The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

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The official RRS defeats Way of the Master thread

 

This is it. This is the official thread that Kelly and Sapient will try to interact with as many visitors as they can. If you are new here, welcome aboard. If viewing this from the homepage you can click the title of the thread, create an account, and post your comments. Kelly and Sapient will not have time to address all the email and would like to keep all of their exchanges public for the benefit of the readers who are curious. Soon we will have a downloadable document available right from this post that will expose as many arguments as we can expose from the ABC Nightline Face Off with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. Here are the highlights of the face off from our eyes...

 

Did we make mistakes in the full debate? Yes. We stumbled on a few words, made an inaccurate point or two, and made a weak point at a moment or two. Ironically our worst points still seemed to be too much for them. So while we welcome criticism, especially constructive, please keep in mind that we feel we have a good handle on what we did wrong. We'll grow, learn, and get better. What we're really hoping for in this thread is for the actual content and discussion about gods existence to be brought into question. Challenge us to continue, and we will continue to respond to your claims. If you are a theist, please feel free to post your scientific evidence for God, leaving out the miserable arguments that Ray Comfort has already been beaten on of course. If you are having trouble finding the video on ABCs website, you can find most/all of the videos here. DIGG it.

A thread on our message board that has links to the entire unedited debate.

Other threads of interest:

Nightline Editing Bias - The Supporting Data

Gregfl starts a thread about Bashirs big blunder and the Nightline portrayal.

Some of the Christian mail coming in [YOU RESPOND] about the debate.

Pertaining to Jesus Mythicism A thorough examination of the evidence for Jesus by Rook Hawkins

A Silence That Screams - (No contemporary historical accounts for "jesus) by Todangst

Video from Rook outlining the basics of Jesus Mythicism

 

UPDATE Sapient spoke with ABC and voiced concerns leveled by many atheists in the community that the editing job for the Nightline piece gave Ray and Kirk a free pass. The most commonly voiced criticism of ABC was that it managed to show the debate as somewhat even and that there was no clear victor. This discussion was accepted only under the understanding that Ray and Kirk would prove God exists without invoking faith or the Bible. Anyone that understood the format saw that Ray and Kirk failed at their premise as soon as the proof of God became the Ten Commandments. ABC was made aware that commentary like "It was difficult to know if either side could claim victory" gave the impression that they were pandering to their largely Christian audience. While Sapient understood that this may be a wise business move, it was noted that it wasn't an accurate representation of the discussion. The Rational Response Squad brought it's "B" game and still destroyed every claim Kirk and Ray threw at them. In more positive news, we were made aware that the ABC unedited video of the debate was viewed over 160,000 times in the first 12 hours. Hopefully a few people have found the strength to overcome their god delusion.

AND THE PWNAGE CONTINUES:


THE FULL DEBATE!

 


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AnthonyAguilar wrote: I

AnthonyAguilar wrote:
I have two questions for Sapient and Kelly. I am honestly curious and open.

1. Where did the first atom come from? Where did the first shred of existence come from? Did it come from nothing (Did it just happen?)? Because if it did, then there is no other alternative than to accept that it was created. Right? If there is any other logical conclusion as to where that came from then I am open to hear it.

2. This isn't scientific, but why the blatant disrespect (especially Kelly)? The two men you debated against were respectful and kind and you treated them like scum. What justifies that behavior? Atheist friends of mine were disgusted at the debate because the only reason ya'll "beat" the WOTM was because ya'll were louder than they were.

I think the answer to the first question is pretty simple. "We don't know", nor should any conclusion come from a lack of knowledge.  Why would you just to any conclusion when you don't even understand how it came into existence.  God did it is just as empty as saying I did it, and requires just as much research and proof 0.  You could say I wasn't around then, and I could say well I was in my eternal state at the time outside of space and time.  Nah nah your logic and testability can't touch me.  Once you step away from logical thinking and try explaining things beyond the ability to test and verify anything imaginable becomes acceptable, and on equal ground.  The only thing to conclude on is that we shouldn't conclude on things we do not know yet.  By your logic god would also have to be created.  I think this is why they call things in science theories, so that they are always open for questioning and revision.  Can you say the same for a god theory?

Disrespect??? Comfort broke the rules of the debate within the first 5 minutes, how was that not disrespectful?  They disrespected ever single person in the audience and at home watching by lying to them.  They didn't deserve respect after that.

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


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REVLyle wrote: I don’t

REVLyle wrote:
I don’t think I am going to give Kelly a free pass like you did. This was not an off the cuff remark. This was in her prepared opening comments. She knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish.

She doesn't need a pass. She was right.

REVLyle wrote:
Atheism is defined as one who believes that there is no deity

No it isn't. Atheist comes from atheos. A = without, theos = god. Atheist is quite simply the DISbelief in a god or gods. Everyone on the planet is an atheist. Some suspend their atheism for one god or one set of gods, which makes them a theist, deist, pantheist, etc. Most atheists are agnostic. Which means without knowledge, or an admission of no evidence one way or the other.

REVLyle wrote:
Kelly simply wanted to call everyone at the debate an atheist so she redefined the term “anyone who rejects any deity.” By her definition, one must believe in all gods, such as Zeus, Apollo, Thor, and any other god in order to be a theist.

No, that would make one a polytheist. You obviously either weren't paying attention or don't care to. And it is you who try to redefine the term atheist, not Kelly.

REVLyle wrote:
My point is that if her definition was to stand, then one must be a polytheist (accept all gods) or an atheist (accept no gods).

Strawman argument and false dichotomy logical fallacies wrapped together. You aren't even arguing against a point that was made.

REVLyle wrote:
Even if you do not agree with anything else I write – you must agree that Kelly’s attempt to redefine atheism was absurd.

No, you are absurd and a hypocrite. You suggest she's the one redefining a term when it is you who is redefining the term. Or at least, you're trying to.

REVLyle wrote:
This point is not about God. It is OK if you (an atheist) and I (a theist – that is what this website labeled me) agree on this.

You lable yourself a theist by being one. Are you ashamed of having it pointed out for some reason? That's seems quite irrational, since your name points it out too. Just more cleverly.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Sara wrote:

Sara wrote:

Quote:
You're right. This is annoying. The years I spent crying (literally) out to God for answers so I could defend His word reasonably when talking to non-Christians left me only to hear the trains whizzing by and it broke my heart.

I'm sorry, but I'm only speaking from a biblical view point. Since you seem to have some knowledge of scripture, I'm sure you are familiar with 1 John 2:19-20 "These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us. 20 But you [a true Christian] are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and all of you know the truth.." NIV.

I'm not trying to negate your experience, I am simply adhering to what the bible says on the matter.

Sara, I think you need to face the very real possibility that the Bible is wrong about this. That is essentially a self-defence mechanism built into the book. If I ever write a holy book, I will be certain to put something like that in. It offers a perfect explanation to believers who have friends and loved ones whom they respect who leave the faith.

"Oh, my holy book says that is to be expected so that actually helps prove my holy book is true!"

This is the goal. Self-defense. 


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Debating Theists

I hear you freethinking. I've watched and/or listened to nearly every respectable atheist vs creationist debate available on the net for the last two years, and a simple pattern emerges:

1: The theist ALWAYS sounds like a used car salesman or a guy selling a blender in front of a fake studio audience. They have canned theatrical responses like wind-up toys or pull-string dolls meant to distract and divert facts from their simple meanings (ie... Ray Comfort's reply "thats a great question and I'm glad you asked it, but first I want to reply to such and such...")

2.: The atheist is always more interested in the science and the data. The atheist always appears less desperate to convince bevause they display a sense of groundedness in what they know is true. The data is entirely on their side and they know that the informed and scientific concensus is overwhelmingly in their favor.

The person of faith knows that their belief cannot be proven. Of course, even if there were a god it would by no means indicate that their particular god was real. So the person of faith not only has to pull a god out of his ass, he has to prove the god wrote his book- which if true would mean roughly 70% of humanity was misled because they don't agree with him.

Whereas a person of faith must take a leap of faith, we nonbelievers know that religion is false like we know we are breathing air. There isn't any question about it in my mind that Christianity is untrue. It doesn't take the slightest iota of faith for me to say that, and I am sure that the professional debaters like Dawkins and Harris feel the same way.

I'll say the blasphemy challenge a thousand times over without the slightest hint of a fear that it means something. I believe in Jesus like Ray Comfort believes in Horus.

So where the theists can do nothing but appeal to emotions and pleas for faith on behalf of a belief systent which they struggle and strive to maintain no matter what stumbling blocks come their way, the atheist knows that all religions are false like they know the sum of two plus two.

Leave it to Christians to love their neighbor, yet accept the institution of slavery as "normal" for a couple thousand years. It's bizarre how modern Christians basically pretend that "real" Christianity only sprung up recently in the last 100 years, whereas the atrocious track record of barbarism and torture of the previous 1900 years can somehow be forgiven and ignored because they didn't happen to be alive back then. What short-sighted pin-heads. Read some history for shit sake.

Where the theist has to constantly work to maintain faith, an atheist simply changes his mind when reason dictates.

The theist believes no matter what, and ignores plain evidence.

Case in point, I am sitting here listening to C-Span where a religious conservative is complaining that the lack of God in America is turning society corrupt. Despite the fact that the predominantly atheist countries of the world are demonstrably less violent and less morally corrupt than our Christian nation, it doesn't stop these head in the sand liars from consistantly ignoring reality. The irony of it all when there is far less abortion in a country of 80% atheists, when Christians rail and blame secularism in America for abortions. Ha! The irony! But reality never meant much to these people anyways.

Thought experiment: If it were provable to Christians that America could vastly decrease its murder rate and abortion rate by increasing science education levels and decreasing Christian influence, would they be willing to do it?

Answer: Shit no. And that's where Sam Harris' point comes in that religion is not interested in relieving suffering as much as it is interested in propogating dogma.

It is a fact that there is a linear correlation bewteen education and religiosity. The more education, the less religiosity. The fruits of religion are not seen.

Anyone got a match? I need to sacrifice a goat to make god happy.


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Sara wrote: Your first

Sara wrote:

Your first sentence also implies this universe had a beginning, which is against what Brian stated in the original debate about "the universe being eternal". I'm sure that he did not have multiverses in mind when he made this comment (or if he did, he should have said so.)

Actually, I am pretty certain that he was including a potential multiverse since this concept has been talked about plenty on his show. He simply made the same mistake I did of assuming that this larger meaning of "universe" would be understood.

Sara wrote:
this really gets us no closer to the answer of Who or What formed the universe.

If there is a mulitverse that is eternal than the multiverse removes any need for your God. Nothing created the multiverse and our current universe came from the multiverse. Or from one of the other theorized origins. Or from some other source we haven't thought of yet. If the first cause is natural, there is no need for an additional magical overseer.

Sara wrote:
I'm not sure why it's more logical to conclude that the universe arose from a multiverse rather than to postulate that a Supreme Being formed it.

Because a multiverse is far simpler than God. I think you fail to see how complex God would have to be if He were real.

Sara wrote:
It seems that given the frequent occurrences of the "we do not know" statements in your explanation, you wouldn't be as quick to put down the "God did it" theory.

I don't completely reject the "God did it" theory. It is possible. But I see no reason to give that theory priority over simpler, natural theories. It makes sense to you because you have already assumed God's existence.

Sara wrote:
Now one question is, if it takes intelligence to "understand" science and math, then why not admit it took intelligence to invent the concepts of science and math?

It did take intelligence to invent the concepts of science and math. But it did not take intelligence for gravity to exist of for there to be 3 spots on the stone I just picked up.

Sara wrote:
Why does no one question what Mind placed those original concepts within the universe itself?

The ability to understand something and the fact of the thing are two different things. We do not see ultraviolet light but that doesn't mean that ultraviolet light is not there. Ultraviolet light didn't suddenly become real when we developed technology to detect it. No intelligence was required for the fact of ultraviolet light.

 

Sara wrote:
The fact that we must learn to understand these concepts that are inherent in our universe shows that they do not originate within our own mind, but are the product of a higher Intelligence.

No, it says nothing as to origin. Why should our not understanding something mean that there must be a higher intellect that does understand it?

Sara wrote:
Furthermore, our world is teeming with information that has been placed within the life found here. To say, as some posters on here have speculated, that the information arose from matter is nothing more than question begging. Just because information is conveyed through matter does not mean that orginated from it.

Information is nothing more than patterns. Our mind evolved to discern patterns. The more patterns we could discern, the greater our chance of survival. So we evolved to see, hear, etc. Others do it better than humans but we do alright. A brain can only devote so many resources to each area of interest so while an eagle devotes an enormous percentage of its brain to sight, we devote a great deal to abstract thought. None of this has anything to do with the fact of light waves or the fact that some stones have 3 spots while others have 7.

Sara wrote:
The Fibanocci sequence found in nature is also indicative of intelligence. Why should a mathematical formula be found in the arrangement of something as simple as flower petals or pine cones or in the mating habits of bees?

The fibonacci sequence is very efficient. Evolution selects for efficiency. Here is a reasonable article about fibonacci sequences in nature. It is simply the first I found with Google so there may be better, but this one seems at least adequate.

Sara wrote:
Yes, but the original question still stands: Who or what formed the multiverse? Even such a thing existed, we have come no closer to answering the "how".

If the multiverse is eternal then the question of "how" disappears. How did God come to exist?

Sara wrote:
Like you said, human experience allows us to understand the Person attributes and Character of God. But what I don't understand is why that is so inconsequential to you.

It does not seem inconsequential. It seems critically important. An infinite being with emotions and desires similar to our own sounds exactly like what I would expect Man to design.

Sara wrote:
Quote:
Look around the universe, Sara. What do you see? Do you find intelligent black holes? Passionate galaxies? No. You see a mindless universe plodding along without any care for the complex carbon systems on this planet.

And if that is all I found, then you would have a point. But I see amazing thinking, reasoning, and moral beings such as you and me and find that I cannot attribute our existence to a mindless bunch of matter swirling in the cosmos.

On the scale of the universe, we are virtually nonexistent. If we ceased to exist, the universe would not change in any noticable way.


Sara wrote:
Without God there is:

1. No answer for the origin of the universe that doesn't involve either infinite regression (a logical impossibility) or a violation of known natural laws.

With God you require a violation of known natural laws. You have to assume that God created the universe ex nihilo. The natural hypotheses do not make this claim.

Sara wrote:
2. No explanation for the origin of natural laws

There need be no origin of natural laws. Natural laws are not enforced in Natural Law Court by a Natural Law Judge. They are just a means for us to put our observations about how nature works into language.

Sara wrote:
3. No meaning behind my existence or the existence of anything else.

Correct. Why do you require an external meaning? You should be able to derive plenty of meaning from your interactions with your fellow humans. That is unlikely to be meaningful to the mass of other life forms that share this planet and it will certainly not be meaningful on a cosmic scale. But fortunately, we live locally. We need only have local meaning.

If you cannot derive meaning from this life, how will an afterlife help you?

Sara wrote:
4. No basis for arriving at moral truth.

Demonstrably false. There are scores of books on this topic and plenty of evolutionary explanations.

Sara wrote:
Quote:
The meaning of life is to live it as happily as we can. Since our biology insists on continuance, we are hard wired to be more happy if our decendents will continue after we are gone. So we receive greater happiness when we create an environment in which our children may prosper. What more meaning do you need? What more meaning do you deserve than this?

That is a very nice thought, but unfortunately reality does not bear it out. I don't know if you've noticed, but even we wealthy schmucks in America aren't very happy (as the drug makers of antidepressents can readily testify with their billions in profits.) It seems that are not satisfied with much of anything and do not succeed attaining happiness.

The fact that possessions can distract us from what is truly important is not an argument for God. I firmly believe that a big part of the reason that many people are unhappy is because they never take the trouble to form their own personal philosophy. Instead, they just adopt one of the off-the-shelf philosophies such as the various brands of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.

Sara wrote:
Quote:
Show me this axim. Stars beget radiation and ultimately heavier atoms. Gravity draws these atoms together into planets and other stars. Some of these planets are rocky and some are gaseous. How is any of this a discription of like begets like? Processes simply lead to other processes.

I already did. I stated that only minds beget minds. We are the proof of the axim. You have actually proved my point in this statement because by your examples you have illustrated that "dead" matter only produces more dead matter, just in a different form.

No, my statement above proves that completely different produces completely different. There is no basis for excluding abiogenesis from this natural progression. You have stated an axim but that is all you have done: stated it.

Here, let's take it a step further. My wife and I produced a son. He appears to be more creative, artistically talented and probably more intelligent than either of us. How is this possible? If like begets like and lesser intelligence cannot produce greater intelligence, then logically my son does not exist. But I have proof that he does sleeping about 20 feet away from me.

Sara wrote:

Also, I'm sure that chimps are in no way close in intelligence to moderately retarded humans.

It is interesting that you can be so certain of that fact when the experts in primatology are not.

Sara wrote:
Quote:
But God would have an IQ of infinity. We have nothing close to an IQ overlap with God. We can have nothing in common with a timeless being of infinite knowledge.

Why? The bible states that we are made in the image of God. This is not a physical image, but a mental one.

Exactly. Which proves that the Bible is false. We finite beings of finite intelligence, ruled by hormones, who can be knocked out of whack by short sleep or bad diet, how close of an image can we possibly be to a perfect, infinite God that exists outside of time? We cannot be similar in any way. A chimp is a brother in comparison.

Sara wrote:
If God wanted to communicate with us, He, being infinte in knowledge, would surely know how.

Indisputably. But that has nothing to do with us being made in God's image. Of course arrogant Man wants to believe that he is made in the image of an all-powerful transcendent being.

Sara wrote:

We are physical beings with some similarities to animals, but this is a far cry from saying we "are" animals.

All physical evidence proclaims us as part of the animal kingdom. If we were not animals, why would we share DNA with even the lowest form of life? Why would other animals look so similar to us? Have you ever had a close look at the hand of a chimp?

Again, arrogant Man wants to believe that he is special and separate, transcending the base animal kingdom.

Sara wrote:
In order to accomplish this, there would have to be a testable, repeatable and observeable way for organisms to GAIN meaningful genetic information.

My son is a simple example of gaining meaningful information. You can argue that this is simply recombination but that is how evolution moves forward. That is why sex revolutionized evolution. Sex allowed the beneficial mutations to be recombined. In this way, numerous benefits could be brought together in a single organism.


Sara wrote:
Quote:
Sara, I think you need to do a bit more research on evolution. You might want to spend some time over at talkorigins.org or read a Dawkins book or two. Evolution is the only theory that fits the available evidence but I cannot prove that to you in 3 sentences.


I've dedicated quite a bit of study to evolution and I must say it's a wonder that scientists are so dogmatic about such a flawed theory. But I agree, the minutia that one must delve into to discuss evolution can be quite overwhelming. I prefer not to go into it here, but I will gladly disclose the resources for some of my information that refutes evolution: http://www.answersingenesis.org and http://www.trueorigin.org

That's great. Now it might be time to read the actual evolution books since you have already invested the time in reading the refutations.


Sara wrote:
Quote:
Name one prophecy in the Bible that came true after the Bible was written. It is not prophecy if you write the story after the event has occurred.

Well, Daniel's prophecies were written before the events occurred. Now I'm sure you won't agree with me and have some "scholars" to back up your opinion, but I would be grateful if you would do me the honor of reading this article on the authenticity of Daniel's prophecies at http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qwhendan3x.html .

That site is extremely unhelpful. Daniel made many predictions and that site claims that some of them are thought to have come true. But then it never bothers to show which predictions came true or what events occurred in history that correspond to those predicitons. If they had a strong case, it seems like they would lay it out clearly. And shouldn't Daniel have gotten it all right?

Sara wrote:
Also, we know that the Old Testament was written before the birth of Jesus. He fulfilled several prophecies in His birth and death that could not have been "arranged" by Him. And I can already see where all this is going since every Atheist in this forum must "tow the party line" and deny the existence of Jesus, but I will try to deal with that more below.

It is not towing the party line. Matthew and Luke clearly copied Mark. John was a late addition. Mark appears to have used midrash to discover the story of Jesus from the OT. Much of what Matthew added also appears to be the result of midrash.

Why do you think that Mark's entire passion story is lifted from Psalm 22?

Sara wrote:
Quote:
How has the Bible proven itself historically?

Now this is really a silly question. Even the Smithsonian Institute recognizes the bible to be historically accurate as to civilizations and dates.

Ah, so then you would consider most Stephen King books to be historical as well since he has so much historically accurate geography and many correct dates in his books. How about the Koran? Mecca really existed when the Koran was written. I guess the Koran is true.

Sara wrote:
Quote:
There are no extra-biblical mentions of Jesus or any of his incredible miracles by any contemporary writer.No mention of the earthquakes and risen saints in Jerusalem as mentioned in Matthew. Don't you think someone would have noticed that and commented on it? Even if you assume that Josephus is not a forgery, Josephus wasn't even born until 37 CE so he hardly counts as a contemporary.

Why should you expect there to be "extra-biblical" mentions of Jesus? Did Jesus often speak to Romans or perform miracles for them? No, He ministered to mostly the poor of His own nation.

Because Josephus painstakingly documented numerous other wandering preachers with profiles very similar to Jesus who did not attract 4000 people.

Sara wrote:
Anyway. While several Jewish leaders took notice of Him, they dispised His lack of reverence toward them and that's why they sought to kill Him. They certainly weren't going to write about Him.

People love to write about their victories over those they dispise. And again, Josephus wrote about everything. He wrote extensively about John the Baptist and Herod, but he appears to have failed to notice Jesus. He made one minor mention (two if you count the disputed James, the brother of Jesus line) and that single mention is very out of character for Josephus and very short. It is generally acknowleged as an interpolation with the primary disagreement being over whether or not it is completely fraudulent or merely enhanced. Reading the unmodified statement it would be inconceivable that Josephus would have written only a single paragraph about this "wise man, if you can call him a man".


Sara wrote:
Also, if Jewish saints i.e. believers in Christ Jesus were to raise from the dead, who would know it except other Jewish people???

All of the people in Jerusalem would have known it since Matthew claims they rose from the graves and wandered the streets. It seems someone would have noticed this extraordinary event. Here is the passage for your reference:

Matthew 27:51-53

And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Sara wrote:

Anyway, thanks for the truly fascinating dialogue. It's nice to chat with a thinker.

Likewise. Sara, you are obviously very intelligent. I would highly recommend reading the other side. Many of us here have read a lot of Christian apologetics. I read "The Case for Faith", "God Doesn't Believe in Atheists" and "I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be An Atheist" just in the past 3 months. If what you believe is true, then reading books like "The Selfish Gene", "The Jesus Puzzle", "Religion is Not About God", "Critiques of God", "The Blind Watchmaker", "Letter to a Christian Nation", etc. should only strengthen your faith.

I think you might actually want to start with "Woe to the Women - The Bible Told Me So". Just click on the Freedom From Religion Foundation banner that is probably at the bottom of this web page. Woe to the Women shows how the Bible views women. I think this is a devastating book. No woman should be a Christian, in my opinion.

Please study for yourself. Hear all of the arguments. Sites like answeringenesis.org and trueorigin.org give you filtered information and often use straw man arguments.

Oh, and be sure to read the Bible from cover to cover. Here is a great excercise: while reading the Bible, write down every piece of advice you find that helps you interact properly with your fellow man. Also write down every action sanctioned by God that you would not promote in our modern society today. I find it helps to think of modern country names when the Bible mentions the Canaanites of the Amelkites. Think Laos and Thailand instead. See how long it takes to get to the first person-to-person ethical advice.


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AnthonyAguilar wrote: 1.

AnthonyAguilar wrote:

1. Where did the first atom come from? Where did the first shred of existence come from? Did it come from nothing (Did it just happen?)? Because if it did, then there is no other alternative than to accept that it was created. Right? If there is any other logical conclusion as to where that came from then I am open to hear it.

The first atom probably condensed from the energy of the universe around 300,000 years after the Big Bang.

There are numerous theories about what precipitated the Big Bang. There are a few different multiverse theories. Here is a decent summary:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse_%28science%29

Multiverse theories are still in early days as far as I can see. We still need to develop ways to prove or falsify their existence.

There is also the very real possibility that the sum total of energy in the universe is zero. This comes about by adding up all matter and anti-matter. In this case, the matter is essentially a giant quantum fluctuation, if I understand this correctly.



AnthonyAguilar wrote:
2. This isn't scientific, but why the blatant disrespect

Did you see the entire debate on the web or just the hacked Nightline piece?


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Sara, thank you for the

Sara, thank you for the cordial reply.

Quote:

My point is that since Christianity explains we were made in the image of God, an intelligent Being, we should be able to detect signs of intelligence. Understanding natural laws and mathematics (as SETI explained) are such signs. Now, if I might make an analogy here. If we equate knowledge of math and science with the ability to read a common sign, shouldn't we wonder Who put the sign there in the first place?

We can't assume that in science, especially when factoring in natural proccesses that appear designed, yet we know are naturally caused as well as our propensity for identifying patterns.  Snowflakes (and crystals, as Shaun mentioned) are perfect examples of seemingly designed phenomena.  We can document each and every "design" formed by specific weather patterns.  Here's more on Seti and ID: http://www.space.com/searchforlife/seti_intelligentdesign_051201.html

 More on snowflakes and ID:  http://www.talkreason.org/articles/comments.cfm

 

Quote:

 "why ... not get on to the more relevant emperically testable claims of theology?"

Like what?


 Is the bible a good moral compass for society and have its "fruits" contributed in a positive way?  Is there harmony and consistency in Christian theology?  Has the bible been tampered with- is it innerant? Etc...

Quote:

How does detecting evidence of "things not seen" not fit with science?

Of course there are things not seen (by the eye) that exist, but we can see the effects and make predictions, that when fulfilled, show consistency.  Even the unpredictablity in quantumn mechanics, to my limtited understanding of it, can be applied functionally.

Quote:

Isn't that what scientists attempt to do when they come up with origin theories?

Only when they have an emperically testable relationship with the physical that leads to predictability.

Quote:

Furthermore, this verse does not apply to general claims of truth or falsehood. The biblical writer of Hebrews is not asking for people to have "faith" in any unseen entity or concept. The author encouraging faith in a God Who has acted throughout history and in the Person of Jesus Christ. A God Who has revealed Himself over time and proven Himself in prophecy and miraculous events. Whether or not you believe those events occurred does not mean you can alter the meaning of the text to fit some random concept truth or fiction.

Sure, I realize that he didn't mean any unseen/unknown entity or concept, but even if it is just one unseen/unknown entity or concept, it has the same quality of imposition as it would for any unseen/unknown entity or concept. 

Quote:

I'm sorry, but I'm only speaking from a biblical view point. Since you seem to have some knowledge of scripture, I'm sure you are familiar with 1 John 2:19-20 "These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us. 20 But you [a true Christian] are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and all of you know the truth.." NIV.

I'm not trying to negate your experience, I am simply adhering to what the bible says on the matter.


Yeah, that's what they say... of course, there's the seed thrown in the rocky soil that grows for a time and then dies, etc... but that doesn't mean that the person was not sincere in their effort (or if you like, relinquishment of effort to God). 

Quote:

Why is purpose complex? Does it upset you that you don't know why God made the universe so you like to have a "purely" natural explaination because it makes it easier?


 Purpose is extremely complex when you consider all of the parameters.  God must have weighed all of the consequences in the entire universe, as well as the potential implications, and then made decisions based on them- and then continue to do so for every action.  Human psychology is daunting enough.  The whole convoluted salvation plan with the Fall and orginal sin and prophecies and rights and rules and blood atonement and chosen people and resurrection and ascension and miracles and it's not okay to eat pork and it is okay to eat pork and on and on... it's a very complicated plan that springs from that purpose. 

Quote:

I'm not a Calvinist, I just believe what the bible says. Furthermore, I have no problem being a slave of Christ. The problem is that you freely admitted, by quoting Dawkins, you are a slave to your genes. How is your position more admirable than mine?

I do believe that actions are influenced by genes, but it also seems that consciousness gives us some freedom from those urges.  Hence the ability to commit suicide, etc.

Quote:

"Only physical minds beget minds- show otherwise."

Again, this goes back to whether or not it can be proven intelligence or minds are products of matter. In order to prove that, you would have to show that thoughts are identical to a physical process in the brain. I don't think that's been established. You could also say that a thought "causes" a physical process in the brain.

I think Shaun answered this nicely. 

"Actually, the harder problem would be to show how a non-physical anything could interact with a physical anything. If thoughts are not physical, how do they influence, interact with, or have anything at all to do with the brain?

And if they don't, then why does removing parts of the brain, putting certain chemicals in the brain, or otherwise altering the brain change our thoughts?"

I would also like to add that (as Richard Carrier points out in his book) that there have been studies that show that we can fiddle with the brain and make people swear that they are hearing music being played in the room or they will swear that they are five years old, etc.  We can have conversations with one side of the brain and then the other and neither side remembers the other conversation.  The idea that souls influence matter is a strange one to me.  Do retarded people have intelligent souls?  Do blind people have souls that see?  For those who believe in soul travel/astral projection (not that you do), I wonder if this can be tested with remote viewing studies... but I digress.  It is enough to know that we need the scientific method to help overcome our epistimological limitations.


Quote:

Animals have a form of intelligence, there's no denying that. But that does not mean humans are more evolved animals.

Your question about intermediary intelligence and fossils is interesting. It's sort of like asking you to provide a criteria for testing for an Intelligent Designer.

But if I were to conceive of an intermediary fossil, it would be one in which there is an appendage, with no apparent function, that seems to be morphing into a different appendage. I'm sure you don't like that answer, but it's the only one that could not be addressed with a theological answer.

I remember when the appendix was declared a "vestigial" organ (i.e. not having any function or apparent purpose) and thus touted as proof of "evolution". Since the appendix has now been found to have a very important function, it has been discarded as an evolutionary left-over. So if the criteria for an organ to be considered vestigial is loss of functionality, shouldn't portions of the intermediary fossil be similarly non-functioning?

 That depends on the context of the environmental pressures in which it resides (and as Shaun alluded to, may be sexual in nature).  

Quote:
 

Because animals have not been shown to become progressively intelligent over time.

I don't know if that is true.  Alex the Parrot can identify the color, shape, and number of material objects by memory, which requires using symbols and displacement.  Rio the sea lion sorts letters and numbers into classes and can expand classes to include new letters and numbers and even discover simple equivalencies between groups.  Koko the gorilla has a vocabulary of over 1,000 words of sign language and has requested and named a pet kitten (then he was sad when it died!).  Washoe the chimpanzee not only learned 132 signs, but taught them to other chimps.  Kanzi the bonobo learned symbolic comunication by watching its mother learn, and not by direct reward or punishment.  Did they always have this kind of intelligence or did they evolve to have it?  Has anyone documented these kinds of achievements in the past?  I don't think so... But at the end of the day, in the context of Christian theology, what may be just as important is that animals do not deserve the automatic subjugation prescribed in Genesis by default.

Quote:

"There is viable potential and inviable potential. One corresponds to reality, the other doesn't."

Huh?

If I say that I'm going to read a book tomorrow, that is a viable potentiality, but if I say that tomorrow I am going to jump over the sun, it is not.  Only abstract concepts that are actual parameters of physical reality are potentially viable.  There is no objective abstract concept that does not relate to physical reality that is potentially viable (you were talking about "other forms of conceptual knowledge&quotEye-wink.  My point is that only the abstract concepts contingent in some way upon physicality are testable and relevant.  I'm sure you disagree.

Quote:

"What about flawed Christian theism? Scientists are demostrably more open ended than theists"

No, they pretty much blast people who disagree with their pet theories even those of their own kind. I don't see that as being very open minded.

Whatever emotional responses people make (perhaps you've never seen JP Holding in action) does not negate the fact that religion has absolute principle beliefs that will never budge, while scientific knowledge, in principle, may be overturned (or more often requalified) with evidence.  As you have probably (hopefully) been told, scientific theories go with what is the best evidence and does not make absolute claims.  What drive them nuts, is when there is evidence that gets ignored by laypeople who don't understand it because of obvious religious convictions (you spoke of "towing the party line"- do you have any beliefs that would shock your fellow Christians?).


Quote:

Yes, well I'm always open to hearing theories about why the Egyptians let a group of slaves go without much of a fight. What's your take on that?

I can't speculate on the motivations of potentially irrational ancient people or to how much truth there is in the accounts we have in ancient history, especially when errors and interpolations abound.  Sorry.

Quote:

I'm sorry you don't agree with God's method of reaching the world.

Do you think it's fair that God leaves the salvation of remote people up to missionaries?

Peace,

Gato

"If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway" -The Clash


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Quote: Oh, and be sure to

Quote:
Oh, and be sure to read the Bible from cover to cover. Here is a great excercise: while reading the Bible, write down every piece of advice you find that helps you interact properly with your fellow man. Also write down every action sanctioned by God that you would not promote in our modern society today. See how long it takes to get to the first person-to-person ethical advice.

This is some of the most amazing advice I've heard in a long time... good job Scottmax!  I'll shut up now...

"If Adolf Hitler flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway" -The Clash


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HonestQuestioner wrote:

HonestQuestioner wrote:
I'm sorry, but that's the very definition of beating around the bush. It was a very emotional answer, and I appreciate your honesty, but your answer amounts to this: 'I don't know'. And that's fine, but it would be better if you just said that. My point is exactly that I believe information itself, its existence, is a fairly strong argument for the existence of a source of original information. Finding Egyptian hieroglypics and being able to understand them as a language indicates to me an intelligent source behind them. It may not to you, and you can say that in rebuttal, but I would say most scientists would agree here that there was a source of information, namely, a human being who wrote these things.There is information to be transferred by them, and thus there was a 'sender' who input this information using a code. And the kind of information contained in living systems, in my thinking, would not likely have come from any act of the systems themselves, and thus must have come from outside of themselves. Therefore, I am suggesting an intelligent source outside of the living systems that we see today. I'm interested to hear the thoughts of others.

 I did say "I don't know", I said that science has not answered that question as of yet. As far as there being an intelligent source for hieroglypics or the books of the bible, yes there were men who wrote those book. Not a god... There were many books written back then that are not included in the bible such as the book of mary magdilain(spellcheck), her brother, the book of Judas, Esdras, and many others who also were written by real live humans but are not included in most bibles. It took a person to write these books and it took another person to decide which books to allow in the bible and which books to exclude. Heck they even leave out the last verse of Psalms in most bibles because it makes it sound like the entire book of Psalms was only meant for the children of Isreal(Jews).

As for not being able to answer about the molecules you do realize you wouldn't even be able to ask this question if not for the advancement of science. You wouldn't know about molecules if it were not for science.

I think if you go back and reread what I wrote you'll see that your question was answered accurately. Take your time reading it next time.


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Bargle

Bargle wrote:

gary7infiltrator wrote:
 

This is exactly what I don't understand about Christian "reasoning." This makes zero sense at all. It doesn't matter how you look at it, it's just a bunch of nonsense.

God is omniscient, meaning he knows everything that can be known, past, present, and future. So he KNOWS before he even creates them that the majority of people will never even have the opportunity to learn about Jesus, so they will go to Hell, no matter what. Doesn't that seem like a huge waste of time? I know God is supposed to be "outside of time," (whatever the hell that means) but still - it seems like he could think of better things to do than make a whole bunch of people who are going to be damned anyway.

And if God is all-powerful, why can't he just get rid of Satan right off the bat? I mean, if Satan kicks his ass so hard all the time by making SOOOOO much evil in the world that God's "beloved" children just can't resist, and then they have to go to Hell for eternity. If God is so mighty, why can't he just flick Satan out of existence like flicking a booger off your finger?

The most important question of all: Why does anybody believe this? As Ray Comfort pointed out again and again, all it takes to see what's going on here is "a brain that works." I must suppose that the brains of Christians just don't work, if they have had an opportunity to learn about logic and reason but reject it in favor of a ridiculous non-sequitur like God's omniscience/God damning everybody who never hears of Jesus.

Not all Christians are that hard core about hell but they try to have it both ways. If you can go to heaven without hearing the gospel then Jesus is not the only path to salvation. Just try to get one to admit that I dare you. If Jesus is the only way like he says in the bible then they have to admit that most people who ever lived were born doomed to hell. They wont admit that either.

If you dont need the gospel to go to heaven then are missionaries doing more harm than good? Someone who lived a good life and would have gone to heaven otherwise  could end up in hell because they told him about Jesus without offering proof. 

What is the burden of proof missionaries must meet before you are eligible for the hell club? Is shouting Jesus saves from a passing buss enough?

The only answers I get are the usualy "its a mystery" or "we cant judge god" junk. Ask them if murderers go to hell and they say yes. Ask if all muslims/jews/mormons go to hell and most of them get all nervous. Either just about everybody goes to hell unjustly or we dont need Jesus and knowingly rejecting Jesus is not a deal breaker with god. You have to pick one morons or explain how it is otherwise.

I did get an answer from one Bozo. Those who never hear the gospel are judged seperately and have a chance. When you preach the gospel to someone Jesus will reveal himself to them without fail. Just by hearing it they know it is the truth. If they reject it after that they deserve to burn. It is impossible to hear the gospel and not know beyound doubt that it is true so you are choosing hell. I dont know how popular this opinion is. 

 

Mr. or Ms. Bargle - I'm afraid your "dare" will be short-lived...I will be more than happy to tell you what the Bible says about the matter...it's not a mystery in the least, nor am I afraid to answer you.  I'm only sorry that the "christians" you have spoken to were not more aquainted with their bibles.

But before I get into this, I'd like to lay out a couple of ground rules, with your permission:

1) I have no expectaion of convincing you of anything - except that I know what the Bible says about the issue.  Therefore, do not treat my comments as arguments, unless you propose to tell me I am wrong about what the Bible says.  In that case, perhaps you'd better bring friends.  Smiling

2) I have no intention of "name calling."  You should know that when a person resorts to name-calling, that reflects an inherent weakness in his or her arguments, or at least a weakness in his or her ability to put forth those arguments.  Referring to people as "Bozo" is rather unbecoming.  Can we agree to refrain from such?

3) I will not debate this issue.  I don't care what others might think about the matter - I know what the Bible says.  Yes, there are issues in Scripture that might be open to interpretation...even Peter admitted that some of what Paul wrote was hard to understand - but the doctrine of God's justice is not one such issue.  Therefore, this will be my one post on the matter...and you cannot goad me into responding (ok, I bet you can if you try hard enough!).

Having said all that, gary7infiltrator wondered how we could reconcile God's omniscience and His "damning everybody who never hears of Jesus."

To begin with, folks are not sent to hell "for" never hearing about Jesus. In fact, even those who hear about Christ and reject Him are not sent to hell "primarliry" for their rejection.  They are sent to hell because, like everyone else, including me, they are criminals.  Let me explain.

Again - I know you're not going to like any of this, or even come close to believing it - so chill out...I'm just telling you what the Bible says.

Play along with me in the world of a HUGE hypothetical, ok?  IF their was a God, and IF He created everything including you and me, then you'd have to concede that He'd have a right to place demands on us...to expect us to live according to His rules, much like a potter expects a lump of clay to respond to his molding, shaping, and guiding hand.

Now, let's "imagine" that this God who made everything revealed to us that His standard is "perfection," as revealed in ten statutes, later boiled down to two by Christ, Who also expounded upon the ten making us realize that not only were we to be held to the letter of the law, but to the spirit of the law also (hatred=murder, lust=adultery, etc.).

BREAK - I'd imagine you need to take a deep breath, here...angry about my explanation and so forth...remember, we are playing a "what if" game right now, and I am merely explaining what the Bible teaches - not trying to convince you of its truth - so relax, and play along...

The Bible teaches that the God of the universe, who made you and me, has a right to expect perfection from His creatures - and that we fail miserably - we are law breakers - no one has ever kept a single one of the commandments, except Christ, but that's another story.

Therefore, we all deserve punishment - we all deserve hell...I deserve hell, you deserve hell, pigmies deserve hell, Muslims deserve hell, Hindus deserve hell, Jews deserve hell, etc., etc., etc.  Everyone deserves hell whether they have heard of Christ or not - because people don't go to hell because they haven't heard - or because they have rejected what they've heard...no, people go to hell because they are law breakers - they go to hell because they deserve it.

Now, here's how Christ makes the difference: God, Who is rich in mercy, and Who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would rather that everyone come to repentence - entered the realm of time, born of a virgin, kept the law perfectly, then suffered and died taking the punishment for sinners as a substitutionary atonement so that anyone who'd repent of their sins (which means to confess them and turn away from them) and put their trust in that atonement - that it was enough to pay the debt - would become not acquitted, but made righteous as the righteousness of Christ is imputed to their account the same way as my guilt was imputed to Christ.

So - in summation...anyone who does not repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ's atonement will go to hell forever (notice that I had no trouble saying that either), because they deserve it (just like I do), being a lawbreaker and a rebel.

Mormons, JW's, Muslims, Jews, atheists, theists, and folks of every race, color, and creed will spend eternity in hell if they do not repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ as Lord of all.

The only way of escape is the gospel - no other way - no one gets graded on a "curve."  We are all graded by the standard of perfection...and it's pass or fail.

In our case - it's always "fail."  Unless when we turn our paper in, God sees the Name of One Who aced the test: Christ.

There you have it - no apologies.  That's what the Bible says, like it or not.

I hope this at least clarifies some things for you.  Again, I don't expect you to now suddenly throw your hands up and fall down and worship Christ.  But at least now when you mock what the Bible says, you can at least know what it is you are mocking.  Smiling


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Sapient wrote: Satansbitch

Sapient wrote:
Satansbitch wrote:
Cory T wrote:

Comfort states that a painting is proof positive of a painter, and the RRS adds the sarcastic caption that it only proof of a painting. I disagree. A painting as intricate as the Mona Lisa implies a painter, because no amount of accidental bombardment of a canvass with paint will produce a picture like that. With that in mind, I propose that a planet as intricately designed and as thoughtfully placed as Earth requires a Creator. A universe as finely tuned as our requires a Creator.

Yeah I did not agree with what Brian said. The painting does prove the existance of the artist. But that only proves that Leonardo DaVinci existed. Just as the book of Mark proves there was a person named Mark who wrote the book, and the books of John, Luke, and Matthew were written by men with those names.

Actually the books of John, Luke, and Matthew were just as likely written by men that didn't have those names. The fact is we don't know for sure the real names of who wrote those gospels. And I'm not speaking scientifically, I'm talking about the actual history here.

 Well there are actually some non biased bible scholars out there and most agree that these were probably written by men with these names but I suppose you are correct. I was only trying to make the point though that the bible only proves that each of the books were written by a person and in no way confirms the existance of god.

Again you guys did a swell job.


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Thanks

Thanks, perfectlawministries, for that summary of conventional covenant theology.

Unfortunately you're forgetting that WE HAVE HEARD EVERYTHING IN YOUR POST ALL BEFORE.  You aren't the missionary among a bunch of ignorant sinners here.  Many of us know more about the Bible (and the evolution of conventional doctrine about "God's plan for salvation&quotEye-wink than most Christians do.  So you don't need to explain elementary theological notions like the fallen world.

So sorry you wasted your time with that long elaborate post.  If you would like to elevate your discourse above the level of condescending preaching, maybe we can get some real discussion.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


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Cory T wrote: mintcheerios

Cory T wrote:
mintcheerios wrote:

A being as intricate and complex as a human being implies a creator because no amount of accidental bombardment of matter will produce a being like that. With that in mind, I propose that a creator as intricately designed and as god requires a creator.

At what point do we then assume an Uncaused Cause?  Something had to be the First Cause somewhere down the line.  If we start with God as that First Cause, then it is easy to explain the intricacies of the universe, as there is One there to create the order.

You make the assumption that the universe had a beginning. Time and Space may very well be infinate and have no beginning or end.

 And again if you had watched the full debate you would have seen that they answered this questions by stating that "if there was a beginning and God was the beginning then who created god?" by your logice he would have to have a beginning also.


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Dear Sara

Sara hasn't replied to my other post, so in the interest of keeping the number of posts on this thread down, I'm going to start another topic called "Dear Sara" under the Atheists vs. Theists area. All posts related to hers seem to end up quite long, so I'd suggest trying to move the discussion there.


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blessed848 wrote: No

blessed848 wrote:
No offense guys but this website is very very childish. Im a firm believer in God and no lies will ever change that. Our youth group will be praying for all of you that before it's too late, you will come to know who God really his. He loves all of you. Before you guys start giving your souls away, i dare you to pray every day for 2 weeks, "God if your real, reveal yourself", If you really ask He will. God bless all of you.

Barney the Dinosaur says he loves me too but that does not make him a god.  


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christaboveall wrote: I am

christaboveall wrote:

I am new to the board, so hi Smiling

 First of all, I just watched the debate and I must say that the atheists looked like complete fools. They were disrespectful and rude, and could not even look Ray and Kirk in the face while they were talking to them. Rolled their eyes and made snide comments. Atleast Ray and Kirk were respectful towards their counterparts and had the decency to let Brian and Kelly finish what they were saying. All I heard from Kelly and Brian was sarcasm and just plain hate. They weren't real atheists, as I can tell one when I see one. They were adamantly AGAINST God the whole time, and honestly, I believe God could hit them on the head with a coconut themselves and they wouldn't listen. At the end, Kelly said, "Let's humble our hearts and pray to Poseideon." *sigh* You obviously were not at the debate to search for truth, but to spread your own hateful agenda because obviously, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Second of all, I find it ironic that Kelly mentioned God being a "baby killer" several times, yet Brian was arguing with Todd outside the debate about abortion and how the government wants to take away a woman's "choice". Don't worry, Brian, abortion is alive and well in this country and I don't believe it will stop anytime soon. 4,000 innocents are murdered everyday in the name of choice. Less than 1% are aborted due to the mother's safety. Most are murdered just because the baby is an inconvenience to the mother, father, or both. Now, how is this not selfish? One of the safest places to be, the womb, is now one of the most dangerous. You better thank God you were conceived to parents who chose to give you birth. I will quit now, as I know this subject is overdone as it is.

Third, I highly commend Ray in his closing remarks. Yes, the things of God are as foolishness to those who are perishing. (1 Cor. 1:18) And Brian's closing remarks... Wow. A complete distortion of history and twisting of Scripture. Religion is good, if you take out.. blah blah blah. Pedophile priests? Do you HONESTLY believe that God condones that? Slavery -- in the Bible slavery was NOTHING like it is today and has been in the recent past. It was actually a very helpful to those that had nowhere else to go, and "slaves" or servants were to be treated fairly, housed, clothed, fed, and many times were like a part of the family, like many nannies are today.

The Bible is THE highest selling book today. It was the first book ever printed. Over 150 million are printed every year, that surpasses every other book. Harry Potter, John Grisham, Stephen King.. Can't even come close.

Thousands of prophecies are within the Bible, including 300 that describe the birth, life, and death of Christ. The odds of 300 prophecies describing one person coming true is nearly scientifically impossible. For example, one prophecy in Psalm 22 describes Him being pierced in His hands and feet cleary describing crucifixion. I find this one most fascinating because this prophecy was written nearly 600 years before crucifixion was ever a form of death and punishment. And again, that is only one. The rest are on the Internet to look up. Or of course, in your nearest Bible.

And another thing. I'm not even going to touch on Kelly's statement that Jesus did not even exist. Seriously. A man who never existed is responsible for more national growth, charity, nursing, music, book history, art, than anyone else who ever lived? Why are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John not considered "history" to you? Ok, I guess I did touch on it. Smiling

I honestly have no idea why there is such hostility towards Jesus. I would like for one person to name ONE THING that He taught that was wrong, evil, not good for society.. whatever you want to call it.. One thing that was not about love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace. He forgave the men who were nailing him to the Cross. The soldiers that slashed his skin to pieces. He forgave them even when the look of evil had yet to disappear from their faces. He told us to love the poor, the widows, the orphans, the CHILDREN, the least of these. Yes, Christians do a horrible job of this sometimes (but other times, we do a wonderful job) but that does not take away the effect the words of Jesus have had on the world. Are you telling me a country that would uphold these values (which I believe cannot happen until Jesus returns because like Ray stated, we simply live in a fallen, evil world of which Satan is the god of) would not be a wonderful place to live in?

 And about the comment that you can do whatever you want to do and Jesus will forgive you. This is correct, but in the wrong context. Ok. Say you are a murderer. You have killed someone on purpose. In your jail cell, you realize what you have done was wrong, so you repent (which does NOT just mean saying your sorry, but doing a 180 of sorts.. confessing you were wrong and sinned against God, and so you do not murder again) and ask Christ to forgive you. NO, you cannot go around murdering again because you would not want to. This is one of those things Ray talked about the manifesting of the Holy Spirit, and the experience of conversion. We Christians cannot explain it, but your feelings just CHANGE. The murderer hates his sin, and does not desire to murder anymore, but now desires to help others and love others. If the murderer continues to murder, he probably did not genuinely repent because the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Murder does not fit in with this description.

I'm pretty sure you watched the Nightline much edited version of the debate. I watched the entire debate and I can tell you they were very respectful and factual. The only complaint they had about Cameron and Comfort is that they did not stick to the rules of the debate. That was a legitimate complaint.

Even then though, they weren't rude about it.


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Quote: 3) I will not debate

Quote:
3) I will not debate this issue.  I don't care what others might think about the matter - I know what the Bible says.  Yes, there are issues in Scripture that might be open to interpretation...even Peter admitted that some of what Paul wrote was hard to understand - but the doctrine of God's justice is not one such issue.  Therefore, this will be my one post on the matter...and you cannot goad me into responding (ok, I bet you can if you try hard enough!).

 

This is all we really need to know about you and your arguement. You refuse to debate or think about the issue because you are afraid of what you might find. This is why in an actual debate format that Brian and Kelly did so well.

In your post you offer your thoughts and threats of damnation but are not willing to listen to what others have to say. This makes you a hypocrit.

 

P.S. sorry for all the posts but i had 12 pages to respond to. I don't get to log on that often.


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Thank you Scott for

Thank you Scott for replying. I have only seen the nightline version. I was simply talking about attitudes (not words). It seemed to me that Kirk and Ray went in with the attitude that they simply were going to present evidence (which was poor), but Kelly and Sapient (to a lesser degree) went in with the attitude that they were going to hound these guys and be as disrespectful as possible to prove their point.

One other question: What about those people who, in the faroff tribes or what not, have what they call manifestations called "speaking in tongues" or prophecies or what not? This happens (IMHO) when the gospel is not successfully brought to a people. God makes Himself known to those people. Are they just insane lunatics?


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perfectlawministries

perfectlawministries wrote:

3) I will not debate this issue. I don't care what others might think about the matter - I know what the Bible says. Yes, there are issues in Scripture that might be open to interpretation...even Peter admitted that some of what Paul wrote was hard to understand - but the doctrine of God's justice is not one such issue. Therefore, this will be my one post on the matter...and you cannot goad me into responding (ok, I bet you can if you try hard enough!).

I don't know why anyone would agree to a discussion with you on these terms. If the words as they are printed in the Bible mean only what you say they mean, then you have already won any argument about the Bible that can be conceived. This entire point amounts to you putting your fingers in your ears and saying "Nyah nyah nyah I can't hear you." 

perfectlawministries wrote:

Play along with me in the world of a HUGE hypothetical, ok? IF their was a God, and IF He created everything including you and me, then you'd have to concede that He'd have a right to place demands on us...to expect us to live according to His rules, much like a potter expects a lump of clay to respond to his molding, shaping, and guiding hand.

NO! If God, an omnipotent being, created us, then he is 100% responsible for everything that we do! He has no right to "expect" anything, because everything is proceeding exactly as he designed. Certainly he could have at least created us so that we were unable to violate his wishes.

perfectlawministries wrote:

Now, let's "imagine" that this God who made everything revealed to us that His standard is "perfection," as revealed in ten statutes, later boiled down to two by Christ, Who also expounded upon the ten making us realize that not only were we to be held to the letter of the law, but to the spirit of the law also (hatred=murder, lust=adultery, etc.).

Why did God create these things if he wanted us to not know them?

perfectlawministries wrote:

BREAK - I'd imagine you need to take a deep breath, here...angry about my explanation and so forth...remember, we are playing a "what if" game right now, and I am merely explaining what the Bible teaches - not trying to convince you of its truth - so relax, and play along...

I'm playing along fine and believing everything you say about what the Bible says. So far, it is uniformly self-contradictory and nonsensical.

perfectlawministries wrote:

The Bible teaches that the God of the universe, who made you and me, has a right to expect perfection from His creatures - and that we fail miserably - we are law breakers - no one has ever kept a single one of the commandments, except Christ, but that's another story.

Therefore, we all deserve punishment - we all deserve hell...I deserve hell, you deserve hell, pigmies deserve hell, Muslims deserve hell, Hindus deserve hell, Jews deserve hell, etc., etc., etc. Everyone deserves hell whether they have heard of Christ or not - because people don't go to hell because they haven't heard - or because they have rejected what they've heard...no, people go to hell because they are law breakers - they go to hell because they deserve it.

Sorry, doesn't wash. We do what we do because God made us do it. And don't bother trying to hit me with Free Will - you still need to explain why God couldn't have created the universe such that free will, and therefore evil, was unnecessary.

perfectlawministries wrote:

Now, here's how Christ makes the difference: God, Who is rich in mercy, and Who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would rather that everyone come to repentence - entered the realm of time, born of a virgin, kept the law perfectly, then suffered and died taking the punishment for sinners as a substitutionary atonement so that anyone who'd repent of their sins (which means to confess them and turn away from them) and put their trust in that atonement - that it was enough to pay the debt - would become not acquitted, but made righteous as the righteousness of Christ is imputed to their account the same way as my guilt was imputed to Christ.

So God set up a system where he has to become a perfect man and be tortured to death in order to save the people that he has forced to break his own laws. Sounds like a bad schizophrenic fantasy. 

perfectlawministries wrote:

So - in summation...anyone who does not repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ's atonement will go to hell forever (notice that I had no trouble saying that either), because they deserve it (just like I do), being a lawbreaker and a rebel.

Mormons, JW's, Muslims, Jews, atheists, theists, and folks of every race, color, and creed will spend eternity in hell if they do not repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ as Lord of all.

The only way of escape is the gospel - no other way - no one gets graded on a "curve." We are all graded by the standard of perfection...and it's pass or fail.

In our case - it's always "fail." Unless when we turn our paper in, God sees the Name of One Who aced the test: Christ.

There you have it - no apologies. That's what the Bible says, like it or not.

I hope this at least clarifies some things for you. Again, I don't expect you to now suddenly throw your hands up and fall down and worship Christ. But at least now when you mock what the Bible says, you can at least know what it is you are mocking. Smiling

And highly mockable it is. 

Lazy is a word we use when someone isn't doing what we want them to do.
- Dr. Joy Brown


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Sara wrote: My point is

Sara wrote:

My point is that since Christianity explains we were made in the image of God, an intelligent Being, we should be able to detect signs of intelligence. Understanding natural laws and mathematics (as SETI explained) are such signs. Now, if I might make an analogy here. If we equate knowledge of math and science with the ability to read a common sign, shouldn't we wonder Who put the sign there in the first place?



What about natural phenomenon like cold or heat? The sun and snow. Do these not represent symbols? What about visible aggression? The physical signs of anger represent potential hostility and violence. We learn what these "symbols" mean based on experience, not because some kind of intelligence put them there. The same could be said with early cave drawings. Depictions of prey are interpreted to represent the hunt. Modern still life paintings almost always have nothing to do with what fruit is in the basket. It's all about how the fruit is depicted by the artist.

Sara wrote:

Well, that's not really the point of my comment about the Fibanocci sequence. I was thinking more along the lines of why should a mathematical sequence be in something as mundane as flower petals or bee mating rituals?



Mathematics is study of number, quantity and space. We did not invent mathematics, we discovered it. Since the universe consists of quantities and space, I see no reason why common patterns found in nature could not also be found in mathematics.

Sara wrote:

How does detecting evidence of "things not seen" not fit with science? Isn't that what scientists attempt to do when they come up with origin theories?


In his attempt present Intelligent Design worthy to be taught in classrooms, Prof. Behe wanted to expand the definition of science. However, in doing so, this definition would have opened science to supernatural fields of study. When questioned on the stand during the 2005 Dover PA. trial on ID, Behe reluctantly admitted that even Astrology would have fit this definition.

If one were to make a case of why Astrology, which had a large following 1500 years ago, should be excluded from science, on what basis would you do so? Do some people still believe in Astrology, yes. Do some people use Astrology to make decisions in their daily lives? Yes. Astrology is no longer considered science because it does produce results that can be proven.

The same grounds you would use to exclude Astrology would be grounds for excluding God.

Sara wrote:

Furthermore, this verse does not apply to general claims of truth or falsehood. The biblical writer of Hebrews is not asking for people to have "faith" in any unseen entity or concept. The author encouraging faith in a God Who has acted throughout history and in the Person of Jesus Christ. A God Who has revealed Himself over time and proven Himself in prophecy and miraculous events. Whether or not you believe those events occurred does not mean you can alter the meaning of the text to fit some random concept truth or fiction.



Your belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible could just as well be altering the meaning of the text. The entire concept of the Bible could be metaphorical.

Genesis specifically says that the tree Adam is not to eat from is the tree of knowledge. And what is knowledge? The opposite of faith. Yet if man's entire downfall is based on Adam acquiring knowledge, does God take this knowledge from us from us when we are saved? No. The faith that we exhibit when we truly believe that we are "saved" gives us balance.

In spite of the knowledge of our fragile nature and mortal coil, we are "redeemed" by the very hope we have for tomorrow. This is the "faith" I believe the bible is refering to. However, that's just my interpretation. I certainly cant prove it's correct.

Sara wrote:

I'm sorry, but I'm only speaking from a biblical view point. Since you seem to have some knowledge of scripture, I'm sure you are familiar with 1 John 2:19-20 "These people left our churches because they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left us, it proved that they do not belong with us. 20 But you [a true Christian] are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and all of you know the truth.." NIV.


So, you're saying that God's creations are not always perfect. That, there are some of use that never will be saved. We are the control group in God's laboratory of the universe.  


Sara wrote:

Why is purpose complex? Does it upset you that you don't know why God made the universe so you like to have a "purely" natural explanation because it makes it easier?


I'd say you're the one looking for the easy answer. The world isn't black and white. It's shades of grey. Complexity and diversity are the hallmarks of "better" solutions.


Sara wrote:

I'm not a Calvinist, I just believe what the bible says. Furthermore, I have no problem being a slave of Christ. The problem is that you freely admitted, by quoting Dawkins, you are a slave to your genes. How is your position more admirable than mine?


By understanding what "veils of illusion" we see our world though, such as genetics, culture (religion) and ego, we can gain a better understanding of our behavior and the behavior of others. I do not claim to always act in a rational manner. However, do not claim my irrational behavior is based on a supernatural source who's will is incomprehensible.

Sara wrote:

Again, this goes back to whether or not it can be proven intelligence or minds are products of matter. In order to prove that, you would have to show that thoughts are identical to a physical process in the brain. I don't think that's been established. You could also say that a thought "causes" a physical process in the brain.



A study showed that a group of men with very specific brain damage appeared very normal and rational with the exception of a particular area - morality. When posed difficult questions regarding sacrificing one life to save another, they had no problem making life and death decisions. This was in contrast to control groups that had damage in different areas of the brain or no damage at all.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/conditions/03/21/brain.morality/index.html

Sara wrote:

Animals have a form of intelligence, there's no denying that. But that does not mean humans are more evolved animals.

...

Because animals have not been shown to become progressively intelligent over time.



Evolution is a theory that predicts how life evolves over time. Since fossils do not record intelligence, we lack historical evidence of how intelligence has changed over an significant time period. However, the wide range of neurological physiology and intelligence we see today is consistent with what evolution would predict. In other words, the evidence we do have regarding intelligence does not conflict with evolution.

Sara wrote:

No, they pretty much blast people who disagree with their pet theories even those of their own kind. I don't see that as being very open minded.

 
If you can prove that God exists, science will have no choice but to be "open minded" about his existence. That's the way it works.


Sara wrote:

Yes, well I'm always open to hearing theories about why the Egyptians let a group of slaves go without much of a fight. What's your take on that?


Superstition. It's a very powerful force.

We do not learn by experience, but by our capacity for experience.


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Good Morning Detritus

Good Morning Detritus Maximus, Veils of Maya, ScottMax, Inspector Mustard, Textom, and ShaunPhilly.

 

You have all posted great information that requires a well-thought out response. Though I must admit that it's a little overwhelming for one person to respond to all of you. So if I miss any points that you have raised, I apologize.

I want you all to know that I am limited on time (I have an almost 2 year old son and one on the way), so as much as I want to respond fully and completely to all that you have written, it will be difficult. But I want to continue with our fascinating debates, so I will plod on.

I hope to have another post on here either tonight or tomorrow that addresses some of your points.

 

Thanks for the lively conversation.

 

Sara

Scientists, like others, sometimes tell deliberate lies because they believe that small lies can serve big truths." ~ Richard C. Lewontin


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As much as I hate to say, I

As much as I hate to say, I see this point from theists all the time, and I'm really curious as to how someone actually answers this question: 

Sara wrote:
4. No basis for arriving at moral truth.

Exactly how does theism answer moral truth?  If you say, "well theists obey morality because God gives us it," you haven't actually answered the question.  Theists do moral things on the basis of their god, whereas atheists/agnostics/non-theists are moral on the basis of reason.

 And I saw this on the debate listed above when Bashir asked Brian and Kelly how they answered the question of morality with atheism, which is a false assumption.  The assumption is that theism does.  Theism does not answer any moral question: Theists do what they are told by their god simply for the reason that if they don't they will have some eternal punishment or reward.

 Is that really moral to do things just because in the long run you will be rewarded?  Take a theist who gives billions of dollars so that he'll receive eternal rewards, versus an atheist/agnostic/non-theist who gives billions of dollars for no eternal benefit.  One's motivation is more selfish and it is that of the theists.  If you've heard of Immanuel Kant you'll know I'm referring to the idea of a moral imperative; theists do not have such because the reason for their morality is because their god dictated so, which defies reason (as it is just authoritarian) and it is more selfish than those who are not theists because there are no eternal rewards for those of us who do not fall into the theist category.

 Last thing to leave you with:

 

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:
God is dead.

Yes, I hate teenagers who quote this all the time too, but  ... (for the record, I am not a teenager nor am I angsty)

 

Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:
God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

 Those who do moral things for their god are less moral than those of us who do moral things because we have come to morality through reason.  If you can't answer how morality can be answered without god, then you do need to believe in god because you will be a danger to society.  However, that hardly makes you better than the rest of us that do not believe and can still come to morality.

As Nietzsche states, we have become god while theists remain in their ignorance.


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LOL if you read my previous

 Response to perfectlawministries on previous page.  

LOL if you read my previous post you will see thats exactly what I said Ray believes. I agree thats what the bible says but some christians have altered the criteria for hell anyway. They realize that you have to be a monster to send a handicapped person born without the capacity to understand the message to hell.

I commend WOTM for reading the bible and sticking with the message no matter how grotesque. Everyone born before Jesus except maybe a few Jews went to hell and could have done nothing to prevent it. Most people alive today will go to hell. A five year old raised as a Muslim that dies in a car wreck goes to hell. There is no biblical reasoning to refute this. Most christians dont bother to read the bible (except for the fag bashing verses) and make up their own rules.

Your god is a monster and he is getting hardcore kicked in the balls by satan. You lost the soul war so suck it down bitch!!!!! I would rather go to hell with all the wizards and whores you can hang with Kirk Cameron for all eternity.


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NamesAreHardToPick

NamesAreHardToPick wrote:

As much as I hate to say, I see this point from theists all the time, and I'm really curious as to how someone actually answers this question: 

Sara wrote:
4. No basis for arriving at moral truth.

Exactly how does theism answer moral truth?  If you say, "well theists obey morality because God gives us it," you haven't actually answered the question.  Theists do moral things on the basis of their god, whereas atheists/agnostics/non-theists are moral on the basis of reason.

 

You don't understand, if God exists, He is morality. It is His character.


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Several posters have stated

Several posters have stated that Kirk & Ray could have done better, they are the Washington Generals of evangelism, superior arguments exists and all that.

Where are these superior arguments for god? I dont see them in this thread. I cant find anything online except for the same babble repeated over and over. If god has better defenders than Kirk point me to them please. I am looking for superior logic not just the same crap repeated with bigger words by bozos with honorary doctorates from patriot university. I do not think a more convincing case exists.


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Perhaps belief in the

Perhaps belief in the existence of God and Christian observance is premised on culturally based assumptions. Watch the following video for further insight. WWJD (a music video)


NamesAreHardToPick
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Quote:You don't

Quote:
You don't understand, if God exists, He is morality. It is His character.

You missed the point that if that is true, people who are non-theists are still moral without god.  And for the record, stating that god exists because without him morality doesn't exist, and morality is the result of god is nothing short of circular reasoning.

 Second of all, stating that morality and god are linked may make sense to you, but to me, they are a total non-sequitur because god is authoritarian and doesn't give reason, which to me is not moral.  The only thing you are actually demonstrating is that morality is relative because what you call moral, I consider immoral.


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AnthonyAguilar

AnthonyAguilar wrote:

Thank you Scott for replying. I have only seen the nightline version. I was simply talking about attitudes (not words). It seemed to me that Kirk and Ray went in with the attitude that they simply were going to present evidence (which was poor), but Kelly and Sapient (to a lesser degree) went in with the attitude that they were going to hound these guys and be as disrespectful as possible to prove their point.

By your comments, I sort of assumed that was the case. If you watch the full debate you may be a bit dismayed by how unfairly Nightline portrayed our side. I think most Christians will agree that it should not be necessary to edit the debate in a way that so maligns the less popular opinion.

AnthonyAguilar wrote:
One other question: What about those people who, in the faroff tribes or what not, have what they call manifestations called "speaking in tongues" or prophecies or what not? This happens (IMHO) when the gospel is not successfully brought to a people. God makes Himself known to those people. Are they just insane lunatics?

Please provide examples. I am unable to respond to vague reports. If you have a link to an article or two, I would be happy to read about these tribes and offer my opinion.

Thanks Anthony.


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AnthonyAguilar wrote: You

AnthonyAguilar wrote:

You don't understand, if God exists, He is morality. It is His character.

Wouldn't a perfect God be able to make His perfect morality comprehensible to His favored creation? If the Bible is His message to us and everything that God sanctions is what God considers moral, then we must realize that our own sense of morality is in big trouble. Most of us would not consider it moral to kill homosexuals, adulteresses, non-believers, followers of other religions, blasphemers, rebellious children or those who collect sticks on the sabbath but God sanctions all of these things in the Old Testament.

So if Christians do not get their moral principles by blindly following everything that God condones in the Bible, they must instead use reason, compassion and the values of their shared culture to find a suitable moral code. This is what atheists use as well.

Anthony, I suggest that you have a look at evilbible.com. Use the menu on the left side to see instances of rape, murder, etc. in the Bible.  Go through all of those marvelous examples of how the Bible presents a brutal morality that has no place in modern society. See if you can make peace with all of those quotes.

Peace.


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Bargle wrote: Several

Bargle wrote:

Several posters have stated that Kirk & Ray could have done better, they are the Washington Generals of evangelism, superior arguments exists and all that.

Where are these superior arguments for god? I dont see them in this thread. I cant find anything online except for the same babble repeated over and over. If god has better defenders than Kirk point me to them please. I am looking for superior logic not just the same crap repeated with bigger words by bozos with honorary doctorates from patriot university. I do not think a more convincing case exists.

I'll tell you, Bargle, I took the challenge of trying to find the good arguments. I agreed to read any book that my best informed Christian friends would recommend if they would read some of mine. Needless to say, I didn't find any of the theistic arguments convincing, and usually not even coherent.

I'd say the best argument for some sort of Creator was "Creator and Cosmos" by Dr. Hugh Ross. This used very large numbers and basically presented a strong cosmological argument. I read this book about a decade ago and it kept me agnostic with slight deistic tendencies for several years before I read more and realized that the case was not nearly as strong as presented. For example, let me show you how to perform a miracle of your own:

  • Shuffle and deal 52 cards face up on a table
  • Miracle complete. Why? Because the odds of you dealing the exact cards you dealt in exactly that order was 1 in 80,658,175,200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
  • If you had dealt 52 cards per second since the universe began, and if you were doing so once per second on every single star in the known universe, your odds would still have been only 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
  • Therefore, there must be God because otherwise you could not have possibly dealt the cards you just did.

I would recommed reading "A Case For Faith" since it presents a broad swath of the arguments. Be sure to also read the two excellent rebuttals on infidels.org:

The Case Against Faith: A Critical Look at Lee Stroubel's The Case For Faith

Objections Sustained!

This book will cover 90% of the arguments you typically here from informed Christians. The interesting thing is that the book is not even self-consistent, with some interviewees using an old universe Big Bang cosmology as evidence for God and others insisting on young earth.

Whatever apologetics you read, you will probably find an excellent dissection on infidels.org. That site is an amazing reference of extremely well written papers showing the holes in theistic reasoning.

Here is the other interesting thing I discovered. You don't need to read many books on the "arguments for" side to hear all of the arguments in favor of God. On the other hand, you need to read dozens of books on the "arguments against" side to hear all of the arguments that refute the "God" theory. Even my Christian friends very quickly conceded that they didn't really have any more evidence and that I would not proceed in my "quest" until I took the leap of faith and invited Jesus into my heart.


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Intersting scottmax I will

Intersting scottmax I will look those up. Did your christian friends actually read the books you recommended? What books did you propose to them and how did they respond? I am curious how a christian can look deeply into the rabbit hole and remain a christian.


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Ray and Kirk are majorly

Ray and Kirk are majorly fringe. Most Christians probably do not deny evolution at least at some level. Even most of the IDer's believe in evolution, just guided by a higher intelligence. They never think too deeply about the implications of evolution because they are damning. For instance, many moderate Christians will say that god created everything through evolution. You then point out to them some of the more grotesque and bizarre lifeforms on this earth which perform "immoral" acts, and they will say "we live in a fallen creation". But if they admit evolution is true, then the mythical Adam and Eve came about long after most things were "designed", and their "fall" from the garden could not have caused the grotesque and amoral ways of nature.

 I have to give Kirk and Ray credit tho. At least they understand that for Christianity to be true, evolution can't be. Most Christians don't get that. 

Anyone got a match? I need to sacrifice a goat to make god happy.


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race

How is it that believers rationalize the differences among the races? Sickle cell anemia for instance, evolved to protect black Africans from Malaria. I believe it is found exclusively in the black population. Did the great intelligent designer decide to warp the shape of particular black people's red blood cells through his almighty powers to protect them from malaria? (why not just get rid of mosquitos or malaria?). And if Christians can admit that it was natural selection which favored the genes for this trait, then it doesn't take a noble laureate in biology to realize that 3.5 billion years of this process will lead to very complex life-forms.

This is just one piddly example of thousands which show there is nothing intelligent about our design.

Anyone got a match? I need to sacrifice a goat to make god happy.


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Vastet, I would love to

Vastet, I would love to suggest a couple of books to you.  Of course as a Rev. I would suggest the Bible.  But in this case, I would suggest a dictionary.  Merriam-Webster:Atheist - one who believes that there is no deity.Funk & Wgnalls DictionaryAtheism - the belief that there is no God.Atheist - One who denies or disbelieves in the existence of GodI am certainly not ashamed of being a theist.  I gave myself my screen name.  I am a monotheist.  Not a polytheist and not an atheist.Your definition "without god" is correct.  Notice it is not "without a god" or "without one god"  Please read more carefully in the future.  I am glad that I could help you out so you will not make the same mistake in the future.An athesit does not believe in ANY GOD - He or she is "without god."  A Christian is a monotheist because he or she believes in one God.  A polytheist believes in many gods.You're welcome.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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You don't understand, if

"You don't understand, if God exists, He is morality. It is His character."

So you are saying that the Euthyphro Dilemma can be solved by simply moving the question of "what makes something good?" from "God's command to do it does," to "God's nature does"? It's that simple?

You don't seem to see the major problem -- either morality transcends the question of God's own existence (and thus God's nature as well, and whatever would dictate said nature), or it doesn't and it is contingent upon some aspect of God's existence. If morality is a contingent thing, then it is as circular to say "God is good" as to say "This part/function of God is of God." Goodness as an external standard is necessary to make any use of it.

If, for instance, God's nature was such that the fellow got off on the torture and molestation of small children, then that would be "good" in your book. Morality contingent on God's nature is just as broken and useless as morality contingent on God's commands. You haven't solved the problem of what makes something good at all, just translocated it from one place (God's commands) to another (God's nature).

_____
"Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood."
-H. L. Mencken


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I have read through quite a

I have read through quite a few of the posts/rebuttals that are here on your site, and it seems to me that this site is quite different than that of agnostic/atheist/free thinkers and it seems to be more of one of anti-christ.

You don’t seem to be ones seeking the truth, only ones supporting your own agenda. You purport through most of your arguments (for an example) A+B=C, and state it as fact, but if we state A+B=D you scoff and say it can only be A+B=C, there is no possible way it could be anything but C. Most of your arguments hold water in only your own sink per say, and not in anybody else’s. If one asks somebody to prove something, but does not allow one to reference what they are trying to prove, of course it is not provable, can on prove the existence of the sun without using the sun as a reference? Possibly but I would think it would be paramount to ones argument. If one person argues the sun is real, it’s there in the sky, and another screams liar, you can’t use the sun to prove itself, has one actually disproved the point of the suns existence?

If I was allowed to go back through all of your arguments and throw them out if I found a typo, or a misrepresentation of any sort, through either your own omission or error, or through a quote, or link you provide that has erroneous information on another site, there would probably not be any posts on this site at all. Does that make all the posts and arguments moot? No. But why would one look at a historical document, and dispute it based upon ones interpretation of an earlier document? Historically speaking it is actually quite accurate, minus a few omissions or errors (it is actually really only that if one does not believe, it even states one will not thoroughly understand if they don’t believe it)

Now , lets look at why one would not believe what they are reading..

2Peter: 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.[b]That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. Sorry, I had to reference the Bible, it says what it says.. yes I believe it, no it doesn’t lie. It also states: Acts 28: 23They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. 25They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet: 26" 'Go to this people and say, "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving." 27For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them

Also, another interesting passage, speaking not only to the existence of God, but also what to happens to one, and ones mind when they search for the wrong answers (you will get what you search for)

 Romans 1: 18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

We all make our own decisions, based upon what we know to be true, and just as you believe what you believe based on the information you have, I believe in what I believe because of what I know to be true, and we can both argue that the other has closed ears and closed eyes, but the passage above where it states that: ‘For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.’ settles it for me, I look around and cannot believe that God does not exist.


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REVLyle wrote: Vastet, I

REVLyle wrote:
Vastet, I would love to suggest a couple of books to you. Of course as a Rev. I would suggest the Bible. But in this case, I would suggest a dictionary. Merriam-Webster:Atheist - one who believes that there is no deity.Funk & Wgnalls DictionaryAtheism - the belief that there is no God.Atheist - One who denies or disbelieves in the existence of GodI am certainly not ashamed of being a theist. I gave myself my screen name. I am a monotheist. Not a polytheist and not an atheist.Your definition "without god" is correct. Notice it is not "without a god" or "without one god" Please read more carefully in the future. I am glad that I could help you out so you will not make the same mistake in the future.An athesit does not believe in ANY GOD - He or she is "without god." A Christian is a monotheist because he or she believes in one God. A polytheist believes in many gods.You're welcome.

 Yeah, why read hundreds of pages of philosophical writing on a complex subject when you can just reference a one-sentence definition that reflects its common usage in society?

An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.


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Bargle wrote: Intersting

Bargle wrote:
Intersting scottmax I will look those up. Did your christian friends actually read the books you recommended? What books did you propose to them and how did they respond? I am curious how a christian can look deeply into the rabbit hole and remain a christian.

One friend has not found the time to read any of the books I sent. The other read "The Jesus Puzzle" but he found it unconvincing, which is not surprising I guess. I next lent him "Misquoting Jesus" which he has had for quite awhile and on which I have received no comments. I have had very heavy dialogue with both of these friends and faith always trumps reasonable questions. Of course, if they ever read this post, they may very well dispute my assertion and claim that all of my beliefs are faith based while theirs are founded in reason.

I have begun a dialogue with another friend who is much less dogmatic and, I think, far more willing to question than my other 2 friends. I am starting him with "Woe To The Women" which I believe is pretty devastating to any person who is good first and Christian second.


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jabwocky wrote:  If one

jabwocky wrote:


 If one asks somebody to prove something, but does not allow one to reference what they are trying to prove, of course it is not provable, can on prove the existence of the sun without using the sun as a reference? Possibly but I would think it would be paramount to ones argument. If one person argues the sun is real, it’s there in the sky, and another screams liar, you can’t use the sun to prove itself, has one actually disproved the point of the suns existence?

You are welcome to use the bible to prove the existence of the bible. The sun can be used to prove that the sun exists but not to prove that Apollo is real.


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jabwocky wrote: You

jabwocky wrote:

You purport through most of your arguments (for an example) A+B=C, and state it as fact, but if we state A+B=D you scoff and say it can only be A+B=C, there is no possible way it could be anything but C.

We purport things like 3x1=3. You purport that 3x1=1. There is no possible way that 3x1 can be anyting but 3.

jabwocky wrote:
If one asks somebody to prove something, but does not allow one to reference what they are trying to prove, of course it is not provable, can on prove the existence of the sun without using the sun as a reference?

Yes. Even if we lacked sight, we could see all of the evidence of the sun and be pretty sure that the sun exists. But this is a false analogy anyway.

The better analogy would be, if one wants to prove that a history book is true, one would be able to look at the things documented in that book and what other competing history books have to say to determine the likelihood that it is true. You could not simply take that book's claim that it is true as proof that it is true.


jabwocky wrote:
Now , lets look at why one would not believe what they are reading..

2Peter: 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?

Yes, we are very aware of all of the dreadful things that the Bible says to try to cow people into believing it and to explain away how rational people can disbelieve it. Paul and Christ also made it very clear that the apocalypse and the coming of the kingdom were supposed to be imminent. Paul advised unmarried people to remain unmarried if they could since the kingdom was almost at hand. (Can you imagine what would have happened to Christianity if all Christians had stopped breeding? Too bad those early Christians couldn't control their animal natures any better than everybody else.) Christ said that some of those in attendance would still be alive when the kingdom came. So forgive me if I am not impressed by the threats.


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gary7infiltrator

gary7infiltrator wrote:

Oh, sorry - I must have missed your post.

 

1) You are correct that statistics will help determine "normalcy." However, YOU never denied that the only difference between some religious beliefs (such as the commonly held thoughts on God that I referenced with the Holy Cat story) and mental illness is the number of people who hold those beliefs. This tacitly implies that you agree with me on some level about the similarity between religious ideas of "skydaddy" watching you and paranoid mental disorders.

Not so fast.

I'm not agreeing with you here. First of, the argument you put up is just one of societal bias, not why religion is a mind disorder. You're argument is based on consensus ("Society finds X ridiculous, but not Y. Therefor, they are both ridicuous.&quotEye-wink. Every religion started out as a cult and every religion is that is small and new will be frowned upon - even by other religious people - but that doesn't make it pathological.

Second, I do not consider worshipping animal gods any sillier or more logical than worshipping the 'Big Brother complex' of Western religion.

Now if someone think his own cat, walking right in front of him, is a deity, that would be easily falsifiable. But unless you can give me psychosomatic causes for this phenomenon, you're abusing the word 'mind disorder'. And I don't like clinical psychology to be pissed on.

Quote:
2) I still maintain that the Middle East conflict is PURELY about religion (and I am referring to the Israel/Palestine conflict here specifically, because it is the longest-running). Why? It's simple. Why are they FIGHTING so viciously over control of the particular land in dispute? Because each "side" believes that God promised it to them. How is that NOT purely about religion? The fact that they want to control some land is pretty much incidental when they both want to control land that they believe God gave to them and only them.

It is my opinion that in this scenario, religion is just a mediator in the proces. People may be aroused by religious thought about them being right, but that's nothing other things like politics, race, or culture can't do. Any trait that categorizes humans into groups can do that.

The ME conflict has gotten much international attention because of interests in resources (oil, military allies), and ideologies (like government types). Religion is just one factor in a bigger proces. Like pretty much anything in history, it's all about power.

Quote:
3) Religion is always harmful to the mind because it demands that one throw out logic in order to go along with the rituals. We are expected to be logical and reasonable in EVERY other aspect of our lives. Clearly we, as a human society, see value in reason and logic. But not when it comes to something that is inherently illogical and irrational.

In my opinion, 'logic' and 'rationality' is prententious and naive bullshit invented by society. There is no such thing as a complete and perfect framework for understanding and explaining the world. Saying that one system is completely devoid of logic. People simply do not have the cognitive abilities to seperate manmade fiction from what we understand as 'reality'. We're to easily fooled by what we think we know. I don't even see a reason to assume objective truth exists.

As a matter of fact, contradictions, paradoxes, and falsehood are necessary for creating stable and usable methods of categorizing and manipulating the world. Read some Douglas Hofstadter or Robert Anton Wilson if you disagree, you'll be amazed. (Wilsons's The Cosmic Trigger and Prometheus Rising are particularly interesting for those who dismiss other people's beliefs as 'insane&#39Eye-wink

You're basically putting your obsession with reason over someone elses preference of pragmatics or essence. Just because something doesn't have a closed set of premises or deductions doesn't give you the right or even a reason to declare a Jihad on religious thought.

Unless you can disprove the existence of god (and you can't -unfalsifiable) or disprove every single argument in favor of theism (and you can't), there's no reason to say a theist must throw all reason and logic out the window.

Quote:
I believe you are specifically taking umbrage with my assertion that even religious moderates harm society as a whole (when one would expect that only religious fundamentalists cause true harm). While it is true that probably no religious moderates are committing acts of suicide bombing or going on any Crusades to destroy those who don't believe the same way they do, moderates still pose a very great danger to society in that they demand unfailing, unquestioning respect for their beliefs.

Moderates religious people do not demand unfailling and unquestioning respect for their beliefs. At least, that's my idea about the whole MODERATE thing.

I just don't see any justification for you vehement anti-religious sentiments and your constant need to diminish religious thought to silly charicatures.

Quote:
I suppose I could have summed this up more succinctly by saying simply that I share Sam Harris' beliefs about the harmfulness of religion in modern society.

Sounds interesting. I might give it a try one of these days.


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jabwocky wrote: I have

jabwocky wrote:

I have read through quite a few of the posts/rebuttals that are here on your site, and it seems to me that this site is quite different than that of agnostic/atheist/free thinkers and it seems to be more of one of anti-christ.

You don’t seem to be ones seeking the truth, only ones supporting your own agenda. You purport through most of your arguments (for an example) A+B=C, and state it as fact, but if we state A+B=D you scoff and say it can only be A+B=C, there is no possible way it could be anything but C. Most of your arguments hold water in only your own sink per say, and not in anybody else’s. If one asks somebody to prove something, but does not allow one to reference what they are trying to prove, of course it is not provable, can on prove the existence of the sun without using the sun as a reference? Possibly but I would think it would be paramount to ones argument. If one person argues the sun is real, it’s there in the sky, and another screams liar, you can’t use the sun to prove itself, has one actually disproved the point of the suns existence?

If I was allowed to go back through all of your arguments and throw them out if I found a typo, or a misrepresentation of any sort, through either your own omission or error, or through a quote, or link you provide that has erroneous information on another site, there would probably not be any posts on this site at all. Does that make all the posts and arguments moot? No. But why would one look at a historical document, and dispute it based upon ones interpretation of an earlier document? Historically speaking it is actually quite accurate, minus a few omissions or errors (it is actually really only that if one does not believe, it even states one will not thoroughly understand if they don’t believe it)

First of all, the bible doesn't prove the existence of the god of Abraham any more than the Illiad proves the existence of Apollo.

But I guess one point in this passage is that Brian and Kelly shouldn't be complaining that Ray used the bible? Aside from breaking the agreed to format, I think there are probably a couple of good reasons they found it annoying;

If they had known that the ten commandments of the alleged reality of jesus would come up, maybe they would have included their bible expert Rook on the stage. It seems to me like any one of them can handle these questions, but Rook can do it blindfolded and half asleelp.

Another problem is that atheists in America often get accused of attacking christianity specifically and giving other religions a pass. You can find a good example in the video section of this site in an interview Brian did with Fox news. One way of avoiding this criticism is to ignore the bible and focus the debate on the existence of god, which is an idea all the major religions share.

 

by the way, I want to congratulate Brian and Kelly on the debate. I thought both of you were great. I would have melted into a puddle of sweat under that heat. I've been an atheist for 25 years but usually just keep to myself. But you've inspired me to be more vocal.  Keep it up.


Why are they glad and sad and bad?
I do not know, go ask your dad.


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First off I would like to

First off I would like to apologize, I am not as familiar with forums as some others are, I am cutting/pasting this through MS Word, so I can see better the context of what I am doing, as such the quoting etc, may be off somewhat. My respone will be in blue.

jabwocky wrote:
You purport through most of your arguments (for an example) A+B=C, and state it as fact, but if we state A+B=D you scoff and say it can only be A+B=C, there is no possible way it could be anything but C.

scottmax wrote:

We purport things like 3x1=3. You purport that 3x1=1. There is no possible way that 3x1 can be anyting but 3. .

 Response: this is my perfect example, how do you know my D wasn’t also 3? You assumed it wasn’t but it could have been. 

jabwocky wrote:

If one asks somebody to prove something, but does not allow one to reference what they are trying to prove, of course it is not provable, can on prove the existence of the sun without using the sun as a reference? .

 
scottmax wrote:
Yes. Even if we lacked sight, we could see all of the evidence of the sun and be pretty sure that the sun exists. But this is a false analogy anyway. 

The better analogy would be, if one wants to prove that a history book is true, one would be able to look at the things documented in that book and what other competing history books have to say to determine the likelihood that it is true. You could not simply take that book's claim that it is true as proof that it is true. .

 

Response: How could somebody lacking sight see all the evidence? I’m sure that’s not exactly what you meant to say, but how do you know that the things supposedly provided by the sun (if you can’t use it for reference) are not provided by large sun lamps?

As a history book there are no things that are disputed by other history books, and there are more things being proven to be correct in the Bible all the time by writings of cultures of the same times that are being found, also the lack of mentioning something in one culture does not preclude it from happening in another..  

jabwocky wrote:

Now , lets look at why one would not believe what they are reading..

 

2Peter: 11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? .

 
scottmax wrote:

Yes, we are very aware of all of the dreadful things that the Bible says to try to cow people into believing it and to explain away how rational people can disbelieve it. Paul and Christ also made it very clear that the apocalypse and the coming of the kingdom were supposed to be imminent. Paul advised unmarried people to remain unmarried if they could since the kingdom was almost at hand. (Can you imagine what would have happened to Christianity if all Christians had stopped breeding? Too bad those early Christians couldn't control their animal natures any better than everybody else.) Christ said that some of those in attendance would still be alive when the kingdom came. So forgive me if I am not impressed by the threats. .

 

Response: Yes if you take verses out of context, you can tear them apart all day long, and yes even back 2000 years ago, humans were humans… just like today, and just like today as then, the quoted verses hold true…

Christ’s Kingdom on earth is HERE, it began with His crucifixion, it continues  forever, and will completed upon His second coming


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YOU WROTE:  Yeah, why read

YOU WROTE:  Yeah, why read hundreds of pages of philosophical writing on a complex subject when you can just reference a one-sentence definition that reflects its common usage in society?

Well, I am not Burger King - but I will let you have it your way.

Here are several definitions of atheism taken from philosophical glossaries and dictionaries : 

Atheism: Belief that god does not exist. Unlike the agnostic, who merely criticizes traditional arguments for the existence of a deity, the atheist must offer evidence (such as the problem of evil) that there is no god or propose a strong principle for denying what is not known to be true. 

Atheism: (Gr. a, no; theos, god) Two uses of the term:
  1. The belief that there is no God.
  2. Some philosophers have been called "atheistic" because they have not held to a belief in a personal God. Atheism in this sense means "not theistic."

atheism<ethics, philosophy of religion> the belief that, or the philosophical position according to which, God, gods, deities, and supernatural powers do not exist. In this respect it is similar to secularism and opposed to any variety of theism.

In the last two centuries, some of the most influential atheistic hilosophers have been Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Atheism is to be contrasted with
agnosticism, which takes a doubtful attitude towards the existence of God(s) but does not proclaim disbelief.

Popularly, atheism is often taken to imply a lack of any ideals or
values whatsoever (see immoralism), but this connotation rests on the controversial assumption that religious or supernatural values are the only real values. (References from agnosticism, secularism, and theism.)

Here is where I have to say – If you cannot be intellectually honest about this one thing – defining a word such as “Atheism” - how can you even debate the deeper things of life?  What you are demonstrating is an inability to admit error.  You do not need hundreds of pages to define one word. 

Kelly was wrong.  Atheism is NOT the rejection of one God and the acceptance of another.  It is the belief that there is NO God.  She redefined the term and played on the ignorance of the people watching the debate, just so she could call everyone an atheist.  Again, this was her opening statement.  She had time to write, rewrite, and refine what she wanted to say.  She either knew that her definition was wrong and she wanted to do what I described OR she was simply completely ignorant of how to define atheism.  Let’s talk about the other issues that I brought up. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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You know what makes 'me'

You know what makes 'me' 'wonder--?

I f a (so-called) "god", gave 'dominion-over' "Earth" to an entity called "Satan",..... then WHY would anyone actually 'trust' ANY-thing 'found' on "Earth" to be "the word of a 'god&#39Eye-wink-?

Wouldn't a "Satan" that had complete-control of "Earth" be able to 'plant' "certain books" (fossils.....etc)-?

 Would 'that' not 'negate' everything that "the-bible" had/has to say-?

Just-asking,.... from a logical-standpoint.


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REVLyle wrote: Kelly was

REVLyle wrote:

Kelly was wrong. Atheism is NOT the rejection of one God and the acceptance of another. It is the belief that there is NO Go

I guess we should check the dictionary. Since Webster's Online is handy, I'll use that.

atheism
1 archaic : UNGODLINESS, WICKEDNESS
2 a
: a disbelief in the existence of deity b : the doctrine that there is no deity

Well, we are clearly not using the archaic definition. I guess we are using either 2a or 2b. When I describe myself as an atheist, I mean 2a.

Let's see what the Catholic Encyclopedia has to say:

Atheism

(a privative, and theos, God, i.e. without God).

Atheism is that system of thought which is formally opposed to theism. Since its first coming into use the term atheism has been very vaguely employed, generally as an epithet of accusation against any system that called in question the popular gods of the day. Thus while Socrates was accused of atheism (Plato, Apol., 26,c.) and Diagoras called an atheist by Cicero (Nat. Deor., I, 23), Democritus and Epicurus were styled in the same sense impious (without respect for the gods) on account of their trend of their new atomistic philosophy. In this sense too, the early Christians were known to the pagans as atheists, because they denied the heathen gods; while, from time to time, various religious and philisophical systems have, for similar reasons, been deemed atheistic.

Wow, so Christians were called atheists because they didn't believe in Pagan gods... Interesting. So it looks like the definition that Kelly is using predates Christ himself.

But you can use any straw man definition that makes you feel better. It doesn't change my disbelief and it does not change what the majority of atheists mean when we call ourselves atheist.


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Where are these superior

Where are these superior arguments against God? I dont see them in this thread. I cant find anything online except for the same babble repeated over and over. If god has better defeaters than Brian and Kelly, point me to them please. I am looking for superior logic not just the same crap repeated with bigger words by bozos with honorary doctorates from patriot university. I do not think a more convincing case exists.

 I couldn't agree more?  Obciously I changed some words to prove my point.  No one has answered this question:  Which statement is dogma:

1.  I cannot prove God exist, but God exist.

2.  You cannot prove God does not exist, but God does not exist.

 You say that theist are dogmatic while atheist are scientific.  I have heard over and over, "Christians say that God does exist, so the burden of proof is on them to prove His existence."  BUT you have said "God does not exist" - so the burden of proof to prove His non-existence is upon you.  Where is that proof?  I have not seen it yet. 

You will be able to answer the question against God as well as the Christian will be able to answer the question for God.  It is a belief, worldview, or faith.  Ultimatlely, it is a philisophical question and you cannot use emperical science to prove either position.  What is amazing is that the vast majority, including Brian and Kelly, are still looking for the answer and attempting to prove their pisition with emperical science.  Not going to happen.

RevLyle

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.


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Thank you Scott.  I did not

What time period are we in???? Post-Christ


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jabwocky wrote: scottmax

jabwocky wrote:

scottmax wrote:

We purport things like 3x1=3. You purport that 3x1=1. There is no possible way that 3x1 can be anyting but 3. .

Response: this is my perfect example, how do you know my D wasn’t also 3? You assumed it wasn’t but it could have been.

Not if you believe in the Trinity it's not. Are you a Jehovah's Witness?

jabwocky wrote:

scottmax wrote:
Yes. Even if we lacked sight, we could see all of the evidence of the sun and be pretty sure that the sun exists. But this is a false analogy anyway.

The better analogy would be, if one wants to prove that a history book is true, one would be able to look at the things documented in that book and what other competing history books have to say to determine the likelihood that it is true. You could not simply take that book's claim that it is true as proof that it is true. .

Response: How could somebody lacking sight see all the evidence? I’m sure that’s not exactly what you meant to say, but how do you know that the things supposedly provided by the sun (if you can’t use it for reference) are not provided by large sun lamps?

You would not have all of the evidence but we have plenty of other ways of detecting the sun besides sight. Relativity Theory and gravity alone would show us evidence of a large object where the sun is. We can also detect the heat of the Sun. But all of this seems fairly irrelevent to your point about using the Bible to prove itself.

jabwocky wrote:
As a history book there are no things that are disputed by other history books, and there are more things being proven to be correct in the Bible all the time by writings of cultures of the same times that are being found, also the lack of mentioning something in one culture does not preclude it from happening in another..

I am very excited to hear about all of the things that are being scientifically proven to be correct in the Bible. I assume you mean more than the obvious facts like Jerusalem being a real city and Pontius Pilate governing Judea. I presume that you are referring to things like the earthquake and the dead rising for a stroll through Jerusalem when Jesus died... stuff that is actually relevant to proving that any of the important parts of the Bible are not just fiction based in a historic setting. Please send links to articles. Many of us have been looking for this so I'm sure your new information will be greeted with much excitement here.

jabwocky wrote:

Response: Yes if you take verses out of context, you can tear them apart all day long, and yes even back 2000 years ago, humans were humans… just like today, and just like today as then, the quoted verses hold true…

Yes, we love to take things out of context. Of course, out of context generally means reading what is written in the Bible at face value without filtering it through some convoluted apologistic process to make it mean what is more socially acceptable by modern society.

For instance, when we read in Matthew 21:19 about how Jesus was hungry and he cursed the fig tree for having the nerve to be out of season and not bearing fruit, we assume that means that he was hungry and destroyed a tree that could not possibly have fed him. I could give you many more examples but you can just look back a few posts and find the many other negative things that Jesus appears to have said and done. But I'm sure you can find some rationalization that puts all of those "in context" to make Jesus a swell fella.

Sorry to be so sarcastic but "out of context" is just about the most intellectually lazy defense I hear of the Bible. I'm getting tired of hearing it.


perfectlawministries
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Bargle wrote: Response to

Bargle wrote:

Response to perfectlawministries on previous page.

LOL if you read my previous post you will see thats exactly what I said Ray believes. I agree thats what the bible says but some christians have altered the criteria for hell anyway. They realize that you have to be a monster to send a handicapped person born without the capacity to understand the message to hell.

I commend WOTM for reading the bible and sticking with the message no matter how grotesque. Everyone born before Jesus except maybe a few Jews went to hell and could have done nothing to prevent it. Most people alive today will go to hell. A five year old raised as a Muslim that dies in a car wreck goes to hell. There is no biblical reasoning to refute this. Most christians dont bother to read the bible (except for the fag bashing verses) and make up their own rules.

Your god is a monster and he is getting hardcore kicked in the balls by satan. You lost the soul war so suck it down bitch!!!!! I would rather go to hell with all the wizards and whores you can hang with Kirk Cameron for all eternity.

Ok - I'll be brief...if you can't play nice, then I'm not interested.

1 - people in the Old Testament were "saved" the same way people in the New Testament era are saved - repentance & faith.  Prior to Christ, faith looked forward to His sacrifice, after Christ's death and resurrection, faith looks back to His finished work.

2 - children and adults with infantile mental capacity (Muslim or otherwise) do not go to hell.  Christ said many times that the kingdom of God belongs to such as them.  I could provide quotes, but you don't care, so never mind.

3 - people "could do something about it" - they could be perfect, or they could throw themselves on the Mercy of the Court.  I'd say Option #1 is off the table for you by now. 

Have a nice day.