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Atheists & Agnostics: Why Don't You Believe The Bible?


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#141 Teejay

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:15 PM

[quote] name='Hawkins' timestamp='1342145079' post='84969']
Backward deduction.

A God either wants human followers or He doesn't. If He doesn't then we don't need to worship Him or believe in Him as He never demands your faith/belie/worship. In this case, it makes not much difference to say that He doesn't exist as His existence never concerns you.[/quote]

Hawkins, sorry I took so long to respond. Been busy with personal matters.

It's true that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does not "demand" or "command" our love and devotion. Love must be freely given. Thus, God has given us the freedom to choose to love Him or hate Him. But He does desire our love and devotion. And God has given us general revelation with His creation and special revelation through His word.

[quote]If however God wants human followers, He has to leave humans with an infallible reference. Or else humans will be clueless about who God is. And for this reference to be carried forward alongside human history, He must also assign an earthly authority as a keeper of the reference. Or else everyone can pop up to claim that he has the genuine reference.
In summary, if God is a true God then
- He must leave humans with an infallible reference such as a Bible,
- and for this Bible to be carried forward along with human history an earthly authority must be assigned[/quote]

God's original plan coincides with what you posit here. God's planned to establish Israel as a kingdom on earth with the twelve apostles ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel and Jesus Christ as King sitting on King David’s throne in Jerusalem ruling the world. Alas, Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah when He walked among them, and then they rejected their risen Messiah in spite of the Twelve's pleadings to Israel to accept Jesus so that the Father would send Jesus back and set up their promised kingdom (3:19-20).

I do agree that the Bible is infallible—infallible for many reasons such as the historicity, prophecies, miracles, and so on. But I’ve found that no evidence will convince an atheist because he will view any evidence presented to him through his worldview (set of presuppositions). So I like to present the atheist with the transcendental argument for God.

[quote]It happens that Christianity is such a religion (seems to be the only one) which claims to have an infallible Bible and with an earthly authority assigned anytime with this infallible Bible. Since this is an earthly authority it is corruptible and thus must be re-assignable. It is thus shifted from the Jews to the Catholics till the Protestants. However canonically they all share the same OT with the Catholics and Protestants keeping the same NT.

As a result, you either believe that God is true or He's not. If you believe that God is true, the Bible must be infallible and 100% correct.[/quote]

I agree that Christianity is the only religion that can account for the reality we encounter. And you’re right that any earthly authority becomes corrupt. We see this with Christian colleges (Yale and Harvard), churches, denominations. Jesus said that we can’t put new wine in old wineskins. The good news of the gospel remains new but the wineskins (earthly authorities) become old and the new wine leaks out.

Having said all this, your argument is a very good one.



TeeJay

#142 Mike Summers

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:46 PM

One reason I chose Crhistianity is because of the nature of the Christian God, In Christianity God (Jesus) dies for our sins. In other religions their god requires that humans die for him (suicide bombers, holy war, infidels should be put to death, etc). They seem to be complete opposites. "Stand still and see the redemption of the Eternal."

#143 Teejay

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:52 PM

[quote] name='Mike Summers' timestamp='1343332009' post='85209']
One reason I chose Crhistianity is because of the nature of the Christian God, In Christianity God (Jesus) dies for our sins. In other religions their god requires that humans die for him (suicide bombers, holy war, infidels should be put to death, etc). They seem to be complete opposites. "Stand still and see the redemption of the Eternal."
[/quote]

Mike, how true! Notice the Mormon man becomes a God while Jesus lowers Himself, becomes a man, and enters His own creation to save us.


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#144 Mike Summers

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 10:21 AM

That would be incorrect TeeJay... I am not "using the Bible to prove the Bible"...
1- The Bible is a collection of books that are a collective that make up the whole.
2- Quite a few of these "Books" are actually letters by first hand eyewitnesses that attest to (i.e. affirm) what they witnessesed (physically evidence)
3- I am using the written testimony of firsthand eyewitness to support the facts.
Conclusion: It is not circuitus at all. Calling these evidences would be akin to calling eyewittnesses in a court case " circular reasoning". Your logic is flawed.


TeeJay,
Exclusive of the Bible, Christ's disciples existed in the "real" world of the time. Even most evo-atheists do not doubt the historacl existence of Jesus and His disciples, Mark, Luke, John et al. The same is true of the existence of Caesar or Pharoa (mentioned in the Bible). There are secular historian that mention Jesus and his followers in their histories. Moreover, we have historical evidence of Christianity becoming very prevalent in Rome ( as preached by Paul one of Christ's disciples). I therefore have to conclude that Ron was not using circular reasoning--proving the Bible by the Bible.

One of the fundamental abilities we have as humans is the ability to create ideas and then "sell" them to ourselves. Once we convince ourselves our created ideas are "the absolute trith," we then often try to sell them to others (I am doing that now?). But (admittedly, at least I 'think" it so) there is some pure nonsense that we can come up with and try to sell others! When I recognise this, it causese me to be concerned about my own sanity. Posted Image

I had a fiend that made the following statemn about a woman we both knew; "I am not saying she is a thief, but she took that at it didn't belong to her." I reduced his statement to its "core" meaning (here's where you can give me a reality check) ; "I am not saying what I am saying." Duh! Is that circular reasoning? There is another example in the following sentence: "My father is blind because he can't see." Again, "My father is blind because he is blind?" Is that a correct assesment of the mentioned sentence? Am I in reality? Is mine a correct conclusion from such sentences?

On the other hand I don't think I could have said the following better;


C. S. Lewis, in his book Miracles, argued that our ability to reason must come from reason (reasonless matter can't give you this). We can trace our ability to reason back to our parents. Our parents to their parents, and so on. Eventually, we must find an Ultimate Reason which does not owe its existence to anyone or anything--it exists on its own and has always existed.

A logical argument must rest on an Ultimate Standard, or no truth can be reached. For any belief that a person has (p), we can ask, "How do you know that p is true". The person can appeal to another proposition (q) that he believes supports his conclusion (p). But since he has appealed to another proposition (q), we now must ask, "How do you know q is true." In his defense of q, the person will appeal to yet another proposition (r), which we can again question, leading him to suggest another proposition (s), and so on. Ultimately, any such chain of reasoning must come to an end. It must terminate in an Ultimate Standard--we will call it (t).

We can then argue that we know p is true because it follows from q , which follows from r, and so on, all the way back to our Ultimate Standard (t), All truth then depends on t being true. If our Ultimate Standard (t) is not known to be true (i.e. provable), then we can't actually know anything whatsoever. So we have established the following: (1) Everyone must have an ultimate standard (there is no neutrality), (2) An ultimate standard can't be proved from another standard (since there is no greater standard), and appealing to a lesser standard is fallacious), (3) An ultimate standard can't be merely assumed (otherwise, we couldn't know anything). This leaves us with only one possible answer to the question of how an ultimate standard is proved. An ultimate standard must prove itself. It must be self-attesting. It must provide criteria for what is to be considered true, and by which all claims are judged--including the ultimate standard itself. This is a mighty tall order, but the Bible (God's word) actually measures up.

Notice that God Himself uses a type of circular reasoning when He makes an oath. Humans appeal to a greater authority as confirmation of an oath (Heb. 6:16). But since God is Ultimate, He can only use Himself as the authority. Hebrews 6:13 states, "When God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, He swore by Himself."

How does the Bible prove itself?

TeeJay


Addresing your last statement; because it is the word of God, the Eternal, the self existent One, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the one who is without the beginning of days, the One Who says He is Life. Do I wrongly conclude that evo science is in trying to create Life--is trying to create God? No wonder they haven't been able to do it He, God, Life already exists!

I conclude there does not have to be a God. But lest you mis-understand me, I believe there is a God--just that to say there has to be a God would require (logically) that someone greater than God exist--to guaranetee His (God's) existence. That wouldn't make sense (at leat to me). but then who knows maybe I am crazy?Posted Image

#145 Teejay

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 11:17 AM

The first law does not prohibit the universe coming from nothing.

Miles, sorry I took so long to answer you. But I thought it only fair to respond since you put some work in on this. I'm still busy, so if you care to end this, it's okay with me.

Miles, you have a choice between a rock creating itself from nothing when it does not yet exist or an eternal Creator God creating the rock.

Which takes more faith to believe?

Which is more plausible?





If you are asking for a full explanation of how the brain works, there isn't one currently. This does not mean that a spiritual answer becomes true by default. Simply saying "the soul/god does it" is not a explanation for how we experience awareness or thoughts, it just covers the question with a label. If the soul or god is the source of reason then what use is the physical brain and why is there a brain in animals that aren't considered to have a soul? How does a non-physical thing interact with a physical brain and why can't it interact with other physical things?

First I want to clear up one matter that is really important--where you will spend eternity. God did create animals with souls, and I believe the Hebrew word for their souls is nephesh (?). You, on the other hand, were created in the image of God and you have an eternal spirit that will never cease to be. (I submit that you can’t imagine yourself not being.) Your body will die and you will go directly to Hell to await judgment at the Great White Throne Judgment. But your judgment will not be to determine your guilt or innocence; rather it will be to show you why you’re guilty under the law. And before this happens, you will be resurrected bodily. You will appear at the judgment in your presently bodily form. After your infractions have been made clear to you, you will be dispatched directly to Hell (with no get-out-of-jail-free card), to live apart from your Creator.

But please understand that God is not the One who determines your eternal fate. It is you, Miles, who are electing, of your own free volition, to reject your Creator God’s offer of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ who died for you so that you would not have to stand before the judgment seat of God.

Secondly, I’m not asking you for a full explanation of how the brain works. I’m asking you how physical matter can give you non-physical ability to reason. Can you at least admit that reasoning (thinking) is not physical and can’t come from matter? Can you admit that “knowing” something is true or false goes beyond the physical?


An appeal to authority—two authorities more intelligent than I:

Philosophers and scientists such as Victor Reppert,
William Hasker and Alvin Plantinga have developed an argument for dualism dubbed the "Argument from Reason" and credit C.S. Lewis—who called it "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism," the title of chapter three of the book—with first bringing the argument to light in his book Miracles.[33]

In short the argument holds that if, as thoroughgoing naturalism entails, all of our thoughts are the effect of a physical cause, then we have no reason for assuming that they are also the consequent of a reasonable ground. Knowledge, however, is apprehended by reasoning from ground to consequent. Therefore, if naturalism were true, there would be no way of knowing it—or anything else not the direct result of a physical cause—and we could not even suppose it, except by a fluke.[33]

By this logic, the statement "I have reason to believe naturalism is valid" is self-referentially incoherent in the same manner as the sentence "One of the words of this sentence does not have the meaning that it appears to have," or the statement "I never tell the truth."[34] That is, in each case to assume the veracity of the conclusion would eliminate the possibility of valid grounds from which to reach it. To summarize the argument in the book, Lewis quotes J. B. S. Haldane who appeals to a similar line of reasoning:[35]

“If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms”. —J. B. S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, page 209

In his essay Is Theology Poetry, Lewis himself summarizes the argument in a similar fashion when he writes:

“If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.” —C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, page 139




What is the basis for arguing that thoughts are non-physical? Everything we know about the brain indicates that it is the physical cause of our thoughts. If we alter or stimulate the brain we can chan age or produce thoughts, feelings, and memories.

Your brain is a physical organ. Thoughts are not physical. Memories and feelings are not physical. You may be able to argue that wine makes you happy but you must first justify the emotion of happiness in your atheist/materialistic worldview. You can’t. You have no reason to believe that any of these immaterial things can exist. Therefore your belief is arbitrary.




Of course I deny it. Information is the physical state of something. The shape of a rock is information, the angle of a tree branch is information, the wavelength of light is information, the shape of ink blots on a page is information. These are all physical characteristics. If you are refering to meaning, that's a link between two or more physical states. In common usage this is limited to links created by humans in the mind so it could be argued that meaning requires a mind, but as memories appear to be stored in the brain via physical processes, ultimately meaning would also be physical.

Information is not the “physical state” of something because information is not physical. Information can tell you about a rock, but the information must come from the mind of an intelligent source and not the rock. Example: “Miles, the rock is oval in shape and it is made of sandstone.” The rock will not tell you this. And of course you can look at the rock and send a memo to yourself that it is oval, etc.

Here’s a test you can do. Weigh your computer and jot down the exact weight. Then erase all the information in your computer. Then weigh it again. Will it be lighter? If you still deny that information is non-physical, then you are in denial.



We obviously have very different definitions of information. Can you give an example of non-human produced information that was traced back to a mental source?

Just as we had the Iron Age, Industrial Age, we now are in the information age. We have professors with doctorate degrees in information. Information is non-physical and must come from an intelligent source. When Crick (who cracked the DNA code) was asked by a reporter (paraphrased): “Dr. Crick, now that we know that the DNA code is information, do you believe there is a God?” Dr. Crick answered: “No. The information was probably planted by aliens.” Notice that Crick here knew that he could not justify the existence of information coming from matter.


Yes, No, and No. We can alter thoughts and emotions by stimulating the brain in certain physical ways. Physically damaging the brain can impair or change thoughts and emotions.

How much does a thought weigh?
How much space does it occupy?
Have you ever smelled a thought?
Have you ever seen a thought?
What does a thought look like?
Have you ever tasted a thought?

Altering the physical brain (our interface between your spirit and the physical world) does not justify or account for the existence of the nonphysical. Emotions, thoughts, ability to reason, ideas are not physical and can’t exist in your worldview. You must keep reminding yourself that in your world, nothing can exist but matter.



http://neuroskeptic....will-again.html
Stimulation of all these sites produced a pure intention, that is, a felt desire to move without any overt movement being produced... Without prompting by the examiner, all three patients spontaneously used terms such as “will,” “desire,” and “wanting to,” which convey the voluntary character of the movement intention and its attribution to an internal source, that is, located within the self.[/indent][indent=1][with higher electrode currents] conscious motor intentions were replaced by a sensation that a movement had been accomplished [but] no actual movement was observed. Thus, these patients experienced awareness of an illusory movement. For example, patient PP3 reported after low-intensity stimulation of one site (5 mA, 4 s; site a in Fig. 1), “I felt a desire to lick my lips” and at a higher intensity (8 mA, 4 s), “I moved my mouth, I talked, what did I say?”



Could you perform this same experiment and get the same results using a rock, or a chemical, or a molecule, or an atom or ….?


The brain being just a interface to the world for a spiritual entity is not supported by any evidence. There are regions of the brain that do not process sensory data which means they'd be pointless if the brain were solely a method of transmitting sense data from the world to a soul that did the actual thinking and experiencing. If the brain were the equivalent of an antenna there'd be no need for anything more than a sender/receiver and nerve endings going to the various muscles needed to drive the body. There'd also be the problem of how or why a soul communicated to the brain. Why couldn't a soul transmit and receive signals directly to the various body parts instead of needing to connect via the brain? If we removed or isolated a section of neurons from the rest of the brain why wouldn't the soul just keep sending signals to it? That would be a testable prediction (isolated neurons firing as if they are still connected to the brain). If the brain communicated with a soul that was where the actual thinking occured, you could also theoretically do something like remove the visual cortex portion of your brain, stimulate it with electricity while it's sitting in a petri dish, and then have your soul send signals to your mouth to report what it saw despite not having the visual cortex inside your head or connected to your eyes.

Who or what tells the brain what to think?




Yes I can argue that truth can be relative with more than one person in the equation. If I state an object is moving and you state the same object is stationary, it's possible for both statements to be true to the person making them if we are in different inertial reference frames. Both statements are true, while being different from each other, because the truth is relative to the person making the statement.

Aristotle’s argument for relativity with the man on the boat verses the man on the shore is not a justification for relative truth. Why? Truth is a statement of reality. Truth is that which corresponds to its object (referent), whether this object is abstract or physical. As applied to the physical, truth is the way things really are. As to the abstract, such as mathematical truths and ideas, the same applies. Truth is also universal in that it is true for everyone—no exceptions.

It is universally true that an object on Aristotle’s boat is stationary on the boat itself. It is also universally true that the boat and the object on the boat is moving through the water. It is also universally true that the water (which is part of the earth) is moving through space. But it can’t possibly be true that the earth is not moving through space and the earth is moving through space at the same time in the same way. And I’m disappointed in you for presenting such a foolish argument to justify relative morality. It is either true that it is wrong to murder the innocent or it is true that it is okay to murder the innocent—but not both at the same time. And in your worldview, you can’t justify morality or immorality of any kind.

It isn't true that Teejay's actions are moral and immoral at the same time to the same person. It's only true that TeeJay's actions are moral to Teejay at the same time that Teejay's actions are immoral to Miles. You are treating this as if there were something holding both opinions at once or as if there were a separate independent reference point for morality. Neither case is necessarily true.

Yes, Miles, I am “treating this as if there were something [or Someone]… a separate independent Reference Point for morality.” God!

Try this. Teejay thinks sushi is delicous. Miles thinks sushi is awful. Your reasoning would suggest that this is logically impossible since it would mean that sushi was both delicious and awful at the same time. And yet I don't think you have any difficulty in accepting that there's no logical contradiction in two different people having two different opinions on food.

The ultimate end of atheism is absurdity. As proof, here you argue that there is a moral equivalency between a taste for sushi and murdering the innocent.



Things can be moral or immoral, they are just moral or immoral based on context and convention rather than absolute rules set down by god. I'm not the one suggesting that there are behaviors that are always right or always wrong. But since you asked, if a behavior always had a negative result with absolutely no possible benefit then it could be considered always morally wrong. If a behavior always had a positive result with no possible downside then it could be considered absolutely right. There are few to none of those types of actions however.

So, if my actions or behavior are beneficial to me then they’re okay. I think that my murdering you and taking your house, car, money, food, etc. would be very “beneficial” to me. No?



It can't be absolutely wrong to lie if it's morally right to lie to nazi's about where jews are hiding.

Is what you posted here absolutely true? Before you answer, realize that above you argued that relative morality is okay if more than one person is involved. Question for you, though: God says it’s okay to lie to bad people who want to kill good people. But is it okay to lie to good people so bad people can kill them? You can give me an opinion or a preference but you can't give a justification.


Yes, as long as "absolutely wrong" means "always wrong", then my statement is absolutely true and it has nothing to do with multiple people being involved.

Miles, above you argued (adamantly I might add) that there can be no absolute wrong since another person may determine that it is not wrong. So, how can you have an “absolute wrong” that is “always wrong”?

For something to always be wrong, there can't be exceptions where it is right.

Can you give me an exception where it is right to murder the innocent?

There are lots of justifications that I could give you for why it's wrong to lie to good people so they could be killed, they just wouldn't necessarily hold up for all circumstances. The easiest exception I can think of would be if lying to good people and getting them killed saved other good people from being killed. The (possibly fictional) WW2 story where Churchill didn't warn a town about a bombing in order to prevent the germans from knowing their codes were broken, would be an example of this type of scenario.

Question: If there was only one fertile female on Planet Earth, and the whole human race would become extinct if she were not impregnated, would it be moral to do so against her will? If so, what would be your justification?

I wasn't aware god added a "unless you are talking to bad people" exception to the prohibitions on lying and bearing false witness. If lying to killers is morally acceptable to god doesn't that mean that god is able to lie to killers without violating any of his rules?

There are many instances in the Bible where God rewarded people for lying to bad people. The Pharaoh in Egypt commanded the midwives to kill all the male Jewish infants they delivered. The midwives lied to Pharaoh (which could have been a death penalty). God rewarded them with houses, husbands, children, etc. Rahab the harlot lied to the king of Jericho (after she accepted Israel’s God) and God rewarded her. And, yes, God can lie to His enemies if he so chooses. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things?” Implicit in His answer would have been salvation to the Pharisees (if they chose to accept His claim as to His identity). He did not answer them. But God will not lie to those who accept and love Him.

TeeJay


#146 Mike Summers

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 12:06 PM

Miles, sorry I took so long to answer you. But I thought it only fair to respond since you put some work in on this. I'm still busy, so if you care to end this, it's okay with me. Miles, you have a choice between a rock creating itself from nothing when it does not yet exist or an eternal Creator God creating the rock. Which takes more faith to believe? Which is more plausible? First I want to clear up one matter that is really important--where you will spend eternity. God did create animals with souls, and I believe the Hebrew word for their souls is nephesh (?). You, on the other hand, were created in the image of God and you have an eternal spirit that will never cease to be. (I submit that you can’t imagine yourself not being.) Your body will die and you will go directly to Hell to await judgment at the Great White Throne Judgment. But your judgment will not be to determine your guilt or innocence; rather it will be to show you why you’re guilty under the law. And before this happens, you will be resurrected bodily. You will appear at the judgment in your presently bodily form. After your infractions have been made clear to you, you will be dispatched directly to Hell (with no get-out-of-jail-free card), to live apart from your Creator. But please understand that God is not the One who determines your eternal fate. It is you, Miles, who are electing, of your own free volition, to reject your Creator God’s offer of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ who died for you so that you would not have to stand before the judgment seat of God. Secondly, I’m not asking you for a full explanation of how the brain works. I’m asking you how physical matter can give you non-physical ability to reason. Can you at least admit that reasoning (thinking) is not physical and can’t come from matter? Can you admit that “knowing” something is true or false goes beyond the physical? An appeal to authority—two authorities more intelligent than I: Philosophers and scientists such as Victor Reppert, William Hasker and Alvin Plantinga have developed an argument for dualism dubbed the "Argument from Reason" and credit C.S. Lewis—who called it "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism," the title of chapter three of the book—with first bringing the argument to light in his book Miracles.[33] In short the argument holds that if, as thoroughgoing naturalism entails, all of our thoughts are the effect of a physical cause, then we have no reason for assuming that they are also the consequent of a reasonable ground. Knowledge, however, is apprehended by reasoning from ground to consequent. Therefore, if naturalism were true, there would be no way of knowing it—or anything else not the direct result of a physical cause—and we could not even suppose it, except by a fluke.[33] By this logic, the statement "I have reason to believe naturalism is valid" is self-referentially incoherent in the same manner as the sentence "One of the words of this sentence does not have the meaning that it appears to have," or the statement "I never tell the truth."[34] That is, in each case to assume the veracity of the conclusion would eliminate the possibility of valid grounds from which to reach it. To summarize the argument in the book, Lewis quotes J. B. S. Haldane who appeals to a similar line of reasoning:[35] “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms”. —J. B. S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, page 209 In his essay Is Theology Poetry, Lewis himself summarizes the argument in a similar fashion when he writes: “If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.” —C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, page 139 Your brain is a physical organ. Thoughts are not physical. Memories and feelings are not physical. You may be able to argue that wine makes you happy but you must first justify the emotion of happiness in your atheist/materialistic worldview. You can’t. You have no reason to believe that any of these immaterial things can exist. Therefore your belief is arbitrary. Information is not the “physical state” of something because information is not physical. Information can tell you about a rock, but the information must come from the mind of an intelligent source and not the rock. Example: “Miles, the rock is oval in shape and it is made of sandstone.” The rock will not tell you this. And of course you can look at the rock and send a memo to yourself that it is oval, etc. Here’s a test you can do. Weigh your computer and jot down the exact weight. Then erase all the information in your computer. Then weigh it again. Will it be lighter? If you still deny that information is non-physical, then you are in denial. Just as we had the Iron Age, Industrial Age, we now are in the information age. We have professors with doctorate degrees in information. Information is non-physical and must come from an intelligent source. When Crick (who cracked the DNA code) was asked by a reporter (paraphrased): “Dr. Crick, now that we know that the DNA code is information, do you believe there is a God?” Dr. Crick answered: “No. The information was probably planted by aliens.” Notice that Crick here knew that he could not justify the existence of information coming from matter. How much does a thought weigh? How much space does it occupy? Have you ever smelled a thought? Have you ever seen a thought? What does a thought look like? Have you ever tasted a thought? Altering the physical brain (our interface between your spirit and the physical world) does not justify or account for the existence of the nonphysical. Emotions, thoughts, ability to reason, ideas are not physical and can’t exist in your worldview. You must keep reminding yourself that in your world, nothing can exist but matter. [/i] Could you perform this same experiment and get the same results using a rock, or a chemical, or a molecule, or an atom or ….?[/b] Who or what tells the brain what to think? Aristotle’s argument for relativity with the man on the boat verses the man on the shore is not a justification for relative truth. Why? Truth is a statement of reality. Truth is that which corresponds to its object (referent), whether this object is abstract or physical. As applied to the physical, truth is the way things really are. As to the abstract, such as mathematical truths and ideas, the same applies. Truth is also universal in that it is true for everyone—no exceptions. It is universally true that an object on Aristotle’s boat is stationary on the boat itself. It is also universally true that the boat and the object on the boat is moving through the water. It is also universally true that the water (which is part of the earth) is moving through space. But it can’t possibly be true that the earth is not moving through space and the earth is moving through space at the same time in the same way. And I’m disappointed in you for presenting such a foolish argument to justify relative morality. It is either true that it is wrong to murder the innocent or it is true that it is okay to murder the innocent—but not both at the same time. And in your worldview, you can’t justify morality or immorality of any kind. Yes, Miles, I am “treating this as if there were something [or Someone]… a separate independent Reference Point for morality.” God! The ultimate end of atheism is absurdity. As proof, here you argue that there is a moral equivalency between a taste for sushi and murdering the innocent. So, if my actions or behavior are beneficial to me then they’re okay. I think that my murdering you and taking your house, car, money, food, etc. would be very “beneficial” to me. No? It can't be absolutely wrong to lie if it's morally right to lie to nazi's about where jews are hiding. Is what you posted here absolutely true? Before you answer, realize that above you argued that relative morality is okay if more than one person is involved. Question for you, though: God says it’s okay to lie to bad people who want to kill good people. But is it okay to lie to good people so bad people can kill them? You can give me an opinion or a preference but you can't give a justification. Miles, above you argued (adamantly I might add) that there can be no absolute wrong since another person may determine that it is not wrong. So, how can you have an “absolute wrong” that is “always wrong”? Can you give me an exception where it is right to murder the innocent? Question: If there was only one fertile female on Planet Earth, and the whole human race would become extinct if she were not impregnated, would it be moral to do so against her will? If so, what would be your justification? There are many instances in the Bible where God rewarded people for lying to bad people. The Pharaoh in Egypt commanded the midwives to kill all the male Jewish infants they delivered. The midwives lied to Pharaoh (which could have been a death penalty). God rewarded them with houses, husbands, children, etc. Rahab the harlot lied to the king of Jericho (after she accepted Israel’s God) and God rewarded her. And, yes, God can lie to His enemies if he so chooses. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things?” Implicit in His answer would have been salvation to the Pharisees (if they chose to accept His claim as to His identity). He did not answer them. But God will not lie to those who accept and love Him. TeeJay


Miles,

I don't have legs(I had to have them amputated) but, I still get the urge to scratch an itch on my non existent feet (they were amputated with my legs--I wanted to keep them but... no they went with my legs) lol And yet,.I still feel like I am a complete human being--even without my legs and feet. There were times when I wanted to die but, my friends and family all wanted me to stay alive. Evo might consider me unfit. They shoot horses don't they?

What TeeJay says about our mental life is validated by me also! However, I would go even further than TeeJay and say that there is no information on a hard drive, But, there is code on it and code is physical (magnetic) pulses). Code exists as an interface to evoke information in a mental state! Thoughts, meaning, feelings etc.. do not subscribe to the laws of physics. Go in a tv sales showroom where are all the tv's, are on the same channel--there is information represented by code being in more than one place at the same time. Can your body do that? Try it and see. Nevertheless,our mind can go to the moon and back in less than a second.

There is a difference between matter and human thought--we do straddle two worlds--the spiritual and the physical. Take Helen Keller, she was considered deaf, dumb, and blind. She sucumbed to a childhood disease that left her that way. She was a holy terror a candidate for a mental hospital but along came a teacher who invented a language involving touch so that she became able to communicate with those outside of her by touch. Though she had no sight or hearing, Helen stiill had the touch interface (one of the five senses). Helen began to learn and eventually graduated from college with the highest honors. She was the the first blind,deaf person to do so.

Think about this; How could you disagree with TeeJay or me if you didn't have the ability to do it? No one argues that a rock is not a rock. But your perception of that rock is mental (information). That perception must come from pre-existing informatiion otherwise you would not be able to identify it as a rock. Someone told you it was a rock. Therefore extrapolate to the beginning and you will conclude that in the beginning was information (God).

Dawkins argues that there is no God--a similar being to us and then makes a point of saying there may be life that is more intelligen than us in outer space. Duh! We exist and we live in outer space--is he kidding? There are 7 billion of us. My problem with Dawkins' headset is that if he is so hostile to the exiusten of God all he would have to do is replace God's name with mine and then his book would be named "The Mike Dillusion!" lol

#147 Teejay

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:31 AM

[quote] name='Mike Summers' timestamp='1344193560' post='85385']
Miles,

I don't have legs(I had to have them amputated) but, I still get the urge to scratch an itch on my non existent feet (they were amputated with my legs--I wanted to keep them but... no they went with my legs) lol And yet,.I still feel like I am a complete human being--even without my legs and feet. There were times when I wanted to die but, my friends and family all wanted me to stay alive. Evo might consider me unfit. They shoot horses don't they?

What TeeJay says about our mental life is validated by me also! However, I would go even further than TeeJay and say that there is no information on a hard drive, But, there is code on it and code is physical (magnetic) pulses). Code exists as an interface to evoke information in a mental state! Thoughts, meaning, feelings etc.. do not subscribe to the laws of physics. Go in a tv sales showroom where are all the tv's, are on the same channel--there is information represented by code being in more than one place at the same time. Can your body do that? Try it and see. Nevertheless,our mind can go to the moon and back in less than a second.

There is a difference between matter and human thought--we do straddle two worlds--the spiritual and the physical. Take Helen Keller, she was considered deaf, dumb, and blind. She sucumbed to a childhood disease that left her that way. She was a holy terror a candidate for a mental hospital but along came a teacher who invented a language involving touch so that she became able to communicate with those outside of her by touch. Though she had no sight or hearing, Helen stiill had the touch interface (one of the five senses). Helen began to learn and eventually graduated from college with the highest honors. She was the the first blind,deaf person to do so.

Think about this; How could you disagree with TeeJay or me if you didn't have the ability to do it? No one argues that a rock is not a rock. But your perception of that rock is mental (information). That perception must come from pre-existing informatiion otherwise you would not be able to identify it as a rock. Someone told you it was a rock. Therefore extrapolate to the beginning and you will conclude that in the beginning was information (God).

Dawkins argues that there is no God--a similar being to us and then makes a point of saying there may be life that is more intelligen than us in outer space. Duh! We exist and we live in outer space--is he kidding? There are 7 billion of us. My problem with Dawkins' headset is that if he is so hostile to the exiusten of God all he would have to do is replace God's name with mine and then his book would be named "The Mike Dillusion!" lol
[/quote]

Mike, if you don't mind, I'm going to copy and paste your argument here into my reference file for future use in debating atheists? I wish I could dialogue with you more, but I've got some matters I must attend to. Perhaps in the future we can continue.

God bless, TeeJay

#148 Mike Summers

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 09:58 AM

I don't mind at all TeeJay.

#149 miles

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 07:25 PM

Miles, sorry I took so long to answer you. But I thought it only fair to respond since you put some work in on this. I'm still busy, so if you care to end this, it's okay with me.
Miles, you have a choice between a rock creating itself from nothing when it does not yet exist or an eternal Creator God creating the rock.
Which takes more faith to believe?
Which is more plausible?

It wouldn't be a rock creating itself, it would be a rock being created from a vacuum in accordance to the rules of physics. Given that we can detect the effects of virtual particles and can't detect god I'd say god is less plausible.

...
But please understand that God is not the One who determines your eternal fate. It is you, Miles, who are electing, of your own free volition, to reject your Creator God’s offer of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ who died for you so that you would not have to stand before the judgment seat of God.

I have to question whether thinking an offer isn't real is the same as rejecting it, but your concern is duly noted.


Secondly, I’m not asking you for a full explanation of how the brain works. I’m asking you how physical matter can give you non-physical ability to reason. Can you at least admit that reasoning (thinking) is not physical and can’t come from matter? Can you admit that “knowing” something is true or false goes beyond the physical?

No, I don't think that rational thought is something that doesn't come from matter. If you'll permit a extreme oversimplification, reason in the human brain would be similar to boolean logic which can be implemented in physical processes such as computers. I'm not convinced that the perception of knowing is produced by something non-physical. This is related to the hard problem of consciousness which we admittedly don't know how to answer, but not having an answer is not justification for picking a supernatural answer without evidence.
http://en.wikipedia....f_consciousness

....
“If my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true ... and hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms”. —J. B. S. Haldane, Possible Worlds, page 209
In his essay Is Theology Poetry, Lewis himself summarizes the argument in a similar fashion when he writes:
“If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.” —C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, page 139
Your brain is a physical organ. Thoughts are not physical. Memories and feelings are not physical. You may be able to argue that wine makes you happy but you must first justify the emotion of happiness in your atheist/materialistic worldview. You can’t. You have no reason to believe that any of these immaterial things can exist. Therefore your belief is arbitrary.

I have to admit I don't understand this argument or the problem it poses for naturalism. We know that our brains don't produce correct ideas in many cases, optical illusions are examples of these failures. However if our brains always produced incorrect beliefs like thinking that speeding buses are safe to hug then we'd die out rather quickly. Our continued existence is evidence that our brains produce enough correct ideas or ideas that are functionally equivalent to correct that we can generally act as if they are correct. I'm simply not getting why brains being governed by physics means brains don't work. Computers are governed by physics and they are perfectly capable of generating correct solutions to problems.

Information is not the “physical state” of something because information is not physical. Information can tell you about a rock, but the information must come from the mind of an intelligent source and not the rock. Example: “Miles, the rock is oval in shape and it is made of sandstone.” The rock will not tell you this. And of course you can look at the rock and send a memo to yourself that it is oval, etc.

Here’s a test you can do. Weigh your computer and jot down the exact weight. Then erase all the information in your computer. Then weigh it again. Will it be lighter? If you still deny that information is non-physical, then you are in denial.

That's not a test for something being non-physical. You can change physical properties like size, shape, position, orientation (the information on a hard disk is the physical orientation of the magnetic bits) without altering weight. I'll rephrase your test slightly to illustrate this.
Here’s a test you can do. Weigh a rock and jot down the exact weight. Then increase its surface area by cracking it in pieces. Then weigh it again. Will it be heavier because there's more surface area? If you still deny that surface area is non-physical, then you are in denial.
Either I just proved that surface area is non-physical or there's a problem in thinking that weight needs to change during a physical operation like altering a hard drive.

Just as we had the Iron Age, Industrial Age, we now are in the information age. We have professors with doctorate degrees in information. Information is non-physical and must come from an intelligent source. When Crick (who cracked the DNA code) was asked by a reporter (paraphrased): “Dr. Crick, now that we know that the DNA code is information, do you believe there is a God?” Dr. Crick answered: “No. The information was probably planted by aliens.” Notice that Crick here knew that he could not justify the existence of information coming from matter.

Without the exact quote it's not possible to tell if he was actually stating that all information comes from a intelligent source or just that DNA came from aliens.

How much does a thought weigh?
How much space does it occupy?
Have you ever smelled a thought?
Have you ever seen a thought?
What does a thought look like?
Have you ever tasted a thought?

Altering the physical brain (our interface between your spirit and the physical world) does not justify or account for the existence of the nonphysical. Emotions, thoughts, ability to reason, ideas are not physical and can’t exist in your worldview. You must keep reminding yourself that in your world, nothing can exist but matter.

1. It depends on if you just want the e=mc2 equivilant of the energy traveling through the neurons or the weight of the neurons themselves or the entire brain.
2. It requires the volume of the neurons needed to produce the thought.
3. No.
4 and 5. Yes, albeit at very low resolutions. We can only view general emotions and concepts via MRI. Thoughts are a sequence of neural activations. Images of different types of emotions. http://www.esquire.c...lg-85496295.jpg
Visual images decoded from the brain. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsjDnYxJ0bo
If you mean experience someone elses thoughts instead of view them, then no, the technology to do that doesn't exist. It would require both tracing every neuron and then recreating each connection in your own brain. Since the wiring in a person's brain changes to form memories it would be virtually impossible to produce the exact same chain of impulses in two different people.
5. No
Matter, energy and all the physical characteristics and processes associated with them are what exists according to my argument, not just matter.

Could you perform this same experiment and get the same results using a rock, or a chemical, or a molecule, or an atom or ….?[/b]

A single atom/molecule/chemical, no. A bunch of them arranged into a brain, yes.

Who or what tells the brain what to think?

Physics and chemistry.

Aristotle’s argument for relativity with the man on the boat verses the man on the shore is not a justification for relative truth. Why? Truth is a statement of reality. Truth is that which corresponds to its object (referent), whether this object is abstract or physical. As applied to the physical, truth is the way things really are. As to the abstract, such as mathematical truths and ideas, the same applies. Truth is also universal in that it is true for everyone—no exceptions.
It is universally true that an object on Aristotle’s boat is stationary on the boat itself. It is also universally true that the boat and the object on the boat is moving through the water. It is also universally true that the water (which is part of the earth) is moving through space. But it can’t possibly be true that the earth is not moving through space and the earth is moving through space at the same time in the same way. And I’m disappointed in you for presenting such a foolish argument to justify relative morality. It is either true that it is wrong to murder the innocent or it is true that it is okay to murder the innocent—but not both at the same time. And in your worldview, you can’t justify morality or immorality of any kind.
Yes, Miles, I am “treating this as if there were something [or Someone]… a separate independent Reference Point for morality.” God!
The ultimate end of atheism is absurdity. As proof, here you argue that there is a moral equivalency between a taste for sushi and murdering the innocent.

I was trying to show you that two opposing opinions doesn't mean that the opinions are talking about the same thing in the same way. I can easily justify morality based on experiences that everyone or nearly everyone shares. It's simply that these moral rules can be presented with situations where it would be acceptable to break them.

So, if my actions or behavior are beneficial to me then they’re okay. I think that my murdering you and taking your house, car, money, food, etc. would be very “beneficial” to me. No?

If it was just you and me then yes it would be. If there are other people who might want to find out who or what killed me and take steps to prevent it from happening to them then no, it might not be very beneficial to you.

It can't be absolutely wrong to lie if it's morally right to lie to nazi's about where jews are hiding.
Is what you posted here absolutely true? Before you answer, realize that above you argued that relative morality is okay if more than one person is involved. Question for you, though: God says it’s okay to lie to bad people who want to kill good people. But is it okay to lie to good people so bad people can kill them? You can give me an opinion or a preference but you can't give a justification.

Miles, above you argued (adamantly I might add) that there can be no absolute wrong since another person may determine that it is not wrong. So, how can you have an “absolute wrong” that is “always wrong”?


Logic still applies. I'm not arguing that absolute morality is impossible because other people disagree. I'm arguing that absolute morality is impossible because it's logically impossible for there to be more than one absolute moral rule.
There are two claims:
Claim 1. The morality of an action is based on goals and circumstances rather than god. Common moral rules are based on common goals and circumstances rather than god. There is no logical requirement to accept the moral rules of someone you disagree with. Disagreements can be settled by debate, compromise, conflict, etc.
Claim 2. Absolute morality is logically impossible if there is more than one absolute moral rule. Two moral rules can be placed in conflict with one another where a person must choose between violating one or the other. Therefore, one must not be absolute for the same reason that an irresistible force cannot exist in the same universe as an immovable object. When the force was applied to the object either the force would be resistible or the object would be movable. Two different absolute rules can oppose each other (example: don't kill babies vs. don't disobey god) which means if god commanded the killing of babies one of those rules must not be absolute.

Can you give me an exception where it is right to murder the innocent?


Murder implies wrongness by definition. If you want examples where its considered acceptable to kill the innocent then here's several.

The classic example is killing a crying baby to prevent a group of fugitives from being discovered.
Killing to end someones unbearable pain such as a battlefield coup de grace or assisted suicide.
Castaways killing and eating a dying member or the one who drew the shortest straw.
Tossing someone out of a overloaded lifeboat into lethally cold water to keep the boat from sinking.
In war there are always innocents being killed where those deaths are considered acceptable collateral damage.
From a pro-life christian perspective there's the case where god commanded the death of infants or killed them himself in the flood. (I'm assuming that a pro-lifer considers babies to be innocents and a christian considers god killing babies to be morally correct)

Question: If there was only one fertile female on Planet Earth, and the whole human race would become extinct if she were not impregnated, would it be moral to do so against her will? If so, what would be your justification?


For the example as written I'd say no. I'd favor personal autonomy over eventual extinction. I'm sure there would be people who disagreed and favored continuation of the human race over involuntary pregnancy. The difference in opinions would be debated, maybe bribes would be offered, possibly violence would erupt. Ultimately the winning opinion would determine the course of action.

There are many instances in the Bible where God rewarded people for lying to bad people. The Pharaoh in Egypt commanded the midwives to kill all the male Jewish infants they delivered. The midwives lied to Pharaoh (which could have been a death penalty). God rewarded them with houses, husbands, children, etc. Rahab the harlot lied to the king of Jericho (after she accepted Israel’s God) and God rewarded her. And, yes, God can lie to His enemies if he so chooses. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things?” Implicit in His answer would have been salvation to the Pharisees (if they chose to accept His claim as to His identity). He did not answer them. But God will not lie to those who accept and love Him.


I've never heard a christian claim that god is capable of lying. There's several passages in the bible claiming that god doesn't or can't lie. If those are incorrect does that mean you consider the bible mistaken?

God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.
[I]n hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.

#150 Mike Summers

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 10:36 AM

There are many instances in the Bible where God rewarded people for lying to bad people. The Pharaoh in Egypt commanded the midwives to kill all the male Jewish infants they delivered. The midwives lied to Pharaoh (which could have been a death penalty). God rewarded them with houses, husbands, children, etc. Rahab the harlot lied to the king of Jericho (after she accepted Israel’s God) and God rewarded her. And, yes, God can lie to His enemies if he so chooses. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “By what authority do you do these things?” Implicit in His answer would have been salvation to the Pharisees (if they chose to accept His claim as to His identity). He did not answer them. But God will not lie to those who accept and love Him. I've never heard a christian claim that god is capable of lying. There's several passages in the bible claiming that god doesn't or can't lie. If those are incorrect does that mean you consider the bible mistaken? God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. [I]n hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.



Another answer to the like delima might be this;

Suppose you were a German during the time of Hitler and you were hiding some Jewish Friends (among them children) in your home. The Nazis came to your door and asked if you had any Jews in your home? Suppose you knew that the Nazis would kill your friends and their children would have their skulls (as was done by Nazis) smashed against a brick wall.. Would you lie (?) and tell the Nazis there were no Jews at your home?.However, would you be lying if you said,.:"No, there are no Jews here (for you to kill)." You would finish the statement in your mind and not verbalize it. Their question was not really a question but as an ivitation for you to give over some inocent people for them to kill. They might view you as lying but because you knew their real motive and purpose. for asking the question you wouldn't be lying. What you said wouldn't necesarily have to be viewed as a lie from you or God's point of view.

#151 GoneAstray

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 05:54 AM

Hi there, I'm new but I thought I would introduce myself by answering this question.

As Christians, we believe that the bible is the word of God. We have no doubts of this, we believe it 100%.


I have to ask, do you believe the whole bible 100%?

My questions to the atheists and agnostics would be:

Why don't you believe the bible?


There are many problems with it, some factual inaccuracies and also some logical inaccuracies. For example I would say that the idea of a perfect god just isn't possible. The main reason being if god was perfect he would have no deficiencies, he would need nothing and have no use for anything like love or worship. The idea of an immortal and all powerful god is also contradictory as god could not commit suicide.

Factual inaccuracies are things such as Adam and eve, we know that the human race did not begin with 1 breeding pair, if it did that would have led to mass incest. What I think also gets overlooked is that if Adam and Eve were factually accurate that would make our ancestors half rib/ half dust.

Of course I could go on, they are just a couple of examples but what I would like to say is, even if I don't take the bible at face value, I do enjoy some of the moral teachings within it. Of course there are bad teachings too but I feel comfortable taking the good and dismissing the bad.

Have you read it?


Indeed I have, I much prefer the new testament to the old as I assume most people do.

Do you know its history? (i.e. written over a 1500 year time span)


Of course I don't know all of its history, I'd be surprised if anyone knows all of its history, but I have read asimovs guide to the bible which I would recommend to anyone. It's an incredibly well researched book and focuses on the history of the bible and also what events the stories relate to for example Noah's ark was a Sumerian folk tale about a man who saved a village from a local flood. Of course the folk tale spoke of a world flood because "world" is relative, but that seems to be where the story of a global flood comes from.

What was the purpose of the men who wrote the bible?


That I don't know. I suppose it depends on the book. Are you talking new or old testament and do you have any book in particular you want to look at?

Do you acknowledge or deny the fact that there are 100s of 1000s of prophecies in the bible, many which have come to true with great accuracy?


I suppose many of the prophecies can be answered with the fact that the new testament was probably written with the old testament in mind. Can you give me an example of a prophecy that came true?

#152 Salsa

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 12:42 AM

There are many problems with it, some factual inaccuracies and also some logical inaccuracies. For example I would say that the idea of a perfect god just isn't possible. The main reason being if god was perfect he would have no deficiencies, he would need nothing and have no use for anything like love or worship. The idea of an immortal and all powerful god is also contradictory as god could not commit suicide.

Factual inaccuracies are things such as Adam and eve, we know that the human race did not begin with 1 breeding pair, if it did that would have led to mass incest. What I think also gets overlooked is that if Adam and Eve were factually accurate that would make our ancestors half rib/ half dust.

Of course I could go on, they are just a couple of examples but what I would like to say is, even if I don't take the bible at face value, I do enjoy some of the moral teachings within it. Of course there are bad teachings too but I feel comfortable taking the good and dismissing the bad.


I don't think God gave us the Bible simply to lay down the law and tell us exactly everything we need to know. I think he had a much more sophisticated plan in mind and I think that is what many people miss. The intentions of the Bible are manyfold, but probably one of the most important of these is to bring about a certain kind of fruit. Whether or not you produce this kind of fruit depends on how you judge. And how you judge things is incredibly important in God's eyes.

For example, when you hear someone tell you that God is not allpowerful simply because he cannot create a stone that is too heavy for him to lift then you have a choice. Either you decide that the error lies in the Bible, or you consider the possibility that people have the wrong understanding of what the word "allpowerful" means when it is used in the Bible.

Reading and interpreting the Bible correctly requires careful discernment, because that is exactly what God wants to bring about in us. God never wrote "The Bible for Dummies". He wrote it in such a was as to make us think and to judge conscientiously.

Given that, I don't think the objections that you list here are difficult to answer. Most of the problems are tied up more with philosophy than what the truth is about God. All we really know about God is that he is a being that, much like us, has a will. If having a will is a "deficiency" then so be it, but I don't think something like that nullifies God's existance or invalidates the Bible. As far as we are concerned God is as allpowerful as anyone could ever be.

#153 GoneAstray

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 02:27 AM

Hi there, thank you for replying.

I don't think God gave us the Bible simply to lay down the law and tell us exactly everything we need to know. I think he had a much more sophisticated plan in mind and I think that is what many people miss.


To make that claim you also have to make the claim that you know the mind of god. If the Bible is the only communication from god (or to put it another way a collection of communications) then what other justification is there to decide on how the bible is read and interpreted? How can you decide which bits are literal and which bits are fables? And if they are fables what is the correct metaphor to be taken from it?

Also when it does make factual claims, for example on how the Universe was formed, we can demonstrate that the Bible is incorrect. How do you interpret that?

I suppose my point is should we conclude that the Bible is the actual word of god, or rather the interpretation of what people believed a god would or should be?

The intentions of the Bible are manyfold, but probably one of the most important of these is to bring about a certain kind of fruit. Whether or not you produce this kind of fruit depends on how you judge. And how you judge things is incredibly important in God's eyes.


Could you expand on this point please? I'm not entirely sure I understand what your point is here.

For example, when you hear someone tell you that God is not allpowerful simply because he cannot create a stone that is too heavy for him to lift then you have a choice. Either you decide that the error lies in the Bible, or you consider the possibility that people have the wrong understanding of what the word "allpowerful" means when it is used in the Bible.


I understand that all powerful, or omnipotent means "all powerful as long as it is not contradictory or evil", however, my point about suicide can be taken a step further. Suicide is not a logical contradiction unless of course it contradicts another of gods properties, that being immortality. Well, that means I am all powerful, I can do anything.....that doesn't of course contradict any of my other properties.

So, how do we decide which of god's properties rank highest? Is there a top trumps card for god that show his attributes and their strength?

Reading and interpreting the Bible correctly requires careful discernment, because that is exactly what God wants to bring about in us. God never wrote "The Bible for Dummies". He wrote it in such a was as to make us think and to judge conscientiously.


But how do you know he did? How do you know it wasn't meant as a literal text and you are making a grave error by reinterpreting it? You're making huge assumptions here and I don't think you have any justification for making those assumptions.

Given that, I don't think the objections that you list here are difficult to answer. Most of the problems are tied up more with philosophy than what the truth is about God. All we really know about God is that he is a being that, much like us, has a will. If having a will is a "deficiency" then so be it, but I don't think something like that nullifies God's existance or invalidates the Bible. As far as we are concerned God is as allpowerful as anyone could ever be.


Well that depends, if the bible is the word of god and we can show that certain claims are either logically or factually incorrect, shouldn't that by extension affect the truth about god?

It also confuses me when you say "all we really know about god is that he has a will", however earlier you were claiming you knew what his intentions were on writing the bible in the way he did, why the sudden backtrack?

And when you say "god is as allpowerful as anyone could ever be", aren't you lowering the bar a bit? So god doesn't have to be all powerful, only slightly more powerful than any human could be? That isn't allpowerful, that's simply morepowerful.

#154 Salsa

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 06:06 AM

Also when it does make factual claims, for example on how the Universe was formed, we can demonstrate that the Bible is incorrect.


No. There is absolutely nothing factual (that I am familiar with) that contradicts the Bible. That very fact is astonishing in itself. Everything that mankind has chosen to believe about how the universe was formed and how long it has existed is based on assumption.

I suppose my point is should we conclude that the Bible is the actual word of god, or rather the interpretation of what people believed a god would or should be?


What the Bible claims about itself is that it was inspired, as opposed to something directly dictated by God. That means that the writers were free to express themselves exactly as they would normally do, in the words they chose to use. However, the ideas behind the words they wrote were revealed to them by God. It is also important to understand that many of the writers had no idea about what they were really writing about. There is a surface text, and then there is a deeper meaning that is only available through revelation.

Jesus said to his disciples, "everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Without having the experience of being born again, one's ability to understand scripture is limited to what the surface text says, and that is what appears to them as foolishness:

"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor 2:14

How do you know it wasn't meant as a literal text and you are making a grave error by reinterpreting it? You're making huge assumptions here and I don't think you have any justification for making those assumptions.


Being a Christian is not about interpreting every single thing in the Bible correctly. Being a Christian is about knowing Jesus Christ. That kind of "knowledge" is not the result of diligently studying scripture, but the result of having your mind opened so you recognize who Jesus is.

It also confuses me when you say "all we really know about god is that he has a will", however earlier you were claiming you knew what his intentions were on writing the bible in the way he did, why the sudden backtrack?


I'm sorry, I wasn't too clear about that. I was referring to God's attributes and what we in our finite minds know about them. Naturally I am convinced that we have the ability to grow in knowledge of what God's intentions are.

#155 GoneAstray

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:32 AM

No. There is absolutely nothing factual (that I am familiar with) that contradicts the Bible. That very fact is astonishing in itself. Everything that mankind has chosen to believe about how the universe was formed and how long it has existed is based on assumption.


"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Of course we know the Earth formed about 9ma years after our Universe formed. Exactly how our Universe formed we don't know, there are many hypothesis that try and answer that question however, but as of yet it is not resolved.

With the Earth forming 9ma years after the beginning of our Universe we can safely say that in the beginning, god did not make the Earth. If he did make the Earth it was anything but, at the beginning.


What the Bible claims about itself is that it was inspired, as opposed to something directly dictated by God. That means that the writers were free to express themselves exactly as they would normally do, in the words they chose to use. However, the ideas behind the words they wrote were revealed to them by God. It is also important to understand that many of the writers had no idea about what they were really writing about. There is a surface text, and then there is a deeper meaning that is only available through revelation.


Is it possible that the writers misunderstood any of the revelations if indeed there were any? And how do you know they were telling the truth? Or that they didn't have some kind of mental issue? Perhaps they were frauds?

Also how do you reconcile Mohammed who claimed to have similar revelations that disagree with the divinity of Jesus Christ?

Jesus said to his disciples, "everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.


Why are only certain people able to understand the scriptures in this deep way? Why are some of us left out so we will eternally tortured?

Without having the experience of being born again, one's ability to understand scripture is limited to what the surface text says, and that is what appears to them as foolishness:

"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor 2:14


"Without giving yourself to Allah, you may not be accepted into the Kingdom of God". (not a direct quote, just something a Muslim may say)

So what makes your book different? Why do you say the Bible is the only way to god? Mohammed is far more recent, so wouldn't you think his information is more up-to-date?



Being a Christian is not about interpreting every single thing in the Bible correctly. Being a Christian is about knowing Jesus Christ. That kind of "knowledge" is not the result of diligently studying scripture, but the result of having your mind opened so you recognize who Jesus is.


ok I appreciate that, however, having you mind opened sounds a little involuntary, is this the case?

I'm sorry, I wasn't too clear about that. I was referring to God's attributes and what we in our finite minds know about them. Naturally I am convinced that we have the ability to grow in knowledge of what God's intentions are.


Ok, I see. So do we learn of God's intentions through scriptures only? And you haven't answered my points on the definition of allpowerful vs morepowerful and god's ability to commit suicide.

#156 Salsa

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 02:10 AM

Of course we know the Earth formed about 9ma years after our Universe formed.


The age of the Earth is believed to be about 4.5 billion years old based on the assumption that radiometric readings have been constant the whole time. There is absolutely nothing that prevents this assumption as well as many others to be completely wrong. Since the presupposition that God does not exist has increasingly dominated science then everything they assume will hinge purely on the idea that the universe created itself and thing like that. Most people seem to think that such ideas are on par with being scientific facts, but they are not.

Is it possible that the writers misunderstood any of the revelations if indeed there were any? And how do you know they were telling the truth? Or that they didn't have some kind of mental issue? Perhaps they were frauds?


The Bible is not like any other kind of book that exists and doesn't function as other books do. As I pointed out, most of the writers absolutely did NOT understand the revelations they were given. I'm going to try to explain what I mean, but firstly let's look at what the Bible itself teaches us to be very important to understand:

"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

And:

"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things."

In other words the writers themsleves did not know the full purpose of what they were writing. And this is important for two reasons. Firstly, it was important that they did not contaminate what they were writing about by mixing in their own thoughts and biases and so on. But more importantly, this is one of the things that actually validates the Bible.

Consider the fact that the Bible was written over a period of about 1,500 years by over 40 authors most of whom had no contact with each other, and yet there are countless small accounts spread throughout the entire book that point to specific details in the life of Jesus. There are just too many of them to attribute as being coincidence.

Also how do you reconcile Mohammed who claimed to have similar revelations that disagree with the divinity of Jesus Christ?


Even such people as Mohammed were predicted to come after Jesus left us:

"but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."

Also, Mohammed was the only author of these writings. Your points about him being a fraud or a mental case definitely hold as far as his writings are concerned. How does one validate what he wrote?

Why are only certain people able to understand the scriptures in this deep way? Why are some of us left out so we will eternally tortured?


That's a long, complicated story and a little difficult to answer, because there are several things that weigh in. Ultimately it is God's work and his sovereign choice who among us he decides to reveal himself to, but he has made it clear that he wants everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. I also think that if anyone is sincere and earnest in the way they seek him then he is hardly going to send them away. But it is also true that some people, such as the apostle Paul, who persecuted and killed Christians, were chosen by God. I think he knows what makes people tick and what kind of fruit they will bear if he reveals himself to them.

ok I appreciate that, however, having you mind opened sounds a little involuntary, is this the case?


Arguably, yes, in some cases, but I think that most of the time it occurs in response to someone actively seeking the truth. I think that all of us at some point in our lives are exposed to the truth and are given the choice to follow God's spirit or go our own way. If we reject the truth then God in no wise will force it on us. Sometime the truth doesn't match up to what we would like it to, and it doesn't appear in the form that we expect. Do we follow the truth in such cases? When I got saved it was at a time when becoming a Christian was probably the last thing I wanted to become. Both my parents were occultists and raised me up to believe in a religion that made perfect sense to me. It wasn't an ancient religion that seemed to be based on funny stories. The only problem was that I suddenly realized that it didn't give me any kind of joy whatsoever. When I picked up a Bible and just flipped it open to random verses then God spoke directly to me so strongly that I finally figured that I really didn't care what it looks like, as long as it works. And it did work. God validated this to me in so many ways that after only a few days I was totally sold.

And you haven't answered my points on the definition of allpowerful vs morepowerful and god's ability to commit suicide.


You ask a lot of questions and unfortunately I'm struggling with time, but since you insist... Posted Image

I didn't really understand your point about "committing suicide" since you seemed to be refering to an argument that I just couldn't find in your earlier posts. However, I guess I know where you are coming from. This is the way I see it. From a human perspective there is only biological life. Once biological life ends then you basically cease to exist. However, God's life and biological life are two different things. When Jesus died he died physically, but not spiritually. Being God, his spirit is eternal and he therefore never ceased to exist as God.

#157 Fred Williams

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 10:07 PM

GoneAstray, all the objections you have raised here have solid answers, but do you honestly think these answers will mean a hill of beans to you?

Fred

#158 GoneAstray

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:43 PM

GoneAstray, all the objections you have raised here have solid answers, but do you honestly think these answers will mean a hill of beans to you?

Fred


Hi Fred.

Well, the thread was called "atheists and agnostics, why don't you believe the bible". The question was aimed at me and I answered it and then I was asked questions. Following on from there we're having a conversation about it. It's simply an exchange of ideas, whether s/he takes anything from me or I take anything from him/her isn't the point. It's just a nice conversation really. As much as I like the idea of a hill of beans for now I'm just happy conversing as we are.

#159 GoneAstray

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:12 PM

The age of the Earth is believed to be about 4.5 billion years old based on the assumption that radiometric readings have been constant the whole time. There is absolutely nothing that prevents this assumption as well as many others to be completely wrong. Since the presupposition that God does not exist has increasingly dominated science then everything they assume will hinge purely on the idea that the universe created itself and thing like that. Most people seem to think that such ideas are on par with being scientific facts, but they are not.


Radiometric dating has been tested and seems to stand up to all trials. Of course there is still the possibility that there maybe some external force that could cause it to speed up or slow down however, as of yet, it looks pretty steady. Remember it isn't only one method of dating that we use, there are many and they overlap. This article explains what kind of tests are done, http://www.scienceda...00915171534.htm it's not peer reviewed and the peer review study it's based on is $35 or something, but it gives you an idea.

I would also like to disagree with your idea that "god not existing" dominates science. Science isn't really concerned with proving or disproving a god, it's aim is to try and explain natural phenomena, and as god is usually understood to be somewhere outside the natural, in the realms of the super natural, science has nothing to say on the matter. Scientists can infer the likelihood of god from their understanding of the natural but that isn't science itself. I hope that makes sense.

The Bible is not like any other kind of book that exists and doesn't function as other books do. As I pointed out, most of the writers absolutely did NOT understand the revelations they were given. I'm going to try to explain what I mean, but firstly let's look at what the Bible itself teaches us to be very important to understand:

"Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

And:

"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things."

In other words the writers themsleves did not know the full purpose of what they were writing. And this is important for two reasons. Firstly, it was important that they did not contaminate what they were writing about by mixing in their own thoughts and biases and so on. But more importantly, this is one of the things that actually validates the Bible.


However, the new testament was written sometime after Jesus had died. Were the writings then separate revelations, as in they were divinely inspired sometime after his death , or were they done from memory? If it's the latter I fail to see how you can guarantee their accuracy.

Consider the fact that the Bible was written over a period of about 1,500 years by over 40 authors most of whom had no contact with each other, and yet there are countless small accounts spread throughout the entire book that point to specific details in the life of Jesus. There are just too many of them to attribute as being coincidence.


How can you show that these authors were not 1, in contact with each other or 2, the same author acting as different writers?


Even such people as Mohammed were predicted to come after Jesus left us:

"but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world."

Also, Mohammed was the only author of these writings. Your points about him being a fraud or a mental case definitely hold as far as his writings are concerned. How does one validate what he wrote?


Mohammed wasn't the author, his revelations were remembered by followers and then written down several years after his death. It's not even certain that Mohammed was a real historical figure.


That's a long, complicated story and a little difficult to answer, because there are several things that weigh in. Ultimately it is God's work and his sovereign choice who among us he decides to reveal himself to, but he has made it clear that he wants everyone to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. I also think that if anyone is sincere and earnest in the way they seek him then he is hardly going to send them away. But it is also true that some people, such as the apostle Paul, who persecuted and killed Christians, were chosen by God. I think he knows what makes people tick and what kind of fruit they will bear if he reveals himself to them.


This to me, seems like a petty game. Half revealing himself to a handful of people in hope that others will follow. If they don't, it's a eternal torture for them. I don't actually know of a crime that would earn the punishment of eternal damnation. Eternity isn't a figure I'm used to you see, no matter what the crime, the punishment has to have an end of some sort. However, the simple crime of not believing costs you more dearly than you can imagine. This doesn't seem like a grand design by an all powerful, all loving god, it seems like the actions of a self loving, manipulative maniac.


Arguably, yes, in some cases, but I think that most of the time it occurs in response to someone actively seeking the truth. I think that all of us at some point in our lives are exposed to the truth and are given the choice to follow God's spirit or go our own way. If we reject the truth then God in no wise will force it on us. Sometime the truth doesn't match up to what we would like it to, and it doesn't appear in the form that we expect. Do we follow the truth in such cases? When I got saved it was at a time when becoming a Christian was probably the last thing I wanted to become. Both my parents were occultists and raised me up to believe in a religion that made perfect sense to me. It wasn't an ancient religion that seemed to be based on funny stories. The only problem was that I suddenly realized that it didn't give me any kind of joy whatsoever. When I picked up a Bible and just flipped it open to random verses then God spoke directly to me so strongly that I finally figured that I really didn't care what it looks like, as long as it works. And it did work. God validated this to me in so many ways that after only a few days I was totally sold.


You seem the thing is, I know what you mean here. Although I get this feeling from so much literature. I get this feeling from Marx, Darwin, Lucretius, Spinoza and many others. It just hits my right there (the chest area) and I feel like something awesome has washed over me. I suppose my point is, do you get that feeling from any other writings? Or is it only the bible that really moves you?

You ask a lot of questions and unfortunately I'm struggling with time, but since you insist... Posted Image

I didn't really understand your point about "committing suicide" since you seemed to be refering to an argument that I just couldn't find in your earlier posts. However, I guess I know where you are coming from. This is the way I see it. From a human perspective there is only biological life. Once biological life ends then you basically cease to exist. However, God's life and biological life are two different things. When Jesus died he died physically, but not spiritually. Being God, his spirit is eternal and he therefore never ceased to exist as God.


Sorry, I do love this subject :) I shall repeat the point.

I understand that all powerful, or omnipotent means "all powerful as long as it is not contradictory or evil", however, my point about suicide can be taken a step further. Suicide is not a logical contradiction unless of course it contradicts another of gods properties, that being immortality. Well, that means I am all powerful, I can do anything.....that doesn't of course contradict any of my other properties.

So, how do we decide which of god's properties rank highest? Is there a top trumps card for god that show his attributes and their strength?



I hope that makes sense.


Also, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer and I appreciate your sincerity.

#160 Salsa

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 10:57 PM

Radiometric dating has been tested and seems to stand up to all trials. Of course there is still the possibility that there maybe some external force that could cause it to speed up or slow down however, as of yet, it looks pretty steady.


Sure, it is steady today, and therein we have all the factual evidence involved, but how does that determine the age of anything that goes beyond human history? Obviously, we can only use recorded history to validate radiometric dating. Human history only goes back a few thousand years which is exactly what the Bible teaches us.

Remember it isn't only one method of dating that we use, there are many and they overlap.


That would be a good argument IF the assumption being made by scientists today were true. A global event however would obviously have the ability to effect not just one, but all dating methods. After that event ended, it would be perfectly clear that these methods would agree with each other. How else wouldn't they?

What these articles neglect to tell anyone is that the underlying belief is that nothing can have interfered globally with the processes we observe today, simply because it is their conviction that nothing exists outside of the known physical universe having that kind of power.

We do have a records of fossil showing us that such a global event may have ocurred, but it is dismissed because the assumption is that this event occurred during separate episodes over millions of years.

I would also like to disagree with your idea that "god not existing" dominates science. Science isn't really concerned with proving or disproving a god, it's aim is to try and explain natural phenomena, and as god is usually understood to be somewhere outside the natural, in the realms of the super natural, science has nothing to say on the matter.


This is a common argument and I'm kind of baffled that it is used so often. What exactly does it tell us? It tells us that even though science might not exclude the possibility of the existence of God, it will never include him in anything deemed "scientific" since as you point out, science only deals with natural entities. In other words, if anything supernatural had any effect on the natural, then no matter how many scientists are involved, and no matter how much research is involved, and no matter how many peer reviewed papers were written, the truth would be eternally obscured.

People often argue that the greatest strenght of science is that it is "self-correcting". But what does that help if the truly correct answer is beyond reach?

However, the new testament was written sometime after Jesus had died. Were the writings then separate revelations, as in they were divinely inspired sometime after his death , or were they done from memory? If it's the latter I fail to see how you can guarantee their accuracy.


Good observation. I have mainly been dealing with the Old Testament and the prophecies of the coming Messiah. And although the NT also has its prophecies, the possiblity of a "conspiracy" in the writing NT is of course far more conceivable.

But would such a conspiracy make sense? To start with, the effort involved in trying to tie these separate gospels together in a consistent manner, not only with each other but with the OT scriptures, would have been absolutely colossal. And that would even be so with the help of personal computers. And what would they have gone to such an effort to acheive? It would hardly have been for heavenly benefits for them to do something so immoral. And what earthly benefits did any of the early Christians receive? They were imprisoned, beaten, persecuted, and stoned to death.

How can you show that these authors were not 1, in contact with each other or 2, the same author acting as different writers?


As far as the factual evidence concerning the authenticity of the Bible is concerned I do what you also would do concerning anything you don't have the ability to personally validate - you rely on scholars, experts, historical records and so on. Contemporary non-biblical documents containing quotes from these different books confirm their age and the events and cultural peculiarities that these books describe would not make sense if they were written by someone else living at a different time and location. Again, what would their motive be?

Mohammed wasn't the author, his revelations were remembered by followers and then written down several years after his death. It's not even certain that Mohammed was a real historical figure.


Fair enough. I'm no expert on Mohammed. But unless this group of writers can demonstrate the validity of the original story then it doesn't really matter.

As far as I am concerned, all false religion have their origin in the motivations of God's spiritual enemy. If God poured out his treasures in a jar of clay then it would make sense for his enemy to construct as many other similar jars and fill them with poison.

This to me, seems like a petty game. Half revealing himself to a handful of people in hope that others will follow. If they don't, it's a eternal torture for them. I don't actually know of a crime that would earn the punishment of eternal damnation. Eternity isn't a figure I'm used to you see, no matter what the crime, the punishment has to have an end of some sort. However, the simple crime of not believing costs you more dearly than you can imagine. This doesn't seem like a grand design by an all powerful, all loving god, it seems like the actions of a self loving, manipulative maniac.


This is assuming that you know exactly what you are talking about. Not even Christians agree on this subject and frankly it is nothing I have any great conviction about. Some believe in eternal torment whereas some have presented arguments for an end to punishment. However, the torment involved just might be the realization that you will never be able to enter a perfect kingdom that God has invited you to enter.

From a human perspective sin is just something you do and then it no longer exists except perhaps in the form of a memory. From a spiritual persective however, sin is like a deadly disease that unless a cure is given will spread and contaminate indefinitely. In fact, according to scripture, all the misery and destruction we see in the world today is the result of this "contamination", and all of it coming from just two people. Should God allow his kingdom to be contaminated? I don't think so. He has given us the cure. If we don't want to take that cure then we will not be allowed to enter the kingdom and wreek eternal havoc.

You seem the thing is, I know what you mean here. Although I get this feeling from so much literature. I get this feeling from Marx, Darwin, Lucretius, Spinoza and many others. It just hits my right there (the chest area) and I feel like something awesome has washed over me. I suppose my point is, do you get that feeling from any other writings? Or is it only the bible that really moves you?


Books affect me in different ways, but I'm not talking about the feeling you get or the intellectual stimulation that results from reading something that makes sense to you. The Bible is the only book that I have ever read where I can sit and read and know that I am not alone. Many people have scoffed at me for saying this, and told me that I am just imagining it, but God has validated things he has told me personally time and again, so as far as I am concerned, the difference between the Bible and all other kinds of literature is crystal clear.

I understand that all powerful, or omnipotent means "all powerful as long as it is not contradictory or evil", however, my point about suicide can be taken a step further. Suicide is not a logical contradiction unless of course it contradicts another of gods properties, that being immortality. Well, that means I am all powerful, I can do anything.....that doesn't of course contradict any of my other properties.

So, how do we decide which of god's properties rank highest? Is there a top trumps card for god that show his attributes and their strength?


OK, lol, now I get you.

Well there's no ranking list that I know of, but I doubt God is constantly struggling with conflicting attributes. All the Bible teaches us is that God is consistent in how he deals with us. If we constantly turn our backs on him and reject him then we will eventually reap a harvest of punishment. If at any time we repent and decide to follow him, no matter when or where, he will forgive us.

Also, I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer and I appreciate your sincerity.


No probs. Posted Image

I have enjoyed our conversation and I think you have been very polite and respectful. I wish there were more debates and discussions like this.




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