Is Natural Selection in Evolution the result of happenstance?
Are the Laws of Nature directed in an arbitrary way?
Was the Big Bang a random accident?
Was Hydrogen created out of Nothing?
Were the first copied pairs of DNA accidental?
Was the Destruction of the Dinosaurs an accident?
Obviously, the answer to each of these questions is "No!"
Doesn't it make sense that the elements of Water, Fire, Air and Earth were produced by Intelligent Design?
Isn't Light / Heat / Energy clearly the manifestation of God?
Isn't Intelligence /Awareness / Consciousness the manifestation of God?
And, of course, the answers to these questions is "Yes!"
Good evening, Ms. Hill.
In reality, the answer to all of your questions is “maybe!”
Facts are the rational building blocks of knowledge. They help us to separate the things we really know from the things we think we know. The absence of proven facts may explain why your post does not recognize the difference.
Be well, Ms. Hill, and always follow your bliss.
Good evening, Quilligrapher. The answer to the first seven questions is "Not likely!" And the answer to the last three questions is "...makes absolute sense."
But, I am glad you said, "maybe.."
Thank you for reminding me to follow my Bliss.
I think it is more realistic that there is an intelligence behind everything, over that all we see and know of is a result of undirected, and naturalistic processes only. The cause has to be sufficient for the effect we see in our universe, so that is something that can't be avoided. If I see something proposed that can't sufficiently explain what we see, I wouldn't know why I should believe that. I need to see a reflection of what is being proposed in our own reality whether in humanity, our societies, our history, and science, etc. Whatever is really true, will line up with all of these things.
If we are allowing the evidence we see to lead us to the conclusions, rather than say a preferred conclusion to be driving the endeavor, we are able to get closer to the truths of these matters.
Do you think Science reveals Divine Cause?
Do you think Science is a reflection of consistent never-changing universal principles?
Science cannot "reveal" Divine Cause until it finds that cause and most modern causes (gods) are defined as to be undetectable. Unlike religious belief, science does not make conclusions based on "I don't know, so will make up a god".
Science attempts to reveal the truth.
Absolutely, science reveals universal principles, such as the laws of physics.
Exactly where - inside a scientist's brain - does science originate?
Does someone need to explain science to you? Really? The process of science leads scientists to knowledge and understanding. It is exactly what the God of Genesis didn't want for us when he told us not to eat from the tree of knowledge. And now you seem to be attempting to attribute said knowledge to him.
I did answer your question as did moneymindit.
Edit, do you really need me to find the parts of the brain involved with the sciences?
Thank you for doing so.
[Edit: Thank you, once again, for understanding my 'original' question (properly). Now go ahead.]
Wow. Nice one. Do you have any more zingers in there or can we all move on now? Let's get back to real discussion, shall we?
Yes, the discussion is this: Evolution proves Intelligent Design.
Please explain whether you think this true or not.
(I meant this for all newcomers)
There has been no evolution (neither biological nor cosmic. God (the cosmic spirit) created the universe empirically.
God is like a king. And It creates like an artist.
The phenomenon of beauty - doesn't come by through an unconscious, lengthy, boring process like evolution. It comes by through artistic efforts. And we live in a universe - which is filled with beauty.
Very strange question! Exactly where in a scientist's brain does science originate?
That is like asking in which part of the pot do you cook your dinner? In which part of the cup do you hold your coffee?
Welcome, moneymindit! The water is cool and refreshing today. Enjoy!
Your question has an answer. The atoms (of the pot/cup), kind of, hold other atoms (cooking meal/coffee).
My question: What mechanism allowed you to ask that question?
The mechanism known as my brain. What is your point?
What mechanism took place in your brain that allowed you to ask that question?
Electrical impulses in my brain. The same electrical impulses that make computers process data.
Where inside the 'electrical impulses' does your thoughts originate?
Typical. Explaining God for things that which you do not understand. You're not alone, even Newton made that error.
that was a needless splash… using the word " error."
Where inside the 'electrical impulses' did that thought originate?
Still have no intention of educating yourself?
Would a study of the regularities or irregularities of Einstein's brain help with your question of where scientific thought comes from?
"Scientific studies have suggested that regions involved in speech and language are smaller, while regions involved with numerical and spatial processing are larger. Other studies have suggested an increased number of glial cells in Einstein's brain."
However I suppose you will continue to claim that God done it for things you currently don't understand rather than attempting to understand them. Like Newton before you who said we would never be able to develop the math to explain our solar system because God done it, and yet a few years later someone did find/reveal the math.
Please speak respectfully, Rad Man. I'm not abusing you anyway. Please maintain the same.
[If you do not wish to continue this conversation, for any reason, then please (respectfully) let me know that, instead of engaging in any unacceptable behavior.]
Now, I must ask this: What mechanism did those scientists - who examined Einstein's brain - use during the examination process? Exactly what enabled to them expound their findings?
I'm sorry if you feel hurt, however it's not my job to educate you. Please educate yourself. If you have questions look them up.
Why won't you educate yourself? You did exactly as I said you would and then you come back and feel you were disrespected.
Comparing you to Newton is hardly being disrespectful.
Telling the world that Newton was in error for believing in God wasn't very respectful, in my opinion. Kepler was interested in astrology. If Newton was interested in God or Kepler in Astrology who are you to say that either of them was in ERROR?
I didn't say his belief in God was in error. I said his believe in God caused him to think finding the math that explained the universe would be impossible because he felt God done it. That was in fact an error as the math was reveal later by someone not as smart as Newton. His error was not believing in God, but assuming things are beyond our knowing because of his belief. Which is what Prodio is doing as well, attempting to find something that we currently don't understand and then say God done it.
God is the great mathematician. The whole universe is based on Mathematical design.
calling all nerds:
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde … 044AAiU7AZ
Now we are cooking with gas!
To the untrained eye, they think it is on a paisley background.
I bet you could play with a kaleidoscope for hours on end.
Have you explored fractals? Common ground for the mathematician and artist. Google or Bing Fractal for images. Good stuff.
No, Im all about words. I can write stories and songs, but art and math are not my gifts. They are kind of like snowflake patterns, aren't they?
Yes, but so much more. In Washington and Colorado where pot is legal, they may have to outlaw fractal graphics for fear stoned folks will be locked in an unbreakable stare.
Are you teasing?
edit: Yes you are. I'm too gullible.
You want to know how I figured it out? My first thought was, why wouldn't they pick Portland first? But then I realized when you said Washington... you didn't mean DC. You are dealing with a beautiful mind here.
Unless of course you are totally OCD and must know how many times the pattern repeats...that could be devastating.
Because we had one of the most brilliant minds ever who let God done it get in his way.
Maybe one of the most brilliant minds ever figured out something you missed?
That was a request.
What mechanism did you use to determine that I was hurt?
These questions come up as a logical consequence. If you do not know the answer to 'that question' - then you do not 'deserve' any answer for the question that you had asked beforehand.
If you do not know what (mechanism) enables a human being to form a thought - then you are not in a very suitable position to 'demand' him/her to believe that his/her thoughts are a result of 'millions of years of evolution'.
If you can't say of what material is 'it' (your thought that God doesn't exist) composed of - then you can't 'legitimately' demand anyone to believe that God doesn't exist.
That question denotes the foundation on which all your thoughts (against God and spirituality) - are based on.
Study human and animal behaviour and then get back to me. First understand why humans think as we do to survive and why elephants or polar bears think as they do. Why we feel fear and a polar bear fears nothing at all.
Rad Man is absolutely correct, it is not our job to educate you, those are questions you yourself should be capable of looking up. This is not elementary school. It is a discussion forum in which acceptable behavior is where one shows they are prepared for discussion, not endless, pointless questions.
And the math is evidence of God. So Newton was certainly not disproved!
That would be inside the thought factories that were built (at great cost to the tiny people there) inside the subatomic particles inside the electrons inside the electrical impulses inside your nerves inside your brain inside your body.
Millions of years of evolution as adapted our brains to ask questions.
Yes, and the evidence does not support "an intelligence behind everything", but does support "naturalistic processes only", that is the realistic truth of the matter.
Absolutely not. That is a common mistake those who don't understand evolution make and often use as an argument to discredit evolution.
Again, absolutely not. The laws of nature are not directed at all, they simply occur.
No, it was a result of the laws of nature, specifically, gravity and the result of the ocean of electromagnetic radiation that flooded the universe after the Big Bang.
The first copied pairs? What's that?
Most likely, it was an inevitable occurrence in nature, one that could easily happen again, the universe is full of objects moving around all over the place.
Why is that obvious?
Not at all, not even remotely based on the facts and evidence of our universe.
Not according to the facts and evidence.
I find it fascinating that you say emphatically that the laws of nature are not directed at all--they simply occur. They occur with such precision that every organ in our bodies has a specific purpose. We find cells organized into tissue, tissue into organs, organs into systems, etc. At each level, we find purpose. It's a symphony of purpose... with no direction other than just "nature did it."
If I were to ask an atheist who created nature, he would clearly say no one. Nature has always been and it always will be. The beginning and the end. Who is the creator? What is the maker? Nature, of course. The Alpha and the Omega. Who makes the sun rise? Nature. Who sustains life? Nature. Who gave us life? Nature.
Nature is the God that you worship--your creator. Is it possible that something, anything, exists that is the actual source of these laws you love so much? Of course it is. But you ridicule such a notion because you have the laws themselves. And, deep down, you don't want a God to exist who could have set the laws of nature into motion. Don't you despise the very thought of it? It's not that the laws of nature disprove the existence of a creator God. You know they can't. You just don't want that God to exist. You don't want someone bigger than you to be messing with your life.
That's my opinion.
But, now you're talking about evolution. And, while the laws of nature simply occur with random results, evolution is not random.
In other words, nature can operate entirely on it's own. This is not a problem and is in fact what is observed.
Sorry, but that's just silly, I don't worship nature. We have seen throughout history the negative results of worship.
Yes, it could very well be a giant lizard that sneezed the universe out of it's nostrils. In fact, there are millions of such possible things happening.
Or, more accurately, nothing has ever been shown beyond the laws themselves.
What I want and what reality shows us can easily be two different things. What is really going on are religious believers reject the facts and evidence about reality and nature.
I could care less. If you can show me a God/Creator, I'll happily accept it as being true.
And, I could care less one way or the other. In fact, that entire premise is actually irrelevant because it is non-sequitur.
Again, show me this God and I'll believe it.
"Again, show me this God and I'll believe it."
Thank you for letting us know, after all these days, that you are a believer.
Perhaps, the usage of dictionary may prove to be very useful in helping you understand the definition of words and how they're used in communicating ideas.
Nowhere did I admit to being a believer.
Let's say it this way: You are an about to be believer.
Perhaps you need to, first off, check your own record of consulting a dictionary while communicating with believers over here on the forums.
Nope. Not even remotely close.
Here's the thing: i believe that it's a huge leap to say that the vast complexity in and all around us just happened naturally without some sort of intelligent direction. You obviously don't. We don't have to agree, and obviously we're not going to. No big deal. This whole discussion is really just the sideshow anyway. But as an aside to that, with your admission that something could have intentionally set the laws of nature into motion, it seems then that you would have to acknowledge that your knowledge of nature (and science in general) could never disprove the existence of a creator God who could have created and used the very laws which you are trying to use against him.
God has nothing to fear from science really. If you really wanted to shut down Christianity, you'd have to exit the side show and focus on the main event anyway: the resurrection of Jesus. But be warned.... Many have tried their hardest. And, that's where so much evidence is working against you. The only reason I'm convinced that their is a creator God is because I am convinced that the resurrection of Jesus actually happened and Jesus himself believed in a creator God. That's the deal. Discussion about the existence of a creator that ignores the resurrection will never resolve anything. Neither side can ever convince the other.
The only real problem here is that it doesn't matter HOW convinced you are, you have no proof of either the resurrection OR a god.
At least others are honest enough to understand that they cannot KNOW the answer to "Is there a god" - you've already decided that you know and there is no possibility of error. With or without proof or even evidence, you KNOW the answer.
Sorry - it doesn't work that way, and that very attitude (opinion expressed as knowledge) is the stumbling block you're speaking of.
You seem to be misrepresenting what I said. Your objection doesn't carry much weight, considering how convinced you seem to be that God does not exist. To be clear, I didn't say the words "I know", as if I am leaning on some internal feeling or intuition. That argument can be saved for someone else. I have researched and studied evidence and have reached a conclusion based on that evidence. I would say that you assume that I failed to reach a reasonable conclusion, I suppose because you do not believe that such evidence exists. I can only tell you that what I have seen makes me confident in what I believe. I have been actively researching things specifically related to Christianity for 30 years just as part of my lifestyle. I am not a sheep who simply follows what he hears.
That being the case, you can certainly present that evidence for others to examine, test and verify. I await your evidence and rigid, impersonal evaluation of it. I DO ask that you leave ignorance out of the equation; whether personal or species wide "I/we don't know" is evidence of nothing but ignorance.
So you, one small little tiny person, especially if observed from the top of a tall building, says with the fullest measure of authority, as though you were as tall as the mentioned building:
"THE BIBLE IS NULL AND VOID BECAUSE I SAY SO!"
Are you advocating your belief to all of mankind or just to your one small and tiny self.
If it is the former, that is a NO NO.
If the latter, then that is fine.
Each to their own, of course.
Sorry, I did not say that. I DID say that we don't know if the important parts are true and that is a fact. We don't in spite of centuries of trying to prove it so.
WE? WE?? WE??? Do not include ME in that WE. You cannot and you must not. You MUST replace the word We with "I, MYSELF."
Like or not, accept it or not, understand it or not, you too are included in that WE. WE do not know if the bible contains any but the smallest tidbits of truth. Pilate, for example, can be independently verified in a variety of sources. Jesus? Not a single one, let alone his resurrection or other miracles.
What about the fact that the Bible's stories originated in Egyptian lore?
Horus vs Jesus
Or do you simply make null and void any truths that do not support your belief in the Biblical God? In other words, do you not care for the truth?
I like your avatar. And your replies have a style.
Your cannonballs are splashing the rest of us…
I am over here swimming laps minding my own business… thinking my own thoughts when in you come purposefully splashing us all! Thanks for nothing. Maybe when you learn to enter the water more smoothly...
Oh dear Lord. (Funny I should say that.) If you were minding your own business, you would not have created this forum stating that God is an absolute truth. You would have kept your thoughts to yourself. Nobody would have minded seeing you swimming along. It's when you started making comments (splashing the water) that the rest of us swimmers began to splash back.
You're killing me. . Ok, so I'll bite. I will explain why I believe what I believe. And yes, I expect disagreement. That's fine. Let's try to be civil, guys. Please remember that none of the things I'm going to present are enough on their own. I expect you to have an argument for each one. Still, It's the entire tapestry viewed in its entirety that I found to be so compelling.
Here's source #1:
Tacitus, who is commonly considered to be a very reliable source as a Roman historian. While some have attempted to show it as unreliable, it continues to be widely accepted as authentic. Tacitus' writing confirms that Jesus was executed by Pilate and that his movement and following survived his execution, spreading all the way to Rome by at least 64 AD.
Here is one link I found. There are lots of others.
There are actually 3 other similar references to the death of Jesus written by secular writers around this time.
"If you really wanted to shut down Christianity, you'd have to exit the side show and focus on the main event anyway: the resurrection of Jesus."
The writings of Tacitus do not seem to address this all important piece of the bible at all. Beyond that, let's look at it closely, setting aside my personal belief that Jesus was probably a real person, that walked the earth about 2,000 years ago.
Tacitus lived 200 years AFTER the death of Christ and could not be an eyewitness. Tacitus gives no source of his information, and others have also complained of this. Without that, we have no way of knowing how meticulous Tacitus was with his investigation, save that he did not wish to reveal sources. Various scholars applaud Tacitus's scholarship and use of various reputable sources, even as they tell us that those sources are unknown.
Bottom line; the writings of Tacitus are evidence, but very, very weak evidence and are not evidence at all that there was any godhood involved. With his known anti-Christian/Jewish bias, his words seem just as likely to be rumors and myths as his sources were almost certainly "Christians" of the time.
So, something showing miracles of Jesus, such as resurrection? Preferably an eyewitness outside the bible?
Tacitus is a Roman historian whose work is generally considered reliable. He himself is generally considered to be very thorough in vetting his sources. He was not writing about Jesus at all. He was actually writing about Nero, and Nero happened to enjoy torturing Christians. So as an aside, Tacitus added some detail about who the Christians were as it relates to Nero's story. The first important thing is that this Roman historian did not consider any of this to be legend. This was history from his perspective. He was not affiliated with the church in any way. From his perspective, what he had to say wasn't complimentary at all. He was simply providing back story, and not a back story that came from religious nuts. This back story is, as I said, generally corroborated by three other sources. These four sources together are very strong evidence that Jesus existed, did walk around, and did die at the hands of the Romans. And, the last important bit of information provided here, is that his following actually picked up steam after he was killed.
You're right that these writings never mention the resurrection. But, Tacitus did mention a most mischievous superstition which broke out both in Judea and in Rome. What do you think that was? I believe that in 64 AD news of the resurrection of Jesus had already reached Rome and this information had made it's way up to Tacitus. Clearly he didn't buy it, but it was there--circulating. Obviously that's an inference and you can explain that away, but I feel it is another piece in the puzzle.
The last piece as it relates to these four sources is the thought that, if Jesus died, why did his message live on? Why would the apostles choose to be martyred rather than renounce the lie? None of them were ever reported to have rolled over. None of them caved. None of those listed as martyrs were ever documented as having done anything other than become martyrs. If they had, surely that would have destroyed the message right there. There are no conflicting sources related to these events. If Jesus walked around and eventually was executed, his message really should have died with him, especially considering the intense persecution the early church experienced at the hands of Rome. Tacitus gives us some detail around that as well. Wasn't he supposed to be the messiah the Jews were looking for? The Jews are still looking for one, by their own admission. When he died, he no longer fit the bill of what they thought a messiah would be. There was no reason to cling to his message at all, because he failed to live up to his billing.
It should have died... So why didn't it? Why is the church still going strong today? One word. Resurrection.
I understand that about Tacitus. But disagree here - it is nearly certain that that's where this information came from (and that he never gave sources means you don't know where he got it either). From the Christians of the time, relating their myth to him.
A mischievous superstition? Meaning another religion, not a resurrection. Superstition could very well mean any but the prominent Roman beliefs of the time, and likely did to Tacitus. He did not like the Jews or Christians, to say the least, and " mischievous superstition" might be the form his disgust took. While you might believe that Rome, and Tacitus, know of the resurrection you have no reason for that belief and much reason NOT to believe it. As you point out, Tacitus provided this information about Christ as a sidebar; a tidbit of interest, nothing more. Had a man actually come back to life, it seems very likely that there would be a book on it, not a sentence.
No, none of the apostles were reported to have "rolled over". By the very people gaining from them NOT rolling over, at least, and it is thus not surprising at all and not indicative that they did not. Had they done so, the council at Nicaea would have made short shrift of any such information anyway.
The church goes on today, but not from one word unless it is Catholicism. It is the extreme power of that church that keeps it going, coupled of course with the promise of eternal life. The Catholic church was Europe and for many, many centuries - that sort of thing does not die easily.
Nevertheless, Christianity is dying, and rapidly so. The US is one of the last real holdouts (that and a few third world countries still in barbarism), along with a couple South American locales. The birthplace of Christianity, Europe, has changed radically from when the Church owned the souls of everyone there and religion is dying.
One other thing:
Tacitus was born in 56 AD and died after 117 AD. Clearly he was around in 64 AD and could have witnessed much of what happened. At the very least, he would have had access to eye witnesses to interview on the subject.
Yes, he could have talked to eyewitnesses, or at least people claiming to be such. But see it himself? not possible as Christ died before he was born and even the followers were leaving this veil of tears while he was yet a child. There is also the problem of Christians, hated by everyone, talking to a historian and giving truth. That would have been a quick way to die back then.
When I say "see it himself" I mean the events he's describing. The persecution of the Christians, Nero's torture parties, etc. So I have confidence that the Christian movement had in fact spread to Rome and was raging in Judea as he recorded 30 years after the crucifixion. About the Jesus' execution and resurrection, for sure he could have talked to people who were physically there for that.
I didn't really mean to bring up the church today. I ended up confusing the point I was trying to make:
Christianity is really very different from any other world religion. Every other world religion is wrapped around a set of teachings or a message that was given. When the teacher died, the message was free to live on. But, the message of Jesus was in fact Jesus. When he died, there was really nowhere for Christianity to go. The apostles are said to have run away; it was over.
What was the message? "I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father but through me." "The father and I are one." "Upon this rock I will build my church." When he died, it was clear that he wasn't building anything.
So how does the early church get started? This is a huge question that needs an answer for the story to make sense. Twelve guys make up a story about the resurrection and people all over Judea who wanted him dead and/or watched him die suddenly buy it and hop on the bandwagon? Do you think these people who were ultimately persecuted severely for their beliefs were that easily swayed given what the Romans and the chief priests had just done to the leader of the band?
I don't think so. Something else of massive importance happened to shake them up. That's my opinion.
I'm running a little slow because I started this at the same time that I was moving into a new house.
The next topic is not new either but I think it's the most critical piece of the puzzle. The Jews, according to the link below, are still looking for the Annointed One (messiah, Christ, all same thing).
http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questi … ah-to-come
We know that both the Christian and Hebrew bibles are not books. They are collections of ancient writings from various authors. The Hebrew Bible contains writings from several prophets who talked a lot about a future Messiah, all written hundreds or thousands of years before Jesus was born. They predicted where he would be born, that he would be a descendent of David, that somehow he would be both God and man, that he would come while the temple was still standing, and when he would be born. Some of the prophecies quoted by various messianic prophecy sites are vague and not clearly about the messiah at all. Some are very clear. In all cases, even in the vague ones, the life of Jesus as described in the gospels fits the prophecy. The fact that the Jews put so much stock into it is very interesting, because it makes it clear that the prophecies that Christians say Jesus fulfilled aren't even our prophecies. We never had control over them. They were inherited from the Jews and were in place for a long, long time before the birth of Jesus.
The “70 weeks” prophecy from Daniel 9 which describes when the messiah would arrive is analyzed at the link below. Different groups show different start dates for this prophecy, but the life of Jesus certainly does fit into the timeline. The prophecy is in fact so specific that, if Jesus weren’t the Messiah, it’s clear that the Jews must have missed him by about 2000 years.
Also, Psalm 22, written by King David, is a poem that seems to clearly forshadow the crucifixion of Jesus. Even the resurrection is predicted (or at least forshadowed) in Psalm 16:10.
These prophecies, taken as a collection, are so specific that no one else but Jesus could be the messiah. In fact, it makes a very strong case for the existence of God. How would humans on their own be able to make so many accurate predictions without the help of someone greater who could see into the future? Why would so many men who never knew each other even bother to make predictions like this at all without something supernatural that would give them confidence in what they were writing?
I think they rode off with their lances on their high horses, I, however, find what you have written fascinating... Thank You!
Thanks for the feedback. Weird that it's been so quiet. Usually these guys are like Statler and Waldorf. Not sure where everyone went. Maybe they got tired of waiting for me to finish my argument. Too bad I was moving at the time that I started this. Bad timing.
No feedback on my latest addition, so I guess I'll keep going.
On to the gospels. It seems that athiests generally say that the gospels are not reliable because they were written in the early 2nd century by people who were not eye witnesses (not the guys the books were named after). So, generally it's believed that the story of the resurrection surfaced as legend at some point after years of oral communication and eventually made it into the gospels well after the actual events. The problem is that the resurrection of Christ is referenced throughout Paul's letters which are widely accepted to have been written in the 50s (first century, obviously). So if the gospels were written later and these late breaking documents introduced the concept of the resurrection, how did Paul find out about it 20 years after Jesus' death? Clearly the story of the resurrection was widely in circulation at the time of Paul's writings and was not introduced in the second century at all. Paul said in one of his letters that the resurrected Jesus was seen by over 500 eye witnesses at one time.
I believe that it's more likely that the synoptic gospels were written in the mid to late first century anyway, which would put them being circulated at a time when eye witnesses were still around to dispute their story. One reason is that the burning of Jerusalem (and the temple) is never mentioned in any of the gospels, which is surprising because it would have been advantageous to mention it since Mark's gospel shows Jesus predicting the destruction of the temple in Mark 13:1-4. They could have confirmed the truth of the prediction if they had known about it when the books were written. There's no reason for the gospel writers to leave it out. Even the book of Acts doesn't mention it, which seems to date that book before 70 AD as well. It also doesn't mention the death of Paul, which is supposed to have happened in the mid to late 60s. Since much of Acts is about Paul, his death being missing is fairly surprising.
This evidence certainly suggests that the gospels were written much earlier than secular/athiest scholars believe. If so, the apostles would have still been around at the time of the writing. This would suggest that the men whose names are attached to these ancient manuscripts did in fact write their respective books. Even without evidence that the gospels were written before 70 AD, it makes no sense for the supposed actual authors to have attached one of the books to Luke who wasn't part of the inner circle or even an eye witness. He doesn't show up in the story at all. If you're going to make up the name of an author, you wouldn't use Luke. You'd use someone like Andrew or Phillip.
Based on this, I believe that the gospel writers were in fact Matthew the tax collector, the Apostle John, Mark the friend of Simon Peter, and Luke the physician. And, I believe that the resurrection was the central theme of Christianity from the beginning, otherwise Paul wouldn't have been writing about it 20 years after the resurrection was supposed to have occurred.
Sorry, but none of those have ever been considered valid evidence, especially for the Resurrection. You'll actually have to produce hard evidence, not just some vague reference from someone who wasn't even born when the events occurred.
I wasn't showing it as evidence supporting the resurrection. It shows that Tacitus viewed Jesus as an actual person who was executed by Rome and that Christianity had taken off as a movement after his death.
Tacitus never saw Jesus, that is the point. He got all his information from Christians, people who themselves never saw Jesus. That is why Tacitus is not a valid source. It is also why you have yet to produce a shred of evidence.
It's all evidence, ED.
When I started this I specifically said that I would share why I believe what I believe. Don't get confused into thinking that I need your approval to be convinced of something. If you are not convinced that's cool with me. Same for wilderness. Your "valid evidence" mantra is not going to work here. This is not an event that occurred last Thursday. It's a cold case. Ice cold, in fact. Some of it actually has to be reasoned out, which you guys are supposed to be good at. Jesus doesn't show up as much in literature as you seem to expect because your expectations are not valid. The two groups in power at the time (the Romans and the Jewish religious leaders) both had a vested interest in suppressing anything related to Christianity. The Jews for obvious reasons. The Romans just tried to kill everybody. Writing about Jesus was hazardous to your health. And yet we still have 4 gospels and tons of letters written about it because the message was considered that important. So, you actually have to work a little to get to the bottom of it. You seem to want it handed to you on a silver platter. Seems like laziness to me, but do what works for you.
Yes, I understand it is evidence, but it is not evidence to support any of your claims.
From your post, it appears you still have not shown a shred of evidence to support your claims, however you have successfully shown us you're also into conspiracy theories.
And, if the few far-fetched references from Tacitus are what one bases their entire worldview as evidence, that would be the epitome of gullibility.
I don't understand why you say that it's not evidence to support any of my claims. I've only made two claims so far. 1. That these sources (two of which were historians) viewed Jesus as a historical figure. In the case of Tacitus, he was a Roman talking about a guy he said Rome executed. I have no idea why people wouldn't expect him to have gotten his information from the Romans. Seems like he would have asked them. 2. That the Christian movement flourished after his execution. That's it. And I believe that these sources are clear evidence for those two points. Then, before I moved on to my next point, I asked you guys how the early church specifically even got off the ground given the hostile environment, nature of his message, etc. ED, I think you responded to every post I made but that one. I'm assuming somebody would be willing to try to reason out how that happened? There must be an answer rattling around somewhere.
1. Tacitus is unlikely to have gotten his information from Romans because it is not recorded anywhere in Roman history, and they were pretty good at doing that. More likely to have gotten it from Christians - Christians who were not there, did not see anything and have only 3rd and 4th hand information.
2. I don't know that Christianity "flourished" after the execution (we have conflicting reports as to how it was done), but it certainly survived. So did the Mormon religion, who had to leave civilization and make their own settlement. So did Islam, even through the crusades. So did Buddhism. And none had anything but the words of the founder to go on after they died.
We don't have much of Roman history for various reasons (Nero's fire in 64 AD, etc.). Just because we don't have it doesn't mean that it wasn't recorded.
It seems clear that Christianity flourished enough to have made it all the way to Rome from Judea during the first century. Some of the manuscripts we have from the early church were found in Egypt. In addition, where is the "headquarters" of the Catholic church located? That'd be Rome. Rome fell, Christianity did not. That sounds a lot like flourishing to me.
About mormonism, the mormons didn't wrap their entire religion around Joseph Smith being the messiah--"God in a bod". Same with Islam and Buddhism. Jesus was supposed to be divine, the Son of God. He was supposed to reign as king. There was no reason to follow him after he was killed.
Like I said earlier (I'll say it again because I think people missed it...), Christianity is really very different from any other world religion. Every other world religion is wrapped around a set of teachings or a message that was given. When the teacher died, the message was free to live on. But, the message of Jesus was in fact Jesus. He had backed his own message into a corner so that it really couldn't survive without him. When he died, there was really nowhere for Christianity to go.
He said things like "I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father but through me." "The father and I are one." "Upon this rock I will build my church." When he died, it was clear that he wasn't building anything.
So how did the early church get started after he died? If you deny the resurrection then you have to answer this question and the answer can't be "the same way all of the other religions did it". Do you think twelve guys make up a story about the resurrection and people all over Judea who wanted him dead and/or watched him die suddenly buy it and hop on the bandwagon? Do you think these people who were ultimately persecuted severely for their beliefs were that easily swayed given what the Romans and the chief priests had just done to the leader of the band?
I don't think so. Something else of massive importance happened to shake them up. I believe that something was people seeing Jesus alive and walking around.
Wow, so you made a claim that a guy in Rome got executed and Christianity exists, all followed it up with evidence, well done.
We' re still waiting for actual evidence of your previous claims to the Resurrection.
It is entirely pointless to offer historical and factual evidence.
As a friend of mine once said: "Don't cloud the issue with facts."
I think this statement says everything that any of us need to know or need to express (really) when it comes to zealots and fanatics---of any kind, who insist that their mythologies---whatever their substance, are historical realities and who insist that the collection of mythologies itself constitutes proof of their efficacy and truth.
Then where are the historical records of all of the other people they crucified? We don't have any of that either. I doubt very much that it wasn't recorded, so it seems that those records were likely destroyed when Rome burned in 64 AD. Either way, missing records of Jesus crucifixion is not a big deal. The problem is not specific to Jesus.
Tacitus was a historian born some 57 years AFTER the presumed execution of Jesus.
So...If Tacitus determined that Jesus was the savior, then Tacitus is merely interpreting the life of the man and/or putting his "spin" on that life. A historian saying something is so does NOT make it a fact.
Funny...historians are suddenly elevated to all-knowing when it serves your political purposes.
If radical historian Howard Zinn said that Columbus was the Great Satan (and he essentially did say this) would you accept this as fact?
EDIT: Offering Tacitus as proof of the existence of Jesus is problematic in that historiographers know a couple of things about ancient historians: (1) They did not rely on documentary evidence and made no distinction between evidence and hearsay; no distinction between an historical document and an oral tradition and (2) they are known to fabricate not only events but actors and offer these fabrications as historical narratives.
Just because Tacitus makes a reference to a Christ, does not mean and should not be taken to mean, that this Christ existed in any historical record OR that this Christ was real.
By the way:
Tacitus makes no direct comments are to the divinity or Jesus or to his life. Tacitus REFERS to Jesus (tangentially) when writing in about 115 CE about Nero's burning of Rome and Nero's blaming the fire on Christians.
Here is the only reference to Jesus (from the ANNALS of Tacitus):
"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired."
Note that Tacitus calls Christianity a "most mischievous superstition" what was "checked at the moment" of Jesus' death only to emerge in a part of the Roman Empire believed to be the source of "all things hideous and shameful"; and Tacitus claims Christians were a "class hated for their abominations."
Not quite a ringing endorsement of Christianity or Christians.
I'll go ahead and add this link as well. Here's some info on the other 3 sources plus a blurb on Tacitus as well.
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/f … ounts.html
My reaction? Josephus may have been honest in his "history" although probably not. A scoundrel, cheating the men who saved his life and hiring to the Romans that had defeated him. But he DOES reference Jesus of the time.
The other two are written much later and contain conflicting information. Likely rumor and myth from the Christian movement - almost without usefulness. The Talmud has changed the name and the letter does not even give a name, possibly because an actual name was lost over 100 years of re-telling, exaggerating and twisting. Still no reference to resurrection or even miracles outside a vague reference to being a magician. As people of the times were quite gullible about this, it is not surprising - any good shaman has some "magic" up his sleeve.
-wilderness, he just forgot to add, "in my opinion." You do not have to believe one thing he says.
Who? Sonfollowers or the people of his link? Whether to believe the writers such as Tacitus is indeed the question, and a good one. As I said, I tend to believe them, but they are pretty weak evidence. All we have, but weak, which means the belief cannot be a strong one.
And oddly enough, there is ample Roman Imperial evidence of the practice of crucifixion AND ample Roman Imperial evidence of the identities of those crucified---including the crimes for which they were crucified.
Since I am not able to reply to "sonfollowers" (not sure why), let me add this note:
The worldwide web is not the beginning and the end of all information and knowledge. You might want to consult serious scholarship of the Roman Empire and the practice of crucifixion or you want want to do some research in an academic library---to find peer-reviewed journals and books published by academic presses. Such sources will contain the information you are seeking.
Can you site a source or two for this Roman list of names of those who were crucified?
The thing about conclusive evidence is that anyone and everyone should be able to observe it and agree or disagree if the evidence is compelling or not. So far, no believer has ever offered any substantial evidence to support their beliefs in whatever god they worship.
Because the evidence of God/Spirit is staring you in the face and you refuse to see it. Words are useless. Ideas are useless. Direct perception, however, is useful.
Uh no, there is nothing staring me in the fact other than thin air. Please stop making up nonsense.
And you have directly perceived god with your 5 senses?
God is SEEN in lush green grass,
And branches of the trees,
In oceans green, grey and blue
And in the mighty seas.
God is HEARD in waves on shore
Which thunder tumbling 'round…
God is FELT on sunny days
When rays of sun shine down.
God is SMELLED in roses-red
Jasmine, sage, and Patchouli
God is TASTED in all types of food,
(Even in tabooli.)
God's love SHINES in me and you.
and in our cats and dogs.
I named my puppy Sparky ,
Cuz he's a spark of God!
Is that Scientific enough for you?
This may be the most vapid thing I have ever read. And I've read Twilight, for crying out loud.
Sorry… best I could do at eight in the morning, but it gets my point across.
Have you seen, felt, heard, tasted and smelled God?
Your poem looks like this:
So, which poem is more vapid?
Have you ever perceived an atom - with your 5 senses?
Sure! 6.02X10^23 of them makes 55 grams of iron, and I've certainly seen that with my eyes, felt it with my fingers, and even noted the weight as I picked it up.
How does an atom look like? How does it feel (touch) like?
Those were steel in color, and rather hard to the touch. Others are soft, gaseous, powdery - the list is long.
Have you never seen an atom? Because the light that enters your eye and that you use to see with is emanating from an atom; that is what gives it color.
Pretty much everyone can, with the aid of a tunneling electron microscope.
Check it out, yo. And they even made a movie using them. Now everyone here's seen an atom.
"It is not uncommon for SPM probes (both purchased and "home-made") to not image with the desired resolution. This could be a tip which is too blunt or the probe may have more than one peak, resulting in a doubled or ghost image. For some probes, in situ modification of the tip apex is possible, this is usually done by either crashing the tip into the surface or by applying a large electric field. The latter is achieved by applying a bias voltage (of order 10V) between the tip and the sample, as this distance is usually 1-3 Angstroms, a very large field is generated.'
Interesting… Home made??? Therefore, none of should believe in the existence of atoms until we make one of these instruments at home and prove it to ourselves! I am all for that! ( -after all, films may be doctored. Ive heard the images of the moon were actually filmed on the Mohave Desert.)
"Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is a branch of microscopy that forms images of surfaces using a physical probe that scans the specimen. SPM was founded with the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope in 1981
Because no one in the history of mankind has ever been able to create an already-existing piece of technology at home. Clearly it is impossible.
Yes, anyone can measure with angstroms:
"a unit of length equal to one hundred-millionth of a centimeter, 10−10 meter, used mainly to express wavelengths and interatomic distances." Dictionary
PS Let us know how it goes with your building and experimenting. (See you in a couple of lifetimes...)
PSS And remember, no matter how long it takes, It will wonderful to find more proof of the existence of God. (Like we need more!!!) /facepalm
"A Boy and His Atom is a 2013 stop-motion animated short film released on YouTube by IBM Research. The movie tells the story of a boy and a wayward atom who meet and become friends. It depicts a boy playing with an atom that takes various forms. One minute in length,
it was made by moving carbon monoxide molecules viewed with a scanning tunneling microscope, a device that magnifies them 100 million times. These two-atom molecules were literally moved to create images, which were then saved as individual frames to make the film.
The movie has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Smallest Stop-Motion Film."
Very interesting, IBM research guys! (And not to mention, Brilliant!)
-infinitesimal proofs of God portrayed in a very creative way.
PS Thank You, Zelkirro for this amazing science lesson. The non-belief in God has its benefits. But, can't we take it a little step farther? ever?
I do not even know a single person who has seen an atom through a microscope. But I think most have seen video images of them. I trust that the atom was seen through the microscope and filmed the same way.
I trust that I see God in acts of faith and love.
Good. Now try to convey your findings to the President of a pygmy tribe.
What does a pygmy tribe have to do with anything? In any case, it's still a simple matter.
Step 1: Learn their language.
Step 2: Show them a Mole of iron.
Step 3: Explain that it's made of very small pieces, 6 x 10^23 pieces in this case (more pieces than there are grains of sand in all the beaches in the world, because exponents are serious business).
Step 4: Use handheld device to show pictures of atoms and molecules.
Step 5: Explain this is what everything is made of.
Easy enough. The first step is the hardest one.
There is evidence of this:
Someone happened. He was probably male. He was probably radical. He was probably increasingly radicalized and as he radicalized he tapped into the most pressing problems faced a religious minority (Jews) in the Roman Empire: Poverty, discrimination, disenfranchisement, alienation, diaspora, loss of faith (faith in Judaism and its promises) AND he tapped into the most pressing problems faced by a people watching their government go through a series of crises---many of which threatened the very existence of the state (Rome) to whom they were loyal---not only as Romans, but as colonial people as well.
His tapping into very real world, very secular problems was successful and resulted in the accumulation of a following of like-minded, equally radicalized men and women.
His success was a problem for the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire, reeling from its own internal problems associated with governance of a large empire and from years of bad government, grew increasingly aggressive in any and all dealings with anyone determined to present a threat to the Empire.
This man---along with his followers, presented an existential threat to the Roman Empire.
The result: Arrest and execution.
The historical record---the facts and documents, show that it took DECADES for all the talk of saviour and divinity to percolate and spread; that it took DECADES and men who were not alive when this radical man was executed to form a cult around fabricated memories of this man. The cult they formed was successful for a number of very earthly reasons including the attractiveness of what something called a simulacra---a construction and memory of that which never was.
Jesus, as he is perceived today, is a simulacrum just as the 1950s "nuclear family" free of anything associated with present is a simulacrum.
The story of Jesus---as believed by Christians, is the first edition of "the way we [or things or people] never were".
As I showed in my last post, the historical record (facts and such) do not show that it took decades for the stories of the resurrection to surface. These stories were already spreading while these men were still alive. Paul's letters (and James' letter as well) are confirmation of this. Both are generally accepted to have been written by about midway through the first century.
Wilderness take a lesson in evidence. Start with Federal Rules of Evidence. You do not like the proof or evidence but the Bible is in fact evidence by legal standards. Be the jury and like or do not like it but it is evidence of what someone said. Bad evidence, good evidence --- that is for a jurist to decide and not you alone.
If you want to stick with some "scientific" proof then call it an hypothesis. There is still some evidence to support it. You only write from your witness of accounts, the bible writers only wrote from theirs.
But claiming "NO" evidence is totally unsophisticated and an ignorant position.
The bible is evidence...of what, specifically? That a man no one can verify existed turned water into wine? That the same man came to life after three days dead? I don't think so.
As far as evidence, can you prove who wrote any of it? Or is it words from unknown authors, an unknown time and for an unknown purpose? I do believe Federal Rules of Evidence requires such things before accepting written documents as evidence.
And that makes it not even evidence. You cannot cross examine those writers and cannot find corroborating evidence. You don't know who wrote it, when or why. You DO know that much of it (the important parts) violate natural law, which makes liars out of the authors and that a great deal was written long after the fact, by people claiming to be eyewitnesses lifetimes after the events delineated.
No, Eric, the bible is not evidence of anything.
You are just plain wrong Wilderness. A writing is evidence that something was written. That something was written lend some evidence that it was understood. That is evidence of the event being witnessed or related. Get over it, that may be lousy evidence but it is evidence.
Your sworn testimony that you saw me stop beating my wife is lousy evidence but if you swore you saw it, it is evidence.
Your perception is no more valid than Peter's so just get over it and work on a different tact. Because what you see and hear and observe is not more perfect or accurate than what Luke relates. Attack the validity of the evidence all you want but it is still evidence. Just stop denying that and you will be able to relax.
No more valid than what Luke relates? But Luke, the Luke that walked with Jesus, did not write anything that ended up in the bible. Or can you show otherwise? Not a single piece of biblical writing is older than about 100 AD, meaning nothing survives from the actual authors. Just copies, with opinions and thoughts of the new authors inserted as truth and fact. And doubly and triply so when the people of Nicaea got through with it!
Anything written is evidence, yes, that it was written. Nothing more. Or do you find the Iliad to be factual and true? 1984? Tom Sawyer? That the holocaust never happened? That Piltdown Man was our ancestor? History is chock full of "writings" that are lies, fiction, mistakes and everything else under the sun. It is our task to separate those from reality and truth, not simply accept anything on paper (parchment?) as factual.
That is circumstantial evidence, the hard evidence is based on the condition of your wife, her testimony and the evidence you actually beat her. There most likely will be other complaints on the records of violence, as well. With today's forensics, it's pretty tough to get away with that.
Wilderness you keep arguing the validity and weight of the evidence not whether or not it exists. It exists. Stop arguing that it does not. It exists and therefor is evidence. Is that really that hard for you to grasp? Do you exist. there is not here and now evidence of your existence? That is crazy! Someone just wrote down something purporting to be some cognizant human being calling himself Wilderness. Of course there is no one name wilderness --- how silly is that. But his writing here is evidence that someone calling themselves that exists and it is very weak evidence he believes his balderdash even though it makes no sense.
Do you exist? Who cares? Is there evidence write here and right now that you exist. Well lousy evidence and wilderness is clearly a fake ridiculous avatar wannabe name but somebody wrote this spiel. There is evidence the wilderness exists. Horrible evidence but evidence. Do you not exist because here the evidence of your existence sucks to high heaven. No you exist and probably are a real person.
Are you going to tell us there is no evidence of you because the evidence is obscured and lousy.
Wilderness you exist and so does your writing and somebody wrote the bible also and it exists and they are all evidence of the existence of something.
Stop with the nonsense saying the bible does not exist because then --- neither do you.
Wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me that trees, mountains, rivers, etc. are proof of a god. Or evidence, take your choice. A tree isn't evidence of a god any more than a tale from ancient times is.
No, Eric, that a tall tale was written down does not provide evidence there is any truth at all in it. Or do you, as I asked, believe the Iliad to be true?
By your logic -- you do not exist "wilderness". fine.
He is a fig…
ment of his own imagination.
You are simply blowing smoke. Using your logic, it can be said that Superman and Batman exist. It is written that they exist. Therefore, those written documents are evidence of their existence. The problem with using the bible as evidence, based on the legal definition of evidence is that nobody can prove that the Bible is comprised of a "body of facts". Just because something is written, doesn't make it fact. Sure, the words themselves are evidence of their own existence, but the words are not proof that what they describe is true.
A gun found at a crime scene is evidence. Evidence, by legal definition, is an agreed upon factual matter to be considered. Evidence is not truth or an indication of anything in and of itself. The gun is presented as a matter of fact. The gun was at the crime scene. Suppose after closer inspection, the gun is shown to be a fake, a toy or not functioning, not working properly. Then the evidence, the gun, has been shown to not have any relevance to the case. In other words, the evidence was irrelevant. it doesn't matter.
Please stop playing with words and stick to the broader topic. Nice try though.
Is there evidence people are resurrected from the dead? Of course not. And, since there is no evidence of Christ being resurrected, we can safely conclude he wasn't.
Some legal enlightenment:
The Bible has no legal standing in a court as evidence and cannot be exhibited as evidence---as it is hearsay.
And, insistent claims that "the voice of god instructed me to do it" are not legitimate legal defenses in and of themselves, but rather grounds for proof of insanity and incompetency to stand trial.
Think about that.
The use of the Bible in court is limited to declaration or affirmative of an oath. Such affirmation (using a Bible or other religious text) is voluntary.
Preach Wilderness! Preach!! Very well said!!!! Intelligent response. Funny that those who promote intelligent design are not open to intelligent dialogue. LOL!!!
They know because they know. Wow! That is intelligent. NOT!!!
But, that is what all the observations, facts, evidence and test results show us, that indeed, there is no intelligent design or direction. None whatsoever.
That scenario is just as like to have occurred as a giant lizard sneezing out the universe from his nostrils. In essence, there are literally millions of scenarios we could come up with just like that, all based on pure speculation with no supporting evidence.
Neither does the giant lizard.
The Resurrection is as likely to have occurred as the giant lizard as well.
I have no problem if you want to believe that tale or any of the other many mythical tales religions have offered over the millennia. That is entirely your prerogative, I myself, prefer to understand reality rather than succumb to myths and superstitions.
The problem with the belief (not evidence of) God, is that it presupposes truth. If God does exist, then let's see the evidence.
Funny thing about those who believe in God. They only believe in their God and do not accept the belief in other Gods. Who is right?
-A bunch of others
Ay, ay, ay.... I opt for science and the search for and evidence of truth.
PS "The first copied pairs? What's that?" ED
DNA "Each molecule of DNA consists of two strands coiled around each other to form a double helix, a structure like a spiral ladder." Dictionary
Excellent, you can use a dictionary. Now, please go and study some more books about DNA to learn from where DNA evolved. That will help you to understand your question about copied pairs.
So I take it every comet or meteor that has hit the earth or moon was planed? Including the ones that have killed people? I take it as well that cancer, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis are all planed by a loving God looking out for us?
I will answer that with the typical religious response, absent logic. "God works in mysterious ways."
The correct answer is not "Yes" and it is absolutely not "absolutely". Go and ask a kid in a third world country, who lives on the sidelines of a stream of feces if she thinks the answer to those questions is yes.
The correct answer is we do not know the answer. And the footnote is, do not look to the Bible, or the Koran, or the Torah, or the Book of Mormon for the answers.
Magazine article interview with John Lennon's photographer for his album, Walls and Bridges:
"When I was taking the Walls and Bridges pictures, John asked for a shot of him pointing to where he had seen (a) flying saucer. I believe(d) him. I remember John saying once in an interview that he was willing to believe anything until it was disproved; that open mindedness about the spiritual and mystical carried over to many areas in his life. He was never one to say, "Oh it can't be."
I've been waiting to use this quote. Seems pertinent here.
Here are some lyrics from John Lennon that are also pertinent here:
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
He meant the misunderstanding of religion.
There is science behind religion.
The knowledge has been lost.
Its time to rediscover it.
How did Mr. Lennon, so to speak, get his divine inspiration to compose that song?
He must have read the bible and realized it wasn't needed.
Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about, yet again.
Nice use of John Lennon's quote, I think. You just contradicted yourself. (And oh boy do contradictions abound in religion and belief in God). You cannot say that God absolutely exists and then say that you are open to anything until it is proven otherwise. Nice try, though?
“Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand.” ― Karl Marx
So not true!
Religion is a way to live a purposeful life based on Reality.
(Well, its supposed to be, anyway.)
And, worshiping and praising a god is a purposeful life? Seems more a waste of life when there are so many purposes we individually can create ourselves.
What will they do instead? What 'purposes' are these that you are talking about?
Purpose exists without God and without religion.
Maybe for you, moneymindit… Maybe I realize I can't take it with me… maybe I go there… where will "I" be after my heart STOPS ?
Maybe you don't. Have fun with that... and all yer $.
Where were you before your heart STARTED? There shall you go again when it STOPS.
I have done a lot of research about this matter, but I perceive you are not open to hearing what I have discovered.
Each to their Own.
We are all waiting for proof. Please share it with us.
Some things are not provable! Oh well. We can still discuss our beliefs with out splashing others.
Please name one thing besides God that is not provable.
That our existence is possible without a Creator.
Macro-evolution stands tall as the most obvious answer to this question. Winner winner, chicken dinner.
Here's a link from Berkeley:
Here's another one with some arguments that I find interesting.
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/inde … 044AAiU7AZ
The first declines to actually define the term, but does give an example of the first mammal.
The second also declines to define it, but gives as an example of a leg turning into a wing with no intervening steps (!).
The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other; which to you ascribe to? Which example describes what you call "macro evolution"?
I just went back to the first link and the first thing I saw were the words "What is macro-evolution?" followed by what appeared to be a reasonable description. Maybe we're not looking at the same internet.
From the second paragraph, first link:
"Macroevolution encompasses the grandest trends and transformations in evolution, such as the origin of mammals"
Which is what I said, an example of the first mammal.
From the second link, about half way down:
"As for macro evolution, Richard Dawkins claims that this is programmed a bit at a time into the DNA and released when needed. As, when a leg needs to become, in a single generation, a wing."
Which, again, is what I said.
Micro evolution is any 'temporary' adaptation happening in the microbiological scale. The exact reason for its existence, and the exact mechanism involved at the (sub) atomic level of this process (adaptation) - is still 'unknown'.
Macro evolution is a (hypothetical+beguiling) set of 'permanent' adaptations, that (given 'enough' time) 'magically' transforms a snake into a human being [and more wonderful stuff like that].
Hope that you enjoyed.
Exactly 'what' mechanism was it - that allowed you to ask that question regarding 'evolution'?
Ok, Prodio. I have to ask. I've seen you ask this question several times and never understood where you're trying to go with the question. What exactly are you trying to point out here? Is it possible that you could just cut to the chase?
Cutting to the chase... The mechanism is consciousness, awareness, intelligence, being awake and having a stimulus for some type of action. What stimulates me to keyboard? What stimulated God to create this universe, this world, my life?
( I think Prodio would agree.)
Ok, but I think that if you ask an athiest "What caused God to create the world we live in, etc.", he's just going to shake his head and say "Why are you asking me about a God you know I don't believe in?" That question will never go where you are wanting to go because you didn't first meet them where they are. If you don't first put effort into trying to understand the athiest perspective and figure out how it's different from yours, your questions will never make sense (and consequently you'll sound like you've got a screw loose). I think maybe you guys under-estimate just how far away you are from them ideologically. Some of the comments I see remind me of the Iraqi scud missiles that would go straight up in the air and come right back down in the same spot.
Hopefully that makes sense.
Ok, so the first paragraph looks like this:
"Macroevolution generally refers to evolution above the species level. So instead of focusing on an individual beetle species, a macroevolutionary lens might require that we zoom out on the tree of life, to assess the diversity of the entire beetle clade and its position on the tree."
To me, this seemed like it would be enough to give you an idea of what macroevolution is referring to. It's from UC Berkeley, for crying out loud. It's not like I referenced a Christian site. Maybe you would like this link better.
Some interesting quotes:
"In summary, there is no barrier to species forming. This may not be enough to show that large-scale macroevolution occurs, though, according to writers like Johnson and Hitching (1982), but the logic here implies some causal force actively preventing change, rather than a problem with change occurring. For if there is enough change to form new species, and each species is slightly different from its ancestor, then simple addition shows that many speciation events can cause large-scale evolution over enough time. "
"All modern biology accepts that Ma is possible, through biological processes. The question is, in what ways? And that is a matter for empirical investigation, which is ongoing, and through which we are learning new things."
This sounds a lot like an unproven theory to me. As far as I know, no one has been able to observe (or prove) that all life indeed came from a universal common ancestor or that frogs and dogs are distant relatives. Computer models don't seem like proof to me.
In fairness, I'm not that invested in whether or not evolution is a fact. I've always thought it was stupid that Christians freak out about evolution as if it could derail the entire belief system. Still, it does bug me that people run around saying things like "evolution is a proven fact" when scientists still haven't figured out how to do it yet (possibly because to date no one has invented the time machine and large scale evolution, if it occurs, is generally believed to take a really long time). I just think we should check our politics at the door and be intellectually honest about it. It's still a theory, people.
In fairness we've turned wolves into Chihuahuas. We've created super bugs. Countless experiments have been conducted. Do you really think livestock were just wondering around the forest? We seem to have an understanding of it.
Is this what you're talking about? NOTE: This is from a Christian web site. I'm mostly wondering if this is what you are referring to and what your response is to this particular article.
No and yes. No, I was not referring to that article, but yes it explains what we did to wolves to get the variety of dogs we have. Foxes, as I understand are rather far removed from wolves much like donkey are rather far removed from the horse.
We've manipulated evolution to create animals for our own needs within a few short generations. We've taken dogs and breed them to get what we needed. For example a retriever's instinct is to retrieve, they can't help but do it. This is what makes a dog breed to kill so dangerous. The pit bull for example (specifically the ones breed to fight). They took terriers (breed to kill rodents) and breed them with mastiff's (strong working dogs) so they you have an extremely strong dog that loves to kill small things and then breed them for strength and stamina. These will fight for hours, while other dogs simply gave up.
This shows us that we can manipulate evolution to our gain.
The text at the site below made sense to me.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evoluti … ition.html
The term I've been looking for is "common descent", not macro-evolution. Macro-evolution is something else. While there may be evidence for common descent based on computer models and gene mappings, I don't see how it could be considered proven just because we built a pretty tree that makes sense to us. I'm wondering if, when you guys think about common descent, if evolutionists consider that part of it proven or if it's just in the "highly likely as a theory" state.
I don't think you will find any "evolutionist" anywhere that thinks species spontaneously sprang forth a million (or ten million) different times and places. Common ancestry is necessary, then.
In addition, a part of evolutionary theory includes groups of a single species that are separated by some natural phenomena and evolve differently. Chimps, bonobos, gorillas and humans are such an example of a single species that separated and went their own ways on the evolutionary tree. If nothing else one of the earliest mammals gave rise to all three, although there were certainly intermediate species common to all as well.
This is actually in response to wilderness:
Yeah, that makes sense. An athiest would have no reason not to assume that common descent is correct. You really don't have anything else.
I think I understand why atheists and Christians can't make sense of each other as it relates to evolution. I think most Christians really just object to "common descent" because they see it as contradicting their understanding of the creation story. But they don't know it as common descent. It's all evolution to them. Based on what I read, evolution (and even macro-evolution) are defined as being something that can be observed completely separate from common descent. But, common descent is apparently integral to evolution theory so it's a little confusing.
At the end of the day, I think someone like me who believes in God has two options:
1. Assume that God created/kick-started the laws of nature and used evolution that happened naturally to indirectly create life (as discussed earlier)
2. Assume that God directly created life and did it in such a way that there were similarities in the DNA, etc. In other words, the similarities are a consequence of the design rather than an indication that there was no designer.
I think that, if a creator is assumed, both are plausible. I'm personally not invested in picking one. However it happened is fine with me.
Yes, to think otherwise is old school. Thank you, sonfollowers for bringing us up to speed.
Is the Cause of "naturalistic processes" / unfolding of laws of nature beyond words? You and others rely a lot on words, which is understandable as that is what we humans tend to do.
Refuting an unseen god is understandable because we have never been offered the words to describe and explain what is behind the processes of nature.
So, It is really a matter of ignorance to state there is no Divine Intelligent Spirit behind everything that exists.
Without an open mind as to what is behind the naturalistic processes, we will never find out... or find the words to explain the processes / causes which direct the show of nature and all life, seen and unseen, in the entire universe.
We owe it to ourselves to have an open mind.
Is it really so hard to say the one little word Quiligrapher offered:
Yes well, we actually need words to communicate with one another, that's why we use them.
Yes, we have, believers term it as the supernatural, but it is indistinguishable from the non-existent.
Ignorance is a lack of knowledge or information. If you can produce a shred of it to support your DIS, then we might have something on which to be ignorant. But, so far, there is no DIS behind anything other than a vivid imagination.
Open minds are not something most believers possess. Their minds are quite closed, especially to knowledge and information.
Yes, you do.
Are you open to the possibility that, maybe, you have not an open mind?
"And, worshiping and praising a god is a purposeful life? Seems more a waste of life when there are so many purposes we individually can create ourselves." EncephaloiDead
Purposes, to what end? How do we know we are not totally wasting our time while on earth? How do we know what we end up choosing will not hurt ourselves or others?
What do You think is IS the Best use of our time on earth, ED?
And when you *can't get what you want* and you become infused with anger, resentment, hatred or filled with feelings of evil revenge? Or you become disabled, or distraught from loosing a loved one, or you are in agony on your death bed… What then?
What then, ED?
One of the many things we have most certainly have accomplished is the wasting of time and resources in the vain pursuit of worship and praise of invisible gods. This has permanently hurt mankind forever and unfortunately, continues to hurt us today.
Instead, we are using our brains to think and learn and understand the world around us, which is not hurting anyone, but is instead improving our time here.
To learn and understand our universe, which includes us.
That's how religions work. People follow the example of their gods who teach them anger, resentment, hatred, revenge, etc.
Turn to religion?
People who demand empirical proof of the existence of God , or a supernatural realm; things unseen and unheard of, are naturally handicapped with a mental defect. This disability manifests itself through false notions of superiority; a belief that is bolstered by others with the same disability. The character Lenny in Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men", was put out of his misery by his friend George, who understood that it was better to end Lenny's miserable existence than to allow him to suffer at the hands of an angry mob.
It is the same with those who deny intelligent design. It is impossible for a stupid man to recognize intelligence when he has none himself. It is unfair to expect that he ever could. No more than we could expect Lennie to understand why he shouldn't squeeze a little puppy dog , or a woman too hard. Unfortunately, it is presently against the law to put these unfortunate souls out of their misery. As it stands, the rest of us are forced to watch the spectacle, as the ignorant, and the disabled, go thrashing about through cyber-space; making their grand proclamations and holding up their pedestrian conclusion's, as proof of their "superior" intellect.
Perhaps one day the primitive science that they worship will find a way to eradicate the "stupid gene", which has apparently infested the gene pool.
You wrote, "...go thrashing about through cyber-space; making their grand proclamations and holding up their pedestrian conclusion's, as proof of their "superior" intellect."
They are anonymously writing on the bathroom walls of cyberspace, they have no power what-so-ever… do they? I see it as comic relief. Better ignorant and hilarious scrawlings, than blank bathroom walls...unless you are like Adrian Monk.
This is true, I went to several doctors and specialists to find out more about my mental defect. He told me that this mental defect is contagious and has been spreading around the world, he foresees it as eventually becoming a global pandemic.
He did tell me the medical (Latin) name for this defect, but it was more commonly known by the general public as "Thinking".
Interestingly enough, the doctors explained that this disability actually blocked out most forms of belief, forcing the brain instead to "understand" the world around us. This had the very unfortunate result in humans actually "knowing things".
How very true, all we can ever hope for is to become smart so we too can believe instead of understand. We know only too well that thinking is wrong, that thinking leads to stupidity, that we should instead believe that the things we imagine are real and do manifest themselves in reality, because we want them to...
However, one of the first things we must do is destroy everything science has provided for us and go off to live in a cave. Will you too be joining us and throwing away your computer, disconnecting your internet, destroying everything you own, burning your books, if you actually have any?
Lol, I must admit that until now, this comic relief has been one of my secret pleasures.Perhaps we should always keep some of them around; just for the sport of it.
I really hope ED will tell me what he believes his purpose on earth is and whether this purpose will bring him fulfillment in the end. I talked to a self proclaimed "secular humanist." He admitted to me that his only purpose was to live a long life. When he stood up, he was all hunched over and could hardly walk. He insisted on walking with his wife as she pushed his wheel chair. He must have been in his 90's. He has lived a long life alright, but I could tell by his demeanor that he was absolutely confused and unfulfilled by it!
Oh, please, please, please... let me be one of them. I truly want to change and become a believer. If it means a pre-frontal lobotomy is necessary to do so, I'm up for the challenge.
"I have many purposes, as do most other people who use their brains to think. And yes, my purposes are most fulfilling."
I just really wonder why you naysay those who think differently than you? Do you not agree "each to his own?"
My purpose is based on seeing the bigger picture. A sense of purpose based on life after death.
I cannot fathom living a life without knowing what will happen to me after my heart stops beating.
If you do not care about what happens to you after your heart stops beating, than that is what counts.
Why do you pester those who find reasons to believe in God. Isn't it their choice in all reality?
...really, really wondering….
If "thinking differently" was indeed the issue, I wouldn't have a problem, but there is little if no thinking at all to those posts.
Sorry, but glorifying death as a purpose to life is not seeing a bigger picture, that is absurd. It is certainly one of the most dangerous things your religion teaches.
That would be the result of religious indoctrination and how your religion teaches it's followers the fear and loathing they endure their whole lives.
You know only too well that is not the issue at all. But, I understand why you would consider anyone who doesn't share your religious beliefs must be pestering you.
The first is creepy. The second is beautiful. I just thought that was interesting.
Any other random topic you wish to discuss? I could a music video up about that too.
I thought this thread was about Intelligent Design being a fairy tale, I can only conclude that if you wish to discuss some other random topic, you then agree with that.
it happens… why did you go on about death and religious indoctrination?
You said, "Sorry, but glorifying death as a purpose to life is not seeing a bigger picture, that is absurd. It is certainly one of the most dangerous things your religion teaches.That would be the result of religious indoctrination and how your religion teaches it's followers the fear and loathing they endure their whole lives."
I was actually referring to life. Life of one's spirit, after death of one's body.
What evidence is there of "spirit"? There is a lot of talk, but not any proof of anything.
"If the universe were intelligently designed, you'd think the designer would create a nicer universe."
Q. 1) How is the universe "not nice?" (I remember when you thought otherwise...on a day when you might have felt happier?)
Q. 2) Isn't *nice,* like *beauty* in the eye of the beholder?
V.C. (Very Curious.)
The universe isn't "nice". Sure there are plenty of nice things in it, but there are also a lot of crappy ones too. Bacteria and viruses, bombs, all kinds of unpleasant things. Why didn't a God create a paradise for us?
If I created a universe, I would want my children to be happy, not bombarded with unpleasant stuff, wouldn't you?
I truly look forward to the day when I find someone in these forums (Christian or otherwise, doesn't matter) who shares their opinion and makes their points without being condescending, belittling, or generally disrespectful. For Christians in particular, this is a mandate. I understand that, if you spend enough time here, you eventually get burned enough that it's tempting to fight fire with fire. I just think it's sad that we sound just like them, when we were specifically instructed to live above the fray. Something to think about.
If the universe were intelligently designed, you'd think the designer would create a nicer universe.
It has been said that religion, or a belief in God and the afterlife, is the opiate of the masses.We can also say that empiricism is the methamphetamine of non-believers. It stirs them up and excites them with the possibility that the great mystery of life will one day be revealed to the rational mind.
Such a drug appeals to their vanity, and helps to assuage their fear of the unknown. Some of us can run faster and jump higher than others; some are prettier, and smarter. It is not uncommon for someone to become defensive and angry when others can see , understand,or do things that are beyond their reach. For anyone seeking proof of the supernatural I would suggest that the first step is to gain some humility, stop believing that we are at the top of the food chain, and start talking to God. When a bird begins to speak to us, or a dog seems to understand complicated commands, we take notice. That particular animal becomes special to us, and so we are inclined to pay more attention to that animal. In my experience, it appears that there is a force , or higher power that takes notice of the human in a similar fashion.
I have many proofs of an existence after physical death, but it is no use for me to relate my experiences to anyone who has closed their mind. It is like trying to feed someone who refuses to open their mouth.
Any "proof" that isn't just anecdotes. I'd love to see your proof.
( My dog Atlas could fold up his leash after every walk. He would insist on running home (the last block) with the leash neatly folded up (to about 7 inches.) in his mouth. He would run home wagging his little stump of a tail with absolute joy and pride. He seemed to know that he could do something NO OTHER dog on the face of the earth could do! (He taught himself) He would also sing" These Arms of Mine" by Otis Redding along with me…Why? Cuz he knew it made me so happy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sBoUZ6g … feature=kp
Great song! I never heard that before. Atlas sounds like quite a character. He obviously had good taste in music.
You know, he was really suffering in the end. He had lost a leg due to cancer, and all his teeth. His paws ballooned up and he could no longer go out to take care of business and he was in tremendous pain. I did not want to put him down. had to. still regret it.. but his spirit of joy was there despite ALL he was enduring. (On the way to vet's, we sang that song one last time.)
The innate Joy of Life we witness everywhere, all the time, to me, really proves something.
( I was given an Otis Redding record by a cop who worked for Led Zeppelin in some capacity. He had picked it up from their hotel after they left. My brothers couldn't believe I loved it! The cop said the record was from John Bonham's room.)
Does "refuses to open their mouth" actually mean "think"?
last thing: Open to possibilities, using contemplation, observation and intuition… all Superior to thinking in the end.
Take It or Leave it
As long as "open to possibilities" does not mean "believe whatever we can imagine and makes us feel good" I would agree with you. Of course, enough millennium of looking and finding nothing and it is time to close off those possibilities, keeping the door open just a tiny crack instead of flung wide.
Thinking can be like talking too much. When I was in college there were a few kids who never seemed to do well on tests. It was pretty easy to figure out. They were usually too busy talking, or whispering to each other during important lectures. I always did well on my tests; not because I was necessarily smarter than those students, but because I had learned how to shut up and listen.
Sometimes humility must take the place of thinking. We must let go of our preconceived notions of what is, and what should be. We must have faith that the universe is not a hostile place, and that we are simply like children who are not capable of comprehending what is beyond our years.
To better understand the supernatural, as best a mortal man can, we must not think too much about it, since our thoughts, and fears, only serve to muddy the water. The rational mind was obviously designed to engage the material world. But trying to use the rational mind to explain a supernatural world; a world where the natural physical laws, or even mathematics may have no bearing, is like driving a Cadillac over the edge of the Grand Canyon and expecting it to fly. It simply wasn't designed to do that!
But you cannot make the claim that a rational mind cannot understand the supernatural; understanding that something does not exist is not difficult at all for such a mind. It is the irrational mind, using imagination more than reason, that has a problem and ends up believing in imaginary friends and other things that aren't there.
"It is the irrational mind, using imagination more than reason, that has a problem and
*ends up believing in imaginary friends and other things that aren't there.* wilderness )
" *As intuition is based on past experiences and old wives tales*,
and as neither our own past experience nor that of old wives includes seeing a spirit, it can be of no help here." wilderness
I would explain that Intuition is VERY fine tuned listening TO REALITY beyond the five senses.
It is a real ability and it is the most real-time of all abilities.
I am sorry and VERY surprised you don't acknowledge you have it, wilderness!
V.S. (Very surprised)
It shows great bravery to post this "When a bird begins to speak to us, or a dog seems to understand complicated commands, we take notice. That particular animal becomes special to us, and so we are inclined to pay more attention to that animal. In my experience, it appears that there is a force , or higher power that takes notice of the human in a similar fashion."
I would agree..
based on experience.
(However, we cannot force those mouths to open… you are right, WB.)
So, Why do I do this? addiction to the clicks, the lights, the taps, the thoughts. AUGH!!! I must save myself.
Adieu for now. WrenchBiscuit has said it all.
Yeah, I witnessed one of my dogs being put down some years ago. I haven't had any since. I get too attached. Regardless of the necessity ( terminal cancer) I still participated in killing, even though I just stood there watching as the vet injected the poison. Knowing that it was for the best didn't make it go down any easier.
No. Actually, intuitively… and the naysayers will bellow ferociously at this: I felt his heart shuttig down. My hand was on his back and as the injection took effect I experienced it as my own heart shutting down. I had to go to the car and to shut off my perceiving! I know what death is… I KNOW what it is… and it was not my imagination.
Naysayers be damned! Perhaps they are a souless breed who die and simply turn to dust. An afterlife would probably be a big disappointment to many of these "rational" thinkers. I know what you "know". I have experienced it with pets, and with what used to be my family here on Earth. You don't have to prove anything to me. No more than you need to prove that the sun was shining today in Florida. I am here, and unless I was witnessing a holographic insert, it was very real.
How is the surfing in Florida? Are there waves? (Never been there.)
"As a surf destination, Florida is seen globally as poor (mostly due to the wide continental shelf that subtracts power form approaching swells), but local surfers enjoy occasional quality (dare I say world class)surf. Surf spots like Reef Road, Pump House, Sebastian Inlet (probably the most consistent wave in Florida)and a host of secret nooks and crannies on the right tide and the right swell can get filthy." Internet source.
We have consistently great surf up and down the coast. Well, mostly So Cal.
Because God loves Californians very much.
It really is. I would never leave here. I would be miserable. Must be near Pacific Ocean. Of course the ocean will not help much in a drought… ulp! is all I have to say about that.
What does the Pacific have to say about spirituality?
The Pacific has this to say::
"I comfort with mighty Ocean's welcome hug and Sea's engulfing touch.
I provide what is deep, soothing and moving.
I inspire with wind and cold...
While the moon gives you waves to ride...
Pushed by me, ocean vast."
I don't surf but I hang out at the beach a lot. Mostly the Treasure Coast: Melbourne, Sebastion, down to Jupiter. Compared to California, or what I saw in Hawaii, they don't have much going on the East Coast of Florida.
Water, fire, air, and earth are not "elements";
Nothing is "clearly" a manifestation of any god.
Natural selection is not "happenstance"; the laws are nature---even if one knows only the high school sampling of Newton are NOT arbitrary;
Accident and randomness are not associated with the Big Bang;
No cosmological or scientific theory suggests that something comes from nothing;
There is no suggestion that the replication of DNA or the destruction of the dinosaurs was accidental. In fact, science tells a different story.
I really do not---and never will, get the point of trying to bolster your god by denying and twisting and misrepresenting the reality of science and scientific explanations for the world in which we live.
"I find it fascinating that you say emphatically that the laws of nature are not directed at all--they simply occur. They occur with such precision that every organ in our bodies has a specific purpose. We find cells organized into tissue, tissue into organs, organs into systems, etc. At each level, we find purpose. It's a symphony of purpose... with no direction other than just "nature did it." sonfollowers
Actually, I said that the laws of nature (Newtonian physics) are not arbitrary.
The universe is organized, but organization does not imply design.
The universe was not designed, but lack of design does not imply arbitrariness.
As for the concept of "purpose"---that is nothing more than an effort to apply meaning and qualities and value where simply being and being alive is (apparently) not meaningful enough or valuable enough.
I am glad I am. I don't need a creator or some imagined divinity to give my life purpose. Being and living is reason enough.
Is purpose quantitative?
If yes, exactly how is it measured?
Funny you query. Who said that it must be either/or? Like motive it just is and it is not moral and it is not quantitative. Now if you change "purpose" to "reason" there is great room for discussion.
"the purpose of the stem is to hold the flower" Not quantitative or qualitative. The purpose of words is to convey thought. -- So?
What mechanism allowed you to think all of that [what you've just written]?
Yes, some brains are more evolved than others. How does this evolution come about?
Since I do not want to be BANNED again from Hubpages for promoting a scientific worldview, I shall remain silent on this question and suggest that you find an online introductory course or syllabus for course focusing on evolution and read whatever information is offered by the instructors.
Yes , Prodio… We must TAKE A CLASS!
That, of course, is how one develops a highly evolved brain.
( I dropped out of the credential program in college because my psychic abilities kept telling me …" this is all BS!")
I did not say that taking a class contributes to evolution of the brain.
If you want to put some factual information in your brain, rather than half-truths and nonsense, then I suggest reading what the scientists are saying.
Promoting science illiteracy may seem funny to you, but it is not. The prevalence of science illiteracy in the United States and its relentless promotion (for reasons unknown to me) is already threatening not only our economy, but our national security. This is not a joke. This is a national tragedy and disgrace.
We are actually quite interested in promoting science literacy. Scientists are to be greatly revered and respected. They have monumental powers, (not to mention tools,) of observation. Remember, these astute fellows are also inspired by awe of natural phenomenon. Thats all we are saying. You do not want to look at a designer behind it all. Does it really hurt the cause of science for us to contemplate the matter of the WHOLE PICTURE? What beliefs revealed here are hurting the cause of science, mbuggieh?
Exactly where - do all those thoughts [that you've just written down] - reside in that 'EVOLVED mind/brain' of yours?
Please describe the following highlighted word:
"My EVOLVED mind/brain."
My father once told me to know when to pack up and leave the party or the battle.
Time to pack up and leave.
What about the The force of Mighty Triple O?
(omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent Triple O) Don't you think M.T.O. designed all things which science has observed in its exceedingly astute ability to ACCURATELY OBSERVE all you have mentioned?!
Emphatically no---there is not one shred of evidence of design OR of a designer.
That's not the purpose I'm talking about. The purpose of the body's pieces and parts, systems, organs,etc., are defined by what it does or how it benefits the whole. This is not arbitrary at all, nor is it meaningless. Everything in the body has a purpose. You seem to believe that nature itself was able to ensure that everything we needed to survive was where it needed to be and working properly, that valves showed up where they needed to be, that arteries/veins/capillaries branched the way they needed to in order to minimize round trip time, etc. I've always felt like that was a pretty big leap of faith but I guess if it's the only other option you have then it's better than nothing?
PS "Water, fire, air, and earth are not "elements"; " Mbuggieh
Classical elements, the ancient belief about the fundamental types of matter (usually four in number), expressed in their Aristotelian forms as fire, earth, air, and water." Thesaurus
How can I be civil when there are those who would disregard the traditional literary documents which exist as the foundation of culture, education, philosophy and humanity itself. These ancient texts and revered writings of the centuries include The Bhagavad Gita, The Old Testament of the Bible The Republic and other works by Plato, Aristotle's scientific discoveries, the New Testament of the Bible, etc. etc. etc.
Yes, the original books of the Bible were passed down first through song, and then word of mouth and finally through writing. Yes, some problems in translating language and understanding the culture of the time are large obstacles in discerning accurate messages and history. These problems come with the territory of deciphering the past. But, I believe the essence of the message and the essence of the truth is absolutely evident and as valid as any one wants to believe. It is their choice.
No one should attempt to remove the options of belief and thought of others. Thought tyrants are what we are all fighting against.
Why does your belief system require someone else's approval? Believe what you believe! Take in new information, evaluate that information for validity to the best of your ability, and lean hard in the direction of truth however you understand it right now. But there's no reason to feel like they are hindering you or have some amount of control over what you believe. If they do it's because you gave them that power. Take it away. It's just words.
About civility, read 2 Timothy 2:23-25 and see if you still feel that way.
The elders (elder: "leader, senior figure, patriarch, father," Thesaurus) in society, (as wilderness is one and should be respected as such,) must be careful not to take away the traditions of belief which hold a society together. I am alarmed by his stance and the powerful whacks he delivers against you!
That said, he is really reacting to your instance that how YOU see it, is the way HE has to see it. Maybe if you put down your lance, he will too.
Seeing the whole picture clearly has calmed me down. I'll read Timothy sometime or other out of curiosity. Thanks.
It seems the problem is in the Words and Ideas being put up. Some refer to "a god." I and others refer to "God"…
Is "a god" and "the force of God" the same?
To me "God" is a Force of energy and intelligence. "God" is the creator of all the spirit generated blueprints that end up manifesting due to the processes of nature. I sometimes call this Force, Tripple O: Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent.
Others wonder if we are talking about "a god" who relaxes in a throne on a cloud in the sky who somehow directs the show according to willy nilly impulses. They imagine putti and angels with halos and feathered wings hovering about ready to take orders from him. They imagine there is actually a right side of the throne occupied by Jesus in his human form.
What are we even discussing?
More importantly, what does the phrase, "May the Force Be With You!" actually mean?
Now, there is the real question!
What I find most fascinating is that many people would rather believe in nothing at all than believe in God, or Intelligent Design. They wear their ignorance like a badge of honor, as if their non-belief has elevated them to an imagined superior class of human being. I have never had such a need to feel so self important ,so in control, and so "nothing at all".
The following sentence was posted in this thread:
• The universe is organized, but organization does not imply design.
The sentence above proves that the poster can construct a cohesive sentence, but of course, the assertion is demonstrably false. In every creature, and species around us, we see that organization follows design. The ant colony did not just "fall to together". The organization of an ant colony could no more exist without a "design" than an automobile or a submarine. When a pride of Lions go hunting for food we can see an organization that necessarily follows a design. The lion does not simply "feel" hungry and then the squirming, succulent, buttock of an antelope miraculously appears in it's mouth! There is first a design and then organization.
In our own lives, no organization exists without first a design. It is not reasonable that the macro and micro universes would not follow the same law. We see that even inanimate objects must obey the law of gravity. They are also, just like us, bound by the law of 3 dimensional geometry. It makes no sense that they would be bound by these fundamental laws, but not by the Law of Intelligent Design. In the world of men there can be no kind of organization without an initial design. It follows that the material universe, and all that it contains, is bound by the same law.
Organization most certainly implies design! Here is an easy way to prove it :
wrenchBiscuit's 3 Month Plan To Full Realization of Intelligent Design
• Stop paying your bills for 3 months
• Don't take a bath for 3 months
• Don't brush your teeth for three months
• Don't clean your house or wash the dishes for 3 months
Everyday during the three month period just " think" about doing the four things listed above, but do not take any steps to accomplish your goals. Just "wish" it to be so.I guarantee that at the end of three months, you will see that there is very little organization in your life; that you smell bad, and that your life is falling apart. Why? Simply because there can be no organization without design. We follow a design in our everyday lives; a design that enables us to function in society. Take away the design and it all falls down.
Am I trying to be funny ? No, not at all! The point I have made should be very clear. In the absence of a design, a human life can fall into disarray after only 3 months. How can we possibly imagine that something as complex as an entire universe could have maintained order for millions of years without Intelligent Design? Believing in the existence of God is not a matter of fantasy,imagination, or wishful thinking. Simple deductive reasoning cannot explain to us how, or why God exists. But it clearly reveals that God "is".
Sorry, there are plenty of thing that occur naturally with organization without any source of intelligence of being designed.
-actually, wrenchBiscuit, my life would fall apart in only three days. (And it has: dishes un done, clothes all over the place… I got tired of keeping up on it all… been going to the beach on the beach bus… so cool .. where was I... ) Oh yeah... So, what if Mighty Tripple O removed his Force from earth and from everything IT currently manifests in? What if Tripple O just withdrew His Love For what He created, (which He created slow but sure through eons of time, through evolution, which is monumental proof of Intelligent Design)
Furthermore, if you could see the force of Tripple O you would see everything lit up.
Jesus explained: If your eye be single your whole body will be full of light…Tripple O is a FORCE! The Force behind nature and the force within us.
May the Force be with you!
Evolution proves Intelligent Design.
Please explain whether you think this true or not.
If it (evolution) indeed happened - then seeing the outcome (our minds and beautiful bodies) - of course I must say that God was behind it.
I think that way too. Evolution does seem plausible to me and not in the least contradictory to Intelligent Design.
Except Intelligent Design implies purpose, specifically our purpose while I can name many creatures who's only purpose is to cause us harm in their survival. The natural world that we can see doesn't care about our survival.
Interesting. But, I believe we are merely part of nature. That is the challenge…
Who gave us that challenge? The aliens of course!
Then you must understand that we are nothing special. We have no purpose. We are as you say part of nature like all other animals. We were not designed and the universe was not designed for us. We could have easily have evolved billions of years ago around a smaller longer burning star. As a designer I can tell you design has purpose, intent and good design is obvious. In other words if the universe was designed for us by a master designer who wanted us to see the design then our placement would be obvious and other galaxies would have been redundant and omitted as they are not needed to us.
Human Beings don't seem to care about the chickens, cows, pigs, or fish that they eat. I grew up on a farm. I have seen the cycle close up and first hand. I assure you, none of these animals happily volunteered for the brutality of the slaughterhouse. They all seek to survive, and I have heard them all cry out in fear and pain. I have seen their red blood gushing into the dirty drainpipe, as the butchers tell jokes, and share stories about recent sexual conquests.
Such scenes that I witnessed as a child, beginning at the age of 5, helped me to understand many things about life. The farmer cannot afford to feel remorse for the slaughter of innocent animals when they are the source of his sustenance, and survival. Their wishes, hopes, and dreams. are of no consequence to the farmer. He may be careful to provide them with a merciful death. But dead is dead, no matter how we arrive at that conclusion.
Perhaps the cows believed that my father was a benevolent god. After all, he kept the fences mended, not only to keep them in, but also to keep them safe from predators. They had a bounty of fresh green grass to eat in the spring and summer, and in the wintertime: delicious clover hay, corn on the cob, and ground feed with molasses. They also enjoyed a steady supply of salt blocks. When the storms came he herded them to the barnyard where there was shelter.
Obviously their god (my father) cared about them . For many years, I even cried when they were taken to be butchered. But my tears quickly dried up when I sat down at the table and ate the fresh steak with mashed potatoes, polk salad, and sweet corn. My point is simply this: The assessment of a cow or a pig as to whether my father cared or didn't care about the well being of the farm animals, had no bearing on the fact that my father existed. The lives of the farm animals were bound to follow his design, regardless of what they may have believed to be true.
I see the human race in a similar predicament. We cannot be 100% sure that the Universe is our friend, or foe. We cannot be certain that we are not a higher form of animal that is being farmed, and used for purposes we do not understand. But the existence of God, and the reality of Intelligent Design, is not dependent upon our sense of well being, or lack thereof. It seems that many of us have confused the concept of God with Santa Claus. For 17 years I talked to the animals, and I listened to what they had say.
God is great!
Wow, that's completely awful. I wonder if remorse is preferable or more humane? But then if it were inhumane, then we shouldn't do it at all.
I remember when I had my first child. She was c-section. There I was, very young, a bit scared and vulnerable, laying on a surgeon's table. As they cut me open, they talked about the bar-b-que they were planning that weekend. A part of me found it disconcerting of course, but another part of me knew it made sense. If they thought about the fact that a naked 18 year old girl lay bleeding on the table in front of them... two lives in their hands... would those thoughts interfere with the task at hand?
Not all ends have a preferable means.
God *is great.
I agree, too much "feeling" for a patient could prove to be fatal in such a context. It reminds me of going to the dentist. We are usually glad we went, but nobody seems to be in a hurry to get there; except for the dentist!
And yet, evolution does not support Intelligent Design/Creationism at all. In fact, it has nothing to do with it.
Kathryn, evolution has two basic requirements, natural selection and diversity of species. Can you figure it out from there?
Evolution proves evolution. It's evidence that we are like any other animal, uniquely adapted to survive. There have been many animals that gave gone extinct, does that seem intelligent to you? Would a creator create them without purpose? They evolved, the environment changed and they died off completely without purpose.
Does it seem reasonable that a loving God would allow some of us to be born with great advantages over others or does it seem like something that would happen naturally as a way of making the species stronger?
For instance, how did all the scientists who contributed to discovering/researching the theory of atoms and then create these amazing instruments to detect them, happen to have such brilliant mind/brains? Where does determination, will-power, mental stamina, dedication, interest, motivation, inspiration and the intense ability to focus / concentrate originate within a human??
will power + awareness + intelligence = soul.
How are these attributes measured?
By how they manifest in action. The soul's presence / existence in a body is provable according to the actions being taken: thinking, breathing, feeling, and moving according to some stimulus. Reacting to stimulus proves the existence of a soul.
What was God's original stimulus?
The evidence points to the possibility that it must have been his own joy, love, creativity and intelligence. All of life is within the realm of spontaneous evolution and non-static progression toward something? Actually back to Himself… from the past to the future, always now.
A fairy tale? I don't know. I am a hopeful agnostic. I choose to believe there is some higher power in the universe, but I am certainly too small to define Him/Her/It. The scientific evidence supports evolution, but if there is a God, I expect that God is smart enough to have set that process in motion.
...and even guides it. This God force is within and without.
sounds magical? It is.
(...what? whats wrong with leaping. Its good exercise.)
Setting the process in motion would only make sense if there were no predetermined developmental destination. Thus "A" disinterested god might have done so, but one who intended to semi-murder his son for three days to save us from the sins he made sure we committed would not really fit this scenario.
As I pointed out earlier, it's common descent that Christians generally have a problem with and common descent is supported by a thin layer of computer models and such. We have not observed anything that would be considered conclusive evidence for common descent. It's still a theory that gets lumped into this over-arching thing called evolution. So there really is no need for someone who believes in God to jump on the "setting the process in motion" band wagon. They could if they wanted to. It's just not necessary.
About not fitting the scenario, you don't really seem to know enough about Christian doctrine to make that kind of determination. God didn't make sure we committed sin. Adam did. God gave Adam free will and Adam used it to his (and our) detriment. Free will is an important component of the human experience. Athiests knock it but at the same time relish in their free will to be an athiest. You guys act like we're trying to force you to believe something when, according to the Biblical world view, God went out of His way to ensure that you could in fact be an athiest. Without free will there is no love because there is no choice. Without choice, the word "love" would be empty and meaningless. Hence the tree. God didn't make Adam do anything. That, in fact, is the point of the Genesis story (incase you missed it).
It's always funny to see someone complain that our knowledge of evolution is supported by only very thin layer of evidence and then begin pointing out biblical tales supported by nothing but millenia old tales passed down by word of mouth.
Adam did not exist. If you understood evolution you would understand why.
Thin layer of what now?
Your premise assumes that God would somehow be constricted by the laws he put into place to manage the universe he created--that a creator would not be impressive enough to manipulate his own creation. You need a new argument. That one is DOA.
Ah - Majick!.
Evolution does not appear to have been manipulated. But - my oh my what a lousy way of creating us. Couldn't your god just have created us the way we are instead?
Funny how that works. The book they rely on tells them the universe was created in a week and humans moulded out of dirt. Turns out the universe was around 9 or so billion years before the earth or the sun and then we drive billions of years after that.
So some change the story, the fact remains we are no longer the centre of the universe. Why again didn't he put us on another planet 13 billion years ago? They say he had the power.
Anyone who thinks god created us by waiting billions of years and then manipulating millions of years of evolution wants their head examined.
Quotes are from: http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2646118
The thread continued with Mark trying to defend as though you had given any facts, but eventually he abandoned the fruitless pursuit. Follow the hyperlink to see how it played out. Now I see your back at it again:
Facts you say? Or beliefs from your holy books that you have embraced. Some may be true, others not, but they are not facts.
I could spend my time attempting to explain how science has determined the age of the universe and the age of our sun using various techniques always arriving at the same times. I've studied it myself and find it fascinating, perhaps you may want to do the same.
I suggest you start with the Planck Mission.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/planc … DQ270tDDW0
It may be a little over your head, but if you stick with it you may learn something.
Got to admit it is funny listening to religionists talk about facts though.
All science is wrong, all we need is the bible.
And yet in our last go round you could not produce one "fact" to defend. Indeed there is an entertainment factor to all this, but you may be more the muse than the audience.
Sorry you don't understand. Odd that you believe as you do - without facts. Why is that?
Let's see if he tells us how old the universe is and supplies evidence for his facts.
Do you think people won't notice you continually claim I don't understand facts yet after repeated requests for you produce some, you still cannot? Again, I ask, what fact do you think I don't understand? Be specific. Don't post a link. Don't post a graphic. Don't defer. Provide one true, genuine fact exclusively supporting your view. Not an opinion, or speculation, a fact. Considering your record so far in this regard, I won't hold my breath.
Fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background exist and the planck mission has given us an accurate age of our universe. Fact.
Lol. Define "fact". Observations and speculation built on that observation. I boiled away all of the opinion, bias and speculation from your article, and no fact was left, let alone an accurate age for the universe. Lots of other scientists have far different "accurate" ages for the universe, so why did you decide this is the "fact"? I did read it, just didn't find what you claimed there. Please tell me what that "fact" was.
As is to typical and expected, just deferment and insult in lieu of any true facts then? You assume anyone who does not buy the speculation which all of your "facts" really are, must be ignorant of them or science in general. It really get's tedious. I am aware of what your beliefs are founded on, I just don't drink the Koolaide.
Sorry, don't mean to insult, but I do understand that the science is difficult, but if you are able to understand the Planck mission and the science behind it you wouldn't be worried about what's in the cool-aid. You do understand that those that did drink the cool-aid were part of a religious cult right?
You persist that my not buying into your beliefs is because I don't understand their premise or from whence they came. You have no facts to back that either, but then you've shown they are of little value to you. You pretend they're facts just the same.
Yes, a cult. Like scientism.
Fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background is fictitious then? Those smart educated people are just making stuff up to fool us all.
See you ask for evidence of the age of the universe, I give it to you and you pretend it doesn't exist.
I can only assume you don't understand the science, however why don't you tell us how old the universe is and please supply evidence.
You do a lot of assuming. Indeed, what you view as facts are nothing more than assumptions. It appears your tactic here is to deflect your view's lack of substance by putting the focus on my views, which I have not been purporting here. You wish to draw them out to refocus the dialogue and escape your corner. Allow me to address them briefly to clear the table and remove the decoy you wish to deploy.
Materialists are, be it willingly or not, blind to spirituality. They claim the physical is all there is. I'm not here to argue that, so why bring up my perspective, which is rooted in spiritual discernment. Your view is I am delusional, my view is your blind to the essentials necessary for us to even discuss my views. No point even discussing my views then, so back to your world of nothing but materialism. Since we both agree the material world exists, here we can work from common ground.
You make claims, but don't back them up with facts. You throw insults and hyperlinks at me instead. If you have a single fact which proves any of your claims exclusively please share as I have never seen such a fact. You and Mark constantly elude to the existence of such facts, but when challenged resort to berating the challenger's intelligence, hoping I suppose to embarrass or intimidate them into silence. Your arguments are thus far vacuous.
Scientism has primarily seen success because through indoctrination in public schools and constant bombardment in both entertainment and media even otherwise biblical Christians are reluctant to speak against it for fear some nugget of truth resides there. I'm calling it out. Exposing the lack of facts and showing it for the belief system it is. Perhaps when those who have been intimidated see the truth exposed they will be less reluctant to defend it.
You're not willing to tell me how old the universe or the sun is, but willing to dismiss facts as products of scientific indoctrination.
I did show you facts and you pretend they don't exist, but do not provide any evidence that the facts are an error besides your opinion.
If there is a God, It might not be the Christian God at all.
Way I see it is this. If you accept the possibility of a god, you must accept all possible gods as being equally possible. There is an infinite number of possible gods so - your god is infinitely unlikely.
This argument assumes incorrectly that all religions are created equal--that every religion is equally plausible. I guess you would also conclude that all NFL teams are equally as likely to win the Super Bowl (Vegas would disagree). This is lazy thinking on your part. Clearly you haven't put any effort at all into understanding Christianity or you would recognize that no other religion can even be put in the same category as that one. No other religion has hundreds of fulfilled prophecies to give it credibility. No other religion has as it's foundation the resurrection of a single person in history (something so unbelievable that, amidst the Roman persecution, this following should never have made it out of the first century). Every other religion is wrapped around teaching that could live on without it's founder. Not Christianity. Very, very different.
Ahhhh, Islam has better, less vague prophesies that have been fulfilled and someone being raised to heaven for all to see on a horse.
Are you going to switch team now?
It's kind of funny really, listening to a grow person bragging about who has the best religion. One would think all those people of other religions would be envious, but somehow, like you, they think they are right.
Please tell me you're joking.
https://www.alislam.org/library/article … ecies.html
Their book apparently predicted the creation of zoos, dynamite, and the abandonment of camels as a transportation system. Have you read the Messianic prophecies? You actually think zoos and camels are more impressive than predicting where, when, and how the Messiah would show up? That he would die for the sins of the world? Foreshadowing how he would die? That the Jewish law would be replaced by a new covenant and a new way to God? Predicting the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple? And this is just a sample. All of that (except for the bit about the temple which was spoken by Jesus) was written by Jewish prophets and the Jews of today still put weight on their predictions. They still believe that this Messiah is coming one day, just like they did back then. It's their prophecies. Christians didn't make them up to validate their cause. We simply see that they are a tapestry into which was woven the life of Jesus. He fits perfectly, like Cinderella in the glass slipper. Even secular writers corroborate where and when Jesus showed up, validating at least two of the prophecies. The rest are corroborated by four separate ancient texts written in the first century, not counting the many letters we have from that time.
Sorry, the stories about Jesus were written well after the fact and written in a way to fill prophesies. Look at the difference between the first gospel written and the others. The first has no virgin birth let alone in a specific town and no resurrection. Funny how the people of his time didn't believe he was a who Christians think he was until years later when people wrote about him.
Sorry, all religions are equally a collection of superstitions. You are welcome to pretend yours is better but you won't be convincing me of any of that.
What Messiah is this?
There is absolutely no evidence that this Jesus even existed. Certainly nothing contemporary to corroborate anything.
Even secular historians don't believe Jesus never existed. That's a terrible argument.
Are you saying that writings from a secular Roman historian that corroborate that he lived and died when and how the gospels say he did are not evidence? Add to that writings from a Jewish historian? Add to that references in the Talmud? Add to that the many other manuscripts that now make up the New Testament from at least 9 distinct authors, none of them disagreeing on who He was or what He did? Each one of those things separately is evidence. I'm pretty sure Jesus was a real person.
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/f … ounts.html
Sorry - nothing contemporary then? OK.
Many secular historians don't believe Jesus existed.
How odd - for such a famous person that there is absolutely no reference to him at all.
Not counting the bible as evidence - sorry.
What does this have to do with intelligent design again?
What do you mean contemporary? I just listed off things that were written around the time that the events occurred.
No it doesn't. Please what I wrote. Your irrational belief system is just lack of thinking on your part. Now try thinking instead of preaching nonsense at us.
Not sure what any of this has to do with intelligent design anyway. What is the relevance here?
I don't claim to have any God. I don't claim to know any God. I have ideas about what I think God would be like that I hope are true. But odds are that I am wrong about some or all of them. Of course, that is true of every human being I meet, so I cannot trust that any human being, theist or atheist knows the whole truth. If there is no higher power, then yes, the atheists are absolutely correct. But until they can provide me with convincing evidence beyond a lack of evidence for one religion's God or another, I will not discount the possibility that they are just as wrong as everyone else. As to the origin of life and existence as we know it, I accept the prevailing scientific wisdom as fact, because there is very strong evidence for it. I would prefer that Intelligent Design is not taught as fact in schools because there is not strong evidence for it--or any evidence, if we're going by the arguments of religious fundamentalists. But I have chosen to stay open to the possibility of a higher power, so I am open to the possibility of and intelligent Creator.
Ah - you are open to the possibility that there is not a higher power then?
Because there is a lack of evidence for one.
What would be "convincing evidence," for a lack of a higher power?
Honestly, I can't really think of anything that would convince me that any higher power at all is impossible. Certainly there is enough evidence against literal interpretations of most holy books I have encountered. But yes, I accept the possibility that there is no higher power, but it would probably take some deep personal experience to convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no higher power. Rationally, I realize the evidence has never pointed to it, but the idea that anyone can know what seems objectively unknowable doesn't really gel with me.
Personal experience is pretty irrelevant here. Not sure it is objectively unknowable myself. Clearly there is no evidence that points to one. Any "evidence" seems to point to a dumb Creator actually.
What is it that you would like to convince me of?
That intelligent design in not fact? Absolutely it is not.
That the burden if proof rests with the religious? It absolutely does.
That they have thus far done a very poor job? I quite agree.
That no one should be forcing their own religious beliefs on others? No argument there.
That the failure of the religious to prove their own interpretation of God is proof positive of no higher power at all? Well...
If you have reached that conclusion, I don't fault you for it. I just find the idea of God so beyond definition that I don't think anything could convince me that Its existence or nonexistence is objectively knowable.
Ah well - you choose to believe in some thing that defies definition then. OK. Not trying to convince you of anything. You seem happy where you are. Nothing can convince you of anything so you choose to limit yourself to one possibility. Fair enough. I thought we were having a discussion, but as you say it is beyond definition and objectively unknowable. Except you defined it, "Intelligent Creator".
I defined that as a possibility. That's the great thing about being agnostic. I really am not limited to anything. I also acknowledge the possibility of a Dumb Creator, as you put it. Though I find that idea pretty terrifying.
Thing is...happy as I am choosing not to discount the possibility of one, many, or no gods, my choice seems to bother a lot of people. Usually atheists. Not all of them, but when my agnosticism is challenged, it is usually by an atheist, even though in terms of the day to day, I tend to agree with them more often than with the religious.
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