If Jesus were to descend from the Sky...and put his foot down on...Let's just say: The Mt. of Olives...Would ya' start believin' in him?
The whole point is to have faith. But that's just my opinion. It has to be a decision to believe, whether it makes sense or not.
My understanding of Jesus' work/teachings is all about a specific message- that message should be followed, not the man.
Cagsil: Did his teachings say that?
His teachings told those who listened to not worship any false idol, either god or man.
I'm going to have to go..."huh" on that one?
His teaching could be summed up in 2 commandments: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. His teachings cannot be summed up in "dont worship false idols," thats only a fraction of it
Actually Dweiss, his teachings were "Love" and "Compassion(Mercy)".
If you're going to use two words to describe his teachings, please make them the correct words.
No god required.
Those are his words.. Matthew 22:36-40
You should quit lying to people..
Calling me a liar are you? How nice of you. I find it interesting that you lack the ability to see how love and compassion can bestow a path to peace.
Ironic, you claim to understand Jesus' teachings, yet fail to even come close as to walking the path he attempted to lay in your hands.
You must be really proud of yourself, in your defense of Jesus' teachings, yet not understand them to begin with.
I said Jesus' teachings were about Love and Compassion(Mercy). I don't see how that could be wrong, since I have the ability to see it leads to peace. If it leads to peace on Earth, then it cannot be wrong.
To answer the original question - a lobotomy.
I'm a Christian, so my faith is for Jesus (like the Muslims for Allah & Mohammed, and other religious faith, too). It goes to show that there is a Supreme Being that is guiding us everyday. Thanks, Steve.
I'll bet ya won't explain to me why yer a christian.
If ya try and I lose my bet, do ya think ya could "factually" define this "god thing" for me?
The bible doesn't do it. It just offers opinion. can you do better than that?
Qwark: How do you explain "Faith"...factually? Do Muslims and Buuhists explain "Faith" factually? Who explains "Faith" factually? The Bible is a book based on scriptures for those who believe the words of it...to follow. If you don't believe...you ain't following it to begin with...pretty much...? End of explanatiion.
Thanks for asking. That's an easy one.
There are 2 definitions of "faith."
1. Confident belief in the TRUTH, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. i.e. the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. (empirically proved)
2. Belief that does not rest on LOGICAL PROOF OR MATERIAL EVIDENCE. i.e. religious belief based soley on hope and conjecture.
I just made a hot pot of coffee. I'm gonna have a cup and get this gorgeous day goin'.
Have a good'n. :
Hope you enjoyed your mornin' brew...I know I sure thank God for my 2 cups that turned my brain back on...this morning have a guu'd un, my friend!
I didn't make that coffee for you! Why are ya thankin' me? :
...but I do make good coffee!
Now your havin' grand "God" illusions? What 'cha puttin in that coffee? Back away from the computer, dude...I think it is erradiating your brain nuerons...and your startin' to hallucinate!
Well golly gee! I think there's just about the same amount of
"possibility" of me being this "god thing" as there is of the "thing" you think of as being a "god thing." Right?
Now don't ask me to make ya a cuppa coffee!
I got "free will" and it tells me I ain't yer danged slave!
Is that "crystal" clear? :
Actually the sun doesn't rise and set at all, but rather the earth turns. This is a good example of how people can have faith in things they are certain are true, when in fact they are not.
Funny how you prove your point by falling victim to your own logic.
I'll have a go quark
man evolved, man is dominant because he works in groups
man evolved to work in groups then.
to control a group you need intelligence, and to know what all the group are doing, you would need something within all the group members, to be ever present, a spiritual guide, a group consciousness
or should we call it God?
better explained in 'a logical look at religion'
"AAAAANNNNGGGGGGHHHHHH - "X" - Wrong Answer" But...Thanks for playin'... I guess !?
Pls explain this for me: "...a spiritual guide."
Ya confused me with that one.
Once we get that "logically" straightened out, hey we can work on yer "opinion." OK?
If one was to assume a group consciuosness existed, it by its very being would guide us,
as we generally call our selves physical/ spiritual beings
the mental control of a group consciousness would guide the spirit
I dont actually have any inclination to follow or read any religious teachings or texts, but the few hubs and bits I have looked at, all appear to fit my theory.
unfortunatelly the main comments I have so far got, are as insightful as manlypoetryman's above.
Ya didn't answer my question.
You mentioned "spirit"again: "...consciousness would guide the spirit"
I don't know what you are referring to.
"Spirit," are you using it in a metaphysical sense?
Or are you using the term to express feelings i.e. our spirits were lifted?"
If you can't explain your use of it, why in the world would you use it to try to explain a concept?
hmm, are you just being padantic i wonder,
what controls your actions, when you want to eat, sleep, go for a walk?
it is not your physical body that decides, but your mental self
I have called this your spirit.
the theory is that humans have a group consciousness that 'controls' the group to evolve, as this is a new concept as far as I know, I have no option but to utilise the vocabulary that is already being used, that is God and religion.
God is our name for the 'group consciouness' religion is how it guides us.
No not at all! The "spirit" (whatever that is) doesn't tell me I'm hungry. My "physiology" does!
Ok end of chat.
I appreciate your attempts.
Have a great day.
nice talking to you,
just substitue Physiology, for spirit
and you'l have it sorted
I will explain it. First, I am a Christian because it is the only worldview that can account for the preconditions of human experience. The Laws of Logic, as an example, being universal, abstract, invariant entities only comport with the Christian worldview because it is only the Christian worldview that can account of immaterial universals and particulars such as logical laws. However, ultimately, I am a Christian because God chose me before the foundations of the universe to believe in Him, due to noting in myself, but rather, out of His free grace (Romans 8:29-30).
Next, God in His ontological nature is three persons yet one being. His being is immaterial in nature and does not take up space. However, despite His immaterial nature, He is still personal in "being" and tri-personal ontologically. This tri-personal being, YAHWEH, is referred to as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each of these persons are co-equal, co-eternal and co-powerful. I make an appeal to this based on the testimony of the Bible itself, which is demonstrably true due to its ability to account for the preconditions of human experience. Also, if you wish to proclaim that I am circular, then I will go ahead and agree that there is point-in-fact, a mild circularity involved in this. However, it is unavoidable because all questions that are ultimate in nature must be appealed to in this fashion because there is nothing outside of an ultimate that can be appealed to. It would be like me asking a rationalist to give me some reasons for his rationality. One last thing…if you attempt to make an appeal to experience on this issue, and foolishly proclaim that we have never seen God, or how can something be three and one at the same time or the like, then you will simple be begging the question on a non-ultimate issue. I state such a thing because you would by necessity need to have universal knowledge to disprove the above statement and also, because I am a nice guy and am simply willing to save you some time:-)
My goodness! That was a long response which didn't answer the most important aspect of my question I.e. What is this god thing you mention?
Your bible doesn't even answer it except in the form of "opinion."
If you can't offer anything but opinion in ref to your religious beliefs, why could you/would you think that what you offer is credible?
I've been where you are now. I've lived with the same beliefs.
I was fortunate to be able to enlighten myself with continuing education and save myself from wallowing in and sinking deeper into the assininity of cult activity and belief.
Thanks for trying. :
Just tell him that bu//@@it doesn't wash in these forums and comment on the Katrina thread for goodness sake - and give us all a break from answers to unremitting stupidity !
I have to admit that this is one of the more intelligent-sounding and deeply thought out rationalizations for believing bull#%&t I have ever seen, but at the end of the day it is still nothing but a rationalization for believing bull#%&t.
Oh, Jesus was real. I don't doubt that. It is the whole 'son of God' thing that gives me my doubts. I believe Jesus was a political figure. There are some great documentaries on it actually. To convince me that Jesus was a divine being, well that would take some doing:) Interesting topic though!
The same question could be asked about any particular mythical being or god, that if they suddenly appeared, would the world start believing?
Some will not believe "even though one rose from the dead".
That's right, Brenda...! Some will not believe until he comes in all his glory...and I surely don't mind saying so on his behalf...even though this Forum can sure be one-sided against anyone who would say so.
haha you said it. The believers' section is so one-sided it's almost contained to just one little corner, really. But at least our back's against the wall so nobody can take a swipe at us from that direction! Devils stay behind us, behind that wall! LOL
Jesus vs Galactus Wrestling's result will turn me into staunch christian.
Seriously i know who is going to be winner knowing some strong son of god died on cross.
I, am a Muslim ... I believe in Jesus ... he was a Prophet of God, the Promised Messiah, of humankind.
I believe in Jesus, the Christ, as firmly as I believe, in the Last Prophet of God, Muhammad, Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon them.
It only takes Correct Belief, to Believe so.
That would mean nothing until further investigation. Only deluded fearful people would jump to the conclusion that it is irrefutable proof that Jesus is God.
God and Jesus are imaginary. That is why your scenario will never happen.
Jesus is not going to come again in physcial or literal terms; one may wait for him till eternity, he won't come and he cannot come. He did not die on the cross; he escaped death on it and he migrated to India and died in Kashmir.
His Second Coming is symbolic and has already happened in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 1835-1908.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a false Messiah! A fake! He was a proven plagiarist. He swore that all his work came directly from God, but his own people noticed some of his work was that of a well know writer, therefore they knew he was a fake! He was NOT the promised Messiah!
I already believe in Jesus. I asked Jesus into my heart at the age of 7 years old and I know for a fact that he lives in my heart and that when I die I will go to heaven.
Interesting that at seven years old, most kids are playing with cars and dolls, need a nightlight at bedtime, are starting to schedule routines and are unable to fathom many simple and complex concepts.
Yet, you are trying to convince us that at seven, you were able to comprehend the Christian religion?
As I said. I did not accomplish a RELIGION I asked Jesus into my heart. and now I have a RELATIONSHIP with him. You still have not understoold that my mind and brain know the workings of my faith, but my heart has the relationship with Jesus, much like my relationship with my father. I don't love my father with my brain. I love him with my heart. 2 entirely separate things.
Yes, I know, it's called religious childhood indoctrination. At seven years old, it's obvious it was not your choice to make, but it was a choice made for you.
I did not experience childhood indoctrination. No one made the choice for me. I made it myself. It was my choice and it is a choice each and every one of us is given. No one can ever make this choice for you.
It's obvious you were indoctrinated. Seven year olds are not able to synthesize such complex concepts as religion.
Your parents made the choice for you when they indoctrinated you into the Christian belief system.
I am not going to argue the point. It is pointless with you. My parents did make this choice for me. No I have not been indoctrinated. You seem to think that my parents were some kind of monsters. what I have is real and it is of my own choosing. No one can make this choice for you. You have to do it yourself. It is not through indoctrination. People make this choice who do not evfen have a clue what it is all about until they are approached with it.
Yes, I know, a seven year old could not comprehend the choice to make.
Not at all, the fact that your parents indoctrinated you into their religion is very common amongst the vast majority of believers, in many other religions, too. Your parents are probably very nice, but were most likely indoctrinated themselves, and their parents, and so on...
While I sympathize with your position, few if any believers will ever admit they were indoctrinated or didn't make the choice themselves, until they eventually break the indoctrination and begin thinking for themselves.
And of course, to make such a choice at the age of seven would mean you actually spent the time researching the other religions and came to the conclusion to choose the one you did. Of course, we both know you never did such research.
I keep telling you it is not about brain knowledge. It is what is in my heart. You can keep on with your indoctrination all you want. This is something thaty is strictly between a person and God. I know that you don't believe and that is your choice. But I don't have a religion in my head. It is in my heart. Why don't you go to some of my hubs and read them with scriptures to back them up and maybe then you will know what I am talking about.
I'm afraid the only thing in your heart is blood being pumped to other areas of your body, the brain is where it all happens. Perhaps, a quick lesson in biology 101 would be required.
Scriptures doesn't back up anything, they are just myths and superstitions.
Why didn't you chose to become a Muslim or a Sikh, for example? Are you saying that at seven years old you researched all these religions and came to the conclusion they were false?
Obviously, you did not. You simply grew up listening to your parents, peers and other believers telling you that Jesus existed. That is indoctrination.
Maybe thats because you havent met the man they call Jesus!
How anyone can presumme to know of another persons experience is the height of arrogance.
Beezle for the all the facts and figures you like to quote,whose to say they are indeed 'true'?
It would be dishonest to me and to yourself if you brought forth such an argument as it is the same argument employed by believers who claim to have seen bigfoot, or the loch ness, or a leprechaun.
This is something you would have understood clearly if you knew something about science. When learning those facts and figures, one must conduct their own experiments, ones they can think up themselves as in based on a thesis, or ones that have already been conducted before. Hence, one can easily observe the experiment and see for ourselves the exact same results and come to exactly the same conclusions.
For example, I can understand the duality of light by conducting the two-slit experiment. I can see the results of how the light showed as a particle and as a wave.
Do you understand now?
Good for you Dian and never let anyone steal away your joy
Hi kiwi, The joy of the Lord is our strength.
There is a very cool hub on this by hanging out, "The athiest says 'Show yourself God'". It's a good read.
I have been a believer for near 58 years now. He is my Brother and I could never say otherwise. When he sets foot again on earth, I hope I'm still alive, so I can run up and greet him and give him a hug. We have so much to talk about.
Seems to me that so far Jesus is a no-show on this rapture thing. If that's the case, what else isn't all true?
Jesus never resurrected from the medically dead; so there is no question of his descent in literal terms; symbolically his descent has already taken place in the form of the Promised Messiah 1835-1908 and I am one here who accepts him as such.
Well Steve ,they had alot of trouble when he came the first time I seriously doubt a 2nd return would be much better.
However maybe I'm being cynical, I would love to be proven wrong
I already believe in HIM. Hi Steve, good to see you back in the forum,
Hey...PDH...good to see ya' too! Had a little bit of time on my hands...and thought I'd drop in here...for a spell. Sure hope you are well, my friend...?
Unfortunately, the jaded skeptic in me would need plenty of absolute proof. Especially after seeing Criss Angel, the mind freak. Impersonating the son of God is a pretty lucrative scheme.
And of course I'd want to see his birth certificate--it better say Bethlehem.
I strongly suspect that you believe into different HIM than PDH,Greek One, confess!
Who are you talking to Home Girl? If you're talking to me, then I would have to agree- considering both Greek One and PDH hold a belief in a god.
I believe in the same one that Pretty believes in... only the Greek version
Firstly, belief in the concept of God, a higher power or creator is logical. Life cannot have just arrived into existence. However Jesus is quite another matter. There is no archialogical or historic evidence that Jesus existed at all, not one stitch of evidence. The Bible itself was written over a long period of time by story tellers not historians. The gosples were written more than 150 years after Jesus supposed death by Greeks not the deciples. Religion back then was about power and convincing poeple to join their brethren. The bible in that context is propaganda with some good philosophies and messages about moral issues. If Jesus did exist he would have been a minor player in a time where there were many redicals, dissatisfied with Roman rule and wanting to attain power over the masses. The proof of all this has been studied for over 2000 years and yet religions based on false premises still abound. Its like the saying goes. For believers no proof is neccessary, for non-believers no proof is possible. Peace.
I hear and read this all the time from believers who are never able to explain this so-called logic.
I was gonna corner him with the same question.
Lets see if he responds... I doubt it.
Hey...this is MPM/Me, Steve Walters...What is the QUESTION...? 'Cause like usual...you two managed a way to make something that ain't all that complicated...COMPLICATED!
Pls answer this: How can one equate a belief in this "god thing as being "logical?"
On the "reality" continuum, this "god thing" exists at one end and "logic" on the other end!
Be specific now with your response! We don't want just another fancy tapdance around the barn trite religious response.
Go for it m'man!
First of all, my friend...and I hope I can call you that? Don't tell me the parameters by which I must answer a question..for starters!
Secondly...you talk of "logic" and "prove existence" in a "reality continuum"...when that isn't happening for no one. I'll try to wave my magic wand, and see if God will appear for you...Here goes...Did he show up? Let me know?
Thirdly, the word "religion" makes my skin crawl...so if we are going to set parameters...please don't associate that word with anything-anywhere of what I may say...or think. For future reference...if you care...you can replace "religion" with the word "relationship"...and then we can have a better frame of reference.
Fourth: Don't be turning something like "beliefs" into logic in the first place. have you not ever felt anything from your heart. If not...i sure do feel sorry for you? Go watch a sunrise...or kiss a significant other...or wanna-be significant other...and get back to me with how that felt!
All I did was ask a simple question and ya got all emotional on me! I must hit a sore spot.?
Dadgummit! I don't think, nope, I know I didn't ask for proofs of anything? Where'd ya come up with that'n?
Use the word "relationship" for the word "religion?"
How in the world do they "sync?" Ya gotta explain that'n to me.
Oh, and what is this thing you mentioned? this "god thing" that you waved a wand at and asked me if "it" appeared? What the heck is this "god thing" anyway!
"Logic" has everything to do with enjoying all of Mother Natures wonders. I was created a conscious (aware) creature with 5 senses. When my "Mom" stimultes all of them, I respond, logically to all of them...some autonomically! I just can't help myself! It's just this evolved organism doing what comes naturally and logically. It's wonderful! Part and parcel of the great pleasure of being alive and me.
Are we chatting now? :
dad bern it, QWARK! What we have here...is a failure to communicate...
Sure...you hit a sore spot...what part of my answer...didn't tell ya' that!? How do I explain the difference between "religion" and 'relationship"...Oh brother...
I can't get past it with out an encyclopedia volume of my own personal experiences, things I learned personally, things I learned while sitting in a church pew, Thanks I learned by a deserted beach or overlooking a quiet valley somewhere, things I learned while in devotion, or on my knees praying...I can't explain something so big properly...and that's a big topic...and I'm busy! Let's just go with "relationship" instead of 'religion"...it would make me so very happy...P-LLLEEEAAASSSEEEE?
Geez...I go to so much trouble to write in a visual example about how God doesn't deal in the "logic' need that we have to have an answer for our way of thinking...and it sails right over ya'...really...ya' didn't get it? And it was so humorous, too! God ain't holding a classroom discussion on reality thinking and proof...as far as I have heard. (That would be my second attempt at same said visual example.) But...just let that one sail on by, too...!
What does Qwark mean...by the way?
: WEll dangbern it Manly, why don'tcha have that same encyclopedia in your mind that caused you to make me question you? Ya'd think that if ya had it all "up there" ya'd be able to explain what'cha mean when ya write sumthin. Make sense?
I question everything. Been doin' it all my life. Input makes me a happy "hubber." :
OK, ok..."relationship." I wanna make you a happy "hubber." : I must ask you this tho: "Relationship with what?" What are ya praying to?
If you say "god," you know what my next question'll be eh? what the heck is this "god thing" ya mentioned. Just a figment of your fertile imagination? if not, what? Pls manly no dime-a-dozen-opinions...ok?
Qwark is a "euphemism" for the word "quark." I don't have to define quark for ya do I? Good!
Yer hangin' in there m'friend...:-)
I'm hoping you can enlighten me. No luck yet.
Man...Qwark...I know everything I throw at you about my relationship with Jesus Christ, who I consider Lord of my life...you are just going to debunk...so let's not even go down that long trail...Okie-Dokie? Besides I think you been way too enlightened already...since you referred to yourself as God over morning coffee earlier!(You may need to talk to someone about that...how long have you been declaring yourself God over morning beverages? Do you have the same feelings over orange juice...or does this feeling only manifest itself over brewed coffee? I'm here for you, man...if you want to talk about!)
But...you have enlightened me greatly on the definition of Quark...as I figured that had some kind of something to do with that 'ol kooky science you love...! You are so predictable...I must say There is also another definition which I found on Wiki-Tiki-Tavi-Pedia...and I really like this definition.
Have you considered that "logically"...folks could get your named confused with fresh cheese from Germany. I thought I would go to great links to explain this to you...just in case it wasn't "crystal" clear.
Quark: is a type of fresh cheese, also known as tvorog, topfen, biezpiens, etc. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of denaturation of milk proteins and then strained. Dictionaries usually translate it as curd cheese or cottage cheese, although most commercial varieties of cottage cheese are made with rennet, whereas traditional quark is not. It is soft, white and un-aged, similar to some types of fromage frais. It is distinct from ricotta because ricotta (Italian: recooked) is made from scalded whey. Quark usually has much lower fat content (about the same as yoghurt) than cream cheeses and has no salt added.
In Germany, quark is sold in small plastic tubs and usually comes in two different varieties, "Magerquark" (lean quark) and "Sahnequark" (cream quark) with added cream. While the former is often used for baking and as health food, e.g. as a breakfast spread, the latter also forms the basis of a large number of quark desserts. Much like yoghurts in most parts of the world, these treats mostly come with fruit flavouring ("Früchtequark", i.e. fruit quark), and are often also simply referred to as quark. As the large popularity of quark desserts is limited to mainly the German-speaking countries, confusion might arise when talking about quark with people unfamiliar with the German or Austrian cuisine.
I do believe in Jesus. It's His followers I have problems with.
If Jesus decended from the sky and put his foot on the mount of Olives, :- that would be a good trick in just getting into Israeli airspace, let alone landing without permission.
If he could manage that I would gladly shake his hand or any other part of his body that was left after the Israeli military had sorted him out. in other words no!
How do I know Jesus believes in me? I only have second hand sources.
You are being too "pedantic". You always want to understand the insignificant details of everything.
Can you please wake out of your delusional spell for once and get a grip on reality?
A "real" person (and I'm not sure if that includes you), will ALWAYS believe what others tell him without questioning anything. He said "spirit". We all know what spirit means. There is nothing to question. Definitions and explanations are for the mentally disturbed.
Lol...but I'm having so much fun!
I'm mentally disturbed and I need another shot of "spirits."
give me 2 shots of good cognac on-the-rocks!
I'm heading for the gym...tty'all later...:
Lol...I just re-read this: "A "real" person (and I'm not sure if that includes you), will ALWAYS believe what others tell him without questioning anything." :
For sure! I'm not a "real" person
(If Jesus were to descend from the Sky...and put his foot down on...Let's just say: The Mt. of Olives...Would ya' start believin' in him?)
I'm pretty sure I saw David Copperfield do this illusion using a Mexican elephant named Jesus.
I believe that you do not need proof in order to believe in Christ because if you think about it with proof there would not be faith because "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1. So in my opinion it is faith that leads a person to believe not a person in a body to prove it, through the Bible there are many acts of faith that show God exists and also with the gifts of the spirit. I have witnessed miraculous healings and have heard testimonies that would be considered biblical, before even witnessing those things I had faith, I dont need proof. Proof is found in your heart, answers are given in prayer and feeling the Holy Spirit come upon you.
If he put his foot on the ground I would bow down and thank him because it would be at his 2nd coming and we would be living in the New Jeerusalem.
Jokarenk, I love your response. Acts of faith reveals that God exist.
I would bow at the feet of the King of Kings as well..
"What would it take for you to believe in Jesus?"
This is like asking "what would it take for you to believe that 1+1=3?"
Since it is a logical impossibility for 1+1 to equal 3, the question makes no sense.
I don't understand the nature of this question if it is posed to adults. Are you asking what proof would be required for me to accept that your man-God concept is factual? I suppose the same kind of proof that would prove Santa Claus real or that aliens landed in New Mexico, although I would be skeptical about any evidence of any of the above, including evidence in support of a man-God Jesus.
But the bottom line is that whatever I believe is irrelevant to reality. Regardless of what I think, Jesus either is or is not. Our votes of confidence will not resurrect his body if he is not, nor will our disbelief slay him if he is.
Proofs, truths, and beliefs all are subjective - reliant upon an observer. We cannot rationally explain how an object Jesus could have the attributes of divinity, so all we are left with is belief.
The question is moot.
Those who die naturally like Jesus died naturally and peacefully in India at the age of 120/15 years and is buried there; such people never come again in this world.
Jesus is not going to come again in physcial or literal terms; one may wait for him till eternity, he won't come and he cannot come. He did not die on the cross; he escaped death on it and he migrated to India and died in Kashmir.
His Second Coming is symbolic and has already happened in the form of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad 1835-1908.
MIzra Ghulam ahmad was a fake! His own people knew it! That's why the sect your in is dubbed as cult-like!
He swore his writings were directly from God, all his work! Yet people started noticing some of his work was copied from a well-known writer! He was a fake! He was not the Messiah Paar!
Every design has a designer.
The universe has a complex design.
Therefore, the universe had a designer.
Big Bang Theory proves the earth was created at a definite moment. Albert Einstein was an atheist, but after all of his research he came to a realization that there has to be a God. That God created the universe. He never had a personal relationship with God though.
How do I know God is real? from personal experience. I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer Cardiac Angiosarcoma Cancer. The tumor was in my heart. The doctors at Columbia told my family that no treatment would work and that I was going to die in a few months. They started handing me pamphlets on the end of life. Months later the tumor is gone and I am in remission! They have no explanation and are completely shocked! They are calling it a miracle. God gave me this horrible experience so that I can be a testament of his power. If I could show you my records and if you could have seen me on my death bed...man oh man! (SN: I'm only 26)
Do I believe that the bible is the word of God? Yes. I believe it was inspired by God. It has even mentioned groups of people that historians never heard of but through research have found.
This is a perfect example of why the concept of fallacies needs to be understood before making such claims.
Every bird has wings.
Wings allow flight to occur.
Therefore, all birds fly.
Further to understanding fallacies is the concept of doing research so as to not having to fabricate stories in order to support the fallacies.
While it is certain that people will undergo a variety of health issues that seemingly appear they will not abate, can indeed go into remission for any number of reasons.
And, while those ailments do in fact go into remission for any number of reasons, one is no to suspect an invisible magical being had anything to do with it, especially when many other physical answers are far more likely.
Fabrications of stories with no substance not only tends to destroy credibility, but also tends to confirm the motives behind the believer and their beliefs.
He was predicted to come in 800BC......what else do you need to know????
It would take more than anyone in this thread can muster - now if you all went over tho the Katrina thread and supported Junko - I might just consider, a little, looking at you in a better light
Is jesus important or essence of what he said is important?...jesus is long gone but essence remains...who is not important than what...
Not at all, the fact that your parents indoctrinated you into their religion is very common amongst the vast majority of believers, in many other religions, too. Your parents are probably very nice, but were most likely indoctrinated themselves, and their parents, and so on...
= = = = = = = = =
You are Kinda correct.
Everyone on the face of this planet have been indoctrinated (By somebody) to believe everything in which they believe.
I'm not sure I understand the argument for not believing in Jesus. Here's a guy that advocated searching within yourself to find a better person, not judging anyone, loving all mankind. Peace on earth. Goodwill toward man. Wow. Who couldn't believe in that?
He advocated the fact that He was the perfect Son of God, come to earth in human form as a savior and messiah, called the Son of man in the book of Daniel, to save all of those who love God because those who love God would love and follow Him and would be saved.
28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
And Jesus DID NOT say search within yourself. He said:
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
He said to search for God and His kingdom.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Oh my gosh. We disagree on interpretation, essence and meaning of the message of Jesus. How did I I miss the memo? Lord have mercy, I feel like a mushroom sometimes.
If His reason wasn't to come to save then why the "...give his life a ransom for many." ?
I really don't understand how this could be misinterpreted.
He died to save us from our sins.
He said He was going to give His life a ransom(defined: deliverance: the act of saving somebody from an oppressed condition or dangerous situation through self-sacrifice) for many.
The question I have is, why does this bother you? I think you're wrong, you think you're right. We came to that conclusion ages ago. I have no fear for my soul vector. I feel quite exhilarated with my life. I respect Jesus no less than I did a month, a day or a year ago.
I don't think you understand that when you remove what your detractors call the hocus pocus, the message becomes even more profound. Here's a man willing to die to leave a message of hope and love for the world. I respect his sacrifice as much, if not more than I ever did.
But everything he did, everything he said that means anything to me has slowly slipped through the hands of religion until your structure has been left with an empty shell. I wish you well and I hope your take on the whole thing brings you peace. We're all unique and our needs are different, so I see no reason to believe that is outside of the bounds of possible.
But I will never agree with your interpretation of the meaning of Jesus's message. You can post the whole bible front to back. It would never change a thing.
All humans are of equal value in this universe. Religion has no dibs on anything past this mortal life. To believe you are somehow better, simply because you've manhandled a book into saying what you want it to doesn't make it so.
20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,
21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
Actually, with the exception of the letters written by Peter, John, Jude, and James, none of the authors of the new testament actually met Jesus, while he was actually ministering.
You do understand Paar, that I am simply pointing out parts of the bible that is in contrast to what gets posted, to show both sides of the debate.
I do believe Matthew (called Levi by Mark and Luke, because he was from the tribe of Levi) was one of the twelve apostles wasn't he..
I'm no scholar, but I've done plenty of research and never heard different.
I do believe we have talk before about my education in religion, so I am not going to argue the point. It is a lost cause. If you are so inclined, here are two free courses offered by Yale University. One is the Old and the Other is on the New Testament.
Yes DS... A short informative read if you will by Matthew Henry..
Luke 17:20-24 (Context)
20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
Matthew Henry's Commentary:
We have here a discourse of Christ's concerning the kingdom of God, that is, the kingdom of the Messiah, which was now shortly to be set up, and of which there was great expectation.
I. Here is the demand of the Pharisees concerning it, which occasioned this discourse. They asked when the kingdom of God should come, forming a notion of it as a temporal kingdom, which should advance the Jewish nation above the nations of the earth. They were impatient to hear some tidings of its approach; they understood, perhaps, that Christ had taught his disciples to pray for the coming of it, and they had long preached that it was at hand. "Now," say the Pharisees, "when will that glorious view open? When shall we see this long-looked-for kingdom?"
II. Christ's reply to this demand, directed to the Pharisees first, and afterwards to his own disciples, who knew better how to understand it (v. 22); what he said to both, he saith to us.
1. That the kingdom of the Messiah was to be a spiritual kingdom, and not temporal and external. They asked when it would come. "You know not what you ask," saith Christ; "it may come, and you not be aware of it." For it has not an external show, as other kingdoms have, the advancements and revolutions of which are taken notice of by the nations of the earth, and fill the newspapers; so they expected this kingdom of God would do. "No," saith Christ, (1.) "It will have a silent entrance, without pomp, without noise; it cometh not with observation," meta paratereseos--with outward show. They desired to have their curiosity satisfied concerning the time of it, to which Christ does not give them any answer, but will have their mistakes rectified concerning the nature of it: "It is not for you to know the times of this kingdom, these are secret things, which belong not to you; but the great intentions of this kingdom, these are things revealed." When Messiah the Prince comes to set up his kingdom, they shall not say, Lo here, or Lo there, as when a prince goes in progress to visit his territories it is in every body's mouth, he is here, or he is there; for where the king is there is the court. Christ will not come with all this talk; it will not be set up in this or that particular place; nor will the court of that kingdom be here or there; nor will it be here or there as it respects the country men are of, or the place they dwell in, as if that would place them nearer to, or further from, that kingdom. Those who confine Christianity and the church to this place or that party, cry, Lo here, or Lo there, than which nothing is more contrary to the designs of catholic Christianity; so do they who make prosperity and external pomp a mark of the true church. (2.) "It has a spiritual influence: The kingdom of God is within you." It is not of this world, John xviii. 36. Its glory does not strike men's fancies, but affects their spirits, and its power is over their souls and consciences; from them it receives homage, and not from their bodies only. The kingdom of God will not change men's outward condition, but their hearts and lives. Then it comes when it makes those humble, and serious, and heavenly, that were proud, and vain, and carnal,--when it weans those from the world that were wedded to the world; and therefore look for the kingdom of God in the revolutions of the heart, not of the civil government. The kingdom of God is among you; so some read it. "You enquire when it will come, and are not aware that it is already begun to be set up in the midst of you. The gospel is preached, it is confirmed by miracles, it is embraced by multitudes, so that it is in your nation, though not in your hearts." Note, It is the folly of many curious enquirers concerning the times to come that they look for that before them which is already among them.
I have Matthew Henry's Commentary. But, I believe we were talking about what is printed in the bible. I know what is taught, I know what the commentators say...But, does everyone who reads the bible know this information? They only read the bible...so thier interpretation is only going to be based on what is written in the bible.
Do you know how many times I have been told, "I don't care what degree you have, I don't need to be taught, because God allows me to understand the bible"
It has been my experience, that the person only quotes the points from the bible that tends to back up thier argument. It has also been my experience, that the person reads the bible with a pre-conceived notion of what the meaning of the text is already.
Try this, if you would like, take everything you have ever been taught or told about the bible, the christian doctrine, and then read the New Testament with a complete blank slate, as it is written only. And see if you learn the exact same thing you have always known, or see if you learn a new connection with your faith built only on what you know to be the truth and not a combination of what you have been told and learned from a biased point of view. (general comment only not directed at anyone)
The trinity is a lie. It was decided by Constantine. The halo you see in pictures of Jesus is due to him having been merged with Sol. Just like Sol was merged with Apollo in Rome. The Romans were famous for merging gods by threes as well. In Rome there were many trinities.
Why you guys don't learn your history is beyond me. Why don't you go back to the Catholic church and ask forgiveness if you are just going to take their ideas as fact anyway? lol....
Proof. First of all I'd want proof that he exists, and that he is indeed the son of God. Then I'd want proof God exists. Then I'd want proof that he was the same Jesus referred to in the Bible, and that the events mentioned in the Bible actually happened.
"If there is no God, there would be no atheist"
Just fooling around here...
If people decide not to believe in something, you would always fail to convince them on that something, no matter how much proof you show them. Yeah, even if Jesus comes down with a dozen angel in a flaming chariot...
But I really don't think it is good for Christians to tell atheist (and insist to them) what they should and should not believe.
You say that as though you showed loads of proof and us willful atheists choose to ignore it. This is why your religion causes so many wars.
Go on - show me some proof. I dare ya.
If there was no religion, there would be no need to coin or define the term "atheist", yes.
But - this assumption and inference that you have provided proof and I choose to pretend that you didn't is part of why your religion causes so many conflicts.
Why imply that there is some proof of Jesus/God and that atheists are ignoring it?
Oh, that...First of all my statement is a reply to the one who started this thread, which I think is not an atheist. Second, I think I might be wrong in stating such statement, how wrong of me to ignore that there are some atheist here...so sorry.
About the proof, I really don't want to start an argument (I am not an apologist), but I'll just give an "opinion" about some proof that may suggest that there is a supreme being...
"Perfection, the world is perfectly made (of course deduct the humans )," I can't believe that everything was randomly put into place...it's too perfect"
Just my opinion, don't want to argue
If you argue, I will raise a white flag again
Ah - semantics. I thought you understood what I was saying. Apparently not. Don't understand what "proof" means either. Oh well.
Out of interest (this is an attempt to understand your POV rather than argue with you), why do you believe the world is perfectly made when Japan is currently trying to recover from a horrific natural disaster? Humans didn't cause that earthquake or the tsunami that followed it.
The thing that make people believe in Jesus aren't tangible. It has to come from the heart.
I mean, even if Jesus were to be in The Oprah Show, and gives out free Ipads loaded with the entire bible in it, hardline atheists are still going to say that he's a fake, he's an actor with exceptional long beard and bad dress sense blah blah blah.
You just finished arguing that it is a matter of blind faith.
You do not have any proof do you? Therefore it is reasonable not to believe in majik.
Show me the majik.
Jesus said an evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign (your "majik"....). He also said they would not get one.
Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah." Then Jesus left them and went away.
So a sign is to be given...
No "majick" or further miracles.. The point of the post you replied to. Jesus meant they already have signs given. Not to be given... Already have been given.
Thanks for posting the verse and validating.
Someone living in a whale for 3 days, or being raised from the dead after being in a whale for 3 days seems to be a miracle of sorts. And it would be considered a sign...So there was a sign given and it was a miracle type of sign as well. Unless you consider the fact that Jesus was resurrected after 3 days to be a non miracle.
You stated that Jesus said they wouldn't get a sign...
"Jesus said an evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign (your "majik"....). He also said they would not get one.
But yet, he did say they would get a sign and they did receive one...So yes, I did validate the statement "made" by Jesus; using, of course, the same portion of the bible that you used....Except I didn't cut part of the verse off to support my argument
I did not directly quote the Bible. I paraphrased and gave the reference underneath. I also corrected my posted prior to you posting your reply, notice the difference from your quote.
He was telling them they don't get anything but what they already discredit and don't believe. If they can't believe that then they are out of luck..
Would you like to ask Mark if he believes Jonah and the whale is true?
Because Jesus was telling Mark and everyone else that they will get nothing else.
THAT was my point.
And I didn't cut anything out of the Bible. Please refer to all the posts in the forums where I directly quoted the Bible and notice the difference.
"He also said they would not get one." Being in there should have indicated to you that it was not a direct quotation as those are my words.
My quotations also have the numbers of the verses next to each verse.
Then I will apologize, I did not see the corrected verses.
I would say, If you do quote the bible, I would use full verses and sometimes those before and after. Mark, Beez and the other "atheists" might not be believers, but they know and understand the bible. Their views might not be the same as yours, but that doesn't mean they are incorrect, just that they interpret the written word different than you do.
Just a thought...No offense meant in anyway.
I wasn't offended, I do tend to emphasize things more when misunderstood though.
I usually do use full verses, and the context if it applies to the subject.
I seen no need to here as Mark doesn't care whether I'm right or not. I simply referenced to keep people from calling me a liar, as they often attempt with very, very earnest efforts to catch me doing because I am a Christian.
And there is a difference in the interpretation of the Bible between a man who loves God with all his heart, soul, and mind and one who doesn't even believe God exists. I seek God's will. They seek their own and that of man.
Not only, but the Holy Spirit is a guide to every saved person who has accepted Christ. It is amazing to me sometimes the understanding I can have of things that baffled me before I was truly saved. I used to claim Jesus, and I loved the idea.. But I wasn't actually saved. I was just filling the shoes.
Then again, you have to live it to believe it. No man can be convinced through logic. (I know, I'm guilty of trying) A man has to search for God himself to be found by God.
Don't you actually mean that the belief comes from the brain and not the heart? Doesn't the heart just pump blood?
But, if such a guy did appear on Oprah and did hand out iPads with the bible on it, and did claim to be Jesus, you would swallow it up hook, line and sinker?
Jesus said not to believe anyone if they claimed to be Him. He said you would certainly know..
He's not coming back all nice and humble. That part of the deal is over.
The next time He comes it will be to execute judgment...
Well then, as you say, we will "certainly know" it's Jesus coming to "execute judgment" on us all when that day arrives, and he will NOT be "nice and humble" which is what we've grown to expect from Christian beliefs.
But the question still remains, will he do the Oprah show?
You've come accustom to many incorrect assumptions. Reading Matthew 24 should clear some of those up.
I do believe the answer to your reposted question also rests within the reading I suggested.
Yes, and here are my favorite verses from that, love the part of the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Hilarious.
"48. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49. And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50. The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
That is what amazes me, and, I admit, really irks me about you, Dad. You do know your stuff. I don't understand how you missed it.
Yes. I do believe the warnings are to be sure there are no excuses when the day comes.
Geeez. You guys don't think much of your god's abilities. If there were a god don't you think he could make any of us see anything? Make us just know it is he, like we know our own mother and father? lol.. You have such little faith. I'm an atheist and even I know that if I met Jesus I"d know it.
He must be a very poor excuse for a god if he can't make us understand and needs you guys to spread the word. Or more likely, he doesn't exist except in your minds.
I think your post expresses just how ridiculous the pride of man makes him look.
Blaming your inability to understand on God.
It's not the lack of comprehension that renders people unable to see and understand. It's their cockiness and arrogance.
So stop being cocky and arrogant. I have no inability to know god. You are the ones telling us we can't comprehend him. Oh but you can!. lol.... You are the ones limiting the power of your all mighty god, not me.
You are making excuses for the fact that your god never shows up in reality, only in your minds. And then tell us we just don't understand and can't and won't because we are atheists and incapable of understanding.
And if the Emperor came out naked and they told you you were too stupid to see his clothes, I"m sure you would see them, because you don't want to be stupid. lol...
But of course you would just gullible instead.
On the other hand I know that if there were a real god and he wanted me and the rest of the world to know him, he wouldn't need you to tell me! I'd just know.
So until god pops his head out of the clouds and says high, you can not know he exists and telling us he does is a lie. You are lying to your self and to us.
You might believe it to be true. You make enough excuses for his absence. But you don't know it is a fact. You just have faith that it is a fact and that's not the same thing. So stop being arrogant and cocky and stop lying.
"You are the ones telling us we can't comprehend him."
"He must be a very poor excuse for a god if he can't make us understand..."
You're contradicting yourself. I don't argue with confusion.
I didn't state anything about your personal ability or state of mind. I said that YOU said He couldn't make you understand, as you included yourself with the word "us".
Please stop blatantly, outright accusing me. It's quite disrespectful and has no base.
I do it for shear enjoyment. Beel is a non-believer. Me? I'm a believer, but not in the christian churches. I think you're all dopey.
There are those who will see, when they see. There are those who can't see, simply because they are willful, stubborn. Wearing blinders. Some can read the bible, and it makes sense, some just can't. Not for us to question. They are in God's hands, w/o a doubt. No use arguing w/ them. Reason with them. They even deny that Jesus lived.
You must be reading some one else's posts or just not getting it. I said you guys do not give your god enough credit. You are the ones saying if he showed up we would not accept him.
Then you said I was cocky and arrogant because I was blaming god for my inability to understand. So you implied I have an inability to understand. Where as I was saying I would surely understand if there were actually an all might god.
It is not me who is blaming your god for my inability, it is Christianity limiting it's god's powers.
And please don't take this all personally. We are having a philosophical discussion.
"You are the ones saying if he showed up we would not accept him."
Here we go again with false information. Please quote and state what thread it is from that I said any such thing.
I told Beelzebub right up there the exact opposite.
"and stop lying."
Is a direct accusation and states I'm doing something I most certainly am not.
Telling everyone I am a liar is not philosophical nor is it discussing anything. It is a remark by you applying a negative characteristic to my name on these forums.
I am not taking it personally. I just want the truth told.
Really? It looked more like an astute observation bearing logical consistency with a "head popping god" prediction. I liked it.
The forums wouldn't be complete without the famous devoted apostate...
Thank you. It's amazing how they twist themselves to get around the issues. They attack everything to avoid answering what's relevant.
Well if you aren't taking it personally why keep mentioning it? Look. This is how it all started:
"I think your post expresses just how ridiculous the pride of man makes him look. Blaming your inability to understand on God. It's not the lack of comprehension that renders people unable to see and understand. It's their cockiness and arrogance."
Your words, no? And I said: "You are the ones telling us we can't comprehend him" Do you see how those two ideas follow? I said it should be no problem to recognize an almighty god and that you guys don't give it enough credit. You seem to lack faith it could convince anyone that he is god.
You implied my statement was cocky and arrogant, and that's why I can't comprehend him. Or as your Druid friend says: '' There are those who can't see, simply because they are willful, stubborn. Wearing blinders."
So what have I said that has you confused? Christians tell us all the time that we simply can't know god because we refuse to. I"m telling you that if your god wanted anyone to know it existed, it would be able to convince anyone no matter what their prejudices. It wouldn't need Christians to spread its word.
The reason you have to do it is because it probably doesn't exist.
The other thing I said was that if you claim god does exist as a fact, you are not telling the truth because you CAN"T know that.
Now how many times have you told people that god is real?
So yes I am having a philosophical and moral discussion with you. Do you think it is moral to lie? Of course you don't. Yet if you claim to know with certainty that a god exists you are lying. Same as if I said I knew with certainty that it doesn't.
I'm not insulting you. I'm pointing out something you may never have thought of.
So what do you think? Is it really logical that god would need to use people to tell other people it exists? To me it ain't logical. Not your god. Not an omnipotent all mighty god. He wouldn't need any of you to spread his word. The idea is lunacy.
Think about it.
Oh yes. And there is no contradiction in those two ideas. If there is point it out to me please.
What it boils down to vector, is this. He is in front of you, and he is behind you, he is beside you, and he is inside you. He will win. He has time on his side, and eventually, everyone will kneel and accept their knighthood, and kneel, they will. If it takes a thousand years of hell, they will all eventually kneel.
I believe they will kneel. But I don't believe in that getting out of Hell stuff.
Christ said everlasting enough times to convince me. And I've studied the meanings in greek.. Yes.. It means everlasting just like it says.
When Christ Jesus says something, I take it seriously. Especially when it's a very emphasized subject of His teachings. And I don't change definitions of words that He repeated.
I've also been over this issue in other threads. I'm just telling you where I stand and the reason for it. I'm gone after this post..
Have a good one Druid..
So it is moral and logical and mercy full and loving to torment people in hell forever because they don't believe your god exists? Are you serious? Don't you see how crazy and twisted and insane that sounds? Sounds like you worship an egomaniac tyrant who wants every one to love him.
Are you sure you aren't worshiping satan? Sounds like it to me. lol... He's a crafty one, eh? I think all of Christianity worships satan and doesn't know it. Boy, wouldn't that be the kicker? lol......
Madness. To suggest that God will torment people in hell for eternity is utter madness.
Think about those people in the Twin towers during 9/11. Picture them falling as the buildings collapsed. Watch God calling out to them "I love you, I love you, I love you.......(point of death)........you deserve hell I hate you, you deserve hell I hate you, you deserve hell I hate you"
The whole concept of hell is straight out of Egyptian/Greek/Roman mythology and grafted into the Catholic Church to make Christianity more palatable to the pagans. The OT and Judaism know no such concept.
Think on these things Vector.
I dont think you have any evidence for any of what you are claiming.
I could easily claim that you believe in the wrong god and the real one is behind you and in front of you and all around you and by worshipping the wrong god you are making him angry.
You will kneel in front of the REAL god. One day.
See how silly what I am saying is? Now think about what you just said.
Your whole post is irrelevant. Druid never claimed to have any evidence.
He was making conversation with me.
Most of the Letters were written by Paul or his followers (Timothy, Jude, Luke --supposedly). ** Luke is the mystery man, as he was not an apostle and not a Pauline disciple either. Some say it was Paul himself, but based on Paul`s own writing, it seems unlikely, given the time frames. Paul would have been just a teen when the events at Jeru Salem occurred.
So the actual "New Testament" would only be:
Letter of/to the Hebrews, Letters of Peter, James, John --including Johns Revelation).
by MP505 years ago
God is the Begining and the End, creator of all things, meaning everything! No disrespect meant here, how can some of us question this?Why is it so difficult for some people to see this truth? If you are a non believer...
by pisean2823115 years ago
Whom to you think has had bigger impact on christianity....critics of christianity say jesus has been used as concept by early christians but paul provided the necessary thrust and structure...your comments?
by Melissa Barrett3 years ago
There's a lot of going back and forth about how Christians are this that or another. Yet no one ever pins down exactly what specific belief it is that makes Christians delusional, or hateful or whatever. The fact is...
by mischeviousme6 years ago
I am not saying this litterally, I just think that the ideas are very much the same. Buddha saved us from desire and Jesus saved us from our sins. The idea is that the early Hindu and Buddhist teaching, spread...
by Chasuk5 years ago
In the future, you take a "time safari" to Jesus' time, you witness his crucifixion, and you are an eyewitness of his decaying, non-resurrected corpse.Would you remain a Christian?
by Liam Hallam6 years ago
Why do you feel that many people have deserted a particular religion or simply chosen not to followHave the major religions not moved with the times? As an agostic i'd like to see what others feel and see?
Copyright © 2018 HubPages Inc. and respective owners.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
HubPages® is a registered Service Mark of HubPages, Inc.
HubPages and Hubbers (authors) may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others.