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We hear often of atheists claiming that have looked for evidence of God but can find none but what would convince them? How do they go about investigating? How do they expect believers to prove it to them when it can only be proved to oneself and not by another?
I ask believers for evidence all the time, but they always fall short. Do you have any? There is no reason why a God wouldn't be able to supply evidence.
There is no reason why he should supply evidence, either.
When you want someone to believe in something, it's not surprising that they would want evidence for it. For example, with the issue of evolution. Scientists are able to provide the evidence needed to prove that evolution exists. This is why many people fall short on the belief that we came to exist through God's creations. There is no evidence to prove that we were created by him, except what other religious people have said in the past and what they have written in the bible. It's even more contradictory that the bible was written by different people, rather than by Jesus Christ himself, who was believed to be the son of God. Other cultures during that period had already created forms of writing, yet he did not find the means to write the bible himself. In addition, the only real "evidence" that people are able to provide to support their beliefs is the bible, which in turn, has many contradictions in itself, and therefore can not be that reliable. Not to mention, everyone interprets it differently, and no one can say for sure what is it's true teachings.
I am an not an atheist because I believe science can disprove God. The burden of proof lies on religion and the people who believe in God. If you propose that something exists, you must provide the proof in your defense, of its existence. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe you. I was raised as a Catholic, I separated from the church when I no longer agreed with their views. And I became an atheist, when I no longer had a belief there was a God.
You seem to assume that I care whether you believe me or not.
I don't assume that you care at all, like I don't care if you continue believing in what you believe. My response was to your statement about God not needing a reason to provide "evidence." Assuming, by some miracle he existed, he would HAVE HAD to provide some sort of evidence, in order for humans to believe in him and learn his original teachings. Otherwise, we can assume humans from the past have made everything up. So either he provided evidence about his existence to the people of the past or humans made him up. Concluding from that, if he was able to prove his existence before, than he can easily do it again. Otherwise, he can not condemn someone for not believing in something that ever made himself known to them. Not one thing in my entire life has proven itself to show that he has ever existed, therefore, I do not "believe" he exists. I lack that belief, because there is nothing to believe in, according to my views.
God provides evidence to whom he wishes to believe in him, to the extent it takes to convince the individual he is real.
That is why it doesn't make sense to me that the God I have a relationship would burn those that he doesn't give faith to ,, for not having faith.
I don't believe in eternal damnation either
In fact, it seems he treats those of true faith pretty harshly at times
as if he were testing us for something perhaps
I think he says that to whom much (faith) more is expected. But I don't think that is it.
If God is the cause of hardships it may be that these are roadblocks instead that we are suposed to avoid but stuborn ME! I'm strong and can go through then hardships thinking I'm supposed to.
"IF" there is a devil, don't you think he would be blessing those that follow him and punishing those that don't?
So if we follow the wrong god (by accident) we would be receiving blessings the same as if we follow thr "Right" God?? I don't believe that either jist something to think about ??
Which is also why I don't think God is going to burn anybody. Just for following their heart and choosing wrong. but I could be wrong about that too.
Gotta go out for a little bit. be back soon.
I agree. I don't think God has anything against nonbelievers, just for not believing. Especially if they are good people.
"IF" there is a devil, don't you think he would be blessing those that follow him and punishing those that don't?
So if we follow the wrong god (by accident) we would be receiving blessings the same as if we follow thr "Right" God?? I don't believe that either jist something to think about ??
The devil does reward those who follow him. Those with fame and riches. He persecutes those who hate him. However, his blessings are actually curses because those who receive those "blessings" soon will find out their grave mistake. God will give you blessings of a spiritual kind and not wealth. The "down-side" is persecution from the devil.
The difference is that the one road leads to heaven and the other to hell.
That's because you have no relationship, it is all make believe.
The present believers were once non-believers, and that is the evidence for the existence of God in their life. And do not think that God is a man, to discuss godly things in the ways of the man. If you believe in God, it is well and good. And if you do not believe in God, do not fight for something you do not believe. It's funny to see people arguing about something they think do not exist.
I do not fight for what I do not believe, I simply responded to her statement. I fight for what I do believe, in the freedom of religion and in the freedom FROM religion. To want to project religious view unto others, when they are not part of the religious group is wrong. To want to deny the rights of people because their god tells them to, is wrong. I do not believe there is a god, therefore, I should not be obligated to follow his laws, as if he existed.
I totally agree with you with one exception... we basically do follow God's laws in normal society. We know that it is unacceptable to steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, etc... We also seem to inherently know that to be loving, forgiving, kind and unselfish are attributes that are not only desirable, but beneficial. The list goes on and on, but of course that was my main point.
We know because of evolution, not because of some mythical gods laws.
You do realize that morals and ethics have existed before people began believing in god and still continues to exist without god. Many cultures grew without acknowledging the existence of a god. Just because gods laws align with the basic morals and ethics humans have, doesn't mean god suddenly becomes the creator of them. In addition, families and communities have also existed without the belief in god. Love and selflessness, do not come from the belief in god, it comes from the bonds and relationships we form.
If you'd like to produce another book in existence, written before 4000 BC, that teach these morals, I would be happy to concede the point.
Humans have existed thousands of years before that. Many having already created civilizations with families and communities throughout the world, and even after the death of Jesus Christ, the bible and it's teaching didn't reach many civilizations until centuries later. Yet many civilizations already had their own laws and morals they followed, even without a god.
The bible was not written before 4000 bc but yes the Hindu and Sumerian Vedas are the same age or older and probably have more morals and value that we would recognize as good in the modern context than the old testament (which really is a pretty brutal and poor moral guide what with all the killing gay people, killing non virgins, slavery etc.).
Zoroastrianism is almost 4000 years old and already banned slavery which even Jesus did not do two thousand years later (indeed her seemed to support the institution).
If he expects people to believe he exists he does need to provide evidence. Particularly if not believing is a sin to him. This silly game of hide and seek is nonsense if the stakes are really that high.
Why should any of us believe what you guys say about this god? You got the info from dubious sources. You choose to believe even if there is no evidence.
As to your question and your assertion that one can only convince themselves, that's the problem here. If I have to convince myself that a god exists regardless of real tangible evidence then I'll have to pass.
Confirmation bias is a problem in this world, not a solution to anything. I can probably convince myself of anything if I want to enough. But that does not make it true. There in is the problem and your answer. Many atheists like myself hold truth above all else. You don't need faith for facts.
If you don't have facts you have speculation. What is the point in belief in either case? None. It won't get you the facts you don't have. It won't get you truth,
If god were a fact there should be evidence of it. There isn't. So I wait and see if any shows up.... I don't hold my breath.
Well, let me give you a semi fallacious reason (Note... I am not trying to be condescending or sarcastic with my response so if you take it this way I apologize up front. I am trying to be reasonable but also slightly humorous). It all comes down to belief. I'm going to break it down in three parts
1) First you must believe that a God exists, or at least the possibility. Atheism, by definition, is a lack of belief in a god or gods.... (strike one)
2) You must believe that evidence of God is available.. Since atheists lack a belief in the existence of God, It could also be reasoned that atheists lack a belief in the availability of evidence.... (strike two)
3) You must also believe that whatever evidence that is provided to you is (or could be) sufficient enough to prove the existence of God (any god). So if premise 1 is correct (definition), and premise 2 is logically sound enough to be correct, then it could be reasoned that it doesn't matter what evidence is presented it will not be sufficient enough (strike 3 .. And we're out of options)
Now for myself, I have reasoned something out about you based on these premises and previous conversations that I've seen you having with other believers. It would be increasingly difficult to prove the existence of God to you because of the above premise as well as your opinion that some believers suffer from a delusion of sorts. Because I think that if someone would tell you what you want to know that you could probably find a logical explanation for how they got that information and if God himself were to come down and show you stuff that you would have yourself psychologically examined.
Again, I'm not sure what specifically you would be looking for and I'm not trying to sound condescending. I apologize if you take it that way.
I think one of the biggest issues is in trying to apply physical logical evidence to an ideal that is meant to be illogical. God is an entity that defies logic, which adds mystique and thus increases his power (so to speak). There is power in things that are unknown. Once everything about God becomes known (so to speak), then God no longer become all powerful
"Once everything about God becomes known (so to speak), then God no longer become all powerful"
What a silly thing to say. No sillier than saying god is meant to be illogical, of course, but pretty silly.
I'm not being insulting here. You are just retelling very common misconceptions and fallacious arguments. It's not your fault.
If there was a god, do you honestly think it couldn't make itself very clear to anyone it wanted to? What little power you think your god actually has if you believe that. That our lack of belief would be so strong that we would refuse to believe in it even if it proved to be the truth,
Fallacy. Why? Because lack of belief is not belief. I don't believe in Bigfoot but if it were found and proven to exist then I would have no choice but to accept, rather than believe, that it is the truth.
True atheism simply lack belief that there is a god. It does not believe in the lack of a god. There is a big difference. I can neither prove nor disprove a god. No one can. But neither can you prove or disprove that I have invisible pink squirrels in my attic. I would hope that you would lack belief that there are even though since the nasty little buggers don't even leave pink poop you will never prove that they do not exist.
Right, you don't care, so that's the difference. You do care whether there is a god or not. You want there to be one and you find evidence in your own life for it. That is called confirmation bias. You confirm your beliefs by attributing events in your life to the existence of a god.
Beliefs cause bias. Lack of belief helps prevent it. We are all susceptible to it so any tools that help us fight it should be welcome. The problem is that religion is based on belief and confirmation bias.
Were god to come to me and show me in no uncertain terms that it is god then I would have to accept it as truth.
Fallacy: No you do not have to decide there is no evidence for god because you lack belief in god. That would be a silly way of going about things. An illogical way. You look at the evidence provided and weigh it. You go through it logically. Then you discover its veracity or lack there of.
The problem for most theists is that they can not get their head around the idea atheists do not value faith and belief. Theists think it is the best thing since sliced bread. Atheists see it as the giving up of logic, and indeed that is what you claim you need to do to believe.
I'm sorry but the world is too full of ideas that contradict each other and claim to be the truth. The world itself is more complex that we ever imagined. If you rely on belief you have no hope of finding the truth.
Wonder of wonders! It lives! Hello, my friend.
Hello Motown. I do stop by once in a while to throw my pearls such as they are when time permits. Glad to see you are still stalking these illustrious halls. Hope you and yours are doing well.
No insult here.. I understand why you would say that
Note, I did say it was semi fallacious.. One thing I said was believe in God or the possibility of God. I recognize the difference between the "hard" atheists (those who state with certainty that there is no God) and those who simply lack belief but do not definitively state there is no God (which there are a few of you here).. This statement shows that you fall in the latter category so I'm sure that you would accept if God revealed himself.
Sorry, I don't remember stating at all that God has shown himself to me or that he has done something major in my life.. In fact, I haven't even stated too much what I specifically think regarding God other than there are some that call to him wayyy more than necessary. You might have me confused with someone else.. I am a firm believer that the more you operate in principles, the less you need miracles.. Also, I have stated several times here on HP that I admit that I could be wrong regarding my beliefs..
Not sure how many forums you follow that I have posted on, but if you see this in me, then unfortunately yyou have not read enough of my replies..
Well as my comment to Motown above suggests I don't have a lot of time lately to avail ,myself of the pleasure of the HP forums. Wish I did.
But my comment was not meant to imply that you thought god had shown himself to you. I was replying to your idea that implied that atheists hold a belief that causes confirmation bias to the point where they can not accept even the possibility of a god. That idea is clearly wrong because atheism is not a belief. "Hard" atheism is as untenable as theism, and the weakest possible position. .
However, religious belief does tend toward creating confirmation bias, so it sounded to me like you were projecting that theistic failing. How you personally deal with the problem is of course not known to me. specifically why you believe in a god of some sort and what that god might look like to you is admittedly unknown to me. unfortunately for the purposes of debate, there seem to be as many versions of theism as there are people who hold to it. I can only go by the content of the post I read.
Before stating whether this "god" thing exists or not, what is this thing? Won't we have to first agree upon the meaning of the word before debating whether that thing exists or not? For me the universe, all the stars and planets and satellites that gave rise to life and us, is god and hence definitely exists[ I don't think you want a god which is an "it", which do not think or talk or do not have emotions and is not benevolent and do not interfere in human matters]. But I presume what you mean by god is a super-man (as) described in the bible who sits on a throne in no-no land and created the universe somewhere in the past. As it is a statement made by you (or some humans who had as much knowledge as we, if not less, about the subject), we have to analyse it logically and rationally before accepting it as valid and you can clearly see that the statement is illogical.
If I make an illogical statement and ask you to accept it as truth, will you accept it(even if I show you an ancient book that supports it, though scientific evidences support the contrary)?
So 'god' as you say it definitely do not exist.
Fair enough, But that has no relation to what constitutes "hard" atheism.. Hard atheists do not believe in any higher force as God. You do presume much. When have you heard me say I believe in a God that interferes in human matters?
I haven't, that's why I said I 'presume' you talk about biblical or similar god.
Regarding higher force, isn't it too vague a term? Thunder, lightning, fission, sun, wind are all higher forces and atheists accept that. But is that god? You still haven't clearly and unambiguously said what you mean by god. In my second definition you might have noticed that 'interfering in human matters' is optional. Creator is illogical but was the main meaning.
Through deductive reasoning rather than inductive reasoning we can say that certain forms of god can not exist, such as a perfect god or an all powerful god etc.
But we can not conclude that no god exists either inductively or deductively unless one were to pop its head out the sky and say high or in some other way make its existence known as fact.
I think there are subjective reasons one would want to believe in a higher power of some sort even if that power is the nature of that which we and all things are made of. Pantheists hold that position while still being atheists. Objectively, of course we have to realize that benevolence requires some form of thought or deliberation which we do not generally ascribe to natural processes.
Yet for the purposes of our objective existence nature is objectively as well as subjectively benevolent despite the fact that it is not a conscious benevolence. It provides us with all we need to continue our existence, which it facilitates. Our benevolence toward each other is just a reflection of those processes, not something special only attributable to human subjectivity.
But you are also taking the Ignostic position that states that any talk of god is meaningless unless it is first clearly defined and its definition is falsifiable.
I find myself agreeing with both positions. If god is defined as that which produced all of this, then the nature of energy/mass qualifies as god and can be proven to exist, where as the conscious version of a separate god that plays hide and seek can not. So barring future evidence to the contrary one would have to deduce that currently the strongest position to hold is one of lack of belief in conscious god, or an acceptance of the fact that we in all likelihood come about through natural, not supernatural processes.
Thank you, that more or less summarises it. As each person's god is different, a pantheist god is exact opposite of a theists' while a deists lie some where in between, it's better to define beforehand what each mean by 'god' before embarking on a debate about each's position.
Therein lies the issue of sorts. Religion in itself by one definition refers to an individual perspective of God and the belief system and practices that correlate to it. Unfortunately, society (and others) seem intent to only define religion in regards and relation to the group of people that believe and congregate in worship (or like I like to think of it as the "mob mentality"). This is what has led to different conflicts because even some believers attack each other at times when they disagree over God to the point that they say that a specific idea of God is the wrong one.
Right. And to complicate matters even more, as I stated in a previous post: every person really has their own definition of god, even if they belong to a specific denomination. Even the fundamentalists all have their own individual version. It's a lot of work to first have everyone you talk to define exactly what they mean by the word god before debating them, but doing otherwise is a game of hit and miss.
Forums like this do not lend themselves well to in-depth discussion and mutual understanding before the debate. We all tend to throw things out there and hope they apply to some one, even if not the person we are talking to.
Such are the limitations of non-formal debate forums.
But on the other hand, formal debates tend to be too structured and restraining. We can't have it all, I guess. And I enjoy all the misunderstanding and passion these forums generate. They are a study of chaos. in which the militant atheists and militant fundamentalists battle for the prize of church vs state, democracy vs theocracy; a battle every reasonable person has a stake in regardless of their theology or lack there of.
In the end, that is what these debates are about, not whether a god exists or not.
Get used to it, Deepes. He makes a lot of them. Slarty was my first HP atheist love!
Have I a chance of being your last, Mo? lol
I know that I’m not going to express this as well as I’m thinking it, but here goes anyway.
If my beliefs are anything close to being right ????
That we are spirit beings first, and this spiritual existence is as it is written in Rev. 4:4 “ … thou hast created all things for thy pleasure ..” And in the beginning God said let US make man in OUR own image.
I think you and I were there and WE are the we in that statement. We created this illusion that we call reality. There has to be this diversity, and conflict here in the illusion of reality which we are constantly in the process of creating or there wouldn’t be any difference between this reality and the one we came from.
Would you want to go on a vacation to stay in a house that looks just like your own house? And would you do all the same things that you always do when you are at home? If you would (?) Then you have wasted your vacation time. If we all agreed on everything, and if we had all the answers, the value of this experience would be lost.
So enjoy the time we have, eat drink and be merry, if that is what floats your boat?
But remember, there are some souls that find pleasure in stealing some one else’s. Don’t be like them!
Sorry Jerami, but spirits have never been shown to exist.
That is right, I agree with you, every time we cut a bird (or anything) open looking for it, we can't find it.
And when we keep cuting and it dies, we see no difference except the heart quits beating. So there must not be such a thing as life or spirit. Has anyone ever seen life? NO we only see the affects which are present when life is present. And sense we can not see "Life" itself, we can not examine it to see how complex it really is. Does it have multiple aspects?
Like not being able to cut open an onion, not knowing how many layers it takes to be an onion.
But we DO see "life". We often watch a chemical process proceed. We can watch organisms reproduce. We watch them respond to stimuli and eat. We can even watch a beating heart or other muscles contract.
What else is "life"? Spirit?
But life is more than chemical processes. How does a mush of grey matter encode memories, thoughts, consciousness? How do non-sentient electro-chemical-processes result in sentience? How do the non-sentient mathematical patterns encoded in rhythmic pulses of air, aka music, result in an emotional stimulation? Where does a sense of beauty come from and why is the World and the universe beautiful?
If life consisted merely of biology and a need to survive in the given environment, then concepts such as sentience, beauty, emotion are redundant.
They are redundant. Us understand them is a by product of evolution. Building and using tools and weapons requires a complex brain. Our brains evolved to do those task to survive. Evolution is ongoing. Each generation gets taller and smarter.
Therein lies our difference. You see sentience, beauty and emotion as redundant, preferring to boil life down to evolutionary devices. This definition of life is much poorer.
Emotions are necessary for survival as well. Our emotional attachments help us care for each other.
"Much poorer" would seem to be relative to the use of the definition.
Embedding "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer into a biology text will in some ways enrichen the text, but not to the biology student wanting to learn about trees and how they survive. A definition being "poorer" in that sense is not necessarily a negative; if you want "feelings" in your definitions, talk to a poet rather than a biologist.
In this sense I am talking as a poet.
But are you not looking for the truth of the matter? Isn't that what is of real importance?
How can it be poorer? Either they are chemical processes, or they are chemical processes set up by a god. You still have feelings and emotions either way. That's the only fact you know with certainty.
Now what is the difference which process gave you emotions? Really? IF you value them then why value them less if a god didn't have a hand in you having them? It 's just your perception that makes the difference. Your desire for there to be a god.
To me it makes no difference at all in the way I see beauty. On fact I see more beauty in the discoveries of science than in any religion because I know those discoveries are part of how all this works and part of the truth.
The universe is an amazing place whether a god exists or not and it is even more amazing than we ever imagined.
"How does a mush of grey matter encode memories, thoughts, consciousness"
Through chemical processes.
"How do non-sentient electro-chemical-processes result in sentience"
Through chemical processes
"How do the non-sentient mathematical patterns encoded in rhythmic pulses of air, aka music, result in an emotional stimulation"
Through chemical processes
"Where does a sense of beauty come from and why is the World and the universe beautiful"
Through chemical processes
If you want exact, minute, details at the atomic level you will need to have a far greater knowledge of biology than I (or anyone else) does. For a generalized answer, though, we can see electrical and chemical changes occur in the brain, telling us there is a chemical process going on, which basically answers your questions.
Concepts of "sentience, beauty, emotion", being nothing more than a specific grouping of chemicals in the memory of the brain tissue, probably ARE redundant to survival - a side effect of other changes or groupings that DO add to survival rates. Actual emotion, as opposed to the concept of emotion, is probably a different matter just as the others are as well.
Evidence from a large number of brain imaging studies has shown that, in humans, the insula, and especially its anterior part, is involved in emotions and emotion recognition. Typically, however, these studies revealed that, besides the insula, a variety of other cortical and subcortical areas are also active.
The way we perceive beauty is also vastly determined by our environment. We are highly influenced by others in the perception of beauty. Yet some things appeal more to others, and their influence may grow on others, leading to a growth of the people that may consider it beautiful. Imagine the qualities you hold that would make a woman beautiful, now another person might change that list by one or two, and another by adding something new. The cycle continues to change till the point that the list is completely different. Why? The way they perceive beauty is different because of the environmental influences. Nature endows us with inborn abilities and traits; nurture takes these genetic tendencies and molds them as we learn and mature.
That is patently absurd, Jerami.
There are volumes of work written on life, based on experiments, research and observation, so much one could not go through it all in a lifetime.
There is nothing on spirits, nada, zilch. That's because there are no characteristics or properties, observations or anything else to write about other than ghouls and goblins.
A very poorly thought out post, Jerami. I can't believe I had to actually explain that to you.
How do you know that spirits are not composed of dark matter? Both are unproven and as yet undetectable. It's the old 'just because we can't measure it, it doesn't mean it does not exist' argument.
Dark matter is detectable and measurable. Spirits are not.
Dark matter, by my understanding, is inferred by our observations. I'm not saying it isn't a part of reality but you can't grab a piece and put it under microscope. As of now, we are hypothesizing because of inference. Kind of like the believers claim.
No, gravity and air while invisible are demonstrable and measurable.
I'm surprised you don't see the difference in the claims about dark matter and air. Oh well.
"Direct evidence for dark matter has come from the discovery and characterization of gravitational lenses, regions of space where mass bends light."
http://www.interactions.org/quantumuniv … ns/q6.html
Do you understand the difference between evidence and inference?
Dark matter fascinates me as much as the next person. But, you are confusing yourself, (or me, possibly) by using terms you shouldn't when talking about it.
The word "evidence" in the above statement was not my writing. Perhaps you should give the experts a lesson instead of me?
Sorry, not one of your articles supports the full extent of your assertions. I compare it to a believer stating that, through observation, they see evidence of God; therefore all women who have abortions are murderers.
One small step for the imagination...one giant leap into bs.
Out of curiosity, do you read these articles before you post the link; or scan them for keywords. Every one you have posted drives home my point.
Not at all
Mass of Dark Matter Revealed by Precise Measurements of the Galaxy
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 … 082539.htm
Using its Planck space telescope
http://theweek.com/article/index/241759 … e-universe
Correct me if I missed something. The first article has a reference to the effect that the findings line up with the current theory on dark matter. The second article references dark matter as 'the mysterious glue that holds the universe together.'
Trust me on this point. If we could actually see dark matter we wouldn't be calling it a mysterious glue. That isn't a scientific term. That's a 'what the heck causes that' reference.
It's measurable as are air and gravity. There is nothing measurable about any God. With all these people claim prayer works you'd think it could be demonstrated.
Rad man, rad man. We've traveled this road. This conversation had nothing to do with God. My only point is, to stretch the truth is pointless. To overreach and make assumptions inhibits discovery. It puts your assertions into the category of belief. Aren't you opposed to simple belief without facts?
It has been calculated that something is missing and until it is found the unscientific term of Dark Matter has been used as a catch all. Nevertheless it has not been directly measured.
Sure it has. According to the Planck mission team, and based on the standard model of cosmology, the total mass–energy of the universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy.
"Researchers have revealed the first potential hints of the elusive material called dark matter at an underground laboratory in the US.
Though it is believed to make up a quarter of our Universe, dark matter - true to its name - has never been seen.
Scientists at the American Physical Society meeting showed three promising clues to it from the CDMS experiment.
However, they stressed the preliminary nature of the results and that more data are needed to confirm it."
No proof of its existence yet and nothing measured. Ooh like a spirit perhaps.
Again, measurable. According to the Planck mission team, and based on the standard model of cosmology, the total mass–energy of the universe contains 4.9% ordinary matter, 26.8% dark matter and 68.3% dark energy.
Without dark matter galaxies wouldn't hold together.
Calculating that something is missing using a model is not the same as measuring its existence.
We know it exists and can calculate how much of it there is, is measuring it's existence. Unlike the notion of God.
Point by point, think about everything known (without interjection of your personal hopes and dreams).....then step around your prejudices and compare it to theological theories and explain the difference.
I have no prejudices as I'm not attempting to convince anyone the existence of someone that can't be demonstrated or measured. I'm looking at reality. I'd rather think in an after life, but reality doesn't support it.
I was simply commenting on belief in God, not any accompanying beliefs. That's your problem. You can't look at anything individually. You allow preconceived notions to adversely color thought processes on everything.
Dark matter has properties and characteristics that are measurable, gravity being the most pronounced. How do spirits fall within this category?
What did they show that led you to believe such a thing...
ATM only believes what scientists tell him. A couple hundred years ago, ATM would still think you were nuts if you told himthings were made out of protons and neutrons. he might even think the world was flat.
Actually the church backed both the flat earth theory and the four element theory and rejected both of those scientific discoveries that you mention.
The fact we know those things is down to scientific research.
Yes, I know that. We've known those things for thousands of years.
Wasn't mainstream however,and that wasn't my point in the first place. Which is that ATM and people like him will only believe what they are told by authority.
on the contrary they believe the things told to them by people who are doing legitimate research on a scientific basis.
Projecting your own ignorance onto others and how you are told what to believe does not equate to what others actually understand and how they go about understanding.
He has the ability to argues with any and everybody, most scientist included.
Any self-respecting scientist will quickly reject ATM even when he speaks for them.
He has perfected the art of closing the eyes and shouting NO.
It was the Christians who thought the world was flat and the sun orbited the earth. Questioning was not allowed.
HAHAHAHAHA!!! I read this and thought it said it was the CANADIANS who thought the world was flat. I was slightly confused!
Well, Mo, look at the surface of the water in all the lakes that abound in Canada..... each surface is dead flat..... so the world must be flat! It's bleedin' obvious.
You right, in the summer when it's warm enough we get out of our igloo's and go for a skate on lakes and I can tell you first hand that those lakes are flat.
That was an incredibly lame and pedestrian attempt at an insult, almost as lame and pedestrian as the rest of your posts.
depends on your personal definition of "spirit"... when I look at my partner and I believe the science that says she is not actually a physical being but an energy being, a community of atoms held together by a force, and that she exists in a field of energy, and that I too am a field of energy, and we are interfacing with something termed "senses" that give me an illusion of physicality that allows me to function with my partner in this field in a certain functional way, the energy I term floor beneath the energy I term feet allowing me to get from here to there with stability etc., and yet there is no physicality only fields of atoms touching fields of atoms with subjectively defined barriers, and I touch my partner, and something I term "rationality" gives me a concept I that I can interprete all this energy into a workable physicality to interact myself with all the rest in a certain way, while all the while knowing my perceptions are tainted by this "rational" concept that disallows my seeing the actual energy form of myself, my partner, the floor, the earth, I don't look for a rational explanation from this physical delusion... I look at the energy form of my partner and I see a spirit that can never be destroyed and may retain its individual identity as long as it remembers itself.
The "let us made God in our image" actually comes from the pagan version of Genesis, the Sumerian one, where the gods made humans.
God could supply evidence, which begs the question why are you asking us?
He does for many more people than not, at least in the U.S. I know that doesn't prove anything but I'm not trying to.
Rapidly changing, I believe the rate of Christianity is falling at about 1% yearly in the US.
Not everyone who believes in God is a christian
True, a Christian is someone who believes Jesus Christ is his savior. Those who do not believe in that, are not Christians and fall into other forms of religion or are simply theists.
Edit - In addition, I would also like add Atheists, agnostics, etc. As I am an atheist, I am not a christian, since I do not believe in god or that Christ was a son of god and savior, etc. I do not, on other other hand, deny there was someone who did exist as Jesus and managed to start the religion of Christianity.
Because some of you claim God answers all their prayers and they have real conversations with God. So I ask them to ask there God for evidence, but nobody ever produces anything.
I think if any Christian was really honest with themselves they would acknowledge that their conversations are one sided affairs. Subsequent to their prayers they may get anything from a hunch to a very strong impulse that cannot be ignored, to do some action or say something. Now if they go with the hunch or very strong impulse and the end result is that some event takes place that would support their belief that God was directing them, they cannot be mocked for believing that God talks to them. Taken over a period of time, these scenarios build up to the point where it seems logical to the believer that by ordinary chance the results would not have come about by happenstance. Thus they draw a correlation between the initial prayer, the hunch/impulse and the resulting event.
Now after all that I include myself in the 'they' and the 'them', but I'm not personally comfortable wearing the 'Christian' moniker as I do not follow the doctrines of the evangelical Christian.
It's because there is no direct evidence. What may be evidence of God will just be interpreted as something else to the non believer. It is true that God can provide evidence. He just needs a willing heart. People often like to make excuses why something that has come into their life is not from God. It has to be something else. When God knows someone is not interested in serving Him then He cannot be known to them.
To add, non believers like to ask for evidence of miracles in the sky and then they will believe. Many witnesses Jesus' miracles and still did not believe. Some saw Him die and even when He rose from the dead. They still rejected Him.
The bottom line is the will. Is one willing to abandon one's entire life to Jesus and obey His every command and deny the beckon of the world?
They why do people claim prayer works? Why do they claim God answers prayers? Why do they claim they communicate with God? Don't you think if God wanted everyone to be his puppets he could make it so?
The real reason no evidence can be found is because the relationship some are having with God is entirely in the mind. If you were/are in contact with God why not ask him to supply evidence for those who don't believe to save their soul?
Why do they claim prayer works? Because it does. There is no such thing as a prayer unanswered. He may not reveal it to us immediately but rather when the time is right. And often we don't like the answer we get to our prayers. When one completely abandons their life to God they will notice that everything they come across is blatantly from God or Satan. You can then observe how the two counter each other and then you begin to see just how much God loves us. Unfortunately, you find out just how much Satan hates humanity either. God does not want puppets. He wants us to love Him. He could force you to worship Him right now but that would make Him a tyrant.
No revealing himself would not make him a tyrant and prayer doesn't work as evidence to the Christian population in both hospitals and jail.
What made you come to the inference that prayer doesn't work because there are Christians in hospital and jail? This statement is vague so please elaborate.
Christians are very well represented in hospitals and jails. If Christian prayer worked they would not be.
You don't understand. If you read the bible it is full of God's followers being imprisoned for their faith, even tortured and dying for their faith. *This world is not the finality of our days and God obviously knows that. He knows that this life is a drop in the bucket. It is eternity He wants us to live for. *None of us... believer or non are exempt from suffering. I wish if you could understand anything, you could understand that. We live in a fallen world... all of us together. We are all appointed a life here on earth and a life in eternity. God will not make life on earth Heaven, free of suffering, free of pain... He only promises Heaven for those who believe.
Then why do you claim prayer works if you're supposed to suffer? Didn't God give you a vacation a while back?
Those people in prison are not there because of there faith, but because they did bad things.
If prayer worked there would be no Christians in hospitals.
You never understood the point of the vacation. You all just kept yelling "God helped a Christian find their car keys while He let millions die of starvation. God gave her a vacation while He lets millions die of cancer." You miss the point entirely.
My point is not, "Look at how God cares about me and my needs b/c Im a Christian." It's that God, while caring about all of mankind, while curing many ppl of illness, while feeding many that are hungry, actually cared enough about something so minute as my problem of not seeing my family for years, and made a way.
Your mistake is thinking that God should handle things the way you would handle them if you were Him. He is not going to make earth a pre-Heaven. That's what Heaven is all about. It will be free from all suffering. Those children that die here on earth, will be in His arms forever. This life is not the one that matters, though He still cares enough to meet needs great and small.
Too many people can't see past themselves, that's the problem. God gave me a vacation, cured my asthma, cured my cancer... all the while people are starving, people are dying in hospital, children are undergoing bone marrow transplants (family member). Some can't see all the people praying for loved ones to survive all they see is vacation needs and how that should be on the top of God's to-do list.
Spare me the ethics lesson.
As I said, you cannot make God into who you think He should be any more than your wife can mold you into the perfect man. You either get to know someone for who they are, or you live in denial.
All believers have a different version of God. You all get the God you need. So please don't tell me you either take it or leave it. Your God helps with vacation plans and is a loving father.
A wise Christian knows you cannot put God in a box. He is a disciplinarian, He is emotional, He is a judge, He is a Father... Like any relationship, a great part of the experience is to get to know every part of His personality. I certainly cannot do that here on earth... this is just the beginning of the relationship. It will last for eternity.
I can't but feel sorry for you. You come here day in and day out saying the same thing over and over again calling God a monster even though He supposedly doesn't exist.
Did a Christian hurt you or something?
Only a monster would extort worship from billions with the threat of hellfire. How can you not see this?
That's not my God. You have missed the point again. What is it that people do when they do evil? They make Satan more powerful. Many, like the average, person are unwittingly doing this. Not repenting of evil is pledging an allegiance with Satan even if one doesn't believe in him. God does not make us do evil. Jesus warned the Pharisees of hell because Satan was using them like puppets.
It's like telling a child that doing wrong can lead to very tragic consequences. If you tell your kid they may land up in jail because they do drugs you would say you are doing it out of concern. So if Jesus warns us of hell is it not, too, because He is concerned?
And, thanks, for the well-wishes.
If Jesus warns us of hell in the form of a book not written by him and he is the one in charge of putting us in hell he is in fact guilty of extortion and poor communication.
LOL! You don't understand that hell is self-imposed. If someone wants to be with Satan and their sin then what can Jesus do? Force them to come to heaven? And what would you think of Jesus if He allowed all the paedophiles to run amok in heaven? Would you respect Him? In fact, why should judges be so judgmental and said drug addicts to jail? When someone who is clearly guilty of a crime gets off scot free then there is a huge outcry at the injustice. When someone goes to hell for evil then suddenly it's extortion and mean. Double standards, hey?
Atheists love to believe Jesus is unjust and bad. In justifies them not following Him.
That's a broad, sweeping statement, Claire. Not true of myself, a Living Again Atheist.
I do respect you having your own version of faith and belief. If it suits you and your life style, why should I complain. But it does not seem a very "transmissible" belief system, not one that many would take on board. A bit mixed up. But again, don't change just because of my opinion.
Okay kiddies, gather round, uncle Ernie is going to tell you a story.
Know what, kids? Jesus has this dad, who's a real head case, goes around smiting everyone who annoys him. He even made this place called Hell, which is the most horrible place in the universe, kids, and Jesus warns us all that you better watch out for his old man and don't do nothin' bad, or you'll end up in Hell. Boo!
Congratulations. Satan has just used you as his puppet.
Yes, I certainly did feel Satan's hand up my backside moving my hands to write that.
Supposedly? How about demonstratively? Evidently? Relevantly? Indubitably?
How about supercalifragelisticexpealidoscious?
Yes, I was kidnapped as a youngling and brought to a remote monastery where I spent 15 years as a love slave for traveling evangelists.
No, YOU miss the point entirely.
Yet, people die at an alarming rate due to various ailments and tens of thousands are dying every day of starvation. Your God is not curing anyone or feeding anyone. Further to that, why are you ignoring these facts?
No, that is YOUR mistake and we are simply making relevant comparisons.
Wow, the believer will justify the deaths of tens of thousands children every day in order to defend their gods, what a horrible, sickening religion.
You've completely missed the point. No wonder you are atheist, who strangely attends mass. You have no clue what true Christianity is about. Why should God bail out a Christian in jail? If one breaks a leg, do you expect God to mend it on the spot? Can you just imagine what the world would be like. We'd treat God like our genie. I pray yet I landed up in hospital recently. My pray made my hospital stay a most valuable experience. God helps people through others.
Of course I attend mass from time to time. Weddings, funerals, first communions, confirmations...
I've not missed the point. The point is prayer doesn't work, while it may make you feel you are doing the right thing, it doesn't work. The point is people are praying for lost car keys while millions are starving or are being treated for cancers. The individual can't see the big picture, can't see past the car keys. Can't look or think critically.
I hope your feeling well.
What goes through your mind when you attend mass? Do you think, "Poor little brain-washed people"?
Pay attention. You have no idea how prayer works and how God answers them. Oh, yes, we can pray we will win a million dollars but God does answer that prayer by not allowing that to happen and in that way says no. You think by God answering our prayers it means He says yes to us and gives us what we want. Answering prayer can answer be in the form of a no.
The effect God has on one's life is directly proportional to the extent we allow Him to work in our lives. Unfortunately many people allow Satan to rule the world and thus has more say in worldly affairs. It is the rulers of the world who keep the people in starvation. It's a depopulation plan. In other words, getting rid of the useless eaters as Kissinger said.
If people repented for evil they have done Satan wouldn't stand a chance and there would be no such thing as starvation. The responsibility lies with us.
Yes, a resounding chorus of "NO!" comes crashing down on the prayers of the starving every single day, wiping out thousands in it's path, mercilessly. No one is immune to this awesome power of love.;
Yes, the starving children are evil little guys running around sinning like there's no tomorrow.
And for many of them, there isn't.
We know that the world is concerned about overpopulation. The world goes on about how resources are short. What would the world be like if no one died from starvation and other diseases? The population would get out of control and YOUR life would have severe restrictions. There will be food shortages and the shelves would be empty eventually and then starvation would eventually return.
God can solve one problem but by solving that problem another one happens. It is only in heaven that all problems and suffering go away because Satan isn't there to destroy it.
I do know that if one puts their life in God's hand that whatever comes one can handle it with His strength. He longs to help us and He always will if we love Him. It's just tragic that children are under the control of adults who don't follow God and they suffer because of those adults. Fortunately there are people who allow Him to work through Him that can help the suffering.
Jesus never escaped suffering. He has suffered more than anyone else that has ever existed.
UMMM.. There are two issues that I have with this particular statement..
1) There are children that are suffering who are under the control of adults that DO believe in God with their whole heart and have dedicated their lives to do His work
2) There are children that are under the control of adults that DON'T believe in God but are not suffering at all. In fact, they grow up to lead productive lives.
These issues raises a question or two:
Does this mean that those who are don't believe in God are getting blessed because although they do not believe, they are living a life that follows God's actual will? or does this mean that Satan is blessing his disciples while God is punishing his?
Let me ask you this... Two parents who believe in God, are saved, sanctified, and filled with the holy spirit. Have accepted Christ. Do extensive work in the community and in the church and are faithful church goers come to you distraught and grieving ask you why God had to let their 7 year old die of hepatoblastoma (a form of liver cancer that affects mostly children) die less than a month shy of his 8th birthday. What do you tell them?
Here's a hint:
"He's in a better place" is likely the very most insulting and hurtful thing you can say to a grieving parent.
Really. Don't say it... Ever.
I would tell them, "You are free to cry, to grieve, to mourn for as long as you need, as long as it takes. There is no other way. I will stick by you and allow you to share with me all of your sorrow, as and when you feel you want to. You are not alone. And when you gradually come out the other side and need to walk and smile again, I will still be here for you."
So you won't attempt to answer the question asked, but will "reply" instead with emotional support.
I guess that makes some sense; it is through emotion that religions maintain their hold. If it works you will have cemented another believer onto the collection plate and if it doesn't you haven't lost anything. And either way you have helped someone live through their grief and pain.
No exactly, Wilderness. I see the parent's religion as their business, whether I agree with it or not. My only concern, and the only "help" that I could offer, would one of support in the emotions. This is where a lot of conventional christianity falls down, in my experience, especially in England where I originate from. The stiff-upper-lip syndrome. Afraid of the tears that can be very cathartic and consoling.
Being in the presence of someone in mourning and shedding tears can be very uncomfortable, something we tend to shy away from. When you have been in such tears yourself, you have a better idea of what sort of help can really be helpful.
I am using a lot of words here to explain. If I was in the company of grieving parents, the minimal use of words is important. Certainly any kind of evangelism is never helpful.
Following God does not mean one is devoid of all suffering. Quite the contrary. Part of the Christian life is to suffer. However, God will never allow one to suffer more than they can take. God provides for my needs. That does not mean I have not suffered along the way for God's plan to be fulfilled. Jesus suffered throughout his life.
Well, Satan does not put too much effort into those who don't believe in God. Sure he will try and make them miserable but if you find life peachy most of the time then you are off Satan's radar.
We need to distinguish between blessed and being dealt a good deal in life. Having money galore and having a peachy God may not actually be a blessing from God. A blessing actually yields spiritual enrichment that does not corrupt the soul.
Satan will reward his disciples with fame and money. Suffering is not from God. It's something that happens because of Satan. However, God can often use suffering to our advantage.
I'll say, "I'm sorry for you loss". My cousin was killed tragically in a scooter accident almost 12 years ago. A bit of time went my mother phoned him on the anniversary of his death. She said, "God lost a son, too." The mother actually felt comforted by that. It is also natural for people who have suffered a loss to blame God. That is part of the grieving process.
Disease and suffering is a part of life. The world has been corrupted but God will seek ways to use suffering for our gain.
And, then we all suffer for no reason whatsoever.
You must be so proud that you are provided for by God, but the tens of thousands who perish everyday from starvation are not provided for by God.
How do you know that? Oh yes, you don't. lol
So you'll simply say "I'm sorry for your loss", but won't give them an answer as to Why God chose to take their child? That was the question I asked. If someone comes to you and asks "WHY MY CHILD?" what would you give them as a reason?
When Darwin's daughter died it started him thinking about survival of the fittest and how these deaths happen as much to humans as other animals.
Why did Jesus have to die? Why their child? About about the other children worldwide? You could ask, "Why did take all those children?" Nobody is more special than the other not even Jesus who died a horrific death. Why did God not save His own Son?
Of course I would not say these things to grieving parents. It definitely would not be the appropriate time. If everyone was saved from death then what? This is not a perfect life. Those who love God must accept what happens to them.
If this is not a satisfactory answer for you then you must take that up with God one day.
Jesus was special in his death because his death was a sacrifice to save mankind. God did not save his son because Jesus was sent to fulfill the law and bring in the age of grace.
When would be an appropriate time to say this to any parent that lost a child at such a young age?
"My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?"- Does this sound like Jesus was accepting of what was happening?
Which is a nice way of saying "I don't have an answer that you are looking for so i will then give a general answer about how everybody dies and that should suffice. If you don't like it, oh well.. Get lost".
But I will leave it alone
Sorry, but you did not actually answer my question of what you would tell a parent if they ask you WHY
Human sacrifice sounds so primitive and really makes no sense.
And that was more of a sacrifice. You think that by God giving His son over to death and Satan was any easier for Him than a parent losing their child. And what age of grace did Jesus bring? He said He came to bring a sword.
When some time had past or when they get bitter.
Jesus said, "Let your will be done not mine" in the Garden of Gethsemane. And He obeyed God to death. He said, "Oh God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?" out of pure terror. He was human, too.
Think of that as you will. Some people when they say first start out saying, "Why me?" Then later on they say, "Why NOT me?" Often people don't bat an eye-lid about people in darkest dying but then ask God why they lost a child.
Because suffering is part of life and God didn't take the child away. And I don't know the circumstances of everyone who has lost a child so it is very difficult for me to give a blanket statement. I don't know everything.
Claire, you say that you don't know everything. This fact should alert you to the inevitable. When you attempt to explain your understanding of God's love it will always be used against you. You can't explain how every situation fits into a tight package. God will seem callous from any angle by some experiences.
And this interpretation as to what was meant by the comment about Jesus bringing a sword really needs to be rethought. He was a man of peace and reason. Thinking he meant that as if he wanted strife to result from his teachings can't be correct. Sometimes I wonder if he knew how many would misinterpret his teachings and use them to create conflict; and this was what he was referencing.
Sorry, There is never an appropriate time to tell a parent this regarding their child. Whether it is a miscarriage or a death.
Which makes my case.. He was not ok with what was happening. He was terrified. If he was ok with it, Christ would have sat there calmly.
God didn't take the child, but God didn't save the child either..
But it's good that you stated that you don't know everything.. The best answer to give sometimes is just that..
I pray to God to guide me to say the right thing at the time.
It's called obedience. Obeying God despite being frightened. For heaven's sake, if you were facing crucifixion and hell would you just calmly sit there? God gave Him the strength to go through with it.
Then why doesn't God save every child that has ever existed? When will it end? Until everyone is starving because of overpopulation?
This is a good answer
Either way.. Jesus was not okay with it.. But I'll back out of this portion of the conversation
This is a question the atheists have been asking. If God is all powerful and is still in control, why not save the children, let them live full lives, AND still provide enough food to feed everyone so there aren't any people starving to death
This is a good answer
God is not in control of the world's affairs. He is in control of those who love Him but He is not ruler of this earth. Satan is courtesy of human beings handing Him power. Those who don't challenge evil contribute to the misery in the world. So we cannot point fingers at God but still want our free will. People undermine the power of Satan. They are both powerful deities but in the case of Satan it is given to Him whereby God can stand alone and doesn't need power from anyone else. So each person can begin by being a follower of Christ. That will frighten Satan and disarm Him.
God gives food to us but evil people/beings control the earthly affairs. They will destroy it.
"A person diagnosed with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations (most reported are hearing voices), delusions (often bizarre or persecutory in nature), and disorganized thinking and speech. The latter may range from loss of train of thought, to sentences only loosely connected in meaning, to incoherence known as word salad in severe cases. "
I would still be cussing her out. Seriously. If I had to hang up, go to sleep and then call her back to finish.
God didn't lose anything. That mother lost a son. Suggesting that she should somehow feel bad about God's supposed loss too is a bit insensitive.
Seriously, I'm going to write a hub about stupid things that people say to parents who have lost a child.
"I'm sorry for your loss, I can't imagine. Is there anything at all I can do?" That's it. That's all you should say. Period. If they say you can help then do whatever they ask, as quickly as possible.
Let me know when you finish that hub.. I'd love to read it
When I lost my baby at 22 weeks, I remember more than one person telling me...well, your body naturally expelled (expelled?!!??!) the baby because it knew you couldn't carry it full term.
Then there was....well, you guys really aren't in a position to have a baby and God knew that, so He took the baby home.
And my favorite...most first pregnancies end in miscarriage. You'll have so many more chances.
Well, it's been four years. I've yet to have had another chance.
The ONLY acceptable to things to say to anyone who has lost a loved one - especially a child - are the ones you've listed above. I might add: I'll keep you in my thoughts and be here to offer any comfort I can. My heart and my arms are open when you need them.
Thank you, Beth. The years have taken away that feeling of having been eviscerated, but it's always a present ache. I appreciate you.
You, of course, have my deepest condolences. As always, if you need anything I'm here.
Wow, Mo, I'm sorry to hear that. I understand your feelings. My wife and I also lost a baby during pregnancy.. The thing about it was that we didn't even know that we were expecting. My heart goes out to you..
The scenario I introduced to Claire was a real situation. Two years ago, my brother and his wife lost their son on valentines day to cancer. He was three weeks away from his 8th birthday.
I agree with Melissa. If anybody came at me that way, I'd have a few choice words for them too
What's sickening to me is that Some so- called Christians would (and did) tell my brother that their son died because their faith wasn't strong enough.
Thanks, Deepes. This last one about faith not being strong enough....those are actually fighting words for me. I get so fired up when I hear that one that I actually feel that I could hurt someone.
Seen it way to many times. All it does is cause gilt. It's hard for me to imagine people actually thinking that way, but I've seen them here.
My brother in-law passed a few years ago from Pancreatic Cancer. He went to a healer, but when it wasn't working she told him he didn't have enough faith and he agreed.
Wow.. To tell someone that is actually counter intuitive and can cause more damage than help
While I've never lost a child, and I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it must be, I did have a Christian tell me once that they look forward to the day that I die so they cash celebrate my entrance into hell, and that it would be a great victory for god to send me there. Considering the fact that they later said the same thing about Christopher Hitchens, I took it as a compliment *shrugs*
You know, I heard Anne Graham Lott give a sermon on hell once...and she said to her congregation - if you truly believe in the Biblical version of hell - don't ever tell anyone to go there, and pray like crazy that they never do.
See what I mean about different Christians and different personalities?
Now that is wayyy out of line.. This is part of why I say that some Christians should hope that Hell isn't real because if the biblical version of hell (lake of fire, eternal burning.. etc) is true, then there will be some Christians that will be very surprised as to what answer God will give them when they get there
Curious, Would a soul which can't be detected be affected by fire?
According to some.. Yes.. But there is also the eternal torture at the hands of Satan .. Boogity Boogity BOOO!!!
Seems like a silly notion to me, but I guess it was an effective way of keeping the troops in line.
Can I confess something to you all? I think that the potential existence of hell is ludicrous and repulsive and I don't believe it to be true in the least little bit, but occasionally I still have nightmares about it from time to time. I was raised to be terrified of it, so on some level, my subconscious mind still is. It makes me feel ridiculous to say it, but its a real thing. I think its religious trauma syndrome, and teaching children to be terrified is repugnant to me.
So atheists are still affected by religious indoctrination too
Absolutely, especially when they were taught to be terrified from an extremely young age.
Indoctrination can do irreparable damage, carried with the person for years afterwards. Just look at all the troubles and problems believers here have, usually brought on themselves.
And that I understand from a psychological standpoint. Would this also apply as to how and what you were indoctrinated to believe at that time? Meaning that once you were taught and implanted the same thing (nonsense in your terms) over the course of your life, does it make it harder for an atheist to accept any other possible interpretation and the idea that they may have been taught incorrectly? (well, I know the answer from an atheistic point is that it is all nonsense because there is no evidence of which one is right or wrong.)
For example, I was taught the same thing the same exact way from birth to 10 years old regarding the bible. My mother did try to instill some regular ethics into me as well, but they were still colored with the reward/punishment system. then my mother stopped sending me to church primarily because she was working a lot herself, but mostly because she didn't see any other arrangements to get me there. As a result, I was out of the church from age 10 to roughly age 15.. When I went back, I heard so much that simply didn't seem right to me even though it was the same old same. My mother then had to start working again and since she wasn't making me go, I didn't go. Once I became an adult, my mother switched churches and the church she switched to blatantly stated that theirs was the only church recognized by God. Needless to say, I never went back. So since church was basically letting me down, I started reading for myself by myself. When I got to a point that sounded wrong (based on my indoctrination), I picked up a dictionary and looked up the word or words that sounded wrong. This is also where I started to pick up a little more understanding of context and definition. So in some areas, one definition was just as valid as another given context of conversation as well as situation. So now I understand that I might have been taught incorrectly in the church. So now, I don't live my life doing good because I fear Hell (especially since there is a lot that has been changed regarding Hell). I live my life going good because it is good and helps others and as such makes me feel good.
(Forgive me if I'm being presumptuous here, but based on prior encounters with you, I know that there are going to be parts you block off and tell me which is more absurd to you and with others state how I might changed meaning to suit me, then finally state, reasonably so, that it doesn't change my indoctrination, which i understand.. and am ok with. But ultimately, even though I still believe, since there has been so much that has changed regarding my perspective I am comfortable stating I know I don't have proof and I understand that I could be wrong)
I was never indoctrinated into a religion.
Yes, the church let you down, in more ways than that. It attempted to rot your brain and destroy your life in exchange for strict obedience and an open wallet.
Yes, the indoctrination you received is still with you today and is still controlling you. It enslaves your mind and your intellect and forces you to believe in nonsense.
So you were always atheist?
I can go along with that considering some of the churches I went to
Here is where I disagree to a point. For one, not everything in the bible is nonsense. I agree that there is a lot that is nonsense and a lot that could be subject to the desires of the writers.. For two, To believe or not to believe is a choice. Indoctrination does not play as big of a role in that, IMO. Look around you here on HP. Two of your colleagues (JM and Getit) were once Christians and were indoctrinated into Christianity, but now they are atheist. They looked at the information, stated that most is silly and that there is no evidence and as such they are now (by choice) atheist.. I on the other hand, Also have looked at the information outside of going to church, figured that a lot of things contained are stories (and some of them are nonsensical but metaphorical). I also understand that I have no specific proof (which is why I admit and can accept the possibility that I could be wrong. I'm living the best life I possibly can because it is the best life I know how to live and as such whether I am right or wrong, I can go to my grave at peace that I did the best I could and I meant well in most of my actions and that I have made a lot of mistakes that I am sorry for), but I choose to believe. Based on the information out there that I have read, I could (and a lot of my thinking is more toward) be agnostic or even I could choose to be atheist, but what I have going on right now in my belief is working for my life at this point in my life, so why change it? But I most certainly respect each of the atheists I engage here (including you, hence the reason I haven't called you any names. I also appreciate that even though you laugh at some of what I post, you do engage me with a degree of respect).
I used to think Zeus was my father.
True, there are a few gems in there, but there isn't anything contained in the Bible that we can't figure out for ourselves. The rest is garbage.
Sorry, but indoctrination plays a huge part and it did not allow you to make any choices, those choices were already made for you as a child.
They have broken the vicious cycle of indoctrination, big difference.
Because it's all based on lies, and some people don't want to live their lives based on a lie. And, it is highly doubtful much of your life would change other than the fact that you'd be living your life based on truth, if that matters to you at all, of course.
Now there is a statement I can absolutely respect and honour.
But I doubt you would insist that everyone else hold your particular view.... Right Deepes?
No, Jonny, I wouldn't. I don't expect anyone to hold my view for a few reasons: 1) I have too much respect for others beliefs to try to insist or force my view on them, 2) I admit that my particular view could be wrong and would rather not be responsible for leading anyone else or forcing anyone to do wrong because I have no evidence that my view is right. I have things that reinforce my personal view, but nothing that could or would apply to others, 3) In order for you to hold my view, you would have to look at a situation and see exactly the same thing that I do. Given that we are individuals, that is borderline impossible, and 4) I am only here to share ideas and learn more about others. Whether you accept my particular view or not, it had no bearing on my life. As such it makes no difference to me whether you change your view or not. Your view is the view of what is working best for your life. My belief is a personal one, which is why I haven't shared too much of my personal story here or what I believe and why. what I just shared is the most that I have expressed since I got here. I have been here more to take an objective (or equally biased...lol) view of my fellow hubbers
Good choice for a father
Perhaps there is a lot in there that is nonsensical, but the gems are what's holding value with me, not the nonsense
But I'm no longer a child. We may agree to disagree here, but the choice at this point is all mine.
But it was a choice they made to become atheist. It is possible to make a choice simply for the choice rather than how you were raised.
You said earlier that there were gems in there. Now you're saying it's all based on lies. I don't think it's all based on lies as much as it was based in lack of knowledge at the time. I would say more about this, but I'd rather not...
I am living my life based on truth. Just like you. My truth is that I'm making what I think is the best decision for my life and living the best way I know how. The truth is that so far, it has been working for me, but I also understand that I could be wrong.. Either way, the truth that I am living is one that I can go to my grave in peace because I did my best to do good for myself and tried to help others in general (not necessarily by spreading my beliefs, but trying to let my life and actions speak of a good guy)
Gems are fine and they can be found in many places, but they have no attachments for supernatural beings controlling our lives. Huge difference.
It never was your choice no matter how much you want it to be now. Even if you became a Muslim tomorrow, the indoctrination would still hold true.
Their choices were based on questioning and not just accepting atheism as a belief. Again, huge difference.
If you remember, I also said the rest was garbage, that would include the lies.
That's fine. It's another discussion we can have another time. At this point, I'll mention that the lies were based on not only a lack of knowledge, but any knowledge that may have held the belief in jeopardy of being questioned. That's where the lies start.
I totally get that. I have no problem with that other than the fact some of what you hold as truth is not truth. It might be opinion, belief, assertion, indoctrination, whatever... but it has not been deemed as any kind of truth considering there is no evidence upon which to base a truth.
The problem is that so-called truth is based on an institution that has cause much damage and suffering throughout history. Why anyone would want to base their lives on such a history is mind boggling.
I'm sorry, When have you ever seen me say anything about believing that God controls my life? Not all Christians believe that.
Please elaborate on this one.. Or are you saying basically that no matter what religion I choose it would still be because of a belief in a God?
But if I questioned and looked up the information myself and came to a different understanding but the same conclusion of possibility, That is breaking myself from what I was taught to believe without question.
I get that as well, but I've never told you specifically what I believe totally (other than believing in God, which in itself may or may not be a lie since there is no full evidence either way). So how can you say for sure that I'm living a life based totally on lies?
But something presented based on lack of knowledge (especially at the time it was written) does not a lie make.
This is a profound statement considering that there is no evidence that completely proves or disproves God. So with this in mind, you (and other atheists) state that you live in reality. The reality you live in (or truth) is so much more logical and reasonable than the reality that a lot of Christians live in, but when you get down to the bare bones basic foundation of it, still a life based on opinion (I won't use the b- word because I know you lack it) but not outright full on evidence. Now the information you have can only (at best) reinforce an opinion, but ....
Well, look at history in itself.. Yes there have been several wars fought in the name of people claiming to speak for God, but there have also been numerous wars fought of other reasons as well. some people simply wanted to conquer the world. had they succeeded, then our lives would have been different today.
On a side note... And people say you are incapable of actually holding a conversation...LOL. I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion. Thank you for humoring me in this.
Uh, you're supposed to believe in that, aren't you? Or, is that just cherry picking?
I thought that was pretty clear about religious indoctrination. It's not in the details. You have been indoctrinated to believe the supernatural exists in whatever form any given religion decides to give it. The controversy and contradictions begin when we start hearing what exactly is believed and not believed in regards to the supernatural. That's where it gets hilarious.
Sorry bud, but you've done no such thing.
There's a recent well written post here from JM talking about the 'relationships' Christians claim they have with God, and not religion, which is utterly false because they can't believe in a god without the religious framework in place. You are no different.
That would merely confirm my statement above that you have not questioned anything or researched the information. It's no problem though, many believers say the same thing but we know it's false.
Yes, but the idea is to remove and irradiate those reasons for making war, religion is one of the main reasons and always has been.
1) Says who?
2) Where did you get that interpretation from and how can you be so sure that it is the correct one (so to speak.. I know it's all nonsense to you)?
So would this idea also apply to agnostics in your opinion?
I agree.. I don't claim relationship.. It's my religion
Not always.. But I see your point
Uh, your holy book?
Reading the words that are actually printed there as opposed to believing something else.
If they were indoctrinated.
Have you forgotten that words have several different definitions? The problem is that people try to apply the most common use and definition of specific words as a "one size fits all" when it patently isn't one size fits all. Context of the situation as well as the word also makes a difference.. And applying a word in the proper context is not cherry picking in itself.
For example, If I told you that you look hot in a jacket, I could either be saying you look good in it, or that you look like temperature wise, you look uncomfortable..
Same thing applies to the bible.. The word judgment does not mean the same thing in each use of the word in the bible. In matthew 7:1, judgment means criticism.. In Corinthians, Judgment means more of gaining understanding. and when mentioning God's judgment, it is in keeping with the law.
But Agnostics believe that there is a higher explanation for origin, they simply don't know what and say we cannot possibly know
I think Agnostics (as I once considered myself) simply don't know, they are unsure or undecided. They may not be sure of anything especially a higher explanation for our origin.
Agnostic - a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God.
Thanks..... that makes me a bit more of an Agnostic than an Atheist.... must remember which hat to wear and when.
Okay, is there anything ambiguous about these words?
Isaiah 45:7 - I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things
All natural forces are in His control (Psalms 29:3-10).
The elements are at His command (Psalms 68:9; Jonah 1:4).
All the processes of nature are at His direction (Genesis 8:22; Psalms 107:33-34, Psalms 107:38; Jeremiah 31:35).
His care, for example, extends to the smallest of His creatures: He gives the beasts their food (Psalms 147:9).
Not a single sparrow falls to the ground apart from His will (Matthew 10:29).
He can appoint all His creatures to perform His will (Jonah 1:17; 2:10): even for ravens to convey bread and meat to His servants (1 Kings 17:6). .
That is simply an indoctrinated belief. Not only does it lack evidence, it is a self-defeating claim in that it states emphatically,"we cannot possibly know" - if we cannot possibly know, from where would anyone get the idea of a higher explanation for origin in the first place, if not from their own imaginations? Just like religions.
Not all of the words in the bible are one size fits all, but there are some scriptures that are what they are. But the thing now is to understand the reasoning of why the writer wrote a specific scripture
Folks were steeped in ignorance and superstitions back then, which makes it obvious as to the reasons. The unfortunate part is the fact that so many are still steeped in the same ignorance and superstitions.
The question then lingers, what can we do about it?:
The answer lies in reevaluation, which would take a while.. But ultimately, each of us must find our own answers and leave them as our own without trying to make others live our answers.
If you were to change your views to think like me, HP wouldn't be anywhere nearly as exciting
Please forgive me for jumping in as you two seem to be have a very respectful conversation. However I think it's worth pointing out that while we have no solid evidence for or against any God, we can look at what most do call evidence for God. It's worth noting that geology has fairly recently proved the earth is much older than the projected 6000 years attained by the bible. And Archaeologists have evidence that anatomically modern humans have been here for at least 200,000 years. Add this the lack of knowledge in any of the holy books about our universe and I think we can say the writers of these books were attempting to manipulate people like a televangelist on a Sunday morning asking for the last bit of money from the elderly because they need a new jet.
If the holy books were divinely written they would have been perfect with dimensions that could be confirmed today.
I had a conversation with a Muslim about a passage in the Quran a while back that explained why earth has night and day by saying it's because of the orbit of the Sun and Moon. He kept saying how could Mohammad have know of the Sun's orbit in our Galaxy. That's all he saw, I tried to explain to him that the suns orbit is not responsible for our night and day, that we get from the earths rotation, but he was only seeing what he wanted to "the Suns orbit". The same thing happens with the bible, rationalization for the illusion.
Without the holy books, what evidence would we have?
1) A respectful conversation between ATM and a believer... WHo woulda thunk it...LOL!!
2) NO!! You are not forgiven!! I was talking to ATM!! No need for you to jump in to tag team attack me!!... LOL Had to do it. (I'm kidding by the way).. You are more than welcome to add to the conversation..
The holy books were not divinely written.. however, that doesn't mean that there is no truth to the subject(s) of the story
That is dependent on who and what some choose to believe.. There are a few of us that are well aware of the earth's rotation and how it relates to night and day. Let me tell you a secret (whispering) there are some believers that actually are quite fond of science.
The funny thing about this statement is that according to some, the holy books do not count as evidence..
But I also look at it like this. If the bible were not written, there may not be any foundation regarding how we were created, which in itself could possibly have changed the course of history (including what has and has not gotten scientifically studied).. Then again, this might be my insanity speaking up...LOL
Yes, Galileo may very well have been the first official man on the moon rather than the first official prisoner of the church.
Does that go for Harry Potter and Star Wars as well?
That's no secret, I'm aware of all the different approaches, that was my point. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but what yours appears to be is that you understand science has proven the bible to be too inaccurate to be divinely written so you've decided to find a way to hold on to the concept of God despite the contractions. Others dismiss the science all together, some try to rationalize the bible to fit the science. All with the same end result. Doing what they have to to hold on to the notion of God. The mind is an amazing thing.
If all the holy books were not written we would not have Christianity, Islam or Judaism. Most may still be Pagans. Look at the book of Mormon as an example of what people will follow without question when indoctrination is properly done. So it entirely likely that we could have been here commenting on which God was responsible for what.
Actually, My view of the inaccuracies in the bible have nothing to do with science. My view of the inaccuracies in the bible actually come primarily from the fact that the bible was written by several different men and as such is subject to the ideas of who the authors think God should be instead of who God truly is (so to speak.. I already know who and what you think God truly is) which in itself is more attributed to a lack of knowledge and understanding of origins given the time the bible was written. With this in mind, it isn't totally a fair assessment to state that all Christians are living a lie. To state that the writers of the bible are lying would imply that they knew the absolute truth about the origins of the universe (which is not true). So at best, we can state that there are some that are living their lives based on what could be a mis or flawed understanding of the origins of the universe. Now of course it is dishonest to assert Godunnit as the answer to everything with total disregard to the principles of science. I also believe that the more someone lives in principles, the less they need miracles. There are some that call to God for way more than is necessary because there are a lot of things we can do for ourselves.
Interesting... if we can concede that the bible is pretty much a fabrication designed to inspire people to have a monotheism approach, why is there any weight to it as opposed to say Greek mythology or hinduism or no God at all?
Well, Considering that there (admittedly) is no real (valid for everyone) proof one way or the other of the existence (or non) of God, one religion carries as much weight as any of the others (objectively speaking of course) as according to what works best for the life of the individual. now of course, even the Bible states that God is known by many names so it is also reasonable (IMO) that there is only one up there, just seen differently and worshiped by different religions as according to how they each see him.
Sure that's an interpretation, but the Hindus may disagree. There religion is as real to them as your is to you. They may even be offended to here you tell them all those Gods are really your God.
Have you seen Life of Pie yet? Notice how he was able to include Jesus and the Mohammed's God into his mind with all the other from Hinduism.
You misunderstand me. It's not saying that all of their Gods are really My God. It's saying that all their Gods are their perception and interpretation of one universal God that is not exclusive to one group or another. It's possible that all religions were worshiping the one Cod correctly as according to how they see him and as according to how God addressed them directly.. Then again, it could also be that everyone Got it wrong in how they worshiped, but if they meant well that would be taken into consideration. Now of course there is also the option that everyone got it wrong because god does not exist... who knows..**SHRUGS**
Hinduism is a system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism.
With 330 million of Gods to and their combinations to choose from which is in direct violation on one of the 10 commandments.
They don't see them as one universal God at all.
Actually, If I was forced to pick a religion it would most likely be Hinduism, except for the Karma thing.
Rad Man, it seems to me that what most of us want is some kind of "focus out there," that can sometimes inspire us beyond the mundane worldly things.
Believing or not believing in a Higher Power, and the extent of belief in any one's situation, is really the only thing that divides us.
I don't wish to spoil the discussion, but learning to appreciate the other guy's/girl's point of view without necessarily agreeing, is the path to a loving co-existence.
More wise words Jonny. Thanks.
I know sometimes I come across harsh, but sometimes I think I've got to ask those harsh question in order to move the conversation forward. What do we say to the person who tells us he/she has direct contact with God and God gives him/her whatever they ask for. If we all agreed with him/her we wouldn't be doing anyone any favours.
The only suggestion I can come up with, is to ask him/her to live it out, rather than trying to evangelise it, because the latter simply sounds like he/she is trying to prove it to their self.
I don't know if this is right, just an idea.
Lately I've been asking for evidence and of course I don't get any and they go away. I don't think they are used to people questioning them.
I'm used to being questioned and I'm still here
I haven't asked for evidence from you as you don't make claims of you being a prophet.
I doubt it. I usually wait until someone says they have conversations directly will God and God answers the prayers. I don't think you've said that, so I don't think I've have asked for evidence that you have that personal connection with God. I may have ask for evidence of God however. Two different things.
The Bible doesn't say the earth is 6000 years old. Anyway, Genesis is based on pagan texts. And say it was manipulated. How does that disprove God's existence? That's a logical fallacy. To play devil's advocate, how's not to say they go their divine writing from Satan?
You've never heard of the 6000 year old earth before? Do you think that number came from nowhere? The possibilities are endless with that line of thinking. Many think Satan planted all evidence of an old world including dinosaurs to confuse believers. The interpretations are endless with no side having any weight. It's only when we take out the existence of God that it makes sense. The bibles flaws don't prove no God exists, but it does eliminate all evidence for any God or Gods. We may as well be worshiping the flying spaghetti monster.
The one that damages all the spaghetti trees in Italy!
First he takes away all their spaghetti and next, gelato.
I think the removal of gelato from Italy might conceivably be the real start to the Apocalypse.
The Italian's will survive, it's not like their wine will be take away.
Ahhh....now that's the real truth of it. But you know, the majority of Italians are Catholic and will continuously talk Jesus into turning their water into wine. Hence, there will never be an Apocalypse! All because of the Italians. Woo hoo! We're saved!
No, the numbers would not come from nowhere. The writers knew numerology. In fact, much of the OT is written by occultists For example, King Solomon was a black magician. Here's an interesting verse:
1 Kings 10:14
The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents.
Interesting about the dinosaurs. And the "absence" of evidence does not mean the evidence is absent. It's just a matter of interpretation. Some recognize what the evidence means and others, like atheist, don't.
The Bible does say the earth is less than 7000 years old, it's a simple matter of adding up the listed lifespans of all the descendants listed in the bible, there is some room for error for some people who are not specifically mentioned but only in the area of like forty years at most not five billion which is the real age of the earth.
Who's to say those numbers are literal? It's numerology.
If it's not literal it's just dumb. If I wrote a book of our history and said WW2 was yesterday and 9/11 happened over a million years ago (those errors are still nowhere near as bad) then i would be rightly called a moron and by book would not be published or believed. Which is the same treatment the bible deserves for that sort of error, if it is often wrong by a factor of billions believing the rest of it's claims is nonsense.
Then you know nothing about the occult. Go and look up numerology.
This is interesting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Je8ADhZ … r_embedded
I ask you again, have you ever thought that you could be wrong?
Thinking you could be wrong and testing that theory is part of the scientific process, an essential part, atheists or agnostics who never question their beliefs and tests them against available evidence are just as bad as the religious. (Not that this testing is hard).
You do know that "A Troubled Man" states things about religion as if it is fact? He gives the impressions what he says is set in stone.
Doubt is part of testing but testing does reveal facts. There are plenty of hard facts about religion such as the earth is not less than 7000 years old.
Reality has a tendency to do that, be set in stone, that is.
Yes, but what is reality? What may be reality to you may not be so at all. Have you thought that Satan can be so brilliantly clever that he has convinced you that he nor God exists by exploiting human nature and that is just to deny anything that isn't palatable to them.
The greatest trick the devil pulled.. convince the world he didn't exist- Movie quote
Thought about it? Sure, but I've thought and read about a great many things that are simply fantasy.
Have you ever considered the lack of evidence for your angels and demons to be an indication that they are a fabrication?
Let me tell you a story. My family is well acquainted with demons. Some family members have had to perform exorcisms. I may have doubts about many things but there is not a smidgen of doubt about the existence of demons. As for angels, they must exist for the Bible clearly says they do but I have never encountered one.
Sorry, but you've never encountered a demon either, most likely a mentally ill person. You know they used to think Schizophrenics had demons inhabiting their bodies, but as it turns out they just need some meds. It's very important that those who are prescribed meds stay on them.
So you know this as a fact? LMAO! You think my family is stupid? So after an exorcism they suddenly don't suffer from schizophrenia anymore?
I know you don't like this but the existence of demons is 100% truth.
Evidence please. I never said anything about your families intelligence. Don't put words in my mouth.
How can I provide evidence of my family's exorcisms? You did so that seemingly possessed people are schizos right? So since family members of mine had done exorcisms they must have have not known the difference between a possession and schizophrenia according to your logic.
"Throughout recorded history, the disorder we now know as schizophrenia has been a source of bewilderment. Those suffering from the illness once were thought to be possessed by demons and were feared, tormented, exiled or locked up forever. "
"One of the most obvious kinds of impairment caused by schizophrenia involves how a person thinks. The individual can lose much of the ability to rationally evaluate his or her surroundings and interactions with others. They often believe things that are untrue, and may have difficulty accepting what they see as "true" reality.
Schizophrenia most often includes hallucinations and/or delusions, which reflect distortions in the perception and interpretation of reality. The resulting behaviors may seem bizarre to the casual observer, even though they may be consistent with the schizophrenic's abnormal perceptions and beliefs. "
I find you most curious. You refuse to answer the question if you have ever considered that you may be wrong. It's pretty obvious you have doubts and cannot say for sure Jesus is a fantasy.
To the myths and superstitions spouted by believers?
Oh, Julie, that's awful! And, you're right, it IS a sort of religious trauma. I go back and forth on how to teach children about God - as a believer. But the one thing I never wonder about is not teaching them about hell, and that their only way out is to be 'saved.' I have never, in my entire life, seen a child who was not more easily motivated by love than by fear. Motivate a child with fear, and you might wind up with an obedient child, but God help you on the day when they are no longer under your control! Motivate a child with love and teach them to love and respect others, and they'll turn into adults who behave that way as often as possible.
*Hugs* to you, my friend.
I'll pray that those dreams trouble you no more.
I listen to a lot of podcasts and debates, and the fear of hell even after abandoning religion is a very real phenomenon, even in atheists circles. I was shocked to learn that I wasn't the only one with these experiences of terror even after leaving the faith behind. I don't remember what podcast it was, but it was on an episode of dogma debate with David Smalley, where they were talking about raising kids in a secular household - and how most children at least in the united states learned about hell by the age of 6 or 7, and if you don't try to explain it to them before that point so they don't view it fearfully, they're going to hear about it from another child on the playground somewhere. I think hell has permeated society a lot more invasively than even I realized and it's a very real problem for a lot of children. If I ever have kids, I don't want them to be traumatized by the idea of eternal torture somewhere because the overheard it on a playground somewhere. I think it's repugnant even in religious households for a child to be terrified that their friends are going to burn forever just because the don't believe the same things that you do. This is one of the areas in which I feel christianity has done a great disservice to society - and it's something that the Good News Club (which I mentioned to you briefly elsewhere) integrates into their teaching.
This is a great point. The biggest issue is that in a lot of households, the bad stuff is fed (sometimes force fed) to children first before the good. This has caused kids to grow up with the bad taste of fear in their mouths which sticks with a lot of them throughout life. once you have a bad taste in your mouth, it is difficult to go back and try to be fed something good from the same source because the first impression is a scary one.
"I think it's repugnant even in religious households for a child to be terrified that their friends are going to burn forever just because the don't believe the same things that you."
You and me both, sister! It makes me infernally (pardon the pun) angry when people put that fear into their children. Then, they have children who are constantly in terror and live with crippling anxiety. I have to say, though, that it has never occurred to me that an atheist would ever experience something like that. Thanks for admitting it, because it really gives a deep insight into what the focus on hell can do to a child - even after they've grown into adults.
Oh....ouch, Rad. I'm so sorry.
Unfortunately, there is just nothing that anyone can say that can undo the damage from that one, IMO.
I agree.. There are a lot of things that are very inappropriate that some would say. The bad thing about it is that these people shine a bad light on all of us, then they turn and brow beat fellow Christians for not sticking with them even though they said something that would crush them if directed toward them.
I'm sorry for your loss, but don't be too hard on the foot in mouthers. This is one reason I avoid condolence conversations. People don't mean harm. They are usually as broken up as you are, but grasping for words to express it. And, usually say the wrong thing which in no way mirrors their true compassion.
Oh, Emile, I truly understand that. I understand the good intentions behind the words, which is what kept me, at the time, from losing my mind. It did teach me, however, that sometimes someone's silence and open arms are the absolute best condolence they can offer.
The hardest one came from my own family. My in-laws had planned to come up when the baby was born. When they heard about the miscarriage, they canceled the trip - with the excuse that they figured we would want to be alone during that time. It destroyed my husband.
I can understand the in laws. When I've suffered loss I don't want to talk, I sure as heck don't want a hug and I don't want silent company. I just want to hole up and get it in perspective so I can get back to life.
But, I do understand how hard that would be if someone needed more.
Melissa, it provided her with a lot of comfort. That is what matters. You say God didn't lose anything? Are you not a Christian? Of course He lost His son. Do you know the agony He went through?
It's amazing what people are comforted by. When I was in hospital a lady was admitted because her husband was murdered. She was inconsolable. I told her, "I swear that in death you will be in paradise with him forever." She stared at me wide-eyed with hope in her eyes.
Don't be so judgmental. What you'd do isn't automatically right for everyone.
And many people claim, "Is there anything I can do?" as irritating. Sometimes the bereaved will say, "There's nothing you can do to bring my child back."
People react in different ways.
no, god didn't lose anything. It was a temporary absence.
If I sacrificed my car for someone, I wouldn't have it anymore, and I wouldn't get it back. God (who according to the bible is timeless and a thousand years is like a blink of an eye to him) sent his own son to earth for 30-33 years (and his son, at least according to the gospel of John was perfectly willing to go and do what needed to be done and was in charge the whole time - although different gospels paint vastly different pictures) died and admittedly horrible death, but then turned around and went right back to heaven where he came from, where he is sitting right next to god RIGHT NOW. That's not a sacrifice. That's a temporary leave of absence.
And so shall parents who have lost a child be reunited with them in death. So although it appears longer compared to Jesus, although He isn't subjected to times, the end result will be the same and thus you could call it a "temporary leave of absence".
Technically, God did not lose his son.. God sent his son down to die in order to save mankind. These parents did not give their son cancer to save anyone or anything.. Sorry, although I am glad that this statement worked for that mother, there is nothing comforting about it if you really examine it.
Funny. I read it and would have been highly offended if I were Christian. Theoretically, God didn't loose anything; if the dead end up in heaven. I would have taken it to be insinuating my kid ended up in hell.
Imagine having to send your son to die for mankind! I think that is worse that you have to sacrifice your child to death and Satan. At least when a child dies he/she is in the arms of God.
What would YOU say to a parent who lost their child to cancer? Can you answer why?
God supposedly sent his son to die (he had choice for starters) and then his son was returned to him. IF god is all powerful there was no need to send Jesus to die for our sins at all.
The why is simply a mutated cell, the more difficult question is why would a good god kill your son?
The other choice would be us automatically being lost to Satan and for God that was never to be considered. God sent His son to witness to the truth and it would stand to reason He'd be put to death for it. That was a decision the Pharisees and Pilate man among others. If Jesus did not die, how could He conquer death and evil and show us there is life after death? And, no, God did not kill Jesus.
Not to my knowledge. But the blue man just might not be awake yet
Blue man? I didn't get you for I was absent from the forums for too long a time.
Banned? No bored.
ATM... he's blue... metaphorically and visually. I figured you were him.
Cause it would be impossible to be a miserable human being whilst making a smiley face on the computer.
Yes, but I'm not the one who comes here complaining and despising almost every customer they meet at work. Gee, THEY must all be miserable.
Oh no. You are mistaken. I had a chat with you in your hubs, remember? I got bored with hubpages and was out for a few weeks.
None of that answers the question #1 All powerful god does not need to send his son to die #2 he was reunited with and in contact with his son throughout so that is hardly comparable.
If Jesus did not die how could He have been resurrected? How could He show us there is eternal life if we truly repent? And even though Jesus was reunited with God after the ascension it shall be the case also with those who have lost loved ones.
Actually, God sent Jesus to earth for the purpose of dying to save mankind. He might not have done the deed himself, but he arranged for it to be done.
Jesus could have backed out if He wanted to. He laid down His life for us.
That is nonsense, God is omniscient, (as in he knows EVERYTHING) so the second he decided to send his son to earth he must have known exactly how he would die and that he would. So no, God sent him to die knowing for a fact he would go through with it.
Okay.. let me ask this.. Do you believe that Jesus was a totally and completely separate entity than God or do you believe in the trinity?
When that question has been answered, I would like to ask the next question: is the concept of the Trinity in any way related to that human being your refer to as Jesus?
Following on from that: do you get any information about such a concept from the writings (words) which are supposed to have originated from Jesus?
Hello Deepes Mind. You caught me off guard, no coffee, sunrise, Fred a friend who is a hummingbird is dancing in the sage eating breakfast, thus I am envious. Sharing is what usually is not and only left in a journal of entries. A hope is not of mind regarding too much, yet I do dare and share . . .
Ponder for thought.
Does the trinity exist as a two dimensional point of view? Or, does the trinity exist as a three dimensional view. If of the first then how many sides are there, say if a triangle a part of one as three parts. We discovers five sides, unless the plane is non existent then there are three, three angles, three edges, and an equilateral triangle as a concept of the trinity for understanding three is one as one is three, except for the sides. The plane of the field of vision must be established just like was the earth flat or not.
Ponder? If three dimensional in essence of thought, or if empirical is desired, then view as observing a trilateral pyramid or tetrahedron. How many faces? How many Angles? All are equal - sides and angles. Does not four faces exist of the exterior or interior? Does that mean there are eight with inside as to outside as an object rather than a subject? Does not each face have 3 angles of equality? Then is not that 12 angles of equality? Or with the imagination and vision is it infinity? Ponder the edge or lines. Are they shared or separate? Either way perspective offers there are six edges.
Compare and contrast with the old adage "there are two faces to a coin." Appearance or what is on that face of a coin does count with meanings of symbols and knowing words are symbols. Yet for some its is not the face that counts offering only a single or one sided dimension as a view multiplied by two or having two views and etc.
A giggle offered is my grandpa shared with me to spend means to see what is spent, consider what is to be bought, and then read the faces of a coin to offer wisdom for deciding. He being an engineer of mines and an inspector of bridges then always showed me the edge and said, "Look, no faces! Now, what?"
(Long story of learning with that conversation with a grandpa, yet offers placement of coins of only said as worth next to each other and then see the thickness of the edges. Relate that to market value. In the US there are basically four - penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half-dollar if discovered as a treasure, and then paper or economics comes into to play with worth and value of currency - cost vs. value vs worth. Ponder electricity and ohms law. Then do as many chant, ohmmm, ohmmmm, ohmmmmm, said with a giggle and most assuredly respect. Some say many say ummmmm, ummmmmm, ummmmmm . . .)
The jest is science says of trinity there is a difference with perspective. Seems if like "real" life there are four faces, twelve angles, six edges, an inside, an outside, and all does equal one. Ponder the Trinity alone. Ponder adding Holy (with a definition) to Trinity (demonstrated here as either a two sided view - black vs. white or a three sided view - with hues or shades of gray or . . . ). Is that a demonstration of being a fourth? I only ponder as have for years.
Oh yeah, I forgot. A sphere, considered by some as perfect, has propensity of being inside a tetrahedron or outside. Both properties of touching the sides and not is offered.
This is shared as a perspective not of philosophy regarding unless epistemology, not as science unless seeing is believing, and is closer to mathematics as is closer to art, while with oddity the base of computer hardware technology with imaging is the tetrahedron and is a fact, at least to my knowledge.
For thought ponder the use of 666 and its meaning in mathematics is the "first" perfect number being the number as as whole is 6. Does 666 as a mark of the beast have meaning as perfect, perfect, perfect? And,what does that allude to? Perfection is the fall of . . . .? Is, that a casual relationship regarding a need for the marketplace being people in general for a concept demonstrated by the life of Jesus as being "forgiveness" for not being perfect, perfect, perfect?
Study the steps and not the life offers.
Born of mankind which is male and female alike as equal, just different
Raised by a wife and a husband
Gathered 12 of trust = 13
Now, not of appearance 3-dimensionally
Ponder possible with probable
Is of three - two dimensional view or has two faces being good vs. evil or two sided coin
Is of four - three dimensional view or now has (see above offered explanation)
Either is true, just different, no harm no foul, only perspectives . . .
[Remember or at least consider, perception is of feelings and perspectives is of cognition. Those are two separate somethings as is science is to religion regarding god(s) or God(s). Yet, purposefully combined they offer power and greatness. Temptations?]
Yes, God did know that Jesus would be put to death for witnessing for the truth but it was necessary. It certainly was not something God wanted but it was a necessity.
The trinity can be very confusing. He is one with the Father in the form of the Holy Spirit now. However, the Holy Spirit "divided" itself as the Father and the Son. God can assume both roles. Therefore as the Son, Jesus only knew what the Father wanted Him to know.
It appears illogical but we aren't God.
Jesus was doing the will of the father.. Which means that God ordained for it to happen.. Again, if God is all powerful, he could have chosen any means he wanted to wipe the slate clean with mankind. He chose to send Jesus. .. But I'll back off this portion of the conversation. I don't understand everything that God does, but to say that God HAD to send Jesus to die but didn't want to limits the options of an omnipotent being.. there is also nothing biblical that says that God didn't want to send Jesus but he had to.. Bug again, I will back off this portion of the conversation
There is nothing truly confusing about the trinity..except that the holy spirit didn't divide itself as the father and the son.. the bible clearly states that the father came first, then the son, then after the son ascended then God sent another comforter which is the holy spirit.
Even if as the son Jesus only knew what the father wanted him to know, it still does not change the fact that God was in control the whole time. Therefore, with this in mind, Jesus could not have backed out even if he wanted to because Jesus (if you believe in the trinity) was God in human form.. therefore if Jesus backed out then it would have been God countermanding his own order (which is within his rights since he is God). As such, God would have then had to decide if he wanted to wipe the slate clean and how he wanted to do it or wipe the world out.. Either way,, It was still God's doing and God's will.. This was what God wanted to happen.
It doesn't appear illogical at all. I just broke it down logically..
Good Morning. I was reading the threads and seeking while pondering as a break from a hub being written. I like the discoveries of this interaction, Confessing, I am really kinda' new and not of the forums. I do have challenges with memory, especially working memory. That said, I am replying to this interesting interaction the sharing, which honestly I do not remember exactly. I do not know how to look back to where this originated. I giggle
Deepes Mind I am in a crunch for time since writing a hub now. Yet, this interaction sparked a question maybe you can readily answer and save me some time, even though I may not return until much later today.
This question by no means is directed at or upon you, Deepes Mind! It is only the occurrence of a thought process provided by the spark of this interaction read by me. Any could answer or not. I sought only to share what I pondered. I do thank you and the another or others for this opportunity and it seemed opportune to share before continuing a journey of writing a hub.
The question setting. Satan, a name I kinda' have challenges saying, so call him Fred. The big guy tossed Fred out of Heaven upon the earth not of void having form and format plus history. He rules or is of a nature in literature likened to fatale. I really honestly do not remember if this occurs or does not. Did Jesus as the Christ with the process of the Cross in its entirety offer forgiveness freely only to mankind?
If not, then is it possible that Fred accepted, acknowledged, and does believe as defined by each individual without regard of religion of Jesus and those actions of the Cross. If so, then is not Fred forgiven by faith through grace as the action of salvation, resurrection, and ascension?
Jesus did know Satan. It is written. Plus the stuff of heaven and all the before of and after than stuff adds to credibility as being a known. It is respectful with regard to being both biblical and of the Torah with regard to Fred.
If that is the case, Fred did go though the process, is forgiven by god or God, then is not Fred persecuted by believers even though Fred is a believer?
That as so, then is only those of agency of the "old Fred" at fault with regard to an agency of demise, evil, and such and such? Or, it is both non-believers and believers alike believing in a now false religion, only with regard to structure and not of faith?
Since with the actions of the cross in its entirety fulfilling the requirements of the old and providing the new where god or God is eternal, god or God is Love (1 John 4:18), Jesus is the means of salvation as a stepping stone and too is an eternal promise, can or cannot Fred claim those as guaranteed and not need a warranty?
If that is so, as a believer of what may not be a necessary, yet let's say a christian or Christian, are we not to forgive Fred with at minimum what god or God offers us with being only human or Human as beings? And, where will that lead the individual on the path with the guidance of the spirit or Spirit of god or God now here per those guarantee(s)?
tim as tsmog
I don't understand why you don't understand that Jesus had to die to resurrect so we could have eternal life. What would inspire the disciples to spread the good news? If Jesus died of old age where would Christianity be today? There is no greater love than that of one laying their life down for another. Since Jesus is God, God, too, lay down His life. So you can say that God knew Jesus would be put to death for witnessing for the truth and He allowed that to happen.
That is not true.
New International Version (NIV)
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
It clear states Jesus was there from the beginning.
I said that God assumed the role as the Father and Son and thus Jesus had free will to do as He pleased. It was permissive will. Obviously God did not WANT Jesus to die.
No on both of those. He was allegedly arrested, tried and convicted, one cannot back out of that.
He didn't die, gods can't die. Or, can they? You tell us all about it.
The human body dies which Jesus had but He also shows those who love and accept Him will resurrected with glorified bodies.
No, the other choice is for God to blink His left eye and thereby remove Satan from existence, destroy Hell and all it's demons, eliminate all sin and evil from the world and change non-believers into people that know He exists and love him.
But God doesn't work that way, does He? He would rather watch the sin and evil, watch Satan work his magic, and watch untold millions being tortured after He sends to hell.
Satan will be destroyed eventually. God has to wait to a time where we no longer have free will because free will is the gift He gave us. And many non-believers will love Him when they realize how He is in death.
Saying God would rather watch sin and evil and millions being tortured is like saying He enjoyed watching Jesus dying on the cross and descending into hell. God suffers with us to this very day only just much worse.
We will know all the answers to question we have when we are re-united with God.
I can't imagine having to send my child to die for anyone.. Then again I'm not God... We as Christians state that God is omnipotent. If I were all powerful, then I wouldn't send anyone down as a sacrifice. I'd simply snap my fingers and wipe the slate clean. God made a choice to send Christ down as a sacrifice. For us to state that this is specifically what needed to be done, then that (IMO) negates the idea of an all-powerful being.
I told my brother that I couldn't imagine what he is feeling right now at losing his oldest biological son at such a young age. It was difficult enough for me to watch him slowly deteriorate and I was only the uncle.
As far as why? I told him honestly that I didn't know why. I was asking that question myself.
Sometimes, "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer, especially when it comes to God because His powers are supposed to be beyond our comprehension and understanding. If we knew everything about God and how and why he works, then he wouldn't be God
True, you have actually figured out some morals and ethics entirely on your own, hence you would not act immorally or unethically by sending your child to die for no reason at all.
The funny part about the whole thing is that Jesus never died. It was all faked and Christians were duped by smoke and mirrors.
some of my morals and ethics were taught by my mother (but still colored with the reward/punishment perspective).. Others actually came out of the bible
I understand why you would say that
A world in which we could all praise God for finding our lost car keys and curing starvation and diseases. Of course, currently God is far too busy to deal with starvation and diseases as his quest to find countless sets of lost car keys takes up most of His time.
Yes, once He finds the lost car keys, gridlock traffic then consumes the believer and once again he is praying to God for gridlocked traffic relief. Yes, you will find believers here who have made those claims, too.
Yes, reality is tragic so those adults want to make sure their children are never exposed to it.
He never suffered at all, it was faked. Christians were duped.
You're so stuck. Do you think Christians don't pray for those with cancer to the nth degree? They have loved ones who have cancer as well. I have prayed for your nephew... his needs are a million times more important than any ones car keys. God asks us to pray that His will be done. He has no evil in Him. He knows that we will all die eventually. What He wants is for us to put our faith in Him so that He can save us from spending eternity without Him. This is what matters most.
If I asked God to save me from a car accident today, and rejected Him... I could still die tomorrow to spend eternity away from Him. So do you think He frets the car crash? What if God ran around saving every one all day every day. When would we die? Did He create a utopia where we only die when we're 105 years old? This is not Heaven. He gave this world over to Satan when man chose sin. We are living in a fallen world. That does not mean He doesn't love us, that doesn't mean He doesn't intervene. It means when He does, He did it as a gift. You don't know the things He has saved your family from... all while you spit out His name in disgust.
I'm trying to demonstrate that the God you believe in doesn't exist outside of your mind. I have no idea what you think God saved my family from?
I'm trying to demonstrate to you that the God you don't believe in does exist... and I don't know what He might have saved your family from, maybe you should ask Him. He is not absent from any of our lives.
I can't ask him because I don't converse with him as you do. Why not ask him to supply evidence. Oh, but you won't do that because it doesn't work that way?
He has supplied more than enough evidence for me, as I have explained to you numerous times... it is you who lacks evidence. And if it doesn't work that way, then it doesn't. He is God, He decides, I'm sorry you're not down with that. You can tell Him you weren't down with that when you meet Him. I have to go to work. Take care RM.
Then, just produce Him for all of us to see. That should be easy to do since you talk to Him all the time.
And, many will succumb to the cancer, with no help from any gods. They're off looking for lost car keys.
When we get old, of course. The point is that God could easily and with less effort it takes to blink an eye, get rid of the excruciatingly long and painful effects of terminal cancer. Why not just that one thing?
That completely contradicts and insults those who die horribly of cancer. Where are their gifts? Why does God single people out with gifts, but lets some many thousands perish daily? Total nonsense.
Because Christians are always thanking God for getting them out of jail.
No, I want God to make it so that I never break my leg.
A utopia in which car keys are always there for us when we need them.
What Christians say and what God does can be two completely different things.
Okay, well, let's hope you will be the first in the general population to experience transhumanism and then you can be an indestructible robot with no brain.
It would be a place where God would dictate everyone's actions. Would you like that?
You have the wrong perception of God and I suggest you learn the truth. However, the truth is just too much for most to handle so they just ridicule it. It's a form of cowardice.
Yes, tens of thousands of children are not happy to not have their prayers answered while they breathe their last breaths dying of starvation while other Christians who pray for God to find their lost car keys are forever grateful when found.
That would be insane.
He is a tyrant, that's why your God is rejected.
God gave the gift of children to people and unfortunately they suffer the consequences of their parents transgressions or lack of faith. It is sad that many people like those in Sudan who are starving never had the chance to know Jesus but God can help through others who create feeding programs. God has to work through the actions of others. The reason why there is such thing as starvation, etc, is because of our sin. Every evil act empowers Satan and that makes him more powerful in controlling the world. So every-time we do something wrong we played a hand in the suffering in the world.
You sound like a child. Does Jesus sound tyrannical to you?
Do you have evidence that god does not exist?
This is an argument that's been thrown around in HubPages so many times, yet never resolved because the answer is so obvious.
That "God" you refer to has no physical attributes according to the fanatical people who do the arguing and ask the question...no sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch. Neither is that god visible or touchable.. " He" is not proveable or dis-proveable. That god does not exist except as imagination in the believer's mind.
Have you access to other evidence ? Something that would convince the ultimate skeptic?
Look at how religiously spiritual this quote by Dr Michio Kaku is ( a modern day high ranking mathematician and inventor of string theory):
"In string theory, all particles are vibrations on a tiny rubber band; physics is the harmonies on the string; chemistry is the melodies we play on vibrating strings; the universe is a symphony of strings, and the mind of God is cosmic music resonating in 11-dimensional hyperspace."
This is science and religion merging together.
Well, then it would be in the minds of billions of people. In the minds of the lion's share of humanity on the planet.
Yes, and each of those minds sees "reality" of "God" slightly differently; no two imaginations will be exactly the same. The closest they will get to being similar is if their imagined reality is guided by some outward metaphor, such as a statue, painting, sculpture of Jesus, the Buddha, Virgin Mary, an abstract emblem, an animal (like Ganesh, for example). Each and every one of these metaphors appeals to the mind in some way. It will lead to and guide the mind into believing God is like this or like that. Yet still the individual's mind is left to fill in the desired details - still it's only a metaphor. God has no reality except in the mind, because that God has no form, not finite - infinite.
No one can direct your mind without your permission and you will not direct mine without my permission.
Believe what you wish, you own your thoughts.
Wishing you well as you explore....
Dr Kaku is starting to use the word "God" quite a lot these days. I'm sure he is being cautious too because atheist media, as the good Dr has carefully insinuated, are similar to the persecutors of old, only in reverse: this time they will devour any suggestion that God exists with ridicule and exclusion.
The Hindus say the real God doesn't have a "form" as we know the term. Now that maths is beginning to offer real "maths proofs" we can see the similarity to these ancient concepts (unless we are blind to the facts).
Theoretical science. Proposing a theory that might indicate, via that theory, that "God" is real, is fine. Go for it. But Why place all your hopes on such a theory being proven in the positive? You might have to wait 10,000 years for the proof! What benefit will that knowledge bring us?
Don't know about you, but I have only a small portion of live remaining and it's too precious to waste on silly argument. IMHO.
Who said I'm putting all my hopes into science proving God? Not me.
I'm just using science lingo to try and communicate with atheists on HPs. Maybe I can get them to "head toward the light" when their short lives are snuffed out.
It's what we do here on HP. Debate, altrusitically offer knowledge and insights to each other. Perhaps I should have said "it's what some do on HPs" cuz there's others who just want an argument or to get nasty.
Any evidence would be fine. What have you got other than the Bible?
Sorry, but that's not true simply because the only folks who appear to have "proved to oneself" their God's exist are those whose religions were handed down from their parents; ie. indoctrination.
Why then have Muslims or Jews or Buddhists or (insert any of the hundreds of religions and gods purported to exist) never found the same proof as those who claimed they did?
People have converted to Christianity. Why have they done so? You assume all Christians have been indoctrinated since childhood. There's a difference between teaching and indoctrination. That's not to say no child is indoctrinated. You can sometimes tell when you confront an indoctrinated person about their religion and they only respond with scriptures, throw in a couple of threats and cannot be reasoned with at all.
Buddhists don't believe in God as I understand it. They believe they can achieve divine consciousness. I think most Muslims and Jews, and this can include many Christians, are afraid to question their religion because their parents wouldn't approve of it. In the case of Judaism,, I've been told a Jew will be ostracized by the Jewish community if they convert to Christianity. So it is pretty amazing there are so may Jewish-Christians out there.
Satan can also pose as God. He can pretend to be God and so the Jews and Muslims may believe they are having a relationship with God. It is difficult to see through Satan's deception all the time.
You describe your posts well.
Such childish nonsense.
You are proof of the sad reality many people see when it comes to religion. Everyone believes their religion is right and that "their" god is the real god.
And if by some possible small minded chance that one even existed, I would not call him a god. As Epicurus said, "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"
Cause that's His name.
You nor any philosopher (using the mind God gave him to think with, of which he is using maybe 7%) gets to decide what God should do. That is simply one of those statements ppl who do not know God use to try and disprove His existence or that He doesn't care. The believer at this point offers a little insight into God to help understand why there is suffering in the world, and then the non believer rebuts the point. It is circular and seems to come to no end.
I confess to having trouble with this as well. The biblical God was deserving of nothing more than being stoned Himself, and the Muslim God is little better.
The Christian God of today has improved a lot, but is still unworthy of either our worship or adoration. Looking around the world it is a far better place than it once was, but if God is watching over it all then either His purpose here is not one I would call moral or He is not the omnipotent God portrayed by Christians the world over.
At least that's what these eyes see; closed eyes or eyes blinded by a desire for eternity will see something else.
I don't know where you got an education, but to claim that we use 7% of our brains is ridiculous. Brain scans have shown that no matter what we're doing, our brains are always active. Some areas are more active at any one time than others, but unless we have brain damage, there is no one part of the brain that is absolutely not functioning.
A god is omnipotent and eternal. If a god exists and it chooses to continue watching while many suffer from starvation, abuse and other forms of pain and chooses not to do anything about it, he is not worthy of being called a god, let alone, be worshiped.
In every religion, god has done things that would get any human sentenced to prison for life or worse, yet, in every religion, people continue to worship that god. If you wish to believe in a god who has committed atrocities and such, then by all means continue to worship and praise him. I do not believe that there is one, and if there was a chance he existed, I would never praise him.
You're super nice.
Yeah, apparently it is a myth... who knew. Well, I promise not to perpetuate it anymore. It's lucky that you have studied the brain extensively and could provide that information for us. You are surely a neurologist?
That is pure nonsense, we use all of our brains, not 7%.
Most people read holy texts, attend services, often they were believers to begin with (like myself) but changed their mind over time.
On the contrary,
When a believer says they have looked God, how did they do it? Where did they look for god? Weren't they finding reasons and explaining incidents to fit their preexisting world view handed over to them by their parents?
Confirmation bias. Accept a statement as true and then contrive facts to fit that.
But how do they go about trying?
You could call it confirmation bias but I think from age 7 I intuitively knew God. I also thought the OT stories were strange, too. I didn't believe it nor disbelieve it which is strange for a 7 year old to take a neutral stance. I never looked for God. I just knew. Ironically it is the devil that made me know more about God. You cannot know good without evil.
I've always been curious about those who weren't born into Christianity and then convert later on. They don't have confirmation bias.
No human being intuitively know about god, what they know is authority, the more evolved and complex form of imprinting that happen in 'lower' animals.
You should just as well be curious about those who born to Christianity and turned to other religion. That is confirmation bias. Say some bad happened to someone. They prayed to some god but nothing happened. Somebody advice them to go to some shrine, and the problem is solved they automatically attribute power to that shrine and becomes 'believers', if not they try something else. Given enough time most human problems go away or cease to become problems and gods get a win-win situation.
Then given human nature, fanatical religions like christianity and islam get more followers who are more biased and who tend to do any explanation based on that bias. They satisfy the human need to follow and conform.
You and I don't see eye to eye on much; but I see belief as more than a need to conform. Too many people believe without participating in the rituals associated with religion. Belief fulfills a basic human desire to be loved unconditionally. Actually, it is more of a need. Believers pay lip service to mandates set forth by their God. Those rules apply to others. Whatever their transgressions, they are forgiven because they have received that unconditional love. We serve the purpose, to the believer, of validating their belief structure. You can chalk it up to confirmation bias, but they see it as little more than actions and behavior patterns foretold playing out. It isn't confirmation bias anymore than any other entrenched position on unanswerable questions. Without proof, preponderance of evidence prevails. Few, after coming to a cosmic conclusion, allow the weights on the scale to change drastically. Whether they be a believer or a non believer.
Chalking belief up to imprinting negates any effect of individual thought and contemplation. Don't you think that summarily dismissing the input of another negates some value of your argument? It makes it sound as if you have no interest in their input. From that position, why would they see your input as anything other than biased?
"You and I don't see eye to eye on much; but I see belief as more than a need to conform. Too many people believe without participating in the rituals associated with religion'
Belief, I agree, is not only about the need to confirm. It also about the psychology of having a parent. For individual people there may be some other reasons too, but for the majority it is about conformity and parenting. In a limited forum I cannot discuss about every possible reasons(there are reasons which I do not know), so I confined to the major reason for the majority, especially that one which is relevant to this forum.
"believe without participating in the rituals associated with religion"
Yes there are people who do that, but religion is not about ritual, it is about "grouping". Rituals are made for in-group cohesion and out-group exclusion. Though we say there is a religion for every person, religion is about groups.
"after coming to a cosmic conclusion,"
There is no "cosmic" question, answer or conclusion, only clarity and precision in ones thoughts and words. Rest are all mere opinions, and it is over opinions we fight.
So what are you saying, a 7 year old child has intuitive understanding(got because of their physiology/anatomy) of god, an age where the child know nothing about god other than what is taught by their parents, or children think and have an understanding about god?
I was replying to her comment saying that at 7 yrs of age she had an intuitive understanding about god. Pre-adolescent children in most part of their life(except for a brief rebellious stint between 2-4) conform to what their parents do and behave. Any animal that has a dependent child teach them and that is one of the survival advantages of animals that rear their young, including humans. Small animals like chicken or deer do it more simplistically(which is really called imprinting-accepting as parents the first seen object and following it, by the scientists), while we primates do it more elaborately and instead of simply following we copy and remember.
An adult "belief" is usually not different either. People, in general, get their ideas from their parents and cling to it without much deliberation. A few people who think about it are not the rule, but the exemptions. And every human group is an example of it, right from the Spartans as the 'Spartan way of life' to the Americans as the 'American way of life'. The people who think differently are ostracised from Pausanias to Salk, while those who conformed are embraced right from Alcibiades to the present, thought it is the people who thought differently that brought change to the society.
So when somebody talk about "intuition"(about religion) it is what they got from their parents they are talking about, especially if it is about a seven year old kid.
If indeed religion is all about conformity, why then in this religiously 'enlightened' day and age, where one might encounter a far larger number of non-believers, from family members to friends to employers, etc...why are there those who continue to maintain their belief and practice it openly despite ridicule?
This day and age where 70% of people are still Christian, but yes now that it's not almost everyone the rate of Christian belief is decreasing by 1% yearly and speeding up.
Are they being ridiculed by their co-religionists or others? Religion is about in-group conformity.
You didn't notice the part where I said that those who do not conform are the ones who bring about change. If you are a Christian you believe that jesus and his followers had a different view than the jews, a community to which they belonged too, but had the same view among themselves for which they were ridiculed yet brought a change in a century.
Ridicule from everyone, really...their brothers and sisters in faith give them crap for kindness and respect they may show to anyone not of the faith...the unbelievers continue to call them deluded, unevolved, etc...
There is a time when one's faith (religion) if you prefer must simply be held between that one person and God, whether or not it conforms ANYWHERE.
"Be good to others and the planet." is the only "religious" expression that seems acceptable to anyone anymore. Which, on the surface, is quite logical and tolerant. It's one's motivation for doing so that constantly comes under fire.
Trust me - religion is just not always about conformity.
Often, I might agree. But just about every human being on the face of the planet is born with a need and a desire to "fit in" somewhere or with someone. It's natural and understandable. As a race of beings, we have evolved to the point where conformity allows us comfort and safety that we do not have on our own. My only point is that it is in no way something that can be found only in religion - sorta like hypocrisy. If you can find me a person with no religious persuasion whatsoever who is never a hypocrite, I'll find you believers who aren't as well.
It's simply a part of being human, not part of being a believer.
So you yourself answered your question. A single person will not make a religion. A few persons make a cult. When the number increases it becomes a religion. And inside one religion there are some basic rules and behavior to which the followers should adhere.
I never said religion is the "only way", it is one of the and most common and most potent one(at least till 1500ADE), to keep people together and similar. It just create an us VS them, in group cohesion. Nationalism is another
"t's simply a part of being human, not part of being a believer"
It is part being a social animal. A social animal has to follow the herd and being a "believer" is just following the herd, no thinking involved, it's instinct.
But God doesn't abide by the rules of logic.
I think the very reason why people intuitively believe there was a higher power right from mankind's origin says we have some inkling. Scientific studies suggest syntax (the way in which words are put together to form phrases and sentences), semantics (the study of meaning in language forms) and the basic rules of grammar are encoded in our DNA. I believe it is in our DNA to believe in a higher being especially if the claim of DNA being responsible for intuition.
http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/20 … 45642.html
It's obvious because former Christians are disillusioned. I don't know any former Christians claiming that Allah is the true god unless they marry a Muslim.
Christianity is a fanatical religion? So are all Christians fanatics?
God can be an illogical idiot, that is not what I'm saying. I am asking about you . What you say must be rational and logical otherwise what you say will be nonsense and will be treated just like if you say "earth is flat".
There are NO scientific studies to suggest religion is inborn. What studies suggest is that most human beings follow authority and are afraid of power. They earlier were afraid of natural power like thunder which was anthropomorphed when priests took over.
And human beings have no intuition about higher power but what they have is a great respect and trust in authority(part of the herd Mentality
And there are no scientific studies that prove dna is affected by words. Dna is affected by radiation(not frequency but higher frequency light like uv, or x ray or gamma...), chemicals and physical medium like viruses..
Then I'll have to say that either your knowledge about the world around you is painfully limited or you take a blind eye seeing only what you want to see.
Unfortunately most christians are. Though may not go about killing others as they used to do, but they are.
Claire, now you are very confusing. You state frequently your beliefs in spiritual things, concepts that are very ethereal, that cannot be confirmed in reality, and you seem to base much of what you say and write on those beliefs.
Yet now you bring in ideas about DNA, etc. All the knowledge we have about DNA and anything else biological, physical, chemical, is derived out of good, sound, careful, disciplined scientific exploration.
You mix god and science, yet tend to deny the good logic of the latter.
Just refresh my memory, what logic of science have I denied?
You will continue to believe what you want, Claire. Logic? Find your own.
We all must find our own logic, Jonny. Otherwise how can we live the best as we can?
I agree, Deepes, but when I feel that someone is putting there own logic out there as applicable to everyone else, then I get impatient and annoyed. Sorry, I don't mean to be disrespectful of anyone, and maybe I am doing the same thing about the way I see things.
Any "belief" is, for me, just that. Nothing proven or presentable as an absolute fact, because it all depends on point of view and perception of the individual.
Thank you Claire for asking this question.
I have for you a possible means of providing answers. I think, although unsure this treatise answers the questions you offered for pondering. Dialogue may or may not proceed. Yet, this was written for an audience of one - Claire, inspired of another, and open to subsequent readership and peer review.
The overall picture painted seems to be does god or God exist with an, and, added saying provide evidence as in empirical and not rational. Or, the colloquialism “Seeing is Believing” is the premise where “See” represents the five known senses and excludes the possible of a both skeptical and speculative sixth.
Asking of privilege I shall quote a modified answer shared at the Answer section of HubPages. A rational thought process offering the logic of mathematics seeking knowledge of god or God as an “is.” Seeking to demonstrate further an empirical acknowledgment with acceptance and of those only is the purposeful pursuit of this treatise.
Some clarifications may be in order. First, toss religion out the window. That is of groups and is in regard of many things especially morals and ethics as a portion of philosophy. This treatise seeks to offer science – simply, a means to test the hypothesis with empirical methods, for discovering that empirical knowledge. Through language, logic, and mathematics this presentation seeks that end.
Remember to have fun, fun, fun . . . one smile at a time . . .
Philosophy has these main parts or parcels:
Per: Lander University, South Carolina, USA
Epistemology: the Study of Knowledge
Metaphysics (Ontology): the Study of Reality
Axiology: the Study of Value (of two parts)
Per: University of Oregon
METAPHYSICS -- why and how people have reality and being
ETHICS -- why and how people are moral and have moral systems
EPISTEMOLOGY -- why and how individuals know
AESTHETICS -- why and how there is beauty and the arts
LOGIC -- why and how there is logic and reasoning.
Not as acquainted with Eastern Philosophies, although of knowledge, as with Western I shan’t walk that path, yet do defer to those of more knowledge. However, the jest seems to be only something of god or God as believable as in seeing as in empirical.
A given is with philosophy that is processed as Epistemology. Remember we threw religion out the window and not of need seeking the empirical of god or God as believable.
The Question from the Answer section asked is, “Is it wrong NOT to believe in God? The supplemental to the question is of religion so not needed. The proof offered is:
Q-1: Is it wrong NOT to believe in God?
Statement A-1 = It is wrong to believe in God.
Statement B-1 = It is "Not" wrong to believe in God
Remove - "it", with knowledge "It" is equal
A-2 = To believe in God is Wrong
B-2 = To believe in God is Not Wrong
"To Believe in", is equal, therefore exclude them
A-3 = God is Wrong
B-3 = God is Not Wrong
Remove "God is" with knowledge "God is" equal.
A-4 = Wrong
B-4 = Not Wrong
Remove "Wrong" with knowledge "Wrong" is equal.
The null set, or without elements, or zero, or nothing prefaces "Wrong" with Statement A-4.
Not, or negate, or minus, or subtract prefaces "Wrong" with Statement B-4
Does the "Null Set" ( Ø ) equal ( = ) "Not"( ~ ) becomes the question as all else is equal.
Consider, A "Null Set" is without anything or elements. Of essence is a Vacuum before introducing something. Or, with synonyms; space, nothingness, emptiness, and etc. Some may say "void of void" or an enigma.
Consider, "Not" ( ~ ), when with, a word or something, has meaning as "not Equal." ( ~= )
Does "Not Equal" mean "Opposite?" Consider these; Not Equal with mathematics as language is ( <> ) or ( ~= ) and a few more symbols. The empty set with mathematics as language is ( Ø ). Opposite is ( - ). Where opposite means those elements that are not in the set of "same as" or the opposite of Opposite ( - ) is a positive represented by ( + ).
Conclusion: "Not equal" does “not” mean "opposite" . . . Or, ~=, ~, -
Or, "Not" must have something to be operative as a function with and of meaning. If "Not" means to negate, then there must be something to negate.
If "not" means to be unequal, then there must be something not to be equal with.
A-5 = To believe in God?
B-5 = To believe in NOT God?
Both cases says "To believe in" and "?" are equal, next remove each.
A-6 = God
B-6 = NOT God
Premise: For B-6 to be True, or NOT God is true, then God must be or equal to something, even if nothing or is anything.
Now, defining “Something” we discover a Pronoun = A thing that is unspecified or unknown.
Finally, we can say, god or God is “something.” That is a thing (defined as a noun being an object that one need not, cannot, or does not wish to give a specific name to) that is unspecified or unknown.
With a leap of faith or frankly if chosen one may say it is a multiple and not one, since it is prefaced by “Some.”
Thus, the question now becomes of belief while remembering we seek the empirical or "See is Believing."
Let’s seek answers with questions. Experiment. Then evaluate those answers of the experiment.
A) If a car honks its horn, a person is not deaf, is next to the car, does that person hear “Something?”
B) If a person looks at a car and see it has four wheels, a body, and is painted does that peson see “Something?”
C) If a person is driving in a car, reaches downward to the center console, grasps a 32oz. cup of real sweet ice tea, then sips that through a straw, does that person taste “Something?”
D) If a person slides their fingers along the paint of the car, feels a slight to big dent, does that person feel “Something?”
E) If a person buys a brand new fresh car, gets inside and says, “I love the smell of a new car” did that person smell “Something?”
F) If any or all of those can occur with the possibility of probability then we have a rough idea if not specific without further proofing that “Something” exists.
Verified with veracity while having a degree of validity through empirical knowledge. The proof does occurs within time, is of space, and is matter. Although temporal at best, there is always the memory of the experienced offering inference the next will be the same of “Something” as experienced.
However, to this point a definition of “Something” has been the allusion of an experience as everyday events regarding a relationship with a car. That said, it is still relative to the desired means for empirical truths as experience that “Something” does in fact exist.
Definitions thus far are god or God is “Something.” A hypothetical proof is offered with this treatise. Next, the individual or group of individuals will have to seek that definition of “Something” for self or as selves. Ponder, “believing is seeing.” If one does experience "Seeing is believing" discovering "Something," then its equivalence, god or God, is demonstrated as also being.
The question at this juncture is defining one or the other or both. That as a whole is the many other different parts of Philosophy inclusive of religions.
Conclusively, one may with liberty state freely religion is of no matter with god or God as god or God is simply “Something.” Religion follows “Something” as seeing believes. Therefore religion does not lead. Religion only defines god or God as “Something” having been seen as temporal, while now believing of “Something,” even if just anything or nothing.
Faith to God and Religion in general is based on belief. If you do not believe, there is not much solid evidence to go against your disbelief. As a devout Christian, i consider miracles, which there are many which provide solid evidence. If you believe these are just scams or nonsense, you should know that many atheist scientific groups have looked in to the more modern and still existent miracles such as the cloak of Juan Diego of Guadalupe and cannot make sense out of them scientifically. Outside of miracles, there is really no hard evidence. But that is what faith is all about.
The question is why you believe something is a miracle simply because it is not readily understood by science? Gravity is not completely understood. It must also be a miracle.
So it all boils down to your need to believe in miracles, etc. It's more about your psychology than anything to do with a "god" or "heaven" or "life after death,"
When the religious individual can come to understand the depths of him/her self, then the need for religion diminishes considerably, if not completely.
No, it is faith that drives my belief.
Simple fact is, when asked for solid evidence, miracles are the only material of substance.
Your "faith" is your need. What you believe satisfies your need. For others their need might be different from yours.... their "faith" will represent their needs.
In your case, judging by the content of your posts, you seem to need to convince others of your beliefs, in order to confirm in yourself that you are right.
Do you have a peer reviewed scientific journal posted by an impartial source about this miracle that you're claiming atheist scientists have examined? I'm sorry, but I'm not just going to take your word that it exists, it's been examined, and there are no natural explanations. I've never even heard of it.
You have never heard of the miracle of Juan Diego?
Why don't you look it up, i did in fact read about it a year or two ago.
I will look it up, but what I'm looking for is actually a scientifically peer reviewed journal on it. You stated that it has been investigated by atheist scientist skeptics - I want to see their findings. Has it been submitted to any of the supernatural challenge areas that offer a million dollar prize for anyone that can demonstrate a supernatural claim?
I am 100% sure i saw a document by some international science group about this, but i completely forget what it is called.
when you find it again, let me know. Then I will read the journal, look at its references and its credentials and find other information that may refute it. I am fully willing to look at any/all evidence that is presented to me, but that doesn't mean that I'm just going to accept someone's word on it that it's out there, and it doesn't mean that I'm necessarily going to buy it.
*edit* i did a quick google search, and the only things I were able to find was the Wikepedia page (which provided a brief overview of the controversy over whether juan diego actually EXISTED) and investigations by the roman catholic church on his elevation to sainthood. No scientific journals. No peer reviewed research. It doesn't mean that it doesn't exist, if You believe you saw it - but if you're positing this as proof of god because of a miracle, then the burden to provide the evidence falls to you.
You could look it up yourself, but i will go through the trouble anyway.....
i will post if i find it...
What I don't understand is how there CAN be scientific, peer reviewed journals for an event that happened in the 16th century - from a person that historians debate the existence of.
Scientists certify Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Touring professor cites validations for cloth's authenticity
By Ramon Gonzales, Western Catholic Reporter| Vegreville, Canada, WCR, 06/13/07 -- In 1531, the Virgin Mary appeared to Mexican peasant Juan Diego. To prove to all that the apparitions were real, the Virgin imprinted an image of herself on Juan Diego's tilma, a thin cloth made of cactus fibres.
This type of tilma normally decays in 30 to 40 years. But Juan Diego's tilma is still miraculously intact and the same as it was when he wore it.
Over the centuries, many have expressed doubts about the divinity of the image, but Prof. Victor Campa Mendoza has no doubt whatsoever.
"This is not a human act but an act of God," he says in Spanish, adding he has accumulated enough evidence to prove it.
The first is in Revelation chapter 12 which speaks about a woman remarkably similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe, including the fact she was accompanied by the sun, the stars and the moon and that she was pregnant.
According to the Nahualt culture, Juan Diego's culture, Our Lady is pregnant in the tilma. This is clear by the shape of her waist and by the four-petal flower resting on her womb, which in Nahualt culture is a symbol of pregnancy, Mendoza said.
A professor of ethics at the Technological Institute of Durango, Mexico, Mendoza has done extensive analysis and research on Juan Diego's tilma for the past 30 years and has written several books on Our Lady of Guadalupe, including the Mantle Codex, the Nican Mopohua and his latest, Guadalupan.
He is currently on a speaking tour of several U.S. and Canadian cities. Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wainwright sponsored his trip to Alberta. He made presentations at parishes in Edmonton, Wainwright, Lloydminster and Vegreville.
In a brief interview in Spanish and during a PowerPoint presentation for 35 people at St. Martin's Parish in Vegreville June 12, Mendoza spoke candidly about Our Lady and gave further evidence of the supernatural origin of her image. He used a large canvass of Our Lady for the presentation and with a large ruler he pointed to details in the image.
Carlos Lara of Wainwright, who interpreted the presentation, said in his native Mexico Our Lady is popular and nobody questions the divinity of the tilma. But presentations like Mendoza's are necessary for skeptical westerners.
Mendoza noted Our Lady's tilma shows the radiant rays of the sun surrounding her as she appeared, wearing a blue-green mantle that depicts the universe.
Also fascinating is the pattern of stars strewn across her mantle. According to Mendoza the pattern mirrors the exact position of constellations on the day her image appeared on the tilma, Dec. 12, 1531. He used a graph to prove it.
It has been found that by imposing a topographical map of central Mexico on the Virgin's dress, the mountains, rivers and principal lakes coincide with the decoration on this dress, he said.
The fact that the tilma has remained perfectly preserved since 1531 is a miracle in itself, according to Mendoza. After more than four centuries, Juan Diego's tilma retains the same freshness and the same lively colour as when it was new.
Analysis shows that there is no trace of drawing or sketching under the colour, even though perfectly recognizable retouches were done on the original.
He said a professor from NASA conducted an independent analysis in 1979 and concluded that there is no way to explain the quality of the pigments used for the pink dress, the blue veil, the face and the hands, the permanence of the colours, or the vividness of the colours after several centuries, during which they ordinarily should have deteriorated.
Much research has also been conducted regarding mysterious images that appear in Our Lady's eyes. The images reflected in her retinas are of the moment when she left her imprint on Juan Diego's tilma and Mendoza showed enlarged pictures of those images.
Peruvian Jose Aste Tonsmann, an expert in digital image processing, produced them. The figures in Our Lady's eyes' reflection show the people historically known to have been present at the unveiling of the tilma in 1531 - Bishop Zumarraga, his interpreter, Juan Diego and several family members.
Further proof of the supernatural origin of the tilma comes from St. Luke, who in 71 AD painted a portrait of Our Lady that is remarkably similar to Our Lady of Guadalupe, noted Mendoza. "This is a true sign that this an act of God," he said
So there? That is not at all what you claimed it was. You're talking about an event that supposedly in an age when scientists were being burned at the stake by the church before scientific, peer reviewed journals even existed. I'm sorry, but that's absurd.
there are no scientific peer reviewed journals from the 1500s. that's not possible. What the Catholic church deemed of this "miracle" and the vatican investigators are irrelevant. They are not atheists. They are not scientists. They are certainly not impartial.
Julie, perhaps you missed the "so there" part.
oh, you're right. The "so there" really just makes the whole argument. How silly of me.
Yes obviously that was just put in for emphasis. Thank you for your well appreciated sarcasm.
"You should read up before continually denying what is so obviously true."
yes, and your sarcasm is appreciated too. You still have not provided me what I asked for - scientific, peer reviewed journals that can be verified and investigated to question whether or not this is a supernatural event at all.
This cloth has been there for many hundred years. Even since the studies were performed on it in 1979, it should have been decayed in 2013. You should read up before continually denying what is so obviously true.
"He said a professor from NASA conducted an independent analysis in 1979 and concluded that there is no way to explain the quality of the pigments used for the pink dress, the blue veil, the face and the hands, the permanence of the colours, or the vividness of the colours after several centuries, during which they ordinarily should have deteriorated."
Who is this NASA professor? What's his name? Where are his journals? What are his biases about the existence (or lack thereof) of god? Where is the peer review? From what you've provided, this is all hearsay. That's not scientific evidence without the backup. There are no links. There are no journals. Copying and pasting from an unknown site and then claiming that this is absolutely proof simply doesn't work. There is no way to verify this.
Phoenix, Ariz., Aug 7, 2009 / 04:10 pm (CNA).- Researcher and physicist Dr. Aldofo Orozco told participants at the International Marian Congress on Our Lady of Guadalupe that there is no scientific explanation for the 478 years of high quality-preservation of the Tilma or for the miracles that have occurred to ensure its preservation.
Dr. Orozco began his talk by confirming that the conservation of the Tilma, the cloak of St. Juan Diego on which Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared 478 years ago, “is completely beyond any scientific explanation.”
“All the cloths similar to the Tilma that have been placed in the salty and humid environment around the Basilica have lasted no more than ten years,” he explained. One painting of the miraculous image, created in 1789, was on display in a church near the basilica where the Tilma was placed. “This painting was made with the best techniques of its time, the copy was beautiful and made with a fabric very similar to that of the Tilma. Also, the image was protected with a glass since it was first placed there.”
However, eight years later, the copy of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was thrown away because the colors were fading and threads were breaking. In contrast, Orozco said, “the original Tilma was exposed for approximately 116 years without any kind of protection, receiving all the infrared and ultraviolet radiation from the tens of thousands of candles near it and exposed to the humid and salty air around the temple.”
Dr. Orozco then discussed the Tilma’s fabric. He noted that “one of the most bizarre characteristics of the cloth is that the back side is rough and coarse, but the front side is ‘as soft as the most pure silk, as noted by painters and scientists in 1666, and confirmed one century later in 1751 by the Mexican painter, Miguel Cabrera.”
Following an analysis of some of the fibers in 1946, it was concluded that the fibers came from the Agave plant, however, noted Dr. Orozco, the researchers couldn’t figure out which of the 175 Agave species the Tilma was made from. Years later, in 1975, “the famous Mexican researcher Ernesto Sodi Pallares said that the species of the agave was Agave popotule Zacc,” Orozco explained, “but we don’t know how he reached this conclusion.”
Before concluding his presentation, Dr. Orozco made mention of two miracles associated with the Tilma.
The first occurred in 1785 when a worker accidentally spilled a 50 percent nitric acid solvent on the right side of the cloth. “Besides any natural explanation, the acid has not destroyed the fabric of the cloth, indeed it has not even destroyed the colored parts of the image,” Orozco said.
The second miracle was the explosion of a bomb near the Tilma in 1921. Dr. Orozco recalled that the explosion broke the marble floor and widows 150 meters from the explosion, but “unexpectedly, neither the Tilma nor the normal glass that protected the Tilma was damaged or broken.” The only damage near it was a brass crucifix that was twisted by the blast.
He continued, “There are no explanations why the shockwave that broke windows 150 meters afar did not destroy the normal glass that protected the image. Some people said that the Son by means of the brass crucifix protected the image of His Mother. The real fact is that we don’t have a natural explanation for this event.”
Dr. Orozco thanked the audience for listening to his presentation and closed by reassuring them that “Our Lady visited Mexico 478 years ago, but she remains there to give Her Love, Her Mercy and Her Care to anyone who needs it, and to bring Her Son, Jesus Christ to everyone who receives Him.”
*Sticks out tongue
1) How old are you? Sticking out your tongue? Did we learn debate in the sandbox?
2) The only information I can find on this guy is his biography. I looked up his publications:
• 13 peer reviewed papers in international journals on his area of research: Cosmic Rays, Geomagnetism and History of Science. • 42 papers in National and International Congresses on his specialty. • Several papers in the BoletÃn Sindone, and several national magazines, as well as in the newspaper “Desde la Fe”, of the Archbishopric of Mexico, and in “Nuevo Criterio”.
None of his peer reviewed papers are on this supposed "miracle". He is a known catholic, and therefore not an atheist as you claimed, and he is biased towards his own religion. His area of specialty is Cosmic Rays, Geomagnetism and a History of Science. I'm not sure how he's in a position to explain or claim the validity of miracles. Other information about this guy is all on catholic websites and newsletters. I'm simply not finding ANYTHING from a peer reviewed journal on this miracle claim.
abt79, I can see that you are a deeply religious person (man or woman you have not told us). You apparently believe all the things you have told us, and I have no problem with that. You are entitled to your choice of religion, which I respect.
However, if you are hoping to gain converts by your posts in HubPages, I think you will be waiting a very long time. Especially as there are so many of us Atheists here.......you understand what I am saying?
Obviously, Orozco has an underlying agenda. Another liar for Jesus.
Is there some reason you are compelled to act like you're in kindergarten?
OH you left....
it seems that, although you are stubborn you can recognize defeat
seriously? I was researching your claim. Do you want me to research it, or do you want me to be at your beck and call to answer you within your own predetermined time frame? I'm sorry, but adulthood doesn't work that way. If you want a debate, do it honestly. This level of immaturity is hilarious, and it's not helping with your credibility in the least little bit.
I'm still asking for links to a SCIENTIFIC, peer reviewed journal on the miracle itself. Not claims from a self-professed catholic who speaks about the miracle to other catholics without any published, peer reviewed journals in his name on the subject at all.
As for the sticking my tongue out thing well, that's just my way of saying i know i am right and you are wrong.
What evidence do you have that these miracles did not happen?
a shifting of the burden of proof is a common tactic. It's not my responsibility to prove that it didn't happen, when all that you have to go on is hearsay. It is your responsibility to prove it did. I do not HAVE to prove that god does not exist to not believe in him/her/it. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim. Shifting the goalposts, special pleading and circular reasoning have no place in an adult debate.
Can you prove that I do NOT have an invisible purple dragon living in my garage?
lol you know I love you Deepes. :-) It's a shame. I really thought i was on the verge of something interesting - or at least challenging.
Come on, old friend - give me something to think about. :-) It's Wednesday.
You weren't kiddin' were ya? Your brain never rests! It's too bad, really. I was really getting into your discussion with this lovely new forum participant.
Ask me a question. I'll try to discuss it.
I really was interested in discussing his claims. I was especially interested with the fact that he said it had been investigated by the scientific community - especially atheists. Of course, that turned out to be a blatant falsehood.
I have grown - I usually would have tried to continue had it only been one or two fallacies that may have been made in error - I even make them occasionally. But to throw all of the fallacies on me at once, combined with dishonesty and childish reactions (especially when I was trying to find information on the subject that he wanted me to look up and then he claimed victory because of my delayed response) it just became too silly to take seriously.
Okay, Mo - here's a serious question for you. My atheism is falsifiable. I am open to the possibility that I could, one day, be proven wrong when/if evidence is proven sufficient. I have no problem with examining evidence and reevaluating my position. My question for you, since you've previously posted that your faith has had a rocky road and has been tested - is what do you think (if anything) it would take to falsify YOUR faith?
What a good question! I think to answer it, I have to go into a little of how I came to faith in the first place...are you guys okay with that? It may be a little long winded.
Okie doke...My father was a lapsed Italian Catholic. My mother was a lapsed protestant who tended more toward agnosticism than anything else while I was a child. I was baptized Catholic, but never went to church again until I made my first communion in second grade. Thus ended my childhood religious journey. LOL
My parents divorced shortly after, and if there was any sort of spiritual/religious anything in my home after that, it was very much my mother seeking. She questioned - EVERYTHING! I never really paid much, if any, attention to it.
After we moved from Detroit to NE Michigan (which was a very rural area peopled with primarily retirees where we lived), I spent a lot, a lot of time by myself. I rarely had kids my age to play with (we all lived too far apart, really), so I played by myself. My mom (now single) worked a lot, and my eventual stepfather worked in highway construction downstate. I played in the woods, I took long, rambling walks, and I read lots and lots of books. I was reading far above my grade level fairly early, so I read whatever I could get my hands on.
Anyway - being alone a lot, and being the kind of person who tends toward melancholy and loneliness, you'd think I'd have been a really miserable and deeply lonely child given the circumstances. But I wasn't. You know the feeling of warmth and tenderness that comes with being with someone you love and with whom you feel safe? I always felt that as a child. No matter what. And sometimes (I had three alcoholic parents) life was less than stable, and anything but safe and secure.
But I always felt as though there was a presence surrounding me and that presence never, ever felt threatening or anything but completely ... loving. I grew up eventually and become a fiercely independent young lady (as my mother had been), and a fiercely liberal young lady as well. If it smacked of conservatism in any way, and God sure did, I wanted nothing to do with it. I hated Christians. All of them. They were all bigots. They were all judgmental, small-minded, and stupid. I was raised to be much kinder, much gentler, and much more open-minded and tolerant.
At 19, I moved to California and stayed for a minute with my aunt, a born-again, fundamental, pentecostal Christian. I had no idea about that till I got there. I considered defecting to Mexico.
I can tell you that my aunt was none of the things I described above. She was not a bigot, not judgmental, not small-minded, and most definitely NOT stupid. In fact, she was a lot like me and my mom...But she had a serenity that was so deeply a part of her character that I couldn't resist asking how she got it. Of course, she witnessed to me, but never once demanded that I attend church with her or any such thing. After a few months, I started really looking into the Jesus thing.
I popped some popcorn myself and was laughing until I realized that this wasn't meant to be a comedy
I love ya too, J.. I had to do it LOL..That was a challenge.. The challenge was to see if you could get through this without laughing.
Give me a few and I will think of a good challenge (well as good as it could be..LOL)
lol the answer was no. As soon as he threw out "so there" and stuck his tongue out at me, it was all I could do to continue typing without laughing so hard that I dropped my laptop. I knew it was pretty pointless from that point on, but I tried. I even tied half of my resources and prior knowledge behind my back, to no avail. :-)
Well, I like the question that you asked Mo, So I will pose it to you as well. What evidence would it take to convince you that a god exists (even if you wouldn't follow one)?
(**NOTE** giving the answer of "God would know" will not suffice )
Yeah! That's a good caveat to put on that question, Deepes!
While I think the answer "god would know" is realistically the only fair one, I'll have to think of an alternative. That may take a little time - but I will definitely get back to you, if that's okay?
Actually - I've looked up this question before because I simply DON'T KNOW what it would take to convince me personally, but I have read other people's answers, and I might steel one or two in my answer, if you want one quickly.
I pretty much agree with these, although they're from a blog that's slightly outdated - but it's been that kind of week, and I can't really think TOO clearly right now. If you want a more personalized answer, I revert to my original position that I would have to think about it more.
It's okay with me.. The reason I disqualified that answer (so to speak) is because of a previous conversation you and I had where you outlined three possibilities:
1) There is no God
2) There is a God, but he doesn't appear or manifest in the natural world, which makes him no different than a God that does not exist
3) There is a God that does interact with this world (but which we should have natural evidence for)
Working off this conversation memory, I was thinking about your second possibility. As such, my question is based off of that second possibility idea.
Actually, I'll add one of my own.
If I woke up one morning, and all of the christians were gone, the world was in chaos and all of the children under a certain age were inexplicably missing, I would think that the concept of a Christian god was much more probable than it was when I went to bed. I still would not be certainly convinced, but it would leave me a lot to think about, for sure.
I did kinda say this one would be the deciding factor.. The rapture as outlined in Revelation..
to be fair to us heathens, I would qualify that as "the rapture as defined in Revelation - according to some versions and interpretations and extrapolations"
That's a fair one.
I have to tell you a silly story...when the last end of the world before the Mayans' came...the May 21, 2011 from Harold Camping?
My husband and I lived in Chicago and a drunk driver drove his truck into our apartment building. It shattered the floor to ceiling windows downstairs shifted the foundation. Michael was up watching TV and I was asleep. I rolled over and asked if the rapture happened. He said, yeah, I think so. That was a really big boom. Guess we aren't going this time around, huh? I said...guess not. But that WAS a really big boom
It was really funny.
Well, You did ask me to give you something to think about...LOL
You did. And I have. And I will some more.
I thought you were here to provide fuel for my not-so-secret crushes. Hmm. I guess I was wrong.
Nope.. The fact that I make you think is part of my charm and why you developed the crush in the first place.. well that and my smile
1)What would convince me: If I saw an unambiguous message from God, I would be persuaded of his existence. If I saw writing suddenly appear in the sky, in letters a hundred feet high, saying "I Am God, I Exist, Here Is What I Want You To Do" -- and if that writing were seen by every human being, written in whatever language they understand, comprehended in the same way by everyone who saw it -- I would be persuaded that God existed. I'd be puzzled as to why he'd waited this long -- why he'd decided to do it in 2010 and not at any other time in human history -- but I'd still believe.
(And for the record: Yes, it's possible that this could happen without God. It could hypothetically, for instance, be accomplished by a highly technologically advanced alien species. But I don't think that would be the simplest explanation. If this phenomenon happened, "God" would, in my opinion, be a simpler explanation than "aliens" -- and unless I saw good evidence that the writing was done by aliens, God would be the provisional conclusion I would come to.)
2) What would convince me: If any sacred text in any religion made clear, unambiguous, accurate prophecies about the future -- and did so consistently -- I would be persuaded that this religion was divinely inspired. If there were a passage in Isaiah or Revelation, the Pyramid Texts or the Bhagavad Gita, that read, "And verily I say unto you, that 1,987 years after the death of Augustus Caesar, on the date of September 11, some followers of an Abrahamic religion that has not yet been founded will attack a city called New York that does not yet exist, by steering flying machines that have not yet been invented into two skyscrapers, whatever the hell those are" -- and if that same sacred text made several other clear, accurate prophecies -- I'd be convinced that God or some other divine being existed, and had inspired the text in question. (With the same "highly technologically advanced aliens" caveat noted above.)
3) What would convince me: If the believers in one particular religion had noticeably better lives than the believers in any other religion -- in ways that couldn't be accounted for by social or economic or other natural factors -- I would be convinced that this religion was true. If believers in, say, the Mormon faith, or the Baha'i faith, or the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, were found to be far healthier, wealthier, and happier than believers in other faiths, if their prayers came true significantly more often, if they had far fewer accidents and birth defects and genetic diseases and pediatric cancer -- and this difference was statistically significant, much greater than could be accounted for by higher wealth or social status or something -- I would be persuaded that God existed, and that this faith was the correct one, and that God was rewarding these believers for the correctness of their faith.
And if one religion consistently won all its holy wars with all other religions -- again, in ways that couldn't be explained by better military technology or a larger population or other social/ economic/ natural factors -- that would get me believing in a heartbeat.
http://gretachristina.typepad.com/greta … lieve.html
Err....just a suggestion.... could we have a debate about the feasibility of staging a Kidditch match at one of your big American Universities?
As you will know from the Harry Potter books, it's possible to make broomsticks fly, with just the right wave of the wand and saying the right spell.
This would bring a bit of down-to-earth reality to this Hub..... And PLEASE don't tell me Harry Potter does not exist. He has appeared in a play in London (Equus) and I tell you for a fact he is real!
Of COURSE Harry Potter is real. I've seen all of his movies, and his final battle with he who must not be named was too epic to NOT be true. It's in a book and everything!
I want to play Kiddich! Lets go!
" JMcFarland wrote:
Of COURSE Harry Potter is real. I've seen all of his movies, and his final battle with he who must not be named was too epic to NOT be true. It's in a book and everything!
I want to play Kiddich! Lets go!"
Gotya Mate! My Broomstick's better and faster than yours, and Valdemort's backing me, can't loose!
Haha, good response. Under that reasoning, you are right, me, and all other beings could just be an illusion and you could really be sitting in a giant computer as the only human in a robotic world. And yet, there is proof that God is real.
The only proof you could provide that your version of god is real is to a) completely misrepresent the facts behind a 700 year old miracle (you stated that atheist scientists have examined it and have found no explanation and we have all seen that claim is untrue) b) just insist that god is real based on some kind of "proof" that you are either unwilling or unable to provide.
This is intern level presuppositional apologetics. "if gods' not real, then reality isn't real. Non-matter matters and matter doesn't matter". If you're serious about debate, you might want to read up on logical fallacies, circular logic and debate tactics. You've tried to shift the burden of proof. You've tried special pleading. You've tried moving the goalposts. Your last option is pascal's wager - and I can tell you right now that it's not going to be effective, at least with me.
Claim victory all you want. I don't have the time or energy to debate seriously with someone who resorts to these methods and then "claims victory" when I take time to respond intelligently because I'm doing the research that you asked me to do in the first place, even though you were the one making the assertion and positive claim. I have two jobs, a wife, a house and other responsibilities. I'm here for serious discussion that does not involve throwing sand, sticking one's tongue out and resorting to the oldest logical fallacies and subversive debate tactics in the book. I've debated this stuff for YEARS, and I'm serious about it. It seems, at this juncture at least, that you are not.
Because, according to Newton's Laws of motion, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. But there must have been an action that caused all reactions, or else none of the actions could have ever happened, and matter could not exist. God is the first cause, the creator, the action that caused all reactions, and all matter to exist.
The whole "created the world in 7 days" thing is symbolic. Obviously it took much longer to create matter itself. Time itself is a human invention.
Well i have to go, and i can tell the deep stuff i just talked about left you stunned. I'll see your insignificant and stubborn struggle to spend the minuscule 100 years that is your life span trying to disprove something that you will spend the rest of eternity knowing that it is true.
(no it didn't. Been there, argued that, got the t-shirt. Kudos for combining the first cause argument WITH pascal's wager instead of tackling them individually. They're usually addressed separately.)
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … irst_cause
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … %27s_wager
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … used_cause
http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php? … d_miracles
just in case.
Ok.. You're brand new here, So let me go ahead and try to help you as a fellow believer. The tactics you have been using will not work on these forums.. JM is the only one debating you right now, But there at least three others that are going to have a field day crushing your arguments. I applaud you for standing up for your beliefs, but you might want to strengthen your debating skills on HP
Neither the fabric ("the support") nor the image (together, "the tilma") has ever been analyzed using the full range of scientific resources available to museum conservationists.
Condition of the surface layer: The three most recent inspections agree that significant additions have been made to the image, some of which were subsequently removed, and that the original image has been abraded and re-touched in places. Some flaking is visible (mostly along the line of the vertical seam, or at passages considered to be later additions).
The reality of Juan Diego's existence has been questioned by a number of experts on the early religious history of New Spain including Bernardino de Sahagun, Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta, Stafford Poole, Louise Burkhart and David Brading, who argue that there is a complete lack of sources about Juan Diego's existence prior to the publication of the Nican Mopohua a century later, in 1649 (they do not accept the validity of the Codex Escalada as historical evidence).
That is rubbish, Mendoza is lying. Extensive testing has shown brushwork and water soluble paints as well as gum arabic bindings.
I'm guessing that unless a person is Catholic or Mexican, they may actually be ignorant of the miracle of Juan Diego. It's not like he's a pop culture reference or anything.
The burden of proof lies on religion. There has been a conditioned 'respect' for faith and when the 'nice' approach doesnt work, the shunning, hell-fire or 'god just doesn't like you enough to talk to you' which conveys a sense of rejection approach is often sought. When you boil milk, the impurities rise to the surface. I question the reasons for religion, but I have stopped questioning the 'existence' of god. The concept of 'god' is relevant to society but that doesn't mean god exists. God will only be relevant if god was real. If god was independent of humanity then religious people wouldn't go out of their way to make it seem like is 'rejecting you' when they say things like 'well he reveals himself to whom he wishes'. That's not an answer, that's just an assumption of favoritism. That's just someone giving someone else crap because they have flat out rejected their 'belief'. End of story. If anything politics and religion always seem to bring emotions in to play. It makes a great article in the news, but it really just pointless on a forum.
Very good question , but atheist come in verities
Example. We have Atheist that believe in deities or
Customs of ancient rituals but not the God and Author of the bible.
Then you have Atheist based on being turned away from God because of the bad examples of Christians. And those who have lost faith in God because of their own personal judging of him.
So this is certainly like a doctor and many different patients who are certInly different in mind and body. A doctor can not treat them all the same with the same medicine . what is good for one could be poison for another.
Doctors have to talk to their patients and ask questipns to u understand the problem.
There are Atheist who want to know truth. , but the ones who are angry do not want to know because
Being a Atheist does not matter about proof its about why should they belive and respect the position of God.
And Atheist who say and live without God in the family because they like it that way. Because the written morals of God does not fit ones lifestyle but is condemned.
So no matter what you may say to a certain Atheist about the subject it will not change
That is a inner battle they must conquer.
On the other hand there is a rare percent that really need more convencing of the truth.
Which I have read they recieved.
K&T, I am a-theist And have no need a god or an obscure book of ancient writings.
I am not sick therefore not in need of a doctor.
I did not turn away from your god because of "bad" christians...but would please tell us what those types of christian do to make themselves "bad." Are they the ones who are full of self-deceipt?
I am not immoral and do not stand to be judged, either by a ruthless tyrant of a god as depicted in your bible, or by any one of those Bad Christians.
I am fully conversant with my "Inner Self," who is teaching me new things every day. It is here that I find my Judge, fair, honest and forthright.
Much more up-to-date than any out-dated ideas of a god that is past it's use-by date.
You say you have no need for a god yet you will never be perfect and never do any wrong doing? Don't you need some saviour to redeem you of that? Unless of course, you don't want to and being in a position where you never sin again is not important. Sin has bad repercussions and can destroy other people's lives.
Who is your inner self? That reminds me of New Age Lucifer worship.
That's right Claire, no need for a god. How are you to judge perfection?
Of course I will engage in wrong doing. Wrong in relation to my neighbour; wrong in relation to the welfare of other species and the world scene. Like you, I am only human. But I do not need some "saviour," all I need is the courage and tenacity to face my mistakes, own up to them and do my best to right any wrong. Of course this is a responsibility that I cannot avoid. But it cannot be placed upon the shoulders of any other person, living, dead or imagined.
There is no need of a fanciful, imaginary "saviour," the sort you have been convinced of. You make your choices, I make my own, thank you. I am free of that nonsense. It could only be relevant if there was some kind of physical existence following death.....but there is NOT, so forget it.
The concepts of sin, and redemption, and fear of eternal punishment....these have been designed and imposed by those fellow humans who would control you. They want to control your mind; your every day life, every minute, every action, every desire. Power of you and over you. If you wish to jump onto that train for the remainder of your life, you are free to do so. But count me out. I reject it, as you know me of old.
Now, finally, you don't know anything of the "Inner Self?" Go back to all the stories about Jesus. If we can accept any of it as historical, he was speaking of the Inner Self all the time. He spoke of the "I AM." That is the Inner Self. "Just as I Am, without one plea." You can explore your Inner Self at any time, any place, just as and when you have a need. There you will find the truth of your Self. That is the God Within. Not separate from the World of which you are a part. It is totally free of political influence. Free of religious dogma. Free of Ego. Free of the fear of sin and eternal punishment. These latter are man-made, for human use/misuse.
Please don't make the mistake in thinking that I speak from a position of self-ishness, which is ruled by the ego and wants power over others. I speak from a Self-awareness. This is a never-ending pursuit, on the life-long journey. Full of awe and wonder, full of excitement, it brings with it a sober mind and humility. It is 100% connection with others, and brings the realisation that we are all interdependent upon one another. If there is anything I can still connect with in the New Testament, it is the perception of a wise man who really new the depth of his Inner Self. But he would have been horrified to know that, 2000 years hence, people would be worshiping him as a God.
New Age Lucifer worship? I know nothing of this. Have you first hand experience in that field?
The problem is that you will never get to the stage where you will stop sinning. That is inherent evil in all of us. That's human nature. Since we can never stop sinning, we can never be with the Father in heaven.
Your attitude of, "I don't need a saviour" matches that of New Agers.
SIN AND SALVATION
"In New Age writings, we search in vain to find references to sin. Because New Agers believe that each person is god, they don't believe in sin as the Bible defines it. Any lack a person has, they say, is a lack of enlightenment. Their solution is to alter that person's consciousness so he will think properly about his oneness with the Force, or the impersonal presence. Because they explain away sin, they have no need for salvation in the biblical sense. In their minds, any salvation would simply be a more complete unification with the One."
They also believe in this "inner self" thing. That is the god within.
And you know for a fact there is nothing after death?
There is absolutely no doubt that the Church has used fear to control people. Yet, this is not God trying to control people. Separate the Church from God!
More New Age thinking:
Jesus, in New Age thinking, is not the Son of God. He's only God in the same sense that you are god and I am god. He's not the Savior of the world. He's a spiritual model of a New Ager who tapped into divine power in the same way that anyone of us can.
Of course people would like to be free of the fear of sin and hell. It makes them not worry about the consequences of their actions.
New Ager through and through. Read my articles thoroughly.
New Age Lucifer worship? I know nothing of this. Have you first hand experience in that field?
No, but I've done my research.
Helena Blavatsky, founder of the Theosophical Society, was the predecessor of the New Age Movement founded by Luciferian Alice Baily.
She quotes, "The Secret of Satan," of the second edition
of Dr. A. Kingsford's "Perfect Way." in her book, "The Secret Doctrine":
28, 29, 31. "Stand in awe of him, and sin not; speak his name with trembling . . . . For Satan is the
magistrate of the justice of God (Karma); he beareth the balance and the sword . . . . For to him are
committed Weight and Measure and Number."
http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/upl … vatsky.pdf
"After Besant, came Alice Bailey and her husband, Foster Bailey, a 32nd Degree Freemason. Having assumed the leadership of the Theosophical Society together, they formulated and built the foundations of what we now refer to as the New Age Movement. They made no effort to conceal their demonic sympathies, and created the `Lucifer Publishing Company`, along with the theosophical periodical `Lucifer`.Acknowledging that the Christian world at that time, had not been sufficiently undermined for their open preference for the Satanic religion, they renamed their project the `Lucis Publishing Company`. In 1922, they set up `Lucis Trust`, which continues to serve as the umbrella organization for a multitude of One World Government/New Age/Occult sects,cults, organizations and programs that are the main players in the emerging new world religion. These include the Arcane School, World Goodwill, Triangles, Lucis Publishing, Lucis Productions, Lucis Trust Libraries, and the New Group of World Servers.
The `Plan` as revealed by her `Ascended Master` Djwhal Khul, is documented in her twenty four books, which she says were channelled through her by Khul whilst she was in a trance state.
https://www.google.co.za/?ion=1&esp … 0theosophy
Now whether you like it or not, you are promoted the New Ager Lucifer worship. If you didn't even know that you had New Age ideas associated with Lucifer worship, then you certainly don't know you are being duped by the devil himself.
Claire, you are so funny. Are you going to produce a main-line movie about this Jonny and his conspiracy with Lucifer?
I thought Voodoo was primarily practiced in Haiti, but there you are in South Africa, with very little to occupy your mind but dark, foreboding, fearsome stories about Satanism.
Have you had a chat with a professional lately? It seems you have had an interest in searching for your Inner Self, but someone or something has frightened you off. Please don't allow them to dter you. There is a chance for you to rise above the doubts and hypocrisy.
Your response clearly indicates my post hit a nerve. You didn't even address the part where I said your beliefs mirror New Age. I didn't say you were in it with Lucifer. It's just that your belief system aligns with prominent New Agers who do. How nice for Satan that some people think they do not need Christ. It makes his job a whole lot easier because those without Christ are vulnerable.
Jonny, I'm sorry but this is the way it is. Insults aren't going to make you right. I suggest you clearly read my links and have a good think about it.
I have put to death my own life and now live for Christ.
But you, Clair E., live for Christ with 100% of your will. Not all have even 50 % will / desire / motivation and I believe motivation is under one's OWN jurisdiction. We can inspire and we can encourage, but we can never FORCE "belief."
Claire, it is not necessary for me to address that "New Age" which you feel strongly about. I totally reject your ideas of sin, and the "inherent evil in all of us." I find your thinking dark and, if anything, pathetic nonsense. In fact it is rather childish, that is why I found it so funny.
There is nothing about your beliefs that I would wish to take on board. That stuff of "God" is a personal concept that serves individuals to their own liking, you are entitled to it. Preached abroad to all and sundry, it's poisonous preaching, liable to get people into abject depression if they are prone to it.
Go your own way, walk your own journey, sort out those negatives which seem to be weighing you down and depriving you of beauty, love and awe. I hope there are people in your life that you can help, but most likely it is within your self that you need greatest help.
If there was anything that I could offer which would serve good purpose, I would do so, but that is doubtful, so all I can do is wish you well. If you ever feel like looking into meditative practice, it's still possible you will find your Lord and Saviour there.
Pathetic nonsense? In other words, you can't bear to think you are an imperfect being. If there is no inherent evil, why is humanity in such a horrific mess? We have to acknowledge evil. That is not being pathetic. That is facing reality. I'm sorry if you hate the bad stuff in life but we need to deal with. Life is not all sunshine and roses. I think you lack courage in that department.
I don't see why you don't want to address my New Age "nonsense", Acknowledge that it is your belief. You know it's true.
Let me tell you that meditative practices are of the occult as in yoga. You are drawn to these things unbeknown to you. Well, at least I hope not. Don't you know that New Agers claim to find their "Ascended master" through mediation?
http://www.worldwideashram.org/worldwid … ed-master/
http://www.ask-angels.com/free-angel-me … editation/
New Ager Alice Bailey, whom I referred to in the last comment, had an ascended master called Djwhal Khul. These are demons.
You are treading on very dangerous ground. You may lambaste me for exposing evil but you are associating yourself with evil forces ironically.
I cannot understand how you came to this conclusion, Claire. Have I ever implied that I am perfect? Of course not, I have my faults like any other ordinary person. But your emphasis on the darkness and evil is gross and not at all ordinary. You have a problem!
I don't know for sure, but I am certain the religious fanaticism which you display here does not help to avoid the "mess."!
Of course I acknowledge the existence of evil in this world. I am not blind or trying to deceive anyone. I certainly do face reality. It seems you are the one who is "hating the bad stuff." What has happened in your life to make you so unbalanced?
New Age nonsense: You keep knocking meditation and yoga. You try to make it look like I am in some way associating with the "occult." You say you have investigated the New Age stuff. Yet you seem to have no real understanding of it, but who am I to judge? It's presumably just a blanket rejection on your part, because it does not fit with your religious bias. Further, your attitude probably fits with your self-declared interest in conspiracy theories. This interest, coupled with your home-grown religion, makes you a strange mix. Does anyone understand you?
Then you speak of "New Agers claiming to find their "Ascended master" through meditation. Well, some might. There are fanatics in most religions of the world, you would be aware of that, I hope. But the sort of perception you have of that movement is not in any way part of my interest in life. I am not even going to investigate it. Sounds way out! I am able to walk a sober and rational path, thank you.
So, I will leave you to your Crusade Against Evil. Try not to steam-roller those who are not so evil in the process.
You cannot bear to think that you are are born with inherent evil; and that is why you do wrong in your life.
Yes, many don't speak of the darkness and evil because they don't want to know about it. They'd prefer to live in their own little bubble thinking it is not that bad. What good is it going to do to look the other way? Evil thrives when good men do nothing!
Yes, you don't know for sure but you must be right that it is not due to inherent evil. How does me talking about evil make me a religious fanatic? You are just assuming I am.
You are blind unbeknownst to you. Isn't it normal for someone to "hate the bad stuff"? Don't you hate evil? As much as there is much evil in the world, there is a lot of good so don't say I'm unbalanced. It's just that evil has the upper hand in this world and don't deny that.
Whether you like it or not, someone meditating is associating themselves with the occult.
"What Eastern Gurus Say About Occult Practices - Part 3
Perhaps the most common practice advanced by Eastern occultism is some form of yoga and/or meditation. In our critique of New Age medicine, Can You Trust Your Doctor?, we have documented the multiple dangers of most meditation practice. Here, we will concentrate on yoga.
Although many Americans practice yoga as mere exercise, few have any idea of where such practice may take them. In the literature we have read numerous accounts of yoga or meditation-induced insanity and demonization even from seemingly innocent practice. But again, the altered states that yoga/meditation produce—even the periods of madness— are now frequently defined as positive spiritual experiences capable of leading one to religious enlightenment. 
For example, that yoga practice can break down the mind and body is not surprising. The true goal of yoga is to destroy the person (who is only a false self, an illusion) so that the impersonal Brahman (the alleged real self) may be experienced.
Yoga authorities Fuernstein and Miller identify "the Yogic path as a progressive dismantling of human personality ending in a complete abolition. With every step (anga) of Yoga, what we call ‘man’ is demolished a little more." 
Moti Lal Pandit observes:
The aim of Yoga is to realize liberation from the human condition. To achieve this liberation, various psychological, physical, mental, and mystical [occult] methods have been devised. All those methods are anti-social (sometimes even anti-human) in that Yoga prescribes a way of life which says: "This mortal life is not worth living." 
Because yoga is ultimately an occult practice (e.g., it characteristically develops psychic abilities), it is not unexpected that the characteristic hazards of occult practice — for example, physical diseases, mental illness, and demonization  —could be encountered. We believe that these hazards are encountered because yoga is an occult practice and not because yoga is allegedly performed in an incorrect manner."
- See more at: http://www.inplainsite.org/html/eastern … qXwLS.dpuf
https://books.google.co.za/books?id=n1q … mp;f=false
You say I don't have understanding of New Age but I have quoted noted New Agers themselves. How is that making things up?
You are not going to investigate because you are afraid of what you will uncover. You can't tell me what I am saying is wrong if you haven't done the research.
You can't see that I'm warning you out of concern. Yet if this is the life you choose to live, then so be it.
Claire, if you choose to get your information from those sorts of wealthy religious organisation, then you can expect to get a totally distorted view of life. Your mental welfare is the last thing on their agenda.
That Website tells you about other religious paths which also trend towards the fanatical. They use various methods which appeal to many. I most likely know more about a few of them than you do. I have walked away from them. But just because they might employ various methods of meditation, does not make meditation itself evil. Your fanatical christian/leaning organisations will try to make it look so, for ulterior motives. They have a ready audience in persons like yourself.
I repeat what I said earlier, you are obsessed with the concept of evil. That colours your assessment of me, while you have no knowledge of my life.... only what your cook up in your mind and what you want to believe.
You are very young and misinformed. I can only hope that you find a way out of that self-imposed mind-imprisonment.
Johny you may be a Atheist but your character certainly shows by your words you are not nice , rude , no compassion , arrogant. Not just one time but many times an experience with you. I See no reason from your examples here on hp why I would want to be like you as an atheist. I keep seeing the same pattern in others as well. I wish I could say something positive but you will not let me.
Kiss & Tales, if you see me as rude and not nice, that is your right. But I will leave that judgement to others here.
I never said what others believe I am saying my experience with you. And it is not good as your example of a atheist.
Well then, maybe it is what you have portrayed of yourself, and your statements/opinions, which have caused us to cross swords. It does take two to quarrel, you know. I don't think you would have felt this way if your attitude had been one of accepting other points of view without trashing them. I am usually quite gratuitous in the presence of disagreement....at least I hope so. It is possible for theists and atheists to live lovingly side-by-side....if there is give and take.
Example most children want to grow up to be like somebody positive. A good example of what they
can relate to with happy thoughts and encouragement , some one that would help them in a positive growth and not crush them in development. I still waiting to hear that from certain people here .mostly I hear critism of why you believe something , name calling, and rebuttals never saying people are right about anything accept what you believe.
Is not a good example I would want passed to future adults.
If you want children to grow up " with happy thoughts and encouragement," I would suggest dropping the sin and punishment part of religion from their curriculum, for a start.
But then, who would want my opinion on that one? I am only an old guy who's gay and an atheist.
Johnny people have already been living without religion. For a long time God is not in the equation of many homes. Has the world gotten better No!
Even schools do not spank children anymore. But
There are more examples of school shootings and
Violence , Religion is not working because it like a weak medicine that is watered down.
The time of respect and good home raising is a rarity.
So far rather you are old and gay that is your dicision. We all make our own .
I just think people can be nice ,tactful, considerate. Which has nothing to do with being old and gay.
When 911 happen people were about each other
They did not say or attack people because of their
decision . people love people no matter even when they do not know things about them.
We have been on hp together for a long time Johnny I do like some things about you and I do remember a hub of your health experience.good hub. I just like to hear more of your positive side peace.
Thank you for that.
So, can we agree that you are 100% free to be christian, to be a believer, without me or anyone trying to "get you off it?" And I am 100% free to be non-christian, atheist in my understanding, without anyone trying to convert me to christianity and religion?
If you are happy to have a contract between us on that basis, I am happy to try and be a nice gentleman to you.
Johnny I will respect that you have the same rights and choices as I do. I will respect you as a human and that what may be good for me is not a choice for you. I will still care about you because I can not seperate God created you and you are a gift from his hands.
So I will not say anything to you as to force my believe on you. We have an agreement to that
It is a futile thing. As an agnostic atheist, I do not believe in a God based on lack of evidence, especially in a Western sense, and the agnostic part means that I do not think that it is something that can be knowable. So there is no evidence that could prove God, because of the nature of the natural/material world v the "what if"-supernatural/supposed world.
There is nothing that would prove God but God himself taking on a physical body and coming in a Gigantic form, appearing simultaneously to everyone in an event that would be scientifically unexplainable saying "hey guys! I'm God. I'm actually real." But due to the nature of God according to religion, that won't ever happen because God wants people to believe by "faith."
It is hard to believe that people can believe in people places and things they have never seen
And yet they do not say these are impossible.
People write on sites like HP but do they think words appear without some one writing?
Do they say hp is impossible because I never seen
The owner or owners, No.
Another example is if I handed you a dictionary
Would you automatically think the letters just evolved group themselfs together and made itself a dictionary? No. The book is organized put togathe not in disorder. Neither are the many things we see and touch. Our bodies work by time
and order as well
If man can make robots God Almighty is far more a genius then any human on earth because because his creations live and function .
It seems God would be more complex than a dictionary. Who or what created God?
You have answered this already, lovetherain... The complexity of the human mind created God. Isn't it great to know we are not being watched by some magical, mysterious, (in some cases monstrous) man in the sky?
The best way to understand your question is written in the bible , he is eternal , and is called the acient of days , As an example I give you a perfect cirlce there is no beginning there is no end to a perfect cirlcle.
He also has created heavenly bodies like the sun , moon and stars , can you say who made them, no humans has the power . what is the beginning point of the sun, what is it of the moon. We do not have all the answers but all these things benifit us.
If your faith makes you think this book is the plain truth because it is the holy word of god, no wander you have no idea about any of the basic sciences, have never learned how to reason for yourself to get a better handle on reality and develop a bit more interest in learning how nature actually does things quite well with no help from any gods ...
Will you ever have the desire to apply a bit more intellect and develop a critical understanding of reality ... or do you want to continue to be an irrational being following your religious illusions all your life?
I answer to no man for my belief and faith , if you have all the answers to life problems then why in this time has the world gotten worser Why is the earth polluted , crime escalates. Sickness of new diseases increase with no cures. No God will not interfere with humans to prove what they can do. reality is total failure. Not just in one but many years and records. And to top it all off the reason you do not believe in a creator is because he has not interfered with mans choices and dicisions. Man ruling man has failed.
With out God.
Again what I most notice about people who want to analyze christains are very calous, not tactful cruel, if this is what atheist is about it is a bad example of attitude with insults.
How can you win people over with that. You can't.
Faith doesn't mean you just believe despite not knowing if God exists or not. A child who has faith in his father definitely knows his father exists but does not understand why he does certain things. He has faith that his father is doing the best thing. It's the same with God. I know God exists but I need faith that He will do the right thing for me despite not knowing.
It is the Holy Spirit Himself that offers the proof. There are ways with having a relationship with the Spirit. The key is to do things that will enable God to enter one's life like killing the ego and ambition and to be prepared to pick up the cross. That is something a lot of people don't want to do because it's too hard.
I think they probably looked in the same manner you did. All the reading in the world won't prove anything. All the church attendance in the world won't prove anything. Prayer, in and of itself, won't prove anything. Once you feel that you have felt something you begin to believe. As you feel that this experience is repeated, you believe with more conviction. Once you think you have personally benefited from these experiences you begin to share it.
Don't dismiss nonbelievers. They share what they think they know, just as the believer does. True faith would, imo, entail accepting nonbelief as just as natural a thing as belief. And embracing it as natural. Not condemning it as anti God. But, attempting to understand how it is a part of the natural progression of understanding.
That is a most enlightened reply, Emile. Thank you.
Thanks, Emile, I really do like your comment. People are born with different levels of spirituality. Some are more spiritually sensitive than others while others are more logical. You are right, when we start seeing a pattern then we know it is not coincidence.
I don't dismiss non believers just because they are non believers. I do believe that when a believer and unbeliever start petty fights then they ought to dismiss one another and move on. I believe it is natural to deep down sense a God but also natural to think logically and so they clash.
A natural progression requires a further development of ones abilities to apply critical thought and an intellectual grasp of objectivity which opens the perspective on a more concrete reality driven by natural forces of which humans are a part of, as are all life forms on this planet ...
Why do only humans have various religions and made up gods of different kinds? Nothing else in nature seams to cling to super-natural ideas as religious people do, to some degree because of their mystical ideas of an irrational world.
I think the corollary to that question is how do believers expect to convince a non-believer with a continual mantra of 'I feel it', as if that declared feeling will convince the non-believer.
It doesn't work, so the faithful then says to "Talk to my imaginary friend and you will know", but of course that doesn't work any better. Without pre-existing faith, there is no God to talk to!
So the faithless are reduced to looking for physical evidence (non-existent to date) or using their own ignorance to decide that He has to be there because they don't know how things happen without Him to do it. To a searcher looking for truth this is pretty much a failure as well.
Eventually it comes down to "Do you want to believe? Then do so." which is why church attendance is falling. While few want to die, they are not generally willing to intentionally delude themselves into believing in an imaginary creature just to think they won't die. Only those that have strong emotional reasons to believe will take that step by ignoring reality in favor of belief. The believer can't convince them, just as you say - they must convince themselves.
For me what I see around me, the earth and all that is on it, just because some man said it wasn't so doesn't mean it wasn't, just as these men have conviction in their evidence I have conviction in the evidence I see.
Just as you (atheists) have conviction in your evidence then I have conviction in mine.
This is in line with my post. You look at a tree and see, not the tree but "evidence" of God. It is not, of course, but in your faith you have decided that it is. You believe it is, without real consideration of even what "evidence" consists of; you want to believe and thus "find" evidence where there is none. The want overrides rational thought.
As I said my conviction is exactly the same as yours.
I am convinced the earth was made and you are convinced it just happened.
There is a wee bit of difference in that I don't care either way. Rather than insisting that any conclusion conform to beliefs I will try my best to find reality amongst all the lies and mistakes; you won't. I will look at evidence; you won't. I won't use my ignorance to form conclusions based on desire; you will.
So...we both have convictions, but one is formed of ignorance and desire, one is formed out of effort to find what little information is available. And at the end of the day, when there is insufficient evidence to draw a conclusion I won't draw one at all; you have convinced yourself of a made up one.
There is no evidence around you that could possibly in any way, shape or form have anything to do with even remotely suggesting gods of any kind.
It is obvious from your response that your indoctrinated religious beliefs are in control of your so-called convictions.
Who said I was indoctrinated with religious beliefs? Believing in a superior being has nothing to do with religion even if religion has everything to do with worshiping a superior being.
My conviction comes from what I see not some theory of happening by those who don't har the same ideas as myself.
That is obvious by your response.
Except for the fact that is how religion is defined.
No, it doesn't. It comes from indoctrinated beliefs regarding creationism.
As your beliefs are indoctrinated by other who believe in a different way..
I still can not believe that we just happened and evolution is all about how we are supposed to have just happened.
We did not "just happen" but that does not imply a creator a massive number of awe inspiring forces and reactions made us over unbelievable periods of time.
Sorry, but I do not hold beliefs and I question a great many things.
Yes, I'm sure your religious beliefs won't even allow you to attempt to understand evolution. Evil stuff.
Actually i do understand evolution,i have studied it for quite a long time, to me it is nothing more than an unconnected chain of events that those who wish not to believe have come up with to show the non existence of a higher being.
Evolutionists/Athiest would have us believe that we are the centre of the universe and i chose not to believe this.
I am still questioning exsistance its self and as we know theories can change all the time so i keep an open mind.
Evolution is not a Atheist thing, many educated people of faith understand evolution.
You got it backwards my friend. It's Christians and other believers who think this entire universe was created for them, while the rest understand humans are just another species on the planet.
It doesn't seem open.
Many believers make that claim but it is obvious it is just another lie amongst they many they propagate.
Exactly my point, not a clue.
It would appear obvious your mind is very closed.
My mind is very open but the evidence is inconclusive and if it ever is conclusive then i shall re-exam it.
For the moment though i prefer to believe that the world had a very skillful maker rather than it all came together by accident.
If atheist don't believe in god how do they explain how we came to be here?
Of course one would prefer to believe in a loving, forgiving God they will give you a wonderful afterlife, but just because we would rather believe that doesn't make it reality. I rather believe I'm 6'4", but I'm not.
Science explain who we got here perfectly. No God required.
Science tries to explain how we got here, there are still gapping holes in their theory.
I see you harking back to the religious understanding of god or a supreme being, i simply said i would rather believe we had a maker.
I am 6'4 by the way and its not all its cracked up to be...........
There are no gapping holes. Those are lies told by creationist. You prefer to think god created everything, but don't question who created God?
There are many gaping holes in the theory and many different theories, there are also to many coincidences and great leaps forward.
i don't have to question who created god although the concept of him being eternal is just as hard to prove as a scientist telling me a fish turned into an elephant because it wanted to walk on land!
Maybe my analogy was a little pressed but then the whole of evolution is a little pressed when you ask why. A sort of why did the chicken cross the road. The answer from scientists seems to be "to get to the other side" when in actual fact they never consider what was on the other side anyway.
Evolution is just another theory of man just as my theory that there is a god.
i am still unsure as to where the first protoplasm came from and why the ions, amino acids, monosaccahoids and water would come together to create life all by its self.
So you attribute that to God done it, but still can't explain where God came from.
Sorry, but god is not a theory, is is a belief based on indoctrination.
Are you a male?
My husband's 6'4 and I don't mind it a bit.
Why does god have to come from anywhere? Its just the same as me asking you where did the protoplasm come from.
Yes Beth37 i am a male and i don't really mind being tall but it gives no advantages unless you stand behind people whoi are shorter than yourself at events and the like.
But you can reach things, plus your wife/gf can always find you in a crowd.
BTW where did protoplasm come from?
The only reason my girlfriend would want to find me in a crowd for is to tell me she has run out of money.
If someone could give me a plausable answer to that question then maybe i would believe something different.
Your religion attempts to tell us in nothing less than absolutes as to how we got here, but it is nothing short of a child's fairy tale.
Lol. Evolution is not just a theory but also a fact because the evidence is overwhelming.
The laws of nature, of course.
The evidence is overwhelming to you because you wish to believe it.
Hard to watch successive generations change into something the grandparents were not and NOT believe.
Even harder when we can make those DNA changes intentionally and then watch the succeeding generations change.
Unless, of course, one wishes not to believe...
NO it's overwhelming because there are a myriad of proving experiments and tons of archeological evidence not to mention irrefutable DNA evidence.
My dad was extremely intelligent, the gene obviously bypassed me... but he read this magazine as well as National Geographic and a myriad of others. My point is... he didn't limit himself to one point of view. He was open to knowledge which made him successful and well respected.
You should take a look at this and see if any of it is at least interesting. Even if you don't agree 100%, there is much to be learned from different avenues.
I don't really see the relevance to evolution but yes the bible certainly contains plenty of historical data, it is not a particularly reliable source (for example Egypt had no slavery at the time the jewish people were supposedly enslaved there) but it is a decent guide.
That was interesting JM. I may not be the best audience for such articles Im afraid. Kind of exactly what you'd expect. When I read it, I am skeptical as you would be reading anything that presented the Bible as accurate. If any information was ever shared that contradicted the Bible, I would assume there was a reason for it (other than the one you believed, of course). You have to understand, the Bible is my absolute, the way what you believe to be true is yours. I would want to talk to someone who has absolute faith, and is also 100% open to all scientific data to explain any discrepancies like the ones this article raises.
IT doesn't take being a non theist to acknowledge that the bible has plenty of historical error. It is a very old book in a time when recording history was more story telling than recording especially when the book was then compiled to favor a religious perspective.
Im just being honest with you, I hope you can appreciate that fact. I will never doubt God's word, or God. I realize that may seem foolish to you, but I really want to be honest with you about that. I have no doubt in Him. I have plenty of doubts in myself and other Christians though if that helps.
Out of curiosity, and maybe off topic, but how do you determine what God's word is?
Reading the many translated books of the bible?
Reading the Torah in the original language?
A friend has spent the last 5+ years trying to understand the culture of Jesus' time and understand just two books - Revelation and John's Gospel. Have you taken that route?
Do you depend on your feelings, believing that God has spoken via those feelings?
How do you determine what God's word is?
Yes, I understand believers operate on belief systems and not a system of thinking and understanding.
When God decides to show himself to you, he will give you exactly the evidence you need to be convinced. It may or may not be different from the evidence he shows someone else.
It is unfortunate that God does not think enough of billions of individuals to provide that needed evidence. Guess He'd rather watch them tormented in Hell.
It is unfortunate.
This is the only hell there is.
Not a single thing. Every God I've ever heard of was selfish, childish, prone to anger and most of all quite uncaring about the pitiful creatures called humans. From Thor and Odin to the Christian God of today, their actions indicate these attributes although people often make excuses and claim otherwise.
Do you believe God will enjoy to see people burn in hell?
That's funny. You think God is nice because he doesn't want to see the people he sent to hell to burn for eternity in pain?
If you think living a life devoted to God is a waste of time... what is a life dedicated to mocking a God you don't believe in? It would seem to me a colossal waste of a life.
I'm not mocking any god, just a persons contradictions. You don't see the contradiction?
It is a colossal waste of time, but unfortunately believers will not stop acting like kindergarten children or telling us we are all going to roast. Stop the preaching and the evangelism by keeping your beliefs behind closed doors where they belong.