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February 14th, 2013
06:08 AM ET

Belief Blog's Morning Speed Read for Thursday, February 14, 2013

By Arielle Hawkins, CNN

Here's the Belief Blog’s morning rundown of the top faith-angle stories from around the United States and around the world. Click the headlines for the full stories.

From the Blog:

CNN: Pope Benedict makes first appearance since resignation news
Huge crowds in the Vatican cheered Pope Benedict XVI Wednesday as he made his first public appearance since announcing his resignation at the end of the month. He thanked the Roman Catholic faithful in several languages and said it was not appropriate for him to continue as pope. He appeared tired but not visibly unwell as he sat and read his remarks off several sheets of paper. Benedict also celebrated an Ash Wednesday mass marking the beginning of Lent at St. Peter's Basilica in the afternoon.

CNN: Tibetan sets himself on fire in front of shrine in Nepal
A Tibetan man set himself on fire in front of a famous Buddhist shrine in the Nepalese capital on Wednesday, police said, becoming the latest Tibetan to adopt this harrowing form of protest over Chinese rule. Self-immolation began as a form of protest among Tibetans in China in February 2009, when a young monk set himself ablaze. In March 2011, another young monk followed in his footsteps, becoming the first to die. Scores of others have since followed suit.

CNN: Comedian Sarah Silverman's sister, niece detained at Israel's Western Wall
Anat Hoffman had no idea who comedian Sarah Silverman was until Silverman's sister and niece were detained with her Sunday in Jerusalem for wearing prayer shawls as they prayed at the Western Wall. Police detained 10 women for "performing a religious act contrary to the local customs." The group of women, who call themselves the Women of the Wall, went to pray in Jewish shawls known as tallitot that Israeli law says only Jewish men can wear there.

Belief on TV:

Enlightening Reads:

Religion News Service: American cardinals who will vote for the next pope
There will be 11 Americans among the 118 Roman Catholic cardinals who will convene in the Sistine Chapel in mid-March to elect the next pope. They range from leaders of major archdioceses to retired prelates to top officials in the Vatican bureaucracy. Here’s a look at the American “princes of the church” who will vote for the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics:

Reuters: Discreet papal campaign began before Pope Benedict’s resignation shock
Pope Benedict may have shocked the world by announcing his resignation on Monday, but some cardinals apparently started maneuvering for the succession as long as two years ago. Papal elections are among the world’s most mysterious, with no declared candidates and more bluffing than a high-stakes poker game. No cardinal can openly campaign for a job whose election is said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit.

BBC Analysis: Analysis: What is the role of a modern pope?
The Pope's vocation is spiritual, but one that requires not merely vigour in prayer but also in intellectual and political leadership for Catholics around the world. As Pope Benedict XVI said in his resignation address, this is due in large part to the needed public and political interventions in a world "subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith". Health and vitality, Benedict argues, are needed in a papal vocation, which also requires profound experience and wisdom.

Opinion of the Day:

CNN Opinion: Why the next pope should be African
Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, was asked last week at the celebration of Black History Month in Toronto if he thought that the time was ripe for an African pope. His answer attracted much cheering from the crowd of over 500 Catholics of African descent. He said: "The time for an African pope was ripe even in the time of the Apostolic Fathers in the first century of the church." "I am not saying that I wish to be considered for the papacy, but the fact that the Gospel is to be preached to all peoples, languages, and races means that the highest leadership of the church should be open to anyone from any race, language and nation. I will not be surprised to see an African pope in my lifetime."

Join the conversation…

CNN: Why did the Pope resign?
The questions reverberated from the Vatican to every corner of the Catholic world and left a billion members scratching their heads over something not seen since 1415 – why is the pope resigning now? Pope Benedict XVI, 85, said Monday that it was because of his age. "I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," he read in Latin to a group of cardinals gathered to examine causes for canonization.

- A. Hawkins

Filed under: Uncategorized

soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. 100 milliom year old

    Crocodile says Happy Valitine's day to all

    Still living I am

    February 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
    • Alligators are more evolved!

      Crocodiles can't spell for shit!

      February 14, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • 100 milliom year old

      Croc's have a hard time spelling oops

      I am an old f-art but still manging around

      February 14, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • 100 milliom year old

      Oops hanging

      February 14, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Alligators are more evolved!

      We alligators would be more embarassed for you if we hadn't been turned into boots first.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • 100 milliom year old

      Wondered where may brother's front feet went , you have them.

      February 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
  2. lunchbreaker

    @ L4H, it's been fun, I look forward to future debates about soft tissue issues (I just love saying that). I'm out for today, Have a good evening.

    Peace Bloggers

    February 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
  3. Live4Him

    @ME II : Define your premises

    Select the best supported answer to the decision tree given below:

    1) Does MET have a beginning? Yes or No

    2) Does Naturalism currently have 'reasonably certain' explanation for the beginning MET? Yes or No

    3) Does Supernaturalism currently have 'reasonably certain' explanation for the beginning MET? Yes or No

    4) Which Supernaturalist view has the best explanation for the beginning MET? Name?

    5) Is this Supernaturalist view consistent internally? Yes or No

    6) Is this Supernaturalist view supported by external evidence? Yes or No

    7) Does this Supernaturalist view address all the relevant issues? Yes or No

    8) Will this Supernaturalist view change how I view this world? Yes or No

    @ME II : However, simply because we cannot exclude an explanation, does not make it true, or even likely.

    Agreed – which is why there were multiple premises given.

    @ME II : Additionaly, from a practical stand point I don't know how one would "explore" a non-natural explanation for viability.

    See #5-8

    @ME II : You have not checked off all natural explanations.

    I've addressed all currently known possible explanations. If you want to play word games, be my guest.

    February 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • .

      Yet you continue to show your stupidity by not being able to use the reply button.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Science

      Next

      [This is the decision of the court in the Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al. case. Judge John E. Jones III, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, made a very strong ruling against intelligent design. He ruled that it is creationism and is not science. He also ruled that members of Dover's school board lied under oath to hide their religious motivations. This archive also hosts transcripts of the trial. See the Dover

      February 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      MET the category of metric spaces together with metric maps?

      February 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One: MET the category of metric spaces together with metric maps?

      MET as in Matter, Energy and Time.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry, I was hoping for something more fundamental. Carry on.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Science

      In the beginning...

      "...we have a viable theory of the universe back to about 10-30 seconds. At that time, the currently observable universe was smaller than the smallest dot on your TV screen, and less time had passed than it takes for light to cross that dot."
      -George F. Smoot, Winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics

      February 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Zippy D. Doodah

      Actually, it's a one question quiz:

      Has even the tiniest shred of credible evidence for the existence of any deity or supernatural force ever been found?

      February 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,

      1) Unknown
      2) No (I would add, 'but many hypotheses')
      3) No (I would add, 'not even close')
      4) Not sure. (Not sure if any are "reasonable" ones, but not sure which is "best" unreasonable one)
      5) No
      6) See previous
      7) See previous
      8) (Unsure what this even means.)

      "I've addressed all currently known possible explanations. If you want to play word games, be my guest."
      As I've said, this excludes currently unknown explanations, hence it cannot be framed as a valid dichotomy, hence a false dichotomy.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Billy

      That's not a tree.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • meifumado

      The METS suck, I'm A YANKEE'S fan!

      February 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  4. Eric G

    What evidence would it take for believers to no longer believe that a god exists?

    February 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Their God should manifest himself plainly as a real and existing being and command them to believe that he does not exist. Then they will believe that he does not exist.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @Eric G : What evidence would it take for believers to no longer believe that a god exists?

      What evidence would it take for non-believers to believe that God exists?

      February 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Eric G

      Well said, as always Tom.

      I really am curious as to what it will take.

      What if we discover life on other planets?
      What if we discover how to create life from inorganic material?
      How much verified fact must be denied to maintain faith?

      I guess I just do not understand how anyone would choose faith over truth.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Check

      Live4Him:
      ["@Eric G : What evidence would it take for believers to no longer believe that a god exists?"
      "What evidence would it take for non-believers to believe that God exists?"]

      That's a joke answer, right? You forgot to put a smiley face there...
      (i wonder if there is a smiley available that looks like a boomerang?) :roll:

      February 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • December

      > to no longer believe that a god exists?

      Loss of all or any hope.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • S.S.D.D

      I'm not sure what's more cliche, Eric's question or Liv4Him's response. Have fun not changing each others minds today.

      sigh

      February 14, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Eric...not surprisingly, I doubt there is anything you can show me. But I'll offer you this, you propose: "What if we discover how to create life from inorganic material?" O.k. How about you create life not out of inorganic material, but rather out of absolutely nothing. Not a single thing. Just "poof" there you go. Then I'll question God's existence.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
    • PaulGem

      What would get me to believe in God? Supposedly God knows how to get people to believe in him so, maybe, he is the one to ask? Someone mentioned a loss of hope. Well, it does seem that people often have to be at their most desperate for them to "find" God. Why anyone would consider something that they wouldn't have resorted to on a typical day something to run their entire lives on is beyond me. In a pinch, someone might eat food with maggots in it if they were hungry enough, but you'd have to be nuts to make it your regular food when plenty of regular alternatives are available, right? That's why I just don't get it when Christians tell their little stories about being at the bottom of their barrels and finally turning to God.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • Tommy

      Physical evidence of god. Someone telling me they feel god in their heart doesn't count as evidence though.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @Tommy...like, for instance, if he came to Earth and gave us His message face to face of we are to live and even performed miracles? Is that what your asking for?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Sorry...bad typo...meant: "of "how" we...

      February 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • End Religion

      VanHagar, just double-checking to be sure you haven't uttered the name of any day of the week since you lost your last bet concerning the Norse religion still under practice and weekdays being named after gods which your god has commanded you not mention.

      Of course you know when Lawrence Krauss talks about "nothing" he is talking about dark matter? He isn't speaking of nothing as a vacuum.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Tommy

      Yeah, but I have to see it, I am not going to take the word of a 2000 year old book just because it says it is true.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • clarity

      I think the question "what would it take for believers of the God of Abraham to not believe in that god?" always has more potential of being addressed at any time, possibly by the sudden uncovering of a cover-up by the early church that would certainly throw the world into a tizzy.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @clarity...I think that's a reasonable argument. go find that proof and get back to us.

      @tommy...how often does He need to do this...each generation?

      @end religion....I succ.umb to you with(Iessness).

      February 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • VanHagar

      LOL...my own written lisp....wiT(lessness)

      February 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      "What evidence would it take for believers to no longer believe that a god exists?"

      What evidence would it take for an athiest to believe there is a god?

      The answer is, in both cases, no unified answer. If all the science could be presented in an orderly 100% verified manner..their would still be those that would believe in God.
      If the skies opened up, angels flying down singing the praises of God and Jesus himself waving from on high....there would still be those who not believe.
      We humans take faith as a personal bit of identi ty. How easy is it to change the core...the very self of an individual?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • So...

      " if he came to Earth and gave us His message face to face of we are to live and even performed miracles? Is that what your asking for?"

      So have other gods in other religions based on your poor logic then they are all true and you're worshiping the wrong god. LOL!

      February 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Tommy

      I don't know how often he should do it, it seems at this point he would only need to do it once more. He could record it on video and tape and it would last a long time, and be a lot more convincing than a 2000 year old book that you can use to justify anything you want, which in my opinion makes it useless.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Van and Uncouth

      I find it hard to believe that if god or jesus showed themselves there would be a significant amount of people who would still refuse to believe. I think there would be some people but by and large most people would convert or have their faith reaffirmed.

      It's difficult to say how I would react to seeing angels and god ect. all pour out of the sky if they existed but I can say the idea of me rejecting reality in favor of disbelief is pretty low on my list.

      As for how often god would have to come down to prove himself. Well in this day and age with cameras, smartphones, the internet, ect... it would seem god would only need to appear once and be recorded for all time, it would be MUCH better evidence than the bible, I'll tell you that much. Plus, why doesn't god appear more often? Does he get tired?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @So?....Interesting point. I'm trying to think of another religion where God came to earth to live and teach, performed miracles and all for numerous witnesses by identified by name and often by their location of residence from a verifiable period of time in history. I'm not saying there aren't any, just curious as to what religions have those particularities.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • Ken

      VanHagar
      "if he came to Earth and gave us His message face to face of we are to live and even performed miracles?"

      Sounds like Superman to me. :-)

      February 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Chuckles...Does God get tired? I think he does (not physically, of course). I think He gets tired of revealing himself only to have people make excuses. God's appearance (Jesus) wasn't a "one-of." The Old Testament is filled with his appearances over the course of thousands of years to multiple people, and multiple miracles and multiple events...and yet, they still found a way to forget him. Go ahead, put his appearance on a camera. Do you honestly believe no one is going to yell photo shop?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Tommy

      Van, the Greek and Roman gods were said to come to earth and interact with humans all the time.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      @Chuckles- I am not saying that some would not change their perspective if such an event would happen. But I feel those that say there is no god would merely change their perspective of what "god" is to them and still deny that the event was evidence of "god".

      The only way to change a person's perspective on what is or is not "god" would be to understand why they believe or do not believe.
      It's like the athiest pov....with all this science how could you still believe? Well, obviously...science isn't attacking the source of one's belief or they would probably change their minds.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Van

      Sure, if god came for 5 seconds, posed for a picture and disappeared, clearly it could be photoshopped. What I'm saying is if the world witnessed the live event, like say watching the twin towers on tv, no one would question the event happening. Some people could question what they are seeing, but it would be a far cry from having a super old, suspi.cious book.

      @Uncouth
      I can agree that if god were to fly out of the heavens today there would still be people to refuse to believe. but by and large even some of the most ferverent deniers would have to reevaluate their disbelief. The "why" you point out generally falls into the "not enough evidence" category for atheists. The "why" for a believer is more difficult because of the nebulousness of many people's reasoning. I think there would be a great cognitive dissonance coming from believers refusing to believe in a specific god coming from the heavens than believers.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • fred

      Worse than that we see people that would believe for all the wrong reasons if God gave the sign people wanted as proof. This is why Jesus said no sign will be given but the sign of Jonah.
      God reveals a presence that was always there to begin with. Draw close to God while He is near and you will see. If you don’t believe Moses and the Prophets why would you believe one risen from the dead !

      February 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Ken

      Uncouth Swain
      It was easier, almost impossible not to believe in God back when the Bible said that only a fool would say there wasn't. Back then, there was little science and nothing to suggest that some god wasn't responsible for everything. Today it's pretty much the exact opposite. Now you'd have to be a fool to say that we aren't discovering that the universe can run just fine without the help of gods.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Ken

      fred
      If I believed in the prophets then why would I believe that Jesus was the Messiah? He didn't fulfill the expectations of the Jewish messiah, after all.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:38 pm |
    • fred

      Ken
      As to science we are simply arguing about the shape of the universe instead of the shape of our flat earth. Not much change as to why God.
      If you believed in Moses and the Law of the Prophets you were chosen. Just a Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord so too will a heart inclined towards God today. In short there is a believing nature is some that depend upon or need to depend upon God to bring out that life eternal whereas others look only to self.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  5. Robert Brown

    Out on the perilous deep
    Where dangers silently creep
    And storms so violently sweep
    You're drifting to far from the shore

    Today the tempest rolls high
    And clouds overshadow the sky
    Sure death is hovering nigh
    You're drifting to far from the shore

    Why meet a terrible fate
    Mercy abundantly waits
    Turn back before its to late
    You're drifting to far from the shore

    Drifting too far from the shore (from the shore)
    Drifting too far from the shore (peaceful shore)
    Come to Jesus today, let him show you the way
    You're drifting to far from the shore

    February 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Here's one I heard when I was little:

      Teach me to live, that I may dread
      the grave as little as my bed.
      Teach me to die, that so I may
      rise glorious at the judgment day.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • Wait

      It's a Grateful Dead song.....sweet....wait I need to take a hit of my water pipe.....ahhhhh much better.....

      February 14, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Robert Brown

      You better watch out!
      Better not cry!
      Better not pout!
      I'm telling you why,
      Santa Claus is comin' to town.

      He's making a list
      and checking it twice.
      He's going to find out who's naughty and nice.
      Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.

      He sees when you're sleeping.
      He knows when you're awake.
      He knows if you've been bad or good.
      So be good for goodness sake!

      You better watch out!
      Better not cry!
      Better not pout!
      I'm telling you why,
      Santa Claus is comin' to town.

      With little tin horns and little toy drums,
      rootie-toot-toots and rum-a-tum tums.
      Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town.

      Curly head dolls that toddle and coo,
      elephants, boats and kiddie cars too.
      Santa Claus is comin' to town.

      The kids and girls in boyland
      will have a jubilee.
      They're going to build a toyland town,
      all around the Christmas tree.

      You better watch out!
      Better not cry!
      Better not pout!
      I'm telling you why,
      Santa Claus is comin' to town.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • PaulB

      And Jesus was a sailor
      When he walked upon the water
      And he spent a long time watching
      From his lonely wooden tower
      And when he knew for certain
      Only drowning men could see him
      He said "All men will be sailors then
      Until the sea shall free them"
      But he himself was broken
      Long before the sky would open
      Forsaken, almost human
      He sank beneath your wisdom like a stone

      And you want to travel with him
      And you want to travel blind
      And you think maybe you'll trust him
      For he's touched your perfect body with his mind.

      From "Suzanne" by Leonard Cohen

      Beauty of it is, you can find deep meaning in this as either a believer, or a nonbeliever. :-)

      February 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Ken

      When a man loves a woman
      Can't keep his mind on nothing else
      He'll trade the world
      For the good thing he's found
      If she's bad he can't see it
      She can do no wrong
      Turn his back on his best friend
      If he put her down

      When a man loves a woman
      Spend his very last dime
      Tryin' to hold on to what he needs
      He'd give up all his comfort
      Sleep out in the rain
      If she said that's the way it ought to be

      Well, this man loves a woman
      I gave you everything I had
      Tryin' to hold on to your precious love
      Baby, please don't treat me bad

      When a man loves a woman
      Down deep in his soul
      She can bring him such misery
      If she plays him for a fool
      He's the last one to know
      Lovin' eyes can't ever see

      When a man loves a woman
      He can do no wrong
      He can never own some other girl
      Yes when a man loves a woman
      I know exactly how he feels
      'Cause baby, baby, baby, you're my world

      When a man loves a woman.....

      When A Man Loves A Woman Lyrics
      by Percy Sledge

      This oldie sums up the Christian love of God as well. They are so blinded by this love they just can't see everything that's wrong with the relationship.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
    • meifumado

      My ruthless hands still clutch at life-
      Still like a shoreless sea
      My soul beats on in rage and strife.
      You may not shackle me.

      My leopard eyes are still untamed,
      They hold a darksome light -
      A fierce and brooding gleam unnamed
      That pierced primeval night.

      Rear mighty temples to your god -
      I lurk where shadows sway,
      Till, when your drowsy guards shall nod
      To leap and rend and slay.

      For I would hurl your cities down
      And I would break your shines
      And give the site of every town
      To thistles and to vines.

      Higher then the walls of Nineveh
      And prouder Babel's spires -
      I bellowed from the desert way -
      They crumbled in my fires.

      For all the works of cultured man
      Must fare and fade and fall.
      I am the Dark Barbarian
      That towers over all.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  6. hypatia

    The crazies are really out today. *munched popcorn* happy valentines day

    February 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Nightwoody

      I had one this morning that was quickly taken care of, remind me to buy her some flowers.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • Wait

      I need to go get my SmartFood popcorn....

      February 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Science

      MEII thanks
      Peace

      February 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  7. Science

    Origin of Life: Natural Cause

    Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

    December 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the ...

    February 14, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
  8. Topher

    Why It Feels Natural to Criticize Christians

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-it-feels-natural-to-criticize-christians-89773/

    February 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • BRC

      I'm gonna go with the fact that Christianity is based off of a self contradictary source doctrine, and makes claims of the supernatural and impossible without providing any real evidence or proof. This goes against all logical and rational thought, which the human brain is wired pretty well to use, and is counterintuitve to natural thought processes. Thus, it is natural to critisize Christians.

      That and over 2000 years various "Christians" have done absolutely horrible and insane things, but why pile it on?

      February 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Topher

      Yes, so many horrible things.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • clarity

      The author at that link is Dan Delzell who evidently is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska.
      Also be sure to check out these pages – quite interesting:

      http://www.wellspringlutheran.org/igsbase/igstemplate.cfm?SRC=DB&SRCN=&GnavID=2&SnavID=1

      http://rr-bb.com/showthread.php?107499-Rev-Dan-Delzell-of-Wellspring-Lutheran-Church-Papillion-Nebraska-there-are-2-types-of-preachers

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2012/02/lutheran-pastor-attacks-lutheran-view-of-lords-supper/

      February 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher,
      "Man, by nature, hates being told what to do. Enter God."
      "Deep within man is a hatred for his Creator...."
      Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-it-feels-natural-to-criticize-christians-89773/#GJPwo8F2i0kHT846.99

      Why would your supposed God create man is such a way? Mind you, "by nature", implies that free will is not the reason. Why did "God" put this hatred "deep within man"?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      "Why would your supposed God create man is such a way? Mind you, "by nature", implies that free will is not the reason. Why did "God" put this hatred "deep within man"?"

      You're right it's not free will. That has to do with your actions based on options you choose from. God didn't give this to man. It's a result of the fall and the following curse

      February 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Madame Laveau

      "Curse", Topher?

      "Curses" are bunk, but I'll sell you some voodoo dolls anyway!

      Oooooga Booooga!

      February 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • ME II

      "It's a result of the fall and the following curse"
      hmm, wasn't the "curse", issued by God?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • Topher

      ME II

      " hmm, wasn't the "curse", issued by God?"

      Yes, that's fair. But it's still because of something we did.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
    • Gandhi

      I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
      An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
      Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.
      The christian apologists that take turns posting their BS could learn something from Mahatma.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Yes – many horrible things.
      I'll tell you what Christians did with Atheists for about 1500 years.
      You outlawed them from the universities, or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy. You dehumanized them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed, or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, iimprisoned them, disemboweled them, hung them, burnt them alive...
      And you have nerve enough to complain that atheists make fun of you?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Oh yeah

      Don't bother with Topher. His delusion is absolutely air tight (and air headed). His perfectly sealed closed mind will not let any reason in. And no matter how absurd or insane his belief, no matter how free of evidence his claims, they will remain unchallenged in there, protected by his dedication to perfectly circular logic.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      "Yes, that's fair. But it's still because of something we did."

      2 Things

      1) What did I do to deserve a curse?
      2) Why is the entirity of humanity cursed because of the action of one man X amount of years ago? How is that even remotely fair? I don't go to jail for something my brother did or my great grandfather or wang in china. Doesn't it seem superemly ridiculous to be cursed over something I had no part in? Pretty much god ties your hands and feet behind you, throws you in a boxing ring with mike tyson and demands that you fight, but also to love him and trust him and somehow this all makes sense to you?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • Topher

      Gandhi

      "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

      So very true.

      "An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching."

      How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

      "Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding."

      Who's anger and intolerant?

      "The christian apologists that take turns posting their BS could learn something from Mahatma."

      You clearly know nothing about Gandhi or else you wouldn't regard him so highly.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      " You outlawed them from the universities, or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy."

      Boo-hoo. You atheists burned us at the stake, cut off our heads, crucified, and oh-so-many other horrible things. Get back to me when you can compile a Foxe's Book of Martyrs.

      "You dehumanized them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed, or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, iimprisoned them, disemboweled them, hung them, burnt them alive..."

      Ridiculous.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Topher

      Chuckles"

      1) What did I do to deserve a curse?"

      You live under the curse because of what your federal head did. He disobeyed God and corrupted His perfect creation.

      "2) Why is the entirity of humanity cursed because of the action of one man X amount of years ago? How is that even remotely fair? I don't go to jail for something my brother did or my great grandfather or wang in china. Doesn't it seem superemly ridiculous to be cursed over something I had no part in? Pretty much god ties your hands and feet behind you, throws you in a boxing ring with mike tyson and demands that you fight, but also to love him and trust him and somehow this all makes sense to you?"

      Have you not sinned? You're not any more innocent than I am. You won't be punished because of what your grandfather did. You will be punished for having told a lie, theft or lust (among other things.) If you don't like the punishment you deserve, there's a "cure" for that. Despite your wicked blashpheming of His name, He loved you anyway and provided a way for you to go to Heaven. He left His throne and came to Earth with the strict purpose to DIE for you so that justice can be settled.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Tommy

      Topher at best Christians were persecuted in the Roman Empire from the Time of Jesus until Constantine converted to Christianity, at that point Christianity became the official religion of the Empire and the Christians were the ones persecuting everyone else for the next 1500 years or so.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      I hear the Spanish Inquisition was a great time of christians spreading the love of jesus

      February 14, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • Chuckles

      @Topher

      "You live under the curse because of what your federal head did. He disobeyed God and corrupted His perfect creation."
      – You didn't answer my question. Why should I be blamed for someone elses mistakes?

      "Have you not sinned? You're not any more innocent than I am. You won't be punished because of what your grandfather did. You will be punished for having told a lie, theft or lust (among other things.) If you don't like the punishment you deserve, there's a "cure" for that. Despite your wicked blashpheming of His name, He loved you anyway and provided a way for you to go to Heaven. He left His throne and came to Earth with the strict purpose to DIE for you so that justice can be settled."
      –How is it possible NOT to sin when you are cursed before birth and live in a world that apparently has sin around every corner? Also, he didn't die, that's just silly, he just decided to send a human body down that had a piece of him incarnated who died, and considering he still lives and hes god, the "sacrifice" was like clipping a toenail.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Topher explain please...

      How you can so easily dismiss the ugly history of the christian religions that still goes on to this day? Is it your god's will to have scam artists stealing from the poor and guillible? Is it your god's will to have officers of the churches preying on young children? Is it your god's will to have war after war after war? You have no god, if you still believe you should be ashamed of your god, damn it.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      Ever hear of the Judas Cradle?
      A Christian name for a Christian torture device used to break heathens, heretics, witches, apostates and other undesireables.
      Ridiculous? Tell that to the Easter Islanders, Aztecs, Incas, - oh sorry. They were all wiped out by the Christians when they came conquering and plundering.

      Those things you list that were done to Christians were done by other religionists, not atheists.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Topher

      Tommy

      First, Christians are still being murdered by atheists all over the world. Look into Voice of the Martyrs. What is still going on right now is nothing short of atrocities.

      Second, if atheists were being killed for their beliefs it wasn't by Christians.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      He left His throne and came to Earth with the strict purpose to DIE for you so that justice can be settled."
      .
      Then he was clearly delusional when he was praying to himself and talking to his "father". Did he not know he was talking to himself? Was he talking to himself in the 3rd person back and forth? Must have been confusing for him. Sorry but your man made god is not worthy of worshipping or believing in. You clearly cannot discern between your own thoughts and feelings and think some how your god is communicating with you. As for your jesus, he was hardly a role model and apparently couldnt write...not impres sed.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Topher

      Chuckles

      " – You didn't answer my question. Why should I be blamed for someone elses mistakes?"

      I did answer it. You aren't being blamed for what someone else did. But you will be judged based on your decisions and actions.

      " –How is it possible NOT to sin when you are cursed before birth and live in a world that apparently has sin around every corner? Also, he didn't die, that's just silly, he just decided to send a human body down that had a piece of him incarnated who died, and considering he still lives and hes god, the "sacrifice" was like clipping a toenail."

      You can repent, which means not just say you are sorry for your sins, but turn from them. It's your sin nature to sin. But you can turn your back on those things and choose to trust God to have paid for your sins for you.

      Also, it's not silly, but I understand why you think so.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      I hear the crusades was a big outpouring of jesus's love to jews and muslims

      February 14, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Check

      Topher,
      "You atheists burned us at the stake, cut off our heads, crucified, and oh-so-many other horrible things."

      Those atrocities were mainly theists persecuting other theists (whose different flavors of gods and philosophies they detested).

      February 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Topher

      Topher explain please...

      "How you can so easily dismiss the ugly history of the christian religions that still goes on to this day?"

      Such as? I just want to be clear on what we're talking about.

      "Is it your god's will to have scam artists stealing from the poor and guillible? Is it your god's will to have officers of the churches preying on young children?"

      Of course not. Those people are using their free will to do those things. It's God's will for them to repent and trust the Savior.

      " Is it your god's will to have war after war after war?"

      Nope. But sinful man once again rears its ugly head.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Gandhi

      Whose anger and intolerance? Please do not be so stupid, christians have been slaughtering the heathen for much of their history. Ok you slowed down but there are still some christian nutters that will try and intimidate an abortion doctor or beat the crap out of a gay person, some christians are still full of anger and intolerance, ie. tbt, captain america, heavensent, douglas just on this blog.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Skippy Peanutbutter

      Topher, are you that ignorant? Anyone who identified themself as an atheist was tortured and executed under heresy laws. That went on for over 1,000 years.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Topher

      Doc Vestibule

      "Those things you list that were done to Christians were done by other religionists, not atheists."

      Oh, c'mon. Secular humanists are the worst offenders.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Skippy Peanutbutter

      Free will is not in the Bible.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • JiffExtraCrunchy

      "Free will is not in the Bible."

      Agreed.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Topher

      Gandhi

      "Whose anger and intolerance? Please do not be so stupid, ..."

      Name calling. Who is supposed to be angry again?

      " ... christians have been slaughtering the heathen for much of their history. Ok you slowed down but there are still some christian nutters that will try and intimidate an abortion doctor or beat the crap out of a gay person, some christians are still full of anger and intolerance, ie. tbt, captain america, heavensent, douglas just on this blog."

      Anyone attacking an abortion doctor or a gay person is not a Christian. They may think they are, but they're not. Just look at what Jesus said about that. ...

      Jesus tells us in John 16:2-3 that there will be some who, in their error, commit atrocities and murder in the name of God: “The time is coming that whosoever kills you will think that he does God service.” However, He informs us that these are not true believers: “And these things will they do to you, because they have not know the Father, nor me.”

      February 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Oh dear

      "Secularhumanists are the worst offenders" – Topher loves his lies, doesn't he?

      Topher: list all the occasions where secular humanists committed atrocities in the name of secular humanism, or where secular humanism was the reason for the atrocity. And sorry, Communism will fail, because the vast atrocites committed by communists were political and in service to the political agenda.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • Topher please explain

      You do not know the ugly history of the christian religion? Amazing, please read the posts, you may get some idea, deliberate ignorance is your excuse?

      February 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of SEVERE mental illness

      Anyone attacking an abortion doctor or a gay person is not a Christian.
      .
      Wrong....they are a sinning christian....but still christian. You do not have the authority to dictate who or who isnt a christian.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Topher

      Oh, Communism counts because it was their worldview. Even Dawkins agrees with this.

      Stalin — 40 million
      Mao Tse Tung — 72 million
      Takeover of Cambodia — 3 million
      abortions worldwide since 1980 — more than a BILLION

      Shall I go on?

      February 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • Ganhdi

      Just calling you stupid is a very minor insult of what I actually think about you. No anger and the intolerance only comes from your ever ending wish to spread your religious disease to others, you can not stop or control your self. My lord using babble verses to make your point, how stupid is that?

      February 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Jeff H.

      @ Topher When you claim that people are not Christians because they violate some biblical law, you do realize that you have effectively said that no one is a Christian, right? If the people who kill abortion doctors are not Christians, then neither are you. They broke the Sixth Commandment, and you repeatedly break the Ninth Commandment with your false witness about atheists and seculars.

      Divorced Christians are not Christians. Christians who cast the first stone are not Christians (Oops! That's you too). Those Christians who judge are not Christians (You again).

      If you want to insist that the Christians who do things you do not want to side with "are not Christians", then you are stuck with the paradox that that standard removes everyone from the list. Including yourself.

      I know, you are the one who gets to decide who is a Christan, so you have lots of reasons why there is an exception for you. But of course, those "not Christian" Christians have lots of reasons they are Christians.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Topher

      "You do not have the authority to dictate who or who isnt a christian."

      True. But Christ does. See above quote on how those who kill in His name aren't Christian.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Topher

      Jeff H.

      "When you claim that people are not Christians because they violate some biblical law, you do realize that you have effectively said that no one is a Christian, right?"

      Not quite. I'd agree with no one is good, though.

      "If the people who kill abortion doctors are not Christians, then neither are you. They broke the Sixth Commandment, and you repeatedly break the Ninth Commandment with your false witness about atheists and seculars. "

      What false witness have I given?

      "Divorced Christians are not Christians. Christians who cast the first stone are not Christians (Oops! That's you too)."

      What stone have I cast?

      " Those Christians who judge are not Christians (You again)."

      We can judge as Christians. Where do you get that?

      "If you want to insist that the Christians who do things you do not want to side with "are not Christians", then you are stuck with the paradox that that standard removes everyone from the list. Including yourself."

      I understand your reasoning here. But how do you then get around the above quote I provided? Jesus Himself, the one who gets to set the standard, says that if you kill someone in His name you aren't a Christian.

      "I know, you are the one who gets to decide who is a Christan, so you have lots of reasons why there is an exception for you. But of course, those "not Christian" Christians have lots of reasons they are Christians."

      Uh, nope. See above.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • Science

      No god(s) required

      Origin of Life: Natural Cause

      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      December 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway – which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells – has been traced for the ...

      Remember Topher Genisis lost in court

      February 14, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
    • Oh dear

      You are a dishonest one, Topher.

      Ever notice how non-Communist atheists don't kill (they are actually very peace-oriented and law abiding) but Communist ones do? Gee, I wonder what the difference is? Let's see, is it the atheism? No, that varies. What is the constant? Is it the political totalitarianism? Well let's test it. Are there political totalitarian regimes that murdered and oppressed like that? Why yes! South America was full of devoutly Catholic dictatorships like Trujillo and many others that killed masses. Franco in Spain. Just about any Dark Ages kingdom. The Puritans in England under Cromwell, and in America (oppressed the Quakers, slaughtered Natives, tortured or ran off atheists).

      Wow, so just the tiniest bit of logic reveals that totalitarianism always gets oppression and mass murder, whether atheist or religious. Atheism only gets those results if part of a totalitarian regime.

      So OBVIOUSLY, the revelant factor is totalitarianism, and not atheism.

      And I bet youo don't have the moral courage to say that is correct. I know damn well that you will be posting the same lie tomorrow and theday after and ever on. Because you love to bear false witness.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @Topher
      "Oh, Communism counts because it was their worldview."
      So everyone who died when prayer didn't save them can be blamed on religion, right? It was their worldview...

      February 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Wow

      "Oh, Communism counts because it was their worldview. Even Dawkins agrees with this.

      Stalin — 40 million
      Mao Tse Tung — 72 million
      Takeover of Cambodia — 3 million
      abortions worldwide since 1980 — more than a BILLION

      Shall I go on?"

      Communism is not, however, inherently atheistic. It is possible to hold communist or socialist economic views while being a theist and it isn't at all uncommon to be an atheist while staunchly defending capitalism — a combination often found among Objectivists and Libertarians, for example. Their existence alone demonstrates, without question, that atheism and communism are not the same thing.

      The book of Acts has two explicit passages depicting the very communistic nature of the early Christian community:

      All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
      (Acts 2:44-45)

      There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
      (Acts 4:34-37)

      February 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Topher please explain

      Onward Christian Soldiers
      Onward onto war
      With the cross of jesus

      The hypocricy of the Tophers of the world, we can kill and murder in the name of god if and when it suits us.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Wow

      "Oh, Communism counts because it was their worldview. Even Dawkins agrees with this.

      Stalin — 40 million
      Mao Tse Tung — 72 million
      Takeover of Cambodia — 3 million
      abortions worldwide since 1980 — more than a BILLION

      Shall I go on?"

      Communism is not, however, inherently atheistic. It is possible to hold communist or socialist economic views while being a theist and it isn't at all uncommon to be an atheist while staunchly defending capitalism — a combination often found among Objectivists and Libertarians, for example. Their existence alone demonstrates, without question, that atheism and communism are not the same thing.

      The book of Acts has two explicit passages depicting the very communistic nature of the early Christian community:

      All that believed were together, and had all things in common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
      (Acts 2:44-45)

      There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. There was a Levite, a native of Cyprus, Joseph, to whom the apostles gave the name Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”). He sold a field that belonged to him, then brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
      (Acts 4:34-37)

      February 14, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Wow

      Sorry for the double post the refresh is slow today.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm |
    • Topher

      Science

      Whether Genesis won in court or not has no bearing on whether it is true or not. Besides, I'm not surprised considering the culture we live in today.

      "Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics
      December 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway – which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells – has been traced for the ..."

      Ridiculousness. Law of Biogenetics says life can only come from life. So no, we didn't come from rocks.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • meifumado

      Anyone who makes claims without evidence needs to be criticized.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • Topher

      Topher please explain

      That's a good hymn.

      But do I really need to explain to you that war isn't murder? Granted, there can be murder in war, but two opposing armies isn't murder.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
    • Topher

      meifumado

      Then every poster here today would have to be criticized. Who's got time for that? :)

      February 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • ME II

      @Science,
      Good article, thanks.
      However, I would say that "Genesis" did not lose in court. ID as a science did.

      @Topher,
      Surely you don't mean "biogenetic" law (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/biogenetic+law), as in Heckle's Recapitulation theory, because that was disproved decades ago.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    • Jeff H.

      "What false witness have I given?" You say atheists are mass murderers.

      "What stone have I cast?" You say atheists are mass murderers.

      "We can judge as Christians. Where do you get that?" Judge not, lest thou be judged.

      "Jesus Himself, the one who gets to set the standard, says that if you kill someone in His name you aren't a Christian." Where does he say that? And why can't a person who has killed not repent and be forgiven by Jesus? There is such an easy loophole that your theory fails, and the Son of Sam and the Manson Girls are heaven-bound. As well as the doctor killers.

      You have been deciding who is a Christian. You repeatedly have said people "aren't Christians", but if there is a God, you cannot possibly know. They may have played the "get out of hell free" repent card. You think you have perfect knowledge of what God would do, but that is astoundingly arrogant.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Oh dear

      Yo avoided my point, Topher. Are you running away again? I proved atheism was not the relevant factor in the atrocities you listed. Time to have some moral courage and admit you are wrong, and that you have been slandering atheists.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Hubert

      topher

      The law of biogenesis was in response to the spontaneous generation theory, which was popular up until the mid 1600's. Life has not always existed on this planet, so their necessarily had to be a moment of abiogenesis. And while scientist have yet to replicate this genesis there are multiple naturalistic theories attempting to explain, and replicate it.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Sci

      Topher have you ever had a barrel of a gun pointed at your head with someone else's finger on te trigger ?

      You are a jerk sorry
      Peace

      February 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm |
    • The Yodelling Accordian Kings of the Apocalypse

      I sometimes wonder why Topher plays this game again and again. He must think he is converting people. But he makes such a fool of himself with his strange logic. I cannot imagine he has done anything but convert uncertain people to secularism.

      Though I doubt anyone has ever decided their beliefs based on discussions on the Belief Blog.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Topher please explain

      Thou shall not kill. Later changed to thou shall not murder for convenience sake, how cool is that. Christian apologetics is the art of making the babble book fit into what ever is happening in the now. Can't wait for what you orfices will do when we find life outside the earth.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Zippy D. Doodah

      @Topher: "there can be murder in war, but two opposing armies isn't murder."

      Actually, unjust war is indeed murder, not only logically, but under international law. Offensive action without just cause is mass murder.

      Is your morality really so flimsy as to not know that?

      February 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
    • Topher

      Jeff H.

      "You say atheists are mass murderers." I'm not saying YOU are a mass murderer. But when you look at history that's certainly the case. Including today. Shall I find a list of countries for you where Christians are being murdered for nothing more than owning a Bible or meeting for church?

      "Judge not, lest thou be judged. " That's not saying not to judge, it's telling us how to judge. Read the entire passage.

      "Where does he say that?" John Chapter 16, just like I posted earlier.

      " And why can't a person who has killed not repent and be forgiven by Jesus?"

      He absolutely can repent and be forgiven. But that doesn't make Him a Christian at the time.

      "There is such an easy loophole that your theory fails, and the Son of Sam and the Manson Girls are heaven-bound. As well as the doctor killers."

      I don't know about the others, but apparently Son of Sam has repented and trusted Christ. But he wasn't a Christian back then. In fact, if you listen to his testamony, he was involved in a Satanist cult back then.

      "have been deciding who is a Christian. You repeatedly have said people "aren't Christians", but if there is a God, you cannot possibly know."

      I can if God Himself has said so.

      "You think you have perfect knowledge of what God would do, but that is astoundingly arrogant."

      I've never said I have perfect knowledge of anything. But I do know what God requires of us and what His standards are because I have His word in the Bible.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Science

      Next

      [This is the decision of the court in the Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al. case. Judge John E. Jones III, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, made a very strong ruling against intelligent design. He ruled that it is creationism and is not science. He also ruled that members of Dover's school board lied under oath to hide their religious motivations. This archive also hosts transcripts of the trial. See the Dover

      February 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Topher

      Hubert

      "The law of biogenesis was in response to the spontaneous generation theory, which was popular up until the mid 1600's."

      Louis Pasteur disproved one form of spontaneous generation and he lived in the 1800s. What he found is now considered to be universal as we've seen no known exceptions.

      "Life has not always existed on this planet, so their necessarily had to be a moment of abiogenesis. And while scientist have yet to replicate this genesis there are multiple naturalistic theories attempting to explain, and replicate it."

      No offense, dude, but that's just according to your worldview. The fact that we have yet to find that exception fits perfectly with the Biblical worldview.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Topher

      Sci

      "Topher have you ever had a barrel of a gun pointed at your head with someone else's finger on te trigger ?"

      Thankfully, no. I can't image what that would be like. But what does that have to do with anything we're talking about?

      "You are a jerk sorry"

      I certainly can be. It's something I'm working on and repent of often.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • Topher

      Topher please explain

      "Can't wait for what you orfices will do when we find life outside the earth."

      What does alien life have to do with whether the Bible is true?

      February 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Oh Dear

      Reposted, because Topher is continuing with his lies:

      Ever notice how non-Communist atheists don't kill (they are actually very peace-oriented and law abiding) but Communist ones do? Gee, I wonder what the difference is? Let's see, is it the atheism? No, that varies. What is the constant? Is it the political totalitarianism? Well let's test it. Are there political totalitarian regimes that murdered and oppressed like that? Why yes! South America was full of devoutly Catholic dictatorships like Trujillo and many others that killed masses. Franco in Spain. Just about any Dark Ages kingdom. The Puritans in England under Cromwell, and in America (oppressed the Quakers, slaughtered Natives, tortured or ran off atheists).

      Wow, so just the tiniest bit of logic reveals that totalitarianism always gets oppression and mass murder, whether atheist or religious. Atheism only gets those results if part of a totalitarian regime.

      So OBVIOUSLY, the revelant factor is totalitarianism, and not atheism.

      And I bet you don't have the moral courage to say that is correct. I know damn well that you will be posting the same lie tomorrow and theday after and ever on. Because you love to bear false witness.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Topher

      Zippy D. Doodah

      "Actually, unjust war is indeed murder, not only logically, but under international law. Offensive action without just cause is mass murder. "

      I agree unjust war can be murder. But notice you had to put a modifier on there to make me look wrong. Please don't put words in my mouth.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Zippy D. Doodah

      I did not put words in your mouth. You were directly quoted, and I refuted your point. You accusation is false. Simply accept you were wrong; being abusing only disgraces yourself.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Topher

      I refute that I was wrong on this point. And abusing? Where was I abusing?

      February 14, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • ¤

      Topher: "We can judge as Christians. Where do you get that?"

      From the Bible.

      Matthew 7
      New International Version (NIV)

      7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

      3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

      February 14, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • Topher please explain

      Intresting that you would believe that it was your gody guy that created the earth and life on same as described in the babble but did not mention in that same babble that he created life in other places in the universe. Of course MANKIND did not understand the extent of the universe when the babble was written, funny that god did not mention that at the time, being god and all. As MANKIND aquires more knowledge you babble boosters have to play a catch up game, don't you. You will never see that man created god, not the other way around because you gave up your ability to reason and logic, poor you.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Topher

      Topher please explain

      Please have respect and call it the Bible.

      "Intresting that you would believe that it was your gody guy that created the earth and life on same as described in the babble but did not mention in that same babble that he created life in other places in the universe"

      So what? The Bible is silent on that fact. It doesn't say one way or the other. So if other life is found it proves nothing other than there's other life.

      "Of course MANKIND did not understand the extent of the universe when the babble was written, funny that god did not mention that at the time, being god and all."

      I'd argue we still don't understand it. But the Bible talks a lot about the size of the universe.

      "As MANKIND aquires more knowledge you babble boosters have to play a catch up game, don't you. You will never see that man created god, not the other way around because you gave up your ability to reason and logic, poor you."

      Until you provide evidence there's alien life, why should I think it's out there? Just like you can't prove God was created by man (especially when there's tons of evidence for the opposite.)

      February 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Answer

      "Until you provide evidence there's alien life, why should I think it's out there?"

      There's more suggestion of Alien life than your god.

      http://journalofcosmology.com/Life100.html

      February 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Answer

      http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/03/05/exclusive-nasa-scientists-claims-evidence-alien-life-meteorite/

      NASA Scientist Claims Evidence of Alien Life on Meteorite

      February 14, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Oh dear

      Reposted yet again because Topher will not show any moral courage and admit he is wrong and slanderous:

      Reposted, because Topher is continuing with his lies:

      Ever notice how non-Communist atheists don't kill (they are actually very peace-oriented and law abiding) but Communist ones do? Gee, I wonder what the difference is? Let's see, is it the atheism? No, that varies. What is the constant? Is it the political totalitarianism? Well let's test it. Are there religious political totalitarian regimes that murdered and oppressed like that? Why yes! South America was full of devoutly Catholic dictatorships like Trujillo and many others that killed masses. Franco in Spain. Just about any Dark Ages kingdom. The Puritans in England under Cromwell, and in America (oppressed the Quakers, slaughtered Natives, tortured or ran off atheists).

      Wow, so just the tiniest bit of logic reveals that totalitarianism always gets oppression and mass murder, whether atheist or religious. Atheism only gets those results if part of a totalitarian regime.

      So OBVIOUSLY, the revelant factor is totalitarianism, and not atheism.

      And I bet you don't have the moral courage to say that is correct. I know damn well that you will be posting the same lie tomorrow and theday after and ever on. Because you love to bear false witness.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Topher please explain

      Just a matter of time. Science has already found the presence of RNA in the clouds of dust and gas around new young stars, the first stages to DNA. Mankind has created thousands of gods, where have you been. You just have fallen prey to the christian scam. If born in another area of the world you would have falllen prey to another silly god scam. because you do not have the facility to see fact from myth, poor you.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Hubert

      topher

      It's not my world view, it's a logical necessity. If at a point in the past there was no life on this planet, and now there is life on this planet, at one time life must have arisen from non-life. To say that because we don't know the exact cause of abiogenesis therefor god did it is nothing more than an argument from ignorance. You are free to believe that God is the cause of abiogenesis, but that is intellectually dishonest. The only honest answer to the question "What is the cause of abiogenesis?" is "I don't know."

      February 14, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • Answer

      "Bible talks a lot about the size of the universe. "

      He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by [their] names.
      Psalms 147:4

      Really, yet we are still discovering them so how come none of the names are listed in the bible? Plus stars are still forming so how could your god telleth the exact number?

      He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.
      Ephesians 4:9-10

      He is said to have ascended above "all heavens". That would not be possible of the universe were infinite in size.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Topher please explain

      You really are quite funny "tons of evidence for the opposite". How many gods have been created by man, has to be in the thousands, but your supernatural freak of a god is the real one? A compilation of all the god stories that came before jesus as pulled together by Paul, please, you are deluded.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Tommy

      Topher, how is a Catholic persecuting a Protestant over who has the correct interpretation of the Bible the fault of Atheists?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
    • Topher

      Hubert

      I'm not just saying "I don't know therefore God did it." I'm saying I do know because God told us how He did it.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
    • Topher

      Answer

      "Really, yet we are still discovering them so how come none of the names are listed in the bible? Plus stars are still forming so how could your god telleth the exact number? "

      Why do you need their names? What does that have to do with your salvation? And we'll have to save this argument for another day as I have to go to work, but stars are not still forming. We've never seen that happen even once.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
    • Topher

      February 14, 2013 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |

      Tommy

      "Topher, how is a Catholic persecuting a Protestant over who has the correct interpretation of the Bible the fault of Atheists?"

      Never said it was.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      It may be dishonest for you to say you know, Topher. What do you mean when you say you know?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Star Star

      Here are some pictures of whole galaxies of stars forming, which Topher says we have never seen. See for yourself what we can't see.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • Topher please explain

      No reply, turned coward on me. I can prove that god(s) have been created by man, aboriginal, greek, roman, pagan, etc. What you can not prove is that god created man. What image did god have in your opinion, African, Asian, Caucasian, Inuik, etc., pray tell?

      February 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Star Star

      Ooops, forgot the link:

      http://www.google.com/search?q=picture+of+a+star+forming&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&oe=&rlz=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=H1YdUZj8NOeSiQL9_oDAAg&biw=1920&bih=985&sei=OVYdUfPiOs6ujAKo14GIAg

      February 14, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Oh dear

      Toper ran away. Again.

      He had plenty of time to address the issue, and instead he did his usual "cherry-pick the creampuff questions and ignore the tough questions" run away gig.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Answer

      "We've never seen that happen even once."

      We have more information on their formation than your bible and as we gain knowledge it only proves the bible wrong.

      The voyager glimpsed star formation in the milky way for the first time just last year.

      In 1995, newborn stars were reported to be emerging from giant pillar-like structures of gas and dust in the Orion and Eagle Nebulae, both a few thousand light years from the earth.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Topher

      Tom, Tom, the Other One

      "It may be dishonest for you to say you know, Topher. What do you mean when you say you know?"

      I know you'll probably think I'm fully of it, but this is one of those things you can't understand until you're saved. You've heard the hot heater analogy, right? It's more than belief that there's a God, but it becomes knowledge. And I know it because God said so in the Bible.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Hubert

      Topher

      God didn't tell you anything. You read a story in genesis and decided to believe that an ancient Jewish creation myth accurately describes how the earth came to be. You are free to hold this belief, but there is no reason to claim that your creation myth is more accurate than the Hindu's or the ancient Greek's.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Topher

      Topher please explain

      Yep. I'm such a coward. And the image God had for man was Middle Eastern.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm |
    • Tommy

      You could take Topher on a trip through time and let him see with his own two eyes that the Earth is 4+ billion years old, and that evolution is how human life arose on the planet, and he would still say Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old and the evolution never happened.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
    • Topher

      Answer

      "We have more information on their formation than your bible and as we gain knowledge it only proves the bible wrong. "

      Absolutely nothing in the Bible has been proven wrong. Not a single thing. And there's TONS of information on the Bible. What else do you need?

      And since I'm kind of a space nerd, I'd LOVE to read those stories if you have links to them.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Topher

      Hubert

      I have EVERY reason to believe the Bible. And if you have time tomorrow I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you.

      Alright. I'm off to work. Seacrest out!

      February 14, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • So...

      "And since I'm kind of a space nerd, I'd LOVE to read those stories if you have links to them."

      They quoted something from 1995 and if you are as nerdy as you claim you should have known that one at least. Dude you are far from a nerd with that stupidity.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    • End Religion

      Note that folks like Topher used to say (and some still do say), "We couldn't have come from monkeys. Show me a human that was born from a monkey and I'll buy evolution." That is, until actual evolution is explained properly to see that humans are not born of monkeys but instead related from a common ancestor millions of years ago, and the world accepts it.

      Then Topher's crew noticed God had been pushed further back and claimed, "Ha! I still don't buy evolution. You stupid people think lightning struck a mud puddle and people jumped out of it?" That is, until we explained evolution didn't start at monkeys, it started much earlier, and that we are all evolved from single-cell organisms.

      So now Topher and crew, noticing their god pushed even further back, claim, "Preposterous! Life must evolve from life so something must have come before the single-celled organism. It was God." That is, until we begin explaining how a chemical reaction in deep sea thermal vents have shown the possibility of creating life from non-life.

      Meanwhile, their religion actually rests on the uniqueness of human beings, born whole in the image of their god. They can't even see they are holding onto and fruitlessly struggling to extend an argument that was lost the moment they were born, slightly mutated from their parents. Each Christian and every human is evidence their God does not exist.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm |
    • Oh dear

      Topher, you are a total coward. You made slanderous comments about atheists, I totally devastated your position three times, and in two hours, you do not have the courage to even acknowledge it or admit you were wrong and hurtful and bearing false witness.

      You come in here asking for these discussions, then you refuse to address anything uncomfortable. That is intellectual dishonesty.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • clarity

      So Topher – does the pope exhibit many of the characteristics of the Anti-Christ? Some Lutherans believe that and even have officially proclaimed that as recent as within the past two years. Also, does such a claim mean that the position of Pope is always seen that way by these fundamental Lutherans, regardless of who is currently in the position? Please explain.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
    • Akira

      I would like to know why Topher, as a Christian, is exempt from being judgmental of others. He didn't address the post that gave him the Scripture of why the Bible says that is wrong.
      Curious.

      February 14, 2013 at 6:54 pm |
  9. Live4Him

    @Eric G : I would argue that you do not search for facts. You search for acceptable assumptions that support a pre-existing preferred conclusion.

    @Others on the forum: Sorry, but he just kept pushing this issue.

    Here are the premises that I base my conclusion upon for the Biblical God / Jesus.

    Natural origins or Supernatural origins?
    a) Matter, energy and time exists. Where did they come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
    b) Life exists. Where did life come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
    Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary.

    Which supernatural event or being answer the above?
    a) Multiple religions address the creation of life.
    b) The Biblical account (which includes all the Abrahamic religions) begins with the creation of matter, energy and time,
    c) No other religion begins with the creation of matter, energy and time
    Therefore, only the Abrahamic religions answer both of the basic issues.

    Did the Judaism God Do It?
    a) Given accurate transmission of the Jewish Bible,
    b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37) in the Jewish Bible
    Therefore, the God of the Jews is a viable contender for this supernatural being.

    Did the Islamic God Do It?
    a) Given inaccurate transmission of the Koran Bible,
    b) Given the factual inaccuracies (i.e. members of the Trinity)
    c) Given the lack of specific prophecies in the Koran
    Therefore, the God of the Muslims is not a viable contender.

    Did the Christian God Do It?
    a) Given accurate transmission of the Christian Bible (i.e. Jewish / OT and NT),
    b) Given the fulfillment of foretold specific prophecies (incl: Eze 37, Rev 13) in the Christian Bible
    Therefore, the God of the Christians is a viable contender for this supernatural being. Since it includes the Jewish beliefs as well, it is the most plausible answer to how we got here.

    February 14, 2013 at 11:32 am |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Natural origins or Supernatural origins?
      a) Matter, energy and time exists. Where did they come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
      b) Life exists. Where did life come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
      Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary.
      "

      Yet again, this is an argument from ignorance.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • clarity

      Gullible4Him: [

      a) Matter, energy and time exists. Where did they come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
      b) Life exists. Where did life come from? There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
      Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary. ]

      No, this is faulty. Why? Because:

      We don't know everything about what naturalistic encompasses.
      I would say something that theists envision as supernatural is a possibility, but very remote to me in the way that it is envisioned.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Tommy

      I'm glad you keep posting this because it just shows that you don't have any proof at all.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • niknak

      We have been over and over this with you die4him.
      Just because we don't know how the big bang started or what came before or what we are expanding into does NOT mean that god did it.
      You fundies used to say that abouy solar eclispes and eath quated and the Earth being the center of the universe.
      All of those things were NOT god, and the Earth is not the center of the universe.
      Science has pushed you fundies all the way back to the big bang as you "See, there is proof of god" line in the sand.
      And guess what, science will figure that out too, and you fundies will be pushed yet again to another spot that science has not gotten around to yet.

      Face it lady, you have bought into a great big lie.
      Your god does not exist.
      Enjoy your long slide into oblivion........

      February 14, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • Science

      Education and FACTS are great for children

      Earth From Space

      Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

      Program Description

      "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

      Peace

      February 14, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • niknak

      You have it all wrong Science.
      We see facts and logic, but a fundie sees god.
      My recent transcon flight with a fundie gave me the scientific gem that it was actually the hand of god keeping the airplane flying, not the laws of aerodynamics and our understanding and application of them.

      When you are dealing with magic, then anything is possible........

      February 14, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : Yet again, this is an argument from ignorance.

      This premise is only addressing the lack of a natural explanation. As such, it is not an argument from ignorance.

      Think of it this way – You're trying to cross a street in the dark. You look both ways and don't see anything. Since you don't see anything, it may be safe to cross. Instead, you look to another avenue (i.e. hearing) to confirm that it is safe to cross. In my argument, premise #1 is the "sight" and premise #2 is "hearing". I eliminated one option as a viable option and then looked to the second.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • K-switch

      Good going Eric G, you made L4H post it again.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm |
    • clarity

      L4H: "This premise is only addressing the lack of a natural explanation."

      It may very well be the lack of a natural explanation. But, more reasonably, what we all are probably missing is a natural explanation that is not yet known, as I said before.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • clarity

      (when I say missing, I mean simply that no one presently knows)

      February 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Sense0326

      But you didn't eliminate it. Science is an ongoing process and just because we can't explain a phenomenon now does not mean that we will never be able to. Just look how far we've come in our understanding of the universe in the last 300 years. It is quite easy to imagine that in another 300 years, science will have answered the questions you pose. Saying "we don't know so god did it" is akin to intellectual laziness.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "There is currently no naturalistic explanation that has supporting evidence for this issue.
      Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary."

      This follows the same logical fallacy as 'P' has not been proven true, therefore 'Not P' is true, which is the essence of an appeal to ignorace. This is also considered, I think, a special case of false dichotomy, in that, 'P' could yet be proven true or 'Not P' could be proven contradictory.

      "crossing the street"
      Even this weak analogy is a false dichotomy and argument from ignorance. Even if nothing is seen nor heard, it may still not be safe, especially in the dark.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Eric G

      Thank you for explaining, yet again, that your belief is not based in fact, but only in your personal assumption and is subject to your own personal biases.

      Perhaps you are misunderstanding my position. You can believe whatever you want, but to deny demonstrative evidence because it does not support your world view is dishonest. If you were to state that your position is only based on your opinion, you would receive more respectful responses.

      You cannot provide verifiable evidence to support your claims.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Science

      570 million years ago was the Precambrian time !

      Earth’s timeline Science Fact

      Trace our planet's geological and biological ages

      Interactive

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/33184839/ns/technology_and_science/

      February 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You can't even get past the first premise. You begin by setting up a false equation, essentially that because we don't know something YET, that means that there must be something outside of nature to explain it.

      Once upon a time we didn't understand where storms came from, and we believed it was outside of nature or "magic"....it wasn't magic. It was nature that we didn't understand yet.

      Really, it's time to retire this argument along with that whole dinosaur thing. You won't actually consider anything we say in rebuttal, we're not buying what you're selling. Move along to the next argument.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : This follows the same logical fallacy as 'P' has not been proven true, therefore 'Not P' is true, which is the essence of an appeal to ignorace.

      Only if you ignore the other premises. A logical argument is built up over a series of premises. The first issue is where you seem to want to stop. So, let's simplify it for you.

      1) Is there a proven natural explanation for the existence of MET? If not, would you agree that other avenues need to be explored for viability?

      @ME II : This is also considered, I think, a special case of false dichotomy, in that, 'P' could yet be proven true or 'Not P' could be proven contradictory.

      An argument is a false dichotomy when its disjunctive premise is fallaciously supported. Since the disjunctive (i.e. only two possible answers) is not fallaciously supported, then it is not a false dichotomy. In short, the antithesis of natural is supernatural – there are no other possible answers.

      @ME II : Even if nothing is seen nor heard, it may still not be safe, especially in the dark.

      Granted. My point was that I'm checking off all possible options. For the existence of MET, there are only two possible answers – given that MET had a beginning.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • Dateline B.C.E.

      There is NO other explanation for lightning coming down from the sky - it MUST BE a god(s) work.

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

      February 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @myweightinwords : You can't even get past the first premise. You begin by setting up a false equation, essentially that because we don't know something YET, that means that there must be something outside of nature to explain it.

      Do you KNOW if you will be alive tomorrow? Not yet. Do you accept that you will be alive tomorrow as the most logical conclusion? Most of us do. According to your argument, this is a false equation. Just because we don't know something yet, doesn't mean that we cannot act upon the knowledge that we already possess, albeit our decision may be wrong.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm |
    • Science

      Origin of Life:
      Hypothesis Traces First Protocells Back to Emergence of Cell Membrane Bioenergetics

      December 20, 2012 — A coherent pathway - which starts from no more than rocks, water and carbon dioxide and leads to the emergence of the strange bio-energetic properties of living cells - has been traced for the ...

      sciencedaily.com

      February 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Dateline 1700s C.E.

      Benjamin Franklin was roundly castigated by Christians for his discoveries about lightning and the invention of his lightning rod.

      "As late as 1770 many religious Americans still felt that, since thunder and lightning were tokens of the divine displeasure, it was impiety to prevent their doing their full work. It took a few decades for the devout to abandon their religious prejudices regarding the use of the lightning rod, but eventually it was demonstrated to all but the most dense that both the "vengeance of God" and the "Prince of the Power of the Air" were forced to retreat before the lightning-rod of a heretic." – A. D. White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology

      February 14, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Only if you ignore the other premises."

      Define your premises. Your first question appears to contain two premises, A and B, and one conclusion (therfore). Your subsequent questions don't seem to have any bearing on the the conclusion of the first, but rather refine the supposed conclusion of which, or what kind, of "supernatural".

      My point is that your first argument (or premise, depending on your viewpoint) is fallacious and invalid.

      "1) Is there a proven natural explanation for the existence of MET?"
      Science doesn't deal in "proof", but no there is, currently, no explanation that is widely accepted or reasonably certain.

      "If not, would you agree that other avenues need to be explored for viability?"
      Need? Not necessarily, no. If there are other more promising avenues, I would explore them first.

      What, I think you are getting at, is that we cannot exclude a non-natural explanation, to which I would agree. However, simply because we cannot exclude an explanation, does not make it true, or even likely.
      Additionaly, from a practical stand point I don't know how one would "explore" a non-natural explanation for viability. But that's a different discussion.

      "An argument is a false dichotomy when its disjunctive premise is fallaciously supported."
      Your false dichotomy is not in the natural vs supernatural (although "non-natural" would be more accurate), but in the "There is currently no naturalistic explanation ... Therefore, this implies some supernatural event or being is necessary."
      This "implies" a dichotomy of "current" natural vs supernatural, which exlcudes the option of a non-current, or currently unknown, natural explanation.

      "My point was that I'm checking off all possible options."
      You have not checked off all natural explanations. we know this because we know that not all natural explanations are known, yet.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
    • clarity

      Gullible4Him wrote: "[..] So, let's simplify it for you."

      lol – L4H is the one over-simplifying. That's the "Twist it till it fits" part of:

      "Answers in Genesis: Twist it till it fits. Believe it. Defend it. Proclaim it."

      Gullible4Him: "Is there a proven natural explanation for the existence of MET? If not, would you agree that other avenues need to be explored for viability?"

      No and yes. One of those possibilities is that there is still an undiscovered natural explanation.

      Therefore where Gullible4Him says: "In short, the antithesis of natural is supernatural – there are no other possible answers."

      –that is obviously too limiting and false.

      In order for creationists to make that huge leap to their god, they evidently have to claim that we already know everything there is to know about MET. How foolish.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Do you KNOW if you will be alive tomorrow? Not yet. Do you accept that you will be alive tomorrow as the most logical conclusion? Most of us do. According to your argument, this is a false equation. Just because we don't know something yet, doesn't mean that we cannot act upon the knowledge that we already possess, albeit our decision may be wrong.

      You can't even see that you're trying to compare apples and pick up trucks, can you?

      Whether or not I will be alive tomorrow has not happened yet. I can not prove it now, nor can I prove it ten years from now because tomorrow is always the future.

      "Creation" isn't in the future. The who, what, where of it has happened. We don't know how. One day, maybe we will. (probably not) But, just because we do not know does not mean that we can assume anything about the who, what, where of it, assign it attributes outside of what is observable, etc.

      Your first premise is flawed because you make an assumption. That is what invalidates your premise.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
    • Ken

      Live4Him
      Why is the Qur'an inaccurate compared to the Christian Bible? Why is the Trinity more accurate than a purely monotheistic model? Why is a lack of prophecies that could go unfulfilled, like many Bible ones have, considered a weakness? You make a whole lot of conclusions, but offer no basis for those conclusions. Hardly a very compelling argument, IMHO.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  10. Doc Vestibule

    @Live4Him
    Do you believe that the decay rate of Uranium 235 has been observed for at least the last 50 years?

    February 14, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : Do you believe that the decay rate of Uranium 235 has been observed for at least the last 50 years?

      I know that it has been observed for a period of time, but don't know the amount.

      Do you believe that dino soft tissue has been recently found?

      February 14, 2013 at 11:12 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The decay rate of Uranium has been known for hundreds of years.
      I gave a conservative figure of 50 years becuase in depth understanding of the nature of U-235 has been demonstrated with the atomic bomb.

      As for the dino soft tissue, I hadn't heard that though it sounds fascinating.
      Have you got a reference?

      February 14, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      The interesting thing about the ones who discovered the "soft tissue", the primary question they ask is "How was the it was preserved for so long?" not "It is impossible for it to be preserved for so long." Liv4Him and others a basically saying,

      "It is 100% impossible for this "soft tissue" to be preserved for so long."

      Care to back up that statement.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      here you go Doc:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1685849/

      February 14, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • niknak

      You fundies say dinosaurs never existed and any remains were put there by the devil to make man not believe in god.
      Yes, I say the PBS special on the fully articulated dinosaur remains that were found up in Montana (I think it was Montana).
      Amoung other things, they now have pretty conclusive proof that modern birds are related to the dinos because the craw and other features of the dinos digestive track is the same as modern birds.

      But the tissue is still over 200 million years old, so how does this prove your imaginary friend again, Die4him?

      February 14, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : The decay rate of Uranium has been known for hundreds of years.

      Radioactivity was first discovered 116 years ago – far short of your claim of hundreds of years. And decay rates were established well after that point.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker : basically saying, "It is 100% impossible for this "soft tissue" to be preserved for so long." Care to back up that statement.

      I've presented a reference for that statement previously and I don't have the reference at my disposal at the moment. However, the findings were announce after Jurassic Park raised the possiblity of resurrecting dinosaurs. The author proved that the chemical bonds in DNA would breakdown (without a repair mechanism) within 10,000 years in a temperate environment – regardless of the means of preservation. The fossils with the soft tissue were found in a temperate environment. Subsequent findings confirmed the author's work and expanded the findings to tundra/artic environment. I think the author's last name was Lihn or Lin or something simlar.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      Apologies – I amend my statement.
      The uranium-lead decay rate method is the longest-used dating method. It was first used in 1907, over a hundred years ago.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : Apologies – I amend my statement. The uranium-lead decay rate method is the longest-used dating method. It was first used in 1907, over a hundred years ago

      No problem. I knew that radioactivity was discovered sometime in the late 1800's, so it was less than 200 years. But, I had to google to get the exact year. Even with this "long-term" usage, there are still questions about it being a constant decay.

      Miller, J. 2012. Time to reset isotopic clocks? Physics Today. 65 (6): 20-21.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      One other issue with the soft tissu issue (I just love the ryhme there), is the conflict between the rates of decay of tissue and radioctive decay. Radiometric dating is well established and is very widely used, while the soft tissues are found in much less frequency. Which is why the person who discovered soft tissue is going with the dates provided by the more established dating method. Once again the scientist, who is a devout Christian, is asking "How was the tissue preserved so long?" and Has provided several proposals as to how in the reference I provided. I do thank you for the reference on tissue decay, I'll see if I can find it.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker : Radiometric dating is well established and is very widely used, while the soft tissues are found in much less frequency.

      It has also been well established that radiometric dating as serious flaws, lack of calibration, and other issues. However, evolution stands or falls on the amount of time available for evolution to happen.

      And when Jurassic Park came out in the theaters, experts in organic decay stated that the evidence shows that most of the organic material would decay within a few years, but DNA could survive for a longer period. And within the 10,000 years, all of the DNA would cease (at least in the contiguous states).

      @lunchbreaker : Once again the scientist, who is a devout Christian, is asking "How was the tissue preserved so long?" and Has provided several proposals as to how in the reference I provided.

      What doesn a paleontologist know about organic decay? Nothing. What does an organic chemist know about organic decay? Everything. So, I'm sure a paleontologist can come up with a logical sounding explanation, but will it be based upon reality? (i.e. would a organic chemist agree?)

      @lunchbreaker : I do thank you for the reference on tissue decay, I'll see if I can find it.

      I should be able to provide it over the weekend, if you ask during that time. Also, try the name Linl.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:55 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      "What doesn a paleontologist know about organic decay? Nothing. What does an organic chemist know about organic decay? Everything."

      And neither of us are these things either, but we apparently have the ability to research. As for you statement, a scientist is not limited to only studying one subject. So now you have lept to:

      "If one has studied paleontology, one with 100% certainty can know nothing about organic decay."

      Great logic..... FAIL!

      Try reading the paper I posted, but since you're not a scientist I suppose by your own logic you cannot learn anything from it.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker : And neither of us are these things either, but we apparently have the ability to research.

      My point, which you apparently missed, is that without expertise in the area of decay, her opinions would be no more valid than yours or mine. So there is less reason to place a greater trust in her beliefs than in looking at the facts and rendering your own judgment.

      @lunchbreaker : since you're not a scientist

      You've assumed again. This will get you into trouble every time. :)

      February 14, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      And you asume she does not have said expertise.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • ..

      l4h isn't a scientist anymore than I am Jesus Christ.

      February 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
  11. myweightinwords

    What causes you to doubt what you believe? What shakes your faith?

    How do you respond to that shaking?

    February 14, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Eric G

      When the Lions make the playoffs.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • Live4Him

      @myweightinwords : What causes you to doubt what you believe? What shakes your faith?

      It has been years since I had doubts. You know me – I searched for the facts. And since these facts never change, any doubts lie in my court.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:15 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Anyone who says that they don't ever doubt does not come across as genuine.

        Faith isn't about facts. Facts can support your faith, but what you think are facts can also be false information.

        So, if the doubts "lie in your court"...how do you process them?

        February 14, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Eric G

      @Live4Him: I would argue that you do not search for facts. You search for acceptable assumptions that support a pre-existing preferred conclusion.

      Big difference.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Chuckles

      Extraordinary events.

      For instance. A family friend was driving home from the grocery store during rush hour on the highway. While he was waiting about to go under an overpass, a semi swerved and fell off and pancaked this guys car, absolutely crushed it. He not only lived, but has made a full recovery AND he's age 70. Say what you will, but that's one solid bit of luck (It depends if you think its really good luck that hes a live or really bad luck that he was in the car). Who knows, the event could prove the amazing car safety engineering, could be that created a magic forcefield, maybe elves held up the car. I guess the whole event just made me look at what I would think is impossible and help me revise it a little. I thought it would be impossible to live if a huge rig from up high falls from the sky and lands on a car and the person inside would survive. I was wrong and although if you replay the event over and over again, 9 times out of 10 he probably would have died but in this instance,he got to live.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I have found that this also tests me, whether the extraordinary event is good or bad, things that happen and seem contrary to what I believe is always a cause to re-examine what I believe and why.

        February 14, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Myweightinwords,

      It has been years since I have had my faith shaken as you put it. It was after the death of a close loved one. I spent a lot of time thinking, praying, and grieving afterward. Ultimately, it was a tremendous faith builder.
      On another occasion I was called on to give my personal testimony to a group, lots of praying and thinking beforehand, and again a tremendous faith affirmation and increaser.

      Doubts have always led to stronger faith for me.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:26 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Robert Brown,

        Grief can, of course, cause doubt, no matter what we believe. I have seen grief drive believers to atheism and atheists to faith.

        If it isn't too personal, could you say what about this death caused your doubt?

        February 14, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Thoughts

      Self-doubt exists within you if you are unsure of yourself and your abilities. Self-doubt causes you to procrastinate, delay and hesitate to do the things you have or want to do.

      Those closest to you can be the ones who will instill you with the most doubt. They are not acting from hidden motives when they discourage you from taking an action. Don’t let them discourage you if you have made up your mind. There will be people who do not hesitate to criticize and cause you to have self-doubt. They ignorantly exaggerate the risks involved and inaccurately predict the dire consequences that befall you. As a result, it arouses considerable anxiety in you.

      Self-doubt will have minimal effect on you if you can change the way you think.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • December

      > What causes you to doubt what you believe? What shakes your faith?

      Acts of evil.

      > How do you respond to that shaking?

      I don't give into evil. I praise God. I look for the light that shines in the darkness.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:48 am |
      • myweightinwords

        December,

        What about an act of evil shakes your faith? Do you question how a loving god can allow it? Do you question the humanity of the person committing the act?

        What happens when the act is so heinous you can not praise god, can not find the light in the darkness?

        February 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Chuckles

      It always gives me pause whenever there are people who don't doubt themselves or at least do not re-examine their faith every so often. I've made countless mistakes in my life, for better or for worse, so why would my faith (or lack thereof) be above scrutiny? That story was a catalyst to one time I really thought about what I considered "impossible" and had to revise my thinking, however I usually try and re-examine what I believe every couple of years or so usually in the form of going home and attending services with the fam.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
      • myweightinwords

        Every year at this convention I'll be attending this weekend, I try to take a class or attend a ritual in a discipline/faith that I am unfamiliar with. It gives me an opportunity to examine what I believe against what they believe.

        I think it is very healthy to do so with an open mind. Which isn't to say that some of them aren't so out there that I just close down the idea, because that's happened before too.

        February 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • December

      > What about an act of evil shakes your faith? Do you question how a loving god can allow it? Do you question the humanity of the person committing the act?

      Yes, I do find myself questioning how God can allow it. Crimes against children can shake my faith.

      > What happens when the act is so heinous you can not praise god, can not find the light in the darkness?

      I ask for help! Or look for a way that I can help.

      It is helpful for me to personify evil as the devil. I think the devil does evil to make me hate God. I won't give into that evil. I stand up against it.

      I praise God. Because there is a light that shines in the darkness and the darkness can not overcome it.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Robert Brown

      Myweightinwords,

      That would be a long and personal story, but I don’t mind sharing some. This was a sudden and unexpected death of a close loved one who I spent quite a bit of time with. I had just as loved and close ones pass away before this, but I think this was the first time that I was mature enough to understand. Thinking back I believe I was at a crossroads when this happened, this event caused me to turn to God like I never had before, since I was saved. I may not have ever moved back toward God in this way had it not been for this event. What I understood as sin had a pretty good grip on me at the time, I was saved, but was yielding to the flesh. Once the shock and grief wore off a little and several months went by, I realized that I would also die one day. This was the first time that I faced this fact. So, I went from being very sad, to acceptance and peace, to afraid. I had received many spiritual blessings dealing with the sadness and grief. I struggled, thought, and prayed about death for a long time and again the spiritual blessings were a comfort and reaffirmed my faith, back to peace, hope, and joy.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Paula

      I am at peace to die all the time and don't need to believe in a God. When you lover yourself and lover your life you are at peace with it because you live each day as if it were your last. I am always good about telling my friends and family every day how much I appreciate they share their life with me and I love them, that way if something happens, it's ok.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Paula

      Dam auto-correct. it suppose to say love not lover.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Ken

      Robert Brown
      Why is it that Christians never tell about how they were on top of the world, successful and everyone healthy in their lives, when they worked out that God exists using logic? Why is it always on the tail end of their worse day, when their emotions are running so high that nobody could think straight? Do you really think that any decision-making a person does when they're willing to grasp at straws would be a choice they'd make normally?

      February 14, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • The Four Yodelling Accordian Kings of the Apocalypse

      Same reason his "chosen people" died by the millions in death camps: because it's just myth.

      February 14, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
  12. Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

    American jazz guitarist Pat Metheny scored the soundtrack to the 1985 John Schlesinger film The Falcon and the Snowman, starring Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton. From the soundtrack, this is "This Is Not America", where Metheny utilizes David Bowie for the vocal.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKR1yYCNO2Q&w=640&h=390]

    Let's pick it up a notch. This is "Facing West" from the 1992 Metheny album Secret Story.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8imgW-7f0M&w=640&h=390]

    February 14, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      Pat playing his custom Picasso guitar:

      http://nicholasgibson.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/img_4407.JPG

      February 14, 2013 at 10:49 am |
  13. Doc Vestibule

    @Live4Him
    Do you agree that telescopes enable us to view ancient light from distant stars?

    February 14, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : Do you agree that telescopes enable us to view ancient light from distant stars?

      Yes, we see light from distant stars, but we don't know the age of this light so we cannot call it ancient.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Do you believe that the speed of light is constant?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:49 am |
    • clarity

      Gullible4Him: "Yes, we see light from distant stars, but we don't know the age of this light so we cannot call it ancient."

      What?? What kind of cave did you crawl out from??

      February 14, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • lol??

      Time is an interesting concept........."Mar 13:20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days."...........Cut the number of days? Spin the earth faster? Turn em into shortnin' bread?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Tommy

      If Live4Him could use the speed of light to prove that the earth is young he would think it is constant, but since it shows the opposite I would assume he does not think that it is.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : Do you believe that the speed of light is constant?

      How has the speed of light been calibrated outside of this solar system?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @live4him
      a simple yes or no will suffice.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • lol??

      There was a long day mentioned in the OT during a battle. That would infer a long night on this side of the planet, with no rotation. Maybe that's why the wise guyz decided to sacrifice virgins to keep the sun god happy and come back.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Saraswati

      They just come back and tell you either God or Satan planted the light already in transit. It's a harder one, but they still have lists of answers.

      Or best of all they resort to this idiotic version of the "You're wrong too so you can't criticize me argument" which depends not only on bad logic but a massive ignorance of scientific theory:

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v25/n4/light-travel-time

      February 14, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • lol??

      "2Cr 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"........ Yup, can't trust what you see in the stars. They might not be there.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:15 am |
    • Yochanan

      Stars are magical, therefore the light from them is magical. Magical, I tell you! And flexible! Not constant but always there.
      Magic is everywhere! Even the sun is magical! Stare at it long enough and you will see!

      February 14, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Live4Him

      Re the speed of light in a (classical) vacuum etc., we do usually assume that physical constants and physical laws are the same everywhere and everywhen. We are guilty of faith in that regard, but are open to modifying or discarding our ideas about it if there is evidence or even a good mathematical framework for existing evidence that leaves open the possibility. Do you have something for us?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      When you look at the sun you are seeing light that left its surface 8 minutes ago. By that measure, distance over time, the milky way galaxy alone is over 100,000 light years across.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • lol??

      Sure do. Don't sacrifice virgins. Virgin bigot.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : a simple yes or no will suffice.

      You obviously haven't kept up with the latest science news. Even physicists are beginning to question this limit. With the experts themselves questioning this limit, why would I be foolish enough to agree that it is a constant?

      http://techland.time.com/2012/09/19/nasa-actually-working-on-faster-than-light-warp-drive/

      in May 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre suggested a mechanism for getting an object from one point to another at faster-than-light speeds without running afoul of Einsteinian relativity.

      Alcubierre’s idea: bending space-time in front of and behind a vessel rather than attempting to propel the vessel itself at light-speeds.

      http://www.livescience.com/23789-einstein-relativity-faster-than-light-travel.html
      Fears of crossing the light barrier may be similarly unfounded, Hill said.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Yochanan

      It is our magical eyes that let us see magical things. We see stars because they are magical. The sun's magic keeps us warm and separates the light from the dark. The dark is not magical. Only light is magical. It's all magic.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • Science

      For you know
      Milky Way's Youngest Black Hole Was Formed By Doomed Rotating Star (VIDEO)
      Huffington Post UK‎ – 3 hours ago

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/02/14/milky-ways-youngest-black-hole-star_n_2684673.html

      February 14, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • Live4Him

      @AtheistSteve : When you look at the sun you are seeing light that left its surface 8 minutes ago. By that measure, distance over time, the milky way galaxy alone is over 100,000 light years across.

      Only if you assume that light outside of a gravity system (i.e. the solar system) travels the same speed as inside. Do cars travel the same speed in the city as they do in the country?

      February 14, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • lol??

      The so-called rubber band might already be contracting..................."Isa 34:4 And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling [fig] from the fig tree."

      February 14, 2013 at 10:41 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      Every law in physics is axiomatic. It is assumed that all behaviors observed occur the same in every part of the universe. The speed of light in a vacuum is known quite precisely. It varies only when it interacts with matter. Slower through water or glass for instance. Around a gravity field it can be deflected but not slowed. Our solar system is pitifully feable gravitationally(as compared to near a black hole for instance)
      The examples you cited deal with warping space/time to seemingly cover distance faster than light speed. Light speed isn't comprimized if you create a short cut thru space. Worm holes have been propsed to do the same.
      What relativity revealed was that light speed is fixed while space and time are mutable and inverslely proprtional.. The best way to picture this is to imagine that when you are at rest in space you are travelling thru time at maximum speed. As you move through space in ever increasing speed you are experiencing time in an ever decreasing rate. At light speed time stops. That's why light speed is limited.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • QST

      I love how so many people don't understand physics.
      It is physically impossible for the universe to contract.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • QST

      I shouldn't say impossible, but rather improbable. Were expansion to stop, gravity would stop as well as most physical processes. Death would be instantaneous throughout the universe. There are no gods so quit wasting your time.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      The hypotheses you presented do not invalidate the constancy of the speed of light.
      I don't think you read those articles – especially given that you flat out told me the other day that you don't have time to read things like that.

      Note the explicit statement:
      "without running afoul of Einsteinian relativity"
      The constancy of the speed of light in vaccuum (or 'c') is an integral part of relativity.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:13 am |
    • Saraswati

      Here's a summary of their "competing models" in their own words:

      1. Relativistic time dilation
      2. CDK or speed of light decay
      3. Cosmological time zone conventions
      4. Miraculous intervention: the light arrives by a supernatural means, no longer in operation today

      http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/12/12/feedback-too-many-theories

      February 14, 2013 at 11:15 am |
    • clarity

      Ah yes. Answers in Genesis: Twisting it to make it fit. Believing it. Defending it. Proclaiming it.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Doc Vestibule : The hypotheses you presented do not invalidate the constancy of the speed of light.

      No, but it does call into question the presumption of a constant speed.

      @Doc Vestibule : I don't think you read those articles – especially given that you flat out told me the other day that you don't have time to read things like that.

      I read a lot, but don't see the need to waste my time reading about a person's (or group of people) opinion. I'm only looking for the facts. I sift out the facts and come to my own conclusions. You seem to want to pass off opinions as fact, which I oppose.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Saraswati : Here's a summary of their "competing models" in their own words:

      WOW – You seem to spend a lot of time reading their websites. More than I have done in my life. I guess you have time to waste.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Saraswati
      Answers In Genesis is a collection of rationalizations, not theories.
      The Center for Science and Culture (sponsored by the Discovery Inst.itute) openly admit that their goal isn't to teach what they think is fact. An internal doc.ument leaked in 1999 described the Discovery group's objective in pushing for creationism to be taught in schools as "to defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies". They want to use Intelligent Design as a "wedge" to separate science from its allegiance to "atheistic naturalism".
      In other words, they fear that teaching FACTS to children will drive them away from religion.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      "No, but it does call into question the presumption of a constant speed."

      No it does not. I alrready explained why. If you take short cuts thru space you still haven't changed how light travels thru space. Here's the problem. If you were to travel thru ordinary(unwarped) space at a speed greater than the speed of light "c" then you are travelling backward thru time. That is nonsensical.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:27 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Doc, I'm not too worried. If you look at their numbers they haven't got a chance of achieving their ends. The site is good entertainment, though.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Tommy

      I don't see what humans inventing something that can travel faster than the speed of light has to do with whether or not light travels at a constant speed. Seems like two different things to me. Just because it might be possible to make something that goes faster than the speed of light in no way proves that light does not travel at a constant speed.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:33 am |
    • Science

      And they CREATIONIST/ID LOST at the Dover Trail in 2005 and still pushing this CRAP !!!

      Thanks Doc

      Facts

      February 14, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      You failed to respond to the relevant portion of my prior post.

      "without running afoul of Einsteinian relativity"
      The constancy of the speed of light in vaccuum (or 'c') is an integral part of relativity.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:39 am |
    • niknak

      Doc, you and I both know it is impossible to argue facts with a fundie.
      I just had one tell me the other day that science is real until in conflicts with the babble.
      This guy believes unicorn existed because they are mentioned in the babble, along with laviathans and all the other supernatural creatures. They are just not around anymore because there was no room on the ark.

      It is pointless, but I give you credit for trying.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @niknak
      There's always the discussion about the prospect of surviving 3 days in an aquatic creature's gastro-intestinal tract.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • fred

      Atheist Steve said: “At light speed time stops. That's why light speed is limited.”
      Atheists claim eternity is not self evident yet claim time stops when in reality it never stops. Atheists have more faith than Christians in that which cannot be seen or measured. Atheists do not know if the envelope of our universe is fixed in another time and space yet have the faith that time stops at the speed of light.
      I am not arguing for the existence of God I am stating the obvious that eternity is self evident in the atheist’s adherence to laws of physics. If time stops at the speed of light one must assume light stops at some point and starts at some point. There is no proof of this and the atheist naturalism demands proof thus light continues in all directions until proven otherwise.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      @fred

      Infinity is a mathematical concept only – there is nothing "real" that is infinite – not space, not time, not anything tangible.

      Eternity is NOT self-evident and in fact it is quite illogical.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • fred

      My Dog is a jealous Dog
      Are you saying existence is limited by beginning and end? How can we say that if we cannot prove an ending and cannot prove a fixed beginning? That unknown seems to be argument for no God needed

      February 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • My Dog is a jealous Dog

      Yes – I am saying that everything does have a beginning and end. The universe began (and time) with the big bang. Entropy dictates that order goes to disorder, and in the far distant future when all stars have died, collapsed into black holes, and finally evaporate, the universe will be in a state of complete disorder and the arrow of time will no longer point in any direction – so time will end. Nothing is infinite and there is no god required.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Bleh

      Since "order" and "disorder" are subjective, they are null and void in any educated physics debate.
      This universe is a closed system. When you see things fly apart, that is not "disorder". Those things are traveling a very exact and essentially rigid path. Would you then claim these exact trajectories are "disorder"? Only if you are an idiot.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Bleh
      Are you denying entropy?

      February 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • fred

      My Dog is a jealous Dog
      Ok, that is important and I would accept it as a reason for no God needed. Not sure why I cannot wrap my head around a fixed beginning and end other than it removes purpose for existence.
      Thanks, I need to reconsider if the law of Entropy as it applies to time. That could take a while for me ……….perhaps it could take forever.

      February 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Bleh

      Denying entropy? That sounds pretty religious, Doc. I'm just saying that "order" and "disorder" are entirely subjective and that this space-time continuum is by definition a closed system. Energy is not destroyed. Entropy is about measuring a lack of information using math. It is not some mystical force in physics or even a physical law. What some call "order" is everywhere, including this continuum itself. As a closed system with no outside influence, entropy is just a mathematical guess that describes the lack of information held by the "observer".
      Go, and sin no more.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm |
  14. Live4Him

    @Tom, Tom, the Other One : How does atonement work?

    Look at from a different perspective. You borrow your friends car – which is brand new off the showroom floor. When you return it, it has been driven recklessly, scratched, dented, and worn out. Do you say to your friend – "Well, here's your car"? Or do you compensate him/her for his/her loss? Now, using this analogy, we'll look at the issue you raised.

    God gives us a perfect life – one without blemish – for our use while on earth. We don't own this life, but are just borrowing it. We use it recklessly, bang it around and wear it out. In the end, we need to return this life to God – and He expects to be compensated for His loss. Since you were given a perfect life – then only another perfect life will compensate God for the loss.

    February 14, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hmmm... So if I owe God money, money that I don't have, he is happy to get it from someone else, or, better yet, from himself?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One : So if I owe God money, money that I don't have, he is happy to get it from someone else, or, better yet, from himself?

      In ancient times, one would buy a perfect lamb as atonement – the individual still paid a price (even if the value is not equal). Second, did you ever have someone owe you a debt that they could not pay? Did you throw them in debtor prison or forgive that debt?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:40 am |
    • Which God?

      L4H. That is a bullschitt analogy. Your god has set up mankind to be born with sin, "original sin," not perfect. We have to spent a perfectly good lifetime of guilt trying to appease this moron of yours. You constanly lie.You don't even realize the schitt you throw out. You just put something out there, to hear yourself, and hope no one catches on.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • Eric G

      I'm sorry, but you must first prove that your god exists. Once you have established that, you will then need to provide proof that your god has the ability and desire to create "perfect life". Then, you will need to provide evidence that your god actually is responsible for creating said "perfect life".

      You have made many claims in your post without any verifiable supporting evidence. Claims of authority made without verifiable supporting evidence must be discarded as illogical.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Eric G : I'm sorry, but you must first prove that your god exists.

      You're off topic. The question was on atonement. Deal with it.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Which God?

      When you can be civil, I'll discuss the issues you raise.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Eric G

      The very question of atonement requires the assignment of authority, which you have not yet established.

      Without the establishment of verifiable reality and fact, your claim has the same logical validity as someone who claims to know what color underware Jesus wore.

      Don't be angry when someone asks you to explain yourself. Bad form.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Live4Him- "Second, did you ever have someone owe you a debt that they could not pay? Did you throw them in debtor prison or forgive that debt?"

      I abandoned the debt. I did not transfer money from one of my accounts, or my son's, to myself in order to call the debt "paid".

      February 14, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Yochanan

      "Deal with it"
      Yeah, that's real civil. Keep it up.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One : I abandoned the debt. I did not transfer money from one of my accounts, or my son's, to myself in order to call the debt "paid".

      The money went out and did not come back in – so you took the loss from your own account.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Eric G : The very question of atonement requires the assignment of authority, which you have not yet established.

      They raised the subject of atonement, which is premised upon the authority of God. We've discussed the existance of God previously, so we didn't need to readdress it.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Eric G

      @Live4Him: So, you admit that the entire concept of atonement is all based on an assumption. This is big news, as you have just admited that you only assume that your god exists because you cannot provide any verifiable evidence that supports your hypothesis. As your faith is completely based on a personal assumption, any claims of authority are, in fact, irrelevant.

      Thank you for being honest.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Eric G : So, you admit that the entire concept of atonement is all based on an assumption. This is big news, as you have just admited that you only assume that your god exists because you cannot provide any verifiable evidence that supports your hypothesis.

      Strawman. I've never claimed that I cannot provide any verifiable evidence. Rather, I stated that we've already addressed this issue where the evidence was presented.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:29 am |
    • Eric G

      Strawman? Perhaps you should study logic.

      Please present your evidence for verification.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Live4Him-

      Regarding compensation for God,

      In particular, the 2nd analogy (claim?)- "then only another perfect life will compensate God for the loss"

      Why is God unable to take the loss? Why must God be compensated? According to your theology the need is great enough that he gave his only son to act as compensation ... to himself?

      BTW, thank you for being so forthcoming. Believers are becoming less wiling to engage in dialogue.

      February 14, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  15. myweightinwords

    Morning everyone! I've missed the morning speed reads this week on All Pope, All the Time talk radio!

    Hope everyone is doing well. I'm prepping for a big Pagan weekend this weekend, a gathering of tribes so to speak. Every year over President's Day weekend, there is a grand convention in San Jose, CA where Pagans of many faiths (and even a few Jews, Christians, Atheists and others) gather to learn, explore, engage in ritual, hang out with friends we only see once a year, buy stuff we probably don't need and party.

    It is a wonderful experience in co-existing and fellowship.

    February 14, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Which God?

      MWIW. Nice. Have a good time.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:42 am |
      • myweightinwords

        I'm looking forward to the Kali puja. I missed it last year.

        I'll probably skip the Discordian Mass though.

        The sword dancing in the lobby is always fun. I'm broke this year though, so no shopping for me.

        February 14, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Chuckles

      Where in San Jose?! I can take CalTrain up from the Bay and check it out!

      February 14, 2013 at 11:34 am |
      • myweightinwords

        Chuckles,

        The Doubletree Hotel near the airport. The event is Pantheacon.

        If you do stop by, keep an eye out for a heavy woman in a fedora with a backpack and camera. The name on my badge will be "Amara".

        February 14, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Hey

      Chuckles, wear a red baseball cap so MWW will know who you are. I always wonder why they do that in the movies.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:46 am |
  16. Topher

    Good (way too early) morning, everyone! What shall we talk about today?

    February 14, 2013 at 9:03 am |
    • Live4Him

      Did you notice that you were missed this morning? :)

      February 14, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Topher

      Awww. :)

      February 14, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • midwest rail

      What is the longest song ti-tle ?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:32 am |
    • Topher

      In words? Letters?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • midwest rail

      Doesnt matter – btw, it was written in the 40's.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Topher

      So this is more trivia than us just guessing? I give up. What is it?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:38 am |
    • midwest rail

      It would take too long to type it out – the songwriter was Hoagie Carmichael if you feel like looking at Wiki.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Topher

      OK. So what else should we talk about?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:46 am |
    • midwest rail

      Is anyone you know seriously buying in to the Malachy prophecies ?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Tommy

      Lets talk about the Pope. I haven't heard much about him lately. Anybody know what he has been up to?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Topher

      midwest rail

      "Is anyone you know seriously buying in to the Malachy prophecies ?"

      Never heard of it.What is it?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Topher

      Tommy

      Ha!

      February 14, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • midwest rail

      A series of "prophecies" regarding the succession of Popes – there are some Christians who believe Benedict's resignation is directly related to the Book of Revelation.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Topher

      Where do these prophecies come from?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • midwest rail

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

      February 14, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • Topher

      Interesting. Of course the office of the pope isn't Biblical, but there are some who believe that is what is described as anti-Christ in Revelation.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Topher
      The anti-christ and the end times apparently happened a couple of thousand years ago.
      “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
      —1 John 2:18

      February 14, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Topher

      That just means we are in the end times. That's nothing new. The anti-Christ hasn't been revealed nor has the Tribulation began. None of that happened long ago. It has yet to happen.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:47 am |
    • Billy

      They'll never know – that's the trouble with Tribuls.

      February 14, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • tallulah13

      @Billy

      Ha!

      February 14, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Robert Brown

      Topher,

      Can the mercy, grace, and love of God even be comprehended by a human? Can what little we understand be explained?

      February 14, 2013 at 11:18 am |
    • Topher

      Robert Brown

      "Can the mercy, grace, and love of God even be comprehended by a human? Can what little we understand be explained?"

      No, I don't think we can comprehend it to the degree it is due to us being corrupt. And yes, we can explain it a bit ... the Bible does a very good job of that.

      February 14, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Ken

      Robert Brown

      If you're implying that God's mercy, grace, and love cannot, in fact, be comprehended by humans then how do you know that it actually means something good for you? God's idea of "love" might be spreading Christian souls on his toast in the morning, for all you know, right?

      February 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
  17. Where is Good morning everyone what shall we discuss today

    ?

    February 14, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Believers just haven't been responsive lately, but here goes. How does atonement work? How is a rational God satisfied by a sacrifice, particularly the sacrifice of someone who is blameless of the thing for which it requires justice?

      February 14, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      In relation to attonement, how about the fact that what is considered a "sin" is simply something that God just arbitrarily decided He did not like, yet created our ability to perform anyway. Sounds like entrapment. Unless He is not actually omnipotent and has to uphold a higher law himself, as per the Euthyphro dilemma.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      If there is objective morality – a higher law- for which God is not necessary, and which God must obey, then what becomes of the argument from morality for God's existence.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:28 am |
    • Live4Him

      @lunchbreaker : In relation to attonement, how about the fact that what is considered a "sin" is simply something that God just arbitrarily decided He did not like, yet created our ability to perform anyway.

      And stores just "arbitrarily decided" that theft is something that they did not like and yet give you the ability to do so.

      February 14, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Yochanan

      I walked right...out the door...walked right out the door....hey alright...I got mine..it's mine....mine all mine...

      February 14, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      If the store was omnipotent, it could create an infinite amount of product, which would mean the theft did not harm the store, and that the store could give away products for free, but has chosen not to.

      February 14, 2013 at 11:09 am |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    February 14, 2013 at 7:46 am |
    • nope

      nope

      February 14, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      February 14, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • yup

      YUUUUUUUUUUUP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 14, 2013 at 8:00 am |
    • Bleh

      That YUUUP guy is a total dick. He gladly ruins auctions for everyone as long as he can convince himself that he is justified in ruining other people and wasting their money if he thinks it will mean more money for him. He sucks and you suck.

      February 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
  19. Saraswati

    I'm confused...what do Silverman and Tibetan suicides have to do with the Pope Blog?

    February 14, 2013 at 6:59 am |
  20. Science

    Earth From Space No God(s) required

    Detailed satellite images reveal the web of connections that sustain life on Earth. Aired February 13, 2013 on PBS

    Program Description

    "Earth From Space" is a groundbreaking two-hour special that reveals a spectacular new space-based vision of our planet. Produced in extensive consultation with NASA scientists, NOVA takes data from earth-observing satellites and transforms it into dazzling visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate and surprising web of forces that sustains life on earth. Viewers witness how dust blown from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a colossally powerful hurricane. From the microscopic world of water molecules vaporizing over the ocean to the magnetic field that is bigger than Earth itself, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/space/earth-from-space.html

    February 14, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • bobk52

      Cool!

      February 14, 2013 at 6:41 am |
    • Science

      Really neat stuff I watched the 2 hour show.
      Thanks
      Peace

      New Black Hole in the Milkyway in the news this mornig.

      February 14, 2013 at 8:32 am |
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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.