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10 Reasons Why Atheism Doesn't Work For Me

Updated on March 1, 2015

In the vast majority of discussions I've had with atheists over the years I've found that many seem to have settled on their position based almost exclusively on their rejection of the standard beliefs of traditional Christianity. They'll often list their reasons why Christian beliefs seem contradictory to the bible or why the concept in general seems flimsy to them. And in those discussions it seems their assumption about me, being a Christian, is that I must not have pondered the same things they have or that I must not have critically analyzed my beliefs for myself.

However, where most atheists I've spoken with are concerned, it seems as if they've critically analyzed Christian beliefs and found them lacking, and have then simply settled on being an atheist. When pressed, it seems they have not turned that same critical gaze on the viewpoint of atheism itself. Does it stand on its own? Does it hold water if put to the same test of logic and scrutiny? Because in my personal experience, while I have at times found myself troubled with my inability to reconcile God as I understand Him with some of these more troubling stories, I have also weighed the atheist viewpoint on its own merit and have found it a hollow framework that doesn't truly reflect the vibrance and beauty of life. Not that it doesn't stand to reason, necessarily, just that I personally have a hard time accepting it as a viable alternative.

Now, clearly this isn't absolute, as I have also spoken with atheists who seem to have thought it all through quite extensively, and simply aren't bothered by the same things I am, but these seem to be more the exception than the rule.

The truth is, I find the conclusions I reach when considering a god-less existence ranging from truly troubling to just plain illogical. In fact, it's at least partially due to my pondering of these dilemmas that I have since found reconciliation with the things that first troubled me about the Christian viewpoint in the first place.

So, here for you now to consider, I have compiled the primary reasons why I cannot see that a god-less existence can offer an adequate explanation to account for all that existence is.

1. The Origin of the Universe

We have obviously learned quite a lot through science in this modern age. It's only been about 90 years since the Big Bang Theory was first proposed. Before this it was the general consensus amongst the scientific community that the universe was infinite with no beginning and no end to its vast expanse. Nowadays we understand the universe to be finite. Much like the bible described it thousands of years ago, it actually had a beginning. Even time, which once seemed constant and infinite as well, is finite and relative, as it seems it began when the universe did.

Our understanding of matter and energy in this universe has allowed us to actually define the physical laws that govern this universe, and has actually given us the capability to peer billions of years into the past to understand where it all came from by reconstructing a chain of causal events all the way back to the very first moment when this universe first came into being. But it is at that point that we hit a barrier. Because matter and energy began as a singularity of infinite mass, and because we are only capable of studying the matter and energy that resulted from that initial singularity, we are unable to "see" beyond it. Unless we're someday able to actually witness a big bang we have no way of knowing what came "before", though 'before' isn't exactly an accurate term as both time and space as we experience them came into being at that exact same moment. So, technically, there is no 'before'.

For the universe to have expanded, or inflated, into the universe as we know it now, that singularity had to already exist. And the fundamental laws that govern and shape this universe had to already exist within that singularity as one single fundamental force. And those fundamental forces could only be the values they are for us to be here, because if they were even slightly different in value than they are, we wouldn't exist as we do, if at all. Change even one of those values one direction and matter no longer binds together as it does, greatly decreasing the percentage of matter in this universe that eventually formed stars, planetary systems, and eventually us. Change those values the other direction and everything would have been crushed, if the universe were able to inflate out from that initial state at all before collapsing back in on itself.

There are, of course, theories regarding the 'just right' values of these fundamental forces and the way in which matter behaves in the environment they create. And those theories always in some way suggest that this universe is just one of many. Whether it be the same universe expanding out, then collapsing back in on itself back into a singularity that then expands out again, over and over. A theory known as the 'big bounce'. Or, there are other theories that suggest this universe is just one of many that exist all at the same time. Part of a multi-verse, with each universe differing slightly in the values of those fundamental forces, and we find ourselves in the 'just right' universe simply because we actually exist to observe it.

So, it turns out that whether you believe the universe has a creator who deliberately and intelligently designed this 'just so' universe to allow us to exist, or whether you believe we exist in one of the few, if not the only, universe where it's possible for us to exist to even ponder these questions, it's ultimately still a matter of faith. The only answer that is not a proclamation of faith one way or the other is "I don't know". Given this, combined with the other reasons on this list, I find it difficult to accept the god-less existence scenario where the origin of the universe is concerned.

2. Intelligence and Reason Coming About Through an Unintelligent, Purely Causal Process

I also find it difficult to reconcile intelligent reasoning beings capable of fathoming the universe and our place in it coming about in a totally causal, indifferent, chaotic process. While intelligence would certainly prove beneficial from a 'survival of the fittest' evolutionary standpoint, the level of intelligence and the capability to reason inherent in humanity seems well beyond the needs of survival alone.

One thing that science has made painfully clear is just how significant our intelligence and reason really is. These traits found, at least as far as we know, exclusively in humanity, makes us an anomaly, not just amongst the animal kingdom, but in all the universe. The whole reason we're able to establish objective truth via science is because matter and energy behave in very particular ways in accordance with the fundamental laws of the universe. Both the balance of the natural living world, as well as the workings of the entirety of the universe, have been revealed to be an improbably delicate one. The consistency of behavior in both matter and energy, as well as the behavior of living organisms on this planet, is what makes the natural world work so efficiently.

The dawn of reason in humanity means we are the first and only bundles of matter in all the universe, at least to our knowledge, capable of choosing our behavior, not by natural instinct or the inherent nature of the behavior of the matter we're made up of, but through reason. This is a hugely unique and powerful thing. We humans instinctively make the distinction between what is 'natural' and what is 'man-made'. There are things born of the human mind unlike anything else found in the natural world. There are satellites orbiting this earth and a rover rolling around on Mars right now because of it. There are chemicals and materials manufactured that do not break down naturally, and that actually harm the ecosystem of this planet, through our capability to reason. We are able to manipulate and bend the natural world to our will because of our capability to understand it, rather than simply existing in harmony, or at the whim, of the natural world.

Through the theist perspective, this is what its all about. Our behavior. And in that light, in a universe created knowingly and deliberately through an intelligent being, this makes perfect sense. In a god-less scenario, given the consistency of the rest of the natural world, this development in humanity seems exceedingly improbable, if not impossible. Especially through a purely causal process that resulted in just one single species populating and completely altering the landscape of the entire planet where all others simply continue to exist as they always have.

And this reason leads right into number 3 .....

3. Free Will

Whether or not we as humans truly have free will, or whether we are simply the product of our physical make-up where all of our decisions and actions are determined solely by the behavior of the matter we are made up of, is a long-standing philosophical debate. To the determinist, the way in which our mind functions, considering options, imagining possible outcomes for each, remembering past experiences, and employing reason to then choose the best of these competing choices, only makes it seem as if we have a choice. When, in actuality, each decision we make in any given moment is simply the only decision we were physically capable of making.

In a purely material world, where the entirety of reality is nothing more than the physical matter and energy we are able to observe and measure, true free will is simply impossible. Though it may seem as though we have a choice, in actuality matter can only behave as matter behaves. Just as matter can't decide of its own volition whether or not to adhere to the law of gravity, our physical brains could not have chosen any differently in any given situation than it did.

From the theist perspective, an idea that is universal amongst all religions, there is a spiritual/non-physical component of the self. A soul. And because that component is not physical, then it stands to reason that it is not bound so strictly to the laws of the physical world. In that scenario it is perfectly reasonable that we could in fact be in control of our behavior and capable of actually making a choice. From the atheist standpoint, at least the strictly materialist atheist, an actual free will is simply impossible. And even in the case of those atheists who are not strictly materialists, who think of the human mind itself as a non-physical product of a physical brain, a true free will cannot be truly reconciled. Because even if the mind being non-physical made its workings exempt from adherence to the natural laws, without a spiritual soul there is no way a bundle of matter, or the non-physical mind it creates, could be capable of actually making a 'willful' choice. No matter the configuration of matter, no matter whether or not the mind is capable of behaving free of the fundamental laws, at best our choices could only really be random.

4. The Mind/Body Problem

Another philosophical conundrum debated throughout the centuries since the dawn of reason is commonly referred to as the mind-body problem. Basically, how do non-physical thoughts impact the behavior of a physical body? What mechanism in our make-up makes it possible for something as abstract and formless as a non-physical thought to then be translated into physical action, or inaction, in a physical body?

It has been determined in recent decades that even products of the self like emotions have physical causes in the body. There are chemical changes that happen in the body when one is stressed or sad or happy. Yet these emotions generally come about as the result of non-physical thoughts. Whether it be the result of the mind considering the possibility that we are not actually in control of our actions causing one to become depressed, or whether it be an event in the past that reignites the emotions felt in those moments when they first happened, these non-physical thoughts can result in emotions that then have a physical impact on our physical bodies. Thoughts that cause high levels of stress can result in some people experiencing painful hives raised up on their skin. The heart rate can increase. The body can begin to sweat. We can begin to cry and secrete abundant levels of tears from our tear ducts, or we can feel goose bumps up the back of our necks.

To the theist, there is nothing strange about this at all, as the physical body is simply a mechanism through which our spiritual selves interact with the physical world around us. Our bodies are, in fact, a physical extension, in a way, of our spiritual selves, as even a person's natural disposition can have a significant impact on our physical well-being. Like in the way a generally positive outlook can result in better posture than others who have a more pessimistic mood and tend to hunch over and slouch. We've even learned to communicate through body language and facial expressions because they so accurately and visibly reflect our non-physical minds. From the materialist/atheist standpoint, this is all attributed to physical happenings. Physical neurons firing, enacting components in the brain causing action in the body. Like a machine that's always forming new pathways and simply reacting in the ways it's programmed to do so.

And this reason leads quite nicely right into the next ...

5. A Sense of Humor and Our Appreciation of Beauty/Art/Music

Like an intelligent reasoning mind, I also find it difficult to reconcile how these traits that so enrich our lives can have come about in a purely causal, indifferent, callous process of survival. While evolution effectively and logically explains many of the physical forms that living things have taken throughout the millennia on this planet, when it comes to things born of the non-physical, non-observable mind, things get a bit more murky. Social evolution can often at least put forth a reasonable explanation for the emergence of traits like an audible laugh, which could have soothed potentially tense situations when encountering strangers by conveying a sense of levity or serving as a kind of social lubricant in social and even mating practices. Though this is not one and the same as a sense of humor. It doesn't answer the question of why we find some things 'funny'. The same goes for recognizing beauty. From an evolutionary standpoint the recognition of symmetry in a face, or the recognition of 'good genes' in a physical specimen of the opposite sex, can and probably do have significant benefits where procreation is concerned. But this doesn't really translate so well when considering how we find things like a waterfall, or a particularly striking sunset, beautiful. The same goes for music. While there may be something we find soothing about particular sounds, or even the beats between the sounds or the rhythm it creates, that could be associated either with sounds we associate with the environments our ancestors spent the most time in, or rhythms that might sooth us because we maybe associate it with our own heartbeat, or even the heartbeat of our mother while still in the womb, it's difficult to reduce it all to these things alone.

In every case, even if we can formulate a possible explanation for these things coming about through our being forged by a struggle to survive this harsh environment, this means reducing all these things that so enrich our lives to merely being bi-products in our evolution. For example, there's a particular song by the band Radiohead called 'Exit Music (for a film)' that builds to this incredibly powerful crescendo. Layers of sounds are added as the story being told in the lyrics builds towards an emotional out-pour at the end by the band's vocalist that moves me in the moment that crescendo reaches its peak each and every time I hear that song. And I've heard that song countless times. And not only is there that palpable feeling that comes up within me, but there are physical goosebumps that I feel first coming up the back of my neck then down my arms. Every single time.

Again, like in the other examples given, this is perfectly understandable from a theist perspective. That same intelligent being that created the universe and us, in nearly every religion, is said to share the same emotions we do. He can be angry, He can love. He is pleased by smells and songs and poetry. And we, being the creations of this creator, being spiritual beings ourselves, it is perfectly reasonable that these traits that give our lives such texture and pleasure should come about in us and actually cause our bodies to respond physically. But from the atheist perspective, again, I find these hard to reconcile, and saddened by the mere idea that these traits could be nothing more than bi-products. And that sadness, in and of itself and the mere thought, again makes me think the universe being created by a deliberate purposeful creator is the more likely answer.

And just as so many of these do, one leads to another ...

6. The Purpose and Meaning We Assign to Life

This issue I have with the atheist viewpoint has resulted in some of the most emotional responses I think I've heard in these discussions. Even though this seems perfectly logical to me, the mere mention of this cold hard reality actually angers some, though highly respected thinkers amongst the atheist community, like Richard Dawkins, have said much the same thing ....

"This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose."

No matter how one may react to this, it is simply a true statement. If there is no deliberate creator of the universe, who intentionally created this universe and us as a part of it for a specific reason, then humanity's existence on this planet has no meaning or purpose. And any purpose or meaning we assign to our own lives can only really be a manufactured concept by a brain that, for whatever reason, 'needs' to feel the life it's living is meaningful and has purpose.

More so now than ever, as we have learned in recent decades that the entirety of the universe is finite and will eventually end, there is no escaping this. If we are nothing more than biological machines, with no non-physical soul that can go on once our physical/finite bodies are no longer capable of sustaining life, then death will be much like it was before we were born. Which, at least to our recollection, was simply nothing. Like everything else in this finite existence, we too are finite and have both a definite beginning and a definite end. And without a spiritual element, this is absolute. At best we can feel our lives serve a purpose and have meaning if we can in any way improve the lives of future generations by somehow making the world a better place during our short time here. But even if that is the case, it can only last so long. Those future generations will eventually die and no longer exist as well. And even if we do manage to end wars and resolve our every conflict with one another and learn to live harmoniously with one another so as to not eventually wipe ourselves out, eventually this planetary system that allows us to exist here will become unstable. Our sun will supernova and collapse on itself, as will all the other stars throughout this galaxy and beyond. No matter what we do or how we live, no matter what great accomplishments we manage, in the end the entirety of human existence will be the equivalent of a faint spark on a small fraction of the total timeline of this universe that lit up for just an instant before ultimately fizzling out again into nothingness.

Of course, to the theist, this finite life is simply the precursor to something 'more' on the other side of death's veil. Some see it as preparation, whether it be this one life, or multiple lives in reincarnated forms, there is a spiritual self that will live on once the physical body finally falls. From the atheist standpoint, much like free will, the purpose and meaning we feel our lives have is ultimately nothing more than an illusion.

7. The Phenomenon of Life

What animates animate matter? The engine that drives evolution is the inherent will that all living things have to survive and procreate. To "be fruitful and multiply". To quote Dr. Manhattan, though he's a fictional physicist from a comic book, his words regarding biological organisms at the molecular level are factually true... "A live human body and a dead human body have the same number of particles. Structurally there's no difference." Yet, when an organism is alive it inherently exhibits no less than 6 specific behavioral characteristics; homeostasis, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli, and reproduction. When an organism is alive it is these traits that biologically define it as 'alive'. When it's dead it, of course, exhibits none of these.

The phenomenon of life itself, as well as death, still to this day lacks clear conceptual definition. Every living thing on this planet today represents the final link in an unbroken chain of ancestors that reaches all the way back to the primordial pool from which life first sprang. In this way all life on the planet can be seen as a kind of collective organism, continually driven to perpetuate itself and continue existing. These behaviors are the physical manifestations of an inherent 'will to live' that all living things share. Life is compelled to live. And not just live, but thrive. Not just maintain, but grow. To become something more. The same inherent will that compelled life to first make use of its evolved locomotive capabilities to climb up onto the land from the sea is the same will that made us what we are today. True, we have evolved and have been forged by the environment in which we live, but without this propellant force in all living things evolution simply would not have happened.

Now some may simply dismiss this as one of the first traits to have randomly mutated in our genetic make-up, which very well may be the case. But it's a difficult question we still struggle to answer. How did life begin? Today some of the components that make up RNA can be created in a lab through 'natural' causes. Elements that conceivably would have existed on this primal earth that result in some of the parts that make up the whole of the process of passing on 'information' to future generations to benefit. But for a living organism to even reach the point that it could benefit from evolution, even the simplest level of organism, it would have to have all 6 of those above traits, as well as the ability to replicate itself, and it would have had to have developed these capabilities without the benefit of previous generations passing on tried and true traits. Just the emergence of a single molecule out of trillions somehow developing the ability to replicate is exceedingly improbable. Given the extensive timeline and the large number of molecules that would have existed, it's not necessarily impossible, but definitely improbable. Add to that everything else and it becomes exceedingly difficult to see how life could have just 'come about'.

Of course, from the theist perspective this is an easy question. Even in the creation account it doesn't describe God physically molding life, but rather imbuing life with an inherent will to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and the seas". From the atheist perspective, well, our greatest scientific minds are still wrestling with the initial onset of life, and biologically those 6 traits are simply seen as a 'given'.

8. Compassion and Altruism, Even Across Species

In Dawkin's book "The Selfish Gene" he puts forth a rather fascinating concept for how altruism could have come about by showing how 'biological machines' who are selfishly compelled to propagate their own genes could actually be benefited by the emergence of altruism where kin are concerned because even sacrificing themselves for the good of another will still pass on these traits if that other is then able to procreate because of their sacrifice. And it's potentially understandable how these traits first born of evolution could sometimes be seen in the behaviors of animals who are not closely enough related to share genetic code. But compassion, as well as what appears to be a wide array of emotions shared in common and once thought to be solely human, can and have been witnessed throughout the animal kingdom. Primarily in mammals, which have proven to have nurturing traits not found in other types of animals.

For example, I recently saw a documentary regarding the 'odd' relationship between a blind horse and a goat who lived together amongst many other animals in a protected habitat. The horse was not born blind, but became blind over time. From the time when the horse first lost site in one eye this goat became an inseparable partner. At first the goat would always walk on the side of the horse where he could still see, and would guide the horse through the terrain and aid him in where he needed to go. Then, later, when the horse lost site in the other eye, the goat began to walk in front of the horse, allowing the horse to follow the sound of his steps. This went on for many years. And in one case, after a particularly bad storm when the horse was surrounded by brush and unable to find a way out, the goat actually went to the people that managed this habitat and led them to the horse so they could help. Once the horse finally died, the goat simply went back to behaving as he did before, but the goat's health quickly and obviously went downhill once his friend had passed, and died not long after.

Now I recently read an atheist comment on this story as something that counts against the existence of a God, as its often thought in the more traditional religious views, namely those who reject evolution, that humans are not one and the same with the animal kingdom. So, to this individual, this was further proof that that ideology is wrong. And accurately so, as many of these same individuals will not even acknowledge the fact that we are clearly mammals who share quite a lot in common with other mammals. But to the theist, whether they are like me and accept evolution or not, they view these commonalities as being because we all have the same 'designer'. In either case we all come from the same origin, so it's not at all odd that scientists are coming around to the idea that much of the animal kingdom are capable of a similar emotional experience to our own.

Again, from the atheist perspective, I find this hard to reconcile, with the only real explanation being much as Dawkins put it initially, then cropping up in inter-species relationships as a kind of 'unintended' bi-product. To the theist, however, this should make perfect sense.

9. Human Intuition

Acceptance of the atheist viewpoint means acceptance of the fact that human intuition where a higher power is concerned is totally off-base. This one may be more of a personal thing for me, than a purely logical one, but I have a kind of 'faith' in our human intuition that has managed to bring us to where we are today.

Though many atheists will vehemently argue this point, it seems pretty clear to me that the default state of humanity in general is belief in a higher power. I base this conclusion on where and when in human history atheists exist. Or, at least, where there is clear documentation. The first appearance of the atheist viewpoint can be seen in ancient Greece and Rome. But beyond that, from the fall of Rome through to the age of enlightenment in Europe over a thousand years later, atheism appears to have been all but non-existent. It then came about in that age, which continues on through to today. And it seems to ebb and flow with the availability of accumulated knowledge and the adoption of logical/philosophical thought. Based on this it would seem that an atheism viewpoint is not something inherent in the human condition, but rather something arrived at through the practice of reason.

Beyond those two eras, belief in a higher power throughout the entirety of human history seems absolute. In indigenous cultures, like the Aborigines of Australia, the sub-Saharan tribes of Africa, and the native American tribes of the 'new world', animism, or the belief that there is a spirit force that animates the natural world and links mankind to the sun, the wind, the mountains, and the animals, is consistent across the board. Beyond that you've got the Mesopotamian religions of the Sumerians, then Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the mythologies of western Europe like that of Greece and Rome, the eastern European mythologies, and Buddhism and Hinduism throughout Asia. It seems, to me at least, that this clearly illustrates that this is the default state of humanity, where a belief in a higher power must be 'reasoned' away.

Now, this may seem more of an argument FOR atheism than against, but as I've tried to illustrate through the entirety of this list, atheism isn't necessarily 'right' simply because it requires reason to reach it. It is through reason that I first had doubts about the traditional Christian beliefs as they were taught to me through traditional institutions, but it is also through reason that I cannot see a god-less existence standing on its own. The same human intuition that eventually brought us into this modern age of scientific enlightenment and understanding is the same intuition that first manufactured religion, if it was indeed manufactured. And even in that light, though I have many reasons to think that is not the case, it would seem that those religious ideals that came about throughout our social and societal evolution was an important building block along the way that no one, I would think, should be so eager to yank from beneath us. I understand the urgency for which some feel we should remove religion, as I personally see religion as a flawed man-made thing and not one and the same as God, but don't be too quick to toss that bathwater as I think there may be a baby in there.

10. The Bible

I know it's common nowadays to just dismiss the bible as some product of old world delusion. I could never take this scenario seriously. I mean, we've all experienced life enough to see how things of interest come and go. It'll be the hot thing for a while, then people lose interest and move on to other things. That never happened with the bible. It's remained relevant and an ever-present thing throughout every age since it was first written. It never just fades away. There are plenty of ancient stories written. So what is it about this one that it sticks around? So we're supposed to buy that it's just some fictitious work made up by desert-dwelling Jews thousands of year ago?


According to the story, especially the earlier ones towards the beginning, this text claims to be a record of a time in human history when a God interacted with people. It turns out that the very thing I would think you should expect to see if those events actually happened, for there to be a palpable impact on human history, is there. That part of the world has been in constant turmoil in every age since its inception.

It seems to me that exactly what you should expect to be true if this text truly were something more than old world folklore is there. It was written who knows when by who knows who exactly, nobody knows. And, it undoubtedly originates in the cradle of civilization where civilization originated. All of these things keep me from dismissing this text as just being the world's oldest piece of fiction or the oldest and most successful form of propaganda.

In Conclusion

While I often find myself more at odds with believers than non-believers because I am pro-science and pro-evolution, the atheist movement is troubling to me for many reasons. Though there are certainly exceptions, in my discussions with atheists it seems that for the most part many simply settle on the atheist viewpoint because they've found reason enough to discount traditional religion, but all too often do not seem to have turned that same critical eye towards the atheist view and pondered whether or not this world view truly holds up on its own.

To assume reality will fit within the confines of a purely material box is to pre-define what reality can possibly be. Material science is the best method to date for determining objective truths about reality, but it's highly unlikely it can completely encompass it. So a universe created through intelligent intent is not an assumption I make to make me feel better or to relieve existential angst. In my view I'm simply being realistic.

A purely material/mechanical explanation does not make logical sense to me. When I consider it, not in comparison to any alternative view, but simply on its own merits, it does not hold water. It most definitely defines and gives better understanding of the make-up and mechanics of this place, but when extended out to account for all the intricacies of reality, I find it's ultimately a hollow and highly improbable explanation.

It's kind of like Ptolemy's calculations to track planetary paths across the sky. It was a really complex explanation that did mathematically account for the way the planets appeared to loop in the sky and speed up and slow down at certain points. But the whole concept was built on the idea that the earth was the center of the universe and that all the heavens rotated around it. Copernicus, a thousand years later, simply said "what if" the sun was actually at the center. All of the sudden he also had a mathematical explanation for the planetary paths, but his was much simpler than Ptolemy's because his was built on top of a much more accurate foundation.

Given the evidence, I see intelligent intent being the much more likely explanation for this causal universe. Given that intelligence is indeed a 'natural product' of this universe, it is something that naturally occurs, I do not see how or why consideration of intelligent intent as an explanation is so vehemently opposed as if it were some ludicrous consideration. And given all the unknowns still surrounding intelligence and consciousness and the mind and life itself, I think it's a little premature to think intelligence and reason and creativity only exists in our heads.


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    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      It's a long but well written statement, thank you. A bit too long for me to take in within a short time, and have only reached the 2nd part so far. Will continue later at my leisure. With great respect.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Hey Jonny, thanks for stopping by. Take your time, read at your leisure, and let me know what you think.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image

      DK 3 years ago from London

      Understandable queries but it seems that you just need to study a little bit more and find that most of your problems with atheism are due to a lack of knowledge.

      This applies particularly to your point on human intelligence, since all the testable 'higher intelligences' (barring existentialism etc.) are found in other great apes, giving rise to the notion that our evolution of these abilities are what gave us the edge over them during our competitive period.

      Interesting thoughts and it's all very logical, but like I said it seems a little uninformed.

      Thanks for the read, voted up for interest,

      Philanthropy

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, Philanthropy2012. I appreciate the vote and I appreciate your input here because it allows for further clarification. You're right about our capabilities intelligence-wise that gave us a leg up in the struggle for survival, but what you're referring to happened way back. Even during the age of the neanderthal they proved to be skilled above and beyond that of homo habilis because they were formidable hunters of mega-fauna (dire wolves, dinofelis or huge cats, etc), where homo habilis was regularly dinofelis food.

      Then, roughly 50,000 BC, came what many refer to as the 'great leap forward', or the 'Upper Paleolithic Revolution', where the homo sapiens of Africa first began to show diversity in tool function and materials used, and also when the massive migrations out of Africa began. Like Neanderthal, these homo sapiens successfully hunted mega-fauna as well. But they also had a leg up over Neanderthal, who had successfully lived in the colder climate of Europe for hundreds of thousands of years. Yet within 20 thousand years of migrating into Europe these homo sapiens pushed the Neanderthal out of existence. Then they went on and populated the entirety of the inhabitable world by 10,000 BC. And along the way they clearly established themselves as the dominant species in the animal kingdom as they eradicated all remaining mega-fauna, pushing them out of existence as well. This also applied to great apes, if they hadn't already been bested long before by the Neanderthal, who only existed in Europe.

      This, so far, is all well within the line of evolution and survival, and falls right along the lines of what you're talking about. I don't have an issue with any of that. Where my issue begins is with the next great leap forward. The one that happened in the Ubaid/Uruk cultures (5500-3000 BC) of southern Mesopotamia that led to one of the most prolific inventive periods in human history, the beginnings of practices like astronomy and mathematics, the invention of the written language, rapid urbanization, and on to the birth of the first full blown civilization. And as our history clearly illustrates, the people who came from these regions, the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Indus Valley culture, Akkad/Babylon, and on up to Greece and Rome and beyond, these people then took over the world, pushing those formidable indigenous homo sapien cultures near the brink of extinction as well. This is where pure evolution based on survival and such doesn't quite jive. For more on this you can read through my hub "The Evolution of the Human Mind and the Origin of Free Will, Part 2", as I go into this whole progression in much greater detail. - https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/On-The-Ev...

      It's one thing for our tool-making capabilities, or our ability to make fire and other such things, to give us an advantage over other species that we share common ancestry with, and in that vein I totally agree with what you're saying. But then there's that other one. When humans formed the first governments, became the first astronomers and mathematicians, invented organized militaries, written laws, calendars, paper, kilns, the wheel, roads, sailboats, frying pans, razors, cosmetic sets, sheppard's pipes, harps, bronze hand tools, the plow, the plow seeder, and on and on and on. This all happened within the course of just a 1000 years, during the 4th millennium BC. And it wasn't just agriculture, or the more dense populations that came with the ability to settle in one place, because settled communities with populations in the tens of thousands had existed for thousands of years prior to the north in modern day Turkey and Europe. Whatever it was, it was a significant change, and it gave us capabilities that go well beyond survival alone. I mean, we ride bikes and play guitars and operate vehicles and computers and some of us can even mathematically reconcile the entirety of the universe and so on. These capabilities go well beyond what would be needed to simply survive against apes or even later evolved species of the homo genus.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Headly, well you've certainly given this a lot of thought, so that's great. I just want to address a few points, as I certainly can't get into each argument you made and I think most of your arguments more or less come back to the evolution-related issue of "complexity from simplicity," your second main argument.

      Much of what you are saying falls under the classical fallacy known as "the God of the Gaps." That is, we don't know or understand what causes something or why it exists, therefore this is an argument for the existence of God. God is used as an explanation for what we cannot understand.

      Simply not believing in God (i.e. atheism) will not offer an answer to the question "how did humans develop the most advanced brain in the world?" So in that way what you are really talking about is simply scientific understanding, or the limits thereof.

      This is an extraordinarily dangerous position for the theist to put himself in, because as soon as you learn the answer to the question, suddenly your basis for believing in God is gone (or at least diminished). And, indeed, God has been shrinking over the last few centuries as we have answered more and more questions with naturalism and reason.

      Now, you said:

      "I also find it difficult to reconcile intelligent reasoning beings capable of fathoming the universe and our place in it coming about in a totally causal, indifferent, chaotic process."

      But it's not a chaotic process. This is a common misunderstanding on the part of theists with respect to evolution. Evolution is not an exclusively random process, it is a *cumulative* process with an *element* of randomness.

      A random process would be: an organism has a mutation that is beneficial, it helps him during his life, he reproduces, and his offspring starts back where his father started--with no mutation. In this scenario, each generation has to create every single beneficial mutation in the history of the species... from scratch. (Hence the pocket-watch-in-the-field fallacy, monkeys bashing on typewriters creating Shakespeare, and so on.)

      But that's not how evolution works. It is a cumulative process, such that the mutations add up over time. So the offspring does NOT start from scratch. He starts out life with the mutation his father had, and can then build upon it.

      So the models suggest that if there is just one beneficial mutation every so often in the history of the species, because the effect is *cumulative*, and because one organism can produce many individual offspring (and the strongest will reproduce the most), the net effect is a lot of change over time.

      If the process was totally random like a coin toss (every generation is an independent coin toss cut off from all of its predecessors), it would be almost impossible for complex/ intelligent life to arise. But it's not. Given this, it is actually very reasonable to expect that, over many, many years, intelligent reasonable creatures would arise spontaneously, without external intervention in the system.

      But again, this is a scientific topic, unrelated to atheism itself.

      "While intelligence would certainly prove beneficial from a 'survival of the fittest' evolutionary standpoint, the level of intelligence and the capability to reason inherent in humanity seems well beyond the needs of survival alone."

      Firstly, humans don't just need to compete with lions and tigers and bears. They need to compete with other humans--other tribes, nations and kingdoms competing for land and resources. Thus it is completely reasonable to expect the sharpest, quickest and most innovative tribes to out-compete, and thus out-reproduce, the others.

      Secondly, this "above and beyond" phenomenon is totally understandable if we look at the nature of the human brain as extremely plastic and malleable. Years of drug use causes major damage to the brain. Years of study and intellectual challenge causes incredible strengthening and growth. So we can see the vast variety of possibilities just within a single human lifetime. Now multiply that over thousands of generations and remember that intelligence and knowledge (like evolutionary change) is cumulative, and it is entirely predictable that we would see this outcome.

      The average fifth grader knows more today than the average learned adult did thousands of years ago. Has the human brain changed meaningfully during that time? No. But massive quantities of knowledge (including knowledge of how to grow knowledge--i.e. superior educational techniques) have been accumulated and passed down the generations. Moreover, as the human population has grown at an exponential rate, the amount of brainpower, and the potential for new inventions and discoveries, has grown exponentially as well.

      I don't think it's unreasonable to say that if we erased all the knowledge that our species has accumulated in the last 5000 years from memory and from the records, and destroyed everything that has been invented during that time, that we would be right back to where it was then.

      "Especially through a purely causal process that resulted in just one single species populating and completely altering the landscape of the entire planet where all others simply continue to exist as they always have."

      Another major misconception of evolution is that all other species have been static for thousands of years. For some, like many reptile species, that's true. But there are countless species that have changed in numerous ways over the centuries and millennia. Moreover, new species have been created as offshoots of previous ones (often with human intervention).

      And it's not so surprising that the over-achieving species would come to dominate the planet so quickly. We are talking about a dynamic system here, where change is exponential, not linear. Concepts like the Pareto Principle and the Butterfly Effect come into play here, so I will leave it at that for now. (I hope this comment is not too long)

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      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      [quote=secularist10]"how did humans develop the most advanced brain in the world?"[/quote]

      This begs the question: In what way is it supposed to be the most advanced?

      Presumably this is referring to intelligence and adaptability in a way that is peculiarly human. Such attributes have obviously been a big factor in our survival, across continents, in numerous different habitats and living conditions. Extremes like cold, hot, dry, arid, maritime, predator dangers, etc.

      How does such advanced brain power shape up against the abilities other species that need to fly through a shrub or thicket extremely fast, and land precisely on the tiny branch which it saw from 20 meters away? Or the whale that needs to communicate with its mate from 1000 miles away in the ocean? These animals/birds have developed brains and skills to suit their need for survival in very different environments than ours.

      So, surely it is not fair or reasonable to state "our brains are more advanced."

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Secularist10,

      I certainly cannot begrudge anyone a lengthy comment as comments of what most would consider a reasonable length are rare for me. I appreciate such a thoughtful and in depth response. First I want to make clear that finding answers to questions will not diminish my faith. I do not see God as 'shrinking' in recent decades/centuries, but becoming more clearly defined. This idea that finding a 'natural' cause for something removes the need for God comes more from a flawed concept of God than anything. If the natural world is God's creation, why would He need to supersede His own creation for a desired end? Understand I'm not looking for 'supernatural' explanations that would then be in danger of falling apart once a 'natural' explanation is reconciled. I see a God who forges an existence through natural events and processes. He doesn't just 'miracle' things into place, or mold with physical hands, but rather creation simply becomes what He wills it to be. So, from a scientific perspective, an existence that seems to have just come about on its own is exactly what I expect to see.

      And I should have worded my explanation better regarding a 'chaotic' process. I do understand evolution to be cumulative. When I say 'chaotic', I mean without deliberate intent. Like in the case of humans, we were forged by the interplay of numerous factors, from competition to mass extinctions to drastic climate changes. God creating would be the equivalent of a sculptor creating a statue, not by his own hands, but rather by creating conditions in the environment the raw materials exist in, with events arranged in just the right sequence and measure to create the desired result.

      You make a good point regarding humans competing with one another as well as the rest of the animal kingdom. And in theory this is a reasonable explanation to some extent. But this is not the sole factor based particularly on how things actually played out. For example, regarding your statement that "the human population has grown" and it's direct correlation to new inventions and discoveries. Agriculture, and increasing density of population, was not an isolated occurrence, but the boom of inventions and discoveries throughout the 4th millennium BC in the middle east and northern africa was. What happened in that era and timeframe is unmatched elsewhere, though the conditions they were born of were not at all unique. Though there were numerous highly populated regions following the agricultural revolution at different times throughout the world, it's only here that we see the emergence of multiple independently formed civilizations, each with their own unique language and system of writing, and a boom of inventions and discoveries the likes of which were not seen again until recent centuries.

      The broad strokes of what you're describing as far as this progression built on accumulated knowledge, again, makes sense in theory. But there was one particular change to the human brain that was very much meaningful, and it can be traced back to this same era and time frame as well. See 'Saharasia' by James DeMeo or 'The Fall' by Steve Taylor. What began first in southern Mesopotamia and rapidly spread, and what immediately preceded this invention and discovery boom that led to the first civilizations/governments/astronomers/mathematicians/written languages/stringed instruments/etc, was a distinct behavioral change. The societies that rapidly advanced unlike others around them first began to exhibit what DeMeo refers to as 'Patrist' behaviors, in contrast to the decidedly 'Matrist' behavioral traits throughout human history all around the world. Patrist being those societies that first exhibited social structures that were male-dominant, that had class stratification, that viewed sex, nudity, and natural bodily functions (like menstruation) as negative, as well as a noticeable change towards material possessions and violence against one another. It's not a change to the physical brain so much as it's a change towards a more enhanced, or pronounced, ego. Or a more pronounced sense of individuality. And other societies that came in contact with these, rather than adapting and rising up to this new challenge as what you're describing would suggest, they were overrun by them.

      And don't forget there really was a time when much of the world's accumulated knowledge was wiped clean. It came with the fall of Rome and the onset of what's often referred to as the 'dark ages'. Where we are now is not the result of thousands of years of accumulated knowledge, but rather only a handful of centuries, or, since the age of enlightenment. The people of those first civilizations were quite advanced. Something we only really get a glimpse of in the archaeological record and that we've only really learned relatively recently. Their accumulated knowledge was impressive, as were their capabilities and craftsmanship. And there were some, like those in ancient Greece, who made their living going town to town reciting literally hundreds of thousands of lines of memorized poetry and stories. Like the entirety of Homer's Illiad and Odyssey. Or those like the Hebrew scribes who were able to recite and write the entirety of the Tanakh, or the Old Testament, from memory.

      Most of what you're describing comes from ideas born of things like evolutionary psychology, where these progressions are often assumed to have been a gradual building process over the course of time. Ideas that do make logical sense, but that simply don't match the story the evidence describes.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Headly:

      "First I want to make clear that finding answers to questions will not diminish my faith."

      Ok, but then why do you bring up these scientific topics in the context of a theism/ atheism debate?

      Either the lack of scientific knowledge (at least assuming that there is such a vacuum) undermines atheism, or it does not. My point of course is two-fold: (1) that there is no lack of evidence with respect to the things you have discussed, and (2) even if there were, that does not relate to the existence/ non-existence of God (if it did, that would be the God of the gaps).

      "When I say 'chaotic', I mean without deliberate intent."

      But the environment itself creates the funnel that all evolutionary change moves through. Thus there does not have to be a conscious agent directing anything, because the pressures of the environment alone are enough to power the process over time.

      Your argument was "how can higher intelligence arise from a spontaneous/ undirected process." And the answer is, through the cumulative process of evolution, which you already seem to understand. So I fail to see how this harms atheism.

      It's possible God has been in the background orchestrating the whole thing of course. Many things are possible. But that is a personal belief, completely separate from what the science tells us.

      I just want to point out that you contradict yourself here, not to put you down, but just to clarify:

      First you say: "But there was one particular change to the human brain that was very much meaningful..."

      And then: "It's not a change to the physical brain so much as it's a change towards a more enhanced, or pronounced, ego."

      So first it's a change to the brain, then it's not.

      Now, it's unquestionable that there have been significant behavioral changes in human societies over time. And these behaviors have made a big difference. And have there been slight changes to the physical brain over time as well? Yes. But for the most part, the brain has not changed that much structurally to any meaningful degree during recorded history.

      The plasticity of the brain is more than enough to explain the wide variety in human behavior, and therefore human outcomes. Whether patrist/ matrist or some other explanation, the point is that it's about changes in behavior and beliefs, not deep, physical/ structural changes. At least that's what the evidence tells us.

      "And other societies that came in contact with these, rather than adapting and rising up to this new challenge as what you're describing would suggest, they were overrun by them."

      To the contrary, this sequence of events is entirely in-line with what I'm suggesting. The strongest survived. Some of the "weaker" tribes (for lack of a better term) did become stronger in response to the external threats. And some were not able to improve enough or fast enough, and they perished or were absorbed. This is absolutely in-line with my position.

      "And don't forget there really was a time when much of the world's accumulated knowledge was wiped clean. It came with the fall of Rome and the onset of what's often referred to as the 'dark ages'."

      No, what I described in my hypothetical was a total deletion. With the fall of Rome, there were still plenty of records and archives buried/ lost/ hidden, from ancient Greece and whatnot. And, even without a total deletion of all knowledge, look how far civilization fell (in Europe, that is; in other parts of the world, there was no such decline): right to the level it had been in many centuries prior. So once again, you prove my point :)

      It was not because of a physical change, it was a knowledge/ belief/ behavior change. And even if there was a physical change at some point, this still does not imply divine intervention.

      "Where we are now is not the result of thousands of years of accumulated knowledge..."

      It most certainly is. The wheel, harnessing fire, simple tools, domesticated horses, pigs, chickens, farming techniques, customs of social organization, religious beliefs, gender roles, political and legal customs, writing, and many other things are all the result of knowledge and beliefs that have been accumulating and changing for thousands of years, including through the European dark ages.

      "... where these progressions are often assumed to have been a gradual building process over the course of time."

      To the contrary, another misconception of evolution is that it has to occur gradually, in a linear fashion, over time. It certainly can, but it can also occur exponentially fast (for instance through a bottleneck). Indeed, I specifically referenced the difference between linear and exponential change in a system in my last comment.

      The fact that change in nature or in human civilization can occur or has occurred extremely quick does not in any way imply a divine intervention (which is what I have to assume you are implying).

      For a related example, let's take a period of extremely quick growth that we have a LOT more evidence of and are able to study in much greater detail: the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries (encompassing the Industrial Revolution and the Computer Revolution). This is a period where we went from an agricultural-based existence, to an industrial one, to a post-industrial one, in just a few centuries. Massive change in technology, social organization, culture and political systems happened in an astonishingly brief period of time, overturning systems and norms that had been firmly in place for many centuries to that point.

      Isn't it interesting that, for this period for which we have much more evidence and much greater knowledge than the original agricultural revolution, no theist seems to argue that this rapid, planet-wide change implies a divine presence? The God of the Gaps peaking at us once again?

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Secularist10,

      First I'd like to point out that this is just my reasoning for why I could never personally consider atheism a viable alternative, which is why I made sure to say that the Atheist viewpoint may very well stand on its own. These are just points I've found to have stimulated much more interesting discussions in these topics than the way these debates generally go. Much like this back and forth now, I find these discussions much more interesting and simply want to encourage that.

      You're right in that "the environment itself creates the funnel that all evolutionary changes moves through". I'm not arguing that point. It more has to do with the exact sequence of events (climate changes, a particular evolutionary bottleneck due most likely to the Toba volcanic eruption around 70k BC, the Sahara transitioning back and forth from green lands to desert acting as a kind of cattle-gate where human migration out of Africa is concerned, etc) and how they molded us. I see deliberate intent here, not through 'supernatural' means, but through purely natural ones.

      But reason #7 regarding the phenomenon of life would be my biggest objection where your point here is concerned. Yes the environment shaped life, but to say there does not have to be a conscious agent directing anything cannot be said absolutely as there is no viable explanation regarding what actually compelled life. If all living things were not inherently motivated to live and thrive and climb up on land and do everything else it did, the environment wouldn't matter. Until we understand that aspect of life and what pushed us through that funnel your statement cannot be made with absolute certainty.

      Understand, I want to make it clear that there is a conversation that can be had here, where both perspectives can use science as a tool to better understand. Science is neither the sole domain of theists or atheists. Science is simply science. It establishes what is objectively true. But not all things can be established as objectively true, especially those things that involve the non-physical mind, but it can more clearly define the boundary lines. To reach better understanding other approaches are necessary. If we hang all our hopes on the natural sciences alone, which is limited only to that which is material/observable/quantifiable, then that doesn't account for all that existence is (ex. the mind). Hence the other, much more subjective, branch of science, the social sciences. My approach is to, rather than dismiss what our ancestors injected into the discussion as irrelevant, to reconsider what all they had to say in the light of modern knowledge. In doing so I've actually formulated a hypothesis that I've found to offer much more viable possibilities where some of the more mysterious aspects of our history are concerned. An explanation that actually lines up quite nicely with the evidence in truly astonishing ways. But that's a whole other discussion that I've got a whole other series of hubs on. To put it simply, I have good reason to think this alternative approach could yield some truly useful information, and am trying to make a case for it.

      As for what you see as a contradiction, I'm basically saying the same thing you said. I'm making a distinction between physical changes in the physical brain and non-physical changes in the non-physical mind. The emergence of the ego is not something we can see in physical changes in the brain, so I'm looking for evidence of human behavioral changes to see when/how this hugely relevant change happened. We clearly evolved from the animal kingdom, so where and when exactly did we make the transition from animal to human? The 70k BC bottleneck and subsequent 'great leap forward', or 'upper paleolithic revolution', is one significant happening. This behavioral change I'm referring to here is another. See my hub https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/On-The-Ev... for a much more detailed look at human behavioral changes throughout our history.

      Regarding your statement that 'the strongest survived' in light of those behavioral changes, I don't entirely agree, but my disagreement is more of a technicality than anything. I don't see these behavioral changes as making us particularly 'stronger'. The difference I'm referring to is what separates 'civilized' humans from 'primal' or 'indigenous' humans. It's not that they're any less capable mentally, or weaker. The difference is they're simply content where we are fundamentally discontent. An enhanced ego drew a more distinct separation from our individual selves and the natural world around us, from one another, and even from our own physical bodies. Indigenous cultures have a much different attitude towards one another and towards possessions. They are more tribe-minded, having a much less distinct sense of individual self. They see territory, not as something to be owned, but belonging to all, much like the suns rays or the wind. A big part of what has compelled us is individual success, individual convenience, competition between individuals, etc. Though this is getting outside of the boundaries of this particular hub/discussion, this fundamental change is exactly the same thing as what's described in the Adam/Eve story (realizing their naked, becoming male-dominant, wisdom and knowledge of good/evil, etc). This change is what makes us modern humans who we are. And this same behavioral change was described by people of those ancient civilizations as well, like this description from the Roman poet Ovid ...

      "There broke out ... all manner of evil, and shame fled, and truth and faith. In place of these came deceits and trickery and treachery and force and the accursed love of possession ... And the land, hitherto a common possession like the light of the sun and the breezes, the careful surveyor now marked out with long boundary lines."

      There's a reason we 'civilized' humans began to take it upon ourselves to take land that we 'discovered' and enslave/kill the original inhabitants, though those original inhabitants were just as human as we are, at least physically.

      You're right in that the fall of Rome was not a total deletion. People beyond that age did benefit quite a bit from the inventions that came before. But the inventing and progression all but stopped, or at least paused, for numerous centuries. I think you and I are agreeing here. My point had more to do with your statement that where we are now is understandable because it was accumulated over the course of 5000 or more years. I'm just trying to show that it wasn't consistent progression throughout that time, but that the leaps forward happened in a much shorter timeframe; 4000-400 BC, then roughly 1400-Present. It's like you said here, not gradual, but ebbs and flows. Understand it's not a misconception I'm under about the workings of evolution. Assumed ignorance is another thing I'd like to try to get rid of in these discussions as I find them incredibly tedious, though I can certainly understand where those assumptions come from as I too often struggle in discussions with those of the pro-God/anti-science persuasion.

      The Industrial and Computer revolutions aren't exactly an accurate side by side comparison as the advancements that came from these were more directly related to the breakthroughs that caused them. Like machines that greatly increased the ability to mass produce, like the printing press and other such things. The same goes for the Computer revolution. That's what I was trying to point out about this previous age. The agricultural revolution, while it did allow for higher concentrated populations, was not as directly involved. Unlike those other revolutions, that did cause rapid and wide-spread advancements as you said, agriculture and the subsequent population density increases were much more wide-spread than the inventions and advancements that so set those ancient civilizations apart from the rest of the world in that age and long after.

      Yikes, I ran into a character limit, so I guess I'll stop here. This is why I can't twitter.

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Headly:

      "I see deliberate intent here, not through 'supernatural' means, but through purely natural ones."

      Well, anything is possible. But the whole sequence of events doesn't particularly strike me as unique in its own right (that is, no more significant than any other sequence of events). To think otherwise is to get into the very shaky territory of anthropocentrism.

      "... as there is no viable explanation regarding what actually compelled life."

      So on this topic, we can look at the theories of how life was created in the first place, for which there is compelling evidence and logic. This video (which is in reference to some fundamentalist Christians and evolution-deniers) gives a brief overview of the process: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8nYTJf62sE

      Basically, the first chemical components of early life automatically bonded together in specific ways, grew and replicated themselves without any external intervention. (Just as two hydrogen atoms automatically bond to an oxygen atom without external intervention, and so on.)

      Now, is this conclusive? Of course not. Nothing in science ever is. But it's certainly very interesting and we can already see tremendous evidence and discoveries that do not require an external designer.

      As for the strongest tribes surviving--yes, a more precise thing to say would be the "fittest" survived, or the most adaptable survived.

      "Unlike those other revolutions, that did cause rapid and wide-spread advancements as you said, agriculture and the subsequent population density increases were much more wide-spread than the inventions and advancements that so set those ancient civilizations apart from the rest of the world in that age and long after."

      Not exactly. Take, for example, the wheel. The wheel was invented in Mesopotamia and in Meso-America independently of each other. However it was only used for travel and productive activity in the former. In the latter, it was never anything more than a toy for children. Did this difference have an impact on those areas' respective fates? Without question.

      The difference probably started out small (putting wheels on a wagon to transport more fruit to the marketplace in Mesopotamia than in Meso-America), but eventually became massive (faster and deadlier armies conquering more land and killing more people in Mesopotamia than in Meso-America). But what was the ultimate germ of this massive difference? Probably some random person in Mesopotamia one day just noticed that the wheel could be used for a new purpose, and everything followed from there. And the wheel is just one example of course.

      So my point is that the real, original differences among would-be civilizations were often minor. But to see that fact, we need to go back deep into the history and see the real origins. These exceedingly subtle differences are masked by the eventual differences in outcomes, because we are looking at history after it has all finished.

      It's like looking at a marathon. At the finish line, there is a massive difference between the first place guy and, say, the fifth place guy, and between the fifth place and twentieth place, and so on. But these huge differentials are the culmination of many small and large events during the course of the race, starting with very tiny differences at the starting line (one guy reacted a 10th of a second quicker to the gun than the other guy).

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Secularist10,

      "the first chemical components of early life automatically bonded together in specific ways, grew and replicated themselves without any external intervention"

      Did you read the portion of this hub regarding the phenomenon of life? I actually talked about what's covered in that video, specifically. Again, I'm not looking for supernatural intervention. I'm sure that whatever the series of events, it was a purely 'natural' process not requiring any 'hands-on' intervening on the part of God. After all, He wouldn't be a very impressive creator if His creation required that He be directly involved in anything and everything that happens. What most intrigues me is the fact that all these ingredients were in place, in the right environment, with each component's 'natural tendencies' contributing to the process to result in something truly fantastical. Like the lipids that have a natural tendency to form spherical structures, for instance, then providing protection to the primordial RNA molecules that attracted them. Is that by design? Or is that simply just how things are? First came the blue-green algae that formed abundantly in the seas and, through photosynthesis, created the earth's oxygenated atmosphere that all subsequent life then lived on. Aquatic photosynthesis, a process that requires both oceans and light, which just so happen to be the first two things mentioned in the creation account just beyond the heavens and the earth (v2&3).

      But what I'm speaking of is the phenomenon of life itself. No matter how simple or complex, an organism is biologically defined as alive if it exhibits no less than 6 specific characteristics; homeostasis, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli, and reproduction. All living things, from the simplest single-celled organisms to the most complex of multi-celled, exhibit a natural tendency to not just survive, but thrive. To grow, perpetuate, and to become something more. When it's dead it's dead. So what is life? At the molecular level there is no structural difference between living and dead organic matter. Yet when it's alive there's all these characteristics. So what animates animate matter? What is life? Whatever it is, it's the engine that drove evolution. Yet, biologically, these are all simply taken as a 'given'.

      As for "anthropocentrism", well, I had to look that one up. But there's good reason to think there's something to that. Think about this, our ability to reason, and then choose our behavior through reason, makes us very much unique, not just amongst the living things on this planet, but throughout the known universe. Everything else, as science has illustrated, behaves in very particular ways. It's 'natural tendencies' dictate its behavior, which is why we're able to understand so well. Even in the animal kingdom, while it may be difficult to predict the behavior of an individual animal not knowing all the parameters, like how hungry they are or maybe how close you've tread to the off-spring they're protecting, but overall a horse is a horse, of course of course. Sorry, couldn't resist. A cow is a cow. You know what to expect. But humans, since the very age I'm speaking of, began to behave contrary to nature, rather than harmoniously with it. We began to learn it, then manipulate it, to bend it to our will. Which is, in fact, what those first couple of chapters of Genesis are describing. It begins with all of God's creation becoming what He wills it to be without question. Let the dry land appear, let the waters gather together in one place, let the seas bring forth this and that, become this and that, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Then comes chapter two. These two aren't told so exactly what to do. They're simply given one rule what not to do, and they did it anyway. The creator of the universe, who simply spoke existence into being, who's word was followed by all of creation to the letter, set just one rule and they broke it. That's what's significant about them. Free will. A will apart from God's. A capability to behave contrary to God. This would be the equivalent of deciding of your own volition to, instead of falling down like everything else, you're going to be different and fall up. No matter the vastness of the universe, no matter the time span that life has existed, and no matter how short a time we've been here or how small a grain of sand we might be on this vast beach of a universe, that is something that even an all-powerful creator of the universe would have significant interest in. That's the meaning of life, so to speak. And that's the primary theme throughout the bible, human behavior. So, though this goes a bit beyond the scope of this hub, you taught me a new word and I felt compelled to share my thoughts on it.

      I see the point you're making about just how much subtle differences can accumulate over time to make significant differences. But it's just this sort of thing that kept me coming back to the creator idea. There's a lot of this kind of speculation that could maybe explain this or that. And that may full well be the case, but I find it difficult to just dismiss some of the more mysterious, yet vital, developments of our human history to a bunch of 'maybes'. Like in this case. We know for certain that the Sumerians were probably one of the most prolific people throughout all of human history where inventions were concerned. Their list of 'firsts' is truly staggering. And not just things like the wheel, but the first system of government, the first laws, mathematics, astronomy, a system of writing, as well as the wheel, stringed instruments, frying pans, kilns for mud-fired bricks and pottery, and on and on. Yet we don't see the kind of progressive steps towards these things you'd expect. And when their system of writing became sophisticated enough to allow them to finally write and record the oral stories of their civilization regarding their ancient past and how they came to be as they were, they didn't give credit to their ancestors as being so incredibly inventive. They say they were taught. By gods. Male and female gods who lived among them, who were moody and unpredictable, and who they say actually mated with mortal humans. The same goes for the Egyptians, and the Greeks, and the Romans, and the HIttites, and the Canaanites, and so on. Which is exactly what the beginning of Genesis describes.

      So, at what point do we finally admit that what all is required for us to be here as we are goes a bit beyond pure causal happenstance? Our 'just so' universe, our 'just so' planet with it's 'just so' orbit, rotation, tilt, etc? The just so conditions and 'natural tendencies' of the elements involved that resulted in the abiogenesis of life? The 'just so' series of events that led to us existing at all?

      That's why I wrote this. Each one you can maybe make a case for, though they often end up being a bunch of 'maybes' once you get down into the specifics. But all together? It's the combination of all of these that most makes it impossible for me to accept the atheist viewpoint.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      But your own position, as you admit, is itself a bunch of "maybes" as well.

      Yes, I read that section of the article, and based on that and your comment here, it seems you understand all the science but it just doesn't satisfy you on some level. You seem to be searching for a "problem" where there isn't one. It's all explainable on some level.

      Even Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."

      That's not to say we should stop asking questions. Curiosity is the fuel of life. But perhaps you should consider if you aren't asking the wrong kinds of questions, or in the wrong kind of way. More on that in a moment.

      In the article you said:

      "Given the extensive timeline and the large number of molecules that would have existed, it's not necessarily impossible, but definitely improbable. Add to that everything else and it becomes exceedingly difficult to see how life could have just 'come about'."

      When you look at all the molecules in the universe, that makes sense. And indeed, life is indeed extremely rare--we don't see it anywhere else among many trillions upon trillions of molecules in the observable universe (yet). So in that context, the logic and the empirical observation agree: life is very improbable. But even an extremely improbable thing, in a universe this vast, will probably happen somewhere, at some point.

      The Law of Large Numbers indicates that even if an event has an extremely low probability of occurring, with enough trials or iterations in the process, it *will* eventually happen, at some point. And we certainly have a large number of molecules in the universe, which have been here for a very, very long time.

      Moreover, if we narrow our focus, the likelihood of life occurring spontaneously actually increases dramatically. So instead of looking at all the molecules that exist, we look only at all the planets (which cuts down the number of molecules in play by probably something like 99% or more). Then we can look at all the planets with specific elements in their atmosphere or in their crust (nitrogen, carbon, for example). After just a few adjustments like these, the likelihood of life occurring somewhere in the system increases massively.

      So here's an analogy: what is the likelihood that a human being will travel into space by the end of the 20th century? Clearly, extremely low. Out of all the billions and billions of people to ever exist before 1999, it's almost impossible that one of them will travel into space. But when we narrow the set of conditions being considered just slightly, the probability increases dramatically: out of all the people to ever exist in industrialized societies for example, what is the probability? Or out of all the people to ever exist in nation-states with standing armies, what is the probability? Much higher.

      Narrowing the set of conditions like this helps us to see that an event whose probability is negligible on the surface, suddenly becomes quite possible with the right set of circumstances. And sure enough, someone went into space in 1961 (Yuri Gagarin of the USSR).

      The way we look at the problem makes all the difference.

      "So what animates animate matter?"

      It just seems to be the nature of the molecules and the chemicals in question.

      All of the questions you have asked have answers. I think what you're really asking is the classic all-time question of supernatural believers: why? Why should there be a universe at all? Why did life come into being? For what purpose/ mission? And so on.

      Since the factual "how" questions are all answered by natural science or logic, I think this is what your position really boils down to. This is why you keep asking questions that have already been answered--because you are searching for some other kind of understanding.

      And what is interesting is that theists (and supernaturalists generally) have a deep, abiding need for a "purpose greater than humanity" so to speak. Whereas we non-theists do not. Most of us do accept the need for a purpose, but we are perfectly content with that purpose--and the "whys" of human experience--originating from within the human mind itself, and not originating from outside of us.

      So this is where anthropocentrism comes in. It's very appropriate for the "why" issues like morality, ethics, meaning, aesthetics, purpose, fulfillment, happiness, etc. But your mistake is to transfer this anthropocentric perspective to the external, non-human world where it does not belong--to questions that are better answered by physics, chemistry or astronomy.

      "We know for certain that the Sumerians were probably one of the most prolific people throughout all of human history... Yet we don't see the kind of progressive steps towards these things you'd expect."

      But I don't expect such a progressive gradualism. I know that human nature is actually better explained by nonlinear ideas like Chaos Theory, the Butterfly Effect or the Pareto Principle (if you don't know what they are, look them up, it's very interesting and valuable), rather than linear analysis. In fact the same is true of life in general.

      Perhaps the most straightforward example is population growth: it never follows a linear progression (steady, gradual, etc). It always follows an exponential progression. This is where population explosions and collapses come from. So we start with a very small number of people, they make an agricultural innovation that increases the number of calories they have access to, which leads to rapid (nonlinear) population growth.

      This process has been repeated many times as people developed more effective and higher-yield agricultural techniques. This advance in agriculture is principally why it took thousands of years for the world population to reach 1 billion, but then just over 100 years to go from 1 billion to 2 billion, and then just 33 years after that to reach 3 billion. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population_mile... )

      Another example from human nature is financial markets: in freely traded markets, we see a continual pattern of boom and bust. Not steady, progressive behavior.

      "So, at what point do we finally admit that what all is required for us to be here as we are goes a bit beyond pure causal happenstance?"

      When there is a reason to. As of yet, there is no reason to. The empirical evidence and logic all enable us to understand everything without the need for a god or gods.

      There is also another important aspect to this. The idea that we humans need divine "assistance" to achieve great things. How odd, don't you think? It's as if we are not enough. Not smart enough, not shrewd enough, not creative enough. We need external assistance. This is one of the things I find most offensive and most tragic about religion. The denial of true human potential. The Sumerians on their own could not have done these amazing things, no--they had to have help from special beings with magical powers. I think that's a very unfortunate way of thinking. It's much more empowering to say "we can do this, this is possible for us."

      You're a smart individual, well-read and whatnot. Like I said, I think this is not really about explaining the unexplainable at all--this is about your need or desire for "something more." For mystery, meaning, purpose. For poetry and not just prose.

      And that's a noble pursuit. We need meaning and beauty in life. We need all these things. Human experience does not begin and end with chemical equations. But that robust meaning and beauty will not be found in discussions about physics and chemistry, fascinating though the insights generated may be.

      (The good news is that the world of godlessness offers plenty of material for purpose, meaning and beauty. Though most theists do not realize it, preferring instead to view atheists as nihilistic, passionless drones who see only darkness and emptiness in the world.)

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Secularist10,

      "it seems you understand all the science but it just doesn't satisfy you on some level. You seem to be searching for a "problem" where there isn't one. It's all explainable on some level."

      I don't have a problem with the science as the 'how' satisfies me. And 'why' isn't the question I'm addressing here, as I know from the atheist/god-less existence standpoint there is no 'why'. It's more a matter of the convenience of the details.

      Take the beginning of life as an example. The 'natural tendency' of hydrogen cyanide and ammonia to form one of the four nucleotides of DNA, adenine (when ribose and phosphate groups are attached). The 'natural tendency' of the clay in which they existed to be the perfect catalyst for forming polynucleotide chains. The 'natural tendency' of the lipids that also existed in that same clay to form mi-cell spherical structures when they bind together, and their 'natural tendency' to be attracted to these primordial RNA chains, providing protection. Add to that the 'natural tendency' of some of these polynucleotides to replicate themselves, though not always exactly, and evolution is off and running. So, my issue is simple. Does it not seem just the least bit convenient that the 'natural tendencies' of all these various components work together in such a way, and that they all existed together in an environment optimal for these components to do their thing, that when they come together they collectively become something far greater than the sum of their individual parts?

      It's these 'natural tendencies' that are often dismissed as 'the way it is' that is my issue. Like your response to my question 'what is life'? You said that it just seems to you to be the nature of the molecules and the chemicals in question. These are the 'givens' as far as science is concerned. That's just how they behave. Just as it's the 'nature' of matter binding together as it does in the environment created by the very exact natural laws of this universe that form stars and planetary systems. I don't have a problem with 'how' it happened. I just have a hard time reducing all these 'natural tendencies' down to simply being 'just how it is' in a godless/design-less existence.

      "The empirical evidence and logic all enable us to understand everything without the need for a god or gods."

      It's my logic that struggles with accepting that all these 'natural tendencies' are not the product of a deliberate designer.

      "Like I said, I think this is not really about explaining the unexplainable at all--this is about your need or desire for "something more." For mystery, meaning, purpose. For poetry and not just prose."

      There may be something to that. Aside from being an amateur science/history nerd and enthusiast, I'm also an artist and musician. And as an artist I'm constantly striving to tap into those bits of our subconscious selves not easily conveyed through our limited and clunky forms of communication. To create something that speaks to people on a deeper level. To convey an intangible sense or feeling to the viewer or the listener, to make them feel what I was feeling in the moment when I created it, not through words, or just words in the case of lyrics, but on a deeper level.

      And when the one side of my brain insists that all we are is just the material matter we are made up of, the end result of the logical conclusions that I reach through that way of looking at things troubles the artist and the human in me. The atheist viewpoint reduces all the things I try to tap into as an artist down to 'unintended' bi-products of our evolution. I know 'unintended' isn't the correct word, but I think you get what I mean. The way music and art can move us, the way a particularly beautiful sunset or rainbow (or a double rainbow?) can make us feel. These things that so enrich our lives can be nothing more than artifacts of a cold, callous, indifferent process.

      The same goes for the simple fact that the meaning and purpose we assign to our lives, if we are not the product of a deliberate designer with a deliberate plan, can be nothing more than an illusion of our own making to pacify ourselves because that truth can be so hard for us to accept. That we are ultimately nothing more than an anomaly that sprang up for an instant in a ripple passing along the surface of a pool, that ultimately dissipates long before the the ripple does, no matter how we behaved or what great things we may have accomplished along the way. As an artist, as a human, I find that really difficult to swallow. And that in itself, the fact that I am troubled by these things, I also cannot reconcile in a purely causal sense. Why do I care?

      Plus, there's the issue of free will. If reality is nothing more than the material matter we are made up of, if there is no non-physical/spiritual element of the self, no soul, then everything we are and everything we do can be nothing more than the 'natural tendencies' of the material stuff we're made of. We can't possibly have a free will. Free will too would be nothing more than an illusion. Because our brains work as they do, considering potential outcomes, remembering prior situations, and employing logic and reason to arrive at the 'best' choice to make, it makes it seem as though we actually had a choice, when in reality matter can only behave as it behaves. Matter can't decide on its own to fall up instead of down. In a purely material existence, everything we do, everything humanity has ever done, you and I having this conversation right now, is the only way it could have been. Simply a series of causes, with us being nothing more than passive observers of the process.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      "So, my issue is simple. Does it not seem just the least bit convenient that the 'natural tendencies' of all these various components work together in such a way... that when they come together they collectively become something far greater than the sum of their individual parts?"

      But what are you getting at? Isn't this another way of saying "there seems to be a deeper purpose to all this"? A deeper purpose which would of course be supplied by the divine. If it's not all spontaneous and directionless, then that implies that it was planned and intentional.

      So my point was that it's the question that is often asked by theists of "why" in the broad sense. They say things like "why did life come into existence?" To which I like to say "why do you ask?" In other words, why do you *assume* that there was a reason for it? That's the real interesting question.

      To say "it's all just too perfect" doesn't seem like a very useful response. A vast, lifeless universe with an almost negligible speck of life in it--does that seem perfectly designed? If the goal of the designer was to create life, he certainly took his sweet time--tens of billions of years. And he certainly likes his legroom--a universe this big with this much empty and needless space.

      Remember that just because it seems odd or weird to you or me, is irrelevant. For instance, is it at all intuitively pleasing that the earth is round? It certainly wasn't to me when I learned that as a child. It seems pretty obvious that the earth is flat when I look out the window.

      The sheer enormity of the distances and timescales in play when we look up into the universe (billions of years, tens of billions of light years, stars that are billions of times heavier than our sun, etc) should give us pause before we resort to our intuition when trying to figure it all out.

      We cannot even comfortably comprehend just how insignificant we are in relation to our own sun, how can we even begin to impose our "gut" feelings on the nature of reality?

      Fascinatingly, even the tendency to believe in the supernatural itself has been shown to have genetic, hormonal and environmental influences. So our intuitive feelings and biases are quite suspect in their own right, to say the least.

      "The atheist viewpoint reduces all the things I try to tap into as an artist down to 'unintended' bi-products of our evolution... These things that so enrich our lives can be nothing more than artifacts of a cold, callous, indifferent process."

      I, for one, choose to see the glass as half-full, not half-empty.

      The fact is, we are here now. We are completely in control of what direction we go. I find that extraordinarily empowering. What I would find distressing is the idea that this is all just a puppet show with a Big Man behind the scenes pulling the strings with plans and designs and goals that are impenetrable to us (yes, even if one believes in God, it is still impossible to know what God really wants or who he is, for straightforward logical reasons which I can expound upon separately). I would find that far more distressing than the notion that we are masters of our own destiny and our own purpose, capable of molding the world, and ourselves, to match our dreams and desires.

      It's often said that if there is no God, then humanity becomes God. I find that an extraordinary and encouraging prospect. The power is in our hands.

      Children need a "Father." I do not believe we are children, nor have we ever been--we just didn't realize it.

      "The same goes for the simple fact that the meaning and purpose we assign to our lives, if we are not the product of a deliberate designer with a deliberate plan, can be nothing more than an illusion of our own making to pacify ourselves because that truth can be so hard for us to accept. That we are ultimately nothing more than an anomaly..."

      Why? Why must it be an "illusion"? On what basis? Why is it that, just because it comes from us and not from some other sentient being, it is less legitimate?

      Are one man's dreams and goals and desires less "legitimate" or an "illusion" simply because he is powerless and penniless compared to the tyrant of the land? Is the tyrant, who may have even *created* that kingdom that the penniless man lives in--are his goals and purposes less of an "illusion" than the latter? Why?

      Don't you find it interesting that God gets to have all this great stuff--meaning, purpose, direction, etc--just because he is so powerful and the creator of it all? Why? What makes him so special? Just because he made it? Who has a more sacred purpose, the maker of a car, or the person who buys that car and uses it to transport food to the needy?

      Where does God's legitimacy come from, truly? You see, the problem is that all of the objections you might have to a human-centered purpose all apply to a God-centered purpose as well. You have simply moved the line and begged the question. If the question on the table is "where does purpose come from," that question does not go away when you shift the purpose to another source.

      If you say "God's purpose comes from God," if that can work for God, then, logically, why can't humanity's purpose come from humanity?

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Keep in mind I've only been discussing why a god-less existence doesn't jive in my mind. I've tried to stay in the context of the hub and not venture into that territory, so I have intentionally steered clear of the 'why', but it all makes perfect sense to me. And it's the science side of the equation that really brings it all home, in my eyes. To put it simply, it has everything to do with free will.

      Time and space are irrelevant from God's perspective. To quote what you said, "Remember that just because it seems odd or weird to you or me, is irrelevant". The same goes here. God, if He created the universe, exists apart from it. Time and space, just like everything else in this universe, is finite and relative to the perspective of the observer. From God's perspective, if He exists apart from this universe, He exists outside of space and time as we perceive it. There would be no span of space between here and there and no span of time between then and now. There's just what does and doesn't exist. And from our perspective, God exists exactly the same, unchanged, in every moment, everywhere.

      If everything in existence is the product of a single creator's singular will, then everything works in accordance to one, singular, unchanging set of laws because God doesn't change and is unaffected by time. But when there are other wills involved, that means there are things that exist that are not 'of God', but are 'of us'. This is all incredibly consistent with the story the bible is telling and the God it describes, yet can only really be grasped and understood in the past century or so. First comes creation, with everything becoming what He wills it to be. Including the humans made in 'their likeness'. Then, at the end, He deems all He made 'good'. Including the humans who He commanded to 'be fruitful and multiply, fill/subdue the earth, and establish dominance in the animal kingdom', which is exactly what homo sapiens did between roughly 200k and 10k years ago. Then comes 'day 7', then Adam.

      The Adam story can be read much like an experiment, a test. God forms this being, places him in a garden, and the very first thing He does is He brings the animals to Adam to see what he'll call them. Just something as simple as creating a name for an animal is Adam creating something in this universe that up to that point was entirely 'of God'. Then God puts Adam and Eve in a very test-like scenario, where they're free to do anything except eat from that one tree. When they ate from that tree, that's when it happened. That's the very first time anything in all of God's creation did something the creator said don't do. It's the first time something acted contrary to God. That's when the separation happened. That's when 'the eyes of both of them were opened'. The first thing they do is realize they're naked. This is incredibly significant. They became more acutely self-aware. This is the behavioral change seen in history. And it propagated just like it's described. It first came in two individuals and passed on to off-spring. Then Cain was banished and it says he built a city.

      The first appearance of 'patrist' behaviors came in the Ubaid culture (5500-4000BC) of southern Mesopotamia, 2000 years before the first civilization of Sumer formed, in that same place. According to the Sumerians, there were five 'pre-flood' city-states, the first being Eridu. This is where they say they received the 'gifts of civilization'. According to them, there was a patron god of that city named Enki. Each of these city-states, which have been found, were built with a temple at the center that the patron god of each physically inhabited, according to the Sumerians. It's these temples that show the first signs of patrism because this was the first occurrence of a human settlement with a ruling and working class. The Ubaid culture lasted roughly 1500 years and ended abruptly for still not clearly understood reasons, which is the same length of time that passed between Cain's banishment and the flood. Both the Sumerian King's List and Genesis say that the Sumerian city of Uruk was founded not long after the flood. Archaeologically, the Uruk culture (3800-3000BC) begins just after the Ubaid culture, in the same region, named after the actual Uruk. Right around that same time comes a climatological shift known as the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900 BC) where the Sahara transformed back to desert. This actually did cause massive human migrations, where many migrated to river valleys like the Tigris/Euphrates, the Nile, and the Indus Valley. Then came Sumer (3500BC), then Egypt to the west (3400BC), then the Indus Valley culture to the east(3300BC), plus Akkad sometime before 3000 BC to the north. Multiple civilizations that formed independently of one another, each with their own unique language, and each, with the exception of Akkad, developed their own systems of writing. The first mythological story is dated to 2700BC, nearly 1000 years later. And according to not just the Sumerians, but also the Egyptians, the Indus Valley (though their language hasn't been deciphered), the Greeks, and Romans, there were gods that existed in their ancient past, male and female, who were moody and unpredictable and often mated with humans, making demi-gods. Gilgamesh, the first Sumerian 'hero' was a demi-god. And these mythologies also talk of a golden age before humans became 'evil', 'forceful', deceitful, and when we gained the 'accursed love of possession'.

      According to Genesis, the flood came because the 'sons of God' (Adam and the gang) began to have children with the 'daughters of humans' (Gen6:1-3). 'Mortal' humans. That's when it says humanity became wicked. That's when it says 'God regretted putting humans on the earth'. Then came the flood. So, God created creatures that had their own will capable of behaving contrary to Him, then they began to of their own will mate with the humans He created, which caused Him to regret putting them here. Free will is a powerful thing. We really do have control. We really are responsible for what we do. We really are capable of great things. But we're also capable of the opposite. It really is our choice. That's 'why'. God created a finite environment to create a very volatile element, free will. And He chose to introduce it in a place that's the geological equivalent of a storm drain. We really are a big deal.

      Basically, a God capable of creation would have 3 choices. No existence, an existence where everything adheres to his one will, or a creation that consists of beings with their own wills and own minds. If everything adheres to His one will then it would work like a body works, with all these components working in accordance to a single DNA code. Free will would be the equivalent of a cell in your body that adheres to its own unique DNA. And each cell that forms from that would then behave according to its own, and so on. Before long this would be a serious problem. If we're to exist in all eternity, then we have to first of our own free will choose to acknowledge the creator's authority and His rules. That's what the whole thing is about. It has to be our choice because of 'free will', but to participate we would have to choose to acknowledge Him.

      The whole story of the bible is about human behavior being out of whack with the creator. And if there's one thing science has driven home, it's that behavior in the natural world is incredibly consistent. So much so that by watching how matter behaves we can define clear laws mathematically. We can actually trace the causal change back billions of years to the very beginning. Our ability to behave contrary to nature, of our own volition, is a big deal. There's a rover on mars that's of our will. Satellites orbiting the planet. Music and art and incredible skyscrapers born 'of us'. But there's also horrendous things. The power really is in our hands. It's a gift. But it's also an enormous responsibility. We don't have the perspective to fully understand the far-reaching affects of what we do, but we've learned it can be catastrophic. Our history is one long story of what not to do.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      Holy Mythical Moses! I was just stopping by to read your latest post, but then realized I stumbled into 3 Hubs worth in the primary material, then the equivalent to 7 Hubs in the comment field. Uh, I'll just check back later on when I have time for a novel; ha!

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Yeah, I know. This is why I could never twitter. Character limits are the bane of my existence. Come back when you have the time to read my latest novel and let me know what you think. I always enjoy your replies. They're very .... spirited.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      "Our history is one long story of what not to do."

      Well, you're a ray of sunshine, lol. I see, once again, the glass half-full. History is full of wondrous and amazing achievements, innovations and advancements. Have their been tragedies and terrible mistakes? Certainly. But the good has clearly outweighed the bad, otherwise we would not be here now in the most advanced state yet achieved for human beings.

      The story of Adam and the similarities with other mythologies are all very interesting. Indeed, the similarities among ancient belief systems support the idea that (1) human experience is pretty much the same everywhere (with the same problems and challenges, desires, ambitions, fears, dramas, etc), and (2) the trade routes in ancient Eurasia carried ideas and beliefs over large distances.

      Even something like a flood motif--perhaps there was a massive flood that multiple daughter cultures remembered for centuries thereafter. But even if there was not a single flood that fed the mythologies and belief systems of many individual cultures, flooding is one of the most destructive forces possible for human civilizations, and the threat of flooding is shared among almost all cultures because most cultures are in temperate areas of the globe where flooding is possible (i.e. not deserts or arctic tundra).

      So it would not be surprising if a flood motif seeped into many individual creation stories and mythologies.

      Needless to say, the supernatural underpinnings of your belief system are something I don't share. But that's another discussion altogether (does God exist, logical problems, how can we understand God, etc).

      I will say though, that it's easy to look at science and history and then look at the Bible, and say "Aha! The Biblical stories are right in-line with our most advanced understanding," because (a) hindsight is 20/20, and (b) there are many unscientific elements of the Biblical story that are ignored. (Muslims do the same thing with the Quran.)

      "Time and space are irrelevant from God's perspective. To quote what you said, "Remember that just because it seems odd or weird to you or me, is irrelevant". The same goes here. God, if He created the universe, exists apart from it."

      Fair enough. But the question remains (your favorite question of course): why? Why create all this space and time? That still requires an explanation, even if God was responsible.

      This is right in the vein of an argument atheists have been making for ages: to explain the "how" of the universe's creation with "God did it" is to beg the question. How did God do it? How did it actually happen? One can't simply appeal to God and assume their job is done. These are questions that theists have never been able to answer, and with good reason.

      "And if there's one thing science has driven home, it's that behavior in the natural world is incredibly consistent."

      Perhaps to an advanced alien race, human beings' behavior would be incredibly consistent too. But since we're in the middle of it all, and our minds and self-understanding is limited, we can't see it as well. (Although, we certainly can see our own history repeating over and over and over again. It would seem human nature is pretty damn consistent itself.)

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Don't get me wrong, I see the good stuff too. I'm not demonizing humanity. I'm a humanity fan. Free will is all the best AND worst of humanity. The good stuff isn't the issue. Art, music, architecture, science, mathematics, etc. That's all a product of free will too. It's free will that makes this progression towards this "most advanced state" we've achieved possible. And free will also means WE actually achieved it. Just like it says in the Babel story...

      "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them."

      Free will is a gift that's well worth having. It's a hugely powerful capability. But like we've all learned from our superhero movies, "with great power comes great responsibility". It's the capability of the bad that's the problem. It's our destructive tendencies. It's the history that, as you said, repeats over and over again that's the problem. We've got some really bad habits that perpetuate over numerous generations that are of our own making.

      Yes, ideas like the commonalities between various flood myths could be associated to the trade routes. But in the case of the Genesis account and the Mesopotamian Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian story it's most likely talking specifically about the flood dated to roughly 4000BC, marked by a silt deposit that literally cut off the Ubaid culture in Ur. Both Genesis and the Sumerian texts show the city-state of Uruk being established not long after the flood they're speaking of, which was established in that same region roughly 3800BC. In the context of the Babel story, this too would offer an explanation about the wide-spread commonalities in flood myths. But where the mythologies involving male and female immortal gods who interbred with humans are concerned, they're very specific to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and eastern/western Europe. It could be that they all dealt with what they didn't understand in the same way by fabricating very similar stories about these mythological beings independently of one another, as is the common view today, or it could be that they're all basically talking about the same actual beings, having all shared a very similar past. I'd go so far as to say this is the more likely explanation.

      I understand how you would think what I'm doing is basically 'retro-fitting' modern knowledge to the bible. That could very well be the case if I were taking a particularly vague passage or two and attributing them to any number of historical happenings. But I'm not talking about a vague passage or two. I'm talking about the first 11 chapters in their entirety lining up chronologically, listing specific events in the right order, detailing the same number of centuries between each event, with the impact of each event being clearly seen in the evidence and matching what's described. No amount of mental gymnastics and hoop-jumping would make that work if there wasn't genuinely something to it.

      You seem to be associating the atheist viewpoint as one and the same with the naturalist viewpoint of science. Where science is concerned it's merely a necessity. The natural sciences only deal in the material. And this is by no means specific to the atheist viewpoint. Remember it was predominantly theists, Christians specifically, who were the forefathers of modern science and who first established the natural/material based methods of science in the first place. Where science is concerned I agree that simply dismissing something as 'God did it' halts progress.

      But what I'm talking about is an existential viewpoint that includes the entirety of existence. Science is merely a tool, but is ill-equipped to account for the entirety of existence. The mind, for example, by all intents and purposes as far as the natural sciences are concerned, doesn't exist. You can't observe it or measure it. Scientifically it is undetectable. If we did not each experience the mind for ourselves, there'd be no indication of what's really going on inside the physical brain by merely observing it. No matter the means or the technology. And if there's at least one thing that exists that cannot be accounted for, it stands to reason it's not the only thing. Yet the mind is also part of existence.

      Where science is concerned the materialist viewpoint is sufficient. Necessary even. However, in existential matters it would not be wise to hang the entirety of your grasp of reality on the natural sciences alone. Just the unobservable mind, and things born of the unobservable mind, warrant an entire other branch of science. The social sciences. if the mind weren't such an exception, there'd be no need for psychology or psychiatry or sociology or any of the others.

      So, I'm not 'begging the question' in a scientific context. I'm looking to better understand the entirety of existence. The 'why'. The 'meaning of life'. I'm not looking to prove to others empirically and objectively what I believe. I'm simply explaining why I can't logically accept a god-less existence, and how I see creation in the context in which I believe, where God does exist. I'm showing that belief in God doesn't require relinquishing logic or common sense or science, and why, at least in my view, it's the more logical choice.

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      DK 3 years ago from London

      @Headly Von Noggin,

      Sorry if I'm chiming my response back at a bad time, others seem to have assigned themselves onto your hub too!

      Just a thought on what you said to me though,

      I find that what you see as extraordinary or unbelievable, that is, our abilities to invent technology and social systems (as exemplified by the Mesopotamians and the short period you referred to) to me is actually very appealing.

      It is feasible that after we fought off our natural rivals and no longer faced the common problems of the wild (food, weather), we were able to use our linguistic skills to efficiently transfer information to each other. And after strong communication is established and something unknown to the other animals was introduced: 'leisure time', of course humans would start using their abilities to make connections between pieces of information (leading to math, astronomy etc.)

      In the end it is just a matter of having the time to recall and make links between pieces of information.

      Why were the humans the only ones to develop such strong linguistic and social tendencies is a big question. There were stronger, shorter humans who had larger brain capacities and tool making capacities, but they could not adapt to the new colder environments and due to their short stature died out, Perhaps the humans even helped and killed them off themselves.

      It seems that there is grounds to assume that whatever emerging pack hominids there were, us humans would have had an interest in killing them off.

      An interesting question to you would be this:

      If you accept that there was evolution of hominids and also believe that there is a higher power that intervened to make us more superior than all the others, why then do you think it was us that were chosen?

      More importantly, what would be the purpose of leaving thousands of years of evolution to a race of beings that you yourself would in the end improve personally.

      Why not skip the middleman, the fighting and extinction that took place to achieve what we are today, and just... make us?

      It seems once again that the only conclusion we can make is this: if there was a higher power intervening, he was a cruel one.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Hey Philanthropy2012, not a bad time at all. I always appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

      See, this is why I too am so intrigued by the leaps forward of the people of this age/region. A big part of the appeal is the fact that it's in such a specific place and time. One of the issues with some of the things you're proposing is that they're not specific to this place and time. The agricultural revolution brought the ability to settle to all of humanity the world over. The conditions of this particular environment were in no way unique, yet the result was very much unique.

      Regarding linguistic skills, it's believed that the Neanderthal, and even the parent species of both homo sapiens and Neanderthal, homo Heidelbergensis, were able to communicate based on the fact that their ears were capable of discerning the frequencies of sound associated with human speech. How strong these capabilities were, of course, is difficult to discern.

      Leisure time, however, was not new. I used to think the same thing, that the hunter-gatherer lifestyle must have been a lot of work. But it turns out that hunter-gatherer tribes actually had quite a bit of leisure time. We only got as busy as we are when we began to build communities. The bigger the community, the more work. We today only wish we had the leisure time of the typical hunter-gatherer.

      The Neanderthal, who I assume is who you're referring to as being shorter, stronger, and having larger brains. They did not, however, match us in tool-making capabilities. And their brain, though larger, was larger in the back as they had very sloped foreheads and a much smaller frontal cortex. And they did adapt to the colder climates of Europe for over 100 thousand years. It wasn't until the mass migrations of homo sapiens out of Africa that they got pushed out of existence.

      These are some of the reasons why I find the idea of a more pronounced ego so fascinating. Considering we did in fact come from the animal kingdom, and considering we used to migrate and hunt like other species, at what point did we become human? It's the behavioral change that came just before the onset of inventions and discoveries that I think is the key. DeMeo describes it as the psychological concept known as 'armouring'. Steve Taylor talks about it as the emergence of the modern human ego. Whatever it was it had a significant impact, and actually does offer a rather intriguing explanation as to why humans began doing all the things they did, and why it's beginnings were so geographically specific. Especially if it was genetic.

      An enhanced ego would not make us, necessarily, better or more superior. Just more self-aware and self-interested. Where before humans were simply content and didn't want or need anything beyond their means, we do want more than we need. We try to assure stability. Insurance. We try to assure life tomorrow will be just as stable as today. We don't live in harmony with nature. We rebel against it. Try to control it. They say necessity is the mother of invention. I say we first had to realize these things were a 'necessity'.

      For more on this you can either read my hub series (part1/2) called "On the Evolution of the Human Mind and the Origin of Free Will". I track first the evolution of the brain itself, then the move towards physical, then behavioral, modernity. Or look into ...

      - 'Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World' by James DeMeo

      - The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era' by Steve Taylor

      As for your question, technically, according to the story, we weren't chosen. The only reason we humans got involved is because the 'sons of God' saw that the 'daughters of humans' were beautiful, and married any of them they chose (Gen6:1-3). Then, at Babel, notice that God is basically saying, "Check out what these 'children of men' are doing". Humans, us, we were made day 6 of creation when it says "let us make humans in our image and likeness". But we didn't yet have free will as homo sapiens did exactly what they were told according to the story, "be fruitful/multiply, fill/subdue the earth, establish dominance in the animal kingdom". It wasn't until Adam that things went haywire.

      As for why didn't God just 'make' us, I think it again has to do with free will. A will capable of behaving apart from the creator of the universe is a big deal. It makes us 'unnatural'. Like those bits in the bible where God's physical manifestation was too much for our physical form, like Moses' face glowing after seeing God, or the people who died entering the Tabernacle where the Ark was. There's a very real separation there.

      We humans tend to see death and struggle as a bad thing. Cruel. But is it really? Death gives life urgency. Makes moments matter. And fighting and struggle makes us who we are. It molds us. Have you ever seen a tree grow where there is no wind? It just grows straight and weak. It's the wind continually breaking that tree down that gives it its strength. And it's the struggle and eventual death of life that makes what we do matter. Choices have real consequences.

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      DK 3 years ago from London

      Ah you reject my arguments very well HeadlyvonNoggin and this time it was me that feels uninformed!

      Upon further reading I found one very appealing explanation for 'behavioural modernity' (which I also found out was the name of what we're talking about!).

      Modern humans came about 100,000 years ago, whilst it took 60,000 years for us to begin showing these modern human characteristics.

      The idea, then, is that a genetic mutation of the brain occurred within those competitive 60,000 years that allowed us greater sociability and other cognitive abilities.

      Now, there is nothing that says evolution only changes us in a minor way just enough so that we can barely survive. It is feasible that the change gave us a very large advantage - I feel there's not really a strong argument in saying "but why was the advantage such overkill" for this reason.

      You might ask "what then was the mutation in the brain" and to this I can only speculate a minor chemical change in the shape of neurons that allowed them to connect more efficiently.

      It has been shown that the fats gained from fish (and such is the importance of omega13) creates more flexible neurons than the fats from animals. These neurons are considered to be more efficient and perhaps it is a similar concept concerning our neurons compared to that of the other apes.

      Now we have reached the frustrating science of neurology, and more frustrating topic of history - we cannot know what kind of neurons are competitors had, but we can speculate.

      We can of course try to study our neurons and that of great apes alive today. Once again the argument leads us back to a missing gap in scientific knowledge, and, to say that this means anything of a higher power I'm sure you agree would be fallacious.

      Your thoughts?

      Thank you,

      Philanthropy

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      I still haven't read any of this yet - outside of the last couple of comments that came through my feed, but if you guys are talking about monkey mutations, then this particular track has done collided with brainwashed, spoon-fed ignorance and I'm not sure if I'd fit in around here; ha!

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Secularist10,

      Yes, behavioral modernity. A topic I'm endless fascinated by yet can't pronounce out loud. Modern-ity. Mo-dern-ity. I can't do it. Human history in general fascinates me. Like the period you're speaking of, I subscribe to a different cause on that one.

      The period you're speaking of is often called either the 'great leap forward' or the 'upper paleolithic revolution'. It's still debated whether or not the change was abrupt as it appears to have been in the archaeological record, or if it was a more gradual change not so clearly reflected, but it's in this age that we see diversification in tool making, as we begin to see different tools for different purposes, and made of different materials other than just stone. It's also in this age that the massive migrations out of Africa began.

      Right before this, around 70,000 BC, suspected to be the result of the massive Toba volcanic explosion, genetic evidence reveals that the homo sapiens of central Africa were reduced to less than 10,000 mating pairs. These were our ancestors and they were that near extinction. It's the descendants of these 10,000 mating pairs that, in the course of just 30-40,000 years populated the entirety of the planet, including north/south America, and pushed not only the Neanderthal out of existence in Europe, but wiped all remaining megafauna off the face of the earth. The only homo sapiens on the planet today not directly descended from this relatively small band of humans are the Australian Aborigines who migrated out of Africa via a different path long before.

      So, the move towards behavioral modernity (there's that word again) that you speak of, while definitely significant, was already prevalent in the entirety of the human population on earth (with the exception of the Aborigines of course) during the time I'm speaking of. The behavioral change that happened first in southern Mesopotamia around 5500 BC and spread from there completely transformed how humans live on this planet from that age since.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Insane Mundane,

      Don't let that steer you away. We're just talking about the process God used to make the meat suits through which we spiritual beings interact with this finite existence. So come on in, stay a while, share your thoughts. Rarely do I find being told how ignorant I am so entertaining.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      All the vessels were not powered by Blogger, but by the power of universal thought; nothing new has happened during our K through 3rd grade development on this planet, albeit I'm a proud member of the 4th grade.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Yeah, universal thought that defined the natural laws that shaped all the inanimate matter in this universe and universal thought that imbued all living things with the will that compels it and pushes it through the teeth of the environment that shaped it. One universal, unchanging, singular will. Then came individual thought. Individual creators that now add to, alter, and take away from this universe.

      I tend to think of humanity being more in the 'know-it-all' teenager phase, where we went off to college for a semester, smoked a joint, read a couple books, then came home and began to tell our parents they don't know anything.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      ...Split among endless dividends of experiences in an infinite fashion that which is known and perceived as individual thoughts from a finite plane of perception.

      K through 3rd sums it up for me, but if you think that this is the only school in class, then by all means, Junior High should work just fine; ha!

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Yes, exactly. Each of us experiencing a finite reality as individuals, with each of us forming a mental construct of what we each perceive reality to be, made of physical information stored in a physical brain, each day that we experience life, further walling us off from one another. Now, what if, once we die and are free of these physical forms, we are each interconnected spiritually, able to recall each and every moment experienced in each and every lifetime of every human who ever lived? Would that not be just the kind of knowledge base a being capable of true free will would need to wield it knowingly and responsibly? What if this whole thing is God making it possible for a truly free will to exist eternally? With the only requirement being that we have to willfully acknowledge His authority as the creator. To do what the rest of the natural world does naturally, basically. Only willfully.

      Clearly rampant speculation on my part, so take it as you will.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      We are all apart of this thing we call God. The spectrum of existence is seemingly unlimited, albeit tapping into the various frequencies while being within the limbs of endless, divine tentacles, seems to be the way this thing rolls into different levels. Requirement? Nah, surely that is where fabricated dogma and the governed laws of man take effect and create a spiritual cancer, which generally moves the soul to the farthest spot from the core and/or to the outer branches of those very divine tentacles I spoke about before.

      Then again, I could just be insane; ha!

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      DK 3 years ago from London

      Headly,

      I'm not quite Secularist 10 but your response will still do finely!

      It turns out that modern humans were around 200,000 years ago and it was only 40,000 years ago during the great leap forward that we started creating symbolic art!

      That gave us an entire 160,000 years to evolve some form of neurological advantage over our competitors!

      What are the chances that 160,000 years could lead to a minor neurological change allowing us better synaptic transfer? Very high!

      Your thoughts?

      Philanthropy,

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      @Philanthropy: The brain synapses of modern humans seem to be firing slower and slower, every day. When concerning the majority, our brains are moving backwards due to the techno-robotic-lazy movement. I'd like to sit down and talk to some of those ancient humans, if I could, because I bet that many of them had better brain function than most of the ones we see today. Of course, modern history dictates a single file movement of progress for mankind (based on poor, damn-near non-existent pre-historic records), which is asinine, even though we all should know that this thing ain't linear, in a cosmic fashion.

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      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Headly:

      "I'm talking about the first 11 chapters in their entirety lining up chronologically, listing specific events in the right order, detailing the same number of centuries between each event, with the impact of each event being clearly seen in the evidence and matching what's described."

      Totally incorrect. Here, look (all NKJV):

      "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." (Gen 1:2)

      So the first thing on the earth is water. In reality, the earth began mostly as molten rock. Water formed later. Continuing:

      "Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass... And the earth brought forth grass..." (Gen 1: 11-12)

      "Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also." (Gen 1: 16)

      These two passages alone completely nullify any scientific claim. Let's ignore the moon for the moment (the lesser light). How could grass form before the sun (the great light)? Grass requires photosynthesis which requires the sun. And obviously, the sun formed *before* the earth ever formed. And, also obviously, the stars were around long, long before the sun or the earth existed. And daylight is mentioned as existing before the sun... how can that be, when the sun existed before the earth even existed?

      So I could continue, but you get the picture. I don't know how anyone can argue the Bible is at all consistent with science. They got a few things right (by the Law of Large Numbers, since there is so much material in the Bible, it's almost guaranteed that they would get *something* right here or there), and many others wrong.

      I didn't even mention the fact that billions of years of history happens in just six days. (And yes, it's pretty clear in the text that these are literal days, not metaphorical days.)

      And I'm also not sure what you're getting at with respect to the "same number of centuries between each event"? Clearly even if each day was metaphorical, the time proportions are still way off.

      "The mind, for example, by all intents and purposes as far as the natural sciences are concerned, doesn't exist. You can't observe it or measure it. Scientifically it is undetectable."

      That's not true, the mind can be detected through scans of the brain showing electrical activity. The mind is essentially, as far as we can tell, composed of the electrical and chemical activity of the brain.

      "I'm showing that belief in God doesn't require relinquishing logic or common sense or science, and why, at least in my view, it's the more logical choice."

      I've written a number of hubs about the logical shortcomings of the God concept. Probably the most relevant for this discussion would be this one:

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Proofs-fo...

      You are welcome to check it out and comment if you want. There has never been a logically coherent argument for God's existence in all of history.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      So, just crosslinked in from the Dogma Debate Facebook page--haven't listened to the interview yet, but you seem like a really reasonable person, so I hope it went well! These are just my personal responses to what you wrote above in the original post:

      1. You haven't unfairly summarized the state of our knowledge regarding the universe, so definitely total props to you for this.

      You Wrote: So, it turns out that whether you believe the universe has a creator...or whether you believe we exist in one of the few, if not the only, universe where it's possible for us to exist to even ponder these questions, it's ultimately still a matter of faith."

      No, it's really not. You're ascribing a position of affirmation to atheism where none exists--most atheists, and especially most scientists studying the subject, will assert that it is the "I don't know" position. The most intellectually humble man I ever met was a particle physicist who split his year between Fermilab and CERN; he was full of things that he didn't know, starting with the origin and fundamental nature of the universe. So, don't think that atheism pretends to certainty on god's nonexistence. It's not a position of faith, it's the position of "I don't know, but I want to know more" and then declining to accept a childlike bedtime story to assuage our doubts.

      2. An argument from Personal Incredulity. Evolution is a bootstrap process, and we have brains throughout the animal kingdom ranging from a series of tiny switches, incrementally increasing in complexity and capacity for Intelligence and Reason, so it's not at all difficult to imagine it evolving bit by bit. It's impressive, but not at all implausible. Our brains are the best at it, but we're not unique in having that capacity in some degree.

      3. I don't understand your objection. I have no issue with determinism per se. You don't list any factual objections to determinism, so is this just an issue where you prefer to believe in a system that entails free will? Your personal preference has no bearing on the truth of the matter.

      4. Thoughts are physical--they correspond to brain states, and when the brain state is altered, so too is the subjective experience of the subject. To the materialist, there is nothing strange about all this, so it really seems to come down to another argument based on personal preference. There's nothing difficult to explain, at least not in principle. Certainly there is much to explore and understand, but that's no objection.

      5. "I also find it difficult to reconcile how these traits that so enrich our lives can have come about in a purely causal, indifferent, callous process of survival." So it's an Argument from Personal Incredulity. Nothing more need be said.

      6. Maybe the universe is fundamentally nihilistic. Oh well. Your personal preference or my own is irrelevant, and I don't choose that childhood bedtime story to make myself feel better about it. But on that subject, the existence of heaven or hell, and eternal life, also makes any purpose or meaning to this life utterly meaningless as well. Compared to an infinite afterlife, the amount of time we spend here on earth is exactly zero, the weight of any good or evil we do is exactly zero, the impact of any actions we take or things we leave behind is exactly zero. I'm comfortable finding my own meaning and purpose within the scope of my own life.

      7. You wrote: "Every living thing on this planet today represents the final link in an unbroken chain of ancestors that reaches all the way back to the primordial pool from which life first sprang. In this way all life on the planet can be seen as a kind of collective organism, continually driven to perpetuate itself and continue existing." Again, well said! That's one of the concepts I think is awesome about the history of life on the planet =)

      Life, at the level of abiogenesis, doesn't need to have all those 6 aspects--fundamentally, life is self-replicating organic chemistry, and those aspects you describe are all in service to this process. Even very primitive, naturally occurring, amino acids can self-polymerize and can catalyze the formation of molecules like themselves. All that's required is for some configurations to be more efficient at this process of self-assembly from available molecules around them, and natural selection takes over, and we're off to the races. We don't now know every step in the chain, but when it comes to choosing between "God is easier to believe" versus "opportunity for exciting discoveries", I'll take the latter every time.

      8. Behavior doesn't stop to evaluate relatedness, evolved instincts don't know about DNA. If you'd read the Selfish Gene, then you'd know that the argument for reciprocal altruism is not about calculating advantage, it's about behavior. If altruism has an advantage in social species, then the behavior for giving and receiving altruism is going to emerge, and those guidelines are probably going to be broader than they need to be, just depending on where the balance point of giving too much vs. inadvertently screwing yourself through cynicism falls. Heuristics emerge: "protect things which are small and helpless." "Things with large eyes and oversized heads are cute: protect and nurture them." "Help out your group companions." This last explains the anecdote of the goat and the horse just fine--but it is just an anecdote, vastly overshadowed by altruism which is limited to "things that look like me" which is about as good as it gets when behavior tries to evaluate relatedness.

      9. You wrote "Acceptance of the atheist viewpoint means acceptance of the fact that human intuition where a higher power is concerned is totally off-base." Absolutely, yes, it's totally off-base. This so-called intuition has spawned thousands of god-concepts and tens of thousands of religions, so its ability to determine what is actually true is objectively horrible--literally the only thing they agree on is that *something* seems to exist, but their conclusions about that something are contradictory, incompatible, and by and large indistinguishable from any individual person's personal beliefs. So, it should properly be dismissed until and unless someone, finally, corroborates their claims. And even then, it's the evidence that will matter, since "faith" and "intuition" are still roads to self-refutation through mutual incompatibility.

      Overall, your objections seem to fall into two categories, arguments from scientific prediscovery and arguments from personal preference or personal incredulity. The answer to both is education and knowledge, and I wouldn't condescend to try and bestow that upon you--suffice it to say, the things you have a problem with, I don't have a problem with. You also seem to be conflating the notion of a nontheistic universe and its implications with "atheism" as a personal position. The only thing necessary for atheism as a personal position is to recognize that Theistic claims haven't met the burden of proof--as far as the existential implications of that, I can be comfortable with "we don't know everything yet."

      I stopped being a Christian a decade before I became an atheist, and I would have agreed with probably everything you've said above during that time. The change came when I realized that what we didn't know yet didn't imply anything in favor of a god, and that my personal beliefs and emotions were no better than anyone else's. Especially #9, that intuition argument was the last thing standing. I wrote a blog article at the end of my process called "why I'm not an atheist" that was all about #9. But within months of thinking about it, I still didn't know how I knew what I believe is right? I had come to care whether my beliefs are true or false, I wanted to have as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as I could, and the only thing I could do for that is to stop believing in things that don't have good evidence, and realize that intuition is a really common way to be wrong.

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      Rad Man 3 years ago

      It appears to me that at each point where you don't understand or can't comprehend something you attribute the thing you don't understand to God. You are not the first to do this as some of greatest minds have done the same thing. But it unfortunately stops the thinking process, for instead of trying to find the answers to your question you (meaning theists) attribute what you don't know to God. Atheists just don't attribute the unknown to God, we just acknowledge we don't have the answers and continue looking assuming we one day will have the answers.

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      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      You are well aware of my atheist point of view. However, I still reserve part of my "love," if you like to call it that, for the person who finds solace or rest in his/her "god" figure. It's like a need that cannot be fulfilled in any other way - at "this" point in time. I feel the secret in this is to at least keep the mind open to other possibilities. Then the belief in that god does not become stuck in the concrete and irrelevant.

      Just my point of view, not trying to be argumentative.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Insane compared to what? If the measuring stick of sanity is the world we live in right now, then I certainly don't mind a dose of your particular brand of other-worldly insanity every now and again.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Right. I think Mitochondrial Eve dates back to roughly 195,000 years ago, and we know genetically we're direct descendants of her. And the 'great leap forward' is either 50,000 or 40,000 years ago depending on who you're reading that day. Where other species are concerned, yes I think that 'leap forward' from that small band of survivors of near extinction gained a definite advantage as they made relatively quick work of both the Neanderthal and the rest of the mega-fauna on this earth. And they're no joke. The Neanderthal was a natural hunter that did one thing and did it really well. Hunt and kill mega-fauna. And mega-fauna were no joke either as poor homo habilis was apparently part of some mega-faunas regular diet. Big cats. Nothing in the animal kingdom (on land anyway) intimidates me more than a big cat. There's weapons on every point and nowhere to run.

      But what I'm talking about happened within the same species, and by that point all the players were directly descended from the 'great leap forward' generations. So they all were of that same stock that bested their previous worthy competitors. And even though humans had discovered agriculture and had formed multiple settled agricultural societies over the course of many thousands of years, some of which had populations in the tens of thousands at one point, this change that happened in southern Mesopotamia at the beginning of the Ubaid culture completely transformed every homo sapien society or tribe they came in contact with. They overran the original inhabitants along the Nile, the Tigris/Euphrates, the Indus Valley in India and transformed the culture of each. And it was right on the hills of their arrival in each that the moves towards civilization began. Multiple civilizations in the same general region, independently, each with their own unique language. This is also when we see the invention of organized warfare, armies, defensive walls, and violent depictions glorifying battle in artwork. Even the art changed!

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      Quick insert: I'm not big into names & titles, but I think some of the commentators on this page are confusing atheists with agnostics. Dang, I need to read this Hub one year... I'm such a lazy reader...

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Insane Mundane,

      Regarding your statement about ancient humans having better brain function, there's some definite truth to that. A good example would be the people in ancient Greece who made a living of going town to town reciting poetry. These people retained and could recount on demand literally hundreds of thousands of lines of poetry. But me, I have to look at the screen name of whoever I'm replying to two, sometimes three times, just to ensure I'm spelling it right.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      Insane, you're making a common mistake. Atheism and Agnosticism are not two points on a spectrum of belief, rather they address two separate questions.

      Theism or Atheism are a true dichotomy: you necessarily are one or the other. "Do you believe god(s) exist?" If yes, you're a theist. Is the answer IS NOT yes, (even 'I don't know') then you aren't a theist and there's a word for that.

      Agnosticism these days is a question of what you claim to KNOW or not. I don't believe, so I'm an atheist, no two ways about it. But, I don't claim absolute knowledge, so I'm also (slightly) agnostic. Two separate things.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      @Methodskeptic: You just sort of, uh, make up the definitions as you go along; cool! No, this is not clear cut, black or white. Dang, if I didn't know any better, I'd say that your detestation for dogma has blinded you in a sideways fashion. Your compass sounds like one with 2 directions, more or less.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      Not me making stuff up.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agnostic_atheism

      http://atheism.about.com/od/aboutagnosticism/a/ath...

      http://wiki.ironchariots.org/?title=Atheist_vs._ag...

      http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/09/25/8419/

      http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/atheistdefi...

      Perhaps you should educate yourself on the subject?

      Classically, of course, Agnosticism was coined by TH Huxley as the philosophical position that humans could not have knowledge of God, but colloquially, and in the sense you're using it, Insane, is as some sort of middle ground between Theism and Atheism. Usually, it's by people who are nonbelievers but find the thought of calling themself an Atheist to be distasteful or unpopular. "An Agnostic is an Atheist with a wife and two kids," as a friend of mine likes to say.

      The problem, though, is that Agnosticism doesn't address whether or not you believe, just whether you claim to know, or, formally, whether you claim it's knowable. The second problem is that by implication it misdefines atheism as the assertion that no gods exist, which is just wrong.

      The reason I harp on definitions is that definitions are necessary for clear communication, for example, recognizing that HVN's objections are not directed at rejection of theistic claims (atheism) or trying to support the Theistic position, but rather he's mostly arguing against a non-theistic universe (based on mostly personal preference, it seems).

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Secularist10,

      "So the first thing on the earth is water. In reality, the earth began mostly as molten rock. Water formed later. "

      It doesn't say anything about water being the first thing. Verse 1 simply says God created the heavens and the earth, then verse 2 specifies a starting point and a point of view. There really was a time when the earth was covered in ocean and shrouded in darkness. The end of the Hadean/beginning of Archaen eon when the oceans formed.

      "These two passages alone completely nullify any scientific claim. ... How could grass form before the sun? Grass requires photosynthesis which requires the sun. And obviously, the sun formed *before* the earth ever formed. And, also obviously, the stars were around long, long before the sun or the earth existed. And daylight is mentioned as existing before the sun... how can that be, when the sun existed before the earth even existed?"

      Quick note, I'm pretty sure our sun formed roughly the same time as all the other stars.

      I know we modern folk often like to look down on the people of the bronze age and before as ignorant compared to us. But one thing I'm pretty sure humanity has pieced together since the dawn of reason is that the light of day comes from the sun. Verse 1 says God created the heavens. The heavens have always been the sun, the moon, and the stars.

      In actuality, this is dead on. From the point of view specified in verse 2, from the surface, verse 3 says God said, "Let there be light". When the oceans formed, they formed because the outer crust of the once molten planet finally cooled and hardened. While still too hot the entirety of the planet's ocean water was trapped in the atmosphere as water vapor. As that global storm cloud condensed into the earth's oceans, eventually the sun's light was able to shine through to the surface for the first time since there was a surface to shine on. This was a truly monumental moment in earth's history. But this was before the oxygenated atmosphere, so while the atmosphere now allowed light through, it was not yet transparent. So, with a translucent atmosphere you'd have the light of day and the dark of night, but no discernible sun, moon, or stars (heavens).

      But what I think is most significant here is that day 2 starts with the firmament. It's in the age after the oceans formed that the earth's water cycle was established (which requires light), and it's in this age that cyanobacteria, aquatic photosynthetic blue-green algae (which require oceans and light), first formed in the oceans in abundance and began to pump oxygen into the oceans and eventually into the air.

      Notice day 4 falls right between plant life on land and animal life on land. In earth's actual history, two things happened in that stretch. One, with plant life now in direct contact with the atmosphere the atmosphere finally changed from translucent to transparent, making the sun, the moon, and the stars visible. And two, the entirety of the earth's continental land mass, after having drifted deep down into the southern hemisphere where the sun shined for 6 months and the night sky just pivots, they drifted back up to between the poles as they're still situated to this day. So, the sun, the moon, and the stars, which were not visible from the surface for the first 4 billion years, 'appeared'. And, with the drifting of the continents, from the land the sun, the moon, and the stars would then be positioned in the sky to serve the very same purposes stated. To track the days and seasons, etc.

      "And I'm also not sure what you're getting at with respect to the "same number of centuries between each event"? "

      I'm talking about chapters 2-11 here, or Adam to Babel. Not creation. 1656 years passed between Adam's creation and the flood. Cain was banished within the first 130 years of Adam's creation, leaving roughly 1500 until the flood, and soon built a city. Then the 'Babel incident' roughly a century after the flood.

      The Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia marks the first appearance of the behavioral transition with the foundation of it's first city-state, Eridu (5300BC), the first cite of human class stratification. The Ubaid culture lasted roughly 1500 years (5500-4000BC), and ended "abruptly". Silt deposit found at the site of Ur shows a flood layer that caps Ubaid artifacts in that region, with nothing above it. Then, roughly a century later, the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900BC) transformed the Sahara into desert, causing mass human migrations towards regions along the rivers of the Nile, the Tigris/Euphrates, the Indus Valley, etc. Archaeologically, the Uruk culture (4000-3100BC) of southern Mesopotamia is considered separate from the previous Ubaid, though both shared styles of city-states among other things. Established around 3800BC, class stratification continued, and rapid urbanization began, eventually leading to the first civilization, Sumer (3500BC). Then came Egypt (3400BC) to the west, then came the Indus Valley culture (3300BC) to the east. And Akkad (before 3000BC) to the north. Each having its own unique language.

      The humans of the Ubaid/Ukuk cultures are those who eventually became the Sumerians. According to Sumerian mythology (2700BC and later), Eridu was the first city-state on the King's List, as well as the location where the 'gifts of civilization' descended. The Sumerians didn't give credit to their ancestors for being so inventive and for bringing about civilization. They say they were taught, by gods, who lived among them, who were immortal, male and female, who were moody, often at odds with one another, and who bred with humans. According to both the King's List and Genesis, Uruk was a city established not long after the flood, and both attribute it to one known as a 'mighty hunter'. They also say a man who was warned of the flood ahead of time built a boat and took with him a handful of humans and a bunch of animals. And they tell a story involving the confusing of a once universal language.

      That's what I'm talking about. What are the chances that this is all coincidence?

      "That's not true, the mind can be detected through scans of the brain showing electrical activity. The mind is essentially, as far as we can tell, composed of the electrical and chemical activity of the brain."

      If we did not each experience the mind ourselves, there'd be no indication by looking at a functioning physical brain what is actually going on in there. Just firing neurons, oxygenated blood flow changes, and chemical happenings.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      I think the interview went well overall. I don't think they were expecting what I had to say, so all four of them understandably had a lot of questions and comments. Any of which would have made for a great discussion on their own. But with limited time, and all four of them asking questions and commenting one after another, I feel like I ultimately jumped around a lot and wasn't very successful in conveying a good concept of the overall idea. I loved the experience, they all were extremely gracious, and I think it still resulted in some good discussion, which is all I care about, really.

      1. What I mean by this is that even disbelief in God requires another belief. That being, because this universe does indeed exist, someone who does not believe in God by default believes this universe as it is is capable of being just as it is without a God, or a deliberately creating deity of some kind. It doesn't matter whether or not you hold a particular opinion about where the singularity came from or why the values of this universe's laws are so on the mark. Just that a lack of belief in God means belief that a god-less existence is possible because we do indeed exist.

      2. I can't totally disagree here. Ultimately, the brain being physical, and coming about through a purely 'natural' process, there's really no reason to think otherwise, upon further reflection. Free will is really the only mind-issue here as far as I'm concerned, but that doesn't impact the capability of the physical brain. However, the issue still remains of being able to accept that that 'natural' process itself was not deliberate versus the idea that, like life and abiogensis, is just 'how it is', or just 'how these things behave'. I'll elaborate further in the 'free will' and 'life' portions.

      3. As a human in general I have an issue with determinism. And just the simple fact that I have an issue in itself is something difficult to reconcile, but that's beside the point. Determinism reduces you and I and everyone else throughout the entirety of human history to being passive observers with no real choice in any given moment. Just predisposed to do whatever we've ever done, good or bad, by our biological/genetic make-up, memories of past experiences, chemical (emotional) happenings, etc. If there is no soul, no spiritual/non-physical component of the self, then we can be nothing more than biological machines. I can't understand how anyone wouldn't have an issue with that.

      4. You're right here, given the above argument regarding free will. Determinism would resolve the mind/body problem in the eyes of a materialist, so yes, in that context my issues here in that case would be personal, ultimately. Remember, these are my reasons why I could not accept atheism, not an attempt to make an argument for atheism being objectively, or demonstrably, wrong. Where the logic breaks down in my mind more comes from considering all of these together. One by one arguments can be made and possible explanations posed, but those explanations simply don't hold water across the board when you combine them all together. It begins to get just a bit ridiculous. Like the universe combined with the whole 'life' thing. I'll explain more in the 'life' section.

      5. I don't agree that this is 'incredulity'. It's not an unwillingness or inability to believe, but more an acknowledgement that it requires belief. it's an acknowledgement of something that does indeed exist that has no explanation. Remove evolutionary benefit, and social benefit considering this would have to come first and be present in both parties for it to have social implications, and there's nothing left to hone something like a sense of humor into what it ultimately is. And I'm not even saying it's a purely human thing. By all appearances there appears to be some kind of a sense of finding things 'funny' amongst various primates, primarily chimps, unless that's just me projecting that onto them because I want to believe that. That was a joke, kind of. Comedy, music, art, these are multi-billion dollar industries and are traits universal across the human landscape. They're most certainly real, they have physical results in the body, yet they're ultimately products of the mind and a complete mystery. This one is personal to me as well, as a human and as an artist/musician, but there's also the total lack of logical explanation or reconciliation, and the requirement of belief, that makes this one a hanging point for me.

      6. So, if the universe is fundamentally nihilistic, why do we care? Our personal preferences are relevant simply because they exist. They too must have an explanation.

      As for heaven/eternal life equaling this life being purposeless/meaningless, that isn't true. In that case there would be a soul and a right/wrong situation suggests a freedom of will. Just simple logistics states that with multiple individuals with freedom of will, especially in an eternal context, there must also be rules. Like the rules of the road analogy. If you're the only driver on the road the rules are not necessary. But you're not. We have the freedom of will to break any of these rules, like running red lights. But there are consequences. It breaks the trust amongst drivers that everyone is adhering to the rules, it could cause injury or death because it increases the chance for a collision, or there's legal enforcement of the rule. Continue to refuse to acknowledge the authority of the faction that made the laws of the road and eventually your freedom to drive on those roads can be removed. Break that and your freedom in general can be removed. For the good of the rest. So there must be an authority. And because there is a freedom of will, acknowledgement of that authority would be required for eternal life and free will to work. A limited lifetime in a finite existence where billions and billions of human lives are experienced, for one thing would be just the kind of knowledge base one would need to wield free will responsibly, thus making this life meaningful. And that would also make this environment a temporary place where the choice to acknowledge can be made without introducing those who do not into the other environment, thus making this life meaningful. I know that's a whole lot of rampant speculation on my part, but it's an example of how your objection that "the existence of heaven or hell, and eternal life, also makes any purpose or meaning to this life utterly meaningless as well" could be inaccurate.

      7. "fundamentally, life is self-replicating organic chemistry, and those aspects you describe are all in service to this process."

      This right here is my exact issue. "Fundamentally". That's just 'how it is'. There's no designer, so the fundamental behaviors of the various elements involved in things like abiogensis are just 'how it is'. They're just 'natural tendencies'. These are 'givens' in the eyes of science because that indeed is just how those things behave. But come on. In a microcosm in the clay beneath the sea there just happened to be these various components, like adenine nucleotides that just happen to be the result of hydrogen cyanide and ammonia reacting together. Nucleotides that just happen to exhibit behaviors like chaining together into polynucleotides and self-replicating. Or the lipids whose 'natural tendency' is to bond to one another and form a spherical structure and that also just happen to be attracted to those nucleotides that also exist in this micro-landscape in clay that just happens to 'naturally' be a perfect catalyst for the chaining nucleotide behavior. All these 'natural tendencies' just happen to work together in such a way as to result in something truly phenomenal when they come together. And you don't see even the remote possibility of design there?

      Or, you've got that will that compels life. No structural difference, down to the subatomic and molecular levels, between living and dead organisms, yet there's these behaviors that manifests from within the organism that compels living things to live = 'given'.

      Ran out of characters, but I think my overall point should be clear.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Come on, Rad Man, we've had enough conversations that I feel like I can say this. I think like this, do you get the impression that there's any chance my 'thinking process' will ever stop? I still try to find the answers. I'm just not so stringent in what I consider to be admissible in the equation. That's the real difference.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      JCL, I agree. I keep my mind open to possibilities as well. I try to respect and make sure I fully understand as an alternative all other viewpoints I'm aware of so that the reasons I hold for why this or that isn't acceptable in my view are accurate and relevant. And if I find I personally begin to feel some other alternative makes more sense, I will strongly reconsider my own, as you can probably surmise through my departure from more traditional Christian viewpoints. It sure would be a waste, from my pro-evolution Christian perspective, for God to go through so much trouble to bring us into existence with such capable minds/brains to instead turn that brain off and just accept what is spoon-fed to me by those who come before. He made sure we have brains, I say use it!

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      "An Agnostic is an Atheist with a wife and two kids" ... HAHAHA!! That's funny.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      @Methodskeptic: I noticed your first Wiki link wasn't even for agnostic, as it was "agnostic atheism" and/or "atheistic agnosticism" which is, per definition, a different branch of confusion. I prefer Merriam-Webster for definitions, as you'll have less idiots involved. It is not my fault that you have limited, narrow-minded ways of thinking, but feel free to copy & paste more crap from the web, as it never hurts to add entertainment into the mix. Hey, I also once seen an article about "how to eat corn on the cob," but I suppose their definition of eating corn with special hand-held devices is also set in stone, as well. What a load...

      Anyway, by your definitions, they are still 2 separate dictions - which they are.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      The links demonstrate that A) agnosticism and atheism are not mutually exclusive and have distinct definitions and B) you shouldn't accuse people of making up sui generis definitions when you clearly don't know what you're talking about.

      Be careful using dictionary definitions, because dictionaries are descriptive about use of language, not proscriptive. If a word has a colloquial meaning that is properly incorrect, the dictionary people roll their eyes and duly record it. It's how we come to have "nauseous" used as "nauseated" and "enormity" used as "enormous."

      I'm not trying to be dogmatic, but on this subject I'm trying to preserve the distinction because it's important to the points I was made. Someone who is himself confused about the definitions of atheists and agnostics coming along accusing people of "confusing atheists with agnostics" is profoundly unhelpful.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      For one, you have no idea who or what I was originally addressing, and before you go on accusing people of not being educated on a subject, you may need to step back and develop some comprehension skills. I've already read the long spill about all the different classes of agnostic/atheism crap, a long while back. It is old news. I do find it amusing how they now try to basically add compound words to the mix just so they can all have different definitions. Atheism and Agnosticism are two different things, plain and simple.

      Some people could complicate a cheese sandwich. Plus, your atheism religion sounds like it is divided up more than the Anthropic Principle, which is sad.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      [Still haven't seen the podcast pop up in my iTunes, wish I could listen!]

      1) I'll grant that some form of belief is necessary--I believe the universe exists and that we can observe and learn about it. But don't call it "faith," that implies that it is an assertion of certainty which is assumed without evidence and which rejects all contradicting evidence. I will become a theist the instant good evidence is presented.

      2/3/4/5) Since I think we get where each other is coming from, I'll treat these as one unit for the sake of brevity and avoiding a Wall of Text.

      It seems to me, even if you think that our brains are evolved, that Volition, Aesthetics, Abstract Thought, and especially the subjective, personal sensation of us experiencing these things, is not well explained by solely naturalistic processes.

      The phrase you have used, "that's just the way things are," is interesting to me--it seems to imply that you have a sense of dissatisfaction. I have no objections to accepting things are the way they are if that's what the evidence points to--there will always be more to explore and to find out, and the more I learn and understand, the more amazing and cool and fascinating the universe becomes.

      Even Determinism, I don't find it the reductive, stultifying (now there's a fun word for those who have their dictionaries out ;) concept that you seem to. On the contrary, how our brains process information, factor in past experiences, values, desires, emotions, memories, speculations, counterfactuals, all nearly unconsciously to determine the outcome of any decision is fascinating.

      It's not just that any decision is the blind result of dominoes falling, but more so it's one of those pictures formed by room-sized arrays of dominoes, and not just that, but one which can change the image that forms based on which dominoes start the cascade, and how fast different portions of the picture fall, which dominoes went into building the picture originally, and all in a manner that one could never hope to repeat or predict, and it happens thousands of times per minute.

      Against all that, the notion of an anthropomorphic immortal with magic powers just doesn't seem to add much or explain much. When faced with dissatisfaction about cognition, or aesthetics, or even the physical laws which govern how chemicals interact and give rise to processes such as auto-catalysis and self-organizing behavior in complex systems, it just doesn't seem to help.

      Really everything in 1-8 comes down to the one sentence where you said "All these 'natural tendencies' just happen to work together in such a way as to result in something truly phenomenal when they come together. And you don't see even the remote possibility of design there?"

      Yep. The truth is what the facts are, and we know lots of facts about how chemistry works and how biology works and how neurology works. We don't have all the facts, of course, but we can always learn more.

      The phrase "And you don't see even the remote possibility of design there" to me, is basically the same as saying "and you don't see even the remote possibility that a wizard did it?*" No, not really. Before I could go there, I'd first have to know that there was any such thing as a wizard or a designer. I know that the universe exists, I know that chemistry and biology and brains exist, so just at the outset things that are known make better go-to places to look for explanations rather than things which are unknown or unknowable.

      As Richard Dawkins said, "Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a different reason: it gives them something to do."

      *Small joke: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AWizard...

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      Specifically on #6, because I don't think you really got what I said, I'll try again. Click here, because James Joyce is a much better writer than me:

      http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/124139-what-must-i...

      No matter what evil Hitler did in his lifetime, it was necessarily finite. But if he's in hell, then he's there for eternity. It's an infinite punishment for a finite crime. When the stars burn out, when the universe is cold and dead, when his enormities are irrelevant and forgotten, his torment will not even have measurably begun.

      Likewise heaven: Is there free will in heaven? Could I choose to sin? Will I want for anything, in such a way that I have desires and goals and accomplishments? If not, then how is it in any sense "me" that goes there? The "me" that is recognizable will have ceased to exist. The problem of eternity is just as much a problem for Heaven as it is for Hell: what will I do in my second trillion years of eternal life? What's next?

      No thank you. I prefer this universe, where life is short, and I savor the every chance I get to visit with my grandmother, because I have no reason to think that I'll ever see her again within a relatively few years--how much more precious are those moments. Where what I do matters and what I leave behind is important, because this world isn't just a place to wipe your feet on your way to something greater or worse, be arbitrarily judged by a god who neither has any use for nor need for my adoration, to go on to a reward or punishment which is infinitely disproportional to whatever I did to ostensibly deserve it.

      Atheism works much better for me on this subject.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      MethodSkeptic,

      "The phrase you have used, "that's just the way things are," is interesting to me--it seems to imply that you have a sense of dissatisfaction. I have no objections to accepting things are the way they are if that's what the evidence points to--there will always be more to explore and to find out, and the more I learn and understand, the more amazing and cool and fascinating the universe becomes."

      But I think that in itself is my issue. It's not dissatisfaction. It's that there's this willingness to just accept that's how things are without much in the way of simply acknowledging how incredibly convenient it all is. Like the various components and how they 'naturally behave' existing in the prime conditions of that primordial clay that lead to the emergence of life. To me it seems much more likely that there's deliberate design there than it is for there to be no deliberate goal and nothing really remarkable about these behaviors lending so incredibly well to a collective process when these components come together, although totally unintended.

      And it's not that my default state for anything that doesn't have an obvious answer is to immediately jump to the 'invisible immortal magician/wizard storybook' thing. It more has to do with recognizing the limitations of science, the inherent nature of the supernatural falling outside it's jurisdiction, and not being so exclusive in what I do and do not consider when searching for possible answers, as even exclusion in and of itself is assuming answers of certainty where there is no certainty.

      As for determinism, I marvel at the brain as well, as in either case it behaves much the same way. But to the determinist the actual choice decided upon in any given moment was the only physical one possible. Meaning all the best and worst of humanity's history would not actually have been the result of deliberate volition of anyone involved, but more a series of causes much in the same way the universe came together. With each of us simply being passengers along for the ride with no hands on the steering wheel.

      Much like your statement about not turning to the immortal being with magic powers idea when faced with dissatisfaction, the way in which you describe God in statements like these shows your concept of God, if He did indeed exist, as not very on point with the source material. Basing conclusions reached about a god-existing scenario based on a flawed, simplistic concept of what God would be if He did exist, would the be the equivalent of a New Earth Creationist rejecting evolution because crock-o-ducks don't exist, or because there's still monkeys. It's the grasp of the concept that is flawed, leading to flawed conclusions, not necessarily the concept itself. It seems odd to me that the vast majority of atheists I speak to have mounds of respect for science, it's methods, the evidence, and the truth ultimately. Yet when it comes to anything about God or the bible, all that attention to detail and respect for the material seemingly goes out the window.

      Believers are often painted in this light, where their way of thinking hampers growth and progress because they too easily accept "God did it". Not that that isn't true for some, but it's definitely not for all. The majority of the founding fathers of science and its methods were themselves believers. In a way, dismissing these things I'm pointing out as just being how this or that behaves as a 'given' has much the same affect. There's no pondering beyond that to look for deeper meaning. Especially those of the materialist perspective who deem anything that falls outside of the observable/measurable/quantifiable as not real or part of reality, when by those very same parameters the human mind wouldn't be real. The very fact that there is an alternative branch of science, the social sciences, should be enough I would think to show that existence consists of at least some things that fall outside the jurisdiction of the natural sciences. So, to say "I will become a theist the instant good evidence is presented" doesn't seem logical to me as you seem to be requiring verifiable evidence, via the natural sciences, of the existence of something that is inherently outside of the jurisdiction of the natural sciences.

      In that case you simply look for an alternative approach, which is what the majority of my other write-ups are about. What I've found to be very likely true through an alternate approach.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Methodskeptic,

      Regarding #6 ... A couple of things. First off, from the way it reads to me hell is not eternal damnation where you live forever burning. For one thing, 'hell' in the old testament and according to Jewish doctrine is simply the grave. When the bible speaks of an eternal fire I read that to mean it's the fire that's eternal, not the torment. In fact, the most well-known verse in the all the bible, John 3:16, states "... whosoever believes in him SHALL NOT PERISH". Burning eternally is not 'perishing'.

      Second thing, it's all about perspective. Your thoughts regarding eternal life are very much grounded in the reality that we know now where we exist within time, within space, within a finite universe where all things have a beginning and an ending. But God, being the creator of the universe, exists apart from it. He does not exist within time or space or this finite universe. And according to Psalms I think it is, God while in heaven also exists beyond this universe, so heaven exists beyond time and space as we perceive it. So it's difficult for you or I, having only experienced existence within time/space/finite reality to perceive eternity. That, I would think, should at least be taken into consideration. Is it eternal in that it's an infinite timeline, or is it because there is no time?

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      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      Methodskeptic, that is a beautiful quote from James Joyce. Thank you.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      "Much like your statement about not turning to the immortal being with magic powers idea when faced with dissatisfaction, the way in which you describe God in statements like these shows your concept of God, if He did indeed exist, as not very on point with the source material. ...Yet when it comes to anything about God or the bible, all that attention to detail and respect for the material seemingly goes out the window."

      What source material? The Bible? The Koran? The Bhagavad Gita? The Book of Mormon? The Tao Te Ching? There are innumerable god-concepts out there, tens of thousands of versions of Christianity alone, all supposedly coming from the same source material.

      Remember what I said about the failure of "intuition." If there were one single truth about god, then all indications would converge on that single truth. Science falsifies errors, refines theories, gathers facts and can separate truth from falsehood. Religion does the opposite, it multiplies opinion, splinters unity, schisms churches, and ultimately everyone believes in a god who agrees with their personal opinion with no impartial way to demonstrate who is right and wrong.

      You've got your own opinion about the source material and it's just as unhelpful as the next guy. I want to know how you know it's right in the first place. So if I argue against a religious position that you personally happen not to agree with, don't tell me I'm barking up the wrong tree--go talk to those *other* theists and when you all have your stories straight, then you can get back to me and correct my misconceptions. It's all well and good for you to believe that people aren't tortured forever, but other Christians do, and the problem of eternal life, good or bad, is not something you can hand-wave away by this or that pronouncement about the nature of god. You can't show it, so you don't know it. You believe it, but you can't demonstrate it. The "alternative approaches" you suggest, well, I've read them and they read like religious fan-fiction: non-canonical and made up out of nothing but your own creativity. Not demonstrably true unless I already happen to be a member of your particular branch of Jesus fandom. I want to be respectful of you because you obviously have a good heart and I'm enjoying the conversation, it's just hard to be friendly at the same time as being deeply unimpressed...so, if I'm not being polite, I apologize.

      If a god existed, it should be trivial for it to demonstrate its existence, even if "Omni-" is outside the realm of comprehension, it shouldn't be hard to show up with "very-potent, very-benevolent, very-present." We get none of that, we get god-concepts exactly as demonstrable as fantasies made up out of whole cloth, and a Bible that has every indication of being exactly 100% fictitious. Telling me I'm not respecting the source material is on the level of telling me I misquoted the top speed of the starship Enterprise, quoting the bible to me is as persuasive as citing the 29th Scroll from Planet of the Apes.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      @Method Man: I am assuming here, but it does seem that you, like a lot of atheists and Christians, etc., base everything on dogma dung, senseless organized religions, and asinine scientific theories that are about as far from the truth as Robert Tilton on a religious infomercial begging for money. Any moron can pick the Bible apart, the Koran, and so on, just as well as the Big Bang Theory of baloney, singularity concepts of nothingness, speciation concepts from the theory of evolution, along with so many more such as the magical pond of the primordial soup. The list never ends, especially when all these so-called smart and enlightened ones seem to base more of their thinking on what others think. Compound ignorance, anyone? I could say all kinds of crazy stuff on here and give reasons why I think the way I do, but I know it will only get labeled as delusions or insanity by the majority, not that I care, but it seems to be a waste of time.

      @Headly: I'll make a point to read your Hub in a few minutes...

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      @Headly: I finally read your Hub, albeit I skimmed through certain parts. No offense, but you really need to learn how to be more terse, succinct and/or concise (or however any dictionary hater like Method Man wants to say it; ha!) in your verbiage.

      Your 9 things or reasons why theism isn't plausible, is a lot to comment on. First of all, I'm not an atheist nor am I an organized religion kind of guy. I can't say what I know, but if one could remember, they would not have these conundrums you and most others speak about; that' all I'm saying about that.

      In a thumbnail: I don't believe in talking rocks. Were we not born with altruism? The substrate of life is spawned from the core of divine thoughts; it merely happens and no theory will ever serve justice for such happenings when one doesn't feel or remember what happened before such things and it usually goes back to the Lego blocks of 1, 2, 3 and A, B, C wanna-be scientific notions that mimics a mad kindergartener not getting his/her blanket for nap time.

      Everybody is spiritual whether they know it or not, and we all enter and wake up to a dreamland from time to time, only to embark on a new journey or that thing they call life. It is all about the experience, for good and bad and everything in between. I'm snipping this comment short, as it most likely won't matter what I say here anyway; ha!

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Methodskeptic,

      My intent was not to offend if I have done so. It sounded like you were referring to a particular God, speaking of an immortal anthropomorphic god, heaven and hell and eternal life and whether or not there is free will. I assumed the source material was already established, and if I'm going to address your questions and statements I'm not sure how I'm expected to not refer to the bible. I was simply saying that if that's what we're talking about then the first thing to address would be an inaccurate conceptualization that was going to make addressing what you said impossible otherwise. If we were talking about evolution and I made a statement that illustrated a glaring error in my grasp of the topic, I'd hope you'd do the same, whether or not you thought I respected it. But making statements on this topic, then deflecting what I have to say about it by belittling the material we're talking about isn't exactly constructive.

      "Remember what I said about the failure of "intuition." If there were one single truth about god, then all indications would converge on that single truth."

      I know. That's the primary indicator that tells me that my 'alternative approaches' are very much on the mark. Truths established by the very same science that you proclaim as being so useful. The issue here seems to be you're using the single most fallible component in the equation as a benchmark to establish what's true God-wise. Humans, and what they over the centuries had to say about the bible without the benefit of our modern knowledge. I realize you have already made your mind up and formed your opinions about the relevance of the bible, but to then use that as the reason why it's inadmissible in this discussion isn't exactly helpful. Just as telling me you're 'deeply unimpressed', while hurtful because I put a lot of work into this, isn't useful.

      I understand what you're saying about my 'opinion' of the bible, but I'm afraid you're making some pretty sweeping assumptions here. I am using science to establish proper context. I'm not just making stuff up. And while imaginative fan-fiction could maybe apply if I were twisting around a vague passage or two, it doesn't matter my level of imagination if I'm able to illustrate how creation accurately depicts the formation of the earth over the course of billions of years, then can illustrate how Gen2-11 demonstrably lines up with roughly 2000 years of actual archaeologically established southern Mesopotamian history. I'd rather know what specifically is the issue as I'm providing substantial evidence to back up what I'm saying. To say it's unhelpful without really knowing and understanding it is unhelpful. This 'opinion' I hold has successfully made multiple predictions about what could be found in the evidence that I had no knowledge of prior. Like the Sumerians, or the 5.9 kiloyear event, or a particular flood that appears to have played a roll in the end of a 1500 year old culture, or a demonstrably fundamental change in human behavior. So please, if this god-concept is 'demonstrable as fantasies' then please do so. That would be helpful.

      As for your comment about God's demonstration of existence being trivial... Free will explains that. Science shows how consistent the behavior of matter and energy are. Consistent to the point that we can figure out the natural laws that govern them with mathematical precision. So consistent that we can reconstruct the formation of the planet, sun, and universe all the way back to the beginning. So free will is a big deal. And being what it is, God's direct involvement from the introduction of free will forward, His need to actually interact to ensure an outcome, actually makes a whole lot of sense.

      I don't mean to come off as snarky here, as I've been enjoying the discussion as well, and I would understand what you're saying if I wasn't bringing so much to the table. A lot of work has gone into this and I get the feeling you haven't really given it a good enough evaluation to fairly make the statements you're making. I wouldn't be bothering you or anyone else with it if I didn't really think there's legitimately useful stuff here. Even if you don't accept the whole 'God' part of it, what I'm presenting should at the very least make a strong case for re-evaluating Genesis as being much more historically on point than many give it credit for. In this way alone, it's already been hugely useful in my learning. It could steer investigation and lead to new knowledge. If I didn't think so, I wouldn't be sitting here writing about it.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Finding how to be more concise is a perpetual struggle. I try, believe it or not.

      So you do acknowledge the physical world as real material (not totally spiritual), and that the physical emergence of physical living bodies was a physical reaction to divine thought? Basically that the thought came first, then the physical form? So when you say evolution and the big bang are bull, you're basically saying their explanations, because they don't recognize or acknowledge the divine thought as the catalyst, will never accurately explain the result? I feel like I'm getting this, am I getting this?

      I totally agree everyone is spiritual. That's where my issues with the acceptance of the phenomenon of life as just a 'given', or 'just how living things behave' come in. I think of all living things as being animated by the same life-force, which manifests into very particular universally consistent behaviors across all living things, with the state of their physical forms dictating at what level they can perceive or interact with reality. With the human mind being the most capable, allowing us spiritual beings cognitive reason and an ego that gives us the illusion of being separate individuals free to behave contrary to the natural world around us, rather than in harmony with nature and one another.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      Close enough... If I start describing my divine concepts, I'll end up writing novels like you; ha! By the way, this was an excellent article. The time, thought and effort involved on this Hub, definitely shows! Thanks for writing this lovely piece, regardless of how much I complain about the superfluity of your dictions; cheers!

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      "if I'm going to address your questions and statements I'm not sure how I'm expected to not refer to the bible."

      No, you didn't offend me--you offered a criticism of my position, and my rebuttal is that your interpretation of science and scripture is your own, and one of thousands of possible interpretations, so the notion that I'm not respecting the source material is invalid, as there is no consensus on the matter among theists.

      Pointing out that the Bible is "hors de combat" illustrates the central problem: if god does not exist, then the bible is certainly fiction. If a god exists, the bible still may or may not be fiction. So before we can evaluate the bible, you first must present a sound case for god's existence, otherwise you've got an unstated major premise that begs the question, how do you know it's true in the first place?

      "I was simply saying that if that's what we're talking about then the first thing to address would be an inaccurate conceptualization that was going to make addressing what you said impossible otherwise. If we were talking about evolution and I made a statement that illustrated a glaring error in my grasp of the topic, I'd hope you'd do the same, whether or not you thought I respected it."

      Like I said, if you made an error of science, there would be authoritative sources and a consensus to appeal to in order to correct the misconception. There is no consensus among Christians, so if I contradict your opinion, it's still just an opinion. Since it's you I'm talking to, I should focus on your positions, so I'm fine with saying "if the shoe doesn't fit, don't wear it."

      "But making statements on this topic, then deflecting what I have to say about it by belittling the material we're talking about isn't exactly constructive."

      Belittling is relative. I'll just refer back to what I said earlier, it's hard to be collegial and respectful to the person while discussing ideas which do not engender much regard...I'm trying to be as kind as I can so we can enjoy the verbal tennis even as I try and get in a nice mean backhand every so often =)

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Well if you're not bothered I'm not bothered. I do feel it important to point out that what I said wasn't a criticism of your position, it's a logically sound observation. Like the stipulations that you've outlined here. You've basically hog-tied yourself. By your own admission while detailing the particular definition of your stance as an atheist, you're not closed to the idea of a god, you just simply have no reason to believe it. Right? Like when you said, "I will become a theist the instant good evidence is presented." What you've done here in establishing your requirements is you've rendered yourself incapable of ever really knowing the truth if that truth did in fact include a god. You rendering yourself incapable of recognizing 'good evidence' through a flawed logic.

      This is simple physics, not my opinion and not based on any particular 'source material'. If we're talking about a god where the existence of the universe is concerned, then we're talking about a being that would have to exist apart from the universe. Outside of time and space and undetectable through measuring or observing matter or energy. Only things within this universe, products of this universe, are detectable through the physical sciences. If God were to make a change, like for example if God were to change how light refracts to 'create' rainbows when they didn't occur previously, then from our perspective, being within the dimension of time, light would have always behaved that way. It's not like God making a change would take affect at 2:13pm on Saturday, August 3rd.

      Think about this. If there were actual demonstrable proof in the physical evidence that a god, any god capable of and responsible for creating the universe, what would that evidence look like? How do you positively or negatively confirm, via the natural sciences, anything 'supernatural'? Short of seeing a giant thumb print on the moon, paint strokes in a nebula, or huge disembodied arms poking out of the clouds manually molding a cow, there's nothing that's ever going to satisfy based on the stipulations you've set.

      Understand, I enter into discussions with atheists and the like knowing full well what they will and will not accept, and I'm presenting my hypothesis with that in mind. I am presenting a sound case. And I'm not doing this to convert anyone to my beliefs or convince anyone there is a God. I have these discussions to test my logic and my conclusions. If there is indeed substance here, then this knowledge can be useful in bringing us all closer to the real truth, and it is my duty as a fellow human to share it.

      If you're not open to being wrong or learning something new you didn't know before in a legitimate quest for truth, then why bother having the conversation? I enter each discussion and approach every article I read fully open to being proven wrong if it can be demonstrated. I don't want to just go on thinking something that's demonstrably wrong. I want to establish the truth, no matter what that truth may be.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      Ha-ha! I can't help but mention this: When I came back to this Hub this evening while looking for some verbal-based head-seeking projectiles aimed at me, I couldn't help but notice an advertisement that popped up, on the upper-left section of this Hub. It was called "Date - Atheist Personals." LOL! I was a little shocked by that advert because I usually get hit with more common Ads like "meet Asian singles online." Good grief, I didn't know they had online dating sites that were geared for atheists only. Well, I guess you learn something new every year or so...

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      I meant upper-right section...

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      IM,

      I did see that. I can't say that's a bad idea. Being an atheist, with the impact that could potentially have in potential marriage and especially in the case of child-rearing, it's something that would have to be discussed at some point along the way, but not always an easy subject to broach, especially in such a largely theistic society. So I imagine dating can be a difficult thing made easier if you know that little tidbit up front.

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      Insane Mundane 3 years ago from Earth

      I suppose, that is, if the homo sapiens on Earth are to remain that primitive, ignorant, and clueless about their very own spirituality. True, dedicated forms of atheism is just another form of stagnant ignorance, much like the organized religionists we often see today. Dang, I can't believe that I've made it through the comment field without mentioning extraterrestrials or advanced spiritual beings. Yeah, I suppose that you also believe that those dating sites are geared for the customer's benefit, as well?

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      I've already answered your question: it should be trivial for a god to demonstrate its existence to at least an interim degree. Your god interacts with the universe, does it not? Then its actions would be observable, measurable. You're a Christian, so you believe that a corpse that was bloating up and beginning to stink on the second day was up and walking and fully intact the next morning. I'd be interested to see that myself, could "he" arrange that? There are any number of vulgar displays of power in the biblical myths that I'd like to see. That would at least be a conversation starter, but the only miracles these days seem to be, as the last Christian I talked to presented, three god-themed songs in a row were played on the radio and he saw a Jesus bumper sticker on his drive home. I kid you not, that's what he said convinced him God was calling.

      And ultimately, I don't have to be specific about what I'd accept. If he's omniscient and omnipotent, then he *knows* what it would take and he is *able* to do it. If my salvation is important to him, then he would do what was necessary to arrange it so that I would choose him of my own "free will."

      It's not that I've hog tied myself: it's that you've posited a god which in every possible sense is non-demonstrable and non-falsifiable, you can't present any good reasons why you believe it, and you expect me to lower my standards so that unsound and invalid arguments can be entered into evidence. I'm open to learning new things and being shown where I am wrong, but you have not come anywhere close to presenting a sound argument as to why I am. It's difficult to point to any actual place where you've even tried to do so. Anytime you want to get to presenting some sound arguments would be cool.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      It makes perfect sense. No, God does not need to interact with the universe. Why would He need to override HIs own creation? It works fine on its own (Gen1). It's the introduction of free will (Gen2), beings not restricted, mentally, by the laws of nature/God's will, that is where God's interactions became necessary.

      First, He tested His creation by establishing one rule that they broke (Gen3). It worked and they willfully 'disconnected'. The next generation Cain murdered his brother and got banished, then built a city(Gen4). Eventually descendants of Cain/Seth began to mate and have children with human women, causing 'wickedness' in humanity, then God 'regrets' putting humans on the earth and sends a flood (Gen6). He chooses one specimen to continue on with (Noah). He observes how the 'children of men' are speaking one language and that "nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them" and disperses them in all directions (Gen11). Then He finds a subject amongst the descendants, Abraham, and tests Him (Gen22). The whole rest of the story is God interacting with these free willed beings who constantly break His rules to achieve a particular outcome, Jesus. He gives very specific rules about who to mate with, what to eat, He 'makes' His son within the confines of a world now dominated by Free Will. Much like a scientist or people in any number of fields today, He setup a test scenario, made adjustments, selected specific specimen, tested, observed, made adjustments, to achieve a desired goal where an element not in His control was involved.

      But once Jesus dies/resurrects, mission accomplished. It took numerous generations, but God created a being who adheres to His laws/will exactly, without fail, unlike Adam or anyone else could. Jesus then beat 'hell' (the grave) and rose. From that point on all you have to do is believe it and that in itself alines you and connects you to God. That means you believe and acknowledge Him as the authority of this world, this universe, life and death. The one true God. Now it takes simply believing He really can and did do that. That's it. For God to now undo all of that by simply showing you what you demand to see before you 'buy' it, well, can you maybe see in this context why He wouldn't?

      He has made a way for you, but you've chosen to require proof. You've chosen to look to other humans as your measuring stick to 'see' God, the one element in all of God's creation that doesn't hardly reflect Him at all. Atheism is not the default state of humanity. History shows overwhelmingly that the default state of humanity is to believe in a higher power. Atheism ebbs and flows only with the ages of knowledge and information and logic. God must be 'reasoned' away. You somewhere along the way decided you're going to need some proof. Well, that would undo all He did. Showing you, making you 'believe' by putting together the right series of happenings to convince you, isn't free will. You were coaxed to choose Him.

      Besides, regarding your statement that He should 'know' what it would take to convince you, it's 'free' will. Think about this. He 'regretted' putting humans on the earth because of what free willed beings chose to do. He 'tested' Abraham. He doesn't know unless you do it. You and I and everyone else, we are creators that actually add to this universe. We make stuff that is not 'of God', but is 'of us'. God knows what He creates, but what we create, by design, is 'free' of Him. Abraham's decision would not have existed, because it would not have been made, if God didn't create the situation that made him choose. So, no, God doesn't know what it would take. He gave us free will and went through a whole lot of trouble to do it, then made it as easy is possible for all of us, going through a whole lot of trouble to do it.

      I have posited a God based on the 'source material' and how He's described in the context of our modern knowledge of the natural world. A context that only really makes sense 'logically' since about 1915 or so, but remains consistent with the natural world. He's the creator of the universe (Gen1:1), which is indeed finite with a beginning/end, and which does indeed consist of space-time, which did not exist before the universe did. It says He perceives time differently than we do (a day is like a 1000 years and a 1000 years is like a day - Psalms 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8). It says He's everywhere (the eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good - Psalms 139: 7-10, Proverbs 15:3). It says "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." - Romans 1:20. I'm simply positing a God as accurately as I can to coincide with how He's described and what we know about the natural world.

      As for my arguments, you clearly haven't read much of what I've written. It's all there. Just within this comment section I've given ample information. I showed exactly where in history these events took place and the data that backs it up and the impact that it had and how it matches up with what's described. Vague, dismissive statements about how it's not worth the trouble and how unimpressed you are is the same thing as a believer deciding they know better without really considering or understanding the evidence. What I'm using uses the same evidence as you already know and remains consistent with science, with history, and with the entirety of the bible simultaneously. It all lines right up with Genesis, down to the number of centuries. With much of it only being learned recently, yet written thousands of years ago. You can be unimpressed all you want, but if you're going to take the time to tell me my argument isn't sound, please do so more specifically. If it isn't I definitely want to know, but I'm not going to just take your word for it.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      I basically think that 'if they will pay for it, somebody will make it'. The 'they' is irrelevant. If there's a market, there will be anything and everything geared toward it. Like air rushing into a vacuum, the 'niches' get filled quickly.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Methodskeptic,

      Here's an excerpt from another conversation in these comments so you don't have to go look for it. This should give you a good starting point. Some actual substance that allows for real discussion ....

      "(Based on timeline given in Genesis) 1656 years passed between Adam's creation and the flood. Cain was banished within the first 130 years of Adam's creation, leaving roughly 1500 until the flood, and soon built a city. Then the 'Babel incident' roughly a century after the flood.

      The Ubaid culture of southern Mesopotamia marks the first appearance of the behavioral transition with the foundation of it's first city-state, Eridu (5300BC), the first cite of human class stratification. The Ubaid culture lasted roughly 1500 years (5500-4000BC), and ended "abruptly". Silt deposit found at the site of Ur shows a flood layer that caps Ubaid artifacts in that region, with nothing above it. Then, roughly a century later, the 5.9 kiloyear event (3900BC) transformed the Sahara into desert, causing mass human migrations towards regions along the rivers of the Nile, the Tigris/Euphrates, the Indus Valley, etc. Archaeologically, the Uruk culture (4000-3100BC) of southern Mesopotamia is considered separate from the previous Ubaid, though both shared styles of city-states among other things. Established around 3800BC, class stratification continued, and rapid urbanization began, eventually leading to the first civilization, Sumer (3500BC). Then came Egypt (3400BC) to the west, then came the Indus Valley culture (3300BC) to the east. And Akkad (before 3000BC) to the north. Each having its own unique language.

      The humans of the Ubaid/Ukuk cultures are those who eventually became the Sumerians. According to Sumerian mythology (2700BC and later), Eridu was the first city-state on the King's List, as well as the location where the 'gifts of civilization' descended. The Sumerians didn't give credit to their ancestors for being so inventive and for bringing about civilization. They say they were taught, by gods, who lived among them, who were immortal, male and female, who were moody, often at odds with one another, and who bred with humans. According to both the King's List and Genesis, Uruk was a city established not long after the flood, and both attribute it to one known as a 'mighty hunter'. They also say a man who was warned of the flood ahead of time built a boat and took with him a handful of humans and a bunch of animals. And they tell a story involving the confusing of a once universal language."

      And here's some starting points for the archaeological periods, climatological happenings, and human behavioral changes I refer to .....

      - The Ubaid Culture (5500-4000BC) - "The archaeological record shows that Arabian Bifacial/Ubaid period came to an abrupt end in eastern Arabia and the Oman peninsula at 3800 BC, just after the phase of lake lowering and onset of dune reactivation.[7] At this time, increased aridity led to an end in semi-desert nomadism, and there is no evidence of human presence in the area for approximately 1000 years, the so-called "Dark Millennium".[8] This might be due to the 5.9 kiloyear event at the end of the Older Peron."

      "The Ubaid period as a whole, based upon the analysis of grave goods, was one of increasingly polarised social stratification and decreasing egalitarianism." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubaid_period

      - Flood evidence in Ur that 'capped' the Ubaid culture there ... "Archaeologists have discovered evidence of an early occupation at Ur during the Ubaid period. These early levels were sealed off with a sterile deposit that was interpreted by excavators of the 1920s as evidence for the Great Flood of the book of Genesis and Epic of Gilgamesh." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ur

      - 5.9 kiloyear event (Babel story) - "The 5.9 kiloyear event was one of the most intense aridification events during the Holocene Epoch. It occurred around 3900 BC (5,900 years BP), ending the Neolithic Subpluvial and probably initiated the most recent desiccation of the Sahara desert. Thus, it also triggered worldwide migration to river valleys, such as from central North Africa to the Nile valley, which eventually led to the emergence of the first complex, highly organised, state-level societies in the 4th millennium BCE.[1] It is associated with the last round of the Sahara pump theory."

      "In the Middle East the 5.9 kiloyear event contributed to the abrupt end of the Ubaid period." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5.9_kiloyear_event

      - Uruk period leading into first civilization in Sumer - "Uruk gave its name to the Uruk period, the protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia spanning c. 4000 to 3100 BC, succeeded by the Jemdet Nasr period of Sumer proper. Uruk played a leading role in the early urbanization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC. At its height c 2900 BC, Uruk probably had 50,000–80,000 residents living in 6 km2 of walled area; making it the largest city in the world at the time.[1]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruk

      - 3 Civilizations in rapid succession in that same general region, yet each having their own unique language ....

      > Sumer (3500 to 1940 BC) -http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsMiddEast/Me... - "Sumer was one of the first great civilizations, emerging slightly ahead of that of Ancient Egypt and up to a millennium before that of the Indus Valley culture. Located in southern Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), by the late fourth millennium BC Sumer (or Ki-en-gir, 'Land of the Sumerian tongue'), was divided into approximately a dozen city states which were independent of one another and which used local canals and boundary stones to mark their borders."

      To the west ....

      > Egypt (3400 to 30 BC) - http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsAfrica/Egyp... “From around 3500 to 3000 BC there were great and very sudden advances in craftsmanship and technology, which culminated in the working of copper, stone mace heads and ceramics.”

      To the east ...

      > Indus Valley Culture (3300 to 1700 BC) - http://www.historyfiles.co.uk/KingListsFarEast/Ind... “As the first great civilizations took shape in Sumer and Egypt, a people of unknown origin who were centered in the Indus Valley in modern Pakistan and India began constructing their own series of cities. These were as remarkable as any the world had yet seen, and at the same time trade flourished, and a system of writing evolved.”

      Books regarding behavioral changes that match up with impact of 'free will' introduction in both time and place ....

      - 'Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World' by James DeMeo

      - 'The Fall: The Insanity of the Ego in Human History and the Dawning of A New Era' by Steve Taylor

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      "It makes perfect sense. No, God does not need to interact with the universe."

      Except you go on to list where time and time again god meddles, communicates , commands, adjusts, picks, chooses--these would not be observable? A god who interacts but who doesn't interact is a contradictory proposition, and to begin a running theme since you wanted specifics, is not a sound argument.

      "From that point on all you have to do is believe it and that in itself alines [sic] you and connects you to God... For God to now undo all of that by simply showing you what you demand to see before you 'buy' it, well, can you maybe see in this context why He wouldn't?"

      You're not the first person to make that argument. No, I don't see why he wouldn't. People hundreds or thousands of years ago got to see pillars of fire, manna from heaven, and apparitions of a man who rose from the dead. Back in the Old Testament, "faith" meant "loyalty and obedience," in the sense of being "faithful" to your king or lord--the notion that god was non-interactive and invisible and elusive does not exist to those people. God did not require Abraham's belief, that was a given, God required Abraham's obedience to his command that Isaac be sacrificed. It's only with Paul that "faith" shifts to mean "believing in the absence of evidence," because at that point Christianity is predicated on whether or not you're willing to swallow thirdhand accounts of impossible things you weren't there for and can't verify. Hebrews describes faith as an oxymoron--it's hopefulness elevated to anticipation, it's the evidence you can't see. Salvation is now predicated upon gullibility.

      "He 'regretted' putting humans on the earth because of what free willed beings chose to do. He 'tested' Abraham. He doesn't know unless you do it."

      Sacrificing Omniscience does undercut the dilemma, if that's your opinion on the subject. Like I said, I don't want to hold you to things you don't believe. But lecturing me that my standards of evidence are too high isn't convincing either. If your argument is that I have to believe without evidence, sorry, you're done. If your argument is that this is all true, then *every single fact available* should comport with the actuality of the case, and you should have no trouble satisfying my curiosity. If it's god's will that some of those facts be available to some people at some times but not to others after the fact, well, then, he's capricious, hypocritical, and unworthy of worship anyway.

      In this thread, my very first post pointed out reasons that your "9 Reasons Atheism Doesn't Work For Me" are invalid: Some of them are arguments from ignorance, some of them have some major question-begging going on, and others don't seem to have a point other than you find the implications distasteful. Those are not sound arguments.

      I've started poking around, I commented on one of your other posts that itself was not a sound argument, about Genesis versus Evolutionary history. Could you perhaps point me to one which you consider your strongest argument? I mean--you summarize a timeline of ancient cultures, but was something cut off? There's no conclusion, just a list of historical cultures (an account which itself doesnt't align too well with biblical history.) You make one passing reference to the Tower of Babel myth, as though that were anything plausibly historical and not a Just-So-Story to explain the origin of language.

      Give me a starting place, if you're not going to make the arguments here and instead just give me about a thousand words of preaching and another thousand words about ancient history, neither of which are coherent. Tell me what your strongest article is and I'll go read that.

      (Incidentally, should mention my father was a minister, I grew up in church every sunday, reading the bible, multiple summer camps every year, so I'm more than a little familiar with the source material. Not to brag, but just to maybe save you some time on the background material. Like I said, I was still a theist for ten years after I stopped being a Christian, so it wasn't just that I rejected one denomination's take on the bible.)

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Those who saw the pillars of fire and manna from heaven were pre-Jesus. Before it was wholly dependent on being a faith/belief-based system. We can't just throw out the entirety of the context of the story. Just like anything else, the context is important.

      I'm not saying your standards of evidence are too high, and I'm certainly not trying to come off as lecturing you. I'm saying that you're demanding we use a screwdriver to remove a bolt. You're trying to use the wrong tool, I'm simply trying to point that out. Take gravity, for example. We can only discern gravity by observing how matter behaves, or reacts, to it. We can't 'see' gravity or measure it unless we understand it through analyzing how it causes matter to behave. We could just treat it as we do the 'natural tendencies' of the components of abiogenesis or the 'natural tendencies' of living things versus dead things and say that the way matter binds together into planets and stars is 'just how it is', or 'just how it behaves'. We could dismiss matter's behavior as a 'given'. Or, we could recognize that there is an invisible force at work here and find alternative methods to then understand it better.

      Re: 9 reasons as not being 'sound arguments' ... Again, I'm not trying to prove atheism as objectively wrong. These are the reasons I am not satisfied with a god-less universe. There are plenty of really smart and educated people out there who are atheists and see no conflict, just as there are really smart and educated people out there who are Christians and see no conflict. Ken Miller is a cell biologist, yet he's a Christian. Russell Stannard is a high energy particle physicist who worked at CERN and who aided in some of our most profound breakthroughs in physics in recent history, yet he's also a Christian.

      Okay, maybe this will help. Here's the hypothesis. Genesis isn't describing Adam as the first human, but the first human with free will. He was created in an already populated world. What I'm attempting to show is that the evidence, as well as the mythologies of the people who lived in that region in that age, support this. The impact of Adam's creation/introduction can be seen in history. In fact, it actually changed the course of human history. In this light, Adam would have been created roughly 5500 BC. Cain's city would have been built about 5300 BC, and would most likely be one and the same as the Sumerian city of Eridu. According to the Sumerians the 'patron god' of Eridu taught them civilization and established that city state. Eridu is the first appearance of class stratification in all of human history. A symptom of that behavioral change. A ruling class lived in a temple, a working class lived around the city. The Ubaid culture, which consisted of multiple city-states, each with their own patron god according to the Sumerians, lasted from 5500-4000 BC and came to an 'abrupt end'. Pre-flood Genesis from Cain's banishment and when he built a city to the flood was the same length of time, and, of course, came to an abrupt end. Then you've got both Genesis and the Sumerian King's List stating the Sumerian city of Uruk was established not long after the flood. The real Uruk was established about 3800BC. Then we have a climatological event that really did cause massive human migrations just like what's described in the Babel story.

      Basically, the events of Genesis, when set next to the proper context of the actual history of the region, reveals Genesis to be much more on point historically than most think.

    • profile image

      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      "Those who saw the pillars of fire and manna from heaven were pre-Jesus. Before it was wholly dependent on being a faith/belief-based system."

      So we're in agreement, that Christianity is predicated on belief in something you did not witness and cannot verify? That the post-resurrection miracles were exclusively for the people at the time, but at this late date I have to believe based on translations of copies of copies of translations of accounts written decades after the fact by anonymous authors with no extant originals, regarding events which left zero imprint or mention in the extrabiblical record? That's "the context?"

      "We could just treat it as we do the 'natural tendencies' of the components of abiogenesis or the 'natural tendencies' of living things versus dead things and say that the way matter binds together into planets and stars is 'just how it is', or 'just how it behaves'. We could dismiss matter's behavior as a 'given'. Or, we could recognize that there is an invisible force at work here and find alternative methods to then understand it better."

      "Recognize" is a strong word. I perceive no such force. As attributed to Laplace, "I have no need of that hypothesis." It adds nothing, it explains nothing, it leads nowhere, it is utterly useless and there's no reason to take perfectly sound and verifiable observations and encrust them with primitive superstitions.

      Likewise your account of history--it stands on its own, trying to shoehorn it into a supposedly biblical narrative is worthless. The book of genesis has never successfully predicted any scientific or historical discovery, never made any testable claims borne out in the real world. Its only claim to legitimacy is to usurp credit after the fact, once the discoveries are made, and claim "I knew it all along."

      "Adam would have been created roughly 5500 BC."

      Seriously, how the hell do you know that? How do you know there ever was an Adam?

      Honestly, let's get to it. What's your best article that has your strongest case to make?

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      "I perceive no such force. As attributed to Laplace, "I have no need of that hypothesis." It adds nothing, it explains nothing, it leads nowhere, it is utterly useless and there's no reason to take perfectly sound and verifiable observations and encrust them with primitive superstitions."

      Just because you don't perceive any such force doesn't mean it's not there. Before Newton nobody 'perceived' gravity either. Stuff falling to the ground was "just how it was". Now, if there were something to be learned about this energy or force that animates living things, do you really think there'd be nothing to gain from figuring that out? Are you listening to yourself? Does how you're talking sound familiar to you?

      "Likewise your account of history--it stands on its own, trying to shoehorn it into a supposedly biblical narrative is worthless."

      And no, the account of history does not stand on its own. If you studied this period in history then you'd know there's quite a bit we still don't know. The origin of the languages, the sudden transition to multiple civilizations, the explosion in inventions, at least 3 unique writing systems, astronomy, mathematics, the first government, the first armies and organized warfare, and on and on and on. In a very short amount of time. No explanation.

      As is usually the case in many of these types of discussions the non-believer is making statements of faith, stretching the truth about what's explained or stands on its own, as if science has already figured everything out. In the conversation that led me to Dogma Debate an atheist reply to my question 'what is funny' was 'evolution explains that'. She might as well have said "God did it". Same result. Learning stops.

      And you, here, content to stop looking for answers assuming somebody's got it figured out. It stands on its own. Well, actually, factually, no. It doesn't.

      Adam -> 130 years -> Cain -> 1500 years -> flood -> 100 years -> Babel

      Ubaid Culture -> 1500 years -> "abrupt end"/flood evidence -> 100 years -> mass human migration

      It's a simple case of building a template based on the timeline specifically given and finding where it lines up in history. Turns out that not only did every human in that region actually believe gods existed in their ancient past, but it also lines right up with the most monumentally definitive behavioral change in human history. A change that literally altered how we humans have lived on this planet from every age since. You know, no big deal. Nothing to see here.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      "Just because you don't perceive any such force doesn't mean it's not there."

      Demonstrate it.

      "there's quite a bit we still don't know...No explanation."

      So it's a textbook Argument From Ignorance. You're done.

      What I meant by "stands on its own" is what I said earlier: it was discovered without the bible, and the evidence for those ancient cultures stands or falls on its own merits, without the bible. And the bible never has been and never will be of any use in making further discoveries. Biblical Archaeology has been around for as long as there's been such a field, but it's a moribund discipline because its predictions have been utter failures. If you think you can do better, I await the peer-reviewed results published in the professional literature.

    • profile image

      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      Edit: "Biblical Archaeology has been around for as long as there's been such a field as Archaeology".

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      "Demonstrate it."

      We're talking about life and death and you want me to demonstrate it? Any suggestions? I just don't feel right about this.

      ""there's quite a bit we still don't know...No explanation."

      So it's a textbook Argument From Ignorance. You're done."

      I need details. Substance. Are you referring to something in particular that I'm ignorant of? Is there an explanation I'm not aware of?

      "What I meant by "stands on its own" is what I said earlier: it was discovered without the bible, and the evidence for those ancient cultures stands or falls on its own merits, without the bible. And the bible never has been and never will be of any use in making further discoveries."

      So finding out an ancient document of unknown age and authorship that originates in the cradle of civilization might have much more significant historical merit than once thought has no value at all? We've answered all the questions and have no need for it? We're absolutely sure there's nothing else? We should just close our eyes and not look?

      "Biblical Archaeology has been around for as long as there's been such a field, but it's a moribund discipline because its predictions have been utter failures. If you think you can do better, I await the peer-reviewed results published in the professional literature."

      It doesn't matter how long Biblical Archaeology has been around. Much of what makes it possible to place the events of Genesis in actual history has only been known for a decade or so, if that. Like climatological models. Globally mapped behavioral studies. We've only known about Sumer for a century or so, with their language finally translated and published much later. Not to mention the location of much of the archaeological evidence is in modern day Iraq. There's much more to come I'm sure. It's not like it's all been done. Without having the information to pinpoint Genesis in history, the only other option is to start with a later event in the bible and attempt to work backwards, which would require a completely unbroken history and lineage that spans 3000+ years, at least a 1000 of which predates writing. Most attempts to count backwards, if I'm right, are off by roughly 1500 years.

      I know we like to think we modern folk are better, smarter, more evolved/informed/knowledgeable/enlightened/whatever, but the fact is bronze age humanity gave us civilization. They gave us the written language, mathematics, astronomy, government, laws, etc. They changed the world. They started the knowledge gathering. We still use the Sumerian's 60-base numeric system to this day to track time and to divide circles into 360 degrees. Did you know the Sumerian language, long after the Akkadian and Babylonian civilizations came and absorbed them, while they each had their own language, they continued to use the Sumerian language much like we use Latin today, for religious practices and science? And what we know about this time in history, while it has increased exponentially over the past century or so, is still just a glimpse we get by what little of this 5000 year old age has survived.

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 3 years ago from New York City

      Headly:

      Sorry, been busy recently. I will put in my last two cents in response to your last comment to me. So this will be my last word on the subject. All good things must come to an end.

      "It doesn't say anything about water being the first thing."

      What do you mean? Of course it does. Just read it. It mentions: God, heavens, earth, darkness and the waters. It specifically accounts for the creation of everything else on earth *later* in the story. Of all things that exist on earth, water is the first thing mentioned.

      "There really was a time when the earth was covered in ocean and shrouded in darkness."

      Nope. The earth was never shrouded in darkness because the sun was always there from the beginning.

      "Quick note, I'm pretty sure our sun formed roughly the same time as all the other stars."

      The sun formed about 5 billion years ago, and while many stars are indeed about the same age as the sun, there are many stars that are much older (more than 5 or even more than 10 billion years old). So again the Bible is wrong.

      "... I'm pretty sure humanity has pieced together since the dawn of reason is that the light of day comes from the sun."

      The text says quite clearly that night and day existed prior to the sun. Unless you have a better explanation for the terms "greater light" and "lesser light." It is straightforward: "the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night." (Gen 1: 16) What else could the "greater light" that "rules the day" be other than the sun? There is nothing in the sky in the daytime other than the sun and the clouds.

      "The heavens have always been the sun, the moon, and the stars."

      But it says that God created the heavens *before* the stars!

      "In the beginning God created the heavens..." (Gen 1: 1)

      "And God called the firmament Heaven." (Gen 1: 8)

      "... He made the stars also." (Gen 1: 16)

      First came the heavens, then came the stars. On this there can be no debate, even if you disagree (and I don't see how you could) about the sun and moon. The stars are explicitly and literally referenced.

      Come on, be fair. You can't say that the Bible gives an accurate account of earth's history and then ignore what the actual text says.

      "So, with a translucent atmosphere you'd have the light of day and the dark of night, but no discernible sun, moon, or stars (heavens)."

      Genesis does not identify a specific "point of view" much less the point of view of "earth, not the solar system or larger galaxy." Genesis is an ostensible account of all creation, an objective account.

      It does not say "the sun was not yet visible." If the authors meant that, they could have easily said it. They certainly were quite detailed in other passages. They specifically say the sun was created later.

      "So, the sun, the moon, and the stars, which were not visible from the surface for the first 4 billion years, 'appeared'."

      It does not say that those things "appeared" either. It says that God MADE them during this time (Gen 1: 16).

      "They [Sumerians] also say a man who was warned of the flood ahead of time built a boat and took with him a handful of humans and a bunch of animals. And they tell a story involving the confusing of a once universal language. That's what I'm talking about. What are the chances that this is all coincidence?"

      Very low. That's precisely consistent with a naturalistic view of history. The Hebrews lived in the same region as the Sumerians. There was a significant amount of cultural and economic exchange among the peoples of the region.

      It is not surprising that certain mythical details are shared among cultures existing in a heavily trafficked region of the world laced with active trade routes for centuries.

      It is equally not surprising that ancient Meso-Americans or Sub-Saharan Africans have very different creation myths than the Hebrews, being as they were farther away, with no contact.

      We see tons of similarities between ancient Greek and Roman mythologies, does that mean that they are correct?

      "If we did not each experience the mind ourselves, there'd be no indication by looking at a functioning physical brain what is actually going on in there. Just firing neurons, oxygenated blood flow changes, and chemical happenings."

      Yes, there would be an indication. The brain of a person who is in a coma, or brain dead, looks very different on the computer screen than the brain of a person who is alert and active.

      To say there is an indication is not to say that an observer would know precisely what was happening. We can look at the surface of the ocean and see fish or whales occasionally leaping up out of the water. That is an indication that something is happening below the surface, but without the proper equipment to dive and observe the undersea world, our understanding is extremely limited. Just because we cannot understand something, or explain it fully, or have the tools to observe it fully, does not mean a supernatural force is at work anywhere.

      I think despite your best efforts (and I do applaud you for those efforts!) you fall prey to the God of the Gaps/ argument from ignorance more often than you would like acknowledge.

      You can have the last word, thanks for an interesting discussion.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      ""In fact, the primitive Earth long remained covered in darkness, wrapped in dense burning clouds into which continuously poured water vapor from volcanic emissions. When temperatures finally cooled sufficiently, the clouds began to condense into rain, and the primordial atmosphere produced storms of unimaginable proportions, under which the Earth groaned and flowed. At first, falling on incandescent rock, the rain evaporated, but the evaporation gradually cooled the crust until the water could accumulate in the depressed regions of the Earth's surface, forming the first oceans." - http://www.palaeos.org/Hadean#Formation_of_the_oce...

      Does that sound about right? God, heavens, earth, darkness and the waters. The waters came first. They played a significant role in hardening the outer crust of the once wholly-molten earth, and until that happened and temperatures actually cooled enough for all that water vapor trapped in the atmosphere to finally condense, the earth was shrouded in darkness. As the clouds condensed, eventually light was able to make it's way to the surface. But the atmosphere was not yet transparent, only translucent. So, you would have light of day and dark of night, but no visible sun/moon/stars.

      It actually was after plant life on land that the sun/moon/stars first became visible. In fact, plant life on land and in direct contact with the atmosphere played a major role in making this happen. Add to that the drifting of the continents from beneath the earth to between the poles in that same time frame, which 'sets' the sun/moon/stars in the sky, and you've got one gigantic coincidence, I guess.

      "Genesis does not identify a specific "point of view" much less the point of view of "earth, not the solar system or larger galaxy." Genesis is an ostensible account of all creation, an objective account."

      Gen1:2-3 "... And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light."

      I don't see how it could be made any more clear than that. It actually say where He is when He said "Let there be light". On what do you base your statement that "Genesis is an ostensible account of all creation, an objective account"?

      "It is not surprising that certain mythical details are shared among cultures existing in a heavily trafficked region of the world laced with active trade routes for centuries.

      It is equally not surprising that ancient Meso-Americans or Sub-Saharan Africans have very different creation myths than the Hebrews, being as they were farther away, with no contact."

      Right, and those same 'mythical' details would also be shared if they actually did happen in the ancient pre-history of this region. And of course, considering the world was already populated, geographic isolation is also expected.

      The Sumerians, who started it all, say they were taught. Why would they do that? We actually do see rapid advancements, we know they actually did it. Why claim they were taught?

      "In Sumerian mythology, a me is one of the decrees of the gods foundational to those social institutions, religious practices, technologies, behaviors, mores, and human conditions that make civilization, as the Sumerians understood it, possible." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Me_%28mythology%29

      The people that actually lived in that region at that time attribute, not just social institutions and technologies, but behaviors as well, to being gifts from their gods. Gods who lived among them and interacted with them. Gods who were immortal. We knew about the technological advances, and now we know about the behavioral change. The Greeks and Romans said the same, about behavior changing. And they all say these gods existed. They all believed this to be their real history. Literally. The same civilizations, the same bronze age people, who gave us astronomy and mathematics and the written language, say there were gods and they taught them.

      So, not only does Genesis line up chronologically and geographically with events and details in the archaeological record, not only does it line up with a significant and demonstrable behavioral change in humanity that very much resembles the 'curses' of Gen3 (women being subjugated by men) but the people who were actually there at the time attribute all the advancements we actually do see in the archaeological record to being decrees from gods.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      "Demonstrate it."

      We're talking about life and death and you want me to demonstrate it? Any suggestions? I just don't feel right about this.

      Gravity can be demonstrated, electromagnetism can be demonstrated, the Strong and Weak Nuclear forces can be demonstrated quite spectacularly. People have been trying to demonstrate the existence of an "elan vital" for generations and it always fails. If you claim there is a motive force to life, you need to show evidence.

      ""there's quite a bit we still don't know...No explanation."

      So it's a textbook Argument From Ignorance. You're done."

      I need details. Substance. Are you referring to something in particular that I'm ignorant of? Is there an explanation I'm not aware of?

      The Argument from Ignorance fallacy does not refer to the ignorance of any individual, rather it is what you are doing here, you appeal to our general ignorance on a certain question, and use that to try and support your chosen position, when in fact no such support exists. "We don't know" doesn't support any explanation more than any other, and when you appeal to what we don't know, it's a sure-fire way to advertise that you don't have any evidence specific to support your claim. You just can't reason that way.

      "So finding out an ancient document of unknown age"

      Its age is pretty well known as far as this argument goes--the earliest fragment of it is only from a few centuries BCE no good copies exist until well into C.E., and textual clues indicate no part of it can be shown to be older than 925 BCE. I finally got the podcast downloaded, and it's clear your argument is "well we don't know how old it is, even if we can date portions of it." Sorry, no. If you're going to claim it accurately describes dates millennia before any trace of its existence, then you need to establish its bona fide antiquity to that degree. If you can't, it's not evidence. As it stands, any uncertainties as to its age, and every fact related to its age which we have, all argue AGAINST its validity toward your thesis.

      "and authorship"

      Its unknown authorship argues AGAINST its validity.

      "that originates in the cradle of civilization"

      Three thousand to five thousand years after the events you say it describes. This argues AGAINST its validity.

      "might have much more significant historical merit than once thought has no value at all?"

      That word "might" is a huge leap. Based on what you have presented, your case is extremely farfetched and I see no reason to accept it. Every reason you say I should believe it is actually a reason why nobody should believe it.

      "We're absolutely sure there's nothing else? We should just close our eyes and not look?"

      There you go appealing to the unknown again to try and *ask* me to close my eyes and believe without evidence. My eyes are open, you just are telling me that I can see better if I shut them and believe without evidence. No attempt at any supernatural explanation has ever succeeded once in the history of science, so we're going to take our open eyes and simply look where there actually are things to see.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Yes, those fundamental laws can be mathematically demonstrated because the elements being affected can be seen before and after they were affected. What I'm talking about is 'demonstrated' everytime something dies. Though there's no structural/molecular difference, when something's alive it exhibits a host of behaviors that are no longer happening when it's dead. It's demonstrated all the time. There's just no measurable/observable difference. Other than the fact that it's dead.

      Regarding 'Argument from Ignorance' .. My statement regarding what's still not known was to counter your statement that it "stands on its own". Let's not get things twisted up. I'm not using that as part of my argument. What you're referring to is when someone says, "see, there's no explanation for this, therefore God." That's not what I'm doing. I'm referring to a demonstrable behavioral change that has psychological explanations for what's seen in the evidence regarding technological and societal advances. A behavioral change that was actually predicted by my hypothesis.

      As far as the origin of the books of Moses... the only thing that needs to be proven date-wise as far as what I'm talking about is that it's older than the information we now have that reveals it to be so accurate. We know for certain it was written before that information was known. The date you're referring to is the 'Documentary Hypothesis', which is based on the text of the Septuagint, a Greek version which dates to roughly 200BC. The 'source texts' and their ages are hypothetical based on how the language of that text is, titles used, etc. Written as is would seem to indicate roughly the age of the kingdom of Judah, around 950 BC. But considering no other known document from that region timeframe, or any other for that matter, claims to be an account of creation and the onset of human civilization, then accurately depicts it, that alone gives it merit, whether you're willing to admit/accept or not.

      What you seem to be overlooking is just how specific the information it gives really is, especially Gen2-11. This story explains a fundamental change in how these people perceive things/behave, then gives a specific length of time that things carried on that way before a major event is said to have ended it, which matches up with one particular archaeological period in history, that happened in the same geographic location the story specifically says, that lasted the same length of time that the story specifically says, that demonstrably shows the very same behavioral differences specifically described, and that ended abruptly just like the story specifically says. And then comes the climatological change that caused a mass migration and that soon led to the dawning of multiple civilizations with at least 4 unique languages, just like it specifically says.

      I'm not asking you to close your eyes and believe without evidence. I'm asking you to open your eyes and LOOK at the evidence. You're the one closing your eyes and placing stipulations and limitations on what answers are possible. Stipulations and limitations that can be shown as logically unsound.

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      Methodskeptic 3 years ago

      "What I'm talking about is 'demonstrated' everytime something dies. Though there's no structural/molecular difference, when something's alive it exhibits a host of behaviors that are no longer happening when it's dead. It's demonstrated all the time. There's just no measurable/observable difference."

      I know you don't think you are, but when you say "no measurable/observable difference" you're just making that same old appeal to ignorance.

      Life is a chemical process, with trillions of moving parts in even the simplest organism. Positing an "élan vital" when that machine wears out and stops working is no more helpful than looking to "élan locomotiv" to explain why a train engine breaks down.

      And I'm sorry, but I have read Genesis, remember, I'm a preacher's kid, and I don't agree that it is accurate to the archaeological record. The fact that you can shoehorn the bible into the mold of history and force it to fit and then claim it's accurate...I'm sorry, if you tell me that steak is on the menu and you serve me what looks like a strip of boot leather in ketchup, you can't criticize me for closing my mouth and not taking a bite. What you've presented doesn't warrant further investigation.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      It's an appeal to ignorance. It's an acknowledgement of the ignorance. The boundary lines where the facts stop and the ignorance begins. This is what I mean. It's just a chemical process that compels living things to willfully act to survive and perpetuate. It's just multiple components that just happen to have mutually beneficial 'natural tendencies' and it's just the facts that the environment was optimal, and that the natural laws are 'just so', and so on. I agree these are the facts. That is indeed how these things behave/how things work/how things are. But do I think that's just how things happened, unintended and undesigned? Just an ever-going causal chain reaction that ripples along, forming a 'just so' planetary habitat with complex biological machines and logical/reasoning minds along the way? No. I have reasonable doubt where a godless existence is concerned.

      On what grounds do you disagree that it's accurate to the archaeological record? Because you read it differently? I'm not criticizing your not accepting what I'm saying. I would just like it very much that if you choose to take the time to tell me that you don't agree and that what I'm presenting doesn't warrant further investigation that you explain specifically why.

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      Oztinato 3 years ago

      Hi Methodskeptic

      Please read some of my comments regarding the mathematical proof of God's existence (on Headly's other page: In Science We Trust?: Are God and Science Incompatible? (Spoiler Alert ... No.)

      Maths is the purest logic we have.

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      gconeyhiden 3 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      hi again, As I read this hub I caught you taking GREAT LIBERTIES in forming your "scientific" argument but im happy to see, your like me in that you are into comic books. You state..and this point cannot be overlooked..that we are the only intelligent life forms in the entire universe or something kooky like that. Now new telescopes have foundthat planets apparently are more numerous then stars and that many solar systems exist that have planets of the right size in the solar systems life zones where it is possible for life to exist. you make many such statements of over reach to make your case.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      gconeyhiden,

      I'm familiar with the searches going on for life elsewhere by looking for planets in the 'sweet spot' in accordance to their sun, attempting to determine whether or not liquid water exists, and that kind of thing. And I personally don't doubt life could exist elsewhere. I believe the only statements I made about this I made sure to qualify with "at least as far as we know", or "at least to our knowledge" ....

      [i]"These traits found, at least as far as we know, exclusively in humanity, makes us an anomaly, not just amongst the animal kingdom, but in all the universe."

      "The dawn of reason in humanity means we are the first and only bundles of matter in all the universe, at least to our knowledge, capable of choosing our behavior, not by natural instinct or the inherent nature of the behavior of the matter we're made up of, but through reason. This is a hugely unique and powerful thing."[/i]

      These statements are more meant to stress the significance of our capability, unlike most matter anywhere in the universe, to choose our behavior via reason, rather than just being determined by the laws of physics. This would be the equivalent of matter in the universe being able to decide on its own whether or not to adhere to gravity. In the evolution of life we've kind of 'taken the wheel' so to speak, out of the hands of a process that's proven itself successful, because we now through our reason and intellect determine how we evolve moving forward. For example, medical and dental achievements mean we're now allowing for the passing on of traits that would have otherwise been weeded out by natural selection. So it would seem the evolution of reason and intellect is changing how things go moving forward.

      I'm not looking for intervention of natural processes to see God's involvement. In my mind, if God is the creator/architect of the natural world, then there would be no need for God to have to intervene, or override, His own creation to reach a desired end. He simply built the fundamental behaviors needed into the thread of matter itself so that it behaves how it needs to behave to accomplish what God wants accomplished. The only instances that require God's intervening are those described in His interactions with humans in the bible because humans, unlike the rest of the natural world, behave free of His will because we behave according to our own.

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      gconeyhiden 3 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      If your NOT religious why describe yourself as a Christian? Science is really young so there are still many areas that remain fuzzy or unknown. You then feed off of these grey spots which enable you to maneuver your ideas accordingly. I find you feeding off of the vagueness in religion and science both at the same time. When is your religious spiritual science fiction novel due out?

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      Alan 3 years ago from Tasmania

      I see several of you folks contributing here, now and over the past couple of years, each with your own strong and (usually) consistent views on things. As you know I respect most of your views, even though I can't agree wholeheartedly with some of them.

      For that reason, I try to see more deeply into your points of view and search for "where you are coming from." It is not possible for me to wade through all the arguments being put for one or other side. Most of the time I am using an Android smart phone. My fingers are getting a bit arthritic and clumsy, also the screen is so small I can't read it very often.

      So now I have got a little charge left on the small laptop, so will endeavour to give a better reply to your posts, Headly.

      I am half way through reading The Grand Design, by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.

      I have never read any of Stephen's works before, although ofter hear comments/criticisms of him. So reading him myself is like a breath of fresh air. I don't find him at all domineering with his opinions. Nor is he adamant or inflexible with points raised. It is all open and free, encouraging further thought, whilst give lots of well researched and studied information. Plenty of good humour too, in several places. Several places I am being "put right" in my own views..... humbling really, and exciting, because I can learn something of substance....edifying, if you like.

      The idea of "Model-dependent Realism" has caught my attention. Suggesting, I think, that each concept and idea can be seen as useful in particular circumstances and conditions.

      I bring this up here, because it seems to me you, Headly, and every other person with a christian or theist understanding, have a particular model that describes your perspective to us who read your thoughts. There can be an infinite number of models, each serving the purpose for the individual. We do not need to say to anyone, "you are wrong, because I see it totally different from you." We can keep an open mind.

      And if someone is strongly religious, or christian, or muslim, or theist, or atheist, if there is strength and substance in our understanding, then it will not fall because of simple criticism; it can stand alone and retain it's authenticity.

      If someone says he or she "believes in" God, and thinks he/she has to defend "Him," then surely that God is pretty week and insignificant, not worth worrying about.

      So I would prefer to take a leaf out of Stephen's book, pardon the pun, and improve the debating in these threads.... to the point each of us can broaden our mind through the process.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      Hey Jonny,

      Improving the debate is something I strive for as well as I think this is an important and worthwhile conversation to have. There's been this growing sentiment in recent years that people who do not believe in God somehow have the intellectual and factual high ground. Something I know to be false. But those arguing in favor of God's existence haven't exactly been doing our viewpoint any favors, posing ignorant arguments against evolution and the like, which only really makes all believers look foolish by association. It's reached the point that simply acknowledging myself as a Christian leads to assumptions that I am anti-science, anti-reason and logic, indoctrinated and/or deluded. I am a self-proclaimed science-fanatic who is fascinated by the natural world and humanity, so I take issue with this.

      You are more open-minded than most where possibilities beyond the purely material are concerned, and as past conversations have shown, this open-mindedness leads to more fruitful, and mutually respectful, discussions. I take issue with religious institutions and religious individuals whose viewpoints attempt to derail progress, and I feel no different about the disciples of materialism. It's just as limiting of a viewpoint because, like religion, it injects certainty where it doesn't belong and it manages to alienate half the population in the process. It's the same mistake being repeated, only under a different banner.

      With all we've learned up to this point, one thing is for certain. Whatever the answers ultimately turn out to be, they're going to be fantastical, because this place is fantastical. To borrow from Rupert Sheldrake, "The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in. This is a very wide spread belief in our society. It's the kind of belief system of people who say, "I don't believe in God, I believe in science." It's a belief system which has now been spread throughout the entire world. But there's a conflict in the heart of science between science as a method of inquiry, based on reason, evidence, hypothesis, and collective investigation, and science as a belief system or a worldview. And, unfortunately, the worldview aspect of science has come to inhibit and constrict the free inquiry, which is the very lifeblood of the scientific endeavor."

      I feel I have a pretty good grasp of the workings of the material world, I stay up to date as best as I can on leading theories in every realm. But in my mind, the material viewpoint only offers a hollow shell of an explanation when it comes to many of the complexities of this universe that doesn't adequately encompass all that life really is. If we're ever really going to progress forward our best bet is for everyone to acknowledge we are all in the dark together, acknowledge each others' differences as equal, and continuing to have the conversation respectfully and thoughtfully.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      gconeyhiden,

      Because I believe in the Gospel of Christ I describe myself as a Christian. Religion is a man-made institution based on a man-made interpretation of God that's not one and the same as God, so I do not consider myself religious. I don't abide by the ceremonies and procedures of the various denominations.

      Don't you think it's a little convenient that those 'grey spots' you speak of exist where they do as to allow for such a cohesive take? Don't you think that if there were absolutely no truth to this, if this were all nothing more than the wild imaginings of bronze age people, that our modern knowledge would nowadays definitely prove it all ridiculous? Because I can be the word-twistingest fool on the block, if it doesn't work it doesn't work.

      I get why you see what I'm saying as you do and I get it. But the fact is there's still a lot we don't yet understand. While I certainly see problems with the more traditional takes of God and the bible, I see no definitive reason to dismiss this whole God concept born of an ancient text of unknown age and authorship that originates in the cradle of civilization. In fact, the more I look the more I find that substantiates it. But if there's justification behind your certainty that this is all 'religious spiritual science fiction' then I invite you to share what it is you know that I don't. Many have tried, certain that I was totally full of it, yet no one has yet been able to provide a single valid reason to back up what they knew for certain.

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      gconeyhiden 3 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      I see tremendous what I call "contradictions" to the continuity of religious thought in relation to nature. You seem to say that you agree that "God" intervened on earth because humans above all other life forms had free will and reason. These attributes very well could be the reason why "God" exists in the minds of many humans. Question remains, what came first, the human mind capable of such concepts or "God". Did humans create the concept of "God" or "Gods" or did "God" really create humans and everything else for that matter. In many ancient text it almost seems "God" created humans so they can worship "HIM". I find this notion silly. You say "GOD" intervened on earth after he created everything, hope Im not getting you wrong. you also state that nature improves itself by taking advantage of disasterous situations to improve its survival capabilities, as the saying goes that which doesnt kill you makes you stronger. Why then would "God" mess with it's own creation if nature is indeed a feedback loop capable of it's own self improvement? Why have ignorant humans praying to "God" to step in and make exceptions that are in effect, as Im guessing even you have to admit are contrary to nature? Christians love the stories of Jesus bringing dead people back to life but does it make any sense to actually bring people back to life if they are really dead? If they aren't really dead then I'd say the story is deceptive and is religious propaganda. If Jesus did bring people back to "life", why pander to human emotion and human FEARS, why not explain the nature of death and how important to life it is in the big scheme of things. Over thousands of years praying to "God" was the only last solution to the faithful and more often then not "God" seemed to go w nature NOT man. You mentioned a tree growing stronger in the wind. But humans are full of emotions and probably experience much more pain then any kind of tree. So would your"God" intervene to save humans from pain and suffering. I think not. The 20th century was the bloodiest of human history and it seems "God" was off somewhere in another more important part of the universe doing "HIS" thing. I imagine if by some chance "God" does exist on some level it's responsible for the creation but NOT the maintenance of human affairs. So in my mind "God" either by lack of will or just inability to do so, plays NO active role in the day to day affairs of the universe or mankind. My big worry is that religious people wont really understand what your saying so in that regard Im glad your comments are enlightening the questionable title of your hub. It seems science is making a good case that matter can pop out of "nothing". Life it seems may also be able to form from chemical reations. If these notions are true we surely have to look at the universe in a whole new way. You can be sure in the face of such growing evidence religion will try its best to stay relevent. I think you are a good example of this. YES even religion evolves. My own opinion is that nature is a "sacred entity". It requires no "God" to demand its utmost respect. Humankind has the duty of any symbionic creature, that being to care for and maintain the environment that supports all life on earth.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      gconeyhiden,

      If the whole point is free will, then by nature we are 'contrary to nature'. Think of free will in terms of all the components of nature being cells in a body. With all the natural world behaving as most cells do, in accordance to the natural code of the body, the DNA. Free will would be the equivalent of cells in your body with their own unique DNA code, behaving not in accordance to the DNA code of the body, but of their own. This would inevitably cause conflict and disorder in the system of the body as a whole.

      It would be pointless, in this light, for God to create this natural world without free will as it would all only play out the one deterministic way it can. Free will gives existence purpose. Being a will free of God's, it is not inherent to our nature to work in harmony with nature. In fact, for free will to even be possible, we would first have to live and experience it to gain the wisdom necessary to wield such a powerful capability. And because it's a free will, one must be given the opportunity to choose whether or not to acknowledge the authority of God and nature, as it's not inherent.

      Think of it in the context of traffic laws. The road system we have gives us the freedom to go where ever we choose whenever we choose. But because there are many of us willful beings using these roadways, there must be laws to abide by. You still have the willful choice whether or not to travel the wrong way on a freeway, but there are laws against it. If you do not respect the laws of the road or the authority that sets and enforces them, then your capability to travel freely on those roads will be removed. In much the same way, for eternal life with free will to be possible, there must be rules and respect for the authority who sets them. If you are unwilling, you are unable to participate. It's not that God needs our worship, it's that our worship and acknowledgement of Him as the creator and authority is necessary for us to exist with our own wills and minds.

      In fact, this concept works rather well through the lens of science as a will that is at one point in evolution 'freed' from its ties to nature, to the point that the natural world around us, even our own bodies, seem foreign to us. It would then be necessary to calibrate our moral compass moving forward. I do think God reserves the right to intervene where He sees fit, but I, like you, do not think God plays such an active role. If God were to step in and stop bad things from happening, save lives, etc, then the repercussions of our choices would not truly be free. If we knew the world was 'nerfed' by a supernatural being it would impact our choices, and impact our ability to learn from it. It would be pointless to go through the trouble to create all of this just to intervene all along the way. Life is a learning experience, and I think it is as it is by design.

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      gconeyhiden 3 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      Hi, As Darwin said what kind of "God" would create parasites that eat their hosts alive. Well Im not so sure the whole point is free will. It seems very important to us humans alright but free will is surely limited. This world existed for a hugh amount of time without humans and their "free will". For much of this planets existence humans were no where to be found. Seems that "God" was plenty happy w a world devoid of humans for an extremely long time. Only now in the last few thousand years is the world according garp. A damn blink of an eye really. By the way many groups of humans did seek to live in harmony w nature and still wish to do so. Unfortunately they were overrun by "God" fearing peoples like Christians ect. who knew better "Gods" plan.

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      Jeremy Christian 3 years ago from Texas

      gconeyhiden,

      So, groups of humans who did seek to live in harmony with nature were overrun by "God" fearing people, huh? And where did they come from? What made this particular group of humans all of the sudden decide to make up this elaborate story? If it's as you say then this too is just a socially evolved trait that nobody could have done anything about anyway. It was just something the environment coaxed out of them. It's just the product of an evolving mind living in an evolving environment. That's all we can be if it's as you're speaking. All the actions and decisions made by humanity throughout the ages couldn't actually be within anyone's deliberate control, but rather as in control of our fate as a waterfall in control of where it flows.

      But if we do have free will then a finite existence where there's dangers and parasites and loss and pain and death is the perfect place to hone such a capability. It's a place where choices matter, where life is fleeting, where death can literally be around every corner.

      Just open your mind and think. If you really think some of your objections through you'll find that they don't make logical sense. Like these 'God fearing' people coming along and standing in the way of humans who just want to live in harmony with nature. The 'God fearing' part came way later than the actual change that took us so far away from the natural world. And if seen through the lens you're speaking of, of this God-less existence shaped by pure causal determinism, then this is all simply a result of our chemistry and our environment. And even what I'm doing here now can't actually be my willfully intended choice, but rather just a product of my make-up.

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      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Well I finally finished this hub and wanted to thank you for sharing what you did. I am sure we disagree on a couple of things, but overall I don't find what you have shared to be in conflict with my own and some other Christian's thoughts on these things. Sure, the details will vary a little bit, but I wanted to encourage you (based on one thing you said) that I DO see more and more Christians supporting science and evolution both. Before I learned more and applied rational thought to everything I was learning, originally I thought people were just giving in to pressure or something. (Pressure from the non believing crowd.) I thought that the God I have come to know could certainly DO anything he wanted to do and was capable, etc. I still believe that but some other things have changed over time. I have come around over the last several years to see a bigger and more beautiful picture of the universe. So that is exciting, and the more I looked around and read and researched, I realized that many Christians are caring about all these same kinds of things. I haven't seen it presented like you have shared though.

      I like the idea of looking at "what would explain this or that,", and looking at views to see if they fail at "fitting in with reality" test or not. It is good to encourage all people to not assume about others views, and to critically analyze their own without bias. I got to the point where I had to tackle my own faith head on with all the criticisms coming its way. I learned there are good reasons or not, for believing what any of us do. If its all about truth, then my views should hold up. All that to say that I agree with most all that you say here if I am understanding you correctly. I think too the resistance to a possible god might have to do with the fact that there IS more to life, more is going on behind the scenes which would explain a lot of the unexplained reality I observe. I mean in particular with people, history, behavior, etc. I am a firm believer in whatever best accounts for our world as it actually is. So far, nothing has beat the idea of an intelligent being, and in particular a God.

      You mentioned at one point, people needing to possibly reason away a higher power. I think that is what we sometimes see. It is about what is driving the "thing", is it to uncover the truth, or to affirm a desired view for some reason, or something else? I appreciated also the touching on atheism throughout recorded history. Very interesting.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Reason away a higher power? That's like saying we have to reason away the easter bunny. Why would anyone want to reason away a positive?

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      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hi Radman, Here is the paragraph where I saw him say something about reasoning away a higher power. That way you can know more what I am responding to there. It was under point 9 I believe above. You might want to read more than I share below, but the "reasoning away a higher power" part is in the last sentence.

      HeadlyvonNoggin said,

      "Beyond those two eras, belief in a higher power throughout the entirety of human history seems absolute. In indigenous cultures, like the Aborigines of Australia, the sub-Saharan tribes of Africa, and the native American tribes of the 'new world', animism, or the belief that there is a spirit force that animates the natural world and links mankind to the sun, the wind, the mountains, and the animals, is consistent across the board. Beyond that you've got the Mesopotamian religions of the Sumerians, then Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the mythologies of western Europe like that of Greece and Rome, the eastern European mythologies, and Buddhism and Hinduism throughout Asia. It seems, to me at least, that this clearly illustrates that this is the default state of humanity, where a belief in a higher power must be 'reasoned' away."

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      @Oceansunsetsandstuff and @Rad Mania:

      I think Headly, the highly detailed and elaborate author of this verbal debacle, means that these Homo sapien thingies (humanoids), as a whole, are intuitively instinctive toward a "higher power" and that the only denial, oops, I mean "escape from the notion of primal instincts," is by reasoning away a higher power with additional sophisticated confusion that we currently call science and technology - or something along those lines.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      @oceans,

      Santa was reasoned away for most of us at some point. We are told lies and we believe them until we use reason. Apply the same season you used on Santa that you do on God and he will go away as well.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      @insane,

      Speaking of science and technology, where did that planet go that was supposed to appear a year or so back? Didn't you have that all figured out?

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @IM, for me, what you have just said seems to be quite insulting to Headly's attempt to explain his thinking. Headly does respond respectfully to all our replies and criticisms, unlike many theists and atheists. Ridicule is not an adequate response to his respect, I feel.

      Maybe I have read you incorrectly, and if that is so I apologize.

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      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Radman, that is a great point, but for my views, because there is a reason people grow up and drop belief in Santa and the Easter Bunny, and while maintaining the same reasoning, hold on to belief in God for very good reasons. In fact, many that didn't grow up with believe in God at all, and dropped the idea of Santa, CAME to believe in God for very good, logical, factual reasons, that they can often show good reasoning for.

      So it makes perfect sense to me that after careful consideration, people think its very reasonable to believe in God and not believe in Santa. The 9 reasons given above are some good reasons.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      @oceans,

      All nine of those things can be explained by nature, why add an unknown to explain something you don't understand especially if you can't explain the unknown you are adding? It's not reasonable to add an unknown to explain an unknown. Reason.

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      @Rad Man - You have yet again confused me with somebody else. I'm not the one who supports Nibiru or Planet X. I never have and never will follow that crazed conspiracy. You are thinking of the Hubber Somethgblue, not me. LOL!

      @Jonnycomelately - Nah, I was just jerking his chain. I had a few extra minutes and thought I'd drop down and visit all the spiritual gurus on here; ha!

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      @Insane, my apologies. I'm not sure how I could ever get you two confused in my mind?

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Hahah... Rad Man, we are all such lovable, laughable lobbers it's easy to get confused =)

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      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Radman, we will just have to agree to disagree, as I have not seen how nature can explain all of those things. I have not seen good arguments for it, though I admit I have not read through all the posts here. I think the thing you are calling unknown, is actually not unknown. So I don't think anyone is simply adding an unknown to explain an unknown.

      From what we all do know and likely agree on, we CAN know what kind of thing it had to be at least, to be able to account for the origins of the universe. Its steps like that that can lead one to understand where people like me are coming from. When someone gives good reasoning over a something else that doesn't explain it as much, like Headly has done there in nine detailed points, its hard to refute. If there is refutation, I have not seen it in my years of study or debating those that would oppose it. That is where I am coming from at least, and I try to be fair to the points the opposition makes and harder on my own points to make sure they stand on their own.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Oceans, show me what you are not understanding and I'll see if I can explain how it can happen without God. However you are attempting to introduce something to the explanation so you should have to do the explaining.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Reason away a higher power? That's like saying we have to reason away the easter bunny. Why would anyone want to reason away a positive?"

      It's simply the facts of the case. It's what the evidence reveals. Belief in a higher power, by all appearances, seems to be absolute among humans. Only in those ages when reason was employed, like ancient Greece, did anyone even consider the idea that there may not be a God. Meaning, by all appearances, belief in God must be reasoned away. If it isn't, then it is, by all appearances, the default state of humanity.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad Man,

      "Santa was reasoned away for most of us at some point. We are told lies and we believe them until we use reason. Apply the same season you used on Santa that you do on God and he will go away as well."

      So what you're saying is that any of us who maintain a belief in God have just not employed reason? In all of our discussions, do my reasonings given not indicate reasoned responses?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad Man,

      "All nine of those things can be explained by nature, why add an unknown to explain something you don't understand especially if you can't explain the unknown you are adding? It's not reasonable to add an unknown to explain an unknown. Reason."

      You're right. Explanations can be given for how each of these things can have happened 'naturally'. The only problem with that is that each of these require a lot of assumptions and speculation. Each on their own you can make a case for and we can discuss at great length. The problem comes in, for me at least, when you combine them all. All nine together, bound by the speculative explanations that go along with each, paint a very flimsy picture overall that I find difficult to get on board with. There's a lot you have to take some pretty big assumptive leaps to get on board with.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad Man,

      "Oceans, show me what you are not understanding and I'll see if I can explain how it can happen without God. However you are attempting to introduce something to the explanation so you should have to do the explaining."

      This'll be a good exercise. Try explaining how the human sense of humor came about 'naturally'. And I don't mean an audible laugh. I get how laughing can give others the sense of a jovial vibe that might lessen tensions socially. What I mean is our intellect finding something funny. What is funny?

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Headly, if all nine can be explained via a natural way, why insert something that makes it more confusing? You are basically saying that all these things can happen naturally, but together they can't so God must be involved.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      No, what I'm saying is that to buy into this idea that all 9 came about naturally, unintended by any specific deliberate being or intelligence, is a stretch. It's a much more likely scenario that these things were intended by something intelligent.

      I get what you're saying about inserting something. But you're speaking as if this is never done. Just look at dark matter. The whole reason the unseeable/unobservable hypothetical material is even inserted into the equation is to try to account for something observable that doesn't make sense on its own. In the particular case of dark matter, it's inserted to account for the force of gravity we see on observable material in the universe that much greater than the observable matter alone can cause. So, in that case, to make sense out of what's observed, a concept is inserted in to try to make sense of it. That's all we're doing. The best explanation that makes sense out of these observances, is that they were not haphazard unintended 'natural' biproducts, but rather they were deliberately intended.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      But dark matter is measurable, greater minds than ours are reasonably sure how much of it exists. It's detectable without understanding it completely. If prayer was detectable in a statistical manner, then perhaps you draw the same parallel.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      The only way dark matter is detectable is by measuring the affects of gravity, figuring out how much of that can be attributed to observable matter, then what you have left is what is assigned to dark matter. Dark matter in itself isn't detectable. It's a hypothetical explanation where no better explanation exists.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      And it's an explanation because of a measurement. What measurement leads to the existence of God?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      It's the parts of us that can't be measured because they all come from an unseeable mind. Much like those measurements, there are real things that are part of reality that just don't make sense until you inject an explanation that makes sense out of what we see/experience. It's an accounting, an explanation, for what is observed. We know we humans are conscious, that we have favorite colors and favorite songs, that we feel passionately about things that we feel are important and purposeful. That we laugh and cry. These things are real. Much like how the amount of gravity observed in space is way more than what can be attributed to visible matter, there are things that just don't make sense in a happenstance universe of pure unintended cause, that make a lot more sense if you consider this unseen God is part of reality. Like you and I perpetually having this conversation. We both obviously have some strong feelings on the topic. How do those strong feelings equate to characteristics formed throughout our evolution where survival is the primary motivator? Why do you and I, as biological machines, feel so compelled to do this? Why do we care? It just doesn't make sense. The mechanics make sense, the way physical matter physically acts and is made up, but the behavioral characteristics suggest there's something more there. Like dark matter. Something unseen to account for the behaviors and actions that otherwise don't make sense in a purely causal light. Without it the explanations are just too hollow.

      That's what I was trying to get at, at least partially, in this hub. That all the characteristics that make us humans what we are, I've read all kinds of theories and suggestions about how things like a sense of humor or crying could come about in a god-less scenario. But because these are ultimately products of the unobservable mind as well, there's no concrete deductions made in these explanations. They're just these really thin explanations that attempt to guess at it. My biggest issue with a god-less existence is that it doesn't stand on its own in accounting for all that is observable, in my mind. It's this hollow explanation that explains the mechanics we observe just fine, but falls short in a lot of the finer points that make us who we are. And it often requires that you first reduce all we are as humans down to cold mechanics that remove the 'humanity' from what we are to try to make it work. Everything reduces down to these unintended bi-products of evolution. the love we feel, the passion, the pride, all just chemical and meaningless ultimately. It just doesn't make sense that we as biological machines would evolve into caring, loving, passionate beings who wrongly think of these things as meaningful, rather than just chemical happenings that none of us actually have any willful control over. The human experience in general is an observed behavior, an experienced behavior, that like those measurements of gravity, don't really make sense until you allow for something unseen to be the cause. Something more than cold, unintended mechanics.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Our survival depended on us being caring, loving and passionate beings, just as Chimps survival depends on the same set of emotions. The Bonobo's however are different as they evolved in a slightly different environment than the Chimps and as a result had no need for jealously. Any animal that will be prayed upon needs fear for survival (us included). Any animal that needs numbers to say alive will have love and compassion (us included).

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Right, so according to that, the whole reason we care to have these discussions is because we evolved as a social animal who found safety in numbers. See what I mean? if you first reduce everything we are to meaningless mechanics, you can attempt to add explanation. Once you first remove any meaning or purpose from who we are, then yeah, you can equate these things to cold mechanics. Is it factually true? Who knows. There's no knowing. It's a guess. A guess that first requires you reduce all that being human is to mechanics. No confirmation that this answer is certain. Just a hunch, really.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      What you appear to be doing is starting with the assumption that God made everything for a reason rather than looking at facts. We can reason and communicate well but we can't fly and can't see with sonar and have rather short lives compared to some other animals. We are simply part of nature and the most successful of the great apes, but certainly not the most successful mammal. So yes, cold mechanics, reality.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I'm sorry, but all the human experience is doesn't reduce down to cold mechanics. And trying to force it to make it fit into this mechanistic explanation is pointless. There's nothing here that you can determine to be absolute truth, so the choice we're each ultimately left with is reducing our humanity down to mechanics based on nothing but pure speculation. I'm not making an assumption about anything. From your perspective I have to buy into the idea that all these characteristics could first arise, then we all could be under total delusion about it. About having free will, about thinking our lives have some sort of imagined purpose, that happiness or sadness is somehow meaningful. It's nothing short of absurd. For intelligence to come about at all, but for this biological machine to care enough about whether or not its choices are its own that it then requires that this being be under the delusion that it has choice when actually it doesn't, just so it can function better. It's just not realistic.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      What is it, something like 80% of our brain function is subconscious. It's funny that everything you can't image you attribute to God. Can't imagine how intelligence evolved while we have many examples of it of varying degrees right here on earth so you attribute it to God. Can't imagine how or why our emotions evolved so you attribute them to God even though there are many example and explanations.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      What you don't seem to get is that other examples are irrelevant. We come from the same stock as the rest of the animal kingdom, so it only makes sense that some of these same things would appear in other species. They had to first evolve in those other species for us to have them. But all the animal kingdom has the same creator. There just being other examples doesn't matter. It's the fact that these things evolved at all. No matter how how many species it's found in. And it's not that I don't understand or can't imagine it. I do understand. That's why I don't buy it. Intelligence capable of contemplating its origins to this degree, that's no accident. If nothing else, that's a strong indicator that intelligence can and does happen naturally, lending credence to the idea that some form of intelligence could very well have played a role in us being here as we are. Because intelligence exists, it very well could have played a role. From what we see in the natural world, it's the more likely explanation. Being so staunchly opposed to this possibility is just as limiting as what you're saying I'm doing. You're trying to force this concept you have in mind of how it must have all happened, not allowing something that we know for a fact exists to have played a role. How do you know intelligence wasn't involved? What makes you so certain?

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Are you going to tell me there are no accidents? Is intelligence an accident? No. Is speed an accident? No. Is strength an accident? No. Is intelligence better than than speed or strength? No. I think it was the Homo erectus line that was intelligent but went nowhere.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Went nowhere? We all directly descend from Homo erectus. That isn't exactly nowhere. They evolved into the species that eventually dominated the planet. AND, they were the first to travel long distances, having a presence clear on the other side of the Asian continent. We humans aren't the fastest or the strongest, we have no fangs or venom, yet we dominate the planet like no other species. Intelligence is a big deal.

      You can't say these weren't accidents. The opposite of that would mean they were on purpose. Deliberate. Created. They would have to be accidents. Randomly mutated traits that proved beneficial. Random. Accidents. Not deliberate.

      Check this reference chart out. I wish I had a descent printer.... http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/files/2012...

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution

      Scroll down to the diagram "One current view of the temporal and geographical distribution of hominid populations…"

      Dominate the planet… Do you know how many rats and mice there are compared to humans?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I had seen that diagram before, but I guess I was wrong about homo sapiens descending directly from homo erectus. But I think it should be taken into consideration how densely homo erectus populated the Asian continent and for how long. All while be physically weaker and less defensively enhanced than most of the species they cohabitated with.

      As for who dominates the planet, you and I apparently have very different opinions there. Think about it this way. If an alien species came to our planet, who do you think would be the dominant species of the planet in their eyes? The little vermin running around, or the species that covered the planet in cities and light? The ones who will most likely greet their arrival with a heavily militarized waiting party?

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      If aliens were able to travel thousands of light years in order to get to earth do you really think they would be impressed by our heavily militarized waiting party? They just might wonder why we are on the verge of wreaking the planet. Ever wonder why humans can't plan for our future? Humans like other animals have evolved to focus on the immediate.

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Ha-ha!

      The hubber known as "Rad Man" contemplating what classifies as an advanced species is like a little fire ant analyzing rhino dung. Yeah, the gigantic envelope of ignorance is at hand... Yikes!

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Oh, I suspect that the hubber known as Insane Mundane thinks that the aliens who traveled light years to get here would be intimidated by our weapons? That's would be similar to the US wanting to invade Canada but being afraid of their one handgun. Yikes!

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @HeadlyVonNoggin, you make some interesting suggestions here, and I follow your argument, without necessarily agreeing. For example, when you write:

      "It just doesn't make sense that we as biological machines would evolve into caring, loving, passionate beings who wrongly think of these things as meaningful, rather than just chemical happenings that none of us actually have any willful control over." The loving, caring and passion (and compassion) could have come about simply over time, when the characteristics evolved through benefits to survival, don't you think?

      "They had to first evolve in those other species for us to have them. But all the animal kingdom has the same creator."

      Franz de Waal has described in his book, "The Bonobo and the Atheist," how these attributes have been shown to exist strongly in the other great apes, in some respects stronger than ours. They possessed them not before we evolved, but in parallel to us. Similar circumstances and needs led to similar traits and similar solutions. This is not rare across species.

      We have all been subject to the teachings that we, humans, are special and "above" the other animals. Yet when we stop that and consider ourselves equal, then our minds can contemplate different scenarios.

      I am not rejecting your points, just trying to expand the possibilities in the argument.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I get what you're saying Jonny. But for those traits to have evolved as socially beneficial means that everything from the love the we feel towards one another, the things we feel passionately about, all of that that makes us who we are as humans, started as a random genetic change. A random change to how some branch of amino acids replicated. It's like flipping a switch on a circuit board. It's mechanical. I do not disagree that other species will show the same behaviors. Especially amongst mammals. If you read my 'evolution of the human mind' hubs you'll see that the mammalian frontal cortex evolved all around our 'reptilian' brain. Birds share this same reptilian brain, yet the growth that expanded beyond it in them is not the same as our cortex. Neither reptiles nor birds show much in the way of nurturing behavior. It appears that it's a product of that prefrontal cortex. At least the capability.

      But I tend to think of the body more as a physical interface for our souls to interact with the physical world through. And those capabilities that evolved I think enable our souls to more fully interact. Like emotions. I think they arose because there was a need for them. A need to more fully reflect the soul. I don't think what is basically a switch being turned another direction in our genetic make-up can account for all it is or all we are.

      I mean, think about it like this. If we're talking cold mechanics, then in wartime situations most times its our instinctual hesitancy because of our feelings that becomes a detriment. If we're talking things that are beneficial to survival, can these feelings that we all struggle with be that beneficial, that they'd now be a part of every human on the planet? That wide spread? That successful of a trait? I mean, I get the benefit to social interaction and being able to cohabitate in higher numbers.

      Think about it in the context of sexual orientation. Let's say being a gay male is a genetically encoded predisposition. If those who possess this gene only seek sexual interaction with males, and reject with females, then its difficult to see how this trait would not have been removed from our current population. There's a kernal of who we are there from infancy. Anybody who's ever spent time with infants knows that as even as infants we have distinct particularities and personalities. There's a kernel that makes up who each of us are that we basically get to know throughout life experience. It's not inherently known. It's discovered. That kernel I have a hard time accepting as being nothing more than branches in amino acids. The person within, that beautiful soul that we seek in friends and loved ones, isn't mechanical. It's common in mammals because we all come from the same essence, we're all animated by the same life, but physical bodies only enable us to "shine through" as much as it's capable. If any of that makes any sense.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      I'm afraid you're missing the point of the exercise. Visiting aliens is just supposed to represent an outside viewpoint. I think its apparent that humans are the dominant species. No matter how many rats there are running around, until we run across some rat-run scientific laboratory that has humans as test subjects in cages, until this is a planet of the apes/rats, I'm going to say it's the human, greatly aided by the human intellect, that sits firmly atop nature's wildlife hierarchy.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      I have to say that if you are going to look for who control who you may want to look at how bacteria, gut flora, and parasites control human behaviour. In the not so distant future some are predicting that bacteria will have evolved to be resistant to anything we throw at it. Can gut flora, bacteria and parasites control our thinking? They can and do.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Interesting thoughts, Rad Man. Science can teach a lot and there's an enormous amount that we still have to discover.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad Man,

      You're right. There some truly gross and just plain disturbing things to learn about bacteria and what they've evolved to do co-evolving with us all this time. But that just means their survival is dependent on our survival. Yes, they can trigger actions in us that benefit them and their functions. But being so intrinsically tethered to us also means they couldn't make use of all they've evolved if we weren't here. Much like our loss of body hair actually spawned two different strains of lice. If we disappeared, so would human lice.

      Besides, it's not so much control where the question of animal kingdom dominance is posed. What I'm trying to get at is you keep downplaying intelligence like it isn't the dominate force that it is. We are clearly head and shoulders above all other living species, and I don't mean that in a 'humans were made special' kind of way. I just mean that though we're rather tender and easy pickings one-on-one for quite a few species of animal, we still dominate the world. Having no evolved defenses or shells to defend us we still managed to become the dominate species on every single continent.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Actually bacteria will do just fine without us. As will parasites and gut flora. Some that are only dependent on us may or may not survive without us.

      But lets look at where our intelligence has gotten us compared to some other creature that are more numerous than us.

      Rats, mice, bacteria all by far out number us and yet contribute to the health of our earth. Humans on the other hand are having trouble controlling our actions that may cause our destruction. We are now depleting the earth of it's requirements to house us humans and only about 10% of us have a carbon footprint. What happens when China and India behaves as we do?

      Time will tell if intelligence and more particular our intelligence was a positive trait for our own good. Our evolution as it appears has left us rather short sighted. We have things like bankers forcing countries like Brazil to cut down it's rain forests to pay back owed money with no regard for any environment. Has our intelligence had a positive or negative effect on the earth?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Whether or not our own intelligence will ultimately prove beneficial or detrimental is definitely conversation worthy. I would argue we'll most likely be the authors of our own undoing. Chances are, the way the natural world balances itself out, there'll be the emergence of some other species to maybe knock us off our high horse. Could be bacteria or something similar. But right now, especially considering the impact we have on the ecosystem, I think it's obvious who's in charge of things.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      In charge of the destruction and unable to prevent it. How long have crocks and turtles been around? Unless we somehow evolve to have more concern about the future than our immediate needs our numbers will be greatly reduced or we won't survive at all. We thought we were so smart when penicillin was invented, but all we did was overuse it until superbugs evolved.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Evolution doesn't really work that way. It more has to do with immediate success for individuals. You're talking more the long game. Evolution-speaking, intelligence has clearly given us a leg-up over the rest of the natural world, but you're right, ultimately we'll probably prove to be a little too smart for our own good.

      That's a point I'm often trying to make. Whatever changed in us that catapulted us to the top of the heap differentiates us from the rest of the natural world, making us a kind of anomaly. The rest of the natural world continues to spin on 'naturally'. Since the dawn of logic we have since taken the wheel, so to speak. We've begun making decisions on an individual/logical basis rather than simply bending to the whims of the natural world, which has a proven track record. Our own sense of self-importance, in trying to stave off death for ourselves and our loved ones, has resulted in us perpetuating potentially harmful genetic information that otherwise would have been phased out. We're impacting our environment on top of that.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Perhaps the point is that we are no different than other species that have evolved to specialize. Much like locus who eat everything in sight until they run out of food and have to cut back. We are no different, we can't plan for the future of the planet. Evolution has not given us that. We like every other mammal are concerned with our and our families survival. It's strange that it's the more religious who are the most destructive, well it's not strange really, they are doing as told in the bible. More reason to dismiss the bible as the writers should have corrected for overpopulation.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      But that's not exactly true. What our intellect has given us is exactly that. The ability to conceptualize the future. To take observations and extend them out to figure out where things are headed which gives us the ability to take action to change the course. But, like you said, we're all kind of selfish. We don't watch out for future generations because we're too wrapped up in our own selves and our own loved ones. A lot of things we do now-a-days is a disservice to future generations out of self-importance and selfishness.

      You lost me on the correcting for overpopulation part. I'm not sure what you mean.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      The bible tells us to go out and multiply. They couldn't have seen the future.

      It must be an illusion to think we can plan for the future generation because as of yet we are unable to. China tries, but if their population consumes fuel as we do we are done. The only reason anyone is attempting to find better fuel sources is because of the money.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      I don't think that's entirely accurate. The only reason population is even potentially a problem is because our focus is not on the future. It's, like you pointed out, all about the money. Fuel consumption, ecosystem problems, all come because we want convenience and money. There's plenty of land left for more population. If we all lived in harmony with one another, if we shared resources like we should, if we weren't all fundamentally selfish, then there wouldn't be an issue. We create our own problems.

      The command to be fruitful and multiply, in the context of the story, is what populated the planet with life. What's one thing that all living things do. Procreate. This explains that. It's a fundamental law, like gravity, that applies to all living things. This is why.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Right, thanks, you made my point. We don't need to be told to procreat just like we don't need to be told to eat. We are behaving like any other animal. We are as you say selfish, just like any other animal. Something like only 10% of us are making a carbon footprint and we are still depleting what we have. We can't afford to bring the rest up to our level. The writers of the bible had no idea what we are up to and didn't mention taking care of the earth because they didn't think we needed to. Rules about homosexuality, but none about burning fossil fuels and clear cutting trees.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      And you made my point. What explanation is there for this inherent drive in all living things to procreate. It exists in every living thing, no matter how complex or simple. It applies across the board much like a natural law. Which is exactly how something commanded by the creator of the universe would work. Like a natural law.

      As for what the writers of the bible covered, they covered everything they needed to. It's pretty clear the priority was not to make life here on earth ideal for all. The whole purpose of this life is to learn to wield free will for the next life. Here we have to make mistakes and will probably end up destroying each other, so we can learn what can happen if we're left in charge with our own wills and own minds.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      We've gone down this road before. There is a reason procreation feels good. There are still humans born without the desire to survive and procreate, they don't, ending a line. Simple evolution, your comments here are what causes people to say that you don't understand evolution. It may help to study evolution as jonny said which is as it should be studied (with a God involved).

      The writers of the bible couldn't see past their own time.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      It would also help, if we are indeed interested in parsing out what is actual truth, to not ignore the accuracy of this ancient account that offers an explanation that we don't have. Assuming the drive to procreate is an evolved trait, that it's genetic, is to put faith in an alternate view that also lacks evidence to back it up. Not to mention that this would have to have been one of the very first "randomly mutated" traits since it exists in all living things. Not to mention it's kind of hard for evolution to get off the ground and going without this trait. So you have some logistical problems with your view.

      The natural world is exactly what we should expect to see if what's described in the bible is true. That is also true here, where the need to procreate exists. All living things in the bible were commanded to 'be fruitful and multiply'. What we see in the real world reflects this, even given all we've learned since these texts were first written. It's still true, across the board. That's exactly what we see. If it's the truth it's the truth. Assuming it's not because you've already passed judgement on the biblical texts as being less than they obviously are is not a valid reason to dismiss it. You're predefining what is possible before you know for sure. You're taking options off the table prematurely, based on personal leanings. Then you're projecting onto me that I must just not get evolution because I would dare even suggest this. That can only get in the way of arriving at real truth.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      You are amazed that the bible tells us to procreate and yet doesn't mention evolution at all. Everything was made as is with two of each, which is not exactly like reality. Reminds me of the Muslims who say that the Quran is amazing because it mentions the suns orbit, but refuse to look at that it was talking about the suns orbit around the earth as it doesn't mention the earths orbit.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      You mean it doesn't use the title "evolution". It doesn't call it by name. Is that what you're expecting? What does this sound like to you... "And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” According to their 'kinds'. That combined with procreation IS evolution.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      What creature did land produce?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Mammals. That's how evolution works, right? Life reacting to the environment it lives in? Well, syropsid reptiles, while living on the land, evolved into the first mammals. They didn't come out of the water that way. They lived on the land, then evolved into mammals.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Right, they came out of the water.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Right, which was covered in the verses that come just before that. Then came the 'branch'. There are only two primary groups of animals. The one that birds are in (sauropsid), and the one that mammals are in (synapsid). The synapsids came from synapsid reptiles.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Oh, does it mention sauropsid's and synapsids's? No it mentions livestock. LOL.

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Praise be the endless dividends of ONE...

      LOL!

      Humans are funny... This comment field is starting to sound more like an inside-out game featuring a talking fetus trying to scratch their mother's ass while arguing with some imbecilic flee that is causing the itch to begin with. Ha-ha!

      In all seriousness, the ones looking from within their own self often find way more than what the external illusions dictate. You guys can babble back and forth until your current vessels expire for all I care, but it will never change anybody's current level of existence.

      Then again, I never did believe in those "walking whale" thingies or that all life spawned from a primordial soup on Earth or that the universe began from a single point of singularity that is smaller than a pin dot via mechanistic magic, so who am I to say? What is even more funny, is the ones that try to believe in a few selective bits of currently trending scientific dogma that they label as if it's some sort of cosmic truth or something... No wonder the true extraterrestrials on this planet laugh at BOTH our Earth-bound science and primitive religions. LMAO!

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Oh, I meant to say imbecilic 'flea' and not 'flee' in my last comment, but then again, it would take a lot more than a typographical error to taint this conversation. Ha-ha!

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      "Oh, does it mention sauropsid's and synapsids's? No it mentions livestock. LOL."

      No, it doesn't use the titles we came up with way later. But it clearly differentiates two different groups, one containing definite sauropsids (birds), the other definite synapsids (livestock).

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      Ryan 2 years ago

      Hey Jeremy,

      Atheists need only to find Christian ideas unsatisfactory (and if they are ex-Christians, overcome fear and maintain intellectual honesty) to become atheists. If you find parts of your faith troubling, you are not doing yourself any service, or acting confidently about your own ideas, to stick with it. Upon doing that, if you find many of your questions unanswered, join the crowd. We should all act humbly about what we don't know, but it is easier to disprove a theory than to prove it, and I would contend that the Bible has been rigorously refuted enough to make it untenable even without sufficient alternative explanations. That is the scientific method after all, and that is why I find (especially in this most recent dogma debate) that your methodology is entirely backward as to how you come to truth. I was right there with you about a year ago, so don't think I'm putting you down, just trying to help you through it man.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, Ryan. I can't tell you how cool it is just to be talked to like a person. My interactions with the DD 4th listener community thus far, with one notable exception, has been largely disappointing. So it's really cool to be talked to/about like I'm not a total chuckle-head.

      I understand what you're saying. But I have failed, in both attempts, to really make my case on the show. I'm just not as good in conversation as I am when I can sit and write out my thoughts. That's something I've learned from these experiences. What I tried to make clear in this particular list here are all the reasons I could never, no matter how unsatisfactory I might find Christian beliefs, settle on atheism. It just doesn't stand on its own as a worldview in my mind. There are way too many holes. I don't find that it makes logical sense considering all we do know. For example, we found out that this 'fine-tuned' universe inflated out from a single point. I'm not sure what else you'd expect to see if there were a creator God as described than that. Or the fact that we've found out that there is actually coded information in each of our cells. Coded information that is stored and passed along, and then is actually used to construct complex organisms. The mere fact that intelligence exists in this universe, it is in fact a natural product of this universe, means to me that it's a perfectly suitable thing to consider that some form of intelligence played a roll in how things came together. I certainly don't take away from what we've learned so far that the possibility can be ruled out. To think it all 'just happened' this way is beyond my capability to accept. I find it absurd.

      And I can't agree with you that my methodology is backward simply because it yielded results. I know that for many these kinds of searches for answers and understanding where God is concerned most often don't turn up anything tangible, but for me it did. Honestly, I didn't expect to find as much as I did considering how many others have tried. I never doubted, faith wise, I just wanted to understand. I had a pretty clear understanding of earth's history, but didn't know how/where the biblical stories fit. But I figured if there was any truth to them then we should now have enough information to find them. And I did.

      I would like to find the right avenue to get this peer-reviewed, but don't know what to do with it. I know I've got something. I have no doubt. I know because it lines up in every direction. It lines up with the context of the bible, with the evidence, with the history of the region, it even offers better explanations for some of the lesser understood bits of our human history than what's believed currently.

      Think about the various religious and mythological beliefs around the world and how they're situated on the map. There's one curious pattern. All the civilizations situated around the Mediterranean tell a very similar story. And these aren't backwood civilizations. These were the most advanced, forward thinking civilizations of the ancient world. Sumer, Egypt, the Indus Valley, Greece, Rome, even the Hittites and other lesser known groups in the area. They all tell very similar stories about these immortal male/female gods in their ancient past that they spoke about as if they were actual history. So which is the more likely explanation? That these multiple highly developed civilizations, independently (considering they all have unique cultures/languages) came up with basically the same explanation as far as what they didn't understand, as is the current school of thought, or that they're all similar because they're all inspired by the same beings? In the case of the Sumerians, they actually say they were taught all the things we know they actually did before any other humans. Every direction I look, what you should expect to see if these stories are true is there. Every single prediction proved true. It's far beyond coincidence.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I think many who are atheist are ignoring the facts. There is creation all around us. We have been created. We did not create ourselves. We have never witnessed something create itself. It's mostly semantics. If we all agree there was some form of energy that put everything into motion because something can't move unless something pushes it into motion, we understand that energy is called many different things. Some say god. Some say a creator and some say energy. It doesn't negate the fact that it "created" the multiverses we see around us today. The only problem with only calling it energy is that this energy also put into place universal laws like gravity, polarity, correspondence, gender, etc. These laws were put in place to bring chaos to order. To think this all happen by sheer coincidence takes more faith than those who believe that something conscious and with a high intelligence level placed these laws in place to keep preserve it's own creation. Now many ask the question where did this god come from or creator come from. Or they ask who created the creator but it still doesn't negate the fact that there is creating going on and some intelligent energy is doing the creating which points to a CREATOR. Ignoring the fact of a creator doesn't get you closer to answering who created the creator. It in facts takes you away from the simple truth that has been hitting us in the face every day we wake up and witness creation all around us. I think it takes much more faith to believe that this all popped into existence on it's own and miraculously created laws by itself to keep everything in order.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      We first need to look at the facts without assumptions. You assume someone created the universe rather than something. These are created all around us all the time without someone creating them. For example, clouds or trees. When we think this way it negates the need to ask who created the creator and who his creator.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      No one said someone. Something. By saying creator that doesn't mean someone. It is self explanitory. Energy with intelligence to create universal laws for what it created is the explanation I gave. But just calling it energy isn't sufficient enough. Clouds forming is a reaction to the atmosphere. Which energy is involved with. Without the universal law of polarity hot and cold clouds wouldn't form. So we keep pointing back to the creator who put all things in motion. Whether it's a someone or something is semantics

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      No intelligence required. Intelligence implies someone. Clouds just happen, no one is making them. Therefore there are things that aren't being created, therefore the universe doesn't need a creator (creator being someone). On a larger scale new stars and planets are forming all the time, without someone creating them. So claiming everything needs to be created by intelligence is false.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Your logic is faulty. Intelligent doesn't mean someone. There are dolphins that are labeled intelligent life can you call that someone? Clouds are a REACTION to it's environment and they don't form on their own. Without the law of polarity they would not form. Without the law of gravity seeds wouldn't be able to stay in the ground to grow. So the question is what put these laws into place? What decided that it was intelligent to have laws for the creation it made? These are universal laws every scientist abides by and won't negate. You make the statement that planets are forming and stars are forming all the time without anything creating them. Do you have absolute proof to provide for this statement? Did you witness the planets being formed out of thin air? The same logic or reasoning you use to discredit there isn't a creator is the same one you are using to prove there isn't one. You sound confused. Mathematically it's impossible to multiply anything from nothing. So 0 x 1 = 0 just as 0 x 1 billion still equals 0. math is one of the few things in life that are absolute. mathematically there had to be something in the beginning that put all matter into existence and multiplied from itself. This also had to have intelligence in order to place universal laws to keep matter progressive.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      No one says something came from nothing, however that does happen all the time at the sub-atomic level.

      What caused all of this. Good question.

      What decided it was intelligence to have laws put in place? Those are the theists. They have decided it must have been intelligence without the facts.

      No intelligence required. Why would you assume something intelligent would make a universe this vast for us? Why would something intelligent create the universe for us and then create the guinea worm to torture our poorest peoples? Why would something create the universe for us and then wait 14 billion years for us to show up, why would he put us on a fast burning star that will eventually make life inhabitable on earth? Why make all those other unneeded galaxies with billions of planets with billion more suitable for life than the one we are on? No, we have adapted to live in this universes laws, there isn't a reason to suggest they were made for us.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Because intelligence exists, because it is a natural product of this universe, it is the most likely explanation. Given we've found out that this 'finely-tuned' universe exists, that it inflated out from a single point with the laws already set and in place, and considering we've actually found out that there is coded information in each of our cells that is retained and passed on, and is then actually used to construct complex organisms, I don't see how anyone can come away from that with the conclusion that no intelligence is required. I'm not sure what else you'd expect to see if an intelligent creator does indeed exist. Unless you can account for everything that exists, including those fundamental laws, then you cannot say what is or isn't required. Given intelligence exists, and given what's observed, it's simply the most likely explanation. Even chaos doesn't remain chaos in this place. Chaos becomes order.

      The size of the universe or how long it took is irrelevant. Space/time is only relevant to us.

      I like how Trey Parker, creator of South Park, once put it, "Out of all the ridiculous religion stories — which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous — the silliest one I’ve ever heard is, ‘Yeah, there’s this big, giant universe and it’s expanding and it’s all going to collapse on itself and we’re all just here, just because… That to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever."

      I agree.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Just because, well 5 billion years ago the earth wasn't here. What was the universe here for then? When we are all gone what will it be here for? It's fun to assume the entire thing is for us though. Makes us feel important. Perhaps we'll die off and in a few billion years ants will evolve into something intelligence and think the entire universe is for them?

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      It boggles my mind how much effort and energy people use to prove there is no intelligent energy that created the universes with evidence slapping them in the face daily. Being able to live on a planet that has just the right amount of oxygen, gravity, climate, etc is all happenstance. That universal laws created themselves yet we never see physical laws create themselves here on earth without an author or creator. It is a scientific fact that matter cannot move without something putting it into motion yet you claim this is what happened and after nothing put matter into motion *poof* universal laws manifested itself without any origin or reason. That takes more faith to believe than to think something intelligent put it into motion. Otherwise life itself is pointless and there would be no reason for me or anyone else not to live a chaotic life by murdering whoever i wanted. Killing as many people as i wanted because there is no point to life or existence. What good are morals or order or even balance if everything has no point to exist? Why have a government or society if what you do in life matters not (no pun intended)?

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Sickness and health are polars. Life and death are polarity. How can you understand one without the other. Could you honestly say you understand the concept of cold if hot never existed. The same goes for good and evil. How can one understand either without one or the other? Choice allows us to either live in balance or accordance to these universal laws or live in chaos going too far in either direction. Balance is the god to chaos.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Che Rogers. I respect your reasoning and your obvious curiosity that leads to ongoing questions.

      You wrote: " Mathematically it's impossible to multiply anything from nothing. " This is a common problem with concepts.

      If you look in a mirror there is in fact no "thing" there, it's only an image.

      You can arrange more mirrors in relation to the first and get many more images, all reflecting off each other. Still no "thing" there. Every image that is perceived relies upon the position of the observer. Without the observer there is no thing anywhere.

      Confusing? Lol. I bet!

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      The mirror is still something. So the confusion is only on your end. You are using something and multiplying it's reflection. If there was no mirror to begin with you would have nothing to multiply.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @Che Rogers

      I have no problem with the suggestion of some kind of intelligent designer setting our physical universe into motion, into being.

      I do have a very big problem with then saying this same designer somehow sits him/her self up in judgment of you and me. That is a thinking game set up by humans to control other humans and dominate the world. In this respect I am firmly atheist.

      With regard to your comment about the mirror, I agree with you.... but what then IS the mirror?

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I agree with you. That is something religious nuts add in there to incite fear and manipulate you into following or giving money. So we are in agreement in that aspect.

      I believe the only judgment we receive is cause and affect. We reap the consequences or benefits of our actions. The goal is to live a life of right action and one can't do that without making mistakes along the way in order to learn from those actions. There isn't a place of infinite torture for those who didn't live a perfect life. That makes no sense. How does fire eternally burn a spirit?

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I believe the mirror is a creator who wanted to manifest itself in infinite ways and have relationship with its creation by putting a part of its essence in everything it created. Some call if the god particle. It is why everything has the fibonacci scale or the seed, flower and fruit of life geometric symbols in it. It's universal and found in every living thing. This is proof that everything is connected. I believe this "mirror" or creator wanted to experience everything. Through creation it does exactly that recording the good the bad. The hot the cold. The light the dark.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      That's why i don't believe the creator would burn it's creation because it would technically be burning itself. If all come from the creator burning itself would be anti life. Or anti progress. This doesn't seem to fit with the same entity that created all and continues to expand these vast multiverses if it was interested in infinitely destroying itself.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      It seems we are very much in agreement.... that does not make what we agree upon "right," of course, but it does make room for more constructive and educative discussion.

      I must leave you now, because here in Eastern Australia it's 7.45am on Thursday and I have lots to do (after my 73rd birthday party last night).

      So will catch up with you folks again later.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Happy birthday my fellow leo. Mine was on the 15th of august. Good to meet another open minded person. I'd love to know how you would have evolved if you had a Internet when you were 15. There is so much knowledge being passed at light speeds from one part of the world to the next. Now old and young can conversate and pick each others brains in the discussion of truth. Great talking with you.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Happy birthday Jonny.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Thanks Rad Man. It was a good with lots of friends around - happy!

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad - "Just because, well 5 billion years ago the earth wasn't here. What was the universe here for then? When we are all gone what will it be here for? It's fun to assume the entire thing is for us though. Makes us feel important. Perhaps we'll die off and in a few billion years ants will evolve into something intelligence and think the entire universe is for them?"

      Rad, you do understand that before the earth formed the universe was not yet in a condition where planets could form, right? It's not like planets were forming right from the beginning, yet ours took 7 billion years before it formed. It took 7 billion years for the universe to reach a state where suns and planets could form as they do today.

      Your statement here is exactly why it drives me crazy that atheists refer to themselves as "humanists". You're right, if there is no deliberate creator then there is no point to life in general. It doesn't matter if we cure cancer, cure aids, end hunger, none of that ultimately matters because at some point the planet will be uninhabitable. The universe will run out of energy and go cold. So all we're really doing by trying keep the species alive is ensuring that there will come a generation that will actually have to die in truly terrible ways when our sun supernovas. And all of human history, no matter what we manage to accomplish, will ultimately be the equivalent of a fart in the wind.

      I don't get the "humanist" thing. Let's say atheists actually accomplished what they set out to do. They help all of humanity evolve past these archaic childish beliefs. They convince the common man the world over that there's nothing after death, no one above watching over you, and no real point to anything you do. Do you really think this would make for a "better" world?

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Headly, do you think our all stars and planets happened when our sun and planets came into being? Our solar system is a result of an even bigger star that has long since gone.

      http://www.space.com/24625-oldest-star-universe-di...

      "Scientists think SMSS J031300.362670839.3 is probably at least 13 billion years old, though they do not know its exact age, Anna Frebel, an MIT astronomer associated with the research, said"

      Is most certainly is a point to life without God. Actually I find the notion that the only point to life is to praise God a little insulting to anyones intelligence to be honest. Life is about learning, enjoying and helping others. It's not about beheading a journalist for Allah. It's not about putting homosexuals in prison simply because they are homosexual. It's not about blaming us for a natural disaster because we allow homosexuals to marry.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "No intelligence required. Intelligence implies someone. Clouds just happen, no one is making them. Therefore there are things that aren't being created, therefore the universe doesn't need a creator (creator being someone). On a larger scale new stars and planets are forming all the time, without someone creating them. So claiming everything needs to be created by intelligence is false."

      How do you know no intelligence required? We can't say what caused the natural laws or matter to behave in the way it does. You're right, clouds happen. They don't just 'happen', they actually serve a purpose. The same goes for DNA. We've actually found out that there's coded information in each of our cells that can be stored and passed on to future generations. Coded information that is then used to construct complex organisms. That alone strongly suggests intelligence. Especially when we consider that intelligence does indeed exist and is a natural product of this universe.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      The point I'm trying to make is that asking why the universe was around so long before the earth is like asking why you were around for 20 years or so before you had children. Because it took roughly 20 years for you to be ready to have children. And it took roughly 7 billion years for the universe to be in the condition it needed to be in for suns and planets like ours to form.

      How can the point to life be to learn and enjoy and help others if life just 'happened'? And what good does learning do if all of human existence will ultimately be nothing more than a bubble that formed along the way and then bursts? No matter what we learn or how well we treat one another or how much we enjoy ourselves, it all ends the same and nothing we do ultimately matters.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Headly, I can understand your argument here, from the a-theist presumption. I.e., you feel that the average "atheist" would like the whole world of humans to come around to accepting there is no life after death, etc. I personally don't work on that presumption, and I don't push for such a situation. It does not matter to me. My personal opinion is important for my self and not something that must be taken up by others.

      However, I do detect such a desire on the part of many a zealous christian. His or her desire is for me to become christian also. It's all or nothing. Their christian stance and belief system is regarded as the only valid one.

      Which ones are the "archaic childish beliefs?" Virgin birth? Being born again, physically, into a new strange world where there is no more conflict? Where there is a non-physical "god" that loves me, yet judges and disciplines me, a singular miniscule dot of humanity in a sea of millions?

      Please don't regard me as a "typical Atheist." The reason I have atheist thinking is through trying to be logical and realistic. I can find no use for superstitious fanciful ideas of religious thought. It (in my opinion) holds back sensible and conscientious efforts at working out our problems and short-comings. Such efforts can be hopeful, energetic, giving at least a chance of finding solutions. Whereas belief systems hold us back in a pathetic wait for someone else (God) to bide his time before perhaps miraculously lifting us out of our problems.

      I know each person is free to choose his/her path, and faith can help to get through the worst of life's situations. But faith is not the enduring answer. "Faith without works is futile," I think the saying goes something like that.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Jonny, I know you're generally more open-minded to the unknown. I'm more thinking of the 'new atheist'. The kind of movement going on right now fueled by the want to eradicate religions and that sort of thing. I don't generally count you among that group. You're a unique individual in my mind that doesn't so easily fit into a category.

      And it's not so much a desire to change the mindset of the world. It more has to do with the philosophy of atheism in general. If I were to adopt this as a worldview then I'd have to adopt these "truths" as well. It seems to me that everything about the atheist viewpoint diminishes humanity. It attempts to reduce all that being human is down to being cold mechanics. Things like love and appreciation of art and music and all the things that generally enrich our lives get reduced down to unintended bi-products of evolution. We in general get reduced down to biological machines only driven to survive and nothing more than a collection of evolved characteristics. I think I take most offense to this as an artist, more so than I do as a human.

      See, the God being intimately interested in our behaviors and choices makes a lot of sense to me. Science is the study of how matter/energy behaves. Matter/energy behaves in such consistent ways that we're able to actually define laws around that behavior. If we humans are truly free to choose our actions and behaviors then that is truly significant. It means we're the only beings in the known universe whose behaviors are not solely determined by natural law or instinct, but rather is determined through our intellect and reason. The fact that we can even debate where the invisible moral line exists is because we are all capable of behaviors far beyond what anyone would deem as 'moral'. So, our behavior, human behavior, is the only behavior in all the universe not governed. This is why I think God would have such a vested interest in how we conduct ourselves. Because we have wills independent of God's. We are in a sense creators, who are capable of adding things to this universe that are not 'of God', but are 'of us'. Having a will of our own is a huge responsibility.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Diminish humanity? We don't need to believe in God to be awed by humanity. We don't need to be in never-neverland either. It seems odd to me to think that from the billions upon billions of stars, planets and galaxies that we are it. Most other stars are far better suited to spawn and maintain life, why would we think the entire universe was made for us?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      There could very well be others out there. My point is that anywhere in the universe where there are beings capable of choices and behaviors that are not in any way governed, the way that all other behavior in the universe is governed, would be of the utmost interest to a God. There very well could be other 'batches' of humans out there. We may just be one of many. Doesn't matter. In that light there's still a purpose to life. Every single moment in the life of every single individual serves an ultimate purpose. The temporary time that we exist here is a means to an end, and not just an inevitable end.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      How do you know what would interest a God? I find it funny when people say that we can't possible understand God and then claim to understand him.

      Actually I find it fascinating that we have evolved as we have. What made us intelligent is the same thing that made dolphins more intelligent than a fish.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Uh, I'm not making any grand leaps or anything. Human behavior is pretty obviously the central theme to the story of the bible, and how human behavior is out of whack with God's will. So, simply grounding that in modern knowledge, it would seem that what is most significant about us is free will. That if we indeed are able to behave freely, which flies right in the face of all we know about the natural/mechanical world, then that is a truly significant thing, and it makes sense that this would be something God would be keenly interested in.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Diminish humanity? We don't need to believe in God to be awed by humanity. We don't need to be in never-neverland either. It seems odd to me to think that from the billions upon billions of stars, planets and galaxies that we are it. Most other stars are far better suited to spawn and maintain life, why would we think the entire universe was made for us?"

      Because we, unlike anything else in the known universe, can behave free of any sort of constraints. Free of natural law, free of instinct. We decide for ourselves what is "moral" and what is "right". And, because we are a physical part of this universe, like everything else, our behaviors and actions effect the world around us. And it shows that our behavior is out of whack with nature. We stick out. Like Mr. Smith in the Matrix pointed out, "It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague.” It's because of human behavior that there's an island-sized pile of trash floating around the Atlantic and a hole in our ozone. We don't fit in with the rest of the natural world.

      But none of that means we have to be the only ones. There could be a thousand other planets just like ours, populated just like ours. But I think the whole point to this vast universe is because we're so capable. This environment is the perfect environment for our species. Much in the same way a zoo will have a place for lions that has a large pit between them and the people, this planet floating out in the middle of space is the perfect environment for a species so mentally capable as us.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Headlyvonnoggin: you make such a great point about the concept of atheism reducing humans to machines. Such a great point. If there is a creator that understood emotions and love by instilling that in its creation it points to purpose. Not random happenstance.

      I find it odd that athiests get so angry and upset over the concept of a creator they don't believe exists. If nothing matters and everything is sheer coincidence why spend time proving absolutely there is no creator. It wouldn't matter if people believed or not based in their mindset because nothing matters. It's all coincidence.

      A creator points to the concept of purpose. Because they don't understand the purpose they quickly give up and state life has no purpose and no creator.

      Yet when we see a car existing we say something had to create that. We see a bike we say something had to create that. Nature and it's ecosystem work together (including clouds) yet it all is a coincidence. I find that hard to believe and again it takes more faith to believe nothing created something than to believe in a creator and purpose.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      I agree, Che. Something else to consider. If it's as they say, if there is no creator God, then religion and belief in God and the bible do still exist. It would seem that if there is no creator God, then humanity's natural tendency to believe in a God (over 70% of the world's current population believes in a God) would have to be something the brain created. Probably out of necessity. This is what bugs me about the atheist mindset. It's like nobody has really thought it out. They find plenty of reasons why they disagree with religion, then just turn their brains off. If the mind created this God, then it must be to serve a need. Do we really think we understand the human psyche well enough to go ahead and yank that particular fundamental building block from beneath our feet? Considering how prevalent belief in God is, I'd say it's somehow serving a psychological need as it was created by the brain somewhere along the way. But consideration for that kind of thing rarely seems to ever really be thought out. I think the current atheist movement is more of a rebellion against the heavy-handedness of religion. Which is a perfectly understandable reaction. I just think more effort needs to be made to really think out where they're wanting to take things.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Headlyvonnoggin: again you make great points about the universe being vast and having to have other life out there. Mathematically it's probable. Out of all the universes and solar systems in these universes to think we are the only intelligent life is foolish and closed minded. Modern day telescopes are finding hundreds of earth like planets that can contain human life so imagine all of the planets outside our solar system they haven't found yet.

      Now I'm no christian nor do I associate myself with any religion but I do consider myself some what of a spiritualist. Which is why it's hard to ignore the fact that there wasn't a creator for the physical and the spiritual or metaphysical.

      Most athiests will claim science and logic is what they live by and i find it Ironic that science, philosophy, alchemy all originate in africa (kemet) where scientist get their knowledge from. They ignore the fact that the africans taught science and spirituality together. They went hand in hand. So now we have two branches of people out there. Those who try and understand the world only through science and those who try and understand the world only through religion. You can't have one without the other. You can't have the physical without the spiritual.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I will say i agree with much of what you said. You seem to have a healthy outlook on life. My parents are christian pastors and I grew up in church. When I begin to learn about the history of the world and the bible I became more angry at religion and took it out on those who were religious. I felt I was being bamboozled or tricked all my life. I wasn't reacting correctly to the knowledge being presented. Now I understand everyone has a bit of this puzzle. Religions, scientist etc. The goal is to always keep an open line of communication in love and understanding to be in unity for this common quest (our purpose on this earth). And hypothetically let's say there is no purpose for us being here, to prevent chaos let's work together and make purpose. But either way we all need to work together as nature does with the microcosm and the macrocosm. I always use this analogy with the human body when a cell doesn't work together with the other cells it becomes a cancer. The same is it with humans on this planet in the macrocosm. We become a cancer when we operate outside of the well being of the planet. Similar to what the matrix speaks about. Everything in the microcosm is a reflection of the macrocosm and vice versa. Hence the universal law of correspondence (which we are to believe just popped out of nowhere and created itself). These laws have been since creation and have govern creation. It's proof that the spiritual exist. You can't physically see gravity but you see the affects of it. You see it's power without ever seeing it's image.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      You've got a good head on your shoulders, Che. Too many atheists subscribe to a purely materialist viewpoint, and try to shoe-horn everything in existence into the material realm. Including all that humanity is, making us nothing but complex biological machinery. I just can't get on board with that kind of thinking. There's clearly more going on than a purely material explanation can account for.

      "The science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in. This is a very wide spread belief in our society. It's the kind of belief system of people who say, "I don't believe in God, I believe in science." It's a belief system which has now been spread throughout the entire world. But there's a conflict in the heart of science between science as a method of inquiry, based on reason, evidence, hypothesis, and collective investigation, and science as a belief system or a worldview. And, unfortunately, the worldview aspect of science has come to inhibit and constrict the free inquiry, which is the very lifeblood of the scientific endeavor. Since the late 19th century science has been conducted under the aspect of a belief system, or worldview, which is essentially that of materialism, philosophical materialism." - Rupert Sheldrake from TedTalks

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Yeah, I think this latest atheistic movement at least partially favors a dimwitted rebellion of some sorts. This type of ignorance especially propagates on the Internet, of course. Oh, cool, I just heard today that somebody got suspended from school by simply telling a student "bless you" after they sneezed in front of a teacher that either had a fetish for the political correctness that is destroying this country or was a die-hard/hardcore atheist... *Sigh*

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @Headly: "I think the current atheist movement is more of a rebellion against the heavy-handedness of religion."

      Using the word "religion" here is an easy step back from apportioning the blame to individual human beings. Humans design religion(s) to suit themselves. Humans have the responsibility. "Religions" don't by themselves, because "religions" don't have brains or desires or ulterior motives. Humans do. So let's direct our attention to people, not things. No passing the buck!

      Religions, like big businesses of all kinds, like political persuasions, like greed and selfishness, are the tools of bullying. Make others do what you want them to do, for selfish gain.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Jonny, I totally agree with what you're saying. Religion is a man-made thing. Driven by people and their various interests and allegiances. So too is atheism. I think religion is ultimately what the atheist movement is most fueled by. That entity that played such a heavy-handed role in their lives. That made their parents seem insincere. So they're attacking the ideal at the center of religion. God. The concept that the people of religion use as their justification. And because atheism, like religion, is man-made, it reacts like humans do. Rebellion. Resistance against this over-bearing influence in their lives. I get it, and feel the same. I am not a fan of religion. Religion is a man-made institution that places itself in a place of authority regarding what is "truth". Though, being humans, they have no better or clearer insight than anyone else. We humans have free will that disconnects us from our natural roots. We're the absolute worst representation of God or the natural world. We're the farthest from. That includes religion.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Thanks for that clarification, Headly.

      The very topical subject in the world news today, that of beheading a journalist, brings some more thoughts to mind regarding the influence of religion.

      On the one hand, bereaved parents and friends who turn to their faith in God find their religion valuable and consoling. It helps them through the dreadful times of regret and mourning. It helps to deal with the unspeakable details of their son's death. It deflects pain and anguish, to the extent they can gradually work towards getting on with their lives.

      On the other hand, the flip side of religion in this instance: That very same need to "believe" in something or someone outside of reality, God. To believe that by "doing the Will of God," a person can earn a place in Heaven, where one can expect to find plenty of willing virgins, and a warm and friendly father figure by the name of God. Those individuals who promote such beliefs are reprobate. Those who blindly follow such teachings (and add their own peculiar dreams and beliefs to such teachings) also have their need for religion. But the irony is that they pray to the same God! That same God is confused with the god of desire for better things..... imaginations of the mind.

      So, what is it in our world of today that brings about these grossly distorted ideas about God, Faith, Life Hear-after, Sin, Punishment, Retribution, etc.?

      For myself, with an A-theistic viewpoint, I say religion is an unthinking, unintelligent nonsense, that drives individuals and cultures into hellish fanaticism. It is such religion that I reject totally.

      I say we must bring individuals to account for their actions. They cannot hide behind the beliefs of their perverted religious views.

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Like those children books with multiple endings via the reader's choice, life is all about the experience and we are all apart of what we refer to as God. The dividends of one is endless, like divine tentacles perpetually feeling itself from the inside out. Dang, after looking around this lovely blue planet, no wonder cosmic implosion is often hypothesized by fellow humanoids... LOL!

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Jonny,

      You're right. I think religion has its place and can be good for some people. I think the brain created it for a reason. But I think humans are bad about mucking things up. That's not just limited to religion. There have been people who say they killed people because the neighbor's dog told them to do it, or because of the music they were listening to at the time. Humans will find whatever justification they need to do what they want. What I always want to ask these people is, 'do you really think God needs your help for that purpose?". Is He unable to exercise His will on His own? And would a true follower of God really need to be coaxed to action by the promise of virgins or whatever else?

      Religion is, by nature, dealing with something non-tangible. Non-physical. There are no solid answers that can be confirmed as such. It's always, at least to some degree, going to be filtered through the minds of the followers, and is going to be open to their varying interpretations.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Promises of virgins, promises of life after death, promises of not burning for eternity, promises of answered prayers. Do as he says and you'll get something later. Classic manipulation.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad, a lot of that is humans trying to convince other humans. The actual bible doesn't say anything about virgins. In fact, the bible says that couples don't pair up in the afterlife. People have been manipulating people since the dawn of free will. They manipulate through fear, through promises, through whatever. Just because religious ideas were also used by humans to do what humans do, doesn't mean it's any more at fault than anything else humans employed to manipulate one another. That's not specific to religion. That's a human thing. That's what humans do.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      The virgin this is in the Quran. I know, but religion has been used to manipulate people for thousands of years because of what is promised and what is threatened. Joseph Smith wanted many wives so he invented a religion that would not only give him as many wives as he wanted but it would allow him to be openly racist.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I think we find ignorant people on both sides of the coin. We find greed, liars, sexual deviants, etc in and outside of religion. Those who have been hurt by these people tend to associate the religion they were hurt by but there is bad behavior all over. Just like there is good hearted people on both sides. The only true overcoming power of these types of behavior is love, compassion and understanding. If an atheist tells me everything has no point it eliminates the need for us to use love, compassion, and understanding because without a point there is nothing to understand or love. Religious circles at least have a basis of hope, love, peace etc. There is no peace in chaos. There is no hope in pointless creation. I have come across atheist who do have a heart for the world because they feel it's the right thing to do but the teaching that all life is pointless is a contradiction to their actions in doing right because if life is pointless there is no right or wrong.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      That's the argument I often here I personally find it sad that someone can't find meaning in and to life without a God to tell them what that meaning is. I find that sometimes religion stunts moral and ethical growth by not allowing people to understand why we take care of each other. It stops when they were taught that if you do something bad God will punish you because the thinking is that why we don't do bad things. It stops when we were taught that we do good and care for others because God wants us to rather than understanding why we take care of each other. I can give you the example of those in this ISIS terrorist group. They think that somehow it's okay to behead someone for their God. Clearly they are morally stunted.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, you're right Rad, people have used religion for years to manipulate. People have used politics to manipulate too. Does this mean politics themselves are to blame? Does this mean all politics should be eradicated? Or should we just be sure to recognize the people using politics and religion for their own selfish ends are the ones to blame? Like Joseph Smith. It's important to realize who's really at fault here and not mis-associate and mis-lay blame. Religion itself isn't to blame, anymore than politics are to blame or the son of Sam's dog is to blame. It's the people who employ these things to justify their actions or use it to manipulate others who are to blame. Humans have a long history of using whatever's at their disposal to get what they want.

      The mention of 'virgins' in the Quran is actually talking about a bowl of grapes.

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      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Well, how do we tell one group from the other? The way I see it they all used God to manipulate people to get what they wanted. The Jews told themselves they were the choice people and descended from fallen God to rally their people and ensure other people behave in a way that would give them what they wanted which is the same story that others before them told themselves. When something works people use it to their advantage.

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      Che Rogers 2 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I agree people have used religion, politics, and other systems of beliefs to brainwash people into doing what they want. This doesn't mean the belief in those things are the problem. It's the people who are doing the manipulation. TV does the same thing yet I bet you have a tv in your home. It indoctrinates people into thinking good is bad and bad is good. So does our music industry. These tools are way more influential than any religion yet people have multiple sets of tvs in their homes. It's what you use it for. If you spend your time watching garbage you will begin to think garbage. No different from going to a church that has a pastor teach intolerance or a temple that teaches intolerance for others. Not all religious people believe this way so it wouldn't be fair to say all religions are bad. Just those who misrepresent them. Same goes for atheist, agnostics and everything in between. It's the heart of a person we should be discussing. Not everyone who calls them self religious or spiritual are actually religious or spiritual. Not everyone who claims there is no point to the world lives like there is no point to the world.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, exactly Che. People are the common denominator in all of this. And people are the same on all fronts. Free will is the real culprit here. Religion and politics and whatever else, these are just tools employed by free willed people to get what they want. To control the behaviors and actions of others with free will. To manipulate. Do we blame the screwdriver a person used to build a bomb that killed people? No. We blame the person using the tools.

      Most atheists don't seem to recognize this contradiction in their own viewpoint. And they tend to get upset at me for pointing it out. But it's true. If you actually flesh out the atheist viewpoint to its logical conclusions, this is what you're left with. A purposeless life. This is what drives me crazy about atheists laying claim to "humanism".

      humanism - an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.

      It's an outlook "attaching prime importance to human matters". Yet this is something that atheists commonly criticize believers for. They say we're arrogant to think humans are in any way special. They diminish the importance of humans by pointing out just how small we are in the vast universe, or by pointing out that we're not at the center of the universe. Yet, would the world truly be a better place if they achieved what they set out to? If they convinced the common man the world over that there's nothing beyond death, no one watching over your every move, and no point to anything we do. Would that really be a better world? The atheist viewpoint does nothing for humanity but diminish us down to cold mechanics. It reduces things like love and friendship and treating each other well to mechanics. Everything becomes mechanical and meaningless.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Headly, that is an impassioned statement, full of personal conviction. I have read it through a few times and there are a couple of points I offer, which might give you some further personal insights.

      First, you said, "Religion and politics and whatever else, these are just tools employed by free willed people to get what they want. To control the behaviors and actions of others with free will."

      You and I, everyone with the ability and intention to think carefully through choices, we come down ultimately on a personal leaning.

      You desire a world that has purpose, meaning. You said it yourself.

      I have a similar desire for my self, in my world. I want purpose and I choose the road and belief system that I feel is likely to give me what I want. I look to logical, physical, this-world answers and solutions that are likely to bring about the realisation of my desires. This is valid for me, but it also brings with it a love and compassion for others on a similar road of search and discovery. My thinking is shaped by my desires.

      You have a desire to see purpose in an inspiring metaphysical source; the mystical, non-physical, spiritual being called God. You choose the line of thinking that supports your beliefs and the potential for getting what you want. Your thinking is shaped by your desires.

      Can you see that it is not a matter of proving the validity of one way of thinking over another. It's a matter of recognising each individual's desires and choices as reasonable, rational, acceptable in the world of hypothesis.

      Maybe within your research you have come across persons who are a-theist and found them upstarts, bigoted, intellectual bullies. There are such people within both religious and secular fraternities. But I suggest that most of us are flexible enough in our thinking to see that there are no absolutes, no precise rights and wrongs that we all need to accept and follow.

      If there is a God, who thought up the concept of a planet on which his toys could be living things, with all the exciting manoeuvrings of a table-top battle field, then you and I are the toy pieces. If there is no such God, then you and I are parts of that very God and we call the shots.

      There is lots for you folks to digest here, so let's see what comments arise out of it.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      "I personally find it sad that someone can't find meaning in and to life without a God to tell them what that meaning is."

      It's not a matter of being incapable of finding meaning, or God telling anyone what that meaning is. It's just a fact. If this universe did indeed just happen this way, if there was no deliberate creator who set out to create this universe and us as we are, then there is no meaning to life. Dawkins said much the same thing ...

      "This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply callous - indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose." - Richard Dawkins

      If it's as you say it is, then this is just a fact. Any meaning or purpose one assigns to their own life is really nothing more than masturbation. We still have just as little of an impact as we did before, whether or not you've convinced yourself that your life has meaning. No matter if we cure cancer, aids, end hunger and all suffering, none of it matters. In the end the universe will run out of energy and go cold, and whatever we did or didn't accomplish while we were here will have no impact. It still ends the same with whatever we manage to accomplish along the way having no effect.

      " I find that sometimes religion stunts moral and ethical growth by not allowing people to understand why we take care of each other."

      I find that atheism stunts moral and ethical growth by diminishing the whole idea of morals and ethics down to being mechanical concepts. Everything from love to compassion to empathy are nothing more than characteristics that stuck around because they're beneficial to our own survival. Ultimately, they paid off personally, for the self.

      "It stops when they were taught that if you do something bad God will punish you because the thinking is that why we don't do bad things. It stops when we were taught that we do good and care for others because God wants us to rather than understanding why we take care of each other."

      This is no different than a parent/child relationship. Initially the child learns to behave as the parent wants, not because they understand why the parent set the rules that way, but to avoid punishment. Only after favorable behavior has been established can the child then at some point later begin to understand why they should act that way. The child still learns, just as we still learn.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Jonny,

      "If there is a God, who thought up the concept of a planet on which his toys could be living things, with all the exciting manoeuvrings of a table-top battle field, then you and I are the toy pieces. If there is no such God, then you and I are parts of that very God and we call the shots."

      The whole point to all of this, in the context of the God of the bible being real, is that we do indeed call the shots. We've been given a free will that really does mean that God is not in control of the human realm. We are creators. We add to this universe things that are not of God's will, but are of our own. And our desires do indeed shape our actions and behaviors.

      It's not about proving the validity of my thinking over another. It's a matter of arriving at real truth based on what's observed. It's not so much a desire in myself to want there to be purpose, I don't think, as much as it is an inherent feeling within myself that there really is more to us than these mechanical explanations are able to address.

      There is a part of me that takes offense to the whole idea that all that makes us human is just the elaborate mechanics and interactions of evolved behaviors. I think I mainly take offense as an artist. As an artist I'm always trying to tap into the base of humanity. I'm trying to convey ideas and feelings on some subconscious level without the use of words. To invoke the same feelings and thoughts I had while creating something in the hearts and minds of those who listen to the music I created or look at the image I created.

      I choose the line of thinking that supports the world I observe and all its intricacies. My want, more than anything, is to understand. I just want to know and understand how things work and why they work as they do. That's what drives me. I have no desire to be "right". As long as it's truth we're closing in on, it matters not to me if I turned out to be right or not. The truth is what I seek. Even if that truth turns out to be nothing like I thought it was. What I think, or desire, is irrelevant.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Headly, what you have expressed here is the aspect of yourself which is often ignored or not appreciated. I have seen you express in this manner before, and it is the reason I keep an open discussion with you. Thanks for all your thoughtful responses.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for that, Jonny. It is always a pleasure having discussions with you. It's clear you have your own mind and that your whole point of view is a carefully thought out and considered thing. Not just something you're repeating that someone else said. It's always nice to converse with someone so thoughtful. And I appreciate your recognizing my earnest campaign for what it is. It can get a bit tiring having to deal with so many who assume they already know what I'm trying to say or where I'm coming from, assuming I'm just another delusional believer trying to justify those beliefs. It's frustrating. It's good to hear you recognize that.

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Once again, your entire argument boils down to not understanding anything scientific and your religion indoctrination. You could easily said this instead of a long winded nonsensical article.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      And once again you make vague statements about me not understanding with no specific mention of what exactly it is that makes you think so. It's easy to just make general statements that someone doesn't understand. Like I could say, clearly, based on your response, you don't understand. See how easy that is? Back up your statement. Elaborate. Or why bother saying anything?

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      There's nothing vague about your lack of understanding science, you even posted that science isn't based on physical evidence, which is as ridiculous as it is absurd. Every post you make and every article you write shows a deep misunderstanding about science and how it works.

      Give it up or else learn something, you're humiliating yourself.

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      In the Good and Evil thread, Slarty said exactly what needed to be said.

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      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      ED, when are you going to write anything about yourself in your Profile? When are you going to write a Hub or two, so we can learn a bit more about your interests?

      So far, all I have seen is criticism and rhetoric towards other bona fide contributors; nothing constructive, very little respect for the views or opinions of others if they don't happen to agree with your point of view.

      Are you genuinely intent upon fair and reasonable discussion? Or are you a Troll?

      Please --- contribute some constructive and enlightening information to the discussions. And maybe come out from hiding if you are indeed genuine.

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Bona fide contributors? LOL Good one Jonny. It is actually Headly who is the troll and not interested in reasonable discussion as he spreads disinformation and lies.

      I'm surprised you approve of this behavior?

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, Jonny, for your comment. It's good to see you see the same thing I do. I like to try to keep my mind open to the possibility that ED's criticisms are legitimate and not just assume I'm right and he's wrong. That maybe there really is something he sees in what I'm saying that makes him so certain I don't properly understand that I'm somehow just blinded to. Unfortunately I can never get a clear explanation from him to be able to understand what he's talking about. As far as I can tell anything I say that he doesn't agree with he views as me lying or not properly understanding. As far as I can tell there's no legitimate reasoning behind his responses or he'd be able to illustrate it. If I'm lying he should be able to show it. Until he can I have to assume he has no legitimate argument. Knowing you to consistently be fair in your assessments of these discussions, it's reassuring to see you see ED the same as I do.

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Your mind is not opened, it is closed shut with religious nonsense. You do little more than make a mockery of science in your articles and posts, lying and spreading disinformation as if they were facts. This is what is wrong with our world and your religion is the cause, breeding ignorance, dishonesty and delusion.

      You have been shown time and time again your lies, but you simply dismiss them and keep pushing your religious agenda of lies and deception.

      These are not my views, this is reality based on science, which you have obviously become detached and lost in a quagmire of nonsense.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      What exactly is it you think I'd have to gain by dismissing criticisms and "pushing" my religious agenda? I have no religious agenda. I'm not here to "win souls". I have no reason to mislead people. You don't have to agree with me, but I do not lie or purposefully mislead. If someone had actually done as you've claimed, if someone had actually illustrated to me that I'm wrong about something, then I would accept it. I have no reason not to.

      Are differing and opposing views not good for progress towards truth? Please, if you can show anything I've said to be inaccurate, please do so. The whole reason why I have these discussions in a public forum like this is for that reason. To have my views challenged. You claim all these things about me, yet you do so vaguely with no examples to illustrate what you're saying. I can't do anything with that. If you have legitimate reasons to think what you do about me, please lay them out on the table. If you don't I have no other recourse but to think you don't actually have legitimate arguments against my views. It's easy to just make vague claims that someone "doesn't understand" or that someone is spewing misinformation. But if you can't illustrate that to back up what you're saying, then it's pointless to do so. Everything I've said is recorded here. Etched into the stone of hubpages. Published and available for you to pick apart to your heart's content. So, please do so. Back up your statements with examples. If you can. I challenge you to do it because I don't think you can. Prove me wrong.

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Again, you are lying, you have a very obvious religious agenda and everyone knows it. So do you, so you can stop with the bs.

      Once again, you are lying, you do not accept the hard facts shown to you when you're wrong.

      You are not offering differing or opposing views, you are offering lies and disinformation that are easily shown to be such with facts.

      Once again, you are lying, you have been shown specifically many times that you have little to know understanding of how science works. That is as specific as it can get. There is nothing vague about this, it is blatantly obvious. That is why any discussions with you are pointless, you have no idea what you're talking about and you just continue with the bs time and again, over and over, making a mockery of science, reason and understanding in favor of your religious beliefs. It is pathetic.

      Once again, you are lying, we have picked apart your nonsense ad nauseum, but you just ignore it all and continue posting lies and disinformation.

      Prove you wrong? That was done ages ago, and everyone knows it except you.

      You are part of a small group of believers here who deny reality and embrace fantasy and delusion, and you say anything to defend it.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      So, you've got nothing? You have nothing but vague general statements accusing me of lying? You claim "everyone knows it"? It doesn't sound like Jonny "knows it". I'm sorry, but you appear to have nothing of value to offer. Show me something I've lied about. Show me something that illustrates I don't understand. You claimed there are things here in this very hub. So start here. Show me just one thing. Can you?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      You can read Slarty's response to your posts where he says it is nothing but your own personal model (delusion) and has nothing to do with reality.

      You can stop lying anytime, you have been shown a lot and most have just given up trying to get through to you. And, you know that, you know you have been shown but you refuse to accept facts and reality in favor of your religious agenda.

      We're not idiots, so stop treating us like idiots.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Don't try to squirm out of this. Slarty's not the one that said, "Once again, your entire argument boils down to not understanding anything scientific and your religion indoctrination." about this hub. So back up your statement. Show me there's validity to your statement. Give me just one example, from this hub, that illustrates my lack of understanding. Just one thing.

      Besides, I already responded to Slarty's comment. If this model of mine were nothing more than pure delusion, then there's very little chance it would have made accurate predictions about where specific events could be found in that particular region of the world at very specific times. This model did just that. Multiple predictions. A bad model doesn't make accurate predictions.

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Sorry, but you made no accurate predictions at all, you're argument is equivalent to a small child trying to explain to adults how Santa Claus is able to go down every chimney on the planet in one night.

      There are actually some honest Christians on the forums, not many, but a few. You certainly aren't one of them and you could learn something from them about ethics and honesty. They understand that facts preclude their beliefs, they don't try to pigeon hole their beliefs into science. They understand the Bible isn't a history book, or a biology book, or any other book remotely related to science. It's a book of myths like the other religions.

      You and the other dishonest Christians on these forums are what's wrong with our world, people lying through their teeth to defend their hopelessly absurd beliefs, indoctrinated to fight, distorting truth at every turn.

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      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Hey, Headly, it sounds like you made a poor forum dweller and/or local troll upset. Yeah, I know, it is nothing new, but the cool thing about all of this is that the so-called hubber known as EncephaloiDead (ED [Erectile Dysfunction] or whatever his/her name stands for) is simply demonstrating how "soft" the atheistic movement has become. I'd prescribe some divine Viagra for his/her sorry self, but I'm not a doctor nor do I care enough to recommend natural alternatives, either; ha!

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      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      " I find it difficult to accept the god-less existence scenario...

      In a god-less scenario...

      ...without a spiritual soul there is no way a bundle of matter, or the non-physical mind it creates, could be capable of actually making a 'willful' choice.

      ... there is a spiritual/non-physical component of the self. A soul.

      And we, being the creations of this creator, being spiritual beings ourselves...

      ...there is a spiritual self that will live on once the physical body finally falls.

      ... it becomes exceedingly difficult to see how life could have just 'come about'.

      ...we all have the same 'designer'.

      ... the default state of humanity in general is belief in a higher power."

      Each one of the above quotes comes from one of your so-called reasons. We can see that your reasons have absolutely nothing to do with atheism or anything else and everything to do with a religious agenda of spreading lies and disinformation for Jesus.

    • Uppity Automaton profile image

      Uppity Automaton 2 years ago from Washington, D.C

      To be honest, a little too long to read. Just wanted to know one thing...did Jesus die for automatons?

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      "9. Human Intuition

      Acceptance of the atheist viewpoint means acceptance of the fact that human intuition where a higher power is concerned is totally off-base. This one may be more of a personal thing for me, than a purely logical one, but I have a kind of 'faith' in our human intuition that has managed to bring us to where we are today."

      Right here is the problem. You claim to use reason and then claim that you have faith in human intuition. Studies show however that when intuition is used for anything other then what evolution has intended it's use to be it leads us the wrong answer. Studies also show that more religious people tend to use intuition more often. So, even if intuition tells us that someone made the universe and even if intuition told people a few thousand years ago that someone made the universe, reason tells us something different. The very first thing reason tells us is to not use intuition to determine things we have no prior knowledge of. Is it reasonable to insist intuition must be right? Intuition is easy, but reason tells us that because we have no prior knowledge of any Gods we have no way of using intuition to know if Gods exist, as to intuit one must have prior knowledge. For instance if one has never seen a snake before one wouldn't know to be cautious. Therefore using intuition as a guide for determining if a God exists will most likely lead one to the wrong conclusion. We are left with reason.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      First off, thank you for citing specific statements of mine. It finally gives me some insight into how you see things and actually gives me something I can address. But before I get to that, I'd like to address this statement.... "Sorry, but you made no accurate predictions at all".

      Do you even know the predictions I speak of? Do you know my claim well enough to be able to explain it back to me? Because that's the only way you could have enough information to be able to make that statement knowingly. You seem to have no problem making a baseless, patently false, statement with no regard for whether or not it's the truth. That's a problem. Everything I say I make sure I can back up. I don't just make statements without those statements being based on known information. You've made a statement here that illustrates your willingness to just make whatever statement with no regard for whether it's the truth or not. And then have the gall to accuse me of dishonesty. Do you really feel you can in all honesty make that statement?

      Now, as for your the statements you referred to. I disagree that my statements "have absolutely nothing to do with atheism". If one is an atheist then you have to believe it's actually possible that existence can come to be as it has without having been deliberately created. You clearly have no problem accepting that. I do. This is one of my reasons. And, if one is an atheist, then generally that person's viewpoint also rejects the existence of a soul. This hub lays out some of the reasons why I personally reject atheism. And it's heavily based on my understanding of science. An understanding that you've made clear you find to be flawed.

      Personally, I don't think you know what you're talking about. Personally, I think your under a delusion commonly referred to as the "science delusion". And those who are generally of this mindset I find to be lacking in critical thinking. Science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in. You say you see people like me as being "the problem". Well I see people of this mindset being part of "the problem". This viewpoint gets in the way of free inquiry and free thought. It places limitations where they don't belong and limits the ability of people to really think. It's no different than every other time in history that people thought they knew better. Like when people thought they knew better about the Earth being at the center of the universe. Same thing. The way you read this hub is telling. Your staunch Materialist stance is a tell-tale sign of this delusion.

      The simple fact is, if we were to limit our thinking in the way you think we should, then the mind shouldn't exist. Do you hear an inner dialogue? Inside your mind? That no one else can hear? I'd wager you do. But if put to the task you couldn't prove it. The mind is the most in your fact example of things that exist in this natural world that we can detect or observe. The only reason we know that there is an inner dialogue in the minds of humans is because we experience it. This illustrates a primary flaw in your thinking. A thinking that I find to be limiting and illogical.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      "Studies show however that when intuition is used for anything other then what evolution has intended it's use to be..."

      Do you see the problem with that statement? Are you actually suggesting that evolution has intentions? It's not that intuition was "intended", it's that it made us successful if it was truly brought about by evolution. Yet another thing we're all just supposed to dismiss as the result of a "random mutation" to the structure of a polynucleotide, somehow this results in a brain capable of intuition. There, I worded it in the venacular of evolution, therefore it's true, and my explanation is therefore backed by the authority of science. BS. If you see no problem with that explanation then you've clearly turned your mind off.

      Intuition has proved successful in our past. There's no doubt. Look at where we are now compared to where we were just ten thousand years ago. It's clearly been a good guide for us. And as far as an intuition playing a role in belief in a higher power, that's just the kind of thing that intuition is "intended for". Taking in collected bits of information into the unconscious and responding back with intuitive knowledge that has then proved useful. Intuition informs us of those things not glaringly apparent. Those things that we understand more indirectly. Belief in something bigger going on behind the proverbial curtain is right down the alley of intuition. That's exactly the kind of thing it's "intended" for.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      I don't know how many times we're going to have to have this same conversation. Hopefully this will be the last. Take this from the above article ... "Using the electrodes, the scientists recorded brain signals in a computer as the patient repeatedly read each of 10 words that might be useful to a paralysed person: yes, no, hot, cold, hungry, thirsty, hello, goodbye, more and less."

      So, based on the patient repeatedly reading a set of controlled words, they recorded brain wave activity while they were repeating these words. So, they could record the specific brain activity associated with the part of the brain that handles speech and associate those specific patterns to specific words. The inner dialogue of the mind has not been observed here. The same brain activity that we've been able to detect for years is what's being observed. Then, only when we associate particular patterns with particular words, can they then match up those specific patterns when they happen again and reach the conclusion that that's the word that part of the brain is forming.

      This is not addressing what you think its addressing.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Intuition has not brought us to where we are today, reason has. Aristotle used his intuition to incorrectly determine that object fall to earth at different rates depending on their weight. Newton used reason to experiment and find the correct answer, but used his intuition to incorrectly determine that a math will not be found that explains the solar system, he decided God done it. If one uses intuition to do math one will get wrong answers more often than people who use reason. Intuition tells us to burn witches and rap and pillage, while reason tells us that those things hurt other people. We can however use our intuition to determine if a sales person should be trusted if we have enough experience with sales people. Children get taken by sales people and commercials easily as they have no or little prior experiences with sales tactics. With God you have no prior experiences therefore intuition is useless in determining if any Gods exist.

      The point I'm trying to make with that link is that the time is coming. They can now read the thoughts of someone unable to express their thoughts. That's what's happening here.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Do you even know the predictions I speak of?"

      Of course, and like I said earlier, Slarty has already addressed that issue quite accurately.

      "Everything I say I make sure I can back up"

      No, you don't. You do quite the opposite, just like other woo-woo's work.

      "And then have the gall to accuse me of dishonesty."

      Of course, that is blatantly obvious with most of what you say, just like the other liars for Jesus on the forums.

      "This hub lays out some of the reasons why I personally reject atheism. And it's heavily based on my understanding of science."

      More lies. This hub is all about spreading disinformation with a religious agenda. That would be your understanding of science.

      "Personally, I don't think you know what you're talking about."

      And yet, I'm not the one spreading disinformation, you are.

      "And those who are generally of this mindset I find to be lacking in critical thinking."

      You wouldn't know critical thinking if it jumped up and bit you in the ass. You embrace beliefs, not critical thinking.

      "Science delusion is the belief that science already understands the nature of reality in principle, leaving only the details to be filled in. You say you see people like me as being "the problem". Well I see people of this mindset being part of "the problem". "

      Of course you do, so do the other liars for Jesus, they know only to well science destroys their house of cards.

      " Like when people thought they knew better about the Earth being at the center of the universe. Same thing."

      Yes, those were widely held beliefs embraced by the religious. We all know what happened to the thinkers who tried to change their minds.

      "Your staunch Materialist stance is a tell-tale sign of this delusion."

      Ah yes, your religious agenda sprouts up again. Materialist? LOL.

      "The simple fact is, if we were to limit our thinking in the way you think we should, then the mind shouldn't exist."

      Yet, another lie. You do not think, you believe. It is the rest of us who don't believe in things that use thinking and reasoning, which is something we don't want to limit, but instead get others like yourself to actually embrace and use. Try it sometime, you might find yourself actually being honest for a change.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "Ah yes, your religious agenda sprouts up again. Materialist? LOL."

      Go look up and read about the philosophical views of materialism. I bet you don't find a single thing you disagree with. Whether you know it or not, realize it or not, you are a materialist.

      "Of course you do, so do the other liars for Jesus, they know only to well science destroys their house of cards."

      If you properly understood then you'd realize science has nothing to say on the topic. You can't address the meta-physical with the physical sciences. If you think science has something to say about whether or not God exists then you don't understand science, God, or both.

      Regarding your statements that I'm lying. Especially in light of your statements that I wouldn't know critical thinking. Let's think about what you're saying. You're accusing me of lying. Of knowingly being dishonest about my beliefs. In other words you're saying I know what I'm saying to not be true. So, why would I believe if I know I'm lying about it? Why would I try to convince others of something I know to be a lie? If I know I'm lying, and nothing I'm talking about is true, then what is it you think I stand to gain if I know it's not true? Does that even make sense.

      If you know the predictions my model made then list them. You're the one that made a statement claiming I made no predictions. To knowingly make that statement you must know my predictions. What are they?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      See that's where you're wrong. You're right, intuition is aided by experiences. It's a quick assessment based on a conglomeration of experiences and insights. Much like the existence of God. There's no one thing, one experience you can look at and say, that's how I know. It's a collection of things. A collection of things that just don't add up any other way. That's where intuition comes in. Knowledge of what isn't directly observable based on prior experiences. A subconscious sense you get about something based on a collection of experiences. Exactly.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Intuition has evolved in us and other animal to let us know when (say) a tiger might be behind a bush. Now if we had never seen a tiger or a bush before we'd have no idea if anything were behind that bush or even if we knew something was behind the bush if it were friendly. But, if we grew up around tigers and knew the sign of them stocking we might be able to guess that there was a tiger behind the bush for as you say a collection of reasons, but based on past experiences. If you don't have passed experience your intuition is useless. When intuition is used for anything other than for reasons as described studies show it to get the wrong answer. Even one has past experiences and intuits a tiger there may not be a tiger behind the bush, one would have to go find out. Another example would be that many of us can intuit that a storm is coming, but not because of the clouds, wind and smell in the air, but because of our past experiences with storms. You are attempting to use intuition of something you have no knowledge of that would be like moving to central Africa and on your first day there determine the area is about to be attacked by a stampede of Buffalo. You've never been in the area before and never seen or heard of African buffalo's but determine that his is what buffalo do on nice warm days.

      Intuition is a very basic mode of thought, it's all some animals have and they constantly make errors because of it. My dog for example uses his intuition to determine rain is coming and then using his intuition to determine the only way he will survive the rain is to crawl under my bed. When he was a pup he was attacked by three labs, he now uses his intuition to attack labs on site. He is now 12 and will tolerate 2 or 3 labs (that we have forced him to be around) for a short amount of time. His intuits is write about knowing when rain is coming but wrong about how to survive it and wrong about labs.

    • gconeyhiden profile image

      gconeyhiden 2 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      I think your title says it all. for you the very idea that "God" may not exist does nothing for you, so you admit it. you have chosen to go with something that "works" for you. there are many things in this world, in this universe that have NO valid explainations as yet and so their existence usually provide no meaningful benefit to humanity. even though the idea of "God" falls into this area it is no hinderance to your way of thought. why is that so? you talk of the probablilities of life forming w.o "God" as seemingly impossible, yet even elements that have no "life" are fully capable of forming bonds and there is nothing unusual about this. the fact that humans have through time expressed a need for outside intervention due to the insecurity of mankind speaks volumes in comparison to the biological need for "God". this obvious comparison has you grasping for straws that will hold up your support system. for you even if "God" doesnt exist is a non issue because just pretending there is one is enough for you. "God" may very well NOT exist, what is "God" anyway but an unfathomable concept created by humans. an empty vessel filled to the brim. the truth is the idea of a caring "God", onethat is interested in the affairs of humans is even more unprobable then life forming by way of chance.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      Intuition evolved because it has aided us in our success of survival. Those that didn't have it were less likely to live. So while your attempting to cast doubt on its effectiveness, the mere fact that it exists means it is effective. Reason as well has aided in bringing us to this point because it too exists. Both reason and intuition played a role in bringing us to where we are today. It may lead us to the wrong conclusion in some instances, but the fact that it exists in all humans now means it definitely proved to be a beneficial trait as those that didn't have it didn't survive to pass on their traits that lacked it. Reason can sometimes be wrong as well. But that doesn't mean it isn't effective overall.

      Your scenario about someone who moves to an unfamiliar environment doesn't really apply here because we all live in this world, and the things that lead our intuition to the conclusion that a God exists are based on observations of this natural world. Chaos becomes order in this place. There are rules in this place. It's not just chaotic. There is purpose behind what does exist. We find meaning in things. These are not specific to region, but are universally true.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      gconeyhiden,

      " the truth is the idea of a caring "God", onethat is interested in the affairs of humans is even more unprobable then life forming by way of chance."

      I disagree. Human behavior is the one thing in the known universe that is in no way governed. Behavior in everything else is governed by laws and such. Animal behavior, for instance, is consistent. No matter where in the world you go a cow is a cow, a horse is a horse, and a lion is a lion. Behavior wise, we know what to expect. Humans are an exception to that rule. Our behavior is determined by intellect and reason. We are all capable of behaviors that are well beyond what we all agree is immoral, so we have to use our intellect and reason to determine what behavior is 'right' and what isn't.

      In the context of God as He's described, all of existence conforms to His will. Animate or inanimate it all becomes what He wills it to be. Even in the story being described, we are the one exception to that. Starting with Adam/Eve the story makes it clear that what's significant about us is that our behavior is not governed by God. We truly have free wills.

      Like any other complex system, the universe is a complex system made up of trillions of individual parts. LIke other complex systems, it works because it is governed by a unitary set of rules, or laws. All of these individual components work together as one singular system because it's all governed by one singular set of laws. We are the one exception to that.

      If there truly is a God who deliberately created us, if He exists as described, then it makes perfect sense that this God would be very much interested in the affairs of humans.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Yes, intuition helps us survive and help dogs survive based on past experiences. Determining if a God exists is not a matter of survival and not a matter of past experiences.

      My example about intuition is spot on. If you have never seen or heard of a snake before you wouldn't know to be cautious. A few years back my south American neighbours came running across the street when they spotted snakes in there bushes. I walked over glanced at them and pulled them out and brought them down to a ravine and let the go. Our intuition told us to different things based on past experiences. Their's told them to run at the sight of a snake. Mine to me that if it's not rattling it's harmless based on past experiences with snakes in Ontario. I was right and they were wrong because they didn't have any experiences with wild snakes in Ontario. You have no experiences with any Gods therefor your intuition is most likely wrong.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Whether you know it or not, realize it or not, you are a materialist."

      I could care less what kind of philosophies you toss my way, it is nothing more than a detraction and deflection away from your religious agenda and the fact that you have so little understanding of what you're talking about. It only serves to demonstrate the feebleness of your position.

      "If you properly understood then you'd realize science has nothing to say on the topic. You can't address the meta-physical with the physical sciences. If you think science has something to say about whether or not God exists then you don't understand science, God, or both."

      LOL. Perfect! You have just admitted your religious agenda. Thank you, sir!

      Yes, science does have something to say about your religious indoctrination.

      "...what is it you think I stand to gain if I know it's not true? Does that even make sense"

      It is your religious indoctrination and your religion that is teaching and supporting you to lie, exactly like the other believers with agendas. No, it does not make sense, yet it is exactly what you're doing.

      If you believe facts are fantasy and fantasy are facts as they do, perhaps you need to seek professional help.

      That is the problem with religions and why they are part in parcel as to the reason our world is in such a sad state of affairs, folks like you and the others who have lost touch with reality and wish to force your fantasies on the rest of us.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      But I do have experience with the natural world. I have experience with knowing there is order in this universe. There are rules set in this universe. My experience tells me the things that exist serve a purpose. The whole system works in a way that perpetuates useful developments and edits out un-useful ones. For example, my experience tells me that when we find out there is coded information in each of our cells, information that is retained and passed on, and that is then used to construct complex organisms, that this is something conducive to intelligence. That the odds of this being the result of pure chance are remote at best. That a universe where chaos becomes order is most likely governed and deliberately meant to work the way it does.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Both reason and intuition played a role in bringing us to where we are today. It may lead us to the wrong conclusion in some instances, but the fact that it exists in all humans now means it definitely proved to be a beneficial trait as those that didn't have it didn't survive to pass on their traits that lacked it."

      Baloney. Intuition is only beneficial under certain circumstances and is more often wrong than right, whereas reason is far more often right than wrong. That is, if you can even offer examples of how reasoning can be wrong.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "But I do have experience with the natural world. I have experience with knowing there is order in this universe."

      Your so-called "experience" = wishful thinking.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Animal behavior, for instance, is consistent. No matter where in the world you go a cow is a cow, a horse is a horse, and a lion is a lion. "

      So what? Is the behavior of the lion consistent with the behavior of a cow or a horse?

      "Humans are an exception to that rule. Our behavior is determined by intellect and reason."

      Your behavior is not consistent with intellect and reason.

      "In the context of God as He's described, all of existence conforms to His will. Animate or inanimate it all becomes what He wills it to be.

      Starting with Adam/Eve the story makes it clear that what's significant about us is that our behavior is not governed by God. We truly have free wills."

      Religious agenda exposed, again.

      "All of these individual components work together as one singular system because it's all governed by one singular set of laws. We are the one exception to that."

      Baloney, we are not an exception, we are part of that system and a result thereof, just like everything else.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "Yes, science does have something to say about your religious indoctrination."

      What exactly? This statement on its own makes it clear that you are the one lacking in understanding.

      "It is your religious indoctrination and your religion that is teaching and supporting you to lie, exactly like the other believers with agendas. No, it does not make sense, yet it is exactly what you're doing."

      That's just dumb. Even indoctrinated, if I knew what I was saying to be false, then why would I continue to believe it? And why would I spend my time and effort trying to convince others of something I know to be false? This just illustrates the feebleness of your whole viewpoint. I realize you telling yourself that believers are indoctrinated liars is the only way you can make sense of what you observe, but the utter lack of logic in your view should inform you of the flaws in your viewpoint. It doesn't stand on its own as a rational/logical explanation. It first requires that you dismiss believers as morons. That right there should be the first red flag.

      "That is the problem with religions and why they are part in parcel as to the reason our world is in such a sad state of affairs, folks like you and the others who have lost touch with reality and wish to force your fantasies on the rest of us."

      I have no wish to force fantasies on you or anyone else. I hope to illustrate the broken logic in this materialist viewpoint that is hindering our search for truth. Like someone in the past who was certain the Earth was the center of the universe, you and others like you are so certain that your viewpoint is correct, that you close your mind to the blatantly obvious all around you. I have seen the truth and know there is truth in what I say. I know this because the model I created correctly predicted events I was not aware of when I built the model. It located events that matched exactly what the model predicted, in time and place and impact of that event. But because your viewpoint doesn't allow for it, in spite of the evidence that supports it, you reject it. Because in your view you already know what's true, and you're just now waiting for the details to be filled in. And what I'm saying doesn't fit that model, so you reject it. With no valid reason to do so. For no other reason than your blind devotion to your materialist view. This isn't a philosophy that I'm "tossing your way". This is a philosophy that matches exactly with how you speak and how you think. Know thyself, EncephaloiDead. You are a materialist.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "What exactly? This statement on its own makes it clear that you are the one lacking in understanding."

      They psychology of religious indoctrination has many peer reviewed papers and books. "The God Delusion" is one recent book.

      "And why would I spend my time and effort trying to convince others of something I know to be false?"

      For the very same reasons Christians hate homosexuals, for the same reasons Christians tell us we are going to roast in hell, for the same reasons Ken Ham opened up the Creation Museum. Your religion teaches you to behave this way, just like the others.

      Again, you could take some lessons from the few honest Christians on the forum, you probably already who they are, the ones the other hateful Christians consistently hate.

      " It first requires that you dismiss believers as morons. "

      Well, if the shoe fits...

      "I have no wish to force fantasies on you or anyone else. I hope to illustrate the broken logic in this materialist viewpoint that is hindering our search for truth."

      Your "search for truth" = propagate lies.

      " Like someone in the past who was certain the Earth was the center of the universe"

      Yes, those "someones in the past" were people just like you.

      "you close your mind to the blatantly obvious all around you. I have seen the truth and know there is truth in what I say. "

      Religious agenda exposed, again. How many times are you going to shoot yourself in the foot?

      "I know this because the model I created correctly predicted events I was not aware of when I built the model. It located events that matched exactly what the model predicted, in time and place and impact of that event. But because your viewpoint doesn't allow for it, in spite of the evidence that supports it, you reject it. "

      Once again, I'll repeat, hopefully for the last time, Slarty provided a perfect answer for that. Go back and read it again, and again, and again, until it sinks in.

      "EncephaloiDead. You are a materialist."

      I'd much rather be that, which at the very least is an honest position, unlike your position of peddling lies and promoting a religious agenda.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Reasoning is what led people to think the Earth was the center of the universe, or that the earth was flat. Reason, armed with accurate information, then led us to the right conclusions. But reason, based on inaccurate information, still leads to conclusions, though often the wrong ones.

      Intuition was beneficial in enough "certain circumstances" for it to be prevalent in all of humanity today.

      "Your so-called "experience" = wishful thinking."

      Have you never heard of chaos theory? It is well beyond wishful thinking.

      "So what? Is the behavior of the lion consistent with the behavior of a cow or a horse?"

      Yes, in that they're all consistent across the board. The one non-consistent in the mix, humans.

      "Your behavior is not consistent with intellect and reason."

      Neither are the things you say.

      "Religious agenda exposed, again."

      Nope. What I'm saying is consistent with the historical record. Just because the viewpoint you've chosen doesn't allow for it, doesn't render what I'm saying untrue. It only renders your viewpoint as flawed.

      "Baloney, we are not an exception, we are part of that system and a result thereof, just like everything else."

      Yet we behave more like a virus than we do other mammals. There's an island-sized pile of trash floating in the pacific because of us. No other species is even capable of such a thing. There's a whole in our ozone. We manipulate the natural world unlike any other species. our selfish and self-serving decisions effect the world around us unlike any other species. If you're unable to see how we differ from the rest of the world that's a flaw in your viewpoint blinding you. It's undeniable.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "For the very same reasons Christians hate homosexuals, for the same reasons Christians tell us we are going to roast in hell, for the same reasons Ken Ham opened up the Creation Museum. Your religion teaches you to behave this way, just like the others."

      Hmm. that's odd because I don't hate homosexuals, I don't believe in hell, and I would love for Ken Ham's Museum of misinformation to be shut down as I see it as a blight on Christianity. And like I've told you before, I don't go to any church or belong to any denomination. My "religion" doesn't tell me to do any of these things.

      "Again, you could take some lessons from the few honest Christians on the forum, you probably already who they are, the ones the other hateful Christians consistently hate."

      You've already shown yourself incapable of discerning truth because of your delusion, so I doubt you know who the "honest Christians" are.

      " It first requires that you dismiss believers as morons. "

      Well, if the shoe fits...

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Tell me Headly, when you are editing a code, do you leave the junk in there to possible cause problems later on? Do you purposely leave errors that could cause the system to shut down early? You seem to be confused about this tuition thing, your experience with coding should give you in site as know something may be wrong with the code, but not in site of anything beyond software. Your in site on coding software should tell you that the process of evolution and genes are not the same as coding software.

      For example does it make any sense to a software coder that one particular plant (Paris japonica) has a 50 times longer genome than our own? Does it make any sense to a software coder why some animals get ride of it's junk DNA faster than others?

      Here is the difference, a software coder attempting to build software to behave and look a certain way, but when you add wiki and others are allowed to contribute you have no idea what the outcome will be. It evolves on it's own. In other words your experience coding software is as effective in determining intelligence behind DNA as my design career is. I can tell when I see design, I can tell when people have assembled something for a specific reason, but that doesn't allow me to intuit that nature was designed as I have no experience in seeing intelligence in the design of nature nor do you. I can and do use reason to determine if I think intelligence is behind nature and reason tells me for a variety of reasons that there is no intelligence behind nature. I'll list ALS, cancers and the guinea worm as example of a lack of intelligence.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "But reason, based on inaccurate information, still leads to conclusions, though often the wrong ones."

      And, that is exactly the reason why we don't use your religious beliefs, they are based on inaccurate information.

      "Intuition was beneficial in enough "certain circumstances" for it to be prevalent in all of humanity today."

      It is? Where?

      "Yes, in that they're all consistent across the board. The one non-consistent in the mix, humans."

      LOL. Yet, we are all animals, there is nothing other than our evolved brains. Other animals are far superior in different ways, many can do things humans cannot.

      Show how humans are not consistent with other animals, and then tell us how that is different from the behavior of lions and cows?

      "Just because the viewpoint you've chosen doesn't allow for it"

      Yes, the chosen concept of facts, evidence and reality. Yes, these concepts do not allow for your religious beliefs and wacky ideas.

      "Yet we behave more like a virus than we do other mammals."

      Allow me to present you with the definition of a virus, so that you may go back over your examples to see they don't follow:

      "A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of other organisms. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to bacteria and archaea."

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "You've already shown yourself incapable of discerning truth because of your delusion, so I doubt you know who the "honest Christians" are."

      Truth is shown to us through science, not your religious beliefs. Sorry, that you don't understand that.

      Oh yes, I know indeed who the honest Christians are here. They are the ones who have already shown you how wrong you are and that your religious beliefs do indeed contradict reality. They understand that and have no problem with that. You do have a problem with that, though. You want to align your religious with reality, and it simply doesn't fly. It is dishonest, and it's very sad that you don't seem to get that.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "For example does it make any sense to a software coder that one particular plant (Paris japonica) has a 50 times longer genome than our own?"

      Yeah, it makes sense. If that particular plant reaches maturity and is able to procreate faster, then there are more generations within the same span of time.

      " I can and do use reason to determine if I think intelligence is behind nature and reason tells me for a variety of reasons that there is no intelligence behind nature."

      Again, each of our cells have coded information in them. Information that is then used to construct complex organisms. This system takes what would normally just be a random process and makes it accumulative. We also find out that a single set of laws, set just so, results in a universe that expands out from a single point and perpetuates itself for billions of years. Just from a single set of laws of unknown origin. As a designer I would think you would realize how difficult something like that would be to realize when you are deliberately trying to do it. Yet you accept that it 'just happened' on its own. And unlike life, which perpetuates itself, there's no multiple attempts with the universe. Just one shot. How anyone can know these things and not consider intelligence, especially considering intelligence does indeed exist and is a natural product of this universe, is beyond me.

      "I'll list ALS, cancers and the guinea worm as example of a lack of intelligence."

      Everything must die somehow, or constantly perpetuating life would eventually become a problem. If there's something not built in that limits our lifespan then before long you have no room. Everybody dies. How is irrelevant.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "And, that is exactly the reason why we don't use your religious beliefs, they are based on inaccurate information."

      Except that Genesis 2-11 are accurate. And have been demonstrated as being accurate. Your viewpoint not allowing for that before its even been tested and confirmed is confirmation bias. You just choose to believe what you prefer the truth to be.

      "It is? Where?"

      All humans have intuition.

      "LOL. Yet, we are all animals, there is nothing other than our evolved brains. Other animals are far superior in different ways, many can do things humans cannot."

      Yet we humans stand alone in how we've completely transformed the planet. All other animals find a natural equalibrium with the natural world around them. Live in harmony with nature. But not us humans. We alter and manipulate it unlike any other species.

      "Yes, the chosen concept of facts, evidence and reality. Yes, these concepts do not allow for your religious beliefs and wacky ideas."

      If you truly valued facts, evidence, and reality then you wouldn't dismiss what I can demonstrate. But you do, site unseen. Meaning, your not basing your conclusion on facts and evidence.

      "Allow me to present you with the definition of a virus, so that you may go back over your examples to see they don't follow:"

      Uh, yeah, thanks. But what I'm referring to is that we multiply and use up resources, then spread when resources run out. Which resembles a virus more than it does the behavior of other mammals.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Truth is shown to us through science, not your religious beliefs. Sorry, that you don't understand that."

      Science shows what I'm presenting to be true. But you reject it without first considering it openly. Your biased and not interested in truth.

      "Oh yes, I know indeed who the honest Christians are here. They are the ones who have already shown you how wrong you are and that your religious beliefs do indeed contradict reality. They understand that and have no problem with that. You do have a problem with that, though. You want to align your religious with reality, and it simply doesn't fly. It is dishonest, and it's very sad that you don't seem to get that."

      Well, since no one has "already shown me how wrong I am", that leaves nobody. Please, feel free to show when someone has shown me that I'm wrong, or feel free to show me yourself. Whichever. If I'm wrong, I certainly want to know about it. I don't want to continue to be wrong if someone can demonstrate I am. So I would appreciate it if you can. You haven't yet, you've failed every single time I've asked, but hey, maybe this time you'll manage.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Science shows what I'm presenting to be true. But you reject it without first considering it openly."

      Many who are and were far more knowledgeable than you have attempted to mix religion and science, some of them even have university degrees, but they have all failed miserably.

      You and Ken Ham are folks of the same ilk, pretending to know what you're talking about, but so blatantly from behind a thinly veiled religious agenda. The small minority of folks who cause so much conflict with their absurd ideas.

      " Your biased and not interested in truth."

      "Well, since no one has "already shown me how wrong I am", that leaves nobody. "

      The fact that you don't know much about science and are peddling a religious agenda, it's not surprising at all to see you deny it all.

      "You haven't yet, you've failed every single time I've asked, but hey, maybe this time you'll manage."

      Of course, round and round you go, spinning to and fro. Present the facts to the believer, the believer rejects them.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      You haven't presented any facts. I keep asking for them, but all I get are these vague accusations. If I cause so much conflict with my absurd ideas, then you should really keep better notes so you can more easily pull all of these examples of me being wrong that you claim exist so you can silence the trouble-maker. Don't you think? Your accusations with no substance to back up are meaningless. You accuse me of, for whatever reason, being willing to lie deliberately, even though that would mean I'd have to actually realize that what I'm saying is wrong. So me continuing to buy into something I know to be wrong and then trying to get other people to buy into it as well, if I myself know it be wrong, is just absurd, but hey, if that's logical to you. That's the only explanation your diluted state can come up with, though it's clearly broken logic.

      You're right, many have tried to reconcile religion and science. But most all assumed what most everyone else did, that Adam was the first human ever, and that kind of misinformation makes reconciliation difficult. Correct that one misunderstood piece of the puzzle and it's rather easy to find. It'll just be a matter of time before more people begin to see what I see. Give it time. It's right there. I don't have to make anything up or twist anything around. It's rather obvious. It's just that misconception that caused so many to miss it. And most of the historical information that makes it so certain has only been learned in the past few decades. We've only known about the Sumerians for roughly a century now. And southern Mesopotamia hasn't been available for archaeological investigation since the '20's considering it's in modern day Iraq. But we now have enough information. It can be seen, big as day. Not just the series of events, but the expected impact can be seen as well. I have the truth, and plenty of evidence to back it up. If you're truly interested in the truth, I'll be happy to show you. As far as I can tell, your primary interest seems to be stating baseless misinformation about me I guess in an attempt to discredit me.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Except that Genesis 2-11 are accurate. "

      "Havilah may mean sandy land (Deutsch), or circuit region. There seems to have been more than one country of this name; but the most probable is that in South-Western Arabia, afterwards colonised by the Joktanites (Genesis 10:29), which this river skirted rather than traversed. But we know of no such river, rising in Armenia or elsewhere, which answers to this description now. "

      http://biblehub.com/commentaries/genesis/2-11.htm

      "All humans have intuition."

      All humans have a brain, but like intuition, some don't often use it.

      "Yet we humans stand alone in how we've completely transformed the planet. All other animals find a natural equalibrium with the natural world around them. Live in harmony with nature. But not us humans. We alter and manipulate it unlike any other species."

      Truly amazing how believers have managed our planet these past few millenia, isn't it?

      Perhaps, it's time for the religious to step aside and allow reason and rationale to rule us instead.

      "If you truly valued facts, evidence, and reality then you wouldn't dismiss what I can demonstrate."

      You only demonstrate a religious agenda of propagating disinformation. That is what is being dismissed.

      "But what I'm referring to is that we multiply and use up resources, then spread when resources run out. Which resembles a virus more than it does the behavior of other mammals."

      LOL. That is exactly what most animals do, use up the resources and move on to find other resources.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I have the truth...

      If you're truly interested in the truth, I'll be happy to show you."

      LOL. Sorry, but you're peddling a religious agenda of disinformation, you have no truths to show.

      You sound exactly like a southern baptist minister or a loon on a soapbox in Hyde Park.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Headly, regardless whether you are right or not, I continue to admire your patience and fair-mindedness in confronting ED. He or she has been on HubPages for a long time under this, and previous pseudonym, and the attitude has not changed one iota.

      A strong anti-religious mentality does show through, but the main interest is, I think, just the entertainment of getting an argument going and continuing to stir the pot.

      As to your own discussion, please correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to be very well versed in history and science. Your questioning about what have been accepted as "facts" draws in careful science, historical time-lines, and a willingness to consider other possibilities.

      Then you are trying to connect to your own need for "beliefs" in the un-known, so it's a perception of a link between physical history/science and the infinite aspect of your psyche. Does this sound reasonable?

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      "Yeah, it makes sense. If that particular plant reaches maturity and is able to procreate faster, then there are more generations within the same span of time."

      Actually (Paris japonica) is very slow growing and is more susceptible to decease. Scientists are trying to figure out why, I guess they should simply just as software coders.

      "Just from a single set of laws of unknown origin. As a designer I would think you would realize how difficult something like that would be to realize when you are deliberately trying to do it. Yet you accept that it 'just happened' on its own."

      Again you assume it's deliberate that we are here. That's an assumption.

      "Yet you accept that it 'just happened' on its own. And unlike life, which perpetuates itself, there's no multiple attempts with the universe. Just one shot."

      Another assumption, we don't know how many universes there are or if there are more how many are just like ours.

      "Everything must die somehow, or constantly perpetuating life would eventually become a problem. If there's something not built in that limits our lifespan then before long you have no room. Everybody dies. How is irrelevant."

      Everything must die somehow? Why is that again? Sure we could say everything dies at 100 years to make room for more, but why make room for more? Why not have a much larger earth that can contain many more of us at once and why not allow all of us to live 200 healthy years without pain so we can all praise God? As a designer I can create a far better universe in seconds if allowed, so reason should tell us no God was involved in the painful horrifying death of little children. Imagine what that was like before pain killers or antibiotics? I've witness more than my fair share of deaths and I can tell you they fight to the end for their last breath unless they understand what's coming, as is the case with ALS or Huntington's disease or some other disease where there is no hope, some of these people take their own lives to avoid the torture. Design… my arse. Would you design that?

      What makes humans human is reason, and yet some refuse to use it?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Headly, regardless whether you are right or not, I continue to admire your patience and fair-mindedness in confronting ED."

      Jonny, why do you support religionists with agendas to lie about science, history and biology, especially when they don't even understand what they talking about? How can you call this fair-mindedness?

      I'm trying to get some real truth and honesty from these folks, which they refuse to offer, and you wish to support their atrocious behavior?

      How does that work, Jonny?

      "Your questioning about what have been accepted as "facts" draws in careful science, historical time-lines, and a willingness to consider other possibilities."

      That's not what he's doing at all? Where on earth would get that notion? He isn't considering anything, he is trying to pigeon hole his religious beliefs into reality and making a mockery of science in the process. Can you not see this?

      Open your eyes, man!

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      LOL! Another online circus is at hand! You guys keep it up; this redefines the comedy section from all angles! We got online charlatans, real-life philosophers, deep thinkers, dumb jackasses, intelligent beings, wanna-be scientists, atheistic robot worshippers, religionists, spiritual souls, one extraterrestrial and a lone troll hiding in his mom's basement with penile issues, all within this long comment field... Nice! Ha-ha!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Re: Genesis 2-11 ... You misunderstand. I don't mean chapter 2, verse 11. I mean chapters 2 through 11. From the creation of Adam through to the dispersion of Noah's descendants at Babel.

      "Perhaps, it's time for the religious to step aside and allow reason and rationale to rule us instead."

      I agree. Reason and rationale should rule. I'm trying to get you to use yours now to recognize how your own ideals are getting in the way or recognizing truth. Like many other times in human history, we've got a human certain he knows better and rejecting new information. it's an old, tired story.

      "You only demonstrate a religious agenda of propagating disinformation."

      Again, what religious agenda? I'm not trying to win souls or convert anybody. I'm trying to point out a truth, gained through the biblical texts, that illuminates some truths about our human origin story.

      "You sound exactly like a southern baptist minister or a loon on a soapbox in Hyde Park."

      Yeah, it's not uncommon for new truth to be greeted with these kinds of discussions. Plenty of people thought Galileo was a loon going on and on about his heliocentric planetary model.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad Man,

      "Again you assume it's deliberate that we are here. That's an assumption."

      An educated assumption, based on observation. Thinking it all 'just happened' that way is an assumption as well.

      "Another assumption, we don't know how many universes there are or if there are more how many are just like ours."

      Not an assumption. There is only one observable universe. And this one observable universe only has one set of laws and could only happen the one time. No getting to do it over and over until one is successful.

      "Everything must die somehow? Why is that again? Sure we could say everything dies at 100 years to make room for more, but why make room for more? Why not have a much larger earth that can contain many more of us at once and why not allow all of us to live 200 healthy years without pain so we can all praise God? As a designer I can create a far better universe in seconds if allowed, so reason should tell us no God was involved in the painful horrifying death of little children. Imagine what that was like before pain killers or antibiotics? I've witness more than my fair share of deaths and I can tell you they fight to the end for their last breath unless they understand what's coming, as is the case with ALS or Huntington's disease or some other disease where there is no hope, some of these people take their own lives to avoid the torture. Design… my arse. Would you design that?"

      Yeah, why not. It's easy to say you think life should be pain free, but if you really thought about it I'm sure you'd change your mind. Would you even know you've got it good in this ideal nerf-covered world you think God should have made instead? If there were no pain and suffering, would you even realize how good you've got it? If people lived that long each of us would be born into a world run by those in power who still have a century to go. Death has a way of evening the playing field. Whether you're mother Teresa or Hitler, you only really have a handful of decades to do whatever you're going to do, then you move out of the way and let the next generation take over. If no babies ever suffered or died, would we appreciate a healthy baby? Death happens and nobody is immune. Anybody can die, even as a little child. Nobody is exempt. How would we have evolved in this nerf-world you think we should have lived in. Where no babies die, nothing bad ever happens. Would we be as evolved as we are? Didn't death play a rather pivotal role in our development? It's easy to say pain and suffering shouldn't be in the world. But would it really be better? Would it really matter if we can make our own choices and decisions if there were never any repercussions caused by our actions? Our decisions would have no weight because there's no great injustice to stand up against and no real harm that can come to anyone. It's easy to say the world shouldn't be this way, but the alternative is hardly feasible.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for that, Jonny. While EncephaloiDead tries my patience at times with his shameless accusations of me, I do think he's sincere in how he feels. I just wish he'd give me more of an insight into why he sees what I say as he does, so I can better understand.

      My whole drive is an insatiable need to understand how things work and why. I've always been this way. I want to get the whole thing. There's one ultimate truth to everything and I want to figure it out. I know life makes sense. I know there's purpose and meaning. I just want to know what that purpose and meaning is. I want to make use of all the information available to me and piece it all together. Find the common strand that ties it all together. With this I think I've gotten closer. I've found where the stories of the early bible sit in our history and it's clarified the picture for me. It all makes more sense now.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Re: Genesis 2-11 ... You misunderstand. I don't mean chapter 2, verse 11. I mean chapters 2 through 11. From the creation of Adam through to the dispersion of Noah's descendants at Babel."

      That is just one of many absurd creation myths.

      "Reason and rationale should rule. I'm trying to get you to use yours now to recognize how your own ideals are getting in the way or recognizing truth."

      Sorry, but there is no truth in your creation myth, as is there in any other. That is what reason and rationale support.

      "I'm trying to point out a truth, gained through the biblical texts, that illuminates some truths about our human origin story."

      There is not much, if anything in biblical texts that is about truth or human origins by any stretch of the imagination. Absurd.

      "Plenty of people thought Galileo was a loon going on and on about his heliocentric planetary model."

      How very dishonest of you to say that considering your religion tried to stifle Galileo, they considered him a loon. But, he was talking about science, you're talking about religious beliefs, not even remotely the same thing.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "That is just one of many absurd creation myths."

      Except that this one is very specific as to where it's happening as well as a very specific timeline. Now, it's always been assumed what the story was saying was that Adam was the first human ever. That's wrong. If you read it as though these stories are happening after the planet was populated by humans, it's quite easy to find the historical record. You should look into it before you carry on as you are. You're just making yourself look foolish at this point. It's all right there in the evidence. Again, this model made predictions. Very specific predictions that said if this is true, then an event resembling this should be found right here in this part of the world during this specific timeframe. And there it was. Multiple times. Events I had no knowledge of previously. It's all right there. A quick bit of math to put your timeline together, note where along that timeline the specific events happen (flood, babel, etc) and go from there. Find where in southern Mesopotamian history this specific series of events happened and you have your answer. Not only are the events actually there as described, but these events are actually pivotal events in human history. It's these events, the story that Genesis is telling, that set the modern human world in motion.

      You should seriously considering looking into this a bit further before being so quick to dismiss it. It's right there for you to see. It starts in the Ubaid culture.

      "How very dishonest of you to say that considering your religion tried to stifle Galileo, they considered him a loon. But, he was talking about science, you're talking about religious beliefs, not even remotely the same thing."

      My religion huh? As I said before I belong to no church and no denomination. That is not my religion. The part you seem to be missing is that Galileo was a devout believer as well. In fact it was insistence to re-read passages of the bible regarding the sun in light of his recent discovery that got him in dutch with the church. Galileo was a scientist who simultaneously believed in God. A believer whose beliefs did not hinder him from applying scientific practices to discover truth. But yes, at first he was considered a loon by many. That is often the case when someone initially talks about such a radically different take on something so familiar.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Except that this one is very specific as to where it's happening as well as a very specific timeline."

      LOL. Yeah, they're all very specific. Seriously, you just threw all reason and rationale out the window.

      "You should look into it before you carry on as you are. You're just making yourself look foolish at this point. It's all right there in the evidence. "

      There is no evidence for your creation myth. That is completely foolish.

      "Again, this model made predictions. "

      No, it didn't. It is just a creation myth.

      "You should seriously considering looking into this a bit further before being so quick to dismiss it. It's right there for you to see. It starts in the Ubaid culture."

      Yes, you have regurgitated this nonsense many times. Repeating it yet again doesn't make it any less a creation myth.

      "Galileo was a scientist who simultaneously believed in God."

      So what? He didn't try to align his beliefs with reality, but instead tried to explain reality to those who, like yourself, were so addled with religious beliefs, they put him under house arrest. '

      And, like I said before, there are a few honest Christians on these forums who deserve respect because they are honest about their religion. You are not honest. Huge difference.

      " But yes, at first he was considered a loon by many. That is often the case when someone initially talks about such a radically different take on something so familiar."

      Yeah, it's kind of the same thing that's happening here, I'm trying to stick with reality, facts, evidence, reason, rationale, but am being considered a loon, chastised for trying to get through to religious nutjobs.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Let me ask you something. How can you in all honesty make this statement ... regarding model making predictions "No, it didn't. It is just a creation myth." You're lecturing me about honesty and you feel you can make that statement honestly? How can you just out and out say this model didn't make any predictions? How could you possibly know that? Yes, it did make predictions. Very specific predictions of very specific events at very specific times in very specific places. Clearly, based on this statement, you have no regard for whether or not statements you make are true.

      "So what? He didn't try to align his beliefs with reality"

      Actually, that's exactly what he did. He wanted to reinterpret passages of the bible that had to do with the sun in the light of his new discovery.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @Insane Mundane.....you said "... We got online charlatans, real-life philosophers, deep thinkers, dumb jackasses, intelligent beings, wanna-be scientists, atheistic robot worshippers, religionists, spiritual souls, one extraterrestrial and a lone troll..." - yes, as you say, LOL!

      I don't personally claim to be a charlatan. Maybe a little of the Real-Life Philosopher in me.... Try to think a bit deeper but seldom get deeper than a fathom..... Dumb jackass? -- well, that's for others to decide! lol. Intelligent? again, maybe. Atheistic robot worshipper.... nah, no way. Religionist? Well you can see that's not true. Spiritual soul, yes, probably, but it will be others that can judge yea or nay. I am too close to Me to make a judgment.

      I am not extraterrestrial , firmly down-to-earth loner most of the time and very definitely not a Troll.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      "Yeah, why not. It's easy to say you think life should be pain free, but if you really thought about it I'm sure you'd change your mind. Would you even know you've got it good in this ideal nerf-covered world you think God should have made instead? If there were no pain and suffering, would you even realize how good you've got it? If people lived that long each of us would be born into a world run by those in power who still have a century to go. Death has a way of evening the playing field. Whether you're mother Teresa or Hitler, you only really have a handful of decades to do whatever you're going to do, then you move out of the way and let the next generation take over. If no babies ever suffered or died, would we appreciate a healthy baby? Death happens and nobody is immune. Anybody can die, even as a little child. Nobody is exempt. How would we have evolved in this nerf-world you think we should have lived in. Where no babies die, nothing bad ever happens. Would we be as evolved as we are? Didn't death play a rather pivotal role in our development? It's easy to say pain and suffering shouldn't be in the world. But would it really be better? Would it really matter if we can make our own choices and decisions if there were never any repercussions caused by our actions? Our decisions would have no weight because there's no great injustice to stand up against and no real harm that can come to anyone. It's easy to say the world shouldn't be this way, but the alternative is hardly feasible."

      So children have died painful deaths so that the rest of us can know how good we have it. Really? I think if that didn't happen I'd have a better idea of how good we have it. Just think of the logic in your answer please. Tell that to the parents of the children that went to early. "Your little boy died so the rest of us can know how good we have it". I'm out of here.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Rad,

      Come on. That's such a BS answer. That's not even what I said. I'm trying to get you to really think. If no babies ever died or suffered, there'd still be people like you out there griping about how bad things are. Since you lived in a world where no harm ever came to babies, rather than acknowledging that, you'd be griping about something else. You'd be griping about menial things because the menial things would be the absolute worst things you'd ever heard of. No matter where God draws the line, there'd still be something to complain about. The fact that most babies are born with all their fingers and toes, those that are born with debilitating diseases are the exception, not the rule. But of course you don't acknowledge that. Just that some don't. Yes, it does happen. Death can come in any stage of life. That's a big part of what spurs us on. Death could come any day, at any age. Death gives life urgency and purpose. Death makes us treasure good health and treasure the time we get with loved ones.

    • profile image

      Rad Man 2 years ago

      Never seen what happens to parents when their child dies have you. They don't seem to treasure much after that. Claiming children so we can enjoy life is sad. I'm unfollowing this and hoping you rethink this line of thought. And claiming I'd grip about something else anyway is unsettling as well.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Unsettling or not, it's true isn't it? Clearly you chose suffering babies because it's the worst example you can think of. So, if that were not a choice, you'd choose the next worst example you can think of. Even if the absolute worst thing that ever happens were that every once in a while we stubbed our toes. Then that would be the absolute worst thing you could think of and that would be your example. The point is, it's a sliding scale. And if the scale didn't go so far to one side, nothing would change. We wouldn't have the perspective to be able to appreciate it if that were the case. We'd just have a different idea of what "bad" is, but in that world what is bad to us would seem just as bad as the even worse things in this world. It's all about perspective. Like if you spent everyday of your life in a room with a controlled climate that always held steady at 72 degrees, you'd have no concept of what 'cold' or 'hot' even is.

      This is why I find this such a BS answer. Because those that start down the "suffering babies is unfair" path usually take this route. The "I can't believe you'd be so callous, so I'm going to go" thing you're pulling now.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "You're lecturing me about honesty and you feel you can make that statement honestly? How can you just out and out say this model didn't make any predictions? How could you possibly know that? "

      http://www.religioustolerance.org/com_geba.htm

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_creation_narr...

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Book_of_Genesis

      http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/accounts....

      https://bible.org/article/genesis-1-2-light-ancien...

      http://www.creationmyths.org/genesis-1-first-bible...

      http://davelivingston.com/creationstories.htm

      http://www.victorianweb.org/science/science_texts/...

      There are a great deal more if you want them.

      "Actually, that's exactly what he did. He wanted to reinterpret passages of the bible that had to do with the sun in the light of his new discovery."

      LOL. He had no choice in the matter, the Church refused to listen to reason, just like you do, and instead, was forced to show that his ideas did not contradict Scriptures.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Would you even know you've got it good in this ideal nerf-covered world you think God should have made instead? If there were no pain and suffering, would you even realize how good you've got it?"

      And, what is the reason why we are supposed to realize how good we've got it, even though we don't?

      If we had it so good, a tsunami wouldn't have wiped out a quarter of million people some years back while another tsunami hit the shores of Japan wiping out entire towns killing tens of thousands.

      There are countless example of why we don't have it so good on earth and there are countless example of why we do. Neither are arguments in favor or defense of your god.

      But, they can be explained by the natural laws, easily.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "The fact that most babies are born with all their fingers and toes, those that are born with debilitating diseases are the exception, not the rule. But of course you don't acknowledge that. Just that some don't. Yes, it does happen."

      And, while that can easily be explained with biology and evolution, you nor any other believer can explain it with your holy books. You will contradict yourself.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      That's completely wrong. The only reason he got crossed with the church was because he insisted on re-interpreting the bible for himself in light of his discovery. The church thought they were the authority as far as how to interpret the bible. Not that I'm defending the church in this regard, because I'm not, but their decision had nothing to do with his claim that the sun was the center of the universe, but had everything to do with his insistence to re-interpret the bible publicly.

      None of those links have anything to do with my specific model or your insistence that it made no predictions. It did make accurate predictions. For instance, the 5.4 kiloyear event. According to the model there should have been an event that mirrored what the story says happened at Babel about a century after the flood. According to the timeline this would place this event at around 3900 BC. There should be an event there, based on the model, where humans were "scattered" as the story says. And there is. The 5.9 kiloyear event happened right then and right in that area. And really did cause mass dispersions of humans who lived in that region. People really were scattered all throughout the earth. And a direct result of this were multiple civilizations, just as it says. That's just one of many predictions. Very specific predictions. Unlike many other religious texts, this particular story happens to be built on a very specific timeline because of the lists of people who 'begat' whoever. And according to that, there is a series of events, including a large flood that ended a 1500 year old culture abruptly, that happened right in that region of the world. And the expected behavior change that resulted because free will had been introduced into humanity, can be seen as well. Starting right there in that place and time and spreading from there. That's another prediction made by this model that I had no knowledge of beforehand. Nothing you've linked to here has anything to do with any of that. The fact is this model made numerous accurate predictions, and you saying "nuh-uh" is just your own beliefs getting in your way. The fact that this model made accurate predictions means it's accurate. No matter what you prefer the truth to be.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "There are countless example of why we don't have it so good on earth and there are countless example of why we do. Neither are arguments in favor or defense of your god."

      I'm sorry you don't understand. Yes, tsunamis happen. It took at least seven mass extinctions for us humans to exist as we do today. That's part of life. A defining part of our lives is that death could come at any time. There are dangers in this life. There are sharp edges and predators with sharp teeth and claws and venom. As it should be. Just because this doesn't jive with your idea of what it should be like if God existed means nothing. It just means you've got a broken concept of God. The purpose of this life isn't to live a pain-free life. It's to experience pain and loss. If we didn't then we'd have no concept of what good is. If being happy and content were our default state, if that were all we ever knew, then we wouldn't even realize it because we'd have no concept of what bad even is.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "That's completely wrong."

      Yes, I know, in your tiny world of religious beliefs, facts are wrong.

      "None of those links have anything to do with my specific model or your insistence that it made no predictions"

      So what, there is enough information there to show your so-called model is irrelevant.

      "And the expected behavior change that resulted because free will had been introduced into humanity, can be seen as well."

      That is your religious agenda attempting to pigeonhole your beliefs into something that you want to believe occurred when there is absolutely nothing to support it ever occurred the way you believe. Sorry. Repeating your nonsense over and over doesn't make it any less religiously driven.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Biology and evolution can easily be explained by God. So tell me, how does biology or evolution explain the will that compels all living things? This is something not accounted for scientifically. It's just a "given" that all life is compelled to act. Most things have to be pushed to move. But living things are compelled from within by a will to act. A will we cannot explain. You say all of this can be easily explained by biology and evolution, but yet you can't explain this. There are elements that are not accounted for. The will to live is one of those.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Biology and evolution can easily be explained by God. So tell me, how does biology or evolution explain the will that compels all living things? This is something not accounted for scientifically. It's just a "given" that all life is compelled to act. Most things have to be pushed to move. But living things are compelled from within by a will to act. A will we cannot explain. You say all of this can be easily explained by biology and evolution, but yet you can't explain this. There are elements that are not accounted for. The will to live is one of those.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      " It just means you've got a broken concept of God."

      And, there it is again, the religious agenda exposed.

      Yes, all of you liars for Jesus use the lame excuse that everyone else except you has a 'broken concept of God'. LOL. Hilarious.

      You keep trying to dig yourself out of a very deep hole, but keep sinking in further and further every time you reveal your agenda. LOL.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "The purpose of this life isn't to live a pain-free life. It's to experience pain and loss."

      Oh look, now you're even going so far as to tell us what the purpose of life is. LOLOLOL.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Biology and evolution can easily be explained by God."

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      You're off your meds now.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Dude, you have got to educate yourself. If you go on believing that your statements are facts, when like in this case they are not, then you are unable to see the error and you continue to be wrong. Like in this case. The charge that Galileo was arrested under was "heresy". Heresy because he was attempting to re-interpret passages of the bible outside of the church's authority.

      "So what, there is enough information there to show your so-called model is irrelevant."

      There are enough accurate predictions to show my model is far from irrelevant. Something doesn't make numerous accurate predictions if it's wrong. Besides, you didn't say my model was irrelevant. You specifically said that it didn't make predictions. In other words, you have no regard for whether or not your statements are true.

      "That is your religious agenda attempting to pigeonhole your beliefs into something that you want to believe occurred when there is absolutely nothing to support it ever occurred the way you believe. Sorry. Repeating your nonsense over and over doesn't make it any less religiously driven."

      My "religious agenda" or my "indoctrination" can't make history match up to this model. It made accurate predictions, which shows this isn't about me being deluded or in any way motivated by some agenda. That's all beside the point that accurate predictions mean the model is true. I'm sorry that's not what you prefer to be true, but you objecting to it over and over again doesn't make it any less true.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You're off your meds now."

      I notice you didn't try to explain the will that compels all life. You instead continue to try to put it all back on me. You just said biology and evolution can easily explain things. Well, explain that.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Dude, you have got to educate yourself."

      Yes, I know you liars for Jesus believe the rest of us need an education. Funny, how that works. LOL.

      "There are enough accurate predictions to show my model is far from irrelevant."

      Yes, I'm sure you're going to keep repeating that lie. You have no interest to actually look at the facts, but instead must insist to pigeon hole your absurd creation story into reality.

      "My "religious agenda" or my "indoctrination" can't make history match up to this model."

      Exactly, nothing can your model match up with history. It simply doesn't. You're just making up bs as you go along.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I notice you didn't try to explain the will that compels all life. "

      That is because your statements are merely religiously based beliefs that have no meaning or basis in reality.

      "You just said biology and evolution can easily explain things. Well, explain that."

      If biology ever discovered a will that compels all life, as your religiously motivated assertion implies, it would attempt to explain it. Unfortunately, no such will has ever been discovered.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "If biology ever discovered a will that compels all life, as your religiously motivated assertion implies, it would attempt to explain it. Unfortunately, no such will has ever been discovered."

      HAHAHA!!! Oh, okay. So we're just going to act like it isn't there. This isn't a religiously motivated assertion. This is blatantly obvious. Like there wasn't something that compelled life with legs to climb out of the sea. How else do you explain it? What good are legs if the being isn't motivated to use them? The will to live is obvious and compels all living things. Even simple single-celled organisms repel away from harmful materials. There is a will in all living things that's motivated by seeking pleasure and avoiding displeasure. The fact that our brains evolved a pleasure center means there was something there that it evolved around that's compelled by pleasure. That's a will.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes, I'm sure you're going to keep repeating that lie. You have no interest to actually look at the facts, but instead must insist to pigeon hole your absurd creation story into reality."

      This is exactly what I'm talking about. You keep insisting this isn't true. That I'm lying about it. I am not. I built a model based on Genesis, found where in history these events happened, and from there made numerous predictions about what would be found where and they proved true. I can lay it all out in detail if you like. I am not lying about this. And you have no reason to suggest I'm lying until you look at the evidence yourself. Postulating that I'm lying without the information to know whether or not that's true just highlights your bias.

      "Exactly, nothing can your model match up with history. It simply doesn't. You're just making up bs as you go along."

      Dude, it does. It's easy to see. You can see it yourself. You don't even know what my model is, so how can you even say? The Ubaid culture lasted the same length of time as pre-flood Genesis. Came to an abrupt end due to a large flood in 4000BC. Then an event that mirrors the Babel story happened in 3900BC. It all lines up. Just saying it doesn't does nothing. If you're so certain it doesn't, get the details and prove it doesn't. Should be easy enough to do.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "HAHAHA!!! Oh, okay. So we're just going to act like it isn't there. This isn't a religiously motivated assertion. This is blatantly obvious. Like there wasn't something that compelled life with legs to climb out of the sea. How else do you explain it?"

      You are merely asserting your religious beliefs again, due to your inability to grasp a "godless" universe in which some sort of magical force was bestowed upon us compelling us to do things.

      "The fact that our brains evolved a pleasure center means there was something there that it evolved around that's compelled by pleasure. That's a will."

      LOL. Yes, and the pothole conforms to the water contained within it. Funny stuff.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "This is exactly what I'm talking about. You keep insisting this isn't true. That I'm lying about it. I am not. I built a model based on Genesis, found where in history these events happened, and from there made numerous predictions about what would be found where and they proved true. "

      Oh, I get the fact you built a model on Genesis, but you didn't find anything in history in which mythical events actually occurred. Please stop lying about this.

      "You don't even know what my model is, so how can you even say? The Ubaid culture... blah, blah, blah..."

      The "blah, blah, blah..." is only there to show you that you have repeated your model over and over many times already, so yes, I know what your model is all about.

      There is no need to remind me of your model or its absurdity, nor is there a need to accuse me of not understanding your God. It has been thoroughly explained by Slarty in one single post, articulately and accurately. Your model is done.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Religious beliefs? Are you kidding? Are you denying that life is compelled to take action from within? That you're compelled to seek out food and rest and the things you need and want? I have a little puppy at home that has some definite wants. He wants up on the couch. He wants to follow us from room to room and be where ever we are. I'm not moving him. He's following us. Of his own power. He has a will. You have a will. I have a will. Open your eyes, Dude.

      "LOL. Yes, and the pothole conforms to the water contained within it. Funny stuff."

      We have a pleasure center in our brains. We are rewarded with the release of dopamine for certain actions. Do you deny this? Are you actually going to act like you have no idea what I'm talking about? Life is clearly compelled.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Oh, I get the fact you built a model on Genesis, but you didn't find anything in history in which mythical events actually occurred. Please stop lying about this."

      Mythical events? Like a flood? An actual climate change that actually did disperse the humans of that region? No, I'm not talking about mythical events. I'm talking about actual events. Actual behavior changes that have been documented. Actual floods with actual evidence that shows it happened. That actually shows it ended a long-standing culture.

      "There is no need to remind me of your model or its absurdity, nor is there a need to accuse me of not understanding your God. It has been thoroughly explained by Slarty in one single post, articulately and accurately. Your model is done."

      Apparently there is a need, because you're denying it made predictions when it most certainly did. Multiple predictions. I'll stop reminding you when you stop making false, baseless statements about it. Until your comments reflect that you are familiar and do understand, you will be reminded. Especially if you make false statements about it. Like it or not, this model is real and it is legitimate.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I have a little puppy at home that has some definite wants. He wants up on the couch. He wants to follow us from room to room and be where ever we are. I'm not moving him. He's following us. Of his own power. He has a will."

      Praise Jesus! Your puppy has been divinely bestowed free will to pee on your lap, throw up on your rug and chew your slippers, of his own free will. Praise the Lord!

      "We have a pleasure center in our brains. We are rewarded with the release of dopamine for certain actions."

      Praise Jesus! God has delivered dopamine upon us so we may feel pleasure. Praise the Lord!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Praise Jesus! Your puppy has been divinely bestowed free will to pee on your lap, throw up on your rug and chew your slippers, of his own free will. Praise the Lord!"

      Nope, not a free will. He still acts just like any other puppy. A horse is a horse, a cow is a cow, a puppy is a puppy. But he does have a will. That's what separates animated from unanimated. The will that compels living things to take action. Act like it's not there all you like. It does kind of resemble magic in your purely material viewpoint, so I can understand you're wanting to act like it isn't there, but most assuredly is. Evolution passed on those traits that proved beneficial. But they're only beneficial if the animal takes action and uses them. Legs are only really beneficial if you use them to get around to seek out the things you need. That's a will. It's the driving force behind evolution. Whether or not you want to pretend it isn't there.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "It's the driving force behind evolution. Whether or not you want to pretend it isn't there."

      I'm curious, when exactly were you going to finally take the time to learn something about evolution? Do you need some links to get started? Do you need to start from the beginning?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Until your comments reflect that you are familiar and do understand, you will be reminded. Especially if you make false statements about it. Like it or not, this model is real and it is legitimate.

      The only model you've been promoting is the one in which you refuse to understand and accept a godless universe.

      Just like this hub, it's not about atheism, it's about distorting and making a mockery out of scientific understanding and knowledge in order to defend a religious position, the rejection of a godless universe.

      You may be fooling some like Jonny, but you're not fooling me.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "I'm curious, when exactly were you going to finally take the time to learn something about evolution? Do you need some links to get started? Do you need to start from the beginning?"

      Assuming you wouldn't feel the need to make this statement unless there was something in particular I've said that gave you the impression that I don't already understand evolution, how about you start there. Maybe there's something I truly don't understand. You specifically pointing out what it is you think I have wrong will give me a good starting point.

      But if you're still objecting to a will existing, and being completely unaccounted for in evolution, then you're mistaken. But, it's understandable. Faith can mislead people like that. You tend to not be as hypercritical as you would be with some other view. Your critical eye seems to shut off when it comes to scientifically reasoned explanations. Like this, there's nothing to account for the will that animates life. In the theory of Evolution it's a given that it's there in all living beings. Nothing to account for it, it's just assumed it's there. In fact, there's no explanation for this whatsoever, biologically. It's just a characteristic of something that's still alive.

      Everything must be accounted for. This is no exception. In your materialist view, this component would almost have to fall in a category of magic because the usual causal/material explanations just don't apply. In general, when something is defined as biologically alive, it exhibits a particular set of characteristics: homeostasis, organization, metabolism, growth, adaptation, response to stimuli, and reproduction. No matter how complex or simple the organism, those characteristics are consistent. Even in a single-celled organism, there is a deliberate will that drives it toward the things it needs and away from things that are harmful.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Just like this hub, it's not about atheism, it's about distorting and making a mockery out of scientific understanding and knowledge in order to defend a religious position, the rejection of a godless universe."

      Nope, it's about using all the information available to us, and not just continuing to think like everybody else, but opening new doors to understanding by not letting ideals get in the way and take possibilities off the table prematurely. It's about maintaining an open mind and not assuming we already know better about anything. It's about arriving at real truth, and using everything available to us to do so. There are some huge gaps left when trying to apply your worldview across the board. Like the will that compels life. Huge gaping holes that still require explanation.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "You specifically pointing out what it is you think I have wrong will give me a good starting point."

      Like so many other believers, you need to begin by understanding the very basics. I provided these links to Cat, but she simply refuses to learn anything and will continue to make up lies. Will you be of the same attitude?

      http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/evolution/ev...

      http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/e...

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "But if you're still objecting to a will existing, and being completely unaccounted for in evolution, then you're mistaken."

      And, of course, you'll be telling us that this will was divinely provided by your God? Or, was it evolution?

      Peer reviewed citations, please?

      " Faith can mislead people like that. You tend to not be as hypercritical as you would be with some other view. Your critical eye seems to shut off when it comes to scientifically reasoned explanations. Like this, there's nothing to account for the will that animates life. In the theory of Evolution it's a given that it's there in all living beings. Nothing to account for it, it's just assumed it's there. In fact, there's no explanation for this whatsoever, biologically. It's just a characteristic of something that's still alive."

      That is a beautiful example of a religious agenda for making a mockery out of biology and evolution.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Even in a single-celled organism, there is a deliberate will that drives it toward the things it needs and away from things that are harmful."

      I do hope those links I provided help dispel the misconceptions you appear to have about evolution. I'll give you some time to digest it all, there's quite a bit for you to learn.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      The "Howstuffworks" site is extremely interesting and well-presented, very readable. I will continue beyond page 3 later. Thanks for the link.

      Why do you need to kick the idea of a designing/creating entity? If that entity (call it "god" or whatever you like, or even deny its existence...) caused the sequences to happen, using something like the Theory of Evolution suggests, then for me it's something to be in awe of, to respect, to inspire me for new information. Can't you see that Headly has already claimed this as his reason for inquiry? He wants to know the reasons and the causes. This is a human attribute.... that of inquisitiveness, curiosity, searching for answers.

      Neither he nor I have stopped learning. It seems that you have, but you might be playing us along, just for the fun of it. Let us know what it is that drives you and your responses...... certainly not conducive to good discussion, whatever it is IMHO

      Oh, by the way, Headly has not fooled me..... lol!

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Oh, by the way, Headly has not fooled me..... lol!"

      It's appears he has you completely fooled, he is the one playing you along, it's too bad you can't see that.

      No, Headly is not wanting to know things, he is pushing a religious agenda and distorting science in the process. If you can't see that, then I would suggest doing the same thing as he, learn something about science so you too can see just how bad it's being corrupted.

      This is about seeking truth, and Headly is not doing that.

      If you wish to pretend also there is a creator/designer you want to worship and be in awe, that's fine, but at the very least, be honest about it.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "I do hope those links I provided help dispel the misconceptions you appear to have about evolution. I'll give you some time to digest it all, there's quite a bit for you to learn."

      I appreciate the links. There's a lot there. Most of which I'm already familiar with, so I'm not sure what misconceptions you're speaking of, but reading this did send me off on an enzyme reading frenzy. Those things fascinate me.

      I think it's important that you understand I'm not looking for magic. I fully expect everything God intends to happen to be realized through natural processes. For whatever reason, atheists and others look at a fully natural/causal process and come away with the conclusion that no God/intelligence is required because it can be explained naturally. Being that God is the creator of the natural world, I'm not sure what else anyone expects to see if a God were involved. Why people seem to think God being involved would mean seeing some sort of manipulation or overriding of a natural/causal process just means they have a particular idea about what God's involvement would look like if true that's illogical and ill-informed.

      I don't look for "magic". I look for natural processes that happen in a very particular sequence that goes well beyond pure causal coincidence. For example, DNA. Here we find out that each of our cells has coded information stored within. Coded information that can be retained/passed on. Coded information that is then used to actually construct a complex organism made up of trillions of cells, hundreds of different kinds of cells, all working together as a single unit. This is exactly the kind of thing I would think would suggest to someone that maybe intelligence is involved in the natural processes we observe. Intelligence is a natural product of this universe. So I don't see it as so out of bounds to at least consider that some form of intelligence could have played a role.

      But the part that seems to keep tripping you up is how someone could keep their mind open to this kind of thing, yet still maintain a proper understanding of science. There are numerous scientists who do just that. It's not all that hard. And just because I allow for the existence of God, or see God's incredible ingenuity in the functions of the natural world, doesn't mean that I have misconceptions about science. I don't. Because I'm not looking for magic, because I expect everything to be the result of natural/causal processes, this mindset in no way impedes my understanding of science.

      I just don't think a creator God can be ruled out. In fact, I find it to be the much more likely answer, given what's observed. For a system like DNA to form, for it to result in complex brains that can generate a mind that is self-aware, intelligent, capable of storing/recalling information at will, etc, not just once, but billions of times over, this to me is a pretty strong indicator that what happens 'naturally' in this world is not without deliberate intention.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "...he is the one playing you along, it's too bad you can't see that."

      "... he is pushing a religious agenda and distorting science in the process."

      Tell me, ED, do you often find yourself thinking there are conspiracies going on around you? That everyone's intentions are in pursuit of some underhanded end? Speaking of crazy guys out at the park standing on soap boxes. I think you're giving me a bit too much credit. Making me out to be some kind of mischievous henchman purposefully trying to lead people down the wrong path, a path I apparently know to be wrong but just keep doing what I do anyway for whatever reason.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Most of which I'm already familiar with, so I'm not sure what misconceptions you're speaking of"

      No, you are not familiar with evolution, if you were, you wouldn't be making silly claims. Hopefully, you'll keep reading and somewhere down the road when you do start to understand evolution, you'll begin to understand why your claims are silly.

      "I think it's important that you understand I'm not looking for magic. I fully expect everything God intends to happen to be realized through natural processes. "

      Very nice contradiction, well done. Claim your not looking for magic and then invoke magic into the very next sentence. Hilarious.

      "Being that God is the creator of the natural world"

      Sorry, but invoking magic only serves to diminish your argument, not support it.

      "I don't look for "magic". "

      And yet, you keep invoking magic as if it were fact. Could you be any more dishonest? Let's find out.

      "So I don't see it as so out of bounds to at least consider that some form of intelligence could have played a role."

      Yes, you don't see, that is exactly the problem, hence why I provided those links on evolution. Please read them so you may "see".

      "But the part that seems to keep tripping you up is how someone could keep their mind open to this kind of thing, yet still maintain a proper understanding of science."

      LOL. You aren't talking about yourself. Your mind is closed completely to embrace your religious beliefs and deny facts and evidence, most likely due to a serious lack of understanding science. You need not lie about this because it is blatantly obvious to anyone who does.

      "Because I'm not looking for magic, because I expect everything to be the result of natural/causal processes, this mindset in no way impedes my understanding of science."

      That is a direct contradiction to what you write here.

      It's funny how you believers insist on telling us you aren't invoking magic and you have amazing understanding of science, yet when you actually start explaining things, it's all about nonsense and magic.

      So, you can stop with the bs about no invoking magic and understanding science. It doesn't fly, dude. We're not idiots, so you don't need to treat us like idiots.

      "I just don't think a creator God can be ruled out. In fact, I find it to be the much more likely answer, given what's observed. "

      Then, you truly are indoctrinated into your religion and are lying about everything else. There's no question about that.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Making me out to be some kind of mischievous henchman purposefully trying to lead people down the wrong path, a path I apparently know to be wrong but just keep doing what I do anyway for whatever reason."

      That's what liars for Jesus do, and you are not the only one doing it, there are many liars for Jesus on these forums and only a few believers who are actually honest about their beliefs.

      America is full of liars for Jesus, they're often referred to as the Republican party. lol.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "That's what liars for Jesus do, and you are not the only one doing it, there are many liars for Jesus on these forums and only a few believers who are actually honest about their beliefs."

      You're making a common literary mistake here, ED. In your over-eagerness to make us out to be the bad guys, you've weaved together a backstory for the bad guys of your story that isn't really believable or feasible. A good bad guy in a story is someone who you can understand their motivations and maybe even relate to. You can see and understand their point of view. Why they feel as they do and why they do the things they do. Your 'bad guy' is more like a Bond bad guy. Just some guy that wants to destroy the world, for whatever reason. Even though he too lives in this same world he's threatening to destroy.

      You've got "liars for Jesus" inexplicably motivated by things they know themselves to be false, yet continue to follow anyway. Knowingly misleading others to buy the lie. That makes no sense.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "No, you are not familiar with evolution, if you were, you wouldn't be making silly claims. Hopefully, you'll keep reading and somewhere down the road when you do start to understand evolution, you'll begin to understand why your claims are silly."

      What claims am I making exactly? The only real claim I've made has to do with the stories of Genesis being actual historical events. Nothing about evolution. I've asked you to explain the will that compels living things. No claim there. Just a request.

      "Very nice contradiction, well done. Claim your not looking for magic and then invoke magic into the very next sentence. Hilarious."

      By your very own definition of what does and does not qualify as magic, the mind would fall in the "magic" category. A clear sign that you should reassess things.

      "Sorry, but invoking magic only serves to diminish your argument, not support it."

      So speaking in the light of what I believe diminishes my argument? So, basically, anyone who thinks differently than you really has no ground to stand on. Unless they speak in a way that completely complies with your beliefs, they have no valid argument. Seriously?

      "Yes, you don't see, that is exactly the problem, hence why I provided those links on evolution. Please read them so you may "see"."

      So, because I don't agree, that means I don't understand? Another simplistic dismissal that shows 0 respect for people who believe differently than you. If you feel comfortable with dismissing intelligence as a randomly mutated trait that came about because a branch on a polynucleotide branches off this way instead of that, feel free. If you don't get what I'm trying to point out here, I'm not sure what to do for you. If you truly understood, maybe you'd get just how much complexity you're assigning to a fairly simple mechanistic explanation. Like intelligence just being yet another trait that a random mutation brought about purely by accident.

      "LOL. You aren't talking about yourself. Your mind is closed completely to embrace your religious beliefs and deny facts and evidence, most likely due to a serious lack of understanding science. You need not lie about this because it is blatantly obvious to anyone who does."

      What, exactly, have I denied as far as facts or evidence?

      "It's funny how you believers insist on telling us you aren't invoking magic and you have amazing understanding of science, yet when you actually start explaining things, it's all about nonsense and magic."

      Again, just because it doesn't conform to your particular, rather rigid, view, doesn't make it nonsense or magic. That's just you lacking any level of respect for any view other than your own.

      "So, you can stop with the bs about no invoking magic and understanding science. It doesn't fly, dude. We're not idiots, so you don't need to treat us like idiots."

      The "bs" that you're projecting onto me is of your own making. I'm sorry you can't see this about yourself, but it's true.

      "Then, you truly are indoctrinated into your religion and are lying about everything else. There's no question about that."

      Nope, just open-minded. Only a fool would think we understand enough to this point to rule out all other possibilities that don't so directly conform to what you currently believe. Only someone who completely ignores lessons of the past would allow themselves to think as you do.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "make us out to be the bad guys"

      I really have no idea where you're getting that notion, perhaps another distraction. This isn't about good guys or bad guys, it's about an ideology that makes good people do bad things. You're a good guy, I have little to see you as anything else. It is your religion that is the problem, not you, personally.

      I think I can speak for all non-believers who would agree that most people are okay, and that it is the gods they worship that causes them to not be okay, sometimes.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I've asked you to explain the will that compels living things. No claim there. Just a request."

      I get that. However, the request is to explain a claim. You first need to substantiate the claim before anyone can offer an explanation. So far, you have not yet done that, hence the links provided for you to learn something about evolution. Not only does it explain how animals behave, but also should dispel your free will myth.

      "By your very own definition of what does and does not qualify as magic, the mind would fall in the "magic" category."

      Sorry, but the mind is a physical thing, it is not magic at all, except to you.

      "So, basically, anyone who thinks differently than you really has no ground to stand on."

      It's funny how this lame excuse and logical fallacy continues to get rehashed by you believers, along the same lines as we don't understand your god and we aren't filled with the spirit bs.

      This isn't about what I think, it is about your lack of understanding science coupled with a religious agenda.

      "So, because I don't agree, that means I don't understand?"

      You are the one bleating your inability to accept a godless universe. I would say that is reason enough you don't understand.

      "Like intelligence just being yet another trait that a random mutation brought about purely by accident."

      Is that what you believe? LOL.

      "That's just you lacking any level of respect for any view other than your own."

      I absolutely have no respect for those who distort knowledge and information, especially when they have little understanding of such knowledge, and then use their deceptions to defend or support their brand of religion. Atrocious behavior. Dishonesty does not deserve respect.

      "Only someone who completely ignores lessons of the past would allow themselves to think as you do."

      If non-believers have any recourse whatsoever to that claim, it is in stark contradiction, that they have indeed learned lessons from the past, the lessons of how corrupt and barbaric ideologies such as your religion have destroyed much of whatever mankind could have achieved over the centuries, how it continually destroys the minds of people, causing them to all sorts of bad things. Yes, we have learned such lessons, you have not, evidently.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "I really have no idea where you're getting that notion, perhaps another distraction. This isn't about good guys or bad guys, it's about an ideology that makes good people do bad things. You're a good guy, I have little to see you as anything else. It is your religion that is the problem, not you, personally.

      I think I can speak for all non-believers who would agree that most people are okay, and that it is the gods they worship that causes them to not be okay, sometimes."

      But I'm the one doing the lying in your view, right? My "religion" doesn't actively do anything. It's an ideology. It's the people that carry out the actions that make it "bad thing", right? So how can I not be the bad guy?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "I get that. However, the request is to explain a claim. You first need to substantiate the claim before anyone can offer an explanation. So far, you have not yet done that, hence the links provided for you to learn something about evolution. Not only does it explain how animals behave, but also should dispel your free will myth."

      Again, what claim have I made? As for free will, this in no way dispels it. We still have the entirety of human history illustrating how our will has departed from others. How we no longer fit in the natural order of things like so many other species continue to do. Not sure how you can't see or acknowledge that. It's pretty obvious.

      "Sorry, but the mind is a physical thing, it is not magic at all, except to you."

      Nope, it isn't. The mind doesn't exist in any sort of spatial way. It's a construct that doesn't physically exist. It can't be observed. You hear an inner dialogue in your mind, right? Yet if tasked you wouldn't be able to prove it. You wouldn't be able to prove you experience a mind. We can only really assume others experience the mind the same as we do. Because it is not physical.

      "It's funny how this lame excuse and logical fallacy continues to get rehashed by you believers, along the same lines as we don't understand your god and we aren't filled with the spirit bs."

      I'm sorry, but you have to have a better understanding of what it is you're refutting before you can do so adequately. And this is not a lame excuse. Each time my replies even mention God you throw out the "magic" crap. Therefore, anything that doesn't fit within your narrow view is cast out as nonsense, hence a complete lack of respect for views that differ from yours.

      "This isn't about what I think, it is about your lack of understanding science coupled with a religious agenda."

      Yet you still can't illustrate my lack of understanding. Your vague statements mean nothing. Give examples. Illustrate your point.

      "You are the one bleating your inability to accept a godless universe. I would say that is reason enough you don't understand."

      Because it is illogical, whether or not you want to own up to that or not.

      ""Like intelligence just being yet another trait that a random mutation brought about purely by accident."

      Is that what you believe? LOL."

      Is that not how every trait comes about in the vinacular of evolution? Are not all traits first realized through random mutation then propagated if it proves successful? That's not what I believe. That's what the theory of evolution directly says.

      "I absolutely have no respect for those who distort knowledge and information, especially when they have little understanding of such knowledge, and then use their deceptions to defend or support their brand of religion. Atrocious behavior. Dishonesty does not deserve respect."

      So, just as I was saying in the other post, I'm the bad guy, the propagator of lies, in your view. Whose views deserve no respect. Or however you justify being so dismissive.

      "If non-believers have any recourse whatsoever to that claim, it is in stark contradiction, that they have indeed learned lessons from the past, the lessons of how corrupt and barbaric ideologies such as your religion have destroyed much of whatever mankind could have achieved over the centuries, how it continually destroys the minds of people, causing them to all sorts of bad things. Yes, we have learned such lessons, you have not, evidently."

      Clearly, you haven't. You're repeating age-old mistakes by assuming you know better and using your assumption to toss out other ideas that conflict with your own ideology. Humans have been doing that for centuries. Yours is an ideology as well. But, these kinds of repeated mistakes are usually born of ignorance and a failure to recognize ones own faults, so it makes sense that you'd be blind to it. That's how this kind of thing happens.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      (Written and posted before I had read Headly's last response)

      ED, you said "Sorry, but the mind is a physical thing, it is not magic at all, except to you."

      Are you sure of that? I would agree that the brain is a physical thing. However, the mind is the workings of (as least we assume it is) - of the brain. My mind lets me consider lots of information in perspective. It allows me to see how each piece of the jigsaw puzzle fits into the bigger picture.

      Your mind has become so much against the concept of religious thought that you react strongly against any notion it has authenticity.

      Such a reaction, I suggest, can blind you to any other point of view. You throw accusations against Headly; you imagine I am so gullible that Headly can deceive me. Yours is an emotional response, not very rational, so your mind is closed. This is not in any way meant to be offensive towards you, just pointing out how it seems to me, from where I view your posts.

      This is far cry from suggesting your nickname is appropriate..... that would be offensive, would it not?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yes, exactly Jonny! Just in this conversation I've been cast as the "liar for Jesus" and you've been cast as gullible. For his view to be right, these are the roles we must fit in. That's generally a red flag that something's off in your thinking. If you find that you're constantly projecting faults onto others. Not that anyone's perfect or anything, but if you find that you're casting everyone else in the conversation as being somehow dumber, or less enlightened, than you, then there's a good chance your logic is in some way broken and it's time to self-assess.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Are you sure of that? I would agree that the brain is a physical thing. However, the mind is the workings of (as least we assume it is) - of the brain."

      Yes, the "Physical" workings of the "Physical" brain, no magic or other mysterious forces in play, all of it is of a physical nature. These are facts.

      "Your mind has become so much against the concept of religious thought that you react strongly against any notion it has authenticity."

      Jonny, if you're paying attention, this is all about Headly distorting the truth in order to defend his religious beliefs. It's about dishonesty on his part. I'm sorry you can't see or understand this, but you're not correct, this is not about strongly reacting to the concept of religious thought, the problem here is deceptive thought.

      "Such a reaction, I suggest, can blind you to any other point of view. "

      Is that supposed to be a joke? His point of view is the Abrahamic god and the Scriptures that go along with it, the same Scriptures that despise the fact you yourself are homosexual. Funny, how you now defend this religion, Jonny? How does that work?

      "Yours is an emotional response, not very rational, so your mind is closed. "

      Is that another joke? The fact that Headly is distorting science and truth in order to defend his faith, while I on the other hand make simple demands of reason, rational, facts and evidence? This is a closed mind, Jonny? Wow. What happened to you?

      "This is far cry from suggesting your nickname is appropriate..... that would be offensive, would it not?"

      If you wish to resort to name-calling, go right ahead.

      But, I am seriously shocked at just how much you're defending a position of dishonesty and distortion that embraces a religious agenda. This from you?

      Do I now have to change my idea of your world view, that you have tossed reason out the window in favor of religious ideology masking as scientific fact and evidence?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes, the "Physical" workings of the "Physical" brain, no magic or other mysterious forces in play, all of it is of a physical nature. These are facts."

      Really? Hmm... Well, you're right, it isn't magic. But according to your stipulations for what does and does not constitute magic, it is. Which does not mean the mind is magic. It means your stipulations are flawed. This right here illustrates an error in your grasp of science. After all the whole complication with mapping brain function when it comes to neuroscience is the fact that the mind cannot be observed. The whole reason psychology and sociology fall into a different branch of the sciences is for the same reason. The mind cannot be observed because it's not a physical entity. It is a construct, a product, that doesn't exist spatially, but rather is generated. But yes, generated by physical parts.

      "Jonny, if you're paying attention, this is all about Headly distorting the truth in order to defend his religious beliefs. It's about dishonesty on his part. I'm sorry you can't see or understand this, but you're not correct, this is not about strongly reacting to the concept of religious thought, the problem here is deceptive thought."

      Jonny is exactly right, through. You're so opposed to the whole concept that you don't allow for anything. You refuse to give an inch, or concede a point, because this is not a logical discussion for you, but is more of an emotionally charged bias. You engage in discussions without actually being open to discussion.

      "Is that supposed to be a joke? His point of view is the Abrahamic god and the Scriptures that go along with it, the same Scriptures that despise the fact you yourself are homosexual. Funny, how you now defend this religion, Jonny? How does that work?"

      Well, actually, when read in the correct context, you realize that there was a particular goal trying to be reached that had to do with breeding and fulfilling the promise that God would make Abraham's descendants many. So it's not that God despises homosexuality, it's that in that scenario homosexuality was counter-productive to the initiative. A male homosexual couple removed two men from the gene pool. If your goal is to make to breed from Abraham, to fulfill a promise to make his descendants many, this is something that in that particular scenario worked against the primary goal. It's important to understand the context.

      Jonny has proven himself to have a truly open mind. You're talking like he's all of the sudden completely changed his tune or his viewpoint, while it seems to me he's continuing to be his consistently respectful and open-minded self.

      "Is that another joke? The fact that Headly is distorting science and truth in order to defend his faith, while I on the other hand make simple demands of reason, rational, facts and evidence? This is a closed mind, Jonny? Wow. What happened to you?"

      But you don't make demands. You make accusations. Anytime I see or talk about something differently than how you view it, you make accusations. I don't contradict any known facts, which is why you can never provide examples to back up your accusations. Everything I'm talking about is still accurate in light of what's known. There's just more than one way to see the same thing. Different perspectives. That you don't allow for.

      "But, I am seriously shocked at just how much you're defending a position of dishonesty and distortion that embraces a religious agenda. This from you?"

      Maybe now you can consider the crazy possibility that maybe some of the blame lie at your feet? That maybe your accusations of "dishonesty and distortion" aren't as accurate as you are so certain they are? What does it take before you come to the conclusion that maybe you're the one that's off? How long do you continue to project onto others before you finally realize that maybe you should self-assess?

      "Do I now have to change my idea of your world view, that you have tossed reason out the window in favor of religious ideology masking as scientific fact and evidence?"

      Maybe self-assess? There's more than one potential answer to this conundrum. Funny how the only ones you consider are those that paint others in the light of being 'wrong', or 'liars', or 'gullible', or whatever else. This is a prime opportunity for growth for you. Don't miss it.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "The mind cannot be observed because it's not a physical entity."

      Yes, I know you still hold this silly belief, but that again is part and parcel to your lack of understanding biology.

      "You're so opposed to the whole concept that you don't allow for anything"

      Yes, I am opposed to you distorting science, facts and evidence to suit your agenda.

      "So it's not that God despises homosexuality, it's that in that scenario homosexuality was counter-productive to the initiative."

      So, not only do you show you don't know much about science, but also about your own faith, too.

      Genesis 19:1-13; Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9

      Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. First, Thou shalt not lie with a man, as with a woman: it is abomination. Second, If a man lie with a man, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "What does it take before you come to the conclusion that maybe you're the one that's off?"

      Sorry, but the folks with sanity and reason here are all telling you the same thing, that it is you who is off, that your so-called model is just a figment of your imagination. Again, just read Slarty's response to you, it hits the nail directly on the head.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @EncephaloiDead

      "Jonny, if you're paying attention, this is all about Headly distorting the truth in order to defend his religious beliefs."

      I do not see it that way. All I have seen him do is put up arguments and explanations for his reasoning.

      "His point of view is the Abrahamic god and the Scriptures that go along with it, the same Scriptures that despise the fact you yourself are homosexual. Funny, how you now defend this religion, Jonny? How does that work?"

      I reject the Abrahamic scriptures as being in any way relevant to my everyday life. However, I do recognise that the belief in those scriptures is a big part of the lives of other people, therefore I respect them for holding their views, without agreeing with those views.

      I have crossed swords with several strongly christian people here in HubPages, particularly when they are trying to bully me into submission. However, a few of them and I continue in dialogue because there is some semblance of mutual respect. I am NOT defending their religion AT ALL.

      There are many people of the Christian Faith who will support my right to be homosexual. Their faith is their business, not mine.

      If Headly had ever tried to coax me along his way of thinking, saying that my way was erroneous, then we would not be discussing with each other now..... but I can hear his ideas with interest. His knowledge of history is way, way beyond my ken.

      Finally, regarding that matter of name-calling.... I did not. My words were chosen carefully so as not to. EncephaloiDead is not far cry from A Troubled Man. That is where my impressions of you come from. What really IS your problem?

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      A fascinating article that will take more than one reading to fully understand. I agree with you that those who reject faith often do not for logical reasons (I said often and not 'always') mainly because they think that there are some historical inaccuracies in the Holy books (for me it's the Bible) or for various emotional reasons but not based on objective facts.

      I'm fairly new to hubpages having just been moved over from Squidoo but with hubs like this I can see it's going to be a great place to be and learn a lot.

      I've studied the historical evidence for the Bible and the early chapters of Genesis but I look forward to finding out much more.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      LOL! Is ED a Troubled Man? If that is the same character/hubber/forum dweller on here, he also had a problem with my concepts about fractals by what I recall. Dang, I wished I would have kept all of my Hubs on here so I could use them as references now. Alas, I deleted them a long while back and moved them to a place that I thought, at the time, would make more money. :))

      At any rate, I see a poor placement of "the theory of evolution" versus "creation" type of thing going on that continues to surface all over the world - especially the Internet. I have never seen how those two subjects even relate in the slightest!

      As I like to say, everything evolves and adapts; duh! However, as I just told ED on another Hub within their comment field: "It is the overly-eager-to-bash-religions-type-people that like to take a few common facts and run with it (begin the magnificent storytelling process of evolution), were it becomes a religion of some sorts. The concepts of speciation and the primordial soup hooey is where the ultimate theory goes bunk albeit I bet there are many of y'all that still call it science. LOL!" Then later I gave a link to an old paper that describes some of the many (too many to list) glaring errors in the theory: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html

      As for Headly, we agree on a lot of things, except his stronghold on the Bible and his hopeful grip on the trending borderline pseudo-scientific theories along with advancing evolution theories in a senseless macro-fashion. In the end, the outcome is close and semi-similar and the rest of the debate is either futile or limited to personal philosophies.

      My personal beliefs sound more like a unified chaos of creation while his seems to blend science, spirituality, and the Bible all into one.

      I, for one, realize the numerical value of one and think that we are all split upon endless dividends. The Earth, for example, is an ultimate growing substrate and a perfect place to emit animated life of all sorts. We will never see the funnels that create on our current dimensional plane of existence, but we can only hope to recognize the pattern. Even extraterrestrials from planet Ogopogwadaddy have this same problem, except they use a divine spiritual connection of deep meditation instead of dogma dung. Ha!

      With the keyword *hope* involved, science often becomes more religious than a drunk Catholic trying to get some nookie from a 17-year-old prostitute. Just saying... LOL!

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I do not see it that way. "

      Then, you have been suckered into his deception.

      "His knowledge of history is way, way beyond my ken."

      In other words, he has baffled you with bs. Yes, he's good at that, seems to be working, evidently.

      Sorry to hear that.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Then later I gave a link to an old paper that describes some of the many (too many to list) glaring errors in the theory: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html'

      Here's just one example from near the beginning of that article showing well enough they have no idea what they're talking about and using a tired, old and very childish argument. It's like this stuff was written by elementary children:

      "Natural selection would not choose parts that did not have all their components existing, in place, connected, and regulated because the parts would not work. Thus all the right mutations (and none of the destructive ones) must happen at the same time by pure chance. That is physically impossible. To illustrate just how hopeless it is, imagine this: on the ground are all the materials needed to build a house (nails, boards, shingles, windows, etc.). We tie a hammer to the wagging tail of a dog and let him wander about the work site for as long as you please, even millions of years. The swinging hammer on the dog is as likely to build a house as mutation-natural selection is to make a single new working part in an animal, let alone a new creature."

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I'm fairly new to hubpages having just been moved over from Squidoo but with hubs like this I can see it's going to be a great place to be and learn a lot."

      You won't be learning anything about atheism from this hub, but you will learn about how some believers are so dishonest, they attempt to align their religious beliefs with reality. Hilarious, yes I know, you'll have a difficult time trying to contain your laughter over the silly things they say.

      If instead, believers could just be honest about their beliefs, admitting that they are just myths dreamed up from an age of ignorance and delusion, that the beliefs are irrational, illogical and unreasonable, that they follow their beliefs, nonetheless, there would be a whole lot less dishonesty and deception.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      ED is yet to dispute anything involving conflicts with his/her fairy-tale belief that a Raptor ultimately turned into a turkey, yet the thing can still constantly type out perpetual gobbledygook. LOL!

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "fairy-tale belief that a Raptor ultimately turned into a turkey"

      You have yet to pen one single thing about evolution that is valid in any way or shows you know what you're talking about. So far, just childish statements.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Yeah, I'd say your religion is fairly childish... The Theory of Evolution has always been about simplicity: Once upon a time long, long ago, some mysterious chemicals assembled in a magical pond. From this point on, they began to make copies of themselves, and little by little and bit by bit, they changed into all the life forms that has ever existed on Earth.

      Ahh, that's cute! LMAO!

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Once upon a time long, long ago, some mysterious chemicals assembled in a magical pond."

      When you're finished acting like a child, if indeed you aren't one, provide us something that shows you actually know what you're talking about. What you're now referring to is abiogenesis, not evolution.

      Sorry, that you don't understand.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      I know what it refers to, but I also know that is where your belief eventually goes back to. Don't forget about those subtle changes that spawned from your magical primordial soup. They still haven't replicated that in a lab yet, eh?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I know what it refers to,"

      Evidently, no. You completely mixed it up as if you had no idea. It looks like I just educated you in something. You're welcome. :)

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      That's hilarious. I wrote about that subject separately, a few years ago. It's okay. False assumptions as usual. I wouldn't expect anything less from a notorious forum dweller.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I wrote about that subject separately, a few years ago."

      Then, let's see it so we can have another laugh.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      I can't because the URL is forbidden on here and it gets blocked along with my comment. The site was banned from Google Adverts due to some additional provocative content I put on there. Don't ask... Ha!

      Plus, let's see some of your articles, since ya mentioned it...

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I can't because (insert lame excuse)"

      Yeah, sure.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      It is not my fault that you never write anything on here. I used to have several debatable Hubs on here, in the past. Have you ever written anything?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "It is not my fault that you never write anything on here."

      LOL. I write a great deal here, this post, for one. Do you not read what I write here? Is is to important where on the internet I write? Does it really matter? Are they not words for you to read that I have written?

      Of course, your tactic is elementary, one of simple diversion, to shift the burden of responsibility and proof onto me when it is you who are making the silly claims that contradict entirely the scientific community, for which you have some sort of irrational personal hatred.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      All you seem to do is hate. Fabricating lies and creating arguments on the Internet is your MO, evidently. Get a life, perhaps?

      No, I don't think commenting on Hubs or making forum posts classifies as writing. Then again, MSN may still hire you. LOL!

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      ED writes a lot on here, for sure! Yet there is nothing respectful about differences of opinion. There is absolutely nothing about new knowledge, positive outlook, hopes for the future. Only baseless rhetoric intended to stir the s..t.

      How often have we asked for something useful in the conversation? How often have we mud thrown back in our faces? It's like ED has no wish, no intention, to promote good discussion or a willingness to allow differences of opinion without judgment.

      If ED is in someway incapacitated, perhaps physically or mentally, and stuck in a chair chained to a computer, then it must be a boring life, where the only outlet for his mind is to stir up argument.

      I am open to such a person IF he/she comes clean and declares a need for honest communication. But I find it an absolute waste of time if there is no dialogue.

      I come on here because I feel part of a reasonable and responsive community of interesting people. Several times a day if I wish, via the laptop or my Android phone. However, right now it's a beautiful sunny morning and there are rows of garlic that need weeding.

      That at least will make my morning productive!

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I am open to such a person IF he/she comes clean and declares a need for honest communication. "

      Yes Jonny, you just keep on supporting those who distort truth and honesty, which is what dialogue actually requires, but for some reason, you appear to have completely forgotten about that. Sorry, to hear you have turned to the dark side, so to speak. I thought you were a much bigger man than that, but I'm evidently wrong.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      And you, EncephaloDead contribute absolutely nothing to good discussion. You have been afforded every chance to change that, but why would anyone bother with you? Of course, if there is mental illness there you will be forgiven, but you seem to have full cognition so there is no obvious excuse for continually accusing HeadlyvonNoggin of being untruthful. When you stop calling Insane Mundane a child; when you cease insulting my intelligence.... then yes, there will be fruitful dialogue.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Of course, if there is mental illness there you will be forgiven, but you seem to have full cognition so there is no obvious excuse for continually accusing HeadlyvonNoggin of being untruthful."

      Except for the fact that Headly is twisting and distorting the truth and making an absolute mockery of science, reason and understand to support his religious beliefs. This appears to be perfectly acceptable to you. No problem at all. It's when he gets called on it in an attempt to get some truth, to face up to reality and stop being deceptive and deceitful, to get some honesty and truth, we are told we are the ones with a mental illness. Unbelievable.

      "When you stop calling Insane Mundane a child; when you cease insulting my intelligence.... then yes, there will be fruitful dialogue."

      And yet, I don't see you jumping in to tell him to stop acting like a child, instead you are aiming your venom at me, the one who is trying to get some reason, truth and honesty on the table only to be called a retard, a bozo and other such childish names.

      You have really turned into some piece of work, Jonny. Very sad, indeed. I have completely lost all respect for you.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Actually, Jonnycomelately sounds more and more like I originally thought. A real-life philosopher that is fairly intelligent and somewhat spiritual and overly unbiased in his opinions along with being open-minded during the process. As for you, ED, perhaps you need to remedy your verbal diarrhea with some more of that good ol' spoon-fed Gerber food your mommy gave you in the high-chair yesterday inside of that lonely basement of yours. At least you have Internet access, I suppose. Thanks for sharing... LOL!

    • gconeyhiden profile image

      gconeyhiden 2 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      HEY HEADLY: of course you disagree with my comments..they wouldnt "WORK" for you. funny how little of what you say about human free will actually jives with the latest results of how human behavior is formed. the recent findings on brain research and human behavior strongly suggest humans are not free willed in many ways as you would suggest. these findings clearly place us in an "animal behavioral context" and doesnt up hold your extreme statements that humans are totally unique in their free will but rather well under the sway of our environments like the rest of nature. research findings on intuitionand how it works also contradict your statements on human intuition. ever think about how optical illusions fool the mind..i dont think you really gave it much thought. faCT IS..THE HUMAN MIND CAN EASILY BE FOOLED. and people like you represent perfect examples of this. your idea of nature is extremely human centric. it once took me like a whole week of debate to get my Christian friend to finally admit he was an "animal". i asked him, do you eat? check, do you crap? check, do you bleed? check, do you have sex? well like the rest of the animals when the opportunity presented itself, check, do you sleep? check, do you get sick? check, are you going to die? check, OK so we pay taxes and believe in "God". the more we look at nature the more species we find exhibiting human type behavior. see but the point isNOT the fact that life itself is somehow unique but that humans are superspecial and completely above all other life. this is actually a counterproductive way of looking at the universe aND OUR PLACE IN IT. GIVEN THE PROPER ENVIRONMENT OCTOPUS AND OTHER CEPHELOPODS COULD RIVAL HUMANS IN TIME. i guess "God" also favors octopus and cuttlefish as well as humans. its very possible humans could return to a wasted earth to find it recovered and populated byschools of highly intelligent cuttlefish worshipping a giant clam.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @ gconeyhiden --- all of what you say is fair comment. Put over with a twinkle in your eye too, not tooooo serious, but just serious enough in questioning what Headly believes, etc. So this hopefully is back to dialogue.

      In my honest opinion!

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      I never saw so much said about this subject while kind of ignoring the simplest biggest explanation of cases for why anyone rejects the existence of God (the God of the Bible, not the false God of Mormonism or Islam or every other non christian religion). That explanation is the moral reason. "People try to protect some area of their life or some habit they want to keep so they go on a search for intellectual reasons why they want to justify that." and of course must then reject existence of God.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjBZIv4CH8o

      Bottom line, it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be an authentic Christian and the evidence for the existence of the God of the Bible is actually overwhelming. Just listen to what the former head of the Human DNA project has to say about it.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04V5PA5h2j0

      This is why Richard Dawkins, called the high priest of atheism, has refused to debate another authentic Christian like Dr. John Lennox of Oxford. After that debate with Dr. John Lennox of Oxford, Dawkins has refused to debate authentic Christians again. You don't need a degree from Oxford to understand why. Just watch the video. Atheists love to attack the "credentials" of whom they debate, but when those credentials exceed their own standards as with Lennox and Dawkins, well they refuse another debate.

      Both the videos I provided are less than 4 minutes each but I guarantee you most atheists will not even watch them because they choose to remain blind to the truth. So I doubt there are any who will watch and pay attention to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed...

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      I am not "an Atheist." I have predominantly atheistic opinions right now, not accepting the existence of a judgmental god as espoused by christian believers. You can say all you like about me "rejecting god because of my sexuality." You will only be preaching to the converted, not to me.

      I have no interest in "following" any person like Richard Dawkins. He might say or write something that I agree with, or not agree with. That is inconsequential from my point of view. I make my own judgments of my own life based upon my own thinking. My thinking can, and does, change from time to time. My understandings will likewise change over time. But whether it does or not, is none of your business. Nor is it the business of any other christian believer. Your job in this world is to be responsible for your own "morality," your own attitudes, your own actions in relation to those around you. So, get on with that job and stop being so self-righteous. Remember one of the groups of people your Jesus apparently disliked the most was the hypocrites! Even Mahatma Gandhi once said, "I like your Jesus, but I don't like his followers," or something to that effect.

      Have you ever stopped to consider why so many people turn against your church? Let me tell you. It is because of the representatives of that church that we turn our backs. You and your American brand of preaching leaves me disgusted. Your language, your presumptions of being "god's gift to the world," your hypocritical business practices, including those which "run" your mega-churches... I reject you out of hand.

      Those videos you highlight above are typical. I did watch them. They further reinforce my rejection of you and all that you stand for.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      So many? Look around you, you are in the vast minority my friend and blind as a bat. As I predicted you haven't even watched the videos or you'd have commented on their content. You are a prime example of the moral reason - you will look for any excuse to justify rejecting God, blame the messengers, that's a good one. It really has nothing to do with the truth, and true to the experiences of those in the first video, you are full of hate, your prime motivation.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Mmmmm....typical response. Totally expected.

      Maybe in the minority of people who think for themselves, without the fake "goodness" of bible-thumpers. I did watch those videos, and they are not even worth commenting on.

      That "God" you speak of is designed by you, in the recesses of your mind, to suit your wishes. It is used by you to judge others like myself, and takes an ancient set of concocted scriptures, of dubious authenticity even as regards Jewish culture, to justify your judgments.

      There is no such thing as a "god" looking down upon me or anyone else, least of all one who sits in judgment. All of that function is carried out by humans such as yourself who like to sit in a self-proclaimed position of smugness.

      I am not hating you. You are inconsequential in my life. You have done nothing to put me in my place, because you don't have the power to do so. Yes, you are a bully, a "spiritual" bully, wanting to direct the world to your own design. But you have no legitimate power. You have no power over me.

      The people I feel really concerned about are those who come under your influence. If they have not reached rock-bottom in their lives before meeting you and your kind, you will quickly set about bringing them down.... then you will take them in your clutches and infiltrate their minds with guilt and bewilderment. They will feel like s..t. Then you will pounce with your Jesus stuff. Then you will seek to "change" them, present them to your "Lord" for cleansing, and you will feel so good, so elated, because the Lord will love you so much more.

      Utter, total hypocrisy.

      Sort your own world out. It needs a spring clean.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      It's all about you - you act as if my original comment was just directed at you which means what is in my comment must have struck a chord of truth about you which you resent and so you will go to any literary ends to rebuke, including lying.

      You say you watched the videos - how could that be when there are 1 hour and 27 minutes of videos and you replied in 38 minutes from my post which means unless you were on my comment within seconds and had your reply pre written you probably didn't even have time to watch any of the videos, which I'm sure you didn't because I know your ilk. Face it "Jonny" you are busted.

      You declare first "I am not an Atheist." You are so twisted jonny - you later say, "There is no such thing as a "god" looking down upon me or anyone else, least of all one who sits in judgment." Isn't that the expression of an atheist?

      Face it "Jonny" you are busted.

      "..least of all one who sits in judgment." Your words jonny and proof you deny God solely because you don't wish to submit to his will -that is the moral reason.

      Face it "Jonny" you are busted.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Let's face it, tsadjatko, you are a self-made believer. You are on here to convert people to your way of thinking. You are entitled to do that, and I am entitled to present an opposite way to yours.

      Those two YouTube videos, each of 4 minutes duration. I watched 2 minutes of the first, and one minute of the second.

      The first is typical (you have use the word "typical" about me, so I return the compliment) of American evangelism. 2 minutes was more than enough.

      The second, again typical, of the "Testimony," used to promote your religion, in the hope that others will hear that testimony and become converted. An extra point for you towards that Throne in Heaven.

      The third video, more than an hour long, I have seen before. I am not interested in using valuable down-load Megabites watching it again. Good on Richard Dawkins for standing up to the stuff you peddle.... although I don't have to admire his opinions or even agree with them.

      Now, do you understand the English language? "An Atheist" is a noun. It's a label..... as though you imply that I have to live up to certain characteristics of "An Atheist."

      I take on no such label. I give you no label. I have spoken of your christian beliefs. You are human, just like me. Please treat me like one.

      I am not "busted." You have not understood me, obviously, when I say there is no god to sit in judgment. Humans do that, as you do, without the necessary knowledge you would need in order to judge me fairly. So you had better make a judgment of yourself, and sort that out first.

      Yes, your first comment here did strike a chord with me!

      "...(the God of the Bible, not the false God of Mormonism or Islam or every other non christian religion)." You presume that YOU have all the answers, that your God of the Bible is the only legitimate God, all the others are false. Arrogant and divisive. If the Jesus you claim to follow were to hear you saying that, what do you suppose he would have said? That man you claim was the epitome of love and forgiveness, the one uniting all of mankind, through his understanding of himself first and foremost, rejecting hypocrisy and hatred, healing and understanding the underdog........ the people he railed against were the scribes and pharisees who stuck by the letter of the law, yet had no love about them.

      You see, tsadjatko, I know more about the heart of that Man than you do. My conscience is directed at doing the best I can in this world. I am totally responsible for all of my successes, all of my failures. There is nothing awaiting me after my death except oblivion. There is no god. No one. NOW is the time to do the right thing...and it is no business of yours unless I do the wrong thing by you or other people. But you are not worthy to be my judge, so - let's face it, tsadjatko, you are busted!

      Oh, and one last thing... have the courage of your convictions, have the faith you say is needed.... to put something honest and courageous in your profile. Then I might think you are authentic.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      Yes, the last paragraph in the previous post was unfair and inappropriate, so I apologize and withdraw it.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Jonny now says:

      "I reject you out of hand.

      Those videos you highlight above are typical. I did watch them. They further reinforce my rejection of you and all that you stand for.

      All of that function is carried out by humans such as yourself who like to sit in a self-proclaimed position of smugness.

      You are inconsequential in my life.

      Yes, you are a bully, a "spiritual" bully

      You are on here to convert people to your way of thinking. You are entitled to do that, and I am entitled to present an opposite way to yours.

      have the faith you say is needed.... to put something honest and courageous in your profile. Then I might think you are authentic."

      My goodness, how the mighty (hypocrite) have fallen, eh Jonny. You really have turned into a piece of work, criticizing me and then doing exactly the same thing.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Dawkins has refused to debate authentic Christians again. You don't need a degree from Oxford to understand why. "

      Yes, it's very simple to understand, Dawkins get thousands of requests for debate, lectures, etc. and has to turn down many of them, including from so called authentic Christians.

      "I guarantee you most atheists will not even watch them because they choose to remain blind to the truth. "

      Or, the fact that you aren't the first believer to present those videos, you are actually in a long line of Christians who have done so, the videos are not compelling in the least.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Thank you Jonny for completely demonstrating the entire point of my original comment, "the moral reason". Funny how someone who claims not to be an atheist is so offended by the fact that most atheists are atheists because of the moral reason.

      Anyone who reads my comments and all your replies objectively can plainly see the hate, the prejudice, the lies to supposedly prove your point, somehow dismissing lying by saying oh well that was "unfair" while you now admit you watched some (less than half) of the two 4 minute videos and none of the 1 1/2 hour video as if coming clean will strengthen any part of your world view (you still don't seem to admit you lied but you were "unfair" - try calling a spade a spade, lying to make a point isn't unfair it is deceitful and disingenuous) . All your twisted rhetoric, putting words in my mouth (I don't claim to have any answers, although I'd claim God has given us the answers in his word all I said was most atheists are atheists because of the moral reason - I didn't even try to proselytize you - just pointed out the truth and provided video evidence from others of it and a debate presenting both sides of the atheist issue. You wouldn't understand any of that because you have never put aside "the moral reason" to investigate and study Christianity. You know NOTHING about it and your expressed view on the matter clearly reveals more about you and your submission to "the moral reason" than anyone needs to observe.

      I knew you didn't watch the videos because a debater with a valid case would try to point out where the information is wrong, so either you are afraid of an expert like Dr. John Lennox of Oxford (as Dawkins has demonstrated he is) and/or you have simply totally succumbed to "the moral reason." The latter is clearly evident.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "you are afraid of an expert like Dr. John Lennox of Oxford "

      And yet, here is a fellow Christian pointing out errors committed by the good doctor...

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kermitzarleyblog/2013...

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I never saw so much said about this subject while kind of ignoring the simplest biggest explanation of cases for why anyone rejects the existence of God (the God of the Bible, not the false God of Mormonism or Islam or every other non christian religion). That explanation is the moral reason. "People try to protect some area of their life or some habit they want to keep so they go on a search for intellectual reasons why they want to justify that." and of course must then reject existence of God."

      Sorry, but that is as patently false as it is biased, but we need not go into the biased part considering how blatantly you already exposed it by saying "not the false God of Mormonism or Islam or every other non christian religion".

      Did you not know the bias of every single believer who says the same thing about everyone else gods? That's one of the reasons why your religion and their religions cause so much conflict in the world.

      There are a great many reasons why people don't accept gods, you have already provided one reason... "the false God of". Although, your reasoning is fallacious because your religion is no more valid than any other.

      Your religion is merely the product of other religions before it, copied from previous myths. There is no reason to suspect your religion has any validity whatsoever as it cannot be aligned with history or any facts.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "That's one of the reasons why your religion and their religions cause so much conflict in the world."

      Alright, I'm still trying to catch up to all that's transpired in this particular conversation, but I have to address this first. ED, you and Mark often say this. That religion causes this conflict. I'm sorry man, but I don't think you've really thought this out. It's easy to point to religion and say that's the problem. If it weren't for that we humans would be way better than we are now. But is that really true? If the bible and these religions didn't exist, do you really think homosexuals or women would be treated any differently? Do you really think those people who react so negatively towards these people are doing so because of their deep commitment to God and His word? These are human attributes. Humans muck things up. That's what we do. Male-dominated societies were around long before any of these religions. And I've personally been around some of those people that react so strongly to homosexuality, and I can assure you their fervor isn't based on their commitment to God and His word. They're disgusted by it. They may point to the things said in the bible or to their religious views as justification, but I assure you that if religion and the bible didn't exist, this wouldn't change. They'd probably just find other reasons to justify their feelings. But let's be honest with ourselves here, these are problems with humanity in general. These aren't "caused" by religion.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "If the bible and these religions didn't exist, do you really think homosexuals or women would be treated any differently?"

      That depends, if we took to reason and logic instead of religion, many things would have changed for the better, along with the misogynistic view of the Abrahamic God.

      "And I've personally been around some of those people that react so strongly to homosexuality, and I can assure you their fervor isn't based on their commitment to God and His word. They're disgusted by it. They may point to the things said in the bible or to their religious views as justification"

      Of course, they will find justification in their religion because that is where the justification exists. It doesn't exist anywhere else. That is why we are disgusted by your religion.

      "I assure you that if religion and the bible didn't exist, this wouldn't change. They'd probably just find other reasons to justify their feelings. "

      They can find other reasons, except for the fact there are no other reasons to justify their homophobic attitudes, these exist within religions. I would submit and challenge any one of your homophobic friends to find any reason outside of their religion to justify their homophobia. Let's hear those reasons.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      ED and IM,

      Re: abiogenesis. Some parts of how it's thought abiogenesis happened has been replicated in a lab. Namely the 'natural' formation of RNS strands. But I would think anyone who does understand abiogenesis should at the very least find it a bit convenient how it all played out, if that is indeed how it all played out.

      For it to happen the way we currently hypothesize goes well beyond being overly convenient. How anyone can look at this and come away with the conclusion that no intelligence was involved is beyond me. To work you've got numerous components that all just happened to exist together in the same microcosm of clay. You've got multiple components that presumably each came about independently, yet each of these components have natural behavioral tendencies that work together in such a way to become something so much greater than their individual parts.

      People like ED like to dismiss things as 'magic' and try to convince us that all they believe is totally rational and reasonable, unlike the 'magical' beliefs of believers. Yet, to this day, we have no rational/reasonable non-magic explanation for why or how nucleotides are able to replicate themselves. That's one component to this whole thing that more resembles magic than most anything a believer says. How does that happen? Replication is one of the key components to evolution, yet we have no idea how that came about.

      I don't agree with everything IM says, I'm not sure I totally understand his view, but this is one place I can understand what he's saying about being a fairy-tale that transpired in that "magic pond". Numerous components, like self-replicating nucleotides, which just happen to bond together to make polynucleotides, to lipids that naturally bond together to form a protective bubble, to the fact that these bound lipids naturally let nucleotides pass through their walls, but don't allow polynucleotides to pass back out, which aids in the process of polynucleotides forming within these lipid spheres. All these components working together in such a way as to eventually create life is mind-blowing. And to nonchalantly dismiss these things as perfectly reasonable natural processes that in no way requires an intelligent creator or to dismiss this as an eventual certainty because it only really had to happen once, is missing the point.

      The whole process that realized life on this planet, however it may have happened, is nothing short of extraordinary. If you really understand abiogenesis, if you really understand DNA and evolution, and can come away from these things with the conclusion that no God is required, just doesn't make sense to me. You apparently find nothing remotely extraordinary about self-replicating polynucleotides or with the interplay between all these individual components, or the fact that all these right ingredients just happened to exist together within a microcosm of clay that just happened to be the perfect catalyst for this process. The dog walking around a build site with a hammer tied to his wagging tail sounds like a pretty good analogy in this light.

      Speaking of magic, what about quarks. Quarks, as I'm sure you're all aware, are some of the fundamental building blocks of matter. Did you know that quarks only exist in pairs? Do you know why? If you apply the energy necessary to isolate a pair of quarks into two individuals, that each individual quark will immediately transform that energy you used to separate them into a new quark mate? Immediately. So, if you try to split a quark pair, you end up with two quark pairs. Is that not just phenomenal? And you still think there's no design behind how matter works?

      It's my knowledge and understanding of science that leads me to think as I do. And it's too bad that others who also have a good understanding of science aren't willing to really wrestle with these things on this level. Or even consider it. They instead insist on their beliefs that I don't really get it and am willing to warp science for my own personal reasons. So insistent that how they think things are is the only right way, and to even consider things the way I do is being 'dishonest' or 'ignorant'. All the while not realizing they're doing exactly what they're accusing believers of. They're insisting they know better and are then justifying dismissing anyone who might think differently. Even though it's those who think differently who are generally the ones who advance our knowledge.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "They can find other reasons, except for the fact there are no other reasons to justify their homophobic attitudes, these exist within religions. I would submit and challenge any one of your homophobic friends to find any reason outside of their religion to justify their homophobia. Let's hear those reasons."

      How about natural reasons? Could homophobia not have come about in the same way altruism did? Is homosexuality not actually a detriment in the interest of propagating genes? So can you not see this kind of attitude coming about much like altruism did? As a means to further and more abundantly propagate genes?

      "Of course, they will find justification in their religion because that is where the justification exists. It doesn't exist anywhere else. That is why we are disgusted by your religion."

      This is why I find your whole rationale broken. In your view religion and the bible and belief in God are figments of human imagination, right? So these attitudes towards homosexuality and toward women would have had to have come about in some other way, then incorporated into these religious ideas. Yet, somehow in your thinking, these things are somehow 'caused' by this thing humans made up. How does that even make any sense? Your view is so illogical, yet you seem completely blind to it. All of your responses are clearly coming from a place of hatred towards religion because you paint everything in that same light. Even though the whole mindset is completely broken logically. If you were to actually flesh out these statements you make you'd find that it doesn't stand up on its own. This comment you made is a perfect example of that. Somehow it's not natural human function that realized these behaviors, even though the religious ideals you blame them on are also products of human function. You don't seem to recognize you're being just as intolerant to particular groups. This is why I find your whole philosophy so disgusting. Like many other things of human making, it's based in hate and a sense of elitism that doesn't and won't allow for peaceful coexistence. It's the same mistake being made over again under a new name and a new guise. But, that's how humans end up making the same mistakes over and over. Because they're not open to learning from the past. Generally because they convince themselves they somehow know better.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes Jonny, you just keep on supporting those who distort truth and honesty, which is what dialogue actually requires, but for some reason, you appear to have completely forgotten about that. Sorry, to hear you have turned to the dark side, so to speak. I thought you were a much bigger man than that, but I'm evidently wrong."

      Ugh, so anything that differs from your narrow way of thinking equals "the dark side". Do you know who else thinks that way? Religion.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "How anyone can look at this and come away with the conclusion that no intelligence was involved is beyond me. "

      Simple, we are not addled by religious indoctrination and are quite able to think reasonably and logically, that is why it is beyond you.

      "Yet, to this day, we have no rational/reasonable non-magic explanation for why or how nucleotides are able to replicate themselves."

      Sorry, are you referring to DNA replication? Scientists already know how nucleotides are added to DNA replication.

      "Replication is one of the key components to evolution, yet we have no idea how that came about."

      We already know your answer is a religious answer, divinely provided.

      "And to nonchalantly dismiss these things as perfectly reasonable natural processes that in no way requires an intelligent creator or to dismiss this as an eventual certainty because it only really had to happen once, is missing the point.

      And, that point is that we are not religiously indoctrinated to believe in creators where none have ever been shown to exist. Nor, is the point to distort science in order to achieve a religious agenda.

      "If you really understand abiogenesis, if you really understand DNA and evolution, and can come away from these things with the conclusion that no God is required, just doesn't make sense to me."

      Yes, it does make sense, but only to those who understand it. Sorry, that you don't, which can easily be seen in this comment:

      "all these right ingredients just happened to exist together within a microcosm of clay that just happened to be the perfect catalyst for this process"

      Again, sorry that you don't understand.

      "So, if you try to split a quark pair, you end up with two quark pairs. Is that not just phenomenal? And you still think there's no design behind how matter works?"

      Of course, you have not provided any reasoning to think a creator is required, it is just your lack of understanding and religious agenda that demands you employ one. Arguments from ignorance.

      "It's my knowledge and understanding of science that leads me to think as I do. "

      I would agree, a very poor understanding of science will do that.

      "They're insisting they know better and are then justifying dismissing anyone who might think differently. "

      That is a lie. It is YOU who is insisting upon a creator. This is not thinking differently, this not thinking at all, it is believing based on religious indoctrination.

      Try to be honest for a change.

      "Even though it's those who think differently who are generally the ones who advance our knowledge."

      LOL. Sorry, you do more to stifle knowledge and understanding than most others here. You advance nothing but conflict and ignorance.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Except for the fact that Headly is twisting and distorting the truth and making an absolute mockery of science, reason and understand to support his religious beliefs. This appears to be perfectly acceptable to you. No problem at all. It's when he gets called on it in an attempt to get some truth, to face up to reality and stop being deceptive and deceitful, to get some honesty and truth, we are told we are the ones with a mental illness. Unbelievable."

      Unbelievable? You want to know what's unbelievable? You. You continually accusing me of "twisting and distorting the truth", yet never giving any examples to illustrate or back up what you're saying. That's unbelievable. Someone who talks about the importance of facts and evidence cannot provide any to back up his statements. That's unbelievable.

      "You have really turned into some piece of work, Jonny. Very sad, indeed. I have completely lost all respect for you."

      Yikes, Jonny, I hope you don't lose any sleep over this. Your open mind is so offensive to ED that he's lost all respect for you. HAHA!! That's just funny.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "How about natural reasons? Could homophobia not have come about in the same way altruism did? Is homosexuality not actually a detriment in the interest of propagating genes?"

      I nearly fell off my chair laughing at that one. Yes, let's hate and despise and be disgusted by homosexuals because they refuse to pass on their genes. Hilarious!

      "In your view religion and the bible and belief in God are figments of human imagination, right?"

      Your religion is nothing more than a version of earlier religions. How can anyone with an ounce of sanity believe in your religion?

      "How does that even make any sense? Your view is so illogical, yet you seem completely blind to it."

      Yes, I understand your religious indoctrination does not allow you to question your beliefs and how they came about, and how irrational, illogical and just plain absurd they are.

      "You don't seem to recognize you're being just as intolerant to particular groups. This is why I find your whole philosophy so disgusting."

      Of course, you do, you follow a religion that teaches intolerance, dishonesty, immorality, hatred, racism, and a host of other negative attributes for how people lived centuries ago, hence we are intolerant to those teachings. We don't live and think that way any more, so please don't try to bring us back to the Dark Ages with your beliefs, thanks.

      "... it's based in hate and a sense of elitism that doesn't and won't allow for peaceful coexistence. "

      Yes, that would describe your religion quite well. History confirms it.

      "But, that's how humans end up making the same mistakes over and over. Because they're not open to learning from the past."

      The "past" has taught us that your religion is responsible for the deaths of millions and continues to cause people to do bad things even today.

      "You continually accusing me of "twisting and distorting the truth", yet never giving any examples to illustrate or back up what you're saying. "

      Again, you are lying, many have tried to show you that your claims are nonsense, providing tons of evidence and facts. You have simply dismissed them all in favor of your religious beliefs.

      You have admitted to not being able to understand and accept a godless universe. These are the words of a believer with an agenda.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Yikes, Jonny, I hope you don't lose any sleep over this. Your open mind is so offensive to ED that he's lost all respect for you."

      I'm sure Jonny won't lose any sleep or even cares. He seems to have been fooled by you as one is fooled by a carpetbagger or conman and now appears to reject truth and honesty and vilifies those who ask for it. Very strange, indeed.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      gconeyhiden,

      Can you maybe give me some more details about this recent research you're referring to about how human behavior is formed? Are you referring to some of the stuff Sam Harris talked about in his book ,Free Will? All the research I'm familiar with I see no conflict. I know there have been tests done to show that things that occur to us, or ideas that present themselves, originate in the brain before we're even really conscious of them. But it seems to me the part of us that is actually 'free willed' is the part of us that decides whether or not to act on these things our subconscious presents to us. Not to mention the things that come about subconsciously also seem to be shaped by what we introduce to our subconscious and what attitudes we hold towards it.

      Yes, I'd say we're undoubtedly animals. But I'd also say there's a very particular place and time in our history when we departed from the animal kingdom, and that departure I believe is when free will was first introduced.

      Yeah, we could find some other species emerging as the dominant one, but I doubt it. We're not the fastest, the strongest, the biggest, we don't have venom or stingers, yet we dominate the planet, presumably because of these minds of ours. But even then, with these very same minds (structurally speaking), humans didn't really take over until that same event where I see free will coming about. That's when we began to use the natural world around us for our own ends; farming, domesticating animals, changing the landscape, re-routing water, etc.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "I never saw so much said about this subject while kind of ignoring the simplest biggest explanation of cases for why anyone rejects the existence of God (the God of the Bible, not the false God of Mormonism or Islam or every other non christian religion). That explanation is the moral reason. "People try to protect some area of their life or some habit they want to keep so they go on a search for intellectual reasons why they want to justify that." and of course must then reject existence of God."

      I don't think that's too out of bounds. I certainly don't think that applies to all atheists, but I do think there are some who wish to continue doing something that may be found to be unacceptable within the Christian faith who look for some way to intellectually justify it. Some who may feel too conflicted otherwise.

      "Bottom line, it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be an authentic Christian and the evidence for the existence of the God of the Bible is actually overwhelming. Just listen to what the former head of the Human DNA project has to say about it."

      I hadn't seen this before. But I'm not surprised by it. It really is the more plausible explanation, and unlike what people like ED preach, it doesn't mean one doesn't understand. If one really does understand, it's difficult to not at least consider. This place is not an accident. Chaos becomes order in this universe. There are laws that govern this universe. Nothing about this place resembles something that just 'happened'.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "But I'd also say there's a very particular place and time in our history when we departed from the animal kingdom, and that departure I believe is when free will was first introduced."

      Sorry, but we have not departed from the animal kingdom, we are still animals and probably will remain that way. Your mythical "free will" nonsense is just your religious agenda distorting human origins.

      "But even then, with these very same minds (structurally speaking), humans didn't really take over until that same event where I see free will coming about. That's when we began to use the natural world around us for our own ends; farming, domesticating animals, changing the landscape, re-routing water, etc."

      Sorry, but Slarty has already clearly and accurately resolved your model as being one that doesn't align with facts and evidence.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Nothing about this place resembles something that just 'happened'."

      Sorry, that you don't understand and must defend your religious beliefs at all costs. That fact that you can't understand or accept a godless universe only shows the deep indoctrination of your beliefs.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "So many? Look around you, you are in the vast minority my friend and blind as a bat. As I predicted you haven't even watched the videos or you'd have commented on their content. You are a prime example of the moral reason - you will look for any excuse to justify rejecting God, blame the messengers, that's a good one. It really has nothing to do with the truth, and true to the experiences of those in the first video, you are full of hate, your prime motivation."

      tsadjatko,

      I am a believer, yet I reject organized religion and going to church primarily because of the "messengers". I could not stomach what jonny calls the "fake goodness" of it all. I can't stand the sense of entitlement. I can't stand the close-mindedness. I enjoy having conversations like these. Yet these kinds of conversations are generally frowned on in religious circles. I had questions and uncertainties about my faith. I wasn't able to openly question and test and come to my own conclusions in that environment. I'd say jonny is exactly right that most "blame the messengers". For most, their experience with Christianity is through other believers. Believers who generally show themselves to be intolerant of others who think or live differently. I personally don't think any human has any better of an insight or an understanding than anyone else to be able to justify standing above others and claiming that you know better than these what is "right".

      And I have to say your suggestion that Jonny's "prime motivation" is hate is about as off-base as you could possibly be. I find no hate in that man. I see an open, honest individual who doesn't outright reject as you claim, but who allows for other viewpoints and who openly and honestly considers them, respectfully.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I personally don't think any human has any better of an insight or an understanding than anyone else to be able to justify standing above others and claiming that you know better than these what is "right"."

      That's odd, that's exactly what you're doing, claiming you know better than scientists.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      tsadjatko,

      " You wouldn't understand any of that because you have never put aside "the moral reason" to investigate and study Christianity. You know NOTHING about it and your expressed view on the matter clearly reveals more about you and your submission to "the moral reason" than anyone needs to observe."

      I have had many conversations with Jonny and he has made clear to me his reasons for what he believes and why. And they have nothing to do with what you're suggesting. He has legitimate reasons to believe as he does, and I'd be willing to wager because of my interactions with him and seeing him participate in other discussions, that your claim that Jonny "knows nothing about it [Christianity]" is patently false.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "Simple, we are not addled by religious indoctrination and are quite able to think reasonably and logically, that is why it is beyond you."

      A majority of your comments say otherwise. See my example above regarding religion being the 'cause' of attitudes towards homosexuality. Your thinking is clearly broken, and you are apparently completely incapable of seeing it. That I am very sorry about.

      "Sorry, are you referring to DNA replication? Scientists already know how nucleotides are added to DNA replication."

      No, replication in and of itself. Here, don't take my word for it. I'll quote Dawkins from The Selfish Gene ...

      "At some point a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident. We will call it the Replicator. It may not necessarily have been the biggest or the most complex molecule around, but it had the extraordinary property of being able to create copies of itself. This may seem a very unlikely sort of accident to happen. So it was. It was exceedingly improbable."

      "And, that point is that we are not religiously indoctrinated to believe in creators where none have ever been shown to exist. Nor, is the point to distort science in order to achieve a religious agenda."

      I'm not talking from a place of religious indoctrination. I'm talking about considering possibilities outside of your close-minded view. I'm not distorting anything. I'm observing what we've learned scientifically, and am allowing for possibilities that you've already ruled out with no solid reasoning to do so.

      "Yes, it does make sense, but only to those who understand it. "

      I'm sorry that the only way you can rationalize to yourself that others might see something differently is to convince yourself that they must not understand. They must just not be as smart as you. They must just not be on your level of understanding. You, being so above the rest of us, why do you even bother trying to talk to us idiots? Must be frustrating for you.

      "Of course, you do, you follow a religion that teaches intolerance, dishonesty, immorality, hatred, racism, and a host of other negative attributes for how people lived centuries ago, hence we are intolerant to those teachings. We don't live and think that way any more, so please don't try to bring us back to the Dark Ages with your beliefs, thanks."

      First, as I've told you many times, I don't follow any particular religion and am at least half as critical towards religion as you are. Second, if your only approach to dealing with intolerance is intolerance, well, have you really thought that one through? Are you doing all you can to make the world a better place? Or are you just perpetuating habits that we know to be bad ones?

      Me- "... it's based in hate and a sense of elitism that doesn't and won't allow for peaceful coexistence. "

      You- "Yes, that would describe your religion quite well. History confirms it."

      It describes both, actually. Religion and you. Both repeating the same mistakes.

      "The "past" has taught us that your religion is responsible for the deaths of millions and continues to cause people to do bad things even today."

      Again, religion might be what these people used to justify their actions, but the actual 'cause' was the people carrying these actions out. Relgion itself isn't responsible. Humans are. These actions aren't limited only to the religious. Humans have been doing all these same things all throughout history, for varying reasons. Religion only being one of many.

      "Again, you are lying, many have tried to show you that your claims are nonsense, providing tons of evidence and facts. You have simply dismissed them all in favor of your religious beliefs."

      Huh, another blanket statement that refers to these others ("many"), yet still no example. You claim examples have been given at some point in the past, or evidence and facts have been provided, again at some point in the past, yet you've got nothing. Just the accusation that I've rejected or "dismissed them all". Do you actually think someone reading along is buying this? Is that what you're trying to do? Discredit me in the eyes of others?

      "You have admitted to not being able to understand and accept a godless universe. These are the words of a believer with an agenda."

      Not because I'm unable to understand, but because it makes no sense. Based on your comments, you don't understand either. You seem to think you do. You understand what you don't like about God and religion. Yet you don't seem to have really thought about your own view because you don't seem to realize how broken your logic is.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      HeadlyvonNoggin

      I can only judge jonny by what he says which is very difficult because he says he is not an atheist yet he doesn't believe in God. If you think anyone who understands true Christianity would make a statement like :

      "You presume ... that your God of the Bible is the only legitimate God, all the others are false. Arrogant and divisive. If the Jesus you claim to follow were to hear you saying that, what do you suppose he would have said? That man you claim was the epitome of love and forgiveness, the one uniting all of mankind, through his understanding of himself first and foremost, rejecting hypocrisy and hatred, healing and understanding the underdog........ the people he railed against were the scribes and pharisees who stuck by the letter of the law, yet had no love about them."

      then you HeadlyvonNoggin are as misguided as he is. You both pick and choose what you wish to believe and really don't have an inkling of who Jesus was or what he would have said for he has already said there is only one God and all others are false Gods (so Jonny is saying Jesus is arrogant and divisive, despite the good things jonny ascribes him? clearly doubleminded thinking - you cannot reason with such). If you can't get that there is only one God from Jesus you have NO idea what Christianity is about, and jonny doesn't. His world view is a hodgepodge of misinformation and he himself has clearly demonstrated that he suffers from the moral reason. If you can't see that you are as misguided as he is.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "I'm sure Jonny won't lose any sleep or even cares. He seems to have been fooled by you as one is fooled by a carpetbagger or conman and now appears to reject truth and honesty and vilifies those who ask for it. Very strange, indeed."

      Sure, Jonny has fallen prey, but not your, right? No, you're too smart for that. Apparently you don't think Jonny is, but you seem to be sure you are. You're smarter than Jonny, smarter than me, smarter than every believer or anyone who would even openly consider what a believer would say.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "Your mythical "free will" nonsense is just your religious agenda distorting human origins."

      It wouldn't match up with history if it were only "mythical". It wouldn't line up with actual behavioral changes originating in the right time and place, accurately predicted by a model, if that were true. My "religious agenda" can't make history line up.

      "Sorry, but we have not departed from the animal kingdom, we are still animals and probably will remain that way."

      Probably? What else do you think we could become? Are you saying here that you don't recognize the chasm between us and every other species?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Sorry, that you don't understand and must defend your religious beliefs at all costs. That fact that you can't understand or accept a godless universe only shows the deep indoctrination of your beliefs."

      I'm sorry that you seem completely unable to recognize truths that conflict with your viewpoint.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I'm sorry that you seem completely unable to recognize truths that conflict with your viewpoint."

      Your religious beliefs are not truths, they are delusions, that is why they conflict with reality.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "It wouldn't match up with history if it were only "mythical". It wouldn't line up with actual behavioral changes originating in the right time and place, accurately predicted by a model, if that were true. My "religious agenda" can't make history line up."

      Again, Slarty has already accurately shown you that your model is nonsense.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Me- "I personally don't think any human has any better of an insight or an understanding than anyone else to be able to justify standing above others and claiming that you know better than these what is "right"."

      You- "That's odd, that's exactly what you're doing, claiming you know better than scientists."

      I don't think so. I'm using information provided by scientists. And I formed a hypothesis that has proven true in that it has made numerous accurate predictions. So, I guess, in that way. But that's no different than anyone else. That's how it's done. That's how we learn. And I'm willing to have my stuff vetted by the experts. If you know of a peer-reviewed article that would accept and review this as a submission, I'm all ears.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Your religious beliefs are not truths, they are delusions, that is why they conflict with reality."

      Prove it.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Again, Slarty has already accurately shown you that your model is nonsense."

      Show me.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "And I'm willing to have my stuff vetted by the experts."

      LOL. They'll just laugh at it.

      "Show me."

      Seriously, are you going to lie that you never read his post?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Seriously, are you going to lie that you never read his post?"

      I did read his post, and responded to it. You seem to be under the misconception that his post in some way disproved my model as being authentic. So I'm asking you to show me.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @tsadjatko - "You wouldn't understand any of that because you have never put aside "the moral reason" to investigate and study Christianity. "

      Now who is being presumptuous? You know nothing of my way of life. You know nothing of what I do, what I desire, what I aspire to. Your "moral reasons" are all twisted and ill-informed.

      It might point to some deeper fears you have about your own life, and these are being projected on to me and others, because you have not resolved those "planks in your own eye."

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I did read his post"

      Excellent, then you need not ask me to show it to you. You have read it and dismissed it. Nothing new about that.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      The day here has dawned and I have much to do other than argue. Have fun, folks, the world rolls around regardless.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Jonny,

      Enjoy your day and do something more useful than arguing with these goofs. Go make the world a better place. If anyone can actually do it, my money is on you!

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Excellent, then you need not ask me to show it to you. You have read it and dismissed it. Nothing new about that."

      No, you seem to see something in his post that I do not. But I'm delusional and all messed up with indoctrination. So help a brother out. Show me what it is that's so clear to you that I'm missing.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "arguing with these goofs"

      LOL. Yes, that would be your last word. Funny, how you Christians always seem to resort to childish name calling when you get called on your dishonesty.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Show me what it is that's so clear to you that I'm missing."

      You've been told countless times that you need to get an education and stop distorting the science that you clearly don't understand in order to defend and support your dishonest religious agenda.

      That's it.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "LOL. Yes, that would be your last word. Funny, how you Christians always seem to resort to childish name calling when you get called on your dishonesty."

      Are you not the one calling me an indoctrinated 'liar for Jesus' like daily? I'm still trying to figure out what dishonesty you're calling me on. You refuse to say. It's almost as if you're lying. Almost.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "You've been told countless times that you need to get an education and stop distorting the science that you clearly don't understand in order to defend and support your dishonest religious agenda.

      That's it."

      Ah, okay, so you mean everything? Everything I've stated about science? So I need to get an education. Okay. I read all the time. Typically what I read is science-based. I'm not sure what it is you think I should educate myself on. You seem certain I'm lying, yet you won't say what specifically I've lied about. What have I distorted? Show me something I've said that's inaccurate. Just one thing will do.

      But, if your comment about MRI's is any indication, chances are it's you who doesn't actually understand. And when you don't understand properly your immediate recourse is to project that onto others. So your not understanding ends up being because others don't understand.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Typically what I read is science-based."

      Yet, it appears that all your information comes from Christian science sites, the ones who also can't understand and accept a godless universe and twist and distort facts and evidence to support their religious agendas. I see no difference between them and you.

      "But, if your comment about MRI's is any indication, chances are it's you who doesn't actually understand."

      Articles of how MRI's can observe the mind have been provided to you before, but you just dismissed them, too. It is entirely pointless to present anything to you about science, you just dismiss it in favor of not accepting a godless universe.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Are you not the one calling me an indoctrinated 'liar for Jesus' like daily?"

      Fair enough, I'll take back the 'liar for Jesus' remark.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yet, it appears that all your information comes from Christian science sites, the ones who also can't understand and accept a godless universe and twist and distort facts and evidence to support their religious agendas. I see no difference between them and you."

      Actually, no. I rarely read Christian sites. For anything. Everything I've said comes from my own assessment. I am not parroting anyone else.

      "Articles of how MRI's can observe the mind have been provided to you before, but you just dismissed them, too. It is entirely pointless to present anything to you about science, you just dismiss it in favor of not accepting a godless universe."

      Yes, I can dismiss that comment without you even having to provide anything. MRI's cannot observe the mind....

      "MRI is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to investigate the anatomy and physiology of the body in both health and disease." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_resonance_im...

      Notice it says "anatomy and physiology". See, this is the guy telling me I don't understand science, yet then will say something like "articles of how MRI's can observe the mind...". Clearly you're not the one that should be saying who does and doesn't understand science. You obviously don't.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "MRI's cannot observe the mind....

      Clearly you're not the one that should be saying who does and doesn't understand science. You obviously don't."

      'Scientists use brain imaging to reveal the movies in our mind'

      http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2011/09/22/brain-mo...

      LOL.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      You and Rad have such a hard time with this. Let me try to help you understand what's actually happening here. A patient is shown an image, a controlled image, and they record brain function as the patient observes this image using MRI. Then they observe brain function, looking to match patterns that they can then use to predict other images the patient is seeing. It's still using an MRI to observe brain function. Then using computational models to reconstruct the clip based on brain function patterns. At no time during any of this was the actual mind observed. Only brain function and a computer generated model.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Holy crap, you're actually denying facts and telling us you know better than scientists. LOL.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Holy crap, you're actually denying facts and telling us you know better than scientists. LOL."

      Another example that shows that what you perceive often does not line up with reality.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      TSAD 2 years ago from maybe (the guy or girl) next door

      Headly, I hope you have learned a lesson here - Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. —Proverbs 26:4 (King James version)

      Yeah that's wisdom from the Bible, THE WORD of GOD and not any Johny come lately's opinion.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I just have a hard time reducing all these 'natural tendencies' down to simply being 'just how it is' in a godless/design-less existence.

      I have reasonable doubt where a godless existence is concerned."

      This does not align with reality.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "This does not align with reality."

      These are perfectly reasonable statements that line up just fine with reality. They just don't line up with your skewed perception of reality. Again, it's a perception problem.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      Bwahahaha! God is perfectly reasonable? Lines up with reality? LOL.

      Seriously dude, that is hilarious.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Bwahahaha! God is perfectly reasonable? Lines up with reality? LOL.

      Seriously dude, that is hilarious."

      I'm aware that your demonstrably flawed materialist viewpoint renders you incapable of finding this anything but funny, but that doesn't change it's validity.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "flawed materialist viewpoint "

      Oh look, your religious agenda is reeling it's ugly head again.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Yeah that's wisdom from the Bible, THE WORD of GOD" ~ tsadjatko

      Hey, noticed you deleted my expose of Frank Turek on your atheist bashing hub. Well done. Such honesty.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Me- "flawed materialist viewpoint "

      You- "Oh look, your religious agenda is reeling it's ugly head again."

      So recognizing you as a materialist, and recognizing the materialist viewpoint as flawed, is part of my religious agenda? What exactly is my religious agenda again? I'm not clear on it. What am I after here? Am I trying to win souls? Maybe trying to earn some jewels for the crown I'm sure to get in heaven? What's my motivation?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "So recognizing you as a materialist is part of my religious agenda?"

      Of course, you are using the same terms as religionists use to describe those who rely on real truth for answers, truth that science provides us whenever their backs are up against the wall.

      "What's my motivation?"

      Indoctrination, it is what religion teaches you to do, just like so many other believers who distort real truth.

      It matters not, you are just as much a materialist as the rest of us because you have no choice but to deal with exactly the same reality as everyone else, the godless universe. Boo! :)

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      Are you denying you're a materialist? Materialism isn't a term that "religionists" use to describe whatever. Materialism is a philosophical viewpoint that matches exactly how you speak....

      Materialism is a form of philosophical monism which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all phenomena, including mental phenomena and consciousness, are the result of material interactions.

      Do you disagree?

      So who is it you think indoctrinated me? Not sure if you've noticed, but my beliefs are in contrast to the vast majority of traditional denominations. My whole intention is about truth. About finding the real truth. That's all I care about. Truth. I know you don't realize or recognize it, but your way of thinking is precisely what's standing in the way of progress.

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Although I'm open minded on this question, I can certainly admire the way in which you've thought out your points. Very well written article, and voted up for interest.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Thank you, Snakesmum, for sharing your thoughts and for the vote.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      " Not sure if you've noticed, but my beliefs are in contrast to the vast majority of traditional denominations."

      And, they are all in contrast with one another, so goes the hypocrisy of your religion. You all fight with each other and everyone else over your ridiculous beliefs.

      "My whole intention is about truth. About finding the real truth. That's all I care about. Truth. "

      That is a blatant lie, you are not looking for truth, you are looking to distort truth because you fear a godless universe. Please stop lying about this.

      "your way of thinking is precisely what's standing in the way of progress"

      Sorry, but progress is not the bringing back of the Bronze Age mentality of myth and superstition. Science is progress and truth, and you want nothing to do with that because that leads to a godless universe.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I can certainly admire the way in which you've thought out your points. Very well written article"

      You see, some folks can't see how this hub has absolutely nothing to do with atheism and everything to do with distorting the truth. But, that just shows the damage religions have done over time, it produces people who believe anything.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "That is a blatant lie, you are not looking for truth, you are looking to distort truth because you fear a godless universe. Please stop lying about this."

      Again, explain this to me. What's to fear about a godless universe? Upon death I just cease to be, right? Nothing to fear about that. It doesn't even make any sense that I should fear this. This has nothing to do with fear. And nothing to do with distorting the truth. Why would I do that? How does it even make sense that I would want to distort truth? If your rationalization of what I'm doing makes no sense whatsoever, then you might want to reassess.

      "Sorry, but progress is not the bringing back of the Bronze Age mentality of myth and superstition. Science is progress and truth, and you want nothing to do with that because that leads to a godless universe."

      How do you know what truth and progress actually entails? We can't know until we actually get there. Defining ahead of time what can and can't be true is exactly how your way of thinking gets in the way.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "You see, some folks can't see how this hub has absolutely nothing to do with atheism and everything to do with distorting the truth. But, that just shows the damage religions have done over time, it produces people who believe anything."

      So how exactly do you justify taking someone who understands and appreciates my hub and somehow making that sound as if it proves you right? That's an interesting way to spin things. You spin science so that you somehow justify taking credit when science is proven right, now you're spinning this so that people who do understand somehow proves you right about me distorting truth.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "What's to fear about a godless universe?

      I have no idea, but it appears to be such a problem for you that you are compelled to distort the truth in order for it not to be a godless universe. Sorry, for your loss there.

      "Why would I do that?"

      Already answered this question. Religious indoctrination.

      "How does it even make sense that I would want to distort truth?

      Question was answered. Religious indoctrination.

      "How do you know what truth and progress actually entails?"

      It doesn't entail religions, which have done nothing but cause conflict and wars and makes good people do bad things.

      "Defining ahead of time what can and can't be true is exactly how your way of thinking gets in the way."

      That's almost as absurd as your other claims. You can check a dictionary for definitions if you want, but you'll find that your brand of religion is not truth.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "So how exactly do you justify taking someone who understands and appreciates my hub and somehow making that sound as if it proves you right? "

      Sorry, but I don't need to do that considering I can read myself to see that this hub has nothing to do with atheism. It's about a godless universe and how religionists are incapable of accepting that, hence they must distort the truth.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "I have no idea, but it appears to be such a problem for you that you are compelled to distort the truth in order for it not to be a godless universe. Sorry, for your loss there."

      Exactly, it makes no sense.

      "Already answered this question. Religious indoctrination."

      "Question was answered. Religious indoctrination."

      A vague answer that can be used, true or not, to address anything. It's a way for you to justify to yourself that you're right, though you're not.

      "It doesn't entail religions, which have done nothing but cause conflict and wars and makes good people do bad things."

      What I'm talking about doesn't entail religions either. It entails an ancient document that originates in the cradle of civilization accurately depicting real events. True, religions have been spawned from this document, but that's beside the point.

      "That's almost as absurd as your other claims. You can check a dictionary for definitions if you want, but you'll find that your brand of religion is not truth."

      Again, you're trying to define what truth can and can't be prematurely. Answering questions prematurely is what leads to false conclusions.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "...I can read myself..."

      We've already determined that your perception can and often is completely off-base. This is another example. Others read it and it makes sense to them. You read it and see something entirely different.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      You should probably change the title of this hub to reflect it's contents.

      "9 Reasons Why I Can't Accept a Godless Universe"

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "What I'm talking about doesn't entail religions either. It entails an ancient document that originates in the cradle of civilization accurately depicting real events."

      Yes, I understand you have deluded yourself into believing the Bible is a history book, biology book, geology book, cosmology book, etc.

      Here's a hint, it isn't any of those things. It is a book of complete fiction. Sorry, that you don't understand that, but perhaps someday you'll grow up to realize there is no Santa Claus.

      "Again, you're trying to define what truth can and can't be prematurely."

      That is just so lame. Like the other beleivers, you believe we can just redefine words to suit their agendas. Sorry, doesn't work that way. The word truth is already defined.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "You should probably change the title of this hub to reflect it's contents.

      "9 Reasons Why I Can't Accept a Godless Universe""

      It's already called why Atheism doesn't WORK FOR ME. Is that not clear enough? How does that not reflect its contents?

      Besides, I realize you have no problem accepting things can just fall into place and create existence as we now observe it unaided, but that doesn't make it any more credible.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Others read it and it makes sense to them"

      And, others read it and find it to be bs. These are the ones that don't just accept whatever they read on the internet.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes, I understand you have deluded yourself into believing the Bible is a history book, biology book, geology book, cosmology book, etc.

      Here's a hint, it isn't any of those things. It is a book of complete fiction. Sorry, that you don't understand that, but perhaps someday you'll grow up to realize there is no Santa Claus."

      Do you have proof to back up your claim here. Because I have proof to back up mine.

      "That is just so lame. Like the other beleivers, you believe we can just redefine words to suit their agendas. Sorry, doesn't work that way. The word truth is already defined."

      Don't try to turn this into something it's not. The definition of truth isn't what we're talking about. We're talking about your broken logic and how/why you find it okay to predefine what can and can't be true before we know.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "And, others read it and find it to be bs. These are the ones that don't just accept whatever they read on the internet."

      So the ones that agree with you are the smart ones? What about everyone else?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Is that not clear enough? How does that not reflect its contents?"

      You have one of the shortest memories I've ever seen. I already went through each one pointing out the hub is all about you not being able to accept a godless universe all the while twisting the truth.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "So the ones that agree with you are the smart ones?"

      Ah yes, it appears where we're getting to the point when you begin asking the same questions over and over again. Really short memory there, dude. Or, are you desperate to support your baseless position?

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "You have one of the shortest memories I've ever seen. I already went through each one pointing out the hub is all about you not being able to accept a godless universe all the while twisting the truth."

      And you seem to have a horrible distortion in how you perceive things. Hint ... atheism = godless existence.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Because I have proof to back up mine."

      Another blatant lie.

      "We're talking about your broken logic and how/why you find it okay to predefine what can and can't be true before we know."

      Sorry, but your religious fantasies are not truths. If they were, we would all know.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Ah yes, it appears where we're getting to the point when you begin asking the same questions over and over again. Really short memory there, dude. Or, are you desperate to support your baseless position?"

      Baseless? Not true. Desperate? Hardly. I am anxious to have my position vetted by qualified people. Clearly, that isn't you. Anyone who thinks the mind can be read using MRI's is obviously not the way to go.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Sorry, but your religious fantasies are not truths. If they were, we would all know."

      Just wait. It's really just a matter of time. All will know eventually. It's just too blatant to be missed much longer. I can show you if you like. It can't be refuted. Though you're certainly welcome to try.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "It can't be refuted. "

      Yeah, I totally get that. Other apologetics and evangelists are staunch in their beliefs as well, yet they too have been shown to be just as deluded, even though they outright deny it all. This is the problem with religions and the damage they cause to people.

      And, I'm sure you'll have a parade of followers blindly believing your words, never questioning them just as they never question anything else that aligns with their religious beliefs.

      You too will become a Ken Ham and Ray Comfort with leagues of deluded followers, but everyone else will just laugh. Your claims are just as wackadoo.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "I am anxious to have my position vetted by qualified people."

      LOL. Qualified religious people? Sorry, it doesn't take an expert to see your claims are silly and that you have to resort to dishonesty in order to make your case. Others have already seen that and have told you as much.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yeah, I totally get that. Other apologetics and evangelists are staunch in their beliefs as well, yet they too have been shown to be just as deluded, even though they outright deny it all. This is the problem with religions and the damage they cause to people.

      And, I'm sure you'll have a parade of followers blindly believing your words, never questioning them just as they never question anything else that aligns with their religious beliefs.

      You too will become a Ken Ham and Ray Comfort with leagues of deluded followers, but everyone else will just laugh. Your claims are just as wackadoo."

      Well then expose them as such. My claim is very specific in time and place. If there's no truth to it it should be easy for you. So stop with the generalizations and get down to business. Back up what you are so certain is true. I dare you.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "LOL. Qualified religious people? Sorry, it doesn't take an expert to see your claims are silly and that you have to resort to dishonesty in order to make your case. Others have already seen that and have told you as much."

      Prove it. You're so certain there's nothing to my claim. Show it. Don't just refer to these imaginary "others", do it yourself.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      'Prove it. You're so certain there's nothing to my claim. Show it. Don't just refer to these imaginary "others", do it yourself."

      There's just no end to your dishonesty. Suddenly, the others are now just "imaginary". LOL.

      "I'm sure you'll have a parade of followers blindly believing your words, never questioning them"

      I'm not a Ken Ham or Ray Comfort clone distorting science and the truth to support religious beliefs, you are.

      "Well then expose them as such. "

      They have been exposed, ridiculed and humiliated, as they should be. Of course, they are clueless about this and simply ignore it as they promote their religious agendas.

      I would actually encourage you to write an article for peer review and watch it get torn to shreds along with your credibility. Please do.

      Then, when that fails, you can write a book about it and pick the pockets of the gullible and deluded. You might even get rich and famous.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "They have been exposed, ridiculed and humiliated, as they should be. Of course, they are clueless about this and simply ignore it as they promote their religious agendas.

      I would actually encourage you to write an article for peer review and watch it get torn to shreds along with your credibility. Please do.

      Then, when that fails, you can write a book about it and pick the pockets of the gullible and deluded. You might even get rich and famous."

      If I knew what channels to go through for peer review for something like this I would do it in a heartbeat. I would love to get this vetted through the proper channels.

      Again, my interest here isn't fame or riches. My interest is finding the real truth. There's only one. And the current ones that attempt to explain the origins of human civilization now are conspicuously lacking. This offers an explanation that clears all of that up.

      But I'm not sure why you have to wait for me to go through the peer-review process to get torn to shreds. You claim to know already that it's bunk, so I'd like you to show your work. What are you afraid of?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "If I knew what channels to go through for peer review for something like this I would do it in a heartbeat."

      Lame excuse.

      "My interest is finding the real truth. There's only one. And the current ones that attempt to explain the origins of human civilization now are conspicuously lacking. "

      Sorry, that you don't understand how human civilization originated and are compelled to twist the truth to mold to your book of myths. The study of humans and the finds thereof are science related, not religious.

      But, I'm sure if you put as much effort into finding a (non-Christian) peer review that will accept your work as you do in spreading propaganda, you'll have no trouble at all. I await the hilarious reviews.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Yeah, it may be a lame excuse, but that doesn't change the fact that I have no idea where to go with this. If you have any ideas, I'm open to suggestions.

      "Sorry, that you don't understand how human civilization originated and are compelled to twist the truth to mold to your book of myths. The study of humans and the finds thereof are science related, not religious."

      Like I said, I'm only interested in truth. Not twisting anything to match anything. If it doesn't match or lead towards truth, I'm not interested. do you understand how human civilization originated? If you think you do, I bet you're wrong. And yes, I agree the study of humans is science related. And I realize you have no regard for the source I'm using for information, but it does match up. It does offer insights into what was going on in the world during one of the most crucial periods of our development. I'm sorry you're to set in your ways to be open to it.

      "But, I'm sure if you put as much effort into finding a (non-Christian) peer review that will accept your work as you do in spreading propaganda, you'll have no trouble at all. I await the hilarious reviews."

      Yep, you're right. I do spend a lot of time here and if I spent this much time finding the proper channels would probably have better luck with it. But having these conversations has in the past led to even more insights in the past, so these have been productive conversations to have, all in all. None of my conversations with you have been productive, but others who really do like to get into things and back up what they say, or challenge what I say, have led to fruitful discussions.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Yeah, it may be a lame excuse, but that doesn't change the fact that I have no idea where to go with this. If you have any ideas, I'm open to suggestions."

      It is highly unlikely that after reading the abstract of your paper, it'll be taken seriously by the scientific community. Good luck with that.

      "I'm only interested in truth"

      Yes, religious truths, but they don't stand up to scrutiny.

      " If you think you do, I bet you're wrong."

      Yes, and you're here to tell us all about it using the Bible. Absurd.

      "And I realize you have no regard for the source I'm using for information, but it does match up."

      Only, in your little world.

      "It does offer insights into what was going on in the world during one of the most crucial periods of our development."

      Baloney, it does no such thing. It does nothing but attempt to pigeon hole the Abrahamic God, creation and every other bit of nonsense contained in the Bible. It is a religious agenda and nothing more.

      "None of my conversations with you have been productive"

      Of course not, you're being called on an agenda of dishonesty. That's what religionists do. In fact, none of your conversations with anyone else who calls you on your nonsense has been productive, you just continue on with arguments from ignorance as if nothing was said.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "It is highly unlikely that after reading the abstract of your paper, it'll be taken seriously by the scientific community. Good luck with that."

      Thanks. I realize this will most likely pose a challenge.

      "Yes, religious truths, but they don't stand up to scrutiny."

      Actually, this has stood up to scrutiny. Quite well.

      "Yes, and you're here to tell us all about it using the Bible. Absurd."

      Nope, not referring to what the bible says here.

      "Baloney, it does no such thing. It does nothing but attempt to pigeon hole the Abrahamic God, creation and every other bit of nonsense contained in the Bible. It is a religious agenda and nothing more."

      How can you just say that, with intellectual honesty? Don't you first want to confirm that statements you're making are true? Or do you have so little regard for truth that you have no problem just making statements like this all willy-nilly? I just find it incredibly hypocritical for someone who carries on about being honest and such to have such little regard for verifying what he states to be true.

      "Of course not, you're being called on an agenda of dishonesty. That's what religionists do. In fact, none of your conversations with anyone else who calls you on your nonsense has been productive, you just continue on with arguments from ignorance as if nothing was said."

      That right there is baloney. You're all about the baseless accusations aren't you? You have no regard for the truth at all. Shameless. The fact that you feel your qualified to make any statements that start off with "In fact, none of your conversations...." as if you've actually been privy to every single one. You clearly have no regard for truth and uphold no standard for ensuring your statements are true.

    • gconeyhiden profile image

      gconeyhiden 2 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A

      i have always been a" NONCONFORMIST". i dont go for pigeon holing for expedience sake. a religious person once told me there is no such thing as a coincidence. hmmm. during WW2 DDay had code names for the beaches at Normandy. about a week before the invasion all the code names appeared in a cross word puzzle in english newspaper. Esienhower almost called the invasion off. after making the cross word puzzle guy sweat bullets, they figured out this was an unbelievable coincidence, NOT a spys work. religious people will say just about anythingto maintain the status quo but the evidence reveils even their ideas are evolving just to stay relevent. i refuse to waste anymore time on this subject here as the writer is apparently way off on his facts.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
      Author

      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      gconeyhiden,

      "I refuse to waste anymore time on this subject here as the writer is apparently way off on his facts."

      Which facts exactly?

      "religious people will say just about anything to maintain the status quo but the evidence reveils even their ideas are evolving just to stay relevent."

      Would it not also make sense that ideas would evolve as everything around them changes? As new information is learned? That doesn't mean the ideas are wrong. That just means that previous ideas were formed around false or incomplete information. Is it that religious people's ideas are evolving, or is it that those same ideas are beginning to get filled out and better honed as new information is learned? Like this, for example. I can illustrate how the events of Genesis match up with the actual history of the southern Mesopotamian region. But it's only really been possible to see this in the last few decades as new information has been learned.

      For example, not that long ago the concept of a God who experiences time differently than us and who exists everywhere simultaneously didn't make a whole lot of sense. But now, now that we know both time and space are products of this universe, it turns out that if there actually is a creator who exists apart from this universe, then He also exists apart from space and time as we perceive it. So now this concept makes more sense, and is even consistent with a being who exists apart from the universe and space/time. Yes, the idea evolves as we learn more. Doesn't mean it's wrong.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "For example, not that long ago the concept of a God who experiences time differently than us and who exists everywhere simultaneously didn't make a whole lot of sense. But now, now that we know both time and space are products of this universe, it turns out that if there actually is a creator who exists apart from this universe, then He also exists apart from space and time as we perceive it. So now this concept makes more sense"

      LOL. Sorry, a creator doesn't make sense at all, no matter how much you want to pigeon hole your god into reality. There is no "new information" about your god experiencing time differently, that is obviously something you religionists made up. You do this every time new information is discovered about our world and you attempt to pigeon hole your god into this information. You've been doing this for centuries.

      Here's how it happened. First, men thought Zeus lived on Mt. Olympus, but when men finally reached the top of that mountain, they didn't find any gods, so they decided their god was up in the clouds, but when men reached the clouds and into space, they never found any gods there either, so they decided that god was beyond space and time. Of course, when scientists eventually discover what is really beyond space and time and they find no gods there also, religionists will begin to claim their god is in another dimension or some other claptrap.

      "is even consistent with a being who exists apart from the universe and space/time"

      So, is a giant lizard that was claimed to have sneezed the universe out of his nose and we are now all awaiting the arrival of the Great Handkerchief. This is how much your story makes sense.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 2 years ago from Tasmania

      @ gconeyhiden, when you write (in your Hub) "...I can imagine other horror stories...." and then base your opinions on those imagined stories, this is hardly in pursuit of the facts, which you you would like Headly to observe. Either you want facts or you want imaginary ideas, both being quite acceptable, but let's be sure what which is which.

      @ Headly, where you write "...it turns out that if there actually is a creator who exists apart from this universe," would you not be more to the point if you said, "...actually could be a creator..." instead of "..is a creator?" Let's face it, even with all your researching of historical information, there can never be an absolutely certain declaration of there being a "creator."

      @ EncephaloiDead, when Headly says, "...then He also exists apart from space and time as we perceive it. So now this concept makes more sense," I prefer to keep my mind open to other possibilities. When I observe the complexities in all manner of biogical processes, the anatomy and physiology of the tiniest mite crawling over my skin, or the beautiful structure of the horse's hind leg and its ability to run so fast, ... everything leaves me with a sense of awe... but what energy or entity sets all these things in motion? You and I will never get to the ultimate point of understanding.... we are too limited in all our faculties, especially our minds, in my opinion.

      So, how about all of us keeping our minds open?

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "You and I will never get to the ultimate point of understanding.... we are too limited in all our faculties, especially our minds, in my opinion.

      So, how about all of us keeping our minds open?"

      You emphatically make a closed minded statement and then follow it up by asking we keep our minds open.

      But, we also shouldn't have our minds so open that our brains fall out.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      Short for time, but Headly, you recently said that parts of the abiogenesis (primordial soup) theory has been replicated in a lab. Have they gotten those mysterious RNA molecules to randomly start coming together into living beings via the laboratory yet? LOL!

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Have they gotten those mysterious RNA molecules to randomly start coming together into living beings via the laboratory yet?"

      Yes, but we'll have to wait a few billion years for that result, that's how these things work, over vast periods of time.

    • Insane Mundane profile image

      Insane Mundane 2 years ago from Earth

      "Yes, but we'll have to wait a few billion years for that result, that's how these things work, over vast periods of time."

      Really? We can create all types of ill stuff in the laboratory almost instantly (in contrast to billions of years) except for, well, yeah, except for stuff like that. I'm sure it will also take you a few billion years to learn how to properly splice DNA in such a fashion that it makes ET jealous too, eh?

      Talk about an inverted straw man fallacy with a backwards bunghole; yikes! Sure, just like your religion of primordial-like speciation hooey of dogmatic dung states, "it requires massive amounts of time for our lies to tell the whole story." LOL!

      Nothing wrong with a 4D reality, actually. However, when you make fun of people like Headly for using a God in a 4D, 5D or even a multi-dimensional fashion, you seem to also forget that your speciation belief requires people to superimpose the 4th dimension in such a zany way that it intentionally fabricates a reality that has never been proven to exist. Sound familiar? Uh, wait a minute, it probably doesn't to you unless you read it from a peer-review study. Or as you say, "you just don't understand the theory." How lame... I wonder what your next excuse will be?

      Hey, that's just how these things work, ya know...

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Actually you'd be wrong to claim that because of the laws of Thermodynamics. The first law of Thermodynamics simply stated says that Energy and Mass can never be created or destroyed but it can change forms! The main way that it transforms is through heat! That means that there was never a time when matter or Energy didn't exist. For the big bang to be true there had to be a time when they didn't!

      There are only four laws to Thermodynamics. They underpin all lawsof Physics and evolutionary theory in it's sent form breaks all four!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      The second law of Thermodynamics says that when you have two substances existing side by side (or even together) without external stimulation they will not evolve but will be subject to the law of entropy (the third law) in other words they will degenerate back into their base elements....The question is how long it will take as everything decays.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      "Here's how it happened. First, men thought Zeus lived on Mt. Olympus, but when men finally reached the top of that mountain, they didn't find any gods, so they decided their god was up in the clouds, but when men reached the clouds and into space, they never found any gods there either, so they decided that god was beyond space and time. Of course, when scientists eventually discover what is really beyond space and time and they find no gods there also, religionists will begin to claim their god is in another dimension or some other claptrap."

      Yeah, I get that that's the assumption. We like to look at the ancient past and think we know how to piece together how things must have happened. Oh, well, if they're talking about gods, even though we all know gods are complete fiction, then this must be what actually happened. Well, the fact is we don't know that. These people weren't the fools we often like to paint them as. They gave us mathematics and astronomy and logical thought and the first written languages. They weren't content with just making up some imagined explanation. That's why they invented these things. They were looking to better understand and explain things and they weren't content with simplistic explanations.

      We like to think nowadays we know what's what. But the fact is, if beings like this actually existed back then, we'd have no way of knowing that now, but what we see in our past is exactly what we should expect to see if it were true. Just because nothing like that exists now we assume nothing like that ever existed. Nevermind the amazing feats these ancient cultures managed. The gigantic stones they lifted and put in place to build their incredible structures. Nevermind they completely changed how humans lived by giving us civilization and writing and science. We're so smart now we think we know better. But the fact remains, we don't know why humans in this age changed so dramatically, as if they were somehow influenced.

      As for 'finding God', this is where your broken logic fails you. You keep thinking that if there were a god we should somehow find Him. We should see Him on top of a mountain or sitting on a cloud or something. And because we haven't that means there's nothing there. Like many things in the natural world, He's invisible to us, but that doesn't He's not there. Like gravity or oxygen or electromagnetism, you can't see these things, but they are undoubtedly there. We just have to find alternate ways to detect them.

      Like determining there's a planet that exists that can't be seen, we determine this by observing the impact of it's gravitational pull on things around it. In the same way, we can only see God by observing the impact He's had on things we can see.

      "Sorry, a creator doesn't make sense at all"

      That's where you're wrong. It makes plenty of sense. What doesn't make sense is the natural world we now observe 'just happening'.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      Jonny,

      "So, how about all of us keeping our minds open?"

      That's what this hub is all about. This is my open-minded assessment. These are the things I can't work out when openly considering a god-less existence. That's what this hub is addressing. That conversation in particular. If I openly consider a universe with no God as a real possibility, these are the things that trip me up.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "But the fact remains, we don't know why humans in this age changed so dramatically, as if they were somehow influenced."

      We already know what caused these things, they're called "ideas", and people get them sometimes, and sometimes they are ideas that wind up changing things either slowly or dramatically. This is not hard to understand, it isn't rocket science and it isn't magical.

      "as if they were somehow influenced."

      If you make that claim, then you MUST make the claim that ALL ideas from men are "somehow influenced". Are you willing to go that far with your magical super being?

      "They gave us mathematics and astronomy and logical thought and the first written languages. "

      And, you are here to tell us what? That, those things were ALL magically provided to us or that men used their own brains to come up with those things? Which is it?

      "You keep thinking that if there were a god we should somehow find Him. We should see Him on top of a mountain or sitting on a cloud or something. "

      Yeah, that would be evidence required to support your claims, because if you can't see this creator of yours, how do you know he exists? And, its not my thinking, it is the thinking of men of long ago, that is what they believed. But, now you charlatans believe your god is beyond time and space.

      "Like many things in the natural world, He's invisible to us, but that doesn't He's not there. Like gravity or oxygen or electromagnetism, you can't see these things, but they are undoubtedly there. "

      LOL. I cannot believe you just resorted to the most silliest reasoning used by you religionists. You can't be serious. This utterly destroys your argument and any shred of credibility you might have had.

      Gravity, oxygen and electromagnetism are things that are real, they have hard scientific evidence to support them, which is agreed upon by everyone. It is utterly disingenuous and dishonest to compare these things to your mythical god.

      "In the same way, we can only see God by observing the impact He's had on things we can see."

      If you actually knew anything about science, you would know there is absolutely nothing that possesses any characteristics or traits that show it has been impacted by your God, nada, zilch. This is just wishful thinking on your part.

      "What doesn't make sense is the natural world we now observe 'just happening'."

      That is nothing but an argument from ignorance.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "That's what this hub is all about. This is my open-minded assessment. These are the things I can't work out when openly considering a god-less existence. "

      Yes, this hub is totally about YOU not being able to understand and accept a god-less universe, it has nothing to do with atheism or science or anything else. It is all about YOU.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "We already know what caused these things, they're called "ideas", and people get them sometimes, and sometimes they are ideas that wind up changing things either slowly or dramatically. This is not hard to understand, it isn't rocket science and it isn't magical."

      Uh, yeah, if that were true then we'd have to take from that that humans had very little in the way of ideas for the first 195,000 years that they were anatomically modern. Tools didn't change during this time, lifestyle didn't change, nothing changed. Yet in this one part of the world in a very short amount of time all of the sudden they were having all kinds of ideas that apparently didn't occur to anyone previous to that.

      "If you make that claim, then you MUST make the claim that ALL ideas from men are "somehow influenced". Are you willing to go that far with your magical super being?"

      I'm not actually the one making that claim. They did. That's what they directly say in their writings. That they were taught. The thing is humans previous to this apparently had very little in the way of ideas.

      "And, you are here to tell us what? That, those things were ALL magically provided to us or that men used their own brains to come up with those things? Which is it?"

      Nope, no magic necessary. I'm just pointing out that these people weren't as simple minded as you and others try to paint them as.

      "Yeah, that would be evidence required to support your claims, because if you can't see this creator of yours, how do you know he exists? And, its not my thinking, it is the thinking of men of long ago, that is what they believed. But, now you charlatans believe your god is beyond time and space."

      I know He exists through observation and common sense. And it's not that I believe God is beyond time and space. It's that if God is as described, the creator, then that's reality. That's where He'd exist. That's consistent with what's described in the light of what's now known.

      "LOL. I cannot believe you just resorted to the most silliest reasoning used by you religionists. You can't be serious. This utterly destroys your argument and any shred of credibility you might have had.

      Gravity, oxygen and electromagnetism are things that are real, they have hard scientific evidence to support them, which is agreed upon by everyone. It is utterly disingenuous and dishonest to compare these things to your mythical god."

      You're the one talking about 'seeing' God on a mountain or on a cloud. It's not silly reasoning. It's perfectly rational in light of what you're talking about. Yes, these are things that we have hard scientific evidence for, but that wasn't always the case. These were things we first had to better understand before we could ascertain ways of detecting them. For ages they weren't known about.

      "If you actually knew anything about science, you would know there is absolutely nothing that possesses any characteristics or traits that show it has been impacted by your God, nada, zilch. This is just wishful thinking on your part."

      That's what you think because you seem to think that anything that has a 'natural' process is explained. What you don't seem to get is anything that God causes would look the same way. A natural occurrence. Only it would be a natural occurrence that results in something beyond pure chance. Like DNA being coded information in each of our cells that allows for the retention and passing on of that information to then be used to create complex organisms. This is something that goes well beyond just being something that 'happened that way'. This is what intelligence in the natural world would look like.

      "That is nothing but an argument from ignorance."

      It's not ignorance, but what I do know that leads me to this.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes, this hub is totally about YOU not being able to understand and accept a god-less universe, it has nothing to do with atheism or science or anything else. It is all about YOU."

      Yeah, it's about me. That's why the title says "...doesn't work for ME". It has everything to do with atheism and science and why a god-less universe doesn't make sense to me.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "why a god-less universe doesn't make sense to me."

      Sorry, nothing to do with atheism, it is all about you and your lack of accepting a godless universe, which is based on your religious indoctrination. You already start from the false premise that your God exists and that there is no way our universe could have come about entirely on it's own. This is your belief system, it has nothing to do with atheism, so you can cut the bs.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      EncephaloiDead,

      This is not based on my "religious indoctrination". This is my honest assessment, given my knowledge of the natural world through science, and the specific reasons why god-less existence (atheism) doesn't stand up on its own in my view. I'm not saying there's "no way our universe could have come about entirely on its own", I'm just saying I find that possibility to be the least likely given what's observed. It makes more sense that what we observe in the natural world was deliberately intended.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Yet in this one part of the world in a very short amount of time all of the sudden they were having all kinds of ideas that apparently didn't occur to anyone previous to that."

      Sorry, that is your reasoning? You are pigeonholing your god into all of this simply because people had ideas that others did not have before? Hilarious. LOL.

      Again, you must now claim ALL ideas are from your God or you have no argument whatsoever.

      "I'm not actually the one making that claim. They did. That's what they directly say in their writings. That they were taught. "

      LOL. No, that is what YOU are claiming. Stop lying, please.

      "I'm just pointing out that these people weren't as simple minded as you and others try to paint them as."

      No, it is YOU who are painting them out to be simple minded, that they couldn't even come up with their own ideas, that their ideas were "taught" to them by your God.

      We are the one who are actually saying they had some good ideas that transformed their societies. This is also what science has discovered.

      "I know He exists through observation and common sense."

      Excuse me? You know this for a fact? Seriously? Wow. Your credibility just dipped to an all time low.

      "Yes, these are things that we have hard scientific evidence for, but that wasn't always the case. These were things we first had to better understand before we could ascertain ways of detecting them. "

      Are you serious? These things exist, they were and are real, very real, that is why they are part of "reality". Do you understand reality?

      There is absolutely nothing, zilch, nada that is equivalent to the reality of gravity and electromagnetism that resembles anything remotely related to your God.

      "That's what you think because you seem to think that anything that has a 'natural' process is explained."

      Duh. That is what science shows and demonstrates to us, consistently. If you can show otherwise, please do.

      "What you don't seem to get is anything that God causes would look the same way. A natural occurrence."

      Wow, is that ever convenient for anyone who wants to push a religious agenda. Guess what, Einstein, every single one of thousands of religions pushes a god that would cause everything to look like he made it.

      "Like DNA being coded information in each of our cells that allows for the retention and passing on of that information to then be used to create complex organisms. This is something that goes well beyond just being something that 'happened that way'. This is what intelligence in the natural world would look like."

      Yes, that is indeed what the natural world looks like to someone addled with religious indoctrination, despite the hard fact that science has NEVER shown or demonstrated an intelligence in the natural world, quite the contrary. This is just your irrational belief based on ignorance.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "This is not based on my "religious indoctrination". This is my honest assessment, given my knowledge of the natural world through science, and the specific reasons why god-less existence (atheism) doesn't stand up on its own in my view. "

      LOL. There is nothing honest about your so-called assessment, which has been thoroughly demolished as you continue to reveal your religious agenda of denying and rejecting a godless universe. This is your religious indoctrination and has nothing to do with atheism.

      "I'm just saying I find that possibility to be the least likely given what's observed. It makes more sense that what we observe in the natural world was deliberately intended."

      Of course, it would appear that way to the indoctrinated and ignorant. There are others just like you who don't accept reality for what it is.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Sorry, that is your reasoning? You are pigeonholing your god into all of this simply because people had ideas that others did not have before? Hilarious. LOL."

      That's only a small part of my reasoning, but yeah that's part of it. A dramatic change in human behavior and a huge upswing in human inventions and such. With no other change to account for it. The lifestyle they were living when these things occurred had been around for 3000 years with nothing like this happening before. Humans lived, generation after generation, with nothing like this happening previously.

      "Again, you must now claim ALL ideas are from your God or you have no argument whatsoever."

      Now that's some broken logic. That doesn't even make any sense. I didn't even say these ideas are from "my God". Clearly you don't understand my claim.

      "LOL. No, that is what YOU are claiming. Stop lying, please."

      Not a lie. The Sumerians directly claim they were taught these things we know they actually did by gods.

      "No, it is YOU who are painting them out to be simple minded, that they couldn't even come up with their own ideas, that their ideas were "taught" to them by your God."

      You're the one saying they assumed gods were on the mountain, then when they didn't find them there, then decided they must be in the clouds. That these gods are just figments of their imagination to account for things they didn't understand.

      "Excuse me? You know this for a fact? Seriously? Wow. Your credibility just dipped to an all time low."

      No, not as a fact. But as the most likely explanation.

      "Are you serious? These things exist, they were and are real, very real, that is why they are part of "reality". Do you understand reality?"

      Yeah, and I also understand that sometimes learning something about reality takes better understanding on our parts before we can recognize things for what they are.

      "Duh. That is what science shows and demonstrates to us, consistently. If you can show otherwise, please do."

      What you don't seem to get is anything God does would look exactly the same. Like a planet and an ecosystem that by all appearances seems to have just formed on its own. Yet showing signs of intelligence beyond something that could have 'just happened'. Like coded information in our cells. That's a sign of intelligence.

      "Wow, is that ever convenient for anyone who wants to push a religious agenda. Guess what, Einstein, every single one of thousands of religions pushes a god that would cause everything to look like he made it."

      Convenient or not, that's the case. That's how the God of the bible is described. The natural world came about as He willed it. It doesn't say He manually made it. It says He willed it and it became.

      "Yes, that is indeed what the natural world looks like to someone addled with religious indoctrination, despite the hard fact that science has NEVER shown or demonstrated an intelligence in the natural world, quite the contrary. This is just your irrational belief based on ignorance."

      This is exactly what I'm talking about. You first have to know and understand what you're looking for before you can show or demonstrate it. DNA demonstrates intelligence in the natural world. It's coded information that's retained and passed on, then used to construct complex organisms. That's what intelligence in the natural world looks like. If you understood correctly, you'd understand this is exactly the kind of thing we should be looking for.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "LOL. There is nothing honest about your so-called assessment, which has been thoroughly demolished as you continue to reveal your religious agenda of denying and rejecting a godless universe. This is your religious indoctrination and has nothing to do with atheism."

      There you go again, accusing me of being dishonest. Then, in the same comment, you say my assessment "has been thoroughly demolished", which is untrue. That's you being dishonest. If it has been, you should be able to illustrate it. So, feel free....

      "Of course, it would appear that way to the indoctrinated and ignorant. There are others just like you who don't accept reality for what it is."

      I do accept reality for what it is. I don't deny what's been determined to be fact. It is these facts that lead me to this conclusion. It is highly unlikely the natural world we now know through science was not deliberately made. Especially considering intelligence is a natural product of this universe. Given it exists, and given what we observe, it is the most likely explanation to account for what's observed.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "That's only a small part of my reasoning, but yeah that's part of it. A dramatic change in human behavior and a huge upswing in human inventions and such. With no other change to account for it. "

      Except, of course, the brain does indeed account for it, it's called an idea and is usually a result of thinking. Sorry, that you don't understand that simple concept.

      "The lifestyle they were living when these things occurred had been around for 3000 years with nothing like this happening before."

      You mean, kind of like how life was like before the invention of the wheel, or the cotton gin, or the cell phone.

      "I didn't even say these ideas are from "my God"."

      LOL. The lies never stop from you. Amazing.

      "The Sumerians directly claim they were taught these things we know they actually did by gods."

      So what? The Sumerians envisioned the universe as a closed dome surrounded by a primordial saltwater sea and that the gods originally created humans as servants for themselves, but freed them when they became too much to handle. This is called Sumerian, "Mythology"

      "That these gods are just figments of their imagination to account for things they didn't understand."

      Yes, just like you are doing now, trying to pigeon hole a figment of your imagination to account for things you don't understand.

      "No, not as a fact. But as the most likely explanation."

      And, of course, that is the most likely explanation to the religiously indoctrinated, but not to the thinking, reasoning mind.

      "What you don't seem to get is anything God does would look exactly the same. "

      Yes, and the Giant Lizard that sneezed the universe from it's nostrils did so that everything would look exactly the same as if it evolved over billions of years. All hail the coming of the Great Handerchief. LOL. Seriously dude, your reasoning is that of a child.

      "Like coded information in our cells. That's a sign of intelligence."

      What coded information in our cells is a sign of intelligence? Please show us the appropriate peer reviewed articles to support your claim?

      "That's how the God of the bible is described. The natural world came about as He willed it. It doesn't say He manually made it. It says He willed it and it became."

      Yes, and you have swallowed this ancient myth hook, line and sinker. That's not a big deal, though, you can believe any childish fairy tale you wish. But, to twist and distort science and reality in an attempt to align this myth with reality is quite dishonest.

      "DNA demonstrates intelligence in the natural world. It's coded information that's retained and passed on, then used to construct complex organisms. That's what intelligence in the natural world looks like. If you understood correctly, you'd understand this is exactly the kind of thing we should be looking for."

      LOL. That is a serious misunderstanding of biology. DNA in no way demonstrates intelligence, that is ridiculously absurd. Your claims are getting more and more desperate and silly.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      " It is highly unlikely the natural world we now know through science was not deliberately made. "

      Yes, that would be the conclusions drawn from the religiously indoctrinated, but they are not the conclusions drawn from reasonable, logical scientists who actually understand the facts and the evidence. Hence, this is all about you and your beliefs. It has nothing to do with the natural world and how it originated.

      "Especially considering intelligence is a natural product of this universe."

      Intelligence, like all other things in nature, is the result of evolution. It is merely a branch of evolution just like wings, tails, flippers, hands, etc, are also branches of evolution. Some animals evolve these things better than others. This is not big deal and is certainly not anything shown to be divinely provided.

      "Given it exists, and given what we observe, it is the most likely explanation to account for what's observed."

      And, that's fine for you in your tiny little world of make believe, but it is not even a considered opinion amongst the scientific community. That's why they teach evolution and not creation in schools. It's about facts and evidence, not myth and superstition.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Except, of course, the brain does indeed account for it, it's called an idea and is usually a result of thinking. Sorry, that you don't understand that simple concept."

      You don't seem to get it. Humans had been anatomically modern, with no big changes in brain structure, for 195,000 years up to this point. If it were as you're saying, then there'd be much more throughout human history to show ideas were being formed. Yet there's no difference, no inventions, no changes to tools being used, no changes to lifestyle. For nearly 200,000 years. Then, in the course of just a handful of centuries, we've got all kinds of developments. And those who lived in that age directly claim these were the result of them being taught.

      "You mean, kind of like how life was like before the invention of the wheel, or the cotton gin, or the cell phone."

      No, I mean the most common assertion is that this boom of inventions and ideas was the result of farming and humans living together in close proximity in highly populated societies. Though they had been living in these kinds of cultures for 3000 years before any of this.

      "LOL. The lies never stop from you. Amazing."

      It's funny how things you don't understand somehow become me lying. You clearly don't understand my claim. Then you make a statement that's completely off-base about my claim. I correct you. Then you accuse me of lying. How nice.

      "So what? The Sumerians envisioned the universe as a closed dome surrounded by a primordial saltwater sea and that the gods originally created humans as servants for themselves, but freed them when they became too much to handle. This is called Sumerian, "Mythology""

      Yeah, but it follows along with what actually happened quite well. Like the bit about humans being created as servants. According to the Sumerians they did the work of the city that the patron god of the city organized. We actually do see in the archaeological record that whoever lived in the temples at the center of these city-states were well provided for by the work-force of the city. The Sumerians who lived all around that temple. The Sumerians say that temple is where the patron God lived.

      "Yes, just like you are doing now, trying to pigeon hole a figment of your imagination to account for things you don't understand."

      Not at all what I'm doing. I'm just allowing for possibilities that you've prematurely deemed impossible. I'm using the evidence to guide me, and this is where the evidence has led.

      "And, of course, that is the most likely explanation to the religiously indoctrinated, but not to the thinking, reasoning mind."

      That's what the hub is about. Having this conversation. So, please, feel free to defend your stance and show that the 'thinking, reasoning mind' can account for these things in some better way.

      "Yes, and the Giant Lizard that sneezed the universe from it's nostrils did so that everything would look exactly the same as if it evolved over billions of years. All hail the coming of the Great Handerchief. LOL. Seriously dude, your reasoning is that of a child."

      Except there's no ancient document that lines up with history that speaks of this giant lizard.

      "What coded information in our cells is a sign of intelligence? Please show us the appropriate peer reviewed articles to support your claim?"

      DNA. It's not a claim. It's common sense. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is frowned on in scientific circles as it's not exactly something you can test for. But it's pretty obvious. We know for certain that DNA is coded information. That formed on its own. This is the kind of thing that suggests intelligence was involved.

      "Yes, and you have swallowed this ancient myth hook, line and sinker. That's not a big deal, though, you can believe any childish fairy tale you wish. But, to twist and distort science and reality in an attempt to align this myth with reality is quite dishonest."

      Good thing that's not what I'm doing. Again, I'm just allowing for possibilities that you have prematurely deemed impossible. I have not twisted or distorted anything.

      "LOL. That is a serious misunderstanding of biology. DNA in no way demonstrates intelligence, that is ridiculously absurd. Your claims are getting more and more desperate and silly."

      How does it not? It's coded information that allows for retaining and passing on information to then be used to construct complex organisms. It allows what would otherwise just be a random chaotic process to be accumulative. The only other time we've seen anything like this it was the creation of intelligence.... writing.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes, that would be the conclusions drawn from the religiously indoctrinated, but they are not the conclusions drawn from reasonable, logical scientists who actually understand the facts and the evidence. Hence, this is all about you and your beliefs. It has nothing to do with the natural world and how it originated."

      Yeah, and its conclusion drawn if one isn't so opposed to the idea as to reject it with no good reason. I actually understan the facts and evidence as well. But I do not limit the possibilities. I allow for this.

      "Intelligence, like all other things in nature, is the result of evolution. It is merely a branch of evolution just like wings, tails, flippers, hands, etc, are also branches of evolution. Some animals evolve these things better than others. This is not big deal and is certainly not anything shown to be divinely provided."

      Not a big deal, huh? That is exactly what I'd expect. For someone of your mindset to diminish the evolution of intelligence to something that's not a big deal. But the fact remains, when the right natural elements are brought together, intelligence is created. Therefore, intelligence is a natural product of this universe. Something that's been duplicated billions of times over. It does without a doubt exist. Therefore it shouldn't be so out of bounds to consider it a real possibility that intelligence in some form could have played a role in the formation of the natural world.

      "And, that's fine for you in your tiny little world of make believe, but it is not even a considered opinion amongst the scientific community. That's why they teach evolution and not creation in schools. It's about facts and evidence, not myth and superstition."

      Of course not. Science is about natural processes. You can't account for or test for intelligence. But it is a perfectly reasonable conclusion to reach given what's observed.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      " You don't seem to get it. Humans had been anatomically modern, with no big changes in brain structure, for 195,000 years up to this point. If it were as you're saying, then there'd be much more throughout human history to show ideas were being formed. Yet there's no difference, no inventions, no changes to tools being used, no changes to lifestyle. For nearly 200,000 years. Then, in the course of just a handful of centuries, we've got all kinds of developments. And those who lived in that age directly claim these were the result of them being taught."

      Yes, you have made up quite the fairy tale, almost as convincing as the Sumerians mythology. You might want to take the time to learn about the origins and evolution of tools and the impact they made on us almost 2 million years ago and since then.

      "No, I mean the most common assertion is that this boom of inventions and ideas was the result of farming and humans living together in close proximity in highly populated societies."

      Hence, the propagation of more ideas. Duh.

      " You clearly don't understand my claim."

      Yes, that is what the other religionists use as a lame excuse.

      "The Sumerians say that temple is where the patron God lived."

      Yes, that is called "Sumerian Mythology".

      "Not at all what I'm doing. I'm just allowing for possibilities that you've prematurely deemed impossible. I'm using the evidence to guide me, and this is where the evidence has led."

      Sorry, that is baloney. There is no evidence for your creator/god. Your so-called "possibilities" are just regurgitated myth from the Bible.

      "So, please, feel free to defend your stance and show that the 'thinking, reasoning mind' can account for these things in some better way."

      I have already provided you links to sites where you may learn things about evolution, biology and cosmology. You have ignored this in favor of pushing a religious agenda.

      You will find your answers that account for these things in science. I cannot teach you these things because it will take a long time and besides, it is up to you to take the responsibility to learn about it yourself.

      "Except there's no ancient document that lines up with history that speaks of this giant lizard."

      Sorry, but your holy book does not line up with history, that is a merely a belief from religious indoctrination.

      And, of course, the point of the giant lizard is to show just to compare how absurd your creation story.

      "How does it not? It's coded information that allows for retaining and passing on information to then be used to construct complex organisms. It allows what would otherwise just be a random chaotic process to be accumulative. The only other time we've seen anything like this it was the creation of intelligence.... writing."

      Wow, please take the time to educate yourself on the topic of biology, you are woefully lacking massive understanding. Seriously. Put down the Bible and pick up another book.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "Yeah, and its conclusion drawn if one isn't so opposed to the idea as to reject it with no good reason."

      Wow, you just keep deliberately missing the point. Yes, there is good reason, it's called "science" and it helps us to understand the world around us, giving us very good reason how things happen. It is this process that allows understanding to preclude belief, especially the beliefs that the religious, such as yourself, still embrace and are incapable of letting go in stark contrast to good reason.

      "For someone of your mindset to diminish the evolution of intelligence to something that's not a big deal. "

      When it comes to science and having to look at the world impartially, intelligence is indeed just another branch of evolution and is no big deal. Intelligence has evolved in a number of species to varying degrees, we are one of them.

      "Therefore, intelligence is a natural product of this universe. "

      Sorry, that is patently false, there have been and are many species of living organisms that have no intelligence, hence it is merely a branch of evolution that some species developed and others did not. Humans did not develop wings, for example. Wings can be a huge advantage for some species, perhaps as much as intelligence is to others.

      Again, no big deal.

      "Therefore it shouldn't be so out of bounds to consider it a real possibility that intelligence in some form could have played a role in the formation of the natural world."

      Yet, there is no evidence of intelligence forming our natural world, and you nor anyone else has ever provided a stitch of evidence or compelling argument to support it. Sorry for your loss.

      "You can't account for or test for intelligence. But it is a perfectly reasonable conclusion to reach given what's observed."

      Only to the religiously indoctrinated on a god mission, who are willfully ignorant and dishonest. Scientists have made the observations, they don't agree with your conclusion because it is unreasonable and does not follow the observations at all.

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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes, you have made up quite the fairy tale, almost as convincing as the Sumerians mythology. You might want to take the time to learn about the origins and evolution of tools and the impact they made on us almost 2 million years ago and since then."

      I have. Answer.. not much. There was one period known as the 'great leap forward' about 50,000 years ago where tools were made for more functions and made out of alternate materials. Other than than, not much of anything changed on the human tool front, humans used the same basic tools for thousands and thousands of years, until the Ubaid culture. That's when that changed.

      "Hence, the propagation of more ideas. Duh."

      Yeah, Duh. Though there were highly organized, highly populated cultures in northern Mesopotamia for over 3000 years prior, none of the advances, or the cultural changes, seen in the Ubaid happened there. Why do you think that is?

      "Yes, that is what the other religionists use as a lame excuse."

      Not a lame excuse. Just an observation based on your statements.

      "Yes, that is called "Sumerian Mythology"."

      Yep, and we of course assume that's all made up. Except for all the physical evidence that lines up.

      "Sorry, that is baloney. There is no evidence for your creator/god. Your so-called "possibilities" are just regurgitated myth from the Bible."

      You sound so certain. I'm sorry ED, but the evidence supports this model. No matter how many times you insist it doesn't. If you'd like to try your hand at showing that it doesn't, you're welcome to try.

      "I have already provided you links to sites where you may learn things about evolution, biology and cosmology. You have ignored this in favor of pushing a religious agenda."

      I didn't ignore them. I read them, and thanked you for them. But they didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.

      "You will find your answers that account for these things in science. I cannot teach you these things because it will take a long time and besides, it is up to you to take the responsibility to learn about it yourself."

      Sure, that's why you can't say. It would take too much time. Of course arguing ad nauseum and reaching no real conclusions because you refuse to get into specifics takes way longer, but nevermind that. You're probably right. This is the better approach.

      "Sorry, but your holy book does not line up with history, that is a merely a belief from religious indoctrination."

      Prove it. I dare you.

      "And, of course, the point of the giant lizard is to show just to compare how absurd your creation story."

      Of course. I get that. But it also shows just how little you know to think the two are comparable.

      "Wow, please take the time to educate yourself on the topic of biology, you are woefully lacking massive understanding. Seriously. Put down the Bible and pick up another book."

      I read science-based stuff more often than I read the bible. See, what you don't seem to understand is that neither you nor I are scientists. So we don't have to limit our thinking in that way. And if you think all that the natural world is will conform to our scientific systems then you're mistaken. The mind alone is an example of that. It's something that undoubtedly exists in the natural world than science has very little to say about. Point being, there's more to the natural world than what this one system we've developed can account for. Open your eyes.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Wow, you just keep deliberately missing the point. Yes, there is good reason, it's called "science" and it helps us to understand the world around us, giving us very good reason how things happen. It is this process that allows understanding to preclude belief, especially the beliefs that the religious, such as yourself, still embrace and are incapable of letting go in stark contrast to good reason."

      Yeah, science does help us understand the world around us. But all the natural world actually conforming to this one way of thinking is highly unlikely. See the mind as a perfect example.

      "When it comes to science and having to look at the world impartially, intelligence is indeed just another branch of evolution and is no big deal. Intelligence has evolved in a number of species to varying degrees, we are one of them."

      And nothing about that makes it any less significant.

      "Sorry, that is patently false, there have been and are many species of living organisms that have no intelligence, hence it is merely a branch of evolution that some species developed and others did not. Humans did not develop wings, for example. Wings can be a huge advantage for some species, perhaps as much as intelligence is to others."

      True, but the fact that intelligence exists at all means it's a natural product of this universe. It occurs naturally.

      "Yet, there is no evidence of intelligence forming our natural world, and you nor anyone else has ever provided a stitch of evidence or compelling argument to support it. Sorry for your loss."

      As usual, you speak without thinking. What would evidence of intelligence look like? You have no idea do you? DNA is an example of something to look for. And yes, it is a compelling argument. It's the perfect system to make evolution accumulative. That's what makes beings like us possible. The fact that a naturally formed system developed a way to store and pass on information.

      "Only to the religiously indoctrinated on a god mission, who are willfully ignorant and dishonest. Scientists have made the observations, they don't agree with your conclusion because it is unreasonable and does not follow the observations at all."

      You're not a scientist, ED. So your and my thinking does not have to be limited in the same way. If I were to limit my thinking the way you have then I'd have to dismiss the mind as it's something not observable or detectable, yet it's undoubtedly there. That's why your way of thinking is flawed. There's more going on in the natural world then that way of thinking allows for. That way of thinking is important, I agree, but it's not all we've got. It's served its purpose, it's taught us quite a lot about the natural world. One of the key things it's taught us is that there's more going on than it can account for.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "That's when that changed."

      Yes, lots of things changed, some slowly, some quickly. Some things never seem to change. The effects of religious indoctrination, for example.

      "Why do you think that is?"

      The Ubaid system was based on "staple finance", which was the power to command surplus staples such as grain to support the elite, as opposed to the previous systems of “wealth distribution”: the procurement of high-status objects which are exchanged for staple goods (food etc.), and are redistributed among the elites as rewards for loyalty and service to the chiefs.

      This is just one of several reasons, none of them having anything to do with your religious beliefs.

      "You sound so certain. I'm sorry ED, but the evidence supports this model. No matter how many times you insist it doesn't. If you'd like to try your hand at showing that it doesn't, you're welcome to try."

      LOL. Sorry, but your fairy tale is just a fairy tale, it has no evidence, it is an absurd model. Like I said before, it is like a small child trying to explain how Santa Claus gets down every chimney on the planet in one night. It's just pure gobbledegook.

      "I didn't ignore them. I read them, and thanked you for them. But they didn't tell me anything I didn't already know."

      Really? And yet, you carry on as if you completely ignored them, oblivious to anything that was written there, your understanding still lacking.

      "Sure, that's why you can't say. It would take too much time. Of course arguing ad nauseum and reaching no real conclusions because you refuse to get into specifics takes way longer, but nevermind that. You're probably right. "

      Yes, too much time to teach you biology, cosmology, evolution, etc., these are things you need to learn yourself, like I did.

      "But it also shows just how little you know to think the two are comparable."

      They are both fairy tales, sorry that you are unable to discern fact from fiction.

      "See, what you don't seem to understand is that neither you nor I are scientists. So we don't have to limit our thinking in that way. "

      Fortunately, I don't attempt to limit my thinking, but I can see how that would be a problem and how it has affected your lack of understanding the world around you.

      "And if you think all that the natural world is will conform to our scientific systems then you're mistaken. "

      It has and it will continue to do so, such are the facts of reality, sorry that you're unable to understand scientific systems.

      "The mind alone is an example of that. It's something that undoubtedly exists in the natural world than science has very little to say about."

      Yes, I understand there are things we still need to learn and science will eventually conquer the brain and the mind. Science already has a great deal to say about the brain and the mind, but I know you are willfully ignorant about that, as well.

      "Open your eyes."

      Use your brain.

      "But all the natural world actually conforming to this one way of thinking is highly unlikely. See the mind as a perfect example."

      Sorry, but your ignorance about the mind does not support your claims of belief.

      "True, but the fact that intelligence exists at all means it's a natural product of this universe. It occurs naturally."

      Wow, I just finished explaining to you that there are species that have no intelligence, hence your claim is patently false.

      Do you understand?

      "What would evidence of intelligence look like? You have no idea do you?"

      Are you serious? Do you actually think this universe is the most intelligent design a god could come up with? There's a huge list of improvements I would make and get rid of whole lot of things that are just not needed. Get rid of gravity, for one.

      "That's why your way of thinking is flawed. "

      Of course, it is, all you religionists believe logic, reason, facts and evidence and our ability to understand things is flawed.

      "There's more going on in the natural world then that way of thinking allows for. "

      And yet, you nor anyone else has ever demonstrated that in any way. It's merely wishful thinking on your part.

      You just really, really, really want to believe it to be true. Amen.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "Yes, lots of things changed, some slowly, some quickly. Some things never seem to change. The effects of religious indoctrination, for example."

      You don't seem to get it. Some major changes happened in a rather short amount of time in this one culture that didn't happen elsewhere.

      "The Ubaid system was based on "staple finance", which was the power to command surplus staples such as grain to support the elite, as opposed to the previous systems of “wealth distribution”: the procurement of high-status objects which are exchanged for staple goods (food etc.), and are redistributed among the elites as rewards for loyalty and service to the chiefs.

      This is just one of several reasons, none of them having anything to do with your religious beliefs."

      You're not getting it. One of the changes that's recognized is human interest in personal possessions/private property in general. as for surplus staples, they first had to have a surplus, which was also the result of some of these changes...

      "the prevailing view is still that male dominance, along with private property and slavery, were all by-products of the agrarian revolution...despite the evidence that, on the contrary, equality between the sexes - and among all people - was the general norm in the Neolithic." -Riane Eisler, American Scholar, Cultural Historian

      "LOL. Sorry, but your fairy tale is just a fairy tale, it has no evidence, it is an absurd model. Like I said before, it is like a small child trying to explain how Santa Claus gets down every chimney on the planet in one night. It's just pure gobbledegook."

      I know you'd like to believe that. But the fact is that's not true. This model matches up exactly with the history of the region. The timeline specified matches up exactly with the timeline of what actually happened. If your claim is that my model is absurd, then prove it. Show it.

      "Yes, too much time to teach you biology, cosmology, evolution, etc., these are things you need to learn yourself, like I did."

      As usual, a cop-out answer.

      "Fortunately, I don't attempt to limit my thinking, but I can see how that would be a problem and how it has affected your lack of understanding the world around you."

      You may not attempt it, but you manage. You define ahead of time what is and isn't possible prematurely. Your viewpoint is demonstrably flawed.

      "It has and it will continue to do so, such are the facts of reality, sorry that you're unable to understand scientific systems."

      I'm sorry you're so unable/unwilling to see your own faults.

      "Yes, I understand there are things we still need to learn and science will eventually conquer the brain and the mind. Science already has a great deal to say about the brain and the mind, but I know you are willfully ignorant about that, as well."

      Science will eventually conquer, huh? That's a statement of faith.

      "Wow, I just finished explaining to you that there are species that have no intelligence, hence your claim is patently false."

      What, my claim that intelligence naturally occurs? If there are any species with intelligence, that makes my statement true. I'm sorry you're confused.

      "Are you serious? Do you actually think this universe is the most intelligent design a god could come up with? There's a huge list of improvements I would make and get rid of whole lot of things that are just not needed. Get rid of gravity, for one."

      What's wrong with gravity? Yes, I think this universe is perfect for what it was intended for. It serves it's purpose exactly.

      "Of course, it is, all you religionists believe logic, reason, facts and evidence and our ability to understand things is flawed."

      Nope, I'm talking specifically about your material viewpoint. The FACT is that it is demonstrably flawed.

      Me- "There's more going on in the natural world then that way of thinking allows for. "

      You- "And yet, you nor anyone else has ever demonstrated that in any way. It's merely wishful thinking on your part."

      Yes, it's demonstrated on a daily basis. The mind isn't observable/measurable. It's something undoubtedly going on that can't be seen in any way. There's no way to prove it's happening. It's right there in your face, yet you still can't see.

      "You just really, really, really want to believe it to be true. Amen."

      Ditto.

    • EncephaloiDead profile image

      EncephaloiDead 2 years ago

      "You don't seem to get it. Some major changes happened in a rather short amount of time in this one culture that didn't happen elsewhere."

      You keep telling me that and keep repeating the same thing over and over. Yeah, I get it. So what? I just finished explaining to you they used a slightly different system of economics that happened to work better than the previous system. So what?

      "You're not getting it. "

      Uh yes, I do get it, I can read all about the history of that culture just like everyone else. I get what they are saying.

      "This model matches up exactly with the history of the region. The timeline specified matches up exactly with the timeline of what actually happened."

      I know that in your little world, it does line up, exactly.

      "As usual, a cop-out answer."

      It is the only answer required, you need an education so that you know what you're talking about rather than distort science due to ignorance. It is what you really need to do.

      "Science will eventually conquer, huh? That's a statement of faith."

      If you want to call it that, go right ahead. However, it is faith based on evidence, not the blind faith you religionists follow.

      " If there are any species with intelligence, that makes my statement true."

      No, species that have no intelligence makes your statement patently false. Again, do you understand this very simple concept, yet? Please try not to repeat it, again. It is making you look like a one dimensional thinker.

      "What's wrong with gravity"

      It doesn't allow me to float freely from one galaxy to another. That would be a must in the universe I would create. All of space everywhere would be a prefect breathable atmosphere for humans.

      "Yes, I think this universe is perfect for what it was intended for. It serves it's purpose exactly."

      Are you serious? This would have to be one of the worst designs anyone could come up with. Fundamentally flawed in so many ways. I could think of hundreds if not thousands of improvements we could make to our universe so that it was indeed designed by an intelligence.

      As it sits now, it's obvious the entire universe was thrown together under the direct effect of gravity, and very little more. All the evidence supports that.

      Only a complete moron on drugs would come up with this kind of design.

      Why did God not know the design of plate tectonics, for example, would cause the death of millions of people worldwide on a regular basis with earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis? How dumb is that?

      "Nope, I'm talking specifically about your material viewpoint. The FACT is that it is demonstrably flawed."

      Reality is flawed? Okee dokee.

      "The mind isn't observable/measurable. It's something undoubtedly going on that can't be seen in any way. There's no way to prove it's happening. It's right there in your face, yet you still can't see. "

      Argument from ignorance.

    • HeadlyvonNoggin profile image
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      Jeremy Christian 2 years ago from Texas

      "You keep telling me that and keep repeating the same thing over and over. Yeah, I get it. So what? I just finished explaining to you they used a slightly different system of economics that happened to work better than the previous system. So what?"

      I keep repeating the same thing over and over because the truth doesn't change. The answer continues to be the same. Consistently.

      Well as glad as I am that you started reading about them, there's apparently a few things you haven't gotten to yet. First off, this goes well beyond their economic system. They were the first farming based community to have such a surplus that it created an economy. That was due in large part to their very organized approach, their being the first to rotate crops, and irrigation systems they invented. But beyond that there were many other things. Namely they were the very first culture to have class stratification. A ruling and a working class. They also invented the first government, they had the first written laws, the first schools, they of course were the first to use mathematics and were the first to track the heavens, they invented the wheel, they were the first to make and use medicine, as well as a whole slew of other things. And again, they were not the first organized, highly populated society. There were culture that predated them by thousands of years, that lasted