those who would immediately invoke magic as the answer.
The "opinion" stated would run along the same lines as when people believed the earth was flat.
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