Atheism Rules !

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  1. Sprinkler Man profile image58
    Sprinkler Manposted 11 years ago

    Mark,

    Thanks again for your intelligent choice of words, man your smart....

    I am not here trying to convert anyone. Looking for proof of evolution is not trying to convert anyone. I know that is impossible. I am getting called everything from ignorant to predictable.

    That is persecution in my book. What is it in yours?

    Fossils? Where are the fossils that show us the changes from bug to human?

    If you are saying that we came from apes and it sounds like this is what you are saying, this goes back to the fish. Why do we still have apes? or fish?

    Were the dolphins land mammals that went back into the sea?

    Thanks for the great replies everyone, you have all proven your points and mine. Go read what others have written and maybe I will learn something? You have all taught me a valuable lesson.

    Don't try to make a point in room full of balloons......LOL

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sprinkler -

      Thank you, I know big_smile But the sarcasm smilie is mine LOL

      Fossils are proof that the earth is old. As opposed to created in six days a few thousand years ago. Proof I gave you many links to evidence that evolution is an on-going process. What did you think of them?

      The only thing I have accused you of is ignorance of the facts about both Evolution and Darwinian Natural Selection. You have demonstrated that you do not appear to understand either concept. I have also attempted to educate you on the facts and the theories themselves. Although, it's fair to say Jenny did a better job of explaining than I did.

      I do not call that persecution. merely stating the fact of the matter. You appear to be ignorant in these matters.

      For example - the theory of evolution does not suggest that humans evolved from bugs. Not quite sure where you are getting your information on this. Your local pastor perhaps?

      I also called you predictable. Despite the fact that you said you were finished with this discussion, here you are again. Predictable. Just like you did in the other thread.

      And you have said yourself that you are not looking for proof of evolution, you are trying to prove the atheists and scientists wrong.

      Not persecution either.

      Apes evolved too. Fish evolved also. What you see in the ocean and around you in the way of other species is their current state of evolution. They evolved into fish in the same way we evolved into humans. Human is not the end goal that all things evolve into. The planet needs a balance and a range of plant and animal life to survive as an ecosystem. Even the writers of the bible understood this when they wrote the Noah's Ark story. And a great story it is, but that's all - it is metaphorical.

      Did you even look at the links I left?

  2. WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

    Mark, I wanted to pick up something you said in that last post about fossils.  I need clarification- are you saying the existence of fossils is proof of evolution because of the amount of time needed for a body's decomposition (the body of a large dinosaur, for example)?

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      No - I am saying that the existence of fossils is proof that the earth was not created recently and is in fact millions of years old. big_smile

      Oil is just liquid fossils LOL

  3. WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

    I get the part about oil being decomposed (or liquid) fossils, but I think I still need clarification.  Are you saying the existence of oil (and/or fossils) indicates the earth is millions of years old because of the decomposition process?
    Looks like this, if I were to do a timeline:

    *millions of years*  ->  dinosaurs  ->  millions of years (for them to die off)  ->  oil ?

    I realize this might be an over-simplified example, but is that the gist of it?

  4. Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    No, I am saying it takes millions of years to turn anything in to a fossil fuel. Trees and other organic matter form part of the basis for fossil fuels also, and it doesn't happen overnight.

    You can take it from me that if there was a quick way of doing this, no one would be worrying about the oil running out big_smile

  5. WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

    Okay I think I've got what you're saying.  And I see how that might make sense.  If evolution occurred, then it would take a long time for fossils to turn into oil.  Additionally, it would take a long time for other organic material (such as trees) to evolve and eventually "merge" somewhat with fossil fuel.

    If you're interested in what my take is on it as a creationist (and I think you are as this has been the basis for this thread, so maybe that was a rhetorical question!), I would point back to the flood.  Water decomposes things or causes things to decay at a much higher rate than air.  I'm no molecular scientist, so I can't speak to H2O bonding with N bonding with etc etc, but I can use rust as an example, as I have experienced plenty of this with some of my old cars!

    Rust is accelerated much more quickly with water present.  And since the metal of the car's body decays more rapidly with water present, let me bring this full circle.  I would say that a catastrophic flood that covered the earth served as a rapid decomposer of the fossils thus accelerating the process of turning fossils into oil.  The flood might also explain how there have been mammals with heavy fur fit for winter found in very tropical areas near the equator.

    What are your thoughts?

  6. Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    It's certainly a well-though-out argument big_smile What is your theoretical time line?

    Although, I have to say I am not sure where the rusting comes into it though. Are you suggesting that rusting in some way has a relationship with decomposition? Also, rusting is not possible without water. It is an essential part of rusting. Take away the water - no rust. But nothing at all to do with decomposition.

    And it is not a question of saying that evolution has occurred. These two things are completely separate questions. Fossil fuels have nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. Fossil fuels, or fossils can be made from any organic matter. Not trying to use this to prove evolution happened with this argument.  big_smile  LOL

    Just trying to prove that the earth is more than 10,000 years old, which is I believe what you believe?

    1. WeddingConsultant profile image65
      WeddingConsultantposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you!



      Well, I posted some XX number of pages ago ( smile ) that I'm a young earth creationist, meaning I think the days listed in Genesis are literal.  Again, though, Peter mentioned that God has His own concept of days and I agree, so maybe I'll never know!

      I think the earth is anywhere from 6-8,000 years old.

      Maybe this is why I didn't like organic chemistry in college...Let's just forget I said that? haha

      Well then this conversation served to only satisfy my curiosity!  I thought you were saying that fossils served as evidence of evolution.

      Wait, didn't you say that to Sprinkler Man?  I'll have to go back through the previous pages and see...maybe I misread.

      1. Misha profile image67
        Mishaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Well, I think I might be able to clarify what seems to be a confusion here. I think Mark was talking about fossils to prove that our planet was around long enough to allow for evolution to work - since evolution is extremely lengthy process smile At least this is how I understood what he was saying...

  7. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    One more note for SprinklerMan,  you should read The Science of God. 

    It can explain the commonalities between the Bible and Science.  Evolution is not a theory the proves or disproves Creation becuase science can not prove or disprove creation as the means of which we are here.  I think you would like it because it referes to the Bible a lot, in ways that I think you would find interesting. 

    That is of course if you are willing to read it with an open mind.

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
      Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sandra, this is an interesting lecture from Gerald Schroeder the author of The Science of God, it is his take on Genesis and the Big Bang.  I can't say I know enough to agree or disagree with him, but it is interesting.

      http://www.aishaudio.com/search/results … pe=speaker

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for the link!  I think it is better understood if you read the book, I mean both of them in conjuction.  ( not saying you did not read the Bible )

        My first impression when I read the bible is that it was more than morally based but also based in science, philosophy, physics, quantum mechanics, matter, social interactions, pshychology or rooted in the laws of nature and God being the supreme entity or thing that people are trying to reach, either spiritually, or for proof.  Like trying to go home. 

        My only objection to religion or the Bible, ( hence burning it) is that,  it is truely and increadable book,  but religion as it is today, it's not willing to read the book for all it's worth, but using it to hold the man down so to speak.  I mean, making people hate each other and stuff and conforming people to reflect things that are not godly.  Or trying really hard to keep people from knowing what God actually is. 

        Let's say, Jesus is the son of God, ok, soo it doesn't make him God.  Further, with all this crap about you have to do this and that,  is probabaly the very basis for Jesus saying, do not worship me. 

        But interpreting things like this don't seem to fit well with almost any Christain.  While I think I am giving glory to Jesus, other people are calling me really mean and hurtful things.  So I decided that I just can't stand Christains like that.

        1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
          Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, I did read the book.  I actually read the book back when I was a non-believer, and I thought it was a great book then.  Have you read any of the follow ups?  They are on my to-read list.

          It is exactly all of the "you have to do this and that" that chase people away from Christianity, although Jesus specifically ridiculed religious leaders for burdening the people in just such a way.  Please don't lump Jesus in with Christians, I think He would be equally bothered by the behavior of most of us.  And I do include myself in this category, although I think Christians many times need more of the Jesus they preach about than do many atheists.

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            No, I haven't read any of the follow ups.  But their is a point that we both make that Christians wont leave alone, that it is almost impossible to not lump Jesus in with Christains because they automatically asume that because I talk about Jesus means that I am a Christain, or a fallen one or something like that. 

            It's like, you and I are are a similar path, but what keeps happening are the things that I think you and I try to avoid. 

            It is much easier to say I don't believe in God but I do but people want to take what I or a lot of other people say, and automatically group my beliefs in with thiers and assume that my idea of God is a direct attack on thier ideas of God, when it isn't anything like that. 

            It's like taoism.  The best advise I ever got was be careful how you use the word God. 

            So I want to say I believe in God, but it is probably best to say I just believe in something, but then even that gets taken to some strange land in peoples head that enevitably hits a chord anywhere I go these days and I think it is crap.

  8. WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

    I need to run out to court to put more bad guys in jail from my previous life in loss prevention...so...

    To be continued....

    I'll try to respond today.  If not, then tomorrow morning (Eastern US time, of course)!

  9. profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    Carbon is the element number six, before that is hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, and boron. 

    After it is nitrogen and oxygen and the rest. 

    Life is carbon based.

    I think water was always a present element at the beggining of the time. 


    First there was Darkness in this darkness there always existed water, God then created light- it is in light that we can see.- and then seperated the waters, (which I call the waters of space and Earth). then came vegitation, then creatures, then Man.

    Genesis 1:26

    Then God said, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."

    Who or what is Us, or Our?

    the elements essential for life = hydrogen, helium, lithium, beryllium, and boron.  These elements existed before the "creation of Man",  combined and made carbon,  nitrogen and oxogyn, on
    the six day in Genisis, God created man, the sixth element on the table is carbon.  The necessary component for life. 

    I do wonder though,  what did man breath if oxygen and nitrogen came after carbon, I would say probably water....unless it existed emediatly after it's creation. 

    it's a toss up.

  10. Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Yes. Quite right Misha. I wasn't offering it as proof that evolution occurs. I was also offering it as evidence that the bible should not be taken literally i.e. that the earth was not created recently  big_smile

    As I mentioned, to me, the fact that evolution occurs has nothing to do with my atheism other than as a logical alternative having discarded the christian version of events. big_smile

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
      Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The age of the earth is really only relevant to the Bible/Judaism/Christianity if you believe the Genesis account in the Bible means 6 literal earth days.  I realize that is how it has been translated, but I'm not sure that's what it means...food for thought.

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I would think that in early accounts of the Bible, people lived almost a thousand years, but something changed.  I hardly think it was time itself that changed, but more like the interpretations of time changed. 

        So while people were having kids way back at 100-200 years old, and living till they were 800 years old, then dramatically decresed to where it is today the average person living only 80 years more or less and having kids at around 20ish. 

        So either something physical happened to the planet or our thoughts changed and became a reality. 

        I would say a little of both,  I could easily say I am 300 years old,  but really I am only 30. It doesn't change the rate in which my body changes.

      2. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Yes. I agree. As I have said, I think hanging on to obviously incorrect time lines is a mistake. In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it is rather silly even. I have even come across a bunch of "christian," websites and organizations that seem to be deliberately spreading fabricated information and "scientific," evidence in an attempt to muddy the waters and cast doubt on to genuine scientific facts. I assume this is where sprinkler man gets his viewpoint from.

        I see this as another brick in the wall as far as christianity is concerned. There should be no need to lie and force the issue in this fashion.

        As you know, I am not even slightly impressed with some of the so-called scientific advances we are seeing such as genetic manipulation of animals, so I can't say I am completely in love with the scientific viewpoint, but it is hard to ignore this much evidence on the age of the earth. Although I am keen to hear what wedding consultant has to say and my remarks were directed to him and sprinkler man smile

        My own feelings on the bible is that it was originally written by some very wise men who understood the origins of the universe and were seeking to explain it in a way that the people of the day could understand.

        This is of course, completely separate from the political, financial and control issues that the church has since developed and I have a feeling that the bible as we know it is not the way it was intended. I can't imagine the men who wrote it intended for the wars, suffering and downright rotten behavior it has caused. smile

        I am afraid it is out-of-date and will need revising. Even the catholic church now accepts that evolution is a part of the creation process - they need to keep the money flowing in and can see that if they don't adjust their viewpoint, they will eventually run out of income LOL

        Money, money, money - it makes the world go 'round apparently.

        1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
          Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I might have just said, "I agree," and happily moved on, until this.

          The church and religion may need revising, but the revising that comes from truly implementing what's contained in the Book, not revising the Book.

          1. Silent Assassin profile image60
            Silent Assassinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Peter M. Lopez wrote:

            Mark Knowles wrote:


            I am afraid it is out-of-date and will need revising.


            I might have just said, "I agree," and happily moved on, until this.

            The church and religion may need revising, but the revising that comes from truly implementing what's contained in the Book, not revising the Book

            The book has already been revised repeatedly since its creation anyway, but I agree that the message is still there and I dont think mark knows how relevant it is even today, because it is a classic documentation of what wretches humans can be, what they did and how alike we still are today.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Which means in 2,000 years we have learned nothing from it. Seems like it needs revising to me. smile

              Although, I will concede that people will continue to ignore the teachings even as they preach them. big_smile

              1. Silent Assassin profile image60
                Silent Assassinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Mark Knowles wrote:

                Silent Assassin wrote:


                The book has already been revised repeatedly since its creation anyway, but I agree that the message is still there and I dont think mark knows how relevant it is even today, because it is a classic documentation of what wretches humans can be, what they did and how alike we still are today.

                Which means in 2,000 years we have learned nothing from it. Seems like it needs revising to me. smile

                Although, I will concede that people will continue to ignore the teachings even as they preach them. big_smile

                maybe there just arent enough people who arent in it for themselves or have the balls to do what is right without reward.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  Can't argue with that. The only thing I can say is - after 2,000 years and no obvious advancement - what's the point? big_smile

                  1. Silent Assassin profile image60
                    Silent Assassinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    Mark Knowles wrote:



                    Can't argue with that. The only thing I can say is - after 2,000 years and no obvious advancement - what's the point? big_smile

                    Thats the thing about moral codes, they can be unbelievably hard to live up to.
                    I hope that no one asks your question about the law!

                    I think that it is up to us to take some responsibility and get motivated out of good will; not fear, to make things better not only for ourselves, but everyone in our sphere of influence.

  11. Silent Assassin profile image60
    Silent Assassinposted 11 years ago

    Man this hub has really taken off since I was last here!
    Religion is a touchy subject and there will always be antagonists to the fact, but emotion aside to me science is a religion as well. 
    Scientific theories that branch into unknown realms are scientific wild ass guesses.
    The defintion of science is observation.  I am just wondering how a determining process that is rooted to this perameter be used to absolutely expel a ideology.
    I believe that the upheaval caused by religion before the dawn of "modern thinking" was a necessary transition into rational thought.
    The greeks had a huge pantheon of gods that they believed in; but still had space to philosiphise and come up with scientific theories that were not rediscovered for centuries afterwards.
    If we have no belief system present to morally adhere to; in whatever form, then I fear for our future as a species.
    The extent of our capabilities should not be just measured in our technology or our scientific achievements.
    Humans have a spiritual side to them and I feel that it is just as important to embrace this, explore it and understand it because it is one of the most motivating and passionate sides of human belief and expression with which a lot of good could be achieved.

  12. Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Peter -

    I have to disagree. Even here on this thread, there are many different interpretations of the bible and it needs revising to reflect modern day thinking. 2,000 year old dogma that is clearly not *clear*can only cause more conflict. Some of the people I have had a conversation with in these forums cannot even understand modern English, let alone this stuff.

    There is good precedent for this and there have been many variations of "the bible" over the years. Even in the current version there is much that is obviously against our current view of morality.

    "If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT

    Not a lot of room for interpretation there. big_smile

    And there will always be people who take the bible literally. And there are many gospels that the current church chose to leave out of the bible. These are the ones that probably need including and adapting to modern thinking, otherwise people like sprinkler man will be stuck in the dark ages propagating the same views his great great great great grandfather held.

    You yourself have a different interpretation. It is out-of-date and meaningless to many. Myself included. smile

    Silent Assassin - I agree, but you are forgetting the terrible things done in the name of "christianity," and I do not think we need a belief system to that includes a supreme being to morally adhere to. We can create our own.

    1. Silent Assassin profile image60
      Silent Assassinposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Mark Knowles wrote:

      Peter -

      I have to disagree. Even here on this thread, there are many different interpretations of the bible and it needs revising to reflect modern day thinking. 2,000 year old dogma that is clearly not *clear*can only cause more conflict. Some of the people I have had a conversation with in these forums cannot even understand modern English, let alone this stuff.

      There is good precedent for this and there have been many variations of "the bible" over the years. Even in the current version there is much that is obviously against our current view of morality.

      "If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT

      Not a lot of room for interpretation there. big_smile

      And there will always be people who take the bible literally. And there are many gospels that the current church chose to leave out of the bible. These are the ones that probably need including and adapting to modern thinking, otherwise people like sprinkler man will be stuck in the dark ages propagating the same views his great great great great grandfather held.

      You yourself have a different interpretation. It is out-of-date and meaningless to many. Myself included. smile

      Silent Assassin - I agree, but you are forgetting the terrible things done in the name of "christianity," and I do not think we need a belief system to that includes a supreme being to morally adhere to. We can create our own.

      I thought that we tried that? wasnt it called the law?
      I think that it could be our fear of being controlled or judged by a higher power that people object to.
      But if humans are equal than who has the right to judge me or anyone else but god if they are just as likely to fall short of what is morally right?
      although I agree that adhearing to a "God" that can be misinterperated so easily is dicey to be sure.
      I dont think that there will ever be a solution that everyone will be happy with!

    2. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
      Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree that many do not understand, but that has nothing to do with the text itself.  That speaks to humanity and someone's willingness to learn and become intimate with the text, and to religious leaders who have taught "dogma" rather than scripture.


      The Deuteronomy passage is not about rape, it's about premarital sex, although this is not the point.  The "law" as given to the Israelites was a demonstration of how one might obtain righteousness through behavior (obedience to a set of laws).  Among the points of the law was to demonstrate that it was impossible for man to be righteous through behavior.  The law, if given today, would reflect the reality of today's society, but with no different result.


      On this point we will have to respectfully disagree.  I take the Bible literally, but I accept that my "literalness" is quite limited by my human experience (as I wrote to Ed somewhere).  As far as adapting, the Bible is more than a mere collection of books.  It is perfect as it is when viewed on the whole.

      One simple example:  There are 66 books in total.  The 66 books are 3 cycles of 22.  1-22 get you through the writings and the law.  Isaiah is 23 and begins the prophets and gospels (23-44).  Isaiah, however, contains 66 chapters and similarly mirrors the Bible as a whole (1-39 reflecting the Old Testament, 40-66 the New -40:3 begins with the voice crying in the wilderness mirroring Matthew 3).  45-66 are the epistles and letters.  The 3 cycles of 22 are 3 cycles of the Word (the Hebrew Alphabet - every word), representing God the Father (1-22), the Son (23-44), the Holy Spirit (45-66).  This is just a simple, shorthand version, but it gives an idea.  There is no need for revision, only understanding of what we actually have.



      I don't think my interpretation is all that different (maybe in minor respects), I just believe what it says and try to apply it.  But I did have one advantage, I came at it fairly fresh, having been a non-believer for so many years.  I don't think I was as clouded by years of doctrine and dogma.  More importantly, though, when I read, I pray for revelation and understanding, and it may take a week to really understand one verse.  I will admit, I cannot understand it all on my own., but it's not meant to be understood that way.  As with everything else in life, the Bible is meant to be read in faith and reliance upon God for help.  Before I departed the faith, I feel pretty confident I could have whipped most Christians in a game of Bible trivia, but I still didn't get it.  I only get a little bit of it at a time now, but what little has been opened up is GOOD. big_smile

  13. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
    Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years ago

    Mark, I will reply, but I need a little more time than I have right at the moment because I am about to leave and go home sad

    But this is interesting, a nice revival in the thread big_smile

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      LOL - I am going for the "longest forum thread in the history of hubpages" here big_smile

      Looking forward to it smile

      Sandra - mis-using the bbcode big_smile

      1. Thom Carnes profile image60
        Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        LOL - I am going for the "longest forum thread in the history of hubpages" here big_smile

        Looking forward to it smile

        I'm sure you'll make it, Mark.

        What's the target?

      1. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I am not sure. smile I will have to ask Jason - I am sure he will be more than happy to go through all the old forum threads to check LOL

        Dammit - we are shrinking again smile

        1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
          Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I bet the HubLove thread was the longest: 42 pages / 833 posts.

          There may be a longer one, but I doubt it.  That one ran for over a month.  You're almost half way there Mark.

  • profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    what's up with the white blocks?

  • profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    What's the point in believing in God?

    What's the point in not believing in God?

    Two questions, answer both.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      There is no point big_smile That's the point smile

      Thom - I am hoping, not praying. But I know why we are shrinking - you must have missed one of the [ tags out of your last post big_smile

    2. Thom Carnes profile image60
      Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Sandra - I don't think there is a "point".

      In fact, the older I get the more I am drawn to the idea that certain people are *temperamentally* inclined to believe in God/ the supernatural/ the paranormal/ etc.

      Perhaps there's a genetic impulse that some have and some don't.

      A God gene??

      Now there's a new idea ....


      Mark - You've dashed my religious hopes yet again!

      Is there anything I can do to make amends and obtain absolution?

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I don't know, I think answering the question was the first hypocricy of atheism.
        What would be the point of answering a question about God, if their is not point, being the point. 

        I don't think it works.   I need some more convincing, cause I really wanna call myself an atheist.  I just want one that is more consistant and better than the others.  cool

        1. Thom Carnes profile image60
          Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Over 300 years ago a French philosopher called Blaise Pascal told people that the best way to believe in God was to *pretend* to believe - and eventually belief would come.

          Perhaps if you just pretended to be an atheist .....

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Gotcha!  Sold.  I am at the moment without any comments, exept that I did find it funny when I posted the last comment!

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Way to go Thom ! Another convert. big_smile Welcome to the club my child LOL

              1. profile image0
                sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Who do I make the check out to? LOL

  • Thom Carnes profile image60
    Thom Carnesposted 11 years ago

    I think God must be angry with us, Mark - that's why we're shrinking!


    We could always start praying, I suppose ....

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    LOL - You could edit the post my son. Bless you. smile

    1. Thom Carnes profile image60
      Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Which one is it - and what do I have to do?

      (It is several years since my last confession).

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Sandra - you are missing the point big_smile

    You seem more like a christian angry at the church or God to me though? No offense meant by that, but it seems like something/one hurt you - either by not keeping a promise or intentionally.

    being an atheist is easy. All you do is ask yourself if it makes sense. As to the point. What's the point of anything? If you can't have a laugh at it, why bother? Laughter really is the best medicine. Spiritually or otherwise.

    Thom - the one where you "quoted" me - I think you missed a [ or ] tag. Just add the tag and see if that fixes it.

    Of course, we will be on a new page soon so.....

    1. Misha profile image67
      Mishaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I found the concept to be hard to grasp for both atheists and christians alike tongue New page should come soon, and forgive the sins of all of us big_smile

      1. profile image0
        sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I think I just grasped it pretty hard.

        1. Misha profile image67
          Mishaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          You are neither atheist, nor christian - this helps wink

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            I know Misha I coined it.  LOL

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Misha - as usual, you have hit the nail on the head and we will all be forgiven shortly - and in this lifetime. No waiting for eternal damnation here.

    Sandra - that's one of the great things about atheism - it's FREE ! big_smile

    Edit - and there you go - all is forgiven.

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Well, judging from your behavior compared to others I have seen, your interpretation is massively different smile

    But which bible are you working from? They are not all the same. Here are the most recent popular ones - some of which have caused wars by being written:

    King James Version (KJV)
    The New King James Version (NKJV)
    Modern King James Version [Green's Translation] (MKJV)
    Literal Translation Version [Green] (LITV)
    International Standard Version (ISV)

    Also, interpretation of the bible has been used as an excuse (I will say this rather than use the word "caused,") for the inquisition, the holocaust etc.

    So for you to think that it is clear and easily understandable doesn't make sense. The evidence of people misinterpreting the bible (either intentionally or other wise) is extremely strong. Even today, christians and muslims are at each other's throats over differing interpretations. As I read both the bible and the koran, they are all bout forgiveness and brotherliness, yet some how people manage to read something else. And I can see why. After 2,000 years of this, I would think that it is time for a redo?

    You clearly think that it is just a matter of interpretation by man?

    I think it is the fact that the authorities have been allowed to change the bible to suit their own goals rather than give a clear message to people. What about Irenaeous, Ecclesiasticus, and of course, Mark? LOL

    You think the bible is complete and unambiguous yet I have quoted a passage from Deuteronomy that clearly states a "law" about rape. Clearly:

    "If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her." Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT

    Yet you have "interpreted," it to be about something else:

    The Deuteronomy passage is not about rape, it's about premarital sex, although this is not the point.  The "law" as given to the Israelites was a demonstration of how one might obtain righteousness through behavior (obedience to a set of laws).  Among the points of the law was to demonstrate that it was impossible for man to be righteous through behavior.  The law, if given today, would reflect the reality of today's society, but with no different result.

    Too much room for ambiguity. Sorry, if you need to spend years studying the bible and then still come up with an interpretation that bears no relationship to the text itself, a 100 people could read the same passage and come to 100 different "interpretations." Sound familiar?

    This passage for Deuteronomy for example. There will be people who will take this as a literal piece of writing.

    This is the bible saying that is the punishment for raping a young woman.

    I could say, well, this is about man's inability to control his animal urges and what we should do is make it law that all women should wear a black veil and shapeless black clothes that disguise their physical attractiveness, therby taking away the temptation for the man who should not have to learn how to control his urges. Sound familiar too?

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
      Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I use multiple translations specifically so as not to become bound by any particular translation.  I primarily read the New American Standard, it is generally considered on this side of the Atlantic as the most literal translation we have, but I also compare/contrast with my New International Version (NIV), New King James, King James, the Holman Christian Standard, and David Stern's Complete Jewish Bible.  I also use Hebrew and Greek Interlinears where the English is ambiguous.  I'm less interested in what John Doe has to say, and more interested in what the original intent/meaning was.  Where I have found ambiguity in terms of words, I believe it to be intentional (i.e. "the Word became flesh"; word: Bible, spoken word, etc.?  I believe the ambiguity is meant to include all of the above rather than some specific meaning).


      I agree


      Quite the contrary, I do not think it is so easily understandable, hence the problem with interpretation.  However, I believe the problem with drawing dividing lines based on interpretation is a problem with man.  The same kind of disagreement occurs over global warming, fishing the ocean, territorial disputes, etc.  As an attorney, I'm endlessly fascinated at the things people bicker about.  It's no surprise that something so personal as religion would cause problems.  But, there again, I blame religion, not God.



      I absolutely do not.  I do not believe it is man's job to put his own spin on God's Word.  This is the very cause of the problems we have been discussing.  I would love to have this same discussion with believers of different varieties, and I have found many to be quite open minded.  Many not, but I would treat them as I treat everyone else, respectfully, humbly, and eternally hopeful.



      Allowed by whom?  I doubt Jesus or God would permit such a thing.



      Yes, the law was unambiguous, but we are no longer under the law of Moses, and as Gentiles we were never under the law of Moses.  Among the purposes of the law was to demonstrate our inability to abide thereby.



      The ambiguity is either (1) a human creation or (2) a lack of human understanding.  I have never claimed to have all the answers or to fully comprehend such an amazing Book, but I do not believe it is meant for me to, or you to, or any one person to.  It is meant to be all things to all people.  Our human understanding and perspective is a hindrance not a help, and it is brutally difficult to fight through it.  I spend a great deal of time trying to understand a correlation between this in the OT and that in the NT and get no where, when 5 minutes of prayer is all it takes.  Yes, a lifetime could be spent and still the Bible is inexhaustible, but that is something to be marveled, not criticized.

      Yes, many things you write sound very familiar, and we agree on more than we disagree, I just don't believe God is to blame.  Just because man has chosen to use and abuse God, Jesus, the Bible, etc., it does not follow, therefore, that what they teach is bunk.

      You are a very wise man, Mark Knowles.  You see what other people do not.  You would be a powerful, prophetic man of God.

  • WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

    Mark, I was getting ready to write a response, but it looks like Peter beat me to it!  I'm sure he did a better job of explaining things than I would, but here are my thoughts:

    I, too, think the fault lies within the interpretation (and abuse) of the Bible.  So far as I know, I have yet to meet a person who is 100% innocent of any wrongdoing.  In fact, I find it hard to believe that Catholics believe the Pope is sin-free, but that is neither here nor there.

    My point is, I think the problem with the Bible isn't the Bible itself- it's those of us who misinterpret, those of us who don't live it out, those of us who take it too lightly and don't study it enough to understand the deeper implications therein.  I've been plenty guilty of this myself.  That's why the Holy Spirit is there- to help us understand the true meanings of particular passages, such as that one you brought up in Deuteronomy.  If you want another equally troubling passage, read Ezekiel 23.  It tells stories of prostitutes, rape, incest, and the list goes on.  Or how about the passage about a prophet of God cursing a village?  What happened after that makes jaws drop- (according to the story) bears came out and mauled the children!  On the surface these are seen as very BAD stories and might initially push people away from the Bible.

    But again, it's the interpretation of those stories that gets us caught up!  That's why we have all those versions of the Bible!  And I'll tell you, Peter's habit of studying multiple versions is an exception to the rule.  The most popular version of the Bible in the U.S. is the New International Version (NIV), and it only has an 8th grade reading level!  Having two or more versions of the Bible to read from is not typical of most Christians.  Peter, my hat goes off to you for studying from those many versions of the Bible.  I'm in the same boat- I've got NIV, NRSV, RSV, NASB, KJV, NKJV, The Message, Interlinear Greek and Hebrew, and others.  But then again I'm a seminary student, so I need them all!

    Mark, I'd also agree with Peter.  I think you'd make a great believer!  (You actually remind me of my older brother) You don't take crap from anyone.  You explore the "why" behind things.  You don't take things at the surface level.  Anyway, I'm not trying to recruit you or argue a point!  I just wanted to echo what Peter said on that note.

    I suspect that your qualm is with believers, not God.  Your problem is with others' interpretations (and subsequent lifestyles) of the Bible, not the Bible itself.  And for the record, I'm with you in that respect.  I can't tell you how many times I've been furious over someone's lifestyle.  Here's an example- there was a professing Christian at one of my old stores (when I worked retail).  Anyway, I can't get into too much detail, but let's just say she was involved in robbing one of our stores, while she worked there no less.  Tens of thousands of dollars were stolen.  I don't know where she read in the Bible that stated that was okay, but I think we can safely say she was wrong in her interpretation.

    That's a really simple example, and for all I know she wasn't reading the Bible.  But, she told others she was a Christian, she had a Jesus fish on her car, etc.  I think it's a good example of a professing Christian not living a life that reflects Jesus' love of others, and so on.

    Oh, and I wasn't dodging your thoughts on creation...I was trying to go with the flow of the conversation here!  Looks like you take a step back for a couple of hours and you're all ready "too late" to talk about the things you were trying to talk about in the first place!

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Whew !

    Well, I guess I asked for that smile

    Peter - Thank you, but I do not believe there is a God. smile  Although, I think that yes, we do have many points of agreement.

    And yes WC - I think I take more of an issue with the abuses of the bible and people's complete inability to follow the teachings than the book itself. What this prompts me to think, is that after 2,000 years of it - it is "wrong." There is no reason to think anything will ever change.

    This is where science or "observation," comes into the equation. After observing 2,000 years of abuse, mis-interpretation, and lack of progress, it is time to say, "OK, this is not working, perhaps we need a different approach."

    Or do you both think that things will all of a sudden be different if we change nothing?

    And WC - I am keen to see where you are going with the whole 6,000 year old earth discussion. smile

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
      Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Well, I agree, you have to take the good with the bad, but there has been a great deal of progress.  A fair amount of Western thought, government, and law is Judeo-Christian based.  Freedom of or freedom from religion, in an ironic way, has its roots in Christianity, or we (those of us in the US) would still be Anglican, and they would be Catholic, etc.

      So, yes, a lot of bad, but, generally speaking, more good.

      1. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Well, as you know. I disagree, I think the world is no better a place now than it was 2,000 years ago. Of course I wasn't there so I can only go by the information I have gleaned second hand. Rwanda, the holocaust, an alliance of christian countries invading Iraq (yours and mine). Both of which claim to believe in the christian God, hold christian values such as not killing smile An insane consumer culture hell bent on self destruction. A worthless school system in your country and an inability to provide basic health care for the majority of your population. In a christian country that lets the corporations run the government. In my own country you can't spit without hitting a CCTV camera. Mandatory biometric ID cards next. LOL Your country still has the death penalty. Despite your ban on "cruel and unusual punishments," you will strap a man down and inject him with a lethal concoction of drugs.

        What good do you see exactly? What changes has a belief in God and 2,000 years of spreading the message in the bible bought about?

        And don't let yourself believe the falsehood that America was founded on the basis of religious freedom. It was founded on the need to be able to own land - which was all owned by the gentry and the church in Europe.

        And now you are doing exactly the same thing in the USA - all these foreclosures you are reading about - government owned now. Only a matter of time before you are facing the same issues the pilgrims left England for. smile  2% of the population will own 90% of the wealth. ANd they don't like to share.

        You sure it doesn't need another rethink? - because we are not going to survive another 2,000 years like this.

        Reading the bible doesn't help. What good are you doing reading the bible? How is studying the bible any benefit to the poor, the down trodden, those in pain? None what so ever.

        In one of the other threads, another believer said this:



        And that's a prevalent attitude. What if you are wrong and there is no next life? What a waste of a life.

        Wedding Consultant - I haven't forgotten our discussion on the age of the earth, but the ball is in your court I think ? big_smile

        1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
          Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I have to respectfully disagree with Mrs. Gielczyk to this extent: Christianity is about all of the above. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."  This is not just a forward looking statement, although it is that too.  Christians are perfectly content to live a life of doom and gloom looking only to the hereafter, when our commission is to change lives and change the world now.  Our inheritance, bought and paid for, is to live long, healthy, prosperous and fruitful lives.  If others choose to relinquish this, my heart breaks for them.

          More later, I gotta' run.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image60
            Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Ok, later.

            But, you are really missing my point.

            Where did she get this view of life? - Answer - from the bible. And it is extremely easy to interpret the bible in this way. Why?

            Because it was intentionally translated to read this way by the church so that you would be happy to devote your time, attention and money to the church in return for a reward in the next life.

            This is the religious freedom that America was founded on. And if this sounds familiar to Misha, that because it is the same thing the communists did.

            In Judea, christianity was first propagated to escape the Roman domination. In Russia, communism to escape the Czars.

            These two ideas are very similar. Give yourself up for the greater good. Suffer now for your brothers and sisters. God or the State? Not sure it really makes any difference. And the methods the early Christians used to dominate their rivals seem awfully similar to the ones the communists used.

            Sorry Peter, but you are also part of the problem. I respect your faith and ability to clearly elucidate what and why you believe in God and Christianity.

            This is what the church has always relied on.

            People like you.

            Honest people who genuinely believe that an experience they had is proof that God exists and the church has it right. You are the one they rely on to convince people to join and then they will start the indoctrination. It doesn't matter how many bibles you read, or how many times you try and persuade people of the good things written in it. And you read the good things in it. after you have "interpreted" them. They are going to read it differently to you because they think differently to you.

            They will believe what they want to believe because it says right there in the bible that homosexuality is a sin and people who practice it should be punished. Right there in black and white. And my friend Peter who believes in God pointed the way for me. Amen.

            No offense meant. smile  but they are using you and have been using good people like you since the thing was first written.

            And I know you probably can't see this, but I see it very clearly and it has been going on in differing degrees for the last 2,000 years.

            1. Misha profile image67
              Mishaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Yeah, similarities between communism and Christianity are striking. I gave it a fair amount of thought at some point, and I fully agree to Mark on that.

              There is one point that I don't agree, and it is probably a slip of the tongue - of course if i understood it correctly. I wouldn't equate the personal experience of God existence with church having it right wink

              1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Well - where else do you learn of the existence of God? In a church. In my case, at school - in church - every day - day in, day out. This is where they sell the idea. We discussed in another thread that it is unlikely you will come up with this idea on your own. smile

            2. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
              Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I doubt that.  She may very well have gotten it from a pastor or priest, but that's not the same thing.



              Mark, we are simply missing each other, like 2 ships passing in the night.  I agree with just about everything you are saying, but I stop short of throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Yes, the Bible and God have been used and abused, but so has everything else.  It's not a legitimate reason to reject them.  For example, in my profession, I have seen people taking in and adopting children from Child Protective Services just for the state subsidies they get for taking in these children.  Some of them are horrible parents and they are using and abusing the system.  That is not reason enough to ban adoptions or do away with the services offered by CPS.  They need fixing.



              Hardly.  My encounter did not come in a church, from the church or because of a church.  In fact, when I told members of my church, most were weirded out wanted nothing to do with it.  That is the problem with the church.  The church, on the whole, is impotent to do what Jesus had commissioned it to do, and when people actually try to do what they are supposed to, the church thinks it is weird.  So, no, I am not being used by the church because most denominations will tell you that what I say is happening now stopped with the apostles 2k years ago.

              I don't care what denominational doctrine teaches, I read scripture and take God at His word and good things happen, and seldom within the 4 walls of a church.  If it were up to me, I would do away with religious denominations altogether and start over with house churches and small groups like the apostles.  Faith is much more easily expressed in the presence of 4-5 than 100.  But, the reality is that the organizations are necessary for outreach, missionary work, building hospitals, schools, etc. because not enough individuals do their part.  It's kind of like government, nobody is ever completely happy, but you need it.

              1. Inspirepub profile image81
                Inspirepubposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                My brother had a similar conversion experience to yours - he had a spiritual experience, and the only way he could make sense of it was with outside help, and we live in a fairly Christian country and his wife was raised Catholic, so his first port of call was to read the Bible.

                He bought the farm - not just the spiritual truth, but all the historical baggage that goes with it.

                I know he is likely to have a crushing disappointment at some stage, when the Earthly church reveals its inherent structural contradictions to him (no organisation can truly promote spirituality because spirituality is such an inherently anarchic and individual process).

                I can only watch and have conversations with him about spirituality in general.

                He is at least capable of agreeing with agnostic me, my Buddhist sister, and our New Agey aunt that we are all having the same spiritual experience, but he believes that we will need to come to the Christian fold to be finally "saved".

                I wish there was a better way for people to get support through their spiritual experiences than these self-interested and hypocritical organisations.

                A spiritual breakthrough is a point of great suggestibility and psychological vulnerability, and I really don't like to see good people at that pivotal moment being sold a bunch of rubbish as "essential" for spirituality when it really isn't.

                However, he is happier now than he was before the whole thing began. I wouldn't tell him there is no Santa Claus even if I could.

                To each his own journey, and quality of life is all.

                Jenny

    2. WeddingConsultant profile image65
      WeddingConsultantposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      haha, sorry Mark, I know that was a big read from the both of us.  I didn't mean for mine to be that long, but it just happened that way...
      And that is probably my biggest frustration.  Maybe it's my pastor's heart.  (Yes, that's what I'm studying to be.)  I just get frustrated to no end with people who are luke-warm.  I believe Jesus shared my frustration when he said, "I...wish you were hot or cold.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth" in Revelation 3:15-16.


      I agree with your premise, but don't agree with your conclusion.  I think things will never change if "we" change nothing.  By "we" I mean Christians, although it could also mean humankind.  But I don't think that's reason enough to reject something outright.  The only way for evil to rule is for good to do nothing, right?


      TBC then, because there are quite a few pages to go through to pick that ball up from where it was left off!

  • WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

    Yes the ball is in my court.  I'm afraid to say I'm "dribbling" it.  Be back soon enough...

    And your post (the one right above this one) was thought provoking.  I'll have to give it some "soak in" time and give a response, unless someone beats me to it!

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Well, I am not going to quote your post and I still agree we have much in common. But I will pick on a small bit:

    "They need fixing."

    and ask you a question:

    Would you say that the church takes advantage of and twists the words of Jesus to suit their own purposes?

    Because when you say that the church finds it weird when you do what Jesus told you to do, I say - they find it threatens their survival. As I understand the words that Jesus was supposed to have spoken - it says to me - I am not the son of God and you do not need a church.

    I don't have a lot of time right now, but later I will be back to point out how you can interpret the bible as many people do - such as Mrs. Gielczyk smile

    Great rebuttal by the way - you wouldn't happen to be a lawyer would you? big_smile

    1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
      Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm reluctant to be so general, but yes this has happened and will continue to happen.  And not just the church, but individuals.



      I don't quite follow, could you explain?

      BTW, you're half way to your goal (page 21)! big_smile

  • Misha profile image67
    Mishaposted 11 years ago

    LOL we have to define God then, cause we probably just use this word to depict different things. For me God is something that is responsible for creation and existence of our world, the cornerstone of everything - and not the guy in white clothes sitting on the clouds and judging people as he wishes...

  • Tim Hollis profile image60
    Tim Hollisposted 11 years ago

    Of interest to believers and non-believers are these videos by Pat Condell. See also 'Hello America" at YouTube.
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fu … 6fa442d781

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Misha - Yes, you are correct. I was of course referring to the traditional version of God that 3 billion people worship - the one with the long flowing robes. wink

    Tim - that guy is too funny. Thanks.

  • gamergirl profile image58
    gamergirlposted 11 years ago

    *pokes her head in and is post number 401 in the totally awesome Atheist thread*

  • Peter M. Lopez profile image85
    Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years ago

    Welcome GG.  Mark is trying to set a record for the longest thread.  We are half way there.

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Peter - I haven't forgotten your question and my promise to explain why I think the bible is intentionally written to be interpreted the way many interpret it - but the sun is shining and calling to me big_smile I will also answer as to why I think the things Jesus was meant to have said can be interpreted to mean that he despised the church and did not think he was the only begotten son of god.

    What I will say is that it would seem as though I had a similar experience to Jenny's brother. Fortunately for me, I had already made my decision about the christian faith, God and the bible and was able to be open to other possibilities, including the idea that there is nothing "controlling," things.

    Even though I had already decided there was no God, I still went to churches and asked the questions I needed to ask, and found the answers to be shallow, un-thinking and serving a purpose other than attempting to enlighten me. I had many invitations to join the church (whichever one I was in at the time) . They completely missed the point. So instead, I devoted ten years of my life to making people feel good and making friends. LOL Sounds like a waste of time to many I know and I am constantly asked "what did you do that for?"

    Of course, I eventually ran out of money because I refused to earn much during that time and that is why I am on the internet - earning a living. Although, odd as it sounds, I am making moire friends here. And un-converting the faithful, one at a time big_smile

    gamergirl - get stuck in smile we still need more posts to beat our self-determined goal big_smile

    Wedding Consultant - the ball is still in your court big_smile

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Peter - I now have some time and can offer some quotes from the bible of Jesus' sayings that could lead one to interpret that Jesus was against the church. You will have to excuse my rustiness - it has been a long time since I read and studied the bible. smile

    I have tried to find the passages I was thinking of and will try and stick to one "version," of events. LOL

    Luke 11:37-54

    "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.

    "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it."

    A pretty conclusive condemnation of the practice of preaching and following the rules whilst ignoring them.

    I won't quote any more, but Matthew 23 is much the same.

    Jesus' actions and words show him to be a mortal man, with all our failings inherent, and directly contradict the peaceful, love thy brother interpretation:

    Matthew 10:34

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother.”

    John 2:12-22.

    “Destroy this temple and I’ll rebuild in it three days.”

    Reasons for people to believe that there is a better reward in the afterlife and this life is to be given up for the greater good:

    Luke 14:33

    "So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."

    Luke 12:16

    Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’

    Nehemiah 10:35-39

    And we made ordinances to bring the firstfruits of our ground and the first fruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, to the house of the Lord; to bring the firstborn of our sons and our cattle, as it is written in the Law, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks, to the house of our God, to the priests who minister in the house of our God; to bring the first fruits of our dough, our offerings, the fruit from all kinds of trees, the new wine and oil, to the priests, to the storerooms of the house of our God; and to bring the tithes of our land to the Levites, for the Levites should receive the tithes in all our farming communities. And the priest, the descendant of Aaron, shall be with the Levites when the Levites receive tithes; and the Levites shall bring up a tenth of the tithes to the house of our God, to the rooms of the storehouse.

    I could go on and on with the quotations that could be interpreted in these ways, and if some of the responses we have had on the forums from some believers and my own observations of christians interpreting the bible in these ways, these are common ways to interpret the bible.

    And I also feel the need to point out the obvious flaw in the idea that Jesus was God's only son - If God is all powerful, all seeing, all everything, he/she/it can have as many sons, daughters and whatever else he/she/it wants - so this is absolutely no sacrifice whatsoever. A bit like a billionaire giving one cent to charity.

    Obviously, there is more than one point of debate here, and I know you can quote passages from the bible that directly contradict these. Even I am aware that the church, to this day, has secret gospels that they choose not to share, and I suspect this is because they make the point that we do not need a church and that Jesus was the son of Man rather than God smile Why else would they remain hidden?

    Now, I would expect that you can also argue that the "word" is clear and it is man's failings in mis-interpreting them that is the problem.

    But - I suggest that the problem is also with the book.

    Surely after 2,000 years of mis-interpreting the damn thing - it's time for an edit ? big_smile

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Wow Mark,  I was seriously believing I was the only person on Earth who read the Bible this way. 
      I wrote to a Pastor once, I said, I had a vision.  I told him that I thought it would be better to have God as your cover and go outside, maybe go to the park and give people food, or something.  I told him that he didn't need a wooden house to call a church.  I said, that the church is the entire world, and that thier was a reason why God tears down temples.  I said, it would be a great thing, but the church house would probably not be able to stay open. 

      So, here I am thinking, wow that would be the coolest church ever, go out and do good things, and feed the poor and help people out and not collecting money for the church to clean it's carpets and pay for lighting, but use what you got and give it to someone who needs it. 

      My ideas didn't take. 

      But I am in so much agreement with you Mark.  Even if you don't believe in God, those are the same thoughts that poured into my mind.

      The one thing I can not get a christian to understand are the very things about Jesus' actual purpose.  That he came to stirr the pot so to speak.

      So that sudden realization about Jesus being the greatest deciever of all caused a mental crisis, so it is really hard to get people to see this because it would turn the church upside down, and a little wierder because Jesus' wise-ness is astonishing and I can't help but honor that man. 

      and just like you,  son of God thing...I say sure why not, if that is what he is called then I can't change the name, but it doesn't make him un-human and it still doesn't make him God. 

      It is always unsettling for me to know what is going on and then know that most will never ever, ever see it. 

      Reading the Qu'ran was a twist too, after a few chapters I had to stop reading it.  Because it was talking about these very same things, so my mind was trippin out!

      Personally, because these things have already been written and they are right under the noses of the people who adopted the Christain faith without understanding, makes me believe that whoever Jesus is, is definatly something special and a bit of a mind fu**.  smile

  • knolyourself profile image59
    knolyourselfposted 11 years ago

    For an an atheist, one sure has a grasp of lthe bible.

    'My brother had a similar conversion experience to yours - he had a spiritual experience, and the only way he could make sense of it was with outside help, and we live in a fairly Christian country and his wife was raised Catholic, so his first port of call was to read the Bible.
    He bought the farm - not just the spiritual truth, but all the historical baggage that goes with it.' (I agree exactly.)

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Me too.  I never know what to say to someone about the Bible.  I want to say read it, but then again I want  DON"T READ IT!  Then I settled on, if you read that book, you better know who you are. 

      I really do think it is cursed.  Plus after reading it I got a visit from the spirit and a unexpected welcom from what had to from God, like Moses and the burning bush sorta thing, and it scared the stuff right out of me. It is the craziest story of my life. 

      Most, if not all refuse to believe that I actually got a visit because what "message" I recieved was radically different from most if not all Christains, which really makes me believe that anyone who says they got a calling from God, and it was to become a preacher or pastor, then you couldn't have.

      Then it doesn't help that in revelations, it says that all the pastors, priest, rabbi's, teachers, cowards and such were collected and throne into the pit of fire.  Or things like, being a prisoner of Jesus etc.

      1. Inspirepub profile image81
        Inspirepubposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Sandra, have you read "Conversations With God"?

        Or "A Course In Miracles"?

        Both have the radical anarchic spiritual approach to Christianity, not the classic "social control" approach.

        Jenny

        1. profile image0
          sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          No, but I think I should check um out.  thanks Jenny!

  • profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    Also one last thought for Mark,

    Maybe the reason you have never seen God is because you never believed in the first place. 
    So waiting for a firery chariot may not ever happen because you don't believe, but if you did see it, would you call your self crazy? 

    From experience (cause I am 17 and crazy, LOL)  seeing God is enough make you want to call yourself crazy cause it's easier that way. Because seeing God does not fill your heart up with tickling butterflies, it more like looking for a place to hide and realizing there is no place to hide. LOL.  hugs. smile

  • Peter M. Lopez profile image85
    Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years ago

    Mark, I agree, Jesus was very critical of the religious leaders of his day.  I have been saying this over and over.  I don't think I could agree with you more.  The church is not now, nor will it ever be the solution to all of the world's problems.  The problems with the church are too numerous to count.  I guess I'm missing the point you are trying to make because you seem to be trying to persuade of something I already agree with.

    This, however, has nothing to do with the question of whether or not there is/isn't a God.  The point, though, is not whether the church is right, it is personal.  I feel no need to try to prove to anyone that my God exists, it's not my job.  As I understand what my God wants of me, it is that I testify as to what I have seen and believe, heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and make disciples of nations.  Yes, I am a member of a church (fortunately one that feels its mission is the same), but I will never tell anyone that they need to become a member of a church.  That is not the aim.  In fact, ministering the gospel might be easier without religious constraints.

    It is unfortunatel that no one from the "church" was available to Mark to provide context to his experience.  I did not find this in my church either, I did ultimately find it, but not in the church.

    Jenny, I agree that spiritual encounters are unique and cannot fully be appreciated generally.  I'm not especially concerned that anyone "know" what happened to me, I hope your brother is not either.  We can talk about them, but no one else can "know" just like I cannot "know" what it was like for you to stub your toe, experience the taste of your favorite food, or have a child.

    You are making the very point I have been trying to make with Mark all along.  The church has tried to sell people a bill of goods, that church, religion, spirituality is supposed to look like "x", and when it doesn't look like "x" it is wrong.  I have no desire for my experiences to be like that of anyone else.  The church has become a social club when it was never meant to be.  If my life ever even slightly resembles the example set by Jesus, I will be satisfied.

    I guess that's enough for now, I will get to the rest of your points, Mark, in time.  I am eager to hear of your experience.  I won't ask you to share, but I am interested.  If the forum is not an appropriate place, feel free to email me.  I can't say I can explain what happened, but I do have a little experience in the spiritual and supernatural (and, please, believe me, it is not something I was searching for), but I might be able to give another perspective on it.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yes- The point that I am trying to make is that many people cannot differentiate between some one such as yourself and a "Pharisee."

      This is how both you and Jesus are being used.

      It is difficult to explain. big_smile You are a true believer - based on your own personal experiences - and hard to resist because - even on the internet, your honesty comes across. But - to many - you are no different from the church. You sort of sound the same, and even though you are sending a different message, your message is taken as being as the church's - make sense?

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    knolyourself - thank you. But - it is not possible to be an "atheist" without an understanding of what the bible has to offer smile  Know thine enemy.

    Although I promote the idea as non-belief, you really need to read the "beliefs" to realize how "wrong" they can be. No right-thinking person can or should ignore the bible. It's a great book - but extremely misunderstood. And that is one of my issues with it.

    Sandra - I have said to you before - you are not alone big_smile I have also said that you would seem to be a christian who had been hurt in some way or another and seem to be angry with God?

    I think that if there was a Jesus (and my personal opinion is that he is an amalgam of many people) - he was as honest as the day is long - and as angry as you seem to be.

    I would say about the bible - DO READ IT - BUT TAKE IT WITH A PINCH OF SALT AND A DOSE OF REALITY big_smile

    And there is a fine line between crazy and prophet.

    Peter - once again, we are in a lot of agreement. But we come from 2 different perspectives. You believe in God. I do not. big_smile

    As to my spiritual experiences, I have no particular wish to share them. I cannot possibly convey the pain involved or the revelations I have come to - words fail.  See some post I made further back that were "missed." This is one of the problems with the bible. Words fail. Time for a redo.

    What I can say is that a good bottle of Tequila can connect you to what you describe as "God," as well as any other way. And I have tried a lot of them.

    But, with all things "spiritual," when you try and put them into words - people will ridicule you if they do not fit with their own version. Just look at the first few responses to this thread.

    My own personal belief system does not fit with any of the others. No one wants to hear that they are as important as a grain of sand on the beach of life. LOL They wish to think that they are important. Yes they are, but not the way they think. smile

  • profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    Sandra - I have said to you before - you are not alone  I have also said that you would seem to be a christian who had been hurt in some way or another and seem to be angry with God? --Mark----

    I am not angry with God.  I did see your post way back on this thread,  I didn't respond because something that personal doesn't come with a quick fix or a word to wash it away.  If it means anything at all,  all I can say is I am really, really sorry and ( please don't get mad ) she's in a good place.  Look outside. smile

  • Peter M. Lopez profile image85
    Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years ago

    I agree that if person from church "a" shares God/Jesus/Bible and person from chruch "b" shares a slightly different version it can (1) all get muddled, (2) make the source seem questionable, and (3) cause people to wonder whether either, or, bother or neither can be right.  So, I understand how they can all be lumped together, this is what I used to do.  Anything labeled "Christian" got lumped in together and I rejected it outright because of a stigma that I and many others attached to such a label.

    But, it doesn't take long to realize that this is the very thing Jesus taught against.  Therefore, even though I am suspicious of many who preach a Jesus that is not the Jesus of the Bible, I will not lump Jesus in with them just because they attempt to lay claim to him.  Jesus was quick to call them hippocrites, and they are what give religion a bad name.

    I will admit, life seemed simpler when I didn't believe, but I simply can't deny what I have seen with my own two eyes (in myself and others).  In this respect, I agree with you and Thom, I needed to see the evidence myself.  There was one little catch though: I had to let God prove himself to me.  It doesn't take a great deal of faith, just enough to believe that He could actually answer.

    If you experience relates to an earlier exchange you had with Lissie, (without repeating it here) all I can say is that I would tell you what I told her.  You can reread it if you choose.

    I wouldn't ever say anything so trite to you as to take that issue to God, but I do know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being angry at Him, even demanding an explanation from Him.  When we hurt, He hurts.

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Sandra - no, the reference to hurting was not my own, and aimed in another direction. Although her name was Sandra also smile But then - who are you angry with - you bible burner you ? LOL

    Peter - You are still avoiding the question.

    And yes, I saw your note to Lissie smile

    A whole different thing for me.

    1. profile image0
      sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hmmmm, you are a special person Mark.  Very special.


      If I am Judas and you are Mark, then I am mad John. LOLOL.  lol

  • Peter M. Lopez profile image85
    Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years ago

    I'm sorry, which question was that?  I will do my best to answer.

  • Patience Virtue profile image59
    Patience Virtueposted 11 years ago

    Wow!  I just spent hours rereading all of the posts and I must say I've learned more about atheism/agnosticism/buddhism/other than I could have anticipated!

    I was raised Christian and, quite honestly, looking at the church and how messed up it is (forget how messed up the rest of the world is) was enough on its own to convince me of the existence of evil.  It's amazing how the movement that was started with the disciples in Acts in the Bible so quickly became a mostly political and highly corrupted force.  Yuck!

    I'm still wondering whether it's worth even contemplating trying to fix the church.  Part of me wants to just screw the whole thing and start over new.

    I can't imagine how one would go about rewriting the Bible.  Any suggestions Mark?  Anything you would leave out -- or something new you would put in? 

    I think Christians would as soon have you burn their Bibles as change them, which makes me wonder whether they believe in the Bible because of God or just believe in God because of the Bible?  The answer to that question might explain some of the dogmatic defense of the Bible.

    It's so awesome reading so many different perspectives!  I absolutely love it!

    1. Thom Carnes profile image60
      Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Totally fascinating, isn't it?

      And when you say "...makes me wonder whether they believe in the Bible because of God or just believe in God because of the Bible" you are surely touching on one of the great central tautologies of religious belief.

      Example:

      "Why do you believe in God?"

      "Because the Bible tells me so."

      "But why do you believe the Bible?"

      "Because it's the Word of God."

      1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
        Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        This is one of the key problems with Christianity, most people cannot explain for themselves (1) why they believe in God and (2) why they believe the Bible is the word of God.  "Because that's what mamma' taught me" is simply not good enough.  That is simply not faith.

        I wonder why so many are satisfied with this?  This is where I have to commend people like you, Thom, who are dissatisfied with this state of being.  As I have mentioned to Mark on several occasions, I believe any search for truth, however, must necessarily include a searching out of God, in case He does in fact exist.  And the God I know is perfectly willing to make himself known to anyone who truly seeks Him out.

        I just wish many Christians would go on this quest for themselves before going around trying to persuade everyone else of a God they have never experienced for themselves.  I mentioned to Mark earlier that he would be a powerful and prophetic man of God because of how he sees things.  Thom, you would be an excellent teacher, you've got the Socratic method down pat.  Now all we need is an apostle, evangelist and preacher and we can start our own church.

        1. SparklingJewel profile image71
          SparklingJewelposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          OH GOD,  NO !!!!! smilebig_smilebig_smilebig_smile   We would have to call ourselves the Hubbers!   hahahahahahah

          1. Inspirepub profile image81
            Inspirepubposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Didn't we already do that?

            Mark is High Priest, Misha is MetaGod, and there is the Fourfold Godhead plus some minor deities so far, as I recall ...

            It seems Thom is now the official church instructor. Since Peter has nominated him for a secular rather than Divine role, we don't need the MetaGod's approval to make the (lifetime) appointment permanent.

            Don't worry, Thom - celibacy is not required!

            Jenny

            1. Thom Carnes profile image60
              Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Phew - what a relief!

              And what about you, Jenny?

              Virgin Mary??

              1. Misha profile image67
                Mishaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Far from that Thom.

                The Goddess of Love smile

              2. Inspirepub profile image81
                Inspirepubposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                Hardly! Did you miss the other thread where I was talking about founding a religion based on the notion that if you want to have sex, you should?

                Venus, Astarte, Isis, or Aphrodite, thank you very much!

                Virgin Mary ... *shudder* ...

                Jenny

            2. Misha profile image67
              Mishaposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              Nothing can happen without MetaGod approval!

              However, I'm kinda relaxed today and let this slip wink

        2. profile image0
          sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Truly seeks him.  God isn't just in the Bible, hope you realize that. smile

  • SparklingJewel profile image71
    SparklingJewelposted 11 years ago

    I have seen that the problems that people have had with the Bible (or any religious text) and the people that try to tell others what is right according to the Bible (or any text) is the Lack of a Clear Path to follow for searching deeply in appreciating the mystical aspects; as well as finding that particular perception of being human...that I think is what Mark is saying when he talks about being as important as a grain of sand on a beach. 

    I feel it could be more helpful if people  focused on their individual path, and not listen so much to others, i.e. leaders, pastors, etc. Sometimes leaders can be helpful, but the whole human ego knot of power gets way out there for anyone that others look to, too much. A person needs to find their own strength within self as divine. Other people are there for support when needed but not as the last word. Churches/priests/ministers,etc  need to back off and stop trying to be in charge or manipulating, if that is the case, and members need to do their own heavy lifting when it comes to seeking and understanding their own divinity.

    Anger and pain is intended to show you what  needs to be understood and worked out, OR if allowed by not seeking resolution, will keep a person blind to what needs to be seen.  Finding your center of peace is always a good first step, then again sometimes anger or yelling can make things really clear, too smile But I have come to believe that peace within is the best answer to all problems...than that ever small voice of Truth and Reason can be heard.

    1. Inspirepub profile image81
      Inspirepubposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Oh, but this is the LAST THING your average person wants to hear.

      Think for MYSELF?

      Find MY OWN PATH?

      No, no, please somebody come along and be reassuring and parental and tell me you will look after me and tell me what I need to do to be looked after, and please, please, don't ask me to develop any self-awareness or personal responsibility - this is waaaay too demanding ...

      That part in "The Life Of Brian" was painfully accurate, unfortunately.

      Jenny

      1. profile image0
        RFoxposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Yes, finding your own path is difficult. This is one of the core teachings of my religion and I've noticed when talking to people, how many don't want to take personal responsibility for their lives.
        It seems nowadays people want to blame everyone else for their problems and choose to be spoonfed religious ideals so they don't actually have to do any work.
        People think they can show up once a week to church, sometimes even fall asleep during the sermons, and then figure they don't actually have to follow any other code of ethics. As long as they are forgiven for their sins once a week, then it's all good. I just can't live my life that way. smile
        Now I know their are a lot of Christians who work at their beliefs just as hard as I do. But there are so many others who don't and from personal experience they seem to be the ones who shout the loudest and spread what I consider 'the false word of God'. I don't believe hatred and forced conversion should be a part of any religion. Call me idealist but that's what I believe. smile

  • profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    Just a random story.

    Once I was at the grocery store and thier was a homeless woman and her child in the parking lot asking for help.  I offered to buy her something to eat and she followed me around in the grocery store.  When I asked her to pick something she would like to eat for her and her child she picked a 10 dollar sandwhich. 

    Now,  I didn't say anything, but I was a little upset because, for one, I don't by myself sandwhiches that cost that much, and two, because I didn't have very much money to begin with.

    Let's annylize this...

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Well, I have been giving this some thought, and after Jenny's metaphysical approach, I don't think I even believe in me any more so......

    I must be a figment of my own imagination, so I can't be a God LOL

    But I think we all agree - Atheism Rules ! - Nothing smile

  • SparklingJewel profile image71
    SparklingJewelposted 11 years ago

    If we are trying to make this the longest running hub ever, shouldn't we at least stay on subject, so that we can feel like we did it on the "up -n-up". Honestly  little hubbies, hubbers, hubbetts, hubsters, hubnoids, hubbabubbas..., big_smilebig_smilebig_smile
    Back to the not rules of, and the non rule of atheism.

    You know honestly, I think Mark is about as much an atheist as I am...not!  All atheists I have ever known, present company excluded, were all negative about everything, mean and nasty, unkind and repulsive. Needless to say I have stayed clear of them to the best of my ability. After all Mark you do believe in something...you are a grain of sand on the beach...remember?! And to me that is the most spiritual, heart centered, God lovin', (not your definition of God, mind  you, but mine) way a soul can be.
    You just know how to keep people running around within their minds! as you do your own? If you like and love others and yourself, you know God...and love every minute of it.

    I love all you hubbers, hubbetts, hubsters, hubnoids, etc...

    I have been pretty sick this week, so I am feeling goofy...I got to get outta this apartment:Ptonguetongue

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    It is not the answers that are important.

    It is the questions you ask - both of yourself and others smile

    And you are putting me on the spot LOL  So to clarify - there is no God. I am but a grain of sand on the beach. And you all too. No offense meant to any who take that as an insult.

    So - I am an atheist in that I do not believe any of the "established," views of the way things are. They just are.

    Is this not enough?

    1. SparklingJewel profile image71
      SparklingJewelposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I am satisfied with who you are...to the best of my knowledge...after all we don't really know each other much, in this plane of existence.!?big_smile
      Well I've got my tennies on and am off for a walk before dark...I've been cooped up for the last week.
      You'al have a good week!
      hugs and stuff,
      SparklingJewel

    2. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
      Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Mark, I don't follow.  Is this the question you said I was avoiding?  I don't recall this question being asked.  Or, some other.




      LOL.  big_smile  I was out of town visiting my sister, limited time and no computer access on the road.  You better watch the label "evangelical".  It's liable to get you guys in trouble.

      1. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        LOL - No, this was directed at some one else I believe. I will have to go back through the thread to work out what the question was smile

        Evangelical atheists? Good name for a band?

        1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
          Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          It does have a catchy ring to it.

          1. Mark Knowles profile image60
            Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Peter - I think the question was whether or not you felt that you were being used as a poster boy for the church - in much the same way Jesus is used?

            1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
              Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

              I doubt most denominational churches would entirely agree with my message, not enough hell fire and brimstone.  Of course, most of those churches wouldn't allow someone like Jesus into their church anyway unless He showered, changed and looked presentable.  I doubt many in those congregations would volunteer to sit next to Him if they didn't know who He was. 

              I am perfectly willing to allow myself to be used by God in any manner He sees fit, poster boy, stable boy, or water boy.  As far as Jesus being used, who better to use?  I realize this is somewhat crass, but if I were a church, that is who I would be using as a poster boy.  To the extent that He is being misused, I can only hope it is unintentional, and where it is intentional, that it will be exposed.

              1. profile image0
                sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                no offense Peter, I am sure you mean well, but now you are just like them.  Talking smack about other churches.

                1. Peter M. Lopez profile image85
                  Peter M. Lopezposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                  I absolutely give most churches the benefit of the doubt.  I think, on the whole, the work done by them does a lot of good.  I was speaking of the denominational hardline stances where scripture is read to fit theologies rather than theology crafted to fit scripture.

                  If I came across in any way as "talking smack" I regret that deeply and offer my apologies to anyone who was offended.

                  1. profile image0
                    sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

                    I am not offended, but the applogy was nice, even if not needed. wink   If you are going to be a pastor, I want you to be a good one.  So one of the things I noticed about the chuches is that they talk about each others beliefs.  Call it my helpful critism because I want you to be a good Pastor.  I think you could be a good one, be a well informed and compassionate one,  be accepting of different views etc, start your "flock" off on the right track, have bible study classes where you go from beggining to end, allow people to speak thier thoughts, and work on an agreement ( God's will).  that sorta thing.

  • Misha profile image67
    Mishaposted 11 years ago

    You always forget to mention that God you are talking about is a guy in white robe sitting on the cloud big_smile I don't think anybody on this thread thinks that THAT God exists tongue

    1. Inspirepub profile image81
      Inspirepubposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Too true, Misha.

      I may be undecided about the the reality of a lot of things, but I am completely sure the man in the clouds does NOT actually exist.

      That doesn't mean that I think there is no reality to the experience that people refer to by the term God, Brahma, Nirvana, etc.

      Jenny

      1. Thom Carnes profile image60
        Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Oh dear ....

        The notion of the man in a white robe sitting on a cloud always seemed the most sensible and realistic version of God to me ....

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          LOL - It's not a bad version of you have to pick one.

          Personally I prefer the Ancient Greek version of events with Gaia emerging from the Chaos, and Zeus doing battle with his father.

          Much more fun that having some one nailed to a cross, and every one missing the point big_smile

          1. Thom Carnes profile image60
            Thom Carnesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Yes, you're right - the ancient gods (Roman as well as Greek) were just a lot more FUN than the ones that came after.

            Have you read "Caesar's Vast Ghost", Lawrence Durrell's wonderful book on Provence?

            Here he compares Christianity to the old Roman pantheism:

            "Quite apart from the fact that their bevaviour was unctuous and self-righteous beyond belief, they believed themselves the chosen race, chosen by the monotheistic projection they worshipped, having duly warned all and sundry that this phantom was a jealus god and would tolerate no other to compete with him......

            "What a contrast to the tolerant, easy-going pluralism of Roman pantheism with its generous outlines, its gods and goddesses  who were ever-present, in every communal activity, and as familiar to the devout public as film stars are today. They attested the prime link with Mother Nature, not a withdrawal from it into a snobbish seclusion of sectarianism, each believer with his or her private and exclusive version of God....."

            Still true today, I think....

  • Mark Knowles profile image60
    Mark Knowlesposted 11 years ago

    Dammit - yet another book to add to my list of things to read smile

    I must admit I have never really understood the whole born in sin, worthless unless you accept Jesus Christ as your savior approach. Especially in light of the amount of people who haven't done so, but insist you do LOL

    But as stories go, the Greek/Roman approach is far more palatable - and a lot more fun. Plus you know where you stand. No misinterpreting things and constantly wondering who is "right."

    Although I have noticed that (with one exception) the christians seem to have fallen by the wayside in this discussion. Does that mean we are even more evangelical than they are?

    I wonder if a Greek revival is in order. I would happily believe that one and start a Temple to Zeus. smile

  • WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

      Taking care of a pregnant wife comes before posting on this thread, as much as I'd love to have more time to post!  My motto is that family comes before friends.  And yes, that means I consider you all friends, even as atheists!  You wouldn't be my first atheist friends.

    Mark our last discussion was more of a creation vs. evolution was it not?  Let me see how we can pick this ball back up...

  • WeddingConsultant profile image65
    WeddingConsultantposted 11 years ago

    Okay Mark, I re-read our prior discussions on evolution and we were talking about fossils.  But then you said fossils don't necessarily prove evolution, per se, so I'll forget the fossil discussion.

    So then let me make a provocative statement and have you respond...!

    Throughout our (known) history, there have never been found any creatures/animals/insects that have "jumped" from being one species to another.  Going back to where I think Sprinkler Man was trying to go, there has never been a frog that evolved into a bird.  The reason this is true is because there have not been found any convincing "missing links" between the two species.  (Realize I'm taking two, seemingly random species as examples.)

    Sure there have been certain animals, for example, that seem to be missing links evidencing a jump in the species categories, but have you ever considered maybe those types of animals existed prior to, say, a world-wide flood?


    Tag, you're it!

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      No fair tagging me like that big_smile

      Actually, I think our discussion was more about young vs old earth, but this is a good place to start it up again smile

      Not understanding the question though. Which types of animals? The ones that seem to be missing links or the ones that don't?

      1. WeddingConsultant profile image65
        WeddingConsultantposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        The types of "animals" I was referring to there were these supposed 'missing link' animals- animals that seem to be evidence of one species in the middle of an evolutionary jump into a totally different species.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Could you be more specific?

          Which exact animals? big_smile

          1. profile image0
            sandra rinckposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            there missing. heeelllloooooo.

          2. WeddingConsultant profile image65
            WeddingConsultantposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Well, I was just about to give the example of the flying squirrel, but I now see that Inspire hub used it!  Honestly, I was hoping you (Mark) were going to give examples of these missing-link animals as you'd know more about it than myself.  Again, Inspire came in with some good examples.

        2. Inspirepub profile image81
          Inspirepubposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          You mean like the lung-fish? The one that can breathe air and walk around on its fins?

          The amphibians? That are clearly evolved from water-based life, but have the ability to breathe air in the adult form?

          Or the axolotl? The one that lives under water in a very fish-like state, but if the water dries up its lungs expand and its fins and gills wither away, and it becomes a lizard-like air-breathing salamander?

          There are all remnants of the evolutionary process by which air-breathing, land-dwelling vertebrates developed.

          Of course, they are far better-suited to their environments now, after millions of years of adapting to them, than their ancestors who are also our ancestors would have been, but it is clear that an intermediate stage of part water-breather, part air-breather is entirely possible.

          However, if you only ever saw fish and dogs, would you be able to imagine the lungfish, frogs and salamanders?

          Jenny

          P.S. If a global flood had wiped out the missing links (the same way you suggest it wiped out the dinosaurs) then shouldn't we have fossils of them (the same way we have fossils of the dinosaurs)?

          P.P.S. Evolution doesn't jump. The missing link between mice and bats is not exactly the flying squirrel. At one point, generations ago, they were all the same - a small rodent with slightly loose skin. Mice developed from the individuals with tighter skin (they were harder for predators to get their teeth into). Squirrels and bats developed from the ones with longer claws, who took to the trees to escape the predators. Bats developed from the smaller, lighter ones with looser skin, and flying squirrels from the larger ones with stronger claws.

          The other ones (for example the smaller ones with small claws and loose skin), which might be regarded as in some ways a "missing link" are "missing" because the predators ate them before they could reproduce. Over time, three different survival strategies paid off - fast, lean, tight-skinned surface dwellers, small, light-weight flyers, and muscular, strong-clawed tree-dwellers with the ability to leap between trees.

          There WERE other strategies, but those ones didn't work out so well ...

  • profile image0
    sandra rinckposted 11 years ago

    intercestion--- you guys have to watch this video.  If you like music anyways,  it kicks so much butt.  Sorry to post a like the dredded linkers on forums, but come on.  It's to good to not pass down. 


    http://hubpages.com/hub/The-Final-Count … stra-cover

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