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My Take: God not in whirlwinds of Sandy, presidential race
A NASA image of Hurricane Sandy.
October 29th, 2012
01:33 PM ET

My Take: God not in whirlwinds of Sandy, presidential race

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

I am riding out Sandy on Cape Cod and wondering whether this, too, is God’s will.

As this storm has carved its path through the Caribbean and up the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, it has taken 67 lives and (so far) spared the rest of us. Was it the will of the Almighty that so many should perish?

Is God angry with Cuba, where 11 died last week? More angry with Haiti, where 51 perished? Relatively unperturbed with Jamaica, where the death toll was only two? If a tree falls on my house today, will that be an Act of God, too?

There has been a lot of talk lately about what is and what isn’t willed by Providence, thanks to Richard Mourdock, the Indiana Republican and U.S. Senate candidate who said last week, “I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”

Whether “it” in this sentence refers to rape or to conception, it assumes that God is both busy and capricious. Why does God offer the gift of life to some rape victims and not to others? Why does God allow some elections to be close and not others?

One answer, of course, is that God does nothing of the sort. Perhaps there is no God. Or perhaps God is more like the watchmaker divinity of Deism fame who winds up the universe, sets it in motion and then leaves it to its own devices.

In the thought worlds of Indian religions, things operate not by the will of God but in keeping with the laws of karma. So to put it in crudest terms, those who are injured in Sandy somehow have it coming to them, as do victims of rape who find themselves pregnant.

The western religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have argued that God has a hand not only in setting our story in motion but also in seeing it through to the end. So Jews, Christians, and Muslims have had to reckon with the classical problem of “theodicy”: In a world in which God is all powerful and all good, why do bad things happen to good people?

As I wrestle with these questions, I cannot help thinking about how differently my New England forebears interpreted these natural disasters. While we speak of the eye of the hurricane, New England's colonists were ever mindful of the eye of a God who was forever watching over them, and sending storms their way as punishment for their collective sins.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

When the Great Colonial Hurricane raced up the east coast and lashed New England in August 1635, its 130 mph winds and 21-foot storm surge were almost universally viewed in supernatural rather than natural terms — as a judgment of God on the unfaithful.

We still have Puritans among us today, of course.

Televangelist Pat Robertson is notorious for turning natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina into supernatural communications — God’s curse on Haiti or New Orleans for bad religion or widespread abortions. And with this “Stormpocalpyse” arriving on the eve of the election, I suspect some will suggest that the rain and the wind are God’s judgment on the leadership of President Obama.

Still, American society as a whole no longer interprets natural disasters as signs of a coming apocalypse or evidence of past misdeeds. When it comes to earthquakes and hurricanes, we tune in to the Weather Channel, not the Christian Broadcasting Network. And we interpret these events not through the rumblings of biblical prophets but through the scientific truths of air pressure and tectonic plates.

As a result of this sort of secular turn, we are much better at predicting the course of hurricanes. The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 arrived as a surprise and took many lives with it, including, according to the report of the Massachusetts governor, John Winthrop, those of eight Native Americans taken by the storm surge while “flying from their wigwams.” Sandy is a surprise to no one, thanks to science.

Still, we Americans cannot give up on talk of God’s will. At least according to Newt Gingrich, Mourdock’s foray into rape and theology reflects the position of “virtually every Catholic” in the United States. And if we are to believe the full-page ads taken out  by Billy Graham, God wills the victory of Mitt Romney over Barack Obama.

As for me, I am less sure about what God wills for our storms (political or otherwise). In my view, any God worth worshiping isn’t going to be so predictable, or so capricious.

I don’t think Graham, Mourdock, or Gingrich is speaking on behalf of God. They are speaking on behalf of themselves, on the basis of their own fears and experiences. And they are reading the Bible through their politics, not the other way around.

When it comes to storms like Sandy, I just don't believe in a God who drowns black babies in Haiti yet refuses to drown out the voices of cranky white men who claim so irreverently to speak in His name.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Belief • Billy Graham • Christianity • Church and state • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Science • United States

soundoff (2,188 Responses)
  1. Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race.

    1Corinthians 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building

    Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    Who among us sees the 'literal' in these two verses? I for one do literally believe them to be factually true.

    Let us love,
    Love lettuce,
    G.O.D.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Son of Sam

      I am God's building

      October 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Hamster Love

      Ham stir Love

      October 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Innerspace is God's place while outerspace is for the human race.

      Son of Sam,

      All celestial life forms and formations are God's buildings. From single celled structures to the most complex, for all are all buildings inhabited by God's Sons and Daughters and otherly Godly Beings.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  2. What???

    Lock! If you are right.just a few people died! So what, if there is no God, get over it and go on! Who cares if it was a poor Hatian or a few Americans! Look to your Governent! Barack will save you!

    October 30, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  3. Kathy Lee

    It may sound too simple, but I always think of a line from the movie "Oh God" when George Burns, as God, was asked why he let such horrible things happen to man.He replied that he just put man on Earth with the capacity to be good or bad. It was up to man from that point.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Regis

      You are right. That is incredibly simple-minded.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      So you agree that prayer is futile?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Kathy,

      That concept is indistinguishable from there being no god.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
  4. Art

    God is everywhere. He allows disaters like sandy to happens. There is nothing that happens were God is unaware. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away...Blessed be the name of the Lord.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Dawkins is my homeboy

      Your lord is a joke

      October 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      So your god is aware that young children are abused everyday and even though he could do something about it he doesn't. Why would I worship that?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • derp

      "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away"

      Great, half of my state is underwater and this is all you've got?

      Apparently, your god is a pathetic malicious dick.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  5. Mormonism is Dangerous

    I might not say anything about this if I didn't think that both Mitt and Paul were not going to bring their religion into their public service for the U.S.'s highest office. That's a pretty frightening prospect, especially considering how unfounded and bizarre Mormonism is. Paul Ryan has even stated that he doesn't think he can separate his religion from his public service.

    In 1996, the Smithsonian Institute issued a statement addressing claims made in the Book of Mormon, stating that the text is primarily a religious text and that archeologists affiliated with the institute found "no direct connection between the archeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book". The statement further describes that there is genetic evidence that the Native American Indians are closely related to peoples of Asia, and that archeological evidence indicates that the Native Americans migrated from Asia over a land bridge over the Bering Strait in prehistoric times. The statement said that there was no credible evidence of contact between Ancient Egyptian or Hebrew peoples and the New World, as indicated by the text of the Book of Mormon. The statement was issued in response to reports that the name of the Smithsonian Institute was being improperly used to lend credibility to the claims of those looking to support the events of the Book of Mormon.

    The National Geographic Society, in a 1988 letter to the Institute for Religious Research, stated "Archaeologists and other scholars have long probed the hemisphere's past and the society does not know of anything found so far that has substantiated the Book of Mormon."

    Of course there are other basic beliefs of Mormonism that have only faith as their foundation.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Mittology

      The bible has a few facts that are correct – some of the places and peoples did exist, so it has a bit more credibility but not much – the majority is unfounded myth.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  6. Locksmith

    What a load of crap, but a funny read indeed.
    Nature happens regardless of what religious sky daddy the delusional still believe in.
    Get over it.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Art

      Have you ever been wrong about anything in your life? what if you are wrong about this???? It will cost you everything!!!! Your soul

      October 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      art: weak argument. if the god you are worshipping turns out to be the wrong one, you are as s-crewed as you claim non believers are.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
  7. Chad

    Is God angry with Cuba, where 11 died last week? More angry with Haiti, where 51 perished? Relatively unperturbed with Jamaica, where the death toll was only two? If a tree falls on my house today, will that be an Act of God, too?

    once.. just once.. you should read the bible to get the Christian answer Prothero..

    Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13

    how is it that a person can become a Boston University religion scholar and not be familiar with the biblical text? How is it that you claim to be a religious scholar, but have no clue what the bible says??

    October 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Having an understanding of what the Bible says doesn't mean one is gullible enough to believe it, unless one is Chard.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • A Biblical scholar is like a Dr. Seuss scholar.

      There is no higher honor on the Belief Blog than to have Chad think you are wrong.

      Congratulations, Stephen!

      October 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • snowboarder

      chad – the only legitimate study of religion is anthropology.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Horus

      A religious scholar is simply one who has studied religions. For example, my undergrad major was Economics. We studied all types of economies from free market capitalism to completely planned economies. That doesn't make me a communist, or marxist any more than it makes a religious scholar a fundamental christian.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Chad

      1. You can become a religious scholar and not be an expert on the bible, there is more than one religion out there in case you haven't noticed.

      2. That is besides the point however because you have again attempted to answer the question by completely ignoring the question in favor of bolding a line from the bible as an "answer" but not exactly fleshing it out.

      The question he is asking along with most people who have half a brain is this. If god is supposedly responsible for the hurricane and killing people all willy nilly then I think it's fair to ask why he's sparing people on one island and killing people on the other. Furthermore if we look at natural disasters and as.sume that god is the one sending all of these why are his most ardent followers the ones being targeted by tornados?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Hi Chard,
      FOR WEEKS I SPECIFICALLY ASKED YOU TO PROVIDE YOUR DISPROOF OF MY EXISTENCE BUT YOU DID NOT PROVIDE IT! Therefore, you must acknowledge my existence and overlordship. BUT IT IS TOO LATE FOR YOU! You will be my re-useable sporting clay for eternity. HA! FOOL! You bet on the wrong "horse" ha ha ha ha!

      PULL................ka POW...................ha ha haha ha, way to go Athena, you shot off chard's 2" pensis....

      October 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Horus "A religious scholar is simply one who has studied religions. For example, my undergrad major was Economics. We studied all types of economies from free market capitalism to completely planned economies. That doesn't make me a communist, or marxist any more than it makes a religious scholar a fundamental christian."

      @Chad "if you read my post, that isnt what I commented on, as a religious scholar one would expect a person to know what the claims of a particular religion are regardless of your personal view on their truthfulness. Time after time after time after time Prothero shows he is clueless on the biblical text.

      is it possible to be a religious scholar, yet never have read the bible? Apparently yes.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Chad

      oh and Horus, you should check this out:
      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/11/ryan-as-vp-pick-continues-election-year-focus-on-catholicism/comment-page-11/#comment-1609076

      "putting to death the nonsense comparison of Horus and Jesus"

      October 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good luck getting the Green Vegetable to answer a question honestly. It's never happened.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen "The question he is asking along with most people who have half a brain is this. If god is supposedly responsible for the hurricane and killing people all willy nilly then I think it's fair to ask why he's sparing people on one island and killing people on the other. "

      @Chad "read the biblical text again, therein is your answer.
      If God tells us that a natural catastrophe is judgement, then it is. If He is silent on the matter, then we dont know one way or the other.
      In either case, we need to repent and accept Jesus as savior.

      that's the answer.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "That's the answer."

      Only in your opinion, Chardo. I don't think there are any posters here worth their salt who have the slightest respect for that.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Presumably you don't believe that Odin exists; please provide your evidence for his non-existence.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Chad

      That's what the bible says is the answer, my opinion on it is irrelevant.

      As a religious scholar, one should know what the bible says is the answer, right?

      =====
      regarding Odin: "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God Isiah 45

      October 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Horus

      @Chad – well, you asked. And even a Biblical Scholar is not a defacto Christian. Some that study the bible from a purely objective position arrive at the conclusion that it reflects the mentality of the middle eastern bronze age, and nothing more. Many of the stories can be attributed to far earlier belief systems.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      News for you, Green Vegetable: The bible isn't fact.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Chad

      you are clearly missing the point. So far we have yet to hear god tell us anything, whether that be him taking credit for something good or bad. However, god must bear the brunt of responsibility of sending a hurricane, or a twister or any other catastrophe. In a world with your god or gods in general, natural don't just happen, they are created and sent, usually as some sort of punishment, You and I both know though that if god wants to punish a specific person, he doesn't need a hurricane to do it.

      Your answer is the ultimate cop out while still trying to indict Prothero on not being well read on the bible. Your answer says, "meh, it's not up to me to figure out why god does what he does, just repent". Prothero is simply asking the "why" of it all.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "As a religious scholar, one should know...."

      Since when are you on the board that decides the requirements of religious scholarship, you arrogant little turd?

      A religious scholar is one who studies ALL religious belief systems, not just yours, bub.

      Did you EVER take a graduate course in religious studies anywhere OTHER than some cow college or a Bible school?

      There's no 'belief' required for a person to study and understand religions of the world. If a self-professed "religious scholar" threw up his hands and said, "I know it's true because the Bible says so", then that person is no scholar. That person is a believer, like you, lacking in any knowledge that is subjective and neutral.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Sorry, that was supposed to say, "Natural events don't just happen...."

      October 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Horus

      @Chad – let's see here....should I go with a link to a single source on a belief blog or the more than a dozen books that draw quite clear comparisons? Gee, let me think that through. Jesus was just a man; an evangelical of his time. His life was mysticized by his followers. Even the "virgin birth" thing was known to be a mistranslation in the 4th century yet the RCC allowed it to stand because it sounded better than a savior born to a woman of childbearing years.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • TrollAlert

      "Ronald Regonzo" who degenerates to:
      "Salvatore" degenerates to:
      "Douglas" degenerates to:
      "cristopher hitchens" degenerates to:
      "truth be told" degenerates to:
      "Thinker23" degenerates to:
      "Atheism is not healthy ..." degenerates to:
      "another repentant sinner" degenerates to:
      "Dodney Rangerfield" degenerates to:
      "tina" degenerates to:
      "captain america" degenerates to:
      "Atheist Hunter" degenerates to:
      "Anybody know how to read? " degenerates to:
      "just sayin" degenerates to:
      "ImLook'nUp" degenerates to:
      "Kindness" degenerates to:
      "Chad" degenerates to
      "Bob" degenerates to
      "nope" degenerates to:
      "2357" degenerates to:
      "WOW" degenerates to:
      "fred" degenerates to:
      "!" degenerates to:
      "pervert alert"

      This troll is not a christian. .

      October 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Chad. Referring to the bible is not evidence that Odin does not exist. You often ask people on here to disprove the christian god so by your standard I can prove that because other religions have the same exclusion clause. Proven then, your god does not exist.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Edit: "lacking any knowledge that is OBJECTIVE and neutral."

      October 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Madtown

      Chad
      That's what the bible says is the answer, my opinion on it is irrelevant.
      ---------
      You are correct, your opinion on what the bible says is irrelevant, because it wasn't you that wrote the bible. The bible was written by other men, and it is their collective opinions. Not yours.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Chad

      @Horus "And even a Biblical Scholar is not a defacto Christian."
      @Chad "one doesnt have to be a Christian to know what the bible says. I would expect a "religious scholar" to know what the bible says even if he doesnt believe one word of it."

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen "So far we have yet to hear god tell us anything, whether that be him taking credit for something good or bad. However, god must bear the brunt of responsibility of sending a hurricane, or a twister or any other catastrophe"
      @Chad "if you are going to try and indict God, you need to know what the bible reveals to us about Him. Your criticism MUST be grounded in the biblical text.
      Otherwise you are just making up your own god, then criticizing that made up version.

      The bible tells us that some catastrophes are divine judgement, others we dont know, it isnt revealed whether it was or was not. That's biblical text, God is sovereign and at the same time, we just dont know His reasons for some things. That's what the bible says.

      I am accurately indicting Prothero for not know what the bible says. The accurate answer to the question "is God in the hurricane" is "the Christians believe that some events are divine judgement, and others they dont know. If the God of Abraham doesnt tell them which is which, they claim to simply not know".
      that is how a person who understood Christian theology would answer the question.

      =====
      @itsallaloadofbollocks " You often ask people on here to disprove the christian god "
      @Chad "that's nonsense
      what I do, is if you say "God does not exist" I ask you to provide proof of your assertion.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What an azz. You're indicting Prothero? I'm sure he gives a fvck what some pea-brain like you thinks of him. I'm sure he's reading here just hanging on your every word, The Chard.

      How do you know he "doesn't know" what the bible says?

      You have no clue what anyone knows or doesn't know, you arrogant twit.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Furthermore, Vegetable, Prothero is stating his opinion. He made it clear that he doesn't believe that natural disasters are a punishment from your god. Maybe you don't quite understand the difference between a scholarly article and one that is an expression of opinion. I suggest you figure it out.

      Prothero has the sense to know that it is absurd to think as men did 2000 years ago before they had any understanding of meteorology. He has the sense to realize that attributing natural phenomena as "punishment" is ridiculous on its face when those affected are believers as well as atheists and agnostics.

      It's a real shame your "god" didn't see fit to endow you with the same sense, Chardo. Poor you.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      When then we have a problem then because all natural disasters then fall into the "we don't know category" huh? I mean you are saying that god would tell us if any catastrophe was divine or not and yet the only way for this to happen (according to you) is if it's in the bible. Considering I haven't read anywhere in the bible that said god was sending wildfires to Colorado and Texas, Hurricanes at the east coast, Tornadoes barreling through the midwest and earthquakes along the west coast, not to mention droughts, blizzards and good ole fashioned thunderstorms I guess they all fall into the category of "we don't know" and it's a ridiculous assertion on any christians part to say that any disaster is divine retribution, would you not agree?

      Lets take a step back through for a second and consider what any natural disaster is framed with the idea that "god did it". We already know from the text that god has the power to send unnatural events upon entire cities (Soddom and Gomoorah, egyptian plagues, an entire world flood lasting 40 days, etc...) and yet these events have stopped, why? If god was trying to dole out divine wrath on a person, community, city or even a nation, why play by natural rules? He hasn't in the past, that's not his MO so why the change? Don't you find that the least bit odd?

      October 30, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen "I guess they all fall into the category of "we don't know" and it's a ridiculous assertion on any christians part to say that any disaster is divine retribution, would you not agree?"
      @Chad "yes, I agree. God has not told us if recent natural disasters were divine retribution or not, so we dont know and shouldnt make a claim that they are without being told they were."

      ===========
      @Concerned Citizen "IWe already know from the text that god has the power to send unnatural events upon entire cities (Soddom and Gomoorah, egyptian plagues, an entire world flood lasting 40 days, etc...) "
      @Chad ""unnatural disasters??,
      S&G was wiped out by either a volcano or a meteorite. Flood is rain... what do you mean?

      October 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So Vegetable, when was the last time your god inf ormed us that a disaster was punishment for our sins? Give the date and the method by which he info rmed us of this. Did any of these "punishments" occur in the past 200 years? When and where?

      Now, tell us, how will your god let us know whether Sandy or any other natural disasters are punishment? Will he have an angel write it in colors in the sky? Will he s our all the milk in everyone's fr idge? Will he kill all the el dest sons?

      Please. Get real.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      If you agree with the "I don't know" mantra, then you and Prothero agree, so I'm confused why you think he doesn't know what he's talking about if you and him both arrive at the same conclusion?

      You don't find the fact that the entire world was flooded by rain? or the fact that people turned into pillars of salt? I see you also purposefully left out the plagues, though some are natural, a lot where not (i.e. water turning into blood, complete darkness during the day for longer than an eclipse, death of all the first born, etc...).

      From both our points of view there's a reason why these are particularly in the bible over your average natural disaster. In my opinion it was to show how powerful the jewish god was and that he exercised his power to strike fear into other heathens, it was a way for them to show that their god was more powerful that the other ones around. If we look at it from your point of view though and the bible is an historical docu.ment, then these are still meaningful entries because they stand out from the regular catastrophes because of the unnaturalness to them as well as god having the direct intervention thing by literally stating his intentions. Either way you skirted the question, why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed?

      October 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen "If you agree with the "I don't know" mantra, then you and Prothero agree, so I'm confused why you think he doesn't know what he's talking about if you and him both arrive at the same conclusion?"

      @Chad "???
      prothero: As for me, I am less sure about what God wills for our storms (political or otherwise). In my view, any God worth worshiping isn’t going to be so predictable, or so capricious. .... When it comes to storms like Sandy, I just don't believe in a God who drowns black babies in Haiti yet refuses to drown out the voices of cranky white men who claim so irreverently to speak in His name.

      Prothero isnt stating what Christians believe at all. He is making his usual atheistic stab..

      The accurate answer to the question "is God in the hurricane" is "the Christians believe that some events are divine judgement, and others they dont know. If the God of Abraham doesnt tell them which is which, they claim to simply not know".

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen "In my opinion it was to show how powerful the jewish god was and that he exercised his power to strike fear into other heathens, it was a way for them to show that their god was more powerful that the other ones around"
      @Chad "the bible says that nowhere.
      The bible says everywhere what the real reasons were.. as a homework as signment you should look it up.

      =======
      @Concerned Citizen "IEither way you skirted the question, why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed?"
      @Chad "lol
      your "MO" is inaccurate, so your conclusion is wrong.
      You dont understand Gods purpose in bringing those judgement before, so you dont understand that He hasnt deviated :-)

      First: figure out what the bible says about why God brought those judgements
      Then: see if your statement still makes sense (hint: it doesnt )

      there is no way around it.. if you want to criticize God, you need at least to be familiar with what the bible says is the reason He does certain things. Right? Your methodology is akin to criticizing baseball for using basketball on penalty kicks.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chardo, Prothero isn't your personal servant. He's expressing an opinion about HIS beliefs. If you don't agree, by all means, send a letter. What you think is YOUR opinion and nothing more, regardless of what the Bible 'says'. The bible isn't fact and you're not an authority on it regardless. If you were, you'd be writing copy for CNN instead of simply reacting to it.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Chad

      That's your answer, but a lot of other christians don't agree with you. I think you have more issues with people on your side than you do with atheists on this one bud.

      Also thanks for your little condescending homework assignment but I think I'll pass considering what I put forth has way more merit and makes more sense. It's too bad you're just too narrow-minded to understand analytical thinking and being able to put the bible in historical perspective.

      Lastly, do you know what someones MO means? You're telling me to look at the "why" as if that invalidates the actual acts purported to have been done by god. Here's where your logic has led: If you as a christian can claim the "i don't know if it was god or not" you have problems from the get go, first, if it wasn't god, then who was it? Second, has god created any sort of natural disaster since the canon was closed? If no, where did god go? if yes, then why did the disasters that god wrought in the bible suddenly stop and become very explainable without the need of a god?

      Chad, I'm focusing on the specific acts themselves, the "why" behind it his acts in the bible vs. now doesn't matter because according to your logic some terrible things that have occurred wasn't god because it didn't say so in the bible. Since it doesn't say so in the bible and since god or an angel has written "SURRENDER DOROTHY" or whatever else in the sky there are only two conclusions we can draw. One is god is gone because he has yet to show himself in any sense of the word or Two god for some reason has undergone a monumental change and decided not to let anyone know and now only plays by the natural laws, in which case god has suddenly become severely limited and is not omnipotent.

      You see how your logic just twists itself into some crazy knots that is just impossible to get out of?

      October 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen "That's your answer, but a lot of other christians don't agree with you. I think you have more issues with people on your side than you do with atheists on this one bud."
      @Chad "there are high profile Christians that want to ascribe every natural disaster on the judgement of God, to whom I ask:
      1. how do you know? Did God tell you?
      2. you are aware that Jesus Himself said that not all catastrophes are Gods judgement
      3. you are aware that WE ALL deserve judgement, right?

      =======
      @Concerned Citizen "Also thanks for your little condescending homework assignment but I think I'll pass considering what I put forth has way more merit and makes more sense"
      @Chad "gotcha, dont know the bible, cant be bothered, you're comfortable making baseless assertions. ok, that's what I figured.."

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen "Lastly, do you know what someones MO means? You're telling me to look at the "why" as if that invalidates the actual acts purported to have been done by god.
      "
      @Chad "you cant claim that God has deviated from a set of actions, unless you know the purpose of the original acts.
      right? fairly simple..

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen " Here's where your logic has led: If you as a christian can claim the "i don't know if it was god or not" you have problems from the get go, first, if it wasn't god, then who was it? Second, has god created any sort of natural disaster since the canon was closed? If no, where did god go? if yes, then why did the disasters that god wrought in the bible suddenly stop and become very explainable without the need of a god?"
      @Chad "A. God had purposes for specific disasters in the bible, that purpose (to prepare the Israelite for the arrival of Jesus Christ, was accomplished.
      B. Not all ancient natural disasters were ascribed to Gods judgement, in fact, extremely few were.
      C. In the same manner that not all ancient natural disasters were ascribed to Gods judgement, not all recent ones can either.
      If God tells someone, then we can know. Otherwise, we dont

      pretty simple.. the problem you are having is that you just arent familiar at all with the bible, and are trying to criticize it.. Again, what you are doing makes about as much sense as criticizing baseball for using a basketball to kick extra points.

      why in the world atheists feel perfectly fine with that is completely beyond me. If I felt strongly against something, the FIRST thing I would do was learn it inside and out so that I could destroy it logically. Atheists seem to take the exact opposite tact.. Criticize it without understanding its basis and its claims.. nuts..

      October 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Chad

      Your limited brain capacity is showing, When I'm talking about putting the bible in historical context, you can't look to the bible to answer that question, it's like asking you to tell me about England based solely on a christmas carol and then rejecting the idea that the ghosts in the story were supposed to be figurative because the story said they were literal. Considering I find the bible to be a very fig.urative tale told my arabs as a way to we.ave history and religion together, I think it's pretty funny that you only use the bible as the single historical text during that time of the world.

      "you cant claim that God has deviated from a set of actions, unless you know the purpose of the original acts.
      right? fairly simple.." – Are you serious? That's plain wrong. You don't have to know the "why" to look at the facts that god operated a certain way and then stopped susp.iciously at the same time the canon was closed and god stopped "speaking" to us. If you saw the certain actions of say, a serial killer who killed everyone in the same exact way, it was very precise and then one day the killings just stopped, would you look at all the mu..rders ever per.p.etrated after that and as.sume the serial killer was still out there he just changed, or that he had stopped? Without knowing "why" the killer is killing, you can still look at his actions, his MO, and extrap.olate. Get it?

      What I find extremely funny is that when a person disagrees with you on the bible, you automatically reject it because they "don't know the bible". Instead of debating the person, you just say, "you don't know!" and stick your fingers in your ears yelling la la la la la! I've read the bible a fair amount and got a degree in religious studies, specifically Judaism. That's besides the point however because you keep repeating how we can't know what is god and what isn't as if it's the be all, end all conclusion. So the real question I have for you is this, do you think god has had a hand in any natural disaster after the bible? This is your own opinion and I understand that you can't know, so don't give me that s.hi.t again but do you think god has wrought any destruction say in the last 10 years? 20? 1000?

      I also think it's adorable you get all huffy when someone criticizes the bible because apparently they have to be an expert on the subject before having an opinion yet you mouth off about evolution and the big bang theory every chance you get and you clearly know nothing about the subject either. Why is it that christians like yourself try to disprove scientific theories when you have shown that you aren't an expert on either.

      Lets make a deal then huh, hows about you stick with what you know, whine and complain about the bible all you want and when people point out when god contrad.icts himself or that there are problems in the genealogies within the bible you can get hu.ffy and say that people just don't understand but keep out of discussions about evolution and the big bang theory or really any scientific discussion whatsoever.

      October 31, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen "When I'm talking about putting the bible in historical context, you can't look to the bible to answer that question"
      @Chad "well thats nuts, the bible accurately records history.
      After the Bible, the next best preserved ancient work is Homer's Iliad, with 650 copies originating about 1,000 years after the original copy.[104] Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War (written in the 50s BC) survives in nine copies written in the 8th century.[107] Thucydides' history of the Peloponesian War and Herodotus' history of the Persian War (both written in the 5th century BC) survives in about eight early copies, the oldest ones dating from the 10th century AD.[107] Biblical scholar F. F. Bruce has said "the evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no one dreams of questioning...It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament records than have many theologians."[108]

      another way to ask the question: do you know of any single historical fact in the bible that is incorrect?
      no.

      =======
      @Concerned Citizen "Considering I find the bible to be a very fig.urative tale told my arabs as a way to we.ave history and religion together"
      @Chad "ah... wouldnt you have to have read it first to make that judgement? ;-)
      guess not

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen "you cant claim that God has deviated from a set of actions, unless you know the purpose of the original acts. right? fairly simple.." – Are you serious? That's plain wrong. You don't have to know the "why" to look at the facts that god operated a certain way and then stopped susp.iciously at the same time the canon was closed and god stopped "speaking" to us""
      @Chad "A. Indeed God DID stop talking to us thru prophets after John the Baptist (the bible tells us that John was the final prophet), this was foretold to us in Daniel, and was Gods expressed intent. (you wouldnt be aware of that, since you havent read the bible)
      B. that does NOT indicate a "change in MO" since that was his MO.
      C. If by "canon closed" you are referring to the Council of Nicea, you're off by several hundred years... (you wouldnt be aware of that, since you havent read the bible)

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen "What I find extremely funny is that when a person disagrees with you on the bible"
      @Chad "you dont disagree with teh bible. You dont know the bible, how can you disagree with something you know nothing about?
      again, what you are doing is like criticizing baseball for using basketballs to kick extra points.

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen "So the real question I have for you is this, do you think god has had a hand in any natural disaster after the bible? This is your own opinion and I understand that you can't know, so don't give me that s.hi.t again but do you think god has wrought any destruction say in the last 10 years? 20? 1000?"
      @Chad "Define "had a hand", do you mean "knew before hand what would happen because He built that in from the formation of the universe" or do you mean "God moved particles around supernaturally to create the disaster"

      Again, you dont seem to be getting the point, how can I know if some natural disaster is Gods judgement if He doesnt tell us?

      October 31, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      I have to ask, are you being purposefully obtuse? Putting any docu.ment in historical context is essential to understand its purpose and you can't analyze that context based solely on the thing itself. You've looked at other docu.ments from around that time right? Has it helped you better understand the bible by having multiple sources and knowing more about the conditions and state of the world during that time? You keep trying to debate a straw man version of me on this subject because you can't understand what I'm saying. It's not you fault though, I blame the education system for their apparent failure.

      Sigh.... so here we go again, lame attempts to say I haven't read the bible because I state facts like, the canon is closed and that there are no more prophets. You agree with me and still twist it in your tiny brain to try and disagree with me, does it ever tire you out being this stupid and slow all the time? I guess we'll back up because you seem to have an issue with the term MO then.

      mo·dus op·e·ran·di
      Noun:
      A particular way or method of doing something, esp. one that is characteristic or well-established.
      The way something operates or works.

      Notice, my dear brain dead chad, that no where in this definition does it talk about the reason behind the method, it just focuses on a well established characteristics. You seemed to not understand the serial killer analogy so I guess for your sake I'll go a bit slower. gods MO is pretty simple in the torah, lay waste to israel's enemies by supernatural means, showing the power of jehovah, he does this less in the new testament but still has the characteristics of A) being explicitly involved and B) doing things contrary to natural laws. Since he stopped doing these things, that's a change in MO and a pretty abrupt one too.

      Also, do I really need to explain what "having a hand in" something is to you? Chad, if you consider yourself even sort of smart, try actually debating me instead of straw men and technicalities then please, I promise you that you can actually learn something for once instead of sticking in your little box that has so many holes a colander would be embarrassed.

      "Again, you dont seem to be getting the point, how can I know if some natural disaster is Gods judgement if He doesnt tell us?" – This is the point i've been trying to make kiddo, please pay closer attention, you must have been a complete terror with you teachers. You've stated that god doesn't speak with us anymore and you've shown that he said he wouldn't (which is, again, besides the point) and we've seen that nothing supernatural has occurred, nothing that has broken natural laws even though god has shown that he can break those laws if he chooses. You have decided to go with "I don't know" (which keep in mind, we've debated this before, only that time I argued that "I don't know" was an acceptable answer and you huffed about how it was a cop out, remember?) instead of looking at the bare bone facts and discuss them.

      Also, I see you have chosen to ignore the fact that you aren't an expert on evolution and the big bang theory and double down on the "you haven't read the bible" angle. Take me up on my offer chad and I will do likewise. I'll stay away from discussing the bible as long as you stay away from evolution and the big bang, because you have shown you clearly don't understand either.

      October 31, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • Chad

      Look, it’s simple:
      ===
      You are saying that God has changed behavior (He sent divine judgment in the past, isn’t doing it anymore); I am saying no He hasn’t changed behavior because: the fact that certain natural disasters between ~2000BC and 30AD were Gods divine judgment was revealed to us by prophets. God told us that after John the Baptist there would be no further prophets, so we don’t know since then if any natural disasters are Gods judgment. Not knowing doesn’t mean God changed.
      ===

      You are confusing “canon closed” with the death of John the Baptist. (why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed?
      Canon was closed in ~400AD, the last prophet was John the Baptist ~30AD
      ===
      You are saying that these natural disasters(~2000BC to ~30AD) were “created by God”, “having a hand in”; I asked you what you meant by that (do you mean "knew before hand what would happen because He built that in from the formation of the universe" or do you mean "God moved particles around supernaturally to create the disaster") you declined to answer. Presumably because you want to create a picture that God whips up tornado’s by spinning his hands in a circle or something.. nonsense..

      ===
      You are saying that the bible isn’t a historical doc; I disagree, it accurately records history. No historical fact in the bible has ever been disproved.
      ===
      You are saying that one doesn’t need to be familiar with the bible to criticize it, obviously you are incorrect on this.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • fred

      Where does god tell us there will be no more prophets after JTB?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Chad

      For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. Mathew 11

      One could also argue that Jesus was the last prophet, which I wouldnt quibble with.

      October 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      Are you seriously telling me that we need someone to tell us it's god when something supernatural happens? That's stupid, even for you. If an event happens that literally breaks natural laws, I'm not going to wait for some random person to say, "yeah, it was god this time, he told me so, last night, in a dream".....

      "You are confusing “canon closed” with the death of John the Baptist. (why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed?
      Canon was closed in ~400AD, the last prophet was John the Baptist ~30AD"

      - At what point did I make this mistake? All I've said about the canon is that it's closed, I haven't said when, or by whom, I'm literally just stating that it's closed. Why do you keep imagining these things chad? Too scared to actually debate me so are you just making stuff up to debate now?

      Chad, I guess you are that stupid, so I'll ask it a different way, do you think god literally creates tornadoes and pushes them through tornado alley? Or to be more precise, do you think god actively creates these tornados or just watches as they bowl through little towns?

      Is the bible an historical doc? Yes and no. No in the sense that every tiny little thing purported to have happened int he bible didn't happen. You can keep saying that nothing has ever been proven false, except for the fact that all the outlandish claims like turning water into wine, people living in giant fishes, walking on water, angels swooping through ancient civilizations and targeting first born children is all impossible. If you can show me that any of these things are actually possible in anyway, then you might have some ground to stand on, until that time the only way that the bible is an historical doc is in the historical fiction section. Sure there were people and places that existed in reality, but it also wove magic and monsters into it that makes it land strictly in fiction. Cry about it.

      "You are saying that one doesn’t need to be familiar with the bible to criticize it, obviously you are incorrect on this." - No, again, why do you insist on trying to argue something that I didn't say? Are you really that scared? What I said was I am not an expert on the bible, I'm not a zealot like some people here, however I am familiar with it and have read it multiple times. You keep whining over and over again about how I "haven't read it" because apparently the only people who have read the bible are people that agree with you. It's an idiotic cop out, but if you insist that I clearly don't know the bible and shouldn't criticize it, then the same should be said for you on your knowledge on evolution and the big bang. Do you accept my offer or do you want to stop crying every time I disagree you that I haven't read the bible.

      October 31, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “Are you seriously telling me that we need someone to tell us it's god when something supernatural happens?
      @Chad “God always announces His intentions ahead of time, and takes credit for them after, right? If you can find a single case in the bible where that wasn’t the case, be sure to let me know”

      ===========
      @Concerned Citizen “"You are confusing “canon closed” with the death of John the Baptist. (why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed? Canon was closed in ~400AD, the last prophet was John the Baptist ~30AD"
      – At what point did I make this mistake?
      @Chad “you said:
      From both our points of view there's a reason why these are particularly in the bible over your average natural disaster. In my opinion it was to show how powerful the jewish god was and that he exercised his power to strike fear into other heathens, it was a way for them to show that their god was more powerful that the other ones around. If we look at it from your point of view though and the bible is an historical docu.ment, then these are still meaningful entries because they stand out from the regular catastrophes because of the unnaturalness to them as well as god having the direct intervention thing by literally stating his intentions. Either way you skirted the question, why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed?
      Maintaining that God has deviated from His established MO (of claiming responsibility for judgment) since canon was closed (in ~400AD).
      God hasn’t claimed responsibility since ~30AD because that’s when the last prophet was.
      You were off by ~370 years.. see?

      ===========
      @Concerned Citizen “"You can keep saying that nothing has ever been proven false, except for the fact that all the outlandish claims like turning water into wine, people living in giant fishes, walking on water, angels swooping through ancient civilizations and targeting first born children is all impossible.”
      @Chad “impossible based on what? The only way they are impossible is if you presuppose that God does not exist.”

      ===========
      @Concerned Citizen “" however I am familiar with it and have read it multiple times.”
      @Chad “heard that on many occasions from atheists, perhaps twice I have been shown to be wrong when I say:
      "Baloney, I don’t believe you, your comments say otherwise :-)""

      October 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Chad. "that's nonsense. what I do, is if you say "God does not exist" I ask you to provide proof of your assertion."

      That's dishonest. Many times you've said that and the answer is always – You're the one making the assertion that god exists – we aren't born believeing in god – so you are the one to prove. It's not possible to disprove something that doesn't exist.
      Likewise, to frame the discussion the way you do – you've been asked many times to disprove the existence of Zeus or Odin or any of the other thousands of god. You never do. when you do, the same applies to your god.

      October 31, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Chad

      once again, this is an atheists view regarding claims made such as "God does not exist"

      The burden of proof is always on the person who makes a claim. A claim may be positive or negative. For example there may be a claim that "X is real" or "X is unreal." Both types of claims (X and not X) require supporting evidence or logical defense. However, it is much more difficult to prove that something does not exist than that something does exist.
      When anyone makes a claim, either positive or negative, it is the responsibility of the person making the claim to prove it. It is easy to get around the obligation to present proof ("burden of proof"). For example, instead of stating "X is unreal" or "X does not exist," subst itute "I do not believe X is real," or "I do not know of any evidence that X is real."

      The burden of proof is always on the person as serting something. Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, is the fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.

      source:

      http://www.freethoughtdebater.org/2012/03/03/atheism-agnosticism-and-burden-of-proof/
      http://atheism.about.com/od/doesgodexist/a/burdenofproof.htm
      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html

      October 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      Uh oh..... "God always announces His intentions ahead of time, and takes credit for them after, right?" So your saying gods MO is to always explicitly say whenever he's involved, and if a supernatural event occurs (say, a smiting of the first born, a man living inside a giant fish for days, etc...) and god is mum on the subject, that means.... it was someone else?

      "God hasn’t claimed responsibility since ~30AD because that’s when the last prophet was.
      You were off by ~370 years.. see?" - You nitpicking bas.tard, sorry but it's true. You were arguing this entire time because I said god hasn't claimed responsibility since the canon was closed and you were focusing on it being even earlier than that? Chad, that hurts your position, not strengthens it. it just gives us 370 more years of acts ascribed to god but shouldn't have been because he didn't say them. Furthermore, I wasn't arguing dates about when the canon was closed, I was just saying god has been MIA for a while now, if you think that by scoring a point off of me by pointing out that god has been MIA for even longer, your really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

      "“impossible based on what? The only way they are impossible is if you presuppose that God does not exist.”" - Chad, can you fly without the aid of technology? What about turn completely invisible by force of will? Can you breathe underwater? Do you or anyone you know have control over the weather? I only ask because as far as I know, all of these things are impossible and directly contradict the laws of physics. Then again, with people like you who presuppose that a god must exist, you live in a little fantasy world where anything is possible. I'm sorry to burst your bubble kiddo, but we live in the real world now, we're adults and as such we should recognize that there are impossible things in this world, like turning lead into gold for instance.

      Serious question time, How is it that you are completely fine believing in a god you've never physically seen, or touched. You've never spoken to him or seen a prophet and all you have to go on is a book written thousands of years ago. All this makes complete sense to you and because of this you've determined that anything is possible, except of course scientific theories like the big bang theory, which is based on evidence? Do you not understand how incredibly backwards that is?

      Oh and PS, keep whining about how I've never read the bible, it really supports your arguments and makes you sound like an adult. ;)

      November 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “Are you seriously telling me that we need someone to tell us it's god when something supernatural happens?
      @Chad “God always announces His intentions ahead of time, and takes credit for them after, right? If you can find a single case in the bible where that wasn’t the case, be sure to let me know”
      @Concerned Citizen “So your saying gods MO is to always explicitly say whenever he's involved, and if a supernatural event occurs (say, a smiting of the first born, a man living inside a giant fish for days, etc...) and god is mum on the subject. that means.... it was someone else.”
      @Chad “In general, yes. The exception would be that many prayers are answered supernaturally (prayers for healing for example), that God doesn’t announce thru a prophet that He did that. Other than that, yes.

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen " why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed?"
      @Chad “You said canon closed (~400AD), the reality is that the last prophet was ~30AD, as I said before, you were incorrect.
      =======
      @Concerned Citizen “I only ask because as far as I know, all of these things are impossible and directly contradict the laws of physics”
      @Chad “agreed, that’s why you consider them impossible, your presupposition precludes the existence of God..
      =======
      @Concerned Citizen “Serious question time, How is it that you are completely fine believing in a god you've never physically seen, or touched.”
      @Chad “A. everyone believes things they have never seen or touched. Ever see a quark? Ever see Aristotle? Ever see subatomic particles?
      B. The God of Israel CAN be experienced directly, you just need to look.

      =========
      What in the world makes you think I don’t believe in the big bang theory? I do believe in it. Your experience with the bible, and Christians in general, seems to be extraordinarily narrow (yet you view it as entirely complete)..

      November 1, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      Now now, you seem to be changing your reply here. First you say that god only announces his supernatural acts before the event, then all of a sudden he answers prayers supernaturally without doing so? You're almost as big of a flip flopper as Romney here. Also, if a supernatural event does happen (this event is defined as transcending natural laws, so something has to be powerful enough to break natural laws) who would it be? Who has powers like god?

      "@Concerned Citizen " why has god deviated from his MO after the canon was closed?"
      @Chad “You said canon closed (~400AD), the reality is that the last prophet was ~30AD, as I said before, you were incorrect."

      –Chad, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel and completely ignoring the actual question. It's like me telling you I don't think that a christmas carol is a true story but gives a good idea of what London circa 1820 looked like, but in reality ghosts do not exist and you countering that it was written in 1843 ipso facto ghosts exist and I've clearly never read a christmas carol because if I did I would clearly believe in ghosts..... it's pretty pathetic

      "A. everyone believes things they have never seen or touched. Ever see a quark? Ever see Aristotle? Ever see subatomic particles?
      B. The God of Israel CAN be experienced directly, you just need to look."

      –A) Quarks, subatomic particles, and other things of that nature are there because their is proof that they are they, you know, that thing called evidence and I don't have a "belief" in them, I know they exist as a fact, stop trying to equate the belief you have in god as the same as my belief in a quark, they are two very different things. As for Aristotle, he was an historical figure, the same way as Abe Lincoln, Aesop, Alexander, Cesar, and even Jesus or at least a person named Joshua bar Joseph. These people existed, or at least the bare bones facts of them, however I start to question their ACTS if they were supernatural, if someone said Lincoln was killing vampires during the civil war, I would ask for more than just his diaries considering vampires do not exist.

      You get huffy when I make a statement like "flying is impossible" because that somehow presupposes god does not exist, yet you presuppose god does exist when you say that the big bang theory is only true because god was the one to create the spark. So here we stand at an impasse. I have yet to see any existence of god in anyway and thus don't think that god should be inserted into every gap in a scientific theory. You have somehow had direct contact with this god of yours because you're special apparently and so god gets credit for everything, unless of course it's bad, then that wasn't god, it was something else. Chad, you keep arguing yourself into a corner, it's pretty hilarious to watch.

      November 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “First you say that god only announces his supernatural acts before the event, then all of a sudden he answers prayers supernaturally without doing so?
      @Chad “not really, what I said was: ““God always announces His intentions ahead of time, and takes credit for them after”
      Which is 100% true in a corporal setting, and at the same time doesn’t preclude dealing with a specific person in a supernatural way, where of course the source of the miracle could never be falsely ascribed. The key to remember is this: when God acts, He wants us to know that He is acting.”
      =======
      @Concerned Citizen “ Quarks, subatomic particles, and other things of that nature are there because their is proof that they are they”
      @Chad “You don’t have proof, rather you have evidence of their existence, right? Likewise:
      Evidence for God:
      The origin of the universe
      2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life
      3. The origin of life on earth
      4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record.
      5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth.
      ===========
      Your mistake with the “canon closed” is just the result of not knowing that the NT docu ments were authored much earlier than the council of nicea.

      I don’t presuppose God, I was raised in an agnostic house, I was convinced by the evidence.

      November 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      "The key to remember is this: when God acts, He wants us to know that He is acting." – Well considering he has yet to make any appearance since 30 AD, he's either really bad at letting us know OR he doesn't exist. Womp womp

      "Evidence for God:
      The origin of the universe – Not evidence for god.
      2. The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life – Not evidence, not even true, considering that 99% + is NOT fine tuned for the building blocks, this is actually, if anything, evidence that god doesn't exist.
      3. The origin of life on earth – Not evidence for god.
      4. Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record. – Not evidence for god
      5. The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth. – Finally, something that directly relates to a god, however not good enough, not by a long shot. Relying on someones conviction will only land you in a scam and you standing around like an idiot, and considering the whole "empty tomb" thing is easily explainable, also not good enough.

      It's sad that you stake your faith on such pathetic and sad excuses for evidence, you must be a very weak person.

      "Your mistake with the “canon closed” is just the result of not knowing that the NT docu ments were authored much earlier than the council of nicea." – My mistake was mistyping, and a small one at that, considering this has absolutely nothing to do with the debate I say once again that you trying to even make this a thing means you are desperate and pathetic.

      "I don’t presuppose God, I was raised in an agnostic house, I was convinced by the evidence." Being raised in an agnostic household has nothing do to with your presupposition. That comment was about as stupid as me saying "I grew up in a Jewish household and that's why I wear black socks". And you clearly DO presuppose god if you believe he exists and ascribe events to him. If you grew up in an agnostic household but the "evidence" convinced you otherwise, the same is true for me except vice versa. Grew up in a religious household but now I'm an atheist. Now, whenever I learn something new I don't insert god into there, you do. You have the presupposition, not me.

      November 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “The origin of the universe – Not evidence for god.”
      @Chad “proof positive that an agent external to our time/space exists, do you have any other candidates?”

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen “ The fine tuning of the universe for the building blocks of life – Not evidence, not even true, considering that 99% + is NOT fine tuned for the building blocks, this is actually, if anything, evidence that god doesn't exist.”
      @Chad “You are badly mistaken.
      "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires". Paul Davies, "How bio-friendly is the universe?" International Journal of Astrobiology, vol. 2, no. 2 (2003):

      ==========
      @Concerned Citizen “ The origin of life on earth – Not evidence for god.”
      @Chad “I’m starting to see a pattern in your responses.. you believe merely saying “no it isn’t” is all the refutation that is required ;-)
      ON the other hand, I tend to stick to data.
      While the experiments carried out by Stanley Miller and others who have built upon his work show that life may have arisen from a primordial soup, that possibility remains theoretical. There is no evidence for pre-cellular life on Earth; what's more, critics of the RNA world hypothesis point out that the experiments that support the concepts were conducted with biologically created RNA. RNA can act as both a template for self-replication and an enzyme for carrying out that process, but these findings have been carried out in controlled laboratory experiments. This doesn't necessarily prove such delicate actions could happen in the seas of the ancient Earth.
      For reasons like these, the RNA world hypothesis has been largely abandoned by proponents of abiogenesis in favor of other hypotheses, like the simultaneous development of both proteins and genetic templates or the development of life around undersea vents similar to those currently inhabited by today's extremophiles. But there is one criticism that any abiogenesis hypothesis has difficulty overcoming: time. DNA-based life is thought to have developed on Earth beginning around 3.8 billion years ago, giving pre-cellular life forms about 1 billion years to carry out random processes of encoding useful proteins and as sembling them into the precursors of cellular life . Critics of abiogenesis say that simply isn't enough time for inorganic matter to become the theorized precellular life. One estimate suggests it would take 10^450 (10 to the 450th power) years for one useful protein to be randomly created .
      This is one obstacle that makes panspermia an attractive explanation: It doesn't explain the origin of life, merely the origin of life on Earth. Panspermia hypotheses don't necessarily contradict abiogenesis; they merely shift the origin elsewhere. Yet the jury is still out on several important factors that must be in place for panspermia to be correct. Is it possible, for example, for microbial life to survive during the harsh conditions found in the trip through space, the entrance to Earth's atmosphere and the impact on Earth's surface?
      Some recent hypotheses suggest that it needn't survive. One researcher postulates that dead scraps of DNA could have arrived on Earth via ballistic panspermia and were replicated through a kickstarted process similar to RNA world . Other researchers aim to scour Mars for fossil life and compare any genetic material to that found universally on Earth to determine relation .
      Yet if life on Earth did begin elsewhere and travel to our planet the question still remains: What is life's origin?

      ==========
      @Concerned Citizen “ Punctuated Equilibrium: the fossil record showing species experiencing millions, 100's of millions of years of stasis (no change, random genetic mutations are weeded out of the gene pool resulting in a pool 'wobbling about the genetic mean'), followed by extremely rapid change resulting in new species appearing fully formed in the fossil record. – Not evidence for god”
      @Chad “there’s that pattern again!! No need for data, no need for an argument.. just “no it isn’t” :-)
      But, I stick to data, so here it is:
      What are the processes that explain stasis followed by rapid bursts of change?
      Why does the gene pool of a species "wobble about the genetic mean" (stasis) for millions and millions of years, then WHAM ,EVERYTHING explodes in one grand paroxysm of necessarily reliant mutations that produce a new species.
      An atheist says "well.. ah... em... you know, given enough time anything can happen"
      A theist says " do you think it coincidence that this is the exact sequence of events that the bible describes?"

      ==========
      @Concerned Citizen “ The empty tomb, and the unshakable conviction among followers and enemies alike that they had witnesses a resurrected Jesus. A conviction they held so strongly that they went to their deaths proclaiming its truth. – Finally, something that directly relates to a god, however not good enough, not by a long shot. Relying on someones conviction will only land you in a scam and you standing around like an idiot, and considering the whole "empty tomb" thing is easily explainable, also not good enough.
      @Chad “this should be good, please explain the empty tomb :-)

      November 1, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • ChardWatch 2 Electric Bugaloo

      Chad: "The burden of proof is always on the person who makes a claim"

      This is bull as well in the case of defending the Bible because It, the Bible, is the claim that has never been proven to be true. You are simply trying to defend it. If you reference something from it, you should either have credible evidence to defend it, or just be honest and say it is all alleged. Handed-down writings based on other, ancient writings about ancient characters is not credible evidence. So no, it is not up to someone who doesn't subscribe to any truth claimed in the Bible to make a proof – it is up to the believer.

      November 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chad

      The burden of proof is always on the person who makes a claim. A claim may be positive or negative. For example there may be a claim that "X is real" or "X is unreal." Both types of claims (X and not X) require supporting evidence or logical defense. However, it is much more difficult to prove that something does not exist than that something does exist.
      When anyone makes a claim, either positive or negative, it is the responsibility of the person making the claim to prove it. It is easy to get around the obligation to present proof ("burden of proof"). For example, instead of stating "X is unreal" or "X does not exist," subst itute "I do not believe X is real," or "I do not know of any evidence that X is real."

      The burden of proof is always on the person as serting something. Shifting the burden of proof, a special case of Argumentum ad Ignorantiam, is the fallacy of putting the burden of proof on the person who denies or questions the assertion. The source of the fallacy is the assumption that something is true unless proven otherwise.

      source:
      http://www.freethoughtdebater.org/2012/03/03/atheism-agnosticism-and-burden-of-proof/
      http://atheism.about.com/od/doesgodexist/a/burdenofproof.htm
      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html

      November 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • ChardWatch 2 Electric Bugaloo

      Well you can copy and paste all you want, Chad. But no one has ever proved one thing from the Bible to be true using credible evidence (at least, nothing that has survived the ages to be available as current credible proof). And again – words on paper or rock or any other media is not proof of anything. So, for me, the Bible is the unfounded claim – and when you state that you accept certain things as true from it, you are just trying (but failing) to lend credibility to that claim. I wouldn't even have to type one word – just your saying anything based on alleged events in the Bible is an unfounded claim.

      And you can continue to respond to requests for credible proof by only asking for disproof. But that should be a clear sign to others reading this that it's clearly unfounded when many have asked you for reasonable proof and all you can do is use some kind of self-reference (citing the Bible for instance).

      November 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Chad

      This is just incredible, seriously, let me just quote you for a second, "I don’t presuppose God, I was raised in an agnostic house, I was convinced by the evidence."

      Then in the next paragraph we have you proving god by presupposing god in events. , "“proof positive that an agent external to our time/space exists, do you have any other candidates?”" – Not proof positive at all, there was no universe, then there was, you presuppose that there was an external agent without any proof of there actually being one and then you further presuppose it was the god of the bible, though you and I both know other "candidates" could have been Odin, Ra, Coronus, Baal, Shiva, etc...

      "ON the other hand, I tend to stick to data." – No you don't you stick to data with the presupposition of god already inserted, so when you point out the probability being very high, you've already inserted a god, specifically your god as the external agent to make this happen, without support from the bible mind you as the bible states that man was zapped into being fully formed (bring on the tears as you tell me god made man from clay and breathed life and didn't zap ...... here's a tissue)

      "An atheist says "well.. ah... em... you know, given enough time anything can happen"
      A theist says " do you think it coincidence that this is the exact sequence of events that the bible describes?""

      - The bible does not describe these events, maybe I'm not the one who needs to actually read the bible here..... The bible clearly states that all animals were created whole by god, no genetic mutations, no evolutionary path, they just came to be, unless you are reading a different bible than the rest of us, which would explain why you keep crying that no ones read it, but I don't think I bible that you made up in your head counts. Futhermore, this again has nothing to do with god but your presupposition of there being a god and inserting it into gaps or questionable spaces. This is not in any way evidence of an external agent messing about with evolution, it's just inside your head.

      "@Chad “this should be good, please explain the empty tomb " – HAHAHAHAHAHAHA So after whining about my short one sentence answers, you give one yourself. Are you messing with me? Are you really oblivious to these types of shenanigans?
      As we all know Chad, empty tombs OBVIOUSLY mean the dead has risen, there's no way ANYTHING else could have happened right? I mean, there were those guys who said it was jesus and they believed it SO MUCH, when someone believes in something a lot, you just have to believe them right? I mean, it's only fair.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:38 am |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “This is just incredible, seriously, let me just quote you for a second, "I don’t presuppose God, I was raised in an agnostic house, I was convinced by the evidence."
      @Chad “you seem unfamiliar with the definition of preconception:
      preconception "An opinion or conception formed in advance of adequate knowledge or experience, especially a prejudice or bias."
      As I said, I was convinced by the evidence I initially presupposed the opposite.

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen “Then in the next paragraph we have you proving god by presupposing god in events. , "“proof positive that an agent external to our time/space exists, do you have any other candidates?”" – Not proof positive at all, there was no universe, then there was, you presuppose that there was an external agent without any proof of there actually being one”
      @Chad “you seem unfamiliar with the state of cosmology and physics.
      It is by definition impossible for “there was no universe, then there was” without intervention by some external agent. This is why atheist cosmologists propose external agents such as multiverses.

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen “then you further presuppose it was the god of the bible, though you and I both know other "candidates" could have been Odin, Ra, Coronus, Baal, Shiva, etc...”
      @Chad “the proof positive part is that an external agent is required, the evidence points to that external agent being the God of Israel.”

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen “ The bible clearly states that all animals were created whole by god, no genetic mutations, no evolutionary path”
      @Chad “Really? Where does it say that? I have read it many, many times and I havent seen anywhere that says herds of cows (for example) just materialized out of thin air and started eating..

      I thought it said:
      And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.
      Then the LORD God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life
      Note that the bible says we are formed from the dust.

      which bible are you reading?

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen “considering the whole "empty tomb" thing is easily explainable,”
      @had “this should be good, please explain the empty tomb "
      @Concerned Citizen “ HAHAHAHAHAHAHA So after whining about my short one sentence answers, you give one yourself. Are you messing with me? Are you really oblivious to these types of shenanigans?
      @Chad “? I’m confused; you said it was easily explainable??

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen “As we all know Chad, empty tombs OBVIOUSLY mean the dead has risen”
      @Chad “no.. empty tomb means the body is no longer there, resurrection is an explanation for the empty tomb”

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen “ there's no way ANYTHING else could have happened right? I mean, there were those guys who said it was jesus and they believed it SO MUCH, when someone believes in something a lot, you just have to believe them right? I mean, it's only fair.
      @Chad “like.. what? You said it was easily explainable? So please do so :-)

      November 2, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Chad

      note:

      presuppose
      (of an action, process, or argument) Require as a precondition of possibility or coherence.
      Tacitly assume at the beginning of a line of argument or course of action that something is the case.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • ChardWatch 2 Electric Bugaloo

      Chad says: "@Chad “the proof positive part is that an external agent is required, the evidence points to that external agent being the God of Israel.”"

      What kind of evidence Chad? You haven't shown any evidence.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      This is ridiculous, you were "convinced" by evidence that presupposes that a god HAD to be involved. That's circular reasoning kiddo, though I guess you're used to it because you use that same circular reasoning for the bible as well. Of the 5 things you listed, four of them have no need for a god but you've inserted one in there anyways.

      "“you seem unfamiliar with the state of cosmology and physics.
      It is by definition impossible for “there was no universe, then there was” without intervention by some external agent. This is why atheist cosmologists propose external agents such as multiverses" - Actually the multiverse theory is just one way to explain it, you seem to be unfamiliar considering you are apply this universes rules and physics to pre-universe conditions, which we don't know what was and was not possible. It's astounding that you have so much ego to think you know what conditions were like pre-big bang, no one knows and chances are we will never know.

      @Chadwatch is also right, what evidence exactly? We only have evidence of what the universe was like nanoseconds after the Big Bang already occurred, since we haven't seen what it looked like before then there is no evidence there was an external agent or not, and furthermore even if there was your "evidence" is just as good as Ra or Odin, etc.... you just want to insert your god because, well he's yours. Your presupposition is showing again, so just admit it. In your first four instances the only person who has bias here is you.

      "no.. empty tomb means the body is no longer there, resurrection is an explanation for the empty tomb” – You're right, resurrection is one explanation, not the only explanation, but one of, though if we're including resurrection I guess we should also include aliens, time travelers, gnomes, maybe vampires (I mean, Judas WAS the first vampire and all and he betrayed jesus). It MUST have been vampires then right? I mean, they have supernatural strength to move the boulder, the rise from the dead and walk among the living, it fits! And in your world anything is possible right?

      Chad, when you begin to add magic to the equation of historical events, sure the resurrection could have occurred, but considering I have yet to hear about any person being clinically dead for three days straight coming back to life, it's silly and childish to think otherwise (something you are well versed in). Why exactly is it that I or anyone else should immediately conclude that when much more possible events could have occurred and then were obscured and changed over time? I don't jump to ghosts every time something goes missing in my apartment chad, I as.sume I misplaced it, or my roommates used and misplaced it, or it was stolen or any number of absurd but POSSIBLE outcomes before I jump to gnomes, ghosts, or magic in general.

      November 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “This is ridiculous, you were "convinced" by evidence that presupposes that a god HAD to be involved”
      @Chad “ah.. no.. guess you missed the part where I said I grew up in an agnostic household and that was my presupposition (because it wasn’t founded on any evidence, it was just a view I grew up with). I was convinced later on by the evidence that God was real.

      ===
      @Concerned Citizen “ there was no universe, then there was, you presuppose that there was an external agent without any proof of there actually being one”
      @Chad “you seem unfamiliar with the state of cosmology and physics. It is by definition impossible for “there was no universe, then there was” without intervention by some external agent. This is why atheist cosmologists propose external agents such as multiverses.
      @Concerned Citizen “ Actually the multiverse theory is just one way to explain it, you seem to be unfamiliar considering you are apply this universes rules and physics to pre-universe conditions, which we don't know what was and was not possible.”
      @Chad “again, there was nothing before the big bang, that’s the entire point. That’s why an external agent is necessary, as I said before. ”

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen “ what evidence exactly? We only have evidence of what the universe was like nanoseconds after the Big Bang already occurred:
      @Chad “we know that all the matter in the universe, time and space itself was created. There was NOTHING before, no time, no space, nothing. This is the current state of the big bang theory, current cosmology. There is nothing theological about those facts.
      How do you explain the reality that everything came from nothing? There is only one possibility, and external agent was involved.

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen “ You're right, resurrection is one explanation, not the only explanation, but one of, though if we're including resurrection I guess we should also include aliens, time travelers, gnomes, maybe vampires.”
      @Chad “if that’s your theory, then you are welcome to stand it up alongside the resurrection of Jesus by the God of Israel as an explanation. What historical or other evidence are you providing to support it?”

      ========
      @Concerned Citizen “ Chad, when you begin to add magic to the equation of historical events, sure the resurrection could have occurred, but considering I have yet to hear about any person being clinically dead for three days straight coming back to life, it's silly and childish to think otherwise (something you are well versed in). “
      @Chad “I agree that there is no possibility that Jesus was raised from the dead naturalistically (that is via natural processes). It was a supernatural event.
      Unless you are prepared to defend the thesis that “The God of Israel does not exist”, the supernatural must remain on the table as a potential option. Right?

      =====
      Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
      The Universe began to exist.
      Therefore, the Universe had a cause.

      that is the proof of the necessity for an external agent.
      It is metaphysically impossible for something to come from nothing.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Are you really still using these dishonest tactics and arguments? Don't you get tired of being known as dishonest ass with absolutely no depth of thought, no integrity, and no real point?

      November 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Question for the Chad

      Why has god got a bellybutton? He must have needed a womb to develop and was that womb otherwordly, Kolobian perhaps? Stupid questions for one that can always come up with a stupid answer or biblical quote to make a Chadian point.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • ChardWatch 2 Electric Bugaloo

      Chad: "again, there was nothing before the big bang, that’s the entire point. That’s why an external agent is necessary, as I said before. ”

      "There was NOTHING before, no time, no space, nothing. This is the current state of the big bang theory, current cosmology."

      You have no proof for that statement – no one does.

      Chad: How do you explain the reality that everything came from nothing? There is only one possibility, and external agent was involved."

      Your assumption of "from nothing" is again something that no one knows about for certain. Regardless, even if there were an external agent, there is no proof that such an agent would necessarily have survived the last big bang, that such an agent would have resulted into a singular intelligence that is now represented through folklore as something ancient man dreamed up in his own image – ancient man who was afraid of his own shadow.

      And again, Chad asks for more disproof, to avoid supplying any credible proof for claims the Bible has made.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      "I was convinced later on by the evidence that God was real." – The "evidence" you're using has a god bias built into it. The 5 points you provided as "evidence" only relate to god because you are making them relate to god. If you remove your bias then each one *could* involve god, but in no way does it give proof that there was a god. If anything, you should still be agnostic except you have hubris (like most christians) and you think you KNOW something that can't be known.

      "again, there was nothing before the big bang, that’s the entire point. That’s why an external agent is necessary, as I said before. ” – You are using the word "nothing" as it relates to the "nothing" that exists in this universe, but we don't know that, nor do we know the definition of nothing in its present state applies to what conditions were like pre-big bang. We have no idea if it was necessary for an external agent to begin rapid expansion, you demanding it does and banging your shoe on the desk doesn't make you any more right or logical, it just makes you seem like a kid who doesn't like to be proven wrong.

      "There was NOTHING before, no time, no space, nothing" – You don't know this and again, the "nothing" aspect could have been different when there was no such things as space, time, dimensions, matter, etc.... who knows the rules and whether it needs an external agent or not. This is purely your bias creeping in, just admit it.

      "What historical or other evidence are you providing to support it?" – I'm assuming you mean my theory that jesus was a vampire? Lets see, We all know that Judas was the first vampire, so we already have vampires placed exactly during the time of jesus. Since Jesus and Judas knew each other it's easy to link the two already. When someone becomes a vampire, they have their blood drained from them and then die, coming back to life days later as the undead. Jesus had been stabbed and pegged to the cross, blood flowing freely out of him, then after he died he was dead and buried. He later came back to life as the undead. His tomb was sealed shut with a massive stone, but we all know vampires wield supernatural strength, so it's no wonder that he could have rolled the stone himself. Jesus fits the profile of being a vampire, now prove I am wrong, you are making the claim that he wasn't and your claim is absurd.

      Chad, magic does not exist (and I'm honestly appalled that I need to tell that to a grown adult). The idea that magic exists, that supernatural events have occurred and that the resurrection among the many magical things that happen in the bible is absurd and it's sad to see a grown man try to argue the existence of his god by saying magic does exist, just not any proof of it. You sound like a complete nu.tter.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • David Copperfield or not

      Magic of course does exist, but is based on deception and illusion much like what the writers of the bible employed. The authors of the good book were the best fiction writers of their time. They did plagiarize a great deal from other religious tomes, the Theogony for example, Dionysus and Jesus had many similar attributes.

      November 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “ The "evidence" you're using has a god bias built into it. The 5 points you provided as "evidence" only relate to god because you are making them relate to god”
      @Chad “LOL”
      Lawyer: “Sir, what makes you think my client robbed the store”
      Witness: “I saw him running out with cash and carrying a pistol, closely pursued by a man yelling “he robbed my store”,”
      Lawyer: “well, that’s not evidence”
      Witness “?? How do you figure that?”
      Lawyer: “you are only calling that evidence of a crime because you are making that relate to my client, you are demonstrating a predisposition that my client committed a crime”
      Witness “??, I never met your client before that, it’s evidence that he committed a crime. I saw him running out with cash, carrying a gun, closely pursued by a man yelling “he robbed my store”, I am reasonably concluding he robbed the store”
      Lawyer “oh my, you sure are a moron”

      ===========
      @Concerned Citizen “You are using the word "nothing" as it relates to the "nothing" that exists in this universe, but we don't know that”
      @Chad “it’s pretty simple, According to Einstein's theory of relativity, time only came into being as the singularity expanded toward its current size and shape (the big bang). “Prior” to that, there was none of that which came into existence (all matter in the universe, time and space itself).
      We DO know that. We DO know that all matter, time and space itself came into existence. Now, there can certainly be “something else”, however, that something else cannot, by definition, be confined to our time/space. That is what the external agent is. This is not me making this claim, this is Albert Einstein.

      ===========
      @Concerned Citizen “"What historical or other evidence are you providing to support it?" – I'm assuming you mean my theory that jesus was a vampire? Lets see, We all know that Judas was the first vampire, so we already have vampires placed exactly during the time of jesus”
      @Chad “ you have some historical docu ment saying that Judas was a vampire? Please provide a link, thanks”

      ===========
      @Concerned Citizen “Chad, magic does not exist (and I'm honestly appalled that I need to tell that to a grown adult). The idea that magic exists, that supernatural events have occurred and that the resurrection among the many magical things that happen in the bible is absurd and it's sad to see a grown man try to argue the existence of his god by saying magic does exist, just not any proof of it. You sound like a complete nu.tter.”
      @Chad “ok, so you are making the claim that God does not exist? Just want to be clear here. You are NOT merely making the statement “I don’t believe God exists” or, “It has not been demonstrated to me that God does not exist”, rather you ARE making the statement “God does not exist””

      Is that correct? Are you making the as sertion that God does not exist?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Wow you really do enjoy being dishonest. I never thought I'd see someone that actually enjoyed their own dishonesty so much.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Chad

      just out of curiosity, will this be the first time you actually state what is dishonest, and why?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • David Copperfield or not

      See I told you magic exists, the deception and illusion and down right lies in the Chad's post are ample evidence. My opinion only, Jesus was an itinerant preacher with a gift of the gab, sllight of hand and had twelve guys to help him put on the show. Prove me wrong Chad. Of course HE would make it big as TV christian hustler now-a-days; wonder why he doesn't make his long awaited encore?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      (Please imagine me shaking my head), if only your case were so concrete. The case you are making is that it's here so god must of have been the one to do it. There is no person, or evidence screaming god, only your bias.

      "We DO know that. We DO know that all matter, time and space itself came into existence. Now, there can certainly be “something else”, however, that something else cannot, by definition, be confined to our time/space. That is what the external agent is. This is not me making this claim, this is Albert Einstein." - No, we don't how can I get that though your tiny head? We know nothing, we only have guesses and we can't ever confirm those. Also, you asked for Hawaii to show you were you're being dishonest. RIGHT HERE – "external agent" does not mean, sentient being that is from the bible, Albert Einsteins claim was that there was probably something that sparked the big bang, or the great expansion from the singularity, but you are using your bias and your dishonesty to make the claim that this "external agent" whatever it is, was actually the god from the bible, that's a huge jump only made through bias, hubris and arrogance.

      "you have some historical docu ment saying that Judas was a vampire? Please provide a link, thanks”" – The internet always tells the truth, so please wait for a second while I make up a website. Thanks.

      "Is that correct? Are you making the as sertion that God does not exist?" No, I'm saying that there is a very small chance of god existing and is on par with gnomes, gremlins, etc.... And considering you are still the one making the assertion that god DOES exist and have yet to provide proof it looks like you've been hoisted by your own petard.

      Ouch.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Oh I've done so before, and so have other people. But as far as right here, how about that you are not addressing actual points in your rambling non-answers to people, and merely reasserting your original fallacious 5 point idiocy that has been addressed many times already. Or how about that you have that little habit, when you quote others, to not quote when they want evidence of your god? The fact that you're continuing to your little 5 point stupidity and closing off certain avenues arbitrarily because you don't like it?
      There's also the fact that whenever asked for evidence of your assertions, you merely fall back and make claims like "cosmologists say this", for which I have asked for cited sources of that before, and you've never given it. Or how about your completely blind ass assertions of what was going on "before" the big bang, when there is absolutely no way to test and confirm those things.

      November 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • David Copperfield or not

      Chad
      You have your book of truth, the bible, and I have mine the Impossibility of God by Martin and Monier. Have you any examples of what broad study of all sides of the topic that you have conducted that led you to believe that the god of the christians is the one you now defend so poorly?

      November 2, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Chad

      You seem confused on a couple things:

      1. An external agent IS required according to Einstein, that is not up for debate that is what the theory of relativity says.

      2. Who or what that external agent is, is where the debate is. I as sert that the God of Israel is that external agent, based on Him being capable of being that external agent (as He exists outside time/space), He has made Himself known to us through the prophets, through the creation of Israel, and through the person of Jesus Christ, through Whom you can relate to Him now.

      =======
      So you have nothing that indicates Judas was a vampire.. I must confess I am a bit shocked at how diffiuclt you are finding it to provide evidence for your statement that “considering the whole "empty tomb" thing is easily explainable”?
      Seems weird, you seemed so confident..

      ===========
      @ Concerned Citizen “"Is that correct? Are you making the as sertion that God does not exist?" No, I'm saying that there is a very small chance of god existing”
      @Chad “so, if you are acknowledging that God could exist, how are you at the same time saying that the supernatural cant occur?
      You are directly contradicting yourself.. right?

      ==========
      @Hawaii "not addressing actual points "
      @Chad "such as... what?"

      November 2, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      How about not addressing anything in my post except not addressing things, and then only to ask such as when you gave a perfect example of it just now.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      A theory is not a law Chad, you of all people who have argued this should know that it's not iron clad, but even so I'm not rejecting that there could have been an external agent, but we a) don't know for certain and b) don't know if the external agent was sentient.

      Your assertion that it was the god from the bible has no credible evidence, just the bible which is not credible to prove god actually exists.

      "So you have nothing that indicates Judas was a vampire.. I must confess I am a bit shocked at how diffiuclt you are finding it to provide evidence for your statement that “considering the whole "empty tomb" thing is easily explainable”?
      Seems weird, you seemed so confident.." – –

      Here's a link to Judas being the first vampire – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judas_Iscariot

      Oh, also, considering I already gave you a host of reasons how the empty tomb could have come to be, you just have abysmal reading comprehension, which is not my fault.

      "You are directly contradicting yourself.. right?" – No, I am not, I am allowing the possibility of god and magic, though the chances are so minutely small that it would be easier to see the higgs boson. It's sad you are so transparent that you're trying to make me "make an as.sertion" when you are too much of a coward to back up your own insane as.sertion. Pretty pathetic.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Chad

      ah, lol. ok

      @hawaiiguest "how about that you are not addressing actual points in your rambling non-answers to people, and merely reasserting your original fallacious 5 point idiocy that has been addressed many times already"
      @Chad "all my posts are accurate and concise (or as best I can make them), those 5 points are devastating ones for atheists, which is why the only answer is "no it isnt", please explain where any fallacious reasoning has been used."

      and please, demonstrate EXACTLY what the fallacious reasoning is this time.

      ====
      @hawaiiguest " Or how about that you have that little habit, when you quote others, to not quote when they want evidence of your god?"
      @Chad "sigh.. didnt you JUST say that you were tired of the 5 points??"
      I'm happy to provide my evidence for God any time, day or night. You are well aware of that, which is why you complain about it.

      ========
      @hawaiiguest " The fact that you're continuing to your little 5 point stupidity and closing off certain avenues arbitrarily because you don't like it?"
      @Chad "didnt you just say the opposite??? first you say I dont answer when people ask for evidence, then you complain that I continue to provide it.. make up your mind.

      ======
      @hawaiiguest "There's also the fact that whenever asked for evidence of your assertions, you merely fall back and make claims like "cosmologists say this", for which I have asked for cited sources of that before, and you've never given it."
      @Chad "LOL
      Just scroll up if you want sources, my posts are littered with them.

      =====
      @hawaiiguest " Or how about your completely blind as sertions of what was going on "before" the big bang, when there is absolutely no way to test and confirm those things."
      @Chad "I dont as sert that I know anything about before, all I say is that Albert Einsteins says that all of the matter in the universe, and time/space itself was created. NONE of what we see now existed "before".
      That is a true statement. Right?

      November 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • David Copperfield or not

      The god of Isreal is that external agent. How dismissive you are of all the other gods created by man and all the other creation myths that go along with other beliefs.
      I contend we are both athiests, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours. Steven F. Roberts
      The real Copperfield walked across the water of a swimming pool at Ceasers Palace, a neat trick, LOL.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • ChardWatch 2 Electric Bugaloo

      Chad: "1. An external agent IS required according to Einstein, that is not up for debate that is what the theory of relativity says."

      Of course anything before big bang or the last big bang or an alternate universe is up for debate – we simply know nothing about it to know if current scientific knowledge holds true for those other possibilities.

      Chad: "2. Who or what that external agent is, is where the debate is. I as sert that the God of Israel is that external agent, based on Him being capable of being that external agent (as He exists outside time/space), "

      The basis you refer to in the first part of your assertion is no basis whatsoever because it is a circular reference – do you not see that? You are only restating an extremely unlikely possibility. Of course the likelihood is somewhat contingent on any evidence you can show to support that likelihood, so let's continue:

      Chad: "He has made Himself known to us through the prophets, through the creation of Israel, and through the person of Jesus Christ, through Whom you can relate to Him now."

      Only ancient writings based on even more ancient even more rehashed folklore are the basis of any assertion about any contact that man may have had with a higher being. That is not credible evidence. Furthermore, from the same types of bases, it is quite obvious that man attempted to describe higher beings in his image (in man's image) before a single God was described. To any rational mind that should case doubt on the old testament in any way being a credible testament to any man's contact with a higher being.

      November 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      "and please, demonstrate EXACTLY what the fallacious reasoning is this time."
      Your 5 point idiocy is just a bunch of, except for the unfounded assertion of the tomb, which is just that, an unfounded assertions.

      "sigh.. didnt you JUST say that you were tired of the 5 points??"
      Your 5 point idiocy is not evidence of anything except your own lack of thought.

      "didnt you just say the opposite??? first you say I dont answer when people ask for evidence, then you complain that I continue to provide it.. make up your mind."
      Once again, your 5 point idiocy is evidence only of your own lack of thought.

      "LOL
      Just scroll up if you want sources, my posts are littered with them.'
      Person x does not mean that it is a consensus, let alone make it a requirement dumbass.

      ""I dont as sert that I know anything about before, all I say is that Albert Einsteins says that all of the matter in the universe, and time/space itself was created. NONE of what we see now existed "before".
      That is a true statement. Right?"

      "@Concerned Citizen “ what evidence exactly? We only have evidence of what the universe was like nanoseconds after the Big Bang already occurred:
      @Chad “we know that all the matter in the universe, time and space itself was created. There was NOTHING before, no time, no space, nothing. This is the current state of the big bang theory, current cosmology. There is nothing theological about those facts.
      How do you explain the reality that everything came from nothing? There is only one possibility, and external agent was involved."
      And herein lies a statment that is not only false, but you denied even saying it.

      ", all I say is that Albert Einsteins says that all of the matter in the universe, and time/space itself was created."
      You got a quote for that?

      November 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Chad

      so, let me get this straight
      this is your explanation for why the tomb was empty?

      In Dracula 2000, it is suggested that the legendary vampire is actually Judas Iscariot
      In the TNT film The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice Flynn Ca rsen must find the Judas Chalice, which is revealed to be a vampiric Holy Grail made out of the 30 pieces of silver given to Judas—the world's first vampire

      that's what you meant when you said "the whole "empty tomb" thing is easily explainable,"
      :-)
      really?

      November 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      A) It's not my fault you have terrible reading comprehension, If you want to fix that go back to school

      B) Prove it wrong, prove that Judas wasn't a vampire.

      C) That's only one of the ways the tomb could have been empty, there are body sn.atchers out there, there are followers who want to make it be true, there were angry jews and romans who might have wanted to def.ile the body. Those are easier explanations than, "Well the tomb was empty, some followers really believe they saw jesus and it's written in the bible so that all MUST have happened, none of that could have been changed".

      Now please, go on to tell me the bible says xyz thing, I have clearly never read the bible and then while you're wiping away the tears say that because the bible says so that proves there is a god and its case closed and every atheist, hindu, muslim, jew, buddhist, pagan, etc.... are all wrong and they're just being stubborn, right?

      November 2, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen "Prove it wrong, prove that Judas wasn't a vampire."
      @Chad "A. It is utterly fallacious logic to say something is true until it's proven false.
      B. I dont as sert that Judas wasnt a vampire, I am merely asking for you to provide your evidence that he was.
      C. That is your evidence?

      ==========
      @Concerned Citizen "There are body sn.atchers out there, there are followers who want to make it be true"
      @Chad "the reason that "someone stole the body" as a theory is no longer put forth by any atheists in debates on the historicity of the resurrection is that it has been completely refuted:
      A. Motive : There was no "followers who want to make it be true", there was absolutely no Jewish expectation in a crucified Messiah, according to Jewish law, his execution demonstrated that he was literally "cursed by God". The early accounts agree with this, stating that all of the disciples were hiding, leaving town, discouraged. They believed Jesus was dead, and did NOT believe the initial accounts that He was resurrected.

      According to Jewish thought their leader had just been exposed as a fraud (by being crucified).

      B Opportunity, there was none: Tomb was sealed and guarded.

      On top of that, the biggest problem with the "someone stole the body" is that It only explains the empty tomb, it doesnt explain how people (followers, doubters and persecutor) came to believe that at different times, and in different situations, that they had met a physically resurrected Christ. A belief they held so closely that they were willing to die for the truth of it.

      that's why no serious athiest historian attempts to make that argument

      November 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What evidence do you have that "they were willing to die for it"? Can you provide proof that this was the case? How?

      November 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Chad said
      once again, this is an atheists view regarding claims made such as "God does not exist" The burden of proof is always on the person who makes a claim.

      I agree that the burden of proof is always on the person who makes a claim; it is the believers making the claim that god exists. So where is your proof that a god exists. No quotes from religious texts.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, why is it you aren't required to prove Judas wasn't a vampire, but atheists are required to prove there isn't a god?

      November 2, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Chad

      I dont make a claim that Judas was not a vampire.

      If an atheist makes a claim that God does not exist, they have to back it up.

      simple :-)

      The principle that the claimant has the initial burden of proof is often violated, however, and it isn’t unusual to find someone saying, “Well, if you don’t believe me then prove me wrong,” as if the lack of such proof automatically confers credibility on the original assertion. Yet that simply isn’t true — indeed, it’s a fallacy commonly known as “Shifting the Burden of Proof.” If a person claims something, they are obligated to support it and no one is obligated to prove them wrong.

      source: http://atheism.about.com/od/doesgodexist/a/burdenofproof.htm

      why do you have such a difficult time understanding this?

      November 2, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I am not asserting there is no god, Chard. I'm asking you to provide evidence that there is.

      Same deal, dumbazz.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Chad, you're the one having trouble understanding. You weren't born believing in a god, you were taught / influenced by somebody who did. Believers are the ones making the claims, so they are the ones that have the burden of proof that you acknowledge.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      "A. It is utterly fallacious logic to say something is true until it's proven false." - Except god right? I mean, god has yet to really, irrefutably be proven true yet you have continually asked atheists to prove god false. Looks like your own words just took a chunk out of your ass.

      "According to Jewish thought their leader had just been exposed as a fraud (by being crucified)." No, that wasn't jewish thought, that was only christ followers. And as we all know, whenever you are on the losing side everyone just throws up their hands and says good game right? I mean, not one person who was a follower and saw their leader get crucified wouldn't have the motive to try and make it something else? (your sarcasm meter should be off the charts at this point)

      B Opportunity, there was none: Tomb was sealed and guarded." – and as we all know people can't be bribed right? I mean all of jesus's disciples never said a word or betrayed jesus right? "A belief they held so closely that they were willing to die for the truth of it." Chad, are you seriously basing your entire argument on the fact that people were fervent that jesus had risen? your house of cards is very wobbly indeed.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned "you have continually asked atheists to prove god false..."
      @Chad "sigh.. I only ask atheists to disprove God if THEY CLAIM HE DOESNT EXIST. If they merely say they dont believe in God, they have no burden of proof.

      get it?
      no.. probably not..

      ========
      @Concerned "No, that wasn't jewish thought, that was only christ followers."
      @Chad "uh... it was indeed Jewish thought, as well the early Christians were Jewish (you probably didnt realize that.. it will help if you get somewhat familliar with the bible), Jesus is Jewish Himself .
      Christianity was a small Jewish sect for quite some time.

      your utter unfamiliarity with logic, Christianity, Judaism and the biblical text makes discussing those subjects with you very difficult.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      Chad said
      I only ask atheists to disprove God if THEY CLAIM HE DOESNT EXIST. If they merely say they dont believe in God, they have no burden of proof.

      So believers should prove God if THEY CLAIM HE DOES EXIST.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, "sigh." How utterly adorable. What a pansy you are, Chard.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are claiming a positive, Chard: that god exists. "Bollocks" is right. The burden is on YOU to prove it. I don't claim he doesn't; I have no burden of proof. But you DO make a claim. Prove it.

      November 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      "sigh.. I only ask atheists to disprove God if THEY CLAIM HE DOESNT EXIST. If they merely say they dont believe in God, they have no burden of proof." so here we are, you make the claim and then trot out 5 "points" that in no way is evidence as I've explained to you in exhaustive detail, you just bring up different points and then use confirmation bias fallacy to insert god. When arguing over the burden of proof here, it is wholly on you and so far you have not given irrefutable evidence to back up your claim. I guess at the moment god most likely does not exist. Sucks for you.

      And christ followers were jews, but they were about as much of a jewish sect as mormonism is a christian sect. Take from that what you will but when jews decided to follow a different text, a different preacher, a different god than the one described in the bible, they are as jewish as their Roman neighbors, that's why they are called christ followers and jewish followers of christ.

      "your utter unfamiliarity with logic," the only person unfamiliar with logic here is you, you continually keep backing yourself into a corner with your as.s backwards logic and then get huffy and angry and accuse me of being unfamiliar with the bible as your fall back way of not facing the fact that you not only presuppose god in every argument, you are are incredibly bias and dishonest in the way you present information. Like Hawaii pointed out, you run from topics when you don't know how to slither your way out of them, instead you either focus on irrelevant technicalities or you just straight up ignore it.

      Now go on, I brought a rain jacket this time for the tears that are about to ensue, tell me what I do and don't know, what I have and have not read. Oh, also do you believe that Judas was a vampire? yes or no?

      November 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Every post the Vegetable types is proof that the Chard is a blockhead.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • ChardWatch 2 Electric Bugaloo

      Chad: " I as sert that the God of Israel is that external agent, based on Him being capable of being that external agent (as He exists outside time/space),"

      Chad always says the burden of proof is with the one making the claim. What kind of proof is that? It's just a circular reference.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And of course, Chad proceeds to ignore me after I clearly point out his dishonesty. Next week he will probably say "Oh are you actually going to present examples of my dishonesty this time" as if I had not before. I think I'll save this page so I can link to it the next time he tries this idiocy.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, what a shock! Chard has declined to respond. I'm sure he'll make an excuse of some lame variety, and his next appearance will be on a completely different topic.

      What a feeble excuse for a human.

      November 2, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @ Everyone else

      Just wait Lady and Gentleman, Chad's MO is to leave and come back, he wants the last word so he'll be back, just bide your time.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, sure, the Vegetable will come back, but only long after everyone else has moved on, and even then, the moron won't post anything worthy of note. He'll just spin that little Rolodex of his and enter a discussion on some other topic, with his usual slimy innuendoes, snide asides, and little emoticons.

      The azzholes has you all wrapped around his little finger. Why can't you learn to simply ignore him? Don't respond, don't engage, don't even acknowledge awareness of his presence.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Tom Tom

      Sorry, but I'm THIS close to getting him, by using his own logic, to admit that Judas was a vampire and that vampires actually exist.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are. But Vegetable is too much of a fvcking liar to admit he's wrong.

      November 2, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Chad

      @Concerned Citizen “you make the claim and then trot out 5 "points" that in no way is evidence as I've explained to you in exhaustive detail”
      @Chad “you consider “no it’s not” a refutation in exhaustive detail?? Interesting… or, perhaps you were referring to your view that two movies positing that Judas was a vampire is your exhaustive detail?

      Funny stuff :-)

      =========
      @Concerned Citizen “And christ followers were jews, but they were about as much of a jewish sect as mormonism is a christian sect.”
      @Chad “wow, not even sort of close (I don’t blame your for not knowing, you are operating at a big disadvantage here since you aren’t familiar with the bible).

      The reality is many of the early Christian disciples continued to observe many aspects of the Jewish Law, continued to go to temple worship. So much so that there was a major argument early on regarding whether or not new Christians had to be circu mcised and obey the Law.

      From the Jewish Encyclopedia:
      Early Christianity a Jewish Sect.
      For a long time Christianity regarded itself as part of Judaism. It had its center in Jerusalem (Irenæus, "Adversus Hæreses, i. 26); its first fifteen bishops were circu mcised Jews, they observed the Law and were rather unfriendly to heathenism (Sulpicius Severus, "Historia Sacra," ii. 31; Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." iv. 5; compare Matt. xv. 26), while they held friendly intercourse with the leaders of the synagogue (see Grätz, "Gesch. der Juden," iv. 373 et seq.; andEbionites, Minim, and Nazarenes). Many a halakic and haggadic discussion is recorded in the Talmud as having taken place between the Christians and the Rabbis (see Jacob the Gnostic). Probably the Christian Congregation, or Church of the Saints, did not distinguish itself in outward form from the "Ḳehala Ḳaddisha" at Jerusalem, under which name the Essene community survived the downfall of the Temple (Ber. 9b; compare Eccl. R. ix. 9: 'Edah Ḳedoshah). Of course, the destruction of the Temple and of the Judean state and the cessation of sacrifice could not but promote the cause of Christianity (see Justin, "Dial. Cu m Tryph." xi.); and under the impression of these important events the Gospels were written and accordingly colored. Still, Jew and Christian looked in common for the erection of the kingdom of heaven by the Messiah either soon to appear or to reappear (see Joël, "Blicke in die Religionsgesch." i. 32et seq.). It was during the last struggle with Rome in the days of Bar Kokba and Akiba that, amidst denunciations on the part of the Christians and execrations on the part of the Jewish leaders, those hostilities began which separated Church and Synagogue forever, and made the former an ally of the arch-enemy..

      ========
      I don’t believe that Judas was a vampire, but I don’t make a claim that he wasn’t.

      See the difference? When you make a claim, you have to provide evidence.
      If you merely express disbelief, you have no burden of proof.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @itsallaloadofbollocks "So believers should prove God if THEY CLAIM HE DOES EXIST"

      =>if someone says "The God of Israel" exists, they need to provide evidence of that claim, they have the burden of proof. Yes.
      that is exactly what I have been saying.. right?

      I provide the evidence as noted above. right?

      November 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      No, your pointsare not evidence. They will never be evidence, no matter how many time you post them, and how many valid answers you dismiss, your 5 points will never be evidence for anything except your own lack of critical thinking skills.

      November 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      @Chad

      A) so you are just going to ignore the the previous five posts and focus on me using the short answers to tell you that your 5 "points" aren't points at all? Once again, it's not my fault that you have terrible reading comprehension, thats on you champ.

      B) Like I said, christ followers were jewish the same way mormons are christian and take from that what you will. At best their status is undecided by acceptable but considering they chose to follow a man and claim he was part of a triune god (which is not a jewish teaching), that means they're heretics. It's ok though, I understand that you are at a disadvantage, for a) being a christian, b) being mentally retar.ded and c) being very narrow minded. I realize I need to take it easier on you, you poor thing.

      C) "I don’t believe that Judas was a vampire" and why not? Are movies not good enough evidence for you? Prove to me in say, the Librarian series what is false about it? It has real people, they are in real places. and what about Dracula 2000, totally real, I mean we have evidence of vampires existing on that film.

      Do you see how ridiculous it is to try and argue that a mystical and fictional character is true using sources that are fictional? I don't believe that god exists and none of the evidence you have presented has swayed me or a lot of other people so clearly it's either terrible evidence or not evidence at all.

      This is the part where you try again and actually present ironclad proof of god.... oh wait, you can't? What a pity.

      November 3, 2012 at 4:52 am |
  8. fiftyfive55

    Purgatory-this where we reside while our actions here decide our fate in the next life.God doesn't interfere but watches us and decides what's best,or punishment, for each and every one of us. Businessmen are going to be in for a real surprise in the afterlife.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Cowboy Bob

      So God likes to set ambushes and bushwhack people, does he?

      That's a mighty low-down dirty-varmint way of fighting.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      hey bob,how did you get that out of what I just said ?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Horus

      And you know this because.....?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The Vatican all ready got rid of one of the intermediary after-life destinations.
      So whatever happened to Limbo and why do you think Purgatory won't be expunged as well?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Cowboy Bob

      God creates a world filled with traps, then punishes people for falling into them. Ambush.

      God hides and makes it seem he is not there, or that he might be some other God, then punishes people for not believing in him. Bushwhack.

      God made the world as it is, and he made people as they are, then he waits around for people to act as they are in the world as he made it, and punishes them for it. Ambush.

      Low-down varmint, that God feller.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      Hey bob- It's not ambush at all but people deciding for themselves,nobody is "forced" to do wrong,that is what is called a test and you arent doing so well but its not up to me to judge.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      Horus-I think this is the truth because from all I've read or been taught, this can be the only explanation for our existence on this plain.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Cowboy Bob

      That was awful neighborly of you to judge and then say it was not for you to judge.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      Doc-Limbo and Purgatory are one and the same and when did Rome get rid of these places ? your the first person I ever heard make that claim .

      October 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Really?

      So if you read nothing but Greek myth and your parents taught Greek myth to you as a child, you would be certain that Zeus was the true God od gods?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      Bob-Ididn't judge anybody,at least not how you do

      October 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • itsallaloadofbollocks

      If the pedophile priests met that judgement that would be poetic justice. Pity it can't happen.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Horus

      @fiftyfive – then perhaps you should consider expanding your sources....

      October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Cowboy Bob

      "you arent doing so well" – nice non-judgement there, pardner.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • fiftyfive55

      Really?-That would be true if I were raised that way,remember there are a lot of different religions and thought out there.One truth is certain though,religion doesn't start wars but the men exist who do use religion as a tool of destruction,those men will end up in H E L L

      October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      DISPROVE MY EXISTENCE PUNY SPORTING-CLAY!

      October 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @fiftyfive55
      They are not the same place.
      There were, in fact, two Libos – limbus patrum is where the souls of the righteous who died before Christ came resided.
      Limbus infantum is where the souls of unpatized babies go. They don't suffer torment like those in Hell, but they are separated from God due to their infection with Original SIn.
      Purgatory is like a holding cell for those souls marred with venial (not cardinal) sin.
      Unlike Limbo, a soul can leave purgatory and go on to Heaven either through paying pennance via torture, or by having the living pray for you.
      The Catholic Church used to make a TON of money from rich people who would pay clergy to pray for them after death.

      The idea of babies being separated from God has been contentious in the Catholic world, to say the least.
      In 2007, the Vatican decreed that since neither purgatory nor limbo are mentioned in the Bible, they are not Dogma and Catholics are free to think that their unbaptized babies actually go to Heaven and not Limbo.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • sam stone

      "nobody is "forced" to do wrong"

      how does your concept of free will jibe with an omniscient god?

      October 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  9. Theresa

    God permits things to happen. We have a free will in this life to choose life and death. Our sins bring disaster. When we move away from God then these things can happen and the good suffer with the bad. He does not want anyone to perish and also has warned us to always be ready that our souls may be in a state of grace if anything happen. The day of the Lord can come like a thief, we must always be ready. For if we repent He will forgive and have mercy even those sins that are as scarlet. This is one of His many promises. We are not assured a life that we want or free from trials when sin entered the world along came corruption but He promises He will always be with us until the end of time. God is good and will always bring good out of the worst of situations. And he will with Hurricane Sandy only if we allow Him to work through us that we may be His Hands and His Feet His Voice and also see through His eyes. We see things through our limitations ect. God is all knowing. May God be with all those who have been affected by the storm and strengthen them and all of us who contemplate His face.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard

      Nurse Ratched, patient Theresa to the lobotomy room stat!

      What? She already had one? Uh, give her a do-over lobotomy.

      What? That will make her a Mormon?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Athy

      Everything you said is perfectly consistent with the premise that there is no god.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Again, you cannot have an omnipotent, omniscient god, and free will. It's impossible.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Horus

      And you know how your god thinks, feels, etc... because he/she/it directly told you so that you could share, right? My invisible friend Dog says you better start worshipping him or bad things will happen to you. He says to tell you to stop believing in any other god or bad things will happen.....but he still loves you.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Okey Dokey

      Easy on the logic, Primey. Christian just aren't wired to deal with concepts like "omniscience = predestination."

      October 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • grieferkiller

      There is no god. Pull your head out of your a$$ and have a look around.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • ZeusDeusMaximus

      Ha ha you THINK you got the right god? YOU TOO WILL BE MY SPORTING CLAY FOR ETERNITY!!

      Are you sure you bet on the right god? HAHAHAHA you didn't!

      PULL............ka POW......................ha ha ha Theresa explodes into a thousand bloody pieces, FUNNY!!!

      October 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      theresa: your god is a pr!ck.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  10. What???

    According to evolution Sandy is doing its job! It is a part of the process along with earthquakes, flooding diseases, war and all manner of natural disasters for the weeding out the weakest and the less capable humans and animals from earth to give opportunity to the strongest and smartest to rise to power and control or submit to those in power as servants and slaves.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Song

      What??????

      October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't know what evolution is, dumbazz. Read a book.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Concerned Citizen

      Um..... no, that's not how evolution works friend, not even close.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • ME II

      There is no "job" for natural events to do. Evolution is a description of how species developed within this environment, not a system of managing nature.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Athy

      You need to study evolution a little deeper. Maybe it will make more sense for you then.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure, Athy. And maybe pigs will fly out of her ears.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • gf

      Yep, just a necessary process in overall population control. It serves to both knock humans back, and probably the pollution levels were a lot better in New York with all of the transportation at a standstill, or washed away. It is sad on a personal level though the lives that were lost.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • What???

      So you are saying that evolution is not the result of the effects of environment on those living in that in environment?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, stupid. Get a clue. Don't be an idiot. Stay in school. Don't do drugs.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • What???

      Ha Tom Tom, glad to see your post! Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Toc!!!.... Ha ha ha ha ha! The count down is on going! One day maybe today is your day! Ha ha ha ha!

      October 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why do idiots like you even bother to post? Are you just being a troll or are you genuinely dumb? Evolution doesn't occur over the course of a year, or 10 years, or even 100 years, unless you are talking about certain species whose life spans are extremely short.

      If we continue to have extreme weather patterns, over thousands of years, affecting crop growth, hours of daylight, sea levels, high and low temperatures, and a host of other variables, then perhaps evolutionary adaptation may occur among some species.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • What???

      Tom you Idiot, every time a gene is taken out of the gene pool evolution occures if there is no God!

      October 30, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Are you serious, really? Suppose YOU end up being the weakest? Are you just going to submit?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • The Amazing Larry

      I really love it when Christians like "What???" try to explain science. Much better comedy that I could ever hope for here.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • What???

      Ken Margo, if there is no God I will be your worst nightmare because I have never feared a man...... Tic Toc Tic Toc!

      October 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks for proving may assertion, What???

      You're even more ignorant than you appear.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and now you're threatening those who disagree with you?

      Shove your tic toc up your azz.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What???, how many genes does each person have? Did you think that when someone dies, his "gene" dies, too?

      Do you still play with Barbies?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Since you are not afraid of me ask G-od to tell you exactly where I am. If you come over here I will happily submit to you.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • What???

      If they have children their genes continue on and so does their contribution to evolution! If they don't their contribution to evolution stopes......

      October 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do tell. Anything else you want to contribute to the case you're building for your ignorance?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I'm still waiting tic toc tic toc dumb dumber dumbest

      October 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • What???

      So Tom, please inform this ignorant human of what contribute to evolution more than environment and genetic material if there is no God?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @What???

      Your word twisting idiocy is pretty obvious.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • What???

      So Tom, please inform this ignorant human of what contributes more to evolution than environment and genetic material if there is no God? Is that better?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ What??? talking about "evolution" in the context of Sandy? Idiot. But here, this is fun education, or as people from your district like to say, book lernin...

      When the stupid school board in PA tried to get creationism taught next to science as though it were legitimate, one of the outgrowths of the trial is that the teachers hired evolutionary biologists to work on the evolution "problem" and they found, (wait for it, are you sure you want to read this?) that humans have 23 chromosome pairs whereas the other major primates have 24- so there should be a "marker" or some evidence that a pair of chromosomes merged and....they found it! The 23rd chromosome shows irrefutable evidence of having been welded to #24 which accounts for our departure from the rest of the family tree. Evolution, aint it great? Scientific inquiry- aint it great? Supersti tion- aint it curable? Please read, and please YoozYerBrain....don't use evolution in meteorology, if nothing else...

      October 30, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • gf

      Interestingly enough ... there's some logic that could argue our technology and progress are in fact create a negative effect on us personally. Or to those who believe in evolution, cause us to "de-evolve" as a whole. What do I mean? Generally speaking we see examples of evolution in terms of natural selection and those most capable of surviving passing on their genes ... be it the stronger lion, faster deer, or moth with the right color. Humans take away natural selection. Almost all of us survive and most are capable of reproducing, thereby passing on all of our genetic deficiencies. On top of which, we're hammering our bodies with environmental contaminants and unnatural foods. How smart is that?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @What????, I'd make better use of my time explaining Bach motets to my cat. Your inability to grasp the concept that evolution doesn't occur overnight, but over eons makes it useless to explain anything else to you, What the Stupid.

      Tic,toc, tic, toc. My time's more valuable than yours.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      There is no such thing as de-evolution within evolutionary theory. Seriously, if you don't even know basic terms, you're just going to look like a moron.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • krussell

      Survival of the fittest does play a roll in evolution.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @HawaiiGuest
      If there's no such thing as de-evolution, how do you explain what happened to the crew of the Enterprise on star date 47653.2?

      October 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, it doesn't play a "roll in evolution," you fvcktard. The word is ROLE.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • gf

      @hawaiiguest – Perhaps you didn't notice the "quotes" around the word "de-evolve". Do you know why? Let me explain it simply. Let's say I said you are a "Person of noticeable character". What does that mean? You hear that positively, right, because of the natural connotation involved with that word "character", though in actuality, you could be a person of "bad character" or "good character". When the word "evolve" is said, it carries with it a positive connotation. And why wouldn't it? Left naturally to itself, life should progress, the strong and smart should live and lead, and the weak die off. At least in the observed micro-evolution sense, as that's what we can actually observe. However, let's say something unnatural happens, like humans jacking with the whole evolutionary system by giving even the weak and stupid a chance at procreating and living long lives, not to mention what we do by potentially killing off our smart & strong ones with drugs, pollution or other events, or even stunting what should have been their natural abilities with the aforementioned. In that case, the overall human gene pool would actually worsen. And so then quite sensibly, and placed in quotes which should have been an initial indicator, I emphasized how we as humans can potentially mess up life (as well as advance it). I hope that clarifies it for you. If you will be literalist, please always from this point forward think of evolution as an unguided path that goes any direction and never place any sort of "positive" meaning to it in your mind. Ok?

      October 30, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @gf
      You're arguing semantics.
      That doesn't explain how Lt. Barclay turned into a spider.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      You're looking at this in the wrong scope. At an individual level, you can say that, but if you look at the species in the bigger sense, the most idiotic human is still relatively smart in regards to the rest of the animal kingdom, not to mention that intelligence is not fully genetic, and in the strictest sense, intelligence is not something that one can just say "Oh it's too much of a detriment and would be automatically selected against in evolutionary theory". You're also forgetting, that in terms of a species, humans are fairly physically weak, yet the same argument above can be used, since muscle mass is not passed genetically as far as I'm aware. So I'm failing to see how we're "Jacking with the whole evolutionary system", even if the points you made were valid.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • gf

      @Doc Vestible ... Radiation ... obviously. As a source on that, I refer to anything Marvel who're completely accurate on that account, being experts on the subject. A note, it's better to be bit by a radioactive spider, than to be hit with radiation and turned into a spider. At least that's my take on it.

      @HawaiiGuest ... Brick by brick, step by step. Small pieces at a time. You know, the way it all came to be. Add up a bunch of little tiny slices of pie and you have, well, one big pie. You really don't see how we as humans are messing with life? Really? And how that can be both positive or negative? And so what we think of as progress, in that a future world where hopefully we'll all have I-phones in our pocket and cars that drive themselves ... we could also be negatively impacting the genetic pool of humans as a whole.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      Thank you for not addressing my points.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  11. diana burton

    So now you bring politics into the Sandy situation.........I find your article totally offensive....

    October 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  12. Atheists are insane!

    Words just cannot express how crazy atheists are. They say that the world is as you see it, that there is no invisible hand doing our Lord's magic. Insanity!

    They say that death is just what it looks like, that people just stop, instead of a magical transformation into a superland where we Christians get everything good and we get to watch our enemies get horrifically tortured. Who could deny such obvious truth!

    Atheists sickly belief that they are kust one of 7,000,000,000, just a single member of a huge tribe, pretty much like everyone else. What arrogance! They should have the humility we Christians have, our humility of being the super special friends of the supercreator, destined to get superamiazing rewards for being so supergood . . . in a very humble way.

    How could anyone believe that thing just happen according to natural laws, and no due to the secret intervention of my amazing invisible superbuddy Jesus?!?!?!

    October 30, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Athy

      Read your post back to yourself out loud and then tell us who's insane.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • OTOH

      Athy,

      Read it again yourself. It is a parody!

      October 30, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • ArchieDeBunker

      Your lame attempt at "dripping sarcasm" is probably lost on most of the people you intended it for. You'd do well to consider the following:

      ATHEISM: The belief that there was nothing, and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything, and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs. Makes perfect sense, right?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • gf

      I'm an atheist. I'm prejudicial towards anyone that doesn't believe exactly what I believe, or rather don't believe. So I don't like your beliefs in your superbuddy. My arrogance knows no bounds, my egotism is only put on hold when I take time to tell you that whatever you think and say are so stupid. I don't care that we are each able to freely believe what we will, I'm going to go around calling you who believe in some sort of God retarded, because that's what you are. You by default, for believing in a God, are probably uneducated trash, dragging down the naturally moral standards of our society. If you haven't noticed, atheists worldwide, like myself, are the true standard of what is good and moral ... not some book thingy with laws you so cling to. All atheist are superior in intellect, education, and morality. If only you could be as smart as me, then you'd really see the truth.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • gf

      @ArchieDeBunker,

      I can't believe you're saying that what atheists believe is "magical". It makes complete sense to anyone who believes it and I completely understand how it happened. A long, long, long time ago (think billions of years) there was this big concentrated mass of stuff (several light years in diameter) that all of a sudden exploded (think HUGE bomb). Then all of those particles and stuff expanded out so rapidly and whirled all together and spun in circles and were drawn together forming small rocks and big rocks and great big balls of fire and all of a sudden on at least one of those rocks ... LIFE happened. It was a cosmic event mixing powers of energy, electricity, and elements that took this first once inaminate object to an animate, living object (so what if we can't yet with all of our science create something alive from dead rocks and stuff, we will soon). Perhaps you're still hung up on where that initial concentrated mass came from, or what was there before that? Hopefully you guessed, this is an infinite and eternal cycle of explosions and then back, with elements that have always existed ... think yoyo of eternally existent elements. I can't believe you don't believe that.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Ok now put the crack pipe down and back away slowly from the table!

      October 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Atheists are insane!

      Sigh . . . Poe's Law is true.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      To a a doofus who only has a hammer, everything in the world is a nail, Atheists are insane. Get some new tools. Start with a brain.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • gf

      Don't see how Poe's Law is applicable here. It was quite clear that what you said was with sarcasm. And, the intent wasn't humorous exaggeration, but belittling. I responded in kind ... pointing out that when any of us cling so strongly to a certain belief about which we can really only guess or take at another's word, the details of what we cling to can easily be made to look foolish. Those who hold with the Plasma Theory would find the Big Bang Theory unacceptable. Evolutionists and Creationists differ and oppose. In the end we're all stupid creatures that don't know exactly how it came to be, we just say "it did" (ie, it just big banged & involved, or God just did it).

      October 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  13. Horus

    It amazes me how people can rationalize, for example the tragic death of a child lost to cancer, or some other horrific event merely as some god's plan.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • It's simple being a Christian

      Simple thoughts for simple minds.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Ann

      A few of my favorite rationalizations:

      "God has his reasons, we just don't understand" (the refuge of the stupid)
      "God only gives us the trials he knows we can bear" (the punishment of the strong)
      "God thought he was so good, he had to have him in Heaven with him" (the punishment of the good)

      If anyone had said any of that to me at my husband's funeral, I think I would have decked them. I had to walk out of the room when I heard he was "in a better place." He's in a coffin, idiot. That's not better than home with me.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • ArchieDeBunker

      And how do you explain it? Just bad luck? "Chance?" "Bad Karma?" ???

      October 30, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • YoozYerBrain

      @ Ann
      Sorry for your loss, Ann. I miss my buddies-who-are-brothers, but still don't require the "comfort" of superst ition to fill the void left by their passing. Being an adult means bearing the consequences of life, sometimes without the comfort of a happy ending. I'd rather do that, be mature, and live in real objective truth than find comfort in some kind of lie since that's even more illusory. It's more respectful to those who have passed, I think.

      Again, condolences on your loss- that's a tough road.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @Ann, my sincere sympathy. I can't even imagine the terrible loss you've been through.

      I'd have decked them, too.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Ann

      Yooz – that's exactly how I think of it.

      Archie – Bad karma? No, that presumes that there's some type of order in the universe that I don't see any evidence for. Plus, it's kinda blaming the victim, isn't it? "You must have done something bad, and now it's coming back around."

      Bad luck, chance – those would fit. He was in an accident. (Lost control of his bike – may have had some type of medical event like a stroke). I suppose you could even throw in bad judgement, since he wasn't really feeling too well and probably shouldn't have tried to ride home – but it wasn't far, and he thought he could make it. We've all made mistakes like that. Most of the time, we make it. Sometimes you don't.

      I don't need to find some kind of metaphysical explanation for why this happened. It doesn't change it.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  14. Song

    God is the God of Truth, He is love and merciful. That is why He does not leave sins go unpunished!. Did you repent and ask for His mercy for your sins?

    October 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • ME II

      My understanding is that there are two "punishments" for sin.
      1) eternal torture, for even the smallest infraction.
      2) none, for even the most egregious, as long as you repent and believe in God.

      How exactly is either option even remotely fair, or just?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Song

      ME II, Unfortunately, I can not answer your question because I don't come up with those two options.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • ME II

      What other options are there?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • gf

      Hello

      October 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • gf

      ME II ... I don't think those options are fair either. As for just, really that always depends on the courts and the laws. If the courts deem it possible for someone to pay a certain amount for their crime, or even have another pay it on their behalf, then I guess its justice served according to the courts, and thereby just. Forgiveness of debt is justice done (so to speak), so long as the person forgiving that debt has the right to ... like politically-motivated Presidents doing it as a favor. Still not fair though.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      MEII,
      Those who continue in unrepentant sin will face eternal separation from God. Believers who commit sin do not get by with anything. God chastens those who are his. Simply put Christians pay for sins in this life, nonbelievers pay for eternity. Just? Would you correct God? This is his universe and he makes the rules.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Mark

      No Robert that's you just making excuses for a non-existant god that man made up to make mentally ill people like you feel better about your miserable lives. That's why cults are so bad for our society.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Robert Brown

      Still promoting your Might makes Right immoral god then?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • ME II

      @gf,
      You seem to be talking about paying for crimes versus forgiveness. My point is that in the Christian scenario, at least as I understand it, punishment or punitive damages are not in line with the crimes involved. Basically, the worst serial killer is easily forgiven and the most innocent seeming white-lier is eternally tortured. That is not an ethically just system in my mind.

      @Robert Brown,
      "...Christians pay for sins in this life, nonbelievers pay for eternity. Just? Would you correct God? This is his universe and he makes the rules."
      No. It is not just. Basically this boils down to punishment for belief or lack thereof. The actual sin is irrelevent, apparently. So, given that, I would think the only fair/just approach would be to allow for forgiveness in the afterlife. Otherwise, the unbeliever is punished eternally for temporary unbelief, which seems unjust.

      Would I correct God?
      Yes, if He actually exists and is unjust. Absolutely. It maybe a futile gesture if He is in fact omnipotent, but I would attempt to none-the-less. He may be able to make the "rules", but that does not make His "rules" just.

      Is God good because He must be? Then He is no god.
      Is good "good" because God says it is? Then "good" is arbitrary and has little meaning.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • sam stone

      robert: do you seriously expect that people can fear retaliation from a being in which they do not believe?

      October 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • sam stone

      song: apparently, you are a snivelling, begging sycophant. now, b1tch, get back on your knees

      October 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • gf

      @ME II,

      You know what else isn't ethically just in my mind? One man's hero is another's pirate or brutal conquerer. I don't understand who melting down two cities can be justified, and those involved praised as heroes. I don't understand those kind of "serial killings" either. Really, there's a lot I don't understand about this sort of thing. I agree with you, it doesn't make any sense to me either. Perhaps I'm not sensible enough :)

      October 30, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • ME II

      @gf,
      You may be too subtle for me. What are you trying to say?

      October 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • gf

      ME II,

      I'm simply saying I don't understand the duality attributed to a person. Francis Drake. Tamerlane (Amir Temur). The atomic bombs. Any traitor in history, even the 13 colonies.

      There are often two sides to a coin. Tamerlane was known by Europeans as being a brutal conqueror, though to his own people he was a hero. Drake, a pirate, was heralded in England. How can a person who has done such atrocities also be a hero? It puts a certain relativity to morality.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      History is written by the victors. What's shocking about that?

      October 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Much of morality is in the eye of the beholder. That is why we have laws. Laws may very well change to reflect societal mores, but they are not as arbitrary as religious beliefs.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • gf

      @Tom,

      I think what's shocking is that we can be so horrified by something and condemn it, but when it's done on our behalf, all of a sudden it becomes good. I guess naively I'd hope for more of a universal, cross-cultural sense of morality. But knowing of Papua New Guinea tribes who most regarded someone who could like to and deceive another, betraying them, all for the purpose of bringing them in and eating them ... yeah, my hopes are dashed against many rocks. It makes me take a moment before I outright condemn something too, wondering from what perspective I make that judgment.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  15. Ben

    Mark, that which can be postulated without evidence can be dismissed without it. So, I dismiss your god unless you can present firm evidence.

    Evidence for your particular god, please. So far no one has produced any that stands up to critical review.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Song

      Ben, Go read the Holy Bible and ask God to reveal Himself to you?

      October 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Yeah

      Ben:

      Go read the Quran and ask Allah to reveal hiumself to you.

      Go read Buddhist scripture and ask Buddha to reveal himself to you.

      Go read Aztec scripture and ask Quetzlcoatl to reveal himself to you.

      Go read a box of Lucky Charms and ask Lucky the Leprechaun to reveal himself to you.

      And if you use your imagination, they will!

      October 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Ben

      Yeah, thanks. Song, no thanks. Priests have done far too much "revealing."

      And why should I have to ask your omniscient being for anything? Doesn't he already know everything lncluding my needs? Or do you follow one of those less-than-omniscient "gods"?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
  16. truthordare7

    Belief is supernatural beings is one of the last vestiges of human evolution and something that needs to be reassessed to move forward into a bold new future. In the past centuries, God was a great comforter to answer things we cannot and didnot have to capacity to understand and it at least gave us a crutch or a reason for natural things that happen for no good reasons. Now as science have develped, and interestingly enough, the sophistry of the explanation from the religioius front on the idea of God, which also goes to prove that it is a man-made concept by the way, such baby blankets becomes unnecessary and someways limiting to our human experience and advancement. It becomes equally untenable to the growth of human civilization when some section of people insists upon it at the loss of other's right to govern their lives and freedoms. We must let go of the God blanket and learn to be adults. That is the only way to the next human evolution.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Athy

      It'll happen, but painfully slow. Probably take several generations to stamp religion down to an acceptably low level.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • gf

      I know, right. Because it's been holding us back, keeping us in the dark ages. It's a shame that we're still throwing rocks and killing our food with sticks instead of flying spaceships to the moon and Mars and being able to sequence and understand the ins and outs of our own human genome sequence. Oh wait, we do! It looks like that negative idea that somehow one's beliefs has prevented advancement is quite unfounded.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many times have religious twits attempted to halt progress? Think about ESC research. Think about autopsies. Think about Galileo.

      Science has prevailed in spite of religion, not because of it.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • gf

      Ahh, so there's been progress? Not held back? That's what the poster said, that we can't move forward unless one's belief in a God is gone. So you at least agree with me that the poster was wrong with that. Good to know.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      Progress has happened in spite of religions in many cases.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • gf

      @hawaiigues ... Hey, you just stole the comments from the poster 2 above you. See their comments, you're just repeating what they said for some reason, not sure why. Why are you just repeating what they said?

      October 30, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      Because you have implied that religion had no effect on progress, and did not actually address that point. Once you address it, maybe we can all move on.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • gf

      I addressed the topic of the post, that being, "We must let go of the God blanket and learn to be adults. That is the only way to the next human evolution." Belief in God is common today in our "advanced" society. So again I feel I have to emphasize my point – that was an unfounded claim made, as we can actually observe the opposite to be true.

      However, unless you're going to say that believers in a God aren't involved in progress, there's really no point even implying that. I hate to even go there, but most of the founding fathers of the U.S. believed in God. They're not mutually exclusive things, belief and "progress" (whatever that really is anyway) ... so please don't make such ridiculous implications. Francis Collins led the human genome project, I call that progress, don't you? Perhaps you say that has nothing to do with it, I'm not arguing that. My argument is still back to the original implication that somehow belief in God hinders progress. People can believe in God AND progress ... and observed reality shows that to be true.

      October 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      And you're still completely avoiding the subject by only pointing to certain things, and not looking toward a large swath of recorded history that shows that highly religious areas more often become stagnant, and progress either retards, or stops.
      By the way, many of the founding fathers were deists, and did not believe in "God" (nice covert way to inject the christian concept of god and only that one, but ultimately a useless self-serving gesture) persay.

      October 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • gf

      @Hawaiiguest
      Recorded history … ok … There are multiple levels of progression, which would include science/technology, society, laws and morality, plus other things I’m sure I can’t think of. Anything further you’d like to add on that? I hate generalizations and that’s what I’m arguing against. I argue against the generalization that the belief in God hinders progress. You it seems argue for the opposite. Is that true? So you say that people who believe in God do not progress as a society and culture? Is that really what you’re saying? Or are you going to pinpoint individual examples of something or other? I’m curiously waiting to know.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      gf, why haven't you addressed the points I made, which are only the tip of the iceberg? Autopsies were opposed by Christians, even though they'd have yielded insight as to the manner and causes of death and disease and advance the cause of medicine. The right-wing religious zealots oppose any research involving embryonic stem cells, even though such research might benefit those suffering from Parkinson's and other diseases, and in spite of the fact that the embryos involved will be destroyed ANYWAY.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      I'm not making a sweeping generalization, hence why I said "a large swath of recorded history...".

      October 30, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • gf

      Sorry Son of Piper, no offense meant. It just seemed like argumentative points pleading for me to answer for other people I don't know about. I don't know those people, I can't answer.

      Here's what I do know. A few opposing stem cell research doesn't hinder many from working in that area, many of which do actually believe in God. Unless you're suggesting that only those who believe in God work with stem cells. Are you? I think the real issue for some is the source of the stem cells, so really you should focus there. I mean, you'd be opposed to vivisection, right, despite progress it could achieve? So it seems "progress" really has bounds of morality in which to operate. Otherwise, if progress only were the goal, then we'd be no different than a bunch of Nazis (who interestingly forbade vivisection). And the source of stem cells shouldn't be an issue since they can be obtained in a way that would be acceptable to all, and especially due to the discoveries of those who're able to reverse cells.

      If you did want to argue on an individual basis, you'd have to deal with those like Jenner, a Christian, who achieved some of the greatest things in history. Or Francis Collins, who claims that his faith helps him in his work.

      So, be careful implying that you're good with progress at all costs ... because if you start saying that ___ is acceptable because that would allow us to have ___, you start to create the logic that many Nazi scientists lived by. And, if you argue on an individual basis, you'll have to some day come to realize that there are many individuals who have made amazing achievements who also happened to believe in God.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't even bother, gf. I'm not interested in your nonsensical notion that only god keeps us from committing atrocities in the name of science. Your splitting hairs on the issue of ESR won't absolve you; there were years of research lost as a result of Bush's policies, and progress lost to other countries as well.

      If you have to bring up Hitler and Nazis, you've already lost the argument.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Tom

      I don't think gf is a theist. In fact I think on a different thread she (maybe he? I don't know) said she was an atheist.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And I DON'T argue that a "belief in God" hinders progress. What I DO believe, or KNOW, is that fundamentalist zealots USE god and the bible to hinder progress by opposing any and all research that doesn't jibe with their notions of what god wants or is.

      And I object to the zealots who injure others who might benefit from treatments they find objectionable on the basis of their beliefs, when such treatments affect no one else's rights. I am disgusted by right-wing nut-jobs who attempt to infringe on the right of others, when those rights are guaranteed by law and are not subject to the judgment of believers OR their imaginary god.

      October 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      hg, that's not the impression I have. What leads you to think so?

      October 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • gf

      @ Tom

      I'm not arguing anything about God and him keeping us from something or other with science. I'm saying is that we all have some framework of "morality" by which we live, and operate, and that morality is based on something. You bring in a single example of Bush. I bring in a larger scale view of morality and acceptability, countering your claim that "anything goes in the name of progress". What's one life for the sake of many? Why not sacrifice one life, through research, if many can be saved? I'm sure you'd never say that, but from how you're arguing, that's where you inevitably must go unless you do admit that we each have some level of morality that creates for us a line that we'd not be willing to cross. Or, the end does not necessarily justify the means.

      By the way – You can't just disregard my point and say I lost an argument, that's not how discussions work. You totally ignored the relevant point I made.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Tom

      Because I'm noticing that gf is not arguing that "god = progress" or anything like that. It's more along the lines of arguing against the perceived generalization that religion retards progress.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then, gf, you are arguing a case I never made. I don't believe that anything goes in the name of progress at all. Where do you get this impression?

      October 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • gf

      @Tom,

      Sorry, perhaps I put implications in what you were saying. I think it was with this phrase:

      "The right-wing religious zealots oppose any research involving embryonic stem cells, even though such research might benefit those suffering from Parkinson's and other diseases, and in spite of the fact that the embryos involved will be destroyed ANYWAY."

      I think I focused more on the first part of that, assuming the argument against their opposition and for "embryonic stem cell research" is because of the benefits. And so that lead me to understand that you were saying their opposition was unfounded because of the benefit. To which I then went to say that we can't justify every action just because of the benefit. However, perhaps you were more-so emphasizing that they "will be destoroyed ANYWAY". In which case, that makes sense, and opposition doesn't, and so I agree with you. And if that's what you originally meant, sorry for putting meaning to your words you didn't intend.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • gf

      @hawaiiguest

      YOU SAID: "Because I'm noticing that gf is not arguing that "god = progress" or anything like that. It's more along the lines of arguing against the perceived generalization that religion retards progress."

      You're right, I do not agree with that either, that "God = progress". Even for those Bible-believing people who do, their views are not supported by the Bible itself. Start with the first two societies recorded in the Bible, that of Cain & Seth. Cain's was the most successful and most advanced, and they're alluded to as being godless I think.

      As long as there's one example to the opposite, it can't be said to be true (generally).

      October 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ok, gf. I am guessing that what you're saying is that the ends do not justify the means, and I agree for the most part.

      If the embryos in question were not going to be disposed of anyway, then fine; unless the donors agree, ESC should not use them. Otherwise, sorry, I have no objection.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • gf

      @Tom,

      Well that was sort of fun, working from confusion to mutual understanding and general agreement. Now all I need is a cool user name like you and I'll be complete and ready to discuss again with you, whatever that topic might be.

      October 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      :) gf. You're cool no matter what your user name...

      October 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @gf

      Out of curiosity, are you a theist or an atheist?

      October 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  17. grieferkiller

    This question is so easily answered once your head is pulled from your religious a$$. There is no god.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • World rebel

      keep it to yourself

      October 30, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Eliminate hinduism, religions corruption of truth absolute by hindu's lairs, for peace, Islam among humanity.

      hindu, dumb, deaf and blind.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  18. lostisland

    Utter tripe.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Ban Jesustan

      That's an insult to tripe.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  19. John Smith IV

    I think God is in Sandy. God is not punishing anyone for anything, God is simply doing what must be done. And what is that? Well Hurricanes move heat from the equator up to the poles so as to dissipate heat and let the planet cool. If God did not do that then this planet would be become unlivable and none of us would exist.

    Those that died were not victims as the Fundamentalists sometimes claim, which is complete nonsense, but the sacrifice for what must be done. They didnt die in vain, they died for a cause, the best of causes, which is to keep this planet livable and capable of sustaining life. The lie that some religious charlatans maintain is that there can be life without sacrifice. There will come a time when everyone will have to sacrifice for the all the rest. Those that are good do it consciously, those that are selfish, do it grudgingly. But we all sacrifice sometime.

    October 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • snowboarder

      that's just stupid.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Athy

      What a load of shit. But there are probably a few retarded people who'll think it's chocolate.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @John smith IV What scares me is that there are three other people that might believe what you are sayin' Reasoning like this is what keeps me from being religious.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
  20. Jeff

    Perhaps this section of CNN should be renamed the Unbelief Blog?

    October 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Since the word "unbelief" has at its core "belief", then there is not a problem. Each side has Faith that their view towards God is correct. :)

      October 30, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Ben

      Yo, Mark, that which can be postulated without evidence can be dismissed without it. So, I dismiss your god unless you can present firm evidence.

      Evidence for your particular god, please. So far no one has produced any that stands up to critical review.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • snowboarder

      mark – toward gods

      October 30, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Yawn

      Mark commits the Fallacy of Equivocation. Again.

      October 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He's nothing if not consistent..

      October 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.