Questions about God... theists answer these!

Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Sapient's picture
Posts: 7525
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
Questions about God... theists answer these!

List of questions about God, religion and the supernatural have been compiled by IG over the years as well as some interesting ones by readers.

1. If Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies so well, why didn't the Jews recognize him as the messiah? - Francois Tremblay

2. If Gen 3:24 is true, why hasn't anyone found the Cherubims and the " flaming sword which turned every way"?

3. It's been proven that modern humans originated from Africa. Yet, the Adam and Eve story claims the first Humans lived in a garden in Eden, near 4 rivers. ( Most of which no one can find). One of these rivers mentioned is the Euphrates, which runs through Iraq, Syria and a portion of Turkey. What's the truth? Did man come out of Africa or near the Euphrates River? - The Infidel Guy

4. When the believer gets to Heaven, how can Heaven be utter bliss when people they love and care about are burning in Hell ? - The Infidel Guy - [Note: Some say God erases your memories of them, but if God erases your memory, you as Mr. Joe /Jane Smoe ceases to exist.]

5. How can a God have emotions, i.e. jealousy, anger, sadness, love, etc., if he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent? Emotional states are reactionary for the most part. How can God react to us if he is all-knowing and has a divine plan? - IG [Note: Indeed, many religious texts display their gods this way . Listen to the An Emotional Godshow.]
6. Why would God create a place such as hell to torture sinners forever when he foreknew who would disappoint him? - IG [Note: Some say you have a choice, but this misses the point. If God hates sin so much, why create Adam and Eve when he knew they'd sin? The only conclusion I can come up with, if Yaweh exists, is that he wanted sin to enter the world.]

7. "God is all merciful," we hear quite often. Wouldn't it be more merciful of God to simply snap sinners out of existence rather than send them to hell? Or better yet, since he's all-knowing, not allow them to be born at all? - IG
ON GOD'S LOVE & HELL
1.) God's love is superlative.
2.) God's love of man exceeds man's love of self.
3.) Man's love of self prohibits torture.
4.) Considering God's greater love for us, Hell (eternal torture) is illogical.

8. Muslims are supposed to pray 5 times a day towards Mecca. Each prayer includes a variety of ritualism and posturing. If a muslim astronaut were to land on Mars. Prayer to Mecca would be ritualistically impossible due to the rotation of Earth and Mars. Are Muslims stuck here in Earth? IG [Note: Since this was first posted, a Muslim astronaut was faced with this very dilemma. The authoritative clergy informed him to pray as he normally would. I see this no where in the Koran. You see? Religions must change, or die out. It's interesting to note that, in the Koran, the moon is believed to be in the lowest Heaven, the level for those that barely made it to Heaven. Surah 71:15-16. One problem, no man can supposedly get to Heaven until they die. Yet, we've been to the moon. Our satellites beyond that.]

9. Why haven't we seen God reattach severed heads, restore someone who was burned alive or regrow amputated limbs? Surely these would be miracles difficult to deny. - Adam Majors and IG [Note: The typical answer is that man doesn't dictate God's actions. The conundrum here however is that, if God wants us to "know" him, then surely feats such as those mentioned above would be happening all over the world. Until they do, I'll remain an atheist.]

10. Why does God entrust the spreading of 'His' word to sinners? Why doesn't he do it himself? - IG [Note: Surely God would have known that not everyone would be convinced by the reality[sic] of his Bible. If God loves us so much, we are all going to Heaven. If God knew that I would be an atheist, and he doesn't like atheists, he shouldn't have allowed me to come into existence. But he did. Therefore, I must be serving the will of God, for I exist. Smiling]

11. In II Kings 2-23/24 we read about God sending 2 she-bears to attack children for calling the prophet Elisa bald, which he was, the bears killed 42 of the children. Was this a good thing to do? -- Brandon and IG[Note: I have heard some argue that the boys were a gang. So?! I didn't read anywhere in that passage where they laid a finger on the guy . Also, what kind of bears are these that can kill 42 kids? Super Bears? Surely the kids had to be running away.]

12. I have often heard from many believers that even Satan has a presence in the church, which is why even in church people can still have impure thoughts. If Satan can find his way in the church, how do Christians know that Satan didn't find his way into the Bible and twist the whole book? After all, men did vote on which books would make the Holy Bible. - The Infidel Guy

13. Why did God allow Lot and his daughters to escape from Sodom and Gomorra when he destroyed it only to later have Lot and his daughters engage in incestuous fornication. (Genesis 19:30-36) - Disillusioned [Note: To have intercourse with daddy dearest of course.]

14. Genesis 1:28-29 shows that man and all the animals were first created herbivorous. Most young-earth Christians (ones that believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old) say that the fall of man resulted in carnivorous animals ( hence death of animals). So, why did God punish the animal kingdom, making animals kill and devour each other because of man's mistake? Or, if you're an old-earth Christian (one that accepts that animals existed on earth for billions of years before man came on the scene) then how come fossils show carnivorous animals existed before man? - http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/contact.htm.

15. Many Christians believe that God is a thinking being, that he solves problems and makes a way for them when troubles come. Does God Think? If God is thinking, did he know his thoughts before he thought them? If so, again, where is his freewill and how is God thinking at all if everything seems to be one uncontrollable action/thoughts. - The Infidel Guy [Note: I'd say a God cannot think at all. To do so, would strip him of omniscience. Thinking is a temporal process.] ON GOD'S ATEMPORALITY
1.) God, an atemporal being, created the Universe.
2.) Creation is a temporal processes because X cannot cause Y to come into being unless X existed temporally prior to Y.
3.) If God existed prior to the creation of the Universe he is a temporal being.
4.) Since God is atemporal, God cannot be the creator the Universe.
[Note: I guess I should also note here that a timeless being would be without the proposition of past, and future. But to be omniscient, God must know the past and future. Hence a God that is atemporal and omniscient cannot logically exist. Smiling]

16. I have often heard that faith is all that is neccessary to believe in God and accept the Bible as true. If this is true aren't all supernatural beliefs true since they also require "faith"? - IG ON FAITH
1.) A prerequisite to believe in a Faith is faith.
2.) Having faith is all that is required to accept a Faith (belief) as true.
3.) All Faiths are true.
[Note: Of course all Faiths aren`t true, but this is the only logical conclusion that can be drawn from a person that states that, "Faith" is how one knows God.]

17. Why didn't God just kill Adam and Eve after the Fall and start from scratch? Actually, if God is all-knowing wouldn't he know that man would need to be killed eventually anyway, (the biblical flood)? Why create Adam and Eve at all? - and ON THE GARDEN OF EDEN
1.) God is omniscient (all-knowing).
2.) God knew that before he created man that they would eat of the tree of knowledge.
3.) God placed the tree of knowledge in the Garden anyway.
4.) God wanted sin to enter the world.
[Note: If God didn`t want sin to enter the world, why create Adam and Eve at all? He knew what would happen. Why place the forbidden trees in the Garden in the first place?]

18. If a spirit is non-physical but the human body is physical, how does a spirit stay in our bodies? - IG ON SPIRITS
1.) Spirits are not physical entities.
2.) Brains are physical entities.
3.) Past experiences are stored in our physical brains, we call that, Memory..
4.) Injury can damage portions of the physical brain that store memory and can alter or erase memories completely.
5.) If human spirits exist... after death, spirits can have no memory.
[Note: Some will say the spirit stores physical memories as well, but if true, the spirit would have to be physical at least to a degree. How could a non-physical spirit store, physical memories?]

19. Does God know his own future decisions? If God is all-knowing he actually shouldn't have any decisions to make at all. Nor can he choose anything over something else. For that would mean that he is neither omniscient nor omnipotent. In fact, he can't even think if this is the case. Since he can't DO anything, he might as well not exist. - IG ON GOD'S IMMUTABILITY - Unchangingness
1. If God exists, then he is immutable.
2. If God exists, then he is the creator of the universe.
3. An immutable being cannot at one time have an intention and then at a later time not have that intention.
4. For any being to create anything, prior to the creation he must have had the intention to create it, but at a later time, after the creation, no longer have the intention to create it.
5. Thus, it is impossible for an immutable being to have created anything (from 3 and 4).
6. Therefore, it is impossible for God to exist (from 1, 2, and 5) - Theodore M. Drange

20. If God is all-knowing, how could he be disappointed in His creation? -- [Note: Indeed, wouldn't God know that before the creation of our Universe what creatures would disappoint him? That being the case why create those creatures at all? Also, in knowing absolutely the behavior of humans before creation, God cannot be disappointed either... for this world is exactly as he has planned it to be. If it's not, why create us at all?]

21. God struck down the Tower of Babel angry at the intent of the people that built them, if this is the case, many of the great pyramids ( which are bigger than any ziggurat) around the world should be rubble also, yet many still stand today. Were not the Egyptians and many other ancient pyramid builders reaching toward God /The Heavens? - IG [Note: In actuality, many of the Pharaoh's believed that, via their pyramids, they would become God's themselves.]

22. In the watchmaker analogy, a watch is used to show us intelligent design and compares that to the Universe as evidence of design. We know watches are designed because we have past experience with watches, as well as with other man made objects. My question is: What Universe is the Intelligent Design proponent using to compare this Universe with to draw such an analogy? What God did he see create a Universe? - IG

23. Why did God flood the earth to remove evil? It didn't work! Evil came right back, God should have known that would happen! So why did He bother? - PhineasBg [Note: A good example of how quickly sin returned, was Noah getting drunk just after they discovered land.]

24. If the garden of Eden was a perfect paradise as xians claim, then why did Eve even want to eat the fruit? Wouldn't a perfect place provide everything a person would want or desire and thus she would want nothing? - keyser soze [Note: Why were the trees there in the first place? Of course they love to throw the serpent into the equation. But ummm..who let the serpent into the Garden?... and why would God create such a creature knowing he would cause man's fall? Hmm.. God must have wanted the fall to happen.]

25. Why would an all-powerful god become flesh in order to sacrifice himself to himself so that his creation might escape the wrath of himself. Couldn't god, in his infinite wisdom, come up with something a little more efficient? - ON THE BODY OF CHRIST
1.) God?s flesh was known as Jesus.
2.) Flesh cannot enter into Heaven (according to Paul)
3.) God is no longer Jesus.
4.) Jesus doesn?t exist.

(Note: Many at this point will state that the spirit lives on so therefore Jesus lives. This really depends on what you believe about Jesus. Is Jesus the son of God or God in flesh? If Jesus is merely the son there is no problem.However, if Jesus ?is? God himself, we do. You see, Jesus is called Jesus because of the attribute of Flesh. If Jesus = God (who is spirit) then the entity known as Jesus ceases to exist. The flesh/body of Jesus, no longer exists and the spirit of God is still the unchanging spirit of God. No Jesus at that point. The Flesh, called Jesus, is dead.)

26. After 9/11 a lot of people have been tossing around " god bless america". Why do they keep saying this? From the looks of it god hasn't blessed anything. If god had blessed america, the 9/11 event would've never happened. Theists seem to give the answer of "everything is part of gods big plan". If everything is part of gods big plan, why are we after Bin Laden? Wasn't he and other terrorists just carrying out gods desired plan? So it seems that Bin Laden/ terrorism isnt our enemy, but god . - [Note: Unfortunately many religious nuts believe they are fulfilling their God's plan by going to war.]

27. Christians say that God is NOT the author of confusion. Can you say, Tower of Babel? - The Screaming Monkeys

28. If Noah's flood supposedly covered the earth for a year, regardless of whether or not all the animals could fit on the ark, what the heck happened to all the plants? Can you imagine a cactus surviving under 4 miles of water for a year? I can't either! - Kyle Giblet [Note: With God all things are possible. Oh wait, except in Judges 1:19.]

29. The highest rainfall ever recorded in a 24 hour period was 47inches in the Reunion Islands in 1947 (during a severe tropical storm). To cover the whole earth to a depth of 5.6 miles, and cover the mountain tops (i.e. Mount Everest), it would need to rain at a rate of 372 (three hundred and seventy two) inches per hour, over the entire surface of the earth. Can rain fall at such an astronomical rate? Where did all the water come from?? Where did it all go to??? And would not the dynamics of the earth be so out of balance (tides etc.) that the earth would become so unstable that it would wobble off into outer space???? -

30. What do Muslim women get in Paradise? - IG [Note: Some Muslims I have interviewed about this say that Muslim women will get the same thing men get or equal value. Smiling Oh really? So Muslim women will get 72 virgin men? lol. If Muslim men get 72 virgins, where are all these virgin women coming from? What of their freewill? Is Allah creating these women to be slaves to the men in Paradise?]

31. In the "Last Days" Jesus is supposed to appear in the clouds. How are the Christians on the opposite end of the world going to see him? Are there going to be millions of Jesus'? What about people that work underground? What about people in deep space? -

32. The Bible says that God is a jealous God . How is this an example of a moral absolute of which man is supposed to follow? - IG ON GOD`S JEALOUSY
1.) "God is love." 1 John 4:8.
2.) "Love is not jealous." 1 Cor 13:4
3.) "I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God." Exodus 20:5.
4.) The Christian god cannot logically exist.
(NOte: Basically love is NOT jealous, yet god is jealous, then God can`t be love. But if god IS love he cannot be jealous. Be he is.)

33. A true Muslim man is not supposed to do anything that the prophet Muhammad didn't do. If one remembers there was a big debate over whether or not Muslims should eat Mangos. If this is true, why in the Hell were these Islamic Fundamentalists flying airplanes? - IG

34. If the earth was covered by a complete global flood, every living creature killed except those surviving on the ark, why are there many completely unique animal species in Australia that are found no where else indigenously on the earth? -

35. If god is omniscient and " god is love," why would he allow a child to be conceived, knowing that that child would one day reject him and spend eternity burning in a lake of fire?- TiredTurkeyProd

36. Revelations is supposed to take place on Earth. What if we colonize the moon or Mars or inhabit a self-sustaining space station? Do we escape "judgement"? -- Ray Sommers [Note: No we don't Ray... and of course we all know that if there is any intelligent life out there besides us, they are all going to Hell too. Eye-wink]

37. Isaiah 40:28 says, "...the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is he weary?" If this is true, why did God rest on the seventh day?- IG

38. Everytime I go to a funeral the preacher and guests always say that " God " has called that person to Heaven or they say, " God said it was time to come home", or some such variation. If God is calling these people "home", why are we putting the murderers of these victims in prison? How can we punish a man or woman for doing God's will? - IG

39. Does God have a gender? In most churches, God is predominately referred to as a "he"? - IG [Note: The Bible says God is male, but what does this mean? Does God have a penis? Does he have hormones that dictate his gender? Smiling]

40. Why can't we wait until we get to Heaven to worship God ? Why would it be too late? - IG

41. What is the purpose of prayer? What can a finite being on Earth possibly tell an omnipotent, omniscient deity that he doesn't know already? - IG ON PRAYER
1.) Humans can?t change God?s mind for he has a divine plan and is unchangeable.
2.) Prayer can't change God's mind.
3.) Prayer doesn't change anything.
(Prayer may make you feel better emotionally, but it doesn`t change God`s mind.)

42. Some say Jesus was the all-knowing God. Jesus would have known then that when he died he'd be in heaven in less than 3 days to rule. If Jesus is alive and ruling today, what did he sacrifice? -- Cyndy Hammond

43. God knows that men are sinners, untrustworthy and evil, why does God leave it up to fallible man (clergy..etc) to teach others about his word? Why would he put our eternal souls at risk if he loves us so much? - The Infidel Guy and Danno778

44. Did Adam have nipples? If so, how did he acquire them? In fact, why would God give "later man" nipples at all? They serve no purpose other than lactation. Some say pleasure. Where is that in Genesis exactly? All mammals have nipples as well, are theirs pleasureful for them too? Many men don't find their nipples pleasurable at all. - IG

45. How did Adam and Eve know it was wrong to disobey God if they hadn't eaten of the tree of knowledge (of good and evil) yet? You can't blame them if they didn't know. - IG

46. If God has such a tremendous problem with uncircumcised penises, why did he make man with foreskin in the first place? - IG [Note: Some say, "So God can recognize his chosen people." Recognize? Is God so stupid that he has to physically look at men's penises? If not God, do other men need to? lol.]

47. Did Noah have fish onboard? Salt or Fresh? Since fresh water fish would die in salt, and salt water fish would die in fresh, only one type of fish would survive. Yet....?" - Frank Monaco

48. Why does the omnipotent, omnipresent God need help from man or angels to spread his word or do acts? - IG [Note: Some say God doesn't need help. But apparently he does.] - IG

49. How did Jesus ascend to Heaven in the Flesh when Paul says that flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven? (1 Cor.15:50) - IG [Note: Some say, well Paul said that and not Jesus. Yet they quote Paul when it suits there purposes.]

50. If God wants us to live right and choose "the good," why did he create evil? (Isaiah 45:6,7) Not to mention he already knows which people are not going to choose "the good" so why create those people in the first place? It seems that many people are born to go to Hell. - IG ON HELL
1.) God is all-knowing.
2.) Before I was born God knew I wouldn?t believe in him.
3.) I was born to go to Hell.
(Sure you may say I have a choice, but I think I`ve proven already that I really don`t. I`m simply fulfilling the will of God by being an atheist aren`t I? If I`m not, I shouldn`t exist: For God would have known that before I was created that I wouldn`t believe in him.)

51. I hear Christians all the time speaking of a spiritual war between Heaven and Hell, if this is true does God have limitations of power? Man only conducts wars because of our limitations of power and foresight. God has both all-power and all-knowledge, no reason for war of any kind. - IG

52. The Bible is full of phrases beginning with, "and the lord saw". Didn't he know before hand? - IG

53. How can a psychologist condone belief in something not proven to exist, when people are put into mental institutions on a daily basis for the same thing? i.e. aliens, fairies, imaginary people (Multiple Personality Disorders..)? - Dan Denton [Note: I'm sure that some of the pious believe that they are improperly placed there as well Dan. Smiling]

54. If Christians say they know God exists and that he will work miracles, what do they need faith for? Faith is not knowing. - IG

55. Brain, or shall I say, body transplants, will eventually be possible, where would the soul be then? Where is the soul? - IG

56. If God really wants us to know him, why doesn't he place the knowledge of him in our minds at birth? The same way many theists believe that God implants our sense of right and wrong in us a right birth. - IG

57. If God was Jesus' father (not Joseph), then why is Jesus' family tree traced through Joseph? -- Cyndy Hammond

58. What image of God was man made from? Couldn't have been a moral one or physical one. - IG [Note: One would suspect that an image of God would be perfect and cannot sin. Oops.]

59. Why can't God appear before everyone at the same time? Everyone in the world would then "know" he exists and not have solely "believe". And please, don't say he already tried that. Surely a God knows exactly what to do to convince a measly human of his existence. - IG

60. According to the New Testament Matthew 5:17 says "Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to complete. I tell you this: so long as heaven and earth endure, not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the Law until all that must happen has Happened." So since Jesus has not returned the "Law" is still in effect, so why aren't we still burning witches, stoning adulterers and disobedient children, killing homosexuals, ostracizing people that work on the Sabbath (nurses, doctors etc.), flinging blood onto the horns of the alter, pulling off the heads of small birds, and don't forget human sacrifice to God (Leviticus 27 P.28 )? -- Sheila L. Chambers

61. If there is freewill in Heaven yet everyone has chosen good and is happy, isn't that proof that God could have made us with freewill, choosing good ( God ) and still being happy on Earth? - Dennis Hendrix [Note: In other words, evil didn't have to exist after all. Hey wait, even in Heaven apparently, evil can exist. At least for a short while. Satan became evil and was in heaven. Apparently he even had enough time to form an Army against God. Wow. Maybe Heaven won't be as peaceful as many believe.]

62. Why does God have a plan? Man is limited in power so we make plans because we are not all-knowing nor all-powerful. If God has a plan, isn't he reduced to a mere finite being? - IG

63. How could the all-merciful/loving God watch billions of his children burn over and over again for eternity? - IG [Note: Of course this is geared to those that believe in a fiery hell. I am well aware that not all Christians believe in a fiery Hell.]

64. Before reading and writing were invented (5000BC), on what basis did God use to judge the people who died before the Hebrew and Greek text (BIBLE) were written? -- [Note: They are all roasting in Hell. Smiling]

65. Many Christians tell me that I will "burn in hell". If I have a soul, how can a soul burn? Aren't souls non-physical entities? - IG [Note: Some Christians groups believe that you will be given new bodies after judgement. However, if true, what's the significance of a spirit in the first place?]

66. How can one hold to the barbaric belief that something has to DIE in order to appease a god for a bad deed? -- Nickolaus Wing [Note: Because an old book says so Nick.]

67. Why does SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) occur? Why would God allow a baby to live for such a short period of time? Why not just let them not be born in the first place? -- Terry Clark [Note: This actually happened to a friend of mine. Not even God himself could console her.]

68. If Jesus was nailed and died on Friday evening, and walked out of the tomb on Sunday morning, where's the 3rd NIGHT he predicted? Per Matthew 12:40: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. -

69. Many Christians claim that hell is merely existence outside of God ?s presence (C.S. Lewis among others). If this is the case, then Jesus could not have descended into hell (being God Himself). As a result, are you sure your sins are forgiven? - Byron Bultsma

70. Ten to twenty percent of all women who discover they are pregnant suffer a miscarriage. Also, it is estimated that anywhere from 14 to 50 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Seeing this is all part of God 's plan, does this make God the world's number one abortion provider? - Jim

71. What if, when you get to Heaven, you saw God causing pain and suffering out of anger or for the purpose of entertaining himself. What if he required people in heaven to praise and worship him non-stop even to the point of causing his worshipers discomfort, pain and boredom. What if, when he was bored, angry, or jealous, he would create natural disasters to make himself feel better. Would you still follow him? - Fernando [Note: Of course they would Fernando, many people followed Hitler out of fear as well.]

72. In Leviticus, the bible condemns homosexuality as an "abomination", giving some Christians a reason to hate, harass, torture and kill gays and even picket their funderals with " God hates fags" signs. In the same book of the bible the eating of shellfish is equally an "abomination". Are these Christians planning to go after the patrons of Red Lobster next? - [Note: hee-hee, that's all I can say. Jewish Law states that eating Fish without scales is an abomination and thus the Shark is one among the list. However, sharks do have scales, Placoid scales, one of the many reasons why a shark is called a Fish .]

73. Christians will tell you that if a baby dies it goes to heaven. Why then are they so against abortion? All the child is being deprived of is the opportunity to go to hell. Either that or god expects unborn fetuses to accept Jesus. -

74. If one could prove to you incontrovertibly that Jesus and God were all human fabrications would still believe? And why? - LOGICnREASON [Note: If you say yes. Then you are not concerned with the truth, you simply WANT to believe; and if you WANT to believe, indeed, there is nothing anyone can tell you..]

75. It is often said that God allows evil because one could not meaningfully appreciate good without experiencing its opposite. Why is it necessary to experience the opposite of something in order to appreciate it? Must I experience death in order to meaningfully appreciate life? -excidius

76. Bible literalists want you to believe that God's Word in the Bible is meant to be taken literally. If this is the case, why was Jesus fond of explaining things in parable and metaphor? Was Jesus literally discussing the biology of mustard seeds, or was the mustard seed parable meant to be interpreted figuratively as faith? -excidius

77. Liberal Christians say some parts of the Bible are literally true, but much else is to be interpreted figuratively as allegory. How do you know which is which? What distinguishing criteria are used? How can you be certain "God" is a literal and not a figurative concept? -excidius

78. Consciousness is the result of a physical brain, how could God being metaphysical be said to be conscious or sentient without having a brain? - Mindless

79. Considering how Leviticus is considered old law, and that Christians do not obey it anymore, why do they always use it to defend homosexuality being an "abomination"? -Bohorquez

80. If God is omnipotent and he has a plan ... then why did he not create the universe as it will be one second after the plan has succeeded? Who or what prevented him from doing that? - Timothy Campbell (http://www.tc123.com)

81. The large majority of people who have ever existed could not have learned of the Bible or Jesus Christ. And many people afterwards have found other religions or no religion at all to be more convincing, sometimes while being very virtuous. Do all these people really deserve eternal torment because of that? -- lpetrich

82. The above arguments also apply among different sects of Christianity, many of which state that most others are not True Christianity. -- lpetrich

83. Is it reasonable for the Creator and Ruler of such a vast Universe to be preoccupied with the sexuality of a species living on a tiny little planet? -- lpetrich

84. If the Christian god was all loving and all knowing why did he let religious figures such as Mohammed or Gautama Budda be born, knowing that they would mislead people from the 'true' faith and trick the majority of the world's population into burning forever in hell (in fact, if Islam didn't start, most of the middle east would probably be Christian). It would simple to use the Holy Spirit to guide them to Jesus and spread the 'true' faith. If the Holy Spirit exits, it certainly isn't doing it's job!

85. If one is obliged to follow all the teachings of the bible then why is engaging in homosexuality or adultery any worse than "suffering a witch to live", "muzzling the ox that treadeth the corn", "reaping the corners of thy field", "marring the corners of they beard", "plowing with an oxen and an ass", "hating thy brother in thy heart" or "eating frogs, shellfish and eels" ?

86. Exactly how did the alleged worldwide flood kill off all the world's sea creatures? How does one go about drowning a fish? -- Steever

87. Why did this alleged god create humans as an animal form of life that gets sick and dies and experiences pain and has a limited mind when 'it' could have created humans as a form of pure energy or of some indestructible material or whatever, and was totally ?sinless? and had ?pure? thought? If a god was omnipotent 'it' could have easily have done this. --AI

88. If a god is omnipotent how did 'it' fail to foresee that Satan would turn against 'it'? --AI

89. What is a god supposedly made of? --AI

This list was compiled by the Infidel Guy with submissions from many members of the atheist community.

PICK THE QUESTION YOU WANT TO ANSWER, AND POST IT HERE...

- Brian Sapient


Buy popular atheist books and support the Rational Response Squad at the same time on Amazon.


Xposure
Theist
Posts: 18
Joined: 2007-10-15
User is offlineOffline
Hello all, looks like a lot

Hello all, looks like a lot of thinkers around here! Should be interesting.  I'll do my best to answer some of these questions. I wish I could answer them all in this post but I dont have time. I'll just try to do some here and there.

1. If Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies so well, why didn't the Jews recognize him as the messiah? - Francois Tremblay

Because at the time they didnt understand the purpose of the OT prophecies. If you read in Hosea, especially chapter 4 you will see the Jewish priest system had become corrupted and the priests were teaching in a way that kept people in sin so that they would personally benifit (much like many modern Christian pastors). The purpose of the Law was to help people identify their own unrighousness and the purpose of the prophets was to help them identify what righteous looked like then repent and change. The current Jewish religion of the time just wasnt grasping that. When someone lives as Jesus teaches they go through this process of identifying what is wrong in their heart and life, then repenting and changing in order to be pleasing to God. Hence he fullfilled the purpose of the OT. 

2. If Gen 3:24 is true, why hasn't anyone found the Cherubims and the " flaming sword which turned every way"?

It didnt say in the scriptures that they would remain forever. And that really goes for the Cherubims, sword, and even the tree or garden itself. Doesnt say any of them will be there forever. Could have been demolished in the flood or maybe God just destroyed it shortly after banishing Adam and Eve.

3. It's been proven that modern humans originated from Africa. Yet, the Adam and Eve story claims the first Humans lived in a garden in Eden, near 4 rivers. ( Most of which no one can find). One of these rivers mentioned is the Euphrates, which runs through Iraq, Syria and a portion of Turkey. What's the truth? Did man come out of Africa or near the Euphrates River? - The Infidel Guy

When you get to Genesis 4:14 when Cain is banished from his land at this point the only people specifically mentioned are Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel...yet Cain says "All who see me will try to kill me!" Which identifies that there were indeed more people around it just isnt expanded on in the Bible. Could be that the land was all one large land mass prior to the flood. It doesnt go into that much detail because the Bible has specific purpose which has nothing to do with science. To explain everything fully would further distract from its purpose which is about how to live for God not science, history, ect.

4. When the believer gets to Heaven, how can Heaven be utter bliss when people they love and care about are burning in Hell ? - The Infidel Guy - [Note: Some say God erases your memories of them, but if God erases your memory, you as Mr. Joe /Jane Smoe ceases to exist.]

 Good question, it isnt covered in the Bible and Jesus teaches that we dont have the ability to understand all Spiritual things and thus they arent all made known to us. He says that when we die we will be like the angles and not be married and such. Could be that the only memories that will go with us are the ones which will be benificial to our Spiritual well being. If he can create the universe and spiritual world I suppose anything is possible.


FranklinRobertson
Theist
Posts: 24
Joined: 2007-10-19
User is offlineOffline
Why didn’t the Jews

Why didn’t the Jews recognize the Messiah? Well I would have to say that, looking at the Apostolic Age, that age after Pentecost, there was recognition by many Jews. In fact Christianity did start in Jerusalem and spread across the Roman Empire. Through the apostles, these average men (unlike the idea that these were those chaps on top of the social ladder) and women spread the word of God to the people of God. There was rejection though, but why? Prophetically, I would have to point toward what Paul says among his letters, that so that the Jews did not fully (as a full culture, every man woman and child) recognize Jesus Christ, many more people were able to be brought into the fold in their own recognition that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior. Realize that the first leaders of the Church were Jews, and that the only one who was probably a bit higher in society was Paul, the rest were average men and women. These people were spread out due to Jewish persecution toward Christians. The Jews are like everyone else, we often do not recognize the truth that is right before our eyes. Our pride, our arrogance, our religiosity, often gets in our way because we allow these things to get in our way instead of looking to the truth. I believe that in terms of Redemptive History, aiming toward the future relationship between God and the Jewish people, there will come a time when God does bring the Jews into realization of the final choice toward whether there will be belief or whether there will be turning of one’s back. This is only a quick answer I realize, but I hope that it frames the consideration toward the relationship between the Jews who believed and the Jews who didn’t believe and how all of this will work itself out. We will witness this fruition when the Second Advent has been brought into climax, as seen in the final chapters of the Book of Revelation.

About Genesis from the time of the Fall to the Flood. First of all, we do not know all the answers; however, God has given us enough mindfulness to seek out the answers instead of just letting them land in our laps. As the saying goes, God asks us to reason and to use our minds as much as He asks us to use our hearts. The reason we have not found the Garden of Eden, for some greater extent, is because the world that was before the time of the Flood was quite different in many respects than the world after the Flood. The environment and the developments of the environment were fully and most powerfully changed by the act of the Flood. So you ask why haven’t we found Eden yet? Still you ask. Well I think that to some extent Eden exists but I don’t think that this Garden of God is as easy to find as say finding the nearest restaurant on Google. Of course if we read Revelation we will see that there will be no need for a Cherubim with a flaming sword because those Jews and Gentiles who have been saved and brought into the New Heavens and the New Earth will have access to those treasures that had been lost by the Fall of mankind. Furthermore, and I say this as I ask that you back up and examine the pericopes that are developed in the first ten or so chapters of Genesis, we must recognize that these are not aimed toward giving us a A) biological infrastructure, B) a tectonic infrastructure, and C) an overall environmental infrastructure. Instead these chapters are the foundations of what I call Redemptive History, that History that exists between God and mankind. This is theological history with specific and developed presuppositions none of which are the same as what we find when, say, we pick up a book on the history of the United States. We must realize we are dealing with messages and not fact by fact descriptions.

When dealing with Hell we must recognize that Hell serves a very important place in the outcome of God’s actions in human history. Hell should neither be satirized nor should Hell be forgotten. Hell is there because that is where we deserve to go. We are not perfect people, we are not good people, we have fallen, we have lusts, we have desires, we have anger, and we have pride. Hell exists because God is a Holy God just as much as He is a Grace Giving God. God, because He is Holy, must answer our actions for His own actions. Our murderous nature. Our adulterous nature. We do not deserve to be placed even close to God because, as the saying goes, we are unclean. Jesus Christ took this punishment for us though. On the cross. And because He took our punishment, and because He conquered death, we can thus accept the other side of God—we can accept the grace that God is willing to give us if we are willing to accept this grace. It is our choice. It is our decision. We as Christians should never "hell fire and brimstone" others into being Christian, but we must also recognize that God is Holy…that God must answer actions such as rape, such as genocide, such as child abuse. If God doesn’t answer these actions, if as the universalists say, God doesn’t really care about these actions and we all go to heaven, then it doesn’t matter what we do. However, this is not how God has revealed Himself to us through His actions in human history. God shows us clearly that there is Hell, that there is damnation for those who do not accept grace. What about those who do not know Jesus, much less God? Well I believe, as I have witnessed the works of people like Brother Andrew, those who call out to God to know God will receive God. This is happening everywhere from Africa to the Middle East, from India to China. If you truly call out to God, God will answer truly.

So you take a step back and ask why would God create Adam and Eve if He knew there would be sin in the world. We are not God, nor do I believe for one moment that I know the mind of God; however, through intense study over the past six years, I have come to some conclusions. God created us in order for there to be a true Kingdom, a Kingdom of hope and meaning and life. We walk a line between predestination and free will. God knows our choices, but God does not put the proverbial gun to our heads and tells us how we should make the choice (as what you might infer from ultra-predestination teaching). Then again, in terms of Free Will, God isn’t so blind to know how we will truly act (and we do show our hearts and our minds through our actions). Why do husband and wife have a child? For relationship. To share love. To share meaning. To share communion. God didn’t have to create, but He is a creator, so like the artist and the painting, He did what He did because this is how He shows how He works in all the nuances of reality. Realize that Hell, first and foremost, is a place for the rebelled angels, Lucifer and those angels that had challenged truth and life and light. Hell is also a place where we decide to go. Yes God knows our decisions, and we act upon those decisions because that is our right (how heavy a burden that may be), God allows our decisions to find fruition. Still, He calls to us. He calls to us from the Cross and from the Resurrection. He calls to us in order to know true love. Yes there is Hell and Hell should never be simplified nor should Hell ever be tossed away. As C S Lewis once said, there are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who say to God, "your will be done" and there are those who God says to them, "your will be done." We all have our choice and we all make our choices, for good or bad.

Still we must realize and recognize that God allows us to come into existence because God allows history to commence. God brings us into existence here there and wherever because that is how the Kingdom is going to evolve across space and time and reality. God is Holy, yes, God is also Grace Giving. As said before. We live our lives because we choose to live our lives a certain way. And God does work miracles through even the direst of situations and peoples. One of the greatest reasons to study church history is in order to be challenged by the great heroes of church history, people like Athanasius and Catherine of Seana and Jonathan Edwards. God also has us study the history of the church in order to recognize that even these wonderful great heroes we have were still just humans. Look at Peter. He denied Christ three times. Yet he was brought back into the truth because he was sincere in his desire to live and know and love the truth. I myself am no perfect being. I stumble. I fall. I make bad decisions. Still, I know that God works through me in order to show and in order to teach others and to witness to others. I am not Billy Graham, for that matter, but I do have a desire to follow God even through the valley of shadows. And even you serve the will of God, even if you deny God wholly and fully. Even when you yourself shake your fist toward the Heavens, even when you stamp your feet and cross your arms in denial, you still serve God. In a sense you help Christians like myself realize that there are so many people lost, there are so many wounded souls, and that there are so many people who need to know the way, the truth, the life. In a sense you help Christians to realize that they need to really pay attention to God’s message to us. Doesn’t mean I am better than you, I’m not. Doesn’t mean I am smarter or greater than you, I am neither.

I would have to say God does act in order for us to know Him. He isn’t a crutch, but I have seen the wonders and the blessings that have been made by His actions through Christians. Within the past year I have seen God grant strength to families who have lost children. Within the past year I have seen churches able to bring communities together in order to help children who have had serious medical problems. God does act in our lives. God walks with us. God leads us. My own walk with Christ has only been for six some years. Most of my life I have been, like many of you seem to be, hostile toward God. I shook my fist. I stomped my feet. I cursed. I smirked. I tried to find answers everywhere that the world could possibly offer to me. But in the quiet. In the stillness. That is where I found God through Christ. Much like one of my Bible heroes, a chap named Elijah. Yes God could easily perform special effects that would outmatch Hollywood. But I think humans are better able to understand when they have a quiet voice more than a "fire and brimstone" kind of action upon the world. I am very different, now, than I was when I was not a Christian. I am intellectually different, I have expanded my mind through not only Biblical and historical studies, but also through the desire to understand science and how God acts and reacts through natural sciences (such as physics, especially interested in everything from particle physics to astrophysics). I am also different emotionally. I am calm. I am peaceful. I am seeking. I think that one of the greatest reasons why people don’t see God acting in the lives of humanity is because people just don’t want to see this action. People would rather turn away. People would rather have a blind eye to true miracles. Which is something I find sad. To not see the treasure that is there is to fail in the life that has been given.

Well I am sleepy. I wish all a good night.


Kate4Christ
Theist
Posts: 2
Joined: 2007-10-20
User is offlineOffline
I'd love to sit and spend

I'd love to sit and spend my time answering each and every one of your questions, and let me inform you there is an answer to every single one. I can answer a few right away, but you posted so many it might take me a while!

 

The answers I have are:

1. The Jewish leaders (Pharisees, Saducees, etc.)_wanted the Messiah to come in the form of a rich King. They work similar to the ancient Catholic church in the way that they were all about promoting THEIR status and the status of the church THEY created-not the church God ordained. So when Jesus comes on the scene and starts talking down and revealing every scheme behind these hypocrites' lies, they don't like it. They were the political leaders of their time, and what they say, goes. The Jewish culture is based on tradition. There are such things as Messianic Jews that believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but choose to keep Jewish tradition.

2. You have to remember that God and Satan both work in the spiritual realm. If you don't have eyes to see angels, demons, etc. then you obviously won't see any cherubims. Just because you can't see doesn't mean it does not exist.

3. As far as people originating from Africa, I'd love to see the proof on that one. And it is believed or "theorized" that the earth's continents once formed a Pangea. I'm not saying I believe in this but for those who do there's an answer, Africa and the Euphrates river could've been next door neighbors.

Acts 2:25
" ...I saw the Lord ever before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."


theotherguy
theotherguy's picture
Posts: 294
Joined: 2007-01-07
User is offlineOffline
Kate4Christ wrote: I'd

Kate4Christ wrote:

I'd love to sit and spend my time answering each and every one of your questions, and let me inform you there is an answer to every single one. I can answer a few right away, but you posted so many it might take me a while!

 

The answers I have are:

1. The Jewish leaders (Pharisees, Saducees, etc.)_wanted the Messiah to come in the form of a rich King. They work similar to the ancient Catholic church in the way that they were all about promoting THEIR status and the status of the church THEY created-not the church God ordained. So when Jesus comes on the scene and starts talking down and revealing every scheme behind these hypocrites' lies, they don't like it. They were the political leaders of their time, and what they say, goes. The Jewish culture is based on tradition. There are such things as Messianic Jews that believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah, but choose to keep Jewish tradition.

2. You have to remember that God and Satan both work in the spiritual realm. If you don't have eyes to see angels, demons, etc. then you obviously won't see any cherubims. Just because you can't see doesn't mean it does not exist.

3. As far as people originating from Africa, I'd love to see the proof on that one. And it is believed or "theorized" that the earth's continents once formed a Pangea. I'm not saying I believe in this but for those who do there's an answer, Africa and the Euphrates river could've been next door neighbors.

 1. They wanted the messiah to come in the form of a military leader. Their goal was entirely political, not religious. The Jews wanted to throw off opressive roman rule; thats why they turned to prophecy to look for a messiah to come, fight off the Romans, and bring about the Apocalypse. You have to realize that Jesus (if he existed), would have been one of hundreds of self-proclaimed messiahs, and he, like all the rest, would have used religious prophecy to increase his influence and fame. Jesus rides a white horse into Jerusalem to symbolically fulfill religious prophecy and increase his fame. All of these so called "messiahs" were little more than annoying cult leaders to the Pharisees, who usually executed them. It just so happens that Jesus was the most successful at generating followers for his cult, and his followers just so happened to write about him.

 2. You have to realize that fairys and magical pink elephants are in a constant struggle with each other in the "spiritual realm". Obviously, if you don't believe in magical pink elephants you can't see them, (I mean, duh!), so I don't need any evidence to make my claim true!!!!

 ^^^^ that is what your argument sounds like. It's a non-argument and would work for any imagined bullshit creature.

3.Pangea would not have been around at the time when humans first appeared (a few hundred thousand years, at most). Africa is about the same distance from the Euphrates river valley as it was 2 million years ago. The evidence we have of humans originating from africa come in the form of fossilized bones and man-made artifacts which date back much longer than any other human bones or artifacts found elsewhere.


FranklinRobertson
Theist
Posts: 24
Joined: 2007-10-19
User is offlineOffline
A simple response

You are right to an extent, but your presuppositions are wrong along with the conclusions of the presuppositions. A lot was going on in terms of first century Israel. You had several different factions striving to gain a foothold in control and acceptance in Israel—you had such groups as the Zealots, you had groups like the Pharisees, you had groups like the Sadducees, and you even had the monastic order called the Essenes. And here comes Jesus. As you say, one out of a bundle of so called "leaders" trying to define Israel as is and as to be. The Zealots had no use for Jesus because Jesus spoke peace, and when He spoke action, God is the actor, not human beings. The Pharisees did not have any use for Jesus Christ, He used the Scriptures, yes, but He spoke out against the unwritten (what would be later found under Talmud) Laws. The Sadducees had no use for Jesus, for Jesus spoke of God and God’s Kingdom, about Salvation, about prophecy and declaration of prophecy, something the Sadducees had no use for. And the Essenes had no real use for Jesus Christ because, realistically speaking, Jesus Christ spoke about being in the world while also being mindful of God’s kingdom (the Essenes wanted to step far away from the world as seen in their monastic approach). Yet, throughout all this, Jesus Christ sparked an important fire in people’s life that has lasted two thousand years. A brilliant light that awoke so many Jews, and from the Jews, to the Gentiles, speaking of endurance, of hope, of wisdom, everlasting love, everlasting life. When Pentecost came, we are not talking about leaders of people, we are talking about servants receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter and the others were not diplomats, they were not princes, they were not Roman socialites, they were average individuals who were found to be empowered by God Himself because they believed in God Himself through Jesus Christ. What would bring these men and women, and there were thousands of them, first through the multitudes of witnesses to the risen Christ in Israel itself, and from there across the Gentile world. We are not talking about great leaders of state or ordained scholars of theology, we are talking about fishermen, we are talking about women, we are talking about scribes, we are talking about tax collectors—all coming together in the belief and the wisdom that is God through Jesus Christ, seeking out the lost, bringing hope to the hopeless, and bringing endurance to those broken down.

First century Christians, along with the Christians who lived through the next few centuries until when Constantine in 312/313 brings about protection and reverence toward Christianity, lived in hell for these several hundred years. They faced persecution, not all at the same time, but throughout periods here there and sometimes even everywhere within the Roman Empire. There was the time of Nero’s persecution, there was the time of Domitian’s persecution, there was the Decian persecution, and then there was the Diocletian persecution; furthermore, there was persecution not just in Rome itself but toward the north, south, east, and west. And what was the belief of these Christians who found themselves for generations being persecuted? That God became a human, that God died on the cross, that God rose again conquering death? That within that ideal, there is everlasting hope and endurance and love and life? Why was it believed then? By Jews? By Gentiles? Why were these men and women and children willing to face everything from banishment to the most vile and violent deaths? Also, why were these people willing to risk death instead of giving up the Scriptures (the Gospels, the letters, et cetera, along with the Old Testament scriptures)? Why, from all this struggle, would intelligent people like Irenaeus of Lyons, Athenasius of Alexandria, and Augustine of Hippo, come into realization and understanding and strength within the messages of these Scriptures and from the Scriptures, the truth and way and life that is of God through Jesus Christ? I find it amusingly sad that so many people on the atheist side simply dismiss these people with a wave of the hand and a "they must be delusional" sort of mentality. If it was just simply delusion across some groups, a cultic set of groups, maybe some validity in that argument; but we are not talking about twenty, thirty, fifty people in one place and time, we are talking about thousands upon thousands of people across all the known Roman Empire and from there, into the world at large. A Jim Jones set of delusion is one thing, but to say that the truth of Christian history is as it is while being delusional, that is beyond simply having a simplistic misunderstanding, and goes into the extremes of massive self-denying wisdom. A delusional story would not produce the powerful essence that has broadened across two thousand years, spreading across the world, into lives, into minds, hearts, and souls.

You might say that "well what about Hinduism" or "what about Buddhism", as they are fairly old in and of themselves. What about the Greco-Roman mythologies of the Titans and the gods and goddesses? What about Druidism? Yes they are old. They are wrapped in mythological imagery. Christianity is not. In fact, if you truly study Christianity in conjunction and parallel with these other religions, you would see quite a different sort of perspective. Christianity is built upon the very real understanding that God has indeed stepped into human history, partaken His existence with the human history, and aims the human race toward a Kingdom that will be revealed. Of course, on the other hand, yes the Bible was not written in consideration of what we know through physics and biology today—but then again, it doesn’t necessarily go against physics and biology. Instead people must realize that the Bible is written in God’s perspective, being shared with humans and humanity as a whole, from the blessings of the Jewish people to the blessings of the entire world (as spoken by God to the patriarchs and as revealed through Jesus Christ). I truly challenge you to study carefully the pericopes of Genesis 1-4, just as a quick example, in relation to what there is through the pagan mythologies of Babylon, for example. You will see, if you have a mindful study of these works and not allow yourselves to be so overzealous in your antagonism toward the Bible, that there is much to learn, much to understand, much to explore that is true…when taking a step back and realizing what is being said through the power of God in just these four pericopes found in Genesis. Yet there is more, the very workings of Jesus Christ are built in human history. Who He was, who He revealed Himself, is bound in human history, not in mythological space-time continuums. Jesus Christ is revealed not just in Christian study, but seen in the other two major religions, along with the works of people like Josephus, along with the study of the followers of Jesus through the works of people like Pliny. There is no denial of who Jesus is, what Jesus has done, and what Jesus does to every one of us who calls upon His name today. Both of these examples, Genesis and the life of Jesus Christ, shows a firm firmament and boundary and foundation in what has happened in human history, what is happening in human history, and where human history is ultimately going to find its fruition. All of this comes together into truth.

And you ask, "What is truth?" I firmly point toward the Cross and toward the Resurrection. These are not just simple "tales told in mythological wonder" but simple historical expresses of truth, and even more, complex historical foundations of the Way. You say to me, "what about the truths of Hindus, or Muslims, or whatnot" so thinking that you can be a greater judge than God Himself can be? I would have to say that what is going on in the world today points directly toward the truth of God through Christ Jesus. In countries such as India, in places like the Middle East, the truth of God through Christ grows magnificently. I would like to point toward the actions of people like Brother Andrew and through organizations like Voice of the Martyrs. People throughout these many countries call out to God and God answers powerfully. God does provide for those who truly call out to Him. Not just through prayer, though you seem to belittle those who pray, thinking that you are greater in intelligence then they are, but God is also answering through hope, and meaning, and passion, and wisdom for all these people who cry out to the Lord. So many people need to know the truth, because as Scripture shows, from truth there is freedom from the bondage the world wraps around people. Just as in the first few centuries, spoken of only minutes ago, there are many people who are calling out to God to find God and to find God through Jesus Christ. And they are finding, and yes, many of them face persecution. The church in these countries face as much persecution now as the Christian churches faced in the first few centuries of life; all the while the west is yes becoming secularized, and as the west becomes more and more secularized, we see teen pregnancy, we see abortion, children being killed all in the name of convenience, we are seeing school shootings, we are seeing drug abuse and death from drugs. All the while we see suicide and we see fear. We find adults as frightened as children, we find hopelessness in the news, on the television, all the while enjoying the latest gossip of our favorite Hollywood stars. Alas so many of you seem to be saying that, as we grow in the West toward a secular reality, we are going toward a utopian society—but alas that is not true, the more we secularize ourselves, the more we turn a blind’s eye to God’s truth, the more we find cancer wrapping itself around our society’s body and soul. I myself will seek truth in God in Jesus Christ.

Still you seem to deny truth in God, instead you cup your hands around what you define as reason, as if what you define as reason is not only pure gold but far greater than what anyone else has defined reason as being. That is the hubris of atheism, then again that is the hubris of much that has gone against the truth of God, the way of God, the life of God, in human history. What you consider rational, I see as foolish. Not that I am calling you a fool, no, nor do I look upon you with anger or hatred or anything of that sort. You make your own decision, you make your own way in life. As this is a free country, you have the freedom to live your life through what you seem to think is rational, through what you seem to consider is logical, but I have to say that I not only disagree, but that you have lost the perspective of truth. Still, you make your decision. And so do I, and where that life leads to is an everlasting, hope inspiring, endurance building, treasure that could never and will never be taken away from me. I consider myself a very rational person. I am educated, I have several degrees already, and I am aiming toward my second Master’s Degree in Theological Study. I don’t believe in just anything and everything that pops into mind through emotional times in my life. To just follow life through emotional whims is to be like a leaf, not knowing where one is going from one point to the next—where I am going I know that through rational realization, I am in a race, I am aiming toward a specific goal, I am aiming through the power of the Cross the revelation of the Resurrection into God’s everlasting Kingdom. Instead of just believing whatever I want to believe one day to the next, I find myself firmly planted on the ground. I know what is good and I know what is wrong. I am a Christian. I believe in God through Jesus Christ, that through Jesus Christ there is salvation and that through the powers of the Holy Spirit in my life now, there is sustenance. I see Christianity and the truth found thereof when I study not just my seminary works, but when I also study human history, and when I study the sciences (as I am also learning about physics, astrophysics, quantum physics, and so on, simply so that I may find the joys and the wonders and the glory that is God and all that points to God in nature). In this life I have gone through much, and I know I will go through much, but I also know through rational understanding, through realistic comprehension, that there is indeed God to whom I live.


FranklinRobertson
Theist
Posts: 24
Joined: 2007-10-19
User is offlineOffline
A Simple Reply

Concerning 2 Kings 2:23-24.

Let us first examine several quotes concerning this passage before using exegesis on this chapter. From the Septuagint we read the following: "And he went up thence to Baethel: and as he was going up by the way there came up also little children from the city, and mocking him and saying to him, Go up, baldhead, go up. And he turned after them, and saw them, and cursed them in the name of the Lord. And, behold, there came out two bears out of the wood, and they tore forty and two children of them. And he went thence to mount Carmel, and returned thence to Samaria." From the Hebrew/NIV interlinear Bible we read the following: "From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. ‘Go on up, you baldhead!’ He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the Lord. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty two of the youths. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria." Please note that in the Hebrew portion of the interlinear it makes a special note for the translation from Hebrew to English the points a) "young-ones" and b) "and youths" (you will see this on page 429, then you’ll have to do some hunting in the Hebrew/English Lexicon and Concordance, along with Strong’s Concordance; however, if you truly seek to understand the language, you will have a better idea as to what the scribe is saying here in the passage).

Then again you have to take a few steps back to fully understand what is going on, not just through comprehending the language found in Hebrew and Greek (which is what the Septuagint is written in). There are questions that we need to understand. Questions concerning what it means to be in the office of Prophet, that is to say, what should people do and react and interact when they come to face a Prophet of the Lord? Another question that needs to be addressed concerns whom these people were who were challenging and disrespecting a Prophet of the Lord? Were they indeed little children, young men? A third question considers why would God send two bears to attack these people who were mocking and insulting one of His Prophets?

  1. What does it mean to be a Prophet? To be a Prophet of the Lord, as we see in Scripture, you are to be God’s "face" so to speak to the Israelites. You are to bring the message, messages that are not always discouraging or judgmental, for there are also messages that if there is repentance of mind heart and soul, there will be salvation and hope and endurance. Elisha has just received the mantel of office from his mentor and the great prophet Elijah. Elijah brought about much challenge to the Jewish people who had not only turned from God to false idols (Baal), but have also been sacrificing their children to these idols. Being a Prophet meant serious business. Being a Prophet means you are bringing Deuteronomical charges of blessings or curses upon the peoples, depending on what they are doing and how they are acting both physically and spiritually. A man or a woman must always, though many didn’t, both listen and respect the Officer in the office of Prophesy.
  2. What about these youths? What was their motivation, what was their reasoning for the actions and the challenges, and the insults they all threw at Elijah? What we can consider are the following. These youths aren’t just going to go out and hackle a prophet of the Lord. As we saw in point number 1, the office of the Prophet was a serious office that demanded respect because the Prophet was the mouth of God toward the People of God (whether the People of God come to the Lord willingly or whether the People of the God go to judgment willingly). These young men are probably Baal worshipers, possibly even being false prophets of Baal. Their mocking "go on up" suggests several points, the imagery of Jacob’s ladder all the way to Elijah’s being taken up into the Heavenly Court of God. Another point to make is that the alluding to "baldness" is mocking Elisha by suggesting in glee that he was a leper. Here is an interesting point made by Thomas Constable: "Since it was customary for men to cover their heads, the young men probably could not tell if Elisha was bald or not. They regarded God’s prophet with contempt."
  3. We now come to examine the curse upon these young men and why God would send bears to destroy these mocking souls who were challenging and mocking God by mocking His Prophet Elisha. Remember, to disrespect a Prophet is to call a curse and disrespect toward God Himself. Thus these actions were actions of foolish evilness. Think of this when rereading the pericope. This wasn’t a bunch of small kids mocking and making fun of a prophet, 42 people were mauled at the site. 42 people. That doesn’t mean a small group, that points to what might as well be called a demonstration against God. These people were not sitting around and seeing Elisha, deciding to mock him. This was a huge group of demonstrators who hated both Elisha and God Himself. Disrespect, evil acts, all of these will bring about the fruition of judgment. Just because God offer grace through Jesus Christ, that doesn’t mean that we are able to do whatever we want, however we want. Evil must be sentenced.

What this should teach you is that when examining the text you should use all the tools of textual criticism.  There is a lot to learn when reading the Bible, but you cannot just come to the Bible and read it the same way as say reading a modern day text book on history or a modern day biography.  You need to look at the language, as the before mentioned Greek Septuagint vs. ancient Hebrew.  You also will need to use the five questions we all know so well:  who what when why and how.  To study the Bible truly, to seek God's wisdom for your own life, is a vast and complex development that doesn't come into fruition within a single day.  Just as this particular pericope shows, you need to know what is going on in the actual scripture while at the same time you need to know what isn't being said (such as who these youths were, the conotations of what the youths were saying, that sort of thing).  When one comes to the Bible one must be wearing the proverbial miner's helmet, ready to mine all that is there for all that is worth finding--and there is much indeed worth finding.  Wisdom, love, justice/judgment, glory, peace, edurance, understanding, courage--just to name a few.

 What I learn from this particular pericope is that we need to be serious about respecting God and God's people, my fellow Christians, especially those who are seeking truth from God in order to minister to God's people, just like Elisha's position.  Doesn't mean that every single one of the people who call themselves ministers are truly God's people, as Jesus points out that in the last days when the people are brought before Him, there will be those who say they worked in the name of the Lord but He will prove that they didn't.  Elisha was God's representative.  He received the mantle that Elijah wore, the mantle of being a Prophet.  Despite being the new "Elijah" for the People of God, there were many people who were willing to scoff and insult and attack the Prophets because they were so enraptured by their own evil.  Just as the People of God then should have been serious about being the People of God, so too today should we be serious about being the People of God, through Jesus Christ.


FranklinRobertson
Theist
Posts: 24
Joined: 2007-10-19
User is offlineOffline
Concerning question 35:

Concerning question 35: What about this? Why would a good God allow His children to reject Him? You are looking at the situation wrong, of course, but it is understandable for you to do so in this pluralistic world we live in when there is the desire to push away right and wrong, freedom and choice, and say that people should be quite happy to eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die, and after that, we are forgotten. God created the human race, yes, and God allowed Adam the choice to choose to either accept God or turn toward sin. In this world of the Garden of Eden, the first age for the relationship between God and man (as God had taken the millions of years of developing earth to come to this point, the point where He would bring forth man), we had the situation that is called posse non peccare, that being "the ability not to sin." What could be said is that God allowed Satan to come before man in order for man to follow in the choice, but what was that choice? The choice was simply this, either freely choose to listen and come to God and exact judgment upon Satan (who is not just the enemy of God but also the enemy of man) or to choose to listen to Satan and allow Satan to have a grasp…even for a little while…on the world that was to be man’s dominion. With the fall we have the situation considered to be non posse non peccare, that is "the inability to not sin." This was free will. Yes, God knew what was going to happen, but even when you know when something is going to happen, you also know that you must allow the situation to happen. Why do you have children? Why have a boy or a girl with your wife? What with wars and rumors of war, what with disease, pain, suffering in the world? Why? Because you have love with your wife, and you want that love to grow, to be shared, with someone that you hope to freely choose to share in that love. Paul shows the important realization that though we are engaged with Adam in his sin, we can now be engaged and raptured by faith and hope in the second Adam, Jesus Christ. When God’s fruition of time and space is fulfilled, with all that is His Kingdom is realized, there will be an age of non posse peccare—we will, having chosen God through Christ, we will have the age of "the inability to sin." Why do you have children? I mean there are kidnappers out there, there are people willing to sell your children drugs. You have a child, you allow the family to grow, out of hope, out of meaning. Magnify that and you will see God at work. God created the human race, ages ago, God created so that the love and the binding that is there for eternity with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost can then be (through the passages of time, along each step in the covenantal journey) a relationship with true love, true holiness, true life, true meaning.

Concerning question 37: You are missing the message. When Scripture says in Genesis that He rested, it was not the same as when you rest when you are tired after the week of work. Sabbath rest is more than just having a good Sunday. Sabbath rest is more than having a Sunday of church and family. Sabbath rest, the rest that God promises throughout the Scriptures, that is fully realized in finding rest in Christ, and what will be shared and known and enjoyed in the age to come, is a state of mind, body, and soul. All that was created had been created and pointed to being conceived through the workings of physics, from astrophysics to particle physics, from biology to zoology. The Kingdom was completed. Follow this chart of the creation days and how they are developed:

Day Location Day Inhabitants

1 light and dark 4 lights of day and night

2 sea and sky 5 animals of water and air

3 fertile earth 6 land animals (including mankind)

7. rest and enjoyment

Remember that seven is a Biblical numeral value for covenantal completeness. Furthermore, look at the key Hebrew words that are being considered: shabat and heniakh. And remember too that in Exodus, God through Moses points toward the truth of the seventh day, the Hebrew word "hinnapesh. In this case we see that the kingdoms of God were conceived and created by God the first three days, then we see the inhabitants of the kingdoms developed through the power that is God. Of course furthermore be clear in your understanding that this is a small portion of the creation of the universe and the creative power that is God. The Kingdom was developed and the set…in all its vastness…had been placed before the eyes of the God King. Sabbath rest means completeness, when we come to the Lord, when God graces us with salvation and we accept the salvation, we find ourselves aiming toward that good rest. That good fullness. Remember, when looking at the development of the pericope of the creation days, you will see that the Sabbath day does not end. Why? Because there is always the choice, whether through the Law given to Moses all the way through the times of the prophets to the time of fruition which is in Jesus Christ’s first advent. The totality of man’s understanding, man who has chosen through free will to come to the Lord through Jesus Christ in this age between the First Advent and the Second Advent, will truly know Sabbath rest in the culmination of what occurs in the New Heavens and the New Earth. I wish to point to something that C. John Collins says in his in-depth study of the first four chapters of Genesis, this is found on page 77: "If God has the kind of power we see in this pericope, then we know not to take this language in any literalistic fashion: God does not get tired as we do (see also Isa. 40:28-31). Hence the language is analogical, and the import is that human work and rest are analogies of God’s work and rest."

Concerning question 38: Again you are going about this in the wrong fashion. Failing to see that there is a right and wrong to the universe, that we are to do good and not evil (though so many times we end up doing what is wrong because we are sinful beings), and thus we must recognize that murdering is wrong and evil and should be classified as punishable. Furthermore we must also realize, stepping back, that there is more at work in our lives then what we imagine. What so many people need to stop realizing is that God is not some Old Man dressed in a robe sitting on a cloud saying "its time for you, its time for you" and letting people drop at the instance of the sentence. We must realize, especially Christians, is that when we aim our lives to God we are not just thinking happy thoughts (sadly what some ministers, especially big time TV ministers, like to preach about these happy thoughts without going into the rest of God’s everlasting message). We are aiming ourselves to God. The best example of who God is and whom we are talking about is found in Isaiah 6:1-8:

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and the thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, "See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for." Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"

God is not some kind of everlasting pop-psychologist, he isn’t some chap who says "bad day today, better day tomorrow"…this is God. This is the Creator. This is the sustainer. This is the liberator. This is the One who holds the foundation of everything in His hands. When people die, when Christians die, they come to this very Lord God Almighty through the saving glory of Jesus Christ. In a sense, yes, they are coming home. Of course it would be a foolish statement to say that "well the murder of Bob did a good thing"…yes we face turmoil and we face pain, but God (as seen in the life of Joseph) can turn what man considers evil toward man into something good for the Kingdom of God. I will point out some important messages from this portion of the pericope in chapter 6. We are all sinners before God, and we live in a world of sinners. Only God through His saving grace, through Jesus Christ, imaged here through the coal, as the coal points toward what Jesus will do, is able to "touch our lips" and bring us healing grace (for our mouths are the mouth pieces of our hearts, and our sins come from the heart and soul). God is both liberating and frightening, for this is God, this is the everlasting King and Suzerainty Emperor of eternity. We are gnats before Him, and yet He allows us to come to Him if we truly and honestly come to Him through (in this age between Advents) Jesus Christ. How do we further realize this truth? I point to you what God revealed to John the Apostle in the Book of Revelation Chapter 4:1 through Chapter 5:7:

After this I looked, and there in heaven a door stood open! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the spirit, and there in heaven stood a throne, with one seated on the throne! And the one seated there looks like jasper and carnelian, and around the throne is a rainbow that looks like an emerald. Around the throne are twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones are twenty-four elders, dressed in white robes, with golden crowns on their heads. Coming from the throne are flashes of lightning, and rumbling and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne burns seven flaming torches, which are the seven spirits of God; and in front of the throne there is something like a sea of glass, like crystal. Around the throne, and on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with a face like a human face, and the fourth living creature like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and inside. Day and night without ceasing they sing, "Holy Holy Holy the Lord God the Almighty, who was and is and is to come." And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the one who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall before the one who is seated on the throne and worship the one who lives forever and ever; they cast their crowns before the throne, singing, "You are worthy our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they exist and were created." Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals; and I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?" And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it. And I began to weep bitterly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals." Then I saw between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders a Lamb standing as if it had been slaughtered, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He went and took the scroll from the right hand of the one who was seated on the throne.

I am sure you can see the various ties between what we read in Isaiah and what we read in the Book of Revelation. While yes there are figurative languages, such as the "seven horns and seven eyes," what we are indeed reading…what has been seen first by Isaiah and then by John, bound together across time and space, is the eternal truth that is God. The majesty that is God. The might that is God. The Kingship that is God. The everlasting glory that is God. And further, what we now see and read and understand in the Book of Revelation, is that Jesus Christ…the Son of God, the Son of Man…who died on the Cross and Rose again, through the very power that He is Himself as God…is there to bring us and to judge us and to give us heaven or to allow us to choose everlasting darkness. You yourself can scoff all you want, doesn’t matter, God is on His throne and He will judge the quick and the dead. In Him all time is a treasure that He holds and allows to continue until He wills, as He is the Suzerainty King of Kings, One that we see in history through Jesus Christ, is in control.


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Tilberian wrote: You are

Tilberian wrote:

You are playing word games. Hell is defined as a place where sinners are tortured. Redefining it as simply the absence of God abuses the meaning of the word as it is understood everywhere. I live entirely without God, and I am not in any kind of hell. In fact I am quite happy.

And again you ignore the fact that God could have created the universe such that rejecting him would not result in hell.

 

Actually, this one's a no-brainer. To the theist, you don't live "without" God, you live in denial of God, but still surrounded by God's love and grace. Hell then is the continuation of existance in the opposite condition: in irrefutable awareness of the existence of God, of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that the divine and heaven exist, and yet being excluded from them.

 

And, for the record, not one of you has yet even begun to address the 20 or so answers to the questions that I provided. It's rather disappointing. 

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Here, I'm going to post the

Here, I'm going to post the other 69 answers I put together, oh, a year ago in the hopes that someone from the "ration response squad" can be bothered to, you know, respond.

 

BTW, having 'response' in your name and then not responding? Not rational. Eye-wink

 

21. God struck down the Tower of Babel angry at the intent of the people that built them, if this is the case, many of the great pyramids ( which are bigger than any ziggurat) around the world should be rubble also, yet many still stand today. Were not the Egyptians and many other ancient pyramid builders reaching toward God /The Heavens? - IG [Note: In actuality, many of the Pharaoh's believed that, via their pyramids, they would become God's themselves.]

And perhaps they did. Who knows? Keep in mind that if the story is not, again, a metaphor, then you have to look at context. Sure, these larger structures were reaching toward the heavens, however a)they did not have all of the people of the earth working on them, and b)they're larger, sure... but they're finished. How large would the Tower have been when it was done? Who can tell, it never got done, if it ever even got started.

22. In the watchmaker analogy, a watch is used to show us intelligent design and compares that to the Universe as evidence of design. We know watches are designed because we have past experience with watches, as well as with other man made objects. My question is: What Universe is the Intelligent Design proponent using to compare this Universe with to draw such an analogy? What God did he see create a Universe? - IG

In question #22, a human analogy is used to pose a question as part of a set of questions purporting to demonstrate cause for belief in the nonexistence of the divine. My question is: How does the continued proof of human stupidity prove or disprove the existence of a god that openly allows people to be stupid?

23. Why did God flood the earth to remove evil? It didn't work! Evil came right back, God should have known that would happen! So why did He bother? - PhineasBg [Note: A good example of how quickly sin returned, was Noah getting drunk just after they discovered land.]

Maybe he lied to Noah. Maybe he just wanted to start on a new canvas without going to all the trouble of developing new animal and human designs. Think of the Ark as a temporary folder he stored the templates in while reformatting the HD. Remember, just because someone's all-powerful, all-knowing, and the creator of everything doesn't make him benevolent, or sane. (In fact, being all-knowing all but eliminates the possibility of sanity, really.) But exitence is not predicated on benevolence OR sanity, and so the question doesn't advance the core atheistic thesis.

24. If the garden of Eden was a perfect paradise as xians claim, then why did Eve even want to eat the fruit? Wouldn't a perfect place provide everything a person would want or desire and thus she would want nothing? - keyser soze [Note: Why were the trees there in the first place? Of course they love to throw the serpent into the equation. But ummm..who let the serpent into the Garden?... and why would God create such a creature knowing he would cause man's fall? Hmm.. God must have wanted the fall to happen.]

Well, once again assuming the lack of metaphor... sure, why not? What prevents god from WANTING sin, from WANTING man to be imperfect? Hell, I play Civilization. I know I'm gonna win, but I still play it. Again, lack of benevolence != proof of nonexistence.

25. Why would an all-powerful god become flesh in order to sacrifice himself to himself so that his creation might escape the wrath of himself. Couldn't god, in his infinite wisdom, come up with something a little more efficient? - Omphaloskeptic2@aol.com ON THE BODY OF CHRIST
1.) God?s flesh was known as Jesus.
2.) Flesh cannot enter into Heaven (according to Paul)
3.) God is no longer Jesus.
4.) Jesus doesn?t exist.

(Note: Many at this point will state that the spirit lives on so therefore Jesus lives. This really depends on what you believe about Jesus. Is Jesus the son of God or God in flesh? If Jesus is merely the son there is no problem.However, if Jesus ?is? God himself, we do. You see, Jesus is called Jesus because of the attribute of Flesh. If Jesus = God (who is spirit) then the entity known as Jesus ceases to exist. The flesh/body of Jesus, no longer exists and the spirit of God is still the unchanging spirit of God. No Jesus at that point. The Flesh, called Jesus, is dead.)

Jesus/Yeshu/Joshua never claimed to be god. Paul claimed it. Paul claimed many things, including that god said it was ok for him to break the kosher laws when among gentiles, and then mocked Peter for following his example and doing the same when he came to visit Paul. Besides, efficency isn't always desirable, especially when you want to make a visible statement that drives a point home. Sometimes, it's better to go with the big, flashy gesture. Ask Elton John... or Liberace.

26. After 9/11 a lot of people have been tossing around " god bless america". Why do they keep saying this? From the looks of it god hasn't blessed anything. If god had blessed america, the 9/11 event would've never happened. Theists seem to give the answer of "everything is part of gods big plan". If everything is part of gods big plan, why are we after Bin Laden? Wasn't he and other terrorists just carrying out gods desired plan? So it seems that Bin Laden/ terrorism isnt our enemy, but god . - rsri13@hotmail.com [Note: Unfortunately many religious nuts believe they are fulfilling their God's plan by going to war.]

Perhaps they're not saying it as 'god has blessed america', but rather wishing for it to happen, out of a sincere belief that OBL was not, in fact, acting on god's orders. However, once more, this question does not advance anything toward the proof or disproof of the existence or nonexistence of the divine.

27. Christians say that God is NOT the author of confusion. Can you say, Tower of Babel? - The Screaming Monkeys

*coughs* Human fallibility rearing its ugly head again. You've got a marvelous set of questions here for demonstrating that people screw up, but I fail to see any that actually in any way reflect on the actuality of divinity.

28. If Noah's flood supposedly covered the earth for a year, regardless of whether or not all the animals could fit on the ark, what the heck happened to all the plants? Can you imagine a cactus surviving under 4 miles of water for a year? I can't either! - Kyle Giblet [Note: With God all things are possible. Oh wait, except in Judges 1:19.]

And now we're back to the issue of metaphor, and the accuracy of the interpretations people read into the book.

29. The highest rainfall ever recorded in a 24 hour period was 47inches in the Reunion Islands in 1947 (during a severe tropical storm). To cover the whole earth to a depth of 5.6 miles, and cover the mountain tops (i.e. Mount Everest), it would need to rain at a rate of 372 (three hundred and seventy two) inches per hour, over the entire surface of the earth. Can rain fall at such an astronomical rate? Where did all the water come from?? Where did it all go to??? And would not the dynamics of the earth be so out of balance (tides etc.) that the earth would become so unstable that it would wobble off into outer space???? - Richmond1@btinternet.com

a)is that in 24 hrs or in 960 hrs (40 days and 40 nights)?
b)wouldn't it have to come from somewhere to begin with? What would the cloud cover look like, and how much of the seas would dry up, in the weeks beforehand?
c)can you say 'metaphoric, with roots in events like the collapse of the bosporus and the flooding of the black sea'?

Once again, we're back to using human fallibility to try to disprove the existence of the divine. Come up with a better yardstick.

30. What do Muslim women get in Paradise? - IG [Note: Some Muslims I have interviewed about this say that Muslim women will get the same thing men get or equal value. Smiling Oh really? So Muslim women will get 72 virgin men? lol. If Muslim men get 72 virgins, where are all these virgin women coming from? What of their freewill? Is Allah creating these women to be slaves to the men in Paradise?]

31. In the "Last Days" Jesus is supposed to appear in the clouds. How are the Christians on the opposite end of the world going to see him? Are there going to be millions of Jesus'? What about people that work underground? What about people in deep space? - thequester73@hotmail.com

32. The Bible says that God is a jealous God . How is this an example of a moral absolute of which man is supposed to follow? - IG ON GOD`S JEALOUSY
1.) "God is love." 1 John 4:8.
2.) "Love is not jealous." 1 Cor 13:4
3.) "I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God." Exodus 20:5.
4.) The Christian god cannot logically exist.
(NOte: Basically love is NOT jealous, yet god is jealous, then God can`t be love. But if god IS love he cannot be jealous. Be he is.)

1, 2)John and Paul are human, and fallible.
3)Dude seems pretty authoritarian in his actual actions all through the Old Testament, too.

So, once again: man is fallible, 'good' is defined from a theological pov as 'obedient to god', and god doesn't need to be benevolent to exist.

33. A true Muslim man is not supposed to do anything that the prophet Muhammad didn't do. If one remembers there was a big debate over whether or not Muslims should eat Mangos. If this is true, why in the Hell were these Islamic Fundamentalists flying airplanes? - IG

Human fallibility, one assumes. I'll note muhammed didn't drive a taxi, either.

34. If the earth was covered by a complete global flood, every living creature killed except those surviving on the ark, why are there many completely unique animal species in Australia that are found no where else indigenously on the earth? - mitch@mchsi.com

Maybe Oz floats. Eye-wink Or maybe the Flood account is a use of metaphor by fallible humans to explain how horrible it was for everyone living around the Black Sea area when the bosporus collapsed and everything got flooded out in a matter of weeks. Such a tale of seemingly divine anger would undoubtably have made it into a book set up to establish 'I am THE LORD thy god. Fuck with me and I'll kill you.'

Unfortunately, in the end, the bible itself can only be a testament to human fallibility, unless one should newly descend, pristine from the Hand of God. Men wrote it down. At that point, it becomes suspect, even if you believe. If you believe it to be infallible, then, as I said in the first 10 answers, you've just proven again that humans are fallible. Go you!

35. If god is omniscient and " god is love," why would he allow a child to be conceived, knowing that that child would one day reject him and spend eternity burning in a lake of fire?- TiredTurkeyProd

According to a strict reading of the parts of the bible that are about god, and not 'and this is what these guys did and wrote to one another to say about god'... God's not love. God is Authority. God loves his faithful. God kicks anyone else in the teeth.

36. Revelations is supposed to take place on Earth. What if we colonize the moon or Mars or inhabit a self-sustaining space station? Do we escape "judgement"? -- Ray Sommers [Note: No we don't Ray... and of course we all know that if there is any intelligent life out there besides us, they are all going to Hell too. Eye-wink]

Probably not. If the book of revelations (which really does seem to have been written as a warning against trying to make nice w/Rome) is right, and we do get off the rock before it all goes down, then 144,000 people from earth will get saved, everyone else is fucked for 1,000 years, and then everyone, living, dead, chillin' round Proxima Centauri, gets to stand before the judgement. WHEE!

However... once again: Not relevant to the existence or nonexistence of any divinity, much less ones other than the judeo-christian god.

37. Isaiah 40:28 says, "...the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is he weary?" If this is true, why did God rest on the seventh day?- IG

Have you not seen Dogma? SKEE-BALL, dude.

Also, both authors, for Isaiah and Genesis... human, and thus fallible.

38. Everytime I go to a funeral the preacher and guests always say that " God " has called that person to Heaven or they say, " God said it was time to come home", or some such variation. If God is calling these people "home", why are we putting the murderers of these victims in prison? How can we punish a man or woman for doing God's will? - IG

Because people at funerals like to say things to make other people feel better. Once more, human frailty is not a reflection of divine existence any more than the capacity of fish to kill and eat other fish is a reflection on the existence of tuna fleets.

39. Does God have a gender? In most churches, God is predominately referred to as a "he"? - IG [Note: The Bible says God is male, but what does this mean? Does God have a penis? Does he have hormones that dictate his gender? Smiling]

No way to know if god's part of a race w/binary sexual distinctions. Masculinity is often used to denote authority and dominance... but given his tendency toward jealousy, vindictiveness, and genocidal fits of pique in the old testament... if god's got a penis, it's a little one.

40. Why can't we wait until we get to Heaven to worship God ? Why would it be too late? - IG

Cuz he doesn't want anyone to get into the private club who hasn't kissed his ass outside?

41. What is the purpose of prayer? What can a finite being on Earth possibly tell an omnipotent, omniscient deity that he doesn't know already? - IG ON PRAYER
1.) Humans can?t change God?s mind for he has a divine plan and is unchangeable.
2.) Prayer can't change God's mind.
3.) Prayer doesn't change anything.
(Prayer may make you feel better emotionally, but it doesn`t change God`s mind.)

How does this reflect on the existence or nonexistence of a divinity? Also, given that whole 'omniscient' thing you mention, wouldn't god know you were going to pray, and thus have taken that into account with his plan?

42. Some say Jesus was the all-knowing God. Jesus would have known then that when he died he'd be in heaven in less than 3 days to rule. If Jesus is alive and ruling today, what did he sacrifice? -- Cyndy Hammond

Some say the dinosaurs were on the ark, too. Humans are fallible. All accounts we have show that IF JC was divinity made flesh (which he didn't claim), then he was a limited form of divinity able to tap into the Power, but not the omniscience. After all, how often did he say 'woman, why are you crying?' Even setting THAT aside, crucifixion's a terribly painful and degrading way to go. The loincloth they always show on the crucifixes? wrong. Stripped nude, in pain, on display... for hours... knowing that when you DO die, all the people who came to take pleasure in your pain and death will see you suffer the final indignity and void your bladder and bowels all over yourself.

43. God knows that men are sinners, untrustworthy and evil, why does God leave it up to fallible man (clergy..etc) to teach others about his word? Why would he put our eternal souls at risk if he loves us so much? - The Infidel Guy and Danno778

God loves you? Sez who? more fallible men.

44. Did Adam have nipples? If so, how did he acquire them? In fact, why would God give "later man" nipples at all? They serve no purpose other than lactation. Some say pleasure. Where is that in Genesis exactly? All mammals have nipples as well, are theirs pleasureful for them too? Many men don't find their nipples pleasurable at all. - IG

Let's be real here. Of course Adam had nipples, he was the template for Eve, remember? As for 'later men'... duh. Men have nipples so the really cool ones can get 'em pierced.

45. How did Adam and Eve know it was wrong to disobey God if they hadn't eaten of the tree of knowledge (of good and evil) yet? You can't blame them if they didn't know. - IG

So? Once again, we're back to the issue of divine benevolence != divine existence. It may not be a happy thought, but if god exists, that doesn't mean he's in any way your friend.

46. If God has such a tremendous problem with uncircumcised penises, why did he make man with foreskin in the first place? - IG [Note: Some say, "So God can recognize his chosen people." Recognize? Is God so stupid that he has to physically look at men's penises? If not God, do other men need to? lol.]

Maybe god's a sadist.

47. Did Noah have fish onboard? Salt or Fresh? Since fresh water fish would die in salt, and salt water fish would die in fresh, only one type of fish would survive. Yet....?" - Frank Monaco

One would assume Noah didn't need to bring fish onto the ark if it was surrounded by water. On the other hand, with only 2 of each animal on board, you DO have to wonder what he fed the carnivores, eh? Eye-wink

48. Why does the omnipotent, omnipresent God need help from man or angels to spread his word or do acts? - IG [Note: Some say God doesn't need help. But apparently he does.] - IG

Ok, now you're confusing 'need' with 'want'. Maybe god doesn't need help. I don't need TV. I have TV. God has help. Makes it easier, so he can take sundays off to watch football.

49. How did Jesus ascend to Heaven in the Flesh when Paul says that flesh cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven? (1 Cor.15:50) - IG [Note: Some say, well Paul said that and not Jesus. Yet they quote Paul when it suits there purposes.]

I don't quote Paul the Usurper when it suits my purposes. Paul was a bastard and an ambitious power-monger. That's all he was. Other people quoting Paul, well, we're on a kind of theme of human fallibility, aren't we?

50. If God wants us to live right and choose "the good," why did he create evil? (Isaiah 45:6,7) Not to mention he already knows which people are not going to choose "the good" so why create those people in the first place? It seems that many people are born to go to Hell. - IG ON HELL
1.) God is all-knowing.
2.) Before I was born God knew I wouldn?t believe in him.
3.) I was born to go to Hell.
(Sure you may say I have a choice, but I think I`ve proven already that I really don`t. I`m simply fulfilling the will of God by being an atheist aren`t I? If I`m not, I shouldn`t exist: For God would have known that before I was created that I wouldn`t believe in him.)

I play SimCity. I know I'm going to drop a huge freakin' tornado on the place. Why bother?

Stop assuming god is benevolent.

51. I hear Christians all the time speaking of a spiritual war between Heaven and Hell, if this is true does God have limitations of power? Man only conducts wars because of our limitations of power and foresight. God has both all-power and all-knowledge, no reason for war of any kind. - IG

I hear Christians say a lot of things. Doesn't make even one of them right. If you take all of the biblical accounts at face value, a)hell/gehenna does not exist yet. It will only exist at the Judgement. b)those spirits who disobeyed god became demons cursed to wander the earth, spirits of malice. They don't have much ability to wage war on heaven, and when commanded by JC, obeyed, however unwillingly. c)Satan is not among them. If you actually check, Satan fulfills a much more subtle role. He's the guy that goes out and does pop quizzes and soul inspections for god. He tests you. Did your teachers want you to fail tests? What's more, he tests you on god's behalf. Job is only tested after Satan checks w/god. Christ's temptation in the desert can be viewed as another test of the same nature: Making sure the golden boy was up to the task.

The only evidence of any 'war' between heaven and hell comes from the later writings of men who, as we've shown, are fallible.

52. The Bible is full of phrases beginning with, "and the lord saw". Didn't he know before hand? - IG

So? Didn't say when he saw.

53. How can a psychologist condone belief in something not proven to exist, when people are put into mental institutions on a daily basis for the same thing? i.e. aliens, fairies, imaginary people (Multiple Personality Disorders..)? - Dan Denton [Note: I'm sure that some of the pious believe that they are improperly placed there as well Dan. Smiling]

In a lot of cases, people are institutionalized for deviating from societal norms. Most of the US believes in the divine. Are you then asking to be institutionalized, or should we perhaps be a little more forgiving of one another's deviations?

54. If Christians say they know God exists and that he will work miracles, what do they need faith for? Faith is not knowing. - IG

Not so. Faith is certainty in the absence of proof.

55. Brain, or shall I say, body transplants, will eventually be possible, where would the soul be then? Where is the soul? - IG

Well, if we accept that the soul exists, and the brain as the seat of consciousness and will, then it would seem to make sense that the soul, however it is connected, is connected there.

56. If God really wants us to know him, why doesn't he place the knowledge of him in our minds at birth? The same way many theists believe that God implants our sense of right and wrong in us a right birth. - IG

Doesn't he? If he exists, and is the Creator, then didn't he give you senses? The world around you could be considered the purest means to knowledge of the divine.

57. If God was Jesus' father (not Joseph), then why is Jesus' family tree traced through Joseph? -- Cyndy Hammond

Eh, that's purely because of the social structure and the need for the messiah to be attached to the house of David Lee Roth.

58. What image of God was man made from? Couldn't have been a moral one or physical one. - IG [Note: One would suspect that an image of God would be perfect and cannot sin. Oops.]

Perhaps the 'image' or 'mold' of god that man was made in is simply the ability to be self-aware. Sentience. Reason itself.

59. Why can't God appear before everyone at the same time? Everyone in the world would then "know" he exists and not have solely "believe". And please, don't say he already tried that. Surely a God knows exactly what to do to convince a measly human of his existence. - IG

Why would he want to? Surely you don't believe that the wildly different attitudes toward people espoused in the different books of the judeo-christian-islamic tradition are held by the same being? The only explanation for that would insist the being is.. insane.

And there's nothing to show it's not. Should a divinity (or more than one... I know a number of pantheists of various persuasions) exist, there is nothing that forces it or them to be sane.

60. According to the New Testament Matthew 5:17 says "Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to complete. I tell you this: so long as heaven and earth endure, not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the Law until all that must happen has Happened." So since Jesus has not returned the "Law" is still in effect, so why aren't we still burning witches, stoning adulterers and disobedient children, killing homosexuals, ostracizing people that work on the Sabbath (nurses, doctors etc.), flinging blood onto the horns of the alter, pulling off the heads of small birds, and don't forget human sacrifice to God (Leviticus 27 P.28 )? -- Sheila L. Chambers

Aaaand we're back to human fallibility. Assuming god exists, and assuming every word in the book is true (which is the strongest case opposed by atheists, that the ultra-fundamentalists are right), that still in no way prevents or precludes that men will act in ways contrary to what god wants.

61. If there is freewill in Heaven yet everyone has chosen good and is happy, isn't that proof that God could have made us with freewill, choosing good ( God ) and still being happy on Earth? - Dennis Hendrix [Note: In other words, evil didn't have to exist after all. Hey wait, even in Heaven apparently, evil can exist. At least for a short while. Satan became evil and was in heaven. Apparently he even had enough time to form an Army against God. Wow. Maybe Heaven won't be as peaceful as many believe.]

Satan is not shown to be evil, simply antagonistic toward men. Evil, as bibilically defined, is disobedience to god. If Satan is acting under orders to test men and weed out the unfaithful, then he is obedient to god, and thus 'good'.

Azazel and the other rebellious angels of the book of enoch rebelled after time on earth, btw, and so evil expressly did not occur in heaven.

62. Why does God have a plan? Man is limited in power so we make plans because we are not all-knowing nor all-powerful. If God has a plan, isn't he reduced to a mere finite being? - IG

Because it's an easy way to explain to confused commoners 'the divinity is aware of the full end result of his work, and is satisfied with the results, even if we with our perception limited to one progression in time cannot fully be aware of it.'

63. How could the all-merciful/loving God watch billions of his children burn over and over again for eternity? - IG [Note: Of course this is geared to those that believe in a fiery hell. I am well aware that not all Christians believe in a fiery Hell.]

Good = Obedience to God. Evil = Disobedience to God. God is authoritarian and rewards obedience, not a benevolent deity that dotes upon mankind.

In short: If you don't do what god wants, god doesn't love you.

64. Before reading and writing were invented (5000BC), on what basis did God use to judge the people who died before the Hebrew and Greek text (BIBLE) were written? -- agent2g@aol.com [Note: They are all roasting in Hell. Smiling]

Well, if you hold by Revelations, all that are dead are... dead. And when the Judgement comes, all, going back unto the beginning, will be raised up and then judged on their actions. NOT their beliefs. 'when you did this for the least of my brothers, that you did for me' etc. And THEN the unworthy will be burned in Gehenna (the Fire That Burns For An Age) for 1,000 years before being utterly destroyed.

Course, John could've been flying high at the time.

65. Many Christians tell me that I will "burn in hell". If I have a soul, how can a soul burn? Aren't souls non-physical entities? - IG [Note: Some Christians groups believe that you will be given new bodies after judgement. However, if true, what's the significance of a spirit in the first place?]

According to Revelations, you'll be given your old body back. The significance of a spirit is that it is the 'you' that will be given its body back.

66. How can one hold to the barbaric belief that something has to DIE in order to appease a god for a bad deed? -- Nickolaus Wing [Note: Because an old book says so Nick.]

Well, here's the thing. The concept of sacrifice is that you're giving something up. In the framework of the time, just about ANYTHING could be made with materials at hand. After all, everything you had had to have been made by the small community you lived among, or bought from travellers. The things you could not easily replace, then, were the things that had uniqueness... and in the end, the only things that are truly unique or irreplaceable... are lives.

It's a sad state, but the idea is that to pay the piper, you have to give up something you cannot replace, in order to show your devotion to the deity.

67. Why does SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) occur? Why would God allow a baby to live for such a short period of time? Why not just let them not be born in the first place? -- Terry Clark [Note: This actually happened to a friend of mine. Not even God himself could console her.]

God != love. Bad things happen to good people. It is in the search for comfort from the pains of this world that we insist upon believing that god is a loving god... but the deeper truth here is that all things happen to make us who we are. I do not claim this to be part of a divine plan (as I have said, I neither know, nor particularly care if there is any higher order of being), I am simply saying that we are shaped by our choices and experiences, and events like that, while tragic, need not be pointless if we can come out the stronger for them. The meanings and purposes of tragedies are found in our reactions to them, even if those purposes come not from any higher power, but simply our own refusal to be destroyed.

68. If Jesus was nailed and died on Friday evening, and walked out of the tomb on Sunday morning, where's the 3rd NIGHT he predicted? Per Matthew 12:40: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. - buckcash@buckcash.com

Eh, the timing's all wrong for a friday anyway. Look, Jesus shows up on Palm Sunday. Thursday, before the sabbath, he's arrested. He's arraigned by Pilate on friday, and then sent to Herod. That's 40 miles, which is just a little longer than a roman legion could do in a day. Also, it's the sabbath. So odds are, it's sunday, maybe part of monday on the road and then Herod deals w/him and sends him back. He gets back to Pilate wednesday evening, and sent to golgotha on thursday, a week after his arrest. He dies, gets put in the tomb. 3 days/nights passage would be thursday, friday, saturday. However, there's also a school of thought that says that sunday was artificially fixed as the day of the ressurection to differentiate it from the jewish sabbath, in which case all bets are off on the timing.

69. Many Christians claim that hell is merely existence outside of God ?s presence (C.S. Lewis among others). If this is the case, then Jesus could not have descended into hell (being God Himself). As a result, are you sure your sins are forgiven? - Byron Bultsma

Jesus never claimed to be god, and the Apostles' Creed was formulated by men some 300 years later. The redemption comes from the sacrifice, not the language used to describe it.

70. Ten to twenty percent of all women who discover they are pregnant suffer a miscarriage. Also, it is estimated that anywhere from 14 to 50 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Seeing this is all part of God 's plan, does this make God the world's number one abortion provider? - Jim

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHahahahahahaha... I love it.

Yes.

Keep in mind that in Leviticus, most of the sexual transgressions for women carry a penalty of death, not 'wait to see if she's pregnant and kill her 9 months later, but save the baby'. In short: God doesn't care about abortions.

71. What if, when you get to Heaven, you saw God causing pain and suffering out of anger or for the purpose of entertaining himself. What if he required people in heaven to praise and worship him non-stop even to the point of causing his worshipers discomfort, pain and boredom. What if, when he was bored, angry, or jealous, he would create natural disasters to make himself feel better. Would you still follow him? - Fernando [Note: Of course they would Fernando, many people followed Hitler out of fear as well.]

Er... well, you're in heaven, see? Part & parcel of that is a sociopathic indifference to the suffering of everyone who didn't get there, remember?

72. In Leviticus, the bible condemns homosexuality as an "abomination", giving some Christians a reason to hate, harass, torture and kill gays and even picket their funderals with " God hates fags" signs. In the same book of the bible the eating of shellfish is equally an "abomination". Are these Christians planning to go after the patrons of Red Lobster next? - buckcash@buckcash.com [Note: hee-hee, that's all I can say. Jewish Law states that eating Fish without scales is an abomination and thus the Shark is one among the list. However, sharks do have scales, Placoid scales, one of the many reasons why a shark is called a Fish .]

Actually, the much more entertaining question is: In Leviticus, the Law expressly segregates 'men' and 'women'. All of the laws pertaining to sexual deviancy explicitly say 'man' or 'woman'. Noplace does it condemn lesbianism, only homosexuality among men.

This evident love for girl-girl action is proof that god, should one exist, is male.

73. Christians will tell you that if a baby dies it goes to heaven. Why then are they so against abortion? All the child is being deprived of is the opportunity to go to hell. Either that or god expects unborn fetuses to accept Jesus. - dissolvedego@satannet.org

Because you're usurping god's perogative on when people die, I suppose. Keep in mind that this is a modern conceit. Hell, suicide wasn't a sin until the medieval aristocracy complained about serfs offing themself.

74. If one could prove to you incontrovertibly that Jesus and God were all human fabrications would still believe? And why? - LOGICnREASON [Note: If you say yes. Then you are not concerned with the truth, you simply WANT to believe; and if you WANT to believe, indeed, there is nothing anyone can tell you..]

If one could prove to you that 1+1=1, would you believe it? This isn't a valid question regarding the existence or nonexistence of divinity, it's a question regarding someone's level of willingness to delude themselves and is, well, horribly prejudicial to say the least.

75. It is often said that God allows evil because one could not meaningfully appreciate good without experiencing its opposite. Why is it necessary to experience the opposite of something in order to appreciate it? Must I experience death in order to meaningfully appreciate life? -excidius

Some might say yes, that you must have an awareness of death in order to fully appreciate life. For myself, I don't think god allows evil in order to contrast good, I think that evil is defined by men.

76. Bible literalists want you to believe that God's Word in the Bible is meant to be taken literally. If this is the case, why was Jesus fond of explaining things in parable and metaphor? Was Jesus literally discussing the biology of mustard seeds, or was the mustard seed parable meant to be interpreted figuratively as faith? -excidius

At a guess, I'd say it was because Jesus was a bit brighter than most bible literalists.

77. Liberal Christians say some parts of the Bible are literally true, but much else is to be interpreted figuratively as allegory. How do you know which is which? What distinguishing criteria are used? How can you be certain "God" is a literal and not a figurative concept? -excidius

You can't. You just have to trust your instincts, just like you have to trust your instincts that all of reality is not a lie told to you by your mind. You cannot ever prove that your senses are reliable, after all.

78. Consciousness is the result of a physical brain, how could God being metaphysical be said to be conscious or sentient without having a brain? - Mindless

Welcome to ineffability, man. God perhaps exists in more or a different subset of dimensions than the 3 spacial and 1 temporal we inhabit.

79. Considering how Leviticus is considered old law, and that Christians do not obey it anymore, why do they always use it to defend homosexuality being an "abomination"? -Bohorquez

Convenience, I'd suppose. I don't see Pat Robertson following all of Leviticus's tents.

80. If God is omnipotent and he has a plan ... then why did he not create the universe as it will be one second after the plan has succeeded? Who or what prevented him from doing that? - Timothy Campbell (http://www.tc123.com)

Maybe he did, and we're just stuck perceiving the temporal axis of that creation little by little.

81. The large majority of people who have ever existed could not have learned of the Bible or Jesus Christ. And many people afterwards have found other religions or no religion at all to be more convincing, sometimes while being very virtuous. Do all these people really deserve eternal torment because of that? -- lpetrich

Actually, if you check Revelations, it seems that the initial 144,000 saved will be the virtuous believers, and everyone else will be judged on their actions, not their faiths.

82. The above arguments also apply among different sects of Christianity, many of which state that most others are not True Christianity. -- lpetrich

See above.

83. Is it reasonable for the Creator and Ruler of such a vast Universe to be preoccupied with the sexuality of a species living on a tiny little planet? -- lpetrich

Maybe. I've never been the creator and ruler of a vast universe. Maybe he's concerned with the sexuality of all sentient species... maybe it's not him that's concerned, but the people who've put themselves in power.

84. If the Christian god was all loving and all knowing why did he let religious figures such as Mohammed or Gautama Budda be born, knowing that they would mislead people from the 'true' faith and trick the majority of the world's population into burning forever in hell (in fact, if Islam didn't start, most of the middle east would probably be Christian). It would simple to use the Holy Spirit to guide them to Jesus and spread the 'true' faith. If the Holy Spirit exits, it certainly isn't doing it's job!

Once more... god is not necessarily all loving. That is a conceit we have invented to make ourselves feel good.

85. If one is obliged to follow all the teachings of the bible then why is engaging in homosexuality or adultery any worse than "suffering a witch to live", "muzzling the ox that treadeth the corn", "reaping the corners of thy field", "marring the corners of they beard", "plowing with an oxen and an ass", "hating thy brother in thy heart" or "eating frogs, shellfish and eels" ?

Strictly speaking, it shouldn't be. Guess we're back to human fallibility on the enforcement end, eh?

86. Exactly how did the alleged worldwide flood kill off all the world's sea creatures? How does one go about drowning a fish? -- Steever

oh, that's easy. You drown a fish by denying it oxygen. Look at the algae blooms in the gulf of mexico and the dead zones they create. Deoxygenate the water (by, for example, pouring a huge mass of salt water rapidly on top of a fresh water sea) and the fish die.

87. Why did this alleged god create humans as an animal form of life that gets sick and dies and experiences pain and has a limited mind when 'it' could have created humans as a form of pure energy or of some indestructible material or whatever, and was totally ?sinless? and had ?pure? thought? If a god was omnipotent 'it' could have easily have done this. --AI

Sadism? Stop assuming god's benevolent.

88. If a god is omnipotent how did 'it' fail to foresee that Satan would turn against 'it'? --AI

Prove that satan has, and isn't just following orders to tempt and test humanity in order to weed out the unworthy. And by the way, you wanted 'omniscient', all-knowing, not 'omnipotent', all-powerful.

89. What is a god supposedly made of? --AI

Godliness. It's next to cleanliness.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
You've pointed out several

You've pointed out several times, BMcd, that the questions do not challenge the logical possibility of a divine being but rather attack specific claims about specific god concepts (mostly Abrahamic). You've also pointed out, rightly, that these attacks do not preclude the possibility of there being some other kind of god.

Remember, however, that it is only the strong atheist who accepts any burden of proof for showing that there is positively no god. Weak atheists concern themselves only with defeating specific god claims, then return to the default and unassailable position that given the lack of a defensible concept of god, it is not reasonable to assume that one exists.  

So there is some point, beyond the obvious one of tearing down the delusions of the 2 billion or so Abrahmic theists, to attacking these specific claims about god and the Bible. 

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


jesusrulz_69
Theist
jesusrulz_69's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: 2007-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Tilberian wrote: You've

Tilberian wrote:

You've pointed out several times, BMcd, that the questions do not challenge the logical possibility of a divine being but rather attack specific claims about specific god concepts (mostly Abrahamic). You've also pointed out, rightly, that these attacks do not preclude the possibility of there being some other kind of god.

Remember, however, that it is only the strong atheist who accepts any burden of proof for showing that there is positively no god. Weak atheists concern themselves only with defeating specific god claims, then return to the default and unassailable position that given the lack of a defensible concept of god, it is not reasonable to assume that one exists.

So there is some point, beyond the obvious one of tearing down the delusions of the 2 billion or so Abrahmic theists, to attacking these specific claims about god and the Bible.



Now you can say whatever you like about history, God is eternal, and in the Next Coming, and after the next Great Flood, all history will be erased and God's great land will be purged of all sin, giving birth to a new era of salvation.

The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want nothing.


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
jesusrulz_69 wrote: Now you

jesusrulz_69 wrote:

Now you can say whatever you like about history, God is eternal, and in the Next Coming, and after the next Great Flood, all history will be erased and God's great land will be purged of all sin, giving birth to a new era of salvation.

Jesusrulz, what is the point of this vapid, argument-free piece of preaching? Does this look like a church to you? Do you honestly think that any thinking person could possibly be convinced or even interested in such an empty assertion? Would you consider it a compelling argument if I responded to you by saying "Well, you can say whatever you want about the Next Coming, but soon Morgoth will return from banishment from beyond the Walls of Night and his captain Sauron will lead a great army of Orcs to purge the earth of all unbelievers who do not join with Gandalf to bring about a new era of magic."?

Please be advised that proselytizing is against the forum rules, so do make a point that is on-topic or refrain from posting here. 

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


thetempleofman
Posts: 13
Joined: 2007-12-27
User is offlineOffline
Quote:Now you can say

Quote:


Now you can say whatever you like about history, God is eternal, and in the Next Coming, and after the next Great Flood, all history will be erased and God's great land will be purged of all sin, giving birth to a new era of salvation.

 

I'm not entirely sure what Bible you've been reading or your religious beliefs are but God clearly made a promise with a Rainbow that he would NEVER flood the Earth again not to mention that when Christ comes again, it will be his final visit and judgment. There won't be any "new" beginnings on Earth as we see it now.

.::Proud to be an American Christian::.


thetempleofman
Posts: 13
Joined: 2007-12-27
User is offlineOffline
Here are the first 10

Here are the first 10 answered by me according to my beliefs. I had posted these before but they're no longer here? So here they are again. ~ Kia

 

1. If Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies so well, why didn't the Jews recognize him as the messiah?


The OT prophecies, over centuries, have been interpreted and misinterpreted by many cultures, religious fanatics and individual groups. At the time of Christ, there was a battle between Judaism and Catholicism. Hence, there was not a clear and precise picture of what to expect in the Messiah. Even Jesus’ own disciples struggled to understand his mission and divine origin.

2. When the believer gets to Heaven, how can Heaven be utter bliss when people they love and care about are burning in Hell?


Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected. After we are resurrected, we will stand before the Lord to be judged according to our desires and actions. Each of us will accordingly receive an eternal dwelling place in a specific kingdom of glory. The Lord taught this principle when He said, "In my Father's house are many mansions" (John 14:2). Just as there are different degrees of righteousness on the earth, there are kingdoms of differing glory in the next life: the celestial kingdom is the highest, followed by the terrestrial and the telestial. The Three Kingdoms of Glory Scripture discussion Explain that the Apostle Paul taught about the three kingdoms of glory.(1 Corinthians 15:40-42)


3.  Why would God create a place such as hell to torture sinners forever when he foreknew who would disappoint him? - IG [Note: Some say you have a choice, but this misses the point. If God hates sin so much, why create Adam and Eve when he knew they'd sin? The only conclusion I can come up with, if Yahweh exists, is that he wanted sin to enter the world.]


God created us in his own image. (Genesis 1:26-27) We do have choices to make. It’s called free-will/agency. There are three R’s of free agency: the right of choice, the responsibility of choice, and the results of choice. As for why would God created Adam and Eve when he knew they’d sin. . .well, if you have children, do they not do things you wish them not to? I am a mother 4, trust me, they will always try to defy you deliberately or not. We are all God’s children. God sent Christ to save us all from damnation because our own free agency had put us in a spot that we could not recover from on our own. We needed Christ to die for us so that we could basically start anew and follow God’s master plan of salvation which in the grand scheme of things is to do good on Earth and die to return home to him in Heaven. Would you not want to teach your children to do good and make the right choices? Sometimes, we have to intervene to make sure they make the right choices. That is what God did by sending Christ.


4. "God is all merciful," we hear quite often. Wouldn't it be more merciful of God to simply snap sinners out of existence rather than send them to hell? Or better yet, since he's all-knowing, not allow them to be born at all?


Again, I answered this question above but adding something on “hell”. It is my belief that the only persons that will be sent to hell are those that have been given the chance to learn of Him and His son and still deny him. You might ask, what of those people that have never had the chance to learn or be taught. Simple. There is a “prison” world or what some say “limbo”. There, they will be given the chance to accept it’s truths or deny them. After judgment day, they will be sent to their destination, whether it be one of 3 glories or hell. After all, who says that hell is only a burning pit of fire? If I was going to make one suffer for all eternity, I’d make sure they suffered in a way that made sense to them. I fear snakes (an irrational fear at that) and heights. Would I not be in hell if I was falling in an endless pit or stuck in a room full of snakes? That’s something to think about.


5. Muslims are supposed to pray 5 times a day towards Mecca. Each prayer includes a variety of ritualism and posturing. If a muslim astronaut were to land on Mars. Prayer to Mecca would be ritualistically impossible due to the rotation of Earth and Mars. Are Muslims stuck here in Earth? IG [Note: Since this was first posted, a Muslim astronaut was faced with this very dilemma. The authoritative clergy informed him to pray as he normally would. I see this no where in the Koran. You see? Religions must change, or die out. It's interesting to note that, in the Koran, the moon is believed to be in the lowest Heaven, the level for those that barely made it to Heaven. Surah 71:15-16. One problem, no man can supposedly get to Heaven until they die. Yet, we've been to the moon. Our satellites beyond that.]


If this is true of the Muslim faith, then they are speaking on a spiritual level. Meaning, you would have to die to be able to obtain that degree of Heaven. Think of it as a different realm or dimension. I do not know much about the Muslim faith but all in all, those that believe in a supreme being really have a lot in common.


6. Why haven't we seen God reattach severed heads, restore someone who was burned alive or re-grow amputated limbs? Surely these would be miracles difficult to deny.


I don’t have to see someone in such a situation to know that miracles are performed on a daily basis. My mother was diagnosed in 1992 with a very rare lung disease. At the time, she was the 11th person in the world to be diagnosed with this disease and the others had died from it. My mom was lucky to have overcome this disease thanks to modern technology, faith, spiritual healing and prayer. If you want to argue that modern technology has nothing to do with God, then so be it…but how else would we have become so advance in just 100 years. It is because God has given us gifts and we’re using those gifts to bring about new inventions and medicines. My mother was told she’d be dead in 6 months. We lived each day to the fullest and when 6 months came around, she was doing much better than they expected. She had already spent 4 of those 6 months bed ridden in the hospital. She feared she’d be leaving me & my sister and our 8 month old  half-sister behind. My baby sister was born with a heart defect due to the lack of oxygen during mom’s pregnancy. Her heart stopped 4 times and the last time was the hardest to get her back from. The miracle of both these stories is that my mom is still alive nearly 16 years after being told she would die within half a year of her diagnoses and that my baby sister is an aspiring dancer with a group in Texas and has not had any issues with her heart since she was a year old. I also now have another baby sister that is now 9 and very healthy. You don’t have to see such a dramatic event to believe in a miracle.


7. Why does God entrust the spreading of 'His' word to sinners? Why doesn't he do it himself?


God does not hate anyone. As I’ve already said, we’re all his children and even when our children fail us, we still love them. I’ve heard a quote many times “A man can save a thousand souls while condemning himself to hell.” However, I can’t be the one to judge that. I have no right judging someone else’s salvation. There is only one way that can be done and that is done by Jesus during judgment. As for the why doesn’t he do it himself? I see him as the Boss. He delegates who does what. He has prophets, apostles, disciples, bishops, deacons, ministers, evangelist and such.


8. In II Kings 2-23/24 we read about God sending 2 she-bears to attack children for calling the prophet Elisa bald, which he was, the bears killed 42 of the children. Was this a good thing to do?
As many people, including some Christians, take the bible literally. This is a good example of one of them. The Bible has a lot of symbolism in it. The Book of Revelation is a HUGE book of symbolism.


9. I have often heard from many believers that even Satan has a presence in the church, which is why even in church people can still have impure thoughts. If Satan can find his way in the church, how do Christians know that Satan didn't find his way into the Bible and twist the whole book? After all, men did vote on which books would make the Holy Bible.


Satan is a huge part of a Christian’s life. He is always there and lurking around. It is up to us to use the gift God gave us called the Holy Ghost to help us choose the right paths in life and avoid those dark paths that Satan tries to lure us towards. I am not saying it’s impossible for Satan to have worked his way into the bible and how it was to be complied after the scrolls were found, but I feel in my faith that God wouldn’t allow that to happen. It’s His word, not Satan’s. Satanist have their own doctrine.


10. Why did God allow Lot and his daughters to escape from Sodom and Gomorra when he destroyed it only to later have Lot and his daughters engage in incestuous fornication?


Again, free agency. God had no part in the daughters decision to get their father drunk and sleep with him.

.::Proud to be an American Christian::.


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
thetempleofman wrote: Here

thetempleofman wrote:

Here are the first 10 answered by me according to my beliefs. I had posted these before but they're no longer here? So here they are again. ~ Kia

We lost a bunch of posts in the recent server crash... 

thetempleofman wrote:

1. If Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies so well, why didn't the Jews recognize him as the messiah?

The OT prophecies, over centuries, have been interpreted and misinterpreted by many cultures, religious fanatics and individual groups. At the time of Christ, there was a battle between Judaism and Catholicism. Hence, there was not a clear and precise picture of what to expect in the Messiah. Even Jesus’ own disciples struggled to understand his mission and divine origin.

You seem here to be taking the view here that the Bible is an ordinary account written by human beings with all the errors, misinterpretations and biases that humans are prone to. If that is your view, why do we give it any more authority than, say, Lord of the Rings?

A quibble: there was no conflict between Judaism and Catholicism during Christ's life. Catholicism wasn't founded until after his death.

thetempleofman wrote:

2. When the believer gets to Heaven, how can Heaven be utter bliss when people they love and care about are burning in Hell?

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected. After we are resurrected, we will stand before the Lord to be judged according to our desires and actions. Each of us will accordingly receive an eternal dwelling place in a specific kingdom of glory. The Lord taught this principle when He said, "In my Father's house are many mansions" (John 14:2). Just as there are different degrees of righteousness on the earth, there are kingdoms of differing glory in the next life: the celestial kingdom is the highest, followed by the terrestrial and the telestial. The Three Kingdoms of Glory Scripture discussion Explain that the Apostle Paul taught about the three kingdoms of glory.(1 Corinthians 15:40-42)

So in your view there is no hell, only three-star, four-star and five-star heavens. That's a nice idea. But what is my motive for following your religion when I can ignore everything, do whatever I want and still end up spending eternity in heaven minus the continental breakfast?

thetempleofman wrote:

3. Why would God create a place such as hell to torture sinners forever when he foreknew who would disappoint him? - IG [Note: Some say you have a choice, but this misses the point. If God hates sin so much, why create Adam and Eve when he knew they'd sin? The only conclusion I can come up with, if Yahweh exists, is that he wanted sin to enter the world.]

God created us in his own image. (Genesis 1:26-27) We do have choices to make. It’s called free-will/agency.

 Actually, the idea that God created us in his own image would suggest that we would be omnipotent as he is and therefore quite without choice since we already the know the outcome of everything. In any event, it was clearly God's choice to give us choice, knowing the consequences, and therefore he shares the blame for everything that followed.

thetempleofman wrote:

There are three R’s of free agency: the right of choice, the responsibility of choice, and the results of choice. As for why would God created Adam and Eve when he knew they’d sin. . .well, if you have children, do they not do things you wish them not to? I am a mother 4, trust me, they will always try to defy you deliberately or not. We are all God’s children.

You might be a mother, but you are not God by a long shot. Neither am I. That is why we can't be held accountable for our children's misdeeds...we are helpless to prevent them. God, on the other hand, can do anything. Right?

thetempleofman wrote:

God sent Christ to save us all from damnation because our own free agency had put us in a spot that we could not recover from on our own. We needed Christ to die for us so that we could basically start anew and follow God’s master plan of salvation which in the grand scheme of things is to do good on Earth and die to return home to him in Heaven. Would you not want to teach your children to do good and make the right choices? Sometimes, we have to intervene to make sure they make the right choices. That is what God did by sending Christ.

Let me see if I understand your argument. First, God created the universe defining all the parameters such as the laws of logic and good and evil. Then he created us, along with every aspect of our being. In the process of doing this, he wasn't able to find any way to get us to meet his own definition of goodness without allowing us to also be able to choose evil, again, something that he created (since without his work, evil would not exist). He did all of this knowing that it was for nothing and that in a few thousand years he was going to have to kill almost everyone on earth and start over, then, a thousand years or so later, he was going to have to send the greatest person who ever lived to torture and death in order to solve all the problems that his earlier invention of free will, good and evil had caused.

I think your parent analogy is right on. God is bumbling around like an 18 year-old single mom with a crack habit.

thetempleofman wrote:

4. "God is all merciful," we hear quite often. Wouldn't it be more merciful of God to simply snap sinners out of existence rather than send them to hell? Or better yet, since he's all-knowing, not allow them to be born at all?

Again, I answered this question above but adding something on “hell”. It is my belief that the only persons that will be sent to hell are those that have been given the chance to learn of Him and His son and still deny him. You might ask, what of those people that have never had the chance to learn or be taught. Simple. There is a “prison” world or what some say “limbo”. There, they will be given the chance to accept it’s truths or deny them. After judgment day, they will be sent to their destination, whether it be one of 3 glories or hell. After all, who says that hell is only a burning pit of fire? If I was going to make one suffer for all eternity, I’d make sure they suffered in a way that made sense to them. I fear snakes (an irrational fear at that) and heights. Would I not be in hell if I was falling in an endless pit or stuck in a room full of snakes? That’s something to think about.

So now you do believe in hell? Given this, you need to give a real answer to question #2. How can believers be perfectly happy in heaven knowing that loved ones who rejected God are suffering the torments of hell? Your previous answer doesn't even address this question; you tried to make it sound like you don't believe in hell.

And you do still owe us an answer to this question. Simply saying that you think only people who have willfully rejected God will go to hell doesn't tell us why God sends them to hell rather than just snuffing them out.

thetempleofman wrote:

5. Muslims are supposed to pray 5 times a day towards Mecca. Each prayer includes a variety of ritualism and posturing. If a muslim astronaut were to land on Mars. Prayer to Mecca would be ritualistically impossible due to the rotation of Earth and Mars. Are Muslims stuck here in Earth? IG [Note: Since this was first posted, a Muslim astronaut was faced with this very dilemma. The authoritative clergy informed him to pray as he normally would. I see this no where in the Koran. You see? Religions must change, or die out. It's interesting to note that, in the Koran, the moon is believed to be in the lowest Heaven, the level for those that barely made it to Heaven. Surah 71:15-16. One problem, no man can supposedly get to Heaven until they die. Yet, we've been to the moon. Our satellites beyond that.]

If this is true of the Muslim faith, then they are speaking on a spiritual level. Meaning, you would have to die to be able to obtain that degree of Heaven. Think of it as a different realm or dimension. I do not know much about the Muslim faith but all in all, those that believe in a supreme being really have a lot in common.

Come on. Be honest. Do you really think that in 1000 AD the Prophet knew that the moon was a huge chunk of rock orbiting the earth and that he referred to it as the lowest rung of heaven only as a spiritual metaphor? Or did he really think that the moon was the lowest rung of heaven? Please give me a really, really honest answer to this question.

thetempleofman wrote:

6. Why haven't we seen God reattach severed heads, restore someone who was burned alive or re-grow amputated limbs? Surely these would be miracles difficult to deny.

I don’t have to see someone in such a situation to know that miracles are performed on a daily basis. My mother was diagnosed in 1992 with a very rare lung disease. At the time, she was the 11th person in the world to be diagnosed with this disease and the others had died from it.

Then this was a very rare and therefore very poorly understood disease, with very little data on how dangerous it really is or what the complicating factors might be for survival. It isn't surprising that the doctors were surprised by what happened to your mother: it would be surprising if they weren't.

thetempleofman wrote:

My mom was lucky to have overcome this disease thanks to modern technology, faith, spiritual healing and prayer. If you want to argue that modern technology has nothing to do with God, then so be it…but how else would we have become so advance in just 100 years.

The progress of medical technology is well documented and thoroughly explained without reference to any supernatural source. We don't have to guess or wonder how we got so advanced in the last 100 years - it's all right there in the historical record. Oh and BTW, reducing the influence of religion over science was a big part of it.

thetempleofman wrote:

It is because God has given us gifts and we’re using those gifts to bring about new inventions and medicines.

In this context, your use of the word "God" means nothing. You are not adding to our understanding of what happened at all by using that word. All you are doing is pointing at well-known phenomena like scientific method, human inventiveness, market forces, historical trends etc and calling them "God." There are very easy to understand reasons why we have the technology we have if you would just take the time to learn about them.

thetempleofman wrote:

My mother was told she’d be dead in 6 months.

Given that only ten people had ever had this disease before your mother, I'd say that prognosis wasn't worth the paper it was printed on.

thetempleofman wrote:

We lived each day to the fullest and when 6 months came around, she was doing much better than they expected. She had already spent 4 of those 6 months bed ridden in the hospital. She feared she’d be leaving me & my sister and our 8 month old half-sister behind. My baby sister was born with a heart defect due to the lack of oxygen during mom’s pregnancy. Her heart stopped 4 times and the last time was the hardest to get her back from. The miracle of both these stories is that my mom is still alive nearly 16 years after being told she would die within half a year of her diagnoses and that my baby sister is an aspiring dancer with a group in Texas and has not had any issues with her heart since she was a year old. I also now have another baby sister that is now 9 and very healthy. You don’t have to see such a dramatic event to believe in a miracle.

I am hearing all about it and nothing in your story suggests a miracle in the slightest. Given how rare your mother's disease was, it wouldn't have been surprising if it caused her to grow wings and fly around the room. And heart stoppages during birth are not uncommon, nor do they usually cause heart problems later. Especially if the subject is physically active, like a dancer.

You are just pointing at things you don't understand and calling them miracles. This is why I hate religion. It causes people to stop asking questions and learning. Instead of using your mothers recovery as a springboard to discover more about her disease, you were content to lump it in with a raft of disparate phenomena called "miracles," praise God and walk away. Take off the blinkers. The world is more interesting without God.

thetempleofman wrote:


7. Why does God entrust the spreading of 'His' word to sinners? Why doesn't he do it himself?

God does not hate anyone. As I’ve already said, we’re all his children and even when our children fail us, we still love them. I’ve heard a quote many times “A man can save a thousand souls while condemning himself to hell.” However, I can’t be the one to judge that. I have no right judging someone else’s salvation. There is only one way that can be done and that is done by Jesus during judgment. As for the why doesn’t he do it himself? I see him as the Boss. He delegates who does what. He has prophets, apostles, disciples, bishops, deacons, ministers, evangelist and such.

I don't think you get the question. As you yourself have pointed out in question #1, humans are highly imperfect communicators. We often don't understand things or get them wrong. Why, then, has God and Jesus been content to leave the Truth about themselves in our hands, where it has been distorted beyond recognition? Why haven't they made sure that there is only one pure message, written on an indestructible tablet (or similar) for us all to refer to? This has nothing to do with judging anyone. It has only to do with giving sinners the information they need to save themselves.

thetempleofman wrote:

8. In II Kings 2-23/24 we read about God sending 2 she-bears to attack children for calling the prophet Elisa bald, which he was, the bears killed 42 of the children. Was this a good thing to do?
As many people, including some Christians, take the bible literally. This is a good example of one of them. The Bible has a lot of symbolism in it. The Book of Revelation is a HUGE book of symbolism.

Who chooses which parts are symbolic and which aren't? Here's another thing I hate about religion: it automatically places your life and beliefs in the hands of some authority figure who can provide the "official" interpretation of God's word.

thetempleofman wrote:

9. I have often heard from many believers that even Satan has a presence in the church, which is why even in church people can still have impure thoughts. If Satan can find his way in the church, how do Christians know that Satan didn't find his way into the Bible and twist the whole book? After all, men did vote on which books would make the Holy Bible.

Satan is a huge part of a Christian’s life. He is always there and lurking around. It is up to us to use the gift God gave us called the Holy Ghost to help us choose the right paths in life and avoid those dark paths that Satan tries to lure us towards. I am not saying it’s impossible for Satan to have worked his way into the bible and how it was to be complied after the scrolls were found, but I feel in my faith that God wouldn’t allow that to happen. It’s His word, not Satan’s. Satanist have their own doctrine.

Well, TOM, at least you are honest enough to invoke faith when you need to and not insist that you arrived at the conclusion that the Bible is the work of God through rational means. It is the only possible answer to the question.

When theists invoke faith I am left with only one question: why is faith the appropriate way to form beliefs about God, morality and the afterlife, but totally inappropriate for all other scenarios. Would you buy a car on faith? Why not? Given that you wouldn't, why would you buy a religion that way?

thetempleofman wrote:

10. Why did God allow Lot and his daughters to escape from Sodom and Gomorra when he destroyed it only to later have Lot and his daughters engage in incestuous fornication?

Again, free agency. God had no part in the daughters decision to get their father drunk and sleep with him.

Your God really isn't capable of very much, is he? It seems that a well-meaning human friend would have been a lot more useful to Lot in this situation. 

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


wavefreak
Theist
wavefreak's picture
Posts: 1825
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
I'm never sure why atheists

I'm never sure why atheists ask these questions. From a religious frame of reference, one only has to weave together enough plausible ideas so that it all hangs together with sufficient coherency to allow belief.

1) The Jews rejected Christ because he came to promote the kingdom of heaven while they were expecting a kingdom on earth.

2) Because Eden is a part of the heavenly kingdom and the way is lost to man.

3) Evolution is an invention of unbelief and proves nothing

4) Heaven's bliss is not marred by the suffering of those in hell not because god erase the memory of those in hell, but because in heaven we have full and complete understanding of how their choices resulted in application perfect justice.

 

Blah blah blah and so on.

 

These lists of questions are pointless. If you assume the bible is worthless, then NO explanation is sufficient. If you hope to catch a believer in a contradiction, self-contradiciton is not enough to shake belief. Belief is not rational and yet you are asking for rational responses, and act perplexed when you don't get them.


darth_josh
High Level DonorHigh Level ModeratorGold Member
darth_josh's picture
Posts: 2650
Joined: 2006-02-27
User is offlineOffline
Much like biologists study

Much like biologists study animals in the wilderness, so too do we.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.


wavefreak
Theist
wavefreak's picture
Posts: 1825
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
darth_josh wrote: Much like

darth_josh wrote:
Much like biologists study animals in the wilderness, so too do we.

Oh. I thought it was more like watching a train wreck in slow motion. You know people are getting hurt but you just gotta watch. 


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3686
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
wavefreak wrote:

wavefreak wrote:

I'm never sure why atheists ask these questions. From a religious frame of reference, one only has to weave together enough plausible ideas so that it all hangs together with sufficient coherency to allow belief.

1) The Jews rejected Christ because he came to promote the kingdom of heaven while they were expecting a kingdom on earth.

2) Because Eden is a part of the heavenly kingdom and the way is lost to man.

3) Evolution is an invention of unbelief and proves nothing

4) Heaven's bliss is not marred by the suffering of those in hell not because god erase the memory of those in hell, but because in heaven we have full and complete understanding of how their choices resulted in application perfect justice.

 

Blah blah blah and so on.

 

These lists of questions are pointless. If you assume the bible is worthless, then NO explanation is sufficient. If you hope to catch a believer in a contradiction, self-contradiciton is not enough to shake belief. Belief is not rational and yet you are asking for rational responses, and act perplexed when you don't get them.

Every one of us comes to this forum with a bias either for or against theism.

Who could deny it ?

It may be a futile quest to debate these points but at least the door is left open to anyone who wishes to present their case. They are given the opportunity to present their argument for belief in a higher power. They know their arguments will be examined by those who don't share their view.

Sure it can be frustrating, even irritating, but at least a dialog is being exchanged. That in itself shows a certain tolerance of each others views.

I think it's safe to say that their will never be a concensus between the the theists and the atheists. There will be disagreement even within our respective groups, ( ie agnostics, strong atheists, weak atheists, etc disagree about our own views) .

Theists themselves squabble about their beliefs and in no way are in agreement about the fundamental nature of God / gods.

You have identified yourself as an heritical theist. Apparently your views are in opposition to the religious status quo. When you find yourself in opposition to mainstream theologins you are in fact being criticised by persons who ( unlike atheists ) fully accept the existence of the supernatural.

Your arguments have been rejected by those who have no bias against theistic belief.

( I hope some day you will lay out your specific beliefs for the forum. Whether I accept them or not I would still like to hear what you believe and why. It only makes me wonder why you are so secretive about it. )

Anyway, disagreement is a given on this forum, tempers flare, keyboards are pounded to send the next reply, etc....but everyone returns to post voluntarily. I think we all know we have a very small chance of changing the mind of our opposition but we still seem to be unwilling to walk away from this dialog with each other.

Maybe people just like to argue ?

Cheers.

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
wavefreak wrote: These

wavefreak wrote:

These lists of questions are pointless. If you assume the bible is worthless, then NO explanation is sufficient. If you hope to catch a believer in a contradiction, self-contradiciton is not enough to shake belief. Belief is not rational and yet you are asking for rational responses, and act perplexed when you don't get them.

Remember, a huge part of the mission of the RRS is to get people to make the admission that you just made: belief is not rational. Millions of fundy Christians today would not agree with that premise. That is why it is useful to target their claims, one by one, and expose the irrationality of each. Eventually it becomes apparent that the whole thing is built on a tissue of fantasy. 

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


wavefreak
Theist
wavefreak's picture
Posts: 1825
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
ProzacDeathWish wrote: ( I

ProzacDeathWish wrote:

( I hope some day you will lay out your specific beliefs for the forum. Whether I accept them or not I would still like to hear what you believe and why. It only makes me wonder why you are so secretive about it. )

 

Not really secretive. It is just difficult to communicate what is not clear in my own mind. Though I will admit to a certain amount of defensiveness. This is, after all, the camp of the "enemy". When an idea such as "theists are delusional" is a core tenent of many that post here, I am compelled to be guarded.


thetempleofman
Posts: 13
Joined: 2007-12-27
User is offlineOffline
I am not going to argue

I am not going to argue with any one of the people that write on these forums. I answered my questions my way. That is all I can do. Bible bashing/thumping and acting "irrationally" doesn't get me any farther that it does anyone else.

All I see here is a bunch of hate for anything and anyone that believes in a supreme being. I do not hate you or anyone else for their beliefs nor do I bash them. In fact, I am engaged to a proud Atheist. I love him for who he is...not what he believes in.

Either way, thanks for taking the time to read my post and giving me your side of things. I like this site regardless of what some think of me or my religious beliefs.

Hope you all had a happy and safe new year. Smiling 

.::Proud to be an American Christian::.


ProzacDeathWish
atheist
ProzacDeathWish's picture
Posts: 3686
Joined: 2007-12-02
User is offlineOffline
thetempleofman

thetempleofman wrote:

 

All I see here is a bunch of hate for anything and anyone that believes in a supreme being.

 

Speaking for myself I don't hate any person because they believe in God.  My girlfriend believes in God as do most of my family.  I certainly don't let their religion keep me from loving them.

Religion is a touchy subject no matter whether it's being discussed on this forum or the company breakroom, or grandma's kitchen, etc.  As controversial subjects go, it's simply the nature of the beast, so to speak. 

Sometimes tempers flare.  It's no secret that this is an atheist forum. Why wouldn't you expect opposition? Wink

Sometimes it's hard for an atheist to remain aloof and impassive when the opposition is threatening us with the fires of Hell and God's mighty wrath simply because we don't agree with them.

  It's like approaching us to debate and the first exchange is a hard slap to our face. Threats, even biblically based ones, generally don't bring people closer.

Some theists on this forum are good debaters and don't resort to childish tactics to prove their point, others simply quote Bible verses and ( metaphorically speaking ) wag their finger in our faces. Which approach do you think gets a better response ?

Bottom line is that atheists and theists both share human nature and a lot of  times people get carried away by their emotions. Sometimes I just have to get away from the computer to chill out.

And yes I've said things on this forum that I wish I hadn't.  I can in fact be an ass-hole...but that was equally true even when I was a Christian.

ps, thank you for wishing us all a happy and safe new year. Laughing

 

 

"Most people are ass holes." Jesus of Nazareth


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
thetempleofman wrote: I am

thetempleofman wrote:

I am not going to argue with any one of the people that write on these forums. I answered my questions my way. That is all I can do. Bible bashing/thumping and acting "irrationally" doesn't get me any farther that it does anyone else.

Arguing is not irrational. Arguments do not have to be fights. In fact, a good, civil argument can be one of the best expressions of pure rationality.

I'm glad you agree that irrational behaviour is pointless. This is why we struggle so hard to make our point to theists. We feel that they waste a lot of their time and other people's time, with fundamentally irrational beliefs in god. 

thetempleofman wrote:

All I see here is a bunch of hate for anything and anyone that believes in a supreme being. I do not hate you or anyone else for their beliefs nor do I bash them.

Speaking for the two threads that I've seen you post in, I can't think of a single hateful comment directed toward you or your beliefs. Would you care to share with us an example or two of where you have seen "hate" on this site? Please keep in mind that simply disagreeing vehemently with someone is not the same as hating them, or their beliefs. Also keep in mind that many of the heated exchanges here happen because someone is angry at someone else, which is not the same as hating them.

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


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Tilberian wrote: Remember,

Tilberian wrote:

Remember, however, that it is only the strong atheist who accepts any burden of proof for showing that there is positively no god. Weak atheists concern themselves only with defeating specific god claims, then return to the default and unassailable position that given the lack of a defensible concept of god, it is not reasonable to assume that one exists.

As a weak athiest myself, I most certainly agree with that statement. However, many of the strong athiests on the forum (and there are a number) assert that the failure of a burden of proof for one divine concept is proof of the lack of validity in any, and frankly, that just ain't so. Nothing in our current physical theory precludes the existence of an unimaginably powerful entity capable of creating a discrete and segmented expression of spacetime purely for its own amusement or sadistic purposes.

As things stand right now, I am personally of the opinion that while I cannot assert belief in any concept of the divine, I am hopeful that the Biblical one exists, but only because I hold out some sliver of optimistic hope that after millenia of faithful service, the Cherubim and Bic Broadsword  of Holy Coolness did indeed get the vacation in Tijuana they so richly deserved. Eye-wink

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


ZaKEEuS
ZaKEEuS's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: 2007-11-26
User is offlineOffline
thetempleofman

thetempleofman wrote:

Quote:


Now you can say whatever you like about history, God is eternal, and in the Next Coming, and after the next Great Flood, all history will be erased and God's great land will be purged of all sin, giving birth to a new era of salvation.

 

I'm not entirely sure what Bible you've been reading or your religious beliefs are but God clearly made a promise with a Rainbow that he would NEVER flood the Earth again not to mention that when Christ comes again, it will be his final visit and judgment. There won't be any "new" beginnings on Earth as we see it now.

You have to assume Jesus existed, even though there is no proof, and that there was a global flood, even though there is proof there wasn't. 

"If something bad happened to you today, don't blame the devil, God is just taking a weed break, he'll fix it later."
myspace.com/zakeeus


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
BMcD wrote: As a weak

BMcD wrote:

As a weak athiest myself, I most certainly agree with that statement. However, many of the strong athiests on the forum (and there are a number) assert that the failure of a burden of proof for one divine concept is proof of the lack of validity in any, and frankly, that just ain't so. Nothing in our current physical theory precludes the existence of an unimaginably powerful entity capable of creating a discrete and segmented expression of spacetime purely for its own amusement or sadistic purposes.

I am a strong atheist and I don't think you've really presented the position properly there. My position is that given the failure of ALL attempts to meet a burden of proof (or even evidence) for ANY god-concept, we are perfectly justified in treating the concept as fantasy. The technical point that we can't know X doesn't exist is a silly one that we don't give any regard to in any other aspect of life, so why would we here? 

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


Zenrage
Zenrage's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: 2008-01-07
User is offlineOffline
Here's a question for

Here's a question for theists:

How many prayers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? 


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Tilberian wrote:

Tilberian wrote:

The technical point that we can't know X doesn't exist is a silly one that we don't give any regard to in any other aspect of life, so why would we here?

Not so, sir, not so at all. In fact, the inability to prove a negative is one of the basic building blocks of science. It is, in fact, the underlying concept behind the idea that no theory is every fully proven, because there is always the possibility that later observation will disprove it. In short: acknowledging that the most we can say is 'I haven't been proven wrong yet' is what keeps us honest. It is what maintains our integrity as observers, that we do not make claims we know we cannot back up.

To make that claim, to assert without proof or actual corroborative evidence that we know beyond doubt, when all we truly have is a lack of evidence to the contrary... that's dogmatic. That's faith.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


Tilberian
Moderator
Tilberian's picture
Posts: 1118
Joined: 2006-11-27
User is offlineOffline
BMcD wrote: Tilberian

BMcD wrote:
Tilberian wrote:

The technical point that we can't know X doesn't exist is a silly one that we don't give any regard to in any other aspect of life, so why would we here?

Not so, sir, not so at all. In fact, the inability to prove a negative is one of the basic building blocks of science. It is, in fact, the underlying concept behind the idea that no theory is every fully proven, because there is always the possibility that later observation will disprove it. In short: acknowledging that the most we can say is 'I haven't been proven wrong yet' is what keeps us honest. It is what maintains our integrity as observers, that we do not make claims we know we cannot back up.

I agree that the scientist must take this position, but we live our lives by different rules outside the lab. In political speech, we must address ourselves to those beliefs that are going to inform action. What I, and you, and every other person on earth does as a matter of daily life is assign a probability threshold to beliefs and treat beliefs that fall above the threshold as facts and beliefs or theories that fall below the threshold as fantasy or speculation.

It goes back to the tree-falling-in-the-forest position. Yes, technically the tree makes a sound. But so what? Could anyone be justified in acting as if the tree made a sound? Should we put mattresses in forests to prevent excessive noise pollution? Of course not. For all intents and purposes, it is right and proper that we take the position that the tree makes no sound, and let the philosophers wring their hands.

There are numerous other exercises in philosophical hair-splitting that put us into similar cul-de-sacs where ridiculous propositions like nihilism and relativism (and theism!) seem to make sense. My question is: what is the point of discourse if it takes us to places where discourse itself is refuted? If you truly believe that our intellect is so bankrupt, go sit in a cave and contemplate your navel while the rest of us get on with life.

I know there is no God to the extent that it is possible to know anything. I know there is no god with equal or greater certainty than I know that the sun is coming up tomorrow. I'm unwilling to waste my time arguing about whether the sun is coming up or not, so I am equally unwilling to waste my time considering the question of God's existence. I see no value, as a matter of political speech, in going the extra mile to acknowledge the possibility of God along with all the other possibilities I reject as a matter of course, such as fairies and unicorns. There is no God. I know that. 

BMcD wrote:

To make that claim, to assert without proof or actual corroborative evidence that we know beyond doubt, when all we truly have is a lack of evidence to the contrary... that's dogmatic. That's faith.

Contingent faith, maybe, to take the conclusions of the intellect and inductive reason as fact until and unless they are shown to be wrong. It's a very different kind of faith from theistic faith, which demands the believer hold to his belief even in the presence of evidence to the contrary.

 

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


jesusFREAK41
Theist
jesusFREAK41's picture
Posts: 16
Joined: 2008-01-14
User is offlineOffline
These are responses to the

These are responses to the respective numbers:

1. There are many reasons for the Jews' disbelief, such as so called 'incongruences' in the prophecies and it is also because we know that it was Jews who killed Jesus, and they wouldn't want to be responsible(who would?).

2.Angels aren't necessarily physical beings, and this particular one may just burn whoever tried to enter without physical contact.

3.This is a very thin case, as rivers often run dry, not to mention that Adam and Eve lived a long time ago.  Also, just like any other theory, the thought that humans originated in Africa isn't actually a fact; we just found the oldest humans there, along with some other traces.

4. When someone reaches heaven, they are no longer connected to Earth or anything or anyone that they know anymore.  The Bible tells us that we won't recognize anyone anymore and that we no longer have relationships.

5.Do realize that God is divine and is capable of anything.

6. Sin was first created by Satan in his pride. Since sin could not be in God's presence, He had to send Satan somewhere else to dwell.

7. God's mercy must first be accepted.  Its not what he doesn't do, its what WE don't do.

8. I think what you're talking about here is why don't we see evidence of God's existence, which is a classic question.  We do see evidence in all of His creation.  God's fingerprints are all over our world.  But, instead of counting creation, you just say that our universe came about because of the 'Big Bang', but what was there before that?  Where did that stuff come from?

10. The fact is that God does spread His own Word.  He simply uses His followers to do so.  If He just came down a spoke in a booming voice, "do as I say," its hard to relate to.  Since God moves through actual sinners, people can relate to them and its easier to believe.

11. These kids could have had some malicious intent, or it could have been that they were cursing God directly.  I'm actually not sure.

12.  Satan has an amazing ability to corrupt minds and even cause physical effects, as with Job, but even he had to ask God's permission to do so.  God was the one influencing those who chose the books.  NOTE: You say you heard this from believers, but, even though this is true, 'many believers' is not the ultimate authority, unfortunately.

13. That wasn't Lot's daughters' terminal fate; it isn't as if God saved them for them to die, and even so, he had a different plan for them.

14. The entrance of sin into the world didn't just change a few things; it completely turned the world over, cursing more than just a few beings.

15. Here, you're trying to see God as a physical, man-based entity, when that clearly not the case. Again, note number 12.

16. Faith is all that is necessary to believe in God, not all that is necessary for God  to exist.

17. God is merciful enough to let us live how we want to.  Once Adam and Eve sinned, the rest of humanity inherited the sinful nature.  

18. The Spirit is not in our bodies persay, it is with our own spirit.  

19. Again, God isn't bound by our laws or anything we consider logical or reasonable.  God isn't controlled by time or any kind of space.  Simply put, God Is. 

20. It was still man's decision whether or not to sin.  God was loving enough to let us make our own decisions, but still made us because he needed someone who did have a choice to worship Him.

21. God often gives different fates to people who do the same thing based on what He wants for them.

22. Most analogies are not taken to be perfectly reflective of the concept they are outlying.

23. The flood didn't come to eradicate sin.  Sin had completely filled every mind on Earth, so God had to start again with the one man who still followed Him.  

24. Often times, disobedience is committed just because it is disobedience.  As many psychologists will tell you, the idea of something being off- limits makes it attractive.

25. Christ came for many reasons.  Even though salvation was His main reason for coming, He was also here so that people could relate to Him (He was completely human) and to teach mankind.

26. Ultimately, everything is part of God's plan. But at the same time, people do many things that God does not want them to.  These are things that people do, not God.

27. I don't know what you mean by 'author.' Perhaps you can elaborate (I don't know what the Tower of Babel refers to), this question doesn't seem to make sense.

28. Do realize that cacti do not cover the earth.  Also the whole earth was not necessarily underwater. we just know that the world was uninhabitable.

29. Anything is possible with God. Think about it.

31. You're thinking too literally.  Christ will probably appear as a vision, as He is now a spiritual being.  

32. When God is jealous, His jealousy is righteous because we already are His.

34. There is still evolution within species, which Christians don't discount.

35. Again, we are allowed to make our own decisions and can say either yes or no to God and what He wants for us.

36. Remember that Revelations was still written by a man, John, and he was not aware of the technologies we may come up with in the future.

37. God rested to set the example for us.  He wanted us to rest on the Sabbath, so He did it Himself, as He does with everything.

38. Though murder is wrong, God is the one that brings people to Him.  Its not like killing someone immediately sends them to Heaven.

39. In reality, God is neither male nor female.  Its just that the Bible tells us that God created Adam in His image, so talk about God similarly to a male.

40. I don't get the question.  We can't wait because we're anxious and ecstatic to be in God's presence. 

41. Prayer is a form of obedience and humbleness.  We don't pray to necessarily tell God that we love Him among other things; we pray to be humble and submit to Him.

42. Christ did in fact die for us and sacrifice His life, but the pain in His death was his real sacrifice.

43. God leaves it up to fallible men to really show His Power.  He tells us that His power is made perfect in our weakness, and that is how He displays His Glory for us to see.

 44. This is an unusual question, but perhaps men have nipples same as women to show similarities among human beings.  

45. God specifically told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit, so they didn't have to eat it in order to know. 

46. Circumcision was more a form of obedience (Much like baptism) because it was supposedly men losing a part of their masculinity and power. 

47.  This is actually a really good question which isn't outlined specifically in the Bible, but isn't plausible to dismantle any beliefs. 

48. God doesn't need man for anything except for to glorify Him and give Him praise.  The rest is for man to see His Glory.

49. Along with transcending, Jesus probably transformed as well.

50. I believe this question was already asked.

51. This is the battle over a man's soul and is really decided by him, rather than God, who won't just force His way into people's lives. 

52. Do remember that the Bible was written by men and can't always be taken literally.  This was probably written just to show what God thought about His creation. 

53. Those kinds of beliefs are formed by delusions and only those who have a mental sickness are admitted.  Christian faith is based on belief, and is actually real.

54. It is faith that causes this belief that we 'know' God exists.

55. The soul is not physical, and has pretty much nothing to do with the body. By the way, I wouldn't quite say that brain or body transplants will be possible.

56. God wants us to know Him, but He also wants us to share Him, which is impossible if we all know Him.

57. Jesus' lineage is through Joseph simply because he was Mary's husband and Jesus' father figure.

58. God's image is created from His view of Himself and the way he is beheld.

59. God is everywhere and shows Himself. Many people just refuse to see Him.

I will continue  this later. I notice that you are well read in the Bible and I don't realize how you can know so much about the Bible and still be ignorant to its Message. I just ask that anyone be open to these answers and don't immediately shut off to them.

 

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

 -Jesus Christ 


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
jesusFREAK41 wrote: 1.

jesusFREAK41 wrote:

1. There are many reasons for the Jews' disbelief, such as so called 'incongruences' in the prophecies and it is also because we know that it was Jews who killed Jesus, and they wouldn't want to be responsible(who would?).

Actually, according to the gospels, it was the Romans.

Quote:
2.Angels aren't necessarily physical beings, and this particular one may just burn whoever tried to enter without physical contact.

You poor bastard... you've just opened the door to a lot of pounding on the idea of immaterial beings interacting w/a material universe. May your god have mercy, a lot of the folks here won't. 

Quote:
3.This is a very thin case, as rivers often run dry, not to mention that Adam and Eve lived a long time ago. Also, just like any other theory, the thought that humans originated in Africa isn't actually a fact; we just found the oldest humans there, along with some other traces.

And yet, like other scientific theories of the same order of certainty, it is only 'not a fact' because time has not yet ended. It hasn't been disproven, and additional corroborative evidence (such as mitochondrial DNA mutation tracking) is certainly piling up. 

Quote:
4. When someone reaches heaven, they are no longer connected to Earth or anything or anyone that they know anymore. The Bible tells us that we won't recognize anyone anymore and that we no longer have relationships.

Indeed. And yet this is supposed to be a good thing. I am who I am in large part due to my interaction with other people. To remove that would be an assault on who I am. Attempting to make me 'not me' is tantamount to murdering my identity, and I swear to you, I will oppose that with every fiber of my being. If God's eternal reward is to obliterate who I am in favor of another singing sychophant, then God can go fuck himself. Send me to hell. Destroy me forever. But until the moment I cease to be, I will be me, and no-one else

Quote:
5.Do realize that God is divine and is capable of anything.

This is evasive and a non-answer. 

Quote:
6. Sin was first created by Satan in his pride. Since sin could not be in God's presence, He had to send Satan somewhere else to dwell.

A)BZZZT. Show me anyplace in the Bible where 'Satan' disobeys God. B)If God is omnipresent, as the Abrahamic tradition maintains, then there cannot be anyplace outside of God's Presence. 

Quote:
7. God's mercy must first be accepted. Its not what he doesn't do, its what WE don't do.

This also is avoiding the question. After all, since God established those rules, he's the one withholding his mercy unless we do what we're told. He's still the one with the unlimited power who, with complete knowledge of his Divine Plan, proceeded with creation, knowing not just that it would mean there would be sinners condemned to hell, but with intimate personal knowledge of every aspect of the lives of those individuals, including the circumstances (which, remember, are ultimately of God's creation) that would drive those individuals to sin.

If God establishes rules in advance that condemn people to certain doom, how can he be said to be all-merciful? 

Quote:
8. I think what you're talking about here is why don't we see evidence of God's existence, which is a classic question. We do see evidence in all of His creation. God's fingerprints are all over our world. But, instead of counting creation, you just say that our universe came about because of the 'Big Bang', but what was there before that? Where did that stuff come from?

Actually, the question has nothing to do with evidence of God, it has to do with the concept that if these texts are to be considered the absolute and inviolate Word of God, then what happens when the conditions assumed to be in effect are suddenly no more?

Quote:
10. The fact is that God does spread His own Word. He simply uses His followers to do so. If He just came down a spoke in a booming voice, "do as I say," its hard to relate to. Since God moves through actual sinners, people can relate to them and its easier to believe.

Ah, so it was good enough for Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Noah, et al... but we're just too damn stupid to understand? 

Quote:
11. These kids could have had some malicious intent, or it could have been that they were cursing God directly. I'm actually not sure.

Then why not go and check the book? 

Quote:
12. Satan has an amazing ability to corrupt minds and even cause physical effects, as with Job, but even he had to ask God's permission to do so. God was the one influencing those who chose the books. NOTE: You say you heard this from believers, but, even though this is true, 'many believers' is not the ultimate authority, unfortunately.

Wow, so Satan has to have God's permission to do stuff, but he was sent away for sinning? Internally inconsistent much?

I'd keep going, but I'm sure someone else will chop up the rest without much effort, too. 

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


Kingdom9
Theist
Kingdom9's picture
Posts: 12
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Sapient wrote: 1. If

Sapient wrote:
1. If Jesus fulfilled all the OT prophecies so well, why didn't the Jews recognize him as the messiah?

Jesus did fulfill prophecy. Not all jews rejected Jesus as the Messiah. There are many messianic jewish communities today. Look on the internet. Just type Jews for Jesus in the search engine. It was foretold that Jesus would be rejected by His own people (see Isaiah chapter 53). Majority opinion does not detirmine truth.

Sapient wrote:
2. If Gen 3:24 is true, why hasn't anyone found the Cherubims and the " flaming sword which turned every way"?

There is no way you can prove that there wasn't Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way.

Sapient wrote:
3. It's been proven that modern humans originated from Africa. Yet, the Adam and Eve story claims the first Humans lived in a garden in Eden, near 4 rivers.

It has not been proven that modern humans originated from Africa. So are you confessing that we did not evolve from Apes? It has been proven that humans decend from other humans. After the world-wide flood, the 4 rivers are probably totally gone. There are many cities named the same name does that prove they are the same city?

Sapient wrote:
4. When the believer gets to Heaven, how can Heaven be utter bliss when people they love and care about are burning in Hell ?

Heaven is utter bliss because Jesus is visible and people are experiencing life the way God indended it to be lived. Hell is a place of justice where people are getting the reward for their evil thoughts and deeds. Everybody in heaven will agree with God's judgments. Everybody in hell deserves to be there. God doesn't want anybody to perish but all to come to repentance.

Sapient wrote:
5. How can a God have emotions, i.e. jealousy, anger, sadness, love, etc., if he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent?

God is who He is. God essential nature never changes. God created us in His image. We have emotions because God created us with them. There are times when we can have "godly jealousy" like a man has for his wife or "righteous anger" when we see injustice...

Sapient wrote:
6. Why would God create a place such as hell to torture sinners forever when he foreknew who would disappoint him?

God created hell because it is a just place and people who go there deserve to be there otherwise God would be unjust for allowing people to go there. Why did God create hell knowing people would reject him? First of all we must realize that God is just. Who are we to reply against God as if God has to answer to us? I think God created us to display His glory. Also, I think that in order to love we must have the ability to choose the opposite as well.

Sapient wrote:
7. "God is all merciful," we hear quite often. Wouldn't it be more merciful of God to simply snap sinners out of existence rather than send them to hell?

The problem with this is that we have no conception of the Justice of God. We don't realize WHO we sin against. We don't understand how evil are sins are. God revealed His mercy at the cross when He poured His wrath upon His only begotten Son. Jesus took your place at the cross and rose from the dead so that you can be forgiven.

Sapient wrote:
8. Muslims are supposed to pray 5 times a day towards Mecca. Each prayer includes a variety of ritualism and posturing. If a muslim astronaut were to land on Mars. Prayer to Mecca would be ritualistically impossible due to the rotation of Earth and Mars. Are Muslims stuck here in Earth?

Muslims believe that their works will earn them a place in heaven. They are sadly mistaken. Nobody can bribe God with their works. No good judge would take a bribe and pervert justice. God must punish all evil doing.

Sapient wrote:
9. Why haven't we seen God reattach severed heads, restore someone who was burned alive or regrow amputated limbs?

Some people have. Would you believe them?

Sapient wrote:
11. In II Kings 2-23/24 we read about God sending 2 she-bears to attack children for calling the prophet Elisa bald, which he was, the bears killed 42 of the children. Was this a good thing to do?

This story is what is written. Whether it is good or bad... Aparently, the God of the Bible doesn't look well on people making fun of His prophets.


Sapient wrote:
15. Many Christians believe that God is a thinking being, that he solves problems and makes a way for them when troubles come. Does God Think?

God created our minds... God knows our thoughts and will judge our thoughts and intentions. I don't presume to know how God thinks. God says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9).


Sapient wrote:
23. Why did God flood the earth to remove evil? It didn't work! Evil came right back, God should have known that would happen! So why did He bother?

God hadn't finished His plan yet. God could have destroyed all life and been done with humanity. Instead God had a plan to send a Savior... Jesus Christ to save humanity.


Sapient wrote:
24. If the garden of Eden was a perfect paradise as xians claim, then why did Eve even want to eat the fruit? Wouldn't a perfect place provide everything a person would want or desire and thus she would want nothing?

One thing I have noticed. Not one of these questions is proof that God does not exist. Give me absolute proof that there is no Creator God of all things. Prove there is no God. These questions are merely grobling about the morality of God not about His existance. Does pres bush exist? I dont think so because I don't like the way he does things in Iraq. I dont think so because I dont like what He says about people.

Take the human eye for instance... Our eyes could not have evolved. They were designed and created for a purpose. It is a leap of faith to believe that God does not exist.

Does the person really want to know the truth who asks the questions?

 

Without faith it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that He exists (Hebrews 11:6).

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
Wow, we've got a lot of

Wow, we've got a lot of work ahead of ourselves with this one.

(editing link to fix, looks like it had an extra space) 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_eye


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Oddly, that link to

Oddly, that link to wikipedia shows an 'article not found' error. But if you remove the extraneous characters wiki tacks on, the article pops right up.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Kingdom9 wrote: It has not

Kingdom9 wrote:

It has not been proven that modern humans originated from Africa. So are you confessing that we did not evolve from Apes? It has been proven that humans decend from other humans.

It has been proven that modern humans descend from earlier humans. Mitochondrial DNA analysis has shown that the earlist populations lived in Africa. We've also seen evidence of hominid ancestry in progressively more modern fossil specimens. There is more evidence for the descent of modern humans from the same progenitor groups of Hominidae species that gave rise to gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, etc, than there is for the existance of God.

Quote:
Sapient wrote:
4. When the believer gets to Heaven, how can Heaven be utter bliss when people they love and care about are burning in Hell ?

Heaven is utter bliss because Jesus is visible and people are experiencing life the way God indended it to be lived. Hell is a place of justice where people are getting the reward for their evil thoughts and deeds. Everybody in heaven will agree with God's judgments. Everybody in hell deserves to be there. God doesn't want anybody to perish but all to come to repentance.

Sapient wrote:
6. Why would God create a place such as hell to torture sinners forever when he foreknew who would disappoint him?

God created hell because it is a just place and people who go there deserve to be there otherwise God would be unjust for allowing people to go there. Why did God create hell knowing people would reject him? First of all we must realize that God is just. Who are we to reply against God as if God has to answer to us? I think God created us to display His glory. Also, I think that in order to love we must have the ability to choose the opposite as well.

Sapient wrote:
7. "God is all merciful," we hear quite often. Wouldn't it be more merciful of God to simply snap sinners out of existence rather than send them to hell?

The problem with this is that we have no conception of the Justice of God. We don't realize WHO we sin against. We don't understand how evil are sins are. God revealed His mercy at the cross when He poured His wrath upon His only begotten Son. Jesus took your place at the cross and rose from the dead so that you can be forgiven.

I think you miss the point of these questions. These questions are not 'why would God send people to hell?', these are:

God has his Divine Plan. He knew, before the creation of all existance, which people would end up in Hell. So, if God is all-loving, then why would he establish the conditions within his creation that would inevitably doom some of his children to torment and destruction? Why would he, knowing that the Holocaust would happen long before Cain ever raised his hand against Abel, specifically create the conditions that he knew would cause the murder of millions of people, and how can he claim to be all-loving if he planned for, and incorporated, the Holocaust?

Note: I am not asking 'how could God allow the Holocaust?', I am asking: Given that God, as you present him, knew before he performed the act of Creation, knew the Holocaust would happen if he chose to create the Universe as he apparently did, if he is the First Cause of all that is, and knew in advance that it would happen, then the ultimate responsibility lies with him. So: How could God allow the Holocaust? No. How can God claim to be a loving and merciful deity if he intentionally condemned untold millions to suffering, death, and eternal suffering, millenia before they were born?

That's not mercy. That's not justice. That's sadism. Condemning people to eternal torment long before they're born is not justice. I don't care how omnipotent you are.

Quote:
Sapient wrote:
8. Muslims are supposed to pray 5 times a day towards Mecca. Each prayer includes a variety of ritualism and posturing. If a muslim astronaut were to land on Mars. Prayer to Mecca would be ritualistically impossible due to the rotation of Earth and Mars. Are Muslims stuck here in Earth?

Muslims believe that their works will earn them a place in heaven. They are sadly mistaken. Nobody can bribe God with their works. No good judge would take a bribe and pervert justice. God must punish all evil doing.

If you believe that, then perhaps you should re-read the parable of the goats and sheep. Saul of Tarsus tells you that faith alone saves. Unfortunately for Saul, Jesus Christ himself said exactly the opposite. So, as I asked JesusFreak: Whom do you worship? Paul, or Jesus?

Quote:
One thing I have noticed. Not one of these questions is proof that God does not exist. Give me absolute proof that there is no Creator God of all things. Prove there is no God. These questions are merely grobling about the morality of God not about His existance.

Actually, they're probing the morality of religion. As for proof of God's existance of nonexistance... we're not making any assertions. The majority of the people on this forum, and in fact, the vast majority of atheists, don't claim to have proof of the nonexistance of God, we simply claim to not actively believe.

There is a massive difference between not believing in any deity, and actively believing there is no deity. One is a lack of assertion, a claim of unsurety, and the other is an active assertion of surety.

You, on the other hand, are making an assertion of surety. You believe. If I am saying 'I don't know one way or the other' and you're saying 'I do know', then the burden of proof is on you, not on me.

Quote:
Does pres bush exist? I dont think so because I don't like the way he does things in Iraq. I dont think so because I dont like what He says about people.

Well, see, that's a pretty silly claim to make. You have evidence that President Bush exists. There's a lot of evidence to that effect. It would perhaps be a far better world if that were not so, but it is. So your claim refutes clear and confirmable evidence. Do you have any clear evidence that can be independently confirmed that shows that God exists?

 

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


seth
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
Question 87

87. Why did this alleged god create humans as an animal form of life that gets sick and dies and experiences pain and has a limited mind when 'it' could have created humans as a form of pure energy or of some indestructible material or whatever, and was totally ?sinless? and had ?pure? thought? If a god was omnipotent 'it' could have easily have done this. --AI

God created people with a free will to do what they wanted with one exception, they could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Once people choice to disobey that rule, then the sickness, pain and such came into existence. God did create perfect beings, but he gave them free will too. Without free will, we would have been robots who had no choice but to serve Him.

Anyway, if God is truely God, who is the creation to tell the Creator that he messed up? If God created us as equals with Him then I guess that would make us gods too, which seems to me what many desire.

How many atheists does it take to create life from non living elements? It's amazing that time was able to do what very rational and educated atheists can't. Come on, you have all the raw materials, bake me up a new species why don't ya? No copying, that's cheating, come on your smart, use your imagination.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v22/i2/scratch.asp


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
seth wrote: How many

seth wrote:

How many atheists does it take to create life from non living elements? It's amazing that time was able to do what very rational and educated atheists can't. Come on, you have all the raw materials, bake me up a new species why don't ya? No copying, that's cheating, come on your smart, use your imagination.

 Are you claiming that THEISTS have SEEN EVIDENCE of the creation of life as depicted in the bible?  Or is it that they BELIEVE a STORY from a book that has a pretty poor track record so far explaining and predicting our world?

 Tell me, how many diseases have been CURED from biblical teachings?


seth
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
stuntgibbon wrote:

stuntgibbon wrote:

Are you claiming that THEISTS have SEEN EVIDENCE of the creation of life as depicted in the bible?

So are you claiming that you have seen the creation of life? or that you have evidence of how it occured? Of course I've seen evidence, I'm alive aren't I?

This is how I see the creation of life occuring according to an evolutionist.

Let's say the you have a watch for example. You take apart the watch and lay all the pieces on the table. Now let's say that instead of a watchmaker, you have time, barometric pressure, wind, rain, sunlight. How long will it take the parts of a watch to evolve into a watch? It would never happen, not in an infinite amount of years. Now to make it more complex, instead of having the parts, you actually only have the raw materials to make the parts. So first the parts need to somehow form on their own and then somehow put themselvles together. This is how I picture evolution at the very beginning, because without life there can be no evolution. Ok, I took a very simple example of a watch, but life, even the most basic living thing is way more complex than a watch, yet you want me to believe that somehow, from the raw materials around us, that life was able to form itself? Now that is the most absurd thing that I have ever heard in my entire life! And to think, scientists cannot even replicate what time was able to do by chance. That is why I believe that there is an intellegent designer who created everything around us, one who is infinitely more intellegent than us.

 


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
seth wrote: So are you

seth wrote:

So are you claiming that you have seen the creation of life? or that you have evidence of how it occured? Of course I've seen evidence, I'm alive aren't I?

 

Are you saying the "thing" is the same as the evidence for the "thing?"   You're saying life is proof of a creator.  

Let's say I find my car missing.  Is this proof YOU stole my car? 

You might ask, "What proof do you have that I stole your car?"

According to your account, a good answer I could provide is "The proof that YOU stole my car is that the car is gone."

 No one would accept this as evidence, yet you commit the same logical error with "there must be a creator, because we are here."


 

 


seth
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
Answer the real question

Stuntgibbon, why don't you answer the real question? Yes I am evidence of a creator. I went on to explain why I think that, yet you seems to think that pointing out a logical error seem to let you off the hook. I just explained in detail why I think that there must be a creator, so let's hear your rebutal to the real question at hand.


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
seth wrote: Yes I am

seth wrote:
Yes I am evidence of a creator. I went on to explain why I think that, yet you seems to think that pointing out a logical error seem to let you off the hook. I just explained in detail why I think that there must be a creator, so let's hear your rebutal to the real question at hand.

You've not presented evidence at all, just statements that you're calling evidence.  I even tried to help, by showing you how something you said doesn't support your claim.   It doesn't seem like you've even understood that much yet, since we're back to "Yes I am evidence of a creator."   

You're only evidence of one occurance of human reproduction, not of a creator.   

 

 


seth
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
Give me a straight answer

Well, it appears I'm not getting anywhere with you... I gave you an argument of why I believe that God exists, yet you don't seem to want to address that argument. I think evolution is the biggest lie ever in the history of man. Please address my argument, I want to hear your side. How did life form? Tell me. You heard my argument, now I want to hear yours.

To give you a more concrete answer, that goes right along with my original argument, what I'm trying to say is that the evidence of creation lies in the creation itself, you and I. My point was that we are intellegently designed and not some random creation of chance. You want examples, how about DNA or the human eye for starters. But I'm getting away from the point of this message, I don't want you to respond to the evidence, I want to hear your explanation of how life began...

 


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
seth wrote:

seth wrote:
Well, it appears I'm not getting anywhere with you... I gave you an argument of why I believe that God exists, yet you don't seem to want to address that argument. I think evolution is the biggest lie ever in the history of man. Please address my argument, I want to hear your side. How did life form? Tell me. You heard my argument, now I want to hear yours.

Let's try something different. You've made this claim "I think evolution is the biggest lie ever in the history of man."

First, Making such a claim should suggest you've studied evolutionary theory at least some, right?

(This one should be an easy "Yes" or "No." )

 


seth
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
of Course

They tried to shove evolution down my throat in school so yes, I do know a bit about it.  That's why I think it's a lie.  I can't see how life could come from non-life, as I stated in my original argument.  Now are you going to explain to me from your perspective how life occured?


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
Actually, a handy little

Actually, a handy little explanation for the evolution of the eye is available at Wikipedia under (you guessed it!) 'Evolution of the eye'.

And really, the Watchmaker analogy is just incredibly flawed. Keep in mind, you're offering as an analogy something that a)does not self-replicate, and b)must attain its full complexity in order to even approximate its function (except, of course, for the 'right twice a day' approximation).

Instead, what you're dismissing is an aggregation of traits. Amino acids can (and have been shown to, under laboratory conditions) form out of broths, if you will, of the necessary molecules. Proteins have been shown to form, under laboratory conditions, from amino acid combinations. Complex acids have been shown to form from  proteins. What hasn't been actually duplicated is one specific kind of complex acid, Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) forming. Give the scientists a billion years, and they'll likely be able to do it.  And once RNA forms, you've got both DNA and viruses, and from viruses, it's not all that difficult to get to simple eukaryotic cells.

 You're feeling very smug in your assertion that science has failed to prove its case, but at the same time, science is coming right out and saying 'this took hundred of millions of years under conditions we aren't quite sure of'. So if the initial conditions aren't precisely known, how is the result supposed to be duplicated? The principle has been shown to be valid. The evidence and testable results support the premise. What testable results does your premise have?

 Here's an explanation for how life began: Under conditions which may not have been (and likely weren't) consistent through the entire process, molecules bonded into amino acids. Some others probably bonded into simple sugars. The amino acids reacted with one another and were mostly all screwed up, but some small percentage formed into proteins. The proteins reacted with one another and were mostly all screwed up, but some small percentage of them formed complex acids.

Eventually, one of these complex acid combinations, Ribonucleic Acid, did what RNA does: it bonded with complementary nucleotides, producing a complimentary strand of RNA, which eventually split off under the environmental conditions present, possibly including its own weight when compared to the strength of the nucleotide pairings. Each of these differing RNA strands floating around in their warm, liquid surroundings, continued to bond with complimentary nucleotides, producing more and more duplicates of one another.

This process continued, with RNA strands likely fragmenting and recombining along the way, to produce a variety of possible elements, all hanging around together, including a few forms with stronger nucleotide pairings that didn't split off so easily, but instead ended up twisting around one another as Diribonucleic Acid, or DNA.

And that's one possible explanation for how DNA originally formed. 

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


stuntgibbon
Moderator
stuntgibbon's picture
Posts: 699
Joined: 2007-05-17
User is offlineOffline
seth wrote: They tried to

seth wrote:
They tried to shove evolution down my throat in school so yes, I do know a bit about it. That's why I think it's a lie. I can't see how life could come from non-life, as I stated in my original argument. Now are you going to explain to me from your perspective how life occured?

I'm wondering then, from your studies, how evolutionary theory describes where the first self-replicating lifeform came from?

 Without prolonging this game, since I'm getting a bit tired and will have to pick up tomorrow.  Evolutionary theory actually starts by assuming life has already started at some point, it is not a theory of HOW it started. (that's instead called abiogenesis) 

But since you've claimed to have studied it enough to figure out it's a lie, this should have been a rather basic thing to know right?

 

 


seth
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
nice try

That was very nice attempt at explaining how life began but the chances of that happening given an infinite amount of time are still very minute. You still didn't address the concept that there is design behind living organizisms.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/03/collins.commentary/index.html

Here's one scientist who believes in God, and he says that 40% of scientist do. He also happens to be the director of the human genome project, interesting...

I'll check out the deal about the eye when I have a chance. Thanks for the info, very interesting.


seth
Theist
Posts: 44
Joined: 2008-01-21
User is offlineOffline
stuntgibbon

stuntgibbon wrote:

Evolutionary theory actually starts by assuming life has already started at some point, it is not a theory of HOW it started. (that's instead called abiogenesis) 

That is a very convenient assumption that evolution makes.  I'm glad someone, not you, decided to actually answer my question and gave me the theory behind "abiogenesis" which is what I was looking for.   It seems to me that either way, theist or not, there is a lot of uncertainty about how life came to exist, I just happen to be on the side that says that life didn't just randomly come about by "luck" and therefore has no purpose whatsoever.


BMcD
Posts: 777
Joined: 2006-12-20
User is offlineOffline
No, I didn't address

No, I didn't address design, largely because I think saying the complexity we see requires design is actually a reaction to our limited ability to really understand all of that complexity at one go. An example of this is, well, the structures we see on a cosmic scale. Moons orbit planets, planets orbit stars, stars orbit the galactic center. Stars burn out, die, and in their death throes expel the elements that become future planets and stars, all occurring involving masses, distances, and times so large as to be beyond our ability to actually visualize in concrete ways. (ie: we can conceptualize them as numbers, but try getting your head around the amount of matter present in even a mid-sized star like our sun.) And yet, this complicated dance of massive pieces and gigantic fusion reactions is driven by a single mechanism: gravity.

 While you're at Wiki, you should also check out the "abiogenesis" article. The theory I listed is only one of many, which is also complicating any attempts to reproduce the complete process. Many of the necessary steps of a number of the theories can be replicated, but overall the process requires an unknown amount of time and unknown precise conditions.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that the actual process is probably more than one of the processes listed in that article, developing in parallel and eventually taking advantage of one another. 

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid