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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Religion
By Henfour (Henfour) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 12:32 am: Edit

In the following paragraphs, I will outline why I am an athiest.

First, if god created the earth, who created god?
Second, if Adam and Eve were the first two people, their children would have to procreate with each other.
Third, if god was an all powerful being, why couldn't he make the world in 5 days instead of 6, and why did he have to rest on day 7?
Fourth, why did god wait 4-12 billion years to have his one and only son Jesus?
Fifth, light is caused by electrons moving from a higher orbital (energy level) to a lower orbital. Light also comes from massive explosions such as fusion on the Sun of four Hydrogen atoms into a Helium atom, giving off energy with the equation E=MC squared. How did god say "let there be light" "and there was light and it was good"?
Sixth, I am alive, god isn't.
Seventh, how did god explain dinosaur fossils?
Eighth, why can't the Hubble Telescope find any evidence of god, even though it can find stars 168,000 light years away? A light year is about 5,865,696,000,000 miles, so the distance the Hubble sees is about 985,436,928,000,000,000 miles away.
Ninth, why did god have only one son Jesus?
Tenth, if god created the universe, why did he need someone ELSE to write a book (The Bible) for him?
Eleventh, if god wrote the bible, why did god write in third person?
Twelfth, why didn't god mention black holes, even though they are proven to exist? A black hole is a massive body which has so much gravity that light cannot escape it. There is one at the center of our galaxy.
Thirteenth, why didn't god create atoms, which are the building blocks of everything?
Fourteenth, how did god speak in the vacuum of space? Sound requires a medium, such as air, to travel.

By Ndcountrygirl (Ndcountrygirl) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 12:53 am: Edit

I am religious, but not extreme in any way. People can believe what they want. I'm not offended, but I will try to respond for my laugh of the day.

1. God is a higher spiritual being that has always been there.

2. Hey, it happens. Quite common in mythology actually.

3. You're really a cynicist. He chose seven days because he wanted yo. Actually, we don't think of it as seven actual days anymore, it was probably something like seven million years. Resting was symbolic, so that in modern times we still believe to rest on Sunday (or saturday) and not work all the time.

4. He felt the time was ready to send out his son because the Jewish world was in conlifct and needed a leader.

5. He moved a cloud. Exploded a star. Moved electrons. Soething. Its called FAITH.

6. God isnt an old man sitting up in space. Its (god isn't necessarily a he or she)a sprit, so of course its not alive.

7. Who said there couldn't be dinosaurs? They existed during the time of the Garden of Eden.

8. YOU CANT SEE GOD BY LOOKING OUT A TELESCOPE IN SPACE. Do you expect to see him perched on a nearby star? see #6

9. He believes in the one child per family rule.....why would he have more children? Jesus served his purpose. Jesus was actually part of god, but we won't get into that. God didn't want to take over the world with little subbeings of him.

10. The Bible is a historical record written by men of god. Do you really expect god to write a book and toss it down to earth?

11. God did not write the Bible. People like Paul did.

12. We know what black holes are dumbass. Is everything in the world mentioned in the Bible? No. Do we worry about it? No. Hamsters aren't mentioned. Paintings aren't mentioned. Ice caps aren't mentioned.

13. He created everything, so that includes atoms.

14. God doesn't speak in the conventional way BECAUSE HE IS NOT HUMAN. Get that figured out. He speaks to your mind. God is your conscience, in your head whether you want him there or not.

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 01:11 am: Edit

I'm an agnostic myself, but asking Henfour's questions will get a religious debate nowhere. As Kierkegaard the Christian existentialist said, religion is inherently absurd (like all of life) and thus requires a "leap of faith" over reason. And that leap of faith, being an unreasonable judgement in an absurd world, is any as legitimate as what we consider "reason".

By Somecanadianguy (Somecanadianguy) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 01:12 am: Edit

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
-Albert Einstein
its a pretty good quote and it really sums up the way I think, you can't go around and take every religious stroy literarily, most of the stories told be Jesus were parable, meant to be easy to understand lessons. However, going through life without some belief in a greater being or religion can't work because some things just dont follow the laws of science that we try to set up.
Your first point can be brought to many scientific topics, if asked in a different manner- time is a scientific 'fact' but consider what comes before time, or space how is it infinite? if not what's after that? Nothing, what's nothing? anyway don't you need something to make all this make sense

too much thinking for a friday so thats my 2cents

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 03:49 am: Edit

I am NOT religious, and even think that history has shown religion to be a force for evil, but some of your questions have some problems.

For milennia, the Bible said that the universe had a definite beginning. You may be too young to know this (and it's not taught), but up until the mid-twentieth century, the general consensus of cosmologists was that we lived in a steady-state universe. But George Gamow coined the phrase "Big-Bang" and described what is now an accepted theory: that the universe was expanding and if you traced backwards along that expansion, there was a definite beginning: the big bang. Background radiation in the universe (corresponding to approx. 2 degrees Kelvin) proves this theory, and the Bell Labs scientists who discovered that won the nobel prize. There was a definite time, T=0, at which the universe was "created," that is to say, began to expand. The expansion is time.

You mention black holes. A black hole is a localization in which the fabric of the universe is NOT expanding, but instead contracting. Within the radius of the black hole, time itself is running backwards, back to T=0. With the contraction to a single point ("singularity"), you might say that the universe (within the black hole) is dying. But WHEN is the end of that part of the universe? At time 0, exactly the time the universe was created (T-0). So where did energy to create the universe come from? Perhaps from its own destruction. Very interesting, but hard to understand. Anyway, the point is that "time" is a property of a created universe, so to ask what happened before the universe was created does not even make sense as a question.

One thing that has always intrigued me about this creation is that it is so improbable. If the energy of the big bang had been just many to list)...001 percent less, then gravity would not have allowed the universe to keep expanding. If it had been the same infinitesimal percent more, the universe would have exploded in a blaze of glory. Interesting.

The Bible also describes the sequence in which this earth and its inhabitants were created (rocks, water, foliage, animals, people) and the fossil records show that sequence to be correct. Another interesting observation.

Also, when the Bible talks about God creating Adam and Eve, the Hebrew can be translated as God breathing "soul" into humans (although the English versions say that god breathed "life"). If we think of "soul" as something as simple as being able to care for others beyond what a person's natural needs (food, water, sex, etc) are, there is no doubt that this concept had to have appeared somewhere in the development of humans. Who did the offspring of Adam and Eve marry? The humans who had not yet developed "soul." Even today I think there are too many "souless" people who care only for themselves and can destroy human lives without a bit of remorse. This is the definition of "evil."

The Bible is not a book of scientific fact, and it is not a history book, per se. The old testament consists of the oral stories of the Jews and the history of their interpretation of their relationship with thier deity (real or perceived is up to the reader). The New Testament is a collection of writings: first a set of stories about Jesus (the resurrection parts seem to have been added later), and many letters that people such as Paul wrote to church leaders. So, no, the Bible was not written by God, but by people.

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 03:57 am: Edit

Sorry, I also can't pass up the Hubble telescope question either. Hubble's farthest deep-field looks have given us glimples into the past. Aa we look farther and farther into space, we're really looking back in time (because the light that is now reaching the Hubble from a star 168,000 light years away took, by definition, 168,000 years to reach the telescope. What we are seeing as we probe deeper and deeper are galaxies and other oddities that appeared very close to the creation of the universe. While the Hubble does not see God, it is approaching seeing the creation of the universe.

And remember who the telescope was named after; his "Hubble's Constant" defines the rate of expansion of the universe itself.

By Itziar (Itziar) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 07:27 am: Edit

I think the most important thing to remember is that people whose religions follow either the Old Testament, New Testament, or both (i.e. Jews, Christians, Muslims) don't necessarily interpret the texts literally. Some do, but many don't.

By Kitkattail (Kitkattail) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 09:22 am: Edit

Congratulations, Henfour, for noticing that the Bible isn't literally consistent with modern scientific knowledge! Whoa! Thanks for pointing that one out! Just give us all a moment to adjust our worldviews accordingly.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 10:51 am: Edit

1. I guess the whole "point" is that God is, and God existed before time.
2. Adam and Eve is a story.
3. There are two creation stories in Genesis, btw, so it's hard to believe anyone who tells you that either one is literally true. But the story of God resting on the seventh day is often understood as an indication to us humans that God values not only activity and productivity, but also rest -- something very relevant to what we're talking about on these boards!
4. I believe that the life of Jesus gives us a picture of the love of God. However, I also believe that we are all children of God. Not sure why a person would describe him or herself as an atheist simply because of not believing that Jesus is God's only son. One can believe in God and not be a Christian, obviously.
5. It's a story. In the story, when God says, "it was good," again, this is an important statement of how God feels about God's creation. More hopeful than a God who believes we are all a bunch of jerks, no?
6. How do you know God isn't alive? People all over the world have described having mystical experiences. If you mean that God isn't an old guy with a white beard sitting on a cloud, I'd agree with you there. Nor do I see God as some sort of divine traffic cop. Unfortunately, the way we talk about God in this country often reduces God to a cartoonish figure that would be hard or even repugnant for any intelligent person to believe in.
7. I don't deny the existence or dating of dinosaurs. Love to see those fossils at the natural history museum -- they're a miracle! See 2, 3, and 5 above.
8. Maybe we don't need a telescope to find evidence of God. For some of us, God lives in the deepest self. This morning I was reading about a young soldier who made a CD of the Iraqi prisoner abuse pictures and turned them into the authorities because he didn't want any more prisoners to be abused. To me that's living holiness. Your questions seem to be about the transcendence of God. There is also the immanence of God.
9. See 4.
10. God didn't literally write the Bible. The Bible is a collection of folk tales, stories, history, poems, and songs assembled over many years by many different people. Its many books show us some examples of how human beings have thought about God and God's interaction with our lives.
11. See 10. Actually, there are parts of the Bible written in the first person. See the Psalms. But it's not God talking, it's the Psalmist.
12. I'm not sure when God would have "mentioned" black holes. For me the Bible is not a scientific document but one that contains a great deal of wisdom, along with lots of historical error, about what it means to be a human being in a world that is social, material, and spiritual.
13. What do you mean, God didn't create atoms? You mean in the creation stories in Genesis? See 3 above.
14. It's a story, a very poetic story and one that presents an image of a God who loves all creation, but nonetheless a story. For me it's a story with more resonance than a creation myth that has us all sitting on top of a stack of giant turtles, but that's me.

By Nmoreno1 (Nmoreno1) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 11:46 am: Edit

Somecanadian guy, I've read that article before, by Einstein. I think it's called Science and Religion...I wish I could remember. But good article, though.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 12:06 pm: Edit

People need to stop trying to understand Christianity with such a cynical and scientific outlook. People of this type should think of the Bible as a great book in which nothing should be taken literally. The Bible is a guide to living well, not a guide to understanding neurophysiology and astrophysics. One can very well live by the Bible's teachings but not be a religious fundementalist. Give it a try -- you'll see it improves your life 1,000 fold.

By Sheeprun (Sheeprun) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 12:12 pm: Edit

"Let us rejoice" that this thread has progressed this far with everyone remaining civil. My inclination is to close it while we are ahead, but I will let it go on until someone makes the mistake of suggesting that he has the one and only true answer for everyone else.


By Hakujin (Hakujin) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 01:25 pm: Edit

So many times I've pondered the existence of God and how one could go about proving it. Lately I've thought about it a lot because I'm living in another country where life and philosophy are completely different. One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the simple beauty of this world. If someone were to try and convince me that WE (people) were the result of some great cosmic "accident", I would never be able to believe that because it's depressing and doesn't fit with the patterns of our world. All modern advancements have designers. So, seeing how the world with its ecosystems and civiizations operate like clockwork, it wouldn't surprise me if the Earth had a creator.

By Fireflyscout (Fireflyscout) on Saturday, May 22, 2004 - 11:30 pm: Edit

What would have happened if Eve hadn't passed on the apple to Adam?

By Allena (Allena) on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 04:17 am: Edit

Not to go off topic, but Digmedia let me see if I understand this. As I understand it, Black Holes will eventually destroy the universe. This is going to occure over time as the gravity of them pull closer to each other and they begin to merge. As some of you may know the Milky Way is currently on a collision course with another glaxey. In a few hundered million years (actually I think a few billion) there is going to be a nasty impact. Anyways, if a Black Hole is counting down to T=0, and the universe is slowly being devoured by bigger black holes as they slowly merge, in theory would it be possible that there have been multipal big bangs over time?

I know, thanks to the discover science channel, that Black Holes collide with each other and appearently will all have meet up in several billion years. Assuming that once these black holes meet that they end up counting back to the creation of the universe. When the clock hits T=0 does the "big bang" repeate itself. In which case the universe is a continuing cycle of massive expansion, follwed by the destruction by black holes, and eventually massive expansion again?

Alright, it's 1am and I'm sure I've confused you all, just a random idea that ran through my head.

By Gottagetout (Gottagetout) on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 01:55 pm: Edit

Allena: that is a proposed theory and has quite a bit of merit (although not particularly for the reasons you state).

About black holes: Inside black holes, time most probably does not reverse. Time probably stops altogether. But, again, we do not know. This is because the nature of black holes. A black hole is a singularity in space-time (according to Einstein) where our laws of physics break down. This is similar to the singularity in space-time that must have occurred at the beginning of the universe -- also where our laws of physics break down.

By Stonedpanda (Stonedpanda) on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 02:30 pm: Edit

"First, if god created the earth, who created god? "

G-d created the concept of creation. He is the ultimate creator. (For the duration of this post, I'll use He in referring to G-d, even though I should really use "It")

"Second, if Adam and Eve were the first two people, their children would have to procreate with each other."

No. There were other people at the Genesis. However, they were not important, so the Bible does not mention them. How else would Cain and Able have been able to procreate? One of them was even murdered!

"Third, if god was an all powerful being, why couldn't he make the world in 5 days instead of 6, and why did he have to rest on day 7? "

Your statement lacks logic. How do you know that 5 days is harder than six? Maybe six is a supreme number? Even disreguarding what I just said, if you read your statement the "if-then" statement doesn't hold.

"Fourth, why did god wait 4-12 billion years to have his one and only son Jesus? "

I am Jewish. And, alas for my Christian brethren, Jesus was not G-d's son. I'm going to start a huge ass f&cking war by saying this, however, if any one wishes to IM me about why this is so, we can have a NICE and CIVIL chat.

"Fifth, light is caused by electrons moving from a higher orbital (energy level) to a lower orbital. Light also comes from massive explosions such as fusion on the Sun of four Hydrogen atoms into a Helium atom, giving off energy with the equation E=MC squared. How did god say "let there be light" "and there was light and it was good"? "

WHAT? Dude, part a of your if-then statement has NO correlation between part B. You just said yourself in that statement two of the *many* ways light can be produced. From where do you claim your divinity (ahar-har!) that those are the *only* two ways. You seem to be forgetting that the concept of a G-d is ALL POWERFUL.

"Seventh, how did god explain dinosaur fossils? "

How do we explain dinosaur fossils is the better question. Here, go to and search for dinosaur. There's a question there with some great answers. Also, go to this site if you have ANY questions about fossils or anything else scientific:

Also google up "Setterfield."

"Eleventh, if god wrote the bible, why did god write in third person? "

What are you talking about? Gd says ALL THE TIME, "because I am the Lrd your Gd who took you out of Egypt" etc...

"Twelfth, why didn't god mention black holes, even though they are proven to exist? A black hole is a massive body which has so much gravity that light cannot escape it. There is one at the center of our galaxy. "

Yout last sentence has not been proven true. But that is irelevant!!! your argument is like saying, "A biography about Richard Nixon is invalid because it doesn't mention his favorite breakfast food!"

"Thirteenth, why didn't god create atoms, which are the building blocks of everything?
Fourteenth, how did god speak in the vacuum of space? Sound requires a medium, such as air, to travel."

Umm, Gd DID create atoms? And, RE: your next point. MAYBE GD SPOKE THROUGH MINDS. Where do you find that Gd spoke in space?

Your problem, bro, is that you attack physical aspects to an entity that transcends physicality.

By Bumblebee83 (Bumblebee83) on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 02:41 pm: Edit

Actually it has been proven that there's a black hole in the center of our galaxy. It was proven by Andrea Ghez (spl?), who is a professor at UCLA. I know her and my bf worked with her on that project. Its a fact, proven by physics.

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Sunday, May 23, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit

A semantic note, more or less...

"Its a fact, proven by physics. "

Any physics professor would take great issue with that statement. Physics, let alone cosmology, doesn't pretend to prove things. Outside of a few laws (Thermodynamics, Newtonian), most concepts are theories supported by a massive amount of experimental data. Note that this is "theory" in the scientific sense, not in the colloquial.

Most physicists now agree that there is a black hole at the center of our universe. I'm not disputing that. But if we're going to be scientific here, we might as well be... "correctly" scientific and not throw terms like "proven" around at will. The mere existence of black holes hasn't even been "proven" by science.

By Bern700 (Bern700) on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 04:29 am: Edit

"Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God."
Heywood Broun

By Emeraldkity4 (Emeraldkity4) on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 05:59 am: Edit

"Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God."
Heywood Broun

That quote reminds me of how obsessed with ( logistics of homosexual sex) sex , the folks who attended the "mayday for marriage" rally at Safeco stadium were.
They were awfully conversant with the lingo and the "toys" for people who were repelled by the thought of gays marrying.

By Chimmortal (Chimmortal) on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 10:33 pm: Edit

"Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is no God."

There's a quote for everything. Here, let me give you an example:
"Nobody talks so constantly about God as those who insist that there is a God."

WOW, posting quotes really advances your argument!

I'm going to address one more point. It's universal that in monotheistic religions, the god is both omniscient and omnipotent. This includes Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc.

However, this is IMPOSSIBLE. If God is omnipotent, that means he can change or do anything. If God is omniscient, that means he knows everything that was, is, and ever will be. If he has the ability to change things, then he CAN'T know everything, because things could change. Just by the simple fact that a being couldn't be both omniscient and omnipotent, you can pretty much rule out monotheism.

There's one more thing about the idea of an omnipotent god that bothers me. Why would god not want to end all the suffering in this world? There are two possible answers:
1. God doesn't exist
2. God is an •••••••
Either way, it kind of invalidates religion.

By Gottagetout (Gottagetout) on Monday, May 24, 2004 - 11:13 pm: Edit


I will not enter into the religion fray, but I do find several major flaws with your argument.

1. Quotes don't advance your argument.
Quotes _do_ advance one's argument insofar as the quote makes one think about a situation or circumstance in a certain way and either choose to accept or choose to refuse the verity of the statement. Quotes are a thinking point and are quite effective at making people think which is central to debate.

2. It is impossible for a being to be omnipotent and omniscient.
Supposing that such a being is possible, there is no inherent contradiction in its existence. You claim that, by being able to change things, a "supreme being" cannot also know everything. Could not the being know of both futures/all futures and thus decide between them? Similarly, what if this "supreme being" is omnipotent and omniscent but does not interact "in real time" because it is both? What I mean to say is, how do you know that the power that god would assert or the changes that god would make are not already written into the omniscience of it? Another hole is the idea of free will. Suppose that we as humans have free will, how then can we draw the conclusion that this "supreme being" does not know all possible futures and cannot pick among them via divine intervention? Suppose we don't have free will, this in essence negates the idea of omnipotence as god has already "written" in all the changes he/she/it will make.

3. Either way, it kind of invalidates religion.
Perhaps by "religion" you mean monotheistic benevolent god religions? Also to note is that, although you take omnipotence to mean "can change or do anything", many people believe this to be rather "all powerful creator" or "having unlimited power" but see god as a aloof deity that does not exercise this power actively for whatever reason.

By Bern700 (Bern700) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 12:18 am: Edit

by using a quote I was only trying to make people see how funny it is that atheists constantly have to talk about there not being a God in order to make themselves good about what they believe (or don't believe in).

If you're religious and have faith you don't have to go around validating yourself about your faith - you just have it (well truly religiously people are like this anyway, there are still some that are trying to find themselves). However, I've noticed that atheists constantly have to validate themselves by trying to prove to others that there is not God.

If you are a true atheist then it won't matter to you what others think, same if you are a truly religious person. It's something personal that doesn't need to be flaunted.

If you're an atheist good for you but just stop trying to use people in order to validate your belief.

One last thing, has anyone heard of Pascal's Wager? Just to throw this out there for atheists to chew on. Blaise Pascal offers a pragmatic reason for believing in God: even under the assumption that Godís existence is unlikely, the potential benefits of believing are so vast as to make betting on theism rational. Pascal's Wager basically says that you are risking more by not believing in God because in the event that there is one you're kinda screwed while you really don't risk anything in believing. If you believe and there is no God you didn't lose anything.

By Musefinity (Musefinity) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 12:48 am: Edit

Bern, I agree with you whole-heartedly that what you believe should be a personal, inter-driven decision that you should have no need of flaunting. But...some of the other stuff you said offends me:

1) Please don't generalize atheists like that, as I'm sure you wouldn't like to be generalized yourself. It's very rude. Many people that are atheists/agnostics you wouldn't know, because they keep it to themselves. You're probably therefor only coming in contact with the loud-mothed, unstable atheists that, yes I admit, push their beliefs on others. I'm agnostic and I'm always very surprised to meet others who are, too. There have been MANY Christians throughout my life that have called me a devil worshipper in front of the class, told me I'm going to burn in hell in front of the class, and one who lied about taking me to a play and ended up taking me to a church event where the whole church tries to convert you by telling you stories of how you're going to hell. (Oh, and at this 2nd grade birthday party sleepover the birthday girl's mom cut up my doll because we're not Christian.) Anyway, I don't go around saying: "Yep, I've decided it's only the Christians that are ••••••••." No, it was just a handful of people that happened to be Christian. I NEVER force my beliefs on others, so please don't try and apply that quote to me. That's the very kind of attitude that encourages those atheist characters to ramble on.

2) Religion shouldn't be a gamble. This is a reason why I don't like organized realigion: a lot of people abuse it like it's a gamble. I personally don't believe and there's not much that could get me to believe. So pretending to believe wouldn't "save" me in the end if it turned out that God exists, because I'd only be pretending to believe, I'd only have a hollow faith. So yes, by believing in God you can lose something. Two things, actually: I'm sure God wouldn't let you into His Kingdom if you only "believed" for external benefits, and furthermore you'd wouldn't be being true to yourself. And that, children, is the biggest loss of all.

Just kidding, but seriously.

By Bern700 (Bern700) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 01:28 am: Edit

I'm sorry I didn't mean to offend you or generalize. I meant to say that some atheists are like this but not all. It's the same with religious people; some flaunt it as if they were hollier than all while others don't.

I agree with your argument about it not being a gamble. I was just throwing something out there to see how people responded.

I commend you for your beliefs and attitutde. I actually know many agnostics and I respect your views. Sorry again if I offended you.

By Digmedia (Digmedia) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 04:41 pm: Edit

Alright, you guys want PROOF of divine intervention and miracles? I've got it!!

You probably won't believe this story, but I can swear that it is absolutely true. Kind of a gross story, but here goes...

I was hiking with my wife and a group of kids in a very (very) narrow canyon with steep walls when suddenly diarrhea struck with a vengeance. I immediately turned to hike back to the car. While there were woods on top of the canyon, the walls were too steep to climb and the cliffs were much too high. I knew the canyon well and realized there was no escape until you got back to the canyon entrance near where the car was parked. The car was a loooong way away...

I was only half-way back when the pains got to be unbearable and I knew there was no way I could make it. I stopped to lean over to try to ease the pain and see if I could continue. When I leaned over, there - at my feet - in the middle of nowhere - RIGHT at my feet - unseen by us on our way into the canyon - unseen by me as I approached it - and RIGHT in the middle of the trail - was a brand new roll of toilet tissue - still in the wrapper - just as if it were put there at my feet in my hour of need.

But there was nowhere to go to use it. As I picked up the TP, I looked to the left and saw an easy path up the canyon wall to the woods above. I had never seen it before!!!

So there!!! Top that one!!!

Wait, come to think of it, I think I did say to myself, "I'd sell my soul for some TP and some woods right now."


By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 04:55 pm: Edit

well it's no burning bush... but ok

By Mrbesch (Mrbesch) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 07:36 pm: Edit

Dig, that's pretty sweet. I guess the Big Guy understood your needs, and it proves my theory that God must be a pretty funny guy :)

To be perfectly honest, I'm waiting for something to convince me totally.

By Milemarker7 (Milemarker7) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

Alright, here's a question.

If God is omnipotent and creates another being that surpasses his own power, then who is more powerful? The original omnipotent God or the new omnipotent being?

Ponder ponder ponder

By Unluckycharms (Unluckycharms) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 07:59 pm: Edit

I think that religious people who believe in God because they require structure in their lives much funnier than atheists who must constantly validate to themselves that there is no God. Either way is human nature; the religious people need some form of unwavering backbone for their lives, and the atheists need to keep convincing themselves that the society around them is wrong.

By Musefinity (Musefinity) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 08:11 pm: Edit

Bern: Thanks. Sorry, I wasn't really that offended, I just wanted to make sure you understood we're not all like that.

Digmedia: So you mean to say God's more concerned about giving a middle-class kid paper to wipe his ass with than to put food in the mouths of starving children or stop 7-year-olds from being raped by their fathers? What a prince! (I kid.)

Milemarker: Damnit, my head hurts now. Argh! Stop asking questions, good sir.

By Gameguy56 (Gameguy56) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 10:18 pm: Edit

I find myself a religious person, but the point of religion isn't that the bible be taken literally as a scientific textbook, my stance is that the Bible is a book that tries to put history in the way that primitave man could understand it.

For example, in my mind the bible does not contradict evolution

That is a good example of how you can reconcile the 2 competing theories which, from my perpective, simply reinforce eachother

Also, the Fall of man is really the story of how man became a sentient being. He ate from the tree of KNOWLEDGE and learned right and wrong and because of that man was banished from the paradise of being a simple animal in the garden of eden.

Milemarker:That is a fallacy of logic, the Meaningless Question. This is pointless to ask, because if god was truly omnipotent, then no being could surpass his power, or if he could create a being more powerfull than he, he is not truly omnipotent. It's like asking if a ball is both all black and all white what color is it? The point being a ball can't be both all black and all white.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Tuesday, May 25, 2004 - 10:24 pm: Edit

Well, since God is infinitely powerful, how could he possible create another being more poweful than he. If he did, they'd both be infinitely powerful and identical in all respects, since being all powerful kinda means you're perfect, too. Thus, they'd really be the same entity just duplicated. But this of course raises the question, "Are clones people too?"

I really couldn't tell you.

By Conker (Conker) on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 - 07:27 am: Edit

There's no point in arguing over logical paradoxes. An all-powerful being can only do what is possible within logical constraints. So it's pointless to wonder if God can create an object so heavy that He cannot lift it. Atheists and agnostics have far stronger arguments against religion, and even more against Christianity specifically.

I do not subscribe to any religion. I believe that a supreme deity is personal. If there is one, then He will reveal himself to you on his own time. In the meanwhile, there is absolutely no reason to believe in Christianity whatsoever. As science proves false more and more myths propogated by the Bible, it seems pointless trying to continue to reconcile the Bible with science. It seems like the interpretation of this document is becoming more and more liberal. Some laws are to be obeyed, while others aren't. If this is truly the Lord's book, we should not be judging which of his laws are "good" and which ones are "bad". Nor should we judge which are metaphors and which are literal depictions. It no longer seems that science is changing within the confines of belief, but rather that belief is changing to conform to science. While I appreciate the efforts that many Christians are making to reconcile their religion with evolution, I honestly do not understand the necessity of religion.

One thought that I have never had explained to me that I would like to understand. :) Many Christians believe in salvation by faith, which means that believing in Jesus Christ as the son of YHWH is necessary for salvation (whether good works be necessary or not). If this is so, what happens to those who have never heard of Jesus Christ? They could be isolated communities existing today, or even communities that existed before Jesus was alive. Do these "infidels" go to Heaven or Hell? If they go to Hell, how can it be that God punishes people for something that wasn't their fault? Or if they go to Heaven, is it then not a curse to hear the Lord's name?

By Eyesclozedtight (Eyesclozedtight) on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 - 05:17 pm: Edit

homer simpson once asked ned flanders if jesus could microwave a burrito so hot that even he himself couldn't eat it... i too have wondered the same.

i agree with conker.

do rapists, murderers, and crooked politicians get to go to heaven just for believing in jesus?

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Wednesday, May 26, 2004 - 09:33 pm: Edit

Well, Conker, it seems to me that those Christians who limit their faith and salvation just to themselves possess a deluded sense of reality, one that was propagated by countless generations of dogma, etc., ideas lacking any serious contemplation but demand it.

The reason I hate (most) organized religion most is due to this aspect of it. It deprives people of their one natural right--if any actually exist--and that's the right to think for themselves. They merely believe what they believe because that's the way they are told to beleive.

However, I feel religion is perfectly reconciliable with evolution and science. In fact, I'm almost certain a perfect balance between the two can exist... harmoniously. I feel that religion should serve the purpose of unifying people for a common good, etc. When it doesn't do that, and, like today, when most religions merely act as divisive forces, religions the world would probably be better off without it. But I happen to possess this strange belief that the world is capable of improvement, of moving past trivial barriers to recognize that, in toto, all countries add up to one "world" country, and we all desire peace and progress.

Idealistic? Most certainly.

By Muslimah_Angel (Muslimah_Angel) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 05:26 pm: Edit

why does everyone only refer to the bible when debating the existence of god???? there are other, less anti-scientific texts of religion/monotheism..

By Musefinity (Musefinity) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 06:44 pm: Edit

Eyesclozedtight, I've wondered about the rapist/murderer/politician thing myself. What really gets me is that the Bible Belt zealots I used to go to school with would have these automatic-go-to-Hell sins and sins that you could just kick back, relax, throw a "hail Mary" and still get into Heaven after comitting. Like when talking about gays and Hindus and whatnot, they'd whole-heartedly insist they were going to burn in Hell for their unforgivable sins, and yet these were the same people that had "fornicated" like 1,982 times--apparently that's okay in the eyes of God--and came to forgive totally corrupt people as long as they let Jesus into their life. (The type of girls who would blame rape victims for doing something that prompted a guy to rape them.) It's crazy! How can homosexuality be a completely black sin that you can't make up for, and yet you can rape a seven-year-old, pray to Jesus, and reearn your rights back to Heaven! I would never worship a God that was that much of an ass.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying God is an ass, just that the Bible Belt is funny...

By Flipflops (Flipflops) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 08:36 pm: Edit

Let me just throw this out there,
Even if you don't believe in God, do you every wonder about what happens after death? Scary huh?

Hey Musefinity,
Ah, yeah there are all kinds of Believers out there. I just want to say, just being imperfect means that we could never go to heaven. (Makes sense, doesn't it?) The moment you are born, your imperfect. Right? You never REEARN rights back to heaven, we could never get there in the first place!

So, if there isn't a God, hence no judgment of your sins, then the ends justifies the means, right? Then morals have no place in our world. There is no real truth keeping us from floating off with no fence to show us where we are. (whether on the right side or not) Nothing stops us from insanity. If someone accepted Christ as their Savior, they can know where they are, they have a fence telling them what they are doing. (Is that wrong, or right?) You'd have to be retarted if you were a Christian and wanted to be bad. Who would live with all that guilt when they had a chance to live without it?

Oh, yeah, and I'm not Catholic, so I dont think anything we or any other person could say or do could clear our past.

By Morgantruce (Morgantruce) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 09:51 pm: Edit

When I was a young child, we had a book in our house called "The Golden Books Illustrated Bible" --or something like that. It was for children, had very nicely illustrated Old Testament stories, and a most interesting cover that included a picture of G_d (which seems much stranger now then it did then.) Of course, He looked very old, had a great white beard and flowing robes.

That must have made an impression on me... throughout this life I've studied many religions, but whenever I think of G_d, that picture is what I conjure up!

By Conker (Conker) on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit

Flipflops, I agree that eternal damnation is a scary thought. We should try to be good people, in case there is a God who will judge us. But then you jump to conclusions. Somehow, you know that Jesus Christ is necessarily THE Savior. The Christian's burden of proof must deal with not only the question "Is religion necessary?", but also "Is Christianity the true religion?" No satisfactory answer has been provided thus far.

Again I pose the question...why is it necessary to accept Jesus Christ as the Savior? Is it fair to those who have not heard of Him? Why can't salvation be based on good works?

By Judeezy36 (Judeezy36) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit

Blind faith is a beautiful thing in that if i'm the sucker for believing in God.. believing in Jesus Christ.. then so be it.. if when I die it was all hype.. what have I really missed out on??? On the other hand.. if it wasn't all hype, and all the stories, all the theories, all the teachings were true.. and i didn't believe... what will i have missed out on?? a lot- just my 2... not the reason i believe, but probably the simplest reason why one might try-

By Henfour (Henfour) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 12:02 am: Edit

By believing in one religion, you have an infinately small chance of being right, because there is an infinate number of religions.
This can be expressed mathematically by: (1 divided by infinity) = 0. Therefore "blind faith" provides no advantage whatsoever.

By Priglet (Priglet) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 08:21 pm: Edit

"...All those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptised." Catechism of the Catholic Church #1281

This is a very interesting discussion. I respect everyone here for being so civil. This (very inadequate) post is an attempt at a response to Conker's last point. C.S. Lewis said that God tells us no story but our is important to worry about issues like the salvation of those who have never heard of God, because that tells us about God's own just character, but it is also terribly important to look inside at yourself.

Pascal's wager was really a psychological thing--he realized that the habits of belief aid in belief--that is one reason why religious people think practicing their religion is so important. He also realized that praying to God for faith, even if you're not sure He's listening, is not a pointless action.

Musefinity--I know I'm just some random girl on the Internet, but I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your bad experiences. Those things were very hurtful, and it was mean of that woman to cut up your doll.

Finally, a really good book for any agnostic (or anyone, period) who looks at the whole religion thing with interest but skepticism is C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity. The title sounds bible-belty, but the book is really interesting, witty, logical, and useful (one of his analogies actually helped me understand four-dimensional space). I can't wait to read some more of these posts.

By Kmehrabi (Kmehrabi) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 02:35 am: Edit

its so funny that this would be such a popular topic here. every high school / college aged student thinks theyve got the whole "religion concept" wrapped around their finger. everyone has their own two cents, everyone thinks theyve figured it all out. you know how many times on a college campus you hear some know-it-all utter the condescending phrase "...and thats really all religion is" OMG its sooooo annoying, face it youre young, you dont know everything, and at this age youre more inclined to try to find DEFIANT reasoning against religion, that way you feel just and in the clear to continue the "sinning" that most people our age like to do.

By Salamanda (Salamanda) on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 - 02:17 pm: Edit

THANK YOU Kmehrabi!!!!!!!!!!

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 06:00 pm: Edit

its so funny that this would be such a popular topic here. every high school / college aged student thinks theyve got the whole "religion concept" wrapped around their finger. everyone has their own two cents, everyone thinks theyve figured it all out. you know how many times on a college campus you hear some know-it-all utter the condescending phrase "...and thats really all religion is" OMG its sooooo annoying, face it youre young, you dont know everything, and at this age youre more inclined to try to find DEFIANT reasoning against religion, that way you feel just and in the clear to continue the "sinning" that most people our age like to do.

I really hate it when people like you come along and ruin an argument. There's always someone like you on every message board.

How about attacking the posters arguments rather than their age? It's a logical fallacy to attack a person but not their argument, you know.

By Gidget (Gidget) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:51 am: Edit

I think this debate has merit but at the same time it may cause problems, such as people attacking others beliefs. I personally belive that faith is a good thing and every religion has common factors, they believe in a higher power (with the exception of atheists). Perhaps all the faith and prayer in different languages are all going to the same being. God, Allah, the Creator, They could be all the same entity but we just call them different names.
Either way , attacking others beliefs or how they choose to voice those beliefs is un neccesary and will not prove you believe more than they do.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:12 pm: Edit

"at this age youre more inclined to try to find DEFIANT reasoning against religion, that way you feel just and in the clear to continue the "sinning" that most people our age like to do."

You may find the smug certainty with which some of the people on this forum present themselves. I agree. But I find that the Christians in this debate are not being any less smug nor arrogant than the secularists. Your post being the prime example.

By Neo (Neo) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:19 pm: Edit

Conker --

It seems rather ironic that you implied K-man was a Christian, even though he didn't indicate a specific religious preference in his post.

And seeing as you used his post as "the prime example" of Christian arrogance/smugness in this thread, it seems that *your* post is the smug one.

For all you know, he could just have easily been a Muslim, or a Jew. But perhaps your beef was against Christians in particular.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 03:14 pm: Edit

Neo, you're right. It was unfair to target Christianity in particular. Just a slip of the tongue. The posts arguing for deism in this thread have been exclusively Christian--which is understandable because the original poster argued against Christianity. I meant to point out that the Christians (which have represented the Deist case in this thread) were being every bit as smug as the atheists/agnostics were (which was Kmehrabi's original beef). On a separate note, I also wanted to note that Kmehrabi's post was guilty of the same smugness of which he was accusing the secularists.

I don't see how my post was smug anyhow. Making assumptions is never a good thing, but because my assumption was based around the context of this thread (which, as aforementioned, has been predominantly Christian) it's an easy slip to make. I try to be as fair to all religions as I can, but you should understand that this is a complex issue. It would be better discussed without someone pointing out every lapse in political correctness--which, your next task should be to examine the title of this thread.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit

Making assumptions is never a good thing

Oh, of course not. The next time someone has a gun aimed at my head, I may as well not assume it's real just because I didn't have a chance to inspect the gun an make sure it's DEFINATELY real and DEFINATELY loaded.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 05:51 pm: Edit

I meant in a debate. Oh, and before you start again, I didn't mean "never" as in never never. Of course, you have to assume that the reader speaks English and knows what Christianity is. (I get the feeling from Goodchocolate's post that he thinks he's pretty clever for spotting my error.)

Not to mention that that wasn't even a part of my argument. Look, are you here to pick apart my mode of expression, or to examine my reasoning on this particular topic? Perhaps next time I should pick on your capitalization and punctuation while you're trying to debate politics. This is absurd, not to mention childish.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:33 pm: Edit

I'm just sick of people saying it's bad to assume and prejudge.

So I commented on it.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:11 pm: Edit

"I'm just sick of people saying it's bad to assume and prejudge."

Well, I don't think anyone means that it's ALWAYS bad to assume and ALWAYS bad to prejudge. Sometimes it's a matter of expression and exaggeration. Obviously, nobody seriously believes that it's never right to assume. After all, you have to make the (usually correct) assumption that a person you speak to knows the language that you are speaking. But in written and oral communication, we exaggerate. Is that a good thing? Perhaps not, but we should accept this as inherent, UNLESS the question of assumptions and prejudices is the matter of discussion.

By Fenix_Three (Fenix_Three) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 03:36 am: Edit

Oh yay, this thread is still alive despite the cloud of hatred hovering over several of the people who post (I shall not mention names). So here we go, my turn to rant.
Things in science cannot be proven; they can be proven to be consistent with the theory of materialism (no God), but it's just like saying, "I believe in God because I have proof (Bible, prophets) that is consistent with my beliefs."
I think that it's inconsiderate to debate an issue without first addressing the "proof" that supports the other person's side. Overall, I think the best way to solve the dispute is to combine religion and science and then give everyone the right to choose which one (or a combo of the two) they are most comfortable with. Which is what the US is trying to do. Which it is doing quite well. Which is sort of pointless to try to debate or "solve" because believe it or not (I THINK) we're in much better shape than strictly pro/anti religion type societies.
As for the first post it is completely irrelevant to disproving anything pertaining to God. Makes me feel ashamed to be an athiest. But I must add that I am a person with morals, and if you met me and did not ask me specifically whether I believed in God or not, you'd probably never expect me to be an athiest. I believe that killing is wrong, I believe that charity is good, I believe that drugs and alcohol are bad, I will try not to judge you on your beliefs, I believe in the freedom of thought, and I believe in general kindness. These all sound like the basic Judeochristian beliefs to me. The only thing that separates me from my religious fellows is that I am more comfortable with scientific proof than "blind faith." I've been sort of raised this way and since everything makes sense with my current philosophy I see no need to change it.

By Conker (Conker) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 09:04 am: Edit

"Oh yay, this thread is still alive despite the cloud of hatred hovering over several of the people who post (I shall not mention names)."

I don't hate anyone, but I'm very frustrated by the lack of maturity demonstrated by some of the users here. Instead of attacking my argument, they instead choose to attack my choice of words and mode of expression. I can see how my post may have been construed as vitriol though.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:40 pm: Edit

Not only do I hate anybody who's religious, but I also hate everybody who believes in ANY higher power, and the non-religious people who try to take a safe stance by saying they "respect" religion.

It's beyond me how so many people can believe such foolishness. It's also beyond me why sensible people believe in God because of Pascal's Wager. If there actually was a "God", donít you think it would be able to see that your motives for believing in it were unsound!? Thereís absolutely no need for religion. It ASTONISHES me that anybody with an IQ over 85 could believe in a god or a religion. I'm probably less intelligent than AT LEAST half of this board (I only got a 1400 SAT), and that's why I'm so shocked that ANYBODY here takes religion seriously.

Of course most people are religious (including some of my friends and family), which is why I usually avoid the topic altogether, and even sometimes stand up for religion (see my other post above).

Christianity has just recently started its non-fundementalist guise; NOW it's fine to be Christian and accept evolution, but 50 years ago that made you un-Christian. Face it, if the Bible was true it wouldn't have to change to make sense in light of new discoveries.

Don't waste your time trying to show me that there's ANY truth in the Bible or in ANY religion; it's a waste of time. I used to wasted my time on religion/atheist/agnostic (what ever) message boards debating this topic, and it's just so boring now. There are no good arguments from the religious side; if any were recently made, I don't care, because I'd be a fool to waste any more time with the topic of religion after spending a year debating it.

Sorry if I'm being too "hostile", but religious ideas are so foolish that they don't deserve anything more than a laugh or a shrug.

they instead choose to attack my choice of words and mode of expression.

I attacked it because it's said so often and gets SO annoying (since it's not true), NOT because it wasn't perfectly worded.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 05:11 pm: Edit

Hm, I don't think it's really possible to get anywhere in life with *that* kind of attitude. Your mind should always be open to new ideas, even if you have strong convictions to the contrary. Nobody can progress if his mind is so shut that not even the brightest light can penetrate. How can such an intelligent person be so closeminded? It baffles the senses--well, mine at least, which may be due to MY lack of intelligence. (I'm just asking; I don't want you to construe this as a personal attack.)

Just because you believe something doesn't necessarily make it true. While you may not think so, what if you are wrong? I mean, for HOW many centuries was the earth flat? It's good to be firm and unwavering in one's beliefs, but to be so obstinate is foolhardy. Just imagine if everyone in the world were so fixed in his beliefs. There would be no progress, just constant war.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 05:29 pm: Edit

How can such an intelligent person be so closeminded?

I wasn't implying that I'm intelligent. Most of the people on this board have over a 1400 SAT score, so I DO think I'm less intelligent than them. That was my point.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 08:05 pm: Edit

But to be intelligent does not translate to having a high SAT score. That may be one factor, but it's only an infinitely small portion of it, relatively speaking.

Despite your SAT score, you are still intelligent. My point was that you shouldn't be so closeminded. The truth may stumble before a religious zealot's or an atheist's foot, yet he may be too blind to discern it.

I mean, there's always room for error, even if it's infinitely small, right?

By Gidget (Gidget) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit

Goodchocolate is no more closeminded that those who believe that religion is the only way and won't open thier minds to think that maybe he could be write. ( not saying someone is more right than someone else... just a point)

It is good to have faith and I applaud those who whole heartidly beleive in it but many others who believe in religion are closeminded and push their religions on others.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 03:09 pm: Edit

There's always room for error. Quantum mechanics and probability theory would agree with you, Jenesaispas.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 03:33 pm: Edit

Every religious person says they can prove to me that their religion is right, but they never can or do (it's all just circular reasoning). After 50 or so people doing this to me, why the hell would I waste any more of my time with this topic? I don't want to waste my entire life listening to religious people's stories when, chances are, they'll just be a waste of my time. Listening to another story by them would be making the mistake I've made FAR too many times; wasting my time.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 03:49 pm: Edit

Yes, Gidget. You are correct, but I emphasized that in my second response. A devoutly religious person (i.e., fundamentalist) who fails to examine his beliefs (and brands ALL of the opposing view points as devilish, etc.) is just as bad as the atheist who shuts out ALL arguments for religion (and brands them as completely and totally illogical, etc.).

I'm not trying to make you believe anything, Goodchocolate. I'm not trying to push religion on you. I'm not trying to "help" you. Frankly, I don't give a damn what you believe. But just because you believe something to be so illogical, whether that's faith or a lack of faith, don't shut out the opposing view point for the rest of your life. After all... "Things don't change; people change," quoth Thoreau. You opinions may change in the long run, if you are open to the change. And this goes for BOTH sides--religious zealots and atheists alike.

That's all I'm asking.

Won't you do it...

...for me? *more sad puppy-dog faces*

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 03:50 pm: Edit

I also hate Thoreau. :)

By Aquaholic (Aquaholic) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit

Goodchocolate - I hear what you're saying about religion, but it is beyond me how you can have enough faith to NOT believe in God or have any sort of spiritual relationship. How do you justify no God??? Regardless of scientific aspects of the earth's creation or that gibberish, just everyday life... how can you not believe that something else is a factor? You really think everything follows the "laws of the universe" or some imaginary doctrine like that? I'm not trying to be hostile or anything, just curious... I don't much care for any religion, but I am a strong believer in God simply because it's the only idea bizarre enough to help me make sense of what I know of the world. Let me in on more of your reasoning, please?

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 05:29 pm: Edit

No one EVER likes Thoreau! *Sigh* So I guess I should stop quoting him in my posts.

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 05:37 pm: Edit

"but it is beyond me how you can have enough faith to NOT believe in God or have any sort of spiritual relationship"

There's really no need for it.

By Conker (Conker) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:35 pm: Edit

Goodchocolate, in case you didn't realize, I'm an agnostic (closer to a weak atheist, though).

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 07:44 pm: Edit



By Songman (Songman) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:31 pm: Edit

for what it is worth.I am a simple person and nearly not as intelligent as some of the above posts,but this is the way I look at religion,god and faith. Let's asusme for a moment that we die and we are transported to a higher being or entity which communicates with us or somehow we are imbued with the knowledge that there is no god and religion. This force goes on to tell us that god and religion was just a nice fairytale to instill some sense of morals and ethics in human beings. It futher tells us that after a brief moment we will cease to exist and any trace of our existence will disappear into the vast universe.

Under this scenario I would have rather lived my life believing that there is a higher power that can help me through tough times ,engage in prayer once in awhile,and maintain a more positive outlook on life. Yes one can be positive,ethical and moral and deal with the hardships of life all while being an atheist,but for me faith works! Organized religion does not!

By Goodchocolate (Goodchocolate) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 08:43 pm: Edit

Songman, that's too similar to Pascal's Wager. If I forced myself to believe in God and the Bible JUST so I'd have a chance at salvation, an omnipotent being would definately be able to recognize this, so it wouldn't do any good anyway!

If you have a good enough reason for me to be religious, WRITE A BOOK. If it's THAT good of a reason, I'm bound to hear about it sooner or later.

...Otherwise, I don't care.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 09:44 pm: Edit

lol, Goodchocolate. How about the Bible? It's straight from the source!

And if the emoticons don't express it to you enough, I'm kidding.

By Cornellian (Cornellian) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:30 am: Edit

"Light also comes from massive explosions such as fusion on the Sun of four Hydrogen atoms into a Helium atom, giving off energy with the equation E=MC squared."

Fusion, in its most common form, occurs when two (not four) hydrogen atoms (isotopes actually, deuterium (1P2N) and tritium 1P3N) collide, producing helium, a free neutron and energy. The chances of having four atoms of any kind colliding at the *exact* same time are pretty slim. Do your research next time smart one.

By Songman (Songman) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:27 pm: Edit

Goodchocolate: "If you have a good enough reason for me to be religious, WRITE A BOOK. If it's THAT good of a reason, I'm bound to hear about it sooner or later".

I don't care if you are religious. As long as you treat others with respect and have morals and ethics. If you are a moral person and learned ethics etc without religion that's fine with me. I don't care to prove to you that there is a God or higher being or convert you. I know what I know and believe which works just fine for me.

By Ronkebam (Ronkebam) on Sunday, July 04, 2004 - 08:19 pm: Edit

A man was preaching in a little town get-together, and a guy in the congregation shouted "its a lie God doesn't exist, its all fake." This guy challenged the preacher. After the guy had given up ranting, the preacher casually asked the man "If you have never tasted an apple before, how will you truly know if its good?"
There is scripture in the bible that says "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good."
I do not truly believe that anyone knows the absolute truth of a higher being, or a creator, or a maker, a controller, or what we all dread, a being that sees all and knows all, and will judge all ---GOD.
But I have been a christian for about 5 years, and I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
I lost my dad to cancer, two years later I lost my mom to cancer with no warning signs.
A kid from my school asked "How can you keep on believing in a being that, it seems, has failed you."
My truthful answer "I don't know, I may be a Job, but I aint putting this apple down -it tastes good"

By Shinato (Shinato) on Monday, July 05, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit

Intresting argument on religion here. As a secularist, I think that the biggest case against any religion is the lack of objective evidence supporting the tenets of the religion. Many people claim miracles as objective evidence, but any religion has miracles and people have a tendency to dismiss any unlikely event as a miracle (the sun disappeared in the middle of the day! it is a miracle! [eclipse {probably wouldn't happen in modern day, but it is just for demonstration purposes}]). The second thing used to support religion is the effect this has on people's lives. The problem is that anecdotal evidence fails to prove anything and can come as a result of exaggeration and can fail to mention important factors (he was cured of cancer! oh wait, it only went into remission and he was doing therapies [once again, only for demonstrative purposes]). Many arguments do exist against religion and most are based on reason and science. One of the biggest thing that should be taken into account is that religion in an invention of primative men. We tend to trust that they knew the answers, but we can't really know that. If Christianity was from its start false (once again, hypothetical), then it would stay around indefiniately if everyone failed to question it. Many people stray away from questioning their faiths, but this is important because something that plays such an influence on world affairs and people cannot afford to be inaccurate at points. I would say more, but I'm getting tired of typing. Sorry for the grammar mistakes guys.

EDIT: One more thing. Religion is inherited. Children usually have no choice with the religion they receive. They are taught religion from an early age long before any teaching in science, philosophy, reason, logic, etc. The thing is that children have no rights and especially no freedom of religion. There is even an consensus that parents have the RiGhT to instruct their children on religious matters (look at Newdow supreme court case even though the guy was an atheist). Overall, religion was pretty much spread through violence (crusades, inquisition, conquistadors, africa, etc) and continued through inheritance. This chain makes religion a powerful force even today.

By Priglet (Priglet) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 03:11 pm: Edit

Goodchocolate--someone did write a book. It's called Mere Christianity, by CS Lewis.

By Neo (Neo) on Sunday, July 11, 2004 - 08:34 pm: Edit

I haven't read it, but I've read and heard so many things about it that I *do* intend to read it someday. Perhaps even as soon as I finish the bourne book.

By Smhop (Smhop) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 06:55 pm: Edit

There are so many more religious texts than the Bible. Even the bible, as we know it, was a set of texts chosen by the catholic church in the dark ages. There are many more accounts of Jesus' life than just those in the new testament for example. Further, religion, faith based or not, is interesting philosopphy to study. What is truly fascinating is that epic tales such as the fall of eve or the flood are similar to very, very ancient texts (like the epic a gilgamesh, a sumarian epic). Nothing can be taken as literal fact, but the history is interesting. Have faith or don't-- your choice. But, what truly bothers me is those who profess an opinion with absolutely no scholarly information, or even casual information beyond the very very basics. And what scares me more is how people misinterpret even the basics. I was raised Catholic, for example, and I am shocked when I hear other Catholics misconstrue or misunderstand thier own religion... and then propogate the nonsense to others.

Of course, it takes time to examine the various teachings... but, anyone who wishes to take a stance pro or against should at least do some research. And, I do not mean an hour search on the internet pulling up only those reuslts which foster your side...

I was agnostic when younger. AND, I was very much agaisnt Catholicism,, I refused to confirm. Years later, I began an intensive search into it. I began with reading both the old and new testaments, (they are interesting, btw) and then branched out from there reading tennents and history of the Catholic church-- also, interesting stuff: very political!! I then looked at some other faiths, but not in so much depth-- I usually found reasons to reject them sooner. heheeh.

One should not buy into religion merely bc you have been taught to, and also one should not uniformly reject religion just bc you have not been to embrace it. Take a class, do some studying or reading--- get some information. Spend a year looking at it... then decide.

One can have a value system, or even a religious faith based system without subscribing to something particular.

I have always said I will raise my children with religion, rather than without. I believe if you have the education, you can make an educated choice to accept or reject it-- I will respect thier choice. But, it would be a real folly to reject it without any education in the matter. And, I want my kids to make a clear decision... you cannot make any decison if you lack information.

By Crypto86 (Crypto86) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

I used to be the most anti-religious person ever. Seriously, I despised people who had anything to do with religion. Then just on a whim I accepted my friend's offer to go to a local church's youth group on Sunday night. After a while it started to all make sense. In a little over a year and a half I went from non-believer to a leader for the youth group at my church. I now attend church regularly, and overall it has been a wonderful change for me. I know almost nothing about specific parts of the Bible but I'm beginning to learn more - basically I'm still a novice to all of this. But to answer some people's questions on being agnostic and all, all I have to say is that sometime when you are thinking about some bad choices you have made or just are feeling low, all it takes ia a little praying and it does become better. I am a non-denominational Christian, so I can pray by myself (without the aid of a priest and all) so it can be alone and just personal. So I won't preach passages of the Bible (because I don't know too many myself), but if you want some inner peace that you are searching for, talk to some people in your school and ask them about attending a youth group meeting for a few times and just be open about it.

By Jenesaispas (Jenesaispas) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 08:29 pm: Edit

I think it'd be interesting to see the various religions/religious denominations represented here at CC. Anybody wanna start such a thread?

By Ronkebam (Ronkebam) on Thursday, July 15, 2004 - 10:34 pm: Edit

By Crypto86 (Crypto86) on Monday, July 12, 2004 - 07:46 pm: Edit

I used to be the most anti-religious person ever.

Great Advise! Prayer does work, and it does not necessarily give us what we want, but it gives us peace to know that God has our best in mind always, and "He neither slumbers nor sleeps (Scripture).
Learning the bible can be a challenge but it takes effort, the Spirit of God, and a life time plan....Jesus rules!

By Welshie (Welshie) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 05:04 am: Edit

Henfour-- most, if not all, of your original questions are answered in my religion (mormonism) but some of your questions are just ignorance.

By Uknowwho42 (Uknowwho42) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 09:48 am: Edit

Some things on that site are a little over the top, but much of it does a decent job at highlighting how ludicrous most religion is. The level of scientific knowledge at the time the bible was written is outlined by this:

"And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."

Apparently, the moon is a light...yeah....He also makes light before the sun and the stars, which are the source of our light...yeah...So that basically nullifies any scientific credibility in the Bible - and that's only the first 17 verses!

If that doesn't get you, the point of creation would have had to have been at least 12 billion years ago. But humans haven't even been around for .1% of that time. What's that? They were supposedly created 5 days after Earth? Hmm....

I can certainly see that faith does good things for many people - I just can't make myself believe in something so blatantly false.

By Welshie (Welshie) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 12:40 pm: Edit

Why can't the creation of light come before the creation of the Sun? Why couldn't God turn on a giant light bulb before he made the Sun? Not all light is derived from the Sun. As per the 5 days/evolution, I happen to hold a synthesis of the two (as seen/read in Inherit the Wind). Basically, the concept of time doesn't exist in Heaven. God is the beginning and the end and our "long" lifetimes aren't even a blink of the eye up there. Also, in the beginning the Sun/Moon (markers for what we call days) weren't even created so who is to say that a "day" refers to a 24-hour period. It could be a 36-hour period, it could be 24-day period, it could be a 24,000-year period, see where I'm going? This could remedy some of the evolution questions. Perhaps when God first created Adam/Eve they were the epitome of the Cro-Magnon man but God tarried with them a while, refined them a bit and eventually, after a "day" he was able to refine them in his own image. But remember, infusing logic in religion isn't the method of choice and as previously mentioned, you have to have that leap of faith.

By Priglet (Priglet) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 01:02 pm: Edit

Great points Welshie! Who wrote that book you mentioned?--I think I'd like to check it out.

By Uknowwho42 (Uknowwho42) on Friday, July 16, 2004 - 01:13 pm: Edit

Where does any significant light come from besides the Sun and stars? And even if you twist the "day" concept around, the timeline is still impossible and illogical. What happened during the 24,000 year "day" of rest? Did the world stop for 24,000 years?

I don't believe in the Big Bang or any of that either. In the small time we've been on Earth, and considering how relatively unadvanced we are (we've only had light bulbs for about a hundred years now - well...besides God's "giant light bulb" that you mentioned), I don't think anyone is close to knowing how things began - or even if there was a "beginning." Of course there are theories (one of them being religion), but I think that most people are too eager to search for an explanation to everything they don't understand - I think that was how primitive religions were founded in the first place. Personally, I have no idea whatsoever as to where Earth came from or where it's going, and I'm fine with that. I don't accept any current explanation for how we got here. Religion is just one of the theories that I feel is false, and it just happens to be the most popular around the world (perhaps because it is the most simple and/or comforting).

I don't need an explanation for what happened millions of years ago. Yes, it is interesting to speculate upon, but I would rather live for the present. That's one of the reasons I dislike Christianity - the people who think "nothing on Earth matters because God will be waiting for me when I die." It just seems like a waste of life to me - I will enjoy life and make the most of it while I'm here.

Like I said, prayer and religion do great things for many people. Infusing logic in religion is obviously not the way to enjoy religion in your life - I guess I'm just too logical to be religious. But infusing religion in logic is what bothers me - like Christian scientists...don't get me started. Faith and logic can certainly exist together, but what bothers me most are those who reject all logic in favor of nothing but religion. I would say a delicate balance of the two would be optimal. I have faith, but not religion-there's a difference. As defined by (and myself) - Faith is a "confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing." I could go on about how many different ways I have faith according to that definition, but I think you get the idea.

In any event, thanks for the laptop advice on the other thread! I'm still debating between dell and powernotebooks...

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