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Are You Open-minded Enough to Concede that God Might Not Exist?

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    Chasukposted 4 years ago

    I'm an atheist, yet I'm open-minded enough to acknowledge that God might exist. If you are a theist, are you open-minded enough to acknowledge that He might not?

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      jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Do you think they are enough open minded even to consider reading this?

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        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I don't know; that's what I'm trying to ascertain here. :-)

        This question arises because I have Christian friends who tell me that I'm too close-minded to see the truth, but I suspect that what they are actually saying is, "You are too close-minded to believe exactly what i believe."

        I'm willing to change my mind about my atheism, if presented with sufficient evidence. Are they willing to change their mind about their theism?

        1. rdcast profile image78
          rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          That's a sensible viewpoint. Besides, just being open minded wont bring you to Jesus Christ. That requires the preparing of your heart, and not by yourself, but through circumstances beyond your control. At that point in time, you'll choose right, I feel certain. I do pray for His witnesses to perform well on your behalf and that your conversion may be without too much stress, as often it is near unbearable. Not because God wills it to be, but for the sinner having not the foresight to avoid it.

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            Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            One isn't open-minded for any particular purpose. In fact, that concept is antithetical. You CAN'T be open-minded with the intent of embracing X, or even Y, and still actually be open-minded.

            1. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Spiritual matters involves the posturing of the heart, not the mind.

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                Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Open-mindedness is engaged in exactly the same way for matters both spiritual and material.

              2. A Troubled Man profile image60
                A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                The heart only pumps blood, it is the mind which is used for thinking. But, I would suspect you're correct in that regard that 'spiritual matters' do not require a mind or thinking of any kind.

                1. mischeviousme profile image61
                  mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  We can control the rate at which our heart beats, but we can give it no mind. Outside of the body, it is a lifeless object.

                  1. Insane Mundane profile image59
                    Insane Mundaneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Join the medical field and share that particular "heart controlling" talent of yours for the patients that suffer from heart palpitations; you could make millions, if you can practice what you preach.
                    Hell yeah!  Rake in the imaginary dough with inane concepts!

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                AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                (Spiritual matters involves the posturing of the heart, not the mind.)

                rdcast,

                I suspect you mean to refer to emotive reactions in lieu of reason, but, I ask you, can there be a more fickle mistress than feelings?  Wasn't it the very unreliability of emotions that led to enlightenment?

                But, if your feelings really are so reliably in tune with reality, tell me how do you feel about tonight's Thunder-Cavaliers game?   Take the points and the Cavs or bet the chalk?

                1. rdcast profile image78
                  rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  uh, when Christians refer to "the heart", that's not to say feelings, though I concede the potential for confusion. No, feelings have there place, but I do tend to be skeptical of them. As an esoteric matter, the heart of the soul is kind of a spiritual memory.

                  The first covenant of God was given man on stone through Moses, a covenant of judgment and continual atonement by blood sacrifice of the most spotless from the flock. Then came the covenant of love and mercy through Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, an everlasting blood sacrifice for the atonement of our sins, written not in stone, but the fleshy tablets of our hearts, uttered by the Holy Spirit, now dwelling in us.  This is the new covenant.

                  btw, i was born in Oklahoma City... not much on basketball though.

          2. Thinking Allowed profile image60
            Thinking Allowedposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I translate all this to a "no"

        2. TIMETRAVELER2 profile image93
          TIMETRAVELER2posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          A friend of mine worked in the trauma center of a big hospital here.  She told me that no matter what people believed before they got sick, when they get close to dying, they start begging God to help them.  She saw this every single day.

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            Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Aside from its irrelevance, that is actually contrary to the truth.

            http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/2 … -they-die/

            1. mischeviousme profile image61
              mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              He talked about what the dying talk about. He never once mentioned bringing God to the bedside, it was about listening, not talking.

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                Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Exactly.

          2. jandee profile image46
            jandeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Yeah! Sure,sure! Heard that one many times............

          3. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            TIMETRAVELER2, that is a powerful testimony. I would love the opportunity to talk with her.

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            AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            (when they get close to dying, they start begging God to help them)

            timetraveler2,

            What exactly is the point of this story?  If mankind held out that Tinkerbelle had the attributes of a god, then these same people would be begging Tinkerbelle to help them. 

            In times of stress and fear, some people call out to the supernatural - not because the supernatural is real, but because the supernatural seems to offer the only hope that they won't die.

            In my line of work, I see death all the time - I've yet to see anyone call out.  Death is very much a biological event rather than a mystical one.

            1. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I'm not sure you didn't contradict yourself Winston. But it is a sorry fact, that just because a sinner calls out in desperation, it doesn't necessarily mean they accept their personal sin as why they've separated themselves from God.

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                AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                rdcast,

                (I'm not sure you didn't contradict yourself Winston)
                I'm sure.  I didn't.

                Religious belief is an attempt to resolve the psychological tension created by intractable human conditions.  The entire basis for holding the notion of a supernatural superpower who intervenes is to create hope - if anything is possible, then Aunt Ginny's cancer might be cured by crying out to this great superpower.  In this case, god=hope.

                There is one problem with this notion: some things are impossible.  Imagining a supernatural superpower who can accomplish the impossible does not actually make it fact - it just means humans have a lot of imagination - and a lot of fear.

                And this particular imaginary superhero is based on an attempt to control the inate psychological fear of intractable problems by creating an imaginary avenue where we can hope.

                Note one thing, please.  Although on the surface this imaginary avenue of hope seems to be a benign belief, what it actually does is offer a dead end for human initiative - why try to resolve our own problems by ourselves when we can just hope? 

                Marx was right - indeed, the opium of the people.

                1. rdcast profile image78
                  rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  If by cancer or any course, this life ends and my new life in God's Kingdom begins, then come and do not delay cancer, but not for my will, but God's, if I should continue here for Him.

                  We speak of earthly nations in terms of "superpowers", but not in speaking of God Almighty. The extent of His powers is unimaginable for us as mortals. But as far as man's fears are concerned. This world does like to falsely create fear, when only God controls eternity and the outcome of souls.

                  Hebrews, Chapter 11
                  [001] Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

                  If you think there's more profit in quoting Karl Marx than Jesus Christ... I'll leave it at that.

              2. AntonOfTheNorth profile image61
                AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Hi Winston,

                Just curious, share only if you wish, but what is your line of work?

                cheers

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            CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            When I am hungry I open my mouth to receive food. Once I have attained the sustenance that I need, it would be foolish to keep my mouth open.

            Only those who are undecided keep their mind open. An open mind is not necessarily a sign of strength as much as it is a sign of confusion.

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              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              In order for your analogy to be meaningful, your mind would have to be a vessel with some reasonable possibility of getting full. Is your mind reaching max capacity? I'm 51, and mine isn't.

              I don't really think you understand what open-minded means.

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                CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Age has nothing to do with it and neither does brain capacity.

                Indeed, our brains are very much like a vessel: We take in cargo, carry it, and deliver it.

                Once the question of whether God exists has been answered to the seeker's satisfaction, there remains no reason to contunue the search, unless, of course, the seeker is unconvinced, but only a fool would continue to search for that which has been found.

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                  CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  You claim to be an "atheist", but then go on to say, "I'm an atheist, yet I'm open-minded enough to acknowledge that God might exist.

                  Perhaps you are confused on what an atheist is? If your statement is true, you should consider yourself and agnostic, not an atheist.

                  My pesonal belief is that you are a die-hard atheist who is using the concept of "open-mindedness" as a Trojan horse to lull the unsuspecting reader into what he or she feels will be an open-minded exchange of ideas, when it is nothing more than a trap.

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                    Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    As I have said elsewhere in this forum, I am an agnostic atheist.

                    To reiterate: I don't BELIEVE that God exists (which makes me an atheist), but I don't KNOW that he doesn't (which makes me an agnostic).

                    Similarly, I don't KNOW that my dog is sleeping on the sofa in the living room, because I have no direct evidence of it. But i certainly BELIEVE that she is.

                    I know Christians who are also agnostics, which makes them agnostic theists.

                    My intentions are self-educative. I have been quite clear about this. I am not trying to lure anyone into anything. So far, this has been an open-minded exchange of ideas, which is exactly what I had hoped. I do care what you believe, but only academically, without judgement.

                    1. rdcast profile image78
                      rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Well Mr. Chasuk, you do know how to frame a hot topic and in this case, one believers in Jesus Christ live to sharpen their swards on. You've demonstrated great patience and I have yet been able to call out the vanities of your positions because of it. Thank you for challenging us to delve deeper into the wisdom of God.

                  2. Thinking Allowed profile image60
                    Thinking Allowedposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    You clearly don't understand what an atheist actually is.

                    1. rdcast profile image78
                      rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      I concede my failure in semantics, though the only label I concern myself with is "believer in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior".

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                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Correct; brain capacity has nothing to do with open-mindedness. That's why I objected to your analogy.

                  So, once a question has been answered to the seeker's satisfaction, there is no reason to continue the search? Once your mind is made up, the pool of accumulating evidence automatically freezes? You never change your mind about anything? To be so intractable seems more than a little foolish.

                  I'm glad that science doesn't work that way. Before about 1850, most doctors were absolutely certain that there was nothing to germ theory, and violently resisted washing their hands. Fortunately, they changed their minds.

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                    CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I thought we were exploring the concept of "open-mindedness" regarding God's existence? How is it then that you continue to extrapolate and head off into all other directions? Focus, my friend, focus.

                    Once one has settled the question of God's existence, why is one bound to continue being open to another's opinion?

                    For instance, once you settled your mind on marrying your sweetheart, how long after your marriage will you allow your freinds to keep offering their opinions on whether or not you should have married your bride? My bet is you would tell them that you have made up your mind - that your bride is the only girl for you and you are not open to their commentary and opinions anymore.

                    Once certain decisions have been made - it becomes ludicrous to expect one to continue soliciting opinions and alternative view points. God and your girl are two of those decisions that should be no longer open for debate.

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                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      I wouldn't offer my  opinion as to the suitability of my friend's fiancée --at least not more than once -- nor would I want my friend to repeatedly comment on the suitability of mine. On this point, I agree with you, 100%.

                      However, your analogy is unsound. We are not exploring the concept of "open-mindedness" regarding your relationship with God; we are exploring the concept of "open-mindedness" regarding His existence. If your girlfriend were invisible, then your analogy would make sense.

                      As it happens, I am NOT questioning God's existence.

                      The question could have been framed like this:

                      "I don't believe in your invisible girlfriend, yet I'm open-minded enough to acknowledge that she might exist. Are you open-minded enough to acknowledge that she might not?"

                  2. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Might there be a threat, by opening ones mind too much, what mind there is could fall out?

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                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      When Dawkins facetiously declared, "We should be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brain falls out," he probably had no idea the monster he was unleashing.

                      Short answer to your question: No. Open-mindedness only refers to a willingness to _consider_ new ideas. It does not imply that you uncritically embrace new ideas, or even that you should be easily persuaded.

            2. jandee profile image46
              jandeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I agree

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              Longhunterposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Nicely put, C.J. I agree as well.

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          Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Jomine, that question appeared to be open ended. May not also leaves the possibility of may. How open minded are you?

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            jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I'm willing to consider any possibility that submit to reason and logic but don't tell me "just believe me for I'm telling the truth".

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              Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I feel the same way.

            2. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              So you discount anything that will not conform to your preconceived notions of how to discover the truth?

              Interesting....

              What about if someone asked you to 'taste and see that the Lord is good' would you consider that?

              How can you KNOW that what you believe is the truth, just because it conforms with your world sponsored training and world imposed thinking?

              Have you EVER had faith in any religion?

              Ever had a spiritual experience?

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                jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Years before I was a Christian.
                What you call 'experience' is experienced by every human(you are not special Aqua, you are just another human), which they interpret based on the way they were bought up. Say most Christians attribute to Jesus, Muslims to Allah, Hindus to Vishnu while a few persons analyse it objectively with out any magical thoughts.
                Now for tasting and seeing, I didn't ask you to provide evidence what I asked you is to explain. You said god. My first question will be what is god. For some, it is the creator but 'creation' is impossible. For some, it is a being that is not created' while your own logic contradict by saying all beings need to be created.
                The only thing you have told me is believe as you do and the only reason you sighted is you experience. But you never told me the reason why I should consider your experience above those people who have similar magical experiences.(if I tell you I've experience of FSM and It's FSM that created everything, you'll ask me to get my head examined, why shouldn't I say the same to you?)

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                Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I now discount spiritual experiences, although I haven't always. First, I discount them because they aren't transmissible, which severely limits their evidentiary value. Second, I discount them because I have a multiplicity of friends -- of the Christian faith and otherwise -- who all report to me similar, yet contradictory experiences. Third, I discount them because personal experience is an unreliable measure of truth.

                1. Eugene Hardy profile image61
                  Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I think it's a matter of individual perception, then what you are taught shapes that perception.

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                    Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    While that is certainly true, it has no especial relevance here. Experience always shapes perception.

                2. AntonOfTheNorth profile image61
                  AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  and yet truth is subjective as well as objective, no?  Depending on context?

                  "Those things we hold most dear we accept with the least evidence"  Peter Brooke (I believe).

                  "Truth is only that which is taken to be true"  Tom Stoppard

                  "Your truth is another person's lie"  FatFist, though I'm not sure if it orginated with him.

                  Personal experience is frequently accepted as truth.  The definition of 'know' is tied to an experience of the article, not a belief.  Is truth not therefore always subject to personal experience?  Or am I just splitting semantics?

                  cheers

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                    Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Hello, AntonOfTheNorth! Good to see you!

                    The truth is subjective for many claims. For example, any aesthetic claim is subjective. However, my existence is not subjective, as then I would have to accept your existence as subjective, and then this dialogue would be pointless.

                    Some things either are, or they aren't. We already mutually agree this by embarking on this dialogue -- unless, of course, I am talking to myself. I am typing these words on a keyboard. The keyboard exists. When/if you reply, you almost certainly will also use a keyboard.

                    If God exists, he exists independently of my believe in him, and independently of my perception of him.. If there is a subjective God, then he isn't the God of the Abrahamic religions, and, frankly, I don't care about him. Christians, Jews, and Muslims are -- almost universally -- arguing for a literal, objective God.

                    To extrapolate to "spiritual experiences" generally, if these experiences are only subjective, then I don't care about them any more than I care about a subjective God. I certainly wouldn't waste my time disputing them, as they would be indisputable. A subjective experience is not transmissible, and non-transmissible experiences can't be debated. But my opponents in this dialogue are arguing in defense of an objectively real God, capable of healing ans smiting and transforming the world, whether or not I believe in him. They are arguing for a real Holy Spirit touching my real soul, and many are arguing for a real eternity spent in a real lake of fire if I don't heed this real Holy Spirit.

                    That's the "spiritual experience" that I'm discounting, which is either real, or it isn't.

                    1. AntonOfTheNorth profile image61
                      AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      We agree on much.  thanks.

                      cheers

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                jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                And regarding notions, you might have noticed I never asked you to believe in me, my experience or anything. I only asked you explanations or I only showed why your explanations are not tenable.

                1. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  But you have not showed me that my explanations are not tenable, you have only showed me that they are explanations that are not tenable for you, and that's your choice.

                  I made mine nearly 20 years ago, and have never regretted it, or been let down by God.

                  How you live and view eternity is not my concern, and I don't ask you to believe anything I believe, I merely refuse to allow you to tell me that what I believe is  not tenable.

                  The answer will come when we die, shake off these earthly shrouds and return to spirit, and stand before God, and NO I do not expect you to agree with that, at least not until and unless you find out you were wrong.

                  If you were right, we will never know the answer.

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                    jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    What you state as "your beliefs" are illogical and irrational , ( which you yourself cannot explain) and hence impossible.

                    1. aguasilver profile image87
                      aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Yawn.... same old same old denial, in some vain hope that if you yak it out long enough, you may even believe it yourself.

                      OK, your boring repetitious inanity is enough for you to be off the reply list unless you actually say something relevant.

                      Consider yourself ignored. smile

                    2. AntonOfTheNorth profile image61
                      AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      illogical and nonrational do not equal impossible.  Only unlikely.

                      cheers

        4. lone77star profile image91
          lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          @Jomine said, "Do you think they are enough open minded even to consider reading this?"

          Answer, why not!? Sounds like fun!

        5. jandee profile image46
          jandeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I am reading it.

        6. A Thousand Words profile image80
          A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          +1

      2. aguasilver profile image87
        aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Difficult one, almost a trick question, you see I went from atheist to agnostic to spiritually aware, but working on the wrong team and finally to believer; by degrees, not your university type, but degrees of experience. (which are actually more relevant)

        As an atheist I could not 'see' or 'feel' God, had no interest interest in finding Him, nor was bothered about those who professed belief in Him (which is why I find our current crop of antichrists so puzzling, why do they bother? and do they know the answer to that?).

        As I grew more in experience, I realised that although I did not want any truck with any god, I could no longer be 100% sure that He did not exist, and logically if there was a God, then He would need to be THE Supreme total and absolute power and authority over everything.

        From this I began a spiritual awakening, which led me to think that we all 'melded' into a Godhead type of spiritual wholeness, guess I got a bit New Age at that stage, and then started trying to explore the spirit realm, and made contact with spiritual forces that helped me in business and getting what I wanted, but still no god apparent, just a spiritual force that I used, (an was used by) to manipulate, deceive and intimidate folk (which in reality is the state of most business deals in the world).

        Problem was that those spiritual forces got more powerfully influential in my life the more I 'advanced' in their realm, and it finally got to the point where they became a problem, and I started to 'disappear' into their entities.

        That's when I came to faith, mainly (as I told the scalp hunter pastor that reeled me in)to escape these entities, than to find Christ or salvation.

        But God obviously had a plan and maybe because of the rather wild spiritual life I had led, I gravitated into spiritual warfare against the 'enemy' and have (on occasion) helped in teaching those who become aware of their entrapment be set free.

        So (and to answer your question) I would find it very difficult to return to an agnostic position, as I have seen, witnessed and experienced too many spiritual events and battles to deny that there is a whole spiritual realm that we are either aware of or dead to.

        I cannot deny what I know to be true, however I respect YOUR stance and wish that other 'atheists' could be so honest and open minded.

        1. AntonOfTheNorth profile image61
          AntonOfTheNorthposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          thanks for sharing aqua.  I find differing personal experiences fascinating

          cheers

      3. kess profile image60
        kessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        The terms God and Existence.

        Is A varied mixture of divisive understanding among and within individuals collectively and singularly.

        But they seek to reconcile the two as a collective without first reconciling neither one or the other within themself the individual.

        Will they ever realize that by them and through them many will see the light while they continue to struggle in the confusion of darkness.

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          jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Seriously kess, do you understand what you are writing?

          1. kess profile image60
            kessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Question is do you....?

            If you do not...
            How then are you able  to judge ?...even if I dont understand a thing I have written.

            Whatsoever is written is  always incomplete.
            Unknowing* completeness gives one all understanding.

            Sorry typo.....

            Knowing completeness..

            1. Eugene Hardy profile image61
              Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Hmm....sounds like the Tao.

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              jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              The purpose of language is to convey ideas and it should be done clearly.Do you expect others to understand what you yourself do not? And you fail miserably in that respect, what you write is of no use.

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                JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Seriously, I don't think you are qualified to critique other peoples' grasp of English.

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                  jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Do you want to write and show again and again that you lack comprehension and that you are a fool. What English you know, when you don't even know what a concept is? And I told you So many times that we are not talking about the laymen English of yours where 'force' is a noun, but scientific language where the word is defined and is a verb. Go and argue with other religious idiots who might consider you a 'great man' and a man of wisdom.

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                    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    You completely miss the point. You critique Kess's grasp of English, with poor English. It's ironic that you don't realize that, so you are forced to change the subject to concepts vs. objects.

                    1. vector7 profile image60
                      vector7posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      lol..

                      You're killing me Raine..

                2. vector7 profile image60
                  vector7posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  LOL..

            3. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Brother Kess, you have clearly pointed out  the redundancy in the use of God and Existence, where Existence is yet another name of God and His eternal nature.

              Because we consider spiritual matters in real time, as a wonderful benefit for having received the gift of the Holy Spirit, it's easy for us to see the emptiness in the arguments of the godless.

              I appreciate your graciousness.

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          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I'm not sure what you are trying to say here. Sorry.

      4. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        In other words, we move into the realm of possibilities and probabilities.

        Sure, there is a possibility gods exist just as there are possibilities anything we can conjure from our imaginations exists, unicorns, fairies, ghosts, hobgoblins or anything else.

        The probabilities that gods or those other things exist is so infinitesimally small, they are almost indistinguishable from nothing at all based on the evidence provided. And, the more we find out about the world around us, the more those probabilities shrink to something equivalent to that of Planck length.

        And, when probabilities shrink to nothingness, so do the possibilities.

        When believers talk about faith and spiritual experiences, they are merely propagating whatever has been indoctrinated into their belief systems. The Christian will have a spiritual experience with Jesus while the Muslim will have a spiritual experience with Allah and the Rastafarian will have a spiritual experience with a blunt.

        1. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          ...and all those spiritual experiences are valid, the difference is WHAT you are having the spiritual experience with.

          The blunt smoker may be able to be in contact with God, or it may be the enemy, I have had both events take place, when you smoke dope you are open to whatever is around.

          The Muslim may be reaching God, or he may be reaching another god, Allah, who was and is a desert god, not the same thing as when someone is in relationship with Christ.

          I do not disagree with you on this, there are a multitude of spirits out there to converse with, to allow into your mind, and who will influence what you think and do.

          I prefer to stay within the control of the Holy Spirit, but if I got stoned, or drunk, then I am fair game for whatever is about at the time, and would suffer the consequences, so I avoid those dangerous situations in the same way as I avoid walking down dark alleys in bad districts.

          As for probabilities, you view them as 'infinitesimally small' which is your prerogative, others are able to rank them higher and even certain, which is their prerogative.

          So why all the dissension and argument?

          I don't care what others believe or disbelieve, it's truly not important as we will never have any proof one way or the other, until we die and see what happens next, if anything.

          So yes I concede that there may be no God, but my experiences tell me otherwise, and having lived without God in my life, I prefer to live with God in my life, and have seen that doing so makes my life better, and the lives of those I minister and interact with better.

          That's good enough for me, how anybody else sees it is not of consequence to me and the billions of other people who converse with their 'god/s'.

          1. A Troubled Man profile image60
            A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Exactly, it's all about what you prefer to believe.

            1. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              as you are all about what you prefer NOT to believe, time is the master here.

              1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I have no beliefs, preferred or otherwise. Time is the master here? What is that supposed to mean? You and yours have had 2000 years to show your religion has any validity, but have failed miserably to do so.

                Time is not on your side. smile

                1. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Actually, I would say time is not on YOUR side, I'm content with my temporal life and excited about eternity, how about you?

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                    A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes, it is on my side, Christians have had almost 2000 years with no results other than watching as their religion murdered millions and is now slowly disappearing along with the others.

          2. brotheryochanan profile image61
            brotheryochananposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Its not so much prefer as was one day persuaded.
            If one goes about to investigate this phenomena of Gods existence and they critically read articles and consort with credible documentation from credible sources then as one draws closer to legitmitely garnered material to openly make their decision we can understand that one day they did not capriciously choose to prefer to believe, they were persuaded to believe over a period of time to come to the conclusive answer that they arrived at.
            And then as time went by knowing the wonders and fullness of God more intimately, that choice, over time became the preferred decision. Its kinda like burning yourself on the oven burner - you prefer not to burn yourself. Its kinda like knowing God and you prefer to not unknow God.
            But the preference to prefer does not govern you, solely by own power. You live the preference you prefer, to believe in God, and all the things that brought you to the preference are actually what govern you - behind the preference.

            1. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Agree, but we are talking to people who have dissuaded themselves and prefer not to believe, their choice, mine was to do Gods will, theirs is to do their own.

              1. 0
                jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Yours is to do your own will and invoke god to claim authority or shift responsibility.
                When will your god ask to fly plane into buildings?

                1. 0
                  JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Ah, the voice of reason and logic speaks up.

                  All believers in God will end up killing innocent people in the name of their religion.

                  Hmmm... what about the people who spend their energy trying to help other people, who volunteer, donate food/money/clothing, etc/etc/etc all in the name of 'God'? How dare they!

                  Right?

                  1. 0
                    jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Yea, with a footnote attached, believe as I do, or you die of hunger? Great work!
                    At the same rate you can also hail smugglers or drug traffickers for the charity work they do, instead of putting them in jail.
                    Those who work in the name of god created more misery than all others combined, to negate the "charity".

                    1. aka-dj profile image78
                      aka-djposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      I hope you don't check your patients religious beliefs before you operate!!

                    2. 0
                      JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      What are you talking about? I have never told someone anything like that when helping them out.

                      Oh wait, you are still thinking every religious person in the world fits into your pessimistic, narrowly-defined mold?

                      Completely irrelevant. Are you saying that believing in God is the same kind of crime as smuggling or trafficking?

                      Ah yes, you are lumping everyone together.

                    3. aguasilver profile image87
                      aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Oh what a bitter person you seem to be, glad you are not my doctor.

                      Christ lives in and through His disciples, today as He did for the last 2,000 years, and all your whinging is pointless and futile.

                      I read the end of the book.... and God wins.

                2. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  ...and when will YOUR god (science) ask you to kill people who are considered surplus to requirements?

                  Two can ask pointless questions you know.

                  1. 0
                    JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    For a learned person, jomine has an interesting definition of 'god':

                    God (n) - A hateful being, who created the universe, and commands his followers to crash airplanes into buildings. Universal definition for all concepts of 'god' across all religions.

                    1. 0
                      jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      I told you to study the difference between concept and object first, instead coming to forum to babble.
                      And god is a being? God is concept.
                      Created the universe? As if it need creation!
                      Airplanes? Yea there are really some meddle some fools, who claim imaginary beings exist and some times experience them and do whatever their delusion commands, including posting in forums regarding their god!

                  2. 0
                    jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Unfortunately for you no atheists have killed to spread atheism while the whole Christianity is bloody.
                    Science is just 'critical thinking' not a person, unfortunately donot know the difference between concept and object.

                    1. 0
                      JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      The whole of Christianity is bloody?

                      Seriously?

                      So... in what way am I bloody?

                    2. aguasilver profile image87
                      aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Oh boy, sometimes you crack me up!

                      Stalin
                      Mao
                      Pol Pot
                      Karl Marx
                      Ceausescu
                      Lenin
                      Mussolini

                      shall I go on...

                      No go see for yourself, all those peaceful atheiest who never tried to spread atheist thoughs by killing folk.

                      http://atheismexposed.tripod.com/evil_atheists.htm

                      And the WHOLE of Christianity is 'bloody' Oh come on... I would post a list of Christian organisations working with the poor and dispossessed, but it would be too long.

                      Get some substance into your posts, respond, don't react, it makes it worth discussing when some thought has gone into it.

              2. Eugene Hardy profile image61
                Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Honestly, I think it is about perception and experience. 

                God is there to be perceived, or not be perceived, and all these perceptions can and are valid to the individual observer, (or non-observer).

      5. rdcast profile image78
        rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I spent my late teens as an atheist, well, not an atheist, that would be someone against God. No, I was an agnostic, that being someone who doesn't believe there is a god of any kind. So, you see, I was closed minded in my belief there couldn't be a god. That was until I had to face the fact that no god meant no lasting purpose for living and everything that would perpetuate that sort of existence was by definition, vanity. So, when the Holy Bible describes “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” It knows what it says is true.

        I already went through life without belief in God Almighty. To couch an argument against believing in the one and only God, isn't  being open minded, but rather being mired in vanity...

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Your understanding of some of the vocabulary in this discussion is inaccurate.

          An agnostic is not, "someone who doesn't believe there is a god of any kind." That describes atheists, although it doesn't -- necessarily -- describe all atheists.

          You assert that no god means, "no lasting purpose for living." You equate this condition with vanity, which would be true if godlessness actually entailed a life of worthless futility. It doesn't; my life is invested with as much purpose as yours, or anyone else's. It would be egotistical of you to claim otherwise, and I don't believe that you are egotistical.

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Ah, i didn't see your response, sorry. I stand corrected, but then, that was the understanding of a 17 year old, who lost interest in living by the age of 22. I'm waiting to tell you something, but I haven't found the opportunity. That's probably because it's something for you only and has no place for an open forum.

            1. 0
              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I didn't see this response until now. HubPages forums are almost laughably inadequate.

              If you have something that you want to say privately, just message me. I'll also respond privately.

              1. rdcast profile image78
                rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                The funny part is, I'm still praying on it... so I'm not sure when I can do that.

      6. feenix profile image60
        feenixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        When it comes to whether or not God exists, I am closed-minded.

        God exists and that is true because I say He exists -- and that's that.

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          That's an interesting statement, Feenix. God exists because you say He exists? Are you God's creator?

          1. feenix profile image60
            feenixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Let us try to keep it clean. There is no need to be sarcastic.

            Anyway, my unwavering, "close-minded" belief in God stems from what is often described as blind faith.

            I believe merely because I believe.

            1. 0
              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I wasn't being sarcastic. I was trying to determine your meaning, and that's all that I was doing. There are several faith traditions -- of which I have friends who are adherents -- which involve subjective, "created" gods.

              In my experience, blind faith is the most rational of all reasons to believe in God, and I'm not being sarcastic with that statement, either.

              1. feenix profile image60
                feenixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Chasuk, you are an intelligent, learned man who has broad knowledge of what "blind faith" among "believers" is.

                Thus, I have no doubt that you knew exactly what I meant when I stated that God exists because I say He exists.

                1. 0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I you had mentioned "blind faith" in your original reply, then I would have understood, yes. However, please understand this about me.

                  I participate in online forums for self-education only. I don't engage from a "right" or "wrong" position. To the bet of my ability, I mean what I say, and I say what I mean. I never play semantic games, and I am never disingenuous.

                  In other words, If I had understood your meaning, then I would not have requested clarification. Believe that, or not; it's your choice.

                  1. feenix profile image60
                    feenixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Chasuk, thank you very much for being a gentleman, and you just gave me some new insights into participating in the forums.

                    I am going to start working on following your example. Instead seeing the forums as battlegrounds in which I am out to win, I will start viewing them as places where I can learn and gain new insights.

                    1. 0
                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Thank you very much, Feenix. I really appreciate this input. People can have opposing viewpoints without being adversarial, and that's the spirit I try to foster. Again, thank you very much.

            2. A Troubled Man profile image60
              A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Ladies and gentlemen, an honest believer. Well said, sir. I applaud you.

              1. feenix profile image60
                feenixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Why, thank you very much, Troubled Man. I really do appreciate hearing that from a thinking person like you.

                1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                  A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  No problem, I appreciate honesty no matter what it is about. Although, we may disagree on the finer points of your beliefs, there is no question in my mind you are showing honesty and integrity presenting them in that regard. And, it would behest any and all nonbelievers to treat you with the utmost respect as a result.

                  Kudos, sir!

                  1. feenix profile image60
                    feenixposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I believe this is the beginning of a terrific friendship.

                    I have a great deal of respect for you, and one of the primary reasons why is you possess broad knowledge and have the gift of discerning the true nature of things.

        2. 0
          AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          (God exists and that is true because I say He exists)

          feenix,

          Let's be rational, o.k.?  Existence is not a matter of true or false.  Existence is determinded solely by definition.

          You are suggesting a definition of exist: what I believe. 

          That tends to be the theist definition, all right.

      7. 0
        Brenda Durhamposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Nope.  I've learned enough to know that it's not a good thing to open one's mind to baseless concepts.  One gets in big trouble that way.  Much better to stick to rational thought.

        1. rdcast profile image78
          rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Extremely well put. Concise and to the point, without apology. You're my kind of rational thinker.

        2. Roger Crigger profile image61
          Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Amen! Especially in the day and the hour that we live. Much deception in the name of "New" thinking or enlightenment. In the last days "even the elect" would do well to hold fast to what they KNOW to be truth! Unashamed and unwavrering in the Faith. The roaming lion is getting desperate!

          1. mischeviousme profile image61
            mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I almost think people are joking when they talk like that, it would almost be funny, if you weren't serious.

            1. vector7 profile image60
              vector7posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Nope. We're serious.

        3. vector7 profile image60
          vector7posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Amen as well Ms Durham...

          smile

      8. 0
        JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Considering the reasons for my beliefs, it would be difficult for a situation to arise that could lead me to think I've been wrong. I am open minded about it, to the degree that there would have to be some sort of Matrix-y VR system exposed, or a situation where we are treated like lab-rats, such as in the Forgotten.

        For me, it's like asking if I'm open-minded enough to acknowledge that the sun might not exist... I've had personal experience involving the sun, but it could be a dream, or it could be a drug-induced delusion as I'm being tested on by some kind of government, or it could be a dome like in the Truman Show(wow, you can learn so much from movies!).



        No, I doubt if I will read it.

      9. Eugene Hardy profile image61
        Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I need to ask this: Is it possible to have human spirituality and an afterlife without God?

        I believe we do, but I don't here much thinking in this direction.

        1. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, definitely, we are spirit and soul with a body, when we leave behind the body, we return to the spiritual realm.

          We will have an afterlife, the question we answer whilst alive is concerning where we spend that afterlife.

          1. Eugene Hardy profile image61
            Eugene Hardyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            As a Gnostic, it is not only how I live, or where I go after I die, but the best path that leads to true knowledge and truth.  I have found that all religions have too much of humanities input to be trust worthy, yet I perceive that it is there.

            So I create and walk my own path.

            1. aguasilver profile image87
              aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Well if you love God, I am sure He will guide you to the truth you need for eternity.

              Peace.

      10. Tonu1973 profile image61
        Tonu1973posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It is quite eveident to me after reading this (and many other forums) that religion has been and will continue to be a hot button.  It is almost impossible to change someones opinion about religion.  A religious experience is just that, an experience.  It is something that you have felt.  It is something that has changed your life and can not be transmitted to someone else.

        Religion has been needed throughout time to explain the unexplainable.  Although science has attempted to rationalize many of these same things, that does not diminish in any way what others still believe. 

        Religion is created in the realm of nurture, not nature.  You grow up believing what you are taught and unless something happens to you later in life, you will continue to believe as you were taught in childhood.  My parents are both scientists and I was brought up believing in the big bang theory and evolution.  I still have all the morals of my peers who may or may not be religious, but my morals were bistowed to me to live a good life because this is it.  Some believe this is just the beginning and that they should live a good life so that they can go to heaven.  Is there really any difference.  If everyone tried to live a good life, for whatever reason, than the world would be a much better place.

        I think the ultimate question is, 'Are you open-minded enough to allow others the believe whatever they want?'

        1. Tonu1973 profile image61
          Tonu1973posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I can never figure out which tread to reply to and I always end up talking to myself...Oh Well

        2. rdcast profile image78
          rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Hi Tonu1973, you're not talking to yourself, God is listening and God bless you and your parents.

          Let me work backwards through your above text.

            "Are you open-minded enough to allow others the believe whatever they want?"

          God assures us the power to believe what we want. It's called free will, but  my free will wants to destroy me by superseding God's perfect will with vanity. Vanity being synonymous to sin. It kills.

          So God is the One who allows His creation to believe whatever it wants. By the way, if what one chooses to believe, opens a trap door to hell fire, that will be the cause and effect of one's beliefs and not God's will or whether one's mind is open or closed.

          "Some believe this is just the beginning and that they should live a good life so that they can go to heaven.  Is there really any difference.  If everyone tried to live a good life, for whatever reason, than the world would be a much better place."

          You will hear me mention "vanity" over and over. If I were to give Satan a nickname, it would be Vanity.  When I hear the question, "why does bad things happen to good people?" I cringe from the vanity of it. Love is love, truth is truth and vanity is opposed to both of them. The truth of the matter is spelled out by God's saints, who explains in love, no one is good but God. Perhaps that doesn't seem to be a fair statement or belief to you. But  for those of us who have been rescued from certain annihilation by His grace, our unquestionable belief that only God is good, is good news. Because for us, only God has the power, with the intent to make His righteousness reign.

          So, living a "good life" to get into the Kingdom of God, without seeking the redemption of God's Son, Jesus Christ, is tragically a vain attempt to rely on something that doesn't exist, man's good nature. What makes it so desperately impossible, is the improbability that our vanity will allow us to understand that we start life utterly guilty of ALL sin. That belief mandates that no one is better than anyone else and what individual, mired in vanity, can accept that belief ? The Holy Word says, it is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for man to enter the Kingdom of God. It is only through repentance of our sin and the belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to His Heavenly Father, that it is made possible. Not very likely, huh? It was made possible for me many years ago, only by God's unwillingness that my blinding vanity utterly destroy me in that last hour.

          "Religion is created in the realm of nurture, not nature."

          I like how you said that. Tonu1973, God explains how individuals, having different opportunities for receiving witness of His truths, bear different responsibility for their sins. For instance, people isolated from civilizations where the Word of God is preached, children under the age of accountability and generations who's lives are lived further from the first hand knowledge of God's workings. But do understand, that God has placed in all our hearts, upon it's fleshy tablets, the knowledge of good and evil. There will be no escaping the condemnable nature of vanity.

          "Religion has been needed throughout time to explain the unexplainable.  Although science has attempted to rationalize many of these same things, that does not diminish in any way what others still believe."

          Earthly science is feeble man's attempt to understand God, without admitting it. But you must be right, that society needs it's religion to endure for a time. But it takes spiritual sensitivity to hear and respond to the Good Shepherd's calling for His lost sheep.

          "It is quite eveident to me after reading this (and many other forums) that religion has been and will continue to be a hot button.  It is almost impossible to change someones opinion about religion.  A religious experience is just that, an experience.  It is something that you have felt.  It is something that has changed your life and can not be transmitted to someone else.

          Most of what you've said, I agree with. The believer in Jesus Christ can witness to the unbeliever, till he/she is blue in the face, but coming to Jesus Christ to be "born again" is the most personal and private experience an individual will ever go through. Fist consider who it is we must seek, no less than the all knowing God. He created us and knows us from the inside out. Now that is personal. How can we open up to one another to that level of intimacy? I pray that we could, but it doesn't seem possible.

          As far as being a "hot button". Isn't that by design? God's will toward man is most improbable without it having the effect of stirring up passions.

          As far as our vanity should be limited by the mercy of God through Jesus Christ, let us pray for each other.

          1. Tonu1973 profile image61
            Tonu1973posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Thanks for reading rdcast.  I enjoyed reading your breakdown of my thread.

            1. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              For what it's worth, it was from the heart and your more than welcome.

      11. IntimatEvolution profile image83
        IntimatEvolutionposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Yes.  Yes I am.

        The power in Christianity is free will.  We are free to think, go, do, and explore new ways of thinking all the time.  I battle myself daily; is there a god?  Is god an ancient alien?  Is Jesus the son of God?  Is Allah the name I should be calling God?  Should I be Jewish to believe in God?  How did we get this God figure anyhow?  Why doesn't he not show himself?  What's the big secret?  Will I go to heaven?  Is there a heaven?  What if God is a Buddhist?  What if God came from India? Do the Atheists have it right?  Should I quit being Catholic, because I'm against raping alter boys?  Was Jesus Catholic?  Should I?  Could I? How to? What if?, the list is endless.......

        But when it is all said and done, I believe for now that there is one God.  I believe he isn't affiliated with any one particular race, group, church, dogma, or congregation.  I believe he is for you, for me, for everyone.  I believe there is not a right or wrong way to love him.  I believe that there is not a wrong way or right way to make him believe in you.  He just does.  He is God.  Whether if there is a heaven or not, I still believe in God.  Whether he is an Alien or not, he is "not from this world" so let him be.  God is God.  He is in you, just as much as he is in me.  Peace be to God, and to all who believe or do not believe.  There is no evidence needed for me to physically see..., I physically feel him everyday.  Whether that feeling is just my imagination, so be it, I like the feeling.  It gives me the courage to do good things.

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you very much for your considered and honest answer. :-)

      12. grinnin1 profile image81
        grinnin1posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        It just isn't a question of open mindedness to me. We were made to be spiritual beings or religions wouldn't have risen out of every civilization on earth since the ancients. Primitive people have always known there was more to this life than what we can see with our eyes. We have a soul. There is an infinite order and beauty in the smallest of particles. The life of an caterpillar, or locust, or morning glory flower is complex in design and always changing. If not God, then what?

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Great answer! Thanks!

        2. 0
          jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Excuse me, how to make out whether some design is complex or not?

      13. ecoggins profile image93
        ecogginsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Yes. I am a highly committed Christian. And, I am willing to acknowledge that God might not exist. In fact, from my point of view, a person could not have sincere faith without counting it a possibility that God does not exist. Still, in my willingness to acknowledge that possibility, I am more than certain that God does in fact exist and that Jesus is the Son of God who was, who is, and who is to come.

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It's nice to encounter a Christian to understands what "faith" means. Thank you for your contribution.

      14. 0
        Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        As a non-believer, I acknowledge this also.

      15. Felixedet2000 profile image60
        Felixedet2000posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        to the original question, can you explain the concept and the force or power behind the Bermuda triangle phenomenon?

        this is number proof that God does exist for real.

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I'm going to respond to this as if you are sincere, even though I suspect you may be trolling me.

          There is no Bermuda Triangle problem. This was largely debunked over 35 years ago, in the book , "The Bermuda Triangle Mystery: Solved," by Larry Kusche. An updated version (1995) of this book is available on Amazon.

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            That's Chasuk for you, the eternal optimist...a goddess attribute btw.

            Felixedet2000, yo ma has force or power! You must have clicked on the wrong thread to wind up here with that question.

      16. weezyschannel profile image85
        weezyschannelposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I know he exists. Amen

      17. jacharless profile image81
        jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I'm an atheist, yet I'm open-minded enough to acknowledge that God might exist. If you are a theist, are you open-minded enough to acknowledge that He might not?


        That is the most ridiculous OP thus far.
        For starters, why would a former theist (atheist) CARE about deities.
        Secondly, all deism pertains to a or multiple forms of a consideration of god-like properties. Properties adopted and developed by solely one source: humans.

        "Open Minded" or "Closed Minded" simply implies the absence of full, unbiased critique and more importantly experience to match the argument.

        No post-theist can argue against their former indoctrination without using the doctrine itself -the consideration even of the concept of deism. Therefore, the a~theist is as moot as the theist.

        James

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I wasn't arguing against my former beliefs.

          1. jacharless profile image81
            jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            My apologies then.
            I made mention only because of the statement: "I am an atheist", which directly characterizes a pre-post belief system, and the elements therein.
            Wasn't meant to offend.

            Apart from that, the argument of gods, imo, is useless.
            Gods are supplemental concepts of a radically failing humanism. Being open or closed to these concepts keeps a person in the parallel of duality, yes?

            James.

            1. 0
              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I'm not quite sure what you mean by, "Gods are supplemental concepts of a radically failing humanism. Being open or closed to these concepts keeps a person in the parallel of duality."

              Would you kindly elaborate?

              1. jacharless profile image81
                jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Chasuk,
                That is a very elaborate explanation, which, unfortunately, cannot fit here.
                I suppose a sum-substance would be as follows:

                There are essentially two sides (or branches) that define the tree of humanism. We might also call humanism Duality. One branch is sensation or sensitized knowledge. This is often defined as theology or commonly, religion. However, the second branch is also theology/religion, a desensitized knowledge, commonly defined as science or equation.

                The constructs of gods came from these two, and these two alone. The very existence of these entities (forms, measures of superiority), interpolated, create both conflict, commonality and even human worth, purpose defined. They supplement a single thing: necessity. Necessity is the root of humanism, of duality and so, gods and god-likes (superior elements as beings or information or discovery).

                I say a failed humanism, because, in actuality, humanism has failed -grossly failed. What is surprising though is how duality -both sides- refuse to relent and (for lack of a better word, at the moment) repent of their own false, self imposed limitation and constant yielding to necessity. Necessities offspring: cause/effect; right/wrong; good/bad; possible/impossible; open/closed, also known as the parallel of reason.

                James

                1. Insane Mundane profile image59
                  Insane Mundaneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Your comment does not represent dualism, as in Yin & Yang or even Taoism for that matter and/or for one of the many examples of peace-flowing philosophies.  Neither of those, represent a "failed humanism," as you say.  Get real, James...  You know better than this...

                  1. jacharless profile image81
                    jacharlessposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Daoism and the Yin/Yang divination, are sub string of the larger Ism -sensationalism. They certainly is not "peace-flowing" doctrine (which is the actual & literal meaning of tao), either.

                    Nevertheless, it is apart of the same parallel, the same tree. The approach is male/female, right brain/left brain based on elementary humanism: compassion, humility, moderation. Accordingly, the application of these items supposedly forms a flow between the cosmos/nature and man. Same can be said of Green Man and others. The concepts are not that different from any other typical Theos.

                    Confucian philosophy is the combination of both sides of Duality, that is, Humanism. It is this philosophy that set the stage and greatly influenced Western European ideology, as well as Islamic, Judaic and Christian concepts, right up until the early 16th century.

                    As of late, the equation side of humanism (science) is applying deeper Taoist techniques to physics, showing again the similarity between them. A similarity known 4000 years ago and now reinforced. (as example, read the Tao of Physics).
                    Most would call modern Taoism: Quality of Life. The harmony between humanity, via technology (if you are unclear in my meaning of this, please refer to binary sequencing and hexagrams ( ☰ ☷ ), and the universe. An open minded approach to a reproachable result(?). It still comes back to the precise place: failed Humanism because atrocities can be hidden - like many atrocities done in the name of a god called humanism are -as accidental or necessary, deliberate incidence(s) to ultimately benefit society. Reason by the use of human knowledge is the root of its failure.

                    Please note also, it is from Confucian philosophy that such theos as Reiki, Sabbats, Thelema, etc all come. Some even believe the very core of the fundamental periodic table comes from Taoism...

                    James.

                    1. Insane Mundane profile image59
                      Insane Mundaneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      They are (Taoism & the Yin & Yang) both absent of deities hence forth a peace-flowing philosophy; quit with your superfluity of verbiage, at least when speaking to me, because I actually understand these things and feel the need to filter your excessive hogwash...  Cheers!

      18. Don Crowson profile image78
        Don Crowsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I do believe that many Christians  have considered that possibility.  I have. Does it take courage to question the existence of God? Not really.  Most people can reson that a higher being exists. The universe just happened is really no answer.  Somnething or someone established order in the universe.

        There is scientifc law and natural law. If there is a law there mustofnecessity be a law giver. Of course, you can ask why must there be a law giver?  And I ask, where do laws come from. Random chance?  Well I do not believe in chance.  Therefore, I reason there are laws and orders that man did not create.

        I further reason that everything many t5hings cannot be created nor destroyed. Energy and matter.  They simply change forms. They are not created nor destroyed.  Therefore, if many things cannot be created, they must have always existed. Therefore, God has always existed and created the heavens and earth.

        A random creation would mean that eternity is random.  Energy is random.  Matter is random. 

        No, I have doubted the existence of God, and I have reasoned that He exists.

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          My question was designed to explore intractability and sacred cows more than it was designed to explore the existence of God.

          Still, you bring up an interesting point, and I can't resist responding to part of it.

          I don't believe in chance; in this we agree. I also don't believe that anything is predestined. Things happen as a consequence of what has happened before. Anything that can happen, happens. Anything that can't happen, doesn't.

          That sums up my ontological beliefs.

        2. 0
          AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Hi, Don,

          I read your response with interest but I wonder why you are not aware of the illogical conclusions you reach from your premises?



          You are right that "just happened" is no answer.  There really are only two conclusions: either the universe was created or the universe has always been, the universe itself is eternal.  Of the two notions, the latter does not require any other explanation of the default position: existence exists.  The default position requires no supernatural explanation.  The "order" you claim is an illusion brought about by man's anthropomorphic nature - not too many years ago a comet slammed into a nearby planet (venus or jupiter), and had it been earth it would most likely wiped human life off the planet.  What was the purpose and design of that comet's flight?  How does that random event fit into the "ordered universe" model?  Was god doing a remodel?  Is he planning new shrubs, too?

            This is a fallacy. You are conflating differnet categories.  Only in human law is there a lawmaker.  Natural law is not law in the same sense that a speed limit is, but only "law" because we give it that conceptual name in order to describe its operational consistency.  "The Law of Gravity" is not a thing that has been created, like a coffee table, but a description of how objects behave.   


          In that case you must not believe in your own birth and the particular arrangement of chromosomes that make up your particular set of genes.  Of the millions of spermatazoa that entered your mother's uterus, chance determined which one would fertalize an egg and create a zygote which finally became you.

          You are the end product of a random occurence - so you are not here?



          Whoa, Nellie!  You make my head spin.  You provide a reasonable explanation that matter can be eternal, that it always existed, and then seque into a conclusion that not needing a god is proof of the need of a god?  Whoa!

          The only logical conclusion from your premises about matter and energy is that matter and energy are eternal and thus there is no need for a creator god.

          Randomness is a description of a comparison.  Matter cannot be random.  Matter can assemble by random actions, such as the above example of spermatazoa causing an egg to be fertalized.  Eternal is a description of the concept of something having no beginning and no end, of always being.  That description cannot be random.  You are confusing random with the idea of causeless - they are not the same. 

          A random event has a cause - it's just not a planned cause.  Kind of like a comet plowing into planet what's-its-name.

          1. Don Crowson profile image78
            Don Crowsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            @Winston

            Well, you present some interesting arguments. I may need to do a little more thinking along these lines, but if I have interpreted your arguments correctly, you are sying that order must be perfect order and there is no room for accidents or any disorder.  Well, if that is the asumption, obviously you could easily conclude that God did not create a perfect world. Are you saying that if God created the imperfect world, God cannot have created the world at all?

            There are millions of animals and plants struggling for survival.  Like the sperm, they all have some objective.  Does that mean there was no creator because some perish.  Can we conclude that there is no creator because infant mortality rates are not 0% or 100%?

            Does order of necessity mean perfect order in order to have a creator?

            1. 0
              AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Hi, Don,

              My intent was simply to show where I thought you had errors in your conclusions based from your premises.  Whether a superbeing could or would create an imperfect universe or world depends entirely on the supposition of that being, does it not? 

              Aristotle hypothesized a prime mover, an uncaused first cause that did nothing more than initiate.  If that is the superbeing you claim, then an imperect order could be expected, even, as natural processes would take over after the initial creation.  But that hardly explains an interactive Christian god, right?

              I'm really not presenting an opposing argument at all other than I am arguing that your logic is flawed, that your conclusions do not follow from your premises.  If what you cite are the reasons for your belief, then your belief is illogical - that's all I am saying.

              Btw, I mean no disrespect in the term illogical.  It simply means the conclusions do not follow from the premises, that the view held is not based on logic.  Faith is the abandonment of logic and critical thinking in lieu of a narrative for hope.  I view faith as an emotional need - hopefully as we grow we mature enough to deal with reality without the need for magic solutions.

              1. Insane Mundane profile image59
                Insane Mundaneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Many scientists think the Big Bang occurred yet they can't explain why it was an orderly explosion. Is that considered logical, as well?

              2. aguasilver profile image87
                aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                What if God created a perfect world, but we introduced the imperfection, I think I read a book about that sometime?

                1. mischeviousme profile image61
                  mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Christian publications, unfortunately, only promote christian thinking, no room for any bias or conflicting information.

                2. 0
                  AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Aguasilver,

                  Perfect is a term of comparison against a standard, so in what sense could the world be considered perfect?  This is one of those words we toss around as if it actually has meaning - but it does not - we have to apply a meaning.  It is really a non-sensical word to describe an alice-through-the-looking-glass version of reality.

                  Think about it - what do you really mean with the idea that god might have created a perfect world.  Pefect how? 

                  And keep in mind, an onmiscient/omnipotent god would know that the world he created would be corrupted by man, so by creating that world he would be condoning the corruption, as an uncorruptable one was certainly within his powers to create.

                  Here is the deal and it is an inescapable conclusion: an onmiscient/omnipotent god can never escape the responsibility for his actions, i.e., if god created a world he knew would be corrupted, then it was his will to do so, because he could have made an incorruptible one, so it would be his will that it be corrupted, meaning any human corrupting that world would be acting in accordance with god's will.

                  1. aguasilver profile image87
                    aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    "so it would be his will that it be corrupted"

                    Not at all, it was His will that we would allow Him to guide our paths and live in a perfect world (and still is) but He gave us the choice (still does) and we chose to corrupt what He had created in perfection for us to live in.

                    It's like a very complex jigsaw puzzle that comes complete, a perfect picture to enjoy, then the child you gave it too chooses to break it up and scatter the pieces, throws them up in the air.

                    After that you can just watch as they try to reassemble the perfect picture, help them when they ask you 'can you see any missing pieces" "sure son" you say, "there's a few bits that got hidden under the coffee table" and they get a bit more of the picture.

                    Then again, your child may refuse any help, and even worse refuse to put the picture back to perfection saying "I won't even start until I can be sure I have ALL the pieces assembled and labelled and correctly identified"

                    That little smart ass will take a lot longer to see the big picture.

                    1. 0
                      AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Just saying "no", does not invalidate the logic. 

                      If god had the choice of what world to create (obviously, an omnipotent god would) and created one that allowed freedom of choice when he did not have to do so, then he is responsible for his choice and all the actions taken.  It would have been god's will to create free will, thus an exercise of free will, either for or against god, would be god's will.

                      If he wanted had wanted all humans to worship him, he could have created that world.  That he did not create that world means it was his will to not have all humans worship him.

                      You are saying god made a choice that free will for man was his priority, so he made that world, but then exercising that free will is then man's fault?

                      That makes no sense whatsoever.  If god did it, he is responsible.  It is that simple.

      19. LeslieAdrienne profile image82
        LeslieAdrienneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Nope.....

      20. move2move profile image60
        move2moveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        The way you ask your question has no room for a truthful answer and as such, doesn't go anywhere close to an answer ...
        Why not asking more obvious obvious questions and find the answer to these:
        "Except What I Think I know About Me, Who Am I .. ?"
        "Energy can't be destroyed and I'm probably that energy I am full of ...
        so .. maybe I've come from somewhere before I walked down here on earth ... where've I been back then and as what?!"

        Can be other questions but that's just a tip ;-)!

        Another tip! We have as human beings different modalities on which our brain works. What I mean by that is that our brain doesn't work at the same level of activities in terms of frequencies over the day than it does during the night. You can look forward to understand how that works on a practical way and what you can find out by going down that rabbit hole.
        If you just read about it, you actually don't really want to know and will get very little & poor answers to your questions. If you really want to know, you will discover how you can use these brainwaves on a practical manner and know more about what you didn't know when you had not the right tools to do so.

        But if you have a specific believe in "Not Believing That God Exists Or Does Exist" ... why keeping up the question if it's that clear ... ?!


        But now you've a serious lead that doesn't care if you have a belief system or not to
        defend as you have to become practical, instead of hiding yourself behind a theory that in both cases just happened to leave you behind one fact:
        "You frankly just don't know ..."

        (..not meant to be or sound offensive or so, don't get me wrong here ...)


        The journey might become a very interesting one if you're as open as you pretend ... ;-)!

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I phrased the question as neutrally as I know how. Do you have reason to believe that the answers I've received thus far have been lies?

          The alternative questions that you suggest don't address similar concerns, nor do they address my particular interests.

          1. move2move profile image60
            move2moveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            The way I turned my question might go more in the direction of your concern as you may think; it just doesn't go the way with the means you want it to be proven. Neutrality is good, but you have to become practical to get real answers! No matter if what you've been told until now is a lie or truth, you just don't know because it looks like that you received answers by thinking about it, by logic or similar ways, when in reality you get them by experiencing it and that is possible ... and I am not talking religion here, just to clarify things!! I gave you some tip earlier, but a room only reveals its secrets when you open its door. That's the main problem and therefore you will always remain in a theory "Believing" more in one direction rather than another but not knowing for sure what the true answer is because you restrict yourself the possible ways to really know for sure straight from the start, that's the point. And .. if I am right, as I said/assumed before, you look at received information and think about it, set it apart by logic, what is also good as far it remains really "neutral" but that's way not enough and is not how it works ... unfortunately! If you want to know how it is to swim, you have to jump in the water, thing that you haven't done here yet ...
            But maybe you just want to believe what you "Think" it is ... or isn't and eventually that is enough for you. That's perfectly ok! For me personally, that wouldn't be enough at all. In that kind of stuff, I want to know and I can tell you that when you really look for it you can't miss it, no matter how long it takes and depending on how straight to the point you are by doing what needs to be done to get your answer.
            Thanks for your question :-)!

            1. 0
              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              What I "want" to believe isn't relevant to the question I asked.

              For the record, I "want" to believe whatever is most likely to be true, whatever that might be.

              1. move2move profile image60
                move2moveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Well, yes ...that's my point, when you will find an answer, you will drop what you believe as you will realize that it isn't about believes at all. When you look at your girlfriend (supposedly you have one of course), you don't need to "Believe" that she's in front of you when you can see her staying a few steps away, right next to you. That's where the difference has to be made. It has nothing to do with "Believes" ...
                Not for a single second!

                P.S.: Indeed, on this you're right in the approach; what you "want" to believe shouldn't be relevant to the question or at least to what you're likely to find when you'll dive the water you just jumped into ...

                1. 0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I agree with you, partially.

                  I've been married to the same woman for 31 years; I don't need help recognizing her when she is standing in front of me. That my wife is standing in front of me -- or not -- is a fact.

                  However, not every question has an indisputably factual answer. For those questions of fact with an unknown (and perhaps unknowable) answer, I seek the "best" answer. In other words, the answer with the closest correspondence to reality. As I gain new or better information, that answer changes.

                  1. move2move profile image60
                    move2moveposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Question is ... what is reality? Only the part that you perceive because of what you expect to see or also what you can't perceive and yet is part of that reality? Fact is that a normal human being (most of them) only perceive a very tiny spectrum of the whole reality that surrounds him/her (not even mentioning the whole spectrum within him/herself) and actually makes him/her pretty ... blind ... in means of perception of his/her own environment. When you look at autistic savants, they are a pretty amazing example of that in terms of perception but have to face different issues also compared to us. Speaking of that, comes also to it the little amount of brain capacity normal human beings use to solve issues or for general matters ... that makes it a little bit difficult to get behind closed doors. And a question only has no indisputable fact for as long you haven't found the answer; the whole human adventure in itself is a prove of that.


                    I wish you good luck and good findings in your quest :-)!
                    Your approached is a good one, but eventually a too slow
                    one for my taste ...lol... :-P


                    Have nice Chasuk,

                    Read you soon,

                    Move2Move

                    1. 0
                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Really, we aren't disagreeing. However, we are drawing our boundaries at different points.

                      Thanks for the chat.

                  2. wilmiers77 profile image60
                    wilmiers77posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Do you even know your wife? Did you actually marry her?

                    1. 0
                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      What is the point of this question?

      21. A Thousand Words profile image80
        A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        That's not likely, no. That won't ALWAYS be the case, however... To most theists, especially the hardcore religionists, though, the concept of there not being a God is literally unimaginable. God forbid we aren't anymore special than our fellow animals, and there is no man/being in the sky making sure that one day everything will work out in our favor somehow, or offering us some kind of eternity and rewards, and a nice pat on the back. Some people believe themselves(humans in particular) too important to accept such a reality as being possible, and yet they at the same time think we are such evil beings that any concept of no God would be nothing but chaos, murder, and just complete craziness (true in some cases, but not most).

        I myself am not an atheist, nor am I a theist in the sense that most people would define it as. I am simply a person existing in this life, open to real truth when/if it presents itself to me, open to challenging things and asking questions, no matter what it is. I'm perfectly fine just living in this world. No need to be particularly special, or receive any rewards after death. I'm also perfectly fine with death being the end of it all, if it is. I just want to be me, experience true love, which I may have found (big_smile), and anything else this place has to offer.

      22. 0
        Deborah Sextonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        ******************************

        I don't think denying something is being open minded.

        1. A Thousand Words profile image80
          A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Well, using the same logic and subjectivity, one could say that you are in denial, yourself, miss. One could just as easily say that you are denying the fact that there is no God.

          Why is it that many theists (mainly, but not only, Christians) think that Atheists "deny" God's existence? Any person who thinks He is real in the back of his mind isn't a true Atheist, though they might think themselves to be. They're probably just angry. Those are the ones who might turn back to theism one day, or may eventually conclude that there really is no God, or come to some middle ground somewhere, like a lot of us. But, a true Atheist is not typically someone with an anti-theistic stance, but more simply someone with the absence of belief in a God or Divine being...

          1. Insane Mundane profile image59
            Insane Mundaneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            You said:  "Why is it that many theists (mainly, but not only, Christians) think that Atheists "deny" God's existence?"  Uh, for one, that IS the common definition of an atheist; yo-yo; duh!
            I think what you are describing as a "true atheist" is merely somebody who does not give a rat's ass either way and/or couldn't care less...

            1. A Thousand Words profile image80
              A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I suppose though I take to "deny" something to mean that it's true, you just cannot accept it as true... Just as apathy is a lack of enthusiam, concern, etc., Atheism is a lack of theism (belief in a God)...

            2. A Thousand Words profile image80
              A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I think you were using deny as "Refuse to accept or agree to," but she was using it as "Refuse to admit the truth or existence of (something)" or "Refuse to acknowledge or recognize; disown," which is the definition most Theists use when referring to Atheists

              1. Insane Mundane profile image59
                Insane Mundaneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I deny that 2 + 2 is anything but 4, yet some integer-challenged mathematicians often say that 2 + 2 doesn't always equal 4.  Yet, we still argue because we think...  If what you say is true, then a "true atheist doesn't think about the subject of God at all," which we all know is a ...  Well, never mind; LOL!

                1. A Thousand Words profile image80
                  A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  ... I'm not sure we're on the same page. What definition of deny are you using? And what is your personal standing on the subject? I'm getting a hint of something...

                2. A Thousand Words profile image80
                  A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Also, that is not what I am saying at all... I'm simply saying that the Atheist, in how I define the word has a lack of belief in a God. Now, of course he's going to discuss it, and even debate it, if necessary. But, "denying" it implies, again, that it's true, but you just can't or don't want to admit that it is true. I'm pretty sure that there are PLENTY of Atheists out there who do not think His existence is something they can't accept as truth, but that it ISN'T truth...

                  1. Insane Mundane profile image59
                    Insane Mundaneposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Silly semantics...  The term 'atheist' and the term 'deny' are not very complicated words, but then again, there are those that can complicate a cheese sandwich.

                    1. A Thousand Words profile image80
                      A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Ok, then. You're right. End of discussion...

          2. 0
            Deborah Sextonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            *******************

            The things you just said do not relate to my statement in any way.

            I am not a Christian  

            And I am a Mrs. not a Miss

            1. srwnson profile image60
              srwnsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Too bad because, I swear Deborah, you look even more ravashing then I remember. wink

              Still do the number thing?

              1. 0
                Deborah Sextonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                *********

                Thank you if you meant it.
                ,
                Yes I still do the number thing.

            2. A Thousand Words profile image80
              A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I do apologize for the incorrect honorifics. I'm sorry, I did misinterpret what you said. It was so short, and because I don't have any background on your religious standing, I was unaware of that fact. My apologies. Now that I know, I see your comment in a COMPLETELY new light.

        2. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          You are being disingenuous, unless you really don't know that your definition of atheism is archaic.

          To deny something is to refuse to admit the truth or existence of something, which presupposes the the truth or existence of that thing. To presuppose -- to assume at the beginning that something is the case -- is the epitome of close-mindedness.

      23. vox vocis profile image93
        vox vocisposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I don't understand what faith in God has to do with open-mindness the way you put it (being open to the thought that God doesn't exist). Either you believe or you don't. I find this question a little odd because if someone really believes in God, I doubt that being open to question Him would be a sign of faith. See the paradox?

        1. 0
          Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          The exercise of maintaining an open mind and presuming a belief are antithetical. However, even if it were otherwise, there is no paradox within the context of Christian belief. Faith has a component of doubt, as the Bible tells us:

          "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." -- Hebrews 11:1

          1. vox vocis profile image93
            vox vocisposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            That's an atheistic point of view. I believe in God and it's paradox to me. Also, I'm very open-minded but the exercise of maintaining an open mind does not equal questioning everything, especially not faith. Doubt belongs to human nature. Believing without evidence is faith. You have the right to your own opinion and I respect it. I'm not trying to convince you otherwise, but I'll take it as if you are open-minded to the possibility that I might be right, at least in "my world" smile

            1. A Thousand Words profile image80
              A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              So God gives us a mind that we are forbidden to use? yikes

            2. 0
              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Believing without evidence is indeed faith. I quoted scripture making exactly that point.

              1. A Thousand Words profile image80
                A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I think that even though some people claim to have faith without evidence, it is completely against our human tendencies. We tend to justify, rationalize all that we can. It's how we make sense of things. So, people who say that they have faith, and seem to be allergic to the idea of reason, are actually using reason, simply with faulty premises and conclusions. Man is incapable of using some kind of logic or reason. Thus, there is cognitive dissonance. But anyway, I'm sure he believes his faith validated by actions that he believes are those of God. Otherwise, why would he choose to believe in Him?

                1. 0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  The 17 March 2012 edition of New Scientist -- a special edition -- contains an article which argues that man is hardwired to believe in God. The entire edition is called "The God Issue."

                  1. A Thousand Words profile image80
                    A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I believe it, if it was a survival mechanism. It certainly is much easier to believe in God, which is why so many people did and do. To believe that you are special somehow, that there is a higher power dictating the Universe, that SOMEONE is thinking about you, loves you, that your "enemies" will meet their demise someday (and you don't have to do it yourself, but can actually be "better" than them by turning the other cheek), the ability to stay a child in some sense of the word, to not really have to think, to have all of the hard questions answered for you, and so on and so forth, makes for much "happier" people.

                    Anyway, it sounds like a good read.

                    1. A Thousand Words profile image80
                      A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      And what I mean is that often religious people are much less likely to commit suicide, destroy themselves through drugs, so on and so forth.

                    2. 0
                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      To quote the New Scientist editorial:

                      "This is not an apologia for god. Religious claims still wither under rational scrutiny and deserve no special place in public life. But it is a call for those who aspire to a secular society to approach it rationally -- which means making more effort to understand what they are dealing with. Religion is deeply etched in human nature and cannot be dismissed as a product of ignorance, indoctrination or stupidity. Until secularists realize that, they are fighting a losing battle."

            3. 0
              AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              The basic reason humans created supernatural powers is for the resolution of intractable problems; however, there really is no difference between saying, "god will solve that in his good time" and saying, "I don't know the answer" other than, if believed, the first helps quell fear.

              1. A Thousand Words profile image80
                A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I so often like your answers, even though your avatar creeps me out slightly. That was the best rendition of the Joker I have ever seen, and so, the creepiest...

                1. 0
                  AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Thanks,

                  The reason I picked that avatar was the scene in the hospital in which the Joker is talking about attempts to control and how pathetic they really are - as biological creatures, we humans are no different in our inability to control the natural order of the world than is a slug, a sponge, or fungi.  We really are simply a part of nature.

                  It is pathetic and arrogant at the same time to invent and claim real a supernatural superhero who can accomplish control of the uncontrollable for us rather than simply admitting to our limitations.

                  Kind of sad, too.

                  1. A Thousand Words profile image80
                    A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Hmm. What truth. Are you familiar with Carl Sagan's "Pale Blue Dot?"

                    When I watched that movie (The Dark Knight) the first time, I was still a Christian, and so I am CERTAIN that I will get something different from it if I watch it in my current state of mind. It sounds like there are some things in there I certainly missed, but I didn't watch movies the same way that I do, now-a-days.

    2. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image85
      BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 4 years ago

      I am open-minded enough to acknowledge that God might not exist, but I am not dumb enough to believe that God does not exist.

      1. 0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I'm not sure that you can reconcile those two assertions, Blackandgoldjack.

        1. BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image85
          BLACKANDGOLDJACKposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Bet me.

          1. 0
            Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Bet you? This isn't a wager, Blackandgoldjack. Even if it were, I'm not a betting man.

            I believe that your two assertions are irreconcilable. If you believe that I am incorrect, and you feel like doing so, correct me.

            1. 0
              CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Well, yes, it is a wager that everyone must bet their lives upon.

              You see, we all must decide whether God exists based on the reason, logic, evidence, authority, and faith that is available to us. The reason we must decide is that this question has many temporal and eternal implications. So, a conclusion must be reached. Like it or not, you have been given life, and are forced to lay down a bet.

              Blaise Pascal developed what is now known as the "Wager Argument". Simply put, he said that the evidence for God's existence and against it are equally strong, so reason will not be violated either way one chooses, because there is enough powder on both sides of the canon to blow each other apart. He then went on to say that reason, therefore, cannot be used in this debate.

              His logical mind concluded that if the "atheist" is correct, and God does not exist, he will have gained nothing. But, if he is wrong, he will lose everything forever, including his soul. On the other hand, if the "Creationist" is correct, and God does exist, then he has gained everything including eternal life, but if he is wrong, he will have lost nothing. So, the prudent man should bet on God's existence.

              1. 0
                Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Pascal was naive, or disingenuous, or both.

                I don't have switch on the side of my head that I can toggle between "Belief YES" and "Belief NO." I _can't_ believe in God simply because I choose to, because it is a risk-free bet. Maybe you can; I'm not wired that way.  I can't choose to believe that toasters are turnips, either. If I could choose to believe in God in the manner of choosing insurance policies, presumably God would know that I had made a calculated, dishonest choice, not born of faith or reason, but of mere statistics. I still wouldn't know which God to choose.

                1. rdcast profile image78
                  rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Chasuk, be of good cheer, there is only ONE GOD! You are so right though, concerning the head switch. That would make it oh so simple, wouldn't it? But alas, there's the need for living the consequences of having partaken in that fruit known as the knowledge of good and evil. It is a process God has prepared for us all, but as our little ships are tossed into the storms of life, may we at least pray for one another. Yes, are you open minded enough to try that? I promise it wont cost you anything, Jesus Christ has already paid the price for us.

            2. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I believe you've hit upon something here Mr. Chasuk. But I see through what BLACKANDGOLDJACK is touching on. As sinful repenters, if honest and sincere, we understand the only thing that separates us from the unrepentant is that we've come to believe with all our hearts that as filthy sinners, we need the cleansing Blood of the Perfect Lamb of God. Just because we recognize God's miraculous plan for atonement through His Son, doesn't imply we're any less sinful than anyone. We have the constant reminder from the Holy Spirit, "if not by the Grace of God, there go I". So, let me pray: Dear Heavenly Father, keep my mind OPEN, lest I boast for needing forgiveness, but for Your Loving Mercy, I praise You and boast openly and proudly of Your Glory. In the precious name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

              If this wasn't so and we represented some brick wall in the eyes of the unrepentant, then any claim of love would be spurious and an obvious imitation. So you win Mr. Chasuk. For the sake of your need to see, I OPEN my mind, in the hope that your not hindered in your search for truth. Risking repulsing you, as worshipers of love's source, we do love you.

              CJ Sledgenhammer, your explanation concerning the dichotomy between the two belief systems was beautiful and so pertinent. But let us not forget the ensuing new reality and affirming nature of God's greatness, as we surrendered to Him daily.

              1. mischeviousme profile image61
                mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Surrendering the mind imprisons the senses, surrendering the soul is giving up common sense.

                1. rdcast profile image78
                  rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  If I surrender my mind, I've surrendered not much, but by surrendering my soul, I've giving up something not so common. Indeed, if it weren't so precious an act to God, Satan wouldn't scrap so hard to attain it for his wicked self.

                  1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                    A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Considering souls have never been shown to exist, you've given up everything by surrendering your mind.

                  2. mischeviousme profile image61
                    mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Some say the pen is mightier than the sword... Tell that to the writer that just got cut down with a sword.

                    1. rdcast profile image78
                      rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      He who has the last word, is he who talks too much.

                      The writer is attacked by the deceiver from behind. The evil one is susceptible by the casting of arrows to his head.  I've seen this in a dream.

              2. 0
                Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I believe that you are sincere, and I will neither mock nor disparage you for your sincerity.

                1. rdcast profile image78
                  rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  God will honor that, I assure you. You will discover that it doesn't require belief in Him before He is willing to deal with you.

                  Oh, with that said, I have a message for you. God might well be designing that imaginary switch that only He can throw, just for you.

    3. livelonger profile image90
      livelongerposted 4 years ago

      Yes, although I wouldn't classify myself necessarily as a theist.

      1. Apostle Jack profile image61
        Apostle Jackposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Certain ones already know.Some have found Him ,but most have not. It is not meant for everyone to believe,nor go to heaven. We each have a choice to believe as we may......but every math don't lead to the same destination.
        When you already know,there is no room for doubt,and may-be's  don't exist.

        1. livelonger profile image90
          livelongerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Yes, I've heard that refrain time and time again. Enjoy heaven, and all the sanctimony you want until you get there.

    4. secularist10 profile image91
      secularist10posted 4 years ago

      I basically already asked this question.

      http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/89685

      Over 500 comments, and the answer for the vast majority of the believers is "no."

      Here is a typical comment from the forum, grammatical mistakes aside:

      "For anyone who truly believes in God, the answer to the question would be. Nothing would stop me from believing in God."

      Pretty sad.

      1. brotheryochanan profile image61
        brotheryochananposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Over 500 comments, and the answer for the vast majority of the NON-believers is "no."

        Here is a typical comment from the forum, grammatical mistakes aside:

        "For anyone who doesn't believe in God, the answer to the question would be. Nothing would stop me from NOT believing in God."

        now your opinion is true

        Pretty sad.
        Aren't opinions wonderful and we can see how useless they truly are

        1. secularist10 profile image91
          secularist10posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          [scratching my head]

          What the hell are you talking about? Chasuk's and my question were asked of believers, not nonbelievers.

          You then change the wording of the quote to make it as if it was from a nonbeliever. I don't get it. The quote I cited was from an actual person in that forum. You just made yours up.

          Incidentally, atheists and agnostics are generally more open to the possibility of God than believers are to the possibility of non-God.

          1. brotheryochanan profile image61
            brotheryochananposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I parodied your response because your last sentence of 'pretty sad' i thought could be turned back on your statement, which i did.

            Of course agnostics and atheists are more open to the possibility of God that the believers are to the possibility of non-God.
            We have our proof the others are still looking and some are still wrestling.
            When at the bottom one can only look up

            1. mischeviousme profile image61
              mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Correction... "The view of heaven, is better from hell". The only way one would ever truly know heaven, they would have to be intimately aware of hell.

            2. secularist10 profile image91
              secularist10posted 4 years ago in reply to this

              I think you need to work on your parody skills, brother. Haha.

        2. rdcast profile image78
          rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          When all paths lead to hell except one, it certainly is most sad brotheryochanan, when sinners delay the inevitable. I've seen up close and personal, deathbed conversions. When at the very end of a long life, no crowns had been received, as given many times to the obedient and fruitful believers in Jesus Christ. During that glorious day, when we are at the thrown of God and His Lamb. Those without crowns will be left to watch with much regret, as those with many crowns, are able to honer our worthy God, by casting them before His feet and falling on their face in worship. Please, I implore the unrepentant, don't wait, repent now and call out to Jesus Christ for His cleansing Blood to wash away your sins and accept Him as your Lord an Savior! Amen.

          1. A Thousand Words profile image80
            A Thousand Wordsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I think I would be fine without an afterlife, and also without any rewards of any kind. But that's just me. smile

        3. Thinking Allowed profile image60
          Thinking Allowedposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Um... no.

    5. Roger Crigger profile image61
      Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago

      I tried for years to NOT believe in God. Was really not into the thought that I wasn't totally in control of myself and my life, (including my surroundings at times), but God absolutely would not let me NOT believe. I've had experiences that most people wouldn't believe. Actually, most people probably don't believe and I don't blame them. I've seen dozens and dozens of people healed BY GOD under MY hands. I've seen people delivered from demons BY GOD, under MY hands, (including a girl in a drug induced coma!) I laid hands on her, commanded the spirit to leave and commanded her body to respond to the healing virtues of God. I SAW the demon / spirit LEAVE HER BODY as she convulsed and shook, (totally unconscious) Days later, when she finally woke up, she says that all she remembered of the week long ordeal was the sound of MY voice!? But I know... We can't use personal experiences here because I can't prove it to you. I have no scientific evidence to show you.... and really, I don't care! I don't NEED to convert anyone, not my job. I do have however, scores of people who think that I'm an Angel or have a "Better" connection to God or...whatever they believe, (Which I'm not...I'm only human...like you.) I've had entire rooms full of non-believers HIT THE FLOOR (5 OF THEM ONE TIME) WHILE DELIVERING ONE YOUNG MAN FROM CRANK IN JESUS NAME. They still don't know what to think of me. One of them will cross the street to avoid me when she see's me coming because it scared the crap out of her. But again, inadmissible HERE.
            What I can't believe, even aside from all of my own personal experiences is that people can see and understand how, oh let's say an eyeball, works and not see a creator? How could an eyeball EVOLVE? A little cell or ameba decided that it needed to see? An eyeball has HAD to ALWAYS been used... to see. If a person can't look at the vast complexities of...um... EVERYTHING and see a creator, my feeble attempts to convince them are useless! Unless of course God decides to use me! So, there you have it. I will never be able to NOT believe in God, at least a creator, a designer, a FAR SUPERIOR being.(And I've had WAY ENOUGH suffering / troubles / loss in my life to want to, at times, say THERE IS NO GOD!!! But, I'd be lying to myself. God bless you all and good question Chasuk!

      1. 0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        @Roger Crigger; If I'd had your personal experiences, I'd likely believe them, too. I do believe things without transmissible evidence. I believe that my wife and my daughters (and a few other people) love me in a deep and special way. I believe that Merwin and you are both good, honorable men, yet I've met neither of you. However, I couldn't prove any of these beliefs in a court of law (adjudicated by logicians and scientists, no less) and that's the standard that I impose on myself when exploring (what I perceive as) ultimate questions with objective answers.

        Thank you for your response, Roger, and (non-facetiously) God Bless.

      2. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        lol Truly stunning the depths believers will sink to lie about their gods.



        Of course, you have no evidence and of course, you don't care. Outrageous fantasies like that are from those who care the least.



        The whoppers just keep getting bigger and bigger.



        Had you spent less time dreaming up fantasies and more time learning about evolution, you might understand how an eye can evolve.



        Feeble attempts would indicate some understanding of the subject matter. Outrageous fantasies are simply laughable in convincing anyone of your extraordinary talents, let alone a creator.



        You were, and now you're lying to us. smile

        1. Roger Crigger profile image61
          Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I do have evidence. dozens of people, but, you wouldn't believe them either, so, what's the point? Seriously though, if you really were interested, I'm sure I could round up a sizeable number of people who were on the recieving end of the miracles that GOD performed. Not sure I'd want to though... you'd treat them like you just treated me and that's what this world DOES NOT need.

          1. A Troubled Man profile image60
            A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            You mean, other believers who would also lie to support their irrational beliefs? Yeah, sure. lol

            1. Roger Crigger profile image61
              Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Yeah, all of the people who are astonished with disbelief. Look, Chas asked a question, I answered it. There is no way that I can prove it to you because you're not going to believe ANYBODY, if it doesn't line up with what YOU believe. Many of these experiences were so powerful and even unexpected that I had to leave, or pull over while driving and just sit there and cry, I do however HATE to be called a liar. I don't expect somebody with as narrow minded as you obviously are to believe me, but how about NOT reducing this to "Oh, yeah, well you're a liar"..."Oh huh!"..."Huh"... "You are!" ... "I know I am but what are you"... Come on man, please stop.... grow up man. and, believe this or don't but there is coming a day, when you're going to feel REALLY stupid for just taking the EXTRODINARY works of God and simply, WITH NO PROOF ON YOUR PART.... Calling me a liar. This is why I don't like to try to discuss anything on-line anymore. I'm not supposed to care how any given person percieves me, or treats me, but the truth of the matter is....I DO. Talk about double standard bul...t, You call me a liar, because I don't have proof worthy of YOUR approval and in so doing, your making a statement as fact....WITH NO PROOF!?

              1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Yes, I can see how you answered it, hence my response to you.



                You can't prove it because it never happened.



                Then, stop lying.



                lol You're the one telling childish fairy tale stories and you want me to grow up? lol



                I don't believe that nonsense.



                Because others point out your false statements for they are and you get upset that no one believes them?



                You don't have proof because none of what you claim happened. It's total bs.

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                AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                (There is no way that I can prove it to you because you're not going to believe ANYBODY, if it doesn't line up with what YOU believe)

                Roger Crigger,

                If you can do these things, why can you not repeat them under testable conditions?  The James Randi Foundation offers a standing $1,000,000 reward to anyone who can perform a supernatural act under testable, scientific conditions.  No tricks. 

                If you really can do what you say, then you will take this prize.  If you cannot, then you are simply another Benny Hinn or Oral Roberts, duping the gullible.

                1. 0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I'm going to have to defend my friend Roger here.

                  I don't believe that Roger does any of the things that he says he does, but I believe that he BELIEVES that he does what he says he does.

                  Roger is part of a small, credulous milieu who all believe the same eccentric thing. Benny Hinn and Oral Roberts are not comparable.
                  Benny Hinn and (the late) Oral Roberts are/were exploiters. They know/knew that they are/were frauds. They dupe/duped the gullible. Roger dupes no one; to dupe requires intention, and Roger's intentions are only honorable.

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    For the most part, agreed. Much of TV evangelism has been spurious. Dr. Charles Stanley is an exception. I discovered him 30 years ago, when I'd end every day listening to him on radio. It was amazing to me how a man could give such messages every night. I recommend anyone to him for inspired Bible study.  You wont hear him begging for money, speaking in tongues, performing miracles of healing, or hollering, but you will be faced with some of the deepest understanding of God's will, ever expressed by sinful man. http://www.intouch.org/broadcast/audio-archives

          2. Bonitaanna profile image82
            Bonitaannaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Hi Roger Crigger:  I want you to know that I believe every word you say. I know that what you are saying is true.  Even people who have been embalmed and put in the coffin have come back alive.  One woman dragged her dead husbands coffin to Reinhardt Bonky's crusade and they would not let her take it up on stage so she put him in a room below the stage and opened the door so she thought he needed to hear him speak the word of God and because her faith was so great that God would let him come back to her, sure enough he sat up in the coffin and said he was hungry.  He had already had an autopsy and his guts were removed and sawdust was stuffed in his body in its place.  There are many miracles happening all over the world.  My husband who is a Rabbi sang at a crusade in Nigeria and a little girl who was born without an eye socket, he told her to put her hand over that place and he told the crowd to put their hands on the place of their body that hurt or needed healing and they did and when he sang On Holy Ground, the part of the song that says to reach out and claim it, then he asked the  little girl to come up on stage and take her hand off her face and when she did they all saw that God had put a new eyesocket and eyeball in her face.  Many other people had teeth put in their mouth or gold inlays and some people who were amputees their limbs were replaced and some who were born with their legs short or arms swriveled up all grew out to be normal, the blind were made to see and the deaf could near.  Talk about a miracle!!! These people, some walked day and night to get there. They all were on fire for the Lord.  That is what is wrong with this country.  Not enough people are on fire for the Lord and all the miracles HE can do!
            Praise the Lord!

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              Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              That has to be the creepiest post I've read. My husband wants to know if the dead husband pooped 2x4's after he sat up and ate, since he only had sawdust for innards. If you were serious (and man, I hope your post was a joke)....get help. I beg of you.

              1. Bonitaanna profile image82
                Bonitaannaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                No, I am serious, it really happened!  A couple weeks ago another man was brought back from the dead over in Africa, while 5 women were standing around him. There were men outside his home that were making a coffin to put him out of his front door.  Earlier that day the women sent for a pastor who they heard had brought a whole family back from the dead after they had all been poisoned by a witch doctor and were dead for over a day.  They wanted him to come and pray over this man and he arrived just right before the coffin was finished.  They all stood there and prayed for him and he opened his eyes and coughed and looked around and was shocked he was not dead.  They all ran out of the house they became so frightened, except the pastor and the wife.

                1. Bonitaanna profile image82
                  Bonitaannaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  This is the end time and many miracles are happening all over the world. My husband is a Rabbi, he received his voice from the Lord on the veranda of his house in Chile when he was 13 years old.  He was sleeping on a cot on the veranda and a voice called out to him three times before he realized it was the Lord.  He stood up and said yes, Lord I am here. The Lord said, Samuel, do you want to sing for me, he said looking up at the sky, yes Lord I do, but not just one time, for the rest of my life. He said the Lords light devided the sun light and he could not look straight at it.  So his voice which was a soprano sounding changed to a bass voice immediately. He went running downstairs to tell his Mom and when she heard him talk and saw the 2 angels behind him she fell to her knees and began to praise the Lord. She knew that God had visited him. She had a terrible time looking at his face because the light that was on him and his face was so bright that it w as blinding.  She rushed to call his father to come home and bring all the pastors in town.  When they got there, they were shocked to find him in that condition with a base voice.  He no longer sang like a soprano but was now a bass instantly.  He has been an Opera singer ever since, plus hundreds of churches and concerts. He has sang at the Metropolitan in Ny, Carnegie Hall, and many many other Opera houses all over the world.  HE has not finished, God told us that He has saved him for the end times.

                  1. Bonitaanna profile image82
                    Bonitaannaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    He is on You Tube.  When he sings expecially hymns, you can tell that his voice is annointed.  When we married in 1990, he was the person who bruoght me to church for the first time.  Everytime I would hear him sing, I would begin to weep throughout the whole song. It was uncontrollable.  I new that God had touched him and gave him his voice.  And then one day he told me the story. Not only that a few years ago, he was driving home from working as a carpenter on a house and it is 7 miles to our house out in the country in PA.  It is up hill most of the way.  HE was driving along and the Lord said to Him, Samuel, when you get to Layme Cemetery 5 miles up the road I want you to turn into the cemetary and go to the back of it and get out and sing. He said Lord, I need to go home and bath so I can be clean in your presence. God said, NO, there is not time.  Just do as I said. So he pulled into the cemetary and went to the back of it and got out and started singing. God said LOUDER!  SO he sang louder and sang a couple songs. Then God told him he could go home. He came home and told me, I said ok now what? He said I don't know, that was all, 6 months later he went to the mechanic down the road, and when he walked in their front door the owner said, "well high there I understand you are a pretty powerful man with God!  He laughed and said, why are you saying that? He said to Sam, I will not say the name but a guy from our church was laying in the gully down the back of the cemetary with a gun pressed to his head, and all of a sudden he heard an angel singing "HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW" and I know he...........   That my friends,  is just one story that is why  I know God does exist and I believe in HIM!

                    1. 0
                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Those are some powerful examples of healing, Bonitaanna. Maybe they happened, and maybe they didn't. Provide some evidence, and maybe I'll believe them.

                      Your husband is an opera-singing rabbi who has performed at Carnegie Hall? He is on YouTube? Links, please.

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                  Emile Rposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I one some people in a small town in the south. They went into a woman's house. She was on the floor dead. Not one of them knew how to determine if she was dead or not. They seemed bright enough people, up until that point in the story.

                  There is a case in America where doctors pronounced an old lady dead and she woke up in the morgue five hours later.

                  Odd things happen.  We all accept that.

                  I can assure you that your first story of an embalmed man stuffed with sawdust rising from the dead did not happen. To accept that shows a degree of gullibility.

    6. lone77star profile image91
      lone77starposted 4 years ago

      @Chasuk, you pose a powerful question, but it's not without some problems.

      There can be various levels to "open-mindedness."

      Take for instance this question:

      Are you open-minded enough to concede that the sun and Earth might not exist (that it might all be an elaborate, Matrix-like hoax)? In other words, you're not really Chasuk and that the body you think you inhabit isn't real. Matrix?

      Sure, why not. But that would mean that everything we experience is a delusion and that all of our reality is suspect. I could consider this.

      But I won't. I know God exists, empirically. Notice the distinction: I did not say that "I believe God exists." Knowledge and belief are entirely different.

      I wrote a hub on "Anatomy of a Miracle" that is only one piece of my empirical evidence.

      Logic also dictates the existence of God. I find it rather sad that someone like Stephen Hawking would say that we don't need God because gravity would have created the universe. Yikes! What a big hole in logic. Where did gravity come from? Where did space and time. I have experienced the timelessness of creation and it would take something from a timeless, spaceless, massless and energy-less realm to originate the universe.

      Miracles and creation require "faith" (not belief); and here I'm defining "faith" as perfect confidence -- like that held by Moses when the sea parted, or Peter when he walked for a moment on the unsettled Sea of Galilee in front of his master. Miracles and creation do not require "proof." Any reliance on "proof" defeats the idea of perfect confidence; such confidence cannot rely on anything, otherwise it would not be inherently perfect.

      Where did God come from? Who created Him? I get this question a lot. But that's like the inhabitants of Flatland denying that there could ever be anything called "up" or "down." Just because you cannot conceive of a source that isn't effect, but only cause, doesn't mean He doesn't exist. He exists all right, and I am His son (Gen. 1:26). The miracles I've experienced would have been impossible without Him. And heck, the universe would've been impossible without Him.

      I could consider that God and this universe are a delusion, but I won't. What would be the purpose? What could be accomplished from such a hypothesis that everything is a delusion? Not a whole lot, I would say.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        lol Empirical evidence, indeed. Jesus opens up a boulevard of traffic so that YOU could get through. Egotistical garbage.

      2. 0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        @lone77star: I could hypothesize that that the sun and Earth were delusions, but I wouldn't, because I have empirical reasons to believe in them, via the direct evidence of my senses. Further, as you reasonably ask,  what would be the purpose of such a hypothesis? What would be accomplished by it? If everything were a delusion, then this dialogue would be pointless. Every dialogue would be pointless, and I would be bowing out of this one right about now.

        I don't disbelieve in empirical evidence. If the existence of God were supported by empirical evidence, then I would believe in Him.

        I've read your hub "Anatomy of a Miracle," and it doesn't provide empirical evidence, but personal, anecdotal evidence. I didn't observe your experiences, and I can't verify them or replicate them by experiment. Of course, I might one day experience my own miracles, and those miracles would certainly be empirical, to me. But I couldn't expect others to accept my anecdotes as empirical evidence, just as I can't accept yours.

        1. lone77star profile image91
          lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          And we're to believe your personal evidence regarding reality?

          You said, "I have empirical reasons to believe in them, via the direct evidence of my senses." Personal evidence? Anecdotal? If everything is a delusion, then you're walking on the same thin ice you claim that I'm on. Even your so-called "proof" could be a delusion.

          But forget that for a moment. Let us say that what I experienced on Wilshire Boulevard really happened exactly as I say it did. You yourself said that such an experience, if you had it, would be "empirical" to you. Then you say that it wouldn't be empirical. I understand the distinction you're trying to make, but you're skirting a far bigger issue.

          When a scientists perceives things in a laboratory, they are his or her perceptions. And he thinks he is repeating the experiments; at least that is what his perceptions tell him. That other scientists seem to get the same results, is again perception. We all rely on perception for everything. Yes, everything.

          The big question I have for you, is that if what I experienced was exactly as I described it, wouldn't that be a "miracle" in the extraordinary sense? Wouldn't that be a contravention of physical law? Aren't you open-minded enough to consider that?

          I'm not talking "proof." I'm talking "truth." Truth is what actually happened -- every particle, every vector of momentum, every instantaneous state and every discontinuity.

          There are many bones anthropologists will never find because they long ago wasted away. And good thing that, because otherwise the planet would be filled with bones. Truth includes all of those now wasted bones. We can't prove that any specific skeleton existed, but we can surmise that a lot of such skeletons did exist. (I bring up bones only to elucidate this idea of "truth," in contrast to proof.)

          Yes, I agree -- I don't have proof. But I have a good peg on "truth" of that incident. I could be telling the truth; I could be lying. Now, let's discuss this from the viewpoint (hypothetically speaking) that I'm telling the truth. Can you handle that?

          1. 0
            Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            You're inferring a lot from my words that I neither stated nor implied.

            You ask, "And we're to believe your personal evidence regarding reality?"

            No. I neither stated nor implied that you should.

            I also didn't imply that everything is a delusion, nor that you are on thin ice, nor did I attempt to provide "proof" of anything.

            I argued against the practical utility of the "everything is a delusion" position, as you will see if you reread my words.

            I am shirking nothing.

            If I had experienced what you claim to have experienced on Wilshire Boulevard -- or something similar to it -- then I would accept it as empirical evidence, for me.  I would accept it as empirical evidence because it incontestably meets at least two criterion of empiricism, in that it is verifiable by observation or experience. I won't repudiate or equivocate that admission. Does that sound like shirking?

            However, my experience, while it was empirical for me, would not be empirical for you. I would be my personal, anecdotal evidence. As I've stated before, I wouldn't expect you to believe it.

            I agree that all things are dependent on perception. Each and every scientist replicating the experiments of other scientists in his or her respective laboratories are relying on imperfect perception. If you truly intend to use that as a logical objection, then what is the purpose of this dialogue? After all, you and I are relying on a unanimity of perception to have this conversation. I press what I perceive as a key on what I perceive to be a keyboard, and then click what I perceive to be a "Submit" button to transmit what I perceive to be an intelligible message.

            Yes, if what you experienced on Wilshire Boulevard happened exactly as you described it, then it would be be a miracle, contravening physical laws. I'd already conceded that, but apparently not plainly enough.

            You write, "Now, let's discuss this from the viewpoint (hypothetically speaking) that I'm telling the truth."

            Really? When you were under the misapprehension that I was asking you to accept my "personal evidence regarding reality," it wasn't OK. But I'm to accept yours?

            Still, my answer is "Yes." I can handle it. I accept, hypothetically, that you experienced what you claim to have experienced on Wilshire Boulevard.

            Your move.

            1. lone77star profile image91
              lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Thank you, Chasuk, for a most thoughtful and thought-provoking response.

              What you said in your last comment definitely does not sound like shirking. Bravo!

              You said, "Yes, if what you experienced on Wilshire Boulevard happened exactly as you described it, then it would be be a miracle, contravening physical laws. I'd already conceded that, but apparently not plainly enough."

              Exactly! You did not make it plain at all. In fact, I re-read what you wrote earlier and see nothing of this in that prior comment. And this concession is all I was after. All of my hypothetical meanderings have been made in the hopes of eliciting this.

              Thank you!

              Chasuk, you make some good points. Excellent points, in fact.

              Thank you for a most engaging dialog.

              I only wish more would do this. It helps to stretch the mind. And it helps to keep us humble -- and that is more valuable than gold.

              1. 0
                Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I intended to make it plain with the words, " I might one day experience my own miracles, and those miracles would certainly be empirical, to me." If a miracle is empirically proven to my satisfaction, then belief is my only option. In retrospect, I see where that might have required too much reading-between-the-lines to be entirely plain.

                1. 0
                  AKA Winstonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Yet, even if it appears quite empirical, how does one balance that against the known episodes of human illusions and hallucinations and reason?  Even if we give Saul of Tarsus the benefit of the doubt and accept that he experienced an event on the road that to him was empirical evidence, should that make it true to you and me - or even him?

                  Isn't it more likely that we fool ourselves or are duped than that the miraculous actually occurs?

                  1. 0
                    Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I agree with you.

                    Still, in order for me to decide that a miracle had been empirically proven, I would have first subjected it to a personalized -- and rigorous -- version of due diligence.

                    In truth, if miracles do occur, then my criteria for proving them empirically would probably exclude a few legitimate miracles. My standard for "reasonable doubt" is pretty extreme, and takes into account  illusions and hallucinations.

                  2. lone77star profile image91
                    lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    AKA, you're dealing with a hypothesis based on your own bias. "More likely that we fool ourselves?" You could easily build a house of cards with that logic.

                    And if miracles do start to occur more openly, even in your presence, you will then only suspect your own sanity? There is no room for accepting the experience as a new reality? You are not open to learning new things?

                    I like Chasuk's take on it far better. By all means, take into account the possibility of illusions and hallucinations. But don't be a know-it-all, because you don't know it all. No one does. Have the humility to realize that there may be more to learn... yes, even about miracles.

                    There is "purpose" behind true miracles. They are an awakening of the true self (the child of God, within). Hallucinations, on the other hand, are merely a continuity-based delusion. How do you tell the difference?

                    The difficult realm between "stirring from spiritual slumber" and being "fully, spiritually awake," is terrible and full of uncertainty. The only true "proof" of such a transition is the arrival at full Buddha-hood or Christ-state. Then, miracles might be done with regularity, but still that does nothing for the skeptic. Why? Because flashy shows of power to a hardened skeptic is like giving money to a homeless alcoholic. Better to give food and shelter. There is great wisdom in not casting pearls before swine. Jesus was not judging others as swine; they made themselves that way.

                    It's kind of like trying to convince a hardened fundamentalist of evolution. Yes, evolution has been proven. Yes, there remain problems with it. Science is not perfect and likely never will be. It remains a work in progress. But the hardened fundamentalist is full of ego. They think they know-it-all. Sound familiar?

                    Because I knew that I didn't know it all (a modicum of humility, something I still don't have enough of), I was able to find a timeline in Genesis compatible with those of science. There really is a very sexy code wrapped up in its perplexing wording. The guys who wrote Genesis were geniuses to embed so craftily the Kabbalah's "Tree of Life" in two chapters of Genesis.

                    The hardened fundamentalist will never realize that because science (reality) says that humanity is at least 200,000 years old, that the literal timeline in Genesis is wrong. Ussher's date for the Flood is 2348 BC, but this is wrong because 3 years later, Egypt's sixth dynasty started; and 13 years later, Sargon the Great conquered Sumer, later taking an empire stretching from Iran to the Mediterranean. All those other people pose a real problem for Ussher's Flood date. Ussher was a great scholar, and unlike today's hardened fundamentalist, he likely would not have published his timeline in its current form had he known these historical facts.

                    Because humanity is at least 200,000 years old, and if Genesis has a valid timeline, then the outrageously long ages of those early patriarchs are far too short. Methuselah many thousands of years old? But a solution lies at Genesis 5:2, if you care to look it up. It takes humility to realize that -- something the hardened fundamentalist is too arrogant (and lazy) to realize. They're trapped in a delusion.

                    And one thing that AKA seems to have in common with religious fundamentalists is a sense of egotistical know-it-all. Sorry, Winston. No disrespect. I only hope that you see this and change your "evil" ways. wink ... and I'll join you in exorcizing egos, both yours and mine.

                    Ego really is the source of all evil (not religion, not money, not Adidas running shoes). With ego gone, all manner of miracles are possible. Ego is the stopper in the genie bottle. It is the blindfold, the shackles, the cage.

                    1. aguasilver profile image87
                      aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      OK Carl, you have got me, enlighten me on Genesis 5:2! online or offline, or direct me to your hub that covers it... Don't know if I'm baffled or thick today!

          2. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            wow lone77star

      3. rdcast profile image78
        rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        The creation by gravity mentioned by Hawking is perhaps a reference to Creationists narrow perspective by virtue of the natural forces that to Hawking, obviously bear upon it. This is to say, in a self satisfying way, that Creationists are too stupid to see beyond that which binds them to reality. Creationists like Einstein included.

        1. A Troubled Man profile image60
          A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Please don't make false statements about Einstein in order to support your fantasies.

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Troubled, it's not too late for you to begin studying these subjects. Until then, go away.

            1. mischeviousme profile image61
              mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              "Until thin" lol Good one!!

              Lose some weight ATM... Fatty fatty boom boom tongue

              1. rdcast profile image78
                rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                would be unlike me to make such a joke, so allow me to correct fat, i mean that. Sorry, Darwinian slip of the banana. Tho you did make me laugh. Thank you...

            2. A Troubled Man profile image60
              A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              So, you want others to just "go away" while you make false statements about people who have achieved great things in science, insulting them and our intelligence all in one swift blow?

              Many have asked that I write hubs. Most certainly, the first would be all about compulsive and pathological lying and how believers are completely taken over by them.

              1. rdcast profile image78
                rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                nah, you have my permission to stay. Einstein made it clear his insistence of an intelligent creator.  Sorry if you've missed that lesson.

                Concerning your hubs? You don't know how to frame an argument.

                But really, this public jousting, though fun, is taking me away from my Hebrew studies. I'll be glad to respond to you in the future privately.

                1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                  A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Einstein had no such lesson, you are blatantly lying.

                  1. lone77star profile image91
                    lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Troubled, you're talking out your arse.

                    Here are a few quotes from Einstein (look it up yourself). Don't be such a Bozo!

                    God always takes the simplest way. -- Albert Einstein

                    God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically. -- Albert Einstein

                    God does not play dice. -- Albert Einstein

                    God may be subtle, but he isn't malicious. -- Albert Einstein

                    I want to know God's thoughts... the rest are details. -- Albert Einstein

                    I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions, so how can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one ? -- Albert Einstein

                    Perhaps you are the one who is lying. And lying isn't pretty!

                    1. 0
                      Sooner28posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Your complete lack of inclusion of Einstein speaking specifically about a personal God strikes me as strange.  Would you not want to be accurate in what the man actually believed?

                      "I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. "

                      "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. "

                      "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism."

                      "A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

                      "If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

                      "The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously. "

                      Sounds more like Einstein was a deist or pantheist.

              2. aguasilver profile image87
                aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                We await it with baited breath... smile

    7. Roger Crigger profile image61
      Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago

      Now I know why you're called, "A troubled man"... I have lied in my lifetime, but I am NOT lying here. (And these are the experiences that I thought would be the MOST believable)...I haven't told you about the doozies! Oh and by the way, You don't REALLY believe that I'm lying....LIAR! Wow...Lord have mercy! One more thing, because of MY OWN study of "The Word", I believe that much of it, (the Bible) is mis-understood, mis-translated, etc... and...as a result and fortunate for you, I don't believe that LIARS go to hell!
           I am sorry that you have never experienced anything like these accounts. I don't know why some people do and some people don't? But it is ABUNDANTLY obvious that YOU'VE TRIED AND PRAYED AND WISHED AND.... Good luck...troubled man!

      1. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, you are, blatantly.



        Neither do I. Apparently, heaven is jam packed full of them.



        Of course not, I'm not insane nor have had a pre-frontal lobotomy.

    8. Roger Crigger profile image61
      Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago

      Oh, and Thank you Chas. Well put, Honestly, I don't know at this point if it would be possible for me to truly believe that God doesn't exist.

      1. 0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        If you have genuinely experienced what you claim - and it is not attributable to mental illness or psychotropic drugs -- then it is logical to believe what you do. I can't judge. I haven't lived your life.

        1. 0
          JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I really respect that kind of view, compared to some who simply call anyone who believes 'delusional'.

          I really see no reason for there to be conflict over differing beliefs, as long as the beliefs don't encourage infringing on the rights of others.

    9. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago

      If you acknowledge that God might exist, you are agnostic. If I deny that God exists, then I would have to concede that I am flippin' insane....there is no other explanation for what I have experienced.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Certainly, no explanations that you would interested in entertaining, especially if they didn't jive with your belief system.

        1. Roger Crigger profile image61
          Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Unlike you, who are so "open minded" and gracious to those who don't "Jive" with your belief system! Troll! Oh, and by the way.... I SAW Jesus!

          1. A Troubled Man profile image60
            A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Me too, he served me margaritas on the beach. lol

    10. Roger Crigger profile image61
      Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago

      Lone77star.... Great response, Great mind fodder, well written, to the point. You just gained another follower...BROTHER. It's amazing to see how people, pieces of the puzzle, are falling perfectly into their prophetic, respective places as the Kingdom of God takes quantum steps lately as the means to the inevitable end..."On Earth as it is in Heaven!" Good to meet you.

      1. Druid Dude profile image61
        Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        The Spirit is being poured out as we speak.

        1. Druid Dude profile image61
          Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Hey TM... the conversation is down here!smile

      2. lone77star profile image91
        lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks, Roger. Good to meet you, too.

    11. brotheryochanan profile image61
      brotheryochananposted 4 years ago

      NO

      God is revealed to those who seek him.
      God is experienced to those who experience him.
      God is both persuasively evident and convincingly evident.

      So NO i am not open to believe that 2 + 2 does not equal 4 when i know that it does = 4

      1. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        lol The dishonest will always attempt to compare reality to their irrational beliefs as if they're one and the same.

        1. lone77star profile image91
          lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Well said, Troubled. Alas, I don't think you realize that what you're saying applies to you. That truly is troubling.

    12. mrshadyside1 profile image76
      mrshadyside1posted 4 years ago

      Chasuk,you can not expect to receive the answer you may be looking for with this question.If one truly is theist the very most important rule is having faith that God exists,so by answering the question "maybe"one turns from believer to agnostic.Therefore unless the question was intentionally loaded to create an intense mud slinging debate,then you too are actually agnostic not atheist.The true atheist can only be changed by a personal experience and so too could a true theist. A true atheist will not accept the existence of any higher form of entity,as a true theist will never except the possibility that said entity does not exist. I was confused when i first read the question as it is already answered and can only create more of the same personal insults and division that has been rampant as of late.With so many issues pertaining to the state of our society being ignored while endless debate over religion and science rage the way of life we are all accustom to is quickly vanishing.If the intellectual individuals I see wasting time and effort would dive into the disappearance of the constitutional rights of ALL unbelievers and believers this nation might hold on to it's founding principles. While it's citizens focus on other issues their inalienable rights are being undermined. I for one have grown tired of the endless derogatory confrontations and where they may have once been slightly interesting they are now totally boring and actually aggravating.

      1. 0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        @mrshadyside1: First, I wasn't looking for a specific answer. Second, I am an agnostic atheist. I don't believe that god exists, but I don't KNOW that he doesn't. I provisionally agree that "true" theism depends on supernatural revelation.

        1. lone77star profile image91
          lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Beautifully put, Chasuk.

          What if such supernatural revelation were reserved for only those who actively sought it?

          Why would such a condition exist? It seems from my own experience, that we are immortal spirit wrapped in Homo sapiens flesh and that the true, spiritual self is largely asleep, if not entirely catatonic.

          If the only way to awaken that spiritual self (the true child of God) is for the whole self (body, mind, ego, spirit) to decide that such a thing is desirable, then God would refrain from "flashy miracles to impress the natives." Why? Because such flashy miracles would attract ego like flies to manure. And ego is the barrier to spiritual awakening.

          Miracles can't happen in the toxic environment of ego. Why?

          Contrary to popular belief, scientists have the wrong paradigm. Skepticism, in its better form is good for most situations, but the inherent bias of doubt throws a monkey wrench in the works, especially when it comes to subjects which threaten the ego's preconceived notions. In his bestselling book, "Chaos," James Gleick drove home the point that ideas which threaten such preconceived notions provoke hostility. Wake up call!!! That's not science; that's subjective emotionalism. And that's when the uglier, darker side of skepticism comes into play -- unsupported dismissiveness, self-indulgent ridicule and similar travesties of logic.

          I like the fact that you "don't KNOW that" God doesn't exist. Excellent! Some scientists aren't as logical and give way to subjective ridicule. Like the high priests of the "Clovis first" dogma in North American anthropology, or the critics who lashed out not long ago at NASA scientists who found a seemingly arsenic-loving microbe. That dark side of "skepticism" is all too prevalent in the not-so-pure world of science. And many doctors have criticized with bewilderment that tenacity with which the medical profession clings to a failed treatment for cancer -- chemotherapy and radiation. Those deadly poisons cause cancer and frequently kill the patient. And the non-peer-reviewed dismissal of actual cures leaves anyone only one conclusion about the AMA and Big Pharma, that money means more than the lives and health of the patients. Someone is getting filthy rich over the bones of men, women and children. For shame! Science! No way! Barbarism! Tyranny! Lies and deceit!

          Miracles tend to wither and die in such a toxic environment because each of us have the abilities as children of God -- to create without instrumentality. Doubt is a pretty potent creation. Skepticism is the scientists' unwitting thumbs on the scale of impartial review. You don't find proof of miracles, because you're creating a cushion to protect yourself from such proof. You're creating just like everyone else; only you're doing it in the upside down world of ego on top and immortal spirit dead asleep inside. That's the abomination God wants to cure.

          And when a scientist dares study the paranormal with skepticism, they're pissing on the fire they're attempting to study. Not very bright. A far better paradigm is that of restraint and humility.

          See? Restraint and humility are very similar to the better flavor of skepticism, but without the "scientific method"-busting bias of doubt.

          Don't confuse skepticism with science. Too many scientists have already fallen for that hoax, and living in a delusion. Real science progresses with humility and restraint, not skepticism. Like Einstein, when he didn't doubt his thought experiments, but merely reserved judgement on them until all the data was in. Look at every scientific discovery ever made. There you will find restraint and humility -- not skepticism -- as the savior of logic and discovery.

          1. 0
            Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            If supernatural revelation were reserved only for those who actively sought it, then how could I distinguish it from delusion? How could I embrace my revelation as superior to Muhammad's, or Joseph Smith's, or Edgar Cayce's, or perhaps Paul's as superior to theirs?

            Experience has taught me to be skeptical. All this means, for me, is that I examine new factual claims before I decide to accept or reject them. I do this with as much impartiality as I can. However, because I am human, sometimes ego creep in. Sometimes, I am dismissive, and sometimes I ridicule. I consider these behaviors unacceptable. Every day, I work on excising them from myself.

            So far, I have never encountered a credible miracle. Sadly, if I have to believe in them before I experience them, I will probably never experience them.

            1. lone77star profile image91
              lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Chasuk, you make some most awesome points. How to distinguish from delusion, indeed! That is a tricky one.

              I don't doubt there are exceptions to the "faith before miracle" idea. But please note: "belief," as I define it is far from "faith," as I define it. Faith comes first, not imperfect "belief."

              Paul the taxpayer (Saul) was hit upside the head with a miracle. Perhaps he was a major exception and perhaps because he was ready. I don't doubt there are some skeptics who might experience something like what Paul did and it would only harden their skepticism, or make them go crazy.

              I hope you will allow me to make a suggestion. Take a close look at "skepticism" and compare it to "restraint and humility." Everything a scientist needs for discovery is found in "restraint and humility." Some forms of skepticism include "restraint and humility," but some forms do not. All forms of "skepticism" include the very unscientific bias of doubt. Look at the subtle distinction, there. Scientific method warns against bias, and yet scientists use skepticism which is tainted with it. Not very bright, if you ask me. But I've been there, too. I would hope all it would take is pointing it out, but then ego gets in the way.

              I applaud you for your even-handedness. I see you're struggling to stay true. That is so commendable.

              Faith before miracles is kind of like anything with risk. Take the high jump in sports, for instance. If you fear the bar or gravity, you won't be able to place your body in the proper roll to clear the bar. Simple.

              Thinking "high jump" is impossible is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Faith in one's inability results in clumsiness in the attempt. Faith in one's ability and persistence to overcome the motor skill ineptitudes might well lead to perfection of the high jump. It might not lead to an Olympic gold medal, but it accomplishes a small "miracle," if only an "ordinary" miracle.

              When I was in junior high school in Rockville, Maryland (c.1964), standing broad jump was one of the feats required of us in phys.ed. class. I had been doing a paltry 5'4" and wondered about the possibility to improve on that. I knew a little bit about faith (that it is more than belief, though there are similarities). I wondered about tricking myself into "faith" by using "belief."

              I looked at the 10' line and said to myself, "That's 5'. Easy. I can do that." Internally, I got myself relaxed with that idea. "Oh, yeah. Five feet. Easy!" Bang! New personal best: 7' 6". A 40% improvement just after 10 seconds of changing the way I looked at things. Ten seconds for a 40% improvement? Wow! Even I'm impressed.

              So long as an individual is tied to the notion that they are a physical piece of flesh and bound by the laws of physical reality, then certainly they will never be able to find the proper "roll" to clear the bar of "miracle."

              Remarkably, it's merely a matter of choice and decision. Sadly, too many are afraid to take that "leap." And sadly, some who do take the leap, then let ego take the credit for it. And ego is definitely the wrong direction on something that powerful.

              1. 0
                Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." (John 20:30-31).

                In other words, miracles are sometimes explicitly for those who don't believe. I'm one of those who don't believe. I definitely believe that I am a physical piece of flesh, bound by the laws of physical reality. I can't imagine what it would take to make me believe otherwise. An incontrovertible miracle would be a good start.

                1. lone77star profile image91
                  lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I stand corrected. Good points.

                  And I know that I have a piece of flesh, usually bound by the laws of physical reality.

                  Miracles. I've seen them and participated in them, but even my faith is too rare. Still working on it.

                2. aguasilver profile image87
                  aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Equally, scripture tells us:

                  Matthew 16 1:4

                  NOW THE Pharisees and Sadducees came up to Jesus, and they asked Him to show them a sign (spectacular miracle) from heaven [attesting His divine authority].

                  He replied to them, "When it is evening you say, It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,and in the morning, It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and has a gloomy and threatening look. You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times".

                  "A wicked and morally unfaithful generation craves a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah".


                  In my experience non believers will always explain away any miracle they witness, Doctors do it all the time when believers get healed from cancer or heart problems, putting it down to 'spontaneous remission' or 'misdiagnosis originally' or whatever will allow them to keep their unbelief intact.

                  The 'sign of the prophet Jonah' was the resurrection, believers hold faith because they still, to this day, engage with the risen Christ.

                  I can understand that non believers cannot understand that, for they have not had that experience.

                  During your 'Christian' years, did you have that experience? (just curious)

                  1. 0
                    Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    I'm not sure what "experience" you mean.

                    Did I have experience of the risen Christ? Of course; or so I believed, then.

                    Did I have experience of non-believers steadfastly refusing to acknowledge obvious miracles? Yes, from the perspective of my belief, then.

                    Was I wrong then and right now, or was I right then and wrong now? I'd like to think the latter, but I honestly don't know.

                    1. aguasilver profile image87
                      aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Your honesty is refreshing. I applaud you.

                      I thank God that have never reached the point of doubt and uncertainty that you reached previously.

                      I don't think we lose for having doubts, especially when they are honest doubts which would seem not to have diminished your decency on iota.

    13. feenix profile image60
      feenixposted 4 years ago

      Mr. Shadyside,

      First, welcome to HubPages. Already, I can see that you are a very good addition to this site.

      Second, I really do like your style. You addressed the matter at hand quite thoughtfully, very intelligently, and with a whole lot of tact.

    14. mrshadyside1 profile image76
      mrshadyside1posted 4 years ago

      feenix
      Thank you,and I just commented on your response in another forum.I am impressed and enjoyed your answer and am totally humbled. Again thank you.

    15. 0
      MP50posted 4 years ago

      There is no doubt in my mind and experience, That GOD does exist, my mind is closed to any other distractions or explanations.

      1. 0
        jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Just say your mind is closed and you'll believe only the book of crooks!

        1. aguasilver profile image87
          aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this
          1. 0
            jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Learn the difference between theory and fact!

    16. 0
      MP50posted 4 years ago

      jomine I don't believe in the book.

      1. 0
        jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        If you are a Christian your only source of information regarding god is from the bible and what your parent figures(not literal) figured out from the book.
        No living sane human has ever seen or heard god.(God is a concept evolved by humans to explain seemingly unexplainable phenomenon, and concepts cannot exist and there is no wonder nobody has ever seen god unless their god is a natural one like stone or sun.)

    17. arksys profile image93
      arksysposted 4 years ago

      Good question ... i guess i'd be on the close minded side because i know that God definietly exists.

      1. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        That claim would have more to do with honesty than being closed minded.

    18. Shiningstar4u2c profile image60
      Shiningstar4u2cposted 4 years ago

      An absolute impossiblity! He absolutely 10 billion times 10 trillion percent exist! I have talked to Him, felt Him, Seen Him, had Him visit with me, fellowship me, heal me, reveal Himself to me. Save Me!
      I know for absolute certain he absolutely does exist!
      But Here is a kicker for you...he does not exist to those who do not believe He does! LOL  smile

    19. TheMagician profile image89
      TheMagicianposted 4 years ago

      If you're an Athiest but are open minded enough to acknowledge God might exist, I'm pretty sure that makes you an Agnostic... don't Atheists deny the idea of God existing? Agnostics neither believe nor disbelieve. I'm a Christian Agnostic. Bit of an oxymoron. I believe he exists, but I know there's no hard proof and understand that there's a chance he might not, but I still continue to go on blind faith alone.

      1. 0
        Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        If you are a Christian agnostic, then you should intuitively understand the concept of an agnostic atheist.  I don't BELIEVE that god exists, but I don't KNOW that he doesn't.

        ZOMGitsCriss touches on the subject in an interesting and relevant way here:

        http://www.youtube.com/user/ZOMGitsCris … BsIMY3JWr8

        1. TheMagician profile image89
          TheMagicianposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I apologize, I completely forgot to word my response correctly -- what I was trying to insinuate was that you were an agnostic athiest. My bad!

          1. 0
            Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            No problem. :-)

      2. Thinking Allowed profile image60
        Thinking Allowedposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Most atheists are agnostic atheists.

        1. lone77star profile image91
          lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Care to back that up with statistics and references?

          I can see how that might be possible, but many of those who claim to be agnostic atheists with whom I've conversed, come across as being entirely certain that God doesn't exist. For instance, when they describe someone who believes in God as an idiot, that seem to imply that they are certain in their belief that God doesn't exist. They don't believe in God (atheist) and know that he doesn't exist (NOT agnostic). They may think they're agnostic (certainly a more logically defensible position), but their actions and words betray a different attitude.

    20. Bicky Saikia profile image61
      Bicky Saikiaposted 4 years ago

      I am an atheist, but  the existence of god (i never use G for this word), or any other super natural things is not possible...since human are roaming in space..till now not yet getting any clue of super natural entity.

      1. aka-dj profile image78
        aka-djposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Humans can keep floating in space for the next 10billion years and still find nothing.
        If they did find anything, (it) wouldn't be God. (Using the G, deliberately.)

        For God to BE God, He transcends the natural, physical, material world.
        It's not rocket science, really.

        1. Bicky Saikia profile image61
          Bicky Saikiaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          we create it..and like fairy tales it has no link with reality, but the plot is real

          1. aka-dj profile image78
            aka-djposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            OK, you create it, but  I won't worship it.

            I will stick to the One and ONLY God, who lives for ever and ever!

            1. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              aka-dj, Amen to that. Vanity leads the unrepentant, not to create his own god, but to act as if he is his own god. Our merciful God is waiting for his vanities to drive him to that inescapable destiny of desperation. Vanity can not endure truth and so when it fades, what will sustain the unrepentant from his own destruction? I too found my salvation by turning to Jesus Christ and pleading that my sins be forgiven and to deliver me from that desperation of self destruction my vanity had brought me to. I thank God for all of His witnesses who had been called to shine their spiritual light on me. Without them, I don't believe I would have made it. Praise His Holy Name!

            2. A Troubled Man profile image60
              A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              lol <--- almost earned a double with that one, for ever and ever! Ahem.

        2. A Troubled Man profile image60
          A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          It isn't science at all, or reason, or logic, or understanding, or reality.

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            How do you know? Your reasoning doesn't seem very quantifiable. You think the faithful have no substantive reasons for their beliefs? We have gone through things unimaginable by the unrepentant. I will give you this:
            When I first found it necessary to ask Jesus Christ to forgive me of my sins, I was confirmed by receiving the Holy Spirit. While still surrounded by miracle, I new anything I asked for would be given, that being itself a miracle. All that previous week, I had been searching for a watch I had lost. As I was still standing before God, I asked, "Dear Father, where is my watch, I need it". My head turned to see a golden glow hovering over a small table against the far wall, walking toward it, I stretched out my hand and took hold of the lost watch.

            Years later, I considered the golden glow might had been a self delusion based on the fact that I was in a highly emotional state at the time, but then that doesn't account for the fact the watch was actually beneath it.

            1. A Troubled Man profile image60
              A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              They've never shown any substantive reasons as yet, only irrational beliefs.



              That was more than just self-delusion, it was an insult to the intellect and all those who die of starvation while your God finds your watch rather than providing a morsel of food for them. I would ashamed to tell such a story.

              1. rdcast profile image78
                rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                http://youtu.be/xRSjzY0s0SM
                I've been homeless and in need for a morsel. As it is, my Heavenly Father has given me far more than I need and the needs of others. I am proud of Jesus Christ and what He is prepared to perform in you.

                1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                  A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Yes, I'm sure you believe that garbage, despite those who starve to death daily.



                  lol I would much rather your God perform where it counts and not waste his time finding watches.

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Yes, you've said that twice now.

                    He allows the lost to be found is the point and departing this world under any circumstance is a blessing when it results in being adopted by God the Father and ushered into His Kingdom.

                    Perhaps you need to stop feeling so sorry for yourself that you can't accept the grace and mercy He offers you. After all, you're the one in need of that morsel He's hopeful you'll take from Him. That's right, you're the one suffering starvation, caused by vanity.

                    1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                      A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Gibberish.



                      I'm feeling sorry for myself? lol

                      No, I feel sorry for the selfish who praise their gods for finding their lost watches in light of reality and the starving who need food. Of course, it's far more important for Jesus to find your watch than it is to feed them, if that's what you mean by "grace and mercy"

      2. rdcast profile image78
        rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Bicky Saikia, I used to label myself agnostic. Now, I want to be a repentant sinner, placing my faith in Jesus Christ, my risen Lord and Savior, who shed His sinless blood to redeem us from our sin and destruction.

        As for the secular labels, you might want to look at this: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/atheist-vs-agnostic.html

        In any case, in times of difficulty, know that my prayers on your behalf, has reached God. Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd who calls for the lost. It must be your private decision and moment to respond to His loving grace.  When your heart has been prepared, His response to your plea will be instant and you will know this for certain as He sends you His gift of the Holy Spirit. May God Almighty continue providing you with witness of His will for your salvation.

        1. Bicky Saikia profile image61
          Bicky Saikiaposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          @edcast: have you ever seen that mighty creature?
          when we want to know all the secret that all religion has, the priest, pandit, or the religious leader will blame you that your doing sin to  asking about lord existence.  why this? i want to know why jehadis are spreading terror in the name of god?

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            The Almighty Creator, God, our Heavenly Father's face cannot be looked upon, nor His name be uttered by mortal man, though He calls himself the "Great I Am". He created us all in His image, with the desire to create and the inner awareness of the "I Am". For the spiritually honest, this bears witness of His existence and divine righteousness.

            Any sinner, who is "born again" through their personal repentance and redemption by the sacrificed blood of  "The Perfect Lamb of God", providing witness of their faith in Him, by doing good works. Not being justified by good works, but by faith alone in their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. These Saints proclaim loudly and without hesitation, the Gospel of God, while living out all His commandments. Such are His adopted ones, Sons of God, heirs with their brother, Jesus Christ, who are commanded not to fear mortal man, who have power to destroy the body, but the One who has power to destroy the soul. For these Judeo-Christians, there can be no terror, but only evil to battle against, with the sword of the Living Word of  the one and only God, His only begotten Son, who suffered and died to redeem us from our sins, having resurrected from death and ascended into heaven, our Holy Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

            Your question concerning evil spreading throughout this dying world can be researched in the last book of the Judeo-Christian Bible, the book of Revelation.
            http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se … ersion=KJV

            http://focusonjerusalem.com/whatdoesjud … nmean.html

      3. lone77star profile image91
        lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        @Bicky Saikia, you are hilarious. Not possible?

        I remember hearing a quote made by a scientist in the late 1800's that everything of any importance had already been discovered. Such brash claims are fully of logical fallacies. Some scientists told Edison that it would be impossible to create an incandescent electric light. Impossible? Only a word used by the foolish, perhaps? Or is it merely a lack of imagination?

        1. rdcast profile image78
          rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          lone77star, it could be a bit of laziness, jealousy and the unwillingness to believe in the perseverance of honesty?

          1. lone77star profile image91
            lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            @rdcast, good points.

    21. KikiCobain profile image77
      KikiCobainposted 4 years ago

      I am Atheist. Although some have argued that being Atheist makes me closed minded, my argument is that those who solely and firmly believe there is no way God does not exist are just as closed minded as I.
      It can all get very confusing.
      I guess i am open to the idea of some form of being, but not a set God.

      1. rdcast profile image78
        rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Then you're not an atheist, but rather an agnostic, making you a seeker.
        http://youtu.be/XA031f6jviA

        1. KikiCobain profile image77
          KikiCobainposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I simply believe there is being in all objects.

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I hope you watched that video.

            The idea the mind is better open than closed, is to me, very much like the criticism against prejudice. Both are arguments used by the intellectually dishonest. If we were void of prejudice, we would soon perish, simply because prejudice is natural and a critical survival mechanism. The same holds true for closing ones mind to things which are deadly and like wise, electing to open ones mind to evil is surely a self destructive choice.

            I too, have wondered if God doesn't exist in the sub-particle realm.

            1. 0
              Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              i would suggest that being open-minded isn't what you think it is.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI

              1. rdcast profile image78
                rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I suppose it should be akin to quantum jumping.

                1. 0
                  Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Quantum jumping?

                  *Opens another tab, googles "quantum jumping"...*

                  No.

                  Keeping an open mind doesn't involve pseudoscience. It involves -- primarily -- maintaining a state of impartiality.

                  Did you look at the link I provided?

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Nor is it leading edge science. The way the video is parsed, its agenda becomes clear early on. No one needs a tutorial on closed mindedness, unless there exists some brain injury or something congenital. No, you're using the message in the video to aid in your debates, to more than subliminally suggest your debating opponent errs in their reasoning. The fact that it opens with the argument that those who would dare confront scientific positions by transferring the guilt of "closed mindedness" is transparent in and of itself.

                    Let's cut to the chase and discard this kind of intellectual fog atheists depend on to defend indefensible positions. The atheist's #1 agenda is to prove Creationism false by hijacking evolution from the scientific process, creating their own pseudoscience. More and more, this ploy has been muted by the facts. Let's see how long you can expose yourself to what's now available that destroys evolution as a viable alternative to Creationism.
                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_D0nILQ … 1A4A9F954F

                    1. 0
                      CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      "The atheist's #1 agenda is to prove Creationism false by hijacking evolution from the scientific process, creating their own pseudoscience."

                      I agree, rdcast. But even more than that, atheists are not so much interested in proving their view-point correct as they are in disproving their opposition's. They really have no leg to stand on, but as "they" say, "Misery loves company."

                      Atheists cannot prove their assumptions correct, nor can they disprove Creationism, so they are in a terrible quandry. They must, therefore, fight this battle on two fronts, but can win neither, so they must seek legislation to force their views upon the world.

                    2. rdcast profile image78
                      rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      I think I might have been mistaken in my earlier criticism. *sighs* Needing Jesus Christ is a wonderful revelation, if not evolution.

                    3. 0
                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Being open-minded is being willing to consider new ideas, which is what my linked video was about, and what this forum is/was about.

                      My debate "opponents" sometimes do err in their reasoning. I sometimes err in mine. We all do, every one of us. However, that doesn't mean that we should ignore logical errors when we encounter them, nor does it mean that we shouldn't strive to reduce them in our own reasoning.

                      I am unapologetically a proponent of scientism -- the idea that natural science provides answers which are superior to all other interpretations of life. I think I've made my embracing of scientism quite clear.

                      I have no interest in proving creationism false, largely because I consider it tangential to the question of God's existence. We exist; that is indisputable. No one knows how we came to be, and it is unlikely that we ever will. The answers that religion provides seem, to me, only to postpone the question, which apologists then try to obfuscate. The answers that science provides are still in their infancy, and -- currently -- are no more empirically verifiable than something I could conjecture myself.

                      God either exists, or he doesn't. I'd like to know the answer to that question, but I'm not going to attempt an answer until the evidence is less shoddy.  I want the "best' truth, the one that corresponds closest to reality. Science and critical reasoning are -- for now --  the best tools that I possess for discovering that truth.

                    4. lone77star profile image91
                      lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      @rdcast, why are you fighting "evolution?" Most creationist texts I've read on the subject of science are full of illogical junk.

                      I know God exists. He created the fabric of space-time and populated it with energy-mass. He gave it all certain laws of which would yield the behaviors we know of as chemistry, biology and yes... evolution!

                      I've read Walt Brown's book on Creationism and it's garbage. I don't know how he can call himself a scientist. And I wonder how he ever got a PhD from MIT (if that's even the truth).

                      Some creationists get on the bandwagon of declaring anything that disagrees with a 6000-year-old universe as "evolutionary." Most science has nothing to do with evolution (so calling it evolution is illogical), but there are tons of scientific discoveries which disprove the YEC viewpoint.

                      Why follow a lie? That's arrogance. And God does not approve of such a haughty attitude. We should each remain hungry for answers and approach truth with humility -- not a "know-it-all" attitude.

                      The evidence for evolution is overwhelming. The evidence for Homo sapiens is circumstantial and I tend to think the book is still open there. God may have created Homo sapiens through evolution, or he may have created him whole cloth from nothing. There are other possibilities, too. Stay open and humble.

                      Here's one example of Walt Brown's "creationism:"

                      Many undisputed observations contradict current theories on how the solar system evolved.a One theory says that planets formed when a star, passing near our Sun, tore matter from the Sun. More popular theories hold that the solar system formed from a cloud of swirling gas, dust, or larger particles. If the planets and their known moons evolved from the same material, they should have many similarities. After several decades of planetary exploration, this expectation is now recognized as false.b (See Figure 22.)  According to these evolutionary theories:

                      Backward-Spinning Planets.  All planets should spin in the same direction, but Venus, Uranus,c and Pluto rotate backwards.d  (See "Is Pluto a Planet?" on page 29.)e

                      Backward Orbits.  Each of the almost 200 known moons in the solar system should orbit its planet in the same direction, but more than 30 have backward orbits.f Furthermore, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune have moons orbiting in both directions.

                      ( http://www.creationscience.com/onlinebo … nces4.html )


                      And this is only one of dozens of examples of his awful reasoning.

                      So, what's wrong with this? Some really bad logic, that's what. The biggest hole in his logic is the oft-used logical fallacy of an "argument to ignorance." We don't have evidence of something so it must not be true. But if we discover evidence of it tomorrow, then guess who has egg on their face. A lack of proof never disproves anything.

                      Getting specific: Mr. Brown forgets the fact that the Solar system has been in existence for nearly 5 billion years. That's a lot of time for a lot of things to disrupt the neat, orderly procession of planets and moons. What a gaping hole in his logic! Most of the moons in this star system are thought to be captured asteroids. Think about it for a moment. If a capture asteroid were to whiz past a planet, it could whiz by either on the left or right or above or below or any one of an infinite number of trajectories. A sizable percentage of encounters would be expected to result in retrograde or "backward" orbits. Mr. Brown loses.

                      That doesn't mean that creationism loses. It only means that his brand of creationism is junk.

                      Science studies the products of God's creation -- reality. It does an excellent job of it, batting close to 1000 (an American baseball term connoting "near perfection"). If science did far worse, then we wouldn't have the fabulous technology we have. We wouldn't be carrying on this conversation over the internet.

                      Disrespecting science as much as Walt Brown and other supposed "creation scientists" do is tantamount to delusion, because science has a pretty good bead on reality, and ignoring reality is delusion.

                      I've discovered a biblical timeline that puts all of this mishegas about a "young Earth" to bed forever! It's a biblical timeline compatible with those of science. Please, be quite clear in this. Science follows God's creation, not the other way around. But "belief" in any idea does not make that idea true, and that includes interpretation of scripture. Everybody interprets, and most have it wrong. Otherwise we wouldn't still be here.

    22. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago

      Troubled is a good name. Describes you well. Frankly, it is my understanding of Einsteinian physics which leads me to take the stance that I do. I have turned my back on the childish beliefs inherent in the  modern christian movement. I don't perceive God as being supernatural. God is all natural, and good for you, too! If TM really wishes to understand where I am coming from, researching the Medicine Dream would be more in order.

      1. mischeviousme profile image61
        mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Ah peyote, how I miss thee...

        1. Druid Dude profile image61
          Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Sorry....my people are from the North East. (But I have traveled) and consider Casteneda's works to be a masterpiece. Abstension from drugs was part of my MD stimulus.

          1. mischeviousme profile image61
            mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            I went to a reservation Idaho and had the opportunity to try it. I got it during one of the , What they call, "Indian rodeos" or pow wow if one prefers. The snake river reservation is a beautiful place, with beautiful people.

      2. A Troubled Man profile image60
        A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        That's nice. Do you find that focusing on my userid gives you a feeling of superiority or intelligence?



        Really? Sure looks like childish beliefs to me.



        A First Nation's band performing contemporary Native American music is where you're coming from?

        http://www.medicinedream.com/

    23. keplerf profile image61
      keplerfposted 4 years ago

      Define God ?

      1. rdcast profile image78
        rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        God
        1. The One and only God the Father.
        2. The Heavenly Father(our Father Who art in Heaven).
        3. The Father of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
        4. The Great I Am.
        5. The All Mighty God.
        6. My Defender.
        7. My hope and faith.
        8. My Redeemer, Salvation, Loving Father.
        9. Agape Abba(forever loving daddy).
        10. The enemy of vanities.
        11. The giver oh His Holy Spirit.
        12. The Alpha and Omega(ETERNITY).

        1. 0
          jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          1. The One and only God the Father. - The definition contain the word you attempt to define.
          2. The Heavenly Father(our Father Who art in Heaven)-A dead father cannot be god!
          3. The Father of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Isn't he supposed to be one Mr. Joseph?
          4. The Great I Am.- whether you are great or not, has nothing to do with god!
          5. The All Mighty God. Same fallacy as 1
          6. My Defender.- What has your bodyguard got to do with anybody else?
          7. My hope and faith. Your personal matters
          8. My Redeemer, Salvation, Loving Father. Again your personal stuff, subjective.
          9. Agape Abba(forever loving daddy). Same
          10. The enemy of vanities. So whoever despise vanity is god?
          11. The giver oh His Holy Spirit. Meaningless
          12. The Alpha and Omega(ETERNITY). Eternity is not a thing.


          In short, there is no definition. A definition is an exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something, and it should be objective. Got any?

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            By virtue of the fact that there are a multitude of false gods, the distinction is valid.

            As far as jomine wanting to declare there can be no definition for God, also finds validity, insofar as the One and only God is an enigma wrapped in a mystery, a wheel within a wheel. His creation can't hope to perceive God in His full glory, majesty and power!

            1. 0
              jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              "By virtue of the fact that there are a multitude of false gods, the distinction is valid"
              You didn't put any distinction except that what you accept is god!
              But you can tell what his attributes are, can't you?
              or at least how can you differentiate true from false god?
              Or is it the same old 'there is god because I say so' argument?

              1. rdcast profile image78
                rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I feel where you're coming from, but I must work with my limitations, so I hope you might forgive me for presenting a grocery list of praise, rather than Merriam approved definitions.

                1. 0
                  jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  If you have such 'limitations' please don't present as if you are stating facts that can't be disputed. All you are stating is just opinions which has no basis on reality.

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Dispute whomever you wish, we all have sinned and fall far short of the Glory of God. I most fervently recommend and respectfully request, you never dispute God.

                    1. mischeviousme profile image61
                      mischeviousmeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      We fall short of the glory of your "God"...
                      For you, you are so right, that everyone else is wrong(except for other members of your congregation or other like minded individuals). That's the problem, you don't even see that the words you use, monopolize the position. Therefore, you've succeeded in "putting God in a box". Your God is your salvation, stop trying to exclude others from their's.

                    2. 0
                      jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Make it singular, for your god is your own creation.

            2. A Troubled Man profile image60
              A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              lol Of course, it would never cross your mind to think that your god is as false as any other, or that ALL gods are false.

              1. rdcast profile image78
                rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                I've already prayed for you. Your vanity plays like a broken record.

                In the name of Jesus Christ, I command those demons that now posses you to wrench out of you, or In His name, I will exact greater harm to all you demons belonging in hell!

                1. 0
                  CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  I appreciate the attempted internet exorcism, rdcast, but holy hands, fasting, prayer, and oil need to be applied directly to the victim in order for them to break free from the chains that bind them.  :0)

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    You're a Christian poet, it would seem from your profile. As far as the casting out of demons, your described ritual comes from Catholicism, I believe. I much prefer Jesus Christ's example, where He simply commands from His authority over all.

                    1. 0
                      CJ Sledgehammerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      I openly deplore Catholicism, but the Bible does speak about laying on of hands, fasting, prayer and the application of oil in the New Testament. My comment was not meant to offend you, but I was feeling a bit  joyful and playful after reading your commentary. Please forgive me if I offended you, because it was not intentional.

                    2. Roger Crigger profile image61
                      Roger Criggerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Not that it would matter if demons were driven from this one...Well, in a sense. In my first comment to this question / forum, I gave part of my testimony as to how I came to know that I know that there IS A GOD...ONE God, The great I AM, ABBA, YAHWEH, and the "troubled man" came flat out with, "You're a liar!" Just like that.

                      He doesn't believe it possible, so ALL OF MY EXPERIENCES are lies! I have, as God is my witness, laid hands on people and watched them fall to the ground and puke...many times. I once was being used by God to deliver a young man from methanphetamine. When I had finished praying, (fervently)  he and 4 other people in the room were all on the floor! (and besides myself there was only 1 other believer in the room at the time.) Those people still don't know what to think about what happened. I do. It was so powerful, God showed Himself so powerful that after I had left the house, I had to pull over and cry...like a baby! Shaking like a leaf at the awesome display of GOD'S power that I had just been part of.

                      Just a couple of instances where I have seen demons cast out of people. I don't expect many people to believe me, (The people who had them cast out of believe), but, in response to my testimony, and answer to the question, "Are you open minded enough...." Troubled man, like it was a proven fact has been doing nothing but calling me a foolish, childish liar?

                      So...as for me...Kudos rdcast...Kudos.... And I agree, IN JESUS NAME, the demons tormenting and "Troubling" this man, you WILL leave or be cast into the pit even ahead of your appointed time! Amen, in Jesus name it is so!

                2. A Troubled Man profile image60
                  A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  lol lol <--- coveted double laughie award

                  (will have to come up with an insanity award)

                3. 0
                  jomineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Get treatment, or you might harm yourself!

              2. aguasilver profile image87
                aguasilverposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Why should it, you have dismissed the existence of ANY gods, refuse to accept that there is a spiritual dimension to life, and confine your viewpoint to only what you can see touch and feel, or otherwise explain away as 'reality'.

                Your reality.

                Having said that, God still loves you, sends people to attempt to open your thinking to spiritual things, and desires that you find Him and will receive the blessings He wishes for you.

                King James Version (KJV)
                For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

                How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

                And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

                ------

                I pray that one day Christ and His angels will rejoice over your salvation.

                1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                  A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  The only difference between you and I is the fact that I have dismissed the existence of only one more god than you.



                  Show me this "spiritual dimension" and I'll happily accept it.



                  Sorry, but there is only one reality and it is shared by us all. If you can show there is a reality with gods and spiritual dimensions, then that will the reality shared by us all. Of course, you can't.



                  Baloney. Why should God send other people in an attempt to do anything. If he exists, He can do that himself, if He exists.



                  Gibberish.



                  lol

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    You can't avoid being shown a spiritual dimension Troubled. By that time, it will be too late if it happens to be hell fire. No vain smart aleck answer will comfort you then, nor will his witnesses remember you.

                    1. A Troubled Man profile image60
                      A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      lol *queue empty threats of hellfire*


                      ...aaaaaaand action!

    24. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago

      The lion is bein' cool and trying to lay down with the lamb, but the lamb keeps gettin' nervous.

      1. rdcast profile image78
        rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        The lamb does seem disadvantaged.

    25. Druid Dude profile image61
      Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago

      You have actually pointed out one of the main differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. The Catholics don't recognize the "born again" concept, and I personally see a difference between how it is defined by the protestants and how Jesus actually spoke of it. Protestants believe in a ritual "born again" brought about by the Baptism of water, but Jesus spoke as though it were a physical born again. He also replaced the baptism of water with the baptism of fire, which none of the churches do, nor do they seem to understand it.

      1. Druid Dude profile image61
        Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Hell! I'm open minded enough to concede that NONE OF YOU might exist!smile

        1. rdcast profile image78
          rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          There was a time long ago, when I almost believed nothing else existed but me. That when I left a scene, it no longer existed. I'd even try to trick it by quickly looking back to catch it in transition. Well, now I'm of the mind that yes, even you Druid Dude, do in fact exist.

          By the way, you can be born again without baptism and baptism by water is different than by fire. You're wrong about Jesus Christ replacing one with the other.

          For what it's worth, I guess I associate with evangelicals more than the others. But like political affiliations, I'm simply a social conservative, but for my belief in Jesus Christ, I'm affiliated strictly to the Holy Judeo-Christian Bible. The Church is no building and tithing is an Old Testament practice, replaced with the giving of alms.

          1. Druid Dude profile image61
            Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Mighty magnaminous of you. I do, in fact, believe that other things exist, including people. I have a wife, kids, and grandkids. Still not sure about you though!smile

            1. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Sometimes I do feel like a figment.

              1. Druid Dude profile image61
                Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Just maybe we're God's illusion. Hope he doesn't take a pill.smile

                1. rdcast profile image78
                  rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  It would serve us right!

    26. guildmerchant profile image60
      guildmerchantposted 4 years ago

      I am a theist and I would concede that god did not exist or acknowledge that god is not what I expected if I was presented with intuitive information that I could make sense of and use on my own to come to my own conclusions.

      1. Druid Dude profile image61
        Druid Dudeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        hopefully, you do that anyways.

        1. guildmerchant profile image60
          guildmerchantposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Aye I do, I think it's important to distinguish how your come to your knowledge when first striking up a thread of conversation. We all do it differently and I am absolutely in awe about how many ways this happens. I like to explore this topic of interest by discussing different philosophical and spiritual ideas.

          I also like to map the constellation of how different schools of thought interact with each other. So how do you usually go about tackling new issues with the experience and knowledge you have?

          1. rdcast profile image78
            rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Let the Holy Spirit do that for you.

            1. guildmerchant profile image60
              guildmerchantposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              When I tackle knowledge I try to do it in an intuitive process that makes sense to me, without being influence by books or what other people say. I very much believe that the Holy Spirit resides in me, I just call it by a different name and know it differently. Intuition is guided by internal senses.

        2. rdcast profile image78
          rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Agreed, but guildmerchant, Jesus is the Weeping Shepherd, who cries over the lost. You're loved and called for. I pray you respond.

          1. guildmerchant profile image60
            guildmerchantposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Could you clarify? :] Just to let you know I've never read biblical scripture, just heard stories and whatnot. My background is more grounded in Eastern thought, although I'm trying to understand how Western thought relates.

            1. rdcast profile image78
              rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              to clarify:

              It is a grand lie that God is unloving and scary. Agape Abba means loving beyond question or reason, my daddy.

              Look how Jesus Christ suffered for us, just to win us as His adopted brothers and sisters.

              Looking down upon the lost sheep without a shepherd, caused Jesus to weep.

              Tender, loving, giving, Jesus and His Father never waits to bless. He says, we have not because we ask not. What a wonderful and loving Lord.

              Please ask Him into your heart without delay. He weeps for you.

              1. guildmerchant profile image60
                guildmerchantposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                Ah yes thank you, I'm just not really familiar with the symbols used in the bible cause I use different symbols to explain the same concepts.

                I would say I'm down with JC, I just wouldn't consider myself christian in the sense. I believe you can be spiritual without putting names and titles on it. Thus I am a follower of Christ, but I am not christian. I am a follower of Buddha, but I am not buddhist, etc. What are your thoughts on this?

                1. vector7 profile image60
                  vector7posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Jesus Christ said he was the way, the truth, and the life. That no one came to the Father except through Him. May sound harsh, but if it's true then it's kind guidance.

                  No attempts to force you, as the Holy Spirit will guide you if you honestly seek God.

                  I suggest for understanding at first reading the Gospel of John [after luke] and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John [after 1st and 2nd Peter].

                  ESV version is the best for ease of understanding, but I do believe in the KJV as the standard, and for deep study.

                  [ESV - English Standard Version; KJV - King James Version / both available online]

                  One of the links on my profile "Beyond Blind Faith" explains Jesus a little from a standpoint of logic as well if you're interested.

                  God's blessings

                  -v7

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Excellent witness!

                    I like the KJV and 1599 Geneva. I have so many wonderful Holy Bibles, including this huge Dake's I keep next to me. Recently I've adopted two others, not so conventional. My favorite called a voice in the wilderness or VW http://www.a-voice.org/bible-vw/bible.htm and the 21st Century King James Version or KJ21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se … rsion=KJ21 Both of these are English language updates opposed to new translations and they are phenomenal in my view.

                    My main focus now is Biblical Hebrew.

                    1. lone77star profile image91
                      lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Awesome! I'd like to understand the Hebrew. I can't help but think I'm missing so much with the translations.

                      I have several of my own, including the Lamsa Bible.

                2. lone77star profile image91
                  lone77starposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  @guildmerchant, vector7 and rdcast make some good points.

                  You can read many more versions of the Bible on line at www.BibleGateway.com.

                  To be a true "follower" of Christ, it would help to read more of his teachings, if you haven't already. And it seems from what you said, that you haven't yet.

                  So, can you truly follow Christ if you don't know all that he taught?

                  I sometimes wonder if Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha) was following Christ, though he lived 500 years before Yehoshua was born in Nazareth.

                  For what does "Christ" and "following Christ" really mean? I seriously doubt if it's assuming the physical label, "Christian." I doubt if it's declaring one's membership in a Christian church. I suspect that it's something entirely non-physical. I think I've felt it on numerous occasions. In fact, I'm certain of it.

                  Vector7 said, "Jesus Christ said he was the way, the truth, and the life. That no one came to the Father except through Him." He was quoting/paraphrasing scripture. But what does "coming to the Father through Christ" mean?

                  I have a feeling that there is an answer there that most, if not all, have not yet found. And it takes humility to find such things. I still don't have enough of that.

                  1. rdcast profile image78
                    rdcastposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    God bless you lone77star.

                    Consider the adrenaline impact while "falling in love". It lasts just long enough to bond couples in need of a deep personal relationship. Once over and under normal circumstance, the couple must phase out of that imposing "temporary insanity" to rest in an enduring commitment to one another. The "falling in love" phase is natural and necessary. It isolates a couple from the concerns of the world around them so they can focus on that essential process of bonding. It is the most intense "making up for lost time" behavior they will ever go through, short of being "born again" into adoption by God Eternal.

                    So there you have it. The similarities are virtually identical. We don't know how desperate we are to understand that living willfully apart form God ignores the eternal needs of our souls, until desperate circumstances grip us. And what are the rewards for such willfulness? Depression, self absorbed pride, confusion, doubt, anxiety, blind pursuits, all manner of vanities and eventually death. Death because who among us can create an everlasting kingdom for ourselves beyond this world? And without that, what should there be? What awaits the self serving soul, once it no longer is allowed to cling to the physical? There should be an unavoidable and everlasting reality it must face and having rejected God, the ownership of guilt wont be an option. The brutal facts of consequences will form its torment.

                    Realize right now, eternal death devours the soul of vanity, bonded to guilt as insufferable death prepares to claim it, if indeed it were not for Jesus Christ having opened a way of redemption by taking upon Himself our torment, delivering us from our sins with His Holy Atonement. God's Kingdom is what we were created for, with divine mansions prepared for us. This fact wont be missed even in hell, if only we pray God might forbid. Jesus Christ, His Son, is but a split second from our repentant souls, when His Holy Spirit finally bonds with our conscience. The "born again" bliss honors God our Father.

                    DO IT NOW!
                    Sinners prayer: "Dear Jesus Christ, I know I'm guilty of all sin and desperate for Your sacrificed blood to save me from eternal judgement and torment. I now rush to accept You as my divine Lord and Savior, worthy of all that I promise to be in Your Loving Grace. Amen."

                    The birth of a baby is made possible only by the combined wills of the mother and baby. And witness the mother cradle her newborn baby with bliss for the both of them.

                    Oh Father, nurse the newly born again soul, bringing bliss throughout Heaven. Amen.

                    1. 0
                      Chasukposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                      Of course, I think a lot of what you typed above is logically in error and spiritually presumptuous, but I like the part about couples and relationships. I've been married for 31 years, and I've experienced what you describe.

                      Well put.