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"Where do you get your morality from? It can’t be God!" Debunked (A Response)

Updated on January 12, 2012
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[Disclaimer: I wrote this Hub in an attempt to answer many of the questions I've been hearing regarding morality and the existence of God. It is not my intent to attack Atheists or those that believe otherwise. I have found, however, that many of the explanations I've heard on the flip side of the issue seem to break down when analyzed in a logical sense. I am one that loves others and respects others, whether they believe the same or differently. The purpose of this is to present where I see error in the logic of counter-arguments and to present what I see as a more logical conclusion. Thank you for reading!]

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Does God exist? If God does exist, is He good? If a good, or benevolent, God does exist, then why is there so much suffering and evil in this world? Is there such a thing as moral absolutes, or moral law? And if so, does this prove the need for a moral law giver? If so, must this moral law giver be God?


These questions and others like them have been asked by many. This is not a new topic. You can find a plethora of information about the topic, on both sides of the issue, from the most intellectual of minds to the very common opinions of average men. I do not claim that this article contains the most well-thought-out and logical of arguments that have ever been offered—I know there are people much smarter than I that have written on the topic. This article is simply one perspective among many that exist. Additionally, I would like to state that I am not going to try and tackle this topic comprehensively. There is so much to be said and even if I knew all there was to know, my goal is to write an article, not to write a book series on the matter. Having said that, let’s jump in with both feet!

I’ve recently been paying attention to the topic of morality and ethics. I was curious to know people’s opinions on the topic of “morality/ethics and God.” So I considered these questions: “Can morality/ethics exist apart from God? Does the very existence of morality prove the existence of God? How can a good God exist in a world full of pain and suffering?

I’ve read many people’s responses to such questions. Although some who oppose God’s existence have explanations that seem compelling at first glance, my response is, “But is this really a valid explanation that makes logical sense or a cleverly stated opinion?” In an attempt to answer these questions, I had to dig deeper. I will not be presenting data from the other camp’s point of view. If you would like to read one’s attempt to explain how morality exists without God, please click HERE to read a fellow hubber’s point of view. (Thank you for your opinion on the flip side of the issue, Philantrophy2012!).


MORAL LAW AND GOD

This article will be predominately focused on the question of morality. I would like to suggest that Absolute Moral Law exists and that the existence of such a law DOES prove the existence of a moral agent that transcends humanity—namely, God. Therefore, I would like to frame the rest of this article within the context of what is called the “Axiological” Argument. The argument goes like this:

1. There is an Objective (Absolute) Moral Law

2. Every Law Has a Law Giver

3. Therefore, there is an Objective (Absolute) Law Giver

4. The Objective (Absolute) Law Giver is God.

If the foundation of this argument is true, then the conclusion is also true. Simply stated: If there IS such a thing as an absolute Moral Law, then it is logical to conclude that there IS an Absolute Moral Law Giver. The first task, therefore, is to determine if there is, indeed, such a thing as Absolute Moral Law.

A helpful distinction to make at the onset of this argument is to look at the difference between “what is” and “what ought to be.” When humankind looks at the world from a descriptive standpoint, it does not try to distinguish between what is “good” or “bad” but simply observes and describes “what is” and “what is not.” Within the realm of this descriptive analysis of moral behavior, humans do not really need help from an “outside source.” In other words, this way of viewing the world does not necessarily mandate the existence of God. If, on the other hand, moral behavior is more than each culture simply describing behavior, then there must be an overarching, superseding morality that exists. In this case, morality is not just described—it is prescribed. Instead of behavior being described as “what is” and “what is not,” it is categorized by “what ought to be” and “what ought not to be.” Reader, I implore you to answer this question: Do we live in a world that merely describes behavior or do we live in such a place where behaviors s are deemed as “right” or “wrong”?

“Just because humanity makes statements on what ‘ought to be’ does not mean that God is needed,” you may say. I would say that such a statement is an opinion, but not a logical conclusion. Let me explain why. For the concept of “what ought to be” to exist, there must exist a type of Moral Absolute, or Moral Law. How does one know what “ought to be” if one does not know what “ought NOT to be”? And how does one know that something is “wrong” unless there is an absolute or a law that states such a behavior is wrong? I’m not talking about a law that is mandated by a state such as, “Do not go over the speed limit.” The type of law I am talking about need not necessarily exist as a written statement of belief by a given culture. I am referring to a moral law that is built into your very humanity. It is a law that is written on one’s heart—or another way to think of this is as the concept of conscience. Both adults and children alike can experience guilt, shame, and regret, even if they haven’t been “taught” such responses to having done “wrong.” If there is no “law” to break, then there could be no concept of having done wrong. And if one cannot experience an action as “wrong” then one cannot have responses such as were mentioned above.

You may be reading this and thinking, “But there is no such thing as absolutes—everything you are describing refers to people’s varying opinions, perspectives, and beliefs.” Well, first off, if you say there is no such thing as absolutes, that statement itself is an absolute and therefore becomes irrelevant according to your line of thinking. Considering the second statement, allow me to share a metaphor to illustrate how although moral relativism may seem “to work” philosophically, it does not work very well in the practical, everyday world in which we live.


THE RULE OF NO RULES NOT SO PRACTICAL: A METAPHOR

A young teenage girl didn’t agree with the “rules” by which her family lived. She viewed her parents’ household rules as their opinions, of which she should not be forced to live under. One summer day, she asked for a family meeting and explained to her parents that the things they deemed “wrong” were simply their opinion. And she should be allowed to make up her own mind about what was “right and wrong” and live according to her own guidelines. Her father, who was a Sociology Professor, responded with the following reply: “Let’s try this for a week. We live according to our rules, and you live according to your rules.” The girl’s mother reluctantly agreed to go along with the trial, although she feared for her daughter’s safety and well-being. The young girl decided that she would only have one rule: NO RULES! She would do what she felt like doing, when she felt like doing it. Before she went to bed that night, she informed her parents that she would no longer be doing her chores on a regular basis. A mess didn’t bother her, so she wasn’t going to be a “clean freak” like the rest of the family. She fell asleep that night, feeling the most free she’d ever felt.

The next day started off great. She slept in as late as she wanted—she had thrown her alarm clock in the garbage. She woke up in the afternoon to an empty house. There was a note on the table that read, “We left to spend the day at the beach. We will be back after dinner!” The young girl was disappointed. Her family knew that going to the beach was her favorite thing to do—why wouldn’t they tell her that they were planning on going? She would have woken up earlier had she known what she would miss by sleeping in. “Oh well,” she said. “I am free! I have the whole house to myself, all day long. I can do whatever I want.” She went to open the pantry to get some food. Much to her surprise, there was a lock on the door! She saw a note fastened to the door that read, “Your mother and I have decided that since you will no longer be contributing to the maintenance of the household, you can no longer enjoy the benefits of labor.”

The girl’s jaw dropped—she couldn’t believe her parents would do such a thing! She ran upstairs to get her piggy bank. She knew she had at least $10—that would feed her for the day. When she went upstairs, there was a bright, yellow post-it note in place of where her piggy bank was supposed to sit. It looked like her older brother’s handwriting. It read, “Hey sis—remember all those times I gave you my extra change? I decided I wanted it back.” The young girl’s face turned red with anger. “This is NOT fair!” she screamed. She opened her closet door to take out her violin. Playing music was a way that helped her to relax. But when she opened the door, she was face-to-face with yet another note. “We know you did the laundry for a month to earn your violin, but we decided that we would rather use the money for an extravagant day out.” This was the icing on the cake. How could her family be so unfair and cruel? At least nobody had taken her computer. She sat down and wrote a very long, well-thought-out letter to her family, stating how unfair and hurtful their actions had been. When they got home that night, she called for a family meeting and said that she had something to share. “We decided family meetings can only be called by parents,” her father responded. But before the girl could open her mouth to reject, her father smiled and said, “So—I call a family meeting.” The girl read her letter aloud. Her father responded, “I can see your point. I suppose there should be a principle of fairness that overrides our personal opinions on the matter. Are you saying that there is a universal principle of fairness to which I should submit?” “Yes!” his daughter emphatically responded. “Then I suppose this universal principle of fairness also applies to you?” her father questioned. “Yes,” the teenage girl answered sheepishly.

This may be a simplified version of the concept, but hopefully this story illustrates the conflict with which many live. They don’t want some “law” to impose its standards of behavior on them, yet they still want to enjoy the benefits of others adhering to the very principles they say do not and should not exist! There is no getting around the fact that even those who argue that there are no absolute values, are holding an absolute value. The argument against there being no such thing as “moral absolutes” falls apart in a similar way. Let me illustrate this point. If moral absolutes don’t exist, then nothing can be considered fair, just, or right. Consider a judge who has strong opinions one way or another. Regardless of those strong opinions, we count on the judge to make decisions based upon something other than his/her personal opinions. We expect for fair and just decisions to be made based upon law. Would you prefer to live in a world in which each person being tried for criminal behavior was judged according to his or her own, personal law based upon his or her individual belief? “I’m sorry judge—but my law says it is good to kill a spouse when they are no longer physically attractive. It works for me!”


DO MORAL ABSOUTES TRANSCEND CULTURE AND TIME?

“But different cultures have different rules about what is right and wrong! One culture can’t dictate to another what they can and can’t do.” This is another statement that I’ve often heard. Well, let’s explore this further. True, what may be fine here is rude or even “wrong” there, but there are some universal values that transcend culture and time. For instance, it is never right for people to kill whoever they want to kill, for absolutely no reason. There are differences when it comes to the topic of what constitutes just or unjust killing, as every culture must determine when it is appropriate or not to kill. Regardless of the specific outcomes of this law in each culture, the point is that this discussion comes up for negotiation because there is an “ought to” to be discussed. Here is another moral absolute: I suggest that every culture would agree that torturing little children, just for fun, is absolutely, morally wrong. If such a society was discovered, I assure you it would be fiercely objected. It is imperative for the good of mankind that we agree to basic, moral absolutes. If we do not, then how could we ever judge the moral behavior of societies? If we can’t come into agreement that some things are just wrong in terms of how people are treated, then how could we ever oppose those who mistreat others?


CAN EVOLUTION EXPLAIN MORALITY?

If there are absolute moral values, then the next logical question is—“Why? Where did they come from?” If they don’t come from God because “God does not exist,” then they must come either from nature or from ourselves. Is this a logical conclusion? Many Atheists cite that they believe in theories such as evolution to explain the origin of our species. Does the theory of evolution agree with a scientific explanation of the origin of morality? Let’s take a closer look. If such a correlation exists, then that would mean that morality is a part of our overall evolution. Evolution suggests that whatever has survived is most fit. Therefore, whatever exists is the result of natural selection. In terms of morality, for example, a value such as “fairness” would only exist as a result of natural selection. Let’s look at an example of an “immoral action” to test this theory. But first, we must ask ourselves, “What constitutes an immoral action?” A simple definition is: “something that causes harm to others.” This definition implies that if there are no harmful consequences to an action, it can thus be deemed as ethical. As such, nothing is “inherently” wrong or right. It is only when an action brings harm to another that it is considered “wrong.”

“What is wrong with that definition?” you may ask. Consider the example of adultery. Let’s say that adultery is deemed wrong when it harms the faithful spouse. The consequences can include mental and emotional suffering, physical disease, and perhaps unwanted pregnancies. But what if the act of adultery does NOT lead to such consequences? What if the faithful spouse never finds out, and thus his/her feelings are never hurt? No diseases are spread and no unwanted pregnancies occur? Would the act of adultery no longer be considered wrong? For the one that does not believe in God, what valid reason exists for explaining why harming others “should” be wrong? Back to the example of the cheating spouse: If the faithful spouse is not experiencing pain because he/she is unaware of his/her partner’s unfaithfulness, and if the cheating spouse is getting his/her needs met by having an affair, then what prompts one to feel as if it is a “wrong” behavior?

We must answer the question of from where these moral absolutes come. Some suggest that people choose morality not because of moral law, but because it is self-serving to be moral. Kind of like, if you are “good,” people will like you. If people like you, you are happier and feel good about yourself, etc. But the question begs, “Why should being “good” make one happy?” Others say that a person tries to do “good” to avoid punishment. If one breaks the law, he or she may go to jail, so he/she behaves in such a way as to avoid punishment. However, neither of these suggestions seem to carry much weight. People do selfless things all the time that are beneficial to others, rather than choosing to be self-serving. And the second example, which is in essence a motivator of fear, is not very strong either. People often do things that they know will reap negative consequences. Fear of punishment cannot account for the many people who make decisions based on something other than fear of consequences.


CAN HUMANS BE THE SOURCE OF MORAL LAW?

Let’s explore this topic from yet another angle. Perhaps we, the species of human beings, are the source of moral law. This, too, breaks down. Have you ever done something and later felt regret or guilt? Where did these feelings come from? Maybe we learned them from our culture? Cultures change over time, right? If morals are learned by our culture, then they should change over time, as well. Many people argue that this is, indeed, the case. How we behave today as compared to fifty years ago, as opposed to 500 years ago, has definitely changed, right? Well—yeah! But just because behaviors have changed, doesn’t mean that moral absolutes have changed. Sure, we may behave differently, but is it any more acceptable to “kill whoever you want,” or to “torture children for fun” or to “have an affair” today as it was fifty or five hundred years ago? Regardless of changed behavior, what we “ought to do” is still the same.


MORAL LAW AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL AND SUFFERING

Let me end this article back where I started. My observation has been that those who make statements such as, “There are no moral absolutes” are often the same who are declaring, “A benevolent God cannot exist because there is too much suffering and evil in the world.” If there is such a thing as evil, then there must be such a thing as good. For one to assume that there is such a thing as good, then one would also assume that there is such a thing as moral law—which is the basis on which good and evil can be differentiated. For moral law to exist there must be a moral law giver. But for the one trying to prove that a benevolent God does not exist, one cannot ascribe to the existence of a moral law. If there is no transcendent moral law giver, then there is no absolute moral law. If moral law does not exist, then there is no good. If there is no good, then there is no evil. But how can there be the problem of evil if there is no evil? The problem of evil cannot be solved by stating that God does not exist. This is illogical and the very fact that the question is raised creates the weight under which the argument collapses. There is no problem of evil if there is no evil, and there can be no evil in an amoral universe. And in an amoral universe, one wouldn’t be concerned to raise the question in the first place. If one wants to address the problem of evil and suffering, then it must be done while keeping God in the equation.


A REASON WHY PEOPLE DON’T LIKE GOD

But many people don’t want to keep God in the equation. They don’t want there to be a moral law giver because they don’t want there to be a moral law. They want to be on the receiving side of the benefits of moral law, but don’t want to be condemned by that same law. The moral law exposes their immorality. Who is judged as immoral? All people—for there is not one who has kept this perfect law. It is because of sin that the law declares that we are guilty. The Bible says of this in Romans 7:

"The law code had a perfectly legitimate function. Without its clear guidelines for right and wrong, moral behavior would be mostly guesswork. Apart from the succinct, surgical command, "You shall not covet," I could have dressed covetousness up to look like a virtue and ruined my life with it. 8-12Don't you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of "forbidden fruit" out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God's good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel.13I can already hear your next question: "Does that mean I can't even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?" No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God's good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.”


A WAY OUT OF THE MESS

What, then, can we do? Are we to die in this sin, as helpless prisoners to its deceptive and evil power? We are guilty of breaking the moral law and are under a death sentence because of it. But there has been made a way to new life, by the only one that was able to keep and fulfill the law. He took our punishment upon himself, though he himself was innocent, and he became our advocate.

16-18"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. 19-21"This is the crisis we're in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won't come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is." John 3:16-21.

You are not guiltier than I—for we both have sinned and fallen short of the standard of “goodness.” Here is the difference: The one who says “yes” to God is pardoned and says “yes” to the gift of eternal life; while the one who rejects God, also says “no” to His gift of freedom from the condemnation of sin and death under the law. This gift is not earned, for it is freely given. But even a gift freely given, must be received. God is not asking you to give up your freedom, hopes, and dreams to become His slave. He is asking you to give up that which enslaves you, so that He can give you your hopes and dreams, and set you free.


FOR GOD OR AGAINST GOD—YOUR BELIEF ONE WAY OR THE OTHER

It is not as complex as it seems. There are two choices: Agree with God, or agree with those who oppose God. The choice is the most important you will ever make—so do not decide flippantly. When considering this choice, please be reminded that ‘Religion’ or those that say they represent God can be flawed and many do a very poor job of representing the true, living God. God is not a God of fear—for He even says that His perfect love casts out all fear. Those who use the “scare tactic” of “you better believe or else…” are using methods that, in my opinion, are not in alignment with the heart or ways of God. The best example of God can be seen in the person of Christ. If you want to know what God is like, study Jesus, for He, Himself, said that He is the exact representation of God. Make an informed decision—it’s not quite helpful to say “no” to a God you’ve never actually, really met, or have misinformation about. And to choose to be an “Atheist” is not a neutral choice. Just as the Christian has beliefs and are “for God,” so the Atheists have beliefs and are “against God.” If you are not sure—be Agnostic until you are confident. If you consider yourself to be an Agnostic, I’ve written a prayer just for you. Click HERE to see the prayer.

I’d like to close this article by sharing some statements of belief. You’ve probably heard of a “Creed,” which is usually associated with a religious statement of belief. Those that believe in God usually have a Creed by which they adhere. Those that don’t believe in God have a set of beliefs by which they live, as well, but they probably haven’t written it down and called it a Creed. Philosopher and apologist Dr. Ravi Zacharias has taken it upon himself to create a creed that represents the common philosophical beliefs of most Atheists. Please see this creed below. If you would like to see my own, personal creeds that I’ve created regarding my beliefs in God, I’ve created links at the bottom of this article. No matter your belief—here are my final thoughts. You are valued—you are loved—you were created on purpose, and for a purpose. May you seek and find Truth and may the Truth set you free. May Goodness be upon you and within you and may you live your life with Love and without regrets.

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The Atheist's Creed by Dr. Ravi Zacharias

Note***My intention for including this Creed is not to "poke fun" at the Atheist. Although I have not authored it, I felt it to be important to include it because it shows, even if in an exaggerated way, how the main arguments of Atheism seem quite contradictory when looked at as a whole.


“We believe in Marx, Freud, and Darwin. We believe that everything is ok, as long as you don’t hurt anyone, to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your definition of knowledge. We believe in sex before, during and after marriage, we believe in the therapy of sin. We believe that adultery is fun, we believe that sodomy is ok, we believe that taboo’s are taboo. We believe that everything is getting better despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence must be investigated and you can prove anything with evidence. We believe there is something in horoscopes, UFO’s and bent spoons. Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Muhammad and ourselves. We believe he was a good moral teacher although we think his good morals were really bad. We believe that all religions are basically the same, at least the one that we read was. They all believe in love and goodness, they only differ in matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.


We believe that after death comes nothing because when you ask the dead they say nothing. If death is not the end then there is heaven for all except maybe Hitler, Stalin, and Khan. We believe in Masters and Johnson, what is selected is average, and what is average is normal and what is normal is good. We believe in total disarmament, we believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed, and that the Americans should beat their guns into tractors and the Russians will be sure to follow. We believe that man is essentially good, it is only his behavior that lets him down. This is the fault of society, society is the fault of conditions, and conditions are the fault of society. If man does what is right for him, then reality will adapt accordingly. The universe will re-adjust, history will alter. We believe there is no absolute truth except that there is no absolute truth. We believe in the rejection of creeds and the flowering of individual thought.


If chance is the father of all flesh, then disaster is his rainbow in the sky. When in a state of emergency the sniper kills the child, the youth go looting, or bomb blasts rock the school, it is nothing more than the sound of man worshiping his maker.”

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To see my Creed on what I believe about God CLICK HERE

To see my Creed on what I believe about Jesus CLICK HERE

To see my Creed on what I believe about Holy Spirit CLICK HERE

To read about other reasons why some people believe in God CLICK HERE

To read a prayer I wrote that changed my life CLICK HERE

To read a prayer I wrote for the Agnostic CLICK HERE

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    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 4 years ago

      Hello seek-n-find.

      Impressive performance . The God works amazement by using your availability. This hub I've read some time ago when first introduced to the Hubs', reading now along with the comments: learning, learning- trying to understand ( ! ) . Some progres noticabe. Getting there ...

      You have my prayerful support.

      So far, voted up, very up and awesome.

      Blessings upon you , precious child of God.

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 4 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Most well reasoned atheists will very seldom ever revert back to feeling a need or desire for some god to support and expand the clear world view free from any super natural, man-made ideas they have liberated their mind from by putting gods, angels and all the other absurd religious concepts behind themselves.

      Why would a free thinking person ever want to regress to a mind space full of unreal religious pollution?

      As part of the process of finding this greater freedom from religion and super natural myths, comes the clear understanding of such divisions as natural laws, which require no involvement of human society, and criminal / civil laws, which do.

      Philosophy of morality, like all forms of philosophy and religion are quite obviously product of the human intellect shaped by existing social values of our times.

      When the pope said it was gods will and not his own to decide it was time to retire, it simply tells me this guy lives outside the realm of reality - like so many religious types as well who do not even know how to question where the division between reality and absurdity has to be drawn ... :)

    • Seek-n-Find profile image
      Author

      Jenna Ditsch 4 years ago from Illinois

      @cmccarty6687: I respect your answer. I certainly don't mean to imply that people who don't believe in God are incapable of good--the question I sought to explore was where does the concept or root of morality come from in the first place.

      I really ought to write a Hub about a friend of mine's experience--he moved from avid atheist, to agnostic--to avid believer but it had nothing to do with religion.

      I think often times it is religion itself that drives people away from God. People who claim to be religious and then turn and judge people, are insensitive, or unloving, may think they are acting in a "righteous way" but those are the very people that got Jesus so mad at, that he would very passionately rebuke them. The knew Scriptures and should have known better. Hypocrisy in the church drives many away.

      I went through many stages of questioning my faith. I became convinced mentally and philosophically but it wasn't until my heart was convinced (through experience with God, not people in the typical church) that I was truly convinced. Facts didn't change me. But Divine encounters did. :-)

      If I had to make a guess about you, I'd say religion and religious folks have tried to fit you into very narrow boxes bordered with "shoulds" and you don't fit in them! And guess what--that's a good thing. I would say that God made you very uniquely and doesn't want you to live out of a box or under the judgments or shoulds of others. My guess is that you have a very compassionate heart and are one who will stand up for what is right, even it it means you are odd man (or woman) out. These are the very characteristics I believe God delights in about you. :-) My sense, anyway.

      Thanks for reading! This Hub is probably by far the most "intellectual" in terms of logic, etc. I tend to go towards the philosophical/heart/experiential and practical side of things normally. Take Care!

    • cmccarty6687 profile image

      Cortney McCarty 4 years ago from Kentucky

      I do not identify as an atheist but more of the agnostic that you mentioned. I found this hub to be interesting and very well written. I feel myself that I just do not believe in a God not really for any of the reasons that people often use but just because I don't. I have tried to explore and visit with ideas and people and read the Bible and other publications and just don't have that faith and belief. Maybe some day I will, maybe I never will I truly don't know.

      For myself I like to think I have a good head on my shoulders and I can determine right from wrong and do so from a human perspective. I like to treat people with respect and I find it my human duty to help fellow humans in need. That to me is the right thing to do. I strive to impact others in a positive way and leave a positive impact on the world I live in. Do I base this positive impact on religion or God? No. I'm not saying that somewhere in my life I did not pick up notions from religious people or organizations that I think are good beliefs to have or not to have but that doesn't mean that it proves there is a God it just proves people in religion and out of religion have developed legitimate ideas about what is right and wrong. I have learned many ideas of good and right from non-believers as well and I don't think that makes them any less right or good.

      I just try to be able to look back on life and say I helped people whenever I could and I left a positive mark on this world however small it may be.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi again Seek-n-Find :)

      I understand the lack of time, so that's ok. I too have to sort out a reply, which I hope to do soon. :)

      I doubt that we will agree with each other, but it would be a boring world if everyone had the same opinion on everything :)

      I must just add, though, that my 'questions' weren't really questions, as such, but were responses to your numbered points, for your consideration.

      Also, though I consider nyself 'agnostic', this is with regard to whether a power may exist, which might be termed 'God'.

      As far as the God of the Old Testament is concerned, I do not believe in him, so I am an atheist, in that area, as you are probably an atheist with regard to Zeus and Apollo.

      I hope to get back to this interesting discussion in due course. :)

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

      hawkdad, I am not religious and have joy and peace in the LORD. He is awesome. am believer walking in the Lord. There is no man who can satisfy or is perfect except Jesus.

      God loves you and remember this.

    • Seek-n-Find profile image
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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Trish: Hello! Thanks for your comment. I am glad you are really thinking about what to believe...that's a good thing! I know I can not do justice to the questions you've posed at this time mostly because I'm mostly out of time! Things are quite busy right now--I hope to get back to you when things slow down a bit--but wanted to at least acknowledge and give a brief response.

      1. While agreed upon morals do change, there are certain things that in most places, most people tend to almost always still view as wrong. (i.e. my example of killing innocent children for no reason at all)

      2. Adage for a reason...even if moral laws evolved from societies...those are made up of people...then the question becomes "Where did the people derive these moral laws?" I believe it still leads back to the premise of my argument.

      3. The need for a moral law giver comes into play by account of logic and reason--it is part of the equation which without the rest falls apart.

      4. This question is irrelevant because it is not a premise based on "what if" but a logical deduction of "what is" based on asking the question "why do we..."

      * Defining God is good...that makes sense to do! There are reasons that defining God as "nature" does not work in a logical sense. Does a house design and build a house or does an architect and builder build a house? This brings us back to the "Big Bang" Theory...no matter what is said...the question that matters most is...can something come from nothing? This is the origin problem of this theory.

      * Dictionaries were written by people...our feelings are sometimes right and sometimes wrong...it almost always feels good to eat cookies...but it's not actually good for me no matter how good it feels. This is not a clear standard of right/wrong, but rather an indicator of how we feel in response to something.

      * Learned behavior does play a role, but there are many who act in opposition to what they have been taught and where did not learned behavior originate? Why are there similarities that exist across the board even when learned behavior is different?

      * The OT is one of the most misunderstood books of all time. I will have to get back to you on this...there is not a short explanation I can give! There is an answer to the concern you've raised. Also, Jesus is the best representation of who God is. The Bible has to be understood as a whole, not just read in pieces. One must understand concepts of the original language in which it was written, the culture, the context, and see the big picture of what was going on and why. We can come back to this!

      * Sin means "missing the mark." God is holy and perfection--there is no sin in Him. If we have sinned even once, that is not perfection--we are marred by sin. Even "good" people sin. We are born having already broken the moral law in a judicial sense since we are born with a corrupted nature (originally designed good--marred by sin--but restored by Jesus).

      * Yes, God gave His son to save us. The Bible is one indicator--it makes it very clear throughout. The prophecies that Jesus fulfilled are just about statistically impossible--but the did. I also know because I've experienced relationship with Him. My life has been totally transformed--and it is directly because of Him. I've sought knowledge, looked at logic/philosophy, studied science, religions, etc. and I see the best evidence pointing towards a Creator and Jesus being who He said He was. My mind was made up but I didn't truly believe until my heart believed--and it was encounter with God and a transformed life that taught my skeptical heart that God is really real, that He is personal, and He's not the mean, distant God that many showed me while growing up.

      * Yes, all manners of people can hold morals...same question remains...where did they get this from? God created all...believers and nonbelievers alike..His laws are in effect for all.

      Sorry I could not spend more time!!! Your questions deserve good answers. I hope this is at least a start.

      :-) Thanks

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      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi again :)

      OK, I've now read the article ~ very interesting food for thought ~ but not the comments.

      Here is my response, thus far:

      1. There may appear to be an Objective (Absolute) Moral Law, because each society tends to agree upon what is best for it, but at different times and / or in different places, the moral absolutes may change ~ quite a lot.

      2. Does every law really have a law-giver, or is that just an adage? Perhaps laws evolve out of their societies.

      3. Where is the need for an Objective (Absolute) Law Giver. Maybe laws (which seem to represent human morality) are just agreed within individual states / nations?

      4. Why does God have to come into the matter? If Believers suddenly discovered that there was no God, after all, would they all start abusing babies and murdering people? Of course not!

      Sorry, but I don't really see the teenage girl metaphor as explaining anything, except that societies need to co-operate to survive. That is related to social evolution, not to God.

      The only thing that I will say is that humans do, indeed, feel guilt, which is an unusual emotion, so it could, just possibly, relate to something 'beyond'. Or it may not.

      If we are going to suggest that maybe God really is behind morality, then what are we defining as 'God', because it is difficult to continue a discussion, where we don't have all of the definitions. Could we not define 'God' as 'Nature'?

      Maybe 'The problem of evil cannot be solved by stating that God does not exist', but it cannot be solved by saying that he does, either. I think that a dictionary and our own feelings of well-being can tell us what is good and what is not so good. One may say that 'If there is no transcendent moral law giver, then there is no absolute moral law', but what difference does that make? Saying it; believing it, makes no difference to anything.

      As humans, we are not happy when we are in pain, or when those we care about are in pain. If we hurt others, then we are likely to be hurt in return. If we smile at others, instead, then we are likely to receive a smile. Learned behaviour that results in a largely benevolent society.

      As for the Bible, if it is the God in there, whom we are supposed to consider the Absolute Moral Lawgiver, then that makes no sense at all, since, within the Bible, he is shown to support genocide, cruelty, unfairness, slavery, rape, murder, torture, child abuse, land theft, eternal suffering, etc. etc. So, if we accept that all of those crimes are wrong, then we cannot be getting our morality from that (version of ) God.

      Sin?

      Are we to die in what sin?

      You have noted that most of us are mostly moral ~ helped out by our consciences. What moral laws are we breaking?

      Did God give his son to save us? ~ How do you know? This item talks about proving aspects of God and morality, but there is no proof that God gave us morality, or that Jesus died for us. If Jesus existed, and was crucified, then it was probably for insurrection. According to the New Testament, that was a crime of which he was guilty.

      It is true that 'It is not as complex as it seems', but the choice is to have one opinion about morality or another. It is not 'Agree with God, or agree with those who oppose God'. Of course 'to choose to be an “Atheist” is not a neutral choice'; it is a very definite choice ~ if 'choice' it is ~ but it's not so much 'against God' as seeing absolutely no reason to believe in a god. Do you believe in Odin and Thor; or Apollo, or Zeus, or Neptune? That is atheism, too. What's the difference?

      Note, too, that Atheists are usually very moral people.

      I am agnostic, by the way. :)

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 5 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      I just found this item, via another hub, and would like to do it justice, by reading it ~ and the comments ~ thoroughly, before commenting.

      I will just say, though, that, at first glance, it looks rather like the philosophy of Turek ~ and I have written a hub countering his arguments, which you may find interesting.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mitch Allen: Thank you for your comment--I appreciate it! I look forward to reading what you've written on the topic. Best to you!!!

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      Mitch Alan 5 years ago from South Jersey

      Great hub...very C.S. Lewis like...

      My question to those that argue that there is no motal absolute, no universal law, why is murder inherently WRONG, not merely illegal.

      I've written on the subject is a short hub here

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Can-Murde...

      It is shorter and not nearly as comprehensive as this hub,but I think it adds to the discussion.

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Yes, I was hoping you had a desire to grow and learn intellectually so you could grasp the limitations you have created for yourself with your god delusion ... it's too bad I have to see, you are not at all open to reason.

      So all I can say to you, dream on good lady, it's your own mental and emotional limitations which keep you from knowing that gods are creations of 1/2 wits with no true knowledge and little interest in learning all there is to know what nature really is and how things work in the real world!

      No gods will do the thinking for you ... you have to start learning on your own how to grasp reality and get your head around the fact that all religions are man made and all gods are pure figments of human imagination.

      Quoting passages from your favorite story book will keep you as blind as long as you can stand it ... to brake free from it, takes a bit more than false hope in a god who never was and never will be.

      Seriously, what's stopping you from becoming a realist who knows your brain can be used to learn and apply it creatively before you lose your mind totally to religious myth and obvious absurdity?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZw3lxyuhEU

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto:

      Here's an issue as to why you perceive as you do: philosophy first, and science second.

      Greg explains this better than I would so instead of trying to summarize what he's already said, I'll just copy it below for you to read. This is the problem we are having:

      Following the Evidence

      By: Gregory Koukl

      Can the argument really be made that the Christian view is less biased than your average scientist's or historian's?

      How open are you or what is it that compels you to make particular decisions about your beliefs? Two or three weeks ago I talked about a book I was reading called The Moral Animal by Robert Wright, and he made the case that morality is a result of the process of evolution. I think he's wrong.

      The author makes the point that the world does seem designed. This is why he feels comfortable using design and function language to describe the process of naturalistic evolution. If a thing has a function, it was meant to accomplish a particular end; and if it's meant for or designed for something, there is an intent of how it is to be used, or an intent involved in what it is to accomplish. Intent is a function of mind. You can't have design without intent, and you can't have intent without mind. That seems to suggest that every time you use design language to describe the universe, you're really talking about a mind behind the universe. Many people call that Mother Nature, which is no mind at all, but just accident and natural selection.

      This is what Robert Wright believes. My question is, if the universe looks designed, why do we opt for a naturalistic, non- intentional explanation for the so-called design features, rather than saying that somebody, someone, designed it? He essentially admits that a design explanation is as adequate in itself to explain the features we find in the natural universe, as is natural selection. I don't think it's a toss-up, though. I don't think natural selection is really capable of explaining the universe as we find it. But even if I were to grant that, or say, "Yes, natural selection can explain this, and supernatural design can explain it. We have two empirically equivalent explanations for the same effect--when I say "empirically equivalent," I mean the evidence equally justifies either one.

      What's being done here is philosophy first, and science second.

      The question is, why must we opt for natural selection? The answer is that in the minds of Robert Wright and many others who hold this view, design is simply not an option. He makes this point in his book, "What other options are there?" He argues like so many others, Here we are, so we must have evolved, which shows that they don't even consider the option that God might have created as a viable one. The question is why? Is it the case that there is no evidence whatsoever for the existence of God, and it's just a ridiculous presumption, a function of wishful thinking of religious people? That it's just a mere invention, and since it's only an invention and we have no reason to believe it at all, we are stuck with the natural order of things? No, that isn't the case at all.

      What's being done here is philosophy first, and science second. This is very important because wasn't this what we were just talking about with the Jesus Seminar? You read in the papers, "The Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," or the miracles in the Bible, or the sayings of Jesus, and there is no evidence. It's just not there. Or conversely, they will say, "New Evidence Proves the Stories are Fiction." Of course, they're not talking about real evidence at all, and what they offer is not new at all; it's the same old thing. When we look at the details of why the scholars would believe this, not just what one believes, then we see a different situation. We see philosophy done first before history is even attempted.

      A lot of these discussions--the scientific discussion I just mentioned, the historical discussion we talked about last hour-- are preceded by a prior discussion that is not scientific or historical at all, it's philosophical. The difference between a J.P. Moreland, or a Greg Koukl, or any other informed Christian arguing the case is not that we are biased so we must conclude what we do, but it's that our philosophy broadens the possibilities of things we might consider, depending on where the evidence leads us.

      I'm a Christian, I am open to either a naturalistic explanation or a supernatural explanation. Both are possible in my world view. I can follow the evidence where it leads me. That's the case whether we're talking about cosmology or the historicity of the Gospels. I can follow where the evidence leads me. Someone who has removed the possibility of God acting in a certain way prior to examining the physical evidence has started out with the idea that God is not involved and there are no miracles, whether applying to science and cosmology or to the historicity of the Gospels.

      If you start out there, guess what you'll never be able to find, even if the evidence shows it? You will never be able to find a miracle. Why? Because before you've started you have arbitrarily excluded that from the possibilities and , I might say, without proper justification. You see, bias on a Christian side (meaning that he has a point of view) doesn't inform the conclusions in the same way that these biases inform the conclusion in the case of a Marcus Borg on the Bible or Robert Wright on the issue of evolution. They must come up with a conclusion that leaves God out of the picture because their philosophy demands such a thing. I don't have to come up with that conclusion. I can follow the evidence where it leads me, and that's the most critical distinction.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto: We may just have to agree to disagree here. My position is firm that you are making very bold claims with insufficient evidence. Just because you feel absolute and strong about it, doesn't make it so. I can see that my claims are triggering anger in you. Might I ask why this is the case? Thanks!

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      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      You keep missing the central point!

      The whole natural world DOES exist with out demonstrating any requirements ever for any gods.

      Nature provides support for all kinds of life on planet earth. Humans are just one form of life among many who can and DO exist without requiring some god.

      If aunts, bees, birds and fish exist right next to use humans, and nature is our common origin and basis of support, why the hell do you want to inflict this crazy demand on nature to require your silly idea of a god when it demonstrates constantly the remarkable ability to function so well on its own without such an absurd religious invention as that god of yours - even though you are sure to survive and flourish quite well with out this illogical mental crutch?

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto:

      I am serious sir, yes I am! Yes, I cannot exist without what is provided in nature—everything that I need to survive is just right. The earth is not too close to the sun nor too far. We have just the right amount of elements, gravity, the tilt of the earth’s axis, etc. It’s quite amazing that such a habitable zone even exists. All of this is just the way God created it to be. What is that “dark matter” that holds all things together? That mysterious, invisible energy that sustains life? Interesting how when scientists explain the characteristics of this “dark matter” that it sounds just like how the Bible describes God as being. It’s interesting how Quantum Physics sounds just like how the Spirit realm works. It’s interesting how all of this was in the Bible before we “discovered” such grand mysteries of the universe through science. Look at the collective information that is out there—it overwhelmingly proves the existence of a creator. Many of the brightest minds in Science and those who study astronomy come to believe that there is “something” that exists beyond ourselves. I believe you have failed to look at the many brilliant scientists, philosophers, historians, etc. that believe in the existence of God and are far from being “delusional.”

      In regards to your example of digesting my food, I’m thankful that God thought of the perfect way for me to digest my food. Your description of nature being awesome is indeed true. The glory of God’s creation is quite incredible—just imagine how incredible the God is that designed this all! You state facts about nature, many of which are true, but still you've not provided good evidence about the origins of nature. These grand theories overlook the most important part of an argument—the foundation. They crumble upon themselves. I still see no intellectual, compelling evidence for origin.

      I agree with part of your statement in regards to God making “no sense.” His ways are higher than our ways and it is absolutely true that an infinite, supreme being cannot be fully grasped.by the finite mind. Nature is grand, indeed, and the most grand part of nature is the human being. What a divine mystery! What a complex and beautiful creation.

      Even if all the parts of evolution were true (and I believe some parts are true), there’s no reason why God could not have created such a process. It’s not that I want “more” evidence necessarily—it’s that I want compelling evidence.

      Regarding Dawkins and others, this is not a new argument. To begin with, let’s clarify how things are made. If you are a cook, you are not making something new in the sense of making a whole material object ex nihilo. You are taking various ingredients and putting them together and the result is a food. A builder takes various ingredients and puts them together and makes a house. An artist takes various ingredients and makes a painting.

      All of these can be considered creations. In evolutionary thought, this is the kind of creation that would be taking place. New matter is not being created. Matter is just being put together in new ways. The other way to make something would be an ex nihilo type creation. This is the kind of creation that is typically ascribed to the God of Christianity, in that He created the world out of nothing. In what sense is it meant to ask, “Who created God"? It would seem that Dawkins would want to go with the former. However, can this really apply to God? No. God is not described in Christian theology as a material being, meaning there are not material origins of God.

      So in what sense can God be said to have been made? Is God made the latter way, ex nihilo out of nothing? Of course, if we go this route then the question simply gets pushed back further. “Well who made that god?" When the baker bakes the cake, the cake did not exist as a cake before. When the builder builds a house, the house did not exist as a house before. When the artist paints a painting, the painting did not exist as a painting before. The only exception is that these existed as ideas in the minds of their creators.

      The same can be said to ex nihilo creation. If the universe is created ex nihilo, then that means there was a time when the universe did not exist, and then it was brought into existence. With each of these points, we are considering existence to be an attribute. When something is made its existence is, what we would say, actualized. It is made a reality.

      So what is God’s relation to existence? God alone has it as the case that His form IS existence. What it means to be is found in God. There cannot be any differences in nature when your nature is only one thing, existence. God’s nature is existence, but existence is not God’s nature. Other things that exist do so by the will of God contingently. Even if something existed eternally, it would still be dependent on God in the sense that its existence is not its own. There are different ways things can be, and nothing is the same way God is.

      The question then of “Who made God?” is like asking “What made existence?” If it was an existent thing, we have a contradiction as that which existed, existed, and then made existence. If it was a non-existent thing, we also have a huge problem because that which is not cannot do anything.

      An eternal universe is not its own existence. Neither is a multiverse. Evolution talks about the ways existence can change. It cannot explain existence itself. This is the fundamental question to be answered. How do you explain existence itself?

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      You can't be serious!

      Some god created nature but nature being supreme is a manmade religion? Where is your sense of reality?

      If you are not clear in your own mind and absolutly sure of the fact that you are a product of nature, unable to exist for another day without nature as your bases of support in all you require to stay alive, which reality do you live in?

      One can obviously live without thinking of a god, wanting to be loved by one, and all the other absurd, god delusional ideas about a "DEVINE" god as the creator of nature - that's a fact!

      You can't even digest your food without the help of natural processes which gave you the ability to host a variety of bacteria inside of you to get through another day - another fact!

      That's how evident it is to most people with some degree of knowledge, understanding of science and reason that gods are a product of fiction - but life on earth is a purly natural product perfectly well suited for us to exist without any gods of any kind - forget totally about a cultist christian god and all the religious myths as well!

      Gods make no sense, never have and never will!

      What more evidence do you want that no life can exist on planet earth were it not for our naturally evolved - not god created - environment!

      What do you really know about nature? What are your qualifications and/or areas of study of science to ever reach an understanding of nature which would point to a god like "BEING" capable of "CREATING" nature?

      What a total absurdity!

      Sure, you can say anything you wish ... but why don't you listen to the conversation the Cosmologist, Lawrence Krauss had with Richard Dawkins at the Arizona State University, so we can talk about substantive issues here.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U&fea...

      The Origins Project talks exactly about your question of "Something from Nothing" without any gods - two hours of highly informative insights ... and makes it very clear, to invoke and give credit to gods, is not at all reasonable before we grasp the fact "Nothing" does NOT exist in the cosmological context!

      Change is continuous, but we are far from undestanding all forms of change possible in nature ... listen to the part where Dr. Krauss talks about how the Big Bang may have come about with out any gods @ 0:37:00

      Empty space has energy because "Nothing" is unstable!

      Before you can be so sure about your god, let's see how sure you can possibly be about nature demanding a creator to start genetics - unlike your TV or PC, etc. which are not alive and have been obviously designed by humans during the recent period of technological development.

      You claim to know so much about your god who created nature, but do you know enough about natures requirents to demand the existance of a god without even understanding the anthropic principle?

      Again, check @ 0:46:00 where they show that deistic gods were NOT required as creators and again in a reply to a question @ 1:50:20

      There simply is no factual basis for any gods, especially some sort of christian deity!

      Your god delusion is firmer in place than I thought, and since you seem to like it that way, what else would you suggest we try to restore a greater sense of sanity and rationality into your life?

      Good luck,

      Franto in Toronto

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto: You are welcome—yes, it is good discussion. It is ironic how you view my views as absurd and I view yours the same! Let’s be honest about this first: each person comes from an angle of having presuppositions about a particular topic. If you have your mind totally made up that to believe in God is absurd, then you will filter any evidence, whether good evidence or bad evidence, through that filter. It is hard to take off one’s filter and to be truly, truly objective. The reason I think that I’m objective is because I’ve studied this from multiple angles before coming to a conclusion. I didn’t blindly accept “God as real” and believe everything I ever heard. I am a deep thinker—a person who likes to research, understand, analyze, and am a passionate seeker of truth. I didn’t start with the conclusion saying, “God must exist therefore let me find evidence to prove this is the case.” I started with the premise that “If I really study all of the evidence and search for truth, I will find truth.” It is BECAUSE of intellect, logic, evidence, and the objective search for truth and reality that I believe in God.

      I must stop right here and make a distinction between “God” and “Religion.” Many use these two terms interchangeably, but to me, they can be quite opposites. Religion DOES fit your definition of being made up by man for his own intents and purposes. God, on the other hand, is not religion. Religion is a manmade system of beliefs—many of them false. God is not a belief—God is a being. Religion often brings manipulation, control, brainwashing, and damage. God brings freedom, choice, wisdom, and revelation. Where religion seeks to conform people into a mold and expects them to blindly trust, God seeks to free people to be the unique individual they were created to be and gives this a record of faithfulness so that their trust does not need to be blind.

      Where we are at in impasse is that where you believe that I believe in an illusion, I would say you are blinded by an illusion. For one to search all of the evidence that nature has to offer for the existence of a Divine Creator and to say “the evidence is not there” is exactly what I must call an illusion.

      The concept of “God” got into my head through what I was taught and heard from others—but the REALITY of the real God got into my heart through what I’ve personally experienced in relationship with Him.

      You say there is no evidence for nature being created by God—I beg to differ. I could say that you have no evidence to conclude that it WASN’T created by God. You could give me all of the evidence and facts for how nature has created its various components, and I could say, “And God created nature—God created that process.” Let’s use simple logic for a moment. Is nature not simply amazing? Does it not have a breathtaking design to it? Would you think I was absurd if I told you that nobody created this laptop that I’m writing on right now. Would you say its logical if I told you that my laptop has everything it needs to have created itself and you can’t prove to me that it has a designer? Yet why is nature, something that is so much more complex, allowed to exist without a designer? I could give a million examples and you would agree with all of them except when it comes to the same logic that applies to the existence of God, you would say that is illogical. Either a way of thinking and the law of causality is true or it is not true. It cannot be true for all things except for God. That “lack of logic” is not really a lack of logic—it is a lack of you wanting to believe. You see only the “evidence” that you want to see. Perhaps experiences such as your experience with your Aunt have also assisted in your coming to the conclusions that you now state are “true.” It may be true that you believe such things, but you cannot prove that these things you state are objectively true. You cannot prove that what I believe is objectively not true. I would say that any evidence you give me in terms of science and logic and reason is the very same evidence that proves the existence of God. How can two look at the same evidence and come to two totally different conclusions? That is a good question, my friend. I do not believe as I do because I am ignorant—quite the contrary. I’ve attacked this topic from every angle. Unfortunately, many self-professed Christians cannot say the same. Many stand for and represent a “God” that is not really the true God. If people got a glimpse of what God is really like, they would stop hating Him and fall to their knees in worship because of how amazingly good and awesome He is.

      Let’s get to the bottom line. Where did nature, in all her glory (she represents the glory of God) first come from? Can you tell me it is logical to believe that nature—or matter—or creation—came from nothing? That nothing just existed and then BOOM—something began to exist? Or would you tell me that the environment was just right with the right gasses, etc. for life to spark? Where did that environment come from? Did it just come from nothing? It is more absurd to believe that something came from nothing at all than to believe that there exists a supernatural being that is outside of time and space that created the first spec of whatever was first created.

      You ask me what I can’t see the truth in reality which shows “no evidence” of nature depending on God—I can’t see the truth in that reality because it is neither true nor reality—that is why I can’t see it.

      Why can’t I let nature be supreme? Because it is not. God created the heavens, the heavens did not create God. God is supreme. Why do you believe nature is supreme? What evidence do you have to support such a notion? You cannot say that “God does not exist” therefore you don’t have to provide evidence. Your statement of God not existing is a statement, not a proven reality. You have made plenty of assumptions and statements of belief, but where is your evidence? Just as you demand evidence for my claims, you too, need to provide evidence that supports your claims. I’ve heard claims and ideas and theories from you—not evidence.

      You say I have wishful emotions that projects my own desires for what I want reality to be upon my stated beliefs. I say the same about you. You don’t want there to be a God, it seems, and you project your own desires for what you want reality to be onto these pages.

      I agree that religious ideas are absurd. And your manmade religion that essentially declares, “Nature is supreme” is, in fact, an absurd, manmade religion.

      You ask me if I’ve ever questioned the division between what is rational and what is irrational and my answer is yes—I’ve done this all my life. Do you do the same? I don’t require the existence of God—I admit to the existence of God because of the overwhelming evidence I’ve seen, learned, and experienced that leaves me unable to make any other conclusion than the existence of God. As sure as you feel that there is no God, I believe and know there is.

      I’ve studied the natural sciences. I’ve studied quantum physics. I’ve studied philosophy. I’ve studied religion. I’ve studied nature. I’ve studied humanity. I’ve studied God. I’ve studied literature. I’ve studied these things and more and this is precisely the reason that I believe as I do.

      Thank you for the engaging dialogue, sir!

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      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for your reply.

      I'm pleased we are able to share all these insights in an open and honest way for anyone to read up and take part in ... what interests me a lot about your views of reality and objectivity is the border line between rationality and absurdity.

      How can you see truth in a non-existing illusion? You said that you can see that religion is a product of the human mind, but your idea of god is not. How is that possible? How did this god thing get into your head?

      You really think some god created nature? Why can't you see the truth in reality which shows no evidence of any part of nature ever depending on a god which humans made up in their confused minds by not taking nature very seriously in all she represents, including the ultimate resource and support of not only all forms of life but the entire cosmic reality in this universe and beyond.

      Why can't you let nature be supreme by putting these man made gods back into the story book where they belong and see the truth in reality as a rational point of view instead of projecting wishful emotions onto things so you can include such absurd religious ideas in your version of reality which can't possibly be what you imagine them to be ...

      Do you never question if your division between what is rational and what is not is even close to how reality works and the obvious conflicts which exist between an objective understanding and your wishful projections which are far from it?

      How can you possibly suggest some god having created nature to be anywhere near to being the truth of how nature unfolds before us? Why would you require your idea of some kind of god before you take nature a lot more seriously as being the foundation to an objective reality?

      Why not study natural sciences first ... in much greater depth before looking for some gods to have to come along and create nature?

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      Yes I have free will, but people of faith could not...we have went over all this. I will never believe in this nonsense because I know it's just that....nonsense.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto: The benefits are many...eternal life is one. Supernatural peace is another. Freedom, blessing, love, acceptance, provision, meaning, purpose--are more. A relationship with God--the benefit is indescribable. I can't use words to explain what it's like to experience the love God that God loves me with. It is tangible and real. I've offered what I can offer through this forum by way of a sampling of some logic, some philosophy, some scientific evidence, some testimony from others and myself, but it appears you don't believe any of it. Can I ask, why are you so interested in trying to figure out why I believe what I believe? Is there anything at all that would convince you otherwise? Do you feel compelled to enlighten me? I'm just curious about the reason behind your passion to disprove God's existence. Thanks for your time!

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      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the links but Ravi Zacharias is a hopeless story teller with no solid basis in reality!

      Gods were never killed because gods never existed in the real world to start with ...

      Bertrand Russell, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and many others, make the point very clear ... the moral law GIVER is a human creation, just like all the ideas of any gods.

      Marx, Freud and Darvin were much greater thinkers than Ravi the story teller will ever be!

      Yes, I do objectively examin evidence that is presented with great care and the overwhelming evidence that no gods can exist follows from the fact that nature has never, ever demonstrated that non-causal events or miraculous things have ever happened or ever will ...

      If miraculous events were possible, anything would be possible and scientific thoughts, experiments and tests would have lost all value.

      If gods ever existed and miracles were possible, the rational world would be at its end and an absurd reality would dominate us ... which is exactly the kind of reality religious god delusion has created in the minds of people - like you - who can't even grasp the absurdity of their god and all the faulty arguments story tellers like Ravi try to present, but, in the process, only explain their limited ability to present a solid reason for their religious views.

      W. Lane Craig uses good reasoning but his arguments for some god to exist is as faulty as all the Intelligent Design and Creationist arguments because these people don't even credit natural factors with enough power or abilities to be credible ... but his presentation is a lot better than all the silly stories Ravi is telling!

      The fact remains, religiosity is not present in nature, gods have virtually no likelyhood of existing in the real world ... and are only a major mind polluting factor of our times!

      My question: "What benefit do you think to gain from this mental pollutant in your head?"

      Franto in Toronto

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: it's not a matter of "need" if is a matter of design. Free will, my friend. The foundation that we disagree upon makes all the difference!

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      Seek-n-find

      I have already found truth, it's that god is just pretend. If your god was so powerful he would not need me to do anything. Like I said your god is impident...

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ f_hruz: and one more video that gives argument/evidence for God from one of the brightest academic thinkers...here's more logic for you!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHCisnAVrWQ&fea...

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ f_hruz: If you are looking for intellectual arguments from people who have a firm grasp on what is rational and logical then check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EP4JsaLH6Q&fea...

      I posted the testimony videos before because I figured that for you to have come to the conclusion you believe, you must have already researched the facts/logic. I've posted this all before--but here's the first in a series that might be a better fit for what you are looking for right now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EP4JsaLH6Q&fea...

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ F-hruz: Here is an argument instead of a video:

      A logical argument against, "I don't see any convincing evidence for the existence of God."

      That does not mean there is no God.

      Since you cannot know all evidence, it is possible that evidence exists that proves God's existence, or at least supports His existence.

      Therefore, it is possible that God exists.

      If it is possible, then faith has its place.

      If it is possible that God exists, then you should be an agnostic (an agnostic holds that God may exist but no proof can be had for His existence.)

      It is possible that there is no evidence at all for God.

      But this cannot be stated absolutely, since all evidence would need to be known to show there is no evidence.

      Therefore, since all evidence cannot be known by any one person, it is possible that evidence exists that supports theism.

      Then what kind of evidence would be acceptable?

      If you have not decided what evidence would be sufficient and reasonable, then you cannot state there is no evidence for God.

      If you have decided what evidence is sufficient, what is it?

      Does Christianity fit within that criteria?

      If not, why not?

      Is it possible that your criteria for evidence is not reasonable?

      Does your criteria put a requirement upon God (if He exists) that is not realistic? For example:

      Do you want Him to appear before you in blazing glory?

      Even if that did happen, would you believe He existed; or would you consider it a hallucination of some sort, or a trick played on you?

      How would you know?

      Does your criteria put a requirement on logic that is not realistic?

      Do you want Him to make square circles or some other self-contradictory phenomena, or make a rock so big He cannot pick it up?

      If God exists, the laws of logic would be a product of his nature since he is absolute, transcendent, and truth (logical absolutes are conceptual, absolute, and transcendent which reflect a logical, absolute, and transcendent mind). He did not create the laws of logic. We simply recognize them because God exists. Therefore, God cannot violate those laws because He would violate His own nature -- which He cannot do.

      Are you objectively examining evidence that is presented?

      Granted, objectivity is difficult for all people, but are you being as objective as you can?

      But, do you have a presupposition that God does not exist or that the miraculous cannot occur?

      If so, then you cannot objectively examine the evidence.

      Therefore, the presuppositions you hold regarding the miraculous may prevent you from recognizing evidence for God's existence.

      If so, then God becomes unknowable to you, and you have forced yourself into an atheistic/agnostic position.

      Do you define the miraculous out of existence?

      If so, on what basis do you do this?

      If you assume that science can explain all phenomena, then there can be no miraculous evidence ever submitted as proof.

      If you made that assumption, it is, after all, only an assumption.

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Your last two videos are fabrications of peoples imagination ... how can you possibly build any rational understanding or an intelligent world view on these fictitious illusions?

      What's wrong with your mind? Why are you doing these distortions of reality to yourself?

      Did you take a look at the videos I left for you? Please post some intelligent comments instead of raising non-issues with imaginary dream stories!

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: Have you ever heard of Howard Storm? He used to think the same. If you genuinely seek you will find. It is truly up to you. Thanks for the update, though. I will continue to pray and I hope you shall truly be open to seeking truth. I bless you with joy, peace, wisdom, revelation, understanding, truth, and goodness.

      P.S. Here is a link of Howard telling his story if you've not heard it before...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLimoqZUWgw&fea...

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      Still no sign of gods....your god is impident...

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      All of the rational, intellectual, well-educated, mentally healthy and emotionally balanced people I know have no use for any gods or I wouldn't consider them rational.

      Your link is to a video delusional types use to justify their mental condition.

      Now take a look at the following videos and try to weigh the difference in substance and quality:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcO4TnrskE0&fea...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUe0_4rdj0U&fea...

      Next, please review these two hubs written by a person who managed to cure himself from god delusion:

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Misconcep...

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Pascals-W...

      Franto in Toronto

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto: Watch this and tell me what you think...watch the whole thing so you can see all the different pieces of evidence...it is evidence of life after death. I'd love to hear your response! :-)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEw8nE1U77w&fea...

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto: Thanks for sharing. Have you ever had interactions with people who were rational, intellectual, well-educated, healthy, balanced, realistic, successful, kind, and happy, who have still believe in God despite their apparent "delusion issue"?

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for asking about my background how I can know so well in my own mind that gods are fictitious creations of and for people with a warped belief system.

      I had a religious aunt, who my dad discussed religion with at times. Her limited science background and my own fathers reasoned questions made it quite clear to me that nature knew no gods, had no use for them even though some humans had created cults, myths and a long tradition of turning deities into idols instead of focusing their intellectual capacity towards the study of nature using critical observation and scientific thought.

      Much research has been conducted now which points out how damaging irrationality can be over the long run and why god delusion is such a soci-cultural ill of our time.

      That's why I would like to start a serious of therapeutic hubs to show some individuals on here what they can do to advance from the confines of their delusion into a mental and emotional space free from such retarding factors imposed by imaginary gods with magic powers to create false hope and wishful, instead of healthy and realistic expectations in peoples lives based on a solid grasp of reality free of any absurd religious myths.

      Your symptoms are clearly delusional but if you wish to face the facts, your condition can be addressed with good chances of success ... so you may not have to remain delusional for the rest of your life.

      Best wishes,

      Franto in Toronto

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto: Why thank you so much for your concern--it is appreciated! However I must say that your concern is for naught, for those ideals you wish for me are already a part of my life. What is your background/experience with God? How did you come to believe as you do? Thanks! :-)

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Dear Seek-n-Find, many thanks for your reply!

      By going through your list of 'reasons' for wanting to see, hear and experience a non-existing, man made mythological construct which defies all reason, logic and objective, critical analysis, it is clear to me that you have created a self inflicted mental condition for yourself which is referred to as god delusion in the rational world.

      Your attachment to an unreal thing you call god, speaks very clearly to an emotional dependency which quite obviously distorts your sense of reality to a large part as it forms the basis to your god delusion.

      I'm not sure what it would take to help you regain enough sense of reality for you to even start to understand the value of a clear view of reality and a better grasp of the mental and emotional disability this god delusion has created for you.

      One thing I am sure of, you can be helped only if you replace your delusion with a clear focus on intellectual and emotional self development free from any myths of gods and religion ... the resulting personal growth which may help you over come this mentally limiting delusion, will be well worth it ... there are a number of very good examples right here on HubPages.

      If you like to take a closer look at some, I'd be pleased to assist you further.

      Best wishes and kind regards,

      Franto in Toronto

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Franto:

      Yes, this Atheist's Creed by Zacharias is one perspective, though it is not a random gathering of ideas. He gathered these ideas from Atheists based off the reasoning and ideas that they've given to him in debates, etc. He is simply bringing them together for the purpose of showing how looking at them as a whole makes no sense. Of course this does not describe all Atheists, but it does represent a representative sample. The point is not to pin one's belief on another but to make a point about the substance of these real claims made by many.

      The "God delusion" as you call it has existed for as long as man has existed. The first story goes back to the first humans. The development of various religions, however, has been a process that has taken place throughout history, as well. Stories and religion and history and beliefs not all the same thing.

      I disagree with the statement that says there are no signs of nature needing a God. Go back to the beginning. What existed before matter was created? How was matter created? Did matter come from matter?

      The roots of my belief in God are many. No matter which angle I look at it, I see God. History shows the existence of God. Archaeology supports the history. Logic shows the existence of God. Nature shows the existence of a Creator. Science points to a Creator. Math points to an ordered universe. Beauty points towards a Divine Love. My own life which was at one point horrific and I'm now transformed was due to encounter with a real, living God. Wishful thinking would never have saved my life. Delusion was not the solution, it was the problem and it took reality, God, to bring hope and restoration and healing and newness to my life. I sense God's presence, I hear His voice, I experience His love and grace and mercy, I receive the favor of His blessings, I am transformed by His love, I see sick people healed, including myself, I see depressed and suicidal people set free, I see broken marriages restored, I see angry people find peace, I see hateful children return to loving parents, I see answers to prayers...shall I go on? The only thing that would be delusional would be for me to ignore the fact that overwhelming evidence for God permeates every part of my life and existence. For me to stand in the middle of the ocean and say, "There is no ocean" would be the highest level of delusion. I am not delusional sir. :-)

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @wba108: Thank you! I appreciate your comment. I often find that the very methods that give evidence for the point I'm trying to prove are those used by others who oppose what I'm saying, yet they are using the very same logic to prove their point as they state that the logic I'm using is not valid. Interesting conversations those are. :-)

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      wba108@yahoo.com 5 years ago from upstate, NY

      Beautiful presentation of this issue on this fine Hub!

      "But how can there be the problem of evil if there is no evil? The problem of evil cannot be solved by stating that God does not exist."

      I love this statement of yours, if you say that evil doesn't really exist how can you say anything is evil?

      When someone says that your judging them, thier judging you for judging them! Or, if humans are the source of moral law whose to say Martin Luther King is any better than Hitler, you must have an unchangable standard from which to judge!

    • f_hruz profile image

      f_hruz 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      This Atheist's Creed by Zacharias is only his idea. Why do you want to pin his point of view onto every other rational being?

      God delusion only exists since humans created stories about gods and developed various religions.

      There are still no signs at all anywhere that natural processes require the existence of some deities of any kind ... so, honestly, what's the root of your own god delusion and your faith in the super natural?

      It is simply silly to many of these points seriously, don't you think?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eEfQ8pPMj4&fea...

      Franto in Toronto

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Civil War Bob: Thank you! I guess I felt like the topic needed a building argument that explained piece by piece how the layers fit together. I have to work hard to be concise--I'm such a big picture person--I hate writing on one piece of a topic for fear that a person will think I'm trying to tackle the whole topic. At the very least, I try to make it clear that I am focusing on one tiny aspect of a much larger, complex whole. Blessings to you!

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      Civil War Bob 5 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Well written Hub, if lengthy...voted up, useful, interesting. Thanks for including Ravi's Atheist Creed. Keep steadfast in your walk! (1 Cor. 15:58)

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      AKA Winston 5 years ago

      (See there is absolute zero temperature. It is absence of any temperature. Rest is derivative of zero temperature. There is absolute darkness. It means absence of light)

      Vladimir,

      Nice try but a miss. Temperature is a scaler - there is no such thing to nature as "absolute zero" - nature doesn't give a rat's hiney what temperature you think it is.

      Next, one cannot define by using a negatition. Saying dark is the negation of light does not explain what darkness is - it is a statement about the relationship an obsever has to light/no light.

      That means it is an abstract concept. In other words, it is all in your head - just like the non-material world is all in your head.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

      @ AKA Winston. I wold like shortly focus on your statement. You said everything is relative, there is no absolute.

      Relative is applicable only to material world. Still you should change world theory of relativity to physical relativity.

      See there is absolute zero temperature. It is absence of any temperature. Rest is derivative of zero temperature. There is absolute darkness. It means absence of light. I think you would have problem to rename "theory" of relativity.

      There is an unseen spirit world. That is absolute.

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @ Seek-N-Find

      I don't have time to answer all your posts, because I would have to go back and remember what I said, then look at your reply...too much time. But on the last post you made about names, I am assuming you are referring to my pointing out that all we know about these anonymous people were their first names? The point was not to debate did people have last names in those days, but to point out that we really don't know anything about them or if they even existed. You say we know this and we know that, but no we don't. You can point to all the fairy tale writings you like as evidence of these people but that all means nothing to me because I don't believe any of it.

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Seek-N-Find

      I see you answered a lot of things I must have posted, but it was so long ago I don't even know what you are responding to now. Are these old posts?

      Anyway, as an update...no gods to be found yet....

    • SPIRIT n TRUTH profile image

      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike. Also, they didn't use last names in the first century. They used first names, and also the father of that person, as in "James and John the sons of Zebedee" as Matthew through John say. So their first names are not all we know about John who wrote the Gospel/Book of John. We also know that John died on the island of Patmos, of old age. We also know that Luke was a doctor. We also know that Luke was hanged when he died. We also know that Matthew was a tax collector, also called Levi. And on and on. Does someone need a last name for them to be credible? Do you know what Homer's (who wrote the Illiad) last name was, if he had one at all? Do you doubt the Illiad? Is that what this is really about?

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike. Also, Mike, that wedding invitation actually isn't the only invitation you've gotten, you had an invitation to write back to Seek-n-Find and you did, and I'm sure you've had an invitation to stop and red light you drove up to and did. There's at least two right there : )

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike. Also Mike, I don't see that Vladi was insulting your intelligence or saying you can't read, obviously you are reading and writing words on here and responding accordingly. Also, obviously he is not American, so there is some broken English (unless he is :), and so he must have meant one has to know how to read "it", but he left out the "it." And that is definitely true, as the Bible contains not just one form of words or literary style as we basically have on here with these comments, but it it has historical accounts, poetry, mail/letters, cultural phrases/subjects, three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), apocalyptic literature, journals/personal records, metaphors, literals, etc. and it does take knowing how read it accordingly to be able to understand it rightly, just as any other type of literature mentioned above as well.

    • SPIRIT n TRUTH profile image

      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike.

      Yes, well again, design comes from a designer. This is a principle of life/the universe. The more intelligent the design, the more intelligent the designer. Just as an author writes a book, putting letters into words, words into paragraphs, etc., so a designer put our genetic code together, that is infinitely/magnitudes more complex and intelligent than a novel. As well as a tree or an insect as you said, etc., the universe shows immense design, just as a building shows a builder, then so the universe shows a designer, the main English word for this designer then is "God," whether you want to call him the flying spaghetti monster or not, in this sense, is irrelevant, this the first point, that there is a designer, the next point, is the identity of the designer. Again, just as a car didn't make itself, or a tree didn't make a car, but were made by outside intelligent beings called humans, so an all the more outside intelligent being referred to as "God" made humans and the universe. Shalom/Peace/Wholeness.

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike.

      Okay cool, yeah I will read that article, thanks for writing it to bring clarity.

      Haha. That’s weird. Yeah I thought the point of that would be to write whatever view you had in that certain position, not a view that conforms to what they want. Glad you found freedom and Squidoo.

    • SPIRIT n TRUTH profile image

      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike.

      Yes. More credible than other famous ancient documents that no one seems to question at all, from an objective historical context of the earliest manuscript and the number of manuscripts, two of the most important qualities of credibility:

      + Earliest Manuscript:

      - Homer’s Illiad: 500 years after

      - Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars: 1,000 years after

      - Pliny’s History: 750 years after

      - Thucydides’ History: 1,300 years after

      - Herodotus’ History: 1,300 years after

      - New Testament: 25 years after

      + Number of Manuscripts:

      - Homer’s Illiad: 643

      - Julius Caesar’s Gallic Wars: 10

      - Pliny’s History: 7

      - Thucydides’ History: 8

      - Herodotus’ History: 8

      - New Testament: 24,000 plus and increasing (5,500 Greek; 9,000 Latin, very old; 10,000 others)

      Why does no one question Homer’s Illiad, or Pliny, etc. but only the Bible? It makes no natural sense.

      Also, as I said below, it is credible in the experiential, doing the things that Jesus and the Apostles commanded and did (Matthew through Revelation), such as love your neighbor as yourself, forgive those who wrong you, pray, speak good words over yourself and others and everything, think on good things and truth and who the Word of God says you are, etc., many things that modern day science is finally catching up to realize and confirm, and much more. I encourage you to read what I wrote below again, as I see you have not responded it, why I’m not sure but whatever the reason I respect that, but it is the main basis of my belief, my experience, my experience of the truth, not just words on a page, or claims, even as you say why someone should believe, and grace, grace to you to have your experience and freedom choice to believe or not and for good genuine motives and reasons, that's adequate.

      As far as the origins, specifically with the New Testament that you referenced with Constantine. Where are you getting your information from? Yes, that’s right, many people don’t know the origins of the Bible. And many don’t know what really happened at the council of Nicea, and what was fabricated as what happened (just as many think that only three hundred Spartans stood against the Persian Empire under king Xerxes in the battle of Thermopylae, when it ended up being the three hundred Spartans and about seven hundred Greeks that stood at the last, while also having Themistocles lead the Greek’s navy to fight off the Persian Empire’s navy or else there would have been no battle of Thermopylae. And how do we know this is authentic? Because of Heroditus and the other historians that wrote about everything. So bits and pieces of it have been known by people and they thought that was all there was, but looking at the whole story/history the whole story is known). Many don’t know that there were twenty-seven main letters/books (Matthew through Revelation) that were written in the first century that the whole church noted and experienced as having apostolic authority/authenticity and inspiration from God (the concept of like how an ambassador represents a country, so an apostle represents God). And that the “canon”/”rule”/”measure” of what was the Bible was clear and obvious in the first century. Now there were uncertainties at first about certain books such as Hebrews as far as who actually wrote it, but in time was confirmed. There are letters and books dating all the way back to A.D. 96, just sixty years after Jesus died and over two centuries before the Council if Nicea. Those letters quote certain books as being the Bible/Book/Word of God. There are lists of the books constituting Scripture dating back to around A.D. 160 (the Muratorian Fragment, for example, but there are several before Nicea). From these sources then, we see that the Bible we have today has been basically what we have today, with no significant points of the message being changed by any discrepancy or uncertainty. Specifically then, the council of Nicea, to know what really happened we must look to those who wrote about what happened, primary sources specifically: a letter from Eusebius back to his church at Caesarea, preserved in The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus and in Athanasius' Defense of the Nicene Definition. A description of the proceedings by Eusebius (who was there) in his Life of Constantine Letters from Constantine and from the council passing on its decisions to the churches. The 20 "canons" [this just means "rules"] passed by the council. Some references to the council by Athanasius, who attended as a deacon before he was bishop; however, his only description of the council is a copy of Eusebius' letter to Caesarea. So we know what the council addressed, and therefore, what they did not. They did not address the books of the Bible, and therefore could not have changed them, there’s no evidence. And they didn’t have a “Bible” in the sense of one bound book like we do today, that is a product of modern technology, but they had the collections of the books, and what was accepted only varied over a few as said, and the most significant being the apocrypha like Macabees etc. that do not change any significant point of the message.

      Also, Isaiah has sixty-six chapters in it, the first thirty-nine are about Old Testament realities, and the last twenty-seven are about New Testament realities, just as there are thirty-nine Old Testament books, and twenty-seven New Testament books, Isaiah is a miniature Bible.

      Also, the biblical writers speak of and confirm one another themselves.

      As I have said above, I have said below why I believe the Bible to be the Word of God, my supernatural experiences of it.

    • SPIRIT n TRUTH profile image

      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike.

      Thanks for your responses.

      It is possible that we will agree. I also see that we do see the question the same way, but you haven’t explained your position, you have just said and restated what your position is, specifically with why foreknowledge means no freewill/predestination. Whereas I have given explanation of my position, such as that knowledge is not a force, knowledge does not force/cause things to happen, it is perception, an observation, apart from or outside of the actions themselves, therefore not being able to take away someone’s free will. I’m not knocking you, as I have shown before I think you’re a cool guy and I like you as a cool guy, and acknowledge and honor you and your sharp mind and passionate fiery standing strong heart, I’m just saying what I see. And I see more of what you are saying now as you have said it in a different way and used different wording, and that helps a lot, thank you. If you aren’t saying that someone knowing what you will do forces you to do it, then how can you say that you had no choice to, since you are basing your lack of free will on their foreknowledge? That equation comes out to their foreknowledge being the cause/force of your choice, does it not? I don’t see how it couldn’t. Also, why does foreknowledge cause predestination, again, how does that knowledge before hand cause/force that to happen then/be predetermined/predestined? Yeah I see what you’re saying Mike. But again, where is the connection where someone’s foreknowledge of what you will do means you only had the choice of the one thing that you did do? This is the nature of time, that is a trinity/tri-unity/three-in-oneness of past, present and future, where the present is a thin line that converts the future into the past, and two different events cannot happen at the same time, naturally, someone cannot eat oatmeal and not eat oatmeal at the same time, they cannot eat oatmeal and a cereal at the same point in time (haha, obviously unless they combine the two, but obviously I’m saying there cannot be oatmeal in the bowl only and cereal in the bowl only, at the same time, this is a law of logic called the law of identity), so while there is the option of eating oatmeal or cereal in the future/in the realm of possibility, only one can come to pass in the present. An outside observer though, that can be in all three dimensions of time, past, present, and future all at once, can see, like a 3D movie, the two different options of oatmeal and cereal in the future like two scenes in a movie (movies do this a lot, they flash forward and show one possibility, and then flash back an forward again show another possibility and then go back and show what possibility happens, as in Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows when Sherlock and Moriarty both envision the fight going their way), and see the one choice of oatmeal in the present come to pass. Did all this force the person to eat oatmeal or take away their freewill? No, but merely was an impartial, outside observation.

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 5 years ago from New York City

      Seek-n-find:

      “Yet both the container and the water inside the container are matter.”

      The water container was an analogy demonstrating the difference between something and the thing that contains it or encompasses it. The point is that the two do not have to operate according to the same laws or properties.

      “the universe is matter.”

      No. The universe is the container of matter. It contains matter, as well as energy.

      “The stuff in the universe… and the universe itself… have the characteristic of being an objective reality that is a ‘thing’ for lack of better words”

      I agree with that. I also note here you make a distinction between universe and the stuff in the universe, whereas in your previous statement the two were one and the same.

      “It makes no sense for the universe to be eternal… the ‘Big Bang’ points towards the fact that the universe has a beginning point.”

      The Big Bang explains the early known universe. That’s it. We must be precise here. Contrary to popular interpretation, the Big Bang does not in any way demonstrate that the universe “has a beginning,” in other words, that at some point the universe did not exist, and then suddenly it existed.

      It is possible that the universe existed for a very long time as a tiny singularity, and then began rapidly expanding. It’s possible it was created out of nothing by a divine force. It’s possible it erupted from the quantum foam as I said in my previous comment. It’s possible it is eternal and uncreated, and has gone through an eternal series of Big Bangs and Big Crunches. We simply do not know for sure what happened, if anything, before the Big Bang. But the most likely explanation, according to modern science, is the quantum one I cited. Which implies an eternal uncreated reality (metaphorically, an ocean), even if the universe itself (a bubble in that ocean) is created and not eternal.

      “Since time is a dimension of the universe, time began when the universe began…”

      This depends how you define time, which is a well-known problem. Let’s not get bogged down in that discussion. I will just say that if time as we know it began with the universe, AND we assume the universe has a beginning (which we don’t know), that does not preclude a larger reality from existing. “Time” in that larger reality would not be understandable to us, but it may still exist in some way. Or perhaps “time” does not strictly exist in that larger reality, but there is some other equivalent medium. You see, there are many possibilities that can be imagined, none illogical.

      My original point stands: universe or at least reality can be eternal, contrary to the assumption of the theist.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Secularist: Yet both the container and the water inside the container are matter. Matter may have different characteristics, but it is still in the same group of "reality" as in both are forms of matter. The reason I included the info from CARM is because you asked why can't eternal and uncreated apply to the universe--the universe is matter. The stuff in the universe (i.e. the water in the container) and the universe itself (i.e. the container) both have the characteristic of being an objective reality that is a "thing" for lack of better words--whether it be matter that can be touched or matter that can be observed--it is still something. It is in the same category. It makes no sense for the universe to be eternal--science--even the science often quoted by atheists in support of the "Big Bang" points towards the fact that the universe has a beginning point. Since time is a dimension of the universe, time began when the universe began (Stephen Hawkings even says this) and therefore how could the universe exist before time because before time there was not matter? Do you see how your question is linked to the origins of the universe issue?

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 5 years ago from New York City

      Seek-n-find:

      “Many have a subjective reality in their heads that says God does not exist, but there is ample objective substance/evidence for His existence.”

      Well, that is what you are supposed to demonstrate. Correction: many have a subjective reality in their heads that says God exists, but there is no objective substance/ evidence for his existence. :)

      “His name 'I AM' even correlates with your definition of reality.”

      Well, if God does not exist then the name “I am” is simply the name created by the ancient pre-scientific peoples who wrote the Bible. So this hardly means anything.

      “I would say that all matter is reality, but we don’t observe all forms of matter.”

      I agree with that. And if you read what I wrote, I never said that matter and reality are one and the same, I said that matter is a part of reality. There are other parts.

      “[energy] is something that exists and that science shows us exists, but you can’t pick it up like an apple.”

      There are basically two ways to determine something exists: (1) we observe or experience it (the empirical), or (2) we deduce its existence from observation (the rational). Matter and energy satisfy one or both of these conditions, but God satisfies neither.

      “It does work for reality. God IS reality.”

      I assume this is just a rhetorical statement. Unless you have become a pantheist.

      Unfortunately, your extended quote, while very interesting, does not address my argument at all. It refers to the universe. I did not refer to the universe, I referred to reality. I indicated in a previous comment that it is quite possible/ likely that reality extends beyond our universe. This is a current major idea in physics, given the insights of quantum mechanics. I’m no expert, but the basic idea is that the Big Bang erupted from a wrinkle in the quantum foam. If reality is an ocean, a universe can be thought of as a bubble. It can arise spontaneously.

      But aside from all of this, there is a totally separate issue. And that is the assumption on the part of the theist that the container must obey the same laws as the contained. Just because matter and energy inside this universe operates according to certain laws, why must the universe ITSELF operate according to those laws? Or even more powerfully, why must reality itself operate according to those laws?

      If we realize this is not necessarily the case, then we see that matter and energy can operate according to cause and effect (and the laws of thermodynamics for that matter), while the universe or larger external reality does not.

      Quantum mechanics creates a loophole in the laws of thermodynamics, which is the final nail in the coffin of the argument from CARM.

      Just for kicks, let’s check out Wikipedia:

      “The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the tendency that over time, differences in temperature, pressure, and chemical potential equilibrate in an isolated physical system.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermod... )

      And a physical system is:

      “In physics, the word system has a technical meaning, namely, it is the portion of the physical universe chosen for analysis. Everything outside the system is known as the environment, which in analysis is ignored except for its effects on the system. The cut between system and the world is a free choice, generally made to simplify the analysis as much as possible.”

      (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_system )

      So we are dealing with a portion of the physical universe. Even if that portion is defined to occupy the size of the entire universe, it is still not the universe itself per se. It’s like if you have a 300 mL container of water. The water obeys certain properties, and it may occupy all 300 mL of the container. But the container itself is another story entirely.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Secularist:

      Based on your definition of real, what is really real is what is objectively real, not what is subjectively thought to be real. You also said: “Reality is an objective thing outside of us, but we also have a concept of reality in our heads.” Additionally, you stated that reality is a thing, not just a concept (as per your example of the concept of tree verses an actual tree that exists outside of your head). You say that emotions are real, too, because they have a substance (electricity/chemicals). You say “to be/to exist/to be real” are all the same thing. Tie this to another conclusion you make that “reality is eternal…this implies a reality outside our universe…eternal and uncreated.” Your final question is—if it can work for God, why can’t it work for reality?

      Many have a subjective reality in their heads that says God does not exist, but there is ample objective substance/evidence for His existence. His name "I AM" even correlates with your definition of reality.

      First, I have to say I agree with some of your definition, but not all of it. I would say that all matter is reality, but we don’t observe all forms of matter. Science is still discovering the different forms of matter that exist in the universe and in the quantum world. I say this to point out that there can be more matter than that which we can observably experience. I agree that matter is a part of what is real. But there is more than just matter to include in reality. Think of energy, for example. This is something that exists and that science shows us exists, but you can’t pick it up like an apple.

      You ask if it can work for God, why not for reality? It does work for reality. God IS reality. Rather than summarizing the premise of the argument regarding the universe, matter, energy, etc. myself, in this instance I will cut and paste because why reword what another has already crafted? See explanation to your question below:

      The second law of thermodynamics states that the amount of energy in a system that is available to do work is decreasing. Entropy increases as available energy decreases. In other words, the purely natural tendency of things is to move toward chaos, not order, and available energy necessary for work is lost (mostly as heat) in this process. Eventually, the universe will run down and all life and motion will cease because all the energy that exists will be, more or less, evenly distrubuted so that no work can be performed and no life and exist. This is the natural tendency of all things. Batteries run down, machines break, buildings crumble, roads decay, living things die, etc. Left to the natural state, all things would eventually cease to function.

      1. The universe is not infinitely old because it has not "run down."

      A. If the universe were infinitely old, it would have reached a state where all usable energy was gone.

      B. But, we are not in this state; therefore, the universe is not infinitely old and must have had a beginning.

      2. Because the universe had a beginning, it is not infinite in size.

      A. It would require an infinite amount of time to become infinite in size. Since the universe had a beginning, it has not had an infinite amount of time to expand; therefore, it is finite in size.

      3. All events have causes.

      A. There cannot be an infinite regress of events because that would mean the universe were infinitely old.

      i. We've already established that the universe cannot be infinitely old.

      ii. If it were infinitely old, the universe would be in a state of unusable energy, which it is not.

      iii. If it were infinitely old, the universe would be infinitely large, which it is not.

      4. Since the universe is finite and had a beginning, and there cannot be an infinite number of regressions of causes to bring it into existence, there must be a single uncaused cause of the universe.

      A. A single uncaused cause of the universe must be greater in size and duration than the universe it has brought into existence.

      i. Otherwise, we have the uncaused cause bringing into existence something greater than, or equal to, itself.

      B. Any cause that is natural to the universe is part of the universe.

      i. An event that is part of the universe cannot cause itself to exist.

      ii. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause outside the universe.

      C. An uncaused cause cannot be a natural part of the universe, which is finite.

      i. An uncaused cause would be infinite in both space and time since it is greater than which it has caused to exist.

      D. An uncaused cause would be separate from the universe.

      i. Being separate from the universe, which was caused to be, it would not be subject to the laws of the universe since it existed independent of the universe and its laws.

      ii. This would mean that entropy need not be required of the uncaused cause.

      5. This uncaused cause is supernatural.

      A. By supernatural, it is meant completely 'other' than the universe and is not the product of it.

      i. This uncaused cause must be incredibly powerful to bring the universe into existence.

      6. The Bible teaches that God is uncaused, is not part of the universe, created the universe, and is incredibly powerful.

      A. God's existence (in Christianity) is not an event, but a state.

      B. Psalm 90:2 says that God is God without a beginning.

      C. This means that God is uncaused.

      7. Therefore, the God of the Bible is the uncaused cause of the universe.

      http://carm.org/entropy-and-causality-used-proof-g...

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @seek-N-Find

      Yes we do disagree, and I will never agree that anyone that believes in this God has free will. God needs to make himself known to me just as anyone else would that I might meet. Until he can do that he stays in the myth box with Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy where he belongs.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: Aha! But this is where we completely disagree. God does believe in free will--we've discussed this and just go in circles. Yes, God knows what you are about--He knows what it would take for you to believe. He knows your heart. I'm in prayer. If He gives me a specific, I'll let you know. By the way, what do you consider to be "real proof"?

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      If he truly knows everything and what I am about, then he knows I will only be convinced by substantiated evidence. If he is incapable of such a feat, he will always be in the myth world for me because that's all I will accept.

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Seek-N-Find

      Your God does not believe in free will. He knows in advance that I do not believe in him and never will without proof. By proof I require real proof, not a fictitious book with questionable authors. Real proof. I want him to make himself known to me in a way that is indisputable, not through some vague incantation or other nonsense.

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 5 years ago from New York City

      Seek-n-find:

      "So, would you say existence=reality?"

      Yes. To be/ to exist/ to be real, etc--these all mean the same thing.

      "Must reality be a 'thing' or can it be a 'concept?' For example, are emotions considered "reality" or only those tangible things which have some kind of substance?"

      Depends what you mean. A "tree" for instance can be both a concept and a thing. There is the idea of "tree" in my head, and then there is the objective thing outside my head. The concept refers to the thing. So in that sense reality is an objective thing outside of us, but we also have a concept of reality in our head. Emotions do have substance, namely the chemicals and electricity in the brain.

      "If something is real, does it mean it is exclusively true? A mirage... exists in the form of the chemical reactions that are happening in the brain... but the water in the desert is actually not there."

      Just because you believe something or assume or feel something does not mean you are correct, such as with a mirage or hallucination. I think what you are getting at is the difference between our subjective feelings or beliefs, and objective reality. So, yes, there is a difference. They don't necessarily line up.

      "Are emotions not real because you cannot touch them--or are they real because you experience them?"

      Actually in a way you can touch them, you could touch the electricity and chemicals in question. But yes, they are real.

    • Seek-n-Find profile image
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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Secularist: "Reality--quite simply, everything that exists/ the set of all things that exist." So, would you say existence=reality? Must reality be a "thing" or can it be a "concept?" For example, are emotions considered "reality" or only those tangible things which have some kind of substance? Next question: If something is real, does it mean it is exclusively true? A mirage, for example. It exists in the form of the chemical reactions that are happening in the brain, so it seems real to the person experiencing it, and it has matter in terms of brain chemicals, but the water in the desert is actually not there. I need a little more on what would constitute as "real" and "not real." Are emotions not real because you cannot touch them--or are they real because you experience them? And if they are real, does that make them true? If I am angry because I think you hit my cat, my emotions is real and my experience of anger is "true" but based on a false assumption because you actually did not hit my cat. This may seem unrelated to the question--but it is. :-)

      I'll come back to "eternal" and "created" after the issue of what "reality" is becomes flushed out a little more. And after that, we'll get to the morality question. :-)

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: I don't mean "literal" invitations (though I supposed they could be). :-)

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: Nope! I'm not suggesting that you separate logic and reason from your mind. I'm saying that what you feel may be the ONLY answer/logic may not be so. Why is something required of you and why doesn't God show up in your face saying, "Hey Mike...here I am!"? Free will, my friend. He won't force you.

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 5 years ago from New York City

      Seek-n-find:

      I hear you. I do some consulting work myself actually. I had actually forgotten about this hub, looks like you have quite the symposium going here.

      Reality--quite simply, everything that exists/ the set of all things that exist.

      "Eternal" means having no beginning or end, "uncreated" should be self-explanatory, not created.

      If you scroll down to my first comment (at this point it is about 6 weeks ago), you will see it all there. I will just briefly summarize by saying that a secular morality is not only possible, but logically superior to a theistic/ supernatural morality, and that theistic moralities have a problem in that they must decide if X is good because God said so, or God said so because X is good. If X is good because God said so, then this "morality" is simply whatever God happens to decide at any given time, and thus, arbitrary and unpredictable. If God said so because it is good, then God is playing by some larger moral standard, in which case God himself is not actually needed for morality.

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      The only invitation I have received lately was to a friends wedding in June...hmmm God does move in mysterious ways, lol.

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Seek-n-Find

      If it requires that I separate logic and reason from my mind and accept this on faith, then it will never happen. But why would anything be required of me? He is God, he can do anything right? Including show "the light" without my having to do anything.

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Vladimir

      I assure you I can read and write well beyond the elementary mind it takes to read the Bible...

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: So, I was just praying for you and this is what God brought to my mind: Look for invitations from God. They may be small, subtle, things you could glance by if you are not looking for them. God offers invitations, not manipulations. You've had invitations already--invitations of the mind, invitations from others, invitations of the heart, and invitations in various other ways. You can choose to ignore--to say no--or to say yes and explore. If a thought pops up in your mind that leads you to thinking about things in an alternate way--pay attention to that thought. If a song catches your interest with a certain curiousity, pay attention to the lyrics. If a memory pops up in your head randomly, pay attention to the impact of that experience. In conversation, through writing, reading, and in dialogue with others, pay attention and look for the invitations. If you walk around with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears (not saying that you are doing this--just an analogy here) and scream, "God, show yourself!" you can't be open to see or hear. A genuine openness will help you to recognize the invitations.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: Also, good way of wording it: "God-free." You know how we've been debating over the issue of free will? God will not override your free will. You will likely experience what you desire/hope for. He may be standing by, ready to respond, but waiting for your genuine invitation. I'm doing my part--He's doing His part--but your part makes the biggest difference.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Mike: He's listening. Are you listening? :-)

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

      The Bible is reliable, but one has to know how to read.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

      See, with Renaissance of writing everybody make opinion and publish it. It enter to our mind a lot of fruit of "Good and Evil".

      One comment I would like to response, that Constantine was not theologian and was not Christian until deathbed. He just seen practical to equalize Christianity with pagan world. It was the time since Christians were many and found being good people.

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Seek-H-Find

      Update....still God-free...maybe God is not listening (-;

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Spirit

      Since a lot of people are confused with what the term Anarcho-capitalist means, I wrote an article on the subject:

      http://www.squidoo.com/why-i-am-a-libertarian

      By the way, if you are wondering why I do not write for this website, it's because they pissed me off the first time I did write something and they kept taking it down because it did not fit within their "standards" whatever the hell that means. I finally said screw it and went to Squidoo and have not had to deal with all the crap I had to deal with here. If that want people to write, they need to let people write what they want and how they want.

      Everything I write is at Squidoo for this reason:

      http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/GodlessHeathen

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @Secularist: Sorry I didn't respond to something you brought up earlier. I can get overwhelmed by the amount of interactions on this site, especially when I have a huge work load for consulting (which at this time, I do!) Did't mean to forget about you, but you got lost in all the words.

      Okay--so one point at a time. First, I feel like I'd need clarification on the terms we are using. Can you give me a definition of what you consider "reality" to be? Also, can you tell me what are the characteristics necessary for something to be considered "eternal" and for something to be considered "uncreated." Once I have those terms clear to make sure we are on the same pages, I'll answer your question about if it can work for God, why can't it work for reality.

      Also, can you refresh my mind--what exactly was your question to me regarding secular and theistic morality?

      Thanks!

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Spirit

      The Bible is credible? Really? The entire thing is is subject to debate, hardly what I would call credible.

      Most people are not aware of the origins of the Bible. Before the Bible there was what were known as 'Canons.' These Canons were simply manuscripts that were written by different authors (most of them anonymous) over a span of about 1600 years. There were many Canons, and not all were included in what came to be known as the 'Bible.' The method to determine what would be included, and what would not be included and left out was the system of voting.

      Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337 CE), who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Roman Empire. Until this time the various Christian leaders could not decide which books would be considered 'holy' and thus 'the word of God' and which ones would be excluded and not considered the word of God.

      Emperor Constantine, used what motivates many to action - MONEY! He offered the various Church leaders money to agree upon a single canon that would be used by all Christians as the word of God. The Church leaders gathered together at the Council of Nicaea and voted the 'word of God' into existence, but The Church leaders didn't finish editing the 'holy' scriptures until the Council of Trent when the Catholic Church pronounced the Canon closed.

      So, it seems the real approving editor of the Bible was not God but Constantine!

      Theists will tell you they have proof of God. It's usually something like pointing to a tree or an insect. Next they will ask you to consider all the delicate and complicated intricacies of these things. They will then ask how could these things have come to be without God? Of course to anyone else that actually is capable of intelligent thought, this does not prove God anymore than it might prove The Flying Spaghetti Monster created these things.

      If we were to treat faith and religion in the same manner as we do with matters of the legal world and our justice system, what would happen if using those same rules of evidence that we do in any other judicial matter we put God On Trial?

      What evidence could be presented to validate this claim? Many would say the Bible, but the Bible is not proof of anything. Do you know anyone that actually witnessed God or Jesus? As far as we know there are four main people that can testify on behalf of these stories, but they are nothing more than anonymous fictional characters with no last names. The entire story relies upon 4 men who all we know are named Matthew, Luke, John, and Mark. I say they are anonymous because nothing else is known about them.

      Imagine a police officer filing a police report about a crime and naming four people named Matthew, Luke, John, and Mark...no last names, no addresses, no phone numbers...nothing more than just first names and then to make it worse, these 4 anonymous people cannot be called upon to even testify because no one knows where or who they are. Would this case hold up in court? Would this case even be charged by a competent district attorney?

      If this case was brought to trial, who would we call as witnesses? What evidence could be presented other than the written testimony of 4 anonymous men that no one knows anything about or how to locate them? Could God Himself be called to testify on His own behalf?

      There are more than 730 established Religions in the world which are broken out into more the 3200 different sects. Christianity, for example is one of the major religions but has more than 200 sub sects, each with their own unique traditions and interpretations of the bible.

      The actual number of religions is much higher than this even because a religion can be defined in so many different ways, so there is no way to know exactly how many religions may exist, but even with the example above, how can you be sure you have selected the 'one true religion?'

      Of course there are things for which we do not know the answers to, but making up answers to fill this lack of knowledge is not an intelligent way to try and define these things. Would it not be better to just admit there are things we do not have enough knowledge to understand yet, rather than try to replace this lack of knowledge with equally unknown answers?

    • secularist10 profile image

      secularist10 5 years ago from New York City

      Hello Seek-n-Find

      I didn't read the whole discussion here since my earlier comment, but I want to address something you seem to be bringing up a lot:

      "Where did the matter from which matter came FIRST originate?"

      This question assumes that matter came from somewhere. Why? Why are you assuming that matter has an origin? Why can't it be eternal (an idea that would be consistent with the law of conservation of matter, BTW)?

      But a more precise and fundamental version of this question is to ask "where did reality come from?" Because reality encompasses everything, including matter. God is considered to have created all reality.

      The answer to this question is the same: why are you assuming that reality was created? In fact, everything we now know in physics, cosmology and others leads us to the conclusion that reality is eternal. This obviously implies a reality outside of our universe.

      Eternal and uncreated. If it can work for God, why can't it work for reality?

      (I would also be interested in hearing your response to my earlier comment about secular and theistic morality.)

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      SPIRIT n TRUTH

      Mike. You're welcome. And thank you for sharing your views and positions. That's interesting that you say that Anarcho-Capitalist believe in laws, I didn't know that they did, I thought that was part of their position. So, what are the laws specifically? And like what do you mean not about laws about property/bodies? Thanks.

      Hi Spirit,

      You are confusing Anarchy, with Anarcho-Capitalism. I know they sound a lot a like, but are completely different. Anarchy (as in, chaos and disorder) would be a lawless society, which would be impossible.

      Anarcho-Capitalism on the other hand:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

    • GodlessHeathen profile image

      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Spirit

      You and I are never going to agree on this because we just don't see the question the same way. I have never said that someone knowing what you will do in advance forces you to do something. What I am saying is if someone knows what you will do before you do, then it is pre-destined and if it is predestined that means you had no choice in what was going to happen. Does this mean someone forced you to do anything? No, but what happened was destined to happen and you had no free will over it. You had no real choice because it had already been pre-determined. You can say you had the option of changing your mind, but someone else still knew what that final choice would be, it had nothing to do with them forcing you to do anything, they just knew what you were going to do. If I was able to do something other than what they knew I would do, then I have free will, if I am unable to do something different because it is pre-destined, then I do not.

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      From what I understand from what you have said, yes to you and what you think/worldview that is true. But you,from what you have said, are coming from a worldview that says the physical world is all there is, the supernatural is not real, empiricism is one name for it. This excludes any possibility of the supernatural happening or being legitimate beforehand.

      But if you have a supernatural worldview, or, are looking objectively (meaning with no preconceived ideas in essence) then these things are possible, they can happen, and therefore can or should be tested historically, practically, experientially, logically, etc. Of course supernatural things are nonsense/untrue to someone who doesn't believe in them or believe they are possible, but not to someone who does, to them it is the other way around/nonsensical to say otherwise. Ya know.

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      Mike.

      Thanks for responding. Okay, well let's just stay with this one concept right real quick, that's why I said not going ahead of this specific thing, ya know, to build upon it eh. So buildings must have builders, paintings must have painters, etc. What is the principle? Design comes from a designer. And the more complex/intelligent the design, the more complex/intelligent the designer. So, therefore, looking at trees, flowers, plants, animals, the stars, the planets, oxygen, etc. and of course human beings/human bodies, these things are magnitudes if not infinitely more complex/designed/intelligent than a building or painting, therefore one they all had a designer, and two that designer is that much more intelligent as well. God is the main/basic word used for this person/being/designer/creator.

      As far as who this designer is, as you have started going into, the next step or a next step in this process/reality. Why is it not credible to say it's the flying spaghetti man (by the way, me and my friends found out about this religion or whatever a few years ago and were surprised amongst other things by it : ), well spaghetti is a non living organism, made usually from eggs or flour, other nonliving/nonintelligent organisms, they are also part of the creation/physical world itself, and although there are some things in the physical world that produce other things, it's impossible for something to have produced everything including itself, as it is scientifically impossible for nothing to create everything, as shown by the above principle of design comes from a designer.

      As far as specifically what makes my, or rather, the Bible/Scripture/Word of God as it refers to itself as, credible. One writer put it this way:

      Here is a book:

      1) written over a 1,500 year span,

      2) written over 40 generations,

      3) written by more than forty authors [if you line up ten people, five people, two people and try and have them agree on a minor subject it probably won't happen, definitely not on a major topic and the Bible deals with all of life with over forty people agreeing to sound unity, astonishing), from every walk of life-including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars, and more: Moses a political leader trained in the universities of Egypt, Peter a fisherman, Amos a herdsman/farmer, Joshua a military general, Nehemiah a cup bearer, Daniel a prime minister, Luke a doctor, Solomon a king, Matthew a tax collector, Paul a rabbi,

      4) written at different places: Moses in the wilderness, Jeremiah in a dungeon, Daniel on a hillside and in a palace, Paul in prison, Luke while traveling, John on an island, others in the rigors of a military campaign,

      5) written at different times: David in times of war, Solomon in times of peace,

      6) written during different moods: some writing from the heights of joy and others from the depths of sorrow and despair,

      7) written on three different continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe,

      8) written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek,

      9) Finally, it's subject matter includes hundreds of controversial topics, yet the Biblical authors spoke with harmony and continuity from Genesis to Revelation. There is one unfolding story.

      You line up three people and ask them to agree on a noncontroversial topic and it's not going to happen. But the Bible has this with over 40 people 1,500 years apart, covering basically every topic of life and they write with continuity. This is then reasoned to say that there was a common thread weaving the story together, and that God is that common thread.

      Also, it has timeless/transcendent wisdom, timeless/transcendent morals, thousands of fulfilled prophecies, a multitude of manuscripts untouched by any other ancient document (interesting how no one doubts whether Homer's Illiad is legit, thought it was written 500 years after the events with 673 manuscripts, yet the New Testament alone has 24,000 manuscripts written starting 25 years after the events, but it is questioned and attacked and whatnot as legit. This doesn't naturally make sense), as well as power for life such as I have seen personally and in other people miraculous healing, miraculous provision, miraculous knowledge, miraculous love, and more. I've seen deaf ears open at the name of Jesus Christ being spoken, an irregular heartbeat and two hernias needing surgery instantly healed, oppression and seizures instantly healed, broken hearts mended and restored, etc. I've tested it logically, practically, experientially, historically, etc. and found it to be true, working, powerful, fulfilling, supernatural, and more. These types of things are what influences me to believe the Bible is God's Word/Book, that this is the identity of the Creator, I have seen these things nowhere else, therefore I, because I have seen and heard and experienced these things, I cannot rationally believe otherwise.

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      Mike. You're welcome. And thank you for sharing your views and positions. That's interesting that you say that Anarcho-Capitalist believe in laws, I didn't know that they did, I thought that was part of their position. So, what are the laws specifically? And like what do you mean not about laws about property/bodies? Thanks.

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      Mike.

      Yes we see what free will is. But no, I've asked and portrayed how someone having knowledge of something happening doesn't cause/force it to happen. Another example, I am in the stands at a football team's practice, I see how a drill runs, a wide receiver runs out, turns and the quarterback throws the ball to him, the third wide receiver goes and turns, I know that the quarterback is going to throw to him, then he does, did I cause/force it to happen? No I merely observed what they were doing. If I went up to them and said, because I knew you we're going to throw the ball to him in this drill you had no free will to do it, they wouldn't believe me, and rationally so. Also, I know that I am going to type the word the in parenthesis right now..."the", did my foreknowledge of that choice cause it? No, rather my desire/willing/choosing caused it, no one and nothing forced me to, only me choosing to, or the word "and" and so on. You still have not shown logically how observation or foreknowledge of events causes them to happen. I don't see how that makes any sense. I can see how if God knows what we are going to do, then we will not do something else, because He knows all the choices we could choose and the choices we do choose, but that doesn't not force us to do them, but is part of His nature of being omniscient (knows everything) and omnipresent (everywhere at once, including past, present, and future).

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      The best argument against Christianity…is the story of Christianity.

      http://www.atheismresource.com/2012/the-best-argum...

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @spirit

      Thanks for looking over some of what I had to say about government. Anarcho-capitalist's by the way do believe in laws, just not fake laws like the ones relating to what adults chose to do with their property (bodies).

      No on to your question. Have I seen a building without a builder? No, I have not. Does this prove god? No, it does not. What if I said the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Lochness Monster...or Unicorns or Leprechaun's created everything; what makes your claim any more valid? Because you have a book written over 1600 years ago by anonymous and questionable authors? Ever read "Horton Hatches the Egg?" by Dr. Seuss? it's a book also, does it prove elephants can hatch eggs? Where is the proof for your claim? Is this method of replacing one unknown for another a good way to explain our world? If so, what other things should we use this method to explain? How about we say wet sidewalks cause rain?

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @spirit

      Okay now that we agree on the definition, then it's obvious you do not have free will if you believe someone knows what you will do. We keep going around in circles, but you are not proving your point.

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      Mike.

      Okay yeah, I actually have been meaning to read your articles, just so much of my time is not my own working full time, going to school half/three-quarters time, etc. but I will as I can. Yeah I genuinely see that you are a good writer, have a sharp mind, and I love and honor your passion and fire.

      Yeah yeah I do remember seeing that you said that before, okay. Thanks for your honesty, transparency and realness.

      Heh, yeah I see what you mean about government, especially ours, and especially now in our day, quite crazy eh. Though I do see the need/strengths of having government, but good government/ruling, as the police are a type of government/ruling, or as we govern our minds and choices and lives and such. A lot of corruption has crept in in two hundred or so years eh.

      Yeah I see the strengths of Capitalism. Yeah instead of people being rewarded for doing bad jobs but their name is on the ownership papers or their dad’s is or whatever, it’s not even related to them and their bad job their doing. I see what you mean and why.

      Yeah, I see what you mean. You want to see something to believe it, you want to be rational, you want to be logical, you want to have evidence like in a court if you are going to believe something or make a decision about something. I do get that. Oh, I thought there actually are a lot of atheists in the world, but I guess numbers can get skewed by multiple factors like where you live or don’t or what you see or don’t (example like how 92% of the world doesn’t own a car, I wouldn’t have thought it’d nearly be that high, but I live in America where almost everyone has a car or even multiple cars). Yeah I see what you mean, you want to be intellectual and not throw your mind away in what you believe not just blindly hope or think or believe something to be true, and have freedom in that too. And that we should no open our minds or ourselves up to something that doesn’t stand the test. And again, I see that I am coming from that same place, and have tested and weighed and proofed these things. And I’m sorry if anyone has tried to cram or jam claim without proof or rationale or whatnot to you, or just made claims based on “just believe” or whatever. With this specifically, about evidence, I have a question, in the point of the creation or design of something and the evidence of that having a creator or designer, do you know of/have evidence of a building that didn’t have a builder such as your house/housing or workplace or whatnot, or a painting without a painter, or something with design without a designer? Just with these concepts/things themselves, not going ahead or outside of them, do you know of any/have proof of any?

    • SPIRIT n TRUTH profile image

      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      Mike.

      Thanks for responding and putting the Webster dictionary definition in of free will, I love looking words up in the dictionary, and it is a great place to start and see the different facets of words.

      Yeah I see that that does sum it up. And, maybe surprisingly I see that that definition goes along with what I am saying. That we make voluntary choices not determined by prior causes or divine intervention, such as your example of choosing to eat oatmeal (maple and brown sugar is my favorite eh) or not or something else, and mine say of driving up to a red light and choosing to stop, we make these choices freely and God knows what we will choose freely before we do, He observes the past, present and future all at once because He is not bound by time. This a basic part of the concept set forth in the Bible (for discussion it's okay that you don't believe the Bible or God or whatever, and I respect/honor your beliefs, I'm just stating the concept). Thanks again. Ian.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Oliver: Thanks for your patience. Regarding the universe existing in a cycle--sure--that is possible. YET the same issue remains. Where did the matter from which matter came FIRST originate?

      Matter still had a beginning. Physics has shown that time is a property that is the result of the existence of matter. Time exists when matter exists. Time has even been called the fourth dimension. But God is not matter. In fact, God created matter. He created the universe. So, time began when God created the universe. Before that, God was simply existing and time had no meaning (except conceptually), no relation to Him. Therefore, to ask where God came from is to ask a question that cannot really be applied to God in the first place. Because time has no meaning with God in relation to who He is, eternity is also not something that can be absolutely related to God. God is even beyond eternity.

      Eternity is a term that we finite creatures use to express the concept of something that has no end -- and/or no beginning. God has no beginning or end... He is outside the realm of time.

      Even a universe that cycles exists within time--it is matter--therefore it is not outside of time and therefore could not have created itself. Science and logic must work together in harmony for this to make sense. Scientific evidence points to the existence of matter and points to time and points to a beginning. But it cannot account for what was before the first point of the existence of matter. It is not something "natural"--it is "supernatural."

      This analogy may not be the best one--but let's see if I can demonstrate the main point here. Let's say I created an ant farm. I put the soil, the food, and whatver else the ants needed to survive. Then I placed the ants within the ant farm. With the ants' limited understanding of the human world, the ant farm is all they know. They may come up with theories to speculate where their container came from, how the soil got there, and how the conditions for their survival turned out just so. I'm a human and what is hard for an ant to understand is very easy for me. I put them there--I created their environment--and I existed before their "ant planet" did. I'm outside of the realm of 'ant world.' I want them to know me but I'm so big--how will I communicate with an ant? I'll become an ant and go live among them as an ant and teach them about the things of humanity. I'll teach them things and model what I say by how I live my life, and even do things that seem like a miracle to an ant (I bake them brownies, lets say) but to me, its just a part of being a human. God is so BIG--so OTHER--so above and beyond. We can understand certain things but there is much that is beyond our capacity. What kind of God would God be if I could know and understand all there is too know about Him? The ant could try to understand my human ways for generations and I'll always be "beyond" their grasp.

      That is all I have time for today. Looking forward to your response!

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @Spirit N Truth

      If you would like to know where I am coming from, you can read my articles. I write for a lot of different websites, but most of my articles are on Squidoo:

      http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/GodlessHeathen

      If I were to sum it up, it would be:

      I am an Anarcho-Capitalist Atheist and I wear that fact like a badge of honor.

      Being an Anarchist means I own myself and I do not need a daddy (government) to tell me how to live my life.

      I am a Capitalist because there is no better system in the world. In the free market people get rewarded for doing a good job, and punished for doing a bad job...I like this concept.

      I am an atheist for the same reason I am an Azeusist (someone who does not believe in Zeus) because there is no proof for the existence of Gods...not one, not any.

      I am an Atheist because there is no evidence to support the God myth. Being an atheist places me in a small group of people in this world, which are also the more intelligent free thinking people which is something to be proud of. We demand proof for claims that are made, we do not have blind faith.

      My mind is not for rent, to any god or government.

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      Webster defines free will as:

      Definition of FREE WILL

      1

      : voluntary choice or decision, I do this of my own free will

      2

      : freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

      I think this pretty much sums it up, what about you?

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      SPIRIT n TRUTH 5 years ago from Suburbs of Chicago, IL of U.S.A.

      @Mike. Thank you for your response. If you are going to speak, I request that you do so with respect, as you should expect of me or anyone else as well. This includes not making judgements and condemnations such as I don't get something or theists are brainwashed (braindirtied rather), etc., comments like these could potentially be said by both sides, but it is not necessary nor respectful. Thank you.

      Why is that the definition of free will? That you have to be able to do something different than God thought you were going to do? Where are you getting this definition? Why are those terrible examples? Again, why does knowledge of something, remove freedom/free will to do it? Why does knowledge/observation equal forced action? Why does it have to be either/or, either your free to eat oatmeal or not, or do something different than God thought you were going to? Why can’t it be that you are free to choose multiple things to eat, and God knows all of those preferences that you have, and that you will freely choose oatmeal? If you are driving and see a traffic light turn yellow, and you know that it will turn red, is it your knowledge that causes it to turn red by force? No, it is the electrical circuit that is set up a certain way, a certain wiring. So God and can wire us a certain way, or give us a potential for a certain wiring, that can have multiple combinations of outcomes, yet as the Creator, knowing what will happen. If that were true, then when someone hurts someone or kills someone, if someone knew they were going to do it, then they were forced to by that person's knowledge and not free and therefore not responsible for their actions. Where does this come from, for you? I want to understand your beliefs/origins of where you at now. Thank you.

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      Most people are not aware of the origins of the Bible. Before the Bible there were what were known as "Canons." These Canons were simply manuscripts that were written by different authors (most of them anonymous) over a span of about 1600 years. There were many Canons, and not all were included in what came to be known as the "Bible." The method to determine what would be included, and what would not be included and left out was the system of voting.

      Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (274-337 CE), who was the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity, needed a single canon to be agreed upon by the Christian leaders to help him unify the remains of the Roman Empire. Until this time the various Christian leaders could not decide which books would be considered "holy" and thus "the word of God" and which ones would be excluded and not considered the word of God.

      Emperor Constantine, used what motivates many to action - MONEY! He offered the various Church leaders money to agree upon a single canon that would be used by all Christians as the word of God. The Church leaders gathered together at the Council of Nicaea and voted the "word of God" into existence, but The Church leaders didn't finish editing the "holy" scriptures until the Council of Trent when the Catholic Church pronounced the Canon closed.

      So, it seems the real approving editor of the Bible was not God but Constantine!

      Constantine ordered and financed 50 parchment copies of the new "holy scriptures." It seems with the financial element added to the picture, the Church fathers were able to overcome their differences and finally agree which "holy" books would stay and which would go.

      There are lost books of the bible, which should have been included into the canon. These books are cited by writers of the Bible, and they are: Book of the Wars of the Lord, Book of Jasher, Book of the Covenant, Book of Nathan, Book of Gad, Book of Samuel, Prophecy of Ahijah, Visions of Iddo, Acts of Uzziah, Acts of Solomon, Three Thousand Proverbs of Solomon, A Thousand and Five Songs of Solomon, Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, Book of Jehu, Book of Enoch.

      Knowing this, and still believing the Bible to be in infallible word of a God, only further illustrates just how intellectually void the mind of the believer is. One might ask themselves, had the vote gone another way, would people of faith be believing something entirely different than what they believe to be the word of God today?

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      GodlessHeathen 5 years ago from Arizona

      @ Oliver

      You see,

      I do not like eggs in the file.

      I do not like them in any style.

      I will not take them fried or boiled.

      I will not take them poached or broiled.

      I will not take them soft or scrambled,

      Despite an argument well-rambled.

      No fan I am of the egg at hand.

      Destroy that egg! Today! Today!

      Today I say!

      Without delay!

      Just another fairy tale....

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      Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Oliver Pendle. See God is so great that He created angels moral agents with free will. It means one can say yes or no. More, God created man to His own image again free moral agent. It took a lot of Billions year when rebellion happened. But God had the plan for the man. And it is good news. God corrected to have victory and He set us free. We still retained free will. The same time Lucifer was defeated.

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      Oliver Pendle 5 years ago

      That's quite alright Seek-n-Find, It's hard for me to comment alot, this is about the only time frame where we're both online - It's about 7.40pm atm here so the time differences make it hard to have a constant debate.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      @ Oliver: I understand what you are saying. It will take me more than a minute to respond and unfortunately, about a minute is all I have at the moment. I do have a response which I believe answers the points you bring up and also addresses the alleged moral issue. I will write back when I have a chance. Thanks for the engaging discussion.

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      Oliver Pendle 5 years ago

      Firstly, I can understand what you're saying about God, but it seems far more easy and logical to understand something that just happened randomly or for our own world to never have a beginning than for something else to have no beginning and then spontaniously decide to create a whole world which was eventually corrupted by evil - Lucifer - a creation of God... And For Evil to corrupt Good it means that Good must have a weakness of some kind - this is the case for any type of corruption, it comes through weakness, therefore a flaw in one's "design". That is evident no matter how you word it. So God may not be perfect, that doesn't disprove God, that only disproves the Bible and Jesus... SO maybe God does exist but is the master of all, he created Good and evil and we are but people in a story being sold on the shelves in the world of this marvilous author? How is that any less logical? At the end of the day, with the arguement that all must have a beginning that means that all must have an end - however, this is illogical, if something ends, it ends forever - this cannot be so, for nothing can last forever: including nothingness it's self. In the end it's all a complete contradicting circle - so either we accept that things go in a cycle or we trip over ourselves trying to find a beginning. We ask outselves: What came first; the chicken or the Egg? Well we can never answer this and so we say: "The Chicken, because God put it there?" "Who put God there?" "No one, it is why he is God." "SO God comes from nowhere which defies the very laws that religion creates and brings up a law which religion refuses to understand - in the end, God is eternal, therefore God never started (Or Ends) yet you refuse to believe or understand the concept that actually the universe could have done the same thing - and never started and never end... Tell me, which is more easy to believe: The concept that life will rise and fall and rise and fall in the cycle of the universe or that our universe is dictated and controlled by a being which never started and never ended and created Earth for some unknown reason and was overcome by evil and sends humans to heaven or hell? It sounds like a good bedtime story - but lacks the moral message.