The Wall Street Journal asked to famous authors, Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins, to respond to this question. Here are their independent answers.
These are short articles, to the point.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 … 56324.html
Odd that a belief in the invisible super Daddy in the sky makes people so condescending toward others.
Closed off mind?
Interesting that you feel people who do not believe what you believe are angry and close minded. This must be the "love" of which you speak, in which case..............
@SJ - interesting article.
Christians are not perfect. As a matter of fact, we have beginners at the bottom of the pyramid and leaders at the top. These positions reflects the amount of knowledge alone with being appointed to a role of leadership. Knowledge of the word of God is a demand, but obeying by reflecting the true spirit is another matter.
The main objective of Christians is to possess the spirit of Christ Jesus. Each individual is responsible for seeking a personal relationship with God though Jesus, the Son Of God. Thereafter, spreading the good news, the gospel of Christ Jesus. Some or most Christians may sound condescending; this is their lack of knowledge and absolutely wrong spirit. There are multitudes of Christians who does reflect the spirit of Christ and speak saving words only.
So if one doesn't believe he has a maker, where does that leave him?
There are no clear signs of what you speak of here. This is only an opinion. There is no conclusive evidence that we are spirit beings at all. It doesn't take a closed off mind or angry soul to see that you are speaking purely from conjecture.
If you don't believe in a maker in the sky, and is oblivious to the benefits, than you are holding the short end of the stick.
Conjectures can be wrong, but there is those conjectures which have the quality of making all the sense in the world, and is reinforced by multitudes of people over eons of time.
Both views were interesting. I see nobody is discussing them lol. I like the first opinion better, but I expect the second one is how it really is.
LOL funny how that happens so often in forums...
They are interesting. I see the respondent has now had all its posts deleted though.
I am going with Dawkins on this one. Once you understand the evolutionary process - I see no room for a creator other than the kind who throws it all in the mix, adds some electricity or other catalyst and comes back millenia later to see what turned out.
I agree with you on that, mostly. I'm glad the other one brought up Aquinas though, and, in general, the idea of the great thinkers from all the religions recognized the "god beyond god" concept rather than the literal. That's the part that gets bombs strapped to backs and witches burnt.
Just because my grandson says that can see a squirrel at the top of the pine tree a 100 yards away and I can't should I tell him that it isn't there caus I can't see it.
And if I can't see it? Where does that leave me ?
It would leave you with bad eyesight...or indicate that your grandson has exceptional eyesight...or...you could be the victim of a hoax.
I would hope that you would have the sense to investigate your grandson's claim, then draw your conclusion from that. A simple set of binocs will suffice in this case.
Science trumps wishful thinking.
You are right. What about after I get my binoculars and I still can not see it? My eyesight may be really bad. It may be lieing flat on the limb and My mind may be refusing to see it.
Or like a mouse that is running under the leaves down its little trail; the cat knows that it is there, but I don't see it or smell it.
There are many things that we just are not geared to see.
Ya just don'tknow what ya don't know, YA KNOW ??
& what if your grandson told you that Grandpa, i can see a squirrel at the top of the pine tree, masturbating, giving me horny look & telling me I like young boys! Should you tell him it isnt there or should u not? Do you think ur grandson is ryt or do you think he is mentally imbalanced??
Its true that there are many things we just are not geared to see. But there should be a limit of producing nonsense & there should be a boundary while accepting such rubbish.
Ya just don't know what ya don't know, YA KNOW ??
Just got outa the shower and was taking a quick stroll through this thread before I go.
Didn't mean to pass this post by... didn't see it "whilago".
Under those conditions I would climb that tree and have a sit down with that squirrel "OR" find out what made my grand son think that he saw that. I think that it would more important to find out why he thunkit than to pick apart what he was thinking???
But we don't really know what we would do under any situation until after we have done it.
I dont want to define hypocrisy now but this is not the first time Im facing such unrealistic answer. Be truthful Jeremy, why would you climb to find a masturbating squirrel
But if you do so then you are equally mentally imbalanced & your such absurd investigation wouldnt contribute to mankind.
Yes we are not fortunetellers but obviously we can get rid of the absurd assumptions about our future actions.
You can see scripture as being metaphoric and yet you didn't see it in my comment.
Of course I'm not going to climb a tree. but I would go to what ever lengths necessary to affirm that the squirel does not exist. and then deal with "why" he says that he saw it.
And if your child grows up to be a fenatic what would you do? Kill him? Beat him ? Lock him up in his room?
You do not know what you would do until those situations arise. You can speculate, or hope that you would do certain things; But you never "Know" what you would do under cirmcomstances that you have never faced.
Raising children teaches us that much.
I should add that when a person does not atempt to understand what someone is saying; it is easy to argue.
So where is your affirmation that God exists? Have you gone to great lengths to affirm that, or do you just believe?
Reading the bible doesn't count.
And just because we don't know, I guess we should accept someone else's claim that something exists. We should submit to their sensations, as the arbiter of existence.
Getitrite what are your views on intelligent design?
I don't think Intelligent Design is legitimate. It seems to be a desperate attempt by religious zealots to force their nonsensical beliefs into our schools.
Just because something is lacking a natural explanation does not mean we should assume that it defaults to a designer.
Odd that you make this irrational argument, because you could - if you chose to - verify your grandson's claim, whereas I cannot verify the claim that you make.
Oh look! - the real creator of the universe is a Flying Monster made from Spaghetti. That invalidates your argument of the biblical god because I have seen the FSM.
Or will we be applying some logic and common sense to the fact that I claim I see it - yet you cannot see it, and it makes no sense that it exists, Grandpa?
Well ... If he is dead set on believing that the FSM does exist I would not insist that it doesn't. I would love him and be patient,,, I would want to keep the relationship intact.
I would hope that some day either he comes to realize that it does not exist OR I get to also see it.
Until one of these things happen ?? I'll keep throwing his football at him, push him in his swimming pool if I get the chance.
Ah - I see - and if he goes to war to spread the belief? And attacks homosexuals and murders them becoz the FSM sez they are bad and need to die?
If he starts collecting money and trying to have the laws changed to suit what the FSM sez in to his head? And 2 opposing factions interpret wot the FSM sez and start fighting over it?
You will love him and tolerate his behavior just the same? You will not attempt to knock some sense into him?
I would not knock sense into him in the same manner that his FSM is telling him to do to those that don't believe him.
That is where the insanity comes from in the first place.
If I did that; I would be behaving exactly the way that is unacceptable in my eyes that he is doing. ?????
If I did that, where do I draw the line before I become worse than the thing that I am hating ?
Who mentioned anything about hatred? So - you would not stop him from murdering homosexuals? OK - good for you Grandpa.
Where would you draw the line before you step in and say something? You watch him burn his hand on the BBQ I guess? Will you watch him burn his face off? Or can you just admit that you are making an untenable argument to defend your irrational beliefs?
Are you talking about a three year old or a 25 year old gun toteing terrorists.
I'll tell ya about the BBQ pit.
First time he was over I took him up close to it.
With my right hand I took his hand with my left hand covering a little bit of his hand WE brought our hands as close to the fire as he wanted to let them get. Told him not to run close to the fire. He didn't.
It doesn't matter what kind of group that you put together there will be radicals come into that group.
What do you do? Do you expell them cause they do not agree with you?
Right - so yo stepped in a helped teach him not to burn himself. But you wouldn't in this case because that would be being as bad as what you were stopping?
Dear me Jerami. Guess we can just pretend the last 2000 years of conflict was all down to a few radicals huh?
And you know what? It is. Because this nonsense about not stopping them is what all the non radicals did when the radicals were burning witches.
If you are talking about Christianity causing conflict I would want to remind you that for the first three hundred years they were passively believing in their God.
And then prophesy was fulfilled when the Roman Empire designed and established a form of Religiousity with a single MAN having authority over it. That was the Emperor.
That authority was soon handed over to the Pope.
It wasn't long untill the Popes aproval was necessary for a king to be anointed as such by the Pope.
Yes you are correct that that establishment has been at war of one kind or another ever sense.
Those people that WORSHIP the church are not worshiping God.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend ... friend
Me thinks that you need to back up your battle lines just a little bit..... friend.
What many good christians do not realize; to not believe in the "Church" is not turning our back on the creator..
The church teaches many things that are true.
The church teaches many things that are not in agreement with what the word says.
The church teaches that we are allowed to "Interpret" the word of the creator.
This is where the deception began. This is where conflict entered into religion.
Religion is a good thing if we could exterminate the misconceptions from it.
Here we go... Who gets to decide what is deception and what isn't? Who should we eleminate?
I think we must express what we believe! And keep the weapons of war in our own house. Come into my house and become a potential bulls eye for my weapons of war.
That may or may not sound logical until we ask ourselves, what is considered my house? My city ? My country ?
So here we go again. circular action that everyone gets to play.
The only way to win that game is to refuse to play.
Be killed for our non partisipation and go to the hearafter what ever that is.
Rubbish. For the first 300 years they were "martyred" and caused violent political upheaval until they got powerful enough that the Emperor adopted the religion.
Constant conflict Jerami. Defending and fighting for your irrational religion even now.
How silly that you think I am the one who needs to shut up and that is where the problem starts.
You tend to go a little bit further than is necessary and interpret meanings into what you read.
I didn't say that I thought you should shut up. That must have been your thoughts as to what "I" should do???
Back up your battlelines a bit Yea. You are pictureing your battle field to be much larger than it actually is.
Crows are eating my corn therefore I must get rid of all birds. Your enemies are not as numerous as you "WANT" to believe.
I like your comeback Grandpa! I try to treat my kids the same way, and I also hope that before I die, I get to find out which mountain the real Stargate is hidden under...
I guess I'm a thinker during the day and a dreamer while I lay awake at night... I want to have my cake and eat it too, but in the nicest possible way - and without taking it off anyone else, or forcing someone to eat it.
Religion: psychosis tolerated.
Atheism : tolerated psychosis.
Belief & disbelief are like Chinese food. They fill you up quick, bloated actually, and you're hungry an hour later.
Critical thinking: No MSG!
Funny you mention the words "critical thinking" and then refuse to accept that a lack of belief in something there is no evidence for is actually critical thinking in action. Most religionists like yourself seem to be using the argument that not believing in something with no evidence in it's favor is exactly the same as believing.
This is intellectual dishonesty at its finest, and the ongoing attempt to shift the burden of proof away from the people making the accusations and claims is why this will always cause conflict.
When people tell me I must be angry and closed minded because I do not subscribe to their belief system - I have to wonder at their motives. Invariably they are selling "spiritual enlightenment" of some sort.
How adorable, you thought of me enough to respond.
shifting? tsk, tsk, Marcus they are both THE SAME.
Thank you, enjoy your rejection.
ps, I didn't find your linguine recipe, drop me the link.
I didn't publish it yet. I got tied up playing with my new camera. Bought myself an olympus PEN EP2 as a quitting smoking present.
They are not the same at all - and no matter how many times you tell me they are - this will not change. Your lack of belief in the Star Goat that vomited the universe is not the same as your belief in a god. And the only reason you are prepared to argue that they are is to defend your irrational belief.
em, you know you just repeated what i said, but tried to dispute it:
star goat : disbelief
ding! same thing, two perspectives. Focus that lens, brother to a wide angle view. That narrow one, misses all the pretty stuff.
gotta jet. writing frozen yogurt + sorbet recipe.
No. Opposites. Not the same thing at all. Semantics, cousin, semantics. And no - it misses the ugly stuff.
I have believe in and have faith in God, but I am not religious. I also believe in "the Force" and "karma", and I know a bit about quantum physics which makes me understand why prayer works... It is much the same as positive thinking or visualization or even wishing on a star. But rather than believing that God is sitting up there somewhere watching us, I believe God is everywhere, even in all of us. I believe that God is the mind of the universe.
So all in all, I believe in something, even if others think I'm a bit quirky. I do not, however, believe in having religion forced on people, and I do not believe anybody should be persecuted, or even criticized for what they believe in.
Just out of curiosity, has anybody here watched the documentary "Intelligent Design" or know about the topic? Certainly gives one food for thought...
Intelligent design makes my monkey cry.
And yet you seem to follow the scientific method to draw your conclusions?
I must say though that I find many of your other comments to be quite contradictory. You are opposed to those who have fought against some who were forcing their beliefs on others and eradicating them if they fought for their own beliefs and ways, and yet you also oppose someone who would prefer not to kill someone who was doing the same?
Perhaps you should allow a bit of gray into your black and white beliefs. Control has never worked. But promoting awareness and tolerance has at least made progress.
My ex was an atheist with a God complex. He made my world a very confusing place to live in until I once again stood up for my own beliefs and trusted myself instead of him. My kids never responded well to total authority either, they became defiant instead which resulted in them getting hurt.
Now that I can parent them myself again, I teach them what they need to know and encourage them to do the right thing by providing them with insights that will develop their empathy for others. Now they do the right thing because they WANT to...
Love it that you feel comfortable suggesting what I should do. Sorry your ex was such a dick. I wish you better judgmental ability next time.
He was not me.
Who said I draw my conclusions using the scientific method? Simple common sense usually suffices for me thanks.
Common sense (ie: deductive reasoning) and logic ARE the key elements of scientific method.
And I never implied that you were my ex or anything like him.My referral to him related to related to those who subjugate and control others because they do not do or believe what they are told to.
As far as your wish for an increase in my judgmental ability goes, hopefully the same will apply to the hundreds of professional people, family and friends who have also misjudged Mr Psychopath, and who continue to do so. I am one of the few who has seen through the mask he wears to hide the fact he is an individual completely incapable of empathy, remorse or guilt.
If you have a unique ability to be able to detect successful psychopaths at a glance, perhaps you would be kind enough to share your skill with the world. In any event, I certainly hope you never become the target of such a person.
As for your comment about my feeling comfortable in suggesting what you should do, I guess it just further demonstrates the contradictory tendencies of your comments that I was referring to, because you certainly do not seem to have any qualms about telling other people what you think they should do or what they should believe.
But I guess hypocrites are usually the ones who are unable to see the absurdity of their duplicitous views...
There exist a property in the universe called qua variant, the states and the variant of the states are immutable. This is the initial discipline that our Creator posed; no getting around it; no avoiding it, and no getting thru it. Even considering infinite regress, we have been molded by this discipline even with our free will.
Evolution is missing the heart and spirit of our creation. Without it, our lives will continue to have a void. God is a purpose unto Himself.
Nonsense. Sorry. Facts are facts. You must be very angry.
God is the name you are putting on what others call the properties of physics.
You say there is a purpose to it.
Others say there is not, that it is the inevitable outcome of physical properties acting upon one another from an initial event.
You might call that event God work or Creation, etc.
Others will call that the outcome/continuation of some physical properties we don't understand yet. There is no need to assign a magical being to it.
It comes down to what people WANT.
Some want there to be meaning that comes from outside of themselves and therefore subscribe to the literal concept of God as a "thing" or "being" or some concept that can be described to make it work for the purpose of making it comfortable and/or fathomable.
Others are perfectly fine admitting they don't know stuff and can find meaning and love and compassion without being compelled to do so by a magical being.
Somewhere between to the two is the idea of the God beyond the God touched on in the article. In today's climate, it's so polarized, it's hard to get much focus on that, because the factions come in and mess it all up. Everyone is so hell-bent on being "right."
There is a big difference between being religious and having faith.
Although I was christened as a Catholic, the last time I went to church was when I was 9 and I am certainly not a "practicing" Catholic. I do not share the views of most Catholics either.
I also have many issues with the way various religions persecute and condemn others who do not share their beliefs.
On the other hand, I strongly agree with the morals of characters like Captain Jack Sparrow and Lizbeth Salander (from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo/ Millennium Trilogy).
I'm a lover not a fighter, but I will fight in self defense of myself and my family, or for others who cannot defend themselves. While I may have at times broken the law, I certainly have a strong set of ethics, and am guided by my conscience.
But if you consider quantum physics, morality and science fiction to be religions, then I agree with you - I AM religious.
I think and hope that this is becoming the common ground.
I gotta shower and go see the Dr. so I gotta go now.
I think that it is the judgment thing that I disagree with the most. To be honest everyone does this to some extent. It is unavoidable. All that we can do is try to keep it to the bare minimum. The more we try, the easier it gets. Maybe some day we won't be able to see it.
But then these people that insist upon pushing their rights to the limit are going to continually keep making that hard.
Did any of you ever think that evolution as we humans call it, was just simply God creating man?
It always amazes me how some of you folks just spend so much time here as opposed to writing actual hubs.
Where does evolution leave God?
I would hope that God is evolved enough to understand his place in the human imagination, and marvel at the many ways the mind of humankind has configured his existence. Lucky God, to be so versatile a performer!
"Where does evolution leave God?" My answers, still evolving.
I don't think it speaks to the existence of God at all.
That is not what science is for, none of the fields are intended to challenge, or prove anything about God.
That is the Athiests and Atheist-scientists who do that.
Why do we keep having this conversation? I mean all the evolution threads basically end as a, where does evolution leave God thread.
I'm still wondering where the Cambrian Explosion leaves evolution. How bout the complex designs of our cells and our organs made from them? I often wonder how or why anything would gradually transition into something else. And what's the evidence for this? Shared ancestry doesn't cut it. Not similiar DNA, genetic drift, nor do transitional species answer the real problems associated with gradualistic evolution. Natural selection works within species but couldn't possibly answer for the great varities of life on this planet. But since this wasn't the question (How does the Cambrian Explosian and the complexities of life effect evolution?) I'll just answer it:
It leaves evolution in the crapper. But keep the faith fellas.
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